Hello everyone and happy Wednesday! I’m so excited about this post in the Learn + Love Your Blog series. Today I want to talk about social media and being social in general to turn your blog into a community. Before I rebranded and kicked my blogging into high gear, I remember reading this post from the Nectar Collective which totally opened my eyes. It’s all about transforming your blog into a community instead of just spitting content out at your readers. I knew that’s what I wanted for my blog: to create a place where people could learn, grow, and transform together.
Having an engaging presence on social media is almost essential for bloggers today. It’s a great way to connect with readers and other bloggers. It gives everyone another place to hear your voice besides a blog post, and it usually comes off much more personal. Managing different social media accounts can be tricky, but it is absolutely worth it.
Tips To Make Social Media Work For You
01. Schedule posts as often as possible. Once I post goes live, I schedule some social media to help push and promote it. There are great apps and web programs like Buffer which make sharing and scheduling as easy a mouse click. If you plan your posts ahead of time, scheduling tweets and Facebook posts will take even more of the stress of planning away.
02. Share OTHER’s content, too! If you spend 100% of your time pushing your own content over social media, you won’t get any closer to building or becoming a part of the blogging community. If someone writes a post you really liked, share it with everyone!! That’s what the blogging community is all about. Just because a blogger isn’t sponsoring you doesn’t mean you can’t share their content and support them.
03. Make your images pin-able! I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again, Pinterest can do WONDERS for bloggers if used correctly. WordPress users can add a “pin it” button to images in your blog posts simply by using the Pinterest for Images plugin. Blogger users can follow this tutorial.
Making your images pin-able means more than just having a button to click, it means making your images worthy of being shared to Pinterest. This is why it’s so important to keep the images you use in your posts of high quality and brand them to match your blog (like the image for this post is!)
04. Share things users can respond to. You’re only going to get so many retweets, favorites, or Facebook shares – and as great as they are, wouldn’t you rather a little more interaction? I know that I would! Instead of sharing a post or your sponsorship options, take the time to ask people how their day is going, or offer some words of advice to make their day go better! It’s not all about links and page views – it’s about connections.
05. Keep your accounts consistent with your brand. I try to match all of my accounts to the design of my blog so that when readers or other bloggers find me elsewhere there’s no doubt that it’s the same Amber of And Yes To Joy. Keeping all of your accounts in sync helps to solidify your brand and image and avoid confusion.
Creating a Community Environment
Creating a community on your blog goes far beyond Twitter and Facebook, it’s the actual post-to-post interactions that you have with each of your readers and other bloggers. Here are some things to consider…
01. Do you read and interact with other blogs/bloggers? When other bloggers tell me that they don’t read blogs, my eyes pop out of my head. I try to make it a goal to read and comment on at least 10-15 blogs per week. It really is a labor of love! It’s like setting a goal to call close friends and family a few times a week and have a meaningful conversation with them.
02. Are you starting conversation? At the end of most of my posts, I ask a question that readers can respond to and engage me with in the comments. Don’t just push information at people, open the door to have a discussion. Blogging isn’t supposed to be one-way communication.
03. Decide how you will handle comments. The more you start to engage other bloggers, the more that same community will pop up on your blog via the comments section. It’s up to you to decide how you want to communicate with your readers. Will you reply directly to their comments, send an email later, or just return the comment on their blog.
For a while, before I rebranded (and got a clue), I would rarely get a comment on a post, get so excited, and then never reply! I never let the conversation get past my post, which stopped me from growing a community.
04. Build relationships. You don’t have to contain the conversation to the comments section of a post. If you know one of your readers may enjoy a post, shoot them an email or tweet. If you have a great idea and want to make it bigger, reach out to some blog friends and let them in on it. Those connections keep growing and growing, and your blog will grow with them.
Remember: You want people to be able to share your content, and start a conversation around what you’re saying.
How do you create community on YOUR blog? And how do you make social media work for you?
Remember to leave any questions you have in the comments so I can address them in the Q&A post at the end of the series!