A blogger’s day revolves around three tasks: 1) Think of a topic, 2) Write Post, 3) Promote the post.
It usually takes a full workday to finish all three. That’s why my bloggers stare at me in wide-eyed horror when I insist they do more to build their blog audience, especially if it involves time on Facebook.
Their anxiousness comes from the added time commitment and the utterly alien environment of Facebook. A blog is quiet and stately. You write. Visitors read and comment. Not too exciting but easy to monitor and control.
Facebook is blogging’s evil twin. You write a snippet, Facebookers like, share, tag, and comment. Your update gets spread all over God’s creation and you have little control over it. Along the way your original message gets garbled like 20 kindergartners playing telephone.
So, the concern and confusion over Facebook’s ability to attract readers is legitimate.
However, like most marketing questions, the answer requires a shift in perspective.
Facebook’s Real Talent
Have you thought about the experience offered by your blog? Think about your reader’s mindset and emotional state. Are they excited? introspective? concerned?
Now think about you are enhancing or changing that experience.
You are probably saying – “Writing a blog post!”
But that isn’t enough. You need to create an engaging experience if you want readers to make visiting your blog a weekly (or daily) priority. Writing a blog post is a good start but not enough.
This is where Facebook becomes a powerful partner.
Imagine this scenario…
A woman concerned about cyberbullying at her son’s highschool discovers your blog. On the homepage she’s greeted with a well-written headline and a concise interesting post on how to detect the signs of bullying. Your post has her worried. Her son’s mood and behavior matches the symptoms outlined in your post but she’s not 100% sure.
She doesn’t want to write a comment becauses it’s difficult to put emotions into neat paragraphs. She’s not going to tweet her question because most of her Twitter audience is unfamiliar with the situation. LinkedIn? Nope.
But she notices that you moderate a private Facebook group for concerned parents. Since she checks her Facebook page constantly she pops over to the group and joins.
Inside the group she meets other parents with teenage sons who are struggling with the same problem. The blogger moderating the group provides her with specific resources that she can use. Even better, the blogger offers to talk with her offline.
Do you think this blogger has earned a regular reader? You bet, because Facebook became an extension of the blog. It provided an engaging experience that informed, comforted, and surrounded the reader with resources, and personalized attention.
Did Facebook attract a new reader?
Not quite but it was criticual for earning the loyalty of a new reader.
New vs. Returning Readers – Facebooks Real Advantage
Savvy bloggers know loyal readers are powerful ambassadors.
They also know that relying on comments and tweets for audience growth and engagement takes too long. That’s why the top bloggers in every space are making Facebook a priority. Facebook is the virtual hangout, the corner booth, that loyal readers go to share and meet other likeminded people.
These folks then go out and spread the brand message of the blog.
They share posts and invite other people to Facebook to join the community. Over time this community builds critical mass and becomes a new reader magnet.
Consider starting a Facebook group to complement your blog. It can be open or private. I chose a private group to filter out the idiots who can’t resist destroying a community with cialis ads. The group is easy to join but everyone there is focused on helping one another.
Once you start the group, post a description and guidelines. Mine are:
We discuss smart, clever, and scrappy tips for building your dream with content marketing and blogging.
The tough part about groups like these is making sure everyone gets high quality information – not sales pitches.
So, only share a link that pertains to a specific question from a fellow member.
Sharing blog post links, personal product links, and affiliate links isn’t helpful at this point. Besides, it’s a strategy that doesn’t work since we all have different interests.
Next invite new members. I started with my regular blog readers who took my 4-Video Blog Marketing course. I slowly invited a wider group of readers. This process has worked extremely well for Pushing Social.
I’m excited to see your new Facebook group go live. Make sure you invite me!
Day 8 of the 30 Day / 30 Blog Challenge
Does daily posting work? Here are the numbers.
Since starting the daily posting challenge:
- Visits are up 35%
- Unique Visits are up 29%
- Pageviews are up 33%.
You can join and start your 30 Day / 30 Blog Post journey at any time – just count out 30 days, note the final day on your calendar and start writing!