The benefits of running a blog are never realized unless it gets noticed and read. A blog is not an end in itself. It is a means for driving traffic to your professional website where you reap the real advantage for your business or profession. The reason why a blog is important is it is an acceptable way for readers to find a neutral view or plain simple information to enhance their experience.
Like professional websites, blogs too need to be actively pushed. In fact, it is a never-ending process because of the intense competition for the limited readers’ time. Social media is undoubtedly one of the best places to push your blog with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ being the best.
You are Big in Small Places
Traffic in top social media sites is simply mindboggling and is easily lost as bloggers vie with one another for top placement. The rush is really maddening with returns coming in slowly. At the end of the day, it can leave you wondering whether the efforts you expend are really worth the time and money spent on them.
The top social media places doubtlessly have a huge community of followers, but, they are not the only places to promote your blogs. There are many other social media websites that one can explore — those that command a smaller community. The biggest advantage of such sites is they are focused on particular niches. The secret of a blog’s success is in being read and commented upon many times.
Keep Exploring — It is a Vast Place
When your focus shifts to the lesser known social media sites, the chances of your blog being noticed and read is much higher, and that is what counts. It can also take your blog that much higher in search engine ranking — the ultimate dream of most bloggers. Secondly, by focusing on other social media networks, you are distributing your blog to a wider audience that is more receptive to your blog.
Some Places to Make a Beginning
Here are some networks for you to explore:
Quora.com is a knowledge based network promoted by an ex-duo from Facebook. The content is primarily created and edited by its user community, and is a question-and-answer based network. It was opened to the public in 2010. More important, it is both business and academic oriented. In January, 2011 Quora had more than half a million users and was growing fast. Those who reviewed them favorably included The New York Times, USA Today, Time and The Daily Telegraph UK.
Quora has much in common with Twitter, Facebook and Google Wave. The Daily Telegraph has even predicted that it will grow bigger than Twitter. The general perception of users is it is great for business-oriented blogs and, hence, ideal for online marketing.
Tumblr is another social media site that has made its presence felt among users. Tumblr, which has 122 million blogs and more than 55 billion posts to its credit, was acquired by Yahoo for around $1.1 billion in June.
Most of the interaction at Tumblr happens in the dashboard where users can see blog posts they follow. Users can upload texts, re-blog, post videos and provide links back to their professional and personal/business blogs. Additionally, users can also connect to Twitter and Facebook if they wish.
Joining Tumblr hardly takes couple minutes and is free. Tumblr is at its best when you use it with other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. You will particularly like the queue system that will help you time your posts. That means you can plan and control everything in advance.
Empire Avenue is yet another social network that has made great strides. It is great both for creating a network as well for marketing your business (as well as blog). Until February 2010, membership was only by invitation but, in July the same year, it was thrown open to the public. It is an interesting social network and simulates trading in stock of companies. You can also use Empire Venue for game play.
The biggest advantage of Empire Avenue is the way it allows interaction between its members. The more you play and win in stock market games, the higher your value and your blog’s value rises. It is a very innovative social network and supports Facebook, Flickr, You Tube, LinkedIn and WordPress hosted blogs.
Sharing a link in social media by itself will not bring readers to your blog. Some compelling ways to attract visitors include:
- A short video description;
- Use of descriptive images;
- A preview of your blog;
- A brief slide show about your blog posts.
It is always a good idea to concentrate your efforts on a smaller social network where people will be interested in what you have to say. A fishing hook can sometimes work better than a fish net.