Q&A: The best social media platforms for blogging. And more.
What are the best social media platforms for blogging?
Welcome back to Q&A!
Today’s first question, about the best social media platforms for blogging, comes from Rory, @RoryTheCreative on Twitter. Rory just graduated college — a big congratulations to her! You can find out more about what she does on her website, RoryWauters.com. I love her tagline there — she’s “the girl with a lot of imagination.”
Anyway, Rory brought up this question. What’s the best social media for blogging and bloggers? What platforms should bloggers be on?
I can give a semi-thorough answer to this question, though I will note that there are certainly some social media platforms I’ve invested more time into than others. This could constitute as an answer — maybe I invested more time in Twitter because it’s more useful — but the truth is that you don’t know what’s “worth it” until you do invest the time. A year ago, I probably would’ve told you Twitter was pretty useless when it came to blogging, and I didn’t know the answer to this question at all.
Since then, luckily for both of us, I’ve figured some of it out.
Here are the best social media platforms for blogging, in my eyes:
I will honestly tell you that Twitter is probably most useful for me because I’ve invested the most time into it, as compared with other platforms. I started off on Twitter, I don’t know, probably about a year and a half ago, around the same time I started my blog.
At first, I really didn’t understand how to use Twitter. It was all Greek to me! If you want to read about how I started figuring things out, check out my post on three things you should know about Twitter — you can also catch my Twitter tips for writers. Both of those chronicle my journey and give some advice to newbies in the Twitterverse (or people who’ve been there a while but want to get more connected). All in the hope that you can take the easy way out.
Anyway, nowadays Twitter refers the majority of views on my blog. I will say that this happened fairly recently. As of about a month ago, the WordPress reader still referred the majority of views. But lately, traffic from Twitter has gone through the roof.
This is probably because I’ve been very active. I post my stuff on promotional #writerslifts. (For more on the #writerslift and its history, you must read this article.) Moreover, a group of people have read my content, liked my content, and support my content on Twitter. I very much appreciate this!
It isn’t how it always was. For the first year and a half, dropping posts on Twitter was like screaming into a void. The #writerslift? For one, I stayed away from it, because I thought it would be useless. I didn’t make an attempt to forge meaningful connections. I didn’t reach out to people. I only promoted my posts once. This is not the recipe for success.
So, you can read about my first week or so on Pinterest in my post “Three things you should know about Pinterest.” Yeah. Let’s just say that since then, I’ve run into some problems on Pinterest. My account experienced a sudden — and I mean, really sudden — decline in traffic. I’m still not sure why this happened, but it’s possible that the account was marked as spam and the recent pins have thus been deindexed. I’ve contacted Pinterest support to see what they can do to help. So far, crickets. Which seems pretty par for the course when it comes to this platform.
But all the same, it makes number two on my list. Because the effect was immediate. Pretty much as soon as I started pinning, I started getting referrals from Pinterest to Voyage of the Mind. Which was crazy, given that it took over a year for me to get anything from Twitter. I’m really hoping that I can get the account issues resolved. Otherwise, I may have to look into deleting the old account and making a new one, as a lot of people online who faced the same issue seem to have done. It sucks, because quite a few of my pins had gotten a fair amount of traction.
I do think bloggers should be on Pinterest. It is one of the best social media platforms for blogging, especially certain types of blogging — food and travel being two of the ones that pop to my mind. All the same, it can boost any type of blog. A ton of people visit Pinterest each day for inspiration and reading material. Setting up a Pinterest and starting to pin regularly — a couple times a day, and you can scale up from there — is a good idea for any blogger.
This one has a kind of weird explanation. See, I’m not active on Facebook… at all. I have an account and a page for Voyage of the Mind, but I don’t think the page is even up, because I haven’t been overseeing it. So Facebook took it down.
Why do I say Facebook is a useful social media platform for bloggers? Because I get referrals from Facebook, even though I’m not active on Facebook. So I know that Facebook has the power, I just don’t have the keys to the kingdom. But other people do, and luckily some of those people share my stuff on Facebook and it gets circulated through to their friends, and people come to Voyage of the Mind.
Seeing your blog being passively promoted for you is a really weird thing at first, when it starts happening. Then you get used to it and just kind of assume that at any given time, a couple of your posts are floating out there on the Internet.
Reading the comments of people who didn’t know me but who had read my writing was a revelation, though. For one, they liked it. For two, they thought I was a guy. You can read more about that here…
YouTube and Instagram
Really, these two platforms are tied. And they’re down here because to tell you the truth, I haven’t invested enough time in either to tell you how beneficial they are exactly. I have an Instagram that I’m sort of active on — Dylan takes care of most of it, actually — and a YouTube channel that I’ve posted two poetry readings on, so far. So, yeah. Hopefully, I’ll scale up my operations on these two and be able to pass a better judgment in the future. Who knows, they might prove as beneficial or more beneficial than the others I covered.
What are the best social media platforms for blogging? There is no “right” answer. You can get something out of any social media platform you put time into. But it takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes regular, hard work. Eventually, you’ll start seeing the fruits of your labor. Give it time and effort. If you’re strapped for those things (which you might be, if you’re simultaneously working on building your blog or website or writing books or whatever), it’s probably best that you focus on one or two platforms to start. Get them to a point where you have solid numbers — work up to those 5,000 followers on Twitter or the parallel for any other social media network — and good engagement. The others can come later.
Again, many thanks to Rory for this very good question! Tell me in the comments — what are the best social media platforms for blogging, in your eyes?
What are some tips for writing efficiently?
Ah, yes, as we navigate our time-strapped existences. It’s true, there are only so many hours in a day. And sometimes, you make room for personal commitments. Like a weekly Dungeons and Dragons session. (On Saturdays, the same day as Q&A.)
Even though D&D takes up three to four hours of my Saturday when I’d normally be writing and promoting, rinse and repeat, I still try to get my posts out for Saturdays, as best as I can. Something like a series guide might have to wait till the evening, but that’s all good with me.
So how do I do it? (If I haven’t already written the posts the night before, that is, which I do about half the time.)
Well, that would be step one. Plan and prepare in advance. This will help you be more efficient, because you’ll be able to tackle what you need to tackle NOW, and you’ll already have tackled what you don’t need to be worrying about. Yeah, it’s kind of circular. But even having a very loose plan in mind — as all of mine are — can help. If I know I’m going to be strapped for time because of D&D or the weekly grocery run (yes, writers need to eat), then I jot down a list of the posts I need to prepare and get writing. I go through the list without pause and make an effort to keep myself off, say, Twitter while I’m preparing posts. Networking may be important, but writing is at the core. Writing efficiently is about having priorities. If you prioritize your writing, you won’t get caught on many snags.
But, okay, maybe you’re staring at that blank page.
Give yourself a time limit. Twenty minutes and then you’ll break and check Twitter or have a snack. Breaking up writing into small increments can help a lot of people get more done faster. (I tend to be more of the type that just sits there plugging away for hours on end and forgets to eat, and that’s okay too. Just make sure you’re not neglecting your health.)
If you’re really not feeling it, it’s okay. You’re not feeling it. Take a couple hours and come back to whatever you need to get done. This applies to writing a novel, a blog post, an essay for school, a letter to your mom… Anything.
When you come back, though, have a specific goal. Are you trying to write one blog post? Half an essay? A whole letter? A thousand words of your novel? Having a goal and having a reward when you hit it are great ways to increase your writing efficiency.
And last, but not least, don’t burn yourself out. Don’t expect to go from writing zero words a day to writing four thousand words a day. Currently, I write around four thousand words a day, but I didn’t get there by sitting on my hands. I got there by first writing a thousand a day, then two thousand, then three thousand, and at last four. It took months for me to condition myself to have the energy and the will to write for so long. And this was on top of having over ten years of a regular writing practice. Writing every day. For ten years. That’s a long time.
So it doesn’t come easy. Don’t sweat it at first. Set regular goals and work towards them. People like me aren’t machines. We’ve just built up habits and practices over time that help us write more, write better, and write faster. You can do the same, but it’ll take time. Depending on where you are in your writing journey, though, you’re probably already partway there!
If you want more tips on how to establish a writing routine, check out my post on the topic.
So, I’ve only tackled two questions today. More next week! If you have a question you want answered, hop on over to my contact page, grab the info, and send it over.
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Notice my new blogroll (at the very bottom of the page). If you’re a writer or blogger with a blog or website, feel free to toss it over to me for my consideration! I’m looking for great sites to add to my blogroll.
As always, thank you for reading!
A reflection on things not going to plan on the occasion of an unexpected car breakdown. (What kind of car breakdown is expected, anyway?)
My second place haiku from the Experiments in Fiction Poetry Challenge #8, plus a couple more quick updates from me.
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