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Social Media. The elephant in the room right? Everybody uses it, but how can you use this to your advantage? Can you use your social media connections to grow your blog? Of course! There are countless social media options out there, and the more platforms you use to promote your blog the better - Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, and MySpace to name a few.
So the first thing you want to do may seem a little obvious, but you need to be a member of these social media sites to take advantage of their potential. Assuming you are, make sure you include the link to your blog in your profile as a first step. You need to increase your visibility, and this will potentially provide access to your blog to all your friends, family, and coworkers.
The next thing you need to do is start writing interesting and useful content. Again, this may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how much content there is on the Internet that is little more than worthless spam. Your social media connections won't mind you posting links to your site if your providing them with information they can use. You don't want them to look at your posts as spam though or they will quickly lose interest and simply ignore you. Nobody wants to be spammed!
When you feel you've produced something worth sharing get it out there! Post it it on Your Facebook time line, Tweet it on Twitter, share it on Google+. You might have the best blog in the world, but if no one knows it exists it won't be of much use to anyone. Least of all you.
Social Bookmarking Sites
Another great way to increase traffic to your blog is the use of social bookmarking sites. Sites such as Dig, Diigo, Fark, Reddit, Slashdot, and Stumbleupon. It can obviously be rather time consuming submitting your blog to all of these sites, but the effort will be worthwhile. Some blogging platforms even have plug-ins to automate the process.
These are sites that people go to in search of useful content. They are actively looking for information so you don't have to worry about spamming them, but you still have to provide them with good quality content. The bookmarking site might help your audience find you, but you have to provide the incentive for them to keep coming back. Content really is King!
Don't forget to make it easy for your visitors to share your posts on their social media platforms. All major bogging platforms include plug-ins that simplify this process. Make sure you take advantage of this option.
The bottom line is this - social media can be of great benefit to the blogger, but if you're producing uninteresting material they won't be back. Like anything else you have to work hard to succeed. There is no magic pill. How do you use social media to grow your blog?
In the next instalment I'll look at how you can connect with others in the blogging community to help grow your blog. Thanks for stopping by. See you soon!