*Please note: this post is now more than five years old. Some of the information may not be relevant anymore.*
In the midst of researching strategies to better your blog and its following, you run across a self-proclaimed “social media expert.” RUN! Run far, far away!
There are no experts in social media.
That’s because, no experts can exist in a field which the world is still trying to define. I’ve had several people ask me lately, “How can I better my blog and get people to follow me?” What you need are some lessons in social media strategy.
And while we don’t have experts in social media, we do have leaders—gurus. I’m talking about the people who’ve paved the way in a constantly evolving field.
So, I’m going to do two things here: First, I’ll list three “gurus” I urge you to follow, and why. Second, I’ll give you a few of my secrets to building a following on your blog.
- Gary Vaynerchuk. I cannot, cannot emphasize this man enough. Gary is one of the pioneers in social media marketing. Before most of the world even heard of “blogs,” he was creating “VLOGS.” Gary wrote a short, but deeply insightful book called “Crush It.” Reading this book helped me lay the foundation to my blog, as well as the strategy I used when helping develop my company’s social media marketing plan.
- Beverly Macy. Beverly teaches at UCLA and is the CEO of Gravity Summit Events and Consulting. I’ve met with Beverly in the past and she taught me some great strategies for social media measuring (a.k.a. knowing how to determine if you’re successful). Follow her on Twitter.
- Carol Tice. I discovered this great writer on Twitter. And boy, does she know her stuff! On her blog, Carol offers many amazing—and helpful—tips about building your credibility as a writer. She also talks about strategies to monetize off your blog, as well as your writing.
Before I delve any further, know this. If you want to grow your blog, you MUST dedicate time and research to it. My blog’s readership is growing for one reason only: I took the time to read and educate myself on social media and writing strategies. I then pulled the pieces together for my own plan.
Remember, no experts in social media. But anyone can develop into a guru:
- Give your blog a theme. If your goal is to write and share photos only with family, then fine. However, if you want to build a following, your blog has to be ABOUT something. Notice the theme on mine, “Shari Lopatin: Rogue Writer.” And . . . I stick to it.
- Engage. The whole essence of social media is engaging with others. If someone comments on your blog, comment back. If they ask for advice, visit their site and leave a comment there. People want to know they’re being heard—by you.
- Invite visitors to subscribe. People need a call to action. Therefore, prompt people to subscribe to your blog. Invite them at the end of your posts. Make the subscription box easily viewable at the top of your page. Following you should be an easy endeavor.
- Simplicity. Your blog has to be easy to read and navigate. Don’t overload the eyes with too many widgets and columns.
- Accessibility. Be transparent. Do you have a tab on your blog inviting visitors to contact you? You should. And even if you don’t want to list an e-mail address, link visitors to Twitter or Linkedin.
Like the advice I offer? Subscribe to my free blog (upper righthand corner) for email notifications on new writing tips, short stories, and media lessons. As a professional writer/editor, journalist, media strategist and communications consultant, I enjoy sharing some expertise to help others grow.