The payoffs for blogging cannot always be measured in concrete terms. We write a post and, sometimes, out of the blue, someone contacts us and we have a new, mutually profitable connection. Or a reporter sees a post and follows up with a request for an interview for an article he is writing on just that topic.
But often when we measure our blog’s success, we are looking only at the hard numbers: analyzing our subscriber stats or spending time with Google Analytics, studying the page view numbers to gauge the popularity of our content.
Why RSS subscriber counts may not be your best blog performance measure
Content marketing and, particularly, the ways people share our content, is changing. Today people have so many other platforms on which to keep track of their favorite blogs. I subscribe to dozens of blogs but I cannot say that I read them all religiously. And what good are blog subscribers if your content sits in their readers, lonely and forlorn?
Like many people, in a typical work day, I depend more on social media to keep me up to date on the most relevant content. Many people prefer to keep up with their favorite blogs through Facebook or Twitter. In fact, a WordPress developer friend told me recently that he isn’t subscribing to blogs anymore. He said that he finds all the news he needs on Twitter—including links to relevant blog posts in his areas of interest.
That is a powerful reason to consider focusing on ways to make your content useful and accessible on different platforms. If you are active on social media—and the key word here is active—you will pick up more readers who curate their content that way. But to catch those people, you must pay close attention to how you present your content, and how easy you make it to share it.
Leverage your social media presence to capture more readers
Your goal on social media is to capture interest in your post and you have very little time to do that. Remember, they will be looking for the very best blog posts out there. Here are a few tips:
1. Spend time crafting a strong headline.
You’ve heard it before, but your headline can make or break your post. It is often the only part of your blog post your followers will read. It is such an important piece that in my Build Your Blog Online Class, I give my students resources to help them craft powerful blog post headlines.
2. Promote often enough and at the right times.
Your posts on social media, for the most part, fly through the streams. It is important to know both the optimum frequency and the best times to post.
3. Write irresistible Twitter, Facebook and Google+ teasers.
A social media teaser is simply a blurb that is exciting or interesting or useful enough to entice followers to click through to the full post. In my class, students also have access to several types of teasers that have been proven to engage—and sample headlines illustrating each.
4. Install tools like Buffer to make social sharing and content storing easier.
One thing the Buffer app helps people do is store the great content they find (including your blog posts), so instead of flooding their followers with too much content at once, they can “buffer” it to share at more convenient intervals.
5. Make your posts sharable (and readable) on mobile devices
2012 alone saw a 63% increase in the time users spent accessing sites on mobile. Many blog themes are now built to be mobile responsive. To be sure, call your blog up on a smart phone or other device and check it for readability and ease of social sharing.
Are you finding that your blog’s readers are accessing your content in different ways?
Are you using more strategies to catch your readers where they are?