At RightOnline, I served on a panel to discuss ampflying your website with social media. I thought I would share in this space in case any readers were interested! There are many tips and tricks — and everyone is different — but I’ve seen many of the things I mention below work well. This was geared for political bloggers but I have no doubt it can work similarly for bloggers of all kinds!
Read Up BELOW:
1. The Basics
a. A good looking site that people want to see is key.
b. Musts: An enticing Blog Name (Ex. Ace of Spades, Rockstar Diaries)
c. A simple layout with organized, tabbed sections, eye-pleasing colors, a graphic header and a friendly blog roll (not too man though.)
d. Easy & visible social media tabs for sharing: Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbledUpon, Reddit, YouTube, etc.
e. GREAT Photos: Invest in a good camera or buy a subscription to a photography website to enhance EVERY post.
2. Quality Content
a. What are you saying that other people want to hear?
b. Deliver your opinion but combine it with reporting – original or otherwise.
c. Include charts, graphs, photos, factoids and videos in a short, easy-to-read format so people find your site helpful, easy and pleasant.
i. Tip: Find lots of easy to use conservative charts, etc. at GOP.gov and Heritage.org.
3. Using Tools the Right Way (And Using them All)
a. Each social media tool is a little different so use them appropriately.
b. Do NOT combine social media tools so you give the exact same message on each. The audiences are looking for different things. On Twitter, you get one chance for a click. On Facebook, you have the opportunity to say more, encourage more engagement and entice with other things on the page as well.
c. Facebook: Each headline should be sensational w/ a juicy description.
i. Don’t overload people eby posting too often, especially if it is your personal FB page. You can create a separate blog page if you want.
d. Twitter: Post frequently, keeping it very regular throughout the day.
i. Mix it up: Post your own stuff but promote others as well, get out of just politics and include your personality as a whole. Make a regular habit to tweet about things you are doing or find interesting.
a. Your online community within social media is the key to blog growth.
b. You must INVEST in others online in order to get return. It’s just like starting a business.
c. Become an avid reader of OTHER blogs and do so faithfully and genuinely.
d. Like someone’s post? Email them PERSONALLY and introduce yourself. You must make yourself KNOWN. Ultimately, it is your personality that will gain attention.
e. Leave your signature on every email, comment, post, etc. completely with all your online identities. You leave footprints online wherever you go.
f. Consistently reference other authors/bloggers’ posts and ideas. Link back continuosly and be sure folks will see their name pop on your blog in Google alerts. People love themselves and they loved be challenged. Pick a fight, just do it.
5. Know Your Goals & Your Audience
a. What is your goal? Do you have at theme? What do you want to be known for? State politics, social issues, military issues? If people can name you as the “xxxx” go-to blogger, you will develop a lucrative niche.
b. Make sure that candidates, politicians and organizations, etc. in your area know who you are! Email communications staff and introduce yourself. EVERY single office/organization needs better blogger outreach. Make it easy for them! Trust me, you’ll have more material coming your way than you ever wanted.
c. Target specific audiences. Writing about liberal professors at universities? Find others who care about that issues and be SURE they see your stuff by emailing or tweeting them religiously. Tag them on Facebook, post on sister blogs.
6. Show up!
a. Online engagement is greatly enhanced by real engagement.
b. Attend as many conferences, tweet-ups, social media gatherings as possible.
c. Attend local Republican or conservative meetings as well. Make business cards, hand them out, ask how you can help online.
d. Think outside the box: not everything is political but everyone is affected by politics. Attend social media gatherings unrelated to politics and you’ll find you can be more effective.
e. The only way to get the conservative message across effectively is to break out of your “comfortable” circles and go mainstream. That’s what we have to do if we want to get a wedge into the American culture, which is where hearts and minds are changed.