Top Social Media Sites: The 3 Accounts You NEED to Have

Last week, I was struck with the question of which social media sites are absolute musts when Aly emailed me to ask my opinion on just that.  Of course, you’ll always see the idea that if there’s a social media site out there, you should have one, and to a point I agree.  Not everyone who reads your blog is going to be a blogger themselves, so having options other than Bloglovin‘ is important. But maintaining a social media presence can be difficult on top of writing blog posts and having a life outside of blogging.  So today, I want to talk about the top social media sites that I believe you have to have as a blogger.

top social media sites
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Facebook

Okay, let’s just get this out of the way: I hate Facebook.  Not just in terms of my personal account, where everything is about passive aggressive quotes aimed at someone’s ex-boyfriend, engagements, pregnancies, and outright not-so-humble bragging, but also when it comes to blogging.  The layout is constantly changing in totally confusing and frankly unnecessary ways, and we all know how impossible the new algorithms make it to get your posts seen.  Even when you make sure that each post has a .png photo and a link, even when you manage to get people to comment on and like your status, you’re lucky to see one 10th of your follower base actually see your post, and even fewer than that will click through.  On a regular basis, I see fewer page views coming from Facebook than from any other website, including Google+ and random websites who happen to have shared a link to my page.

But we also know that there’s always that “top” social media site that everyone and their mother seems to have, and right now (and for the past several years) that site is Facebook.  I mentioned above that not everyone who reads your blog is going to be a blogger themselves, which means the likelihood of them having a site like Twitter or Bloglovin’ to follow you on is pretty slim.  Facebook provides a way for anyone and everyone to easily follow your blog and hopefully, if your blog is one they’re genuinely interested in, they’ll make sure to check your Facebook page for updates.

Twitter

huge part (and some would argue, the most important part) of blogging is the community you’re able to build with your little space of the Internet. I’ve mentioned before how important Twitter is for doing that, because it provides an easy way to have conversations with other bloggers, pose questions for your followers, and hear what other bloggers have to say.  Without a doubt, as much as I hate Facebook, I love Twitter.

In terms of blogging, I think this site is a must have because it’s such an easy way to meet new bloggers, interact, and share your own blog posts.  We all know how important it is to read other blogs and comment on them, but I’d argue that interacting with your favorite bloggers on Twitter can be even more important. It’s a message that goes straight to them, probably right to their phone, and that allows you to have a conversation that others can chime in on.

Pinterest

I can hardly remember when Pinterest first came out because, before I even knew what the website was for it had already taken over the Internet.  On a daily basis, Pinterest is in the top three resources for where pageviews are coming from on She is Fierce. In a way that is arguably more efficient than any other website, you’re able to quickly and easily share your posts with hundreds of people, who will then go on to share it again and again.  Months after I’ve posted something on Pinterest, I’ll see it popping up again as it makes its way through more and more Pinterest feeds, and that’s something that no other social media site offers.

Even if you don’t cook or do DIY, Pinterest can be so important for sharing your blog.  On my Pinterest, I even have a board titled She is Fierce specially for every post I publish on this blog.  Even if it’s not something people will share, it does get out there so that some people will click through! Beyond just sharing your own work though, Pinterest is also an amazing resource for tips, inspiration, and tricks you may not have thought of otherwise.  Whenever I’m feeling low on blogging inspiration, or I need some help with something, my first resource is Pinterest because it’s like the Google of blogging – it has everything. 

So what about you? What are your must-have social media sites for blogging?

Blogging Lessons: Things I Never Thought I’d Be Worried About

Five years ago, when I started blogging, I had no idea how deep it went or that there was so much to learn.  It was a fun project of sorts, a way to document my senior year of high-school with my best friend.  It never occurred to me that in five years, I’d still be finding new blogging lessons everywhere, that I’d be trying to make money here, or that there was an amazing community of other bloggers out there to connect with.

I could probably go on forever with all of the unexpected blogging lessons I’ve learned over the last five years, the pieces of the blogging world that I never anticipated.  All the different oddities that I never knew existed, let alone thought I’d be spending time worrying about one day.

Blogging Lessons: Things I Never Thought I'd Be Worried About

SEO

Until a few months ago, I would have had no idea what those three letters meant.  Now, search engine optimization not only means something to me, but is something I work on with each post I publish.  When I first heard about SEO, it was something I ignored – probably because it sounded impossible to understand, like HTML or the Greek language.  Something I’d never get even the slightest grasp on.

While I still don’t understand most things about SEO (even with amazing bloggers like Hudson & Emily to guide me through it step by step), the Yoast SEO plugin that I have downloaded now on WordPress makes everything about 1,000 times easier.

Blogger vs. WordPress

It was years of blogging before I realized that there really was another option for blogging platforms, and even then I stuck to Blogger because it was easy.  It was what I knew.  I finally made the switch to WordPress last week (with much needed help from Lisette) after reading more articles and blog posts than I can count on why it’s the better option if you’re serious about blogging.  But then, that’s something else that never occurred to me five years ago: “serious blogging.”

Social Media

One of the biggest blogging lessons these five years have taught me is the power of social media.  I’m pretty sure that when I started my first blog, I still used Myspace, and I’m pretty sure I might have considered Neopets a valid social network (guess I was a bit of a late bloomer…).  Facebook was new territory to me, and I regularly made fun of Twitter.  Google+ and Pinterest didn’t even exist, and Bloglovin‘? What was that?

When I finally did expand beyond group message boards, “top friends,” and Xanga, I had no idea there were rules and etiquette to being a part of this brave new world of the Internet.  I rarely logged into any of my accounts, and posting was even more of a special occasion.

Scheduling

Did anyone see this coming when they first started blogging, especially lifestyle blogging? I’ve gotten into scheduling posts the night before they go live, but now that I started my full-time job in the city this week, I don’t have as much free time during the week.  Which means that, along with every other post this week, this was written sometime between Friday and Sunday.  I see the benefits of and need for an editorial calendar in serious blogging, but at the same time, I see the downfalls of it.

I worry that scheduling posts ahead of time takes a lot out of them, especially for more honest, meaningful posts like yesterday’s.  Is it better to write a post and share it at the same time, or to schedule it ahead of time so that your readers know when to expect something?  That’s something I still haven’t figured out, and spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about.

So what about you? What are some things that blogging has made you start thinking about that never would have occurred to you before?

5 Ways to Use Your Twitter Account to Build a Community

twitter for your blog
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When I first started blogging, social media didn’t even factor into my plan.  They seemed like two completely different subjects, and the latter was one I had no interest in.  And the most ridiculous, at least in my opinion, was Twitter.  In fact, my friend and I who co-wrote my first blog regularly made fun of it – “I’m getting in the shower, I’m drying off, I’m brushing my teeth…” we’d joke with one another.  Little did I know that in a few years, Twitter would be my favorite social media site, and the number-one traffic source for my blog.

Over the last few years since I made my first Twitter account, I’ve learned a few things that got me to the point where I check it throughout the day and even have met some of my favorite bloggers through tweets. So today, here are some of the things I’ve done that have made Twitter work for me!

Variety

I’ve already mentioned that when Twitter first debuted in the social media world, I thought it was a joke. We were connected enough already – I didn’t feel like I needed to know any more about your day-to-day business.  But the more I use Twitter, the more I realize that personal posts are some of my favorites. Especially in lifestyle blogging, we all want to know more about the person behind the screen.

But it’s not just that – Twitter is a tool, and one that I use often. Most of what I post are links not to my own posts, but to other blogs I love, articles relating to things I blog about, quotes that resonate with me, and information I think would be useful to my followers.

Suffice to say, posts advertising my own blog are a very small portion of what I have to say on Twitter. It is an amazing resource for new blogs, articles, and information, and making yourself a part of that is a big part of gaining new readers.

Interaction

We all talk about how important community is to our blogs, and that doesn’t end with the .com.  In fact, I sometimes think that social media is a much bigger part of that community than your blog is, and Twitter is one of my favorite ways to get that interaction.

A sixth type of Tweet I didn’t mention in the last section are questions. Each day, I think of the questions I love being asked about blogging: what other people are doing differently, how other bloggers feel about controversial topics in the field, and even some other questions not related to blogging.

This has been one of the best things I’ve done for my Twitter account and subsequently for my blog. Through the questions I’ve posed on Twitter, I’ve started some great conversations, learned that I’m not alone in how I blog, and found new blogs I really enjoy reading – win/win/win, right?

Tag It

Okay, I know that tags can be intimidating, especially when you see posts built entirely out of them, but hashtags are the sliced bread of social media.  Especially when you first start out on Twitter, and have a following built entirely of your roommate, your high-school best friend, and your cousin’s friend’s boyfriend, hashtags expand your reach.  Another type of tagging I suggest is that of tagging other people who may have written a post you’re sharing, or in response to something they’ve tweeted.

My number one piece of advice here though: make sure your hashtags are relevant.  Nothing makes me crazier than a post with 20 different tags, half of which have nothing to do with the post, and it’s not going to get you any real followers or readers.

Regularity

For me, one of the most difficult parts of learning to use Twitter was figuring out how often I should post. I’ve read before that the average “life” of a tweet is less than 20 minutes, meaning that by the time your post has been up for half an hour it’s already disappeared into the abyss of your follower’s news feeds. The tips above can help to prolong your tweet’s life, but not forever and not always.

I’ve heard that posting every 15 minutes is optimal, but something about that seems way too often for me. I do make sure to post twice an hour though, so that my little mini-face is never far from the top of your news feed.

Posting this often can get hard though, especially if you have a life that involves not staring at a computer screen all day, but thankfully sites like Buffer and Hootsuite have made the impossible not only possible, but ridiculously easy.

At the beginning of each day (or the night before, if I’m feeling proactive), I take about 20 minutes to schedule out my tweets for the day: a variety of quotes I find all over the Internet, blog posts I loved reading and think might be useful for my readers, sponsored posts, relevant and timely articles, questions, and of course links to my own posts, both new and archived.  This means that for the rest of the day, it’s much easier to share snippets of my life and things I find funny rather than worrying about when the last time I posted was.

Archive

Everyone’s first thought when they publish a new post is to share it everywhere, but what about in three months? How about a year from now?

Sometimes, the posts that get the most responses are the ones you wrote forever ago and almost forgot about.  Maybe when you wrote it, you didn’t have a big following.  Maybe you didn’t advertise it well.  Or maybe just freshening it up will bring new readers over to your blog.  Whatever it is, you’ll never know if you don’t give your posts another shot at life.