I learned a lot during my college days at The University of North Dakota. For example, Mountain Dew is a weary student’s best friend, the best place to go for cheap after-bar food is The Red Pepper and it might not be the best idea to walk across campus in Bermuda shorts in January for the annual Sigma Nu Beach Blast.
But things I learned in the classroom actually stuck with me too. For example, I remember sitting in journalism class and learning that famous acronym: KISS – Keep it simple stupid.
My professor explained that to be a good broadcast journalist it was imperative that you keep things simple. Make your stories understandable to people not at all familiar with the topic. Why do I bring this up now years after I’ve left the TV news biz?
Because, I think when it comes to building an audience for your blog, you would be well suited to follow KISS. Keep it Simple. (I’ll leave out the “stupid” part because it goes against my sense of Minnesota nice.)
I decided to write about this after getting an email from one of our Areavoices bloggers. She is a consistent poster, writing on her blog nearly daily. But she wants to build her audience and is overwhelmed by all of the sharing methods out there. She notices all of those icons online. What works to spread the word and what’s a waste of time?
My rule, again, KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Here are the 10 best methods for sharing your blog posts with your potential audience:
1. Tweet it. Use Twitter to quickly tease your blog post. But DON’T give it all away within the tweet. Make them NEED to click on the url to see what you’re talking about. To coin another term I used to hear in writing news teases: Make it “vague and provocative.”
2. Post it on Facebook. How many people do you know who aren’t on Facebook? Chances are if they’re not, they’re probably bragging about it. Kind of like those people who brag about never watching Seinfeld. They hold out for a number of reasons. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. (Of course, all those non-Seinfelders out there don’t get that reference). According to the latest statistics, 750 million people use Facebook. Obviously, this is a great way for you to direct your Facebook friends to your blog post. Like with Twitter, DON’T give away too much in your Facebook post. Make them want to read more by clicking on your link.
3. Google Plus. The new kid on the block. The latest figures I’ve seen suggest the newbie is already up to between 5 and 10 million users. I’m on Google Plus and so far I don’t think it’s that different from Facebook. But others claim it has all the best bells and whistles and that within a few years it will overtake Facebook. We’ll see. But for bloggers, it doesn’t hurt to get started. You might find a new audience.
The good news about these top three sharing methods is that if you’re blogging on Areavoices, you already have the capacity to share on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. You’ll see those icons at the top of each blog. Simply click on them and they get sent to those respective platforms. I’d call these the BIG THREE. If you do nothing else, just use the above share methods. That will enable you to reach the most people with the least amount of hassle. But if you want to dig into some other methods for sharing your blog keep reading.
4. Email. A good way to reach people who aren’t as immersed in social media.
5. Texting. Again, another good way to share with friends who are tied to their mobile phones.
6. You Tube. Some bloggers choose to set up You Tube accounts and post the You Tube icon right on their blog. This is particularly useful if you’ve produced instructional videos or tutorials.
7. Linked In. Sometimes your blog post is worthy of sharing with your business contacts. That’s what Linked In is for.
8. RSS feeds. You can add an icon for people to click on which allows them to subscribe to your blog. You can find this option within your Areavoices dashboard
9. Others. This includes the many other social media platforms out there including Digg, Reddit, and Stumble Upon. Each has their own specific selling points. But the point is: if you want to keep it simple, I’m not sure you need to mess with these. If you’d like to, it won’t hurt. But chances are the people you’ll reach in these smaller platforms are also users of Facebook and Twitter, so you might not have much to gain by sharing this way. But again, experiment, you might find these methods suit you.
10. And finally, I’ll end on a crazy note. You can share your blog, by putting down the smart phone or laptop and just talking to people. Mention your blog to people you meet. Don’t be creepy about it. That’s annoying. But mention it when you can. People might be more willing to read your blog if they know the face behind it.
Experienced Areavoices bloggers: What are your favorite methods of sharing?