How bloggers can use social media to find new readers

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This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post about how to use social media to find new readers…

Are you a blogger looking to find new readers?

If your answer is yes, join the club! The idea of using social media has probably already occurred to you, and you already may be posting diligently to Twitter, Instagram and other sites — wondering why you aren’t seeing a jump in more readers.

Generally, I find the advice on the website Problogger to be pretty good and a recent post there may interest you. Under the headline, “How to use social media to promote your blog,” Darren Rowse provides nine useful tips for bloggers seeking more readers.

Here is a summary:

1. Be an Active Participant. You shouldn’t just post your own links and then leave. Try to engage in CONVERSATIONS with other participants. Otherwise you just look like a user.

2. Learn the Rules and Culture. Each site operates slightly differently and has its own standards about what is acceptable behaviour. Focus on participating in a smaller number of sites to doing it well.

3. Find Key Players. Who is already using this site well? What can you learn from them? Can you build a strategic relationship with any of these people?

4. Make Friends. Many social networking sites make you more powerful based upon the number of your connections. So get out there – make friends and interact with your network.

5. Don’t Be Self-Centered. The more you help other people, the more they will help you. Don’t be in it only for yourself.

6. Find what Works Best for Your Blog. Not all social media sites work for every post or every blog. And, sometimes the biggest social sites are not always the best ones to use – but rather smaller and more focused ones can have bigger benefits.

7. Use Social Media as a Branding Exercise. While social media sites can send you a lot of traffic, they can also be excellent places to do branding. Every time a reader or potential reader comes across you on a social media site the more you reinforce your brand.

8. Convert People to Loyal Readers. Getting readers to your blog is just half of the challenge – getting them to return tomorrow and every day afterwards is the other half. It can be the difference between a one-off traffic event and a blog with ongoing growth.

9. Understand it’s all about the Content. Without content that engages social media users you are wasting your time as it will rarely capture their imaginations and inspire them to promote it.

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