building sluiter nation part 3: all that social media

This is the final installation of the 3-part series that spun off from this post about my Bloggy Turn-ons and Turn-off’s.

Part 1 was about my 3 years on Blogger and what I learned.

Part 2 was about why I moved to WordPress.org and what I have learned so far.

This final part is about the role of social media on my blog (and consequently, my life).

When I first started Sluiter Nation, I would send an email to my family to let them know when a new post was up.

Stop laughing.

Seriously.  Quit it.

I thought it was very smart of me to create a distribution list in my outlook for Sluiter Nation Updates. I thought I was being high tech.

{Seriously.  STOP LAUGHING AT ME.}

I did the email thing for about 3 years.

{If you don’t stop laughing at me, I WILL turn this blog around.  Ahem.}

That is when I found social media.  Some I already had in my life, I just didn’t know what it could do.  Some was new to me.  This is what I know…

Facebook

This might seem obvious, but I didn’t realize what creating a fan page could do.

My blog isn’t one I keep from anyone.  I mean, Cort’s grandma reads Sluiter Nation (Hi Grams!), so I immediately “suggested” my page to everyone I am currently “friends” with on facebook.

But of course I want my OTHER blog readers to know I have a fan page, so I created the badge over there on the left.  That way you can “like” it from here!  Go ahead…try it out. Feels nice, huh?

Over 10% of my blog traffic comes from facebook. People click the links.  They so do.

Twitter

When Cort first told me about twitter, I thought it was dumb.  I could “like” things on facebook and get updates that way.

But I signed up anyway, because my techy geek husband is usually right about techy geek things.

And just like that I was following Oprah and Pearl Jam and Seth Meyers and a couple friends in real life who never tweet.

It was only until I realized the three blogs I read also had twitter accounts that twitter may be for more than just seeing Seth Meyers say witty things about his co-workers on SNL.

I became aware that twitter?  Was the place to BE if you are a blogger.

Over 18% of my blog traffic comes from people clicking through from twitter.

This means that almost a third of people are coming to Sluiter Nation through social media that I already use.

So I have a little Twitter badge over there on the left too.

And I interact with people on twitter.  Not because I want blog traffic (that is just a happy side effect), but because that is where I make friends and connect with moms/women/dudes like me.

RSS Feeds

Another 10% of my readers click in from RSS feeds which means that they click that little orange RSS button under my profile on the left side.

To be honest?  I wish my RSS button, twitter button, and facebook button were all in a neat little row and matched my blog.

But I don’t know how to do that.

See…I am still learning.

Not an expert here, people.

Referring Sites

Facebook, Twitter, and RSS are just part of a big thing called “referring sites”.

People?  over half of my traffic comes form people clicking through from somewhere else.

Joining networking sites help this.

For instance, I am a member of BlogHer.  From time to time, BlogHer has syndicated my posts (the ones that have been syndicated are listed on the left) and spotlighted my posts.

All of this sends traffic to my site.

Anytime someone links to your site and people click over?  That is a referring site.

There are TONS of sites you can join to network, find other bloggers, let bloggers find you, etc.

There are the Mom Sites:  Bloggy Moms, Social Moms, Mom Bloggers Club, Theta Mom Community, etc.

There are sites just for writers:  She Writes (for women), Studio Thirty Plus (for the over 30 crowd), and The Red Dress Club (which I co-host and is for ANYONE…hint, hint).

There are sites for bloggers:  SITS Girls and  BlogHer are a couple.

There are more, but my feeble mind can’t think of them right now.

I really think they are great.  I can’t keep up with them all, but they are great for getting your blog out there.

Other stuff

There are other things in the social media realm that can help you.

Apparently StumbleUpon is one.  I have an account, but I am not good at it.  Yet.  I am not even going to try to explain it, but I did find someone (via my lovely friends on twitter) who could for you.

Knowing your Alexa stuff is apparently good too.  Again, I have the dumb, but KLZ from Taming Insanity wrote a great post about it.

I think that about does it for my social media knowledge. I mean, I am now directing you elsewhere for your information, which means I am done.

What do you use to promote your blog?  What did I leave off?

 

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Twitter is amazing. I have famous people reading my blog because of twitter. I have also gotten much more connected to a community – like you- than I ever did on myspace or facebook.

    Im only on twitter and my blog. I have never been happier.

  2. I agree with all your points. I find that the sharing buttons beneath posts is pretty useful for sharing my own posts and posts I like from my favorite blogs.

    I still haven’t sorted out (i.e. figured out) RSS feeds, eek.

    Thanks Katie for this series, very useful!

  3. Because of Twitter I’m never on my personal FB account anymore. I didn’t get it at first either, but now I’m addicted! Thanks for the tips! I’m still learning and like hearing from others what works and doesn’t work.

  4. Hi, I’m Janelle, and I’m a Twitter Addict. I started using Twitter a couple of years ago, but didn’t really get into it until last year. Unlike Facebook, I’ve been handed this community of people, most of whom I’ve never met, that I can turn to for anything–answers to questions, great reading material, and support.

    Also, question: Do you really think your Facebook drives that much reading traffic? If so, how did you market your blog’s Facebook page other than linking it on your blog & sharing it with your personal Facebook friends?

    Thanks for yet another fantastic post, Katie!

    • Hey Janelle the fellow twitter addict! 🙂

      Yes, FB does drive a lot of traffic for me. But LOTS of my IRL friends and family read my blog and that is where they get the update that I have a new post (if they don’t email subscribe). Lately I have been a slacker about marketing my fan page, although I also have the added bonus (or curse?) that I teach and my students call my classes Sluiter Nation too (That is where the name came from ), so even though I won’t be “Friends” with them on fb, they can like my fan page. Some of them…especially after they graduate (and usually just the girls)…realize they like to read my writing about family life and stuff. So i get readers that way too 🙂

  5. I think BlogFrog is another community that some bloggers use. I haven’t done much on it but I have heard good things. I prefer Twitter and FB although I don’t do much on FB.

    • You are right, Jessica. Blog Frog is HUGE! I actually have a blog frog community set up, but haven’t done anything with it because it is just too much. I know it could help my blog, but there is just so much you can do. I went back and forth about mentioning it and decided not to, but it’s DEFINITELY a great community source!

  6. Guest posting!! That’s a huge, huge way to gain new readers and get your “name” out there!

    And, I mean, it’s words. And it’s sort of social, right?

    IT TOTALLY COUNTS.

    (P.S. I super pink puffy heart with sprinkles on top the Twitter.)

    • guest posting for sure. Your blog? Is in my top 10 that drives readers to my site! Woot!

  7. Great stuff!! Those social media icons look all fancy, but they are really easy. You can have someone make custom ones for you, or there are millions of free ones out there to download. Then you just host the button picture on a photo site like flickr or photobucket and put the html code on your sidebar with the link pointing to the correct place. (exact same thing you do with a blog button!) I’d be happy to help you with it.

    Stumble Upon is so good. For a long time I really didn’t get it, but once I started to use it and understand, I get a huge amount of traffic from SU, about 30%, in fact. SO worth it!

  8. I love that your husband “gets” twitter. Mine just thinks it is strange.
    I’m with you on Stumbleupon. I have an account but have yet to figure out what exactly it is for.
    You HAVE to go visit Mommy Monologues, she just did a super easy tutorial on making social media icons and she has a few cute ones in a post that you can use for free.

  9. I currently am getting 75% of my traffic from StumbleUpon, so yeah, but I think I’m a rare case, and that number will probably change over the next 6 months.

    I also heard once, for what it’s worth, if your not getting 30% of your traffic from SEO, you’re doing it wrong. Which, apparently, I am doing it wrong, as I get like 4% of my traffic from search engines.

    I do know this, if you are interested in optimizing your SEO, the WP plugin “All in One SEO pack” is where it’s at.

    Online nerd I am not, I just play one on the internet. 🙂

  10. Katie, I have loved these posts. (Me with my baby 2 month-old blog.) I’ve been thinking about creating a FB fan page, but was thinking it’s overkill for my nascent, 18 followers blog. I’m just gonna’ do it now.

  11. There is a plugin that geys you your social media icons. It comes with default ones, but you can insert custom ones too.

    I just started a fb fan page and I keep forgetting to put my links up!