Today we continue our series on actions you’re probably not taking on various social networks right now … but might want to add to your repertoire as we strategize for 2012. We’ve already covered LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, and today we come to what I like to call “the sun in your social solar system”: your blog.
If you’ve been blogging for a while on a regular basis, chances are your blog is delivering good results, in terms of both SEO and target audience engagement … but could they be better? If so, we’ve got a few items to add to your blogging to-do list in 2012.
1. Submit your posts to StumbleUpon and Digg
StumbleUpon and Digg are social bookmarking sites that allow readers to submit links to content they think is worth checking out. Both sites have been around for a while, but just recently we found out that StumbleUpon delivers more traffic to US websites than Facebook. Submitting your own links is perfectly legit (long as you don’t overdo it), not to mention duck-soup easy, and you’ll give your posts the chance to attract a whole new audience.*
2. Close each post with a call to action
What do you want readers to do after they’ve read your post? Submit a comment? Link to a white paper? Set up a free consultation? Tell them.
One thing I’ve learned in social media is that if you want people to do something, you have to ask. Remember that attention spans on the Web are miniscule, and by the time I make it to the end of your post, my mind is already on something else. So you need to speak up and tell me what you want me to do. If your request interests me, I’ll do it. If not, I’ll move on to something else … which is what I would’ve done anyway.
3. Mix it up with audio and video
Blog readers like when you mix it up once in a while by adding audio and video to the mix … and the change will do you good too if you’ve been in a text-only rut. More importantly, it lets them get to know you better when they can hear and/or see you instead of just reading your words.
Pick any upcoming blog post, and instead of doing your usual paragraph-paragraph-bullets-closing routine, put the content into an embedded YouTube video or an audio file (Cinch is great for this). Do remember to include a brief summary; it lets readers know what to expect when they click “play” and it’ll help your SEO.
4. Bring in guest bloggers
Speaking of mixing it up, think about other voices that might add an interesting spin to your blog—while also giving you a little break. This could be another employee, a colleague or even a customer with a different perspective to share. Make sure your guest understands that you have final editorial approval, and review the post carefully before publishing to make sure it’s in line with your brand and the expectations of your audience. It’s also considered good form to allow your guests to link to their own blogs or websites.
5. Revisit older post topics
If there’s a post on your blog that generated a great deal of discussion, you can always revive that topic (linking to the original post) and update it with more recent developments or different perspectives. And if that original post attracted any partiularly noteworthy comments, be sure mention those as well; it helps broaden the discussion and gives a nod of appreciation to those who commented.
So, those are my recommendations for broadening your blogging “bag of tricks” in 2012—what are yours? Leave a note in the comments; we’d love to hear from you.
* Note: Another social bookmarking site, Reddit, was getting a lot of attention early in 2011, but we haven’t heard much about it lately. Speaking for this blogger, I found Reddit’s user experience annoying, not to mention being told that I was “submitting too many links” at 3 a week. It might have gotten better since then—anyone care to chime in?