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Do you have blog insurance?

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 08:31

Overcoming the social media short-term fix - by James Duthie

James DuthieSocial media works as hard as you do. When you’re happy, healthy, creative and insightful you can expect it to be your best friend. But beware… social media is a fickle creature. It won’t support you through troubled times. In fact, when times get tough, it’ll leave you for Angelina Jolie in a second.

Hand’s up - if you're addicted to social media? I know I am... Dave is too... he confessed his obsession for Sphinn recently (hardly a secret by the way Dave… and please put your hand down… ). And to be honest, what’s not to love? Oodles of traffic, a smattering of inbound links & a couple more RSS subscribers each time you publish new work. Everyone’s happy

… until you do something silly, you know, like breaking your hand (or worse)!

Can your blog take a crash?Quite simply social media is not scalable, nor reliable as a single person blogger. It is purely a short-term traffic generation tactic. Social media requires a constant and ongoing effort. As soon as your personal blogging production line breaks (pun intended), so too does your social media output. Failure to produce new content is the quickest road possible to a social media traffic flatline.


Somebody call me a doctor!

So what does all this mean? Should you abandon all social media activities pronto? Hell no!

Social media is a critical part of blog promotion. Many of us get 50%+ of our traffic from social media. And while conversions are low, each social media traffic spike is sure to generate at a least a couple of new RSS subscribers.

What it does mean is that you need to balance short term traffic hits with sustainable longer-term traffic generation tactics. Don’t place all your eggs into the fickle social media basket, or they may end up getting scrambled.  

Believe it or not, we can all learn a number of valuable lessons in blog management from Dave’s busted mitten:

The power of networking

While generally conducted within the confines of social media, networking is an indirect promotional activity in its own right. Regular networking via social media fosters new relationships and loyal readers. Most bloggers/social media junkies have developed a network of some nature.

Dave was able to send the call of distress out to his network shortly after his accident. The result… guest bloggers. Dave has been able to continue to publish new content via guest posts despite his temporary disability. Each guest post has hit the front page of Sphinn, ensuring the regular flow of social media traffic remains. And as an added fringe benefit, each guest blogger tends to bring across their own personal following, further increasing traffic.


The importance of SEO

If social media is the ultimate short-term tactic, SEO is the ultimate long-term strategy. Regardless of new output, established organic rankings can be relied upon to drive traffic to your site, busted hand or not. Indeed, since his enforced hiatus 18% of Dave’s traffic has been generated via organic rankings (which is something with more than 200 unique referring sites in that time). Unlike social media, SEO will continue to work for you, even if can’t. Consider it your best friend.

 A little bit of forward thinking goes a long way

If you listen to any pro blogger long enough, you’re likely to hear about the virtues of planning. Common planning tips include maintaining a blogging schedule, and always having at least a handful of posts in development. Dave was one of the wise old men to follow this advice. In fact, he generally has 10-15 posts on the go at once. This level of planning meant that he was able to pick up and publish articles that were close to completion. All he had to do was peck the remainder of the post out with his nose… 


Creative publishing

It’s hard to type with one hand. But it’s not so hard to draw (provided it’s not your mouse hand…). So instead of trying to write a new article, Dave created a satirical Twitter cartoon with a short written intro. The result… another Sphinn home run and even more social media traffic.


Maintaining a healthy balance

Sure… social media is addictive; we all love to see those traffic spikes; they make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But addiction is a dangerous beast. It can cause us to lose focus of what is really important in blogging terms – sustainability and long-term growth. Just like everything in life, social media is great in moderation. A balance must be maintained between the short and long term. Otherwise, you may well be up shit creek without a paddle (or at least a hand to paddle with) when your own blogging productivity falls.

- James Duthie


Dave here - My brother from down under, James Duthie is an Australian digital marketing mate that writes on all things social media, blogging, SEO & digital marketing at the - Online Marketing Banter. Subscribe to hear more of his ramblings here. I want to thank him for a truly strange experience in asking me about my experiences over the last while. An interesting ride fer sure... (did he say OLD man?)

..I'd also like to thank all of my recent guest riders and trail trekkers alike for the patience over the last while... things should be getting back to normal over the next week or so... wee haa!!


ALSO - One of my friends Shana Albert is also dealing with health issues and is looking for Guest Posters (be sure to drop by)


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