Overcoming the social media short-term fix - by James Duthie
Social media works as hard as you do. When youre happy, healthy, creative and insightful you can expect it to be your best friend. But beware
social media is a fickle creature. It wont support you through troubled times. In fact, when times get tough, itll leave you for Angelina Jolie in a second.
Hands 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, whats not to love? Oodles of traffic, a smattering of inbound links & a couple more RSS subscribers each time you publish new work. Everyones happy
until you do something silly, you know, like breaking your hand (or worse)!
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. Dont 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 Daves 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 Daves 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 cant. Consider it your best friend.
A little bit of forward thinking goes a long way
If you listen to any pro blogger long enough, youre 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
Its hard to type with one hand. But its not so hard to draw (provided its 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
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)