I'm still learning how to best manage my time with my blogging and social media platform building. It can get disheartening when you're spending hours upon hours writing content but your website traffic and blog traffic remain low. Worse still, you haven't touched that manuscript in a very long time and the vision of becoming a serious writer and freelancer is quickly diminishing under the author platform and brand building pile.
I think it will always be a juggling act so be prepared for that, but there are little things you can do to start to turn things around if you want to see better results and be encouraged. The following is from my personal experience. I started an experiment three weeks ago with the aim of increasing my website traffic and I'm pleased to report it's going very well.
Using Hootsuite - to give me the option to track those all important shortened URLs and the traffic they might produce - I began by scheduling tweets with a link back to my website content every hour. The tweets are divided into three (three different subject matters) so each one reoccurs every three hours. This is personal preference. I have a thing about threes! I know this is controversial social media practice but I'm about to change it up so bear with me. I reasoned that I could reach all of my target audience across the globe by dividing up like this and tweeting every hour. Also I am looking to get traffic all over my website, not just to my blog. I want people to see the different things I write about and I want people to get to know me.
So one week went by and my website traffic skyrocketed into the hundreds again and I began to gain more Twitter followers. I schedule a week's worth of tweets at a time to keep it manageable. This takes about an hour and a half depending how prepared and focused you are. It's mind numbing work but well worth it. The second week I changed the content and for the third week coming to an end today, I changed the content once more. Going into the fourth week, I will be tweeting some of my favourite recent articles from other writers keeping to my "threes and hourly" schedule. I've picked these blogs to follow and they now sit on my Blogger page. This is another benefit of using Google's Blogger platform. Make the integration work for you. I believe you should be able to do "dot to dot" with your social media so maintaining your author platform becomes seamless.
It helps to have a regular blogging schedule too so you are always producing new and fresh content - and more importantly, you're still writing and not just being a scheduling monkey! This gives you more to tweet about and more to share through your social media. I blog here on my website and I'm currently working on my blog over on Blogger to see where it leads me - whether I can gain a bigger audience for my work, whether the stats can help me and whether Google+ is something I want to venture into.
Going back to my hourly tweeting schedule, I know I can't always be tweeting links to content because social media is supposed to be just that - social. My next step is to build relationships with fellow bloggers in my areas of interest - writing, travel and photography. I also want to have a "product" that I can offer for free here on my website and over on Blogger. That "product" will be the basis of Phase Two of this experiment!
One final word - I have my website linked up to Google Analytics. You can only link one website / blog to Google Analytics but, for me, that's ok because Blogger has its own Stats so I can still track my blog's progress through there. Anyhoo, one important thing I've already noticed is that I don't get a very high percentage of returning visitors to my website. I'm hoping by bringing the "social" into my media and offering my "product" I can turn this around.
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Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.