October 22, 2014

The Role of Social Media in a New Blog Launch

Launching a new blog should be an exciting time, but it can also be discouraging because of the challenges that are involved. Most new blogs struggle to get traffic, comments, links and subscribers as they have to work to build exposure. One proven method for quickly getting past this stage of very slow growth is to market your new blog with social media. If you are willing to spend some time creating interesting, valuable and original content, it is possible to reach tens of thousands of visitors and put your blog on the map in almost no time.

How Can I Market My New Blog With Social Media?

Getting Started

First of all, if you have already been using social media websites and you have an existing network of friends and contacts, the process will be much easier. Most bloggers have made some strong connections with other bloggers in their field, and as a result they are able to leverage their existing network and social media to experience quick growth for a 2nd blog (or more). However, if you are launching your first blog and you have no existing network, social media is still more than capable of producing outstanding results, you may just have to spend a little bit more time to focus on building a strong network.

If you are new to social media marketing but you are looking for immediate results for your new blog, consider focusing on StumbleUpon rather than a site like Digg where most of the traffic is sent to items submitted by “power users” who have spent countless hours building a strong profile with a lot of friends. With StumbleUpon, any website or blog can start getting traffic right away from just a few thumbs up. Also, the StumbleUpon algorithm seems to love new sites.

Niche social media sites are also a good place to start, as you can realistically start driving some traffic almost immediately, and it will be better quality traffic due to the narrow focus on the specific niche. (see our list of social media sites by category)

You’ll need to identify a few specific social media sites that fit well with your target audience so that you can target these specific sites. Personally, I think it is a good idea to target 1 or 2 niche sites as well as 1 or 2 of the major sites (StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, del.icio.us, Propeller). Niche social media sites may or may not be available in your particular niche, but if they are you should definitely take advantage. The larger sites will be more difficult to achieve success with, but they also have the capability to send much more traffic than smaller social media sites.

The Launch

Most blogging experts recommend launching a new blog with about 5 posts so that visitors will have a few different articles to read rather than just one. If you can get one or more of these initial posts to be a big hit with social media, you will be in very good shape. Of course, in order to accomplish this you will need to spend the time to create the best possible content in preparation for the launch. Achieving success with social media on a new blog can be a little bit more difficult because you will have no subscribers at that point to vote for your posts, but on the other hand you may be able to create some buzz by being new.

Once you have chosen the social media sites that you want to target, consider adding some buttons or widgets to your pages to allow visitors to vote for you. Every major social media site has their own buttons and many of the smaller ones do as well. Adding these buttons won’t suddenly have all of your visitors instantly voting up your posts, but they will at least show visitors which sites you are targeting, and if they like your content the button will be a reminder for them to vote.

One of the most important parts of the process is putting your existing network into action. Don’t be afraid to send your friends and contacts a brief email mentioning your new blog launch. It’s perfectly acceptable for you to mention that you would love to have them as a reader and tactfully ask for their help/support by voting for a post if they like it. Most of your friends will be more than willing to do so.

If you have a friend or a contact with a strong profile on a particular social media website, consider approaching them about the possibility of submitting one of your posts. With many social media sites a submission from such a user would have a much better chance of becoming popular.

When you are creating the content, keep in mind the interests of the social media audience. You’ll have much more success if you are promoting content that is specifically geared towards a particular audience. Spend some time on the social media sites that you are targeting to get to know what types of content typically do well. Before too long you’ll have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t and you’ll be able to create your content accordingly.

One of your goals with the social media campaign should be to gain subscribers, which are the life blood of any blog. Yes, convincing social media users to subscribe can be difficult, but it is possible if you create great content that is aimed right at your target audience. Be sure that your blog design/theme includes your subscription links in a highly visible location. Also, to increase the number of subscribers you get be sure that you are offering email subscriptions as well as RSS subscriptions.

Following the Launch

In the early stages of a blog that you are trying to grow very quickly you may want to develop content specifically for social media more often than you would for an established blog. This type of content is not always the favorite of existing subscribers, so most established blogs don’t produce it constantly. But because of the increased success rate of this content you may want to use more of it at first. Also, you won’t have as many subscribers at this point, so finding new readers is still a big priority.

If you are concerned with publishing too much social media bait, consider using the mullet strategy. With the mullet strategy your content created for social media is published as a page on your blog instead of a post, so it does not get sent out to your subscribers. It is created specifically to target social media audineces.

Articles and blog posts are not the only content that you can use as a new blog to attract social media attention. This blog received a good bit of social media traffic to the categorized directory of social media sites. Think of other types of resources or content that you could add to your blog for some additional exposure.

Concluding Thoughts

I have personally only ever managed two blogs, but both have experienced most of their early success in large part due to social media. I know from my experience that anyone with the willingness to create targeted content and to build a network of bloggers can easily duplicate the results that I have had, if not better results. The most important step is to simply get started. Start using social media, start meeting others, and launch your blog. Don’t worry about doing everything perfectly the first time, just get started and learn as you go.

About Steven Snell

Steven is a web designer, blogger, and freelance writer.

9 comments

  1. Having a new blog myself, I value the information that you’ve shared here. I have accounts with virtually all of the social media outlets, I’m just trying to discover how to best utilize the strengths of each one.

    Thanks again.
    Ken Stewart, Chatterbox Marketing

  2. This is a very good post Steven. It even relates to me in someway or the other. On the first day when I disclosed my blog, it unexpectedly hit the Digg front page. I was prepared was such situations and hence had MT Grid Service as hosting. But it was disappointing and the blog was down for 6 hours. But as you mentioned, things may not be perfect initially so I will be more prepared the next time.

  3. I’ve found some specific niche sites using http://findasocialnetwork.com
    It’s a search engine like google, but just for social networks!

  4. I haven’t really looked in social media yet, but it is on my things to do list. Thanks for the great post. There are definite possibilities here.

    - Dave

  5. Ken,
    Thanks for you comment and good luck.

    Abhijeet,
    I just saw your post on Digg today and I think it had over 3,000 Diggs. That’s amazing! It’s disappointing to hear the the MT hosting let you down. I use them also, and I switch to them because I had 2 other hosts that couldn’t handle the Digg effect. I haven’t attempting anything with Digg in a while because I don’t really want that to happen again.

  6. Starting a new blog with no experience is very difficult. It is also overwhelming. Given the information within this post has been very beneficial for anyone not knowing where to start, and who to reach out to. Thank you.
    Chris from WebDazzling
    http://webdazzling.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>