Back in February, I wrote a guest post for Mom’s Make Money called Top Social Media Sites to Help Your Blog Grow. Here’s the infuriating thing about social media–it changes. And if we want to be successful with it, we need to change, as well.
Also, I had only been blogging for about 15 months. What any blogger can tell you is that there is a lot to learn with blogging and sometimes it takes a few years to really get into a nice groove with certain aspects of blog growing. For me, that’s social media.
So let’s see. In February, my top 3(ish) sites were Pinterest, Facebook & StumbleUpon (which were tied), and Tumblr.
Yeah…that’s definitely not true anymore. Other than Pinterest, of course. So let’s start there.
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This is, was, and probably always will be my number one source for traffic. It’s really no mystery why. My blog is centered mostly around food and DIY, and Pinterest is their love child. It just makes sense.
However, my traffic has been even better since I started optimizing my pinterest images. I also taught myself how to take and edit better pictures, so even before I got my super awesome DSLR my photos were doing really well. (Aside from number of pixels, photos between my Nikon Coolpix and Canon Rebel TSi really aren’t that much different.)
Since I’ve already written on Pinterest, let’s talk about something new that’s popping up on my radar. How about….
2. Blog Her
I started using Blog Her in July…and I use the term “using” loosely. I was a member, but I was far from active. I actually started using it regularly in September. In the last month, it has trumped nearly all other forms of traffic…even Facebook.
With Blog Her, all I’ve been doing is creating a post, posting a snippet of posts from this blog + the header image, and then I have a “Click here to read more” link at the bottom. It’s easy and it gets me a lot of traffic…and I don’t even have any followers. (Update 10/28/14: After this post went live, I gained a few followers. 😛 )
The drawback is that you can only create three posts a day on Blog Her before your account is suspended for suspicious activity. Any more than three posts is considered spamming the site. And yes, I found this out the hard way. I thought, “Oh, I’ll just toss all of my posts up here while my account is seeing zero activity.” Nope.
I’m loving Blog Her, though, so feel free to follow me!
What happened to StumbleUpon?
As for StumbleUpon, my reasons for not using it anymore probably won’t interest you. I got bored with it and then eventually forgot to keep using it. Though I will say this: my bounce rate was through the roof when I was using StumbleUpon. Bounce rate means people are visiting one of my posts and then leaving. That makes sense with SU, because all you do is “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” and then most people leave to stumble on more pages. When I was using SU, my bounce rate was something like 80%. Now that I’ve stopped using it, that number has dropped down to about 20%.
StumbleUpon got me a lot of traffic while I was using it, but now I don’t feel like it was worth it for me.
Facebook is my third social media site. Though technically, it is number six on my list of traffic-driving sites. It comes after Search Engines and a bunch of sites where my posts have been featured. For instance, back in April Greatist featured my Pizza Stuffed Chicken and that post has been the number one viewed post on this blog ever since. The next one is another blog that I was using. I moved those blog posts here, though, so now all the redirected traffic is doing crazy things to my numbers. That will probably settle down in the coming months.
My Facebook numbers have been dropping over the last few months, though. Especially when it implemented all those new changes that bloggers have been crying about since last December. And I see why…frankly, those changes make Facebook a pain to use. I’m doing far more work than I was before and I’m getting less out of it. Add to the fact that “obligatory follow backs” mean I’m getting likes, but those people aren’t looking at my posts…therefore, no one is interacting with my posts. So then Facebook stops showing my posts to people. Following people for the follow back does more harm than good on Facebook now, unless I’m willing to pay $40 for my posts to get seen. Which I can’t afford to do.
All that said, Facebook is still in my top 10…but it’s slowly moving down the list. It took a while for my blog to see the impact of the changes that Facebook made, but now I’m seeing it and, I have to say, I’m not loving it. I understand why they made the changes, but that doesn’t make it any less of a pain.
These changes also mean more and more bloggers are looking for a replacement for Facebook. Many are preparing themselves for what they see as an inevitability–that Facebook will stop being useful at all. So….
Have you heard of Tsu?
OK, so there is a new site called Tsu that is supposed to be like Facebook, except that 90% of the ad revenue goes back to the users. A lot of you have been asking me about it. Unfortunately, I only joined last week, so my experience with it isn’t worth talking about yet. But, yes, I am aware of its existence, and yes, I will let you know what I think about it when that time comes. If you want to join Tsu, you have to do it through another person’s link. So go ahead and use mine. Also, feel free to follow or friend me if you already have an account!
Where did Tumblr go?
Tumblr dropped off the list a long time ago. For a while, it was one of my best. I’m not sure why it isn’t anymore, but that’s OK.
I have noticed that certain types of posts do better on Tumblr. If you’re a beauty blogger, definitely look into Tumblr. Why health & beauty posts do so well on Tumblr…I don’t know. Food posts also do well, as long as they’re unique (like food in the shape of cats) or entire posts dedicated to the wonder that is chocolate. Tumblr eats those up.
I still use it, but now it’s mostly auto-posting. Tumblr stopped being worth the effort.
Still no Twitter?
I’ve implemented a lot of changes. I’ve been mentioned, I’ve mentioned people, I’ve called out brands, I get retweeted frequently, I’m constantly gaining new followers.
And Twitter still completely fell off my radar. It’s not even in my Top 100 anymore.
Truth be told, I couldn’t care less. I hate Twitter. I realize that’s an unpopular opinion, but screw it. I don’t care. I hate using it. Though I see that bloggers who talk about business, blogging, and money do really well on Twitter. Unfortunately, food and DIY (my main niche) rely on photos to draw attention. Twitter doesn’t handle photos very well. There are ways to do it, but it just doesn’t seem worth the effort to me. Instead of working hard trying to make a site work for me, I’d rather put double the effort into a site that is already working for me and make it work harder.
And, again, there are other sites I’d rather be using and other ways of gaining traffic that work so much better for me. Link parties and all the blogs I’m commenting on are taking over my Stats page…and I like it that way. It means real interaction, which is what I’ve been looking for.
So that’s where I’m sitting on social media at the moment.
How are you all doing with it? Are there any social media sites that work better for you?