If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.
So often I hear bloggers and webmasters complaining that no one reads their content. I ask them their strategy and it often sounds like this. “I write a blog post about something going on in my industry. I post it to my personal or business website then I Tweet it, share it on Facebook and every once in awhile share it on Google+.” After asking how many readers they received it is almost always “just a few.” The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. Why do you think your latest blog post is going to blow up and get hundreds of readers if none of the previous posts saw an increase in engagement or readership. Lets fix it!
A Jesse Wojdylo History Lesson
When I first started by blogging/Internet marketing career back in 2008 I did as many people do. I signed up for a free WordPress blog and a free Blogspot (Blogger now) blog. At the time you had to install widgets to check your stats. I can clearly remember typing my opinion on sports and finance and being ecstatic about getting 10 new viewers. Looking back on this, I am quite certain these were bots and not people actually reading my content. Early on, I read as many “pro” blogging related articles as I could find. Some were great and some were terrible.
One of the first blog posts I read was about going to where everyone else is when it comes to Internet consumption. Remember this was pre Twitter being popular. We were still at the beginning of the Facebook marketing cycle. Reddit was a ghost town and Google+ was not even in existence. Heck, Google Buzz wasn’t even built yet. The popular place to find readers was article marketing websites like eZine Articles and Amazines. If you were blogging at the time you know exactly what I am talking about.
Other popular websites were Delicious, StumbleUpon and Propeller. As you read this post in 2013 you probably have not looked at Delicious or Propeller in years, if ever. That said, these were the websites that people when consuming content. Instead of sharing to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ you would share to these social bookmarking websites. Unfortunately, I did not realize this to be social media 1.0. I created zero relationships and I just spammed the system.
I would write an article and share it to a dozen different social bookmarking sites. There were even tools that allowed you to do it in one click. You could find other blog posts explaining how to rank #1 in Google organic search by simply submitting to 10 or so social bookmarking sites. These were all link backs, right? Well, yes, but lets say this scheme did not work for very long. I learned quickly and realized that creating meaningful relationships with readers is much more important than submitting to all these social bookmarking sites. So, here we are today, in April 2013.
Finding Your Tribe and Potential Readers
As social media gains in popularity it is not difficult to find people that are interested in the same subjects that interest you. In fact, it is hard not to find these people. If you are active on Google+, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn people of similar interests are naturally going to find you. If you were sitting in a corner of the Internet with your own blog and you were not reaching out to readers in creative ways it would be very difficult to increase readership. It might happen over several months or a few years but that process can be expedited by actively looking for your tribe or potential readers.
I would never suggest spending eight hours a day scouring the Internet for potential readers. I would suggest testing the waters on different social media websites. Please understand that there is not one social media website that is everything to everybody. If you are a decorator you will benefit from Pinterest but likely not Active Rain. If you are a photographer you will benefit from Google+ and Facebook but maybe not so much Twitter. I think you get the idea. Figure out where your tribe is hanging out.
It should not take you long to see if you “fit in” to a community. I fit in very well with Google+ as I write about social media, SEO and tech related products. I have an Android, I bash Facebook and I am anti Apple. I think you can quickly see why Google+ is my home away from home. This does not mean it is for everyone. You may have 2000 friends on Facebook and 15,000 fans on your business page. Use that social medium to reach out to your audience.
Write Articles for Your Following
Now that we have established there are plenty of places readers it is time to start generating some content. But what do I write, Jesse? I am glad you asked. I you have more than five followers on Twitter or Google+ you already have an audience. They are following you for a reason. Ask them what they want to read. Most social media users will be more than happy to explain their interests. This is especially true on Google+. By asking them what they want to read you will find that they have a vested interest in reading your content once it has been produced. You just got a new reader who will likely share your content.
This is a concept that I have been implementing for well over a year and it has helped me build some amazing relationships. I have naturally built a following of over 10,000 on Google+. I have never been a on a suggested user list and, for the most part, I have not been in a bunch of shared circles. This means that people are finding me because of my content. I assure you, with a little bit of effort, you can find a social network that will help you find readers that are interested in your articles, videos or pictures.