So You Want To Promote Your Blog On Facebook?
You Might Have Come To The Right Place. Here’s My Actionable Guide To Maybe Achieving *Some* Traffic…
The Coming Out Post
You have penned that first blog post and need some peer approval, attention and reassurance. The go-to next step is posting a link to Facebook.
Depending on your self-esteem, this could be a mindless or daunting step.
If things go well, you start counting likes. Maybe there’s an encouraging comment. A friend of a friend might even pop up in your notifications, a semi-stranger— that’s basically a proper reader.
If you are fancy and have something like Google Analytics installed, you get all excited about a spike in your traffic. The 12 friends you thought saw the post was actually something like 40 of your nosey old classmates.
Now what? Depending on your blogging frequency, you won’t want to spam your friends every single time you post. Well I’d hope not.
Deciding You’re A Personal Brand
The most courteous of bloggers use this as an excuse to launch their very own Facebook page. (This might also justify spending a couple of hours designing a logo on Canva.) You invite all your friends to like it (unticking those that would embarrass you, and/or your relatives).
With varying degrees of reluctance, your most supporting friends oblige.
TOP TIP: Consider bribing friends and acquaintances with an incentive to “like” your page. Think entry into a prize draw for an Amazon voucher (decrease in monetary value according to your desperation).
If you have 300 Facebook friends, you might pull in 30 likes. Don’t worry, you can always pour money into ads later to reach that respectable 100.
Good news. Now you have a consenting audience. You can spam them with links to your blog as much as you want. You have a distribution channel!
Time To Become A Groupie
A lot of bloggers stop there but they are probably missing out on the biggest opportunity on Facebook (excluding paid ads) and that’s groups.
To start with, there are plenty of Blogging Groups out there where fellow bloggers interact with one another (most of whom seem to be new mums, vegans or both), while trying to disguise their true motive. This is of course promoting their own content — without enraging group administrators.
This is no easy feat. Each group has it’s own treatise of self-promotion rules and regulations. You’ll need a notepad just to keep track of them all, which days you can and can’t post, what and where.
Blogging Facebook Groups are a strange arena. It’s a place where bloggers and wannabe bloggers basically go to shout over each other.
They are not for the faint-hearted. You will quickly realise that your “niche” is not so niche after all. That every twelfth 20-something female with an Instagram account is a closet beauty and lifestyle blogger.
Unless you are the type to surf Medium, it’s remarkable how few bloggers take the time to read other blogs. But if you genuinely want to learn the craft, meet other bloggers and swap tips, these groups can be really useful (honest).
Plus… a great way to procrastinate from actually writing your next post is to complete one of their “share-the-love” orgy challenges.
The aim of the game is to scroll through every single linked blog on a thread (mercifully, this is sometimes limited to five), spend time on each page, like, comment and maybe share them. The reward for your efforts?
You get to add your own link to the thread. There could be high quality, totally-not-black-hat traffic coming your way very soon.
TOP TIP: Skim-read other posts until you find something you can vaguely comment on and drop them an individualised note. Likes are too impersonal. You’ll stand out this way and get more reciprocal attention (while hopefully providing some feedback or, at the very least, encouragement).
Find Your People
When I said groups are one of the best ways to grow your blog on Facebook, I wasn’t kidding. There’s a lot more to them than blogging circles.
Say you are a financial guru with an affinity for martial arts, slicing your way through money’s mysteries. You are not alone. There are like-minded people out there, however quirky “your thing” is. They probably have Facebook and groups are the best way to network outside of your friendzone.
Honey, no bee-keeping Facebook group is too small for you.
The smaller the group, the more you can get to know its members and become part of the hive. When the time is right, cross-polinate your blog posts to reach your target audience, most importantly, where their attention is.
For this to work effectively, you have to provide value and genuinely want to become part of the micro-community. Ask yourself: Would I want to contribute to this Facebook group if I couldn’t self-promote my content?
If the answer is no, find a group where you would want to or don’t bother.
TOP TIP: When it comes to social media, the rule of thirds is a helpful guideline. Make sure you are spending 1/3 of your time engaging with others; 1/3 curating content that others will find interesting or useful; and only the remaining 1/3 (maximum) talking about yourself or selling.
The Truth About Facebook Marketing
While following the above steps might well help you get some traffic to your blog, I couldn’t write this post entirely seriously for a simple reason:
No one fires up Facebook to read a blog post, let alone yours.
This isn’t to say successful bloggers aren’t using Facebook. They are. It might well be the launchpad of your own growth too.
I’m simply pointing out that there’s a fundamental difference between platforms like Medium and social networks like Facebook when it comes down to audience behaviour and attention.
When someone visits Medium.com, they are exclusively in the mood to read, and are less likely to be doing something else simultaneously.
Its visitors are actively curious and thoughtful. They have some time. This makes them the perfect target audience for longer-form blog posts.
By contrast, Facebook users are passive. Most of us are mindlessly scrolling, probably while doing something else or procrastinating.
When we aren’t purely opening the app to habitually check our notifications, we are there to spy on our friends or flick through news headlines.
As a marketer, even of your own blog, you need to acknowledge this. When you post a link to your latest post, you are daring to interrupt a scroller who really only wants to continue scrolling and be on their way.
Publications like BuzzFeed get around this with clickbait titles or controversial captions. They promise short reads, digestible lists: “10 reasons why…”
If you can’t beat them, you can always join them. But there’s another way…
Get Native And Blend In
Take your blog post, unpackage it and make it look like a Facebook post.
Forget copy and pasting your introduction — write something that could well pass as a friend’s status. You don’t have long to grab attention.
Tell a story.
Use short sentences and mini paragraphs.
You’ll have seen these types of post go viral. They are even more popular over on LinkedIn. Add a picture or video whenever you can.
The idea is to entertain your audience where they want to be entertained — within the comfort of their feed. Once you have, they’ll be far more inclined to follow a link to the rest of the post over on your blog.
Why does this work?
When you think about it, asking someone to click on a link without much of an incentive is presumptuous. (Especially if they don’t know you and you’re harrassing them with a sponsored post.) You need to earn the click first. Just make sure you add a call-to-action to give them a helping hand…
There you have it. That’s how (not) to promote your blog on Facebook. If it gave you any ideas, share it with your blogger pals… on Facebook!