Beginner Blogger: Networking & Social Media

Social media is a bane and a blessing for bloggers. It’s the number one way to grow your stats and connect with readers and an amazing way to network with other bloggers! Today I’m going to address which social medias you should be on and how networking with others can lead to amazing opportunities! Oh, if you want to see more of my Beginner Blogger series, make sure to check out the Beginner Blogger page (linked here and at the top of the page). It outlines all of the topics I cover and when they’ll be live on the blog!

Social media for bloggers: Struggling to grasp social media as a blogger? Follow these simple tips to help grow your social platforms!

In case you haven’t figured out, social media and networking are of very high importance in the blogging world. If you’re only posting on your blog and not promoting on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc., it’s going to be a lot harder for people to find your content. Even if you’re still in the ‘no views some days’ stage, get yourself out there and start working on social media and connecting with other bloggers!

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is extremely helpful to bloggers,  but it can also be the bane of our existence.

Trying to stay active on so many different sites can be a lot for one person to handle, so you really have to tailor it to your life! Do not feel like you need to go out and register for an account on every single one of these platforms right away. It takes time.

I created my Facebook page after a good two months in the blogging world. It took me at least four months to join Twitter for my blog. And I just joined Instagram in the spring of 2016. So again, don’t feel like you’re required to join them all at once.

WHICH SOCIAL MEDIAS SHOULD I JOIN?

When I say be on the social medias, I’m talking about:

  • Twitter – personally connect and chat with bloggers and readers
  • Instagram – display your artsy photography side to connect with readers
  • Facebook page – keep up to date with most recent posts & other updates
  • Pinterest – allow others to share your posts (important!)
  • Bloglovin’ – connect with and follow other blogs
  • Google+ – kind of the same idea as a Facebook page
  • YouTube – show your personality in a visual way instead of just through words
  • Snapchat – post behind the scenes and a look at your life

Granted that’s a long list of social media platforms, but that’s just the beginning.

Here’s the thing about Snapchat. Snapchat is great and so is Instagram stories. They’re both wonderful ways to further connect with your readers and establish that personal connection that we all want. With that said, my advice is to not go for both when you’re first starting out. But why?

First off, if you’re going to create a new Snapchat account for your blog, you have to remember that you will be logging out of your personal account and into your blog account multiple times every day. Do you know how much of a pain that is? Unless you’re going to use your personal Snapchat account as your blog account, I would not recommend Snapchat.

Instagram stories is a really awesome way for you to give your readers that behind-the-scenes aspect into your life without the hassle of constantly switching between accounts. While I wasn’t a big fan of Instagram stories when it was first released, I am 100% on board with it, and find it so much easier and way more convenient.

All in all, it’s up to you.

Why should I join social media as a blogger?

It not only allows you to gain an audience, it creates yet another platform for you to connect and communicate with your followers. Social media is such a valuable tool to show your personality in another way! You can use social media to promote your posts, give a behind the scenes look at what goes into your blog posts, express your thoughts, and share other people’s posts.

If you’re wanting to join the bare minimum of social media platforms, I would suggest Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, and a Facebook page.

You don’t really have to do any work on Bloglovin’ and Pinterest kind of works on their own. So the only three you really have to work on are Twitter, Instagram, and a Facebook page. And yes, even though they all achieve the same goal, which is sharing posts and interacting with others, they all offer a slightly different way of doing so.

But why do I need a Facebook page? Not that anyone really uses Facebook for anything anymore, it’s good to have one! It’s just an essential. Granted a lot of us struggle with keeping it updated, but we still have it which means that’s yet another place for people to discover our blogs.

It’s all about getting your name out there in as many places as possible.

Can I have a personal and blog account?

Of course! In fact, a good percentage of us do! Now that Twitter and Instagram offer a way to easily switch between accounts, it makes the whole situation easier.

I have a separate Twitter and Instagram. My personal accounts are kept private because I don’t want all of my blog followers to see my older pictures with friends on my Insta. It’s not that they’re bad pictures, but those people may not want their face all over the Internet. My Facebook account is kept to the highest security settings, allowing only friends to see my stuff. Just be careful with what you let be public because you may not want the rest of the world seeing your awkward middle school dance pictures.

NETWORKING

Yay networking! This sounds like a really professional business term, but it’s not that scary. Networking in the blogging work consists of a few things:

  • Twitter chats
  • E-mailing other bloggers
  • Collaborating with other bloggers
  • Joining and participating in Facebook groups
  • Subscribing to other bloggers’ newsletters

The more you start taking the initiative and talking with other bloggers, the  sooner your name will get out there.

Bloggers are notorious for posting “10 College Bloggers to Follow” type posts where they feature other bloggers they love. If you get your name in one of those, you’ll get new people visiting your site! This also goes the other way around. Writing a post like that is a great way to tweet out to and email other bloggers letting them know you featured them in a post.

TWITTER CHATS

Twitter chats are a big part of the college blogging community and the blogging community as a whole. Partaking in Twitter chats will, again, get your name out there and get more people looking at your site. The two Twitter chats I religiously participate in are #BloggingCollege (bi-weekly on Sundays at 8 pm EST) and #GalPalChat (bi-weekly on Saturdays at 11 am EST).

PINTEREST GROUP BOARDS

Don’t know what Pinterest group boards are? Well it’s a collaborative board where select members can all pin to the same board. There are so many to choose from, and you can even start your own! I have one specifically for college lifestyle. If you want to be a part of it, send your email associated with your Pinterest account and your blog name and I’ll add you!

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It’s a great way to share your content and interact with other bloggers. Group boards tend to have more followers than regular boards just because they offer a bunch of different content that’s constantly being updated.

GUEST POSTING & COLLABORATIONS

Collaborations are when two bloggers come together to write posts on an agreed topic. Usually each blogger will write a post on their blog about a topic they agreed to. They’ll link to each other’s sites and social medias. For example, you could do a spring outfit and makeup collaboration. One blogger would write a post on the fashion and the other would write a makeup tutorial.

Guest posting is when you volunteer to write a post for someone else’s blog. Bloggers will typically share in a Facebook group or tweet out that they’re looking for someone to guest post on their blog. They might give you free reign to talk about whatever you want, or they may suggest that you write about a certain topic. Either way, you’ll get credit for that post and they’ll typically link back to your site and to all of your social media accounts.

NEWSLETTERS

I just launched my newsletter on May 4th of this year, and it’s by far one of the best moves I’ve made for my blog. I like to think of a newsletter as a kind of an elite group of readers who get the inside scoop on what’s coming up on the blog and what’s been going on in my life.

If you want to start a newsletter as a beginner, go for it! I use MailChimp, and there’s really nothing bad about it. You create a template (if you want), create a campaign, fill in the info, and send it off or schedule it! It’s really simple.

The hardest part about a newsletter is growing that e-mail list. Don’t get down on yourself if your subscriber numbers are low. Even if you have one newsletter subscriber, that’s still more than zero!

newsletter

In case you were wondering what my newsletter looks like, here’s a picture of it! I write a segment on what’s been going on in my life, I link to my three most recent posts, then I include a look at what’s going to be on the blog in the next few weeks. It’s just another, more personal way of keeping up with your readers!

CONTACTING OTHER BLOGGERS

Every blogger loves when readers contact them! I can attest to this one. Every time I get an e-mail from a reader asking for advice or just wanting to say, it seriously makes my week. A lot of bloggers are really awesome at responding to e-mails, so never hesitate to shoot someone an e-mail and ask them a question.

It doesn’t matter what the question is or how ridiculous you think it is, send it anyways. It never hurts to ask!

If you can’t find their e-mail address anywhere on their blog (it’s usually under their about page or contact page) or they don’t have a contact form, try getting in touch with them over social media. Send them a Tweet or a direct message on Twitter. Leave a comment on their Instagram post. Or, even leave a comment on their latest post!

By contacting someone via e-mail or social media, you’re establishing a connection with them. If you keep in touch, you can turn that connection into a guest post or collaboration!

Here are some of my faves:

caitlin-instagram cathleen-instagram cristina-instagram

Trust me, we’re not scary creatures who hoard our secrets to success. As a blogger, we want to give our advice and help people! If you have any questions for me, you can always leave them in the comments below, or you can e-mail me at hello@livingthegraylife.com

~abigail gray


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  • Joining Pinterest group boards is one the best social media decisions I’ve made for my blog. It’s such a great way to share (and find) content you’re interested in!

  • Molly O’Connor

    Social media is SO important for bloggers, it’s kind of overwhelming how many we should be on honestly haha! I try to focus on a few instead of having so many and letting some fall through the cracks!!

    http://www.mollyonthemoveblog.com

    • I feel you on that one and that’s such a great tip! I try and focus on Instagram, Twitter, and now Snapchat because there’s no way that I can stay active 24/7 on all 10+ sites.

  • These are some great tips for bloggers, thanks for sharing Abigail!!
    xo, Syd
    anchoredinthesouth.com

  • Hey Abigail! This is such an informative and thorough post. Social media is definitely important to help us get our blogs out there! Bloglovin, Twitter, and Pinterest are currently my favorite social media platforms. I’m considering joining Facebook so I can connect with Facebook groups. Do you think it’s worth joining?
    -Aly
    welcometoalysworld.com

    • I totally would! I’m constantly talking to people in the Blogging College and Gal Pal Girl Gang Facebook groups! It gives such an open space for you to ask questions about blogging, life, social media, you name it. I always try and run whatever major blog decision I’m making by one of those groups to get people’s opinions. So long story short, I totally think so!

  • I love this! I’ve just started blogging, and social media has been the most overwhelming part by far! There’s just so much you’re supposed to do. Thanks for sharing all of your tips; this post has been super helpful!

    hellokymberlyann.com

    • Thank you! And just know that if you stick with two or three social medias that you’re constantly working on, you’ll see a lot more improvement than if you try and spread yourself too thin with trying to be active 24/7 on all of them! Good luck! 🙂

  • Twitter chats are SO FUN. Blogging College is definitely an experience worth having! I wish I wasn’t always working Saturday mornings so I could join the Gal Pal Girl Chat! And Pinterest boards are so helpful in getting views! Great tips!

    Sunny | astoldbysunny.com

  • Nadia

    Just popping in to say hey & thanks for your lovely feedback on my blog, Abi.
    Social media is crucial to bloggers in 2016 and onward. I have definitely learned a number of lessons when it comes to socials since I started Miel and Mint. It might sound obvious or trivial but I haven’t seen much growth in accounts whose only goal was “followers, followers and more followers”. Yes, they might have got bigger numbers but zero engagement, zero community and, as a result, zero loyalty. It’s a long way up and requires hard work & patience but it’s important to grow along with your audience, engage and be yourself, as simple as that 🙂
    P.S. Have to compliment your blog structure, girlie 😉 Love it!
    Just made sure to support you on all social platforms.
    xox Nadia
    http://www.mielandmint.com

  • Saara Sofia

    Brilliant post! So many amazing tips. I’m quite bad when it comes to networking to be honest. I find it difficult to get started with things and gaining followers on Pinterest or Snapchat can be so slow that it sometimes feels like a waste of time to even try. I’ll definitely try joining some group boards on Pinterest as you suggested, that seems to be a great way to get some exposure for your pins and your profile.

    http://www.saarasofia.com | Bloglovin’

  • Kristen Shane

    Thanks for these!! Just read the stats for beginners as well and made my own spread sheet! ((kristenshane.com))