Blog | Nov 19, 2010 | 3 Comments

[organic social media]

[cultivating a new blog]

There are plenty of ways to grow a blog. When we developed a social media strategy for The Working Chronicles, we made the decision to start growing organically, focusing first on our content and on activating our own networks to support us.

In social media, “organic” can be a euphemism for “slow.”

There are several ways to drive more traffic to a blog. For example:

We didn’t opt for any of these strategies, though we can incorporate them later. Instead, we decided to use the strength of our community and our content to increase our audience at a steady pace. We accepted the idea of slower growth.

Focus on strong, compelling content.

Every “pro blogger”” will tell you that no matter how hard you promote your blog, it will fail if the content isn’t engaging. Here’s an advantage TWC already had: new, interesting blogs scheduled each week about different views of working life. You couldn’t ask for more variety or a more timely topic.

So far, we’ve posted stories about a lobsterman in Maine, an unemployed mother struggling to get her career on track, and 21st century etiquette consultant, and an author/artist who just happens to be James Franco’s mother. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Activate your social and professional networks any way you can.

You don’t need me to tell you that social networks are powerful. For The Working Chronicles blog, we had another advantage: a large, ready-made community. TWC is a network of Chroniclers and Editors who are continually researching and writing interesting stories about working people. We knew we could count on their support, but it wouldn’t hurt to give them a little advice. I wrote a  set of recommendations for how to promote the blog, Facebook page, and Twitter profile. We even gave them an email template to use with friends, family, and colleagues.

But the most important thing we did was ask them to promote TWC only in ways in which they felt comfortable. We didn’t try to force them into social media if they weren’t doing it already. But those that don’t use Facebook or Twitter did agree to pass our information along to their networks.

Of course, our contributors are also networking the old-fashioned way–over coffee or drinks or at work, frequently using a special TWC business card our managing editor printed for them.

You can’t fake engagement. You have to earn it.

Even in the instant-gratification world of social media, patience is a virtue. Unless you are a celebrity, you just can’t expect a huge fan base out of the gate. You plant the seeds and continue cultivating. That’s what we’re committed to doing, and we’re already harvesting lots of new readers.

In our first week, we had over 400 “absolute unique visitors,” the wide majority of whom came from Facebook (more than 60 new fans) and direct traffic (likely related to the emails sent to family and friends).

What’s your blog/website/Facebook page growth story? Please share your experience and advice.

Photo credit: Natalie Maynor on flickr. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.

3 Comments

Um, … there’s no way really to say this except to say

YES!!!!!

that about covers it. 🙂 Great post!!!

[Reply]

400 unique visitors. Wow, that’s all I have to say. And thanks for your advice.

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

You are very welcome, Calla. It’s great to hear from you. Thanks for visiting!

[Reply]

Calla Gold

11/19/2010

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