#FixThatBlog – Can Bloggers Do Without Twitter/Facebook?

If you are conservative or moderate in your opinions, or if you have friends who are, you will probably already know that both Twitter and Facebook are wildly hostile ground for conservatives and everyone who is less than progressive/liberal. You can get your page taken down from Facebook for quoting the wrong Bible verse! And I’ve heard of someone who got their Twitter account taken down for having been retweeted by Donald Trump— even though I haven’t heard of them threatening Pres. Trump’s Twitter account— Twitter knows good free advertising for their service when it sees it.

I have had a lot of friends get suspended or banned at Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes they get sick of the whole game and migrate to newer social media like Gab or MeWe. But the problem is that alternative social media are small ponds. If you are trying to get attention for your blog posts or your books, they are not where the eyeballs are. The eyeballs are still over at TwitFace, sadly.

The key to using Facebook and Twitter is to remember that those social media are run by blind progressives who take it as dogma that all Republicans are members of the (Democrat-only) KKK organization— even, presumably, Herman Cain and Ben Carson. Therefore anything you post that isn’t progressive propaganda is suspect.

But a key to using any social media is that bland/generic posts vanish, only things that are a little rough or even shocking get attention. You want your post to go viral, you have to do something to get attention. And if you do something to get attention and are not progressive, you can get banned.

So what should your strategy be? If you don’t currently have a world-famous blog, I’d suggest you go ahead and use Twitter and Facebook, and post what you like (unless you like death threats and pictures of private parts.) Do (civilized) things to get attention. If your account is banned or suspended, you might think of just starting a different account, especially on Twitter.

You might also think of having a targeted Twitter or Facebook account. I did this when I had a separate blog for Keto diet posts, and a Twitter account to go with it. On that Twitter account, I followed only diet-related accounts, and posted only on that topic. Since my political opinions were not a part of that Twitter account, I didn’t post anything political there no matter the temptation.

If political opinion is a main topic of your blog, of course, you won’t use the apolitical-account approach. You will seek accounts that share your opinions, mostly, plus a few high-profile opposition to retweet along with the comment ‘can you believe THIS!’ or similar.

Minor or new social media, especially those that cater to freedom of speech advocates, have their uses, but they won’t replace the Big Boys. If you get banned/suspended from the Big Boys a lot, you may need to cultivate those alternative accounts to stay in touch with some of your True Fans. My Gab and MeWe accounts seemed kind of dead when I was using them a lot, but I realized I had far fewer friends/followers in those places. If I worked those accounts I would probably have a livelier time on those social media. But as I’ve not even been suspended once from Twitter and Facebook, I must admit I haven’t considered it a priority.

If I did have a problem with repeated suspensions or banning at TwitFace, rather than abandoning those sites altogether I would have a bland, non-controversial account that mainly served to share my blog posts and retweet/share the stuff of selected other people, and put a lot more effort into my MeWe account. (In fact, I think I need to start working on my MeWe account right now, at least in the sense of visiting it each time I blog and sharing my blog posts there. I get lazy because my blog posts can be shared to TwitFace as part of the WordPress. com posting experience.)

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FTB: Syndicating Your Blog to Facebook or Twitter

#FixThatBlog

If your blog lacks readers in spite of the fact you are regularly posting, one thing you can do is syndicate your blog to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. That means, share each post to Facebook and Twitter as it is made. This gets more traffic to your blog posts. Your blog gets read, and you might gain a few regular readers.

WordPress makes it easy to syndicate to both. It’s right there when you are writing the post! And you can add hashtags and such to make your post onto Twitter and Facebook better and more likely to be read, discovered or shared.

Blogger takes more work— you have to either manually share in both places, or you have to use something like Buffer to do the work.

To share on Twitter, you need a Twitter account, and you need to build up some followers. NEVER buy followers. They won’t do you any good anyway. The best way is to adopt the rule of ‘following back.’ When someone follows you, unless they are clearly ladies in the prostitution industry or other bad apples, follow back. If any of them start posting crap to your feed, you can always unfollow.

Then, check out hashtags related to your blog’s niche or your books’ genre. Follow some of the people who post using the hashtag. Most of the people you follow will follow back, unless they are the Pope or something.

On Twitter, don’t just share your blog post. Retweet other people’s good stuff. And just say stuff. Especially if you can be amusing or witty or weird. Don’t abuse your twitter feed by posting links to your books, one after another, every minute for an hour. If you have to post multiple book links, use a service like Buffer to space them out. And post other stuff too!

On Facebook you have a decision to make. Do you post your content to your personal account? Your author page or author fan group? Some other group? I personally don’t post to my personal page any more. My blood relatives— the ones who still speak to me— are my Facebook friends. I syndicate to my author page (find it in the sidebar) and sometimes to a group of mine. If I post on a man-woman marriage related topic, I post it to my marriage page.

Some authors have more than one Facebook account, so they can freely use one of their accounts as an author page. But Buffer now no longer syndicates to personal pages, so you may need a FB author page or author fan group in order to use Buffer.

On Facebook, you also need to get a following. For a Facebook author page, that means getting people to ‘like’ your page. On Facebook, you don’t always know when someone has ‘liked’ your author page, and you can’t necessarily ‘like’ their page back if they ‘liked’ you with their personal account. And you want everyone, even fellow authors, to ‘like’ you with their personal account so that your page’s postings will show up in their feed.

Like Twitter, you want to share items from other people. You should have ‘liked’ as many author pages as you can— there is a list of Facebook author pages on this blog to get you started— and if an author shares a bit of news or an amusing observation, consider sharing it. Also share amusing memes if they are on topic. And anything related to your niche/genre. Since cats are my thing, I shared it when the famous Grumpy Cat died.

When I look at my stats, I often find I get some of my blog’s visitors through Facebook or Twitter. I think this syndication is worth doing. and so I mean to continue. Even a very few extra visitors add up over time.

Do you syndicate your blog posts to Twitter or Facebook? Has it worked for you? Let me know your experiences! 

Nissa Annakindt’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/nissalovescats

Nissa Annakindt’s Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/

 

Getting bullied over the hashtag #womenagainstfeminism

 

OK, maybe I’m just weird. But I hate being expected to be a feminist and love feminism just because I have female genitals. I mean, are guys expected to be ‘masculinists’ and vote for male candidates when they hate those candidates’ policies? Unfair!

On Twitter, I used the #womenagainstfeminism hashtag once, and boy did that unleash the trolls. One woman roared that women like me ought not be allowed to vote. Sorry, I’m going to keep my vote– and I thought feminists were in favor of votes for women. But maybe they want to limit that to FEMINIST women— so women will not have equality unless they support the full feminist bill of goods, including abortion and including biological males calling themselves ‘transgender’ and being allowed to compete in women’s sports. (If ‘transgender’ men can’t compete with other men in sports, maybe they should have a sports classification for themselves. Because some biological women want to have women’s sports for some reason.)

I don’t understand people like that. If I disagree with people on Twitter I usually ignore them or unfollow them. Once in a great while I do express an opinion, but I try to be polite. Except when I’m dealing with a bullying ‘athiest’ I do correct spelling!

If you are on Twitter and you want attention, do try the hashtag #womenagainstfeminism . It ticks off all the right (Left?) people!

My Twitter page: @nissalovescats

My MeWe page: https://mewe.com/profile/5bb89aaca40f3041e094d560

My (neglected) ‘gab’ page: https://gab.ai/nissalovescats

I do intend to use that ‘forbidden’ hashtag more often. Because of the ‘speaking truth to power’ thing. And because I no longer care if I get banned from Twitter.

Are Facebook Author Pages now Worthless and Not Worth Doing?

Once upon a time, Facebook pages were good. I had one on a controversial topic that got a lot of attention and followers, and I had a Facebook author page that got a bit of attention because I followed other author-pages as my page, and got some interaction by looking at my author-page’s feed and interacting.

Then Facebook decided to monetize their pages. If you weren’t willing to turn every post into a Facebook ad, they showed your post to fewer and fewer of the people who had liked the page in the first place. My Facebook author page became more like talking to myself.

Another bad change: there was no longer a news feed specific to my author page, consisting of posts from pages I had liked as my page. This was my main strategy to grow all my Facebook pages! I’d like a bunch of pages related to my page— in the case of the author page, other author pages— and look at the feed, share stuff, hope some of my posts would get shared in return.

OK, I know that some internet bullies were starting Facebook pages to do their bullying with, making it harder to deal with them since if their page was disciplined for abuse, they would usually not lose their account— that fate seems to be reserved for Christian and/or conservative page owners who don’t bully but do express ideas  that Facebook doesn’t care for.

I have searched and searched for tricks to make my Facebook author page’s posts more visible, but I have concluded it is more work than it is worth at this point.

What are alternatives? I have my personal Facebook account, but I use that for contact with family and one of my Facebook ‘friends’ interfered with a discussion I was having with my sister-in-law about her actually notifying me about when the family Thanksgiving dinner was taking place and if I was invited instead of putting it as a message I wouldn’t see. ‘Friend’ accused my of having a ‘pity party’ whatever that means. I guess I’m not allowed to like being excluded from things because family members take my Asperger Syndrome ways as signs I don’t want to be included.

I’ve thought of started a new Facebook account to take the place of my page. I don’t know if that would be a good idea. My family might not respond if the new page is for family, and I have a lot of friends on my current account.

Then there is the idea of using my Twitter account to replace my Facebook author page. I syndicate my page posts to Twitter and use Buffer to promote the posts as well, and it works. But I don’t like the amount of hate and bullying there is on Twitter. Plus, I know people who have had their accounts suspended for expressing conservative or Christian thoughts, or for being retweeted by the President.

Since I want to build up this blog to help sales of my current and future books, I’m looking for new and better strategies, now that Facebook has ruined the Facebook author pages for the sake of more money.

Promoting your blog’s posts with #Buffer

I started on Twitter as a way to get my blog posts before more readers, so I could build my platform. I built up a list of followers and people I followed, with emphasis on writers. I do a lot of retweets of other people’s stuff, and I weed out the people I follow who don’t follow back, or who are mistakes for other reasons.

But if I only post my blog post links to Twitter when I make the post— WordPress makes that automatic— most of my Twitter followers miss it because they can’t be on Twitter ALL the time. I’ve read it is recommended to Tweet your blog posts 3 times in the week you make it. Plus, I like to retweet my older blog posts that might be of interest.

That would mean going online to Twitter several times a day, which would be a major time sink. So, Buffer. Buffer is a service that lets you schedule a bunch of Tweets for preselected times of day. You write out the Tweet and the link to your blog post, add hash tags, and soon you can have a bunch of Tweets scheduled to go.

This is a big help— whenever I tweet a bunch of posts like that, my blog gets more action, according to the site stats.

NOTE: You don’t have to write out your blog post’s official title every time you Tweet it, whether you tweet it through WordPress when you post, directly on Twitter, or through Buffer. Suppose you wrote a post on how to create a villain. “How to create a villain” might be your official post title. But when you tweet you might use different wording for each time you Tweet: “Building Better Villains”, “Does Your Book Need a Lord Voldemort?” and so on.

Vary your hashtags as well. Check on Twitter to see if your proposed hashtag is in much use. Since the purpose of using hashtags is to find new readers who are NOT your followers but who have clicked on a hashtag to see what others are saying, you want to have popular hashtags. Sometimes your post will fit in with a current trending hashtag: use it! In fact, every time you go to Buffer, have another window open to Twitter to check hashtags. It really helps.

 


I am @nissalovescats on Twitter (and GAB) and I welcome new followers. I usually follow back all accounts that are related to books, reading or writers, just not accounts that are there to sell me services I don’t want. Or bitcoin call girls.

Define your blog niche to find more readers

I’m often working on improving my blog and my blog’s traffic. One resource I use is a site called ProBlogger. Today they had a post with the title How to Approach Influencers in Your Niche. OK, the problem with that was I wasn’t sure about the ‘niche’ thing. So I searched their site for a post on ‘niche.’ I found 15 Questions to Ask to Help Identify Your Blogging Niche or Focus.

This post contains a podcast on the topic. There is also another page which lists the 15 questions, called What Should I Blog About?.  Going through the questions I become more aware that I am a multi-topic blogger. There is a focus on writing and blogging, a focus on the genres of SF, fantasy and zombie fiction, a focus on politics, one on Asperger’s Syndrome, and also there is the faith thing.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I won’t ever be the top writing blog, or the top blogging blog, or the top zombie blog, or the top faith-based blog. But maybe I can be a good solid blog for people interested in several of these topics.

One thing I have noticed is that my faith-related posts sometimes get a lot of traffic. My all-time most popular post is the one about The Lutheran Rosary. Every day I get one or more visitors reading that post. Yesterday, when I posted on Churches in Chains, I got 42 page views. Normally I get 14. So I think I’m going to keep up with my Sunday posts on faith topics.

I also use Twitter to get my blog posts out in to the world. I use Buffer in order to post to Twitter several times a day without being on the Internet all day long. I’ve read it is recommended to post each blog post three times— the original posting time, later that same day, and then the next day. Of course I also go on Twitter to retweet other people’s posts and interact. I hope that will bring my blog traffic up.

If you are a blogger, what is your blog’s niche? Please tell us in a comment!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, what topics on this blog do you like the best?

On Twitter? If you leave a link to your Twitter page, I will follow you. (Though if you post naked pictures or other stuff I don’t care for, I may not stay a follower for long.)

 

Celebrating: fewer Twitter followers

Celebrating fewer Twitter followers? In an age when all the experts say that writers (and others) need more more more Twitter followers? When people send you private messages on Twitter claiming they can sell you more followers?

At first I collected followers— I followed everyone who followed me, I followed everyone Twitter suggested I follow, I followed the people that my Twitter friends followed…. and then I had a Twitter feed dominated by people who tweeted what seemed like ads for their books or blogs, sometimes tweeting such things every 30 seconds for nearly an hour.

What I got was a Twitter feed that seemed like a bunch of people shouting and never noticing that no one else was listening. No interactivity— and I doubted anyone would buy my book or even read my blog post if no one ever interacted with my Twitter posts.

So I stepped back and learned some lessons from a Twitter savvy friend, author Declan Finn. He did a lot of actual interacting on Twitter, having conversations there, informing all his writing friends on Facebook about a useful Twitter hashtag that was trending, making lists of followers….

Declan Finn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeclanFinnBooks

The first thing I did was start unfollowing Twitter followers who spammed Twitter with what looked like ads, or who retweeted things I found appalling for one reason or another. Not out of spite, but because it was clear that we just didn’t have any interests in common that would foster actual interaction between us.

Then I started following the Twitter Golden Rule— for every one thing I tweeted/retweeted that was about ME, I retweeted 9 things about others. Particularly others who had interacted with me, or others that had some things in common with me. Since I’m a poet, I retweet a lot of haiku and other short poems posted on Twitter.

I also made a private Twitter list of friends I interact with regularly on Twitter. If you aren’t familiar with Twitter lists— you list some Twitter accounts that have something in common. For example, you could have one for people who Tweet about your favorite baseball team, or for writers of Christian science fiction and fantasy, or political accounts…. When you click on the list, you see JUST the recent Tweets of those on that list— so you can easily find worthy things to retweet, which will make the people you retweet feel more friendly toward you.

How to Create a Twitter List: http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Twitter-List

I am by no means a Twitter expert— I’ll bet that there will be people who read this post who know loads of things about how to use Twitter more effectively. Whether you are a Twitter maven with good advice or a newbie with nothing but questions, I’d really cherish a comment from you. Particularly if you’d give the URL of your Twitter account so I can follow you.

Me, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nissalovescats  If you visit my Twitter profile you will see a cute picture of a kitten in a boot.

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. Which was yesterday. 😦