Creating a full-time business from your blog isn’t just about creating great content. It’s about providing value to your visitors and your followers on social media too.
But what if you only post once, twice, or even three times a week? Is sharing your posts a few times a week on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest enough to gain traction, establish Authority and be as helpful as possible to those who follow what you do?
I don’t think it is. I think many bloggers are missing opportunities on their social channels because they aren’t sharing enough.
How do you share content when you only have X number of blog posts to choose from?
You search for, and share, content from other people that is relevant and complementary to your own.
Not only is spreading knowledge and opinions from other people what the Internet is for, it’s also a great way to connect with others in your field.
There’s an interesting article by Hossein Derakhshan called The Web We Have to Save that I recommend you take the time to read. Not only is this a fascinating story about how one man went to prison for the things he wrote on his blog (partially), but also how he observed the changes on the Internet after not having been online in 6 six years.
These few paragraphs of his article struck me.
The hyperlink was my currency six years ago. Stemming from the idea of the hypertext, the hyperlink provided a diversity and decentralisation that the real world lacked. The hyperlink represented the open, interconnected spirit of the world wide web — a vision that started with its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee. The hyperlink was a way to abandon centralization — all the links, lines and hierarchies — and replace them with something more distributed, a system of nodes and networks.
Blogs gave form to that spirit of decentralization: They were windows into lives you’d rarely know much about; bridges that connected different lives to each other and thereby changed them. Blogs were cafes where people exchanged diverse ideas on any and every topic you could possibly be interested in. They were Tehran’s taxicabs writ large.
Since I got out of jail, though, I’ve realized how much the hyperlink has been devalued, almost made obsolete.
Nearly every social network now treats a link as just the same as it treats any other object — the same as a photo, or a piece of text — instead of seeing it as a way to make that text richer. You’re encouraged to post one single hyperlink and expose it to a quasi-democratic process of liking and plussing and hearting: Adding several links to a piece of text is usually not allowed. Hyperlinks are objectivized, isolated, stripped of their powers.
If that isn’t enough to show you the power that social networks and their content have in reaching more people, I don’t know what is.
The point I’m making is that blogging alone just isn’t enough in today’s Internet.
You must be sharing on your social channels too, but it’s tough if you just can’t create a new blog post every day. Who can do that? Really?
In order to supplement your own blogging, I’ve been sharing other blog posts, images and videos from sources that I think are relevant to my own.
Here’s how I do that.
How to find content your readers will love
There are so many sources for finding content, it would be silly to try and list them all. However, these are my top sources that I use daily.
- Google Search
- Twitter Search
- Facebook Blog Groups
- LinkedIn Pulse
- And finally, blog subscriptions. Lots of them. But not by email. I use their RSS feeds. See the organizing section below to learn how I keep track.
And the list goes on and on. If you’re looking for even more unique sources, check out this blog post by the team at Buffer.
How to organize your sharing sources
As I said above, I follow blogs using their RSS feeds. Over 500 of them.
How the hell do I keep track of over 500 blogs daily and keep them organized?
One word. Feedly. It’s free and you should go there now.
Feedly lets you simply enter a website address and it will automatically pick up the RSS feed and start listing the blog posts from that site. You can find new sites to follow using search, tags, or from the automated recommendations.
You can also organize the sites you follow by creating categories and assigning sites appropriately.
You can use Feedly on your desktop or through their mobile apps. There is no other RSS reader that works as well as Feedly.
How to schedule your social sharing
You’ve heard of Buffer right? That’s the second tool in my arsenal.
I had the pleasure of meeting one the Co-founders at a conference a few years ago and after hearing him talk at length about how Buffer was a “different take on social sharing and scheduling”, I signed up and haven’t looked back.
Buffer allows you to share content easily through the use of browser extensions and their mobile apps. They also allow you to create predetermined sharing schedules for any social account you have connected.
As an example, I have 13 different social accounts connected in my Buffer account. Several for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and even LinkedIn. I even have these accounts “grouped” into Personal and Business so I can choose exactly what accounts when I decide to share something.
How I use Feedly and Buffer together
So you can manage, discover and organize the sites you follow in Feedly. You can easily share, schedule and organize your various social channels in Buffer.
Guess what? Feedly includes a Buffer sharing button in addition to the other social channels they include.
Here’s a screenshot of a blog post I’ve opened in Feedly and the handy little Buffer button.
After clicking that button, all of my available Buffer accounts and groups display allowing me to easily edit my shared text, hashtags and more before I click Add to Queue, Share Now, Share Next or Schedule.
If you find yourself drowning in the endless sea of information and struggling to keep your social content calendar organized, consider the Feedly + Buffer combo.
What are your favorite social tools? Let me know in the comments.
If you’d rather just get my newsletter without access to the forums and Facebook group, please subscribe below.