Blogging 201, Day Eight: Create a Social Schedule

Today’s assignment: create a 30-day plan for how you’ll grow your presence (and your blog) on the social network you selected yesterday.

Welcome to Blogging U! This course isn't currently active, but you can learn more about what we offer and register for upcoming courses on the BU home page.

Integrating your blog with social networks is essential to growing an audience — if you want to attract people outside WordPress, you need to go to where the people are.

Social networks don’t have to be an “extra.” They can be the ideal platform for growing a community, with your blog at the center. And using them means a lot more than just publicizing your posts; if that’s all you’re doing, you’re not really using them at all.

Today’s assignment: create a 30-day plan for how you’ll grow your presence (and your blog) on the social network you selected yesterday. If applicable, create a profile on the network just for your blog.

Why do this?

  • Because if you’re serious about growth, blogging is about building a community of like-minded people, and other social networks have ready-made communities.
  • Because using social networks effectively creates a funnel of new ideas and inspiration that will make your blog better.
  • Because social networks are a great place to continue conversations that are tangential to your blog, or to experiment with content you’re not sure about.

If you need a profile on whatever network you’re going to focus on, let’s take care of that first.

If you liked analyzing your stats, Facebook may be right up your alley. Fan pages offer analytics (Facebook calls them “insights”) that let you see which posts are most viewed and shared, along with basic demographic data about your fans.

To create a page on Facebook, log in to your personal account, go to Create a Page and, well, create a page! You’ll want to create a “Brand or Product page” and select “Website” under “Category.” You’ll administer this page through your personal account, but there won’t be any visible link between the two. (Visit our tutorial for more detail.)

To create a profile on Twitter, simply sign out of your personal profile, if you have one, and sign up for a new one — these will be 100% separate. The same goes for Instagram.

With Pinterest, you have two choices: if you don’t yet have an account, you can create a new one for your blog. If you already use it, you can also create a board just for your blog. (Either way, you can use the Pinterest Site Verification tool to connect your blog to your Pinterest account.)

Okay, so you have your page/profile/board set up. Now what?

The main thing to remember is that social networks are not just about promoting your blog, but creating a sense of community with your readers — yesterday’s assignment was just the preamble. Don’t just use your Facebook page to Publicize your blog posts: share other interested, related content, and engage with your audience. Tweet about more than just your latest post, and re-tweet other good stuff. Participate in Twitter chats or Facebook discussions. Try sharing a few of these:

Tip: If you have a particularly witty tweet you want to share with your readers embed it right into a post. It directs readers to your Twitter feed and adds visual interest. Since readers can retweet directly from your blog post, you can see your reach expand exponentially.

  • Other bloggers’ posts — there’s nothing like sharing the love, and promoting others’ good work ultimately brings people to you, too.
  • Random funny, interesting, or provocative links. Your fan page becomes valuable when you curate, helping fans weed through the swampland of the internet to find the goodies. Links and posts with great images are especially shareable.
  • Questions. If there’s one thing people enjoy doing on on the internet, it’s sharing opinions. You might not want to run a poll on your blog, but asking questions on Facebook or Twitter is a good way to get people to engage and to get feedback on what your readers are interested in.
  • Status updates. Are you on round three of the DIY project you’re planning to blog next week? Are you headed to the movies to see the next film you’ll review? Did you just spend 15 minutes trying to remember the word “conundrum”? Keep fans up to date and share blog-related glimpses into your life to build a personal connection.

The same goes for Pinterest. Adding beautiful images to your posts makes them highly pinnable, and re-pins can spread like wildfire. Then, you’ll want to branch out beyond your own posts and start pinning (and re-pinning) other content. As you develop collections, you not only create a handy catalogue for yourself, you become a resource for your blog’s readers and for other Pinterest users who admire your excellent taste… some of whom will find their way to your blog.

Tip: Check the rights before pinning possibly copyrighted content. Lots of people don’t mind having their photos shared, but some do — check the license for images you pin before pinning them. If the photographer reserves all the rights, or you’re otherwise unsure, ask before pinning.

It’s especially useful for supplemental content that you wouldn’t necessarily put on your blog, but still want to collect and share. If you’re a book blogger, your site might feature reviews or affiliate links for your absolute faves, but your Pinterest boards are a place to park all the other titles that catch your eye.

Now, create a plan for how you’ll use your main social network over the next 30 days. You don’t need an hour-by-hour schedule of tweets, just some goals: I’ll Publicize all my posts. I’ll update two times a day. I’ll share other bloggers’ posts three times a week. I’ll upload one photo every week. Sketch out the ways you’ll use this tool, and you’ll be more likely to do it.

If you have any questions, go to The Commons — you may be able to pick up some followers for your blog’s new profile or some tips from folks who are already social butterflies.

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  1. Do you think that there are too many social media accounts that you could have? Is there a rule of thumb for how many you should have before it gets to be too many to manage? So far I have twitter and instagram. I am not sure about adding more accounts until my blog becomes “older” with some more posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Michelle

    I’m feeling a little lost at the moment – I am getting between 20 and 50 new followers every couple of weeks. Lots of them turn out to be blogless or message givers. But there is always a core of genuine WordPress bloggers.

    I do harbour perverse ambitions to make my art a commercially viable product and that was one of the reasons l enrolled. Unfortunately l dont have either the time or inclination to take up a social network membership. Perhaps being a grumpy sixty something has something to do with it.

    My Question is simple – ‘Can l continue to benefit from this excellent tutorial if l dont become a ‘Social Butterfly’



    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I’ll try to do something with my Pinterest account. It is the network that reflects the most my interests and the one that relates the most with my blog posts.


  4. I’ve been seriously considering adding a dedicated Facebook fan page for my blog, but I’m not exactly sure if it’s the right time. I suppose I won’t know until I try. Does anyone have any tips on that, and if you have a Facebook page (not a personal one) do you find it beneficial if you are a photography-related blog?

    I have just added Pinterest and Flickr to my blog, and have noticed some traffic bouncing between those sites and my blog. I’ve also seen some re-pins on Pinterest and likes on Flickr, that I wasn’t getting until I connected them to my blog.

    However, I have to do a better job of not simply promoting my own work… which is what I’ve been doing lately.

    Thanks for the great advice today Michelle.


  5. Thank you so much for all your tips and advice! Following this course is really interesting, and it is fun too!
    I am on Google +, but I don’t feel it helps me very much. Do you have any tips/opinions about Google+?


  6. I am a style blogger htpp:// I see that many of my fellow style blogger have that is called “follow by blog loving”. I think I once even made an account there, but I never got what this funny platform is about and I never got really on their pages. I just found it awful. Has anyone 1) an idea what it can do for a fashion blogger, and 2) what it is really? Thanks.


  7. im glad that you said that the page should be more than just the published posts.

    but i kinda wish that you had done this in reverse (maybe not the actual assignments) but explaining to people that creating a twitter/fb account for your blog is work. you can’t be saying the same things on the the e-spots or people will get bored. that managing multiple sites/accounts is hard work.

    while i know this challenge is about pushing people to think outside their usual boxes, and get the most out of their blogs – that the base of all social networks is organic growth. it’s not twitter + blog = follows = blog page views. you don’t ask people to follow you (outright at least), people will do it if they see the value. are you funny? are you knowledgeable about the topic? do you motivate? why should people add you to their newsfeed/timeline? esp if you already have a personal account where you may already be promoting yourself.

    i by no means am an expert, but i will say that blogging for 3 yrs, managing as many twitter accounts as i have as well as managing social media for work gives me a different perspective on things.

    im not here to be debbie downer (poor debbie) and encourage everyone to go forth and propser, i just want people to have realistic expectations of themselves. in 8 days, we’ve set goals, created editorial calendars and now making forays into social networks by creating new e-identities to push the brand.

    also think about the logistics (im an event planner..sorry) of managing these things. wordpress and twitter for iphone allow for managing multiple accounts from one app. facebook, ig, pinterest, tumblr do not (a 3rd party app may though).

    i probably should have just written a blog post. oops.


  8. Great post and advice! I created a Facebook page for my blog last month, and I’ve created a Twitter account as well. I’m really bad at Twitter (I don’t use it personally), so it’s going to take a lot for me to get the hang of it!


  9. I have a question about this please, I created a facebook page and it seems to automatically create a personal facebook account also with it, you can’t seem to have the page without this. I have linked up my account to post automatically I thought to the page, however it posts to the personal account instead and i’ve no idea how to change this, id prefer it to post to both, but how does one sort this out? Is it even possible. I do log on to FB sometimes, once a week perhaps, i find blogging takes so much time that I wouldnt have a real life if i was on all the other social media sites too or perhaps I am doing something wrong? hehe


  10. I’ve connected my blog to most of my social media accounts. I get the most reads from Facebook because it is there that people already know me. I just need to encourage them to comment on my blog rather than on facebook.


  11. Thanks Michelle. I have a concern about one of the terms of service on Pinterest about giving users the right to modify your photos. I am going to post this on The Commons and see if other have the same concerns.