Blogging has changed this year. It’s no longer just writing your heart out and pushing publish, it’s bloody hard work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fun, inspirational, engrossing and majorly satisfying thing to do, but it’s hard work if you want to be any good at it.
Being “good at it” means that you’ve got to produce awesome content for your blog that’s optimised for SEO and contains irresistible CTAs. Then you’ve got to feed it out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ (you might also consider blasting the word via a Tumblr feed, SU, LinkedIn, Ning, Medium, Digg and Reddit) after creating a bit.ly link so you can track who’s clicking on what and from where. You can set them all up with Buffer or Hootsuite, so there’s at least two more passwords to remember. But you can’t just put your own stuff out on all those platforms, you’ve got to feed links in from other sites, research fresh trends so you can post them and “join the conversation” to become an “influencer” on those platforms so they’ll let more than 12 people see all your activity in the first place and your Klout score goes up.
Then you want to get back to your grassroots blogging and visit and comment on other blogs you like (especially so you can gather new content to pass along across your social media empire), join a couple of linkys, guest post on a fave here and there and if you’re really keen, send out your weekly blog newsletter via email or your paper.li online newspaper via Twitter.
Along with the stats, you’ll also want to make sure your blog has an RSS feed (more stats to check right there), an email feed and connection with all the other ‘follow my blog’ feeds out there: the standard is Networked Blogs, Flipboard, Digg, Feedly and if you’re a little bit arty you’ll want to be part of bloglovin’. Warning if you’re a “joiner”, ‘cos these all have communities to get involved with (there’s also the SITS girls, Triberr, Digital Parents and loads and loads of other blogging communities, all waiting to mop up your spare online time… … …).
Finally, you’ll want to see where all this hard work is taking you. This is called Checking Your Stats. This isn’t as easy as you’d think because the convenient stats on your WP or Blogger blog are pretty much useless because they count spammers as real people (you’ll wanna avoid spammers). Instead you’ve got your Google Analytics, the king of stat keepers – take a sandwich, you could get lost in there for days. Sites like StatCounter, opentracker and GoStats (who obviously never met a space they liked) can help you bring Google Analytics under control. All these fascinating blog stats combine to give you your Alexa Traffic Rank and your Google Page Rank, necessary for keeping you top of mind for SEO… which is pretty much where we started.
I’m going to have a little lie down…
I’ve decided that the only way I can survive in this ‘new blogging’ era is to be a FIFO blogger. So, some weeks I’ll hit the blog hard, doing all the right moves on Facey, getting my two cents worth onto Twitter, even popping a blog post up on Google+ and merrily pinning my blog posts to Pinterest. Other weeks I do stuff all.
I can be a FIFO worker because I’m not a sponsored blog (god help me, how do sponsored blogs find the time to do the sponsored bits!?!) No one except my remarkably needy ego cares about my UBs, PIs or Frequency. No one except my fragile self-esteem gives two hoots about how many people like me or unlike me, read me or bitch about me on GOMI. Just me.
That’s why FIFO works so well for me. The weeks that I’m “in” I find great joy in connecting with others all over the interwebs. The weeks that I’m “out” I can catch up on all the things I neglected during the weeks I was “in”. For me, blogging full-on every week just wouldn’t be sustainable. The wheels would fall off the old life wagon in a big, big way.
So, FIFO it is. I’m enjoying the ride.