When I first launched The Girl Who Wanders, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t walk into it with the mentality of “if I blog it, they will come.”
It took me all of about a month to realize how disillusioned I was about the amount of traffic that would just come pouring naturally into my site.
Fact is, no matter how amazing your content is, curating a following, building a group of devoted readers that keep coming back isn’t something that is going to happen overnight.
You have to be willing to work for it.
But it’s not just limited to brushing up on your SEO.
It means you need to network.network.network.
One of the best pieces of advice that I can pass on to new bloggers, or bloggers who have been struggling to drive traffic to their site, is the importance of community.
The easiest way to tap into collective blogging knowledge is to get involved in Facebook groups.
Every blogger is on Facebook. And if they aren’t, they should be.
I’ll be the first to admit that Facebook groups aren’t perfect but it’s hard to deny the facts.
Truth is, Facebook attracts a huge crowd. With 71% of the adult online population on Facebook, it’s hard to imagine a better gathering place. And these folks are active and engaged. Surveys show that families spend as little as 36 minutes together each day, yet the average Facebook user spends 40 minutes per day on the social network.
Facebook groups are one of the easiest ways to get to get your blog in front of like-minded readers/bloggers, ask niche specific questions, or find guest posting opportunities.
Here are the two ways which I’ve been able to make the most of Facebook groups:
Education – When I first launched this blog, I had no idea what I was doing.
Being able to join a group filled with seasoned bloggers, and asking
questions along the way, completely changed the way my blog looked,
functioned and performed. Not to mention, understanding it more, being able
to see my blog thrive, and sharing my small victories with my own personal cheerleaders, helped me fall in love with this process even more.
Powerful Sharing Tool – The biggest blogging “hack” I’ve uncovered so far
is Facebook Link Sharing Groups. There’s a thread for almost everything
depending on the group. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google +,
Stumble Upon, newsletter signups, you name it. You can easily double to
triple your content's reach by being a part of reciprocal sharing threads.
But Which Facebook Groups Should You Join?
No one Facebook Group is the same. Each comes with its own rules, etiquette and guidelines. Before you join or start participating in a Facebook Group, make sure you’ve got a handle on how the group operates.
Here is a list of groups that helped my traffic skyrocket that I have personally fallen in love with!
Feel the Love with Community Groups
- GirlBoss Bloggers
Give Your Traffic a Boost With Link Sharing Groups
- Pinterest for Travel Bloggers
Make Sure to Find a Few Non-Niche Groups
Now, Here’s Some Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t spam. I can’t stress this enough. That’s the worst sin you can make on these groups and admins won’t hesitate to ban you from the group entirely.
Do be afraid to ask the group/admins if you’re uncertain about the rules.
Don’t just drop a link and run. Become part of the conversation, share others content, and comment on others content as well!
Don’t over share your content either. Most of these groups welcome you to post to their threads but go share crazy and have your whole blog in these groups. One post a day per group seems to work out okay for TGWW. But make sure to find your own rhythm.
Keep It Clean. Like I mentioned early, these groups have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to content that isn’t pg-13 as far imagery and profanity are concerned. If you have a post that pushes the boundaries ask the admin in a private message if it is okay to post beforehand.
A Word of warning
Be prepared to put in the time it takes to reciprocate every single thread you drop a link in.
While this might be a powerful tool to drive traffic, it can also be a serious time sink.
Make sure to figure out just how much time you’re willing to donate each day to linking, sharing and commenting on other people’s links before you jump into the deep end.