In the past, if you wanted to be a content creator and get your name and work out on the internet, the most common way was to start a blog. While having a blog is still a helpful tool to get recognized online, it requires a lot of extra work and effort to grow an audience and keep them around. Social blogging can help you combine the benefits of a blog with an already curated and interested audience to get eyes on your pieces and grow your readership.
Social blogging, also sometimes called microblogging, is a division of blogging that typically has posts with shorter word counts and may focus more heavily or include more additional media. Hallmarks of social blogs may include:
Because of the changing attention spans in humans, social blogging content has become shorter. Different studies from the last few years have claimed that our attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds today. Other sources have tried to disprove this exact number, but either way, people enjoy the ease and convenience of shorter content because it’s more approachable.
You can use social blogging for the same purposes as you would a blog or social media feed. This includes talking about news, events, timely or relevant topics, or themes that matter to your target audience. It’s popular for sharing information in real-time, a feature it shares with social media. The platforms you use for social blogging make this easier, as many have mobile apps that allow you to post from anywhere at any time.
Social Blogging vs. Legacy Blogging
Social blogging has a few differences from traditional or legacy blogging, including:
With legacy blogs, most times, you own the little space of the internet you’ve claimed, depending on where you create that site. You also own the content created and shared within. This feature is important to some bloggers who care about customization and getting to write about their choice of topics with little or no restrictions. With social blogging, you may be subject to the host site’s rules and guidelines, like terms of service, a character count, or design format.
Legacy blogs typically allow readers to view just one piece of blog content at a time. This is because when you open a traditional blog article, you’re within a single page. With social blogging, depending on the length of the content and the format of the site, you can look at many pieces at once, or in more rapid succession. Feed-based services make this even easier. Social blogs often contain shorter content, making it easier to browse through multiple pieces faster.
When working with a legacy blog, you’re writing to the broad audience of the internet. What we mean by that is that you have a target audience in mind, but you’re writing to the void. Yes, many blogs let readers add comments so you can better understand your audience and you can converse with them, but it’s easier with social blogging.
On those platforms, you can see a list of people who follow your content and browse their profiles. These features show how they engage and react with your content, and you can answer them in real time. This strengthens the rapport between both parties.
Number of Channels
With a legacy blog, you usually have one content hub for all your pieces. Even if you syndicate your content, it all links back to one site. With social blogging, you may still have a central content hub or you may conduct different and individual blogging on separate platforms. For example, you might do social blogging on both Twitter and Instagram, sharing similar content but making each one its own unique stream.
Social Blogging vs. Social Media
Social blogging and social media share similar characteristics with minor detail differences, including:
There are a lot of crossovers among platforms for social blogging and social media. Many popular social media sites and apps are prime for social blogging, like Twitter, Instagram, and even YouTube. But not every social media platform is a social blogging one and vice versa. For example, you might not use Snapchat for social blogging because you can’t keep a continuous record or stream of your posts. In contrast, you likely wouldn’t use Medium for social media because it’s geared toward articles and longer-form content.
You might share similar content on both your social blog and social media feeds. This includes the basics like text posts, images, links, and video clips. But the themes of your content may be similar too. Both types often use timely or trending topics that may provide more immediate value to viewers and readers. They’re both good for making announcements, such as previewing upcoming events or talking about awards and special projects related to your brand.
While anyone can read a blog or be on social media, social blogging may appeal to a wider demographic reach than social media sites. For example, many types of people may work in the technology industry. If your social blog focuses on those topics, no matter where you host it, your audience pulls from that collective rather than demographics like age and gender.
With social media, there are certain platforms more popular with different age groups, genders, and ethnicities. So while you might post content there, if your audience isn’t a fan of that platform you may not reach them, even if you’re doing everything else right.
Why Should I Start Social Blogging?
Social blogging has a variety of benefits. Consider how:
It Takes Less Effort
Social blogging allows you to do the parts of blogging you enjoy, whether it’s research, writing, or picking GIFs, without dealing with the harder aspects. Pieces are often shorter than traditional blog posts, which can be easier to create and save you time. Because you’re already in touch with a syndicated audience, you don’t have to put in additional effort to promote your content on different channels.
You Can Increase the Post Frequency
When you don’t have to put in as much effort to create and share your content, you can actually make more of it. This increased productivity can actually help with audience engagement because you’re putting out pieces more often and staying in front of them. It can also help you better stick to a publishing schedule.
Content Can Be Less Formal
Blogs, in general, are often less formal than other types of content, such as articles, white papers, or eBooks. But when you add the social aspect to it, you can take an even more conversational tone and share things that may not be as strictly professional as other things you share.
You can reinforce this relaxed tone with the use of GIFs, short one-liners, or images like memes. Social blogging spaces encourage these elements, and if you’re a writer with a sense of humor, an interest in trends, or even pop culture, this can make it more fun and exciting to create pieces.
Sites Are More Mobile Friendly
Mobile usage accounts for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. If you’re not optimizing your content for viewing on mobile devices, you’re doing yourself a disservice. But with social blogging, most, if not all, platforms put a value on making sure the content created with and shared through their services works well on these devices. Many also have apps for your devices so you can use them without having to enter a web browser.
You Can Expose Your Audience to Trends
Because social blogging uses some features of social media, you can capitalize on hashtagging, regular tagging, or categorization within the platforms to get your pieces added to larger content collectives. Just as you’d do with a social media post, adding an appropriate hashtag into the description for a social blog post can get it to appear within suggestion feeds, curated updates, or similar lists. This exposes your content to even more people throughout the platform, with the potential to grow your audience.
7 Tips To Grow Your Social Blog
Use these tips to help create and grow your social blog:
1. Use Your Brand Voice
You likely already have a brand voice you use for other kinds of marketing and content, whether that be in print ads, marketing materials, or other written pieces. It’s important to keep this brand voice consistent when social blogging. Even though you can be more casual and even funnier, still make sure you’re choosing words, tones, and topics that people already expect from your brand. Consistency is comforting, and it also helps your company look professional and organized, even when you’re being casual.
2. Plan a Content Calendar
Even if you’re dealing with the news and trending content, you can plan an outline for a content calendar to help you decide what to share, when, and even where to put it, if you do social blogging on multiple platforms. Not everything you share is time-sensitive content, so you can plan around your trends with other types of posts. Consider creating a shareable document if you have multiple team members who post on your social blog so everyone can see the outline and contribute ideas.
3. Schedule Your Posts
When you can plan your content in advance, you can also schedule it ahead of time. Scheduling your posts through the native platform or a third-party tool can help you hold a consistent publishing schedule without requiring you to be right in front of your device the second something needs to go up. This can be especially useful over holiday breaks or vacations and allow you to keep sharing content even when you have time off.
4. Be An Expert
Chances are, if you’re blogging in a particular niche, you’re likely slowly becoming, or already, an expert on your field or topics. Use that to your advantage. When people look for information, often they want to get it from sources they trust and people who know what they’re talking about. Establishing your credibility through consistent, accurate, and knowledgeable content can make your social blog a trustworthy source of information.
5. Share Your Experiences
One of the most enjoyable things about social blogging is that you can combine casual, fun stories and formats with information relevant to your industry and audience. Social blogging is a great way to try things out for yourself and share that information with your audience. Make it original by conducting an experiment or testing out a new product, then sharing your own thoughts. This is a good way to create more original content rather than covering the same topics and using the same sources as your competitors.
6. Encourage Feedback
A benefit of social blogging is that most platforms allow for interaction with the audience beyond typical comments and link sharing. Get your audience involved with your posts. Use polls and surveys where you can. Encourage viewers to use the reaction buttons in certain ways to share their feedback. If you’re encouraging feedback, be sure to respond to comments and recognize what your readers have to say.
7. Generate Backlinks
Social blogging on different platforms can help you generate backlinks to and from your own content. Backlinks tell search engines like Google that your content is valuable and that other people use them as sources and references for their own content. When you have content on different platforms, you can link to your website or your social profiles through your blog and back again to create these authoritative links and help your search engine optimization (SEO).
Social Blogging Sites
Use this list of social blogging sites to help you find a home for your content:
While content syndication may not sound like social blogging, it can work the same way. With a social blog, you’re going to a third-party website or service to spread your content around where people can see it. With content syndication, we can take pieces you’ve already created—from blog posts, articles, or eBooks—and increase audience exposure. We’ll do the hard work for you. This can be a great complement to a social blog. Schedule a call with us today to learn how we can connect you with the best publishing partners.
Facebook is popular for social blogging because of all the features it offers. You can turn your business page into a continuous feed of blog content. Create posts that include information like:
Facebook also lets you create groups within your audience for more targeted marketing, making sure that the right users see your content. Those who enjoy your posts can like and follow your page to get updates when you share content. Facebook offers many interactive features for users, such as comments, reactions, and sharing.
Instagram is a good place for social blogging if you’re really looking to combine words with images or video. The descriptions for each post cap at 2,200 characters, which gives you more room and flexibility for written content than other social media platforms.
It’s also a good place to run a social blog that links back to longer-form content by sharing a clip or preview of the longer post and adding a “link in bio” to leave the service to view the full piece. Instagram allows users to follow accounts that interest them and also react through likes, comments, and story shares.
LinkedIn is best known for being a professional social networking site, but its post features make it great for social blogging in your industry or niche. You can create text posts and slide decks to share information with your followers. It also lets you link out to other content from around the internet and pair your pieces with images for maximum interest. LinkedIn users can engage through comments, reactions, and sharing.
Medium lets anyone create an account to write posts for the site and get their articles exposed to a wide audience. Often, people share their content from other sources here, like blogs, websites, and publications, to capitalize on that exposure. This service may be best for those most focused on writing without wanting to worry about how or where they’re going to grab the attention of an audience.
Pinterest is a visual-centered platform whose main purpose is to collect and save information from the internet by pairing a link with an image or video. This can help if you’re trying to create a social blog to complement a legacy blog. You can share links and images of your content on Pinterest to syndicate it, but point users back to your original site.
The interface lets you create boards where you can group content around similar themes. Users can follow your overall account or individual boards to receive updates. Optimizing your Pins can get them syndicated in discover feeds. Interactive features include likes, shares, and comments, and ways to mark Pins as “tried” such as for tutorials or how-to content.
Plurk is a social blogging platform where users can share a variety of updates through text and other media. Bloggers can upload media files, share links to content off of the site, and engage in conversations with friends and followers. Some features let you send updates to subsets of your friends’ list, which may allow for more targeted content posting.
Reddit is a collection of online forums for people to discuss various topics. Its organization into subreddits groups information around specific topics. Users can interact with that content by upvoting and downvoting both comments and posts. Unlike some other platforms, Reddit has a content policy users must follow. Site moderators can change a post’s appearance or content if it doesn’t align with the policy.
Soup.io is a publishing site that caters to sports, television, science, technology, health, and entertainment topics. The company prides itself on sharing news and trending content. You can sign up to write for the service through the website. It’s a popular site for SEO to grow your audience. Soup.io’s high domain authority (DA) can help improve your rankings and possibly audience growth.
Tumblr is one of the biggest conglomerate places to do social blogging. You can post nearly any kind of content, including:
Users have the option to curate their dashboards to show topics of interest, pulled from post hashtags. As the blogger, you have the option to customize your blog interface for users. Tumblr’s engagement features include re-blogging and comments.
Twitter is a popular news and conversation social media platform. With a cap of 280 characters per post, you can social blog information in the most succinct way possible. You can also use Twitter Cards to add additional information like photo galleries, clips, and live links. Users can follow accounts that interest them to stay informed when a brand updates its social blog. The service also allows interaction with replies, retweets, and likes.
Typeshare is a social blogging platform that acts as a content hub connected to social networks. This service lets your writing syndicate to a variety of sources immediately following publication. Typeshare focuses on what the creators call atomic essays, which are 250-word pieces that center on one idea or topic and pair with an image. The service also provides analytics to help improve your content strategy.
Social blogging has all the best benefits of writing your own blog and writing for social media put together. You can use social blogging to showcase your written work while letting your host site help you with distribution, reach, and analytics.