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Blogging 101: Social Media & Your Blog

Social media can be a great thing for blogs if used correctly! It may seem scary and daunting at first because you have no idea where to begin or what to do. I felt like that for the first few months of Edge of Insanity. But as I started blogging more and researching what social media can mean for my blog, I became a little more comfortable with it.

Most companies are using social media to get their names out there, and blogs are doing the same thing. It's a great way to connect with your followers and let them know what's happening with your blog.

So which social media should you use? The short answer is all of them! Before you give up, start your social media empire on thing at a time!

Most of us already use Pinterest. Once you start posting pictures on your blog, add them to your Pinterest boards, linking back to your blog. If you have a Twitter account, start tweeting your posts. More than likely, someone will read your post and share it.

Next we tackle Facebook. "It is really necessary for my blog to have a Facebook page?". If you want to get a lot of traffic, yes. If you want to start doing product reviews and giveaways, many companies look at how many followers your Facebook page has in deciding if they want to work with you. Plus your Facebook page gives you a chance to connect with readers in real time and really get to know them. A good way to gain Facebook followers is to ask friends and family to like your page, and then move onto your Twitter followers and Facebook friends. Eventually you can move onto your blog groups, and follow any bloggers that follow you.

Google+ is a rising star in the social media field. It is nothing like Facebook or Twitter, and the great thing about Google+ is that you can have your blog posts (if you have decided to use Blogger) updated automatically to your Google+ profile. While it isn't necessary to have a Google+ account, many users are turning to Google+ for blog updates. A lot of the views I get are from my Google+ followers who read my posts. It's not as personal as Facebook or Twitter, but it can help readers automatically see new posts.

StumbleUpon has surpassed Facebook in the amount of traffic it sends to websites. The idea is to submit content strategically. Submitting giveaways is a no-no because once the giveaway has ended, no one will be interested in viewing that post. Great StumbleUpon submissions can include reviews, articles, recipes, crafts, and even what to do in your town or a town you've visited. But don't start submitting everything you post because they will flag you as self-promoting spammer and may even ban you from using the website. You can also gain followers for submitting other posts you enjoy from other websites or blogs.

There are other social media websites you can use, but Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon are the ones that bloggers use the most. Many bloggers use Instagram, but because I don't have a Instagram-ready phone, I cannot, in good faith, give you a run-down of how it works for your blog.

Next on Blogging 101: What to do about writer's block.

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