A few years ago, there was plenty of scope to grow readership for your blog using only social methods you could do for free. By using your Facebook page to collect likes and encourage people to share, you could spread the word very easily and once you had gained some momentum, things would usually just keep on expanding – every new post would reach all of your fans on Facebook, and assuming you were producing informative or entertaining stuff, shares would happen and your site would be promoted for free. With this method and some Twitter promotion, as well as doing other things like engaging with readers in your site’s own comments, you could grow a following and a blog without any marketing budget.
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Why Facebook No Longer Works As Well
Twitter is still a must have for any blog looking to get itself out there for new readers. Good SEO is also important. With these two things in place people can find you, however the effectiveness of Facebook as a means of getting all your new sharable content out to people who already like you ready for them to read it and share it again has fallen. How?
Well, Facebook has, for some time now, been heavily filtering every user’s news feed, so it no longer shows everything that their friends and the pages they have liked post. The algorithms that dictate what a user does and does not see are not publicly known or understood, however it seems that certain types of media tend to be favored over others, and things with more likes or comments or from people a user has interacted with recently are most likely to appear.
This means that people who like your Facebook page are not certain, or even likely, to see your posts.
If you are running a blog and no longer can rely on Facebook pages to really help you market it, ‘pay per click’ (PPC) advertising is a good option. Even if your blog is not there to make you money and you just want people to read it, the cost outlay for a small PPC campaign can be more than worth it for the extra exposure you can get. If you are running a ‘for profit’ site or want to get a lot of traffic so you can monetize your site with advertising, then the ROI for PPC can be good.
Many SEO companies and marketing agencies use white label PPC solutions and can help you with a strategy and campaign. However, if you want to go it alone, setting up a campaign on AdWords or some Facebook advertising is very easy, and you can configure the audience who will see your ads to a very targeted level.
Social media still has an important place in blog marketing, however as things get more competitive and Facebook loses its edge as a free marketing tool, paid ads can be well worth considering.