The Best (and worst) Social Networks for Bloggersby Daniel Snyder on Oct 2, 2010 • 10:16 am 85 Comments
Soon after I started blogging I realized that in order to successfully promote my blog I was going to have to start being active and participating in some social networks. The question was (and sometimes still is) which ones? I have accounts on literally dozens of social networks but I am only active on a handful of them. It’s important to realize as a blogger you can’t make it alone! Search out a Blogger Community, and start spending time building your network. Successful bloggers all have one thing in common: experience. There is no overnight blogging sensations, they have all spent a lot of time and energy getting themselves to that place of success. These successful bloggers no longer need to self-promote since their readers do it for them. Eventually your readers also will submit your content to social networks and tweet your posts for you. Right now however reality for the rest of us is that the road to success is dependent upon the relationships we develop within social networks.
Blogging is a hard road, and it would sure be boring if I was going at it alone! Thankfully I have developed a great network on a number of excellent online social communities, some which directly serve bloggers and others which are more generalized. I recently took advantage of the network I’ve developed and asked some blogging friends whom I respect their thoughts on the Best and Worst Social Networks for Bloggers. There are a lot of networks to choose from, and there is no way I could discuss them all in one post (can you feel a series coming on?) I haven’t and probably never will try out every social network that exists, and new ones are springing up all the time so let’s find out what the general thought is towards the Best and Worst Social networks for bloggers.
The Best Social Networks for Bloggers
Hesham at famousbloggers.net recently wrote an article where he says “Twitter became the most enjoyable social media platform for me, it’s the best place I can share my articles so far with less effort, it’s the most active work station for ideas on the internet planet, and the simplest and most fast way of communication on earth as we all know.” Four out of the Five bloggers I spoke with about this question all said Twitter is by far the best social network for a blogger. Here are a few of the reasons why. Jillian from the 5kmission says “It’s a real-time search engine, if you write about trendy topics. Hashtags put you in front of new groups of people constantly, unlike most social networks where you have to already be “friends” with someone to see what they’re saying. It’s a good way to spread published content, conduct quick surveys, ask for help, and lots of other useful things.” John Paul from JohnPaulAguiar.com agrees “I think once you learn some basics to using Twitter, it can be the best social network for bloggers to get free targeted traffic back to their blogs..Period!” Michele the newbizblogger declares “I actually get more visits from Twitter than any other SN tool I use.“
I have to agree, Twitter is my favorite platform for actually engaging and interacting with people. It makes it simple to share your posts and links, and you can expand your connections in a scope that is virtually unlimited. Twitter also drives more traffic to my blog than any other referral source. If you’re doing well on twitter than you can also use it to monetize, Dragon Blogger and I are both fans of Sponsored Tweets and we are using it successfully to generate an income with twitter, find out more about Sponsored Tweets here.
Blog Engage is also one of my favorites, and probably right now the one I use second most to twitter. It got mentioned as the favorite network for bloggers by Kiesha from weblogbetter.com who tells us “I like it because it allows bloggers, whether they be beginners or experts, to share their posts in a friendly environment. It’s a great place to discover new bloggers and make new friends. Whenever I’m looking for great content to inspire my writing, I just log in and take a look at the upcoming posts. It also allows you gauge how well you’re writing. If a post receives a lot of votes, that let’s you know how well your doing. There’s also a forum and a blog that members can submit guest posts for. Overall, it’s a great place to gain some good exposure for your blog.“
I agree here as well. Blog Engage is a super friendly network, you can meet people, and engage with twitter friends outside of twitter. Right now Blog Engage is running a blogging contest with a prize of $1000 USD! So well worth spending some time there if you are a blogger looking to expand your sphere of influence. One great thing about the Blog Engage members is that they are all bloggers who realize the importance of supporting other blogs, they comment, retweet and participate in the community more than any other network I’m familiar with. I have previously written a post about the Blog Engage community and you can read my thoughts here.
The final network I’ll mention here today that can be considered one of the best social networks for bloggers if of course, facebook. John Aguiar the author of TwitterDummy also acknowledges facebook as being a valuable network for bloggers, “even though I think FB takes more time and energy to get real results for bloggers. But if you have a fan page for your blog and work it each day bringing new readers daily, then I think bloggers can do well.”
I personally have not had much success with facebook, but as John mentions it takes time and energy and I simply haven’t given it the investment. I primarily keep facebook as my ‘private’ place on the net for direct friends and family. I haven’t expanded my facebook network beyond this, and I don’t really put any effort into my fan page other than it being a glorified RSS feed for my tweets.
The Worst Social Networks for Bloggers
It’s hard to classify a social network as being flat out bad for bloggers. The general response among the bloggers I asked can be summed up in the words of Kiesha Easley from WeBlogBetter (Blog tips and tricks to help you build a better blog.) who tells us “…there are potential benefits in just about every popular social networking site. It’s what you make it. You get what you put into it and I think you can do well on any site if you put your heart into it and actually make it a point to be sociable.”
Most people I asked didn’t want to single out a network and declare it as ‘the worst’. And I understand that, after all we do have to be positive. And every network offers something different. But one network does stand out as perhaps being the worst for bloggers. MySpace. MySpace is a mess, saturated with multi level marketers most bloggers would be wasting their time there.
Reddit I think also deserves a mention for being one of the worst networks for bloggers. Reddit has a lot of good things going for it as a news aggregator, but the community is somewhat elitist and snobbish, they can’t stand people who want to promote their blogs, and you’ll find yourself banned pretty quickly if you submit links to your own blog. I’ve had several accounts, and have even attempted to participate in the community – but it never felt like a friendly place.
Other Valuable Networks for Bloggers
As I mentioned above there are a lot of other networks, which I may dedicate another post to. Here are three worth mentioning and that you should take time to look at Bloggers Base, Bloggers, and BloggerLuv. The bloggers that participated in this article are all excellent inspirations, great writers, and awesome people. I hope you take a moment to take a look at their blogs. Almost every one of the bloggers I talked with acknowledged that it’s not so much about the best and worst but rather as Dragon Blogger tells us “I think the social media network you have the most followers and friends who interact with you on is the most important for your blog. For myself that would be Twitter with over 6,000 friends, but for some this could be Plurk, Friendfeed, Facebook, Google Buzz…etc“
What’s your opinion, did we hit the mark or miss it by far? What are your favorite networks for bloggers? What do you think is the worst. Let us know with a comment!