I have tried in the past to set up a blog with no related Twitter feed, Facebook connection, or any other type of advertising. I relied entirely on people being able to find my blog posts via search engines. It didn’t work!
Over a long period of time – many months in fact – I began to get a trickle of people visiting the blog, but not many. I guess it partly depends on the subject matter and, of course, on how often you post. However, adding a Twitter feed is easy and once set up doesn’t necessarily require much in the way of maintenance. WordPress allows you to automatically link accounts from Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, tumblr., and Yahoo! In Blogger it is more difficult, although not impossible. As a Google product, Blogger makes it easy to connect into Google+ but not much else.
As a small demonstration of how important it is to connect to other social media, I’ll quickly use this blog as an example. During the first week after I had created the Blogging for Historians blog I posted the initial post and played around with a few of the settings. In that time I had, at most half-a-dozen views. A link on the SMKE website accounted for most of those. Then I linked it automatically to my Twitter and Facebook accounts. That day I received 61 views. WordPress recorded that 22 of these came directly from Twitter, and a further 5 from Facebook. 55 were from the UK but 4 were from the US and 2 from Canada.
After that brief surge viewings have again returned to a low ebb but I have only posted one additional post since then. It’s still early days and I plan to discuss the continuing success (hopefully!) of this blog over the coming year and to talk a little more about how to go about adding these connections to other social media. In the meantime does anyone else have any suggestions on connecting or using other social media to promote an academic blog? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
For those interested I’ve added my personal Twitter feed to the left hand bar on this blog. My feed is @mphillpott
(please feel free to follow me). I also Tweet regularly on the History SPOT twitter feed (@IHRDigProjects).