How to make your blog work harder

Social media is bewildering. There’s your website and your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon Author Central, Goodreads… you can’t possibly be everywhere, so which ones do you choose? You have to do what you enjoy. Personally, I like Facebook because I can have conversations with people over several days. On the other hand, Twitter is easier to access on my phone, so I dip into that as well. But how do you keep the other sites from looking dusty and unloved? The easiest way is to join them all up.

I’m told that Google likes sites that are updated regularly, so I post to my blog fairly often. Usually around once a week. I also have a link with my Twitter account so that my tweets appear on the blog – new content, technically, but the changes are really small.  I found out that you can link your blog to your Goodreads profile,  your Amazon.com Author central page (not on the co.uk site, sadly), your Facebook page, your G+ and goodness knows what else. So here’s how you do it.

  1. Google+  To do this, log into your WordPress dashboard.

Go to ‘Settings’. Click on ‘Sharing’. You’ll be faced with a collection of other social media sites you can link to. Link up with as many as you want.

Hey presto! Now every time you post something new on your blog, WordPress will automatically send a tweet, post an update on Facebook or Google+ or whatever you’ve told it to do. Neat huh?

The tweets that WordPress generate are pretty vanilla, so if you want to, you can edit the tweet before you press ‘publish’ on your post. To do this, go to the ‘publicize’ button just below the ‘Publish’ button and edit the tweet.

If you link your WordPress blog to your Google+ profile, your posts will now be indexed for Google Authorship.

What the heck is Google Authorship? A good question. This allows any content tagged as yours to be linked to your Google+/gmail profile. In practice, it means that your profile picture appears next to the link when something of yours comes up in a Google search. In theory, people are more likely to click on something associated with a person’s face, rather than an impersonal link. I’m rather hoping that it also gets rid of any confusion caused by the same content being on various sites. I hope so.

 Author Central.com. Go to https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ and sign up for/ sign into your author central account. Once you’re signed in, go to your ‘profile’ tab.

Click on ‘blogs’. Click  ‘add blog’.

For WordPress blogs, put in your blog address with ‘feed’ after it. So www.yoursite.wordpress.com/feed/

Click Add.

It takes a day or so for the changes to take hold, but after that anything you post on your blog should appear in your author central feed within 24 hours. Similarly, you can add your Twitter address on to the site and your tweets will show up.

Does anyone read these? I’m not sure. I figure it can’t hurt.

So there  you have it. Your blog now works extra hard by updating all your other profiles whenever you put on a new post. In my (limited) experience, different people pick up your content from different sites. Of all the links I’ve mentioned above, by FAR the most important has been the link with Twitter. A large amount of the traffic that comes to my blog is driven through Twitter.

Isn’t it marvellous that the social networks, which allow you to share your life/ work/hopes/dreams can now themselves be linked together. A network of social networks.

Which social networks do you use? Any tips or tricks on how to use them better? Please let me know in the comments below.

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