Don’t Give Your Content Away for Free to Tech Giants

Smaller networks FTW

In the past, when we wanted to read about someone’s thoughts on a topic, we would read their blog. Nowadays, those blogs have become social media profiles.

This is turn gives social media content that you wrote for free. What you get is exposure from their large user base, while they get in-sight into your readers and get to monetize your content.

In the more tech-savvy communities, you will see arguing that more people should start their own blog. This is in contrast to people arguing that you should delete your Facebook account.

But what about if there was a way to take advantage of social media to help grow your blog?

Users From Social Media to Websites

As explained before, social media has a massive audience. This is a blessing and a curse to the webmaster.

On one hand, this provides your captive audience. Though, this comes with the disadvantage that the platforms have control over your users. They can abuse this control by shadow-banning or outright censoring your content.

How Do We Get a “One-up” Over Social Media?

The simple answer is we need to make the content we post on social media like “shareware” was to game. For written content, keep them short, drum up controversy on trending topics and watch the follower count grow. You should also avoid any proof reading, as this content is throwaway.

Once you have a sizeable follower count, start posting links (keep track of trends) to your blog. Combined with retention tactics, this will allow you to convert social media followers to website followers.

What about Video Content?

For video, things are a lot more complex. Not only you have to deal with hosting, YouTube restricts what links you can add. The TOS of YouTube disallows links that are primarily designed to direct users off site.

One tactic that used to be popular on YouTube was releasing the video on another platform first. After a few weeks or months of original release, they would publish it on YouTube. Doing this would encourage fans to watch the videos on that other platform.

Convincing Users to “Subscribe” to Your Website

As described at the start, using social media to promote your website comes with pitfalls. Therefore, you should not rely on being able to use these platforms for long-term visitors.

For your website to be successful in the long term, you will need to convince your readers to follow the site. A webmaster can put in place many methods to facilitate this, including;

  • Providing a RSS feed.

  • Allowing users to subscribe to an email newsletter.

  • Or by using Push Notifications (Don’t annoy the user, aka don’t put a Push Notification request on every article).

Make sure these options to subscribe to your content are visible when someone is on your website. To do so, there are multiple tactics.

The tactic that will annoy your readers the most are the pop-up notices asking the user to sign-up to be notified. There are also less intrusive methods of advertising that your website can be subscribed to.

A popular way of doing this is to offer a link on the sidebar to either an email subscription or a RSS feed.

Though, a more creative way might be to include this link at the end of an article with text saying “if you enjoyed this article please subscribe”. That would be a friendly way of encouraging someone to subscribe without appearing nagy.

I hope you enjoyed this article, thank you for reading it. :)