As someone who’s been blogging for over 10 years, I’ve seen blog subscription options come and go. I’ve dabbled with bloglovin’ to get posts to my inbox (inevitably deleting them as my unread count reaches triple figures); fallen in and out of love with RSS and Google Reader (forgetting to check and coming back to thousands of posts demanding my attention) and even spent many years browsing each favourited blog one by one. The announced death of Google Reader this year only cements the need for an alternative way to stay up to date even further.
By far the most successful way of getting my eyes on your blog updates is to integrate with a service that I already use (all day!) every day: Facebook.
Creating Your Facebook Page
We’ll start on the Create a Page page. Choose Brand or Product and scroll down to the bottom of the list to Website. Enter the name of your website, agree to the Facebook terms (which you probably ought to read) and click Get Started to continue.
Hint: if your website has a title with a keyword in it that people are likely to search for — e.g. HotCars.com might attract people searching for Cars, separate the words in the page title to “Hot Cars .com”
At this point you’ll be prompted for a profile picture.
If you don’t have one ready then feel free to skip this step, but I find it helps to go through the process properly so that I don’t forget later on. Don’t forget that your profile picture will appear on fan’s timeline and is effectively your avatar for Facebook, so choose something that people will remember you by so that they don’t “unlike” your page later on.
Once you’ve added your profile picture you should be prompted to set up the about section of your page:
Here you can fill in all the relevant information – describing your blog and making it sound as appealing as possible (whilst being honest of course). You can then choose to add in all the links to your relevant social networks as well as your website.
Please note Facebook also asks you to verify that your blog is genuine by ticking that it is ‘a real business, product or brand’ so you should tick yes here and again tick yes where it questions whether this page will be the ‘authorised and official representation’ of your blog on Facebook.
The next section asks you to choose a Facebook web address for your blog:
It makes sense to keep the URL as simple as possible so where you can simply use the name of your blog, stick to it.
That’s basically it – your page is now out there and Facebook will then prompt you to like it and once you do so can anybody else. There are plenty of ways you can pep it up further and make it more appealing to your readers, including adding a cover photo, liking some of your friends’ blogs’ pages and if you fancy getting more technical customising the landing page when visitors first arrive on your page.
To keep those likes rolling in you need to publicise your page through other means, including Twitter and possibly your personal Facebook. You also need to make sure you link back to your Facebook profile from your blog itself, usually through a direct link in the sidebar. Similarly, you need to update your feed regularly to keep readers interested so this means posting on Facebook every time you write a new blog post but also regularly engaging with your audience through visual means such as photos and videos. Ask questions and engage regularly with your fans.
Facebook is regularly accessed by millions of users and they definitely include people who would be interested in reading your blog as well as current readers. Its own Facebook page will give your blog even more potential to be read and enjoyed.