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How to Optimize Your Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

Today’s episode is part 8 of the new ‘Today, Not Someday’ podcast series. The focus is actioning your ‘someday’ list, the things you’ve always wanted to do to improve your blog but have struggled to make happen. For details about how the series works, check out episode one here. I’ve included a full list of episodes below.

The focus of today’s episode is about how to give your social media workflow a good going over to prepare you for the new year. I share tips about how to get bigger reach, more traffic, and higher engagement, and how to maximize productivity so that you save time.iSketch by Sébastien DEL GROSSO on

In This Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). In today’s episode:

  • Why optimizing your social media is so important for growing your blog
  • 4 common social media mistakes
  • Why I decided to make changes to my social media strategy
  • 3 key questions to ask yourself to optimize your social media
  • How to build a social media system that will save you time and increase engagement
  • How Periscope can improve your social media engagement and make your work more fun
  • Social media tools you can use to increase engagement, reach, and traffic and save you time

Further Reading and Resources for How to Optimize Your Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

Great tools to help you automate and manage your social media:

Great tools to help you make the best of Periscope:

Other episodes in the Today, Not Someday Series:

Meet my new friend, Edgar (and a SPECIAL OFFER)

I’d like to welcome a new sponsor to the ProBlogger podcast for the duration of this 10 part series, my friend ‘Edgar‘.

Edgar is a tool I’ve been using since January of this year that does exactly what this series is about. It enables you to make the work you do on social media keep paying off for the long term. You put a little work into Edgar today by adding social media updates highlighting the great content in your blog’s archives and Edgar goes to work to share them to your followers not just once but by queuing your updates to keep delivering to into the future.

The team at Edgar have put together a special deal for ProBlogger readers which gives you a free one month trial. Sign up for your free one month trial at Here’s a video of how I use Edgar:

If watching videos isn’t your thing – here’s a blog post I wrote on how I use Edgar.

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Hi, this is Darren Rowse from ProBlogger and welcome to episode 73 of the ProBlogger Podcast. Today, we’re continuing our series which is all about doing things today that you have on your someday list. It’s truly about getting those things that you dreamed about doing or you know you really should be doing into the things that you are doing, particularly focusing upon things that are going to have long-term benefits for your blog and set you up for a great year of blogging next year.

This is the 7th challenge of 10 in this series. If you want to go back and listen to the first one, it was in episode 66, using the hashtag #TodayNotSomeday on Twitter. You can find today’s show notes at 

Today’s challenge is all about getting your social media strategy in order. Let’s get on to today’s show.

Today, I want to challenge you to give your social media workflow and your system (if you have one) a good going over to prepare you for the new year. It’s a good chance to do a bit of an audit this time of the year on different aspects of your business. Social media’s one of those areas that I think is really important to come back to from time to time because it does change quite a bit.

Most of us already know that social media has a lot of good things going for it and as bloggers, it’s an area we should be thinking about and leveraging in some way. Social media obviously has the power to drive a lot of traffic to your blog, to help you build community with your readers, and I think it’s a really great secondary point of connection after your email list which we’ve already talked about in a number of the challenges in this series.

I think it’s really important once you’ve got your email working and your strategy in place—they are some of the things we’ve already talked about—that you do turn your attention to social media because it can really support that email strategy. Also, it connects with a different type of reader who may not be interested in email. 

While social media does have some real benefits, it also is one of those areas that we do run into challenges with as bloggers. As I say, it does change from time to time. I know Facebook (for instance) is one of those areas that’s just constantly evolving and changing. The same is true in other social networks as well. This year we’re seeing quite a few changes with Twitter. They’ve introduced polls and all kinds of new features there. There are other emerging opportunities with new social networks as well.

Change is one of those challenges that we often need to come up against as bloggers. It’s also an area that’s very easy to get disillusioned with and to give up on. I know a number of bloggers that I’ve talked to even in the last three or four days have told me that they’re thinking about giving up on Facebook because they’re just not getting the cut through this.

Many of us get these moments of disillusionment. It’s also very easy to get stuck doing the same things in the same ways over and over and over again. Maybe it’s because things have worked that way in the past and you’re hoping they’ll continue to work or maybe it’s because you see if anyone else is doing things the same way, you think that you’re just going to keep doing that. Maybe that’s the way it’s being done for you and it becomes a bit of a habit.

I think it’s really important to take a fresh look at things every now and then. There are opportunities to break out of the norm, to do some new things, cut some new ground, and to lead the way as bloggers in our use of social media. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and to feel quite distracted with social media as well. I think it’s important in that regard to ask yourself the question, “How effective am I with the use of my time around this particular area?” These are some of the challenges that we faced as bloggers. I’m sure you can add your own to that list. They’re the things I’ve struggled with over the years.

This time, last year, I realized that my own approach to social media was in real need of change particularly on my ProBlogger accounts. I realized that as I’ve looked at my Twitter and Facebook accounts, there was a real lack of anything dynamic there at all. They were quite boring to look at. There were no visuals, particularly on Twitter. I have a lot of automation going on on my Twitter account. The new jobs on my job board and just new posts from the site, they’re all making up the bulk of the tweets that I was doing. I have no visuals whatsoever.

The only other time I was really using my social media account was to sell. My readers, my followers, weren’t getting a whole heap of value. The updating was quite sporadic. I wasn’t effectively promoting evergreen content in my archives. I wasn’t highlighting my new content very well either. I knew I was leaving a lot on the table in terms of traffic.

Lastly, as I looked at my social media accounts, they weren’t the most engaging accounts either. There were a lot of reasons why my Twitter account and my Facebook page had become this way. It was partly because I’ve been quite distracted with Digital Photography School (my main blog) and I’ve been managing those social media accounts. I felt like I didn’t have a whole heap of time. I also didn’t have a system or routine in place to feed my accounts. 

I saw the time I was spending on ProBlogger Twitter and Facebook accounts as almost wasted effort. I don’t know if you ever felt that way yourself but you spend 10 or 15 minutes crafting a tweet, getting a visual, you put it out there, and then two minutes later it disappeared and no one ever looks at it again. I found myself thinking, what’s the point of putting the time into those social media accounts when the pay-off wasn’t really there? I decided I needed to take a really good, long, hard look at my strategy on those ProBlogger social media accounts. 

This year, 2015, has been a year where I’ve completely changed my approach to social media. I know many of you have noticed that because I get feedback about it all the time. I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a moment. I can’t possibly share everything I’ve tried over the last 12 months, but I want to try and give you three or four things that you could go away and do yourself. It came out of my own learnings this year, particularly on the ProBlogger Twitter account and Facebook page. I want to ask you to think about four questions that will hopefully give you a bit of a framework for doing an audit of your social media, whether that be Twitter, Facebook, or another network.

The first question I want to encourage you to ask is where are my readers gathering? How are they responding to what I’m doing? How are they responding to social media? It’s really about your reader. For me, this is where it always comes back to, whether I’m thinking about social media, whether I’m thinking about the content on my blog. I always try to think about who is my reader and how are they responding to what I’m doing. Where are your readers gathering? What social networks are they gathering on? This is the type of thing you need to be gathering information on wherever you can. Anytime you chat with a reader, include this question, “What social networks are you using?” Even when readers email me, I quite often will just pin them with a question like that at the end of my response to their email.

It’s also something we also do surveys on. We ask on Facebook even, “What other social networks are you active on?” We’re trying to get that picture where our readers are. What I would encourage you to do is to think about which one or two social networks are you going to put most of your time into. You might want to also ask where your competitors or other bloggers in your niche are focusing their attention. That’s partly to work out what’s working but also, you may actually see that none of them are engaging in a new social network.

That’s the other question I’ll be asking. Are there new opportunities opening up particularly with social networks like Periscope, Blab, or Facebook Live, if you have access to that with the Facebook account that’s a verified account. Live streaming is one of those areas where I find a lot of bloggers really aren’t even aware of those networks are there. Maybe you could be one of the forefront bloggers in that particular space, if it relates to your particular niche.

The last question around this is on Facebook or LinkedIn, you might find that your readers are there but are they in groups? That’s another opportunity for you. I’m finding particularly on Facebook, a lot of bloggers are having a lot of really good success with groups. That might be something that you might want to consider as well. So, where are your readers and where are you going to focus your attention?

The second question is what type of content are your readers responding to? Whether that be on your own social media accounts or other people that you see, is the content that they’re responding to a video? Is it a text? Is it live interactions? Is it links? Is it visual? Is it Twitter chats or those other things on Facebook? Is it quotes or something else? 

When I did this analysis on ProBlogger, I found that visual content was something that my readers and my followers responded very well to. On our Twitter account, any tweet that had a nice graphic or a nice image in it got retweeted, shared, over four or five times as much as a nonvisual piece of content. The same is true on our Facebook page. That was one thing I just knew I needed to focus more attention upon.

I also found that live content seemed to be having a bigger impact on our readers. Any kind of live interaction, whether that be in a Twitter chat, a Periscope, a Blab, or a webinar, they didn’t tend to get shared a lot but I noticed that my readers became incredibly engaged when they had those interactions with me. I’ve seen this time and time again this year with Periscope, in particular. Periscope doesn’t get viewed by tens of thousands of people. The hundred or so people that are on those Periscope (I find) become more loyal readers. They become advocates for the blog. That was one of the things I’ve noticed since one of the reasons I started to do more live interactions this year.

I also found my Twitter account that any time I shared slides from a talk that I was giving, they did really well. That was partly because they’re visual but often because they also had some really good take-home information in them as well. Even though that didn’t link into my content, they got really good engagements. What type of content do you get good response from and what type of content do you see others getting good response from in your niche? Once you’ve done that analysis, ask yourself what type of content do you want to focus upon delivering from here on.

I began with ProBlogger to make those observations. Every day, I want to share this type of content. You can begin to make that list. You use that list in the moment as I ask this third question. So far, we’ve talked about who are my readers and where are they gathering. Number two, what type of content are they responding to. Number three, ask yourself, what frequency and timing of sharing do you want to aim for on your social media accounts?

This is partly going to depend upon your time to be able to engage in your social media accounts—how many social media accounts you have. Also, it needs to come out of who are your readers and how much content do they want. Also, the medium itself. On Facebook, you tend to not do as many updates—most people don’t—but on Twitter, you can get away with doing a little bit more. Ask yourself, “How often do I want to update content on the different social networks that I’m engaged in?” Come up with a bit of a schedule of how much content you want to share. Begin to slot into a typical day when you want to update. 

Create a calendar for yourself and actually work out. Do the exercise of saying, “Well, I want to tweet at least 10 times during the day,” or at least 3 times or 50 times. It’s up to you, really, as to the number. Also, for Facebook. “These are the key times that I want to update.” Once you’ve got the number of posts and the slots you want to be able to fill, what would you put into those slots? This is where that little list of the types of content you want to share will come into place. You can begin to slide in, “I want to share evergreen content. I’m going to do that at these certain times. I want to share quotes,” or, “I want to share visual content.” You can begin to slot them in.

I’ll run through how I did this on ProBlogger because I think it might help you to visualize what we did. For ProBlogger’s Facebook account, I worked out that I wanted to update ideally on our Facebook account six or seven times per day. We’ve worked up to that kind of level. When I first did this exercise, it was three times a day because I didn’t want to overcommit. At this point, we update six or seven times per day.

We’ve decided as a team—I do have a team helping me with this, which is great, but I started doing this by myself—that I wanted to update at certain times of the day. At those times, I’ve had different types of content. At 9:00 PM, Australian time, we post an evergreen piece of content from our archives at ProBlogger. We’ve got thousands of our archive posts. A lot of them are evergreen. They’re useful today as they were when they were written. At 9:00 PM, we typically share an evergreen post from our archives. 

At midnight, Australian time, this was just when America’s waking up, we post our new post for the day if there is a new post for the day. At 3:00 AM, we either publish a link to our new podcast, if we’ve got a new podcast or an archive post—an evergreen piece of content. At 6:00 AM, we publish or share a curated piece of content from someone else’s site that we think will be useful for our readers. At 9:00 AM, we posted a post that was featured last week. This is a newish piece of content but we want to give it a second go. At 9:00 AM, we know that the last time we shared that piece of content, it would’ve been at midnight the previous week. It’s a different time and day to get a different audience.

At midday, we usually publish a discussion question. At 3:00 PM, we published a post from last month. Again, this is the third time this piece of content has been shared over a month but again, it’s a different time of the day. It’s hopefully getting a different type of audience. That’s the schedule that we have. You can see there that we’ve got seven slots for the day but different types of content go up throughout the day. You can see there that newer content is getting shared more often. Once it gets to that point where it’s been shared three times—today, the week later, and then a month later—it goes into the evergreen category. Then, we’ll only be sharing once or twice a year at that.

On Twitter, we do a similar type of thing but it’s more frequent posting. I’ll show you a video later where I talk about Edgar which is the tool that we use mainly for Twitter. You’ll see there the actual schedule that we have. We publish pretty much on the hour on Twitter. Different categories of posts, again, are featured throughout the day. It includes evergreen posts from our archives, evergreen podcast episodes, new content, quotes, slides that I’ve used in keynotes, curated content, discussion, polls, and promotion of our ebooks and our events. All of those types of things go up on our Twitter account as well.

The three questions, just to recap what we’ve talked about so far are: Where are your readers? What type of contents are they responding to? What frequency and timing of sharing do you want to aim for? 

One last thing to think about is how can you build a system around what you just designed? Hopefully, by this stage, you will have a calendar. Maybe a weekly or a daily calendar of what you’ve want to be aiming for your Twitter account or your Facebook page. The last question is how are you going to make that happen. You might be feeling quite overwhelmed by that and you might want to do either one of three things to help you with that.

The first thing you could do is do it all yourself manually. Number two, you could be outsourcing. I don’t typically outsource a whole heap although I do have a team that works with me. Stacey who edits ProBlogger does help to schedule some of the social media updates for the ProBlogger Twitter and Facebook accounts. I also do a lot of it myself. Outsourcing is not a big thing that I do because I want to retain the voice and I want to control the Twitter accounts and the interactions that people have on those accounts with me. I want them to feel confident that they are with me.

I do use some tools. This is the second area that you can focus upon to help you with managing that schedule that you’ve developed. What tools could you use? What automation could you use? I’ve talked about some of these in the past. Obviously, Edgar is a sponsor of this podcast series. I’ve talked about them a number of times during this series. I use Edgar mainly for our Twitter account and for anything that’s evergreen in nature. We’re using Edgar to schedule quotes, to schedule my slides (my ProBlogger keynote slides), to schedule evergreen content for podcasts and the blog as well.

I don’t use it so much for anything that has a shorter shelf life or anything that’s timely or to highlight our new post. For that, we use CoSchedule which is an editorial calendar that has some really amazing tools for scheduling your social media accounts. On our Facebook page, when a new post is published, we schedule that with CoSchedule. That goes up, as I’ve mentioned before, at midnight. Every day, CoSchedule schedules that new post. As we schedule that one, we also say, “We want this to appear in a week’s time. We want it to appear in a month’s time.” That’s all managed via CoSchedule. It doesn’t actually go into the Edgar system until a month after it’s been published.

We also use Slack as a team communications tool. That is really helpful for us if we’ve got someone asking a question on social media. One of my team will say, “Hey, Darren. There’s a question there that you should be answering.” We use that as a tool to communicate internally.

The last thing I wanted to talk about is that you really need to be on social media and also looking out for those new opportunities that do come your way. One of the big opportunities that has come in the last six or so months particularly for bloggers is live streaming. You’ve heard me and seen me, hopefully, on Periscope over the last six or so months. Also, the other tool was Blab, which I had a podcast episode on a few months ago as well.

I’ve really focused more of my attention more on Periscope than Blab over the last three or so months. What I’ve started to do is because I’ve got this other system in place now, what I’ve just described to you for the ProBlogger Twitter account and Facebook page, I’ve had some of my time freed up to be able to experiment with something new. I decided to put that time into Periscope. That’s enabled me to start experimenting. Really, the process that I’ve just described to you, I do have use with Periscope as well. I’ve been really experimenting a lot with different types of content in Periscope. I’m asking myself the question, what are my readers responding to well or not so well on Periscope? 

I started to work out frequently. How often do I want to be on Periscope? I’ve decided that I want to be there every weekday morning. Sometimes not quite in the morning, sometimes it goes in the afternoon, but once a day on weekdays. I’ve started to develop a system for that, what tools can I use. I’ve got some hardware. I’ve got my iPhone. I’ve got a little gorilla tripod. There are software tools as well.

I use a tool called Fullscope which helps me to monitor the stats. I’ll have links to this in the show notes. Then, another tool called Katch which enables me to make my Periscopes live longer than 24 hours that Periscope keeps them online. They catch the replays and help me to be able to embed and repurpose the content from Periscope into a blog post or into other pieces of content that I might want to use. 

Again, the same questions that I’ve asked you to ponder above already in this podcast, I’m using in this new network as well. Where are my readers? I actually work out that a segment of my readers are on Periscope. What type of content are they responding to? For me, it’s been teaching content similar to the podcast, actually, but sometimes a little bit more visual. On a podcast, it’s difficult to help people get a visual. In Periscope, that’s been good. What frequency of timing am I aiming for? What tools can I use to help me with that? Then, a lot of that has come in this workflow. 

Now, when I do a Periscope, I go and get the replay from I put it into a blog post then I put some show notes. I put some extra content around that. That appears on the blog. I developed this system for not only doing the update and creating that initial piece of content but also thinking about how to repurpose it.

What I described to you today may sound a little overwhelming. I acknowledge that. I guess I don’t want to come across as having the perfect social media strategy. I know I still have  a lot of work to do. This is a work in progress for us. It’s taken me a whole year to get ProBlogger social media accounts up to the point they’re currently at. It’s started off slower. I don’t want to pretend that I just suddenly had tweets every hour and seven Facebook updates per day. 

When I started this process back in January this year, I think I was using Edgar for three or four tweets per day. I was using this new system for Facebook just with two posts per day. You can start slow then begin to add in extra pieces. There’s so much upside to giving your social media accounts a bit of an audit.

We’ve noticed on ProBlogger larger reach, more traffic, higher engagement, but it also had an impact upon the brand. This is one of the things I noticed, when I go to a conference, people come up to me and say, “Hey, I’ve noticed something’s different about ProBlogger. It seems more professional. It seems like you are doing more stuff.” It’s interesting that a lot of the content on ProBlogger hasn’t changed a whole heap. It’s social media. It’s what people are seeing in social media, what people often see of you. It has a massive impact on your brand. Even if you change nothing else, you just re-energize your social media, it can have a massive impact upon your blog. 

I would love to hear what you decide to do after this episode. You may not want to do it all. You may just want to focus on one particular network or one particular thing. You may be using one new tool. I’d love to hear what you do. You can do that either in the comments of today’s show notes at or you can Tweet me at @problogger. You can use the hashtag #TodayNotSomeday, so others who listen to the podcast can see what you are working on today; it’s moving off your someday’s list. That really will inspire the rest of us.

I have some links for you today, some further reading. I’ve got a video of how I use Edgar. You’ll be able to see that whole workflow that we’ve developed three. You will also see some information on Edgar who sponsored this podcast. You can find a special offer that they’ve put together for you at, where they’ve actually set-up a free month trial of that tool. You can work out if it’s right for you.

I love to chat with you online further about what you’re doing. I look forward to chatting with you in episode 74, the eighth part of this particular series of the ProBlogger Podcast.

How did you go with today’s episode?

What will you do to make your social media more effective in 2016? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

The hashtag I’ll be using to talk about this journey on social media is #TodayNotSomeday and I encourage you to share your journey too, using the same hashtag.

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