Social Media for Newbie Bloggers {Part 1}

May 21, 2014

I feel kind of bad posting about social media after my Balancing Technology post, but the reality is that social media is THE best way to get the word out when it comes to blogging. It can be overwhelming and especially so for newly minted bloggers. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc…it’s hard to know where to begin.

There is a lot to say on this subject so I am breaking down the topic into two parts. In this post I will be discussing my experience with different social media platforms, which have been the most helpful and where I suggest focusing your energy. In part 2 I will cover my tips for increasing your social media followers and presence.

Social Media For Newbie Bloggers part 1NOTE: this post is based entirely on my own experience. Every blog is different and will say different things. As someone who started off with zero followers on all social media accounts a little over a year ago I’d like to believe that my observations are somewhat of the norm, but as always people will disagree.

Facebook: My favourite SM platform and also the most frustrating. When people actually see your posts it can be quite helpful but on average only 10-15% of my followers see my posts. This is because Facebook changed it’s algorithm to make life incredibly difficult for Facebook Pages. Nevertheless, here are some tips that help increase your engagement:

-Include a picture with your status that you upload. I am not talking about the picture that appears when you add a link to your status.

-Facebook discourages links that lead to sites outside of Facebook so to get around this, rather than placing the link in your status, put the link in your comments and indicate in your status that your “link to post is in the comments below”.

-Engage with the people who comment, like and share your pages. Not only will it increase the number of people who view your post, but they can also be an incredible resource for information to give you a better sense of what your readers are looking for. I absolutely love my Facebook friends! They are awesome. Hi guys 😉

FacebookTwitter: This platform doesn’t generate a huge number of hits to my blog but I’ve found it has other uses. I find it is a great place to engage with other bloggers and also to connect with brands. If you use a certain product in your recipe or give a review of a brand make sure you tweet at them with the link. The more engaged you are on Twitter, the more you will get out of it. This can require quite a bit of time but you definitely reap the rewards if you are dedicated. Here are my tips:

-#hashtag <–#forrealz

-Try using a scheduling app if you’re crunched for time. Not only will you be able to tweet while you’re busy doing other things, but most will make sure your tweets appear during prime Twitter usage periods. Hootsuite and Buffer are two popular options.

-Always shorten your links. Since Twitter limits your tweets to 140 characters so shortening your links leaves more room for you to describe your link. I like using to shorten my links as it is able to track how many people click the link on different SM platforms.

twitterPinterest: This is by FAR the most effective platform and the one where you should be focusing the majority of your energy. Pinterest is one of the few platforms where you aren’t able to pay to promote (just yet…) which makes it an equal playing field for everyone. It is also picture-based which is particularly important for food bloggers. I have so many tips for Pinterest that it deserves it’s own post, but I will highlight the most important:

-Always include a “pinable” picture with your posts. Example, today’s post has a picture under the first paragraph which describes what this post is about.

-As much as possible try to only post portrait pictures rather than landscape as portrait pictures take up more space in Pinterest and are more likely to be viewed. Better yet, create a longer pin especially for pinterest and then upload it.

-Pin your recipes more than once and preferably at peak hours (after 8:00 PM EST on weekdays and weekend mornings). Don’t just pin and forget about it, pin your posts to multiple boards at different times.

pistachio-hummus-pinInstagram: Both addicting and super fun, Instagram is probably the best way to get your stalking fix. The issue is, unless you are an Instagram celeb (they exist!) it likely won’t lead to a ton of readership on your blog. Some bloggers use Instagram as a way to motivate their readers, promote their posts, or like me, to give a behind the scenes of their world. Totally up to you how you want to use it! I definitely spend the least amount of my time on Instagram. Nevertheless, here are some ways to use Instagram effectively:

-Make sure you have a link to your blog in your bio and a good description of what your blog is about.

-Stick to your brand. If you’re about healthy food, fitness or whatever don’t post pictures of that double chocolate cheesecake you ate last night. I am absolutely horrible at this. Sorry if you follow me for healthy food pictures and instead you get ugly selfies…

-Like Twitter, learn to speak hashtag. You would not believe the power of hashtags on Instagram.

InstagramStumbleUpon: Most of you are probably like “huh? I’ve never used StumbleUpon!” Well I’m here to tell you to start! Having a post go viral on StumbleUpon is like having it go viral on all other social networks combined. I usually get a decent number of hits from StumbleUpon each day but when the right person (or enough people) stumble my post I can see my numbers double or even triple in a single day. My tips:

-Make it easy for people to stumble your posts by including a social share bar at the bottom or top of your posts. I use Shareaholic which is the bar at the bottom of the page with the arrow saying “Sharing is Caring”…cute right? 😉

-Don’t stumble your own posts. It’s okay to do that once in a while but eventually StumbleUpon will penalize you.

-Start stumbling other people’s posts! And not just the same ways all the time, but try to diversify the types of posts you stumble.

StumbleUponGoogle+: I had to include Google+ because apparently it is great for SEO. Problem is that I never remember to actually post to Google+…I’m too busy posting selfies to Instagram.

Are you overwhelmed yet?! I don’t blame you. It’s hard to keep up with everything. A lot of the bigger bloggers actually hire virtual assistants to manage their social media if you’re wondering how they keep it up. For now, just try to diversify but also take note of which ones are actually driving traffic to your blog.

Want more? Check out Part #2 where I discuss HOW to increase your social media following

Have I missed any social networks? Which platform do you find to be the most effective for blogging or your personal life?


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  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    May 21, 2014 at 5:26 am

    I have officially become your fashion victim guru. Sorry. I mean, hashtag sorry.

    SO informative, D. Seriously, you’ve been a huge help personally, and love how your sharing your experience and what works! Cheers! And also another copycat post baha. My Thursday is pin-spired. Wait, is that a word? Hashtag it?

    • Reply
      May 21, 2014 at 8:23 am

      Is it fashionable to not wear a bra?

    • Reply
      GiGi Eats Celebrities
      May 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      I sort of totally want all of us to wear Mid-Evil Undergarments now….. And have a pig roast. Wait no, scratch that. I hate pig. How about a SALMON ROAST! lol!

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    May 21, 2014 at 6:02 am

    I hate technology but yeah, it’s a must this social media stuff. I do like instagram and pinterest the most right now..I knew facebook was all weird and rude in regards to when and how they show your posts but didn’t know I should be putting the picture and then the link in the comments- thanks! Twitter I have but never really use, I try to but I just can’t do it all!

  • Reply
    Shashi @ RunninSrilankan
    May 21, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Davida – thanks for this informative post – I need to start Stumbling asap-or maybe after another spoonful of chocolate soup! And, stop using my auto (no picture) link up to FB!!! I did not know bout Hootsuite and Buffer – I’ve been using Tweetily after Amanda posted about it – thanks again lady!

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    May 21, 2014 at 6:49 am

    very really bad when it comes to social media..i try to share things but it always fluctuates 🙁

  • Reply
    Caitlyn@ BareandBalanced
    May 21, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Hey girl – this is an awesome post! So helpful. I recently dropped out of Uni to pursue other dreams, but it has opened up a lot of time for me and I really want to commit more to my blog. I would LOVE to pick your brain sometime over Skype or some messaging system!

    SO helpful 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness
    May 21, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Thanks for sharing such a helpful post! Honestly, I hadn’t heard about stumbled upon but it sounds like a great tool. A lot of my friends who run nonprofit horse adoption programs have been having difficulty now that Facebook posts things so differently.

  • Reply
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate
    May 21, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Thanks for the tips- I have heard of Stumbleupon but never really understood it!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food
    May 21, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Haha I started seeing hits from stumbleupon on my blog and wondered what the heck it was, now I know! I’m terrible at using social media for my blog. Some days it’s a miracle just to get a post up and read other people’s posts. Thanks for sharing, this is great info!

  • Reply
    kathy@vodka and soda
    May 21, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Reddit is a huge one that will generate tons of hits to your site.

    Vodka and Soda

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 8:25 am

    LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! I need to amp up my Stumble Upon game as well as Google+. I almost always forget to post on G+, plus I have like 14 followers 😀 I bet that pistachio hummus would be an excellent face mask.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Thank you so much Darling. I can hardly keep up with post writing 4 days a week, so I suck big time at Social Media. Maybe this post is a sign to change this.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 8:33 am

    I’m still learning the ins and outs of social media. It feels so hard when you’re just getting started. Thanks so much for the tips! I’m going to put these to good use 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie @ 24 Carrot Life
    May 21, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I never knew why you and Lee put your post links in the comments on Facebook until now! Hootsuite is my go to for Twitter and I like to take one day a week to schedule a bunch of posts for the whole next week but it kind of sucks for anything else so I’m looking into other options like Buffer. Which do you use? Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Great tips! I just started out with blogging and I’m still trying to figure out all this social media stuff. It’s quite a handful!

  • Reply
    Parita @ myinnershakti
    May 21, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I am so bad about the social media aspect of blogging. Sure, I am on SM and use it but not strategically! Thanks for these tips – they’re actually pretty helpful for non-newbies too!!

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    May 21, 2014 at 9:09 am

    This is such a great post lady – thanks for doing it! I’ve never even thought of using StumbledUpon for blogging, but now I have to look more into it. And I’m actually using Google+ now! Aren’t you proud of me? 😉

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    May 21, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I used to avoid social media like the plague because I found it waaaaaay too overwhelming, but it definitely makes a huge difference in the number of people who see your posts. Pinterest has become my BFF, and I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy Facebook a lot more if it didn’t confuse the crap out of me 😡

  • Reply
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat
    May 21, 2014 at 9:17 am

    These are awesome tips Davida! I really like the Facebook section. FB is one of those social media sites that I tend to neglect, so you’ve given me some great ideas!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    May 21, 2014 at 9:34 am

    We study all of this at work! These are great tips. Unfortunately, the research is in that putting the link in a Facebook comment no longer works the miracle that it used to. Facebook has, apparently, caught on. I seriously think their goal is to get everyone to pay to promote their posts…and I guess it’s working for bigger brands (i.e. Coke) but I think it’s sending smaller brands elsewhere.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 21, 2014 at 9:39 am

      Hmmmm interesting. When I look at my Facebook analytics I get double the number of engagement when I put the link in the comments (and facebook hits are higher to the blog). I don’t do it for every post cause it can get annoying, but it definitely works for me. As for paying to promote, it’s one of the worst things you can do for your brand. It often leads to a ton of likes from click farms in like Bangladesh and your engagement with the people who you actually want to be reading your posts plummets. I just hope that Pinterest doesn’t jump on board cause then bloggers are screwedddd! Thanks for your comments! Facebook has randomly been good this week so maybe they’re changing?!

  • Reply
    Catherine @ foodiecology
    May 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Awesome, awesome tips! I had *no* idea about the outside link/links in comments Facebook thing.
    I’m still relatively new to blogging and recently started using social media more frequently, but working 8-5 it can be so overwhelming! Just posting regularly is hard (but fun & rewarding, which is the #1 reason I blog).
    I’m seriously toying with going self-hosted soon, and before doing so, I want to get a better hang of promoting my blog, getting to know other bloggers, etc. so I’m not paying for a blog I don’t earn at least a little $ on (again, not my primary goal, but let’s be real, I would love some income from my favorite hobby).
    Definitely keeping this post in my mind & can’t wait for #2.

  • Reply
    Jaclyn @ BumpSweat
    May 21, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for this helpful information! I didn’t know a lot of what you said about the particulars of posting to Facebook, but I will definitely implement what you shared.

  • Reply
    Jess @dearhealthyness
    May 21, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Social Media…. I have a lot to do regarding social media! Thanks for sharing, I need to sit more often and share my content in all platforms! Hopefully now that I’m done with this trimester I’ll have more time 😛

  • Reply
    Amy @ Elephant Eats
    May 21, 2014 at 11:24 am

    This is a very informative post, Davida! Unfortunately I’m just to lazy to get into the social media promoting…well I suppose I’ve been too busy to blog lately anyway. Pinterest definitely generates the most traffic to my blog tho!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 11:54 am

    being someone who is completely computer illiterate, I love posts like this. Super simple to follow and explains in simple enough terms, even for technology dummies like myself lol

  • Reply
    Leslee @ Her Happy Balance
    May 21, 2014 at 11:55 am

    I had no idea that posting the link in the comments of your FB was more effective, I will have to start doing that. Thanks for sharing, I always love these posts. If I’m doing the things suggested in the post I feel better about myself and if I’m not, I implement the new info…definitely a great read.

  • Reply
    Pip {Cherries & Chisme}
    May 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Awesome – thanks for sharing all this, so helpful! If a TAD overwhelming haha, maybe I should start making more of an effort!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I always wondered if I should be pinning stuff more than once. I felt like that was a faux pas but if you say its ok, I’m doing it!!!!

    Also, thanks for the FB tips. I hate it with a PASSION! But it is a necessary evil!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Love these– thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Selena @
    May 21, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    This post was awesome Davida! I keep getting inspired to make a Facebook page the more and more I hear good things about it. As it is I feel like I am still in the “newbie” blogger page, but that’s okay right? You’re blog is always an inspiration to me and I can’t wait for part 2 of this series!!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Yeeeeeessss this post is the bees knees! Awesome tips. I was wondering if you know anything about bloglovin’…is it important to have followers on that as well? So much to keep up with these days…#bloggerproblems

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      So I totally typed up a message but then I forgot about it and closed the window GRRRR. So bloglovin in my experience is not necessarily indicative of a blogger’s analytics. Bloglovin tends to be used more frequently by other bloggers rather than the general public. Not to say that other people don’t use it, but it’s definitely more popular with bloggers. Some blogs have a TON of bloglovin followers and are read by a lot of fellow bloggers but don’t necessarily have the same reach as someone who isn’t read by a lot of other bloggers but has a larger following on other forms of social media. Alls to say is that I wouldn’t necessarily get caught up with bloglovin. More important is Pinterest and pinning A LOT and taking good quality pictures which get accepted by sites like foodgawker or tastespotting etc…Sorry for the information overload! Email me if I’m not making sense and I can clear up anything 🙂

      • Reply
        May 22, 2014 at 2:08 pm

        Thank you! That makes a lot of sense. Pinterest is definitely where most of my traffic comes from, as well as Foodgawker and Healthy Aperture…but only on the day I submit them (that reminds me, I need to submit today’s post!) Thanks again girl!

  • Reply
    Ang @ Nutty for Life
    May 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Hahah Google+ is last on my list, too. I think it could be a great platform but it just doesn’t have much of a draw for me because it is like so many of the other ones out there.
    The Insty hashtag speak… UGH. Probably my BIGGEST PET PEEVE. I literally cannot stand paragraphs of hashtags, I really can’t. They’re hideous and ruin a great picture. But I know how helpful they are. Such a dilemma.

  • Reply
    Megan @ The Skinny-Life
    May 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Great advice and I completely agree with you that social media is huge for blogging. I can’t say I get StumbleUpon though. It’s not user friendly and I don’t have time to figure it out. Is Foodie considered a form of social media? I would like to know more about it.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Not so much social media but those recipe amalgmation sites are SO important for food bloggers! I’m gonna do a post about this soon. Thanks for reminding me!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Shiny Love Affair
    May 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I feel like I’m HORRIBLE at sticking to my brand on Instagram. I find myself more enticed to post photos of baked goods/candy vs. salads. Thanks for the reminder to change this ASAP.

  • Reply
    Polly @ Tasty Food Project
    May 21, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    This is such a helpful post! Social media can be so time consuming and overwhelming sometimes, but it’s such a great way to promote your site. I never knew that it was a good idea to post your link in the FB comments! I’ll remember that for the future!

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit
    May 21, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    GREAT post! People don’t realize how much time bloggers actually spend going through the hoops of editing pictures, writing the post and then, spending an additional 1-3 hours on social media, putting the post up, hash tagging, responding, etc. It’s serious business!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 22, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      It definitely can be! I don’t wanna complain though cause I have so much fun doing it all!

  • Reply
    Jo @ Living Mint Green
    May 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    HAHAHAHA Arman’s comment was the best part of this post. But seriously. Great tips, friend.

    Can I borrow your medieval garments

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I don’t have a clue about Stumbleupon (is that even the right word??) – I guess I should check it out at some point.
    Great tips – I never thought about pinning something more than once.
    Basically, I suck at social media!!!

  • Reply
    Becky @ Olives n Wine
    May 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I’m obsessed with Instagram, obviously… But that’s more for personal use than blog use! I agree with your thoughts on Pinterest and Facebook and I need to get back to StumbleUpon!

  • Reply
    May 21, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    I don’t use Facebook for my blog at all… rarely use it in general anymore. I think Twitter is where it’s at!

  • Reply
    Kim @ BusyBod
    May 21, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I don’t even know how to stumble (except, like, in real life) so thanks for making me feel a little better about that with your “you’re probably like, huh?” comment! Also I love Arman’s comment on your post, thanks for the laugh. 🙂

  • Reply
    Isadora @ she likes food
    May 22, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Social media can seem like a job in itself sometimes! It is great that there are so many outlets to share your posts, but sometimes it can be so overwhelming. I really need to start utilizing Pinterest more and become more familiar with Stumbleupon. I’m not exactly sure what Reddit is, but one day I noticed through my google analytics that someone had shared one of my recipes and It almost tripled my traffic that day! I’ve also noticed that I’ve gotten some traffic from Tumblr, but again, I’m not very familiar with that platform either. I probably need to get with the times a little bit more and figure some of this SEO stuff out 🙂

  • Reply
    Nikki@will run for pizza
    May 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    You rock for writing this post! I’m taking your advice about Stumbleupon AND posting more on Pinterest. I HAVE found Twitter seems to be more attractive than FB…which I’m kinda ok with! haha I’m coming up on my 1 year blogiversary too, and man oh man, would I LOVE to follow in your footsteps and be able to quick my 9-5 and do what I LOOOOVE! 😉 Keep it up girl, cuz your totally an inspiration to me and a lot of others!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    DAVSSS what about Snapchat?? lol

  • Reply
    Alex @ Alex Runs For Food
    May 23, 2014 at 9:19 am

    This is such amazing information!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!
    On Facebook is there a way to schedule posts? Just curious because I see some poeple post multiple times a day and I’m curious if they are doing that or if there’s an app for that.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 23, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Hi Alex!!! Yup, you can definitely schedule posts directly on Facebook (click the little clock at the bottom of the status) or use a scheduling app like hootsuite or buffer! The only downside to this is that you can’t do the “link in comments” trick since that has to be done manually. I don’t tend to schedule many posts on Facebook since I prefer engaging with readers but if I’m out of town or something it’s definitely convenient!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    So I’m not entirely sure how I did it, but I set it up so my blog posts automatically publish on Google Plus, just like BlogLovin, although I do nothing else on Google Plus. I should probably get on that. Oops.

    Also I didn’t realize that about FB links, although I don’t generally like including the link in the comments because if someone shares my picture with their followers, the link is gone and it’s just another cool picture on the internet, or FB, but you get what I’m saying.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Hi there!!

    I know this is an older post but I was wondering how you use Stumbleupon for your own blog. Do you use Paid discovery?
    Thanks for the super informative post and info!!!


  • Reply
    December 10, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Love your post. Nowaday, social media is one of the most power to get traffice for blog.

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