First, I have made a little progress with the full-size mock-up of my daughter’s bookcase. I was hoping the mock-up would be finished by now, but some excellent things happened this week which caused me to lower the mock-up’s priority rating.
What I really want to talk about is blogging and social media. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t understand social media. Just when I had all but given up on Facebook, I got a big boost in blog traffic. This past week I published what is basically a SketchUp tutorial – it was one of those blog posts which I almost did not publish. I am not a SketchUp expert by any means, so I did not feel like I was in any position to tell others how to work in SketchUp.
The SketchUp people thought otherwise. They shared my blog post on all the major social media platforms. In the image above, their Facebook wall status shows 171 likes. They put a very similar message on twitter and Google+. There were tons of retweets and “+” and this activity lasted for the better part of two days. As you can imagine, I had a some pretty awesome traffic stats. I got the WordPress “Your stats are booming” alert on my smartphone twice. 🙂 Remember how I almost did not even publish this blog post? And I almost did not put it on Facebook, which is where SketchUp saw it in the first place.
So, just as my Facebook frustration builds, something really good happens. Go figure (scratches his head).
I have read a couple of times how a blogger should pick the social media platform which is a good fit and then be there regularly. For me, this is Facebook and Google+. I don’t really do twitter, although for woodworkers, there is a very good woodworking community there. I have only recently started using Instagram – my daughter keeps telling me how great it is. I find Instagram to be super simple, so I’ll continue to mess around with it.
But I am most disappointed with Facebook. After all, Facebook is where all my high school buddies are. And my college friends and most of my family for that matter. I can promote a blog post on Facebook and get virtually no inbound traffic to my blog. I think the problem is that Facebook is too scannable, especially when viewed on a smartphone or tablet. As these devices have grown in use, I have seen a decline for inbound traffic at my blog.
With Facebook, I have all but decided to forget linking back to my blog posts – just duplicate on Facebook the project updates I feature at my blog. I’ll still link back to my blog; and I need to be more active in the conversations which happen on Facebook. Get more involved with my school friends, etc. Maybe I’ll do a follow-up post and tell of my progress with FB.
The Other Stuff
The SketchUp blog post led to an invitation to do a guest blog post at another website which I have submitted. Through my SketchUp blog post, I made contact with a nice guy in SketchUp’s marketing department who gave me a promotional copy of SketchUp Pro. For me, this is HUGE!
Also, I have been building a database of interesting woodworking tips, blog posts and videos. I have been setting up separate web pages with links to the items I like. Most of them are too good to keep to myself (like this one and this one), so I decided to make them available to anyone visiting. I have a whole page devoted to SketchUp tips too.
I added a banner in my sidebar which will take you to a woodworking tips contents page. There is so much cool woodworking stuff on the internet and some of the links you will find are real gems.
And lastly, this morning my blog got its 1000th follower which is amazing since I had less than 100 followers at the beginning of the year. Explosive growth. So to everyone who has clicked the follow link or registered your email address, I want to say thank you!