From Stumbles to Fumbles, How Social Media Changed the Way I Blog
February 5, 2017
— Football, social media marketing, StumbleUpon
About three years back. I started taking my Blogging serious. I launched Opened Vox Publishing on my Squarespace site, ovpublishing.com. I still love Squarespace. However. I spent more time fiddling with the aesthetics of the site; than on the actual writing. I wanted something that I could customize my writings over site look.
I turned to WordPress; but ran into a problem. With Opened Vox Publishing. I ran many blogs with few pages. I had over 500 blog posts from eight blogs now all concentrated on my WordPress Blog, Open the Vox. This changed my whole dynamic. I hit a fumble.
Now, what possessed me to move my whole site to WordPress? I wanted better Reader-Writer interaction with the Press Feature. I started by focusing on comedy; mostly gross out and raunchy. I was desperate. I resorted to Evergreen topics like Janet Jackson’s boob on Super Bowl Sunday. I fumbled again.
But something changed in this time. Something big. The Social Media Algorithms changed. Stumble Upon, the core of my marketing strategy died almost overnight. The days of the Up and Comer seemed lost forever. I hit a concrete wall just inches from the end zone. My site was generating over 10,000 people a month easily before I made the shift to WordPress.
I hit WordPress early with all my best hits on my site. It was taking off. I had over 2,000 hits that first week. The first week!
Than those fizzled away. And so did Stumble Upon. Not only was I not generating any views on SumbleUpon or on WordPress. I seemed to be cancelling them out!
This was a hard time for me. I went from over 80,000 views in my first six months to 800 views every six months. I thought it was WordPress. But found similar results when I tried making the transition back over to Squarespace.
The truth is. The core of my Marketing Strategy was pushed back by an impressive defensive line: College Humor, Funny or Die and Cracked.com. The days of random died. Throwing in my wild card and seeing what people thought was over. And it’s been about slowly gaining yardage ever since.
But the spirit of the underdog still lives. And granted, big business might have pushed me back; but I was placed in the same league as the New England Patriots of Websites; and subjected to their rules. I threw in the towel. I was tired of fumbling.
For the next eight months, I sat on the bench with my books and my bad attitude. I was mad. The internet changed; and my chance at building a career on my own terms was intercepted by recognizable faces sporting name brands and fancy contracts.
I had to realize that I’m not on their level. I don’t want to be. This isn’t about competition. Growing as an artist isn’t about winning. It’s about reaching your highest levels of self mastery through your work. I want to reach this level; and further; for years to come.
So that when the time does comes; both teams will be coming to me wanting to sign that Freelance Contract. And it’ll be up to me, as the leader of my own destiny to place that outcome in my own hands; and not the other way around.
My advice for future bloggers is this: learn from my mistakes. I depended too much early on short term growth from Stumble Upon. Never put your trust in Social Media sites. They change and you’re forced to change along with them. This leads to lack of long term growth of your site.
Plus organic traffic growth from Social Media grows and dies all the time. By this I mean, Organic traffic is how most Social Media begins by allowing its members to publish posts, pictures, etc; and letting its other members decide what they like. Sites like Stumble Upon, and even Facebook early on were great places for anyone and everyone to a have an equal chance at being heard throughout the entire site.
Then Stumble Upon became another Facebook. You have to find friends with similar interests to help push your posts through. And then they have to like your work; before their friends are allowed to see it. Or, you simply pay up to $2 per view per post; and spend $2,000,000 just so a Million people can finally find your site.
This is why social media sites pop up all the time! So stick with what’s Evergreen: Email for business. Facebook to keep it even more personal. And Twitter for both, and for long term impressions on your site or blog.
Know the long term direction of your site or Blog and build that before you even launch it! Build solid Pages with High Quality Media and solid research on key Evergreen topics related to your blog or site. And make sure your SEO has clarity and all the important key words related to your site or blog.
And when the next Stumble Upon shows up; then you’ll already be established enough long term to use this opportunity to build heavy Short Term Traffic. But never depend on buying your traffic. Key posts that have short and long term appeal- yes. But its the short term traffic that usually lets you know what’s best.
I learned that their’s still a place for the Ronin Writer, the Master less Wordsmith out there interested in trying new things and not afraid of seeing where it takes him. This is the power of the Indie Author & Independent Publisher. The Fusion of Art, Craft & Science; where Professionalism is created through trial and error; and through his own way and on his own terms. The student can become the master: of not only himself, but of the craft hes loves.
And on an even playing field- I learned -I am just as much a Bad Ass at what it is I do- as anyone else who follow their heart. Thank You.