If you’ve created multiple social media sites with the intention of increasing blog traffic and find referrals less than anticipated then maybe your approach needs rethinking.
I have a Mix account, but I’m not seeing any referrals.
Here I’m using the relatively new platform that replaced StumbleUpon as a test case. When Susie ran Big Up Your Blog I remember many times people asked what stumbling was. Back then SU was new to many bloggers and on sharing days they were encouraged to share posts there as well as Pinterest and Twitter. As we learned more about the platform referrals started happening. It’s important to note that SU was already long established by the time most found it. The algorithms responded to users stumbling not just their own content, but others. Both on the site and off it. Tagging content operated much the same as on Twitter. There it’s hashtags, on SU it was categories. Use neither and your shared content flies off timelines unseen due to the vast number of posted links.
Hashtag use is a topic in its own right. Here I’m expanding on categories (or boards) used by SU and transferred to their improved site Mix.com.
I say improved because SU had an archaic user interface. It had been around for sixteen years, launched in 2002, and the founders wanted a new platform fit for the modern world.
Currently, it gets an average of 2.5 million visits per month and has done consistently over the last six-month period. We all want some of those visits to turn into blog referrals.
But how to do it when you’re not overly sure how it works?
Firstly, Mix is a bookmarking site or content aggregator. It is important to collect articles and posts into categories that match their content. Not dissimilar to Pinterest boards. Parenting posts aggregate under one board, food in another and so on. This is the easy bit to figure out.
Next, you can recycle all blog posts into Mix. Ensure they are in the correct categories so anybody searching those finds your content too. Social Media into “social media,” “blogging” or “networking” category, better still in all three. Do not decide to mass mix all your own content at once. It will get lost as you mix more.
The next thing applies to all social media. Use it regularly. I’ve slacked on mine recently due to personal reasons, but have been testing my theory on follower growth on Mix. The figures aren’t massive by any means, but I’ve added around 200 followers in recent weeks to 650, just under half of what I have on Pinterest.
At present blog referral from Mix isn’t great. Pinterest is still my top referrer. I’m fairly certain this is down to profile views. Pinterest gets 19k monthly views. A percentage of these tracks outwards to my blog.
With Mix, that figure isn’t available, but my growth rate there suggests profile views are increasing. This is fundamental to traffic referral. That will only happen if people are looking through your Mix profile or seeing posts mixed into categories they follow by other users.
The bigger the follower ratio the better the traffic referral via your profile.
Sharing content by fellow bloggers into categories that are highly followed the better the referral rate.
Two simple statements, but most bloggers asking the referral questions probably ignore.
To grow on Mix first look at categories having huge followings. These tell you what people are looking for. Check out profiles of influencers that have huge followings too. Find out what they Mix and into where.
Use that to formulate your own content. I use a mixture of categories around my blog ones. I want to get people looking at my profile and scrolling through categories. From there they mix directly into their own and often track out to read the post.
If you don’t have a huge following, then referral rates will be low or none existent. If, for example, only 10% of hits result in a blog referral then a low profile viewing rate will deliver very little. By contrast, a high viewing rate begins to increase the referral rate. I know that data from Pinterest. I also know algorithms are more generous to people who Mix content actively.
If you share via Facebook groups, then ensure the content matches what your profile wants to show. I have created a blogshare category for posts that don’t match my main ones. I’m also stricter on myself now too. I must like the blog post to share it. Anything outside my Mix interests might now find itself mixed into the blogshare category. That is not a statement on the blogger, but me making sure my audience on Mix stays focussed on my content.
For reference my top mix categories are
- Trending News
- Mental Health
- Writing Tips
- Pokemon Go
These are just a few examples from a total of 154 collections containing 1507 posts.
You may chuckle at the last one, I do! However, Pokemon Go is a global phenomenon with a diverse age range. I’m a writer who blogs. Huge potential audience that can read… go figure!
The rest were chosen to investigate follower growth. Politics, trending news, Marvel and so on have a huge global interest. Mixing into those trends in the recommended posts. That exposure allows people to find me. People that find me look at my profile, looking at the profile finds my categories which in turn exposes my blog.
Like many things, it’s better to do a few things well, rather than a lot of things badly. If you have may social media accounts, then maintaining them all takes time. With Mix I share articles several times a day, one or two at a time so it fits around coffee breaks. You should be working on Pinterest the same way.
The process is as follows:
- Check your profile. Use the same logo or photo as your blog. Link your blog to it so everything is consistent throughout your media.
- Get those category boards up and running. If you transferred to Mix when SU closed then your SU content will have migrated across. Most boards at that point were designated as private. Check any with the padlock symbol. Edit them as open or mix content you want to keep into another board and delete unwanted categories.
- Link up with fellow bloggers and friends. Share their content into your new boards and get them to reciprocate. Here, more is better. Especially if the content is category matched (think Twitter hashtags for why). Any blog share day can be used to easily share across multiple platforms. (See 5.)
- Use the explore tab to find new content on Mix itself and add relevant ones to your collections.
- Get the mix extension for your web browser and enable sharing. On iPads and iPhones, it’s just a case of getting the Mix app and enabling sharing. Then simply hit the square with the upward arrow in the scroll bar and tap on the app’s icon. Mix will come up and ask where you want to mix it too. Here you can select an existing board or create a new one. Keep in mind this method can be used for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more.
- Check out trending boards and what influencers are mixing. Replicate where interest are in common and consider adding one or two outside your own to draw people in. Many will also share your interests as well as the one that brought them across.
- Use the google app for trending articles. Mine is set up to open with new content which is easy to access and share.
- Think about how you share. Twitter is the easy one to consider here as we all use it. Just tweeting something helps nobody because it flies out of view as soon as it’s sent. Select the right hashtags for the article and it goes to the right audience every time. This applies to all sharing. Target where it’s sent. Create collections that have a theme. Haphazard sharing may work against you in the longer run.
- By all means, follow friends and bloggers. Don’t feel obligated to follow everyone that follows you. They are there because they are interested in what you share. Make yourself an influencer rather than a mass follower. You can’t keep up with everybody. That’s hard enough in the blogosphere never mind other places!
- Once your core strategy is in place then the process becomes much easier. Blog share days have better appeal and method.
These are by no means the only ways to grow audiences and traffic referral. Mix is still relatively new. I still see blogs with the old SU share button too. Many don’t have the new Mix one either. Do some housekeeping here and remove defunct share buttons (including G+ if your host theme hasn’t done it automatically). Adding a Mix share button is relatively easy.
Any questions or additions to that help new users of Mix are welcome. As are suggestions for successive posts here. If you have a question or problem that’s tearing your hair out, drop it into the Facebook Q&A post, Esme puts up, or here and I’ll try to find answers to present in future posts.