Step 5 – Social Networks & Newsletter
Setting up your social networks and newsletter is a critical step in starting a site. Your social networks drive traffic to your site and give you a platform where you can ‘socialise’ with your readers. A newsletter also drives traffic, allowing you to send out new content and news to your readers.
Once you’ve started your site, or even before this, you can set up your social networks. If you have started already, you may want to set up a Landing Page first, before working on your social efforts. This is simply so that people don’t come across your site while it’s under construction. Just remember, as soon as you have opened your Twitter or LinkedIn page, add a link to your Landing page.
First off, you need to decide what social networks you’ll be using.
Facebook is a good way to reach your audience, and its versatility means you can add video, article links, news, and more, all while getting valuable feedback from your readers. You’ll need a personal account first, from which you can set up a page for your site.
Instagram and Pinterest are more visual social networks. Twitter lets you send out quick updates or keeps your readers informed about new content. If you’re using videos, which is where a lot of internet traffic is going, you’ll want to use YouTube. And for professional or business connections, it’s LinkedIn.
There are plenty more social networks to choose from, but you don’t need them all. Choose a handful (two or three only to start with) that suit your needs and your target market. Social networking takes time, so you don’t want to take on more than you can handle. But at the same time, it is an essential element of starting a website.
Once you’ve started your social network feeds, you can add the links to your website. Use the social media icons on your homepage and add the links to your other pages. You can even include on your other networks – put your Twitter URL on Facebook and vice versa. In other words, make your social channels easy to find and follow.
Setting up a newsletter
There are a lot of reasons to have a regular newsletter, not least of which is to keep your readers informed about new content. If your content is being read and shared, then your SEO will benefit from this. Plus your readers won’t forget about you.
Newsletters can also be automated, so you can send emails to customers when they sign up, when they’re ready for the next lesson, and so on. This cuts down on your time, but also ensures that your subscribers are getting what they need, and when they need it.
Promotions, new content, company news – these can all be promoted through your newsletter. And cross-promoted on your social networks. You can also get feedback from your readers. Or use newsletters to generate advertising revenue. The possibilities are many and varied.
But why do you need to set it up now? If you can start gathering email addresses now, before your site goes live, then you can reach out to all those people as you go live. This will generate instant traffic and boost your site.
Once you’ve set up your social networks and your newsletter, you can move on to creating a landing page.
A newsletter service, like MailChimp, is a good option. They can provide everything you need for creating a unique newsletter. More than that, they offer tips, suggestions, A/B testing, and the like, so you can get the most out of your newsletter. You can even automate your emails.
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