Well, you can’t. Right?
That’s the received wisdom. You have to post on social media to direct people to your blog because nobody has RSS feeds any more, nobody curates what we used to grudgingly call “the blogosphere,” message boards in the old style are now Slacks and Discords and you can’t reach into those black boxes, and… blogs are old and niche now anyway. Microposting took away the impetus for most writers to self-publish.
Except some of us want to write complete statements in places we own and control, and garden our own thoughts and experiences in an interlinked, searchable way.
As I noted in a previous post, traffic to this site is predictable, and always has been. It got close to doubling if I had a link posted on Twitter, and went right back down the next day if I didn’t. Neither number is huge. LTD has always been subject to pauses and hiatuses, chiefly because my job is writing and in busy periods there hasn’t always been enough writing left in me on a given day to sustain this site.
I would like to change that in 2023. I am also not using social media, and don’t intend to. If Twitter in 2018 didn’t hold any pleasure for me, Masto and Post aren’t going to get me in 2023. And with the changes to Twitter, it seems to many people like they’re technically shadowbanned if they don’t cough up for Blue. There is an argument for using social media as a syndication engine, but honestly, right now, I don’t see that game as being worth the candle.
So here’s my 2023 experiment. Building LTD up in a sustained way without doing the thing everyone’s been doing since the 2010s – leaning on social media as the one and only growth tool.
Let me point you now to ooh.directory, Phil Gyford’s growing directory of living blogs. And it updates live when any of them post a new piece. That’s one plank in a new stage for personal publishing. (Great job, Phil, by the way.)
“Growth” isn’t necessarily the thing that interests me. Doing proper work on this site, connecting things up properly, sustaining– these are the things to look at. Can it be done without having to send up brief, dim, desperate flares on social media a dozen times a day? Let’s find out.
(A not fully baked thought that I apparently wrote down on Jan 6.)