If you've been blogging any amount of time, I'm sure you've joined at least one blogger support group. In those groups, I'm sure you've seen various threads that are meant to help other members get more traffic to their posts (blogger threads). The truth about blogger threads is that, while some of these are great for helping boost engagement on your site, the majority of them can actually hurt your blog in the long run.
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The Truth About Blogger Threads
As a new blogger, your biggest desire is to get your content in front of more eyes. But, there is a right and a wrong way to accomplish this! Blogger threads can be a way to generate some initial traffic to your site to get it picked up and recognized by the algorithm. However, overuse of these threads can be detrimental in actually growing your Christian ministry. There is a right and a wrong way to approach these blogger threads so I'm going to break down the truth about blogger threads and how you should be using them to achieve the best growth for your Christian blog ministry.
Types of Blogger Threads
There are many different types of blogger threads that are offered in some of the different blogger groups. Some offer all of them, others only offer certain ones. My biggest advice to you as a Christian blogger is to really focus on the ones offered in actual Christian blogger groups (more on this later).
- Click Through Threads – In these threads, you are asked to leave a link to a blog post (or another link), then everyone in the thread is required to visit each link then click through to another page on the site.
- Share Threads – In share threads, you are requested to leave a link to any blog post or another link you are wanting to promote. There usually isn't a requirement to visit every link in the thread, but you are encouraged to visit others in the thread that interest you and then share it on social media or Pinterest.
- Promo Threads – In these threads, you can pretty much share a link to anything (blog post, social platform, optin, etc) that you are wanting to drive traffic to or promote. Generally, these don't have a reciprocation requirement other than visiting any that interest you.
- Blog Post Comment Threads – For this thread, you simply leave a link to a blog post and are asked to visit others in the thread and comment on their posts.
- Social Follow Threads – For these, you leave a link to a social profile you are trying to grow and are asked to follow others in the thread.
- Social Engagement Threads – For social engagement threads, these are meant to help grow the engagement on social media. This is important for 1) applying to Influencer Programs and; 2) to get “cool points” with the platform's algorithm. You are asked to leave a link to a post on your social platform ( a tweet, a Facebook post, etc). You are then asked to visit others in the thread and “like” their post and leave a comment on it.
- Pinterest Follow Threads – Leave a link to your Pinterest profile, then follow others in the thread. Some of these are “all reciprocation” meaning you must follow everyone in the thread. Others ask that you simply follow others in your niche.
- Pinterest Pin RePin Threads – Leave a link to a Pin (not the blog post but the URL for the actual pin) and are asked to repin others in the thread. This helps boost the pin for that person which hopefully gets it picked up by the Pinterest algorithm and is shown more in feeds.
- Pin Comment Threads – Leave a link to a pin then visit others in the thread and leave a comment on the actual pin. Pinterest has said that doing this helps boost the pin in the Pinterest algorithm.
- Subscribe to Blog Threads – Leave a link to your blog or your direct Subscribe Form, then subscribe to others in the thread. This is meant to help others grow their subscriber list.
Are you over-participating in Blogger Threads? Find out which ones are actually good for your blog growth. Click To Tweet
Which Ones Are Good – Which Ones Are Bad?
With so many different types of blogger threads to join, how do you know which ones you should be focusing on? Which ones to stay away from? The truth about blogger threads is that you need to know the long-term effects of each one so you can decide what is the best use of your time.
There are several things to take into consideration when choosing which threads to join and which ones to avoid.
- How are they going to affect your blogging stats (bounce rate, etc)? This is so important because many of these threads will drive your bounce rate so high which means they are landing on your site and immediately leaving. Isn't the point for them to stick around and read your content?
- Some of these threads will create pointless backlinks to your site which can impact your off-page SEO.
- Are they helping to grow YOUR following (followers in YOUR general niche)?
Stay Away (or Use With Caution)
First, and foremost, as a Christian blogger you should only be joining blogger groups that are for Christian bloggers or that are specific to your niche (such as parenting). When joining blogger groups that aren't specifically Christian, however, be mindful of the rules for sharing Christian content in them because some groups outright prohibit the sharing of faith-content. For those that do allow it, keep an eye on your stats to ensure your time is well-spent. Also, stay away from General Blogger groups that are really for just any blogger because they will be less likely to reciprocate your efforts because your target audiences are completely different.
Stay Away From
Of all the blogger threads mentioned above, the ones you should absolutely STAY AWAY FROM are the Click Through threads. The point of these threads is to increase sessions, users, and page views to your site. Doesn't sound like a bad thing to do, right? But here is the problem. Most of the people in these threads will visit your site, immediately click through to another page, then leave. They aren't reading your content and most likely aren't your target audience. As a result of the “fast clicking and leaving,” your bounce rate will jump up to an unhealthy number.
- Stay away from any threads that require “All Reciprocation.” In these threads, you must reciprocate every single link in the thread (which can sometimes be a lot). With these threads, you run the risk of having a high bounce rate, but also having your Pinterest pins being shared to “general” boards which doesn't help you. For the other threads (not Click Through), only join them if they say something like “visit others” or “visit 5 others” or something like that.
- Stay away from “Follow for Follow” and “Follow All” threads. These require you to follow every single person in the thread (some of which might not be your niche). These also have a tendency to have follow-up conversations complaining of some losing followers shortly after. When it comes to growing your followers, focus on growing your platform organically by followers in your niche who genuinely want to follow you.
- Stay away from “Subscribe to Blog” threads. The point of having a subscriber list is to have people voluntarily join your list because they genuinely like what you offer on your site. Growing your subscriber list should be accomplished naturally by using sound SEO practices because these subscribers will be more likely to actually read the emails you send out (and click on any links you might include in the emails).
Are you participating in blogger Click-Through threads? STOP now! Click To Tweet
Use With Caution
Most of the remaining threads can be helpful to your blog growth, however, you must use them sparingly and with caution. When joining any blogger thread, always watch your stats to make sure you bounce rate isn't getting higher. Watch your page views and the time viewers are staying on your site.
- Comment Threads – Comments are great because they show the algorithm that your content is important. Keep in mind that there are good and bad comments. If you are getting a lot of quick comments such as “great post,” I would avoid or simply delete the comment. This can actually appear as spam to the crawlers. Also, be mindful of the bloggers who are leaving comments. You want to create quality backlinks which means you want quality comments from others in your niche. (This is another reason to avoid joining General Blogger groups).
- Pinterest Repin Threads – Avoid joining these threads if they require you to repin every single pin in the thread. This can lead to your pins being saved to “general” boards which do NOT help you at all. Also, be VERY mindful of the quality of the pins being shared. Your Pinterest success depends on you sharing quality pins from other people. If the majority of the members participating in this thread do not have fully optimized pins for you to share, then I would avoid that thread completely.
The Bottom Line with Blogger Threads
The bottom line is that you should first be focusing on driving traffic to your blog by focusing on your Avatar (target audience) and doing SEO keyword research to get visitors to your site organically. Beyond that, it is a good idea to participate “minimally” in certain blogger threads. Make sure you are only participating in blogger threads in Christian-specific blogger groups and those in your specific niche. Choosing the right group is only a part of it. Make sure you are watching your analytics to ensure these groups aren't damaging your stats. Also, be mindful of the links being shared in the group. Ensure you aren't having to share content that isn't necessarily “quality” as far as being optimized for Pinterest (for Pinterest threads).
The truth about blogger threads is that they can be a really great way to get initial traction on your new posts so they get picked up by the algorithm. You might also find new people who are truly interested in the content and become a genuine follower of your blog.
While we do recommend in some participation in these threads, we do NOT recommend you participate in them daily. When you publish a new post, participate in a couple of threads ONCE for that post. When you are participating in these threads every single day, the time it takes you to reciprocate in the groups could be time spent on more productive tasks such as researching SEO for a new post, updating SEO for older posts, or creating new pinnable images for older posts. Always be mindful of the time you commit to various tasks as a Christian blogger. Make sure that time is spent more on things that matter and will actually benefit your blog in the long run.
Be sure to also read:
- The Truth About Blog Traffic
- 7 Reasons Your Christian Blog is Tanking
- The Sneaky Jesus Approach to Christian Blogging
- The Truth About the Yoast Plugin