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 they are great for connecting with other Christian bloggers, 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 but it is important to understand how this type of traffic can impact your blog in the long run.
The truth is that participation in most of these threads is really not a good use of your time if you want your blog to grow. Over-participation can actually:
- have a negative impact on bounce rate
- skew your actual analytics
- don't actually bring a good return on the time investment
The time you spend “tending” to those threads (reciprocating, etc) could be spent on more productive things like writing new optimized content. Share threads literally bring the same people back to your site (other bloggers in the group) and don't reach anyone new.
Also, if this is the only way you get traffic, the first day that you don't participate, you traffic disappears. This is NOT productive or fruitful blogging!
Types of Blogger Threads
There are many different types of blogger threads that are offered in some of the different blogger groups. They can be categorized into ones that impact your blog, social media, and/or Pinterest.
- 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. 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, leave a comment on it, and/or share 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.
Which Ones Are Good – Which Ones Are Bad?
Generally speaking, you should be spending VERY LITTLE time doing share threads. To put it simply, this is like sharing your work with your office co-workers every day. And while you may find a few who actually are interested in your content, most are only visiting your site so you will visit theirs.
Your goal as a Christian blogger is to reach NEW people – people who are actually looking for you (your target audience).
Social Sharing Threads
If you are currently trying to grow your social media platform (FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc), then these might be something that can help you. But be mindful of who is running the group and what the rules (and purpose) are.
A really great group to help boost social media engagement/following is Social Media for Christian Ministries (by Jessie Synan). Jessie is a social media guru and creates threads that truly help members grow their platforms the right way.
Pinterest Engagement Threads
It is no secret that Pinterest has become an ever-changing platform that can also be a huge time-suck with VERY minimal return. What I mean by “minimal return” is that the amount of traffic to your blog from spending an hour on Pinterest is very small when compared to the amount of traffic you can get from spending one hour optimizing content for SEO.
Pinterest share threads really don't help your blog traffic grow in the long run. The Pinterest algorithm can actually tell that the repins aren't natural.
Pinterest FOLLOW threads are also not productive. When someone follows you, they will then see your pins in their home feed. Since groups often have members from ALL blogging niches, you end up with a hot mess in your home feed.
Your algorithm does better when who you follow somewhat matches what you also pin. Let Pinterest users follow you naturally (Pinterest search, follow call to action on your blog, etc).
Blog Share Threads
When it comes to spending time doing blog share threads, I would say to just don't do them!
Again, the traffic you get isn't real traffic. It is forced. You will never be able to tell who your real audience is or if you are reaching them if all of your traffic is coming from these groups.
Instead, focus on writing content that is optimized for SEO so it will be found naturally in organic search results.
Aside from share threads, there are groups that offer encouragement and support, as well as helpful blogging tips. These are great because you can ask questions and also connect with other bloggers in your niche.
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.
If you do decide to participate in blog share threads, please limit it to once per week and avoid sharing the same post more than once. When you publish a new post, participate in a couple of threads ONCE for that post.
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.
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