Write on- Fabulous Guest Post on using Social Media by Andra Watkins that I had to share!

Black and white photograph of the author's desk-susan sheldon nolen

  • One of the joys of blogging is coming across blogs that help, make you laugh, or just brighten your day, Andra’s wonderful style of writing does just that. I wanted to share a post from her that I found very helpful. Technology sometimes makes my head spin and I hope you find this post as helpful as I did…Thanks Andra for the permission to reprint this!



To the Frustrated Blogger

by Andra Watkins on April 10, 2013

lion at lincoln park zoo, lion at chicago zoo, lion at lincoln park zoo chicago,

Frustration. It’s been in the air for a while now all over the Great Blogosphere. In private, I’ve felt it myself. But when some of my favorite writers started expressing their own agonies, I decided to write this post. I hope it will give you a massive confidence bump. Or something.

The recent changes in your blog statistics are not about you.

Back in September, Google released a major update to their search engine. Called Panda, its stated goal was to help people find exactly what they were searching for. Its unstated goal was to shake things up and to compete with companies like Amazon and Facebook that are pulling away their market share.

Panda was such a fundamental change to Google search that most SEO-types recommended that folks go back and optimize every bit of content to meet the new rules. And, it teed up Google’s new mission to require a Google+ account with linked authorship, which will usher in a new system called ‘Author Rank‘ in the coming months. To me, Author Rank is little more than a popularity contest.


I thought I graduated from high school in 1987. I want to scream ‘what grade are we in?’


Combine a major Google update with Facebook’s push to optimize every newsfeed with ads and sponsored stories. Casual blog readers aren’t seeing blog links like they did a few months ago, because Facebook is pushing those out of the system in favor of people who are willing to pay for the same space.

These changes impact numbers. Your numbers.

I don’t expect things to level off. When major tech players fight over market share, the users lose. Every time.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stay the course. Keep writing. Support each other. I miss you when you’re not here. All of you. And I don’t mean on my blog. I mean in the Great Blogosphere.

What can you do?

  1. Post new content every day. Panda rewards it.
  2. Continue to fill your posts will relevant links.
  3. Utilize the tags and categories features in your blogging platform.
  4. Tag your photos in the Alt Tag field when you upload. Panda allows image search for tagged words.
  5. Use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  6. Claim authorship of your blog on Google+. I wrote a post about that topic here.
  7. Make sure your blog is visually appealing. Pictures are a big deal on the Visual Web, and that’s where the internet is headed.
  8. Solicit direct subscribers for your blog.

These rules may seem cumbersome, but they only add a couple of extra minutes per post for me. A few little tweaks can yield a big return in increased engagement.

Good luck.

And, if any other readers have suggestions, please post them in the comments.

And, yes. I know the photo is of me with a lion, not a panda.


You can read more of Andra’s  fabulous blog on the link below.



About susan sheldon nolen

It’s rare to catch me without coffee, a form of camera, or my beloved wire fox terriers. I love the history, the art, and it’s a massive part of my life, as I either paint, write, or get interrupted by my dogs, reminding me of the real world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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10 Responses to Write on- Fabulous Guest Post on using Social Media by Andra Watkins that I had to share!

  1. Thanks for sharing this post with your readers, Susan. I’m really glad it has been helpful.

  2. Lance says:

    I consider the great andra my friend. she cares about what she does what her friends try to do. This post is proof.

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    I claimed authorship of my blog on Google+, or at least I thought I did, but then when I test it, it claims I didn’t. I seem to be in a vicious circle, and I don’t have the time to try and figure it out.

    Great article.

  4. Tom Merriman says:

    This was a good post by Andra, Susan. I’ve felt the frustration… still feel it actually, but try to push it to one side! Still, all we can do is keep on keeping on… I need to work on my relevant links, and tagging my pictures. But, every tip comes in handy!

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