Get Off the Social Media Hamster Wheel, Blogger!

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You will not find a link to Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, Instagram, or Snapchat anywhere on this blog.

(And no, that’s not because I’m a cantankerous Luddite who thinks social media is to friendship what pornography is to sex. I have other reasons for thinking that.)

No, you won’t find many social media links on this blog because most social media platforms are

  • A) intentionally designed to corral users within the platform and
  • B) to limit the shelf life of user-generated content.

Based on several studies:

*Except viral videos.

(Half-life, by the way, is the amount of time it takes a piece of content to reach 50% of its lifetime engagement as measured by comments, retweets, impressions, clicks, etc.)

Dismal, right?!

And I admit: This is a flub.

When I started my first website, I got all excited. I signed up for Pinterest, YouTube, Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I was going to saturate the web with my awesomeness.

After 10 weeks, I quit. It was too much. I stopped tweeting and posting links to all my website content.

And you know what happened?

Absolutely nothing.

“But Andy,” you protest, “you didn’t try hard enough! You weren’t involved enough!”


Social media platforms are nothing but a vacuous black hole of user-generated content. When you post, you get one shot. Better make it count!

And tomorrow, you’ll do it all over again. That’s what “involvement” really looks like.

Simply reposting links to your content on social media platforms is a waste of time. If you’re crossing your fingers that incoming traffic will click a few ads and maybe buy an affiliate product, then the dribble of traffic you generate will almost certainly never pay for itself.

In contrast, the only intelligent use of a social media post is a direct call to action, where any engagement leads directly to a conversion. Say you’re selling a $97 education course. Out of 1,000 impressions, if 1% of readers click through and 1% convert, you earn $97. Not bad for an hour or two worth’s of work!

Since I’m not (yet, anyway) in the business of selling $97 courses, posting content on social media has no monetary benefit for

In fact, the only “social media” platforms that reward and promote content over the long term are Pinterest and YouTube.

However, I disagree with the categorization of these platforms as social media.Both have evolved into search engines with a social media slant.

  • Pinterest is one of the world’s largest visual content search engines
  • YouTube is the world’s primary video search engine.

But these platforms come with a hefty ante.

It is widely agreed that you need to post 5-15 pins a day if you want Pinterest to love you.

I don’t do anything 5-15 times a day besides breathing and blinking.

YouTube viewers expect high-quality audiovisual content. It can easily take 5-15 hours of prep work, filming, and editing to produce a single 15-30 minute video.

In 5-15 hours, I could write 5-15 blog posts.

In truth, I do plan to get involved in Pinterest and YouTube someday – especially YouTube. Both of these platforms offer opportunities for long-term growth, but as of now, I don’t have time to do them correctly.

Anyways, this dilemma is what I call the social media hamster wheel.

And it’s soooo tempting.

I mean, every other blog has a Facebook group and an Instagram story and a YouTube channel! Why shouldn’t you?

Two reasons.

  1. Unlike content you publish on your own website, you own nothing. Make a video for TikTok? Great! It’s not yours. If/when TikTok is no more, neither is your video.
  2. Because as of 2022, there remains only one source of compounding organic growth: SEO.

The operative word in that sentence is compounding.

A good blog post, with a little maintenance, can last for years – even decades! And as a single blog post rises, so to does your entire site. All ships rise with the tide, as they say.

SEO, you see, is planting seeds. With patience, later, you’ll get fruit.

You can’t plant seeds on most social media platforms. The day after you stop posting videos on TikTok, you’re ancient history. There’s no compounding return on your investment.

Unless you aim to be an influencer (in which case, I humbly suggest you’re reading the wrong blog), there’s no sense trying to make a living off social media.

Too often, bloggers hear that you should spend 2x as much time promoting your content as you do creating it.

Now, in theory, I believe that. Get the biggest bang for your buck, for sure.

But promotion comes in many forms. You don’t have to promote your content on Facebook. Just because “everyone is on Facebook” doesn’t mean you’ll get qualified impressions!

You could, for instance, promote your content on your email list (you are collecting email addresses, right?), or through a guest post on a respected site.

Or, if you’re a new blogger, you could wait to promote your content until you … hmmm, actually have a readership …. and then you have more than a snowball’s chance of hell of making money off conversions.

Compared to tweeting five times a day, your time would be much better spent generating your own content. Let the search engines feed and water your seeds. Don’t keep feeding the hungry maw of social media!

Get off the wheel!

If you don't share this post, a baby hamster will die.

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