By Chris Taylor, The Forgiven Wife
In the beginning, there is the blog. You have things to say about marriage, you start to write, you get some readers, and you start to feel settled on your blogging feet.
Before you know it, you have a reader asking you if you have a Facebook page. Or you notice what other blogs do with their Facebook pages. Or you think about how nice it would be to share other bloggers’ work with your readers.
There are pros and cons to having a Facebook page for your blog.
- It can drive traffic to your blog. When you share one of your posts, potential readers will see when their friends Like or Share—and you can get new readers.
- You can share posts from other blogs more easily, even adding some commentary or links to your posts that address similar subjects.
- It extends the ways you can interact with readers. Some readers may have a quick question that they don’t want to bother you with in email—but they will post on your Facebook page or send you a quick message there.
- You can share things that don’t really fit on your blog—memes you like, pictures of your daily life, snippets about your life, etc. It’s a fun way for your readers to get to know you
- You can schedule posts. Many bloggers regularly share posts from their archives on Facebook. It keeps your page active, even if you’re in a writing slump. You can sit down on a Saturday afternoon and schedule a different post to be shared for every day of the following week.
- You can run contests.
- You can interact with other blog pages using your page identity. It is a way of networking.
- It expands your “brand.” Your blog’s logo and header image can be adapted for use on the Facebook page. It keeps you in front of your readers in a different way than if they have to go to your blog to see if there’s anything new going on.
- You stay anonymous. Your posts and comments on your page will be made with your page’s identity, not with your personal identity.
- In order for your Facebook page to stay dynamic, it will need regular attention. It might mean daily posts from your archives or even just one post a week—but if you aren’t sharing anything, your fans won’t be seeing anything from you.
- If you get one difficult post from a fan on your page, a conversation between fans can erupt fairly quickly. You need to be able to get to the page to smooth things over and delete posts if necessary. While it isn’t likely to happen, if it does, you’ll be glad if you can get there quickly.
- It gives you one more account to monitor. You already have your blogging account. You likely have an email address for your blog and maybe a Twitter account as well. This is one more thing to keep track of.
- If you have limited time, it may take away from time you can spend writing. While a Facebook page doesn’t have to take a lot of time, it doesn’t take care of itself.
- If your blog writes about a sensitive subject (such as infidelity or sexual intimacy), you may not see much interaction, and some readers will be hesitant to Like your page out of concern that their friends will see and wonder what is going on in their marriages. This may mean that you don’t see as many of the pros as if you wrote about other aspects of marriage.
In deciding if you want to have a Facebook page for your blog, prayerfully consider these questions:
- Is it likely to expand the ministry that happens on my blog or distract from it?
- Do I have time to add that on to what I am already doing?
- Am I interested in interacting with readers in a new way, or do I prefer it the way it is?
While you’re still in the process of deciding whether to proceed with a Facebook page for your blog, you can set one up and not make it public right away.
If you decide to go ahead, Facebook’s Help Center for Pages will guide you. It covers basic setup, procedures for setting the name, thinking about moderation, running contests, and more.