One of the best decisions I’ve ever made is when I decided to start my own blog to make some extra money for my family. One of the most amazing changes to my blog game happened when I started utilizing Facebook Groups.
I saw huge changes in my traffic and interactions almost instantly, so if you haven’t given Facebook Groups a shot yet, I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend doing so ASAP.
That being said, when I first started joining Facebook Groups, I got completely overwhelmed.
Because I’m a millennial to the core and have used a personal Facebook account since college, the moment I started joining groups, I felt as if my personal Facebook had disappeared. My timeline was no longer filled with entertaining articles from coworkers, or pictures of all of my friends’ babies. Instead, it was people posting in my new Groups and not a whole heck of a lot else.
I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t even want to look at Facebook because it was so stressful for my semi-OCD mind who likes things (especially anything work-related) to be neat and orderly.
The thing is…the traffic increase was remarkable, and I hadn’t really seen great success with any of my other strategies.
I decided to find a way to utilize Facebook Groups for my blog without stressing me the heck out every time I logged in.
After an hour or so, I had fine-tuned this strategy that was both effective and not completely overwhelming:
How to Use Facebook Groups for Your Blog Without Getting Overwhelmed
1. Don’t Join All the Groups Right Away
When you first start searching for relevant Facebook Groups, especially if you’re looking for “blog Groups”, there are tons and tons and TONS of results.
I was absolutely blown away at the sight of all the little communities and immediately started clicking “join” “join” “join” on anything that looked like it could apply to me.
Don’t do this.
Joining too many groups too quickly is the easiest way to overwhelm yourself.
Instead, pick 3-5 Facebook Groups to try out initially. And when you’re trying to decide which ones to join, make sure that you…
2. Find Groups Dedicated to Your Niche
The first few groups I joined where a mix of general blogging groups and ones that are more specific to my niche.
While there are some benefits to participating in the more general blogging groups (exposure to a different audience and a great place to get input on blogging techniques and advice, to name a few), I find that I get my best results in groups that are a little closer to my niche. For me, that’s parenting/mom blogger groups (e.g. One of my absolute favorite groups that I’m in right now is Mom Bloggers Tribe, which is specifically for mom bloggers like me.).
Finding Facebook Groups that are close to your niche will usually:
- Get you visible results a little faster
- Be more fun because you’re often meeting like-minded folks
- Reduce your stress level because you’re sharing your posts with an audience who can relate
When I first started interacting in some of the more general blogging groups, I quickly realized that not everyone cared about articles like 7 Foods to Reduce Acid Reflux During Pregnancy. Believe it or not, that kind of article is much more easy to share in a Facebook Group made up of mom bloggers. Shocking, right? 🙂
Being in groups where your articles will be useful will go a long way in reducing your anxiety about being active in Facebook groups. No blogger writes for everyone. Find your tribe and stick with ’em.
3. Unfollow the Groups and Check Pages Periodically Instead
So, as I mentioned earlier, I use my personal Facebook account to keep up with my in-person friends and family members. When I log onto Facebook, I prefer seeing those sorts of posts as my default, as I have since I started using Facebook in college.
When I started joining groups, the updates and posts were completely taking over my timeline, which I absolutely hated. I aim for work-life balance, and because blogging is my work, I want to be able to check in and check out of it periodically without feeling like it’s taking over everything.
The great thing about Facebook is you can unfollow anyone or any group you’d like, and still stay in the group or remain friends. Bonus: this is a super useful tip if you ever need to unfollow a family member’s constant political posts without unfriending them. You’re welcome. 😉
To unfollow the posts of a group, you simply:
- Go to the Group Page
- Look under the heading to find “Notifications”
- Use the drop down menu and select “Off” (See below)
Done! You may have to refresh your page for it to go into effect, but you will no longer have updates from the Group in your newsfeed.
Now, in doing this there is the chance that you’ll miss out on an “urgent” update from the group. For me, it’s a risk I’m more than willing to take. Most of the groups I participate in are wonderful about posting consistently at the same time every day, so missing something never really happens. Anything that’s super time-sensitive tends to stress me out, and I need none of that in my life.
Since you’re not getting updates in your newsfeed, you will need to set a time every day to go to the group page and look at the posts. I usually do this a few times a day: once in the morning, midday, and then a time or two in the evening. The exact schedule depends on your own availability.
4. Turn Off Notifications for Posts You Participate In
When you’re participating in a post in a Facebook Group, it’s likely that other people (sometimes lots and lots of other people) will comment on a post after you do. Facebook’s default settings are for you to receive a notification whenever someone comments after you, which can get quite annoying when it’s just people posting link after link.
To save myself some sanity, I always turn off notifications for Facebook Group posts that I’m participating in.
To turn off notifications for a post, you:
- Go to the post that you want to turn off notifications for
- Click on the little down arrow in the upper right hand corner of the post to open a menu
- Click on “Turn off notifications for this post”
That’s it! You can always go back to the post and turn the notifications back on if you’d like to, but in my experience it’s so much less overwhelming when the notification you receive is significantly reduced.
5. Use the “Save” Option as Your To-Do List
This is hands down the thing that keeps my Facebook Groups organized and not stressful to use.
A wonderful feature that Facebook has added lately is the option to “Save” any posts that you have access to on Facebook to review later. Cool, right? This is super helpful since Facebook switched up it’s algorithm a bit and no longer displaces posts in chronological order.
This is a super helpful little trick when you’re using Facebook Groups for your blog.
When you participate in a Facebook Group post, you’ll want to:
- Click on the down arrow in the upper right-hand side of the post box to open a menu
- Click “Save post”
Wohoo! Your post is now saved.
To access the post that you’ve saved:
- Click on “Home” at the top of your screen to go to your main Facebook feed page
- Find the Menu on the left-hand side of your Facebook feed page
- Click on “Saved” (Under the “Explore” section)
That’s it! You’ll see a list of all of the posts that you’ve saved in one neat little list.
To keep it organized, make sure to “Unsave” each post that you’ve completed. (You can “unsave” the post the same way that you saved it, but click “Unsave Post” instead of “Save Post”. When you refresh you’re saved list, anything unsaved will be removed.
This will give you a perfect to-do list of all of the posts that you still need to do something with. So much easier than frantically searching and scrolling through each group’s page to find that one post that you opted-in on two days ago. GAME CHANGER.
6. Only Participate in Posts That Give You Results
Give every group a chance, but you ultimately only want to invest your time and energy in Facebook Groups that you’re seeing results from.
Results from Facebook Groups can be in the form of:
- Increases in web traffic
- More interaction on your social media accounts and posts
- Finding a tribe who will actually enjoy reading what you write
If you’re the only one participating in a Facebook Group…it’s probably time to move on to a different one. The whole point of social media is to get social, after all. 🙂
Bottom Line: Don’t be afraid of Facebook Groups! I know it can be a little intimidating if you’ve never joined one, but go ahead and try a few. Follow the above steps and stay sane while you’re using them. 🙂