I’ve conducted many experiments in my adult life since learning from personal development blogger Steve Pavlina’s example. His blog is filled to the brim with all kinds of experiments – manifesting $1 million dollars, raw food diet, juice fasting, and more.
I think my first experiment was learning mandolin for 30 days. I’ve since done all kinds of things, whether it’s learning Joomla, walking 8,000 steps per day, writing 365 songs in a year, or otherwise.
The most significant experiment I recently completed was publishing daily for a full year. In a way, I’m still on that journey. It’s just that it’s taken a different form.
And you can bet that the results of these experiments factor into how I approach my work and life. I have actionable data and insights I can learn from to better my future endeavors.
You need to leave some time in you life for experimentation – in music, in business, and even in your personal life.
Ever notice how time seems to fly when you’re doing the same things day in day out without much change?
But how it seems to slow down when you’re constantly exposed to new things? And how much more exciting that experience is?
I’ve been living in Abbotsford, BC now for two years, and I love it here. Long-term, I could see myself moving to a nearby city, mind you (Abbotsford is fine, it’s just a little far from the action for my tastes – Langley or Coquitlam would be more to my liking).
I’ve explored quite a bit, but there is still a lot that’s new and novel about the area I’m living in. And it feels good.
My adventures have been a far cry from traveling the world, which is what I originally had in mind, but life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
Establishing a framework for experimentation (novelty), can’t hurt. How much time will you spend trying something new? What rules will you put into place? What actions will you take?
Dedicating about 20% of your time to the new is a good place to start. You just never know what you might discover in the process.
For years, I’ve been fascinated with content syndication and distribution.
I would often think about how many places I could put my content, as well as where I could go to be seen, even if just by one person who found my content valuable.
Now, I don’t dedicate the same amount of time and energy to it that I used to. But once I’ve established a publishing routine, a content syndication and distribution routine are usually soon to follow.
Is it worth putting your time into promoting your content? Would it be better to spend more time writing instead? I would suggest you come to your own conclusions on that, and the following may help.
Here I will share the 18 social networks and platforms I’ve been experimenting with.
My “Green Light” List
As I’ve shared before, I’ve committed to growing my following on Medium and Twitter this year, so they have been excluded from the following list.
All other social networks and platforms have been quarantined for further review, though there are two or three on the list that are about to make my green light list.
By the way, when I talk about my green light list, it’s just a simple traffic light system:
- Green for sites that I’m focused on and am seeing results from
- Yellow for sites I’m not sure about yet
- Red for sites that haven’t done a thing for me (and in some cases are to be avoided completely)
With that context established, we’re ready to dive in. Here are the platforms I’ve been experimenting with and my thoughts on each.
Facebook sucks. I’m sorry, it just does.
It’s trying to be the next one-stop-shop like Google, with its dating this, marketplace that, and gaming other (and now they’re looking to branch out into articles too?).
Just do what you do well, Facebook, which at this point is nothing. Even social aspect of Facebook is beyond cumbersome, and Telegram is a far superior Messenger.
Don’t worry about Zuckerberg. He will find a way to keep it afloat, with his big government and big pharma collusion.
So, why bother with Facebook?
There are still a lot of people on the platform. Social Media Today says their growth has stalled (I honestly think it’s on decline), but those who are hooked are still hooked. So, you’ve got to be there if you want to capture that audience.
Look, I know some people do well on Facebook. So, I’m not discouraging anyone from trying, and like I said, I’m trying too.
But if you so much as dare post anything that links outside of Facebook, you’re basically penalized for it, which makes it a horrible place to invest heavily into as a writer. Even their ad platform is needlessly convoluted, and constantly changing.
The occasional (but rare) engagement on my posts and direct messages are what keeps me going back to this dirty, polluted, and stinky fishing hole.
People are still going gaga over Instagram, even as they add new (but confusing and half-finished) functionality.
For Instagram, I take my most engaged tweets and turn them into attractive but simple 1080×1080 images. And I schedule these out to publish once per day. This doesn’t take long to do at all.
I have seen some engagement as result of this, but my following hasn’t grown. At this point, it’s still too early to tell, mind you. I guess we’ll see where it goes.
A lot of writers and entrepreneurs are seeing results from sharing on LinkedIn, and I am too. I’ve seen decent engagement on my articles, and my connections continue to grow weekly.
The dirty secret about LinkedIn is that it used to be a boring and stuffy environment, so posting anything that’s the slightest bit eye-catching (like a video) had the chance to go viral.
I say used to be, because many people are seeing the term “LinkedIn” in a story like this and are staking their claim on the platform.
So far, I haven’t seen explosive engagement on LinkedIn. But I would at least say it’s been worthwhile, especially since it has led to other writing opportunities for me.
I guess I’m not exactly “experimenting” with YouTube. I’m staying steady with it. It’s just that it’s not on my “green light” list.
Gradually, I have been seeing my subscriber base grow on YouTube, but it has been slow, and I have a channel with hundreds of videos.
To be fair, most of it isn’t content developed to appeal to the average YouTube viewer, who comes ready to watch and expects production value. I mostly republish my podcast content.
Either way, you can’t deny that YouTube is huge, and in the last year, I have only found myself using it more and more. I would suspect it’s been the same for you.
Which tells you something. You should probably post something on YouTube.
I recently realized that there’s virtually nothing about my five books on YouTube, and it’s probably one of the first places people are searching for them, so I’m planning to create a video series for each book.
My WordPress blogs are set to auto-post to Tumblr.
Much to my surprise, I’ve been seeing my following grow incredibly consistently on Tumblr without effort.
If I continue to see the same kind of growth, it’s only a matter of time before I green light Tumblr.
VK is Russia’s answer to Facebook, and if you’re just learning about it now, you’re a little late to the game. The site started in 2006.
It takes me all of 10 to 30 seconds to share my content on VK, so I do it, but so far, I haven’t seen any action on my posts.
That said, Google obviously has its eyes on it. When you click on the “Share” button on YouTube, there are several sites that pop up, and among them is VK. Whatever is prioritized by YouTube is bound to be a signal for Google too.
As with anything else, pinning a new post to Pinterest takes all of 10 to 30 seconds. But I can’t say it has led to engagement, and my follower count has basically stayed the same since I started.
Of course, Pinterest is a visual platform. If you’re just going there to pin your Medium post, you’re going to end up pinning the stock photo you picked for the story, and that’s not attention grabbing enough for Pinterest.
If you want to do Pinterest right, you should create custom graphics or curate and organize other people’s best images.
Mix is another signal that Google (or at the very least YouTube) pays attention to. It’s basically a social bookmarking site. It reminds me a bit of StumbleUpon, and as it turns out, Mix is a literal outgrowth of StumbleUpon.
But unlike StumbleUpon, Mix won’t send you much traffic to your articles or website. I think I have over 150 posts on Mix now, and I haven’t seen much movement at all.
As of now, I can’t say it’s worth it, but I’m keeping an eye on it.
I literally just got started on Clubhouse, so at this point I’m not sure whether it will add any value to my content syndication and distribution efforts.
I’m skeptical of any notion that experts are sharing knowledge and insights on Clubhouse they’ve held back on elsewhere.
Still, I will set aside my skepticism long enough to give this one a go (as I have done with every other platform).
Earlier this year, Twitter acquired newsletter platform Revue. This only came to my attention a few weeks ago.
But as someone who is quite active on Twitter, I couldn’t resist the idea of creating and monetizing a newsletter. And Revue makes it incredibly easy to set up your newsletter.
I have been sending out my newsletter (Creative Alchemist) once per week for about three weeks now, but I don’t have a single subscriber.
Of course, even if I did end up with a big list, I would still be proactive about backing it up, because you just never know what could happen to a platform like Revue.
Anyway, I like the idea of Revue. I just haven’t seen any traction from it yet.
If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to with Revue, go here.
11. News Break
As other writers grow bearish of News Break, I continue to grow more bullish of it. And if I were thinking purely in terms of revenue, I would probably be putting most of my time and energy into writing for News Break over Medium. My Medium revenue has a long way to go to catch up to my News Break revenue.
That said, there’s a good chance you’re still going to get more views on your stories on Medium, so there is a tradeoff.
For the time being, News Break has been added to my green light list.
If you’re thinking about becoming a News Break writer, click here.
I like the idea of being in people’s pockets. No, not literally. People are weary of coming within six feet of each other as is.
No, what I mean is that I could be a notification or alert away from someone’s attention. And Telegram gives me that. I like it better than text messaging (which generally needs to be personal to get results), and like I said earlier, it’s far more usable than Messenger.
But as I’ve found, it may not work for you unless your audience uses Telegram, and you already have a significant following.
In the time I’ve been using Telegram and have been encouraging people to subscribe to my channel, I have gained a total of five subscribers. Well, that’s something, I guess.
If you want to follow me on Telegram, click here.
With the 2020 and 2021 media hysteria, we’ve seen the rise of free speech and alternative social media sites, and Brighteon.Social is just one among many.
Brighteon, by the way, is a video sharing site much like YouTube, and Brighteon.Social is their Twitter alternative.
When I first started experimenting on Brighteon.Social, I didn’t expect many people to be there, and I figured the conversation would mostly revolve around politics.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I have come across some weirdos. But much to my surprise, people started engaging and sharing my articles, and I have grown a small following too.
Again, I have not seen explosive growth, but if the momentum picks up from here, I could see myself green-lighting Brighteon.Social.
To be honest, I’m already quite excited about Odysee, a free speech video sharing platform that resembles YouTube more and more by the day (and it’s a bit like YouTube was 10 years ago).
Odysee runs on the blockchain, and your channel is monetized the moment you start it. You can earn LBRY Credits (or LBC) by completing small actions like verifying your email address, watching videos, growing your following, and more. Of course, you can also receive tips from other viewers.
As it stands now, I’m mostly uploading older content over to Odysee. If I were serious about making a go of it, I would be more heavily invested in creating engaging video content.
Still, I’ve been able to earn over 300 LBC in the short amount of time I’ve been on the platform, and that’s the equivalent of about $84. Way more than I would earn on YouTube for the same number of followers and views.
If you’re thinking about joining Odysee, click here.
Parler is the most notorious free speech newcomer on the block, and yes, it’s up and running again.
I’ve only started posting there recently, so I have no idea whether I’ll begin to see any engagement on my posts or if I’ll be able to grow a following.
Likely, I will share in a follow up piece.
What follows, from here, are all new free speech-oriented platforms that, for me, tend to blend. Which is to say, I haven’t seen much traction on any of the following, despite remaining diligent with daily posting.
I’m not ready to write anything off, but so far, I can’t say I’m bullish about Minds or the other two that follow.
Now, I will say this about Minds – they give you the ability to monetize your posts, something I have yet to experiment with. To be able to do this, though. you will need to become a paid member.
So far, I think I have a following of two on MeWe. That’s something.
I have a following of one on Gab. Wow, dude.
Other Platforms I Might Begin Experimenting with
I have some interest in the following, though my hands are quite full right now:
If nothing else, experimentation can be a lot of fun.
It doesn’t take a long time to share your posts on various social networks and platforms, so if you wanted to make it a part of your routine, it’s good to know it wouldn’t be overly effort intensive.
Of course, if you want to make the most of every platform, you’ve got to customize your approach to each. So, that’s not worth it unless you’ve got a freelancer or team to handle it for you.
I look forward to writing a following up piece on this to report on my various experiments.
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