Do you use a Facebook fan page to promote your blog and books? How about Google? Do you depend on Feedburner for free blog feeds?
Free was great, but now it’s over.*
Stephanie Manley of CopyKat Recipes alerted me that Facebook now wants us to pay to promote our posts to viewers. In her case, the cost is $30 per post and $75 per post for fans and their friends. That comes to…let’s see, almost $11,000 annually to send a daily post to her fans! Without payment, only 11.1 percent of her 18,400+ Facebook fans see her Fan page.
That’s not effective at all. But it’s still free.
Facebook says an average of 84 percent of your fans are no longer seeing your posts. They justify it this way. To find out what Facebook is charging you per fan page post, click on the promote button, on the bottom right of your posting window. Surprise!
I emailed another food writer with a huge fan base, David Lebovitz, to get his reaction to this Facebook news. “It leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” he wrote. “Imagine if WordPress was only making part of my posts visible to certain readers. I think it’s a huge mistake on their part but since Facebook is free, I guess that’s the price we pay to use a free service (however losing trust of users generally means it will cost them in the long-run).”
Like the rest of us, Stephanie has to decide what to do. Her mailing list has 20,000 subscribers, so she may move to that and Pinterest for promotion. And like the rest of us, she’s learned something. This Facebook move “proves that if you want to reach out to your audience, you need direct communication,” Stephanie said in an email. “Whether through Twitter, Pinterest, or the old fashioned mailing list, you can’t be dependent upon any one service.”
True. Who knows which free Internet communication platform will start charging next, or go under? Which brings me to Feedburner, Google’s free service to send out emails. Feedburner is going away in October.* You have paying alternatives, such as Feedblitz, MailChimp, or Aweber.
What is the solution? I’d like to shut down my Facebook Fan page and move my readers to my personal (Dianne Jacob) page. But that has a limit of only 5,000 people. Now I have to pay to ask my fans to move.
And I use Feedburner, so I’ll have to investigate another service.*
What about you? What will you do about your Facebook fan page? If you use Feedburner, have you already chosen an alternative?
Please talk amongst yourselves. I’m leaving to teach in Ireland this coming weekend, and then off to Food Blogger Connect in London (see you there if you’re coming!). I’ll check in when I can. I want to read your ideas about these issues and potential workarounds.
*Corrections: As people more technical than I have noted in the comments below, only the Feedburner API is going away in October, not the service. Sorry for any confusion. I fell for a post on the subject that turned out to be incorrect.