This article is the latest installment in the series, Blogging as Activism, where I teach you how to create, design, and promote your very own vegan blog.
Starting a vegan blog is a great way to combine your love of animals and passion for vegan activism. After living a vegan life, talking about veganism and sharing vegan information is one of the most important things you can do as an advocate.
No, it’s true.
Think about it: People have been told their entire lives that animals are food, fabric, or anything else we want them to be- the majority universally accepts animal use. This is so ingrained that people use animal products without overthinking it at all. To most, a pig is pork, and a cow is beef, and so on. Since its inception, animal agribusiness has misdirected our attention so that we’ll forget that animals are individuals with interests of their own.
Here’s the scary part- it worked.
Most people, should you ask them, don’t want to hurt animals. Yet they don’t realize that a non-vegan lifestyle does precisely that. People must know the full story about how we use animals, and we must tell them. Remember, most people do not want to hurt animals, so they generally stop when they find out that they are. Exposing people to veganism provides them the opportunity to make choices that are more aligned with their own beliefs. Everyone deserves truth and opportunity, and animals need us to provide those things on their behalf.
If You Build it They Will Come
Let’s say that I’ve convinced you that starting your own vegan blog is important, which I hope I have. You’ve read How to Start a Vegan Blog and you registered a domain name, installed WordPress, and picked out a cool theme for your site. Excellent stuff. Maybe you’ve even written a blog post or two. Now what? Will people start to flock to your blog to read what you’ve written? Maybe, but probably not. First you’ll need to do a bit of self-promotion. Enter social media.
I always recommend that people sign up for their social media accounts when they pick their domain name. I do this so that your name is the same across all platforms. This will help you in a few ways: First, there will be less confusion to the reader about whether each account is run by the same people. Secondly, it will be easier for people to search and find you. After all, you want people to find you.
You’ll have to decide which social media accounts to sign up for, and there are plenty to choose from. Generally speaking, I recommend signing up for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ the same time you sign up for your domain name. Even if you don’t plan to use all of these platforms right now, it holds the name and prevents others from using it in case you decide you want to use it in the future. I also recommend using the same profile picture across the board. It just helps with consistency and being easily recognizable to your readers.
Picking a Social Media Platform
According to Pew Research (who has been tracking this data since 2005), nearly two-thirds of American adults (65%) use social networking sites. This is up from just 7% in 2005. That’s significant and presents a big opportunity to vegan advocates trying to spread their message. So, which social media platform should you use? That depends on the type of content that you are trying to share. Do you want to upload photos and news stories of the day? Facebook is great for that. Do you want to group a bunch of articles about veganism in one place? Pinterest will do just that. Perhaps you want to share a video or do a vlog of your own? YouTube is your answer. My personal favorite social media platform, and where I spend most of my time, is Twitter. I love the ability to connect with people in real-time.
Advice from Top Vegan Influencers
To help you choose which platform is right for you, I decided to talk to five top vegan influencers who know a thing or two about building a large audience on social media. They’ll show you which platform they use and what works best for their audience. I asked them all the same question, and their responses couldn’t be more different. Depending on who you are trying to reach, there’s a social media platform that will help you get there.
Here’s what these influencers had to say about this question:
Which social media platform do you think is the best tool for vegan advocacy and why?
Dianne Wenz is the owner and editor-in-chief of Chic Vegan. She is also a Holistic Health Counselor, Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist. Dianne coaches people from across the country to help them improve their health and well-being, and she helps people make the dietary and lifestyle changes needed to go vegan. Dianne lives in New Jersey, where she runs the busy MeetUp group Montclair Vegans. Through the group she hosts monthly potlucks, runs charity bake sales and organizes guest speaker events. An avid cook and baker, Dianne also teaches cooking classes to local clients. She also runs her own website and blogs at Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen.com. You can connect with her on her favorite social media platform, Facebook.
I think Facebook is probably the best social media platform for vegan advocacy, and there are a few reasons why. First, Facebook allows for interaction in a way that other sites don’t. It’s easy to ask questions, get answers, and have a conversation with someone. If someone asks a question about why vegans don’t drink milk, for example, I can quickly answer it, and my response is there for many others, who may be wondering the same thing, to see.
It’s also super easy to share posts on Facebook, which means vegan news can go viral pretty quickly, and vegan stories may even end up in the trending section. This enables people who might not normally be looking for vegan information to see posts, which will hopefully pique their interest. I also think that more people are on Facebook than other social media platforms, which makes it easier to reach a broader range people.
On sites like Twitter or Instagram, most of my followers are vegans or people who have an interested in veganism. On Facebook, my friends and followers include not only vegans but also omnivore friends, family, former coworkers, people I went to school with, and people I’ve met at various events. When I post about a vegan topic on Facebook, it’s more likely to be seen by someone to whom the information is new, and again, it will hopefully pique his or her interest.