Blogging

And I’m Back…

I didn’t think this would happen, and I was in denial about it for a while. I’m back and with two rebranding-complete overhaul-blogger-to-wordpress-transfer-subscription-revamps, and a couple of social media strategy clients under my belt .

And Im Back Faithfully Social

I decided to shut down my blogging and social media site, delete my email list (such a no no) and work on my crafting instead. My love of hand embroidery and weaving knows no bounds and I am still actively pursing it and blogging about the journey. During that time, people sought me out to help with their blogging and social media strategy.

Those clients referred me to others and I didn’t have a “home” to send them to. So, here we are. I have to work on my own social media presence. I got rid of all the @faithfullysocial handles (again another no no) and have to research whether I can get them back, or have to start fresh, or heck, just combine my @cristinamakes handles. I moved from Squarespace back to WordPress (not fun) and have to clean up my site as I juggle client work, my Etsy shop, school, kids, marriage and a pup!

Just know, that I’m back and will be blogging as much as I can about the reintroduction process. As in, when you’ve pulled the plug, how do you plug back in? Because that’s what I’m going through right now and you know how much I love to share. In the meantime, check out these two launches I am SO very proud of (that are still a work in progress, but sometimes, you gotta hit publish!).

KCrossWriting

Katie Cross Rebrand by Cristina at Faithfully Social

Mary Lenaburg

Mary Lenaburg Rebrand by Cristina at Faithfully Social

So glad to be back, and thank you for bearing with me (and thanks to Katie, Mary and Colleen for having so much faith in me). Sometimes we close the door on something that we should really leave a crack open, because you never know.

Lesson learned.

Should You Be On Periscope?

Surely you’ve heard about the live streaming app called Periscope? Apparently, it’s the closest thing to teleportation this side of The Jetsons.

Are you running a marathon? In the middle of a protest? On a roller coaster at your favorite theme park? Why not share those moments with the world at large (and by world, I mean whoever downloads the app – and that is currently 10 million registered users).

In this post, I share some links to great tutorials should you want to dive in, or just get your pinky toe wet. I’ll also share some Periscope tips for bloggers and my thoughts on whether you should jump on this new social media bandwagon.

Surely you've heard about the live streaming app called Periscope? Apparently, it's the closest thing to teleportation this side of The Jetsons. In this post, I share some links to great Periscope tutorials, provide Periscope tips for bloggers along with my thoughts on whether you or not you should jump on this new social media channel. by @faithfulsocial

Like Instagram, you can only use this app from a smartphone, capturing the on-the-go, real life moments you experience. What I personally love about Periscope, is the interaction your audience has in real time as you record. In the left hand corner of the screen, as you live stream, people watching can chime in with comments, questions, where they’re from, you name it. For those people that are more introverted (ahem, me) you have the <3 option. Literally.

If you tap on the lower right hand side of your screen as you’re watching a ‘scope – you’re sending “love” to the person streaming that shows on everyone’s screen. Granted, they won’t know who’s sending the “love” but I find I’m more inclined to give “love” by tapping the right hand side of my screen, when watching a ‘scope if I see others doing it (or until I get to a purple heart. Ahhh).  Why is “love” important to you? The more hearts receives pushes you up on the “Featured” Periscope list, which means you get seen by more peeps!

 

Surely you've heard about the live streaming app called Periscope? Apparently, it's the closest thing to teleportation this side of The Jetsons. In this post, I share some links to great Periscope tutorials, provide Periscope tips for bloggers along with my thoughts on whether you or not you should jump on this new social media channel.by @faithfulsocial

 

I won’t go into full on tutorial mode, there are TONS of those already out there. Want my favorites? Of course you do. The Beginner’s Guide to Periscope for Bloggers by Julie at Fabulous Blogging is freshly published yesterday – perfect timing. The other site I refer clients to is Periscope Tutorial: How to [and Why] Use Twitter’s Periscope on iOS by Ana at Traffic Generation Cafe.

Having only ‘scoped three times, I’ve watched more than I’ve streamed. I don’t just watch ‘scopes for fun though, I watch how bloggers have been using Periscope and here are some tips:

1. Announce that you’re going to live stream on Periscope prior to and after streaming. This way you build some buzz and generate more views because you’re preparing your audience as opposed to just jumping on. *Caveat if you’ve never scoped, just jump in and do it! You’ll never know if you like it and/or perfect your scoping skillz (yes, with a z) if you don’t try it.

Surely you've heard about the live streaming app called Periscope? Apparently, it's the closest thing to teleportation this side of The Jetsons. In this post, I share some links to great Periscope tutorials, provide Periscope tips for bloggers along with my thoughts on whether you or not you should jump on this new social media channel. by @faithfulsocial

2. Title your Periscope with a catchy headline. Use emojis to stand out when creating your headlines (see, just like Instagram)

Surely you've heard about the live streaming app called Periscope? Apparently, it's the closest thing to teleportation this side of The Jetsons. In this post, I share some links to great Periscope tutorials, provide Periscope tips for bloggers along with my thoughts on whether you or not you should jump on this new social media channel.by @faithfulsocial

3, Be sure to add one hashtag in your title.  Persicope adds #periscope to each headline by default. Check this out, as an example (and try not to be average while doing it):

Surely you've heard about the live streaming app called Periscope? Apparently, it's the closest thing to teleportation this side of The Jetsons. In this post, I share some links to great Periscope tutorials, provide Periscope tips for bloggers along with my thoughts on whether you or not you should jump on this new social media channel.by @faithfulsocial

3. Don’t wait for someone to show up on Periscope, just start talking. This app is recording, remember? It lasts for 24 hours (unless you save to your camera roll for sharing later).

4. You can run contests and giveaways on Periscope! Say you’re a book blogger, you can do a ‘scope and give away a book to the 10th person that chimes in or the 3rd person that answers a question you ask, correctly or the 11th person who’s handle starts with the letter m, you name it.

5. Periscope lets you do behind the scenes, on steroids! You can show anything from how you DIY’ed your nightstand, to how you create content, places of inspiration, baking your killer Guinness Chocolate Cake, the skies the limit.

6. Scopin’ on the daily. If you can commit to this, you can set a scope every day at the same time. This is great for progress updates (I’m looking at you fitness bloggers, or even gardening bloggers!) or if you’re attending a conference or special event.

7. Scope before and/or after Twitter chat, Google Hangout, or Facebook threaded chat.  This is a great way keep pushing your audience right where you want them. You can tease on one platform and then deliver on  Periscope.

8. Give content exclusively to your subscribers. If you have an email list (I know you do), you can ask that they follow you on Periscope.  You can inform them of when your exclusive for them Periscope (because you’ve set the ‘scope to private and invite them)  is about to go down! They’ll love it!

Now for the nitty gritty.

 

Surely you've heard about the live streaming app called Periscope? Apparently, it's the closest thing to teleportation this side of The Jetsons. In this post, I share some links to great Periscope tutorials, provide Periscope tips for bloggers along with my thoughts on whether you or not you should jump on this new social media channel. by @faithfulsocial

 

Should you be on Periscope?

As with any social media channel, you need to evaluate what kind of channel it is for you. In this case, do you like video? Do you like real time interaction, or (if you’re a visual person) do you prefer Instagram or Pinterest instead?

Try recording a quick video, just for yourself, to see if you enjoy it. Maybe sharing that on Instagram (make it 15 seconds!) and see if you like sharing in this way.

At the very least, grab your username so you have it should you want to tap into this new channel. There’s nothing wrong with being a wallflower and watching other ‘scopes for a while. I do it, and still do.

I’m still not sure if I’ll be a regular ‘scoper. While the point is to capture real-time-so-it’s-not-perfect video, I see the other extreme where there are people using tripods, lighting, rehearsing, outlining topics, getting their makeup and hair just right, and for me, that’s -not- the point. That’s also not to say that those ‘scopes aren’t inspiring, informative and watched. They are.

 

Surely you've heard about the live streaming app called Periscope? Apparently, it's the closest thing to teleportation this side of The Jetsons. In this post, I share some links to great Periscope tutorials, provide Periscope tips for bloggers along with my thoughts on whether you or not you should jump on this new social media channel.by @faithfulsocial

 

As with all social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Snapchat, or now, Periscope, try it and see if you like it. If you don’t enjoy it, toss it.

There’s nothing that says you have to be on anything. Spend time on the social channels you enjoy. Your audience will pick up on your sincerity and interact where you are most comfortable.

What’s your take on the Periscope craze? I’d love to hear your take in the comments!

How to Pitch Influencers in Your Niche

I’m sure you’ve read all of the “How to Boost Blog Traffic” lists until your head exploded. One of the most cited tips is to share an expert roundup post. An expert round up post, is where one blogger reaches out to other niche specific bloggers and asks them their opinion. In return, a link to the niche specific blogger’s site is included in the expert round up post.

I pitched bloggers for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women - and some of them are heavy hitters in the social media and blogging tips space. How did I do it? I share all of my tips, processes and tricks for pitching influencers by Faithfully Social

How does an expert round up post bring traffic? The niche specific blogger will likely share your post with their audience. Say you ask 10 people and they have 6,000 followers collectively across all their social media. You’ve just tapped into 60,000 people you wouldn’t ordinarily reach alone.

If you amplify that and pitch an influencer in your niche with say, a quazillion followers – well, you can do that math right? But how do you pitch an influencer in your niche in such a way that will get a yes?

That’s what we’re talking about today. Why? Because I pitched content creators for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls today and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women – and some of them are heavy hitters. Who do you ask? Here are the 10, with my own fun titles attached to them (as you can see, Iove alliteration):

Peg Fitzpatrick Social Media Marketing Master (has over 1,000,000 followers)
Amy Lynn Andrews Queen of the Useletter
Pauline Cabrera Blogging + Social Media tips Power Playah
Andrea Beltrami Branding Behemoth
Charissa Moore Copywriting Cool Cat
Charity Craig Maven of Marriage + Entrepreneurial Empress
Jessica Rea Mistress of Marketing + Design
Jen Kominsky Virtual Assistant Vixen + Super Mom
Rhonda Ortiz Web Design Diva
Jenna Guizar Sage of Women’s Ministry

If I do the math right, that’s a reach of 127K on Twitter alone, approximately. Just Twitter. I’ll let you check their other profiles, squeal (like I did) and then come back to finish this post! Here’s what I did:

 

I pitched bloggers for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women - and some of them are heavy hitters in the social media and blogging tips space. How did I do it? I share all of my tips, processes and tricks for pitching influencers by Faithfully Social.

Step 1: Make a dream list

I had a total of 15 people I reached out to. These people were a mix of men and women and included influencers in the social media and blogging tips space. I had one question to go on as I brainstormed. Who would I want to read secret blogging tips from? At first, I thought I would ask friends I’d made since I started blogging, and there are a few from the list that fit that description. But that’s safe, right? We’re all about getting out of our comfort zones.

Then a small voice chimed in “Cristina, go big or go home!”. That’s when my brainstorming went ballistic and I started dropping names on paper.

The key here is to choose people that you have actively been engaging with. You wouldn’t ask a stranger for $20 right? Same applies. All of the people I chose were people I engaged with.

What does solid engagement look like?

  • Share their content on social media
  • Comment on their blog
  • Listen to their podcast and rate in iTunes
  • Participate in their Facebook Group
  • +1 them on Google
  • Subscribe to their emails
  • <3 their Instagram post
  • Purchase a product from them
  • Join a Twitter chat they host

Get the picture? This won’t work if you just did one of these engagement suggestions the day before you send the pitch. This is what I worked on and cultivated over time. This is why it was almost easy for me to reach out to them. Come from a place of humility – always.

And don’t worry about what your pitch will look like at this point, just draft up a dream team list – even if it includes Taylor Swift.

 

I pitched bloggers for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women - and some of them are heavy hitters in the social media and blogging tips space. How did I do it? I share all of my tips, processes and tricks for pitching influencers by Faithfully Social.

Step 2: Under each name write three things that you admire about them

I’m all about the visuals. To keep the excitement (and the ball rolling, because I can get easily distracted), I wanted to list out why I admired the people I was pitching to warm up to the actual pitch stage.

Know your why

As with everything, always start with knowing your why. Why exactly did you add Jane to your list? Is she your friend? Do you secretly check out her blog because you love its design? Do you still refer to her e-book, have you shared a link to a post you love with all of your friends? Whatever the reasons write them down.

This will help you personalize each email you send, saving you time as you craft the emails and personalize them. If you have to go back or research on the internet the name of their specific offer, the one tweet they shared where you LOL’ed your latte all over your shirt, what have you. Write it all out next to their names.

I pitched bloggers for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women - and some of them are heavy hitters in the social media and blogging tips space. How did I do it? I share all of my tips, processes and tricks for pitching influencers by Faithfully Social.

Step 3: Set a timeline

People are busy. Don’t reach out to influencers with a few days notice. That’s not cool. You know they have editorial calendars, blog posts to write, conferences to speak at and Twitter chats to moderate. Be a good steward of their time and give them at least three weeks.

Here’s how a pitch timeline could look

  • July 3rd send your email
  • July 24th receive all of your responses and start editing
  • July 31st post is published

Within the three week time frame there’s a week built in for you to edit your post and to receive late responses – it happens because it’s called life!

 

I pitched bloggers for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women - and some of them are heavy hitters in the social media and blogging tips space. How did I do it? I share all of my tips, processes and tricks for pitching influencers by Faithfully Social.

Step 4: Craft an email

This is where the work comes in. I have the great privilege of working in corporate for many years and loving the written word.

If this scares you, go back to Step 2, see those three things you wrote under each name? Another reason for that is, it makes them human to you. You can write to another person if you’ve humanized them, right? Think about it, they’ve attracted you out of a sea of social media for a reason. You connect. Start there.

 

I pitched bloggers for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women - and some of them are heavy hitters in the social media and blogging tips space. How did I do it? I share all of my tips, processes and tricks for pitching influencers by Faithfully Social.

Step 5: Make it personable, detailed and sincere

Use their first name, the name of their ebook, offering, Facebook Group, you name it. Share how you appreciate their particular brand and why. (Do I have to say that it shouldn’t look like this:

Dear Jane, I just love your particular brand because it’s so great. You are awesome. I love your tweets.

YAWN!

Be specific here. For example, I shared with Peg that she is my virtual mentor and I was honest when I shared that I was a little scared about writing to ask her for something, but I was pushing send quickly because I only had 2.3 milliseconds of courage left.

If you’re real, and you share what’s on your heart – I promise, that cannot be denied. Or maybe it can, it happens – but you’ll always feel good about letting the real you shine through.

End your email with a thank you. You want to impress upon them how much you appreciate their time and especially their content. You know how long it takes to create a blog post, these are your peeps, influencer or not. Let them know from one content creator to another that you LOVE their work. And mean it.

 

I pitched bloggers for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women - and some of them are heavy hitters in the social media and blogging tips space. How did I do it? I share all of my tips, processes and tricks for pitching influencers by Faithfully Social.

Step 6: Include everything you need

This is similar to the sandwich method I shared. You started your email with why you approached them, now you need to go in for the big ask. Be sure to remember all of the relevant details. You don’t want to come off as unprofessional, receive a yes, and then say “Oh yeah, can you get it to me by next week, and I need a profile pic too.”

Don’t forget to include the following in your pitch:

  • Deadline you want to receive the quote back
  • Request for a profile pic
  • Request for which link you should include in their quote
  • Request for what title they would like to go by (it’s not obvious for everyone, and you want to get it right)

 

I pitched bloggers for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women - and some of them are heavy hitters in the social media and blogging tips space. How did I do it? I share all of my tips, processes and tricks for pitching influencers by Faithfully Social.

Step 7: Send, and wait

What? You think there are tips for this? Drink lots of lattes and eat lots of scones. Mmmm scones.

 

I pitched bloggers for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women - and some of them are heavy hitters in the social media and blogging tips space. How did I do it? I share all of my tips, processes and tricks for pitching influencers by Faithfully Social.

Step 8: Reply to all pitch responses in a timely fashion

Always start off with a sincere thank you. Even if you get a no! In fact, if you get a no, high five yourself. Why? Because you actually reached out. So many people don’t even muster up the courage to start a blog and publish a post.

You reached out to people you admire, you asked them to help you, pat yourself on the back (and grab another scone).

 

I pitched bloggers for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women - and some of them are heavy hitters in the social media and blogging tips space. How did I do it? I share all of my tips, processes and tricks for pitching influencers by Faithfully Social.

Step 9: Keep it real

I didn’t choose all “super rock star” influencers for the post. I included my closest blogging friends to add to the conversation. Why? Because they’ve influenced me. They have been with me through all of the doubt, all of the changes, the rebranding and the random Facebook messages in the middle of the night with another hare-brained idea.

They’re in the same boat as I am and you are. I know we have similar audiences of bloggers and creators who are always looking to improve themselves and the content they create, so why wouldn’t I ask them? Ask your blogging friends too. Pay it forward.

Know your audience

Don’t send the email you crafted to your niche influencer to your blog friends, you can be MUCH more relaxed and informal. In the cases of Jenna, Rhonda, Charity and Jen, I just asked them over Google chat, Facebook messenger and text. Ok, so I forwarded a few of the yesses I received from the rock star influencers saying “She.actually.responded. Now you have to send me something. Pleeeeeeeze!!!”. That’s really how it went.

Now what are you waiting for? Check out my results on The SITS Girls, What Is The Best Blogging Advice You’ve Ever Received?

I love to share tips and tricks like these every week with my email subscribers. Be sure to sign up for my VIP list to receive exclusive info and tips that I don’t share with anyone else (or anywhere else, for that matter). You’ll also receive my top 7 tips for creating a successful online community, just for signing up!

 I pitched bloggers for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women - and some of them are heavy hitters in the social media and blogging tips space. How did I do it? I share all of my tips, processes and tricks for pitching influencers by Faithfully Social

 

 

5 Sites That Will Change How You Blog

How do you consume content? By that, I mean in this blogging and social media world we live in, how do you stay in the know? Yes, you come here and get the deets, but where else do you go?

I thought I would share my secrets and give you a list of the 5 sites I go to daily (I have 29 must read sites, but I’ll give you the first 5 on my list, right now) that have changed how I blog – and how I do social. These sites are noted in my Feedly as “Must Read”. This means, that Feedly shows them to me first, before any other site or blog.

5 Sites That Will Change How You Blog I share the cream of the cream from the 'Must Reads' on my Feedly List that will help you become a better blogger, instantly @faithfulsocial

Don’t know how to promote a blog or site to “must read’ status? Here, let me show you:

  1. Expand your blog/site list (on the left)
  2. Click on the blog you want to promote to “must read”
  3. Click on the gear icon (when you hover over it, ‘change layout and filtering’ should show)
  4. Select ‘Edit Subscription’
  5. A menu at the left will appear with your selected blog at the top
  6. Click ‘Must Read’
  7. Click update

5 Sites That Will Change How You Blog I share the cream of the cream from the 'Must Reads' on my Feedly List that will help you become a better blogger, instantly @faithfulsocial

Now, if you want to demote the blog or site, follow the same instructions set out above and uncheck the ‘Must Read’ box.

Ready to see the ‘Must Reads’ in my Feedly?

Social Media Examiner

I mean this is a no brainer. If you could rummage through my social media closet (aka Pocket) you would see a ton of saved content for future posts. If you’re looking to learn anything at all about social media, this is a definite go to. They always provide actionable tips and I recently listened to an interview with the founder of Social Media Examiner, Michael Stelzner, where he shared how many people are involved with the publishing of one post. His answer made me appreciate this incredibly valuable resource even more. One of my favorite posts lately, is this post: 5 Unusual Tips to Improve Your SEO With Social Media.

AdWeek | Social Times

Can I get an infographic?! I can always count on AdWeek to provide me with a great infographics to pin! My favorite one? A Complete Checklist for Social Media Managers. Granted it was from Sprout Social initially, but that’s what’s so great about AdWeek, if you missed it somewhere, and it was solid, AdWeek will have it. It’s like a magazine of social media for me. Shhh, let me sneak this in, it’s sister – to me, anyway – is Mashable/Social Media. Add that to your list too.

Brilliant Business Moms

I’ve been lovin’ on this site for a hot minute. From their Facebook Group, to their podcast, to the incredible, personally tested processes they share freely – this is a must have. I would start with this post Easy SEO for Mom Bloggers (that I share all.the.time with anyone who will listen – just ask my clients!). If you’re not a mom blogger, read it anyway, and then listen to this podcast with Stephanie O’Dea. If you’re not hooked on them by that point, you’re a robot. And if you’re looking for more blogging Facebook groups to join, I’ve got you covered with these 7 Facebook groups to join.

Jeff Bullas.com

I love this blog. The titles are always just what I was looking for (without even knowing it, so maybe he’s got a job in psychic content marketing?). The tone is straight to the point (like the title of his site), and provides step by step tutorials with pictures. Who doesn’t love that. My latest fave? 27 Tricks to Boost Blog Post Conversion Rates. I thought, you’d like that one. And because this site is just so good, here’s another one I can’t wait to pick apart A 6-Step Writing Process to Blog More and Stress Less. See what I mean? You can’t help but click on those titles!

QuickSprout

Oh Neil Patel, how you slay me with information. From titles like Why do Sites Rank High On Google When They Aren’t Optimized to The Day After: 11 Things to Do After You Publish a Post these long titles are lessons in and of themselves. Take the first post listed, doesn’t that read like something you would search for in a moment of frustration as a blogger? BOOM. That’s exactly why it’s found. Genius. His posts are super easy to grasp and most times, I’m left scratching my head and saying “Well, duh!” to myself. Sometimes, when looking at the bigger picture, we forget the common sense stuff. Take the second link noted here. The first tip is respond to comments. Why?

“If you can get five comments on a post, you instantly double that to 10 if you reply to all of them. As a result, you instantly get more social proof.”

Those sites are what’s in my Feedly right now and they have definitely made me a better blogger and way better at social. So tell me, what’s in your Feedly? Share your cream of the cream of the crop of your “Must Read” lists.

I love to share tips and behind the scenes process like the ones I shared with you today. Be sure to sign up for my VIP list to receive exclusive tips that I don’t share with anyone else (or anywhere else, for that matter). You’ll also receive my top 7 tips for creating a successful online community, just for signing up!

 

How to Keep Your Blogging Head in the Game

I’m moving, I’ve been sharing about it all over the place. I’ve been sharing, partly because the move is a real upheaval for me. I didn’t realize just what a creature of habit I am and packing all of my stuff away is hard. There’s always a silver lining though, right? Or at least that’s how I roll.

How to Keep Your Blogging Head in the Game With all the packing, I've been keeping my head in the game of blogging, social media, marketing and strategy with podcasts. So what are you waiting for? Press play on this video post. I dare you! @faithfulsocial

With all the packing, I’ve been keeping my head in the game of blogging, social media, marketing and strategy with podcasts. So what are you waiting for? Press play. I dare you!

Here are those podcasts, twitter chat and app I mentioned, and where to find them!

Amy Porterfield

Invisible Office Hours

Being Boss

Brilliant Business Moms

Oh So Pinteresting

Social Media Examiner

Headspace App

BufferChat, so necessary when moving (on Wednesdays at 12PM ET!)

And MY podcast, Building Bridges Podcast, especially this week. It’s hilarious. Do you know Ike Ndolo? If you don’t, he will be your BFF within the hour. Stay tuned till the end where the bloopers will slay you. I was writing the show notes last night and couldn’t stop laughing.

That’s how I do it, I stay motivated and brimming with creativity with podcasts. Not just any podcasts either. I listen to podcasts about social media, pinterest, being your own boss and hustling your face off. I can listen and my hands can still do all the packing and bubble wrapping. When I am able to create content, craft a tweet or share a post, I’ve got all the ideas ready to go.

And just as a P.S., here’s the latest post I wrote for The SITS Girls around Organization Tips for Efficient Blogging, sounds fancy, right?

How to Keep Your Blogging Head in the Game With all the packing, I've been keeping my head in the game of blogging, social media, marketing and strategy with podcasts. So what are you waiting for? Press play on this video post. I dare you! @faithfulsocial