Blogging

How to Actually Delight Your Audience and Be Irresistible

Being authentic is something I preach on the daily. In social media, it’s easy to get lost in the cacophony of constant @replies, “buy this now”, “check out my book it’s on sale!” and hashtags. As a social media marketing fanatic, that’s not lost on me. I get how overwhelming it can get.

I make it a point to instill the following tips in my personal strategy, and know it will help you to be irresistible to your audience as well. You’ll see, that a lot of it is living the Golden Rule. If you’re here from The SITS Girls, you’re already 8 tips in! Bravo for wanting to grab a few more!

How to Actually Delight Your Audience and Be Irresistible Actionable tips to engage your readers and keep them coming back for more! @faithfulsocial

 

1. Get to know that new follower 

When someone follows you on social media, don’t just automatically follow back. That’s phoning it in and not being intentional about the relationship your forming and trying to cultivate. Automatically following back without checking the person out shows that you don’t care about relationships, you only care about numbers.

Do this instead: when someone follows you, friends you or adds you to one of their circles, check out their profile. Find something you can relate to, and then follow them back with that relatable nugget of information. 

There’s always something you can connect with someone on. If they’re a Yankee fan, tell them you love the Mets and shame on them! With a smiley face of course. Even if it’s just to say that you love the flowers in their header. It shows that you took a beat to check them out.

Bottom line, you don’t have to wait for the other person to start the conversation and you shouldn’t. Be the “real-ational” social media user and cultivate your community. It starts with finding common ground just like in real life.

2. Be helpful

In my latest exclusive VIP weekly email, I shared how to listen in on conversations on Facebook, like a ninja. You know, stealth mode style. I listen in on conversations going on in over 30 groups on Facebook alone! I do it to keep my finger on the pulse of what other bloggers needs are and to help in brainstorming blog topics. But mostly, to help them out. 

Genuinely sharing your awesome, expecting nothing in return is just good business. You’ll instantly become the one people go to when they need help.

Blogging and social media takes a lot of knowledge about a myriad of subjects to really pull off. If you can help a fellow blogger who is frazzled, stressed or tapped out, why wouldn’t you?

3. Use first names

Use first names when you can. I use first names when I reply to tweets, craft emails replies or respond to comments. Your readers aren’t just handles, they’re people. Showing that you took some time to find out what their name was, and personalize a response just to them? That sets you apart, my friend.

Those touches make people feel special. It’s done so rarely that you will look like a diamond amidst coal. Ok, maybe not that dramatic. But you get my drift.  If their mother saw fit to give them a name, you should use it. 

4. Reply via email to new subscribers

I know what you’re thinking: “Cristina, I don’t have time to reply to email subscribers!” Yes, you do. Think about it, do you have swarms of people flocking to your subscription list (If you do, let’s talk)?

How much time does it really take to respond and say thank you for subscribing to an email list? Yes. I still hear you. “But Cristina, doesn’t my subscription service do that automatically?” Yes, it does. What I am doing here is an automation disrupt! 

Don’t know what I mean, here’s a sample of what I write:

Dear Real Name that I took a moment to include 😉

This isn’t an automated e-mail. I received a little note saying that you signed up to receive my emails in your inbox and wanted to personally say thank you.

I don’t give out my email to just anyone, and I’m sure you don’t either. So thank you. 

I can’t wait for the weekend! Heading to NYC! Hope you have a good one.

Warmly,

Cristina

Is that hard? How would you feel sending something like that? You’d feel like you were connecting with a friend. I rest my case.

5. Mention your readers in your blog posts

I love doing this. I take comments that readers leave and respond to them in full on blog posts. Like this and this. One of them even went viral (I didn’t plan that part). I did learn something, taking the pain points of your readers and fleshing that out into a blog post shows your readers you really listen and care. More often than not, it’s not just the one reader who has that particular question (as was the case with the viral post) but a whole slew of other people are looking for the same information.

Lately, I have been leaving a call-to-action in my posts that give them the opportunity to ask questions and in return, I include that I will link to a social platform of their choice. 

Do what works for you, but remember that blogging isn’t a one way street, a monologue or a solo dance number, you get my drift.

6. Give ’em a peek.

Everyone wants to know everyone else’s business. Don’t believe me? What posts are you most interested in? How to’s with pictures of how they got this amazing thing done, right? Lifehacks, tips, tricks and listicles. Or maybe you like personal reflections sharing how someone overcame a terrible time in their lives?

Regardless, people want a peek behind the scenes. We want to know the real you, so don’t hide behind your laptop. Share your process, share your wins but share them in a way that you’re teaching your readers how to replicate the win for themselves.

Winning alone isn’t really fun. Right?

Did you want more? Head over to read the other 8 tips I shared on this very subject over at The SITS Girls. Read Social Networking and Blogging: How to Authentically Connect With Readers.

In the meantime, get out there and start delighting your audience. They’re waiting for ya!

How to Actually Delight Your Audience and Be Irresistible Actionable tips to engage your readers and keep them coming back for more! @faithfulsocial

Can We Talk Changes for a Minute?

Can we talk? In the next 24 hours you’ll see a lot of change around these parts. I know what you’re thinking, “here she goes again” and you’re right. Here I go again. When you follow passions and dreams they can take you to places that are different from where you started. 

I have begun the process to change the name of my site to Faithfully Social.

Niche changes mean blog changes, name changes, all the changes. Please bear with me and follow @faithfulsocial!

Why the name change? I am no longer Filling My Prayer Closet. I’m just not. I shared in my vlog last week about blogging niches and how embracing them is important if it’s something you’re really passionate about.

I feel, for a while now, I’ve been Faithfully Social. By that I mean, I have been a faithful advocate of social media. I’ve also been and will continue to be a faithful advocate for people who need help using social media, without losing themselves in the process. I am faithful to the journey of my clients in seeing them grow and being their cheerleader all the while. 

This weekend, I spoke at a conference. I shared tips + tricks on how to use social media, blogging best practices and social media strategy overall. I connected with all of them, but there was one person that I had a special connection with. Mary at Passionate Perseverance. I have been thinking about this transition for some time, months even, and for some reason, while in a corner exchanging phone numbers I shared my new site name with her. Until then, I had only just recently shared it with my mastermind group and husband.  Mary loved it and got it immediately. No flinching, no questions, just wholehearted acceptance of the idea. A few minutes later, when she shared images on Instagram, or Facebook, she tagged me and used #faithfullysocial.

She totally hashtagged it! And that was the last little push I needed. So, thanks Mary for being the kind of push I needed at just the right time.

I am asking for your patience as I work tirelessly to change this site over and all social media platforms. I am a one woman shop, with a full time corporate job and a blog + social media coaching business, not to mention mom + wife to the best guys on the planet.

I am also thanking you for cheering me on throughout this transition. Filling My Prayer Closet won’t be going anywhere, if you enter that in your URL, you’ll still find me here. While most professionals would say I should start a completely new site, I don’t want to erase the journey. You know? I want to remember every step that brought me right here. And I am kind of a rule breaker, so there’s that.

So there will be more changes you know, solidifying my presence, logos, branding, all that jazz-tasticness that I love to talk to you about. Rest assured, I will blog about all of it. The mistakes, the plans and the process so you don’t freak should the time come when you make changes. And you will. Part of life, friend.

How can you help? Please follow me, if you don’t already on the following platforms and update your RSS feeds. I don’t want to lose you. Honestly, I’ve been working my tail off to get you here. Have you noticed?

Find me on Twitter @faithfulsocial
Find me on Instagram @faithfulsocial
Find me on Pinterest @faithfulsocial
Find me on Facebook Apparently, I need 25 followers on my Facebook fan page before I can make it my own.

All these rules! And, thanks you from the bottom of my 4’11” sized heart.

Niche changes mean blog changes, name changes, all the changes. Please bear with me and follow @faithfulsocial!

Practical Blogging Tips to Make Your Blog Better

I check out a lot of blogs for many reasons, content curation, content creation + just to see what other people are doing so I can steal like an artist! I’ve been keeping notes (no, not in a spreadsheet) of blogs that get it right, wrong and almost wrong. We’ll go through the list, together as I share some practical blogging tips to make your blog better.

I love to share tips and tricks like the ones I am about to share with you. 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. So many tips! Don’t you love it?!

Practical Blogging Tips to Make Your Blog Better I spend a lot of time reading other blogs to see how they work. I share blogging dont's with tips on how to fix your blog, make your blog better and get readers to share you all over social media by @faithfulsocial

Your header has to be captivating, but we don’t want to see the kitchen sink. 

My friend Rhonda blew my mind when she wrote this post about designing with the “Z’ in mind. This means that you want to help your readers natural eye movement on your home page. On my blog, for example, your eye will go to the header to read it, to the right where my profile picture is, to the first post at the top. Visit your blog right now as a new reader. Is your header clean, with a tagline that makes sense? Does it encapsulate who you are and what you’re about? If not, head to Canva and start working! 

How do I share you with my friends?

As a blogger, there’s nothing like social proof. There’s nothing like having a reader share your content with their friends and say “Hey, you need to check this out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to share a post and couldn’t figure out where they were on social media to tag them and let them know I loved what they were puttin’ down. I love Carrie’s free social media icons and recommend them all the time. She has every color social sharing set you could possibly imagine. An extra tip? Please have a friend check your links so they work! Don’t get caught out there with links that only go to the platform and not your profile, or even worse, broken links! Gasp!

You? Who are you? 

I hope you caught that Alice in Wonderland reference. If not, we just broke up. Many times I come across beautifully designed blogs with sumptuous colors and branding. They sweep me off of my feet, carry me to their “About Me” page and it’s like the wine wore off. You know what I mean? Make an about me page that draws your reader in and shares a little bit more than you would. A great example of this is Melissa Cassera’s “My Story” page. She covers business and party like no other. You just can’t stop reading. And who doesn’t want to pretend to be Babs and get their interview on?!

What all this stuff in your sidebar?

Ever scroll as you read at a desktop and get distracted by all the junk in someone’s sidebar? I know I do. If there are blogs that I just love, but I know they are sidebar junkie culprits, I read their stuff on Feedly. You may think this isn’t a big deal, but that’s another click to get me to share, comment and otherwise engage with your blog. Readers are busy, just like bloggers, make their lives easier and cut the crap!

  • Get rid of badges, unless you must have them (like your a contributor), awards, twitter timelines and the like. Why Twitter timelines? What if there’s something scrolling past on Twitter that’s attention grabbing? You guessed it, there they go, off to the shiny light on your twitter stream.
  • I do recommend an Instagram widget, link to an archive page, social platform buttons, a search bar, a Facebook Page Plugin (there’s a new one, in case you didn’t know!), and a Pinterest board widget that features your best stuff. You do have a “Best Of” board, right? 
  •  For more, check out this article by  Hubspot,  7 Things Your Blog’s Sidebar Can’t Live Without.
  • Remember that a lot of people are using their mobile phones to read your content, so they may never scroll down far enough to get to all the widgets in your sidebar anyway. I know that’s hard to hear, but the truth is hard. I never said otherwise.

I can’t see your images, shame. I’d love to pin them.

According to Expanded Ramblings, there are 70 million Pinterest users. To put 70 Million people into perspective, Pinterest has more people there than the country of France. And you’re gonna rock a thumbnail as your featured image? If I love to play on Pinterest, why would I pin your stuff? As a reader and social sharer, I want to provide stellar visual content to my followers on Pinterest and if your pushing a 200×200 pixel post, sorry babe. Peace out. Check out this recent post I wrote up on The SITS Girls for their recent Spring Into Social Media challenge for tips on how to use this powerful platform. As of this post, the linky for that challenge is open for the next 17 hours so get there and start sharing!

Where ya been?!

You know, those blogs that you can’t get enough of that don’t blog consistently? Listen, you don’t have to blog every day, or 3-5 times a week, or 2 times a week. You have to blog at a pace that you can handle. This makes your reader feel comfortable because they know what to expect. Just like any relationship, comfort leads to trust and that leads to faithful fans or money in your pocket if your selling a product. I always suggest coming up with the topics you feel comfortable writing about and consistently vary those topics so you are serving your audience in a way that’s authentic, consistent and fresh.

Need help on coming up with a content schedule? Head to Convince and Convert for How to Build a Content Calendar. You can also use the content calendar that I use, Trello. It’s amazing. Trello even gives you a step by step of how to use their tool to create a quick, easy and simple editorial calendar with due dates to keep you on track and consistent. 

Is time your issue? Believe me, I get it. I have little time and love all the shiny things! I recently found all kinds of time to write and blasted the shiny things using “News Feed Eradicator” for Facebook, a Chrome extension that gives me access to the groups I’m a part of, messages and the ability to post, but I don’t see the time suck that is the Newsfeed. What do I see? A motivational quote. That’s wassup!

So, that’s it. Are there any you’ve seen that you’d like to add? There’s a catch, you have to add a tip to fix it. Let’s help each other! I would love to read what you have to say in the comments! 

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For more Blogging Tips, you know where to go!

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Practical Blogging Tips to Make Your Blog Better I spend a lot of time reading other blogs to see how they work. I share blogging dont's with tips on how to fix your blog, make your blog better and get readers to share you all over social media by @faithfulsocial

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The Secret To Changing Your Blogging Niche

What happens when you blog about one thing, and then change it up? What will your readers think? Should you keep on truckin’ with what they’re used to, or follow your passion, interests and what you’ve learned you have a knack for?

The Secret To Changing Your Blogging Niche. Are you thinking about changing your niche and afraid you'll lose subscribers? Don't be. I share why you can pivot your niche, change your niche and why it's still completely ok! by @fillpraycloset

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Sure you do. No doubt you’ve noticed that I have been on a social media + blogging frenzy with my posts and there are some that just ain’t feelin’ it. How do you know? You get the ol’unsubscribe emails. That would normally freak people out. As a blogger, I work hard to build my email list, creating freebies that I think are useful and sharing content that is helpful. So, am I freaking out?

The point is, if you’re on fire about it, and you’ve been true to yourself throughout the blogging journey, that’s all that matters. That’s the secret. Your passion. If you’re up in the middle of the night writing a post about how to rock social media inexpensively like the pro’s (like I was this week between 12AM and 4AM on Tuesday night, thank you very much. I prayed a couple of rosaries before and after the writing sesh, as always!), then you’re passionate about it. Everything starts with passion, even blogging.

This weekend, I am hosting another set of twitter chats with The SITS Girls, so if you can make it, I would LOVE to see you there. 

Share your favorite post of the week on their linky posted Saturday morning, and then hop on the twitter chat at 10AM EDT where we’ll be talking about the one  blogging nut you’ve yet to crack. Then on Monday night at 8PM EDT, we’ll talk about balancing blogging + motherhood/work/life. I would love to see you there.

Tomorrow, I’m up over at SITS again for the Spring Into Social challenge where I’ll tackle Instagram! This will be so much fun, and it has been all week. We’ve covered TwitterPinterest, and YouTube so far. Today, the challenge is Facebook! So if you’ve missed it and want to catch up, there’s still time to link up and meet people!  

I also wanted to let you know that your resident Latina <—that would be me, was interviewed along with 16 other bloggers by Pauline Cabrera of Twelveskip.com (I know, let’s all commence freaking out + happy dancing) about how to make friends with others in your blogging niche. Do you think you have an idea of how I responded? I be you’ll be slightly surprised. Naaaah, you all know me. I’m all about the love.

Happy Thursday and please, visit the other vloggers linking up with Jen @ JVKomChronicles this week as we continue to get out of our comfort zones, because nothing exciting happens there, right? Right!

JVKom Chronicles

The Secret To Changing Your Blogging Niche. Are you thinking about changing your niche and afraid you'll lose subscribers? Don't be. I share why you can pivot your niche, change your niche and why it's still completely ok! by @fillpraycloset

Why You’ll Never Succeed at Being Perfect

Why You'll Never Succeed at Being Perfect, a new vlog post with some social media info by @fillpraycloset

Welcome to my living room! Changing it up to see if you’re paying attention. So much has happened in the last couple of weeks and I learned a lot. Mostly, that I’ll never succeed at being perfect. Have a watch and I’ll see you after the vlog.

As promised, here’s the info that I talked about, you know in those “show notes!” 

As a community lead for The SITS Girls, I get to host Twitter chats and guest post for them. The first set of twitter chats I’m doing will take place April 11th at 10AM EDT. We’ll be using the #SITSBlogging  hashtag for “Saturday Sharefest”. Here’s a link to the latest link up so you can see what I mean (and realize how scary and crazy this thing is for me? Yeah!) Bloggers share their favorite post and we all jump on Twitter and chat about it. The next twitter chat is on Monday evening April 13th at 8PM using that same hashtag. I’ll be talking about that one blog nut you’ve yet to crack!

I’ve never hosted a twitter chat ever, so of course it makes total sense to host my first one with an account that has 40,019 followers <— no, I did not make up that number.

This will coincide with a post that I am writing about optimizing your time on social media going live on their site on Tuesday, April 14th. Talk about huge right? Huge.

Stay tuned for a teaser post on Tuesday where I’ll share even more social media tips with you guys that I didn’t share on SITS.

I applied on a whim to be a community lead for this network, I never thought I would get picked. To be completely honest, I forgot I signed up – that’s how little of a chance I thought I had. My mastermind ladies will tell you, I sign up for everything. Everything. I cast a wide net, so who can keep up, right? When I received the email, I almost choked on my new favorite tea, which is a Peach Ginger Matcha, by the way. 

This is what I’m talking about. You’re never going to be ready, you’re never going to be perfect. In fact, I was totally set on editing this video and getting rid of the “Peace out” part. I thought, that’s not professional, that’s not going to get you clients, that’s not…and then I thought, but that’s me. I’m serious when I need to be and playful, BFF when I need to be. I know the difference. So, play on baby, play on. 

Just get out there, apply for everything and see what happens. You may be completely blown away at what comes back. You only know what you know right now. That will change because you want it to. 

Take this example, I’m totally legit now that Taye Diggs follows me on Twitter. I think this means I made it, right? 

So does this mean I made it?! Am I big time now?! 󾔗 Come on, I know he has people that follow for him, but it made me chuckle 󾌴. #celebrity

Posted by Filling My Prayer Closet on Thursday, April 9, 2015

Why You'll Never Succeed at Being Perfect, a new vlog post with some social media info by @fillpraycloset