Social Media

How to Start Sharing Your Blog Posts on Instagram

You’ve just hit publish on an epic blog post, of course you want to share it. Visual images are all the rage, aren’t they? But some feel that Instagram isn’t the place for blog posts for a number of reasons, but if you’re looking to build a brand, I say why not? I’ve had a lot of Insta-pals comment and say how much they loved the blog post and actually start a conversation with me about it .

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Is it crazy to think that you’ll get all of your referrals from Instagram? Maybe. But what are you blogging for? To get your name out there, share your writing with like minded people, or just to convert and see your numbers climb? That’s a brain teaser for another day. When my friend Emily sent me an email and asked how I share my blog posts on Instagram, I knew I had to share it with you.

Here’s how I share blog posts on Instagram.

What you need:

  • A place where you can type, copy and paste (preferably your email account, but anything will do so long as your typing it out and not texting it. Easier on the fingers.)
  • A beautiful image trimmed, just so, for Instagram’s pixel parameters (currently 640×640) or you can use a little hack I’ll share in a bit.
  • Instagram, duh (and that means a smart phone).

Create your graphic.

  • I create two images, at least, for my posts. One to share on Facebook, and the other to live forever on Pinterest. Here’s that hack I mentioned earlier: the Facebook image can be used on Instagram with virtually no cropping or any other editing. *gasp* I know, right?
  • Say you don’t have an image on your blog post. First, why? Second, we gotta talk, and lastly, you can use Canva, PicMonkey or any photo editing software you like to create one so long as the size is right.
  • Whatever you do, use a compelling image. What does that mean? It means the image is not blurry, your Grandma’s head isn’t cut off, there’s text overlay with an attention grabbing title, or an inspirational quote from your post, and it’s something that catches your eye.
  • Don’t have a compelling image? Go to morguefile, unsplash, or here for a whole list of places to snag free images.
  • Save the image to your desktop, or somewhere you’ll remember it. Trust me.

Begin to craft a compelling description in an email.

  • You want to be sure to have at least 11 hashtags. Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags. I wouldn’t suggest you go hog wild and #have #every #word #hashtagged. That’s a huge turn off. You have three options, one of which is my favorite, because strategy.
  • Use Tagboard to research beyond a general and broad tag, like #love, for example. You can also use Tagboard to brainstorm some great hashtags too. That #love example, when tossed into Tagboard brings back a few other hashtags to take a look at (#fashion, #beautiful, #cute, #instagood, #girl)
  • Strategy 1: Add all 11 hashtags to the end of your compelling description.
  • Strategy 2: Add all 11 hashtags interwoven or embroidered (that’s my favorite word this week) throughout your compelling description
  • Strategy 3: Add 3 hashtags in the comments after publish <— my favorite, because then you can cross post to Facebook and not break the “Facebook only likes 2-3 hashtags” rule.

Save your compelling image to your draft email.

  • See what we’re doing here? You don’t know the half. Eh, maybe you do.

Head over to bit.ly to create a shortened link that goes directly to the post you’re promoting and paste that into your draft email. 

  • You could just use the link from your blog post, you know, the original one. But we all prefer short and sweet, right. I am 4’11” 😉
  • Say you have a post you’re trying to push that has 9 words in it, because you’re feeling descriptive. Would a shortened link on a mobile device look cleaner, or would a mouthful of descriptive words? Exactly.

Send that email draft to an email address you have access to from your phone, because Instagram said so.

Now, the easy part.

Open up the email from your phone and copy all of the text, and save the image. 

  • If you have a cliptray function on your phone, all the better, you can copy all and paste where and how you need to.
  • If not, you’re going to play a little back and forth with your copy / paste. I set my emails in the order above so it’s easy either way.

Go to your Instagram profile.

  • Paste the bit.ly link in your URL (go to “edit your profile”) and save. Don’t know what I’m taking about?

Upload your image to Instagram.

  • Use whatever photo filter/s you like.
  • Here’s a tip: For branding, purposes always use one filter you’ll always love and stick with it. Every.single.time.

Paste that compelling description in with whatever strategy you’ve chosen (I hope it’s #3) and include “#newblogpost {link in profile}”.

  • That last bit is important, you’re directing your Insta-friend to the blog post, letting them know that it’s all ready for them to read.
  • Here’s a tip: Don’t just push all of your blog posts on your Instagram feed. Like everything, people like variety.
  • If you know you are going to promote a post on your Instagram platform, make sure you have other images in as a buffer. Need more rules around that? Let’s say for every 3 or 4 Instagram posts, you get to share your blog post image with your Insta-friends.  

Now that may seem like a lot of work for what could be just a handful of conversions to your posts (but a whole lot of conversation if you do it right). Some light on that:

  • With practice it gets easier.
  • No one says you have to promote your posts on Instagram.
  • No one says you have to promote every post on Instagram. This is your show, baby.
  • How else are people going to know you blog? Think they’re stalking your profile? Maybe they are, but I would bet they aren’t.
  • If your Insta-blog-promo posts are consistent (same font, same over lay, same coloring, etc) it’s a way to brand yourself, and that’s always a good thing. You want to differentiate yourself from the other quazillion bloggers out there, right? Right.
  • Remember, we don’t want to choke the feed with just your blog posts, right? Social media is about being social. So, be social!

I would love to hear what you have to say. Even if you don’t think publishing posts on Instagram is worth your time and effort. In the meantime, let’s be Instafriends.

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7 Must Have Blogging Resources

This week is all about blogging and social media, have you noticed?

Monday, we talked about social media and whether or not it’s really bad for you (especially for those who have given it up for Lent!). On Tuesday, I shared an ULTIMATE blogging resource, the Knowtbook. Amy Lynn Andrews is a bloggerpreneur like no other. Sorry, that didn’t really rhyme. Here are my 7 Must Have Blogging Resources (there may be more than 7 of them, because you should have more) This is not an exhaustive list. How is that even possible?

7 Must Have Blogging Resources sharing all the blogs I go to for the best blogging tips and tricks, blogging tutorials and social media tips. I even include some blogging books as a bonus! @fillpraycloset

If you want access to my Blog Crafting printable, where I share all the steps to my before and after blog post publishing process (and all the social media craziness I do!), just click on the button at the end of this post. It was released to email subscribers yesterday afternoon in a special-just-for-them email. I love you “tree of trust” people. They know what that means. And my apologies to my email friends, there was a lapse in the password changes to access my freebies page. I’ll let you know about that in an email! to my  On with the show!

–1–

Blog Clarity

From her 10 minute touch ups, to her in depth tutorials that I used to update my about page (check out those pins, people!). Melissa is a true find in the bloggy space. She’s written Blog Design for Dummies, which I admit freely, I bought. We’re all dummies at some point and can all learn from the ground up and find something of value, yes? She gives online courses that are smashing, let me tell you. She is the go-to for all things Pinterest and so it was a no-brainer to sign up for her Pinning Perfect course. I HIGHLY recommend it. Can I just say, I woke up one morning this week to 63 Pinterest notifications overnight. What? What? WHAT?! Yeah. There is a new class opening up in March (Sign up closes NEXT WEDNESDAY NIGHT) That session will run from 3/8-3/20 and there are still spots left. Just be sure to tell her I sent’cha.

–2–

Blogging on the Side

Becky and Paula share tips and tricks about SEO, monetization, income reports, beating blogger burnout, you name it and they strive to balance family and faith along with that. A tall order, right? They have a thriving Facebook community where ideas are teased and virtual high fives are given for small wins. They also have an ebook out, Blogging on the Side: Where Passion and Profit Meet. I remember when they were asking their Facebook group what title worked best! These ladies are really down to earth, are willing to share all of their knowledge and love community. Can’t beat that, right?

–3–

ByRegina.com: For the Bloggers and Creativepreneurs

 She doesn’t know this, but she singlehandedly has me cleaning out local stores of their toner. I print everything she puts out. She has a strong brand, sense of humor and everything she writes, for me, makes sense. If you haven’t heard of her, you’ve been under rocks. That, and I’m sorry I didn’t mention her sooner. I should have. She put out a blog planner earlier this year titled Epic Blog: One Year Editorial Calendar and I would have purchased it myself only I have 3 planners on my desk, and use two different online calendars too. I’m a bit of a planner fiend. Actually, now that I’m talking about it, I want it. See what she does?! My favorite post this minute is, 10 Signs You’re a Creative Coach {Who Blogs} and Not a Blogger. I have purchased her Grow Your Blog Traffic with Social Media ekit . Ummm, the ebook is like 175 pages and the workbook, 125. See? My poor printer. But I cannot get enough. Sign up for her email list. She hustles and gives freebies like lollipops. Like now. I’ll wait.

–4–

Beyond Your Blog

It’s just what the title says. Do you want to reach audiences outside of your little corner of the internet? This blog is for you. Susan shares lists and other bloggers’ first hand accounts of the application process for platforms like Huffington Post, BlogHer, Babble and Scary Mommy to name a few. They also cover how and where to submit to anthologies and online magazines too. I love their tips, tricks and tools tab, their podcast with editors. They also have a Facebook Group. Sign up and grow beyond your blog!

–5–

Blog Chicka Blog

Jill is new to me. I don’t know how I found her. I think she may have found me (dreaming here). I love to read her stuff before bed. It’s like she’s talking just to me, over tea and scones. You know, because in my head, we’re fancy. She is a photographer so she shares tips on all things images to make your blog visually appealing. On my Feedly, I can’t wait to read her “This Week in Blogging”. You know what it’s like, we get all excited about our side bar, or a new app, but does anyone else you know get that? Does Nana get all cuckoo for cocoa puffs at your new hex code color you pulled from Design Seeds? Probably not. But she may raise an eyebrow at income reports! Bam, she shares them too.  I’d suggest following her on Pinterest too. Why? Because I do and I wanna say that’s where she found me. I’m such a dreamer…

–6–

Blog Legally

Ok, so let me set you up for this. I am part of Brilliant Business Mom’s Facebook Group, we talked about them before. Love Beth Anne and Sarah and uh, hello they just published a post on their top 10 podcasts on the Etsy Blog, so I can totally say I knew them when (which was like a month ago. Talk about trajectory).  The put out a quick podcast asking their listeners if they needed a real physical address at the bottom of their newsletters. I posed it to my Tribe gals and we were kerfuffled. Needless to say, Monday, Cristina picked up keys to a P.O. Box at the nearest Post Office. One of my Tribe members, Mary, mentioned Blog Legally and I.ate.it.up! We should all know the rules and regs of blogging. If you’re a blogger you’re in the biz, and you need to protect yourself. What’s up, how-to on affiliate discolsures? That’s the end of my PSA.

–7–

The Blog Maven

I’m into productivity and entrepreneurship in 2015 and when I read this, my heart melted I said all the “me too’s” . Blogging is great, it’s a whirlwind, it’s a lot to think about and do, and all the to-do lists and the questions, the page views the aaaaaaaaaah! What does the almighty Blog Maven (whose name is Jeni, by the way) say:

1. Find out what people want.
2. Give it to them.

And you don’t have to be an “expert” to do it.

I mean, we know this, right? But sometimes, we need to be given permission to relax before our shoulders slide down and chill. Know what I mean? We are not our page views. Slamacow!

I promised extras yes? I’m reading Real Moms Making Real Money Blogging, At Home, In Their Pajamas (The Mommy Blogger Next Door Book 1) as in, this is a series, y’all. I love her approach so far. I feel like she could be from Brooklyn with her sassy responses to things. I plan on doing a book review next week so be on the lookout for that.

Have you read, How to Blog for Profit Without Losing Your Soul by Ruth Ann Soukup? It’s like ProBlogger for ladies. I will say that it’s CHOCK full of so much info that you should absolutely read one chapter at a time, and then implement, implement, implement till you can’t no more, and then move on to the next chapter.

So there you have it, are there any you would like to add? Some gold nugget blog resource that you can’t stop stalking, I mean, reading? Do let me know (so I can add them to my Feedly!).

And if you want to know all about my before and after blog publishing process, Blog Crafting, you know what to do.

For more Quick Takes, head over to This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Still want more blogging resources?? No problem!

Follow Filling My Prayer Closet’s board My Blogging Closet on Pinterest.

7 Must Have Blogging Resources sharing all the blogs I go to for the best blogging tips and tricks, blogging tutorials and social media tips. I even include some blogging books as a bonus! @fillpraycloset

There are affiliate links in this post. Thanks for supporting Filling My Prayer Closet!

Why You Want to Know about the Knowtbook

Every Saturday morning, I can’t wait to receive Amy Lynn Andrew’s The Useletter®. It’s a list of tips she’s crawled the web for and freely shares with people who sign up to receive it. The way she says it: “The Useletter® is a wildly popular, weekly, hand-curated email for bloggers, authors, freelancers, online business owners and those who want to work from home. It contains handy tips, useful tools, cool stuff I find and a behind-the-scenes look at what I’m doing in my own online business.” A self proclaimed introvert, she doesn’t share these tips on social media (or anywhere else), because  “the two hardest parts of online business are (1) social media and (2) building relationships.” 

So why do you want to know about the Knowtbook?

Why you want to know about @amylynnandrews Knowtbook it's chock full of blogging tips and tricks, blogging resources, social media tips, and simple blogging strategies you can't be without by @fillpraycloset

 

A bit of background on what I know about Amy Lynn Andrew’s content.

I’ve been getting The Useletter® for a long time now. There was one Useletter where she reminded me (and all the other subscribers who forgot to put it in their calendars) of an upcoming affiliate campaign for Real Housekeeping. She didn’t even know how useful she was being to me personally. Her list is that indispensable that more often than not, I immediately share it with Rhonda and my Mastermind Group because there is something applicable that we should implement.

Who else thinks Amy’s the bees knees?

When Amy (we’re on a first name basis in my head), started sharing teasers for the release of her Knowtbook, I paid very close attention. See, people want to “pick her brain” she’s been interviewed on podcasts with Brilliant Business Mom’s Podcast and How They Blog and was even interviewed at ProBlogger back in December. Everyone wants in on how her brain works. She thought, about how she could provide people with the information she gathered in a way that was easy, simple and useful. 

What’s in the Knowtbook?

Behold the Knowtbook. She shares everything she’s scoured and found as it relates to social media, promotion, blog monetization, time management, design, content creation and more. What I find fascinating is that all of the tips are cross referenced with hashtags. Didn’t I say just yesterday that the hashtag is a quick one word search that can pluck like minded individuals the world over? This is similar in it’s approach. For example, the hashtags she uses are not vast, but tight and concise with just a few to direct you to exactly what you’re looking for. 

  • #action – things you can take action on
  • #book – good books to read
  • #post – indicates a post on my site with more tips and info
  • #resource – helpful websites or blog posts to read
  • #source – where my information comes from
  • #tool – tools I use and recommend
  • #tweetable – great things to post on Twitter and social media
  • #useletter – these are tips I shared in the useletter

So transparent and down to earth, she states right on the landing page:

If you need to be convinced, I recommend you pass. This is not meant to be a hard sell for a product as much as it is an inside look for those with an interest in my personal process and thinking. If you’re skeptical (I get that!), subscribe to The Useletter or go through my How to Blog series to get to know me first. Both of those are free.

I went ahead and purchased it just this Saturday. I didn’t need convincing. To have a resource like Amy scouring the internet saves me time and energy. I now have access to all of the tips, tricks and resources from past archives that I may have missed, and this is a database that is dynamic, as in, when she finds something else, say next week, it will be, in the Knowtbook

Can I see a preview? Of course you can!

This is just one of my go-to resources for how I blog and stay up to day on social media, time management and administration. I am a curator of content for myself and others because it brings me joy to help anyone that wants to grow online. 

A little about how my brain works. 

As an aside, I have been listening to TED Talk radio lately, and this week’s show is all about The Unknown Brain. The first segment interviews a neuroanatomist, Jill Bolte-Taylor who studied brains with schiziophrenia and bipolar disorder (not that Amy has any of these, bear with me) who suffered a stroke herself. The segment is fascinating and I was captivated by this one part of her rehabilitation, after the stroke. Jill Bolte-Taylor is also an author, and inspirational public speaker :

“My mother would ask me what I wanted for lunch and it was file opening time. She would say, do you want to have a peanut butter sandwich? And I’d go hunting, where’s peanut butter? Is there a file in my brain that understands peanut butter and if there was then I would say OK…and she’d say how about tunafish? And I’d go hunting for the file in my brain that understood what tunafish was.  As soon as we hit a file that I couldn’t go in and hunt for and find some kind of association to, then we would relive that, so then she would give me tunafish, so that I would have that experience.  

I highly recommend listening to this podcast and the one just before it, “How We Love” that was incredible. I digress…

I feel like the Knowtbook is collected and displayed much like the way Jill Bolte-Taylor describes how her brain searched for information. If you purchase it, you’ll see what I mean.

If you purchase the Knowtbook (you can set your price, but the suggested price is $24), do let me know so we can give each other virtual high-fives!

Why you want to know about @amylynnandrews Knowtbook it's chock full of blogging tips and tricks, blogging resources, social media tips, and simple blogging strategies you can't be without by @fillpraycloset

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