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Automation Versus Intention

Tips are something we live by, have you noticed? Top ten tips for this, or top 5 must have tips for that. Heck, even I’ve used them. Tips, especially when noted in a headline, catch your eye, and if they’re done right, pull you into the post and keep the reader going till the very, last word. 

Automation Versus Intention When do you automate and when are you intentional on social media? This post talks specifically about email subscriber lists via @faithfulsocial

Yesterday, a post I wrote for The SITS Girls was featured. I share 10 Blogging Tips that Will Actually Amaze You.  By far, this post has received the most comments of any post that I’ve shared there and it’s not surprising. The title received an A+ from my favorite Title Analyzer from CoSchedule. It’s one thing to have a great title, you have to have the content to back it up. I took this a step further and with each tip, included the reason why the tip was important. In all of the content I come across, it’s the peek behind the scenes or the “why” behind something that get readers interested. How do I know? Because not only am I interested in how things get done, but why they’re done in the first place. 

Last week, I took an intensive mastermind workshop called Blissboost. This 7 day intensive is run by Charissa Moore of House of Bliss. Not for the faint of heart, Charissa is a great copywriter, sharing all of the behind the scenes that made her business a success in order for me (and the others in our class) to thrive. She lives “A rising tide lifts all boats”. Over the course of 7 straight days, we talked about target markets, demographics, copy, sales pages, email sales, productivity, business systems, pricing, you name it. I came away with takeaways that are applicable, timely and tailored.  The best part? I can do this all over again, every month for a year! Genius model, don’t you think?

The family feel she fostered from the very beginning of the intensive, gave me a place to share my pain points in a secure, confidential forum and gain clarity around my new business. I can’t recommend it enough and wish you could have been with me.

One of the larger takeaways was my email subscriber opt-in. We discussed, live, with other people listening (eek!), how I manage my email list. I was honest, and said that I just send an RSS feed whenever I post. I don’t have to think about it. And that’s the problem. Basically, getting someone’s email address is like receiving a key to their private home. Every time you walk into their home you can make it memorable, or you can just show up with whatever you have. Should you be intentional about your visit and think about the people who live in that house? Or are you just ticking the box? 

That was a real paradigm shift for me.  Going forward, the email subscriber list will be intentional, thoughtful and useful to you . If you sign up for the VIP List, you will get my Top 7 Tips to Create a Successful Online Community. After that, you will receive tips from me, not shared on the blog. This means that whatever I come across in my content curation for the week, will be shared with you. I won’t be emailing the RSS feed to my blog. I want to build a relationship with you and provide value while respecting the time you have.  While the “freebies” page has been removed, I know you’ll love the tips I share with you going forward. 

Speaking of which, I have to get to sending an email to all of my VIPs!

I’m curious, how do you set up your email subscriber list? Is it an RSS feed, with no personalization from you, or do you send something specific, just to them, on a schedule? Why? You know I love the why behind things, so share in the comments!  

Automation Versus Intention When do you automate and when are you intentional on social media? This post talks specifically about email subscriber lists via @faithfulsocial

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Faithfully Social!

Sorry, Not Sorry

It’s Thursday and that means, another Thoughts on Thursday vlog linkup with my dear friend Jen from JVKom Chronicles. I was going to chat about other things as you’ll see.

Do you say sorry too much? Not enough, or don't know when? I am sure this affects relationships, especially marriages because it has for me. Check out the vlog for more thoughts on apologies and how powerful they are for you and your relationships. @faithfulsocial

So let’s get to it.

I should add though, that it’s important to be humble. Humility always wins. Always try to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when things get heated. But if you turn a corner and someone bumps into you, don’t just give a sorry away. That implies you did something wrong. Be intentional about what you are sorry for and what you don’t make excuses for. In this example, “excuse me” works, and you don’t walk away having given your subconscious and self esteem a ding. Trust me, that’s what happens. Then, like weeds you’re sorrying all over the place. STAHP it. <– tough love.

So here’s what I’d like to try today, share with me on social media via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook on my page, what have you, instances of where you say sorry, but probably shouldn’t. For my extremists (like me) out there, shout out moments when you should have been sorry, but were too stubborn to say it, let’s use #sorrynotsorry. This should be fun!

In the meantime, be #faithfullysocial. See you next week!

Do you say sorry too much? Not enough, or don't know when? I am sure this affects relationships, especially marriages because it has for me. Check out the vlog for more thoughts on apologies and how powerful they are for you and your relationships. @faithfulsocial

JVKom Chronicles

11 Simple Ways to Be an Awesome Twitter Superstar

“I want to become a Twitter professional by the end of May!” That’s what Mary of Sometimes Martha Always Mary said when she reached out and asked me if I had any how-to videos to recommend. Well, I’m more of a list gal myself, so I pulled this listicle together of how I managed to get my following to grow 530+ since the end of February. Why the end of February? That’s when I actually started tracking it.  

I love to share tips 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! 

11 Simple Ways to Be an Awesome Twitter Superstar. Mary asks me how she can get be a Twitter professional in a month. I share my twitter tips and tricks for how I grew my following 530+ followers since the end of February! @faithfulsocial

1. What do you blog about? This is always one of my first questions when I start working with clients. This sets the foundation for everything from content you curate, blog brainstorming sessions and branding. The whole kit and caboodle. I’ve heard many bloggers say, “I don’t know what I blog about” or “I blog about random stuff”. You just think you don’t know, or that what you post is random. In a lot of cases, “random” means “I didn’t plan”. Set aside some time and write down a list of 10 things you can write about passionately, all day. Pare that down to 3-5 categories if you’re just starting out or 5-7 categories if you’re a more experienced blogger. 

2. Fill out your profile. By fill out, I mean fill out.

  • Add your location. Even if you’re a little worried about stalkers, just add the general area, like largest city you’re closest to.
  • Add a profile picture. Please use the same profile picture across all your platforms + blog. Don’t make your readers work to decipher if you with a Kentucky Derby hat on is the same you with your gal pals on a Saturday night.
  • Add a header. Your header should be on brand in the same or similar look as your blog header. Even if it’s just the name of your blog in your brand colors, that’s perfectly fine.
  • Add a brief bio. You don’t want to stuff. This is not welcoming: Cat-lover. coffee drinker. Likes cheese. That can be anyone. You want to stand out. Need help? Head here, here and here

What we’re going for here, is to make it easier on your readers always and in all ways. Can you tell I love that show? 

3. Create lists based on your niches. Remember step #1? I told you, it’s everything. I focus on social media, blogging + branding. You better believe that I have lists based on those topics. Some of those lists are private (looking at competitors to steal like an artist) and others are public, like my SITS Girls Twitter Glitter list. Why do I have that? When I follow a fellow SITS girl, and add them to a list, they are notified that they were added to my SITS Girls Twitter list. Tell me how that wouldn’t make someone smile. Glitter fixes everything. Need help on how to create a Twitter list?

  • Click on Profile and Settings (hover over your profile picture).
  • Click on Lists.
  • Click on Create New Lists.
  • Fill out the pop up box.
  • When you see a profile that fits your list, click on the little gear icon on their profile and add to the appropriate list. 
  • Done!

4. Curate Content. As in get thee a Feedly account. I can’t say it enough, go back to step #1. Create categories in Feedly based on those topics/ categories and any blogs that fit that category, add it. If you’re into social media, like I am, lists like this one, help you to find blogs that are perfect for content curation. You can do this with any topic though with a Google search, just type “Best [Insert category here] of 2015” and add the feeds, follow them on Twitter (you can also follow them on all other social media too).  You’ll need this to stick to an 80% other content versus 20% your content promotion strategy. You want to be viewed as the chick who knows her stuff, not just her own stuff. 

5. Follow your influencers.  You want to stay in the loop on those conversations that interest you. You’ll also want to follow them as virtual mentors. This is huge. The only way to learn is to watch, absorb and emulate those elements of their strategy that fit your style. Not the other way around. What your influencers do are not a one size fit all for you. Take a little, and incorporate. Who are your influencers? That depends on the category. If you’re a blogger, you’ll look to profiles like The Nectar Collective,  Twelve Skip, Blogelina and The Blog Maven, for example. Remember that list you got from a Google search in step 4? You’ll have a top ten to start with based on that!

6. Follow the people your influencers follow. This might seem weird. Why would you follow those people your influencers follow? Why should you care? I say, why don’t you? You want to know who your influencers are following, so you can follow them to and see what makes them worthy (in your influencers eyes) to follow. This small shift in your strategy can really open your eyes to a larger industry based on your categories/topics you follow. 

7. Break up what you share. Vary your tweets with a mix of quotes, photos, video and just text. You want to target as many learning styles as possible. Some respond well to visuals, other to video and still others to just a plain article. Granted, tweets with images have better click through and RTs, but you don’t want to share just images because of that. What you want to do is create a profile that’s robust and dynamic, not a profile just looking out for analytics. However, that said, always use relevant hashtags. 

8. Join a Twitter chat or two. Twitter chats are a lot of fun. You get to mix and mingle with people while you’re sitting at home in your pajamas. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t have to put make up on, that’s the party I want to go to. I love the SITS Girls Twitter chat on Saturday mornings at 10AM ET, but if you’re looking for a slower paced chat, you can join the chat they have on Monday’s at 8PM ET. It’s a lot of fun and you make friends, like *that* <—did you hear the snap of my fingers? Interested in some other social media chats? Head here for 33 other ones. Some other great ones are: 

  • AltSummit hosted on Wednesday’s at 12PM ET using #AltChat
  • BlogElevated hosted on Wednesday”s at 10PM ET using #BlogElevated
  • Co -Schedule hosted on Thursdays at 4PM ET using #CoChat
  • House of Bliss hosted on Thursday’s at 9PM ET using #blisschat 
  • Mack Collier hosts this one on Sunday’s at 9PM using #BlogChat

9. Send a thank you tweet. Always thank anyone who retweets (RT) or shares your content, and use their first name in your thank you tweet (its the little things). This also shows people that you actually care enough to check out their profile to find their name and use it. If you get 8 shares or RT, great! Don’t thank them all at the same time in one tweet. That shows you’re lazy. Thank each share/RT individually. Also, don’t send a series of 8 thank you’s either, space them our using your automated app of choice (Hootsuite/Buffer).

10. Don’t have your twitter feed widget on your blog. What if, in that Twitter feed widget on your blog, there’s a super interesting article or inspirational quote scrolling by? Do you want to take your chances and have that reader that you worked so hard for just click away? Who knows if they’ll be back? Have social icons that link to your profiles, but get rid of the Twitter feeds. This is more of a blogging tip, really. It came up in my brainstorming session for this post, so there you go.

11. Do not send Direct Messages (DMs) when someone follows you asking them to do something for you.  Similarly, do not tag images with random people just because you want a RT, thank you very much. Twitter allows users to tag up to 10 people on a Twitter image, without counting toward character count. I’ve heard complaints of how people are being tagged that have nothing to do with the image and the tagger is really just looking for a RT. This is like you walking down the street, and grabbing a stranger by the face and saying “Hey, look at me!”  Granted, there is no Twitter police to arrest you for being so aggressive, but you’ll lose followers and kill your brand. I get that you want to get your message out there, but grabbing people by their Twitter-face won’t cut it.

If I follow you, I don’t need a DM saying that I should join you on Ibotta, or buy your book, or follow you on Ello. It’s just bad form. How about we build a relationship before you ask me for a favor? Hmm? Kind of like in real life? If I want to follow you on Facebook, I will. I don’t need a secret note passed to me or a nudge from you, Stranger Danger.

Have a question? Need help? Just ask, you may end up on my blog with tips and tricks curated just for you! 

Did you love this? Sign up to receive exclusive tips like these right in your inbox every Friday!

11 Simple Ways to Be an Awesome Twitter Superstar. Mary asks me how she can get be a Twitter professional in a month. I share my twitter tips and tricks for how I grew my following 530+ followers since the end of February! @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!

My Social Media Report for April

April has been a great month for opportunities. I was included as one of the interviewed bloggers in an epic blog post over at TwelveSkip, How To Make Friends with Other Bloggers In Your Niche, written a few guest posts, and have had a lot of undercover talks for exciting things to come. Last month, I shared a social media report for the month of March, and want to continue to track the growth, along with the social wins and milestones that I’ve set for myself.

This month, I’ve written 10 posts (not including this one or yesterday’s vlog post). According to my SumoMe analytics, my most shared post this month was The Secret to Changing your Blogging Niche at 221 shares, and my least shared post this month was just posted this week, Practical Blogging Tips to Make Your Blog Better at 16 shares.

Squarespace has it a little different with How to Inexpensively Rock Social Media Like the Pros as the page with the most views, and like SumoMe, has Practical Blogging Tips to Make Your Blog Better with the least views.

I guess no one wants blogging tips, so I should stick with social media tips, secrets and niche talk?! On with the social media report!

My monthly social media report. It includes social media tips and changes I made to my social media strategy to seriously increase my social media following across all platforms! by @fillpraycloset

Twitter

March: 1,750 followers

April: 1,988 followers, +238 from the previous month

What did I do?

  • I’m still rockin’ my weekly Tweepi strategy.
  • Pauline Cabrera of TwelveSkip started sharing my posts. She’s got a massively faithful following on Twitter of 20,534 followers that are all huge fans of blogging + social media.
  • I moderated two twitter chats for The SITS Girls and think the difference here is that on my personal Twitter profile, I tagged a visually appealing image letting specific followers know that I was moderating. Of course, I already had a previous relationship with them. If you don’t and tag someone that’s just spam! During the Twitter chat, I kept note of those people that I was making a connection with, sent another tagged image and ask that we stay connected.

Instagram

March: 535

April: 648, +113 from the previous month

What did I do?

  • I shared my blog posts to Instagram. I can show you how to do that too!
  • I started using TakeOff. A sweet little app that gives you popular hashtags and the best times to post for your specific audience.
  • I also added morning posts and / or evening posts with motivational and inspirational quotes on them using InstaQuote. It’s so easy and who doesn’t want to wake up to some pep and a cuppa?
  • I also had a blog post promotion image reposted on, well I would love to tell ya, but apparently, Instagram doesn’t let you see beyond 80 notifications and now that Iconosquare is a paid web tool as of 10 minutes ago, I can’t thank the person that reposted my blog post on this blog post *hangs head in shame*.
  • This brings me to my most favorite highlight of social sharing this month, no it’s not that Buffer allows you to schedule pins, although that’s super exciting. It’s that one of my all-time fave social media personalities liked, commented, followed AND reposted one of my Instagram posts. I won’t say anything else and just leave this right here.

Wake up and be awesome. Make your day great! #instagood #inspiration #dftba #love #lovewhatyoudo #Hustle Repost from the delightful @fillpraycloset

A photo posted by Peg 📝 Social Media Author 📱 (@pegfitzpatrick) on

Why is that a huge deal? It confirms for me, that I’m on the right track, hustling the right way and playing in the right sandbox! It’s all about being sure to celebrate your wins, whatever they are to you, and this is definitely a win for me! Then, Peg Fitzpatrick’s bestie (see the big league players have them too!), Rebekah Radice, liked one of my Instagram posts! Sweet!

Another tip? For inspirational quotes, why not go to the experts and see how they hashtag? Of course, I’m talking about Simple Reminders. If you can’t think of a hashtag, scroll through their feed and pick ones that work for your quote. Now that’s stealing like an artist baby!

Pinterest

March: 1,465

April: 1,767, +302 from the previous month

What did I do?

  • I continue to pin live 10 times a day, and schedule via Tailwind 10 times a day.
  • I am also using a Beta program where I can input the RSS feeds of those blogs that I know rock solid pins and schedule directly within Tailwind as well.
  • Another great feature of Tailwind, while we’re on it? I can pin from my Instagram feed as well, directly through the application. I just clean up all the hashtags, tweak the description and I’m off and scheduling.
  • I still follow, like and comment on other pins and profiles, because Pinterest is a social platform too, remember? It’s not just all about what we want for our boards.

Facebook

March: 166

April: 226, +60 from the previous month

What did I do?

  • I continue to share links on the SITS Girls Facebook group where they have Facebook Fan page love days. Generally, I try to like between 3-5 Facebook posts for every link I drop.
  • I’ve also been pushing Instagram posts directly to my Facebook Fan page to mix things up.
  • I went into my Fan Page Settings and removed the “send a message” option. This leaves your fan page with a “share” button instead. Wouldn’t you rather have your page shared then receive another “Follow me” message?! I think so.

Google+

March: 3,346

April: 4,120, +774 from the previous month

What did I do?

  • As I committed to in the last post, I began +1, sharing and commenting more on Google+ both within the communities that I am a part of and moderate as well as just on the public feed.
  • I started sharing my inspirational quotes from Instagram in the morning and evening. It was a little more than just getting +1s on this approach. I just kinda wanted to spread the good will and wishes around, ya know?
  • I participated in two “circle shares” by Derek Dillon. What this means is a group of people are added to a circle, then shared. When you’re in the desktop version of Google+ you click “Add these people”. I have them in a “New Followers” Circle that I clean up frequently. How does that look? If they look spammy, or haven’t posted in a while, I remove them from my circles. Think of it like pruning a rosebush. You gotta keep rosebushes pruned for beautiful blooms, right?

E-mail subscribers

March: 120

April: 142, +22 from the previous month

What did I do?

  • It’s a little more of an increase from the month prior, so I’ll take it.
  • I’ve lost quite a few followers now that my niche has changed from more faith based to blogging + social media based. While most people would freak, I’m not.

Bloglovin’

March: 91

April: 104, +13 from the previous month

What did I do?

  • Not a whole lot, can’t you tell? I find Bloglovin’ to be a tricky thing. It’s a blog aggregator that some people use, much like I use Feedly. According to my Squarespace stats, there are 640 people that subscribe in some way via RSS aggregators. So let’s take that number! Actually, in all transparency here, that number fluctuates quite a bit. Yesterday it was at 795. Squarespace notes that “Subscribers” are: A breakdown of subscribers to every RSS feed on your site.

And the biggest reason for all of these social media boosts is my role as a Community Lead in the Spring into Social event that took place on The SITS Girls last week. I shared tips for Pinterest and Instagram while other bloggers covered YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. It was a frenzy of following and getting to know other really committed bloggers. I highly suggest participating in a network. In fact, the linky still looks open for these challenges if you want to work on a platform or two. Just because it’s over, doesn’t mean you can’t still reach out, introduce yourself and make a connection.

Another tip! In writing those featured guest posts for The SITS Girls I also created a sister or teaser post on my blog to publish on the same day. Anyone who stopped by The SITS Girls, knew there were even more tips over at my place! Why not pick up on some of that 70,000+ subscriber web traffic, eh?

For example, at The SITS Girls, I wrote a post titled, What Is a Personal Brand? 



The “sister” post was shared on my blog the same day: How to Brand Yourself on Social Media Immediately.



My post on The SITS Girls: How to Get Results from the Time You Spend on Social Media



Sister Post: 4 More Ways to Maximize Your Time on Social Media 



When you guest post, consider creating an epic blog post on your blog and asking that the blog you’re guest posting for add a link to your sister post to double your writing efforts! If you followed that, high five!

How did your social media go this month? What worked? What didn’t? What are you doing this weekend? Me? I’m presenting at a conference on, you guessed it, social media! Boom Daddy!

My monthly social media report. It includes social media tips and changes I made to my social media strategy to seriously increase my social media following across all platforms! by @fillpraycloset

This post contains an affiliate link. While this costs you el zilcho, it helps me to keep doin’ my thang. Thanks for supporting me!