My Social Media Report for March

“I made $7,000 last month from my blog.” “I made 6,200 last month from my blog.””Check my income report!”

You’ve seen these, right?  Passive income is the sweet spot for blogging, internet marketing, and consulting. I’m not there, yet. No where near. In fact, I’ve made $10.85 cents so far this month, and that’s not even paid out yet.

I read this post about building trust, and not traffic.  I love this post. The message was so powerful, I instantly downloaded the book The Content Code by Mark W. Schaefer to sink my teeth into his thought process around content and social media. 

Social Media Report with Tips for March with social media tips and tricks I used within the month by @faithfulsocial

In the article, Schaefer says “…building trust instead of traffic takes time, a new mindset, a new commitment, and perhaps even a leap into the unfamiliar.”

Money is important, I’m not completely naive. But, what’s more important to me is building trust, connections and networks. I thrive on the interaction and sharing of information that I can give and receive on social media. It’s a really great resource to find like minded people, or even people you don’t have a lot in common with personally, but really want to learn from.

I’ve been tracking my social media platforms. It’s been simple, I’m not tracking goals or conversions for you google analytics nerds (I’m getting there) or even social media ROI, yet (you all confused yet?).  If you want to grab a copy of my social media spreadsheet you can, just look out for the button at the end of this post.

I’m starting where I’m at. That means noting how many people I had when I started tracking on February 24th and how many people follow me as of March 24th. Why February 24th? That’s when I started a Facebook blog page. No big secret there. 

I’ll share the before and after numbers, along with what I did differently to get that increase.

–1–

Twitter

Before: 1,657 followers

After: 1,750 followers, that’s a +93

What did I do?

  • Every week, on Thursdays I use Tweepi per Melissa’s post to find people on Twitter. Because there are a few steps, I created a spreadsheet (told you I love them) where I track her suggestions putting an X when I’ve followed someone’s followers for example.
  • The highlight here? I followed some of Regina‘s followers, Erika Madden of Olyvia Media. She noticed and retweeted a post of mine, Regina picked up on it again (because she was mentioned) and it was retweeted all over again! Cool huh?
  • I also use twitterfeed to push those blogs that I love to my feed automatically. For example, I love This Felicitous Life, you know this. So every time she posts something, I get it pushed to my Twitter time line with her twitter handle. For those niche blogs, I include a relevant hashtag too. I don’t just drop them, I check my Feedly in the evenings to read the links that twitterfeed has pushed for me so I’m always in the loop. 
  • I participated in two twitter chats. One for #SITSblogging on a Saturday morning and the other for design #ellechat They were super fun and I highly suggest attending a twitter chat if you haven’t already done so.

–2–

Instagram

Before: 485

After: 535, that’s a +50

What did I do?

  • I shared my blog posts to Instagram. I can show you how to do that too!
  • I began to participate in linkups and challenges. 
  • I started looking at Instagram feeds a little differently, I would search for topics I was interested in via hashtags and like photos I saw in that feed, while also doing the same within my own “home” feed.
  • I downloaded the Unfollow app and cleaned up my followers. Those followers that weren’t following me, I gave a week and liked posts of theirs, or commented. If after that engagement, they didn’t follow back, I deleted them. Why? I only want people who engage with me on social media. Follows are great, but we’re building trust, right? 

–3–

Pinterest

Before: 1,206

After: 1,465, that’s a +259 <– yikes! Can I share a secret? My goal this year was to hit 1,500. 

What did I do?

  • I took a Pinterest course, Pinning Perfect that I LOVED. I also signed up for a pin scheduling app called Tailwind. With these two investments, I learned how to create a branded pin, craft keyword rich descriptions, work with contributor boards and schedule pins to post during optimal times based on when my Pinterest peeps were on and pinning, to name but a few changes. 
  • In the class we received a checklist for max return on Pinterest investment of your time. Of course, I turned that in to a spreadsheet that I check daily. It’s color coded, so I know what to do each day, each week and monthly.

–4–

Facebook

Before: 0

After: 166, that’s a … you know what that is. 

What did I do?

  • I started a Facebook page! I knew I wanted to get beyond my friends and family likes, so I began to look for opportunities to network.
  • SITS has a 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.
  • Kim Garst has a #FanPageFriday where you drop your page on the thread and like others that you find interesting. 

It is time to celebrate! It is FINALLY Friday!FACEBOOK FRIDAY! If you would like to meet some new peeps, get some new…

Posted by Boom Social with Kim Garst on Friday, March 27, 2015

–5–

Google+

Before: 3,060

After: 3,346, that’s a +286

What did I do? 

  • Honestly, nothing different than my usual. I post the way I usually do (there’s a way to do it). I always tell this to people who ask, don’t go crazy with all the platforms at all times. Focus on a few, and when they’re under your belt, move on to the next. When you’re confident with those platforms, cycle out again, and so on.
  • But the hightlight? Dustin W. Stout, a self proclaimed creative lunatic and social strategist with 48,170 followers commented on my google+ post of my epic Instagram post and thought it was “Awesome Stuff!!” Wahoo and cha-ching! 
  • How’s this, here’s what I would like to incorporate going forward. More +1’s, more information sharing on my part to those groups that I admin to get the conversation going and being more thoughtful about sharing content from others to my stream. I’ll let you know how I make out in a future post. 

–6–

E-mail subscribers

Before: 102

After: 120, that’s +18

What did I do?

  • Well, here’s a bigger picture. As of 2/4 when I made the move to Squarespace, I had 42 email subscribers. I began to create freebies for those people who subscribed on a Freebie page. I am currently at 3 freebies and it’s a mix of faith related content to social media tips and tricks. I have some plans in the works to add more printouts and info for my subscribers
  • I added a subscriber bar at the top of my site.
  • I added a scroll box to capture subscribers from SumoMe just this week.

–7–

Bloglovin’

Before: 72

After: 91, that’s +19

What did I do?

  • I participated in a follow thread within a Facebook group I admin. 
  • I began liking other bloggers on Bloglovin’
  • I also saved my own stuff! This way when people come over to your profile, they can see your lovely posts, along with others you’ve liked. 
  • I added a button just beneath my social links for people to easily find and follow me.

I would say before anything, start a content or editorial calendar. I just started using Trello for this and I LOVE it, but I’ll always have my spreadsheets. In it, I have the dates on the left and have the following columns:

  1. Blog post title
  2. Social media push
  3. All of the tracking I note in #1-7 of this post.
  4. Color key to let me know what I have to do when.

It takes a little bit of time to set up, but after the initial creation of it, you’re golden.

I wanted to share with you a great nugget of wisdom gleaned from a podcast I can’t stop raving about, Hack the Entrepreneur. The host, Jon, was interviewing Brian Kurtz. Brian mentioned a way of thinking called the Entrepreneurial Gap. Brian explained that if you try to walk toward the horizon to meet it, you’ll never get there. 

The Entrepreneurial Gap is this:

The gap is what’s between today’s goal and the horizon, and if you live in there, all the time without having one goal achieved and then turning back around and looking back and where you were and where you’ve been and where you are now, you’ll stay out of the gap.

So here’s to the horizon and my looking back at what I’ve done, what I’ve achieved. Here’s to staying focused and meeting my goals, celebrating them and then making more goals.

There’s always the horizon to get to, so I’ll keep moving, but I won’t forget to look back and take stock in how far I’ve come. You don’t either.

This post contains affiliate links. Costs you nothing, and I get more money to keep the lights on around here. Thanks for supporting Faithfully Social

Social Media Report with Tips for March with social media tips and tricks I used within the month by @faithfulsocial

Show up for Yourself

Do you show up for yourself?

Show up for Yourself. Even when you're exhausted and you can't take another step, always show up for you. A vlog in where I share how I show up for myself and am working on implementing blogging productivity hacks and social media tips to keep my day more streamlined by @faithfulsocial

Another week, another vlog link up. I am loving these, aren’t you? This week has been rough. I won’t lie, work is crazy and my allergies are at an all time high. I even used my asthma pump twice this week. I could have easily bowed out of the link up, but I like adding this to my week. It’s real time and real talk. I don’t plan them, rarely have a script (unless it’s that lame index card that I finally threw out this weekend, I think?).  So have a quick look at my 3 minute “showing up for myself” vlog with pillows, as I hate on Charity because she’s so cute and always has a cup of chai in hand. I know, that face, it’s the best of the worst in bunch. Trust me. I’m a face maker. 

Here are the links I mention in this post:

On sharing your blog posts to Instagram

On multitasking.

On creating or boosting your content/editorial calendar.

On batching your work (or in this case, social media posts.)

On Chai with Charity’s vlog series. See that mug? She’s so cute!

For more #thoughtsonthurs vlogs, head over to JVKom Chronicles

JVKom Chronicles

Looking for more inspiration? I’m always pinning inspirational quotes, memes and articles here!

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

Show up for Yourself. Even when you're exhausted and you can't take another step, always show up for you. A vlog in where I share how I show up for myself and am working on implementing blogging productivity hacks and social media tips to keep my day more streamlined by @faithfulsocial

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 .

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!!

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.

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

The Fantasy of Yes

As a working mother with tons of responsibility and more drive that she knows what to do with, the thinking is to say no. I’ve written about it, practiced it and preached it. To just say no and mean it. No to people that hurt you, no to another thing slapped on your already full plate, no to negativity. No, no, NO! Now I’m telling you to say yes? I am. 

What do you dream about? What do you want to do in this life? Pick one thing and say yes to yourself. Make your yes a reality. People often ask me how I get everything done? I share productivity tips and a bit of life in this vlog by @fillpraycloset

In this week’s Thoughts on Thursday vlog with Jen from JVKom Chronicles, I waited till the last minute. I think there is something to the last minute for inspiration and recording yourself for the world to see (my world is my hubby, the boys, close friends and you guys!). I only have one take, 3 minutes. I don’t let myself over think it or pick it apart. While those aren’t the rules, that’s the extra challenge I’ve given myself – because I tend to do that. I’ve got some other bad habits too that I share with you in this vlog. So, let’s get to it, and I’ll see you just afterwards (or beneath the embedded video).

I hope you’re ok after that car metaphor. It’s all I could think of in the moment. 

Did you get to that last bit, for your challenge? It’s not about saying yes to everyone and everything else because you feel compelled to be a good girl. You need to say yes to you. Say yes to one thing that you dream about when no one is paying attention. You know, when your eyes glaze over as you’re eating lunch with a friend and they’re talking, but you’re “in it”. In the zone of what you want to be and do and achieve – the fantasy of your “yes”.

Even if it’s reading a chapter of a book every day till you finish it in a year (that’s a big book, no?), or walking around the block once a week, or going into business for yourself, whatever it is. You know what I’m getting at. Once you’ve landed on your one thing, or two or twenty, promise yourself to never say no to it again. Even if you hate mornings and your yes includes getting up before dawn. 

Share it in the comments, then start figuring out what it is you have to do to get there and do it. Because no, is no longer an option.

What do you dream about? What do you want to do in this life? Pick one thing and say yes to yourself. Make your yes a reality. People often ask me how I get everything done? I share productivity tips and a bit of life in this vlog by @fillpraycloset

See you next week! And if you’re feeling vloggy, link up!

JVKom Chronicles

Team Early Bird

There are two camps in my house.

The first camp is up early, and ready for the day with a spring in their step. The second camp can’t wait for night to fall so they can get going creatively. I was of the latter camp my entire life. I mean all 37, or 38 years of it (will someone please ask my husband to tattoo my age to my forehead?!). It was only recently, coinciding with Lent, that I sacrificed my beloved nighttime and defected to the early bird camp. Gabriel, my partner in crime may or may not be completely devastated.

Are you a night owl or an early bird? What time of day are you  more productive? I include productivity apps, books and business podcasts that I use to get my day started by @faithfulsocial

My husband was not convinced it would last. Not even I was convinced. Gabriel, is still holding out hope that I will come back to the dark side. Every morning, I wake up between 5:30AM and 6AM depending on when my Sleep Cycle App says I should. I click on the face that best represents how I am feeling when I wake up (part of the app). I like to click on the angry sad face when I am especially tired as my way of telling the app where to go with its morning chirp alarm (like it’s a person!).

Prepare the night before

I head over to the bench in my bedroom where I have laid out my workout clothes the night before. That’s right people. Cristina works out now! I brush my teeth and head downstairs. Can you imagine if I had to rummage through my completely unorganized drawers for an exercise bra in the dark? I would just head back to bed and call it a day. I’m telling you, don’t waste precious, percolating brain power on these silly decisions. You know, the ones where you have to decide whether you’re bra is on backwards or not. Preparing for your day, the night before tells you that morning that you thought of yourself – and isn’t that nice? [Tweet This]

Keep everything you need in one spot for a morning routine home base

On my love seat, I have a mobile office. It’s not what you think, just a little lap desk for me to blog on with my tablet or work from home with my laptop. What’s so great about it, is that it’s become my morning home base. As you open up the main compartment, inside is my Five Minute Journal, a rosary, my head phones and my Marian Consecration book. Everything I need to get my morning going, all in one place. I always start with the Five Minute Journal. It’s a gratitude journal that’s simple, effective and can literally be done in 5 minutes. There are also weekly challenges that you complete as well, that are more intentional around people, connection, and wellness. I love it. I then choose whether I want to work out first, or pray. I usually choose one or the other and stick with it for a few days and then switch it up. Today for example, I prayed the rosary first, read the Marian Consecration prayers and then finished off with the Lenten Magnificat reading for the day.

Just 15 minutes and be sure to double up

My husband got me an elliptical/stairclimber death machine because I just can’t do a gym. Gym peeps, you get all the props. I am too self-conscious to go to a gym. It’s not what you think, either. I am such a clutz that the last thing I need, is to be known as that girl that pushes all the buttons and goes all crazy horse on the elliptical because she can’t remember what to do. The machine calls for 15 minutes / 3 times a week. I can do that.

Well, I couldn’t actually when I first got on it. Instead I hyperventilated over the course of three minutes and my husband had to walk me back up the stairs so I could sit for 3 hours and get my strength back. I know. Totally out of shape. I have worked my way up to 15 minutes now and that’s perfect for me. I do double duty by listening to empowering podcasts like Hack the Entrepreneur, In Demand Brand, Brilliant Business Moms or TED Radio Hour. I stop the podcast at 15 minutes and pick it back up in my car ride to work.

Take time to think

We all know about shower thoughts. You know, when you’re in the shower and all these ideas just come to you? That’s my time to think, strategize, come up with blog post ideas, freebies for subscribers, guest post outlines, you name it. I also let what I’ve learned in those podcasts sink in and energize me throughout the day. Granted, I jump out of the shower 3 or 4 times to jot ideas down on a post-it. But you get the idea – and so do I, all in the shower!

Here’s the kicker

All of that? Done by 7:15AM. All that me time. And it’s really me time. I’m not in front of a computer, drowning on social media, or getting distracted by shiny things. It’s me. My time to frame the day in such a way that I’ve given to myself first spiritually, mentally and physically before I get out of the house and have to start the work day.

Nighttime routine 2.0

I go to bed at the same time night. Before I “shut it down” I finish up the nighttime portion of The Five Minute Journal, set out my work out clothes for the next day (unless it’s a rest day), brush my teeth, plop and watch the tube with the family or read until it’s 10PM and turn out the light.

I have to say, I like this new schedule, routine, or shift. Yeah, let’s say that. I love this shift. I’m more positive, focused, productive and just feel better. 

Are you a nightowl or an earlybird? [Tweet This]

So how about you? Are you making the shift? Got any tips? Tell me in the comments!

Are you a night owl or an early bird? What time of day are you  more productive? I include productivity apps, books and business podcasts that I use to get my day started by @faithfulsocial

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Filling My Prayer Closet!