social media

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

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.

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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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