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