Author: admin

December Results and January Goals

December Results and January Goals

Another month has come and gone.  If you can believe it, another year has come and gone as well.  2017 is here, and I can’t be more excited.  I have so many ideas and goals this year.

Some of them include continuing to make my blog as successful as it can be, graduating with my Master’s degree, going down to only one daytime job, and finally living in the same state as my husband.  Some of those may be easier to tackle than others, but they are my goals all the same.

Now, as for my blog, by making monthly goals, I feel that I am contributing to the success of my blog whether I complete those goals or not because I am working towards something.  I feel that when I publish these goal lists, I am giving others the ability to hold me accountable for my work.  I may have created this blog for me initially, but I want others to enjoy it and get something out of it.

To do that, I need to give myself something to work towards.  I don’t want to become complacent with my blog. Nor, do I want to be flippant about my failures or successes. I want to celebrate them and learn from them. For me, to do that is by setting goals.  Then taking a hard look at what worked and what didn’t.  If it was a failure, what could I have done better? If it was a success, is it something that I can replicate and pass that new knowledge on to my readers so they may find success as well.

I love the blogging world, especially the people that I have had the pleasure of interacting within Facebook Groups.  These groups are such a fantastic way to feel like you are not alone.  Someone always seems to post a question right at the same time that I am thinking the same thing.  It is so helpful just to go through my feed and see what is new or where someone is struggling.  I don’t think I have ever seen such comradery, respect, and collaboration as I have within the blogging world.  It is just indescribable.

To all of my fellow bloggers, thank you!

Now, let’s get down to business.

I created a goal list for December.  If you remember correctly, I narrowed down my list of goals from 15 in November to 10 in December, thinking that I may have been a little overzealous in November.  Well, it turns out 10 was still a little bit of a reach.  I have big ambitions, and I like to set my sights high.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it also leaves me a little disappointed when I don’t reach those goals.  I knew that I was pushing it with 10 goals, but I figured with school being out for the holiday that my weeknights would give me more time to work towards those goals.  I never seem to account for the unaccountable.  Sick baby, unannounced guests, spontaneous family get together.  These things appear to throw a wrench in my blogging schedule.

I have learned to roll with it and make a note to work on it at a later date.

As a recap, my goals for December were:

  • Post weekly: Fail, only did 3 new posts this month.
  • Post to 5 Facebook Groups Daily: Win, I did more around 7-10 groups daily, with the exclusion of weekends.
  • Utilize Buffer: Win, every Monday I had at least one of my social media platforms full at all times.
  • Utilize Coschedule: Win, I have planned out all my posts for January, February and March already!
  • Pinterest e-course/webinars: Win, I have completed 2 e-courses/webinars.
  • Content Upgrades: Fail, I didn’t do any content upgrades, but they are planned out in my January schedule.
  • Create emails using MailChimp: Win; I did 2 emails.  Hey, it’s a start, I’m counting it as a win!
  • Create January Newsletter: Win, I have it outlined, and it’s my goals to have it go out on Friday.
  • Email course/webinars: Fail, I didn’t do any e-courses/webinars regarding email lists.

Now, looking at these results written down, I achieved 7 out of my 10 goals.  In school terms, I got a C.  Not the best, but certainly commendable.  Pinterest and my email list were my focuses for December.  I spent a lot of time going through my pins and focusing them towards my blogging tips/social media niche.  I have created more focused boards and have been narrowing down my Pinterest boards focus.  That took a lot of time, and I’m still not done.  I have board covers I still need to apply, and I also need to get rid of the boards that aren’t part of my focus.

Pinterest and my email list were my focuses for December.  I spent a lot of time going through my pins and focusing them towards my blogging tips/social media niche.  I have created more focused, boards and have been narrowing down my Pinterest boards focus.  That took a lot of time, and I’m still not done. I have a real problem just pinning everything with, a title that seems like it will fit my on my boards, but I had never taken the time to click through all those pins.  I was surprised at all the dead links that I had.  I’m going to leave the details for my post regarding Pinterest Boards for later this month.

Looking ahead, I am going to narrow down a little more and only do 8 goals this month.  I am keeping an eye on the prize and also be realistic.

January Goals:

PinterestBoards: I’m going to continue focusing on Pinterest.  I have a great rhythm trying to get it all setup, and I want to see it through.

Newsletter: Publish January newsletter and plan February newsletter.

Facebook Groups: I want to continue posting, in Facebook groups. I would also like to go through the 50+ groups that I am a part of and leave groups that I have not interacted with or that do not mesh well with the success of my blog.

Pinterest Groups: I have joined a few more Pinterest Group Boards, and I want to continue to join more.

Tailwind Tribes: I have created a tribe, and I want to promote it and get members to join.  By the end of the month, I want to have 50 members.  If you are interested in joining, you don’t have to have a Tailwind account.  The tribe is called Help a Blogger Out.  This tribe is for pins regarding blogging tips and social media tips that you have utilized yourself or that you think would be helpful for others.

Social Media: I would like to up all followers on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to 1000.  I have between 500 and 600 followers on all of these.  By continuing to promote my profiles and consistently posting, I think this will be easily attainable.

Content Upgrades: I have them planned, but planning isn’t the same as executing, so that is why I am putting it on my goal list again.  I want to do 3 content upgrades on old posts.

Email list: My list doubled this month, and I want to see that continue.  I would like to see this list continue to grow this month.

There you have it.  What are your goals this month or for the new year in general?  Share below!

 

10 Instagram Tips and Tricks

10 Instagram Tips and Tricks

Navigating Instagram can seem tricky to those who don’t have much experience, but once you get the hang of it, it can be quite easy.  That is why I am here to offer 10 Instagram Tips and Tricks for Mastering Instagram.

Instagram is a visual social media platform.  It is a great place to network and gain traffic to your website.  There are a lot of benefits, so why shouldn’t you jump on board and reap some of those benefits?

Just remember, you only have a few seconds to catch someone’s eye, so you have to make sure what you post is aesthetically pleasing and/or informative.  I’m here to help you make your few seconds count!

I have done a lot of research and compiled a list of some of the best snippets of advice for using Instagram.  There is a lot of conflicting information out there, and I guess in reality, it is all just a bunch of trial and error to find what actually works for you and the rest doesn’t matter.

 

10 Instagram Tips and Tricks

  • Create a cohesive theme.  If your niche is cooking and your Instagram is filled with recipes and also pictures of cute animal memes, political satire, and other non-food related posts, it may seem confusing to your readers.  Your Instagram account is part of your business and it needs to be treated that way.  Fill your portfolio with what is cohesive within your niche.  Create another private account if necessary for the other stuff.
  • Grammar and spelling are important.  Since Instagram is part of your business, it needs to be professional and grammatically correct.  There isn’t a ton of writing associated with Instagram in general, adjusting the one or two lines of your post or comment shouldn’t be too hard to do.  Take a few minutes and make sure its all cleaned up before you post.
  • Post consistently.  There are a lot of followers out there who look forward to your next post.  Don’t let them down.  It doesn’t have to be something that takes forever to put together with long thought out comments, just post something that makes you happy and fits within your niche.  I use Buffer and queue up a bunch of posts; then Buffer lets me know when its time to post and I just press a few buttons and bam, done.  For instance, I am a mom blogger, and I also blog about my blogging journey, I find funny parenting memes I queue up to have posted 1-2 times a day.  I find that when I post consistently, I am less likely to have people unfollow me as long as I stick to my theme.  When I go a couple of days without posting, I lose a few followers and once I get back on track, I don’t lose more than 1 or 2 and may even gain a few.
  • Use Hashtags.  For bloggers who are trying to gain followers, you will want to find which hashtags pertain to your niche.  You will also want to tailor hashtags to what you think people will search for.  I keep a list of hashtags that I use for parenting specific posts and a list of hashtags for my blog specific posts.  For instance, I will use #momblogger #momlife #mom #toddlermom for those funny parenting memes.  For my blog posts about blogging, I will use #blog #bloglife #blogging #bloggoals.  Note: Don’t use hashtags like #likeforlike #followme, you run the risk of spammy activity along with a bunch of followers who may unfollow you the next day.
  • Promote your Instagram.  I do this using Facebook Groups, but you can use any social media platform or search engine to do this as well.  Promote anywhere you would promote your blog.  There are a lot of Facebook Groups out there.  Most will include a daily post allowing their member so post their Instagram account for others within their niche to follow or post an Instagram post to garner new attention.
  • Understand Follow for Follow.  Be mindful of the groups that have follow for follow boards.  While you will increase your followers, there are people out there that will unfollow you the next day.  The Facebook Group hosts make a note discouraging this, but it does still happen.  This can seem frustrating when you are trying to get to a certain number of followers.  Participate in those follow for follow groups with that in mind.  Also, don’t be one of those that UNfollowers unless there are posts that are inappropriate or against your beliefs.  Otherwise, what is the harm in continuing to follow them?
  • Update your profile.  Make sure you have a snappy profile snippet.  When people come across your profile and have the option to follow you, they will read the first 15-20 characters which will show up before the ellipses and people have to click on your profile to read the rest, which they won’t always do.  So make sure those first few words count.  I find when I look for people to follow, I look for profiles that include “mom blogger, blogger, or blogs about parenting…”.  This lets me know that they will likely post stuff that interests me.
  • Set Goals.  Setting goals is a good thing to do in general.  Setting goals will help you to see where you want to be with your Instagram account.  Writing goals down will help keep that goal in the forefront of your mind, which makes it more likely to be achieved.  Set a goal to post once a day, or set a goal to gain 100 followers a week.  No matter how small or large the goal is, set it and challenge yourself to achieve it.  I dare ya!
  • Quality counts.  Make sure that the pictures you post are not blurry or dark.  If someone can’t see it or make out the image, they are going just to scroll right past.  You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of a new audience, make a good impression.
  • Include your website in your post. When promoting on Instagram, ensure that your post includes your website.  It can be included in the image itself or the comments.  This allows people easy access to your site.

There you have it!  10 Instagram Tips and Tricks to help you navigate through Instagram a little easier.  Make sure that you are interactive on your account as well.  If you want followers, likes and comments, lead by example.

What are some of your best Instagram Tips or Tricks that others would find helpful?

15 Blogging Goals For November: Results

15 Blogging Goals For November: Results

Now that November has come to a close, I thought I would give you guys an update on how I did with my 15 Blogging Goals I set for myself for November.   I created the post to help me be accountable for my success or lack thereof, in my blogging journey this month.  I am happy with my goal results, even though I am sure they could have been better.  My results show me that I put forth the effort and that there is something to show for that.  Who wouldn’t be happy about that?

november-blogging-goals-wins-and-losses

Here is a quick recap of what my 15 blogging goals were for November and the results:

  1. Create one post a week: Win and fail; I didn’t post once a week, but every 8-10 days, and I continued to promote posts daily in social media.
  2. Create two freebies for the month: Fail; I only created 1 in the Twitter Chat post.
  3. Increase page views by 5000: Fail, I have only gotten just over half, 2545 views, which is still the most I’ve ever had, so I’m happy.
  4. Utilize CoSchedule: Win; I did plan out my posts, even if I didn’t get them in on time.  I also utilized the social media posting on this site as well.
  5. Create new emails for current subscribers: Fail; I still haven’t done this.  Gaining subscribers will be the primary focus for December.
  6. Increase subscribers by 100: Fail; only increase to 35.  Hopefully, I can continue to increase this in December.
  7. Improve SEO on old blog posts: Win; I did improve the SEO on all my old blog posts and also created meta tags.  Yea Me!
  8. Each Monday, plan all social media posts and schedule through Buffer: Win; I filled Buffer every chance I got, there were some lapses, but for the most part, my social media posts were consistent.
  9. Gain 300 new followers each on Instagram and Twitter: Fail; I was at 356 Instagram and 331 Twitter followers a month ago, as of today I now have 600 Instagram and 520 Twitter followers.  It’s hard when people keep following/unfollowing, but what can you do.
  10. Each Monday, fill Boardbooster for the week: Win; my Boardbooster was so full that first Monday in November, that I haven’t added anything to it and it is still posting.  I also signed back up for Tailwind because I like their analytics.
  11. Join 15 more Pinterest Group Boards: Fail; I emailed 15-20 board owners, but a lot of them never responded.  I did get on to 5 more, so I am part of 9 groups total now.
  12. Gain 100 new Pinterest followers: Win; I started the month at 140 but have increased that to 425.  Woo Hoo!!!
  13. Post in a minimum of 5 Facebook Groups daily: Win; I was able to do this, I did, however, take the weekends off.
  14. Gain 100 new Facebook Page Likes: Win; I started with 62 likes on my page, but that has increased to 278.
  15. Utilize those email courses: Win; I got through at least one course or webinar a week.  I can’t wait to start others in my inbox.

 

Overall I accomplished 8-9 out of my 15 goals.

It’s not stellar, but at least some of these goals are complete.  I know that looking back at these goals I didn’t accomplish as much as I had hoped.  Upon reading the comments on my 15 Blogging Goals for November post, some people pointed out that 15 goals in one month was a little lofty and possibly insane, and I can’t say they are wrong.

I also didn’t anticipate everything that would happen this month that would take my focus away from blogging.  There was a death in my family, mid-terms, and of course Thanksgiving.  Even with all that, I did try, which is more than I would have done if I hadn’t had this post to keep me accountable.

There were so many times I wanted just to say F it and not stress myself out about this blog.  I mean, it is MY blog and I can either post or not, it is entirely up to me.  Then, I would get an idea for a post, and I would get so excited.   I would have so much fun researching and writing my posts.  To me, that means that this is something that I am supposed to do.

I did what I could, and have to say that I am proud, even if I didn’t get it all 15 blogging goals accomplished.

Tips and Tricks for Twitter Chats

Tips and Tricks for Twitter Chats

Tips and Tricks for Twitter Chats

I love all the aspects of blogging.  This new world that blogging has opened me up to is so fascinating, and I love learning everything that it has to offer me.  Case and point, Twitter Chats.  As someone who has been solely focusing on Facebook Groups to network and gain advice from fellow bloggers, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about these chats are also very helpful for that as well.

If you are curious about Twitter Chats, I offer up my Tips and Tricks to Twitter Chats to help you branch out and try something new!img_3772

  • Twitter Chats, also called Twitter Parties are chats that are held on certain days at certain times typically weekly, some are biweekly or even monthly.   Take a look at the chats on this chart to see the days and times of Twitter Chats.  These are specific chats for bloggers.
  • To participate in the chat, make sure you are using the corresponding hashtag so that your replies are visible to others in the chat.
  • To make a great first impression, I suggest that you head over to Canva and create a Twitter card.  This card should include your blog name, picture, and link to your site.  It will be similar to handing out a business card that you would Tweet once you join the chat.  This will get people to notice you and what your business is. It also gives people the opportunity to visit your blog.
  • Twitter chats are NOT designed for self-promotion, but to gain knowledge and meet others who can help you and offer support or vice versa.  However, most chats will allow links at the end of the chat.
  • If you choose to join in on the conversation, that is awesome, but make sure that your replies say something.  Create meaningful responses that offer something to the conversation.
  • Twitter chats are fast paced, you may be re-tweeting or commenting more than usual.  You may want to give your followers a heads up.  This is just a courtesy before starting your chat so your followers are aware that you may have a lot of new activity in your feed. It also lets your followers know about the chat, in case they want to join in too.
  • Be polite, these chats are not for negative comments or judgment.  Please use common courtesy.  Think of it as a business meeting or networking event.
  • Ensure that if you are targeting your conversation to a certain someone, in particular, include their @twitterhandle, so they know you are responding to them.
  • Use a period character (.) in front of someone’s @twitterhandle so that your mentions will show up on all feeds instead of just the person you are referring.  (Example: instead of @littlemisslistmaker, you would put .@littlemisslistmaker)
  • The host of the Twitter Chat will throw out topics to keep the chat moving in the right direction and will create questions with Q1, Q2, Q3 markings and you can answer with “A” and the corresponding number of the question, A1, A2, or A3.
  • If you can’t make a chat, you can go back a read the transcript.  You could also do this even if you were in the chat so that you can refer back to.  This will include tips and be able to contact those you interacted with in the chat.
  • Use the right tool.  There are a host of tools to join to find and join chats.  Your regular Twitter app won’t be able to refresh fast enough to keep up with the pace of the chat.  Check in to TweetDeck or Hootsuite, both are free.

Well, there you have it, my tips and tricks to Twitter Chats.  There are a ton of chats out there for all types of blogs, lifestyle, fashion, food, religion, parenting, etc.  There are also many different chats for marketing, social media, advice for new bloggers, affiliations, etc.  You can just search on TweetDeck to find the right ones for you.  Look at past transcripts to see if the content is what you are looking for.  Good luck!

Please comment below of any Twitter Chats that may prove beneficial for me and others!