Being Realistic About Gaining a Viral Post…

Viral post

… or Why You Should Lower Your Expectations.

In the online world, the idea of going ‘viral’ is a coveted goal. There are endless explanations as to what viral is, from having ten times your normal amount of traffic to suddenly having tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and even millions of views.

The more time I spend on Pinterest, the more I see posts being shared around that focus on the whole viral nonsense: ‘How to Get Your Posts to Go Viral,’ ‘How to Have a Viral Post,’ How to Go Viral…’ Blah, blah, and again… blah. There seems to be a little obsession with it at the minute, and I get asked the same question all the time… Continue reading

How to Create, Join and Use Pinterest Group Boards

Pinterest, despite all of the updates and changes that have been made over the last 9 months, is still a primary source of traffic to my blog. I took my time to join and develop my boards (and I wish I’d have done it sooner) but it remains my favourite way to share my posts and to access interesting posts that cover posts of lots of different topics.

One of the easiest ways of boosting my traffic has been the creation of my own board and joining those created by others.

Essentially, a blogging group board is like an ongoing link-up and sharing opportunity (and those of you who follow the blog regularly will know how much I like I good party). It works in the same way as all the other boards, but instead of just the creator sharing their pins, others are allowed to join the board and pin their own posts and posts from others that they have enjoyed. The more members and followers a board has, the more likely the pin will be seen and repinned elsewhere.

Each board is different, usually with specific rules depending on the creators preferences. Some are a free-for-all, ie. you can pin as many posts as you like, while some only allow one pin a day. Others ask that you share someone else’s post along with your own. Some are focused solely on a theme – blogging tips, DIY, recipes, crafts, beauty. Some have no theme at all, as long as they are blog posts. Continue reading

I’ve Discovered that Twine Makes Me Happy…

With less than two months to go before I get married, I’ve been busy finalising the last bits and pieces required before the big day – bouquets, decorations, seating plans, food orders… Luckily, I had done a large amount of organisation at the beginning of the year so most of these jobs mainly involved checking and rechecking things, but it has still felt like I have had a large list to complete every day. On the whole, it’s been quite an enjoyable experience and of course I’m looking forward to the day, but I have learned a lot of lessons – namely the fact that I am never organising a large scale event ever again. I have also discovered an intense interest in all things crafty that I didn’t realise I had – who knew a glue gun, some scrabble tiles and some twine could be the source of so much enjoyment? I blame Pinterest, eBay, Hobbycraft and my youngest sister – the house is filled with jars for centrepieces and flower arrangements, photobooth props, photo frames, seating cards, RSVP’s… I got ridiculously excited the other day when I popped round to my next-door neighbours house after they returned from their honeymoon and they gave me a massive box of craft things left over from their own wedding that they were going to throw away, including twine. So much twine! The Bloke should count himself lucky – if I could glue gun twine onto him, I would. Continue reading

Boost Your Following with the Bloggers Bash Twitter Chat!

 

One of the earliest (and most fun!) ways that I learned about networking and boosting my Twitter (and consequently, my blog) following was through the use of Twitter chats. They’re exciting, fast paced and a great way to meet new bloggers without leaving links or spamming the community with content. It is important to note that there any no links allowed until the very end.

The premise of a blogging chat is simple: the person hosting the chat will ask a question and include the hashtag associated with the chat eg.

Q1. What’s your favourite social media to use for blog promotion? #BlogBashChat

Everyone participating in the chat will answer the question and include the same hashtag eg.

Q1. My favourite is Twitter because… #BlogBashChat

You can then use that hashtag to see everyone else’s answers – if you type in the hashtag in the search bar at the top all of the answers that have included it will appear and the you can individually respond to others, again using the hashtag eg.

(In response to someone’s potential answer that Pinterest is their favourite) I don’t understand Pinterest – have you got any tips? #BlogBashChat

This creates a bucket load of conversations with people who you may never have met, which then leads to connections and networking, which then leads to following etc.

There are usually five to six questions asked by the host, with 5-10 minutes left in between each question to give time for people to answer and chat etc. The person hosting the chat can retweet some of the best answers, and individuals can too (this doesn’t mean that you retweet every answer, just some). At the end people are asked to leave their links, again using the hashtag, which allows everyone to check out each others Twitter accounts and blogs…

Here’s where it gets exciting – The Annual Bloggers Bash will be hosting their very first Twitter chat tonight from 7-8pm BST and this will become a weekly event – every Sunday at the same time.

For those of you who haven’t heard of the Bloggers Bash (and if you haven’t, where have you been) – the Bash is an annual meet-up for bloggers that takes place in London. Now in their fourth year, the Bash hosts their own awards – nominated and voted for by the blogging community, a writing competition, presentations and networking opportunities, with attendees from the U.K, Europe, the U.S. and Canada, and it is rapidly growing in popularity, with over 5,000 votes being made last year. You can find out more by clicking on the link here

Join us tonight where I will be asking the questions for the first ever weekly Bloggers Bash Chat on the @BloggersBash Twitter account, using the hashtag #BLOGBASHCHAT.

Remember:

There are no links allowed until the end

A question is asked by the host using the hashtag #BlogBashChat

Participants respond to the question using the question number and the same hashtag #BlogBashChat

The hashtag can be used to find others participating.

It’s a brilliant way to network!

 

If you have any questions about what to do, let me know and I will do my best to answer them!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to follow my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks

Boost Your Twitter and Pinterest Stats with my Social Media Management

Pinterest and Twitter social media management

Of all of the blogging regrets that I have, my hesitation when setting up my social media accounts is the biggest. Why?

Because my social media is now responsible for HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of referrals of my total views.

The problem with social media is that, during the initial set-up in particular, it’s incredibly time consuming, even when using schedulers. Posting a blog post now doesn’t just involve pressing the publish button – I think about keywords, create a pinnable image for Pinterest and then pin it, tweet it using specific hashtags, stumble it, share it on Flipboard and then share it again into specific Facebook groups. I then use my BoardBooster Pinterest scheduler to incorporate my latest post. How, when and where I share it will depend on the specific day and time so that they get the maximum audience. Continue reading

Should You Self-Censor Your Personal Blog?

Should you self-censor your personal blog?

It’s common knowledge that employers will check social media pages during an interview process and things that are deemed inappropriate can have a potentially damaging impact on a candidates success when applying for a job. Similarly, there are endless stories of people who have had their employment terminated after posting something online. Social media has now become a part of our daily lives, to the point where are now teaching students in the education system about how to manage social media accounts appropriately.

It seems logical for me that blogs that are solely for the purpose of business should be handled in a professional, efficient and eloquent manner, in the same way you would expect someone in any profession to behave in person within the workplace. Continue reading

How To Monetise Your Blog

How to use a blog to make money

A little while ago I gave a presentation at the Annual Bloggers Bash in London with the focus being on monetising a blog and using a blog to make money in other creative and writing fields. Since then, I’ve received numerous requests to post the content of my presentation for those who were unable to attend, so here it is (hopefully with a little less waffle)…

Having a blog has been a life-changing experience. It has allowed me a lifestyle that I could have only previously dreamed of and enabled me to take more control of when and where I work and who I work for. Four-and-a-half years ago I was working as a teacher, I had an outstanding reputation and good results and was in a financially stable and secure role… And I was miserable – stressed, tired, depressed and had started to develop panic attacks. Writing has always been therapeutic and the house was beginning to become overrun by beautiful notebooks containing my scribbles, so The Bloke (who is an IT Technician) suggested that I start a blog. After a particularly bad day I signed up to WordPress, hastily gave myself a name, wrote a post and pressed the publish button. That was it – there were no expectations or technical knowledge behind what I was doing (I don’t think I even used tags for the first few weeks) – but it became a hobby that I quickly found satisfying. That was in April 2013 and by March 2015 I handed in my resignation and left the teaching profession at the end of the academic year. Continue reading

The Annual Bloggers Bash 2017: The Highlights!

Last weekend I attended the third Annual Bloggers Bash in London. The Bash means an awful lot to me – I have been to every single one and have previously been the lucky recipient of the Services to Blogging, Inspirational Blogger and Best Overall awards, and I credit this event with giving me the confidence to take blogging seriously as a viable career path. This year, I was asked to give a presentation and be on a panel, which was an enormous honour.

This year the event was truly international, with people attending from the UK, Ireland, the US and Canada and there had been over 6,500 votes cast for its coveted awards. It was held at the Grange Wellington Hotel in Westminster’s Vincent Square. The Bloke and I got an early train in the morning and we were very graciously checked into our hotel room almost immediately at the Euston Premier Inn which gave us the opportunity to finish getting ready (although, I managed to get the majority of my hair and make-up done on the train to the apparent amusement of a man sitting a few seats away). We arrived at the Bash venue early (after having an accidental detour due to my awful map reading skills) and went straight up to visit my long-term bloggy friend Elena Peters, who had stayed there the night before. Continue reading

Author Interview with Sacha Black: 13 Steps to Evil

Sacha Black

The lovely Sacha Black

Those of you who have been in the blogging world for some time will know the name Sacha Black. Creator of www.sachablack.co.uk and, of course, The Annual Bloggers Bash, Sacha has now written and published her first book: 13 Steps to Evil (and from all accounts this is the first of many that will be out within the next twelve months) and she’s kindly agreed to let me interview her about her new creation, her process and a little of what makes her… Sacha.

Tell us about your new book – 13 Steps to Evil.

13 Steps To Evil – How To Craft Superbad Villains is every writer’s comprehensive guide to creating kick-ass villains. It’s based on a commonly held misnomer by writers: that their hero is the most important character. Without the villain or antagonist within a story, there is no conflict. Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is. Continue reading

How to Use Facebook Groups to Increase Your Blog Traffic

How to use Facebook groups to increase your blog traffic

Facebook groups are a brilliant source of information, community and traffic. They differ in purpose and each have different rules, but essentially they can all be used for the same things: to meet new bloggers, ask questions to the community and to promote your posts.

As with many things in the blogging world – it took me a long time to discover the power of blogging focused Facebook groups. I joined one, run by a close blog friend when it had just a few hundred members last year and a very small targeted sharing group, but didn’t actively participate in either. My Facebook traffic was low at the time – I’d had a post go viral with 100,000 views in my first year of blogging, but since that point I averaged between 5-20 views a day, depending on whether I published to my blog Facebook page. Continue reading