Why I’m Stepping Away From #SundayBlogShare

‘You fighting with people on Twitter again I see.’

My bloggy friend sent me a message on Facebook. It’s nothing new – she’s seen me go through this numerous times in recent months…

In Nov 2014 I decided to start a sharing link-up on Twitter for bloggers. It wasn’t an original idea – I’d been participating in #MondayBlogs run by @RachelintheOC (who was and has always been incredibly supportive) for a while and adopted a similar idea, but on a Sunday instead. After searching through different hashtags I decided upon the name #SundayBlogShare as this was something that hadn’t been used before. The invitation was open for any blogger to tweet out their blog links using the hashtag, and then I would retweet them, hopefully encouraging others to do the same. I created a set of easy-to-follow instructions, which was essentially keep it to blog posts only, no etsy, Amazon, inspirational quotes etc and if you’re sharing a link then retweet and interact with others. Continue reading

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How to Increase Your Twitter Traffic With #SundayBlogShare

Twitter traffic and SundayBlogShare

In November 2014 I started a hashtag – #SundayBlogShare – that allowed bloggers to share their links and meet new people. It was not a new idea, I had been participating in similar link ups hosted by other bloggers throughout the year, but I found it to be really useful when networking and getting my posts out to a wider audience.

Over the last year it has become one of the biggest blog-sharing link ups of the weekend on Twitter (to my knowledge anyway), with hundreds of bloggers around the world sharing thousands of links each Sunday, and it now trends on a weekly basis.

I’m still in awe of how much it has grown, and I’ve been lucky to have found wonderful new blogs that I follow on a regular basis.

Want to join #SundayBlogShare? The instructions and guidelines are simple:

Tweet your blog links using the hashtag #SundayBlogShare and enjoy! If you include my Twitter handles (@suzie81blog or @SundayBlogShare) in your post I can retweet it for you too, although please note I reserve the right not to and won’t be able to do every single one. Your posts can cover any topic and you don’t have to follow my blog or any associated social media accounts. Continue reading

Going Home

imageI’m on the train back to Birmingham after a lovely few days doing very little at my mum’s. The weather is glorious (who knew that sunshine actually happens in Manchester!) and I’m regretting the fact that I decided to wear my big padded coat that I affectionately refer to as my sleeping bag – I’m beginning to get a little uncomfortable but don’t want to take it off as I am wearing my scruffy clothes that are now covered in dog hair, thanks to spending three days being mauled by my family’s various canine friends. Luckily, I’ve managed to bag myself a seat at the back, despite the fact that the train is so busy that lots of people are being forced to stand for their journey, and I also happen to be sitting next to a very attractive man (seriously, this guy is gorgeous) who is quietly dozing in his business suit.

It’s been a nice few days – me and mum have spent a lot of time doing what we do best: fighting over the TV remote (I hate Coronation Street, she hates Jeremy Kyle), eating homemade panini’s (she could make a fortune if she decided to market these – they’re amazing) and generally talking nonsense at each other about anything and everything. It’s been very relaxed, and mum has slept a lot, which I think she needed as her job is extremely stressful. Continue reading

The Day After the Week Before…

imageAll great changes are preceded by chaos.

And how chaotic it has been. After twelve consecutive days of full rehearsals and six performances, we finally finished the production at work. By the end of Friday night, we were all completely shattered – the staff were exhausted, the kids were exhausted, even The Bloke was exhausted after being my personal taxi service all week and we had done it all during the hottest week of the year so far. Continue reading

Want To Boost Your Traffic? Sponsorship Opportunities On Suzie81 Speaks

AdvertisingAre you looking to boost your blog traffic and following? Suzie81 Speaks is looking to give sponsored and advertising opportunities!

There are two different types of advertising opportunities available: a monthly sponsorship space and a single ‘Blog of The Day.’ Continue reading

A Blogging Hangover

imageWow.

Yesterday I hosted a blog party to celebrate my two year anniversary. I had been looking forward to it all week, and had put some time into promoting it across the blog and my social media accounts. With the response that I had received from eager bloggers wanting to participate, I expected it to be quite busy.

However, I didn’t expect it to be THAT busy. Over the space of about fifteen hours there were hundreds of links shared from bloggers all over the world, I had received over 600 comments, 2000 views and lots of people embraced it wholeheartedly, following, commenting and sharing each others posts. It was fabulous, and I’d like to say a massive thank you to everybody who took part!

I fell asleep with square eyes and a mild headache after staring at my phone and iPad screen for so long. I had to charge both of them up overnight as the batteries had been exhausted. When I awoke, I excitedly checked the page, to discover that the party had been continuing in my absence, and I had a whole new set of comments and links to go through. I have a blogging hangover.

It’s been said that the best cure for a hangover is to have another drink – ‘hair of the dog’ so to speak – so today I’m going to do just that! My Twitter party, #SundayBlogShare is in full swing already and I’m looking forward to jumping back in there and reading lots of posts, as well as working my way through the wonderful links that were shared on here yesterday.

Want to carry on sharing with me?

I am going to leave the blog party open, so that anyone can join in anytime they like. If you wish to share a post on the blog party, click on the image below:

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Want to share your posts with the hundreds of people participating in #SundayBlogShare? Click on the image below for the rules and then get your tweet on!

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Don’t forget that there are also six very interesting and exciting blogs in my sidebar – give them a click and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

You can find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and feel free to visit my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks and give me a cheeky like!

 

#SundayBlogShare – The Biggest Twitter Party Of The Weekend!

imageLast week I posted different ideas to help increase blog traffic. One of those ideas was to connect with others via Twitter in the various hashtag parties that take place throughout the week.

Here’s your chance to do just that – #SundayBlogShare is in full swing and you’re all invited to pull up a chair, grab a coffee, tweet your links and get to know the hundreds of bloggers that participate every week.

I started it in November and I’ve been delighted with the enormous response that it has received, with hundreds of bloggers participating each week, sharing over 1,500 posts and this number increases each Sunday. At the end of December I decided to be a bit more serious about it and registered it with Twubs to my Twitter handle, so the hashtag is now associated with Suzie81 Speaks. Last Sunday was the busiest yet, with lots of new bloggers joining for the first time, the hashtag trended for a short time, and I was gobsmacked when lifestyle guru Tony Robbins shared a link! Don’t believe me? Look!

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Want to join in? It’s a simple process – post your blog links to Twitter using the hashtag #SundayBlogShare and enjoy! If you include my Twitter handles (@suzie81blog or @SundayBlogShare) in your post I can retweet it for you too! Your posts can cover any topic and you don’t have to follow my blog or any associated social media accounts. You can participate if you have been blogging for days, months or years and it’s a brilliant opportunity to develop your social networking skills and boost your traffic and following. I have received hundreds of messages from people that saw their traffic increase immediately.

I will remind everyone again each week but here are a few rules for everyone who wishes to participate.

1. #SundayBlogShare is a happy place. Racist, sexist and homophobic propaganda will not be tolerated, and if you disagree with the content of a post it should be done in a polite and respectful manner.

2. Blog posts only. NO Amazon book promos, company promos, music promos, inspirational quotes, newspaper articles, random selfies of you drinking coffee, Justin Bieber fan promotion etc… you get the idea.

3. No pornographic images are allowed and if the content of your blog focuses of erotica, please don’t use graphic words in your descriptions when promoting your post.

4. Do not use it as an opportunity to demand follows and retweets from others, but feel free to retweet posts that you like. Be generous with this – the more you READ and retweet, the more likely you will get them in return!

5. Don’t go overboard with the amount that you post… If the Twitter feed is just a list of your own posts, you’re doing it too much. Post a few, spend some time reading and retweeting others and then come back later to post again.

6. Hashtag spamming is not allowed. For those of you who participated over the last few months, you’ll be aware that because of the popularity of the hashtag, there was a high level of spam from people who used it as an opportunity to post hundreds of links within an hour, clearly using the hashtag to spam potential clients. I have contacted Twitter and Twubs, and hopefully the matter has been resolved, but if this sort of thing appears today I would really appreciate it if you would block and report them. Don’t engage with them, just block and report.

It starts each Sunday morning and will end at midnight. I’m in the UK, so you will need to work out times for whichever country you live in. This may mean that some of you may be participating on Saturday, or going into Monday, but please use the same hashtag…

Want to meet WordPress bloggers through Twitter? Leave your Twitter name in the comment section below so others can find you easily!

Looking forward to seeing you there! Feel free to invite your friends, reblog, tweet and spread the word across your social media networks!

You can find me on Tumblr @suzie81blog and I’d love it if you would hop on over to my Facebook page and give it a cheeky ‘like.’ http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

Blog Advice 1: Increasing Your Traffic

How to increase traffic to your blog

One of the most common questions I am asked by fellow bloggers is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult to provide a definitive answer to:

How do I increase the traffic that I receive to my blog?

Before I begin, I think that it is important to note three crucial points:

  • Building a following and, consequently increasing your traffic, takes lots of time and effort. You are extremely unlikely to receive thousands, or even hundreds of views simply by pressing the publish button.
  • Content is key. Well-written posts will draw new people in, and encourage them to visit again. Posting page after page of inspirational quotes looks pretty, but will leave your audience bored after a while. Be yourself, make no apologies and believe in what you are creating.
  • I am not an expert, nor have I ever claimed to be.

I know very little about SEO, so I don’t feel experienced enough to comment on it. However, in my experience, there are number of things that you can do that will always pull in extra views.

1. Visit other sites. Like and leave a meaningful comment (but don’t leave a link to your blog – this is often viewed as poor blog etiquette and could be classed as spam).

2. Tag your posts effectively. I use between 15 and 20 relevant tags on most of my posts, and this will allow others who are writing about similar things to find you.

3. The more you post, the more likely your blog is going to be seen.

4. Share the work of others. There are some bloggers that have been extremely generous when promoting my posts and as a result I have gained lots of new followers. I like to return the favour by reblogging posts from some of my favourite blogs. I have also invited lots of guest bloggers to write post for me, and have guest blogged on other sites. You will find that other people will return the favour.

However, over time I have picked up a few hints and tips that has helped me increase my traffic further.

The Daily Post

When I first started blogging one of the most useful and effective ways of meeting other people and discovering new blogs was by following The Daily Post, which has millions of members. Each day, a prompt is given that encourages anyone and everyone to be able to interpret the prompt in any way they like and link back (these are called ping backs). All of the posts that are created in response are collated under the original Daily Post prompt, making it possible for everyone to visit each others blogs, and some will visit yours in return.

The Daily Post also hosts a photography challenge on Fridays, which is extremely popular, and on Mondays they host the Community Pool, which is essentially an enormous blog party.

Blog Parties

A blog party is simple: create a post that invites others to leave a link to their blog in the comment section. The participants then visit each others blogs. It’s a great way for bloggers to meet each other and will automatically increase your views on that post. You may find that followers of participants will find your blog and join in themselves. (However, it is worth noting that these are unlikely to generate traffic unless you have a larger following to begin with).

There are lots of blog parties that take place across the blogosphere regularly, and I would advise that you take part in as many as possible. Say hi, leave a link to a post with a little bit of information and then go and visit other participants. You don’t have to follow the blog to participate, but it is usually better if you do.

Want to participate in a blog party? There is currently a blog party going on at Hugh’s Views and News. Go and visit – Hugh would love to see you there!

Social Media

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Love it or loathe it, I’ve found that social media is crucial for building your following and getting others to visit your site. It took me a long time to add social media accounts to my blog and it has always been one of my biggest blogging regrets that I didn’t start sooner, as they are now responsible for about 75% of my overall traffic.

These are my stats that show how many views I have had from my social media accounts from the last two years:

Facebook: 81,000
Twitter: 38,000
StumbleUpon: 17,000
Reddit: 10,000
Tumblr: 3,500
Bloglovin: 200
Pinterest: 50

These add up to almost 150,000 views.

Admittedly, I got lucky with Facebook – one of my posts went viral a year ago on there, but only after I had posted it onto my Facebook blog page and my personal page, where it was picked up and shared by my friends. However, some don’t feel comfortable with doing that. For me, Twitter is the quickest and most effective way of getting your posts seen on a regular basis, and it’s all done through the use of hashtags. Others prefer Pinterest, while others like Tumblr. Some even create Vlogs to go with their posts – my friend Steve often does this for his ‘Now This Is What I Would Call Music’ blog. Regardless of your preferences, create separate social media accounts (don’t use your own) and start linking your blog posts to them.

Twitter Hashtags and Retweet Accounts

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There are several different parties that go on during the week that are easy to use. Each follow the same format – share your link on Twitter and use a hashtag next to your post. Once posted, visit the hashtag and go and read and retweet other people participating.

Monday: #MondayBlogs. This is the ultimate hashtag party. It’s been going for two years, and was started by @RachelintheOC. Thousands participate each week.

Wednesday: #WWWBlogs (Women’s Writer Wednesday) and Ronovan’s #BeWow.

Saturday: #ArchiveDay (for sharing old posts from your blog), #WeekendBlogHop and Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.

Sunday: #SundayBlogShare, which I created. I started it last November and within just a few months there were hundreds of people participating. Last week there were over 1500 posts shared, and my traffic each Sunday has increased considerably because of it. This is how I did it:

  • I decided on a hashtag name and checked to see that it wasn’t already in use (just type your proposed hashtag into the ‘search’ on Twitter and see if others are using it).
  • I created a post on the blog which explained what it was, the rules for using it and invited all of my followers to participate.
  • I registered the hashtag via Twubs.
  • I created a basic button that advertised the hashtag.

Note: it isn’t possible to own a hashtag like you can a domain name. However, if you register it against your name you can at least have proof that you host the party regularly. And here, regularity and consistency is key. #SundayBlogShare has happened every single week, and when I haven’t been able to do it, I’ve invited other bloggers to host it for me.

However, there are more hashtags that I have found useful and use them at any point.

Are you a beauty blogger? Use #bbloggers after your post.
Life Blogger? #lbloggers
Fashion Blogger? #fbloggers
Parent? #pbloggers

There are also several accounts that exist simply to retweet your posts, and you can include them next to your link if you want them to do so. For me, some of the most effective ones are:

@FemaleBloggerRT
@UKBlog_RT
@TheBlogGuideRT

Note: there are no rules when it comes to the amount of times you should tweet. However, I find that once or twice every few hours is enough, and I try and retweet others where I can.

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Follow For A Follow?

Some very popular, or ‘Power’ bloggers, gain lots of new followers by following them first. The blogging world seems to be very divided about this process. For me, I don’t do it myself – I follow about 250 as any more than that would be impossible to keep up with, but I don’t have a problem with those that do. It has worked for them, with great success, and kudos to them! However, don’t go and start demanding that people follow you just because you have clicked on their blog – it’s more likely to have a negative effect.

Other Ideas

I enjoy trying out new ideas. Some have worked, some haven’t, but like everything, blogging is a learning process.

Competitions: Lots of beauty and fashion bloggers regularly hold competitions, with the prize being a beauty product of some description. As I barely how to know how to use make-up without looking like an inexperienced drag queen, and have the fashion sense of a teenage boy, these sorts of things wouldn’t be of much use to me or my followers. However, I have done several lots of free advertising in the past as a competition prize and I have always received a good response from this.

Questions: On several occasions I have created a set of questions in an attempt to get to know my fellow bloggers. I have then collated their answers into a single post. Again, I received new followers when others reblogged the post.

Join other networks: I am a member of Mumsnet Bloggers, despite not being a parent myself, and I post on the weekly link up on the SITSGirls website. I’ve been featured twice on both, generating several thousand extra views to my posts.

Phew! There you go – some ideas to increase your traffic. Hope it’s useful! 

What about you guys? Have you got any hints and tips to increase traffic on your blog?

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

Blog Love Is In The Air

While I love love, I am a bit of a grinch when it comes to the idea having a soulmate and the nonsense that is Valentine’s Day. However, as love seems to be the main theme across the blogosphere, I’ve decided that I am going to use it as the perfect opportunity to share the blog love over the next week, starting from today. Continue reading

#SundayBlogShare

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It’s Sunday tomorrow, and that means only one thing: my #SundayBlogShare Twitter party!

I participate in several parties throughout the week – #MondayBlogs, #WWWBlogs and #ArchiveDay, and decided to start my own each Sunday to give the blogging community another chance to share their posts and meet other people.

It has turned out to be a much bigger success than even I expected – with the first two weeks hundreds of people have participated, sharing over a thousand posts and I’ve received lots of messages from bloggers who saw a increase in traffic and followers. A huge part of this was due to the promotion given by the wonderfully supportive WordPress community that I am part of particularly Gene’O @sourcererblog and Austin @Austin_Hodgens, to name a few.

The instructions for #SundayBlogShare are simple:

Tweet a link to a post from your blog.

Include the hashtag #SundayBlogShare.

Enjoy! Retweet posts from other bloggers, comment and follow! You don’t have to follow Suzie81 Speaks or it’s associated social media profiles.

To make it a positive experience, here are some simple rules for everyone to follow.

1. #SundayBlogShare is a happy place. Racist, homophobic and/or sexist comment are not allowed. If you disagree with the content of a post, do so in a polite and respectful manner.

2. No pornography.

3. You are welcome to share more than one post. However, don’t use is as an opportunity to spam by posting everything that you’ve ever written.

4. Only share blog links – while I enjoy inspirational quotes, #SundayBlogShare is not the place to post them.

5. Don’t beg for follows or retweets, but feel free to retweet others!

Looking forward to seeing you all there tomorrow! Feel free to reblog this post and invite all your friends!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and you can also find my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks