This is a look I have been lusting over lately, too!
Facebook (Because of Jackie):
I have two Facebook accounts, my blog page and my personal page. My personal one is for friends and family only, it’s my one social media account not attached to my blog and I like that separation if you will. My blog Facebook page is a lot of fun! I post my daily blog posts there, but also a lot of daily bits and pieces that don’t make it into Instagram. You’ll see a lot of behind the scenes stuff from my life that I don’t post anywhere else, as well as promo codes and such for my sponsor program. I really like interacting with my readers here. I think a lot of folks think Facebook is “dead”, yet most of us check ours multiple times a day. I’ve also learned that paying to boost your post is pretty useful as well, sometimes as many as 4,000 people can see a particular post you’ve written that you wish to share, which costs as little as $5. I used to sponsor other blogs as a way to get my blog out there, now I just boost my posts on my Facebook page for maximum exposure. You can target a certain demographic with key words for different posts, and I get a lot of pageviews and clicks doing this.
Instagram is my favorite to look through daily, but the hardest for me to personally post. I say this because in the last six months or so Instagram has become very curated and commercial. If you look at popular blog accounts you will see that each photo is staged and professional looking. Rarely do you see a blurry, candid moment on there anymore. I find I am a lot more choosy about the photos and moments I share via Instagram because I want my account to radiate a certain message, so my account can be a lot slower there than say, on my Facebook page. That being said, I like pushing myself to create beautiful photos and moments there that show bits and pieces of my life. I find that posting regularly to Instagram is a priority of mine, and is where I will work to post most often. You do need to have a strategy when using Instagram. Look at what is popular (creating scenes on a white board, etc), while also offering original content. Unfortunately, when it comes to Instagram you need to go with what works. For me, that means colorful and bright images that are most often staged and set up. Instagram takes a certain aesthetic that includes a learning curve to conquer. I love Gal Meets Glam, Dean Street Society, Dallas Shaw, Peubird, and The Daybook on Insta…(to name a few;)
It just dawned on me that this account is in my personal name, so there goes my theory on keeping things in blog name only! I do think Pinterest is pretty personal though, and find folks can find me by my name or blog name anyway. I LOVE Pinterest! I get inspiration daily via my style board, and look on it multiple times a day. I post my blog photos on there daily as well, in several different place, and create tags and key words to help folks find the photos easily. I get a lot of hits from Pinterest, too! Folks are pretty visually oriented nowadays, which is why Instagram and Pinterest are so popular. We like quick little bites that intrigue us, but we don’t want to spend a lot of time on it. I think creating photos with labels is a great way to drive traffic to your site (like this!), and anything that does that for free is amazing.
In the end, I really can’t stress enough how important social media can be when it comes to growing your blog organically. It doesn’t take that much time per day to share yourself via social media, I typically do it while my kids are getting dressed in the morning, and then update during various moments in the day. I don’t do any of it in a calculated way, either. If I have something to share I will, and if I don’t, I just don’t. I think folks can tell if you only put up sponsored stuff, too, it’s really important to be natural and be yourself. Creating a conversation between yourself and your readers takes time, and is built one follower at a time. Before you know it you will have created an audience that is there for YOU, and that is the fun of social media.
Tell me, how do YOU use social media for your blog? (and yourself!)
1) I don’t want to be BORING.
This is something I think of a lot about when getting dressed, and for me is the thought that pops in my head when I realize I hate what I am wearing. Boring can mean a lot of things to different people, but for me it means that I am not trying. When I throw on basic things and don’t take the extra time to add the special touches that make it fun and different. I love pattern mixing, as well as pops of color and pattern. I like things to be a bit “off” with a look (undone hair with a fancier look, edgier jewelry, a bright lip with a casual outfit, etc.) I want my outer style to show that I am not boring, and that I care about how I dress and present myself. To not be boring I take the time to pre plan looks, and put together looks that I can throw on in a hurry. This works for me most of the time, and for me, I’d rather fail miserably at creating a look than not try at all.
2) I want to focus on the pieces that will stay with me for more than one season, and buy less of what isn’t.
This one is so hard for me, because HELLO!, Old Navy and Target have some awesome stuff. And I’m never going to buy stuff at higher prices just because. I happen to love the Rockstar jeans at Old Navy, and can get them for about $20 on sale all the time. This works for me. I also think Target has amazing shoes and clothing options. What I DO WANT is to take more time to think before purchasing anything. Call it a timeout if you will, but I don’t want to impulsively buy things because they look great on other people, or because I want something new to perk me up out of a slump. I want 2015 to be the year that I look for the holes on my closet and find the perfect pieces to fill them. Like these mythical Sam Edelman petty booties in leopard print, and the Madewell transport tote😉
3) I want my style to show who I am on the inside.
This goes right along with the quote from Doc McStuffins up there, but my style should be all about me, and NOT about anyone else. I may be a mom and wife and all that, but I’m still a woman who likes to experiment with clothes, and I’m still finding myself. I’m closer than ever before, and I’m really starting to love what I am becoming. My style should reflect this. This could mean anything from a new tattoo (or two!), to black nails, to blue tipped hair… anything! I’m keeping my options open. I love being boho in the Summer, and wearing pops of color in the Winter. I don’t want to pick any one style and say THIS IS IT, because I am a lot of things. I’m hoping that you could see me on any given day and say, “Wow, she looks just like herself.”
Tell me, do you have any style resolutions this year? What are they?
2) When it comes to sharing my links with all of social media in a really simple (and shortened!) way, I use bit.ly. This site allows me to easily share my blog post to my social media sites via a shortened link, and also gives me stats on who is clicking, where they are clicking from, and how many have clicked overall. It is such a great stats tool, and saves me time each day. Every morning I copy and paste my blog link into bit.ly, then share it to Facebook and Twitter. I can re-share during the day without having to copy and paste it again (using a different title to lure people in!), and I can see where my posting strategies are paying off the most.
3) My most favorite photo editing app on my phone is PicTapGo. You guys, this app is AWESOME. The editing options for photos is so much more than what Instagram offers, you can layer filters and adjust them (I like to brighten, add color and contrast, and use the air and bleached filter…), you can “float” a picture by making it not fill the whole screen, and your can crop it and make it pure perfection. I feel my Instagram feed has changed for the better since I found this app, I couldn’t recommend it more.
4) I realize that Instagram is the new Queen of social media, but the funny thing is, Facebook is still viewed the most. We may spend countless hours creating perfect pictures for Instagram, or funny tweets on Twitter, but at the end of the day more people view Facebook on a daily basis. I know I do! That being said, I have become more aware of what my blog’s Facebook page looks like, and I use the “boost” option often and find it works. You can spend very little ($5-$20), and with that your post can be seen my a HUGE variety of folks. Sometimes I think this is the new version of sponsoring for bloggers. You can spend a small amount of money to have a large population of people see what you are promoting, and it takes little effort. If I just post something regular on Facebook page, sometimes just 200 out of my 1700 followers will see it (via my analytics that come with my page.) If I boost my post, as many as 5,000 or more can see it. I’m not saying to do this with every post you do, but if you are particularly proud of something you have written? Boost it! You may be surprised by the results.
5) Lastly, the final “resource” I use daily for my blog is my time. I read many, many blogs daily, and comment on them. I also return a ton emails and answer comments as much as I can. I work really hard to keep up the community aspect of my blog, and to view my readers as friends. Some days are better than others (this holiday season is killing me!), but for the most part I try to be really consistent with this. Reader engagement is how I qualify the success of my blog (er, and money helps, too!), but having a give and take relationship with those that visit here? That means a lot to me, and using my time to reach out and connect is my best advice to those just starting out.
Tell me, what are some of your best resources for blogging? Do share!