Facebook groups are an extremely powerful tool. Check out my guide to Facebook groups.
Google Analytics is probably the most popular analytics software out there. It's free, easy to use and owned by a company we all know. When I first started blogging, I loved looking at analytics to see my page views growing. Now, I've learned some different tips and tricks on growing my blog by using google analytics!
Check Out Your Aquisition
Take a look where your audience is coming from. Are they coming from google searches? What are they searching most often? What social media networks are they clicking through from? Use this information to pour your valuable time into the right platforms. If you're spending hours a week on StumbleUpon and only 1% of your traffic is coming from there, maybe it's time to look at some other ways you could be spending your time.
Set Up a Goal
I'll go through the exact steps in a separate post of how to set up an exact goal in google analytics, but for now, let me tell you why you should. Set up a goal to track your conversions. Say you track someone all the way through from your blog page to your opt in. What steps do they take? What percentage of people end up signing up for the opt in from your blog page? Do some opt ins work better than others?
Check out your top posts. What category are they in? What are they about? Start to think about ways to branch off from these top posts. Can you go back through and add in an email opt-in? Can you write a mini guide or e-book and put it up for sale on that blogpost? Using a page that's already gaining traction is a fantastic way to get more readers & more money.
This is something (I think) is new, because I've never messed around with it before. From behavior on the left hand side, you can click track or follow behavior, and it will show you the common paths that people take through your website. If you're a blogger, it's the unfortunate truth that most people won't bounce to another page on your blog. But, if they do, where are they going? What pages tend to appeal to your audience? Condense unnecessary pages, as they are just taking up precious viewing area.
Thanks for reading!
Your about page should and will be one of your most viewed pages on your website. Visitors will go there first when trying to figure out what you are all about, and what your blog can offer them. Here are my tips for rocking your about page.
Keep it Conversational
You want your about page to be light, fun and interesting for people to read. Write in the first person, so people can connect with you. Give them an insight into what your life looks like, why you created this blog or website, and what you have to offer them.
Highlight the Benefits
Many times, people head to your about page because they want to see how you can help them, and what benefits your website or blog will provide for them. Use this opportunity to make them see exactly what you'll provide for them. What services does your blog offer? What do you write about on your blog? More specifically, what do you provide for free? You have to provide evergreen content before people will buy anything from you.
Tell Your Story
How did you get into blogging? How did you come to create your business? Creating a personal connection with your readers and future customers is a great way to rock your about page. Tell them your personal story, and reveal important details about yourself. Make your readers feel like friends.
Have an email opt in? Have it on your about page. Show your readers where they can find you outside your website, like on social media. Also, include images. As always, you want these to be high quality, beautiful images that fit your blog's aesthetic.
Thanks for reading!
I LOVE Instagram. It's by far one of my favorite social media platforms. It's a very visual platform and it grew quickly! Something that's very "on-trend" right now is having an "Instagram theme". Essentially, an Instagram theme is having all of your pictures look like a cohesive feed. They should have a similar color/pattern/aesthetic. Today I wanted to share my tips for creating an awesome Instagram theme.
Go through the people you follow and love on Instagram. What do you like sharing? If you run a business, the more important question is, what is your target audience looking at and liking? Try to base your photos around what your target audience and target followers are going to love and interact with.
Decide what color scheme/aesthetic you want to go with. Either make it something you're passionate about or something that matches your branding. It will be easier to take photos of colors that are all around you. Many people I follow have white/monochrome homes, so it's easy for them to take photos in their house with that theme.
Find thing's lying around your house that fit your theme. Head to locations near you that fit your scheme. Plan out some photos that will fit your theme and then head out and take some photos! If you aren't the best photographer, look for new photographers in your area to see if they'd want to exchange some photos for some press. Or, book one in your budget.
My biggest piece of advice when creating an Instagram theme is to edit all of your photos in a similar way. If you like to use filters, use the same filter on all of them. Adjust the contrast, exposure and more to be somewhat similar throughout your photos.
If you use these tips, you'll have an awesome Instagram theme in no time!
Pinterest Group Boards are a fairly recent obsession of mine, and are something that I don't think I could live without now! They are seriously a great way to meet other people, introduce new people to your content, and just in general grow your blog. Let's check out my favorite ways to join Pinterest group boards.
How to Find Pinterest Group Boards
PinGroupie is probably the most popular directory for Pinterest group boards. They have categories for pretty much anything you can imagine. I like to find the group boards with high followers but low contributors. These can be harder to join, but the benefits you'll reap are much higher than if you join one with low followers but high contributors. Even if you can only find ones with high followers and high contributors, those will be better to join as well.
Facebook Groups are something that I've come across fairly recently in my trek to grow my blog and online presence as well, and I'm hooked. They seriously are fantastic resources for growing your blog. But, we'll talk about Facebook groups in another post. Many times, Facebook groups have posts dedicated to people wanting other's to join their Pinterest group boards. Lots of times, these are newer group boards, but Facebook groups have a serious way of growing things like weeds, so joining smaller ones now will certainly reap benefits over time.
I love finding new boards to follow, whether they are group boards or regular boards. I'm obsessed with finding new content and new things to pique my interest. On your daily, weekly or monthly search, see if any of the boards that pop up are group boards.
How to Join Boards
Once you've found the group board, now you are tasked with actually joining it. I would say 90% of the time, it's a fairly painless and easy process. If a group isn't accepting new members, it will almost always say that in the description. Most of the time as well, there's directions on how to join, such as 'follow us, and then email ____'. Sometimes, though, it's more difficult. If there are no directions, but you still really want to join that board, I suggest finding whoever is the owner, and then going on a bit of a stalking mission. Sometimes he/she will have their email in their profile description, but other times you'll have to head to their blog or website to locate their email. Sometimes, they don't even have it there! In this case, I resort to either 1) not joining the group or 2) contacting them via social media such as Twitter or Instagram.
How do you like Pinterest group boards?
Thanks for reading!
Today begins a series on social media, showing you how to create a detailed plan for social media. Today's features Facebook and how to create a solid plan for Facebook posting and growth.
Create a Page
Rather than run your Facebook through your personal profile, creating a page is the first step in getting a Facebook following. Create a Facebook page with your business/blog name, and then create an SEO optimized description featuring the keywords you want to be found for. Add a profile picture that matches your blog and other social media sites, and create a cover photo that represents your branding.
What Should I Post?
Research other companies like yours. If you run a blog, research other bloggers in your niche. If you're an insurance company, check out what other insurance companies are posting. Write down what your competitors are posting, and create posts similar to them. For example, I post other blog posts relating to my B2B niche, and I post my own blog posts. I use Facebook less than other social media outlets, so I don't really post as many 'updates' there as other platforms. I suggest you do the same if that's what works for your business.
This has been revolutionary for my business. Joining Facebook groups will explode your blog traffic. Join Facebook groups related to your niche and be extremely active in them. I'm talking every single day. Don't just promote your own stuff - talk to other members, provide advice and ask questions. Make connections and network. It's the best way to grow your business.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more social media plan posts. If you need help planning out your social media check out my website here to see how I can help you run social media.
Today I thought I'd give you all a peek into the resources I use as an entrepreneur. These are all the websites and apps I use to keep track of my freelance load as well as earn money. Let's take a look at my resources for entrepreneurs!
Expensify is a website as well as an app. This site allows you to categorize all of your receipts and expenses for your business, and send them to someone (like a boss) or just keep them for yourself. I have been using this app for three years and I love using it to keep track of my expenses.
I use hours to keep track of all of my client work. Most of my work is unbillable, meaning I sell package deals that essentially come with 'unlimited' hours. But, sometimes I run support or certain hourly projects and this really helps to keep track of what everyone owes me.
Buffer is a website that I've used basically since the start of my blog and YouTube. I love scheduling social media and seriously saves me so much mental energy. I use the $10 a month buffer awesome plan, but they have a free one as well if you're just starting out.
Asana is a fantastic tool for project management. I use this for most of my design clients so that we can both see what's going on. I use this project management tool in conjunction with the next one, and it has created a system for me that makes so much sense that I love.
Trello is another awesome project program that I love. I use it in conjunction with Asana (post coming soon about how I use both to manage my business). It utilizes a system of boards and cards which is like using post-it notes on my wall which I LOVE. Trello is amazing and I hands down recommend it.
Upwork is a great freelancing website when you are just starting out. The jobs don't pay a ton, but they're great to gain some online experience. If you have some marketable skills, like a law degree or web design/development skills, you can usually find some more jobs that pay more.
Later is great for scheduling Instagram posts. I currently use buffer for that, but plan on investing in Later as soon as possible. My favorite feature is the link in bio. It essentially allows you to actually link to things in your Instagram captions by having one place that people click in your bio where they can see any link you added to the caption. It's revolutionary and awesome!
Leadpages is revolutionary for growing your business. Through their program you can create beautiful landing pages, webinar opt ins, email opt ins and more. They really do a great job at growing your audience. It's definitely one of the better purchases I've ever made.
ConvertKit is an email marketing specifically made for bloggers and entrepreneurs. It's an easy way to grow your email list and create fantastic emails.
Tailwind is a program I just started using and I'm absolutely loving it right now. It's really made an impact on my Pinterest account, of which I've seen a 100% increase over the past few weeks.
Edgar is an amazing platform for scheduling social media. While Buffer does save some time, it also takes time. Edgar pretty much saves that. You simply go in and schedule social media whenever you find interesting content or things you want to share and Edgar will simply cycle it based on categories. Trust me, it's lifesaving.
This is a hosting platform dedicated solely to Wordpress. It's an awesome hosting platform and has had numerous fantastic reviews. It's definitely the best managed wordpress hosting and I highly recommend it.
StudioPress themes are easy to customize for people without even the slightest idea of coding. They have absolutely BEAUTIFUL themes that I highly recommend you check out. I usually use StudioPress themes for my clients.
Thanks for reading and keep this page bookmarked for future recommendations!
There was a period in my life where I would have classified myself as not being a creative type. I colored maps in US History in seventh grade messily and never stayed within the lines. My drawings as a kid were stick figures that were disproportionate and ugly. I was much better on the computer. I could type faster than anyone else I knew, and I loved creating things online and on other programs. My love for computers and online creativity began. Then, I discovered web development and hit a wall where I told myself I wasn't creative enough for it. But, these tips helped me so I thought I'd share how to become creative, even if you don't feel like you are 'the creative type'.
Read blogs of other creatives and gain inspiration from their work and posts. Sometimes I'll find a blogger that I'm obsessed with and I'll spend hours browsing and reading through all of their posts and gathering as much knowledge and inspiration from them as I can. I also recommend browsing Pinterest to find other great bloggers and posts that you can gather inspiration from.
Follow Creatives on Instagram
My Instagram feed consists of two types of posts. I follow people I know from my personal life, and then I follow bloggers, creatives, YouTubers and anyone else who inspires me. I love browsing my Instagram feed nowadays because it encourages me and forces me to want to do better. I used to compare myself to everyone online, but I've tried to change my mindset so that everyone who's doing 'better' than me is inspiring me to be like them and to be better.
Figure out what you want to get better at and then take classes in it. Take classes in drawing, graphic design, color theory or typography. Whatever makes you tick. You'll soon have the tools you need to feel more creative.
Go for a Walk
Sometimes you generally are creative, but you're having trouble getting creative on a certain day or at a certain point. A great way to get into your creative groove is to head out for a walk. It's amazing how being outside, in nature and having a change of scenery can really inspire you and spark your mind.
This is something I've started to do but it really will help you feel more creative. Concentrating on breathing and just being for even just a few minutes will change your perspective and allow you to get more done and feel more creativity through your veins.
Thanks for reading!
If you weren't aware, I have a YouTube channel here, where I talk about life, makeup, beauty, fashion and self care. I'm definitely more of a lifestyle vlogger, and I love creating and editing videos. My filming style is a whole other story, but I thought I'd share the tools I use to edit and upload my YouTube videos.
Step One: Final Cut Pro X
The first step is editing the video in Final Cut Pro X. This is a program solely for Apple computers and I'm obsessed with it. I started out editing in iMovie, but I soon moved to Final Cut Pro. It's more advanced and has some really great plugins and abilities. I haven't really tapped into the full abilities of Final Cut Pro yet, but I love it. My favorite resources for plugins is Pixel Film Studios. They have a TON of different options and they typically have some pretty great sales too. I got my intro to my YouTube channel from a website called Fiverr. It's basically a website where you can get some amazing products for only $5. They have pretty much everything, from video editing to photo editing to web design. Once I edit the video, I export it to my desktop.
Step Two: Handbrake
I then run my video through a program called Handbrake. It makes the video easier to upload and optimizes it for the web.
Step Three: Lightroom
I then import the video into Adobe Lightroom. I add a filter that makes the video slightly brighter and more colorful, and I love how it looks after.
Step Four: Handbrake
Then I run it through Handbrake again, for the last time.
Step Five: Thumbnail
I use Photoshop to edit my thumbnail. I take a picture of whatever part of the video I want to use as my thumbnail, export it from FCP and then edit it in photoshop. I usually just add text and then add a white glow around it.
Step Six: Upload
The last step is to upload to my YouTube channel! I head over to YouTube, click upload and then find the video and the thumbnail and voila!
Do my six steps surprise you?
Thanks for reading!
Instagram is an amazing tool for business and blog growth. It's a purely visual platform, but captions and hashtags are essential. I'll get to captions in a later post, but for now let's look at the best Instagram hashtags for bloggers. I'll also be sharing how you can find ones in your niche.
Instagram Hashtags for Bloggers
Some of the best hashtags for bloggers are one's that may seem obvious. One's like #blogger, #beautyblogger, #fashionblogger, #entrepreneur, etc. Anything you can think of that relates to your blog is a fantastic hashtag.
Also using hashtags that relate to actually what's in the photo is helpful as well. #food, #coffee, #selfie, #throwbackthursday are all popular hashtags that could garner you more likes and followers.
Another thing important to remember is that you need to be posting pictures that will be engaging to your perfect client/reader. If you, for example, write about graphic design, then posting behind the scenes looks at your writing process, design process, picture's of designs you've created etc will be perfect for you.
Another great option is to use hashtags from blog groups you follow or are a part of. Many big bloggers have their own hashtags that members of their community use when posting pictures or tweets.
Find One's in Your Niche
Now comes the fun part. Locating hashtags relevant to your niche. To begin with, start your search by looking at what people you admire hashtags. Obviously these have to be people that also blog in your niche, but they can of course write to a different segment. Many giant bloggers with 1 million+ followers don't hashtag as much, so try and find bloggers with a similar following as you.
Another option is to start searching on Instagram yourself. Search one keyword that you know relates to your niche, and then read through posts and see what people are hashtagging in addition to that searched hashtag. You also may find bloggers that relate to your niche and you can explore them as well!
One of the last ways to find hashtags for your niche is to do actual keyword research online, and then insert those as hashtags or in the caption of your Instagram post. Although it may be less commonly searched, it can be super helpful to gain other ideas as well.
Thanks for reading!