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Tag: workshop

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Boost your Pinterest Views in Just a Few Hours

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Boost your Pinterest Views in Just a Few Hours

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

When I first opened my Pinterest account, I was baffled. I didn’t really see the point to it and honestly, I found it a little confusing. That was until blogging became a serious profession for me, then I learned just how useful Pinterest can be. These days I’m a huge fan of the platform and I often find myself getting lost in its realms. The best thing about it though is that it’s a great source of traffic – if you’re getting it right!

During my first few months on Pinterest my views were always below 1K/month. This meant that referrals back to The Tale of Mummyhood were incredibly low, if any at all. Then I discovered Pinterest group boards! Group boards can be set up by anyone and that person can then invite collaborators to pin to said board, as well as themselves. The beauty of this, is that you can set board rules within the description to ensure that content added is being shared further than the board.

For example, the Blogstravaganza Group board has a rule that for every one pin you add, you have to repin one from another collaborator. Thus, increasing the views of your pins.

Once I’d established myself in a few group boards, I found that my views and traffic back to my blog went up immensely!

Where can you find group boards to join?  One of the best places to find boards to join, that are relevant to your niche is the Pinterest Group Boards Facebook group.

 

Things to remember –

  • Always find and use boards that are relevant to your niche, that way you are targeting the correct audience.
  • Always stick to the rules of the board, it’s only fair to all of the other collaborators!

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – One Simple Secret for Boosting your Instagram Account

#WorkshopWednesday – One Simple Secret for Boosting your Instagram Account

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

Instagram has to be my all time favourite social media platform. I absolutely love it and I spend a lot of time trying to build up my account. With the recent algorithm changes though, Instagram is harder to crack than ever before. These changes have seen engagement drop significantly across the board, as the non-chronological feed doesn’t show our follower’s what we’re posting, when we post it!

I know a lot of bloggers who have fallen out of love with the platform since the new algorithm was implemented. This is a real shame, as Instagram can be a great source of traffic and work if you’re a blogger. So finding ways to get around the changes is essential if you want to progress.

 

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My Insta top tip –

This may seem obvious, but one of the best ways to build up your Insta account is to make use of the hashtag. Not just any old hashtags that you fancy though, the right ones to further your reach and to improve your engagement. There are so many hashtags to choose from though, so where do you begin?

Spend some time researching hashtags that are relevant to your niche. Maybe check out what fellow bloggers are using, especially the ones who have good engagement on their posts. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post and I recommend that you make use of them all. It’s essential that you use hashtags that are relevant to your niche, so that your posts are being shown to people who will be interested in your content.

 

Things to remember –

  • Adding general hashtags to your content, such as #happy, will mean that your content could be drowned out by other users as it’s far too popular. On writing this post there were 405,253,691 posts with the tag #happy. Using tags like this can also put you at risk of being shadow-banned, meaning your content won’t show up in the tag feed at all.
  • It’s best to use hashtags with a medium number of posts already within the feed. If there are too many they get lost as we discussed above and if there are too little, you won’t reach the wider audience you’re looking for.
  • Be sure to interact within the hashtags you decide to use. The more you interact with others, the more they’ll interact with you!

 

Happy Instagramming! 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Five Easy Tasks you can Complete Before Breakfast

#WorkshopWednesday – Five Easy Tasks you can Complete Before Breakfast

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

Whether you’ve been blogging for five years or five minutes, you’ll know that there is ALWAYS work to be done! It’s never ending, which is why we have to find time to complete as many tasks as we can throughout the day. I find that the key to keeping on top of my to-do list, is to assign certain tasks to certain times of the day. It’s crucial that I don’t attempt to complete tasks, when I know they’ll end up being abandoned half way through.

There are some tasks that I find are best completed everyday, in order to keep on top of them. Otherwise they spiral out of control, before we’ve even realised we’re behind! It’s so easy for us to shelve things at the back of our minds, but often we’ll forget to come back to them later. So, I have a little list of easy tasks that I know need to be completed everyday and I aim to do them before breakfast. Keeping on top of this list is a great way to keep my head in the game and to start off my day feeling productive!

 

Five easy morning tasks –

 

  1. Reply to comments left on your blog and social media

  2. Like and comment on Instagram posts within your niche.

  3. Retweet fellow blogger’s content on Twitter.

  4. Share your work to blogger support threads and linkys – provided you have time to come back later and complete the reciprocation requirements.

  5. Plan a blog post.

 

This may seem like a lot to get through before breakfast, but many of these tasks only take a few minutes to complete. Just imagine how much you can tick off of your to-do list if you stuck to this routine. Even it’s only for three mornings a week, you’re sure to feel more on top of your game than ever before!

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Why your Blog Should have a Disclaimer.

#WorkshopWednesday – Why your Blog Should have a Disclaimer.

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

You might have seen disclaimers popping up on the blogs you regularly read. Disclaimers are really important to protect yourself and your readers, as often people with take advice from your blog. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your pearls of wisdom, as long as you make it clear that the information you are sharing may not be 100% accurate. It’s therefore important that you include a disclaimer help cover yourself if an individual acts on your advice.

Your disclaimer should be thorough and easy for your audience to read. If you’re really unsure about what you need to include, then seeking professional advice may be advisable. Here’s a brief outline of what a good disclaimer should include:

Terms of use –

Basically, letting your audience know that they’re reading at their own risk and free will.

Copyright –

Explain that you are the legal copyright holder of the material on your blog. Make it clear that others may NOT publish or reprint any of your work, unless they have your written consent.

Content –

Let your readers know that the content on your blog is written for entertainment purposes only. It’s essential to make it clear that you are NOT offering legal, professional or medical advice.

Privacy –

Make sure your readers and subscribers know that you will not NOT pass any of their personal details on to third parties. You also need to make it clear that you are NOT responsible for the privacy practices of your advertisers of blog commenters.

Reserve rights –

It’s good to reserve the right to shut your blog down, change the focus of it sell it or change the terms at any point and at your own discretion.

Sponsors and advertisers –

Make it clear that you are not responsible for the actions of your sponsors or advertisers.

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Three Ways to Sharpen your Writing Skills

#WorkshopWednesday – Three Ways to Sharpen your Writing Skills

*This is a collaborative post. 

 

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

There’s so much more to blogging than writing. Having said that, if you don’t have quality content to share with your audience then all the hard work you’re putting in may be fruitless. I’m not saying you have to be the best writer in the world, but there are a few things you can do to make sure your writing is the best that it can be.

 

Plan –

Some people are capable of sitting down to their laptop cold and churning out killer content. I am NOT one of those people. If I sit down without a plan, you can guarantee that procrastination will get the better of me and the post will take much longer to write than it should.

I always make a plan, even if what I’m writing is only a few paragraphs long. Jotting down my thoughts and putting them in some sort of order helps me to fully grasp the points I’m trying to make. Planning helps me to structure my post in the best way possible, it gives me chance to explore my own thoughts and to develop my ideas before I hit the keyboard.

Lose the waffle –

Often in blogging we write quite colloquially and that’s OK. There is however a fine line between waffle and colloquialisms. One of the best ways to sharpen your writing skills is to cut out the bits you don’t really need. As an option you can easily improve your writing skills with AdvancedWriters.com, an academic writing company. Don’t dilute the point you’re trying to make with extra content that offers no value to the reader, all it does is make your posts difficult to read and reduces the clout your words have.

Learn from those you admire –

Don’t confuse this point with copying another persons work, plagiarism is never OK. What you can do though is appreciate the way they write and apply some of their methods to your own work. Maybe they structure sentences in a certain way, or maybe they write with an air of humour. Learn from what they’re good at and allow your writing to benefit!

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – WordPress Plugins You Need in Your Life!

#WorkshopWednesday – WordPress Plugins You Need in Your Life!

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

In case you’re unfamiliar with plugins, they’re the fancy bit of technology running behind the scenes of most blogs, making them look good and feel user-friendly. For example; if you see a Facebook feed on someone’s blog or a pop up appears, the site owner will have installed a plugin with that particular function.

I love plugins. I’m always searching for new ones to add to my blog, in an attempt to keep it as up to date and as eye-catching as possible. Much like the app stores on our phones, plugins are created by many different people and so it goes without saying that some are more functional than others. Also, similar to app stores, plugins can be rated by those that use them. This makes it much easier to separate the wheat from the chaff, so that you’re running the best possible plugins on the market.

Now to say I’ve tried a lot of plugins would be an understatement, but in doing so I’ve been able to find a reliable bunch that every blogger needs! Here are my favourites:

Broken Link Checker

I’m sure wading through and fixing broken links is a job that every blogger hates, but it’s essential nonetheless. This plugin makes things a little easier with its ‘bulk action’ option. Of course, you can only use this feature if you’re sure the links all fall under the same category. When they do though, it’s sure to save you a little extra time!

MiloTree Pop-Up

MiloTree is a widely used pop-up, encouraging your readers to follow you on social media. It’s a little box, that usually appears at the  bottom right of the screen when you visit a site. The great thing about MiloTree is that you can add whichever social media channel you feel needs a boost. MiloTree is used by a lot of bloggers and so most of us find it really inoffensive, in comparison to some pop-ups that are a little intrusive when you’re trying to read a post.

Revive Old Post

This one does what it says on the tin. You can connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts to this plugin, set time frames and even exclude certain posts. Once you’ve got your settings right, the plugin will publish content to your feeds at regular intervals. It’s really good for sharing old content that would otherwise be forgotten!

Rapidology

Rapidology creates beautiful opt-in forms that link directly to your email provider. You can create as many forms as you wish, linking them to all of your different mailing lists. One of the best things about Rapidology is the number of form designs there are to choose from. You can have them popping up, as banners or as widgets – there’s a form fit for every campaign you have running!

Social Media Feather

A blog isn’t complete without follow and share buttons! There are many different plugins available that enable social sharing and follow buttons. My favourite is Social Media Feather, it has a super modern look and is really easy to set up. Simple and effective!

Which plugins are your favourite?

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Three Reasons your Blog Should be Self-Hosted

#WorkshopWednesday – Three Reasons your Blog Should be Self-Hosted

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

It seems an age ago since I took the leap and went self-hosted with my blog. When I look back over the last couple of years, it’s easy to mark going self-hosted as a turning point for The Tale of Mummyhood. I made a deal with myself that once I reached two thousand followers on Twitter, then I’d look into it and switch. At the time it seemed such a daunting prospect, up until then The Tale of Mummyhood was very basic and my technical knowledge was next to nothing.

I would look at other people’s blogs, with their own domain name shining back at me and I knew I wanted to go for it! I was reliably informed that TSOHost were the way to go. They would take on the bulk of the work and migrate my WordPress hosted blog over onto thetaleofmummyhood.com – also purchased through TSO, just to make life super simple!

The whole process was completed in a very short time, less than a day in fact. TSO were on hand from start to finish, practically holding my hand as I was so inexperienced back then. Once the move was made, I soon realised just how much work goes in to maintaining a blog – not taking into consideration the content we have to churn out on top. More importantly, I realised how many doors I’d opened for myself by making the move.

So fast forwarding a year or so, do I regret the work, stress and the huge learning curves that continue to follow me around now I’m self-hosted? Absolutely not! With this in mind, here are three reasons your blog should be self-hosted:

Your branding –

Once you’ve made the move to self-hosted, the ways in which you can customise your blog appear endless. There are oodles of themes, plugins and widgets among so much more. You have the power to make your site represent your niche and really nail your branding. If you’re like me and get itchy feet regularly, you can continue to make changes to your blog until your heart is content. This is more difficult with your standard blogs as you’re bound by the restrictions of your provider and the limited theme options they offer.

Fewer restrictions with brand work –

I’m a firm believer in blogging for the love of it, not just to make a bit of cash. That’s not to say those days won’t come though, if you’re willing to put the work in. If you do want to work with brands and monetise, being self-hosted is a must. If your blog isn’t self-hosted then you’re bound by the terms and conditions of the platform you’re using and unfortunately monetising isn’t favoured by the majority.

There’s no better feeling than making your first few quid, it cements that all the hard graft you’ve put into your blog is worth time and effort you put in. You don’t want to be in a position where you have to turn down exciting opportunities, all because of your hosting.

Room to breathe and room to grow –

When you’re self-hosted a blog doesn’t have to be just that, maybe you’d also like to run an online store too? Having your own domain means that your blog can evolve as your business does. Even if you don’t make any drastic decisions straight away, you’ll have room to breathe knowing that you have so many options.

The key thing to remember is that with blogging comes opportunity, setting yourself up from the outset will mean you’re one step ahead when they drop into your inbox!

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – How to Use Giveaways to Build up Your Audience

#WorkshopWednesday – How to Use Giveaways to Build up Your Audience

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

As a member of the blogging community it’s likely that you see a lot of giveaways popping up as you browse social media. Giveaways are a super way for brands to further their reach, getting their products and/or services out into the world for people to try out and hopefully recommend them to others. Running giveaways isn’t just beneficial for brands, they’re also a great way for bloggers to further their reach, to increase traffic to their blog and to increase follower and subscriber numbers across their social media platforms.

How do you get giveaways from brands?

Getting giveaways from brands is a lot easier than you might think, most of the time all you have to do is ask! Even if the brand or PR don’t mention a giveaway in their initial correspondence, simply asking them if they would like you to host one is usually met with a positive response. It’s a good idea to agree terms here too; will the prize be posted directly? How long will the giveaway run for? Make sure you’re both on the same page so the giveaway runs smoothly!

What products/services should you accept and host?

In theory there’s no restriction to the kinds of giveaways you should accept and host. In reality however, it’s good practice to host giveaways that are relevant to the niche of your blog. That way you’ll attract readers that may be interested in the rest of your content, not just that specific post therefore helping to build up your audience.

How do you host a giveaway?

Hosting a giveaway is really easy if you use widgets such as Rafflecopter or Gleam. Personally I’m a Gleam fan, I find it simple to use and install, I also think that it’s really user friendly when it comes to your audience entering your giveaways.

Setting up a Gleam giveaway is pretty self-explanatory once you’ve created your account. The platform walks you through each step; from setting start and end dates, adding entry options and including your terms and conditions. Once you’ve completed each step, you’re provided with a code to embed the widget into your post. It really is as easy as it sounds!

Adding entry options is a key area when you’re using giveaways to build up your audience.. You can add options such as visiting your Facebook page, following you on Twitter and subscribing to your You Tube channel. This gives you chance to showcase your social media platforms and to hopefully increase your following!

What terms and conditions should you include?

Including correct terms and conditions in your giveaways is essential. Hosting a giveaway doesn’t mean you can just create a competition and promote it across any platform, for anyone to enter by any means you see fit. There are UK regulations that have to be adhered to if you want to make sure that your giveaway is legal. HERE is a really useful article that will help you make sure you’re running your giveaways properly and most importantly, legally!

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Time Saving Tactics

#WorkshopWednesday – Time Saving Tactics

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

It’s after you get into blogging, that you realise the sheer amount of work that it takes to keep your corner of the internet running smoothly. Most of the bloggers I know are up until the wee, small hours on a regular basis, often there just aren’t enough hours in the day. That’s why it’s essential to develop a few time saving tactics to help you on your way. If you can save a few minutes here and there, it all adds up to time better used elsewhere!

During my time as a blogger, I’ve developed a few key time saving tactics. It makes my life easier and saves me a tonne of extra work in the long run!

Email Templates

Having templates saved on your laptop or phone is a real time saver. More often than not emails from brands and PRs will command a similar reply, so I have a draft email tucked away ready to copy, paste and tweak when I need to. This is especially useful when the girls are around, as I simply don’t have the time to spend on typing a fresh email each and every time I need to reply. Obviously this isn’t always the case, some emails do need a little more thought, but when I can I use a template!

Keyboard Shortcuts

I’m a huge lover of keyboard shortcuts. There are so many you can use, some you will find useful and some you won’t. Have a play around with a few and get used to using them, honestly it makes blogging so much quicker and easier. My most used shortcuts are ‘ctrl + c’ to copy and ‘ctrl + v’ to paste, simple yet incredibly effective in the time saving game!

Store Commonly Used Hashtags

If like me, you’re an Insta lover, the chances are that you’ll have a set of hashtags that you commonly use alongside your image and description. The hashtag limit on Instagram is thirty and there’s absolutely no way I can remember that many – especially as I use a variety of different combinations depending on the image I’m posting. That’s why I have a few different sets of hashtags stored in the notes app on my phone. Copy, paste and voila! Done in seconds!

 

Do you have any time saving tactics?

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Scheduling Content

#WorkshopWednesday – Scheduling Content

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

With blogging comes social media and a lot of it. It’s really easy to lose hours of valuable time manually inputting your content into the various social media platforms. Not only is this incredibly boring, it’s uneconomical when you think about the worth of your time and how it could be put to better use.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be posting to each of your social media platforms. I’m saying you should put a scheduling system in place to do it for you! Most, if not all scheduler’s have a free version that you can try out, but the paid versions are much more efficient and will literally save you hours.

I’ve tried a few different platforms including Hootsuite and Crowdfire, but SocialOomph is bar far may favourite. I pay around $3/week for a Twitter Unlimited account. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but when you begin to reap the benefits it will feel more than worth the spend. After all, you have to speculate to accumulate! There’s a free trial available too which lets you get a feel for how everything works.

My Twitter Unlimited subscription allows me to schedule more tweets an hour than the free version and it allows for tweets to be repeated until I pause them. This means that I no longer spend hours every Sunday evening, inputting my evergreen tweets. One tweet, click repeat, DONE! I’m a huge fan of the queue reservoirs it offers too. I use it a lot for tweets that I want to be published in a continuous loop, such as inspirational quotes to keep us all motivated!

Your time is valuable and finding ways to make the most of it is essential to make your business tick! Find a scheduling system that suits you and save you self a whole load of hassle!

 

*This post contains an affiliate link. I only recommended services I use and love, so I know you’ll be in good hands! 

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