Use Social Media to Notify Your Readers About New Blog Posts

Use social media to notify about new blog posts

You've started your blog and published a few posts, but it seems that only a few friends and family members read the posts you crafted so lovingly. It's easy to feel discouraged.

One of the easiest ways to lure people to your blog is to mention each post you publish on social media. Think of these social media posts as announcements to notify readers whenever new content is available on your blog.

Take Facebook as an example. You can create a page for your blog, and invite all your friends to follow. On your website encourage your readers to follow your Facebook page to get notifications when a new blog post is live. This is how you can start growing your social media notification list.

Suggested reading: How to Start Blogging About Your Hobby

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Choosing Which Social Media Platforms to Use

You have many social media platforms to use in your efforts to bring people to your blog. My suggestion is that you begin with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you can develop a strategy using these three and stick with it, you will eventually see an increase in engagement on your website. But it will take time. Don't be disappointed if you don't see an overnight change.

You probably already know that it's important to use images in your blog posts. Hopefully, you are already incorporating eye-catching images into your posts in order to differentiate yourself from your competition.

Posts on social media platforms should also incorporate images. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all report that posts with images have much greater engagement than text posts. And if your images are truly eye-catching, you're way ahead of everyone else. When people are scrolling fast over other posts, they'll stop on yours.

Resize your images so that they are perfect for each platform, and overlay each image with text – a title that intrigues readers or your blog name. And don't forget to include your blog url.

Notify readers of new blog posts

Learn From Your Competitors 

In addition to making regularly mentioning your blog posts on each social media, finding out what successful competitors are doing will help you determine how to proceed. To keep track of the data that you will uncover in the next steps, you should make a spreadsheet. It will make later analysis easier.
  1. To find your competitors, start by doing some simple Google searches. For example, if your blog is about dog training, go to Google and search 'dog training blog,' 'dog training tips blog,' 'training puppy blog.'
  2. You'll end up with a list of some of the most popular blogs about your topic. Visit 25-30 of these sites to get their social media links. Put the name of each competitor in the far left column of your spreadsheet, and then name the next three columns Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This setup will allow you to fill in the number of followers each competitor has in each platform.
  3. Go to the Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for each and make note of the number of followers each one has in each social media platform. Register those numbers on your spreadsheet.
  4. Now, you'll want to sort your competitors by the size of their following in order to choose five or six who are the most successful. Sign up to the newsletters of these competitors, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and add them to your Pages to Watch list on Facebook.
If you're unfamiliar with Pages to Watch on Facebook, go to your own page and click Insights at the top. Scroll down to Pages to Watch and click Add Pages. You can then add the pages that you've chosen as your top competitors.

Note: The Pages to Watch feature isn't available until you have at least 100 likes on your page. So ask all your friends and family members to like your page so that you can take advantage of this great feature. You will get the metrics on the growth and engagement of your competitors' pages, thereby giving you a great way to compare your own numbers with numbers from those competitors.

Suggested reading: Tips to Write Engaging Blog Posts

Make It a Daily Routine

Watch your competitors on the social media platforms to discover why they're successful. You can then adapt what they've done to your own style. You might even contact a competitor to start a relationship and get advice.

I've used the word competitor in this post. It was the easiest word to use to convey meaning, but that's not necessarily the right word. Bloggers who publish on a particular topic often think of themselves as part of a big family and can be incredibly helpful. So don't hesitate to introduce yourself to other bloggers.

Don't forget not to expect overnight results. It will take time to grow your followers. Every niche has an audience. It's just a matter of being persistent in your effort to lure that audience to your blog.
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How to Use Google+ Circles to Promote your Website [Guide]

A guide to use Google+ Circles to promote your website

Like most people today, you probably have online friends and real life friends. You’ve probably not met many or even most of your online friends, but you connected with them because you share an interest.

Your real life friends may or may not share some of your passions. Your friendship may be based on history, proximity, or something else that has nothing to do with your interests. With your real life friends, you pick and choose what to share with each person. You probably don’t share the latest teething problems your baby is having with friends of yours who dislike children. Right?

Having this kind of control over sharing is the beauty of Google+ Circles which allows you to put your online friends into particular Circles – very much like in real life.

Think of it like this – posts on Facebook and Twitter are put in front of the public in general, whether or not they are interested in your topic. People on those social media sites scroll down faster and faster every day because they know that most of the posts don’t interest them. Not so with Google+ Circles.

Suggested reading: Promote Your Blog with Google+ Circles

You probably have some friends who have completely stayed away from social networking because they didn’t like the idea of their posts being so accessible to strangers. They can be far more comfortable using Google+ Circles since each Circle is like an exclusive club.

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Starting with Google+ Circles

If you’re convinced that you should start using Google+ Circles, let’s see how to actually get started.
  1. If you don’t have a gmail address, sign up for one, and then login at https://plus.google.com/.
  2. Click on your photo in the upper right of the screen, and then click ‘Google+ Profile.’
  3. Fill out your profile. Each section will have a clickable ‘Edit’ button that will bring up a window with places for you to type in the information appropriate for that section. Make your profile as interesting as possible.
  4. Once you have finished your profile, look to the upper left of the screen. To the right of G+ is an icon of a person with a down arrow. Hover your mouse over that icon and a dropdown list will appear. Click on the item named ‘People,’ and you will be presented with a list of people that Google thinks you might want to include in one or more Circles.
  5. At the top is a list called ‘People to add back.’ These are people who have added you to one of their Circles, and now you can add them to one of yours. Below that is a list of ‘More suggestions,’ people that Google thinks you are connected to in some way.
  6. Hover over the ‘Follow’ button under each person and you will be presented with the choice to add the person to one of your Circles or to create a new circle.
  7. If you click ‘Create new Circle,’ a box will appear for you to type in an appropriate Circle name. Then click ‘create’ and you’ve got a new Circle.

Google plus connects people with the same interests

Following People

You might want to follow some of the people in the list instead of adding them to a Circle. Once you have followed someone, that person will have the chance to follow you as well. He’ll check out your profile to see if you look interesting. That’s why it’s important to make your profile as complete and inviting as possible.

Sharing

Whether you realize it or not, you may have already been put into various Circles. People who are already using Google+ Circles have probably added you to one of their Circles. You do not need to give permission to be put into a Circle.

When you sign in at https://plus.google.com/, you will see what Google calls your Stream. These are posts that others have shared to a Circle that already has you as a member. If you want to write and share something, you will –
  1. Click in the box at the top left of the Stream that asks ‘What’s new with you?’ Write your post in the box that is presented to you. Attach photos or videos if you like.
  2. In the ‘To’ box, you can click the ‘X’ to erase the ‘public’ designation, and choose the name of the Circle that you want to share with.
  3. If you want everyone in that Circle to be notified by email, check the box at the bottom of the window ‘Also send email from you to Circle Name.’
  4. Click the green ‘Share’ button, and your post will appear in the Stream of everyone in that Circle.
Note: Be cautious about how often you choose to send emails of your posts to everyone in that Circle. If you post regularly and always send emails, the members of that Circle may find it spammy.

Suggested reading: Tips to Write Engaging Blog Posts

Conclusion

Google+ Circles may seem confusing, but once you have used it for a while, you’ll wonder why you were so perplexed at the start. And doesn’t it make more sense to send your well thought out posts to people who are as passionate as you about the topic of your post? Google+ Circles gives you the chance to do just that.

Each of your Google+ Circles is like a club with members who are passionate about a particular topic. People who are passionate about the topic are more likely to engage by commenting and/or offering tips.

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Tips to Write Engaging Blog Posts

How to write engaging blog posts

Have you hesitated starting a blog because you have doubts about your writing? Did you hate writing term papers when you were in school?

Well, here's the good news. Writing a blog post is nothing like writing an essay for a class in school. You may not consider yourself a writer, but if you can write an email to a friend, then you can write blog posts.

What to Blog About

The topic you choose for your blog depends on why you want to blog. Do you want to write about your daily activities or your move to a new city or country – kind of like a diary? Or do you want to share ideas with friends and/or strangers on a particular topic that you're passionate about?

Then you're in the right frame of mind for a blog.

If this is your intention, it doesn't really matter what the subject is – you will eventually find readers who want to read and share ideas on that topic as well. Just keep in mind that readers won't find your blog overnight, but persistence will pay off in the end.

Suggested reading: How to Start Blogging About Your Hobby

If you don't have a blog yet, click the green button to make your own SimpleSite blog for FREE.

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How to Make Your Posts Interesting

  • Start your post with a question that leads into a story connected to the content. Lists and facts are useful to illustrate a point, but your reader is more likely to remember a story that demonstrates an emotion she's already experienced. That connection will bring her back to read more posts later.
  • Once you progress into the meat of the post, put the focus on the reader. She wants to know how the information affects her, whether it's about getting through a divorce or how to make the best quilt.
  • Use second person as much as possible in your writing. In other words, use 'you' as often as you can and 'I' as seldom as possible.
  • Even when you're describing an experience of your own, try to avoid using 'I' as often as possible. For example, instead of saying 'I realized my mistake once I saw all the pieces falling into place,' you can write 'The solution became obvious to me as soon as all the pieces began falling into place.'

Blogger's block

Avoiding Blogger's Block

You can probably think of many ways to re-boot your brain, but here are some of our favorites.
  • Get up and go for a walk. If it's raining out, at least change your environment for a half hour or more. Don't just work on something different at your computer.
  • Work on a jigsaw puzzle or something else that requires concentration.
  • Call a friend and talk about absolutely anything.
  • Brainstorm a list of ideas without censoring yourself.
  • Read other blogs on your topic to get ideas.
  • Go on Facebook and ask people what they want to know about your subject.
Suggested Reading: 4 Reasons You Should Have Your Own Website

Conversational Writing Style

Remember, your blog should sound like you're writing or talking to a friend – not writing an essay for an English composition class. Online readers like to scan rather than read every word, and they don't want to feel like they're reading an academic treatise.
  • Use short sentences and short paragraphs.
  • Use sub-headings to let the reader know the topic of the section.
  • Use bullet points.
  • Use contractions like 'you're' and 'doesn't.'
  • Use simple words.

Don't Over-Analyze

Let your text rest for a day or two, and then read it again. You might be surprised at how well it flows. If not, you'll be likely to catch the spots where it doesn't flow well once you've been away from it for a while.

Make changes and then read it out loud.. When you read your text out loud, the places where a reader might stumble will become obvious.

Your blog post doesn't need to be a Pulitzer Prize winner. Don't go over it again and again and again. Make the needed changes and then hit 'publish,' and get started writing your next post.

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Increase Sales: How to Use Storytelling on Your Business Website

Use storytelling to increase sales

"Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make,
but about the stories you tell
– Seth Godin, online marketing guru

Would you like your business to earn more revenue? If so, you need to turn potential customers into actual customers who come back to you again and again for repeat purchases and happily recommend you to friends and acquaintances.

Turning that potential customer into a loyal patron is the goal of marketing. In days long gone, sales were made through person-to-person contact. In today's digital/online world, those human interactions are no longer common. However, people are more likely to purchase a product from a business that they feel connected to.

Because of that, you need a method to build that emotional bond with shoppers, and one of the best ways to build a relationship with those potential customers is through storytelling. After all, your business is providing something to customers that solves a problem of some sort, whether it's what to eat for breakfast or what kind of tech gadget to buy.

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There are plenty of competitors in the marketplace who can provide the same products, so you need to appeal to the emotions of your potential customers in order to sway them to buy from you instead of from your competitor.

Suggested reading: How to Maximize Your Business Using a Blog

Stories are universal, and one of the main goals of telling a story is to elicit an emotional bond between you and the shopper. You don't need to be a Hollywood film maker or a best seller author to use storytelling to benefit your business.

"Do you know what is the most-often missing ingredient in a sales message? It's the sales message doesn't tell an interesting story"
– Gary Halbert, copywriting legend
Storytelling is an effective way of differentiating your business

Your About Page

Consumers are overloaded with information every day. You need to separate yourself from other online businesses that bore shoppers with dry information about their products – statistics, specifications, technical facts, and more. Those pieces of information are important, but they should be a side-light – not a highlight.

Your About page is likely to be visited more than any other page on your website, so make it a page that creates an emotional bond with the readers. Don't bore those shoppers with dry information about your business. Instead, tell a powerful story about your brand – a story that the consumer can relate to on an emotional level.

Don't write the story of your brand like a marketer, and don't try to sell the product. Instead, have a conversation with the reader, and concentrate on human interest. You're not writing a college essay, so don't be overly concerned about grammar.

Your story should not be long and fragmented. Always keep it focused on the consumer and explain –
  • why you love the product
  • how the product came about
  • how the product can help the reader
  • what types of customers have found benefit from the product
Read your story out loud and you will more easily spot the parts that don't sound conversational. Remember – you're talking with a friend. An aggressive sales pitch will drive the potential customer away while an interesting story will make your business stick in the mind of your potential customer.

Suggested reading: Why eCommerce Is Critical to Your Business

Speak to your customers' emotions through storytelling

The Rest of Your Site

Your About page is not the only place on your website to use storytelling. Weave stories into content throughout your site, especially in your blog posts. You can make your site so interesting that people will visit your site just to see if there's a new story to read.

Keep in mind that your stories should focus on your customers and how previous customers have successfully and happily used your product.

As much as we like to think that we use logic in making decisions, more often than not, we make decisions based on emotion and then use logic to support the decision. Once you understand this, you can take advantage of that human tendency to promote and grow your business.

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Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

How to use pinterest for your blog

Pinterest is a visual goldmine. After staring at blocks of text for hours, what a joy it is to open Pinterest and feast your eyes on visual masterpieces – fashion, food, pets, travel destinations, and more.

You may already be using Pinterest for fun. You've probably set up boards for the categories you like to share. And you may even spend time each day browsing similar categories and repinning pins that you like.

Pinterest, though, is more than just a playground for your eyes. In September 2015, Pinterest claimed to have 100 million active users monthly, so it can be a huge resource to get traffic to your blog. Here are a few tips to get you on the right path.

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Make a Special Board to Pin Your Blogs

Creating a Blog Board is a great way to have your blog posts found by your Pinterest followers and also by people who are just browsing categories that interest them.

Give your Blog Board the same name as your blog. If your blog is about Thai recipes and you've named your blog 'Authentic Thai Recipes,' give that same name to your Pinterest Blog Board. When someone searches for 'authentic Thai recipes,' your board is likely to show up.

Be sure that your blog pins include mouth-watering photos of those Thai recipes. Add a brief summary of the post and a link to the article, and you're all set.

Suggested reading: 4 Reasons You Should Have Your Own Website

Make Additional Boards that Connect to Your Blog Topic

You probably already have a number of boards in various categories in your Pinterest account. Make sure that several boards cover different aspects of your blog topic. If your Blog Board is 'Authentic Thai Recipes,' then make other boards:
  • tips on Thai food
  • where to buy supplies for Thai cooking
  • what kitchen utensils are needed
  • whatever content connects with your blog topic of Thai cooking
Once again, you'll want to have great images, some text, and a link to your blog post.

Images Galore

If you've already been browsing Pinterest, then you realize the value of enticing images. You don't click on the boring images, so why would anyone else? Your images will be in a sea of beautiful photos, and you need your images to stand out from the crowd.

That's not always easy, but one way to do this is to make your image long – either a tall photo or an infographic. Another way is to make a collage of several photos with captions on a tall background.
When you are writing your blog post, keep in mind the need to have at least one Pinterest-friendly image in your blog that you'll be able to pin on your Blog Board.

(Psst... If you use Google Chrome as your standard browser you can make pinning very easy by installing the "Pin It Button" extension)

Thai food blog Pinterest

Relevant Keywords Are Crucial

A keyword is a word or phrase that someone puts into a search window when looking for information or images on a particular topic. When a person opens Pinterest and types 'authentic Thai recipes' into the search window, it is logical that Pinterest will give that person the results that are closest to that keyword phrase.

You can see, then, how important it is to give a name to your boards that contains a keyword or keyword phrase. In addition, use keywords strategically in the description you place below the image you pin. Just keep in mind that any text on the image itself will not be included in the search.

Suggested reading: 10 Tips That Will Make Your Website 10 Times More Visible To Search Engines

Be an Active Pinterest Member and Practice Good Search Optimization

  • Pin unique content on a regular basis
  • Check out the boards of your followers and repin their pins
  • Use relevant keywords in the pin's description
  • Use keywords in the names of your boards
  • Check your images on a mobile device to make sure they look good
  • Add a link to your Pinterest account in your email signature
Pinterest is your opportunity to reap the benefits of visual storytelling. Everyone loves a good story, especially when the images are engaging.

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