Sunday, 27 July 2014

How I promote my blog - Part 1

I thought I would write a series of blog posts about blog promotion, it is subject quite a few people ask me about on a regular basis and as with all things blog related, it is a continuous journey of learning, improving and remembering - so it is always a good idea to make notes, re-read them, refer back to them and add to them.  You can never have too many notebooks, you will never stop learning and you cannot remember everything.

When I write a post, I don't bash something out on the keypad and publish it, I think about it, mull it over, re-write bits and once I am finally happy with it, I press that magic button. Once that button is pressed, I could just leave the post, but if I did, not many of you would read it and not many of you would probably come across it, even the most fastidious of you who reads every post on your Bloglovin, blog roll and favourites page.

So what do I do?  Well most of this will probably come as no surprise, you probably even do this yourself and you might even have a few hints and tips to share with me in the comments below as each post appears, but today I want to focus on Twitter.

Possibly an obvious choice I know, but for me Twitter is the most important tool that I use to promote my blog and it isn't just a case of relentlessly tweeting my latest post. What is Twitter?

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and coworkers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People write short updates, often called "Tweets" of 140 characters or fewer. These messages are posted to your profile, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search
If you have a blog and don't have a Twitter account for it, stop reading this post and go and set on up, it will be one of he best things you ever do. 

Twitter is a magical little tool that not only helps you to promote your blog to other bloggers but also to companies, PRs, brands and in some cases the actual person behind a product not to mention journalists, media publications, non-bloggers and members of the general public.  There are over 645,750,000 people who use twitter worldwide and the number grows by the day, everyday around 58 million tweets are tweeted which is around 9000 per second. 

Twitter is a constant conversation globally and it allows you to do and see tweet updates, breaking news, helpful info, and converse with many different people from many different countries, backgrounds, races, creeds, religions, ages in 140 characters. Basically, you just never know who might be reading your tweet and where it can lead!

I use twitter to also interact with a lot of different people, not all of them bloggers, some are friends, family, journalists, brands, PR companies, animals (yes they have accounts too) and with some are people who have never blogged in their life. All of this helps to drive traffic to your blog.  

Twitter Chats are one of the things I enjoy most about using Twitter.  A chat is where a conversation is focused around one unique topic and has a hashtag. 

If you don't currently take part in any chats, I urge you do so.  I find them quite important for my blog because it gives me a chance to promote who I am and what I am about, as well as meet and chat to like minded bloggers.
There are almost daily Twitter chats such as the #bbloggers chat for beauty bloggers which are 8-9pm on Wednesday and Sunday, #fblchat for fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers which is on a Tuesday from 8-9pm and other chats whether you are a parent blogger, lifestyle blogger, plus sized blogger, student blogger, teen blogger all take place and this is a quick low down of what takes place and when:
  • Mondays and Thursday #fbloggers 8-9pm for fashion bloggers
  • Mondays #psbloggerschat from 8-9pm for plus sized bloggers
  • Tuesdays #fblchat: 8-9pm. For fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers.
  • Wednesdays and Sundays #bbloggers: 8-9pm. For beauty bloggers
  • Fridays #tbloggers and sbloggers: 8-9pm. For teen bloggers and student bloggers
  • Sundays #lbloggers: 7-8pm. For lifestyle bloggers
If all of those aren't enough there are a whole host of other chats which are now taking place and some of them are:
  • #mybchat: which is Market your blog chat, held on Tuesdays between 7-8pm 
  • #bloggersdoitbetter: General chat for Bloggers every Monday 7pm and Friday 8pm
  • #timetotalkchat which is held on Thursdays between 9-10pm
  • #Beautychat held Fridays between 7-8pm to talk about beauty
  • #socialbloggers: which is held on Saturdays between 6-7pm 
  • #blogbrunch which is the first Saturday of the month between 6-7pm
  • #30sbloggers held on Sundays between 9-10pm for bloggers in their 30's
The ones I have listed are the ones I have either seen on Twitter or taken part in and you can find more Twitter chats HERE in a helpful post created by Blog Branch.

Just because your blog might solely be about beauty, doesn't mean you cannot take part in other chats, I do it all the time and have come across some fantastic blogs to read by doing this.  So the hashtag is an important part of tweeting and blogging and it is something I discovered quite late when I started blogging.  Whenever you write your blog post and want to tweet about it, simply writing:

I blogged about my new lipstick - 

The chances are only a handful of people would see that if their Twitter feed wasn't very busy and if it was something they had been interested in.  If I instead write:

New post - I have a new  lipstick -

By adding the hashtags I am already reaching out to three different groups of people - beauty bloggers, fashion beauty and lifestyle bloggers as well as people who might be interested in Make-up.  I also tweeted MAC Cosmetics which again allows them to see and look at what I have bought and again people who are looking for MAC Cosmetics could potentially see my tweet. 

I sometimes also tweet companies and PR companies who look after brands if I have written a post about one of their products.  It is yet another way to engage with people and help build relationships.

A hashtag is this symbol # which is used to identify those messages, topics, subjects taking place within that chat, so if a chat is taking place about flipflops for example you would see #flipflops appearing within your feed quite regularly and if you click on the hashtag you will see all the messages, points and comments people have to say about them.  If it is a chat about beauty then you could see hastags such as #bbloggers and #beautychat at the end of tweets.

The one hashtag most of you might have seen but never used is the #FF tag. Follow Friday is what it stands for and it obviously happens every friday. I use it to mention my favourite bloggers that I think people should follow.  I also use it to mention the brands that have featured on my blog for the previous week and I usually always have a special #FF for my hubby over at because he is obviously very important to me and I want him and his blog to do well. 

Retweets - A retweet is when someone you follow takes another person’s tweet and retweets it. There is a button you can press if you want to pass along a funny joke, helpful tidbit, a good piece of information, an upcoming sale etc and ive shown the retweet button below:

Scheduling Tweets - This is something I am quite new too.  I schedule my blog posts a few times a week because I have a busy working life outside of blogging and I am not always available to ensure posts go live.  A few months ago, I discovered the joy of scheduling tweets and it is fantastic.  There are many different apps that you can use to do this:
  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Twuffer
  • Futuretweets
  • Twittimer

Those are just some of the ones I have come across.  The ones I use most of all are Hootsuite which is on my iPad and Buffer which is on my iPhone.  

Buffer is the one I find really easy to you.  You simply compose your tweet, schedule it for the time you want it to go live and then select buffer where it will show in your queue of tweets and at which time it will go live.  It only allows you to schedule 10 tweets at any one time, but that is more than enough for any one day.

Shout-outs/Tweet Promotion/Retweets - There are a few accounts on Twitter which you can use to help promote your tweets, by that I mean a simple mention of another site and they automatically retweet your tweet.  Some of the ones I use are:

@FemaleBloggerRT who have over 10.5k followers on twitter and by simply putting their twitter handle within your tweet guarentees a retweet to those 10.5k followers

@UKBloggers1 which has been going for a short time, has almost 1000 followers and runs alongside a really nice bloggers forum to get involved with (more on that in a future post). 

There are of course more than those two, but they are the ones I use the most.

Competitions - The final thing I use my twitter account for is entering competitions.  Some are held by other bloggers, some my companies, PR companies and brands.  Again, as well as a chance to win some amazing prizes (just look at @davelackie from whom I have recently won a prize) you are also promoting your blog to those individuals because they will see that you have entered their competition and many of my blogging relationships with brands and PR companies started out that way.  

I entered a competition with one brand, they then went and looked at my blog and emailed me to ask if I would like to try some of their products and from there a relationship was born.  I only enter competitions if I like the prize on offer, but each person is different.

Finally a list of things your Twitter should do.

  1. Ensure your profile picture matches your blog in someway - mine is my blog logo
  2. Include a link to your blog in your bio, it is clickable therefore easy for someone to get to your blog
  3. Use your header image to advertise your blog - mine is my blog header
  4. Think about how often you want to tweet and what you want to tweet about.  Your Twitter feed will be constantly changing, so ensure you use your tweets wisely for retweeting, asking questions, making a point and so on
  5. Always respond to people who tweet you
  6. Look at what is trending regularly, if it fits with something you are blogging about, it is worth using that hastag in your tweets
  7. Take part in Twitter chats
  8. Post pictures - one good thing about Twitter is you can tweet pictures and everyone loves a good photo
  9. Use hashtags
  10. Schedule tweets especially if you are really busy, this is something which is new to me and something I find important.
Hopefully you will have learnt something from this post. There are many more ways to use Twitter than I have included within this post, I have concentrated more on how I use it. If you think I have missed something obvious and important, please do leave a comment to let me know and I will add them into my post and credit you with it. The main point I wanted to get across in this post that is regularly using and constant engagement with others, using hashtag will all become a good way to bring traffic to your blog.
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  1. Ooh, interesting post hon. I think I've learnt a lot about blog promo from seeing how you & others use twitter. I definitely need to look more into chats- and see if I can find anyone with a blog in a similar vein to mine. Once I get going a bit more I need to set up something to schedule my tweets. Yours is the 3nd blog to recommend Buffer so I think I'll give them a go. :D

    1. Definitely do and as I said it doesn't have to be a chat about your blog specialism x

  2. I love joining in on twitter chats! Thanks so much for posting the schedule, I can never seem to remember what's on and when, but have jotted them down now :D

    Style Sunrise ☀


    1. It is a remembering game for me as well, I usually get the wrong chat on the wrong day and join in anyway x

  3. Great post, lots of information and I agree that Twitter is a must for a blogger. I'm now going to download Buffer on my phone to help me schedule my Twitter posts :)

    Thanks so much.

    Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me

  4. Such a helpful post! I've bookmarked. Thank you! x

  5. Helpful post. I've been blogging for around 2 years and recently I had quite a big gap. I think I lost a lot of my regular commenters in this time and although number of views and followers don't matter to me, comments definitely do. It would be interesting to read something about this during the series?

    1. I have one planned for that, it is half written x

  6. Fab series hun, I'll be keeping my eye out for the others!
    Twitter is also my main go to for promoting my blog too!
    Lianne | TheBrunetteSays...

  7. I agree with everything you've said here! Twitter is SO important in promoting blogs! I need to do better about remember to participate in twitter chats though. Setting reminders in my phone right now! lol

  8. Great post Rach! I dont use Twitter anywhere near as much as I should, the chats are always at an awkward time for me but there are a few here I could manage so will have to give them a go!


  9. I definitely think twitter is by far the most important social media for blogging


  10. fantastic post!! I have only used twitter chats once, thanks for the reminder, will be taking part in these more often

  11. I don't think I would have any readers, except my mum, without Twitter! Great post as always lovely.

    Belle ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

  12. wow, these are great tips! fantastic post!

  13. Great post! Especially useful to see a list of Twitter chats - some of these I hadn't even heard of! xx

  14. Great post! I found out some really interesting things about twitter recently - crazy facts like 68% of girls get turned off if a tweet contains a smiley face! :) so random!

    Josie xoxo Fashion Mumblr

  15. I've read a few of these type of posts but this is the first one that explains how to make a good tweet, very useful. :)
    Amy at Amy & More

  16. Thanks for this post :) I'm new to blogging and this was really helpful!
    I've never really been properly involved in any chats so thanks for posting the times!

    Julie x

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  18. Many thanks for this fantastic information. I keep coming back and reading a bit more. So much to learn!

    Heather x

  19. Great advice. Please can you do one about Pintrest as I'm such a novice! #sundaybest

  20. Thanks For Your valuable posting, it was very informative. Am working in Erp Software Company In India


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