Showing posts with label twitter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label twitter. Show all posts

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 - www.beautyqueenuk.co.uk/MAClipstick 

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 www.beautykinguk.co.uk 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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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Things I wish I had known before I started blogging

The recent fall out and gossiping over a certain site got me thinking about all the things I wished I had known about before I started blogging.  My blog is by no means perfect and from my first initial post, to the ones I post today, I do feel like I have learnt a lot, but I obviously don't know everything there is know.  

Blogging for me is a constant learning curve and I pick things up from new bloggers just as much as those who have been doing it a lot longer than I have and I suspect many people do the same thing. 

That said, I do see things on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and so one which make me think "Oh yeah" and "If only I knew that when I started out as a mere newbie blogger", so with that I thought I would list some of those valuable insights, tricks of the trade, secrets or whatever you want to call them in my first year of blogging and I would be really interested to hear your thoughts and comments too.

It is okay to miss posting daily!

When I started blogging I would be constantly writing one after another to ensure that I had at least 7 posts a week or one for everyday if you will. 

Sometimes I would really have to burn the midnight oil to juggle being a wife, work full time, spend time with the Hubby and friends, not to mention all the chores that need doing at home or in the office.  In the first few months I put a lot of pressure on myself to be consistent and whilst it is good to have a schedule that everyone comes to know, there are times when life just gets in the way and you have to learn to deal with that because it is inevitable that there will be days that you simply do not have the time to post.  


If this happens, what should you do?  Well never feel you have to apologise, we are all human and non of us are perfect, life is too short to worry about it and it isn't as though you have just abandoned your blog, people will understand. Don't stress about it, write your next post at the next available opportunity and continue with life as normal, it is unlikely people will click that unfollow button because they haven't heard from you in one whole day.

It's not about the 'free' stuff!

I have for the last ten or so years always had a platform online where I share my views on the products I use and those profiles are still open and online on sites such as Ciao and DooYoo. For me blogging was the next step up because I felt life had become quite sterile on both sites, though I am still fairly active on one of the sites.  I didn't start blogging to get those free things, infact I never knew PR companies sent things out to bloggers until I was contacted.

Anyway, as PR Samples is one of those topics which pops up on twitter every now and again with moans, whinging and gripes that so and so gets lots of samples whilst others don't, some don't declare it properly, others do and so on. I hold my hands up and say that frankly this doesn't interest me one iota, I couldn't care less who gets what, it is their view I am interested in and whether or not I need it in my life.   Take the last lot of Benefit products which got sent out, now I had flagged Big Easy as a product I thought I would love after reading about it online, turns out after reading 5 or so reviews from bloggers I like, that I don't think it is for my skin tone and I therefore haven't bought it, but do I think less of Benefit because they didn't send the product to me? Not at all.  Would I stop using Benefit products because I didn't get sent something? Not at all.  

Relationships with PR's

For me this is really really important because I have been lucky enough to receive some absolutely brilliant products and I am always grateful for those opportunities and I do take my time to properly use those products and blog about them. I have also met some fabulous PR representatives who take have made a real effort to form a relationship, naturally there have been some awful ones which I am sure is par for the course.  

However, despite those relationships, I am not one of those people and nor will I ever be, someone who gets a product and writes about it three days later claiming it is the next wonder product.  Sorry that isn't me, how can I tell you if a shampoo is amazing after using it twice? I can't it is that simple, it takes a good few weeks for your hair to get used to using the shampoo and over that time there will be certain changes which take effect and I will want to write about them and include them in my review.  

All of this takes time and a lot of effort, so whether or not a product is really 'free' is for you to decide, but reviewing things for brands does throw up a lot of questions:
  • What do you do if you don't like the product that you've been sent? 
  • What do you do if your skin had a bad reaction to a product?
  • What if the shade you were sent doesn't suit your skin tone at all?
It is quite simple - Be honest and have some integrity.  I never want to offend a PR company/person, a brand or even another blogger but there are always going to be some products that are not right for you and it is far better to be honest about it than to simply state everything is fabulous when it isn't.  I personally couldn't do it and when I have been sent a product I didn't like, I have always told the PR exactly why, sent them my review and we have taken it from there, you won't get your head bitten off and they won't think you are ungrateful, total opposite infact.

Constant improvement is a good thing!

When I first started blogging, I was offered a product to view and I eagerly replied saying yes please I would love too, only to be told that on reflection my viewing figures were not high enough and my Google Analytics figures were not good enough either, the same thing happened with a well known advertising company, they approached me first, I filled in their questionnaire form thing and again I was told "Sorry you don't actually meet our requirements".  To be told that crushed me, why offer something then take it away and why not do some proper research first? and for a few weeks I did debate whether or not my blog was any good and was I wasting my time if I wasn't good enough.

Having chatted with a few friends, they gave me some tips and pointers and my backside was well and truly kicked into looking at my blog properly.  Since then I have always compared my blogs to others, instead of finding it quite daunting and depressing, I find it quite helpful.  I always have these questions in my mind when doing so:
  • Why is it that some blogs have lots of followers and others don't? 
  • What is it they do that I don't do? 
  • What can I do to improve?
From there I have learnt some valuable lessons about fonts, photo sizes, labels, alt-tagging photos, blog post titles and buzz words to name but a few. I am sure I still have a lot more to learn and I have no doubt that there are many things I can do to improve my blog, but for me they are all things I am learning about at my own pace.

You don't have to have a million followers to be a good blogger!

There is a lot of pressure out on bloggers to increase their readership, it is a simple fact and the point above demonstrates why in one example. But readership and followers are two very different things for me.

I do love it when people follow my blog,  I get quite excited when I am alerted to a new follower and I always go and check out who they are, have a quick read and follow them back (if I can find out how) if I like their blog.  I never do follow for a follow, I think that would demean the whole point of blogging and be a little unfair because I value each and every follower that I have and I do spend time reading their blogs.

Readership on the other-hand is more important.  If you have spent hours writing a post and no-one reads or comments on it, it can be quite deflating. I have been there and done it, it still happens from time to time, but I use it as a learning curve to see what people like to read and what they don't like to read on my blog.



Google Analytics

Yes the dreaded GA.  When I set my blog up, for the first 6 months or so I had no idea what GA was or how I could install it and I always got confused when people asked for my figures, I assumed they were the ones you saw when you logged into your blog, clicked page-views and had a nice little set of figures. No, apparently not.  


Instead of spending hours reading about it, I came across a really fantastic help guide by fellow blogger Georgina or Makeup-Pixi3 as you might know her and it was so well written and easy to understand that within half an hour I had it set up, correctly and it is still working right now.


Why do you need it? Well if you want to work with PR Agencies it is helpful because they will more than likely want those 'figures' such as unique page views and followers and for yourself, I really like looking at how each post performs, which ones get more reads and which ones barely get noticed.  It has also helped me find the perfect time for posting to get the most exposure on certain days and see where my traffic is coming from.

People can be cruel

Going back to my first point really.  Sadly there are in life nasty vile trolls who take it upon themselves to have a dig, say nasty things, put you down, poke fun and so on.  There is nothing you can do about these people, they are trolls who thrive on negativity and as a blogger you need to develop a thick skin pretty quickly because no matter how hard you try or how much effort you might put into something, there is always someone who has an 'issue' with it. 

However, please don't let that discourage you and stop you from blogging, everyone is entitled to their opinion and for every negative comment you get I am sure there are ten times the positive and supportive comments and if you don't everyone to see the comment, you are the one in the driving seat - delete it.  I have had one or two comments from people and a few facebook messages which said my blog was "Boring, dull, useless and that my posts were truly awful" and yes it did upset me at the time and it did make me question whether or not I should continue.  That was however one persons view and I took a look at their blog and didn't particularly like what I saw either, only I chose to not tell them and instead move on.

Network and make friends with other Bloggers!  

Blogging is not a competition, there us plenty of room for all of us, even though at times it feels as though it is and there isn't. Bloggers make great friends, infact since I started blogging I have been lucky to meet quite a lot of you at various events and have made some amazing friends and it is such a valuable friendship to have. Why? because they understand where you are coming from, it is likely you have similar interests, they read your blog, they can give constructive criticism, they want to see you do well and if you are falling out of love with your blog and are wondering whether you should continue, they are the ones who can tell you to get over it and get on with it.

It is also nice to share things with your blogger friends.  If I get invited to an event that I think someone else would love, I tend to ask if I can bring a friend and if the answer is yes, I ask that blogger if they would like to come with me. 

If you do get to go to events, talk to other bloggers, don't stand there in a corner on your own, be bold, be brave and go say hello.  Not everything you read about bloggers in true and I am yet to meet a nasty horrible one!  Same can be said for Twitter chats, they are invaluable.  You don't have to do them every week, but I would advise you to do as many as you can to get yourself and your blog known.


Photographs.

Yes one of the issues I have with my own blog is how awful my photos look alongside other bloggers. I feel the photos I take are as important as the words I am typing, so with that in mind, I am constantly striving to improve them and be more creative to make them stand out, look professional and be better than I ever imagined they could be.


I have been spending some time learning how to use apps like Picmonkey to see how hard/easy it is to play around with some of the photos I have taken to make them look better.

Social Media is Important!

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Digg, G+, Stumbleupon and so on, you name it they are important to your blog and driving traffic and this is one area that I am still leaning about.  There is now so many social media sites that I have come across of late, I have them written down in one of my notebooks to look at and learn about.  

When I first started blogging, all I ever used was twitter and instagram, two things I had for 'Real Life' that I adapted to blog life.  In reality, I wish I had been more clued up on how to use them all in the beginning because things might have been so different to how they are now, that said, I am getting there slowly. 

How do I contact you?

Bloggers are nice people, PR people are lovely, brands have some lovely staff and non-bloggers are also on the whole lovely.  However, more often than not I come across a new blog that I like reading and I can never find a way of contacting them.  Make it clear on your blog how I do this, where I can find you and possibly most importantly how you want to be contacted.  

On my blog I have a contact page which lists numerous ways in which you can find me - email, twitter, facebook being the main ones and I have symbols for each of these displayed clearly on my blog page constantly under my photo. If you want to hear from people, make sure they can find you easily.

Those are the things I wish I had known before blogging, not that it would have put me off, but it would have made my life much easier.


I would love to know if there is there anything you wish you'd have known before you started blogging?

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Introducing Beautykinguk!

Today I am excitedly introducing my beloved hubby and his blog to you all...


Yep here is and you can find him at www.beautykinguk.co.uk and on twitter @beautykinguk and bloglovin.

Steve will be giving his view on the male side of things and will include everything from hair gel and hair wax to shampoo and moisturising cream.

Please do go and give him some support....  thank you!

Monday, 13 January 2014

My £2 challenge!

Now we are almost a month into 2014, most people will have had their credit card statements, seen their bank account and are thinking about next Christmas as well as other activities and events in between and there is one thing all of these things have in common - Money!

As I have spent hours reading and commenting on other blogs, scrolling up and down both Facebook and Twitter and I came across one which lit a light bulb inside my head.  Many of us have attempted spending bans, many of us are currently doing them as well as looking for other ways to save some money and this blog mentioned saving money, nothing over the top, something we can all manage and that is saving just £2 per day.

This is my money box, Freddie the Frog and I have had him since my University days when I used to put all kinds of coinage into him and whilst he is looking a little older and a little bit battered, he is the perfect size for this challenge.




We all have loose change in our handbags, pockets and purses and I don't know about you, but I do find it rather annoying and heavy and am always wondering what to do with it.  So what I am going to now do is keep all of that change at the end of each day and try to ensure there is a minimum of £2 and then I put it into the frog.  Naturally I would prefer to have £1 and £2 coins but as long as it adds up to £2 that will do and if I have a little bit more change that will also go into the frog.  Then by the end of the year I should have no less than £730 which I can either use beforehand when buying Christmas Presents or leave it until the New Year and have a good old spend in the sales.

It is now 13th January and I already have £30 in my frog, £30 I would have probably just used on things I didn't need!  Putting that into perspective, it is almost a Naked3 Palette!

Is anyone else doing anything like this or have you tried it in the past? 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Competitions for Christmas!

Competitions for Christmas

Like many people I love to enter a good competition and at Christmas time there are no end of brilliant competitions to enter to win fabulous prizes.  I tend to enter more at this time of the year than at any other time, though I am no 'comper' to use the term affectionately given to those who enter quite a lot.

That said, I thought I would share with you some of the advent competitions that I am entering this year and they are in no particular order:

Fragrance Direct - not quite a competition but they do have  a different offer everyday and as some of us are always on the look out for bargains!

Superdrug - a chance to win a different prize everyday right up until 25th December

She Said Beauty with Feelunique - the chance to win a beauty related prize everyday

Glossybox - A chance to win a different prize everyday

Stella Big Beauty with Telegraph - 14,000 prizes to be won from brands such as REN, label.m, Yardley, Stila and many more

Soap and Glory - A chance to win a different product/products everyday

YouBeauty - A Chance to win a prize everyday, an online virtual advetn calendar

Neom - A chance to win different prizes each day plus an exclusive offer

Origins - A prize everyday and an entry into the grand final to win £500 worth of products

Benefit - Different prizes everyday to be won - this is a Facebook competition

Neals Yard Remedies
- a Facebook daily competition to win a variety of prizes


So? Fragrance - Different So? prize everyday

BaByliss UK -  a Facebook competition with a chance to win a variety of prizes from hairdryers, to hair stylers

Steamcream - daily advent competition on Facebook to win a variety of prizes

Aqua PR Beauty - A Facebook Advent Calender competition to win lots of prizes from the lovely people are Aqua PR

Grace Cole - A Facebook competition Advent to win a hos of beauty prizes

Glamour - A Chance to win a prize from Lush every day

Other competitions I enter daily

Shoes -  Everyday behind each door will be a fabulous prize such as vouchers from our fabulous brands, Amazon, i-tunes etc...

Joshua James Jewellery - Another Facebook competition page to win a piece of jewellery everyday including Thomas Sabo and Pandora.

Westfield London - Instant win advent calender to win a daily prize

Accessorize - Lots of different prizes on offer daily

ASOS - a chance to win a different prize each day

Pandora - A daily Facebook Competition to win a whole host of Pandora products

I am sure there are many hundreds of other advent competitions out there which people are entering, so please do feel free to leave the link in a comment below and I will update this post with them.

Have you won anything so far? Do you enter many competitions?


Competitions for Christmas


Friday, 18 October 2013

#SkinClinic with Balance Me

Did you know that  know that Balance Me are running a #skinclinic all this week between 2pm via Facebook and twitter? Have you taken part? If not, you still can today.


If you are a Balance Me fan, all you need to do is send your individual skin concern as a tweet or Facebook Comment so that the Balance Me experts can help guide them you to your perfect skincare regime.

Do you want to target particular concerns such as fine lineslacklustre skin and dry complexions, or learn about our naturally-active ingredients and how they can work for you?  We will give you expert advice tailored to your query whether you want to prevent and protect in your thirties or rehydrate and repair in your sixties. 

Skin Clinic OPEN Tuesday 15th - Friday 18th October, 
12pm - 2pm.

Simply post on the Balance Me facebook wall or send a tweet your skin concerns during the #skinclinic opening hours and the experts will come back to you straight away.

Let me know how you get on!


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