Twitter tips for bloggers

Include your blog link in your twitter ‘bio’ section. When people do click on and open up your twitter page, if you’re really committed to driving traffic to your blog, have your link right there, listed in your blog bio. Make it as EASY AS POSSIBLE for them to find your blog.

Use twitter to show off your personality. Tweet tidbits of your life, or the shows you’re watching, share your sense of humour. Let people know who you really are in small tidbits – 280 characters at a time. I can say with utmost certainty there are blogs I follow on WordPress that I’ve found I appreciated the Blog Author so much more when I started following them on twitter and started learning so much more about their personality. Show of yours! Be candid. Be friendly. Be yourself.

Don’t just tweet your posts link. In the tweet provide a description of your post, or, provide a quote from within your post. People don’t just blindly click links on twitter. They want to know what they’re clicking on.

If you can, add a photo to your tweet. You know the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’? Well, if you only have 280 characters on twitter, use your choice of photograph to give you those extra thousand words.

Follow Blog-Share accounts. These are accounts specifically set up on twitter to allow bloggers to share their work and to meet other bloggers. Some of these include: @bloggershut, @goldenbloggerz, @bloggerstribe. It’s basically an opportunity for free promotion. Follow them and take advantage of the platform they provide! They typically post threads for bloggers to share their posts and when they’re not posting threads they just ask for you to use their hashtag when sharing your post and they’ll retweet it and share it to their base that includes thousands of followers. It’s free promotion, easy promotion and a great way to interact with other bloggers.

Be Social. Talk. Make friends. Follow people without worrying if they’re going to follow you back. This one is important. People tend to tweet Twitter like it’s a popularity contest. It’s not. If properly executed it can be a positive means for you to promote your blog, content and self. The catch is: you have to let go of tracking if everyone you’re following is following you. You have to let go of the thought that thousands of people are going to just up and follow you. Unless you’re Ariana Grande and just haven’t told me yet, it’s all likel that your growth will be slow and organic in nature. Follow people based on if you like their content/personality/tweets. Don’t follow people with the expectation they follow you back. You want people to follow you because they want to, not because they feel an obligation to. And trust me, if you’re genuine, people will sense that and follow you out of choice, not obligation.

Jump on trending hashtags where you can. A few days ago there was one #3ThingsIWantInMyStocking. If you’re on twitter and see hashtags of this nature, share your thoughts. They’re popular tags because people are sharing and reading these tweets. Open up your opportunity to meet new people. And if you read something funny within the hashtag, like it. Let the random stranger know they appreciated their tweet.

Tweet consistently. Just like with blogging, people like to follow twitter accounts that are consistently updated. Whether it’s daily, or weekly, ensure that you’re using Twitter consistently. If you’re tweeting a couple of posts and then don’t use your Twitter account for a month, then people are going to get bored and likely unfollow you. Twitter is about interaction, and if you’re not interacting, you’re not going to see growth.

Tweetdeck is a free service that allows you to schedule all of your tweets in advance. Many services that allow you to schedule tweets will charge you for their service. Tweetdeck is COMPLETELY FREE! You need not make an account, your Twitter account is what Tweetdeck needs, you just have to allow Tweetdeck access. And, you can use Tweetdeck to schedule tweets across multiple accounts. The catch? You can’t post threads on Tweetdeck and you can’t post emojis. Realistically, though, you don’t need either of those things if you’re scheduling promotional tweets for your blog.

Tweetdeck is great if you work full time during the day or have a busy life and kiddos to look after. You can schedule your tweets so you don’t have to worry about logging in during the day to post. You can sit down at night after all the kiddos have gone to bed and schedule your post for the next day. Then, if you do get a chance to read twitter during the day, you don’t have to worry about posting, you’re at that point just browsing!

Ask your WordPress followers what their Twitter handles are. Want to make instantaneous connections on Twitter? Tell your WordPress followers that you’ve got a Twitter account and ask them for their Twitter handles. If you’re new or just starting out, this is an easy way of forming connections immediately.


Shameless self promotion: My Twitter handle is @MillennialMe88

Worries and such.

I had a dizzy spell yesterday. I lost peripheral vision for a short period and it was so bad that I was too scared to drive anywhere. I didn’t want to worry anyone so I told my family that I was going to call my best friend so that they wouldn’t bug me while they thought I was on the phone and I ended up staying in bed for several hours because of it. I actually fell down the stairs as I was heading to my room, which really scared me. My anxious mind wandered a lot of places and my rational mind told me I should just sleep it off.

I fell down the seedy dark corners of trying to diagnose myself using google and found nothing good.

The one good thing I did find is that you can get blurred peripheral vision from severe sinus pressure and head pressure. I’ve been battling a nasty sinus infection and, because if it, woke up with a pretty horrendous headache yesterday.

I’m chalking it up to that, for now.

It went away after I laid in the dark for a while.

I do not need to diagnose myself on google anymore. If anything else happens, a doctor can tell me what’s wrong with me.

Adventures in job hunting: they called the wrong candidate.

When I answer the phone, if it’s a number that I do not recognize, I won’t identify myself upon answering, I’ll simply say ‘Hello’. There’s a lot of reasons for this, but bottom line is if I don’t know them and I don’t know how they get my number, I’m certainly not telling them who I am.

At 7:00 o clock this morning my phone started ringing. Typically, I’ll look before answering, but sometimes I make questionable decisions first thing in the morning.

‘Good Morning this is Jessica calling from ‘X Company’, I was hoping now was a good time to have a quick chat and ask you some questions about your application.’ The woman said.

Oh, yeah. Since I applied for a position with ‘X Company’ last week, I just assumed they were calling candidates with resumes they liked and asking a few questions.

Questions she asked were simple. Things along the lines of ‘So why did you apply for this position?’ and ‘What is your salary expecations for this position?’ and ‘What do you like about X Company?’

They were easily answered and we were about five minutes into the conversation when she said ‘So Holly, can you tell me a little about your experience with Y Company?’

I was confused.

Holly?

Y Company?

Huh?

She’d never actually acknowledged my name. She’d never actually said who she was calling for, or looking for. She simply just said ‘Hi I’m Jessica’ an then started into it.

‘I think there’s a mistake here’, I said.

‘Oh?’ She questioned.

‘I’ve never worked for Y Company’, I said.

‘Oh, Holly, it’s listed on your resume as experience for the past four years’. She started sounding suspicious.

‘My name isn’t Holly.’ I said.

‘What?’ She asked

‘My name’s not Holly and I’ve never worked at Y Company’ I said.

‘What?’ She asked again. ‘Am I speaking to Holly [Insert Last Name Here]?’

‘No. My name is Vee [Insert last name here]’ I responded.

The woman seem to become frantic and scared at this point. She began questioning me as to why I never told her my name. She didn’t take too kindly to my reminding her that she phoned me and she never acknowledged who she was calling so I just presumed in phoning my phone number she was looking to speak with me.

She then said ‘It’s really unprofessional to not acknowledge yourself when you answer the phone’.

I apologized for not acknowledging my name when I answered the phone and then I politely said that as it was my phone number, I again presumed that she was just calling for me. As I applied for this position she was speaking of, I had no reason to think she wasn’t calling for me.

She then, reluctantly, apologized for the confusion. I could tell that she didn’t really want to though.

I suggested that she could use my answers for my own application and that she must have my application there, in her candidates pool and that I hoped the phone call could bring value towards my application.

She said ‘Thanks for your time, we’ll be in touch in a few days with respect to your application’.

When she hung up I had an inkling that I was never going to hear from this company again. Just her tone and the way she spoke, I have a feeling that, though she was the one who messed up, this was counting as a strike against me.

Sure enough, about 30 minutes later I got generic rejection email that said ‘Thank you for your application. X Company has moved on to the next round of the application process and your application is not being considered at this time. Please feel free to apply for future positions on our website ———————.com.’

Welp.

Saw that one coming.

Onto the next, I guess.

Anyone has the power and possibility to do anything that they set their mind to.

Yes, read that again. Because it’s true.

At 12 years old I was listening to a presentation from (now former) NBA player Steve Nash. Nash said ‘Raise your hands if you want to be Prime Minister of Canada one day’. Only a couple of kids in the room raised their hands. Nash then said ‘Raise your hand if you think you’re going to be Prime Minister of Canada one day’. Only one girl, a girl named Rachel, kept her hand up. Nash then said ‘Rachel is the only person in this room who will be Prime Minister one day’. A few of the boys in this room took aim at this statement and responded with ‘No she can’t because she’s a girl’.

The two things Steve Nash said next have stayed with me ever since.

Firstly, he looked at those boys who took aim with the idea of a female Prime Minister and said ‘My hope for you is that as you move into your teenage and adult years you adopt a way of thinking that measures a person’s value on who they are, not what they are. A person’s gender matters not to whether or not they are capable of a job, any job, and your discounting Rachel based off the fact that she’s a girl is a disservice to all women and girls around the world. You are not superior simply because you were born male. Please remember that’.

Secondly, he said ‘The only person in this room who can be Prime Minister one day is Rachel. I say this because she’s the only person who wants to be and she’s the only person who thinks she can be.’ He went on to say ‘The only limitations you have in this world are the ones you put on yourself’. If these boys over here don’t think she can do it, are they going to stop her? No. If Rachel wants it bad enough, she’s going to make it happen regardless of who says what to her. If Rachel doesn’t put a limitation on becoming Prime Minister, I see no reason why she cannot grow up to be just that’.

‘The only limitations you have in this world are the ones you put on yourself.’

Anyone has the power and possibility to do anything that they set their mind to, so long as they’re willing to work for it. So I guess the question is, if you’re not willing to work for it, do you really want it?

Also, it’s important to stop passing on the notion that people are less valuable to our society because of their gender, age, ability/disability, skills, intelligence or anything else that people use as a means to discredit or undervalue someone. Even at twelve years old the boys in my class had already had it ingrained in their minds that women couldn’t do what men could do. We need to remind ourselves, our friends, our family, that a person’s worth to this world is not measured by statistics. It’s not measured by the things we cannot control.

If Rick Hansen can wheel over 40,000 kms through 34 countries on his own, in a wheelchair and Terry Fox can run 5,300 kms on one leg, if Susan Wojcicki can be the CEO of Youtube, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg can still be sitting on the Supreme Court at 86 after beating cancer several times, and people all over the world can defy the odds (the odds we put on ourselves no less) then the future really has limitless possibility.

Remember that next time you judge someone based on their appearance, their gender, their age, or any other reason you think is an excuse to devalue the potential someone brings to this world.

Things your WordPress Analytics can teach you.

We’ve all seen these statistics before. Every blog on WordPress has them. But what are they? What do they mean? How do we use them? Why should we use them?

Analytics are one of the easiest, and best things you can use for improving your blog’s function, reach and usability. And WordPress just gives them to you, for free. Since they’re there, you might as well use them.

I have touched on each of these things before. But, I’m doing a refresher since my blog was much smaller last time I spoke of these subjects.

WHERE DOES YOUR AUDIENCE COME FROM?

Using the #MillennialLifeCrisis blog statistics for example, you can see that the bulk of my audience, far and above views from any other country, comes from the United States.

Why does this matter?

Well, if the majority of your audience is coming to you from a certain country, and you’re looking to have your posts seen by as many people as possible, it might be a smart move to strategically plan posts to go up at peak hours of applicable time zones.

Again, using my blog as an example, #MillennialLifeCrisis posts are scheduled with the American time zones in mind because Americans are the largest audience that I have. While I do get a lot of views from the United Kingdom, it would make less sense to post content around Greenwich Mean Time (The UK) because I’ll be missing out on having my post at the top of feeds for my largest audience (Americans) when they sign into WordPress.

Now this is just an example of my blog. Take a look at your stats! Maybe you’re in the UK and the bulk of your audience is in the United States. If that were the case, it might be something to consider posting your content during the peak viewing times for Americans.

WHEN ARE THE MOST PEOPLE VIEWING YOUR BLOG?

Under insights you can find this statistic. What it tells you is what day of the week the most people visit your blog and what hour of the day the most people visit your blog.

If you’re someone who posts once per week, then go into insights, find this day and time and schedule your posts around this day and time. Why? Because if this is the time when the most people are viewing your blog during the span of one hour, why not optimize that specific time by giving them a new post to read each week at this time?

WHAT TAGS AND CATEGORIES ARE MOST VALUABLE?

I know that I’ve said this before, so I apologize if I sound like I’m sending the same message time after time after time, but tags and categories are integral to blog growth. Not only that but they’re also one of the easiest ways to help people find your content.

Properly categorizing and tagging your posts allow them to come up when people search subjects on WordPress. Perhaps a travel blogger wants to find more travel bloggers to follow, if they type “Travel” into the search bar and your post has been categorized as “Travel” then it’s going to come up in the listings.

Now, where categories and tags can really benefit you is knowing that not all categories and tags are as valuable as others. Using #MillennialLifeCrisis stats as an example (screenshot above), you can see that ‘Millennial’ and ‘Blogging’ as tags are much more valuable towards drawing in views than ‘Writing’ and ‘Job Hunting’ have been. Does that mean that it’s a bad idea to use ‘Writing’ and ‘Job Hunting’? No, not at all. It just means that strategically tagging your posts can allow your posts to be seen more by other WordPress users.

If you’re post is filled with writing and you want to tag it as ‘Writing’ then do so. But, if you’re a millennial then please also consider tagging it ‘Millennial’ to allow it to be seen that many more times.

If you go into your Insights and find that some of your tags and categories have been a lot more valuable than others, remember that when you’re composing your content so that you can strategically categorize and tag content.

Blogging, Marketing, Promotion, Communications Questions Answered

In honour of reaching 5,000 WordPress followers in 11 months, and because I need a distraction, if you have any questions related to blogging, marketing, promotion and communications, ask away.

I will answer questions that are blogging specific, or can draw from my industry experience if that better helps what you’re looking to learn.

Do you want to know the best free tools to use? Do you want to know why analytics are integral to growth? Do you want to know how many hits I get in a day? Do you want to know the best website to use for newsletters? Do you waant to know industry standards for communication distribution? Do you want to schedule a time for me to look through your blog and ‘Audit’ it, so to speak, to help make it user friendly? Whatever you want to know, ask away.

– Crickets –

Life Things

One of my cousins (well, my cousin’s son… so second cousin?) is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Honestly, news of this has circulated so quickly, I’m unsure of how it all works still.

My cousin, though she’s Canadian, lives in the United States with her husband (an American) and their two kids, both who were born in the States. Quite a few of my family members, the healthy non-smokers, are going to get tested to find out if any could be possible donors. Realistically speaking, I’m not sure how it would work if someone in our family were a match. Her kiddo, the one who needs the transplant, has been sick for a while, so I don’t think that he could be released/transferred to get the procedure done in Canada? Then again, I’m not a medical professional so I do not know one way or another. I wonder though, if someone in my family is a match, would it be possible to go down to the United States and do the procedure to help my cousin’s son?

Being Canadian, we obviously wouldn’t have coverage for medical treatments/procedures in the United States, but, if the bone marrow transplant could possibly save this kid’s life and a family member could provide it, rather than having to search for a donor, could that possibly speed up the process? The States wouldn’t stop that from happening just because a Canadian was a donor, would they? Goodness, I hope someone in the family is a match.

Lots to think about and figure out…

I think my cousin is talking to the doctors and her lawyer to find out if it’s possible. We’ve got a big family, so hopefully one of us is a possible donor.

I feel like an idiot for not knowing any of these answers.