12 Ways to Invest in Your Blog Blog Hop

The first week of 2018 I do not make any huge decisions nor heavy declarations. I like to be different and invest in myself in a way that is unique to me. If you feel the same way, here is a bonus: 12 ways to invest in your blog (one for each month or 12 at once). This first blog hop of 2018 is dedicated to investing in your most important asset: YOU!

12 WAYS TO INVEST IN BLOG

  1. Attend the BlogPaws 2018 Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, April 18-20. Not only is this our 10th conference full of surprises, top notch speakers, and brands, but it is also an investment in you and your blog. Nothing beats the face-to-face and nose-to-nose interaction of a BlogPaws Conference. Secure your conference tickets here.
  2. Get active in the BlogPaws Social Learning Community. Growing from our annual pet blogging and social media conference to our member-driven online community, BlogPaws now brings you a professional learning environment. Join us for ongoing training focused on the evolving skills, tools, and techniques needed for your success as a blogger and influencer online.
  3. Search the BlogPaws blog for content to take your blog to the next level. Looking to grow an email list? Start a Facebook Group? Get better at Instagram? Type your query in the BlogPaws.com search box and have fun learning.
  4. Visit the Blogaws.com site daily as we updated content five days of the week (Monday through Friday). If you used a feed like BlogLovin, be sure to add us.
  5. Take the BlogPaws Social Media Challenge: This challenge is designed to help you feel more confident trying new things as we prepare to enter a new year. As we share tips, tricks, and action items, we’ll all learn how to grow our social channels while supporting each other through the Social Learning Community!
  6. Bask in a Year’s Worth of Social Media Improvement Blog Posts: We encourage you to embrace these posts and apply the knowledge from each to your own social media presence and goals.
  7. Write for BlogPaws: We are thrilled to announce that the BlogPaws blog is now accepting pitches for paid contributions. Please read the pitching guidelines carefully first.
  8. Become a member of the BlogPaws Pet Influencer Network.
  9. Join the BlogPaws News and Boost Facebook Group and the BlogPaws Social Learning Community Facebook Group.
  10. Come to #BlogPawsChat every Tuesday of the month except the third Tuesday on Twitter from 8:30 to 9:30 pm EST.
  11. Set notifications on Facebook so that BlogPaws shows up in your news feed. We do live Facebook videos, share exclusive content, updates, social media news, and more.
  12. Head over to the BlogPaws Social Learning Community on Facebook to watch our video series with various social media and blogging experts.

The Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

BlogPaws offers year-round interaction, activity, community and more to learn, earn, and connect. Visit and leave comments on other blogs to make some new buddies and maybe some new followers. You can add the button to your post and/or to your blog sidebar, either by cutting and pasting the image or using the HTML code below. Need help? Here it is:

How to Join a Blog Hop – BlogPaws Tutorial Video: Step by step help to get you started:



Image:  Carl Kerridge

The post 12 Ways to Invest in Your Blog Blog Hop appeared first on BlogPaws.

Blog Hop: Pet Blog Trends

This blog hop is dedicated to pet blog trends. As we start winding down 2017, the prospect of a new year includes taking a look at what is trending and what we expect to stick around in the pet blog and pet influencer space.

Pet blog trends

Pet Blogs That Make a Difference: Cultural introspective blogging is not a new concept, but the idea of connecting your pet blog with a cause has finally come into its own and is making a permanent mark. More than a trend, this is a way of life and a movement with meaning. Here are 10 reasons to connect your blog with a cause.

Livestreaming: From planned and promoted videos to on-the-spot spontaneity, if one word sums up the year that was in the pet blogging space, it is video. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a big factor, but also the fact that a lot of social media channels favor video, including livestreams, in their feeds, also helps this hot trend

Video: Everyone is doing it. Video is here to stay. As we move into 2018, expect to see video refinement and the power of what was once reserved for filmmakers into the hands of the pet blogger and influencer. Step by step, this blog post will outline how to get comfortable doing online video, tricks of the trade, and the one mistake that even seasoned pros make (and you can avoid).

Longer Form Traffic: Yes, blog posts can still be short, sweet, and to the point. Check out this study on SEO from one million Google results. The folks at Medium say that a seven-minute post captures the most total reading time on average. What does that mean for you, the blogger, and just how many words should a blog post be? It depends, but sometimes size does matter. Read more about How Many Words Should a Blog Post Be?

Data Analysis and Insights Overhaul:  The analysis of data is evolving, where artificial intelligence enhances the user experience. Did you read our Google Analytics blog post?

The Increase of Influencer Marketing: To tell stories through influencer marketing campaigns will continue to soar. Information so called experts put out pales in comparison to the recommendations of friends, family, and yes, online influencers they trust. A loyal following translates to engagement and that translates to sales. Brands love us, need us, and want us: With good cause: We are established, trusted influencers.

Podcasting: According to AdWeek, “Podcast users make for an interesting advertising segment, as they not only make up a higher percentage of social media users and on-demand video subscribers than the overall population over 12, but a higher percentage of people who follow companies or brands on social.”

Mobile Traffic: If you have a pulse, you probably have a mobile device. People everywhere are using said mobile devices to connect with you. Realize that most of your blog traffic will come from mobile. If you aren’t mobile optimized, it can also cost you dearly with Google penalties.

The Almighty Face-to-Face Connections: Despite our innate draw to everything mobile, like, click, and comment, the value of face-to-face connections will continue to soar. There is something profound, important, huge, and life-altering to be said about face-to-face networking. Despite all the promotions, all the reasons of why it’s a good idea to attend the BlogPaws Conference, and all of the ways it can change your career path, there is one element that cannot be summed up in a flyer, Facebook post, tweet, or email: Networking.

Get the Latest in Social Media, Pet Blogging and Pet Influencer Education at the BlogPaws 2018 Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.  If you want the early bird rate before a sell out, claim your BlogPaws 2018 Conference tickets here.

The Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

BlogPaws offers year-round interaction, activity, community and more to learn, earn, and connect. Visit and leave comments on other blogs to make some new buddies and maybe some new followers. You can add the button to your post and/or to your blog sidebar, either by cutting and pasting the image or using the HTML code below. Need help? Here it is:

How to Join a Blog Hop – BlogPaws Tutorial Video: Step by step help to get you started:

.



Images:   George Rudy / Shutterstock.

 

The post Blog Hop: Pet Blog Trends appeared first on BlogPaws.

Blogging 101: What Social Media Platforms Should You Use

“In order to know what social media platforms to be active on, you need to know where your audience (aka your demographic) congregates.”

This is all well and good if you have an audience and if you have an idea who your demographic is. What if you’re just starting out? Your audience might be your significant other, your mom and your pets. Are they your ideal audience/client?

WHO is your ideal audience and HOW will you reach them? It’s not an easy question for a long-time business owner to answer and is daunting to a start-up.

I believe that your blog should be the hub of your online activity, and the spokes are the social platforms you choose to interact on.

Sure, you might know who you want to reach:

  1. People who will buy your products
  2. People who want to hire you for your services

The question, though, is how do you get those people (your ideal client) to know where you are and to trust that you are the ideal person to deliver those goods or services? It’s not an exact science, but you can narrow down where you should devote your social media efforts and perhaps where you can stop stressing if you’re not as active as you want to be.

Blogging 101: What Social Media Platforms Should You Use

 

At one point, popular wisdom pointed to the idea that you should “claim” your business name or your personal name on all social platforms even if you didn’t use them. This may still hold true, but you need to consider: “Will potential clients/readers be searching for me on Instagram, for example, and they see a page but tWhat Social Media Platforms Should Bloggers Usehere’s no activity… what will they think?” Some people may think, “Oh, they’re not posting here, they must be out of business.” I opt for the latter of at least “claiming” my business name. Hey, if you get rich and famous, you don’t want someone else to snap up your name and ride on your fame, am I right?

Here are questions to ask yourself when you’re putting together your social media strategy.

What are your business goals? Do you have a business plan? What are your sales goals? What kind of goods and services will you offer? At first blush where do you think your ideal client interacts on social media? Is your ideal client a business person? If so, you may want to be on LinkedIn.

Is your ideal client a mom or a DIYer? He or she may be on Pinterest or Facebook. Is your business photo-centric? Then Instagram might be where you need to be.

Do you love to talk and be on camera? Consider vlogging and working a YouTube channel.

Twitter is popular (close to 200 million unique users a month) and if you’re good at sharing a message in 140 characters or fewer this might be the ideal platform to build your community. That word, “community,” that is what your social media efforts should be about — building a community — not simply selling your goods and services.

Where do you believe your ideal potential client is? You must have some idea where they’re gathering, right? Use that as your jumping off point. If you have interacted with like-minded pet business professionals on Instagram about photos you’ve posted, perhaps that is your ideal client. What groups do you interact in and where are they hosted? Do you interact more on Twitter than you do on Pinterest? Build your audience there. You need to be comfortable on a platform if you’re going to interact on it regularly.

Check out the competition. While every business owner and every business offering is unique simply based on the individual who is providing it, chances are there are others offering the same type, or style, of product or service. Where are they? Scope out all of the social platforms and see where your competition is most active and engaged. When you’ve done that research does it help you pinpoint where you should be?

How many social media platforms do you (truly) have time for? Look at your schedule with a critical eye. If you only have fifteen minutes a day to devote to your social media, how can you use it to your best advantage? Let’s say you only have fifteen minutes, you could break it down like this (and this is figuring you’re going to try a lot of social media platforms until you narrow it down.) Here’s my Rule of Three for social media. You’ve decided to work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Here’s your fifteen-minute-a-day breakdown Rule of Three for your three chosen social platforms. In order to make the most of your limited time, you need to have a plan in place (ie your editorial calendar) to help you knock out your fifteen minutes and feel successful.

  1. Spend five minutes posting status updates.
  2. Spend five minutes commenting on the posts of others or connecting with those who have commented on your updates.
  3. Spend five minutes sharing the content of others. Social media needs to be just that — social — and you can amp up your visibility by sharing relevant content from other sources to your followers.

Whew! For example, choose to do Facebook on Monday, Twitter on Tuesday, Instagram on Wednesday then circle back to Facebook on Thursday, Twitter on Friday… you see where I am going with this, right? OR if you’re really dialed in you can post to ALL of your chosen platforms daily. You could spend five minutes of your fifteen minutes performing each of these three activities so that you’re posting on every platform daily. The way in which you spend your fifteen minutes is your choice, but know that even if you only have that small snippet of time you can make a difference.

Bottom line: I’ll bet you have an intuition for where your ideal clients are or where you feel most comfortable interacting online. Go with your instincts. Once you have either mastered the three social platforms you’re going to focus on OR if you realize that one or two of those three just aren’t working, you can focus your efforts on the platform that is working and change your strategy and incorporate another social platform.

Above all it’s about your social media strategy and how it connects with your business WHY that will help you connect with potential clients and grow your business.

If you’re a new business owner, do you struggle with which platform to focus on? Is finding the time to do social media interaction a barrier to success? If you’re a long-time business owner what advice can you offer a newbie to help them navigate social for their fledgling business?

Robbi Hess is an award-winning author,  full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. If you’re interested in learning about my new 30-Minute Writing program, email me, let’s talk. (Robbi AT PositivelyWoof DOT COM)

Image: daizuoxin/Shutterstock.com

The post Blogging 101: What Social Media Platforms Should You Use appeared first on BlogPaws.

Three Keys To Creating Engaging Social Media Content

What? There are only three keys to creating engaging social media content? I hear you saying that through the Internet! There are myriad ways in which to create engaging social media content, but I wanted to give you three so you can go forth, implement and conquer.

Three Keys To Creating Engaging Social Media Content

blog is marketing hubYour blog is the hub

Chances are you have heard this before. Your blog is the hub and everything else you do/share are the spokes. When you’re a blogger, your posts are the greatest source of your social media power! Writing a blog post is not a one-and-done task. Your blog post can and should be repurposed more than once and shared on your social platforms more than one time. Don’t share the same info every time.

Pick and choose salient points and share on social. If you have a bullet-point list, each of those bullets can be a different, unique social share. Sure, you may have to, or want to, find a graphic or make that bullet point into a graphic image to share. When you do that, you can use that blog for weeks on end on your social.

Strategy is key

Sure, you can just throw social content at the wall and see what sticks. Wouldn’t you rather know that your followers are engaging with you on Facebook at 8:05 am, your LinkedIn connections engage at 2 pm and your Twitter followers engage more often at 9 pm? If you know you have “eyes on the page” at a specific time then schedule your content to go live at that time. Be online during the times your followers are — within reason — so if they like, comment, share or RT — you can be there to interact.

Do you have more readers for your blog posts when you post on Sunday afternoon than you do when you post on Tuesday morning? If that’s the case, switch your blogging strategy to accommodate that uptick in readers on Sundays.

Look at Google Analytics and Twitter and Facebook insights and make note of when people are interacting, what type of posts they’re interacting on and any other behaviors that can help you craft your social media and blogging strategy.

Be a good listener. If your ideal customer is talking about a particular topic, make sure you’re listening. If they’re asking questions, give them answers. When you listen, you just might be rewarded with higher engagement.

create engaging contentWhat’s your CTA?

Do your social posts and blogs have calls to action (CTA)? When a reader finishes your blog he or she should be prompted to so something… whether it’s signing up for your newsletter, joining your Facebook group, answering a question you’ve asked or taking some other action that you’ve determined is part of your social media and blogging strategy.

When a blog post ends, it shouldn’t just trail off with a feeling of, “that’s all folks.” Keep your reader engaged by offering him or her a “task.” Don’t leave them wondering, “What should I do now?”  You don’t want to be like late night television infomercial with your CTA, but you do want to move the reader forward to another action. Only you can determine that action, but it needs to be part of your overall strategy.

Download this “creating engaging social media content” worksheet to use with your next blog post and social media post.

What are your struggles with creating engaging social media content? What strategy have you implemented that you can share with others? Let us know in the comments.

Robbi Hess is an award-winning author,  full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. I spoke at BlogPaws on: Overworked & Overwhelmed? The Four-Step Process for Reinventing Your Writing. If you couldn’t attend, email me for free a copy of the e-book I offered. (Robbi AT AllWordsMatter DOT COM)

The post Three Keys To Creating Engaging Social Media Content appeared first on BlogPaws.

Three Keys To Creating Engaging Social Media Content

What? There are only three keys to creating engaging social media content? I hear you saying that through the Internet! There are myriad ways in which to create engaging social media content, but I wanted to give you three so you can go forth, implement and conquer.

Three Keys To Creating Engaging Social Media Content

blog is marketing hubYour blog is the hub

Chances are you have heard this before. Your blog is the hub and everything else you do/share are the spokes. When you’re a blogger, your posts are the greatest source of your social media power! Writing a blog post is not a one-and-done task. Your blog post can and should be repurposed more than once and shared on your social platforms more than one time. Don’t share the same info every time.

Pick and choose salient points and share on social. If you have a bullet-point list, each of those bullets can be a different, unique social share. Sure, you may have to, or want to, find a graphic or make that bullet point into a graphic image to share. When you do that, you can use that blog for weeks on end on your social.

Strategy is key

Sure, you can just throw social content at the wall and see what sticks. Wouldn’t you rather know that your followers are engaging with you on Facebook at 8:05 am, your LinkedIn connections engage at 2 pm and your Twitter followers engage more often at 9 pm? If you know you have “eyes on the page” at a specific time then schedule your content to go live at that time. Be online during the times your followers are — within reason — so if they like, comment, share or RT — you can be there to interact.

Do you have more readers for your blog posts when you post on Sunday afternoon than you do when you post on Tuesday morning? If that’s the case, switch your blogging strategy to accommodate that uptick in readers on Sundays.

Look at Google Analytics and Twitter and Facebook insights and make note of when people are interacting, what type of posts they’re interacting on and any other behaviors that can help you craft your social media and blogging strategy.

Be a good listener. If your ideal customer is talking about a particular topic, make sure you’re listening. If they’re asking questions, give them answers. When you listen, you just might be rewarded with higher engagement.

create engaging contentWhat’s your CTA?

Do your social posts and blogs have calls to action (CTA)? When a reader finishes your blog he or she should be prompted to so something… whether it’s signing up for your newsletter, joining your Facebook group, answering a question you’ve asked or taking some other action that you’ve determined is part of your social media and blogging strategy.

When a blog post ends, it shouldn’t just trail off with a feeling of, “that’s all folks.” Keep your reader engaged by offering him or her a “task.” Don’t leave them wondering, “What should I do now?”  You don’t want to be like late night television infomercial with your CTA, but you do want to move the reader forward to another action. Only you can determine that action, but it needs to be part of your overall strategy.

Download this “creating engaging social media content” worksheet to use with your next blog post and social media post.

What are your struggles with creating engaging social media content? What strategy have you implemented that you can share with others? Let us know in the comments.

Robbi Hess is an award-winning author,  full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. I spoke at BlogPaws on: Overworked & Overwhelmed? The Four-Step Process for Reinventing Your Writing. If you couldn’t attend, email me for free a copy of the e-book I offered. (Robbi AT AllWordsMatter DOT COM)

The post Three Keys To Creating Engaging Social Media Content appeared first on BlogPaws.

How To Successfully Use A Call to Action

When working with a brand on a sponsored post or when writing a non-sponsored post that comes from the heart, purposefully using the right Call to Action (CTA) can be a powerful way to get your readers to take an action that you want. But what exactly is a CTA?

How bloggers can use a call to action

What is a Call to Action?

A Call to Action is a statement that encourages your readers to take some sort of action. In a sponsored blog post, this may be clicking a link to a website or product landing page or it may be to ask your readers to share information to help increase awareness of the brand, product, service or initiative among others.

For non-sponsored posts, your CTA may be to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for a free e-book or it may be as simple as to ask your readers to leave a comment or share your blog post on social media. These are just two examples.

With sponsored campaigns, the CTA will depend on the sponsor’s overall goal for the campaign. With sponsored posts,  the brand will tell you what their campaign goal is and the CTA itself will reinforce this goal. A few examples of campaign goals that will have different types of CTAs are:

  • Click-throughs to a website or product landing page
  • Awareness of a product or service
  • Product reviews

For non-sponsored posts that you write because you have a passion for the topic, your CTA may fall in one of the following categories, though there are others:

  • Increasing awareness
  • Leaving a comment or like
  • Sharing it with friends and family on social media

No matter what your CTA is, working it into your blog post in an natural and authentic way is more likely to increase the number of people who follow through on your call to action. A CTA that sounds like a sales pitch or is pushy may very well turn off your readers, causing them to ignore or forget the rest of your well-written post. But what about CTAs on social media?

CTAs and Social Media

Though Calls to Action are important in every social share, whether they are sponsored or not, CTAs are especially important when it comes to a sponsored campaign. Think of it this way: a CTA on social media helps reinforce the messaging in your sponsored blog post and can help you deliver what the brand has hired you to do: achieve their campaign goal(s)

For example, if the campaign’s CTA is to click through to a specific website, by including the link to that website in your social share along with a compelling reason your readers should click it, you can very easily increase the click-through rate. The more followers who check out that website or webpage, the more likely the brand is to deem the campaign a success- and then come back to you for more sponsored posts!

How bloggers can use a call to action

Successfully Including CTAs in Social Shares

In order to get the best results with your Call to Action on social media, it’s important to make sure you are sharing it on the best social media platform to meet your CTA goals. In order to determine this, you need to take a few minutes and think about what the CTA is asking your followers to do. You also need to think about the benefits and challenges of each social media platform.

  • Facebook can be a great place to tell stories and also to drive traffic to other sites. You may choose Facebook to share an engaging photo with a CTA that encourages your followers to click-through to a website or landing page. Using videos on Facebook is another way to connect with your readers, tell your story and encourage them to take an action.

AN EXTRA NOTE ON FACEBOOK SHARES: If you are sharing a sponsored post on Facebook, you are now required to use the Facebook Handshake Tool to connect with the brand. If you do not have the Handshake Toll available, you can request it very quickly here: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/1865970047013799?hc_location=ufi

  • Instagram is a very visual platform that, at least for most influencers, is not a great place from which to drive traffic to other sites. Since photos are king on Instagram, this is an excellent platform for sharing bright, clear engaging photos of your pet interacting with a product in an effort to support your review or helping to increase awareness.

AN EXTRA NOTE ON INSTAGRAM SHARES: The FTC has issued new rules for Instagram! The hashtags #ad or #sponsored must be in the first three lines of text, not buried among other hashtags. It should be clear and conspicuous that the post is part of a sponsored campaign.

  • Pinterest is a visual platform that can also help drive traffic. You may want to share a pinnable image with a CTA that drives traffic to your blog or another website. Eye-catching, pinnable images can also help increase awareness of a brand, product or initiative.
  • Twitter is a great platform to help increase awareness and can help drive traffic to your blog or the sponsor’s website or landing page. One way to make your tweet with a CTA stand out in a sea of text and hashtags is to include an optimized photo.

Disclaimers Disclaimers Disclaimers!

When sharing ANY sponsored post on social media, the FTC requires that you clearly state that the post or share is sponsored. In addition to the special notes on Facebook and Instagram above, your social share must clearly include either #ad or #sponsored. Burying them in a long list of hashtags probably isn’t the best approach. In fact, by being transparent and upfront with your readers and followers will go a long to building a relationship and creating trust.

Successfully using CTAs takes practice, time and knowing your audience. Trying different approaches will help you determine the best way to get your audience to listen and then ACT on what you’ve shared! Finally, sharing differently on different platforms based on the benefits and challenges of each platform will help you reach different audiences.

Do you use a CTA on blog posts and social media?

Like this post? Get more like it here:

Getting Engagement on Sponsored Posts 

Write Pitches Editors Cannot Ignore 

Why Its Smart to Repurpose Content 

Images:  Iryna Kuznetsova / George Rudy / Shutterstock.

In addition to his role as the BlogPaws Campaign Manager, Bernard Lima-Chavez is a street art lover, deaf dog pet parent, blogger and freelance writer. He shares his life with with deaf dogs, two hearing dogs and a whole bunch of cats. You can find him at The Graffiti Dog and on Instagram at @thegraffitdog.

 

The post How To Successfully Use A Call to Action appeared first on BlogPaws.

5 Things You MUST Do Now That You’re Home From BlogPaws Conference

The 2017 BlogPaws Conference is in the rear-view mirror, but what you learned there and what you still need to do remains right in front of you. Take a few moments to read about the five things you must do now that you’re home from BlogPaws Conference 2017, then get to it!

I know how easy it is to come back from a conference and be frantically trying to “catch up” from having been away from your office, your blog, your family and your pets. I also know how easy it is to let good intentions slip away until you reach the point of feeling embarrassed to reach out to a contact you met simply because so much time has passed.

5 Things You MUST Do Now That You’re Home From BlogPaws ConferenceFive Things You MUST Do Now That You're Home From BlogPaws Conference

Reach out while the memory is still fresh. If you connected with someone at the conference and said, “I’ll send you an email or call you when I get home,” do it! Don’t wait for someone else to reach out to you. Be proactive and strike while the iron is hot.

Put into practice what you learned. Look at your notes from the sessions you attended and pick one or two items you learned and start using them right now — today! I was in the Pathfinders program that BlogPaws kicked off this year. I gained so much insight from my fellow Pathfinders as well as the experts that were brought in: Kathleen Gage, Mike Linville, Jamie Lieberman, Aimee Beltran and Chloe Divita. My notebook is FULL with so many new ideas. I know I can’t put them all into place immediately, but I can certainly implement several immediately.

Provide constructive feedback. If a conference organizer sends you a survey, complete it. There is no way a conference organizer can make the conference bigger and better the following year if you don’t answer their questions. If you have a complaint, voice it to the organizer (in a respectful way) rather than airing dirty laundry on social media. Be professional–you never know whether a conference organizer can help advance your blogging career.build on conference momentum

Share your knowledge. If you’re a blogger, share what you learned at the conference with your readers. Give them a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at a BlogPaws conference. Great Danes in tutus, anyone? Therapy rat in a basket on a red carpet? These are things you don’t see every day! Did one of the keynotes, Kathleen Gage or Jay Baer, inspire you and ignite a spark? Blog about that!

Build relationships and foster friendships. If you met someone with whom you truly connected (not in a business sense, perhaps) connect on social media. Get to know that person. Build that friendship. You may not see them until next year’s BlogPaws Conference, but don’t let that stop you from getting to know that person. I have met and built friendships with many people I’ve met at conferences. We’ve gone from “conference acquaintances” to true friends (the sending cards at holidays and calling when something good or bad happens kind of friends). The BlogPaws community is just that–a community–so make friends and continue to grow them!

What will you do TODAY to move yourself and your blogging forward based on what you learned at the BlogPaws Conference? I’d love to know!

Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. I spoke at the BlogPaws conference on the topic of: Overworked & Overwhelmed? The Four-Step Process for Reinventing Your Writing,”  if you couldn’t attend, email me for free a copy of the e-book I offered. (Robbi AT AllWordsMatter DOT COM)

(Photos from 2017 BlogPaws Conference — great memories, great insight!)

The post 5 Things You MUST Do Now That You’re Home From BlogPaws Conference appeared first on BlogPaws.

How To Use LinkedIn Publishing To Grow Your Audience

Have you started publishing on LinkedIn? I know. I know. You hardly have time to publish on your own site, let alone write another post and share it on LinkedIn. If you’re not, you might be missing a large potential audience by ignoring the opportunity to publish on LinkedIn.

If you have cultivated a following on LinkedIn, publishing there makes sense. Why? Because LinkedIn helps with your promotion of that blog post! Once you hit save and update, LinkedIn pops up a box asking if you want to share your post with your connections. Easy and quick. This means your blog post will show up in the feeds of everyone with whom you’re connected without your having to take any additional steps.

Yes, you will need to determine whether your ideal audience is on LinkedIn and if they would benefit, or appreciate, your piece, but if they are and you’re not publishing there, you are missing out.reasons to publish on linkedin

How To Use LinkedIn Publishing To Grow Your Audience

Repurpose old content. Look through old blog posts, breathe new life into them and publish them on LinkedIn. Update the content, write a new intro paragraph and add a new call to action. Include a different photo than the one you used on your original post, if possible. Look at the LinkedIn publishing platform as a new home for your older content. Word on the Internet is that Google won’t penalize you for publishing duplicate content on LinkedIn, but I recommend changing the content you’d originally published elsewhere.

Be consistent. Publish regularly and publish posts about trending topics, and you might catch the attention of the LinkedIn editors and they will promote your piece. If the powers that be on LinkedIn like your piece, it may be featured on Pulse or on its homepage!

Reach more readers. When you publish on LinkedIn, your first-level connections will see your post, but there is also a chance that your post will be seen by second- and third-level connections when one of your first-level connections likes, comments or shares it.

Numbers don’t count as much. Even if you have a small number of connections on LinkedIn, you could still benefit from publishing posts there. Because your post has a potential to reach second- and third-level connections, your network is bigger than you imagine.

LinkedIn Analytics. When you publish a post, you can see its analytics. LinkedIn offers information on who liked it, how many likes, shares and comments it received and also the demographics of those who interacted. Valuable information if you use it to target your next post.

High engagement. I don’t have a lot of statistics to back this up, but each time I have published on LinkedIn, I receive more connection requests, higher engagement and more comments than when I post on my blog. I have also had more conversations with potential clients who reached out to me after I’d published a post. I don’t think any of that is coincidence.

Quality audience. I read a survey recently (the survey was about five years old) that showed that close to 50 percent of LinkedIn users had a household income of more than $100,000. Statistics have also shown that LinkedIn is more than 200 percent more effective for business-to-business lead generation than Facebook or Twitter.  Something to ponder.

add linkedin to marketing strategyHighlight your expertise. Expert matters are found in all niches on LinkedIn. Consider that on Facebook, your followers could be your mom, your sister, friends and other family members who may not understand the expertise you bring to the table. On LinkedIn, your expertise shines through to those seeking subject matter experts. Joining LinkedIn groups is also another way to be seen as a subject matter expert, but that’s a topic for another post!

How can you make your LinkedIn post shine?

  1. Be specific.
  2. Be concise and clear.
  3. Create controversy (don’t be inappropriate or offensive, but take a stand if you can defend it).
  4. Write in a conversational tone.
  5. Provide high value without being salesy. If someone wants to work with you after having read your post, they will reach out without you have to say, “Hey, buy my stuff.”
  6. Offer actionable steps.
  7. Don’t forget to add images. Video works well in a LinkedIn post if you have them.
  8. Always add a Call to Action — whether it’s “contact me” or “download my free eBook” or “share this post with others,” a clear CTA is crucial to getting your post shared or action taken. Read more: How to Create a Call to Action That Gets Readers Clicking Through

You’ll notice, I am sure, that publishing on LinkedIn is much the same as publishing on your own site. The mechanics of a great post and providing value remain the same, regardless of the site.

As with anything that you add to your marketing efforts, don’t jump in without a strategy. If you don’t have time and don’t see how LinkedIn will fit into your overall marketing efforts, then don’t think you have to add this to your already full schedule. If, however, you’re looking for ways to grow your reach and you are already on LinkedIn, but just haven’t used its publishing platform, then you may want to add it to your marketing and promotions strategy for your blogging efforts.

Are you publishing on LinkedIn? Are you finding value in the platform? I’d love to hear about your successes and your challenges.

Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. I will be speaking at BlogPaws 2017 as part of the Cat Writers’ Association. My topic is: “Overworked & Overwhelmed? The Four-Step Process for Reinventing Your Writing” Synopsis: Whether you’re writing full time, blogging, in the midst of a multi-book project or just starting out, this session will help you lose the feeling of being overworked and overwhelmed. You’ll learn a four-step process to beat procrastination, use time blocking to help you get more done, claim your writing time and bump up your creativity and some in-the-trenches writing tips, hacks and advice. There will be giveaways, handouts and time for questions! Hope to see you there! 

The post How To Use LinkedIn Publishing To Grow Your Audience appeared first on BlogPaws.

Time-Saving Social Media Hacks

On a recent mastermind call, the facilitator asked, “What’s the difference between ‘traveling’ and a ‘vacation’?” It got me thinking about the social media conference from which I just returned and BlogPaws 2017, which is fast approaching. My recent trip to Social Media Marketing World was a vacation–a week of sun and fun in San Diego with my family combined with conference attendance. BlogPaws will be traveling, as I will be speaking, attending sessions, networking and generally soaking up the knowledge and atmosphere that a BlogPaws conference brings.

six time saving social media hacksMy client work doesn’t fade away when I travel or take a vacation, so I have come up with these time-saving social media hacks to help me keep up with client work without guilt. These hacks help you both save time in performing your social media tasks AND save time in growing your following… Win-Win!

Time-Saving Social Media Hacks

Curate content. Not everything you post on social media has to be written by you. In fact, your audience might just appreciate you more if you shared the expertise of others in whom you trust. Sharing content also helps build your circle of influence with the person whose content you’re sharing. You can use a content curation tool like Feedly or Buffer to help find content to share.

Tap into influencers. If you have a guru you follow, tag him or her when you share content. Tagging influencers is also a crucial way in which to grown your own social following. Look for influencers who are within your niche, but who are not direct competition. Target influencers, add them to Twitter lists and grow your following.

Schedule your blog posts and your social media posts. I don’t recommend scheduling all of your social media posts using a scheduler–human interaction is key to social media. Find content, then use a tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to schedule posts to go live when you’re traveling or on vacation. Don’t forget Facebook has its own calendaring option; use that when you’re getting ready to take a vacation!

blog prep for vacation Jump on news trends if you’re at a loss for content about which to write. Many people turn to social media to get the latest in news and information. If you can find a way to stay within your niche and tie it in with trending news – go for it – it will help you join in the bigger conversations that are swirling around on social media.

Automate tasks. Look at the web platform on which your blog is housed and see if there are widgets or other tools you can integrate that will blast your blog post out to your social platforms once the post goes live. If you don’t want to automate the sharing, it may save time if you add information onto your editorial calendar about what you will share on your social media platforms and when once your post goes live.

Be strategic with social follows. Would you rather have 100,000 unengaged followers or 1,000 followers who are engaged? I’ll bet you’d rather have lower numbers, but higher engagement, right? Yes, it’s great to say, “I have a billion followers” but if they’re not interacting, does that number matter?

What are your best time-saving social media hacks? What do you do to prepare for times you’re going to be on vacation or at a conference?

Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. I will be speaking at BlogPaws 2017 as part of the Cat Writers’ Association. My topic is: “Overworked & Overwhelmed? The Four-Step Process for Reinventing Your Writing” Synopsis: Whether you’re writing full time, blogging, in the midst of a multi-book project or just starting out, this session will help you lose the feeling of being overworked and overwhelmed. You’ll learn a four-step process to beat procrastination, use time blocking to help you get more done, claim your writing time and bump up your creativity and some in-the-trenches writing tips, hacks and advice. There will be giveaways, handouts and time for questions! Hope to see you there! 

The post Time-Saving Social Media Hacks appeared first on BlogPaws.

Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop Pet Dental Care

Wordless Wednesday takes on a whole new meaning in this edition of the BlogPaws blog hop. February is National Pet Dental Health Month. Pet dental care is extremely important and a hot topic with which bloggers and online pet influencers can engage their audiences.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats – by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken.”

Pet Dental Health Month ideas

Inform Your Readers of Pet Dental Health Issues

Here are some seven topic starter headlines to make a very health-themed topic more engaging, exciting, and evergreen:

  1. How to Care for Your Pet’s Teeth at Home: Explain step by step and even better, show video, get expert quotes.
  2. XX Products to Make Pet Oral Care Easier: This is a great way to engage any affiliate programs you are involved in while imparting helpful products to your followers.
  3. How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth: Step by step, include pictures and even better, include a video.
  4. Why Does a Pet Dental Require Anesthesia: Go behind the scenes, interview your vet, or if your pet has a dental scheduled, take your reader through the process.
  5. Does My XX (cat, rabbit, ferret) Need Dental Care: If you blog about a pet other than a dog or cat, this is a good topic to explore.
  6. Quiz Your Readers: Present a dental quiz in your blog and make a great Pinnable with it to foster engagement. NOTE: Be sure the answers are accurate and correct.
  7. What Happens If You Neglect a Pet’s Teeth: Investigative style reporting here, complete with images. Go in depth.

Note: If you are citing medical resources, be certain to give them credit. Do perform a thorough search that the sources you are quoting are both accurate and valid. 

BlogPaws Blog Hop

BlogPaws offers year-round interaction, activity, community and more to learn, earn, and connect. Plus we have the weekly tradition of the Wordless Wednesday BlogPaws Blog Hop! Visit and leave comments on other blogs to make some new buddies and maybe some new followers. You can add the BlogPaws Blog Hop button to your post and/or to your blog sidebar, either by cutting and pasting the image or using the HTML code below. Need help? Here it is:

How to Join a Blog Hop – BlogPaws Tutorial Video: Step by step help to get you started:

.

You can add the BlogPaws Blog Hop button to your post and/or to your blog sidebar, by cutting and pasting the image below. Need more help? Here it is: How to Join a Blog Hop – BlogPaws Tutorial BP_Wordless_wed_Hop_Logo_2014



Images: Henk Vrieselaar/Shutterstock.com and bmf-foto.de/Shutterstock.com

The post Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop Pet Dental Care appeared first on BlogPaws.