Changing Your Feed Email Time: Quick Tip Monday

 

Today I’m going to show you a little trick with Feedburner. I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that most of you are using Feedburner for your RSS feed, and for managing email subscriptions to your blog. If not…this trick won’t work. But if you do, this may help your click and read rates on your blog posts.

(If you don’t have an email subscription on your blog, and you want a quick tip on how to do that – let me know and I’ll post that as a tip on a different day).

What I discovered, after subscribing to all of my own blog’s “stuff,” was that my emails containing my blog posts were going out to subscribers at 3 p.m. in the afternoon.

<<thud>>

Is anyone reading blogs at 3 in the afternoon? I’m not! I’m usually shuttling kids back and forth from somewhere. Not a good time, at least not for my readership.

I learned, though, that it’s a setting within Feedburner that is easily changed – if you can find it. That’s what I’m showing you today.

1. Log into your Feedburner account. Click on the Publicize tab at the top.

2. Click on Email Subscriptions in the left sidebar.

3. Beneath Email Subscriptions, several options will appear. Click Delivery Options. You’ll see this screen.

Make sure your time zone is set correctly, and then select the time you want your feed emails delivered from the next drop-down menu. You’ll see that I have mine set to go out first thing in the a.m. CST right now.

4. Hit Save and your blog post emails will now go out at the new time!

What’s nice about this feature is that you can play with the times that the emails go out very easily and see what works best. You can watch your clicks and stats from the main Feedburner page and track whether you have improved conversion at certain times of the day. If you don’t, you can try another timeframe.

Have a terrific blogging week!

Blogosphere Roundup, 2/25

 

 

"blogosphere roundup"

Is anyone else in disbelief that February is almost over already? I’m still writing checks dated 2010. Sheesh! Anyway, I’ve got some more fun articles for you this week. Check it!

Blogging Tips

What To Charge For Stuff. Mommycosm has this great info post on what she charges for various reviews, giveaways and social media. While this wasn’t posted this week, it can help you newbie bloggers some idea of what people charge for various blogging and social media activities.

Balancing Personal Blog and Paid Work. Miss Britt wrote over at Mom Blog Magazine this past week about how to keep a balance between your personal blog and any paid work you might secure. I found this so helpful and encouraging! 

Managing Multiple Social Media Accounts. If you write for more than one blog, or have multiple Twitter accounts, or feel generally schizophrenic in your social media…read this.

Social Media

13 Social Media Truths That’ll Make Jaws Drop. Fascinating compilation of statistics about social media and how powerful it is.

Too Much Noise? This is a thoughtful post from Convince and Convert about the competition for readers’ attention in social media and how important it is to make sure you’re delivering stuff that’s of value. “Noise” in social media is a big topic right now!

Blogging As a Business – News

Avoid Facebook Scams. While this isn’t directly related to blogging, this post from The Blog Herald, which keys you in on how to avoid Facebook scams, is a worthwhile read. 

Mega Bloks Moms Panel Search.  Looking for a brand ambassadorship? I wrote this post over at ShePosts about MEGA Brands seeking mom bloggers for its mom panel.

Get Paid By BlogHer. I also wrote an article on Friday about how to submit your blog writing to BlogHer for consideration for syndication (and pay!).

Talk Back To B2B. Please?

"talk back to business 2 blogger"Okay. Consider this my 30-day review. And you’re my boss.

But you’re not allowed to fire me, okay? Thanks.

Anyway, I’ve been managing the B2B blog for about a month or so now. I’ve got a loose weekly schedule of blog tips, discussion topics and our weekly news roundup locked and loaded.

Some of you have started commenting here as well as retweeting some of the posts you’ve found helpful – and I greatly appreciate the feedback as well as the support!

But I’d like to hear more about the content we’re providing overall and whether it’s working for YOU and your blog. So, start talking back to me.

Do you like the Quick Tip Monday content? Is it too basic or too advanced? Are there specific topics you’d like to see covered?

How do you feel about the discussion topics on Wednesdays? We’ve covered a wide range of things like getting paid for your blogging work, Crowdtap, Klout and more. Do you like this feature? Should I work in some other ideas, like maybe featuring useful e-books on blogging?

Finally, how’s the news roundup working for you? Do I include too many links, or not enough? Are there other general topics you’d like to see included?

Feel free to leave a comment on this post, or you can tweet me at @akludgymom, or email me at [email protected] if you want to connect directly.

I really, really want this blog to be of value to you and a resource you come back to again and again. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Writing Compelling Tweets

 

Have you ever written what you thought was the best.blog.post ever, and it hardly got any traffic?

I know I’ve been there, and it can be extremely discouraging.

Early on in my Twittering, it would happen a lot. I’d tweet out my new blog post and hardly anyone would read it, let alone retweet it.

Then I started paying attention to the tweets that I was responding to. The tweets that screamed “click me,” the tweets that made me HAVE to know what the post was about.

As with any good advertising, they motivated me to take an action. There are lots of ways to create tweets that will encourage YOUR readers to take action.  Today, I’ll give you 6 ideas on how to approach your tweets.

1. Summarize the post. Blog titles do not always make for great tweets, especially if they’re long. Try writing the tweet so that it summarizes what the post is about.

Instead of: “I made a chicken noodle soup today with herbed crostini: http://bit.ly.x7x7x7″

Try: “Hungry? I’ve got chicken noodle soup on the menu. http://bit.ly.x7x7″

2. Use hashtags. Remember that a lot of people use hashtags to search for things on Twitter. If you’re using good hashtags, your tweet (and post) has a better chance of being found. Hashtags.org is a great way to put in a word as a hashtag and see how it’s currently being used on Twitter or if it’s trending.

So, building on our example above, instead of: “Hungry? I’ve got chicken noodle soup on the menu. http://bit.ly.x7x7″

Try: “Hungry? I’ve got chicken noodle #soup on the menu. #recipe http://bit.ly.x7x7″

3. Use descriptors. While you don’t want to sound like a used car salesman, a little bit of descriptive terminology can go a long way in whether a tweet is clicked on.

Let’s modify again. Instead of: “Hungry? I’ve got chicken noodle #soup on the menu. #recipe http://bit.ly.x7x7″

Try: “It’s cold out there! Savory and easy chicken noodle #soup will keep you warm. #recipe http://bit.ly.x7x7″

4.Get random. Sometimes, it’s best to not be entirely straightforward with your tweet. Pull an unusual element or term from your post and make that the thrust of your tweet.

Instead of: “I made a chicken noodle soup today with herbed crostini: http://bit.ly.x7x7x7″

Try: “An amazing concoction that is perfect for a cold day. #soup #recipe http://www.bit.ly.x7x7″

or

“It’s all about the broth. #recipe #soup http://www.bit.ly.x7x7″

5. Use intrigue. People always want to get to the bottom of a mystery. If you can ask questions with your tweets or tantalize Twitter with the unknown, people will click on them to get the answer.

Instead of: “I made a chicken noodle soup today with herbed crostini: http://bit.ly.x7x7x7″

try: “Are you wondering what I spent my morning doing? http://bit.ly.x7x7″

or “Find out why I’ll never eat Campbell’s again. http://bit.ly.x7x7″

6. Ask for it. Sometimes, simple is best. Just plain old asking people to read what you wrote works just fine.

Instead of: “I made a chicken noodle soup today with herbed crostini: http://bit.ly.x7x7x7″

“Hey, Tweeps! Will you come check out my post on #soup today? Thanks! http://bit.ly/x7x7″

Obviously, don’t try all 6 techniques in one tweet. But what’s fun about Twitter is that you can play around with different techniques at different times of day and see what gets you a response. It’s not a bad way to hone your writing, either.

But remember, the best way to get tweets and retweets is to write compelling, quality content. The best tweet in the world is only going to get retweeted if the blog post behind it has value!

Happy tweeting!

Blogosphere Roundup, 2/18

Can you believe we’re more than halfway through February already? Wow. This week was a busy news week (aren’t they all?). Check out what I’ve got for you today.

Blogging Tips

Is Social IQ Hurting Your Blogging? Maybe the problem with your blogging is your low social media intelligence. That’s what this gal over at Copyblogger seems to suggest! Interesting.

Link Checker Tool. Daily Blog Tips walks you through a great tool to check the sites that link to you! Very useful.

Get Your Black Belt in Blogging. Another great article from Daily Blog Tips that likens success in blogging to achieving a black belt.

Facebook Fan Page Updates. I was going to write a post about walking thru all of the new features of the FB fan page, but SITS beat me to it. And did a better job than I would’ve done. Enjoy!

Social Media

Twitter Tips. A very informative post over at Shout Me Loud about tips for being more effective – and genuine – on Twitter.

Twitter v. Facebook: A Picture. This is an AWESOME infographic from Bit Rebels about the demographics and usage of Twitter v. Facebook.

Getting Your FB Feed Adjusted:  Facebook adjusted how it displays your news feed again. V3 tells you how not to be invisible on people’s feeds (so far, only applies to personal accounts and not fan pages!)

Does Engaging Really Work on Twitter? Dan Zarrella’s data suggests that the concept of Twitter engagement might very well be a Twitter myth. :)

Twitter Tips! Nina Badzin writes some great basic beginner’s tips for Twitter!

Blogging News

Working with Brands. This is a must read piece from Mom Blog Magazine if you’re thinking about seeking out conference sponsorships with brands!

JC Penney: Busted By Google! Looks like JC Penney tried to play the SEO game a bit too hard recently. Read all about what they did and how Google responded.

Do Bloggers Deserve To Be Paid? Another good piece from Mom Blogger Magazine all about the factors you should look at when assessing your worth as a blogger.

Web-Based Access to Blissdom. Did you miss out on Blissdom ’11? They’re selling the content in a web-based format so you can get all of the great info without having to fork over hundreds of dollars to attend the conference…or get out of your pajamas!

Have a great weekend, peeps! And if you found any fantastic reads this week…leave a comment!

When You Lose A Follower…

A couple of weeks ago, I read this fantastic article at Brass Tack Thinking. It’s called the Fallacy of Social Media Reciprocation.

The author talks about how we shouldn’t get our undies in a bunch if someone unfollows us on Twitter, doesn’t accept our friend request on Facebook or stops reading our blog.

Some of us – myself included – tend to take this stuff a little personally, especially if I’m following or reading the person who just dissed me.

 We tend to expect reciprocation in social media. The article says: get over yourself.

If someone’s not following you, there’s a perfectly good reason for it. Instead of lashing out and unfollowing them while saying, “nana nana boo boo,” maybe it’s time to look inward: did you have a REAL connection with that person in the first place?

The article really spoke to me and helped me put how I interact in social media in the proper perspective.

It’s great to see numbers and stats climb. Yay! 5 more blog followers today! Woo hoo! Someone else followed me on Twitter! It’s ego-boosting for sure.

But just like with real-life relationships, online relationships need to be grounded in something – a shared interest, a common experience, a meld of personalities, witty banter, or a delivery of value.

Are there blogs that you read religiously that don’t read you back? I have several. I don’t care because they are giving me something – a laugh, information, whatever – that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere.

On the flip side, there are people who may read MY blog that I don’t read back. I’d like to think that they keep reading me because I deliver some sort of value to them.

So I’m going to try and get real with myself and how I interact in social media. If somebody stops following me, it’s okay. Maybe our connection was tenuous at best.  Or maybe I need to think more about my content and if it’s of value to people. It’s an occasion to reassess, not lodge blame.

In the “real world,” we’re okay cutting bait on a relationship that isn’t working…we should be okay with it in the blogosphere, too.

So…talk to me. Do you expect reciprocation in social media? How do you feel when someone unfollows you?

Watch Yourself: Quick Tip Monday

As committed bloggers, we’re constantly watching others, right?

You read other blogs. You  keep up with blogging news (hopefully by reading our Biz 2 Blogger Friday roundup!). You subscribe to ProBlogger’s feeds for tips. You have blog idols – blogs you want to be when your blog grows up, right?

We spend a lot of time watching others.

But how much time do you spend watching your own blog?

It’s really important to do it. Today, I’m going to talk about two ways you should be watching your blog.

1. Subscribe to your own stuff. Some of you are probably saying, “Duh. Obviously.” But there are a lot of bloggers that forget to do this important step in their blogging. You need to make sure that you are subscribed to your own RSS feed and your email subscription tool (if you use one).

Why do this?

  • It will help you see your content through your reader’s eyes. Not everyone navigates to your blog via your home page. Some people only read content in their RSS reader or in email.
  • It will show you what time your blog posts are sent out onto the feed. I realized that my RSS email feed updates were going out at a horrible time of day when they were not likely to be read (this is an easy fix in Feedburner that I’ll show on another day). If I didn’t “subscribe to myself,” I might never have caught the problem.

So go over to your blog now and subscribe to your RSS feed and email subscriptions. I’ll wait!

2. Set up Google News Alerts for yourself and your blog. This is an easy but critical thing to do. Why set up Google news alerts for your blog?

  • It gives you an easy way of identifying where you, and your site, are being mentioned in the blogosphere and elsewhere.
  • It’s another cross-check to make sure Google is picking up your blog content.
  • It can alert you if someone is stealing your blog content or using it in a way that you didn’t permit.  Blogscraping is a common problem; you can read this blogscraping post from fellow B2B member Natalie of Mommy of a Monster about her personal experience with it.

How to set up a Google Alert? It’s easy.

Go to Google Alerts.

Type in your search terms, just like you would with a normal Google search. Use variations of your blog name. For my blog, I use “kludgymom” and “kludgy mom” to account for both spellings. I set up a separate alert for my real name.

Pick the type of content you want to be alerted about. I always pick “everything.”

Pick where and how often you want updates. I get my alerts sent to my email once per day.

Click “Create Alert” and you’re done!

Now…go watch yourself. And have a great blogging week!

Blogosphere Roundup, 2/10

And….we’re back! Another Friday, another news roundup. Don’t mind a few of my shameless plugs here today. I happen to also write for ShePosts and I wrote some pretty interesting pieces this week that I think will be of great interest to you! I promise.

Blogging Tips

Mobilize Your Blog. Great tips from ShePosts on how to make your blog mobile. I really need to focus some time on this….but when?

10 Little-Known Ways To Get Traffic To Your Blog. A great guest post at ProBlogger about different ways that you can work on improving your traffic. Loved this!

Backlinking Boot Camp. I’ve said before what a big fan I am of the Link Medic. If things like no-follow and do-follow links and backlinking make your eyes glaze over, read this article and all that stuff will make a whole lot more sense.

Making a Badge With a Grab Box. Morgan from Little Hen House did a great tutorial this past week on how to make a badge and put a little “grab my badge” box around it.

Look At Your Sidebar. This is a helpful piece from Fuel Your Blogging about paying more attention to your sidebar. Note: it shouldn’t serve as the town dump.

Social Media

5 Best Social Media Managers. I’ve talked about HootSuite and TweetDeck before, and how they make my social media work much more efficient. This article from Lifehacker breaks down the two apps, plus three others for you to consider!

Social Media Vocabulary List. Love. Love. Love. this vocabulary list from The Salty Waffle. Great for newbies to social media and pros alike…I learned a few things!

Doublecheck Your Facebook Privacy Settings. With all the fiddling Facebook does with privacy settings, it’s always good to make sure that everything is as you want it. A helpful post from Technofriends.

Blogging News

Should The FTC Be Harder On Bloggers? If you do giveaways or product reviews, have a look at this article I wrote for ShePosts. A campaign that took place last week found bloggers not disclosing their relationship with a car manufacturer. Do you disclose enough?

Woman and Media Conference. There’s a new conference being held in San Diego about women and social media. This piece from Mom Blog Magazine gives you all the deets.

All About Type-A Parent Conference. I also interviewed Kelby Carr this week, founder of the Type-A Parent Conference. If you’re not sure what the conference is about, or if it’s for you…this is a great overview of what it offers.

This should keep ya busy over the weekend, right? Have a great one!

New B2B Campaign Features!!

You asked, and we heard.

In response to the suggestions of our Bloggers and Businesses alike, today we begin a new structure for the Campaigns we run here at B2B.

So what does that mean.

Basically, now Businesses that want to run Campaigns will be able to do more, for less. The idea being that we want to encourage more specialized Campaigns, which will mean more opportunities for the Bloggers in general. Let’s take a look:

Free Geographical Campaigns

You can now request a very specific Geography, like a certain US city, and request Bloggers from that area alone to review your local Business. We won’t always be able to find you a Blogger in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, but we’re sure gonna try!

Free Blog Genre

We are also making it easier, and free, to specify what genre of Blogger you are looking for. Want to focus on Mommy Bloggers? Pet Bloggers? Home and Garden? Again, we can’t guarantee the results of a Genre search because Genre is self reported by the Blogger, and is subjective.

Higher Traffic Blog searches

We’ve now made it even easier to find higher traffic Blogs to work on your campaign, made the fee structure easier to understand, and now you can select how many Bloggers you need! The best part, you don’t pay in advance!! We run your Campaign, recap your results, and only bill you for what you want.

So what does this mean?

More Campaigns. More Business. More Blogging. We’re growing, and working hard to bring you as many opportunities as we can.

The next Blogger email will go out on Tuesday, Feb 15th.

We already have a pile of offers ready to fly, and more are coming in as we speak.

Stay warm!!

Jay, Holly and Shauna

What Makes A Successful Tweeter?

A few weeks back, I was reading this article from Business News Daily on the 5 Traits of Successful Business Accounts on Twitter.

As I read through the list, it occurred to me that most of the traits mentioned in the piece – having a solid sense of self and being a good listener - apply to bloggers who tweet, too.

But when I think about the people I interact with on Twitter, and who I perceive as successful, a few additional traits come to my mind immediately.

1. They pay it forward. People who garner favor in my Twitter circles are those people who don’t just tweet about themselves all day long. They pay it forward. When they read a post they enjoy, they retweet. They engage in dialogue.

2. They have boundaries. As with any social media platform, there is a fine line between sharing too much and sharing too little. Successful tweeters understand that boundary and respect it, divulging information in an amount and manner that is inclusive and not off-putting.

3. They answer questions. I’ve started great friendships with people on Twitter solely because they were there to answer a random question I’d asked. That one question can spark ongoing conversations and even offline discussions – as well as garner respect from your Twitter  peers.

But in order to determine whether you’re “successful” on Twitter or not, I think it’s important to define what success is for YOU and your blog. What’s success for me is not going to be success for someone else.

Some bloggers don’t use Twitter at all – and that’s perfectly okay. Some use it only as an extra syndication point for their blog content. And others take it to the next level – using it as a powerful networking tool.

So…what do you think are some traits of successful tweeters? How do you define what “success” on Twitter is for you and your blog?