How to Schedule a FB Share to Your FB Page

OK, so this is an easy one.

It is a question I have answered several times this week…so of course there is a video involved!

schedule a fb share - Business 2 Blogger

 

How to Schedule a FB Share:

Steps in video:

  1. Login as your page.
  2. Go to page with the post/picture you want to share.
  3. Click on the photo you want to share.
  4. Grab the URL of that photo.
  5. Go back to your page and create a new post.
  6. Add your intro and then the URL.
  7. Once the photo auto-populates, you can delete the ugly URL.
  8. Schedule through FB just like you would any other post.
  9. Go to Holly’s FB page and share something from there {OK, that is an additional and optional step}.

Easy, peasy!

Crazy FB Math for Bloggers

Oh the mysteries of FB math when it comes to post reach.

I am tearing back the curtain and showing you the reality – OK, that was a bit dramatic, but I am showing a few things I have learned over the last month watching the wild ride that is FB exposure.

Great FB Exposure Disappearing Act - Business 2 Blogger

 

There is hope.

In fact, limited exposure of your posts to ALL your fans can give you the freedom to post more often knowing that only the best of what you post will actually been seen by the majority.

Silver linings!

Check out all I have to say on the subject.  I am also answering questions that people have sent me:

Be sure to leave your questions in the comments below and I will answer them on a later video.

THANKS!

 

Some Thoughts on Pinterest

As I have mentioned, I write a blog in the kids activities space which means a ton of my readers are on Pinterest {or found me through Pinterest}.

go to bed after one more pin

Pinterest was a social network that I came kicking and screaming to a little late in the game because I was finding a good portion of my website traffic was Pinterest-based.  I joined soon after you didn’t need an invite.

Yep, I joined with the masses.

I am not fond of being part of the masses because it ups the level of difficulty for getting noticed, but at that point in my blogging life taking on yet another social network seemed like a daunting task.

Over the last two years, I have slowly, yet steadily increased my following and find Pinterest holds a place in my top 3 referral sources every single month.

You can follow me on Pinterest here.

So, how does a blogger who was a bit late to the party and never featured on a must-follow list stand out?  Here are a few things I have learned over the last few years that I hope you find helpful.

If you could leave your Pinterest tips in the comments, I would adore to know how you are doing it.

Tips for Pinterest

  1. Pin Daily – I know this is obvious, but I often skip a day or two out of necessity and I always regret it.  I ONLY get followers when I pin.  So every day I skip is a day I am just leaving followers on the table.  Since my website published twice a day I am also giving up some valuable and early promotion space when I don’t pin things immediately.
  2. Pin to Multiple Boards – NOT ALL AT ONCE.  Please not all at once.  If you pin to multiple boards all at once, I will hunt you down!  Pin the same post to all your boards that are applicable, but over time.  I like to leave at least a day in between pinning or re-pinning a post so that there is a lot of content between those pins and I don’t spam my followers with the same pin without variety.  But many of my boards fit a lot of my content.  By systematically making sure that things are pinned where they fit, I can make sure I am doing everything in my power to get the word out about that AMAZING post :).
  3. Pin Generously – Pinterest is where you can be completely generous with your influence.  Grab the best posts from all your fellow bloggers and pin the heck out of them.  If it is amazing, you want to pin it!  It will attract new followers for you and help them out as well.
  4. Pin Often – There is some controversy out there right now about how many pins is acceptable.  Rumor has it that Pinterest has suggested no more than 30 per day, but I know power pinners who are doing 3x that amount without any issues with Pinterest {and no one can really cite where that 30 per day came from}.  I shoot for at least 30 – with 2/3rds of that being other people’s content.
  5. Pin Beautiful – It HAS to be pretty.  The only substitute for pretty is GENIUS.  So, if it isn’t pretty or GENIUS, then don’t pin it.
  6. Delete Pins – If a pin didn’t do well, delete it!  Why have that on your board?  On my collaborative boards, I go through almost daily and delete anything that didn’t get at least 10 re-pins.  If the people on Pinterest didn’t like it, it is GONE.
  7. Find the Best Boards and Exploit – Because there just isn’t enough time in the world to spend all day on Pinterest, you are going to have to make some time management decisions.  Identify your most effective boards and pin there first.  Check this article about Tailwind if you are in search of that information.
  8. Schedule Wisely – I use ViralTag to schedule my pins because I can spread things out over the entire day/night, yet mimic the “bolus” effect of natural pinning.  When people sit down and pin they naturally will pin a bunch of things in a row.  Be thoughtful of that if you use a scheduler since it is unnatural to have things going out every 20 minutes or so.
  9. Schedule Your Own Content Last – This seems counter-intuitive, but the end of each of the pin groups should be your own pins back to your website so they get the longest stream exposure.
  10. Have Fun?  Yes, it is pretty obvious when a pinner is just pinning for work or pinning for fun.  If it isn’t fun, then you need to figure out a way to increase the happiness of your pin stream.

 

When Hosting Becomes an Issue

When I started blogging, I started a blogspot URL without a clue what was ahead.

I just wanted to write a blog.

you can not hide from hosting issues

As my blog grew, I eventually moved to self-hosted WP {OK, Shauna moved me} for the bells and whistles that WordPress offers to customize my site.

And it didn’t stop there.  I have moved another 5 or 6 times since that initial move because hosting became an issue.  I am not a hosting expert, but have encountered quite a few issues over the years of blogging.  Here are some things that I have learned.  These things are often things we don’t talk to each other about, but one of the most frequent questions I field from other bloggers.

Shared Hosting - This was where I started and stayed happily for quite a while in the infancy of my blog(s).  It is inexpensive and can be a very positive experience if you are sharing a server with the right mix of other sites.  I found that sharing a server was great when I had a post that did well.  More people were able to get to my blog and I didn’t have to pay any more than a basic amount.  Sharing was NOT so good when one of those other sites on the server had a viral post.  All of a sudden, my blog was slow and it was through no fault of my own.

VPS (Virtual Private Server) – I moved to a VPS when I had a consistent traffic over 150K page views per month.  It was nice because at the time, I had several sites that could all share that same space.  I knew that my 5 sites were very independent and wouldn’t all have a traffic jam at the same time!  It allowed me to have a more expensive hosting plan, but split the cost between my projects.  As I received more and more bolus-traffic created by Pinterest, I started having issues with my host shutting down my site for short periods of time.  They claimed that they weren’t “capping” my traffic, but I could sit on LIVE Google Analytics and predict exactly when they would take me offline based on the number of visitors on my site.  When hosts predict what plan you need, they look at your global traffic.  What can cause a problem is when that traffic isn’t spread across the day/night evenly.  I receive a lot of social media-driven traffic which dumps all at the same time onto my site.  This was a serious issue for a number of hosting companies I tried.

It can be a very frustrating situation to be on the phone with a hosting company continuously and be told the same “it is your plug-ins” answer.  The truth is that very often plug-ins ARE the problem, but once I had removed every possible plug-in and still experiencing the issues, then I had to learn to trust MY gut and stand up for my site even when I didn’t feel like I understood everything that was going on!

Premium Hosting – After about 600K page views per month with traffic that jumped significantly several times a day, I switched to a premium host that only hosts WP.  I was to the point where no matter what was happening on my blog, the host I was using would blame it as a WP problem.  Choosing a WP-only host worked really well for me because they seemed to understand which plug-ins might be issues.

Dedicated Server – I am still in the decision process of what my next step might be.  I have hit a level of traffic that has created some bumps on my current WP host.  I am working with them to see if I can stay there awhile longer and gathering information about my options.

The bottom line is that no matter how painful it is to look into hosting issues, they are created often from growing traffic..so it is a good thing!

 

Be the Source

One of the things we as bloggers take for granted is the crazy amount of information we come across in our own genre.  I write about kids activities and could easily rattle off 100 other bloggers who have a really good homemade paint recipe, phonics game or toddler activity.

dig deeper - business 2 blogger.jpg

That is not normal!

Think of it as an iceberg.  The tip or visible part is what we might write about or share on social media and the massive underneath portion is what lives in our heads.

What if we started tapping into that massive underneath portion allowing our readers a more in-depth look at the base of knowledge that supports our passion?

This has been one of the reasons the Kids Activities Blog FB and G+ pages have been so successful.  We are not shy about sharing other people’s AWESOME content and sharing it often.  We have adopted an almost Pinterest-like obsession to share cool things that we trip across in a normal day.

On Pinterest it is easier, you simply scan the page, click through to make sure the source is correct and re-pin.  Generally, G+ and FB don’t have the volume of content to make it as easy.

That is YOUR opportunity.

Because it takes a few extra seconds to grab a link and post it from your FB or G+ page, less people do it.  Your readers on FB and G+ are hungry for awesome ideas – feed them.

Every single comment, like/plus, and share from your G+ or FB page helps YOU.  It helps you reach more of your fan base and attract new likes/plusses.

Kids Activities Blog publishes twice a day and has 1000s of archived articles, yet the majority of our social media posts are not our own.

Why?

Because we found something more awesome that we thought our readers would like.

We have built our FB and G+ pages on the backs of other blogger’s content!

Our readers now see us as a huge resource of information and every single one of our posts reach more and more people just because they have a peek beyond the tip of the iceberg.

 

 

Communicating with Your Sponsor

You landed a sponsored post that you are excited about.

You crafted amazing sponsored content – a personal story, and original photo and just the right amount of passion.

celebrate success - Business 2 Blogger

Now what?

There are two equally important components to what comes next.  Last week we tackled the post promotion and today is the discussion about interacting with your sweet sponsor that entrusted you with their product/service/story.

Time to Report!

I don’t do anything fancy, but I want the sponsor to know that things are going well.  So, the next step is to send an email thanking them for the opportunity and sharing the links.

It goes something like this:

Hi _______,

I just wanted to let you know that the post has been published!  I know that my readers are going to love it because _________________.

Here are links to the post and initial social media promotion:

  • Post link:
  • FB post link:
  • G+ post link:
  • First pin:
  • First tweet:
  • Other:

My plan is to tweet daily for the next week with the #hashtag and to pin it 3 more times to Pinterest boards that are a good fit.  There are a few other places online that I have in mind for promotion.

I am excited about how things are going.  There are already {3 comments on the post, 12 re-pins, 10 shares on FB, whatever is good} on the post!

Let me know if you have any questions.  It has been really fun working with you on this.

Holly

Sometimes it stops there.  And that is great.  You gave the sponsor a lot of information that will keep them from hunting all over the internet to see if you did your job.

But sometimes, a follow-up email is a really good thing.  For me, it usually happens several weeks later or when I notice something amazing has happened.  If a post does really well somewhere, don’t expect the sponsor to know it on their own…and this is a great opportunity to let them know their money was well spent with you:

  • High traffic on the post – I will grab a snapshot of my Google Analytics for that post.
  • Lots of shares or re-pins on a FB post or Pinterest pin – grab a screenshot or the post URL.
  • Featured on another blog – send the link.
  • Your social media post was shared by other people.
  • Great discussion in the comments.

Write another thank you email.  Remember that when sponsored content does well, it does your blog good too!

  • Don’t send something that is —->LOOK HOW AWESOME I AM!
  • Send something that is —>LOOK HOW AMAZING YOUR SERVICE/PRODUCT/STORY WAS RECEIVED!

The bottom line is that when sponsored content does well, it is a win-win.  You got paid to write something you loved, your readers ate it up and the company gets more than they paid for.

You always want the company to feel like they got their money’s worth or more.

 

What to Do After You Push Publish on a Sponsored Post

You landed a sponsored post that you are excited about.

You crafted amazing sponsored content – a personal story, and original photo and just the right amount of passion.

Sponsored post - now what - Business 2 Blogger

Now what?

There are two equally important components to what comes next.  Today we will tackle the post promotion and next week the discussion will be about interacting with your sweet sponsor that entrusted you with their product/service/story.

Time to Promote!

The first thing you will want to do is let the world know that you have this quality content on your blog.  Some content is more appropriate to share on certain channels, so don’t feel like you need to push this where it won’t do well.  The fit should be easier than you might originally think since you have only taken on projects that fit your blog.

This is where scheduling has been a life saver for me.  After a sponsored post is published, I will sit down and schedule out all the amplification of that post RIGHT THEN.  There are two reasons for this:

  1. I want to make sure I do everything I promised…and more.
  2. It helps me make sure I am fulfilling all the requirements of the post – the proper hashtag, the mention that is is sponsored, etc.

In most cases, it looks like this:

  • I post a photo with a link and a blurb to my FB page.
  • I post it as a link with a chatty intro to G+.
  • The next thing would be to pin it to my Kids Activities Blog Pinterest board and then schedule a few more pins through ViralTag to appropriate boards over the next week – I usually space them out with at least a day or two.
  • Then on to Twitter – the first tweet is sent out and then I create several variations on that tweet to send out over the next week.  Most sponsored content gets around 7 tweets at different times of days and covering different subjects mentioned within the post.
  • If it is an Instagram fit, then I will grab one of the photos I took earlier when creating the post and announce it with a silly blurb.
  • Make a plan to link it to appropriate linky parties {if it fits…don’t spam your fellow bloggers}.  If you are hosting a giveaway, linking to giveaway places is a great strategy to get more entries.

Some things you might consider for the next sponsored post:

  • When I am concerned that a post might not go over as well as I expect on FB, I might add a little bit of money in the cost of sponsorship to boost that post on FB.
  • Always, always, always THINK about Pinterest when writing your post, if you will be promoting it there.  You are going to want at least one amazing photo or photo collage that is a bit {or a lot} longer than it is wide.
  • Take a picture of one of your steps or a mishap on your phone so you have something unique to post to Instagram.

Just like your sponsored post, you really want to craft an original and comprehensive plan of promotion.  But don’t take a nap just yet, the most important step of communicating with your sponsor will be discussed next week…

Do You REALLY Have to be EVERYWHERE?

There are only 24 hours in a day.

I promise you there is nothing I can do to change that.

Which social network do I need - Business 2 Blogger

A good chunk of that time is offline time leaving just a handful of hours to get everything done that needs to be done online.  So, I thought it would be fun to take a question today that asks about priorities:

I am new to blogging and I know that it is important to interact with social media – but there are SO many options out there and they could suck all of my time.  Where would be the best place to use my time to start out?   -Jenn, Princess Pinky Girl

 

It is a great question.  One I think any seasoned blogger has struggled with to the point of utter frustration.

I think we need to step back and take inventory of our blog and then make a plan of action being aware that it is nearly impossible to be everywhere at once.

Where is My Current Success?

Where is the majority of your blog traffic coming from now?  Is it FB?  Is it Google search (related to G+)?  Is it Pinterest?

How you answer that question becomes your first priority.

If the majority of your traffic comes from Pinterest {which I am highly suspicious might be true in Jenn’s case since she has 3.7 million followers —> Jenn on Pinterest}.  So if you only have 30 minutes to spare on any given day, it will be devoted to the place where you are already  seeing success.

OK, so y’all probably already figured that out…what next?

What Pairs with My Current Success that Excites Me?

There are certain social networks that just seem to work well together and when you are active on both, it doesn’t seem like double duty, but an expansion of sharing.

FB and Instagram.

Pinterest and G+.

Twitter and Instagram.

Tumblr and G+ and Instagram.

Actually, pairing almost any two social networks with a plan in mind can help you not feel like a manual RSS feed automatically posting the same content at multiple locations.

Use the best of what you find on your primary social network to highlight on your secondary one.

For instance, I use my Pinterest boards as a testing zone for my G+ page.  If a pin goes crazy over at Pinterest, then I post it to my G+ page as #pinoftheday.  The better content you post anywhere, the more quality followers you will attract.

If I take a super cute photo on Instagram, I will share it to FB or G+ based on the subject-matter.  If it is something fun that falls under the #parenting hashtag, it goes on G+.  If it is a glimpse of a craft we are working on, it goes to FB.

Dip Your Toes in a Third

So, you have a primary social network {the place where you are succeeding}, a secondary one {the place you can most easily grow} and now I want you to choose a strategic third one.

This one you may not be thrilled about right now, but see the value in being there.

If you are working on SEO, this might be G+.  If you have a blog where the readers are all on FB, then that might be the choice.  If you aren’t on Instagram yet, this might be the time.

Look around at blogs in your niche – see where those bloggers are having success and choose the third space in a thoughtful manner.

Time Management for Your Trio

You are now going to continue to spend the majority of your time on your primary social network.  You will consciously post daily to your secondary one with a intent to grow and check in on your third watching for easy ways to interact.

If there are ways to automate some of your actions that won’t take away from the personal nature of YOUR voice, then set it up.  Steer clear of automation that removes your personality in EACH AND EVERY POST.

What Next?

Watch your blog stats, you may find your priorities shifting as one social network naturally interacts with you and rewards you with traffic and followers.

Warning:  If your goal is to grow your blog and blog traffic, then be wary of the social network that sends you a lot of followers but not very many click-throughs!

Keep your blogging goals in mind.

Can You Be Everywhere?

Nope.

When you are working on one thing, others will take a backseat.  It is as simple as that.

While growing my FB page, my Pinterest stream suffered.

While growing my G+ page, everything else suffered!

There are seasons to everything.  Accept that.  Ride the rollercoaster and enjoy it vs. trying to steer it to another track.

I had to choose.  While my Kids Activities Blog social media channels grew, I have woefully neglected the ones here at Business 2 Blogger.

I know that.

But I had to choose because there are really only 24 hours in a day.

How Much Sponsored Content is Too Much?

As bloggers, getting a sponsor is exciting and pays the bills.

Is there a point where there is too much of a good thing?

How much is too much - Business 2 Blogger

 

How Much Sponsored Content is Too Much?

I was inspired by an article over at Type A Parent by Kelby CarrSponsored Post Ratios – Are We Killing the Blogging Golden Goose?  

Kelby has some great insight as to how blogs are growing their sponsored content ratios and cautions that this might be a bad thing in the long run:

Because here’s the catch: when bloggers tip to the side of writing too much sponsored content, it loses value with both readers AND sponsors. The next step is brands and firms will view this as a low-ROI, ineffective model and the opportunities will disappear for everyone. Yes, even for those who have low sponsored content ratios and who make sure every sponsored post is high quality and of interest to their readers.

I could not agree more.  In fact, I am quoted in the article about what I do on Kids Activities Blog with sponsored content:

“We keep our sponsored content below 20%. That keeps the spots rare (and worth more) and gives us more lead time to craft something amazing for a company that paid good money to be there. It has to be a perfect fit or it is a no.”

You know me.  I can’t stop with just a two sentence response.  That would just be out of character!  So, I have a little video on the subject…

  • Speaking about traditional blogs, not blogs with the intent of sponsored content.
  • Two types of sponsors are awesome – those you would have written about anyway & those that inspire you to write something you should write.
  • Fit is the key.
  • Examples of good fit mentioned Melissa & Doug posts from Zina – Valentine Suncatchers and Stacy – Photography Tips on iPhone.
  • Take on sponsors that you won’t be able to shut up about.
  • Keep ratio down with editorial calendar – make your spots coveted and rare!
  • Keep ratio down by publishing other content in between – old posts, guest posts.
  • Make a plan and stick to it unless someone pays you enough to ignore it! <—should have said this.

Looking at FB Insights

We have been taking a look at Facebook over the last few weeks, so I thought it would be fun to look at the analytics.

taking a closer look at facebook - business 2 blogger

I adore analytics.

And FB has some good stuff.

All the good stuff is in the “insights” just above your cover photo.  The first page is a summary of all the other pages which is fun to look at the graphs, but I usually start with the POSTS tab.

We are going to take a look at my FB page for Kids Activities Blog. <—what a good time to LIKE it!

POSTS INSIGHTS

fb insights posts

The orange bar is the best.  You want a wide orange bar!

Look through that 5th column and find the widest orange bars.  Those are showing which posts were shown to the most people.

Once you pick a winner, then check out the next column to see WHY.

As you can see above, the last post on that list is a PAPER PLATE CRAFTS picture with link to a post.  FB showed it to 75K people because it had 6.1K post clicks and 2K likes, comments and shares.

When people interact with FB on YOUR post, FB rewards you with more people.

Let’s click on the post text {in the second column} to bring up even more information about WHY people adored this post:

post details fb - business 2 blogger

 

What is cool is that you can see the whole post and then the actions.  So, this post was a photo with a title line, a URL line and then some chatty stuff.*

*You really want chatty stuff at the bottom of your posts, you WANT a “read more” necessity because when people click on the “read more” it IS an action.

Now you can see how people interacted with the post:

  • 758 likes
  • 27 comments
  • 800 shares

And then THOSE generated:

  • 373 likes
  • 52 comments
  • 11 shares

How did this happen?  Because of 6115 post clicks!

  • 4953 photo views
  • 459 link clicks —-> TRAFFIC TO MY BLOG
  • 703 other clicks

So, I would look at the time of day that I posted this.  It was 6:57 pm.  I make a mental note that people really seem to like paper plates around 6:57 pm.

I also try to remember when posts reach certain milestones – for instance, this was nearly 24 hours ago, but in my experience, this post will generate another 10-20% interaction over the next 24 hours…and then it will die.

So, what did I do with this knowledge?

I searched my archives and posted another roundup on…

Paper Plate Crafts.

I am super original.  And if you are in need of paper plate crafts, then I am definitely YOUR girl.

So, as you can see in the first screenshot above, I posted that at 1:54 the next day and already have 27K interaction.

I am not surprised, I KNOW that people like paper plate crafts!

Both of these posts were on a weekend.  I might try posting them in a different way on a weekday down the road…usually several weeks later.

Paper Plate Dreams

Why is it so important for me to keep the momentum on paper plates?

Great question!  It is because THAT is what my page is all about.  The fact that MY Facebook fans LIKE, COMMENT & SHARE paper plate crafts means that I have attracted EXACTLY the right people to my page.

It also gives me the idea that maybe tomorrow I might push some toilet paper roll crafts!

I know you think I am kidding, but watch my page.

And that is what this is all about.  Creating a page that YOU would be a fan of and then sharing things that you love which sends traffic to your site and let’s your FB page grow.

Here is where I talk about this and then cover the LIKES tab inside page insights:

Please leave any questions you have below!