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.

Work at Home Time Management Tips

Time management isn't a new topic around here. In fact, Holly did a whole Google Plus Hangout on social media time management tips. It was also discussed a bit in the posts on working smarter not harder and time saving tools. But, I thought it would be good to cover some work at home time management tips. Especially since it's back to school time and our routines are once again changing.

work at home time management tips

Work at Home Time Management Tips

Make a realistic to-do list

I used to have a love/hate relationship with to-do lists. On the one hand, they reminded me of what I had to do. On the other, they made me feel overwhelmed because there was so much on there. This changed once I figured out to make daily to-do lists that were realistic to accomplish. Instead of putting 20 items on my to-do list for Monday, I plan them out through the week. Now, I have a few tasks for Monday, a few for Tuesday, and so on.

So, make daily to-do lists for yourself and don't overload them with tasks you know you can't accomplish in one day.

Set up your own space

If you're working from home, you need a dedicated space to work. This can be a desk, the table, wherever you are comfortable but it needs to be yours so you can spread your stuff out as needed. At least until it's time to eat dinner, then you should probably move your laptop if it's at the dinner table (which may or may not be where mine is right now).

Schedule your social media

I've found one of my biggest time sucks online is when I go to share my new posts on social media. I get distracted by the news feeds and soon I've wasted my time. For my cocktail recipe site, I post 3 to 4 times a day on my Facebook fan page. That's a lot of distracting if I live post all of that. Instead I schedule my updates for 3 to 4 days at a time. Sure, it takes some time up front to find and schedule everything I want to share, but I only do it once or twice a week instead of everyday.

Using your editorial calendar, schedule your social media for your new posts. While you're at it, you can also schedule other updates/links/pictures/etc. you want to share during the week. You might want to also figure out what you can automate for your social media to make it even easier for yourself.

Set up office hours

I never really understood the importance of office hours until I went through the Mom Blog Money Blog course and actually started doing it. While I can't say I'm completely firm in my office hours, I do try to not respond to work related emails in the evenings and I rarely check my email on the weekends. It's definitely allowed me to feel like I was off work, which is something that's hard to feel as a work at home mom (or at least it was for me). It also helps me stay focused during my office hours.

I highly suggest you check out the Mom Blog Money Blog course if you are blogger looking to make money blogging. There is a lot of great information in there that can help increase your traffic and your money. And if you need a little bit of proof, check out this post which has a six month update after taking the course.

What are your best work at home time management tips?

Links for course are affiliate links. 

zp8497586rq

Social Media Time Management Tips

As most bloggers know, social media can be a real time suck. Since it never shuts down you can really get sucked in and soon find that you’ve accomplished nothing all day but you know everything that’s going on in your Facebook news feed. To help you avoid this, Holly sat down with a few other bloggers to talk about social media time management tips. Just what we all need, right?

social media time management tips

For the hangout, Holly Homer had Megan Sheakoski and Peg Fitzpatrick join her. Megan blogs at Coffee Cups and Crayons and she spends a lot of time on Google Plus. If you missed it, Holly and Megan did a hangout discussing Google Plus blog pages that was very informative. Peg Fitzpatrick can be found online at PegFitzpatrick.com and 12 Most to name just a couple. Peg was also a guest star on one of Holly’s blogpreneur episodes, where they discussed Google Plus and book writing.

Social media time management tips

Focus your efforts

In Day 3 (Automate your social media) of the Mom Blog Money Blog workshop, Laurie Turk suggests focusing on your top two social media sites. In this hangout, these three ladies suggested the same thing. Pick the two social media sites that work best for you and spend the majority of your time there.

They also suggest using the information in your Google Analytics account to help you figure out what sites are driving the most traffic to your blog. This will help you know where to focus your social media efforts.

Schedule it

Holly mentions a plugin called NextScripts that she uses for scheduling her social media for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus. This can be used for scheduling your own content at the same time you are scheduling the posts. This is a really cool plugin to use and is great for social media time management. You can also use HootSuite for scheduling your social media or other tools such as Buffer for scheduling Twitter and Facebook. Peg also suggested DoShare for scheduling Google Plus.

Use a timer

Megan talks about using a timer when she’s working. Since she has kids at home it helps the kids know that she’s working as well as helps her manage her time online. This is also a tip that Laurie gives in the Mom Blog Money Blog workshop. Funny how these social media time management tips are suggested by so many people.

The editorial calendar

As we have talked about many times before, an editorial calendar is so helpful for managing your time online. Going beyond the editorial calendar for your blog, you can also use a calendar to plan and schedule your social media in advance.

In the hangout video, there is discussion around each tip plus so much more information. Watch the video to get it all!

More social media time management tips

Blogging time saving tips
Multiply traffic using blog stats
Work smarter, not harder

What are your best social media time management tips?

Note… there are affiliate links in this post for plugin and the workshop.

Schedule your social media with Buffer

We all know that social media can be a major time suck. But it’s also an important part of blogging, especially if you want to make money blogging. In the Mom Blog Money Blog workshop, Laurie Turk gives some invaluable advice for managing your social media sharing…

Automate your social media!

Laurie recommends using Hootsuite for scheduling your links, images and questions to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Personally, I’m not a fan of Hootsuite. I used it before but didn’t like it that much. The last time I logged into it they wanted me to pay to add Google Plus profiles and I’m not going to do that.

So, I’ve been trying out other options for scheduling social media. One tool I found is Buffer. Buffer will only let you share via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn so it’s not for those who want to schedule Google Plus. But it’s worth checking out if Facebook and Twitter are the two social networks you want to focus on.

buffer app

In the free version of Buffer you can connect one Twitter, one Facebook and one LinkedIn profile. If you upgrade to Awesome you can connect up to 12 social profiles from those three networks.

How Buffer works

With Buffer, you setup a schedule for when your posts are to be shared. Schedules can be set for every day or you can choose certain days of the week. Times can be anytime, day or night and based on the timezone you select. With the free version you get one posting schedule. If you upgrade, you can create different posting schedules.

After connecting your profiles and setting up a posting schedule, you start adding what you want to share. They will be added to your buffer schedule to go out at the next available scheduled time. You cannot schedule posts to go out on specific dates or times like you can in Hootsuite. You can learn more about how Buffer works on their FAQ page.

Pros of using Buffer

When I sit down at the computer and scan Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, I usually find articles and blog posts I want to share. Instead of flooding my Twitter stream with link tweets in the 10 minutes I have at the computer, I can instead enter them into Buffer to be sent out throughout the day.

I like that Buffer makes it easy to enter the tweet, it shortens the link and adds it to the schedule. I don’t have to think about what time I want to schedule it for because that’s already done. I’ve found I use Buffer mostly for other people’s articles and blog posts since I have mine set to autopost through WordPress.

The other feature that’s really nice is the analytics section. After your scheduled update goes out, you can see how well it performed with retweets, favorites, mentions, clicks and potential reach.

Cons of using Buffer

I’m really bummed that Buffer doesn’t have an option for Google Plus. I’m also bummed the Awesome plan is $10 a month. In my opinion that’s expensive, especially because Facebook allows you to schedule status updates for free.

Buffer is just one tool that can help you automate your social media. To learn more and to get more tips on how to make money blogging, buy the Mom Blog Money Blog workshop. It’s one investment you won’t regret.

Have you used Buffer? Thoughts on it? 

5 Ways to break the email addiction

As a blogger, how many email accounts do you have? And how many times a day do you check said email accounts?

I personally have five different email accounts. One for each of my blogs, a work email and two personal accounts. As an iPhone addict, each one of these email accounts is connected on my phone and would notify me whenever I  had a new email. Of course, I had to check said email right when it came in. What if I missed something important?

Does any of this sound familiar to you? My guess is yes, it does. 

break email addiction

In Day 10 of the Mom Blog Money Blog course, Laurie Turk talks about working smarter, not harder. One of the tips was to only check email two times a day. Also, in the final hangout of the series we did covering the Mom Blog Money Blog course, Laurie mentioned that she only checks her email twice a day at 9am and 2pm and that she deletes a lot of emails that don’t fit with what she is doing.

Laurie’s words really got me thinking. It made me take a look at how much time I was spending checking emails on my phone. And those emails usually required me to do something else so I was getting really wrapped up in doing things that I hadn’t planned on doing. My to-do list kept growing and growing and the things I really wanted to focus on were getting lost.

Since then I have shifted the way I handle my emails and I spend a lot less time on my phone and more time doing other things I love like spending time with my kids and improving my photography (and maybe taking the occasional nap).

So, to help you break your email addiction here are few tips:

Understand IT CAN WAIT

We have shifted to a culture that thinks everything needs to be done right away. This, along with advances in technology, has made it so easy to become addicted to checking emails. But you need to tell yourself that it can wait. That company wanting you to do a product review doesn’t need an answer five minutes after they sent you the email. They can wait a few hours.

By understanding that you don’t have to check your emails and reply right away you are taking the first step to breaking the addiction and getting back your life.

Set dedicated email times

Laurie said she checks her emails at 9am and 2pm everyday. This works for her. It doesn’t work for me. I homeschool my kids and we are usually just getting started on schoolwork at 9am. Instead, I’ve found that 7am works for me in the mornings and I have to be flexible with my afternoon time because what I do each day changes.

Figure out what times work best for you to check your email and stick with those.

Delete, delete, delete

After you understand that the emails can wait, it’s time to know that it’s okay to delete emails that don’t apply to you. You don’t have to reply to every single request. If the request isn’t a good match, delete the email and move on. You can delete newsletters that you don’t want to read, you don’t have to fill out every survey sent to you.

Also, unsubscribe from those newsletters that you don’t want to receive anymore. That will eliminate some of the emails that you find yourself deleting all the time.

Flag for follow-up

If you only have 30 minutes to check your email and can’t reply to everything that needs your attention, flag the rest for follow-up. The next time you check your email, start with those.

Disconnect from your phone (or turn off notifications)

Your cellphone might be with you all day long but that doesn’t mean you have to be using it for email. Either disconnect your email accounts from the phone or turn off notifications for new emails. This will help you resist the temptation, especially in the beginning.

I hope that these tips help you break the email addiction. It really will free up a lot of time in your day that you can use to spend more time doing other things that you enjoy.

For more really awesome advice on blogging, purchase the Mom Blog Money Blog workshop. It’s a wise investment for serious bloggers.

B2B affiliate button[2]

What are your best tips for managing your email? 

Above links for workshop are affiliate links.

Organizing Your Twitter Account: Quick Tip Monday

Everybody’s into organizing at the start of a new year. The signs are everywhere: plastic storage tubs getting featured placement at Target, magazine articles prodding you to get your life in order, a pained foot from stepping on one too many Legos left on the carpet.

So if you are doing a little housekeeping right now, you might want to consider organizing your Twitter account as well.  Today I’ll share a couple of tips on how to better manage your Twitter relationships.

1. Get a Twitter management application. If you are using Twitter.com to tweet, you’re not using your time as effectively as you could be. Twitter.com is incredibly hard to navigate when you have many people you’re trying to follow or engage with. Consider using either Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to Tweet going forward.

Both applications have their pros and cons. Hootsuite runs in a browser, so you can access it anywhere. Tweetdeck is a desktop (or iPhone) application that requires a download. I personally use Tweetdeck because I prefer the look of its interface.

Both take some getting used to, because your tweets are displayed in a multi-column format. It’s like having seven chat windows open side by side, all moving and updating at different times. But I promise that if you stick with it, you’ll find your Tweeting to be much more effective.

2. Have an Unfollow Day.  There are probably many people in your Twitter following who don’t need to be there. Either they’re spammers, or they tweet about things that are not relevant to you. Maybe they just annoy you to death.  Set aside some time to clean up your following.

I also like to periodically check who’s not following me anymore and stop following them if needed. Of course, I choose to follow some people whether they follow me or not. I like the application Just Unfollow to do this. With one click, I can view my list of non-followers and easily unfollow back if I wish.

3. Use lists. To cut through all of the noise that is Twitter, it’s essential to organize your followers into lists. This is easy in TweetDeck or Hootsuite, because you can create a column to follow each of your lists separately. Out of my full feed, I have a couple of different lists that I utilize. This is not an exhaustive list, but one to get you thinking about how you might set up your own.

* An Inner Circle List – this is a list for my “close” friends – people whose Tweets I don’t want to miss.  I include myself so I can keep track of my own tweets in the stream.

* A Brand List, where I can keep updated on the companies I love or have a relationship with. This is a great list to use if you’re working on approaching brands for pitches, sponsorships and the like.

* A Media List – where I can follow what’s going on in mom blogging, social media, technology and blog conferences.

Taking these three steps to organize your Twitter account will make your Twitter time more effective and impactful for your blogging. And we can ALL use a little extra time each day!

Tell me what things you do to organize YOUR Twitter account.