Step-By-Step Blog and Social Media Plan for More Traffic

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Want to sell your products and make money with your blog? First, you need to help people find you and build your audience ! This post includes weekly blog tasks PLUS a social media plan to drive massive traffic. Click through to see all the steps and download the planner!

Want to sell your products and make money with your blog? First, you need to build your audience! This post includes the exact weekly blog tasks plus a downloadable social media plan to help you drive incredible amounts of traffic. Click through to find out exactly what you should be doing each week!Ok, here we go. Ready for part #2 of the Build Your Blog Audience + Traffic series?

In part #1, we talked about some fundamental ways to get more blog traffic and build your audience.

We uncovered how important it is to really, really know your target audience, how to set monthly goals, and some of the things you should be doing every week to put your content out there like you mean business…like you want people to find you.

Today, let’s look put the weekly blog tasks under a microscope and map out a plan for what to do each day, k? I really want us to have a workflow that we can follow, one that will help us to stay on track and get into a blogging and social media routine of things we do, each and every week, over and over again. Like a machine.

Today, we’re going to map out a schedule for:

  • Researching blog topics
  • Writing posts
  • Search engine optimization
  • Creating images
  • Sharing + promoting
  • Repurposing
  • Scheduling
  • Rinse + repeat 🙂

Ready for it? Let’s turn on the Audience + Traffic machine.

First, this is what we’re going to be creating:

Monthly Blog + Social Media Plan ExampleAnd this is the blog checklist we’ll use to make sure we get everything done:
Weekly Blog Post Checklist for Social Media Marketing
If you want, you can grab the blog and social media plan to start creating your own Audience + Traffic Workflow. Click the image below to download it.

Download my Monthly Blog + Social Media Strategy Plan to help you build your blog traffic and audience quickly and with ease!

ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH:

1) Research blog topics

One of the best ways to stick to a regular blogging schedule is to have your topics all ready to go, so all you have to do is start writing.

Ha! I know, I know, if only it were that easy!!

Seriously though, remember the blog themes we talked about? What you want to do is on the first Sunday of every month, dig into your themes and come up with blog post ideas around them.

You may be thinking Why should I even spend time researching? I already know what I want to say and this will just hold me up!

I get it. Even though it might feel like a waste of time upfront, if you hang in there with me, you’re going to get back your time plus tons of valuable insight. Here’s why:

  • Knowing what you’re going to cover ahead of time means less time struggling with what to write during the week.
  • Your content is going to speak to what your audience really needs vs what you think they need, which is priceless, in my book!
  • Researching content is about more than just blog ideas – you’ll see how people spin their blog titles too, which is a biggie for driving traffic.

Have I convinced you yet?

If you’re curious about the research, I’ll cover some effective ways to do it one of my next posts. Stay tuned!

Now that you know what you want to write, it’s time to create our blogging workflow.

 

MONDAY

2) Write the post

Try to write when you feel most productive, and more importantly, when you can block out time with no interruptions or distractions. What this looks like is no email, no calls, no texts. Time to shut out the world and focus here. Writing is a creative process and you need the space to go all in…

You can even use my Time Blocking Template to help protect your sacred writing time!

In terms of how much time to set aside, it really depends on the length of your posts. I tend to write longer posts that take me about 4 hours. You may need more or less time, and that’s perfectly ok.

What you can do, if you like, is to alternate between longer and shorter posts. The first week, maybe you write a longer post. Then the next week, you write a shorter one. Whatever you do, please don’t write less than 1000 words! We want to provide real value for our readers, PLUS give our work a fighting chance to rank on Google.

Good so far?

Oops…almost forgot one more thing:

Make sure you format your posts with subheadings and bullet points so they’re easy to read. Use short sentences and even shorter words, e.g. hard vs difficult. You want that when people scan your posts, they get what you’re saying without having to work for it.

You’re doing great! Next, let’s get a jump on Tuesday.

TUESDAY

3) Optimize for search engines

Tuesday is the perfect day to choose your target keyword and add it to your content, tags, and blog title. This way you have a final title for blog and social media images, which we’re going to create on Tuesday too, right after we sprinkle some SEO magic on it.

The reason I recommend optimizing your post AFTER you write it, and not before, is because it’s so important to focus on Step #1 first. The only thing you should be thinking about when you’re writing is how to get your readers from point A to point Z.

Then, after that, we can get jiggie with it.

If you’re curious about how best to optimize your posts, this post includes an SEO blog checklist you can download to help you remember all the steps.

Before we move on to images, let’s look at how to select the perfect target keyword. We’ll need Google’s Keyword Planner for this.

I usually select “Search for new keywords related to a phrase, website or category”.

Your results will look something like the image below. What you’re looking for are keywords related to your search term that have a decent search volume and low to medium competition.

 

Use the Google Keyword Planner Tool as part of your monthly blog and social media strategy plan

Once you select your target keyword, follow the steps listed in the SEO blog checklist to add it to your post.

And just in case you have a hard time finding the keyword planner once you log in, it’s hiding out in the “Tools” menu.

4) Create blog and social media images

#2FORTUESDAY We’re doublin’ up on Tuesday, so right after you’re done with step #3, it’s time to create share images.

Canva is a great tool for this. You can create and save branded templates with your logo, colors, fonts, and other brand elements all in there, ready to go.

I like to take my images one step further and use Photoshop. If you’re curious about Photoshop, this tutorial and social media template will help you get started.

Ok, so now you’re probably thinking What social media sites do I need images for, and what size should they be?

I’ve got all of that covered for you right here!

WEDNESDAY

5) Create a content upgrade

High five! We’re jammin’ and it’s only Wednesday. Let’s keep at it.

Content upgrades are extra freebies…things like checklists, cheat sheets, eBooks, worksheets, and templates…that extend on your post with even more value. They’re optional, meaning that you don’t have to create one in order to publish your post and promote it.

Hmm…or do you?

Nope. Changed my mind. You need ’em.

The reason is because this is the Blog Audience + Traffic series. What that means is that we’re building a community…our crew, our tribe. To do that, we need a way to stay in touch with the people who visit our site. The last thing we want is throw a slammin’ blog party and then have people peace out before the fun starts.

Also, if you remember from part #1 of this series, freebies are a huge piece of our content funnel.

To give you an example of this, I’ve built my list to 4K in the last 3-1/2 months with nothing more than freebies. We’re talking no guest posts, ads, webinars, landing pages…none of that noise! Just straight up opt-in forms and freebies.

Can you see how powerful they are?

Now, I get that freebies take a lot of time to make, so believe me, I’m not recommending that you include one with every post.

Instead, you can alternate each week, the same way we’re alternating between longer and shorter posts (Monday, above). So one week you add a freebie, the next week you skip it, and so on.

If you’re wondering how to create your freebie, Pages, Word, Google Docs, and Canva or all good choices. I’ve been using InDesign forever so that’s what I prefer. Oh, and if you’re interested in learning how to create eBooks with InDesign, please let me know in the comments!

THURSDAY

6) Add the upgrade to your post

This part sounds simple, right? It actually takes a few more steps than you might think.

What you’re doing is creating a 2-step opt-in form, where an image or a link triggers a pop-up. So let’s break that down, k?

First, there’s the link or image

I’ve found that a graphic button with a call to action like “Click here to download” works better than a text link. Images grab people’s attention more than links, especially if you’re following the blog SEO checklist and interlinking posts for search engines. All of those links can get lost after a while.

But a big, bold, graphic button? Now we’re talking! No one’s glazing over that, friend!

The other thing to include in your button is an image of your worksheet or checklist. You want to let people see how helpful your freebie is, type thing.

Ok, so what tools should you use?

Great question! See those tools you used on Tuesday to create blog + social media images? You can use the same ones for your call to action button.

Next up, the opt in form

This is the form that pops-up when someone clicks on the button.

I use Thrive Leads because I just loove it so much, but you can use OptinMonster, Leadpages, or SumoMe too. Just remember to connect the form to MailChimp, ConvertKit or any email platform you currently use.

Finally! Write a delivery email

We need a way to send the freebie to new subscribers.

What that looks like is when someone signs up for your freebie, they get a “tag” that triggers an email sequence. This is just a fancy way of saying “more than one email”. So your first email will say something like “Thanks so much! Here’s your download”. Then you follow up a few days later with a reminder “How’s it going with the freebie? If you haven’t downloaded yet, here’s the link again”. Don’t forget to add a download link to each email.

Ok, I know you’re probably thinking This is so much stuff, and it all sounds pretty techie!

I hear ya! There are a lot of steps here, which is why I like to think of Thursdays as #TECHTHURSDAY. Setting all of this up definitely takes a different part of your brain than writing or even creating images.

Remember too that once you set up your first sequence, you can duplicate it for the next one. And you only have to connect your service once to the form, then you’re good to go!

Like anything else, the more freebies you create and add to your posts, the faster it will go. This is another one of those things where if you hang in there with it, your investment will pay off later on as your audience and community grows and grows.

Real quick, one more thing to do:

Check your Google Analytics at least once a month. What you’re looking for are the top 5-10 posts that are most popular. These are the ones with serious muscle, the ones driving the most traffic to your site. Make sure you go back and add a freebie to each of these if you haven’t already.

FRIDAY

7) Publish and promote

#TGIF Almost there…just a few days left. You can do this!

First, publish your post

Whatever you do, please proofread your post before you publish it! I’m terrible at this… I’m always finding grammatical errors and typos in my posts months after they go live. Ugh. Sooo frustrating…and the longer the post, the more typos.

Do me one better here, friend! Give your post a once-over before you publish it.

Next, promote your post

This is the most important thing to do next, and I’m going to show you how to do it so that you get maximum visibility and traffic!

Let’s look at the blog promotion tasks in 3 stages (over 3 days!):

  1. Share on social media, bookmarking sites, and content communities
  2. Turn your post into other types of content to reach even more people
  3. Create and schedule additional updates, tweets and pins

Some experts, like Derek Halpern, recommend applying the 80/20 rule to blog promotion. This means that you spend 80% of your time promoting, and 20% writing. Honestly, I think my split is more like 100/100, haha.

Can you see why Friday, Saturday and Sunday are such important days?

Now you’re probably thinking How the heck am I going to do all of this without pulling my hair out?

I get it, I really do! It took me months to figure out a workflow that didn’t leave me flustered. This is another one of those thing where you need to hang in there! It’s going to get so much easier as you move through it.

First of all, the weekly blogging plan we’re covering today will help you keep a consistent schedule, where you’re doing the same tasks, on the same days, each week.

And once you run through the steps yourself and nail down your best workflow, it’ll be easy to pass the promotion tasks off to a virtual assistant. So if you can hang in there with me, you will get your weekend back later on! Pinky swear.

 

Here’s the spreadsheet I use with my VA to track weekly blog promotions:

social media marketing plan and and blog post tracker

You can download the worksheet so you can keep track of your promotion schedule too.
Fill in any gaps in your social media marketing plan with this blog promotion worksheet. Track exactly when and where you share your posts. Click to download!

Ok, with that being said, Friday is all about sharing on social media and bookmarking sites.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • And so many others…

Too much to list in this post! For the full list of sites, I recommend downloading the blog promo worksheet above.

SATURDAY

Repurpose your post

Repurposing your post is a techie way of saying turn it into something else, like a video, quick tip, slideshare, or podcast. For our purposes here today, let’s just focus on turning the post into:

  • A 1-2 minute video
  • Second Pinterest pin
  • Quick tip graphic
  • More tweets and updates

This is a much shorter list, and a lot easier to get your head around, right? Another way to think of it is like this:

At the end of the week you’re going to have these assets for your post:

  • The post itself
  • A video
  • A quick tip graphic

I know that this sounds like a lot!

But really, it goes much quicker than you think. What you can do is use the same quick tip for your graphic and your video. And if you think about it, all you’re really doing is taking what you’ve already “scripted”, selecting a few highlights from it, and turning them into something new. Plus, in my experience, recording video takes sooo much less time than writing a post!

For the video

You can use whatever you have available right now. Let’s not get hung up on techie recording gear, k? Your iPhone or webcam is the perfect starting place. The point here is to simply get into the habit of turning your posts into videos.

Once you’re recording video on the regular, I recommend the Blue Yeti mic to help amplify your audio.

To record the video itself, I started out with QuickTime and now use ScreenFlow, mainly because of the editing features. And my brother has been bangin’ out amazing videos using Camtasia on his PC. All of these are good choices, in my book!

For the quick tip graphic

You got it! Same tools from Tuesday, step #4.

Additional tweets and updates

For each post, I write 15 additional tweets, and 3-4 updates for Facebook and LinkedIn, all linking to the post.

Here’s what those look like:

Part of your social media marketing strategy should be to create additional graphics, tweets and updates for each post.I should point out that these tweets and updates are all slightly different. What you don’t want to do is to repeat the same tweet over and over again!

In the next step, we’ll schedule these tweets (plus our new content + graphics) to be shared over the next week. This will give us an initial spike in blog traffic.

Related: How to Promote Your Blog Posts Effectively on Social Media

SUNDAY

Schedule updates, tweets, and pins

Woo! You’re really hangin’ in there!

This (almost) last step is actually pretty easy. All we need to do is to queue up our content for sharing.

Can you see how all of your hard work is paying off here? You have more content to share on more platforms, which means more people seeing your post.

More types of content = more platforms = a broader audience.

This is why I love scheduling tools so much! Even though you’re building your following on just 1-2 social media sites (as I mention in this post), these tools allow you to “set it and forget it”, so to speak. That’s a win-win, in my book!

If you’re curious, in this post I share my favorite scheduling tools.

THROUGHOUT THE WEEK

Share to Facebook group promo threads

Almost there! One last thing…

If we’re really going to nail this blog and social media plan, we can’t forget Facebook groups. These groups can really have your head spinning if you don’t have a system in place.

Hmm…why is that?

I’ve been thinking about this, and the answer is that it really comes down to each group having its own rules, daily prompts and promo days. All of the schedules are just slightly different, enough that it makes them hard to track.

You can feel like a scrambled egg trying to keep up with which group has a promo thread on what day (which is what we’re really interested in here!)

With that said, FB is my #2 source of traffic. And I’m sure it must be because of groups.  It’s got to be. I only have 400 or so fans. 🙂

So how do you promote your posts through Facebook Groups?

Great question! First of all, if you’re not in groups already, I would spend a few days looking for groups in your niche, reading through their descriptions, checking their rules, and so on.

What you’re looking for are groups with high engagement that have “Promo Wednesdays” type thing, where you can share this week’s post. Even if the group doesn’t allow promotions, you can usually include your link in a thread comment (of course, you should check the group rules first).

Once you’re in a few groups, I recommend using a spreadsheet to keep track of each group’s promo days. Then all you have to do is remember to include your post in those threads.

If you’re curious, here’s what my Facebook promo schedule looks like:

This Facebook groups promo schedule helps you stay on track with your social media strategy planSo there you have it! If you follow these steps every week, you will start doubling and tripling your blog traffic and build an audience and community at the same time. Here’s the blog and social media plan again so you can get started:

Download my Blog + Social Media Plan to help you build your blog traffic and audience quickly and with ease!

 

How to Build Your Blog Audience (Like You Mean Business)

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How to Grow Your Blog Audience + Traffic | Ready to get your blog or business found by more people? This post is for you! It includes 4 things every blogger and online entrepreneur should do to get maximum visibility, build your list and create a platform for making money. Plus, it includes a FREE weekly blog planner to help you stay on track. Click through to view it!

How to Build Your Blog Audience Like You Mean Business | Here are 4 things every blogger and entrepreneur should do to get more traffic, build your list, and create a platform for making money with your blog. PLUS, it includes a free weekly blog planner so you know what to do each day to get maximum benefit. Click through to view it!Seems like forever since my last post and I’m having a heck of a time getting back into it, even though it’s been just 2 weeks.

Have you ever experienced that?

Where you fall off your blogging schedule for a bit, and when you try to get back on, you have to force yourself. Somehow it winds up being so much harder than it should be, right?

This struggle is what’s been on my mind lately and today, I’m sharing a blogging workflow to help you (and me!) stick to our blogging schedules, like we mean business. This will be part 1 of my Build Your Blog Audience + Traffic series, where I will be digging in to ways to improve your visibility and traffic, and ultimately, set the stage for making money with your online business.

Here’s what I’m covering in this post:

  • Knowing who you want to reach
  • Why you should be thinking about content funnels, even if you’re starting out
  • Setting monthly blogging + social media goals
  • Specific things to do each week to build your audience and reach your goals

Ready for it? Let’s dive in.

Step #1) Know who you’re trying to reach

Building your blog audience starts right here. This is such a biggie and worth mentioning again and again, even though you’ve probably heard it a hundred times!

The reason is because knowing your audience is the foundation of your entire business and online presence. And if you have a weak foundation, it’s hard to build up from there, with me?

To really build your blog audience, you have to solve one specific problem for one specific person.

If you want,you can download my Find Your Niche Workbook to help you zero in on your sweet spot – the intersection where your audience hearts what you heart, and your skills and passions allow you to charge premium prices. Just click the image below to grab it.

Click here to download my Find your Blog Niche Workbook!

Let’s say you’re all about nutrition and eating a healthy diet, and you want to pass on tips that you’ve learned to others so they can be fit and healthy too. Your goal is to sell nutrition eBooks and products that help people get from zero to fit with ease.

This is a great start, but we’re not quite there yet. “People who want to eat healthy” is too broad a market, especially in a crowded niche like health and fitness. Let’s dig a little deeper.

First of all, are you trying to reach primarily men or women?

In the fitness and health blogosphere, women typically account for about 75% of purchasing decisions, so my vote is to focus on women.

Ok, we’re really getting somewhere here, but we’re still skimming the surface with “Women who want to eat healthy”. Let’s dig deeper and narrow it down even more. To do that, it will help to look at why it’s hard for women to eat healthy.

I’m taking a quick stab here at a few pain points:

  • Truly healthy foods are not easy to find
  • Fast foods, in large portions, are everywhere
  • No time to research healthy foods, so you just eat what’s available
  • Don’t know how much to eat, what to eat and when to eat it
  • You feel like you “deserve” a treat during (and after) a hectic day
  • Bagel Monday’s and Pizza Friday’s at the office are hard to resist

I’m sure there are even more problems we can uncover, but this gets us on the right track. Do you see how by doing this, we can really start connecting your blog biz GOALS to what your target audience NEEDS.

This is where the magic happens, and why knowing your audience is such an important step. After all, how can you build your blog audience if you don’t even know who your audience is, make sense?

If we look at just a few of the pain points listed above, our target audience might start looking like this:

Professional women aged 30-55 who want to eat healthy but struggle with a busy schedule, not knowing the right foods to eat and not enough time to make complicated meals at home.

When you really get this right, you’re going to build your audience and traffic with ease. Promise.

Step #2) Think of blogging as a content funnel

Content funnels are one of those things where even thinking about them can make you feel flustered. You may be thinking What the heck is a content funnel, anyway?

Some people call them sales funnels, but I prefer to think of them as content funnels, mostly because I cringe at the thought of being salesy. If you’re curious, funnels are how you move people through a process of:

  • Getting to know you
  • Starting to like you
  • Trusting you as an authority, and finally
  • Purchasing from you

The way you move people through a funnel is with content, which is why I think content funnels is what we’re really talking about here, more so than sales funnels. And when I say content funnels, I mean all content…blog posts, webinars, videos, podcasts, emails, sales pages…all of it.

See how thinking about it this way marries each blog post to a sales system?

Your content becomes a system of building blocks that are interconnected. When you write a blog post, what you’re really doing is setting the early stages for people to buy. Here’s what that content funnel might look like:

Thinking of blog posts as part of a content funnel will help you create a blog and social media plan that builds your audience and traffic quickly.In other words, a blog post leads to a freebie, which leads to a free course or training, which leads to a paid course or eBook. Can you see how this is all coming together here?

Now in terms of the funnel itself, consistent blogging will help people get to know/like/trust you. So my question for you is:

What would you like your audience to buy from you?

That’s a big question, I know. You’re probably thinking I have no idea what product to create. I really need more traffic right now before I can figure that out!

I get it. This is one of those things where starting with your end game is actually going to help you get traffic and build your blog audience faster. The reason is because you’re going to be laser focused with each post and frame it around your future products, even if right now you’re not sure exactly what those products are!

This means that you want to create content around what your audience most needs, and that content is going to be the “top of your funnel”. Over time, you’ll see which posts resonate the most with your audience and which products to create around them.

Can you see how step #1 helps us create bangin’ content funnels too? Let’s look at some of the pain points from our earlier example:

  • Truly healthy foods are not easy to find
  • Don’t know how much to eat, what to eat and when to eat it
  • Bagel Monday and Pizza Fridays at the office are hard to resist

Here are some blog themes that would be perfect launching pads for future products:

  • Theme #1: Quick, easy recipes
  • Theme #2: The mindset of eating healthy
  • Theme #3: Meal plans and diet guidance

There’s more to sales funnels than this, but for now just start thinking about each post as having 2 jobs:

  1. To help your audience solve a specific problem
  2. To create a platform for future products and making money

If you need even more time to brainstorm products and want to monetize your blog right away, affiliate marketing is an inexpensive way to do it. This post walks you through how to get started with affiliate marketing.

3) Set monthly blog + social media goals

This is another area where starting with the end game will help you focus your priorities each week. From our Blog Profit Plan series, we already know the 4 things we need to focus on each month: content, traffic, subscribers and profit.

So let’s say this month we want to:

  • Write 6 blog posts (content)
  • Get 35K unique visitors (traffic)
  • Build our list to 4,500 (subscribers)
  • Offer a free course that leads to a paid course (profit)

Your goals may look much different than this, and that’s perfectly ok. Maybe what you really want to do is to get your first 100 subscribers, or even to write your first few blog posts. Or, maybe you have an eBook you’d like to sell.

The point is to be very specific with your goals and know that you can achieve them, based on your schedule and where you’re at in your blog biz journey right now.

If you want, you can download my sample monthly blog plan that shows you exactly what to do each week to grow your blog audience and traffic. Click the image below to download it.

Download my Blog + Social Media Plan to help you build your blog traffic and audience quickly and with ease!

Next, let’s look at how we’re going to achieve our monthly goals…

Step #4) Create a blog workflow

If only writing a blog post were as easy as writing the post, know what I mean?

In reality, there are a whole slew of things to do if we’re going to build our blog audience and traffic like we mean business. A single post can easily take the whole week to create when you blog with intention, which of course is what you do!

You have to do things like:

  • Research post ideas
  • Create images
  • Promote the post
  • Create a freebie
  • Write an email delivering the freebie

And if we break that down even more, our list looks more like this:

Weekly Blog + Social Media Plan to get more traffic to your website

And our monthly blog calendar looks like this:Sample Monthly Blog + Social Media PlanWhew! It’s a lot. And all of it works like a machine to help you build the platform for your sales/content funnels we talked about. This is what’s really going to help us build our blog audience and traffic.

Here’s the planner and checklist so you can start creating your own traffic machine. This is the same monthly plan that has helped me get 40K visitors and 4K subscribers in 3 months. Click the image below to download.

Download my Blog + Social Media Plan to help you build your blog traffic and audience quickly and with ease!

I came up with this blog plan after months of experimenting and trying to figure out a workflow that was easy to follow each week.

With this planner, you spread out individual blog tasks (and even batch them if you can). Remember, you’ve got more to do than just write a post if you really want to build your blog audience and traffic!

Here’s what “writing a blog post” looks like:

  • Research blog topics
  • Write the post
  • Make it SEO-findable
  • Create blog images
  • Create social media images
  • Create a freebie
  • Add the freebie to your post
  • Integrate the freebie with MailChimp, ConvertKit or other email platform
  • Proofread and publish
  • Share with your subscribers
  • Share on social media and other channels
  • Repurpose as a quick tip graphic
  • Create a second pin for Pinterest
  • Repurpose as a short video
  • Write more tweets and updates
  • Schedule updates, tweets, the video and quick tip
  • Share to Facebook group promo threads throughout the week

I recommend spreading these tasks out over the week for a few reasons:

First of all, building your blog audience takes time and there are a lot of pieces involved. Trying to cram every piece into just a day or two will leave you feeling frazzled, kinda like you’re falling behind with all of it. Spreading it out will make you feel calm, centered and in control of your blog biz.

The other reason is because when you think about it, all of the tasks listed above are wildly different. It takes a different head to write a post than to create graphics or even a freebie. And it’s a completely different “techie” head for opt-in forms, email integration, sequences, and so on.

We already know how task-shifting can act like a lead weight on your brain. Too much task-shifting inside of any one day will slow you down and make you feel foggy. What we want is to speed things up, right?

So there you have it. That’s a wrap for part #1 of The Build Your Blog Audience + Traffic series.

Next up: part #2, where I’ll drill down on each of the weekly blog tasks and strategies/tools to get it all done.
Download my Blog + Social Media Plan to help you build your blog traffic and audience quickly and with ease!

What’s your blogging workflow? Any tips to add to the list? Let’s hear it!

 

Why You Need a Social Media Strategy (And How to Create One That Works)


If you’re ready to get serious about your social media, but aren’t sure about the best ways to use it for your blog or business, this post is for you! It includes 9 tips for bloggers and entrepreneurs to help you create a social media strategy that gets you more followers, traffic, subscribers and sales, PLUS save you tons of time each week. Click through to check out all the tips!

If you’re ready to get serious about your social media, but aren’t sure about the best ways to use it for your blog or business, this post is for you! It includes 9 tips for bloggers and entrepreneurs to help you create a social media strategy that gets you more followers, traffic, subscribers and sales, PLUS save you tons of time each week. Click through to check out all the tips!Part 3 of the Blog Profit Plan series. Say whaaa? This was originally a 2 part series (part #1 here and part #2 here), but after the last post I realized that we still have a missing piece, which is a social media strategy.

That missing piece is key if we’re going to tie all of our buckets together:

  • Traffic
  • Content
  • Subscribers
  • Money

The reason is because social media is the glue that holds your business together. Think of it like a bridge that connects you to your future customers. When you do it right (and I’m going to show you how right here!), it will literally be a game-changer for your blog and biz. So if you’re ready to get serious about social media, I say let’s do this!

First, if you missed parts 1 + 2 of the Blog Profit Plan series, here’s what we covered:

  1. How to Create an Epic Blog Business Plan
  2. The Blog Profit Plan: How to Make Money With Your Blog

Now let’s take a look at part #3. Before we get into this, I should mention that having an effective social media strategy is all about showing up. Ev’ryday. Even if it feels like a colossal waste of time and you have so many other things to do already, if you stay with me here you’ll see the payoff, promise.

You probably have questions or concerns about social media, or maybe you’re thinking…

  • I don’t have time
  • I don’t know what to do
  • Where do I even start?
  • Which platforms should I be using?
  • What should I be sharing?
  • I’ve tried it before and it didn’t work

I used to feel that way too, and YES, it takes time. As with anything you do, effort in = effort out. You have to be on there, and at first, you’re going to be staring at your feeds wondering what the heck to do. But here’s the thing: once you have a system in place, all of those questions and doubts are going to disappear and things will come into focus quickly.

Here’s what happened for me with social media after a few short months of digging in:

  • Pinterest followers hit over 1,000
  • I gained thousands of Twitter followers (with at least 30 followers daily)
  • I’ve gained 500 Instagram followers (in just under 2 weeks!)
  • Over 300 Facebook followers
  • My traffic has gone from 3,500 monthly views to just under 30,000
  • I’ve grown my email list from 0 to over 1,400 people, and am gaining about 30 new subscribers each day

I’m showing you this so that you can see that when you put in the work, you will see the results. And I want you to be super successful! What I’m sharing today is a plan that you can use in your business and customize as you see fit. You’re going to have all my shortcuts so you can save time and get true results.

First up, you should have a clear picture in your head of who you are trying to reach on social media AND where they hang out. If you’ve followed parts #1 and #2 of this series, you should know your one person well, along with where they spend their time.

For instance: Say I’m a fitness blogger and my target audience is women ages 28-45 who are interested in getting fit and healthy but don’t really know where to start. They’re likely to hang out on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. They probably like Instagram influencers Jen Selter and Caitlin Turner. This is huge. See how being very focused can tell us what types of content to share and where we need to spend our time? If you need help, this customer avatar template will help you get crystal clear on who you’re trying to reach.

Before we get started, I created this social media cheat sheet and content calendar with 24 days of content ideas, plus other pointers like when to post and how frequently. Just click on the image below to download it.

A social media cheat sheet for bloggers and entrepreneurs so you know what to post and when, plus tools to help you automate everything from scheduling, to growth and engagement, and creating images.

This post contains affiliate links

Step 1: What are your monthly goals?

Write this all down so you can see your priority goals for the month. This way when you share content, you have a strategy and a plan behind it. What’s the most important thing for you to accomplish this month? Do you want to:

  • Add 1,000 new subscribers?
  • Launch a new product?
  • Gain 3,000 Pinterest followers?
  • Sell 25 of your products? (remember the blog income formula)
  • Get 200 webinar signups?

Knowing your end game will help you plan what types of content to share (including any promotional content) plus give you specific numbers to hit.

For example, if your month’s goal is to get more subscribers, you would want to schedule blog posts that include a freebie or opt-in offer. And if you’re promoting a course or product, you will want to schedule blog posts that contain links to your product offer, coupons, discounts, etc.

Step 2: Share content

Now that you know what your monthly goals are, it’s time to share content so you can build up your followers and at the same time support your monthly goals. There are two types of content you’re going to share:

  • Other people’s content
  • Your own content

We could just lump these 2 together and call it “share content”, but I’d rather break them down like this because our strategy for other people’s content vs our own content will be different. First of all, it will take some time to develop a system for your original content, but sharing other people’s content is easy to set up and you can build a ginormous following this way. I built my Twitter account to over 16K doing exactly that – retweeting and curating content.

Now would I recommend sharing only other people’s content? No way. Definitely not a good plan if we’re going to build a platform for a hugely profitable business (which is exactly what we’re going to do!). Buuut, a following of 16K means that when you start sharing your own content, you have an audience ready to consume it. I say let’s check the box on it, so we can move on knowing that we’re revvin’ up our social media strategy the right way, k?

First up: create a source library of bloggers, influencers, pins, and posts. Here’s how to do it:

1) Create a Feedly source library

There are likely blogs and influencers in your niche that you follow (if not, time to crack the books!). Make a list of sources that are relevant and useful to your peeps. The sources can be anything…blogs, Facebook pages, Instagram accounts…anything.

For instance, my list includes:

  • Social Media Examiner –  socialmediaexaminer.com (social media tips)
  • Copyblogger – copyblogger.com (blogging tips)
  • Amy Porterfield – amyporterfield.com (online courses)
  • Olyvia olyvia.co – (branding tips)

Now that you have your sources, it’s time to import them into Feedly. Feedly will read and organize all of your favorite news sources in one place. Uh, huh? It sounds more confusing than it is, really. With Feedly, you have access to all of your favorite content right from their dashboard. This means that whenever a new post is published, Feedly will update your feed in real time, so you only have to check one source to see fresh new content.

Use Feedly to create a source library of content to share for your social media strategy.Lookin’ good… Later on, I’ll show you how to share all of your epic Feedly content, but for now, fist bump.

2) Create secret Pinterest boards

Now we’re going to do the same thing on Pinterest using secret boards. Secret boards are Pinterest boards that only you can see, so when you save pins here they’re just for you and no one else. You’ll see them below your other boards, like this:

Social Media Strategy Tip: Create secret boards on Pinterest to use as a source library of content to share.I recommend keeping your source list handy (plus any other brands that pin great content). This way if you can’t find valuable pins to share right there in your feed, you know where to go to find them. What I do is once a week, or when I’m catching up on Hulu, spend 30 minutes pinning content to my secret boards.

For example, my secret “source” boards are:

  • + Blogging/Biz Pins Source
  • + Entrepreneur/Freelance Source
  • + Social Media Source

The + sign is how I know that these boards are secret. See the mood board in the image above? That’s another secret board where I pin everything that inspires me…things like colors, fonts, workspaces, interiors, textures, fashion, logos, other brands…everything I love gets pinned here. If you want a place to gather design ideas for your brand, this is a fun way to do it! Gotta love Pinterest!

Step 3: Create and share your own content

Next up: let’s look at your own content. Here we’re talking about all the content you create: blog posts, tips, quotes, behind the scenes, stories, and so on.

The best way to approach this is to always be thinking about how you can turn one piece of content into something new. This way you have tons of visuals to share for a single post, plus you’re building up a huge content library.

What do I really mean by this?

First of all, with each post you want to create a number of assets, which is a fancy way of saying that every time you publish a post, you create a few other pieces of content for it. Think of it like your blog post kit. For example, for each post you might have:

  • The post itself
  • A freebie offer
  • A quick tip from the post
  • A video summarizing the post
  • An email for your subscribers

Phew! This looks like a lot, I know, but see how you can create an archive of content this way? Once you have a system together with branded image templates (use Canva or Photoshop), things move much faster. Pinky swear.

Here’s an inside look at the content I created for one of my posts:

Related: Social Media Share Image Sizes

And if you want to know a really effective way to promote your blog posts on social media, make sure you read this post where I break down exactly what to share on each channel.

Step 4: Schedule content

I’m a huge fan of Buffer, SmarterQueue, BoardBooster, Tailwind and Planoly for Instagram. So what’s the deal with all of these tools, you ask? Here’s how I use them:

BUFFER – $10 a month
Use for Twitter

To share other people’s content I use it with IFTTT, where my recipes pull my Feedly feeds into Buffer. Curious about IFTTT? This video explains it in more detail, plus a free way to automate and loop your posts using Google calendar (works like a charm for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!).

I also use Buffer to give new posts an initial spike in traffic. So whenever I have a new post, I create 15-20 tweets and schedule them throughout the week in Buffer.

SMARTERQUEUE – starts at $20 a month
Use for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

A serious game-changer for me, I heart it big time. SmarterQueue is like Buffer meets Edgar without the big monthly fees. Once my queue reaches the bottom, SmarterQueue loops my posts so that they are always being shared. The only thing on my wish list is a better way to promote new blog posts, which is why I still use Buffer. Hopefully, these guys will be adding that feature soon.

Use SmarterQueue to schedule your posts and rock your social media strategy.

On a tight budget or don’t want to pay monthly fees? This post shows you a free way to do the same thing as SmarterQueue (well, almost…) using IFTTT and Google Calendar. You money-saver, you…

BOARDBOOSTER – $10 up to 1000 pins a month
Use for Pinterest

Pinterest accounts for 80% of my traffic at this point and BoardBooster has been a huge reason why. This is a cool way to pin all at once but have Pinterest space them out for you, so you don’t bombard your audience with 30 pins in one hour. Oh, and remember the secret boards we created? BoardBooster is where you’ll set up campaigns to share those pins with your audience. We’re talkin’ set it and forget it here, friend.

Related: 14 Ways to get Massive Traffic from Pinterest

TAILWIND – $10 a month
Use for Pinterest

BoardBooster has a semi-steep learning curve. There’s a lot to digest and it takes time to set up your campaigns. If you want to get a jump on scheduling and get right to it, Tailwind is your answer. It’s amazingly easy to use and all of your scheduled pins will be right there on the dashboard, so if you’re a visual person like me, you will love it!

Social Media Strategy Tip: Use Tailwind to schedule your posts.

There’s also a way to loop your pins similar to BoardBooster. If you’re curious about how looping on Tailwind works, this post is a good read.

PLANOLY – $15 a month
Use for Instagram

If you’re a control freak like me and want all of your images to have the same look and feel, with Planoly you can tweak designs in Photoshop, schedule them straight from your desktop, and then share them through the app. I started using this tool a few months ago and have to say it’s a fun way to schedule posts on Instagram. I’ve actually grown my following quite a bit thanks to Planoly and highly recommend it.

Social Media Strategy Tip: Planoly will help you schedule posts to Instagram.Step 5: Interact and Be social

This sounds like a no-brainer, no? Social is all about being social. Make sure you get in there and engage with your audience, reply to comments and tweets, like other people’s posts, and so on. The trick here is to get in and get out so you don’t get sucked in! Try to limit your time to 15-20 minutes a day. Preferably this will be your downtime, so you don’t interfere with more productive tasks like writing content.

Phew! You made it. We’re gettin’ close…just a few more things to cover.

 

[ WHAT SHOULD YOU POST, AND WHEN? ]

Step 6: What types of content should you share?

Different types of content work better on different platforms. For instance, Facebook and YouTube are perfect for videos. Quick tips and inspirational quotes work well on Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter.

Instagram and Pinterest are all about eye candy, so you need to try to optimize your graphics so they really stand out and grab people’s attention. A straight text post won’t do here.

On Facebook and Twitter, you can include text-only posts, just know that these tend to get fewer retweets and shares than graphic posts.

What you can do with text posts is to ask engaging questions, like these:

  • What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?
  • If you could wave a magic wand over (your subject), what would you like the end result to be?
  • What are the top 3 things you want to learn more about?
  • Are you excited about (insert subject)? Yes/No

People love inspiration quotes, quick tips and videos, so I like to spend a day or two at the beginning of each month to create graphics and quick tip videos. If you do this, you’ll always have content to share, even if you fall behind with writing blog posts. Been there, done that!

If you need help brainstorming what to share, this social media cheat sheet and content calendar has over 24 different types of content you can use, plus tons of other social media pointers. You can grab it right here:

A social media cheat sheet for bloggers and entrepreneurs so you know what to post and when, plus tools to help you automate everything from scheduling, to growth and engagement, and creating images.

Step 7: Best times to post

I’m going to give you some general guidelines for each platform (which I also cover, and more, in this post), but, here again, you should track the analytics on each site to find the times when the largest number of your fans are online.

The reason I say this is because I’ve seen some interesting patterns for my blog. Even though the best times to tweet should be weekdays 1-3pm, I actually get a lot of retweets between 2-5am, and again at 11pm. This tells me that my Twitter audience is very active in the middle of the night, and not so much during the day. And with Pinterest, everyone (including me) will tell you that Saturdays is the “it-day”, but recently I’ve been getting more Pinterest traffic on the weekdays than on the weekends, including Saturdays.

You’re likely to experience the same thing. I recommend starting off using the times below as a guide, and then check your analytics every month to find the best times for you.

When to post guidelines:

  • Facebook – 12-3pm & 8-9pm weekdays, weekends 12-1pm
  • Twitter: 10am-6pm, sweet spot between 1-3pm weekdays
  • Pinterest: 5pm – 12am, all day Saturday
  • Instagram: 12-3pm, 8-10pm

Analytics tools:

Facebook – No more guessing! Use Facebook Insights (your page > Insights > Posts) to see the best time of day to post. Here’s the kind of data you’ll see about your audience.

Use Facebook Insights to tweak your social media strategy and find the best times to post.

Twitter – Tweriod is a site that will give you the same data as Facebook Insights. I believe you can even view individual days for even more specific data.

Instagram – Instagrammers are all interacting and being social. It’s going to be a total game-changer when you nail down when your audience is active. Now Planoly is a very pretty way to schedule Instagram posts, but Iconosquare is really going to be your one-stop Instagram HQ. Use it to find out which times your audience is actually engaging. That will be your best time to post.

Social Media Strategy Tip: Use Iconosquare to find the best time to post on Instagram.

Pinterest – If you use Tailwind for nothing else, use it for the analytics. With a premium account, you can see the best times to post based on engagement, which is what you’re looking for. You can use the data to schedule pins either through Tailwind or BoardBooster. Make sure you pin heavy on the weekends, especially Saturday. Like I mentioned above, typically that’s when most people are active on Pinterest.

That wraps up the analytics. Now that you have your toolkit, make sure you pop in once a month to review and tweak your social media strategy according to your best times to post. Your goal is to get the most engagement for each piece of content and skyrocket your growth.

Steps 8: How often should you post?

Each platform is different. Twitter you can post 20x a day, Pinterest 30x a day, but on Facebook and Instagram, you’d be spamming people’s feeds if you did that.

Here are some daily guidelines:

  • Facebook: 1-5x
  • Twitter: 13-20x
  • Pinterest: 10-50x
  • Instagram: 1-3x

You’re probably thinking How the heck am I going to post 30x on Pinterest or 20x on Twitter?

I’m right there with you… It’s a lot. I recommend starting small and scaling up. Think of the guidelines as your 1/4-mile finish line. They’re up ahead, around the corner, and you’re going to reach them, just not quite yet. First, let’s put our heads down and focus on the start, which looks something like:

  1. You post once a day on each platform.
  2. Once you’re comfortable with that frequency, increase it to twice a day.
  3. Next, pick one platform to dominate, preferably the platform where most of your audience hangs out. Become a Ninja Pinner or Instagram It-Girl, kind of thing. The key here is to focus on just one platform for a long time.
  4. Once you’ve mastered step #3, repeat it for the next site.

Let’s recap: our monthly goal is to tie all of our buckets together (content, traffic, subscribers, product). And we want to do that with social media.

Here’s what a day on social media might look like:

  • Share on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram:  Your own blog post, a quick tip, other people’s content from resource list
  • Share on Pinterest: 5 pins from your source boards, 5 repins
  • On all platforms: Moderate, engage, comment, like, reply, retweet, share

The beauty here is that the only thing you’re doing in real time is that last one: moderate and engage. Everything else has been planned and scheduled ahead of time. Superfantastic, you’re all set!

Psst… an easy way to build up your content library is to repurpose your blog posts as videos, helpful tip graphics, questions, text posts, and so on. I know I’m repeating myself here, but I learn things visually, so figure it can’t hurt. Here’s what I usually create for my blog posts:
Social Media Strategy Tip: Create different visual content for each social media site.

Then I share each of these the first week my post publishes to get an initial spike in traffic. If you want, this blog promo planner will show you what to share on each platform so you can do the same:

Check out this Blog Promo Plan + Checklist to help you promote your blog posts and get massive social media traffic!

We’re almost finished.

If you feel like this is a lot, I get it. There’s a learning curve to all of this. No one becomes a ninja warrior overnight 🙂 If you hang in there with me and put in the time, scheduling social media will soon become effortless. And it will be so worth it. You’re going to rock social media and your goals, k? Just one last step… which is super important and we can’t forget it.

Step 9: Queue it all up – one day a month

Spend one day a month planning your content around your monthly goals so you know what you want to share. Preferably you do this on the first of the month. What this looks like is you use the monthly calendar (step #1 above) and gather your content for the month around it. Pull from your blog posts and your resource lists from Feedly and Pinterest.

Then on Sundays, schedule your content for the week and create the images you need. This will include blog post images and other social media images, such as quick tips and inspirational quotes.

Here’s what I create for each post (now this is the 3rd time I’m saying this haha)

  • 2 pins (for A/B testing)
  • 2-3 instagram images with links to my posts, or inspirational quotes
  • an image for facebook and twitter
  • a vide of my post
  • a quick tip image for Facebook and Twitter

Let’s wrap this baby up!

Here are some final thoughts:

  • Consistency is key to getting results on social media. Show up each day and you will grow your following, and your business. No doubt.
  • Create a plan each month for what you want to achieve on social media. Social media can really suck you in, so I recommend doing what you need to do each day, and then getting out. That means you comment, like, moderate inside each platform, but do all your other work outside of them.
  • When you’re starting out, share other people’s content first, then focus on your own content. This way you’ll build your following as you rev up your own content machine.
  • Use the tools mentioned above (BoardBooster, Tailwind, Buffer, etc) to schedule your content.
  • Share content on each platform to start, then focus on growing one site. I recommend digging in to Pinterest first because that’s where you’re going to get the bulk of your traffic. When those are bringing you great results and you feel comfortable, move on to another platform.
  • Test and check analytics to see what posting schedule works best for your audience.
  • Always include an image with your posts, unless you’re asking an engaging question. People are very visual and this will help your posts stand out and be seen!

I would love to hear how you made out with this! What does your social media strategy look like?

 

 

 

How to Market Your Blog Posts Effectively on Social Media

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Wondering how to promote your blog post after you hit publish? Use this blog promo plan + cheat sheet for entrepreneurs and bloggers to get tons of social media traffic to your content. Click through to check out the planner!

How to Market Your Blog Posts Effectively on Social Media | Wondering how to promote your blog post right after you hit publish? This blog promo plan + cheat sheet for entrepreneurs and bloggers will help you get tons of social media traffic to your content. Click through to create your own blog promotion plan!Do you ever wonder how to market your blog post once you hit publish, so that all your hard work writing it pays off – and instead of seeing crickets when you dig in to analytics, you see hundreds and thousands of page visits each day?

Today, I’m sharing a blog promo plan for social media traffic that will help you:

  • Give new posts an initial spike of social traffic
  • Turn your post into other types of content
  • Recycle older posts so they’re always out there

What this means is that right after you publish a post, you have a plan for how, when, and where you will share it.

One thing I should mention…you don’t have to tackle every social channel listed here.

If Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are making a difference in your business (or if your audience is likely to hang out here), get into a system for sharing your posts consistently on these channels first. Don’t worry about the others. You can always add them later.

BONUS: I created this Blog Promotion Plan + Checklist to help put what you learn into action.

Check out this Blog Promo Plan + Checklist to help you promote your blog posts and get massive social media traffic!

Blog Promo Plan for Social Media Traffic

Facebook

  • Day 1 – Share the link post
  • Day 3 – Create a video summarizing post
  • Day 7 – Turn a quick tip into an infographic
  • Day 14 – Pose a question with a link to the post
  • Day 31 – Repeat Day 1

Twitter

  • Day 1 – Tweet a link to your post
  • Day 1 (4 hours later) – Change the text and tweet a second link to your post
  • Day 3 – Share a clip of FB video
  • Day 7 – Twitter moment with all tweets related to your blog posts
  • Day 14 – Share another link with an image
  • Day 31 – Repeat Day 1 (use the best tweet)


Pinterest

  • Day 1 – Design image with link + pin to boards
  • Day 3 – Change caption of pin and image and pin it to boards
  • Day 14 – Pin a link to the video
  • Day 31 – Repeat Day 1 (use the most popular pin)


Instagram

  • Day 1 – post image with text overlay
  • Day 3 – Instagram story in video format, introduce blog post content with call to action
  • Day 7 – Post the video clip from Facebook
  • Day 14 – Share the same quick tip from Facebook

Google+

  • Day 1 – Share the link post to Public
  • Day 1 (4 hours later) – Share the post to Communities
  • Day 7 – Share the same quick tip from Facebook
  • Day 31 – Repeat Day 1


LinkedIn

  • Day 1 – Share the link post as an update
  • Day 1 (four hours later) – share to LinkedIn Groups
  • Day 7 – Share the same quick tip from Facebook
  • Day 31 – Repeat Day 1


Youtube

  • Day 1 – Upload your video, include a link back to your blog post
    Add YouTube cards to the video with pertinent links to your blog and website

———————

Whew! That’s a lot.

You’re probably thinking…

I created a blog post, not a video or infographic. Where are these coming from? 

Well, you need to create them. Trust me though, they won’t take long, not after you’ve already written your post!

Right after you finish writing, create different types of visual content for it. This will keep your content fresh and interesting, and make scheduling apps happy (because they tend to flag duplicate text).

Here’s what I create for each post:

  • The post itself with a title image
  • 2 pin images
  • 1 Instagram image
  • A video
  • A question
  • A quick tip infographic

Of course, you can work up to this. When I started sharing my posts regularly, I created only a title image. Then I added a single pin image, then two, then multiple tweets, and so on.

I don’t want you to think you need to create all of this at once. Use the blog promo plan as something to work up to and as always, start where you are…

If you’re looking for other types of social media content you can share, click the image below to download my Social Media Cheat Sheet + Content Calendar.

A social media cheat sheet for bloggers and entrepreneurs so you know what to post and when, plus tools to help you automate everything from scheduling, to growth and engagement, and creating images.

What about scheduling tools?

There’s so many to choose from… Here are a few that I like:

For Days 1-14:

  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Tailwind (Pinterest)
  • Planoly (Instagram)

For Day 31 – and once a month after that:

  • SmarterQueue
  • Recurpost
  • Edgar
  • SocialOomph
  • BoardBooster (Pinterest)
  • Planoly (IG)

A few random thoughts about the tools:

With Hootsuite, it’s easy to schedule specific days/times to post. I love Buffer and use it a lot (especially for Twitter because of its integration with IFTTT), but it’s hard to set specific days to share your posts there. You create a daily schedule and whichever content is in your queue is what gets shared.

For Pinterest, Tailwind is great – you can shuffle pins around and schedule them on any day you want (same for Planoly). I even figured out a way to semi-loop pins using Tailwind.

Recurpost is free for up to 3 channels, so this is definitely worth looking into. BoardBooster is a definite must-have for automating and recycling pins. SmarterQueue is my new fav for automating Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. And then there’s this IFTTT/Google Calendar method I’ve shared with you, which is also free and works like a charm for Twitter and Facebook posts.

Related: 32 Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic

Anything that’s made a huge difference in your traffic? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list!

32 Insanely Easy Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic (For Free)

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32 Insanely Easy Ways to Boost Blog Traffic for Free | If you're ready to market your blog and grow your audience, but don't know where to start, this post is for you! It includes 32 ways bloggers and entrepreneurs can promote your posts to make sure work is found by more people. Click through to see all the tips!Hey friends! Today I want to talk about ways to boost blog traffic and get incredible visibility for your posts, so that all your hard work pays off and gets found by more people everywhere.

Traffic is a biggie when it comes to blogging. The reason is that if you want people to get to know your brand, love your brand, and ultimately, become customers, they first have to see you. They have to know your business exists.

It’s like you need a signpost to draw their attention to your business…and in the blogosphere, traffic = signpost.

Truth is, blogging is a lot of work and when you see your hard work pay off with more traffic, you can’t help but do a happy dance. You get excited and want to keep the momentum going, no?

On the flip side, when your blog traffic plateaus or even goes down, it can kill your enthusiasm for blogging altogether. We don’t want that to happen, so…

Today, I want to share some things I’ve been experimenting with that have helped me increase my blog traffic, so that you can increase the traffic to your website too.

Before I continue, I have to tell you the one thing I did that actually made my traffic go down:

Nothing.

Yep, I said it. I did nothing. Didn’t promote my posts after I published them. Just let them sit there, and my blog traffic dipped down fast, I tell you. I know this because my traffic was on the rise and I thought Good, I can ease up on content promotion a bit. Let’s just say lesson learned!

Ease up on content promotion = take down my signpost = no traffic. Which is pretty much the gist of it.

There’s a whole lot you can do to drive tons of blog traffic, without spending thousands of dollars on advertising. You just need to understand the types of traffic sources there are and these powerful techniques to get over 10K page views per month.

Let’s check out the steps.

Things You Should Do As Part of Your Overall Blog Traffic Strategy

1) Build your following

Decide which social media sites you want to lean on and work to build a following on those platforms. Social media will be a huge source of blog traffic if you approach it right, so spend some time actively engaging on those sites, sharing other people’s content as well as your own. I cover more about creating a social media strategy in this post.

2) Social media profiles

Give your website a boost in traffic by making sure you include your website URL in all of your social media sites. You’ll be amazed at how much traffic this can drive to your website.

3) Post on social media regularly

I know we’re all busy, still posting regularly and frequently on social media is going to make a huge difference in building your following. Of course, we can’t be on social media 24/7, and scheduling tools will help automate your posts so you’re always active without being active, make sense? My favorites are BoardBooster, SmarterQueue, and Buffer, and there are many others.

4) Post frequently + consistently

The more of your own content you have to share, the more blog traffic you can get from social media and search engines. Updating your blog regularly also helps to build your brand so that people can get to know you, and keeps readers coming back for more.

5) Focus on one audience

It can be tempting to want to blog about a lot of different things, especially if you have a lifestyle blog. The more you can narrow the focus on one specific topic for one specific person, the more success you’ll have with it and the easier it will be to build your audience. Writing about just one topic will also keep you on track with your blog and keep you from spending time on vague or unrelsated topics.

Related: How to Choose Your Blog’s Niche and Focus

6) Add social share buttons to your blog

Share buttons are what you see at the end of this post, and image share buttons are what you see when you hover over my blog post image. If you’re using WordPress, Shareaholic and SumoMe are two popular share button plugins.

While you’re at it, why not install the Click to Tweet plugin and add some tweetable quotes in your post? All of these are subtle ways to encourage people to share your post and get even more visibility.

7) Use basic SEO

You want that when people enter important terms into search engines, they see your blog post. Learning some basic SEO will help you optimize your posts for search engines and improve your chances of being ranked higher. If you’re ready to get your SEO game on, check out this SEO guide for bloggers.

8) Set aside time to promote your posts

I know it takes what seems like forever to write posts, and if you’re like me, you’re tempted to call it a day once you publish it. Please, friend, don’t be like me! As I mentioned above, promoting and sharing your post is what’s going to help you get more eyes on it.

And really, after pouring our hearts into our work, we owe it to ourselves to let people know about it, right?

I cover some ways to promote your post in the next steps, but for now just know that the same way you put aside time to write your posts, you need to set aside time to let the universe know about them. If you write your posts on Mondays and Thursdays, set aside time to promote them on Wednesdays.

Related: How to Get a Massive Amount of Stuff Done Each Day

Ways to Boost Blog Traffic After You Hit Publish

Ok, now for the good stuff. The steps I’m listing here are like a blog post checklist of things to do after you publish your posts to drive traffic to them.

Here are the steps I’m covering here:

  • First, share them on social media
  • Next, schedule additional shares, tweets, and posts
  • Then, add them to bookmarking and content curation sites
  • Then, add to more blogging platforms
  • And finally! Yes, try paid promotions (they work)

Let’s walk through each of these.

I. FIRST, SHARE IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

The first thing to do once you publish your post is to share it to all of your social media accounts.

As a rule of thumb, I have accounts on most platforms, but am not really active on all of them. That would be humanly impossible! Still, more social media accounts means more eyes on your content, so it makes sense to create profiles on as many as you can.

9) Pinterest

Pinterest is my #1 traffic source of blog traffic, so I’m pretty obsessed with it. It’s actually more than a social media platform. Pinterest is also a search engine, which is huge. If you want your content found, you need to make sure you share your it here. So every time you publish a new post, make sure you pin it to Pinterest.

Because Pinterest can be such a huge boost in traffic, let’s take a look at some other things you can do to give your posts that extra boost:

Make sure you create a pinnable image, which really just means a vertical blog post image that includes your brand elements (logo, icon, URL) and the title of your post. This will be the image people see in their Pinterest feed, and as they repin your post, this is the image that they will share.

Add a description to your pin image so that when people share it, the description is there with it. The description should include the title of our blog post plus any other descriptive keywords that people might use to search for your pin. And of course, a call to action.

Here’s an example:Add alt text to your featured image description to help boost blog traffic to your website

See how the title is in there, plus some additional keywords and a CTA? That’s what your description should look like too.

10) Twitter

Twitter’s been a great way to boost blog traffic for me, right behind Pinterest, so I spend a lot of time on this platform too.

With Twitter, more tweets is better! Tweet a link to your post right after you publish it, and then use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule more tweets throughout the day and week. Make sure you include hashtags and change up your tweets so you don’t look like you’re spamming!

11) Facebook

You may be using your personal profile for updates or have a branded business page. Either one is fine, just make sure you share your posts here too and work to build your following so that your posts reach more people! Organic reach on Facebook is like a thing of the past, still I get traffic from it with only a few followers, so there’s something there.

12) Facebook Groups

Groups are Facebook’s secret sauce, so join some and share, share, share! Don’t be spammy and just share links to your blog blatantly, though. There’s an etiquette to Facebook groups and what makes them so great is that you’ve got real people sharing tips, asking questions, and helping each other out.

That’s how you want to approach groups. Join a few where you feel like you can contribute (and even learn). Then, if you see an opportunity to share a post, or maybe someone has a question that your post helps answer, you can share your link.

Always check the group rules. The admin will let you know when and if it’s ok to share promotional links, along with other general guidelines.

I plan on putting together a spreadsheet on Facebook groups in a future post. Let me know in the comments if this is something you think would be useful, and I’ll hook it up!

13) Instagram

I confess. My brain has room to tackle one beast at a time and I’ve been a Pinterest girl up ‘til now. I’m just getting started with Instagram and shared my first post there today! Yaay for me! You’re probably way ahead of me on this one, so if you have any epic tips, please do share!

Stay tuned for updates on my IG journey…

By the way, have you tried Planoly? I really am in love with this Instagram scheduling tool! I know I only used it once, but if I’m being totally honest, I was dreading Instagram because I couldn’t figure out a way to share images from my desktop instead of my phone. Then poof! Along comes Planoly and breaks it all down for me. Watch out Instagram, here I come!!

Update: I now have over 2K followers and am getting some decent traffic from Instagram. Not more than Facebook, but I expect that as my followers increase, Instagram will boost blog traffic even more than Facebook. Fingers crossed!

14) Google+

Google+ is worth posting to not only for social traffic, but also because, after all, it is Google’s site, which means that being active on Google+ can help your posts rank higher in Google search results overall.

15) LinkedIn

If your audience is on LinkedIn and you have a decent following, you’ll want to share you posts here too. It’s not a huge traffic driver for me, but hey, it all adds up, right?

16) LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn has groups much like Facebook where you can share your posts. I prefer FB groups to LinkedIn, still if your peeps are on LinkedIn, why not poke around and find some groups to join?

Before their latest update, it was super easy to share to groups. All you had to do was post your update, select Share to Groups, and then select your groups. Now you have to manually share your post to each group one by one, which is a bummer. Who said promoting a blog was easy?!

17) LinkedIn Pulse

I see people getting decent blog traffic from posts they publish on the Pulse platform. A while back Mike Allton got 4,000 page views from one post alone (more than double his normal LinkedIn traffic at the time). I’m definitely excited to try it, and you should too!

 

II. NEXT, SCHEDULE THE POSTS FOR LATER

18) SmarterQueue

Love, love, love this new scheduling tool! I’ve been using it for the past few months in a quest to find the perfect scheduling tool. I use it to recycle and share my evergreen posts to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. My traffic has definitely bumped up since using this, and the price is perfect at $20 a month for up to 4 social accounts.

19) Buffer

After I share my tweet in step #10, I use Buffer to schedule about 15-20 more tweets during the first week. This is a great way to give your posts that initial spike in traffic.

Note: I was hoping SmarterQueue would replace Buffer altogether, but alas, not yet! I’m hangin’ in with Buffer because I share other people’s content via Feedly and IFTTT, and Buffer integrates seamlessly with both of these.

20) BoardBooster

This is another magic tool that I love, love, love. I think it must have easily doubled my traffic since I started using it. I only wish I’d started sooner…BoardBooster is a scheduling tool for Pinterest, and let me tell you, it is all magic! You must, must, must check it out.

Follow step #9 to pin your post, and then schedule additional pins using BoardBooster.

 

III. THEN, USE BOOKMARKING SITES

Create accounts on each of the sites listed below and then start sharing your posts here too.

21) StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a content discovery site where people “stumble” different web pages to find things that interest them. Add your post here too and include tags to make it easier for people to find your content. But you can’t just post your own content here. Stumblers don’t really like it when you only post from your website.

You can either stumble and “like” other pages, or add pages manually. Let’s say you’re on Pinterest and find a pin you want to save to a board. Grab the URL from the post and add it to StumbleUpon too.

Try to go for at least a 10:1 ratio, meaning that for every 10 posts you share from other websites, you share 1 of yours.

Note: Because of the way StumbleUpon is structured, the traffic you get isn’t very sticky, which really just means that the bounce rates tend to be pretty high. To make your posts more sticky, make sure you capture people’s attention right away so they read through your post.

22) Reddit

Bloggers beware! Reddit is one seriously intimidating platform. What I mean by this is that redditors can smell spam about a thousand miles away and your account can easily get banned if you don’t adhere to subreddit rules, so please be careful here. They can also be very direct (aka tough) with their comments. You need to be thick-skinned , but we’re fearless bloggers, so we got this…

Curious about subreddits? They’re just like Facebook groups. No biggie there.

Now for the real question: Can Reddit really help boost blog traffic?

I’m not sure yet, to be honest. I’ve seen amazing traffic and I’ve seen very little blog traffic. I’ve also been banned from some subreddits. So while I’m on the fence with it, it’s worth adding your posts here too because the boost in blog traffic is noticeable and makes a difference. Reddit traffic tends to convert pretty well too.

You just have to be very careful with your approach to adding links to your posts. Best practice is to approach subreddits the same way you approach Facebook groups. When you come across a post or a question where you can help, include a link to your post within your comment.

23) BizSugar

I’ve been using BizSugar for about 3 months and am just starting to see some traffic from it. Like any other platform, the more you share, the more visible you become, and that’s when the magic starts happening.

24) Hacker News

If you blog about entrepreneurship, Hacker News will get you traffic. Plus, it’s so easy to submit your posts. Just share the link and a title and you’re done!

25) Growth Hackers

If your blog has anything to do with growth hacking, startups, or tech, Growth Hackers is another place you can share your posts.

26) Scoop.it

What can I say about Scoop.it? First, it integrates with Twitter, so if you have a following on Twitter, you can hit the ground running with a decent amount of followers on Scoop.it too. To add content, either set up an RSS feed or add your posts manually, which is what I prefer to do. This way I can add specific tags to each one.

27) FlipBoard

Love, love, love! This is my new fav… Don’t ask me why, I couldn’t tell you! Probably has to do with the way the feed looks. It’s just got a really great design and I want to spend time on it. Which is really how you should approach all of this. If you love a particular site, dig in, friend.

You may have to give each one a solid try before you call it, though. I originally thought BizSugar was a waste of time until I started getting comments and traffic, so you never know! Now, of course, I love it!

You just have to hang in there long enough with each one before you decide which ones to stay with.

No doubt FlipBoard is a keeper for me. Does it boost blog traffic? Yes sirree. I’m seeing some decent blog traffic from it already, plus I love spending time on there. Win, win!

28) Inbound.org

Like HackerNews, the people on Inbound are excited to help each other out. If you blog about content marketing or marketing at all, this is a great place to share your posts.

 

IV. FORUMS + OTHER BLOGGING PLATFORMS

29) Quora

I’ve gotten decent traffic from Quora, and also, surprisingly, a number of clients. Quora is a question-and-answer forum where you can find and answer questions on just about any topic. The trick on Quora is to make your answers pretty extensive and really provide value on there, then include a link back to relevant posts, which is where the traffic part comes in.

30) Tumblr

Re-post your content on Tumblr. I actually like this platform because the content on there is beautiful to look at. I didn’t pay much attention to it at first, but have noticed more and more blog comments from Tumblr, which means it’s driving a decent amount of traffic.

31) Medium

Medium is a blogging platform like WordPress or Blogger where you share stories. “Stories” is just their lingo for posts. I haven’t tapped into how to drive traffic on here yet, but trust me, I’m working on it! Medium is really designed to feature your entire post instead of an excerpt with a link back to your original post, so it’s been a little tricky.

But! I’m testing the excerpt route now and will keep you posted on how well it works.

One thing that’s cool is that you can build a mailing list directly on Medium, by adding a sign-up button via Rabbut. So far I have zero Rabbut subscribers, so I have my work cut out for me :).

32) Bloglovin’

Create an RSS feed and add your blog to Bloglovin’. This is another one I’m on the fence with, but it’s easy enough to add your feed, so what have you got to lose? Make sure your post images include an enticing description, which I’m sure you’re doing already for Pinterest, but just note that your featured image description is the one that will be added to Bloglovin’.

Also, you may want to consider including only excerpts from your posts (in WordPress: Settings/Reading/Summary) rather than the full post itself. I use the full post and am so tempted to try the excerpt to compare traffic.

 

V. PAID PLATFORMS

Ok, so I know I said these are FREE tips, but I can’t help but include a few paid options too. You don’t have to spent a lot to get traffic here.

33) Facebook Ads

Yes, they’re worth it. Before you start with Facebook ads, you need to get your strategy on.

In other words, make sure the post you’re promoting includes a content upgrade or CTA to encourage sign-ups. Or, run your ad to a landing page with your freebie, challenge or email course, you get the gist.

And if you’re a superhero (which of course you are!), you’ll include an option to purchase something more (like a $7 mini-offer) within your email sequence. Take that income and reinvest in your ads, so really you wind up spending little to nothing. Now who’s the game-changer?

34) Pinterest Ads

Pinterest ads are a secret weapon for me. They give new pins a boost in visibility to get repinning started. Once you have a bunch of repins from your promoted pins, the snowball effects starts happening, and you can get the ball rolling with only $5/day ad spend.

35) StumbleUpon Ads

Have you tried these yet? Let me know in the comments if so… I haven’t and want to experiment with Stumble ads soon. I think the high bounce rate has been holding me back.

36) Reddit Ads

Because Redditors can be so tough, ads may be the way to go here. The traffic you can get from Reddit is no joke, so I recommend giving ads a try. Again, you don’t have to spend much to test them out.  I’d wait until you have a course or paid offer to promote because I think that’s where the magic really happens here.

With Reddit ads you can choose to block or show comments. I suggest showing them, because redditors are all about their comments and being social. When in Rome, right?

37) Quuu Promote

Love, love, love! This is a new platform I discovered where people share your posts to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. It’s like a community of sharers. Have definitely gotten decent blog traffic by promoting my posts on there, and for only $30. Looks like their prices have recently increased to around $40 or $50 depending on your category, but still it’s worth it. How well does this traffic convert? Jury’s still out on this one…I will keep you posted for sure :).

Have you tried other ways to boost blog traffic? Let me know if I missed anything and I’ll add it to the list!

How to Schedule and Loop Social Media Posts For Free


Want to schedule social media posts but don’t have a big budget for tools like Edgar or Buffer? This post is perfect for entrepreneurs and bloggers to help you automate and loop your posts like a pro, for free. Click through to watch the video and download the necessary files to set it up!Want to schedule social media posts using tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Edgar, or SmarterQueue, but don’t have the budget (or simply don’t want to pay the fees)? Today I’m sharing an amazing process that will allow you to schedule – and loop – your posts for free.

Even if you use a scheduler and want access to more accounts without having to upgrade, with this method you can schedule social media accounts for free. For instance, my current plan in SmarterQueue allows scheduling to 4 social media sites and I really need 6. What I’m about to show you enables me to schedule and loops posts to my additional accounts for free. Doesn’t get better than that, right?

Here’s what you’ll need for this process to work:

    • an IFTTT account, which I’ll explain in a minute
    • a Google Calendar
    • This quick guide and .csv Auto Post Template, which you can download right here:
Want to schedule social media posts like a pro? Download the Social Media Auto Post Schedule Template and Guide

Note: This method is best for scheduling posts to Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn. If you need a Pinterest scheduler, Tailwind and BoardBooster are still the best platforms to schedule and loop your pins.

Related: 14 Ways to Get Massive Traffic from Pinterest

What is IFTTT?

With IFTTT you can connect apps, devices and services like Feedly, Buffer, Twitter, Hootsuite, Youtube, and many others, and then create “applets”, which are really actions triggered by events defined in the connected services.

IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That”. What this really means is that if “this” event happens on Service #1, “that” event happens on Service #2. As an example, I use IFTTT to connect my favorite RSS feeds to my Buffer account so that when a new post is published to a particular feed IFTTT adds it to my Twitter Buffer queue. Pretty cool, huh?

What I love so much about this new IFTTT trick is that you can set it up to post directly to a Twitter profile or Facebook page, and it’s absolutely free.

Here are the steps to schedule and loop your posts with IFTTT and Google Calendar:

If you’re rather read than watch the video, I’ll do my best to outline the steps for you. I’m using Twitter as an example in this post, but you can just as easily do the same thing for Facebook.

Step 1: IFTTT

  • Create an account on IFTTT. Then select New Applet from the dropdown menu in the upper right. This is what you’ll see:schedule social media posts using IFTTT
  • Select the “+this” link. On the next screen you want to choose Google Calendar as your trigger source and then select the “Event from search starts” box.schedule social media posts - select service
  • Next, enter the keyword “#twitter” and select the Create Trigger button. In this example, we’re using Google Calendar to schedule tweets, so this applet will fire whenever it sees the #twitter hashtag on a calendar event. If you’re scheduling Facebook posts, the keyword would be #facebook.
  • Next you’ll create the action that posts a tweet to your account once the applet is triggered by the hashtag event. Select “+that” and then “Post a tweet with image”. Make sure the Tweet text and Image URL fields look like the image below (“description” in the tweet text box and “where” in the image URL). Save it and turn on the applet. You’re done with this step!schedule social media posts - select serviceschedule social media posts - action step

Step 2: Populate the spreadsheet

You’re going to bulk upload your posts to Google Calendar, so the next step is to add posts to the spreadsheet. If you haven’t already, download the .csv Auto Post Template + Guide here and follow the video for how to populate it. It’s much easier to show this rather than explain it here, but of course, let’s give it a try!

Want to schedule social media posts like a pro? Download the Social Media Auto Post Schedule Template and Guide

Follow the same format as the spreadsheet

  • The Subject column is basically the calendar event. When you view your calendar, this is the text you’ll see as the event title. Note: you have to include the same #twitter (or #facebook) keyword as the first word in your Subject, before the post title.
  • I usually schedule about 4-5 tweets per day, but you can do whatever works best for you. The Start/End Dates should be the same, and Start/End Time columns should be one hour apart to give IFTTT enough time to fire the action.
  • The Description should include your tweet text, plus a link to your post and any hashtags.
  • The location is simply your post URL.

schedule social media posts - spreadsheet

Once you have the spreadsheet populated with your posts, save it as a .csv file format and you’re done!

Step 3: Import

Phew! You’re hanging in there. We’re almost done. Login in to your Google calendar and create a new calendar just for your scheduled posts. You can use the same calendar for multiple social media accounts, so just name it something like “Auto Posts”.

  • Once you’ve created the new calendar, you want to select “Settings” from the dropdown menu of your main calendar (not the one you just created).
  • In the middle of the Setting page, select “Import Calendar”. Really what you’re doing is importing events into a calendar. Select the spreadsheet and the calendar you just created.
  • Once Google has imported the events, you should see posts on your calendar similar to this:

schedule social media posts - post on calendarThe next step is to set up the looping, which is super easy. Click on any event to edit it, and in the top you’ll see the option to “repeat” it. Make sure that’s checked, then use the pop-up box to set the frequency that you want to post (weekly, monthly, etc.). Make sure you select “never end” so that your tweet will run continuously on the schedule you define. As an example, if your start day is Thursday and you repeat it weekly, every Thursday this tweet will post to your Twitter account at the same time.

I recommend checking the links and tweet text for your posts before you set them to loop. It’s easy to add the wrong link, especially when you’re populating the spreadsheet. Also, I’ve noticed strange characters in place of apostrophes after the spreadsheet import. I always test a few tweet events before I import my entire spreadsheet, just to make sure everything is a-okay and my tweets look good in the feed.

Tip: I just discovered this. If you’re scheduling to Facebook, your IFTTT action should look like this (Link URL ingredient is “where” and Message is “description:):

schedule social media posts using IFTTT - applet for Facebook

Love this tip as much as I do?

I first heard about this from Suzi and had to share it with you because it’s that good. Thank you for the awesome tip! 🙂

It takes time to schedule social media posts like this, but any scheduler you choose requires some kind of set up. The best part is that once you’re done, you’re done. And don’t ya just love the sound of free forever? We’re talking game-changer here, friend! Any time you have a new post, just log in to your Google Calendar, add it as a new event, and then edit it following the steps above and loop away…

Happy scheduling!

Want to schedule social media posts like a pro? Download the Social Media Auto Post Schedule Template and Guide

No Time to Post on Social Media? This Process Reduced My Time By 50% And Doubled My Pinterest Traffic


No time for social media? This two-step process reduced my time by 50% and doubled my blog traffic | Here's how you can use Tailwind's board lists and interval delay features to get a massive boost in Pinterest traffic and cut your time down in half. Click through to see the steps!It’s official. I’m a Pinterest junkie.

It’s become my #1 source of traffic – over Stumbleupon, Twitter and Reddit. So for the next few months my goal is to double down and see if I can boost my traffic even more.

I’ve been a bit of a slacker when it comes to scheduling my own content. I just don’t have the time! Yes, you say, but it only takes 15 minutes or so each day. That’s what you think until you go on Pinterest and see all the beautiful content, and then it’s 2 hours later and you haven’t started the blog post that’s due, like, today. I know this is true. It’s happened to me. Alot.

So I decided to stay away from Pinterest and all those addictive pins. But alas, that didn’t work either! My traffic dipped and – bottom line, I needed to get better at scheduling my own pins.

If you’re experiencing the same thing, today I’m sharing a tip that will help reduce your social media time and boost your traffic significantly using Tailwind’s scheduling and looping feature.

USING TAILWIND TO SCHEDULE YOUR PINS

With Tailwind’s regular scheduling, the pins you share will be sent in sequence. So let’s say you pin something to five of your group boards. It will go out to each board, one after the other, according to the timeslots you have set up there.

But if you pin them this way, you might start to look a little spammy. Your peeps may be following you on more than one board and you don’t want it to look like you sent out your pin to all of them on the same day. Plus, your preset time slots may conflict with the rules of a particular group board and have you pinning more than once per day in the same group. This could put you over the daily pin limit on a specific board and get you banned (which is what happened in my case).

Yes, you can go in to Tailwind’s queue and manually shuffle your pins to avoid looking spammy. Trust me, this takes a huge amount of time. I’ve done it, I know.

With looping, you can automate your pins without making it look like you’re automating them, if that makes sense. Setting up board lists with interval delays lets you stagger your pins so that one goes out to each of your boards in a day, then the next pin goes out to your boards the next day, and so on.

It’s not exactly like looping your pins in Board Booster, but it still saves you tons of time because you can loop your pins for an entire week and then you’re done. And with your pins going out to all of your boards like clockwork, you’re going to see a huge increase in traffic.

LOOPING YOUR PINS IN TAILWIND

Step 1: Set up board lists

To set up board lists, the first thing you want to do is to identify your high performing boards. These are the ones with the most repins and engagement. These are the boards you’ll include in your board lists.

To find your high performing boards:

Login to Tailwind and from the left sidebar go to Track Your Brand Page > Board Insights. This will show your analytics for the past week for all of your boards, including your own boards, group boards and secret boards.

In the top you want to uncheck regular boards and secret boards so you’re just viewing group boards. What you want to look at is the second column from the right, the Virality Score. This will show you which boards are most active in terms of repins. Go ahead and sort this in descending order.

Make a note of your top seven performing boards that have the same theme. You’ll need these for the next step, which is to create board lists.

drive pinterest traffic

 

 

It’s best if you keep these all within one specific niche. I’m in a lot of blogging boards, so I created a list for blogging boards. A few of my high performing boards are related to other niche topics, so I leave those out.

You want to be sure that all of your boards are right for the particular content you want to share, because you’ll be batching your pins to go out to these boards and you want to make sure they’re relevant. Even if you have high virality scores in other subtopics, only include ones that are similar.

Now it’s time to create your boards lists:

Select Publish > Board Lists from the left sidebar. What you’re going to do is to create seven board lists. Then add your high virality boards to each. Make sure you stagger them as shown below. This is how you will set up intervals and looping:

drive traffic with pinterestMake sure you name your board lists as Name 1, Name 2, Name 3, and so on so it’s easy to see which one you’re posting to and keep them organized when you set up your loops.

You’ll wind up with 7 different board lists with each of your boards staggered like above.

Got it? Great, next we can start looping.

Step 2: Schedule your pins

Go to Pinterest, select the pin you want to share from your branded board, and then select the Tailwind schedule button (the button with the blue icon). A separate box will pop-up where you can choose your board list, like this:

drive traffic with pinterest - select board listsDon’t add to queue just yet, first you need to set the interval to complete the loop. Scroll down and select the Interval button at the bottom left. This is what you’ll see:

set interval - drive traffic with pinterestThis will delay your pins by a set time before it pins to the next board on the list. Once you’ve set your time interval, choose “set interval”. If you leave it for 1 day, it will stagger your pins to go on your first board on day 1, the second board on day 2, and so on.

Repeat this process for seven pins, selecting the next board list in the chain. So for instance, you’d share pin #2 to board list #2, pin #3 to board list #3, you get the gist.

What will happen is that each of your pins will be shared to your boards throughout the week. Pin 1 will go to the first board in list #1 on Monday, then on Tuesday it will pin to the second board, Wednesday to the third board, and so on. This will give you one pin each day so it doesn’t look like you’re spamming your boards, plus like I said it’s a good way to make sure you don’t pin too frequently to any one board.

That’s it, you did it! You’re set for the week. You can set up more board lists too. Make sure you check your scheduled pins in Tailwind to make sure everything is working. When I first set up mine, I forgot to add the last board to my lists and only had six, not seven, so everything was thrown off and I was pinning to the same boards twice in one day. So definitely check that they’re set up right and everything’s working the way it should.

And then once a week or so check your group boards to make sure they look okay too.

Have you tried looping your pins? What tools do you use? I’d love to hear!

14 Ways to Get Massive Traffic From Pinterest

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14 Ways to Get Massive Traffic from Pinterest | If you want to grow your business and get massive traffic from Pinterest, but aren’t sure how to set up things like boards, pins and scheduling, then this post is for you! It includes 14 tips for bloggers and entrepreneurs to help your content get found my more people. Click through to check out all the tips!Here’s why I love Pinterest so much:

  • It drives massive traffic to my site, easily OVER 60% of my total traffic
  • It’s fun to be on and look through all the beautiful images
  • I find great content to share
  • Unlike Twitter and Facebook where your post has a short shelf life, pins take on a life of their own as more and more people repin your content

So let’s jump into how to drive tons of traffic with Pinterest!

SETTING UP YOUR PINTEREST PLATFORM

As with most things, getting results starts with a strong platform for growth. There are some things you want to do before you get going on Pinterest, like set up your account, boards and pins the right way.

1) Create a business account

If you have a personal account, turn it into a business account. This will give you access to analytics so you can see which pins are getting the most repins, comments and likes.

2) Tailor your profile to attract your target audience

Whether you have 100 followers or 5,000, there are probably tons of people who see your profile each month. You want to make sure it’s targeted to the right people so they stick around once they find you, right?

Include a friendly photo that reflects your brand and a brief bio that explains what you do and how you help. Tip: keep the focus of your bio description on your target audience and not you! Check out this post if you need help crafting a killer message.

If you’re featuring a course or a freebie, this is a great place to include it. Take a look at Sarah Morgan’s Pinterest bio:

drive traffic with pinterest3) Create boards that are relevant to your audience

To rock this strategy you want to have at least 10 boards that your readers would be looking for.

You probably have “categories” for your blog, right? Your Pinterest boards are kind of like that. Create different boards for each category or subtopic around your niche. This makes it easy for your readers to find the boards that interest them without having to sift through irrelevant pins and boards.

I like to name my boards in terms of what my readers want to achieve, such as “Start a Blog” or “Grow a Blog”.

While you’re here, delete any boards that don’t fit with your brand, personality or niche.

Note: When you delete a board, you will lose the people who are only following that one specific board. Don’t worry, though! It’s perfectly okay to lose followers who aren’t interested in your main message. By narrowing your focus, you’re going to attract more of the right followers and that’s what you want.

Ok, I know I just said to delete boards that aren’t relevant to your blog’s focus, but…

It’s okay to include others as long as you keep your most relevant boards higher up on the page so people can see them first. Why not let your peeps scroll down to see your other boards and interests if they want to? Hey, you never know, you may make a wonderful connection in the process!

4) Create a brand board

Out of the 10 boards you create, one of them should be a featured board where you only pin your branded content. Set this up so it’s the very first board that people see when they’re find you. On this board you’ll pin only your pins.

Take a look at how I set up my boards:

drive traffic to your blog with pinterestSo when you publish your blog post, the first thing you want to do is to pin to your branded board. You can use the Pinterest Save Button to do this, or install Shareaholic or SumoMe plugins and use that to pin an image from your blog.

After you’ve pinned to your branded board, repin it from your main board to other relevant boards to get a bump in repin counts right from the start!

5) Add some pins

Nobody wants to visit a blank board, right? The next thing to do is to fill up your boards with pins that your audience would find interesting.

Here are some random thoughts about pinning:

  • To share other pins, repin the best content in your feed, or search for a specific topic (or brand in your niche). If you find something that your readers would love, share it!
  • The more you pin the better. I pin 13x a day. I know others who pin 30x a day.
  • Make sure you pin some of your own content as well as curated content. When I first started I didn’t have my own content to share, so I only shared other people’s pins. This is fine at first, just keep in mind that ultimately you want to share curated content in addition to your own.
  • Shoot for a mix of 30% your own content and 70% other people’s content

 

PINTEREST TRAFFIC-BOOSTING TIPS!

6) Join Group Boards

Group boards give you access to audiences beyond your followers. So if you have 1,000 followers and you join a group board with 10,000 followers, you’ve just 10x’d your ability to get eyes on your pins and drive traffic to your blog.

There are two ways to find group boards:

  • Search on Pingroupie for group boards around your blog topics
  • Join group boards that other bloggers and brand in your niche are in

It may take a while to get invited to boards but it’s well worth it! You may find that some that you want to join are not accepting collaborators, and that’s okay. There are plenty others to choose from. Follow the board description for how to become a contributor. In most cases you’ll need to follow the board and moderator, then send an email with our Pinterest profile asking for an invite.

When you’re looking for boards, try to join board that have more followers than you and a high engagement rate (aka lots of pins, repins and likes).

Another thing: pay attention to the board rules. Some allow you to pin 1x a day, others 4-5, and even others don’t set limits. Just make sure you don’t spam your best boards and run the risk of getting banned. I know this. I’ve gotten banned from a board simply because I didn’t look at their rules.

7) SEO your pins and boards

Pinterest is a little different than Facebook or Twitter in that it’s more than a social media platform. It’s also a search engine, much like Google. When you login to Pinterest and see the pins in your feed, what you’re seeing is the result of Pinterest search algorithms.

Pinterest uses a search algorithm to rank pins in the order they think will be most relevant to people. And all of this is based on the keywords you include in your profile description, pin descriptions and board descriptions.

If you want Pinterest to rank your content in their feed (and I know you do!), you have to implement search engine optimization (SEO). What this really means is that you should optimize your pins and boards so that they show up first in search results, the same way you would optimize a blog post to make it rank higher on Google.

1) Optimize your board descriptions

Now that you have your boards, don’t leave the descriptions blank! This is valuable space to add in important terms that your readers would be searching for.

Go back and add in some keywords to your boards. This is the best way to help them rank high on Pinterest, PLUS your boards can actually rank on Google too. When someone types in a term on Google, your Pinterest board can come up on the first page!

If you’re like me, when you enter a search phrase, you sort by either people, pins or boards. So having the right keywords in your board gives it a great chance to show up high in the feed.

Here’s what you want in your board descriptions:

  • The topics you’ll be pinning about
  • Any keywords related to your niche, not limited to just one keyword. Include any relevant terms so that Pinterest knows when to show your board. For instance, my “Start a Blog” board includes these keywords: entrepreneur, solopreneur, small business, blogging tips, blogging tools, driving traffic, epic content, social media, content strategies, content marketing, startup tips, online business strategies, SEO tools

2) Optimize your pin descriptions

We are on a keyword roll! For each of the pins you save from your website, you definitely want to add some keywords in there too. This is what’s really going to give your brand the biggest boost, so it pays to put the effort in to make your descriptions appealing for people AND for Pinterest’s search algorithms.

You don’t have to add your own descriptions when you’re repinning someone else’s content, although if you’d like to, you certainly can. This adds a lot of extra work so be sure you’re not doing this at the sake of your own descriptions!

What you want in your descriptions:

  • a friendly recap of your post
  • some relevant keywords that people would use to search for you
  • a call to action like “Click through to see all the tips.”

Tip: If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, you can amplify your SEO and save a few steps by adding a pin description to the alt text in your featured image. When people share your pin from your site the description will  automatically appear on the pin. For more on how to set this up, check out this post.

8) Create pin-worthy post titles

You can have the best content and the most beautiful images and graphics, but if your post title falls flat, people will most likely scan over it without even noticing. You want your titles to be actionable or inspire some kind of curiosity or urgency. Words like “the best”, “secrets of” and “ultimate guide to” make people curious so they naturally want to click through to find out more.

Just remember, there are good post titles, bad post titles, and “meh” post titles. You want yours to be pin-worthy!

Some general post title thoughts:

  • Benefit-rich titles will grab people’s attention right away. Will your post save people time, money, show them how to do something? Include your audience in the title too so that readers know it’s for them (e.g. “25 ways for entrepreneurs to grow your blog audience”)
  • “How to” post titles tend to catch people’s attention quickly because they provide a solution to a problem or answer questions your peeps have
  • Titles like “5 ways to” are powerful because they’re simple and actionable, PLUS they let people exactly what they can expect.
  • Don’t be vague or generic – This is what’s going to kill your post title more than anything else. If people don’t know what your post is really about or who it’s for, why would they read it?

9) Make pins that stand out

One of the things I love most about Pinterest are the beautiful, eye-catching images. You want your images to stand out and grab people’s attention. Here are some ways to do that:

1) Use images with nondescript people (aka no faces)

Images of people (but not faces) get more clicks than images with just graphics or a background color. Why no faces? It allows users to see themselves in the image that way.

2) Use whitespace

When I created my first pins I wanted the text to be as large as possible so it would really jump out in people’s feeds. Turns out larger text isn’t always better. Leaving some whitespace will actually help your images stand out more in contrast to all the other pins.

3) Create contrast between elements

Take a look at your feed and see which pins stand out to you the most. The ones with the most contrast between the background image/color and text, right? Make sure you play with the contrast between your background and your title so that the title really jumps out.

4) Use strategic color combinations

I’ve experimented with everything from dark backgrounds, light backgrounds, reds, oranges, blacks, and even blues. Overall, lighter background colors seem to jump out more and get more clicks and saves. Reds and oranges catch my eye more than blues and blacks. What do you think?

5) Longer pins are better

Yep, it’s true. I get many more clicks when my pins are longer and a bit infographic-y. Longer pins give you more room to play with and get creative. For instance, I could create a long pin for the post you’re reading, with each step listed to give people a peek at what’s inside.

10) Brand your pins

When you find something that works, don’t change it! It’s okay to play around with the look of your pins at first, but when you find a style you really love and can recreate easily, stick with it. Lock it down in a template with the exact colors, fonts and other brand elements you will use over and over again. I’ve seen many people (including me) use different fonts and colors on every pin image. Your boards can start to look a bit all over the place if you do this. You want consistency and harmony with your pins so that when people look through their feeds they instantly recognize your brand.

Note: Another brand tip, make sure you include your logo and web address in each pin. Check out this post for more branding and style guide tips.

11) Apply for rich pins

Speaking of branding, before you start loading up your boards with pins, set up rich pins. Sounds techy, right? Really, it’s so super easy to set up and will give your pins and your brand a major boost. Rich pins allow your brand name to appear below your pin image.

Take a look at one of my pins to see what I mean:

how to drive traffic with pinterestWhen you use rich pins plus add brand elements to you pin image, you will have a leg up on your competitors because people will instantly recognize your pins and your brand. Here’s more info on setting up rich pins.

13) Clean up your boards

Every once in a while, take a look at your boards and get rid of pins with low engagement (aka repins). Pins with low repins will not show up in people’s feeds or in search results, so they just kind of clutter up your boards. This repin count is relative to each board, so if most of your pins on a particular board have 100 repins, delete pins with less than 10 or 20 repins, make sense?

13) Display share buttons only on posts and strategic images

If you use SumoMe image sharer icons, the default setting applies to all images. What that means is that people will be able to share any image from any page on your site, including your logo, background images, header images, and more. But you want more control than that, because if people pin random images from your site, they will wind up on pages where you don’t want them. Since we’re talking about driving traffic, you want to keep them on your content and posts, right?

You can easily tweak the setting so that the share buttons display only on your blog posts. PLUS you can control which images display on your posts.

Let’s say you have some secondary images in there to give your peeps some visual guidance for your post, but those images aren’t pin-worthy. Just add <rel=”noshare”> to the image you don’t want people to pin and the share buttons will disappear. This way you only display the image sharer on your primary images (featured images, infographics, etc).

12) Schedule your pins

I use Tailwind to schedule my pins and love it. I must confess I will be checking out Board Booster soon too, but for now I’m 100% happy with Tailwind.

The Tailwind dashboard is really user-friendly, so it’s pretty easy to find what you’re looking for. For the most part, you’ll live in the Publish > Drafts or Publish > Scheduled sections on the left. On the right is where the scheduling magic happens! That’s where the virtual calendar lives and where you create the timeslots you want. Then just schedule away.

You can even create board lists and group boards of similar categories, so all you have to do is select the board list and schedule your pin once to multiple boards. I love this features, especially since I discovered how to loop my pins with it, which you can do too!

drive traffic with pinterest - select board lists

 

 

 

How to Use LinkedIn to Win New Business: 9 Easy Steps

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How to really use LinkedIn to get clients. These are the exact steps and tools I used to land my first $32K client.I love LinkedIn. I love its simplicity. I love that it’s all business and all professionals. I also love that I can leverage it to get clients, because almost half of its user base is C-level executives and key decision makers.

I realized just how powerful LinkedIn is after trying other databases like Google, InfoUSA, SalesGenie, and data.com. I always found myself coming back to LinkedIn and here’s why:

  • My prospects are on there (and not necessarily on Facebook or Twitter)
  • Members keep their profiles up to date, so the information is accurate, unlike other databases where the info is often outdated
  • It’s really easy to perform and save searches

My approach was to make direct contact with marketing directors and CEOs. I didn’t spend much time in LinkedIn groups, because I wasn’t sure how long it would take to build relationships through groups. Since then I’ve had also had success with LinkedIn groups.

What I love about LinkedIn is that of all of the social media channels, it’s the closest thing to live networking. As a traditional-marketer-turned-digital-marketer, networking and trade shows had worked well for me in the past, so I was just naturally drawn to it and wanted to start there.

Here’s what you will need for this system to work well, if you use the same approach I did:

  • LinkedIn premium account – starts at $47.99
  • SalesTools – $35 per month
  • Sellhack – $10 per month
  • An email emulator + Vibe – free (or a VA to do this part for you)
  • QuickMail – starts at $39 per month

What I’ve done with all of these paid tools (except for the LinkedIn premium account) is to turn them on when I’m in deep prospecting, and then turn them off when I don’t need them. SalesTools is easy enough to create an account later on, and QuickMail will let you go in sleep mode for $5 a month when you’re not actively using it.

I’ve had a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account which was $75 a month and felt that it had more features than what I needed. The Business Plus plan is more than enough.

Here’s a quick run down of the other tools:

  • SalesTools is a search extractor tool where you run your searches on LinkedIn and use Sales Tools to save them to an Excel spreadsheet. There are others out there, this is just the one I prefer.
  • Sellhack and Vibe are both Chrome extensions that will help you gather email addresses for your list. I use them both because sometimes Sellhack will find an email that Vibe can’t, and vic versa. I’ve also used Rapportive for emails, but since LinkedIn acquired them a few years back it hasn’t been as useful.
  • The email emulator is an Excel formula that creates email variations based on your prospect’s name and domain (firstlastname@domain.com, flastname@domain.com, firstname.lastname@domain.com, and so on).
  • I found an amazing VA on Upwork to help with gathering email addresses.
  • With Quickmail you can automate your outbound emails, so you’re not sending them out one by one manually.

There are two ways to go about using LinkedIn to get clients:

Prospecting within the LinkedIn platform. You can make 1st degree connections and message prospects directly through LinkedIn. In this case you don’t need SalesTools, Sellhack, Vibe or Quickmail. This is because anyone you have a first-degree connection with you can message directly on LinkedIn. And you also have access to their email.

Prospecting outside LinkedIn. You perform your searches on LinkedIn, save to a spreadsheet and do your actual prospecting outside of LinkedIn. This is the method I used at the time and you need all of the tools mentioned above for this method.

There are pros and cons to both approaches:

With the first method, you’re building your LinkedIn network while you’re generating leads, so you can continue to engage your connections with new content and products. And you have access to their emails, which is a huge plus. All you need for this approach is a spreadsheet to track your connections and messages, and LinkedIn. The downside is that you have to message people one by one, which is time consuming. And you may hit LinkedIn’s limit of invitation connections. In that case you’d have to hold up for a while. You also can’t save your searches, so it takes a bit more admin to keep track of where you left off.

With the second method, you’re working offline (meaning outside of LinkedIn). You’re not building your network, but you still have their data saved in your spreadsheet. It takes some time to gather the email addresses, but once you do, you can set up sequences in QuickMail so your emails are automated. I’ve found that with this approach, I can be a bit more direct in my emails. With the first method, it takes longer to warm up a connection before you make a pitch.

Whichever method you prefer, here are some things you want to do to start:

 

PART ONE: SETTING THE FOUNDATION

1) Make sure your profile is up-to-date

Make sure your profile reflects your purpose and your message. What a lot of people do is to treat their LinkedIn profile like a CV or resume, when really you should treat it more like a mini personal website for you and your business. After all, you want to use it for lead generation and to grow your business, so you want to make sure you frame it around your value proposition, products and services.

This is especially crucial if you’re using prospecting method #1, where you’re networking within the LinkedIn platform. When you invite someone to connect, they will first visit your profile before accepting.

What they’re going to see first is your profile pic, headline, and your Summary. It should go without saying that you want a professional-looking picture for your profile and your headline should clearly convey what you do.

The area you want to pay special attention to is your Summary. It’s the first substantive section that people will see, and they’ll make a decision based on this to accept or decline your invite. What I like to do here is tell a bit about myself and my business, with a focus on who I help and how. It’s also a good idea to list out your specific services with bullet points. You can check out my Summary to get an idea of what to include in yours.

LinkedIn profiles take more time to complete than Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. For all my tips on how to optimize your profile, check out this post.

2) Create a prospect avatar

Once you have that done, you want to create a prospect avatar. Think about who it is that you want to connect with. If you’re unsure, take a look at your existing clients. Which ones do you wish you had 5 more of? Which are most profitable?  Use those to create your prospect avatar.

Here are some things to include in your avatar:

  • Target industries: what specific industries do you want to target?
  • Location: What geographic regions do you want to focus on?
  • Revenue: LinkedIn doesn’t actually list revenue as a search criteria, but it’s still something you should know.
  • Company size: LinkedIn uses number of employees as a measure for company size rather than revenue. The breakdowns are 1-10, 11-50, 51-200, and so on. What size is a best fit for you? To get an idea of how revenue translates into company size, data.com will show you both for any company.
  • Titles/positions: Who are the key decision-makers for your product or offer? Do you want to reach marketing managers, presidents, CIOs?

Then take this info and document it on a worksheet so you can refer to it.

3) Export your current connections

Your current connections are a perfect place to start prospecting. You probably have connections with friends, co-workers, family, colleagues, and friends of friends. Some of these may fit your prospect avatar and others won’t.

Here’s how you export your connections:

  • Under My Network in the top brown bar, select Connections. This will bring you to a page where you’ll see all your connections.
  • On that page, select the gear icon in the upper right.
  • On your Manage Connections page, under Advanced Settings on the top right, select the “Export LinkedIn Connections” link.
  • Export as an excel file.

Then go through your spreadsheet and make a note of anyone on there who fits your prospect avatar.

4) Use the Advanced Search tool

LinkedIn’s Advanced Search is an amazing tool. If you use it right, you can get pretty granular with your searches.

You want to focus your searches on 2nd and 3rd degree connections and group members. 1st degree connections you already have access to, so you don’t need to include.

All accounts, including free, have access to the filter criteria in the left and middle columns. The right column has two very important filters that you need in order to narrow down your searches and those are only available with a premium account.

Here are the filters you’ll use the most:

  • Location
  • Company, if applicable
  • Industry
  • Seniority level (requires premium account)
  • Company Size (requires premium account)

Once you fill out your desired fields, you can run the search. There’s a bit of an art to conducting searches and after a while you’ll get the hang of how best to use it to get the results you need. Try to narrow the results down to between 200 and 600. Any more than that and you’re probably not being targeted enough. You also want a number that’s manageable.

One thing is for sure. Upgrading to a premium account (at least for the duration of your prospecting) will get you more targeted results than a free account. You will literally get thousands of search results with a free account and it’s impossible to narrow it down further without access to Company Size and Seniority Level.

Two fields from the left column that may also be helpful, depending on your search, are Keywords and Title.

 

PART TWO: PROSPECTING

Now that you have your foundation set you can start prospecting. I’m going to go into detail on the second method in this post.

Here’s what I will point out about method #1 before I get into it:

  • Start with the current connections that you downloaded and send a message to any profiles who look like they fit your avatar. Try to get in the habit of using your connection spreadsheet like a CRM. Make sure you make a note of the date you sent your first message, with a follow up date at least 2 weeks out.
  • Once you’ve messaged your current connections, then run a new search. Look at any profiles that seem like a good fit and send them a connection request. Note: Don’t use the default I’d like to add you to my network message. It’s much better to say something like I hope business is good. I came across your profile and thought it might be good to connect…
  • Try to send about 20-40 connection requests a day, or do something like 300 requests within a one or two-day period. Remember, with this method you can’t save your searches, so you need a way to track each search you perform and where you left off so you can pick back up the next day.
  • After a couple of months, go in and export your connections again. This is where it gets a little tricky because you need one master spreadsheet for all your connections.  You need to merge the two spreadsheets and get rid of duplicates so you can get your new connections into your pipeline and start messaging them.
  • Repeat these last few steps every couple of months

Now on to method #2:

5) Extract your search results

With the search results still open in your browser window, open up SalesTools and enter the URL for your LinkedIn search. SalesTools will save up to 1,000 profiles (which is another reason to narrow down your searches). It will take some time to process, so just let it run while you do whatever else you need to do. Once it’s done, save the Excel file.

You’ll see in the spreadsheet that you have a whole lot more information than you need, so you’ll need to clean it up a bit. The only sections you need are Name, Title, Company, URL, City/State (if needed). Get rid of everything else.

Next you need to start scraping emails, which leads me to the next step:

6) Gather the email addresses

You can either do this next part on your own or hire a VA with lead generation experience to help, which I highly recommend. It’s a monotonous process and you’ll want to stick a needle in your eye in no time (but the pay-off’s worth it!) Someone experienced with lead generation will have access to their own databases, such as data.com and more. I’ve found some great VAs on Upwork.

If you do it on your own, here’s what you do (use Chrome to do this):

  • First use Sellhack because it’s easier. Just enter the name, company, and domain for each prospect into Sellhack. Let it run and it will come back with an email and accuracy rating. If I get a 50% or better accuracy rating, I’m happy. Sometimes it can’t find a result, which is when you need to turn to Vibe.
  • Vibe works with the emulator and your Gmail account. An emulator is a simple formula made in Excel that will spit out common email variations based on your prospect’s first name, last name and domain.
  • Open Gmail and start composing an email. In the “to” window, start entering in different emails from the emulator. As you hover on each email, Vibe will hunt through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn until it finds the email address. When it does, you’ll see the profile appear on the right and that’s when you know you have the right one.

You can see how tedious this step is. But once you have it down, it’s easy enough to train a VA to do it for you or find someone who has access to their own databases (meaning that they have paid accounts with SalesGenie, data.com, etc.)

7) Import your list into QuickMail

Once you have the emails you’re ready to start the outreach, which is where QuickMail comes in. QuickMail is a tool that lets you automate outbound emails and make them look like you sent them each personally, like the old fashion manual way.

The first step is to connect QuickMail to your Gmail account. You can specify another email address to send from, but you’ll lose some functionality if you do this.

Here’s what I mean: when you use your Gmail address to send from, any prospect who replies to your email will be removed from your sequence (not removed from your list, just your sequence). This means that if you have a 4-step email sequence and John Doe replies to the first email in your sequence, he won’t get emails 2, 3, and 4. But if you use a different email as your “from” you will need to manually go into the sequence and remove him. And that’s very easy to forget to do. It’s embarrassing to you and insulting to your prospect if you send follow up emails when he already expressed or declined interest. It totally kills the personalization, too. It’s happened to me and it’s mortifying!

Now that you’ve connected your Gmail, it’s time to import your list. QuickMail categorizes leads with Prospects and Groups. When you import your spreadsheet make sure you assign it to a group. I usually name my groups by niche or company. You can go back in and assign prospects to groups later, but it’s better to do it right away during the import. This way as you import new spreadsheets you have them grouped accurately.

Before you import your list, you need to make sure you follow QuickMail’s naming convention for the header row (Fname, Lname, Email).  If yours doesn’t match, the import won’t work.

And for an extra $10 or so, you can have QuickMail verify your email addresses, which I recommend you do. It will move any unverified email addresses to a new group so you don’t get high bounce rates or send to invalid email addresses. This step is to keep your sender reputation high so you don’t wind up in the junk or spam folder.

8) Craft your emails

Decide how many emails you want in your sequence and write them ahead of time (I usually send at least four). You’ll find that the follow up emails will often get you a better response than your initial email. This is because people are busy and may not have time to respond right away. Most will eventually reply, even if it’s to say No, which is fine because it will help you to focus your efforts on qualified prospects.

When it comes to what to say in your emails, there are a number of schools of thought. What I do is to quickly introduce myself, what I do and firms I’ve worked with (if you have a well known brand you can mention, it goes a long way). Then I list out how I help and how it will benefit them. I always close by asking if they have time to speak on a given day, say Tuesday, of the next week. It’s good to give people an option to choose another day or time that works best for them.

My follow up emails are even shorter – 3 sentences max. I mention my previous email and recap my value proposition and how I can help. I phrase each follow up email it a little differently. And again, I ask for a call. Some people add humor in their follow-ups and say things like I haven’t heard back from you so that means you must have fallen through the cracks like these ducks. This isn’t my style so I’ve steered away from it, but am still curious as to what kind of response a funny email like this would get.

The bottom line with email outreach is that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Make sure you pick a day rather than “some time over the next few weeks”, so that all the recipient has to do is reply with a Yes.

9) Schedule your sequence

Now that your emails are ready, you can add them to QuickMail. You’ll need to create a new sequence to do this.

Note that Quickmail refers to individual emails in a sequence as Steps. So on the left side of the dashboard, select “1st Step”. You can then enter your email in the window on the right side. Don’t forget to add a subject line. Check out this post for how to write subject lines that stand out and get opened.

Below the main window you’ll see a list of merge tags you can insert, like Name and Company. These tags will pull the data from your list and merge it in your email. And this is how you get “Hi John,” and make it personal.  Use these tags to add the person’s first name and/or company as you see fit. Do the same for the 2nd and 3rd Step, and so on.

Make sure you test each email before finalize it so you can catch any typos or bad links.

Once you’ve entered your emails, you’re ready for the last and final step. Let’s start scheduling!!

Actually, scheduling is the easiest part in all of this. Just select the Schedules link from the left side of the QuickMail dashboard (under Sequences). You can specify the days and times you want to send your emails. You will also need to specify the number of prospects to pull from each group and which sequence to send.

It’s a good idea to start out with smaller batches so that your emails don’t get red-flagged as spam. You want it to appear as authentic as possible. I usually send 40 emails per day and break that down into batches of 10 prospects and 4 different times. So I’ll email 10 prospects at 8:00am, 10 at 11:20am, 10 at 4pm, and 10 at 5:30pm. As my campaign progresses I will increase the number to 60 or 70 per day. This will helps you avoid getting red-flagged as spam.

In terms of best days and times to send, I’ve found that I get better responses when I send emails either earlier in the day or later in the afternoon. And Tuesdays and Thursdays are hands-down the best days to send. You’ll need to test to see what’s most effective for you.

That about wraps it up. Happy prospecting and good luck with it! I know this is a lot of info – let me know if you have any questions or have used LinkedIn in other ways to get business. I’d love to hear!

6 Insider Secrets For Driving Tons of Free Traffic to Your Website With Twitter


Here are my 6 top tips for biz owners and entrepreneurs to drive massive free traffic to your website with Twitter. These same exact strategies helped me grow my followers from 65 to over 17K quickly and easily. The best part is, the results are guaranteed. Click through to read all the tips! Creating successful social media campaigns can be time-consuming, especially when it’s hard to know what will work and where you should invest your time. In a perfect world, you’d have fully-automated campaigns on each platform that drive traffic to your website and provide you with great returns for the time you spend.

The good news is that when it comes to Twitter, it is a relatively easy social platform to master and can consistently drive traffic to your website once you get the basics down. The key is to know how to tap into the massive traffic and truly become part of the conversation so others will follow and promote you.

There are many factors to consider, but you can get off to a great start with these important steps.

1. Use a Customized Twitter Button

A customized Twitter button gives people a chance to promote your site on social media as they view it. These buttons have a great click-through rate and, what’s even better, all the assets are provided for free by Twitter. All you have to do is take advantage of them.

  • Start at Twitter’s button page.
  • Choose “Share a Link” and enter your URL.
  • Add a message and your own @username so you know when others tweet you.
  • Enter the auto-generated code into the HTML of your website.

If you use a CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, check out the software’s development community to find free plug-ins that can help you promote your site and amplify your voice on Twitter. Not only can these generate custom buttons, but they also provide many other features.

Drive more traffic to your website with custom Twitter buttons #smm #socialmedia Click To Tweet

2. Use Hashtags

#Hashtags are like keywords. They make it easy for people to find and share your tweets and not only that, they can increase engagement by up to 200%. Use hashtags in your tweets to highlight words that you want to appear for when people conduct a Twitter search.

To find the top hashtags to help you use them well, here are 3 tools from Jeff Bullas.

Once you launch a full-scale social media campaign, hashtags become even more vital. As you build a strong following on Twitter, it’s time to try your own custom hashtag. Any word you set off with the pound symbol will become a hashtag, but your followers will have to retweet and promote it aggressively for it to be “trending” – that is, for it to be recognized as one of the most-used hashtags at any given time.

A custom #hashtag helps people stay engaged with your brand’s conversation and locate your latest content even if they’ve been away from Twitter for a while. Make sure your hashtag is memorable and short: A long tag will be more difficult to fit in around your message. Use your tag consistently so others are more likely to pick it up.

3. Install Twitter’s Search Widget

Brands who already have a vibrant social media following can capitalize on it – getting the kind of “social proof” that attracts new followers who might be on the fence. Luckily, there is a perfect tool: The Twitter Search Widget lets your audience see what others are saying about your @username or your #hashtags in real time.

When people are new to your content and they see others already tweeting about you on your site it makes them more comfortable to promote or buy or take whatever action you want them to take.

To install the widget:

  • Start at the Create a Search Widget page
  • Enter your desired search term into the “Search Query” box.
  • Checking the box “Safe Search Mode” to exclude coarse language and images.
  • Select a light or dark-colored theme to match your site.
  • Once you’ve chosen your settings, click “Create Widget”
  • Copy the new code into your website.

The widget will pull data from Twitter and automatically populate the widget with tweets that contain that search query. This helps your profile appear active and vital to audiences. Be sure to keep an eye on how your search terms are performing, if they grow unpopular, it’ll be reflected in your widget.

6 Insider Secrets to Getting More Website Traffic With Twitter #smm #socialmedia Click To Tweet

4. Use ClickToTweet

People are never in a better mood than just after they’ve made a purchase they’ve been looking forward to. Savvy brands can take advantage of that all-important moment using ClickToTweet. This widget spices up your post-purchase “Thank You” page by adding a contextual Twitter link. That gives your buyers an easy way to share the details on what they just bought with their followers.

To get this done,

  • Visit ClickToTweet.com.
  • Sign in with your Twitter account.
  • Add a message “from” your customer (the one they’ll retweet after their purchase).
  • Link to your sales page.
  • Add your username to get an alert each time ClickToTweet is used.
  • Include your own custom hashtag to drive Twitter traffic to your products or services.
  • Click “Create Tweet”.
  • Add the code to your Thank you or Checkout page.

Not all buyers will tweet their purchase. ClickToTweet is a powerful way to find out which customers are most enthusiastic about your offerings. To show your appreciation, try offering those who do spread the word a special coupon or discount.

5. Target Influencers

Twitter influencers can catapult your brand by giving you the social proof to build a loyal following.

Influencers are those Twitter users who have thousands of dedicated, engaged followers. Generally, these are figures like authors, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and others whose reputation extends well beyond Twitter. Some social media power users have built their very own brand from within Twitter.

To get started, you first need to find the influencers in your niche. These people have an outsized presence and will usually be followed by a large number of your own followers. An influencer’s time is valuable, so get their attention by tweeting on topics that matter to them … including their own products or services. Use their username and hashtags to get their attention.

Once you are confident an influencer has “seen you around” and interacted with you a few times, you can connect with them through direct message. Send them a selection of 3-5 pre-written tweets promoting whatever your most important offerings are and politely ask whether they’d be willing to share. Since you’ve saved them time, it’s likely they will help. Be prepared to take your time with influencers. The last thing you want to do is invite yourself to their party by moving too fast.

6. Put Your Account on Autopilot

Daily interaction is what Twitter’s all about, and the most powerful results to get free traffic to your website comes from engaging directly with people in real time. This is tricky, since you can’t be on Twitter around the clock and you probably have things to say during those off hours. There are several free programs you can use to automate tweets so you’ll be part of the conversation 24-7.

Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to add any messages, blog posts and curated content you want to Tweet into a calendar that automates your whole campaign. So instead of grabbing a few minutes here and there to find interesting articles, you can schedule your entire week’s worth (or month’s worth) of tweets in just a few hours at the beginning of each week.

Key Takeaway

Making Twitter work for you is easier than you think, and these simple steps will make Twitter a primary source of free traffic to your website. Once you have your Twitter campaign automated, it can really be a powerful marketing asset that allows you to connect with people from all over the world. The more you provide valuable content and authentic interactions with followers, the more you’ll stand out from the pack as a true expert in your field. Over time, this will easily translate into meaningful customer relationships that will have a great impact on your business.

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