Posts Categorized: Social media

7 things your business requests that you read, post haste.

This Instagram pillow is adorable. Are we friends over there?

If you’re a blogger who offers sponsorship spots, this post is helpful and insightful.
The main thing I keep in mind with sponsorship is that, as a blogger, I have a responsibility to readers to remember that I’m vouching for each person whose blog I share. If I begin to share people and products who aren’t a good fit, the trust that I’ve established with readers begins to crack. I’ll stop being a source for quality posts and recommendations and risk losing readers’ interest and support.

Could changing your password change your life?

More life-changing happening in this post: The one simple habit that changed my entire business and life

Reading too many lifestyle blogs almost prevented Kyla from making money online. Are you struggling with the same thing?
By building on what my audience responded to I built a craft and lifestyle blog that got 40-50 comments per post, around 2000 views a day, monthly advertisers, and was publishing five days a week. Sounds successful, right? As a blog reader, I would have thought it was a booming, successful blog. At the time I was thrilled. But was also never going to make me a living.

Everything Quicksprout publishes is ridiculously helpful. This post about content creation strategies is no exception.

Yup. Your blog is your resume.

You’ve probably already read this. I have. I feel like I need to read it once a week for the rest of my life.
You Are Here: Blogging Advice.
Over and over, women sat down in front of my table – weary eyes with a single, fading spark – and said, “I want to be here, at X, but I just heard that I should be arriving here, at Y. What do you think?”
Run from the Y, I’d say. Run far, and fast, in the opposite direction of the should. Because the should – the Y – is a path that is not yours. It is a path for someone else, a path that very likely offers reward, but it is not your own. You found your own when you said “I want to be here, at X,” and isn’t that half the battle?

And a few posts you might have missed: How to create a style guide for your blog + 4 ways to reboot your business after a break. 

If you’ve recently read or written anything particularly helpful, leave links in the comments!


8 Things Your Business Wants You To Read


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Guys! I rounded up the best of the internet for you! Also, this awesome internet cat poster

Want to write an ebook? Here’s a 16-part (!) blog post series on just that - from writing to distribution to marketing. I’ve written three ebooks and now I realize how much more I could have done!

Related: an incredibly helpful post from Anna Watson who printed + published her own cookbook AND did a book tour AND all the promotion!
I reached out to the marketing department at Volkswagen on a whim, to see if they would be up for lending me a car for the trip. Amazingly, they said yes, and lent me a brand new silver Beetle Coupe. It was such a fun car to drive, and they let me just drop it off at LAX when I flew to Seattle. (I then flew back to NYC.) The whole trip lasted just under one month.

To help cover food costs, I reached out to Whole Foods (again, cold-calling the marketing department) and they agreed to cover the food and wine costs of the trip. GoPro also gave me a camera to document the trip – we got great footage, but I still have to learn to edit it so I can share it on my

Kyla rounds up a bunch of super helpful platforms and tools to help make your online business run more smoothly. I hadn’t heard of lots of these!

12 ways to get more people reading & sharing your blog from my girl Alex.

Do you have an auto-responder series?  It’s about half way down my internet to-do list. Here’s how to do it when we’re ready.

BOOKMARKBOOKMARKBOOKMARK. 23 Phrases Every Stressed Out, Strung Out, Well-Meaning (Yet Irritable) Business Owner Needs to Memorize TODAY.

“Though my hands are tied on this one, here’s what I can do:____________.”

“As a courtesy, I wanted to go ahead and send over my new rates for your records. (It’s such a blessing to be in demand.)”

“Thank you for the note, and the much-appreciated explanation regarding your position. Now let me help you understand a little bit about mine.”

Want to stay healthy while staring at a screen all day? These six stretches will help.

A cute home office is a productive home office, right? Here are 23 brilliant ideas to decorate and organize yours.

A couple posts you might have missed: 20 minutes to a (much) better business and Using Twitter lists for fame and fortune (or, you know, time-effective networking)

If you read/found/wrote anything awesome lately, leave the links in the comments!

4 Mistakes Just About Everyone Is Making Online

Doesn’t that title seem alarmist?

Here is the  giant asterisk that should accompany it:
* And I was totally making these mistakes for years and only figured them out through working with hundreds of clients and I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about this so you can be smarter than me and not screw this up for years, too.

But that’s a pretty big asterisk, right?

If I’ve given your site a free once-over and sent you three suggestions (available to anyone on my list) or if you’ve purchased a Secret Weapon, there’s a good chance I’ve made these suggestions to you - because they’re super common! Thankfully, they only take a few minutes to fix. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can set aside a few minutes every day to work through your archives and tweak old posts or you can just do this for all your future posts!

1. No call-to-action on the About page
Call-to-action is copywriter speak for telling your readers what to do next. Your About page is your most visited page - the page people read before they hire you, buy your products, or sign up for your newsletter list. So shouldn’t we be telling them (politely) where they can buy our stuff, how they can work with us, how to sign up for our newsletter, and where they can find us on social media?

Here’s how I do it on my Yes & Yes About page:

Are you a yeasayer, a world-traveler or someone who needs helps making their online space amazing?
If you want, you can…
* Be friends on Facebook or Twitter (I promise to share photos of my cat in costume)
* Sign up for my non-annoying newsletters (Yes and Yes newsletter // Small Business newsletter)
* Buy a travel ebook to make your next trip waaaay more awesome (Adventures In Lady Travel // The Wanderlust Workbook)
* Book a Secret Weapon with me to shape up your online life
* Buy these jeans, this lipstick, these ballet flats, these packing cubes and thank me later

2. Not using  images in tweets
Did you know that image-based tweets are 94% (!!!) more likely to get retweeted? Crazy, right? I can certainly see this with my own tweets. (If you want to see how your tweets are performing, go to and click on ‘tweet activity.’)  Images should be 440×220 and you can even pre-schedule them with Tweetdeck!

Is it a hassle to create images specific to Twitter? Yes. Is it worth it? Toooootally. It’s particularly worth it for pretty, design-y posts like this or posts with titles too long for 140 characters.

3. Not making posts Pinterest-friendly
I only realized I needed to do this when Meg wrote this guest post for me! For a long time I ignored Pinterest because I couldn’t figure out how to “leverage it for my brand” (puke) but that’s sort of not the point. Even if you don’t use Pinterest, your readers probably do and they’ll be more likely to pin your posts if you’re using tall, long photos with appropriate title text. This is particularly important if you blog about food, fashion, DIYs, or design.

4. Not linking to older posts (or services or offerings) within blog posts
So many of us tuck a ‘hire me’ or ‘services’ tab into our menu bar and call it a day or we’ve got one of those archive widgets in the sidebar. But it’s a lot more engaging and clickable when we link to related posts within the text of a new post or write posts that relate to our newsletter opt-ins.

If you’re not sure how to work older posts into new posts in a natural-sounding, organic way just use ye olde P.S. trick. It’s an established (and crazy effective) copywriting trick to drive people towards your archives and it works a lot better than that those ‘related post’ plugins. You can see how I use it the P.S. trick here and the write-for-the-opt-in trick here.

What are some of the mistakes you made when you first started blogging? And if you’ve got a suggestions for how I could improve my site or blogging I’d love to hear it!

P.S. 6 more oddly obvious mistakes you might be making

photo by Daniel Novta // cc

9 Things You Should Read If You Take Your Blog/Business Seriously

hilarious shirt via Wild Republic Designs.

SUCH A GOOD IDEA! (all caps necessary) Tackle your passion project with the 90-90-1 rule:
For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your work day to the one best opportunity in your life. Nothing else. Zero distractions. Just get that project done. Period.

I’ve pretty much given up on Facebook now, but if you haven’t, here’s how to see what is and isn’t working.

A checklist of 40 (!) things to consider before publishing a blog post.

How many of these do you do? 12 weekend habits of highly successful people.
Timothy Ferris: Don’t multi-task
Multi-tasking is so 2005. It may be tempting to maximize your weekend productivity by running on the treadmill while calling your mother and trolling your newsfeed, but successful people know that this just reduces efficiency and effectiveness. Instead, be present for each single activity. Ferris recommends a maximum of two goals or tasks per day to ensure productivity and accomplishments align.

Ever get a little annoyed when people want to ‘pick your brain’ (re: get free consulting from you)?
Now you can say no, gracefully.

Loved these five tips for new business 
Attract now, repel later.
As a new business, in the beginning it’s a good idea to stay open to different kinds of clients. Learn from each and build a solid financial cushion before specializing. Once you’ve passed the year mark, step back, reevaluate and decide who you’d like to attract more of. Focusing in on a particular niche will help you to position yourself as an expert and when you specialize, you’ll be able to charge more for your services.

Five really easy ways to make sure people open + read your email newsletter.

A good reminder when it comes to creativity: you’re a river, not a reservoir.
Be the river. Allow life, and people, and the universe to pour into you. And instead of worrying if you’ll ever get anything more, let it go, pay it forward, release it on into someone else’s life. Create the space for more to be poured into you!

If you’re a beauty, fashion, or design blogger you should really know about these 12 blogger blogger outreach programs.

And a few posts I wrote that you might have missed: How to blog if you don’t like writing and 6 oddly obvious mistakes you might be making online.

P.S. If you don’t want to miss any posts, jump on my list! I’ll give you two free ebooks as a thank you!

3 Ways to Make Your Images Waaaay More Pinterest-Friendly

Meg Sylvia’s passion is helping bloggers & entrepreneurs self-publish eBooks by providing intuitive planning, contemporary design, and strategic marketing. Interested in growing your business by launching your own e-product? Click here to see how she can help you turn your idea into reality! Follow along on Facebook or Twitter.

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We’ve all heard that Pinterest can be used for increasing traffic to our blogs, but how many of us take the time to create images that are actually Pin-worthy?

Is it worth your time to put in the extra effort, especially if you’re not exactly comfortable with photo editing?

Not only can these photos be used to gain Pinterest traffic, but they can also be used across your other social media channels to increase click-through rates and build a sense of creative consistency across your brand. So, yes! It can definitely be worth the time. Let’s take a look at how simple this can be, and a few of my favorite ways to create images for your blog that are ideal for Pinterest sharing.

First, you have a few options for simple photo editing:

The most useful and commonly used photo editing software. If you don’t already have Photoshop, you can purchase it for $10 / month from Adobe.
If you have no desire to design images, outsource! Sites like and offer a multitude of great designers willing to do one-off or contract projects for a fair price.
Free Software.
If you’re interested in creating your own images but don’t want to invest in expensive software, go for free. One of my favorites is called – essentially a free and intuitive version of Photoshop.

Choose images that are high quality and Pinterest friendly
Vertical images take up more space on the Pinterest feed and since they stand out better than small horizontal images, they tend to gain more Pins. So, our first goal when searching for photos is to choose images that are vertically oriented. Remember however, that you can often crop a horizontal image into a vertical image.

Our next goal is to look for quality photos. I could discover the most helpful and informative blog post on the Internet, but if the image is poor quality, I simply refuse to Pin it. Pinterest snob Maybe, but Pinterest is literally based on interesting images, and images that aren’t visually appealing aren’t going to make the cut!


(This image is a great example of Pinterest-friendly. Bright, clear photo: check. Vertical formatting: check. Bold, eye-catching, relevant text: check!)

Where can you find these beautiful images? Here’s the resources I use to find high-quality free images: (My absolute favorite resource. You’ll want to look under Attribution 3.0 and Share Alike – you can use these as you please for free, as long as you credit back to the artist.)
Flickr Creative Commons search
Use your own quality photos!


2. Create a template to save time and ensure brand consistency
On my blog, I use the same format for all of my long-form articles images, and another template for my series articles. Not only does this make it much quicker for me to create images (I don’t have to think about what fonts to use, how to arrange the text, etc. each time I create a blog post), it creates uniformity that helps trigger my brand in readers’ minds when they see it across a variety of social channels.

Creating a template will be easiest if you are using Photoshop. In order to create the template:

Create a new document at 72 resolution, somewhere around 600px wide by 800px tall.
Place a sample image into the document.
Play around with fonts and layers until you have a setup you like. (I’d suggest carrying fonts and colors from your website branding into the template!)
Save this as a .PSD file, and when you want to create a new image, simply replace the image layer and type the new headline in the text layer.

3. Get creative with conveying a blog post as a graphic

Another way you can create images for high-sharing on Pinterest is to create an infographic or oversized visual of your blog post. These certainly require a bit of graphic design skill and time investment (or a small monetary investment, if you’re going to outsource it,) but these types of images are very popular across Pinterest boards. You don’t need to create brand-new content in order to make these – simply take the content from your blog post and shorten it down into key points.

Some examples of high quality, highly-shared graphics:


Pinterest can be a useful tool for increasing traffic to your site if you put aside a few extra minutes to create a beautiful image to compliment each of your blog posts.

Your turn! What factors makes you want to Pin an image that others can apply to improve their blogging images?

P.S. Why having a disjointed social media presence is hurting your business and How to be amazing at social media without letting it consume your life.

An Insanely Mercenary Breakdown Of Why I Post What I Post

“Well, it’s a lifestyle blog for smart, funny women. So you’re allowed to read it.”
(Finger guns, awkward winking)

This is something I say 3-4 times a week when I meet strangers and tell them what I do. (I only recently stopped following “I’m a professional blogger” with “yesthatsathing.”)

If they’re interested, I go on to tell them how I wanted to create a space on the internet that didn’t pigeonhole women and combined smart, interesting things (like career, travel, self-development, finances) and less serious stuff (cats, cheese, cute outfits).

As much as I love it, I realize that Yes and Yes doesn’t really fit into a neat, tidy blogging category. Is it a travel blog? What’s going on with those True Story interviews? Did you seriously write a post that’s just photos of animals smiling?

While it’s true that I frequently publish things simply because I think the internet needs to know about sleeping bag skirts and homemade oreos, there’s definitely a method to my madness. If you’re in the process of developing an editorial calendar for your blog, here’s a behind-the-curtains peek at my on-going post series and why I started them.

Post Series:
Real Life Style Icons
How often: once a month

  • I want to introduce my readers to new blogs + support interesting, thoughtful content
  • These posts remind us that there are heaps of gorgeous, stylish humans in the world and we come in lots of different packages
  • When I interview other bloggers, they (hopefully) link to the post on their own blog or social media. I send traffic their way and they send traffic my way. Win/win!
  • If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll pull affiliate links for clothing items featured in the fashion blogger’s outfits - like this. Remember, you need to disclose when you’re using affiliate links - my disclaimer is in my blog footer.
  • After asking their permission, I compiled my interviewees’ best, most clever style tips into a free ebook, which I used to get 1,000+ fresh newsletter subscribers!
  • Style posts helps diversify my content and make my blog appealing to more advertisers
  • It adds more ‘Pin-able’ content to my site. Pinterest runs on fashion, food, and craft posts - which I don’t post very frequently. This interview series changes that!


Post series: Mini Travel Guides
How often: once a month

  • Share local + expat insights into cool travel destinations
  • Introduce my readers to other blogs and writers
  • Benefit from guest poster’s traffic when they link to the post
  • Remind readers that I wrote two travel ebooks and if they like these posts, they might like my ebooks!

PicMonkey Collage

Post series: Read // Eat and The Kitchen Globetrotter
How often: once a month, each

  • Introduce my readers to other blogs
  • Benefit from the bloggers’ traffic when they link to the guest post
  • Diversify my content
  • Post more ‘Pin-able’ content
  • Stuff my face with great recipes, drool on my keyboard


Post series: Network of Nice
How often: once a month

  • Support my readers in making awesome things happen
  • Build community
  • Close the karma circle
  • Differentiate myself from other blogs


Post series: Web Time Wasters
How often: every Sunday morning, at 6 am

  • Introduce my readers to awesome new blogs
  • Give my readers cool things to read on a Sunday morning - a time that’s usually ‘dead’ on the internet
  • Non-sleazily network with the people I’m linking to
  • Insert affiliate links to cute things I would/will/have purchased
  • Promote conversation about interesting or thought provoking things that I’m linking to
  • Empty my favorites folder, already!


Post series: True Story
How often: Every Monday at 6 am

And that, friends, is the ridiculously transparent, somewhat mercenary break down of my seemingly directionless, lifestyle-ish blog. If this level of steely-eyed strategy doesn’t terrify you (or even appeals to you) you can hire me here.

Now you tell me!  Why do you post what you post? What’s your strategy?

7 Ways To Work Around The Fact That Facebook Sucks Now


If you have a Facebook page for your blog or business you probably discovered a completely infuriating change in early December.  Instead of showing your updates to all (or most) of the people who have actively chosen to follow you, Mr. Zuckerberg and Co. now show your updates to about 10% of your followers.  And if you’d like everyone to see your stuff? Well, you’ll just have to pay up.  I did the math and I’d have to pay about $2,000 a month if I wanted my 3,700+ followers to see my posts!


So I’ve spent the last month experimenting with different ways to reach my readers since Facebook is now pretty much out of the question.   Here are seven things that I’ve tried - with some success.


1. Really commit to Twitter - and use the photo option
Twitter is much more egalitarian that Facebook and (fingers crossed) has not yet pulled any shifty algorithm changes, ala Facebook. You can connect directly with people,  friending the editor of that publication you like, rather than just liking the publication’s Facebook page.

Also!  Twitter has a relatively new option that allows you to add photos directly to your Twitter stream rather than linking to photos hosted elsewhere.  It makes a huuuuge difference in your traffic, especially if the thing you’re promoting is visually appealing.  If you want to be a level 10 tryhard, you can design images specifically for Twitter.   Here’s a super helpful post about how to optimize your images for Twitter Streams.  (P.S. Are we friends on Twitter?  We should be.)

2. Promote business-y stuff on LinkedIn
I know, I know.  You’re all “Uggggghhhhh. Who even uses LinkedIn?”  There are people there!  I swear!  A friend of mine got headhunted for a super cool editor job off of LinkedIn, so someone, somewhere is using it and reading it.  If you write about/consult about/work with business-y stuff, post your blog posts on your LinkedIn updates.  Can’t hurt, might help!

3. Share select stuff on your personal Facebook page
I usually limit my personal Facebook page to posting vacation photos and inviting people to stuff, but very occasionally, when I write something that I think other people might find useful, I’ll post it on the Yes and Yes Facebook page, and then ‘share’ it as Sarah Von Bargen.  Shares feed into the Facebook algorithm and show Facebook that your post is ‘worthwhile’ and then it’s more likely to be seen by others.

Use this method carefully.  Your ‘real’ Facebook friends will pretty quickly get annoyed if you’re constantly promoting your business when they’re just trying to chat with your about who’s bringing what to that baby shower.

4. Create an amazing newsletter opt in
You already know that you need an email newsletter, right?   It allows you to reach right into people’s inboxes and connect there, without the hubbub and distraction of the internet. Newsletters help you keep in touch with prospective clients, share important updates about your business, and build trust with your readers and followers.  AND Mark Zuckerberg can’t mess with your subscriber list!

One of the best ways to get newsletter subscribers is to create an irresistible opt-in - a free ebook that they get for signing up, a set of private videos, or access to tools and platforms that will help them.  When you sign up for my small business newsletter, you get my ebook 7 Tricks For A Polished + Impressive + Productive Online Life.  People who sign up for Yes and Yes’s newsletter get three (3!) ebooks: How To Charm Anyone. All The Time. Ever, Be Your Own Style Icon, and 29 Ways To Enjoy Winter.


5. Tell your Facebook people what’s going on
Use that ‘boost post’ option to tell everyone who follows you on Facebook about what’s going on. Let them know other ways they call follow/befriend you (newsletter, RSS feed, other social media platforms) and give them instructions on how to subscribe to your Facebook posts, if they really want to see your updates.  They can do that by hovering over the ‘liked’ button and choosing ‘get notifications’ from the drop down menu.

6. Dive into to a different social media platform
My personal policy for social media (and what I tell my clients) is “choose two, do them well.”  It’s better (and less overwhelming) to do two things well, rather than five things poorly.  If you’re not using them already, you could try out Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Vimeo or Vine.  I’m still sussing things out, but I might dip my toe back into Pinterest.  Or Youtube.

7. Occasionally suck it up and pay to promote
If you’ve spent years developing a following on Facebook, it’s a pity to let all that hard work go to waste and there will definitely be times (like launches) when you want to access everyone you can.  In those moments, just spent $20 so all of your followers (and maybe a few other people) will see your posts.  Track your incoming traffic to see if it was worth it and then lather, rinse, and repeat.

Have the Facebook changes affected you?  How are you working around them?

P.S. Want more super helpful advice like this?  Check out my Clever Sessions!  People love ‘em - one client said “Honestly, I learned as much, if not more, in Sarah’s 90 minute Clever Session than I did in a two day blogging workshop that I paid $700 for. ”

photo (without text on top) by Ricky Lai

5 Ideas For Interesting, I-actually-want-to-click-that Tweets


We’ve talked about using Twitter lists for super-targeted, super-time-effective networking.  I’ve given you the slightly-controversial-but-I’m-standing-by-it advice that you should tweet about your blog posts multiple times.  But how, pray tell, does one write a tweet that people want to click on?

Here are five different types of tweets that I use.  For the sake of continuity, I’ll show you how I’d apply each of these ideas if I was tweeting about my blog post ‘True Story: I’m a 26-year-old Lady Deputy.’ 

1. Use a pull quote
What’s a pull quote?  It’s a juicy quote from an interview or blog post.  When you’re reading a magazine or newspaper, it’s the quote that’s been pulled out of the piece and put into a different, larger font - like this.  A good pull quote will grab a reader’s attention and lead to a whoooole lot of link clicking.  If you don’t always have space to include the title of the blog post, that’s okay!  Sometimes a little mystery is a good thing. ;)
Example tweet:
“They dive off upper bunks onto concrete floors because they want to go to the hospital and get narcotics.” [link]

2. Ask your followers a question
Social media is meant to be social, but you already knew that. Asking your followers a question about the post/topic you’re about to link to will increase engagement and clicks.  It will also help create a conversation around the topics you’re writing about.
Example tweet:
Do you think the American justice system is flawed? ‘True Story: I’m a 26-year-old Lady Deputy’ [link]

3. Share your opinion about the information you’re linking to
If you’re posting about something slightly controversial or you’re taking a stand, share that with your followers.
Example tweet:
I could never do this but I’m glad someone’s willing to. ‘True Story: I’m a 26-year-old Lady Deputy’ [link]

4. Tease upcoming posts
Since you’re promoting a post that’s not actually live and you don’t really have anything to link to, this is more of a ‘buzz-building’ tweet.  And honestly, this is a tweet that should be used sparingly.  People tire pretty quickly of ‘coming soon’ shenanigans.  But if you’ve got something big in the works, if you just got the proofs back for a new product, or found a new space for your shop, or chose fabric for next year’s line - by all means, tease away!
Example tweet:
Just finished formatting an interview with a 26-year-old female deputy. Wow. You guys are gonna love this. 

5. “Did you miss it?” tweets
This is a copywriting trick that you should also use sparingly.  It’s super effective at first and increasingly annoying with each usage.  However!  If you want to drive people towards your archives or a post that went up earlier in the day, this is a good tweet to use.
Example tweet:
Did you miss it?  An interview with a 26-year-old female deputy? It’s like ‘Orange Is The New Black’ IRL. [link]

Do you have any tips or tricks for writing tweets that people really click on? Share them in the comments! 

image by  garrett heath // cc

Using Twitter Lists For Fame + Fortune (or, you know, time-effective networking)


You know you need Twitter for your business. You’re following people who seem important and helpful. You’re following locals who might shop at your business. You’re following your cousin/ex-boyfriend/neighbor.

And then allofasudden your Twitter stream is full to over-flowing and you’re wasting time digging through tweets that are really just photos of lattes.

Enough.  Let’s use Twitter lists to make your Twitter life a million times easier.
(P.S. You can follow me on Twitter here)

1. Figure out what your goals are and follow accordingly
I’d like to teach a class about internet awesome-ry at a local liberal arts university. So, I researched the instructors and department heads of every single marketing, communication, and PR class in the Twin Cities, found their Twitter accounts, and followed them.

You can do the same! Want to write for magazines? Follow all the writers and editors of the magazines you’d like to pitch. Want to collaborate with fashion bloggers who wear a lot of thrifted clothing? Find ‘em and follow ‘em.

2. Make a Twitter list for each goal
Magazine editors go in one list. Travel writers another list. Fashion bloggers another list. Potential clients? Yup, separate list. If you don’t want people to know that you’re stalking for a specific purpose, make your lists private.

3. Each day, spend 10-20 minutes networking with a different list
Maybe on Monday you respond to and retweet fashion bloggers. Tuesday = editors. Wednesday = travel writers. Make sure that your tweets are genuine, helpful, and (preferably) funny.

4. Pitch them!
After you’ve been doing this for a month or two, go ahead and pitch them! By now they’ll hopefully recognize your name and URL because you’re Twitter buddies. So when you show up in their inbox offering a guest post or a press release, they’ll be all “Oh, hello! It’s my old friend So-and-so! I surely want to help her because she’s a good friend with whom I have an established relationship! Huzzah!”

See? Easy peasy.  Do you have any awesome Twitter tricks to share?

photo by Garrett Heath // cc

6 (More) Oddly Obvious Mistakes You Might Be Making Online


In May, Sarah and I spent 14 hours (!) giving mini consults to approximately a gajillion blogs.

503 comments later, I
a) had to drink some box wine and watch a lot of Parks and Rec
b) realized that both Sarah and I were repeating ourselves

If you wade through that sea of suggestions, you’ll see that there are 10-11 things that we suggested multiple times.  It began to feel sort of ridiculous and obvious, but clearly, these were things that people needed to be reminded of.  (Full disclosure: after making all these suggestions, I scrambled over to my Facebook page and took a lot of the advice I’d been giving others!)

If you subscribe to my newsletter you got an email outlining the first five oddly obvious mistakes that a lot of people make.  But since I’m not tooooootally greedy with my knowledge, I thought I’d share a few of our insights.

Here are six more oddly obvious, quickly fixable mistake that you might be making online.  Get to fixin’, tiger!

1. You haven’t customized the tabs on your Facebook page
You were super clever and uploaded the Twitter, Mailchimp, and Blogging apps to your Facebook page. High five, you!  But did you know that you can customize the app icons so everything looks matchy-matchy and ‘on brand’?  Yup, you can.  Here’s how. 

2. You’re not really interacting anyone on Twitter
Cleverly enough, social media is called that because you’re supposed to use it to be social.  What?  I know.  While it is really important to promote your posts and products, it’s more important to actually talk to people.  Make lists of people you know in real life, lists of publications you’d like to pitch, lists of bloggers you like and then talk to them.  Done and done!


3. You’re not writing interesting tweets/statuses to promote your blog posts
I know it’s incredibly tempting (SO TEMPTING) to set your posts to automatically update to Facebook and Twitter.  And then you end up with an update that looks like this: “Blog post: Stuff and Stuff [giant link].”  It’s time-saving, but it’s not engaging, friends.  I promote my blog posts on Twitter three times each day, with a different tweet each time.  Sometimes it’s a pull quote from the post, sometimes it’s a questions.  Interesting tweets are a lot more likely to get retweeted, too!

4. You’re only promoting your blog posts once
I know it feels a little over-kill-y, but because of the way we use Twitter, you can totally promote your posts more than once.  I promote each of mine three times (around 9 am, 1 pm, 8pm) with a different tweet each time.  If I’m feeling reallllly  ambitious, I’ll even pull popular posts from my archives and tweet those.

5. You’re not using photos in your blog posts
Do it.  Doitdoitdoit.  If you write long, personal essays or you’re an incredibly successful, well-established blogger, you probably don’t need photos.  For the rest of us plebeians, photos make our posts about a million times more engaging, clickable, and pin-worthy.  I get all of my photos from Flickr: Creative Commons.


6. When you link to people on your blog, you’re not @metioning them on social media
When someone writes a guest post for you.  When you include someone in a link roundup. When you feature a company’s products in a post.  Get on those @mentions!  Did you know that if you have a Facebook page for your blog/company, you can follow other blogs/companies with your page?  It’s true.  And then you can @mention them in your Facebook updates, too!

See?  Oddly obvious.  I’m sure I’m missing some or making mistakes, myself.  Do you see bloggers doing anything obviously wrong that’s easy to correct? 

photo by Stephen Harlan // cc