Screenshot of Rebecca Merchant's podcast page

I was never really a podcast person, until I realised listening to the entire Ellie Goulding playlist on Spotify each day to and from work was a getting a bit too much. I decided to delve into the world of podcasts – and boy, I am glad I did.

#Girlboss – Sophia Amarouso

This popular podcast starts with Sophia reading out #girlboss moments that listeners send in via Twitter. Sophia then interviews females that have achieved success in their careers. The careers are mainly business based but contain a mixture of charity/ start-ups and women in senior positions of established organisations. Each podcast charters the guests work life from first job to lessons learned in each position.

The Unsorry Podcast

The Unsorry podcast by Sam Sparrow and Lea Rice where each episode talks about topics that women in their twenties and thirties often don’t talk about. The best topics I have listened too have been: Do you have to live the dream, Meditation – Bullshit or brilliant, Dealing with burnout, Difficult female friendships and Educating men on feminism.

Ctrl Alt Delete

Another popular podcast by Emma Gannon author of the Ctrl Alt Delete book. Emma interviews different people each week on a variety of different topics. The interviews with Estee Lalonde and Laura Bates author of Everyday Sexism are well worth a listen.

Death, Sex and Money

Last but certainly not least is the Death, Sex and Money podcast hosted by Anna Sale. This podcast claims to talk about topics that people don’t talk about enough and it is so true. Usually the podcast focuses on one person’s story and includes audio excerpts from listeners who have phoned in. Podcast’s I have enjoyed listening too (out of many) have been ‘I was more angry at God’, Falling in love with heroin, An Astronaut’s husband, left behind and In sickness and in mental health.

Have you got any podcast’s you think I should listen too? Let me know in the comments below!

I really enjoy Twitter chats, I take part in them and I have hosted them as well.

I recently hosted an #lbloggers chat with my topic about ‘Creating a movement on the internet’. It was a topic that I hadn’t really seen much written about online so I was excited to see everyone’s thoughts.

My first question was:

Do you feel that blogs have empowered people to create their own movements or join one?

What was interesting with this was I saw a movement as something such as feminism however a lot of Twitter users saw it as building their own communities.

In addition twitter users that took part in the conversation as a whole felt that blogs helped people connect with other like-minded people and increase the confidence in expressing themselves.

 

Do you think the internet can be a more effective way to support causes from behind a screen rather than being out there?

Twitter users found that starting from behind a screen can be a brilliant way to dip your toes in activism and then as confidence grows and physically getting out there seems possible.

A Twitter conversation regarding activismOne twitter user bought up the very valid point that it depends on the blog and the blogger and I whole heartily agree.

My blog is less likely to get people involved or support a cause compared to a blog with millions of followers.

Are you involved in activism?

I am not involved in activism myself at all other than the odd retweet and reading Lenny Letter (a feminist newsletter). I was interested to see if other people were. Jasiminne Yip from Posh, Broke and Bored wrote about her experiences volunteering with the Greyhound Trust and Crisis UK. One twitter user pointed out that mental health issues was widely being recognised.

Lauren from Blonde Vision has done volunteering for the Race for Life, packing Christmas presents for children in Ghana.

A Twitter user, Ada Lovelace said that she volunteers at the local library and donates to charity. Another user said that she speaks up for small indie businesses.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

Images of notepads

Reading Twitter analytics can be hard if you are unsure about what you are looking at or find looking at all those numbers really scary! This posts serves only as an overview to help you make informed decisions about what you post, when and how it is written.

I have read posts where people say that page/ post views ‘do not matter’ and the like but I struggle to understand this. By working out the best times to post, which posts work well and why means that you can maximise upon this to help increase your engagement and following, which is what everyone strives for!

Once you have opened up Twitter analytics and clicked on the ‘tweets’ section you will get onto the 28 day page analysis. Click on the export data button, the last 28 days button next is where you can adjust the dates, I usually do a month by month analysis. Open the Excel file that you have downloaded.

You can see lots of different columns, it can look quite intimidating the first time but we are going to get rid of loads of columns to make it easier to read the data.

I automatically get rid of:

  • Tweet ID
  • Tweet Permalink

I get rid of these purely because they are of no use to me, I will not gain anything from them.

Depending on what media you use I usually get rid of every column from permalink clicks onwards.

Next I focus on the datasets that give me the most information, these are:

  • Engagements
Engagements are the number of times your tweet has been engaged with.
An engagement include these actions:
cards, embedded media, hashtags, follows, favourites, links, profile clicks, retweets, replies, usernames and tweet expansions.

 

  • Engagement rate
This is the number of engagements divided by the number of impressions
  • Retweets
The number of retweets. This is a good metric as it shows that people value the content enough that they want people on there own feed. 
  • Likes
Again simply put the number of likes, another good metric as it shows appreciation of the tweet.
  • Impressions
This metric is the number of times a message is served to a user in a timeline or search results. I am not keen on this metric because the way I see it because it is a timeline it does not necessarily mean that it is read.
  • URL clicks
The number of times a URL is clicked on.
As Twitter doesn’t total the metrics up for you, I automatically use SUM and add up all the columns first so I have a total. I then use mean to find the average. Both metrics are useful as I can see what was achieved that month and with the average I can see how many engagements were made over the number of tweets.  The more engagements per tweet means more people engage with the posts.
Afterwards I filter the data – I filter whatever metric I need to see which tweets received the largest amount of engagement and also which didn’t and then look further to see if it there is a certain way I wrote the tweets with the largest/ least engagement.Has this basic guide made you want to use Twitter metrics more?

 

 

Title text with an image of a beach in the background

Hello, hello today I am talking about why leaving behind a digital footprint is one of the reasons why I love writing on the internet. I have had my little site now on and off for about three years! It started as a site to talk about cycling but then I realised I didn’t actually know that much cycling (other than the fact that my Boardman bike is my best friend FYI!) so then I switched to talking about lifestyle then just social media and blogging and now I feel that I have found a happy medium in talking about blogging/ social media and lifestyle thrown in on occasion. One thing that has not changed is that I do really enjoy writing and reading comments either on my site or social media.

I enjoy blogging because it is just so easy and accessible for everyone. I started originally because I wanted to improve my writing at work (one of my responsibilities was writing articles for the site and social media) but one thing that I liked about blogging is that it was somewhere I could leave my footprint, I could have my say. It wasn’t just blogging tho, Twitter was another platform where I leave behind my thoughts, less so feelings but also have conversations with like-minded people, read interesting articles. Even on Strava the cycling app, I could view how well I had done on bike rides against myself and other cyclists – the perfect example of the digital complimenting my real life! I loved the way I see the miles mounting up (I was pretty gutted when the GPS on my phone stopped working!).

I was watching Rest in Pixels a programme on BBC Three ages ago about digital legacy. In the programme it spoke about companies using algorithms to message from your social media profiles after your death about topics that you were interested in. I found it interesting because it was focused on keeping these profiles alive after you were gone. However for me I didn’t see the point – well honed algorithms are fine but they are not going to bring the person back and surly it would extend the heartache? I knew that if something was going to happen to me I would want people to look at my social media profiles and see the tweets and posts that I had written.

I remember a conversation on Twitter a while back and a blogger said that they loved the idea that our children now will grow up and be able to remember us very well as creating and saving videos are accessible and that our lives now as the (digital native generation) are lived just as much online as they are offline. I think that is a lovely way to view this.

This blog post was not planned and at all and as taken a slightly morbid turn then I thought it would! But I would love to hear your thoughts on this? Does anyone feel that they are leaving behind a legacy as such when they write?

 

Image of laptop, iphone and journal

Blogging can be hard for many reasons – generating ideas for posts, having the time to write and schedule in content, editing photographs… the list can go on. However planning and structuring a blog post correctly means the article is likely to be well written and a well written article is more likely to be shared and this means more hits to your site and that ultimately is the aim of the game 🙂

Today I will tell you the way I like to structure my blog posts, none of what you see below is revolutionary but hopefully helpful.

How I Structure My Ideas
I like to either bullet point them or use a mind map format to write down all my ideas. If I am particularly stuck for ideas I will have a scroll through what other bloggers have written for inspiration. Some may argue that it is copying but the majority of content written on blogs is repackaged or has been rewritten already anyway, so I don’t see it in that way.

Your post ideally should contain ‘evergreen content’ this helps boost your SEO. Evergreen content is content which isn’t dated so for example if this article contains lots of data then this article will be out of date very quickly as the stats would become out of date. Fashion blogs are another example. My social media and blogging articles I like to keep the content ‘evergreen’ as much as possible.

Once I have an idea on what I want to write about, if I need to do any research this is usually done first. It helps inform the rest of my writing and helps me think of points that I may not have thought about originally or from a different view point that I then may expand upon. I tend to write intro, middle and end as titles and then list the points I want to make below each.

The writing part
When I start writing, I tick off each point to help keep me on track and additionally keeps me motivated to finish the post (I am one of those people that like lists!). When I am in the planning stage I like to have a lot of time to plan my posts. I turn off all distractions, this means leaving my phone in the other room and not being on Twitter to keep me focused and it speeds up the creation of the post. Additionally, setting myself a deadline helps to keep the momentum. At the end I find a image using a free image site, sometimes I will add text it depends. Just keep in mind with your deadline to take time to find or create a decent image and make sure you include an alt tag in the image. At the end if you have written any previous blog posts that link with the post you are about to publish, add them at the bottom to boost engagement to other posts.

The bit after you click publish

The planning just doesn’t stop at the blog post it also extends to social media. There is really no point writing a blog post unless you are really going to push it (I don’t know, maybe you want to keep it to yourself, each to their own I guess!). When I plan social media, I take into account popular hashtags (I use ritetag) and twitter profile pages that will retweet posts. I use Hootsuite to schedule the posts in and I tend to have a social media scheduling session when I am too tired to write a blog post. I pin my blog post on Pinterest straight after it is has gone live so it is done and I don’t have to think about it.

So the short version of all of the above:

  • Turn off all distractions
  • Mind map or bullet point ideas
  • If your stuck for a topic then have a google to see what other bloggers are writing about or what the popular topics are at the moment (taking into account making your content as ‘evergreen’ as possible)
  • Start with a topic and plan a beginning, middle and end
  • Remember to include scheduling in social media and finding images within your allocated time limit
  • Add in links to other relevant blog posts

Have you got any tips on creating an effective blog post? Which has been your best blog post in terms of views? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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