Using social media scheduling tools image

Taking your blog to the next level means that you need to use a social media scheduling platform. A social media scheduling platform is a programme that you use to write your posts in advance for them to publish on the social media networks of your choosing. It is beneficial because:

  • You can write posts and schedule posts for them to come out at the time of your choosing
  • You can continue to advertise your blog, even when you are doing something else
  • You can schedule posts so it hits a different time zone, perfect for building a foreign audience
  • You will be keeping a consistent presence on social media, important if you want to take your blog to the next level.

So with that in mind, what social media scheduling platforms are there for you to use and what are the pros and cons of each?

Hootsuite

  • You can have all the main social media accounts
  • You can set an auto schedule where Hootsuite will pick a time where it thinks most people look at your twitter timeline and then schedule your post at that time
  • It does have a mobile app, but in experience I prefer using the desktop version
  • You can have multiple streams showing your home feed, tweets, even hashtags
  • You can use their link shorter to shorten hyperlinks

Cons

  • You can only schedule 30 posts on the free version

Tweetdeck

Pros

  • Completely free to use
  • You can schedule as many tweets as you want

Cons

  • Only available to schedule tweets so not helpful if you want to schedule things on more than one platform

Buffer

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Again you can schedule different networks
  • It pulls images so you can pick which image you want to schedule

Cons

  • You can only schedule 10 posts per platform before having to pay

Tailwind

Pros

  • You can easily pick which pins you want to repin
  • Approved by Pinterest, so you haven’t got the danger of your account being suspended
  • Lots of stats available for you to look at

Cons

  • It may just be me, but I found it quite difficult to use – there is almost too much that I didn’t know where to start.

There are the four main ones. In my previous marketing roles I have used the paid version of Hootsuite which did the job fine. I did have a dabble in Buffer when the Hootsuite contract was coming up for renewal but didn’t see the reason to swap. For any blog posts I tend to use a mixture of Hootsuite and tweetdeck.

What do you use?

Image of a laptop and cup of coffee and the word dream

Today’s Blog 101 I am talking about how a vision and mission statement can help enhance your blog.

What are a vision and mission statement?

A mission statement is a statement on what your blog’s purpose is, a vision statement is what you want your blog to be in the future. It would make complete sense that your blog’s mission statement would inform the blogs vision.

Why are a vision and mission statement important?

A vision and a mission statement will inform the reader about the purpose of your blog and for yourself it can help you understand what you want your blog to be about. For example, if you want your blog to be focused on restaurants in the West Midlands and you do a content audit and you find a lot of your content is based on clothing shops in the West Midlands you have to think about possibly changing your content or the basis of your blog to help get yourself and your readers the most out of your blog.

How to go create your vision and mission statements

For myself I found it easier to focus on my vision first and work backwards. Questions I asked myself:

  • What is my blog currently about
  • What do I want my blog to be about
  • What do I want readers to come away from my blog thinking
  • What do I enjoy writing about
  • What do I want to be writing about
  • What do I want my blog to be known for

Keep your mission and vision statement’s short and sweet, 1-3 sentences will do it. It shouldn’t contain any technical words. There is nothing more off putting then reading a vision or mission statement that you don’t understand. A good mission and vision statement should invigorate, inspire and motivate you to keep working on your blog.

Do I need to publish my mission and vision statements?

It is entirely up to you. I don’t publish mine but I feel confident enough in the fact that I know where I am going with my blog.

Background of soft lights

If your aim is to win a blog award (let’s aim high here!) then you have to be in it to win it. Contrary to belief, the majority of blog awards the bloggers themselves enter in. Here is a complete list of awards (in no particular order) along with the web address and twitter handles.

*Please note, I have not been paid or approached by any of the organisations below. This is research I have done in my own time. If you would like to copy the list, I am more than happy you do so, but please reference me 🙂


If you see any blog awards I have not included please comment or tweet me and I will include it.

Blogosphere Blog Awards

Type of blogs: Fashion/Beauty/Book/Instagrammer/Business/Vlogger/Lifestyle/Photographer

/Blogger/Parenting/Food/Podcast/Fitness/Travel/Blogosphere Network

Website
Twitter

Cosmopolitan Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Beauty/ Lifestyle/ Fashion/ Fitness/ Food/ Sex and Relationships/ Photography
Website
Twitter

UK Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Art & Culture/ Automotive/ Dating/ Digitial & Technology/ Education/ Events/ Food & Drink/ Green & Eco/ Health and Social Care/ Lifestyle/ Photography/ PR, Media & Communication/ fashion & Beauty/ Travel/ Weddings
Website
Twitter

Bloggers Blog Award
Type of blogs: Beauty/ Lifestyle/ Fashion
Website
Twitter 

Amara Interior Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Interior
Website
Twitter

North East Blog Awards
Types of Blogs:
Beauty/ Buisness/Food&Drink/Lifestyle/Parenting/Instablogger/Interiors
Website

Next Blogger Network Awards
As I am not part of the Next Blogger Network myself, I couldn’t find much information about it. However, I felt it is worth including.

Bloggers Lounge
Types of Blogs: Beauty/ Lifestyle/ Design/ Fashion/ Charity/Parenting/ Tech/ Health and Fitness/ Food
Website
Twitter

Beauty Blogger Awards
Type of blogs: Beauty
Website
Twitter

Brilliance in Blogging Awards:
Type of blogs: Parenting/ food/ photography/ travel/ style/ craft/ family
Website

Vuelio Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Art & film/ Beauty/ Business and Finance/ Education/ Fashion/ Food and drink/ Health and Fitness/ Interior Design/ Media/ PR and Marketing/ Newcomer/ Parenting/ Politics/ Sport/ Travel and Tourism
Website
Twitter

Wine Media Awards
Type of blog: Drink (wine!)
Website
Twitter

Wine Blog Awards
Type of blog: Drink (wine!)
Website
Twitter

Navabi Plus Size Blog Award’s
Type of blog: Fashion/ Beauty
Website
Twitter

UKYA Blogger Awards
Type of blog: Books
Website
Twitter

Surrey Digital Awards
Type of blogs: From what the website it looks like any type of  blog can enter.
Website
Twitter

Essex Digital Awards
Type of blogs: From what the website it looks like any type of  blog can enter.
Website
Twitter

Bloggers Blog Awards
Type of blog: Books
Website
Twitter

 

Blog 101 Using Trello to organise your blog

Hello, today’s blog 101 I am talking about organising your blog using Trello. I am a big fan of Trello. In my previous role I used Trello to organise an entire marketing department’s work, it is free and you could do so much with it. Even in my current role I organise my entire workload using Trello. Today’s post I will talk about the getting started with Trello, the benefits of Trello and how you can use it to organise your blog.

What is trello?

Trello is an organisational tool. It works by using cards that you can move around in columns.

Benefits of Trello

  • It is free
  • You can add anyone to trello and set work on other people’s boards.
  • It is so easy to use
  • You are not just setting cards you can also add checklist to cards, image and emojis.

Using Trello for your blog

The way I am using Trello for my blog is to set up a new board (to do this go on trello and click on Boards and Create new board). Set the columns up (just click add new list) and set them up in this order:

  • To do
  • Doing
  • Scheduled
  • Posted
  • Posted on social media
  • On hold

Image of the Trello website

Another way to set up your blog organisation board:

  • To do
  • Doing
  • Create shorted link
  • Scheduled
  • Live
  • Posted on Facebook
  • Posted on twitter
  • Posted on Pinterest
  • Posted on Instagram
  • Reply to comments left on the blog
  • Respond to emails

You can if you want have more than one board for your blog. As an example you could have a board just for blog posts and a board just for social media. A way you could set up your social media list could be:

  • To write
  • Schedule
  • Scheduled
  • Reply to social media comments
  • Record social media statistics
  • Analyse social media statistics
  • Record noted trends to implement next time.
  • Follow relevant social media

Within the cards you can set up due dates with times. These dates are useful as you can see the due dates in calendar view and clearly on the card.

Image showing a Trello organisation board

If you decide to use Trello for more than just writing and scheduling blog posts you can use the label option. By labelling different cards in different colours you can see quickly which part of your blog/email/social media needs doing.

Image of the Trello labelling system

I personally would rather have one board with more columns than lots of different boards. The beauty about trello is that you can build it more or less any which way you want.

Using Trello for work

In my last role. I had to manage a team which included a Web Developer, Marketing and Communication Assistant, Social Media and Promo roles and Graphic Designers as well as my own work load. Having one board would have been crazy. Instead I separated the boards out:

  • Marketing and Communications Assistant workload
  • Social media and Promo Assistant workload
  • Web Developer
  • Graphic Designers

Within these boards I would checklists to the card (if relevant) and allow people to comment. I would assign people to cards. This was such an easy way for myself, my assistant and the staff to keep on track. It almost meant when I wasn’t in the office and any of the staff members came in, they can get straight to work. For the graphic designers, I would upload the creative briefs to the cards and add checklists for each format that needed created.

Do you use Trello for your blog? If so how do you layout your Trello board?

How to grow and maintain a blog

Your blog is up and running, well done! Now you just need to maintain and grow your blog to help you achieve success. This is how you can do it:

Take part in Twitter chats

Being a massive twitter fan anyway, I love twitter chats. I have been part of some great conversations, spoken to some lovely people on Twitter and it has been a great way to push people to your profile, obtain followers, gain new ideas for posts and find some new bloggers yourself.

It can be daunting at first taking part in chats, especially if you are hosting one (read more about my tips on hosting a Twitter chat here). If you join chats based on your blog topic this will push more interest to your site then say your location as it is reaching those with the same interests.

Read more:

Creating a movement online – my recent twitter chat

How to #win at a Twitter chat

Using hashtags and pages that retweet your blog on twitter

By promoting your post using popular, relevant hashtags this can push your blog out to an audience that may not have come across your site otherwise. Sites such as hashtagify.me can help you easily see how popular the hashtag you want to use is and other relevant tags. By adding the handles of twitter pages that retweet your blog as well may mean a retweet out to a large audience. Bare in mind, however, to only add one twitter page handle per post. If you don’t then you are less likely to be retweeted as those pages are not going to retweet their competitors as well.

The Twitter pages that retweet your blog

Facebook Fan Page

Like what I said with the Twitter chats below, you could create your own Facebook page promoting your blog or you join ready made communities tailored to your blog topic, region or interest. I am part of several blogging groups in the West Midlands because I live in the region and like to see what local bloggers are writing about (I have some fab new restaurant places I want to try out!), and blogger opportunities are also posted on there too.

Instagram

If your blog is very aesthetically pleasing, then Instagram is the place to flog your posts. Engagement on Instagram is high because it people are more willing to double tap a image to give it some love. If your Instagram is themed then likes are more likely. Evidence as shown that those Instagram pages that have a theme are more likely to get likes than those that are not. Again using hashtags for people to find your images is key. I use tagblender for easy copy and pasting lots of hashtags. Just remember Instagram only allows a certain number of hashtags and if you go over then it will post without the tags and that can be frustrating.

Creating a blogging schedule and sticking to it

I firmly believe that to really maintain a blog you need to regularly post. If you consistently times a week you are more likely to have followers keep returning to your site for more.

How is your blog going? Leave me your links below as I am always on the look out for new blogs to read!

 

 

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