Scheduling. It's probably the most boring part of being a blogger (in my opinion), but it has to be done. If you’re not scheduling blog promotions, I can guarantee your blog isn’t getting the exposure it needs and deserves. Please, don’t do what I did and waste time daily writing out promos whenever you feel is right. Promo scheduling is a big and important part of blogging, so here’s my beginner’s guide to the basics.
Twitter is your absolute go-to for blog engagement. The community is so supportive and there are loads of pages that retweet other bloggers. For Twitter, I use a nifty little app called Hootsuite. You can get it on iOS or desktop and it has changed the game for me.
As I upload every Sunday morning, I spend about 10/15 minutes afterwards scheduling tweets for the week ahead. I usually share a reminder about my new post on a Monday and then throughout the week alternate between promoting a new post and an older post that I’d like some love on or think is relevant – don’t disregard old posts ever!
I think it’s much nicer to see a switch-up between older and newer posts and I often break up my scheduled blogs with some Instagram/Pinterest promotion, too.
Another amazing thing with Hootsuite is that you can schedule tweets for the next ‘best’ time. The ‘autoschedule’ option (not available on desktop) means that your scheduled tweet will go out at the next best time for exposure based on your analytics. I can’t say I use this very much, but I do if I’m wanting some fast responses or exposure.
I was at my wits end with Instagram until I read Instastyle by Tezza, and I suddenly went from wanting to delete the app to having a nice posting schedule. There is a section in her book that chats about scheduling posts and being able to see your feed in advance, which is my absolute dream because I hate not knowing what my Insta will look like.
So, I introduce to you Planoly– also known as my lifesaver. I’ve got the free version of the app and with that I can schedule 30 posts a month but also preview my feed in advance. Before a post is scheduled, you can move it around between other drafts to see which combo looks best on your feed. I really wish I knew about it when I was in New York!
I bloody love Pinterest. It really gets my creative juices flowing and is such a good way to find content. To schedule pins, I use a site/app called Tailwind. It’s free for the first 100 pins (I think) and then it’s £12 a month.
With Tailwind, you can upload your own pins (be that blog graphics or Insta posts) straight to the site and pin them through there or you can schedule pins through Pinterest and the Tailwind plugin. The site will then pin your post whenever it will get the most exposure (which is obviously great).
Another fab thing about Tailwind is its newest little feature called SmartLoop. To put it simply, if you add a pin to a SmartLoop board (so, I have one for my blog) the board will be continuously pinned and those posts will be shown on rotation over a certain period of time. That really helps with consistently getting exposure for your posts and makes it easier than just pinning them every so often!
In my opinion, Talwind is absolutely worth the money and I’d rather sacrifice a night out and spend the money on my subscription, to be honest. It really makes Pinterest easier and has made my monthly viewers go from less than 1,000 to hundreds of thousands.
I mentioned in my ‘how to promote’ post that I’m really rubbish with Facebook and I definitely need to get myself into gear with it. Luckily, the site has its own scheduling option and you don’t need any extra apps to help. If you have a page for your blog, simply write a post and then choose when you want to schedule it for…that’s literally it! So easy!
Well, there are a few tips on how to schedule posts and promotions. I should probably take my own advice when it comes to Facebook, but I swear by Hootsuite, Planoly and Tailwind. I really dread to think what my stats would look like without them. Just taking 15/20 minutes out of your week to sort scheduling will really make this whole blogging thing much easier for you.
It doesn't matter if you're not making money on your blog.
You tell someone you’re a blogger and they’ll immediately respond “cool, so you get loads of free stuff?”. The conversation then usually goes “sometimes, yeah”… “so you get paid to just write, it sounds so easy”, and by this point I’ve already given up on whoever I’m speaking to. Not only is it completely untrue that bloggers “just write” and then get free products and money, it also belittles blogging as a hobby/career.
When I began blogging, I had done no research. I just knew that I wanted to write, I didn’t care if people read it or not. Then, I wrote a post I was really proud of and I thought “wow, maybe people should read this”; at this point I had no clue what DA, niche or SEO meant, let alone faffing about with your codes (which I still struggle to do). Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You should blog because you love blogging, not because you think you’ll get money for simply writing – it’s not that easy, by the way – or because you’ll get free things. That should all be a bonus to the fact that you’re doing what you love and people are enjoying it.
I didn’t get my first completely free product until my Anatomicals post which I wrote in October – I sometimes get free bits from Influenster that I write about, but they send you samples based on what you like. By the time I received my first free product, I’d been blogging for around a year. Granted, I wasn’t as focused on blogging as I am now and over my recent posts I’ve begun to find my ‘voice’, but what matters is that I was loving writing and getting it out there. If getting free stuff is your priority, I suggest you apply to a free samples site, such as Influenster.
And money? I had my first paid post in December; after over a year of blogging. I’m not putting myself on a high horse, either. I have ads on my page, often say yes to collaborations and I email companies when I think I may be able to work with them. It’s rewarding when you realise you’re making money from your passion, but it should be rewarding because people are enjoying your content so much that you can financially benefit from it. I'm pretty sick of people thinking that you must be making money to be a good blogger.
It shouldn’t matter if you’re not making any money on your blog, despite what all of those Pinterest “how I make $45k a month blogging”, “how to turn your blog into a business” and all those posts say. You should be blogging because you love blogging and interacting with your audience.
My favourite thing to do (as sad as it sounds for a 19 year old student) is to sit down and write a post and then take all of the pictures for it. It’s so rewarding to see how much my writing and photography has improved and it's really been reflected in my traffic. It’s not reflected in how much money I’m making, however, as I’m making very little.
But, do you know what? I’m really not bothered. I put affiliate links in when I can, because why wouldn’t you want to make some extra pennies for recommending products that you genuinely love? I won’t go out of my way to write about something if I’m not passionate about it.
If your heart is in the writing and producing, then the sky really is your limit. Thank you for reading my little ramble on why it shouldn't matter. Of course, if blogging is your full-time job then obviously the money matters but if it's not then please don't worry too much about your blogging income. People love you for your writing, not for how many sponsored posts you do!
You only have to spend 30 seconds on Pinterest to come across a “ways to be more successful on your (insert blog/instragam/YT/twit)", and if you click on them they will all say the same thing – BE AUTHENTIC, usually with a picture of a smiley sunny blogger next to it. When I came back to blogging I told myself I was going to let ‘me’ peek through more in my blogs and online, less of that shimmery, perfect lifestyle crap; but it made me realise, what does authenticity really mean?
In general, I am a very sweary person (is that a word? It is now). I don’t mean I swear aggressively, I just often say bloody, shit, crap, the occasional “f*ck” – I’m definitely playing that down, I use the f word all the time – but if I swear in my posts will that make me more authentic? I don’t swear that often in front of my parents (out of habit), so does that mean I’m not being ‘me’ when I’m around them? Absolutely not.
Everything I write on this blog and on my social media accounts is authentic and me. If I’ve had a rubbish day, I’ll mention it – but also, I’d probably say to my friends that I’ve had a “shit” day. This doesn’t mean I’m ‘fake’. In the same way, I’m very sarcastic and definitely take the mick out of my friends, in that loving way, don’t worry, but I’m certainly not going to treat fellow bloggers like that. I’ll let my humour seep through, yes, but would I throw some tongue-in-cheek tweet out to someone who may misinterpret it on the internet? No way.
We are people with different dimensions. We don’t behave in our uni/place of work in the same way we behave with our friends but that doesn’t mean we’re being inauthentic in either situation. I’ve undoubtedly spent too long mulling over the meaning of ‘authentic’ recently, and sometimes I think we can try so hard to be real that we end up getting caught up in that and not doing what we actually enjoy, the writing.
I’ve definitely relaxed into my blog posts more and my traffic is showing that (maybe authenticity is key?) but I don’t think I have anyone to thank for that but myself. I haven’t become the sweary, bantery Soph that my friends see nor have I become the quiet note taker who will occasionally raise their hand in a lecture, I’ve simply become a more confident writer who now has a following and no longer feels scared to hide behind the rose tinted glass that we often see on social media.
Welcome to my new blogging section on Sophie Elise! I've been wanting to chat more about the blogosphere, so there's no better place to do it than right here. Let's talk about the simple bits to begin with, like promoting your own posts.
I think one of the things I find most difficult about being a blogger is promoting my own posts - talking about things I'm proud of has never come naturally to me, so how on earth do I shout about my blog posts on a daily basis? The answer to that is for another post, I'm sure, but for now here's what I use to promote my blog posts.
Twitter is my go-to for blog promotion and interaction with other bloggers. There is just something so effortless about Twitter that I love and I feel like I don't have to hide anything there. Just tweet about your posts and tag some retweet pages and you're all set! It's also so much fun to engage with other bloggers and read their posts.
I've only recently got the hang of promoting my posts on Pinterest, but so far it's really taken off. As long as other people are pinning what you post, then the promotion pretty much works for itself. Over three weeks in November, my Pinterest traffic grew from 250 to 25k so all I'd say is being active is key. Also, make sure you have a cute graphic for people to pin! To create pins I use Canva.
Truthfully, I neglected my Facebook page way too much and don't bother with it any more. I do get some views from there, though, for previous posts. This is mainly from people I know in person who follow and support my blog, which is always super appreciated. You can join some blogging groups though, and you can either update the members when you've got a new post up or join in with fun blogging threads.