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My Blogging Story Part 3 | Setting up my blog’s social media
RECAP OF MY STORY TO THIS POINT
August 2017 was my one year anniversary of having my blog and I started to reflect how far I had come within those quick 12 months. Once I started to map what I wanted to remind myself of I started writing it all out on paper.
Initially, my goal was to document this for myself, a journal type of post. A place that I could personally visit and take note of the outcome from an idea that came to me during one of my many sleepless nights. Turning those negative sleepless nights and into something more, something great.
After I started to write out what I had learnt, I took it a step further and realised maybe this may help a person out there who may also have a similar idea. Taking something you are passionate about and turn it into more.
Regardless if your idea is a blog, a YouTube channel, starting a side business, know that YOU CAN do it. It may seem hard even a little deflating at other times but eventually, you’ll get more of the good things happen after you put in work and you will forget the bad. This is the exact stage I am exactly at in my blogging career and mindset.
A quick recap of my previous post: I shared what steps I did to start my blog and how I converted what was in my mind to the internet Steps I took to set up my blog. Now that was sorted the social media part started!
For some, this part may be a lot easier than for others and may read this post and be like duh.
Previously to my blog, I was not really into social media for my personal posts, I was part of some cooking groups and once in awhile a photo.
For others like myself, I really had to learn a lot and continue to learn about social media. Especially since I have to rely on it for my blog to get some eyes on it.
Setting up my blog’s social media
At this point, I’ve chosen my blog name, paid the self-hosting fee and am in the process of designing my site.
The next immediate step after locking in my blog name was setting up my blog’s social media handles. There were a couple of platforms that my chosen handle was too long. I ended up trimming it from My Skincare Reality to Skincare Reality. Luckily, I didn’t have anyone that had my exact handle, although there were some very close handles.
I highly recommend to lock in your handles for each platform, even if it’s a social media platform you may not initially plan to use. Another thing you want to lock in is an email address. Majority of people use Gmail email addresses, so you may want to get that registered as well.
Now that I am expanding my blog I am so happy I registered on as many platforms that I did all that time ago because I am finding myself using those platforms, 12 months later. Always a good card to have up your sleeve in case you change your mind later, I know I did!
An example, say you start to do a fashion blog and you share your photos via Instagram, but then say 6 months down the track you want to add some variety decide to use Snapchat to do try on hauls. Automatically you already have your handle reserved then people can find you that much easier.
Having the same or similar social media handle across the board makes it easier for people to find. Personally, when I start to follow someone I look for their blog name or their personal name as some do their blogging using thier name.
Social Media I use
This is the list of social platforms I use and in some cases, I have been able to extend the way I use each platform with other programs and/or subscriptions. Of course, you don’t need to pay to use the extra programs but I am testing them out to see if it helps my blog traffic.
Overall I’ll grow my social media as organically as possible and I will never buy likes, follows or whatever else. For some people that may be an option they opt for, hey I’m not judging! To give you a peek at how my mind works, instead of paying money towards buying what I feel is a false sense of reality for myself, I can use those funds to buy more skincare!
It may sound slightly confusing as to why I believe investing in some paid systems but I have quickly met so many other like-minded individuals that are incredibly knowledgeable and I don’t know if I would’ve met them otherwise.
Social media can be very overwhelming like I said, for some it’ll be second nature to them. Fortunately, that is not me, and I say fortunately because it gives me the opportunity to learn.
Let’s get into my story of setting up my blog’s social media!
Since my blog is heavily based on photos, I use Instagram the most out of all social platforms. The community I have found is so welcoming, full of people who just love skincare and are in it to support one another. Sometimes you see someone laying out their truth and say “I’ve had a crappy week and my skin is paying for it”. In return, I’ve seen them get so much support from others who may also have had a similar kind of week.
The Instagram skincare community is a place where I have found so much inspiration, generosity and kindness from others. Life gets busy and you may not post for weeks or months at a time but when you come back everyone is so welcoming, picking up where you left off.
My personal downfall of Instagram is my wallet ends up lighter because I find out about so many new products/brands I had never heard of. Hey, you are most likely a much more responsible adult than I am so you may not find have the same problem! On the down low though, let me know if you can’t resist and all common sense goes out the window to purchase the newest x product.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been using, probably overusing, the Instagram Stories. I add pictures and some Boomerangs, I want to add some videos and maybe some unboxings for small hauls.
Facebook is a platform I personally really struggle with. On the other hand, I’ve found that it’s a good place to interact with others, whether it’s being part of a blogging group or having a discussion with others on skincare brand’s comment section.
I get very overwhelmed with Facebook but I think by changing my notifications it may help to make it look less ‘busy’ for me. I’m not too sure how I feel about this one if you are a Facebook whiz or are a fan of Facebook please let me know some tips because maybe I just need someone to ‘splain it to me.
Whilst watching some of my absolute favourite vloggers I keep hearing them say they did a Facebook Live but to be honest I have never watched one. Do you use it much? Is there a special secret sauce?
Going back to my blog relying heavily on photos, Pinterest is a fantastic way to upload photos and links which hopefully will convert to more pinners checking out your blog. Plus it’s such an addictive platform to find motivation and beautiful pictures.
After spending my 5 minutes (…more than 2 hours later…) I feel like I can build a house with some bricks, foam board and glitter, cook an exotic meal that I can’t even pronounce, all the way to being an expert at scrapbooking (even though I can’t cut a straight line if my life depended on it…yes even with a ruler).
That is how magical Pinterest is for me!
In the last month, I’ve been using Tailwind (** you can use my affiliate link to get $15 off your subscription**) with the intent to help grow traffic towards my blog. It’s actually done something different and I’m loving it! I’m completely motivated to improving my Pinterest game this year.
Tailwind is a Tribe Based community tool that allows you to schedule pins in advance for the next week. So it only takes about an hour out of my week (if I’m really focused), or I split it up over a few days if need be, and add pins from fellow tribe members to my be repinned on to my boards. The secret though is to read the posts you pin, I am fascinated by the amount of free information that is out there!
There are a few settings you can choose from but I have the default ‘Smart Schedule’ which uses Tailwind’s already optimised timeslots to your Pinning Schedule based on when others in your audience are most engaged.
Do you need it? No
Did I need it? Yes, and it’s because of my lack of keeping up with making it look inviting. Keep in mind though I have been blogging on and off over 12 months.
There are a number of these types of online tools but I’m really enjoying Tailwind. Perhaps once I’ve mastered the art of Pinterest I will try a couple of the others for review purposes.
They also have an Instagram version but I’m not at that point yet. Right now my time is being used on focusing on the growth of my blog and providing better quality content.
I don’t use Snapchat at all, but I have the handle locked in to use in future if I chose to do snaps. As things stand I don’t see myself using it for a couple of reasons.
Firstly being that I have the stutter that I mentioned about in My Mental Health Story post. Just to let you know in advance I talk about my crippling anxiety, so if reading about mental health issues isn’t something you are interested in, you may want to skip it.
Secondly, I am not a camera person at all, I am so shy and feel so self-conscious. I’m hoping it’ll be something I’ll grow out of and just go for it, I’m the one standing in my own way.
Actually, I lie, I do use it to use the filters and take funny pictures or videos of my dogs. Something completely not skincare related!
Ah, good ‘ol Twitter. For some reason, I thought this was a dying platform but it seems to be one of the strongest.
Again, Twitter is another platform I don’t really utilise it to the fullest potential. You betcha this is on my goal’s of 2018 to learn more about Twitter and how I can actually use it to benefit my blog.
During my research I have found some different ways to use this and I’m going to give them a go this year. Be on the lookout for my Twitter game to test some new methods. Those methods may totally flop on me but I won’t know unless I try!
Okay, this one I NEVER, EVER, EVVEERRR thought I’d use and almost didn’t bother to create an account. Actually, I avoided it like a bad breakout for the longest. Initially, I tried to upload the videos straight to my blog via WordPress but that was a no no as it takes way too much space.
I’d bet there are other ways, plugins, subscriptions that may be available to do this but finally, I decided not to make it too complicated and just dove in to use YouTube.
After much procrastinating, I decided to just do it via YouTube and have been using it for my demo videos, my haul videos and can I say it’s SO addicting to want to make videos! Some crazed part of me is always on the lookout to improve my video quality and ways to do some cool editing.
Even typing those words and admitting it out loud, makes me not know even know who I am anymore. Talk about an identity crisis! Going through the process of editing a video I quickly came to appreciate people who make YouTube videos on a regular basis. It’s a process but it’s awesome!
Do you accept this challenge I am about to issue? YouTube videos have been so life changing for me that I challenge YOU to make a video and upload it! Now you don’t have to make it public, you can leave it on private, heck you don’t even have to upload it to YouTube keep it on your computer, phone, tablet etc.
Write the description of what you would actually put if you were uploading it for public viewing. Do the same if you aren’t uploading your video, write out the description on a Notepad/Word document and keep it near your video.
The challenge is to edit that video as if it’s something you are actually publishing to the world. Try doing a few of them and then watch them back after a month. Be completely honest with yourself and make a mental note of your self confidence and self growth you feel. It truly is an amazing feeling to see something you’ve created.
It can be about anything, I make them of my dogs sometimes or random videos my little nephew & niece. No one sees them but it’s just something that is a little fun and I look back and think, I made that! Me?? Or it goes the other way and it’s cringe worthy but we all need a starting point.
Get comfortable with your voice, with the spot your camera is focused on, on the items in the background, as much as you can.
You have nothing to lose and so much to gain, you’ll be learning a new skill and we can never have too many of those!
When you do the challenge and feel like you’d like to share it please let me know. I would love and feel honoured to see it. This part isn’t a ‘must’, you can send it to me privately, I promise I won’t share it unless you give me permission. Or if you don’t want to share it, I’d equally be happy with you just telling me your story on how you went with it.
Prepare yourself to surprise yourself.
Tumblr is only used to duplicate my Instagram posts, I’ve met and discussed skincare with others on there but I don’t really know what I’m doing. Speaking from my personal experience I haven’t really encountered an ongoing active community. My Tumblr account is only kept in the hopes it’ll be another search option to find my posts.
From the sounds of it from other people, Tumblr seems to be a place that is slowly losing interest. What do you think?
Google+ is a current work in progress. Luckily I’ve been able to find other like minded bloggers so I follow their blogs or Google+ pages but it’s not something I really invest time in.
When I take the time to look and pretend I know how to read my analytics it seems like a good portion of people find my blog via this method. Don’t take my word as a definite, if I am understanding it correctly then I definitely need to invest more time for my SEO purposes.
When I was doing research on how I can step up my social media presence I started to watch a few YouTubers/Social Media experts for tips. I stumbled across this video from Sue B Zimmerman & Sunny Lenarduzzi titled Instagram Followers – How to get followers on Instagram (2015) (click here to go to video)
Below I have listed some of the first social media resources I came across and continue to use on a regular basis. They really break it down to make it easy for me to understand.
Sunny is a bundle of positive energy, very knowledgeable and really explains how to help you on multiple platforms depending on your business. Mine is blogging so I pay special attention to the social media and website traffic information.
Sunny’s details are listed below.
YouTube Channel: Click here
Sue B. Zimmerman
Sue is also known as #TheInstagramExpert I have followed some of her easy tips and have had success. She offers lots of free tips from hashtags to the best type of comments to leave on someone’s post. Things that myself as a newbie never even knew or would’ve thought of. I occasionally go back to the basics to give myself a refresher course.
Website can be found clicking here
YouTube Channel: Click here
Peg came up on one of my recommendations and I quickly became obsessed with what she had to say. All the tips and knowledge she has about Pinterest, I lack experience with Pinterest, but she left me feeling so more confident. *I will note that some of her videos that I watched were on the Skillshare website that offers online courses as part of their subscription. I no longer have that subscription service but it’s a great platform that offers many types of courses.
Website: Click here
YouTube Channel: Click here
Want to catch up on the series? Start in this order!
Now that I have shared my setting up my blog’s social media story, I realise there are some social platforms I didn’t even touch on.
This post definitely ended up being a lot longer than I initially thought it would be, so I really hope you made it to this point. If you did then please prepare yourself for the biggest e-hug from my two labs! They like when I’m happy because it usually ends with them being cuter and getting a treat.
Any advice you may have to offer please let me know. Are there any platforms I missed or should invest time on?