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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Your Klout Score: Measure your Social Media Influence

Klout: Measure your Social Media Influence

I’m back at it with the blogging help posts. Today I’m teaching you all about Klout. Klout is the social media ranking tool you didn’t know you needed - it will help you forge brand partnerships, improve engagement and share original content.

I first stumbled upon Klout back in my early blogging days but didn’t realise just how influential your Klout score could be until I was asked by a trustee at my organisation to keep a record and report month-on-month. Since then I’ve moved jobs but still rank Klout as one of my most-used social media tools, especially when it comes to influencer outreach. Why is this you ask? Using over 400 different social media factors, Klout’s algorithm ranks individuals between 1 and 100. A that represents your influence across your social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. You can read more about your Klout score here.


Klout score from a blogger perspective:

Your Klout score is a fantastic piece of information to include in your media kit to show how engaged you are on your social channels.
It shows that you’re social media savvy and you know what you're talking about when it comes social, which is handy for sponsored posting.
You can build relationships with other bloggers who have a genuine passion, interest and following.


Klout score from a brand perspective:

As a business, I’d be more inclined to get in touch with a microinfluencer with a high Klout score and a slightly smaller following than a bigger blogger, as it shows they’re passionate about their niche and engage with their following.
As a social media manager, you can sometimes get a lot of tweets and simply can’t give each one the love and attention it deserves. Your Klout score shows me at a glance how beneficial it would be to engage with you so the higher it is, the more likely I am to strike up a conversation.

The best part is that, with the Klout Chrome extension, also available for Firefox, you can view other Twitter users’ Klout score right there in your timeline. You don’t have to search for it manually. Though, if you’re like me and have a keen eye for social stats, you can always check up on how your Klout score has progressed over the past 30 days using their Measure tool and the influence each social platform contributes to it.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

How to Maximise your Productivity as a Blogger

Productive Blogging, Blogger, Time Management

Like many bloggers, I put a lot of pressure on myself for not being productive. For me, that means posting every day, replying to e-mails and mentions the same afternoon and producing Pinterest-worthy photos. This is probably why I've been known to fall out of love with my blog from time to time. I dislike the feeling of walking through the door and knowing, after a long day at work, I still and have posts to write, e-mails to reply to, photos to edit, SEO to fix, social to check and schedule before I can even think about having some down time.

Recently I got a new job and have found myself with oodles of spare time - alas, taken from my sleep schedule - on my commute, before work and during lunch time spare. So, instead of letting it go to waste I purchased a Chromebook and vowed to do better as a blogger. I seized those little bits of nothing time and turned them into something productive: a post schedule, a clean inbox, a bunch of new Twitter followers and some SEO-optimised copy. Want to find out how you can do this too? Keep reading.

The Alarm

Let's start easy: use this time to check what's trending on social media, reply to your notifications. In bed, of course and ideally with coffee in hand.

The Commute

If you commute to work via train or carpool, you can maximise this time by taking 10 minutes to jot down as many blog post ideas as you can. Think keywords, products you've just hauled, posts from other bloggers that have inspired you. Some ideas will be golden, others you'll never work on again. This way, you've always got a bank of ideas to reply on when the blogger's block hits. My favourite place to do this is the digital-hipster cafe a few minutes walk from my office. Watching others be creative is one of my favourite ways to get motivated.

Lunch

Level 1: Check Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and any other social media platforms your blog is connected to. Being responsive is a big social media turn on.
Level 2: Use this time to check your phone and reply to blog-related e-mails in the hopes that you'll have a response by 5 pm that day so you can crack on with your latest collab that evening.
Level 3: If you own a portable laptop, tablet or bluetooth keyboard you can connect to your phone and are lucky enough to have an hour-long lunch break why not use this time once a week to write a blog post? I've found a spot just outside my office by the river works best. The lack of internet connection and time limit does wonders for your productivity and keeps procrastination levels to a minimum. No funny cat GIFs here.


Rush Hour

I detest slow moving cars almost as much as I detest slow walking people. Pop on a podcast, you can find my recommendations for bloggers here, and try and learn about a new technique, network or scheduling tool whilst your engine is idling.

The Evening

I'm a big believer in rewarding yourself after a busy day so grab a cuppa tea and put your feet up for a bit. No doubt, like me, you are hooked on the latest Love Island drama so pop on the tele, crack out the laptop and get to business. All the technical bits like SEO, alt tags, SPG and formatting can be checked later. See that? The hour you'd have wasted snuggled under a blanket on the sofa had just become your most productive blogging time today.

Schedule and edit what you can and then head to bed. Blogging should be fun and not seem like a chore. If you want a day off, take it!

The Weekend

Take all of the batch photos when there's good lighting. You'll thank yourself later.

I hope this post gave you a few ideas on how to maximise your productivity as a blogger. It's intended as a list of tips than a guide. I don't think I'll ever be able to live up to this standard of blogging goals every single day and I'm not sure I'd want to! I appreciate my downtime too much. Netflix anyone? But a solid two or three days a week using this method, and recycling wasted time, can transform your blog and social.

Be prepared, new content is on its way.

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

RiteTag: Supercharge your Social Media Hashtags

RiteTag Twitter Hashtag Search Social Media Marketing Tool Free

Ever wonder what hashtag to use on Twitter to give your content the best exposure? I'll show you how using RiteTag, one of my favourite free social media marketing tools for bloggers and small biz.

As a blogger, you're probably reading this and rolling your eyes wondering what hashtags could provide more exposure than the standard #bbloggers tags or chats like #TheGirlGang. Both are filled with like-minded, passionate individuals who are interested in your niche - a great for recipe for views and engagement. But, when it comes to real people and some brands, chances are they aren't clued up on our new-fangled blogging lingo. They might not even know what a hashtag is! So, how do you get your blog noticed by them? Easy. You stop thinking like a blogger.

Thankfully, I have a free tool to help you with this - don't I always? Head over to the website RiteTag, log in with your Twitter or Buffer account and I'll walk you through it. RiteTag is a service that find you the best hashtags to use from a given keyword. As someone who manages social channels for a living, I cannot begin to explain just how time-saving this is. Once you're logged in, you'll notice you are able to a search for a hashtag in the top left of the screen. Let's search for #beauty.

RiteTag Search Beauty Hashtag

This will generate a long list of hashtags, organised by the average exposure they are likely to receive. Hashtags in the green group are great if you want to be seen my lots of people but don't necessarily result in lots of engagement as they have the tendency to be over-saturated - meaning your tweet might get overlooked. The blue group indicates hashtags to use to be seen over time - I recommend this is where you look to find people who are genuinely interested in your topic and are likely to see your tweet. The last group is grey and displays the hashtag graveyard. You shouldn't waste your time using these, they're not worth the characters.

Each individual hashtag is displayed next to its stats, the on-average number of tweets, retweets and views that particular term receives per hour. You can also see the breakdown of how many of these were photos, videos and mentions. But the clued up of us will already know that a winning tweet occurs at least 2/3 of these things.

From this list you can easily 'bookmark' a list of hashtags to use or compare at at later date. On the paid plan you can delve deeper into a particular hashtag by clicking 'View' to find out its:

  • Popularity over the last 30 days
  • Daily averages from the last 4 weeks
  • Hourly averages from the past 7 days - separated into unique tweets and retweets
  • Popular related accounts that are worth following
  • Geographic distribution by country
  • The languages it has been written in
  • Recent images that have been tagged
  • A web of hashtags to check next and their degree of relatedness to your original search term

Though RiteKit, their parent kit is a paid social media tool, the basic functions of the hashtag search above are available on RiteTag for free. Along with RiteTag's also have a Google Chrome extension for easy tagging, which you can download here.

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Monday, 26 June 2017

A British Blogger’s Guide to Staycations*


This post features sponsored content by Point S Tyres.

Since the UK is currently hotter than Mordor, I decided that a post on staycations was in order. We Brits do love to complain about the relentless heat/rain/snow, it’s about time we learnt to embrace it.

Staycations are stay-at-home vacations. Instead of jumping on a plane you can usually hop in your car to a nearby city and explore what it has to offer. It’s a way to make your weekends travel-filled without the hassle of a typical holiday - catching flights, jet lag, breaking the bank - and, in this heat, will feel just as exotic. For those of us spoonies, staycations can also be an accessible way to experience new places without wearing yourself out.


1) Book

Indecisive about where to go? I’d recommend downloading Lucky Trip - an app that allows you to set your date and budget and generates a somewhere to go, somewhere to stay and something to make you happy whilst you’re there. I could - and have - wasted hours flicking through long weekends in Brazil, lazy Sundays in the south of France or a range of city breaks right here in the UK.

Alternatively, you can ask the lovely bunch of travel bloggers on Twitter, pick up a leaflet or two from the train station, browse Air B&B or close your eyes and put your finger on Google maps.

Screenshot from the Lucky Trip app.

2) Pack

Great, you’ve picked a place and booked the tickets! Now you wait. Right up until the last minute in fact, when I always seem to wait until to pack my bags. It doesn’t help that I am the mother of over-packing, being more inclined to unhook the kitchen sink “just in case” than pack light. Below you’ll find a slimmed-down list of what I class as my essentials that I’d never leave behind:

Phone, portable battery, chargers and headphones.
iPad full of Netflix downloadable shows and a good book - just in case!
Sunscreen, hand cream, coconut oil, deodorant and toothbrush.
Concealer, brow product and mascara.
Clothes for every kind of weather the forecast threatens (plus an extra bra, pair of socks and undies).
A spare pair of comfy shoes.
A mini first-aid kit.


3) Travel

Trains turn me into a ball of anxiousness. What if I’m late? Have I triple checked my tickets? Oh no, where’s my Railcard? Am I on the right platform? What if I I board the wrong one? Now that I can drive, I skip the fuss and drive wherever possible, which gives me a bit more flexibility. I can also get together the best playlist of summer songs, blast the air conditioning and sing at the top of my lungs. However, it’s important to make sure your car is safe to drive before setting off.

Top up your screenwash. It may not seem like a big deal but you do not want to notice you’re out whilst you’re stuck behind a messy lorry on the motorway. Visibility is everything.

Double check your tyre pressure and tread, making sure there are no punctures before you set off. I had an unfortunate incident where my local garage left a spanner locked into place and rubbing against my wheel, which could have resulted in a nasty blowout. In need of a new tyre? You can reserve your tyres in Solihull and other areas from Point S at great prices.

Don’t risk it, take care of yourself. Make sure to cool the car down as much as you can before getting in so that touching the wheel and other controls are bearable. Take a water bottle, stop for regular rest breaks, avoid driving in heat if you don’t have air conditioning and wear some sunscreen - the glass does nothing to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays.


4) Enjoy

Put your phone on silent, grab a cocktail and have fun!

Let me know where you’ll be staycationing this summer in the comments below.

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A Quick Guide to the Page Analytics Google Chrome Extension

A Quick Guide to the Page Analytics Google Chrome Extension for Bloggers, Google Analytics Help

The free, downloadable Page Analytics Extension for Google Chrome is one of the simplest analytics tools I've used to see what you what your readers are clicking on on your blog.

Once you've installed the extension, which you can do here, you'll need to create or sign into your Google Analytics account. If you haven't already set up Google Analytics on your blog, visit this page to walk you through it. You just need to copy a small bit of code onto your template and you're done!

At this point, I shut down my browser, re-opened it and visited my blog where I was met with a few interesting looking bar graphs and some percentages in orange boxes displaying on images and headers across the page.


The Percentages

The best feature of the Page Analytics Extension is the ability to visit any page on your blog and see in easy-to-read percentages what your readers are clicking on.

Take my home page results - as you may have noticed, I haven't been keeping up with a regular blogging schedule these past few months, so my stats are quite low. From my home page 8.3% of readers click on my featured post slider, 4.2 % on my Caudalie Overnight Detox Oil: Say Goodbye to Blocked Pores post and 13% on my May 2017 Makeup and Beauty Haul. The further down the page I travel, the more likely it is that I'll find higher numbers as those posts are older have been showcased on my home page for longer. You can also use it to check your nav bar stats - I do! With 13% of my readers clicking the About and Contact pages from the home page. Easy, right?



The Graphs

Now for the slightly trickier part, the graphs. Each of the complicated-looking graphs can be set to display a custom stat over the past 30 days - by default, but you can change it in the bottom left corner. Below, I'll take you through the default set up. If you're already a die-hard Google Analytics fan you can skip the rest of this post, you won't miss anything. But, for those of you who are new to poking around your blog stats, read on.

The Segment is set to a default of 'All Users' so you can see what every single person who visits your blog has been clicking on. For most bloggers this will be enough. But, if you wanted to get a little more technical and break it down you can explore detailed segments of your audience by using the dropdown menu.

The next module along is Page Views. Pretty obviously page views is simply a display of everyone who has viewed your blog over the past month. More details stats are available on the main Google Analytics site, however, this is still useful information to have at a glance.

Next up you have Unique Page Views. This is the number of page views done by unique, individual users over the month-long period. Lots of unique page views means you have many different readers.

The Avg. Time on Page refers to the average amount of time a user spends on your page. If you have a layout similar to mine, in which your homepage showcases a number of posts, this is likely to be pretty low. To view the average time it takes them to view a specific blog post, head over to that URL.

The Bounce Rate sounds like a lot more fun than it is. High bounce rates are usually a bad thing as it means many of the users visiting that page leave your blog right after. They haven't stayed to explore. It might just because they clicked through on  Twitter or Bloglovin' to read a single post.

Let's talk % Exit. This number refers to the percentage of people who exited your blog on that page. If you notice high exit rates on a particular page, it may be worth revisiting it to check why people might be leaving your blog. Was it something I said?

The final module displays the number of Real-time Visitors that are on your blog right now. It's great to check just after a Twitter chat!


That's it - my quick rundown of the Page Analytics Extension for Google Chrome. Do let me know if you found it helpful in the comments below and what you'd like to see in the rest of my #BloggingHacks series.

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Sunday, 11 June 2017

Hair Oil: Aussie 3 Miracle Reconstructor for Damaged Hair

For the past several months, I've been using hair oil for growth and to condition my long, thick, bleached and frequently coloured hair. They fit my philosophy of minimal effort hair care with maximum results. The Aussie 3 Miracle Oil Reconstructor for Damaged Hair is a lightweight hair oil treatment for dry and damaged hair, the latest in a long line of hair oils I've been testing out.

"There's more than life to hair but it's a good place to start" - The Aussie Philosophy

The Aussie 3 Miracle Oil Reconstructor for Damaged Hair is made with three different, deeply nourishing natural oils: macadamia nut oil, jojoba seed oil and avocado seed oil, making it a great choice of hair oil for dry hair. From the first use, it shows a real difference with its non-greasy formula that appears to visibly repair my hair to leave it silky, smooth and fabulously shiny. Over the time, I can feel my hair becoming less dry, frizzy and lifeless. Plus it's reasonably priced, travel-friendly - no glass bottles here.

You can use hair oil at all stages of your hair care routine:
  1. Before shampooing as a nourishing conditioner - don't be afraid to use a heavy hand here.
  2. On damp hair to prevent frizz and tame flyaways - let me know if you've tried this!
  3. On dry hair to maximise shine and create a silky texture - a little goes a long way on dry hair so use sparingly.
Though, my personal favourite is as part of my evening routine in between washes to keep my hair looking healthy. First, I split my hair down the middle and use two pumps on each side of my hair before twisting my hair up into a high bun and heading off to bed. That way, when I wake up my hair is soft and tangle-free, without feeling weighed down.

Have you tried out hair oils yet? Leave me your favourites in the comments below!

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