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Social Media

Why blog and who should blog? If you have a business and you don’t regularly blog you are missing out on using a great marketing tool. Even if your business perhaps doesn’t seem the most interesting topic there are always things you can write about. Remember that you are aiming to be useful and provide information/tips/hacks therefore be of service to your reader. If you write something useful that person may come back to your website and down the road may buy your product or service, they may also share your blog post on social media or mention it to a friend! So what are you waiting for get producing great content now and then you will see that blogging really can benefit your business!

Your aim is to drive traffic to your website, where hopefully that person will look at other pages. It raises your profile/this could be you yourself or the brand you have created.  Try to post regularly, this could be once a week or even once a month. You should aim to stick to it as your audience will begin to expect your posts and may loose interest if you are erratic.

How to Blog

So how do you get started? It depends on the website you use for business. You can simply have an area called “News” or ‘Blog” built into your website where you then place the blogs, or you might want to use a blogging platform such as:

Square Space

WordPress

Blogger

I use WordPress and find it to be the most user friendly, I have learnt myself how to update my blog from the back end.

What should you write about?

Think about your industry or niche. If you were new to this area what would you want to know?

You can use google trends to search for what is popular

Look at news websites what’s in the news at the moment are there are stories you could write about?

Have a look at your competitor’s websites, what are they writing about? There is no harm putting your own spin on the topic!

                                                                                                                                    

The structure of your blog

A lot of this is just simple stuff, but it really does make a difference and can be the turning point if someone actually bothers to read your blog or not. So think about the following:

The title – I will come back to this in SEO

Language and style

Grammar and spelling should be spot on. Consider using a plug in like grammerly

The quality of images should be excellent, make them Pinnable and give them a title/description so they are searchable.

Having useful clickable links to other websites

Paragraphs that aren’t too long, consider bullet points and perhaps headings (List style blog posts are very popular).

 

What if you don’t have the time to write blog posts?

You could consider paying a freelancer or agency to do it for you? I offer this service, so if you need help with writing blogs I could do this for you!

Image by Waggle Social

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is a huge topic and one where you will find many experts. There are companies who can look at your website to improve your SEO. But for the purpose of this basic article  few things apply:

Build up an achieve of material this will improve your ranking on search engines – such as Google.

Produce content consistently.

Search engines should be your number one traffic driver if your site is correctly optimised.

Think about your title, you need to be offering an answer to a problem or question that is what the search engines want.

Have a look at where you are ranking on Google at the moment? Where are your competitors if they are higher than you ask yourself why? Do some investigation around their website, what are they doing differently to you?

 

Do an audit on your own website:

Is your site free from broken links? So go onto any links and check they actually work.

Check how your site looks on a mobile device. You should be able to see your website in a mobile friendly way. Remember a lot of people will be viewing your site via their mobile.

How long does it take for your site to load? If it is taking ages, this will put people off and they just won’t bother going any further.

A low bounce rate (the percentage of visitors to a site who navigate away after viewing only one page).

Your page title should be under 60 characters, other it will be cut off in the search results.

You could go back over old posts and improve their SEO.

 

Next think about optimising for strong keywords

Perhaps use a plug in such as  Yoast ,  (there is a free version). It has a handy traffic light system to show you where you are going right or wrong. Think carefully about your first paragraph/into and how that will grab the reader’s interest into reading more.

Use a keyword tool which will then produce a selection of long-tailed keywords. Then create your blog post content with that keyword in mind. Use it in the title, subheadings and body of your text. Do it organically and don’t try to cram it in too much as that may go against you in Google. Google wants to reward and feature good helpful genuine content. Ideally 1.5% of the total word count.

Search Google Trends (trends.google.co.uk)  a good way to compare tends.

Get a free Google AdWords account, then you get access to the keyword tool.

The length of your post should be at least 600 words.

Photo by Waggle Social

 

Promoting your blog

This is a big topic and I could talk about this for hours, but essentially it is a process, rinse and repeat every time you write a new blog post. The amount of effort you put in to promoting your blog post really does make a difference. After all, if you have spent the time crafting a really amazing informative post, but then no one reads it then what’s the point!

So let’s start with social media: The main three are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Plus, you also have Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Facebook

We all know how hard it is to get your business out there on Facebook, of course Facebook wants us to pay for boosted and promoted posts, but there are other ways to get your blog post noticed.

Firstly, make sure your profile is updated.

Make sure you are actually following the right people, that maybe your target audience and competitors too. Engage with others, like and comment on posts that way you will get your name out there.

Once you have written your blog post share it on your page, pin it to the top of your page.

If appropriate share in local groups or with others.

Consider starting your own Facebook Group, that way you can create your own community and they are more likely to see your blog post.

Once a month or whenever you can, look at the engagement from your blog post on Facebook analytics, did this type of post do well?

 

Twitter

As soon as your blog post is live tweet about it. Pin it to the top of your tweets

Remember it is perfectly acceptable to tweet about your new blog post multiple times, of course use a variety of images to go with it and different text. Make sure you provide a clickable link,  you could use Bitly Links, which reduces the size of the text.

Use the right hashtags for your industry or niche, that is another way people might find you.

Join in with Twitter chats there are local ones such as: Ealing Hour or Hanwell Hour, or something more national.

Make sure you actually engage with others, that way they are more likely to re-tweet your post.

You could direct message someone if you want to get them to notice you, however not all accounts will accept direct messages.

Don’t forget to @ mention.

Consider overlays by using canva to point out what the blog post is about.

 

Instagram

Post about your new blog post, make sure you explain what it is about, but don’t give too much away as you want people to actually go to your website. Make sure you put a  link to your most recent blog post in your bio.

Tag people who might be interested in your post.

Use the right hashtags and that means trying to find the ones that do not have millions of users, try to use some of the more obscure ones, don’t always use the same ones, do your research.

 

Other ways

Pinterest – great for driving traffic back to your website

Linked In – publish your blog post there.

Get published on other websites like Huffington Post.

Collaborations with other bloggers/businesses which gives a backlink to your website.

Join Facebook Groups where businesses share their blogs.

Create an email list where you can send a newsletter mentioning link to your blog.

Join a linky or start your own – A linky is a post on your blog where you include code that enables other bloggers to link their own blog posts to yours. This creates a virtual party where other creatives connect usually at the same time every week.

Talk to Journalists/PR’s

Run competitions that link to your blog.

Link back to other blogs that might be of interest to your reader.

 

Evaluate

Once your blog post has been out for around 7 days go back and look at the stats, how many people have read it? Do you have any comments, overall how successful has it been? What about social media how many shares, what was the engagement like there?

This will help when writing your next post, you will get to know what is popular with your audience.

Don’t forget if you would like help with writing blogs, I offer this service for a fee. Contact me via email to find out more – hello@theealingmummy.com

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Launching my Social Media Agency – The Social Debutante

January 7, 2019
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Today has been the day I am firmly switched on and ready to go for the New Year! My Daughter has gone back to school and I have had a bit of time to think about what I achieved in 2018 with my blog and social media business, plus what my goals are for 2019? My exciting news is that I am officially launching my own Social Media Agency! I decided to name it The Social Debutante. I wanted something that was original and a play on words too. I hope you like my branding as much as I do? This lovely artwork was created by the super talented Alison Norden and as you can see it has a similar design to the branding for my blog.

The Social Debutante – Social Media Management

I completed my Social Media Management training with Digital Mums in May 2017 and since then I have worked with a variety of clients including: a children’s gym, an independent school, a children’s publication, a motivational speaker and also various clients in the retail sector too.

I am really proud to be a Digital Mums graduate and I firmly believe that training via this route has given me the confidence and expertise to manage social media platforms for clients to a high standard.

I was recently awarded the above badge and I am very proud to display it here!

“Digital Mums graduates design and deliver a live social media campaign over a six month period, gaining real-world experience and job-ready skills. To pass the course they must deliver their campaign and complete assignments to Digital Mums and industry best-practice standards.”

What I am doing to continue investing in my skills?

I have recently signed up to another course run my Digital Mums, to become a Certified Digital Mum Trainer. On this course I will be learning more about how to develop and deliver social media training to businesses directly, so that if they wish they can manage their own social media in house. This will be something I will be rolling out and able to offer to my clients in the near future.

I am also really excited to be joining The Insta Retreat run by Sara Tasker from Me & Orla. Who is the UK’s leading Instagram analyst and expert. This in-depth six week course is something I have been wanting to do for a long time, as Instagram is the social media platform that I am most passionate about! This course  will help me improve and perfect my Instagram skills, thus ensuring that I am able to provide the highest standard of management for my clients.

Photo – Courtesy of Sara Tasker

I am now in the position to take on new clients, so if you need help with the day to day running of your social media platforms be that: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn look no further! I can provide the support you need so that you can concentrate on other areas of your business. I am able to provide a strategy to move your business forward and look at getting your business more viability. I have a variety of packages that would suit different budgets.

You can contact me via email hello@thealingmummy.com or via social media if you would like to discuss how I can help you? Don’t forget to follow me on social, where I will be providing tips and information on growing your social media following and also how blogging can benefit your business. My new website will be ready soon too. Watch this space!

Click on the links below to follow me on my new social media channels for The Social Debutante.

 

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This is my first official post as The Ealing Mummy and the first in my series of posts for #MumsWhoWorkIt. My plan is on a weekly basis to interview another Mum who like me has either re-trained or has set up her own business. This week I wanted to tell you about my journey from someone who had only every used social media to share my child’s photos on Facebook, to now a fully qualified Social Media Manager.  I am really excited to have re-branded and combined my original blogs which were Mummy of the Suburbs and Ealing With Kids. I wanted to write this post to firstly explain what I have been doing since September 2016 (as I have been off the blogging radar so to speak) and secondly to let you know what my plans for the future are.

My blogging journey started back in July 2016, so officially I have been blogging for almost a year! I started Mummy Of The Suburbs having absolutely no idea about the blogging world and very little knowledge of social media. The blog did fairly well and I gained a reasonable following and managed to have two articles published on Huffington Post and even got interviewed by local BBC radio. Like many things in life, one thing lead to another and I soon realised that social media was something that really intrigued me.

Digital Mums had popped up in my Facebook feed a number of months previously and I had looked into it, but at the time I didn’t really understand what a Social Media Manager did, so I dismissed it. However once I started to write my blog it became apparent to me how powerful social media was and how by using it in the correct way it could make all the difference to your following. So once again Digital Mums stood out to me and this time it was the right time for me, because now I knew I wanted to learn something new and I took the next step and actually applied for their Social Media Manager course!

The application process involved writing a short piece about how you could “Do The Hustle”. Digital Mums call it their mantra and I think you have to have this special type of self belief to be successful in the world of digital marketing. For my example I wrote about how I set up a small business back in 2015 and how I managed to convince another business to work with me. Sadly that particular business didn’t work out, however I learnt a lot of useful lessons from it. After I had written my piece a member of the Digital Mums team contacted me.  We had a chat over the phone. and talked about why I wanted to do the course and the commitment that was involved. Shortly after this I was accepted on the course and I was over the moon to be started something new!

My course begun in November 2016 and from the start I was introduced to five other Mums who were also doing the same training, they became my support for the next seven months. My peer group didn’t live nearby, but that didn’t matter because we had weekly meetings online and shared messages in a WhatsApp group. The training material was all formatted on an online platform and was a mixture of written lessons, videos and quizzes. Each week we focused on a different topic and we really did start from the basics in social media and as the weeks went on we built on our knowledge.

The idea with the training is that you build a grass roots social media campaign from scratch and that is where Ealing With Kids came from. I knew that I wanted to write about activities with children in the area and I also wanted to support local businesses too, so that is what I focused on. By completing my training with Digital Mums I have learnt so many valuable skills from understanding the basics of setting up all the social media platforms, from creating a campaign and running it on a day to day basis, to developing an understanding of the analytics used in the background to measure success and improve performance. I could go on and on as my learning curve has been steep, but what I really what to convey to you is that is possible to learn to work in a completely new field.

We often hear how it is common to embrake on a new career in your thirties or forties, well I am proof that it does happen. I trained to be a Registered Nurse when I was eighteen and almost twenty years later here I am starting a career in something completely different. It feels refreshing and exciting to have learnt a completely different skill and I have managed to do it at the same time as working part time as a Practice Nurse and of course being a Mum to my five year old Daughter. I have to tell you the truth it has been a real challenge to study, work and be a parent all the same time, but with hard work and determination it can be done!

So back to the present, you may be wondering why I decided to re-brand my blog? Well the reason behind it is that when I was running my grass roots campaign I blogged about local businesses and activities for children in the Ealing area and to my surprise these local posts were much more popular than anything I had written about general parenting on my other blog, therefore I decided that writing about my local area should be my niche.

My goals for the future are to have a successful blog and to start working as a freelance Social Media Manager. I have come a long way in the last eight months and I am looking forward to living a more flexible lifestyle. I will continue with my Nursing role, but I am hoping to take on less hours and focus on my passion for writing and helping other businesses grow their social media following and presence.

If you have any questions about my training with Digital Mums #WorkThatWorks then please do contact me! Or if you would like to be interviewed for my #MumsWhoWorkIt series then please let me know.

Cuddle Fairy
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