Wednesday, March 16, 2016

make your blog content work harder

i don't know why i want to open this post with a crockpot pun, but i do.

blog posts are not a "set it and forget it" type of thing.

there, that's out of my system.

is your blog content really giving you the most bang for your buck? think of the time and energy that goes into a blog post. if you're photographing food, fashion or products, there is time spent preparing the shot, adjusting your lighting, stirring the soup so it's just so, putting on another layer of blush so it'll pick up on camera... you get the idea. then you write your post. you edit your photos. you post your photos to instagram, twitter, facebook. you link your post in facebook groups and let everyone know about it. exciting, right?

and a week later, that post is gone to the dreaded blogging purgatory, never to be spoken of again. but oh, look, you've got a new one! so it's ok, right?

nope. not cool, blog bros. we've gotta do better. the number one mistake i see bloggers making is not promoting the ever living daylights out of their existing, and *gasp* old content.

remember this: you worked hard on your content. it should be working hard for you, too. 

your blog post has crazy longevity. that cute sweater look your posted last october? it's still relevant next september when everyone starts chattering about pumpkin spice. you should be referencing your old content in other blog posts and linking to it, tweeting links to old blog posts, posting your old favorites on facebook, and any other way to make all content on your blog as relevant as possible. the time you invested in creating that post should pay off for months to come. content from a month ago is still content, and there are plenty of folks who follow you who happened to miss it, or would be happy to see it again.

to make sure you're getting the most out of your blog content, use the tips below to utilize social media in order to reap the most benefits (pageviews, engagement, etc.)!

1. create a checklist for every blog post

are you sharing each post on social media? this is a good place to start. however, go way beyond one simple share! create a checklist of to-do items for social media every single time you hit 'publish'.

an easy way to keep your content pumping out steadily is to create a list of types of social media promotions to create. using a social media scheduling tool like hootsuite or buffer, schedule a post to be shared on facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc. routinely for the forseeable future. for example:

after a post is published, head to your social media scheduling outlet of choice. write up some promotions and schedule them all just after your post is published. for example, your promotional checklist for each post could include....
  • 3-5 promotions for the day the post was published
  • 2 promotions the next day, or the day after
  • a promotion the next week, i.e. "check out my post from last week..."
  • a promotion in two weeks
  • a promotion in a month
  • a promotion in six months

2. stay on top of trends and holidays

your content is relevant for longer than a day. a week. a month. even a year. if you made a post about margaritas, that post is relevant for every single national margarita day forever and ever (february 22nd, by the way!). take advantage of this!

trends on the internet are here and gone before we even realize 95% of the time. how is your content relevant to a trend? even if it's a stupid meme from youtube... can you tie in your blog posts in any way? even if it's by making a bad pun? (i've done it). get on twitter, do a quick fact check to make sure you aren't promoting a blog post using a trend or hashtag you're not completely familiar with (um, remember that time diogorno pizza made a fool of themselves? click here.), then get to it!

3. create less, promote more

you probably have content you've completely forgotten about. take a dive into your blog archives and pull out a post you haven't talked about in years. you can even blast a link out to talk about how far you've come and how you can't believe your photos were that bad. guess what? it's still a pageview and potential engagement and/or sympathy tweets ("omg, your photos really were horrendous. love what you're doing now, though!").

if you're feeling the pressure to crank out a ton of posts each week, really step back and examine what is and isn't working about this process. do you have a ton of great posts to chat about, but you aren't taking advantage of this fact? is creating new content a real pull for your blog, or do your pageviews stay the same if you just promote old content more, and write less? strategy, folks.

overwhelmed? here's a super easy way to get started: pick an old blog post every week for #tbt (throwback thursday!) and post it! use the #tbt hashtag and bask in the memories. "remember when i made a soup in my dark kitchen and photographed it with flash? mmm, red mush. yeah, me either. here's a link though. #tbt"

do you utilize your old blog posts to your advantage? how would this affect your social media strategy?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

taking my own advice

you know how we all babble incessantly about the right way to do certain things... and kind of never do it ourselves? i wrote a post about how to take a blogging break, and it's pretty sound advice. except, i don't follow it myself. it's been a month since i last posted here, and i haven't said a peep.

i've spent time in the past forcing work and writing that isn't real, passionate and fluid. it sucks. and frankly, sometimes you have to do it. i'm a real pro at going into "get shit done" mode for what i decide is the greater good. but sometimes, you don't have to. and sometimes, you have to listen to what's really going on in your heart.

i love blogging. i love birmingham bloggers. i also love my friends, family, cooking dinner with a glass of wine on a tuesday night, going to yoga class, painting with my new liquid watercolors, listening to podcasts, learning spanish (duolingo, y'all!) and going to concerts. and i've kinda felt like doing those things as opposed to trying to crank out two posts on a sunday night. i feel a shift in my focus and energies. blogging in my own space on the internet is a passion for me, but i don't feel passionate right at this moment. this waxes and wanes.

so here i am, announcing my planned blogging "break". by that, i mean for this space, www.meredithnoelle.com. i'll take the next month or so to reevaluate this blog and how i can pick it back up again with a regular posting schedule. nothing is changing for birmingham bloggers - still planning events for spring, and hopefully some other fun stuff too! i'd just rather put my focus on "real life" community and having fun outside this space - for now.

keep up with me on twitter & instagram! if you live in birmingham, i hope to see you this spring at birmingham bloggers shindigs. see y'all soon.

Monday, January 4, 2016

new year wellness check + free checklist

i love the freshness a new year brings. we all jump on the bandwagon and get to work on new goals, new ideas and concepts to bring us closer to what we're all seeking - whether it's a jump start on business, adventure or health.

while i love the idea of a fresh start, i can't shake the notion that without proper planning and vision, a lot of "new years resolutions" end up falling flat by february. i make scheduled goals for my blog, life and business, but i also think taking time to reflect and check in is just as important. if you're not a resolutions or goal setting type, pausing to do a "wellness check" for yourself and your blog can be a beneficial milestone.

here are some things to consider before mindfully entering the new year:

pause and reflect

what did 2015 signify for you, your blog or business? was this a year of change and growth, or did you feel stagnant? what sort of changes can you make with the answer to this question? a great way to collect concrete data from third parties is to conduct a reader survey, but how do you feel about your content and direction? maybe you've already collected responses from loyal readers about their views on your blog or business, but have you paused to consider how you feel yet?


return to your roots

what made you want to write/blog in the first place? if you're feeling stuck regarding making goals for 2016, choosing a new direction or redefining your blog's purpose, return to a simple, honest statement about why you're doing what you're doing. who are you writing for? what is your blog's ultimate goal? do the goals and plans you're working on for 2016 align with these ideals?

do what feels right

so, were you one of those folks who blogged about a topic in 2015 because you felt like you had to? or maybe, you didn't get any blogging done at all, and were constantly beating yourself up about not posting enough. hell, maybe you even posted too much. do you find you've got a natural, "true to you" rhythm with blogging? maybe it's time to listen to the little voice in your head and hit the ground running, or take a step back with a planned, coordinated blogging break. either way, make 2016 about what works uniquely for you and your blog.

click below to download a free copy of my new year wellness check for bloggers to help you get off on the right foot for 2016. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

3 ways to prep your blog for a new year

a new year, new beginnings. what a fabulous time to reconsider the direction you're taking your blog! after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, everyone sort of scrambles for direction, in the form of new year's resolutions, new goals and vows to be the best versions of ourselves. you can do the same with your blog, but first, take a little look into the year you've just completed to get an idea of where to go next.

here are 3 tips to help you evaluate and prep your blog for a new year. cheers!

send out a reader survey

you've been getting comments on your blog all year, but aside from this, have you been truly listening to your readers? now is the perfect opportunity to ask your readers what they want from you, especially if you're considering revamping the direction of your blog in 2016. what do your readers think about this?

an easy way is to create a survey (i use surveymonkey.com), then blast it out to your social media followers or newsletter subscribers. if you're sending a reader survey via newsletter, consider offering a freebie, exclusive blog post or something special to your subscribers before you ask them to fill out the survey. 

consider trimming your content

what do you blog about? are you specific enough? go take a look at your traffic for the past year via google analytics or stat counter, and take a look at which posts got the least amount of traffic. maybe you didn't promote them enough, maybe it was a bad day, but if you're noticing a pattern with certain types of content, consider posting something different in the new year.

for example, i really really love cooking and baking. photographing food is so much fun! however, recipe posts are quickly starting to feel out of place on my blog, and i won't be posting them in 2016, unless it's a recipe that i can somehow tie in to a post about wellness or time management. additionally, my year-end reader survey let me know that people aren't seeking recipes on my blog. point taken!

revamp old content 

is your old content working hard for you? it should be. you busted your ass to create it, so don't let it fall flat! if you've got old posts that have a great concept but poor execution (bad photos, images that don't match your brand, wording that sounds funny, etc.) weed through old posts and make them work for you again. repurpose your images, trim your copy, create pinterest friendly images and spruce them up! then, make it a habit to promote the hell outta them in 2016.

if you want a little help coming up with a 2016 blog plan, check out blog consulting, click here!
if you're a small business and want to revamp your social media strategy in the new year, click here!

want some more tips to blog your best in a new year? check out these posts:

the ultimate pinterest for bloggers link round-up + free checklist for success

3 ways to get the most from social media scheduling

5 steps to finding your blog's branding + voice

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

the ultimate pinterest for bloggers round-up + free checklist for pinterest success

earlier this month, birmingham bloggers came together with holly prim of diy girl cave to host a fun, informative workshop on pinterest basics for bloggers. we had a fabulous time on a chilly saturday morning sipping coffee from revelator coffee, followed by a yummy lunch sponsored by birmingham's very own social media conference, y'all connect! wade kwon of y'all connect was gracious enough to give away a free pass for 2016's conference, which we were all so excited about. phew, what a morning!

i wanted to pass along some of the information that beth, holly and i came up with for the pinterest workshop. pinterest is a beast, y'all, and it seems like it's ever-changing. pinterest strategy from 2013 is essentially not relevant at all now, but hey, that can be said for any social media platform, right?

getting more in-tune with my pinterest strategy has been on my to-do list forever, and it honestly wasn't until holly approached birmingham bloggers about a pinterest workshop that i got my ass into gear. a few weeks ago, i didn't even know what a rich pin was. yeaaaah. let that sink in.

if you're a blogger looking to maximize pinterest, there are infinite resources at your fingertips. so, i compiled them for you in a round-up! everyone linked here has tons to offer in the social media realm, so don't just stop at their posts on pinterest - browse their blogs for all the awesome resources they have to offer. but first - check this out...

just by being aware of my pinterest strategy, enabling rich pins, brushing up the look of my boards (go take a look - i branded them!), joining and pinning to group boards, pinning others content, pinning consistently with the help of scheduling apps and setting reminders on my phone to pin, i've noticed a spike in engagement and views! now, this is coming from my teeny tiny pinterest account that i only recently took seriously, but i'm kinda impressed with how quickly growth can happen! notice how my average monthly viewers have increased by 1,483%, and my monthly engagement has increased by 856%.

again, from my teeny tiny pinterest account. however, my point is that there are super simple steps you can take in the course of just a few hours that can make a huge difference. i'm still working on bumping up my re-pins and deleting old pins from my boards to boost their quality.

you can get on track to the same success by checking out the tutorials from these amazing bloggers and creatives below. and once you're done, download my free mini #checklistforsuccess to mark these action items off and totally re-think your pinterest game.

setting up your profile for success

how to write your pinterest bio like a boss 

enabling your pinterest business account

how to set up rich pins for blogger & wordpress

how to add the pin-it button to your blog (blogger)

how to add the pin- it button to your blog (wordpress)

adding the pinterest widget to your blog

9 steps for pinterest domination

format images to be pinterest friendly

5 tools to create pinterest friendly images

how to brand your pinterest boards

getting collaboration savvy + joining group boards


how to create a group pinterest board

10 pinterest group boards for creative biz owners

how to collaborate like a boss (apply these tips to pinterest!)

how to find + join group boards

how to use group pinterest boards to go viral

beyond your regular ole' pinning + strategy

a guide to promoted pins

how i got 19k impressions using promoted pins

how to use pinterest promoted pins

a guide to getting noticed on pinterest + pinterest's smart feed

scheduling pins on tailwind 

what's the best pinterest scheduling tool?

9 reasons to delete your old pins

how deleting old pins tripled my pinterest presence 

40+ smart strategies to get more traffic from pinterest

i created a free checklist for success to help you get started after you check out these tutorials. this checklist is an interactive pdf, which means you can actually check off the items as you go! it includes all the basics and a few extras that help you make sure you've covered all your pinterest bases when it comes to having a killer account.

click below to download the pdf file, then open it in adobe reader or acrobat to access the interactive features.

send out a tweet with the hashtag #checklistforsuccess once you've completed the list. click here to tweet it! oh, and real quick - are we pinning together on pinterest? click here to follow give me a follow! i pin a ton of blogging/business tips, plus yummy recipes and general happiness/wellness tips.

what are your favorite pinterest strategies?