How To Use Social Media To Generate Blog Ideas

Using Social Media to Generate Blog Ideas

There are thousands upon thousands of blog owners online. As such, it can often be quite difficult for any one blog owner to stand out from their competitors. But if you want to get your head above the rest, you should begin by looking at your content.

The Importance of Unique Content

Fresh content will set you apart from your competition in two important ways. Firstly, it will interest and entertain your readers. Secondly, it will help to identify you as a thought leader in a particular field. Both of these things will drive traffic to your blog and ensure that your audience comes back for more.

Generating content ideas, however, can be tricky. This goes double if you are trying to generate unique ideas. So it’s important to utilise the resources you have on hand to help you come up with great topics for your blog. And of all the available online resources, social media is perhaps the best. So here are some ideas for how to generate content by using the two biggest social networks around.

Generating Content from Facebook

blog ideas from facebook

Facebook can be a great place to start collecting unique ideas for your blog. Millions of conversations happen every day on Facebook, and any number of these could contain interesting ideas that you could expand upon.

The key here is expansion. It’s no use to write a blog post that is simply about what people are saying on Facebook. The trick is to uncover why they are saying it, to whom, and why it is important. If the subject concerns a brand or current news story, even better. Tools such as Bottlenose can help us to widen our Facebook search, to determine the most popular conversations at any one time. And if you’re feeling stuck, you could even ask your Facebook friends to suggest ideas of their own.

Twitter Trends and Brands

get blog ideas using twitter

Twitter trends can be of enormous value for bloggers, especially if the trend at hand is controversial. Bloggers who can spot trends before they happen are the best placed to capitalise upon them, by blogging about them in real time as the trend takes hold, then tweeting links back to the blog post which also include the trend key phrase or hashtag.

Twitter, like Facebook, is also a great place where a blogger can interact with brands. Upcoming products, giveaways or brand news can all be utilised by social media-savvy bloggers to generate content that will be of interest, not only to their own following, but to the brand’s following as well.

Consistency vs. Quality

Whilst it’s important to have consistent blog content, it’s also important that your blog posts be consistent. Unless you blog regularly, visitors won’t know when to check your site for new content. Ultimately, this will cause a decrease in your readership and less flow to your website, if you are also a web owner.

Posting consistent content which is also high in quality is a daunting challenge for even the most experienced of blog owners. It can often feel like a full time job simply to stay on top of your content production. But there are resources which make this task much easier. Using a content calendar, for example, will help you to plan content well in advance of its publish date, and will also provide a space in which you can collect and organize creative ideas as they come to you.

Guest Post

Why You Should Never Delete Pages From Your Blog

Learn From The Blunders Of Big Companies Like Nivea®

I have the hands of a great grandmother from years of neglect, so I thought that perhaps this year I’d start taking a little better care of them:) One of the solutions for that was to always be prepared with some sort of hand cream in my purse and at my desk (where I spend much of my time:) So I purchased a travel tin of Nivea hand creme probably about two months ago to keep at my desk. The tin lasts a pretty long time and today I noticed that they were running a promotion which was printed inside of the lid.

deleting pages

The promotion looks like a contest to win tickets to see singer Rihanna. I know that Rihanna is still on tour, so I thought there was a chance that the promotion was still running although I bought the creme over at least eight weeks ago. There’s a page url and a code for entering the contest but when you go to the page there is a dreaded “Error” page. Ugh!!!

nivea error page

This is because they deleted the page on their website, probably when the promotion was over. This is a HUGE mistake primarily because the goal of any business owner should be to keep the visitor on your site and once Google/Bing indexes your page there’s always a chance that it can be found organically through a search much less through any offline promotions that you may be running.

Let’s repeat that. The goal of any business owner with a website is to…

Keep the visitor on your site

Coming to an error page written in German from a company that distributes in Connecticut and which I purchased in Pennsylvania is not good business. Honestly it turned me off. So what could they have done differently? A few things. And they can all easily apply to our own businesses.

Change The Copy

1. If you run a promotion on your site which is time sensitive, when it’s over you should still KEEP the page up but change the copy on the page. Let visitors know that you were running the promotion but that it’s over. Announce the winner on that page. I’m pretty sure there are legalities around just that. Nivea doesn’t tell us anything about the promotion or if it even existed because we are sent to a generic error page.

Create A Special Page

2. If you are an entrepreneur who typically runs promotions, perhaps they are weekly or monthly, then it makes sense to create a CONTEST or PROMOTIONS page on your website and the copy for that page changes as your promotion changes. If you want to create separate pages for each promotion for SEO purposes, then you can set up your contest or promotions page and then send folks to various optimized pages for each specific promotion. Either way you choose to do it — all of those pages need to stay up live on your site.

Forward The Page

3. Forward the url of your page to another page that visitors of that promotion may be interested in. I would have appreciated being sent to a page with a $1.00 off coupon!

Forget About It!

4. I rather had been sent to an out of date Rihanna promotion page. You know the pages on your site that you’ve forgotten about. Where the information is outdated. I rather would have seen an old promotion then an error page. So at the very LEAST – leave the pages on your blog alone. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to make the changes yet to the page, then just leave it there, do NOT delete.

Outsource It

5. Sounds a little too tedious? Hire a virtual assistant to do this for you. That’ll work too:)

What Is The Quality Of Your Blog Traffic? Learn How To Analyze It In Under 5 Minutes

All Blog Traffic Is Not Created Equal.

People that know me, know that while writing is my first passion, analyzing stats is my second! Seriously, it’s almost as bad as my love for cheddar/sour cream potato chips:) But there’s something to be said for my attention to detail – something that I’d like for you to take a look at as well. The level of quality of your blog traffic. So here’s what we are going to do today. This will take 5 minutes tops and be well worth it.

Step 1 – Log into your Google Analytics account (or other stats tracking account)quality blog traffic

Step 2 – Click on Traffic Sources

Step 3 – Click on All Traffic

Step 4 – Take a look at your top 10 sources of traffic

This is what we’re going to be taking a look at:

1. How Many Pages Your Visitors Look At When They Visit Your Site (The more page views the better)

I’m sure your content is fantastic, but the true measure of whether or not you are engaging your readers is by the number of pages visitors are viewing when they come to your blog. The more they read, the more you can assume that they are getting something from reading it.

Trust me, this is no easy feat. Remember that this is an “average” for your page views. So if you have an average of more than 2 pages viewed per visit on your blog you’re on the right track.

2. The Average Time Visitors Spend On Your Site (The more time spent the better)

I really like this statistic because of how I personally use the web. When I visit some of my favorite sites, I’m probably going to read the latest article there and then keep it open as I apply whatever I’m learning. That’s one way a visitor may spend more time or your site.

Or another way is linked back to the first stat we looked at – page views. Obviously the more pages a person views on your site, the longer they stay on your site, which is our goal as bloggers. The longer a visitor stays, the more they learn from you, the more the begin to trust you and later invest in you.

3. Your Bounce Rate (The lower your number the better)

Your bounce rate tells you the percentage of visitors who enter your blog and “bounce” (leave your site) rather than continue viewing other pages. You want a low number here and this was a stat that I had a lot of trouble with for a good while because when I first started this particular site, my content was not tightly focused enough. If you have a high bounce rate it means that people are visiting your site, not really seeing what they need, and leaving right away.

In fact, I’d say that the number one reason why people may have a high bounce rate is that their content is not meeting the needs of the visitor. There is a mismatch. For instance, if I wrote an article on this blog about cheddar/sour cream potato chips and I get Google traffic that finds me through the phrase “sour cream potato chips” – what do you think will happen? People will visit the article, see that this website is nothing about potato chips or chip coupons and click away – increasing my bounce rate for that article and ultimately for my site. While there is no rule for a good vs bad bounce rate, I like to follow a general guideline. Over 50% is bad. Between 25-50% is average. Under 25% is good.

4. What Should I Do With These Statistics Now That I’ve Seen Them?

Looking at your stats, we’re going to take a look at the bounce rate, number of pages viewed, time spent on those pages and make an educated assessment about the overall quality of the content your site.

Look At The Bounce Rate First
Your bounce rate stats in this section we’re looking at are divided by traffic source (example: Google, Bing, Direct, Yahoo, Facebook, etc.). If all of your bounce rates from these sources are over 50%, I’d say you need to seriously evaluate what you’re writing and who you’re targeting it to.

Look At Time Spent On Your Site Next
This is where things get really interesting. This is where you can evaluate what traffic source is sending you visitors interested in your content. For example, when I take a look at my stats (and you can go even deeper than past the top 10) I notice that Facebook visitors spend way more time on my website hands down. This is an interesting stat because it tells me that the people who click on my links over on Facebook are highly qualified visitors who are very interested in what I have to say. That also means that I need to spend a little more energy over on Facebook. What do your stats tell you?

Now Look At Pages Viewed
Things may overlap with time spent in this area but you also may discover a few new things as well. As I predicted, Facebook had a high number of pages viewed which accounts for time spent on my site, but I noticed that there were some other sites that had a high number of pages viewed as well. All the sites that I guest blogged at for the month, such as my post on Problogger, had a very high number of pages viewed. So did some of my tried and true sites like EzineArticles and Quora. It’s nice to know that some of the old content rich sites still deliver qualified traffic right?

Now that you’ve taken a look into your stats, how are you feeling about the quality of person visiting your site? Tell us a little about your statistics or any new discoveries you’ve made by looking at your stats.

 

15 WordPress Errors That Aren’t A Good Look For Your Business

I saw this cool infographic on Copyblogger that I felt was important enough to share. If you make any of the 15 WordPress errors mentioned in this piece, don’t worry, at some point we’ve all made a few WordPress fumbles:) Want to get your WordPress blog up to snuff before the new year? Feel free to reach out to me and I’ll personally help you get it done. In the meantime, enjoy!

15 WordPress User Errors That Make You Look Silly [Infographic]

Like this infographic? Get more WordPress publishing content from Copyblogger.

Aweber Tutorial: How To Create A Blog Broadcast Newsletter

Does the thought of creating a newsletter completely overwhelm you? Then I highly recommend creating an automatic blog broadcast newsletter in Aweber. And I’m going to show you how to do it in under ten minutes in this Aweber blog broadcast tutorial – video edition.

VIEW THE VIDEO ABOVE OR ON YOUTUBE

WHAT IS A BLOG BROADCAST NEWSLETTER?

A blog broadcast newsletter is an email newsletter that you create by pulling from the published articles on your blog’s RSS feed. If you have a WordPress or Blogger blog, then you absolutely have an RSS feed. Every time you publish a new article to your blog, it will be added to your Aweber blog broadcast, so the great thing about this strategy is that you can set it once and forget it.

HOW TO USE A BLOG BROADCAST

When I first started my consulting business, I was spending most of my time creating content and searching for clients, I didn’t have the time necessary to publish a regular newsletter. BUT one thing I knew was that it was very important to continue engaging my list. Sporadic engagement will only result in sporadic results, and people will forget why they signed up in the first place or even who you are. That’s why it’s a great idea to use a blog broadcast newsletter as your main weekly, bi-weekly newsletter, or as an article wrap-up type of a newsletter.

VIDEO NOTES

This video was created to supplement my original written tutorial:
The Beginner’s Guide For Creating An Online Newsletter

Newsletter/Autoresponder Service Used: Aweber

How To Add A Facebook Pop Up Like Box On Your Blog

Reader Question:

What are you using to power the Facebook popup like box that pops up when I visit your site? I love that and so far none of the services I have tried to achieve that have worked. Thanks!

Answer:

After a template change, I prominently feature ways for people to join my list on my website, so I thought that a pop up doing the same thing might be a little overkill. But pop ups work, and if done correctly won’t affect your site’s bounce rate. That’s why I decided to use it to help increase my “fans” on Facebook. Here are the two solutions I have tried to achieve this:

1. Facebook Page Promoter

This is a plugin that will allow you go add a Facebook Fan Page Like Box within a lightbox (an overlay). The box is preconfigured, so there are no edits that you can make to add any personal stuff to the box like I have done with mine, but it’s simple to implement and gets the job done. Download the plugin here.

2. WordPress Pop Up (what I use)

In order to make my Facebook pop up a little jazzier and user friendly, I wanted to add a photo of myself with a sentence or two explaining who I am, what I do, and a trust builder (my award badge). When I added these details (my mini bio), it improved my Facebook like conversions.

In order to do this for yourself, you need to use a pop-up that will allow editing, so I use the simple WordPress Pop Up by wpmudev (they make a lot of plugins so search for ‘WordPress Pop Up’ when you visit their site)  in combination with the fan page widget that you can create over on Facebook.

I created the mini bio with photo in a simple word processing application and then saved it as an image using a free screen capture software that I use practically everyday in my business – Jing. You can use whatever screen capturing software you have, or you can use Photoshop, etc.

I uploaded my image to my blog. Then I inserted the html code pointing to the image into the WordPress Pop Up.

Then I created the Facebook Fan Page Like Box over on FB and copy and pasted the code under my image code.

Save, tweak the pop up to your desired settings (how often the same person should see this pop up), and then take a look. After your image is created, it should take you literally 10 minutes to get this up and going.

Have you added your Facebook pop up to your blog? Let us know in the comment section below so we can visit your page and “like it”.

facebook fan popup image

How To Build A Trustworthy Blog In 7 Steps

7 Steps For Building A Trustworthy Blog That Gets Readers To Know, Like & Trust You And Pleases The Search Engine Gods

The key to making more money online in your business is to build trust with prospective clients and customers. When people feel as if they know you, as if you are a trusted friend, they are more likely to invest in you. Here are seven ways to improve your blog’s “trust factor” with potential customers and clients.

building a trustworthy blog

1. Teach Your Readers Something

The most important thing when building your blog is to write or feature content that teaches your readers something or solves a problem…and get it right! When you solve a problem for a reader, even if they don’t subscribe to your list right away or share the post on Facebook or Twitter right away, trust me when I say that they will never forget you…and they will come back to your blog.

2. Add Your Address & Phone Number

The latest research shows that search engines like Google like when sites include easy to find contact information for your business. It shows that you are a “real” business who isn’t trying to make it difficult for readers to find you. A great and search engine friendly place to do this is in the footer area of your blog so that the address and phone number appear on every page of your site.

3 . Include Your Email Address

In today’s post Panda and Penguin world, Google is looking more and more for “trust factors” when deciding where to rank websites and a visible, clickable email address is one of them. Marketers (including myself) would teach clients to not include a clickable email address on a blog because of all the spammers who will send you junk — but lately it seems that the benefits of being more transparent and accessible to readers outweighs the cons of email spam. Just be sure to implement a good spam blocker on your email client.

4. Privacy Policy

Readers may not be looking for this on your site but the search engines sure are. Everyone online who collects names or any other information for an email list, contest, or promotion should have a privacy policy clearly accessible on their site.

5. Whois Data

Have you noticed that when you purchase a domain name that the company will give you an option of registering your domain privately for an additional few bucks? This means that if someone goes looking for information on your site using your domain name, that they cannot see that you are the owner of the url or any contact details for you. Can you see how this could reek of dishonesty? You should never hide your contact information from the public. If you are building a real, legitimate business there is no need to hide that you are indeed the owner of your domain and a mailing address for your business. Check your whois information here.

6. Social Media Integration

It is going to be very difficult to increase a blog’s traffic, visibility, and trustability in today’s web environment without integrating some type of social media engagement. Give people the opportunity to engage with you about your content. To share your content with others. To comment on it and add to the value of your posts. Give your blog articles the chance to go viral. That can only really happen these days via social media. At the minium, you need to add social media sharing buttons to your blog. The easiest way to do this is to use a WordPress plugin or toolbar such as the one I use over at Wibiya.

Ninja tip: Don’t worry about engaging everyone on all of the social media platforms out there. If you try to work all of them, you may find that you aren’t making an impact on any of them. Pick one you like and really get visible there.

7. Add A Ratings System

If you own small business that sells a variety of products and services, then adding a ratings system is a great way to dramatically increase your site’s trust factor. This is the type of system that businesses such as Amazon, Zappos, etc. were built on. Not much traditional marketing is necessary when you implement this strategy correctly, because the customers do all the selling for you. Another way to integrate this is to have a presence on a review site such as Yelp.com and then refer to your ratings with a website badge and/or link there when you get a few good ones. In other words, talk about it when you get a good review!

This article serves as a next step in building a highly optimized WordPress blog from scratch in 15 minutes or less.