My Best Social Media Tips for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter

Hey guys! I have had some people ask me if I would compile all of my links to my most recent social media tip posts into one post so that you don’t have to click all over the place to find them, so here you go. A condensed post with links to all four of the social media tip posts which cover each platform I will be spending time on in my e-course that will be launching soon.

My top Facebook tips for bloggers and businesses

My top Twitter tips

Growing your Pinterest: tips for bloggers and social media managers

Grow your Instagram following

I also have done Facebook videos on these topics, so be sure to check out the video section on my Facebook page for even more information.

Don’t forget, if you want to be on the list to be the first to know when my course is launching, sign up for my email list!

I know it has taken me a little bit longer than anticipated, and I will be able to share one of the reasons WHY very soon. But a hurricane, cancelled trip, and sick kid also have thrown me for a loop, but trust me when I say I am working on it daily! I want it to be valuable to you so you can start making money ASAP!

My Hurricane Irma Story

A lot of people have been asking me questions regarding the hurricane, our last minute decision to evacuate, and our travel there and back, so I decided to do a blog post recapping the whole ordeal, here we go!

Some of you may remember that Bobby and I were supposed to go on a Carnival cruise leaving out of Miami on Saturday, September 9th. Because of this, I had been watching the tropics extra close, and Irma was making me nervous the closer she got. At first we thought she would turn north and be long gone before our cruise, but then she started going more and more west, and I started getting bummed thinking about our cruise being cancelled.

Soon enough, my sadness turned to fear as I realized the storm was coming even MORE west, right to the east coast of Florida. We had come to terms with the fact that our vacation wasn’t going to happen, and switched gears to “OK so what the heck do we do here at the house?”

Keep in mind I grew up in a suburb of New Orleans and lived in Biloxi as an adult, so I have been through many hurricanes, sometimes we evacuated, sometimes we didn’t. At this point, we had planned to stay. They were saying at worst Irma was going to be a cat 3, and at that point she was still going to the eastern side of Florida. The storm was huge, so we knew we would still get bad wind and rain, but it would be manageable.

All day Friday I watched each new update like a crazy person. I had four newscasters I was following along with via Facebook live, and I was soaking up every bit of information I could. At this point, Bobby’s work had been cancelled as well as Emma Kate’s school, and my parents had evacuated up to our house. We were all set to stay. We had food, water, candles, and flashlights. But yet, with each new update, the storm was moving slightly further west. I could barely eat all day, I just didn’t know what we should do. We had no hurricane shutters or boards for our windows. Stay or go, stay or go….the traffic…ug. Ok we are staying.

That is until the 11:00 update on Friday night. My parents and Emma Kate were asleep, and I was in bed watching the newest model runs. They had moved the eye directly over my house, and said it would be a category four once it hit Tampa. My stomach did a back flip. Katrina was a 3 and that was awful for my hometown. I don’t know if I can do a four, especially with my two year old. At that point, my mama instincts kicked in. I went into the bonus room and told Bobby “I think we need to leave.”

We discussed the logistics for a few minutes, and then he agreed with me. If we lost power it would be miserably hot in the house, and EK would never sleep. Also, we only have one interior hallway downstairs and one bedroom downstairs and the storm was hitting us at night. Trying to explain to Emma Kate why we had to be still in a hall for several hours would be difficult and she would be terrified. We had lived in Atlanta for a few years when I was a child so we had plenty of friends to stay with that had already invited us into their home so that wasn’t a problem. Now it came down to getting all our patio furniture inside, securing the house, and loading up two cars, five people, and a dog as quickly as possible. We thought about leaving the next day but figured traffic would be slowest in the middle of the night.

I went downstairs and woke up my parents telling them the latest news. They jumped out of bed and we all sprang into action. Throwing things into suitcases, dragging in furniture from outside, loading up food, water, and dog food, trying to remember all the things we needed to do and bring. At the end of it all my kitchen table was against the front door and our grill was in my dining room.

We waited to wake up Emma Kate until right before we left, then I had to

pack up all the stuff in her room. It is really a very surreal feeling looking around your house, trying to figure out what to take with you that will fit in your car, knowing this may be the last time you step foot in your house. It really truly put things into perspective in terms of what we “need” in our house. Most of it is just stuff, and I didn’t feel compelled to try and pack it. My brain was going a mile a minute and I didn’t even think to bring photo albums or baby books or things of that nature.

By 12:30, the house was secure and we were rolling out o

 

f the neighborhood loaded down in two cars. I took the lead, and it was smooth sailing…until we got to the interstate. It was pretty bumper to bumper which was crazy to be because it was almost 1:00! We had downloaded the gas buddy app and it was such a life saver. We stopped in Gainesville for gas, and thankfully they had a good operation going where they were directing traffic and putting you in lines depending on what side of your car your gas tank was on. We only had to wait about 10 minutes, and Emma Kate and I went next door to Walgreens to use the bathroom. Bobby sent me over with a night stick of course. It was a bit of a sketchy area but he had to stay in line with the car so off we went.

By 5:00, we were getting pretty hungry, so we stopped at

a McDonalds (the only thing open) somewhere in Georgia…along with all the other evacuees. I grabbed a coffee since I was doing most of the driving (Bobby’s driving terrifies me) and we were on the road again. The last 3 hours felt like FOREVER getting up to Atlanta. We got stuck in several dead stand still traffic areas due to wrecks and slowdowns.

Emma Kate was watching YouTube Kids on my phone, and said her belly hurt. I didn’t think much of it because she says that sometimes and it’s usually nothing, but then it happened….she threw up all over herself and her car seat. In the middle of a traffic jam. She got super upset and wanted to change but there was nowhere for us to go, we were gridlocked. I tried to clean her up and calm her down the best I could until we could get off the interstate at this little country gas station that actually had super clean bathrooms! We changed her clothes, all took a little breather, and got back on the road.

We were actually staying north east of Atlanta, so it took us awhile to get around to where we needed to go. We arrived around 11:00 after 10.5 hours of driving, and were all exhausted. One thing we had not thought about was the weather, IT WAS COLD! We were all in shorts and t-shirts. We unloaded the cars, and at that point I have no idea how I was still standing. I had been awake for 29 hours and drove most of the way. Since my parents had slept about two hours before I woke them up to leave the night before, they graciously agreed to watch EK so we could nap. I was only weirdly able to sleep about 50 minutes, but Bobby got in a solid 3-4 hours which was good.

Our friends were amazing hosts, and fed us so well. We hung out in the backyard, took Emma Kate on the gator over to the playground at the preschool I attended as a child (the people we were staying with own it) ate dinner outside and just enjoyed being safe, and also enjoyed the wonderful weather. (We cannot sit outside and eat in Tampa, we would melt!) Emma Kate slept on the floor of my parents room on a cot and Bobby and I had the sofas in the living room. I think at that point I could have slept on a rock and not moved all night.

Of course the next day (Sunday) we closely watched the weather, but also knew we had to get out of the house. After an amazing breakfast, we took her to a local park, and it was so cold! Bobby and I walked around a beautiful trail and Emma Kate and my parents played on the playground.

When we got back to the house, my mom and I went to Kohl’s and got Emma Kate some pants, a long sleeved shirt, and a jacket. We also learned Sunday afternoon that they were not expecting the hurricane to be a 4 when it reached Tampa, thank the Lord!

Our next door neighbor staying behind and gave us updates Sunday night and we were happy to hear Monday morning that the house was fine, and also that we still had power! There had been a small issue with some looters in the area which was my next concern but thankfully all was OK. It rained all day Monday and the wind got pretty bad. We were staying in a more county town with lots of pine trees, so believe it or not, we lost power Monday afternoon!

Thankfully they had a generator so we were able to have light, watch TV, and keep the food cold. We grilled hot dogs in the storm, and since it was so cool outside, it wasn’t miserable at all to sleep in.

We decided to leave Tuesday, and looking back that was a BAD idea. I really had no idea just how bad traffic would be. I relied on Google Maps, and it had us taking back roads for the first couple hours before putting us back on the interstate. It was pure misery–bumper to bumper stop and go literally the the whole drive home. My biggest fear was finding gas. Thankfully my dad has bought two 5 gallon containers and filled them up the day before, but even still that wouldn’t be enough to get us home.

We were able to wait in line in Tifton and find gas, but it was a pretty stressful situation. We were all tired, Emma Kate was bored, tempers were flaring, and we were all ready to get out of the car. At one point we stopped at a rest stop and all they had available were port-o-potties and there were people everywhere. The whole thing was just a huge mess. It ended up taking us 14.5 hours to get home. We left Atlanta around 9:00 AM and got home at almost midnight. The drive would normally take about 6.5 hours I think.

We were SO blessed and thankful to have no damage, water, etc. I know some were not that lucky. But I will say, it’s going to take a LOT to make me evacuate again after the mess we had to go through to get there and back. Please continue to pray as some still don’t have power, and have lost everything. Thank you all for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers as we were going through all of this. It means a lot!

 

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party With a Toddler or Preschooler

Emma Kate is just now at the age where she “gets” Halloween. She knows all about trick-or-treating, candy, and costumes. So as you can imagine, this kid was PUMPED when she heard we were going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party to go trick-or-treating at her favorite place–“the castle”, as she calls Magic Kingdom.

Being not quite 3 and with a bedtime of 7:45 that we stick to religiously, I was hesitant to keep her out for a party that didn’t start until 7:00, but I’m SO glad I did! We had a blast, and I wanted to share some of my best tips for bringing little ones (like toddlers or preschoolers) to Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party.

1.) Make sure they take a good nap that day, maybe even a late nap: Emma Kate has been on a nap strike at school, so when I picked her up the day of the party I was bummed when I heard she hadn’t napped, and knew it would make her cranky later. However, she thankfully took a late nap in the car on the way to Orlando, which I think helped her to stay up later!

2.) Bring distractions for the kids while waiting for the parade, shows and fireworks: The Boo to You parade, Sanderson Sisters stage show and Hallowishes fireworks are not to be missed, and are my favorite things about the party. But, they involve a little bit of waiting around if you want a good spot. Be sure to bring toys or distractions for the little ones. We were sure my phone was powered up so Emma Kate could play games on it before the fun started, and we had plenty of snacks for distractions as well.

3.) Arrive early: The party technically starts at 7:00, but you can usually get in as early as 4:00 and begin enjoying the park. We arrived early so that we could do a couple of “normal” things like rides before the party started. I didn’t want to waste party time doing things we could do on any visit to Magic Kingdom.

4.) Have a plan: When you get to the park, be sure to grab a special party brochure which will have a map of the park as well as where the treat stations are located, and times and locations for the shows, parade, and dance party. In order to fit it all in we had to make a plan of what time we were going to be where. I feel like if we hadn’t done that, we would have run around in circles and ended up missing things, like getting to dance with Boo, Mike, and Sulley!

5.) Remember, kids are more resilient than you think. We had a plan in place that when Emma Kate started to melt down, my mom was going to take her back to the resort. However, much to our amazement, she was a rock star and ended up staying out with us until after 11:30! She wasn’t fussy at all, and we even had a hard time getting her to fall asleep. Ok, so maybe that was the sugar talking, but she did so much better than I anticipated and it made me realize I just wasn’t giving her enough credit. I can’t believe I ever considered not taking her, she held up just fine, and now we have memories that will last forever.

Halloween Party

Be sure to purchase your tickets to the party here. Some dates sell out, so don’t wait!

Disclosure: I was provided tickets to the party at no cost, however all opinions are my own, and I was not required to write this post. 

My Top Facebook Tips for Bloggers and Businesses

Ah, Facebook. Time to chat about this social media platform. If you have a page for your blog, business, store, etc, unfortunately it has gotten very much pay to play. So if you are trying to sell a product or service, you may need to look into Facebook ads.

However, never fear, there are still some organic ways to grow your following, which we are going to discuss here. Everything is moving towards video, so it reigns supreme as far as getting visibility and gaining traction on Facebook. There are a couple of ways to do video:

First you can post a video you have previously filmed/created, by uploading it from your computer. Or, you can do a Facebook Live session, which will then be saved and stored on your page.

When I start talking about Facebook live, some people start to freak out and get nervous. That’s OK! I still get nervous when posting things live, but with practice and repetition I have gotten better. First try filming yourself talking to the camera and practice what you want to say over and over before hitting that “go live” button. This will help calm you down and make you feel practiced.

Also make sure when you film a video, live or not, that you have good lighting and background, minimal background noise like cars, music, or pets, and try to position the computer or camera so you aren’t looking down at it. It’s NOT a flattering angle. I bought a phone extension that holds my iPhone and docks into my tripod for when I’m shooting with my iPhone. 

Also make sure you interact with your audience if shooting live. If people leave a comment or ask a question be sure to answer!

You can also put links to blog posts or other websites in the comments on your Facebook live. It’s a great way to drive traffic.

A good way to get new followers is to target people who are already liking your stuff. Did you know that you can invite people to like your page directly from a post? Simply click the post and click where it shows the number of people that have liked it, and a list will pop up that shows all the likes, and next to it it will either have a button that says “invite” or it will be greyed out saying “invited” or Liked” if that person already likes your page or if you have invited them already but they haven’t responded to the request.

Another great idea is to tag other pages in your posts so they will be notified that you tagged them. This is a good way to build relationships with other people in your area of expertise.

Something else I would recommend doing is joining some social media Facebook groups. You will find everything from groups that help promote and share each others content to groups that give tips and tricks on growing your following. These can be a valuable resource and a great way to make new friends.

In my e-course, we get more in depth with Facebook, targeting the right followers, and also get into Facebook ads. Click here to get on the list to be notified when the course launches so you can get in at the lowest price!

QOTD: What is your best tip for Facebook? 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. However, I would never mention something I wouldn’t use myself and don’t love. Thanks for supporting THLG! 

September 2017 Goals

August really got away from me y’all. Honestly, I’m not complaining that it’s gone because it was SO HOT. It’s too hot to even go to the pool because the water isn’t even cool. September is still stifling, but brings the hope of some temperatures in the 80’s at least (I hope!) Before we look at my goals for this month, let’s see how I did in August:

1.) Research and get ready for the cruise: A+ Yes! I spent some time doing research and have a plan for each day. HOWEVER, with hurricane Irma, I’m not sure what is going to happen to our cruise or ports. Sad times.

2.) Workout 5+ days a week: C- Yall. This ecourse is sucking the life out of me. I’m SO excited to share it with you, but it is so draining and taking up so much time. I worked out 3-4 days a week this month but not five. I’m working on it.

3.) Set a date for my course launch: C- I’m close guys. I’m about 85% done. I WILL go out on a limb and say by the end of September, but I don’t have an exact date yet. I wwiisshhh I did. I just want it to be perfect.


September Goals:

1.) Launch my course: Self explanatory, no?

2.) Organize and de-clutter: I realized after living here close to a year (woah) that I have WAY too much stuff and really need to get rid of things. If I haven’t used it since we moved in, I probably don’t need it.

3.) Workout 5 times a week: Giving this one another go. I can tell a difference in the way I look and feel that I need to workout more.

As always, I feel you have a better shot at reaching goals when you can print them out and see them all month. Be sure to snag your free goal and fitness tracking printables here.

Happy September everyone!

QOTD: What are your September goals? 

My Top Twitter Tips

Some people recently have been wanting to shy away from Twitter and say it’s not a valid platform anymore, but I totally disagree. Not only is my following continuing to grow, but I have gotten several Twitter only paid campaigns from brands, gotten paid to host and participate in twitter chats, and have had larger brands tell me they want higher Twitter numbers before they would work with me. So in my opinion, building up your Twitter presence is a good idea.

The first thing you need to remember about Twitter is that you need to be a real person and follow, like, and retweet other people’s stuff, don’t just post your own things. Remember the 80/20 rule, only post 20% of your own content and 80% other people’s, This can be interesting articles, questions, rewteets of recipes, blog posts, sales from stores, etc. While I do automate most of my Twitter posts, I also go in daily and like, comment, and retweet live so that I am interacting in real time with people as well. Even just spending five minutes a day doing this can make a big difference. 

Also, you want to make sure you spread out your tweets to different times of the day. Remember time zones, so only posting in popular times for your time zone is doing your account a disservice since the lifespan of a tweet is so short. While there are certain times of day I focus more on, I try to spread things out and then check my analytics in Sprout Social and see how those posts performed. 

Earlier I mentioned that you need to follow other people. You don’t want to be that account that has 30,000 followers but you are following 100 people. So how do you find the right people to follow who may potentially follow you back? First, Twitter is great at suggesting accounts you may like, so check the sidebar first. Then, do a hashtag search for a tag that has to do with your brand or things you post about, and find people who also post about the same things. For instance, I could personally search hashtags like “Disney, runDisney, fitness running, momblogger, travel, cruise, vacation” and the like. Not only do you want to follow these people, but you want to follow THEIR followers, because those are the people most likely to follow YOU.

I mentioned Twitter chats earlier. These are a great place to get new followers, find like minded people for you to follow, and to just get some exposure in general. A Twitter chat will take place at a certain time and day, and will have a hashtag you should include on every single tweet you post during the chat. That way, other chat participants can find you, reply to you, and follow you. Make sure you talk with other participants, answer the questions the host is asking, and try to be useful if the topic is something you know a lot about. I LOVE using GIF’s in Twitter chats, they are fun, and a good way to be seen when there are tons of tweets in a hashtag feed. 

Another tool I would recommend utilizing on Twitter is Twitter lists. Here you can create separate lists of people you follow, and break them down however you want. If you wanted a list of only runners, you could create that, and then whenever you wanted running content to like or retweet, you just have to go into your list instead of scrolling through your whole feed which will have irrelevant information. From your profile, you should see a button near the top going across the menu that says “lists”. Here you can add lists, and also see what lists you are a member of (ones that others have added you to).

Also, pay special attention to your profile. Here you are given a profile photo and a header/cover photo so use this space wisely. Also be sure to add in your website or link to subscribe to your email list or get a freebie on your blog.

Did you know you can also pin a tweet to the top of your profile that will never be pushed down? Write a tweet you really love, maybe one that links to something important to you, and pin it as long as you like. I switch these out every couple of months. All you have to do is click the drop down on the top right of any tweet, and you should see the option to “pin to profile”. That’s it!

One more tip I use, and I will be honest and say I don’t do it all the time because I lack the time for it, but I personally like to send a tweet thanking someone for following me. Now, before I get flamed for saying this next thing, note this is JUST A PREFERENCE. But I absolutely loathe the automated DM’s I get when I follow people saying “thanks for the follow, you can also find me here here and here.” While I love to automate things, in this instance, I think a personal thank you goes a lot farther in people’s minds than an automation. Again, just a preference.

Download my FREE social media manager checklist and automatically be put on the list to get news on the launch date of my e-course, Social Side Hustle, how to make money as a social media manager, as well as info on pricing and bonuses!

Be sure to check my Facebook page tomorrow afternoon for a video going more in depth into my Twitter strategy!

QOTD: What is your favorite social media platform? Why? 

A Fun Filled Fall

Hey guys! I feel like it’s been awhile since I’m done a post just kind of updating things going on in my world, and what i have coming up. I know I share bits and pieces on social media and especially on Instagram Stories, but I haven’t written out what’s going on in awhile so here goes!

We have quite the busy fall planned, and I realized the other day we aren’t going to be home on the weekend from Labor Day through Columbus Day! So what will we be up to?

Labor Day weekend: Disney invited me and my family to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on Friday night. We decided to make a weekend out of it and are staying two night at Saratoga Springs with my parents for a fun little getaway. Emma Kate and my dad have never been to the party, so I can’t wait to show them everything.

fall

The two weekends after that: Bobby and I leave for our cruise with Carnival on September 9th. I am stoked to have this opportunity and can’t wait to visit some new to me ports and explore the beautiful Carnival Vista.

The weekend of the 23/24th of September is Emma Kate’s third birthday (CRAZY TALK!) and we are spending one night in Disney to celebrate as a family. We are staying at Port Orleans Riverside and have a character dinner. I’m not ashamed to say we are taking advantage of her being free one last time!

The last weekend in September I will be traveling to Rhode Island to run the Ocean Road 10k as part of the Cabot Fit Team. I’m so honored and pumped to be in some cooler weather for the weekend and run a 10k. It’s been awhile on both accounts!

Then Columbus Day weekend Bobby and I will be guests of both Medieval Times and the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs. We can’t wait to dive into Disney’s Food and Wine Festival which Bobby hasn’t been to in four years. (We may or may not have a three year old tag along, we aren’t sure yet.)

WHEW!

Not to mention, my e-course, Social Side Hustle, will launch right after we get back from the cruise.

It will be hectic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I absolutely love to travel, and now that Emma Kate is getting a little older I am hoping to do it even more. I love that I live in an area where we can take weekend trips to fun places and not go far (although I love the far away places, too!) I am so grateful for the opportunities I have gotten and can’t wait to bring you along for the ride. be sure you are following me on Instagram, because that is where I will post the most and also on Instagram Stories. Here we go!

QOTD: Are you traveling anywhere this fall? Any races or vacations? 

Growing Your Pinterest: Tips for Bloggers and Social Media Managers

While technically a search engine, Pinterest it frequently gets lumped in with social media and has recently become one of my favorites because of its ease of use and how I can automate most of the work while allowing it to bring a lot of traffic to my website.

Also, be sure to read to the end to get today’s free download!

pinterest

So how do I easily automate pinterest? A beautiful things called Tailwind.

But lets back up a little before I get into Tailwind, because you need to make sure your pins are optimized correctly or they won’t get repined in the first place! The first thing you need to look at is your photos. Pins that are vertical do WAY better than any other pins. This can easily be done in Picmonkey.

Picmonkey is free, but they have a royale version that I use that is super cheap and easy to use. They even have templates already made up for vertical pins, and then you just fill in the box with the photos, text, and overlays you want to use. Then you can upload it straight to Pinterest and add in the website you want it to go to, or add the photo to your blog or website and link to the pin in a post.

A few pin tips:

Make sure you are using a font that is easy to read, that your photo isn’t blurry, and that your colors and text stand out. Here are a couple of examples:

Descriptions:

The next thing you want to work on is your pin description. Keywords go a long way in Pinterest descriptions and will help your pins to be found by the right people. The worst thing you want to do is look spammy and just list out a bunch of keywords. Instead you want to write in sentences and strategically place your keywords within the sentence. Here is a good examples of a description, and I highlighted the key words I wanted to use so you can see how I made them flow in my description:

“There are so many great restaurants in Disney World for kids and adults, but a lot of them require hard to get reservations. Check out my list of the top 5 most overlooked places to dine in Disney. You may find a new favorite menu for your family on their next vacation!”

Boards:

Now let’s talk a little about board names. The names of your boards are just as important as the descriptions on your pins. I know it’s tempting to name your boards super cute and clever things, but those things won’t be as easily searchable. What do I mean? For instance, If you have a board dedicated to children’s clothing but title it “tiny human threads”, that is probably going to not be something people are searching in the search box when looking for children’s clothing. Be smart with your board names to make them show up in results. You can also add a description to each board. Make sure you follow the same keyword advice you used for your pins when creating descriptions for your boards.

Speaking of your boards, you need to remember that your boards are for your readers/customers and NOT for you.

What do I mean by this? If you are working with a brand that sells home furnishings, you will probably have boards for different types of furniture, maybe different rooms in the house, or design ideas. You may personally also like cake. Unfortunately, a board about cake has nothing to do with home furnishings and will look out of place and confuse your followers. You can absolutely still create a board about cake for your personal use, just make it a secret board that only you and whoever you invite to the board can see. I have lots of secret boards. 🙂

Tailwind:

Ok, so let’s jump back to Tailwind. Tailwind is a program that allows you to schedule pins in advance so you don’t have to manually pin them over and over. I can set it up at the beginning of the month and then not have to worry about my pins for four to five weeks! It make my life so much easier and makes me more efficient and gives me time to do other things. I consistently get lots of daily traffic to my blog form Pinterest, all while not having to do anything because Tailwind is working in the background for me. Time is money, so a program like this is worth it’s weight in gold.

If you really want to dive further into Pinterest you can do two things.

1.) Sign up for updates on my course launch, Social Side Hustle, because I go even further in depth with Pinterest inside my e-course.

2.) Take the only social media course I have even taken, called Pinning Perfect. It opened my eyes to the potential of Pinterest and I use lots of the things I learned there today!


***As a blogger and social media manager, it is important that I keep track of the money coming in and going out so I know how much I made at the end of the month.

For today’s freebie download, I have a money tracking excel sheet for you. There are two tabs on the sheet, one for expenses and one for money made. Feel free to edit as it fits in with your business or personal brand, I just wanted to give an example of how I track money coming in and out. Enjoy! 

ONE MORE THING. (I know there are lots of things today!) I will be doing another FACEBOOK LIVE tomorrow hopefully around noon EST. Be sure to follow my page so you won’t miss it. But if you do, you will be able to watch the replay later.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means when someone clicks on a link and purchases, I get a small percentage of the sale. I only recommend things I use and love. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Simplify Your Life with the HP AMP 100

Disclosure: I was provided with the new HP AMP 100 printer from HP, however all options are my own.

Confession time: My printer is old. Like really old. So old that when someone asks me to print, sign, and scan something and then email it back to them, I visibly cringe because it’s such a long process that will take me forever to complete. Time is money, and I like to be efficient. That being said,  I would rejoice when I could fill out a form online and not have to do this long painful task. It was that. Bad.

However, I can honestly now say after geeking out about my new HP AMP 100 printer all week, that my work life has been changed and the whole process is way less painful than it was before. Actually, it’s downright fun now!

This printer is super compact, connects to your wireless network, and has a Bluetooth speaker (say what!) That’s right. You can listen to your music, print and scan, all while also charging your phone (USB port) and even answering a phone call with the built in mic.

Ok, let’s back up a minute and I will walk you through the print/scan/email process, because I just love talking about it.

First of all, you download the free HP Smart app. Right in the app it tells you your ink cartridge levels, and you can order more ink right then and there if needed. So convenient. Next, you push the button to print, and can pick something from your camera roll, or you can choose to print a document. Once you print, go back to the app and hit “scan to email”, and the camera on your phone automatically picks up the size of your photo, and makes it into a document that can be scanned. You can do several sheets at a time, and when you are done, you just enter in the email address you want to send to and you are done! No waiting for the “scanner lamp
to warm up or making sure you put the paper facing the right way on the scanner bed. It’s just like taking a photo from your phone but the format is way better and more professional looking.

Ok so back to the speaker. You can stream music from your favorite apps and enjoy amazing high quality sound, featuring Smart Amp technology. if you pair the printer with your phone, then you can easily answer calls with amazing clarity. So many uses for this printer!

HP amp

The price of the printer is only $129, so I feel it’s super affordable and would be great in a college dorm room, or home office (like mine!). I am all about efficiency and saving time, and the HP AMP 100 fits the bill, and has made me a happy girl boss!

Check out the video below to see how quick and easy it is to print, scan, and email a document.


 

QOTD: What is your favorite feature of this printer? 

Grow Your Instagram Following

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about growing your Instagram following. As I prepare to launch my ecourse next month on making money from home as a social media manager, I want to make sure everyone gets up to speed with their own social profiles, and that you know the basics so you can dive right into my course when it’s ready. Don’t forget to snag the freebie at the bottom of the page. It will also allow you to get updates about my course release!

instagram following

Instagram happens to be my current favorite social media platform. I love it because there are two separate things I can do on the account.

-One, I can post visually appealing photos to grow my following and tell my brand’s story, and

-I can also use Instagram stories to get a little more personal and behind the scenes.

It’s a great way to still post photos without cluttering up your feed with things that just don’t fit. I talk more about Instagram stories in my freebie so be sure to check it out.

Your Feed:

Ok let’s talk about your main feed and things you can do to get more followers. First of all, you want to make sure no one of your photos are blurry, and that they make sense in your feed. If you have a very narrow market, like only posting photos of coffee mugs, don’t randomly throw in a photo of a dog. It just confuses your readers who have come to expect a certain thing. Now if you are a lifestyle blogger like me, you have a little more creative freedom, but that doesn’t mean I just post whatever I feel like.

When people come to your page to decide if they want to follow you or not, they are going to take a peek at your feed as a whole, and if it confuses them or has photos that just don’t make sense, you may get passed over. Think of it this way:

If you went into a shoe store and every time you visited they had lots of shoes, that would make sense right? Then what if one day you went into the store and they were selling school supplies instead of shoes. Wait a minute, but every other time I came in there were shoes? If I had known it was going to be something different than what I was expecting, I wouldn’t have come, right? Think of your feed the same way. If your audience is used to you only posting pictures of your kids, or only posting workout photos, or only posting food photos, and if you all of the sudden start throwing in pictures of cats or rainbows, they may not understand what is going on.

Editing Photos:

I edit every single photo before it goes on Instagram in some way shape or form. Some it’s as simple as cropping in the app, and some get edited on my computer in Picmonkey. Still others get touched up in apps like Snapseed, which is free in the app store. You want your lighting, cropping, and exposure to look the best it can. If I know I’m taking pics for Instagram only, I will set my iPhone camera to “square” so I don’t have to worry about cropping so much or having a photo that doesn’t fit correctly. I also use an app called Isntasize to size down things for me to fit in Instagram. (Snapseed is shown below)

Comment Pods:

Another great way to get better engagement on Instagram is to join comment or like pods. They have gotten very popular since Instagram introduced the new algorithm. Basically, you join a group of people (usually between 10-20), and every time one of you posts a photo, you direct message it to the group in a group chat within Instagram or on an app like Telegraph, then everyone knows to go and like and or comment on the photo to help boost the posts engagement rate. Think of it as a I’ll scratch my back if you scratch yours. It really only works if everyone actually posts and shares and comments, and the best ones have people engage within the first few hours a photo is posted. I am a part of a couple of pods, some have worked and some haven’t. A lot of people don’t realize the amount of work they are on the front end and decide they don’t want to do it, but that’s because they don’t see the value in it or don’t take their business seriously enough. I encourage you to find one or two pods to join!

Links:

A great free tool I use to drive traffic to my blog is called Linktree. It’s a website where you can actually add buttons that link to different posts within your blog. So when you click on the link in my profile, you then can choose which of my posts you want to visit. I can update these at any time, whenever I have a new post or what to highlight an old post. Super easy and effective.

Instagram following

 

Hashtags:

hashtags are great for allowing people to find your content, but they can also be a great tool if used in reverse, for you to find people to follow that could potentially become YOUR followers. Search some common hashtags that have to do with your niche, and find some accounts that you like.

When it comes to you using hashtags on your own photos, hashtags with more photos associated with them are not always the way to go. Try to find some hashtags with less than 100k photos and use those. Your photos have a better chance at staying at the tops of those feeds than using hashtags that have been used several million times.

Another tip if you are a social media manager for a brand especially, is to create a branded hashtag that you use when posting, and that you can encourage others to use when posting about your product or service.

Also be sure to use the location/geotagging so that you appear in local searches for photos!

Be nice:

A tried and true way to gain followers on Instagram is to follow other people, and genuinely like and comment on other photos. Don’t be one of those people who thinks they are better than everyone and is only following 11 people. Use hashtags and find people with great content that you like, and go like and comment on some of their photos. To get their attention, I suggest liking about 5 photos so they will see them in their notifications easier and see that it’s all from one person. What I DON’T like is when people do this just to get a like, then they don’t follow you back, or they do but then unfollow you the next day. There will always be people that play games like that, so just try to ignore it and not let it bother you.

I try to set aside time a couple times a day to like my friends photos, and then search for new friends and people to follow. Just be a real person and it will go a long way I promise!

Thanks for following along! If you want to get tons of great info just like this, but ALL about Instagram stories, be sure to download my free printable cheat sheet here!

HEADS UP: I will be doing a post every week for the next month discussing growth hacks for four different social media platforms, all leading up to the pre-launch and launch of my new social media management E-course. If you are interested in news on my course but don’t care for the freebie, I encourage you to follow the link and subscribe anyway (you don’t have to download the cheat sheet), so you will be first to hear news on my pre-sale (which will be when the course is offered at it’s LOWEST PRICE!)