Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week /

Greetings! Did you have a big week? I’ve had ideas falling out of my ears these last few days so I’ve spent a lot of time with my notebook, brainstorming them all before they run out. Weeks like this don’t come very often, so I’ve learned to really indulge when they do. I hope it’s been an inspirational one for you too! (and if not… there’s always next week ;-))

Could some WordPress Plugins Actually Be Harming Your Blog? // The Blog Tyrant

This. Was. Huge. And something I needed to pay attention to, because I once broke my site with a plugin. It’s freaky and horrible and something I don’t wish to do again! This post was also concerning when it came to Akismet – a plugin plenty of us have on our very precious sites.

SEO Tools: The Complete List (153 Tools Reviewed and Rated) // Backlinko

Who has the time to go through all the available SEO tools to find which is the best? Well, Brian Dean did so you don’t have to. Yay!

Facebook Search Now Includes Public Posts: So Hide Yours // Wired

Super handy if you’re looking for something/want your Facebook page found… not so handy if you want to keep your private life private. Wired gives you step-by-step instructions on how to keep it that way.

Need Marketing Inspiration? Here are 12 Places to Find Great Examples // HubSpot

You could get lost for hours, which is very useful if you’re stuck in a bit of a design rut. Everything from landing pages, emails, website design… something to spark some creativity, I’m sure!

The 10 Traits of Successful Online Marketers // Entrepreneur

Ummmm I am about a 7 out of 10. Lucky one of my traits is number three, so I can work on it!

8 Killer Photography Tips from Instagram Superstars // PopSugar

If writing is your game, and you know you need to brush up on your visuals, these tips are pretty solid.

Twitter Announces New “Tweet Grid” Embeddable Display Option – Here’s How to Use it // Social Media Today

Speaking of visual, do you like pictures better than words? Twitter has announced a new grid feature where you see a visual representation of the wall like this:

My eye doesn’t know where to look in this situation, I’m more of a linear gal. But if you’re into it, Social Media Today explains how to set it up.

How to Get More Instagram Followers – The Ultimate Guide // Hootsuite

That’s a big call, but this is a big list.

How to Safely Redesign your Website Without Destroying Your Business // Kissmetrics

It’s true, people hate change. I think these ideas are pretty solid.

The Taco is Here! Apple Launches Emoji-Filled iOS 9.1 Update // Mashable

You know how excited I am about this.

So what do you think? What have you learned this week?

Also – if you’re feeling a bit like everyone is better than you and you shouldn’t even try, I’ve got just the post for you on Monday. See you then!

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

How to Promote Yourself without Coming Across as a Jerk

How to Promote Yourself without Coming Across as a JerkThe thing about blogging is that it’s not just blogging – you have to push your work out to others in order to be read. It’s an aspect of the job that is so intimidating for some that it totally holds them back from reaching their blog’s full potential. But without it, your blog is one of millions begging for attention and not getting it. “Build it and they will come” unfortunately doesn’t work here!

I was recently asked by a reader how to tackle this head on:

I’ve been blogging now for a few months and have built up an archive of posts that I think are useful for those who might find them – but I’m struggling with one big question – how to get people to read!
I’ve listened to some of your episodes on growing readership and understand the techniques I probably need to use – but my problem is that I’m scared to start.
More specifically my issue is that I don’t want to get too self promotional and come across as a complete jerk by over doing it and always be in people’s faces. Can you help?

In today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I do just that.

The thing is, you do have to promote yourself, there’s really no way around it. From episode 33 to 37 of the podcast, we talked about finding readers but I guess what Samantha is asking is how do you do it the right way? In this episode I discuss the best ways of showcasing your expertise without coming across as a know-it-all.

I also touch on how to work to the best of your ability, why you should focus on exchanges rather than just broadcasting, what topic you should lead your blog with, where you should admit your knowledge deficits, the usefulness of storytelling, and more – including why you shouldn’t go overboard with the modesty thing. It’s all about what I think the secret to being a good influencer is and how it can make a difference between promoting yourself and promoting yourself so much you turn others off.

You can listen to this episode in the player below or over on the episode 55 shownotes.

I’d love to know – what are your favourite self-promotion tips? And is it something you struggle with, like Samantha does?

The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

The Step-By-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media - on ProBlogger.netThis is a guest contribution from Beth Hayden.

Ever want to pull your hair out when you try to share one of your posts on Facebook?

Yep. Me too.

When you put you hear and soul into publishing a piece of content on your site, it’s frustrating when you try to share it on Facebook and it shows up in other people’s feeds looking really….well….weird.

Sometimes Facebook shows the wrong image when you share your post. Sometimes it doesn’t show an image at all. Occasionally it grabs the correct image, but crops the photo in an awkward way.

And it’s not just Facebook that frustrates content creators.

Sometimes we have the same problem on Pinterest. Will our readers pin the right image to their boards? Will that image be cropped strangely, or will it be too small to view correctly?

This is not only a common and annoying problem, it’s a big one. If your posts don’t show up the “right way” when people share them on social networking sites, your social shares are going to decrease dramatically.

Here are two examples of how things can go wrong when sharing links on Facebook:

The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media2FacebookWrongWayExampleMinusTide

Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent these types of Facebook headaches.

To take control of how your posts show up on social media, you need to harness the power of social metadata .

Don’t freak out – we’re going to talk about metadata

I’m going to make a confession. My eyes usually glaze over when I hear the word “metadata.”

If you feel the same way, I want you to bear with me for just a bit.

A couple of years ago, I learned some metadata basics so I could perform some (very) simple search optimization on some of my posts. After that, I just didn’t have the patience to sift through confusing and overwhelming jargon about meta descriptions and keywords, so I stuck my head in the sand and hoped metadata would just….go away.

But it turns out, metadata’s more important than ever – so we’ve got to talk about it. But I promise you, I’m going to be brief, clear and practical in this section.

Metadata is simply the key words and phrases that describe the contents of a particular web page. Essentially, it’s data about data, and when we’re talking about writing blog posts, that means it is data about your blog posts.

Most metadata isn’t easily visible to your readers, but it can be detected and read by other websites and tools (like Google’s search crawlers).

If you’ve ever changed the meta description of your post (in order to optimize it for search engines), then you have edited metadata.

The social metadata of a post is designed specifically so social networks like Facebook, Google+, Twitter or Pinterest can detect and read it. Social metadata determines how your post will appear when people share your content on one of those social networks.

For instance, Facebook reads metadata to determine what image will show when people post it on their walls. Metadata also determines how that image is cropped, and what words will be shown in the “title” area of the Facebook post.

Unfortunately, social metadata can cut both ways – your post might look amazing in social network feeds, or it might be a hot mess.

For instance, if Facebook can’t find Facebook-specific metadata within your post, it will grab any data it can find. Then it will use that random data to cobble together a Facebook post when together when someone shares your post with her friends.

That cobbled-together post is what leads to strange photo crops, odd post descriptions, and other social media faux pas.

Manipulating metadata for fun and profit

So if you don’t want to be at the mercy of Facebook, you need to take action. You’ve got to grab the social metadata bull by the horns, and decide exactly how your posts show up when people share your content.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step One: Install a WordPress plugin that lets you edit your social metadata.

Yoast’s SEO for WordPress plugin is a great choice, but there are other options, too. You need a plugin (or a set of plugins) that lets you edit social metadata for Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
To install the Yoast plugin, click Plugins > Add New from your WordPress dashboard, then search for “Yoast SEO” in the search box on the right side of your screen. It should be the first one listed.

Then install and activate the plugin.

Step Two: Configure the Yoast plugin for social metadata.

Next up, you need to edit the plugin settings so you can view and edit the social metadata from your WordPress visual editor for each page or post on your site.

To edit your settings, click on SEO > Social from your WordPress dashboard.

Edit the following settings:

    • Facebook: Click on the Facebook tab and make sure the box next to “Add Open Graph meta data” is checked. If you checked it, click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.
    • Twitter: Click on the Twitter tab, and make sure the box next to “Add Twitter card meta data” is checked. If you would like Twitter to display an image when people share the link to a post on your site, select “Summary with large image” in the “Default card type to use” dropdown menu. Then click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page to save your updates.
    • Pinterest: No setting changes needed.
    • Google+: Click on the Google+ tab, check the box next to “Add Google+ specific post meta data,” then click “Save Changes.”

Step Three: Edit the social metadata for your next post.
Next time you write a post, here are the steps you need to take to edit the social metadata:

Edit the Facebook metadata.

After you’ve written your post, scroll down to the “WordPress SEO by Yoast” box, underneath the main content area in your WordPress visual editor. Then click on the “Social” tab.

The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

Enter a title in the “Facebook Title” field. If you’re following the rules of smart headline writing, you’ve already created an attention-getting headline for your post, so you can add that here.

There’s no need to add a “|” and the name of your site – your headline will stand on its own.

For instance, this:

The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

Is better than this:

The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

Add a short description to the “Facebook Description” field. Again, short and sweet is better here.

Upload an optimized image for Facebook. The Yoast plugin tells you the current optimum size for the image (currently the best size it 1200 x 628 pixels). You may want to create a special image that is sized specifically for Facebook – experiment a bit and see what works best for your audience.

Edit Twitter metadata.

Enter the Twitter Title and Description fields. You can either use the same title and description you used for the Facebook fields, or you can edit them to suit your Twitter audience.

Keep in mind that the information you put in these two fields is going to show up below the tweet in which your post is shared (not within the tweet itself) so you don’t need to adhere to the regular 140-character limit. See the example toward the bottom of this post to see how a Tweet will look when people share a link to your properly-optimized post.

Upload an optimized image for Twitter. The Yoast plugin tells you the current optimum size for the image (currently the best size it 1024×512 pixels), but in my experience, I’ve found you can often get away with using the same images for your Facebook and Twitter metadata.

Edit metadata for Google+.

Enter a Title and Description for Google+. Again, you can use the same information you used for Facebook and Twitter, above, or you can edit them for your Google+ audience.

Upload an optimized image for Twitter. The current optimal size is 800 x 1200 pixels.

Step Four: Make your post Pinterest-friendly.

You don’t need to make any specific social metadata changes for Pinterest, because Pinterest’s Rich Pin validators will read the social metadata you’ve added for other social sites.

However, there are a few things you need to consider to make it easy for people to pin your post. Make sure to:

    • Embed at least one large image in the content of your post. Images at least 700 pixels wide are best for Pinterest, so plan on including one somewhere in your post.

Need some ideas of how to do this?

Michael Hyatt makes his posts exceptionally Pinterest friendly:

The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social MediaSelect an image as the “Featured Image” for the post. In most cases, a regular Pinterest “Pin It” button within a post will allow your readers to select and pin any image on particular page – but some “Pin It” buttons (particularly ones that are built into social sharing toolbars) only let your readers pin one particular image within the post.

The simple and elegant Genesis Simple Share plugin, for instance, only lets readers pin one image from any given post.

The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social MediaThe Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

If that’s the case with your social sharing buttons, you to select the individual image you want your readers to pin from your post.

To do that, you need to select a “Featured Image” for your post, in WordPress. It’s a quick step that will make things far easiest on your Pinterest-using readers.

Click on “Set Featured Image,” then select an existing image from your Media Library or upload a new image.
The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

Check your work and make sure everything looks share-worthy

Bottom line: If your post doesn’t show up in an attractive, readable way in social media, it’s not going to get shared. That’s the practical reality of our current social networking climate.

So after you’ve edited your metadata and optimized your content for Pinterest, you’ve got to check your work and make sure your images and post information are rendering correctly.

Yes, this is a bit of a pain at first, but it’s worth it. You really don’t want to kill your chances of going viral before you even start promoting your post.

Here are the steps you need to take to check your work:

STEP ONE: Use Open Graph Debug on Facebook.

To see how your post will look when readers share it on Facebook, use the Facebook Open Graph Debug Tool.

Paste the URL of your post in that debug field, and it will give you a sneak peek at your post’s metadata code, and give you a preview of how the post will appear when someone shares it on Facebook.
The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media
STEP TWO: Validate your Twitter Card.

Use the Twitter Card Validator to see how your post will appear when people share it on Twitter. Just copy and paste the URL of the post into the Card Validator and click on “Preview Card.”

The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

STEP THREE: Check your Rich Pin Status on Pinterest

To make sure your content is rendering correctly as a “Rich Pin” in Pinterest, run your URL through the Pinterest Rich Pin Validator. For more information about Rich Pins on Pinterest, check out this post.

The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

STEP FOUR: Share your post manually.

Your last step is to share your post on all four of the major sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest), if possible. This is the very last check to make sure everything looks great during the sharing process.

It will also get you in the habit of promoting your own content after you publish it – which is always a good idea!

Here’s a basic idea of how your posts should look on each of the social sites, if you’ve done things correctly. Keep in mind there will be variations in how your content will look, depending on your specific images and post text.

The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media14CorrectTwitterShareThe Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media

If anything looks strange when you run your posts through the social validators (or when you share your post manually), go back to your original content and update the appropriate metadata. You may need to wait a few moments for your new metadata to propagate before you run the tests again.

Practice makes social metadata perfection

If this process sounds arduous, take heart. It will get easier with every post you publish, and you’ll get faster at it each time.

It’s a good idea to create a checklist for yourself, so you can whip through these steps in just a few minutes before you hit “publish.”

The one thing you can’t do at this point is ignore the importance of social metadata.

Visual marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest is here to stay, and if you close your eyes and keep wishing it will go away, you (and your clients) will suffer the consequences in terms of fewer social shares and decreased traffic to your site.

So dig in, use this post as a primer on how to conquer this process, and get comfortable going through these steps for every piece of content you publish.

Start practicing today, and before you know it, you’ll be a social metadata rock star. 

Beth Hayden is an author, speaker and content marketing expert. Want to find out how to build your list and get more traffic to your blog? Get your copy of Beth’s free report, “How One Smart Blogger Doubled Her List by Taking One Brave Step.”

Tools to Help You Optimize Blog Headlines and Content

Tools for headline and content optimisationThis is a guest contribution from Robert Morris.

The reality is harsh for bloggers and content writers: potential readers won’t waste a minute trying to figure out whether or not you have something worthy to say. If you don’t grab their attention with a great headline and captivating content, you often don’t stand a chance.

Even if you write awesome pieces that your readers love, you won’t attract a greater audience if you don’t lure the search engine to list you among the top results. Is there a way to make everyone happy?

Relax, there are tons of tools you can use for the purpose of optimizing your headlines and online content.

Tools and Resources for Optimizing Headlines


There are plenty of tools that provide automated suggestions for headlines once you provide a keyword. They rarely work… most of the offered alternatives are ridiculous, and the ones that seem great have already been used by other writers. Qualaroo is not that type of tool.

This service provides actual users’ feedback. It will tell you which headlines the audience is most attracted to, but it will also inform you why the users chose to read a certain post instead of another. Thanks to this analysis, you’ll understand your readers’ behavior and you’ll be able to choose the most appealing headlines.


This tool enables you to see what the visitors are doing at your website. If you feature a list of headlines at your site, the heatmap will show you the ones your audience is most attracted to. When you see where people are clicking, you’ll be able to set your focus on a particular type of articles. If, on the other hand, you notice that some of the posts are not attractive at all, you can alter the headlines to make them more appealing.


Thanks to this tool, you can discover what the influencers in your niche are writing about. The main purpose of Onalytica is to connect you with these influencers and help you establish valuable connections in the online community. In simpler words, you should get them to share your content. However, there is another way to benefit from the tool: analyze the headlines of your competitors and you’ll realize why they are successful. That will help you understand and fix your flaws.

10 Questions to Help You Write Better Headlines

This is a checklist that enables you to evaluate the headline alternatives you are considering. A good headline needs to be accurate, promising, concise, and much more! The author of this article explains 10 points that test the quality of your headline. When you answer all these questions, you’ll know whether you can continue writing that post or you need to spend more time in discovering the right starter.

How to Write Magnetic Headlines

Before you can test headlines, you need to know how to write them. Most bloggers and content writers like to skip this part, so they use automated headline suggestion tools that don’t result with the desired outcome. Spend few hours of your time on this eBook and you’ll understand what exactly a great headline is supposed to look like. The edition covers important chapters that teach you about ‘how to’ posts, lists, keywords, headline formulas, and much more.

Tools and Resources for Optimizing Content

SEER’s SEO Toolbox

Since you already are a blogger/content writer, you don’t actually need tools that teach you how to write. You sort that part out by interacting with your readers and offering what you know. However, you do need to find a way to make Google happy. The solution is simple: search engine optimization. SEER’s SEO Toolbox is a set of interactive tools that enable you to pull data from many sources and build effective links that will position your posts among the top search results.


Thanks to this service, you’ll get insight into the strategies of your competitors in terms of advertising and link building. The set of tools enables you to compare domains and estimate the efficiency of different keywords. When you see which keywords your competitors use, you can do your best to infuse them into better content.

Rank Checker

If you want to start writing better content, you need to evaluate the performance of the pieces you’ve already published. This is a free Mozilla add-on that enables you to check your rankings in the easiest manner. You won’t have to share your data with third parties. It takes some effort to learn how to interpret the results, but you’ll understand how the Rank Checker functions without much struggle. Everything is explained at the homepage of this tool, so don’t forget to read the instructions before installing it.

Xenu’s Link Sleuth

Links are an important part of content optimization. Your readers need them because they want to get more information without wasting their time on research; and you need them for boosting the functionality of your site and ranking better on search engines. If a link doesn’t work, you get a frustrated reader. Thanks to this tool, you’ll easily locate the broken links at your website. You’ll get a continuously updated report of URLs that you can customize according to different criteria. Xenu’s Link Sleuth also detects and reports redirected URLs, so you’ll be aware if your website is a target of phishing attack.

There is an entire science behind online content creation. If you want your articles to get more visibility and better feedback, you need to implement some of the above-listed tools into your research and writing practices.

Robert Morris is a freelance editor and essay writer at custom writing service NinjaEssays. Follow Robert on Google+ or NinjaEssays on Twitter and Facebook!

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Afraid

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You're AfraidFear is one thing I know those of us in this industry (and generally in life) can really hold you back. Often we’re so worried about what might happen when we try something new that we end up just not. So in today’s podcast I wanted to share some strategies for overcoming fear and taking a chance on something that just might work.

I don’t think ignoring fear is necessarily the right choice, but rather working with it, acknowledging it, and even harnessing it to some degree so you’re more in control of the fear than it is in control over you.

People starting out with blogging, podcasting, and using social media often come up against some or even all of these questions as the test the waters with this new hobby they’re excited about – what if no-one reads? What if no-one likes it? What if it upsets someone? What if I fail? What if I get criticised? What if I’m wasting my time?

Sometimes answering these questions instead of shying away from them can actually help you drill down to your ‘why’, and what you’ve started on this journey for in the first place. It can help you realise that even if all these things do happen, you will survive and even thrive because they’re not the end of the world.

We all face fear. And I happen to think it’s a pretty useful thing when we do. Fear can give you an insight and clarity when faced with danger – it can help you make the right decisions when it’s crunch time.

In today’s podcast I talk about what you can do when faced with fear that’s paralysing. When you feel as though it’s holding you back, that it’s too scary to go on, the ways you can push through and make a go of it anyway.

I talk about why I see fear as a signifier that something important is about to happen, the times I’ve felt most afraid, and the three questions you can ask yourself when you feel that familiar feeling take hold.

It’s not about totally removing fear from all your decisions, but how to manage it so you can still succeed.

You can listen to this episode in the player below or head to the episode 54 shownotes here, where you’ll find other notes and opportunity to connect with other Podcast listeners.

Further Reading:

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week /

Your weekly links are coming hot off the heels of the annual ProBlogger Team retreat, where we get together for a couple of days to brainstorm where we’re at and where we’re going with ProBlogger. I always leave with so many ideas and so much motivation to bring you the very best!

Enjoy the info this week – would love to hear your thoughts on the links.

How to Launch Your First Twitter Ad Campaign // Hootsuite

How do you get heard in amongst the 500 million tweets sent every day? Well, Twitter has started offering Twitter Ads, and if you think that’s something you might be interested in, Hootsuite has made a simple outline for you to follow. You could, also check out what Twitter recommends here.

The World’s Highest-Paid YouTube Stars // Forbes

There’s no doubt YouTubers are making cash from their videos – and paving the way for the rest of us to do so as well. Forbes ranked the top 13 DIY Filmmakers, and at the top of the heap is PewDiePie on $12 million. Not bad!

It Took Me 13 Years to Learn This Lesson About Blogging // Jon Acuff

A great reminder about what we can really do with our blogs and the platform it gives us.

10 Hidden Tricks to Make Snapchat Infinitely Better // Mashable

Oh Snapchat, I’m still trying! I love these hacks though – they will definitely help you stand out.

Why Your Business Should Consider Blab // Social Media Examiner

We know Darren loves it – but this is why you too should be jumping on board the Blab train!

The More you Improve, the Harder it Gets // Chris Guillebeau

We are told that if we just try hard enough, we can succeed – is this really true?

Globally, We are Now Watching as Much Online Video as We are Television // Social Media Today.

Oh, it was only a matter of time. But what does that now mean for blogs? How much should we invest in video to capture this audience?

How to Teach Yourself SEO in Three Days // HubSpot

Now there’s a challenge! So much information here.

How Airbnb’s CMO Transformed the Company into a Super Brand in Just 18 Months // AdWeek

They say marketers need to be fearless – and I’m definitely seeing a trend for both bloggers wanting to think outside the square, and brands requiring more of it. I love this story about how Jonathan Mildenhall helped Airbnb stand out from a flooded market.

Instagram Says its for Business and Not Just Selfies, with New Account // MarketingLand

If you’re looking for Instagram tips, you might want to follow the source – Instagram has launched the @instagramforbusiness account promising to be “a source of inspiration for the Instagram community”. Hm.


So what have you read that’s new this week? Anything motivating?

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

How I Made over $500,000 with the Amazon Affiliate Program

How I Made over $500,000 with the Amazon Affiliate Program - on ProBlogger.netSix months into blogging, I realised that this hobby of mine was going to need some kind of income stream, and I happened to come across the Amazon Affiliate program, where I would earn a small commission on their products I recommended. Twelve years later, I’ve earned over half a million dollars with them and I continue to be an Amazon affiliate seller (primarily on Digital Photography School, my main blog).

In today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I discuss the reason I chose Amazon out of the many options available, and how I have made the most of that relationship. I also give 20 practical tips for making affiliate selling a profitable income stream.

I cover:

  • the reasoning behind my choice
  • why you should have a go at affiliate sales even when you don’t have a lot of traffic
  • what your focus should be if you choose affiliate sales as an income stream (it might not be what you think!)
  • what I’ve found converts the best
  • buying cycles and how to read the mindset of your audience
  • the strategy behind relevancy
  • how to use social proof marketing for higher conversions
  • how to write great product reviews
  • the usefulness of relevant links even to non-reviewed products
  • what type of promotion is the most successful
  • capitalising on trends for higher sales
  • how many contextual links are best in one post
  • the value of linking the images in your post to the product
  • how to find products to recommend
  • how to track campaigns
  • the reasons you should bother promoting less-expensive items
  • transparency and disclosure
  • how to watch for opportunities.

Listen to this podcast in the player below or head over to the shownotes where it’s also embedded with some further reading, diagrams and other show notes.

Further Reading:

4 Methods To Get More Blog Traffic From Twitter

This is a guest contribution from Marc Guberti.

No matter how much blog traffic we get, we will always want more, right? More blog traffic opens the door to more opportunities, relationships, and sales.

Not only do we want more blog traffic, but we also want to get blog traffic from a variety of platforms. This is why many bloggers are active on multiple social networks.

I have experimented with dozens of different methods for gaining more blog traffic. I pin, post on Facebook, and write guest posts, but my most successful platform for driving traffic to my blog is Twitter.

Twitter alone is responsible for close to 50% of the traffic that my blog gets, and the amount of traffic I gained from Twitter has dramatically increased in a short period of time. In 2013, Twitter brought 3,408 people to my blog. The following year, Twitter brought 97,321 people to my blog. The big increase in traffic also led to a big increase in opportunities, relationships, and sales.

Many people ask me how I made such a quick transition. How did I suddenly go from getting 3,408 visitors from Twitter to almost 100,000 visitors from Twitter in just one year? I am going to share with you the methods I used to get more blog traffic from Twitter and make my big shift in just one year.

Pin A Tweet Of Your Most Popular Blog Post

When you pin a tweet of your most popular blog post to the top of your Twitter timeline, that tweet gets more exposure because its lifespan is infinite. The reason most tweets get some engagement when they are first posted but then get virtually no engagement a few days later is because most tweets have short lifespans.

Although the lifespan of each tweet differs, most tweets’ lifespans end in a day because other tweets take its place on your feed, and your followers’ home feeds are filled with other people’s tweets at that point. Pinning a tweet to the top of your profile page guarantees that the tweet will be seen by anyone who views your account. Thus, the lifespan of the tweet is infinite (until you unpin it from the top of your feed).

Pinning your most popular blog post to the top of that feed will lead to more traffic for that blog post, and all of that extra traffic for your popular blog post will equate to a better search engine rank.

The first tweet I pinned to the top of my feed was a tweet that promoted one of my free eBooks. While most of my tweets get around five retweets and favorites, the pinned tweets has been retweeted and favorited over 100 times.

Pinned tweets will get more engagement than your average tweet, so if there is a popular blog post that you want to give special attention, tweet it out and pin the tweet to the top of your feed.

Include Visual Content In Your Tweets

The value of visual content can no longer be overlooked. On every social network, including an image in the post leads to more engagement than not including the image in the post.

On Twitter, including the image in the tweet leads to a 150% increase in engagement for that tweet. It makes sense that tweets images get more engagement because the human mind processes images 60,000 times faster than text.

Buffer tested out what type of impact images have in tweets. Here’s what they found:


Including an image in your tweets is important, but not any image will do. The best images are often the ones that we create ourselves because we can create an image based on what we want in the image instead of trying to find the best (but not perfect) match on Google.

IT turns out that creating your own picture is surprisingly easy. Here are the two tools I use to create my own pictures:

#1: Canva

This free tool lets you create pictures in any pixel dimensions you want, and the tool also offers pictures perfectly sized for social media posts. Canva comes with numerous free features and images to choose from, and if you can’t find the image you are looking for on Canva, you can upload pictures from your computer to Canva.

Canva easily allows you to add text to your images and play around with the background.

#2: KeyNote/PowerPoint

Normally, when you think of KeyNote or PowerPoint, you think of creating a presentation. However, these tools also allow you to create your own pictures.

You can resize the slides in your presentation to any dimensions. You can make a slide 1000 pixels wide and 4000 pixels high if you wanted to. You can add shapes, text, and other pictures from your computer to the slide.

I primarily use KeyNote for creating Infographics because of the flexibility that KeyNote provides. I can easily move one part of the slide anywhere I desire, and I can see a full preview before I put the infographic on my blog.

Tweet The Same Blog Posts More Than Once

One of the biggest secrets about Twitter is that it is okay to tweet the same thing more than once. If you do it right, it is okay to tweet the same thing more than 100 times.

I schedule my tweets using the HootSuite bulk scheduler which means I send tweets in a cycle. Every 4-8 days, you will see the same tweets delivered in the same exact order, and these tweets always get engagement.

Since I send over 100 tweets every day, the identical tweets are barely noticeable. I get interaction for my tweets to this day as if I had never tweeted them before. Here are some reasons why it is okay to tweet the same blog posts (and for that matter, identical tweets) more than once:

#1: You are going to get new followers who have not read any of your tweets before. For these followers, your tweets are actually new.

#2: Many of your followers will miss your tweet the first time. If you send your tweet at 4 pm on a Monday, then your followers must be logged in at that time to possibly see the tweet on their crowded home feeds.

#3: The world has different timezones. If it’s 4 am in New York, then it’s 9 am in London. If you send a tweet at 4 am eastern time, many of your followers from New York won’t see the tweet. You can schedule the same tweet the following day at a better time for your followers on the east coast so they can engage with it all the same.

Optimize Your Tweets For More Engagement

Having an image in your tweet is just one step towards optimizing that tweet for more engagement. The more you optimize your tweet, the more engagement it will get. Here are some of the additional methods you can use to optimize your tweets for more engagement.

Twitter is the main reason my blog gets so much traffic. In one year, my blog traffic jumped leaps and bounds primarily because I focused my time on growing my Twitter audience and promoting my blog posts to that audience.

Getting hundreds of daily blog visitors from Twitter takes patience, but that patience will eventually allow you to get hundreds of daily visitors to your blog from Twitter alone. Constantly experiment with your tweeting frequency and what you tweet to determine what impact it has on your audience and blog traffic.

Do you use Twitter to get more blog traffic? And if you aren’t using Twitter to get more blog traffic, when will you start?

Marc Guberti is a teenage entrepreneur, author, and digital marketing expert who shares his advice on his blog His mission is to teach teenagers how to become entrepreneurs.

3 Writing Superpowers Every Blogger Needs

3 Writing Superpowers Every Blogger Needs - on ProBlogger.netThis is a guest contribution from Al Tait.

Confession: I wrote this post twice.

I believe in the power of storytelling and I think it’s at the heart of what makes great bloggers successful. So I wanted to write about that.

The first time, I concentrated on the structure of storytelling, looking at what makes a powerful story and how you could use this to create a great blog post. I used words like ‘hook’ and ‘narrative’ and ‘readership’ and … ‘toilet humour’. I did.

And then I realised, about halfway through a witty anecdote about unblocking a toilet (I know, it was late, what can I say?), that I was boring myself silly. Even with the toilet humour.

Part of the problem was that the post didn’t sound like me. It sounded like a Problogger Version Of Me (PVOM), or maybe what I thought I needed to sound like for a Problogger post: someone with authority and credibility and all of the other important ‘ty’ things. I have all of those things, in spades, when it comes to writing, but frankly, if I was bored writing the post then there was no way anyone would bother reading it.

Which got me thinking.

As a children’s author, I visit schools regularly, talking to hundreds of kids about writing. One of the presentations I give is called ‘Find Your Writing Superpower’, and it’s a lot of fun. But it’s contains three storytelling truths that I think all bloggers can learn from.

These are the three writing superpowers that all bloggers need – and how you can develop them.

1. Supersonic hearing:

Writers are incredible snoops. Ask any published author whether or not they eavesdrop and they will unabashedly admit that they do. On trains, on planes, on buses, in cafes, they’re busy using their supersonic hearing to hone in on people’s conversations. Why do they do this?

It’s simple. Ideas and inspiration for stories and blog posts, are everywhere. Writers are simply people who’ve trained themselves to tune in to those ideas when they hear them.

How will this work for you? What are people around you talking about? What problems are they having? Listen hard and you’ll hear the kernel of an idea in every chat you have.

Tools to help: I use Evernote across all my devices to keep track of my ideas, opening a new file for each one and adding to it as inspiration strikes. You could also try Microsoft’s OneNote, or simple dictation (the iPhone recorder is great for this).

2. Batman voice

Everybody’s got a Batman voice. Even now, you could probably pull it out if I asked you to do so (go on, you know you want to…). I tend to ‘do’ Michael Keaton when I’m called upon (though I suspect Michael Keaton wouldn’t recognise himself…), but your Batman might channel Adam West or Christian Bale or even Will Arnett (“I only work in black. And sometimes very, very dark grey…”). The point is that we’re all trying to do the same thing – and they’re still all going to be different.

Voice is the one thing you have that’s yours. There are a million blog posts out there on every subject under the sun – but only YOU can write your posts your way. When I write, I write the way I speak – only better. I’m not trying to be ‘writerly’. I’m not trying to be ‘just like’ anyone else.

How will this work for you? The best way to develop your writing voice is to write. You need to get close, get intimate and, perhaps to begin with, to get off the internet with it. I recommend a daily journal or diary in which to simply write your thoughts down. You don’t need to write down every single thing that happened to you that day – just choose one thing and focus on that. Practice this. It’s a serious superpower.

Tools to help: Personally, I’m a big fan of your basic Moleskine notebook for this task, but I also appreciate the beauty of being able to type your thoughts (my handwriting is terrible…). So, lovely stationery aside, try an app such as Day One or Journey or, if you want to get really creative, try a writing prompt app such as The Brainstormer.

3. Bravery

“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” – J.K Rowling

The one superpower that every successful author and blogger has is bravery. It takes guts to put yourself on a page or in a post and serve yourself up to others – but that’s what it takes to write really well.

If you want to write a better blog, you need to put yourself out there. And here’s the thing – not everyone will love it. Not everyone will agree with you. Sometimes people will downright reject you. It hurts (oh, trust me, I know how much rejection hurts), but you learn a little bit more every single time it happens.

How will this work for you? The only way to make this work for you is to keep going. If you take every barb and criticism to heart and throw in the towel, you will never be successful. Persistence pays off.

Tools to help: The best way to gain confidence is to gather a community of writers around you for ideas and information. Check out Twitter hashtags such as #amwriting #writetips and #writerslife to find people to follow for tips and advice (I’m at @altait if you’d like to say hi #justsaying).

Immerse yourself in the stories and advice of great writers as well. Five books I’d highly recommend are:

On Writing by Stephen King,

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott,

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

The Writing Book by Kate Grenville

On Writing Well by William Zinsser (specifically aimed an non-fiction writers)

Each of these books is not only educational, but highly entertaining reading, perfectly illustrating the role of storytelling in great writing.

What’s your writing/blogging superpower?

Allison Tait is a freelance writer, children’s author and blogger. She has been a professional writer of stories in one form or another for 20+ years, and The Mapmaker Chronicles, her adventure series for children aged 9+ is out now.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week /

Hello again! How did you go with the last roundup? Change up your Instagram? Get a new plugin? I hope this week’s is just as useful.

How to Build a Small but Mighty Team for Your Blog and Business // Amy Porterfield

I love this guest post at Amy’s site – there does come a time when you need to expand, and for the mostly clueless (i.e. me) this was really useful to guide my decision.

Why Today is the Best Day to Start an Online Business // Jeff Bullas

I know it’s something that so many of you want to do – why not work from home with an online business? But I also know it’s something that so many of us put off for a hundred reasons. We’re not ready, someone else has already done it, next year when we’ve got more time, maybe… Jeff puts all that into perspective.

SEO Checklist: 74 Step Process for Mammoth Rankings // Money Journal

Very useful steps, very pretty infographic, and very handy printable PDF! All my favourites rolled into one.

With Reactions, Facebook Facebook Supercharges the Like Button with 6 Empathetic Emoji // TechCrunch

So the changes we talked about a couple of weeks ago look like they’re in the testing phase (Ireland and Spain will be the only ones who see the rollout) – instead of just liking, you’ll be able to show anger, surprise, laughter – much more of a variety than we currently have.

Conversion Rate Optimisation: Closing the Loop on Abandoned Baskets // LCN

Wow, this was so comprehensive. I pinned it for later this year when I’m going to be dabbling in selling products.

Banish the Guilt About Making Money // Michael Hyatt

I know this is a big deal for a lot of people who earn an income online – you can come up against tough resistance, and even your own insecurities. Michael says: “Today we’re talking about why you should never feel conflicted about doing it for the money,” and I love it. Great podcast.

How to Create and Promote a Blog Post “Perfectly” Every Time // Chris Ducker

Oh-so-handy visual guide – is there something you’re missing? It’s so good seeing it laid out like this.

How to Train Your Subscribers to Open Your Email Every Time You Send // Pat Flynn

Could you imagine?? How good would that be. Loooove that tip about the Amazon book content pages.

How to Optimize Landing Pages to Boost Social Media Conversions // Social Media Examiner

It’s not all email-driven! Catch the folk who come through from social.

Intelligent Social Medial Analytics for the New Age // The Next Web

I’ve got a lot of homework to do, I’d never heard of any of these…

What’s your tip for this week?

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.