Friday, 30 August 2013

Growing Your Social Media Following – Tumblr, Google Plus, Twitter and Pinterest Update

It’s been a while since I posted on this blog, last time I posted about social media I promised to post about how to grow a following on Tumblr, Twitter as well as Google plus so I am going to post about that today as well a little info about how I am doing on Pinterest. I have been very busy these past few months and have seen very good results for my main fitness blog since I started focusing on social media marketing. So let’s get this started, I am going to be catching you up to what I have been doing these past few months, what has been working and what I am going to do to improve my following.

How to grow Tumblr followers and views

growing tumblr followers
click to enlarge

So the last time I posted about Tumblr my Tumblr blog was doing really well in terms of traffic, everything was on the up and up but soon after that the traffic went down again. I can only explain this by saying that maybe certain tags were bringing in traffic but since tumblr is constantly updated others started getting traffic for those same tags.
tumblr traffic stats
click to enlarge and see traffic stats
-          Tumblr blogs often do not rank very high on search engine results unless you are looking at the image results which are a totally different story. Tumblr ranks highly for the names of famous social media personalities and celebs, but usually when Tumblr is ranking on the search engines it’s a tag that’s ranking so the person with the most recently updated Tumblr or most shared/reblogged post for that tag which could be a particular celebs or social media personalities name gets the most traffic at that point until someone else is on the front page on that tag. This is why my traffic did not stay high for a long time because I was on the first page for a certain tag than my post was replaced by newer and more reblogged posts on the front page for that particular tag.

-          A good way to track which terms are bringing you the most traffic is to simply have a Google Analytics account for your Tumblr, insert the analytics code in your Tumblr. When you know which tag brings you the most traffic, you simply include that tag by posting more pics relevant to that tag so that your posts are always on the first page of that tag.

-          The reason normal image Tumblr posts do not often rank well in non-image searches is because there are no words in posts, people simply post images or images with quotes but the thing is Google can’t rank and image without knowing what the image is about. So what I usually do is to write a few relevant words under the posts to make sure it’s easier to rank my posts, even if it’s a picture quote I still write down the quote under the picture as a caption so that I may rank for that quote in the search results or so that my posts show up when people search for different things related to that particular quote.

-          If I post a video, I also write down a short description so that it ranks better both on Tumblr and in Google, for the same reason I wrote above for the images.

-          I also put many relevant tags or different variations of the keyword I am trying to rank the image, written post or video for.

-          I post different types of media like written quotes, old images with inspirational quotes or if you have great photoshop skills like you can create signature posts that everyone knows are from your blog through branding, so it’s a good idea to have your own style of blogging don’t just copy what others are doing.

-          You can post original images instead of always reblogging and then insert a link to your tumblr on the image so that people click back to your tumblr for some reason many people like clicking on images.

-          Don’t keep asking people to follow you that’s annoying. Just follow many blogs like yours and they often follow back, to make sure they notice you just like their posts, reblog some of them and also send them a message about something you noticed about them or their blog.

-          I have been posting 3 times a day queued to get posted throughout the day between 12pm and 12 am. So I post 3 times within a 12 hour window. Using this method my tumblr is growing at 10 – 15 followers a day, so my followers have been growing by between 300-400 a month. Now these are not impressive numbers buts its growth.

-          Oh and I almost forgot, there are many themes on tumblr try to play around with the code a little and personalize your theme. I took a simple and popular theme on tumblr and personalized it with my own colours and changed the background image to a plain white. Your blog needs to be unique so that people remember it and hopefully follow.

personalized tumblr theme
click to see personalized theme

Posting more often is said to grow your tumblr even faster because your posts will always be on the front of peoples dashboards giving them a better chance of being seen therefore a better chance for reblogs and likes, also if you are tagging properly posting more often will get you see in more places if you are using a variety of related tags. I have been posting 3 times per day and many times I queue posts weeks ahead so it’s pretty difficult to find relevant pictures and quotes that meet my standard that I can post more often than 3 times a day and schedule weeks ahead (I would have to schedule 100’s of posts and find 100’s of quotes which is a lot of work). People doing this have seen faster follower gains and more traffic than I am seeing only posting 3 times a day. So try to post like 10 times a day but queue the posts so you don’t spam people, you don’t want all your posts showing up at once in peoples dashboards.

Even though my Tumblr daily Traffic has dropped from my Jan Stats, however the time on site has improved and the pages per visit has increased meaning I have more pageviews  per visit than before and my daily followers have improved slightly. Also I am getting more regular asks than before which is good because the questions I answer are free content and they give me post ideas for my written blog which bring in good traffic. My Tumblr is Killin' It in Da Gym/ check it out, drop me a message if you like those are always welcome. Also as you can see from the title of my Tumblr I am a fitblr so choose a niche you like and blog about that, blogging about everything under the sun makes it difficult to gain followers unless you are a pretty girl, a YouTube celeb or a skinny pretty boy with a cool hairstyle with lots of fan girls.

How to grow twitter followers for free

growing twitter followers
click to enlarge

I am not twitter famous but I have figured out a way to get twitter followers who are interested in the same things I am interested in and are more likely to retweet and click on links that I share. In growing my twitter following I also wanted to connect with people I could actually form friendships with; I did not want to follow celebrities or celebrity wannabe’s. So at some point I was gaining like a hundred followers a day till I reached a follow limit when I had followed more than 2000 people. I will tell you how I was getting a 100 followers per day and the reason why I stopped this approach.

I would follow the hash tag #followforfollow or #followback or some variation of this and I would follow every one of those people. Then I would follow guys who are twitter promoters and get on follow trains basically following everyone who retweeted a certain tweet about people who follow back.  I got lots of followers this way but they were not good followers, because they were just kids wishing to be twitter famous, the problem with people obsessed with being twitter famous is that they copy others tweets, or they tweet crap and they unfollow people as soon as they have many followers making it seem like they are twitter famous when all they did was lie and say they were #followback.

My thoughts back when I was following all these people was that fitness is for everyone “who doesn’t want to get fit?” I thought. I was wrong I soon used to find those who unfollowed me or who were not following me back after a while to unfollow all of those bastards.

My next tactic since I was into fitness was to use fitness hashtags to find relevant people to follow. I did that successfully using tags like #fitnessfollow, and #fitfam and #beastmode and various variations of those tags to follow different people interested in fitness. I was just following people because they were into fitness and many of them followed back and it was great but many did not follow back and here's why... Those #fitfam members with alot of followers already stop following back after a while so they get a twitter famous mentality and some start off following back but as soon as they reach like 2000 followers they unfollow people and adopt the loser twitter famous mentality. I did the same to those fitfam fame seeking bastards that I did to the #followback liars I unfollowed their asses. There is a lot of talk about how great the #fitfam is but I have found that only a few are genuine and willing to have real interaction others are there merely to get attention by showing off their bodies and getting attention and compliments.

What I learned from the above experience was to check the persons follow to followback ratio before you follow them if they have too many followers and they are only following back a few, do not follow that person.

To get better followers follow those who follow people who follow you with the same interests. Follow new people who like the same things you do and tweet them whenever you see a tweet you can reply to, retweet tweets you like and favourite tweets from others it gets them to notice you and you can build a twitter relationship from there.

Another tip is to follow famous twitter accounts that are not personal such as accounts like she want the D or a gym motivation twitter accounts in the fitness niche then follow most people who are following them people they are more likely to be people just like you but make sure to check the things I pointed out above to make sure they are not bastards like the rest of the twitter famous wannabe’s.

If you liked my twitter advice make sure you tweet this post and tweet something to me @ZuLuMuScLE I would like to get to know more people.

How grow Google plus followers and get more traffic to your blog from Google plus

growing google plus followers and getting traffic from google plus
click to enlarge 

Google plus has become my favourite social network this year, I did not understand it much last year but I have grown to love it. I have made a lot of new friends there who I interact with on a regular bases and a lot of people and bloggers have come to know my fitness blog because of G+. I have had people pitch ideas at me and I have gotten guest posting opportunities to other blog and to my blog through Google plus. It’s a great place for both professional and social relationships.

It is very easy to get more followers for Google plus, all you have to do is find communities on Google plus that are in line with your interests and in my case that is fitness communities. In those fitness communities you will find thousands of people so in order to get them to add you to their circles you have to be a contributor to those communities by posting there regularly, now I am not just talking about posting your own stuff I mean engaging with people there asking questions, answering question, posting helpful link and pictures quotes and relevant videos.

Then as soon as you are a regular and people in those communities recognize you because of your daily helpful posts you will get some who add you to their circle, you can be a good person and add them back (remember you are no celeb), and for others you will need to make the first move and add them and most of them will add you back.

Also just to make sure the chance of them adding you back is high check they circles to see if they are followed by more people than they follow back, if they have less people in their circles than they are in other people’s circles it is unlikely they will follow you back unless you share really good content. Follow as many people as possible and post to your goggle plus daily.

Getting more traffic from Google plus

To get many views to your blog posts just share your posts on all relevant communities when you write them and add a description of what you talk about in the post and why you wrote it, it’s a community so you have to encourage discussion not just drop a link there. Make sure you engage with the community not just drop a link every time you post because your post won’t get many views then. You have to form relationships with people in the Google plus communities so they want to share your stuff because you are their friend and provide helpful information.

Post regularly in communities by sharing all kinds of stuff not just your blog posts; share other google plus users posts as well so that they can share your stuff with their followers if they like it. I always find that I have very few people in common with my followers so if they share my posts to their circle another set of eyes views my post.

Sharing on many related communities will get you traffic and it will give you 1+’s which will make sure your post ranks highly in search engines especially in the results of people in your circles and their circles if they 1+’d your post. SO there are so many benefits to using Google plus and following many people, joining all relevant communities and sharing your posts and other people posts on these communities and forming relationships which all helps you grow your following and 1 pluses and traffic.

Growing Pinterest followers and traffic from Pinterest

growing pinterest followers and getting pinterest traffic
click to enlarge

I do not have many followers on Pinterest but they are growing slowly and they are are starting to share my pins more regularly. I am going to post a few observations I made while using Pinterest.

Just like the other social networks you have to find a relevant nice to post to and then you have to follow tags in that niche to find people to follow so I would search for gym motivation in Pinterest and find people sharing gym motivation then like their post and repin a few of their pins then I would follow all their fitness related pins, I have found that most people follow back on Pinterest. The only people who don’t follow back are the 100 automatically followed pinners I followed when I first got Pinterest. From the people that I purposefully followed I would say more than 90% have followed back and were it not for my limited time I would put more time into Pinterest and find more like minded people on Pinterest.

I have found that pinning images regularly throughout the day gets me a lot of repins and likes and has increased clicks to my fitness blog even though I post pictures mostly from my Tumblr dashboard from other blogs.

You should add a pin button to your bookmarks bar so that whichever site you are on you can pin images whether or not that site has pin buttons. When you pin posts that have been pinned by others, it usually shows others who have pinned that picture so it’s a good idea to follow those people.

Make sure you don’t put everything together so have different pin boards for different categories for example since I am a fitness blogger I have boards dedicated to female fitness, gym motivation, ripped celebs, bodyweight training, abs workouts etc. Another good idea is to have a cool image as the cover for each board. Income diary wrote some good posts on getting pinterest traffic and having personalised pin board covers with written titles

So that is it for now, as I learn more I will share more on this blog. It’s pretty difficult to be on so many different social networks at the same time and be able to grow your following and traffic from each of them that’s why each month I focus my attention on two social networks more than the others that is Google Plus and Tumblr (recently) as they give me some good traffic which sticks around on my blog for longer. I am sure with more work Pinterest can be a gold mine just as was revealed in the income diary post I shared above. I do not blog regularly on this blog but that is I have not had time between school and my fitness blog, gym and social media marketing. What I can tell you is since I have started focussing on G+ and Tumblr my fitness blog traffic has grown from like 150-200 visitors a day to 750-1000 visitors a day, now that traffic is not the best in the world but it’s a big growth in traffic, also note that those are just visitors so the page views are even more than that.

Thanks for reading this far, this was a long post (over 3000 words), please share this post if you liked it and add me to your google plus circles and say hi.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Time Flies Whether You Use It or You Don't

I used to think I had my life all figured out, I thought I knew what I wanted but I was wrong. I always say I have time, I am still young but I know I won’t be young forever. I have always wanted to find some sort of direction, some calling, something for me to chase after and to be passionate about but the only thing I am passionate about at this moment is fitness but what else? I feel there should be something bigger out there that I have to be chasing. I feel I’m capable of achieving whatever I want but the problem is that I don’t know what I want, I guess you could say I am sort of lost.
does time exist?
How do you view the concept of time?

In the mean time while I try to find myself I have to study so that I have a secure future, because life is horrible to people without money and education is the easiest and safest way to make money, even though education does not guarantee employment, it increases chances of employment. I have no passion for what I am studying that is the problem because I am not sure if it’s what I want but I can’t just sit around and do nothing.  

What I do know is that I want to be my own boss some day, and I want to live a free, comfortable life. I always hated the idea of following orders without question and always relying on someone else for anything. I am a loner, I am dependent only on myself, and I hate owing people so I will try by all means to make sure I do not owe anybody. Sure sometimes it’s good to let others in and accept help when you need it but it’s not in my nature to ask for help/assistance. Heck there have been times in the past couple years when I should have asked for help and I did not, and I suffered because of it.
making the most of your time
Do you take advantage of the time you have each day?

I want to start using my time effectively, learn to trust other people and accept and ask for help if there is a need for it. Time really flies; I don’t want to be 30 and have kids without having ever achieved anything or followed my dreams. I don’t want to regret not doing things; I would rather make mistakes and learn from them, than be too cautious and not go anywhere. I feel like I was in High School just yesterday yet it’s been like 4 years, I guess the next thing I will be 30 and feel like 21 was just yesterday as well. Getting older happens without you noticing, it flies by through the good and the bad times, through your failures and successes, the best thing to do is not waste too much time and pursue what you want, even taking the long way around if you know how it’s connected to your ultimate goal. But before you can do all that chasing you have to know what you are chasing after and why...

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

You Should Buy a Domain Name for Your Blogspot Blog (ironic isn't it?)

you should buy a domain name for a blogspot blog
you should buy a domain name for your blogspot blog

I have had my main blog now zulumuscle for just under 17 months, I have seen the traffic grow, because of my efforts such as writing regularly and writing articles elsewhere for link building, commenting on other blogs, submitting articles to article directories and submitting every articles to bookmarking sites. For those same reasons I have seen my blog lose most of its traffic. It has been a journey building, having my house damaged and rebuilding for the past 17 months, I have survived google update after google update, and now it seems my blog is coming out even stronger than before. The first 16 months of my blogs existence it had a after the blog name so that affected it in many ways which I shall discuss below. domain names suck

Hosting a blog on blogger is affordable well because its free and it is reliable so you know that your site is always available. Just because you are hosting your blog on blogger does not mean you have to have a free domain name that ends with www.blogname.blogspot .com, for 10$ a year you can have a domain name yet many people fail to buy one. I was one of those people but I always wanted to buy a domain name it’s just that I did not know how I was going to buy it as no one in my household has a credit card (we are against credit cards because you are spending money you don’t have), I tried 4 months in to buy a domain name with my debit card but the bank I was in said the card I had even though it was a visa was unable to purchase things online, I could get paypal because putting money into paypal or receiving money from paypal, heck verifying paypal in my country without having a credit card is a pain in the ass. So you get why I did not purchase a domain name earlier? That was ofcourse until a month or so ago when I found this local website which sold domain name where I was able to pay for my domain name with a local bank card (debit card); I was over the moon and purchased the domain name immediately.

Country specific urls suck

Now let me get back to telling you why free domain suck before I can tell you how me buying a domain name is connected to this whole thing. See early last year blogger made it so if you were using their free domain name, visitors from different countries will see/visit different urls. Those from UK would see , Canadians would see and a few other countries would see country specific urls. What this meant was it was like you had many sites with the same content and different urls. This sucked on many levels as this meant you would now have to rank different urls for different countries, this would affect your traffic and your pagerank. I for one saw this effect my blog was growing in traffic for a while before the changes it had a page rank of 3 at one point then the different country specific urls were activated and I started seeing a decrease in visits and my page rank dropped down to 1 for the url, I did not bother checking the rest as they gave me insignificant traffic except for 

I started noticing that my traffic became one sided, by this I mean before the country specific urls I was seeing growing traffic from all countries afterwards other countries disappeared and my traffic became mainly us, ca and uk.  Brasil, germany, Poland, spain etc. who seemed to be growing before dropped off the map. I tried different things, still posted regularly but traffic did not seem to be directly proportional to the work I put in like before. I got my traffic back to the level where it was before at around 800-950 page views per day but I had a hard time growing it past that point. These multiple urls certainly were not helping if I wanted to improve global numbers, my link building was always directed at my url and not the other country specific ones no wonder my us traffic was growing to replace the traffic I once had from other countries.

Have you ever seen a blogspot domain being number one in the search engine for a competitive keyword? I haven’t and on the rare occasion that it is, that’s usually right after google does one of its updates and shakes up search engines and it’s usually a spam blog probably created for linking purposes with garbage in it. People do not take a blog serious; they do not click ads as much as they would in a private domain because they do not trust blogspot domains becuse of the bad reputation that spammers give blogspot domains. Many blogspot domains are run as casual blog sorta like this one so no one really takes them serious. It is hard to build an authority blog on a blogspot domain name. There are some really popular blog with blogspot domain names but it’s much easier especially now with these country specific urls to just buy a domain name. There are many of us with well kept, regularly updated blogspot blogs who would be more successful had we used a private domain name which brings me back to me buying a domain name. So this month I got a private domain name and was expecting to lose some traffic first but I have been surprised by the results.

What has been happening in my first month with a private domain name?

Well for the first few days, traffic went down because the blog was still in transition, redirecting and whatever goes on behind the scenes when you buy a domain name after more than a year using a free domain name. I had nothing to lose since my page rank was so low and I had read that I would not lose traffic as it would all be redirected to the new address. After the redirection my traffic was back to normal, but what happened next surprised me, I started getting traffic from terms I was not ranking for before, I also saw a rise in traffic on a few day it was double of my normal traffic. This month is not over yet I am just talking about these past 20 days. I have started doing some linking work to make sure I rank my new web address well, because it was not possible before with the free domain name. I also suspect people share content more when it is a dot com then when it’s a blogspot dot com. I have began to see increased sharing of my posts as well but that could be because of my increased activity in social media, which I shall write about soon just to let you know how I have grown my following on several different social media sites. The traffic this month is right now equal to the most traffic I have ever gotten in one month, even though I had a couple of days with just around 25% of the usual visits because of the transition and I have only published for articles this month which is less than usual. I cannot wait to see what happens next.

I have always noticed that other blogs in my niche did not post regularly, they posted about 4 times per month and had 8 times my traffic, with what I have seen so far it’s evident that the domain name plays some part in that not only content because I have some good content and case studies, and list posts. I used to post  a lot in the past with more than 12 posts per month but I slowed down to about 8 per month for a while but my intention was always to post less but longer posts and focus more on marketing because what’s the use of having great content if no one ever gets to see it.

The next post will be about How I have been growing my social media following so be sure to come back for that soon.

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