The Advantages of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Picture the scene: Your business or blog is growing, and you’re busier than you’ve ever been. You could use an extra pair of hands to help with some of those annoying administrative tasks that are piling up by the hour, so someone suggested you hire a virtual assistant. But you have no idea what the heck a virtual assistant is, nor understand how they can help you.

Does this sounds like you? Yes? Well don’t panic! Today I’m going to explain in detail just what a virtual assistant is, and provide you with some pointers on the sorts of tasks you can outsource to them. So, are you ready? Then let’s go!

The Advantages of Hiring a Virtual Assistant


A virtual assistant (often abbreviated to VA), is generally a self-employed professional like Vanessa from Fortitude & Grace, who focuses on administrative tasks similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary, but from the comfort of their own home.


Still unsure whether hiring a virtual assistant is right for you? Let me talk you through some of its advantages …

It saves on hiring a full time employee
A key advantage to using a virtual assistant for your business is that you will save a lot of money in the long-run. By working with a virtual assistant you will save on the expense of hiring a full or part time employee. This includes the amount of time and money spent on interviewing and training a new employee, and there’s no sick pay or maternity leave to worry about either! And, as independent contractors, virtual assistants are also responsible for doing their own bookkeeping and taxes, which is another thing to take off your plate!

It saves on office space
Since a virtual assistant works from home, you don’t need to worry about accommodating them in your office. This helps you save on unwanted expenses such as having to buy a new desk and computer. This is especially great if you work from home yourself, as it means you can still work remotely, but at the same time you can get the extra help that you need.

You only pay for the time spent on projects
This is probably the biggie for most small businesses and independent bloggers who are looking for a little bit of administrative help – you only need to pay your virtual assistant for the time they spend working on each project for you! When you hire full or part time employees, you have to pay them for each hour they spend at the office, whether they’re actually doing any work or not. And they’re entitled to a paid break too. Therefore it makes much more sense to hire a VA and save yourself some money.


So, now you have a clear understand of what a virtual assistant actually does, it’s time to get down to business and talk about what sorts of tasks you can ask to them to do on your behalf …

Administrative Services
Let’s face it, most businesses need a good admin assistant, no matter how big or small they are. A virtual assistant can handle all types of administrative services, including screening or replying to messages, voicemail and e-mails, booking and confirming appointments, sending thank you cards to clients and much, much more.

Customer Services
For a busy entrepreneur, customer service is a great task to outsource to a virtual assistant. You can forward your calls to them, and they instantly become your virtual call centre! Companies such as RingCentral make this super easy for small businesses. And in addition to this, the virtual assistant can handle any follow-up calls if need be.

Social Media Management
For many businesses, managing their social media accounts can be a headache they really don’t need. It tends to be really time consuming, and they would rather be able to spend that time on other revenue-generating tasks. But, because social media has become part of every day life over the last few years, they know it’s really important to keep on top of it. A virtual assistant can plan and schedule your social media marketing on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any others that you use. A recent survey showed that most businesses spend between 5 and 20 hours per week on social media. Time that could be better spent elsewhere!

A virtual assistant is great to use when you’re looking for help with marketing. This would include tasks like assisting with the launch of any current marketing campaigns and tracking their success, writing and sending out e-mail campaigns and even promoting any blogs you may have.


So, by now you should have a feel for what a virtual assistant is, and the advantages of using one. And you might even be wondering how you’d go about finding one?

Well, firstly I have a personal recommendation for you guys. The lovely Vanessa over at Fortitude & Grace is a virtual assistant with almost a decade of experience as a Clinical Assistant and in clerical roles across the healthcare field. She is confident, honest and reliable, and is able to manage multiple assignments at once.

Vanessa offers a wide range of services, including medical, administrative/clerical, social and personal ones. She helps to simplify your life, giving you the freedom to work on more important projects, spend quality time with family, or even play a round of golf with friends. All the time knowing that your business is in safe hands.

Secondly, if Vanessa doesn’t offer the service you’re after (although I’d still drop her an e-mail anyway as you never know what other hidden talents she has), or if you’re looking for someone just that little closer to home then don’t be afraid to do a search on Google. There is certainly no shortage of virtual assistants out there, so you should be able to find one that is perfect for you and your business.

And there you have it: the advantages of hiring a virtual assistant for your blog or small business. I hope you guys found this post useful, but if you have any questions about anything I’ve spoken about then please leave me a message in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. I’d also love to hear from you if you’ve used a virtual assistant before – why not come and share your experiences with us?

Don’t forget that you can also sign up to my newsletter to stay up to date with all my latest blogging and social media tips. You’ll also get my ‘Ultimate HTML Cheat Sheet for Bloggers’ absolutely free. What are you waiting for?!

Thanks for reading guys.

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10 Bloggers to Follow on Pinterest

I love Pinterest, and I’m betting that the majority of you guys who read my blog do too. And I think the secret to a great Pinterest experience is mostly down to the people you follow. You know, Pinners who only Pin really relevant, high-quality stuff.

You see, up until early 2015 when someone logged into their Pinterest account and viewed their ‘feed’ (homepage) they would simply see the most recent Pins from everyone they were following. And what this meant was that if you Pinned often, your stuff would get seen often. And the more people who followed you, the more people would see it. These people might repin it, and then more people would see it again. And so on.

But what this also meant was that it was super easy for people to abuse this system and spam or flood a users feed – and this obviously doesn’t make for a good experience for the Pinner. So Pinterest decided to tackle the situation head-on and introduced something called the ‘Smart Feed’, which basically means that the focus has now shifted away from Pinning as much as you possibly can as often as you can, to Pinning a much lower number of high-quality Pins.

And according to Pinterest’s blog, the ‘best pins’ are high-quality images that are clear and relevant; have minimal text and no borders; and include great, helpful Pin descriptions.

And as this applies to both the content you’re Pinning directly from your blog or website and the content you’re repinning on Pinterest, I thought I’d share a list of 10 awesome bloggers I personally enjoy following on there. In my opinion, every single one of them rock the social network like a pro, and you won’t go far wrong if you follow them and repin their content too.

10 Bloggers to Follow on Pinterest

You’ll notice that I’ve included two links per blogger. The first link will take you to their Pinterest account, and the second will take you over to their blog. I hope you guys enjoy the post and find lots of lovely new Pinners to follow. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin …

Miss Makeup Magpie Pinterest


Gemma describes herself as a metaphorical magpie addicted to shopping. Her Pinterest boards are chock-full of gorgeous images from a whole array of topics, such as fashion, beauty, hair, home decor and much more. To date, Gemma has over 964,000 followers on Pinterest and it’s not hard to see why. If you’re not already one of them then I highly recommend you go and check her out!

And if you fancy taking a look at Gemma’s blog as well, you can find her over at Miss Makeup Magpie.

Jen TheNextMartha Pinterest


Jen from The Martha Project is someone who takes Pinterest very seriously. She’s been a fan of the site from the very beginning when signing up was by invite only! All of Jen’s 89 boards appeal to me, and I often find myself disappearing in to food heaven when I visit to see what she’s been Pinning of late. Other things you’ll notice about Jen is that her boards are all grouped into similar topics, and the covers all have the same sort of ‘feel’ to them. I get the feeling she’s one very organised lady!

As well as Pinning on Pinterest, you can also find Jen over at The Martha Project.

I Heart Arts & Crafts Pinterest


Jackie is a Pinner who I haven’t been following for long, but she’s fast become one of my favourites! Jackie mainly Pins what I would consider to be some of the best craft activities for kids (I’m allowed to say that, right?) but she also shares some of the most amazing home organization hacks as well. Anyone who knows me will know that I tend to get a little overwhelmed with clutter at home when I’m busy with work, and thankfully her Pins have been lifesavers since I discovered her profile earlier this month!

To find out more about Jackie head on over to her blog, I Heart Arts n Crafts.

Sprinkle of Glitter Pinterest


I’m sure you guys will be no stranger to the lovely Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter, but I wanted to include her in this list of amazing Pinners anyway because I absolutely love her account. It’s literally bursting with thousands of pretty Pins. If you love Pins on Disney, fabulous quotes and party ideas, to name just a few then you’ll absolutely love Louise’s account. She Pins some really gorgeous images and I love that her boards all have the word ‘Glitter’ in them.

When she’s not busy Pinning, you can find Louise over at Sprinkle of Glitter.

Flutter and Sparkle Pinterest


Gemma is a London based beauty blogger and describes herself as having a full on fixation for makeup, nail polish and anything with sparkles! Her Pinterest account shows this fantastically and I often finding myself lusting after all the gorgeous beauty products she Pins. As well as beauty, Gemma Pins lots of delicious looking food, drinks, travel and home decor posts.

Like what you see? You can find more of Gemma over at Flutter and Sparkle.

Raspberry Kiss Pinterest


Shannon is a super popular blogger and Pinner from County Durham. She currently has 131 Pinterest boards packed to the rafters with fantastic content. Here you will find loads of awesome seasonal boards (my favourite currently being Valentine’s Day), makeup inspiration and even boards dedicated to Britain and The Royals! I love how much of a mixed bag this is, and think that you guys will love it too.

To find out more about Shannon, visit her at Raspberry Kiss.

Hello October Pinterest


Suzie from Hello October is another Pinner who I only recently discovered, but I absolutely love her account! It’s jam-packed with gorgeous fashion, beauty and hair boards, and I love that she also has a board for her personal Instagram snaps. This is something I’d never thought of doing before. I love Suzie’s style and can see me re-pinning from her boards for a long time to come!

Want to see more? You can find Suzie at Hello October.

Wonder Forest Pinterest


I’ve been following Dana’s blog ‘The Wonder Forest’ pretty much the whole time I’ve been blogging myself, and she’s such an inspiration to so many people. Her Pinterest account is full of gorgeous images from a wide range of topics such as DIY, makeup and nails, fabulous quotes and even blogging advice. You can also check out the awesome range of phone cases on there that she designs for Casetify!

You can find Dana’s blog by clicking The Wonder Forest!

DizzyBrunette3 Pinterest


Corrie is a UK blogger and YouTuber who I discovered on Pinterest late last year. I absolutely love her style, and her boards are all right up my street! On Corrie’s page you’ll find a little bit of everything from fashion and beauty to travel, fitness and wedding inspiration. Why not head on over and take a look?

You can also find Corrie at DizzyBrunette3.

Dungarees & Donuts Pinterest


And last but certainly not least we have the lovely Olivia from Dungarees & Donuts. Olivia is another beauty blogger from the UK (you can see I’m running with a bit of a theme here – sorry guys), but her style is quite different to a lot of the other ladies I’ve talked about today. Her fashion boards are a lot edgier, her makeup boards a lot more daring, and I like that she has some really different boards too – like one on Mental Health and one dedicated to tattoos. I definitely recommend checking them out.

Find more of Olivia over at Dungarees & Donuts.

So there you have it – 10 bloggers I think everyone should follow on Pinterest! What do you guys think? Were you following any of them before or is this the first time you’ve come across them? As always I would love to hear from you so make sure you let me know in the comments below!


While I’m talking about Pinterest and before I sign off for another week, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve recently completed writing my very first e-course, which is due to go live on Sunday 31st January!

Pinterest Superstars is a 25 day e-course  for bloggers and small businesses that teaches you step-by-step how to set up your Pinterest account, boards and Pins to grow your followers and blog traffic like crazy. And as well as loads of other awesome stuff I also share my top tips for creating a super 1-hour weekly Pinning Plan that really works! The course is delivered in manageable chunks to your e-mail inbox at the same time every day, and I’ve also created a special Facebook group exclusively for my ‘students’, so if you sign-up and get stuck at any point you can just yelp for help!

The course is priced at £80 (plus VAT), and I also offer a 7 day money back guarantee for anyone who isn’t entirely satisfied with their purchase.

And for just 10 days only you can get your hands on the course at a special ‘Presale Introductory Price’ of just £40 (plus VAT)! Plus you’ll also be sent a ‘How to make money on Pinterest’ guide at the end of the 25 days as well. So, if you fancy signing up for this great offer then click here to be taken to the Presale page. Your card won’t be charged until the course goes live.

Don’t forget that you can also sign up to my newsletter to stay up to date with all my latest blogging and social media tips. You’ll also get my ‘Ultimate HTML Cheat Sheet for Bloggers’ absolutely free. What are you waiting for?!

Thanks for reading guys.

The Ultimate Guide to Successful Guest Posting

Guest posting can be a bit of a taboo subject here in the wonderful world of blogging, with many people insisting that you really shouldn’t be doing it. But in my opinion, when done correctly, guest posting can be really beneficial for establishing your online presence and opening up your content to a whole new audience.

So for this weeks post I thought I’d share my top 14 tips on how to successfully guest post for another blog or website, leaving their readers wanting to see more and the guest posting site wanting you to write for them again. I hope you guys will find it useful.

The Ultimate Guide to Successful Guest Posting


When hunting for blogs or websites to guest post on, try to make sure that they have the same niche as your blog. That way, you will be targeting an audience who are already interested in the subject you’re writing about, and there will be a much higher chance of them clicking on any links back to your site that are included within the article.


Before pitching your guest post idea to the owner of your chosen website, make sure you check that they do actually offer guest posting opportunities. Many sites these days won’t accept posts from external sources and you don’t want to waste their time (or your own) by e-mailing them if they’ve already stated on one of their pages that they don’t. I also recommend aiming high and trying to get published on a well established blog with a large following rather than one that is maybe only a few months old with a handful of readers.


Typically, when you’re guest posting for another blog or website, they will be happy for you to include links back to 1 or 2 relevant posts on your own blog. However, I would always urge you to ask just how many you can have before making a start on the post as there can then be no arguments over the amount you’ve included afterwards. I’d also recommend linking back to a couple of posts that the host blogger has written in the past that have something to do with the subject you’re writing about, as well as a similar article from an external site.


When you’re writing your guest post it’s important that it’s completely unique from start to finish. Publishing duplicate content will not only give you a bad name, but can also be extremely damaging for the host site. 


Although it’s super important to be yourself when guest posting on another blog, it’s a good idea to try and adjust the style of your writing and the tone of your voice slightly to fit in with how the host blogger would usually write. This will ensure that their readers stick around to read your article as it will be written in a way they are used to. Also avoid using any bad language when writing a guest post, as many bloggers steer clear of this on their blogs and you don’t want to end up offending anyone.


When writing a guest post you want to make sure that you give the people who are going to be reading the post a reason to visit your blog. Maybe they’ll find great tutorials, tips, something to laugh at or a great new recipe. Make sure you link to one of these articles and not just your homepage. This will help establish your credibility and help new readers identify with you.


As I mentioned before, guest posting is a great way to help establish your online presence, but did you know that it can be a great tool for creating valuable SEO for your blog or brand as well? Including relevant links within your post and making sure you use descriptive anchor text rather than something vague is a great way to increase traffic to your blog.

For example, you may be tempted to link the words ‘this post,’ when talking about one of your articles, but it would be much better to use something more descriptive such as ‘20 Places to Promote Your Latest Blog Post‘ as it not only tells the reader exactly what the post is about, but it also helps with your Google ranking.


I was looking back through some of my old posts the other day and I noticed a lot of silly little mistakes in them, despite me proof-reading each one a couple of times before hitting the publish button. I guess this isn’t too bad when it’s on your own blog though as you can easily change any errors you spot as and when you see them. When you’re guest posting for someone else however, you need to try and get it right first time or it could be really off-putting for their readers and they won’t click through to your blog to find out more about you.

Proof-read your article over and over again to check that everything is correct before sending it over to the host blogger. You could even ask one of your blogging friends to give it the once over as well just to be on the safe side. They may spot something that needs correcting that you missed. And don’t forget that posts should be over 300 words long and include at least one high quality image.


Now, of all the things I’ve mentioned in this post this is probably the one that will earn you the most brownie points should you use it! Once you’ve written and proof-read your article several times, you’ll want to send it over to the blogger who is posting it on their site. Instead of copying and pasting the text into a Microsoft Word document, copy and paste the HTML section instead.

Not only does this prevent copying and pasting a word document from messing up the coding on the guest posting site, but it also ensures that your post is laid out exactly as you intended it to be, and that any specific types of text and <h> tags you used will will be the right ones when published. I can’t tell you how many times people have sent me things in Microsoft Word that have then taken me hours on end to transfer into a new blog post. It can be an absolute nightmare! Trust me when I say that giving the blogger who is publishing your post a helping hand by doing this will ensure they think of you for future guest posting opportunities.


If you know what date your guest post is due to go live, then try to publish a shiny new post for your own blog on the same day. This ensures that any lovely new readers who click through to take a look are seeing up to date content instead of something which is a month or so old or isn’t as great as the guest post you wrote. First impressions count, so make it a good one!


Be proud of what you’ve written and don’t be afraid to share it on your social pages! By tweeting, pinning and sharing the link on Facebook, you’re encouraging others to visit the site and check out your work. This gives you some real credibility on the guest posting site and you never know, it may lead to the blogger giving you some extra shout outs on their own pages. And that can’t be a bad thing, can it?


Once the post has gone live, don’t forget about it! Check back throughout the next few days to see if anyone has left any comments or questions, and reply to as many as you can. This is a great way of connecting with your potential new audience and an indirect way of thanking the your host for publishing your post.

Which brings me nicely to my next point …


Once your guest post has been published drop your host an e-mail to thank them. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t do this, which is a bit disappointing when the host blogger has done them such a massive favour by publishing their article. 


And last but certainly not least, if you’ve promised to write a guest post for someone then make sure you follow through with it! The blogger you’re writing for may have left a slot open on a specific day just for you, and if you let them down then they’ll have nothing to fill it with. If you feel you can’t get something written up by the deadline they’ve given you then tell them as soon as possible so you can work something out that is suitable for both of you.

I’d love to hear if you guys have any additional tips for writing a great guest post? And do you have any blogs you’d recommend guest posting on? As always I’d love to hear from you so make sure you let me know in the comments below.

And if you enjoyed this post then why not sign up to my newsletter to stay up to date with all my latest blogging and social media tips. You’ll be sent my ‘Ultimate HTML Cheat Sheet for Bloggers’ absolutely free of charge if you do.

32 Types of Content to Share on Social Media

If you’re a blogger or small business owner you’ll probably feel under pressure to update your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds with new content on a regular basis. But once you’ve promoted your latest blog post or told your audience about that must-have product you’ve created, it can be pretty hard to think of something else to post about.

For today’s post I thought I’d help you guys out a little bit and talk you through 32 types of content you can share on social media without worrying that you’re spamming your followers with the same old thing day in and day out. And don’t forget that some platforms are much more fast paced than others (I’m looking at you Twitter), so if you wanted to share the same piece of content in different formats – like text, image or an infographic – then go ahead and do it! It will give your followers a much better chance of seeing it in the long run.

32 Types of Content to Share on Social Media


Obviously this one speaks for itself – if you have a blog then promoting it on social media is a must! On Twitter you can get away with tweeting the same link to your followers several times a day, but on other networks you might prefer to share your link just once or twice so as not to alienate your audience.

And don’t forget about your older content either – especially if you think it might bring in some lovely new traffic! My friend Rebecca over at Futures recently wrote a post on her Favourite WordPress Plugins and she mentioned one called Evergreen Post Tweeter, which you can set up to automatically tweet out some of your archived content for you. It’s pretty simple to set up and all you have to do is choose which categories and tags you’re happy for it to choose from, set it to how far back you want it to choose these posts from and it basically does the rest for you. Brilliant!


Sharing quality content from other bloggers in your niche not only helps you make new friends in the blogging world, but also shows your audience that you’re not all “Me, Me, Me” and are happy to help out others as well. And if those bloggers then share something of yours in return and you get a flood of new traffic back to your site then everyone’s a winner!


Sharing content from other sources that relates to your industry or niche is a great way to show your followers that you’re genuinely interested in what you’re writing about. And let’s say you’re a hair and beauty blogger who has recently published a post on the best haircuts for Spring. If you then share a link to a similar article from a well known site (like a magazine or industry expert) it will show that you know what you’re talking about and that your followers can trust what you’re telling them.


People love to see and share inspiring or motivational quotes on social media, so make sure you’re sharing this kind of content on a regular basis. Check out Pinterest for inspiration and then share your favourites with your followers. And if you plan on pinning quotes on Pinterest yourself, then I’ll let you into a little secret … quotes get more re-pins on a Wednesday than on any other day of the week!


I always find that asking my audience a questions drastically increases engagement. As the majority of my audience is female, I very often ask questions about fashion or beauty, but you can ask them absolutely anything. People love to talk about themselves so give them the opportunity to do so!


Why not try asking your audience to answer a ‘Fill in the Blank’ style question? People love replying to these as they can usually answer in just a few short words. Some examples you could try are:

‘I’m spending New Years Eve with _______’
‘This weekend I am going to _______’
‘For dinner tonight I had _______’


I also find that people enjoy voting in polls, so I’ll often post one asking something like ‘Which post would you most like to see on Eat Sleep Blog Repeat next week?’ then give my followers 2-3 answers to choose from. I’ve never posted a poll that hasn’t gotten any engagement so I definitely recommend giving them a try if you’re wanting to create a bit of buzz about something you’re doing with your blog, or creating for your business.


If you’re on more than one social network then make sure you let your audience know! Cross promoting your profiles is super quick and easy. I usually just update my statuses with something along the lines of ‘Come see what I’ve been pinning on Pinterest this week! #socialmedia’.


I don’t know about you guys but I love to have a little snoop into other people’s lives! Why not post a couple of snaps of what you’re up to throughout the day? It could be anything from what get up to during your daily routine, some sort of insight into your creative process or even something you’re working on with a specific person or brand. The choice is yours!


Earlier this month I was invited along to The Clothes Show Live at Birmingham NEC. While I was there I shared quite a few pictures of my day with the people who follow my fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog (With love from Lou) and every single one of them got absolutely loads of comments and likes! I guess that goes to show that it’s not just me who likes to have a nosy at what other people are up to.


If you’ve created a new product to sell on your blog or through your small business then make sure you give your followers a sneak peek of what you have to offer before the big launch. Doing this makes them feel special as well as giving them something to look forward to. And you never know – if they tell their friends about it you may just gain some new followers in the process.


Don’t forget to share details of any new products you’re launching on your social pages. Or, if you have a post coming up on your ‘Top 10 Red Lipsticks’ or similar then choose one of them to highlight to your followers. It’s surprising how many people will then hunt down the rest of the post to see what else is on the list!


If a company have sent you a product to review before it’s official launch, and they haven’t asked you to keep quiet about it then I most definitely recommend sharing your initial thoughts on it with your followers. This type of content works particularly well on Instagram as people tend to be really visual and remember new products based on what they’ve seen, rather than on what they’ve read. Add a little note at the end to let them know that you’ll be posting a full review on your blog as soon as possible and the job’s a good ‘un, as they say!


I think it’s safe to say that most people like to take advantage of a discount or special offer, so if you know of any that are relevant to your blog or business then it definitely pays to share them. I’ve worked with many a great brand after they spotted me promoting their special offers on my social pages!


Giveaways are a great way of gaining a large amount of new followers in a short space of time. My Twitter timeline is always full of people re-tweeting messages to win washing machines, holiday’s abroad, pamper packages and much more. If you’ve created something to sell on your blog and can afford to give one away to a follower then I would highly recommend doing so as it’s a great way to generate interest in your products. The same goes for small businesses.


If any of your customers/readers leave you a nice comment on any of your social pages by e-mail, why not ask them if you can use them in a testimonial? A testimonial is basically a formal statement testifying to someone’s character and qualifications, so they could come in really handy if you’re trying to promote a specific post or product on social media.


Do your followers ever ask you questions like ‘What camera do you use for your blog photo’s?’ or ‘How many hours a week do you spend creating great content?’ If the answer is yes then why not answer one (or more) of them on your social pages? Doing this can really help increase engagement.


If you know your followers are looking for a solution to a specific problem then increase your popularity by providing a helpful tip or piece of advice relating to it. 


Know a great blog that your followers would just love? Then make sure you tell them about it! I always try to recommend at least one blog a month on social media and it feels so good to know I’ve done a good turn for someone. And you never know – they may return the favour and give you a shout out as well.


Create a quick ‘How To’ guide for something in your niche. You could either write it out step-by-step and post it to your Facebook page or use Canva to create an infographic to share on Twitter or Pinterest. Whichever you choose, your followers will surely thank you for it!


Been shortlisted for an award? Or even better, have you won one? Don’t forget to let your followers know! I can guarantee they’ll be absolutely over the moon for you. Just one word of advice though – if you’ve been shortlisted for an award and the next stage is a public vote then by all means ask your audience if they would like to vote for you, but don’t spam them constantly or you’ll find that people will un-follow you a lot quicker than they followed!


If something awesome has happened to your blog or business then don’t just keep it to yourself – share it with your followers. Maybe you’re re-branding, moving premises or have secured a collaboration with a massive company. No matter how big or small it is, your audience will want to know about it!


If you’re heading to or running an event then make sure you tell your fans about it. You never know, your audience could include hundreds of people who would buy a ticket and come along too.


Like I mentioned before, people love to have a nosy into the daily lives of others, so give them what they want! Snapchat is a great place to share behind-the-scenes stuff as you can upload as many or as few of your pictures as you like to your ‘story,’ then your followers can view them for the next 24 hours. And if you’re not already using Snapchat to promote your blog then I’ll be sharing some tips on how to do so in a future post.


Your followers will also love to hear any stories or anecdotes you may have about your day, week or business. By doing this you’re showing them that you’re a real person who is happy to share snippets of your day with them. Remember, the more you work on engaging with your followers the more likely they are to stick around.


I’ve never actually tried this one myself as my workspace is basically my lap and any bit of space I can find in between the massive mountains of toys we seem to have at home. However, I’m noticing more and more lately that people like to see and share pictures of work spaces and home offices. I guess I’m no different. I’m forever pinning ideas for when I finally get my own home office sorted!


Why not try captioning a funny or unusual photo from your archive? Or better still, ask your followers to caption one for you! Maybe you could tie this in with a giveaway and pick up a prize to give to the person who comes up with the wittiest caption?!


If you’ve come across an interesting fact that ties in with your niche or industry then I’m sure your followers would love to hear about it.


They say that laughter is the best medicine, so if you have a funny story to share or you’ve just heard the most hilarious joke then make sure you tell it! You might just make someone who was having a bad day smile. And that can only be a good thing, right?!


Has something awesome happened recently in your industry or niche? Again, share it with your audience! Maybe a blogger who lives in your area has made it big and has his or her face splashed all over the local papers? Snap and share. Followers absolutely love to see this sort of thing. And if you’re sharing this sort of content on Twitter then don’t forget to @mention the person you’re talking about. You might just get a cheeky little re-tweet!


Remember last week when I talked about the importance of creating a mailing list? Did you go ahead and start one? If so, you may have come up with an awesome opt-in incentive to entice your followers into signing up. Well don’t be afraid to use social media to promote this. I regularly tweet a link to mine and you’d be surprised at how many people take the bait and sign up for it!


Make your fans feel appreciated by thanking them for following you on your social networks. Hopefully it will make at least one of them smile and show that even though you’re growing as a blogger or a business you still have your feet firmly on the ground and are grateful for their continued support.

And there you have it – 32 types of content to share on social media. Have you ever tried any of them? As always I would love to hear from you.

If you enjoyed this post then why not sign up to my newsletter to stay up to date with all my latest blogging and social media tips. You’ll be sent my ‘Ultimate HTML Cheat Sheet for Bloggers’ absolutely free of charge if you do.


Getting Started With A Mailing List

In my opinion, creating a mailing list is one of the most important things you can do when you’re starting a blog. Why? Well – if you think about it – there’s no guarantee that any of the external marketing platforms we all know and love today will stay the same forever. I mean, take Facebook for instance. Once upon a time you could post a link to your latest post on your Facebook page and the majority of your fans would see it, like it and even click through to take a better look. These days however, you’re lucky if more than 3 people see your updates unless you pay to get more views. And that sucks big time.

There is also no guarantee that platforms like Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram will still be around in 5 years time. I know this from experience as when I first got the internet at home as a teenager these sites hadn’t even been thought of, and a social networking site called ‘Bolt’ was the platform where everyone wanted to be. Oh how I miss Bolt. It was amazing and I could have lost hours a day on there had my dial-up connection been a lot better than it was! Anyway, I digress – what I’m trying to say is that the platforms we use today can easily disappear or change their algorithm’s – and that could leave us with no way to connect with our audience.

Getting Started With A Mailing List

The great thing about creating a mailing list is that your readers will sign up because they want to hear from you. They genuinely believe that you will send them content that is of value to them and will look forward to receiving your updates. Think about it, e-mail has been around since the 1970’s (although it didn’t really get used until the 90’s) and it still works in exactly the same way as it did back then. And did you know that there are more than 3.2 billion active e-mail accounts around the world?! It’s got to be the quickest and easiest way of communicating with people online and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I still get excited now when I hear the ‘ping’ of a new message landing in my inbox.

So, if you’re a blogger or a small business owner and you don’t already have a mailing list (or you do but you don’t tend to use it) then I really think you’re missing a trick. Being able to stay in touch with your readers or clients is a powerful thing, and it will allow you to forge stronger, long-lasting relationships as well as giving you a natural way of promoting your services and landing more work! And if you’d like to learn more about getting started with a mailing list then make sure you read on, as I’ve got 7 simple tips that get you up and running in no time …


There are many mailing list providers out there to choose from, but the most popular of them all is called Mailchimp. Mailchimp is super easy to set up and is free to use until you reach 2,000 subscribers, although some of their features do come at a price. For example, I like to send a welcome e-mail when someone new subscribes to my mailng list, and there’s an option on the Mailchimp website that I can use to get this sent through automatically for me at a cost of just $10 (approx. £6.74) per month. I find this well worth the money as it saves me a huge amount of time and effort having to do it myself! They also have a whole host of other awesome features that I’ll talk more about in a future post.

If you don’t think that Mailchimp is really your cup of tea then other providers I’ve used in the past and found to work well can be found below:


To begin with, I’d highly recommend creating just one mailing list that all your subscribers go on to. Most bloggers will only need that one list anyway. However, if you ever decide to branch out and offer different services or products on your blog then you may want to divide that list into segments to ensure your subscribers only receive e-mails that they’re going to find value in rather than a bit of everything. Or you can create multiple lists for the different sorts of things you’re offering.

At the moment I just have the one mailing list which all of my subscribers are on. But I’m going to be launching a brand new e-course in around a months time, so for that I’m planning to have a separate list exclusively for people who sign up for that. I plan to send my regular e-mails out to everyone on both lists, but the people on the second list will also receive additional mail that is written specifically for them as well. That way I won’t be annoying everyone on my master list with content that isn’t of any value to them.


Create a sign up form using integration tools from your mailing list provider and then dedicate a page on your blog or website to host it. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. My own sign up page (which you can find by clicking here), is very simple and just states that if you sign up to my mailing list you can get a free guide packed with loads of HTML codes that can be copied and pasted for use on your own blog or website. Then underneath this I have the sign up form which asks for your e-mail address (required), first name and last name and that’s it.

I don’t think you need anything more than that at all to be honest. Although I know some of you reading this will be super creative and will probably prefer to have something that looks a lot prettier and has a much more thorough description of what your e-mails will contain. And that’s absolutely fine as well. After all, it’s your blog and you should do whatever makes you happy!


As well as having your dedicated page, you should also have other sign up forms scattered around your blog or website as well. I recently added a form to my right hand sidebar and I’ve been over the moon at how many have signed up to my newsletter since doing so. And I always tell you guys about my newsletter at the end of each of my posts.

I’ve noticed that a lot of people choose to have a pop up box appear as people scroll down their posts, but I haven’t tried this method myself as I don’t want to alienate people by interrupting them as they read. After all, I want them to come back another day and read more posts, not click off because I annoyed them and vow never to return again! The bottom line here is that the easier you make it for people to sign up the more likely they are to do so.


In this day and age people sometimes need a little incentive to persuade them to part with their e-mail address, and with so many people fighting to get their hands on it this will probably come as no surprise! An opt-in incentive should be something that either adds value to what you’re writing about or is somehow irresistible to your target audience.

To begin with, one incentive to get people to sign up is plenty, but you may want to expand and have different incentives for different things as your audience grows. Some of the mailing list providers I mentioned above have an automated mail service as well, which makes delivering any digital incentives quick and easy once your new subscribers have signed up!

Need some ideas for opt-in incentives? I’ve listed some below …

  • Cheat Sheets
  • Recipe Cards
  • Discount Codes
  • Printable Artwork
  • Ebooks
  • Ecourses
  • Webinars
  • Lookbooks


Make a good first impression to your subscribers by sending out a welcome e-mail that actually makes them feel ‘welcome.’ I think I’ve managed to do a good job with mine so far as I’ve not had anyone instantly unsubscribe or tweet me to tell me they hated my welcome e-mail (touch wood).

I also like to upload any digital opt-in incentives I’ve created to this e-mail rather sending an additional one later in the day. I hate waiting around for promised goods myself, so don’t want to leave others waiting either.


Once you have people signed up to your mailing list it’s really important to make sure you communicate with them on a regular basis. Think of ways you can give value to them, and don’t just e-mail when you’re trying to promote your latest blog post or are trying to sell something. For example, a couple of weeks ago I provided my subscribers with some exclusive content that they won’t be able to find on my blog, and in my next newsletter I’m going to be sending out a digital gift to help them kick start their blogging journey during 2016!

No matter what you decide to talk to your subscribers about, don’t forget to encourage them to send replies to each of your e-mails to show they’ve actually been reading!

In a few weeks time I’ll be sharing some of my favourite newsletter content ideas with you guys, and I may let you have sneaky little look at my Mailchimp stats as well to show just how well it’s been working for me so far.

Do any of you guys have a mailing list? And do you think it’s working well for you if you do? As always I would love to hear from you, so make sure you leave me a little comment below.

And while we’re on the subject don’t forget that you can sign up to my newsletter to stay up to date with all my latest blogging and social media tips. You’ll be sent my ‘Ultimate HTML Cheat Sheet for Bloggers’ absolutely free of charge if you do.

**PLUS** Sign up before midnight on 31st December 2015 to receive an exclusive digital download just for my subscribers*. I think you’re going to love it!

Thanks again for reading guys.

*Please note that the exclusive digital download will be sent out at 10am on 31st December 2015

20 Places To Promote Your Latest Blog Post

So, you’ve just published your latest blog post – now what? Sit back and relax? Start writing up your next post? Nope! It’s time to promote your content so that your target audience (and Google) can find it.

While there are many different ways to go about promoting your blog, today I’m going to be focusing on the ones I’ve found to be the most effective. I’ve listed 20 places below where you can promote your latest post and get you on your way to increased traffic, comments, shares and subscribers!

20 Places To Promote Your Latest Blog Post


E-mail is something that the majority of us use every single day. So make sure you’re using it to your full advantage!

01. Newsletter

Hopefully you guys will already be using your newsletter to promote your latest posts, but if not then you definitely should be! People sign up to your newsletter specifically to hear from you, so it’s more than OK to send them a message when you’ve written a new post that could give them something of value.

If you tend to post every day and don’t want to feel like you’re spamming your subscribers, then why not send a round-up newsletter once a week with details of all your new content?

02. E-mail Signature

Do you send a lot of e-mails back and forth every day? If so then you could always link to your latest post in your e-mail signature. I very often click links like this and then end up subscribing to new sites because they have awesome content. What have you got to lose?!


Before you continue reading this section, there is one important thing to remember. Each social media platform is unique. Don’t underestimate how vital it is to spend time creating images specifically designed for each particular one. I find Canva to be a big help when designing images to use on social media.

03. Twitter

As I mentioned in a previous post, blogging and Twitter go hand-in-hand, so it’s always a good idea to share your post on there whenever you can. One of the things that came up a few times in the comments section of that post was that people were worried that they would be spamming their followers if they tweeted each link more than once. But in all honestly guys, I wouldn’t worry about that – Twitter is so fast paced that the majority of your followers will probably only see the post once, so they definitely won’t feel like you’re spamming them. I personally tweet each of my links a minimum of 7 times.

I do this 3 times on the day I publish each blog post: on publish, an hour later, and 3 hours after that. I then post once the next day, once the next week, once the next month and once two months after that. Of course, this only works for non-seasonal posts. If I’m writing a post on things to do with the kids during the summer holidays for example I would try and share my post at least 7 times within a week or two of it going live.

04. Facebook

I have to admit I’m still working out how to make my Facebook page really ‘work’ for my blog, but I still make a habit of posting the link to each of my new articles on there as soon as I’ve published them. This usually generates a few click through’s but nothing major, unless I pay for the privilege of course, but it’s good practice to post regularly incase the algorithm changes again and Facebook start letting more people see my content for free.

I do see a fair amount of traffic come from Facebook though – and this tends to come from regularly sharing my posts in some of the awesome blogging groups I’m part of. There are absolutely hundreds on there if you spend a little time looking for them, and although some are aimed at specific niches, others are happy to include everyone.

05. Pinterest

Pinterest is fast becoming my favourite of all the social media platforms, and it will probably come as no surprise when I say that the majority of the traffic I get to my blog comes from there! Content shared on Pinterest is driven entirely by visuals, so having beautiful images is a must. And since it’s a very female-dominated website blogs whose target audience is women will benefit from using it the most.

Taking the time to create an image that clearly expresses the value behind your article will really pay off when using Pinterest, and there are a few things to bear in mind while you’re doing it:

  • Tall images work best, with the optimal image size being 735px X 1102px
  • Images that do not include a human face get more pins
  • Images that are shot against a white background get more pins
  • Images that have red in them get more shares

06. Google+

Google+ is an excellent place to build and nurture relationships with people who share similar interests to you. The great thing about this particular platform is that it’s full of people who are eager to +1 and share your content, which makes the possibility of your content going viral very real when Google+ is used properly.

07. LinkedIn

You can share your latest post to your LinkedIn profile, plus any groups you manage or belong to that allow you to share your own content. Just make sure you read the group rules before posting as some may frown upon ‘link dropping’ and will kick you out if you make the mistake of sharing your content when you’re not supposed to.

08. Instagram

Instagram can be used in a variety of ways to promote your latest blog post. You could post an image with a caption, share a tip, ask a question or simply point them to your blog. I highly recommend using the popular hashtag #ontheblog when promoting your content as well.


Blogger communities are a great way to connect with other individuals writing about your niche. They enable you to engage, build alliances and help promote each others content. Three communities I am a member of and can highly recommend are:

09. Triberr 

I have to admit that I’m fairly new to Triberr, so I’m still getting to grips with it. But so far I’ve found it to be full of amazing resources and communities where I can get my latest posts in front of a much bigger audience! Getting started on Triberr is simple – just add your blog, find a tribe and then begin sharing your posts with people who are longing to find your content.

10. Viral Content Buzz

Viral Content Buzz is a community that works on a points system. You basically have to share other bloggers content first, then this earns you points to use to share your own content. I personally think this is a great idea as it ensures everyone is earning the right to promote their posts and can’t just link drop on the site.

11. Social Buzz Club

Similar to Triberr, Social Buzz Club allows you to add your latest blog post, choose which category it fits into best and then share it with their others who are eager to pass it on to their own fans and followers. The only downside to this particular site is that it isn’t free like all of the others I’m talking about in this post.

12. Sverve

I’ve been using Sverve for around 3 years now and it’s a great site to use if you’re wanting to share tips with likeminded people. However, it’s not the best site for generating traffic. That said, if you have a blog with a strong social following, there are many opportunities to monetize your blog and work with some great brands so it’s not all bad.


Bookmarking sites can open your content up to millions of potential viewers actively searching for articles within your niche. I always make sure I bookmark my posts as soon as I’ve hit the publish button so I don’t miss out on all the lovely traffic they generate.

13. StumbleUpon 

StumbleUpon is a bookmarking and discovery engine that allows users to ‘stumble’ through related content. It’s easy to use and once you’ve signed up you can add your latest blog post to your account, categorize it based on topic and then let StumbleUpon work its magic and promote it to users who are interested in what you’re talking about!

If you decide to give StumbleUpon a try for promoting your posts then I should mention that they don’t like you to just add your own content. So it might be worth asking your blogging buddies if they have anything they’d like you to add to the site for them. I always try to add around 9 posts by other bloggers in my niche for every one I add of my own.

14. Reddit

Reddit is a unique social bookmarking and news site with very active users known as ‘redditors’. You can submit your latest blog post to the site and the redditors vote on which articles and discussions are important. The hottest stories rise to the top (and often make the front page), while cooler stories sink.

Just like StumbleUpon, Reddit frowns upon people constantly adding their own content, so again I always add 9 posts by others before adding one of my own.

15. Digg

Digg is a news aggregator with a curated front page, which aims to select stories specifically for the Internet audience such as science, trending topics and political issues. People can then ‘digg’, save or share your content. I don’t think I’ve come across another bookmarking site as easy to use as Digg and I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.

16. is a booking site where you can scoop up all the content you love from the web and share it with people who have similar interests to you. I actually see quite a lot of traffic come from, so although it’s not the simplest of all the bookmarking sites to use, it’s worth giving them a try.

17. Delicious

Just like Digg, Delicious is quick and simple to use. It makes bookmarking, categorizing and promoting your content super easy and I get a fair amount of traffic come from the site as well. Sweet!


Another excellent way to promote your writing is to guest post on other blogs within your niche.

18. Guest Posts

There aren’t really any specific ‘rules’ for guest posting, but I would say to aim high and try to get published on a well established blog with a large following. This will allow you to share your content with a whole new group of people. Typically, many bloggers will be happy for you to link back to 1 or 2 relevant articles on your own website, which is fantastic.

Make sure you do a little research before e-mailing to see if you can guest post for someone as not everyone accepts them and you don’t want to waste their (or your own) time. And if you want to learn more about guest posting successfully then I’ll be covering that in a whole other blog post in just a few weeks time.


And how about commenting on posts written by other bloggers in your niche?!

19. Comment on other blogs

Commenting on other blogs that fall within your niche is an excellent way to build relationships with other bloggers. Once they get to know you there’s a high chance they’ll want to learn more and take a look at your blog. This could lead to them sharing one or two of your posts, opening up your content to their audience.

Some bloggers (like myself) also have a plugin on our site so that anyone leaving a comment can also fill in their blog details and it automatically leaves the link to their latest blog post. If you’re commenting on a blog and you see this feature then I recommend using it – I check out all links left on my own sites and I’m sure many other people do too!

Why not research the top 20 or so bloggers in your niche and begin to comment on their latest posts? This will build rapport and build awareness of you and your brand. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.


And last but not least, don’t forget to ping your blog to search engines.

20. Google Ping

Whenever people ask me for advice on promoting their blog or website, the one thing they almost always say they’ve never heard of is ‘pinging.’ Yet it’s one of the quickest and simplest things to do! ‘Pinging’ basically means that you’re notifying search engines that you made changes on your website so you can help move things like increasing domain authority and indexing your site along quicker than usual.

Whenever I publish a new post or make changes to one of my pages I make sure I head over to Google Ping, type in a few important details such as the name and URL of my site, press ‘send pings’ and search engines are instantly told about my site. Of course, you can submit your details to each search engine individually, but let’s face it, who has time to do that?! There are numerous pinging sites across the web but I prefer Google Ping over all of the others.

And there you have it – 20 places to promote your latest blog post. Do you share your posts on any of the platforms I mentioned? Or do you have any other suggestions of places for bloggers to promote their content? As always, I would love to hear from you.

And don’t forget that you can sign up to my newsletter to stay up to date with all my latest blogging and social media tips. You’ll also get my ‘Ultimate HTML Cheat Sheet for Bloggers’ absolutely free. What are you waiting for?!

Thanks for reading guys.

25 Tips To Increase Your Twitter Following

I think it’s fair to say that Blogging and Twitter go hand-in-hand, and because of this Twitter has fast become one of my biggest sources of traffic each week here on Eat Sleep Blog Repeat. Today I thought I would share my 25 tips to help you increase your own Twitter following and drive extra traffic to your blog.

Whether you’re trying to get more followers for your online business or personal brand, it’s better to have engaged followers instead of just followers who pay no attention to what you’re up to. If you spend just 5-10 minutes each day trying out some of the following tips you’ll be well on your way to growing your Twitter list with people who are interested in what you have to offer in no time!

25 Tips To Increase Your Twitter Following


I know that this first point probably sounds totally stupid, but I’ve actually seen quite a few blogger accounts recently that have no images on there at all! If you do nothing else I urge you to make sure that you have some sort of profile picture. You could maybe choose an image of yourself or add your blog logo, but either way please make sure you change it from that annoying egg shape that would be there if you didn’t! Doing this will give your profile a much more personal feel, and if people can put a face to a name then they’re much more likely to click that follow button. It’s also a good idea to use the same profile image across all your social networks as this helps people identify you.


Adding a unique header image to your Twitter account can really help your profile stand out! Header images should be around 1500×500 pixels in size, and can be of anything you like. I have my blog header over on @withlovefromlou and then a beautiful bokeh header on @EatSleepBlogRPT. I think that both headers work well as the colour schemes match those of each of my blogs.


Your bio is an opportunity to people who you are and what you do. By conveying the right message within this space you will be sure to attract the right followers and likeminded people with shared interests. Just be sure you don’t copy and paste a bio you’ve written elsewhere without editing it first. You only have 160 characters in which to sell yourself as someone who people want to follow, so you don’t want any text getting cut off in the process. After all, that could be the one things that turns out to be a real turn-off for potential new followers. And don’t forget to include the link to your blog! I’m a big fan of cross-promotion and this is a great way to show off what you do.


Did you know that you can change the colour scheme of the links and follower numbers on your Twitter profile? Well, you can! Adding impressive colours to your profile adds a little flare and can really help make your profile stand out. To do this you just need to click the ‘Edit Profile’ button, followed by the ‘Theme Color’ ribbon. There are 10 pre-selected colours to choose from when you click on the ribbon, or if you’re after something completely different and know the code of the colour you want, you can add this by clicking on the plus button (+) and then entering the 6-digit hex colour value you want. Need a little inspiration? Then make sure you give a try!


Whenever I find a fab new blog to read I always make sure I follow them on social media too. However, some people don’t make it very easy for their readers to find them – you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t have a Twitter button on the front page of their blog! I would always recommend having a button in your blogs sidebar that links directly to your Twitter page. Don’t make people hunt around for it or they might just give up and not bother. And that’s most definitely something you don’t want to happen.


Adding a share button to your blog posts makes it easier for people to share any posts they enjoyed with their own following, which in turn could lead to some lovely new followers for you! Many bloggers recommend using AddThis social sharing buttons to encourage readers to share your content with just one click. It’s a really great tool that’s both easy to install and simple to use. Just ensure that your social sharing is set up to include your Twitter @username in the share – this way you will know if and when people are sharing posts from your blog and you can say thank you or give them a virtual high five! A lot of the blogs I read don’t have this set up, and I honestly think they’re missing a trick.


When you first sign up to Twitter you can follow up to 5,000 people (with a maximum of 1,000 follows per day), yet many tweeters just follow a select few. My advice here would be to follow as many people as possible who you think would benefit from your content, as well as some of the big players in your blogging niche. The most effective way to do this is to go to the profiles of people you like, and then scroll through their following/followers lists and then simply follow all the people on there who sound like they fit the bill. Some people may also have lists of ‘Beauty Bloggers’ or ‘Travel Writers’. If you see a list of people who fit directly into your target audience then I would most definitely suggest following everyone on there. What better way could there be to get yourself noticed?! And as your following grows you’ll be able to follow more and more people. However, this number varies for each account so I can’t give you an idea of how many people you’d actually be able to follow.


This has got to be the thing that annoys me most on Twitter. Earlier today I followed 50 new accounts and I got an automated direct message thanking me for doing so from over half of them. Now, when I first joined Twitter back in 2009 I would have thought how nice and kind this was, but after 6 years and countless direct messages (many of which seem to be begging me to follow them on other platforms as well) I find it to be really quite rude and lazy! I would rather get a personal tweet from them (or even no thank you at all) than an insincere direct message and then no other contact whatsoever. And I know I’m not alone on this one – it seems that the majority of my blogging buddies feel the same way. It’s time to ditch them if you want to grow your Twitter list lovelies, or you’re going to find people un-follow you just as quickly as they followed!


Once your profile is in ship shape it’s time to actually start tweeting! One thing I think is really important (but I admit I need to work on) is consistency. If you want to build a good relationship with your following then they need to know when you’re likely to be around to chat. There’s no point in tweeting constantly for a few days and then going quiet for a week or two. Now, we all know that it’s impossible to be online all of the time, so if I know I’m not going to be near a laptop for a day or two I use a website called Buffer to schedule some tweets in advance. This helps me to maintain a social media presence without any additional stress. Obviously this doesn’t help me to reply to any tweets I receive while I’m not online, but I can deal with those as soon as I get the chance. Which brings me nicely to my next point …


If you aren’t engaging with other Twitter users, you’re going to struggle big time to build an engaged following. I have been trying really hard recently to find an hour or so a day to just sit and chat with my followers. So far it’s going really well and I wish I could spare another hour or two. Doing a bit every day is better than doing nothing though! Don’t just promote your blog posts – chat to people and build and nurture relationships. It may seem like hard work to begin with – but trust me – it will most certainly pay off in the long run.


It’s so easy to fall into the trap of sharing an endless stream of links to your blog posts when your a blogger. And, although some people will inevitably click on them, doing this is a sure fire way to really annoy the majority of your followers. Try varying the type of content you share instead. I like to ask questions, share pictures of what I’m up to and even tweet my favourite quotes. And if I’m feeling extra cheeky I might ask my followers to ‘check out’ what I’ve been pinning on Pinterest or uploading to Instagram!


Over the last 4 years I’ve become friends with lots of other bloggers, and I like to support them by RT’ing or commenting on the tweets of theirs that I particularly liked. I also like to share links to their blog posts if I really enjoyed them or think they’re of relevance to my audience. When I do this I always make sure I tag them in my tweets so they can see that I’ve been sharing their content. It gets me on their radar and often results in them RT’ing or sharing something of mine! Remember, the more you help other people out, the more likely they are to help you out!


This is something I’ve only been doing for a couple of months now but have already noticed a big difference from. If you’ve tweeted something of real value try pinning it to your Twitter profile. Then, whenever someone visits your profile page this will be the very first thing they see. Before I started doing this there would have been just any old tweet showing at the top of my page and I would lose a lot of followers on a daily basis. But, by pinning a valuable tweet my profile page looks a lot more professional and people are more likely to follow and stick around if they think I have something important to share. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted!


Including relevant hashtags in your tweets is a great way to get more people to see them. There are absolutely loads to choose from so I’d recommend using the search function to see which ones are appropriate for each of your tweets. And although hashtags play a big part in tweeting, don’t overuse them. Research has shown that you will see 21% more engagement when using one or two hashtags compared to using three or more!


Asking your followers to retweet can help increase your retweets by up to 4 times! With each retweet you’ll more than likely gain at least a few new followers and it’s really easy to do – just add ‘Please retweet’ or ‘Please RT’ at the beginning of your update. I would urge you to only ask your audience to do this on a few tweets per week though so as not to alienate them. 


Tweetable quotes are short, catchy messages embedded within a blog post that can easily be shared on Twitter. Since starting Eat Sleep Blog Repeat I’ve use one tweetable quote per post and have found it really beneficial so far. With each share of my quotes I’ve seen a boatload of traffic come back to my blog. How awesome is that?! There are two really easy ways to add a tweetable quote to your blog posts. If you’re a user you can install a ‘Click to Tweet’ plugin which, when filled in with your message, looks like the one I’ve popped below tip number 07 in this post. And if you’re on any other platform you can visit and follow the instructions on screen to generate a special HTML code to use within your blog post.


There’s an old saying that a picture paints a thousand words, so it’s always wise to try and use an image whenever you’re sharing a link on Twitter. I’m not going to lie, this will take up a fair few of your 140 characters of text, but research has shown that engagement is actually 200% higher for tweets with an image compared to ones without. Now that’s a lot. And definitely worth giving up some of those precious characters for I’m sure you’ll agree! Each image posted on Twitter shows up in a rectangular box, and the ideal image size for posting on this platform is 1024px x 512px.


According to a recent survey, people who tweeted more generally have more followers than others. It was said that people with less than 1,000 tweets usually have less than 100 followers, people who have tweeted over 10,000 times have between 1,001 and 5,000 followers and people who have tweeted over 15,000 tweets have between 100,001 and 1 million followers. I decided to have a quick glance at some of my friends Twitter accounts and I would actually agree that those stats are quite accurate. However, tweeting for the sake of tweeting is never a good idea. Nor is tweeting so much that your followers get sick of it. Have a play around with how much you tweet each day over the next few weeks and try to strike the right balance for both yourself and for your audience.


If, like me, you always seem to have a lot to say, then you’ll probably wonder how the hell you’re going to manage to squeeze everything into just 140 characters of text? And if I’m honest I’d have to say I’m still searching for the answer to that question myself! But did you know that engagement is actually 17% higher if the tweet is less than 100 characters long? I’m still figuring out how to condense everything I want to say into just 100 characters without abbreviating every other word, so if any of you guys have any tips for me please let me know in the comment box below. I’d really appreciate it!


I’ve spent a lot of time over the last 4 years working out where the best position to place the link is each time I tweet. Most people pop them at the end of their update and then follow it with a couple of relevant hashtags, but I’ve found recently that I actually get a lot more clicks and RT’s if I position my links at around 25% of the way through each tweet. So when I send out a tweet later on today to promote this post it should look a little something like this:

“Please RT. NEW POST – – 25 tips to increase your Twitter following! #hashtag”


The question I’m asked time and time again is ‘When is the best time to publish my updates to Twitter?’ And although most bloggers would assure you that the answer to that question is between 1pm and 3pm every Monday to Thursday, I would actually disagree. And that’s because everyone has different followers from different parts of the world, meaning they can’t all be online at the same time. I use a site called Tweriod to analyze my Twitter account to find the best times to publish my tweets and at the moment it’s coming up with the following information:


  • 4pm-5pm
  • 7pm-8pm
  • 11pm-12am


  • 4pm-5pm
  • 7pm-9pm


  • 6pm-8pm
  • 11pm-12am


  • 5pm-6pm
  • 10pm-12am

I’ve spent the last few weeks scheduling updates to go out at these times and I’ve found that each one gets quite a lot of engagement, so I’m really happy with that as it shows that Tweriod is pretty accurate. I’d recommend giving it a try to find out what times your Twitter followers are most active and see whether or not it works as well for you as it did for me!


Another question I get asked a lot is ‘How many times should I tweet each blog post to my followers?’ And again, I would say that this varies from person to person. I’ve personally found that sharing each of my posts a minimum of 7 times works really well. Over on With love from Lou I post 3 times on the day I publish each blog post: on publish, an hour later, and 3 hours after that. I then post once the next day, once the next week, once the next month and once two months after that.

By spacing out when I re-share each post like this I’m not spamming my followers and they’re more likely to stick around than they would if I was posting each one numerous times a day. Of course, this only works for non-seasonal posts. If I’m writing a Valentines Day Gift Guide for example I would try and share my post at least 7 times within a fortnight of it going live.


As you probably already know, there are loads of support groups for bloggers over on Facebook, and I’d highly recommend joining one or two that are specifically set up to help grow your Twitter following. I’ve even set one up today especially for you guys reading this post! It’s called Eat Sleep Tweet Repeat (see what I did there?) and I’ll be sharing tips every Wednesday, as well as creating special threads for you to share your links and show each other some love. I’d be over the if you would come and join me there, and feel free to invite your blogging buddies too.


I love taking part in Twitter chats. They are a great way to develop meaningful relationships with brands and other bloggers in your niche on Twitter. Think of these chats as a party where people with shared interests come together to talk about a specific topic at a specific time. At the moment my favourite Twitter chat is the #ukbloggers one which runs from 9pm-10pm every Friday night. Why not pop the kettle on, grab the biscuits and come join us for the next one? We’d love to see you!


This is going to be the one tip that most of you reading this will be mad at me for suggesting as #FF (Follow Friday) is a really popular hashtag on Twitter. However, I’ve noticed over the last year or so that people don’t follow the people you recommend like they used to, and when I was using it regularly I would lose more followers on a Friday than any other day of the week! I guess people are just sick of seeing it, and although that’s quite sad, part of me is happy as it was becoming a chore week in week out to remember to include everyone in my tweets that I thought deserved a mention. Since I stopped using the Follow Friday hashtag I noticed that my follower rate doesn’t yo-yo like it used to and I’m really happy about that as I hate to see my numbers go down. I’m sure you guys feel the same.

And there you have it, my 25 tips to increase your Twitter following. I hope you enjoyed it and found it of some use. And if you have any tips of your own that you’d like to share please let me know in the comments below.

Don’t forget that you can sign up to my newsletter to stay up to date with all my latest blogging and social media tips. You’ll also get my ‘Ultimate HTML Cheat Sheet for Bloggers’ absolutely free. What are you waiting for?!

Thanks for reading guys.

How to Determine Your Blogging Niche

One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed between the bloggers who have gotten really successful really quickly and are making fantastic profits from their blogs, versus the bloggers who have been around a lot longer but only ever seem to take teeny tiny steps in the right direction but never really get anywhere is that the bloggers who ‘make it’ are the bloggers who know their niche.

Now, if you’re reading this article then the chances are that you already have a blog and you’re here because you’re looking for help and advice on how to take it to the next level. And if your blog doesn’t already fit nicely into a niche then you might be worrying that you’re never going to be able to make that happen. But please don’t worry lovelies, today I’m going to help you decide whether or not you actually need a niche, and share my formula to determine what it should be if you do.

How To Determine Your Blogging Niche


And what a question that is! Personally, I can see the arguments for both sides.

On the one hand if you keep your blog focus fairly broad then you feel like you have much more freedom with what you actually blog about. There’s more chance of your content appealing to more people and the likeliness of you getting bored or losing interest in your topic is obviously going to be a lot less than it would be if you were blogging about just one specialist subject. And of course your blog will evolve and grow along with you.

Which are all fabulous reasons, right? So why would you even consider niching?

Well, if you do decide to niche down then you can start to position yourself as an expert in your field. You will be able to focus on creating really valuable content for a specific sort of person, and your blog will probably grow much quicker because these specific people will be over the moon that you created this awesome content just for them. And because you write about just one specific subject you’re much more likely to become the go-to blogger for those interested in what you’re writing about because they won’t have to sift through a load of unrelated content to find what they’re looking for. I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that having a niche improves the overall experience for your readers!

And then of course there’s the fact that it’s way easier to monetise a blog when you are an expert who has a stream of loyal readers hanging on your every word. Trust me on this one guys.


I would say NO if you just want to be part of a community of like-minded people. Having a hobby blog is fantastic and if you’re writing about whatever you want to, whenever you want to, then like I mentioned before you’re unlikely to lose interest in your blog and will nurture it for many years to come. But that’s not to say you can never make any money from it. There are always companies looking for bloggers to write sponsored posts and put ads in their sidebars.

You might even go on to become a bit of a web celebrity! Use your blog to promote yourself and your brand. Use it to show off your writing skills and your images etc. Because you could go on to write a book or a column in a magazine. You could even end up being asked to appear on TV. But in the long run it’s unlikely that a blog without a niche is ever going to be a blog that makes a regular monthly income equivalent to a full time wage. And that’s the sort of blog I’m wanting to talk about today.

If you want to start making some serious money from your blog however then YES you most definitely need to think about niching down. Now is the time to start thinking of your blog as a business and stick your business hat on. You’re going to have to make some tough choices and that starts with deciding just what your niche is going to be!


I know that some of you are going to be freaking out right now. You’ll be sat reading this and thinking “Oh, but I like to talk about fashion and beauty and cooking and eating out and absolutely everything else that I love.” This is where you need to ask yourself ‘Do I want a blog that makes money or do I want a hobby blog?’ And if you want a blog that makes money lovelies then it’s time to bite the bullet and you’re going to have to niche!

The reason you need to niche down is because to create a successful blog that gets lots of traffic and makes lots of money really quickly and reliably it has to actually help people. And by this I don’t mean it needs to help everybody a little bit. Oh no! It needs to help specific people in a specific way, and it needs to help these people a lot. Think of it this way – if you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one!

These days most of the money made through a successful blog isn’t through advertising like it would have been a couple of years ago – it’s actually from products and services that bloggers create themselves. And to be able to create products and services that your readers are going to want to buy, you need to address a problem for them and that’s why I’m saying that you need to niche down. But which niche to select?

Well, I’ve got a little formula for how you figure out what niche you should be serving! All you need to do is click here to download and print off a copy of my ‘Determine Your Niche Worksheet’ and you’ll have it sussed in no time. The worksheet should look a little something like this:

Determine Your Niche Worksheet

Now, in the first column I want you to write down every single skill you have. No matter how big or small it is, write down anything you know you’re particularly good at. This could be something from your job, something you’ve studied or something you’ve learnt at home from behind your computer screen. It can be anything as long as it’s something you’re naturally really good at and enjoy. Maybe you’re great at crafting or teaching or building things?

In the second column I want you to write down all the things you’re passionate about. I would suggest listing your passions as things you would do if you had the time and you’d do even if you weren’t going to get paid for them. After all, that shows true passion!

And in the last column I want you to list all the people you’re interested in helping. Easy as that. Because what a niche really is is a combination of one of your passions and one of your skills (which sometimes naturally overlap anyway) which are then used to help a certain type of person. But please, please, please don’t specify that certain type of person or people as ‘women’. The third column needs to have at least two to three words describing the type of person you want to help otherwise your target audience will be too broad.

Once you’ve filled in the 3 columns spend a few minutes looking at it to see if you can spot a great combination of the 3 that will end up becoming your niche. I did this exercise with a friend the other day and once she’d written her list she noticed that the type of person she needed to serve sort of ‘jumped out’ at her from the paper!

If you still need a little push in the right direction then I would say that the person you want to be blogging for is probably the sort of person you would want to hang out with or that you genuinely want to help. This is because you’re going to be spending a lot of time online interacting with these people, and if you don’t like them or genuinely want to help them then you’re going to find it really, really draining.

Have a good think and see if you can find your niche. And let me know in the comments below if you found my formula helped at all. I really hope it does!

Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter to stay up to date with all my latest blogging and social media tips!

Thanks for reading guys.

*PS: For those of you worried about alienating some of your existing readers if you niche down, please don’t. Just because you focus on helping on specific person doesn’t mean the people who don’t 100% fit into that genre will just disappear. They could still find some value in what you are doing too. Good luck!

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Blog

Starting a blog happens differently for different people. Some are happy to just jump on the bandwagon and get stuck in, whereas others may spend a fair amount of time considering whether the world of blogging is for them or not. When I first decided I was starting a blog it was most definitely somewhere in between. I’d read a few articles online and had found them really interesting, but it wasn’t until many months later when I was off work sick that I actually decided I would like to sit and write one of my own.

I have to be honest with you here and say that I was absolutely clueless for the first year or so of my blogging life, and in hindsight I wish I’d done a little more research into what it actually involved. Today I’m sharing 10 questions I think I would have benefited from knowing the answers to before I took the plunge. After all, my blog might have got off to a much better start if I’d thought everything through!

10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Blog


I think it’s pretty safe to assume that everyone who decides to bite the bullet and start a blog has an idea of what they’re going to write about, but it’s easy to get carried away and start writing about a wide range of different subjects just because you like a certain thing on a certain week. I genuinely think the key to a successful blog is to find your niche early on and then stick to it, and I’ll be talking about this in a lot more detail next week.

When I started my first blog, With love from Lou, I mainly wrote about fashion and beauty, but it wasn’t long until I started adding in a bit of parenting advice, recipes and blogging tips and eventually it just became a mish mash of all different things. It was then that I noticed my original loyal readers had disappeared and instead I was getting new visitors who would just read one post and then leave. And this was disheartening for me as I’d liked the feeling of being part of a little online community who shared a passion with my readers.

So when I decided to launch this second blog I wanted to make sure that I didn’t make the same mistake. I know exactly what my niche is – sharing blogging and social media tips with other bloggers – and then I sat and wrote 25 posts that were just about that subject. I knew that if I didn’t I might end up writing about something totally different one week and I’m determined not to let that happen again.


In the 4 years I’ve been blogging I’ve spoken to a lot of people who started their blogs without telling their family and friends about it as they felt embarrassed. Of course, the choice is entirely theirs to make, but almost every one of them then found it hard to tell their loved ones about this rather significant secret they’d been keeping!

I was always honest and upfront about starting my blog, and I’m glad I was as they’ve supported me all the way through my little online journey. I don’t think I would have gotten very far at all without their encouragement and words of wisdom. It’s great to have that little support network. I understand that not all families are like this though, and some of the other bloggers I chat with have friends and relatives who disapprove of what they do and it can be very difficult for them.

As a blogger it’s extremely important to think about what you’re sharing online, especially if it concerns a loved one. I would strongly recommend talking directly with anyone you plan to mention in your posts just to make sure they’re 100% happy to be talked about. And I would never, ever use a photograph of anyone without asking for their permission first. Of course, this might not apply to you – you might not be planning on writing any personal posts, but it’s something to bear in mind anyway.

And finally, if you don’t want anyone to find out that you’re starting a blog then they don’t have to. In fact, many of my favourite blogs are written by anonymous writers. I think it adds an air of mystery to their blog and just like when you read a good book you have to imagine what they look like. I could never be an anonymous blogger myself mind you – I’m rubbish at keeping secrets!


I’m not going to lie, maintaining a blog is very time consuming. When I first started writing my fashion and beauty blog back in 2012 I would write around 500 words of copy, add a few pictures, check my spelling and grammar and then hit publish. If I remembered I would share my post on Twitter, and somehow I managed to gather a nice little following.

Fast forward a few years and things have changed big time! Google now look at anything with less than 300 words of copy as spam, bloggers have really upped their game and started to put things such as SEO techniques into practice, as well as feeling under a lot of pressure to publish their posts at specific times on specific days. And don’t even get me started on the amount of time we spend promoting our posts across all the different social networks that are popping up all over the place …

There are also a lot more bloggers around nowadays than there used to be, so as a pro blogger I find myself having to work extra hard to try and stand out from the crowd and create good quality posts that people actually want to read and share across their own networks. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change it for the world – I love my job – but I don’t want to give anyone any unrealistic expectations either. I probably spend around 20% of my time creating content and 80% of my time working my ass off to get it seen!


When choosing a blog name, you might want to consider how your blog will grow with you. For example, you might currently be at uni and wanting to blog about student life. Choosing a blog name with the words ‘Uni’ or ‘student’ in it may seem like a good idea now, but it could end up being extremely limiting in the future when you’ve got yourself a full time job and a house in the suburbs.

I actually made the mistake of going for a blog name that was limiting when I first started out and I speak from experience when I say it’s an absolute nightmare trying to change it once you’ve gotten established as a blogger. It can be done, but I found it really quite stressful and wished I’d picked a more sensible name to begin with! Why not try some alliteration with your first name? Or even use your full name?

Which brings me nicely to my next point …


So, you may have just come up with the most amazing blog name known to man, but there’s a good chance that someone else will have beat you to it and registered it already, dammit! The quickest way to find out if anyone else has the name that you really want is to quickly Google it – it will only take you a few seconds. Make sure that there isn’t an existing blog with the same name, and if there is, pick another.

Now, most people starting a blog will just register for a free URL with Blogger or WordPress, but if you really want to get ahead of the game then I would recommend purchasing your own domain name through a reputable registrar such as GoDaddy. You just type in the name you want and it will tell you if the domain is available, and suggest some alternatives if it isn’t.

And before purchasing your domain name I would advise checking the availability of the name on social media. I can hear you asking why from here, and the answer is simple – using the same name across all platforms ensures your brand identity. After all, if you follow @myexample on Twitter you’d automatically assume that they’d be @myexample on Instagram as well, wouldn’t you? Make it easy for potential followers to find you by creating your social networks to look something like this: | | |

You can even use this awesome tool to check them all at once and save yourself some valuable time!


I think one of the trickiest decisions to make when starting a blog is whether or not to go self hosted. Self hosted blogs are basically the ones that bloggers have full control over. I have blogged on both Blogger’s free platform, and on my own self hosted site and I would definitely recommend going with the latter. It takes a little more time and effort to get to grips with, but it makes life so much easier in the long run – especially if you’re planning to monetize your site at some point!

I run both my blogs through the ‘Managed WordPress’ section of GoDaddy’s website, and it costs me £4.99 per site per month to keep them up and running. The best part for me though is that GoDaddy set everything up for me a the click of a button – something you don’t get when you buy your hosting through other companies.

If self hosting isn’t your thing then I would recommend setting up a free blog on Blogger as you can customize your site extensively so it feels like your own and still make a little money through it too, whereas you can’t do either of these things on the free version of the WordPress site. How sucky is that?! You can also transfer from Blogger to WordPress self hosted at a later date if you want to as well.


Another mistake I made when I first started blogging was using my personal e-mail address for blog related stuff. It seems I was really naive as within the first couple of months of me starting up I had several companies contact me to see if I would be interested in reviewing some products for them, and then soon after that came event invitations, sponsored post requests and advertising enquiries. It took me hours every night to go through all the e-mails and I would often miss important none-blog related ones as they looked like spam – not a good thing to happen!

If you have another account you can use then that’s fantastic, but if not I’d urge you to create one especially for your blog. I created a free one for this particular blog earlier on today – – but alternatively you could add a contact form to your blog for brands and readers to use instead. This way they can’t see what your e-mail address actually is. The choice is yours!

The other problem with being a blogger and having an e-mail address on show is that you will get spam e-mails on a daily basis. And I don’t just mean one or two. I mean a lot. In the last 4 years I have apparently won several lotteries, had millions of pounds worth of tax refunded, won hundreds of competitions I didn’t even enter and have even been offered the enlargement of body parts that I didn’t even realise I had! I’m literally shuddering at the thought as I type this.

I just urge everyone who is thinking of starting a blog to be careful when they’re reading their e-mails. Things aren’t always what they seem …


One of the worst parts of blogging has to be the fact that once you’ve posted something online it’s there forever whether you like it or not. So before you sign up you need to be sure of what sort of info you’re prepared to share. For example, do you want to remain completely anonymous to the world? If so, that’s great. You can get round having to post your name online and if you’re offered a product to review by a PR you can accept and just give your blog name or initials as the first part of your address.

You could also just share your first name. Or make up a completely different name altogether. The choice is totally yours. Just be careful when you’re writing that you don’t publish any personal details like your address, telephone number or even any personal details of any of your friends or family members. Oh, and if you have kids try not to post any pictures of them with their school badge or logo on show on any of their clothing. That can be a dead give away to where you are!

The other thing about being online is that there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like what you’ve written or someone who is jealous of you. I was actually aware of this when I took the first steps to starting a blog but it still shocked me when I received my first nasty comment. I didn’t let it bother me for long and, if anything, it made me work a lot harder which worked in my favour as I started getting paid work shortly after that moment.

My advice to anyone who thinks they wouldn’t be able to handle any negative comments but still wants to blog would be to see if you can gather a few friends together and write a joint blog with them. That way you have a nice little support network to help you through any tough times.


When I first started blogging I just used a standard Blogger design, but as I got more established I wanted something a little more … me. There are hundreds of free Blogger and WordPress themes out there to choose from when you first start out, and I’d suggest going for something quite simple while you figure out your style.

If you can’t find anything you like though, and would rather spend a little money making your site look pretty then you need to head on over to Etsy. Some of the sellers on there have themes that are really cheap but are just as pretty as some of the more expensive ones. I paid just £26.00 for the one I have on this site and even less for the one over on my other blog. Bargain!


This is a question I can’t even begin to try and answer for you, so let’s think of it as a homework question. Have a think about how you can set yourself apart from all the other bloggers that are out there. Do you have a special skill that you haven’t noticed anyone else blog about? Could you use it to your advantage? And do you have any ideas on how you could get your blog noticed once your first post has gone live?

It doesn’t matter if you can’t answer those last few questions today. I’ll be covering ways to drive traffic to your site over the next few weeks and you’re more than welcome to drop me an e-mail or tweet me for any advice in the mean time.

So, did you manage to answer all 10 questions above positively? If so then you’re most definitely ready to take those first steps towards starting a blog. Way to go!

And if you are ready to start your own blog why not tweet and let me know …

Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter to stay up to date with all my latest blogging and social media tips!

Thanks for reading guys.