Posts

I am a Miracle Morning Convert

episode_27_-_miracle

I am a Miracle Morning convert. Here’s why:

Finding space in the day for myself as an entrepreneur and mum of two? Nah. Not happening.

Or, I might schedule in a walk, some meditation, some reading time etc and do them, but then feel stressed that I only have an hour left to get stuff done on my business before the kids come home from school (I don’t like to work late often – circadian rhythms gooooone, baby).

So, thanks to Yo Pal Hal, I have been setting my alarm for 6am, and starting my day on my own. Heaven.

Yup, I would also have also conceded prior to this that I am not a morning person, but I actually wake up excited to have this time ALL TO MYSELF.

I meditate for a few minutes, look at my vision board, read a blog post from someone who challenges and inspires me, or read a few pages of a personal development book; I do some yoga stretches, journal in my 5 minute journal, then free write on 750words.com.

The results so far after 10 days are astounding.

  • I am more focussed (making the choice to do this for myself each day is a parallel of the choices we make daily to progress or not in our growth.
  • I am more inspired – dedicated time to read materials I love has just rocked up.
  • I feel more grounded. Starting the day with some inner work and mediation, gratitudes and journalling does that for you.
  • I am nicer to my kids and my partner in the morning. When I have spent time by myself, FOR myself, I feel ready and able to do the breakfast chaos, to be present with the Minis and to hang out with them mindfully. I am noticeably less grumpy, and find I haven’t shouted my usual “yes, yes, I am coming – can I JUST make a cup of tea first, PLEASE” mantra for a long while now.
  • I am generating some content gems. When you write 750 words a day some nuggets rock up. As I talk about in Brilliance Ignition, creating daily content gives clarity in your mind, and free writing as per our amazing Julia Cameron really does work magic.
  • I feel more like the person I am becoming, or want to be when I grow up. Yep, this week I found myself doing yoga outside on the balcony in the South of France as the sun came up, having had my smoothie and done my journalling. Ohhhhh, I am THAT person. That’s what successful people do!

I know now why successful people create habits and stick to them. This practise of my time for myself is making huge shifts, in just one hour a day.

7 hours a week all to myself makes a huge difference. I am reading, meditating, rocking my asanas (I plan to get back to Shawn and T25 soon), writing, inspiring myself, and all sorts.

It’s a Small Price to Pay

Yes, I DO go to bed super early to get up early, but my early nights are part of my CFS management routine anyway. Also, I would much, MUCH rather have an early night and feel amazing about what I have accomplished and how I feel than spend an evening watching TV or losing brain cells on Buzzfeed. Just sayin’…

I have learned to be super quiet on my tippy toes as I make my way downstairs to start my routine – small people have been known to join me when they hear me get up. We have had SO MANY squeaky doors that, it turns out; WD40 has been a huge part of my Miracle Morning routine too.

And, I’m Passing on This Habit

One of my Minis, Eva, really respects what she calls “mummy’s quiet time”. On the occasions she has woken up as I snuck downstairs and got up with me, she has been more than happy to sit with me quietly and do some drawing, or colouring in her mandalas while I do my yoga postures or journalling. I love that she will see a habit that may benefit her as she gets older, too. Teaching Eva to respect my quiet time has been a really sweet little contract between us, and I make sure I respect my new carved out time as well.

So, I am a nicer, more inspired, grounded and successful person. I am more patient, creative, and happier all round.

Miracle morning, indeed.

Extra Reading

Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

5 Minute Journal

Brilliance Ignition

Julia Cameron Artist’s Way

Episode #22: The Scope for re-purposing Periscope in Content Creation

 

The Scope For Periscope In Content Creation

In this episode, I’m talking all about how you can use Periscope for content creation.


Hi everyone, it’s episode 22 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter, and I am, of course, Jo Gifford, the Dexterous Diva.

I’m thrilled to be back with another episode of my podcast, and this week I’m going to be talking about the scope for Periscope in content creation.

For those of you who listened to last week’s podcast all about using Periscope for solopreneurs, or looked at the material on my website including the complete guide for using Periscope as a solopreneur and the trends we would expect to see and how people are using it, this is a really big thing.

I’m completely hooked on this format for so many reasons, so just to recap, Periscope is a live video streaming app which allows you to point the camera from your smartphone at anything you like, anything you’re looking at – and of course that includes yourself – and you can broadcast live to an audience.

Because Periscope is linked with Twitter you have a native inbuilt following, and as soon as you start your live broadcast it goes straight out to your Twitter feed (obviously you have the option to turn that off!) and your followers whom you’ve probably built up over time.
People can hop straight onto your broadcast, and what is amazing about these broadcasts is that
you can jump on for a few minutes and add some immense value to your audience and to your followers by just being yourself.
You’re giving people an insight in real time to your life, so I’m going to do one straight after this podcast and talk about recording the podcast and what I’ve just done. It’s great that you can show insights from behind the scenes, you can

  • answer adhoc Q&As
  • you can do behind the scenes at events
  • you can do ‘how to’s
  • you can do all sorts of stuff, and people can ask you questions in real time

You’ll see there are little text updates on the app itself while you’re broadcasting, so you can respond live.

This is going to have a huge impact on so many businesses.

I think that whilst I love the format of Google Hangouts and webinars for the really structured and more planned approach, for me to be able to jump onto Periscope any time of day and speak to people, to answer questions and be involved and be the brand of Jo Gifford behind the scenes, is just such an amazing opportunity.

But What About After?

What I want to talk about a little bit in this episode is what you can do after you’ve done your live broadcast. After all this is a great way to broadcast live, but then what? The episodes and the broadcasts disappear after 24 hours on the native app itself, so after you’ve completed your live broadcast it doesn’t stay around.

You might be aware of the other work I do running the Blogging for Business Bootcamp, and it’s all about creating content for business, getting your message out to the world and really doing it in a smart way, so using time and social media effectively, setting up loads of blog and work hacks to get stuff done in less time, because after all as solopreneurs we’re juggling a lot of stuff.

This is really important for content creators to be able to make it fun and work in a way that works for you. 

That’s one of the main products I’m known for, and the other one I’m starting up is the process which underpins everything I’ve been doing so far, and it’s called The Brilliance Ignition process. If you hop over, you’ll find a free four week mastermind course and it’s all about how to keep your creative well full as a solopreneur, how to upcycle your content, how to take action and get clarity through content creation, right the way up to flexing your hustle muscle and adding creative thinking into your business.

In both Blogging for Business Bootcamp and Brilliance Ignition, creating content regularly is a theme that I really amp up.

That’s not to say that I think you should create a blog post or podcast every day or whatever it is, because these things take time. It takes me a week from recording my podcast to get the transcript done, to get the image done, to get it all set up on the blog and make sure we’ve scheduled everything.

What I do really advocate is doing small chunks of content creation on a daily basis so you can slice up a blog post or slice up planning your next batch of vlogs. By doing something every day, it kind of keeps your brain really attuned to help you get some clarity through what you’re doing. I like to think of it as an artist who practises sketching or life drawing every day.

As most visual artists know, whatever their field of work, if you’re keeping your eye in tune, it’s kind of like the building blocks to those amazing moments of brilliance that will occur in artwork, and the same is true of content creation. If we spend ten or 15 minutes every day creating some content, be it sitting down to write 200 words for a Facebook update or part of a blog post or, as we’re going to talk about in this case, hopping onto Periscope. Whatever you do on a regular basis helps your brain keep attuned to what you’re doing. It really helps you focus on what you’re passionate about, especially if you’re an entrepreneur leading others, as I am, as many others are.

It’s a great way to make sure that your message is getting clearer every time you sit down to create content. In the same way an artist might be doing life drawing to keep their eye in, regular content creation helps us to keep clarity, helps us to ignite these lurking ideas and helps us really get to the gold dust of the stuff.

What’s that got to do with Periscope?

Well, I have been creating a Periscope broadcast on pretty much a daily basis for the last couple of weeks, and this has shown me a number of things.

It’s shown me that people really respond to live interaction and it’s shown me that people love to be able to have shout-outs, to ask me questions live, to really guide the way that a conversation might go, and to see behind the scenes and get to know me as a person.

It’s still in a one to many format, but to bond with me on a slightly different level than perhaps reading a blog post or listening to this podcast. The great thing about that is that if I broadcast for maybe five or ten minutes every day for five days a week, that’s five broadcasts of five minutes, and this is interesting, because what you can do with each of these broadcasts is super exciting.

You can save your broadcast when it’s finished to the camera roll of your smartphone. There were some third party API driven web apps where you could still view your broadcast online but I’ve noticed that they’ve been taken down, so there may be more in the future, but for the moment let’s work with saving your broadcast to your phone.

So How Can You Use Your Scope?

From here you have a video and you can do several things with that video.
You can send it off to be transcribed and there are plenty of ways that you can do that. You can send it off to somebody on Fiverr, which is the way I first dabbled in getting transcriptions done. I now have a transcriptionist who is amazing and we have a Dropbox folder set up. I ping her a note whenever we’ve got a new file in there for her to transcribe and she pings it back in a couple of days.

So you can either find someone if you might be doing stuff regularly or just use Fiverr for adhoc jobs, but you can get that thing transcribed. With a transcript you can then edit that to be a blog post, so you’ve not only created content from your broadcast, but you now have the option to turn that into a blog post.

You can either keep it as one blog post which might make sense for you, or you might split it up. Say you’ve had people asking you different questions, you might want to split it up into different posts per question, so now you have more than one post from this one broadcast.

From that blog post you can make that into some kind of PDF slide viewing version of your broadcast, again you can have that done on Fiverr, you could do it yourself or you could ask your VA to do it if you have a team. You’ve now really condensed that information into text and into a slide, so you could upload that to SlideShare.

SlideShare is an amazing platform to really get your work seen and to drive new traffic back to your blog posts, and this has worked really well for me in the past. People love to use SlideShare as a platform to research and find new content that’s really helpful and it’s actually somewhere I dive into quite often if I’m doing research for blog posts or ebooks. To have content there is going to help people find your site, so upload it into SlideShare to find a whole new audience.

You could also use that slide presentation on LinkedIn, you can use it on Facebook and you can use it back on your blog. You can even pin it to Pinterest, so you’re spreading the same content out to different networks.

Let’s go even further!

You have a video from your Periscope and you can upload that to YouTube. The thing with Periscope is that the app format tends to have the video in the portrait setting as opposed to landscape so it’s not brilliant for YouTube, but the quick rough and ready aspect of it is fine and people accept that that’s how the app works.

You will now have a presence on one of the world’s biggest search engines a great way again to be populating your channel with video. You can also extract the audio from it and upload it to Soundcloud, so now you have an audio version of your Periscope.

And Further Still..

You can even have a collection of your audios and put them together as one long weekly podcast. You could put them together in Audacity or Garage Band, which is what I use, and suddenly you have a whole week’s worth of stuff from five minutes a day of doing your Periscopes.

Squeal!

Do you see how exciting this is, guys? I’m so excited about Periscope for content creation and for recycling that content, because I think you’re like me in that we’re really busy. We’ve got client work to do and lots of us have passive income products we’re creating or running AND we’ve got some VIP stuff behind the scenes.

Not Forgetting That…

We also want to get some life/work balance in here and have time off with our families and we want to be outside enjoying life. Most of us entrepreneurs do this because we want to have a better work/life balance, and content creation is something which I know really grinds people down sometimes. I get emails all the time from people who do my free blog challenge saying,

I don’t have time for this stuff, and how can I do this in a way that’s really time effective, I’m drowning in stuff to do!

By the way, if you haven’t done my blog challenge yet, it’s a ten day free resource which walks you through how to create content in really smart ways.

In the first email of the blog challenge I ask people to hit reply and tell me what they’re struggling with, and without fail all the time it’s things like, I’m struggling for time, Jo, I don’t know how to get content creation done in time! Using Periscope to re-purpose stuff is one way that we can make this new platform work really smartly for you.

Repurpose Content from PeriscopeDon’t forget that for each medium that you do, whether you’ve extracted audio from your video or you’ve turned it into YouTube, to SlideShare, you can then go even further. You can pull out quotes of stuff that you said on your Periscope, hop into Canva or PicMonkey or whatever it is that works for you and create a quote of that thing that you said, upload it to social media, use it on Instagram, use it on Twitter, use it on Facebook, use it on Pinterest and pin it. You can make that one five minute Periscope broadcast go such a long way!

If you’re creating it every day or even if you do it once a week, see how much you can get from this one thing which is already adding value to your followers, your clients and your audience by you being available live, and then you can re-purpose it and go really far with it. As we’ve already seen we’ve got a YouTube option, Soundcloud option, Pinterest, social media, SlideShare, all of this stuff, just from one five minute broadcast.

Over To You

I’d be really excited to hear how you guys have been using your Periscope broadcasts. Rather than letting them fall off the face of the planet when you’ve finished your broadcast, use them and get excited about how this can be a really clever way to create content in a really time efficient manner. Jump on for five minutes and then extract stuff and re-purpose it on your platforms.

If we look at all those possibilities I know that some people can feel really overwhelmed. This can sound like a lot to do, so just pick one thing and start off with that. Maybe the first thing you do is to get it transcribed and you have the actual text in front of you of your broadcast.

Even if you just pull some quotes out from that and turn them into imagery, that’s brilliant, you’ve made Periscope work harder for you already. Maybe next time you know you’re really confident with that so you might go ahead and pin it on Pinterest as well. Maybe you might then work on building it into a blog post, but guys, I’m so excited about how you can use Periscope.

You can even schedule some live stuff with your community work and build it in with programmes you’re doing, if that works for you.

Make it Work for You

For me, as most of you know, as someone who lives and works with a range of chronic health problems, I find the scheduled stuff really difficult. If I have a really big webinar booked or something where I need to be live, I try and keep those to a minimum, because for me, I can never be 100 per cent sure that I can be on my game and be completely with it and able to do what I know I need to do, which is why for me, podcasting really works well, blogging works well, having my courses out there working for me on a one to many format works really well.

Periscope works well because if I’m feeling good and I’m feeling fine, I can just jump on and I can serve people in that way, and then I can use that content and go further with it.

I would love to hear from you guys what you’ve seen out there of people re-purposing Periscopes. How have you been re-purposing Periscopes? What is inspiring you from this podcast and from my blog to take this content a little further? Even better than that, I would love for you to tweet me any blog posts you’ve done which have been upcycled Periscopes and I would love you either to tag me on Facebook at facebook.com/dexdiva or tweet me @dexdiva and of course you can follow me on Periscope @dexdiva.

I’m so excited to hear about what this might ignite for you and if it’s inspired your brilliance at all. Don’t forget there are a few free resources that you can jump onto, so I mentioned my blog challenge. There’s the Brilliance Ignition masterclass and also really get involved with what’s happening and keep your ears to the ground about how people are using the stuff. I’ll be here guiding you with new developments and new trends with Periscope as they unfold, and I would love to hear back from you.

As always, if you want to get in touch with me in the ways that I mentioned before, tweet me @dexdiva or on Facebook, facebook.com/dexdiva, and you can also leave me a voicemail. If you head on over to my website you’ll see a little tab on the right hand side, ‘send a voicemail’, and that voicemail comes directly to my inbox and I can pick up your question or feedback. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to drop me a line.

As always I’m really grateful that you’ve tuned in to my podcast. I’m recording every week and this will be dropping every Friday, so do make sure that you are subscribed on iTunes and you can also pick this up on my website, and all the show notes are there under each episode. I’m really grateful that you tuned in, have an awesome day, and if I have inspired you in any way to get scoping, do let me know.
End of transcript

Case study: how blogging for business filled my work calendar

One of the things I love most about my Blogging for Business Bootcamp is getting to know everyone on the programme.

Seeing how their businesses change with the power of a blog is just SO satisfying, inspiring, and a reason (of many!) that I love my job so much.

Today’s post is awesome because Maria, who shares her thoughts below, actually filled up her coaching calendar directly as a result of her blog.

Not only that, Maria now has a WAITING LIST of clients. Hurrah!

blogforbizcasestudy2

Investing in anything requires both time AND money – have you ever bought a programme and done nothing with it? yep, me too – and everyone who has shown up, done the work and invested in themselves and their business has seen such a change after bootcamp. Blogging for business DOES require input, either to learn the ropes and do the work yourself, or to invest in outsourcing or training a VA, but the rewards are myriad.

Today I am thrilled to introduce the lovely confidence coach Maria, and her thoughts on how her business and blog has been changing.

maria vallo blogging for business
“I started Blogging for Biz Bootcamp with no idea what I was letting myself in for, I just knew I needed help and I loved Jo’s approach and transparency.
I was really torn between the neutral business voice and my warm and informal voice for writing posts.
Also I was stuck thinking I had to re purpose all the materials I have produced over 7 years of training and coaching into posts. In fact, looking back I had no idea what I was doing and put so much pressure on myself and this stifled me.
Very early on –  I think it was third week of course –  I whizzed out a post called Help My Confidence Has Been Stolen.
I then put it out on social media and was really surprised by the feedback and comments. I did ask for feedback and it worked because out of that I got 2 clients for my Real Deal coaching programme.
I only take on 4 clients every three months for coaching, as a large chunk of my time goes to training and coaching for Illuminate. It’s a charity I started five years ago with my business partner Sam, and I deliver our Confidence for Change programme for people unemployed or working less that 16 hours a week.
The next post – Do I Have To Bare All in Coaching? – came out of the questions and concerns I know get raised all the time in my work.
From that I got another 2 clients … so I’m full until November.
The course has also given me the drive and excitement to do more online. I now have an opt in box and a regular newsletter. It sounds so simple, however for me this is a huge step and I know I have the support and solidarity of Jo and her groups.
My writing is still changing, which is great and I’m now starting to see good posts that can inform and help me.
My latest post – When To Change Jobs for Less Money has 2 clients on my waiting list.
This never happened before because I was so wrapped up in growing Illuminate and my coaching was a side line so finding Jo really has changed my working week.
Change creates change and this is the evidence, for me it was a small investment that I recouped in that first post.
Do go and say hi to the lovely Maria and check out her fabulous and helpful blog.
I am simply over the moon that Maria has found a rhythm with her blogging that is helping her business so much and filling up her waiting list.

Come and join us on the Bootcamp right here and change your business too.

Stay super + inspired,

jo gifford

What the f*** should you blog about anyway? + cheat sheets for biz

pssst! Don’t want to read all this? I have a sonic boom for you to listen to instead at the bottom. Also, you can automatically tweet anything from this post by highlighting the text – give it a try:)

So, feel like you have nothing to say on your biz blog?

Is time doing that thing where it runs out the door without you noticing a whole day has gone?

You are not alone.

If you ever feel frozen, bamboozled, and totally godamn STUCK for something to blog about, help is at hand *swings by on Tarzan rope*.

Maybe you think there is NOTHING TO SAY about your business (if so, why are you in business?!)

Maybe you think there is SO MUCH TO SAY and don’t know what your clients would want to hear.

Does it all feel a bit..

I hear both points of view SO often among my clients and community, and I feel your pain. It’s hard to run a business, to do all the shit you need to do, to keep those plates spinning as well as adding a blog to the mix.

It’s time to get this blogging content ogre under control. Ready for some cheats?

1. Blog less + promote more

This is the one that lets you off the hook. Blog less, and promote more is the mantra for busy business owners, and something I wrote about back in the Help I don’t have time to blog series.

So, even one post a month (break it down into 15 minutes a week if that still feels too much as a task) will be better than nothing. Over a year that’s still 12 posts of content that you can re-air and share, and pull out quotes from to make lovely visuals.

You may also like:
Help! I don’t have time to blog Part 1
Help! I don’t have time to blog Part 2
Help! I don’t have time to blog Part 3

 

2. Link posts are super valuable to your audience

Link posts of valuable content are the time starved biz blogger’s goldmine. One of my most popular posts, Creative self-employment round up + download was super popular because it was a bumper edition of posts for super added value.

People like extra bang for their time buck, and they looooove convenience. So, round-up some useful links (hint, they don’t even have to be YOURS), and you have a post ready to rock.

 

3. Think in stories

Think about what your ideal client wants to hear, what content would they find valuable to read and come to you for? How can you showcase your awesomeness in a story?

Weave some narrative into a post around what you do, and you have an engaging story that is human, authentic, shareable, and rockin’.

(check out the AWESOME Ash from The Middle Finger Project for more on this).

 

4. Think around the service/products you offer

Sure, we need to know ultimately what you do and what you sell, but think around that for a moment. Consider client profiles, the story of your product(s), behind the scenes type posts, informative how to’s and added value blog series; opinion pieces, discussion pieces and the like.

There is SO much more to blog about that you realise.

 

5. Swipe it, baby!

When you see a blog title or whole post that you really love, swipe it, baby! I use Evernote to grab examples of posts that rock – you can then interrogate what works, why it works, and use your cheeky swipe files as brain juice fodder for your next posts.

 

6. Cheat!

So, you are really, super stuck for ideas? Cheat!There are some really handy blog post title generators that may help get your grey matter into gear.

Here are a couple that may help:

http://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator 

http://tweakyourbiz.com/tools/title-generator/

So, what really bugs you in thinking of idea for your blog? What gets your procrastinating like a plant watering, house hoovering fiend? Let us know in the comments below.

jo gifford

 

 

 

 

 

P.S I am running a beta group for my new service, Blogging for Business Bootcamp, with trés limited spaces. Want in? Here ya go >>

Smart and Savvy tech in 31 days Day #9: Canva

smart & savvy tech (2)

Waaaaay back in the 90’s and noughties as we so cleverly called them, I was a designer.

An actual designer.

I also wore actual 90’s clothes and, if I am honest, I still do.

Yup, before I spread my wings wider to portfolio career that took in blogging, copywriting, teaching and the like, I had a real job in a real agency managing real people. And I was a Senior Designer/New Business Account Manager person, hustling, bustling and creating.

So it goes against my professional background to tell you about this clever tool, but DAMN it’s good. Read more

Image power! Harness Pinterest for super ninja blog traffic

pinterest traffic

I bloody love Pinterest. I won’t lie. I wrote about a while ago when it was still the burgeoning, blogger-loved early adopter platform. When visual marketing really took hold in 2012/2013, brands jumped on board, internet marketers became more savvy, and now Pinterest is one of the largest content curation tools out there.

So, what’s the deal? Isn’t it just pictures of cake and wedding dresses?

No sirreeee. Pinterest is an incredibly valuable tool for online content creators, bloggers, brands, small businesses and superstar solopreneurs alike. It is also my number one source of social media  blog traffic, and leveraging a whole new audience through the power of the image has enhanced my engaged audience 100%.

 

How to use Pinterest for boosting your blog traffic

Create boards that your niche audience want to read

By creating boards that your audience will want to read, you add value to your lovely fans and followers. For example, my board Blogging, Geeky Chic and Business is a collection of posts on blogging, social media and content marketing that I have re-pinned, and that my audience will find valuable too. I also pin my posts there too, of course, so when my posts go live I already have a large following over on that board who are ready and eager to read my posts, share and re-pin my content, and away we go for some lovely traffic.

Pinterest blog traffic

Read more

6 things you can do right now to boost your blog and business

6 things right now

Are you in need of a boost to get things moving for your blog and business?

This little list is do-able, attainable, super easy and effective, a sure fire little check list to make a difference in no time at all.

Ready?

Off we go…

1. Add a Facebook like button to your posts

Let that great content be shared on the Zuckerberg continent, and watch your stats rise. Making it easier to click like straight away and seeing who else has done so gives social proof, it makes people more inclined to share when they see that others have been too. Geddit? Do it.

2. Email the most recent person who commented on your blog

Staying personal and grateful lets your readers know they are valued. Remember, the thousands start from just a few, so say hi, make someone aware you are glad they read your post, and it will make all the difference over time. If you are new here, leave a comment and I will do just that! :)

3. Make your next blog image pinnable, shareable and likeable

Most of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest currently, which is proof enough that the power of the pin is juicy stuff indeed.
Make your images pin-tastic, add your wonderful content to a board on Pinterest, and make your images work for you. Make sure your blog post title is on the image so pinners know what they are sharing, and pin across a few boards straight after writing your wonderful wordery.

Check out my post on ways to create original blog imagery for some inspiration, 10 apps to boost your instagram pics and also this post on Polyvore for some creative ways to create images without the need for super duper software and design skills. Woot! Read more

4 super ninja productivity tricks to make RSS feeds more social

Untitled #106

Ah, the humble RSS feed. Really Simple Syndication. It really is, yet it can do so much.

For the blogger, small business owner and super ninja entrepreneur, making your RSS feeds work for you is all part of the magic of clever time management and productivity. Oh, and it can make you feel super smug. Always a bonus.

1. Make your favourite blogs come to you (and file them)
Number 1 in the RSS super power list is to make RSS feeds come to you. For blogs, sites, newswires etc that you love and need to stay in touch with, use an IFTT recipe to file them all directly to Evernote or a specified Google Doc sheet. You could even set email filters to create smart read-later folders (and file those to Evernote too, of course.)

2. Make your Pinterest boards work harder
I love this little trick. Pinterest is currently my primary blog traffic driver, and it is a great platform for visual social sharing. Enhance the capabilities of your boards by making the RSS feeds market themselves for you. Use Jollybox to find the correct, image optimised feeds of your boards or your whole Pinterest feed. Then using dlvr.it, set up a route that drip feeds your Pinterest pins via the RSS feed across your other social networks. Clever eh? No, sit back, get pinning, and share away automatically.

3. Get instagram to go further
You can use Instagram RSS feeds in a couple of ways. Firstly, get your own image feed for your site or blog by replacing “username” with your username:

http://widget.stagram.com/rss/n/USERNAME

Or, you can get an RSS feed of keywords of hashtags on instagram by using this URL and replacing the hashtag with the one you need (minus the # symbol).

http://instagram.com/tags/HASHTAG/feed/recent.rss

Use these to monitor trends, keywords, competitions, campaigns…and of course use our friend IFTTT to file everthing in Evernote or Google Docs. Boom.

4. Auto tweet from your favourite sites
If there are sites whose blog posts you always like without question, why not set up auto sharing from the RSS feed via IFTTT to go straight to Twitter for some sharing and caring.

So, a lightening round-up on  using the humble RSS for social good.

Have you got some tips to share on RSS feeds and tricks? Do share in the comments below.

 

Why I love blogging on Medium

medium

Medium is a beautiful new blogging platform.

The brainchild of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, the concept is all about content. The writer is decentralised and it’s all about the stories, not the person.

Why use medium?
Firstly, it’s beautiful to write on. The CMS is fluid, intuitive, typographically gorgeous, simple, and aesthetically spot on:

 

cms medium

 

Next up, it’s a great place to reads and discover new content and stories; the traditional model of browsing archives doesn’t apply here, so follow collections of stories, read recommended articles, or browse by keyword or theme. Medium helpfully suggests stories for you to read, and even more helpfully tells you how long it will take you to read in the corner of the screen. Read more

January blog challenge on my Skillshare class

skillshare

Are you up for a challenge? Of course you are!

Right, over on my Skillshare class this month I am running a January resolution blog challenge with a one to one coaching session and year long pass to my Access All Areas package up for grabs.

To enter:
Join the Skillshare class ( the link is here, and if you use the code JANBLOG you get 50% off, woot!
Write a post on the theme of January resolutions
Share your post in the class project area

I will judge the best one, and announce a winner!

Deadline is the 31st January, so get blogging, and come and join us.

Remember, if you are clever you can read this post again and get perpetually free learning too…

jo gifford

 

Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
Work with me, Shop with me, and Chat with me!

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