- Make lists on Twitter from keyword searches and # updates. Save your lists as columns in Tweetdeck or Hootsuite etc so when you are blogging on that niche you can check in on what’s new.
- Google alerts are really handy for having the main news from keywords emailed to you. Set a few up, and you will get an email ping when your subject has an update.
- When you find blogs on your niche that you subscribe too, set them up in Feedly or a similar RSS reader under your category so you can check in when you need to.
- Use smart folders in your email client (I use Gmail smart folders from Labs to organise mine), so any RSS subscriptions from particular feeds get filed for when you need them.
- Make friends with PR’s in your niche so they can send you any info that might be relevant.
- Use a #bloggerrequest hashtag on Twitter to alert people that you are searching for information or case studies.
Entries Tagged as 'google'
Posted on: Monday, March 18, 2013
Posted on: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Calling all bloggers! If you, like me, are on the journey of growing your blog like a precious seedling to become a successful site, there is one thing we all need without fail.
Without those elusive readers, we blog away into the ether to our heart’s content -all well and good if that’s your schtick – but for the business minded, growth savvy blogger the long game of growing readership is a slow burn process.
Growing a readership is the holy grail. We write, we promote the posts on Facebook, Twitter, G+, klaxon, ESP….whatever you need to do to get the eyes on the page – whichever way you slice it, the growth of stats is a slow burn thing and takes time, effort, graft, and a lot of patience (and coffee). Fear not – there are some tips and tricks that will help you.
There are SO many posts about the best ways to do this. A quick “how to get more readers for your blog” Google search will show up hundreds. This is just my take, my experience, and my viewpoint. Take it or leave it, but I hope you find my two penn’orth useful. Read More >
Posted on: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
So at last, and I mean AT LAST Papa Diva and I are tackling our post-twins, post-moving house clutter. I am going through each room, archiving stuff we want to keep in boxes. Each box has a with Google doc relating to it’s contents and a QR code to stick on each box so we can scan and know what’s in there… This, dear readers, makes me warm and tingly from my grey geek matter down. I think our urge to declutter is partly a natural Spring urge to get sorted and clean after a Winter encased in dust and crap, and partly down to the new Channel 4 series Get Your House in Order.
The show features hoarders who are made to empty everything out of their homes and sell their excess rubbish for funds to have their home re-done by the show’s interior designer. It is actually terrifying to see the amount of complete and utter CRAP that people hoard, and I am so paranoid about clutter becoming uncontrollable that it has kickstarted a little regime. (check it out on Thursdays).
Now, to be fair, usually in the evenings sorting out our pit after the madness of working, having toddler twins and trying to fit in any form of exercise too is the last thing on my mind (the first being to cower, shaking in a corner with redbush tea, and loungewear). So to make it easy I have started doing just 8 minutes a day of anti-crap sorting. It doesn’t sound like much, by by jove it does have a cumulative effect. I have been ebaying stuff I no longer want or need, and make a cool £80 last weekend from junk.
The people from RugDoctor happened to email me during this méle of declutter so I thought you might like to see their top tips for a Spring Clean. I had added mine too, so you can get started on a Diva Geek Clean while the Spring Sun is shining:
1. Take it one room at a time Make sure you plan ahead and choose where to begin, make a list of the areas you want to target and tackle them one step at a time. Be sure to budget time for distractions too-unexpected visitors and phone calls are inevitable! (ok, I am really bad at this but it’s good advice. I tend to start in 3 rooms, have them all over the floor simultaneously, get really stressed after a while and rely on Miles to come and calm me down with wine. Their advice is much more sane.)
2. Declutter before your clean Always declutter before a polish, make sure your area is good to go before you don your gloves and spray. (yup, liking this.)
3. Deep clean those carpets Nothing refreshes a room more than a clean carpet, and hiring a Rug Doctor can have your carpets looking, feeling and smelling as good as new in no time. (ok, our carpets are covered in toddler goo, indecipherable crusty matter and chalk, so this is a good plan. When I can see the carpet, that is).
4. Make your vases blooming lovely What better way to freshen up your home than with a bunch of sweet-smelling blooms. Handpick some flowers from your garden for a sweet smelling aroma. (yes! This! *rushes to buy gerberas*).
5. Add a splash of vinegar to make those windows shine A top tip for making those windows squeaky clean is to add some vinegar to water and spray onto the glass, then simply wipe clean with a dust free cloth. (Hmm. or call the window cleaner? One does have a blog to write, a company to run, kids to feed, washing to do, The Tube to watch…)
6. Care for your curtains Are your curtains looking drab? Well take them down, remove the hooks and give them a quick cycle in the dryer with a wet towel to rid the dust. (Yip, although no amount of un-drabbing will save them from toddler claws. Maybe in the future. Ooh that vinegar came in handy for my chips in the end).
7. Revamp your wardrobe Empty your wardrobe of all your clothes and give it a good scrub, you never know you might find a couple of items you’d forgotten about too.( I love doing this, it’s always like finding a whole new set of clothes! Always room for more though. And shoes. *looks at Irregular Choice* I am still waiting for the ‘phone to ring re my sponsorship. Rude.)
8.Open the windows for fresh air Winter is over so open up those windows and let the good fresh air billow through your home. (Yes, yes yes. Also maybe leave via windows and sit in pub garden? Much more fresh air there.)
9. Start from the top and work your way down With each room start at the ceiling and get rid of the cobwebs before working your way down walls and finishing with the floor. (well, I am just pleased I am doing something, but I like the advice).
10. Get the kids to lend a hand (are you kidding? They are 2. This ends in chaos).
Have you got e declutter bug this Spring? Have you gone techy with it? Let me know.. x
Posted on: Sunday, January 29, 2012
Image counts. We can’t avoid the simple fact that we love the aesthetic, and if things look nice, you want to look at them. Sex sells, as we all know but how about a sassy blog so your readers want to stay? Visual is all over the social media trends right now - Pinterest is booming, instagr.am is huge and lifecasting visually is where we are, at the start of 2012. That aside, I like to read blogs that look fabulous, and I am sure your readers do too.
Whether you know you way around a CMS back end or not, here are my top tips for keeping a blog looking beautiful, the easy way:
1. Keep your image width sizes consistent. This is a really, really simple way to keep your blog looking lovely, and you don’t need Photoshop to do it. Work out how wide you want your images to appear on the blog (mine in the posts are 540 pixels) and simply edit your images before to post to make them consistent. Picnik is now free until 12th April when Google’s own image editor Creative Kit in G+ takes over, and you can easily edit image sizes before you post online (you can already see some of the Creative Kit features in G+ now). Keeping a clean line as you scroll, particularly on blog themes which have a central blog scroll area makes it all look neater, easier on the eye, and it flows better.
2. Use font add ons but don’t go crazy: Add-ons like Typekit (which has just been acquired by Adobe) are an easy way to add different fonts to your blog without having to know code geekage. My advice is: just don’t go crazy. Remember fonts are there to be read, and a blog full of lots of odd looking typefaces will look confusing. Pick maybe one to use as your headers and a nice body text, then leave it there. Be individual but not over the top
3. Blog headers can make or break your blog. If yours is run of the mill, why not make your own? Find out the size of your header (you can do this in most themes by right clicking on the header, or control click on a Mac, and select “inspect element”. Under the section marked “Metrics” you will see the size of your header. On some blogs you can drag and drop your existing header and open in an image-editing application to find out the size. Now you can create your own in GIMP or Picnik, and replace in your theme. Sound confusing? I will do some tutorials on this on the blog soon, but you can always get a quote for a designer to do it for you and it will be a lot less than you think! Email me for a quote, or look at blogs you love and often you will see the credits at the bottom for who has done the design.
4. Add some character. Copypastecharacter is such a useful tool, and I use it daily in both design work and blogging. It’s a brilliant website allowing you to access characters that usually require a twister-type movement of the fingers to get the right key combination to access certain characters. You can create your own sets easily and refer back to them when you wish.
5. Images are the soul of a blog, so get some great ones. Remember, copyright is not to be messed with online, so either access Creative Commons images which allow you to use and attribute, purchase from iStock, or why not make your own? With iPhonography taking off there are lots of fantastic apps on both iPhone and Android you can use to make fab imagery; instagr.am of course being one of them, but you can also edit plain old mobile images in Picnik or Google now as I mentioned before, so the creative juices can flow to make your pics blog-worthy. Most of all, they are all yours and individual to you. Perfect.
6. Highlighting some text as a pull-out headline can be easily done to add emphasis and another visual element. If you have a regular set of posts, consider designing your headlines as images that can be dropped into your blog (of course for the SEO savvy out there make sure you use alternative text when you place the image so you don’t miss out on the meta tags). Again, use simple online free software to pull out your quotes, and bring a personalised emphasis to your blogging.
So there we have it; a few tips to have yourself some sassy looking posts.
Tutorials and more free images and blog goodies to follow – make sure you sign up for my updates so you don’t miss out!
Posted on: Friday, December 9, 2011
This week I had a very frightening lesson.
I would like to share it with you, as my story is, sadly, not a rare one.
So. As Diva readers know I am a mum of twins with endometriosis, a journey I document here on the blog. Tiring, right? Oh, and I run my own business. And have just started a very strong treatment of Zoladex for my endo. All very good reasons to be tired. Read More >
Posted on: Monday, October 31, 2011
Here’s a little update on my first 10 days with Zoladex and Livial (HRT).
I have gained 4 pounds in weight; most of which feels like water retention as my arms and legs feel like the Michelin man and my belly is distended and sore but either way it’s pretty hideous.
I am in pain. A lot of pain.
I feel shattered, as if I could sleep for a week. Alongside the all consuming drowsiness I intermittently get the shakes, dizziness and and heart palpitations. I was so tired and disorientated last week I drive out of a fuel station into a moving flow of traffic. Luckily we weren’t hurt but I was shaken and scared.