How To Use Sulia For Blogging
I was so taken with Bottlenose, I went ahead and tried out another aggregate site. Sulia has a very attractive user interface as you can see from the screenshot of my account above.
Here’s how they describe what they do on their website:
We use a combination of editors and sophisticated algorithms to identify the best-regarded sources across thousands of topics. We then dynamically filter content from those sources, regardless of where it’s created (a blog, a social network, a media site, through Sulia’s publishing system, etc.), into high-quality, realtime “interest channels.” The result is streams of timely content from experts that is always on-topic, readable, and relevant.
Ease of Use
Simply link it to your Facebook or Twitter account and you are ready to start using it. It also has a handy bookmarklet, similar to Pinterest, which you pin to your bookmarks tool bar. Then simply click on it when you want to quickly post anything you find interesting directly to Sulia.
I love the interface and I really like that it aggregates sources from blogs, Facebook and Twitter. This is another example of how to stay up to date with the topics people are interested in so that you can write about it on your own blog. Are you tempted to try it?
Pinteresting Ways To Use Pinterest For Your Business
Facebook for Beginners: How to Use Pic Monkey & Create a Highlighted Update on Facebook
Many thanks to Sue of Quirki Stuff who asked us how she could display a ‘Before and After’ photograph of one of their painted items of furniture on facebook.
First of all, if you wish to incorporate 2 or 3 before and after photographs into a collage or display a wide photograph in order to give it more presence on Facebook, you need to be aware of the dimensions that Facebook allows for these photos. Highlighted and ‘Milestone’ photographs have dimensions of 843 x 403. If the photo is not this size, it will be ‘stretched’ to fit so may not appear as you had hoped.
To create a collage, a handy free tool is Pic Monkey. Simply opt for the ‘create a collage’ option and decide which layout you would like.
You can choose to upload photos from your computer and all the photos you wish to use will stack in the box on the left side. You can then move them to the collage one at a time or all at once. It is easy to change them from one box to another too. You will notice in the photographs below that the cabinet cannot be seen in its entirety, hence the boxes need to be enlarged.
Place the cursor on the outer edges of the collage and pull them outwards to enlarge the photograph. You can see the total size of the photograph at the bottom and as you can see, it is larger than the required 843 x 403 for Facebook requirements.
By manipulating the outer edges of the collage again, it is possible to reduce the total size of the image to 843 x 403, the desired dimensions. This can be a bit finicky so don’t worry if it isn’t exact, it just means that Facebook will either stretch or hide a tiny bit of the photo.
Then, simply name the photograph and save it to the desired location on your computer.
Next, you need to upload the photograph to facebook. Do check out our previous post on how to upload a photograph to facebook if you don’t know how to do this.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the collage had been cut to 403 x 403 so part of it is obscured. By clicking on the little star (highlight button) on the top right to the photograph, this changes it to 843 x 403 and gives it more prominence across the page – perfect for showing off a ‘before/after’ transformation.
Marie and I offer training session in groups and as one to ones so if you feel that you really need to get to grips with facebook or any of the other social meda and would like some help, do get in touch.
Next up – how to create a long, tall, skinny photograph for Pinterest.
Find It Friday: Pinterest
For this week’s Find It Friday post, we were asked a question about pinterest from Racquele: Should I set up a specific board for each of my Pinterest categories (e.g. ‘My tutorials’ and ‘My Fabric Boxes’). Am I being dishonest if I pin my products amongst other pictures in more general boards as people wouldn’t know some of the items are mine?
Tips For Your Pinterest Boards
- Try to ensure that each board name contains a popular keyword that people may search for. For example, ‘my fabric boxes’ is fine as other pinners may be looking for ‘fabric’, ‘boxes’, or ‘fabric boxes’ and your board and pins should then show up in searches. ‘My tutorials’ is too vague – you need to explain what the tutorials are about e.g. ‘My Sewing Tutorials’. ‘Sewing’ may also be a popular search term which would lead to your products being found and repinned.
- Set up as many boards as are appropriate but ensure that you have a number of pins in each one. Don’t have boards that are empty.
- See if some of the most popular board names would fit your boards. For example, according to the infographic we posted yesterday, two of the most popular board names are ‘For the Home’ and ‘Products I Love’.
- Remember to re-arrange your boards for variety and don’t forget to move those out-of-season boards to the bottom of the page. See ‘How to Re-arrange your Pinterest Boards‘.
- Pinterest has many benefits for your business from increasing brand awareness to significant SEO advantages. With many people spending more time on Pinterest than any of the other social media platforms, it is certainly worth spending time on getting it right and maximising the benefits for your business. Pinterest traffic to my online shop surpassed that of Facebook for the first time this month – time will tell if sales from Pinterest surpass those from Facebook.
Are you being dishonest by mixing your own products with others?
Would you like to attend a course on pinterest?
We will be putting in tenders to teach courses on pinterest and are hoping to gauge interest for same by posting a poll on our facebook page. We are also wondering if people would be interested in attending a webinar taught by Marie and I. We’d really appreciate if you could answer the questions on our poll or leave any comments in the box below.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend and that the sun shines 🙂
Successful launch of Write on Track
Yesterday, saw the successful launch of Write on Track, at the Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
We would like to thank all our friends and colleagues who came along to support us and those who tweeted and messaged us their good wishes. We’d also like to extend a special thanks to the Little Coffee House, who provided the delicious refreshments for us.
Photographer, Damien Carroll took pictures at the launch and we will be posting them on our Facebook page shortly. Damien was great at getting the right shots and also putting us at our ease. Alongside Amanda Webb of Spiderworking, Damien will be teaching a photography and video workshop on 18th May in Carlow. If you are interested in attending, make sure to stay informed of the details through the KLCK Blogger’s Network page. Prior to the workshop, Damien is presenting at the next KLCK meeting on 14th May on the topic of photography for blogging. Both are not to be missed events!
Come to our launch
On Monday, 16th April, we will be launching Write on Track at the next KLCK Bloggers Network meeting and you are all invited!
Lorna and I would love for you to join us at the Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, to help us celebrate the official launch of Write on Track.
I will be giving a presentation on how to get your blog on the right track, and how to stay on it. So, whether you are new to blogging or have been blogging for some time, this talk will walk you through the steps you need to take to ensure that your blog is on track to succeed.
Among the topics I will cover:
- How to run a SWOT analysis on your blog
- How to audit your search engine optimistion for better results
- How to determine if it is time to end or relaunch your current blog
- How to reignite your passion for blogging
KLCK Bloggers Network is an informal group for bloggers. All are welcome, those who are just thinking about blogging, those struggling with their blogs and those who have fully established blogs. There is something for everyone to learn from our meetings even the pros find there is something they can learn. It’s also completely free.
When: Monday 16th April 7.30pm
Where: Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co. Kildare
Hope to see you there and don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook, Eventbrite or by leaving a comment below.
Calling All Irish Furniture, Gift & Interiors Businesses
If you are an interiors, gift or furniture business based in Ireland, you may be interested in this competition that will ensure that more of your target market will view your products. House and Home magazine have launched a ‘Pick It’ service on their website whereby users can create mood boards from the magazine’s gallery pages but also from products featured from Irish shops. If you have an online shop, the facility is there whereby the user can click the product and be brought to your site in a new tab and they can then purchase the item if they wish.
Apart from the increased brand awareness and profile building, this will also increase the number of back links to your website from a related site which is good in terms of SEO juice.
The subscription for the winning business will last for a year and carries a value of €487.
You can enter the competition on the Garrendenny Lane by leaving a comment on the blog, names will be drawn this Friday. If you know of an interiors, gift or furniture business (online or offline) that would be interested, do let them know.
Pinterest for Business?
Have you heard of Pinterest? If your business is in any way related to retail / food / photography / interiors / architecture / knitting /hairdressing – indeed, if it is related to anything that you can take photographs of and find other photographs of on the internet, then Pinterest could be extremely useful for your business and will help to drive traffic to your website.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is an online virtual scrapbook or pinboard and the beauty is you can have as many pinboards as you like and you can share them with other people. See our previous post for an explanation of how to set up Pinterest and how to ‘pin’ pictures on it.
How will it boost my business?
- Pinterest is a little like an online ‘word of mouth’. People can pin pictures they like from websites and blogs (there will be a post on copyright issues regarding this coming up tomorrow) and they can repin pictures they like on other people’s boards.
- According to Hubspot, Pinterest is turning more browsers into buyers than other social media tools.
- Pinterest is a wonderful tool for any creative business to showcase their voice through images.
- Pinterest allows you to send visual messages about your business – be it product or service.
- Companies such as Etsy have had huge success with pinterest driving thousands and thousands of people to their site. Etsy has over 45,000 followers on its pinterest account.
- People can search for terms such as ‘bridesmaid shoes’, ‘Christmas’, ‘Wedding dresses’, ‘curtains’, ‘wallpaper’, so you do need to take care when naming your boards and describing each picture. It could be a good idea to use the keyword analysis tool to optimise your pictures. However, you can see how the possibilities of getting your product passed around as ‘repinning’ can really help to get the word out there.
- Each pin works as a link to your site so will count as a backlink. Each pin from your site should continually carry the source, ie your website, and if others embed the picture into their blog post, it will show the source as well as link to it if the picture is clicked upon.
- It is proving to be addictive! Women aged 25-44 are the most popular users but with the growth in infographics, more men seem to be partaking in it. One week recorded 11 million hits – a phenomenal amount for what is a relatively new media platform.
- It is shareable. It can link with your website, facebook and twitter. At the moment, it will show on people’s personal profiles on facebook (not business pages) so friends can see their pins and their activity. You can also link it to your twitter profile which can be a business one so each time you pin a picture, a tweet will be sent out.
- Pinterest can indicate trends or the success of new products. Repins may suggest how popular a product might become.
- Infographics are becoming very popular too so you can create a visual image of any company or industry data and share it by pinning.
How do I join?
You can apply to Pinterest to join and this can take a little while. Invitations mean that you can start pinning straight away so if you would like an invite, do leave a comment below and we will email you one.