You have a blog and you want followers? No?

If you are active on Twitter you may have seen these Twitter pages that retweet your page if you mention them and like them. I have used quite a few in the past and find with varying results.

I have done the hard work for you, I have listed the majority of current Twitter pages I have found that retweet blogs, I haven’t tried all of them however I have put a * with the ones I’ve used and am happy with. I have added a list over on my Twitter page with all of these on that you can subscribe too.

*@lovingblogs

*@Bloggerbees

*@TheBloggersPost

*@femalebloggerRT

@BBlogRT

*@UKBlog_RT

*@global_BlogRT

@theblogger_hub

@TheblogGuideRT

@YourblogRT

@bloggersoppsrt

@blogsretweets

@theDSblogRT

@lifebloggerRT

@UbloggerRT

@FabbloggersRT

@RT_Bloggers

@BlogLoveRT

Liked this post? How about reading:


How to read Twitter Analytics without wanting to chuck your laptop out of the window

How to make blogging/ social media goals and stick to them

How to add social media icons onto your blog (blogger)

Complete blog awards list

Thinking of hosting a twitter chat? This is what you need to know

Best sites for blogging and social media beginners #1

Best sites for blogging and social media beginners #2

Photo of pink and red balloons in the sky

If your aim is to win a blog award (let’s aim high here!) then you have to be in it to win it. Contrary to belief, the majority of blog awards the bloggers themselves enter in. Here is a complete list of awards (in no particular order) along with the web address and twitter handles.

*Please note, I have not been paid or approached by any of the organisations below. This is research I have done in my own time. If you would like to copy the list, I am more than happy you do so, but you must reference me as the author and add my web address and twitter handle @bex91 


If you see any blog awards I have not included please comment or tweet me and I will include it.

Cosmopolitan Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Beauty/ Lifestyle/ Fashion/ Fitness/ Food/ Sex and Relationships/ Photography
Website
Twitter

UK Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Art & Culture/ Automotive/ Dating/ Digitial & Technology/ Education/ Events/ Food & Drink/ Green & Eco/ Health and Social Care/ Lifestyle/ Photography/ PR, Media & Communication/ fashion & Beauty/ Travel/ Weddings
Website
Twitter

Bloggers Blog Award
Type of blogs: Beauty/ Lifestyle/ Fashion
Website
Twitter 

Amara Interior Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Interior
Website
Twitter

North East Blog Awards
Types of Blogs:
Beauty/ Buisness/Food&Drink/Lifestyle/Parenting/Instablogger/Interiors
Website

Next Blogger Network Awards
As I am not part of the Next Blogger Network myself, I couldn’t find much information about it. However, I felt it is worth including.

Bloggers Lounge
Types of Blogs: Beauty/ Lifestyle/ Design/ Fashion/ Charity/Parenting/ Tech/ Health and Fitness/ Food
Website
Twitter

MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Parenting
Website
Twitter

Wedding Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Wedding
Website

Beauty Blogger Awards
Type of blogs: Beauty
Website
Twitter

Blogging Edge Blog Awards
Type of blogs:
Website
Twitter 

Football Blogging Awards:
Type of blogs: Football
Website
Twitter

Brilliance in Blogging Awards:
Type of blogs: Parenting/ food/ photography/ travel/ style/ craft/ family
Website

Mumsnet Blogging Awards
Type of blogs: Parenting
Website
Twitter

Better Homes and Gardens Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Fashion/ Beauty/ Decorating/Gardening/ Food
Website

Vuelio Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Art & film/ Beauty/ Business and Finance/ Education/ Fashion/ Food and drink/ Health and Fitness/ Interior Design/ Media/ PR and Marketing/ Newcomer/ Parenting/ Politics/ Sport/ Travel and Tourism
Website
Twitter

Winerist Blog Awards
Type of blog: Drink (wine!)
Website
Twitter

Wine Blog Awards
Type of blog: Drink (wine!)
Website
Twitter

Navabi Curvey Blog Award
Type of blog: Fashion/ Beauty
Website
Twitter

UKYA Blogger Awards
Type of blog: Books
Website
Twitter

Talented Talkers Bloggers Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle
Website
Twitter

Welsh Blog Awards
Type of blogs: Political/ Community/ Lifestyle/ Technology/ Sports/ Multimedia/ Food & Drink/ Entertainment & Music
Website 
Twitter

Cambridgeshire Digital Awards
Type of blogs: From what the website it looks like any type of  blog can enter.
Website
Twitter

 

Image of a man writing on a whiteboard

I have never been a numbers girland never will be. However, to improve my social media engagement and followers, I do need to understand the statistics so I see what is working (so I can do more of it) and what isn’t. This post aims to be a beginners guide. By beginner, I mean those that have never really used the Twitter analytic dashboard before or have downloaded the stats and have found them to be really daunting.

So access your dashboard here
This is what the dashboard looks like, I will explain the 28 day summary first:
Tweets: This is the number of tweets you have written
Tweet Impressions: Number of times your tweet has been seen
Profile Visits: The number of people that have visited your profile
Mentions: The number of tweets that have contained your twitter handle

Followers: The number of people that have followed youWhat can you take from this?

From here what is most useful I feel is followers, profile visits and mentions. This is because followers and mentions is a measure of engagement. people have actively included you in a Twitter handle or have clicked follow. Tweet impressions is more of a blurred metric in my eyes because Twitter cannot guarentee that every person has seen the tweet. I don’t read every tweet on my feed. With the number of tweets it depends on what you want to measure. If it is number of tweets against engagement then yes that will be useful to see if it is the quality of tweets (i.e more people engaging with less tweets) or quantitiy driving your engagement.

Let’s go further down:
You can see above Twitter drills it down to your highlights from each month. The summary section which is the right hand column is the most useful as it is an overview on how well you did.
The next tab along is the tweet activity section. The graph shows, daily over 28 days, how many impressions your tweets made. Just run your arrow over one of the bars to see how many tweets you sent and how many impressions those tweets made.
Below is all the tweets you have sent and the impressions, engagement and engagement rate.
Impressions: Are the number of times users saw the tweet.
Engagement: Is the number of times a user has engaged in that tweet. Engagement is classed as clicks on the tweet, retweets, replies, follows, favorites, links, cards, hashtags, embedded media, username, profile photo, username or twitter expansion.
Engagement Rate: Is the number of engagement divided by impressions.
Engagement I feel is the most useful metric because the user has openly engaged with what you have written. Impressions as I said above is I think is a little wishy washy, engagement rate however is useful, if your engagement is low this is because the number of impressions (which will be influenced by the number of tweets you have sent out) means that people are not interested in what you have tweeted.Just a note the Video Activity tab also looks like it measures the same metrics but just focusing on the videos you have posted. I haven’t taken a screenshot as I don’t make videos but the dashboard looks exactly the same as the tweet activity section.
The next tab along contains what your followers are interested in, it is also split by gender. and what country and region your followers are from.

 

I found it surprising that I had pretty much a fifty fifty split in terms of gender however I am not a beauty or fashion blogger, I tweet about social media and my life in general so it does make sense. Region isn’t as important to me as what I tweet again isn’t based on locality however for those who are running small businesses you will want a large percentage of your audience to be from the region you are based.
Now you have had a wonder around the dashboard the next post will be about downloading your stats and how to make the most of them.

Image showing lots of social media icons in different colours

Uploading social media icons onto Blogger seems so much daunting than it really is. There is some HTML involved but it is so easy. It is essentially copying and pasting code and changing some words around.

1) First of all download some social media icons. There are loads around, flaticon is a good site that has been used in my workplace. This site is good too.

2) Once you have downloaded them, upload them into Photobucket or Flickr. I use Photobucket.

3) On Blogger go onto layout, on your sidebar click ‘Add a gadget’ then click add HTML/ JavaScript.

Screenshot of the layout section on blogger
Gadget box displaying where the HTML & JavaScript box is

4) Open up the HTML/ JavaScript and copy and paste this code:

<a href=”Your custom link”><img src=”Your Image URL” alt=”Twitter” /></a>

5) On the ”Your custom link” add in the link you want readers to click on. In this case I will add my Twitter link: http://www.twitter.com/bex91 and in ”Your Image URL” add in the URL of the image so for me it’s this: http://i1382.photobucket.com/albums/ah271/rebeccamerchant1/Twitter_zpsgkqaq8kx.png

To add other links just copy and paste the HTML but change the ”Your custom link” and ”Your Image URL”and alt=”Twitter” to whatever social network you want and corresponding image url. So see below in pink:

<a href=”https://www.pinterest.com/becbecbex/”><img src=”http://i1382.photobucket.com/albums/ah271/rebeccamerchant1/Pinterest_zpsaqm7dqql.png” alt=”Pinterest” /></a>

Here is a screenshot of what it looks like all together:

There you go, it is a really easy way to make your blog look professional.

Image of an ipad, tea and camera
I am a big fan of making plans and I am a big fan of creating lists, so it is a good job that both go hand in hand in reaching goals and getting everything completed. I make lists and plans at home and as well as at work and it helps me keep my focus and get everything done. This is important if you have important blogging and social media goals you want to hit. I have listed below, the best way’s to keep yourself on track.

Set realistic goals
There is being ambitious and then there is being stupid. By setting over ambitious targets you are setting yourself up to fail as it is just unachievable. For example instead of saying I want to win a blog award try I will nominate myself for a blog award. The second is more achievable than the first but you are starting out in achieving your original aim.

How to set your realistic goals
My best targets are made by making a plan in a diary. I set out week by week what I want to have achieved that week. So for example I would write to have two blog posts written by Sunday, by doing that instead of writing a long list is more manageable and I am not being put off by the list and get the sense of achievement at the end. For work I drill this list down to what I want to achieve that morning and afternoon. It motivates me and it is very likely that I will get all the tasks done!

Write your path to success
Write your aim and then plan the path at how you are going to get there. It breaks your goal down to managable chunks and you will feel that sense of achievement when you complete your mini aims. So to continue the example of writing two blog posts by Sunday. I would write:

Monday and Tuesday: Think of two topics and research material needed.
Wednesday and Thursday: Structure the posts and start writing
Saturday: Finish writing, proofread and schedule the posts on social media.

As you can see by breaking it down, it is managable and importantly achievable.

Don’t have lots of aims
The problem with lots of goals are that you are in danger of spreading yourself too thin. Aim for at least two or three and then once you have achieved them, just replace it with another.

Keep them SMART
If your aims are not Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time related then it is much harder to acheive them. In the goals I have set myself before where I haven’t used this (especially time) then my goals have either not been achieved ( For two years now I have been wanting to learn how to ride my bike using cleats) or it has taking me longer than it should have to achieve my goals.

Reward yourself when your goal has been reached
It is important to make sure you reward yourself when your goal has been reached. If you automatically focus on the next challenge you are in danger of really losing that sense of achievement and you will become frustrated.

So this is my way of making blogging/ social media goals and making them stick! What are your aims for next year?