I recently surveyed my email subscribers (you can take the survey here if you feel inclined!) and one thing I saw over and over (and over) again was people struggling to be consistent.
Consistent with blogging. Consistent with social media. Heck, just consistent in life in general!
And it makes sense why people want to be more consistent. Being consistent helps you achieve your goals. Being consistent helps you make positive changes in your life.
But I think something that people forgot or don’t want to realize is that sometimes being consistent is hard. Life gets in the way. Things get thrown off track. And then we throw in the towel because we’re no longer “consistent.”
That’s the biggest problem with being consistent. Hardly ever does anyone have a plan for when they fail, so they give up.
And to be honest, you will fail. There will be a day where you don’t do the thing you want to be consistent at. But what matters is how you react to it.
Being consistent does not mean being perfect. Let me repeat that.
Being consistent does not mean being perfect.
It’s not an all or nothing mentality you have to have. Small gains add up to big results over time. You have to be patient to be more consistent and that’s hard for some people.
But all hope is not lost! I’ve compiled my best tips on being more consistent with blogging, social media, and basically anything in life. I’ve also included a worksheet to help keep you on track!
Often I see that people want to start being consistent with several different things all at one time.
“I want to be consistent with social media, blogging, meditating, exercising, meal prepping, yoga, and journaling…all at the same time! Oh, and I’ve never done any of these things…ever!”
While it’s great to be ambitious about being consistent throughout many facets of your life, it’s also not realistic to do if you’re starting from scratch.
If you’ve never or hardly ever done any of these things in your life before, you can’t expect yourself to start being consistent with all of them at the same time. It’s impossible and you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Pick one thing to start being more consistent at. Make sure it’s something you actually want to do, and not that you feel like you have to do.
After you select your one thing, make that the top priority of each day. No matter what you will be doing that one thing.
Eventually, this will lead to a habit to where you just do the one thing without even thinking about. It will start to feel easier. You may be able to do it in a shorter amount of time.
I’m all for sharing tips on what works for me (hello, I’ve shared plenty of posts about how I stay organized and less overwhelmed), but when it comes down to it you need to pick a routine that works for you.
Exercising in the morning may seem like your ideal time to get your workout in because everyone else says you should exercise in the morning but if you hate early mornings you won’t do it.
Be honest with yourself and pick a routine that works for you and your life. We all have different priorities in life and it’s okay to do your own thing at your own pace.
Batching, which I’ve discussed before on the blog, is essentially doing similar tasks all together at the same time. I batch similar tasks all the time throughout my entire life and it makes a world of difference.
For instance, I meal prep on Sundays for the following week. I spend 1-2 hours prepping healthy breakfasts/lunches/dinners so my husband and I prepared for the week ahead with healthy meals.
This helps me consistently feel healthy and energized throughout my days because the hassle of cooking for an hour at night every night is taken away.
Now do I prep every single meal? No.
Do I miss some weeks? Of course. In fact, I missed this Sunday because we were moving (ugh…I hate moving).
But that doesn’t mean I stop doing it all together because I missed a week or two.
Doing similar tasks all at the same time also helps me spend less time overall doing the tasks, which hello…who doesn’t like saving time?!
Some people need the extra motivation from someone else to hold them accountable and that’s totally fine! Grab yourself an accountability partner and start getting consistent.
What’s important to remember is that you need to be honest with your accountability partner about what you want to become more consistent in and how they can help you if you fall off the wagon. As well as why you are looking for an accountability partner.
Figure out what your individual needs are so they can help you in the best way possible. Do you need a text every morning? Once a week check-in? Skype session every other Monday? You decide what works for you and make sure your accountability partner knows that.@BrittneyLLynn covers how to be more consistent with #blogging, #socialmedia, & basically anything else in life Click To Tweet
If you don’t set yourself up for success you won’t become more consistent in anything in life.
If you want to wake up each morning at 5am to start the day but you don’t go to bed until midnight every night, you may have a hard time with consistently waking up alert and ready to take on the day.
Think of the steps you need to do before you start your consistent task and make sure you have the right tools to set yourself up for success.
If you want to get more consistent at social media, plan time in your day to focus on a particular platform or start using a scheduling tool. If you want to wake up early, make sure to go to bed early enough. If you want to exercise more consistently, try finding exercise classes that you enjoy and feel less like “working out.”
When you finally get to the part of doing the task that you want to be more consistent at, limit distractions as much as possible.
Limiting distractions gives you the space to actually succeed with consistently doing a task.
One thing I want to point out is that you shouldn’t be choosing something to be consistent at that you don’t truly want to be consistent at. I realize that may seem obvious, but many times (myself included!) we as a society think we need to be doing what everyone else is doing. Make sure you are choosing habits that enhance your life, not anyone else’s.
If you haven’t heard, I love social media. I truly think it can help transform a small business. In fact, it’s a large part of how I grow my own business.
I asked 15 small business owners how social media has helped them grow their business and I can’t wait to share! There are a lot of goodies in here, so take notes!
Social media has been the catalyst of my personal brand and business. It allows me to directly connect with community members through my #createlounge Twitter chat and through personal Instagram updates. Whenever I launch a new product or service offering, I never have to feel like I’m going to launch to crickets because I have a supportive community on social media. Social media is absolutely worth the time investment, especially in the early stages of your business growth.Social media is absolutely worth the time investment, especially in the early stages via @kayla_hollatz @brittneyllynn Click To Tweet
Social media has helped grow my business in so many ways. Honestly, if I didn’t have social media I wouldn’t have a business.
Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest have been the big game-changers for me. Twitter introduced me to my best friend and is responsible for forming my mastermind. I don’t want to think about where I’d be without those amazing ladies. Facebook groups have been helpful in building relationships, finding clients, and growing my traffic. Finding each group’s daily threads and participating regularly is a great way to make the most of the groups you’re in. And Pinterest has been my #1 traffic source from the day I started giving it the attention it deserved as a social media account.
If you’re looking to grow your business through social media, be sure to study up on how to best use each platform. I recommend focusing on one platform at a time until you get the hang of it and really key in on what works well and what your audience resonates with. It can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth it!I recommend focusing on 1 platform at a time until you get the hang of it via @heykristarae @brittneyllynn Click To Tweet
Social media is the number one factor that has helped me grow my business. Pinterest, along with other social media platforms, is where I get most of the traffic to my blog. And more traffic means a bigger platform, which means a growing business. Without social media my business wouldn’t be successful.More traffic means a bigger platform, which means a growing business via @natalierbacon @brittneyllynn Click To Tweet
I had achieved success on Pinterest for a past travel business, and ended up booking over 75% of my travel clients directly from Pinterest. So I knew how powerful it could be! But I didn’t know how well it would work for my current business. Well, I shouldn’t have doubted it! Pinterest allowed me to go from a “nobody” in my industry to being seen as an “expert” with knowledge worth sharing. There is no way I would have been able to build my email list to over 3,000 subscribers in under a year without the use of social media to help me get my message out!
A lot of people are on social media to get clients + sales. We’ll be honest, our regular social media posting has never gotten us a client — and we’re totally okay with that! What social media has done for our biz is that it allows us to connect with like-minded business owners. Having a place where we can openly share wins and struggles, while being supported by a community is essential to our ability to be boss day in and day out.Social media allows us to connect with like-minded business owners via @weare407 @brittneyllynn Click To Tweet
When I started Amy Howard Social, I had a super small social media following – like most do when starting out. In less than one year, I now have a combined social media following of over 12k. This has resulted in an increase of blog traffic, client work, brand awareness, and relationship building. Social media is a huge part of my business, seeing that I am a social media strategist. I cannot express all that social media can do, but for me and my small business it has helped me quickly grow my dream biz! Pinterest is BY FAR my number one traffic driver and Instagram is my favorite for relationship building.Social media has helped me quickly grow my dream biz via @amyhowardsocial @brittneyllynn Click To Tweet
Social media not only launched my business, but has given me a visible platform to help and encourage women. Whether it be running Twitter Parties, hosting Instagram campaigns like #theimperfectboss or using social media to make new friends, it has grown my email list, connected me to clients and given me a voice. I believe social media can be a weapon in our business and a platform for so much goodness.Social media has given me a visible platform to help & encourage women via @ashleybeaudin @brittneyllynn Click To Tweet
Social media has played a huge role in my business, and it’s actually how I got my business off the ground when I had first started offering blog design services. Since then it’s helped me connect with people who may need my services through word of mouth and my sharing blog posts or my work, and that’s just Twitter! Facebook and Instagram have been a bit trickier to land clients through, but through sharing my work on Instagram with strategic hashtags and others mentioning me for work in Facebook threads, all three platforms have been amazing for my business!Social media has helped me connect with people who may need my services via @korymae @brittneyllynn Click To Tweet
I owe a lot of my success in business to social media. It expands my reach and gets my content in front of thousands of people and gives me an opportunity to connect and build relationships with other online business owners. Most of my clients come from social media and most of my ideas for products or services are initially generated through questions I see people asking on social media. Overall, as far as I am concerned – social media is vital to my business.Social media expands my reach & gives me an opportunity to build relationships via @thecrownfox @brittneyllynn Click To Tweet
Social media has played a huge part in growing my business. Its impact has been 2-fold. First, there’s traffic. Pinterest has been my #1 traffic driver recently, and all it took was being consistent. Second, social media has allowed me to meet and collaborate with many other bloggers. I’ve gotten my posts shared, traded guest posts, gotten referred for jobs, and have made online friends that collaborate with me on courses and webinars, all of which help boost my business.
Social media has allowed me to connect with my ideal clients in two huge ways: Facebook & Instagram. All of my clients have come from Facebook groups I am a part of (and active in) as well as referrals within those groups. Instagram is newer for the “business” side of things for me, but I’ve continued to engage and interact with other online entrepreneurs there.
I am looking forward to growing my Instagram in September and adding Pinterest to see where those can take me! The biggest thing for me & social media was this – being social! That’s kind of the whole point isn’t it? I’d encourage others to get out there and just be engaging on a daily basis.I'd encourage others to get out there & be engaging on a daily basis via @thesocialwalker @brittneyllynn Click To Tweet
Social media has helped me to connect with readers and other writers in a way that I would never be able to do with just email or my website alone. I’ve made some amazing connections and friends because of social media. For every troll or hater on social media you can find at least 5 more supporters if you look in the right places. I think being able to engage and interact with people on social media really helped me figure out what I wanted to do and which direction my business was going.Social media has helped me to connect w/readers in a way that I would never be able to do via @diadoll @brittneyllynn Click To Tweet
Developing a strong personal brand through my blog and social media is the sole reason I was able to quit my PR job in December to take my side-hustle full time. I actually landed my first-ever client by including an article written by a startup founder in a link roundup on my blog and tweeting it to him! That small social media interaction was the catalyst for a business relationship that is still in progress more than three years later.
The majority of my clients tell me they find me through Twitter (the social media site I’m most active on), as well as through my blog. Taking the time to develop a personal brand while building your business is key. People tend to get bogged down in client work and put their own brand on the backburner, but when you make time for both, your business can truly thrive.
Social media has helped me grow a thriving community around my business. When I first started out, I fell under the camp of “promote, promote, promote”, but now I’m all about building relationships and creating connections. My Facebook group is one of my favourite places to hang out online, and it’s really helped create a nurturing, supportive community around my brand. In this day and age, that’s absolutely valuable!
I’ll speak for two of my favourite social media platforms. Pinterest plays a big role as content marketing distribution for my small business, which helps me reach wider audiences apart from the existing readers. Then there is Instagram which brings out my personality through consistent content and increases engagement + conversations with my existing customers and potential customers.
As you can see, social media has been absolutely game-changing for many of these small business owners. In fact, several admit they wouldn’t even have a business if it weren’t for social media!
How do you use social media to grow your business? If you’re looking for more tips on how to use social media to increase your business reach, sign up for my free email course Shape Your Social!
Being a full-time blogger may seem like the dream job for some people. And while it’s exhilarating, exciting, amazing, and awesome, it can also be scary, intimidating, overwhelming, and well…stressful.
Yes, being a full-time blogger has its perks but it’s also a lot of hard work. Probably more than you think, to be honest.
I know I used to read posts from full-time bloggers and was envious of how easy their job must be. Now that blogging is a major part of my business, I realize that it is not as easy as you think.
The road to becoming a full-time blogger ain’t for the faint of heart either. That’s why I wanted to share the stories of these 10 bloggers who turned their blog into a full-time business and how you can too!
Sarah Morgan started planning her escape from her dreadful 9-5 a year in advance. She detailed an 8-month escape plan on a giant whiteboard, featuring goals for her design business, online shop, blog stats, and aerial classes and how she was going to get there.
Tip: Write out a plan for how you are going to earn enough money to start blogging full-time. Make sure you also write down all of your current and expected expenses so you know how much you need to be bringing in to support yourself.
Melyssa went from being an English teacher in Japan to running a full-time graphic design and blog business in three months, but it wasn’t easy.
Melyssa worked days, nights, weekends, and essentially any free moment she had working on her blog. She started up her graphic design business on the side of her full-time job and after three short months was making enough to quit her job and pursue blogging full-time.
Melyssa now has a booming community of creative entrepreneurs and bloggers that follow her blog, take her courses (I can’t wait to enroll in Pinifite Growth someday!), and all-around support everything that she does because she’s amazing at building a community.
Tip: Start building a community of followers now before starting a business, so you have an audience to write to before leaving your full-time job. Be yourself, show your unique talents, and be helpful to your community and watch it continue to grow.
Regina is a woman of many hats and she has worn all of them very well. From designing t-shirts, to graphic design, to blogging, she’s done it all.
Her tips for growing traffic and making more income aren’t the common ones, but ones I whole-heartedly agree with.
1. Get rid of stuff you don’t need. This can help you focus in on building your business while not be distracted by extraneous costs like cable, furniture, and entertainment.
2. Stop making excuses. Everyone is busy. Everyone. If you want to blog full-time you need to stop throwing out every excuse under the sun and just do the work.
3. The past is the past, but it can be useful. Everything you’ve done so far in life can help lead you to your full-time blogging business. You’re gaining valuable knowledge. Put it to use.
Tip: Think of unique ways you can start either 1) cutting down living costs or 2) making more money to help you get closer to the point of blogging full-time.
I’ve been reading Cassie’s blog for years (gotta support my fellow Hoosiers!) and her amazing food blog didn’t just fall in her lap.
She worked for six years in a job that wasn’t a perfect fit for her, all the while building up a gorgeous food blog that makes her an income.
She and her husband took a huge leap of faith, essentially cutting their monthly income in half, but they were determined to make it work…and make it work they did!
Tip: Becoming a full-time blogger often takes a leap of faith into the unknown to see if it will truly work out and be the job that you want it to be.Check out these 10 #bloggers who turned their blog into a full-time business via @BrittneyLLynn Click To Tweet
Julia is the fashionable, green juice drinking blogger behind the Lemon Stripes lifestyle blog.
Julia actually first started running an online boutique in 2014 before going back to a 9-5 job (which, no job is actually 9-5, is it?). She realized running an online boutique wasn’t for her, so she went back to work for a few years before taking her fashion and lifestyle blog, Lemon Stripes, full-time.
I admire Julia for going out on her own and then realizing that the path she chose wasn’t right for her. I think many people think once you make a decision you have to stick it out and that’s certainly not the case.
Tip: Sometimes the first try at going out on your own isn’t the one that works out and that’s okay. Let things happen and be patient.
Krista is one of my blogging buddies who thankfully gave me a chance and did my first webinar with me! 🙂
Krista started her blog while working a typical 9-5 desk job, and eventually got to a point where she was not as passionate about her day job as she was her blog.
She wanted to try to slowly transition into being her own boss by working part-time at her desk job, but when they said no, she quickly had to decide what her next move was.
She decided to throw herself into her own business whole-heartedly and now, looking back, wouldn’t change a thing about her journey.
Tip: The path to becoming a full-time blogger may not be what you expect it to be. Listen to your gut and be open to new ways to get to where you want to go.
Some people start full-time blogging simply because they need to quit their “real job” and that’s exactly what Ali Ebright from Gimme Some Oven did.
She needed to take her health and well-being into her own hands after some changes at her job had occurred that were not favorable.
Ali didn’t necessarily intend to make blogging her full-time career but now after several years she’s still finding herself loving blogging.
Tip: Depending on your circumstances, full-time blogging may be your way out of a frustrating job situation. Talk with your friends and family about what you can start doing to make moves to leave your dud job behind.
Davida also never planned on becoming a full-time blogger but sometimes life takes you down an unexpected path. I think something important to notice is that most people (scratch that…make that 99.9%) don’t get into blogging for the money.
Blogging is hard work. Though it may look simple and that it took only seconds to put together, great bloggers spend a lot of time crafting their blog posts. And if you worked out the hours spent on all tasks related to the blog, well, you’d be making less than minimum wage per hour.
This is especially true for beginner bloggers. You most likely won’t make a ton of money straight out the gate. Blogging is very saturated and you need to stand out from the rest.
Tip: Make sure you are blogging about a topic that you love because it may take awhile before the money starts rolling in.
Lee is another favorite food blogger of mine and she made the leap three years ago into full-time blogging.
Many times, people think you have to be a “professional” in your industry to make a decent income but that’s so not the case. Lee realized during her two years of blogging that she could make a career out of her healthy living blog without becoming an expert in the field.
Tip: Take a look at the things you do in your free time and how those could potentially become a business. Not every activity you do in your free time needs to become a business, but some could turn out to be the perfect next step!
Kiersten Rich from the Blonde Abroad decided to take some time off from her finance job to find out if there was something else out there that she was more passionate about. Turns out, travel was that thing!
Sometimes, you need to get out of your usual environment to find the thing that excites you the most.
Tip: If you have the means, take some time off to truly figure out what it is that you want to get out of blogging full-time and what are the things that you love doing. If you don’t have the means to take a true vacation, take a weekend or an afternoon to just be by yourself and reflect on what you love doing the most.
As you can see, there is no one path to becoming a full-time blogger. Maybe your path will be similar to one of these listed, or maybe you will forge your own path. There’s no right or wrong way and that’s one of the beauties of blogging!
I think I would go plain crazy if Feedly didn’t exist. That sounds dramatic, but it’s true! I no longer have to stress about finding 3rd party content to share on my social platforms and I also don’t have to go to a million different websites when I’m ready to schedule.
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How To Use Feedly To Streamline Your Social Media Scheduling
Feedly is an aggregator that compiles news feeds of blog posts, news articles, and web content into one place so you don’t have to go to a million different websites to read your favorite content around the web.
I not only use it to schedule content to my business social media accounts (follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!) but I also use it to keep up with my favorite recipe blogs, news sources, and friends and family members who have blogs.
The #1 reason why I suggest you to use Feedly is that it will save you so much time. I’m talking hours. Who doesn’t want to have more hours back in your day? I know I sure do!
Another reason is to have all of the 3rd party content you read in one place. Isn’t it annoying to go to 20 different websites every day to catch up on what you missed?
Feedly loads everything into one place so you only have one website to go to and catch up on all your favorite blogs and websites.
Setting up a Feedly account is easy.
Step 1: Go to http://feedly.com.
Step 2: Create an account.
When Feedly first came out, you could import your Google reader account, so I connected with my Google account. You can choose whichever option you would like.
Step 3: Start adding your favorite feeds!
If you don’t have any specific blogs you want to add, you can browse by topics and the sources they have to get started.
Related post: How To Streamline Your Social Media SchedulingLearn how you can use @Feedly to streamline your social media scheduling from @BrittneyLLynn Click To Tweet
You can organize your content by creating different categories. For instance, say you have a lifestyle blog, where you share all kinds of content related to recipes, fashion, and home decor.
You can create three different categories: recipes, fashion, and home decor featuring all of your favorite sources of those categories.
Then, when you find a new blog or website you like and want to share their content, you just add it to the appropriate category!
Check out the video below for more on how to organize and find new content.
Yay! My favorite part of Feedly: sharing social media content!
So here’s a piece of content that is in my Feedly account that I would want to share with my audience. There are multiple ways to share this to your social media accounts.
You can connect your Feedly account to your Buffer account and share content to your Buffer feed. This is free to do.
This is what it looks like once you click the Buffer button:
If you use the paid version of Buffer, you also have the option of using the power scheduler.
The power scheduler allows you to schedule the same piece of content multiple times in the future. I would recommend only using this feature to schedule out tweets.
You can then remove and/or edit the piece of content to say whatever you would like. You can also hook up your Facebook page, Google+ account, and LinkedIn profile to your Buffer and directly share from Feedly as well. I don’t have those connected to my Buffer account.
You can also share to your Facebook page and Twitter profile for free as well.
You can also highlight parts of the text and send the highlighted portion directly to Twitter.
You can also pin directly from Feedly for free. Just hover over the photo, and the pin it button will appear.
Once you click the pin it button, this will pop up:
Then you just pick whatever board or boards you would like to schedule it to and then you’re set!
You can also hook up your Hootsuite account to Feedly, but you will have to pay for the premium version of Feedly to be able to schedule directly to Hootsuite. I cover more of this in the video below.
Related post: 35 Ways To Promote Your Small Business On Social Media
Check out the video for a full tutorial on how I use Feedly to schedule my social media posts!
As you can see, I am a big fan of Feedly and if you’re stressed out by scheduling your social media and finding content I think you too should be a fan. It’s absolutely free and worth your time to at least check it out!
Please leave a comment below if you have any additional questions about how to use Feedly! I’d love to help out.
There are affiliate links listed in the post, which means if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission, which comes at no additional cost to you. Please know that I only recommend products I use, love, and have experience with and have found helpful in running my business.
I have a new love in my life and it’s called BoardBooster.
I’ve seen several people talk about how amazing BoardBooster is but being someone that initially did not want to pay for any services, I didn’t want to invest in the program.
And boy, do I wish I would have started sooner!
This blog post is a look inside all of the details of BoardBooster, how I use it for my business, and why you should use it too. I’ve also included a video tutorial of how to set up your BoardBooster account. I hope you enjoy!
BoardBooster is a program that allows you to schedule pins on Pinterest. It helps manage Pinterest accounts by automatically spreading new pins over ideal pinning hours, instead of having to manually pin throughout the day.
You can also easily clean up your boards, improve pin quality, streamline group board contribution, and optimize your pinning strategy.
Basically, it’s one of the greatest assets you can use to drive more traffic to your website, which is what we all want, right? Riiiight.
The cost of BoardBooster is 1 cent per pin. Plans start as little as $5/month (I am currently using the $10/month plan).
There are approximately one million reasons why you should use it (kidding. sort of.) but I’ll cover the top four.
Scheduling pins to go out throughout the day
Who has time to pin consistently throughout the day? I definitely don’t and neither do you.
The thing is, that’s what does the best on Pinterest. There are certainly ideal times that works better for your audience, but Pinterest prefers you pinning throughout the day, which is impossible to do unless you are 1) using a scheduling program like BoardBooster or 2) manually pinning throughout the day.
Since I started using BoardBooster, I’ve cut down on the time I spend pinning significantly on Pinterest but I’m getting a much higher conversion rate on people pinning my pins as well as visiting my website.
Increases Pinterest followers
My Pinterest account has increased over 500 followers in the past few months. While that doesn’t sound like a ton, I never would have seen that much growth if I were randomly pinning before. And the best part is BoardBooster basically makes my Pinterest on auto-pilot, to the point where I hardly have to spend any time pinning to Pinterest.
I started using BoardBooster in February but really didn’t dive into until June and my account has started to take off.
Drives more traffic to your website
Want to know what my top referrer to my website is? You guessed it…Pinterest.
Over the last six months, Pinterest refers more than 35% of traffic to my website. The next on the list is Twitter at 7%. Uh yeah, biiiig difference between those two numbers which is why I started really focusing on Pinterest as a web traffic referrer.
Perhaps my favorite part of using BoardBooster is the looping feature. I go into more details about this below, but it basically is a way to loop older pins on Pinterest to be shared in the newsfeed for people who may have missed the first time you pinned. It’s a great way to drive new traffic to older blog posts.Wondering how to use @BoardBooster? This blog post & video from @BrittneyLLynn shows you everything you need to know! Click To Tweet
Since there are several features to BoardBooster, I’ll break down how to use each feature.
The scheduler section of BoardBooster is where you can schedule pins to go out over your ideal period of time.
You can schedule pins to go out to your own boards or group boards. I’ve found the best use of scheduler is to schedule other people’s pins to group boards.
What BoardBooster does is it will create a secret board on your Pinterest account. No one will be able to see this board except for you. This is what the secret board will look like once you have created it and added pins to it:
When you are ready to schedule pins to this secret board, it will look like this:
The amount of pins and the time the pins are schedule to go out will depend on how you set up the secret board on BoardBooster.
Looping pins is a way to get old content that you have previously pinned to your boards re-pinned again so people who may have missed it the first time sees your content.
I currently loop pins from one board, BrittneyLLynn.com, which is the board for all of my blog posts.
You can only loop pins from your account’s board, so you cannot loop on group boards.
What’s great about looping is that you can set it up after a certain amount of time to delete the duplicate pin, so you don’t have the same pin on your board multiple times.
There are two types of campaigns you can set up: random or scheduled.
I usually do scheduled campaigns.
Essentially, campaigns are the way that I pin my blog posts to all of the group boards I am a member of, so they don’t all go out at the same time. I go over more of this in the video below.
This tool will test pins on your boards, identify 9 common problems like broken links and content duplication, and help you fix them.
Pin Doctor charges a penny a pin. You can order a test for just a few boards, and limit the test to the most recent pins.
Pin Mover helps you split or clean up large boards. It finds all pins that match your criteria and moves them to a board that you specify.
The first order is free. The following orders charge a penny a pin based on the number of pins moved.
Group Manager is a tool for owners of group Pinterest boards. It can monitor pins added by contributors and identifies the best contributors (as well as the not-so-great contributors who aren’t following the group board rules). Group Manager is a brand new feature (currently in Alpha mode). You can use Group Manager for free during Alpha.
This is where you can see what boards are performing the best as well as a monthly growth chart.
Best time to pin
BoardBooster will measure all of the times you pin and will show you which hours are your best to pin.
You can see how your overall Pinterest account has grown since starting BoardBooster, as well as the growth rate of each of your individual boards too.
Want an even more behind-the-scenes look at how I use BoardBooster? Check out the video below!
There are affiliate links listed in the post, which means if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission, which comes at no additional cost to you. Please know that I only recommend products I use, love, and have experience with and have found helpful in running my business.
Does anyone else loving taking a peek at what tools other small business owners use to run their business? I know I do. When I first started, I thought everyone did everything on their own and I wondered how the heck people actually got work done while doing all of those pesky business tasks.
Then I realized they aren’t doing everything on their own! Duh Brittney!
Below are the ten tools I use to keep my small business booming. Some are free, some are paid, all are awesome!
I’ve talked about FreshBooks before but it is seriously at the top of my tools I use list that I would recommend to other small business owners, especially those that do invoicing.
FreshBooks was designed for small businesses and it makes your accounting tasks a breeze. You may even look forward to invoicing your clients because it is just so easy.
Currently, I primarily use FreshBooks for invoicing clients twice a month as well as tracking my time for client project work. You can also track your expenses, but I currently don’t have a ton of overhead expenses.
I also look forward to tax time where I can easily pull reports for my tax guy making taxes a breeze!
Try FreshBooks for free for 30 days now (affiliate link)
Oh, Asana. Asana is basically my BFF. Though our relationship was rocky to start (totally my fault) it’s now my best friend fo’ life.
Asana is a project management tool that you can use as an individual or as a team. I use it for both purposes. I have several clients that I work with that we manage various projects in Asana together. In Asana, we can both make comments to projects, send and receive Google documents, view project tasks in a calendar view and more. This cuts down on my emails significantly, which is the main reason I started using Asana.
I also use it for my own business planning, detailing out content calendars and projects for my own business.Get your project work organized by using Asana
Trello is another project/task management tool I use. You can organize your projects onto boards, where you can see what’s been worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.
If you have a team that you work with, Trello might be a good option for you to try.
Since it’s just me, I don’t need to see details of who’s working on what, so I use it in a slightly different way.
I organize my Trello boards by categories of topics. For instance, I have a board called “Ways To Make Passive Income.” This serves as a reminder of when I’m ready to start pursuing passive income strategies for my blog, I already have a list of ideas to start with.
The ones that have the paragraph lines below also include a description of ideas for that particular topic.
You can also add links, create a checklist, assign a due date, and attach documents. Trello can get pretty in depth, which is great for complicated projects. I’m sure I will dive in more once I’m ready.
I’ve been using Hootsuite for years. In fact, I started using it at my first job right out of college in 2010. How crazy is it that was 6 years ago!?
Before I spend too long going down nostalgia lane, Hootsuite is super useful for small businesses. One of the main reasons I like Hootsuite is that there is no limit to what you can schedule on the free version. Many other social scheduling programs don’t have that option.
How I make the most out of Hootsuite is that I have a spreadsheet of all of my blog posts with 5 different tweets per post. You can see a screenshot below.
When I’m ready to schedule, all I do is copy and paste these into Hootsuite and schedule. You can upload an excel document if you are using the paid version but I currently use the free so this is how I make the most of my time.
I also have the Hootlet extension installed on my Google chrome browser, so if I’m reading an interesting article I can quickly schedule it into Hootsuite.
Buffer! Bless you Buffer, you make my life so much easier. I just signed up for the premium version (as in, literally yesterday) and it’s already rockin’ my world.
Buffer is another social media scheduler option you can use. The layout is much different than Hootsuite, which some people like and some don’t. I think it comes down to personal preference.
You can pick the ideal times that you want content to go out, and then any time you are scheduling a piece of content, it schedules the piece at the next available time slot.
There are two main reasons I started using Buffer: 1) You can re-buffer items, which is essentially a one click way to re-schedule a tweet you’ve already sent out. 2) They have a “content inbox” section where you can input up to 15 of your favorite blogs where it will pull in their blog feed so you can easily re-share their content. The content inbox is only available for the paid versions, which is why I ultimately decided to sign up for the Awesome plan.Sneak a peek at the 10 tools @BrittneyLLynn uses to keep her #smallbiz booming Click To Tweet
MailChimp is great for the beginner small business owner that wants to start using email marketing to promote their business. Are there other programs out there that can do a lot more? Of course. But not everyone is ready to take on complicated systems.
I currently use the $10/month version of MailChimp. This allows me to have an automated sequence for my free email course. If you won’t be doing any automation for your emails, you can use MailChimp for free if you have under 2,000 subscribers.
Google, man. It rules the world, doesn’t it? It definitely rules my business world, that’s for sure! I, like millions of others, use Google for multiple reasons.
Currently, I use Gmail, Google docs, Google sheets, Google calendar, Google slides.
I do a lot of writing for various clients, whether it’s email newsletters or blog posts, and Google docs is the easiest program to use to share these. We can make comments back and forth, you can track changes, and it hooks up directly to my BFF Asana.
Spreadsheets. Some people hate ’em, but I love them. So much so that my husband and I manually tracked our expenses for almost 3 years using a spreadsheet. Another story for another time.
Anyways! For business purposes, I have my tweet spreadsheet, monthly Instagram spreadsheet, and my business finances. Yep, even though I have FreshBooks I also like having a spreadsheet I can manually edit too. Girls gotta keep an eye on her moolah, am I right?
I sporadically have client projects I use spreadsheets for as well.
Aka where my entire life lives. No seriously, you could probably figure out everything I’ve done in the last 5 years (including what I ate for dinner) by looking at my Google calendar.
I schedule in everything (I go into more detail about my calendars in this post) personal and business related. I like having a digital calendar so I can move things around (especially because I always underestimate how long tasks will take me, anyone else?!).
You can read an entire post about how to use BoardBooster for your business (there’s also a video included!) but here’s a brief description: BoardBooster is a program that helps schedule out your Pinterest pins. Yes, there are other social media schedulers out there that can schedule Pinterest but I have found BoardBooster to be the best.
If you’ve ever been wondering how bloggers and online business owners find the time to pin all day every day, they are probably using a paid program and it is probably BoardBooster that they are using.
It’s been suggested that pinning throughout the day is better than pinning all at one time, but who has the time to pin all day?! Not me.
One feature that makes BoardBooster stand out is the looping feature. This essentially loops older pins into your feed so that new people that have recently followed you will see your older pins.
It’s a great way to boost your website traffic and I highly recommend it. You can start for as little as $5 a month (I currently use the $10/month plan).
Grow your Pinterest account by using BoardBooster (affiliate link)
The Godsend for those of us that are graphically challenged. If I had to create graphics in Photoshop or Illustrator on my own, my graphics would resemble something that a 3 year old could do. I just don’t have the graphic design talent which is unfortunate, but that’s when Canva comes in to save the day.
See the graphic at the top of this post? Made with .
But blog graphics aren’t the only designs you can make! They have pre-designed templates for social media posts, flyers, presentations and more. It’s such an amazingly useful free resource to use and I use it almost every day.
You can also buy stock photos through Canva for starting at just a $1!
When Google reader ceased to exist (RIP) I panicked. How am I supposed to keep up with my favorite blogs?! There’s no way I will go to their website every day!
Thankfully Feedly came along and I haven’t even given Google reader a second thought.
Feedly one of my favorite tools I use and is a way to organize all of the blogs and articles you read online in one place. Instead of going to 50 different websites each day to read the latest news, I go into Feedly and all of the blog feeds are right there waiting for me to read.
I have categories of content that I segment the blogs I read, one being other small business owners blogs.
Another bonus to using Feedly is that it can connect with your Buffer account, so you can share content directly from Feedly!
As I mentioned above, I’m obsessed with my Google calendar, but I do still have a paper planner that I use every day.
Mine is nothing fancy, just a simple planner from Target that I bought on a whim. One feature that I require from a paper planner is that I can write at length for each day. I can’t fit everything into a tiny calendar box.
I keep mine pretty simple, listing any personal to-dos on the left side, and business/work related to-dos on the right. It works for me so I’ll keep it simple for now!
I hope you enjoyed seeing the tools I use to keep my small business running! Tweet at me and let me know if you start using any of the ones I mentioned!
There are affiliate links listed in the post, which means if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission, which comes at no additional cost to you. Please know that I only recommend products I use, love, and have experience with and have found them helpful in running my business.
I started working with my very first freelance client in January of this year. While that was only 8 months ago, I’ve already learned so much organizing my day to be the most productive for both myself and my clients.
Everyone has their own systems and tools that work for them, so if you already have a well oiled machine system for your business, this post might not be for you.
But if you’re just starting out or if you’re struggling as a small business owner, perhaps you can take away a few tips from how I stay organized and productive as a small business owner!
I’ve discussed batch processing for creating social media updates before, but I take it even further and use batching across my business.
Before I get into my batching process, let me first explain what batching even is, if you aren’t familiar.
Batching is doing similar tasks all at the same time, so you aren’t flitting from one task to the next. No matter what type of business you have, I bet you there are similar tasks that it makes sense for you to do all together, versus separately and scattered.
Here are the ways I batch my work:
For my personal Asana team, this is where I organize blog topics, email newsletter ideas, etc.
You can write notes and attached documents from Google drive and Dropbox, which is one of my favorite features. Ah, Asana is just the best!
I mainly use Trello to organize client on-boarding and workflow, places to pitch for guest posting, affiliate links and more. Similar to Asana, you can use it with a team if that’s what you’re looking for.
You know how I said earlier I would break down sobbing if FreshBooks ever went away? Well I’d probably just give up on my business and go live in the woods if Google calendar decided to no longer exist.
I put everything in my calendar. I mean everything. Some people swear by only using paper calendars, and if that’s you, that’s awesome, but I need a digital aspect for my calendar. I have 9 calendars currently in my Google calendar and while that may sound excessive, it’s what works for me.
Here are my calendars:
Being able to click these calendars on and off is essential for my sanity, and another reason why a paper calendar just doesn’t work for me. Sometimes I only want to look at my personal priorities, other times I need to have an entire view to know of everything I have going on.
I do use a paper agenda for day-to-day to-do lists. I usually put my personal to-dos on the left side, business/client to-dos on the right. I find I like having a separation of to-dos so I know what I need to get done in the day for each.
While there is some overlap between what I write in my paper agenda and what I put on my Google calendar, for me this system works.
My suggestion for you is to find what works for you. There is no right or wrong way. It may take time to figure out the system that works for you, and that’s okay. Just keep trying and you’ll figure it out.
So that’s it! While business and life are ever-changing, this is what works for me and my business currently. I’d love to hear how you stay organized and productive, so let me know your best tips in the comments!
It’s been almost a month since my husband and I got back from our two and half week vacation to Europe and I’ll admit, it took me longer than I wanted to find motivation again.
While I did do some work while I was overseas, for the most part, I worked ahead enough that I didn’t have to do much. And while that was nice, it made coming back that much harder.
Even though I love running my own business and being the boss, I still lose motivation at times. I don’t have a boss telling me I have to do something, so if I lose my motivation, I lose out on potential business which is not good.
My motivation did come back though, once I followed these steps. I hope they help you find your motivation again too!
I cannot stress this enough. Take at least two days after returning to get your life back together.
You will have laundry, housekeeping, unpacking, grocery shopping and more to get done. Plus all of the emails to go through.
I told clients I would be gone until July 11, but I was technically getting back on July 8th. Having these extra days helped me get all of my personal tasks in order before diving back into the regular work week.
For most, it’s just going to downright stink to come back to regular life. You may have the vacation blues and that’s okay.
Admitting to my husband, friends, and even myself that I wasn’t quite mentally ready to come back into the regular working world immediately made me feel better, because most were understanding and had gone through the same thing before.
You won’t feel like this forever and you will get your motivation back. All it takes is time!
Coming back after a long vacation can end up giving you wanderlust for wanting to travel even more. It sure did for me. But once I started thinking of all the things I missed (our dog, our friends, In-N-Out (being honest here…) made me excited and motivated to come back home.
Write out a list of all the things and people you missed while traveling. These can be serious such as listing your family and friends, but I’d also recommend including small things like driving your own car, your favorite restaurant, or reliable WIFI.
We scheduled a fun night out with friends as soon as we got back. One, to catch up with our friends and trade vacation stories, but two, to have something to look forward to after getting back.
Even if it’s just meeting a friend for coffee or scheduling a manicure appointment…it can make a world of difference.
Though it may seem like your motivation is gone forever, it will come back. It always does.
We all have off days where nothing seems to get accomplished and the work piles on, but you will get back into the groove and be productive later.
For me, trying to force motivation and productivity ends in me being even less productive than if I just took the afternoon off without even thinking about work. Something as simple as taking a walk or getting a simple errand done can get me out of my funk fast.Getting back from a long vacation? Here are 10 ways to find #motivation after returning from an extended trip from @BrittneyLLynn! Click To Tweet
Sometimes doing the simple act of writing about feeling unmotivated helps me get over the unproductive hump.
If you aren’t comfortable with writing (or hate writing!) try and find someone to talk to about it. Sometimes explaining your feelings of being unmotivated helps you break through the real reasons why your unmotivated and can help you gain clarity as to what to do next.
Social media can be a place for comparison and when you’re feeling unmotivated you do not want to be comparing yourself.
Some days you’re productive, some days you’re not as productive. It happens. But looking at the carefully curated social media profiles can make you feel less than and that’s not going to help you get your motivation back any sooner.
I set time limits on how long I can scroll on social media and I make sure that I’m not in a mindset where I’ll be more likely to compare myself to others.
I admit I have a really hard time doing this, but do as I say, not as I do. Give yourself permission to take it easy for a week or two and not be so hard on yourself. Does that mean not taking care of any of your responsibilities and watching Netflix for 12 hours a day? No.
What this does mean is not expecting to come back and jump right into productivity mode. Tasks may take twice as long as they used to do, laundry might sit a few days longer than you’d like, and you may only formerly workout once a week.
In the end, it’s okay. Give yourself a break. The tasks will get done, laundry will be folded, and you’ll work out again some other week.
Sometimes all it takes for me to find my motivation is to listen to someone else talk about their experiences. Podcasts and audio books are a great way to get an outside perspective and to get your brain to think about something in a different way.
I have a list of podcasts that I know I can go to that always fire me up and make me motivated to come back to work. A few of my favorite podcasts include:
If all else fails, put on your favorite playlist and jam out in your room/office/car (or all of the above!). Good music can work wonders for your mood.
No matter what tips you implement, know that nearly everyone has gone or will go through the same thing. Taking significant time away from your job or business can be life changing, but you must give your mind the attention and break it needs once you come back.
Over the past 6 months, I’ve blogged consistently about all things social media. I’ve shared posts on how to get more engagement on Instagram, why Pinterest group boards are awesome, among many other related social media topics.
But lately, I’ve felt this pull to do more than just social media. Because while social media is absolutely important for small businesses and brands, it’s only a small part of a much larger picture.
One of my previous corporate jobs was doing social media for a recruitment company. And I loved it. It was right at the time where social media was on the cusp of being big for brands, so we were trying different techniques all the time to see what worked.
But eventually, I wanted to move into a broader role, one that encompassed more than just social media. So I left that job to go to a different one.
One where I had a role in creating marketing campaigns, writing longer pieces of content, and testing different advertising techniques both in and outside of social media.
Then when I started this little business of my own, I went back to what is comfortable. Social media is comfortable to me. It’s the work that is primarily on my resume and I love doing it, so I thought it would be easier if I focused primarily on social media.
“They” say you need to pick a niche and social media was my niche of choice.Discover why @BrittneyLLynn changed her blog content and when you should too! Click To Tweet
But as each month passed, I wanted to share other types of content here on the blog, but held back because it wasn’t all about social media.
While I’ve been thinking (let’s get real, probably over thinking) about this for a while, two things recently solidified the change for me.
After thinking, talking, and praying about this…it’s time to take the plunge and change up the content on this here blog. Yes, I will start write posts about social media but it won’t be ALL I write about.
I’m still editing my content calendar, so I’m not exactly sure what everything will look like, but I’m giddy over the thought of offering a broader range of topics here.
I’ve already taken steps to start updating my services page, to include more than just social media related tasks. And my future courses may or may not be related to social media…who knows! All I know is, I want to help others. I want to help other small business owners be successful and make a difference in the world.
So if you have that nagging feeling (we all know the one) that you want to write about something different than what you’re currently writing about, take notice. You’re having those feelings for a reason.
And maybe it doesn’t mean you do a 180 and change your blog’s focus. Maybe it means you condense your content. Maybe it means you start a second blog. Maybe it means you journal for fun. Whatever it is, that feeling is there for a reason and you should honor it. You never know where it may lead you.
Guest bio: Caffeine addict, yoga lover, blog strategist. Corinne helps others find their freedom from the trial and error of being successful online. Her goal is to help others get over the frustration of not knowing what to do, and help them find their own best strategies for growth. Join her free Facebook group, the Blog Building Lab, where you can connect with other bloggers, get support and boost your blog.
Close to 2/3 of all Americans are on social media. It’s about the same for the global population.
That’s a lot of people on social sites.
So it should come as no surprise that more and more businesses are jumping on social media to market their business, their products and services and their brand.
Unfortunately, not all businesses are using social media effectively. In fact, some of their mistakes could be costing them customers and sales. Here are the top 10 mistakes businesses are making on social media today.
Many businesses know they have to be on social media, and throw up accounts without really knowing their goal. A good social media marketing plan should be a summary of everything you hope to accomplish by using social media. Maybe you want more exposure for your business. Or maybe you want to bring attention to your products.
The plan should also include where you’d like your account to be; how many followers, how engaged they are. Figuring out your goals will help you determine what steps you need to take to get there.
In order to grow your social media accounts and get more followers, you need to be active on social media. Consumers often turn to social media to find out more about a business. If your account is not active, customers may think you’re business isn’t active … and take their money elsewhere.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be on at all hours. But you should be updating your content at least a few times a day to remain active and relevant.
Like most marketing tactics, social media isn’t an overnight thing. You aren’t going to grow your social accounts overnight, and you aren’t going to drive consistent traffic right away.
Unfortunately, some businesses try their hand at social media for a while, don’t see any benefits, and quit. This is a huge mistake. The more they post, the more benefits they will start to see. An easy solution? Commit to social media. Make it a part of your marketing plan. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time each day, but if you’re consistent, you will start to see big results.
Social media is first and foremost, social. While it’s a great way to bring attention to your own blog posts and announcements, but you should also be sharing content other than your own.
When it comes to social media, follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time, share other stuff. This can include other blog posts, industry news, images, quotes. The rest of the time, feel free to share your own posts, news and announcements to bring attention to your own brand.
Images grab attention and draw people in. If your business isn’t using eye-catching images in your social media feeds, you could be missing chances to get even more followers. Also having images, but ones that are poor quality can make your profile come off as unprofessional.
You can easily remedy this by simply making sure you are sharing images and videos, and making sure they are high-quality. Whether you share images you find around the web, or snapshots of your own products, choose images that are clear and attention-grabbing.Are you making any of these 10 mistakes on #socialmedia? Find out if you are from @corinnekerston & @BrittneyLLynn Click To Tweet
Many customers come to social media to follow businesses, but they also come to interact with them. Many times, customers will leave a question or a concern on a business profile. And unfortunately, many businesses tend to ignore these comments, or if they do respond, they are taking way too long to do it.
A super easy fix for this? Monitor your profiles often and respond to any comments or questions. This is especially important if a customer leaves a negative comment; you want to address it and fix the situation right away. You should also engage and respond to positive comments. It helps make you more approachable and relatable. Which brings us to number 7 …
You can continue sharing your blog posts, industry news and all that, but customers wants to get to know the real you behind the business. This is why not being engaging is a huge mistake.
Respond to comments, pose questions, like comments others leave on your profile. Showing your customers the real you helps build trust, one thing you need to build a thriving business.
Post schedulers like Buffer, Hootsuite, or MeetEdgar are great tools. They allow you to always be online and sharing, even when you can’t always be on and sharing. But businesses start to get into trouble when they begin to rely too much on these tools. Accounts begin to look very robotic, perhaps even spammy.
If you are going to use an automation tool, use it sparingly and make sure you personally get online and respond and engage with your followers.
On the other hand, when businesses don’t automate some of their posts, they sometimes tend to over post. If they can only get online sporadically, they think they should post anything and everything when they get the chance. This leaves them with an account that gets extremely full at one point, clogging up their followers’ feeds. Not good.
Instead, preschedule some posts and try to actively log in a few times throughout the day. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours each time you log in. A few minutes spent on replying, liking and commenting throughout the day will make a world of difference.
With all the mistakes mentioned here, perhaps not being on social media at all is one of the worst.
The best thing to do is to create a profile, and post every now and then. It’s not difficult, nor is it super time-consuming. The key is to be consistent.
So many people are on social media, and they are constantly searching for businesses. If your business isn’t correctly utilizing social media, you could be losing out on a ton of business. Get on social media and make sure you’re not making any of these 10 mistakes, and you can continue to grow your audience and your business.