The State of the Blogging Industry

Thought I would finish up the year with a great infographic talking about the status of the blogging industry in 2017. Enjoy!

Source The State of Blogging Industry & The Ultimate Beginners Guide on How to Create a Blog

Get Up To Speed On Instagram … FAST!

News flash: Facebook is losing ground … and Facebookers know it. The giant is readying itself by cranking ing up the focus on its partner company: Instagram.

What’s wrong with Facebook? In a word: CLUTTER. The same old, same old, jam-packed newsfeed bogs down our day. It’s beginning to get redundant – nothing but ads and fake news.

Many Facebook users – especially teenagers – are pulling down the blinds and heading elsewhere. eMarketer puts those numbers at a 3.4% decline for 2017, and some see those dwindling user numbers as an ominous sign of imminent trouble.

In this article, let’s take a look at a site that’s shooting up, not down. Here are five tips (plus a bonus) on how to get up to speed FAST with Instagram.

Instagram: The First Stop on the Road out of Facebook

Instagram’s strength is its simplicity. Sure, it lacks many of Facebook’s features (like text posts, and the ability to call your friends or create groups), but Instagram is first of all a photo-sharing application and that’s the focus.

Current stats show 800 million Instagram active users every month. The platform allows you to post pictures, videos, and stories online.

For those who are new to Instagram or are just getting started, here are five Instagram tips that can get you quickly on the road to master status:

1. Here’s how to see a collection of the posts you’ve liked

Liking Posts is the first thing you’re taught to do once you install and login on the app. You can double-click on an image or video, or you can tap the small heart at the bottom left corner of a post (where it changes from an outline to a fully coloured heart).

But did you know that you can see all the posts you’ve Liked in one page? Go to your profile (tap on the human-shaped silhouette on the bottom right corner of the screen) and locate the three vertical dots (for android) or a gear button (for iOS) on the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

Scroll down to the account subheader and you should see a link to “Posts You’ve Liked.”

Instagram example 2

To create a collection of posts you like, tap again on your Profile button and locate the ribbon on the right most side of the screen.

Then Swipe right to “Collections” and tap the Plus icon on the upper right corner or “Create Collection” link in the middle of the screen.

You can then name the Collection anything you like pertaining to the kind of posts you’re going to add to them!

Instagram 4

Now, to add photos or videos to your collection tap the ribbon button on the right side under a post, go back to the collections folder, tap the collection you want, and click on the three dots on the upper right corner and click “Add to Collection”. Now you can add anything you’ve saved. Neat huh?

2. How to see your friends’ activiites

Have you ever wondered how to see what your friends are up to? Or do you want to follow new people, but don’t know where to start?

Tap the heart button at the bottom of your home screen and swipe left to “FOLLOWING”. There you can see the activities of the people you follow including their likes, their follows, and their comments!

Instagram 5

3. Edit Photos on Instagram without posting anything!

Don’t you just LOVE Instagram’s Filters, Masks, and general editing software? They look amazing for either photos or videos. You can actually use them as a photo editor … without posting anything to Instagram.

First, turn on “Save Original Photo” in Settings.

K6 Pinterest

And then, turn on Airplane mode in your phone. To do this, go to the Settings on your phone, go to “More”, then tap on “Airplane mode”.

Then upload your preferred photo to the app, edit it as you want and press “Share”. An Error message would say that the it failed to post, but the photo itself will be saved in your phone ☺.

4. Insert Linebreaks

The “Enter” or “Return” button doesn’t appear in all keyboards, especially in an iPhone or iPad. Some Android devices don’t have it either. But there are times when you want to insert a line break in your bio or in your captions, so how do you do this?

For instance: You want to include the name of your company, along with a byline. Instead of “Symphony Placements – Bringing Harmony to Your Staffing,” you want it to look like this:

Symphony Placements

Bringing harmony to your staffing

No worries. You can either change keyboards to make the “Enter” button more accessible, or press the “123” key (this works especially for iOS) in the bottom left corner of your keyboard and the return key will appear on the bottom right.

To change keyboards in Android, go to Settings on your phone or tablet, scroll down to the “Personal” subheader, and locate “Language & Input”. Tap on the setting which says “Default” and choose “English (US) – Gboard.” There, you should have the return key on the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

5. Browse Posts from Geotagged Locations

You can actually browse photos and videos on Instagram from different locations! This is handy when you’re scoping out a place to hang or thinking of going to a place you haven’t been to yet.

Tap the magnifying glass at the bottom of your home screen and swipe right or tap “Places.” There, you can search as I did and click on the place you’re interested in.

Zoo Pinterest

You can also browse those posts which are near your current location. Go to “Places” again and tap the search bar, then tap the link saying “Nearby Places”.

There, you can choose the Geotag you want to look at from the options where you can see the recent posts that were tagged at that location.

BONUS: How to get Instagram Visitors to go to your Website!

Instagram is one of the social media platforms with the highest in online Ad Interaction. With that, it’s only sensible that you want to pull traffic from there to your own website.

There’s only one problem though: Instagram only lets you include one link, and that’s in your Bio. You can’t put links on Instagram captions as it’ll appear as just plain text, but there are ways to drive people from your Profile to your website.

First, you’ll have to add the website link to your Bio. To do this, go to your profile, and click the “Edit your profile” button and type your URL into the Website. You can update this daily or whenever you post something new to direct your followers to a new page of your blog or a new video on your YouTube channel.

But to get people to access your Website, they first have to access your profile. One way to do it is to put in your captions a call-to-action text which tells them to head to the profile for more details on the video, blog post, or recipe.

For a look at how businesses do it right, check out the Gazebo Guys Instagram presence.

That’s it! You are now a certified Instagram MASTER. Use these tips and tricks to upgrade your social media savvy-ness. Tap your way to more friends or prospects, or start a new business entirely … and all you need is a phone!

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned
  •  License: Image author owned
  •  License: Image author owned
  •  License: Image author owned
  •  License: Image author owned
  •  License: Image author owned
  •  License: Image author owned
  •  License: Image author owned

The author loves travel and photography. Instagram is a perfect match for both. Get more info @boomalive.

7 Things To Avoid If You Are Doing E-Mail Marketing

A lot of people have been skeptics about the success of e-mail marketing for a while now. They believe that it is digital marketing platform that is on the verge of dying out. Despite their thoughts, e-mail marketing has survived until today and is actually the best asset when it comes to long-term engagement. It’s hard to ignore e-mail messages, and therefore, they more often read than not.

An e-mail is a cost-effective solution to connect with your customer base and measure impact. It can be composed according to any desired action, and sharing is simple. However, in this day and age, when your clients receive dozens of e-mails, it’s extremely important how you do it, and there is a number of mistakes that people tend to make. So, in this article, we are going to discuss the things you should avoid in your e-mail marketing campaign.

e-mail marketing

7 Steps to Avoid with E-mail Marketing

1. Sending e-mails without the option to unsubscribe

When someone subscribes to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to keep getting mail from you forever. There is a wide variety of reasons why someone would want to unsubscribe. Therefore, it is essential that you make it easy for them to do so with a clear “unsubscribe” option.

Without it, your users might decide to start marking your mail as spam in order to stop receiving it. The end result of this is that you could end up in their “blocked email senders” list. If enough people do this, the deliverability of your e-mails will suffer. They’ll end up in the spam folder automatically, or won’t be delivered at all.

2. Not building a database

In order to create an e-mail marketing strategy, you must have people you are going to e-mail. The list of your existing e-mail contacts is a start from which you are going to grow. There is a variety of ways that you can build your database – you can incorporate a newsletter sign up field on your website, import contacts that you have on Linked In, have a CTA button on your Facebook page, and ask your users to let other people know.

A thing that you must never do is buy an email list.  It is shunned upon by e-mail service providers and the users that you are going to send e-mails to have no actual idea who you are. The only proper way to engage via e-mail is to reach out to people who have expressed interest in what you have to say.

3. Click-bait and over-hyped subjects

One of the worst things that you can do to your e-mail recipients is let them down. The fact is that if you choose to lie or place a spin on subjects in order for your e-mail to get opened more likely or generate more click-through rates, will do you a lot of harm in the long run. While at first you might get high results, your users will refuse to engage with you any further.

Click-bait titles and over-hyping what your e-mail is really about is only going to cause damage to your brand image. Think about long-term goals, rather than short-term wins that can harm your business.

4. Not including a call-to-action

All the effort put into a great subject line and high-quality content pretty much means very little if you don’t incorporate a proper call-to-action in your e-mail. After all, the whole idea behind an e-mail campaign is to get your users to do something – click a link, read your blog, check out a video that presents your product, etc.

CTAs are one of the pillars of digital marketing. You may have sparked your customers’ interest, but if you are making it tough for them to do what they’re supposed to do, your business will suffer. You need one dedicated CTA that will surely get you the most conversions.1

5. Sending self-promotional e-mails

It’s a bad idea to send out e-mails that only talk about how great your business is. The essential task of an e-mail is to provide your customer with something of value, in return for their engagement with you. Use the time that they are taking to read your message to give them a good reason to stay subscribed to you.

Too much self-promotion without providing anything useful to your audience isn’t the way to go. You can incorporate CTAs, but make sure that you also explain why what you are offering could help them.

6. Focusing on buzzwords instead of the story

The main job of your content is to make your audience feel like they need you. People generally won’t believe they need something unless they are engaged with a good story first. It has to be something that will resonate with them, and that they can connect with. The fact is that consumer behavior is constantly changing.

This means that your story should adapt too. If you focus too much on inserting buzzwords and writing in marketing lingo that is familiar to search engines but not people, you are going to lose the attention of your audience. If your story isn’t told naturally, it won’t be of any use.

7. Ignoring mobile

In this era of mobile devices, you simply need to make sure that your e-mails are mobile-friendly. Some of the best advice to follow is to stick to a single column. Traditional desktop e-mails are designed so that they can incorporate layouts with more columns, but on a mobile device, a 2-column e-mail will most probably take all the available width for it to be viewable. More columns than that will require zooming and scrolling, which is going to annoy your mobile users.

In summation

E-mail marketing is a digital marketing strategy that is still alive and kicking. While an e-mail is a cost-effective and engaging solution, it doesn’t mean that you can be sloppy or careless when writing one. Avoid the 7 pitfalls discussed in this article in order to make sure that your e-mail marketing strategy is successful.

David Koller is a passionate blogger and copywriter for Media Gurus, mainly interested in SEO and Digital Marketing.