The tools I use for managing multiple social media accounts

In this post, I am going to share with you the workflow and tools I use to manage multiple social media accounts.

With social media, you can feel that you are constantly chasing your tail and are never organised.

The key is to set up a workflow process so that you don’t waste time jumping between different programs and apps so that the process is as streamlined as possible.

Below are examples of the different workflows and tools I use to manage social media.

Posting to Instagram

  1. I take all my photos on my iPhone 7. I use square mode so that the picture is the right size.
  2. If the photo is a selfie, I will send it to Beauty Cam. In Beauty Cam, you can smooth out your complexion automatically and remove shine.
  3. The photo is then sent to VSCO where I apply the A5 filter. I use the A5 filter on all my photos for Instagram and my blog so that I always have a consistent look.
  4. Photos are then sent back to my camera roll.
  5. If the photo is being posted immediately, I then upload it to Instagram.
  6. If the photo is to be used at a later time, I add it to Planoly and schedule it.

Posting to Twitter

  1. I look through Twitter several times per day to find relevant content to share with my audience. This takes me about 10 minutes per day.
  2. I either just retweet content or retweet with my own message. The key here is to make sure that you share other people’s content each day as well as your own.
  3. Every Sunday I schedule 3 tweets per day for the coming week using Coschedule. These tweets are sharing my blog content.

Posting to Pinterest

  1. I look through Pinterest several times throughout the day to find pins relevant to my boards and pin them. I try to pin five pieces of content from other users every day.
  2. Every Sunday I schedule three pins per day for the coming week using Coschedule. These pins are my blog posts, and I pin them to multiple relevant boards.

Posting to Facebook

  1. I look through Facebook several times throughout the day to find posts relevant to share to both my Facebook business page and private Facebook group. My private Facebook group is for other small business owners that are my clients or who have attended my training. This group is also available to those that subscribe to my newsletter. I try to post at least one piece of content from other users every day.
  2. Every Sunday I schedule two Facebook posts per day for the coming week using Coschedule. These posts are my blog posts, and I pin them to my business page only. I only post new blogs posts to the Facebook group as you don’t want to bombard them with the same content every week.

Engagement

I also make sure that I respond to all questions and comments on all my social media channels within the day. This shows my followers that I am listening and engaged.

Have any other ideas to improve managing multiple accounts? Please share them in the comments below.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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My top 10 apps for working remotely

As a remote worker and technology professional, some apps are essential to keep me organised and to stay focused. Following are my top 10 apps for working remotely that can help you with your location independent lifestyle.

Slack

Slack is by far the best messenger app on the market. It is easy to use and has so many different integrations that you can streamline your workflow all within the one application.

I use Slack to integrate with Trello and Google Drive so that I can chat with clients about documents and project plans.

If you are a digital nomad, there is also a fantastic community on #Slack which you will find at nomadlist.com

It costs to join, but this particular forum contains an abundance of information about the digital nomad lifestyle as well as everything you need to know about any city you might want to work from.

Slack is ideal for small businesses and is free for certain features. You will find that large organisations are also using Slack as their preferred tool especially within IT development areas.

Trello

Trello helps me keep on top of all my project work and content management. I create boards for each of my clients and manage all my tasks with lists.

I can also exchange notes and updates with my clients and integrate boards with Slack so that my customers and contractors are notified when tasks are completed.

I also use Trello for my editorial calendar. When I have a new blog post idea, I add this to the schedule so that it won’t be forgotten. This saves having lots of pieces of paper floating around in my bag and all over my desk.

Rescue Time

I’ve just begun using this Rescue Time, and it has been an eye-opener as to how I spend my time. This app tracks all of your tasks on your laptop or smartphone and shows you where you have spent your time that day.

I have found it quite disconcerting about where I spend my time (too much time on social media), but it has helped me to improve my productivity.

Trail Wallet

Trail Wallet is an expense tracker for those who travel and who like to set a budget for each destination. With Trail Wallet, I can easily keep track of all my daily expenses.

You can keep track of your expenses, even in different currencies and set daily budgets.

You can then analyse where you have spent your money and hopefully improve your spending habits.

Fitstar

I have a subscription to Fitstar Yoga, an app for yoga that adapts as your fitness level progresses. As someone who travels a lot, this is an essential for me as it keeps me active.

Since I am also sitting a lot of the time, yoga is the best exercise for me. I also have a travel yoga mat so that I can do a workout at any time. Paired with fitstar, there is no excuse not to spend some time on the mat every day.

Tripit

The Tripit app allows you to keep all your travel information in the one app. I can send all my flight, hotel, car hire, etc.. details to the app so that everything is kept together.

So for each trip, I only have to open one app, and all my travel details are there. This saves me jumping between my e-mail, an airline app such as Qantas and Evernote where I keep my itinerary. Tripit keeps it all together and will even go through your inbox to pull out all travel details for you.

HoursTracker

I use HoursTracker to track the number of hours I spend on any project. I have set up all my clients in this app, and when I spend any time working on content for them I select start and then finish, and it tracks the time.

I can select the hourly rate I charge for each client if that is applicable so that I can track this and provide a statement if needed.

Whether or not I am being paid by the hour or project, I still track my time. This is precious information as I am then able to provide a good estimate of how long it will take me per project and what I should be charging.

Coschedule

I use Coschedule to schedule all my own social media activity. I spend one hour every Sunday entering in all the posts I would like to tweet, pin and send to Facebook for the coming week.

This saves me so much time thinking about what to post each day. This, however, does not include other people’s content.

Part of a social media strategy is to also share other’s content, so I do this part of my social media activity manually each day.

Planoly

Planoly is my go to app for planning out my Instagram feed. I take photos every day and the ones I think that will work for Instagram I upload to Planoly so that I can see how they will look in my feed.

I like to be spontaneous with Instagram, however, sometimes you get a great shot that you want to share at another time. Planoly helps you visualise your feed and schedule these posts.

Feedly

I use Feedly to find relevant content to share with my audience. Feedly aggregates content from around the web based on topics that I choose and then brings them into the one feed.

I am then able to Tweet and share to Facebook anything I find that is relevant to my business or clients.

I also save all those articles I find that I don’t have time to read and then can come back to them later.

So there you have it, a quick rundown of my top 10 apps that I use to run my business efficiently. Do you have any other favourite apps you would like to share?

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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Blogging workflow

One of the hardest parts about running an online business is setting up workflows that help you be more organised and productive.

I have spent countless hours working with different tools and systems over the past few years only to abandon them after setting them up or jumping on the latest bandwagon of a new product only to find them cumbersome of overly complicated.

As an IT professional, I like to find tools that are simple and straightforward to use and ideally integrated.

After much trial and error, I have finally settled on a process that works for me. So, here I am going to share with you the tools and process that I use to manage my blog posts and social media content.

Blog post ideas

I use Trello to keep track of all my blog post ideas. I have a board called Editorial Calendar that contains lists called blog post ideas, draft, completed and published.

With every blog post idea, I enter them into a card on the blog post ideas list. This means I have no more pieces of paper floating around with blog post ideas written on them. Since this application is on the iPhone and iPad, I can enter my ideas at any time.

Drafting blog posts

Once I decide on a blog post topic, I create a note in Evernote within my Blog Posts workbook. This is where I craft my blog post and capture my research.

The great thing about Evernote is you can save anything from the web into your notes so when I am researching a topic and writing, I can keep everything together.

Proofreading and editing

After drafting a post, I then copy the content into Grammarly which is a spelling and grammar checker.

Grammarly is a paid app that is well worth the investment as a blogger. It checks for all those grammatical errors that you sometimes overlook and also has helped me to improve my writing over time.

There is also a plagiarism checker which I always use to check my content. As a blogger, I want to make sure that my writing is entirely original.

Enter post in WordPress

The next step is to copy the content into a new post on my WordPress site using the text editor. I choose the text editor option over the visual editor as I like my code to be clean of any formatting. I then make any design changes using the visual editor.

Edit content for SEO

I now edit any content to adhere to SEO best practices using the Yoast SEO plugin. For further information on this process, read my post on SEO Best Practices and What You Need to Know About SEO.

Blog post images

I then use Canva to create the featured post image and another image to use within the post positioned at the top of the page to pin to Pinterest.

Social media campaign

Before publishing my post, I create a social media campaign using co-schedule within the plugin on my WordPress site.

Now when I publish the post, it is automatically shared out to Twitter, Facebook and pinned to relevant boards on Pinterest.

I then set this campaign to run on different days over the next month.

The post is then published, and my work is done.

 

I hope you have found this post helpful and can find a way to develop your own publishing workflow to make blogging work better for you.

Use any other tools and processes you would like to share with my readers and me? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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best practices for seo

With every post you make on WordPress, you need to make sure that it is optimised for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Depending on how you format your posts contributes to the effectiveness of SEO. Following are five things you need to consider when writing posts according to best practices for SEO:

Post Content

  1. Your post needs to be at least 300 words and is relevant to the keyword
  2. It needs to have a catchy title and also contain the relevant keyword
  3. You need to use H2 tags within the post
  4. Within the article, you should link to some external sites as well as include some links to other posts within your site
  5. Make sure your paragraphs are short for readability purposes

These are the SEO practices you need to follow for each blog post.

Images

You also need to make sure that your images are named in a way that includes the appropriate keyword. That means that before you upload the image to WordPress, you should change the image name. If it is the default name such as IMG123 that does nothing for you in regards to SEO. So name it according to the relevance of the post. Then once the image is uploaded, you need to then fill out the title field and alt field. The title field is also important as this is what Google will index. The alt field is the content that is available to those that have hearing impairments, so you need to make sure you fill this field out as well.

Also, make sure that you only include a few images per blog post as the more images there are, the slower your page will load. Your blog needs to be easy to access, and if your site takes too long, your bounce rate will increase.

For your main image at the top of the page that you use for your blog graphic and one that you most likely post to Pinterest, this should be full width and centered so that your post looks well aligned.

Yoast SEO Plugin

One essential plugin that you need on your site is Yoast SEO. This is the easiest way to optimise all posts for SEO, and it helps you determine whether or not your post meets best practice requirements by giving your post a red, orange or green status. You should always aim for a green status on all of your blog posts under the SEO section and readability.

Firstly you need to make sure that you change the meta description. I usually insert the first paragraph of the post and tweak it a bit if needed. I then cut it off at a point so that the reader might want to find out what else I have to say so will click on my link in Google and read my article.

Secondly, you enter the keyword that you are using for your post. This keyword needs to be used in the title, first paragraph and mentioned a few times throughout the post. If not, you won’t reach a green status for SEO.

Once you have done all of the above, your post is ready to publish.

Struggling to understand how to optimise your posts on your blog for SEO? I offer an SEO auditing service on your existing blog. For further details on this service, email me at liza@lizatinker.com.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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Tips for creating eye-catching headlines

It’s not enough that people can find your site or your blog: you’ve got to create information that matches with their needs and respects them as a reader. This blog post is all about creating headlines, subheadings, and creating engaging content so that visitors to your site will engage in dialogue with you.

Writing Eye Catching Headlines

Influencing readers is not about using a trick, schmoozing, or a pushy sales tactic. It’s about giving people something to think about and influencing how they think and feel about you while engaging in a dialogue with them. This kind of thinking takes work, just as your headlines do.

Since we know that readers are scanning what we read rather than reading it, we typically break the material up and use headlines and headers to catch their attention, or pull them toward you.

This means that instead of doing these things:

o Barraging our target market with messages
o Telling everyone our message
o Repeating the message ad nauseum
o Coercing, forcing, or tricking someone

We do these things:

o Encourage a dialogue
o Build trust by being credible and doing what we say we will do
o Show and demonstrate our message (walking the talk)
o Share the message and how our customers use our products or services

This shift in thinking means that we focus on content that people can use. Your headings don’t have to be wild and crazy, but they do need to be interesting.

Tips for Creating Great Headlines

Keep them short and direct

Often, readers are coming to your writing through a search engine, a link or from an e-mail, or an RSS feed. However, there are also plenty of ways for them to find you without coming to you directly, so you must be very easy to find.

Keeping headlines short and direct is a good start. Avoid being cute, and use vocabulary that relates to the audience you are appealing to.

Avoid confusing or pretentious language

Remember that even though we know some great vocabulary, headlines are the way for the reader to find you and tuck into your content.

Use active language and strong verbs. Don’t try to hide unsavoury elements in your writing, either. Once you’ve frustrated or tried to trick a reader, it will be very difficult to get them back to your site.

Use subheadings

Readers will engage when you catch their eye, and subheadings are a great way to help them scan through your material quickly and focus on the information they need and want.

Select a word or short phrase that describes what is in the section so that they can easily find what they want.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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productivity and multitasking

There was a time when I felt that being able to multitask was a skill that everyone must have to be successful. That was back in the day when I was an Executive Assistant and being able to multitask was a must as I was constantly interrupted and had to switch tasks depending on someone else’s priorities which changed often.

Nowadays I work in a role where I am required to produce content and manage multiple social media accounts and websites. I have found that if I am constantly interrupted, I am unable to produce quality work, it takes longer to produce a document or write a blog post, and this all brings on higher levels of stress.

So, I have kicked multitasking to the kerb, and I now set tasks that I focus on for certain periods of time which has increased my productivity.

So what should you do about it? These are just a few things that you can do to combat the stress of multitasking:

  1. Try to mix up your activities. If you feel that you must do two things at once, then go about it with the right combination of complexity and simplicity. The key is to match high cognitive activities with physical tasks. For example, go for a walk and get your blog post outline organised in your head. You can even use a voice recorder while you walk. Also, how about talking to a client while making a cup of coffee? Also, reading while listening to classical music can help.
  2. Choose some better tools so that you can focus on writing and nothing else until you are done.
  3. Learn how to say “no” so that you can weed out the projects that bore you that drive you to keep on looking at social media instead of working.
  4. Turn your phone off so that all those beeps and notifications don’t distract you. You can attend to those things later. Focus on what you need to do now.
  5. Finish one thing at a time. Don’t work to someone else’s schedule, work to yours.

You will find that if you put some of these practices into place, your stress levels will drop and you will make real progress on challenging projects. You will stop feeling rushed at the end of the day to achieve something and won’t leave projects unfinished.

Good luck with reducing your multitasking and I would love to hear about your work habits in regards to multitasking. Are you a good multitasker or do you feel it is a problem?

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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How to choose the right software for your business

What software are you currently using? Do you know if your software is up to date and really meets your needs? Software is a large purchase that can also require fees for licensing, training, and technical support. In this blog post, I’m going to help you to choose the right software for your business using a three-step process.

The Three-Step Process

Everyone loves software! However, a software investment is a big purchase. Software purchases should never be done impulsively, even if you get it at a bargain price. After all, it’s not a deal if you end up paying out for technical support or training.

Step One: What Do You Need?

For the first step, you as a business owner should make a list of the things you need the software package to do. Make sure you consider future wants and needs, too. For example, if you only have a few staff right now, collaboration tools probably aren’t high on the list.

However, if your business is going to grow significantly, you may include that as a requirement. Once everything has been considered, make a master list of wants and needs.

Step Two: Evaluating the Software

Now, choose at least three software packages that are in the general area of what you’re looking for. If possible, get trials and have a few staff members test them out.

Once you’ve evaluated the package, write down some basic information about each.

  • Why do you want to use this software?
  • What is the initial investment? (Make sure you include the cost of software and the cost of installation time. Also consider any computer upgrades that will be necessary, as well as time or resources needed to set these components up.)
  • What will the cost be later on? (Make sure you consider upgrades or annual fees.)
  • Will I need training? How much will that cost in time and money?
  • What support options are available? (We suggest talking to people who have used this software and dealt with their technical support.)
  • Will this software improve my businesses productivity? (In the short term, probably not, but in the long term, the benefits should be significant. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.)
  • Will this software grow with my business?

Then, compare the software’s list of features with your list of wants and needs. Any package that doesn’t cover all of your needs should be disqualified automatically.

What if none of the packages you evaluate seem right? Well, the good news is that there are thousands of different software packages out there. Determine why none of the packages suited your needs. If there’s a single feature that you want and none of them seem to have, you may want to look for a product that has that feature and then see how it stacks up against your list of wants and needs.

In the unlikely event that no product exists to do what you want, you’ll have to consider alternatives: combining several pieces of software, paying someone to develop the software, or doing the task by hand.

Step Three: Making the Purchase

Before you make the big buy, get prices from at least three places: software stores, big-box stores, and many websites all sell software. A caveat about ordering from the Web: stick with names you trust.

About Upgrading

Rather than purchasing a whole new software package, you can choose to upgrade your existing software. Yes, I said choose: upgrading is always a choice. Don’t let anyone make you feel that you have to upgrade. In some situations, it makes more sense than others, and upgrades are usually an improvement to the software.

As well, staff may require less training if they’re already familiar with the software. (Even if you’re just upgrading, we still suggest some training, even if it’s just an hour’s briefing session on what’s new in the package.)

When considering an upgrade, make sure you have answers to these questions:

  • How many versions am I upgrading? (For example, if you were upgrading from Message Plus 1 to Message Plus 6, you’d be upgrading 5 versions. Keep in mind that often the bigger the version leap, the bigger the learning curve.)
  • What new features are added to the product?
  • What features have been removed?
  • What is the initial investment?
  • What hardware or software (operating system and supporting applications) changes will have to be made if I upgrade?
  • Are there any hidden costs?
  • How do support options change? (Many companies stop supporting software when it reaches a certain age.)
  • What known issues exist with this upgrade?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being extremely unnecessary and 10 being vital), how important is this upgrade?

Hopefully the above information will help you in making the decision-making process much easier.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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Overview

So what exactly is the difference between categories and tags on your WordPress blog? Both of these are used to organise your blog posts and make it simpler for readers to find and navigate your content.

In a nutshell, if categories are the table of contents of your blog, tags represent the index. They also offer an opportunity to increase traffic to your site via search engines.

A simple way to think about this is that all categories and tags should represent a keyword that your reader might search for. For example, if I was searching for a handbag, the category might be fashion and the tag could be handbag.

Categories

Categories are the main way of organising your blog posts within WordPress. They are similar to folders on your computer that you use to organise your files. If you are familiar with the term metadata (data about data) these categories are the metadata of your site.

When mapping out how you want your users to navigate your site, you need to come up with some high-level categories. For example, if your blog is about fashion, your main categories might be work wear, casual, travel and street style.

You can then link these categories to your main menu as a drop down link so your users can navigate to each of the categories.

Tags

Tags are also used to categorise your posts, however, are more detailed. For example, a post might be categorised as work wear but you might add tags such as spring, shoes or even a brand name. Anything that will give a good overview of what the post is about should be included. Also with tags, if there is no obvious way to tag a post, don’t tag it. Not every post needs tagging.

Tips

  1. Before starting a blog write down the main categories you plan to use. For ideas, you can look at other blogs in your genre to see how they categorise their posts.
  2. Make sure when you add tags that you use the same version for the word. E.g. use bag, rather than bags or handbag. Be consistent.
  3. Invest in a plugin to bulk edit categories. This will save you time if you need to rearrange them in the future.
  4. Use Quick Edit to change categories. This is a quicker way to edit your post. To do so, just hover over a post and select Quick Edit.
  5. Undertake an audit of your tags every so often to ensure they still reflect the structure of your blog posts. This will ensure you are able to make the most of the ability to link related posts.
  6. Don’t go overboard when categorising your content. A post should typically be in no more than one or two categories and you should limit your tagging to only relevant content.

Have any other tips about categories and tags? Please comment below as I’d love to hear about them.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

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