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      How to Create a Media Kit for Your Website (5 Key Tips)


      You’ve built a great website and spent hours crafting content that’s laser-focused on your target audience. Your traffic is great, the site design is impeccable, and the search engine optimization? You’re hitting every keyword, baby.

      But here’s the unpleasant truth: you can be doing all those things right and still not get the interest from advertisers and media outlets that you want to grow your business.

      You may be wondering what you can do to turn things around and deliver a comprehensive message to prospects about your services.

      Adding your business’ key information to your website can be a way to maintain your brand standards while bringing in new advertisers and collaborators. Collecting these details into a “media kit” can help you provide a convenient place for people to find and use them as needed.

      In this article, we’ll take a look at how media kits coordinate with your other content and why you might want to add one to your site. Along the way, we’ll share some stellar media kit examples. We’ll also go over how to create your own media kit in five easy steps.

      Whether you’re a blogger, influencer, or entrepreneur, creating a media kit for your website is a must. Let’s get you some press coverage!

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      What a Media Kit Typically Provides

      The terms “press kit” and “media kit” are often used interchangeably. A media kit, however, is more specifically geared towards bringing in advertisers or potential clients.

      Arguably, a public relations-driven press kit can also bring in advertisers. For this article, we’re going to use the term “media kit,” however, and focus on how it can help you monetize your website, bring in collaborators, and appeal to advertisers.

      A comprehensive media kit generally includes the following:

      • An introduction. You can use this as an opportunity to present a very targeted message about your business. Alternatively, you can produce an approved bio for anyone to use.
      • Site statistics. There’s no need to be humble here — it’s smart to put your best numbers out in front. For example, you can let everyone know what a great opportunity your site presents due to the volume of traffic it receives.
      • Advertising opportunities. You can use your media kit to spell out precisely what kind of advertising you have available on your site. Your media kit is a good place to outline what you can’t accommodate as well.
      • Audience data. The demographics of your site’s audience might not be right for every advertiser or collaborator. Supplying that information in your media kit can help eliminate any confusion.

      Let’s look at an online-only media outlet as an example. The popular website, BuzzFeed, has a global audience of over 650 million. It showcases its media kit information in a clean and scrollable format for potential advertisers. The kit clearly displays the most critical information and allows for opportunities to click through and learn more.

      Alternatively, Catherine Summers is a style blogger with a media kit that ticks off all the best practices boxes. Summers immediately jumps in and addresses why anyone would want to work with her and then lays out all the options.

      Catherine Summers’ media kit page featuring her headshot.

      These examples showcase a wide variety of different approaches you might consider for your own media kit.

      Why You Might Want to Consider Adding a Media Kit to Your Website

      As we mentioned before, media kits are prime real estate for showcasing the best of what you have to offer. Plus, you can plainly state how interested advertisers or other potential clients can work with you.

      That said, there are are two main audiences to think about when deciding whether you should create a media kit for your website. They include:

      • Advertisers. If you are hoping to bring in revenue by offering up space on your website, you’ll want to consider crafting your media kit with an appeal to potential advertisers. Highlighting your audience demographics and the number of views they might get on your site are important metrics to consider.
      • Clients. If your primary goal is to bring in new clients or fill out your speaking engagement calendar, there might be other aspects to highlight in your kit as well. For instance, showcasing previous high-profile engagements can heighten your appeal to potential clients.

      Understanding the primary goal of creating a media kit for your website can help you prioritize your content and focus your efforts. Of course, your media kit might also have a combination of advertiser and client appeal. As we saw in the examples above, being comprehensive with your media kit is definitely a valid approach.

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      How to Create a Media Kit for Your Website (5 Key Tips)

      Now that you have some idea of what a media kit might include, let’s discuss how you can start building your own. In the following sections, we’ll cover five essential steps that will get you on the path to building an attention-grabbing kit.

      1. Establish Your Brand

      When it comes to marketing, brand and brand strategy are vital. Your media kit is one opportunity to really solidify your brand and make sure it’s represented correctly. There are several ways you can help to establish your brand with your media kit.

      Providing downloadable documents, press releases, images, and logos or graphics is one approach. Offering these can help encourage site visitors to use your products and establish a friendly atmosphere. Visitors will know it’s OK to use the materials, and you control their quality.

      A downloadable biography and images in Brene Brown’s media kit.

      Another element you might consider including in your media kit is a style guide. This guide may take some investment of time to create but can pay off in the long run. A style guide makes it very clear how your brand can and should be used both on- and offline.

      2. Provide Relevant Statistics

      We mentioned earlier that one element of a media kit to consider is statistics about your site and business. Depending on your level of experience with tracking analytics, this might seem challenging at first.

      If you’re using a managed web host for your website, you might want to see if it provides easily-accessible statistics. For example, here at DreamHost, all of our hosting accounts include user statistics functionality. This can help you track visitor numbers, traffic to your domain, and even referring URLs.

      BuzzFeed’s advertiser information page featuring audience statistics.

      To maximize the benefit of providing your stats, you’ll want to keep in mind who they’re relevant to. In the case of media kits, you’re not really providing these numbers for your readers, but rather for potential advertisers or clients. Therefore, you’ll want to focus on the figures that illustrate the benefits of working with you and your audience. Don’t forget to include follower demographics and engagement data from your social media platforms too!

      3. Describe How to Collaborate With You

      Your media kit is also a place where you can specifically outline what opportunities you are looking for when it comes to collaboration, such as:

      • Affiliate Marketing Opportunities
      • Book Deal
      • Event Appearances
      • Giveaways
      • Guest Posting
      • Podcast Sponsorships
      • Product Reviews
      • Site Ads
      • Social Media Promotions
      • Sponsored Blog Posts

      Being specific can help increase the number of quality leads you get. For example, if you are primarily looking for guest posting or social media opportunities, outline the specifics in your media kit.

      The LadyBossBlogger website has an excellent example of how to present your collaboration suggestions and opportunities transparently.

      LadyBossBlogger’s media kit page featuring collaboration information

      Alternatively, you can create forms that allow potential collaborators to give information and outline their inquiries. You’ll also want to consider whether you want to list your prices upfront or encourage prospects to contact you for more details.

      4. Share What Others Have to Say About You

      Testimonials are used in marketing all the time and for good reason. Your media kit can leverage the power of these as well. As a form of word-of-mouth marketing, collecting strong testimonials (or just creating a list of past media coverage) is often a worthwhile investment of time.

      Whether you’re citing past media mentions from publications or sharing sound bites from social media followers, It’s always advisable to note in your media kit exactly where your testimonials are coming from. You can help build trust through transparency in this way.

      One useful example to check out is cookbook author Ren Behan’s press site. There, she displays comments and testimonials in a variety of ways.

      Testimonials from Ren Behan’s media kit page.

      There are several methods for collecting testimonials. You can use online reviews and LinkedIn recommendations, for example. However you decide to obtain them, you’ll want to make sure it is evident in your media kit whether it is acceptable for others (such as reporters) to use them.

      5. Provide Your Contact Information

      It may seem like a simple thing, but providing your contact information is extremely vital. In fact, the contact page is often the most-visited page on any website. You can link to this page in your media kit or simply include contact information and methods within it.

      Either way, providing multiple contact options is always a smart approach. Some web users prefer forms, while others will just want to know what your email address is. One good example of combining both methods comes from (not surprisingly) a UX designer’s website.

      The contact information on Ekkrit Design’s website.

      The simple approach here makes critical information very clear and gives the visitor options. Your contact information is probably not where you want to implement an online scavenger hunt. Also, it’s essential to always keep this information up-to-date, with all links and forms functioning optimally.

      Essential Tools and Resources for Building Your Media Kit

      Now that you’re armed with some great ideas for your media kit, you might be wondering how to create yours. You can do this entirely from scratch, of course. However, there are also quite a few free and premium resources that can make the process easier.

      These include:

      • Canva. This is an online design tool with beautiful pre-made templates and graphic elements. You can get a free template with limited access or pay to get a variety of upgrades at reasonable prices.
      • Creative Market. An online exchange for creative work, Creative Market is like Etsy for marketing materials. You can commission a custom font, or browse other original work to find the perfect fit for your brand.
      • WordPress. There are many options out there for building websites, but at DreamHost, we’re partial to WordPress. As a free, open-source tool, it offers immense flexibility. Plus, you’ll find many useful plugins for creating portfolios, displaying contact information, and developing contact forms.

      Ultimately, how you create your media kit is less important than what it includes. So you should feel free to use whatever tools you’re most comfortable with and focus on ensuring that your kit is comprehensive, easy to understand, and user-friendly.

      Get Those Media Contacts

      Bloggers, influencers, small business owners — regardless of your focus, you want to solidify your brand, bring in more work, and attract advertisers. For all those goals, a media kit is the key.

      Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of media kits and shared some industry-standard examples, you should be ready to launch your electronic press kit.

      Creating a wow-inducing media kit can take time. Here at DreamHost, we want you to be able to focus on the task at hand, and not get sidetracked by website maintenance and troubleshooting. That’s why we offer complete hosting solutions with reliable support, so you can focus on growing your business!



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      Install Plex Media Server on Ubuntu 18.04 Using Salt Masterless


      Updated by Linode Contributed by Linode

      Plex is a media server that allows you to stream video and audio content that you own to many different types of devices. In this guide you will learn how to use a masterless Salt minion to set up a Plex server, attach and use a Block Storage Volume, and how to connect to your media server to stream content to your devices.

      Before You Begin

      1. Familiarize yourself with our Getting Started guide and complete the steps for setting your Linode’s hostname and timezone.

      2. Follow the steps in the How to Secure Your Server guide.

      3. Update your system:

        sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
        
      4. You will need to create a Block Storage Volume and attach it to your Linode. You will format and mount the drive as part of this guide. This volume will be used to store your media, so you should pick a size that’s appropriate for your media collection, though you can resize the volume later if you need more storage. For more on Block Storage, see our How to Use Block Storage guide.

      5. Plex requires an account to use their service. Visit the Plex website to sign up for an account if you do not already have one.

      Note

      The steps in this guide require root privileges. Be sure to run the steps below with the sudo prefix. For more information on privileges, see our Users and Groups guide.

      Prepare the Salt Minion

      1. On your Linode, create the /srv/salt and /srv/pillar directories. These are where the Salt state files and Pillar files will be housed.

        mkdir /srv/salt && mkdir /srv/pillar
        
      2. Install salt-minion via the Salt bootstrap script:

        curl -L https://bootstrap.saltstack.com -o bootstrap_salt.sh
        sudo sh bootstrap_salt.sh
        
      3. The Salt minion will use the official Plex Salt Formula, which is hosted on the SaltStack GitHub repository. In order to use a Salt formula hosted on an external repository, you will need GitPython installed. Install GitPython:

        sudo apt-get install python-git
        

      Modify the Salt Minion Configuration

      1. Because the Salt minion is running in masterless mode, you will need to modify the minion configuration file (/etc/salt/minion) to instruct Salt to look for state files locally. Open the minion configuration file in a text editor, uncomment the line #file_client: remote, and set it to local:

        /etc/salt/minion
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        ...
        
        # Set the file client. The client defaults to looking on the master server for
        # files, but can be directed to look at the local file directory setting
        # defined below by setting it to "local". Setting a local file_client runs the
        # minion in masterless mode.
        file_client: local
        
        ...
      2. There are some configuration values that do not normally exist in /etc/salt/minion which you will need to add in order to run your minion in masterless mode. Copy the following lines into the end of /etc/salt/minion:

        /etc/salt/minion
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        ...
        
        fileserver_backend:
          - roots
          - gitfs
        
        gitfs_remotes:
          - https://github.com/saltstack-formulas/plex-formula.git
        
        gitfs_provider: gitpython

        The fileserver_backend block instructs the Salt minion to look for Salt configuration files in two places. First, it tells Salt to look for Salt state files in our minion’s roots backend (/srv/salt). Secondly, it instructs Salt to use the Git Fileserver (gitfs) to look for Salt configuration files in any Git remote repositories that have been named in the gitfs_remotes section. The address for the Plex Salt formula’s Git repository is included in the gitfs_remotes section.

        Note

        It is best practice to create a fork of the Plex formula’s Git repository on GitHub and to add your fork’s Git repository address in the gitfs_remotes section. This will ensure that any further changes to the upstream Plex formula which might break your current configuration can be reviewed and handled accordingly, before applying them.

        Lastly, GitPython is specified as the gitfs_provider.

      Create the Salt State Tree

      1. Create a Salt state top file at /srv/salt/top.sls and copy in the following configuration. This file tells Salt to look for state files in the plex folder of the Plex formula’s Git repository, and for a state files named disk.sls and directory.sls, which you will create in the next steps.

        /srv/salt/top.sls
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        base:
          '*':
            - plex
            - disk
            - directory
      2. Create the disk.sls file in /srv/salt:

        /srv/salt/disk.sls
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        disk.format:
          module.run:
            - device: /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-0Linode_Volume_{{ pillar['volume_name'] }}
            - fs_type: ext4
        
        /mnt/plex:
          mount.mounted:
            - device: /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-0Linode_Volume_{{ pillar['volume_name'] }}
            - fstype: ext4
            - mkmnt: True
            - persist: True

        This file instructs Salt to prepare your Block Storage Volume for use with Plex. It first formats your Block Storage Volume with the ext4 filesystem type by using the disk.format Salt module, which can be run in a state file using module.run. Then disk.sls instructs Salt to mount your volume at /mnt/plex, creating the mount target if it does not already exist with mkmnt, and persisting the mount to /etc/fstab so that the volume is always mounted at boot.

      3. Create the directory.sls file in /srv/salt:

        /srv/salt/directory.sls
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        /mnt/plex/plex-media:
          file.directory:
            - require:
              - mount: /mnt/plex
            - user: username
            - group: plex
        
        /mnt/plex/plex-media/movies:
          file.directory:
            - require:
              - mount: /mnt/plex
            - user: username
            - group: plex
        
        /mnt/plex/plex-media/television:
          file.directory:
            - require:
              - mount: /mnt/plex
            - user: username
            - group: plex

        The directories that are created during this step are for organizational purposes, and will house your media. Make sure you replace username with the name of the limited user account you created when following the How to Secure Your Server guide. The location of the directories is the volume you mounted in the previous step. If you wish to add more directories, perhaps one for your music media, you can do so here, just be sure to include the - require block, as this prevents Salt from trying to create the directory before the Block Storage Volume has been mounted.

      4. Go to the Plex Media Server download page and note the most recent version of their Linux distribution. At the time of writing, the most recent version is 1.13.9.5456-ecd600442. Create the plex.sls Pillar file in /srv/pillar and change the Plex version number and the name of your Block Storage Volume as necessary:

        /srv/pillar/plex.sls
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        plex:
          version: 1.13.9.5456-ecd600442
        volume_name: plex
      5. Create the Salt Pillar top file in /srv/pillar. This file will instruct Salt to look for the plex.sls Pillar file you created in the previous step.

        /srv/pillar/top.sls
      6. Apply your Salt state locally using salt-call:

        salt-call --local state.apply
        

        You should see a list of the changes Salt applied to your system. You have successfully installed Plex using Salt.

      Set Up Plex

      Initial Configuration

      1. You’ll need to create an SSH tunnel to your Linode to connect to Plex’s web UI. On your local computer, run the following command, replacing <your_ip_address> with your Plex server’s IP address.:

        ssh username@<your_ip_address> -L 8888:localhost:32400
        
      2. In a browser, navigate to http://localhost:8888/web/.

      3. Sign in with your Plex username and password.

      4. Name your media server. This example uses the name linode-plex. Be sure to check the box that reads Allow me to access my media outside my home and then click Next.

        Name your media server

      Organize Your Media

      1. Click on the Add Library button:

        Click on Add Media

      2. Select Movies and click Next:

        Select Movies and click next

      3. Click Browse for Media Folder and select the appropriate folder at /mnt/plex/plex-media/movies. Then click Add:

        Select the appropriate folder

      4. Repeat the process to add your ‘Television’ folder.

      5. When you are done adding your libraries, click Add Library.

      6. To continue the configuration process, click Next.

      7. Click on Get Plex Apps to download the appropriate Plex client for your device. Then click Done.

        Download the appropriate client for your device

      8. In the future you can add more libraries by hovering over the menu and clicking the plus sign (+) next to LIBRARIES.

        Add more libraries

      DLNA is a protocol that incorporates Universal Plug and Play (or UPnP) standards for digital media sharing across devices. If you do not wish to make use of it, it’s recommended that you disable this feature, as it is openly connectable on port 1900. From the Plex web interface, click the wrench icon in the upper right corner, and navigate to the DLNA section under SETTINGS. Uncheck Enable the DLNA server, and click Save Changes:

      Disable DLNA

      Connect to Your Plex Server

      1. Visit the Plex Apps download page or the app store on your device to download Plex Media Player if you have not already done so.

      2. Open your Plex app. The example provided here will use the Plex Media Player for macOS.

      3. Sign in to Plex.

      4. On the left there’s a dropdown menu where you can select your server by the name you chose. Select your server.

        Connect to your Plex Server

      5. You are now able to stream your content with Plex.

        Plex's macOS App

      1. You can use SCP to transfer media to your server from your local computer. Replace your username and 123.456.7.8 with the IP address of your Linode.

        scp example_video.mp4 username@123.456.7.8:/mnt/plex/plex-media/movies
        
      2. Once you’ve transferred files to your Plex media server, you may need to scan for new files before they show up in your Library. Click on the ellipsis next to a Library and select Scan Library Files.

        Scan your Library for new files

      More Information

      You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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      How to Promote Your Blog on Social Media


      You’ve worked really hard to get where you are. Go ahead, toot your own horn. You deserve it. We know running your own website can be lots of hard work — and that’s not even counting the challenges, learning curves and (probably) late nights you’ve endured in the process of getting where you are now.

      That being said, nothing is more demoralizing than putting your best efforts out there on the web for everyone to see, then scanning your analytics and seeing low page views on your blog or website. Sure, numbers aren’t everything, and traffic takes time, but likely you’ve started producing content with the hopes that you can get eyes on your site, and ultimately, the website you’ve worked so hard to create. We want that for you, too.

      Mobile phone screen with apps.

      In an effort to expand your marketing toolbox and drive rush-hour-loads of traffic to your site, we’re chatting social media — the deets of each channel and how to utilize various platforms to promote your blog. Goodbye, single-digit stats. Hello, Page views (with a capital P)!

      Social Media, an Overview

      For many of you — especially the web savvy and in-tune millennials — interacting with social media is as habitual as breathing. You do it without thinking. Scrolling, snapping, double-tapping; it’s second nature. You know social media well, especially in the how and when of your engagement with it — the average American spends two hours a day social-ing — but let’s look at it from a more analytical perspective. To start, some numbers:

      Internet users are social. That much is obvious. And from these numbers alone, we can see that social media is a big market, likely under-utilized or misused by many sites in generating traffic and promoting blog posts. Thus, tapping into these platforms means big business for the promotion and growth of your blog. How? Let’s analyze it as a marketing tool.

      Social Media as a Marketing Tool

      Time to don a new hat — that of a marketer. Ninety-one percent of retail brands use two or more social media channels, and 81 percent of small and medium businesses use some kind of social platform. To build and engage audiences, you need to be socially connected to generate more traffic to your site.

      Because social media platforms can experience a high volume of traffic and engagement, you’ll want to leverage those crowds to bring eyes to your website or blog. Plus, it’s a budget-friendly way to market your blog (hey, we know the purse strings are tight!)

      How? First things first. As we mentioned, you can probably garner a lot of useful social media info based on your own social habits, but consciously keeping your finger on the pulse of social conversation (think of it as honing your social listening skills) will help you better understand how to launch your social media plan of attack to build your site traffic.

      Plus, social media is always changing and evolving, so you need to be in tune with social platforms to keep up with the most effective marketing methodology for each one. Don’t sweat algorithms too much, just keep learning and testing what works best for your audiences.

      Social media channels also present a useful two-way system of accepting user feedback and gathering relevant user-generated content.

      Using social media as a marketing tool doesn’t have to be tricky. We’ll walk you through some social media marketing best practices, then investigate how you can you utilize each unique social channel to promote your content and start building traffic on your blog.

      Buckle up — and grab a pencil: it’s time for Social Media Marketing 101.

      Social Media Marketing Best Practices

      Social media marketing requires individual, customized efforts (as we’ll discuss later), but there are a few good-for-traffic practices of general application that you can implement in your efforts to market your blog.

      Link It

      Users won’t want to dig around to find your content or an obscurely-hidden link to your blog. Make it easy for them to locate you by putting a link to your site on all of your social media channels. Make it visible and easy to navigate. When your social media content engages them, they’ll want more — so make it simple for them to connect with you and access your blog or website.  Also, try to keep your handles consistent across your platforms. That will make it easier for audiences to find you — and easier for you to build a cohesive and recognizable brand. (Yes, even blogs have brands!)

      Autoblog's Twitter profile.

      Autoblog’s Twitter profile has a handy and convenient link to their blog direct from their bio.

      Make it One-of-a-Kind

      Even though most social media channels have the same basic underpinnings (sharing content, connecting with others, etc.), that is really the only tie that binds them. Each platform structure is unique and they each operate on different models.

      That being said, the way you promote your blog or website on social media cannot be one-size-fits-all. The marketing of your blog on Instagram will likely not work on Facebook, and what works on Twitter will definitely not work on Pinterest. You get the idea. Plus, social content just CTRL+C-ed onto each platform is not only lazy, but it could be off-putting to audiences — this repeat approach can appear spammy. You definitely don’t want that.

      As you develop plans to promote your blog posts on social media (see next point), take each platform into account. Tailor your content to each platform individually based on the mechanics of each channel. (Learn more about these models in our platform breakdown section to follow.) And know this: you don’t have to have 15 different social media accounts. It’s 100 percent fine to pick a few and focus on excelling at those. Know (and respect) your limits.

      The WP Beginner website on Facebook.

      The WordPress Beginner website adjusts how they present the same content on Facebook and Twitter.

      The WordPress Beginner website.

      The WordPress Beginner website adjusts how they present the same content on Facebook and Twitter.

      Stick to a Schedule

      With everything you have to do to keeping your website up and running (we know the to-do list is never-ending), you’ll need a way to stay organized — and keep yourself sane — as you promote your blog on social media. After you’ve planned out tailored content for each channel, schedule your posts so you can set them and go. Programs like Hootsuite or CoSchedule work excellently for this multi-channel scheduling.

      Plus, scheduling content ahead of time helps you keep content consistent and tap into the best posting times for each platform without forcing you to be online every second of the day. It will take time to figure out the best times and posting frequency for each platform, so don’t worry if you have to keep tweaking and refining your social media scheduling.

      Create Buzz with Campaigns

      Rather than just a here or there tweet or Instagram post, you can use social media to attract audiences to your blog in new ways. By creating social media campaigns (and using hashtags in the right places), you can implement focused, concentrated efforts that can yield a greater return on engagement and traffic to your blog. Plan timely campaigns by setting goals for your desired engagement and how that engagement will translate to new blog traffic.

      Girls Scouts on Twitter.

      Girl Scout’s ongoing #BecauseofGirlScouts Twitter campaign gives them a unique way to share content, and — bonus — invites lots of user-generated content from followers and influencers.

      Stay in Tune with Trends

      From now on, view (creative) bandwagoning as a good thing. As you hone your social listening skills, you can learn to tap into the pulse of virtual buzz and social trends on each platform and customize content to utilize the already-built hype to fuel your efforts to find new audiences. Whether you’re riding the wave of the #InMyFeelingsChallenge, the latest iPhone emoji, or an upcoming holiday (National Pizza Day, anyone?) or season, the natural conversation of buzz-worthy topics can serve as traffic-building vehicles.

      Maria of lifestyle blog The Glam Greek.

      Maria of lifestyle blog The Glam Greek utilizes the buzz of #NationalReadaBookDay to engage ‘grammers and promote her blog.

      American Airlines Facebook post.

      American Airlines uses Facebook to share content related to the trending #NationalCameraDay topic.

      Lego's Royal Wedding-themed Instagram post.

      Talk about relevance: Lego’s Royal Wedding-themed Instagram post was promotion perfectly timed.

      JetBlue's Star Wars-themed holiday Twitter post.

      Embracing the Star Wars-themed holiday with a smartly-designed tweet? Social media marketing brilliance. Kudos, JetBlue.

      Promote Across Networks

      Let your social media marketing efforts work together. Instead of merely recycling content across platforms, share unique content on each platform that connects users to the content on other platforms — for example, you could share a “behind-the-scenes” moment on your Instagram story while sharing a post excerpt or reader comment on your Twitter. This only-get-it-here method of social marketing will help encourage users to engage with you on multiple platforms — thus getting even more exposure to your marketing efforts.

      Optimize for Mobile

      Ready for a whopper of a fact? Here goes: 91 percent of social media users are accessing social channels via mobile devices. With the total number of mobile phone users reaching more than 5 billion (up 4 percent from last year), more people than ever are accessing their social media channels on the go. Simply put, this means that your content — both on social media and on your website — needs to be mobile friendly, optimized for smartphone-toting audiences, whether they are commuting to work, on their lunch break, or in line at the supermarket.

      People on train platform looking at their phones.

      Don’t Neglect SEO

      Just because you’re intent on upping your social game to bring increased traffic to your blog doesn’t mean you can ignore the necessary task of optimizing your content (and website) for search engines. We’ve got A-plus guides to SEO — check them out here.

      Keep Your Eyes on Analytics

      Because social media changes so often, and marketing on the various platforms can be a trial-and-error process, you need to keep tabs on what’s working — and what isn’t. A social monitoring tool like Sprout Social or Social Report can give you valuable insights on social media activity and the results of your marketing efforts.

      Also, take notice of the referral section of your blog analytics. Where is your traffic coming from? Are audiences flocking from Instagram? Then you’re doing well on that network — so keep continuing efforts there. Little to no crowds visiting your site from Facebook? Looks like you know where to evaluate and adjust. Staying clued in to analytics helps you not only keep your audience in mind, but also continue improving your way to blog success.

      Breaking Down the Platforms

      Let’s break things down. Since there are so many social media platforms these days (it seem like a new one pops up every day), we’re going to cover five main channels, identifying what marketing efforts might look like on each platform, and what’s important to know about each individual social network.

      Each channel offers you many different ways to promote your content, so it’s important to be familiar with each — including character limits, demographics, and optimal posting times. Still, the time to be a social media guru is now — the practices that are most effective on social media often change over time, so it’s essential that you keep up your social know-how. That being said, it’s time to log in!

      Facebook

      • Usership: One billion active daily users
      • Main Demographic: 18-to-29-year-olds make up 82 percent of users
      • Key Times: 9 a.m., 1–3 p.m, Thursday–Sunday
      • Ideal Posting Frequency: Once a day
      • Post Character Limit: 10,000 but only the first 480 characters are visible in the timeline. The rest are hidden with a “See More” link. So, hint: best to keep your post to 480 characters or less. The rest of your text will likely not get seen. In fact, reports show that the optimal length for engagement is less than 80 characters!

      Even though to some it may feel like the millennial version of Myspace (aka the web’s ghost town), in reality, Facebook is still ruling the social media game, with total users reaching almost 2.17 billion at the beginning of 2018. Plus, (with the exception of people over the age of 65) more than half of Americans in each age group are Facebook users. That’s a significant range. Because it largely dominates the social landscape, it’s important — even crucial — to understand the platform in order to promote your blog well.

      A recent Pew Research Center survey revealed that a majority of adult Americans — 73 percent — use Facebook. That being said, it remains a primary social platform, and while total time spent on Facebook daily has decreased over time to 35 minutes, it is checked the most frequently of any platform — eight times a day. Eight!

      Facebook allows you to promote your blog via your profile, pages, and in groups. Keep posts visual — meaning, include high-quality images — and consider putting your link in the text field instead of using the automatic link preview post. This hack has shown to help increase engagement on your post. Plus, another plug for visuals: images on posts are automatically added to your Facebook album so your audiences can access them (including your links) in one convenient place.

      Use engaging and inviting text on your posts, encouraging your community to share their thoughts and opinions. And even though it’s tempting — like, aren’t they awesome for turning posts into searchable content? — avoid using hashtags. They’ve historically not been great for engagement on Facebook.

      Staples Facebook post of a vintage lunch box.

      Loving this timely, fun, and engaging post from Staples.

      Switch up the times you post and the text you use to promote your blog content (keep it fresh!) in different areas of Facebook, whether that be on your main page or in groups. Don’t shy away from resharing evergreen content mixed with other useful and relevant content.

      K.M. Weiland's Facebook page.

      ‘Author and writing blogger K.M. Weiland uses Facebook to encourage conversation and promote useful blog content.

      If you’re looking to venture into Facebook (or other social) Ads to promote your blog, read up on social media advertising with a guide like this one.

      And the last word for keeping things mobile optimized: 19 percent of time spent on mobile devices is spent on Facebook. Just let that one sink in for a minute. Nineteen percent of all time spent on mobile devices. To build your blog audience, the content you share has to be mobile-friendly.

      Instagram

      • Usership: 1 billion monthly active users
      • Main Demographic: 18-29-year-olds make up 59 percent of users
      • Key Times: Weekdays (Thursday is shown to be the day with the highest engagement) at 5 a.m., 3-4 p.m.
      • Ideal Posting Frequency: 5 times a week
      • Post Character Limit: 2,200; 30 hashtags. The ideal length for captions is 138-150 characters, with 5-10 hashtags.

      You don’t have to be Selena Gomez or Cristiano Ronaldo — aka, Insta’s Most Followed — to effectively reach and target new audiences for your blog. Instagram is growing in big ways, (especially after its buyout from Facebook in 2012) meaning, the platform is ripe with possibilities for you to promote your blog or website.

      There’s a lot of love (and happiness) going around Instagram. Meaning, users double-tap more than 4 million posts a day. Because of this, the platform has the highest interaction rate of social networks, with 2-7 percent of users interacting with each post.

      That being said, there’s another stat to be aware of: 70 percent of Instagram posts don’t get seen. Yeah, you can blame the new algorithm for that one. Because ‘grammers are sharing an average of 95 million photos and videos each day, oversaturation can mean that audiences (including your potential traffic) aren’t seeing what you share. Because the network operates by using post page engagement for choosing content people will see, you need to work on acing your engagement game — meaning, getting people to interact with you. How? A few tips:

      Post Your Location

      Posts geotagged with a location earn 79 percent more engagement so let your audiences know where you are. You don’t want to give users your home address, but if you’re crafting content from an interesting location or visiting a site — share it!

      DreamHost post on Instagram.

      Yep, we’re on Instagram! Follow us for updates on our around-the-world adventures in hosting.

      Keep Track of (and Replicate) High-Performing Posts

      As you work to understand what’s effective on each social network and what isn’t, there will be (lots of) trial and error. Some posts will perform well, some won’t. That’s part of the learning and refining process. But to increase the likelihood of engagement (and ultimately, the traffic to your blog), keep a close eye on your analytics and replicate the elements of your most successful posts.

      Engage Yourself

      If you want people to interact with you, start showing some Insta love yourself. Comment and like social content from other blogs and websites similar to yours. Who knows, you may even (social) network your way to new, useful collaborations and partnerships. (See next tip!)

      Tag Team

      You don’t have to be ridin’ solo when marketing on social media. Likely, you will connect with other like-minded sites or businesses with whom you can mutually benefit in your work to promote your brands. Whether your partnering up for guest content on each other’s blogs, or simply promoting others’ posts, tag-teaming is always a good idea.

      Grammarly post on Instagram.

      Editing service Grammarly collabed with Glassdoor to provide valuable resume writing tips.

      Tell Stories

      A big part of Instagram’s recent growth is due to its Stories feature. It’s also helped increase the amount of time people are spending on the network — users under 25 years of age spent more than 30 minutes a day, while those over 25 spend more than 24 minutes a day.  Using stories — whether to link to new content, share sneak peeks of upcoming content, or build your brand — can help you increase your engagement and traffic.

      Employ CTAs

      Here’s a hopeful number for you: 75 percent (yep, three quarters!) of Instagram users take action — like making a purchase or hint, hint, navigating to a website — after visiting a post. Audiences are willing (and likely) to act, you just need to point them in the right direction. On your posts and stories, give your audiences specific instructions on what to do next — most likely, a link to visit your blog.

      Ace Captions

      Don’t worry. You don’t need to be a stand-up comic or prolific wordsmith to create captions that engage. But you should think about them. A lot. Hastily throwing up a haphazard caption isn’t just lazy — it’s a missed opportunity to attract new audiences to your site. Showcase your voice and the personality of your blog by crafting captions that are playful, smart, and character-conscious.

      Airbnb post on Instagram.

      Airbnb’s Instagram captions give you wanderlust with vivid details and a storytelling feel.

      Re-read before posting to catch spelling or grammar errors and to identify any other potential mistakes. Also, make sure to plan out and utilize relevant hashtags. Don’t stuff (hand-pick a few) with unnecessary or inaccurate hashtags just to get seen.  

      Utilize User-Generated Content

      Businesses and websites aren’t the only ones generating impressive content on Instagram. Often, run-of-the-mill everyday users can provide you with great social content. And if they’re sharing, commenting on, or otherwise engaging with your blog or content, that product is gold. Share it!

      Letterfolk post on Instagram.

      Letterfolk embraces the creative projects of their customers to promote their product.

      Gal Meets Glam lifestyle/fashion blogger Julia Engel.

      The Gal Meets Glam lifestyle and fashion blogger Julia Engel shares user-generated content with customers of her dresses.

      Be Business Minded

      Even if you are not peddling a product, you are selling something when promoting your blog: your content (and your brand) — so maintain a business mindset when deciding what, when, and why to post. Eighty percent of Insta users follow a business on the platform, meaning that audiences aren’t shy about engaging with and keeping tabs on accounts they like. (That could be you!)

      Show Your Face

      So it doesn’t necessarily have to be your face, but reports show that Instagram images featuring faces get 38 percent more likes than faceless ones. Whether you want to take your own photos or invest in high-quality stock photos, make sure to get some people in your shared images.

      Humans of New York Instagram post.

      Humans of New York is one of the best examples of people-centric social images. And their stats are proof: it’s engaging.

      Twitter

      • Usership: 330 million monthly active users
      • Main Demographic: 18 to 29-year-olds make up 36 percent of users; 22 percent of 30 to 49-year-olds.
      • Key Times: Wednesday, 9-10 a.m., 2 p.m.
      • Ideal Posting Frequency: 15 times a day
      • Post Character Limit: 280 (images and beginning-of-tweet handles don’t count toward the limit). Ideal character amount is 71-100.

      Content on Twitter is high volume (there are more than 350,000 tweets sent every minute), which is why sharing or retweeting a higher number of tweets every day is OK — and why it’s easier to get lost in the shuffle if you’re not crafting and tweeting out good content that’s well-worded, well-timed, and accompanied by strong visuals. Because 42 percent of Twitter users access the app every day, you have daily opportunities to build traffic to your blog.

      Spotify post on Twitter.

      In addition to promoting their site’s content in creative, visual ways, Spotify uses Twitter to engage audiences in conversation.

      That being said, Twitter isn’t just a way to tweet out links to new blog content. It’s also a way to communicate with audiences. Engage with users by leveraging Twitter chats, responding to comments, sharing polls, and utilizing trending topics or hashtags to join buzzworthy conversations.

      LinkedIn

      • Usership: 500 million users
      • Main Demographic: 30 to 64-year-olds make up 61 percent of users.
      • Key Times: Wednesday, 3-5 p.m.
      • Ideal Posting Frequency: At least once a week, not more than once a day.
      • Post Character Limit: Varies

      Despite its long-held rep, LinkedIn isn’t just for suit-and-tie professionals looking to push their resumes or companies seeking their next great employee. LinkedIn is a social network that actually has excellent opportunities to market your blog and attract readers.

      Forty-six percent of social traffic to corporate websites comes from LinkedIn. It’s one of the leaders in driving audiences to business blogs, so it can be a good network to utilize for building your own blog traffic — and traffic that’s willing to act and more likely to remain loyal.

      Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts on LinkedIn.

      In addition to employee spotlights, fun trend-related posts (like their own Mannequin Challenge post), and company news, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts uses LinkedIn to share their killer content. #winning

      Long-form content gets the most shares on LinkedIn, so don’t worry about being long-winded. Create valuable content and take the space you need to do so, then share it on relevant Linkedin groups that will engage users and direct them towards your blog for more.

      And don’t forget visuals: posts with eight images outperform the rest.

      Pinterest

      • Usership: 200 million active monthly users
      • Main Demographic: 18 to 29-year-olds make up 36 percent of users, 30 to 49-year-olds make up 34 percent; 70 percent of users are women.
      • Key Times: Saturday, evenings
      • Ideal Posting Frequency: 5-30 pins a day
      • Post Character Limit: 500 characters or less for pin description

      Even though it seems like we’ve passed the heyday of Pinterest prime, the image-centric social channel is still fourth in popularity, and it continues to grow. Plus, Pinterest isn’t just for virtual vision boards (like that secret wedding board or ambitious meal plan pins you’ve stored). The platform actually offers you some really fantastic ways to promote your blog.

      Better Homes on Gardens on Pinterest.

      In addition to employee spotlights, fun trend-related posts (like their own Mannequin Challenge post), and company news, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts uses LinkedIn to share their killer content. #winning

      For example — while on many sites, branding content has become tiresome to audiences, 78 percent of Pinterest users welcome content from brands. Plus, the way you promote your blog content through pins isn’t just a one-and-done affair. You can continue to receive engagement long after you’ve hit submit. Users save your content and can continue to revisit it after time has passed. This gives your shared content a longer shelf life than most social media efforts have. Cool, right? Plus, in addition to blog content, you can create value by pinning material related to the theme or niche of your blog. This can help you build your brand — and your audience.

      Time to Target that Traffic

      Feel like a social media expert yet? Don’t worry. We know it’s a lot to process. And that’s only a sampling of social. If you’re looking for ways to branch out into new social territory when you get the hang of a few major channels (the ones that work best for your audience), look into other platforms, like YouTube (a social biggie), Tumblr, Google Plus, Reddit, Medium, Snapchat, and more. There are Google communities, vlogs, and reblogging to master next.

      Just know this: each social media platform offers you different ways to promote your blog. Not only do they differ by algorithms and operating models but also on character limits and image sizes, community interaction, main demographics and the tactics that make marketing efforts successful on each one. It will take time to find your social groove (and to stay on top of ever-changing social trends and models), but putting your best efforts into promoting your blog on social media will lead to your end-of-the-rainbow gold: more eyes on your A+ blog. Score!





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