Support Your Friends While Supporting Yourself

Are you supporting your friends on social media? Nearly everyone has been suffering lately, it seems. Or maybe it’s just that that old saw “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” is at play. Because of the economy and the Pandemic, many have lost their livelihoods. Some have lost their transportation, housing, or loved ones. So it’s more important than ever to be kind, and to have compassion toward others. It might sound corny, but helping others helps us, too. Here are some ways to support others–many of them don’t cost a cent, and are easy, too. By the way, I’ve written about friendships before, and you might like to read about that: Why Friendships are Absolutely the Best ROI of Social Media.

Give them shoutouts

A shoutout doesn’t cost you anything, except your time. Who do you know whose business could use a little boost? You could talk about that friend on social media, tell others about their products in a Yelp or Google review, or just give them a digital high five. How easy is that? Super easy! Another thing you can do with shoutouts is give those friends some backlinks! So not only tell everyone about your friend Randy Clark, but include a link to his book, How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever on Amazon! (Yes, I’ve read it and refer to it often.) If you’ve read a friend’s book, give them a review on Amazon, too.

Image by <a href="">Zigmars Berzins</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

Support Your Friends While Supporting Yourself! | Image by Zigmars Berzins from Pixabay

Support your friends by buying their products and services

You might not need what your friends are selling yourself, but maybe you do need a gift for an upcoming birthday, wedding, or party. Why not buy something to give away? That helps you, your friend, and the person who receives the gift, too! Why not send someone a wonderful cutting board from Sandy at Creative WoodWorking of Windsor? You could buy some hand-painted cards from Maricar Jagger and give them away. As far as services, maybe you need some help with your website. You could hire someone like Justine Pretorious and then tell others about her.

Introduce them to others

This is my favorite way to support others. Do you have friends with the same interests and do they not know each other? For instance, friends Terri Nakamura and Stacy Garcia both have an interest in unusual architecture, so introducing them was easy. Others might make good podcast guests, so an intro to Inci and Rod Jones of Thought Row Podcast would be in order. Or if you know someone in the trades who needs help with their social media, how about an intro to friend Bridget Willard? She can provide training or you can do it yourself!

Lovely cutting boards from Creative Woodworking of Vermont

Lovely cutting boards from Creative Woodworking of Vermont

How do you help your friends?

Give me your ideas, friends! I’m all ears (it’s an ugly sight! lol). Seriously, let me know how you help your friends.


#DigiBlogChat May 17, 2022: Digital Literacy with @ThiamMeka2Gogue!

Image by <a href="">janeb13</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

#DigiBlogChat May 17: Digital Literacy with @ThiamMeka2Gogue| Image by janeb13 from Pixabay

The topic for Tuesday, May 17, 2022 is Digital Literacy with special guest @ThiamMeka2Gogue! Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions:

Q1. What does the term “Digital Literacy” mean to you, and when was the first time you heard about it?

Q2. What are some examples of Digital Literacy?

Q3. What are the benefits to feeling competent with technology and the internet?

Q4. Why is it important at your workplace, for your business & for your life, to be a digitally literate person? And what do you think is the perfect age to harness this capability?

Q5. What are the drawbacks to adults who lack proficiency with technology and navigating the digital world?

Q6. Digital Literacy and Flexibility go hand in hand. Do you Agree or Disagree and Why?

Q7. In what ways do you think you can improve your Digital Literacy skills? Does your company offer training? Share your thoughts and feelings?

Q8. How do you leverage your Digital Literacy to appreciate your digital footprint and how your online interactions might negatively impact your future?

Q9. What is your “Online Identity”? What do your digital footprints say about you? 

Q10. On your journey in developing your Digital Literacy, which are the digital best practices you will put in place, in order to become a better digital citizen? 

Productivity: Ten Items under $100 That Make a Difference

Here are ten items under $100 that I couldn’t live without. I’ve discussed online productivity before, and time management, too. Productivity and time management are intertwined, so it’s impossible to discuss one without the other. Here are some items that have helped me, and by the way, none of these are affiliate links. They’re just good tools. If you haven’t read this article about time management, you might like it: In a hurry? Time Management for the Busy Professional!


NokoTime is a great way to keep track of your time on social media, blogging, or anything else that requires you to know how much time you spend. I like putting the timer off to one side because often I promise myself I can quit doing an activity after 15 minutes of activity. At $19/month, it does quite a lot, including reports and invoices.

Google Drive

Google Drive is the best and easiest way to share files, photos, collaborate, etc. It’s easy and free (that counts as being under $100, right?). In case you didn’t know, Google Drive is a cloud-based storage solution that allows you to save files online and access them anywhere from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. My favorite way to use Google Drive is to collaborate with others.

Image by <a href="">Karolina Grabowska</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

Productivity: Ten Items under $100 That Make a Difference| Image Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay


Once upon a time, I would’ve said Hootsuite was my favorite. But after they recently quintupled the price without any warning, I’d no longer recommend them. So if you have an alternative that you like, I’m all ears! I’ve heard good things about Buffer and Tweetdeck. Do you have a favorite?

A good notebook

Are you one of those people who needs to write things down in order to remember them? If you do, then you’ll appreciate a good notebook. I’ve tried probably hundreds of notebooks. The best ones are the ones I’ve used since high school, with ruled paper and plenty of space to write.

My favorite pen

At the moment, I’m enjoying a Pilot hi-tecpoint V5 grip pen. It’s super easy to write with, and makes my to-do list fun. I must say, though, that ever since that #DigiBlogChat where we talked about bullet journaling, I’ve been using Pentel Sparkle Pop pens, too.


My giant at-a-glance calendar always comes in handy. So is the calendar on my iPhone.

3 x 5 cards

These are so easy to use and so useful! I write down goals for each account. It reminds me of high school chemistry, when our teacher told us we could have as many notes as would fit on a 3 x 5 card. The general idea is to have a few reminders of what your goals are.


I like having a backup on a separate hard drive, which I can grab in case anything goes wrong.

Social media apps

These are the social media apps you can get mostly for free from the app store! They live on my phone so I can check in whenever I want.


Last but not least I’ve been using DashThis for reporting. You might like it, too. You can get it for as little as $33/month (less if you buy a yearly subscription.

What did I leave out?

Do you have any favorite helpers?




#DigiBlogChat May 10, 2022: Managing Your Digital Self

Image by <a href="">pasja1000</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

#DigiBlogChat Topic: Managing Your Digital Self | Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

The topic for Tuesday, May 10, 2022 is Managing Your Digital Self! Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Q1. How would you define your digital self? 

Q2. Which services can help you consolidate your online self? (For instance, Amazon has movies, shopping, and storage services.) 

Q3. What unconventional ways do you have of managing passwords? 

Q4. How does blogging help you establish your digital self? 

Q5. What are the best ways to protect your online identity? 

Q6. How can setting up a Google alert on your name help you manage your digital self? 

Q7. What are some ways to prevent your identity from being stolen? 

Q8. What would you tell a teenager about what they should/shouldn’t say on the interwebs? 

Q9. How do you opt out of being tracked through cookies or geolocation services? 

Q10. What ways could you improve your digital footprint?

Guest Blogger Checklist: Ten Things to Ask Your New Guest

Do you need a guest blogger checklist? Recently, I wrote a post about how to avoid getting spammed by guest bloggers. You might want to take a look at it if you’re getting that kind of spam on your blog. The outcome of that post was that a few of us might need a guest blogger checklist! So here you go.

Who are you?

Check out the potential guest blogger’s credentials. Do a Google search on their name, company, and make sure their email matches up with what they say. You might want to talk on the phone with them, too, if possible. I receive a lot of requests where the email address looks spammy and there’s no real signature.

What topics do you want to write about?

If your topics don’t align with what your potential guest blogger wants to write about, that’s an immediate no in my book. But be creative and see if there’s a way. That’s if everything else about the writer looks legit!


Image by <a href="">StartupStockPhotos</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

Guest Blogger Checklist: Ten Things to Ask Your New Guest | Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

How many links do you need?

My formula is about two incoming and two outgoing links, maybe one more or less. That’s for a 500-word article. Not 50 links and certainly not 100 links! Also, I wouldn’t add links in silly places. One guest blogger wanted to put links in words like “the” and “an.” Um…no!

Where do you want the links to go?

If the links are spammy, that’s another immediate no. Links should go to legitimate websites, not to unrelated places that would simply anger your readers. Check all the links before publishing and make sure they’re adding value to your post.

Who provides the graphics?

Ensure that the graphics are really in the public domain or create or buy your own graphics for the article. A place like Pixabay has free graphics, but for a guest blog, you might want to go with Shutterstock or another subscription-based site. Also, you might want to take a screenshot (if you use a free graphic and store it somewhere safe in case the artist changes their mind about it being free. It happens all the time!).

Who writes the headline?

You don’t want a click-baity headline. I’ve written about headline writing before: What Happens When You Wtie 25 Headlines Before Choosing One? If your potential guest writes click bait, then they’re not for you. Sometimes I’ll write one for fun, but humor can be tricky.

How many drafts do you need?

I prefer two drafts myself, but maybe three if the subject matter is complicated and needs more research. Beware of anyone who doesn’t want to have their copy checked, researched, or edited. That’s a sign that you’re dealing with someone shady.

When can you write the article?

Is there a specific timeline? Does your guest blogger want fast turnaround? Do you? Spell it out–then tell your potential guest blogger!

How long will the writing take?

Will your potential guest need a week to review each draft? A day? Let the blogger know what to expect. And let them know what you expect, too. For me, the process could take a couple of weeks to review and send back and forth the drafts.

How long will the article be?

Do you have a minimum number of words that you like to publish on your blog? And is there a maximum number, too? Decide upon what you’d like the length of the article to be. Yoast recommends a minimum of 300 words for a blog post.

You have the final say

Remember: it’s your blog and your reputation on the line. Make sure the guest blogger knows that you have the right to change what appears on your blog! Did I leave anything out? Let me know!



How Restarting Your Social Media Can Revive Your Business

Have you been considering restarting your social media? Everyone can have a lull in their creativity or ideas. Maybe you’ve had a death in the family or been feeling low. It’s to be expected, especially during Covid. If you’re thinking of restarting your social media, stick around. Here are a few ideas!

Decide where to start

Have all your accounts gone dormant? Why not start with whichever is the easiest one to restart? That might be LinkedIn for you, or it might be Facebook. Start wherever you think would be easiest. Then pick the second one and the third, and so on. If only one account has gone dormant, then you know where to start. You might also want to start at an slower time of the week (Friday, for instance) to ease back into the water. I’ve written about Fridays before here: Why Friday is the Worst Time to Publish a Blog Post.

Choose some topics

Maybe you’ll have five topics to write about. That could be one topic per day of the week. Say you’re beginning with Twitter and you have a brick-and-mortar women’s boutique. You sell dresses, skirts, pants, plus accessories. Maybe you’d do something like the following: Mondays = bright colors, Tuesdays = designers, Wednesdays = purses and wallets, Thursdays = throwbacks, Fridays = weekend sales. For other ideas on topics, check out 14 Talk-Worthy Social Media Topics. You can also look at what you competitors are doing and do something similar (just don’t copy them!).


Image by <a href="">5688709</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

How Restarting Your Social Media Can Revive Your Business| Image by 5688709 from Pixabay

Write four posts about each topic

If you do this, you’ll now have enough content for four weeks! Having some structure will help you decide what to post on your social media. It’s important to have some ideas before you really get started. I’ve written about writer’s block before, so this might help: What to do when writer’s block has got you down.

Too busy? Hire someone to do it for you!

If you do the above exercises, you will have some structure to show your newly hired gun. To find someone good, ask your friends in business who they use. And remember–they may not need to be local to you. It really depends upon your business. You might hire someone out of state or even out of the country! For instance, I’d hire my good friend (and have) Bridget Willard in a heartbeat. Read what she says about her Twitter Management Process.

Rinse and repeat to restart your social media

Measure your success rate with the content that you share. What kind of content does best? Try to repeat that success. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but you can do it! Remember that each social media platform has its own analytics, so they’ve made it easy for you. Just Google analytics to get started.

#DigiBlogChat April 26, 2022: Measurability, metrics and determining true ROI from marketing activities with Shruti Deshpande

Image by <a href="">0fjd125gk87</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

The topic for April 26, 2022 is Measurability, metrics and determining true ROI from marketing activities with Shruti Deshpande | Image by 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay

The topic for April 26, 2022 is Measurability, metrics and determining true ROI from marketing activities with Shruti Deshpande! Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions for our chat:

Q1. What are marketing metrics?

Q2. Why do marketing metrics matter?

Q3. How to set marketing metrics?

Q4. What are the different type metrics?

Q5. What are the examples of general marketing metrics?

Q6. What are examples of website and blogging metrics?

Q7. What are SEO metrics and give examples?

Q8. How can you measure social media marketing impact?

Q9. When it comes to email marketing, how do you know it’s working?

Q10. And finally, what are PPC metrics?

How to Avoid Getting Spammed by Guest Blog Requests

Have you ever received guest blog spam? Recently I was rereading Randy Clark’s book, How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever. In it, Randy explains how he gets many requests for guest blogs and he included one that was filled with terrible grammar. However, some requests are much tougher to discern as being possible spam.

Here are a few things I’ve noticed about these many guest blogging requests. Mostly, you can ignore these blogging requests.

They’re unsolicited.

If someone reaches out to you and you’ve never heard of them before, that’s a big clue that you’re dealing with spam. Read carefully if they say you’re the greatest, best, etc. Sometimes there may be a link to one of your blog posts, but often there isn’t. I’ve talked about spam before: Worst Social Media Practices (and how to avoid them)

There are no signature lines.

At the bottom of the email, where there should be a signature line, there’s no phone number, no website, no nothing. Who reaches out to someone with a business request and has no signature line? Spammers, that’s who!

Requests are filled with mistakes.

Does the request read like it was written by a third-grade student on a bad day? That’s another red flag. Do you want someone who doesn’t even edit their own work messing around with your website? NO!!! By the way, if you’ve never used an editor before, you might want to consider one yourself, at least for your important and/or lengthy articles. How a Good Editor Makes Your Writing Shine.

Image by <a href="">Pete Linforth</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

How to Avoid Guest Blog Spam Requests| Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Vet every request thoroughly.

As Randy says in his book, “Don’t let ego get in the way of common sense. It’s nice to be wanted, and some of these requests look impressive. Don’t bite without a complete search of the author and all links he or she represents.” I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

Check out any links the guest blogger wants to include.

I generally only have 4-6 links in a blog post maximum. Recently a guest blogger wanted to included upwards of 30 links in a short blog post (under 500 words). You might want to decide how many you want. If someone is creating many many links, that’s a clue. And check where those links are going.

Create a checklist for future guest bloggers.

If you really want to include guest bloggers as part of your strategy, make a list of what those guest bloggers need to do. What is the minimum and maximum word count? How many links in and out? Who provides the images and how many? And don’t forget which topics you’d like your guest blogger to write about. If you have an audience of technophobes, then having a guest blogger write about a technical subject isn’t going to appeal to your audience. What else do you have on your checklist? Leave me a comment!



Best Social Media Time Management Apps and Tools

As I write these words in 2022, a lot of new time management apps and tools have come onto the market. So I thought I’d address these and also look backward at some classic tips to help you manage your time on social media. First, let’s address the elephant in the room.

Quit social media

Of course, the B.I.G. elephant in the room if you really want to save time is to quit social media. Delete your Facebook, get off Twitter, and for gosh sakes alive, stop scrolling on TikTok and Instagram. But is that really going to happen? Probably not! Although some of my friends have successfully deleted their Facebook accounts. And they seem happy to have done so. But for the rest of us who are still scrolling and happily liking, reposting, and sharing all over online, maybe not so much.

Limit your time online

This is a big one. And if you can get offline at least one day a week or better still, for the weekend, that’s a great way to guard your time and life. By the way, I’ve talked about time management and social media before: In a Hurry? Time Management for the Busy Professional.

Apps for social media time management

I love to use NokoTime to manage my time so I don’t go overboard and end up down a rabbit hole. NokoTime allows me to watch the clock. NokoTime isn’t free, but it does offer analysis, reports, and much more. Another good one is Toggl Track. Toggle has a free version and also different levels of support for their paid versions.

Use a password manager

I like Dashlane, but there are others, such as LastPass that you might like better. What do I like about Dashlane? You can see all your passwords, plus save notes, create passwords, and they’ll also sync across devices. Having your passwords saved saves you time when you’re racing around the internet, logging into all your 5,000,000 social media accounts. And also Dashlane will tell you when a password is weak and should be changed. It also monitors your information on the dark web.

Use schedulers to help with your social media time management

I’m not saying to use schedulers instead of being online, but in addition to being online and engaging. Yes, schedulers are still controversial, but they’re not going away any time soon. What are the best ones? Tailwind is a good one if you’re just starting out and want to post on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. There’s a free version you can try out. For Twitter, an old favorite is Tweetdeck, which I recently used to do some scheduling. You can also schedule right on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, which is free. Buffer also has a free version for a single user. It doesn’t include analytics, but you can get analytics through the platforms themselves.





#DigiBlogChat April 12, 2022: Metaverse-Remote and Immersive Future of Work and Play with FinolaSloyanPR

Image by <a href="">Reto Scheiwiller</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

#DigiBlogChat April 12, 2022: Metaverse-Remote and Immersive Future of Work and Play with FinolaSloyanPR | Image by Reto Scheiwiller from Pixabay

The topic for April 12, 2022 is Metaverse-Remote and Immersive Future of Work and Play, with @FinolaSloyanPR! Join us on Twitter each Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. PDT for #DigiBlogChat. My partner for these chats is @LazBlazter. If you need to know how to participate, click here: How to Join #DigiBlogChat.

Here are the questions for our chat:

Q1. What do you know about the Metaverse. What is it?

Q2. Meta, formerly Facebook, is transforming itself from a social media company into a Metaverse company.  What will this transformation look like?
Q3.  The pandemic showed us we can communicate virtually, connecting remote-based teams in one virtual office space. Has this provided a more inclusive company culture?
Q4.  Avatars:  Who amongst us has created their own avatar, our digital personas in a virtual world? 
Q5.  Professional Photos: Will you consider creating your avatar photo that will travel between online experiences in any metaverse, and when?
Q6.  Avatars are created by the tools of the Metaverse, can you list any of these tools?
Q7.  Digital clothes can live forever and are a sustainable alternative. Will you hire a stylist to dress your avatar?
Q8. Video games are digital worlds that people interact with as an avatar. The future Metaverse will expand on this to create digital workspaces, events & socializing. Thoughts?  
Q9.  Would you consider hiring a digital decorator to design your virtual home space for future dinner parties?
Q10. What happens to all the digital assets you’ve created when you die, have you made provision for them in your Wills?
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