How to Magnetize Your Blog Post Titles Quickly and Easily

How to Magnetize Your Blog Post Titles Quickly and Easily

How to Magnetize Your Blog Post Titles Quickly and Easily

Everyone wants more people to read their articles. Or at least they want the right people to read their articles. But how do you get people to click? It seems silly that that’s what we content marketers focus on, but that’s what it comes down to. Here are a few ideas to help you with your blog post titles. And in case you missed it, here’s my post from last week: For Better Social Media Results, Focus on Engagement.

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Think about What Makes You Click on an Article

Seems really simple, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be difficult! If you’re a content marketer, what makes you want to know more about an article? Can you create a blog post title that’s similar to one you saw that made you want to click? The bottom line of this study from Marketing Land, What Makes You Click On A Headline? says that headlines that end in questions are the most popular. What do you think?

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Your Readers Are a Lot Like You

To expand upon what you like, your readers are probably a lot like you. They may be more busy, less busy, or they may spend time in different places than you. But they’re not all that different, really. And when you post your article online, you never know who’s going to read it. There’s someone out there reading one of your articles as you read this, probably.

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Use Headlines That Start a Story

For instance, when you use a headline that starts out “this is what happens when you…”, then your readers may want to feel compelled to understand the story. We all love stories! However, try to avoid click bait. Try to deliver what you promise in your headline.

Use Headlines of the Right Length

My not-so-secret weapon on CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. There are others around, but this one is the simplest and easiest to use. Plug in your headline, then keep playing with it until you get it right. Watch as your score goes up as you fuss around with the words. CoSchedule seems to like headlines with about 55 characters.

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Stack the Important Keywords Towards the Front

If your keyword is Pinterest tricks, put that near the front of the headline. So say Pinterest Tricks You Need to Know, for example. Not You Need to Know These Pinterest Tricks. By the way, have you read this article about creating 25 headlines before choosing one?

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Was That Quick and Easy Enough?

I hope so! What else would you like to know? Leave me a comment! And thank you.


How to Deal with Awkward Online Conversations

How to Deal with Awkward Online Conversations

How to Deal with Awkward Online Conversations

There’s always that one person who has to step in and ruin a perfectly good conversation by saying something awkward. You know the one: you send out a perfect tweet that you’ve thought about a LOT, and they criticize it for no reason. Now, this is a bit different than a troll, so banishing them from your kingdom by throwing them back under a bridge might not be the best option.

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Sometimes when you’re chatting online, you might not know if someone is joking or not. Does that happen to you? It happens to me in real life, too, but that’s a whole other story. Using an emoji can signal to the other person that you are indeed joking. Or that you’re angry. Or happy! Here’s a fascinating article: 7 Reasons to Use Emoticons in Your Writing and Social Media, According to Science.

By the way, did you know that Twitter measures the sentiment of your tweets using data science? You can search for a word, then go to Advanced Search and scroll to the bottom. So, for instance, you could search on Startups==>>Advanced Search==>>scroll to the bottom and check the positive emotion box. And voilà! You’ll have a list of positive tweets about startups.

Silence is Golden

If you feel that a conversation is veering into an Ocean of Awkward, one of your best weapons is silence. Like the space between notes in music, silence has power and isn’t used nearly often enough. So if there’s an awkward question, let your weapon of silence loose! Also, if you’re an introvert (like I am), silence can drive the extroverts in the room absolutely batty. So there’s that. Here’s an article about introversion that I enjoyed writing: Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends.

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Forgetting Names

Online, people have aliases, avatars, and bizarre names. And yet they expect you to remember their names without having an accurate name tag! What’s a forgetful person to do? You could ask a friend of your friend. If you haven’t known your new friend for very long, you could ask them directly, too.


If someone’s friend has passed away, what do you say? It depends. If you don’t know them too well, you can say you’re sorry for their loss. This works as a good first step in any case. And if you don’t think that the Internet Has Changed the Way we Deal with Death, then you’re mistaken. We grieve online as much as online now. Think about when your friends of friends have passed away. And think about Prince passed. What a huge outpouring of grief online! Other ways of dealing could be sending cards, private messages, cards in real life, real flowers, gift cards, and so on.

Feeling Awkward?

Has this entire post made you feel even more awkward than you already feel? Leave me an awkward comment! Then we’ll both feel awkward. But at least we won’t feel as lonely.


How to: Business Analytics Tricks You Need to Know For Twitter

How to: Business Analytics Tricks You Need to Know For Twitter

How to: Business Analytics Tricks You Need to Know For Twitter

Recently I’ve been using analytics for Twitter more and thought I’d share some of what I’ve been learning. Here’s a look behind the curtain at some of my favorite stats. These might strike you as a little nerdy, but they’re really quite fun! First, take a look at your overview in Twitter. To check your own analytics, choose home, then click the pull-down menu and choose Analytics.

Twitter Analytics Overview for 28 Days

Twitter Analytics Overview for 28 Days

Twitter Analytics Overview

From your overview, you can see at a glance whether the account is moving up, down, or flat. From my 28-day summary, you can see that Tweets, impressions, followers, and tweets linked to me are all up. Areas for improvement: Profile visits and mentions.

Monthly Twitter Summary

Monthly Summary

Another quick overview is the monthly summary. Above is mine from February of 2016. Tweet impressions are one item I like tracking. Don’t be fooled into thinking that vanity metrics, such as new followers, are important. As Eric Ries says, Vanity Metrics Are Dangerous (yes, it’s from 2009, but still holds true).

Top Ten Interests of a Twitter Audience

Top Ten Interests of a Twitter Audience

Audience Interests

You might be surprised to know what your audience is interested in. My top three are technology, entrepreneurship, and tech news. Of course, your audience is attracted to you by what you tweet. If you tweeted jokes and cartoons all day long, you’d see your followers’ top interest as comedy. The top interests (in particular the top three) can guide the content you provide.

Overall Impressions Show Heaviest Days

Overall Impressions Show Heaviest Days

Overall Impressions

In the above bar graph, you can see day by day and week by week where my biggest impressions are. Because I have a Twitter chat on Tuesdays, those days get the most impressions. (More about measuring a Twitter chat, below, under Tweetreach.)

Impressions Can Tell You What to Share Again

Impressions Can Tell You What to Share Again


Here’s something that you can easily replicate. Take a look at the tweet with the highest impressions. Mine had 8 retweets and 8 favorites. There is something about your highest tweet that resonates with your audience. There are several ways to optimize this tweet (in this case a blog post).

  • Wait a few days, weeks, or even a month and share it again.
  • Change the headline and share it.
  • Use a different image and retweet it.
  • Share at different times of the day, still within business hours.
  • Pin it to the top of your Twitter feed.
  • Thank those who shared.
  • Ask for retweets!
Gender and Household Income

Gender and Household Income

Gender and Household Income

If you look at my analytics for gender and household income, you’d see that the majority make $175-250K+.

What does that tell me? Many of my followers could afford my services. I’ve taken over accounts before where the income has been much lower, although the product or service is an expensive one.

Country Analytics Can Help You Decide When to Tweet

Country Analytics Can Help You Decide When to Tweet


You can see from my analytics that most of my followers are in the United States. How does that help, though? It helps with when you time your tweets. I try to time mine between 9-5. If you’d like to know more about whether to schedule, how much to schedule, or how to balance, I talk about that in a previous post, Automation and Social Media: You Need to Know How to Balance.




For more detailed analytics, try out Tweriod. I know that my tweets early in the morning always get the most engagement. If you look at Tweriod, you can see when your followers are online.

TweepsMap World View

TweepsMap World View


Another way, besides Twitter’s own analytics, to see where your followers are is through an excellent and fun tool: Tweepsmap. Like the name suggests, you can get a map of your followers. So you can see which countries they’re in, or zero in on a state or city. Above is my worldmap.

State-by-State TweepsMap

State-by-State TweepsMap

Above is a screenshot of my state-by-state Tweepsmap. It’s interesting that Twitter analytics shows that 56% of my followers are U.S.-based and TweepsMap shows that 62% of my followers are in the U.S. At any rate, the majority are in the United States.

How does TweepsMap Help Me?

Suppose you are a purely local brick-and-mortar store. If you had above map, you might decide to focus more on gaining followers locally. Or, if you sell widgets overseas, maybe you don’t have enough followers in a particular country. So you can change your focus to attract more of the followers you’d like. Since the majority of my clients are in the U.S., this map is fine. That is, I wouldn’t change when I tweet.

Measure Your Hashtag or That of Your Twitter Chat with TweetReach

Measure Your Hashtag or That of Your Twitter Chat with TweetReach


With Twitter, there are tools that can assist you in finding out how far a tweet or hashtag reached. For my chat, #DigiBlogChat, I use TweetReach, which gives you a snapshot report to show you potential reach, impressions and Tweet volumes. Login through Twitter.

Other Things to Measure

I like to measure influential followers, especially for local accounts. I track these over the course of a month in a spreadsheet or document. Also: a good one to track is conversations with people interested in your services. Sometimes those conversations take place in direct messages.

What One Thing Would You Measure?

If you could measure one thing, what would it be? Leave me a comment! Thank you.



Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew


Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew

Secrets to Great Content You Forgot You Knew

Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog. You’re getting ready to get started thinking about it. That is, right after you finish that new business plan for next year. And waxing the car. And don’t you also need to balance your checkbook again?

The secret to great content is to begin creating it. Maybe your writing isn’t perfect. Whose is? If you never start writing, you’ll never know. And great, original content on your blog helps your SEO with Google. Here are a few ideas that helped me get started with blogging.

Don’t procrastinate.

“Procrastination, quite frankly, is an epidemic,” declares Jeffery Combs, the author of “The Procrastination Cure,” says in an article “How to Stop Time,” via the New York Times. Don’t add to that epidemic.

An unfinished blog post

An unfinished blog post

Glue the seat of your pants to the seat of the chair.

Sit and start writing the first thing that pops into your head, and do that for 15 minutes. Can you do that? Sure you can! Now, you’ll probably go back and delete 90% of it, but there will be the glimmer of a good idea in there.

Write every day

Write every day

Write every day.

Write whether you feel like writing or not. Often you will not. That monkey brain of yours will want to do other things. Pinning banana recipes on Pinterest comes to mind. You will procrastinate on this important job. So get it over with. Once you get past that first 15 minutes, the rest will get easier. Jeff Goins, in his article “Why You Need To Write Every Day,” says: “If you want to get this writing thing down, you need to start writing every day.”

Talk, then write.

Speak your ideas, then write them down. Or have them written down by someone else. Or use Dragon Naturally. Whatever. Just get the words down. You can change them later. Because everyone can talk.

Don’t expect perfection.

Perfection will never happen. Just make sure to get something in writing. You can come back and insert some long, impressive-sounding words later.

Let it simmer

Let it simmer

Let it simmer.

Here’s the fun part. Go away. Get in your car and drive around. Go for a walk. Come back and everything will look different. When you return from your sojourn you can wear a different hat and edit your words.

Create five topics in your blog.

Today’s topic was one that I began months ago. It languished in my blog, along with some other unfinished work. But one day, you may not know what to write about. You’ll go to your website, and that half-written piece will start to take shape. By the way, here’s a post with some tips for blogging for startups.

Don't wait to get going

Don’t wait to get going

Don’t wait to get going.

It’s going to be work, but once you ‘re done, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. Your competition is already done. Don’t get left in the dust. And when you’re done, make sure to promote that blog, too.

Transform Your Brilliant Content: Ten Ways to Recycle Content

Transform Your Brilliant Content

Transform Your Brilliant Content

Ten Ways to Recycle Content

Ever had a great idea that you weren’t sure how to share without making all your friends crazy? Sure you have! You have one of those right now…sitting in your back pocket. That idea for a Portable Solar Dog Grooming Truck, for instance, needs to be seen. Or that website for cats who take selfies (you even bought the domain and a GoPro!) just begs to be released unto the world. But how?


Your website is the basis of all great ideas. This is where the ideas live. Use your blog to expand your brilliant idea, adding pictures, drawings, and video, if possible (more about video below). Once you’ve written about your idea, you can begin to spin it into other formats. This is where the fun begins!


Yes, you’ll need to tweet about your great idea. Take different snippets, add different pictures, and voila! A blogpost of a few hundred words can become many tweets. Don’t forget to pin your newest post to the top of your Twitter feed, along with an image. Twitter has become more and more image-centric, so take advantage.


Speaking of images, you can pin your blog post to your blog board (here’s my blog board, by the way). Include search terms so that people looking for your topic can find it. Anything with cats and selfies, or cute, wet dogs has to be on Pinterest. Unless it already is!


Maybe only 3 or 4 people will see it on Facebook unless you promote it, but still. You have to put it there. And the more you post and interact on Facebook, the better the chances that your content will be found.


Create a more scholarly headline to get people to click on that link. I like this example of good LinkedIn headlines, from LinkedIn Makeover.


Why not create a video of your blog post and put it up on YouTube? YouTube is absolutely wonderful, especially if you have a how-to video that needs to be seen.


Pictures of cute dogs and cats! Who could resist? Hashtag it like crazy. That’s how people find you on Instagram, and everyone seems to hashtag everything shamelessly.

Solid Gold

When your content gets a little old, you can bring it back to life. You can rewrite an older blog piece by changing about one-third of it and adding pictures. If you’ve been blogging for a year or two, this is a good way to reuse content.

Create an eBook

Once you have a few posts, you can bundle a few and create an eBook. For instance, you could take your solar idea and bundle that with some other posts you’ve written for a book about portable solar.

Make a Slideshare

If you’re good with images, you could make a PowerPoint that you share with your friends on social media. This could go on all channels, and in this new format, many people might relate to it more. Or you could find someone who could do it for you.


Many people are audible learners, and prefer learning by listening. Or they’d love to listen to you speak your idea. You can have someone transcribe your Hangout on Air or blog post and then use the podcasts for still another purpose.

How Do You Recycle Content?

Each time you switch mediums you’ll come up with some new ideas, which will appeal to a different audience. Some people love video, some like to listen, and some want to scroll quickly through images. What’s your favorite way to recycle?

Pinterest Place Boards: Tell a Story

Pinterest Place Boards: Tell A Story

Pinterest Place Boards: Tell A Story

People love stories. Stories are a way of making time stand still. All the world falls away when you’re listening to or reading a story. Did you know that you can create a story using a place board on Pinterest? Think back on those Day in the Life coffee table books. A Pinterest board can be used the same way. Here’s how.

Brain Dump

For this example, I’ll use my own Santa Cruz Daycation board. Write down everything you’d like to do in a single day. Put all the parts of the day in chronological order–I used a numbered list in a Word document to do this. Search for each item online and make sure that whatever you’re going to do is available and open for business. For instance, is the restaurant open? Can you zipline at that time of the day? Can you do yoga early in the morning?

Write Captions

Say something about each step of the day. If you love shoes, and you get to the shoe store 10 minutes before they close, that’s a “SQUEEE!!!” for sure. Rinse and repeat for each event. Add these to your Word doc. And when you’re writing those captions, consider how people search on Pinterest. Here are 18 Tips for Optimizing Your Images to Improve SEO, from Pam Dyer.

Repin or Use Your Own Image

Find Images or Use Your Own

Search within Pinterest, find already-existing photos, or use your own images. And remember, Pinterest is about beautiful images, so make it pretty!  Here’s a blog post I wrote about creating beautiful Pinterest covers.

Start Pinning!

Pin in reverse order from the end of the day to the beginning because the first pin will be at the bottom.

Location, Location, Location

For each pin, first click “Add to Map,” then choose the city. A map appears and will zoom into the city you just selected. Once you’ve found the city, click in the “What’s This Place Called” spot to find the location, and press enter to map it. Some locations will appear instantly while others may require more searching.

Review Your Captions

You can edit the text for each pin later if you like. For instance, I wanted more of a timeline for my place board, so I made sure to add that I was having breakfast, lunch, or dinner, without being too regimented with the times.

Have You Created a Place Board Yet?

What story would you like to tell? Leave me a comment below! And thank you.


Social Media: First Steps for Startups

Maintain focus to maximize your time

Maintain focus to maximize your time

You are the CEO of a startup, about to launch. The website is looking great. You have an app and a product that looks like it will be an enormous success. Suddenly, you realize that you have no social media. Quick! What are you going to do? Here’s a high-level overview.

Choose Your Name

Make sure your name is available across all the platforms you are looking for. You may need to insert an extra space, or an underline (for example, my name, @Carol_Stephen, has an underline between my first and last names on Twitter). Now check that your name is available on all the other platforms, too.

Pick a Platform

The platforms with the most traffic are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and GooglePlus. Depending upon the type of startup you’re in, you could also use Instagram and YouTube. But to simplify matters, choose the top ones you’d like, then pick one platform to start with. The easiest one is LinkedIn. Like juggling, once you have that first object in the air, you can add another and another.

Grab Your Handle

Register your name across all platforms–even if you don’t plan to start posting yet. Create an email account just for your social media, for example,, and use that email exclusively.

Organize the Names

Write down email, along with the login names and  passwords in one place, and tell someone else on your team. Put the names into a Google doc, binder or other safe spot with office procedures. The number one problem I hear is that people have lost their own passwords. Yes, really!

Have a Backup Admin

Juggle one social media platform at a time

Juggle one social media platform at a time

Make sure at least one other person is the admin for all your accounts in case something happens to you. This should be a trusted friend, co-founder, or your mom, but someone trustworthy and a little bit tech-savvy.

Designate a Lead

If your time is limited (and people in startups are always busy), designate one person as the social media manager. You may want to share this responsibility, depending upon how many are on the team. The lead will be the point person, and main decision maker for your brand.

What First Steps Would You Take?

Is there something else you would include for a startup? Let me know in the comments!


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