Have you ever considered using social media as a way of getting more leads? If you’re already using social media for your business, either to get more engagement, more traffic to your website or to raise awareness of your brand, why not also make an extra effort to also get more leads out of it?

An infographic by Wishpond (at end of post) shows us just how useful social media can be when it comes to generating leads: for example, 77% of “B2C marketers say they have acquired a customer through Facebook”, “34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter and 20% have closed deals” and “LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter”, with 77% of B2B marketers saying that they have acquired a customer through LinkedIn.

Social media also leads to more “indirect” leads, as it helps you get more traffic that you can try to convert once they get to your website, and studies have shown that most buyers (77%) are “more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media.”

Generating leads using social media doesn’t happen instantly, like all other social media results. It takes a bit of effort, and the bigger and better your social media profiles are, the better the chances that you will generate more leads.

1. Use social media to share valuable and useful content.

If you have a blog you can share your content on social media – the more valuable and useful this content is for your audience, the better your chances at getting more leads. It’s also important to share other people’s content, and not just yours, but make sure it is content that your audience will truly value and appreciate. By sharing your own useful articles and resources, you will establish yourself as a knowledgeable person, and ultimately one that people will want to hire for their insight. When writing articles, try to think of the type of content that your target audience will truly value and want to read more about.

2. Always be nice on social media and engage with your audience.

By constantly engaging with your audience and always being polite and nice (even when they don’t really deserve it!) you will create a great first impression to all potential leads. But, perhaps even more importantly, this way you will start building long-lasting relationships with your fans and followers that can later lead to more leads and conversions.

3. Add links to your website/s on your social media accounts.

This is a very important aspect if you want more social media leads. Simply write your website address in your profile descriptions or in the designated spaces so that interested people can easily access your website and lead to more conversions.

4. Don’t just wait for the leads to come to you – look for them yourself.

Occasionally, people will use social media to look for a specific business they need. This is especially the case with B2B, where a particular business requires some services and asks around on social media to find the best candidate for the job. Try to check related groups and communities regularly and make keyword searches to find anyone that could be interested in your services, and approach them.

5. Calls to action.

Don’t be afraid to sometimes be a little salesy on social media. Among your regular updates and engagement with other social media users, you can sometimes post updates where you advertise your services or products and their benefits, and encourage people to go to your website to see what you offer. Don’t go overboard however so as to not alienate your followers and so that they think that you are only using social media to sell, as this will have the opposite of the desired effect.

6. Advertising on social media.

Advertising on social media can help you find lots of quality leads. On Facebook, you can use the Promoted Posts feature to advertise your most valuable posts and drive more targeted traffic back to your website which can lead to more conversions. You can also use regular advertising, which usually helps raise traffic, and try to target your ads as much as possible. If you have any special offers running, advertise them on social media to reach your target audience. It’s always preferable to try to link back to landing pages in order to increase your conversion rate.

7. Be helpful.

The more influential and respected you become on social media, the more questions and inquiries you will get. Make sure to take the time to respond to these questions, and also let them know that if they need any more help with anything else, they should contact you for your help. By being helpful this way, you increase your chances of getting quality leads in the future – some of the people you’ve helped may come back to you when they need your help and this time even employ your services or buy your product. It will also help you become more influential on social media, and create a better name for yourself, one that people respect and go to whenever they need the help. It’s important to understand that it is not by any means about short-term gratification – it requires a lot of work, time invested, and patience to get the results you want.

8. Add a contact form to your Facebook Page.

This is easy to do and can lead to great results. Simply get one of the contact form apps for Facebook and install to your Page – try Contact Form and install it in seconds:


9. Hold a Google Hangout.Untitled6-1

With Google+’s Hangout feature, you can easily set up a webinar that can help you not only get more traffic, but also more quality leads. For example, you can set up a Hangout where you hold a webinar where you teach the viewers something useful that relates to your business, or even present one of your products or services. Your viewers will feel like they are getting something useful out of the Hangout and there will be more chances that they will go to your website and buy something from you! When you set up your Hangout, make sure to advertise across your social media profiles and consider sending an email to your list to help spread the word and get more viewers.

10. LinkedIn.

LinkedIn can be an amazing source of quality leads if used properly. Start by making sure your profile is complete with all the relevant information about your company, links to your websites, images and work history. Then find people you know and have worked with in the past to get Recommendations from them – this way you will be more influential on LinkedIn and your profile will look much better. Once your profile is all set up, start to engage with other users and build relationships with them before approaching them directly. Then start joining different relevant groups or even consider start one yourself. Make sure you engage with people in groups and try to look for question and enquiries that you can help with. There’s much more that you can do to get leads from LinkedIn, so much so that it requires it’s own article – so make sure to keep checking Socialable for a post on this in the very near future.

Are you using social media to generate leads? Have you been successful so far? And if so, what techniques do you use? Please leave your comments below!


The post 10 ways to generate leads using social media appeared first on Socialable.





Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Once you take the (big) leap of faith to starting a freelance career, growing your client base and expanding your network can be a real challenge. While there are plenty of job boards and websites designed specifically for freelancers, sometimes these boards can seem downright overwhelming.

Constantly submitting pitches blindly to prospective clients is not always the most effective use of your time, especially on job boards where you may never receive any feedback as to why your pitch didn’t make the cut. Besides marketing yourself through a stellar website and fantastic content, how else can you land your next gig?

While I’m not a freelancer, I am a solopreneur who understands the challenge of reaching new clients and expanding your business profile. One of the best tips I ever received from a fellow solopreneur was to focus on growing my network reach through social media. Sure, nearly all of us have a LinkedIn page that acts as our online resume.

But what about sites like Twitter or Instagram? Is it possible to grow your personal brand here and reach new clients? Absolutely. Here’s how freelancers can leverage the power of social media to connect with potential clients outside of LinkedIn:


As a popular micro-blogging platform, Twitter is still ground zero for cultivating your personal brand and amassing a following – as long as you’re willing to get a bit more personal about your daily life. Twitter is the place to showcase your thoughts, passions and interests that go beyond your business profile.

Start by nailing the basics: upload a professional headshot, build out a keyword-rich bio, add a website link to your profile and select a location. Even if you travel a lot for work, it’s still critical to indicate a home base, otherwise your Twitter profile could fall outside the parameters of a targeted search.

Next, position yourself as an expert resource on a specific subject matter you want to write more about, be that budget travel tips or B2B content marketing. Be genuine, inject a little humor, wit or sarcasm into your posts (in keeping with your personality), and be smart about who you follow or re-tweet.

Follow the publishers and publications for which you wish to write, and be smart about tagging them in posts or retweeting their content. Never pitch an editor directly over Twitter; a lengthy series of messages is unprofessional and can be downright annoying to receive. Instead, once you’ve built a basic relationship, send a direct message or shift the conversation to email.

Your tweets may only be 140 characters, but your profile and the type of content you post (and curate) will say a lot about your brand. Since tweets have a very short lifespan due to Twitter’s real-time newsfeed, remember you’ll need to invest consistent time and energy each day into maintaining an active presence.


While Twitter is great for freelance writers, it’s not always the best medium for showing off creative visual work. You may already be posting design work on Instagram as well as Facebook and Pinterest. By bringing more focus to your brand building efforts on Instagram (like these designers do), you can build your own design niche and expand your following.

Developing your brand as a graphic designer is all about leveraging social media sites like Instagram to tell a story through great work. Here’s the problem: most designers promote their work with a simple image post of their latest project and a few relevant hashtags. Get more mileage out of your posts by creating context and telling a story.

You don’t need to go overboard with a full-on case study, but do consider adding a line or two about your client’s problem and how you went about solving it. Showcase your work as it develops through the creative process: perhaps an initial pen-and-paper sketch followed by a rough design, and then the final product. Take your followers along for the creative journey and get them invested in the outcome.

Many freelancers I know wish they could be more creative in their day-to-day work, and have started using Instagram as an outlet for expressing this creativity. For example, let’s say most of your jobs are developing B2B logos. The opportunities for creativity are a bit more limited here than they would be with other clients.

Perhaps you enjoy sketching or typography; use Instagram to showcase these sketches and typeface designs. Doing so not only bolsters your reputation as a creative but also lets potential clients know that you’re open to a wide variety of projects beyond your immediate portfolio.

Bottom line: There’s nothing easy about breaking into a creative field and turning a side hustle into a full-time job. From broadcasting your authentic voice on Twitter to showcasing your creative eye on Instagram, leveraging the power of social media to curate content is key to successfully building out your personal brand.

Focus on one to two channels, post regularly to maintain an active presence, and take your followers along on your creative journey. You may be surprised by just how many folks start following your posts, commenting on your content, and even reaching out for work opportunities.

5 Facebook Advertising Tools That Save Time and Improve Your ROI


social media toolsDo you advertise on Facebook?

Looking for more efficient ways to manage your campaigns?

Facebook ad tools can make a world of difference in the amount of time, effort and money you spend on your ad campaigns.

In this article you’ll discover five Facebook advertising tools that save you time and boost your return on investment (ROI).

facebook advertising tools

Discover five Facebook advertising tools that save time and improv ROI.

1: Facebook Ads Manager App

Facebook has offered Ads Manager for mobile devices since 2014, but earlier this year they launched a stand-alone iOS Ads Manager app with some pretty necessary features for advertisers. Now you can track ad performance, edit existing ads, revise ad budgets and schedules, receive push notifications and create ads from the app.

facebook ads manager ios app placeit

The Facebook Ads Manager app enables you to manage ad campaigns on the go. Image: Placeit.

It was nice to be able to manage ads with the first iteration of the mobile manager, but the stand-alone app is more convenient and powerful. It’s designed for small- to medium-sized advertisers and allows you to create ads from your existing page posts or from images and photos on your device.

If you’re using Android, you’ll be happy to know a version will be released later this year.

#2: Facebook Ads Exclusion Targeting

Facebook continues to add more precise targeting options to their ad platform, making it possible to market to incredibly granular groups, right down to specific individuals.

Often though, it’s beneficial to exclude certain segments to get your ads in front of the right audience.

facebook exclusion audience

Exclude a certain audience from seeing your Facebook ad to improve your targeting.

Enter Facebook’s Exclusion Targeting, a tool launched to help you avoid targeting the same people twice. For example, you can exclude your existing customers from a promotion designed to generate new leads. Or target your website visitors (as a custom audience), but exclude those who’ve already converted.

Facebook promises that exclusion targeting can help you lower your cost per action or cost per click, reduce money spent on wasted clicks and reach people who are more likely to buy or convert. It works with regular Facebook ads, as well as the newer (and awesome) carousel ad format on both desktop and mobile.

See Facebook’s Help resource for instructions on setting up exclusion targeting.

#3: Qwaya

Sure, you can split test Facebook ads on your own, but if you’re attempting to glean useful insights from it on any scale, you’re going to want a tool to automate the process.

Qwaya is a paid tool with a ton of features including ad scheduling, performance-based rule setting, autorotation of ads and a campaign organizer. But one of its best features is its ability to automate split testing (A/B testing) for both creatives and audiences.

qwaya facebood ad split test feature

Qwaya lets you automate A/B testing for your Facebook Ads.

If you’re already using Facebook Power Editor, you know that the ability to split test audiences, as shown above, is sorely lacking. Qwaya also helps you determine which combinations of imagery, text and targeting make up the best-performing ads with its split testing feature.

#4: AdEspresso’s Facebook Ads Compass Report

AdEspresso’s Facebook Ads Compass is like a report card for your Facebook ads account. If you’re agency-side, don’t worry; it lets you choose which account and which campaigns you’d like to analyze so you don’t get a mass of information for all of your accounts together.

adespresso compass report

Facebook Ads Compass analyzes the performance of your Facebook ad campaigns and benchmarks them against others in your industry.

If you’re already using a tool to analyze your ads’ performance, the Compass report might seem redundant. But it’s a great starting place if you’re a small business and have been doing the bulk of your Facebook ads optimization based on manual analysis.

You have to factor in your time spent managing your Facebook campaigns into overall ROI, so a tool like this can help you save time and enhance performance (if you act on its recommendations!).

AdEspresso has analyzed over $290 million in Facebook ad spend to create industry benchmarks against which your campaigns are compared in the Compass report. It’s a great way to see how you stack up against other businesses in your industry.

#5: Hootsuite Ads

Hootsuite recently announced they were partnering with Facebook to offer you a way to automatically generate Facebook ads, based on your existing organic page posts.

hootsuite facebook post ad objectives

After you choose a goal for your ad, Hootsuite Ads will find your best-performing posts and promote them to help you achieve your goal.

Hootsuite Ads scans your Facebook page to find the best ads to promote, and then applies automated targeting and a bidding algorithm to launch them as ads (promoted posts).

Hootsuite says this product (which is currently in beta) will turn even an advertising rookie into a social ads expert, but I wouldn’t go that far. In general, it’s still a best practice to understand the basics and have a good grasp of what the software you’re using is doing and why, even if it’s automating some of the work for you.

With that said, you’re already putting time and effort into creating visuals and messaging for your page, so it may make sense to have your best material automatically converted into ads. Test it out and see if the ROI makes it work for you.

Over to You

Facebook ads, once almost universally dismissed as low intent and not nearly as valuable as Google AdWords, are now a massive market, to the tune of $3.3 billion in revenue in Q1 2015. New ad formats, with a greater emphasis on native/in-stream and super-precise targeting options, have made Facebook ads a valuable addition to any digital marketer’s arsenal.

With the Facebook advertising tools in this article, you can automate processes, perform A/B testing, target with more precision and generate awesome ad creative. Some are free, others are paid, but each one is worth checking out.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite tool for Facebook ads? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Picture Perfect: 4 Steps to Building Powerful Links With Images


Written by Neil Patel on September 8, 2015

The things that go into a healthy diet, also go into a healthy backlink profile.

A healthy diet requires moderation – eating a bit of diverse types of foods.

Links are no different. You want people to link to you for all sorts of reasons, and you need to create different types of content to give them the chance to:

  • your content
  • case studies
  • product reviews
  • pictures

Images are among the most important parts of a link building strategy that are often ignored.

But that’s a mistake – the Internet is increasingly becoming focused on visual content.

In a study of 100 million articles, Buzzsumo and Okdork found that infographics (one type of image) were the most shareable type of content by a decent margin:


Anyone who’s familiar with Quick Sprout know how important infographics were in building the site’s traffic.

While they’re not quite as effective as they used to be, infographics can still be effective when used as link-bait.

But don’t limit yourself to just infographics, there are many types of images that you can make to get high quality backlinks pointing to your site.

These will drive immediate traffic, but also help you drive consistent organic search traffic for years to come.

Even if you have no design talent at all, you can still build links with images. You’ll probably just have to outsource the image creation part of the process.

And I’m going to show you how to do it.

To build links from images there are only 4 steps:

  • Step 1: Create an image that people love
  • Step 2: Do some initial promotion
  • Step 3: Get your content in front of linkers
  • Step 4: Get bonus links from people using your images

I’m going to break down how to each and every step in this post. 

What makes an image worth linking to?

Am I making this too complicated?

Why not just take a picture of your cat and ask people to link to you?

Obviously, a picture of a cat is completely irrelevant for most niches, so you won’t actually get any links from it.

Some images are more linkable than others. That’s why some get hundreds of links, but most get 0 or just a few.

Images that get a lot of links can have any (or all) of the following properties:

  • new – No one wants to see another infographic about the basics of SEO. You need to come up with a new topic, or a new angle on an old topic that people can get intrigued about.
  • relevant – If your site is about gardening, produce images about gardening or related topics (e.g. landscaping) if you want links from related blogs.
  • funny – All images need to provide some sort of value. Some types of images, like comics, lend themselves to providing value through humor.


  • interesting – The most reliable way to provide value through an image is to show something interesting in it. It could be research, expert opinions, or information on a hot topic.
  • controversial – Images can communicate something in a simple way that would take thousands of words to say. That makes them perfect for summing up controversial topics that can stimulate discussion (and links!)
  • high quality – If you’re not a great artist, it’s almost always better to outsource your image creation. No one wants to link to an image that looks like it was made by a kid.

The more of those properties that you can include in your images, the better results you will get (in general).

Sometimes you won’t be able to include them all, and that’s fine. Just hit as many of them as you can.

Ready to get started now?

Let’s go…

Step 1: Create an image that people love

Without a great image, you can use the best promotional techniques in the world and still fail.

It’s a lot like content marketing. People only naturally link to great content, just like they only link to great images in most cases.

There are 2 approaches that you can take:

  • Image type first – You can pick your image type first, and then come up with a topic that fits it later.
  • Topic first – With this approach, you come up with an interesting topic in your niche, and then decide which type of image suits it best.

Both can work, without a doubt, but I’ll be going through the image type first option.

The topic first approach is a little more abstract. You’ll generally need a little experience with image link building before you start to see good content ideas that could work in image format (the second approach).

The top types of link building images: The first part of your image building campaign is to decide on which type of image(s) you will create.

Some types of images attract more links than others, and have different costs.

I do recommend testing many types of images to find out which ones produce the best return on investment (ROI).

For now, though, start by picking one of these proven types of images:

  • infographics – As the name implies, infographics convey information in a graphical format. They started really becoming popular around 2010, and are now relatively common, which reduces their effectiveness. If you’re going to make a high quality infographic, expect to spend $500-1,000 on a good designer.


  • comics – Entertainment is one of the main uses of images, and comics are a perfect format for that. While they’ve been around for decades in newspapers, they’re just starting to get more popular online in marketing circles. You can produce a small series of comics for the price of one or two infographics.


  • hand drawn pictures – Hand drawn pictures are not easy or cheap to make, and that’s why they work. As I shared in the $100,000 case study, we had some very good success using hand drawn pictures.


How to get an image created: There is no shortage of great artists out there these days looking for work, which is good for you and me.

The amount that you will have to pay depends on how good of an image you’re looking for (and how complex), as well as how much work you want to do yourself.

You might be able to get away with finding a foreign designer through a platform like Upwork, but you’ll basically have to specify everything, or you’ll get a sub-par product.

If you go with an experienced, top designer, you can be more confident that they’ll figure out the best way to lay out information.

Here are a few suggestions of places you can find designers:

  • dribbble.com – Look through top-notch artists and reach out to them to hire them.
  • 99designs – Have thousands of designers that specialize in web images. You’ll pay a premium, but you get dozens of designs to pick from.
  • Upwork – Post a job and you’ll get several (minimum) designers apply for the gig. Designers range from cheap foreign designers to high priced North American and European designers – Good for an unsure budget.
  • /r/forhire – A subreddit dedicated to hiring freelancers and hobbyists for small jobs. You can find a lot of talented, unexperienced designers that are hungry to work (usually cheaper than professional agencies and freelancers).

It doesn’t matter where you find a designer, just find one that meets your quality expectations and that you can afford in your budget.

Pick a topic that is likely to be linked to: Once you have a designer (or a plan to get one), the next thing you’ll need is a topic.

If you know your niche inside and out, you may be able to think of one off the top of your head.

However, in most cases, it’s better to follow a simple process for coming up with topic that people will be interested in.

If you find past images on your topic, you can see which ones are the most popular. These are obviously topics that your audience will be interested in. You can then make an image about the same topic from a different angle, or create one about a similar topic.

Even if you come up with a great idea off the top of your head, you should still research your competition to make sure that no one has done it in the same way as what you’re planning.

Some types of images are easier to search for than others. Since infographics are so popular now, they are the easiest to research, so let’s start with them.

Go to the Visual.ly gallery and search for your topic in the search top at the top:


If you’re just looking to see if someone has done an idea before, look at the search results.

If you’re looking to build off the most successful infographics, select “viewed” from the sort drop down menu:


This will show you infographics sorted by the most viewed, even though some may not be as relevant as you’d like.


These top few have several thousand views each, and that’s just on Visual.ly. They likely have many thousands more on other sites.

So, if your site was a motivation site (searched for “motivation”), you could get a few spin off ideas from these top results:

  • X Unusual Ways to Stay Creative
  • X Ways That Famous Authors Stayed Creative
  • Chances of Success: The Journey of Y – Pick a well-known name for Y (like Steve Jobs, or Elon Musk)
  • The Science of Motivation

Next up, head over to Pinterest. Create an account if you don’t have one already, as you’ll need that to be able to search.

Type in both your niche or topic, plus the type of image you’re interested in:


There’s no easy way to sort them, but look for the ones with the most pins and hearts in their descriptions, then base your ideas of these:


As I said before, if you’re searching for less popular types of images, you won’t get as many relevant results.

So if you searched for “motivation comics”, you’ll get other images that aren’t comics. But if you scroll down a bit, you’ll still find some good ones:


As a last resort, head to Google Images.

The big benefit of Google Images is that you’ll be able to find tons of images of any type on just about every topic:


The downside is that there’s no easy way to know which of these are more popular than others. (In general the most popular will be first, but this is far from always true.)

Gather research: Not all images will need much research and data, but this is the time to do it.

Unless your designer also offers to find supporting research, you’ll have to do it yourself.

If you’re new to this, I’ve gone over some researching techniques in my guide to writing a data-driven post.

Once you have what you need, hand it off to your designer.

Publish it: It may take a few rounds of edits, but your designer should hand you a polished image that’s ready to go get some links.

Start by publishing it on your website (you want to get credit for it first!).

I generally include a small intro before the image, which is good for readers and can help with search rankings:


If it’s a comic or other small picture, you may just want to put it in one of your upcoming posts (instead of making a separate post just for it).

At the bottom of the image include embed code to make it as easy as possible for someone to put the image (with a link) on their site.


Step 2: Generate initial buzz and links with communities

You’ve finished your image(s) at this point. All done, right?

Unless you have a very large following – no, you aren’t done.

You need to get your image in front of people who will like it. You can do this yourself, or hire a virtual assistant (VA) to do it for you.

It’s up to you how much time and resources you invest into the initial push, but more is almost always better.

Option #1 – submit it to relevant subreddits: Reddit is a gigantic content aggregator with millions of users.

For the most part, the users on Reddit hate typical content. However, they loveimages, which makes Reddit the perfect place to start.

Reddit is composed of different categories called subreddits (e.g. /r/comics is about comics). Refer to my beginner’s guide to Reddit if you’re not familiar with the site.

You’ll want to submit your image in at least a couple different subreddits.

Start by submitting it in image-based subreddits.

The comics subreddit has tens of thousands of active visitors, so if you create something with wide appeal, it could lead to tens or hundreds of thousands of views as it spreads:


In addition, there is also an infographic subreddit, although it is strangely not as popular as the comic subreddit:


Finally, there are a few other image based subreddits you may want to submit to:

Next up, you’ll want to submit it to any relevant subreddits.

For example, if you made a comic about motivation, you’d want to submit it to the largest motivation subreddit.


Option #2 – post it on niche-relevant forums: Forums will always be around, all full of people who are craving high quality content.

For the most part, you can simply start a new thread and post your image (assuming you’re an existing member already). If it’s a good image, it will be loved.

Here’s an infographic that was posted to start a thread on a gaming forum:


It’s a beautiful infographic, and went on to encourage 13 pages of replies and thousands of views:


There is one exception though: Most marketing forums hate when members do this (think forums like Warrior Forum). They know that you’re sharing it to get views and links and don’t like being “marketed to”. I’d skip this particular option if you’re in the marketing niche.

If you have a hand drawn image, it may not warrant it’s own thread.

What you can do in that case is post it in a reply when it’s relevant. People post images and videos all the time in replies to make a point:


Option #3 – submit it to infographic sites: There are tons of sites that consist solely of infographics. Their userbase loves them and are usually happy to share them as well.

That being said, most of these sites are worthless, and will only get a few (if any) views.

If you stick to the better known ones, you’re more likely to get hundreds or thousands of views. However, that still depends on getting your infographic featured.

Here are some of the most well known infographic submission sites:

If you want more, here’s a list of other infographic submission sites.

Some have a “submission” link in the header or footer, but most you will have to contact the team behind the site and ask to be included:


Option #4 – share it on social media with the hopes of going viral: Remember that graph I showed you at the start? Infographics, and images in general are highly viral.

All this means is that people like to share them (if they’re good). This also means that social media is a great place to get started.

In addition to sharing your infographic through your normal social media channels, you should also consider a bit of paid advertising.

Social advertising is relatively cheap, and for a few dollars you can get your infographic in front of a few hundred targeted viewers.

You’ve already put a few hundred into your image, it makes no sense to cheap out on the promotion side, which is arguably more important.

Images spread fast on Stumbleupon: In addition to your normal social channels, submit your image to Stumbleupon.

Create an account, and then click the drop down in the top right. This will bring up a menu with the “add a page” option that you should choose:


Add your image URL (or page URL), a category, and then tags and comments:


If you get a bit lucky and have a great image, you can get tens of thousands of views on your content in days, with hundreds of more shares, and often a few backlinks.

But if you want to remove a bit of the luck from the equation, you’ll need to useStumbleupon’s paid advertising.

It’s very simple to get up and running.

Create a new campaign, then enter your URL.


You get to choose your targeting options, so you can be sure that your image will be shown to the right people.

I suggest using “precise targeting” so that you can drill down to a specific interest to target.


As you choose your options, you’ll get to see how specific your campaign is in the right sidebar. It will also give you a few interest suggestions:


The more specific you are, the more it will cost per view, but you’ll also get way better results (viewers will be most interested in your images).

Finally, you need to set your budget.

I recommend starting small at just a few dollars a day. If it starts to catch on, you can consider bumping up your spending a bit:


You get to choose how much you pay per stumble. The more you pay, the more priority you get.

If you’re budget per day is small, start on the low side, because you don’t really need priority. If not enough people are seeing the image, then bump it up.

When you go back to you dashboard later, you can see the performance of the ad. The “earned” views are the natural ones that came because the paid viewers stumbled and shared your image:


If your image takes off, you can get the cost per view down to under a cent.

If you’re not seeing results after a few hundred paid views, either try different targeting options, or end the campaign.

Step 3: Efficient outreach produces results

Email outreach is arguably the best method for connecting with other website owners.

It’s part of almost every white hat SEO technique there is, including building links with images.

While these emails don’t always drive much traffic (although sometimes do), they do have a fairly high chance of resulting in a link.

Start by emailing your sources: When you want to get on an influencer’s good side, what do you do?

You feature them in an article (or other piece of content).

Well, you can do the same thing here.

While citing studies is always a good thing, try to find sources of information or inspiration for you picture from other blogs and writers.

You’ll notice in my infographics that I cite SEO blogs and articles written by marketing writers quite often:


Then, I can email them with a short message like this:

Subject: Thanks for your research

Hi (Name),

I just wanted to quickly say thanks for your great bit of research on (topic). I’m referring to this post you wrote – (URL).

I actually created an infographic around (topic), and used some of your research (cited of course!).

Thought you might be interested in seeing it, could I send you the link?


(Your name)

Say you had a custom picture drawn instead of an infographic. You could email someone with a similar message, but say that you “drew inspiration from one of your drawings” instead to make a connection.

Then, find people that have linked to similar images in your niche: Next up, we’re going to target blog owners.

There are 2 main ways that you can do this.

The first is to simple Google phrases like:

  • “Top (niche) blogs”
  • “Best (niche) blogs”
  • “(niche) sites”

From the results, you should be able to compile at least 50-100 blogs. Either collect the contact information yourself or have a VA do it.

Then, you can send them an email asking if they’d want to see your image (since it’s relevant to their work).

This approach can work, but you have to realize that blog owners are constantly being asked to look at infographics and other images, so it has a limited effectiveness.

The better approach, in my opinion, is to find sites that like including images like yours on their site.

Find similar images using the methods we used all the way back in step 1 to find a topic. Copy down the URL of each image.

On Google Images, click the image of the camera to perform a reverse image search.


Then, enter an image URL in the pop-up:


And then click search. You’ll hopefully get a long list of pages that have the picture on them (or a similar one):


For each of those results, you want to examine the page and find the author:


The first result published the infographic on its own page.

Your next step is to find the author’s contact information. Sometimes it will be on the site somewhere, other times you may have to search their name on Google and find their personal site. (Here’s how to find anyone’s email address.)

Once you’ve done this for all your images, you should be able to send at least a few hundred emails to likely linkers.

It will be similar to the last one, with a few small changes:

Subject: An (image type) about (topic)

Hi (Name),

I love that you cover (topic) on such a regular basis.

I noticed that you’ve published a few (topic) (type of image) in the past on your blog, and that your audience seemed to have liked them (judging by social shares).

I actually created an infographic around (topic), which I thought that you might enjoy.

Would you mind if I sent you the link? If you’re interested in sharing it with your audience, I’d be happy to write a custom intro for you.


(Your name)

That last little twist will make it easier for someone to say yes. Instead of having to write an intro themselves, you’ll do it for them. (That tip courtesy of Backlinko.)

Step 4: Get bonus links from people using your images

If you do everything up until now right, you should get at least a few thousand views and a few dozen links.

There will be variance. Sometimes an image will go viral, other times it will have a limited spread. That’s why you need to be consistent.

This final step happens a bit down the road from your initial promotional work.

Many times, sites will use images, but not link to it, either because they didn’t know they should, or just forgot.

If you can find people that have used your image, but haven’t linked to you, you can send them an email and politely ask them to include your link. It should have a decent success rate.

First, get a list of all the images on your site: It’s a good idea to keep a list of all the image URLs of images that you create and publish here on out.

If you have been publishing some high quality pictures in the past that you know other people have probably used, go back and compile a list of these image’s URLs.

If you have a large site, it might be worth investing in Screaming Frog SEO Spider or hiring a VA to do it.

With Screaming Frog, open up the spider configuration and make sure only “check images” is ticked.


Then, enter your URL and click “start” in the top bar:


This will give you a report of all the image URLs on your site.

Second, find sites that used your images without linking to your site: Next up, we’re going to use Google Images’ reverse search again.

Enter in your first image URL into the tool:


You will again get a list of all the pages that have your image on it. Copy down these URLs into a spreadsheet for later.

Now, repeat the search for all of your images.

Alternatively, use Image Raider instead: There’s a tool called Image Raider that was created specifically to find out which sites use your photo.

In the basic tool, just paste in your image URL and click “Check URLs”:


It will give you a list of domains, plus a list of the pages that use the image:


In addition, if you create an account, you can have it automatically check for new pages using your images periodically. This is incredibly useful if you will be creating many images in the future.


Finally, ask them for the link: Once you have your list of URLs that use your images, you need to visit each of them and see if they already link to your site. If they do, remove them from your list.

You should be left with a more manageable list of URLs that do not give you credit for your image.

Find their contact information and send them a quick email like this (it can be a template):

Subject: Image on (site) article

Hi (Name),

I stumbled across (site) today. More specifically, this article – (Article URL).

I noticed that you actually use an image from my site, so I wanted to say thanks for including that!

I would really appreciate it if you could add a link back to my site so that your readers know where it came from.

If you could, that’d be great. Here’s the HTML code to save you some time:

Image courtesy of <a href=”http://site.com”>(Site name)</a>


(Your Name)

If they don’t get back to you, don’t sweat it. There’s a lot of scraper sites and unmaintained sites that there’s nothing you can do about.

However, if you use this tactic, you’ll score a few extra high quality links on a regular basis.


Just like content, images are going to be a part of web content for the foreseeable future.

Image link building is not easy, but if you follow the steps in this post, you can pick up some great backlinks that will improve your search rankings across your site.

Finally, remember that image link building takes practice.

Expect to create a few images before you get the hang of it and start seeing solid results – don’t give up too soon.

I know that some of you have tried image link building in the past. It’d be great if you could leave a comment below and share your experience.

These 15 Rockstar Entrepreneurs Built Lucrative Businesses on Social Media

Just Found this


This post was originally published on Buffer

Have you heard this advice before: “Follow your passions!” “Do what you love!”?

And have you thought, what if my passions are my hobbies? Things that I could never be paid for?

For some, the advice to “do what you love” seems possible only if you have a passion for things like finance or accounting or coding. Well, I’ve been happy to find that it’s possible to follow your passions into a career, no matter what those passions may be. With social media, you now have a platform to do what you love–and to make a career out of it.

I found 15 amazing entrepreneurs who built their entire businesses and careers around social media, many earning $100,000 or more.

I’d love to share their stories with you — and how you can follow their lead to turn your passions into a career, through social media.

New career social media

How to Earn an Income Doing What You Love on Social Media

It sounds far-fetched, doesn’t it?

Posting photographs or tweets a few times each day to launch a lucrative career doing what you love.

And you might be wondering how these social media entrepreneurs make money. Because after all, a career requires an income.

I’ll get into the specific stories of 15 entrepreneurs below. First, I thought I’d share the many number of ways — the specific avenues and channels — that they use to make money on social media.

How to earn an income on social media

1. Sponsorships

Sponsorships are responsible for a lot of the money earned through social media, especially for those just starting off. Brittany Furlan, Caitlin Turner and Shaun McBride all started with sponsorships.

Sponsorships occur when brands pay to be associated with you. When a tourism board pays Instagrammer Lauren Bath to work with them and feature their location, they are sponsoring Lauren.

Podcasts are usually funded through sponsorships as well. The sponsor will pay to be featured on the podcast at some point during the episode.

2. Advertisements

Advertisements are another popular method of monetizing social media. YouTubers like Liz Meghan use ads to make a living through their social media accounts.

Advertisements differ from sponsorships in that there’s usually not a long term relationship with the entrepreneur.

3. Selling products

If you have a product based business like an eCommerce store, this is perfect for you.

Social media can be a great place to sell your products – or, at the least, build up a following and redirect those followers to your website to buy your products.

4. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to work with brands to help them sell their products, earning you a commission each time somebody buys through your affiliate link.

Many social media channels allow affiliate links to be placed within a post, and when the follower clicks on the link and makes a purchase through it, the poster gets a portion of that sale.

5. Promoting services

If a service-based business is more up your alley, you don’t want to look past social media as a marketing channel.

From hair stylists who post their work on Instagram to coaches who use Facebook as a platform to engage with potential clients, there is a lot of opportunity on social media to promote your services.

6. Boosting your visibility as an artist

If you’re an artist, writer, or creative entrepreneur, social media can be an amazing tool to boost your visibility.

Artists like Us the Duo, Grace Ciao, and writer Jeff Goins all have used their social media channels as methods of boosting their visibility to book gigs and sell their art.

Why Social Media Works

Creating social media content every day. Scheduling it at the right times. Analyzing what followers respond to and what they ignore. The time it takes to manage a social media marketing strategy can be significant.

Here are two reasons why the time is well worth it, especially for those looking to build a new career.

1. Social Media Expands Your Reach by 1,000x

How many people visit your website each day?

200? 1,000?

Those aren’t bad numbers. And it may make sense for you to spend time on your own website rather than social media because your website is like your online home.

But think about it:

  • Instagram has 100 million active users
  • Twitter has over 135 million active users
  • YouTube sees over 1 billion active users each month

Even if only 0.1% of the people on those channels are interested in what you’re doing, you’ve still amplified your reach by over 1,000 times by using social media to spread your message and share your passion.

2. Social Media Establishes Your Expertise

The lifeblood of social media is content.

Even if you’re posting a 6-second video on Vine or a photo on Instagram, you’re posting content.

When you’re consistently posting content about a specific topic, you establish yourself as an expert.

Take, for example, two mathematicians who love numbers. Who establishes herself as an expert?

Mathematician A, who loves her work but avoids social media, or
Mathematician B, who teaches others how to do math on Youtube and has 200,000 followers?

They’re both experts, but Mathematician B has established herself as an expert. She has built an audience, and provides value to others by demonstrating her knowledge on social media.

15 Entrepreneurs Who Built New Careers Through Social Media

1. Brandon Stanton

The creator of Humans of New York

In 2010, after losing his job, Brandon Stanton began to take candid photographs of people on the streets of New York and post them to Facebook.

Self-taught, Brandon took photos that reflected his passion, and these photos quickly began to gain traction on Facebook.

Humans of New York now has over 12 million Facebook likes, and it has launched a speaking, photography, philanthropic and media career for Brandon.The revenue generated by HONY prints sold goes directly to charity, and Brandon makes a living from the royalties of books sales and new freelancing opportunities. He went into a bit more detail about the specifics in a Reddit AMA:

How are you able to pay for your daily needs? Does HONY support you financially?

I’ve said publicly that I don’t want to “cash out” or “monetize” HONY. I like to say it publicly because I want my audience to keep me on mission. HONY print sales have raised nearly $500,000 for charity in the past six months. I want to further monetize the site for non-profit ventures. I honestly want to “give” HONY to New York in some way.

Freelancing and book royalties are keeping me afloat now. I get money for collaborations, occasional magazine pieces, occasional speeches, etc. And I signed two book deals which pay the rent. Also, I live cheaply.

2. Jeff Goins

Author and Blogger behind Goins, Writer

Two years ago, Jeff Goins quit his day job to pursue his passion for writing full-time.

He now has built a tribe of over 100,000 people, and has just launched his fourth book, The Art of Work.

This is all made possible by social media.

Jeff began writing on his blog, Goinswriter.com, and continued to work in his day job. He then began to earn more on his blog doing what he loved part-time than he was in his full-time job.

My blog (which accounted for less than 10 hours per week) was now contributing more income than my full-time job (which took up at least 40 hours per week).

His first product — a $2.99 ebook — earned $1,500 in its first week, convincing Jeff that his hobby could be a business.

His blog gave him a platform to follow his passion and do what he loves.

3. Grace Ciao

Fashion Designer and Artist

Grace Ciao is the ultimate accidental social media entrepreneur.

Since she was a little girl, Grace has had a passion for fashion design, and one day, she noticed a flower a boy had given her was dying. So Grace created a fashion illustration out of the petals of the flower.

She took a photo of her illustration and posted it on Instagram, which quickly became popular.

Grace earns a living as a full-time illustrator, and has used her platform to book engagements for events.

4. Michael and Carissa Alvarado

Husband and Wife Singers, Us The Duo

Michael and Carissa Alvarado were making music before they began posting 6-second videos on Vine, but nothing has skyrocketed their careers more than Vine has.

The couple was already trying to gain more traction on Youtube when they decided to put snippets of their covers on Vine, which served them well.

They now have 4.6 million Vine followers, and signed a record deal with Republic Records in 2014, allowing them to follow their passion by getting their start on social media.

5. Rosanna Pansino

Nerd and Baker at Nerdy Nummies

If you’ve ever thought the only way to pursue your passion for baking is by opening a bakery or through feeding your family, think again.

Rosanna Pansino built a career on social media centered around her love of baking when she was egged on by friends (pun intended) to start a Youtube channel.

Rosanna’s Youtube Channel, Nerdy Nummies has over 3.6 million subscribers.

6. Justin Halpern

Comedian from Sh!t My Dad Says

Let me guess.

It seems as if every time you open Twitter, you’re instantly barraged with links to mediocre blog posts, pictures of people’s lattes and announcements of what the newest member of oversharers-anonymous is having for lunch that day.

You could never imagine Twitter as a platform to build a career, right?

Well, Justin Halpern did just that.

He took his comedy writing career to the next level by starting the popular Twitter account Sh!t My Dad Says, where he began to Tweet snippets of conversations with his father.

The Twitter account quickly gained traction and morphed into a television series and book.

7. Lain Ehmann

Scrapbooker and Blogger from Layout a Day

If you’ve ever felt as if your interests or hobbies were impossible to build a career from, you may be inspired by Lain Ehmann, who built her career from a blog about scrapbooking.

Yes, you read that right.

She’s built a six figure business around a niche that is traditionally a hobby niche, teaching others how to scrapbook and holding live online events through her blog.

The power of the internet allows us to connect with people who are interested in the things that we’re interested in, and if we can provide enough value to those people, Lain proves that lucrative careers can be built.

8. Shaun McBride

Artist and Snapchatter

Shaun McBride learned how to draw by looking at other artists’ drawings and trying his hand out at the craft.

After Snapchatting his drawing/photo mashups, he was featured on some popular websites, which boosted his career.

He now can make tens of thousands of dollars from one advertising deal with a brand through his Snapchat account, according to Forbes, and “several thousand dollars per image”.

9. Shawn Stevenson

Health Enthusiast of The Model Health Show

If text or images doesn’t interest you when it comes to building a career on social media, maybe audio does.

Shawn Stevenson runs the #1 health podcast on iTunes, the Model Health Show, allowing him to follow his passion for fitness and health through a different medium.

Instead of taking the traditional route of personal training, Shawn interviews guests on his podcast, creating content and giving listeners the tools to live healthy lives.

10. Lauren Bath

Traveller and Professional Instagrammer

Lauren Bath has arguably the best job in the world. Not only is she paid to Instagram, but she also gets paid to travel.

Lauren was the “first professional Instagrammer” of Australia, and quit her job as a chef to pursue her passions for photography and travel.

Lauren works with tourism boards and brands to provide exposure through her huge Instagram account to make a living.

While she doesn’t reveal her rates in interviews, she tells Successful Blogging that she works with brands such as Nikon and Tourism Boards to offer them sponsorships:

Well I can’t talk for others but for me I charge a base rate to travel away from home and that rate includes posting whatever images I like with all content available to the client.

11. Joey Korneman

Animator and Teacher from School of Motion

Joey Korneman is the founder of School of Motion, where he teaches his students through online courses to animate using the principles of motion design.

Most of Joey’s traffic comes from Vimeo, he says in a recent podcast interview.

He has 5,000 followers on Vimeo, which is high for that social media channel, and, as he tells Pat’s mastermind group, “Vimeo is very high-quality traffic for motion design”.

Joey makes a living teaching motion design by directing his Vimeo followers to his website, where he sells courses.

12. Mignon Fogarty

Grammarian and Podcaster at Grammar Girl

Passions come in all shapes and sizes, and Mignon Fogarty’s passion is unique.

Mignon has a passion for grammar, and works full time in the field by teaching grammar principles to her rabid fans of her Grammar Girl podcast.

Through social media, she has been able to build an amazing career around grammar, as she blogs as well.

13. Caitlin Turner

Yogi and Instagrammer GypsetGoddess

Caitlin’s passion for yoga has provided her with the unique opportunity to build an entire career from it – on Instagram.

Catlin’s Instagram account is still relatively new – about three years old – but she still has earned over 220,000 followers.

Caitlin told Yoganonymous that “Instagram has definitely been a huge career chance for me. It’s connected me professionally to different brands and people I wouldn’t have found before because I had no reason to. This is my career now.”

14. Brittany Furlan

Actress and Vine Comedian

Social media has helped people like Brittany Furlan launch comedic and acting careers in a way that was never possible before.

Brittany used Vine to launch her career in comedy and acting and now has 8.9 million followers on Vine.

Brittany told The Wrap that she makes a comfortable living through her Vines.

Those videos — which include a repertoire of outlandish characters (“Ghetto Dora De Explora”), quick-to-the-punchline sketches or pranks on the unsuspecting public — are worth between $7,000 and $20,000 to brands targeting Furlan’s massive audience.

She’s now gone on to partner with Seth Green to create a sketch show.

15. Liz Meghan

Youtuber and Makeup Artist

Liz Meghan had a passion for makeup, and she channeled that passion into Youtube.

With over 672,000 subscribers on her Youtube channel, Liz makes a living doing what she loves through makeup tutorials and sharing what she’s learned about makeup over the years.

Liz tells the Huffington Post that she makes a living off of her Youtube channel because Youtube pays her to put ads on her videos.

There’s no better time than now to do what you love

As these inspiring entrepreneurs demonstrate, by building a following online using social media, you can:

  • Get paid to do what you love
  • Establish yourself as an expert and
  • Grow a following around your passions.

There’s no excuse to not get out there, pick a social media channel, and start posting.

Have you found success in building a career or a following on social media? Are you inspired by others who have taken this route to follow their dreams? I’d love to hear more about what you’ve experienced and learned in the comments.

Sarah Peterson encourages people to never settle for careers they don’t love. Find your perfect lifestyle business idea with her free course so you can stop settling and start building your dream.

The Complete Guide to Google Penalties (Both Manual and Algorithmic)


The Complete Guide to Google Penalties (Both Manual and Algorithmic)


It’s your worst nightmare…

You wake up one morning and check your analytics. But something’s wrong…where’s all your traffic?

Whether you like it or not, websites in most niches rely on Google for a large percentage of their traffic.

If you get hit by a penalty, 10%, 20%, or even more of your business can be wiped out overnight. That’s a pretty scary thought.

There are two types of penalties that can hit you: manual penalties and algorithmic penalties.

Algorithms get most of the attention because those types of penalties affect tens of thousands of sites all at once.

However, there are over 400,000 manual penalties that are applied every month, according to Matt Cutts—that’s a lot. 

To be fair, many of the sites that get penalized are legitimately awful sites that consist of nothing but content spam. However, hundreds of site owners are penalized every day who are trying to make the best site they can. It could even be you one day.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid a penalty in the past, you might think reports of penalties are exaggerated. In most cases, they’re not.

While not all penalties will have the same effect on your traffic, some can wipe out 90% or more of it in an instant.

And penalties don’t discriminate either—they affect both small and large sites.

After the Panda 4.0 update (more on that later), eBay’s traffic was hit hard:


But that’s far from the only example of a big site being penalized.

Recently, another large company named Thumbtack was penalized.

Thumbtack, in case you didn’t know, is a company that Google invested $100 million into, and they still got penalized.

That being said, there is a difference between penalties for small and large sites. If you’re a verylarge site, where a penalty will garner a lot of press, you may be able to get prioritized support in fixing the penalty.

Thumbtack was able to get their penalty lifted in less than a week. If you have a lesser-known site, it’ll typically take a few weeks or months (at least) to correct the penalty.

I didn’t tell you all this to make you terrified of getting hit by a penalty. I did it so you recognize that avoiding penalties is ideal for your business.

If you understand all the different common penalties that Google hands out on a regular basis, you can take simple steps to reduce your chances of being hit by one by 99%.

In this article, I’m going to go over all the main types of penalties you can be hit by:

  • Panda
  • Penguin
  • Mobile-Friendly
  • Top Heavy
  • Payday
  • Pirate
  • Unnatural Links
  • Spam
  • Thin Content

For each of the penalties, I’ll let you know if you have the type of website that is at risk of being hit and what steps you can take to minimize your chances of being penalized in the future.

If you’ve already been hit by one of these penalties, check out my step-by-step guide to fixing any Google penalty.

Panda – This penalty chews up weak content

The Panda algorithm might be the most well-known algorithm.

It was one of the first updates that specifically penalized websites. The first Panda algorithm was run in 2011 and decimated the traffic of a lot of low-quality websites.

In the three years following its release, Panda was run about once per month. Now that the algorithm is more established, it only seems to be run a few times per year.

While this might seem like a good thing at first, it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, with fewer updates, there are fewer opportunities to get penalized.

However, Panda is an algorithmic penalty. This means that if you get hit, once you fix the underlying issue(s) that caused the penalty, you have to wait for the algorithm to be run again to get your rankings back.

That means you could be waiting several months to get the penalty lifted.

And if you’re unsuccessful fixing the issues, you’ll have to try again and wait for another iteration of the algorithm.

The basics – What is Panda? The amazing thing about Panda is that even though it’s been run several times over the past four years or so, we still don’t have an exact definition of what types of sites it affects (although we have a good idea).

Google’s search team keep their algorithms as secret as possible. They don’t give much help to sites hit by algorithmic penalties, whereas they provide a lot of support for manual penalties.

As of now, we know that:

The purpose of the Panda algorithm update was and is to keep low-quality (“shallow”) content from showing up in search results.

Therefore, if you don’t have low-quality content on your site, you should be safe from the traffic-eating pandas.

Here is the problem, however. Low-quality can mean many different things.

Google provided a list of over 20 questions to help alleviate the worries of webmasters, but most of these are open to interpretation:


Two different people could be asked these questions regarding the same site and come to different conclusions. I don’t think they are very helpful.

Over time, the SEO community has come together to analyze websites that were hit by Panda and arrived to the following conclusions about pages that get penalized:

  • The content is poorly written (perhaps “spun” using software)
  • The content is very short (“shallow” content that is too brief to be valuable)
  • The content is mostly duplicate content (copied from another page)
  • The content adds no real value

It’s no surprise that content farms, like most web 2.0 sites, were hit the most. They were heavily used by SEOs to create backlinks to content, but those links were placed in terribly written, short articles for the most part.

How do Panda penalties work? Google often patents its algorithms, and it did so for Panda. It was granted its Panda patent in 2014. While you’re free to read it, it’s pretty boring, so let me sum it up for you:

Google creates a site-wide modification factor based on the quality of all the pieces of content on the site. If it falls below a certain threshold, the factor is applied to the site (lowering rankings ofall the pages on the site).

In plain English, this means that if a site has a certain amount of low quality content on it, the entire site will be penalized.

That’s why, when it comes to reports of Panda penalties, you usually see graphs like this one:


Panda penalties are rarely small—they decimate organic search traffic.

How do you know if you were hit by Panda? You don’t get any messages about algorithmic penalties. The only way to spot them is by observation.

If you get hit by a penalty that wipes out most of your traffic, chances are you’re not alone. Monitor SEO news sites such as Search Engine Land to get more information. If it’s a Panda update, it’ll likely get spotted quickly.

If you ever suspect you’ve been hit by a penalty, but it happened in the past, there are online tools that can help you.

One useful free tool is the Panguin Tool. Once you connect it to your Google Analytics account, it will overlay a graph of your traffic over timelines of past algorithms:


If you see that your traffic rapidly declined a few days before or after a major Panda update, you were likely penalized by it.

Remember that these algorithms are often run over long periods of time (weeks), so your traffic decline may not start on the exact day that the algorithm was reported.

Penguin – The bird that can’t fly but can detect your bad backlinks

Only in SEO would a panda and a penguin be so closely related.

Both have had a huge impact on the way SEOs approach their work.

While Panda focused mainly on on-page factors, Penguin was a huge step forward for identifying unnatural link profiles.

The first Penguin was released in 2012 and affected over 3% of all queries. Like Panda, it decimated the traffic of any site it penalized:


What Penguin looks for: Penguin was groundbreaking when it was first run and has become more sophisticated over time.

It looks for a variety of obvious unnatural backlink patterns.

Google will never release the full details of the algorithm (or not any time soon), but we do know that there are three main backlink factors that can be used to identify unnatural link patterns:

  1. Link quality – A site that has obtained all of its links naturally will have links of both low and high quality. Sites made by blackhat SEOs often have a ton of just low quality links oronly high authority links (like from a private blog network).
  2. Link velocity – Look at the backlink growth of any large site, and you will see that it gains links at an increased rate over time. Unnatural sites often get a lot of links in a short period, followed by a sudden decrease.
  3. Link diversity – Legitimate sites get links from all sources (contextual, blog comments, forums, etc.). However, bad SEOs often create a large portion of a site’s links from one source (like blog comments). In addition, links should have varied anchor text. Too many links with the same anchor text could trigger a Penguin penalty.

Complicated, right?

Penguin is one of the main reasons why most SEOs are “whitehat,” or at least “greyhat,” SEOs these days. If you want to manipulate Google, you’ll have to plan your link-building strategy very carefully to make sure that most of your links appear natural.

How Penguin penalizes sites: Penguin is not a site-wide penalty—it affects specific pages.

However, since it affects those pages that typically have the most backlinks pointing to them, you can still lose 80%+ of your traffic if those pages are responsible for most of your traffic.

If your site is flagged by Penguin, you’ll typically be penalized. In some rare cases, Penguin will discount the value of the unnatural links instead of penalizing you.

A tool such as Panguin (shown in the previous section) can confirm that your traffic drop was caused by a Penguin algorithm update.

If your traffic drop was relatively small, you were probably one of the lucky few who didn’t get penalized. The drop was most likely caused by those now-discounted links.

When you’re checking to see if you were hit by Penguin, you should know that it is an even bigger algorithm than Panda. It can take more than a few weeks to fully run.

Recovering from a Penguin penalty is possible but difficult. Not only will you have to try to fix the issue (which could be a number of different things), but you’ll also need to wait for the next algorithm refresh to see if it worked or not.

Mobilegeddon – Can Google force website owners into the future?

Google’s primary goal is to help users find the best content that satisfies their queries.

For the first decade of Internet search, most of the work done by Google was dedicated to finding and classifying content better.

But Google is pretty good at that now.

The biggest factor affecting the user experience (when someone is searching for something) is the content itself. In other words, website owners aren’t improving their websites and content fast enough to keep up.

In early 2015, Google announced that it would start trying to help mobile users find useful results on mobile-friendly websites.

This announcement caused a lot of stir in the SEO community. A mobile-friendly update was soon to come, and it sounded like it was something big.

Site owners scrambled to make their websites mobile-friendly—something that Google would be happy to see (better experience for mobile searchers).

The update finally came a few months later on April 20th.

Although it was called “Mobilegeddon” and “Mobilepocalypse,” it turned out to be much less significant than originally predicted.

There was definitely some movement in the search rankings, but only the worst mobile-offenders suffered traffic losses.


What does Google consider mobile-friendly? Mobile-friendly can mean many different things. This is probably why Google started by just demoting the worst offenders.

Right now, there’s no sliding scale. Your web pages are either friendly or not friendly.

You can see what Google thinks of your content by using the Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Enter a URL, click Analyze, and it will give you a green passing message or a red fail message.


It’s a good idea to check a few different pages such as your home page, a blog post, and any other pages with custom layouts or designs.

Another place to check if you have any major mobile issues is in Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console).

Navigate to “Search traffic > Mobile usability”, and you’ll see any errors that you should fix as soon as possible:


Finally, Google has also released a useful mobile SEO guide. In it, it explains the most common mobile errors such as blocking javascript or messing up your mobile redirects.

On top of those mistakes, here are a few more general mobile-friendly principles to keep in mind:

  • Don’t use software that most mobile devices can’t render, e.g, Flash.
  • Resize text to match the screen (i.e., responsive design)
  • Use text that is easily readable on a small screen (typically 16px or more)
  • Don’t put links right beside each other (hard to tap the right one)

Mobilegeddon in the future: Just because the first mobile-friendly update wasn’t huge doesn’t mean you shouldn’t concern yourself with making your website as mobile-friendly as possible.

Google will likely make changes to the algorithm in the future as it further develops its requirements for what is and isn’t mobile-friendly.

Keep in mind that even if you get hit by a mobile “penalty,” your traffic likely won’t be decimated. This update primarily boosts the rankings of the most mobile-friendly sites, so they’ll just push down your unfriendly pages in the results.

Top Heavy – Balance is the key to any impression

When a searcher clicks on a result in Google, they are looking for an answer to their query.

If they can’t find it, they get frustrated.

So, it makes sense that Google would like to minimize these frustrations by not sending users to sites that make it difficult for users to find what they’re looking for.

The “Top Heavy” algorithm was first run in January 2012.

As the name implies, it specifically targets top heavy sites.

The best explanation comes from Google itself:

“We’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away.

So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience.

Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.”

How the Top Heavy penalty works: This is a site-based penalty. That means that either all of your content is penalized or none of it is.

Google clarified this after an article on Search Engine Land pointed out that Google’s results themselves could be seen as “top heavy.”


Google responded by saying that only sites where most pages are “top heavy” will be penalized.

If it’s only a few pages, don’t worry about this algorithm.

The final thing you need to know about this algorithmic penalty is that it is run very infrequently.

It was first run in January of 2012, then October of 2012, and most recently in February of 2014. If you get hit with this penalty, you’ll have to be patient to get it removed.

Avoiding a Top Heavy penalty: Although it may seem unfair that the algorithm is only run about once a year, it’s fairly difficult to get hit by this penalty.

Here’s an example of a top heavy layout:


Unless you have multiple ads, all above the fold, you’re probably safe.

And really, these types of sites should be penalized. They’re extremely frustrating to the average searcher.

If your content is pushed below the fold, chances are your site visitors won’t bother trying to find it.

To avoid this penalty, just create a good user experience.

Payday – If you prey on hopeful readers, your Payday may be over

Anyone who has been in the Internet marketing industry for some time knows that shady industries can be very lucrative.

Most of the best blackhat SEOs compete against each other to rank for keywords in the gambling, loan, and supplement niches.

This algorithm—“Payday”—was appropriately named for some of the most lucrative, and therefore competitive, search engine results for Payday loans.

Combatting spammy results with the Payday algorithm: We’ve seen in the past few years how good Google is at catching blackhat SEOs.

It has repeatedly crushed large portions of their sites, mainly belonging to beginner and intermediate SEOs.

However, the best blackhat SEOs won’t go down easy.

There is a small group of SEOs who have the ability and will to manipulate Google. They are good enough to rank well in these high paying niches and make enough money to justify it before getting penalized.

The Payday algorithm was first run on June 11, 2013, and rolled out over a few months.

It specifically targeted queries containing keywords such as:

  • Payday loans
  • Casinos
  • Viagra
  • Garcinia cambogia
  • and more.


The second version of the algorithm was released on May 17th and 18th of 2014, and the 3.0 version was released soon after in June.

If you operate a site in any “spammy” niche, you need to be extra clean if you want to avoid being penalized. Otherwise, if you’re getting results with blackhat SEO, expect to be penalized eventually. If that happens, you’ll just have to move on to a new site.

If you have a legitimate site that was hit by this penalty (line up traffic drops with any of the algorithm dates), you can try to fix it. However, you’ll have to wait for the algorithm to be updated again for any positive changes to take effect.

Pirate – Outlaws be warned! The Google police are coming for you

Google almost always tries to show searchers the results they want.

However, Google has taken a strong stance on piracy.

Piracy, which is essentially stealing copyrighted content, is considered unethical by many and is illegal in some countries (although hard to enforce).

The “Pirate” algorithm was Google’s answer to the growing number of torrent sites (mainly used for pirating media and software) showing up in search results.

Based on the following graph of the traffic for some of the top torrent sites, I’d say it worked pretty well.


It didn’t knock them out of the search results altogether, but it reduced a large chunk of their traffic:


The reason why they still attract organic traffic is because not all their content is illegal material. In addition, this algorithm had no effect on branded searches.

Other sites that were purely made for pirating did lose most of their traffic. For example, free-tv-video-online.me lost 96% of its search visibility:


How the Pirate algorithm works: The main purpose of this algorithm wasn’t to eradicate torrent sites from the search results altogether, just for certain queries.

For example, if someone searched “Game of Thrones season 5 episode 6,” the searcher should not get torrent results. Before this update, torrent links to the episode would show up. But now, only reviews and legitimate ways to watch the show (HBO) are in the results:


The algorithm works based on copyright reports.

If a site has a lot of copyright violations, this algorithm will penalize it by lowering its rankings.

While new torrent sites can be made, they will be removed each time the algorithm is run if they have accumulated enough violations.

To get an idea of the scale on which copyright violations occur, consider this: Google receives requests to remove over 10 million URLs from search each week:


Not all of those are legitimate claims (Google always verifies first), but it’s still quite a bit.

If you want to avoid the Pirate penalty, it’s simple: don’t steal content (or I suppose don’t steal too much of it).

Unnatural links (manual) – Diversity is healthy

Manual penalties are a whole different beast when it comes to Google penalties.

They can be just as damaging to your traffic levels as algorithmic penalties are, but at least you’ll be able to see if you were hit by one.

As the name implies, manual penalties are given by Google employees and contractors who review your site against their quality guidelines and deem that you are violating one or more of them (most common ones are below):


One of the most influential ranking factors has been and still is backlinks. The more backlinks a page has, the better it ranks (in general).

Of course, SEOs started manipulating this as soon as they found out.

Manually reviewing backlink profiles of “unnatural links” is one of the ways Google combats this.

If the reviewer sees that a large portion of your links are paid links or part of a link scheme, you will be hit with this penalty.

Different forms of unnatural link penalties: Many different penalties include the phrase “unnatural links.” Some have more of an effect on your site than others.

If you log in to Webmaster Tools (Search Console), you can see whether you have any manual actions applied to your site:


The three most common actions are:

  1. “Unnatural links to your site—impacts links.” If you have unnatural links, but it doesn’t look like you had any part in creating them, you’ll get this manual action, which isn’t actually a penalty. The links will no longer factor into your rankings (so traffic might drop a bit), but there’s nothing you need to do to “recover.”
  2. “Unnatural links to your site.” If you just see this message, then you’ve been penalized. It means that the reviewer has concluded that you’re responsible for the shady links. Depending on the specific message, either specific pages will be penalized or your entire site could be.
  3. “Unnatural links from your site.” If you’re always linking to specific sites with exact anchor text (for a high volume keyword) or you have way too many links pointing out from your site, you could get hit with this. This penalty can affect either a portion or all of your site.

Fixing a manual penalty: While no penalty is good, manual penalties are better than algorithmic. Once you fix the issue, you can apply for reconsideration. If you truly fixed the problem, the manual action will be lifted.

Once again, you may need to refer to my step-by-step guide to fixing any Google penalty.

Spam (manual) – If you’re going to play around, at least do it carefully

While most SEOs believe that spam refers solely to blasting thousands of links to a site, it’s much more than that.

The term spam, at least when it comes to manual penalties, also includes things such as:

  • excessive or malicious cloaking
  • scraping content
  • automatically generated content
  • and more.

Just like in the case of unnatural links manual actions, there are many different spam-related messages that can show up as a result of a manual action. These are the most common:

  1. “Pure spam.” The majority of the site is clearly spam, or the backlinks to the site are all spammed. It’s next to impossible to recover from this manual action.
  2. “User-generated spam.” If you have a site that allows users to submit content, you could be penalized for it if they abuse it to create spam content or links. Most commonly, this penalty refers to spam in comments or forum posts/profiles. It can be fixed.
  3. “Spammy freehosts.” If you’re unlucky enough to have your site hosted by the same web host that provides service to a ton of spammers, your site might be lumped together with them. This is a good reason to stay away from very cheap or free hosting services.

Since these are manual penalties, they can be fixed. Recovery usually involves either cleaning up on-site spam or disavowing spammy links.

Thin content with no added value (manual) – No one likes hearing the same story over and over again

If Google doesn’t get you with Panda, it may get you with a manual review for having thin content.

Thin or duplicate content typically consists of information that can be found elsewhere, either on or off your site.

If a manual reviewer spots that most of your content is derived from other content, you can get hit with this penalty, and your traffic will take a tumble.

Here are the most common scenarios that represent “little or no added value”:

  • Automatically generated content
  • Thin affiliate pages
  • Content from other sources, e.g., scraped content or low-quality guest blog posts
  • Doorway pages

When you go to the Manual Actions section in Webmasters Tools (Search Console), you can see whether you’ve been hit by this penalty:


Pay close attention to whether it says that it’s a site-wide match or a partial match.

If it’s a site-wide match, that means the penalty applies to all your content until you fix it. If you just have a few pages of thin content, it’s possible that the penalty will only affect those. While you should still fix it, it won’t have a huge effect on your traffic.


Penalties are part of every SEO’s education.

Most are deserved, but some happen accidently. Understanding the root causes of penalties is the first step to preventing them from occurring and fixing them if you do get hit.

Once you have a good grasp on all the penalties, monitor Moz’s Google algorithm change log for any new ones so you can stay on top of them.

If you’ve discovered that you’ve been doing something that might get your website (or your client’s) penalized, stop it and correct it. Hopefully, you’ll catch it in time to avoid a penalty.

17 Mistakes You’re Making on Twitter and How To Fix Them

Just Found this



Do you want to be a success on Twitter?

There are things that  you’re probably doing right now that are preventing you from getting more followers, causing people to unfollow you, or decreasing the number of clicks that you’re getting on your tweets.1

Or worse yet, people could be so annoyed with you that they’ve blocked you all together on Twitter.

I’ve been on Twitter for a while and I can tell you from experience what works and what doesn’t.

That’s a big part of the reason why I created the free guide to getting hundreds of Twitter followers, the safe and legal way.

In this blog post, I share with you 17 mistakes that you can make on Twitter and how you can fix them.

I’ve made some of the mistakes mentioned in this blog post and other’s I’ve read about on the best social media websites and blogs.

Avoiding these Twitter mistakes has helped me to get the more than 100,000 followers that I currently have (thank You Lord  :-D)

If you need help getting started with using Twitter, check out this blog post.

Mistake 1: You send an auto-DM to everyone that begins following you

The problem:  There’s software or web apps that you can use that will send everyone that begins to follow you a direct message (after you’ve auto-followed them back).

Those who use these apps will setup their Twitter account to send a direct message with a generic message asking their followers to visit their website or to buy their product.

The problem with this is that most people view this as spam.  As a result, the click-through ratio on the links in these DM’s are very low and it prevents people from building a relationship with you.

The solution:  Don’t auto-send a DM to anyone on Twitter.  Build relationships with people first to find out what their needs are.  Then if you think your website or product is going to be helpful, go ahead and share it with others.

The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.2

-Proverbs 28:20

Update:  After publishing this post, a few people told me that they experienced some success with sending auto direct messages to their new Twitter followers.

I still think that it would benefit you more in the long run to build a relationship first with others before asking them to do your call to action.

Nevertheless, feel free to experiment and measure your success if you like.

Mistake 2:  You post too much

The problem:  You love Twitter and you’re replying to tons of people and sending out lots of cool tweets that your followers find valuable.

The only problem is that you post too often and your tweets are not spaced out.

When your followers look at their timeline or their lists that you’re a member of, they see a flood of your tweets.

They don’t want to see every single public conversation/reply that you’re having and they’re not seeing enough of your cool tweets with your most valuable content.

I’ve been guilty of this myself and I found that a bunch of people unfollowed me when I reply and send all of my tweets one right after the other.

The Solution: Limit your tweets to no more than 2 per hour.

If you do a lot of public replies on Twitter, try posting one reply followed by one tweet that has valuable content for your followers so that they don’t get bored.

You can also spread out your tweets throughout the day without going to Twitter 5 million times.

All you have to do is use an app that will allow you to schedule your tweets in advanced.  My personal favorite is Hootsuite.

There is a free version and a paid version of Hootsuite.  For me personally, I need some of their premium features so I’ve signed up for their premium account.

Mistake 3:  You post too little

The problem:  Yes, not posting enough on Twitter is a Twitter sin although you might not know it.

If you aren’t posting multiple times a day, then you aren’t interacting with others and you aren’t driving traffic back to your website.

The solution:  You’re probably really busy and you don’t have time to visit Twitter multiple times a day to tweet.  I feel you.

So again, this is where a tool like Hootsuite comes into play.  Visit Hootsuite once a day and schedule multiple tweets for that day (at least 3).

If you know you’re going to be unavailable in advance, then you can schedule for the next day or even week.

Mistake 4:  The things you tweet have nothing to do with your target audience or niche

The problem:  In the guide that I’ll be releasing on how to get thousands of Twitter followers, I tell you in step 5 that in order for you to be a success on Twitter, you need to create a tweeting strategy.

If you’re just tweeting whatever you want whenever you want, people will stop following you and you’ll have a hard time getting new followers.


The solution:  Find out what your Twitter goals are.  Is it to drive traffic back to your website?  Connect with professionals in your industry? Sell a product?

Once you’ve done that, decide who your target audience is and create tweets that they’re going to find valuable.

Mistake 5: Your tweets are all about YOU

The problem:  All you ever tweet about is stuff about you, your website, or your products.  The problem with this is that people see it as selfish, self-centered, and boring.

The solution:  Tweet links and videos about other things that your followers are going to find valuable.  Re-tweet other people’s tweets and send other people traffic back to their sites.

The selfish shall be punished but the generous shall be rewarded, especially when it comes to social media. http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/tweet_button.420281f7dd393a35b17552fb11b499a9.en.html#_=1441198089670&count=horizontal&dnt=false&id=twitter-widget-i1441198089648251366&lang=en&original_referer=http%3A%2F%2Fnotashamedofthegospel.com%2Ftwitter%2Ffix-mistakes-on-twitter%2F&size=m&text=The%20selfish%20shall%20be%20punished%20but%20the%20generous%20shall%20be%20rewarded%2C%20especially%20when%20it%20comes%20to%20social%20media&type=share&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnotashamedofthegospel.com%2Ftwitter%2Ffix-mistakes-on-twitter%2F

Mistake 6: You post at the wrong times

The problem:  You send your tweets at times when your followers aren’t online.  As a result, your tweets don’t get clicked on and you don’t get re-tweeted.

The solution:  You need to find out when a majority of your followers are online and schedule your tweets for those times.  Luckily, there are a couple of services that can help.

I’ve used Tweroid and Fruji to help me find out when most of my followers are online.

I recommend trying both because Tweroid will give you detailed information organized by day of the week . On the other hand, Fruji will give you basic time zone information but it will give you other really useful information as well.

Mistake 7: You give bad apps access to your Twitter profile

spam apps

The problem:  Because Twitter is so darn popular, many apps and software that are created today can integrate with your Twitter account.

You have to authorize an app to have access to your Twitter account so that you can tweet from it.

The problem is that not all apps and software are created equally.  Some apps are bad and will post tweets and direct message on your behalf to your followers.

These tweets are considered spam and they can contain links to virus-infested websites.

The solution:  Only authorize reputable apps that want access to your Twitter profile.  How do you find out if an app has a good reputation?

Be familiar with the app’s website and take a look at its user base.  Spammy apps aren’t going to be very popular with people and they tend to have a shady element.

You’re going to need to use your discernment on this one.

If you need to remove an app’s access to your Twitter account, just follow these instructions here.

Mistake 8:  You’re not using any kind of metrics to measure how your tweets are doing

The problem: Yes you’re creating tweets, yes you’re interacting with others on Twitter, but how do you know if you’re tweets are doing well?

How do you know if people are clicking on your links?

You need to be able to measure how your tweets are doing so that you can make necessary adjustments when your tweets aren’t getting clicked on and so that you can keep doing the things that have been working for you.

The solution:  There are a number of free tools that can help you by giving you an inside look at how your tweets are doing.

  1. Hootsuite:  These guys have built-in reporting using their own Ow.ly system that they created.  Their reports are very insightful.
  2. Buffer App:  This is another tool that helps you to schedule your tweets and that gives you analytics that show you how your tweets are doing.
  3. Bit.ly:  This is a url shortening tool that will give you reporting if you use their free service.  You can integrate your Bit.ly account with a majority of third-party Twitter apps.

Mistake 9: Your Twitter handle is too long

The problem:  You have a Twitter handle that looks like this: @JohnSmith123XYZ.  When people want to re-tweet you by adding your Twitter name in their tweet, it causes them to go over their 140 character limit.

Many people get frustrated when they are over their 140 character limit and will just delete the tweet that was going to mention you.

The solution:  You have two choices and I recommend doing both:

  1. Change your Twitter name: you can easily do this by going into the settings and choosing something else with less characters.  Once you’ve done this, tweet out to your followers a few times throughout the week that your Twitter name has changed.
  2. Create Tweets with some padding:  That means that don’t ever create a tweet that takes up all 140 characters.  Give yourself room of at least 12 to 20 characters so that people can easily re-tweet you without them going over the 140 character limit

Mistake 10: You thank everyone & their cousin for following or re-tweeting you

The problem:  Every time you get a new follower, you send them a mention thanking them for the follow.  Every time someone re-tweets you, you thank them for the re-tweet.

The problem with overly doing this is that you fill up other people’s timeline with your thankyou’s and a majority of them don’t find that very valuable.

People will get tired of this very quickly and they can either unfollow you, block you, or just ignore your tweets all together.

thanking everyone on Twitter

The solution:  Thank people for the follows and the re-tweets sparingly.  Also, once you find out when a majority of your followers are online, schedule the thankyou’s in advance to go out during your non-peak times like I shared with you in mistake 6.

Mistake 11: Your tweet’s are timed too close together

The problem:  All of your tweets are sent out in just an hour or two throughout the day.

For example, let’s say that you send out 10 tweets, you send 6 of them at 12 pm during your lunch break and the remaining 4 at 7 pm after you eat dinner.

The problem with this is two-fold:

  1. You followers don’t wants to see a whole bunch of your tweets filling up their timeline at one time.  They’d rather see a variety.  Some people will unfollow you if you continue to do this.
  2. Your tweets don’t get enough exposure if you don’t schedule and space them out in advance to coincide with when your followers are online.

The solution:  Use Tweroid or Fruji to post your most valuable tweets when most of your followers are online.  Space them out as much as possible during that time period.  Also, read the solution to mistake 2.

Mistake 12: Every other word in your tweet is a hashtag

The problem:  If you’re not sure what a hashtag is, you can go to my guide on how to use Twitter where I’ve dedicated a section on hashtags.

The problem when using too many hashtags in your tweets is that they become harder to read.

Also, some people will stuff their tweets with hashtags hoping to get more exposure so they add keywords that aren’t really relevant to the tweet or the link that they’re including.

The solution:  If you want to include hashtags, limit your use to just 1 or 2 per tweet.  Your followers will thank you for it and you’ll get more re-tweets :-).

Mistake 13: Your tweets are filled with mentions (replies) and not enough content

The problem:  You reply to different people’s tweets and send them at the same time (ex. 5 tweets at 5 pm).  Or, you want to reply to someone but you need more than 140 characters so you create 3 or 4 tweets that go out after one another.

The problem with this is that your followers typically find this annoying because again, you’re stuffing their timelines with tweets that they don’t find valuable.

Also if you have a potential new follower who is considering following you and is looking at your tweets to see whether they should follow you or not, they’ll see a whole bunch of replies and many won’t follow you if you do this too often.

The solution:  There are several things you can do:

  1. Schedule your replies in advance using a tool like Hootsuite.
  2. If you have a lot of replies to people, schedule them during non-peak times.
  3. For every reply that you have, follow it up with a Tweet that has valuable content for your followers
  4. Use a service like Twitlonger that will help you to create a tweet without the 140 character limit.

Mistake 14: You tweet people asking them to follow you back

The problem:  You want someone to follow you so you send them a tweet that looks like this:

follow me on Twitter please

This makes you look desperate and it doesn’t put you in the best possible light.  People should follow you because they find your tweets valuable and because you’re a delight in conversation.

You shouldn’t have to tell anyone to follow you.

The solution:  Don’t ask anyone on Twitter to follow you back.  Instead, use my guide to gettingmore Twitter followers.

Mistake 15: You ask people to unfollow you when you don’t like their bio or tweets

The problem:  Someone started following you and you check out their Twitter page.  You don’t like their tweets, or their bio, or you don’t want them to view your tweets so you ask them to stop following you.

The solution:  Please don’t do this.  It’s quite impolite and offensive.

The whole Twitter culture revolves around following and unfollowing others and it’s as simple as that.

If you feel really strongly about that person that just followed you, use the block button to block that person.  I don’t even recommend this but it’s the next best option.

Mistake 16:  You send tweets asking influencers you don’t know to tweet your link

The problem:  You find someone that’s following you that has a large following and you send him or her a tweet asking them to tweet your link to their followers.

The problem with this is that influencers with large followings get tweets like this all the time.  Many of them just ignore these requests because they feel like you are using them for their influence.

The solution:  Build relationships with influencers first.  See first what you can do for them and not what they can do for you.  After that, if God opens up the doors for them to tweet your links, then it’s a win-win situation.

Mistake #17: You never engage your followers


The problem:  People like your tweets and so they reply to them.  Only you never reply back and you don’t keep the conversation going even it’s just a polity acknowledgement.

This is a good way to make your followers feel disengaged and like you don’t really care what they have to say.

The solution:  Reply back to other people’s replies when you can.

Once your Twitter following grows, you won’t be able to keep up with everyone that mentions you so you’re going to have to pick and choose.

Nevertheless, replying to some people is better than not replying to anyone at all.  Also, don’t forget to space out and schedule your replies so that your followers don’t just see a bunch of your conversations in their timelines.

Key Takeaway

Be a blessing to everyone that you can on Twitter.

The result will be that people will follow you, people will re-tweet you, and you’ll be blessed 100 times more in return.

Be others minded and do everything that you can to help your followers meet their Twitter goals and they in turn will help you to meet yours.


Peter Guirguis

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I’m the Technology and Social Media Manager of Calvary Chapel South Bay, a church in Gardena, California. My passion is to see people give their life to Christ both online and offline. I’ve created the free guide to getting thousands of Twitter followers to show ordinary people how to get extraordinary results on Twitter.