Limebird Question Time Pt 2

by limebirdwriters

Hello all,

As it’s Friday and I’m super happy it’s the end of the week, I thought that I’d finally get round to doing another Limebird Question Time! I’ve had a few people messaging me asking for another Limebird Question Time like the one I did back in February. As we aren’t taking part in the 100 word writing challenges, I thought today would be the time to do this! I’ve got some spare time on my lunch break, so I’ll try and answer as many questions as I can.

As before, this can be anything from:

  • General writing q’s  – grammar/syntax/dialogue/formatting etc
  • SEO (Including things like page rank and getting your site up in Google)
  • Getting more blog traffic (networking and comments)
  • Twitter/Facebook (or social network promotion)
  • Categories/Tags (what are they? How to use them?)
  • Marketing/designing your site
  • Questions to do with wordpress (I only use .com, so might not be able to help with .org)
  • Setting up custom domains/emails etc

Please do leave any questions in the comments below, and  I will try my best to help you out anyway that I can. Even if I don’t know the answer, maybe one of the other Limebirds will or any of our kind readers. If you would like to send me any questions privately, you can do so by emailing me through our contact form. We also do have a forum  – Limebird Forum where you are welcome to join and come and ask any questions.

Beth x

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43 Comments to “Limebird Question Time Pt 2”

  1. Hi Beth, I was curious about getting more blog traffic to healeyink.wordpress.com … do you have any tips and suggestions? I always like connecting with other writers. Can I connect more with other wordpress bloggers or guest blog? Thanks!

  2. Hi Beth, how do you do um, EVERYthing? Baaahahahaa! Thought I would inject a little Friday humor there (well it’s My humor and it’s Friday).

  3. Beth, I’d love to hear any bits of wisdom you can impart regarding SEO and moving up in search results. In this case, I’m thinking primarily of my new site (FindStuff2read.com) as opposed to my blog.

    So far, everything I’ve seen about SEO seems to want you to make sure to have a particular phrase or words on practically every page or post. That doesn’t really make sense in lots of cases (unless your site is about a non-fic. topic, like say, diabetes or something). So, any other thoughts (or specific suggestions for my site) would be warmly welcome.

    Also, tips on promoting something on Twitter without being really annoying (I’m always hesitant because so many people annoy me and I don’t want to do that to others). Including best-use of hashtags or whatever they’re called.

    Last one (maybe): Thoughts on how to best leverage contests & give-aways to increase site traffic, subscribers/followers, and return traffic.

    • Hi Shannon,

      Im not a SEO genius like Beth but in regards to twitter the way I would approach it is too mix up your tweets by retweeting useful articles you find, adding in some more personal tweets about your day etc just try and build up friendly/helpful/approachable presence that way you will build a good following and when you do then throw in a promotional tweet more of your followers are likely to take a look.

      As for the SEO side of things i think what they call “reciprocal links” is worth looking into as far as i know the old way of throwing in as many keywords you can on every page is actually being picked up by google and sites are being punished for that, as far as im aware the links work in a way that if google can see the links on your pages are leading to other relevant pages/sites it marks you higher. As I said I dont know much about SEO and I could be leading you wrong but Beth will be back from popping out for her lunch break in a couple minutes and I’m sure she’ll clear things up 🙂

      • I am indeed a genius. It’s a gift and a curse… I completely agree with what Sophie is saying here about Twitter! We pretty much said the same thing. 😀

        Yes, these are also called ‘backlinks’. What you will need to do is get linked back from sites which are preferably a high page rank, so that google deems your site to be more relevant. The more ‘reciprocal’ or ‘back’ links you get to your site the better. I guess you can achieve this by networking with larger blogs, and maybe doing some guest posting and things like that. These are great ways to get links as well as get more followers.

    • Hi Shannon,

      So the first thing I’ve noticed is that when I type in your blog name it comes up number three on google which is good. Your facebook and twitter pages are coming up one and two, but that’s because they have a higher page rank. It will take some time, but the more traffic directed to your site, the higher it will go.

      To answer your questions is quite difficult, mainly because SEO is a tricky subject. You don’t necessarily have to have keywords on every page, but it helps to have a higher density of keywords if you want to rank for something such as ‘books’ or ‘writing’ or whatever. So, what you need to do is you need to work out what keywords you want to try and target for your site. For example, you need to try and pre-empt what you think people will be entering into google to reach you. Like, if you had a blog all about cake making, you would think people would be typing in ‘cake making blogs’, you ‘ll need to have these phrases dotted around your site.
      With regards to twitter, just be yourself! Don’t always be hard sell with your products. Try and maintain a friendly and approachable persona online, so when you do post things up, people will click because they’re interested in what you have to offer. Best use of hashtags… hmm maybe just make sure they’re relevant, and also try and include yourself in ones relevant to your field. For example #ww (writer Wednesday) and #amwriting etc

      I do think that competitions can be a good way to increase traffic, but you’ve got to be careful that it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to ‘buy’ followers. These followers that only follow you for the giveaway are likely to only be ones who follow temporarily, and then leave once it is over. The key is to try and get the followers and keep them there. With regards to orchestrating giveaways/competitions, I know that Rebecca (Novel Girl) uses Rafflecopter http://www.rafflecopter.com/ I’m not sure 100% how it works, but it seems pretty straightforward.

      Hope this helps,
      B

      • Thanks, Beth! Also, rafflecopter looks cool! 🙂

        I think you’re right about the giveaways. Probably best to have a useful site and then use contests to help increase awareness/exposure to the site.

        Does it ever feel like a catch 22? The more people visit your site, the higher you rank in a search, the more people visit. So, if you can’t get that started, you are basically screwed (to put it bluntly).

      • You’re welcome! 🙂 Yes, I definitely think that’s the best way to go about it. I definitely wouldn’t have thought about doing a giveaway when Limebird was first starting out. I know, it’s a difficult one, I think that it’s the same for trying to get a job! You can’t get a job because you need more experience, but you can’t get the experience without getting a job!

        I think that it might just take a while for the site to get going, and it’s not going to happen overnight. You’re a great writer and you have a great product and we’ll do all we can to help! 🙂

      • Awww! You guys are so sweet!

        When you say you wouldn’t have thought about doing a giveaway, do you mean the idea wouldn’t have occurred to you, or you wouldn’t have done for some reason?

        I wouldn’t mind getting some nice short stories to put up. I’ve got one now, and one from LimebirdKate that I have to get up. My short story section is sooo lonely right now.

      • Haha, you’re welcome! 🙂 erm a bit of both I guess. I think at the beginning I didn’t feel like we were big enough and no one would have entered! Haha. Don’t forget that there are also costs incurred with doing a giveaway that you might not have anticipated. I just didn’t have any spare money back then (not that I do now :p) but I’m more willing to put it into Limebird now as it’s growing.

        OK, well when I’m next on a computer I’ll tweet something out for you. Also please do head over to the forum and make a request there, you might get some interest! 🙂 just click on the forum button on the top right of the site to get there!

        B x

      • I don’t LIKE forums!

        🙂

        What costs are you thinking about? Postage? The costs of the giveaway items? Please do tell… since I’m starting a giveaway on FindStuff2Read.com next week!

      • Haha! Yes, well so for the last giveaway, I had to buy all of the items and then you have to factor in postage costs. It’s not too bad if the winner is in your country, but if it’s overseas, the costs can add up. Think about the weight of your item when thinking about what to giveaway! 🙂

        For a website that isnt’ a blog I would suggest using your other account to leave comments, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work! Shamelessly mentioning your site works well too.

        Well, our forum will like you! What username do you want on there? I’ll try and fix it! B x

      • Thanks Beth! I’m am hopeless with forums 🙂

        I was *trying* to use “FindStuff2Read” (I tried to register using that twitter account), but something blew up. Not quite the blue-screen-of-death, but still. Please do let me know if you can get that fixed for me!

      • Haha! Ok, I’m on it. What’s your fs2r email? x

      • Ignore that. Check your s.howell email account and click on the activation link in there. It should work now, your password is just your name at the moment, but you can change that!

  4. There was a similar blog recently on another writer site, SHE WRITES. Also this is NaNoWriMo – for November 2012. I jumped in and I am very behind in my word number/stats department. Too, I have a blog but I have not blogged in weeks. No excuses…… am just not there. One thing about the promotions and the readership, another recent tip came up that makes sense. I am following half dozen writer sites if not more, so can’t remember the origin, but the tip is to WRITE COMMENTS IN THE BOX, not just click on the LIKE button. This may have come from a Facebook tip, as the rational was that there is so much traffic, that just a LIKE does not get forwarded or sent to all on a person’s or “others” friend or member list.” One writer, blogger, editor friend has mentioned this also with regard to writer sites. Log on and introduce yourself.
    And it may be a reality that has been mentioned too, it takes time to build a “following.” It has surprised me how my friends list and followers list has grown, yet I still am not completely sure if that translates to “buyers” or “sells.” Check out KLOUT and LinkedIn.
    I am still looking around out there….. “mike in hand”….. fingers at the keys ….. “Is anybody there?”

    • Hi Tim,
      How are you sneaking onto she writes, isn’t that women only? 😛 Don’t worry, I’m also very behind, I’ll catch up though. 😀

      Yes, I agree with you with regards to comments. If I read a post, I will try my hardest to not just like, but to comment as well. Sometimes I honestly don’t have time, but I want someone to know I’ve been there, so I will like it. Definitely introducing yourself is the best way to go, get to know other writers, network!

      It definitely does take time to build a following, people don’t become invested in your site overnight, it takes time. We are on Klout and LinkedIn, I enjoy both of them. 🙂

  5. This is a really good idea and very useful thank you.

  6. No question today. But Limebird has answered many questions I’ve had in a past. So thanks!

    But here’s a non-writing one for ya: Do you like ponies? Why or why not? Go!

  7. Ooh, can you help with tags? I’m totally lame with those, and I’m probably missing obvious ones that I should use. They should be one of the ways people find our blog posts, right? I’d like to know how best to identify and use them. Thanks for the great question opportunity today!

    • Of course! I’ll have a proper look at the ones you’re currently using when I’m on a computer, but I can try and help. 🙂

      Yes, the way that they work is by letting readers know what your post it about basically. When you go into your ‘reader’, on the left hand side there is a list of tags there. When you click on them it takes you to any post which has been tagged ‘writing’ or ‘books’ etc. You can adjust these yourself. They’re a great way to find new blogs!

      Just ensure you don’t overdo it, as it may be perceived as spam by WP. Also, never let your blog post go ‘uncategorised’ or without tags, as it will get lost in cyberspace and very hard to find! 🙂

      Hope this helps and you’re very welcome JM!

      B x

      EDIT: I’ve just had a look at your tags and categories. First off I would maybe try to stick to around 10 for both categories and tags, but the ones you’ve used look fine! 🙂 The only thing I would do is go and have a look at some of the most popular topics – https://wordpress.com/#!/read/topics/ these are the places people look most so might be good to get your post in there! 🙂

    • Just realised I didn’t actually answer part of your Q! When I’m on a computer I’ll have a look at one of your posts and give you examples of which tags/categories I would probably use! Tricky to do on my phone. 😦

  8. So… what to do for a website that isn’t a blog? I can go around and leave comments using my wordpress login, and people will be directed back to my WordPress blog, not my other website.

    I suppose I could shamelessly mention my site a lot (oh wait, I’ve been doing that already: FindStuff2Read.com), but that’ll probably get old after awhile 🙂

  9. This is a test (to see if I can use my WordPerss.org account to leave a comment). Thanks, Limebirds, for letting me use you as a guinea pig 🙂

  10. Beth, I told you forums don’t like me! I tried to register, and “an error occurred.” Now it says the username I put in is taken. Forums just don’t like me!

  11. I am overwhelmed by Categories and Tags. I just started typing words, and suddenly, I have some ridiculous amount of categories like 450. Please, can you tell me how to use these more carefully, in order to draw people to my posts? Thanks so much.

  12. No question from me today — just cheering you on for your good deed. 🙂

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