Does Twitter strike you as a place for business men and celebrities with no room for the average mom? Do you feel like the geeky girl standing in the corner while everyone else enjoys the party around you?
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t have those feelings about Twitter sometimes!
Today on the podcast, Kelli Miller gives us a Twitter Makeover so we’re ready to sparkle and work the room. She shares her best tools for using the platform and inspires us to use this powerful social network to connect with others and grow our audience.
Kelli has been blogging since 2006. With years of experience under her belt, last year she and a blogging partner, Crystal, started the #LearntoBlog weekly Google Hangouts.
They discuss anything and everything related to growing your blog such as getting more click-throughs on Pinterest, how to read Google Analytics, among many other topics. They’ve done over 70 Hangouts to date, and you can find them all at LearntoBlogHangouts.com
In addition to sharing her extensive blogging knowledge, Kelli write about products she loves, kid-friendly recipes, and all things related to life as a stay-at-home mom at 3BoysAndaDog.com
Kelli lives on the Gulf Coast with her 3 boys, her husband, and now, 3 dogs!
On the Podcast:
02:24 – Kelli’s Big Secret
03:41 – A Big Change for the Millers
05:04 – Asking for Help
06:36 – 29,000 Followers? Kelly Explains How
09:18 – Hashtag University
10:12 – Kelli’s Twitter Routine
13:11 – Twitter Parties – (What they are plus how to Rock them!)
15:41 – Partnering with Brands on Twitter
18:02 – How to Get Started with Twitter Parties
19:30 – Kelli’s Favorite Hashtag Tool
20:12 – #LearntoBlog
24:53 – Kelli’s Unconventional Tip for Taking your Blog to the Next Level
28:12 – Kelli’s Favorite Book on Blogging
29:29 – Thousands of Emails a Day?! (Kelli shares how she manages them all.)
38:12 – Her Funny Mom Moment
Kelli’s Big Secret
With 3 kids, two blogs, and turning out tons of new content every week, we asked Kelli how she gets it all done.
Her answer: “I don’t get it all done! Shhh! Don’t tell anybody!”
(We were cracking up because we completely agree. Sometimes on a busy week, something just has to go. You do the best you can with each day you have.)
She admitted to having a super helpful hubby and older boys who are relatively self-sufficient at 14, 12, and 8 years old. (Her 12 year-old can even cook!)
Kelli also has two assistants and several regular writers for her blog.
A Big Change for the Millers
Kelli admits to putting much of her income back into her business with blog re-designs and items for her home office.
She does do well with income from affiliate networks, ad networks, sponsored posts, and Twitter parties.
Related to her blog work, the Millers recently bought a new house, and they’re showing all of their remodeling projects on the blog. You can check out Miller Manor here.
Asking for Help
Kelli put out a post on her site saying that she was looking for writers. At this point, her writers are not paid, but benefit from the added exposure of being on Kelli’s blog, along with free products as they often write product reviews.
(What a great way to find guest contributors since they already read your blog and understand your style and focus!)
Kelli also uses a Facebook group called VA’s for Hire. If she has extra projects that are outside of the scope of her current assistants, this group is full of individuals with a wide range of skill sets.
Finally, in the newly launched, #LearntoBlog Forums, there’s an area for bloggers to post that they’re looking for help or to post that they’re looking to get hired.
29,000 Followers? Kelly Explains How
With more followers than Kmart or Dairy Queen, Kelli has certainly learned how to use Twitter to its full potential.
Here’s her advice:
- Be authentic. Reach out to people and respond to those who reach out to you.
- You can search on twitter for topics related to your niche. For example, Kelli might search for homeschooling and then reach out to the moms talking about homeschooling or mentioning it in their profiles.
- Kelli also uses Justunfollow They have a free version, and you can easily find people interested in the same topics that you are, as well as unfollow those who aren’t following you back. It makes the process of finding and connecting on Twitter much faster and easier.
- Do some research on Google for hashtags related to your niche. For example, Kelli might search for homeschooling hashtags on Twitter.
- Search for those hashtags on Twitter and strike up a conversation with those people.
“To me, Twitter’s like a party. you don’t just go to a party and sit down and expect people to come to you. You go into a party and you walk around and you introduce yourself: “Hey I’m Kelly… my boys are driving me nuts.”
(Kelli cracked us up with this one, but she’s exactly right. You have to treat Twitter like a party and figure out how to work the room and connect with others.)
- In the same way that you’d strike up a conversation with someone at a party and exchange phone numbers, on Twitter you can follow each other.
Kelli’s Twitter Routine
- Kelli tweets about 20 times per day, on average.
- If she’s doing a Twitter party, it’s much more than this!
- Some of her tweets are scheduled via HootSuite.
- She gives her assistant a list of posts that she wants her to promote each week, then she goes in, pulls quotes from those posts, and schedules them to go out during that week.
- Kelli uses TwitterFeed to automatically tweet from other people’s feeds.
- You can set it up to just retweet or to pull a quote from the metadescription, and the service is free.
- For example, Kelli sets up her Twitter feed to retweet Kraft any time they mention a new recipe. So that gets shared to her followers about twice per day.
- She also sets up her Feed to retweet content from GrowMap – a great blogger who writes about blogging.
- Kelli sets up her Foursquare, Instagram, and Pinterest to automatically tweet when she has activity on those sites.
- She confesses that when she’s on vacation, between all the pictures and extra time to Tweet, she sends out hundreds per day.
- Another great aspect of HootSuite? You can set it up to autoschedule your tweets. In this way, HootSuite will analyze your followers and choose the time to send the tweet out based on when that tweet it likely to get the most views.
Kelli says that Twitter parties are the easiest way to get people talking about your business.
Here’s how they work:
- Find a hashtag that no one else is using.
- Set up a specific time for the party.
- Write a blog post about the party where attendees can RSVP via inlinkz or linky tools.
- They should include their URL and Twitter ID to RSVP
- As host of the Twitter party, you’ll tweet out questions throughtout the hour, and the participants respond to those questions.
- All of the tweets should include the designated hashtag for that party
- 98% of the time, the brand that sponsors the Twitter party will provide some giveaways, because it attracts a larger audience
- Brands may provide gift baskets of their products, or if their items are too expensive or difficult to ship, they may provide gift cards to Amazon, Wal-mart, or Target instead.
- As an example, when Kelli and Crystal launched the #LearntoBlog Forums, they hosted a Twitter party and offered a site critique, free consulting, and 3 month memberships to the Forums as their prizes.
- As the chatter gets going around that topic and hashtag, the impressions for a Twitter party can be in the millions.
(One year, Kelli and Crystal scheduled a Twitter party for a baby food right in the middle of a presidential debate. They STILL had over 3.5 million impressions on their party, and their topic was trending higher than the debate was!)
How to Get Started with Twitter Parties
- Kelli recommends signing up with MomSpark if you’d like to get started with Twitter parties.
- You can sign up as a blogger and then apply to be a panelist when they post Twitter parties.
- MomSpark pays $75 for a panelist.
- After you have a track record, you can reach out to brands and mention that you’ve participated as panelist in x, y, z Twitter parties, and show them the stats on the impressions generated.
- Participating in Twitter parties as a panelist will also help you to increase your Twitter following, which will make you more attractive to brands.
Kelli’s Favorite Hashtag Tool
- Hashtags.org allows you to verify whether a hashtag has been registered.
- You can also register your new hashtag there, for example, if you’ve created a new one for a Twitter party.
- Double check any hashtag searches by searching on Twitter itself to see what pops up.
Every Tuesday at 10AM Central, Kelli and Crystal Host #LearntoBlog Google Hangouts. They chat for an hour and cover a topic on blogging. Often, the topics are related to what’s in the news at the time or what their followers are asking for.
If you leave Kelli a message on Google+ and let her know you want to be notified of their #LearntoBlog Hangouts, she’ll add you to her circle and you’ll be the first to know!
They’ve recently launched a paid VIP forum where they go into more depth with what they teach along with challenges to help you grow.
Kelli’s Unconventional Tip for Taking your Blog to the Next Level
At one point, Kelli’s blog required help and expertise that she didn’t have, but it wasn’t making enough money to support hiring extra staff.
Kelli came up with an unconventional solution: She went to work.
Kelli worked 4 hours per week as a VA for someone else making about $15/hour. She then hired somebody to work on her blog for 5 hours per week at $10/hour.
Kelli used this system for 6 months, and the VA she hired was able to increase her presence on other social media platforms. Her blog grew from 5,000 pageviews/month to 30,000/month. (This was several years ago, and Kelli’s numbers have grown tremendously since.)
Kelli believes this worked for a couple of reasons.
- She hired someone with expertise different than her own
- Those 5 hours were spent doing focused, productive work. (Kelli confesses that when she “works” on her blog she wastes too much time on email, social media, or reading someone else’s blog. When you hire someone else, they’re doing productive work the entire time.)
Kelli’s Favorite Book on Blogging
Kelli calls Darren Rowse “the man” (we agree!) and says that whenever she feels stuck, she opens up this book, reads a few chapters, and it gets her going again.
Thousands of Emails a Day?!
5 Tips on Cutting through the Noise
- Delete – a LOT, particularly if they’re mass brand pitches
- Use Templates so you can quickly Reply/Paste to similar requests (ex. People wanting to interview her, people wanting her to promote their product, etc.)
- Use the Search Function, ex. Kelly searches for topics she’d like to blog about and uses those blog posts that come to her inbox as resources in round-up posts.
- Outlook – to keep her task list, calendar, and inbox more organized
- ClearContext – a tool to help you sort all of your emails quickly into projects, task lists, calendar events, and more.
(As mentioned on the podcast, I found a really detailed blog post on filtering your Gmail through Outlook. Full disclosure: I don't feel ready to tackle this task at the moment, but if you're up for the challenge, knock yourself out!)
Funny Mom Moment
Kelli’s youngest had a hilarious mix-up moment. He thought his class was going to visit the Crematorium instead of the Exploreum (Science Center). (I’m glad for his sake that he was wrong!)
Where to Find Kelli