2016 Social Media Planning III – Content Plan

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© Nito100 | Dreamstime.com – Social Media Photo

Let me start by giving credit where credit is due. Much of the approach for my Social Media Content Plan came from How To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan In 6 Steps on HootSuite. This is a new blog so I have a simple content plan.

Here’s the history of the work so far. I completed my 2016 Blogging Goals. I started the planning process for social media. I completed a Social Media Audit and set priorities. Now it’s time for a content plan.

A content plan for a new blog asks the following questions:

  1. What type(s) of content do I intend to post and promote via social media?
  2. How often you will post the content?
  3. Who will create the content?
  4. How will I promote the content?

Assumption I – The social media channels I will use for Maryland Travel Stories (MTS) are Facebook (7 followers), Twitter (38 followers), and Pinterest (1,545 followers). Other channels will be add when MTS is large enough that I can hire a virtual assistant. I currently outsource some graphic design work.

Assumption II – All activities around social media will be time budgeted in three categories: channel monitoring, content generation and engagement support. Currently, channel monitoring consumes 50% to 60% of the social media budget due to post sharing within each channel and limited followers for MTS. This number will decrease as engagement increases. Content generation will be limited to sharing posts from MTS and guest posts by me across channels.

What type(s) of content do I intend to post and promote via social media? Posts from MTS. I will also share interesting and relevant content from within each channel. Guest posts by me will be shared across all channels.

How often you will post the content? Channel monitoring is done daily. Any interesting and relevant content will be shared immediately. Post from MTS and guest posts will be shared within 24 hours of the post being published.

Who will create the content? Me, myself and I

How will I promote the content? There is no budget to promote content on any channel at this time. I plan to start testing promoted posts on Facebook in April 2016.

Well, this is my Social Media Content Plan. Questions and feedback are welcome. (Don’t be evil.)


Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

2016 Social Media Planning II

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© Nito100 | Dreamstime.com – Social Media Photo

I completed a social media audit. My activity on social media channels is as follows:

  1. Facebook (7 followers) – I have a page setup for Maryland Travel Stories (MTS). I share most of the posts from the blog there as well as other stories I find on Facebook.
  2. Twitter (38 followers) – MTS has a profile setup. I tweet most of the posts from the blog and retweet other stories.
  3. Pinterest (1,543 followers) – This is my personal profile but I have boards setup to support MTS. The profile I setup for MTS is no longer active. The two most popular boards are Coffee Shop Stuff and Bucket List Ideas.
  4. Google+ (1 follower) – MTS has a page setup. There’s a widget installed that automatically shares any post from the blog on the page. No other activity.
  5. Instagram (1 follower) -I created a profile but the setup is not complete and there are no photo posted.

Social Media Priorities (I’m going to get hit with rotten tomatoes for this.) :

  1. Priority #1 – Lower social media as a priority – Simply put, I don’t have enough hands and there are not enough hours in a day. I’m giving myself permission not to worry too much about sharing on social media. There are days when I spend three times as much time planning, posting and sharing on social media as I do creating the content I’m sharing … NUTS! This turns the fun of blogging into the chore of marketing … and adds all the stress! Of course I’ll be singing a different tune if I win the lottery or get a call from Oprah. It could happen.
  2. Focus on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – I have limited time and I have to focus. If I find a way to monetize the blog, I can add more social media channels by outsourcing the work. I already have a great recommendation for a virtual assistant.
  3. Content PlanWorking on it now. This will be the next post for social media planning.


Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

Mark This Date in a Blogger’s Journey

c94b26a6445bebf2a7eebaa16be5f0efI started this blog on May 4, 2015. My first post was the commonly used “Hello world” template from WordPress. Fifty-eight simple words in a post to begin my journey as a blogger.

I borrowed this travel quote because it explains the reason I’m marking this date. I’m going from “traveling” blogger to “Storyteller.” (Only I’m going to use the term … freelance writer.)

I’m having fun as a travel blogger but I do have other interests. I can explore those interests as a guest blogger or guest writer on other sites. I just did my first guest post on The Caffeinated Writer.

Danielle is the fearless blogger at The Caffeinated Writer. She posted a request for guest bloggers. One of the subjects she’s interested in is caffeinated beverages. (It appeared as “coffee” in my mind.) I LOVE COFFEE! I can’t really talk about coffee on my blog so this was a great opportunity to write about something I enjoy in a place where it’s welcomed. A perfect combination!

So traveling storyteller to guest blogger … date marked! If you want to grow as a blogger, look into guest posting on other blogs.

Thanks for reading Maryland Travel Stories.

2016 Social Media Planning I

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© Nito100 | Dreamstime.com – Social Media Photo

It’s January 2016. The start of a new year. Time to reflect back and plan forward. I decided to do some of my planning out in the open because, frankly, I’m looking for feedback. I set my 2016 blogging goals. Now it’s time to tackle social media. Believe it or not, this is a much bigger mountain to climb. My early research suggests the best way to do this is to create a Social Media Marketing Plan. I’m modifying the process a little. I will use the following steps:

  1. Conduct a Social Media Audit – Assess current social media channels, usage (if any) and results.
  2. Define Social Media Priorities – I once gave presentations to small business people on how to use social media. And, I’m still very much a social media enthusiast. However, I know social media can consume all your time if you let it. It’s a lot of work! There are hundreds of social media sites and more are added weekly it seems. I have to decide which sites stay. Which sites go. Which sites get added.
  3. Create, delete or improve social media channels based on priorities
  4.  Create a Content Plan
  5. Outsource some duties

Well, this is the plan starting out. I’ll keep you posted. If you have any written social media goals or plans for your blog, please share! We can start a club and have t-shirts made.

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

2016 Blogging Goals Updated

dreamstime_xs_34050628 - Blue Enter ButtonI was nervous when I posted my 2016 Blogging Goals 3 days ago. Very, very nervous! Like hold my finger over the enter key for a few seconds before striking down nervous. This is a new blog and stating my goals for the world to see is … well, risky.

I decided to dig the hole deeper by sharing the post to friends by email and to fellow bloggers via the Maryland Bloggers Facebook group. “This’ll work better than counting sheep to put people to sleep”, I thought to myself. Then, I clicked the button and waited for the sound of crickets … or laughter.

Man was I wrong! I started getting feedback within minutes. People liked it, wished me good luck or congratulated me for blogging. All good to see and read. It’s confirmation that I was not crazy for clicking the button. Best of all, I got feedback! Real feedback. Enough feedback that I’m adding a few goals to my original list and re-thinking my approach for next year. [See original post for changes.]. Final 2016 blogging goals … set!

I want to thank Emilie Burke of BurkeDoes.com for sharing her Blogging Goals for 2016 with me. She has a great website and a fantastic set of well thought goals!

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

2016 Blogging Goals

Maryland Travel Stories - 2016 GoalsI started this blog in May 2015. I’ve had a few ups and downs and a HUGE learning curve. Funny, considering this isn’t my 1st blog! I’ve been blogging on and off for years. Both for myself and for others. Like any profession; technology changes, blogging tools change, and then there’s social media! While the barrier to blogging keeps getting lower, the number things you need to juggle grows faster. I’m getting the hang of this by constantly looking for new posting ideas and constantly taking classes to sharpen my saw.

Here are my blogging goals for 2016. [first commit, then achieve]:

  1. Post at least once a week – I just had a two month hiatus from blogging while I moved. My training teaches me this is a big DO NOT DO in blogging! You can’t have long breaks in posting if you want to be treated as a professional blog. [Plus it’s a good way to lose your following!]
  2. Network with other bloggers – I need to meet and befriend other bloggers. There’s power in numbers. Plus, networking is just a good thing to do in any hobby or profession. I found groups of Virginia bloggers [where I live], Maryland bloggers [the place I’m blogging about] as well as travel bloggers. Now I have to get active. You can never have too many friends.
  3. Continue learning – Take classes – listen to WordPress & travel podcasts – attend blogging/travel conventions & meetups.
  4. Find a good mastermind group
  5. Complete my last project – The Maryland Ice Cream Trail – I have one last place to visit.
  6. Complete my next project – Maryland Waterfalls
  7. Continue exploring Garrett County – I’m finishing up Accident, Md. Next is Deer Park, Md, Friendsville, Md and Grantsville, Md.
  8. Create a Blog Business Plan [new]
  9. Build blog to 100 readers [new]
  10. Merge Pinterest accounts and add widget to website [new]

There they are … my 2016 blogging goals! I’ve committed. Now I have to achieve.

Thank you for reading Maryland Travel Stories!

Wheel Life Thinking – The Repost

ID 46000662 © Kiosea39 | Dreamstime.comMy last blog was called “Wheel Life Thinking“. (It’s a long story.) I still have the domain but I have not posted to that blog in some time. This last year has been transformational for me. I decided to go in a different direction so I started “Maryland Travel Stories“.

I’m having fun with this blog. It’s helping me develop my writing skills. It’s giving me a path to explore the state I grew up in. I’m discovering the profession and mechanics of travel blogging. Lastly, it’s forcing me to travel more. (I could write a book on the benefits I’m getting from traveling along.) Frankly, I wish I knew about all this ten years ago.

I have a few posts on Wheel Life Thinking I really like. I plan to refer to them in future posts for this blog. This created a question for me. Should I link to a non-active blog? My thought is no, it’s not a good idea to link to a blog that’s no longer active. As a result, I’m going to re-post my favorite content onto this blog. This way, when I link to them, I’m linking to an active blog. I maybe wrong. People may think I’m crazy. But, here I am, stepping out on a ledge! My next few posts will be from my old blog.

Is this a good or bad idea?

Thank you for reading the Maryland Travel Stories Blog!