5 Tips to Stand Out Online

In today’s online world, it can feel impossible to break the mold and gain followers. There are always people becoming famous seemingly overnight, while others take weeks, months, or even years to get where they want to be.

Why is that? What is it that makes people stand out and grow their platforms?

One answer is that they are unique. They have created a platform like no other on the internet, and have gained followers who are interested in the content.

This might not mean they have come up with a brand new idea that nobody has ever heard of before, it means that they have figured out what is popular online right now and tweaked it until it became their own.

If you’re looking to grow your online platform, you’ll want to be unique too. So, I’ve come up with five ways you can be unique online.

Remember that this isn’t a masterclass, and this isn’t a perfect science. Everyone has things that will work differently for them, but these are general ideas of what you can do to grow your platform.

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Find Your Voice

Probably the most important thing to remember when you are trying to be unique is to literally be yourself. Embrace your voice, your writing style, and your personality in your posts.

Adopt your voice and use it in the way you interact online.

Nobody can sound like you, no matter how much they try. Your voice and your writing style are almost as unique as your DNA.

By using your voice, you not only have a more unique interaction with your audiences, you also give your platform a voice that people can relate to and expect in the future.

Seek Relationships…Not Just Followers

People debate left and right as to whether your followers/stats are a solid metric on how to gauge success.

But, it is well known that having 100 followers that engage with you constantly is better than having 10,000 who ignore you.

Here are some quick ideas on how you can build relationships online

  • @mention people you reference in your social media posts
  • Answer questions people ask you as often as you can, and sound human, not like an automated reply
  • Reply when people @mention you or share your content — even just to say thanks
  • Don’t just Retweet and Like other people’s content; reply with a comment to start a conversation

Get Visual…With Your Own Flare

When in doubt, posting something visual is a great idea. It gives your audience something to look at.

BUT, don’t just post something visual just because you have no other option. If you do that, you’re not being unique.

Have a visual “signature”. Figure out your color palette, your visual identity, and whatever else you need to ensure people know it is you they are looking at.

Piggyback on What’s Trending

Jumping on what’s trending doesn’t sound too unique does it?

Well truth be told, it’s not.

What is unique about it, or what can be unique about it, is that you can add your own flare to it.

Take whatever trending meme, hashtag, dance, or popular topic and add your brand’s personality to it. That’ll give your audience an opportunity to see your platform’s personality in the things you post.

Just ensure that you are careful not to engage with controversial topics that can be seen as something negative. This could be end up being bad for you in the long run.


Create, Create, Create

If you want to stand out online, you can’t just copy the content everyone else is posting.

To be simple, you need to create something new.

Whether you’re trying to build yourself up as a thought leader or want to stand apart from your competitors, original content is how you’re going to make it happen.

This can be plenty of things, but some ideas that you can create that can be entirely unique are: blog posts, research or infographics.

5 Tips for Promoting Your Content on Social Media

It can be tough coming up with new content to promote on social media. With so many seemingly great ideas out there, it can be tough to think of new ideas.

Thousands upon thousands of posts go live on social media each day, some from family and friends, some from businesses trying their best to grab your attention.

Here are a few ideas you can use to start creating more content on social media and promoting your brand.

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Call to Action Buttons

Donations, followers, comments, stories. There are plenty of things you can ask people who see your content for.

Usually, a call to action button asks people to learn more information, or browse your products, but it is possible to make a button that can do just about anything.

Giving followers an opportunity and an easier way to explore your content instead of making them go searching for your website.

There are plenty of amazing examples of Call to Action Buttons, and some tips on how to write a good one, that you can find here.


Different Content for Different Channels

Each platform has its preference of content.

Just because something works on one platform it doesn’t mean it would work on another.

It’s important to know what each platform prefers and what works on those platforms. Instagram might be good for short videos, where Facebook prefers longer.

Do your research and make sure you know what content you need.

It doesn’t always need to be a brand new idea, but maybe think about changing how the message is given to audiences.


Use Appropriate Hashtags

There is a hashtag for everything. No matter what your content, there are trending hashtags that are used commonly by people in the industry.

Research your industry and find those hashtags to find out what people are using. This will put your content in front of others who are interested in the genre.

Usually there are more than one hashtags that are popular in the industry, so do your due diligence to make sure you can find the most effective ones.


Fill Out the Profile Information

This may seem like a simple idea, but filling out your profile information will give people a way to contact you, and better understand what to expect from you.

Even filling out basic information like the ‘About’ page and contact information will mean people will need to do that much less work to find your content.


Add a branded hashtag

Like I mentioned before, hashtags are a way to find people who are interested in a certain type of content.

The same can work for your profile. On most social media platforms, you can add a hashtag to your profile so that your profile pops up when someone searches that hashtag.

It’s no guarantee to be seen, but it gives you a better opportunity to be seen by people in the same field as yourself.


5 Things You’re Doing Wrong on Social Media

If you’re using social media to promote or market anything, you’ll want them to reach the most people as possible.

But, in these times when social media rules seem to be ever changing, there are plenty of things you could be doing that can hurt your social media presence instead of helping it.

I’ve given you 5 things you might be doing wrong, but there’s no shame in it.

This isn’t an exact science, so what’s wrong for one person might be right for another. These are just general guidelines to follow to get the most success possible.

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1. You’re Not Engaging in Your Community

A big part of growing on social media is knowing and interacting with the community. Like similar content, comment on posts, reply to other’s comments. These simple things will get your name out there for more people to see, plus it often leaves you in a positive light with others in the community.

If you ignore the community, your social channels will likely not grow as quickly.

A bonus of engaging with the community is that you can get a sense of what content they enjoy and what content they don’t.


2. You’re Over Posting, Under Posting, or Posting Inconsistently

Platforms like Twitter allow you to have a conversation by posting more tweets. That’s not the same for platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Posting too often on Facebook or Instagram might annoy your audiences, but posting too infrequently, your audience won’t be interested in what you have to say.

A consistent schedule allows your followers to know when to expect your content, even if they don’t realize it.

It’s tough to find the perfect amount of times to post per week, but its best to test it out before you go too crazy in either direction. Try posting 2-3 times per week at first, and make notes of the stats on those posts.

Then, post more or less often and examine those results. You’ll likely notice a positive or negative change. Use those results to find the perfect posting schedule for your content.


3. You Haven’t Put Much Thought Into It

Not every social media platform might work for you. Just because Twitter is popular, doesn’t mean its right for you. The same applies to all platforms.

You don’t have to join a certain social media platform just because “everyone else does.” Take the time and find the social media platforms that will work best for your style, and the style of your content.

Focus on one platform at a time. Understand how it works and build it up. Once you’ve established yourself to a level you find comfortable, then you can focus on a second platform.

The same applies to your content. Many people don’t find success on social media because they aren’t posting relevant content.

Take a few hours at the beginning of every month and plan your content for a few weeks. It might change if things come up or become impossible to do, but scheduling your content before hand will leave you less stressed and posting more relevant content.


4. You’re Not Telling People Where to Find You

If you’ve heard of the movie Field of Dreams, you might assume “If you Build it, They will Come” is true for everything.

That’s not how social media works. You can create the best content in the world, but if nobody knows it exists, it won’t be seen.

Share your content on other platforms. Let people know on your blog, in your videos, or wherever you create content.

It will let them know your social media channels exist, and remind them if they haven’t followed you yet.


5. You’re Not Willing to Change

The biggest part of growing on any platform is the ability to change. You need to adapt to new interests, changes in your audience’s likes and dislikes, as well as new trends in the community.

If you’re not allowing yourself to change and learn from your past, you’re not going to get better. Your content will become old and your numbers won’t increase.

Don’t shut down any criticism. Accept it and learn how you can change from it.

What Social Media Platforms Should You Focus On?

I mentioned in my previous post why social media platforms are essential in marketing your brand/business.

Social media is deeply engrained in our society, and it isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

But what social media platforms do you need to focus on to reach the most people and see the most growth?

There is no right answer to that question. There are the obvious platforms to pursue: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, but then there are the less common ones: TikTok, Snapchat, Tumblr, and plenty of others.

Obviously the more users a platform has, the more likely your brand can grow on that platform, so let’s discuss what platforms might be right for you.

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The Big 4: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

These are the most common platforms. They have millions of users each month, and you can find almost any niche you could think of.

There are endless opportunities to engage with people and create content that can reach your audiences.

There is no magic formula to these platforms, but there are best practices that are ever evolving, so it is important to stay on top of them.

If you are serious about growing your brand or business, you should look in to getting at least a few of these social media channels. Your specific brand might change which options to pursue, but for the most part, all four of these options are strong contenders for all brands to focus on to grow and tell their story.


Small But Significant: TikTok, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest

None of these platforms are new, and none of them are without a good number of monthly users.

What limits these platforms is that their demographics are a lot smaller than the big four. Apps like Snapchat and TikTok tend to have a younger audience, which might not be what your brand wants to focus on.

If your audiences overlap with these apps, then you might want to consider how to best reach them, and how to get your messages across to those audiences. Each brand is going to have different ideas and different strategies that work.


The Online Communities: Reddit, Imgur, DeviantArt, Twitch

Finally, we have the online communities. These generally revolve around a certain idea of type of post.

DeviantArt is a great place for aspiring artists and art lovers to go to, to share their artwork and love for different fanbases.

Platforms like Twitch, Reddit, and Imgur have broad audiences, but people on these platforms have a tendency to focus on a niche, for a handful of niches, and their content focuses on that.


The rules to social media are always changing. Nobody can give you an answer and know how to solve every possible social media question you might have.

What works for one person on social media might be disastrous for another. Some might utilize YouTube and be able to grow their brand off of that, where another might have a brand that doesn’t work well with video, so they pursue something else.

What’s most important is that you try and you learn. Track the success and failures of what you try and do better in the future.

Why Social Media is Essential For Marketing Your Brand

Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay. It has become so ingrained in our every day lives, that it would take a big downfall for a lot of platforms to disappear completely.

Social media is not just for personal use. Social media has become an essential for any business in today’s market if they want to succeed.

But why? What does social media give you the ability to do that other traditional methods don’t?

Before we explore why social media is essential to market your company and your brand, make sure to follow me on my social media so you can stay up to date.

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Improved Brand Awareness

Social media is one of the cheapest and most stress-free digital marketing opportunities that can be used to get your brand in front of people. With just a few hours spent on social media each week, you’ll be able to increase user experience and brand visibility.

Cost Effective

All social media channels are free to use. They have no cost at sign up and you could launch a successful platform without ever spending a dime. When you do want to put a little money into paid advertising on social media, you can set the amount of money you want to spend, so you can find out the most cost effective amount of money based on returns.


Engage with Customers

Customers love to give their feedback, and social media gives them another platform to do that. It also gives you a chance to tell your story, and interact with customers how you want to. The more you talk to them, the more chance you have to convert them to your brand and your products.

Healthier Customer Satisfaction

Customers appreciate receiving feedback about their grievances. We all feel appreciated and looked after when a brand or business’ social media accounts respond to one of our comments or reviews. A brand that values its customers, takes the time to compose a personal message, which is perceived naturally in a positive light. A customer’s satisfaction goes hand in hand with your brand identity. It is essential to introducing your organization and your products.


Improved Brand Loyalty

A customer’s satisfaction goes hand in hand with your brand identity. It is essential to introducing your organization and your products in a positive light and keeping it there in the eye’s of your customers.

One of the main goals of social media platforms is to develop a loyal customer base. It is essential to engage with your customers, but it also allows you to run promotional campaigns.

Increase Traffic

Simply put, social media can help increase your website traffic. Sharing content on social media opens the door for people to click through your website. The more you share on social media, the more inbound traffic you will generate while making customers convert to your brand or products.


Increase SEO

By regularly posting on your social media pages, and updating that marketing strategy, you can increase traffic and SEO, as well as improving brand loyalty. The quicker you get started, the faster you will see growth over your competitors.

My 2020 Goals

Hello dear readers. I hope all is well with you. I hope life is treating you well, and the words on the pages keep you hooked on your books.

2019 is officially over. It seems like it flew by, and I can’t believe I just completed my first full year of blogging.

There were some ups and downs for sure, but we weathered through them…and now we are in 2020!

If you haven’t checked out whether I completed 2019’s goals, check them out here.

I’m going to give my 2020 goals, both for the social media, and my reading goals. This will probably be a long post…so bare with me.

I’m going to start with my reading goals for 2020. I am still amazed at the people who can find the time to finish 100+ books a year. I don’t understand how they have the time or money to finish that many, but I tip my hat too them. You are truly worthy of calling yourself a reader.

I, on the other hand, am going to set the bar much lower. Since I prefer the books that are around 700-1,000 pages, and I don’t find as much time to read as I’d like to.

I am going to shoot for 12 full books this year, and 10 short stories (or something similar)…and yes audiobooks will count in these numbers.

I’m hoping to exceed these numbers. I want to find a nice local park I can go to in the summer and just lay there and read for hours on end.

I’m excited to get myself back in to reading heavily again, and I have more than enough books to read.

I won’t be counting manga reading in these numbers, because I read through several of those chapters a week.

Social media goals are another story.

I didn’t hit a lot of social media goals, which upset me, but this year I am going to hit them for sure, even if it kills me.

Goal #1: Twitter

Current: 158
Goal: 325

I was disappointed I didn’t hit my Twitter goal, but I am going to spend more time interacting with my fellow bloggers, and I am going to reach that 325 follower count.


Goal #2: Instagram

Current: 51
Goal: 150

I had a nice initial rush of followers on Instagram, but it died off pretty quickly. I stepped away from it for a while, but I have a few ideas to hopefully get back into the game.


Goal #3: Facebook

Current: 0
Goal: 25

I started a Facebook page to share my thoughts and opinions with others, in a book club style group. I didn’t figure out all the rules and regulations for it at first, and I quickly lost interest in it, but I want to try again. I think it will be a good opportunity for people to share their thoughts in a slightly more permanent place than Twitter.


Goal #4: Blog

Current: 141
Goal: 300

My blog grew much slower than plenty of other people’s that I noticed, but there are many factors to that reasoning. I am happy for their success, but I am undervaluing my skills and going to shoot lower. I think I can do better than 300 followers, but anything higher will be a success.

Those are the main goals I want to achieve in 2020 with On My Bookshelf. They are probably the most important to em personally, but I do have a few minor goals that I want to work towards through the year…so here they are:

  • Host 2 giveaways (one for Christmas and one for hitting 300 followers)
  • Have 5 collaborations with authors or other bloggers this year
  • Create a blogging award (not specifically for book bloggers)
  • Create new look for this blog
  • Create a blog mascot
  • Make significant progress on my book

I hope 2020 goes well for you all, and I hope that you are able to stick to your goals and resolutions. I’m not a big fan of the saying ‘New Year New Me” but it’s true….let 2020 be your year!

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