Tag Archives: twitter

Quick How-To: add fifty hashtags to your Twitter or Instagram post with just one click

Ok, so it’s more like one shortcut word rather than one click, but one click sounds better, right? And since adding fifty hashtags would constitute shameless self-promotion, I figured that a shameless title would suit. Not that I condone or advise adding fifty of them, but have you found yourself typing in the same hashtags over and over, making typos, or forgetting which ones you’d used before? Well, have I got a solution for you, which can be done in three easy steps!

The steps below are for iPhone, sorry Android users. You might need to look for “shortcuts” or something similar under the “settings”. You’re smart, you’ll figure it out.

Step 1. Open “Settings” and navigate to “General” > “Keyboards” > “Text Replacement”. It probably already contains a shortcut for OMG. Because OMG, your mind is about to be blown.

Step 2. Click on the “+” in the top right corner:

text replacement plus sign

Step 3.

This is the longest step, requiring some thinking. Technically, it’s two steps, but “in four easy steps” just didn’t sound good, sorry. See above, about the shamelessness and whatnot.

Anyway, you will see the following blank form:

text replacement blank

This is where you should pause and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What hashtags do you want to add? Ideally, you should already have a list of carefully researched hashtags that deliver the highest engagement. If not, don’t worry – you can always add and edit later. Put whatever hashtags you want into the “Phrase” window, separated by a space.
  2. What short but memorable word or abbreviation do you want to use as a shortcut? It has to be one word, no spaces. Type it into the “Shortcut” window.

Here’s one I’d prepared earlier:

text replacement

You can create as many as you want. For example, you might have separate ones for Instagram and Twitter. Or one for LOLs and one for your promo posts. You may want to make a list of “influencers” to annoy. You may even create a shortcut for your texts, something that you use often and don’t care to type every time, like “I told you this would happen” or “You left the garage door open. Again.” Whatever makes your life easier.

So how do I use this, you ask? Easy. The next time you need to spam the Internet, just type your chosen shortcut below the message and you will see the preview of the expanded phrase appear above the keyboard:


Now press the “space” key and voila!

tag expanded

Depending on how many hashtags you want to add and your posting rate, you have just added anywhere between a day and a year to your life.

You’re welcome!


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing, Shizzle, Inc.


UPDATE: I revised it as best as I could, given my still too-limited skills:

Ok, just look at it! I’ll tell you all about how I did it and how much it cost (in terms of time and lost hair) right after, I promise!

What do you think? I really wanted to make BDSM appear first and the explanation later, but to tell you the truth, this was so difficult that I will need a week to recuperate before I’m ready to try again…

So, how did I do that? How much did it cost? Did it make any impact on sales?

I made the clip myself, at a total cost of $0 and about 10-12 hours of customising, watching tutorials and searching self-help forums. The clip was created with Adobe After Effects CC, and I started the process with a free template from After Effects Templates and added  “Playing to Win” soundtrack from Free Stock Music.

Easy-peasy, right? If you don’t mind, I’m just gonna whine a bit now. If you’d rather focus on the positive stuff, just skip the following paragraph.

(Oh, my God, it hurt! I’m all for “you can do it!”, but in this particular case I have to warn you – it was hard! If you are pretty good with Photoshop, then definitely go ahead and try – just please don’t brag about how easy it is (like the kids in tutorials, seriously!). If, however, you don’t understand Photoshop layers, then save yourself from this stress. Not only the software is hard to understand, it was a nightmare to try and upload the clip directly to Twitter. After hours of trying, it turned out that while Twitter technically allows MP4 and MOV files, you can’t upload MOV from the desktop, only from mobile. What? And  for whatever reason, my After Effects does not have the option of saving the file as MP4 (perhaps because it’s a trial version). Then if you think you’re so clever, and you email the MOV file to yourself with the intention of saving it to your phone and uploading to the app, the phone refuses to save the file, as it is apparently unsupported. What? I’ve managed to start a YouTube channel and posted a YouTube link to Twitter, but it just looks like a boring link on the phone, and no matter how hard I’ve tried to figure out how to embed a YouTube link, I couldn’t. If anyone knows, really knows how – please help!)

Ok, back to the positive. I HAVE A BOOK TRAILER!! Yay! I have uploaded it to my Goodreads author page (easy YouTube link and instant upload) and Amazon author page (direct upload and up to 24 hours of processing). I don’t know if I could ever tell if this makes an impact on sales, but it sure gives Shizzle, Inc an aura of a professionally published book…

Once my nerves settle, I may try it again – in fact, I was thinking of perhaps running one of the free giveaways with the option of either a book cover or a book trailer. Again, if this interests you, make sure to sign up for the Don’t Miss It! email list (see the floating banner on the right).

Gotta go look at the trailer one more time…nope, it does not get old!


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing, Shizzle, Inc.

Marketing blitz reveal – so how did Robin Read, Indie Book Promo, and Book Gorilla perform?

Hi, everybody!

Hope your Thanksgiving was great – I didn’t get any turkey down here, in Australia, but Shizzle, Inc did get to #9 on Amazon’s Satire Bestseller list! Not quite the #1 that I was hoping for, but hey! Single digits!

I couldn’t be happier. Not everything went according to the plan, but a negative result is also a result, as scientists say, and you get to benefit from all my experiences, whether good or bad.

To remind you, I was testing three companies over three days, and the results are as follows:

  1. Robin Reads – 26 November. Cost: $25. Sales on the day: 19
  2. Indie Book Promo – 27 November. Cost: $25. Sales on the day: 3.
  3. Book Gorilla – 28 November.Cost: $50. Sales on the day: 46.

These numbers are quite disappointing, especially when the previous $25 promo with eReader news resulted in 63 sales and covered the cost. It could be that it’s not a good idea to advertise over a major holiday, especially the Black Friday. I might give RR and BG another try, although I’m completely disappointed in Indie Book Promo – I have contacted them and they promised to send me some stats, although their attitude was that they are a different model to an email blast, and that’s just that. Well, I have not seen any evidence that they’ve made a dent on the day or today, so I will take an email blast with results that I can see any day. In the future, I will not bother with any website banner advertisements, seems that a targeted email is the only way to get people to notice.

Back to the numbers. In order to recoup my $100 investment, I should have sold at least 286 copies, so the 68 total sales mean a loss of $76.20. It’s actually a little better than that, because alongside the sales, there’s been a major spike in KENP pages read:

Sales on 1 Dec

So far it looks like the promo resulted in at least 1,561 extra pages (and hopefully more in the near future!). At roughly half-cent per page, this amounts to another $7.80 or so, so the total loss is currently at $68.40. Hopefully it will continue to reduce as people keep on reading. And if it’s one of you – please, please post a review! I’m up to 18, but it takes 25 reviews to advertise with some of the marketing sites I want to try.

In addition to the three mailouts, I’ve used the blitz as an excuse to continuously report on the sales rank and sales numbers. That resulted in crazy Twitter activity – here are my “impressions” for the week:

Twitter impressions

Even better – I have gained almost two thousand followers over this past week! The snowball effect is clearly happening, just not so much in sales 🙂

I have put the price back to $2.99 and have applied to advertise with Book Bub, but they’ve turned down my $140, which is a pity – rumor has it that authors normally at least make their money back. This means I’m about to put the price back to $0.99 and blast Twitter with the announcements 🙂

Speaking of all the marketing sites I want to try, have a look at the The Most Super-Duper, Exhaustive, Comprehensive, and Current Listing of Free and Paid Book Advertising Websites and Ideas, which has been updated with even more sites. I have not given up on paid advertising – you are free to draw whatever conclusions you want from my data, but I see it as investing in my brand. The upcoming blitz/full-on war is as follows:

  • 5 December – second chance for Bargain Booksy. They were nice enough to give me $25 credit for the disappointing YA audience promo, so I’m trying the chicklit audience. Cost – $70 (minus the $25 credit).
  • 5-6 December – applied to Read Cheaply. Not sure if this will work, as they want a limited-time offer and Shizzle, Inc has been on sale for many weeks.
  • 7-8 December – Read Free. Cost: free!
  • 9 December – Free Kindle Books and Tips. Cost – $25.
  • 11 December – Reading Deals. Cost: free!
  • 12 December – BookHearts. Cost – $5.
  • 14 December – eBook Lister. Cost – $25.
  • 15 December – BookSends. Cost – $30.
  • 17 December – Digital Book Today (Deal of the Day). Cost – $30.

Let’s see what that does! Ka-boom!


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing, Shizzle, Inc.

Marketing gimmick #1: spam, delicious spam…

Shizzle, Inc got up to #23 on the free Top 100 in Humor on the weekend! In fact, it stayed in Top 100 the entire time, thanks to you my dear readers and supporters. I was overwhelmed to see all the messages on the blog and retweets on Twitter – thank you so much!!

I couldn’t be more excited. I mean, I could be, of course. Like, if Cohen brothers called me and told me they want to make Shizzle, Inc into a film, I would totally lose it. For now, I’m just trying to function as a normal, middle-age adult, with a job and other responsibilities. Trying to get through my workday without giggling like an idiot has been a challenge. Also, trying not to turn every conversation into a discussion of self-publishing is proving to be nearly impossible.

Back to the topic at hand. Oh, the exciting times of marketing my novel! Most other writers blog about how much they hate this part of the writing-publishing projects, but I don’t get it. I can’t wait to implement my marketing strategy and see what results it may bring. Although, to tell the truth, I don’t have a strategy per se, at least not yet. All I have is a long list of gimmicks I’m going to test and blog about.

Which brings me back to the delicious spam. Ok, so maybe it’s not delicious, but I hope mine has been at least palatable. Ever since Shizzle, Inc was released on 4 September, I have been sending out 5 Twitter messages per day, each with a quote from Shizzle, Inc and a link to Amazon Kindle. My hope was that because they are entertaining, they will not piss off my followers. Here’s what a couple of them looked like:

Tweet 1Tweet 2Tweet 3

So, how did I do by spamming the entire world with these quotes and passive-aggressive attempts to get unsuspecting folk to buy my novel?

When I’ve looked at Twitter Analytics statistics, my first thought that the this particular gimmick backfired. Yes, the average number of views went up to 7,200 per day. Over 7 thousand views each and every day! In the previous weeks, my average views per day were around 4 thousand. So far so good, right?

Well, not exactly. These quotes/links did not get very many likes or retweets. In fact, the average rate of engagement dropped from my long-term average of 4-5% to about 2.1%. That’s an indicator of how many people have actually engaged with the tweet by either retweeting it, liking it, clicking on the link, or viewing my profile.

Quick math:

7,200 views * 2.1% engagement = 151 engagements

4,000 views * 4% engagement = 160 engagements

I stopped giggling long enough to consider abandoning this gimmick, until I checked how many “link clicks” I got. And this is where I finally saw some good news: the number of link clicks per week jumped from an average of 100 to 293. People actually clicked on the links! Considering that an average cost per click in advertising campaigns is $0.50, I’ve saved about $150 on advertising during the last week alone.

So I’ve decided to continue with this for now, unless you tell me that you’re sick of seeing quotes from Shizzle, Inc. In case you’re interested, I am doing it using a free version of Buffer – a website that lets you schedule tweets ahead of time. The free version lets me schedule up to 10 tweets and I can choose to send all 10 of them in one day, if I want to.

I’ve reduced the number of these spammy tweets to 4 per day – I will let you know what effect it will have on the number of engagements and link clicks. Most importantly, I will let you know the effect it will have on the number of sales. Stay tuned – I’m working on a post revealing exactly how many sales it took to get into the Top 100 list – the number may surprise you!


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing

How do I love thee, Twitter Analytics?

Let me count the ways. I love thee, for you measure improvement. For without you, I wouldn’t have a clue whether my particular Twitter joke wasn’t funny or just got lost in the noise of a million voices. But most importantly, because you fill my heart with stupid, unwarranted hope that one day Shizzle, Inc will be discovered.

I’m crashing on Twitter Analytics like a stalking teenage girl. I can’t go for more than a couple of hours without checking stats, but there’s more to it than the OCD (I hope). It’s actually useful. If you’re using Twitter for anything other than reading random stuff, you have to get it. Right now. Stop reading this, there’s nothing else useful in the rest of this babble.

The most amazing thing is that all the data and analysis in TA is free. There isn’t a catch, like you have to spam your followers, or drag in your friends, or give up the cash you have not yet earned. And it’s broad, covering analysis I did not previously consider, like engagement rate.

If you Google the net, you’ll find a number of informative, in-depth articles on various virtues of TA and how to use the information to build your brand and reach your customers. I don’t have either the depth of knowledge or the patience to write a similarly informative article, so here goes my dumbed down easy to understand and superficial summarised list:

1. TA reminds me to tweet every day. Oh, how it hurts to forget about Twitter for a day, only to see that it completely forgot about me. Have a look at this graph and note the correlation between the number of tweets (in grey) and the corresponding number of “impressions” (in light blue):

2. TA tells me which tweets were effective and which got a “pfft” response. Yes, you can sorta figure that out based on a number of retweets or likes, but the “engagement rate” reveals if that was due to a sheer number of impressions, or a particularly effective tweet. It confirms time and again that photo-tweets are the most effective. The top two of my tweets over the last three months are both photos:

3. TA holds a promise of the day when it all goes completely viral, like this spike of over 30,000 hits (yes, I double-checked the number of zeroes). All it takes, apparently, is for a famous musician with a million followers to retweet one of your tweets. Which makes me ever so grateful, even if he refuses to follow me back.

4. It feeds my sick need to see continuous improvement. Every. Single. Day. I can’t change much in my day-to-day job, but I sure can enjoy the growing follower count:

That sums it up for me. There’s also WordPress stats, but I’m sure you know all about them. You don’t? Omg, go check them right now! You can thank me later.


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing