This Question is really two separate questions that I’ll divide into two sections. The first is for those with blogs/social media businesses that have tips for growing your audience and getting the most from your online blogs/facebook pages, etc. Second we’ll tackle the ways in which social media is beneficial to cruisers with favorite groups, forums, etc.
What are your best Social Media Marketing Tips?
Byn @OhSailYes My tips? #1 in this day and age, make your blog MOBILE FRIENDLY! When you create a new blog, update your template or design… ALSO go look at it on your phone. Trust me, its important. I also wrote a blog post on this topic, for those who are really new. Just really the first three things that I learned when I started my first blog years ago! My Top Three Social Media Tips for the Beginner.
I also HIGHLY recommend downloading Windows Live Writer as other contributors mention below. That has been an invaluable tool and I can’t imagine blogging without it. Even now that I’ve been on land with WiFi and visiting, I SO prefer the Live Writer to blogging straight on WordPress.
Mobile Version ^
Web Browser Version ^
Windows Live Writer ^ An incredible blogging tool!
Barb @HartsatSea If you blog from a PC and haven’t found “Live Writer” do so immediately. This is part of MicroSoft’s free Windows Live. It will allow you to write any number of blogs posts, with links and photos, and have them all ready to upload when you get near WiFi or cell towers. Best blogging tool ever.
Carla @SVMahi Determine your audience- Are you writing for friends and family or a wider audience? Then write topics with your reader in mind. Remember the power of editing and re-writing to tighten your article or post. Write, wait a day or two, then re-read and edit again before publishing.
Add terrific visuals to your post. People enjoy seeing nice photography which relate to your writing. People also love videos.
Duwann @MakeLikeAnApeMan Keep it fun!
Jenny @SVRocketScience Blog about your adventures! People love to hear about it.
Laura @FortunesAfloat Right in the beginning get the same name for all your platforms: blog, email address, Facebook, youTube. This “branding” will make it easier for folks to remember you, and create a more professional image. Try to post often, but don’t make the posts too wordy. Post really good photos that tell a story. Don’t rely entirely on videos to reach your audience because once people get out cruising, Internet access is often sketchy and they won’t be able to watch your videos.
Melinda @BurnettsAhoy I’m not ambitious social-media-wise – I blog for my friends and family and don’t sell anything, but WordPress with Bluehost as my provider has worked well for me. And it’s good to make a Facebook page for your blog if most of your friends use FB – there are plugins in WordPress that will post automatically to FB for you!
Nike @WhiteSpotPirates Since I am am a video blogger, I thought about sharing something about youtube video production rather than marketing, I hope that still fits. In my case, I have learnt a lot because I have someone else editing my video material that is not involved in the voyage itself. Usually, oneself is so emotionally involved with the material, that you want to show every little bit you have filmed. But sometimes it is good to have an outsider to tell you “ok, you can show 20 seconds of your diving experience, but not two minutes”.
Since I did not know anything about filming, I asked for some advice from Patrice, my editor. It was not much, but it helped me for the beginning: say no to vertical, do little ten second shots of each scene (preferably holding the camera still) and most importantly film the whole story. The latter meaning, if you film doing a beach fire then start with departing from your boat, the way there, arriving, collecting wood, staring the fire, show the fire, the people, going home – done! Try not to film long sequences but rather small ten seconds of the different steps that you then join together to a story.
And what helps to improve your skills: look at professionally made videos and see how they work. How they play with focus, with angles, perspectives and always try to think of the final product when you shoot something. Try to always have the person in mind that will watch your video in the end.
Susie @Wanderings Write regularly!
Stacey @SVSmitty It seems like most people utilize Facebook, so that is what I primarily rely on to let everyone know about new blog posts to sv Smitty. I also use FB to follow other blogs, it’s easier then getting an email notification when a blog I follow has a new post up. I use WordPress to maintain our blog sv Smitty. I also will share pictures on Instagram and videos on YouTube. I am not actively marketing our blog, the site was set up to share our experiences with anyone interested. I would recommend that people accept friend requests on FB even if you have not met that person yet (obviously check out their profile and make sure you have common interests and/or mutual friends). I have now met so many of my FB friends that are now “real life” friends that we have been meeting up with as we have been cruising. These friends have helped in various ways and have been so welcoming when we have come into a new port.
Tammy @ThingsWeDidToday I don’t make money on my blog… I’ve thought about it because sometime I post about products that we like and maybe somebody goes and makes a purchase based upon my recommendation… but I don’t think it’s really enough to make it worth the trouble of paying taxes on it. I have read that having lots of links to outside websites can make a blog show up better in web searches, so I try to add a lot of interactive and informational stuff in my blog posts. I get a huge kick out of every new Facebook Page friend and comment, and blog comments make my day! My audience is slowly growing and that makes me happy. I think the biggest thing that keeps my blog from really taking off is that my posts are so LONG. Really, they are epic! I just can’t seem to keep it short and sweet like I KNOW blog readers want. So if you’re one of the people who persevere and slog through all of my stuff looking for those hidden nuggets of gold… Thank YOU!
What are your favorite ways to use social media as a cruiser?
Barb @HartsatSea We are not vlogging. Frankly, I don’t want to use the data to do it or to watch them while I’m cruising. Back in Maine, I was very active in Twitter for both on a personal and business account. Facebook has become crucial to cruisers. Facebook groups for different areas of the world help us learn what to expect, allow us to get help and to provide advice to other cruisers. Facebook has kept us in touch with our families back home in ways those who cruise years ago were not able to do.
Barb @SVMelindaKay We use Facebook to keep in contact with family and friends. When outside the US, we use the Facebook Messenger phone and it just uses data, no long distance phone call charges!!!
CJGrabens I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family and have found some good sailing groups there.
Kerry @YaNevaKnow I loved Facebook – I could easily keep in touch with all my friends and family, post photos, write comments, message. I also loved Skype – speaking to loved ones is precious and so important.
Melinda Taylor The WWS groups. (Women Who Sail)
Sarah @YoginiSailor When I go to new places, I look up Facebook pages for the community, both the sailing and general community to get advice or find yoga classes! Sailing blogs can be really helpful during down times. Either to give me some encouragement or to know I’m not the only one suffering from low periods.
Byn @OhSailYes I highly recommend searching for Sailing and Cruising Groups (especially Women Who Sail). I gained SO much knowledge through those groups when I was trying to learn about this lifestyle. It was so much more helpful and encouraging than maybe anything else I did to prepare. Just hearing other’s actual experiences was amazing for me. And of course, like everyone else, I use facebook to keep in touch with my family back home. There is nothing like in person visits (especially with my oldest son and daughter, who both hate texting/messaging), but its far better than it was just a few years ago… so I’ll just be thankful to have the access I do.
See the other posts in this series:
Part 1: What Makes it Worth it?
Part 2: What Would You do Differently?
Part 4: Where Would You Revisit?
Part 10: Budget Friendly Tips?
Part 11: Best Social Media Tips?
Part 12: Your Best Life Hacks for the Boat
Part 13: Your Favorite Photo
Part 15: Let’s Talk About Sex