#Blog Promotion: #Instagram, #blogging and You

Screen shot 2016-04-02 at 3.18.33 AM(Astroblogging) Since Instagram’s debut into social media it has grown explosively. Hootsuite tells us that:

Instagram users have shared over 30 billion photos to date, and now share an average of 70 million photos per day


Instagram’s per-follower engagement rate for top brands is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter

But despite all this sharing there is one thing that Instagram does not do. While posting a photo from your smart phone or tablet Instagram app is very easy, you cannot post from anywhere else. You cannot use the Instagram app from your laptop, where you’ve gathered all your wonderful astrology graphics. And you can’t “share” your blog post to Instagram through a third party application like you can for Facebook and Twitter. Why?

Instagram doesn’t want you too. And here is their rationale:

According to Instagram:

At this time, uploading via the API is not possible. We made a conscious choice not to add this for the following reasons:

Instagram is about your life on the go – we hope to encourage photos from within the app. However, in the future we may give whitelist access to individual apps on a case by case basis.

We want to fight spam & low quality photos. Once we allow uploading from other sources, it’s harder to control what comes into the Instagram ecosystem. All this being said, we’re working on ways to ensure users have a consistent and high-quality experience on our platform.

Therefore, currently you cannot upload photos from your wordpress site into your instagram account.

Nope. Instagram does not make it easy for a blogger to use their app to spread the word about their bloggerly goodness. But since Instagram is such a potent marketing tool, you’d be missing out on opportunities to bring new followers to your blog if you didn’t.

It can be done and I’ll tell you how. But first lets gather the tools of the trade.

a.) Your smart phone
b.) list of 30 pre-prepared instagram tags on word processing app on your cell phone. I use Google docs.
c.) your Facebook account

You’ll need to have or add these apps on your smartphone:

Google Docs
Documents by Readdle

You’ll also need a Dropbox and Google Docs account you can access from your computer.

Creating Your Instagram Hashtags

What a luxury! With Instagram you can use thirty hashtags, all pre-selected (once you do the work) and ready to go when you post.

So let’s put that list together. Go to Gramfeed and enter your keyword to search. In this case let’s choose astrology and see what we get. What returns is a list of hashtags and the number of photographs on instagram with that hash mark. Copy and paste that list into a word processing program like Word numbers and all.

Instagram Hashtags

You can run one than one list and you should. Run one for each of your prime keywords. Copy and paste each list into your word processing program. Now having your lists you can edit them to choose the ones with the highest numbers, or even for particular niches you want to reach.Delete the ones you don’t want. Also edit out the numbers making sure you have a hashtag mark at the beginning of each word or word group. Example: #astrology #zodiac, etc.

Save your list and upload it to your Google Docs account.

Ready to post?

Well, not just yet. The idea of Instagram is to share photos, not content, so the next step is to get your image ready.

1.) Put your image into some photo image processing program like Photoshop (unless it is a video) and change its proportions through enlarging and cropping to 1084 pixels to 1084 pixels. Save your image and then put it in Dropbox file on your computer.

2.) Import photo to your smartphone. Go to your smartphone and open your Documents by Readdle file and click on Dropbox, which will open your Dropbox file. Choose the image you to upload to your photo files on your smart phone. Click on it once, then drag it up to the top bar where it says Downloads to the section that says “drag here.” Doing this will drag the photo into your smartphone phone storage. It can be a little tricky to do this maneuver, so keep trying until you get the hang of it. It does work.

Can I Post Yet?

Not just yet. You have another decision to make. Instagram does not let you link to an outside link like your blog. Yet, you want people to migrate there to look at your post. Decide how you want to do this. Either you hand type in the link to your blog, or you can use a link shortener like tinyurl.com or bitly.com. I like bitly because you can not only customize your shortened link but bitly will track the number of time people click on that link. Whatever you do, you have to make it short and memorable as people are going to have to type in the link to get there.

Okay, Can I Post Now?


1.) Go to Google Docs on your smart phone and copy the hashtag tag cluster you created.
2.) Open your Instagram app on your smart phone and hit the photo tab, the square thing in the middle with the circle in the center. The last picture you uploaded should be in the square on the left. Click onto it. Go through the different prompts until you get to “Enter caption.”
3.) Enter your caption or blog post title.
4.) Enter the url for your blog post
5.) Hit paste to past your hashtags.
6.) Hit post.

There it is. Your blog post on Instagram.

Instagram Logo published under the Fair Use provision of U.S. Copyright Law.

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Astrology Blogging: How Free are “Free” Websites?

Free Websites

(Astroblogging) The temptation is there. I get it. I really do. You’re an astrologer, either full or part-time. Like most astrologers you are not earning six figures. Heck, if you are earning high 30’s you are doing good. So when it comes to managing your business costs, the one thing you do skimp on is promotion. And you know you need a some sort of web presence to spotlight your talents, and you’ve decided to start a blog. It’s easy right? There’s a whole host (pun intended) of “free” websites that you can use. Free is good right?

Well, maybe not so much. Continue reading

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SEO–How To Capture Readers With Killer Headlines

Headline News

(Astroblogging) Your headline is the point where you convert a person browsing the internet into your reader. But what is a good headline? What is going to grab the attention of both search engine and reader to drive traffic?

After the AMI headline analyzer stopped working for multiple searches, I’ve been looking for a replacement. Today I found it in CoScheduler’s headline analyzer. This baby is full of useful metrics and helpful suggestions.

Again the emphasis is on emotionally evocative words. Emotional and power words top the list of items to include in your headline, but they also point out the necessity of common and uncommon words. Your headline is judged against an optimal mix of these words, with the goal of getting over a score of 70. Sounds easy right? Hah! I had to work this title several times before I settled on the above. CoSchedule’s blog also has useful information on constructing blog headlines. I recommend you read it. Continue reading

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It’s the end of the (Feedburner) world as we know it

(Astroblogging) TD Ameritrade’s commercial on the supposed Maya end time prediction has nothing on the impact of Google’s announcement that they shut down the Feedburner API on October 20, 2012.

Nor does Google’s announcement mean the end of Feedburner services . . .yet.

But the writing is on the wall.

Feedburner was and still is a lovely free service to bloggers that kept track of your posts, distributes them in the individual feed readers of your subscribers and/or sends the posts to the inboxes of your readers. Some services like Invesp use Feedburner stats in their evaluation of your website.

To entice you to use this service, Feedburner developed an impressive array of services, from keeping track of the number of subscribers who looked at your post to giving you little widgets to display your numbers.

And while Google, the owner of Feedburner since 2009, hasn’t spoken publicly about its strategy for Feedburner, why it is phasing out Adsense for Feedburner or ending the API access to programmers, one can only assume that Feedburner is not making enough money to keep its corporate masters happy.

Fortunately for you, while its the end of the Feedburner world as we know it, there are relatively painless ways to keep the same flow of information to your subscribers, especially if you are a WordPress user.

As Leo Dimilo said in his post

if you are using WordPress, you really don’t need a service. WordPress automatically generates feeds for everything from comments to pages to posts . . .

To make use of WordPress’s built in capabilities you need only look at one of my favorite plug-ins, Jetpack. This perennially useful collection of services for WordPress has a subscription widget in its arsenal. All you need to do is to upload the Jetpack plug-in, and drag it to an appropriate widget space. You can change the text messages of this widget, but unfortunately it is a little plain with no way (except through the php sections of your WordPress template) to insert an image. If you don’t want to fiddle with php then you can put a html widget and place it above the Jetpack widget. Upload a graphic to an image server like Photobucket or Flickr. Then you take the image code and plop it into html widget. If you look to the right hand side of the blog you will see I’ve done just that.

For other people who self host without WordPress, you’ll have to do a little more work, like subscribe and pay for a mail service. Plenty of blogs made lists about these services. You can check out the blog twentytwenty for some suggestions.

Start looking around and making your plans, since Google is not known for giving tons of advance time before it pulls the plug. As for me, it may be the end of the Feedburner world as we know it, but I feel fine.


Beth Turnage authors Astrology Explored as well as being publisher of Astrology Media Press. Beth is available for private consultations. You can contact Beth at starrynightastro@aol.com.

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Blog Promotion and Social Media: What’s Your Klout?

Klout Score (Astroblogging) So you’ve got your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and various and other sundry social media accounts and you wonder:

Is My Message Getting Across? Continue reading

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Blog Promotion: Learn to Love Your RSS Feed

(Astroblogging) The Age of Aquarius, the Information and Technology Age, brings the advent of a singular phenomenon, the death of single stream news dissemination: newspapers, radios and television. The internet brings a flood of information, literally more than any one person cares to know about. Social media sites cropped up to sort through the noise with the premise that what your friends care about, you care about too.

But Social Media does not do the entire job to organize what you want to know. Long before social media cropped up as information disseminators, the folks at Netscape created a feed aggregator that individuals could use personally, that would bring content to them as the content was produced. Called at first the RDF site summary, then later RSS, which some people say stands for “really simple syndication” RSS caught on like wildfire sparking competition and no end of controversy as to who owned the RSS concept. Nontheless, RSS continues to play a role in helping readers create their individual news and information streams. If you don’t love your RSS Feed, its time time learn! Continue reading

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WordPress 3.3–Mercury Throws Shadows On Code Poetry

Wordpress Logo(Astroblogging) WordPress’ catchphrase is “Code is poetry”, which is about as romantic as some programmers get. The brand spanking new version of WordPress, 3.3, however, released on the Mercury Station just as Mercury was going direct shows what happens when poetry meets shadows.

Those for non-astrologers that are a little lost with the first paragraph, Mercury is the planet of communication. It rules anything that has to do with communications, including the written word and computer code. Two to three times a year Mercury appears to travel backward in its orbit when the Earth overtakes speedy Mercury’s position in the solar system. During this time, all sorts of communications go wonky, email messages disappear, travel gets delayed, cars breakdown and computers go caput. Astrologers breathe a sign of relief when Mercury goes direct again, but we also know that we aren’t out of the woods yet. Only until Mercury the point in the zodiac where it originally turned backward on its course, when it is out of the shadow period, is communications harmony restored in the heavens.

So it was when 3.3 was released on the very day Mercury went direct, but still in the shadow period astrology bloggers everywhere who use WordPress drew in a sharp intake of breath. Jeffrey Kishner advised us in our astrology bloggers facebook group:

WordPress 3.3 upgrade is available today, right when Mercury stations direct. This is a conspiracy by Matt Mullenweg to destroy your blog. OK I’m kidding, but I think it would be wise to wait a few days, do some testing, before you hit “update.”

Chris Brennan added that we should back up our databases.

Of course, me being a rash Aquarian didn’t take Jeffrey seriously and dashed off:

I updated Astrology Explored and it works just fine. But then again I bought my new used car when Mercury stationed, so I’m waiting for the shoe to drop on that one.

But in the end I encountered a small glitch which I’ll tell you about in a minute but other people weren’t so lucky. Continue reading

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Blog Promotion: Getting serious about Alexa

Alexa(Astroblogging) Checking my Google pagerank today for Astrology Explored got me all excited. I was back at a 4! I hadn’t seen that number since the AE dot com days before Google changed its algorithm to penalize blog networks.

Of course AE has taken some hits since 451 Press shuttered. I created Astrology Media Press on the now defunct BlogsMu platform before I finally took the plunge into self hosting my modest astrology network. All that moving around, losing content and links took its toll. Where once proud Astrology Explored was the 6th ranking blog on Invesp, now it is only 65th. And once Jamie Darkstar decided to use only Alexa rankings for his Best Astrology Blogs page I dropped off that radar all together.

So being the competitive sort, and not the kind of the person to stay down for the count I decided today to get serious about my Alexa rank. Continue reading

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Successfully Fighting Astrology Content Thieves

No spam(Astroblogging) One astrology blogger friend wrote in our blogging group:

“This spam blog is now *stealing my traffic.* It’s one thing to steal content (which I know is just plain wrong) but when I search for the above keywords, the spam blog is #2 in the results for *my blog post* and I’m not even on the front page! ”

Spam blogs, the brazen hussies of the internet, have no shame in printing every word of your post as their own. These nasty little things are the curse and bane of every internet writer, but more so for astrology bloggers since our niche is small and it takes ever so much work to get our posts noticed. Continue reading

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Where to Pimp Your Astrology Blog Posts

courtesy of Flickr user floeschie

When you’re growing your astrology blog, you’re suffering from the “tree falls” syndrome. If nobody is there to read your posts, does your blog exist?

Fortunately, there are tools available to help bring awareness to your blog.


The generous-of-spirit Elsa runs AstroDispatch, a popular aggregator of astrology blog posts, articles and videos. This site is an excellent source of traffic. Elsa acts as an editor, so there’s no guarantee your blog will be included, or maybe your blog will be included but she won’t include every new blog post you publish. (I can’t speak for her, but this is what I’ve observed.)

My advice: Link to both ElsaElsa and AstroDispatch on your blogroll, then visit her Contact page. (1) Tell her you’ve linked to her. (2) Ask for your blog to be considered, and include your blog’s RSS feed. (If you have a WordPress blog, it’s just your URL followed by /feed.)

Reddit for Astrologyblogs

Chris Brennan of The Horoscopic Astrology Blog just this week created an Astrology Blogs channel on Reddit. You can submit your own posts (or your readers can do that for you), and Redditers (?) can vote links up or down in popularity.

You can promote this group with a widget or button, and if you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, message him and he can probably help you out with a button customized for the Astrology Blogs group.

Other Directories

Comment below: What did I leave out?

About the Author

Jeffrey KishnerJeffrey Kishner is publisher of Sasstrology.

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