Create a Database Worth Tweeting About

Phyl CampbellStarred Page By Phyl Campbell, 10th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1ct1zkc3/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Internet

Last Friday, I decided to try automating again, this time with Hootsuite. I went with Hootsuite because several other local friends were using it successfully – so I knew I had help if I needed it. Hootsuite’s free account allowed me to automate posts to three sites. I chose my FB Author page, my Google + account, and of course, Twitter. Though I’m still no expert, I have also learned more about SEO and hashtags since my time with the previous automation service.

Brainstorming Automation

While working on my home library database, I was also trying to think of ways to share my backlog of nearly 150 Wikinut articles. Last year, I created a spreadsheet I had used to track each article’s page views over time. However, I stopped because the details page of daily views did not list articles in the same order, and inputting all that data was not worth my time. I’d rather be #writing.

At Peter Giblett’s suggestion, I tried Buffer, a scheduled post automating service, back in June. It worked really well for a few days – a whole week, actually. My tweets were posted automatically. However, I hadn’t learned to use hashtags or SEO. My tweets were too long, and not catchy enough. Add to that some system changes, and I threw up my hands in disgust and abandoned Buffer altogether.

Last week, I tried the free version of Hootsuite. Then I realized that if I wanted to do bulk scheduling – for instance, if I wanted to share the same life hack article every Thursday at 10 am for a month – I would have to buy a subscription or sign up for a 60 day trial. I didn’t want to do either until I could measure the success or failure of scheduled posting via their service. So instead, I was tediously copying and pasting links, adding hashtags (searchable keywords) and introductions to each post, and setting post dates. I was automating. But it was taking too much precious time to scroll through all my articles on the Wikinut site to get to the articles I wanted to share.

Seeing the Relevant Data

I printed out my list of articles so I could see where I was when scrolling through. On a whim, I started putting them into categories: how-to, parenting, feminism, book reviews, Wikinut, grammar. Some articles fit more than one category. Others didn’t seem to fit any. But most fell into at least one.

Once again, I realized I could save time with a database. Instead of trying to track views, I would have columns for category, title, and short link. It was some effort to open every article and copy the short link, but saving them all to a database at once would mean not having to find them again later. And a database, unlike the Wikinut Author Page, is more easily searched and sorted. It’s also unlikely to be down for maintenance or troubles with the site.

I thought my database was complete when I returned to Hootsuite. But I was still spending a lot of time typing the keywords in over and over. Then, I was inspired. I made a new column in my database and wrote my tweets into the new column. Then, I reversed the order of columns so that the tweet message came before the link. Later, I can see myself having new columns for successful keywords and dates of posting, but I want to see what my current efforts yield first. With a database, I can always go back. (I decided to label all my poetry – sans the homophone poems, which I included with grammar, essays, sample chapters, and stories: “Creative.” Don’t know how or when I will bulk-share them, but now they have a name.)

Going back to Hootsuite, it was a simple matter to copy and paste the pre-written tweets and links, select my streams, and schedule the dates and times they would appear. Like creating the database, scheduling many tweets at once is time consuming. However, knowing that I will be able to see what I posted, and knowing that next time the database is already created, I am content to have content for nearly 150 tweets at my fingertips!

But is it working? Was it worth my time?

The database for 140+ articles took me 4 hours (Parents get interrupted while working; it comes with the territory). Creating and navigating the Hootsuite site took an hour earlier in the day. I took two hours, using Hootsuite, to automate posts to FB, G+, and Twitter, copying and pasting from my database. In that 2 hours, I set up automatic hourly posts from 9:15A Monday to 7:15P Friday with gaps for lunch and dinner hours. I set Monday as a How To Day, Tuesday for Grammar, Wednesday for Women’s articles, and Friday for Book Reviews. Since Thursday is the anniversary of 9/11, I posted articles about terrorism, war-related tragedies, and missions for peace. I hoped people would find them fitting.

So Monday I did not have to log on to Twitter to post. My content attracted 6 new followers, two favorites, and a retweet. My total Wikinut site traffic increased by a factor of 4. Tuesday, Wikinut would not load for me, so I had no data. But I added followers and favorites via Twitter. And while I could not log onto Wikinut to share links, I didn’t need to – I already had my links in the database. (Today, I checked again. Still up by a factor of 4. Tweeted articles that normally get a daily view or two are getting 15-40. And since they link to other articles, all my posts are getting more traffic.)

This weekend, it may take me two hours to schedule another week’s worth of posts. It won’t take the initial six, and the longer I use a site, the more comfortable I am and the less time it takes me. Ultimately, I want to drive traffic here, let people get excited about my writing, and then let them go to Amazon to buy my fiction. That would be the real test of economic value – income I’m not counting in hundredths of cents.

But even if my only gain is increased Wikinut traffic for articles I've already written, it's not a bad way to spend a #weekend, wouldn’t you say?

Connect With Me!

You can follow me on Twitter, where I am @phylc_author.Though I have automated the sharing of my articles, I also interact -- 140 characters at a time, of course!

I'm also an author on Goodreads.

If you have interest in being a BETA reader, please send me a private message with your e-mail. Not only would I love readers to sneak peak my works in progress, I write with many other fantastic ladies (and a few gents) and we are always looking for people to bounce ideas off of.

Find my latest articles on Wikinut, or choose from among the following:

100 Articles
Sharing Stories With Young People
Market Your Writing With a Book Signing Event
Shopping for Plus-Sized Costumes: Not for the Faint of Heart
More Than One Way to "Stuff" a Recliner
How Credit Counseling Helped My Family
Frigid February Following Frenzy
Making And Embedding Videos for Wikinut
-- I also grabbed these from my database. Much easier than scrolling through the "My Wikinut Pages" link. I just selected "Internet URL" and pasted the shortlink there.

What ways have you found to save time and effort online? What are you using to learn more about Twitter, SEO, and Social Media Marketing? I would value your comments and advice. Learning is essential, and the learning curve is huge!

Tags

Articles, Automated Posting, Database, Hootsuite, Organization, Save Time, Seo, Social Media Marketing, Time Management, Time Saving, Twitter, Wikinut

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- phylcampbell.com -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

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Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
11th Sep 2014 (#)

you are incredible Phyl...dont understand it all but my brain dont work like that...Jesse is copy pasting all my 880 poetry pages from wikinut as I do not want to lose them He is putting them into documents and then we will sort into categories and I hope to have an anthology of poetry..sooner or later...ha ha ha!!!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
11th Sep 2014 (#)

by the way on Google plus I have gained nearly 10,000 views in the past 4 or 5 days...i dont know how!!!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

That is awesome! I need to go back and copy/paste all my Wikinut articles like Jesse is doing for you. I had the first 50 or so on my old computer before the crash (sigh). But having the links helps, and maybe saving them by genre with the database... Your poetry anthology sounds fabulous!!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Good evening, Phyl....I am inspired....now I have to get busy. Thanks for an informative and well thought out article - hats off. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks! I know you're someone who cold take this idea and run with it -- probably far better than I did!!

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Very informative post and tips too mate, cheers my dear Phyl!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, Fern!

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Intriguing as I too have returned in part to my old profession and am in the process of creating a database for a project I am working on but have been wrestling with the technology. I like the scientific approach to gaining readership and social media followers.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, Peter.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
11th Sep 2014 (#)

I am not familiar with Hootsuite although I have heard of it, I do know that sharing our articles on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ is very important but people must not spam or they lose followers, if we promote everything we do and only things we do we risk being a spammer. We must be wise in our choices of what is worth sharing.

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author avatar Clarence Schreiber
11th Sep 2014 (#)

I know that I haven't been promoting my pages like I should but I still getting some good views of my pages. Keep up the awesome work my friend.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Glad to hear it Clarence! Thanks for stopping by.

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author avatar Retired
11th Sep 2014 (#)

I have been using SocialOomph (free version) for several years to promote articles via Twitter. I have not come across the others mentioned here so I don't know which are better or worse.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

You're like me, John. I hadn't heard of that one. I had heard of HootSuite before Buffer, but was so leery of the tool that I did not use it. I wasted a lot of time. But it's a learning curve.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Wow...very organized Phyl...well done- and many thanks for sharing this information with us all...:0)

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, Delicia! I do like to be organized -- though you'd laugh if I said that while you saw certain parts of my home office... Which is why I won't be sharing photos of certain parts of my home office!!

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author avatar C.D. Moore
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Wonderful information here. Thanks, Phyl

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, C.D. Even just using the database to share links at the bottoms of new articles for Wikinut has saved me a lot of time this week. I can share a lot more because I don't get frustrated as quickly!!

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author avatar snerfu
11th Sep 2014 (#)

You have opened another portion of the vast heavens Phyl. Every little bit of traffic counts and I know where I am going in the morning -- Twitter tweet, tweet!

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author avatar Ptrikha
12th Sep 2014 (#)

Whats your id on Twitter snerfu?

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author avatar snerfu
11th Sep 2014 (#)

You have opened another portion of the vast heavens Phyl. Every little bit of traffic counts and I know where I am going in the morning -- Twitter tweet, tweet!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

It is the way... Posting to Twitter more often yielded me 35 new followers in the past week. IT is how HuffPost and the big online journals share their articles -- and why there is a HuffPost, HP Religion, HP Parenting, etc. But with so much Twitter traffic, you must post often to be seen at all. I think it should always be fresh. I don't like the Tweeters who only try to sell their book in 10-12 Tweets to me a day. But when a parenting blog picks up one of my life hacks articles, I feel like I'm getting the notice I am seeking. We have a great internal community at Wikinut, but if the company is to grow -- and we, too, as writers, than we must encourage our being read, critiqued, and shared.
Anyway -- thanks for your comment(s)!

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author avatar Ptrikha
12th Sep 2014 (#)

That was a good overview of your Tryst with this automation tool. I will also probably give it a try, and perhaps add some Bubblews posts too.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
12th Sep 2014 (#)

Good luck, Ptrikha!

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author avatar Ptrikha
17th Sep 2014 (#)

And I have joined this site. I will see how this works for me.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Sep 2014 (#)

Good luck!

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author avatar Utah Jay
12th Sep 2014 (#)

Good on you Phyl, I am about to get into the book business, funny how things show up at just the right time. I'm not sure if I fully understand all of the ins and outs of this, but I'm willing to give it a try...Thanks so much.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
12th Sep 2014 (#)

The best way to learn a new tool is to jump right in and start using it! Thanks, Utah Jay.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th Sep 2014 (#)

I link my articles to Twitter and others that have links with Wikinut. But I am not much into organization - have to learn over time, thanks for giving a heads up that is very useful, Phyl - siva

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
13th Sep 2014 (#)

It doesn't hurt that you are so prolific and write around the central themes of peace and love. Your mind is at peace with one direction. Mine is all over the place!! But it's a good reference piece if you ever do decide to build a database. It may also have been useful moving your articles over from YCN, but I think there's probably a better way, which I have yet to know. In peace, P.

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author avatar Kingwell
15th Sep 2014 (#)

Awesome! You are so well organized.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
15th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks, Kingwell!

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author avatar spirited
17th Sep 2014 (#)

I keep a copy of my articles as I write them. I didn't used to do this, and when some other writing sites closed I lost access to what I had previously written.

Wikinut navigation does have to be improved I think. When you have a lot of articles the scrolling through them is a big job to do.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th Sep 2014 (#)

Yes. I lost my old blog when I moved it from Wordpress to GoDaddy (then realized I needed to create a new blog via Blogger). So a future step (and I need to get on it) is to either create separate blogs for each category I've been writing in or to save them in some other way or format. I really hope Wikinut isn't going anywhere, but I get concerned every time the site crashes. And the navigation -- you are so right!

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author avatar AjaySinghChauhan
25th Oct 2014 (#)

very intersecting post and thanks for sharing it with us.

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