Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How to Use TheseReads to Boost Blog Traffic {Part 2}

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I recently let you in on my latest blog traffic secret called TheseReads. I talked about how I am using TheseReads to grow my blog and how it quickly became a top referral in just a matter of days.

And not surprisingly, the response was overwhelming. So overwhelming that the wait list to get in has jumped from about an hour to 12 days. We also may or may not have temporarily broken TheseReads. They had to upgrade to a new server a couple days after my blog post. Oops!

Meanwhile, I have been answering questions about TheseReads nonstop in the Kid Blogging Network. Unfortunately, it's been the same questions over and I'm getting a bit tired and annoyed of answering them (sorry, just keeping it real). My solution is to write up those questions and give you the answers to the best of my ability. But keep in mind the following:

  • TheseReads is new and in beta so things are changing constantly 
  • I have never used the app so I cannot answer any questions pertaining to the app
  • I am still learning how to use TheseReads myself so I'm far from an expert. I just happen to have been using it for longer than most people.
And finally, don't overthink it.

I think many bloggers have gotten into the habit of trying to over-analyze everything because of the annoying algorithms on Facebook and Pinterest lately. TheseReads is simple to use as long as you don't overthink it.

I not overthink it.

Ready to learn how to use TheseReads to boost blog traffic {part 2}? You can read part 1 here.

Looking for a way to grow your blog? You'll want to try TheseReads. Here are some commonly asked questions about how to use TheseReads to grow your blog and boost pageviews from And Next Comes L

Where can I sign up for TheseReads?
TheseReads is currently invite only so go request an invite.

Can I get an invite to TheseReads from someone who's already on TheseReads?
They do not have this feature available. So just request an invite and be patient.

How long does it take to get in after requesting my invite?
Be patient! I know that I already showed you how exciting TheseReads can be for a blogger, but lots of people have been requesting invites. So much so that two days after my blog post, TheseReads was temporarily broken while they upgraded to a new server. Earlier this week, JQ and his team added a handy dandy timer to the TheseReads main screen so you can see how long it will take to be accepted.

Do not - I repeat - do not email JQ to ask to be approved quicker. Remember that the site is in beta and is new. Besides, he's already dealing with an onslaught of emails so hang tight until you get approved. There's no need to clutter his email with silly inquires like, "When will I get in?"

The wait is worth it!

I've been accepted. Now what?
First, read their FAQ and the rest of this post to learn as much as you can about the platform.

Next, go to the settings section and fill in every single part.

Finally, apply to be an approved publisher. Go to Settings > Publisher and fill it in. In order to be approved as a publisher, you must install their badge widget somewhere on your blog.

Then start clipping great content!

What is clipping?
Clipping is like tweeting on Twitter, sharing a link on Facebook, or pinning something to Pinterest. It's simply a way to share a piece of interesting content with your followers.

Do they have an app?
They currently only have an iPhone app, but an android one is in the works. I'm really hoping the android app gets done soon because I would LOVE to have it!

Can I use my business Facebook page to log in?
No. You have to log in with your personal Facebook account.

How can I clip to the new TheseReads categories?
Clipping to categories like homeschooling, kids activities, parenting, etc. is new. When browsing through the different feeds that you follow, click clip on an interesting clip. A box will pop-up giving you the option to tweet, share on Facebook, and clip to a category.

How can I clip my own content to the categories?
Go to your blog account and click clip. Check the relevant categories in the pop-up box.

When I clip from my bookmarklet toolbar, how can I clip it to the categories?
At the moment you can't.

Which photo does TheseReads use when an article is clipped?
It seems to be a bit random. Some WordPress users have been saying it's either a random image or the featured image from Yoast. For Blogger users, it appears to be the first image in the blog post itself. So I guess the moral of the story is this: make sure all the images in your blog posts are bright and beautiful.

And of course, the day after I write this blog post, things changed! You can now change photos and titles of your posts. Just go to your blog account profile and click the Edit link for each clip that you want to change.

Can I clip my own blog posts?
Yes, but don't clip just your own content as you will get banned. Nobody likes a spammer. They even say so in their FAQ. So your strategy for TheseReads should be like any other social media platform: share others' content and mix your own content in at a small ratio.

Can I edit my blog account?
They just added an edit feature so that you can edit the photo and title of each clip from your blog. Just head to your blog account's profile, find the clip you want to change, and click Edit.

If you don't like the image associated with your blog account's profile, then simply contact them and ask them to change it.

Otherwise, there's not much else that you can change.

Can I clip to my blog account?
No. Your blog account is entirely RSS based. So when you publish a new post on your blog, it will automatically appear on your blog account. That's currently all you can do.

What's the difference between the personal and the blog account?
Think of it this likely have a personal Facebook account and a Facebook page for your blog right?

Or take this analogy. You have a Pinterest profile, correct? Do you have a board dedicated solely to your own blog posts (tip: you should if you don't!)? People choose to follow your blog board because they like your content (just like they can follow your blog account on TheseReads). People can also choose to follow your entire profile because they like the wide range of content you are sharing, which likely includes lots of things outside your blog's niche.

Same idea here (with the exception that you cannot edit your blog account). Your personal account is where you share interesting content from others, as well as yourself, while your blog account is solely to highlight your blog content.

How can I get my brand's logo on my blog account?
Simply contact them and ask to have it changed.

How do I become an approved publisher?
Install the badge widget somewhere on your blog. Then go to Settings > Publisher to apply.

Why do I have to install a badge with my personal account? Can I use a badge for my blog account?
While you wait to become an approved publisher, you will have to install the badge tied to your personal account. It's really no different than installing a follow me on Pinterest widget for your profile.

Once you are an approved publisher, you will be able to swap the personal badge with a blog badge.

How do I know when I am an approved publisher?
Just go to Settings > Publisher and scroll to the bottom. Next to the "Publisher Verification Status" you should see "Approved as a Publisher"

How come my blog account already has followers when I just joined TheseReads?
Other users have already clipped your content and when people clip your content, they automatically follow you. So it's entirely possible to join TheseReads and already have a couple of hundred followers on your blog account.

How do I find people to follow?
Apparently there's a search function on the app (I don't have an iPhone to check), but it looks like a search like feature is coming to TheseReads as well. Just click the "see all" link next to explore in the right sidebar. However, you will also be shown related users when visiting other personal profiles on TheseReads. Also, keep in mind, any time you clip from a blog, you will automatically follow them and they'll appear in your left sidebar.

So honestly, don't worry too much about looking for people to follow.

How can I see how many followers I have?
In the left sidebar you'll see your profile picture. Click your name underneath the picture to be taken to your personal account. You can find the number of followers there.

As a blogger, what are the best ways to use TheseReads?
1. Do not do follow threads. They're watching for that and could ban you.
2. Clip lots and clip often, just like you would pin a lot and often on Pinterest.
3. Clip unique and interesting content.
4. Don't clip just your own content as you will get banned.
5. Share your clips on Twitter and/or Facebook. I personally just do Twitter because it automatically shares a large photo and link on Twitter for me.
6. When you publish a new post, you share it on all of your social media platforms, right? Start clipping it as well!
7. Install the bookmarklet toolbar to your web browser so that you can clip interesting content as you find it. It works just like a pin or stumble toolbar.
8. You could also experiment with pinning your clips. The only way I have found that possible is to find a tweet of a clip, click the link, and then it gives you the option to pin it on Pinterest.
9. Finally, experiment and play around with it!

Is TheseReads worth it? 

Oh yes...find out how well TheseReads is working for me!

Follow Me on TheseReads

Since I'm giving you the scoop on how to use TheseReads, I would love it if you followed both accounts of mine.

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  1. Thank you! And clipped this of course ;)

  2. Thanks for this!! I've been a bit frustrated with the platform and my blog page, but online it as a user, and it's been great for me for Twitter!

    1. It's definitely a nice way to boost your Twitter, that's for sure! Glad it was helpful for you!

  3. You are a star! And I love clipping and having it go out to Twitter especially as I just decided to only tweet/retweet with an image so this does the job perfectly!

    1. Yay! Glad to hear you're enjoying it and that it's helping you with your Twitter profile as well.