20 Minute HIIT Workouts For Beginners To Kick Start 2020
Everyone heading to the gym to start a healthy & happy 2020, whether they are beginners or gym bunnies just having another day of training. You may have seen the word HIIT floating about in the fitness world, but if you are just starting out you might be unaware of what it means.
It’s not some top secret gym slang and it’s not something that only the finest athletes can complete. What if I told you that the average gym goer can do this and not only will it take you less time in the gym but if done correctly, give you better results than an hour on that running machine?
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, which might sound daunting but don’t fear, if you’re willing to put the graft in HIIT workouts can shave off those calories in no time.
HIIT has been around for a long time and is a complete all rounder that’s sure to aid your efforts in the gym whether that be muscle gain, weight loss or increase your fitness level in general.
The idea behind HIIT is to get that heart rate going (within 80-95%of your maximum heart rate) by doing a series of exercises in short bursts ranging from high to low intensity instead of a continuous routine going at one pace.
Seasoned gym goers can get their workout complete in as little as 5-8 minutes as their bodies are used to the highest level of intensity. For these workouts we are still going strong, but they can be done in a 20 minute time frame allowing for beginners to try this out too.
A few bits to remember – HIIT is meant to be uncomfortable guys & gals, it’s giving it your all so it’s gonna be tough but the results are so worth it, especially the afterburn.
Remember that you need rest days in between gym going, you can cause yourself more injury or risk overtraining, not the one.
Before engaging in any high level activity, especially ones that raise the heart rate at such a pace, make sure you know your limits and what your body is used too. Always consult your doctor if you are unsure about taking part and remember to stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet.
Adjust weights to suit your needs, try to stick to the reps and remember it’s all about raising that heart rate. Repeat each of these sets 3 times with minimal rest in between – 30 seconds max between sets and if you are unsure of any of the below, there are tonnes of Youtube videos on how to do each exercise properly.
Weighted Sit Ups
Holding onto a weight (such as a 10kg wheel) with both arms across your chest, begin your sit ups. Using a sit up bench at the gym helps keep your feet firmly placed but you could also place weights on your feet to keep them down to make this easier.
Weighted Russian Twist
Tough to master but once you have got your balance in check, you can smash these out when you’re in the rhythm. Hold onto the weight with both hands and make sure it touches the ground as you go from side to side.
Bulgarian Bag Squats
Your gym may not have bulgarian bags but a kettle bell will do just fine, as long as the squat is weighted, try a 10kg bag or 14kg kettlebell.
These get tougher as you go through the sets but the result is getting your sweat on and massively engaging your core. Remember to use your abdominal muscles to keep yourself in check, otherwise you will uncomfortably transfer the weight to your arms and defeat the purpose of plank. If 60 seconds is too much, try for 30 and see if you can push for more.
Grab yourself a mat and start yourself off with one of the easier exercises on the list
Press Up’s x 30
Self explanatory, smash out these bad boys as fast as you can.
Dumbbell Overhead Press
Try this with an 8kg weight as a beginner and increase if your arm strength is already in a good place.
The dreaded burpee, a full body heart racing exercise that packs a calorie burning punch – doing a minute will burn an average of 10 calories!
Running/ Running Machine
Aim for 5 minutes minimum not including warm up.
Yes, running machine is on here but don’t be on there lightly jogging for half an hour, this is a mix of stopping & sprinting to get yourself going. Start off doing 3 minutes of warm up jogging, then pump up that speed and start sprinting 30 seconds on and off.
To do this, high speed run for 30 seconds, straddle the mill (just jump off the belt by placing your feet either side on the machine), rest for 30 seconds and jump back on for another 30. Repeat this process until you can no longer do this, but aim for going for 5 minutes.
If this seems daunting, you can also do this outside before the gym/en route.
Get the gloves out if you have them because this can take a toll on the hands. You’re going to do 30 seconds fast intense row then 30 seconds steady row, aim for between 5-10 minutes, as long as the short bursts of high energy are happening you are good.
Simple – as far and as fast as you can go in 5 minutes!
Make sure you keep yourself hydrated and warm up before getting stuck in, stretch and cool down once you are done, you got this!
Hi guys, I know I’ve been quiet recently and I plan on starting fresh coming into the new year with my posts, but first I want to talk to you about a cute collab I’ve done with Paperless Post!
As we all know, taking action against the impact we are having on our environment is probably one of the most discussed topics of our time and we are all starting to think about the effect of our everyday actions & purchases a little more.
I decided instead of sending my family a Christmas card this year or my sister her birthday card, I was going to send an e-card instead. There are other online services I had in mind but I thought I would try Paperless Post and I was more than impressed!
Paperless Post is an online card service that allows you to customise your card with different templates, backgrounds, fonts, colours & more! They do flyers & invites as well as cards and have loads of designs to choose from.
With templates crafted by collabs with brands such as Kate Spade New York, Rifle Paper Co & The New Yorker, Paperless Post aims to connect people and allow their users to share the most important events in their lives with loved ones, through gorgeous designs sent straight to their email!
After creating an account I was gifted some coins to get started but what you would usually do is navigate yourself to this little bit here and purchase some coins to get going.
Then you pick from the homepage what you want to send out! Got a birthday coming up? Need an elegant wedding invite? Want a cool flyer design for your email subs? Whatever you need, Paperless Post has a fabulous template waiting for you!
Once I got my coins I went across to the homepage and from there you can choose what kind of post you want to send. I had already done Christmas & birthday cards so I’ve chosen a New Years Eve card to send out!
From here you can filter out templates and pick one that suits what you need it for, I went with filtering out designers and picked one by Kate Spade New York.
What’s so awesome about Paperless Post is that not only can you customise the card you can also change the backgrounds, the envelope lining & the stamp! There’s a selection of backgrounds you can choose from to customise your card and then you can get straight into adjusting the flipside of the card.
You can change so many aspects of the text to what you think will suit best, as well as add logos or motifs to your design which you can also change the colour of, I went with some love hearts and changed them to rose gold.
You can then edit the envelope to your needs by pressing the arrow across, I found Paperless Post so easy to navigate!
I wanted a glitzier envelope so changed it up a bit!
It’s New Years Eve, it’s supposed to be fabulous! Once I had this nailed exactly how I wanted it to look, I changed the stamp & the postmark for the final touches.
And it was ready to go, all you do then is click ahead to add your recipients like I did below, and no, that is not my families actual email address so don’t even try it you cheeky lot!
You can then either press send now and get it going or schedule this to be sent a certain time & a certain date, which is great for birthdays that you want to get ticked off ahead of time!
What I love about Paperless Post is that you can also get a preview sent to your email address to check it all looks how you want before you give it the all clear.
My experience with Paperless Post couldn’t be easier, the designs were so stunning and so easy to edit and change to suit what you want. I’m going to be using it all year because it’s so easy and the response I’ve had to my current cards has been so positive, my sister loved hers!
So if you fancy 2020 being the year to ditch the paper cards and start sending out some gorgeous customized designs OR you just want to create something special that has a personal touch to it, for whatever occasion you wish to celebrate I would 100% recommend giving Paperless Post a try and you will probably love it just as much as I do!
Click here to head across and browse around, create an account & get started!
The Top 10 Best Natural & British Made Gifts On MadeInGreatBritain.UK!
Hey guys! It’s been a while but after some time away I have my latest post for you and what a treat it is! In collaboration with MadeInGreatBritain.uk, I have compiled the top 10 BEST Organic & British made gifts from small businesses you can check out through their online directory!
Made In Great Britain is your go to website for everything from clothes to beauty, pet care to homeware. Their ever growing list is packed full of products all made in Britain and supports these local businesses by giving them a platform to advertise on, you can join too!
Choose from their great selection of packages to advertise your British business, click here to have a look and see which one suits you! If you just want to browse for British made products, look no further than their extensive list of categories (you will be spoilt for choice!)
There is a also a great range of organic, sustainable & vegan British brands on there, how could I not talk about these small businesses making a difference. So get your pen & paper ready for the top 10 best Organic & British Made gifts for this Christmas on MadeInGreatBritain.uk!
A gorgeous cruelty free, organic & fair trade set! Packaged in a Fair Trade cotton bag with reusable cotton cloth, this sustainable gift ticks all the boxes! The award winning combo includes a Make Up Melt and your choice of skin toner with either lavender or orange blossom scents.
This all natural and paraben free hand cream is your skins new best friend, designed with the seamstress in mind it is your go to for a non greasy & non transferable cream! Harnessing the power of Shea butter, Macadamia & Rosehip oils, it helps soothes, softens & protect skin
3. Bee Good Lip Balm Trio – CURRENTLY ON OFFER £10.00
This adorable set is sure to make anyone smile on Christmas day! Packed full of gorg scents such as white chocolate, raspberry & honey this lip balm trio is made with natural honey and has no parabens, mineral oils or silicones. Leaving your lips feeling smoothe and moisturized to the max!
This beautifully designed piece is such a show stopper and it’s not just a pretty face! This oil from The Rose Tree is a luxury must have made with organic ingredients such as ylang ylang, lavender & apricot oil. Indulge yourself and soothe your body with this relaxing oil made with 79% organic goodies!
Scrub the day away with this fabulous body scrub from London Organic, made with 100% natural ingredients (wow!) It’s organic & vegan, paraben free and not tested on animals and sure to leave your skin feeling silky smooth! With the power of coconut, jojoba & vanilla this little pot smells incredible and really gives your skin a VIP treatment.
A beautifully designed and deliciously smelling gift that is sure to keep your Christmas spirits high. This popular soap comes in at a great price and is handmade in Dartmoor in a selection of amazing scents! Plus 5p from every soap bought gets donated to the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust, win win!
Don’t let the price put you off this amazing steal from Haeckels, a business that has the health benefits of the sea at it’s core. A truly amazing set that allows you to indulge in their famous facial from home!
It’s vegan, gluten & cruelty free and consists of the marine facial cleanser, seaweed + salicylic powder exfoliant, eco marine facial cream & rosehip + seaweed suspension 3.5%. A donation from each set bought also goes to save the Manatee!
Lightly scented with pure lavender oil, this gorgeous butter will nourish your skin and leave you smelling delightful! With no parabens, glycols or silicones, its light consistency boats non greasy, 24 hour hydration for your skin.
The heavenly rose & jasmine body care set is the perfect gift to place under the tree this year, especially if you know someone who wants to kick start natural skincare! Infused organic ingredients such as passionflower, marigold and lemon balm, these stunning products are gorgeously packaged without taking a hit on the environment
Struggle to get those 40 winks? Never fear, This Works has developed a pillow spray that is guaranteed to help you get some much needed shut eye. The sprays contain their super blend of Lavender, Camomile and Vetivert but this set allows you to adjust the intensity to impact the kind of nights sleep you need each time!
10 great gift ideas that you can be sure have been lovingly made in Great Britain to a high standard that deliver incred results! Make sure to have a browse through their directory here to take a look at some of the other amazing brands in loads of different categories so that you can find something perfect for you and your loved ones this Christmas!
Jenni Ryynänen is a Finnish Image & Style Expert, Blogger and Speaker living in The Netherlands who wants to help you to develop your personal style and confidence through image consulting services that include wardrobe edits and personal shopping. Wild about accessories and fabulous basics. Believes that fashion belongs to everyone. Fascinated about the hidden messages we give with our style. Owns too many brocade coats. Must be caffeinated at all times. Loves autumn, sushi and Netflix.
There is not a soul who doesn’t know by now that sooner or later we will be drowning in fast fashion. Or will its toxic side product, pollution, get to us first. I haven’t quite decided which way I want to go down but let’s assume that on a long run people would still choose a healthy life over a glitter-bombed one-night stand with an outfit that cost less than a proper meal in a restaurant.
Please don’t think that I am a saint. I too have an array of fashion skeletons in my well-curated closet. There are clear traces of online sale shopping out of boredom. Evidence of high street prowls after liquid lunches. Discarded victims of fashion haul culture that serves literally just 1% of the population.
I am far from perfect but I strive to be better, and I would like you to do the same this holiday party season. In this guest blog I am sharing some stylish ideas on how to look amazing at every party without torturing the already overworked planet.
Shop your closet
If you are like me, your closet is probably bursting out of it’s seams but oddly you feel like you have nothing to wear. In this situation the answer is not to shop for new, but to sort out what you already own.
I offer this as a popular service called “Wardrobe Edits” but with the step-by-step free guide in my blog you can also do the work on your own. Get started in here.
The idea is to have fun and to discover new ways to wear what you have. My clients are always amazed how much they can actually get from so very little. You too can achieve that with just a little patience and some organizing skills.
I am sure you will find outfits to wear throughout the entire holiday season just by taking a deep look in your own closet. Remember that the most sustainable outfit is the one hanging in your closet.
Buy a second hand outfit
I have recently rediscovered second hand shopping. When I was young and had no money I was forced to drift shop. Going through racks of donated clothing in charity shops developed my style sense and showed me what a well-made garment really looked like. I am thankful for those style lessons that preceded my formal fashion education years later.
I forgot the habit for years but to my delight I am vintage shopping again. Nowadays there is more selection than ever before. You won’t believe the amount of almost new –or even brand new- items in second hand shops.
People simply buy more than they can possibly handle. As a result, you can profit from amazing finds for a fracture of their original price. I have also found second hand items that I missed for their original price, which was a thrilling experience for a fashion nerd like me.
Rent your holiday party dress
Sharing economy is big news right now. If we are already our renting homes and cars, then why not our fashion too. I recommend fashion rental services for people who have either a once-in-a-lifetime event, limited storage space or so many events that buying new would bankrupt them in no time.
Look for a local service to minimize transportation because your dress will have at least two trips. Check what type of dry-cleaning services they use. Opt for one that use exclusively eco-friendly dry-cleaners. Some fashion rental shops offer you the option to buy the items you really fell in love with. It’s like test driving a car before buying.
Think also if you want to rent from a curated collection at a central location rather than from someone’s personal wardrobe. One of the advantages is that their dresses come in multiple sizes. This way you don’t have to search for your fashionable body twin.
Swap frocks with your most stylish BFF
The advantage of having stylish friends is that they will always be happy to spill the fashion beans. If you have a good reputation, and the same dress size, they might be open to a clothes swap too.
I am often lending items to my friends, if not a dress, then at least accessories. My walk-in-closet is like the shop that opens when all the other shops are closed. Just a bit more interesting!
Dive in your friend’s closet but remember to be nice. Return the items in pristine condition and offer to replace damaged goods. If your partying can’t take a vintage Versace, don’t swap a vintage Versace. Go a few price brackets down. The idea is to keep this good thing going on for years.
Wear what you wore last year
This is a tough one and almost unthinkable. Who in their right mind would wear the very same outfit they wore to the last year’s party? In reality nobody will remember what you wore last year. Especially, if in every single photo some in that aforementioned glitter-bomb stands in front of you.
I have been to many events in one and the same Little Black Dress and, while it’s painstakingly stylish, it’s also kind of invisible. People tend to remember me and not what I wore. Coco Chanel said: “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman”. I think she was really onto something!
This option will save you loads of time, money and effort. Just repeat what was fabulous last year. Simple as that.
Christmas is right around the corner and although we are all starting to buy the expesnive gifts that rest under the tree, we sometimes forget those poor stockings that just want a little attention.
I’ve collaborated with the lovely Rhiannon over at MrsSleeJones to bring you our Christmas themed posts just in time for your shopping! With more stocking filler ideas in her post which you can check out here!
So let’s get started, this isn’t a paid ad or anything like that for Boots (I’m not that popular yet!) I just do a lot of my make up/skincare shopping there and there is soooo much choice!
All these items can be purchased online and they currently have a Black Friday sale on, so here are my 10 gorgeous stocking fillers from Boots each £10 or under!
Love, love, love this! I mentioned this in post over at Roccabox a few months ago, easily my favourite lip balm of all time. It’s packaging is so adorable and colourful which makes it great for kids! Currently at the bargain price online of £4.33, do they look like mini baubles? You decide…
I was going to leave this one until the end but it was to exciting! It’s currently on offer at £8.33 and they are selling online fast! In these gorg metallic colours they are so perfect for the festive season and the fact they are Harry Potter themed, just screams Christmas time!
Another personal fav of mine, I’ve had these in quite a few colours over the years. With a selection to choose from they are perfect for a long lasting matte look that really stays! I would choose ‘Sandstorm’ or ‘Soft Spoken’ – I’ve 100% owned about 5 ‘Sandstorms’ in my time cause I love it so much! Get yours now for £5.60.
The gorgeous neutral shades on this mini palette with a touch of glitter is want you want for this festive season. The colours on this NYX palette are stunning and full of warmth to keep you cosy this winter. At another bargain price of £5.60, don’t you just love deals?
The chilly weather is all about pamper nights in with the girls and what better way to do it then with not one but five maks! This dream team from Soap & Glory is exactly what you want to find in your stocking and you can grab yours for £8.33 but hurry, it’s trending!
Unreal Christmas vibes from this little bauble of joy, Fenty Beauty has released a limited edition version of their Fairy Bomb Glitter Pom Pom into this adorable collectable for festive season only! 100% cruelty free and smelling like vanilla, this will glitz the body and make your loved one feel like the true christmas star they are! Grab it for the stocking at £8.00 today!
Keeping in with the festive theme, this adorable bath bomb from Pretty Suds is sure to send your loved one into a winter wonderland, minus the cold weather! Give them the gift of some ‘me time’ and let them enjoy the bath bomb show when they pop this in, grab it for £4.00!
Scrub away the day with this fab body scrub from Soap & Glory! Say goodbye to dry and rough winter skin and makes someones day by popping this in their stocking, who says we can’t prep for summer a little early? Now for £6.30!
A totally gorgeous gift that smells incredible, any one would be jumping for joy on Christmas morning if they found this in their stocking! Infused with natural and ethically sourced oils and extracts, treat your loved ones to luxury and grab it for £9.99!
It’s true that gift sets get a bad name but not all are awful. This delicious Ted Baker 3 spray set is currently on offer at £10.00! Ideal to pop in your hand bag without carrying around your expensive perfume, a quick spritz of these and you will be smelling lush, get it in that stocking!
And there you have it guys and gals, I hope you have an amazing Christmas and get your shopping in early! Dont forget to follow us and keep up to date with Rhiannon via the links below xo
How To Utilise Your Social Media Insights For Beginners
Know Your Reach From Your Impressions & Use These For Optimum Scheduling & More!
Hey all! If you’re here it’s because you’ve finally decided to press the analytics & insights link on your social accounts and brave all those numbers and stats.
I can hear you all now, “What the HELL am I looking at? Impressions? Reach? Organic?! What is this foolery!”
Okay, maybe you didn’t say it quite like that but you see a lot of beginners to social media marketing, from new businesses to bloggers, that aren’t always social media savvy and not everyone knows how to use their insights, let alone what half of it means.
I want to mention whilst I’m here that we will be looking more at tracking the ongoing analytics of your socials and content and less on campaign metrics, we will touch on it a bit however.
Beginners (and you know what, a lot of intermediate folks) tend to focus more on how great they want their content to be, which isn’t a bad thing and is 100% important.
But you want the most possible engagement out of it, right? You want to know what works and what doesn’t? You want to get to know your audience? And most importantly, you want that sweet ROI.
How To Operate Insights/Analytics On 3 Major Platforms
Storing Post Related Data To Plan Your Schedule
Using This Data For Scheduling
It’s good to remember that if you have just started a social account, data can take over a week to initially appear so bare with it, pens & paper at the ready!
Dictionary: Dechiperhing The Lingo
Now with the power of search engines, you could Google each and every one of these words as you go, but ain’t nobody got time for that, we’ve got empires to build! So I’ve done the hard work for you and below you will find the meaning for each word in the insightsphere that you need to know.
R.O.I example – you’ve run a boosted post on Facebook for £20 and it runs for 5 days. Once the 5 days is up, you need to measure the results of this campaign and if it has delivered said results with the £20 you placed on this post.
These results could be ‘x’ amount of website clicks, ‘x’ amount of sales or something simple as ‘x’ amount of likes on the post. The return could be measured in many ways depending on your goal for this campaign.
For large businesses they want to make sure the money they are investing in this is giving them the results they want, usually in the form of earning the spend back and then some from sales.
Another one I couldn’t fit on there was Campaign, I wanted to just keep it to the basics but as this is insights for beginners, I wanted to make sure I covered things I wasn’t sure of when I first started out.
A campaign is a coordinated marketing plan and the subsequent content has an end goal in mind, it can be live on various social media platforms. They are strategic plans with a heavy focus on specific targeting and reporting back the resulting data measurements.
How to Operate Insights/Analytics On 3 Major Platforms
If you’ve been here before, you will know that I’ve only been blogging for just over 2 months and although I have two other social accounts that I have built up for years before this, Twitter is something I’m newer to in a sense of brand promotion.
Having done a marketing degree and worked in social media, I have an awareness of what to look for and how to build my profile organically for the most part so I have been able to figure it out solo, for most beginners that luxury isn’t always available.
I also want to admit that up until about 6 months, I slated Twitter. I didn’t see the pull and I thought it’s only true use was allowing us to see inside the ridiculous and yet frightening brain of Donald Trump.
Nowadays however, I wouldn’t be where I am without it and I use it more than Instagram, which is saying something for me.
To access your analytics dashboard your Twitter account needs to be at least 14 days old, not be breaking any rules (naughty, naughty) and not be suspended, of course.
On your desktop version, click the left sidebar and press ‘More’ and from there click ‘Analytics’. On your app you can get individual Tweet analytics, but only if you have an iPhone with the latest Twitter update.
Let’s start by looking at my analytics dashboard for Twitter in this lovely image below shall we?
The first thing you will see on the dashboard is this 28 day summary which is ideal for a monthly overview. Now remember the dictionary from before, we can now use that in conjunction with this to see how we’ve been doing.
Twitter I’ve found out is the easiest out of the three to get engagement fast and maintain this because of its short time span on content. Tweets get an average of 20 seconds to make an impression so timing is so key, we will cover more on that later.
You can see that my data is all in the green which makes a lovely surprise, you can also see straight away I’ve tweeted more on average in the last 28 days which has resulted in more impressions, profiles visits, mentions & followers.
You can’t click on these numbers for anymore data but you don’t need to really, you’ve got what you need there. Notice the little graphs underneath, you don’t need worry too much about these but it’s good to see what’s been consistent and what’s fallen.
You can see on mine there was a spike in visits, impressions & tweets at some point earlier on in that 28 day period. Whilst impressions then carried on sailing straight, there was a drop in the other two. Followers are constantly on the up and mentions did a small spike previously.
Here your dashboard gives you a month by month breakdown, we’re 12 days into November as of this print screen and we can see all the data in that 12 days such as 31.9k impressions & 146 new followers.
What I like about Twitter analytics is it also highlights your top tweets and top mentions. Having your top tweets is SO GOOD for content generation purposes as I have a clear understanding of what my followers engage with, Twitter is very writer friendly so posts about collabs/guestposts are always popular.
Scroll a little futher and it gives you your top media tweet & your most popular follower of that month so far. You can also expand on this to show in more detail the actual activity of said tweet as you can see below.
Let’s have a look across the top menu bar and select ‘Tweets’, It will open a separate section focused solely on, you guessed it, your individual tweet activity.
The data here shows the impressions of your tweets each day represented by these bars. I must of been on a mad one on October 28th because that skyrocketed!
You can see it’s pretty plain sailing with some days being stronger than others, when you hover over the bars it gives you details of the organic impressions on that day and how many tweets you posted.
Directly underneath you can see individual results of tweets and top tweets, so as an example of impressions etc here is my most popular tweet! It was a meme about Brexit which was very amusing if I do say so myself and it got me a lot of results.
However this had a trending hashtag and a meme so I don’t want to flex too much over here. You can just have an idea of what the data means, 8449 accounts were reached, 1116 users engaged with it and this resulted in an engagement rate of 13.2%.
This percentage equation is engagement rates divided by impressions x 100. I wanted to show you an example below as well of 2 tweets, one with a low engagement but high impressions and vice versa, just to show you that it exists and that more impressions don’t always mean more engagement!
To the right of all of this data we have more info on our engagements via different measurements and their daily numbers. Handy to know, it really is just information to keep you in the loop and this won’t necessarily help you with content future planning.
For the nature of this post, I don’t want to go too deep down the Twitter analytics rabbit hole as we have a lot to cover, but if you go across to audiences there is also some useful data here if you are planning a campaign sometime soon.
I haven’t done too much with mine, I only dip in now and again. If you’re just starting, I wouldn’t worry too much about this to start but I would 100% have a look at it at some point and see if there is anything you can use.
Also quick side note, I’ve done some more digging and it looks like you can’t change that audience from US to anywhere else unless you are doing a tailored audience for your campaign. Which is slightly annoying when you live in the UK and you just want to know how many people over HERE like dogs…
Now I will always be real when it comes to marketing and how my engagement is across the board. I’m not famous, I’m not a powerhouse brand and I only started this account 2 months ago.
I schedule posts everyday based on insights and my engagement is very varied, I don’t get most of my blog traffic from Facebook and I’m okay with that, it’s a work in progress.
To get this data you need to have a business/fan page you monitor, you can’t get it for your profile. I’ve had mine since 2008 so you can just IMAGINE all that history backed up and I’m just one person out of 2.37 billion!
For the purpose of this guide, we will jump straight into post data as this is the most relevant information for your content generating and scheduling. Your dashboard will give you an overview of your pages activity which can be shown as Today, Yesterday, 7 days or 28 days.
The first thing you will come across how often your fans are online, this is just what you need to help you schedule your content so it’s very useful data to monitor and utilise.
That being said, see that little bit of text at the top about it being shown in Pacific time zone? Yeah. So once again, the Americans get to have all the fun and the UK is left in it’s rainy, Brexit misery :(.
Not all is lost however, you can make some pretty educated guesses with this information, especially when comparing it to when I post my content compared to what this tells me.
I know for a full on fact that over 100 of my fans aren’t online at 3 am unless they all happen to be insomniacs which common knowledge would tell me is highly unlikely.
In comparison, I also know engagement doesn’t drop to it’s lowest at 6 pm, as that’s when everyone is scrolling after work and when I’ve had some of my highest engagement rates.
So I have to manually check and see what time that would be here in the UK, for example 4 am in Pacific time zone where the majority of my fans are active, is 12 pm which is lunchtime in GMT which makes sense.
Oh, that’s another thing if you were unsure the UK falls in Greenwich time zone, so we’re GMT baby. It’s a quick fix but annoying none the less and from what I have looked into you can’t change this for insights. What you can do is change it on Ads Manager, but that’s a whole different space to discuss.
By looking across at Post types, you can see which kind of content gets the most engagement. As you can see mine needs some work, but it’s an example of more data that you can utilise.
Okay so here is a section of my most recent posts, below you can see snippets of what those coloured bars all represent. What’s important here especially with the issue of Pacific time zone is the time the post went up to the left, so you can use this to help with your scheduling.
The columns represent in order: time & date, post, post type, targeting, reach, engagement and an option to pay to boost this post. Below I’ve added some examples of what happens when you change your reach data via the dropdown.
This is just a way to view different data in the same place, it’s ideal to know especially if you planning a campaign with a particular end goal in mind.
Top left you can see an example of a post that was boosted and the resulting reach. I never boosted my posts that much so my reach isn’t very extravagant but you get the idea.
When double clicking the post example, you will be able to see more data for said post, like in the example below.
There is a lot of data knocking about on Facebook insights, to the left you have a menu of each section in more detail. For this how to guide I just wanted to focus on this section as it has all the data you need as a beginner for your content.
I also have to admit I haven’t found the time to draw up a decent Facebook marketing strategy/campaign in a while or put a lot of focus there as it isn’t my main source of traffic, being a one woman team can be tough sometimes so there will be sacrifices.
I have 176 fans on Facebook, it’s nothing compared to Twitter and not a scratch on Instagram. Facebook is notoriously hard to grow on organically unless you are a well known brand with more things to give away.
We’re nearly at the end of our first section, It’s a lot to take in but it will all be worth it in the end when you understand why all this is so important! Now I’ve had my Instagram since 2012 and only in the last few months have I started using it for business also.
You find it happens a lot with bloggers especially if they already have a base, growing your ‘gram from scratch organically is also hard and I wasn’t going to do that again!
First things first, you can only see this data if your account is a business account but making the switch is so easy via your settings. What it does mean however is you can’t be private, so it’s your call really but this data is important!
The first thing you will see on your profile is your profile visits from the last 7 days, tap this and you get to the main page of your analytics.
Once you are there you’re got a few sections you can wander through so now it’s time to navigate! There is Content, Activity & Audience at the top and by default content is open first, here you will have your posts, stories & promotions on display.
It will show you your latest posts and automatically the little number with the eye is the reach of your post. Tap Activity and you will see what’s been going on with your profile
You can see your discovery, which is how many accounts saw your content and where they found it. There is also your interactions which shows you the actions taken on your account in a certain amount of time.
Now we’re getting into audience data, arguably the most important especially when we get to days and times of online users!
You are shown first a graph of your growth in terms of followers, this is based on one week and you can move the bar to represent each day. So on Sunday, 12 people followed me, 1 unfollowed me (whyyyyyyy) so overall my growth was 11.
Then we dive into audience data, I spent the last 4 years living in Leeds so it makes sense that’s where the majority of my followers are based. Congleton is my hometown so second largest would also make sense and then dabbling into surrounding areas.
London is a random one, but I’m not complaining! Age range again self explanatory, you can also toggle this to show just men or women but I don’t care about that so it’s always on all for me.
There is also a graph showing which gender is more prominent within your follower base, now for me again this doesn’t really matter as my profile is business and personal so I’m expecting a mix of both and don’t target one specifically, it’s what’s underneath that I’m really excited about…
…why your followers average online times of course, what did you think I was on about! This section is easily the one I focus on the most because this is what helps me schedule content at the right time on certain days – as you can see Mondays are most popular.
Research tells me that Instagram bases this data on the time zone represented by your phone time & date settings, so let’s do a little happy dance and all laugh at Facebook for not switching up their game.
Using Tuesday as an example, you can toggle this to read either hours or days so above we’ve got Tuesday hourly data, make sure you tap the bars for individual numbers.
So you can see at what time on a Tuesday the majority of your followers are online, looks like between 6-9 pm which would make sense. You can see this gradually grows from lunchtime.
This little section helps me plan my content every week in conjunction with other bits of data. If you go back to the content section of your insights you can click on all posts and look at these in more depth also.
Those drop down bars can be changed to show exactly what you need to see with your posts. By pressing ‘all’ you can choose to show a select few posts, ‘reach’ will drop down to show you every single measure you can think of, below is an example Impressions.
Again this is all useful especially if you measure historical data or do comparisons on posts but since mine is mainly personal, this information is not as crucial to me as followers activity.
Phew, you can now be safe in the knowledge that the extensive part is over! Take some time away from the screen and we can jump into the next section.
Storing Post Related Data To Plan Your Schedule
So you’ve had a look around and you’ve familiarised yourself with all they have to offer. I want to take this opportunity to say that I know what you’re all thinking, “but Katt, you’re a blogger, where’s Pinterest?!”
Good question, I don’t use Pinterest that much just yet. It’s on my to-do list to teach myself more about how to use this platform and utilise its data for my blog. Until that time, I don’t know enough about it to teach you but there are loads of guides online so make sure to check them out after this!
When you’ve got all those numbers bouncing around for your content it can be tough to keep track of it all to see your ROI, paid or organic (your time and energy can still count as an investment!)
With Facebook & Twitter you can download this data into a spreadsheet, I know what you are thinking and yes I thought the same too, spreadsheets are dull af.
BUT learning the basics is easy and can you move this info around and present it in a manner of your choice. You can make selections for what chunks of this you want to download, I’ve chosen post data for the last week on Facebook and Tweet data on Twitter for the last week – make sure to download these in CSV files to open in Google sheets/excel.
Storing – Facebook Example
Now as a beginner you probably won’t be needing to present this to clients anytime soon so let’s look at storing methods for yourself. I’m using Google sheets as I think its the best way to store & report, it’s also free you just need to make an account!
At first, this is going to look a little messy so don’t panic. You need to go through and expand columns and delete bits as appropriate. Don’t need to know the post type? Get rid. Countries? Delete. Anything that’s going to clutter this up needs to go, it will be a work in progress until you get it how you need it.
You need to have an idea of what you want to track so as to know what you need to keep and what to delete. As a starting point, I would do two separate tabs and have one called ‘paid’ & one called ‘organic’.
Now if your focus isn’t so much on results from paid posts then just stick to a tab called ‘Organic’ for now.
Maybe add a little more detail such as ‘Organic Facebook Post Data Nov 7th-14th,’ yes it’s a mouthful but I’ve learnt the hard way what happens when there’s no organisation or labelling with data.
Everyone will have their ideas of what’s important to track and how they want to organise it, you can see the transformation in my example below.
I’ve kept the titles as they are for now and added some colour because I can’t help myself. This is now a million times easier to read and there is a focus on the important/correct data based on your goals.
From here you can carry on to create more tabs and organise them in sheets tracking this week by week and categorizing this how you see fit, here is an example of how you could do this.
Here is your sheet title & sheet sections at the bottom. This can then be saved to a folder of your choice, again you can see an example below:
Do the same for all your socials until you’ve got the data stored how you want it ready to extract information from it to track. Understand this can be a time consuming job but it’s good practice to get into, especially if you ever need to present this information.
You can download Twitter data in the same way and use the same technique as Facebook, but for Instagram it’s a little more leg work. You can download some types of data, but you have to send a request to Instagram via the desktop version and wait up to 48 hours for a link in your inbox.
I don’t know about you guys but I can do this faster solo, so it’s time to open up analytics and have your data ready ’cause we’re gonna start out mini review of the key takeaways of allll these numbers.
Using This Data For Scheduling
For personal use this information doesn’t need to be presented via in-depth report full of graphs, numbers and screenshots. We’re going to keep it simple and I will show you how I manually track my insights/analytics.
I will say there are tools out there that do track and report for you and lot’s of different aspects of your insights you might want to track and monitor. But for an individual I find it so much easier to do it my own way manually for the purposes of content planning.
So I’m going to take my stored data and pick out the most popular pieces of content from each platform for that week and put these into separate tabs for each one.
Each platform will need different categories as some don’t apply to others. The shame about Twitter in terms of audience data is that it doesn’t show you the most optimal times and days for your audience to be online.
You have to measure it based on a mix of what gets traction with your content & in depth posts by marketing big players who gather this kind of data for your disposal, I will add a link towards the end.
From the table you can see what’s working and what isn’t and from there you can plan when you will be scheduling your content.
For example I know I’m going to schedule a tweet for Monday lunchtime again with relevant emoji’s, hashtags & images and make it about an achievement of that week.
I might decide to do that as standard every Monday lunchtime and track the progress of that type of content.
With a similar layout to Twitter, Facebook has extra space for audience data and different categories. Like above I have gathered the data from the download and placed it into a separate table for a more accurate breakdown of information.
I had to input Instagram’s data manually, but it isn’t that time consuming when you are only covering a small period of time at once. Again you’ve got specific category listings and audience data below.
You’ve now got your insights/analytics from the week before, stored and presented in a way that you can understand them and from this, take out what you need to plan your content for the week ahead!
Remember the link I mentioned? Check it out – Sharable.
Please note, mixing data like this with your own data can be messy so make sure you use it as a guide and like it says in the post, it’s all about the trial and error. Track your results for a few weeks to see what works and what doesn’t
This is why planning content weekly is is important, what could have been a big hit 3 weeks running, might not have the same impact the 4th week. You have be always on top of trends and planning to get your content noticed.
I spend a lot of time organising and colour coordinating this information because I find it easier to understand. Don’t feel like you have to go to this length of details as long you take the basics from this you could have a basic word document with days of the week and times, not a problem.
This guide is in depth to provide you with everything you need and to take away as much or as little as you want! The final guide in this series will talk you through scheduling your content, it will be shorter than these last two.
That’s it, guys! Make sure to bookmark this for future use & don’t forget to leave comments below to let me know what you think! x
This is my first ever blog focused nomination, I have been kindly nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by this angel Scripturient Blogger – have a look at her nomination over here !
So, What Is The Sunshine Blogger Award?
The blogging world is massive which some might think means it is lonley, not the case. Everyone is so supportive of eachother it’s actually eye opening and people can learn a lot from bloggers about teamwork, support and friendship. The Sunshine Blogger Award reconigses those in the community who post regular content and explore creativity, it is a reward for thier hard work, blogging isn’t as easy as it sounds.
1. Make sure you thank who nominated you and provide a link to thier website/blog. 2. Answer their 11 questions. 3. Nominate 11 different bloggers and ask them 11 new questions. 4. Tag the nominees via your blog/social media or both so they know they have been chosen! 5. Introduce the award, list the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.
Questions I Was Asked
Do you have any specific goals for the rest of this year?
This is a tough one really, when I started this I didn’t really have a lot of goals I just wanted it to grow and work on my writing skills. I guess now the goal is to continue to grow on social media, 2k followers on Instagram & 1k followers on Twitter
Have you ever done any volunteering?
Well this is just going to make me sound like a bad person :(. I did some in the army cadets when I was say 15? I have been wanting to do bits in recent times but always found myself working constantly and never finding the time, perhaps that needs to change.
How do you relax after a hard day of work?
Relax? What’s that? I only really relax at weekends and even then that’s only on Sundays! I guess a long shower or bath and pamper session, you can forget the world for a short while in the shower.
If you could live forever would you?
It’s funny you should, ask you get older someone of do start to fear death more frequently and if you’re like me you panic you arent spending enough time doing the important things. But I think living forever would be tough, you would always be watching the people you love aound you die and the potential shit hole the world will be when A.I rises and takes over the planet…I like Terminator, okay?
Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
It is currently just my hobby.
What fad or trend do you hope comes back?
Blue hair mascara! Just kidding, I was apart of the the ‘Scene Kid’ scene back in the day and reliving some of those memories would be fun, although I doubt anyone would want to razor thier fringe in anymore!
What is your most prized possession?
This one is easy and a little lame but my bottle of Coco Chanel Madaomoiselle, It cost nearly £100 and is only sprayed on special occasions, It also has sentimental value. My degree is cool though too, I guess…
What piece of entertainment do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience for the first time again?
Okay there’s a few:
Enter Shikari Take to the Skies 10 year anniversary show at Slam Dunk in Leeds 2017 – fucking incredible.
Skrillex at WHP in 2012.
Watching the final Harry Potter movie at the midnight showing in 2011.
Watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle on the hour for the first time.
What quirks do you have?
I own like 15 scrunchies all in different colours and I wear a different one pretty much every day, I doubt it’s something anyone notices however.
What state or country do you never want to go back to?
I liked all the countires I’ve been too and I guess in the UK it would be a county or a city? My answer is a town called Aylesbury. Nothing wrong with it in itself but if you know me you know why, I have bad memories attached to that place.
What would you say to someone who wants to start their blog?
Blogging is so freeing, even if people don’t read it (which they will eventually) you feel like you can really expressive yourself which is great and can be so uplifitng. I would bare in mind how much time it actually takes however, you will be managing your social media and website all at the same time!
The Questions I Ask You
You get the oppurtunity to learn a new skill tomorrow, no strings attached, what is it?
If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What’s your favourite genre of music, yes you have to pick one!
What is an unpopular opinion that you stick by?
What is your dream job?
Your favourite internet meme?
Cats or Dogs? It’s go time!
Who is your favourite celebrity and why?
Name three things you want out of 2020?
Tell me your favourite quote of all time?
What is one top tip you would give to someone who is on the fence about blogging?