About Philippa Willitts

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Podcast: Keyword research for SEO writing

I make a freelance writing podcast called A Little Bird Told Me. The episodes are hosted on podomatic, and I also publish them on my main freelance writing site, but it would make sense for me to post episodes that are relevant to social media, SEO and tech writing here, too.

So, the episode I made this week is all about how to carry out keyword research for SEO writing. Enjoy!

It will often be expected of you, as a freelance copywriter, to be able to not only carry out keyword research, but also to know how to use it in SEO copywriting. In this episode, I talk about the basics of undergoing keyword research, and also provides information about writing for SEO in a way that does not alienate site visitors.

This episode also contains a custom-made video especially for A Little Bird Told Me listeners. Find out how to carry out keyword research using the free Google AdWords Keyword Tool here.



Show Notes

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How to Add Your Own Photography to Pinterest (Video)

I have been studying an Open University short course in film making. For my final assignment I created a tutorial video about how to use Pinterest to showcase your own photography and artwork, rather than just sharing other people’s all the time.

If you are interested, I also had to create a Behind the Scenes video for the assessment.


Facebook Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet

As somebody who sometimes uses speech recognition software, keyboard shortcuts are an important part of my life! Even when I’m not using SRS, I still frequently choose to use my keyboard rather than my mouse to make my way through my Gmail messages and Google Reader, amongst other things.

It had never occurred to me that Facebook might have a set of keyboard shortcuts available, so once I found this infographic from mycleveragency, I just had to share it.

Facebook Cheat Sheet by mycleveragency
Facebook Shortcuts Cheat Sheet is an infographic that was produced by mycleveragency


Forget Building Backlinks, Earn Them Instead

A broad metal chain.

There is a lot of confusion nowadays about how to build backlinks and improve search engine results, after the Google Penguin update which started to penalise sites which were linked to from disreputable or spammy websites. Getting links to your site is still important, but the way it is done has had to change dramatically.

So, catching up on the SEOMoz blog, I was really impressed with this video they have produced, called The Death of Linkbuilding and the Rebirth of Link Earning. I would really recommend watching it all the way through, as there is some great advice and information for webmasters and SEOs alike.

The B2B Social Network: Get the Best Out of LinkedIn (Infographic)

LinkedIn is unusual amongst social networking websites in that it is primarily focused on careers and B2B networking. We discussed some of its idiosyncrasies in the latest episode of the A Little Bird Told Me podcast and we will continue the discussion in episode 3 (subscribe here to make sure you don’t miss it).

Power Formula have created the following infographic about LinkedIn usage, and it contains some really useful information about how to get the best out of the site.

Connect with me on LinkedIn here.

Linkedin Infographic
Via: PowerFormula for Linkedin Success


Facebook, Twitter, Google+ And Pinterest – Complete Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet [INFOGRAPHIC]

**Actual people, ignore this line, it’s a technorati claim code! : EJXAM8HYKW7K **

Designed by LunaMetrics, who also provided the following plain-text information:

Facebook Image Sizes

  • Cover Photo
    • 851 x 315 pixels
  • Profile Picture
    • 160 x 160 pixes
      • Must be uploaded sized at least 180 x 180 pixels
  • Distance between left boundary and profile picture
    • 23 pixels
  • Distance between top boundary and profile picture
    • 210 pixels
  • Profile Picture border size
    • 5 pixels
  • App Preview Image
    • 111 x 74 pixels
  • Distance between App preview images
    • 8 pixels
  • Total length of adjustable app preview images, with gaps
    • 349 pixels
  • Shared Image size on Timeline
    • 403 x 403 pixels
      • Up to 960 x 720 pixels in lightbox, can be uploaded up to 2048 pixels
  • Status Update
    • 63,206 characters
  • Link Preview
    • 90 x 90 pixels
      • Both Title Tag and Meta Description can be edited by clicking on the preview text
  • Highlighted Post/Milestone
    • 843 x 403 pixels
  • Profile Picture In Stream
    • 50 x 50 pixels
  • Shared Image In Stream
    • 398 x 298 pixels
  • Profile Picture on Facebook Sponsored Story Ads
    • 32 x 32 pixels
  • Sponsored Story Body Copy
    • 90 Characters
  • Sponsored Story Image Size
    • 194 x 139 pixels
  • Album Image Preview type 1
    • 129 x 129 pixels
      • Can show either 6 or 9 photos at this size
  • Album Image Preview type 2
    • 398 x 264 pixels
      • Three 129 x 129 pixel boxes underneath
  • Album Image Sizing type 3
    • 196 x 196 pixels
      • Two preview images
  • Facebook Ad Image Size
    • 100 x 72 pixels
  • Facebook Ad Title Copy
    • 25 characters
  • Facebook Ad Body Copy
    • 90 characters
  • Shared YouTube Video Preview
    • 130 x 73 pixels
  • Shared Facebook Video preview
    • 398 x 223 pixels

Twitter Image Sizes

  • Profile Picture
    • 128 x 128 pixels
      • Must be <700kb when uploaded, resized to 48 x 48 pixels in stream
  • Brand Banner
    • 835 x 90 pixels
      • Only available to select Twitter partners
  • Tweet Length
    • 140 Characters
  • Background Sizing (Visible space between left side and content)
    • 90% see 71 pixels
    • 65% see 199 pixels
    • 40% see 242 pixels
    • 20% see 279 pixes

Google+ Image Sizes

  • Cover Photo
    • 940 x 180 pixels
      • Can be animated using a .gif
  • Profile Picture
    • 250 x 250 pixels
  • Profile Picture border size
    • 5 pixels
  • Ribbon Photo
    • 5 x 110 pixels each
      • Can be animated using .gif’s
  • Profile Picture In Stream
    • 48 x 48 pixels
  • Shared Images
    • 497 x 373 pixels
      • Up to 2048 pixels in lightbox
  • Post length
    • 100,000+ characters
      • Cannot edit link Title Tags or Meta Descriptions

Pinterest Image Sizes

  • Profile Picture
    • 49 x49 pixels
      • Resized from 160 x 160 pixel profile picture
  • Pinned Images
    • 600 x Infinite pixels
  • Pin Description Length
    • 500 Characters
      • Can include hyperlinks

How to get more followers on Twitter

English: Tweeting bird, derived from the initi...

by Philippa Willitts. 
You can follow me on Twitter @PhilippaWrites

Every Twitter user wants more followers. Whether that is to look good to their friends, to have a wider audience to promote their business to or to find more interesting people to follow themselves, it is a common theme and one that is much discussed. There are easy ways to get many thousands of followers with little effort, and there are more complex ways to build followers gradually. While the former may seem like the obvious option, the latter is in fact a better choice for long term, engaged followers rather than spammy, vanity followers.

The Easy Way

It is possible to buy Twitter followers. On certain websites, many thousands of followers can be bought for just a few dollars, and those who want to impress by having 20,000 followers, compared to their friend’s 160, can do this easily, quickly and inexpensively. However, many of the accounts which will follow you in the hours after your purchase are spam accounts, fake accounts and accounts with no real person behind them. It may look good on your statistics but it will bring no added business your way and no interesting people to talk to.

The More Difficult Way

The alternative way to gain more followers is actually a good lesson in how to get the most out of Twitter. Look at your tweets from the last few days: if you were a stranger checking out your stream, would you honestly follow yourself? Have a look at your own account. Are you engaging with other Twitter users? Responding to others’ tweets? Re-tweeting others? Or are you just blasting out your own marketing message with no regard for the people who already follow you? Looking at your account in this way will help you to see whether or not you are an appealing prospect for other Twitter users to follow.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

If you are confident that you are engaging well with others and providing an interesting stream of information, you will have a lot more success in gaining new followers. If, on the other hand, you see that your tweet stream is predominantly self-promotion or auto-tweets then rather than starting to try and find new followers straight away, instead spend a few weeks focusing on improving the way you use the site. Talk to others, don’t self promote more than once in every 10 tweets and don’t be serious 100% of the time.

Once your account is looking better you can then start to court new Twitter prospects.

Make Conversation

One way to do this is to chat to more people on the site. This includes people who already follow you, as well as those who you would on your follower list. When people see how interesting and helpful you are they are more likely to follow your account.


Another trick is to follow more people yourself. Don’t do this in a mass, spammy way. Instead, choose people carefully who would enhance your account and people who your account will appeal to. If they get email notifications every time they get a new follower they may well check out your account straight away and follow you back.

Group Chats

Join in tweet chats. These are usually held at specified times, once a week or once a month, and they involve like-minded people having a discussion which is curated by the use of a relevant hash tag. So if your website is about freelancing, look out for Twitter chats for freelancers and make sure you participate in the next one. There is often a specified topic for each chat so make sure you will have interesting things to say and others will undoubtedly follow you as a result.


Use the Twitter search function to find other people who are discussing your favourite subjects. If you are passionate about wrestling, search on the Twitter website for the term “wrestling” and you will find all the recent tweets on the subject. Say hi to the people who seem to share your interests, follow them and see if they follow you back.

Clearly, all these ways are far more time-consuming than buying followers, and you will not gain thousands of followers overnight, but the people you to find and make connections with will be far more relevant to your own Twitter account, far more interested in what you say, and far more likely to engage with you. This is a much richer way of gaining new Twitter followers than simply giving someone a fiver and waiting for your numbers to fly high. It is, after all, a social networking website. It works best when people are sociable and networking with others. While buying followers is an easy ego boost, it requires no effort and is neither fulfilling nor useful.

You can follow me on Twitter @PhilippaWrites

The Science of Social Media Timing (infographics)

The more involved a person gets in social media, the more they will aim to work out the optimal times to transmit their messages. This is particularly true for those using it as a promotional tool, but anybody who enjoys a lot of engagement and many retweets and ‘likes’ will have noticed that there are certain times of the day or week when their followers are more likely to click their links and share them with their own followers.

The increase in popularity of services such as BufferApp is additional proof that people are aware of the power of timing in their social media posting. Using this service, a person can add tweets to be sent to their Buffer, and Buffer will spread them out and post them with strategic timing.

Dan Zarrella is a ‘social media scientist’, and while that might sound like one of those meaningless new job titles, it is one that he actually merits. His studies into the very specific factors which make a tweet retweetable, or a pin repinnable, are mind-blowing, not least in their detail. KISSmetrics got hold of some data by Dan, from a webinar he ran and turned it into three fascinating infographics.

It is worth noting that they are somewhat US-centric, as indeed is much of the web. Not only that, but while the information is incredibly well-researched and valuable, it should mainly be used to give you an idea of where to start with your own social media marketing, rather than as a set-in-stone blueprint. There is no substitute for observing and testing your own results and altering your social media promotions based on those observations – your target audience may well have different characteristics, and getting to know, and fully understand, those is what you need to do for the ultimate results in your own social media marketing.

However, that said, a lot can be learned from the following infographics, so use them as a springboard for streamlining your own social media, email marketing and blogging promotional efforts.

If you are looking for blog posts, web content or eBooks or in-depth reports about social media, hire me as your social media writer.

Harness The Power Of Pinterest To Attract Visitors And Backlinks To Your Site

Philippa's Social Media Pinterest boardPinterest is creating buzz all over the internet. This relatively new social networking site is based around its users sharing (“pinning”) images and videos from all over the internet. These images are pinned with a link to the source website embedded within them, so when a Pinterest user clicks on the image, they are taken to the website the image came from. Fellow users can then reshare (“repin”), comment upon, or “like” what has been posted, creating yet more backlinks to the original website.

Pinterest’s use as a source of backlinks is clear, yet many webmasters do not know how best to harness the power of this social media site. They are missing out! Pinterest is driving immense amounts of traffic, moreso even than Twitter, and its user numbers are expanding at an impressive rate. Ignoring this network means you are missing out on traffic, visitors to your site and potential customers.

So, how should a business promote themselves using Pinterest?

There are actually two stages in Pinterest self-promotion. The first is to create a Pinterest account for your business. The site is still invite-only, but invitations are relatively easy to come by. Once you have an account, create “boards” (like folders, themed and personalized) for different aspects of your business or website. Some examples might include:

  • artistic photos of your best-selling products (linking the product page)
  • photos of customers in the process of using your products (also linking to the product page, these are valuable backlinks)
  • aspirational photos – many people are using the network to post pictures they find which fit their ‘ideal house’ dream, or ‘perfect wedding’. Think creatively and build an aspirational board for your business too.
  • Don’t just self-promote. Like anywhere else on the web, you need to provide value to your visitors, so make your Pinterest account irresistible by filling it with wonderful content: from your own site and elsewhere.

The second stage is to make your website “pinterestable”, by which I mean encourage your site visitors to pin your images or videos.

If you already have links on each page of your website to “tweet this”, “like this on Facebook”, “+1” etc. (and you should have!), then add a “Pin this!” button too. Making it as easy as possible for your site visitors will increase the likelihood of them sharing your page. The “Pin this!” button can act like a call to action, reminding readers that they can share your page.

Additionally, make your images compelling. Whereas some users might pin a page purely for the quality of the writing, Pinterest’s focus being so strongly on the visual means that many users pin images purely for what they look like, regardless of the rest of the page. Making sure that every page of your site, and every blog post, has an image that people are likely to adore, and want to share with their friends, vastly increases your chances of getting “pinned”. If the image is really great, then it will be repinned numerous times, creating multiple backlinks to your website.

Having a website which users want to share on Pinterest presents you with a wonderful opportunity. Easy, good quality backlinks, as well as new visitors to your website, are within reach with just a little thought and planning. Ignoring Pinterest’s potential, on the other hand, will mean you are missing out. Early adopters always do the best on social networking sites, and although latecomers can still make an impact, the sooner a business owner can learn how to take advantage of a new form of social media, the better they tend to fare.

Check out my Writing Pinterest board and my Social Media Pinterest board.