9 Tips to Use Twitter More Effectively for Your Blog or Business / Twitter for Blog & Business / hellorigby seattle lifestyle blog

9 Tips to Use Twitter Effectively For Your Blog

5th March 2015

If you’re new around here, you may not know that Twitter is my favorite social media platform. I created my first Twitter account 7 years ago in college. It was definitely not the account I use now, but was one I specifically for school. We would have Twitter Chats (before they were called that) and live tweet some of the material we watched during class. We were even graded based on participation.

Now I use Twitter largely as a marketing platform for myself and my blog. I don’t always have as much time as I’d like to be able to chat and participate. Yet even when I’m not at my desk or have my phone handy to be tweeting, I’m still “there.” When I started blogging, I started a brand new account with no followers. Slowly in a year and a half, I’ve grown my following and finally feel more confident in my “Twitter Routine.” Here’s how I’ve done it.

9 Tips to Use Twitter More Effectively for Your Blog or Business / Twitter for Blog & Business / hellorigby seattle lifestyle blog

9 Tips to Use Twitter More Effectively For Your Blog

1. Schedule posts in advance, so even when you’re away, you’re really not.
Consistency is key, and I personally love Buffer to help me do this. When I went on vacation in January, I had scheduled out the entire week I was gone plus some extra. You can use Buffer for free for 10 posts at a time, or it’s $10 a month for 100 posts. I also like that Buffer has suggested posts to help me on days when I’m a little low on content to share.

2. Twitter chats.
Admittedly I don’t participate as much as I would like to, but these are a great way to get connected with new bloggers and creatives. For fashion bloggers, I love #StyleChat (Wednesdays, 12pm PST). For creatives, there is #CreateLounge (Wednesdays, 5pm PST). For beauty bloggers, try #BeautyChat (Fridays, 11am PST).

3. Tag people, but tag them correctly.
I hate to be the Twitter police, but SO many bloggers tag people the wrong way. If your tweet looks like this:

The only person who will see it is the people that follow both Cat and I. This is totally fine in this situation because Cat and I were having a conversation. Also, please don’t tag someone at the end of your tweets when you’re having a conversation. It’s really hard to read in your timeline when you can’t see context. This, on the other hand, this was a tagging fail:

This, on the other hand, this was a tagging fail:

In this instance, Old Navy was trying to have a conversation, but because they didn’t space the username properly, their entire audience saw this customer service fail. Oops.

If you want to tag someone at the beginning of a tweet, do it like this, with a period before the tag:

OR, just restructure your tweet, like this:

4. Check your analytics to see what your followers really like.
By keeping up with your analytics, you can see which tweets are most favorited, retweeted, and clicked on. You also can get some information about your folowers, like their main interests, their general age range, location, and gender. Not surprisingly, 87% of my followers identify as female, 8% are from Seattle, and their interests include shopping, fashion, and beauty.

5. Have genuine conversation!
Twitter is all about engaging and chatting… well, in 140 characters or less! But that’s my favorite part of it – asking questions, getting answers and building friendships.

6. Utilize photos when sharing blog posts.
I, like a lot of others, are visual people. When I see an interesting photo, I’m much more likely to click on your tweet, and thus click on your link. I always try to include a photo when possible with my tweets.

7. Share others content.
The beauty of Twitter is quickly and easily sharing others content. Love an article about Gilmore Girls? Tweet it out! Tag the author, and you’re sure to put a smile on their face.

8. Use hashtags when appropriate, but don’t get too crazy.
Twitter is searchable without the # in front, but using certain hashtags like “#bbloggers”, “#fbloggers”, or “#vloggers” can help you reach a new audience who follows those hashtags. Ironic hashtags are always fun in my book too, I use “#thestruggleisreal” and #sorrynotsorry fairly often. ;)

9. Most of all, have fun.
Twitter shouldn’t be taken SO SERIOUSLY all the time. Having fun and tweeting quips, silly  PSAs, and dumb stuff your dog/kids/SO did is important too. I follow you on Twitter because I like you and I want little sneak peeks into your life outside of your blog.

What are some of the ways you’ve been using Twitter for your blog, yourself, or a business? I’d love to hear about it!


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10 Things You Should Know about Shiba Inus from a Shiba Owner / hellorigby seattle lifestyle and dog blog

10 Things You Should Probably Know About Shiba Inus

3rd March 2015

They’re cute and they’re fuzzy. They kind of look like foxes, wolves, coyotes, and dingos. But they’re anything but your “average” dog. From day one, Rigby has brought about so many questions. From the “what breed is that?” to the “I want one!” responses, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned about the Shiba Inu temperament, and other things I think you should probably know if you’ve ever considered owning one too.

10 Things You Should Know about Shiba Inus from a Shiba Owner / hellorigby seattle lifestyle and dog blog

10 Things You Should Probably Know About Shiba Inus (From a Shiba Inu Owner)

1. They’re independent, and they’re not afraid to show it.
RIgby is incredibly smart. But ask him to do a down stay and actually obey without a reward? Forget about it. Along with the intelligence comes the ability for him to decipher when obeying a command is actually worth his time.

2. Be prepared to deal with dog to dog snarkiness, and potentially aggression.
I wouldn’t characterize Rigby or the Shiba Inu breed in general as being typically dog aggressive. Snarky? Absolutely. Prefer personal space? Most definitely. Intolerant? For sure. Rigby has never appreciated other dogs in his business and this is something that we’ve had to be very careful about. But with age came a disinterest in spending time around other dogs. He just prefers the company of his people and very short amounts of time with other dogs. Push it and you could have a real problem.

3. They’re really not ideal for families with  young children, at least as puppies.
They’re the cutest puppies, and for good reason. They’ll bite the crap out of you. Seriously. I remember one day distinctly when I thought my dog had it out for me. We were just sitting on the floor playing, he came up, latched onto my arm, bit down and wouldn’t let go. Yowch! He got a time out and I had a fat bruise from those little puppy teeth. Was he being aggressive? Ha, no way. He was teething and doing what puppies do best – exploring. This isn’t generally conducive for environments with young children considering this could really hurt a child.

4. Handling them? Forget about it. (Mostly.)
I know not all Shibas fall into this category, but handling Rigby is a nightmare. Trying to clip his nails? What a joke. He screams, cries, and if that doesn’t work, starts shaking and panting. It’s a ton of fun. Grooming him is equally as fun, as he hates to be brushed when he actually needs it (during a coat blow.)

5. Speaking of coat blow… Oh, the shedding.
I hope you don’t have dark carpets or love your all black wardrobe too much, because it will be dusted with a light coating of fluff year round. Rigby has distinctive coat blows where tufts and chunks of hair come off, but he also sheds on a fairly normal basis as well. It is my understanding that some of this depends on climate (we don’t get super distinct seasons in the PNW, but other regions do and I can’t speak to that.)

Shiba Inu Personality and Temperament Information / hellorigby seattle lifestyle and dog blog

6. Be prepared for anxiety issues.
Yes, anxiety can be a thing in dogs too. And it’s definitely not a breed trait. But, I’ve found in talking to other owners that Shiba tend to be very sensitive to environmental changes and may react more severely to certain stimuli than other dogs. Rigby, for instance, is terrified of going to the vet. He’ll shake and pant and would most definitely lash out if provoked. We now give him an anti-anxiety medication before we go to make us all happier.

7. Prepare yourself for a lot of really weird questions/interactions with strangers.
As I said above, Rigby is often (still) mistaken for a fox, a coyote, a wolf, a husky, and numerous other eye-roll-inducing critters. People have also done some really odd things around him, like try to scoop him up without asking, trying to scare him by jumping and yelling boo at him (seriously, what is wrong with adults?), and my favorite, yelling, “my dog is friendly!” while letting their dog charge him off leash. Stop it.

8. Make sure you purchase from a reputable rescue or reputable breeder.
With a good breeder, you have their support for life if anything ever goes wrong. A reputable rescue is invaluable to save the lives of dogs who would otherwise be euthanized, and also is a great resource for helping you through behavioral issues if your dog comes from a less than stellar background.

9. Resource guarding isn’t all that uncommon.
This was something surprising to me, but now after going through this with Rigby, I see it happen all the time. I’m sure you’ve seen a dog that won’t let other dogs come near a bone, tennis ball, or another special toy. That’s called resource guarding, and is something Rigby will do with high-value bones or bully sticks. He also used to do it with his food bowl. For him, it wasn’t very serious, and we caught it young and worked a lot with him on it. And from talking with other Shiba owners, it really isn’t that uncommon. Watch for the signs and work on it early and often.

10. Most of all, be prepared to ask for help.
Without the invaluable resources available on the great Internets like various Facebook groups for Shiba owners, the Shiba Inu Forum, the Nihon Ken Forum, and many other dog behavior websites, I probably would have gone a little insane. Reading threads of others who were once in my shoes was incredibly comforting as well as helpful to deal with problems as they arose.

Rigby the Shiba Inu Yawning / hellorigby seattle lifestyle and dog blog

Other things you may want to know:

Are Shiba Inus hypoallergenic?
No.

How much do Shiba Inus cost?
On the west coast, about $1,200-$1,500 at writing is to be expected for a pet-quality puppy. On the East Coast, I’d expect to pay a bit more, from $1,500-2,000 for a well-bred, health-tested, pet-quality puppy from proven parents. If this is too much for you, please adopt, don’t shop pet stores or online for a puppy. Supporting online pet brokers and purchasing pet shop puppies supports puppy mills and unethical breeding practices. And yes, even if they come with “papers” and are being sold at pet stores, they’re still from a puppy mill.

Do Shiba Inus bark?
While they don’t sit and bark just to bark, they definitely have a unique voice. Rigby will bark at the door when someone knocks or is behind the door to alert us. He will also bark if anyone walks in our back porch/yard area. He howls, yaps, yodels, cries, screams, and grumbles more often.

So by now I’m sure you’re wondering, “so why the heck did you get a Shiba Inu?” Well, for all of the above reasons. Whether you think it’s a turn off or not, Rigby has been the most difficult but most enjoyable thing I’ve brought into my world, and I wouldn’t change that.

Was having a certain breed of dog important to you? What do you wish you had known about your dog’s breed or personality beforehand? 


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February Shopping: What I Bought / hellorigby seattle fashion and lifestyle blog

February Shopping

27th February 2015

I can’t believe how fast this month flew by. It seems like just yesterday it was February 1st and now the month is basically gone. Shorter month meant I had less time to shop, right? Well, kind of. Since it was my birthday month, I splurged on Stitch Fix AND Golden Tote… it didn’t necessarily work out and I ended up staying under budget after all was said and done. Phew!

What I Bought

February Shopping: What I Bought / hellorigby seattle fashion and lifestyle blog

Chloe + Isabel – I bought this gorgeous Deco Fanfare Necklace back in December, but it just arrived at the beginning of this month after being back ordered. It’s a little more than I normally spend on “costume jewelry” but it’s lovely. – $44

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How to Get Free eBooks and Audiobooks - 7 resources / hellorigby seattle lifestyle and fashion blog

How to Get Free eBooks: 7 Resources

26th February 2015

For all of you non-bloggers and non-reviewers who want free books, this is your post. I get a LOT of free books with no strings attached through… email newsletter subscriptions! I’ve compiled a list of the 7 that I’m currently subscribed to, plus a few bonus ways to get free or heavily discounted books.

How to Get Free eBooks and Audiobooks - 7 resources / hellorigby seattle lifestyle and fashion blog

How to Get Free eBooks

BookGorilla: Probably my favorite newsletter subscriptions for books… because it’s crazy long. I generally don’t check it every day or scroll through the whole email, BUT if you’re in the mood for some free or cheap books this is the one to get. When a book’s price goes back up, the photo automatically grays out so you know to not bother clicking through to an expired deal.

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Smooth Made Simple - Smooth, Straight Hair with Style Made Simple & Walmart / hellorigby seattle fashion and lifestyle blog

How to Get Smooth Straight Hair

24th February 2015

Sponsored Post
I’m not a curly girl, but my hair is not quite straight either. It tends to like to hang out between kinked straight hair and beachy waves… with a little frizz and a few flyaways thrown in for good measure.

Over the years, my hair has changed quite a bit in terms of texture. I used to have super wavy hair, it dried in these great waves and of course I didn’t like it then and now miss it terribly. These days, my goal with my hair is generally to get it looking smooth and frizz-free, especially when the rainy season hits! Seattle likes to throw a lot of mist and downpours my way when I’m least expecting it and, of course, hood free.

Smooth Made Simple - Smooth, Straight Hair with Style Made Simple & Walmart / hellorigby seattle fashion and lifestyle blog

TRESemme and Suave’s Style Made Simple line has been a huge help in getting my hair smooth and soft. I’m kind of obsessed with the shampoo and conditioner… I don’t know what magic is in there, but it’s basically the softest hair I’ve had in a while. I also noticed they’re not using any parabens and they’re using milder sulfates too. Soft hair and not-so-scary ingredients? Win-win.

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