How and Why to Use Bitly - A Guide

Welcome! This blog-post explains briefly what URL shorteners do (Bitly specifically), why you might use one, and additional resources at the bottom of this post.

A bit on URL's:

In a very generalized definition, a URL is just any web-address that you type into your Browser, to reach any online Website and generally follows the format:

What Bitly does:

Essentially, Bitly allows you to take a long URL or 'Link', and make it shorter. Take for example, this link from the Blog:

Bitly turns this longer link into:

Though the link looks different, it funnels people to the same place online, and take up much less digital space.

Why to Use Short Links (short URLs)

Some social platforms (Twitter for example) only give users a limited amount of characters to write their posts, and long links take up unnecessary space.

Bitly is also a helpful organizational tool for storing a number of websites in one spot online, which users can access from any internet connection or mobile app - anyone that posts a lot of links to social networks may find it helpful.

Use Bitly without an Account:

If you prefer not to sign up for an account at with Bitly you can still go to their Homepage at and enter any long URL you like to receive a custom Bitly one - They have a URL Shortening Tool directly on their Homepage - near #2 in the example image below.

How to Sign Up for a Bitly Account:

1) Go to
2) Click Sign Up - located in the image above next to the #1
3) Use Your Account of Choice to Create an Account - My example uses Twitter

Enter your Username and Password if you selected either Facebook or Twitter respectively to authorize Bitly for an auto-setup. Or you can also enter your Email information.

Account Overview Once Signed In

1: Paste your long URL's here
2: Click here to share your link to Twitter, Facebook or send via Email. After clicking the share button a window will appear to let you customize your post

3: Click here to 'Edit' the Properties of your Bitly Link
4: Click here to Archive your Bitly Link
5: Click here to copy your Bitly Link to your clipboard - It can then be pasted elsewhere
6: Displays the privacy settings of your Bitly Link
7: Displays statistics relating to your shared Bitly Link
8: User settings
9: Click any of these to organize your Bitly Links, check link statistics and others users in your network

One of many Cool Features:

One easy feature to customize your links in Bitly, is by clicking the 'edit' button and changing the ending of any of your created URLs

In other words, taking this faux short-link for example: - Bitly gives you the option to change that highlighted part at the end of the link, into whatever you want provided its not taken by someone else online - URLs need to be unique to work. So if the link above, connected to to a blog article about protecting Rainforests for example, you might change the ending of that Bitlink to or whatever else you might think of. To make this edit with any of your Bitly links simply click on the 'Edit Link' button from your Account overview page.

I hope this post was helpful and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. Otherwise Happy Holidays to all - Cheers!

Other Helpful Links and Related Web Pages / Services

Mobile Applications


*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the websites or companies listed in this post, which is intended for educational purposes. Thank you :)

Saving Web Pages for Later - Instapaper & Other Online Link Warehouses

This blog post takes a look at online link storage websites, who they are, what they do and how to use one of them specifically (Instapaper).

Have you ever been looking for something online and inadvertently come across a website by accident that has absolutely nothing to do with your current task, but would be great for later? Websites like Instapaper exist solely for the purpose of letting you save those web pages to an online warehouse, which you can return to later so that you can continue with your current task. In my own experiences exploring the many link storage websites out there (find a small list at the bottom of this blog post) - I found that was the most user friendly, works with a huge variety of other websites, has no storage limits and easily shares to just about anywhere.

Essentially it lets you hand pick the best websites you come across and save them to one place. It's a useful way to ensure that you always have relevant and engaging content to share.

How do you save links or other content to your Instapaper?

Instapaper works with lots of applications (140 iPhone, iPad & Android apps) which makes it a very useful and versatile storage tool that works with most major websites.

To Add Instapaper to your Chrome Browser

From Your 'Chrome' Browser (Click Here to Download Chrome), Instapaper makes it quite easy. They have a Chrome Extension you can upload from the Chrome Store, or you can simply drag and drop their 'Read Later' button to your browser tab from this page:

Once your 'Read Later' button is installed in your browser tab, you can just click that 'Read Later' button at any time to save the web page you're currently viewing.

Add to Instapaper via Email: When you sign up for an Instapaper account, they give you a personalized email address. You can then send or Forward emails to your Instapaper address, where they will show up in your feed to read later.
*Note: I'm not certain how well email attachments transfer to Instapaper, though I know you can easily create an IFTTT Recipe to mitigate this or just about any other issue imaginable. For more on the IFTTT website try their about page, here

Versatility & Compatibility:
One of the best things about Instapaper is that it works with a large variety of common Websites I use everyday. One site that works particularly well with Instapaper is Feedly, a great RSS organizer, though there are many others. Once Instapaper is set up as a Favorite or Bookmark on your iPhone or iPad you can save any site you're on directly from Safari, even tweets and articles attached to them.

Who Might Find it Helpful?
Anyone who does a lot of web surfing. Both as a hobby and professionally I'm in a constant search for interesting content, but as many Internet marketers have experienced, each social platform has different audiences and those audiences (followers) should be expecting a certain type of story from your account - and in my case this expected content does not overlap. For example, cute kitten pictures might work great on your Facebook account, but look weird on your Twitter, where you might consistently share content marketing links, or maybe political links for example . Instapaper is a great way to save websites which you may want to come back to later, so that you don't have to lose that ridiculously cute kitten picture for Facebook that you just accidentally came across, just Instapaper the website and use it later :).

For more concise information you can also check out Instapaper's Blog on Tumblr, or sign-up for a free account on Instapaper right now at

Instapaper is not the only link storage website out there, though it's currently my favorite. Check out any of links directly below to experiment with other sites which may work better for your Internet needs and please don't hesitate to ask any questions if you get stuck anywhere, I'll help where I can. I hope this web post was useful and that you have a wonderful rest of your day!

Other Online Link Storage Sites:
Yahoo Bookmarks

Further Reading:

I would also recommend the blog: Digital Inspiration for a list of useful bookmark and websites for your iPhone/iPad - Found at this link:

*Disclaimer: I do not work for, nor am I affiliated with in any way, the company - or any other companies listed in this blog post - just a fan.

How to Find Content to Share to Your Social Media Accounts

This blog post roughly covers news aggregators in general, what they are and how they can help you find and share relevant content for your respective online audiences.

You can find a list of different news aggregators to explore at the bottom of this entry, but the majority of this blog post will focus on the news aggregator: as an example, including: How to signup, add content and adjust your preferences.

A Bit on News Aggregators

News aggregator Websites (click here for the wikipedia entry) are essentially an online location, where you can organize, save and share a variety of your favorite news sources in one spot.

For example, if you like CNN, Fox, The Economist and Huffington Post, you can add each of these sources independently to your news aggregator and receive automatic updates about new stories from these sources in real-time as they are posted.

Essentially you would no longer have to search out articles to share from random places online - You could instead go to your Feedly (or any news aggregator you choose) and click through the various updates from your news sources.

A Quick Example from Feedly:

An example screenshot below shows added news sources on the left and the quantity of new updates available (highlighted) on the right.

If you were to click on one of the four news sources, a display window would open on the right hand side of your Feedly account displaying these articles, which can then be shared to any variety of your social accounts or email contacts.

A Quick Overview on Signing Up

To sign-up for your own Feedly account (click here), you can use your email, or link any of the following accounts you may already have: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Evernote or Microsoft.

Once you are signed up with an account and successfully logged in, you can begin adding content. Feedly is quite user-friendly on its own, but if you have any trouble I put together a few screenshots of how to add news sources below:

Adding Content Sources

Step 1

Once logged in, locate and click the 'Add Content' button, found near the upper left hand corner of your page.

Step 2

Click into the search box and enter a topic to explore; I used: 'Business' as an example and clicked the first option in the dropdown menu - the 'Business' hashtag

Step 3

Review your suggested sources, and add the ones you like. You'll find a green plus button to click for adding content to your list of feedly sources.

Step 4:

After clicking the Plus Sign, a sidebar appears to the left, where you name your source, in this case I went with Feedly's auto suggestion of and then I housed this source in a Folder (Feedly calls them 'Collections') where I will put all my other 'Business' related sources. Once you're all set, locate and click the 'Add' button at the bottom left hand corner of your page

Step 5 (Last Step)

After clicking the 'Add' button you will see your 1) 'new source' has been added to the 2) 'collection title' you have selected.

In this way you can create a ton of different Collections to house a wide variety of sources, ensuring that you always have something to share at your fingertips.

Mobile Apps

Feedly integrates well with both iOS and Android.

Customize Your Feedly Preferences

You can customize your Feedly setting through their 'Preferences' link - just scroll to the bottom left hand column of your profile page, find and click on preferences:

Example screenshot of the preferences link on Feedly

Once you've clicked into your preferences you'll see a variety of options you can use to customize your article viewing experience on Feedly, connect your social media & email accounts, and quite a few other personalization features.

More Info - Further Reading

As you will see in the links below, a variety of news aggregators aside from Feedly are out there, which work great as well, it all depends on your personal preferences. I linked a few additional news aggregators below in addition to a few helpful articles which might assist in exploring this topic a bit further. - How to Use Feedly - blog entry via - 18 Best News Apps (For iOS, Android & Windows) via - For a Google Search of News Aggregator Websites for 2014 - For LinkedIn Pulse - For Digg Reader - For Netvibes - For Google Currents - For Flipboard


*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies or businesses mentioned in this post, which is intended for educational purposes. Thank you :).

How to Turn Your LinkedIn Profile into a usable Resume

If anyone's ever performed a job search before, the first thing you usually need is a resume...but where to begin in this day and age right? Turns out there's good news for anyone with a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn has a resume builder, found at: which can help you set one up with just a few clicks.

Image from the Grovo Blog at

Something to remember with this tool, is that information is pulled directly from your LinkedIn the more filled out your profile is, the better your resume is going to look. It is worth taking a few minutes to refine your LinkedIn account profile first if you have the time.

Once you're happy with your Account Profile just head over to: and sign in. You will notice quite a few options they provide for you after you've selected your resume format including among others: 1) A public url where your online resume is located and can be accessed from anywhere, 2) a 'PDF' option lets you save the document elsewhere for printing or whatever else, 3) You can manage the share settings to send to social networks if you wanted, & 4) There are privacy settings you can enable per resume regarding the visibility of the document.

So if you've already taken the time to fill out a profile on LinkedIn, and find yourself needing a resume, this option might be a great time and stress saving tool. Hope it helps and have a great day!


Creating a Complete Profile on Google Plus

Example of where to find the about tab on a Google Plus profile

Creating a Complete Profile

If your using a personal profile, your 'About' tab gives the option to fill in personal information about yourself. It's similar to the type of information Facebook or LinkedIn might ask you to fill in. Depending on how you want to use your Google Plus account (business, networking, just for fun) you can just fill in what is relevant for you.


A helpful thing to think about before filling in your 'About' tab, is how you intend to use your Google+ account. Is it going to act as an online resume, just for fun account, networking and business connections only, or maybe a bit of everything? Figuring this out beforehand can help you streamline the type of information you choose to include and will help others determine if your a relevant account for them to follow.

Privacy Settings

When you click on your 'About' tab, you'll notice that when you scroll down your page, you'll see a bunch of sections, each with an 'edit' button in the lower left hand corner:

An example screenshot of the Story section Google Plus

When you click on your 'edit' link you'll have the option to change the privacy settings for each of the sections of your Google Plus profile. After clicking the 'edit' link, look toward the upper right hand corner, for a box which will say 'Public' (depending on your settings)

Example screenshot for adjusting privacy setting features on Google Plus

Once you click on the 'Public' tab you'll see a menu of privacy options to choose from. Select the one most appropriate for you and you're all set with that section.

Example screenshot of Google Plus privacy menu options

In this way you can control who does or does not see any piece of information about you, but it can still be unnerving to enter phone numbers, addresses or other bits of personally identifiable info - so use your best judgement when filling in personal info about yourself, while still trying to be thorough.

In Summary

Ultimately the more information you include in this section, the more your potential followers can learn about you in determining if they want to follow back. It also alerts others to the type of content they can expect you to post, which can help them decide to follow or not. In my own experiences, I've found that I'm more likely to follow an account with at least the basics filled in including a profile photo. 


Tactics for Increasing Your Google+ Following

 Click for LinkedIn Profile

Search out Widgets or Extensions

If you use Chrome as a Browser, the Chrome Webstore has a ton of helpful apps and tools you can use to enhance your Google+ Experience. Click here for a link to the Chrome Webstore and run a quick search for any Google+ related tools which may help you with photos, photo editing, sharing, connecting accounts, or link shortening.

A few sites that have been helpful in my own experiences are:

Widgets Plus: Helps you create a Google+ Profile Badge at:
All My Plus: for Google+ Account & Profile Statistics at:

A few great blog articles for enhancing your Google+ Profile can be found on:
Lifehacker: 15+ Awesome Google+ Tricks You Might Not Know:
Webtrickz: 30 Google+ Tips to Enhance Your Google Plus Experience:
Gizmodo: 10 Tricks to Make Yourself a Google+ Master:


Tactics for Increasing your Google+ Following

Use a Custom URL for your Google Plus Profile - (click here for the Google help-page on this)

When your Google Plus account is setup, you are given an assigned URL or 'user ID' that looks something like this: 

This long string of numbers after the '.com/' is representative of your username and by changing this part of your URL from a long string of numbers to your name for instance, you make it much easier for others to find, follow and remember who you are on and off Google Plus.

A bit on Custom URLs

There are a few different URL patterns out there, which vary depending on the social platform. For instance, Twitter URL's will always look like:, or LinkedIn URL's appear as: whereas Google+ URLs appear as: (or user ID). 

The idea behind the custom URL or vanity URL, is that it makes it easier for search engines and people to find you online. It's also an arguably good way to generate some SEO behind your name.

Selecting a Username

There is the possibility that someone else (with the same name) may have registered your desired username; because usernames need to be unique, you may find that you have to get creative in making an alternative username.

*Note: An important thing to remember about these usernames, is that you cannot change them once you have customized them - as of the date of this post. So make sure you're happy with the one that you pick and take extra care to edit accordingly.

In Summary

Depending on the social platform, users may only give your profile a few seconds before deciding whether to follow you or not. Given this tiny window of time, it is best to optimize everything you can about your profile's 'first impression' - what might people remember about your profile after a quick glance?

A customized URL is another feature you can take advantage of to increase your searchability on Google Plus, give your name some increased SEO and is a good way to fine-tune your profile's overall first impression. I hope this blog post was helpful and that whoever is reading this is having a great day!


Step 1 of 9 - How to increase Google+ Followers

One thing I hear frequently from people is that they don't understand some of the basics of working with Google Plus because they either a) Think nobody is on it, or b) May not know how to use it to get followers.

Step 1: Share Engaging Content
You may hear this all the time, I know I have. And I'm always left thinking: "Okay great. But what exactly is engaging content"? It essentially just means that you should try to share content (create posts) that are either so good, funny, interesting, or helpful that it would inspire anyone who looks at your content to either click the +1 button, Comment on your post, or re-share your post. That's it.

Pinpoint your sharing

I have found out the hard way that it's not enough to just throw information everywhere on the web. You want to target that information specifically so that the people who are going to be looking at it, have the highest possible chance of engaging with that content.

Google+ Communities

Communities are a great way to let Google+ help you compartmentalize your audience, which helps you share relevant content to specific subsets of your followers most likely to engage with your posts. For example, if I belong to a 'Astronomy' related Google+ community, an article regarding space exploration increases the likelihood that someone in that community will relate to and engage with your post.

An online resource that I have found helpful in regard to social media related articles and trends is located online at:

I hope this first step was a helpful beginning for attaining a greater following on this growing social network - And that whoever is reading this is having a great day!

*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post, which is intended for educational purposes. Thank you :)