Since starting this blog, I have really had a strong appreciation for social media.  It is amazing how fast news is able to spread, talent is discovered and small brands can GROW.  The REALLY framework is something I found really interesting and beneficial when it comes to GROWING my blog.  For anyone who is interested in starting a blog of their own I would highly recommend using this simple framework.


The REALLY Framework was created by Leila Samii, a professor at Harvard University.  The acronym stands for Research, Engage, Analysis, Listen, Learn and You.

As some of you may know, I love to learn.  Ever since I became pregnant, I began doing more and more research.  This is the first phase in the framework.  It’s important to understand your industry and trends.  For example, when I started The Growing Belly Blog I was constantly researching pregnancy and babies.  Some of the resources I used were The Bump and What to Expect apps.  This provided me with helpful development information, interesting articles and topics relating to pregnancy and babies.  I explored mom blogs, Instagram accounts, Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter tweets.

The research phase helps to create your social media strategy.  You develop a target audience, identify industry influencers and competitors, create goals and objectives, organize a message and perform analytics.

When having a social media presence, it’s important to engage with others by creating conversation, a relationship with your fans/followers.  The great thing about social media is that brands are able to hold conversations.  A great tool to use to help you understand your engagement is a website called Klout.  Klout is the measure of your influence.  It aggregates a score based on all your social media platforms.  The more influential you are, the higher your score.  I engage with my audience by asking questions, posting pictures that are important to me and believe my fans/followers would enjoy.         

After some time has passed, you will be able to perform some analysis.  You’ll understand who your target audience is and when they are most active.  You will understand what topics are of interest, what type of content you should publish and what they dislike.  I see the most engagement from images I post especially of my son, puppies and fashion.  So I tend to post pictures of these topics.

The next phase is extremely important, it’s to listen.   I like to talk but I also need to remember that it’s just as important to listen.  It’s critical to step back and understand what fans/followers are saying.  Are you answering their comments?  Are you engaging with them?  Show your audience you care.  Create a relationship with them, answer their questions and listen.

The fifth phase is to learn by reviewing the previous phases including research, engagement, analysis and what you listened to implement a strategy.  My strategy has evolved multiple times because my audience has changed.  That’s ok; it just shows that I have learned.

The last and final phase is to remember to be YOUrself.  Be unique.  Show your personality, your individuality, be different.  It’s important to be original, be creative and shine on!  I really enjoy photography and of course showing off my new addition so write about something you’re passionate about, take pictures of something unusual and share articles that you enjoy!

There is no right way to do anything.  Take chances.

To those who start blogs, best of luck!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


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