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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
I'm Jess Stratton and welcome to Monday Productivity pointers. In the last video, I showed you how you can shorten URLs, and use them to send a one time link to somebody via email or Twitter. This time, I'm going to show you how to reuse links that you send all the time through the bitly service. In which you can also curate a bundle of links and send them out in one shot to somebody. Finally, I'll show you how you can track your links, to see when they're being clicked.
The tracker will tell you what links got the most clicks, when they're getting the most clicks and what sources are they clicking on your links from. Alright, lets get started. I've got my web browser open, and I went to bitly.com. Its fairly simple to create an account with bitly, so I've already gone ahead, done that, and logged in. Now on my account, I already have some bit marks here. A bit mark is just bitly's unique name for a short URL.
Because instead of sending out a one time shortened URL, the idea of bitly is that you can easily send out links that you find yourself sending over and over and over again. So the first thing that I would do when I sign up for bitly is think about what links I find myself sending a lot. They don't even have to be long links, any links. And then you can go ahead and start adding those to bitly. So a link that I find myself sending all the time, is a list to all my courses on lynda.com.
So an easy way for me to do that now is to get it into bitly. So with that site open, I'm going to click the top of the browser to select the entire URL. Right-click with my mouse, choose Copy. Come back to the bitly service, and on the right hand side of the screen you can see a big paste a link here button. If I click in there, I get the option to paste a URL into it. So, I'm going to right click with my mouse and choose Paste. I didn't have to do anything. It immediately ever came up with my link.
So here's the shortened link. And I can even add a note if I want. I'm going to select Add Note. And I'll type in, Here is my complete course archive. Can click the red Save button. And my bitly link has been saved. I can start using it immediately by clicking copy beside the shortened URL or I can send it via email. I'm going to close it out now by clicking the x on the top right hand side because I want to show you what you can do with these bit marks.
Now, it's the new link so it's right at the top of the screen. But over time this collection is going to get quite large. So if you want to send out a link quickly, the easiest thing to do is go to bitly.com and come right up to the search your bitmarks bar right at the top of the screen. I could start typing my name and instantly that site is going to come up. Now all I have to do, is click Copy, which copies that right to the clip board of my computer, so I could come over to twitter, go to compose new tweet and say, here is my course archive, and hit Ctrl+V to paste that link. Its very easy I can also send it via email, by clicking the email button. I can then send it to whoever I want.
Click send, and off it goes. I also have the option to share it right to Facebook or Twitter from here. Something else that Bitly let's you do is curate a collection of lengths that they call bundles. I'm going to click Bundle on the top of the screen, and I've already got a bundle that I've made. Now what a bundle is a collection of bitly links. I found myself sending people over and over again the same five or six links that would help them get started getting all their Ultraviolet Blu-Ray digital copies onto their iPad.
Which could probably be another course in itself. But I created a bundle because this is an easy way to send that link to people all at once. So to create a bundle of your links, simply click Create a New Bundle on the right hand side of the screen. In this case, I'm going to go into the bundle that I already had, and I'll show you how you can add a link to it. Here's what my bundle looks like. I gave it a title, and I gave it a description. I can see how many views it gets, how many bitmarks are currently in it, and when it was last updated.
If I scroll down I can see all the links that I put in there. Now with each link I can put in a custom note about that link. I'm going to go ahead and add another bitmark into this bundle. Because I can keep adding them at any time. I'm going to click, Add Another bitmark. And it's going to give me the option to either paste a brand new URL in there, or search for existing bitmarks that I've already put into bitly. In this case I haven't.
So I'm going to go over to this browser tab window that I have open, copy the URL, just like we did before, go into bitly and paste it in. I can click Add, and now I can choose a title or a note. I can change the title if I wanted to, and I can add a note. Click Save bitmark. And my bitmark has been saved and it's now part of that bundle.
If I want to save a bundle and send it to somebody, I can click on Bundles again at any time go into my bundle and click this Email button. Click Send. And off the bundle goes. Now they'll get that entire list. Now bundles are also great for things like care rating a list of possible barbecue grills that you're looking to buy. You can have all of them here. I mean the possibilities are endless. And you can create as many bundles as you want. You can even add a curator and have more than one person add to this list.
The last thing I want to show you is how to look at stats of your links on bitly. I'm going to click Stats at the top of the screen, and here I can see all of my bitly links. I can see stats like how many people clicked on them, how many total clicks each one got, and how many saves each link got? I can also see the time of day that they were clicked, as well as what date. I can click this drop down arrow and choose a date range including the past hour. It'll give me an exact time so I can see when my clicks are getting the most hits.
I can also see where those clicks are coming from. For example I can see that I got two clicks from email clients, three clicks from Twitter and five links directly from. I can also see the country that they came from. So as you can see, bitly is very robust and much more powerful than just the occasional shortening of the URL to send it to somebody or to use it for Twitter. You can use it to share out links that you find yourself sending over and over and over again because it's very easy to find them in bitly. You can also create Bundles at anytime you find yourself constantly sending out the same combination of links to people.
And then finally, you can see all the stats of your links, to see how they're doing, if you're looking at it from marketing perspective. So you can almost use it for analytical purposes. So that's your tour of bitley I encourge you to sign up for an account and get started shorting your links.
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