Running a blog is a lot of fun, and sometimes non-bloggers are surprised to realise that beyond blogging as a hobby, you can also earn a regular income from writing a blog, and sharing via social media. Since people spend so much time online these days, there is real value in online social influence. More and more brands are interested involved with blogs and spreading the word about their products via bloggers who can share their experiences with their audiences. If you are a blogger who is yet to take the step into brand work, I would encourage you to give it a try – it can be a real win-win for everyone involved!
Although running a blog is really rewarding and enjoyable, there can be a huge amount of admin work too. It takes me hours to get through my emails sometimes, and when you have weeks where you’re juggling sick kids or a lot of family commitments, the balance can sometimes get a little overwhelming. That’s why I’m always really happy to find tools that help cut down on extra work and help to streamline some of my blogging processes.
This weekend I was supposed to be speaking on ‘Making Pinterest a Success’ at Talk To Mums Family Play Time event with one of my blogging friends Helen from Kiddy Charts.
Unfortunately my youngest boy has come down with Chicken Pox, and we had to cancel our plans for the weekend. Luckily he’s not suffering too badly, but of course it is contagious so I have to keep him home!
Since I had already prepared the notes for our Pinterest talk, I thought I’d share them here with you so if you are not at the event you can still keep up with some of our Pinterest tips.
In the notes, we cover:
What is Pinterest
Using Pinterest to drive more traffic to your site
2014 has been a fun year for us, with lots of play, lots of travels, lots of crafts and lots of smiles and laughter.
I’ve enjoyed sharing some of our activities with all of you over the past year and it’s hard to choose a favourite, but today I’m taking part in a best kids activities of 2014 showcase along with some of my favourite kid bloggers, so I had to narrow it down.
I decided to go for this paper plate whale craft. It hasn’t been the highest traffic post of the year, I’ve chosen it for other reasons and that is because this is Mr Z’s post. It’s his own craft and the blog post he is most proud of, so it’s been lovely to see it around on Facebook and Pinterest. He is 6 years old now, 5 when he made the whale.
Today I have an interesting infographic to share with you on the topic of “Baby Vs Career”. I’m sure the issue of motherhood and work is something that touches every family. Whatever decision you make, whether to work outside of the home, to dedicate yourself to being a stay at home parent, or to combine some elements of each and work from home, it’s something you would have had to consider and mull over before coming to the right decision for your family.
I found it interesting to see the 7 careers highlighted as being great ones for to allow you to easily balance work and family life, especially to see blogger listed among them! I know many of my readers are also bloggers, and from those who aren’t I do get plenty of questions from people who are interested to know how to start a blog. Both new bloggers and non bloggers often have a lot of questions about how blogging works as a business and a way to earn a living.
I’ve been addicted to Pinterest since it’s early days when it was invite only and long before I started with this blog. I find it relaxing to sit and pin all the pretty things, and a useful way to find recipes and kids crafts quickly and easily. But, I was quite late in starting to use Pinterest to promote my blog. I just saw Pinterest as my little happy place to pin whatever personal stuff I liked and didn’t really bring blogging and Pinterest together until later. Only in January this year did I really start to make an effort to think about how to use Pinterest to build my following and to drive more significant traffic to my blog.
In those 5 months I went from under 1k followers to now over 6.2k, so although I still have room to build this a lot more, I feel like a growth of around 1000 followers per month is not too bad at all. [update: I’m now at 70k+ and looking likely to hit my goal of 100k in a year thanks to being added one of Pinterest’s recommended pinner lists for new users. New Year update: I did hit the 100k goal, the day after Christmas bringing my Pinterest growth from under 1k to well over 100k in less than a year.]
It’s my fastest growing social media as Pinterest has caught up with my Facebook and Twitter followings already and I have been growing those for a whole year!
While reading up about tips to help me build my Pinterest following, I came across Melissa Taylor from Pinterest Savvy (she also blogs at Imagination Soup). I read her e-book Pinterest Savvy at the beginning of the year but now she has relaunched with a revised edition and I am here to tell you about it, especially as it is FREE on Amazon for a limited time only from May 29 – June 2. Don’t miss out, make sure you download this if you are looking for advice on how to use Pinterest and get the most out of it.
Update: Since this post was originally written, some changes have come about in Pinterest. Smart feed has been introduced making search more important, and the time of day that you pin less important. The general Pinterest advice and best practises will still apply and help you out just as before though! But with the new smart feed, taking care with your keywords in your pin descriptions and board descriptions can not be over looked!
Melissa has over 1 million followers on Pinterest and the book takes you right through from the beginning stages of how to set up your Pinterest account into business strategies with Pinterest, monetisation, tips on the kind of images that work well, and more.
The strategies in the book work. Melissa knows what she is talking about (I think the 1 million followers proves that! 🙂 ) I am following most of the advise in this ebook, and it’s working for me. I still need to go back through it and make sure there is nothing else I have missed, but the good thing with the book is that you can implement it bit by bit and just take a couple of pieces of advice from it at a time and see how you get on. It’s not something over whelming, and it’s very easy to understand whatever level you are already at with Pinterest.
I thought I would share a couple of my own tips too!
Read and learn, as much as you can.
Be that ebooks like Pinterest Savvy, blog posts or whatever else. When browsing Pinterest, I will often click through to people’s pins that are on the topic of Pinterest just like this. Often you will click through and read and find that you knew those tips already – well that’s fine, it still confirms for you that you are doing the right thing, but sometimes you will click through to one and end up finding out a little gem of useful information that you did not know so I always find it useful to click them and at least skim read just to make sure!
Images are the make or break thing on Pinterest in 90% of cases. I actually have a couple of posts with not so good images that have done very well on Pinterest BUT it’s the exception, and in those cases if you re-d0 the image and then repin them, you might find they go on to do even better.
If the image is not great, then content had better be great. If it is something that people would want to refer back to, then they may still pin it even if the image could do with a little improvement.
The images should be vertical! I wish I had started to implement this earlier. Despite all my years of pinning, I had not really clicked that most of the images are vertical so most of my older posts were published with a wide horizontal collage, which I had made without thinking about Pinterest promotion. Needless to say those posts have done much better once I re-did the images, and I still have lots more to get through!
Tools like canva, picmonkey and fotor can all be useful in helping you to create good Pinworthy images. PicsArt have recently launched a new online photo editing tool which would definitely be worth checking out too. I use the PicsArt app on my phone to edit photos all the time, with some great results. So I’m excited to explore the possibilities with their new online tool.
Make your image large enough. Pinterest will display the image at a maximum of around 735 pixels, so use that. It needs to be big enough so that you can really see it!
Whatever you put into your Alt Tag will be pulled as a Pin description and as many people won’t bother to change that, then you can take the opportunity to put whatever description you would like to be displayed. Use your keywords, don’t forget that Pinterest is also about search not just about re-pinning whatever is in front of you in the feed – so make your pins easily found for those people using the Pinterest search. Adding a bit of personality to the pin description also tends to help.
Think about what you pin
Make sure that you pin only quality pins. This is one of the most important factors in helping you to gain followers, and to keep the followers you already have. I’m sorry to say, I do unfollow people or boards pretty quickly if they keep annoying me on Pinterest and I’m sure other people are the same. (As I mentioned above, Pinterest is my relaxing happy place so I don’t want to be spammed by 50 pins of the same thing all in a row, or bad quality images of your product review, coupon or giveaway!)
One tip I read a while back from Holly Homer of Kids Activities blog that I loved is “don’t pin crap – even if you wrote it.” Okay, I may have been guilty of this on the odd occasion..no one is perfect! But I really believe that you do not have to pin every single post on your blog, or if you feel like you do – then make sure you have tweaked it so that it is truly pinnable. If it’s not pinnable and something that people would genuinely like to re pin then just don’t pin it. If it’s not suitable, it won’t bring you any traffic anyway so you really don’t gain anything from pinning it.
The same thing goes with don’t pin a bad image for someone else as part of a pin swap just because you want them to repin your things. This is why I don’t take part in the Pinterest groups that require you to re-pin every single pin in a list, it is just not a good idea as you don’t know what you are committing to. Someone could come along right after you and post and awful pin and that puts you in an awkward position. It’s not only about image quality but also about whether this stuff is relevant for your audience.
However, If you have a group which allows you to pick 3 or so out of a list and repin only those that suit your niche and Pinterest boards, then those groups are a great way to help get your pin out there initially so that it can pick up more repins.
It really comes down to thinking about your followers. If you want to go on a mad pinning frenzy and pin 100 very similar things all in a row, you could always use a secret board to avoid annoying others and then schedule them out to be re-pinned publicly in a more spaced out manner.
If you do want to schedule, you can try Ahalogy, Viral Tag or Viral Woot. You don’t want to pin the same thing to several boards all in a row as that will spam people’s feeds, so scheduling is useful for that. Or pin it first to your blog board, and then go in and re-pin it to different boards manually over time.
Update: With the new smart feed, it’s recommended to space out your pins even more so than previously. Try to keep at least 24 hours between repins of the same content on to different boards. Scheduling a pin out to every suitable board at 2 or 3 hour intervals is no longer going to work well.
When your following is still fairly small it’s a brilliant opportunity to be able to contribute to group boards. Even once you have your numbers up, I guess it would still be a good thing! You can get your pins seen by more people which of course leads to more repins and more traffic. I noticed a real increase after joining some larger group boards and I’m very grateful to those board owners for having me as a contributor!
Update: With the updates to Pinterest, some pinners have recommended cutting down on excess group boards. If you don’t use it or it has much less followers than your own account then it might be better to leave that board
This post wouldn’t be complete without me plugging my own Pinterest account now would it.. so come follow me on Pinterest!
It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s ~SoMe2~ time again!
Let’s party and grow our blogs!We love seeing our “regulars” link up each week – you guys are awesome!
We also love seeing new bloggers – and we need new bloggers each week so
that we all can keep growing our following. Everyone try to tell at
least one new person about the party, and let’s see how much we can
grow!! – See more at:
Let’s party and grow our blogs!
We love seeing our “regulars” link up each week – you guys are awesome! We also love seeing new bloggers – and we need new bloggers each week so that we all can keep growing our following. Everyone try to tell at least one new person about the party, and let’s see how much we can grow!!
Welcome to ~SoMe2~ #29!!
This week, we’re linking up Pinterest and Instagram accounts…
For those who are new: ~SoMe2~ is a SOcial MEdia Link Party where we will link up 2 different platforms every Tuesday @ 7:00 PM (EST).
In The Playroom is a parenting and lifestyle blog written by Anna, a mum of three boys aged 5 and under. She shares kids crafts and activities, along with toy reviews and days out.
Would you like to be a ~SoMe2~ featured blogger?Everyone who enters the Rafflecopter below each week will have a chance to win a spot as our featured blogger! We will feature your blog, and links to your social media will be added to the Rafflecopter for that week – hopefully gaining you more followers.
So be sure to enter to win the weekly featured blogger spot!
Note:Please be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form accurately. Entries are verified.
This week we are linking up Pinterest and Instagram!!
The rules are simple!
Please follow your hosts and featured blogger.
Please take time to at east follow the 2 people in front of your link – and if you’re already following them, then find a couple that you’re not following! And it would be even more awesome if you could show the ~SoMe~ love by following more!
Please add the ~SoMe2~ button (found at the bottom of the post) to your sidebar or link page.
Tweet about the party! More partiers = More followers! All you have to do is click the “tweet” button! Tweet
Use our new hashtag #SoMe2 when tagging or posting so we can find each other!
Enter your Pinterest Pages Below:
Enter your Instagram Below:
You will automatically be entered into our email reminder list by entering a link. You may remove yourself from the list at any time by using the unsubscribe option.
Just fill out this form and Amber will email you to get you scheduled!
As you know Social Media Sundays are a place for you to connect with other bloggers in as many ways as possible, since meeting other bloggers and making new friends is one of the best parts of this online world!
The rules are simple!
Follow your hosts and guest hosts and leave a comment letting us know so that we can follow you back.
Grab the button and spread the word, the more the merrier!
Get to hopping! Check out your fellow bloggers and make a new friend or two!
I’m really excited to share with you all that we are starting a new Pin Party linky! The #Pintorials linky will be taking place every Tuesday, starting from next week (4th Feb).
#Pintorials is a place to share any of your posts with tutorials, whether that is crafts (of any difficulty level, for children or grown ups) recipes or any other useful “how to..” post. Link up your posts that have big and beautiful pictures so that we can add them on to the #Pintorials Pinterest board and please do check out the other posts in the linky, leave some comments and show some Pinterest love by repinning or following some of the new bloggers you discover. More
For Project 52, here is my chosen picture of Mr R. I wasn’t totally happy with any of my photos this week but I picked it because of the facial express. It’s not a typical smiley picture, but that look is very Mr R at the moment – slightly defiant and cheeky. That’s actually my toast he has there and he is looking stern because he does not want to give it back! He is a typical two year old at the moment, wanting to test out his boundaries. I find all his little expressions so cute, so it’s nice to have a range of pictures not just the very smiley ones because all these sides of their personality are what make them who they are!
I love taking part in Linkys, it’s something which helps you to feel part of the blogging community and if there are any newer bloggers starting out I would definitely advise you to look out for these and get involved. It’s a great way to find and chat to other bloggers, discover new and interesting posts, and get your content seen by a wider audience too – so it benefits everyone!
For something slightly different, I have decided to start up a Sharing Day on my Facebook page. Every Monday I will give the chance for bloggers, parents, or anyone interested to come along and share posts and ideas. I’m looking for crafts, activities, children’s play and learning ideas or anything along these lines – to fit in with the theme of the blog: In The Playroom: Playing, Learning & Having Fun! ie: Please don’t just come and link dump irrelevant content! 🙂
I will then go through and pin and share some of the great ideas to help my readers and followers to discover new blogs and new ideas. (If you link up through your blog Page rather than personal profile, it will be easier for me to share the pages.) I hope to get lots of you joining in and please do spread the word to help this become a success!
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In case you’re in need of extra inspiration to fill these days during the lock down, here’s a quick list from Muddy Puddles who have shared some simple ideas that will help make the most of this time… Muddy Puddles is offering NHS and other health service workers 40% off on top of their online […]
Playing with your child helps with their confidence, development and overall wellbeing. Many parents make the mistake of trying to take the control of how their child plays. However, you should let them experiment with unstructured play, which allows them to go at their own pace and usually revolves around their interests at that moment. […]
Entertaining children is one of the toughest tasks. In order to maintain their full attention, they have to be mentally and physically engaged, but the task can’t be too challenging from the get-go. Initiating entertainment and maintaining entertainment is a challenge, no doubt, but it can be done. In a time where instant gratification is […]