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8 Ways to Maximize Your Pins on Pinterest

Is your Pinterest traffic falling flat? Click here for Pinterest marketing strategies for online business, tips and tricks to maximize your pins. Pinterest marketing is the best way for bloggers and entrepreneurs to get their brands seen in this busy world. #Pinterest #PinterestMarketing #PinterestMarketingTips #PinterestStrategy

How is your Pinterest Strategy going?

Since you clicked on this post, I’m guessing things could be better.




I know you have awesome content, so we just need to make your pins so great people will click through to your blog.

Pinterest is a great traffic driver for bloggers. I discuss why I love Pinterest in this post —> 6 Reasons I Love Pinterest and You Should Too.

How do we get our pins noticed in a sea of options?

Some things you can do to maximize your pins on Pinterest:

What should be on your pin?

  1. Good photo- Photography is key on Pinterest because it is a visual search engine. You want photography that is clear, eye catching and (depending on your niche) doesn’t show a face.
  2. Catchy title- Your title needs to tell people what they are going to get when they click thru. If you have a freebie in the post, you could let them know that too!
  3. Blog logo- You want your pins to have something that ties that pin to your website. Whether that is a logo, website URL or something else, you want people to recognize the pin as your pin before they click thru.
  4. Simple, clean design- Good pins have a simple design that makes it clear what the post is about that they are going to click thru to.

What should be in your description?

  1. Rich pins are a must!- There has been a controversy lately about whether you need rich pins or not. Let me tell you- you do! Rich pins allow your title and description to be prominent for your viewer to see. Below are 2 pins (one with rich pins and one without). Which one gives you more information about the pin and therefore entices you to click? Is your Pinterest traffic falling flat? Click here for Pinterest marketing strategies for online business, tips and tricks to maximize your pins. Pinterest marketing is the best way for bloggers and entrepreneurs to get their brands seen in this busy world. #Pinterest #PinterestMarketing #PinterestMarketingTips #PinterestStrategy
  2. Keyword rich sentence- Pinterest is a visual search engine. Search engines need you to have keywords so that they know what your content is about. How do you find the proper keywords for your content? Type in your topic and see what auto populates. Search for your topic and see what words show up in the tiles at the top of the page. All of those are keywords that you can use to help your ideal reader find you.
  3. Hashtags- Hashtags are fairly new on Pinterest. I discuss in this post how to use hashtags and why you should use them on Pinterest—> 32 Do’s and Don’ts for Hashtags on Social Media.
  4. Call to action- If you want people to take action on your pin, you need to tell them what you want them to do. Some ideas for calls to action: Click here, Save for Later, Pin Me!, etc.

Here are some examples of bloggers that are rocking it:



Pinch of Yum– Lindsey of Pinch of Yum is an amazing food photographer and that is what she highlights on her pins. Her pins are a little different because she doesn’t use text on many of her pins, but you can bet she has a gorgeous photo and a keyword rich description.

Jenna Kutcher– Jenna is a jack of many trades (photographer, blogger, podcaster, educator) and her pins are clean and pretty. I like how she has the play button above the podcast pins. What a great idea!

The Prairie Homestead– Jill has several different pins she uses for her brand, but they all have similar qualities. They are clean, pretty, and very natural/earthy which reflects her homesteading brand well.

Culinary Hill– Meggan is another food blogger with an amazing Pinterest account. She uses long, 2 photo pins with clear titles to draw her readers in. Awesome!

Catch My Party– Jillian knows what her readers want and her pins reflect that. Her account looks like one big party! Her pins are bright and fun with 5 photos and clear titles. It makes me wanna throw a party for my kids today!

Is your Pinterest traffic falling flat? Click here for Pinterest marketing strategies for online business, tips and tricks to maximize your pins. Pinterest marketing is the best way for bloggers and entrepreneurs to get their brands seen in this busy world. #Pinterest #PinterestMarketing #PinterestMarketingTips #PinterestStrategy

How often should you share your pins?

Should I pin my pins more than once? I don’t want to spam my followers.

Yes! You should pin regularly and to different boards. This helps your pins get more traction and into the smart feed.

Long gone are the days where people go to your profile and look at all of your boards and pins. People go to 2 places on Pinterest now: the smart feed and the search button.

So don’t worry if your account shows that you have pinned a pin more than once. Trust me, no one cares. Just get your work out there on your boards and relative group boards in your niche.

Tailwind is a great tool for keeping up with your Pinterest strategy. I discuss Tailwind in this post: 9 Ways I Use Tailwind for Pinterest Scheduling and Analytics.

You can sign up for a Tailwind free trial here (affiliate link) —> Tailwind Free Trial.

How do I learn more about Pinterest Strategy?

My favorite online course for Pinterest is (affiliate link) Pinning Perfect by Mel Culbertson (Blog Clarity) and Anna Luther (My Life and Kids). The course is very in-depth, easy to follow, updated often and has a great, active Facebook group to answer any questions you might have.

Pinterest is an awesome source of traffic for bloggers, so if you haven’t started pinning, get started today!

Action Steps:

  1. Update Your Image
  2. Use Keywords and Hashtags
  3. Share Your Pins Often

Why do I love Pinterest? Personally, I love to pin pretty things to my boards and find new ideas for my home and my life. Professionally, Pinterest is a huge traffic source for both of my blogs. Pinterest allows you to be seen by people that would never find your blog on their own. So make pretty pins, keyword them appropriately, and invite them to join you on your blog. I promise, the time it takes to figure out this resource will be worth it! Get pinning!

Is your Pinterest traffic falling flat? Click here for Pinterest marketing strategies for online business, tips and tricks to maximize your pins. Pinterest marketing is the best way for bloggers and entrepreneurs to get their brands seen in this busy world. #Pinterest #PinterestMarketing #PinterestMarketingTips #PinterestStrategy

Do you have any more tips for making awesome pins for Pinterest? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks!




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Nurturing Your Tribe: 7 Reasons to Start a Facebook Group for your Blog

Have you thought of starting a Facebook group? Click here to get ideas on why you should start a group and how to make it successful for your readers. #FacebookGroups #buildingcommunity #blogging #bloggingtips

What was the reason you started a blog?

  • to teach people?
  • to serve people?
  • to share your story?
  • to make money?

If you can identify with any one of these reasons, you are in luck. Because these are also great reasons to start a Facebook group for your blog.


But that’s not all: there’s more.

7 Reasons to Start a Facebook Group for Your Blog:

  1. Build a community- There are people all over the world, just like you. Facebook allows you to “meet” and interact with people that are interested in the same things you are. This is how you build a community.
  2. Teach people what you know in a more specific way- In a group setting, you can post videos, Facebook Lives and ask questions to teach in a more effective way.
  3. To serve the people that read and follow your blog/social media- Usually, on social media, only a small portion of your audience sees your posts. But in a group, posts are favored in the algorithm and therefore your people will see more of what you are posting.
  4. To get to know your readers better- Wanna do a reader survey or find their pain points? A group is a great place to do this because usually the group is more highly engaged than people on a regular page.
  5. To share your story and transformation in a personal way- Are you afraid to post more personal information on your main page? It is easier to post more personal information in your group because the people actually care about you and your topic.
  6. To nurture your raving fans so that they will be more likely to buy from you- The more daily interaction with you, the more likely your fans will buy your product or service when you offer it to them. They are more loyal than regular readers.
  7. To create a place where your readers can help each other- Do you have to know everything about your topic to run a group? No. Most likely, your readers will help each other and answer questions for each other. This takes the pressure off of you to answer everything.

What kind of Facebook group?

  • Public group- In a public group on Facebook, everyone can see who is in the group and what they are saying. Everything is visible to anyone on Facebook. You can search for this kind of group on Facebook by topic.
  • Closed group- In a closed group on Facebook, everyone can see who is in the group but they can’t see what they are saying. Everything is visible to only the members of the group. You can search for this kind of group on Facebook by name.
  • Secret group- In a secret group on Facebook, no one can see who is in the group or what they are saying unless they are are a member. This kind of group in not visible to anyone on Facebook. You have to be given a link to view the content once you have been added as a member. This kind of group can not be searched for on Facebook.

How do I find people to join?

Your blog- You can discuss your group on your blog and also put something in your sidebar that gives them a link to join.

Your email list- You can mention your group and what is going on in there on your weekly email newsletters.

Social Media Channels- You can make a social media graphic to encourage people to join your group.

Pinterest- You can make a pin that links to your group.

Have you thought of starting a Facebook group? Click here to get ideas on why you should start a group and how to make it successful for your readers. #FacebookGroups #buildingcommunity #blogging #bloggingtips

What do I do once I start a group?

Ask questions before they join- You can ask 3 questions of people before they join. This may help you weed out bots or strange people. You can decide whether or not you will make them answer before you add them.

Establish rules– Groups can sometimes get out of control and over run with people spamming and self promoting, especially blogger groups. Set up your purpose and rules at the beginning and kick anyone out that doesn’t comply. It’s that simple.

Visit daily- You need to be active daily in your group, especially at first. As the group grows, you can be less active and even have an admin take over. But the more active you are, the more loyal your group members will be to your brand.

Foster connection- You should try to encourage people to interact with others and you, by asking questions or sharing stories.

Serve before you sell- You should begin giving awesome content and serving your group before you start trying to sell them something.

Announcement:

So, why are you talking about Facebook groups when you don’t even have one for this blog?

I’m glad you asked.

Today, we are starting a new closed Facebook Group for this blog: Blogger Photography Tips.

I hope this group will help bloggers with their questions about photography. If I don’t know the answer (reminder: I don’t know everything!) then hopefully someone else in the group will.

We will have group question prompts, Facebook Live tutorials and lots of other fun stuff.

To join, just click this link and sign up for my email list.To join, just click this link and sign up for my email list. That way everyone in the group has gotten my emails, so I don’t unnecessarily repeat myself.

I can’t wait to see you all in the group!

You should start a Facebook group. We will show you how to make it successful for your readers.Click To Tweet

Action Steps:

  1. Look over the 7 reasons listed below and decide whether a Facebook group might be a good fit for your audience.
  2. If so, come up with some topics and objectives to discuss in your group and start a group.
  3. Join our new Facebook group: Blogger Photography Tips.

Facebook groups can be a great way interact with and serve your reader. They can foster community and help you meet other like minded individuals. If you don’t have a Facebook group for your blog, you should consider starting one. It is a big time investment at first, but it is a way to stay in touch with your readers on social media.

Do you use a Facebook group for your blog? Let us know how it is working for you in the comments below. Thanks!



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8 Ways Social Warfare Can Help Your Blog Be More Social

Would you love more social shares on your blog? Click here to see this awesome plugin that will encourage your readers to share your blog with their friends. #blogging #WordPress #socialmedia #socialsharing

Social media in the blogging world can be a wonderful boost for traffic and engagement. It also can be your downfall if you don’t use it productively.

We discuss in this post how to manage social media so that it can be a help and not a hinderance to your business.



Today, I want to tell you about a Social Warfare, a WordPress Premium plugin that makes social sharing so much easier.

What does Social Warfare do?

  1. Social counts- This plugin keeps your social media share counts on your blog, so you and your readers can see how often it has been shared on whichever outlets you decide to show. For this blog, I have Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. On my other blog, I have added Google Plus as well. This helps me see how popular the post is and where my audience is sharing.
  2. Social proof- Because of the social counts mentioned above, you readers will be able to see if a post is popular. This will encourage them to share it as well because others have already shared it. This social proof is invaluable to a growing blog.
  3. Hidden pins- Often, you have more than one Pinterest pin for a blog post, but you don’t want to overwhelm your reader with pins in the post. With this plugin, you can add a hidden pin that will only pop up with they click on the Pinterest share button. This gives your reader more options to pin and helps you test which pins readers like more.
  4. Click to tweet- I love the click to tweet feature. Just like adding a description for a Pinterest pin, by adding a ready to use tweet for your reader, they are more likely to share your post on twitter. It is always more effective to make it easy to share as possible for your reader. You can also use this feature yourself to share your post on Twitter.
  5. Pinterest description- There is a separate box to write your Pinterest description (instead of just the alt text), where you can add hashtags and utilize the whole space allotted to increase the likelihood that people will click thru to your site.
  6. Facebook/Google+ social media description- There is a separate box for a social media description for Facebook and Google Plus.
  7. Easy to see buttons that move– One of my favorite things about this plugin is that they have easy to see share buttons that move along the page as you scroll. Your reader doesn’t have to look all over the page to find your share button.
  8. Choose an image for Facebook- You can choose which photo you would like to share to social media.

Warfare Plugins

How do I use it in my business?

  • I love that all of these features together make it super easy for a reader to share my content without searching all over the page for share buttons.
  • I use 2 Pinterest pins per post, so I use the hidden pin as an extra benefit for people to share.
  • I love having all the share counts in one place, so I can see which posts are popular and compare them with other popular post numbers.
  • The click to tweet function helps me share on Twitter, which is not one of my preferred platforms.

Would you love more social shares on your blog? Click here to see this awesome plugin that will encourage your readers to share your blog with their friends. #blogging #WordPress #socialmedia #socialsharing

The picture above shows what the social warfare plugin looks like on the backend of my homesteading blog. You can see all of the boxes for the individual descriptions, the images I chose and other options.

Here is a sneak peek into Social Warfare and how I use it on this site:

How much does it cost?

This plugin is not free. It is a premium plugin which costs $29 a year (with a 45 day money back guarantee). It is the only plugin I pay for on my site as of today. I enjoy the function it provides and I think it is a great value.

How do I get this awesome tool for my business?

I love this tool for my business so much, that I became an affiliate for it. I only become an affiliate for products I love and trust. This plugin has brought so much value to me, that I want to share with other bloggers so they can benefit from it too.

Here is my affiliate link (if you use this link I will get a small commission, at no cost to you)—> Social Warfare Pro.

If you aren’t sure yet, you can use a free version of social warfare and see how you like it. You won’t get the full features, but you will get the social sharing buttons and social counts. Just click on the link above to try it out.

Click here to see this awesome plugin that will encourage your readers to share your blog too.Click To Tweet

I know if you try this premium plugin, you will love it. But if for some reason you don’t find it super valuable, they have a 45 day money back guarantee. So what do you have to lose? Get Social Warfare and get social on your blog today!

Would you love more social shares on your blog? Click here to see this awesome plugin that will encourage your readers to share your blog with their friends. #blogging #WordPress #socialmedia #socialsharing

Have you used this plugin? Please let us know what you think about it in the comments below. Thanks!




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7 Reasons to Use Facebook Live for Your Business

Are you using live video in your business? Click here to see 7 reasons why you should be using Facebook Live for your business. #livevideo #facebooklive #blogging

I’ll be the first one to admit that I do not like being on video. I actually hate it.

I always wonder if I am saying something wrong, doing something wrong or look weird.



It takes me a lot of courage to get in front of the camera, especially for live video. No editing? What?

Why would I do that to myself?

That is what we are going to talk about today.

What reasons could be good enough to get me in front of a camera for live video?

I’m so glad you asked.

Are you using live video in your business? Click here to see 7 reasons why you should be using Facebook Live for your business. #livevideo #facebooklive #blogging

7 Reasons to Use Facebook Live for Your Business:

  1. Let your followers get to know you better- Your readers know you by your writing. They follow you because of your voice and opinions. But by doing a Facebook Live, they get to know you more closely. They know your mannerisms, what you look like and how you respond to questions. This is key to grow a following quickly and also weed out the readers that aren’t your true avatar.
  2. Relate better to your followers- When you “meet” your followers in real time and show them a part of your life, your relatability factor goes up tremendously. They see that you are a real person that can help them and that care about them.
  3. Be able to answer their questions in real time- Do you hate when you have a question about a blog post or email, but you can’t get anyone to respond to you? Well, with a Facebook Live, you can answer questions on the spot so that your readers felt heard and appreciated.
  4. Use video to demonstrate a product- Are you an affiliate for a product or have your own product to sell? You can do a Live demonstrating a product and how to use it. It will help your readers see the product in action, which means they will be more likely to buy it than if they just saw it in a blog or social media post.
  5. It’s free and easy to get started- Sometimes I think we take all of this amazing technology for granted. Now we have a free way to connect with our audience via video in real time. That is really cool and we should take advantage of it.
  6. Live video gets more reach and attention on Facebook- In the Facebook algorithm, it has been proven that Live video gets more Facebook “juice” than other posts. This means that your video can reach people more than a regular post or video. If Facebook is giving more pull to Live video, then we should be using it to grow our pages and audience.
  7. You can use the replay to make ads for your page- One of my favorite features of Facebook Live, that other sites like Instagram and Snapchat don’t have, is the ability to watch the replay after the live for as long as you want. That means that the people that show up live are only a small part of the overall reach. You can use these videos to make a video ad that will attract new people to your brand as well.
Check out 7 reasons why you should be using Facebook Live for your business. #FacebookLive #blogClick To Tweet

Action Steps:

  1. Come up with a relevant topic for a Facebook Live.
  2. Record a Facebook Live on your Facebook page and interact with your followers.
  3. Save the replay and use it to attract more followers on your page.

Facebook Live is a free, powerful tool that we can use in our business to interact with and serve our readers. So don’t be shy! Make a goal to do a weekly or monthly Facebook Live in your business to take things to the next level. You won’t regret it!

Are you using live video in your business? Click here to see 7 reasons why you should be using Facebook Live for your business. #livevideo #facebooklive #blogging

How do you use Facebook Live in your business? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks!




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The One Course That Will Guarantee You Rock Facebook

Is Facebook frustrating you? Click here to see the one course that will help you rock Facebook for your blog or online business.

Is Facebook making your crazy? Does the algorithm actually hate you?

That is how I felt too.

I mean, how are we supposed to share our work on social media when people never see it?



There is one course out there that will help you clear up your Facebook problems and get you moving in the right direction.

Moolah Page Strategies Course

The Moolah Page Strategies Course by Rachel Miller is life changing for your understanding of Facebook and how you can use it to grow your business and your income.

It doesn’t matter if you are a blogger, online shop owner, local business, author or whatever title you might give yourself. Rachel can help!

My pages were so sad when I started this course.

I had no engagement, hardly any reach and only 1 or 2 new likes a month. I mean, that is pathetic, right?

Here are a few things Rachel taught me that helped me start moving forward:

Figure out who you want your audience to be:

Who is the ideal person you are targeting? Do you know what they like, dislike, are interested in or would like to share about themselves?

You can’t find your true audience until you know what your true audience is: so do your research.

Make your content shareable by your audience:

Make sure that the content you are putting on your page is something your audience wants to share with the world. Does your content reflect well on them? If not, they aren’t going to share it with their friends.

Purge people from your followers that aren’t your avatar:

When you started your page, did you invite your friends and family to join?

Did you run a broad contest just to get likes with no worry about if they were your avatar?

Did you join blogging follow for follow groups, which means that tons of bloggers are following your non-blogging page?

These things can ruin your page because Facebook will think that these are your ideal followers, when they are not.

You must tell Facebook who your ideal followers are by only attracting them with your content.

Stick to the topic:

When you first start a page, you need to only target a specific niche (topic). Then as your page grows, you can broaden that topic some. Again, if you are too random on your page, Facebook won’t know what your page is about, which means it doesn’t know who to recommend your page to.

Consistency is key:

And lastly, you must show up every day (either in person or scheduled) so that Facebook knows that your page is active and churning out reliable content for their readers.

These are just a few of the things I learned from Rachel’s class.

Other topics this class teaches:

  • How to combine with your competitors to help each other.
  • How to set up a content strategy that works.
  • How to get your content to go viral.
  • What to do when your content goes viral.
  • How to invite people to like your page.
  • How to effectively run Facebook ads on your page.
  • How to monetize your page.
  • and so much more.

My results:

I was so frustrated with Facebook, I just wanted to throw in the towel. It seemed like it was impossible to get a new page going like those other pages I see with tons of followers.

I was reluctant to spend that much money (it is an investment) on a course just for Facebook. Would it really make that big of difference?

I started the course in August with 2 pages: Our Provident Homestead (259 follows) and Pixel Perfect Blogging (32 follows). Like I said, I was hardly moving those numbers at all, not matter what I tried.

Today, I have the same pages (with different names): Modern Homesteader (495 follows) and Photography for Bloggers (134 follows).

Now, I know that those aren’t viral numbers. Those are slow and steady gains that are hard earned. I had to actually purge my followers before I could get moving in the right direction.

This course isn’t about getting 100,000 followers overnight (although there are people that go viral and hit huge numbers in a short period of time).

But for me, just understanding Facebook and what I can do to get those numbers moving was worth the price of the course.

Also, the information she gives on Ad targeting is priceless. I was so confused by ads and pixels and retargeting. Now I understand it, I just have to do it.

Are you ready to get started?

The Moolah Page Strategies Course is not open right now, but no worries.

You can get on the waitlist here—> (affiliate link) Moolah Page Strategies

On that same page, you can join the free Facebook Page Massive Growth Strategies Facebook Group.

In the group, she gives so much awesome content away for free, which can help you get your page going while you wait for the course to open.

Get the one course that will help you rock Facebook for your blog or online business. #FacebookClick To Tweet

I can’t recommend this course enough! I am looking forward to using the strategies I learned to skyrocket my pages in the new year! Will you join me?

Is Facebook frustrating you? Click here to see the one course that will help you rock Facebook for your blog or online business. #socialmediatips #blogging #Facebook #Moolah

What do you want to understand better about Facebook? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks!




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9 Ways I Use Tailwind for Pinterest Scheduling & Analytics

Have you maximized Pinterest for your blog? Click here to see how using Tailwind can skyrocket your blog traffic and pinning effectiveness. #Tailwind #Pinterest #bloggingtools #blogging

Pinterest is the primary driver of traffic for many blogs. You can reach so many people in Pinterest with great graphics and content.

If you want to read more about Pinterest, you can do that here—> 6 Reasons I Love Pinterest and You Should Too.



But how do you keep up with the constant pinning required to maximize Pinterest?

Enter Tailwind.

There are several popular Pinterest Scheduling tools out there, but I like Tailwind the best.

Have you maximized Pinterest for your blog? Click here to see how using Tailwind can skyrocket your blog traffic and pinning effectiveness. #Tailwind #Pinterest #bloggingtools #blogging

Here is what my schedule looks like now. It is the end of the month, so my schedule is pretty empty.

How do I use it?

  1. Set up an account (If you use this link to sign up, we both get a $15 credit)
  2. Add a Tailwind button to your browser, so you can schedule no matter what page you are on.
  3. Add pins to your schedule from Pinterest or your blog.
  4. Customize your schedule to how many pins you want to pin per day and at what times.
  5. When you schedule a pin to multiple boards, you can schedule them back to back or use an interval to spread them out.
  6. Add pins to tribes for more exposure.
  7. After a few days, look at your analytics to see what pins are performing better.
  8. Look at your board analytics to see which personal and group boards are doing the best.
  9. I have several tribes that I started in my niche that help bring traffic to my site via Pinterest.

Have you maximized Pinterest for your blog? Click here to see how using Tailwind can skyrocket your blog traffic and pinning effectiveness. #Tailwind #Pinterest #bloggingtools #blogging

What about Tribes?

Tribes are a great addition to Tailwind.

Basically, Tribes are a combination of group boards and share threads. Bloggers can join a tribe that is related to their niche. They can post their related content to the tribe and others can repin them to their boards.

Tribes help everyone because it gets your content out to more people and you can add quality content to your boards (which Pinterest likes).

Recently, the rules of tribes has changed (it was in the beta stage before).

So, tribes used to be free for anyone, but now you need to have an account to use them.

For the free account, you can access 5 tribes and upload 30 pins (at the time this blog post went live).

After that, you can pay $5 for PowerUps to add more tribes.

The great part of the actual launch of Tribes (it was in beta before) is that you can search for tribes in your niche and request to join.

This makes it much easier to find than before.

How do I get help with Tailwind?

A great resource to learn Tailwind is the (affiliate link) How to Master Tailwind Course by Simple Pin Media. This course walks you through Tailwind and how to maximize the use of it. It is full of helpful videos to get you started right.

Tailwind also has videos inside the program to help get you started.

Action Steps:

  1. Sign up: Free Trial of Tailwind
  2. Start scheduling your pins for maximum exposure
  3. Check your analytics to see what is working and what isn’t
See how using Tailwind can skyrocket your blog traffic and pinning effectiveness. #Tailwind #blogClick To Tweet

Tailwind is the first scheduling software I subscribed to to help me get control and save time with my Pinterest strategy. Whether you use the free or paid version of Tailwind, you need to try this tool out for yourself. If you are manual pinning, this tool will be a lifesaver. If you are using other tools for Pinterest, I encourage you to try Tailwind for a few months and compare. It will help your business and your sanity to use Tailwind for Pinterest.

Have you maximized Pinterest for your blog? Click here to see how using Tailwind can skyrocket your blog traffic and pinning effectiveness. #Tailwind #Pinterest #bloggingtools #blogging

Do you use Tailwind? Let us know what you think about it in the comments below. Thanks!




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32 Do’s & Don’ts for Hashtags on Social Media

Do you know how to use the hashtag properly on social media? Whether it is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, using hashtags can help your content get seen. #hashtag #socialmediatips #socialmediastrategy

How do you feel about hashtags? To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan at first. It seemed like such a millennial thing, and I am not a millennial (no offense meant, I’m just old!).

Today I want to dive into what a hashtag is and how you can use them effectively to promote your blog on social media.



What is a Hashtag?

Hashtags are short links preceded by a pound (#) sign. The are used to categorize things on social media.

But how did they come about and why should we care?

Where did Hashtags start?

Did you know that the hashtag is 10 years old? I didn’t either.

The first hashtag showed up on Twitter in August 2007 when Chris Messina, a social technology expert, posted this tweet: ?how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]??

Then in October 2007, the hashtag #sandiegofire went crazy when people used it to give instant updates on the San Diego Fire.

In July 2009, Twitter formally adapted hashtags into code, automatically linking terms that start with the # sign.

The term hashtag was added to the Merriam Webster dictionary in 2014. The definition said: “A word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorises the accompanying text (such as a tweet).”

General Hashtag Rules:

  1. No Spaces- Don’t put spaces between your words in a hashtag. Instead, you let it all run together like #iswinteroveryet.
  2. No Punctuation- Don’t use punctuation, that’s pretty self explanatory.
  3. You can use numbers- Numbers are fine in hashtags.
  4. Capitals Don’t Matter- You can use capitals when you are trying to separate words, but they search the same whether they are upper or lowercase.
  5. Keep It Short- Don’t write a long sentence for a hashtag. It wouldn’t be searchable or be of much use later.
  6. Look at the Big Hashtags for Trends- Under Trends in Twitter, it will give you the most popular hashtags for things you are most interested in. Using these will help your tweets get seen by others.
  7. Don’t Go Overboard- Too many hashtags looks bad, so just a pick a few of your favorites that make sense.
  8. Start Your Own Hashtag- You can start your own hashtag for your brand or business, conference or event. Just let everyone know so that they can use it too.
  9. Don’t use a hashtag just because it is popular- Don’t use a popular hashtag if it doesn’t work with your content. That just messes up the system for everyone.

How do you use Hashtags on different social media platforms?

Hashtags are used in social media to organize and combine relevant posts in one spot. You can search by hashtags and find trending (or suggested) hashtags too.

Do you know how to use the hashtag properly on social media? Whether it is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, using hashtags can help your content get seen. #hashtag #socialmediatips #socialmediastrategy

Here are some different ways the top platforms use this tool:

Facebook

  • Don’t use hashtags on every post. Most normal people of Facebook don’t use hashtags, so you don’t want to either. If you do, you might stand out as a “brand” instead of another user.
  • You can use them in your groups to organize posts. Some groups use the #ask or #promo to let people know what the post is about and help find them later.
  • If you are doing sponsored content, you may need to use the brand hashtags. Brands love hashtags!
  • Because most people’s Facebook accounts are private, the only hashtags that are searchable on Facebook are for businesses and brands.

Instagram

  • Use hashtags that are equivalent to your number of followers. So if you have a small follower count, use smaller hashtags to get noticed quicker.
  • You can use up to 30 per post, but most people don’t use all of their hashtags.
  • Adding hashtags can help you be found by other users in search, so you should use them strategically.
  • Some people prefer to put their hashtags in a group in the first comment instead of the description. This can help clean up your description area.
  • You can also use hashtags in stories. This gives you more power to be found by others.

Twitter

  • This is the original home of the hashtag, so we feel most comfortable using them here.
  • Use trending hashtags (found in the sidebar) to get your content seen (but only if it makes sense).
  • You can use hashtags in a sentence or at the end.
  • You can use as many hashtags as you want, but Twitter suggests only using 2 per tweet.
  • You can use a certain hashtag to join a conversation with others you don’t follow on the same topic.

Pinterest

  • Pinterest only recently started encouraging people to use hashtags. Before that it was a big no, no.
  • As of now, only titles and hashtags are showing up in the feed, not descriptions. Of course, this could change at anytime. So use those hashtags!
  • Use hashtags to do targeted research in your niche to find what is popular on Pinterest.
  • Use them as keywords for search to get your content seen by more people.
  • You can use up to 20 on Pinterest, but you probably won’t have space for that many: 4 is the recommended max for Pinterest.

How do you know which Hashtags to use for your niche?

Research! You can do this research in any platform and they will most likely be similar, but it is best if you research on the platform you plan to use.

  1. Use your normal keywords for your blog and put them in the search with a hashtag. See if that hashtag is being used and by how many.
  2. See what populates when you start to type in a hashtag. This is a good way to find derivatives of a word for a hashtag.
  3. Look at popular bloggers in your niche and see what they are using.
  4. Search for trending hashtags and see if you can fit them into your content (only if they make sense).

Action Steps:

  1. Research large hashtags in your niche to see what is popular and trending.
  2. Use smaller ones if you have a smaller account to get found by new followers.
  3. Start using hashtags on Pinterest, now that they are approved.
Tips to use the hashtags properly on social media for your blog. #hashtags #socialmedia #bloggingClick To Tweet

Hashtags are helpful in getting your content found and researching what is new in your market. If you have an event (conference, challenge, etc) coming up, consider using a new hashtag for your followers. This helps them find each other and connect as well. Don’t go overboard with hashtags, but use them in just the right way depending on the social media platform. This can take some time to get used to, but it will pay off in the end. Happy Hashtagging!

Resources:

Beginners Guide to the Hashtag @ Mashable

The History of the Hashtag @ Short Stack

Hashtag Turns 10: 7 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Trending Symbol @ The Telegraph

Are You Making These 7 Top Hashtag Mistakes? @ Forbes

Do you know how to use the hashtag properly on social media? Whether it is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, using hashtags can help your content get seen. #hashtag #socialmediatips #socialmediastrategy

How do you use hashtags for your business? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks!




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5 Ways to Grow Your Social Proof with Instagram Now!

Do you want to grow social proof for your blog? Click here to see 5 ways to gain momentum on Instagram to bring traffic and fans to your blog. #blogging #socialmedia #instagramtips

Instagram is a photographer’s dream. It is a social media platform that revolves around photography and sharing your daily life. By growing your following on Instagram, you can increase the social proof for your blog. Also, you grow brand awareness for when you are ready to sell a product or affiliate promotions. Instagram doesn’t usually drive traffic to your blog, because you can’t put links in your captions. So how do we get going with Instagram?



How did Instagram get it’s start?

According to Wikipedia, Instagram started in San Francisco, by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. The word Instagram is a joining of instant camera and telegram.

Kevin Systrom posted the first photo to Instagram on July 16, 2010. The photo shows a dog in Mexico and Systrom’s girlfriend’s foot. Facebook bought out Instagram in 2012.

Why do I like Instagram?

  • It is photography centered. Instagram is all about visual marketing. Whether it is photos or video, you can’t get good interaction on Instagram without good visuals.
  • It is more active than Facebook. I have found that Instagram is easier to get into than Facebook. You post great photos and you get likes and comments right away.
  • I love to fill my feed with beautiful photos. My feed is full of beautiful travel, food and flat lay photos. I could look at it all the time!

How do I use Instagram for Business?

  1. I post behind the scenes photos of my homestead for my homesteading blog. For this niche, I post pictures of the animals on the homestead or what I am cooking up in the kitchen.
  2. I post videos on my stories for both blogs. Stories are a great way to show people what you and your blog are all about.
  3. For this blog, I post pictures and quotes from the blog. Since this is a photography blog, I post my photos and quotes from the blog posts.

What types of blogs do well on Instagram?

As long as you take decent photos and stay on topic, any blogger can do well on Instagram. You want your readers to be able to expect good quality content on a regular basis.

What things do you need to do to thrive on Instagram?

  1. Make a theme for your feed. Your theme could be a certain color, quotes, flat lay photos, etc. Whatever you pick, stick to it so your readers know what to expect.
  2. Post consistently, atleast once a day. You need to get new content out there daily to stay relevant and on top of people’s minds. You can use a scheduler to do this so you can batch your content at once and then have it drip out daily.
  3. Show your life in instagram stories. Your stories can be more impromptu than your regular feed. You can show behind the scenes of your blog or video from your latest vacation. It doesn’t matter as long as it will be interesting to your audience.
  4. Follow and comment on other people’s posts. Instagram is social, which means you don’t want to drop pictures and run. You should follow others and comment/like their stuff too. This will gain you more followers.
  5. Use appropriate hashtags to help people find your photos. It is recommended to use between 10-20 hashtags on your photos to get them noticed outside of the feed. Do your research and see which ones will be best for your brand.

Do you want to grow social proof for your blog? Click here to see 5 ways to gain momentum on Instagram to bring traffic and fans to your blog. #blogging #socialmedia #instagramtips

What tools to use to make Instagram easier:

Tailwind for Instagram is a tool that allows you to schedule posts and look at the analytics to see what is doing the best. Click here for a free trial (affiliate link)—> Tailwind App

Other apps that are popular, but that I haven’t personally used are Buffer, CoSchedule, HootSuite and MeetEdgar.

The Drawbacks of Instagram:

  1. You can’t leave clickable links in your description. You can add one clickable link to your profile. That’s it.
  2. You can’t post on desktop. You can schedule your posts on desktop (atleast for Mac users), but you have to use your phone to deliver that post.
  3. The feed moves fairly fast, so people don’t see all of your posts unless they go to your profile.
  4. It doesn’t drive much traffic directly to the blog. Instagram is more about building your brand and audience than about direct traffic to your blog.

How do I use ads on Instagram?

When you make a Facebook ad, you can also run the ad on Instagram. When you run an ad on Instagram, it allows you to make it clickable to your post or freebie.

What about Instagram Stories?

  • Stories help you share real time photos or videos with your audience.
  • If you have atleast 10,000 followers, you can add links by having your audience swipe up to go to another site.
  • Stories only last for 24 hours.
  • You can go live in stories, but you can’t save the live for later use (like Facebook).

Online Courses for Instagram:

Food Blogger Pro- This is a membership site where there are several classes on Instagram and how you can increase your presence there. The membership site isn’t open right now, but you can get on the waiting list here (affiliate link) –> Food Blogger Pro

Click here to see 5 ways to gain momentum on Instagram to bring traffic and fans to your blog.Click To Tweet

Action Steps:

  1. Evaluate your feed and brainstorm a common theme you want to stick with for that Instagram Profile.
  2. Choose 10 new hashtags to use on your photos to get more engagement and follows.
  3. Get in front of the camera and do an Instagram story on your account today.

Instagram can be a great tool to grow your brand and get your name out there for social proof for your blog. It will also help if you want to do work with brands for sponsored content. It can be intimidating at first, but if you stick with it it can really help your business. Start by posting great content consistently and people will respond. Don’t give up!

Do you want to grow social proof for your blog? Click here to see 5 ways to gain momentum on Instagram to bring traffic and fans to your blog. #blogging #socialmedia #instagramtips

How do you use Instagram in your business? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!




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How to Use Facebook to Boost Your Blog

Is Facebook frustrating you? Click here to see how you can use Facebook to boost your blog with 5 tips for blog traffic success. #blogging #facebook #socialmedia #blogtraffictips

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. It seems like it would be a wonderful place for people to see my content and interact with my brand.

But then there is “the algorithm”. The dreaded algorithm. The algorithm picks and chooses what my readers see and how often they see it. And most of the time it seems like only a fraction of my readers see my content.

So, what is a blogger to do?



How did Facebook Get It’s Start?

If you have seen the movie The Social Network, you have a basic idea of the beginnings of Facebook. Here is the scoop according to Wikipedia: Facebook is a social networking service launched on February 4, 2004. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommate and fellow Harvard University student Eduardo Saverin. The website’s membership was initially limited by the founders to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and gradually most universities in the United States and Canada, corporations, and by September 2006, to everyone with a valid email address along with an age requirement of being 13 and older.

For bloggers, Facebook used to be so much easier to get their content in front of their audience. Then in 2013, Facebook changed their algorithm to only show content by popularity, not chronologically. This algorithm seems to be the blogger’s nemesis, but there are some things you can do to get more traffic from Facebook. We will discuss those a little later.

Why do I like Facebook?

  • Interaction with like minded people. I can find “my people” on Facebook on almost any topic or niche available.
  • Potential for great reach for my products and services. I can target other people’s audiences with cheap ads for more exposure. The big bloggers use Facebook ads to scale their businesses.
  • I use it personally to keep in touch with people. You can see your friends from all over the world and stay up on their lives on Facebook.

How do I use Facebook for Business?

  • I use it as another place blog readers can get in touch with me. Social media is a place you can interact with your target audience and get feedback from them as well.
  • I have a group for my homesteading blog. Facebook groups can help form a community around your brand and niche.
  • I run ads to promote products and get email subscribers. Facebook ads are a cheap advertising tool that can help you reach more potential customers.
  • I can curate content on my page that is interesting to my avatar. I hope that my Facebook page is a place where people can find great content in my niche from various resources.

What types of blogs do well on Facebook?

  • Most people 25 and up are on Facebook, men and women. So this covers many niches and types of blogs. I find that the younger generation (teenagers and young adults) prefer SnapChat and Instagram over Facebook for the most part.
  • The more of your own content (blog posts, videos and memes) you have to share, the better you will do. Making your own memes can boost your page and bring new readers in when their friends share your stuff.

Is Facebook frustrating you? Click here to see how you can use Facebook to boost your blog with 5 tips for blog traffic success. #blogging #facebook #socialmedia #blogtraffictips

What things do you need to do to thrive on Facebook?

  1. Get clear on your avatar (who you’re blog is written for). You need to really understand and narrow down your page to just the person you are trying to attract. You don’t want to try to attract everyone. Facebook is huge! Attract the avatar that fits your blog and that you can help in the future.
  2. Make sure your page is easily identifiable as something they are interested in by the profile picture and name. Make your page about them, not you. Make your profile picture and name clear to attract the right reader. Your name on Facebook doesn’t need to be your blog name. It needs to be something your reader can quickly identify with and they wouldn’t mind sharing with their friends.
  3. Only post content that is relevant to the topic of the page. One page, one topic. The more narrow your page, especially in the beginning, the easier it is to attract the perfect person for your brand. Later, when your page is bigger, you can add more topics to an established audience.
  4. Share 4-5 times a day with a mix of relevant content. You don’t want to just drop a link to your latest blog post and go. You want to post several times a day with different kinds of content such as memes, videos and even affiliates.
  5. Invite those that interact with your page (by liking, sharing or commenting on content). When someone likes your content, there is a way to invite them to like your page. This gets new likes that are actually perfect for your page.

What Tools to Use to Make Facebook Easier:

The best tool for scheduling on Facebook is Facebook’s native scheduler. It is believed that using third party scheduler’s on Facebook can reduce your reach, so don’t do it!

How Do I Use Ads on Facebook?

Targeting on Facebook works really well, once you figure out how to do it. Many people use ads to promote an email opt in or sell a product. I am not going to cover how to make an ad in this post, but here are some resources to help you get started:

This Podcast Series by Amy Porterfield is very helpful on giving you ideas to use Facebook ads to increase your email list.

Here are Facebook Ad Tips straight from Facebook itself.

Neil Patel goes through Facebook Ads step by step in this post.

What about Facebook Groups?

Facebook groups are a great way to build community. Facebook is favoring groups lately because it wants people to build community in Facebook and not other places. By starting a group for your blog, you can help people more and find a group of raving fans that will be more likely to buy your products in the future. Click here to find out more about Facebook groups: Nurturing Your Tribe: 7 Reasons to Start a Facebook Group.

Online Courses You Can Take To Up Your Facebook Game:

The best course for Facebook in my opinion is the FB Strategies Course by Rachel Miller. She goes through setting up your page, finding your audience, selling on Facebook, running Facebook ads and so much more. It is such a comprehensive course and the Facebook group for it is awesome too!

I wrote a review of the course here: The One Course that will Guarantee you Rock Facebook.

It isn’t open right now, but there will be a flash sale soon (by the end of the year) to her waiting list, so check it out and get on the list here.

Action Steps:

  1. Make sure your profile picture and name are appealing to your reader, so they know instantly what your page is about.
  2. Curate content on your page that only goes with the topic your page is about.
  3. Try a Facebook ad to to grow your email list with a lead magnet.

Facebook can really be frustrating for bloggers. Especially when they seem to change the rules every week and want us to “pay to play” to get any attention. So should we just give up on Facebook and move on? I don’t think so. Atleast not yet. I hope these tips and tricks will help you keep moving forward on Facebook to find your true fans.

I also really recommend Rachel’s course. It is more than I thought I would spend on a Facebook course, but it was totally worth it. I learned so much and I have continual support when new changes are made. It’s awesome!

How do you use Facebook to drive traffic to your blog? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks!




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Don’t Get Sucked Down The Social Media Rabbit Hole

Do you have a hard time getting things done? Click here to see how these 7 tips can help you increase productivity and get more done blogging. #socialmedia #productivity

Blogging can be overwhelming. So many tasks everyone is telling you that you need to do. So many places you need to have a “presence”.

Social media is one of those things that people tell you need to do to get traffic. But figuring out each platform is time consuming and frustrating.



So you pick your favorite platform and you jump in.

Let’s take Facebook as an example:

  • You send a new post automatically to Facebook when it publishes.
  • You try to share other’s content.
  • You see what competitors are doing on Facebook.
  • Then you see a friend that posted a cool article.
  • You read the article.
  • Then back to your page to see if anyone has commented.

The list goes on and on. In no time, you have spent an hour on Facebook without even realizing it.

This is what we call getting sucked down the rabbit hole.

Now I’m not saying social media (or other tasks) are bad. They are necessary in this blogging world. But there are ways to keep small tasks from ruling your life. That is what we are going to talk about today.

How do you keep little things from taking over your schedule?

  1. Set a schedule for working hours-Find blocks of time where you can work uninterrupted. Whether this is early morning, mid day or evening, it doesn’t matter. Whatever works well for your schedule and family. Then don’t let anything get in the way of those time blocks.
  2. Prioritize your tasks-Make a list of what has to be done today, then this week, then this month. Start with today’s blog post or whatever is pressing right now. Checking things off your to do list will make you feel good and help you be more productive.
  3. Turn off your notifications-Notifications on your computer or phone can be very distracting. Turn them off or use the app
  4. Turn off your phone-I have a hard time with this one because I have kids at school during the day while I’m working. But if at all possible, turning off your phone will help you concentrate on your work without distractions.
  5. Don’t try to do “all the things”- You don’t have to be a master at everything. Get the big stuff done first (blog posts, growing your email list, etc) before you add more to your plate. They will still be there when you get around to them.
  6. Automate as much as you can- Use services like Facebook Scheduler and Tailwind to automate your social media so that you can batch your work hours. Then you can do the work each morning or once a week and not have to be constantly updating social media.
  7. Hire out if you can- If you have already started making money on your blog, it may be a good time to find a VA or someone to hire to manage your social media for you. Give them exact instructions on what you want done and then let it go!

What can I get rid of on my to do list?

By pairing down your to do list, you will get more done of what really matters. How do we do this?

What tools can I use to help automate tasks?

  1. Social Media Schedulers (Tailwind, MeetEdgar, CoSchedule)
  2. Email Service Providers (ConverKit, Drip, MailChimp)
  3. Stock Photography (StoryBlocks, iStock, Pixabay)

A recent podcast I just loved is the Just Keep Blogging Podcast Episode 13: Blogging Squirrels You Need to Ignore. In this episode, she explains what she means by squirrels, and how to avoid getting distracted while blogging.

Time management and productivity are very important when you have your own business. Whether you are working full time at another job, blogging during nap time or if you are blogging at home full time, it doesn’t matter. You want to use your time in the best way possible. After all, wasn’t one of the reasons to go into blogging was to make more money in less time than your regular 9 to 5?

Action Steps:

  1. Prioritize your task list.
  2. Get rid of things on your list that aren’t making you money.
  3. Automate as much as possible.

Do you have a hard time getting things done? Click here to see how these 7 tips can help you increase productivity and get more done blogging. #socialmedia #productivity

How do keep your productivity on track? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!




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