How To Start A Blog The Right Way: Learn From My Failures To Create A More Successful Blog
Today I'm going to show you the five things I wish I'd understood about blogging when I started a year ago. These are all areas where I've constantly had to make changes and improvements, resulting in excess time spent on my blog and a loss of profit. I'm sharing these tips with you in the hopes that you'll use them to fix your own blogging mistakes and build a better, more income-producing blog from the start!
I’ve made massive mistakes because I’ve taken bits and pieces of information but not employing the FULL STRATEGIES required to build a profitable blog. It sucks to fail. Moreso, it sucks to constantly be reworking my brand, website, data, and practices because I didn’t listen to every minute of the course or read every word in the blog. Scanning for photos is not going to work this time, you guys.
Before you go any further, I need one promise: READ THIS ENTIRE BLOG. I have spent months compiling good, useful, and easily applied information into this post but the best information can’t force you to make these changes. So my request is that you set aside two hours to read this in full. Take notes. Read it again and again until you understand it.
The following post may contain affiliate links.
As an Affiliate Marketing Associate I earn commissions from qualifying purchases.
This helps me keep the content coming, so thanks for your support! xoxo
Yes - PIN IT. Put it on a blogging techniques board and use it as a referral tool as you write your first 15 blog posts. I genuinely don’t care how often you use it. I just want you to use it.
WHY AM I TEACHING YOU HOW TO BUILD A BETTER BLOG?
This information is free and it’s here for YOU. I already know this stuff. I’ve spent the past year learning it. I am doing this FOR YOU. I don’t even blog about blogging! You’re not even my niche market audience!
I just know that blogging is a hard business and the information that is out there is conflicting and to get to the good stuff, you have to pay. I’ve paid A LOT of money over the past 18 months to learn some of these techniques. Like, a lot of money. Teaching people how to blog is a billion dollar empire and the truth is that most people who pay for those courses don’t actually end up with successful blogging careers. Most don’t put in the work, don’t fully understand the techniques, get lost in the verbiage, expect someone to come up with a quick scheme for answering their prayers without effort, etc.
But you’re not most. Because you’ve already promised me you’d read this whole blog. So here’s my promise to you: I am not going to sugarcoat, exaggerate, or otherwise lie to you about the process of blogging. I won’t show you an income report that makes it look like I’m rolling in cash, but fail to keep the expenses private. I won’t claim you’re going to walk away from this post with a fresh outlook on life, a new hairstyle, and a Mercedes in your driveway. I can only promise that I’ve done the research, put in the work, tried a million different tactics, and that the information I’m about to give you is the best information I have available as a result of a culmination of the past 18 months of research, practice, failure, and (yes) some success.
So let’s do this ish.
THE TOP 5 MISTAKES I MADE AS A NEW BLOGGER + HOW I’VE CORRECTED THEM
My First Blogging Mistake: Starting a Blog With No Clear Business Direction or Goal
Did you see that screenshot at the top? That’s a screenshot from my very first blog post. I wrote that post two days before my birthday and with all the vigor of an excitable toddler with a new toy! I had no idea where this blog would go. I had no plans.
You see, at the time, I was using the blog as an off-shoot of my local, full-service Interior Design business. For me, the blog was a way to connect with an audience, showcase my work, and get clients. Right?! Because everything I’d read online in the previous 4 months was telling me that a blog was an awesome way to market my services. Clients were going to come knocking down my door as soon as my first post was live!
In the back of my mind, I’d even toyed with the idea that this blog was going to skyrocket me into Internet Stardom! After all, my favorite home decor bloggers has started a blog with no intention of ever being famous and now they have furniture lines and book deals! Surely, I could do the same. I have talent, a passion for DIY home decor, a basic grasp on American Prose, and a camera phone!
Four months after that first post, I still hadn’t secured a single paying client, my blog traffic was minuscule, business bills were piling up, I was working 60+ hours a week, and I was facing a mini-meltdown.
Why? Because I was winging it. I was treating this blog, and my business as a whole, like a hobby. I had no plan. I was literally just writing blog posts to fulfill my own, determined-out-of-the-blue, quota.
I believed the successful bloggers who’d said they started from scratch and were surprised to find success. I thought things would just fall into place as soon as I put my content out there.
Here’s what you’re going to do differently -
BLOGGING TIPS: How To Manage Your Blog Like A Business To Increase Revenue, Find More Success, And Avoid Burn-out
The blogging environment has changed a lot in the past 15 years. Successful bloggers don't find success from fate or fortune anymore. They work hard to build their blogs. They treat them like businesses. They have action plans and quarterly projections. If you want success, you must work hard at this. Here are five things you must be doing to grow your blog in this climate.
1. Develop a business plan + stay on task.
Every successful entrepreneur starts with a business plan. I know this can sound intimidating but I promise it’s as easy as writing a blog. Which, hey! That’s why you’re here, right?! Business plans are personal, so this is one arena in which I don’t recommend you outsource. This needs to come directly from you. If you’re starting a blog as a team, you and your contributors will all need to sit down together for this. Here’s an amazing free resource for learning how to write a business plan.
I’m also going to acknowledge that running a business is hard. There are a ton of moving parts and keeping everything straight + staying on task was super hard for me at first.
It took me a while, but I finally figured out how to maximize my time with block scheduling. I created this calendar system for myself and after seeing how well it worked, am now offering it to my newsletter subscribers for free. You can click here or the image below to get the download:
2. Set a realistic monthly budget.
Running a blog is not free. No matter what people tell you, please understand this: RUNNING A BLOG COSTS MONEY. I honestly can’t tell you how much it will cost you but I can tell you that number won’t be $0.
Here are the bare minimum items you need to plan to roll into your budget;
- website hosting fees
- domain fees
- email service provider fees
- scheduling assistants (more on this later)
- accountant fees (yes, seriously)
- photo editing software licensing fees
- MacBook Pro (trust me)
- DSLR camera
- graphic design fees
- continued education course fees
- Internet Service Provider fees
Some of these items may only require a one-time payment. Some may be paid annually. Others, of course, will be charged on a monthly basis. I’ll get into more details about the best solutions for all of these later. But for now let’s talk about web hosting because this is the biggest regret I have with my blog and also the most common mistake people make when they start new blogs today.
3. Choose a good web host (SquareSpace ain’t it, friends).
Web hosts can be a lot like Internet service providers or cell phone companies - everyone hates the one they have, right?! I promise you, this is not about that. You are currently reading this blog on a site hosted with SquareSpace and I literally wish you weren’t. Not because I don’t want you reading this - remember our promises - but because I wish I’d done more research and developped a better plan before committing to a host.
For building a simple website, SquareSpace has been relatively easy to use, (as they promise in their 8,000,000 podcast commercials), but it doesn’t really offer you the tools you are going to wish you had as a blogger.
This goes back to your business planning - once you know what you want out of your blog, you can make better decisions about where you put your blog.
For me, I’m excitedly creating courses this year and working hard to grow my email list (more on that later). So I want a host that offers the opportunity to create lead channels, automated emails, hosted courses, and all of those advanced blogging features that SquareSpace just doesn’t have right now. That means I’m currently working on moving my entire site - one page at a time - over to BuilderAll. womp womp
If you’re genuinely only interested in hosting a blog (which I guess you have every right to be, but eventually I think you’ll grow out of), SquareSpace is great and here’s the link one more time to start your free trial. I am just going to offer one more warning that I genuinely believe any blog that is successful is going to quickly outgrow SquareSpace. Okay. Fair warning.
4. Invest in quality + Outsource your weaknesses.
I ran my blog on an old Dell laptop, using my iPhone 6 for pictures, for three months. My Dell kicked the bucket and I upgraded to a MacBookPro. It was the best decision I ever made for my blog. This machine is a workhorse and it very rarely lets me down. At the same time, I bought a Nikon D3400 that has since been discontinued, but here’s the latest model. Both of these machines took my blog from amateur to professional but it didn’t happen overnight.
I had to spend a lot of time learning how to take and edit good photos. Frankly, I’m still learning, but here’s what works for me for now:
For editing, I use Lightroom from Adobe Creative Cloud. This platform is relatively easy and the Auto function saves me so much time. You literally click a button and your photo looks instantly better. You may need to enhance it slightly afterwards, but it does a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Once I’ve edited my photos, I use Canva to build Pinterest-friendly graphics like the ones you see in this post (more on this later).
You may also want to consider hiring a graphic designer to create a logo or a website template for you. There are lots of places you can get paid templates, depending on your host. I’m actually using the Montauk template from SquareSpace but I’ve made a TON of tweaks to it. That’s another regret. It’s taken me over a year to finally like the look of my site because I’ve been building it all myself. From tweaking the template to building the logo, it’s all been me. My time is worth money too. If I’d paid someone to do all of this work - or potentially just bought a template I already liked - I could’ve saved so much time. So pay for a logo design. DesignCrowd is seriously affordable option to find graphic designers who can help you.
5. Know your audience + then own your audience.
You need to have figured out who your target customer avatar is. Build the perfect blog reader from scratch in your mind. What’s her name? What are her hobbies? Now that you have an idea of her, CREATE CONTENT FOR HER. Next, figure out how to actually reach actual people like her. How does she use the internet? Where does she get her content? Go there. Be there all the time. Make sure she can find you. More on this later.
For me, this process was incredibly challenging and I absolutely wouldn’t have been able to do it by myself. I owe all of my success in establishing my business plan and ideal customer avatar to Kristen Poissant. She’s a Branding Consultant who absolutely kick-started my money-making in this business. I’m not paid to say this or to recommend her. I just really believe her services are worth the money because I’ve seen first-hand how impactful she can be with my own business.
When I say “own your audience”, I don’t mean this in the Internet slang “pwnd” kind of way. I mean that once you have her, keep her. You can’t do that through Instagram. She could leave the app. The algorithm could change. Any number of scenarios (including the terrifying but very real instagram hack) could keep you from reaching your audience. SO YOU MUST TAKE YOUR RELATIONSHIP OFF SOCIAL MEDIA.
Grow your email list. There are entire blogs - not just blog posts but BLOGS - written about this exact topic, so I’m not going to dive deep into it. Instead, allow me to recommend two of my favorite experts on the matter; Amy Porterfield and Melyssa Griffin. A lot of their content is free but to get the really good stuff, you’ll have to pay. Just FYI (again, not affiliated).
My Second Blogging Mistake: Not Properly Understanding Blogger’s Etiquette and Subsequently Pissing People Off
When I started my blog, I inadvertently made some big mistakes while trying to connect with other bloggers. I misused their content, naively assuming I was doing them a favor.
Not only is this now embarrassing to look back on, but it also burned some bridges I could actually be using today! Here are the best practices when it comes to building your blogging tribe:
BLOGGING TIPS: How To Connect With Other Bloggers To Build A Support System That Will Take Your Blog To The Next Level
1. Share their content the right way.
I had no idea how much of a Cardinal Rule of blogging I was breaking when I shared content. It was innocent enough - I saw something I liked and I grabbed the image, posted it to my site with a link back to their site and a caption that credited them. This seems like the right way to do it, eh?
Well, I missed a really important step. I left that image as a pinnable image, allowing other people (and even myself) to pin someone else’s content with a link back to MY SITE. I was making it look like my content, despite the best of intentions to not do that. I was essentially stealing content for pageviews!
I’ve searched high and low for a way to disable pinning on just a single image in Square Space and I simply can’t find it. As I mentioned before, SquareSpace has a lot of downfalls when it comes to blogging and this is a major one. In order to be able to share another blogger’s images without the Pinterest button popping up, I have to disable pinning on my entire post. No big deal, right?
Well, actually it’s a huge deal because Pinterest is the main driver of traffic to my blog (more on that later). Imagine writing an entire blog post and not being able to market it at all because of one image. So for this reason, I’ve stopped sharing other people’s content via photos.
THE BLOG HOP EXCEPTION: For blog hops, it’s generally accepted behavior that you’ll create a round-up style image that showcases everyone’s projects with some sort of text overlay and that can be pinnable. But individual images? Nope. I just add the link in the text.
2. Introduce yourself. Become friends. Support them. THEN YOU CAN ASK FAVORS OR QUESTIONS.
Have you ever been at a party and someone is a doctor or a lawyer and immediately upon hearing this, another guest starts firing away with 100 questions? You know what I mean.
Sheila: “Hi. Nice to meet you.”
Bob: “Nice to meet you, Sheila. What do you do?”
Sheila: “I’m a Neonatal Oncologist and —”
Bob: “OH! YOURE A DOCTOR! I have this weird scratchy feeling in my ear …..”
Bob’s effing annoying and rude. So don’t be Bob. Develop relationships. Build a rapport. Get to know someone before you start asking them for their connections or advice. I’m not telling you to fake friendliness. I’m saying that if you come into my DMs with a question about how I run my business but literally have never even said hello to me, I’m going to blow you off.
From the perspective of someone who has been working hard to build a business, let me tell you what this feels like - It feels like I’ve been busting my ass for the past 18 months and this stranger - who has never liked my Instagram posts, commented on my blog, shared my Facebook page, or given a rat’s ass about my business - just comes up thinking she has the rights to all of the hard work I’ve put in. You don’t. No one does. So don’t act like this and you’ll be more likely to actually get the information you need. You’ve just got to put in some work and effort first.
3. Give back twice what you get.
Once you’ve finally reached the stage in which you are politely able to request information from your fellow blogging friends, you must pay them back. I don’t mean that you should start sending them advice on their own blogs. DON’T EVER GIVE SOMEONE UNSOLICITED ADVICE. Not a friend. Not a colleague. Not a stranger. Not your mailman. If someone wants advice, they will ask for it. Otherwise, keep that opinion to yourself.
I mean that you will have to find a way to be twice as supportive of them as they were of you. Make a habit of liking their Instagram posts, sharing their Facebook posts, and pinning their blog posts. Put them on a damn calendar if that’s what it takes to remember to do this. Because I promise you - if you’ve gotten advice and then disappear, you’ll be clear outta luck next time you need something.
4. Join blogging groups and be silent.
There are a ton of blogging support groups on Facebook. I am in a group that I love. The bloggers there are helpful, funny, and I have learned half of what I’m telling you today from just watching them. I read every post. I look for answers there. I find ways to boost their pageviews and share their content as much as I can.
That group is full of bloggers who’ve been in the game for 5+ years. These are the masters. These are the ones who are making a living from their blogs. They’ve got good brand sponsorship connections. They know exactly how to do basically everything technical. They have audiences I want to reach. They are a goldmine. AND THEY LIKE ME. THEY REALLY LIKE ME.
Why? Because I didn’t come into the group and immediately start promoting myself. That’s not what this group is for. I didn’t post some big announcement like;
”Hey guys! I’m Teri and I’m a DIY Home Improvement Blogger over at tmoorehome.com. I love budget home decor and DIY crafting projects plus blue is my favorite color. You can follow me here: Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter”
While that may seem innocent enough for to you, it’s really just a thinly-veiled self promotion and fellow bloggers can see straight through that ish. So can it. Spend your first few months in that group just studying. Determine how others function. Join in on share posts (where everyone posts a pin or social media post of their own and then shares 3 others), but don’t come in all I own this group and I am the best and follow me because I’m here. First off, you don’t. You aren’t. And they won’t. Listen more than you talk. Give more than you get.
Also, no - I’m not going to send you a link or invite you to my blogging group. I don’t own it. It’s not my property to disperse. But here’s how I found it and how you can too -
5. Go where the bloggers are.
I’m going to dive into using social media and Pinterest to promote your blog in a few, but for now, let’s talk about using these platforms to build connections.
Instagram Exposure Groups: Everyone who has been marketing online for any period of time knows about these. I recommend joining one or two but not for the reasons you think. They don’t really work to increase your engagement. People are rarely online at the exact same time and they can honestly be a bigger pain than they’re worth. But I do recommend them for building some relationships. I’ve met my closest online friends through IG exposure groups. Seriously. I can honestly say that I love some of the people I’ve met via that platform. We’ve built lasting relationships and friendships that are so rare in this day and age. I’ve laughed my ass off with these women and I’ve cried over their heartbreaks. We’ve grown together as we all tackled our growing businesses, dealt with personal low-points, and celebrated successes. You won’t connect with everyone in these groups but I guarantee that if you open up, you will connect with someone.
Instagram Hashtag Hosting: Hashtag hosting works on a similar premise to an exposure group. You and a group of people with similar audiences / niches come together to “host” a weekly hashtag challenge. You guys come up with a new hashtag, promote it for other people to use, and then choose someone each week to feature who is not in your core group. For growth, these can be astounding (I’m looking at you - #colorismyjam hosts), but they’re really a good tool for building relationships with people in your exact niche. Find 5 people who do what you do and ask them to join you. It never hurts to ask. (For those of you who are wondering, the hashtag I host is called #BudgetHomeLove)
Instagram Hashtag Participation: In the same way that it helps to meet people when you host a weekly hashtag, it also helps to meet them when you’re asked to guest host (or be a featured account for the week). So participate in as many applicable hashtags as you can and you’ll start the relationship building process fast!
Blogging Challenges and Blog Hops: Once you’ve started building relationships and joining groups, these will come to you more frequently. My favorite way to meet new bloggers in my niche (home decor) is through a biannual design event called The One Room Challenge™. You can find my complete explanation of what this event is here.
Tailwind Tribes: We’ll get to Tailwind as a marketing service in a bit but for now I want to mention that this is where I’ve made my biggest fellow blogger connections. I found my blogger’s facebook group through a tribe. You can join Tailwind Tribes here.
My Third Blogging Mistake: Not Understanding A Blogger’s Value And Using It To Monetize My Content
So I’m a little old-school about monetization. Or at least I was when I started blogging. I remember that back in the day, my favorite bloggers would catch such animosity from readers when they monetized their blogs. The readers would act like they were being deceived whenever an affiliate link or sponsored product was mentioned.
I feared that backlash so much that I wasted a heavy portion of my first year of blogging by not using affiliate links or accepting sponsored posts (unless the “payment” from the sponsor came in the form of a gift card that I could pass on to my readers).
I literally blogged for free for the first seven months before I even added my first affiliate link.
You know better and the audience has changed. They no longer balk at sponsorships. They understand that this is a business - not a hobby - and that businesses exist to make people money. And for those readers who don’t understand that? Who cares? Leave them. They’re not going to make you any money anyway, so why worry about offending them?
You’re smarter than that. So here’s how you’re going to monetize your blog from Day One:
BLOGGING TIPS: How To Monetize Your Blog From Day One - Even If You Have No Traffic!
So many bloggers wait to monetize and I think this is a huge mistake. Here’s why: The content that you write in your first year of blogging doesn’t just disappear. It stays on the internet forever. So by the time you do have a good following and steady pageviews, you’ll end up with a backlog of posts that aren’t being properly utilized to make you money from those readers! Here are the ways I monetize my blog and I recommend you do the same from the beginning.
1. Join affiliate programs.
Nearly every product you can purchase online - including digital ones like web hosting services and apps - have some sort of affiliate program. These programs work by giving you a unique link that you imbed on your site. When someone clicks that link, it tells the brand that you referred them. Then when they purchase, you get a commission on that sale.
I like to use these links in relevant content and I also place them in a round-up on my blog’s sidebar. When there’s a particularly good sale, I even add a page to my site that is linked in my email newsletters so my subscribers can get access to the deals. These are all usually affiliate links as well.
Affiliate programs can be lucrative (I mean, I hear that there are people making six figures a month from them but take that with a grain of salt). Most, however, offer you small percentages. Those can really add up once you have a lot of traffic but still don’t expect to see a huge return in the beginning. Remember that everything you’re doing today is setting a foundation for tomorrow.
So go ahead and join those programs, get the links up for every item you mention, and let it go. Don’t spend a ton of time checking your dollar amounts. This will only lead you to be discouraged when you see that no one is buying. Your time is better spent on other tasks that will increase your traffic.
Here are my favorite affiliate programs:
Skimlinks - from Wayfair to Target, this program has a ton of brands automatically built-in which saves you the hassle of having to apply to each program individually. They also have an easy link builder which allows you to paste the URL of the website you want to direct your readers to and then it automatically creates a trackable link you can use. There’s a piece of code you can add to your site’s footer that instantly makes each link on your site a trackable affiliate link, too!
Share A Sale - This program functions a lot like Skimlinks in that they offer affiliate programs to all sorts of brands but there are two major differences - 1. you have to apply to join each brand’s program individually and 2. they work with a lot of smaller brands. I really like small businesses and try to support them whenever possible so that’s why I’m into this program.
Amazon - This is the largest affiliate program in the US and for good reason. They have a huge built-in customer database and people love Amazon. They automatically trust them and are already buying there anyway. This is good for conversions. That means that people are more likely to spend more than they’d planned when they shop through your link. So even if they don’t buy the product you suggest, they’re likely to buy something. The downside? Commissions are minuscule, as are the prices of most products. So don’t expect to become a millionaire from this program alone.
YOU HAVE TO DISCLOSE AFFILIATE LINKS. IT’S THE LAW. I get this out of the way at the beginning by adding a small blurb to every single post. Here’s how I fit my disclosure in while also making sure it stands out and is clear:
2. Charge for sponsored posts.
So you do need a light following to be able to really do this. But I’ll admit that I was working with brands on sponsored posts back when my website traffic was under 500 pageviews a month! Back then, I didn’t know to charge. I was just letting brands send me things (sometimes things I didn’t even want or need) in exchange for creating a post for them.
These days, I charge for that sort of content in addition to getting the product for free. Your time is valuable. Far more valuable than the $15 keychain or whatever the brand wants to offer. So make sure you demand respect in the form of actually payment.
Bloggers who work in exchange for product are actually bad for the whole system too. Doing that tells brands that they’re allowed to not pay for work. Accepting these types of posts could actually burn your bridges with fellow bloggers. Keep that in mind when you negotiate. If a brand reaches out, send them a number but also remember to send them a clear idea of what they’re getting in return.
It can be hard to stand up for yourself and demand payment. I totally get that. To make it easier, I keep an email template that I use to respond to brands that have requested a sponsored post but haven’t offered payment. I’m giving it away to my email subscribers for free. You can download the editable version by clicking this link or the image below:
YOU HAVE TO DISCLOSE SPONSORED POSTS. IT’S THE LAW. I get this out of the way at the beginning by replacing my affiliate link disclosure with a sponsored post disclosure. This isn’t a big deal because it’s also the law that sponsored posts cannot contain affiliate links within them. They must also be “no follow”. More information on that here.
3. Offer up your services.
Whatever your blogging niche, you have a service you could be offering.
For instance, if you blog about knitting, offer your services as a knitter to a clothing or home decor brand who might want to add a custom knitwear line. If you blog about cooking, offer your menu planning services as a digital product people can buy for their events! If your niche is organizing, offer home organization consultations through Skype. Blog about shoes? Offer a shoe-matching service for people who are looking for the ideal kicks but don’t know where to find them. The possibilities are endless, man.
You’ve just got to be creative and use the skills you have that led you to writing a blog about your niche in the first place!
For me, I blog about DIY home renovations and decor but I offer online interior design services.
It’s perfect because a lot of the people who read my blog are capable of the DIY hard work but aren’t confident in their own abilities to pull a room together. So they come to me for the free DIY tips and then pay me to help them design the spaces! Win-win for everyone! Want to see how I price my services? Here are the Design Services I offer and a full price list.
4. Charge for in-depth training.
They say that those who can do and those who can’t teach but I call bullshit on that one. I’ve been DIYing home renovations and turning massive profit for many years. I am fully capable.
But I’m also a little tired. I’m getting older and I have a daughter. I don’t want to spend my weekends grouting tile or fixing plumbing anymore. I prefer to spend that time playing ice cream parlor or cuddling on the sofa, watching Bubble Guppies. I still have these skills, but I just don’t care to use them on my own projects.
So I’m launching courses this year to teach people how to DIY their own home renovations to make $100k profit just like I’ve done over and over!
Again, this is applicable to any niche. Knitters? Offer a course on a complicated project. Cooks? Teach how to make the perfect roux. Organizers? Sell workbooks for organizing every nook and cranny of peoples’ lives. Shoes? Teach people how to … oh shit, I don’t know.. build an empire blogging about shoes???
SPEAKING OF NEEDING TO MAKE MONEY TO SUPPORT YOUR BLOG…
Here’s the way you can support this one. Think my teaching style is great? Amazed that I’ve given you so much free information?
People told me to charge for this blog, but I wanted it to be accessible. I spent over 60 hours compiling this post for you. Now it’s your turn to share the love -
Want to learn more + grow your blog even faster? Here’s your chance!
5. Sell your own products.
This one is a no-brainer for me because I’d always dreamed of having a home decor shop. But maybe you haven’t considered it before. The items you sell can go hand-in-hand with your training courses or they can be completely different, but still within your niche.
I sell handmade and vintage home decor on Etsy. I also sell high-end decor on Chairish. I’m actually a painter, too, and I’m in the process of developing artwork to submit to Minted. My dream is to combine my love of decor with my love of art and sell a line of wallpaper and fabrics with my own patterns on them.
Knitters? Sell patterns. Cooks? Sell meal-planning kits. Organizers? Sell cute labels your customers can download and print on sticker paper. Shoe blogger? Sell custom shoe strings, shoe boxes, or paint your favorite kicks and send prints of them!
See?! I’m serious, you guys. When you think outside the box, the income streams can be endless.
My Fourth Blogging Mistake: Not Understanding Search Engine Optimization + How It Can Increase Blog Traffic
This is a common issue among bloggers and site developers. Everyone seems to have challenges understanding what Search Engine Optimization - SEO for short - even is and how to apply it. There are companies that offer services to employ techniques to enhance your SEO and a host of online resources for attempting to figure out how it works.
For me, I barely dove into this topic until the past few months. HUGE MISTAKE.
Since employing a few of the SEO techniques I’ve read about, I’ve actually seen a swelling of traffic coming directly from search engines (vs. Pinterest or my imbedded links on social media). That means that I’m actually getting completely new visitors each month, rather than recycling just the people who have already found and follow me on other platforms!
Here’s how you can increase your overall reach through Search Engine Optimization:
BLOGGING TIPS: How To Increase Your Blog Traffic and Overall Audience Size With These 5 Easy Search Engine Optimization Techniques
Warning: This is not a one-time solution. You are going to have to change the way you blog entirely to really get the best benefit from these techniques.
If you go back and look at my old blog posts from this time last year, you’ll notice that they look vastly different from this post. In fact, a lot of my posts haven’t been updated with this new style so you can kind of trace the point at which I began learning about SEO and employing these techniques.
All of my posts before my SEO overhaul generally looked like this:
Post Title | Image | Paragraph | Image | Paragraph | Image | Paragraph | Image | Paragraph | Image | Signature
Sound familiar? Yep. That’s how a ton of blogs look because most bloggers don’t understand that the key to search engine optimization is actually held within the style of their blog post.
If you were to outline this blog post, in contrast, it would read more like this:
Post Title | Image | Post Title Repeated via Heading | Paragraph with Keywords | Image | Heading with Keywords | Image | Heading with Keywords | Image | Heading with Keywords | Image | Paragraph | Signature | Links to Social Media | Links to Similar Posts
This is no mistake, my friends. This is Search Engine Optimization. Here’s what every single one of your posts needs to contain in order to improve your website’s ranking in search results:
1. Repetitive Keywords - Keywords are the main words you will be using to describe the topic of your post. For example, this post is about learning how to grow your blogging audience and build a better blog. So my keywords are; blogging, traffic, website, blog, business, SEO, Tailwind, Pinterest, monetize, audience. If you scan back over the post, you’ll see that I have used these words over and over again.
Once again, that’s not a mistake. I have purposefully implanted these words throughout the post - where relevant, of course - so that they appear as many times as possible.
Can you guess why? Yep! Search Engine Optimization. By repeating these main keywords again and again, I’m telling the search engines what this post is about. If I were to mention “blogging” one time, the search engine wouldn’t notice it. But since “blogging” is repeated often throughout this post, I’m setting off a red flag for the search engine to determine that “blogging” is a main topic of this post. Make sense?
Not sure what your blog’s keywords would be? No worries. Here’s a great post that outlines how to find relevant keywords for your blog.
2. Long-Tail Keywords In Headings + paragraphs - Now that you understand what keywords are, let’s talk about long-tail keywords. This is essentially a snippet of a sentence that someone might use to find content like yours. Everyone uses search engines differently - I’m a single word searcher but Christine is a full-question searcher. A long-tail keyword meets us both somewhere in the middle.
If the topic of my blog post is “How To Start A Blog The Right Way” and I’ve broken it down into all of these subsections that dive into greater detail, then my long-tail keywords would look something like this:
how to monetize your blog
how to start a blog 2019
make money blogging
blogging tips for being more organized
blogging tips for making money
search engine optimization tips
how to rank higher in google searches
how to use Pinterest to increase blog traffic
how to build relationships with fellow bloggers
how to run your blog business
writing a blog that gets page views
the things I’m doing with my blog that are keeping me from making money
You’ll want to use these long-tail keywords as often as you can in your post. Sprinkle them throughout your paragraphs but also remember to use your blog’s heading feature. Heading are super important to SEO. A variety of headings and paragraphs will help the search engine better understand your overall topic.
This is a new concept for most of you, I’m sure. So no worries that it sounds intimidating. Here’s a really good resource for figuring out what the best long-tail keywords will be for your blog topic. It’s going to take a lot of work to really nail this keyword thing, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that your mind will start working in keywords only. Seriously. Soon, as you think of a new blog topic, you’ll instantly be inundated in your brain with 50 long-tail keyword options. Write them down. Keep them in your Notes app.
3. Keywords and Long-Tail Keywords In Alt Image Text - Alt Image Text is a term that describes the name of each image you upload to your blog. It’s visible on the back-end of the blog (in your blog writer or code). Sounds not that important, right?
Actually, it’s one of the most important elements of your blog post. Each image should contain exactly the description you would want your blog reader to see if they pinned it on Pinterest. That’s because that text becomes your image caption when they pin that image to Pinterest.
But it also plays a vital role in assigning your blog posts to categories and topics within the search engine. Remember, every time a search engine scans your blog and sees a repeated word - or string of words - that search engine places your post higher in the search database, making your post more likely to be seen for that relevant content.
Here’s an example of how I add alt image text to my photos.
If you could read the entire Filename, you would see:
How To Start A Blog The Right Way: Learn From My Mistakes To Create A More Successful Blog | Today, I’m showing you the five things I wish I’d understood about blogging when I started a year ago. There are all areas where I’ve constantly had to make changes and improvements, resulting in excess time spent on my blog, and a loss of profit. I’m also showing you how I’ve course-corrected to maintain a profit margin, despite the backlog of work. #bloggingtips #growyourblog #blogging #seotips #bloggingadvice #websitetraffic
Notice I’ve also added in hashtags. That’s because I want these hashtags to appear when someone pins this image to Pinterest. That assists with the Pinterest algorithm (more on that later), but it also doesn’t hurt my search engine ranking.
4. Keywords and Long-Tail Keywords In Your Blog Post Title - We’ve talked a lot about keyword placement within the post but I want to also make sure you understand that your post title is the most important place to add keywords. You want to pay special attention to the first 5 words in your post title.
How To Start A Blog The Right Way: Learn From My Failures To Create A More Successful Blog
This post title has a ton of information to give the search engine in a very limited format. I teach a lot on my blog so I use “How To…” in my post titles pretty frequently. With this title, I’m putting myself in the shoes of a new blogger and considering what she might be searching when she goes to learn about blogging.
“How To Start A Blog” is a good general overview of what this post contains but it also acts as an exact replica of a question someone might pose to a search engine, thereby increasing the likelihood that I will rank high enough to be seen by the person who is searching for this information.
”How To Start A Blog The Right Way” creates a better long-tail keyword and also informs my reader that there are mistakes they could be making when they start their blog but that I’m going to help them circumvent those mistakes in order to have more success in blogging.
I then go on to elaborate on this concept even further with “Learn From My Failures To Create A More Successful Blog”. Learn = I’m going to teach your something. “From My Failures” = I have some experience here that can help you. “To Create A More Successful Blog” tells the reader that success is possible and that I’m sharing the steps it will take to get there.
See? That’s a ton of information packed into under 20 words!
Each of your titles should be as thoughtful as this one. Play around until you find the one you like best.
4. Internal and external links to relevant content - Another way you can inform the search engine’s algorithm of your blog’s topic is to insert links within the blog post to similar posts. There are two types of links you can use (and you should be using both!):
Internal links - content from your own site that is similar to the post you are about to publish. I do this by sprinkling some of my previous tutorials into the text of my posts.
Example: My most recent post featured a wall treatment that I’d previously installed and blogged about for another space. Instead of writing out the tutorial again, I simply linked it within the body of the post, like this:
This was an easy way to quickly add some relevant substantiating content within the body of the post but I always want to see you add links to your other (remember: relevant) blog content at the very bottom of each post.
This assists you in keeping your readers on your page (thereby decreasing your bounce rate, which is important) while also providing three more pieces of content that further substantiate your new post and keep the search engine informed of the type of content you’re posting about.
Here’s what the end of each of my blog posts looks like:
Obviously, I update the links based on which topics I’m covering in that specific posts. For this particular post, I was showing how I renovated a bathroom for resale and offering a free art download. So no matter what the reader came to see, one of these relevant posts is going to emanate with the reader.
External links - The other type of links you should be imbedding in each post is the type that comes from another website or blog that has content that is relevant to your post. Remember your etiquette and don’t go overboard on these but also don’t forget to include them.
I know that’s a lot of content to keep straight for every single blog post but the good news is that Abby at Just A Girl And Her Blog has an amazing Blog Planner that I’ve been using for months to keep everything in order. Before you ever type the first word of your next blog post, you will want to fill this worksheet out in its entirety. Trust me. It makes blogging the right way so much easier! It’s free and you can find it here.
My Fifth (and biggest) Blogging Mistake: Spending Too Much Time On Social Media And Not Enough Time On Pinterest
I know what you’re thinking. But Teri, Pinterest is social media.
No friends, it’s not.
Pinterest is a search engine and I will get there but first, let’s talk about social media and how you should be using these platforms.
BLOGGING TIPS: How To Increase Your Blog Traffic Through Social Media Platforms and Pinterest
When I talk about social media, I am referring to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’m no expert in these fields, but I have honed some of the craft over the past year and I’d like to pass that information on to you.
1. Use hashtags to gain exposure - Everyone knows this but how few people actually follow through with daily hashtag research and implementation? Here’s what you do to max out your 30 hashtag limit every single day;
Find 5 hashtag “games” to use each day. These are the hosted hashtags I talked about before. I’ve gained 300 followers in a single day just by being featured on a hashtag. Search for relevant ones related to your content.
Then find 5 large-volume hashtags (ones that show hundreds of thousands of submissions). Vary them but use at least 3 per day.
Next, remember to use branded hashtags. This is when a brand or business displays their own hashtag for you to “tag” them. Use this only when you’re actually showing the use of their product in your photo. Don’t spam them. Remember to vary your brands too. Target is going to give you a massive reach if they repost your content, but how likely are they to actually do that? By tagging smaller brands, you’re more likely to be seen by someone at that company who has some decision-making capacity. This is a great way to build relationships with brands who will partner with you on sponsored posts! Also, remember to follow and tag the business. You can find their hashtags by looking at the business’s profile.
Lastly, the last 10 hashtags you use should be smaller hashtags (think about the ones that are relevant to your niche but have no more than 200,000 entries.
2. Schedule your content to remain consistent - It’s nearly impossible to always be at the ready when it’s your “best time to post” but growing on social media requires that you post at very specific times. To assist myself in making sure I always have good content to post every single day (yes you must post every single day), I use a content scheduler called Later.
From Later, I’m able to schedule my posts to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all from a very neat dashboard. One system. Three platforms. Here’s what my dashboard/schedule looks like:
It’s all neatly laid out in a calendar format and at the top of the page, I can click back and forth between the icons to quickly change social media platforms. You can choose a weekly or monthly view.
The ‘Preview” button allows you to see what your Instagram feed will look like once all of your scheduled posts are in place. Here’s what that looks like:
I love this feature because it helps me keep a consistent feel throughout my feed. I’ve simplified my feed by enlisting a business branding plan that Kristen Poissant helped me build (a pre-determined color way, fonts, and style) but this helps me to make sure I’m not veering off-course from my branding. I’m a very visual person and this platform is amazing for that.
I’ve even begun using the “saved captions” feature to store some of my most-relevant hashtag groups. That way, when I’m planning out a caption, I don’t have to refer back to a written list or research in the moment for the best hashtags to use. I simply write my caption and the click on one of the saved captions to automatically insert the hashtags that already use my varied formula from above.
Their link in bio feature also allows you to post a new link to a new site URL with every post. So if you want to post a photo from your latest blog post and then get people to read it in the morning, you can come back in the afternoon and post a photo about your Facebook group and link to that as well without ever changing your bio link or having to erase your follower’s ability to find the original post you were talking about.
Every single one of my posts maintains the links required for that post to stay relevant and beneficial. Here’s what it looks like when a follower clicks on the link in your bio -
They’re taken to a page where they can tap the post they were interested in and see that content immediately. They also have the option to go straight to your website. This feature saved me from having to pay for a specific app just to have a landing page. It’s awesome!
The plan I use is $190 annually - or less than $16 a month - and that plan gives me more features than I could ever use. In fact, if you use my link to sign up, you’ll get a extra 1o Instagram posts for free and so will I. Only I don’t need an extra 10 Instagram posts because my plan includes 250 and I can’t imagine ever posting that many times to Instagram in one month. But get your free posts, girl. You can sign up here.
3. Post only content that furthers your goals. You are done throwing up a post at the last-minute about how your hair feels weird today or your kids are sick just to have something to post. If it’s not relevant, and if it’s not going to contribute to your bottom line, you’re not posting it. Remember, this is not a hobby.
Every social media post needs to be calculated and must include a corresponding link to get people off of Instagram and onto a platform you own (your blog or email list). Otherwise, what is the point???
I’ve developed a Social Media Content Planner to keep all of my weekly posts on track and I’m giving it away for free to my email subscribers. You can click here to download it or click the image below:
4. Don’t let social media take over your life - Once you’ve posted, spend half an hour engaging with comments and other people’s content and then leave. Come back an hour or so later for 10 minutes to answer questions or scroll and like more content. Repeat this action every few hours throughout the day, as you’re standing in line or on the bus.
Remember to post at least 10 stories a day and utilize all of the features the platforms offer at least once a week (FB / IG Lives, IGTV, FBTV, etc).
What you shouldn’t do is let it take over your whole life. You have better things to do. It’s hard to even monetize these platforms (especially Instagram if you have less than 10k followers). You are about to learn a lot about driving traffic and the biggest takeaway is that SOCIAL MEDIA WON’T BE YOUR BIG BREAK.
5. Focus on Pinterest. That’s where the money - via pageviews - is. Spending all of your time on social media - especially Instagram as so many are inclined to do - is a complete waste. Instagram is a hard platform to monetize. Your growth there is in someone else’s hands. The market is heavily oversaturated and the content creation requirements just keep getting more and more expensive.
Think about it - entire corporations are dedicated to creating Instagram content. There is no way you can compete with them. They have something you don’t: a shitton of money to throw at content creation.
But you have something they don’t - a unique voice and expertise. So use it. Direct people to your blog so they can actually see your content. Likes are nice but the real money lies in eyes on your own, dedicated website.
BLOGGING TIPS: Why Pinterest Trumps Instagram As A Better Marketing Platform For Your Blog
You're probably wasting hours a week on Instagram that you could be focusing on Pinterest marketing to grow your blog. I get more pageviews with fewer followers from Pinterest.
I’m not being paid by Pinterest to tell you this. I have no dog in this fight. The fact is - I just get more blog traffic from Pinterest.
Let’s look at the comparison. Here’s my reach from the last 30 days on Instagram, where I have 2,000 followers -
The number that matters most here is the reach. That’s the number of people I was able to make a connection with over the past 30 days.
That number explains exactly how many people saw my content. It doesn’t tell me how many people actually clicked through to visit my blog. It’s only representative of how many people saw my posts, stories, Lives, and IGTV videos.
During this week, I was able to gain 61 new followers - a 3% growth rate.
Now let’s compare these numbers to my Pinterest account over the past 30 days:
Using Pinterest to market my blog, you can see that I achieved an overall higher reach (MUCH HIGHER). My Pinterest profile and pins were seen by nearly 400,000 people during that same 30 day period. That’s nearly 1,000% more exposure.
The craziest part? I have only 636 followers on Pinterest vs. 2072 followers on Instagram.
Pinterest is yielding a higher return on exposure, despite a lower following. Now just imagine if I’d spent the past year focused on growing my Pinterest account instead of my Instagram account.
What would those numbers look like if they were reversed and I had only 600 followers on Instagram but 2,000 on Pinterest???
Knowing that I’m already achieving a better reach through Pinterest, I can guarantee that my return on that time investment would have been well worth it.
Now that I’ve shown you how much higher your reach will be with Pinterest, let me show you how that converts to actual pageviews.
Here’s the data on my CTR (click-through rate) from the past 30 days on Instagram:
Combining my Linkin.bio clicks (that feature I was talking about from Later that allows each pin to have its own unique URL) and my website clicks, you can see that I received 545 overall pageviews from Instagram in this 30 day period.
Meanwhile, over at Pinterest…
During this exact same 30 day period, I received 1,380 pageviews from Pinterest (multiply avg daily clicks by 30 to get this total number).
That’s 545 more pageviews with roughly 1/3 of the followers!
WHY DO I GET MORE PAGEVIEWS FROM PINTEREST DESPITE HAVING A MUCH SMALLER FOLLOWING?
There are a few reasons that Pinterest is capable of yielding a much better result. The first is that people use Pinterest and Instagram very differently.
People tend to use Instagram to connect with their friends, watch funny videos, and occasionally follow celebrities and influencers they like. Their main reason for being on Instagram is NOT for learning how to do things. Meanwhile, the main reason you have a blog is for teaching people how to do things, right?
Where do people go when they want to learn how to do things? A search engine. And, my friends, Pinterest is a search engine. Think about how you use Pinterest in your own life. Do you go there to see what your friends are up to? Probably not. You’re there to get recipes, inspiration for DIY projects, and to learn how to achieve a goal.
The second reason Pinterest marketing results in more pageviews is that Pinterest is designed to send me page views. Just like Google, the whole purpose of Pinterest is to act as a middleman between the consumer who is looking for something and the brand who has the thing they’re looking for.
Since Pinterest hosts none of their own content but the goal of the app/website is to make content easier to access, the app is designed to make content easier to access.
Unlike Instagram, a platform which requires a series of clicks away from the content in order to view the website/blog from which the content originates, Pinterest allows a one-click-to-content-origination format. Viewer sees something they like and wants more info -> Viewer clicks on image -> Viewer is immediately taken to the site from which the content originates. Make sense?
The third reason - and probably the biggest reason I achieve better results through marketing on Pinterest - is that Instagram content has a small shelf-life while Pinterest content is truly evergreen.
With Instagram, your content will tend to get the most views and interactions within the first 48 hours of posting it. After that, the engagement on that post will plateau and that post is basically retired.
Here’s an example from my own Instagram account:
This was posted to Instagram less than two weeks before I wrote this blog and already, the post has plateaued. In fact, you can see that within 3 days of the post date, I’d achieved all of the engagement I can expect to get from this post.
That’s two days of work - compiling and editing photos of the project, writing a blog post, then adding the post about the blog post to Instagram - all for only 2 days’ return on visibility and engagement.
Just for fun, let’s also look at that same post’s CTR from Instagram:
No one saved the post so it won’t be available for them to refer back to later and only two people actually went to read the blog from my Instagram account.
Meanwhile, that same blog post when marketed at Pinterest…
You can see that this pin has already gotten me 7 clicks to my site and 2 saves. Plus, and this is a big deal, if you look at the very bottom of the screenshot, you’ll see that it’s been saved by a very big blogger to a GROUP BOARD (which increases the likelihood that other bloggers will share this content too!).
Now, I know these numbers don’t sound impressive but here’s why - Pinterest is a long-term investment you are making in your blog traffic while Instagram is a short-term time suck.
Content that you place on Pinterest will stay there forever and tends to just grow and grow and grow over time. Meanwhile, remember that Instagram post that petered out after 2 days?
Here’s what I mean:
These are the 14 highest-performing pins from my blog in the past 30 days. Of those 14 pins, 11 of them link back to content that was posted over 30 days ago.
The work that I have put into this blog doesn’t just disappear into nothingness on Pinterest. It stays - and continues to grow - for years.
While 16 clicks doesn’t sound like much, you must keep in mind that these pins represent only 14 of literally hundreds of pins I’ve saved to Pinterest over the past year that continue to drive traffic to my blog every single day.
Even if each pin was only receiving 2 clicks per month, with a total of 9,000+ pins saved to my boards (this is the current number of pins I' have saved, by the way), I would still be averaging almost 20,000 pageviews - directly from Pinterest marketing efforts alone - every single month.
The bottom line: STOP WASTING TIME TRYING TO GROW A LARGER AUDIENCE ON A PLATFORM THAT DOESN’T SUPPORT YOUR GROWTH + START ACTUALLY GROWING YOUR BLOG WITH PINTEREST. It doesn’t have to be super hard. There are ways you can simplify the process. I’ll show you how I tackle it.
Here are 5 ways you can make marketing your blog on Pinterest easier:
1. Treat Pinterest just like your blog + apply the same SEO techniques.
Remember way up there 👆 when I talked about Search Engine Optimization? What was that, like, 5 days ago? God this post has gotten so long.
You’re now going to apply the exact same techniques to your Pinterest page. Only, instead of using keywords as your post titles and headings, you’re going to use those keywords as YOUR BOARD NAMES AND BOARD DESCRIPTIONS.
It’s going to take some time to build up your boards and that’s okay. For now, make a list of everything you blog about. For me, I blog about Home Decor + DIY Renovations. So I should have two boards with those titles, right? Wrong. That’s an overview of what I blog about. But I want you to get down to the nitty gritty of your blog topics. Here’s a sample of items I’ve covered in my blog;
DIY Home Decor
Living Room Decor
So each of these items becomes a new board name. Don’t worry about repeating content. That’s the point! You want as many applicable boards as possible so you can continue to add your pins to each of these boards. The more times you pin content, the higher your reach will grow.
2. Create your captions once + save time in the long run.
I told you all about using the filename (or alt text) feature earlier. Well doing this doesn’t just describe your photo and increase your website’s SEO. It actually acts as a caption for that photo when you pin it to Pinterest.
By adding descriptive captions as your alt text for every single image on your site, you’ve negated the need to continuously write captions for every single pin.
Remember that you are going to be pinning your images over and over again (as will your site visitors and fellow bloggers), so you want to make sure that whatever the image filename contains is descriptive enough to stand-alone as good content on Pinterest. Apply keywords and long-tail keyword techniques here, too.
3. Use a Pinterest scheduler to optimize post times.
Just like with social media, there are super popular times on Pinterest and then times when people are less likely to be on it. By using a scheduler to post your pins, you’re taking advantage of those popular times without having to actually pin at all hours of the day!
Unfortunately, Later doesn’t have the option of posting to Pinterest.
So for this, I use an program called Tailwind. This program is best used from a desktop (as is most of blogging, honestly) and allows you to install a toolbar assistant in your browser that functions a lot like Pinterest’s. Using it, you can begin posting every single image from your blog post to Pinterest.
You can see all of your Pinterest boards here, too, so that you’re able to pin to multiple boards at once and sprinkle the content even further. Once a pin has been scheduled, it will appear in your Scheduler dashboard. This gives you a nice visual overview of the content you’re publishing to Pinterest in the coming weeks.
Here’s a glimpse into what mine looks like for today:
Every new blog post I publish gets scheduled onto every relevant board via Tailwind. Every photo. Every post. Every time.
This blog post currently contains 31 photos. My Pinterest page has six relevant boards onto which I will pin each of these 31 boards. ** That number is actually very low because remember that I don’t typically blog about blogging, so this post is an anomaly that doesn’t fit into my niche ** That means that this one blog post will receive 186 pins to my Pinterest boards from just my own efforts alone. I’ve set my Tailwind schedule to pin 25 times every single day, on a timed interval, so this one blog post alone will fill my Pinterest content AUTOMATICALLY for the next 7 days!
Think that’s awesome? Well, just you wait…
4. Use a Pinterest scheduler to keep your old content fresh.
That’s right! Tailwind has an option for adding your old pins to a separate (but still sort-of-built-in) queue which is devoted to re-pinning old content at predetermined intervals. This means that a blog post you wrote two years ago can be recycled as new content on Pinterest every few months without you having to keep going back into old posts and adding it over and over again!
This is a relatively new feature called Smart Loop and smart af it is!
Let’s look at my current publishing schedule for this week again:
See those images with the little red circles? Those are pins from my backlog of blog posts that are continuously being re-distributed throughout my boards every few months.
The benefit? This appears as new content and engages my new followers who weren’t around when I originally posted that pin. Genius, right?!
It just gets better, guys…
5. Join Facebook Groups and Tailwind Tribes to increase your reach exponentially.
Remember how I talked about Instagram Exposure Groups and how they weren’t really great for growth? Well, there are Pinterest Exposure Groups too and they are the complete opposite of the Instagram ones. These are your ticket to increasing your reach and subsequently, pageviews on Pinterest.
WHY DO EXPOSURE GROUPS WORK FOR PINTEREST BUT NOT FOR INSTAGRAM?
Great question you didn’t ask! (but I know you were wondering)
It all goes back to the exact same thing that makes Pinterest a better marketing tool overall - Instagram growth is reliant on exact timing while Pinterest growth happens steadily over time. It doesn’t matter if your pin is shared 16 minutes or 16 months after it was originally published - the growth will be the same.
On Facebook, these exposure groups are called “Pinterest Share Groups” and can be found by searching that term in groups. You’ll typically need to answer a few questions in order to join - and some are very particular about the rate at which they accept new members. But once inside the group, you’ll be asked to share your pins (usually one per day) and then re-share at least X number of other people’s pins to your boards.
The concept works because there’s power in numbers. However, I don’t love these groups for myself. I’ve found that a lot of the content other people post isn’t really relevant to my niche. If you blog about less specific lifestyle topics, you may have better luck.
My favorite type of exposure group for Pinterest is Tailwind’s Tribes feature. This works a lot like the FB groups but is a lot easier to manage because you’re already on Tailwind and the content is there - directly in front of you - so you can see the quality before you pin it.
Plus, the Tribes are all broken down into niches, making it more likely that you’ll find good content to re-share with your followers. For SEO purposes, I’m incredibly particular about staying within my niche (aside from this post, you’re welcome), and Pinterest isn’t excluded from that. I don’t blog about hairstyles so I don’t have a board titled Hairstyles. Remember that you’re applying SEO techniques to Pinterest too!
Tailwind also allows you to easily check your progress within your Tribes to make sure you’ve gotten value from them. If you find that your numbers are low, you can leave the Tribe at any time..
While I can’t show you what Tribes I’m in, I can show you how they’re performing for me:
A re-share is created anytime a member of your Tribe pins your content to one of their boards. A re-pin, meanwhile, is created when one of their Pinterest followers pins your content. Re-shares are nice. Re-pins are the goal! Those are going to help boost your traffic the most!
Need more proof that Tribes work? Just look at how much I’ve extended my REACH via tribes. I’m telling you, there is power in numbers.
WHAT TO DO NOW TO INCREASE YOUR BLOG TRAFFIC
It’s finally over! I’ve explained as much as I can today. I’ve given you access to three free downloads to jumpstart your blog growth. I’ve explained five things I’ve done wrong and how I’ve corrected those mistakes to see instant improvement in my business and blog.
I know you’re going to get so much growth out of this lesson once you implement every tactic I’ve shown you.
Seriously, I know people who charge hundreds of dollars for courses like the blog post you’ve just read. I could have done the same, but instead, I wanted to provide easy and clear answers to the biggest questions I get and level the playing field for everyone.
Growing your blog takes a lot of hard work and, frankly, a lot of money. I can’t say with any certainty if the thousands of dollars I’ve invested over the past year is going to pay off in the end. It’s hard to separate the courses and teachers who were beneficial from the ones who just gave me information I already had.
I do know this -
Just like a dream home, everyone deserves to have their dream job.
Everyone deserves to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and excited to tackle a new day’s work!
For that reason, I’m offering you this opportunity to build your business’s foundation starting with Pinterest marketing.
I’ve already shown you what Pinterest can do for you and your blog. Now I’m going to show you exactly how you set up your Pinterest page, schedule your blog posts’ pins, and use the SEO tips I’ve discussed to achieve these results.
And, because I believe everyone deserves the same opportunities, I’m not going to charge you an arm and a leg for it.
I’m offering you access to my in-depth, 30 page beginner’s workbook
PINTEREST 101: Blogger’s Best SEO Tool Demystified
for only $25.
That’s right. For $25, you can start working through this program today and have an optimized Pinterest account by this time next week.
You can start growing your blog and increasing your blog traffic immediately, without chasing likes or followers.
You can have a real plan that is going to guide you into success instead of feeling it out, blindly in the dark.
I know that I’m a good teacher. I know that I break everything down into easily-manageable tasks. You’ve seen how I operate. My teaching style has shown itself over and over again throughout this post. I don’t leave any stone unturned, any grey areas, or any questions left in the air.
Now you can put my knowledge, skills, and techniques to work to start driving traffic to your site today!
YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS + I’VE GOT ANSWERS.
Commenting on this post is disabled after 24 hours so I can focus on our upcoming projects + client designs. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to hear from you. Send me your questions and comments on Instagram by either commenting on my latest post or sending me a direct message. I really love to chat it out! xoxo