Hi there. Glad you’re here. If you are one of my frequent readers, go ahead and skip through the first two paragraphs. However, if this is your first time joining me, I am very happy you stopped by. Read on and I’ll tell you a bit more about what “Blogging- Behind the Scenes Series” is all about along with this month’s strategies, tips, takeaways, and challenges.
Every month I will be sharing with you what goes on “Behind the Scenes” of this great little blog of mine. Raw, unfiltered, honest, and hopefully very helpful to those going through the same journey. Whether you are in the beginning stages, or an expert blogger, or even just thinking about starting your own blog/website, there is always something to learn and takeaway from someone else’s experiences.
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It is my hope that my experiences help you answer some of your own questions, that my recommendations help you implement some new techniques, and that my mistakes keep you from making them yourself. It is with a humble heart that I share my struggles and successes as I understand we are all together on this journey one way or another.
*This post contains some affiliate links. Click for more info.
This month has been mostly about implementing a social media strategy and continuing to perfect details within my blog. After much consideration, I decided to stick to only two social media platforms for the time being. I opted to start with Pinterest and Facebook first and really put all of my effort and focus on learning the ins and outs of these two powerful social media platforms before moving on to the rest.
Here’s what I implemented and what I’ve learned.
Pinterest groups– This month I was able to join 5 Pinterest groups and the impact it has had on my blog traffic had been tremendous. Much of that success has been thanks to Tailwind, a pin scheduler, which I’ll cover in a minute.
Pinterest group boards are created by any given person who chooses to have others collaborate on that particular board with a specific topic (blogging, travel, fashion, cooking, parenting, an so on).
Pinterest Group boards give your pins exposure and have the potential to reach thousands of people at any given time.
To join a group board, read the board’s description and follow the instructions provided to request an invite to that group.
Two of my groups are currently accepting new contributors:
Blogging Love– This is for all things blogging (tips, strategies, social media, email marketing, branding, etc.).
Bloggers Love– This one is for bloggers of ALL niches to share their latest blog posts.
To request an invite:
- Follow me on Pinteret first (so that I can find you).
- Email me at contactloveandpaperflowers(at)gmail(dot).com- Include your Pinterest email and the group/s you would like to be a part of.
Pinterest Rich Pins– They allow for a more “official” and “professional” look to your pins among its other great features. The featured information in you pins will appear in bold making it stand out from the rest of the other pins without it. After much talk about the rich pins in every Pinterest article I came across and Abby’s recommendation on her Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook, I knew it was time to get it done.
“Pin it” plug-in– This FREE WordPress plug-in enables a “Pin-it” button to hover over your blog/website images. Your readers can easily pin their favorite images to their accounts without ever having to scroll down or leave your page. It also works on mobile devices.
Tailwind– This is a pin scheduling service for Pinterest and Instagram. With all of the great things happening all at once in my fast growing Pinterest account, I knew I needed some help keeping up. After doing my research, Tailwind got my vote. I signed up for their FREE 1 month trial, and that was it, I couldn’t live without it… haha.
It allows for automatic pin scheduling throughout the day (or weeks), depending how far ahead you want to schedule. Tailwind’s detailed analytics allow for smarter pinning, and their recommended “pinning time slots” based on your daily peak traffic is simply genius. You can also create “Tribes”. With this tool, you will be able to add your own content to a Tribe and have others view, schedule and share your content to their own audience. Win-win for everyone.
For a platform like Pinterest that rewards active pinners, Tailwind is a no brainer when it comes to cranking up your Pinterest strategy. Needless to say, I enrolled in their payed plan once the trial was over and I’m starting to see a positive difference in my blog.
TIP: Tailwind isn’t compatible with Microsoft Edge. If that’s what you use you might want to consider downloading Google chrome. Even if you won’t be using Tailwind, Google chrome is fantastic.
TIP: Google Chrome Tailwind extension. Once you have signed up with Tailwind make sure to add the Google Chrome Tailwind extension. You can do so directly from the Tailwind dashboard. It allows you to select ANY image(s) anywhere on the web and schedule them on the spot or send them to your drafts. Bulk scheduling is an incredible time saver.
Tailwind App (iPhone)– Because I am constantly on the go with the kids, anything that I can do on my iPhone is a huge time saver. Sometimes sitting down to get something done in the computer is simply a luxury. Having the Tailwind app allows me to schedule pins from my phone and rearrange my schedule at my convenience. It also allows me to send any picture to my “drafts” for instant or later scheduling.
*For a list of 10 Pinterest Group Boards for bloggers of every niche you can join today, click here.
Related: “Blogging- Behind the Scenes- March 2017“.
Facebook has become my main networking platform and where currently spend most of my time.
Facebook groups– The groups have been intrumental to my early success, ongoing knowledge base, and blog traffic. Interacting in these groups with like-minded people allows me to connect, collaborate, ask questions, help other bloggers, promote my latest pins and posts, gain followers, and so much more. At the time of this writing FB accounts for at least 70% of my current blog traffic.
TIP: Keep it tight. Spreading yourself thin among too many groups can become very overwhelming and time-consuming. It can become counterproductive and affect your time management.
TIP: Learn to turn Facebook into a blog traffic machine by minimizing distractions. Don’t get caught up in your “news feed” and strictly focus on the task at hand. The time it took you to look through Jessica’s photo album from her recent vacation to Jamaica or getting sucked into Joey’s latest upload of “Cute Cats Video Madness”, you could have probably gained 5 new Pinterest followers, received 3 more “likes” on your FB Page, and landed a new opportunity to guest post.
Google chrome– I guess it was about time I joined the Google family, officially. If anything you should know about me is that I am a Google addict, so it was only fitting that I gave up my very comfortable Microsoft Edge and lived a little, haha. It’s fast, it’s crisp, it’s perfect, it’s Google! Plus, it was required for the installation of Tailwind so it was a win-win all around.
WordPress App– This app has been my lifesaver. I truly don’t know what I would do without it. With two little ones to constantly looks after, there are days when opening my computer is just an impossible task. The WordPress app allows me to write posts, reply comments, make changes, view stats, and so on, all from my iPhone. Once we are all in bed and everyone is sleeping, through my little piece of technology and my WordPress App I can conquer the world.
Google AdSense– I finally decided to sign up with Google AdSense. It is very easy to do. I was granted access but it is still inactive on my site. In all honesty, I am still debating as to whether I want to activate it. Compromising my reader’s experience when they visit my blog, for a few bucks in return isn’t really worth it. Maybe in the next few weeks, incorporating Google Adsense is something I can look further into. For the time being I’m enjoying my clutter free site and posts, as I am sure you are.
Amazon affiliates– I also signed up for Amazon affiliates this month. I like that it isn’t as invasive as Google AdSense. However , haven’t yet taken advantage of all they have to offer. I will let you know how it all comes along in the upcoming months. (If you would like to crank up your Amazon game, see how this hard working mom earns $5,000 a month from her Amazon affiliate program alone. “Cracking the Code on the Amazon Associate Program” eBook written by Ashli Sweat is packed with tips and strategies you can implement today. It helped me tremendously.
TIP: Include the Amazon disclaimer. Make sure you display their disclaimer somewhere on your site. It reads as follows: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.” Failure to do so can result in expulsion from their program and possibly legal penalties.
* You can find all of these resources and many more in my FREE “Blogging Resources and Recommendations” page.
CHALLENGES AND TAKEAWAYS
Here are the thing that I’m currently struggling with and those that’s have proven to be a challenge.
- Consistency– Running behind two little ones all day and making sure they are taken care off is my main priority. Finding the time to juggle it all and keep consistent with writing and publishing new content is an ongoing challenge.
- Focus!– Often times I find myself wondering off from one information source to another forcing me to lose track of what I was initially working on. Don’t lose focus of what you are doing. Keep a pen and paper handy and if something catches your eye write it down and come back to it at the appropriate time, or “save” it on your phone/ computer’s database for a later read. Implementing that has helped a ton.
- Too much to do– I am a checklist enthusiast, calendar happy, “to-do” list fanatic… therefore writing things down is how I keep organized. However, between creating content, interacting in social media, handling the technical aspects of my blog, answering emails, and tackling the day-to-day craziness, it can create a massive mental overload to an already overloaded mama, haha! So, I will be creating a weekly schedule allowing for some flexibility to help keep me on track. More of that to come in the next few weeks.
- Guest posting– From what I know this is a fantastic way to drive traffic to your site. I’m currently finding it hard to fit guest posting into my already packed schedule. I am hoping that as the technical side of things and the micro details of blogging start to a fall into place, I can focus on more writing and less “set up”.
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Till next month my friends,