Tag Archives: blogging

A Note to My Lovely Followers

Hi all!  Tomorrow is a big day– I’ll be making the switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.  It’s a move I’ve been thinking about for a while and I feel like the time is right.  I’m excited to have a little more flexibility and control over my site.

If you are following my blog, through WordPress.com or email, you should still get your usual updates.  Just in case, you might want to click the link on the right to get email updates on the new platform.  I definitely want to stay in touch with all of you!

To my WordPress.com followers/friends, I’ll continue to check my reader regularly to keep up with your posts 🙂  I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you gals!

Hopefully there won’t be any hiccups in the process, but please be patient if anything looks a little wonky tomorrow– I’ll be on it!

Thank you for reading and for your support– this has been an amazing journey so far and I’m just getting started!!

-Stacey

A Beginner’s Guide to Improving Your Pinterest Strategy

I’ll go ahead and say it– I’m relatively new to Pinterest. For a long time I just didn’t “get it.” Why would people want to scroll through row after row of pictures? Much of my career (pre-SAHM days) was focused on social media marketing for the hospitality industry. In this field, where you’re looking to attract local clientele, the key networks were Facebook, and to some degree Twitter.

Now that I’m at home full time, I’ve been able to dedicate myself fully to blogging.  I quickly learned that an online business requires a very unique strategy. Pinterest is an amazing way to drive traffic to your site and connect to both fellow bloggers and potential readers. There’s no way around it– if you have a blog, you NEED to be active on Pinterest.

A beginner's guide to improving your Pinterest strategy

So I resurrected the neglected Pinterest account I created long ago, enthusiastic and optimistic about this “new” medium to master. I had years of experience in social media, how hard could it be? All you had to do was pin things that seemed interesting as well as add posts from your own site to the mix…right? Group boards had hundreds and even thousands of members…they would surely be welcoming to all comers who wanted to legitimately participate and learn…right?

A few weeks in, my boards and posts still languished in obscurity. Invite requests to collaborative boards went ignored. What was I doing wrong? I didn’t want to give up, but it was pretty disappointing.

Rather than dwell on the lack of movement at that moment, I decided to do a little research– like other social media platforms, there had to be a formula for success  I searched the web for articles and sites dedicated to the subject of Pinterest strategy. I browsed pins and pinners that offered advice to Pinterest newbies. There were a few key tips that appeared just about everywhere I looked, and implementing them immediately had a hugely positive impact on my experience.

  • Create visually beautiful and informative pins.  You can’t just stick any old photograph up and expect people to click through–your pin has to be appealing and stand out among the crowd!  I’ve noticed that many successful pins have simple or even all-white backgrounds.  Fun, and “handwritten” fonts for photo headers are popular– I have used the site dafont.com to add to my font library.  (Make sure you check that a font is 100% free, unless you plan to pay or link as requested by the author.)
  • While most websites, blogs, and other platforms look best with horizontal images, Pinterest actually is better suited for vertical images.  This might be obvious if you’ve paid close attention to other pins, but I didn’t know this at first and there’s no shame if you didn’t either.  I simply went back and took new photos or edited the ones I already had specifically for the purpose of creating pins.
  • Network!  Comment on pins that you’ve repinned or liked– let the creator know you appreciate their work!  Take this opportunity to connect with your fellow bloggers and those that might be interested in what you have to say.  As in blogging in general, commenting is an excellent way to get your name out there and build goodwill in the community.
  • Politely request to join group boards– this is a way to expose your pins to a wider audience.  Make sure to only request boards to which you feel like your content is a fit and that your pins are on par in quality with the others on the board.  Be sure to thank the board moderators for inviting you!  Don’t be discouraged if your request is ignored or you are turned down.  It still happens to me– some people are protective of their boards or perhaps only want to include more experienced pinners.  There are plenty of other group boards out there that would love to have you– keep trying!
  • Repin your own pins!  If there are no “nibbles” the first time, try again at a different time of day.  Think about when you are normally able to jump on the computer– chances are, that is when others do too.  Afternoons and evenings are prime pinning opportunities.  Make sure to delete the old pins and be mindful not to post the same thing over and over to group boards– give it some time. You can do as you please on your own personal boards, but you don’t want to be seen as spammy on a group board.

Pinterest is very much a system of trial and error– if your pins aren’t getting much attention, re-evaluate, make changes, and try again.  With just a few basic tweaks to my strategy, I’ve seen amazing results.  Days after putting the above-mentioned plan into action, my average daily impressions increased over 2000% and average daily viewers over 14,000%!

I know that I personally still have lots to learn, but I thought it might be helpful to other beginners to see advice from another who was recently in their shoes.  That’s the beauty about the internet and social networks– they are constantly evolving, so we all have to keep learning!

Feel free to share any ideas or techniques that have worked for you!  Happy pinning!

My First Blog Award! Yay?

Earlier this week I was nominated for my first so-called blog award: the Liebster Award.  Being relatively new to this, I was unfamiliar with this specific one and had a lot of questions.  What is it?  Is it a scam?  Is it legit?  Do I win something?

After a little google research, I determined that it is more like a chain letter, although with good intentions.  Basically, you are supposed to answer a set of questions given to you by the person that nominated you and then nominate other colleagues for the award.  It is supposed to recognize newcomers to blogging with less than 3000 followers (or 200 depending on your source– as with chain letters, some details get fuzzy.)

I don’t like chain letters.  I remember when AOL first came out (was it 1995?), I was in 6th grade and these things were all the rage.  I knew I wasn’t going to have bad luck FOREVER if I didn’t pass it on, and I knew if I put $5 in an envelope and mailed it to the person that contacted me that I wasn’t going to get hundreds of dollars down the road from others like me.  So I made the decision back then not to participate in any of them.

I don’t think the Liebster Award is a scam.  There’s no asking or promising money.  No threats of death or bad luck (except for one website I found that warned of blogs being abandoned if they broke the chain.)

I know a lot of people are excited to receive this and see it as a way to get to know their fellow bloggers.  I definitely am honored that there are people that read my writing (really!) and think that it’s good enough to nominate for any kind of award– even if it’s one that thousands of others share.  I found a piece on the website Perfection Pending that perfectly (yes…I did that on purpose) sums up my feelings: Why I Don’t Like the Liebster Award. Please Don’t Hate Me. So, please don’t hate me either! 🙂

In compromise, I will answer the questions given by the blogger that nominated me.  I’ll leave out her name (unless she lets me know otherwise) to make sure I don’t offend or embarrass.  I don’t look down on anyone that does participate– it’s just not for me.  I am SO grateful for all of you who do take the time to stop by, like, share, comment, or let me know that you really connected with something I said– please keep it up!  And I will support my fellow bloggers by doing the same.

So here goes, just in case any of you ever wondered about the mom behind the screen:

1.   What first interested you about blogging?

I’ve loved to write since I could hold a pencil and I’ve always wanted to be a published author.  I couldn’t tell you how many storybooks written by me that I forced my younger siblings to listen to.  After I left my job last year, my mom encouraged me to blog to further develop my writing.

2.   If you could return to the age you started making decisions for yourself, what would you do differently?

I would save MORE money and invest in my retirement earlier.  I’ve always been a good saver, but I look back at some of the purchases I made that seemed so crucial and wish I had that money in the bank or an IRA instead!

3.   What blog post has interested you most in the past week?  Give them credit with a link in your answer.

See the link in my post above.  She expressed so eloquently what I was trying to say here.  

4.   What is your greatest accomplishment in your life or what do you still want to accomplish?

Is it cliche to say being a mom?  No– because it’s true!  I can’t think of anything that makes me more proud than when my girls do something amazing.

5.   What is your least favorite chore?

Folding laundry and hanging it back up.  I am forever behind.  That and scrubbing the tub.  Literally back-breaking work.  Ugh.

6.   Bag of potato chips or bag of chocolates?

Chocolate.  Always chocolate.

7.    Do you prefer texting or talking?

This is going to sound terrible, but texting.  If you have a simple question you can get just a simple answer.  I will readily admit I’m need to put more effort into calling my friends and family who live far away.  I actually love talking to them when we do.

8.   If you could meet anyone past or present who would that be?

Shaq.  I would rap for him.  His own songs of course.  No judgement please!

9.   Do you have any phobias?

I wouldn’t call it a phobia, but I strongly dislike balloons.  Gross.

10. Real plants or fake ones?

I love real plants!  I just have terrible luck keeping them alive. 😦

11. Do you prefer comedy, action, scary, or drama when it comes to movies and shows?

Comedy– life is stressful enough, so laughter is welcome.  And cheesy action movies– I also consider these also comedy.

And there you have it! Most likely the only set of questions like this I will answer, though if you ever want to know anything specific, just ask!  Hope you all have had a great weekend!