Ready for more traffic? One of the easiest ways to get more SEO traffic from Google is to update your older blog posts so that they rank for more keywords. This post will help you do just that! These SEO tips are ones you can apply to your existing posts to help them rank on Google for more keywords. SEO Tips and Tricks / SEO for Blogger Tips #ConversionMinded #SearchEngineOptimization #SEOFew things are more frustrating than watching your content sit on a digital shelf after you spent hours writing it. 

Epic blogging requires a lot of time and effort – and whether you’re new to it or just starting out – you kind of live for that bump in page views when you publish a new post (even if you don’t admit it!).

Watching the graph go up in Google Analytics just feels pretty great.

It makes you want to do a happy dance and keep on writing.

But hold up!

Before you start brainstorming new blog ideas, take a look at your older posts first. Are they ranking? Is there a tweak or a nudge you can do to improve their performance?

The easiest way to rank on Google for more keywords is to update and optimize older posts. You’ll be surprised at the impact a few quick edits can have on your rankings.

So every time you start a new post, take a minute to “refresh” an older post.

Here’s how to optimize your existing content so that you show up for more keywords on Google:

#1: First, perform a content audit

A huge part of SEO is knowing what’s working for you and what’s not. 

Many techniques that worked well before Google’s last algorithm update (like page tagging, on-page content, keyword research and targeting) no longer carry the same weight. Plus, what works for one site won’t always work well for another. 

So to audit your content, export your keywords from Google Search Console and look for three fundamental things:

  • “Low-hanging fruit” keywords (aka: easy to rank)
  • Your most valuable keywords and landing pages. Find those keywords already ranking at the bottom of page #1 or the top of page #2 (positions 6-15). These can be your quick wins and it likely won’t take much effort to improve their rankings.
  • Underperforming keywords are not ranking at all

#2. Take an inventory of your content

Look at your existing content and make sure you’re happy with it. Are you targeting the right audience and keywords? How much traffic do the posts get?

You’re just looking for an overview of your content so you know what you’re working with and where to place your focus. From there, you can start optimizing.

#3: Optimize your blog posts

This one is simple and arguably the most important step.

The trick is to know where to start!

There will likely be a handful of keywords – probably more – that you should be ranking for but aren’t. Focus on those keywords first.

First, look at the keywords for which your competitors are ranking. Your competitors are websites that sell the same products you do or offer the same services. More importantly, they’re ranking better for the keywords you want. 

Make a list of their keywords and highlight the ones with low competition. Remember, we’re looking for quick wins and those will be easier to rank! 

Next, add the keywords you aren’t ranking for to your blog post. Here’s where to add them:

  • The title and subheadings. Aim for 30-60 words in your title. 
  • The body of your post. They should sound natural. Don’t make it seem obvious or forced. If adding a keyword affects the readability of your post, don’t use it. Always choose your readers over search engines. 
  • Your meta description (main keyword). This isn’t a direct ranking factor but can help with your click-through rates.
  • Anchor text. The text you use to link to other posts on your website. 
  • Image alt text, tags, and names. Yep, Google can read image keywords too! 

#4: Update your content

Rewriting and updating content has tremendous value. Trends come and go quickly and information changes over time. Your content might be outdated in months, or even weeks. 

Make sure your blog post is up-to-date. Check that any stats you shared are still accurate.

It will take some time but a lot less than writing a new post. Plus, it gives you a good reason to promote your content again.  

#5: Add more “content layers”

Now that you’ve sprinkled your blog post with the new keywords (ones that your competitors are ranking for), updated your stats and checked for typos, it’s time to check your visuals.

Content layering is the practice of adding visuals, images and multimedia to give readers a new way to consume your content.

Some people prefer reading, others learn better through video. That’s the idea here: Layer on multiple content types to enhance the experience and keep people engaged. 

Your goal is to create a post that is so valuable, they can help but share it! 

Here’s how to layer your content:

First, check your paragraphs and sentences. Is your text easy to read and digest? Are the subheadings short and explicit? Does each paragraph pull readers deeper into your content, or do they make them want to run?

Next, look at what you’re competitors are doing and make yours better. If they’re adding GIFS, include one plus a video. Think about what images you can add to explain your content and make it more interest. Stay sober and don’t overdo it, though. 

Now take it a step further and add more content. If your competitor’s post includes “10 Tips to Improve Your Google Image Search”, your post should include 12 tips (make sure added content is hyper relevant and useful). 

Include helpful tools.  Tables, calculators, generators and other tools allow readers to get quick results and take action. 

Point is, go way beyond plain text and think value, value, value. Always ask yourself, How can I make it easier for my audience to understand the information and act on it?

Step #6. Improve your CTR

Once your post is ranking for a keyword, you want people to click through and read it. Otherwise, you won’t get traffic!

So tell people what’s waiting for them on the other side of the link, and make them want it!

Here’s how to improve your click-through-rate (CTR):

  • Check the meta description. Is it too long or short? Is your message super persuasive or is there another one people should see? What about keywords? Did you include a call to action such as “Click through…”?
  • Test your title. Is it the best you can do? Would you click on it over someone else’s? If not, keep editing until you would.
  • Triple check your content. Does it answer relevant searches? Most people will ask Google a question. If your content answers it, Google will use it as a direct answer and push it to the top.

Wrapping it up!

Can you see how much things have changed with Google? Improving your content goes way beyond keywords these days.

Think of your blog posts as resource guides that address specific problems and searches, with helpful details, examples, images, videos, and tools to help them understand the information.

Keywords may get readers in the door, but your content will keep them reading.

When Google sees that people are finding answers to their problems, it will rank your posts higher. And you’ll show up for more keywords on page #1.

by

9 Pinterest SEO Secrets Every Blogger Should Know / Want to know how to use Pinterest for Business? This post is for you! It includes a complete Pinterest growth guide with SEO tips and tricks for bloggers. Pinterest fundamentals, Pinterest hacks, and more for bloggers. Click through to see all the steps!In my Blog Profit Plan series, I cover the four buckets to building an online business:

Content > Traffic > Subscribers > Products 

I also cover the process by which each bucket spills over into the next until they’re all full and your business is thriving.

Problem is, sometimes the buckets don’t spill over as quickly as you want. They usually slow down somewhere in the middle, between Traffic and Subscribers.

Sound familiar?

If you’ve been struggling to grow your traffic and email list, you’re not alone, friend. Many entrepreneurs and bloggers struggle to fill those two buckets up.

Luckily, there’s Pinterest. 🙂

Pinterest is a huge source of traffic for those who use it. In my experience, it’s the easiest source of social media traffic. So today, I’m drilling down on all things Pinterest to give you (what I hope to be) the ultimate guide to using Pinterest for business.

Here’s what I’ll be covering:

Part One: Pinterest Fundamentals

  • Why use Pinterest for Business?
  • Pinterest SEO Changes
  • Understand the SmartFeed
  • Set Up Your Account for Traffic

Part Two: Get found on Pinterest 

  • Create a Pinterest Content Strategy
  • Research Keywords
  • Add Keywords Everywhere
  • Pinterest SEO vs Google SEO

Ready to dig in? Let’s do it.

 

Part one: Pinterest Fundamentals

Step 1) First, why use Pinterest for business?

Because it’s ripe for the taking! If you’re still thinking that Pinterest is only for fashion tips and recipes, keep reading…

Pinterest is a goldmine for business.

When you get it right, you can explode your traffic in ways that you just can’t with Facebook or Instagram. In fact, Pinterest is very different than FB and IG. For starters, it’s not even a social media site.

It’s a SEARCH ENGINE and a SOCIAL BOOKMARKING SITE.

Where people are on Facebook and Instagram to be social, people are on Pinterest to find stuff. They’re searching for ideas of things they can buy/make/do…much like Google. And there are a whopping 200B monthly searches on Pinterest. Whoa.

So when your pins appear for their search queries, they’ll love you for it (and so will Pinterest!).

Pinterest knows that without content creators like you and me, there would be no Pinterest. And they want to help us reach a broad audience by encouraging others to share our pins.

That’s where the social bookmarking component comes in…

Between tribes and group boards, you have a huge opportunity to reach thousands of followers outside of your own.

If you keep all of this in mind, you’ll be able to steer your Pinterest strategy in the right direction.

Step 2) Pinterest SEO Changes

The Following Tab

When you log in to Pinterest, by default, you’ll see pins from your SmartFeed (step #3 below).

But what if you want more control over the pins in your feed?

Now you can have it with the new Following Tab. Toggle it on to see only pins from the people you follow. It’s right up here in the top menu:

The Pinterest Followers Tab

Looks like this new feature is designed to encourage you to spend more time on Pinterest by seeing only the pins you care about.

Hashtags

Yep. You can use them! And you should. It’s the second time around for Pinterest hashtags, and this time it looks like they’re here to stay.

When you use hashtags, you increase the chance that your new pins will be distributed to relevant hashtags and be seen by more people.

Notice I said *new pins.* Don’t bother going back and adding hashtags to your older pins. The reason is that the hashtag feed is prioritized by freshness. So adding hashtags to older pins won’t help them. Just add them to new pins from here on out, and you’ll be good.

I cover more on hashtags in step #8 below.

Image Sizes

Are infographic pins gone for good?

They could be. Here’s what Sarah says about longer images:

2:3 is recommended (600×900 or 735×1102). “If you deviate much from that, you might see less distribution or your Pins might be cut off in certain parts of the Pinterest app. Given that, we recommend sticking to that 2:3 ratio or lower.”

“Previously we truncated Pins, but now sometimes we just don’t show the Pin at all if it is super long. Even if currently our best Pins are super long, realize that these are still rolling out, and things will appear differently in different places.”

But here’s the thing:

My longer pins drive (waaay) more traffic and engagement than my 2:3 pins. So I’m willing to toss the dice on the longer pins and keep creating them for now. (I create three pins for every post – two are 2:3 and one is 1:2.)

For the full scoop on Pinterest images sizes, read The Ultimate Guide to Creating Pinterest Images that People Click.

Personal boards

Personal boards are where it’s at these days, guys.

Pinterest gives more weight to personal boards than group boards because many group contributors drop their pins without re-sharing from the group. Bleck.

This type of spammy activity causes your pins to have low engagement. When you share pins with low engagement, Pinterest may mark your domain as being low-quality and start squashing your pins.

That’s why personal boards are super important now. In fact, setting them up correctly is one of the most powerful things you can do to increase traffic.

Free webinar: Double Your Traffic with Pinterest

Step 3) Understand the SmartFeed

Your pins aren’t shown in chronological order like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

In fact, before displaying any of your pins, Pinterest’s SmartFeed algorithm will give them a score based on quality and relevance. After it filters and scores your pins, it will display them in the feed.

What that means is that Pinterest displays “best pins” first rather *newest pins* first.

Pins with higher scores appear higher up in search results and are shown to more people. Pins with lower scores appear further down in the feed and can take a lot longer to show up – IF AT ALL.

Before I get into Pinterest’s filtering criteria, let me back up for a minute and explain the three groups of pins that are displayed in the Smart Feed.

When you log in to Pinterest, the pins you see are:

  • From people you’re following
  • Related to those you’re following
  • Similar to those you’ve shown an interest in

Ever notice how the pins in your feed look like ones you just repinned? Those are coming from your “interest” group.

The SmartFeed Filter at Work

When you share a pin, Pinterest is working behind the scenes to decide when (and if) to show it based on these four criteria:

  1. Domain quality
  2. Pin quality
  3. Pinner quality
  4. Relevance

The graphic below is a visual reference for what’s happening.

Pins are grouped into three categories, then put through the SmartFeed Filter, given a score, and displayed in your feed:

Pinterest's SmartFeed graphic

Here’s what each filter measures:

Domain quality – This is a measure of your overall domain. How many repins, close-ups, comments, and clicks do pins shared from your website receive overall?

Pin quality – A measure of your individual pin. How much engagement does it have?

Pinner quality – A measure of you as a content curator. Are the pins you share from others high quality?

Relevance – A measure of user intent. How relevant is your pin to a user’s search, interests, and search history?

Pinterest uses these checkpoints to ensure that only high quality, relevant pins are being shared by all. The higher your scores in each category, the better chance you’ll have of ranking #1 and reaching a broad audience with your pins.

In a nutshell, you need to be an epic content creator AND curator…create and share pins that are optimized for clicks and search.

A winning Pinterest SEO strategy combines these three elements:

Visibility + Searchability + Great Pin Design = Pinterest SEO Strategy

Sounds pretty easy, right? Actually, there’s a bit more to it.

But first, let’s get your account set up your correctly. I’m going to walk you though the steps right now!

Step 4) Set Up your Account for Traffic

Your Pinterest account, profile, boards, and pins need to be optimized for traffic. If you let Pinterest know right from the start that you’re a content creator, it can index and distribute your pins accurately.

Here’s how to do it.

First, create a business account.

A huge reason people don’t get traffic from Pinterest when they otherwise should is, they’re confusing their personal Pinterest with their business Pinterest – which confuses Pinterest too.

Remember, Pinterest is a search engine, and it’s looking for clues about your keywords from the pins you share. It’s not like Instagram, where you can get away with mixing personal and business posts, *kinda.

Instead, treat your Pinterest accounts the way you treat your Facebook profile vs Facebook page. Share personal pins to your personal Pinterest and business pins to your business Pinterest.

Don’t mix the two.

When you create a business account, Pinterest immediately knows that you create content. And it will love you for it! Because without people like you and me creating and sharing our content, Pinterest wouldn’t exist, and it knows it!

Creating a business account is free, and you can sign up for one right here. If you do decide to turn your personal into a business account, just head over to your profile settings and you’ll see an option to switch.

Next up, verify your account.

Once you create a business account, the next step is to verify or “claim” it. You can’t skip over this step because it’s really important!

You’ll get access to in-depth analytics on Pinterest and Tailwind. Plus, claiming your site is one of the first ways you’ll make your domain visible to Pinterest. All you’re really doing here is confirming your website with Pinterest so that it knows it’s you, and that you’re a blogger and content creator.

It’s very easy to verify your website. All you have to do is log in to your profile and go to your settings. Then scroll down to the Claim section:

Verify your website in Pinterest

 

Since my site is already verified, my website has a checkmark next to it, and the “unclaim” button is grayed out. Yours will be red and say “claim,” so just enter your website URL and select the button.

Next up, select “Add HTML tag.” Copy the tag and choose Next.

That tag needs to be added to the <head> section of your website, which sounds scary I know. But there’s an easy way to do it with the Yoast SEO plugin (for WordPress).

Then set up your boards for traffic.

You definitely want to create keyword-rich boards to help Pinterest index your pins.

For every board category (e.g., Travel), create one general and at least three specific, niched-down boards.

Here’s what that looks like:

Create broad and specific Pinterest boards.

Oh, and don’t just throw every keyword you find in there! Try to use them organically in complete sentences. Here’s the description for my social media marketing board:

Using social media marketing to grow your business + blog? Here you’ll find tools to help you do it. Pinning about social media marketing tools, social media strategy templates, social media marketing tips, marketing plans, social media cheat sheets, and more.

It sounds pretty natural, but I have a lot of keywords in there.

Now, I get that sometimes it’ll be easy to add a lot of keywords and sometimes it won’t. You just want to strike a balance between “keyword stuffing” and writing in a natural, organic way. After all, real humans are reading your board descriptions, so they need to make sense.

Note: There’s a lot more to boards than what I cover here…and they’re crazy important for Pinterest SEO today. I cover them in detail in The Pinterest Traffic Launchpad – including how to get Pinterest to “see” them, creating sections vs niche boards, how many you need, how to share your pins to them, and more.

Finally, enable rich pins.

Rich pins have confused a lot of folks, including me. I used to think they were the reason my name and logo started appearing beneath my pin image, but alas, that’s not the case! Your name and logo show up on pins after you verify your domain with Pinterest.

So what are rich pins really for, anyway?

What rich pins do is show the title and meta description of your posts.

Now, as I said before, you won’t see any of this metadata in your feed, only the first few characters of the description you added when you uploaded the pin:

Pinterest SEO | Pin DescriptionWhen someone clicks the pin to the expanded view, that’s when they’ll see the metadata and title:

Pinterest SEO | Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions

What the heck is metadata?

I’m so glad you asked! Sounds like a bunch of garblygook to me. 🙂

Basically, metadata is your meta title and your meta description. To break that down even more, it’s your SEO title and your SEO description. Which means they’re the title and description that show up on Google search results…

They’re also the title and description that Pinterest displays on your pin when you install rich pins on your website.

The big thing with rich pins is, the metadata from your post travels with the pin. When people repin your content, your metadata is repinned with it. If you update the meta description or title of your post, your pins and repins will also change (theoretically, it can take a while to update).

From Pinterest:
Use rich pins wherever possible so your brand and other useful details stay on the Pin as it gets saved.

Now that your account is set up for traffic and you have an overview of the SmartFeed, let’s dig into Pinterest SEO strategies that will help your pins get found.

PART two: GET FOUND ON PINTEREST

Step 5) Create a Pinterest Content Strategy

Want to really (REALLY) make the SmartFeed happy?

Share content your audience loves.

Hah! If only it were that simple…

First, you need to create jaw-dropping pins. Then you need to share them on the regular, e’erday.

And then…

You can’t just drop your pins, cross your fingers, and hope for the best! You have to be strategic about HOW and WHERE you share them so that people find them.

What you really need is a Pinterest content strategy. In the steps below, I’m going to show you exactly what to do.

First, share killer pins.

There’s this visual component that makes Pinterest incredibly powerful as a search engine, maybe even more so than Google. Because, let’s face it, Google search results are pretty meh. All people see are titles and descriptions with no pretty pictures to help them decide if they should click.

But over on Pinterest, whoa, there are tons of beautiful images that visually show people why they should click. Your job as a content creator is to design graphics that make people want to click on YOUR pins instead of others.

What does that mean?

It means you do things like check your pins on mobile (at least 65% of your traffic will come from phones), use bold fonts that are easy to read and use graphics and images that are on-brand and relevant to your post.

I drill down on all things graphic in these posts:

Next, get ready to blog your heart out!

If you’re a blogger, you already create content on the regular. High five!

Many of my students and clients have a hard time with blogging. They hope they can share a few *one-off* pins and still blow up on Pinterest. But, alas, that ain’t how it works, yo.

Blogging should be a core part of your Pinterest strategy.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’ve tried to fool myself on this too!

I spent the better part of last year creating two courses and couldn’t keep up with blogging every week. Instead, I posted once a MONTH.

Now, did I lose ALL traffic?

Let me just say, my pins were like workhorses keepin’ my traffic steady-*ish. So I didn’t lose it all but noticed a drop. My list growth also took a plunge…from ~1,500 subscribers a month to 1,000 or so.

The reason is that pins have a lifespan. Sure, they can last a looong time – six months, a year, even longer – but after people have seen them over and over, the engagement and traffic will drop.

I’ve experienced pin fatigue like this, and I know this is true. When you see the same pin in your feed every time you log in to Pinterest, you glaze over it.

No worries, though. Just know that when you stop blogging and sharing fresh pins, you WILL see diminishing returns at some point. Better to feed the beast.

#WORDTOTHEWISE If you’re pressed for time and can’t blog regularly, I recommend trying Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram ads.

Step 6) Research keywords

There are a few ways to research keywords on Pinterest:

  • Pinterest’s Guided Search
  • Topic searches
  • The ads platform

Pinterest Guided Search

When you search for a keyword in the guided search, Pinterest will show you a list of ideas across the top.

For example, let’s say you want to create a board about traveling. Here’s what Pinterest shows:

All those pretty buttons beneath the search bar are suggested keywords. Just so you know, those extra words should be added to your original keyword, like this:

  • Travel Destination
  • Travel Tips
  • Travel Bucket List
  • Travel Packing
  • Travel in the USA
  • Travel Hacks
  • And so on…

Topic Searches

If you enter https://pinterest.com/topics/travel into your browser window, here’s what you’ll get:

At the top, you can see how popular the topic is, and if you scroll down a bit there will be “Topics Related to Travel.” Click through each of these topics to get more title ideas.

Notice how the topics are becoming more specific every time you click through? Beach Travel has about 400K followers vs 70.3 million for the broader topic Travel.

The Pinterest ads platform

The other way to find keywords is to set up an ad account, which really just means placing your credit card on file with Pinterest. Don’t worry! You won’t have to run a campaign. You just need it to access the keyword section.

Once you set up your ad account, click on Create Ad from the top menu and name your campaign.

Then scroll down to the keyword section and add a keyword. Here’s what comes back for “social media”:

The list of keyword ideas is endless!

Researching keywords this way is great because you can create a master list and keep them in a spreadsheet.

Speaking of…

A keyword worksheet will save you A TON of time! You probably pin about similar topics, and it will be waaay easier to optimize new pins if you have keywords on hand and ready to use (especially if you’re sharing six or seven a week).

Psst…The right keyword and hashtag strategy can skyrocket your Pinterest traffic! In The Pinterest Traffic Launchpad, you will become a keyword ninja. Discover little-known ways to find *power traffic* keywords, where to place them, and how to quickly index your boards and pins so that Pinterest knows how to rank them. Learn more about PT Launchpad.

Step 7) Add keywords everywhere

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Once you have keyword lists, add them to your profile, boards, pins, blog posts, meta title, and more so there’s NO way Pinterest will be confused.

Here’s where they should go…

1. Your profile

Add keywords to your business name and the About You section.

I’m not sure how much the keywords truly matter in the About You, but any time Pinterest gives you the opportunity to use keywords, I say use them!

Keywords in your business name can help you get found when users search for people on Pinterest.

Pinterest SEO | Add keywords to your profile

 

2. Personal boards

I like to come up with ten keywords for my personal boards. I may not use them all, but it’s easier to start with more and narrow it down.

Oh, and don’t just throw every keyword you find in there! Try to use them organically in complete sentences. Here’s the description for my social media marketing board:

Using social media marketing to grow your business + blog? Here you’ll find tools to help you do it. Pinning about social media marketing tools, social media strategy templates, social media marketing tips, marketing plans, social media cheat sheets, and more.

It sounds pretty natural, but I have a lot of keywords in there.

Now, I get that sometimes it’ll be easy to add a lot of keywords and sometimes it won’t. You just want to strike a balance between “keyword stuffing” and writing in a natural, organic way. After all, real humans are reading your board descriptions, so they need to make sense.

3. Your pins

Of course, you need keywords in your pins!

Now, you probably share pins about similar topics and will wind up using similar keywords, which is perfectly okay.

Just make sure you don’t use the same exact keywords for every pin – vary it. You should have a list of keywords you use frequently. Go through it and pick new ones for different pins.

Oh, and watch out for keyword stuffing, yo.

Pinterest is likely headed in the direction of Google and may start to penalize pinners who spam their pins with keywords. Use them in sentences that sound organic, like you’ve written them for real people.

Use related keywords too (think “specific” and “broad.”)

For example:

If you blog about Travel and share a “travel itineraries” pin, you might use travel itinerary, backpack vacations, planning your trip on a budget, and best spots in Costa Rica as keywords.

Just so you know, keyword-rich pin descriptions appear at the bottom of a close-up:

Pinterest SEO | adding keywords to pins.

4. Blog titles + meta descriptions

In the image above, the blog title and meta description are pulled directly from your blog post.

The meta description is 140 characters long and appears below your meta title on Google, like this:

Pinterest SEO | meta descriptionIt’s important to add keywords to both places because Pinterest wants to ensure that the content on your pin matches the content on the page it links to.  The more your title and pin description match, the easier it will be for Pinterest to know what your pin is about.

5. Blog posts

I’m not entirely sure how much Pinterest is focusing on keywords in your blog post, but since they matter for Google, it just makes sense that they matter to Pinterest.

Think about it:

When your pin is linked to a landing page with the same keywords, you’re giving Pinterest one more signal that yes, this is the keyword I want to rank for.

Plus, this is another one of those cases where leveling up your Pinterest game can help you get found on Google.  Woop woop!

I cover Google SEO and Pinterest SEO in more detail (step #8 below).

6. Hashtags

Use at least two hashtags for each pin (one broad and one specific).

Broad hashtags will help your new pins get increased distribution when you first share them. Pinterest uses that hashtag to share your pin to the relevant hashtag feed.

Now, because hashtags are like keywords and broad terms are highly competitive, it’s likely that tons of other pins will be distributed along with yours. Which means your broad pin will be pushed down in the feed and people may not see it.

But the purpose of that broad term isn’t to rank in the hashtag feed. It’s to help Pinterest index your pin.

The specific hashtag is the one you’ll likely rank for. Narrower hashtags have less competition and better chances of showing up in relevant searches long term.

Just remember, you need both one of each.

Step 8) Pinterest SEO and Google SEO

I bet you’ve probably wondered at some point or another, Can I use the same SEO strategies for Google and Pinterest?

You are SOO on the right track, friend! I’m a huge fan of having multiple sources of traffic. Algorithms on any platform can change on a dime…and Pinterest is no different. You just never know if your account will be flagged for spam and (mistakenly) suspended. It’s happened to the best of us!

Since we’re already jammin’ on Pinterest SEO, why not work smarter and tackle Google right out of the gate, no?

Many strategies you would use to rank on Pinterest are the same for Google. Plus, as you research and apply keywords to pins and posts, you’ll get into a habit of SEO’ing everything.

Now, there ARE differences between Pinterest and Google SEO…

For starters, to rank on Google you need to write a post that *beats* others on the same topic (think longer, more detailed, better design, etc). But over on Pinterest, you can get by with 500 words if you create a great graphic with a killer headline and use the right keywords in your pin description.

In my Pinterest course, The Pinterest Traffic Bootcamp, I show you exactly how to find “traffic” keywords and create a year’s worth of content with ranking potential on Pinterest AND Google.

For example:

Example of a Pinterest pin ranking in Google Image Search SEO

This infographic is one of my top performing pins on Pinterest:

When you click through to the post, I show the infographic again with a short intro (maybe it’s 700 words).

I’ve been able to drive consistent traffic to the post since I published it over a year ago. In fact, it’s always in my top ten because of that pin. The post itself doesn’t rank on Google, and with only 700 words I don’t expect it too. But you know what?

It ranks on Google Image Search:

Example of a Pinterest pin ranking in Google Image Search SEO

So when it comes to Google and Pinterest SEO, just know that your pins can help you get traffic from Google, both directly from your posts and indirectly through your pins.

Wrapping it up!

Did I answer all your questions about Pinterest SEO? I hope so! Here’s a quick recap of everything we covered:

  • Recent Pinterest changes give you more ways to get found.
  • The SmartFeed uses four criteria to score your pins.
  • Set up a business account so that Pinterest knows you create content.
  • Create a content strategy that you can maintain consistently.
  • Research and add keywords following step #7.
  • Once you’re comfortable with Pinterest SEO, move on to Google SEO.

And remember to share pins that make people want to click, share to group boards and tribes, and SEO the heck out of everything!

More random thoughts and questions

Here are questions that the wonderful members of my Facebook group have asked:

Should you pin manually or use Tailwind?

According to Sarah at Pinterest, Pinterest will not penalize creators who pin via Tailwind.

It’s really a matter of preference.

I recommend that you pin manually for the first two months so that you can get a feel for how Pinterest works and use the platform as your audience does.

Is it better to share to tribes or group boards?

As I mentioned, group boards are getting pretty spammy. But all it takes is one good one, and you can reach hundreds of thousands of people.

Tribes have more accountability than groups because of their share-for-share rules. Having said that, there’s no guarantee that other tribe members will share your pins.

The best thing you can do with tribes and groups is monitor the activity and make sure you’re contributing to ones with high engagement and reciprocity.

What is the SmartLoop?

It’s a Tailwind tool that will save your sanity! Use it to create continuous loops of your pins (similar to the now-defunct campaigns in BoardBooster). Just specify which pins to share and to what boards, then let Tailwind do the pinning for you. It will even allow you to set group board rules and set specific time slots for your pins.

Should you delete pins?

If you mistakenly share the same pin to a personal board, delete it. Otherwise, leave them. You never know when your older pins will suddenly take off and go viral. It can be months and months later.

How do you add keywords to pins?

You add keywords to the pin description, which you can do when you upload the pin to Pinterest or when you edit the *alt text* of the image in your post. There are also plugins like Social Warfare (affiliate link) and Tasty Pins you can use.

Should you use board sections?

If you like them, go ahead and create them. Make sure you add keywords in the sections to give Pinterest more information about the contents. That said, I prefer niching down to sectioning. If you share to the same BROAD board over and over, instead of sectioning it create a few niche-specific boards. You’ll have more distribution options.

Does metadata matter for traffic?

Meta titles affect Google rankings, and I assume they affect Pinterest rankings too. Meta descriptions, on the other hand, aren’t a ranking factor on Pinterest or Google but they can help you get more traffic.

When people view a close-up of your pin, your meta title will appear first. Then your meta description, and THEN the pin description. All of these should make people want to take the next step and click through to your post. If you have a killer title and meta description in there, it helps.

How do you set up rich pins?

There are two steps involved and they’re really simple:

  • First – Add the metadata to your website.
  • Second – Apply for rich pins with Pinterest.

The first step is a 1,2,3. I’m going to show how to do it with Yoast SEO.

Select SEO > Social from the left sidebar in Yoast. Then select the Facebook tab and make sure that Add Open Graph metadata is enabled. It should be by default, but it’s a good idea to check before moving on.

Voila! You’re done. Now your posts are ready to display as article rich pins. The last step is to verify rich pins back in Pinterest, which you can do right here: Rich Pin Validator.

Should you write posts for Google, Pinterest, or both?

Once you master Pinterest SEO, start tackling Google SEO.

When you do, I recommend alternating between Google and Pinterest. Say, one week you write a post for Pinterest. You do keyword research upfront, look at popular pins and create an amazing graphic and killer headline for it – the post is about 800 words.

The next week you go all in on Google…keyword research, epic post, great design, long and detailed…all of it. That post is crazy long, like 3,00 words. (yep)

When you approach SEO this way, you will likely get traffic from Pinterest AND Google. And you won’t have to spend hours and hours writing a 3,000-word post every week. Give yourself a break on the *Pinterest* weeks.

This way you’ll have an SEO strategy for every post.

Can you use the same keyword research tools for Pinterest and Google?

You can. It’s easier to use Pinterest for Pinterest keywords and Google tools (Adwords Keyword Planner, Google Search, KWFinder) for Google keywords.

How many boards should you create?

Great question! As many as you need for your niche and as many as you can share to consistently. Engagement is a biggie. If you have a lot of personal boards with little or no engagement, you run the risk of Pinterest ignoring your pins altogether.

Should I use a keywords worksheet?

I think it’s helpful to brain-dump keywords onto a worksheet. Since you’ll likely be blogging about similar topics, some of the same keywords will pop up again and again…if you have them handy you can save a ton of time.

Next Steps

Pin, pin, pin!

Set up your account, start blogging, create pins, join group boards and tribes, track what you share and when, and don’t forget about Pinterest and Google Analytics. Check them each month, so you know what’s working and what you need to change for consistent results.

I’ve got answers to ALL of your questions about Pinterest SEO in my new mini-course, The Pinterest Traffic Launchpad. Click the image below to learn more about it.

The Pinterest Traffic Launchpad

by

Create blog contentA while back, I asked you guys what you were struggling with most in your blog or business. And wow, your answers surprised me! Turns out, many of you (like me) struggle to work on your blog consistently.

Here are some of the things I heard:

  • I have trouble finding time to write with a full-time job and a 7-month old
  • The hardest thing is regularly creating blog content
  • I’m overwhelmed with decisions, so I don’t make any
  • It’s hard to find the motivation to sit down and write for an hour with two jobs
  • I don’t know what to write about
  • I have a lot of blog topics but don’t know where to start, so I don’t finish
  • I’m so tired by the time I get home that I just want to veg for an hour then crawl into bed
  • My family thinks blogging isn’t a real job until I make money, so they keep interrupting me

So in this post, I’ve got some tips to help keep our momentum going.

First, I’m going to drill down on time management and motivation. Then, I’ll share blogging systems that will help you maximize every hour you spend on your blog.

Ready? Let’s dig in.

CREATING BLOG CONTENT PART 1 –> PRIORITIES AND MOTIVATION

Step 1. Is blogging a priority right now?

If you’ve been trying to blog consistently but can’t seem to get there, hold the phone. Depending on your business model and growth, blogging consistently may NOT be your main focus right now, and that’s perfectly okay.

Let me explain…

>> Business growth

If you’re familiar with my DIY Your Biz Blueprint, you know my four phases of building a successful online business:

  • Phase #1 (The Launch Phase) – create your website and brand identity
  • Phase #2 (The Hustle Phase) – drive traffic, build your platform
  • Phase #3 (The Growth Phase) – generate leads and sales
  • Phase #4 (The Profit + Scale Phase) – automate sales processes, build your team

I go into loads more detail and cover specific milestones for each phase in this post.

BONUS: If you want, you can grab the Online Business Roadmap so you know exactly what steps to take. It’s broken down into 4 easy to follow sections with prompts, milestones, and goals. Plus, you’ll have the resources and tools to help you reach them. Just click the image below to download it.

Get the Online Business Roadmap from ConversionMinded

Roughly speaking, the closer you get to phase #4, the less frequently you’ll be blogging.

(at least for a stretch)

Last year, I switched my focus from regular blogging to creating new products, webinars, and sales funnels. Every month, I could only manage to bang out a post, if that. And every month I’d stress about it! First off, I know that blogging is a non-negotiable for my business. Plus, I can’t wait to share everything I’ve learned this past year. It’s killing me!

But here’s the thing:

I spent two years (in phases #2-3) building my platform, gaining visibility, driving traffic, and generating leads and sales. Now in phase #4, my focus is on sales systems and automation. So that’s what I’m doing.

As entrepreneurs, we like to think we can tackle everything, all at the same time. But there are only so many hours in a week, and we have to learn to say No to things that we desperately want to say Yes to (more on that below).

Bottom line, if you’re at the tail end of phase #3 or the first part of phase #4, you may need to pull back on blogging until you have sales funnels and automation in place.

>> Business model

There are two ways to build an online business:

Way 1: From the ground up – Build your platform first and worry about money later
Way 2: From the top down – Start with a product first and build your platform later

Which one should you choose?

Great question! I’ve been mullin’ this over for a bit. And the answer is that it comes down to timing and pricing.

Timing

How quickly do you need to make money? If your business is a side thing right now, you may have time to build from the ground up. In that case, #1 could work best.

On the other hand…

If your goal is to make money within a specific time frame, or if you want to leave your 9-to-5 by a specific date, #2 is the way to go.

Pricing

This has more to do with HOW you build your platform than which model you choose, but it’s something you need to consider. So let’s take a look.

If you sell low-cost products (under $500), you’ll want to start from the ground up and go all-in on organic growth. By that I mean, blog your little tush off and forget about Facebook ads!

If your products cost $500 or more, I would focus on Facebook ads and webinars before you even think about blogging. At that price point, you can absorb the cost of ads and still make a killer profit.

Keep in mind that there are always outliers. Depending on your niche, you may do very well with Facebook ads and lower-cost products. Just sayin’. One never knows. 🙂

These business models aren’t exclusive. We’re talking about where to place your focus FIRST.

Even if you build from the ground up, you should set a goal to create a minimum viable product (or service) within, say, the first six months. For more on this, check out this post.

Bottom line, if you sell low-cost products and/or you’re building your platform organically, blogging should be your main focus right now. If you have high-cost products, Facebooks ads and webinars should be your main focus right now.

Step #2. Find your motivation

Motivation has a huge impact on productivity. When you can’t find your ‘why’ and don’t see the reward for all your hard work just yet, it can be hard to justify putting in the time.

I mean, who cares if you’re not bangin’ away at your blog when there’s no payoff, right?

Off the top of my head, I can think of three reasons we lose motivation:

Reason #1: Lack of support
Reason #2: Confusion + overwhelm
Reason #3: It’s not working

On some level, these all come down to fear but let’s drill down on each.

Reason 1: Lack of support

If your friends and family are 100% in your corner, high five! That’s amazing! You’re incredibly lucky to have their support.

Many times, it doesn’t go that way. As much as you want and need it, your loved ones may not support you in your entrepreneurial journey.

To them, the hours you spend banging away at your laptop probably seem like a colossal waste of time. And I’ll bet they think your business is just a hobby, to boot.

They might show you their “un-support” in different ways. Like all the times they interrupt you while you’re working because, well, you’re not really working, are you? It’s amazing how a simple question like, Do you know where I put my wallet? can throw you off track and shake your confidence.

BOUNDARIES!!

Maybe your family is even more un-supportive and wants you to quit entirely.

I can relate to this one:

For the first two years of my business, my husband begged me to stop blogging. Every week, I heard some version of, “The blogging thing is cool and all that, it’s just not going anywhere.”

Finally, by year #3 things started to change. I was making money. Once I earned enough to replace my income, my hubby was all-in.

(he even comes up with blog ideas for me now!)

See:

The early years of any business are hard. There’s this mountain of stuff in front of you. You feel overwhelmed and fed up. And you forget why you started your business in the first place.

But you know what?

Your belief is what’s going to carry you through the storm. In my case, it didn’t matter what my husband said. I knew my business was going to work, and I wasn’t about to back down. Every time he’d challenge me, I’d work harder and longer. At some point, he got tired, and I won. 🙂

But if I’m completely honest, I felt like quitting ALL the time. It’s hard to stay strong, no matter how much experience you have.

Here’s what helped me keep going:

  • Experience with start-ups – For better or worse, self-doubt is part of the entrepreneurial journey, in my book.
  • Knowing my why – Every time I doubted myself, I’d tap into my vision and purpose.
  • Having a buddy – I check in with my pal Taughnee every Friday to chat about our goals, what we’ve accomplished, and so on. That time is pure gold!

Bottom line, your loved ones may or may not support you in the beginning. Either way, don’t leave the future of your dream business up to them. Build your own support system. Hire a coach, join a mastermind, find a buddy in your niche…whatever you need to do to stay motivated.

Reason #2: Confusion + overwhelm

You can’t take the next step in your business if you don’t know what that step should be.

When things are fuzzy, and you’re working two jobs plus taking care of a family, it’s nearly impossible to carve out time for your new business. You don’t know what you’re carving out time for!

Even so, I think there’s a deeper truth here.

Confusion and overwhelm creep up most when you’re unsure if your idea will work. Maybe you half-started (or will start) your business and now you’re wondering if you chose the right niche. Or, maybe you don’t know if you have the passion and will power. Or, you wonder if you’ll be able make money.

That’s when it’s nearly impossible to make decisions. Heck, even when you’re crystal clear on your niche, there’s still no guarantee it will fly.

And that’s just it:

There’s no “flying” or “not flying.” There’s only DOING.

The business you start today will look much different than your actual business. What I mean by this is, it will take on a life of its own as you evolve and learn more about your audience, yourself, and where you want to be.

That’s why it’s crucial to take action. Your future business is at stake here!

Now, you may be thinking, Sure, Sandra, but what if I make the wrong choice?

I hear ya! It’s totally normal to have fears like that. Making your move is a scary step. But when it comes right down to it, the only *wrong* choice is not taking that step.

Or to fool yourself into thinking you’re taking action when you’re not. I call that the Maybe Mindf*&k.

Maybe I’ll do it later…

Maybe I’ll try to get a client…

Maybe I’ll write that post…

Giving yourself an out keeps you stuck in a revolving door of indecision.

These days, I’m more afraid of not making a decision than making the wrong move. And believe me, I make A LOT of wrong moves.

Think of it this way:

Every question that stays in your head holds you back. Period. What you need, and quick like, are answers. You want to shove those questions behind you as fast as you can. Turn uncertainties into certainties, good or bad.

Here’s an example:

Somehow, I got myself in a jam by trying something new with a recent promotion. I had just signed up some affiliates and wanted to give them swipe files so they could share the sale with their audience.

Problem was, I didn’t have time to create the swipe files. It took me three days to get them together, which left me very little time to prepare stuff for MY audience.

Now, I wouldn’t run a promotion like that again. But I’m glad I followed through. Know why? Because I answered one of the biggest questions I have right now:

Should I invest time in affiliate programs?

Turns out, the answer’s no. And that’s perfectly okay, because I know what to focus on now.

Bottom line, if you’re not sure if your idea will fly, take action. Go back to your business plan (you have one, don’t you?), evaluate your choices, and give yourself a deadline to make a decision. Then run with it.

Reason #3: It’s not working

At some point in your blogging journey…

You’re going to be doing everything right…creating content like it’s your job, sharing it everywhere, showing up everday bright and cheery…and nothing will be working.

You won’t have the page views you expect, or the subscribers you want, or the customers you need.

And you’ll be thinking, Why am I spending time blogging? It doesn’t work! 

I feel your pain! Whether your blog is your business or you’re blogging for your business, if you’re not getting results, you need a better content strategy.

Maybe you’re not covering topics that truly resonate with your audience (see “research blog topics” below). Or, maybe your blog format doesn’t convert subscribers and customers. Maybe you’re even a bit all over the place wth blog topics and need to narrow your focus and niche.

The good news is:

When you hit this road block, you’re officially out of Launch Phase and into Hustle Phase! High-five!

Now it’s time to get serious about every word you write. Keep readin’ for content strategies that will get you big results.

CREATE BLOG CONTENT PART 2 –> SYSTEMS AND WORKFLOWS

Step #3. Block out time for your blog

It’s easy to feel stuck when you’re juggling work, a family, and a social life, *gasp.

But if you want to change your life, you have to change your behavior.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to say, “When I have time…” 

You really do have to MAKE the time.

The good news is, you can get a lot done in just a few hours when you focus on the right things. So if you find yourself wondering, “Should I even bother to write? I only have an hour right now!”

Absolutely! If an hour is what you have, make it work. Whatever you do, don’t look at blogging as one of those “all or nothing” things, like I used to do. Small chunks of time add up to big results!

Maybe weekdays won’t work, but what about Saturdays and Sundays? Can you get up an hour earlier? Ask for help with the kids?

How about these time-sucks…

  • Texts
  • Emails
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Netflix
  • YouTube

…can you shut those down?

If you take an honest look at your daily routine, you can probably save a few minutes here and there. Block that time out now, friend.

Once you’ve set aside specific times for blogging, the next step is to maximize your productivity. Here are a few of my favorite blogging systems and workflows to help you get loads more done in less time.

>> First, don’t overthink things

Too often, we spend more time dreading than doing. We imagine things as monumental tasks that will take FOREVER to complete. Know what happens then? We get stuck before we start.

Overthinking leads to procrastination.

In reality, progress comes from baby steps. All you need to do in the beginning is to get your blog up and running, and write your first posts. They don’t have to be fabulous works of art. In fact, your first posts will probably be crappy, and that’s perfectly okay.

The first time you rode a bike, you sucked at it, right? But you kept getting back on until one day, it was easy.

It’s like that with blogging.

When I look at my first posts, I literally cringe. Even now, I look at stuff I wrote three months ago and cringe (and I will probably look at this post and cringe, too!). Your audience may not love your first posts. Stick with it anyway.

Blogging is a journey of discovery. At the end of the day, it’s just something you do. Write words on a page and let the rest evolve.

>> Research blog topics

When I get writer’s block and don’t know what to blog about, I put off writing until I have more time to brainstorm ideas.

Sound familiar?

No matter what phase of business you’re in, bangin’ out blog posts is hard. First off, you have to come up with topics in the first place. Then you have to narrow your ideas down to the ones that are most relevant to your expertise and audience. Then you need to develop the idea and start writing (see below).

Instead of leaving it to the last minute, set aside the first Sunday of every month to research and brainstorm ideas. Open up Google Sheets and dump your ideas into a blog idea library.

Try to organize them in themes that make sense for your audience.

For example:

My audience is interested in business, social media, and blogging, so those are my categories. Every idea needs to fit into one of the categories to “make the cut.” If not, I move on to the next idea. This is a great way to rein in your ideas, zero in on your focus, and avoid overwhelm and confusion.

When you have a library of ideas to pull from, you’ll be much more likely to sit down and write at the end of the day.

>> Start with an outline

There’s a structure to writing blog posts, much like there’s a structure to writing songs. Verses lead to pre-choruses, and pre-choruses lead to the main hook (or chorus). In our case, paragraphs are verses, content upgrades are pre-choruses, and the call to action is the main hook.

Here are the five main sections to a killer post:

  • The headline should make people want to click in the first place
  • The intro should hook people in and make them want to keep reading
  • The main points should help people achieve a specific outcome
  • Content upgrades should help people take the next step in each section
  • The outro (or conclusion) should wrap up the main points with a call to action

When you use the same structure for every post, you’ll save loads of time. And you won’t feel like a slacker, staring at a blank screen wondering what the heck to write!

How do you develop a great blog post structure?

Good question! The answer is pretty simple: Start with an outline. 

And outline goes beyond loose planning. This is where you get a bird’s eye view of your post. Develop your blog idea, brainstorm any details you want to include, and ensure that each point makes sense. No more going off on tangents!

Over time, you’ll develop a skill for training your thought process. Every post should have a specific goal.

Ask yourself:

Why am I writing this post? What do I want to convey? How will it help my readers? How will it support my business and sales goals? Is there more than one idea in here?

Some of my outlines are comprehensive, 1,000-word posts all on their own. Others are loose ideas and bullet points. Those usually start as offshoots of the main post, where I’ll jot down any secondary ideas that come up. If I can flesh the ideas out into a full outline, I’ll move forward with it. If not, I’ll ditch the idea and move on.

If you’re curious, here’s what to include in your outline:

  • A working headline
  • An intro – one to three paragraphs
  • 3-5 main points you want to cover – with subheadings
  • Up to five bullet points for each subheading
  • Content upgrades you want to include
  • An outro, or conclusion
  • The main call to action – what do you want readers to do next?

>> Batch-write blog posts 

Once you’re in the zone of writing, you’ll likely find that one blog idea will inspire other ideas. Take advantage of that *zone* by writing several posts at once.

Batch-writing posts works best when you take one blog topic and turn it into several posts. Every time you write a new post, ask yourself:

  • Does this idea make more sense as two posts instead of one? (aka: am I going off on tangents?)
  • Is there a specific section that would work beautifully on its own? (aka: can I offer more detail in a separate post?)
  • Can I turn this post into a series (aka: can I take people on a journey from one post to the next?)

Can you see how writing this way is a win-win! You create more content, save hours of time, and feel encouraged by all the progress you’re making. And these types of posts can easily be repurposed as a content upgrade or digital product. Brilliant!

>> Use ghostwriters

Sure, it’s better to write original posts that are infused with your unique voice and perspective. But some weeks you just can’t squeeze in the time. Don’t let limited resources crush your momentum. Find writers who can help.

(that’s what I did with this post!)

Now, I know it’s not ideal, but it works in a pinch. Ghostwriters save time, which is what you need most.

And yes…

You’ll have to edit and refine their posts. The role of ghostwriters is not to replace you as a writer. It’s to help you write faster. It’s a lot easier to edit an existing piece of *anything* than to start from scratch, in my book.

At the very least, a ghostwriter (or a guest blogger) can outline your idea, research important details, and flesh out the main points so you have a foundation from which to work.

Need help finding ghostwriters? Try Content Runner.

>> Blog less frequently

Who said you have to blog once a week?

If you’re really strapped for time, don’t stress. Reduce your blogging frequency to biweekly or monthly.

Be careful, though. Keep your readers in the loop when your schedule changes. Let them know when to expect new content now.

Here’s an example:

It’s been a while since my last post! A lot has been brewing lately, and I can’t seem to catch my own shadow these days! Just so you know, I’ll be blogging less frequently over the next few months so I can focus on sales funnels and webinars. I can’t wait to share everything I’m learning with you! Good news, I’m kicking it all off today with the five phases of profitable webinars to help you make more sales.

When people know what to expect and feel connected to your journey, they’ll keep reading.

>> Use an editorial calendar

Once you have a blog idea library, the next step is to plan a month’s worth of posts. Some bloggers like to schedule three months of content or more. I find that too overwhelming. Honestly, I have a hard time planning four posts!

Create a Google Sheet that includes:

  • Blog titles
  • Target keywords
  • Blog images
  • Word counts
  • Keyword competitions
  • Writers (if you’re working with at team)
  • Notes (this will help you with the outline)
  • Content upgrades you want to include
  • Due dates
  • Publish dates

Quick Tip: Use Trello to set due dates, gather blog assets, and images, and manage your schedule.

>> Have 2-3 content upgrades ready to go

Relevance is king with content upgrades. You want to give readers multiple opportunities to subscribe as they read through your post.

What I mean is:

Include more than one content upgrade if you can. Content upgrades work best when they are directly relevant to a specific section.

But that doesn’t mean you have to create a new content upgrade for every post!

Start with one or two that are most relevant to the topics you write about. If you have them handy, you can quickly grab them and add them to the appropriate section.

(just like I’m doing below!)

BONUS: If you need help creating freebies and content upgrades, this lead magnet template pack may help! Just click the image below to get access. 

Download the Lead Magnet Template Pack

That’s an example of a content upgrade I created ahead of time. I keep an Evernote note with Thrive Leads shortcodes and descriptions for all my content upgrades so I can grab them quickly.

One last thing:

It’s super important that your opt-in graphics stand out from other images in your post. Use different colors, fonts, and sizes to make them pop. Make sure they show up well on mobile because that’s where 80% of your traffic will likely come from.

>> Don’t compare your blog to others

Ever read someone else’s blog and wonder if you’ll ever catch up?

It used to drive me nuts!

It’s sooo easy to feel discouraged by other bloggers who seem to have it all figured out…a brilliant blog design, epic content, clever phrases, seamlessly flowing language, beautiful graphics…all of it. Argghhh. They make it look so easy!

Here’s what I’ve learned:

We can’t compare our start to someone else’s finish.

Bloggers who are *ahead* of you in their blogging journey simply started before you. That’s it.

The only thing you should measure is your own progress. What did you achieve last week? Are you blogging more consistently? Have you carved out specific time blocks that will work for you, where you won’t fall prey to distractions and interruptions? Did you create an editorial calendar? Did you write that post you were supposed to?

And remember this, friend:

Your audience wants to hear from YOU. They want your voice, your inspiration, your insights, and your expertise. Most of all, they want you to help interpret all the conflicting information out there in the blogosphere. That’s all you need to do.

That’s a wrap! Now I’d like to turn it over to you. What helps you create blog content on the regular?

by
Wondering how to promote a blog post after you hit publish? Use this blog promo plan + cheat sheet for entrepreneurs and bloggers to get tons of social media traffic to your content. Click through to check out the planner!

How to Market Your Blog Effectively on Social Media | Wondering how to share your blog posts on social media the right way, so you get right in front of your target audience? This blog promotion plan for entrepreneurs and bloggers will help you get incredible amounts of social media traffic. Click through to get started!Updated July 20, 2019.

Do you ever wonder how to promote your blog posts once you hit publish, so that all your hard work writing them pays off – and instead of seeing crickets when you dig in to analytics, you see hundreds and thousands of page visits each day?

Today, I’m sharing a social media promotion plan  that will help you:

  • Give new posts an initial spike of social traffic
  • Turn your posts into other types of content
  • Recycle older posts so they’re always out there

What this means is that right after you publish a post, you have a plan for how, when, and where you will share it.

One thing I should mention…you don’t have to tackle every social channel listed here.

If Facebook and Instagram are making a difference in your business (or if your audience hangs out here), get into a system for sharing your posts consistently on those channels first. You can always add the others later.

BONUS: I created this Blog Promotion Plan + Checklist to help put hte plan into action.

Check out this Content Promotion Plan + Checklist to help you market your blog posts and get massive social media traffic!

Blog Promotion Plan for Social Media Traffic

Facebook

  • Day 1 – Share the link post
  • Day 3 – Create a video summarizing post
  • Day 7 – Turn a quick tip into an infographic
  • Day 14 – Pose a question with a link to the post
  • Day 31 – Repeat Day 1

Twitter

  • Day 1 – Tweet a link to your post
  • Day 1  – Change the text and share another tweet
  • Day 3 – Share a clip of FB video
  • Day 7 – Share a quote from your post
  • Day 14 – Change the image and share another tweet
  • Day 31 – Repeat Day 1 (use the best tweet)


Pinterest

  • Day 1 – Pin to boards
  • Day 3 – Share a second pin to boards
  • Day 14 – Share a video pin from the short clip
  • Day 31 – Repeat Day 1 (use the best pin)


Instagram

  • Day 1 – post image with text overlay
  • Day 3 – Instagram story in video format, introduce blog post content with call to action
  • Day 7 – Post the video clip from Facebook
  • Day 14 – Share the same quick tip from Facebook

LinkedIn

  • Day 1 – Share the link post as an update
  • Day 1 (four hours later) – share to LinkedIn Groups
  • Day 7 – Share the same quick tip from Facebook
  • Day 31 – Repeat Day 1


Youtube

  • Day 1 – Upload your video, include a link back to your blog post
    Add YouTube cards to the video with pertinent links to your blog and website

———————

Whew! That’s a lot.

You’re probably thinking, I created a blog post, not a video or infographic. Where are these coming from? 

You need to create them to make this blog promotion strategy work effectively. Trust me though, they won’t take long to create, not after you’ve already written your post!

Right after you finish writing, create different types of visual content for it. This will keep your content fresh and interesting, and make scheduling apps happy because they tend to flag duplicate text.

Here’s what I create for each post:

  • The post with a title image
  • 2 pin images
  • 2 Instagram images
  • An Instagram story
  • A video –  only for posts that make sense
  • A question
  • Quick tip infographic

Of course, you can work up to this. When I started sharing my posts regularly, I only created the blog image. Then I added a  pin image, then two, then multiple tweets, and so on.

So you don’t have to create all of this at once! Start where you are and work up to it. u

If you’re looking for other types of social media content you can share, click the image below to download my Social Media Cheat Sheet + Content Calendar.

A social media cheat sheet for content marketing so you know what to post and when, plus tools to help you automate everything from scheduling, to growth and engagement, and creating images.

What about scheduling tools?

There are so many scheduling tools to choose from. Here are a few that I like:

For Days 1-14

  • Buffer
  • Tailwind (Pinterest)
  • Later (Instagram)

For Day 31 – and once a month after that

  • SmarterQueue
  • Tailwind SmartLoop
  • Recurpost
  • Edgar
  • SocialOomph
  • Later

A few random thoughts about the tools

Still wondering how to promote your blog effectively with the scheduling tools? Here are some pointers.

I love Buffer and use it a lot because of its integration with IFTTT for Buffer. But I wish it was easier to schedule content on specific days. With Buffer, you create a daily schedule and content gets added to the bottom of the queue. So for new posts that you want to share more frequently, there’s a lot of shuffling around to schedule them when you want.

For Pinterest, Tailwind is great. You can shuffle pins easily and schedule them any day you want (same for Later and Instagram). I even figured out a way to semi-loop pins using Tailwind.

Recurpost is free for up to 3 channels, so this is definitely worth looking into. Tailwind’s SmartLoop is a great way to recycle your posts so they’re always being shared. And SmarterQueue is my fave for automating Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. And then there’s this IFTTT/Google Calendar method that’s also free and works like a charm for Twitter and Facebook.

Related: 32 Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic

Anything that’s made a huge difference in your traffic? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list!

by

14 Ways to Get Massive Traffic from Pinterest | If you want to grow your business and get massive traffic from Pinterest, but aren’t sure how to set up things like boards, pins and scheduling, then this post is for you! It includes 14 tips for bloggers and entrepreneurs to help your content get found my more people. Click through to check out all the tips!Here’s why I love Pinterest so much:

  • It drives massive traffic to my site, easily OVER 60% of my total traffic
  • It’s fun to look through all the beautiful images
  • I find great content to share
  • Pins can take on a life of their own and drive traffic for months

So let’s jump in and start driving traffic with Pinterest.

SETTING UP YOUR PINTEREST PLATFORM

There are some things you want to do before you get going, such as set up your account, boards and pins the right way.

Updated: June 27, 2019

1) Create a business account

If you have a personal account, turn it into a business account. This will give you access to analytics so you can see which pins are getting the most repins, comments and likes. You’ll also be able to run ads and claim your website so that Pinterest can verify that the content shared from your website is, in fact, yours.

2) Tailor your profile to attract your target audience

Whether you have 100 followers or 5,000, there are likely tons of people who will view your profile each month. You want to make sure it attracts the right people so they stick around once they find you, right?

Include a friendly photo that reflects your brand and a brief bio that explains what you do and how you help. Keep the focus of your description on your target audience and not you! Check out this post if you need help crafting a killer description.

If you’re featuring a course or a freebie, this is a great place to include it. Take a look at Sarah Morgan’s Pinterest bio:

drive traffic with pinterest3) Create boards that are relevant to your audience

To rock this strategy, you want to have at least 10 boards that your readers would be looking for.

You probably have categories for your blog, right? Start there. Create different boards for each category that you write about. This makes it easy for people to find the boards that interest them without having to sift through irrelevant pins and boards.

I like to give my boards “active” titles (e.g., Start a Blog, Grow a Blog).

While you’re here, you may want to delete boards that don’t fit with your brand, personality or niche.

When you delete a board, you will lose the people who are only following that one specific board. Don’t worry, though! It’s perfectly okay to lose followers who aren’t interested in your main message. By narrowing your focus, you’re going to attract more of the right followers, and that’s what you want. Having said that, if you prefer NOT to lose followers, don’t delete the board. Instead, archive it. You won’t lose any followers this way.

Note: It’s okay to keep other boards if you want. Just make sure that your relevant boards appear first. Let people scroll down to see your other interests if they want to. Hey, you never know, you may make a wonderful connection in the process!

4) Create a brand board

Out of the 10 boards you create, one of them should be a featured board where you only pin your branded content. Set this up as the very first board people see when they find you. On this board you’ll pin only your pins.

Take a look at how I set up my boards:

drive traffic to your blog with pinterestNow, when you publish your blog post, the first thing you want to do is to pin to your branded board. You can use the Pinterest Save Button or install the Social Warfare plugin and use that to pin an image from your blog.

UPDATE: Brand boards are not a must today. If you already have one, keep it! Most of my repins still come from my brand board. But if you’re just starting out on Pinterest, it’s more important that your first pin is shared to the most relevant board. This will help Pinterest quickly index it so that you get more search traffic. Personally, I like brand boards because they make it easy for people to find your best pins in one place. For more on Pinterest SEO strategies like this, read this post.

5) Add some pins

Nobody wants to visit a blank board, right? The next thing to do is to fill up your boards with pins that your audience would find interesting.

Here are some random thoughts about pinning:

  • To share other pins, repin the best content in your feed, or search for a specific topic (or brand in your niche). If you find something that your readers would love, share it!
  • The more you pin, the better. I pin 13x a day. I know others pin 30x a day.
  • Make sure you pin some of your own content as well as curated content. When I first started, I didn’t have original content so I shared other people’s pins. This is fine at first, just keep in mind that ultimately you want to share a mix of both.
  • Shoot for 30% your own content and 70% other people’s content. When you have more of your own content, flip that ratio.

 

PINTEREST TRAFFIC-BOOSTING TIPS!

6) Join Group Boards

Group boards give you access to audiences beyond your followers. So if you have 1,000 followers and you join a group board with 10,000 followers, you’ve just 10x’d your ability to get eyes on your pins and drive traffic to your blog.

There are two ways to find group boards:

  • Search on Pingroupie for group boards around your blog topics
  • Join group boards that other bloggers and brand in your niche are in

It may take a while to get invited to boards, but it’s well worth it! You may find that some that you want to join are not accepting collaborators, and that’s okay. There are plenty of others to choose from. Follow the board description for instructions on joining. In most cases, you’ll need to follow the board and moderator, then send an email with your Pinterest profile asking for an invite.

Try to join board that have more followers than you and a high engagement rate (lots of pins, repins, and likes).

Another thing: Pay attention to the board rules. Some will allow you to pin 1x a day, others allow 4-5 pins a day, and still others have no limits. You don’t spam your high-performing boards and run the risk of getting banned. I know this. I’ve been banned from boards simply because I didn’t pay attention to the rules.

7) SEO your pins and boards

Pinterest is a little different than Facebook or Twitter. It’s not really a social media platform. It’s a visual search engine, much like Google. When you log in to Pinterest, most of the pins in your feed are the result of the Pinterest search algorithm.

Pinterest ranks pins according to relevance. And relevance is based on the keywords you include in your profile description, pin descriptions and board descriptions.

If you want Pinterest to rank your content in their feed (and I know you do!), you have to implement search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. What this really means is that you should optimize your pins and boards so that they show up first in search results, the same way you would optimize a blog post to make it rank higher on Google.

1) Optimize your board descriptions

Now that you have your boards don’t leave the descriptions blank! This is valuable space to add in important terms that your readers would be searching for.

Go back and add in some keywords to your boards. This is the best way to help them rank high on Pinterest, PLUS your boards can actually rank on Google too. When people search on Google, your Pinterest board can show up on the first page!

If you’re like me, you filter your Pinterest searches by people, pins, or boards. Having the right keywords in your board will help them show up for relevant searches.

Here’s what you want in your board descriptions:

  • The topics you’ll be pinning about
  • Any keywords related to your niche (not limited to just one keyword). Include any relevant terms so that Pinterest knows when to show your board. For instance, my “Start a Blog” board includes these keywords: entrepreneur, solopreneur, small business, blogging tips, blogging tools, driving traffic, epic content, social media, content strategies, content marketing, startup tips, online business strategies, SEO tools.

2) Optimize pin descriptions

We are on a keyword roll! Every pin you save from your website should have keywords. This is what’s really going to give your brand the biggest boost. It pays to put the effort into your descriptions. You want them to appeal to people AND Pinterest.

You don’t have to add unique descriptions when you repin someone else’s content. But you certainly can if you want to. This adds extra work so be sure you’re not doing this at the sake of your own descriptions!

What you want in your descriptions:

  • A friendly recap of your post
  • Some relevant keywords that people would use to search for you
  • Two to three hashtags
  • A call to action, such as “Click through to see all the tips.”

Tip: If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, you can amplify your SEO and save a few steps by adding a pin description to the alt text in your featured image, or by using Tasty Pins. When people share the pin from your site, the description will  automatically appear. For more on how to set this up, check out this post.

8) Create pin-worthy titles

You can have the best content with brilliant images, but if your headline falls flat, people will likely miss it. You want your titles to be actionable or inspire some kind of curiosity or urgency. Words like the best, secrets of and ultimate guide to make people want to click through to learn more.

Just remember, there are good titles, bad titles, and so-so titles. You want yours to be pin-worthy!

Some general thoughts here:

  • Benefit-rich titles will grab people’s attention right away. Will your post save people time, money, show them how to do something? Include your audience in the title too so that readers know it’s for them (e.g., 25 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Grow your Blog Audience)
  • How-to post titles tend to catch people’s attention quickly because they provide a solution to a problem or answer questions your peeps have
  • Titles like 5 ways to are powerful because they’re simple and actionable. Plus, they let people know exactly what they can expect.
  • Don’t be vague or generic. This is what will kill your post title more than anything else. If people don’t know what your post is about or who it’s for, why would they read it?

9) Make pins that stand out

I can spend hours devouring all the beautiful images on Pinterest! Your images need to grab people’s attention too. Here are some ways to do that:

1) Use images with nondescript people (aka no faces)

Images of people (but not faces) get more clicks than images with just graphics or a background color. Why no faces? Pictures tell a story, and people want to see themselves (not others) in your story.

2) Use whitespace

When I created my first pins, I made the text super big so that it would jump out at people. Turns out, larger text isn’t always better. Leaving some whitespace will actually help your images stand out from all the others.

3) Create contrast between elements

Take a look at your feed real quick. Which pins really stand out to you? If you look closer, you’ll see that the text on those pins is easy to read, and clearly differentiated from the background. Make sure you play with the contrast between your background and headline so that it jumps out.

QUICK TIP: Look at your feed from your phone. That’s where 80% of people will see your content.

4) Use strategic color combinations

I’ve experimented with everything from dark backgrounds, to light backgrounds, to reds, oranges, blacks, and even blues. Overall, lighter background colors seem to jump out more and get more clicks and saves. Reds and oranges catch my eye more than blues and blacks. What do you think?

5) Longer pins are better

Yep, it’s true. I get more clicks on longer pins. They give you more room to play and be creative. For instance, I could create a long pin for the post you’re reading, and include each step to give a peek at what’s inside.

UPDATE: Be careful with longer pins now. Pinterest no longer favors super long pins that hog up the feed. Read this post for more on Pinterest image sizes

10) Brand your pins

When you find something that works, don’t change it! It’s okay to play around with the look of your pins at first, but when you find a style that you love and can recreate easily, stick with it. Lock it down in a template with the exact colors, fonts and other brand elements you will use over and over again.

I’ve seen many people (including me) use different fonts and colors on every pin image. Your boards can start to look a bit all over the place if you do this. Aim for consistency and harmony so that people instantly recognize your pins. People who know and trust your brand will tend to click through, regardless of how captivating (or not) your headline is!

Note: Make sure you include your logo and/or website in your pins. Check out this post for more brand and style guide tips.

11) Apply for rich pins

Speaking of branding, before you start loading up your boards with pins, set up rich pins.

Sounds techie, right? Really, they’re easy to set up and will give your pins a major boost. Once you have claimed your website, rich pins will display your brand name below your pin image.

Take a look at one of my pins to see what I mean:

how to drive traffic with pinterestWhen you use rich pins and add other brand elements to your pin image, you will have a leg up on your competitors. Here’s more info on setting up rich pins.

12) Clean up your boards

Every once in a while, take a look at your boards and get rid of pins with low engagement (aka repins). Pins that don’t get repinned and clicked won’t show up. They just kind of clutter your boards. Repin counts are relative to each board, so if most of your pins on a particular board have 100 repins, delete pins with fewer than 10 or 20. Make sense?

13) Display share buttons only on posts and strategic images

If you use SumoMe image sharer icons, the default setting applies to all images. What that means is that people will be able to share any image from any page on your site, including your logo, background images, header images, and more. But you want control here. If people pin random images from your site, they will likely share images you don’t want shared.

You can easily tweak the setting so that the share buttons display only on your blog posts. PLUS you can control which images display on your posts.

Let’s say you have secondary images to help readers digest your message, but those images aren’t pin-worthy. Just add <rel=”noshare”> to the image you don’t want people to pin and the share buttons will disappear. This way, you will only display share buttons on primary images (featured images, vertical images, etc).

14) Schedule your pins

I use Tailwind to schedule my pins and love it.

The Tailwind dashboard is super user-friendly, and it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. For the most part, you’ll live in the Publish > Drafts or Publish > Scheduled sections on the left. On the right is where the scheduling magic happens! That’s where the virtual calendar lives and where you create time slots. Then schedule away!

You can even create board lists (groups of boards) to save time. I love board lists, especially since I discovered how to loop my pins with them, which you can do too! Pins you share to lists will be distributed to all boards in the list (make sure you set intervals between each pin).


drive traffic with pinterest - select board lists
The SmartLoop is another tool you can use to recycle pins. Just decide what boards and pins you want in your loop, and the SmartLoop will take care of repinning them. You can even enter group board rules! I use board lists to share new posts. and the SmartLoop to recycle older posts.

 

by
This is part 2 of the Blog Profit Plan Series for bloggers and entrepreneurs who are ready to learn how to make money online. Time to create an action plan so you can reach your goals! Click through to see all the steps!

How to Make Money With A Blog | This is part 2 of the Blog Profit Plan Series for bloggers and entrepreneurs who are ready to make money with your blog. Time to create an action plan so you can reach your goals! Click through to see all the steps!This is part 2 of the Blog Profit Plan Series, where I’m breaking down the steps to turn your blog into a full-time income as quickly as possible.

My hope is that this series will help you launch your blog, decide how you will make money from it, and clear up any questions you have about profitable blogging.

If you missed it, Part 1 was all about business plans:

  • Why you need them
  • How to create them
  • And a business plan workbook

Today, we’re all about getting things done. I want to help you execute on your plan and create a scalable business with your blog.

First, I’ll cover launch essentials (those things you need to consider when you start your blog). Then I’ll share strategies for long-term success and give you a step-by-step roadmap to kick your blog business plan into action.

Ready for it? First, let’s look at some blog milestones and income formulas.

BLOG MILESTONES

1) Blog Income Formula

I came across this simple formula just a few weeks ago and am in looove. Seriously, I think I’m going to plaster my apartment with formula post-its. 🙂

Income = Number of Email Subscribers x (.02 x Price of Product)

Pretty powerful stuff, no?

This formula literally gives you the ability to predict your income, estimate how much money you can make blogging, and create a road map for making it happen.

Knowing that an average of 2% of your subscribers will purchase your product (the common range is 1-3%), if you want to make $3K this month and you have a product that is $100, you know you’ll need 1,500 subscribers to make it happen. This assumes that your product is relevant to your readers, which of course it will be.

So the blog income formula tells us what areas to focus on for growth:

  1. Awesome blog and content
  2. Traffic
  3. Subscribers
  4. A product

That means that every goal, task and item in your blog action plan should be around these 4 areas in order to make money with your blog. Ideally, you will address each bucket every month, meaning that you set specific goals that you plan to achieve for each focus area, each month (blog, traffic, subscribers, product). This way you’ll be covering all bases and moving them all forward.

Note: Income from affiliate programs and ads is more complex because there are so many variations in payouts, cookie lifetime, and other details. My Affiliate Marketing for Beginners post will help you get started.

2) Start With 12-Month Goals

Now that we’re clear on our focus areas, let’s create 12-month blog goals. Nothing fancy here, all you need is a simple spreadsheet. Take the 4 buckets and map them out across every month. This will give you a high-level view of your goals and help you plan a time frame to earn money from blogging.

For instance, you might say that by month 4 you want to make $3k, and by month 12 your money goal is $10K. Or, you might say that in month 1 you want to launch your blog, and by month 3 you want to be blogging twice a week. The point is that every focus area has a goal attached to it.

What should you do first? Great question! If you’re feeling stuck on which comes first – the chicken or the egg – the answer is really both.  It may seem like a lot to juggle, but as I explain (Step #3 below), even though you’ll be dipping into all of your buckets each month, some will have a priority focus over others. For instance, if you’re starting out with blogging, in months #1-3 you may have a priority focus on:

  • Building your blog (content)
  • Creating epic content (content)
  • Building a following (traffic)

Now, at the same time you will do things like:

  • Building your list (subscribers)
  • Brainstorming content funnels (subscribers)
  • Researching products (money)

See where I’m going with this?

The difference here is that you’ll be full-steam ahead with your priority focus items, and not so much on the others. Think of it like you’re building a runway for the others to take off, while you’re at peak altitude with the others. Make sense?

If you want, you can grab the Blog Business Plan Workbook I created to help with this step:

Get the Blog Business Plan Workbook and start turning your dream into a profitable online business!

3) Break Those Down into Bite-Sized Steps

Next up: time to break the goals down into smaller chunks. We’re talkin’ 3 months, then 1 month, and then weeks.

What does that really mean? To start, just take a mental snapshot of your priority focus areas for the next 3 months. This works fantabulously well because it’s a small enough time frame where you can feel positive and excited about your action items, rather than stressed and defeated because you start getting ahead of yourself. Been there, done that. At the same time it gives you a bird’s eye view of where you should be putting your focus.

Once you have that, you want to start working on one month at a time. Take one month from your blog goals and break it down into bite-sized steps. What that looks like is you pick a priority focus for each week, and that one priority drives all of your actions.

I generally have a larger priority goal for the month as well. For instance, if I’m rebranding or creating a new product, I want to keep it front and center in my mind, so I’ll make sure it stands out on my calendar.

Each month/week your priority goals should get done first, meaning that when other things come up you turn them down (or shift them around) so you can focus on the things you really need to achieve.

Now that you have the success mindset, let’s look at action steps to creating a profitable blog.

BLOG ACTION PLAN STEPS

1) Choose your niche

I’ve written about the importance of defining your niche and target audience pretty extensively in other posts, so I won’t go into it too much here. Hmmm…or will I?

The thing is this: Finding your blog’s focus is a biggie.

This is a step that every successful business faces, and if you really want to turn your blog into a business, it’s a step you simply can’t skip. I say this with complete confidence and after years working with brands who put so much effort into marketing, and then later realize that they’re missing the mark. I don’t want this to happen to you, so here’s the deal…

You absolutely have to be BFFs with your audience.

What we’re really going for here is to drill down on specifics. First of all, I would start with the basics like age, job title, income level, gender, and so on, then move beyond that to how your audience is feeling, what they’re struggling with, and how you help.

You should be able to answer these questions:

  • How is your audience feeling right now?
  • What are they trying to do but can’t?
  • What’s stopping them?
  • How can you help them?
  • What will change for them after YOU?
  • How will they feel when they’ve overcome this problem?

The more focused you are with your niche, the easier it will be to jumpstart your profits.

Psst…Don’t go crazy over that last bit like I did at first. You definitely want to start with your skills, talent, and passions first. Then look at groups of people who heart what you heart. And finally, give some thought to the types of products you will offer.

Related: How to Choose Your Blog’s Niche and Focus

2) Choose your name

When you’re starting out your name feels like all you have, so you hold on to it and drive yourself a little nutso (at least if you’re me you do!) But, really, your name is a name and that’s it. Other people don’t care what you name your blog. That’s just how it is, friend.

Your brand is so much more than a name, meaning that it’s really everything attached to your name. It’s the way you speak to your audience, your logo, the colors you choose, what you stand for, your mission, your values…all of that exciting brand stuff. 🙂

Now, whether you use your own name or a product name for your biz really depends on which you prefer. I recommend choosing a name that makes you feel 100% authentically YOU, and at the same time encompasses your longer term vision. For instance, if you plan to grow your team beyond just you, a product name might be the way to go. Try to include keywords related to your blog’s focus so that people have an idea what your biz is all about.

Related: How to Choose the Perfect Name for Your Blog

3) Build your blog

Now we’re going to roll up our sleeves and build your blog! I recommend using a self-hosted WordPress site because you’ll have access to functionality that you need to grow your business. We’re talkin’ plugins that will put your biz on autopilot ’round the clock.

Having said that, I know many people love SquareSpace, and there’s definitely a lot to be said for getting your website up quickly, which you can do easily with SquareSpace. WordPress is a bit more techie and will take longer, so if you’re up for the challenge, I say go for it!

Not sure which one to go with? byRegina has a free course that shows you both platforms to help you decide. And if you’re sold on a self-hosted WordPress site, I’m your girl (wink, wink). This post will help you get up and running.

4a) Build a following

Now we’re revvin’ up the traffic engine of the blog income formula (first part, step #1). First things first, let me say when it comes to driving web traffic, social media and content are interrelated. Where one goes, the other must follow, which is why step #4 is broken down into two parts. In case you’re wondering which part to tackle first, I say both, friend. You really can’t have one without the other.

With that said, let’s dive into building your following so that your content gets found by more people, ev’rywhere. From your niche research, you should have a good idea where your audience hangs out. So now we’re going to create profiles on those sites and start building an audience.

Heads up, you’re going to have to spend some time on each social media platform. It might seem like your entire day is devoured by social media at first, but it won’t be forever, I promise! You’ll get your days back soon! Really, you just need to spend enough time to learn the ins and outs, share some content, see which types of content perform best, and most importantly, which sites give you the most bang for your buck.

Now let’s look at the content part…

4b) Create and share content

How frequently should you write new blog posts? I think the real question here is How frequently CAN you  write new posts on the regular? If you can commit to writing a new post once every 2 weeks for now, perfect. That’s your magic number. Over time I recommend ramping up to once or twice a week as you get comfortable with your blog schedule. Whatever you do, please don’t write 6 posts in 2 weeks and then disappear for 3 months! Creating a schedule and then sticking to it is sooo key when it comes to building trust.

One thing that saves me oodles of time is working with themes. I find that my brain works 24/7 behind the scenes when I work this way, so by the time I sit down to write my next post, the words flow freely.

Curious what a theme is? I’m glad you asked! You’re reading a post from my theme right now – The Blog Profit Plan Series. Seriously though, themes are just subtopics where you take readers on a journey and one post feeds naturally into the next. So if you’re a fashion blogger, you might plan a theme around stripes one month and then colors the next.

Oh, and I promised you’d get your days back, right? Once you’re comfortable on your social media platforms, scheduling tools will actually automate your content sharing for you, so you don’t have to do it manually. Who’s a game-changer now? My favorite tools are SmarterQueue and Buffer for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn; BoardBooster for Pinterest; and Planoly for Instagram.

If you’re ready to step up your traffic game even more, these two posts will help:

5) Build your subscribers

High five! Your traffic engine is hummin’ and you’re on your way to wrapping up the blog income formula. Time to crank up the subscriber engine! Let me just say there’s no magic pill for building your list. But there are a ton of ways to do it, just like there are a ton of ways to market your business. So nothing to be overwhelmed about here!

Start by adding a freebie (content upgrade) to your posts. This can be anything, really: cheat sheets, Ebooks, printables, planners, checklists…anything that will provide meaningful value for your readers.

To do this, you’ll need a few tools:

You’ll also need an email marketing platform like MailChimp, ConvertKit, or Infusionsoft to create automated emails and campaigns so you can build a relationship with your subscribers while you create products to offer them.

That about brings us to…

6) Create a product

Woot woot! You made it. Almost at the finish line. Let’s tackle this last step, k?

How do you know what products to create? First of all, you can send a survey to your subscribers asking them what their biggest challenge is, and then brainstorm products you can create to help.

You can also look into pre-selling your course. What this looks like is you create an outline of the course idea, then a sales page and a webinar, and if people buy, you know you’ve got a winner! Just be sure that you can actually deliver your course in the time frame you promise, so you won’t lose credibility with people who register for it. If this seems too scary, why not create the first few modules? This way you know you’ll have something to deliver while you’re doing your preselling.

Why not research other popular blogs in your niche? Look at what types of blogs make the most money, how they make money, the types of products they offer. This will give you tons of ideas for your own product.

What if you don’t have a list yet? No worries, just start tracking which posts get the most shares on social media and have the highest page views in analytics. This is a super easy way to get some insight into the content that people are responding to.

What tools should you use to create your course? I break it all down for you in this post.

Should you create an ebook or an ecourse? It’s really up to you. Ebooks take a bit longer than ecourses, but you can always turn your ebook into a course later on.

I’m so excited for you! I can’t wait to hear about all your success. As you move through these steps, remember to work in bite-sized chunks and keep the blog income formula plastered to the top of your brain. This will help you earn money from blogging as quickly as possible, because you’ll know exactly what you need to do to turn your blog into a blogging for profit machine.

Always, always, execute on the priority focus areas you set for each month. Don’t go skipping steps and gettin’ ahead of yourself. 🙂

Let’s hear it! How do you make money with your blog? What’s working for you right now?

by

32 Insanely Easy Ways to Boost Blog Traffic for FreeUpdated June 6, 2019. Today, I want to talk about ways to increase website traffic and get visible so that your blog gets found by thousands and all your hard work pays off.

Traffic is a biggie for any online business. If you want people to get to know and love your brand (and ultimately, become customers), they first have to know your business exists.

You need a signpost to draw their attention to your business, and in the blogosphere, traffic = signpost.

Truth is, blogging is a lot of work. When you see the rewards from it, you want to roll up your sleeves and keep the momentum going, no?

On the flip side, when your blog traffic plateaus or even goes down, it can kill your enthusiasm for blogging altogether. We don’t want that to happen.

In this post, I’m sharing strategies that have helped me increase my blog traffic so that you can increase the traffic to your website too.

Before I continue, I should tell you the one thing I did that made my traffic plummet.

Nothing.

Yep, I said it. I did nothing. Didn’t promote my posts after I published them. Just let them sit there. And my blog traffic dropped fast. I know this because my traffic was on the rise and I thought Good, I’m able to drive traffic to my website on autopilot now and I can ease up on content promotion. #LessonLearned

Ease up on content promotion = take down my signpost = no traffic. Which is pretty much the gist of it.

There’s a whole lot you can do to get blog traffic without spending thousands of dollars on advertising. You just need to understand the traffic sources available, coupled with these techniques to double and triple your page views every month.

Let’s dig in.

32 Insanely Easy Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic (For Free)

1) Build your following

Decide which social media sites you want to lean on and work to build a following on those platforms. Social media will be a huge source of blog traffic if you approach it right. Spend some time actively engaging on those sites and sharing other people’s content as well as your own.

I cover more on creating an effective social media strategy in this post.

2) Social media profiles

Give your website a boost in traffic by making sure you include your URL on all your social media profiles. You’ll be amazed at how much traffic this can drive to your website.

3) Post on social media regularly

I know you’re busy.

Still, posting regularly and frequently on social media is going to make a huge difference in your ability to build a following. Of course, we can’t be on social media 24/7, and scheduling tools will automate your posts.

You can look active without being active. Make sense?

My favorites are SmarterQueue, Tailwind, and Later.

4) Share content frequently

The more fresh content you share, the more blog traffic you can get from social media and search engines. Updating your blog regularly also helps readers get to know you and keeps them coming back for more.

Fresh content doesn’t always mean new blog posts. You can boost your blog traffic by updating older posts, especially those that are ranking on pages 2 or 3.

5) Focus on one audience

Still wondering how to get traffic to your blog?

Pick a lane and stay in it.

On the superhighway of blogging, it can be tempting to switch gears and write about many different topics. The more you can focus on one topic for one specific person, the easier it will be to build your audience and attract your ideal customers.

Focusing on one topic will also help Google understand what your business is about, which means your posts will appear in search results. This one’s a biggie. You want that when people look for important terms related to your business, you’re up there on page #1.

I find that by focusing on just one topic, I spend more time doing what I should be doing to build my business, and less time getting distracted and checking my junk email.

Related: How to Choose Your Blog’s Niche and Focus

6) Add social share buttons to your blog

Share buttons are what you see at the end of this post. Image share buttons are what you see when you hover over my blog post image. If you’re using WordPress, Social Warfare (that’s an affiliate link, but I only recommend products I love and use every day) is the plugin you want to use.

While you’re at it, add a “click to tweet” to your post to encourage people to share it with their followers. Comes with Social Warfare. Woo!

Add a 'click to tweet' to your posts to encourage people to share it with their followers. Click To Tweet

7) Use basic SEO

When people enter important terms into Google, you want them to see your blog post. Learning basic SEO will help you optimize your posts for search engines and improve your chances of ranking on page #1.

If you’re ready to up your SEO game, my SEO guide for bloggers is a great read.

8) Set aside time to promote your posts

I know it takes what seems like forever to write posts, and if you’re like me, you’re tempted to call it a day once you hit publish.

Please, friend, don’t be like me! As I mentioned above, promoting your posts consistently is what’s going to help you get more eyes on them.

After pouring your heart into your content, you owe it to yourself to put it in front of your audience.

I cover content promotion strategies in the next steps, but for now just know that in the same way you set aside time to write your posts, you need to set aside time to let the universe know about them. If you write your posts on Mondays and Thursdays, set aside time to promote them on Wednesdays.

Related: How to Get a Massive Amount of Stuff Done Each Day

Get Traffic to Your Website After You Hit Publish

Ok, now for the good stuff. The steps I’m listing here are a checklist of things to do after you publish your posts to drive traffic to them.

Here are the steps I’m covering here:

  • First, share them on social media
  • Next, schedule additional shares, tweets, and posts
  • Then, add them to bookmarking sites
  • Then, add to content curation sites
  • And finally, try paid promotions (they work)

Let’s walk through each of these.

I. FIRST, SHARE THEM ON SOCIAL MEDIA

The first thing to do once you publish your post is to share it to all your social media accounts.

As a rule of thumb, I have accounts on most platforms, but I am not active on all of them. That would be humanly impossible! Still, more social media accounts means more eyes are on your content, so it makes sense to create profiles on as many as possible.

9) Pinterest

Pinterest is my #1 traffic source of blog traffic. What many people don’t realize is that Pinterest is more than a social media platform, it’s also a search engine.

If you want more people to find your content, make sure you pin it to Pinterest first.

Because Pinterest can be a powerful source of traffic, let’s take a look at some things you can do to give your posts an extra boost:

Make sure you create a pinnable image, which is a fancy way of saying create a vertical blog post image that includes your brand elements (logo, icon, URL) and the title of your post. This pinnable image is what people will see in their feed and the image that will be pinned when people share your post from your website.

Add a description to your pin image so that when people share it, the description is there with it. The description should include the title of your blog post plus any other descriptive keywords that people might use to search for your pin. And of course, a call-to-action.

Click here to learn more about The Pinterest Traffic Launchpad

10) Twitter

Twitter has helped me increase website traffic so I spend a lot of time on this platform. It’s my #2 source of traffic, right behind Pinterest.

With Twitter, you can load up on the tweets. Tweet a link to your post right after you publish it. Then use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule more tweets throughout the day and coming week. Make sure you include hashtags and create multiple variations of tweet text. Twitter’s latest algorithm update will red flag duplicate tweets.

Related: 6 Insider Secrets to Getting Free Traffic from Twitter

11) Facebook

You may be using your personal profile for updates, or you may have a branded business page.

Either way, make sure you share content on Facebook and work to build your following. Even though organic reach is down, Facebook is my #3 source of traffic and I have only a handful of fans. There must be something to it.

12) Facebook Groups

Groups are Facebook’s secret sauce, so join some and share, share, share!

Don’t be spammy and share only links to your blog. There’s an etiquette to Facebook groups. The best ones encourage sharing, Q&A, and genuine conversations.

Join a few that you can contribute to and learn from. Then, if you see an opportunity to share a post or answer a question, leave a comment and include a link to a relevant post.

Always check the group rules. The group admin will provide guidelines and let you know when and if it’s okay to share promotional links.

There's an etiquette to Facebook groups – the best ones encourage sharing and live interaction. Make sure you check the group rules before sharing links.Click To Tweet

Psst…Join my Facebook group and network with other bloggers, professionals, and entrepreneurs. You’ll have access to exclusive videos and training from me, plus multiple opportunities to promote your business.

Related: How to Start and Grow a Facebook Group to Make Sales

13) Instagram

Instagram is the best platform to engage and interact with potential customers, but you can’t share the same content as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

You can, of course…

But to really get results, you’ll need to encourage conversations. Make sure you share a mix of engaging posts (quotes and funny memes work well), blog posts and promotional posts.

I recommend saving the bulk of your promotions for Stories, though. Grammers don’t respond well to overly promotional feeds.

Remember, you only have one link to work with (the one in your bio), so you want to make it count. Linktree will house all of the content you want to drive followers to and it a great way to optimize Instagram traffic. You can create buttons for recent blog posts, free offers, courses, events, webinars, and so on.

Note: If use Later to schedule Instagram content, you can do the same thing with Linkin.bio.

With Later, you can create and share posts and stories from your desktop instead of your phone. This means you can use Photoshop or Canva to create your content, which is helpful if you share custom content rather than photos from your camera.

The key to getting traffic from Instagram is to use hashtags strategically and post consistently. Start out with once a day and gradually move up to 2-3 times a day. Stories are getting more traction lately, so if you’re pressed for time, I’d share one post a day to your feed and one story.

Related: How to Grow Your Instagram Following Organically

Psst… If you’re not sure what to share and how to streamline your Instagram posting schedule, you may be interested in my new program, Instagram Content System. I show you how to create a super simple posting library that will save you dozens of hours each week. You’ll even have pre-made Instagram templates that you can customize and share in minutes. Click here to learn more about Instagram Content System.

14) LinkedIn

If your audience is on LinkedIn and you have a decent following, you’ll want to share your posts there too. It’s not a huge traffic-driver for me, but it all adds up!

I’ve toyed around with the idea of republishing content on LinkedIn but don’t recommend it. Due to higher site authority, there’s a good possibility that the LinkedIn post could outrank your original content in search results.

If you decide to repurpose your article on Linkedin, make sure you wait at least two weeks so that Google can index your post. Also, don’t share the entire article. Share an excerpt with a link back to your original article.

15) LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn has groups where you can share your posts, much like Facebook groups. If your people are on LinkedIn, make sure you leverage them.

It used to be easy to share to groups – all you had to do was post your update, select Share to Groups, and choose the groups. Now you have to manually navigate to each group’s page and share your post, which takes more work.

Who said promoting a blog was easy?!

II. NEXT, SCHEDULE YOUR POSTS

16) SmarterQueue

I’ve been using SmarterQueue for the past few months in a quest to find the perfect scheduling tool. I use it to share evergreen posts to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. My organic traffic has noticeably increased since I started using it. The price is perfect at $20 a month for up to 4 social accounts.

Want to know more about SmarterQueue? Check out this post.

17) Buffer

After I share my tweet in step #10, I’ll use Buffer to schedule fifteen additional tweets during the first week to give them an initial spike in traffic.

Note: I was hoping to replace Buffer with SmarterQueue, but alas, not yet! I’m hangin’ in with Buffer because I share other people’s content via Feedly and IFTTT, and Buffer integrates seamlessly with both of these.

18) Tailwind

No doubt about it, Tailwind is a must for Pinterest. It’s also the only scheduling tool on the block now that BoardBooster is no longer with us 🙁

Tailwind is Pinterest-approved, so you can schedule pins all day long and not worry about your account being suspended, which is HUGE.

I’m amazed at how Tailwind continues to offer time-saving features, such as:

  • The Scheduler – this is the core of Tailwind and works similar to other scheduling tools
  • Content Discovery – a biggie if you want to find popular content and see pin counts of other people’s pins
  • Tribes – like groups, only on steroids (the accountability feature is what makes tribes work)
  • The SmartLoop – an easy way to automating sharing and recycle older pins so they’re always in rotation.

Related: How to Skyrocket Your Traffic with Tailwind Tribes

Bonus: If you want, you can use the Tailwind Tribes Cheat Sheet I created to help you get started with Tribes. It list over 150 active tribes categorized by niche so you know which tribes to join and how to join them. Click on the image below to access.

Use the Tailwind Tribes Cheat Sheet to start driving tons of traffic from Pinterest with Tribes.

III. SHARE TO BOOKMARKING SITES

Create accounts on these free web submission sites to get traffic to your content:

19) Reddit

Bloggers beware! Reddit is one seriously intimidating platform. What I mean by this is that Redditors can smell spam a thousand miles away. Your account will quickly get banned if you don’t adhere to subreddit rules, so please be careful here. They can also be very direct (aka: school of hard knocks) with their comments. You need to be thick-skinned, but we’re fearless bloggers, so we got this…

Curious about subreddits? They’re just like Facebook groups. No biggie there.

The real question is Can Reddit really help boost blog traffic?

I’ve seen amazing blog traffic, and I’ve seen crickets. I’ve also been banned from some subreddits. So while I’m on the fence about it, the boost in blog traffic is noticeable and makes a difference. Reddit traffic tends to convert pretty well.

Just be careful about how you add links. Best practice is to approach subreddits the same way you would approach Facebook groups. When you come across a post or a question where you can provide value, include a link to your post within the comment.

20) BizSugar

I’ve been using BizSugar for two years and have gotten enough traffic to keep using it. Like any other platform, the more you share, the more visible you become. That’s when the magic starts happening.

21) Hacker News

If you blog about entrepreneurship, Hacker News will get you traffic. Plus, it’s so easy to submit your posts. Just share the link and a title, and you’re done!

22) Growth Hackers

If your blog has anything to do with growth hacking, startups, or tech, Growth Hackers is another place you can share your posts.

23) Scoop.it

What can I say about Scoop.it? First, it integrates with Twitter. If you have a following on Twitter, you can hit the ground running with a decent number of followers on Scoop.it.

To add content, either set up an RSS feed or add your posts manually, which is what I prefer to do. This way I can add specific tags to each one.

24) Flipboard

This is my new fav…don’t ask me why! It probably has to do with the design of  the feed. I like hanging out on Flipboard, which is how you should approach the channels you choose.

If you love a particular site, dig in.

Keep in mind that you have to give each one a solid try before you decide if it’s working for you.

For instance, I originally thought BizSugar was a waste of time. Then I started getting comments and traffic.

With any platform, make sure you hang in long enough to evaluate the performance.

No doubt Flipboard is a keeper for me. I get blog traffic from it already and enjoy spending time on it. Win, win.

IV. FORUMS + CONTENT SHARING SITES

25) Quora

Quora is a powerful way to increase website traffic, when you use it right. Quora is a Q+A forum where people can ask and answer questions on any topic.

The key is to search for questions with at least 1,000 followers and only a handful of answers. Don’t worry if you can’t find the perfect criteria, though. In most cases, the number of followers and answers will be somewhere in between.

When you answer questions, make sure you provide detailed description with a link to a relevant post. That’s what will help you increase website traffic. I’ve received traffic and a number of clients using this method.

26) Tumblr

I love the layout of Tubmlr. I’ve noticed more and more blog comments coming from Tumblr users, which means it’s driving a decent amount of traffic.

27) Medium

Medium is a blogging platform, like WordPress or Blogger, where you share stories (on Medium, stories are posts). I haven’t tapped into how to increase website traffic yet, but I’m working on it!

Medium is designed to be a standalone blogging platform, and like LinkedIn, it’s best to republish an excerpt rather than your entire post. For instance, you can share the first paragraph or two. By only including a small portion of your post, you’re encouraging readers to click through to the article on your blog.

Make sure you use Medium’s import tool so that you get credited as the original source of the article. According to Medium:

Medium’s official tools for cross-posting (including the Import tool) add the source it is importing from as the canonical link automatically.

All you have to do is paste the article’s link into the tool and select import.

Once the story is a draft, you can delete unwanted sections. The import tool will automatically add a link at the bottom of the post identifying that it was originally published on your website.

28) Bloglovin’

Create an RSS feed and add your blog to Bloglovin’. This is another one I’m on the fence with, but it’s easy enough to add your feed to Bloglovin’ so might as well do it.

Make sure your post images include an enticing description, which I’m sure you’re doing already for Pinterest. Just note that your featured image description is the one that will be added to Bloglovin’.

You may want to consider using excerpts and directing people to read the full post on your website. (In WordPress: Settings/Reading/Summary).

29) Triberr

If I’m being honest, I have a Triberr account but haven’t used it. Every time I login, I’m immediately overwhelmed and hit the back button, quick like.

Having said that, Triberr seems like a good platform. It’s based on “tribes” of people with similar interests, niches, and expertise who form groups to promote and share each other’s content.

Hmmm, sounds like Tailwind Tribes (#19 above).

Yep, same deal here. Only difference is that Triberr folks share content on Twitter.

Now if I can only get my head around Triberr long enough to try it…

30) Zest

If you blog about marketing, business, or entrepreneurship, Zest can be a powerful method to promote new blog posts.

It’s a high-quality content streaming site that works through the Chrome extension.

Once you install the extension, you’ll see a stream of hand-picked content on your dashboard. Don’t get distracted by all those juicy posts, friend!

The real juice comes when you “suggest a post” and submit your own content.

I’ve submitted six posts and receive 30-250 clicks a post. Not bad for free traffic, right?

Looks like Zest needs to go on our blog promotion tracking sheet.

31) Snip.ly

This one’s a wildcard, friends. I’m not sure where to add Snip.ly in this list, or if I SHOULD include it at all.

Here’s why:

Sniply is one of those tools that enables you “hijack” another person’s hard-earned content with your own. Because of this, it’s sparked serious debate among content creators.

When you “sniply” a post, you add a widget to it that links to YOUR post.

(Widgets look like call-to-action buttons and are hard to miss. Hence, the big debate.)

Let’s say you find a piece of content that is perfect for your audience. You create a sniply for it with a link to your post and share to, say Twitter.

Someone sees your tweet, clicks on it, and reads the post. Then they click on your sniply. Bam. Now they’re over on YOUR site.

If you’re clever, your sniply will include call to action copy, such as Grab your daily marketing checklist here.

Done well, a sniply can seem like logical next step to take after reading the shared post.

V. PAID PLATFORMS

Still want to know how to get more traffic? Time to pull out your wallet, friend.

If you start small, limit your daily budget, and test ad copy, images, and landing pages, you can drive a decent amount of traffic for less than $10 a day.

32) Facebook Ads

Yes, they’re worth it.

Before you start with Facebook ads, you need a rock-solid strategy. In other words, make sure the post you’re promoting includes a content upgrade or CTA to encourage sign-ups. Or, run your ad to a landing page with your freebie, challenge or email course . . . you get the gist.

If you’re a superhero, which of course you are, you’ll include an option to purchase something in your delivery sequence (say, a $7 mini-offer). Take that income and reinvest in your ads and you’ll wind up spending little to nothing. Now who’s a game-changer?

Related: Create a Killer Facebook Ad Strategy for Your Email List and Products

33) Pinterest Ads

Pinterest ads are my secret weapon for traffic. They give new pins a boost in visibility while you wait for organic repinning to take over as more people see your content. Once you have some repins, you can ease up on advertising. The best part: You can get great results with an ad spend of only $5 a day.

34) Reddit Ads

Redditors can be so tough. Still, the traffic you can get is no joke, so I recommend giving ads a try. Again, you don’t have to spend much to test them out. I’d wait until you have a course or paid offer to promote because I think that’s where the magic really happens.

With Reddit ads you can choose to block or show comments. I suggest showing them because Redditors are all about being social. When in Rome, right?

35) Quuu Promote

Quuu Promote is a new platform I discovered where people share each other’s posts to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Think of it as a community of sharers.

I’ve used Quuu Promote to promote posts and have received a decent amount of blog traffic. Looks like their pricing structure has changed to credits. Somehow, I’ve been given five free credits and haven’t had to pay yet. I’m sure that will change soon!

How well does Quuu Promote traffic convert? Jury’s out on this one . . . I will keep you posted. 🙂

Any other ways to increase website traffic? Let me know what you’ve got and I’ll add it to the list!

Click here to learn more about The Pinterest Traffic Launchpad

by

#Pinterest Template Guide: Create Pinterest-Friendly Images that Drive Traffic | One of the fastest ways to get traffic from Pinterest is to create Pinterest perfect pins. In this post, I’ve got 6 easy social media design and Pinterest tips that will help you create pins people want to click! Pinterest marketing / Pinterest Fundamentals #PinterestmarketingYou want to know the #1 question people ask me?

How do I get more traffic?

And when I hear that question, what I really hear you saying is How do I get more traffic so that I can build my business?

Now, you may not think of images when it comes to getting more traffic.

Me? Images are the FIRST thing I think of…specifically, Pinterest images.

So today, I’m sharing six Pinterest image tips to help you create pins that boomerang your traffic and get more people to your website.

1) Start with the right image sizes.

When it comes to Pinterest image sizes and dimensions, the image width is a breeze: anything from 600-800px wide will work.

The pin height is where things can get tricky because Pinterest is trying to squash those super long pins that hog up the feed.

First, what hasn’t changed?

The standard Pinterest image size is still a vertical pin at a 2:3 ratio (2x width : 3x height). Here are some examples of these dimensions:

  • 600 x 900px (Pinterest recommends)
  • 735 x 1102px (Canva’s preset size)
  • 800 x 1200px (my preferred size)

Don’t worry if you’re using a design tool with a preset size that’s different. Just make sure the ratio is 2:3.

Next, what HAS changed?

Pinterest likes square pins now.  This is one of those changes I’m excited about because it means that we can share Instagram posts to Pinterest.

Want to know how?

Tap the three dots at the top right of your Instagram post, then select Share > Copy Link and head over to Pinterest. Choose the board you want, and you’re done.

Share Instagram posts to Pinterest.

#HEADSUP Pinterest will use the first few (130 or so) characters from your comment as the pin description. You may need to modify or optimize the pin description after you share it.

Also, the pin URL will link back to Instagram, which is wonderful if you want to grow your Instagram following and engagement. If you’re like me and share blog posts on Instagram, make sure you redirect the URL to your blog post.

What about infographics?

I say keep using them! My longer pins drive waaay more traffic than the standard size. The only thing I’m changing moving forward is the height, which leads me too…

Recommended pin sizes

Here are the pin sizes I’m experimenting with right now:

  • Square – 1:1 ratio
  • 800 x 1,200px — 2:3 ratio
  • 800 x 1,600px — 1:2 ratio
  • 800 x 2,160px – 1:2.7 ratio

And here’s what those sizes look like in comparison:

Pinterest image sizes 2018

Just so you know, those last two are arbitrary.

Even though the SmartFeed is working hard to squash longer pins, my longer infographics still drive the most traffic to my blog. I’ll keep creating them, but I’ll be watching my analytics…

Pins longer than a 1:2.1 ratio will be cropped in the feed (for a 800px pin, that means 1,680px). What this means is that the bottom of your pin, including your branding and URL, will only show when someone clicks to a close-up.

If you want to create viral Pinterest pins rapidly, without starting from scratch every time, you may want to try Viral Pin Templates. These pre-made pin graphics are easy to customize and ready for you to add your content and share. Click the image below to learn more about Viral Pin Templates.

Done-for-You Pin Templates

Learn more about Viral Pin Templates

2) Use color purposefully.

For the most part, yellows, reds, and oranges tend to stand out and get more clicks than blues and greens.

Now, if your brand colors are blue or green, you can still make your pins pop. The trick is to “train” people to click on certain colors, which I cover in detail in this post: How to Choose Colors That Will Make Your Brand Stand Out.

When I started designing pins, I chose dark background colors with white text on top, like this:

find free images for your blog Pinterest images

Once I changed my color palette to peach and cream, my pins performed much better. Looking back, I think those darker pins looked depressing and got lost in the feed.

Same thing happens with blue: it just gets lost.

Not sure which colors to use?

Here’s an idea: Look at pins and boards outside your niche.

Let’s say you’re a fitness coach. Instead of looking at fitness boards, look at travel boards. If you’re a life coach, look at sewing boards.

The reason is that if you look at pins within your industry, you may be drawn to a pin simply because you have an attachment to the title or image.

But if you look at pins that you have ZERO interest in, you can be more objective. For example, these are pins from a parenting board:

Pinterest image colors that stand out

 

Since I’m not interested in this topic, I’m able to separate pin colors from pin titles. The colors in the middle jump out at me, how about you?

Even if your brand colors are green or blue, be creative and find a way to add contrast colors that pop.

Heck, you may even fall in love with those contrast colors and decide to rebrand! If that’s the case, make sure you learn more about The Build My Brand Toolkit. It may be just what you’re looking for!

3) Limit the number of fonts.

Here’s the deal with fonts…

Don’t go crazy with them, choose just two. I recommend a sans-serif font for your main font and one other contrast font.

Pro tip: Use your contrast font strategically.

It’s tempting to want to use every cool font you find, but please don’t! The whole point of fonts is to give readers a visual hierarchy of elements. You want to make sure that they know what to focus on.

Your contrast font should help people make sense of the text.

For example, I created a pin a while back with the title 100 ways to market your business. I used a contrast font for the word “market” because it’s a verb and I wanted people to visualize themselves marketing their business.

Just try not to waste your contrast font on throw-away words like how, and, or in.

Other pro font tips:

  • Make sure your pin is easy to read on mobile devices.
  • Choose simple, bold fonts that stand out.
  • Choose a font family with multiple weights for variety. Open Sans and Roboto are both good choices.
  • Grab my Font Inspiration Kit with over 94 free fonts and font pairings!

 

Psst… I break down all these steps in detail in this video:

4) Use text overlays.

This one’s a biggie. I still see many people posting pins without text overlays, which is a newbie thing to do and not a big deal. That said, it’s something you want to move away from.

Use a tool like Canva, PicMonkey or Photoshop (step #6 below) to add text to your pins so that people immediately know what they’re about.

Pinterest is different than Instagram.

Grammers love to get lost in beautiful images that paint a picture and tell a story. For this reason, getting clicks on Instagram largely comes down to the image.

Pinterest is different.

People look for ideas on Pinterest…they either want to know how to do something or where to buy something.

So if you have a “how-to” blog post about growing a garden, make sure you add text to your pin so that people know why they should click. Try to use only words that will make people want to click (if you need to, shorten the title).

Here’s why this matters:

When you create text overlays that are **designed for clicks**, you can lead people to action.

Let’s say I’m a crafty girl and want to make a wreath. I search for “wreath diy” and right there I see this gorgeous pin:

Pin image for a do-it-yourself wreath project.

 

And I like this pin because I’m ready to make a wreath and this one looks stunning. Plus, I know it’s a tutorial and I can picture myself following the steps to create a beautiful wreath.

The more you can tease people with tips or advice like this, the more you can draw them into your content and over to your website. Click To Tweet

The more you can tease people with tips or advice like this, the more you can draw them into your content and over to your website. If you’re stumped here, ask yourself:

What text would make ME want to click?

If you follow only one step in this post, make it this one! It’s a game-changer.

5) Use images that reflect your brand.

A good image can make the difference between clicks and crickets. There’s no room for so-so on Pinterest.

Make sure your pin image reflects your brand and helps people understand how it fits in with their lives.

For example, let’s say you sell handmade belts.

Instead of putting your belt on a dress form, put it on a live model and be creative. Add accessories and other props so that when people see your Pinterest image, they can’t help but click.

Of course, you don’t have to use images in your pins. If you’re a blogger, coach, or consultant, a simple pin with text and graphics may be all you need.

Whatever you do, make sure the photos you use don’t compete with your text. I used to try to squish my text on the left or right of a photo and get it to fit just right.

Examples of a pin template that's hard to edit.

 

Big waste of time! I finally gave up on this style after I couldn’t find photos that worked well. Plus, it took hours of fudging to make everything fit.

(I also stopped using pics with full-on faces because they get fewer clicks.)

Looking for stock photo sources?

My favorites these days are Thinkstock and Stocksy (both premium); and Pixabay, Unsplash and Picjumbo for free photos. If you want to save some time, head over to thestocks.im. You can find tons of free and paid photo sites, all there in one place.

In terms of style, I’m all about styled stock photos and flatlays these days. I’ve even been experimenting with taking my own styled stock photos!

Pro tip: Check the license when using free images. You want CCO or  CC1 images that don’t require attribution.

Related: 6 Sources of Free Images for Bloggers

Use relevant images

I learned this one the hard way…

One of my first pins had an image of an adorable puppy holding a sign between his teeth. I thought it was SO cute and decided to add this text to the sign:

How to create call to action buttons that get clicked

Oops! Pinterest thought my pin was about pets. With that image, I had no chance of ranking for my target keyword.

Pinterest tries to “see” your pin, so make sure you use images relevant to your brand, pin, or product.

6) Use the right design tools.

Even if you’re not a designer, there are tools to help you create beautiful designs that stand out above the others. A few of my favorites are:

Canva

You can create so much with it…ebooks, call to action buttons, social media graphics…just about anything. Plus, you can edit and publish designs right from the dashboard.

You can even choose from their library of templates, including share images, cover photos, and infographics (that last one is a HUGE plus). When you’re starting a new design, you can select one from your dashboard to use as a template:

Canva custom image designs

 

The best part is, you don’t have to be a designer to create beautiful designs with Canva. Just choose one of their templates, play with colors and text, and upload an image (or choose one from Canva’s huge image library). Save your new design as a pdf, png or jpg – or share it directly to social media.

PicMonkey

I haven’t used PicMonkey much, but from what I’ve seen it has similar editing features, minus the Ebook template.

PicMonkey is known for photo editing. Want to add effects to your photo to make it your own? You can do it! You can even change the color of an image:

PicMonkey Pinterest Image Templates

 

I’ve got a complete PicMonkey tutorial for you here: How to Use Free Styled Stock Photos to Build Your Brand

Photoshop

If you’re ready to design like a pro, Photoshop is your tool.

With Photoshop you can customize photos and images in a way that you can’t with Canva or PicMonkey. You can even make old photos look entirely new using the mask and rubber stamp tools (great for repurposing your stock photos).

For this pin I used four stock photos – one for the top and three for the body:

Custom branded Pinterest template

To create the top image, I spliced, cut, cropped, and rotated the color wheels until I was happy with their placement.

To create the background image, I cloned sections from a stock photo (using the rubber stamp tool) to create a wooden texture. Then I ghosted two other photos on top to add more dimension.

See how creative you can get with Photoshop? You can use the same photos over and over to create pins that are unique and original.

Want to start using Photoshop? I’ve got a killer graphics tutorial for you right here –> How to Use Photoshop to Create Branded Social Media Graphics

7) Bonus! Use templates.

When you frequently share fresh content, Pinterest will reward you by showing your pins higher in the feed – and to more people.

One of the easiest ways to kick out fresh pins on the regular is to use templates.

Ideally, you’ll create three or four pins for every post you share (some bloggers share up to eight). Templates allow you to kick out as many as you want quickly and easily.

At a minimum, templates should include your brand colors, fonts, and logo and/or website. I recommend creating a variety of styles. For example:

  • Light background
  • Bright background
  • With images
  • Without images
  • Longer – 1:2 ratio
  • Shorter – standard 2:3 ratio
  • And so on…

This way you won’t be staring at a blank screen every time you create a new pin.

Get Viral Pin Templates!

Click here to learn more about The Pinterest Traffic Launchpad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s a wrap! Let me know how you make out with this Pinterest Image Guide. I’d love to hear!

by
How to Optimize Posts for SEO | If you're ready to get more blog traffic but a bit stumped with where to start, this post shows you how to write SEO friendly blog posts to help more people find your content through Google. It includes a free printable SEO checklist too!

The Ultimate Guide to SEO For Bloggers and Entrepreneurs | This post includes easy non-techie and semi-techie ways to optimize your posts for search engines. It includes a free printable SEO checklist too!

Search engine optimization is a big topic that can easily trip you up.

It definitely threw me for a loop! I was never quite sure what to do, where to place keywords, or how long my posts should be.

Sound familiar?

It’s hard to know how crazy you need to get with SEO. So if just hearing the word makes you feel flustered and overwhelmed, don’t worry. I’m going to clear up any confusion you may have around it right now!

For starters, on-page SEO is just a fancy way of saying Let’s create content that people want to read.

And then…

Let’s tweak it so that more people can find it.

I like to think of it in two parts:

  • The non-techie SEO: creating great content
  • The semi-techie SEO: tweaking your content for search engines

Not to worry, the semi-techie part isn’t all that techie. If you’re absolutely determined to go crazy on search engine optimization, focus on the non-techie part. After all, you’re in the content business. 🙂

Lucky for you, content is the name of the game for Google and other search engines. Every time you write an epic post, you’re creating an asset that will work like an employee for your business. Plus, you can always go back and make it even more SEO-tastic later on.

My take on SEO, algorithms, indexing and all that

If you’re curious to know what SEO really means, I’ll take a crack at it but please understand I know only what I need to know. Anything more than that and my creative brain gets woozy. Here goes…

Let’s say Jane decides she’s done with skinny jeans and wants a pair of “faded bell bottom jeans”. So she searches for them and waits for Google to crawl different websites and show her the jeans she wants.

Now, you happen to be a fashion blogger and know a thing or two about faded bell bottom jeans. And you want Google to show your blog to Jane.

So how do you do it? Basically, you use every opportunity you can to tap Google on the shoulder and say, “Hey this site is about faded bell bottom jeans”.

We’ll drill down more on this in the semi-techie part.

First, let’s dive into the non-techie part because this will be intuitive stuff and easy for you to execute. It’s the perfect place to start. The steps I’m sharing here are interrelated, meaning that the first step flows naturally into the second and so on. I’m structuring it this way so that you can get your head around what to prioritize when it comes to SEO.

Let’s take a look at my top SEO tips for bloggers.

Before we dive in, I created this SEO Checklist to help put what you learn into action.

basic seo checklist

PART ONE: THE NON-TECHIE SEO STUFF

1) Write great content

Yep, I’m saying it again. Creating great content should be the hallmark of your SEO strategy. Write content that engages your readers. Make every post epic. Put your heart and soul into helping your audience, which I’m sure you already do. So we can check the box on this one, awesome blogger.

When you write great content, you’re going to check the box on a few other things at the same time:

  • Long-form, well-written content
  • Includes multimedia – graphics, charts, video
  • Predominantly text-based

If you forget about these and just focus on writing great content, you’re probably going to address them without even realizing it. What I mean by this is, you’ll be writing SEO content with very little effort.

Let me explain how that’s so:

  • Long enough: First off, it’s going to take you some time to create a really valuable post – and by time I mean words. So right there, your post will be long enough.
  • Well-written: How can you create a highly valuable post without writing it well? You won’t. Because it’s not going to happen.
  • Multimedia: Next, because you’re all about creating remarkable content, you’re going to include multimedia wherever you can. Things like videos, images, charts…anything you can think of to make it easy for people to digest your message.
  • Text-based: That last one is a no-brainer. Blogging = Writing = Text-based. Done and done.

How’s that for SEO-friendly content?

See how focusing on just one thing took care of all those others? I’m pointing this out because sometimes we get caught up in minutiae and forget the bigger picture. Let’s go forth and write epic, remarkable posts.

I have just one other thing to say before moving on from this: the most important ingredient to creating truly great content is You. I’ve worked with so many clients and brands over the years who get a little nutty about “differentiating their brand”. What I think they miss, and what we can learn from that, is that brands are built from the inside out. Your brand starts with you.

Other bloggers will likely have covered your topic. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing for you to add.

Maybe you’re BFFs with your topic. Or, maybe you’re out on your first date together. Either way, that’s the inside scoop that readers want. They don’t need you to regurgitate the same content they can find on 20 other blogs. They’re looking for you to help them interpret things and make sense of them. Make sure you infuse each post with your experience and perspective.   

Okay, with that out of the way…

If you’re wondering how to make your posts even more valuable so you can really rock this whole “SEO for bloggers” strategy, there are a few things you can do.

I’m sure you understand your audience and have an editorial calendar full of blog ideas. Still, we can all benefit from knowing more about our readers. That’s where a little research can be your friend. It’s pretty easy to get inside the head of your audience if you have the right tools.

These are my favorite research tools:

Social media

Spend some time hanging out on the same social media sites where your readers hang out. When you see posts that get shared a lot, you know you’re on to something.

I’ve found Pinterest can be an invaluable resource here. When I first started my blog, my posts were pretty off-target, meaning I was kind of circling around my audience but not quite landing on the sweet spot. I decided to spend some time looking at popular pins around my niche, really trying to understand who my audience was and what they wanted/needed. I recommend doing this kind of research on Pinterest, Instagram, even Facebook, and Twitter.

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a content analysis tool and a powerful research platform where you can find the most shared content around a topic, niche, niche, or even industry. So let’s say you search for the topic “photo effect tutorials”. You’d be able to see which content performed well and where it performed the best – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+.

qualitative content analysis - Buzzsumo

 

The idea behind BuzzSumo is to find popular content and then beat ‘em. Write something better, more epic, more detailed. Use more photos, a better design, more points, you get the gist. But I digress, because you’re already doing that :).

BuzzSumo is also useful if you need help finding out where your audience spends their time. When you see posts related to your niche are viral on Twitter or Pinterest, you know that’s where your audience is. Check out this post for more on BuzzSumo.

Google Keyword Planner

Let’s look at another way to research using Google’s free keyword research tool, Keyword Planner. Just so you know, this is a useful all-around tool that will help you brainstorm different blog ideas PLUS find keywords to include in your posts, which is one of those semi-techie things I’ll get to next.

For the non-techie part, Keyword Planner will help you understand what terms people are searching for on Google. Let’s say you want to write a post about SEO but aren’t sure which subtopic to focus on. You can use the Keyword Planner to get some ideas.

Let’s say you want to write a post about SEO but aren’t sure which subtopic to focus on. You can use the Keyword Planner to get some ideas.

What I love about it is that you get back hundreds of other ideas that you can use for future posts too. So in addition to being a powerful keyword research tool, it’s also a great brainstorming tool.

keyword research tool - Google keyword Planner Now that we have the non-techie SEO tips covered, let’s get into the semi-techie stuff…and remember, you got this!

Related: How to Create a Content Strategy for Your Blog

PART TWO: THE SEMI-TECHIE SEO STUFF

2) Add the keyword to your post

It’s time to level up your post with keywords!

Let’s say you just used Keyword Planner to find some keywords. The next step is to add them to your post.

For example:

This blog post is about SEO for bloggers, so that’s the keyword I’ll use. And all that really means is, I think that you as a blogger might search for that phrase.

Psstt…Just so you know, a keyword isn’t a word. It’s a bunch of words strung together into a “keyword phrase”.  If I had targeted the word SEO as my keyword instead of the keyword phrase SEO for bloggers, I’d likely show up on page 357 of Google.

Ok, let’s move on…

So now that I have my keyword phrase, here’s what I’m going to do next (and what you should do too). I’m going to add it to my post in seven places:

1) The blog title

If you only have time to change one thing in your post, make it your blog title. Make sure it includes your keyword and aim for 55  characters. Any longer and Google will cut it off.seo title tag

2) The meta description

Meta descriptions are less about SEO and more about grabbing people’s attention in search results.

seo meta descriptionBut they’re still important! Include your keyword and keep the meta description at about 160 characters. Google will bold any keywords in your description so they stand out.

3) Throughout the post itself

Add the keyword to your intro and outro and a few times throughout the content. Be careful not to over-stuff your post with your keyword, though. Google’s onto that trick, *wink.

If you use Yoast SEO, follow the prompts and you’ll be on the right track.

4) Subheadings (H2 tags)

Headings are your friends. They streamline your posts and make it easy for people to follow along and keep track of what they’re reading.

If it makes sense, go ahead and add the keyword but don’t force it. For example, here’s what NOT to do:

  • Blog Post Checklist #1: Use a Featured Image
  • Blog Post Checklist #2: Optimize Your Posts
  • Blog Post Checklist #3: Add Internal Links
  • Blog Post Checklist #4: Add a Content Upgrade

Yep, I tried that and paid the price (what did I know?). Google caught on and dropped me from page 1 to page 7, quick like. So be careful and only use the keyword if it sounds natural and organic. Even then, limit it to just one subheading.

There are plenty of other places to include your keyword.

5) Image alt text

Yes, it true! People can find your content through image searches. In fact, my fashion designer friend gets most of her customers that way.

So what images are we talking about? And what the heck is “alt text”?

I’m going to clear it all up for you right now!  In terms of images, there are two kinds:

  • The featured image
  • Secondary images

The featured image is your main blog image and the one that’s shared on social media. Now, since you’re an epic blogger, you likely have images within your post too. Those are secondary images.

Next up, the alt text…that’s the text that would show in place of an image if it can’t load. It’s also a web accessibility thing.

From Moz:

“Adding alternative text to photos is first and foremost a principle of web accessibility. Visually impaired users using screen readers will be read an alt attribute to better understand an on-page image.”

Bottom line, Google takes alt text seriously so we should too. In WordPress, this is where you’ll find it (while you’re there, go ahead and add your keyword to the image title):

seo friendly images If you want to be extra clever, make your alt text something elaborate and descriptive for Pinterest so that when people save your pin, the description goes with it.

Update: Some experts say that alt text should describe the image, and that’s it. They argue that pin descriptions doubling as alt text can hurt your SEO rather than help. So if you want, you can use Social Warfare or Tasty Pins to separate pin descriptions from the alt text.

Either way, just know that your target keyword goes in the alt text of the featured image. Use related keywords for the alt text of secondary images.

6) Image names

Same thing for image names. All those images I mentioned above should include your keyword in the name. What I like to do is use the blog post title for the featured image name. And for secondary images, I’ll use different variations of my related keywords.

For instance, the alt text for my main post image might be something like:

12 Blogger Plugins That Will Skyrocket Your Blog | Here’s a list of plugins I use on my blog and what I use them for. I’m hoping that a few of them will be useful for you too. Click through to see all the plugins!

And my image name would be:

blogger-plugins-to-skyrocket-your-blog.jpg

7) In the post URL

We’re almost there. The last place you want to include your keyword is in the URL of your post (for WordPress, this would be your permalink).

seo friendly url See how the URL for my SEO for bloggers post is conversionminded.com/seo-for-bloggers/, and not some strange set of numbers, like conversionminded.com/2017/5/6/, or even conversionminded.com/p25?. That’s what you want yours to look like.

Note: If you need to change your URL after you publish your post, use this redirection plugin to redirect people to your post’s new home instead of a Page Not Found.

 

Phew! You made it. Glad we got that out of the way. I bet you’re probably thinking That’s great, Sandra, but how do I get my keyword in all these places?

Stay with me, friend, here’s how:

3) Install the Yoast SEO plugin

Luckily, you don’t have to remember all of these SEO tweaks on your own! If you use WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin is indispensable and tops my list of bangin’ plugins for bloggers.

Once you install it, you’ll see a section beneath the edit window where you can enter your keyword, edit the SEO title, and write a meta description.

wordpress seo by yoast From there, the Yoast plugin will give you a checklist of things to do, including keyword prompts for your content, permalink, images, headings, and other places we covered above. You’ll know Yoast is happy when you scroll up to the Publish section (top right) and see the green “SEO Good” icon. 🙂

Related: 14 Things to Do to Every Blog Post Before You Hit Publish

4) Link to related blog posts

Links to your website are good! They send signals to Google that your content is popular and tell it to start paying more attention to your website.

Problem is, it can be hard to control external links (from other websites to yours). You know what you can control though?

Internal links.

Those are the ones that link from your post to related blog posts on your website. They help Google understand what your post is about, make you look popular, and increase your average visit time. All of this is good stuff, friend!

Plus, readers will spend more time hopping around from post to post. That’s another one of those things that tells Google, Hey people love my content. Gotta boost it now. *wink.

This right here is an example of interlinking.

5) Check your site speed

Google is all about the user experience and knows that people peace out when sites load slowly, so site speed is a HUGE ranking factor.

You can actually be penalized for having a slow site, which means that your posts won’t rank as highly as they could.

To check how quickly your site loads, use GtmetrixPingdom, or Google Pagespeed Insights. Aim for under 3 seconds.

If your site runs slow, what should you do?

Great question!

Site speed can get pretty techie but one thing you can do is to make sure your images are optimized and compressed. I use TinyPNG to reduce the file size of all my images and I highly recommend trying it out.

It’s super easy to use. Just upload your image and download the compressed version of it. Sometimes it will compress your images by a lot and other times just a little. Every little bit counts. 🙂

SEO for Bloggers tip

6) Social media

It’s true, social media doesn’t have much to do with on-page SEO. But I’m throwin’ it in here anyway!

I’ve found social media to be a huge traffic source. So not to stress you out, but if you don’t have a social media following you may want to start. You’ll get more traffic from both Google and social media. And you’ll likely get indirect traffic as more people link to your content on social media. It’s a win-win, in my book.

There you have it! That’s my ultimate guide to SEO for bloggers.

What SEO tips are working for you right now? Let’s add them to the list!

by

85 catchy title templates to use! All you have to do is choose your favorite blog post title template, fill in the blanks and get ready to convert like crazy. Check out Conversion Minded for even more!

84+ catchy blog titles! All you have to do is choose your favorite blog post title template, fill in the blanks and get ready for more blog traffic. Check out ConversionMinded for even more, plus a downloadable swipe file you can use!

You want to know something? An attention-grabbing blog title can literally make people swerve over to read your post.

Let’s say you’ve just spent hours writing an insanely epic and remarkable blog post, and after a lot of sweat and tears you’re ready to share it with your readers.

Real quick question before you hit publish:

Do you want your post to live a lonely life tucked away in your blog archives or a happy life surrounded by your biggest fans?

Of course, you want your post to be the life of the party. 🙂

Sharing posts with killer blog titles is one of the easiest ways to invite fans to your blog party. I know this for sure because my posts used to be lonely.

Here are some examples:

  • 8 Ways to Create A Buyer Persona Template
  • 7 Steps to Being a Great Content Creator
  • Get More Leads from Outbound Marketing

Want to click on any of these? I don’t either. What the heck is a buyer persona template? And why do you care about “being a great content creator”? No kidding… I wrote this title and have no idea what it even means!

Okay, so I get it, you get it. Titles like these are lifeless and uninspiring.

Let’s flip the switch and turn them into attention-grabbing, must-click titles.

In this post I’m sharing 9 blog title tips I’ve learned, plus over 120 fill-in-the-blank templates you can start using today.

Ready? Let’s dig in…

9 Quick Tips For Writing Blog Titles

1) Know who you’re writing for.

This sounds basic, and yet the #1 thing both my clients and myself have struggled with is defining the “one person” we’re talking to. This lack of clarity translates into a dull blog post title. But when you’re crystal clear on who you’re speaking to, you can even include your audience in the title to grab their attention.

Here’s an example: The Ultimate Blog Post Checklist for Entrepreneurs and Bloggers

If you’re an entrepreneur or a blogger, this post is at least worth a look…

2) Write a post that solves a problem.

Yes, this is more about content than your title. The reason I’m including it is because when your post solves a specific problem for your person, your title will practically write itself. Here are some questions to ask before your write your next post:

  • What are my readers struggling with right now?
  • What do my readers most want to do?
  • How does this post help them do it?

When you approach your content like this, you’ll have very little tweaking to do with your blog title. Which leads me to my next tip…

3) Focus on the benefit.

The biggest problem with the examples I shared earlier is that they’re missing their better half – the Why. People have to know why they should take the time to click and what’s in it for them . . . you get the gist.

Take my first example: 8 Ways to Create A Buyer Persona Template

If we turn that into: 8 Ways to Create a Buyer Persona And Get Clear On Who You’re Selling To

Ahhh, there we go. That’s what was missing before. Might be worth a click now, no?

4) Use numbers and lists.

Starting off your title with numbers seems to be a natural attention grabber. I think this is because readers know exactly what they’re going to get. Plus, it sounds like a simple read: Oh, there’s only 5 steps involved here? Lemme check that out quickly…

It’s also easier for people to digest actual digits than words. When writing your blog title, write “5” instead of “five”.

5) Write how-to’s and guides.

Most of the time people are searching for how to do something specific. Including “how-to” in your titles is a win-win. Your readers will know that your post is going to help them do something, and your post will attract search engines because it matches their “how-to” query.

6) Include a keyword in your title.

This is just another way of saying think about how people search, what they’re looking for, and what they need. Then make sure that search term is in your title.

It’s super easy to use Adword’s Keyword Planner to research the most popular keyword related to your topic. When you find one, throw it in there, friend! Be careful not to force it, though. Your keyword should sound natural, and really, some titles  won’t be a good fit for keywords. If you can seamlessly replace a term with your new keyword and still retain the context of your title, you’re okay. Make sense?

7) Make them sexy.

Nothing wrong with sex appeal, amirite? I’ve gotten into the habit of stepping back from my blog titles and looking at them againwith fresh eyes. Then I’ll ask myself: Would I HAVE to click on this? Am I salivating over this title?

Of course, you don’t want a title that’s misleading. Your title should always be accurate and set the right expectations. Still, there’s a big difference between:

How to Grow an Email List

and

5 Badass Strategies for Growing Your Email List

The first one sounds wimpy and sad. The second one is sexy, y’all. That’s the kind of confident you want.

8) Use a working title.

I say this because many times I’ll sit down to write a post with a general idea of what I want to say but it still needs shaping. Maybe I’m not sure what my angle is yet, or how to make it insanely valuable for you guys.

In other words, I’m not really sure where my post is going yet. So I’ll start with a working title that describes it well enough. Then, when I’m finished writing my post, I’ll research keywords and rewrite my title.

Using a working title helps you to think about your content and title as 2 separate entities, which they really are. First, focus on writing epic content. Then write an epic title for it.

9) Keep it short.

Your title should be short enough to convey your message and descriptive enough to pique someone’s interest. Under 60 characters is a perfect length. Longer than that and your title will be cut off in search results.

Not sure how long your title is? Use this length counter to find out.

Okay, that’s about it for the tips! Let’s take a look at the title templates.

If you want, you can use the printable PDF I created so you can have these templates handy for your next post. Click here to download the title templates as a printable booklet.

Fill-in-the-Blank Blog Title Templates

 

LISTS

# ____Every ____ Should Know About

# Amazing ____ to Try Right Now

# Insane ____ That Will Give You ____

# Types of ______ That Will ________

# Questions You Should Ask Before _____

# _____ That Will Make You _____

# Secrets To ____

# Resources to Help You Become _____

# Ways to Embrace ____

# Proven Ways to ____

#-Point Checklist: ____

# Daily Habits Of ____

# Things You Need To Know About ____

# Tricks to Jump Start Your _______

# Myths You Should Know About ________

# Steps to Starting a Hugely Successful ________

# Ways to Conquer ________

# Ideas to ____

# Best ____ to ____

# ____ We Love

# Most Amazing ____ to ____

# Essential Things For ____

# Key Benefits Of ____

# ______ That Will Motivate You Today

# ______ Ideas For ______

# Ways to Avoid _______ So You Can ___

# Factors for Getting _____

# Little Known Techniques For ____

# Elements of The Perfect _____

# Experts Reveal How to ____

# Lesser Known Tools for _________

# Questions Answered About _______

# Free Ways to _______

# Insider Secrets to Achieving _________

# Proven Methods for Accelerating ______

# Tricks for ______More Often

# _____ You Can Create, Even If _____

# Principles for _____ with _________

# ______ You Can ________ Today

# Insider Tips to _______

# ______ That Will ________

# _______ That Work Every Time

# ______ Strategies for _________

# of the Best _______ We’ve Ever Seen

# _____ Hacks to Radically Improve ______

# _____ You Don’t Want to _______

# Wittiest ________ To ________

# ______ You Should Never ________

# Things You Need to Do to Start ________

# Share-Worthy ________

# ______ You Can Do With ________

HELPFUL TIPS

# _____ Strategies to _____

# _____Tactics to ______

# _____ Ways to ______

# _____ Formulas to _____

# _____ Ways to ______

# _____ Tricks to _____

# _____ Tips For _____

# Exclusive ______ From a ______

Start a _____ in ______ Easy Steps

Completely Change Your ______ With _____

The Top 100 _______ You Need to ______

______ Steps to _______

What to Wear to _______ When _______

Become a ______ in 10 Minutes a Day

Staying Sane When ________

Behind-the-Scenes _____ From _____

HOW TO’s

How to _______ Fast Using ______

How to Completely Change ____

How to Create ____ That Gets ____

How to Get More ____

How to Quickly ____

How to Use ______ to Stand Out

How to Tell If ______

How to _______ in ______

How to ______ in 9 Easy Steps

How to Boost ______ and ______

How to _______ Like a Pro

How to Rock ________

How to Unlock _________

How to Turn _____ into _______

How to Build a _____ You Can Be Proud Of

How to Skyrocket Your ______ With _______

How to ________ in [#] Minutes or Less

How to _______ When You Feel

How to Master _______ in [#] Steps

How to Create _______ For Your _______

How to _____ And Why You Should Do It

How to _____ That Gets _______ In ______

How to _____ on a ________

RESOURCES + TUTORIALS

The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need for _____

Beginner’s Guide to _________

The Ultimate Checklist/Guide for ______

Tutorial: ________

The Essential Guide to _______

A Cheat Sheet For _______

Non-Techie Guide to _______

Create a Kickass _________

The _______ Guide You Need to Read

QUESTIONS + CURIOSITY

Why Are ______?

____ vs ____: Which is Better For _____?

Not Enough Time for ______? Try ____

Why Should You Want to ______?

Should You Create _____ to ______?

Is _____ Affecting Your ______?

What the Heck Is ______?

Not Enough Time for ______? Try this ______

Are you Doing ______ Wrong?

Are You Missing These _____ to _______?

MISCELLANEOUS

What No One Tells You About _______

You’re Doing it Wrong: ______

You Won’t Believe _______

Amazing Secrets Of ______

Myths About ____

Why I Don’t ______

Why _____ Beats _____

The Only Tip You Need to ______

Best Tip Ever: _____

A Simple _____ That’s _____ And ______

Why You Need a _____ and How to _____

The Only ____ You Need to ______

My Biggest Mistake with ________

Mistakes that _______ Never Make

Insider Secrets From _____ About ____

Why No One is _______ Your _______

Everyone Does ______, You Should Do

Adjectives + Descriptive Words

Don’t be afraid to step out and use some bold and descriptive adjectives to grab people’s attention. I use adjectives like Amazing and Awesome a lot, and you should too. Here are a few you can use to fill in the blanks on the templates:

  • Amazing
  • Awesome
  • Sexy
  • Must-Have
  • Need-to-Know
  • Great
  • Exclusive
  • Superb
  • Handy
  • Surprising
  • No-Nonsense
  • No-BS
  • Essential
  • Inspiring
  • Epic
  • Legendary
  • Remarkable
  • Pleasant
  • Easy
  • Insane
  • Green
  • Form-Fitting
  • Trendy
  • Organic
  • Adorable
  • Craz
  • Most Popular
  • Most Effective
  • Smart
  • Greatest
  • Wittiest
  • Outrageous
  • Weird But Effective
  • Wearable
  • Beautiful
  • Bad-ass
  • Wrong
  • Unique
  • Foolproof
Download this booklet of over 120 fill-in-the-blank blog post title templates that work!

Don’t forget to save the 8-page free printable PDF above to your computer (it includes all 120+ fill-in-the-blank blog title templates, all 35+ of the descriptive words, plus extra bonus title tips). I use this booklet every time I hit a wall with blog titles and run out of blog title ideas (really every time I write a post!). It saves so much time.

by