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!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

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

Looking for Tailwind Tribes to join? I’ve got a step by step guide to exploding your Pinterest marketing and traffic with Tailwind Tribes. Tribes are my new secret traffic weapon, and the best way to skyrocket your Pinterest growth. Grab my free printable list of Tailwind tribes for mom bloggers, travel bloggers, food bloggers, DIY/craft bloggers, and more. #pinterestmarketing #pinterest #bloggingforbeginners

Do you use Tailwind tribes for your blog or business?

I started using it when it was still in beta, back when my traffic was tanking, and I was desperate to get it back.

I wanted my pageviews back up, and quick, so I pounced on tribes hard.

At first, I’d stare at the dashboard wondering What the heck do I do? Which tribes should I join? How do I even submit pins, and which ones should I share?

Sound familiar?

If you’re itching to explode your reach through Tailwind tribes but feel a bit stumped with where to start, this post will help. I’m sharing everything I’ve learned to help you get maximum results.

And if you’re curious, tribes did help me recoup some of my lost pageviews. While it didn’t solve my bigger issue (not posting consistently), it sure gave me the bump I needed.

Now, about that bigger issue:

A huge lesson I’ve learned is that there are NO SHORTCUTS!! We absofreakin’lutely must create content on the regular if we want to see steady, organic growth.

You need to create and share content on the regular if you want to see steady, organic growth in your blog or business.Click To Tweet

But I digress, back to tribes. I can’t think of a better time to jump on the bandwagon. If you haven’t already, you’re just in time to join the party. Tribes have seen massive growth in the last few months, and new ones are popping up every day.

More tribes = more reach = more people exposed to your content.

Alrightie, let’s dig in.

Bonus: I created a tribes cheat sheet with a list of the most active tribes for many niches. It includes the activity and visibility of the best performing tribes, plus invitation links, member counts, and rules so you can easily join the ones you want. A complete life-saver! Just click the image below to download.

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

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

1) First, what is a tribe?

Tribes are a group of professionals who come together to share each other’s pins and give each other a boost in traffic, similar to share-for-share Facebook Groups – with a twist. Tribes are created around specific niches, industries, or interests, which means you’ll have a pool of content to share this is specific to your audience.

When you add your pins to a tribe, other tribe members can view, schedule, and repin it to their boards. This means you have access to the collective audience of your peers and can drive massive traffic to your posts, just by participating.

And you can hand-pick content you want to share with the tribe (and in turn, with your audience). Other tribe members can do the same. You end up with a continuous stream of hand-picked content as everyone contributes.

For example:

Let’s say you join a food tribe.

On Monday morning, you submit your avocado chocolate pudding pin and repin Mary’s eggplant lasagna to your Paleo board. Later that day, Harry, another tribe member, shares your avocado pin to his Delicious Desserts group board. On Tuesday, someone in Harry’s group repins it, which leads to 500 repins and 50 pageviews, just like that.

Can you see the snowball effect happening here? It’s that easy to get more traffic, reach, and repins through tribes.

Now, let’s drill down even more.

If you want, you can watch this video to see tribes in action:

How Do Tailwind Tribes Work?

2) How can tribes help improve your Pinterest rankings?

Now, I bet you’re thinking Curating content is nothing new. Been there done that!

You’re so right! Networking and sharing content is not a new strategy. There are sites like Feedly, Quuu, JustRetweet, Zest (my new favorite), plus engagement pods, share-for-share groups, and more.

Here’s the thing about Pinterest:

Both pin AND domain quality are huge ranking factors. When Pinterest sees you as sharing quality content that adds value, your pins will likely rank higher in search results.

Bottom line, the SmartFeed is watching everything we share, yo. ????

The more pins we can share (both original and curated) with a high number of repins, comments, and clicks, the better chance we have of getting traffic from Pinterest.

That’s where Tailwind tribes come in.

Remember back in the day, how easy it was to keep the SmartFeed happy? When we could tell which pins were popular by the number of repins? With Tribes, we get repin counts back, baby!

3) How much do Tailwind Tribes cost?

Tribes are add-ons (called PowerUps), and you don’t have to pay Tailwind to use them. You can access them directly from your dashboard, even with a free account. The best part is, you can also join tribes for free. #DOUBLEFREE

With Tribes Free, you can join five tribes and share 30 pins a month. And if you’re curious, that’s an aggregate number of pins across all tribes. I didn’t know that at first! Once you’re comfortable, you can power up to Tribes Pro and get access to ten tribes (80 total submissions) for just under $60 a year.

Pricing scales up from there. Here’s a breakdown:

Tailwind Tribes PowerUps Pricing

Ready to join Tailwind and start using tribes? Use the link below to get started:

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

I was so excited about tribes at first that I joined every single one I could find relevant to my niche.

Fast forward months later and it turns out that tribes are much like groups: Not all are created equal, friend.

Whatever you do, take advantage of the Tribes Free and start with five tribes. Track the performance for a month and use that data to weed out the good from the bad. Then power up from there.

4) How are tribes different from Pinterest groups?

Great question! As I mentioned, tribes are similar to groups in that some will perform better than others.

The point of participating in both groups and tribes is to:

  • Curate and share high-quality content
  • Drive traffic to your website and business
  • Stay on the good side of the Pinterest SmartFeed

The difference is that many groups are lame in terms of moderation. Group boards can easily turn into a moshpit of pins, with collaborators who neglect the board and rarely repin content. Because of this, groups have lost a bit of their mojo. There’s only a handful in any niche that will perform well.

Tailwind tribes come with a measure of accountability, so you can get some of that mojo back. What I mean by this is that every tribe member has to “share for share” according to the group rules or risk getting banned.

Why do I say “measure of accountability”?

Because it’s not absolute.

Tribe members don’t have to share your content at all. The only thing they HAVE to do is share pin for pin. They can choose other pins  and ignore your content entirely (which can and does happen!).

That’s why it’s crucial to track the performance of every tribe you join to make sure it’s working for you. More on that in step #6 below.

How do you join the right tribes?

This is a bigger question than you might think!

First of all, it should be a no-brainer to join tribes in your niche. You want the right audiences to see your content.

Next, since we know that some tribes will be rock stars and others will be total duds, joining the right tribes has less to do with finding them and more to do with evaluating them.

Let’s start by finding them.

Psst…You can save a ton of time by downloading this handy cheat sheet of the best-performing tribes in your niche:

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

5) How do you find the right tribes to join?

You can either join through an invitation or from the Tribes tab within Tailwind.

How to find tribes to join

 

From there, enter a keyword related to your niche.

Enter a keyword to find tribes

6) How do you evaluate tribes?

This is the thing that took me a while to get, and it’s a biggie.

You want to evaluate the quality of tribes in much the same waythat  the SmartFeed evaluates your domain. I recommend evaluating tribes before you join, and then monthly once you’re an active member (step #9 below).

  • Activity – how active are the tribe members?
  • Quality + relevance – are the pins high quality?
  • Rules – how many pins can you submit, what’s the share-for-share ratio?
  • Number of members – how many people have joined?
  • Visibility – what’s the process to join?

Activity

Once you enter a keyword, you’ll see a list of tribes along with the member count and overall activity.

(Activity is tribe-speak for engagement.)

The more bars the better.

From my experience, 3 bars or fewer means the tribe is a dud. You’ll wind up dumping a zillion tribe pins on your boards with little return. More bars, on the other hand, means the tribe has rock-star potential.

Check the tribe activity before you join.

Quality and relevance

On the left side of the search results is a Preview Tribe button (pictured above). Select that to preview the tribe’s members, pins, topics, and visibility.

Before you join, make sure the content is relevant to your audience and appears to be high quality. Some of the tribes I’ve joined have delivered poor results because they covered many different topics. While large tribes can be appealing, your pins can easily get lost in the shuffle if the topics covered are not specific to your audience.

This is where bigger tribes may not mean bigger results. I’ve found the more you niche down with tribes, the more likely your pins will be reshared and repinned.

Tailwind is the best Free Pinterest Scheduler

Tribe rules

Rules cover things like:

  • Maximum pins – the number of pins you can submit daily
  • Reposting – how frequently you can post the same content
  • Pin quality – image orientation and other deets
  • Blog topics – topics covered in the tribe
  • Types of posts – most are blog post only, meaning no pins to affiliates, products, or pages
  • Share ratio – number of tribe pins you have to share for every pin you submit

That last one is the one you want to pay close attention to.

I aim for tribes with a 1:1 share ratio. The reason is that I have enough of my own content to share and prefer to feature my pins more than others.

Now, if you’re just starting a blog and don’t have many original pins yet, a 1:2 or even 1:3 ratio may suit your needs perfectly.

Here’s what those ratios mean:

  • 1:2 = You share two tribe pins for every pin you submit
  • 1:3 = Share three tribe pins for every pin you submit
  • And so on…

Higher ratios mean you’ll have plenty of content to add to your Pinterest boards while you build up a content library of your own. Once you do, you’ll want to drop the ratio back down to 1:1. The reason is that if you create and share high-quality pins (which I’m sure you do!), you’ll likely find that your pins will get the most engagement.

Remember, the SmartFeed’s watchin’. ????

Number of members

These days, I’m all about fewer members. Smaller tribes rock for a number of reasons:

  • Your pins are more likely to be shared because they’ll stand out more.
  • You’ll have less competition.
  • The tribe content will likely be relevant to your audience, which means you won’t have to scroll through ten recipe pins to find one self-help pin.

To be fair, I haven’t formally tracked member size to performance. I just prefer smaller tribes and highly recommend them.

Visibility (aka Access)

This is a fancy word for “how to join the tribe.”

If you’re curious, you can view a tribe’s visibility by selecting that Preview Tribe button I showed you above. Visibility is right there under the description:

Check the visibility settings of tribes so you know how to join.

There are three levels of visibility:

  • Public – This one’s the easiest. You can join without approval.
  • By Request – Send the owner a request to join (which you can bypass with an invitation)
  • Secret – The only way to join is by invitation. Secret tribes are not searchable in Tribes.

There you go! With the five metrics listed above, you can evaluate tribes before you join to see which ones may be a good fit.

On to #7!

Don’t forget to download the Tailwind tribes cheat sheet below.

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

7) How many tribes should you join?

I’d say between five and ten to start. Again, make sure you track the performance after your first month, and monthly after that.

I joined a ton at first and had loads of fun sharing and submitting, but I sobered up quickly when I saw my boards carpet-bombed with literally hundreds of tribe pins. Say whaa?

A much better approach is to start small, track them all, and scale up from there.

8) How do you share to tribes?

The same way you schedule pins. Find a pin in your Pinterest feed and select the Tailwind logo. Then, instead of entering a board name, scroll down until you see the Add to Tribes button.

How to save Pinterest pins to tribes

Once you select it, you’ll get a pop-up window with a list of tribes. Select the tribes to which you want to submit the pin. Tip: Use those checkboxes on the left to select multiple tribes.

Choose which tribes you want to submit your pin.

If you’ve already submitted the same pin to a tribe, Tailwind will flag it and let you know. Easy peasy.

#PROTIP: If you’re like me, you’re a member of many tribes and active in only a handful (those high-performing ones!). You can zip through this step by keeping a spreadsheet of active tribes so you can easily see which ones to select.

Don’t forget! You still have to go back to Tailwind and manually share from each tribe according to the rules.

Ready to join Tailwind and start using tribes? Use the link below to get started:

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

9) How do you keep track of the pins you share?

Easy! That spreadsheet I mentioned in step #8 doubles as a tribe tracker. Use it to organize your pin and post URLs and keep track of the dates you share each pin.

If you’re curious, here’s what my tracker looks like:

The Tailwind Tribes Tracker by ConversionMinded

The tracker even triples as a reposting scheduler. Boom. You’ll know exactly when to recycle your pins, following the rules of your tribes.

Speaking of tracking, time to drill down on stats…

How do you track a tribe’s performance?

We’ve talked about how to evaluate a tribe before you join it based on the overall activity, rules, members, and so on.

Once you’re an active member, you’ll want to drill down on the tribe’s performance as it relates to your pins.

The way to do that is to create your OWN share ratio. And I’m going to show you how to do that right now!

10) How do you create your own share ratio?

Beneath the rules for each tribe, you’ll see stats for reshares, repins and reach:

Track a tribe's performance of your pins to see if you should continue participating.

Just so you know, those are aggregate numbers across all of your submitted pins.

To calculate a tribe’s performance, divide the number of repins by the number of reshares.

For example:

In the Digital Marketing tribe above, my pins have received 49 repins and 259 reshares. That means the tribe members have shared my pins with their audience 259 times, and I’ve received 49 repins from those reshares.

49 / 259 = .189 or 18.9%

This means that my average number of repins to reshares for this tribe is roughly 19%.

Anything over 10% is a high-performing tribe, in my book, so that’s the yardstick I use to size up other tribes. I either leave or stop contributing to tribes that perform lower.

What should your ratio be? You’ll have to decide based on your tolerance level AND the average performance of your collective tribes. If most of your tribes perform at 5%, you may want to use that as a benchmark for other tribes. Or, maybe you search for tribes with better potential.

That’s a wrap! How about you? Have you used Tailwind Tribes to skyrocket your Pinterest traffic? I’d love to hear your feedback!

Don’t forget to grab the tribes cheat sheet with the most active tribes for each niche. It’s so easy to measure the performance of tribes when you have all your stats in one place.

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

Here's how you can start a successful blog for FREE! Click through to get started! blogging for beginners, become a blogger, blogging tips

Want to start a successful blog? This post is for you! I break down the steps for bloggers and entrepreneurs to start a blog and make money. Click through to learn blogging tips, how to make a blog on WordPress, blogging for beginners, become a blogger.
How to Start a Blog for Free | Step-by-step guide to start a blog that makes money. It includes blogging tips, how to start a successful blog, how to make a blog on WordPress, blogging for beginners tips, and tips on how to become a blogger.

Today, I’m covering how to start a successful blog with no money.

First, let me just say that I love being a blog’trepreneur. I believe it’s one of the most enriching experiences you can have.

There’s such a thrill that comes from being your own boss: You can blog when you want to blog, exercise when you want to exercise, run errands when you want to run errands and create products when you want to create products.

Only you can dictate what you should be working on and when you need to get it done, right?

And when it hits you that you’ve finally (finally!) learned how to start a successful blog, you pinch yourself until it fully sinks in: You can earn an income from anywhere in the world, even from your suitcase, if that’s what you choose.

What an amazing gift…

Still, there are times when you feel lost, like you can’t see your footsteps in front of you.

Being an independent is much different than working in a corporate environment, where you have status meetings, stakeholders, bosses, and deadlines to structure your day.

When you’re a team of one, deadlines can get tossed out the window real quick…

And your freedom feeling can turn into a drowning feeling even quicker.

Let’s get that freedom feeling back, friends!

Today, I’m showing you how to start a successful blog. My goal is to break down the steps and clear up any fuzziness you may have so that you can steer the course of your blog biz with ease.

Let’s assume that you…

…have nothing but a laptop, a few ideas, and skills/passion/knowledge about a number of topics. I’m also going to assume that you have a place from which to work (whether it’s your bedroom, a local café, your kitchen table, or an office) and are looking for:

  • clarity about which idea to run with
  • a clear direction to take you from idea to profit
  • specific milestones to reach
  • guidance on how to build your platform and your brand
  • monetization examples and models

What’s unique about an online business?

Back in the day, starting a business required money. You had to be able to pay for things like employees, a physical location, materials, labor, marketing (trade shows, brochures, print ads), and more.

Today, you only need what you have right now, lucky girl.

The internet has opened up a whole new world where we can leverage our minds and knowledge to build hugely successful online businesses – at little to no cost. We’re in an era of limitless possibilities and endless opportunities thanks to social media, Google, and global markets.

The question is: how do you go about creating products and services around the things you love to do so that you can earn an income from your blog?

I’m going to share my blogging tips with you right now.

But first, if you’re really ready to launch a blog that makes money, make sure you check out my Blog Business Plan Workbook. I cover all the steps you need to go from idea to launch and beyond! Just click the image below to learn more:

Blog Business Plan Workbook by Sandra at ConversionMinded

Let’s dig in…

Step 1: First, choose your niche.

This is a biggie.

First of all, let me say Yes, choosing a niche starts with your passions.

But you can’t leave it there. Starting a business on passion alone might not get you to the finish line. I say this because I’ve started many businesses based only on my passions and have fallen flat on my face. Ouch. 🙁

Here’s the thing:

Passions are beautiful and wonderful things, but how we relate to them can make us feel stuck.

In my case, I’d get so obsessed with my “passion of the moment” that I’d close myself off to other ideas that would have likely been easier to execute and more profitable.

So let’s do this…

Grab a sticky note and jot down a passion statement. Then grab another, and another. By passion statement, I mean statements about your interests, skills, and areas of expertise. Write one broad, open-ended statement on each sticky without getting too specific.

For instance, you might say that you are passionate about helping people improve their overall health. What you wouldn’t want to say just yet is that you are passionate about helping older people prevent diabetes. Before we drill down on deets like these, we need intel on what your people secretly want and need (coming up next!).

Keep writing until your passions are out of your head and on the table in front of you.

Now, look at them objectively and decide which one has the most potential to do two things:

  • Earn a full-time income
  • Attract a wide audience

Boom, there’s your niche. High-five!

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

Step 2: Next up, find your one person

The most successful businesses I’ve launched have filled a specific need in the market.

A need that one person had.

A need that many people had.

We’re talking about target audiences. I prefer not to use this term because I don’t believe we’re shooting at our people with bullets and arrows (which is what I picture when I think “target audience”). Instead, we’re making authentic connections with real humans who have names, faces, interests, struggles, goals, and feelings.

Can you see them standing in front of you right now?

In this step, we’re going to bring them into focus. Here’s how:

First, make some initial assumptions.

Based on your experience and what you know right now, what groups of people might be interested in your topic or need the type of help or training your provide?

If you’re a web designer, you might assume that entrepreneurs just starting their business would be in need of web design and could use your information or talent.

Or, if you’re a fitness instructor, you may have worked offline with women at a local gym to help them get fit and be more active. You may not know specific details about them yet, and that’s perfectly okay. When I launched Conversion Minded, I was unsure about what types of entrepreneurs needed my help and how I could help them.

So I did a little research, which leads me to…

Research, research, research!

It’s time to take your initial assumptions and put them under a microscope.

I started by writing a few blog posts that I knew were off the mark, mainly because I had a vague picture of my people at the time. What helped me, and what may help you, was to research content with a high number of shares on Facebook and Pinterest.

Join Facebook groups relevant to your niche. You may have to hunt around a bit to find groups where members are actively sharing and engaging (vs promotional only). If you join in on the conversations, you’ll learn about your people, the topics that interest them, and how you can help.

Over on Pinterest, there are two ways to research your audience:

First, follow popular bloggers and make a note of any content they share that may be relevant to your people. I recommend documenting your research in a Google Docs sheet so you can always refer back to it.

If you want to step up your Pinterest game, make a note of repin counts. A high number of repins is a good indication that people want to know more about these topics.

Pinterest has recently stopped displaying repins, but you can easily work around it by using Tailwind. Psst…Tailwind is a must-have tool for growing your following, researching content, and driving traffic from Pinterest. If you haven’t already, you can sign up using my affiliate link below.

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

On Tailwind, there are two ways to view repins:

  1. Use the Content Discovery tool
  2. Join tribes

The Content Discovery tool is in beta, but the folks at Tailwind will add it to your account for an additional $4 a month, which is worth it in my book. You’ll see a light bulb in your left dashboard once they do.

starting a business with no money

Aaah, those numbers are a sight for sore eyes!

Tailwind Tribes are much like share-for-share threads in Facebook groups, only you’ll need an invite link to join them. Tribes with open invite links are easy to find (I found a number of them through Google) and look like this one from Stephanie’s Blogging & Entrepreneurship tribe:

get started with Tailwind Tribes

You can also find Tailwind Tribes for your niche by joining these Facebook groups:

Related: 14 Ways to Get Massive Traffic from Pinterest

Step 3: Next, brainstorm products

If you want to learn how to start a successful blog, you have to think about your end goal early on. You’re likely starting to get a picture of how you can help your people at this point. Now, it’s time to brainstorm products and services to bridge the gap between steps #1 and steps #2.

Get ready to fill up the money bucket. Woo!

Think about the general types of products you’d like to offer.

Does it make sense to offer one-on-one coaching? Do you want to package your knowledge up as videos or audio? Maybe you’re more comfortable with creating low-cost Ebooks and guides that require little on-going maintenance and support. Or, you may want to create templates and products and sell them on Etsy or Ebay.

As you work through this step, try not to limit your ideas to one product or monetization method.

There are many ways to make money with your blog, including affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, courses, digital products, coaching, and more.

If you’re a creative (graphic designer, copywriter, interior designer, photographer), you may want to offer freelance services. You can also combine services + products.

For instance, maybe you offer group coaching programs where you walk people through doing something step-by-step and individual coaching to help them implement what they learn. Then, you offer your services to fill in the gaps to help people accelerate their progress.

What products are you comfortable creating?

The product types you choose will largely be based on what you’re comfortable creating and offering. Ebooks and workbooks are relatively easy to create using InDesign or Canva. If you’re comfortable with technology, you can jump right in and create a full-blown course using Teachable and Screenflow (Mac) or Camtasia (PC).

There’s no one-size-fits-all here, friend. If you’re not comfortable offering a certain type of product, don’t do it! When I started Conversion Minded, the one thing I knew was that I didn’t want to work with clients anymore. I’d been freelancing for some years and wanted to scale my business beyond a one-on-one model, so digital products and courses made sense to me.

The same will happen to you: You’ll naturally gravitate to product types that suite your personality and skills. Do you love YouTube? Create a video course! If you’re more comfortable with images and text, creating an Ebook is a great option (this is where I started).

How quickly do you need money?

This is a biggie, and something we can’t overlook…

Products can take a while to create. I just finished creating my first full-blown course after working on it for four months. Woop woop!

Sooo…

If you need to earn an income from your blog, like – yesterday, you may need to offer consulting or coaching services, even if you feel burned out like I did (I freelanced much longer than I wanted because I had to).

If this sounds familiar, don’t sweat it. Work one on one with clients to start, then gradually shift to a one-to-many business model.

How should you price your products?

This one’s a biggie, so I’ll save it for a future post. For now, here are some quick thoughts on pricing:

  • Low-cost Ebooks and digital products: Range from $7–$47. Keep in mind that the higher price points ($35–$47) will allow you to grow your email list and generate a profit using Facebook ads.
  • Group coaching programs: Anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 and up
  • Full-blown courses: Range from $99 to $999 depending on your value proposition and promise. As a general rule of thumb, if your course can deliver specific and measurable results, you can charge higher prices.

Ideally, you’ll offer a variety of products at different price points.

For instance, you may want to create a $47 Ebook and a $167 course around the same topic, another course for $497, and a group coaching program for $2,000.

Some of your peeps will have smaller budgets (raise your hand!) and others will have more to spend. By accommodating both groups of people, you’ll give them more options to choose from and create multiple streams of income.

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

You can leave your product ideas here or go ahead and launch a working product. If that’s your plan, read through and follow path #2.

Step 4: Create a working online brand

If you don’t already have a website, time to create one!

Nothing fancy, all you need is your bare-minimum brand identity. A simple landing page for a website will do.

You want to create your hub without spending a ton of time perfecting it. The reason is that you’ll likely make a lot of changes in your business over the coming months. We’re not setting anything in stone just yet, k?

For instance, when I launched Conversion Minded I knew my start was going to look much different than my finish. So, I gave myself a deadline of two weeks to create my online brand. Then, once I was crystal clear on my people and the direction I wanted to go in, I rebranded.

#MORALOFTHESTORY If you get sucked into design early on, you’ll have less time to start! Build your brand as quickly as possible. You’re going to have plenty of time to refine it later on. Promise.

What should you include in your brand identity?

Here’s what you need in your brand kit:

  • Logo
  • Social media templates
  • Colors, fonts
  • Website or landing page
  • Watermark
  • Favicon
  • Bio
  • Social media profiles
  • SM descriptions

Now, you’re probably thinking Sandra, you just said to move quickly, and there’s a lot here! How am I supposed to create all of this?

I hear ya! Sometimes things sound so easy ’til you dig in, right? Brand elements are one of those things you need to have in your back pocket. You want then when you’re ready to post on Instagram, you’re not struggling with image sizes, colors, or where to place your logo.

Psst…You can save time and use the done-for-you templates, logos, and graphics in my Build Your Brand Tool Kit. Click here to learn more the Build My Brand Tool Kit. 

The Build My Brand Tool Kit gives you everything you need to brand yourself like a pro! Click here to learn more.

Don’t forget your value proposition! Part of your brand identity process is to create your elevator pitch. Why should people read your blog? What’s your unique angle? Why should they buy your products or services? A value prop will help you get crystal clear on the unique value that only you provide, so that you can communicate it front and center on your website and in your content. I cover how to create value props in this post.

Wrapping it up!

You now have some initial product ideas, a direction for your blog, you know your people, and you have a brand identity and presence. Time to start building your platform, creating products, and building sales funnels.

If you’ve followed the Blog Profit Plan series, you’re familiar with these four buckets:

  • Content
  • Traffic
  • Subscribers
  • Products

These are the buckets you need to fill to accelerate your growth and amplify your profits quickly.

In my next post, we’re going to look at the strategy to filling each bucket in a way that “pours” seamlessly into the next.

Spoiler: There are two paths for bucket-filling:

Path #1: Build a platform first

In path #1, you’re building your brand and platform from the ground up. The sequence looks like this:

  1. Content
  2. Traffic
  3. Subscribers
  4. Product

See how we’re selling products as the last step in this model? That’s because we’re focusing on laying a foundation first.

Path #2: Create a product first

We’re switching things up and creating products first, then building a platform and driving traffic. Here’s the sequence for path #2:

  1. Product
  2. Traffic
  3. Subscribers
  4. Content

Which path is best for you? It depends on:

  • How quickly you need to monetize – if your answer is right away, start with path #2.
  • How well you know your people and what they need – if you need more time to research, go with path #1.

A big mistake I see a lot of people make is to try to take shortcuts.

Nope, shortcuts won’t work.

Here’s why:

Both paths require visibility in the market. First, people need to know that you exist. Then, they need to trust you before they can commit to a purchase.

This means that no matter which path you choose, the core of your growth strategy lies in steps #2 and #3: traffic and subscribers.

Of course, there’s a whole lot more to it than that. I dive into the specifics of each path in this post:

Part 2: How to Start a Business with No Money, A Laptop, and an Idea

Don’t forget to check out my Blog Business Plan Workbook. I cover all the steps you need to go from idea to launch and beyond! Just click the image below to learn more:

Blog Business Plan Workbook by Sandra at ConversionMinded

I hope this helps you learn how to start a successful blog. See you for part 2!

by
How to Grow Your Blog Audience + Traffic | Ready to get your blog or business found by more people? This post is for you! It includes 4 things every blogger and online entrepreneur should do to get maximum visibility, build your list and create a platform for making money. Plus, it includes a FREE weekly blog planner to help you stay on track. Click through to view it!

How to Build Your Blog Audience Like You Mean Business | Here are 4 things every blogger and entrepreneur should do to get more traffic, build your list, and create a platform for making money with your blog. PLUS, it includes a free weekly blog planner so you know what to do each day to get maximum benefit. Click through to view it!Seems like forever since my last post and I’m having a heck of a time getting back into it, even though it’s been just 2 weeks.

Have you ever experienced that?

Where you fall off your blogging schedule for a bit, and when you try to get back on, you have to force yourself. Somehow it winds up being so much harder than it should be, right?

This struggle is what’s been on my mind lately and today, I’m sharing a blogging workflow to help you (and me!) stick to our blogging schedules like we mean business. This will be part 1 of my Build Your Blog Audience + Traffic series, where I will be digging into ways to improve your visibility and traffic, and ultimately, set the stage for making money with your online business.

Here’s what I’m covering in this post:

  • Knowing who you want to reach
  • Why you should be thinking about content funnels, even if you’re starting out
  • Setting monthly blogging + social media goals
  • Specific things to do each week to build your audience and reach your goals

Ready for it? Let’s dive in.

Step #1) Know who you’re trying to reach

Building your blog audience starts right here. This is such a biggie and worth mentioning again and again, even though you’ve probably heard it a hundred times!

The reason is because knowing your audience is the foundation of your entire business and online presence. And if you have a weak foundation, it’s hard to build up from there, with me?

To really build your blog audience, you have to solve one specific problem for one specific person.

If you want, you can download my Find Your Niche Workbook to help you zero in on your sweet spot – the intersection where your audience hearts what you heart, and your skills and passions allow you to charge premium prices. Just click the image below to grab it.

Click here to download my Find your Blog Niche Workbook!

Let’s say you’re all about nutrition and eating a healthy diet, and you want to pass on tips that you’ve learned to others so they can be fit and healthy too. Your goal is to sell nutrition eBooks and products that help people get from zero to fit with ease.

This is a great start, but we’re not quite there yet. “People who want to eat healthy” is too broad a market, especially in a crowded niche like health and fitness. Let’s dig a little deeper.

First of all, are you trying to reach primarily men or women?

In the fitness and health blogosphere, women typically account for about 75% of purchasing decisions, so my vote is to focus on women.

Ok, we’re really getting somewhere here, but we’re still skimming the surface with “Women who want to eat healthy”. Let’s dig deeper and narrow it down even more. To do that, it will help to look at why it’s hard for women to eat healthy.

I’m taking a quick stab here at a few pain points:

  • Truly healthy foods are not easy to find
  • Fast foods, in large portions, are everywhere
  • No time to research healthy foods, so you just eat what’s available
  • Don’t know how much to eat, what to eat and when to eat it
  • You feel like you “deserve” a treat during (and after) a hectic day
  • Bagel Monday’s and Pizza Friday’s at the office are hard to resist

I’m sure there are even more problems we can uncover, but this gets us on the right track. Do you see how by doing this, we can really start connecting your blog biz GOALS to what your target audience NEEDS.

This is where the magic happens, and why knowing your audience is such an important step. After all, how can you build your blog audience if you don’t even know who your audience is, make sense?

If we look at just a few of the pain points listed above, our target audience might start looking like this:

Professional women aged 30-55 who want to eat healthy but struggle with a busy schedule, not knowing the right foods to eat and not enough time to make complicated meals at home.

When you really get this right, you’re going to build your audience and traffic with ease. Promise.

Step #2) Think of blogging as a content funnel

To make this step extra easy, I created the Blog Business Plan Workbook where I show you exactly how to create content that converts into sales. This is just one of the many “foundation” and “advanced” strategies I cover in the workbook to help you build a profitable blog. It may be just what you’re looking for! Learn more about the Blog Business Plan Workbook.

Content funnels are one of those things where even thinking about them can make you feel flustered. You may be thinking What the heck is a content funnel, anyway?

Some people call them sales funnels. I prefer to think of them as content funnels mostly because I cringe at the thought of being salesy. If you’re curious, funnels are how you move people through a process of:

  • Getting to know you
  • Starting to like you
  • Trusting you as an authority
  • And finally, purchasing from you

The way you move people through a funnel is with content, which is why I think content funnels are what we’re really talking about here, more so than sales funnels. And when I say content funnels, I mean all content…blog posts, webinars, videos, podcasts, emails, sales pages…all of it.

See how thinking about it this way marries each blog post to a sales system?

Your content becomes a system of building blocks that are interconnected. When you write a blog post, what you’re really doing is setting the early stages for people to buy. Here’s what that content funnel might look like:

Thinking of blog posts as part of a content funnel will help you create a blog and social media plan that builds your audience and traffic quickly.In other words, a blog post leads to a freebie, which leads to a free course or training, which leads to a paid course or eBook. Can you see how this is all coming together here?

Now in terms of the funnel itself, consistent blogging will help people get to know/like/trust you. So my question for you is:

What would you like your audience to buy from you?

That’s a big question, I know. You’re probably thinking I have no idea what product to create. I really need more traffic right now before I can figure that out!

I get it. This is one of those things where starting with your end game is actually going to help you get traffic and build your blog audience faster. The reason is because you’re going to be laser focused with each post and frame it around your future products, even if right now you’re not sure exactly what those products are!

This means that you want to create content around what your audience most needs, and that content is going to be the “top of your funnel”. Over time, you’ll see which posts resonate the most with your audience and which products to create around them.

Can you see how step #1 helps us create bangin’ content funnels too? Let’s look at some of the pain points from our earlier example:

  • Truly healthy foods are not easy to find
  • Don’t know how much to eat, what to eat and when to eat it
  • Bagel Monday and Pizza Fridays at the office are hard to resist

Here are some blog themes that would be perfect launching pads for future products:

  • Theme #1: Quick, easy recipes
  • Theme #2: The mindset of eating healthy
  • Theme #3: Meal plans and diet guidance

There’s more to sales funnels than this, but for now, just start thinking about each post as having 2 jobs:

  1. To help your audience solve a specific problem
  2. To create a platform for future products and making money

3) Set monthly blog + social media goals

This is another area where starting with the end game will help you focus your priorities each week. From our Blog Profit Plan series, we already know the 4 things we need to focus on each month: content, traffic, subscribers, and profit.

So let’s say this month we want to:

  • Write 6 blog posts (content)
  • Get 35K unique visitors (traffic)
  • Build our list to 4,500 (subscribers)
  • Offer a free course that leads to a paid course (profit)

Your goals may look much different than this, and that’s perfectly ok. Maybe what you really want to do is to get your first 100 subscribers, or even to write your first few blog posts. Or, maybe you have an eBook you’d like to sell.

The point is to be very specific with your goals and know that you can achieve them, based on your schedule and where you’re at in your blog biz journey right now.

If you want, you can download my sample monthly blog plan that shows you the exact steps to getting more traffic to your blog posts and your business. Click the image below to download it.

Download my Blog + Social Media Plan to help you build your blog traffic and audience quickly and with ease!

Next, let’s look at how we’re going to achieve our monthly goals…

Step #4) Create a blogging workflow

If only writing a blog post was as easy as writing the post, know what I mean?

In reality, there are a whole slew of things to do if we’re going to build our blog audience and traffic like we mean business. A single post can easily take the whole week to create when you blog with intention, which of course is what you do!

You have to do things like:

  • Research post ideas
  • Create images
  • Promote the post
  • Create a freebie
  • Write an email delivering the freebie

And if we break that down even more, our list looks more like this:

Weekly Blog + Social Media Plan to get more traffic to your website

And our monthly blog calendar looks like this:Sample Monthly Blog + Social Media PlanWhew! It’s a lot. And all of it works like a machine to help you build the platform for your sales/content funnels we talked about. This is what’s really going to help us build our blog audience and traffic.

Here are the planner and checklist so you can start creating your own traffic machine. This is the same monthly plan that has helped me get 40K visitors and 4K subscribers in 3 months. Click the image below to download.

Download my Blog + Social Media Plan to help you build your blog traffic and audience quickly and with ease!

I came up with this blog plan after months of experimenting and trying to figure out a workflow that was easy to follow each week.

With this planner, you spread out individual blog tasks (and even batch them if you can). Remember, you’ve got more to do than just write a post if you really want to build your blog audience and traffic!

Here’s what “writing a blog post” looks like:

  • Research blog topics
  • Write the post
  • Make it SEO-findable
  • Create blog images
  • Create social media images
  • Create a freebie
  • Add the freebie to your post
  • Integrate the freebie with MailChimp, ConvertKit or other email platform
  • Proofread and publish
  • Share with your subscribers
  • Share on social media and other channels
  • Repurpose as a quick tip graphic
  • Create a second pin for Pinterest
  • Repurpose as a short video
  • Write more tweets and updates
  • Schedule updates, tweets, the video, and quick tip
  • Share to Facebook group promo threads throughout the week

I recommend spreading these tasks out over the week for a few reasons:

First of all, building your blog audience takes time and there are a lot of pieces involved. Trying to cram every piece into just a day or two will leave you feeling frazzled, kinda like you’re falling behind with all of it. Spreading it out will make you feel calm, centered and in control of your blog biz.

The other reason is that when you think about it, all of the tasks listed above are wildly different. It takes a different head to write a post than to create graphics or even a freebie. And it’s a completely different “techie” head for opt-in forms, email integration, sequences, and so on.

We already know how task-shifting can act like a lead weight on your brain. Too much task-shifting inside of any given day will slow you down and make you feel foggy. What we want is to speed things up, right?

So there you have it. That’s a wrap for part #1 of The Build Your Blog Audience + Traffic series.

Next up, we’ll drill down on a 7-day marketing plan to build your audience:

Part 2: 7-Day Blog and Social Media Plan

If you want, you can download the Social Media Planner I created and start working on your marketing plan right now. Click the image below to download it:

Download my Blog + Social Media Plan to help you build your blog traffic and audience quickly and with ease!
by

A step-by-step guide and checklist for how to start an online business with no money. It includes my best tips for how to turn your ideas into a side hustle, make money blogging, and make money from home. #bloggingtips #startup #bloggerThis post is the second half of our Start a Business series, where I’m covering how to start a business with no money and only your laptop, an idea, and a workspace.

In the first part of the series, we covered the steps involved in launching. You defined your people, brainstormed future products, and created a working online brand.

Here’s the post again, in case you missed it:

Part 1: How to Start a Successful Blog with No Money (Part 1).

Today, we’re bringing things full circle and closing the loop. I’m drilling down on the two paths that will get us past launch and into the Growth, Hustle and Profit Phases of the DIY-Your-Business Blueprint.

#SIDENOTE This series is a deep dive into the four phases of the DIY-Your-Business Blueprint. I’m peeling back the curtain on each phase and sharing the specific steps to accelerate your growth and get to the next level as quickly as possible.

If you remember, in path #1, your focus is on building a platform BEFORE you launch your product. Here’s the sequence:

  1. Content
  2. Traffic
  3. Subscribers
  4. Product

Path #2 includes the same steps, only we’re switching the order of things and creating a product first and content last. Because the sequence is reversed, we’ll also look at different techniques for driving traffic and building your platform.

To make it extra easy for you, I’ve created a business plan template you can customize for your biz! Just click the image below to grab it.
Grab your Creative Business Plan Template so you can get started mapping out your freedom biz and reaching your goals!

Grab Your Creative Business Plan Template

PLEASE NOTE: In order to be able to edit and customize it yourself, when you’re viewing the template go to File and Make a copy, or you can simply download it as a Word doc or copy and paste it to your favorite program!

Let’s dig into path #1.

Path #1: building your platform first

Step 1: First, Create Content

When you’re starting your own business with no money and building your brand from the ground up, you need to be a content machine. Here’s what you’ll be creating in step #1:

  • Blog posts
  • Free resources
  • Share images
  • Videos

It’s a no-brainer that the foundation of your content will be blog posts, but before you dive in and start writing, let’s look at how we can bridge the gap between free content and your future products or services, right from the beginning.

First: Blog Posts

You know where I’m headed here, right? Even at the earliest stages, you need a strategy for blogging that goes beyond driving traffic.

While you can blog about anything you want, it’s a whole lot smarter to have an end goal for each post. You want to form content funnels that will ultimately lead people to your sales funnels.

If I’m losing you here, don’t worry about sales funnels just yet. We’ll get to those after you create your product (if you’re curious, this post explains them in detail).

My take on content funnels vs sales funnels:

Content funnels: Content on your website (blog posts, images, freebies)
Sales funnels: Content outside your website (webinars, email marketing, etc)

Content funnels initiate the relationship with your crew, and sales funnels seal the deal. This is where those earlier brainstorming sessions will pay off. When it’s time to sell your products, you’ll be one step ahead of the game, you ninja-planner, you. ????

Speaking of planning, how do you map out content funnels?

Great question! First of all, make sure you write blog posts around the products you will (or do) offer.

For instance, my readers are interested in learning more about:

  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Business

These topics (or themes) become content buckets, and I use a simple Google Docs spreadsheet to come up with post ideas and future products for each subtopic.

Here’s what the worksheet looks like:

best business to start with no money

Now, if you’re thinking How can I even think about all of this when I haven’t even created my first post or product? It’s too much!

I get it! Seeing your ideas on paper, before you create them, can be overwhelming. This is one of those times where you don’t have to have everything set up on day #1.

Remember, all we’re doing at this step is making sure that the content you’re about to create aligns with your future goals.

You already have ideas about what products and services you want to offer, which means you have an end goal. Understanding how to start a business with no money means you need to keep that end goal in mind at all times.

A blog post is the first step readers will take on their journey to your end goal. Planning your content like this is crucial to make sure you lead them down the right path.

Still feeling overwhelmed? Here’s what I suggest:

Pick one product idea from your spreadsheet as your focus (meaning that this will be your first product). Change the other product ideas to a light gray font color, so that they’re barely visible and don’t distract you. These are product ideas for later on – down the road. Keeping them on your spreadsheet is just a reminder that any blog posts you write around have a confirmed purpose.

Free Resources

Here’s what our content funnel looks like with free resources (or content upgrades) added into the mix:

how to start an online business with no money

Can you see how free resources bridge the gap between your free content and products or services? Lovin’ it!

Over on our spreadsheet, we need to add another column so that you can figure out what free resources you want to offer for each post and product.

For example, here’s what my spreadsheet looks like now:

starting your own business with no money

Aim to make each free resource:

  • Targeted – Speaks to one specific person and address their most pressing pain point.
  • Easy to Digest – Short and simple enough to implement in one day. Checklists, cheat sheets, and swipe files work well.
  • Simple – Provides the simplest steps to get from A to Z. Covers one topic rather than multiple topics.
  • Actionable – Gives people simple steps they can move forward with and see results.
  • Build trust – Establishes your authority and primes people to buy from you in the future.
  • Spark Curiosity – Offers enough to ignite curiosity without giving away the farm, meaning that they open a door to future products.
  • High value – Provides real value that people would actually consider purchasing.

Let’s say you’re a fitness expert. Maybe you create a blog post about the five superfoods for weight loss. In the post, you include a Five Foods to Never Eat guide that people can download. The free guide will ultimately lead people to your paid 30-day weight loss program. Make sense?

What program should you use to create an Ebook or cheat sheet?

I’m glad you asked! I’ve always been a fan of InDesign. Having said that, the other day I tried Canva and was amazed at how easy it was to create this beautiful Ebook template:

what kind of business should I start?

First, I uploaded a background image to use on the cover. Then I added elements and fonts from Canva’s library. Once I was happy with the cover, I designed a second page to use as a template for all my interior pages:

businesses you can run from home

As you’re working in Canva, your drafts and templates will be saved to the dashboard, so you can always refer back to them and edit. When you’re happy with your Ebook, cheat sheet, or checklist, save it as a JPG or PDF, or share directly to social media.

Related: How to Build Your Blog Audience and Traffic

Share Images

I’ve used Canva, PicMonkey, and RelayThat to create blog post share images. Of these, I’d say Canva and RelayThat are the easiest (RelayThat is lightening fast – this in-depth tutorial will get you started).

Each of the tools has pre-made social media templates, so you don’t have to worry about sizing.

RelayThat

It doesn’t get easier than this! Choose a square (Insta), tall (Pinterest), or wide format (FB and Twitter). If you’re looking for Twitter headers, Facebook covers, and Pinterest board covers, RelayThat’s got templates for those too.

To change the size of your post, click on a new template and RelayThat will automatically update your design. All you have to do is keep on clickin’ until you find a design that makes your heart dance. 🙂

You can also use the “remix” feature to reposition your text on-demand. No more manually shifting elements around, trying to figure out the alignment. Woohoo!

simple business ideas

 

To remove the RelayThat watermark, you’ll need to upgrade from free to pro, which is $25 a month.

#ONMYWISHLIST I’d love to be able to change the dimensions of a given template, which is where Canva comes in…

Canva

Like RelayThat, Canva has pre-made templates for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. What makes Canva so powerful is that you can create custom templates for any size you need.

For example, you may want to extend the length of your pin. Easy peasy. What about that Ebook we created? That was a cinch too.

Speaking of which, we still need to add the Ebook to your blog post. With Canva, you can create a button image to make your Ebook stand out so that people know what to expect when they download it.

Here’s an 800 x 350px button image I made with Canva:

how to make money with no money

 

HEAD’S UP. Facebook and Twitter sizes can vary for the tools listed above. For instance, In RelayThat, a wide post is 1200 x 630px and in Canva, the size is 1024 x 512px. That’s perfectly okay. Just make sure that your Facebook/Twitter images are at least 1000px wide and use a 2:1 ratio.

Here are my recommended share image sizes:

  • Facebook, Twitter: 1000 x 500px (2:1 ratio)
  • Pinterest: 800 x 1200px (or longer)
  • Instagram: 1080 x 1080px

I’ve got the full scoop on social media images sizes here.

#PHOTOSHOPRULES Yessiree! With Photoshop, you can customize your stock images – which is a big deal when it comes to Pinterest.

The reason is that Pinterest can SEE your images (or thinks it can!) and will interpret your pins based on what it sees. When the algorithm comes across two pins using the exact same image, things get a little wonky and Pinterest doesn’t know which one to display. Not cool, friend!

So what’s the workaround?

Use Photoshop to make stock photos undeniably Yours by retouching, splitting, airbrushing, changing colors, and so on.

Ready to get started with Photoshop? Check out this tutorial.

STEP #2: Next Up, Get Traffic

Ahhh, traffic. Me like. ???? My four top traffic sources are Google, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook Groups.

Google

For the past six months, I’ve been focusing HARD on search engine optimization, yo. I know many bloggers rely on social media alone for traffic, but top bloggers like Jeff Bullas and Pauline Cabrera get the bulk of their traffic from Google.

I figure there must be something to it, so SEO it is…

#GOSEO It takes a little while to kick in, but well worth the effort, in my book.

Since I started focusing on search engine optimization, I’m seeing more and more traffic from Google and attribute it to these three things:

  1. On-page SEO
  2. A high number of social media shares
  3. Links back to my posts

#2 and #3 are related. While having a high number of social shares isn’t a direct ranking signal, it does impact SEO indirectly.

Here’s how:

more people sharing = broader audience = more potential backlinks

The other SEO thing I’ve started doing is guest posting and commenting on high-quality blogs. With each guest post, I include a link back to one of my posts, and when possible, I include a free offer in my bio to encourage sign-ups.

Curious about what makes a blog “high quality”? There’s a handy tool called the Moz Domain Authority Checker that will give you the domain authority (DA) for any website.

easy business to start

A high DA is a fancy pants way of saying This website is predicted to rank well on Google. DA’s range from 0 to 100, with higher numbers meaning better quality. When I’m looking for guest post opportunities, I aim for websites with a DA of at least 30.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Bloggers

Pinterest

Creative niches (bloggers, fashion, beauty, weddings, design, DIY, etc.) can get a lot of traffic from Pinterest.

With the right combination of . . .

  • Eye-guzzling graphics
  • Sexy headlines
  • Keywords and hashtags

. . . you can get thousands of repins.

One thing worth mentioning is that my Pinterest page views took a MAJOR nose dive a while back. Out of the blue, just like that, my traffic started tanking.

2.4 million, to 2.3 million, to 2.2 million, all the way down to 1.6 million page views in 6 weeks.

I went crazy trying to figure out what was going on. Want to know what I learned?

Here are some mistakes I was making:

Mistake #1: See the Pinterest share button on the image below?

business ideas

 

Share buttons make it easy for people to repin your post, and believe it or not, they have a lot to do with your traffic.

The mistake I made was to replace my Shareaholic plugin with Social Warfare and forget to activate the share button.

So instead of making my posts easy to share, I was making it harder. Please don’t make this same mistake, friend! Make sure you add share buttons to your posts and images.

Mistake #2: I had a handful of pins that accounted for most of my traffic, until one day they peaked and hit the end of their shelf life, meaning that they weren’t so viral anymore. 🙁

This is really more of a lesson than a mistake . . .

There’s this thing called “post fatigue” – much like ad fatigue – where people get tired of seeing the same images over and over. If you think about it, once people have clicked on your pin, they’re not as likely to click twice.

So what can you do?

Check Google Analytics (Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages) to find the top 15 posts that drive the most traffic to your website.

Once you find them, here’s what you want to do:

  1. Create more pins for those posts. Some bloggers create up to eight pins for each post.
  2. Write more blog posts around the same topics. Posts that get traffic are topics that people want to know more about.

Mistake #3: I was sharing ALL of my pins through BoardBooster and Tailwind, even ones with very few shares and repins.

Out of pure frustration, I tried an experiment where I stopped sharing my “lonely” pins and started sharing ONLY pins that were the life of the party. I also started using Tailwind Tribes, and stopped sharing other people’s content as much.

Voila! My traffic and page views have started coming back, slowly but surely.

Twitter

Twitter is similar to Pinterest, meaning it’s what I call a “high-tolerance posting platform.” You can Tweet. A. Ton.

The reason that Twitter is my #2 source of traffic is because I have a large following and tweet between 30-40 times a day.

Sound like a lot?

Top bloggers post every 15 minutes, just sayin’. In fact, I think that’s the key to success on Twitter:

Make sure you share fresh, new content to balance out your evergreen content.

By evergreen content, I mean posts that are re-shared with a tool like SmarterQueue.

Now, you may be thinking How can I possibly tweet 40x a day? I only have a handful of posts!

I hear ya! As a new blogger, it can be hard to get traction from Twitter. Keep in mind that as your audience grows and you create more content, you’ll see the rewards of your hard work as you increase your posting frequency.

I also pin a tweet to the top of my page, like this one:

what business to start

Because more people see pinned tweets, they tend to get more traffic, retweets, and likes than other tweets. My pinned tweets always direct people to a blog post with a free resource or a landing page with an opt-in.

#ALWAYSBETESTING: One thing I’m going to try is using multiple tweet images for each post. I figure if I vary tweets the same way I vary my pins, people won’t get tired of seeing them over and over. I’ll keep you posted on how it works!

Related: 6 Insider Secrets for Driving Tons of Free Traffic from Twitter

Facebook Groups

I’m a member of ~30 groups and always share my posts on promo days for a nice bump in traffic each month.

Facebook groups are easy to find by viewing Groups in the left sidebar. From there, you can either Discover Groups or enter a keyword and filter the results by groups. Once you’ve found a few, make sure you play nice and make a note of the group rules, so you don’t get banned!

I use a spreadsheet to track promotion days for blog posts, products, freebies, and social media.

Here’s what my spreadsheet looks like:

best businesses to start with no money

 

Psst…I just started a Facebook group and would love, love, love for you to join.

Even though an online business is an easy business to start, building your platform and audience take time and serious effort.

When it comes to social media, you have to be prepared to put in the time every day, especially when you have a small (or no) following. If you’re ready to up your social media game, this post is a good read. I also recommend repurposing blog posts into other types of content so that you can share them on multiple platforms.

Related: How to Promote Your Blog Posts Effectively on Social Media

Step #3: Get Subscribers

Whew! You’re doing great! Totally crushing how to start a business with no money . . .

The next step is to level up your mailing list.

You’re already “gifting” your legendary freebies to readers (step #1 above). Now, it’s time is to set up your email system and create landing pages.

Some good options for email marketing providers are:

  • ConvertKit
  • MailerLite
  • MailChimp

And for landing pages, you can use:

  • The default templates provided by your email service (some offer them, some don’t).
  • LeadPages to build beautiful, high-converting landing pages (that’s an affiliate link).

Email marketing providers

I’ve experimented with a lot of email providers, including Aweber, MailChimp, Infusionsoft, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, and ConvertKit.

Hands down, ConvertKit is my favorite. I’ve even got a full tutorial on how to use ConvertKit to grow your business if you’re ready to get started.

Should you use ConvertKit too?

Great question! I say: Pick the tool that’s easiest for you to use. Ease-of-use was my top reason for choosing ConvertKit (yep, another affiliate link, but hey, I only recommend products that I use in my own business).

As I mentioned, if your email provider has landing page templates, it’s a win-win. We need those landing pages. 🙂

Other than that, make sure you choose one with high deliverability (aka: emails will make it to the inbox). I know both MailChimp and ConvertKit do, not sure about MailerLite. Please share in the comments if you use MailerLite. I’d love to know!

Landing pages

You may be thinking Why do I need landing pages? Can’t I just use a sign-up form in my blog post?

I’m so with you! That’s exactly what I thought. The whole landing page thing had me stumped for a while. I thought landing pages were optional, meaning that I could choose to use them or not.

I had it all wrong. Here’s why we need landing pages:

  • We can drive traffic to our blog posts AND landing pages, which means we have the potential to 2x traffic + sign-ups.
  • By embedding a Facebook pixel on each landing page, we can retarget people who visited the page later on.
  • There’s a chance people might read through the entire post and still not see the freebie. With a landing page, they won’t miss it.

Here’s a landing page I created for my free resource library:

easy startup business

See how there’s ONLY info about my free gift? No buttons, graphics, or text to take your attention away from the call to action. That’s the beauty of landing pages.

There are other ways to grow your list, including:

  • Webinars
  • Giveaways
  • Guest posting
  • YouTube videos
  • Facebook Live

Engage with your subscribers

Before we move on, I want to point out one thing that’s super important:

Try, try, try to email your subscribers once a week (especially important when you have yet to create a product). I know it’s hard, but if you can commit to once a week, you’ll be rewarded with increased sales later on.

The last thing I want is for all your hard work to go down the drain because people don’t hear from you – and then forget who you are.

Here’s the thing:

Some people will sign up for your free resource and peace out. We’ve all done it. It’s going to happen. And it’s perfectly okay.

It’s actually what you want!

When I first started building my list, I’d email my subscribers once a month (I’d tell myself it was only ten days, haha).

Part of the reason is that I’m a numbers junkie. I like to count, and I LOVE to count up.

Every time I’d email my list, I’d get dozens of unsubscribes which would freak me out, in a you’re-messing-with-my-numbers kind of way.

Now I understand that unsubscribes are a healthy way to keep your list clean. After all, if people aren’t interested in you or your business, they won’t open your emails, which means your email open rate will go down. We want that baby UP, UP, UP. With me?

The other reason for my infrequent emails was because I didn’t know what to say…

Sound familiar?

Here’s what you can do:

  • Send an email each week with a link to your latest post, podcast, video, etc. Try to infuse your email with a story to make it interesting.
  • Every other week or so, send an exclusive tip or freebie, just for your subscribers.
  • Use a few emails to interact with people – find out what interests them and what topics they’d like you to cover, and so on. Psst…This is a great way to come up with new product ideas.

Which brings me to…

Step #4: Create a Product

Whew! We’re just about there. You’re doing great.

Once you have 1,000 subscribers, it’s time to create a rough draft version of your product.

This is where we fill up the money bucket. Woo!

Note: When I say “rough draft,” know that this can mean anything from a landing page with information on your service or product plus a place for people to request more information and get a free resource while they wait . . . to a sales page that describes your product and pre-sells it . . . all the way to a full-blown, complete course ready for students.

By now, you should have a good idea of what products people would be interested in based on what they’ve downloaded.

Do they match your earlier brainstorming? If so, high five!

If they don’t match, or if you feel a bit flustered about which product to create, I recommend getting feedback from your subscribers about the challenges they’re facing and the types of products/content they’d like you to cover.

Bryan Harris even recommends emailing a segment of your subscribers your product idea and asking for feedback.

Let’s say you’re a graphic designer and want to create an InDesign course.

Your content funnel from step #1 above might look something like this:

easiest business to start with no money

The people who downloaded 10 Ways to Work Smarter in InDesign have raised their hand and expressed interest in InDesign.

Your next step is to email them some details about your product idea to get their feedback.

You can even ask for pre-orders from subscribers who responded. If you do this, it’s good to know how many pre-orders you’d need to validate your product idea.

What tools to use to create your products?

For courses, I use ScreenFlow to record screencasts (with both a Plantronics headset mic and a SmartLav lavalier mic) and PowerPoint to create my slides.

Then I upload everything to Teachable, which is a hosting platform for courses.

starting a business from home

What I love about Teachable is that all I have to do is focus on creating content. Teachable takes care of payments, enrollments, and other details.

If you decide to create an Ebook or other digital product, I recommend using InDesign for the design and SamCart for e-commerce.

Now, we need to connect your free resource to the product:

Back to the sales funnels I mentioned earlier, yo. Sales funnels are a biggie, and I cover them in more detail in this post.

Wrapping it up

At this stage, it’s time to revisit both your product hypothesis (based on feedback and other insights you’ve picked up) and your brand identity. Refine all of it . . . colors, fonts, social media templates, bio, descriptions, messaging . . . everything.

In the growth stage of your business, your brand is VERY important.

Think of it this way:

Would you rather pull up in a tired old Ford Escort or a brand new Porsche 911? No brainer, right? It’s important to provide people with an amazing ride, and much of that is conveyed through your blog design, tone, and messaging.

The same way that wearing the right clothes helps people define you, your online brand speaks volumes about who you are, what you stand for, and ultimately, why people should take notice.

Psst . . . If you’re ready to brand like a pro, the Build My Brand Toolkit will help you do it. To learn more about Build My Brand, click here.

Have I convinced you to start a business yet? Click the image below to grab the business plan template so you can map out your success path.
Grab your Creative Business Plan Template so you can get started mapping out your freedom biz and reaching your goals!Grab Your Creative Business Plan Template

PLEASE NOTE: In order to be able to edit and customize it yourself, when you’re viewing the template go to File and Make a copy, or you can simply download it as a Word doc or copy and paste it to your favorite program!

In my next post, I’m going to walk you through Path #2. See you there!

by
How to Make Money from Affiliate Marketing | Have you been wanting to try affiliate marketing for your blog, but wonder if it's just too hard or maybe even a waste of time? This post is for you! I’m sharing everything I've learned from the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course to help entrepreneurs and bloggers get started with ease! Click through to see all the course highlights!

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners | Have you been wanting to try affiliate marketing for bloggers, but wonder if it's just too hard or maybe even a waste of time? This post is for you! I’m sharing everything I've learned from the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course to help entrepreneurs and bloggers get started with affiliate marketing! Click through to see all the affiliate marketing tips! #affiliatemarketingGuess what, friends! I cracked the code!

If you remember in our Blog Profit Plan series, I promised to be back with the scoop on affiliate marketing for beginners.

Bump. Here it is!

I just finished this amazing course by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and today I’m sharing what I’ve learned, why I (finally!) decided to buy it, and why I highly recommend it.

Here’s what I’m going to cover in this post:

  • A quick bit about Michelle
  • How affiliate marketing fits into our Blog Profit Plan
  • Why we even need a course for this
  • What I’ve learned from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

If you don’t already know the basics of affiliate marketing, no worries, let me explain. Affiliate marketing is when you earn money by placing an affiliate link on your website or social media account, and have people purchase through your link. Basically, as an affiliate, you promote a product offered by another business.

Before we dive in, this post includes affiliate links! That’s my disclosure and one of the first things Michelle explains in the course. FTC regulations require you to let people know if you stand to benefit from recommending a product. No biggie here, right? We’re just being transparent and honest!

Ready to do this? Let’s dig in.

First, who is Michelle?

affiliate marketing training course with Michelle Schroeder-GardnerHands-down, Michelle is the go-to authority on affiliate marketing for newbies. She’s been blogging for about 6 years now, and from her income reports, it looks like she’s making about $100K a month from her blog. I call that an expert!

Before I share what I’ve learned from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, if you’re ready to dive right in, I highly recommend Michelle’s course. It really helped me understand how to approach affiliate marketing the right way, with a full-blown success strategy. Click here to find out more about it!

How does affiliate marketing fit into our Blog Profit Plan?

Seems pretty obvious, right? Money = Profit!

If you missed the Blog Profit Plan series, here’s what we covered:

Hmmm… Should we call this part #4 of the series?

Seriously, you may be thinking about skipping affiliate marketing altogether. Maybe it sounds like it’s too hard or that it will be a waste of time, or that your followers just won’t be interested.

If you ask me, that’s leaving money on the table! And if we’re going to build hugely profitable blogs, we just can’t do that. We have to at least give affiliate marketing a try, right?

As long as we’re truly providing value for our audience, this shouldn’t be an issue. I say focus on creating epic content first, which is what Michelle recommends too, and then find affiliate products and programs that fit your content. Think of it like this: Your content dictates ev’rything.

Here are just a few reasons why I think affiliate marketing fits perfectly into our Blog Profit Plan in 2017 and beyond:

  • Affiliate marketing is an inexpensive way to start earning money from your blog. You don’t even have to create a product yourself.  Woop woop!
  • You can create just one blog post or social media post, and potentially earn money from it years down the line, as long as you maintain it and keep generating traffic to it.
  • You can earn a passive income doing what you already do, while promoting products that you already use and benefit from.
  • Affiliate links are much cleaner than ugly banners and ads. Ugh.
  • You actually don’t even need a website to get started. You can use social media to build your business by promoting affiliate products!
  • Most importantly, you help your readers find quality products that they will love and find useful.

The trick here is to approach how to start affiliate marketing for beginners the correct way, and that is exactly why Michelle’s course is so helpful.

Onward…

Next up, why do we even need a course?

Now I know what you’re thinking. Why do we even need a course, Sandra? Isn’t this stuff we can figure out on our own?

I hear ya! I’m a huge DIYer, so anything I can figure out on my own is where I’m headed first!

Here’s the thing, though. I started poking around for guides and articles on affiliate marketing and just couldn’t find what I needed. It was mostly all fluff and no stuff.

What I really wanted was a complete guide to getting started with affiliate marketing, which is exactly what Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is.

These are the specific questions I wanted answers to:

  • How much traffic do I need?
  • What’s the best way to get started?
  • Which affiliate programs should I use for my niche?
  • How are referral sales tracked?
  • How will I get paid?
  • Which affiliate programs require more/less traffic than others?
  • How can I make more than $500 a month as an affiliate?
  • Which affiliate programs are best for new bloggers?
  • How can I write the perfect affiliate post?
  • How can I get even more traffic to an affiliate post?

Phew! That’s a lot. Michelle covers all of this and more in the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course!

What really made me decide to take Michelle’s course?

Ultimately, I decided to dig into my pockets because I take my blog (and my time) seriously. And I wanted a book-ended strategy, not just a nugget here or there.

Ok, in truth, I probably would have been able to make sense of affiliate marketing without Michelle’s course. It would have taken weeks to find what I needed and make sense of it all, but I think I could have done it.

HOLD UP: Weeks?

Uh, no. Nope. Why would I waste my time when Michelle has made sense of it already with her Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course? It’s all there in the title, friends!

This is another one of those things that, when you do it right, you will make back your investment…and more!

Remember, most bloggers make little to no money from affiliate marketing. Michelle, on the other hand, is killin’ it. We’re talkin’ tens of thousands a month!

That’s who we want to learn from, no?

If you’re as fired up about this as I am, click here to find out more about Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course, and let’s both start putting affiliate marketing to work for our Blog Profit Plan, sound good?

What I learned from Michelle’s course as a beginner in affiliate marketing

Wow! There’s a lot. Let me try to break this down:

1) Anyone can start affiliate marketing

You don’t have to wait until you have thousands of followers or page visits. Even if you have a handful of followers or if you are a brand-new blogger, you can still be successful at affiliate marketing. Michelle even shows you which affiliate programs’ website to apply for if you’re new to blogging.

2) There’s a strategy for success

There are certain things you need to do in order to be successful with it, and there’s also a way not to do it, which is what I think most people do. For instance, it’s much better to go narrow and deep with affiliate marketing. This is a case where less is more! Start with a few affiliate programs and immerse yourself in the products; test promotion strategies and channels, get comfortable with them, and then tweak, update, and modify before you move on.

You also want to let your content and your audience dictate your affiliate programs. Don’t just go spamming your posts with 50 different products! Why not create a series from your blog posts first, focusing on content that your readers really love and value, and THEN research products and solutions to offer them?

3) The right way to leverage your blog and social media

There’s a wrong way, a ‘meh’ way, and a golden way to promote your affiliate links. It’s important to know which is which. We’re talking strategic placement, A/B testing landing pages, blog posts, interviews, tutorials, adding direct referral links in social media, and more.

4) How to crush affiliate marketing with Pinterest

Because Pinterest is such a huge component to all of this, Michelle gives you an entire module on how to use Pinterest, in combination with email marketing, to get the highest affiliate sales and conversions.  We already know what a bump Pinterest is for traffic. The strategies included in Michelle’s course take it to a whole other level. Picture this: You create a stunning pin and include a direct link to your affiliate’s product page and that pin goes viral. Or, you direct people to a freebie and follow up with an email sequence that includes your affiliate link. It’s all in there. Promise.

5) Choosing the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners

Think affiliate marketing won’t work for your niche and focus? Think again! Just about every niche is included…new bloggers, parenting, finance/money, travel, crafts, DIY, food and recipes, healthy living, fashion, beauty, wedding, blogging, business…all of them.  No more excuses friend!

Michelle breaks down dozens of affiliates by niche, so you will definitely find programs that are ideal for your blog.

6) How to choose affiliate products

To be successful with affiliate marketing, you have to choose products that will truly appeal to your audience. This seems like a small thing, but is actually a biggie. Sometimes you can think you’re spot on with what your audience wants, when in reality, you could be completely off-the-mark. Michelle walks you through how to research your audience to make sure that the program aligns with your brand message. She also explains why you should only promote products that you actually use and love. The more focused and authentic you are, the better your conversions will be!

7) Tracking, worksheets, and spreadsheets

One of the things I’ve learned with online marketing is that you need planners and spreadsheets in order to reach your goals. You have to be specific with what you want to achieve, who you’ve reached out to, systems to track your affiliate programs, affiliate links, commissions, and more. This is one of the things I love most about Michelle’s course!

8) Why you need disclosures

I mentioned this above and it’s worth a nod here too. Some bloggers include their disclosure in a Privacy Policy page, others add it to the top of every blog post. You can even add it to the end of your posts to make it easy for people to spot.

Oops, one last thing!

I almost forgot to mention my favorite part of the course. Michelle breaks down exactly how she earned six figures from one single blog post! She shows you the strategies she used, including interlinking, cross posting, email sequences, interviews, social media, and more. That alone was worth it! Michelle’s course is a perfect step-by-step affiliate marketing course for beginners.

I’m soooo excited about this, friends, I really am. This is definitely going in our Blog Profit Plan series!

I can’t wait to share our successes. If you’re ready to make money with affiliate marketing but haven’t known where to start (or how to win at it!), I highly recommend Michelle’s course. You will love it!

Here are the details again:

To find out more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, the course curriculum, and what you can expect to learn, click here. It’s very easy to follow. If you’re like me, you’ll want to comb through it at least 2x to grab all the juicy nuggets!

Let’s celebrate our successes! How have you made affiliate marketing work for you?

 

by

If you feel like you're spinning your wheels with your blog and you want some tips on how to make it really work for your long term business goals, this post is for you! It includes 16 content strategy and social media tips for bloggers to help you attract more of your ideal readers and grow your blog audience. Click through to see all the tips!When you’re just getting started with blogging, probably the most important thing you can do is just start.

Start writing.
Start publishing.
Start sharing.

It can be challenging enough to get into the routine of it all. And you push yourself because you know there are many reasons you want to be blogging. Here’s just a few:

  • It can generate a huge amount of traffic to your business
  • It can help you become an influencer, with the right network
  • It can seriously boost your income and revenue

So with all that it can do for your business, why does it feel like you get sucked you into a rabbit hole every time you sit down to write? Where’s the real payoff?

The thing is this: without a strategy in place for your content, blogging can seem like a waste of time.

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to put a well-crafted content and social media strategy in place for your blog. Especially once you’ve written your first few posts.

In this post I’m going to explain why you need a content strategy for your blog, and simple ways to create one that works for your business:

1) Content is the New SEO

SEO, social media and content go hand in hand nowadays. You really can’t talk about one without talking about the other. Here’s why:

  • Google continues to change its ranking algorithms in favor of valuable content that provides a great user experience, so black-hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing and hidden text doesn’t work today. Instead, search engines look at the relevance and popularity of your content as primary ranking factors.
  • Traffic from search engines isn’t the only way to generate a huge audience, which is where social media comes in. As a blogger and publisher, it’s amazing how you can leverage social media platforms to help people find your content and drive targeted traffic to your business.

The one thing that SEO and social media has in common is content. You need content for your keywords and search engines, and you need content for people on social media.

Content is the vehicle, and social media is the medium.

2) Content is How We Do Business

Consumer expectations are what’s really driving content marketing.

You can see the demand for content everywhere…trains, sidewalks, cafes, restaurants, nail salons, hair salons, parks, bus stops, the list goes on. Everywhere you go, people are buried in their phones and devices either on Facebook, Pinterest, or Google hunting for something they need.

They want access to the information they need, whenever they need it.

All of this means that as a blogger and business owner, you have to feed this “research-and-validate” mentality. The way to do that is by creating and publishing original content.

Content is how people do business. And it’s how people will find your blog.

3) Content Is Here to Stay

We’ve become a social world and that’s only going to continue to grow.

Especially given that social platforms are all mobile-friendly, and people can check out a pin, Facebook post, or tweet directly on their phone.

When you add in the fact that some big name employers are even implementing social “reputation scores” (similar to credit scores) as part of background checks during the interview process, social media isn’t going anywhere.

Since social media relies on content for its fuel, blogging isn’t going anywhere either.

4) Content Works For All Businesses

Here’s why:

It used to be that local businesses could rely on aggressive SEO tactics to rank high in Google. These were “black-hat” techniques that cared only about search engines, with a complete disregard for actual people.

All of that has changed and content is truly king when it comes to ranking in search engines.

Even B2B brands have integrated content into their sales processes.

Bottom line, people want authenticity and relevancy and that demand crosses over industries and business models. All of this comes in the form of content.

Here’s how to create a content strategy that works for your blog:

PART 1: LAYING A SOLID BRAND FOUNDATION

You’re blogging and you have some posts that you’ve started to share.

Before you move forward, now is a good time to plan ahead and tweak your blog’s brand based on what you’ve learned so far. It’s time to tighten things up so that you know exactly what content to create, why you’re creating it, and who you’re speaking to.

1) Who Are You Blogging For?

When I talk about branding your blog, I’m not talking about your logo, tagline, blog design, fonts, tagline or any visual elements right now.

I’m talking about positioning your blog, and that means knowing your audience way beyond things like their age, income or location. It’s one thing to know demographics and it’s another thing to know what their real motivations are for reading your blog.

You want to tap into how they’re really feeling. What does their day look like? What are they frustrated with right now? What do they want to be able to do? And most importantly, what are they saying around your brand?

Ask yourself these two questions:

  • How do people FEEL before reading your post? How do they feel afterwards?
  • What is an average DAY like for people before reading your blog? What is the average day like for them after they read it?

Answering these questions will give you clarity on the transformation that your blog provides for your readers.

This type of deep dive requires really listening to your audiences. A good way to do that is simply ask subscribers what they really want to know around your niche.

In my experience, inside your target audience you’ll probably have a couple of different “buckets” of people. You may have one group of people that are motivated by one thing and a second group that’s motivated by another thing entirely.

For instance, one of my clients is an online fitness coach and we discovered by asking and listening that there were four entirely different buckets of customers:

  • Bucket A: want a fun, quick workout with amazing results
  • Bucket B: want a safe workout that prevents injuries and pain
  • Bucket C: want to stop taking medications for blood pressure and diabetes
  • Bucket D: want a complete system of fitness and nutrition that’s done for them, where they don’t have to think

See how different people can have completely different pain points? People in Bucket A aren’t thinking about safety or even medications, they just want a fun workout. So blogging about blood pressure isn’t really going to capture their attention.

If you want, you can download this Blog Post Checklist, where I break down the blog post structure that will help more people find your posts on Google and social media:

14 Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before You Hit Publish | If you’re ready to grow your blog audience, but aren’t sure about the best ways take to market it, this post includes 14 tips for bloggers and entrepreneurs to help your content get found and shared by more people everywhere.

2) Create Content Themes

The point is that they’re all having different conversations. Part of refining your blog’s brand is to take those separate conversations and develop content themes around them, with each theme speaking directly to the people in each bucket.

3) Map Out 2 Months of Posts

Once you have those themes, create an editorial calendar around each one. Maybe what you do is focus on one theme each month, so you can take readers on a journey with your posts. This will also help you come up with ideas around each theme that are related to each other.

I’ve found that 2 month’s worth of content at a time is enough. You can go for three, but usually by the time you’ve written content for 6-8 weeks, you have even more ideas and your topics will shift a bit. Plus this way you’re not overwhelmed.

PART 2: OPTIMIZE YOUR BLOG

It’s amazing how a few simple tweaks to your blog can be the difference between a little traffic and tons of traffic. Optimizing your blog for search engines AND for people will help you stay on top of your game and make sure every post reaches as many people as possible.

Here’s what you can do:

4) Add Social Engagement Elements

When you’re new to blogging, the best thing you can do is to make yourself available to people so they know that you’re a real person who wants to interact with them.

Here are some ways to make it easy for people to get to know you and get in touch with you:

  • Add a contact page to your website with a form and let people know how to get in touch with you (email, phone, social profiles)
  • Add share buttons at the beginning or end of your post and make your images shareable too. For more on this, check out this post.
  • Add comments to your blog so you can start to build a relationship with your readers. Make it easy for them to leave their thoughts and opinions, and then respond to their comments to show them that you care about what they think.

5) Make it SEO-Friendly

You know you have great content on your blog. But beyond posting it to your social sites, it kind of seems like you’re the only one reading it, am I right?

This is where SEO comes in.

I know that keyword research and SEO seem overwhelming, but don’t let that stop you from giving your post a winning chance of getting found when people type in important terms related to it.

Here are some ways to make it easy for search engines to find your site:

  • Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find popular keywords that don’t have a ton of competition. This just means you want a lot of monthly searches for the keyword with few competitors trying to rank for it. This will give you the best chance of ranking for that keyword.
  • Install the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress and add the keyword to your page title, description, subheadings, and a few times in the copy (it will red flag anything else to do)
  • Add a featured image and other images to your post. Include the keyword in the name and in the alt text (make the names slightly different)
  • Make it as long as you can. The reason is that Google sees longer posts as a signal of relevance, plus you have more room to weave in your keyword.

I recommend writing your post first, and then going back and adding your target keyword later. This way you can keep a flow going with your writing and it will sound more organic and authentic instead of sounding like you’re forcing it.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Bloggers + Entrepreneurs

PART 3: DEVELOPING THE CONTENT STRATEGY

6) Offer a Content Upgrade

It’s a great feeling to write an in-depth and valuable blog post. Especially when your topic is something that took you a long time to figure out. You just know that your readers will benefit a lot from it and that following your tips is going to save them a lot of time and effort.

So why not let them download the post?

You can actually make this a part of your content strategy, where every time you write a detailed post, you copy it into Word and save it as a PDF. You don’t need a fancy design or anything more than a checklist or cheat sheet.

Include a link to it in your post with a simple call to action like, “Download this post as a PDF”.

Your readers get a perk because they have a resource they can reference when they need it, and you get a perk because you collect their contact info in exchange for the download.

7) Provide Real Value

I mentioned earlier that longer posts will help you rank higher in search engines, and there’s actually a way to control this even more.

That’s by creating epic content. I don’t really like this term, because it just kind of makes me scrunch my nose and go, “huh?” It also takes the focus away from what it really means, which is to create valuable content.

So your next questions are probably “What does valuable content really mean?“, and “How do I create it?

Here’s a quick checklist that should help:

  • More detailed. Make it an undeniable and in-depth resource that people can’t do without.
  • Better. Research trending content around your keyword, find the gaps in what’s already out there, and then improve upon it.
  • Longer. Long-form content isn’t really the end goal here. Just know that you can’t get away with 500-word posts any more. Google (and your readers) want long comprehensive posts.
  • Be useful. I’m not talking a little useful. I’m talking life-changing useful. Solve a problem, help people save money, save time, or make something easy to do. Give them so much value that they can’t imagine not reading your content.
  • Unique. Your experiences are what separate you from other bloggers, so make sure people feel you in the post. They’re looking to you to interpret information, not just present it. Bottom line, be a real person having real conversations.

8) Extend Conversations Into Future Posts

You put a lot of time into writing your blog post, so why not track how well it performs across your social networks?

Most of the scheduling automation tools mentioned earlier will provide analytics where you can see which of your posts are popular across each network. Most social media platforms provide this data too.

Keeping an eye on performance will help elevate your social media marketing because you can:

  • Discover trends across your social networks
  • Come up with future blog posts
  • Know which posts aren’t as popular so you can focus your time on better ones.

There are several other ways you can track conversations that your audience is having online, including Reddit, forums around your topics, and comments on your actual blog posts.

If you track your social media analytics plus these other discussions that are happening online, you can spot questions and problems that keep coming up for people. Leverage that information to write your next blog post or for your editorial calendar.

9) Repurpose your Content

You accomplished so much by writing your blog post, and now you’re probably thinking “How can I reach even more people with it?”

That’s where repurposing comes in.

Repurposing your blog post just means packaging it up differently for a new medium and user, such as a YouTube video or an infographic.

Repurposing gives you a chance to have an even greater impact on  your readers, so long as you don’t overdo it. Not every post is a good candidate. You want to add another level of value and not just duplicate your content. Make sure people will experience something new.

When you upload a video or create a podcast, add a link back to your post for even more traffic to your site.

If you want to get massive traffic to your posts, I created a blog promo cheat sheet to help you plan what you need to share, and when, so that your legendary content gets found by people ev’rywhere on social media. 

Click the image below to download your blog promo planner.

Want to get more traffic to your blog posts from social media? Use this blog promo planner and start turning each post into different types of content you can share on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

PART 4: DEVELOPING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

You have engaging and easy-to-read blog posts that are ready to be shared across social media.

To get your content on social media where people are talking about it and to get people interacting with your posts, follow these tips.

10) Create Profiles Everywhere

You’re probably thinking Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and maybe LinkedIn when I say that. The truth is that there are so many sites out there and if you really want to leverage social media for traffic, you should consider creating a presence on other ones too.

Besides the obvious ones, here are some other places to create profiles:

11) Choose a Few Channels And Dig In

Now that you have a presence of all of these channels, it’s time to really dig in, right?

Hmmm, maybe not so fast.

Building a following on social media takes time, and the last thing you want to do is to try to be everywhere at the same time. It’s one thing to share your posts everywhere (Reddit, BizSugar and others mentioned earlier), and another thing to create a community on each one.

Focus on two or three channels where your customers show up, and then commit to showing up regularly there too.

For example, if your target audience is women, Pinterest and Instagram may be a good place for you. If you’re a web-based business, Twitter and Facebook may work well, and if you sell to professionals, try LinkedIn or Google+.

If you want some insight into each channel, BuzzSumo is a great tool where you can see the most popular content around your keyword, sorted by platform. It’s also a great way to get future blog ideas!

12) Promote Your Content

Now you’ve got all the right elements to your post to get more eyes on it, but still that’s only half the battle. You have to hustle your posts if you want to see a real bump in traffic.

Right after you publish your post, follow this sequence to share it:

  • Pinterest
  • Google+ personal profile
  • Twitter personal profile
  • Facebook personal profile
  • Facebook Groups (if any)
  • LinkedIn
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Other Twitter profiles
  • Facebook Page
  • Google+Page
  • LinkedIn Company Page
  • The other sites I mentioned (Reddit, BizSugar, etc)
  • Instagram

Related: 32 Insanely Easy Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic for Free

13) Automate Your Posts

After you share your post the first time, why not use social media tools to get even more exposure and reach even more people? With so much content out there, you’ll want to post it a few times beyond the initial share to get the most eyes on it.

You can schedule additional shares, pins and tweets to go out throughout the week, and even a month or two months later. This way you’re constantly sharing a mix of fresh and older content so people have a good chance of seeing it.

These sites will help you schedule your posts on popular social media sites and pick the days/times you want to share them:

  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • SocialOomph
  • Meet Edgar

While you’re at it, why not use these tools to share other people’s content too? It will help you build up a social following and help you round out your overall content strategy.

Oh, and if you’re on a tight budget or just don’t want to pay monthly fees to automate social media, there’s a brilliant way to do virtually the same thing using IFTTT and Google Calendar, absolutely free! You money-saver, you!

14) Know The Best Time to Share

Timing when you share your posts around when people are most active will help you get as many eyes on it as possible.

For example, Twitter users are more active in the afternoon, Google+ users generally prefer the morning, and Facebook and Pinterest users are all about the weekends.

Test each site and then use the social automation tools mentioned earlier to time your shares perfectly and get a leg up on your competition.

Related: Why You Need a Social Media Strategy and How to Create One That Works

15) Build a Following

The big thing about building a following is that you can become an influencer, just like the influencers you like and follow. “Influencer” just means that you have a big enough following where you don’t need other forms of traffic like SEO and paid media.

For example, the banking firm Goldman Sachs has such a huge fan base that it now relies solely on its own social platforms for things like press releases and updates.

The key is that when you have a following, you have your own traffic source. Pretty powerful stuff, huh?

Start by following other people in your niche. Many of them will follow you back. On sites like Facebook, you’ll probably need paid ads to promote your content and grow your following that way.

16) Connect With Influencers

A great way to start building your following is simply by following expert bloggers or “influencers” in your niche. Some of them may follow you back and even help boost the traffic and social shares to your blog.

You can also learn a lot from them by seeing how they use social media to their advantage, what types of posts they share and which ones get the most engagement. Even just seeing how frequently and at what times they post will give you an idea of how often you need to share content.

Bonus if you mention an influencer in your actual blog post and then tag them with a link to your post. Who knows? They may share it with their followers too.

Just be careful not to spam timelines. You need to have the appropriate context to tag them.

For instance, if you just briefly mention them and then tag them, this would not be inappropriate. Make sure it really relates to your post and is something substantial, like if you wrote about them extensively or if you know it’s something they would want to read. If this is the case, you can go ahead and tag or @mention their name.

 

14 Things You Should Do to Every Blog Post Before You Hit Publish | If you’re ready to grow your blog audience, but aren’t sure about the best ways take to market it, this post includes 14 tips for bloggers and entrepreneurs to help your content get found and shared by more people everywhere.
by
7-Day Social Media Plan | Want to sell your products and make money with your blog? First, you need to get visible! This post includes a weekly social media marketing plan to drive massive traffic. Click through to see all the steps and download the social media planner!
Want to sell your products and make money with your blog? First, you need to build your audience and get traffic! This post includes weekly blog tasks plus a downloadable social media marketing plan template. Click through to get the social media plan template!
7-Day Social Media Plan | This post includes a 7-day social media planner plus social media marketing template so you know exactly what to do to get massive exposure and traffic.

A complete 7-day social media marketing plan plus a monthly social media and blog planner printable! social media tips for business, social media calendar, social media tips #socialmedia #bloggingtips

Need a social media planner to cover the entire week?

This is part #2 of the Build Your Audience + Traffic series, where we’re drilling down on how to drive traffic to your content and convert visitors into subscribers.

In part #1, we talked about fundamental ways to increase traffic and build your audience. We uncovered how important it is to really, really know your target audience, and to set monthly goals so that you know what to aim for.

We also touched on the tasks involved with putting your content out there like you mean business…like you want people to find it.

Today, let’s dive into the HOW.

Specifically:

How can you promote your content effectively on social media?
What things should you be doing each week, and in what order, to maximize your reach?

Time for a 7-day social media plan, yo. What I really want is for you to have a blogging workflow that yields amazing results for all your hard work.

Here are the weekly tasks I’m covering in this post:

  • Sunday: Research blog topics
  • Monday: Write your post
  • Tuesday: SEO your post
  • Wednesday: Create images
  • Thursday: Promote on social media
  • Friday: Repurpose for other platforms
  • Saturday: Add to schedulers
  • Rinse + repeat 🙂

Ready for it? Let’s dig in.

Bonus: I created this 7-day social media plan template to help put what you learn into action.

social media strategy template

ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF EVERY MONTH

1) Research blog topics

To get the most benefit from this social media plan, you need to stick to a regular blogging schedule. One of the best ways to do that is to have your topics ready to go, so that all you have to do is to start writing.

Remember the blog themes we talked about? On the first Sunday of every month, jot down blog ideas that support your themes. This extra effort upfront will save you loads of time plus give you valuable insight about your audience.

Here’s why:

  • Knowing what you’re going to cover ahead of time means less time struggling with what to write during the week.
  • Your content is going to speak to what your audience really needs vs what you think they need, which is priceless.
  • Researching content is about more than just blog ideas – you’ll see how people spin their blog titles too, which is a biggie for driving traffic.

Now that you know what you want to write, it’s time to create your blogging workflow.

Related: 3 Places to Find Your Next 30 Blog Ideas

MONDAY

2) Write the post

Try to write when you feel most productive and when you can block out time with no interruptions or distractions. What this looks like is no email, no calls, no texts. Time to shut out the world and focus here. Writing is a creative process and you need the mental space to be all in…

You can even use my Time Blocking Template to help protect your sacred writing time!

In terms of how much time to set aside, it depends on the length of your posts. I tend to write longer posts that take me about 5-6 hours. You may need more or less time and that’s perfectly ok.

What you can do, if you like, is to alternate between longer and shorter posts. The first week, maybe you write a longer post. Then the next week, you write a shorter one. Whatever you do, please don’t write less than 1000 words! We want to provide real value for our readers, PLUS give our work a fighting chance to rank on Google.

Good so far?

Oops…almost forgot one thing:

Make sure you format your posts with subheadings and bullet points so they’re easy to read. Use short sentences and even shorter words, e.g. hard vs difficult. You want that when people scan your posts, they get what you’re saying without having to work for it.

You’re doing great! Next, let’s get a jump on Tuesday’s tasks.

TUESDAY

3) Optimize for search engines

Tuesday is the perfect day to choose your target keyword and add it to your content, tags, and blog title. This way you have a final title for blog and social media images, which we’re going to create on Tuesday too, right after we sprinkle some SEO magic on it.

The reason I recommend optimizing your post AFTER you write it, and not before, is because it’s so important to focus on Step #1 first. The only thing you should be thinking about when you’re writing is how to get your readers from point A to point Z.

Then, after that, we can get jiggy with SEO.

If you’re curious about how best to optimize your posts, this post includes an SEO blog checklist you can download to help you remember all the steps.

Before we move on to images, let’s look at how to select the perfect target keyword. We’ll need Google’s Keyword Planner for this.

I usually select “Search for new keywords related to a phrase, website or category”. Your results will look something like the image below. What you’re looking for are keywords related to your search term that have a decent search volume and low to medium competition.

 

How to use google keyword planner

Once you select your target keyword, follow the steps listed in the SEO blog checklist to add it to your post.

And just in case you have a hard time finding the keyword planner once you log in, it’s hiding out in the “Tools” menu.

4) Create blog and social media images

#2FORTUESDAY We’re doublin’ up on Tuesday, so right after you’re done with step #3, it’s time to create share images.

Canva is a great tool for this. You can create and save branded templates with your logo, colors, fonts, and other brand elements all in there, ready to go.

I like to take my images one step further and use Photoshop. If you’re curious about Photoshop, this tutorial and social media template will help you get started.

Ok, so now you’re probably thinking What social media sites do I need images for, and what size should they be?

I’ve got all of that covered for you right here!

WEDNESDAY

5) Create a content upgrade

High five! We’re jammin’ and it’s only Wednesday. Let’s keep at it.

Content upgrades are extra freebies…things like checklists, cheat sheets, eBooks, worksheets, and templates…that extend on your post with even more value. They’re optional, meaning that you don’t have to create one in order to publish your post and promote it.

Hmm…or do you?

Nope. Changed my mind. You need ’em.

The reason is that this is the Blog Audience + Traffic series. What that means is that we’re building a community…our crew, our tribe. To do that, we need a way to stay in touch with the people who visit our site. The last thing we want is to throw a slammin’ blog party and then have people peace out before the fun starts.

Also, if you remember from part #1 of this series, freebies are a huge piece of our content funnel.

To give you an example of this, I’ve built my list to 4K in the last 3-1/2 months with nothing more than freebies. We’re talking no guest posts, ads, webinars, landing pages…none of that noise! Just straight up opt-in forms and freebies.

Can you see how powerful they are?

Now, I get that freebies take a lot of time to make, so believe me, I’m not recommending that you include one with every post.

Instead, you can alternate each week, the same way we’re alternating between longer and shorter posts (Monday, above). So one week you add a freebie, the next week you skip it, and so on.

If you’re wondering how to create your freebie, Pages, Word, Google Docs, and Canva or all good choices. I’ve been using InDesign forever so that’s what I prefer. Oh, and if you’re interested in learning how to create eBooks with InDesign, please let me know in the comments!

THURSDAY

6) Add the upgrade to your post

This part sounds simple, right? It actually takes a few more steps than you might think. What you’re doing is creating a 2-step opt-in form, where an image or a link triggers a pop-up. So let’s break that down, k?

First, there’s the link or image

I’ve found that a graphic button with a call to action like “Click here to download” works better than a text link. Images grab people’s attention more than links, especially if you’re following the blog SEO checklist and interlinking posts for search engines. All of those links can get lost after a while.

But a big, bold, graphic button? No one’s glazing over that, friend! The other thing to include in your button is an image of your worksheet or checklist. You want to let people see how helpful your freebie is, type thing.

Ok, so what tools should you use?

Great question! See those tools you used on Tuesday to create blog + social media images? You can use the same ones for your call to action button.

Next up, the opt in form

This is the form that pops-up when someone clicks on the button.

I use Thrive Leads because I just loove it so much, but you can use OptinMonster, Leadpages, or SumoMe too. Just remember to connect the form to MailChimp, ConvertKit or any email platform you currently use.

Finally! Write a delivery email

We need a way to send the freebie to new subscribers.

What that looks like is when someone signs up for your freebie, they get a “tag” that triggers an email sequence  (which is just a fancy way of saying “send more than one email”). Here’s an example of a delivery sequence:

  • Your first email will say something like “Thanks so much! Here’s your download.”
  • Then you follow-up a few days later with a reminder “How’s it going with the freebie? If you haven’t downloaded it yet, here’s the link again.”
  • The idea is to schedule these emails ahead of time, so it’s all on autopilot.

Ok, I know you’re probably thinking This is so much stuff, and it all sounds pretty techie!

I hear ya! There are a lot of steps here, which is why I like to think of Thursdays as #TECHTHURSDAY. Setting all of this up definitely takes a different part of your brain than writing or even creating images.

Remember too that once you set up your first sequence, you can duplicate it for the next one. And you only have to connect your service once to the form. Then you’re good to go.

Like anything else, the more freebies you create and add to your posts, the faster it will go. This is another one of those things where, if you hang in there with it, your investment will pay off later on as your audience and community grow and grow.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking If this is a social media plan, why are we spending so much time on blogging tips? What about tips for social media?

I hear ya! Everything we’ve covered so far is about blogging and creating content.

The reason is because content is the glue that makes social media so sticky. You need to focus on blogging from Monday through Thursday so that you have original content to share. That’s where the traffic part comes in! If you hang in there, over the next few days we’ll turn our attention to sharing and promotion. Everything will come together into a bangin’ social media plan soon. Pinky swear.

Real quick before we move on, there’s one more thing to do:

Check your Google Analytics at least once a month. What you’re looking for are the top 5-10 posts that are most popular. These are the ones with serious muscle, the ones driving the most traffic to your site. Make sure you go back and add a freebie to each of these if you haven’t already.

Next up: Time to pounce on social media!

FRIDAY

7) Publish and promote

#TGIF Almost there…just a few days left. You can do this…

First, publish your post

Whatever you do, please proofread your post before you publish it! I’m terrible at this… I’m always finding grammatical errors and typos in my posts months after they go live. Ugh. Sooo frustrating…and the longer the post, the more typos.

Do me one better here, friend. Give your post a once-over before you publish it.

Next, promote your post

This is the most important thing to do next, and I’m going to show you how to do it so that you get maximum visibility and traffic. Let’s look at the blog promotion tasks in 3 stages, done over the next 3 days:

  1. Share on social media, bookmarking sites, and content communities
  2. Turn your post into other types of content to reach even more people
  3. Create and schedule additional updates, tweets, and pins

Some experts, like Derek Halpern, recommend applying the 80/20 rule to blog promotion. This means that you spend 80% of your time promoting, and 20% writing. Honestly, I think my split is more like 100/100 🙂

Can you see why Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are such important days?

Now you’re probably thinking How the heck am I going to do all of this without pulling my hair out?

I get it, I really do! It took me months to figure out a workflow that didn’t leave me feeling flustered. This is another one of those things where you need to hang in there! It’s going to get so much easier as you move through it. First of all, the weekly blogging plan we’re covering today will help you keep a consistent schedule, where you’re doing the same tasks, on the same days, each week.

And once you run through the steps yourself and nail down your best workflow, it’ll be easy to pass the promotion tasks off to a virtual assistant. You will get your weekend back later on. Pinky swear.

 

Here’s the template I use to share my blog posts:

content marketing strategy

You can download the blog promotion worksheet to share your blog posts too.
social media planning calendar

Ok, with that being said, Friday is all about sharing on social media and bookmarking sites.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • And so many others…

Too much to list in this post… For the full list of sites, I recommend downloading the blog promo worksheet above.

SATURDAY

Repurpose your post

Repurposing your post is a techie way of saying turn it into something else, like a video, quick tip, Slideshare, or podcast. For our purposes today, let’s just focus on turning the post into:

  • A 1-2 minute video
  • Second Pinterest pin
  • Quick tip graphic
  • More tweets and updates

This is a much shorter list, and a lot easier to get your head around, right? Another way to think of it is that at the end of the week you’re going to have these assets for your post:

  • The post itself
  • A video
  • A quick tip graphic

I know that this sounds like a lot!

But really, it goes much quicker than you think. What you can do is use the same quick tip for your graphic and your video. And if you think about it, all you’re really doing is taking what you’ve already “scripted”, selecting a few highlights from it, and turning them into something new. Plus, in my experience, recording video takes sooo much less time than writing a post.

For the video

You can use whatever you have available right now. Let’s not get hung up on techie recording gear, k? Your iPhone or webcam is the perfect starting place. The point here is to simply get into the habit of turning your posts into videos.

Once you’re recording video on the regular, I recommend the Blue Yeti mic to help amplify your audio.

To record the video itself, I started out with QuickTime and now use ScreenFlow, mainly because of the editing features. And my brother has been bangin’ out amazing videos using Camtasia on his PC. All of these are good choices, in my book.

For the quick tip graphic

You got it. Same tools from Tuesday, step #4.

Additional tweets and updates

For each post, I write 15 additional tweets, and 3-4 updates for Facebook and LinkedIn, all linking to the post.

Here’s what those look like:

social media marketing plan template - TwitterI should point out that these tweets and updates are all slightly different. What you don’t want to do is to repeat the same tweet over and over again!

In the next step, we’ll schedule these tweets (plus our new content + graphics) to be shared over the next week. This will give us an initial spike in blog traffic.

Related: How to Promote Your Blog Posts Effectively on Social Media

SUNDAY

Schedule updates, tweets, and pins

Woo! You’re really hangin’ in there!

This (almost) last step is actually pretty easy. All we need to do is to queue up our content for sharing.

Can you see how all of your hard work is paying off here? You have more content to share on more platforms, which means more people seeing your post.

More types of content = more platforms = a broader audience.

This is why I love social media scheduling tools so much! Even though you’re building your following on just 1-2 social media sites (as I mention in this post), these tools allow you to “set it and forget it” on the others, so to speak. That’s a win-win, no?

If you’re curious, in this post I share my favorite scheduling tools.

THROUGHOUT THE WEEK

Share to Facebook group promo threads

Almost there! One last thing…

If we’re really going to nail this blog and social media plan, we can’t forget Facebook groups, which can leave your head spinning if you don’t have a system in place.

Hmm…why is that?

I’ve been thinking about this, and the answer is that it really comes down to each group having its own rules, daily prompts, and promo days. The schedules are different enough that it makes them hard to track. You can feel like a scrambled egg trying to keep up with which group has a promo thread each day.

That said, FB is my #2 source of traffic, and I’m sure it must be because of groups. It’s got to be. I only have 400 or so fans. 🙂

So how do you promote your posts through Facebook Groups?

Great question! First of all, if you’re not in groups already, I would spend a few days looking for groups in your niche, reading through their descriptions, checking their rules, and so on.

What you’re looking for are groups with high engagement that have “Promo Wednesdays” type thing, where you can share this week’s post. Even if the group doesn’t allow promotions, you can usually include your link in a thread comment. Of course, you should check the group rules first.

Once you’re in a few groups, I recommend using a spreadsheet to keep track of each group’s promo days. From there, all you need to do is schedule Facebook posts in those threads (aka remember to share on those days).

If you’re curious, here’s what my Facebook promo schedule looks like:

schedule Facebook posts - social media planSo there you have it! If you follow these steps every week, you will start doubling and tripling your blog traffic and building a huge audience. Here’s the 7-day social media planning template again so you can get started:

social media strategy template
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