Last Updated May 1st, 2018

20 Quick Ways to Promote Your Online Business

20 Quick Ways to Promote Your Online Business

Promotion is one of those things I’m not as good about as I should be. It’s too easy to think of it as something that takes a lot of time, but it doesn’t have to. Some promotional efforts take only a few minutes a day. It’s vital to promote your online business regularly.

1. Use Pinterest

Many bloggers and website owners have found that Pinterest can drive great traffic if used consistently. Take the time to make pinnable images for every post. Pinterest suggests images be 600×900 pixels, or a 2:3 size ratio, up to 600×1260 pixels or a 1:2.1 size ratio. They also say square images are acceptable, although everyone I’ve seen post about it finds that they don’t get great results from square images, and prefer longer ones.

Pinterest also encourages you to have multiple pinnable images for each post.This gives you several chances to attract people’s attention. Spread these images out – don’t pin them all to the same board at the same time. There are a lot of places to find great free images if you don’t want to make your own, as well as free image editing tools so that you can customize them.

Use Tailwind to schedule your pins across all of your appropriate boards. This will save you a ton of time.

2. Post on Your Facebook Page

Facebook is another easy choice. I suggest doing more than just adding the link to your post – have something to say, at least the title of the post. Some people find that the get better results without the preview of your post showing beneath it, while others say it’s better to post something and then put the link in the comment. The second one is harder on people using mobile platforms, who don’t see the link right away, however.

Facebook is always changing how much exposure your posts to your page will get, making them something of a pain to use.

3. Share on Twitter

A few words on what it’s about, a link, and you have a tweet ready to go. Make it interesting – you know how fast things move on Twitter. Remember to use appropriate hashtags. You can use Hootsuite to schedule your tweets to make this easier.

Twitter has recently become picky about sharing the same post over again on their platform, even across multiple accounts that you own. If you share your posts more than once, make sure that you change up what you say about it.

4. Have A Contest

People love contests. Figure out what you can offer as a prize, and you can have a contest on your site. Most websites do some sort of sweepstakes, where people subscribe to a newsletter or follow the site on social media to get entries.

Make sure you know the laws about contests in your area. This will vary from place to place. You don’t want to get into legal trouble when you’re just trying to promote your online business.

5. Promote Old Posts

Promote some of your older posts on your preferred social networks. You don’t have to stick to your most recent work, after all. Make sure you change what you say about it, try new images, and generally test things to see what gets you the best results. Once again, use Hootsuite so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time promoting old posts – you can automate a lot of it with tools like Hootsuite.

6. Comment on a Relevant Blog

Keep your comment relevant to the subject at hand and make it interesting. “Great post” isn’t going to drive many people to click on your site. It’s best to stick to your real name rather than keywords in the Name section of the comment form too – some blogs will delete your comment if you do the keyword thing. No extra links in your comment unless they’re really relevant and you know the blog owner won’t mind.

This can also help you develop a relationship with other bloggers in your niche. If you want to do guest posting, this is a huge help. It also improves the chances that other bloggers will choose to link to your blog as a resource in their own posts.

7. Put a Signature in Your Emails

Most email platforms will allow you to have a signature automatically added to all your emails. Take advantage of that. You can include your name, URL, and relevant social media profiles. Think about what you most want to get in front of the people you’re contacting.

8. Participate in a Relevant Forum

This can be tricky, as not all forums will allow you to have a signature line with a link. Watch those rules when you join forums, and be very careful about promoting your site outside your signature. Also make sure that you aren’t getting sucked into spending an excessive amount of time on the forum, especially if you end up reading more than participating. As with blog commenting, keep it relevant and not to promotional. Most people aren’t on the forum to read an ad from you, and excessive advertising is one of the quickest ways to get banned on a forum.

9. Respond to People

Whether you’re replying to emails, blog comments, tweets aimed at you, Facebook comments, etc., take a little time to respond to people who have contacted you. People remember things like that.

10. Write an Email Template

Got some questions you receive regularly by email? Make a template for your standard answer. This is a huge timesaver when going through your emails, plus you can really think out what your best answer is beforehand.

I have several templates I use. They have to be updated occasionally, but it’s so nice to have an easy way to answer common questions, rather than having to look up the link to information I’ve shared many times before.

11. Review Your Analytics

While this doesn’t directly impact your website promotion, it can give you ideas for posts that are getting traffic, and the sites that send it. Knowing which of your efforts have been most effective is vital.

12. Do Some Keyword Research

While it’s a good idea to do keyword research when writing blog posts, it’s helpful to do it in general too. I find some good ideas just by really digging into different keywords I’ve considered.

One of my current favorites is Answer the Public. When you put in a keyword, it will come up with all kinds of queries people have made on that subject. I like to download the CSV of the information and review it that way. Then I have it on hand the next time I want to use that keyword.

13. Look For Ways to Interlink Your Content

Linking within your site to your own content gives visitors the excuse to keep looking around your site. Make it easy for them by linking relevant posts and pages to each other.

The best way to do this is taking a little time to find relevant posts every time you write a new one. Sometimes you will also find that an older post should be linked to a new one. Think about your old posts as you write, and drop in the appropriate links.

14. Link to Other Relevant Websites

Want to be a great resource? Link to other great resources. Not only are you giving your visitors more of what you’re looking for, other site owners will see you linking to them and possibly driving traffic to them, and may return the favor.

15. Find Places to Guest Post

Writing a quality guest post should take more than a few minutes, but doing a search for places to consider can be done quickly. Search for sites in your niche that allow others to write for them. Read through the qualifications, subscribe to the RSS feed of the site or otherwise make sure you can keep up on what’s getting posted. I keep a list of sites to consider.

Do not guest post on low quality websites! This can damage your search engine rankings. Go for the best websites you can get to publish your posts. This will take patience, as some sites take several weeks or even a few months to tell you if they’ve accepted your posts.

16. Answer Questions on Q&A Sites

Sites such as Quora can be excellent for promoting your site – just don’t overdo it. Be relevant, especially when you include links to your own stuff in your answers, don’t be afraid to link to things you don’t own if they’re the right resource, and remember that you don’t have to include a link every time. You don’t get the best attention on Q&A sites by answering a lot of questions – you get it by providing the best answers.

17. Make Videos

YouTube and other video services are great for promoting your business. You probably don’t want to be purely promotional – people prefer to be entertained or informed. If what you’re saying can be boiled down to “my business is so great, my business is so great,” you won’t get many views of your videos.

It’s amazing how well some people do with videos. There are people making significant money unboxing products, playing video games, or playing with toys. I’m often amazed by what my kids like to watch on YouTube, and by how much some of these people earn with their videos.

18. Go Live

Many marketers are getting great results by using Facebook Live. People who are online right at that time can watch you and interact with you. You can answer questions directly in your video as they come up, or have someone type in answers for you.

Obviously, you must be well prepared to go live on video. I would suggest that you rehearse whenever possible. Going live is likely to be easier if you have recorded videos in the past. It’s much the same, except you can’t edit out your mistakes.

19. Make a Magnet For Your Car

A magnet with some information about your business attached to your car can help you promote your online business. Keep it quick and simple – no one has time to read a long ad while driving.

20. Celebrate an Unusual Holiday

There are “days” and “months for just about anything. April, for example, is National Humor Month, International Guitar Month, Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, Mathematics Awareness Month, National Poetry Month, National Pecan Month, National Welding Month, Records and Information Management Month, Stress Awareness Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and many more. Today is Mother Goose Day, as well as May Day. Search for unusual holidays and see what comes up.

For that matter, you can make your own pretend holiday. It won’t be anything official to anyone else, but it could give you something fun to celebrate on your site each year. Make it fun enough, and people might start talking. But if you choose something like “My *$&#@$!#* Computer Crashed Day,” try not to repeat it next year.

How do you like to promote your online business? Are there any interesting promotion tactics you have tried that have worked?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 30th, 2018

How Can You Work At Home As A Transcriptionist?

How Can You Work At Home As A Transcriptionist?

What do you think of when you consider working at home as a transcriptionist? When many people think about doing transcription at home, medical transcription is the first to come to mind. It’s a great job but requires serious training beforehand. However, there are other possibilities for people who want to work at home as a transcriptionist.

No matter the kind transcription, many jobs require some training. This will help you understand formatting and practice transcribing. This is far more challenging than just typing what you hear, even when you are typing verbatim.

The challenge with transcription jobs is that most companies will want experience. It’s a tough job and if you want to work at home, you aren’t directly supervised. It’s tough for a company to trust someone who hasn’t done the job before.

What Is It Like To Work At Home As A Transcriptionist?

Working as a transcriptionist has some advantages. Many jobs have flexible hours. In most cases you will be transcribing recorded dictation or conversations. The amount of background noise you tolerate is a personal preference. Most transcriptionists prefer to keep the noise to a minimum so that their work is heard more clearly.

All transcription jobs require tremendous accuracy. Expectations for accuracy are often around 98.5%. To be sufficiently accurate you need to develop an ear for transcription, which takes practice. It’s amazing how much better and faster you can work once you have done this.

A transcriptionist needs great typing skills. It is not uncommon to see jobs require a minimum typing speed of 80 wpm. Of course, this is a skill you can develop on your own and there are plenty of online tests you can take to show your skills.

Your English skills must be excellent to be any kind of transcriptionist. This includes grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary. Some kinds of transcription will require specialized vocabulary. You must also be comfortable with the required technology, such as word processing software.

Many community colleges have classes you can take to learn basic transcription, medical transcription, or legal transcription. You can also take online courses. The advantage to online courses is that they most resemble your hoped for working conditions. Not everyone can cope with the lack of face to face interaction in online courses. You’ll have the same issue when you work at home, however, so this is good practice.

What Equipment Do You Need To Work At Home As A Transcriptionist?

Your equipment needs are fairly minimal. You probably already have a computer. Most companies prefer high speed internet access. A part of the job will be downloading the sound files and uploading your finished product, making high speed internet vital.

You will want a foot pedal to control the dictation. Some companies will provide this while others will expect you to provide your own. Amazon has a great selection of transcription foot pedals. Choose wisely – it has to work with your software. Most are pretty flexible, but read the description and reviews to make sure you have the right one.

You will also probably enjoy noise canceling headphones… something to make the sounds around you a little less distracting. These are generally very easy to find. You don’t need top of the line headphones, but something to cut out at least some background noise can be helpful. Any headphones that will work with your computer will do the job if you don’t care about blocking background noise.

Medical Transcription

I got my start working at home as a medical transcriptionist. The industry has changed a lot since my time, but the medical transcription industry is still worth considering.

You absolutely must get training to be a medical transcriptionist. Career Step is the school I recommend for this. Their training is good enough that some employers will accept it in lieu of experience, which is a huge help in landing that first job.

As you gain experience as a medical transcriptionist, you can go into different specialties. It may be useful to get certification through AHDI as well, although many jobs do not require it. Some certifications require a certain amount of experience before you can test for them.

Electronic medical records have greatly changed this job. Many medical transcriptionists aren’t happy about that. Some companies still use traditional medical transcriptionists, but others use medical transcription editors, which means you are editing transcriptions done by voice recognition software. Be aware of these challenges before you take any training for this career.

Legal Transcription

Legal transcription is less known as a work at home job, but there are positions out there. You’re best off going for legal transcription if you have at least some legal background already. This will make you more comfortable with the terminology.

If you’re considering legal transcription as a career, try this free legal transcription mini course first. This will give you a taste of what to expect before you spend anything.

Legal transcription is similar to the job of a scopist, but it’s not quite the same thing. Some places may use the term interchangeably, which can make things confusing.

Some legal transcription positions will require certification from a state or national board, such as AAERT or NCRA.

General Transcription

General transcription is an excellent work at home job. Pay is generally based on production. This means you may be able to improve your pay by improving the speed of your work. The availability of work may limit your income, however. This can be enjoyable yet sometimes frustrating work.

While training in general transcription may not be specifically required, it is an excellent idea to get some. Transcribe Anywhere has a good course, including a free mini course to introduce you to what’s really involved in general transcription. Getting trained takes some money and time, but should get you off to a better start as a general transcriptionist.

General transcriptionists transcribe many kinds of things. Some transcribe television shows. Others transcribe interviews. Still others transcribe business meetings, and the list goes on.

With all these options, it may be difficult to decide which kind of transcription jobs most suit you. Consider what interests you as well as any work experience you have already. Pick the kind of transcription that best suits you, so that when you work at home as a transcriptionist, the job is interesting to you.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 26th, 2018

Is It Time To Update Your Education?

Is It Time To Update Your Education?

One thing every stay at home mom should think about is what she’s going to do when the kids get older. Are you still going to be a stay at home mom or is it back to work? Or maybe it’s time to update your education.

For many these days, the hope is to continue on in a home business. That’s what I did when my youngest hit school age. I love what I do and can’t picture changing things all that drastically.

Others would rather go back to work. You have your retirement to think of, and unless your husband is earning very good money, it’s going to be hard to fund that for both of you if you never work again.

While you’re a stay at home parent is a great time to think about improving and updating your education. It’s not that you have tons of free time; we all know kids will take up as much time as you can spare, and then some. But it’s a great time to be thinking about where you would like your career to go, and get the education to make it happen.

Is A Degree Necessary?

That depends on you and what you want to do in the future. It might be. It might not be.

If you’re planning on following your dream career when your children are a bit older, you don’t want your skills to be outdated. Pursuing a degree or certification can help you reach that goal. Keeping up with the literature on your area and networking with people who are currently working in your industry can help as well.

The things you need to do will strongly depend on what it is you want to do.

For example, before I discovered my love of running an online business, I had been planning on getting my Master’s degree in instructional design. I took some courses in it when I was in college, and it was fascinating to me. Not quite so much now, though. In some ways, however, it’s not that far off from what I do now.

An advanced degree or certification is important to that field. If I ever want to go into it, I would need to return to school to have a shot at getting a job in that area within a reasonable time frame.

Not all careers need a degree, of course. Sometimes you can gain experience on the job; other times you may need a few classes that you take on your own to qualify, but not a full degree. Take some time to figure out what’s best for getting into the career you want. You can always continue to upgrade your education once you have your first job in your career.

Traditional College, Online College, Or Online Courses?

You can look into a traditional college in your area, but you may also want to look at online colleges or programs. They range from being a waste of money to being an excellent investment.

My daughter’s kindergarten teacher, for example, got her Masters degree from Western Governor’s University recently. At least one of her kids is going there as well, as I understand it. They’re quite happy with that program. Judging from online reviews, it’s definitely not for everyone. So long as you know what you’re getting yourself into and feel comfortable with it, you could do well there.

Some online programs can help you work at home. I did medical transcription from home for years. While that industry has changed quite a bit since I left it, there’s still demand for medical transcriptionists. Make sure the school’s program is updated for current needs and that it has a good record of placing people within the industry. I like Career Step. They offer more than just medical transcription or medical coding programs. Not all of their programs are for jobs you can do from home.

If you just need to update your skills, there are a lot of online courses you can get. Take a look at places such as Udemy and ed2go. You can learn a wide variety of skills for business, technology, marketing, and more. If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while raising your kids, taking a few courses to update your marketable skills is a great idea.

If you want to start a home business, you may just need to take some appropriate training from someone who has done it. Gina Horkey, for example, has found success as a virtual assistant, and her virtual assistant training course might be what you need to start your own virtual assistant business from home.

Yes, it’s going to take some time away from your family. That can’t be helped. But since you aren’t going to have to drive to school, and may even be able to decide the time at which you do your classwork, it can take away far less time than traditional classes in a college or technical school.

In some fields, there’s no replacement for hands on training. If that’s the case, you will have to go to a school in your area. Online just won’t give you the experience you need. You will need to seek out a program that will work with the arrangements you can make for your kids, whether that’s classes when your spouse can be home, when a family member can help out, when the kids are in school themselves, or when you can put them in daycare.

What About the Kids?

Even online courses can be hard to handle when you have kids. The time commitment on top of everything else you do can be challenging. What can you do to keep the kids out from underfoot while you update your education?

The first thing you should do is figure out when the kids are going to be an issue. If you have classes at particular times, that may be your biggest challenge, whether you attend classes elsewhere or at home. If the times are more flexible, as with self paced courses, it may be easier to make a schedule that works with your established routines.

A supportive spouse may be able to help you make the time to take courses without the kids. They can take a turn being in charge of the kids. This may take some work with children who are used to the stay at home mom or dad being the one they ask for EVERYTHING, but they can learn otherwise.

You may also need to consider childcare. This may include finding a paid sitter or daycare, or having friends or family help. If the kids are old enough to play with friends when you need to study and the friends’ parents don’t mind having them over a lot, you have a cheap way to get the kids out of the way.

Kids who are old enough may also enjoy the time learning to be more independent. It’s good for them. Have expectations for what they do while you study, as well as rules for when they can interrupt you.

It’s rather like working at home in many ways. You have to decide when you’re available and when you need to work on your education. Giving yourself a regular schedule will help, both in terms of completing your education and in giving the children a routine. It will help you have more productive workdays, so you can finish your studies more quickly.

Updating your education as a stay at home parent will require some sacrifices. It’s not an easy thing for many people to do. It will be worth it if you decide that it’s time to get back into your career, whether you work at home or elsewhere. A better career will mean so much to your job satisfaction and bring in income your family may need. The time spent now on education will be worth it later.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 23rd, 2018

The Disadvantages Of Flexible Work At Home

The Disadvantages Of Flexible Work At Home

Many people who want to work at home are looking for something flexible. They picture being able to grab the kids from school, hit the gym in the middle of the day, or meeting up with friends. The disadvantages of a flexible work at home job aren’t fully considered. This can lead to problems at work as reality sinks in.

The simple truth of the matter is that even flexible work at home jobs rarely give you complete freedom to work when you want. There will be online meetings scheduled, for example. You may need to coordinate with someone on a project. There will be days when your flexible schedule isn’t so flexible.

Employers that let you work at home with a flexible schedule will have the same requirements of you as those who insist upon a regular schedule. They’re just more relaxed about which hours of the day you get your work done.

Your Employer Isn’t The Biggest Challenge – You Are

The worst of the disadvantages of flexible work at home jobs have much more to do with the employee rather than the employer. To put it simply, it’s hard for many people to keep to an appropriate work routine without a regular schedule.

That’s all on you as a flexible work employee. If you can’t handle the work required without someone else telling you to work certain hours, the job will not work out for you. You must prepare for productive work each day.

A flexible work at home job isn’t like high school or college where you can try to get the whole project done the night before it’s due. It wasn’t a particularly good idea then, but it’s an even worse idea in your job. Most projects at work are far too complicated to be done so quickly.

This is why no matter how flexible the job is, you should give yourself a regular work schedule. Don’t take advantage of the flexibility by working different hours every day unless you have a reason to keep changing. If you don’t work fairly regular hours, it’s much too easy to work too few hours overall.

Employers Aren’t Entirely Off The Hook

Much as the employees create many of their own problems with flexible work at home jobs, many employers create problems as well. They may expect “flexible hours” to mean that employees are available, practically on-call, at any hour. If that wasn’t in the job description, it’s a problem.

A good employer understands that giving employees flexible hours to get their work done doesn’t mean the employees have no lives of their own. To the contrary, employees usually seek out flexible work hours so that they can live their lives while earning a living. Employers must be realistic about how many hours a week they expect employees to work, and how much needs to get done during those hours.

Other employers have difficulty trusting flexible work at home employees. How do they know you’re productive and not goofing off? They need to track what flexible employees are accomplishing so that they know things are going well.

Communication Challenges

All work at home jobs have some communication challenges. It can be difficult keeping everyone up to date when you aren’t talking face to face. Tools such as Slack make this much easier, but it doesn’t suit everyone. Combine that with the many kinds of work at home schedules, and it can be difficult to keep up with each other.

Flexible hours make this into an even bigger disadvantage for people who work at home. Scheduling online meetings that everyone can attend becomes more difficult. You also can’t rely on the person you need to communicate with being available right when you need them.

Good employers will have plenty of options for keeping in contact, no matter how flexible your hours may be. A part of your learning curve may be learning how to keep up with everyone using these tools. Communication within remote teams has improved so much in recent years, but not every employer takes full advantage of the possibilities.

Friends And Family

Your friends and family can create their own disadvantages to your work at home experience, especially if they know your hours are flexible. Many will mistake that for you being available to them at any time.

They might think you’re available to babysit their sick child so they can get to work, or watch for a delivery while they’re at work. You’re home all day – why can’t you help them? Don’t you care???

If you have a flexible work at home job, teach your friends and family that there are limits to that flexibility. You will need to set many of those restrictions yourself. It may take time to teach them to respect your work hours just as much as they would respect the work hours of someone working outside the home.

The Fun Distractions

When you work in an office, coworkers and coffee breaks are acceptable distractions, within reason. When you work at home, there are quite a few more distractions that most people wouldn’t dare pay attention to in the office. Sometimes these may seem like they’re perks of working at home, but they’re as likely to be disadvantages.

Some people like to binge favorite shows on Netflix or other services, for example. It’s easy to get into the habit of streaming a show while you work. What many people don’t realize is how much time they lose to watching their shows rather than focusing on their work.

Kids and pets are fun distractions as well. One of my cats loves to get on my lap if she’s cold. She also sits on my head and chair headrest if she’s playful. It’s pretty distracting sometimes, even when it’s fun. Kids bring in homework questions or just want company.

Have a plan to deal with these fun distractions. Take advantage of your flexible work at home job, for example, and schedule yourself around when the kids may need you.

When you decide to work at a flexible work at home job, make sure that you’re ready to deal with the advantages and the disadvantages, especially the ones you have control over. If you aren’t committed to making the time for your work, the job won’t be a good match for you.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 18th, 2018

How To Use Pinterest To Market Your Blog Or Business

How To Use Pinterest To Market Your Blog Or Business

How hard have you tried to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog or business? It seems like a lot of people are having amazing success with it, but maybe it isn’t going that well for you. It’s incredibly frustrating. You’d love to use Pinterest to market your blog or business. What does it take?

The first thing I will warn you against is an excessive focus on going viral. If your content is good, and your pins are attractive, viral pins will come in their own time, so long as you’re also working on your Pinterest marketing.

Besides, the traffic from viral pins can peak suddenly, then disappear. You want consistency. You want to build regular traffic. Viral pins can help with that, but they aren’t everything.

Start With The Basics

Whether you’re just starting out with Pinterest or have been pinning for some time, there are some basic things you need to take care of before you do anything else.

If you haven’t created your Pinterest business account, do so now. This will give you access to analytics, which is a huge help in discovering how your pins are doing. It’s free. You can convert your personal account or start a new one to use entirely for business purposes.

Make sure you verify your website with Pinterest. Pinterest will give you a code for this.

A business account can also pay for sponsored pins, which can be a help in bringing attention to your pins. You don’t have to do this, but it’s worth considering.

Next, apply for rich pins. You will need some code on your site. If you’re using WordPress and have the Yoast SEO plugin, this is super easy. If you’re using WordPress and don’t use Yoast, I strongly recommend adding it. It’s helpful in many ways.

In the Yoast SEO section of your WordPress admin, you will see a social section. Select the Facebook tab and enable the Open Graph metadata setting. This will give Pinterest the information it needs as well.

turn on open graph

Once this is done, you need to validate one of your URLs with Pinterest. Choose any blog post and put it into Pinterest’s Rich Pins Validator. If everything comes up fine, you can tell Pinterest that you used HTML tags, then click “Apply Now.” If everything has gone right, your pins will now show up as Rich Pins.

Rich pins show more information from your site. They can pull recipe information if you share recipes, or article titles and a bit of text from articles.

Figure Out Your Best Pinterest Keywords

In many ways, Pinterest is more a search engine than a social website. This makes the right keywords in your profile, boards, and pins vital to your success. Take some time early on to figure out your basic Pinterest keywords.

Start out with your best keyword for your business. Put it into the search box on Pinterest and see what comes up. It should look something like this:

find keywords pinterest

See those colored boxes with words in them? Those are words other Pinterest users include in their searches for that term. You want to use these words in your profile, board descriptions, and pins whenever they’re relevant.

Do this often. You may find it worthwhile to check Pinterest keywords for most of your posts, especially when coming up with a description as you pin them.

Make The Most Of Your Profile

How does your Pinterest profile look? Is it clear to people who visit it what your business has to offer?

Take advantage of the space Pinterest offers to create an appealing description of what followers can expect from your Pinterest profile. If you do this well, it may also attract people to visit your website.

Use some of the keywords you discovered in the section above for your profile, but keep it interesting as well.

Pinterest now has a feature where an image of your pins goes diagonally across your profile page. Take advantage of this.

pinterest header

If you don’t have a board that has just pins from your website, create one now. You’re going to use this board to display your pins on your profile.

Click the little edit button on the image of your pins that go across the top of your profile. This will allow you to select which board is used for this image. Select the one that has only your pins. Save your changes.

change pinterest header

That’s all it takes. Now you don’t have to worry about which pins show up there. You’ve chosen to make it all yours.

Optimize Your Pinterest Boards

It may not be immediately obvious when you create a board that you can give it a category and description. You can, and it’s helpful to do so. This will give visitors to that board an idea as to what you pin there.

Go to your board and click the edit board button. This will give you a little popup to change the settings.

You can give the board a description. Make sure that you use some of the keywords you researched. This may help it appear in board searches.

You can also give it a category and a board cover. The board cover is a pin that will show as a larger image on the page that shows all of your boards.

If you want a consistent look to your profile page, you need to create board covers for all of your boards. Many bloggers like to create board covers that are consistent with their branding elsewhere. This is not something I have done so far personally, but many recommend it.

You can upload a custom board cover as a pin and link it to a relevant section of your website. You can create one that is at least 600×600 pixels. Board covers are square, but you can use a rectangular image if you want. Just consider which section will show up.

The idea behind branded board covers is that it gives your profile a more cohesive feel.

Finally, decide what you’re going to do with boards that aren’t relevant to your brand. You can delete them or make them into secret boards if you like. If not, at least make sure that they are beneath your business boards. You can drag and drop your boards on your profile to arrange them the way you would like them. Think about what will work best for your visitors.

Optimize Your Pins

Applying for Rich Pins is only the first step to optimizing your pins. There are a few other things you should do.

Start out by knowing the currently preferred image sizes. These change occasionally. As of this writing, Pinterest recommends pin images be no more than 600 pixels wide and will cut off pins longer than 2.1 times the width, which is to say longer than 1260 pixels long. Their preferred size is 600×900, but there are plenty of times when a longer image makes sense.

Longer pins will still show the full length when clicked. Many bloggers find that they perform better than other pins.

Create great descriptions for your pins. These will help them be found in searches. Remember to research your Pinterest keywords when creating your descriptions, and keep them accurate to the post they’re linked to. Don’t mislead your visitors – people hate that.

You can even have your preferred description show up when visitors to your site pin that image. In your blog post, use the Text editor tab rather than the Visual tab.

In this tab, the code for your image will be something along the lines of:

<img class=”aligncenter” src=”yourimageurl” alt=”alt tags for your image” width=”500″ height=”765″ />

You want to add a Pinterest description. This is done by adding data-pin-description=”your description here” so that it looks like

<img class=”aligncenter” src=”yourimageurl” alt=”alt tags for your image” width=”500″ height=”765″ data-pin-description=”Your pin description here.” />

Once you’ve done this, the description you put in the data-pin-description section will show up if someone clicks the image to pin it.

This won’t guarantee that your description will be used by everyone, as visitors can change the text as they like, but many will leave it as is.

You can go further by using data-pin-url=”URL you want the pin to lead to. Usually the URL of your post” data-pin-media=”URL of a different image you want pinned rather than the visible one. Very useful if you want smaller images in your post” and data-pin-id=”ID number of the post on Pinterest after you have pinned it.” These give you still more control over your pins. You can also control which images in your posts can be pinned to Pinterest.

Should You Brand Your Pins?

Many people strongly recommend keeping your images similar, so that they are all clearly a part of your brand. This makes it easier for people to recognize one of your pins when they come across them.

This can be as simple as using the same colors or fonts on all of your pins. Some people use very similar images on all of their pins as well.

The problem is that this gets very repetitive. Your pins are easily identified, but are they easy to tell apart?

This is where it becomes a good idea to make multiple pins for each post. You can have your strongly branded pins and have your pins that stand out.

It’s also easier to test pin styles when you have multiple pins for each post. You can compare and see which performs the best. If you find a new style performs better, you might even decide to change your branding to be closer to that style.

Pin And Pin And Pin Some More

If you aren’t pinning a lot, and pinning regularly, your pins aren’t likely to be discovered.

This also means you should pin content from other sites. You will see all kinds of advice – people telling you that the best results come from pinning 80% your own content and 20% of others, 50/50 yours vs others, or even 20% yours and 80% others. You’ll also hear that you should post 20 pins a day, 30-50 a day, or even over 100 pins a day. The advice varies widely.

I’ve never stressed about numbers. I pin a lot of my own, but also share pins from the various group boards I belong to. Most group boards require that you repin at least one other pin when you pin something of yours to the board. That ensures that I have a mix.

Group boards are a huge help in getting your pins out there. Request to join as many relevant ones as you can find, so long as they have a good number of followers. You won’t get much exposure if the board only has 100 followers, after all.

As much as possible, pin to relevant boards. Your pins will rank better if they are regularly pinned to relevant boards, rather than to general boards.

You will find a number of group boards that accept all niches. Some of these have excellent followings. You may find it worthwhile to try a few general boards, but don’t pin to many of them. Keep that focus so that Pinterest knows what your pins are about.

Manual Pins Or Scheduled Pins?

I’ve seen a lot of debate over whether manual pinning or scheduled pinning works better. There are some great tools out there. Tailwind is the most popular, I think, followed by Board Booster. Their features are slightly different, but each one allows you to schedule your pins, which can be a huge time saver.

Many people say they have seen huge traffic boosts from using these tools. At the very least, they make it much easier to be consistent with your pinning.

However, some people think you get more traffic if you pin manually. This is the method I currently use. It is often difficult to be consistent, but I keep working at it.

I track my pins using a spreadsheet. My boards are grouped by category, one sheet per category of board. This allows me to date when I do each pin. I mark when I’m using more than one image per blog post, as I don’t want to pin the same post on a board too close together, even if the images are different.

pinterest spreadsheet

I indicate group boards by putting their names in bold. This way I know which require repinning, and how many. Most only require a single repin, but some expect two or three for each pin placed on their boards. I always do at least a single repin – the more active the board is, the more attention pins on it will get.

Take a Pinterest Marketing Course

You may want to learn a lot more about pinning than I’ve shared here. A Pinterest marketing course can help you learn more than the basics. They’ll all start with the basics, to make sure that you aren’t missing obvious things, but go into more advanced techniques from there.

I recommend this Pinterest marketing course on Udemy. It’s well rated and has been updated recently. Read the reviews to see if it’s the course for you. You will learn a lot more about how to use Pinterest to market your blog if you take a good course.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Pinterest Feedly
Home With the Kids on LinkedIn

Are you ready to work at home? Subscribe to learn about blogging and other ways to earn money from home.

Email:



Ads

Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.