The New Way to Create Pins with Your Apple Pencil
I don’t know if you are an Apple fan like me but this right here is a huge game changer for me! I feel like there is so much that can be done with this amazing app I am going to share with you. For sure it is the new way to create pins with your apple pencil and you’re going to love it!
If you aren’t an Apple user then let me just break down quickly why I love Apple so much! I wasn’t an Apple fan at all until I won my first iPad back in 2013 and then I was hooked! Before the iPad, I was one of those “I hate Apple products I don’t know how to use them so they are dump” type of people.
Then again I won that free iPad and realize just how “undumb” Apple products really are!
They are extremely user-friendly and that is probably my absolute favorite part about all my Apple products.
Right now in May 2019, I currently have that same iPad, MacBook Pro, Apple mouse, two iPhone 6s’s (that we keep for back up phones and for my daughter to play with), a series one Apple Watch, two Phone Xr’s, two Apple Air Pod sets, the Apple TV and I just bought last week the new iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and keyboard.
You could say we love Apple Products for sure.
Yes, as new updates come out the older Apple Products slow down a little but for example that first iPad I won still works great and it is 6 years old which is old in technology years!
My daughter uses it to watch her videos or she can FaceTime and play Roblox at the same time with my niece. So that’s impressive to me to be able to handle all that while being one of the first iPads that came out.
Surprising they hold their value really well. You wouldn’t think that anything older than a year or two would still be worth as much as you can get out of them. At one point I looked into upgrading my Apple Watch to a newer version only because I do feel like with the new updates it doesn’t hold it’s charge as long and I was surprised at what it was still worth.
I could sell this watch and only pay maybe $100 out of pocket and get the newest watch. I assumed it would be worth maybe $50 but it’s not!
When I looked into selling my daughters barely (and I mean barely) used Nintendo 2DS and with the DS, the case, the chargers, and all the games it was worth $50. That doesn’t seem worth it to sell it all for only that. But we spent almost 4 times that amount when we bought it a few years back.
It isn’t that old and didn’t hold it’s value at all!
They All Connect
This is the main part I wanted to get to about how awesome Apple products are, everything connects!
It is all connected to your Apple ID so if you sign into each one with the same ID it is like being on the same device.
My iPhone XR (which is just flat out awesome), my MacBook Pro, my Apple Watch, my Air Pods, and my new iPad all connect together. If I want to put my Air Pods in then it will connect to the most recent one or whichever one is right next to me. There is no trying to connect and trying to pair. It just connects and pairs.
A window pops up for you to verify and that’s it. So as soon as I open the case my phone will alert me they are connected. If I am listening to music I just take one out to pause the music. Crazy cool.
I love how I can receive messages, phones calls, and FaceTime from any device as well! The Watch doesn’t FaceTime but other than that they all do.
It just works so well for me to not have to adjust when switching devices. They all worked seamlessly together!
The New Way to Create Pins with Your Apple Pencil
I could go on and on but let’s get to why you came here. To find out the new way to create pins with your Apple Pencil. If you are reading this then I am sure you already love Apple products so let’s talk about the new Apple Pencil on the new iPad Pro!
Bloggers are always creating new pins for Pinterest to drive traffic back to their blogs. We are always looking for creative ways to make pins that are eye-catching and don’t blend in with the crowd. Well, I have some good news for you! I came across this app that is a game changer!
You want to create pins that make pinners on Pinterest save your pin and to do that you have to create beautiful useful pins. I created a free course on how to create Pinterest Images that you can learn more about the different programs bloggers use.
My goal has been to find a better way to streamline my work. I feel like I am tied to a computer when I work on my blog and summer is literally right around the corner and I can’t be stuck inside all day. My daughter is going to beg to go to the pool or be out and about.
I don’t want to sacrifice time with her or working on my blog. So I decided to look into a way to be more mobile. My husband’s job just gave him a Microsoft Surface Pro with a keyboard and pencil. I watch how easy it is for him to just work all off of that.
I did research on the new iPad Pro and thought about it for a couple weeks and then decided to run it by my husband. He is beyond supportive so he didn’t blink an eye and said let’s get you one!
I ended up getting the keyboard so I can type a blog post easily while at the pool and the pencil too for all it’s amazing functions.
This is the exact ipad that I bought. I did go with the lower storage because I need to get a hardrive anyways so this way I can just get one of those and save money on buying the extra storage. We looked into purchasing it through our phone carrier to add data to it but that costs more also. Plus we found out that our T.V. provider has hotspots I can use when I am away from home.
Just some things to think about!
I wanted the bigger screen so that was my main priority. I wasn’t as worried about storage because I have a bigger icloud storage plan and then again I plan to get an external hardrive to save all pictures and important documents on it.
Now I don’t pretend to be all tech savvy, I know just enough to get by. I know that I am a busy mom and this all makes my life easier and more portable.
I do want to say that it comes with a completely new charger. Supposedly it is to be able to connect to your computer better or other techy stuff I don’t understand but my point is no more USB and no more other end. The cord has the same end of each end. So either way it connects to your converter to plug into the wall and then into the ipad to charge. Just a heads up.
Then since I got the bigger screen I had to get this keyboard that fits it. They are both 12.9 inches so that gives plenty of room for using your screen and typing on a good sized keyboard not a tiny one.
The ipad connects magnetically to the keyboard and there are three dots on the back of the ipad that connects it to the keyboard. Then you can have it in different positions to adjust it to your liking while typing.
Then you can fold it over and closed and you will hear the ipad lock. Also you can flip it around and under the ipad to quickly use the ipad only.
Then of course I got the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation that is compatiable with the iPad Pro. It is very sleek and easy to use. There are no buttoms it looks and feels just like a regular pencil.
It doesn’t erase like one although I think it should. I keep wanting to flip it around and erase with the pencil eraser like you normally would. But just a heads up it doesn’t work like that.
Another fun feature of the Apple pencil is that it connects to the side of your ipad magnetically to charge. This is great to keep track of the pencil and know that it is always charged up.
No plugging it in or cords involved! Once you connect it to the ipad it will tell you what charge the pencil is at as well.
Pin Creating App
After I got home and started playing with it and watching tutorials on what all it could do I came across this app. I became very interested and spent the next 3 days just learning more and more. After much research, I finally decided I wanted it and purchased it for $9.99.
I know what you are thinking…you just spend a lot of money on an iPad Pro, keyboard, and pencil and you hesitate about a $10 app? Yes, to me $10 is an expensive app! I expected the others to be expensive but I don’t buy apps without a lot of research!
So what is this amazing app?
It is called Procreate.
Maybe you have heard of it or maybe you are like me and you have never heard of it.
All the amazing possibilities with this app are just mind-blowing. If you are an artist you are going to be in heaven!
If you aren’t then no worries NEITHER AM I! It is very user-friendly and not overwhelming at all! I will add that I am not affiliated with this app either I just love it this much! Just check out some of these examples from their website!
Don’t worry if you aren’t a professional. Again, I am not an artist in any way shape or form. But I think this app is perfect for on the go designing from anything to logos, freebies, pins, printables, graphics designs, you name it!
But let’s talk about creating pins for Pinterest.
There is an option to create the image as a custom size. You can then create it as a pin size and add pictures, import fonts, make amazing edits, layer it for quick changes, and so much more! It does take a bit to learn all the features it offers but this is perfect on the go pin creation with your Apple Pencil.
There are so many videos on YouTube that walk you through how to use the app but if you are looking for a way to use your creative side and give your pins a leading edge I think this app is perfect!
Again, I don’t have any affiliation with the app besides that I downloaded it, love it, and had to share!
All the Same
If you have been blogging for long you can see that many pins look the same. It is hard to not look the same some what but there are certain stock images that are way over used. I read an ebook that was full of case studies that shared how the author feels free stock images can arm your pins reach.
Pinterest also recently went public on the Stock Market. Things are about to get alitte harder for bloggers. There are going to be more people that are willing to pay for space on Pinterest. Because of that you need to really show Pinterest you are a creator worth sharing.
Many bloggers are saying you should be adding a new pin everday. Well, I don’t know about you but I don’t have time to sit at my computer and create pins all day. I do use a program called RelayThat that creates multiple images for you with just a few clicks so that saves a bunch of time.
However, they also seem to only have the same layouts. It can be customized a hundred different ways but it is still the same layouts so you can’t solely rely on that.
With this app and my new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil I can be mobile and creating pins on the go all the time!
Because I will be on the go I did get myself a case and as I said I also have the keyboard too. I have seen some creators have these cool pencil gripper sleeves. I don’t know if I will do that or not because with the new pencil it senses when you double tap to erase when using the Notes App. Also I don’t know how that affects it charging magnetically or staying safely on the side of the ipad.
I worry that it might come off and I would lose it.
Another reason I love Apple Products…all their amazing apps! I use the Notes app all the time. My whole life is in that thing. All categories and accessible on any of my Apple Devices.
If I am sitting at the computer working and I make changes on in my Notes App then later when I only have my phone I can see see those changes. It is like the perfect Notebook that I never forget at home!
Free Pinterest Image Course
Well there you have it! I hope you check out the Procreate App and enjoy it as much as I am! There are so many possibilies I can’t wait to see what all I can create! The best part is this is a way to be artist (or try) without the mess!
Don’t forget to check out my Free Pinterest Image Course for other tips and programs to use to create Pinterest images! I will be adding this information with this app to it soon!
P.S. Comment below with some of your beautiful pins you create using Procreate! I would love to see them and share them!
A Full Walkthrough on How to use Tailwind
If you are a new blogger I am sure you have heard over and over again how important Pinterest is. You may have also heard how many bloggers use Tailwind to help them automatically pin their pins on Pinterest. This blog post is a full walkthrough of how to use Tailwind so you can decide for yourself!
Pin for later!
First, let’s back up for one second and talk about Pinterest. If you have not heard that Pinterest is the best way to get traffic to your new blog then I am here to tell you it is.
Here is how I was able to get traffic to my new blog from Pinterest.
If you are like most then you probably thought Pinterest was just for looking up your next DIY project or recipes. Each of those images (pins) on Pinterest was actually created by bloggers and website owners.
Bloggers write blog posts and then create pin images (like I did above for this blog post) and then they pin that image to Pinterest linking it back to their blog post.
It is like free advertisement space for your blog. The more you advertise the more traffic you can drive to your blog.
It takes a little bit to wrap your head around the business angle of Pinterest if you are only used to the consumer side. Don’t worry I have plenty of resources to help you with all of that though.
Resources to Get Started
In this post, I am including several resources to help guide you through using Tailwind. Instead of writing a 3,000+ word blog post I broke it up so you can choose the area of Tailwind you need help with! Let’s start with these resources below.
The Pinterest Primer course is a free course by McKinzie Bean. She walks you through how to set up your Pinterest Business account for success. There is more to it than just signing up to Pinterest, so check out her free course to get started off on the right foot!
Then if you are ready to up your game you can move on to her paid course that goes more in-depth on using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog.
A major part of succeeding on Pinterest is creating beautiful Pinterest images that entice people to share and click through. I created a free course to help you create beautiful Pinterest images!
If Pinterest is free why would someone want to pay for a service like Tailwind?
Well, like I said, the more that you advertise or pin the more traffic you can drive back to your blog. So, unless you are willing to be on Pinterest constantly pinning and repinning all day, a scheduler quickly becomes a necessity.
It is very difficult to manually pin all of your pins. You most certainly can at the beginning but it becomes overwhelming fast. However, that said, if you are leaning more towards manually pinning then this is an awesome ebook to help you with that!
If you are wondering about comparing Tailwind with other schedulers out there to get the best deal then let me help you real quick with that. There are currently no others that are partnered with Pinterest. Tailwind is the only authorized user that works with Pinterest.
There was another called Boardbooster and Pinterest recently made it clear they didn’t authorize them and Boardbooster was forced to shut down.
I’m sure that was a sad day for those that used Boardbooster but a very happy day for Tailwind when all of those users switched to join them.
I was already using Tailwind and right after I started using it I gained over 600 page views in one day on my small blog!
I ended up getting over 7,000 page views in 30 days after I started using Tailwind so I am definitely a believer in using it!
Set Up Tailwind
If you are interested in giving Tailwind a try then you can grab your first month free right here. After you set that up let’s walk through setting up and using Tailwind.
Tailwind is great about supporting its users. There is also a demo video walking you through how to use their features. Like this video.
Plus all of the other videos they have on their site and YouTube Channel. They are also very good about getting back to you right away in the chat box inside your Tailwind account.
Now that you have an idea of how to use Tailwind let’s talk about some of the features.
Tailwind Tribes is just like it sounds. It is a tribe of users that are grouped together. Inside each tribe, that you can join for free, there is a page full of pins fellow Tribe members have shared.
The purpose of Tailwind Tribes is to narrow down users into groups that are within the same niche. This gives you access to a bunch of pins to repin that are within your niche.
You want to make sure you are pinning other bloggers pins as well as your own. This is a quick way to find pins to repin. This is also a great way to get your pins repinned too.
Within the Tribe, there is a place where you can chat with other members and it shows you the analytics of how your pins are doing within each Tribe.
Tailwind lets you join 5 Tribes for free and if you want to join more you can upgrade.
You are welcome to join my new Tailwind Tribe – First Time Blogger to get started!
Tailwind Smart Loop
The newest feature Tailwind just rolled out is the Smart Loop.
Tailwind gives you 250 loops for free and again if you want to add more then you can upgrade your plan. The Smart Loop feature is designed to loop your pins for you so you don’t have to keep repinning them.
This may sound confusing at first and you may be thinking isn’t that what Tailwind is already doing?
Smart Loop is for your evergreen pins and for your seasonal pins.
There are two different types of loops you can create. If you have pins that are doing great and you want to continue to drip those throughout all of your boards and groups boards you can set up a loop for those.
Or if you have seasonal posts that you want to start pinning a certain time of the year automatically then you can set those up also.
Let’s say you are a food blogger and you want to start your Halloween recipes to start pinning in the summer (yes in the summer at least) then instead of trying to remember on your own, you can set it up to loop for you.
Same for DIY Christmas projects for craft bloggers and so on!
Each blogger has their own Tailwind strategy so you can start with the basic and tweak it as you go and see what is working and what isn’t working.
Here is the basic run down that I keep reading from other bloggers. So I have personally done this and I have personally read many blog posts and taken courses that outline a very similar strategy.
This is after you have your Pinterest business account all set up and all your boards are full.
- Pin 20-50 times a day
- Use the 80/20 rule – 80% your pins and 20% other bloggers pins
- Pin your pins to your own boards and to group boards
- Pin other bloggers pins to just your boards. (The group boards are for advertising your pins)
Tailwind has a browser extension (<–scroll to the very bottom of that page) that you can add to make filling your Tailwind queue much easier. After you install the extension just go to your Pinterest account and once on the main feed click the Tailwind extension (feather icon) on your browser toolbar.
All of the visual pins will now be available to click on to add to your queue. After you click on the ones that you want to add click “go schedule” where you can then select which boards you would like each pin to go to.
This extension can also be used while on a blog or site that you wish to pin something from as well.
Here is a video walking you through how to use the Tailwind extension.
Where to Find Pins
- Pinterest Group Boards
- Home Feed
- Search For Pins in Your Niche
- “Following” Tab in Pinterest
- Tailwind Tribes
- Visit Profiles of Bloggers in Your Niche
Do’s and Dont’s of Pinterest and Tailwind
- Share other bloggers pins
- Use keywords everywhere you can
- Creative beautiful pin images
- Create multiple pins per blog post (just hide them – learn how here)
- Connect and chat with Tribe members and comment on pins
- Check your analytics to see what is and isn’t working. There is analytics for Pinterest, Tailwind and Tailwind Tribes.
- Have fun! It is actually fun to do!
- Spam. Read the Pinterest rules or you can get banned.
- Steal other people’s pins
- Copy other blogger’s pins (use can use designs as inspiration but don’t copy that’s not cool)
- Pin a bunch one day and then go days without pinning. Stay consistent daily!
- Break group board or Tailwind Tribe rules. They will kick you out.
Now that you have a walkthrough of how to use Tailwind, here are some more resources for you!
Well, there you have it! Using Pinterest and Tailwind for the first time can feel intimidating but don’t worry it soon becomes second nature! And it makes it all worth it when you see that traffic come pouring in! Good luck to you, now go get pinning!
The Only 3 Things New Bloggers Should Focus On
When you first decide to start a blog there are really only three things new bloggers should focus on and master. I’m sure you are so excited and you want to master it all right away but trust me on this. You only need to focus on these three things.
I heard multiple other bloggers say “new blogger should focus on this” but I was too ambitious and I thought I can handle it all. I’m not like other people. Well, guess what, if I would have taken their advice I would be a lot further along than I am!
I took courses and read ebooks and again I heard this over an over. “Don’t try and tackle everything at once”, “new bloggers need to focus on…” but I thought “how hard could it be?”
It turns out, harder than you might originally think. It takes a lot of time and commitment to master just one of the many pieces to blogging. So again, if I would have just stuck to the three main ones then I would have been able to move forward and master the rest one at a time.
The Three Things to Master
Don’t worry too much about all your social media accounts right now. If you master these three things and are ready to move on right away then you are rocking it and keep going.
But if you can’t seem to master these then don’t move on until you have!
Pin for Later!
1. Write One Blog Post a Week
New bloggers should focus on writing one new blog post a week.
If you can make it a full month or two and you have consistently produced one blog post a week then you are probably good to move on.
But for some, this is actually harder than it sounds. Learning how to properly write a blog post can be difficult. You need to have keywords, the right structure, it has to be interesting, and your readers need to learn from it.
You can’t just write a post about what you did over the weekend. Sorry, but no one but family and close friends cares. You aren’t sharing tips or giving advice so no one is going to read it.
If you whip out four great blog posts in the first week then make sure you schedule them out to publish once a week for that first month.
Then every other blog post you write can either continue to be scheduled to be published once a week or you can fill in your schedule with two blog posts publishing a week.
I just don’t want you to write four blog posts and publish them all at once and then think man I’m a rock star. Then the next thing you know the month has gone by and you didn’t write anymore and now you’re behind. (Been there, done that.)
Google will like that you produced a bunch of content but then it will notice that it was a one and done time of thing.
That can hurt you and if you would have just scheduled them out then you would have shown Google you are reliable to produce valuable content once a week.
Google is more likely to share your blog when you show you consistently produce valuable content.
Plus, then that just takes the load off of you to have to write more blog posts right away. If your blog is brand new then yes you will want to get 5-10 blog posts on there right away but again it is better to have a consistent schedule.
Put a few posts on there and then each one after that schedule them to post once a week.
This just takes the pressure off too if you are always ahead and have a schedule going in case things pop up because let’s face it life gets crazy sometimes!
Especially as a new blogger, you will appreciate the routine of always having a blog post scheduled to publish once a week as you are learning everything.
Need help coming up with blog post ideas? Check out my latest blog post – 7 Surefire Ways to Come Up with Blog Post Ideas
New bloggers should focus on pinning to Pinterest.
Pinterest is a bloggers best friend. Sometimes you two will be besties and Pinterest will send you a bunch of free traffic and then sometimes you may be in a fight and Pinterest won’t “talk” to you.
Either way, you are still best friends and if you are fighting there is always a way to make up!
So how do you become best friends with Pinterest so they send you traffic and how do you make sure you don’t ever get in a fight?
The best way to become besties with Pinterest is to give “her” a lot of attention. Pinterest likes creators that are active in their Pinterest accounts.
That doesn’t mean that you have to be on Pinterest all day every day but it does mean that you can’t just set up your account and fill it with your own content and then leave it.
You have to be actively pinning your content and other creators content. There are different opinions on this part but some say you should make sure that you are active on both the desktop site and the mobile site as well.
What I do is when I have a minute in the day instead of checking Facebook or my email, I will pin a few pins on Pinterest from my phone. Then other times when I am working I will do the same from my desktop.
Don’t ignore your new best friend. That is the best way to get into a “fight” with your new bestie. Similar to number one, Pinterest likes attention but to avoid a fight where you will have to earn her trust back, don’t ignore Pinterest.
I have done this before and I went into Pinterest’s “dog house” and I had to earn the trust back.
It is a fun analogy to think of it as a friendship but in all honesty that is what it is. Pinterest is there to give it’s users the best possible content. So if you as a creator, create great content, then Pinterest is going to share it with its users. Just like all friends do!
When you go onto Pinterest as a user you are looking for the best cake recipes, the best DIY projects, or the best workouts. You don’t want to have to sort through all of the unrelated or spammy sites that can pop up like when you Google something.
You are looking for the answer right away.
Pinterest is always there for you as a user because they make sure they provide the best content and images right away.
So if you start adding content to Pinterest and start building that relationship with them then you stop and ignore Pinterest. Then they are going to think you are not a reliable source.
Pinterest isn’t going to share your content when users are looking for the best content.
The only way to get out of the dog house is to prove yourself. Consistently add good quality content and images and build that trust back up so Pinterest will start sharing your content with its users again.
Learn From My Mistake
I hope that makes sense and you don’t make the same mistake I did. When I first started I used Tailwind to add pins to Pinterest and I received a bunch of traffic from Pinterest!
When I was still a new blogger, I didn’t know what to do and I learned the hard way. My traffic started declining because I wasn’t creating new content to add to Pinterest.
I was too focused on other things and not these 3 important things I am sharing with you now.
It cost me and I don’t want that to happen to you! That is why I am sharing this advice I received from a veteran blogger that I wish I would have listened to and focused on these only.
Sign up for free here and learn how to create amazing Pinterest Images!
Google, Pinterest, Social Media
So why only focus on Pinterest?
Google, Pinterest, and Social Media are all completely different. They can all be used to drive traffic to your blog but they are each used in different ways.
Google takes a long time to drive traffic to your blog. You have to build your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) before Google will start sending you traffic.
Social Media takes a long time to build an audience that will drive traffic to your blog.
How Pinterest Works
Pinterest however, doesn’t take long at all! As I said before I was able to send thousands of page views to my blog within the first week of using Pinterest.
Some mistake Pinterest for a social media platform but there is nothing social about it. You don’t go onto Pinterest to chat with other members. You go on there for inspiration and for answers to a problem.
Pinterest is more like a search engine. Bloggers and website owners create an image that will attract the attention of Pinterest users and then they attach their URL to that image.
Made By Bloggers
If you go onto Pinterest to find the best cake recipes you are going to see awesome images. Those are most likely were created by bloggers to entice you to click on their image and go to their blog post.
Once on their blog post, they will show you how to make the best cake just like you searched for.
All of those pins you see when you type in “best cake recipes” are from bloggers or website owners that created those images as advertisements of their blog posts or websites.
Pinterest is going to show the best images and the best content first when someone searches for something.
If you keyword your pin correctly and have a beautiful image then your pin will do well and drive traffic to your blog!
3. Grow Your Email List
New bloggers should focus on growing their email list.
The third important thing you must do as a new blogger is to build your email list.
You have worked hard on your blog and driving traffic to your blog so you want to make sure you keep those people and get them to come back.
Now it’s impossible to keep them all but it is still important to try and keep some of them as returning readers. The best way to ensure that they come back and continue to read your new blog posts is to get them on your email list.
Then you can email them with new updates about your blog and they can return and check them out!
The Power of The Email List
I knew I needed to do this from the beginning but it still wasn’t clear to me exactly why it was so important.
Then as I learned more I realized the power of the email list.
It’s like building your tribe or building your followers on social media. The ones that follow you look forward to what you have to say next and are much more likely to make a purchase from you versus someone that just came across your blog.
Your goal with your audience is to build trust with them and show them you are there to help and solve their problem.
When you solve a problem for them for free then they will trust you when you try and sell them a product that will also solve their problem.
Help Them Don’t Sell To Them
We can all spot the ones trying to only sell to you from a mile away. When they provide no value but only want to sell to you then you don’t trust them and you don’t trust that the product they are selling is good for you either.
However, when you have a good relationship with someone because you have provided all kinds of valuable information to them for free. They won’t second guess that a product is valuable when you mention it that could help them.
They trust your advice and your intentions.
So, if you keep building that trust with your readers and grow your email list then when you are ready to launch a product you can announce it to your list. They are much more likely to purchase it!
Learn more with my post on How to Grow Your Email List and Why it is So Dang Important!
There you have it!
Those are the 3 most important things you should focus on as a new blogger. I can’t express this enough. If you do these three things first and then work on the back office stuff you will be fine!
If you get caught up in learning everything there is to know about blogging and you don’t do these three things then you will regret it. Trust me on this one. I know from experience!
It is too easy to get caught up in making your blog look all fancy and learning everything there is to know about blogging. Which obviously you will need to know but don’t lose focus on these three things.
It does you no good to have a pretty blog with no traffic.
- One Blog Post a Week
- Add Content to Pinterest
- Grow Email List
Freebie For You
If you are like me and you need a reminder of the basics then you will love this free printable I made for you!
It is to help keep you focused on what is important and to not get lost in the whirlwind that comes with learning everything about blogging.
These 3 basic steps are what you need to focus on!
Grab your free copy of this printable right here! And stick it somewhere in your workspace where you can see it every time you go to work on your blog!
I hope you found this advice helpful and you are able to keep your blinders on long enough to master these three things for new bloggers to focus on!
It is very hard to not get shiny object syndrome and chase after every new thing you come across. Which again, you can still learn and grow your knowledge but don’t forget to focus on these first!
P.S. Do you want to be featured on Mom Blog From Home? Learn more here!
Hiding Images in Your Blog Post Can Get it More Views
Have you ever heard of hiding images within your blog post?
This is just one of the many reasons it is so important to follow fellow bloggers! You learn so many cool little tips and tricks.
I love that moment when you learn something new…like “Oh! That’s how you do that!”…or “That’s why you do that!”. It is so amazing all the ins and outs of blogging and how we can always keep learning and growing from each other!
So one thing that I have learned is how to hide images in your blog post. You may be wondering why that is even important and I’m going to share that with you as well!
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First, I will tell you that I learned this little trick from Suzi at startamomblog.com. If you haven’t heard of her yet then be prepared to be amazed. She is a rock star in the making. When I first started following her she was sort of popular but in the year and a half that I have been following she has blown up!
If you haven’t checked her out that is a must but for now on with the images!
How to create a blog image
Here is a free course I created to show you how to make images. That is step one if you don’t know how to make them yet. I show you how you can use several different programs to make one image as well as one image into multiple different images for your blog posts!
We all have our own styles and likes and dislikes. Everyone is different so having different images helps you reach more pinners and potential readers of your blog!
After you have created several different images for your blog post you want to then add them to your post.
You don’t want all of them to show or that would be too overwhelming and it would clutter up your blog post. So this is where you will hide 3 out of the 4 images in your blog post. By hiding them this allows a reader that is reading your post to choose which image they want to pin to Pinterest without showing all of the images all of the time.
Here is what the post will look like.
As you can see there is only one image showing in the blog post.
And then here is what it will look like when they click on the Pinterest icon to save your post.
Now there are several images for them to choose from! Isn’t that amazing! They can choose which image they like best! That particular post doesn’t have 4 different images so I will add more later on to it. But you can see there are a couple to choose from.
That image is with Monarch plugin through Elegant Themes. If you use the SumoMe plugin then it may look more like this.
Again this post also needs to have a few more images added to it.
But I have recently been playing around with which plugin I like best. I like the SumoMe option to choose from the images better. I like how all the available images to be pinned show up across the street and in full view. However, I like the way the Monarch buttons look on my blog. I will have to keep playing around and see which one works best!
It is important to have multiple images for each blog post so when you pin your blog post on Pinterest you can create several different pins. Again everyone has their own tastes and by using several images you can reach more pinners. If one style of pin that you share is a fun and crazy font but then another image you is more streamlined, then you are reaching two very different styles on pinners.
By creating more than one pin per blog post this also gives you the opportunity to play around with the pin description as well and see what works best.
So how do you hide them?
Here is the special secret code.
Actually, I don’t know if it’s special or secret but this is what Suzi gave me to be able to hide images in my blog post.
<div style=”display:none;”> IMAGE CODE HERE </div>
After you insert all of your images into your post you will then click the Text tab in the upper righthand corner of your post within WordPress. It should give you the options of either visual or text. Click on text.
Now it is showing your blog post in HTML text.
Find your image codes and replace them with the code above. The easiest way I have found to do this quickly and to not get confused is the following. (because if you are like me I don’t know anything about codes)
I use my notes app for everything but you can use a Word document, a sticky note on your computer, or whatever is easiest for you.
I paste the code there. Then I copy my image code from the Text Tab in my blog post within WordPress. Then I paste it into the code in my notes app. At that point I now have the image code within the code Suzi gave me to hide the image. I copy the whole thing and replace the image code in my blog post with the new code hiding image code.
I repeat that for all three of the images I want to hide.
Here is a quick video to better explain that!
Now you have 4 images in your blog post but when you view the post it only shows one. So again when someone wants to pin your post it gives them more options to choose from! It also gives you more options to choose from when you pin your new blog post to Pinterest!
Did you already know how to do this?
Do you have any other cool tricks you would like to share? I would love to hear them!
Posts you might like:
What I Use to Grow My Traffic as a Small Blog
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What I Use to Grow My Traffic as a Small Blog
There is no doubt that you have probably already heard of Tailwind. If you haven’t then I’m glad I am the first to be able to share this with you. If you have heard about it but you aren’t quite sure what all the fuss is about then I am about to tell you.
Tailwind has helped me grow my blog traffic from 300 page views one month to over 7,000 page views the next month! My blog was only a few months old at that point as well!
What is tailwind
- Tailwind is a scheduler for posting to Pinterest and Instagram. There are options to have it post on Twitter and Facebook as well. But you can schedule out in advance for Pinterest and Instagram.
- It has designated times for your pins/ posts to go live according to when it will be most viewed by your follows.
- The Instagram feature even offers you suggestions for the best hashtags to use and you can save a list of the hashtags you want to use for each post. This saves time trying to remember all of them and then, of course, typing them all in.
- You can add up to 50 times per day to pin to Pinterest
- You can make board lists to group your boards or group boards together.
- It breaks down the analytics to tell you how your pins are doing. If you are analytical you will love this feature. Pinterest provides analytics and so does Tailwind. You can compare and see how well your pins are doing and so much more! For me, it is a bit overwhelming how much information is provided. That is a great problem to have though! I can learn it all but I would prefer too much information than not enough!
- There are Tailwind Tribes on Tailwind that is a group of others in your niche that you can share each other’s content.
- Benefits of Tailwind Tribes
- You can easily pick pins to repin in your niche
- Your pins will be more likely to be repined as well by those in your Tribe (you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours)
- You can see how many times your pin has been reshared within the Tribe
- You can see how many pins you have repined within the Tribe
- You can chat with the Tribe members
- You can sign up for 5 different Tribes for free
- You can add up to 30 pins per month into the Tribe. This helps from it being overloaded. You will make sure you are sharing your best pins in there and so will your Tribe members. Making the pins in there higher quality to share with your followers.
- Tailwind is working on rolling out a loop feature. It is in Beta testing right now. From what I hear it is really awesome. This will save everyone even more time!
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1. Sign up for a free trial ($15 credit)
You can sign up for a $15 credit that works out to be a one-month free trial if you use my referral link right here!
2. Enter in your info on profile
Once click on the link just go through and sign yourself up and fill in your information in your account. There are also awesome tutorial videos that will pop up and walk you through how to navigate through Tailwind.
3. Install extension
- The Tailwind extension is super easy to install and use. It will place a Tailwind icon on the top toolbar of your internet window. This makes using Tailwind on Pinterest a breeze!
Once you are on Pinterest you can search for the pins that you are looking for (ex: how to blog) and then when the results pop up you can then click on the extension and it will pull all those pins so you can then choose which ones you want to repin.
You simply click on the pins you want to repin and the board you want them to be pinned too.
You can have them all go to the same board or you can choose a different board for each pin!
After you have selected which pins you want and where you want them to go, you just hit schedule the queue and it will fill up your Tailwind schedule!
You can also use the Tailwind extension on any other website as well. If you are on a blog you just love and you want to repin from it, you can use the extension the same way.
After you have hit schedule Tailwind will pull up a list of other pins you may also be interested in repining. Sometimes they have awesome suggested pins and sometimes they don’t. You don’t have to repin any of them but it is great to have more pins to choose from if you find one that you like!
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4. Set up preferences/how many pins per day.
- As I said you can set your schedule to pin up to 50 times a day. You don’t have to do that many and if you find it difficult to keep it full then you may want to do less.
- I used to do 50 but then I was unable to stay consistent. It felt like my queue would never stay full and I would end up pinning 50 times for 2 days and then only a few for 2-3 days and then back to 50 when I was able to refill it.
- I decided to drop it down to 20 times so that my queue was consistently full every day. You just need to find what works for you!
It has a smart schedule so it knows when your followers are on Pinterest
- Of those different time spots that you can choose from on Tailwind to pin your pins, they are in a small schedule. This means that Tailwind knows when it is best for you to pin for you. They know when your viewers are most likely on Pinterest and can see your pins!
How amazing is that! You don’t have to guess if you need to be up at 5 am pinning about breakfast recipes. Tailwind will do it all for you!
Pin to Profits: List Building
Pin up to 50 times a day
- As I said you can pin up to 50 times a day. Of those pins, you can do them all of your own pins or half yours and half others. It is all up to you!
- Pin to your preference. Some say 80/20 some say 50/50 and some say 20/80
Pin to group boards and your own boards
- You have the option to pin to your boards or to group boards you are apart of.
- Group boards are boards where there are multiple collaborators. You all contribute to the same board and share each other’s pins.
- Most group boards are niched down to be specific about a certain niche. There are some that are broader such as Mom Bloggers. That could be any type of blog made by a mom. You could have a wide variety of blog topics in there.
- But most are narrowed down. Such as gluten-free recipes group board. So you are only sharing gluten-free recipes on that board.
- There are pros and cons to both. Not niched down gives you more opportunity add more pins. However, that also gives chances of it being overlooked because there are so many different kinds of pins in that group board. Niched down means those people in that group board are interested in your niched pin so it is more likely to be noticed however you may not have as many pins to contribute.
Pin to Tailwind Tribe
- Don’t forget to add pins and share pins from your Tailwind Tribes!
- When using the extension sometimes the URL and description on that pin don’t move over and you have to manually add it. Sometimes that is easy and sometimes you can’t read on the image who made the pin.
- In Tailwind, Tribes you don’t have to worry about that. Those will always be on the pin making resharing it super easy!
5. Tell others and get free months of Tailwind
- Tailwind has a referral program that if you share Tailwind and someone signs up they get $15 and you get $15. This is equivalent to a free month for each of you! Tailwind will automatically add that to your accounts. So by sharing Tailwind, you can essentially use Tailwind for free yourself with at least one sign up from a friend each month!
So to get started with Tailwind
– Install the extension
– Watch the tutorial video on Tailwind
– Start pinning
– Grow your blog traffic!
For more information on how I grew my blog traffic over 600 page views in one day on my small blog, you can check out this post.
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22 Of The Best Photo Editors For Bloggers
(Free and Paid)
There are so many different programs out there to use as a picture editor. If you are new to blogging, it can be overwhelming! I know it was for me, I didn’t know where to start.
Should I pay for an editing software or would I be able to use a free software that would work just as well?
Personally, I don’t have any background in photography or picture editing. I need something that is well…. easy and dummy proof.
I know what I like but once I start editing then it starts to look forced and over edited. I try to go with less is more. If I like the picture, to begin with then I just do a little touching up and not overdo it.
However, if you have the eye for it and the knowledge then go for it! But even with the know-how and the eye you may still be lost on which one to use or which ones are even available. I did some research for you and this is what I found!
I found 22 different programs to use as a picture editor. 14 of them are free photo editor programs! I personally use two of them, but I have read other bloggers that recommend a few of the other ones so it is entirely your preference.
Some will just come easier to you and some may not be your style.
For example, I use both Canva and PicMonkey. I had the free version of them both for a while, but I did go ahead and invest in the paid version of PicMonkey and I will explain why in just a bit.
For now, I want to tell you the differences I see in them.
Canva vs PicMonkey
Canva is great for creating Pins for Pinterest and other social media images. Canva right away shows you different templates you can use for your photo.
Let’s say you are creating an image for Facebook it already has the template with the correct size that is best for Facebook.
Same for Pinterest, flyers, business cards, etc. It doesn’t however, in the free verse at least, let you do much actual editing to your photo itself.
You can upload an image and crop it, filter it, flip it, adjust the transparency, link it, and rearrange the content on your design. But again, you can’t do anything like photoshop work to it.
I do like that Canva shows what you have created on your profile. After you download your design it shows you all your past creations when you go to your profile.
You can also create a team to work on a project together, you can see what images others have shared with you, and what is really cool is you can set up your brand as well.
Within Canva you can:
Choose a layout
Within the layouts, it had many different options to choose from. These are nice because they are all done for you. You just have to add your touch and done!
Choose an Element
Within the elements tab, there are 9 choices. As you can see you can pick from Free Photos, Grids, Frames, Shapes, Lines, Illustrations, Icons, Chats, and I love Canva.
Canva gives you many beautiful free pictures to use and then they do offer some you can buy.
Grids are where you can add multiple photos to your image in a specific layout that you choose. It is just like a collage and you pick the design you want to use.
You can add a frame or a border to your image.
This one is really great for making Pinterest images. You can add shapes to your image to really make a certain word or number stand out in your image. This is also great to break apart the text on your image.
Again, this is great to break apart the text on your image or to make a certain word or number stand out to the viewer. It also brings a little character to your image as well!
This is like Clipart for Canva. This is where you can choose from a variety of different illustrations to use for your image. If you are planning a 4thof July BBQ there is a red, white and blue popsicle illustration, or if you are planning a camping trip there are binoculars, a compass, and a lantern illustration you can use! So many options!
The text section seems pretty obvious but Canva added a little twist. They have text templates already available for you to pick from.
Instead of just offering different fonts you can adjust yourself, Canva has the different fonts already put together for you to just change the words to your own.
For example, they have a baby announcement one that has all the same font, but they emphasized the “We are having a baby girl!” part by making it a larger font.
Then they have some that have one that invites you to an ice cream party and it uses multiple fonts and sizes. You just click on the template you like and drag it over to your creation!
Or start from scratch and create it yourself!
Once again, choose from the many different free and paid for backgrounds that Canva has to offer. There are solid backgrounds, patterned backgrounds, or upload your own!
Upload your own!
I hope that helps walk you through what Canva has to offer for photo editing, now let’s dive into PicMonkey!
PicMonkey has a lot more to offer. Canva and PicMonkey each have their own pros and cons and again it is each to their own. Some prefer Canva and some prefer PicMonkey.
You can see right away that you have more to choose from as to what you can do on PicMonkey. You can either edit a photo, touch up a photo, choose a design or template to use, or make a collage.
I used the free version of PicMonkey as my photo editor for a long time but then I went ahead and invested in the $7.99 a month to be able to do more editing to my pictures.
I have heard that photoshop is difficult to learn and is expensive so in my opinion, I would rather pay the $7.99 and have a very user-friendly photo editor program for me to use.
If you are already a photo editor wizard then this might be too simple for you. If you are like me and just need the basics to touch up an image than PicMonkey is amazing!
There are so many things you can do in PicMonkey. Here is a run through of the options available.
Here you can crop, change the canvas Color, Rotate the image, change the exposure, change the color of the image, sharpen the image, and resize it. There is also the option at the top to auto adjust.
This feature makes life easier for me so I don’t overdo it with all the options below. I just hit auto adjust and move on to the next section.
Here is where you can change the effect of the image or the tint of it. These are preset that you can go through and click on to see which one fits the look you are going for.
Again, I have to paid version so I may have more available to choose from than the free version.
As far as editing your photos this is my favorite feature. I don’t necessarily have the most beautiful skin in the world. So, when I wanted to make a headshot profile picture I needed to do some touch-up work on certain areas.
This made it super easy! My husband took my picture with his new iPhone 8, not even with a fancy camera, and I went in and edited it to remove some blemishes, wrinkles, and scars and wah-lah!
You can give yourself a complete facelift if you wanted to! I am not all into that but removing some blemishes and wrinkles absolutely! You won’t have as many options in the free version but it will still help you clean up your image!
You can add text to your photo and change the size and font but unlike Canva it doesn’t have text templates of fonts that go well together. Still is very easy to add and adjust the text to your photo though.
This is similar to the shapes you can add in Canva but here you can add symbols, arrows, spirographs, as well as all the illustrations of different clipart type inserts. You can also add your own.
This is a great way to be able to overlap text and images through your design.
Here is the same where you can add a frame to your photo to give it a fun touch or a certain look.
This reminds me of the filters on SnapChat. You can add fun accents to your photo. If you want your photo to look like it is on an old piece of paper they have that texture you can add to your photo.
Or if you want it to look painted on or stitched on, they have that texture.
Themes are everything all rolled into one.
If you have a certain vibe you are going for but you don’t want to go through each category one by one to try and achieve that look, then go to the themes section and it has them all categorized together.
If you want it to look like an old newspaper clipping then you can click on the School U theme and under there it will list all the effects, overlays, text, textures, and frames that will most likely go with that look.
Under effects in the School U theme it says newspaper and then you just go from there! This can say you a bunch of time!
Here is where you can choose a template for your image. Just like Canva, you can make a Facebook image, business card, flyer, Pinterest image, etc. You will want to make this decision before you start any editing though.
So there you have it. The differences between Canva and PicMonkey.
I would like to say again that I do have the free version of Canva and the paid version of PicMonkey. You may be able to do more in the paid version of Canva that I don’t know about.
I do know that still with the free version of PicMonkey I felt you were able to do more and you could do actual photo editing.
Free Pinterest Image Course
Check out my FREE Pinterest Image Course where I walk you through how I make my Pinterest images.
I show you where I get my free stock images, how I edit them, how I make one image into multiple, and then how to use a bonus program you may already have on your computer to make beautiful Pinterest images!
Here is the complete list of the 22 programs you can use as a picture editor. Numbers 3-22 I have not personally used before. I did look into them though so here is more information on them!
- Canva – FREE (upgrade available for more features)
- PicMonkey – FREE (upgrade available for more features)
- Gimp – FREE
- PhotoScape – FREE
- Fotor – FREE TRIAL (upgrade to paid plan)
- Pixlr Editor – FREE
- Aviary – FREE
- On1 Perfect Effects – PAID
- Snappa – FREE (upgrade available for more features)
- PortraitPro – PAID
- Inkscape – FREE
- PhotoViewer Pro – PAID
- iPiccy – FREE
- BeFunky – FREE (upgrade available for more features)
- Picasa – FREE
- Serif PhotoPlus X8 -PAID
- Ribbet – FREE (upgrade available for more features)
- Adobe Lightroom – PAID Adobe $9.99-19.99 a month
- Photoshop CS2 – PAID Adobe $9.99-19.99 a month
- Photoshop Elements -PAID Adobe $9.99-19.99 a month
- Pixelmator – PAID
- Fotoflexr – FREE
Gimp is a free online photo editor site. I have heard of other bloggers using this program and it reminds me of PicMonkey and Canva but just not quite as user-friendly.
PhotoScape is a free download that you install onto your computer.
Fotor offers a free trial to test it out but then it is either a monthly or yearly subscription after that.
6. Pixlr Editor
Pixlr is a free photo editing site that also offers an app!
Aviary is free as well and they too offer an app for photo editing!
8. On1 Perfect Effects
On1 offers a free trial but then it is a paid program.
Snappa offers three different plans to chose from. One is paid with fewer features and then the more you pay the more you get on the other two features.
PortraitPro has a free trial but then becomes a paid program.
Inkscape is free to download.
12. Photo Viewer Pro
Photo ViewerPro can be download for a price. That price depends on which plan you choose. They offer three different plans. To find those prices go to the bottom and lick on FAQ and it has the answer there.
iPiccy is another free program for editing your photos. You just have to install it to run the program. It works for graphic design too!
BeFunky has a free basic plan to edit your photos and then they offer a paid plan as well that offers more features.
Picasa seems to be still available to download but there is a statement saying that it is being discontinued. I didn’t try to download it because I didn’t want to actually download it but you can try to here. If you want to read more about why it is discounted and what it is now turning into you can read more about that right here!
16. Serif PhotoPlus X8
Serif PhotoPlus X8 is a paid program that you can purchase for $24.99
Ribbet is free to edit photos but it does offer upgrade features for a price. Again this one reminds me of Canva and PicMonkey.
The next three are Adobe programs that run $9.99 and up a month
18. Adobe Lightroom
19. Photoshop CS2
Photoshop CS2 – Adobe offers too many programs to list them all. I just listed the ones that I found to be the most popular.
20. Photoshop Elements
Pixelmator can be downloaded from your Mac App Store for $59.99
Fotoflexr is another free program for photo editing.
Now that you have gone through all of them I hope you can see which ones may or may not work for you. Without actually downloading and trying each one it is hard for me to give them a proper review.
I would like to say that though you may be thinking some of those are a bit pricey, don’t forget that those are a one time fee and the others are a monthly fee.
Of course, you may not want to pay for any of them and decide to go with one of the free programs! I don’t blame you there!
If you are a photographer that needs in-depth photo editing than I suggest you get one that you have to buy. You get what you pay for and if your product is the images themselves you don’t want to cheap out there.
If you are like me and you are a blogger and you just need to make some quick edits and make pin images, then you can definitely go with a free program.
I lean more toward Canva and PicMonkey of course since I have used those two before.
If I could only pick one of those two I would go with PicMonkey.
Suzi from Start a Mom Blog has a great FREE course on PicMonkey that goes more in-depth on all its amazing features!
Good luck on your photo editing journey!
Don’t forget to check out my FREE Pinterest Image Course!