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)
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My top 2 Favorites
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 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.
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!