You may have noticed that there are new video pins on Pinterest when before it has always been a still image. They recently added this new feature and I am loving it. It is pretty cool to be scrolling along and see a pin start playing. It makes me love Pinterest that much more! Now I can see even more detail about what that pin is about before clicking through! But for a business owner, video pins on Pinterest means something more than to a normal Pinterest user.
Yes, as a normal Pinterest user you get to enjoy videos sharing all the cool ways you can braid your hair, but as a business owner, you now have more opportunity to share your business with your potential customers!
First let me say, don’t worry if you don’t have the option yet to create video pins on Pinterest yet. It is fairly new so it will be available soon if you don’t have it yet. If you do have the option to create a video pin then let’s dive into why this is so awesome for you and your business!
Video Pins Can Benefit Your Business
1. People Like to Watch Videos
It is pretty obvious that people like videos. YouTube, TikTok, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have videos on them. Not all of them have always had videos but they have evolved to all cater to videos because people love to watch them! You can tell so much more of your story with a quick video than trying to explain it all over text and with an image. Even blogs have turned into vlogs!
2. Video Pins on Pinterest are Eye-catching
Videos catch your eye when they start playing, you can’t help but watch. If the video is good you are likely to stay and watch it until the end. When you could easily scroll right on past images.
3. Video Pins on Pinterest Stand Out in the Crowd
On Pinterest, it is a sea of images. There aren’t personal posts to break up the images, it is only images. With that said, it is very easy to just scroll and scroll. However, if a pin starts moving and playing an eye-catching video, you can’t help but stop and watch what’s happening at least for a few seconds. And those few seconds of your attention are more than the other pins got!
4. Video Pins Share More Than a Still Image Can
With a video pin, you are able to share with your potential customer more about your pin that with a still image. If your pin image is a delicious recipe but it is a still image that is just one shot to show them how amazing your recipe is. With a video image, this gives you the opportunity to show them how amazing your recipe is. I love watching those quick cooking videos! And I don’t even like to cook! I just love watching them and it gives the illusion that this is quick and easy to make, even when it may not be.
But that video got me to stop, watch, think, and possibly click through. That is MUCH more than a still image recipe pin gets from me.
5. Video Pins are Listed at the Top of the Mobile App
On the mobile Pinterest app, there is a section of video pins at the top after you search for something. I searched for fall soup recipes to show you what I mean. In the search results, there is a list of video pins at the top of the feed. There were also several promoted video pins as I scrolled down that were by big companies like the Food Network. That should tell you that video pins work right there!
Well, now that we have covered the video pins are awesome and everyone’s favorite let’s talk about how to make them so you can join the cool club of video pin makers!
How to Make a Video Pin on Pinterest
My favorite way to create animated pins is with the Adobe Spark App. Since my pins are all about blogging tips, it is an easy way to add some zest to my pins without completely creating an entire video. With the Adobe Spark App you can create your pin very simply and then you click on effects and from there you can animate your text on your pin.
This App is free and makes creating pins very easy. It is something I actually just started using last week. That was when I realized that you could animate your text turning it into a short video that would be perfect for grabbing your reader’s attention out of the crowd of other pins without creating a video.
As with anything, there is more than one way to create a video pin and yes, luckily some of them are free! As I mentioned you can use Abobe Spark but here are some other free options to help you get started.
Video Speed App
Wave.video and Giphy.com
I have not personally tried the wave.video option yet but I used giphy.com to create the video above showing you the fall soup recipes example. I just read that the wave.video was an option another blogger used so I included it for you.
The video above from giphy.com would be able to be a video pin because it falls into all the criteria listed for a video pin on Pinterest. That said, that means you could use giphy.com to create animated pins or video pins as well.
This pin was created with giphy.com too and I am going to use it on Pinterest to advertise this blog post. I created three pin images like I normally would do. Uploaded them to giphy.com and set the time fo 3 seconds per image. Then the final step allows you to add an animated sticker. I added the arrow and hit complete!
Now I have a video pin that showcases all of the three pins I created. This is an easy way to set your pins apart from all of the others!
If you are an Apple user you can use iMovie to create a video right from your phone. This is where creating an actual video and editing it would come in. If your blog is about cooking you could video the process of cooking something and edit it in iMovie to shorten it and create a video pin.
You can even use PowerPoint to create a slideshow video. You just need to make sure that the slides are the pin image size but I tried this method and was able to get it to work! It didn’t work for GoogleSlides though. You have to save the movie in a correct format and GoogleSlides didn’t have that option. Also, PowerPoint let me set a timer to automatically change the slides turning it into a movie similar to the pin above and GoogleSlides didn’t have that option either.
Video Speed App
I included this App in the list because it helps you speed up your videos faster than iMovie will let you. Let’s say that your video is of you drawing something and you want to speed it up but iMovie will only go 2x as fast and you need 4x. The video speed app will speed up your video for you so that you don’t lose your viewer’s attention.
I love to watch those videos of people drawing things out but if I have to watch it in real-time I would give up very quickly. When they speed through it I stick around to see the end result because I know it’s coming quickly.
Canva (paid option)
Again, I read about Animoto and Lumen 5 so I wanted to include these options but I haven’t tried them myself. I have tried Canva (the free option) and I do enjoy it so if Canva is something you already use then it may be worth the small investment to enable to video option.
Video Pin Specs from Pinterest
How long can videos be on Pinterest?
.mp4, .mov or .m4v
H.264 or H.265
4 seconds – 15 minutes
up to 500 characters long, though only the first few lines will show in feed
We accommodate standard video sizes including widescreen (16:9)Horizontal -Youtube, square (1:1)-Instagram, FB, and vertical (9:16, 4:5, 2:3)- Pinterest.
Pinterest has a lot to share on their business page on the basics of creating pins on Pinterest. Of course, going there and reading everything straight from them is always the best. This is some advice from myself and other bloggers on what makes a good pin and what to avoid.
Are vertical and not horizontal bc they are easily scrolled right past. You can, however, do the square video pin bc they are used at the top of the mobile app.
Add Text overlay with clear easy to read font, avoid too much script font.
Bright colors (or at least contrasting colors).
Watermark – make sure to put your URL or logo somewhere on the image to avoid others stealing your pin and to make it easier for it to be repinned by others.
Saveable – the point isn’t to just get an ad of your blog out there in front of people but it is to get people to:
a) save it because then it goes to more people but also
b) to click through
An attention-grabbing title.
Solves a problem.
Branding colors (or at least colors that go well together).
A keyword filled description.
Keep it short (doesn’t give away too much and keeps attention).
Use beautiful images.
Don’t rely on audio with video pins.
Link to Pinterest Business page.
Rich pins added to your account.
How to Upload a Video Pin to Pinterest
Once you have created this masterpiece all you need to do next is to upload it to Pinterest. To do this it is just like adding a regular pin to Pinterest. Click the + sign that can be found on the top right corner of the screen and follow the steps from there.
There is an approval process for video pins, unlike normal pins. I’m sure this is to verify that all videos being uploaded to Pinterest are appropriate. Which I for one am very thankful for! I don’t want to be scrolling along and seeing something I don’t want to see.
Promote Your Video Pins
How do you promote a video pin?
You can promote your video pins by following the steps explained on Pinterest’s business page and after reading up on promoting pins I see that you can not promote GIFs so just be aware of that if promoting video pins is something you think you might do. I would hate for you to create a video pin from a giphy.com and then not be able to promote it later if it took off.
How to Schedule Your Pins
Now that you have creating video pins for Pinterest down, let’s talk about scheduling them out to automatically pin on Pinterest. If you have made it this far to learn how to create video pins on Pinterest I am sure that you have already been pinning regular pins and have either realized it is too much to do all on your own or you have already signed up for Tailwind.
If you haven’t yet signed up and you are feeling a bit overwhelmed on how to possibly be pinning all day every day then I am here to tell you that Tailwind is a lifesaver! I have two different success stories I will share with you on how amazing Tailwind can be.
My Success Stories
When I first started using Tailwind on my new blog within a week my traffic spiked. It went from a couple people a day to hundreds of people a day visiting my blog. I had over 7,000 page views on my very new blog in 30 days. The last week of January is when I started and 30 days later I had over 7,000 page views. I go more into detail on that in this blog post.
Fast forward to me not staying consistent on neither creating content nor adding it to Tailwind and my traffic had gone down. I only have myself to blame but it’s the honest truth I let it all go and basically went back to where I started. I reloaded my Tailwind with all new blog posts and did my normal leave it and forget about it until a couple days later. My traffic took off again! This time I tried my best to keep it alive and I was able to off of that one blog post that was driving traffic in. I was able to get over 20,000 page views in 30 days. I talk all about which pins too off and why in this blog post.
If you actually use Tailwind the way it should be used (and if you are paying for it then you should – unlike me!) then it definitely works. My traffic 100 percent reflects my Tailwind strategy. If I am keeping up with it and adding new content to my blog and to Tailwind then my traffic goes up. If I get behind and I don’t then my traffic goes down. Learn more about how to use Tailwind and give it a try and see for yourself!
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!
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!
Step by Step Guide to Writing Your First Blog Post
Writing your first blog post can be very intimidating. There are too many scary questions. What if no one reads it? What is no one likes it? How do I even write a blog post? We have all been there and I think all blogger would give the same advice. Just do it!
Even if it isn’t perfect. Even if no one does read it. Just do it! The only way to get better is to just give it a shot and learn from each blog post!
I do have some good news for you though, I am going to help you so you aren’t jumping in blind.
First, you aren’t always going to be able to write a perfect blog post in my opinion. Of course, there are going to be great ones and not so great ones but I don’t think any are perfect.
I say that because everyone is different. What one reader may find it as amazing advice and another won’t. But still, there is a guide to go by to get pretty darn close to perfect!
Step by Step Guide
There are certain checkpoints you want to cross off with each blog post to ensure that you are doing everything you can to make that the best blog post for your readers and for your blog.
For Your Readers
You want to create a blog post that is interesting and educational. Something that grabs your readers attention and takes them on a journey to the answer.
Some blog posts it will be easy to grab their attention and keep it throughout the post. Others that don’t have a personal attention-grabbing story behind it (like this one) may be harder to do that.
But my goal is just to help you solve the blog you are looking to solve! And for this post, it is writing your first blog post!
Each post should also have the goal to do well with SEO and be easy to read. If your blog post checks off all the tips to do well with SEO then it will do better in the blogging world.
Google will share your post, Pinterest will share your post, and readers will share your post.
How to Use WordPress
(Already know how to use WordPress? Just skip on down to the good stuff!)
I like to share even the basics in my blog posts because it was hard for me to find these details when I first started blogging.
That is why I decided I wanted to teach others how to blog. So I could help them skip the trouble I had!
Once you log into your WordPress site on the left side you will see Posts and the Add New Post. Click on that and it will take you to the next screen.
Title and URL
Now on this screen is where you are going to write your first blog post. At the top, you will add your blog post title. It will automatically generate a URL for your blog post.
You have the option to edit it. If you want to edit it do that right away. After you share your blog post you won’t be able to edit it or then everywhere else you shared it won’t link back to this post anymore.
On the right side, you can see there are options to edit when your blog post goes public. Right now as you write it, it will only be a draft. Make sure to save your blog post periodically as you write it.
WordPress will automatically save it for you but I have unfortunately lost a lot of work when I lost connection once and it didn’t save. Now regardless I will save the draft as I write my blog post.
Once you are completely done with the blog post you can publish it immediately or schedule it out.
The next set of drop-down menus is the format of your blog post, the categories you want this post in, tags you want to be added to this post and a feature image for this post.
The format should stay the same. It is only changed if you want to create a video post or other options besides just a blog post so just leave that.
The categories tab is where you will check the categories you want this blog post to go in. If you have categories about healthy eating and parenting tips and your blog post pertains to both of those then you would check off both of those.
It is a way to organize your blog posts to make them easy to find for you and your readers.
The tags section is where you can add keywords you want to be associated with this blog post.
Again, if your blog post relates to healthy eating and parenting then you can use those keywords plus healthy recipes, parenting hacks, healthy food, etc.
Anything that you think people will search for regarding your post.
The feature image is the smaller thumbnail image that will pop up on the other pages of your blog.
When your readers click on the blog section of your blog (depending on exactly how you have it set up) then they will be taken to a page where it will display all of your recent blog posts with the feature images.
I use the Divi Theme and it has an option to remove this image from the blog post itself. If a reader clicks on the feature image and is taken to that blog post, I don’t want the feature image at the top of the blog post.
I already have a pin image at the top of my blog post so I don’t want the feature image there as well. So keep in mind you probably have that option with your theme as well.
A great resource to have to ensure that your blog post checks off all the SEO points is to install the Yoast SEO Plugin.
It will tell you if your blog post needs improvement with SEO and Readability. When both turn green then you are good to go!
Just click on the different sections and it will tell you where you need to improve to get the green lights.
The Blog Post Checklist
Now let’s move on to the good stuff, the blog post itself!
You now know how to write the blog post in WordPress but let’s talk about actually writing the blog post itself. What all makes a great blog post?
Great blog posts contain:
Have great content
Follow a structure
Have inbound and outbound links
The best course (and at the best price) for mastering writing the perfect blog post is Suzi’s course Post by Number. It is currently only $9 and if you know anything about Suzi she only provides the absolute best.
Each blog post should be knowledgeable and full of great content. You don’t want to have a short 500-word blog post that doesn’t give the reader much information and is just packed with keywords.
That won’t work.
You need to answer a problem or provide value to your reader on the subject. Give them useful and helpful information to help them solve their problem.
I have heard that highlighting or bolding your keywords throughout your content is also a great way to help your SEO. I just recently started trying it to see if it helps!
I actually like it so far because it has helped me make sure I am using keywords throughout my post as well as using the Yoast SEO Plugin.
Another great tool to use to make sure that your content is easy to read and make sense in the Grammarly extension. This tool is my best friend!
When I write I do it as if I’m talking to a friend. So when I do that it is too easy to have long sentences and misspelled words.
I talk a lot and so, therefore, I type a lot.
If I get to going too fast then I have many grammar errors. This extension underlines the errors in red for me. This saves me so much time.
I just start typing and Grammarly will tell me what to fix! Of course, I always go back and reread my posts too.
Yoast SEO also tells me when I have used the same word too much, when my sentences are too long, and when I have too much text and not enough headings.
Follow a Structure
Suzi goes more in-depth in this section but you should make sure that each blog post follows a structure.
No one wants to read a sea of text.
You need to make sure there are headings throughout your blog post. Only have a few sentences between breaking them up.
There should be images throughout your post to also help break up the text and even give examples on what you’re trying to teach your readers.
Like I said before, you should bold keywords or important information you want to grab your readers attention.
Each blog post should be at least 1,000 words and people love bullet points or a numbered list.
This really helps show them exactly what they are looking for. If they are in a hurry and scrolling through your post these bullet points will show them this information is important.
Inbound and Outbound Links
Lastly, you want to make sure that your blog posts contain inbound and outbound links. What that means is there are links in your blog post that link back to other blog posts on your blog and links that link out of your blog.
You may worry about outbound links sending your readers away. Well, if your content was good they will be back! Outbound links are great for SEO so make sure that you are linking helpful links for your readers.
When I come across a blog post that is full of great content I will bookmark it to come back later. I may click out and read the other post they suggested from another blogger but I don’t want to lose that post so I will save it to come back to.
Or that is exactly why you need to have beautiful pin images for each blog post. Then your reader can pin your blog post to come back to later!
Pinterest Perfect Images
If you are writing your first blog post then odds are you aren’t very familiar with creating Pinterest images either.
Each blog post should have a beautiful eye-catching image that makes your reader a) save it to Pinterest and b) entices others on Pinterest that see that pin to click through and read your blog post!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
One of the reasons I wanted my blog to be about helping new bloggers was because I understand how hard the simplest thing was for me at the beginning. As I learned something new it was like a light bulb came on and I was like “Oooh, that’s how you do that!”
Yet, those simple things were the hardest answer to find when I was learning how to start a blog. Everyone would share the basic fundamentals of how to actually set up a blog with hosting and domain names but no one was showing you how to do the little tricks like how to add your profile picture to the sidebar!
So, I decided early on that is what I wanted to blog about. The problem, of course, was that I still had to learn everything to be able to have a blog to then share with others. For me, it has been a slow process. I love learning all these things but I felt I had to know everything before I started sharing anything.
I later discovered that was the wrong way about doing it. A piece of advice for you is to not wait like I did. That is part of blogging, you are always going to be learning so don’t wait until you know everything to start!
If I would have been sharing as I went then I would have a lot more done!
For now, let’s tackle this sidebar picture so hopefully, you can have an “Oooh, that’s how you do that” moment too!
I am going to show you how to edit a picture, how to add it to your sidebar on your blog, and how to link it to your About Me page. This way when a reader clicks on your picture it will take them to your About Me page for them to learn more about you!
How to Edit Your Profile Picture
I don’t want to just assume that you have a beautiful picture ready to go. Let’s assume that you need to create one first before adding it to your blog.
If you do have a picture ready to go then feel free to skip all of this and go down to the part where I walk you through how to add your profile picture to your sidebar!
If you are like me then you don’t have an expensive camera or have the time or money to pay someone to take this perfect picture for you and that’s okay! All you need is good lighting and we can make it work!
Here is my profile picture:
It was taken at my front door with my husband’s iPhone. I knew that I needed good lighting and that was the best spot. He had just gotten the new iPhone 8 and it takes amazing pictures so that part helped our process but I will show you how you can still make any picture have a blurred background.
In this picture, I am standing just inside our house and he is standing outside.
This gave the lighting from the sun without it being directly in my eyes like this picture below. This is a picture taken in front of our front door.
The sun was too bright and it made me squint too much and I didn’t like the background at all.
I opened the front door and left it open and then took a couple steps inside still facing the same way and he took a picture from there and it looked like this.
As you can see the phone did blur the background and the lighting from the sun was perfect without blinding me. My eyes are open and brighter and it just looks much better and professional.
A Good Profile Picture
All you need is a good clear headshot to have a good profile picture. But make sure that it doesn’t look like this…
Not a horrible picture but this was taken in our backyard and again the sun was too bright and it made me squint and so my eyes are dark and it’s just not as good as the picture above it. Test it out and try different angles and even different times of the day that would work better.
I have noticed that it is much easier to just use natural sunlight than trying to recreate it with lights. If you can do that then power to ya! I don’t know much about photography so I just stick with sunlight!
Now, once you have a picture taken that is bright, clear, and shows your face well I will show you how to edit it and how to make it a circle if you are wanting your profile picture in your sidebar to look like that.
Edit Your Picture
Now that you have your picture taken you are ready to edit it. If you look at my original picture and then at my actual profile picture you can tell I did some editing.
Not only did I crop it down and make it a circle but I smoothed out my skin and brightened things up a bit because why not right?!
There are several different programs out there that you can use to edit your picture but my absolute favorite is PicMoney!
Many bloggers use PicMonkey so I am sure you have heard of it before but just in case you haven’t let me tell you real quick why it rocks and is perfect for bloggers!
It is user-friendly. I think I have made it clear that I am not a tech guru so anything that is user-friendly and super easy to use is my best friend. Everything on PicMonkey is pretty self-explanatory and it isn’t a complexed overwhelming software like photoshop (so I have heard) and that alone makes it worth using!
You can save your creations within PicMonkey’s hub. This is a fairly new feature and it has been a life saver for me with making images for my blog. I have created several images that I later wanted to edit a few things on or repurpose them and with the PicMonkey hub you can click edit photo and start right where you left off on that image you created months ago!
Very inexpensive! PicMoney does have a free trial of 7 days and then after that (at this moment) it is $7.99 a month. Completely worth the 8 bucks for something that I use almost daily!
PicMonkey has an app that you can use while on the go to edit a quick picture for Pinterest or Instagram.
They offer Templates of different images you can use for your blog, website, social media, and pins on Pinterest.
PicMonkey has Layouts to show you what size images are on different platforms. For example, if you want to make a Facebook cover for your Group they have it premeasured so you know it will fit perfectly before you even start working on it. No more uploading and adjusting it 5 times.
Now let’s move on to editing your picture inside PicMonkey.
Step One – Upload Picture
When you first log into PicMonkey your screen will look something like this. Not exactly like this if you are new to PicMonkey and don’t have any images created on there yet but you get the point.
As you can see there is my Hub that has all of my images saved so I can go in and edit those images or edit a copy of them and keep the original the same. You can also see the templates they have created for you to use or for inspiration.
Then lastly you can see the layouts that have the measurements already created for you. This makes it very easy to just click on the layout you are needing and go on to creating without worry if it is going to fit or not.
Edit New Image
We are going to click on the edit new image box at the top left to start editing your picture.
Next, click on blank canvas so we can enter in the measurements we are wanting. You can choose one of the layouts if you want to it really doesn’t matter too much.
I just created mine using 600×600 pixels and instead of scrolling through all of the blanket layouts I just did it this way to get to the size I wanted.
At the top of this screen, there is an option to create a custom size blank canvas. There isn’t a specific size that you have to have for your profile picture and I will show you later on why that is. I just picked an easy size of 600×600 to make it nice and square.
Add An Image
Then click on “add an image” and add your picture you just took for your profile picture.
The reason I do it this way instead of just uploading the picture from the beginning is so that I have the option to edit the image further with a different box that pops up. If you start with editing an image instead of editing a blank canvas that you add an image too then you don’t get the option to edit it further with the Graphics box that pops up.
Below on the right, you can see the Graphics box pops up but if you just upload the picture instead of adding it to a blank layout then it doesn’t. You can make edits and changes with this Graphics box to your image in addition to the ones I am going to show you below.
Step Two – Adjust Picture
I am going to first make my picture bigger and make it fit the layout I picked. This makes my image bigger and cuts out some of that additional background I had in the original picture.
I do this by clicking on the corners and dragging them to fill the white background. Now my image is fit to the layout we chose and it removed the extra background I don’t need in the picture and it focuses on me.
Especially since in the background of this picture it is my hallway. Don’t worry too much about cutting all of the background out as we will be trimming more of that out when we put the circle frame around it later on.
Step Three – Edit Background
Now that the image is fitted to the layout I am going to go into the effects area on the left side of the screen. From there you can scroll down until you reach the Area tab and you can see there are two different options for blurring out the background and making you the focal point of the picture.
Again in my example, my husband’s phone has already done most of that but this is where you will blur out the background of your profile picture.
Side note: If you have an iPhone 8 or higher you can use the portrait feature in your camera and it will blur the background for you. We now both have the iPhone XR and the camera is amazing!
Here you can see how to blur the background of your profile picture and make you stand out in the picture.
You don’t have to do much of it but just toy around with these options until you feel your picture is perfect and make sure to select apply before moving on.
Step Four – Facelift
This is where I decided to give myself a little facelift because again…why not?! If you go to the Touch-Up area you will see a whole list of options! You can airbrush your skin, whiten your teeth, remove wrinkles, give yourself a tan, and more!
I do not suggest getting too crazy here. You want to make sure the person in the picture and the person that your readers will see in your videos match. As fun as it gets sometimes to add a bunch of filter’s to our pictures, it will become pretty noticeable quickly. What I am saying is that if I can smooth out a few scars and eye wrinkles real quick then I’m going to! Haha!
Once you have finished editing your image then all you have to do is hit Export at the top middle of your screen and save it to your computer! Done!
Step Five – Circle Frame
The last step is for those that want their image to be a circle. PicMonkey can help do that as well!
I wasn’t able to get this part to work without uploading the image again and editing just the image. Like I said before we started with a blank layout and then added the image to be able to get the Graphics box to pop up. Which gives you more editing options.
For the example I showed above, we didn’t use the Graphics box but I just wanted to show you how to get it to pop up. I’m not sure why it works this way but it does.
So to make your picture into a circle, click on the create new at the top left.
Now from here, you will click to upload an image from your computer and you will upload the picture we just edited for your profile picture.
Over on the left side, you will click on Frames and then click the shape you want. In this case, we will click the first one that is a circle.
As you can see the background color is transparent. You want it to be transparent so you can place this image anywhere and it will be a circle image instead of your circle image on top of a red rectangle if that makes sense.
It makes the grey and white squares in the background disappear and it just shows the background color as whatever color that’s already on the page you are adding it to.
For example, if your website has a yellow background the grey and white squares pictured above will be yellow. So it will only show your circle image.
Adding Your Picture to Your Sidebar
Now here is the fun part of getting this beautiful profile picture you worked so hard on into your sidebar menu!
Upload Your Picture
Start by uploading your picture to your WordPress site. If you’re not sure how to do that follow these steps.
On the left side click on media and add new.
Then click add new or upload and find your picture on your computer to upload.
Now that it is uploaded onto your WordPress site click on it to expand all of its details. You are going to need your picture‘s URL as you see it below in my example. Copy that URL and paste it in a Word Doc or in your notes app. Somewhere where you can get to it again to paste it with a special code I am going to give you for your sidebar menu.
About Me Information
Next, go to your About Me page and copy your permalink or URL for that page on your blog. Paste it where you put your image URL.
Go back to the left side and now click on Appearance and Widgets. In this section is where your sidebar information will be. If you don’t have a sidebar yet then this is where you can add all the contents to your sidebar. If you do have one then you are familiar with this and it will be super easy!
You can drag any of the widgets on the left side of this screen and add them to your sidebar or your Header or Footer areas. As you see I have several widgets I have added to my sidebar but for this, you will need to add a text widget to your sidebar.
You can title it “About Me” or “Person Behind It All” or whatever you want to put.
Then I want you to click on the Text Tab. You can see there is a Visual Tab and a Text Tab. Click on Text.
Here is where you are going to add the special code with your two URL’s you have copied.
The code you need is <a href=”https://www.momblogfromhome.com/about-me/” target=”_blank” rel=”"noopener””><img style=”border: none; max-width: 100%;” src=”https://www.momblogfromhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Head-shot-for-blog-mom-blog-from-home.png ” /></a>
You will need to replace the first URL highlighted in pink with your About Me URL that you copied eariler.
Then replace the second URL highlighted in orange with your profile picture URL that you copied earlier as well.
Now take the whole code with the new URLs in it and copy and paste that into the Text Tab side of the Text box in your widget for your sidebar. Then click the Visual Tab and it should show your profile picture that you created!
From here you can adjust it and make it smaller if you would like. This is why I said the size wasn’t too important at the beginning because you have the option to adjust it right here.
You can now add a short introduction under your image telling your readers a little bit about you. Then if they want to learn more they can click on your profile picture that will take them to your About Me page for them to learn more!
That wasn’t so bad, was it?! I hope I didn’t lose you anywhere!
Now to test it out go to your live view of your blog and check it out! And like I said before you can add more to your sidebar with different widgets like social media buttons and more!
I hope you enjoyed this simple tip on how to add your profile picture to your sidebar and how to link it to your About Me page!
Let me know if you have any questions or need any other help with setting up your blog!
Need More Help?
If you need more help making beautiful images for your blog and Pinterest then check out my Free Pinterest Image Course!