Getting Started with Pinterest For Bloggers

How to Use Pinterest: for bloggers

First off, I hope you didn’t come for the donuts, because I lied about those to lure you here. There’s really only a video tutorial and three free worksheets to go along with this post on getting started with Pinterest for bloggers.

So, #1: Download the worksheets that you can use to follow along and take notes during the video.
And, #2: Watch the video below.
Or, #3: Check out the description below this Pinterest tutorial video to see what I talk about in the video, and then watch the video because you’ll hopefully be utterly convinced it’s worth your time. Love you bunches and all that.

In this webinar I talk about seven things you can do when you are getting started with Pinterest or using it for a brand/blog for the first time:

  1. Build boards that make sense (for your brand).
  2. Fill your boards with truly high-quality pins. (And how you can determine whether other people’s pins are quality/legit links or not.)
  3. Research what influencers in your niche/area are pinning and doing.
  4. Develop a strategy.
  5. Get your site ready. (And the five key places from which you can encourage pins on your blog.)
  6. Do your homework. (And the three pieces of homework you can do each day on Pinterest to learn how to grow your blog.)
  7. Engage. (And three simple ways you can engage on Pinterest, with both your readers and other bloggers.)

Pinterest for Bloggers worksheet byRegina Pinterest for Bloggers worksheet byRegina

Please let me know what you think and let us all know (in the comments) if you have any other essential tips for bloggers who are just starting out on Pinterest.

Photo: © Fisher Photostudio

You Have 2 Employees You Might Not Have Known About

Your website and your social media are your employees
Yes. The time has come to tell you about the two employees you have that you can never ever fire. But don’t worry too much, I have some adult homework (free set of worksheets) to help you train them.

Track with me here, and trust me.

Think about an employee at a retail store, or a software sales company, or a restaurant, or whatever feels good to you right now. What is the purpose of that employee? What benefit do they add to the company and to the customers?

The functions and benefits of an employee:

  • Employees take some of the workload off the company owner.
  • Employees provide the face/experience of the company to the customer.
  • They answer any questions customers may have.
  • Employees direct clients where they need to go.
  • Employees convince clients to buy.
  • They make sales.
  • Employees reassure customers of the quality of the company’s services or products.
  • Employees fit the customer with the correct solution for their needs.

You may be a one-woman or one-man shop, but you actually have two employees that you can never, ever fire. So they’re effectiveness for your brand relies on how you set them up and train them. Who? May I introduce you to your two employees:

One is named: Your Website
The other is called: Your Social Media Platforms

And yes, you guessed it, their parents didn’t love them much to give them names like that, but moving on . . .

The first employee is what I want to discuss with you today and give you a little adult homework + a free download for. The second employee, Your Social Media Platforms, I discuss in Grow Your Blog Traffic with Social Media (the eKit that releases next week if you pre-ordered it; also, it’s over 200 pages now).

Let’s talk about the employee named Your Website. For several years I’ve been teaching a WordPress class here in Austin (with my good friend Brittany Mays) in which I talk about how your website can be a hard-working employee. People laugh at the concept until we start talking about the similarities.

So, if you want to do a super fun bit of adult homework, download the free worksheets (note: there are three pages–and it’s best to download them and print them from an application instead of your browser to maintain the formatting) I made for you by clicking on the image below, and go through the exercise in the worksheets after reading the rest of this post.

The-Good-Employee-Worksheets


Can a website fill in as a good employee?

Can a website take some of the workload off of you, the owner? Absolutely. It can send automated emails thanking people for filling out a contact form. It can introduce you to perspective buyers. It can convince people of your expertise (through your blog or resources).

Does your website provide the face/experience of your brand to readers and potential clients? Are we serious right now? I don’t even have time to answer that question, except to say, yes. And also to say: Your website will often be the first impression people get of you. Your website provides the content and the experience that people use to make up their minds about you.

Does your website answer certain questions customers may have? I hope so. Try a “Start Here” or “Frequently Asked Questions” page. Or, go big with questions answered by video each week (hello, Marie Forleo)–I know I’m about to start this up again. You can also use your social media accounts to host Q+A sessions (I’m a big fan of the Office Hours Erika Madden holds weekly on Facebook). And if you have a physical location, hours of operation, and/or terms of service, don’t keep them a secret. Share them on your website in an obvious place.

Does your website direct potential clients and readers where they need to go? Hopefully. Through your simple navigation, your purposeful sidebar options, your “Start Here”-ish page, your calls to action, and your subtle + helpful links within pages and posts. Step back and use your site as a customer. Can you access everything you need to easily? Ask a friend to test it out.

Does your website convince customers to buy? Your blog, professional images, clearly described services and products, FAQs, and calls to action should be doing the trick. If they’re not, they may need some revamping (or some time to grow).

Does your website make sales? I hope you have payment buttons or a shopping cart in place. If not, PayPal, Gumroad, Squarespace, Selz, a linked or embedded Etsy shop, or WooCommerce are all options to look into.

Does your website reassure customers of the quality of your products? Yep. You can thank your blog, your tailored content, and your product descriptions for this.

Does your website fit your users/readers with the right solution, content, or services for their needs? Yes. You can do this through offering free previews or samples of your products/services on your site (so clients can interact and figure out you’re a good fit), through tailored and detailed descriptions of the benefits of each product, through consultations booked on your site, through tutorials written or displayed on your site, and more.


Now, go forth with your Good Employee Worksheets and train your newly-found employee, Your Website, how to work its tail off.

P.S. I originally sent this out by email some time ago. I often send my email friends resources and tips that don’t get posted on this blog or that get emailed out way ahead of time. If you want in, you can sign up here.

Oh, and if you think I’m ridiculous for this concept, just visit me via my employee, Any of My Social Media Platforms, and let me know. Or, you can comment below with your thoughts. I’d love that.

Creating a “Share-Ready Blog” (and a FREE live Q+A on Growing Your Blog)

The share-ready blog checklist

You know how people always say, “The easiest way to a successful blog is to download the checklist above and then attend the FREE webinar and Q+A Happy Hour that Regina is putting on this Thursday evening.”? It’s such a common phrase nowadays. Surely you’ve heard it. UPDATE: There’s now a recording of it, so don’t worry if you missed it.

So, what is Sophisticated Blogging: The Free Q+A Hangout Happy Hour? 

  • an informal, live Google+ Hangout on Air (that you can watch the recording of here–perhaps just skip my first two minutes of sound/technical issues)
  • on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 9 p.m. Central (which happened here)
  • in which I will answer all your answered questions on growing your blog traffic with social media
  • and in which I used the worksheets below, so you can still download those and follow along if you’d like

The topics of discussion are:

  • how to create a share-ready blog
  • the major social media myths that could be killing some of your social game
  • a “secret” tool I use to see which posts/links are most clicked in my sidebar and all over my site (pictured below–UPDATE, I didn’t get to this and the feature is Google Analytic’s In-Page Analytics)
  • how Google+ can be used to grow your blog (thanks for that question Caylee)
  • whether to give up on your Facebook page or not, and how to just start out with a Facebook page if you’re establishing one now

Track clicks to know what's popular and shareable on your blog


What you need for the Sophisticated Blogging Happy Hour:

SRB-checklist-preview SB1-worksheets-preview


And lastly, why is it called “Sophisticated Blogging,” Regina?

Because I wanted an excuse to dress up, pour a glass of wine, and talk in my British accent. Totally normal.

 

The 5 (Blog Reader) Love Languages

The-Blog-Reader-Love-Languages

I’m not the only one who started every conversation for five years with the whole “What are your love languages?” bit, right? Okay, good. Just checking. I knew you were as awesome as I am.

But for the two of you in the world who didn’t get obsessed with this craze, Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, that outlines the different ways people receive, show, and interpret love (touch, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and gifts). You may be buying your girlfriend all the flowers in the universe, but if gifts don’t mean much to her, she still might not feel loved. With me?

So, over the past few months of reading blog posts, writing, reading your comments, replying, talking with other blog writers and readers via email and social media, etc., I’ve discovered what I believe to be the 5 love languages of blog readers. BUT FIRST:

What makes you feel loved as a blog reader?

Before you check out the five blog reader love languages below, please take two minutes to list three to five things (out loud, right now) that let you know a blogger really cares about you. What makes you feel the author is concerned for you? happy you’re there? ready to serve you?

Studies prove that this post will be 47% more effective if you think of your blog reader love languages before you read the list below because you’ll be stating what naturally comes to you, with no prompting.

Important note: When I say things like “studies prove” or “as history has shown” it means I have completely fabricated everything that follows.

And now, for the 5 love languages of your blog readers:

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#3DayCreate: The Workbook + Challenge

How To Create and Information Product #3DayCreate

Hi. I feel like I know you. Angry tweet me if I’m wrong. Consider accepting my challenge if I’m correct. >>>

You’re smart. You’re a learner. People ask you questions about things a lot. You don’t mind answering + explaining because you love to help. You’re even thinking that you might want to create:

  • an eBook
  • a digital workbook
  • an email course
  • a webinar or seminar
  • a live class
  • an online class
  • a printed book
  • etc.

You want to package your information and perhaps sell it from your blog, or from Amazon.com, or you may even want to give it away to people who sign up for your email list.

But, creating a product like this is intense. It takes like a million years, right?

The 3-Day Create: How to Create and eProduct

Not right. I’ve never liked that myth and we (the fabulous people who receive emails from me every week and I) decided to create a challenge, specifically:

The 3-Day Create

Though you can complete it on your own time, we’re taking three days this weekend (since some of us have the Labor Day holiday) to all create different products. Seriously. You can see us already talking about it over here on Twitter.


You’re not getting hung up on this whole “only 3 days?!” thing are you? I told you about the time that I wrote a mystery novel in 3 days, right? No? Remind me to tell you about it one time.

How about now? Now is good for me.

I once wrote a mystery novel in 3 days. And it was possible because I had a plan, an inspiring contest, and hundreds/thousands of people across the world doing it with me.

Was the novel any good Regina?
No.
But you’re missing the point.
And that is:



So, to inspire you, guide you, and motivate you through #3DayCreate, I developed a 57-page PDF workbook. There are checklists, worksheets, lessons, and prompts to guide you through the process of creating an eProduct (any digital product) or physical information product. You don’t need the workbook in order to join us in creating. Feel free to block off time and just go for it with us.

How to Name Your eBook: The 3-Day Create

The 3-Day Create Workbook


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You Are Your Social Proof (Who Are You Online: Part Three)

What is social proof?
I realized I forgot to tell you how I’m the world’s foremost expert on social proof. Not to brag or anything but I had a self-taught early start to social proof–it began in the 7th grade.

A quick rundown of the facts? No problem.

Chris Moreno. He was THE guy. Maybe not to everyone else, but to me, for sure. I had two clear disadvantages though:

  • I was in the 7th grade. He was an 8th grader.
  • I was also a 7th grader in his 8th grade math class. The 8th graders picked on me for that. But, I did get to sit at his round table in class, right next to him. Heaven.

Okay, three disadvantages:

  • If I’m being honest, I also hadn’t mastered my hair, or my wardrobe, or my anything.

I didn’t want my situation to deter me though, because Chris and I were destined to spend a lifetime together. This concept was firmed up in my mind when we ran into each other outside of school at a James Bond movie premiere. I knew then. No one else in the entire world loved James Bond but the two of us. It was a sign.
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You Are The Experience You Offer (Who Are You Online: Part Two)

You are the experience you offer

P.S. This is the second part of a four-part series on who you are online. Part one is here. P.P.S. I hate when people “P.S.” things when they haven’t said anything to begin with. Weirdos.

Sooo, I don’t want you to start judging me and whatnot, but I have to tell you an embarrassing truth: I’m a movie theater snob. A legit snob. This is what happened:

I was minding my own business and living life while watching movies at regular theaters. I even frequented a “dollar theater” at which a rat ran past my foot in the middle of a movie one time. What did I do? I propped my legs up on the empty chair in front of me and finished the rest of that Channing Tatum movie, whatever it was, desperately hoping the rat didn’t come back. This was my life. I was in Austin, Texas (no longer living in NYC), so a movie shouldn’t cost more than $10. But, then . . .

The luxury theaters started popping up. Someone treated me to my first movie at one such fancy theater a few years ago and in my head I laughed at them . . . “Who pays $29 for a single movie ticket? Ha. I judge thee. I’m never coming back here.” (Talk about ungrateful.)
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