How I Increased My Pinterest Views from 0 to 120,000

Pinterest is the hidden gem of online marketing. I spend a lot of time talking about it here and over on Instagram because I fully believe you can use it to your advantage to grow your blog or online business. People are really starting to catch on and are understanding just how powerful this tool can be.

When I started my first business I had such a difficult time coming up with an effective marketing strategy that would convert to more website traffic, new email list subscribers and consistent sales. When I started blogging again I had the same issue. I started reading about Pinterest, combing through research studies, courses, ebooks, blog posts — you name it — and also did some experimenting on my own. Before we get into how I grew my Pinterest views from 0 to 120,000+ let’s touch on some important things you need to know:

First of all — what is Pinterest anyway?

Contrary to popular belief, Pinterest isn’t just for finding DIY’s, creating vision boards or saving recipes that you may or may not attempt to recreate. It’s a place to collect information, shop, and get new ideas -- and for us bloggers and business owners, it’s a space to grow our website traffic and increase brand awareness. It also is NOT a social media platform or social networking site. While you can follow other users and comment on their pins, it’s not meant to be social the way that Instagram and Facebook are.

How can you use Pinterest to grow your brand?

One of the first things you should do to use Pinterest to grow your brand and increase your website traffic is sign up for or convert your personal profile to a business account. In The Pinterest Project course I’m launching soon, I tell you why this is so important and show you exactly how to do it. You can sign up to get on the wait list for the course here. In the meantime, just know you should have a business account before you do anything else.

Once you have your business account set up, you’ll want to make sure your business name and profile description are optimized. Optimizing areas of your Pinterest profile just means you’re using relevant, searchable keywords that will (ideally) attract your target audience to your profile, boards, and pins. In the course, I go into detail on how to optimize your content, what works well, and what doesn’t work so well.

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The next thing you should be do is create boards that are related to you niche. If you’re a health and wellness blogger, do you really think it makes sense to include boards filled with pins of your dream wedding? You know the right answer to this question.

From there, you’ll want to start creating pinnable images in something like Canva, so you can upload them to Pinterest, link back to your website, and create an optimized description that will attract your target. Again, I’ll show you exactly how to do this in the course! It’s so much fun to create these images, and doesn’t take a lot of extra time. Ideally, you’ll create 3-5 different images per blog post, freebie, or product/service. Eventually you’ll want to pay close attention to your pins that are performing well, and refresh any pins that aren’t bringing traffic to your website. I’ll get into the specifics of this in another post.

How I Grew My Pinterest from 0 to 120,000+ Views

Aside from converting to a business account, here’s what I did to grow my Pinterest views in a very short amount of time:

  1. I got clear on my target audience and my brand’s mission — my target audience primarily consists of other female creatives who want to learn more about creating or growing an online brand. My target audience also wants to know about some general lifestyle topics like time management, living at home in your twenties, and quick makeup routines for busy women. Get to know your audience. Figure out what they’re searching for. Ask yourself what problems they might have and determine how you can help solve those problems. This not only helps dictate your blog content (or the direction of your business), but also helps determine how you will structure your Pinterest profile.

  2. I optimized my business name and profile description — you should be including searchable keywords anywhere that you can, especially in your business name and profile description. A business name that simply states the name of your blog isn’t going to be as effective as saying something like:

    Elizabeth | DIY Your Blog or Online Business

    As far as your profile description is concerned, you want to give your audience a better idea of what your brand is about, while still including those keywords. For example, rather than writing that I’m an “East coast almost thirty-something girl” I would say:

    Former teacher turned Pinterest strategist, blogger and entrepreneur, helping other women grow their online brands.

    See the difference there? Optimize, optimize, optimize.

  3. I created boards related to my niche and optimized their descriptions with searchable keywords — I eliminated any and all boards that didn’t fall within my niche. If I was having serious issues separating myself from certain boards, I simply made them ‘secret’ or archived them so that I could still have access to what I pinned, but they would be hidden from my audience. I then started creating boards that directly related to my niche.

    Every time I talk about Pinterest, I talk about optimization — and that’s because it’s such a crucial factor in setting up proper Pinning practices. Business name? Optimize it. Profile description? Optimize it. Board Description? You guessed it, optimize it. Add complete sentences that include those searchable keywords so users can find your boards, find your pins, and find your website.

 

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    4. I started re-pinning content that related to my niche before I had enough of my own content to pin — There’s some speculation surrounding re-pinning. Should you do it? What happens if you don’t do it? Can you really just solely pin your own content? I’ll answer all these questions in the course, but just know that if you’re new to Pinterest or are a new blogger or business owner that doesn’t have a ton of your own content just yet, you’re going to need to start building up your profile a bit by re-pinning content that falls within your niche. This will help bring users to your profile, and in turn, increase your monthly views and engagement rate.

    5. I created pinnable, branded images in Canva to go with my blog posts — I have a very special place in my heart for Canva. They’ve made it pretty much effortless to create viral-worthy images to upload to Pinterest. They even have dimensions that are already sized appropriately for Pinterest users, and if you’re lacking in the creativity department (or just feeling lazy or a bit lost), they have tons of beautiful templates to help you get started. You’ll want to make sure you’re using appealing colors, easy-to-read fonts, and providing your logo or website somewhere on your pin. You can sign up and get started with Canva for free here.

    6. I optimized descriptions of pins and linked them back to my blog posts — Just as I mentioned before, you’ll want to optimize the description of your pins as well. Use searchable keywords that describe what your pin links to, and leave a soft call to action that will entice users to click on your pin to find out more information. Using a few hashtags at the end of your description is helpful too, but only on new pins. There’s no sense in going back to add hashtags to older pins that have already been floating around for a while.

    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you sign up or purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

    7. I scheduled content on Tailwind — if you’re familiar with my blog, you know how much I love Tailwind. Seriously, the word love doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about this Pinterest-approved scheduling tool. For me, it’s helped keep me sane because it ensures that I’m scheduling images to go live at the most optimal times. I can literally schedule out weeks worth of content, and don’t have to spend time aimlessly and manually pinning on Pinterest. The thing about Pinterest is they favor consistency over pinning a ton of content all at once at random times. Plus, Tailwind provides you with incredibly helpful insights to better structure your Pinterest strategy. You can test out Tailwind for free up to your first 100 scheduled pins here.

    8. I utilized Tailwind tribes — another perk to using Tailwind is joining tribes. You can join tribes relevant to your niche and find other images to re-share onto your own Pinterest boards. It really is a team effort in these communities — you share an image, and share at least one other image from another user. I noticed my views skyrocket after joining a handful of tribes, and really attribute this practice to a lot of the growth I experienced.

    9. I started sharing more of my own content, and less of others’ — once I had plenty of my own content to pin, I stopped re-pinning a lot of other users’ content. You don’t want your Pinterest audience to leave your profile and go to someone else’s website, right? You want them going to your page! Although this is somewhat unavoidable in the beginning, as you build up content on your website and create fresh pinnable images, you won’t have to rely on other users’ content so much. I’ll talk more about this in great detail in the course, so if you’re a little confused, don’t worry! And please — if you’re seeing somewhere that there is a specific “ratio” to follow when pinning your own content vs. re-pinning other users’ content — don’t listen to it. Tailwind conducted an interview with Sarah Hoople Shere (who is Head of Product Marketing at Pinterest) that debunked this ratio myth!

    10. I kept tabs on which pins were performing well, then refreshed others that weren’t doing as well — Pinterest and Tailwind give you access to important analytics that allow you to better understand your audience and how they’re interacting with your pins. I always recommend studying these analytics to see what is working really well. If you have a pin that is underperforming, see what you can do to change it (by creating a fresh pin in Canva), and upload a new batch of fresh pins linking to that same post, product, service, or freebie.

    Have you started using Pinterest for your brand yet? Do you want a little help? Send me an email at elizabeth@howshedoesit.co with the subject line ‘Pinterest Help’ and we can set up a consultation! If you’d rather wait for the course, you can pre-enroll here!

    xxElizabeth

    Basic Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting an Online Brand

    I get it. You may feel like everyone has an online business or a blog of some sort these days, but that shouldn’t discourage you from going after that dream business or that blog you’ve always wanted to start. I’ve always loved blogging, and started my first blog back in 2010, but I had absolutely no idea I would end up starting a small business one day. To be honest with you, I never created a formal business plan when I started my first business, and didn’t have any sort of strategy in place with my first blog. I went in blind and had to figure things out as I went along. Looking back, of course there are plenty of things I wish I would’ve done differently in the beginning, but something that helped guide me through and keep me on track with my online brands were a series of questions I made sure to ask myself, which is what I’m sharing with you below.

    Some of these questions may seem a bit tedious to answer, but getting super clear on your response to each is important when setting up your brand:

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    For starters — what is your brand about?

    1. First of all, are you a blogger? A business owner? If you’re a blogger, do you plan on turning your blog into a business by selling digital products or services? If you’re an aspiring business owner, do you currently run a brick and mortar business or plan to market your products or services solely online?

    2. What is your niche? What will you focus on when you start your blog? What area of business will you go into?

    3. If you’re a business owner, what products or services are you selling? If you’re a blogger, what topics will you cover?

    4. What problems are you solving with your brand? Why would people read your blog or invest in your products/services?

    5. What is your brand’s mission? What is your why?

    Take some time to answer these questions before you think about some of the items below.

    Getting clear on your target market or target audience

    In addition to getting clear on the basics of your brand, determining who you’re targeting is a crucial step in setting up your brand. Whether you’re a blogger or a business owner, you need to be marketing your brand with your ideal customers, clients or readers in mind. You should be asking yourself:

    1. Who is your target audience or target market?

    2. Who are you writing to? Who are you selling to?

    3. How does your product, service or content solve a problem they are experiencing?

    Something that can help you think deeper about your target market, and an exercise I ask many of my Pinterest clients to do, is create a personal profile of your ideal customer, client or reader. This gives you visual reference and helps put things into perspective. When I do this for my brands, I even go as far to find a photo from Unsplash of someone who fits my target market, then include the following:

    • Name, age, likes/dislikes, profession

    • The problem(s) they need solved

    • How you can help solve their problem with your products, services or content

    Identifying your target market or target audience helps you start to figure out how you can market your brand, bring more traffic to your website and create valuable content.

    Marketing your brand

    When I started my first business I had absolutely no idea how to market my brand online. I struggled for quite awhile to figure out the best practices to reach my target customers, and definitely tried my hand at a variety of methods. Having a published website is great, but you need to get people there and have that traffic convert, right? If you’re running an online brand, there are several options you can look into:

    Disclaimer: This section contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you sign up or purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

    • Pinterest — registering for a business account and implementing specific strategies to grow your brand and drive traffic to your site to increase sales, clients and readers. I’ve even created a course to show you exactly how to increase your website traffic by using Pinterest!

    • Facebook — running ads, creating your own page and/or group, joining other groups that allow promoted posts

    • Email — setting up a solid email marketing system, building an email list, providing subscribers with valuable, informative content

    • Instagram — building a following, running ads, collaborating with influencers or other bloggers and business owners

    • In-Person — networking with people in your area, attending local events, cold calling, visiting local businesses

    I’ll get into some specifics around online marketing in another post because there’s a lot to talk about here, but in my experience I’ve found it most manageable to focus your efforts on two to three platforms so you don’t spread yourself too thin. Try and figure out where your target market is hanging out the most, and get really good at marketing on those platforms first. It’s tempting to want to tap into all of the platforms above, but it can be incredibly overwhelming to juggle everything at once, especially if you’re just starting out.

    Regardless of where you are in establishing an online brand, it’s always helpful to refer back to these questions before and during the process. While there is certainly so much more to consider when creating a new blog or online business, getting clear on these essential questions helps to shape some of your future decisions.

    xxElizabeth

    The Instagram Tool That You NEED to Be Using

    Listen, I’m certainly no expert when it comes to growing a massive Instagram following (I prefer focusing most of my efforts on Pinterest), but I like to think I’m pretty savvy on the technical side of running the show behind the scenes. Most days I’m juggling multiple Instagram accounts, on top of everything else, and I would be absolutely lost without the tool I’m about to share with you.

    Lately I’ve been seeing a ton of people ask about the best planning and scheduling apps for Instagram, whether they intend to schedule content for themselves, their businesses, or their clients. After throwing my two cents into countless Facebook threads, sliding into a questionable number of DMs, and adding comments to posts on Instagram, I figured I’d tell you about my secret weapon in this blog post to make all of your lives (and mine) a million times easier.

    I kid you not when I tell you that every time I mentioned this tool in a social media thread or DM, no one else knew it existed (at least for Instagram). Most people were suggesting other apps and I wanted to scream to all of them that they were seriously missing out — there is something much, much better that you can use other than your average planner app.

    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you sign up or purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

    If you’ve been here before, you might remember this post where I talked about using Tailwind to take your Pinterest game to the next level. Well my friends, you can use that SAME tool to master your Instagram skills, too and save yourself so. much. freaking. time.

    Besides how much I love all the features Tailwind has to offer in conjunction with Pinterest, I am equally as obsessed with the features they have for Instagram. Here’s what you need to know:

    Automated Scheduling

    I remember being SO frustrated by other apps and their “scheduling” features that really weren’t scheduling features at all. They required you to approve before your photo published to Instagram, and often made you paste in your pre-written caption before your image went live on your feed. Other apps claimed to have a scheduling feature when really all they did was send you a notification reminding you it was time to post. What the hell is the point of that!? If you’re going to schedule something, you’re going to want it automated, right? Well, this is where Tailwind comes into play.

    With Tailwind, you can upload your content to post directly to your Instagram without having to deal with pesky reminders or extra steps — but Tailwind will also give you the most optimal times to post so that your photo goes live when your audience is actually looking at your account. You can even add additional time slots that are suggested by Tailwind to make sure you’re reaching your audience at the best time.

    Smart Hashtag Finder

    I don’t know if there’s a truly legitimate confirmation yet (there’s lots of speculation though; everyone has their own opinion), on whether or not it’s best to include hashtags in the caption or comments section of an Instagram post. I always opt for the comments because I think it makes things more organized and visually appealing, but regardless, Tailwind makes it nearly effortless to find the BEST hashtags to use in each of your posts.

    All you have to do is upload your photo, start typing your caption, add a hashtag or two and Tailwind will automatically start suggesting the best hashtags to use for your photo. You can even see how many people are using that hashtag. I can’t tell you how many times I scheduled a photo and started adding hashtags only to realize I wasn’t choosing the best tags. Tailwind shows you a ton of possible hashtags in a few different formats that are color coded according to usage.

    To really break it down for you: orange hashtags are highly competitive, meaning there are likely millions of others users adding the same hashtag, so it’s very possible that your photo will get lost in that feed if you use that particular hashtag. The green hashtags are the best way to go — light green hashtags are categorized as “good” and dark green hashtags are categorized as “best.” Grey hashtags are specific to your niche, and usually come up if you’ve been using the same hashtags over and over even before you started using Tailwind. I have yet to find another tool that suggests hashtags more effectively than Tailwind.

    The Desktop Feature

    Another thing I love about Tailwind is that it’s not only available as a mobile app, but it can be used on a computer as well. A lot of the scheduling apps we are so familiar with aren’t able to integrate beyond a mobile device. I personally do a lot of computer work, and only use my phone to check up on social media, so this is a huge seller for me. I can easily create my social media graphics in Canva or Illustrator and directly upload them to Tailwind in order to schedule them out.

    Pin From Instagram

    Since Tailwind is also a Pinterest scheduling tool, you can choose to schedule pins directly from your Instagram. This means more people could potentially see your Instagram by coming across your images on Pinterest. Keep in mind that it’s best to pin photos that have a text overlay of some kind as these perform better than images of faces, scenery or flat lays that don’t include any text. In order to pin an image from your Instagram to Pinterest you have a couple options:

    When uploading and scheduling a new photo for Instagram, you can choose to cross-post to Pinterest. If you already have an account with Tailwind for your Pinterest, you can sync your Instagram account, navigate to the sidebar, select “Pin from Instagram,” and Tailwind will pull up your feed so you can choose an image from there. They really make it so easy!

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    In all the apps I’ve used to manage multiple Instagram accounts over the last couple of years, Tailwind takes the cake over and over again. If you’re ready to work smarter — not harder — and make your life so much easier, you can sign up for your free trial with Tailwind here that is good for your first 30 scheduled Instagram posts, or first 100 scheduled pins. I promise you won’t regret it!

    xxElizabeth

    5 Things to Do When Business is Slow

    I don’t know about you, but January tends to be a slower month for me in my product based business -- many people are recovering from the holidays and don’t have a ton of extra cash to spend. As a result, my sales significantly drop for the first few weeks of the new year. While this may seem discouraging, it’s a pattern that I’ve noticed in one of my online businesses, and through talking with some other entrepreneurs, it seems some other people experience this beginning-of-the-year lull.

    Slow seasons don’t mean everything stops, though -- there are several things that can be done to still be productive even if sales aren’t coming in as usual. This month I’ve hit pause to do some re-branding and take care of some of the tasks that typically get bumped to the bottom of my to-do list during the busier months. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few things I focus on when business is slower than usual:

    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you sign up or purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

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    Content Creation

    When I say content creation, I really mean a variety of things. Content creation can come in the form of product photography, curating and scheduling social media posts, adding blog posts to your website, and everything in between.

    When things are busy, I don’t have as much time to take photos and manage my business’ social media as often as I’d like. During slower weeks or months, I like to round up some solid photos, edit them and then schedule them to upload to social media. My favorite tool to schedule social media posts (specifically for Instagram), is Tailwind. I’ve talked about Tailwind before as a helpful tool to use in conjunction with Pinterest, but it’s really incredible for Instagram too. They’ll determine the most optimal times for your posts to publish to your feed (which go up automatically without you having to do any verifying), and their hashtag feature really takes everything to the next level to help you reach more people in your target market. It’s super easy to navigate and you can essentially schedule out several WEEKS worth of content in a few hours, saving yourself tons of time in the long run. If you want to check out Tailwind for yourself, you can sign up here or read more about it in this post.

    Nurturing Your Email List

    Who else gets overwhelmed with email lists!? I feel ya. While I fully recognize and often preach about the importance of establishing a solid email list, it’s something I struggle to keep up with when things get super hectic. Slow seasons are the perfect time to get your email marketing under control and set up some solid automated campaigns so things can run on autopilot behind the scenes.

    In the past, I’ve used MailChimp for all of my email marketing but after doing some serious reflecting and research, I’m finally making the switch to ConvertKit. MailChimp has served me well the last couple of years, but I’m ready to take my email marketing to the next level (and in a new direction), and know ConvertKit can help me do that. A huge part of me wishes I would’ve started with ConverKit in the first place (more on this later), but I’m looking forward to making the switch and sharing more details about my ConvertKit experience with all of you so you can make the best choice for your business. If you want to give ConvertKit a try and see what the buzz is about, you can sign up here.


    Diving into Pinterest

    I will never get tired of talking about Pinterest. In the last several months I’ve done so much research on how you can leverage Pinterest to massively increase website traffic (whether you’re a business owner or a blogger), and I’ve had so much fun experimenting, growing, and learning. I know you might have some questions like, HOW does this work!? But I promise you there’s something coming soon that is going to help you learn exactly how you can increase your website traffic with Pinterest. To spare you some lengthy details, there are a few posts you can browse to find out more information:

    Related Posts: How + Why to Set Up a Pinterest Business Account | How I Tripled My Traffic in One Month | How to Grow Your Brand + Drive Traffic to Your Website | 5 Mistakes You’re Making With Pinterest

    When business is slow, it’s the perfect time to ramp up your Pinterest game. Take some time to make sure your business account is set up, create some branded graphics in Canva, and start scheduling your content via Tailwind. Pinners are coming to shop, so it’s important you’re spending some time building up your Pinterest skills and content when business is slower than usual.

    Networking

    For as long as I can remember, my Dad has always stressed the importance of networking. Wherever he goes, my Dad is always striking up conversations with strangers, building meaningful connections, and networking the hell out of any situation. As a business owner, you have to put yourself (and your brand) out there. To be honest, I let a lot of fear hold me back from marketing my bath and body brand. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable to grow your business. Slow days are the perfect time to network your brand, whether that involves reaching out to potential stockists, clients, or customers; organizing collaborations with influencers or other brand owners; setting up meetings with individuals who can help you grow your brand; or looking for local events to attend and network at. Get on google and social media and see who you can start reaching out to.

    Taxes

    In my opinion, filing taxes as a small business owner can be insanely stressful if you don’t have some sort of system in place. The first year I had to file taxes as a business owner, I kept all of my receipts thrown in several different boxes, and had even more electronically stored in emails or PDFs. When tax season came around I was stressed beyond belief -- I had piles of receipts to sift through, electronic receipts I had to find, and numbers I had to crunch and then put into specific categories. I was literally in tears just a couple days before the deadline because I procrastinated and underestimated how long it would take me to organize my expenses and file my taxes.

    I’m no expert, but from my personal experience I highly recommend getting yourself as organized as possible, long before tax season rolls around. Once you’re organized, you can get a jump start on filing and start the process ahead of the game. I know for many of us, the thought of tax prep can feel rather overwhelming and almost unbearable, but setting some time aside on a slow day to get organized can make a massive difference in the long run.

    In Conclusion

    There are so many facets to running a business and if you’re not outsourcing any aspects of your to-do list, everything falls on your shoulders. This is why spending your slow days, weeks or months creating and scheduling content, or taking care of all the other tasks that typically fall to the bottom of your to-do list is so incredibly helpful. Do you experience a slow season? What do you focus on when things are slower than usual?

    xxElizabeth


    How to Set Your Day Up for Success

    If you don’t follow me on Instagram already, I recently announced the launch of my new project — the How She Does It Co podcast! I’m so excited to start connecting with all of you through my podcast and can’t wait to continue to create new content for you. One of the episodes you’ll find on my podcast is all about how to set yourself up for success by establishing a solid morning routine.

    Back when I was teaching full time — completely burnt out and miserable working at a job I didn’t love anymore — I had the worst morning routine and often felt awful for the first few hours of my day. I would literally wake up 10 minutes before I had to leave, quickly brush my teeth, get dressed and do my makeup in the car or at work. I rushed around like a mad woman and wondered why it took me hours to just feel like a normal human being.

    When I finally decided to leave my job and go full time in my business, I knew I needed to change things up in order to be more productive. There was no one around to tell me what to do and when do to do it, so I started doing some digging and experimenting until I finally found a rhythm.

    Before I jump into the details, I want to preface this post by saying these tips don’t just apply to full time business owners or bloggers — they apply to anyone and everyone. Whether you’re working for yourself, a stay at home mom, a college student, or working a 9-5, you can easily integrate these tips into your morning. They don’t have to take a lot of extra time and there’s actually a couple steps you can do while you’re taking care of other things.

    In addition to the usual routine of brewing my coffee and making my bed, here are the five things I do every morning to set my day up for success:

    Gratitude Journaling

    Once I’m done making my bed, I immediately dive into gratitude. I’ve talked about this before on my Instagram, but I always make it a point to write down a few things I’m grateful for every single morning. Doing so really helps to set the tone for everything else going on in my day, especially if i wake up in a funk, feeling a little groggy, or in a bad mood. Practicing gratitude really just puts everything into perspective. When it comes to gratitude it doesn’t have to be complicated — it can be as as simple as being grateful for coffee, waking up in a warm bed, having plenty of food to eat, having a car to get you wherever you need or want to go — you can be as general or as specific as you’d like. I always write down at least three things, but often end up with a list of five or more. If you’re new to adding gratitude journaling to your routine, start small and see where it takes you from there.

    One thing I will strongly suggest is writing these things down. Not on computer but actually writing these out in your own handwriting. I keep a separate journal for gratitude and manifesting so I can look back and reflect on other things I’ve written. If I have some extra time in the morning, I’ll often look through past entries and remind myself of all that I have to be grateful for. It’s really the best way to put everything into perspective, especially if you’re feel shitty, uninspired, or overwhelmed.

    You may have heard me talk about my obsession with Manifestation Babe Kathrin Zenkina before — she is a huge reason why I’ve been so into manifesting lately. She says gratitude is the highest vibration you can put out into the Universe — and what you put out there, what you think about, you attract more of. I know this might sound a little crazy to some people, but I find it to be so true. Practicing gratitude really helps me start my day on a positive note.

    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase. Thank you so much for your support!

    Personal Development

    After writing in my journal, I always dive into some personal development. Personal development — or PD — can come in many forms and it’s really all about your personal preferences. Sometimes PD can involve reading for 20 minutes, listening to podcasts, audiobooks, or watching videos on YouTube. Right now i’m going through a manifestation challenge with Kathrin Zenkina, which serves as my personal development in the morning. I have the challenge downloaded to my Kindle Cloud so I can literally take it anywhere, regardless of whether or not I’m at home to go through my routine. In addition to the book, I almost always have a podcast or audiobook on so I’m often squeezing in even more personal development throughout the day while I work on projects for clients, take care of household chores or run errands. I love podcasts and audiobooks because they make it super easy to fit in your personal development even if you’re super busy. My favorite audiobook I’m listening to right now is You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero. I’ve read the book before, but now that my client work is picking up, it’s been super helpful to be able to listen to the book while I’m working.

    If you don’t already have an account with Audible, you can sign up here for a 30 day free trial and grab your first book for free.

    Meditation

    Right after I finish my morning personal development, I typically settle in for a quick meditation. I used to be so resistant to meditating. I thought I would have such a hard time sitting still and quieting my mind long enough to meditate for 10-15 minutes — but when I decided to make a serious effort to work on my mindset, I figured I’d give meditation a try. I found an app called Insight Timer and fell in love. They have so many different meditations to choose from — ones for anxiety, sleep, creativity, stress — but I always choose one around manifesting. Lately I’ve been focusing on manifesting abundance so my practice usually involves a guided meditation centered around this topic. I like to choose a meditation that involves an instructor guiding me through the practice for at least 10 minutes. Insight Timer has meditations anywhere from four to 30 minutes, so if you’re new to meditating, start small and work your way up.

    To settle into my practice, I usually lay down on my bed with a blanket, pop my headphones in and cover my eyes with a sleep mask. Doing these three things really helps to relax me and I always have my essential oils diffusing too. This is one of my favorite ways to start the morning because I feel like it helps me get in certain mindset that sets me up for a more productive, successful day.

    If you’re skeptical or resistant to meditating but want to give it a try, definitely look into the Insight Timer app and choose a shorter, guided meditation that suits you!

    Eating a Healthy Meal

    To be honest, I’m not a big breakfast person — in fact, I used to skip breakfast entirely when I was teaching full time but realized it was crushing my productivity and taking a toll on my energy levels. Now, I make it a point to eat something towards the end of my morning routine once I’ve had some time to wake up and settle in. Even if you’re not a big breakfast person, or don’t have tons of time in the morning, you can still find ways to incorporate a nourishing, healthy meal to get your mind focused and ready for the day. I’ll sometimes prep my breakfast the night before by making my favorite chia seed pudding (almond milk, chia seeds and fresh or frozen fruit stored in a glass mason jar), so I can just grab it out of the fridge in the morning to save some time. If you can’t squeeze in a full meal, try finding a recipe you love that you can prep ahead of time so you can grab and go on your way out the door.

    Tidying Up

    The last step in my morning routine involves a quick clean up, mostly around my work space. I don’t know about you, but I have such a difficult time operating in a messy, chaotic space, so every morning I set aside about 5-10 minutes go through my work area and straighten up whatever needs put away or organized. I realize not everyone will have time to add this to their routine, but if means waking up just a few minutes earlier to give your space a quick clean up it is so worth doing. If you really can’t find the time, try at least putting things away as you finish using them, rather than leaving them scattered on the floor or on surfaces. Whether or not you work from home, having a clean space to work and live in makes it easier to function and helps to boost your mood and productivity.

    I know it sounds like this may be a lot to add to your morning, especially if you don’t work from home, but try and find your own way to make these things a priority. The personal development aspect can be done while you’re driving to work, prepping lunch, or making your coffee. If you’re having trouble fitting in some meditation, choose a practice that is shorter in duration. As far as practicing gratitude, you can wait until you get to work to write in your journal; think of what you want to write down while you get ready or during your commute. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with incorporating at least one thing into your routine and add the rest when you’re ready.

    Do you have a solid morning routine? What does your morning look like? Let me know!

    xxElizabeth

    5 Mistakes You're Making with Pinterest

    Pinterest is my number one source of traffic across all of my websites. Once I started taking consistent and strategic action to grow my brands through Pinterest, my website traffic more than tripled in just one month of getting serious with my business account.

    When I speak with clients or readers on social media, they always ask me the same thing: How!?

    They usually follow up this question with asking me one or all of the following: Why do I need to use a business account? Can’t I just pin from my personal profile? Is this going to take a lot of extra time? How long will it be until I start seeing the growth I’m after?

    Luckily, I have quite a few blog posts already written addressing some of these questions — and I have a top secret project currently in the works that will help you learn more about maximizing Pinterest to grow your brand — but before you dive into those other resources, it’s important to double check your current usage on Pinterest to make sure you’re not making these 5 common mistakes:

    LMDPins (3).png

    You don’t have a business account

    This is the first thing I do for my clients when they hire me as their Pinterest Assistant. Creating a new business account, or converting your personal account, grants you access to a whole new world on Pinterest (and it’s free). Setting up or converting to a business account will not only allow you to create viral-worthy pins that link your audience back to your website, but it will allow you to monitor your Pinterest analytics. You’ll be able to see how your pins are performing and which ones are being saved and how many people are clicking on them to go to their original source (your website). These analytics will give you exclusive access to the behaviors of your current and target audience. Having access to this information may not seem like a huge deal, but if you want to learn how to truly grow your brand on Pinterest it’s important to pay attention to what the data tells you.

    A lot of people will ask me if they can just pin images directly from their blog or website to their personal Pinterest, rather than setting up a business account. Of course that’s certainly one way to go about it, but resisting a business account isn’t going to do you much good, plus it literally takes just a few minutes to set up. If you want to learn more about why and how to set up your business account you can take a look at this post here where I get into the details, or you can have me set up your account for you.

    You’re pinning images that aren’t relevant to your niche

    If you’re a health and wellness blogger, does it make sense for your audience to see your “Dream Wedding” board when they visit your profile? I think the answer is obvious there, yet I see so many clients making this mistake! You have a target audience that you want to attract — whether you want them to read your blog, buy your products, or utilize your services — so you need to create boards and pin images that will bring forth your target audience. If I’m browsing Pinterest and stumble upon a health and wellness profile, I expect to see boards filled with content related to their brand.

    If you are going to be converting your personal profile to a business account, you can easily turn some of your off-brand boards into “secret” boards so you don’t lose all the content you’ve pinned over the years. I have plenty of secret boards on my business accounts that I still pin to often, but I don’t want my audience seeing them because they don’t pertain to my niche and will attract the wrong audience. Save the dream wedding and hair color inspo boards for your personal profile or secret boards, and keep your business account specific to your niche.

    You’re treating it like social media

    Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by the ridiculous algorithms on social media ::raises hand::

    I think Instagram and Facebook are secretly run by Regina George (if you don’t get the Mean Girls reference you can ignore that first sentence), because it feels like they’re always working against us. I lost faith in Instagram when they got rid of the chronological feed and made it harder for people to be seen unless you spent countless hours posting, engaging and paying for ads. Don’t get me wrong, social media is still a useful tool, but I’ve seen so much more growth and conversions by utilizing Pinterest, and it all started happening within that first month I got serious with my business account.

    A lot of people have what I call social media syndrome when they start working on their Pinterest account — they think that followers are the end all and be all, and have this belief engrained in their minds that if their follower count isn’t going up on Pinterest they aren’t growing. Well my friends, lucky for us, that couldn’t be further from the truth! What matters most on Pinterest is that people are seeing your pins, saving them to their own boards, and clicking on them to land on your website. Those are the numbers that matter. Your audience doesn’t have to be following you to see your content — they just have to see it in a search or on their feed. Sure, it’s nice to see your follower count increase but it’s not a critical measurement of success. Pinterest is not a social media platform: it’s a visual search engine.

    This leads me to the next mistake:

    You’re not optimizing your board and pin descriptions

    Think of Pinterest like Google, but with pictures. When you go to Google you enter certain terms into the search bar and Google pulls up a ridiculous amount of resources that are relevant to your search. Pinterest does the same exact thing but with pretty images. How and why do those images show up in your search? It’s all in the descriptions.

    This is another huge reason why you don’t want to just use your personal account to pin images from your website. Those images may very well be pinned without any type of relevant or searchable descriptions, which means your audience could be missing out on finding your content. Every time you upload your own image to Pinterest, you have the opportunity to craft a description that will hopefully show up in your target audience’s search results. This requires a little strategy on your part, so let’s take a look at some examples.

    Here’s a somewhat-recent pin I created that has specific, searchable terms (keywords) in the description. I’ve included a few hashtags (no need to go crazy like on IG), but notice some of the words I’m using:

    Even looking back at that description there are some things I would change to make it even more searchable, but you get the idea. You want to imagine what your ideal reader, customer, or client would search for when coming to Pinterest (or Google), and try to include some of those keywords in the descriptions of your pins and your boards. This is how your content can end up on the screens of your target audience.

    Please, please, please promise me though, you won’t just jam a bunch of keywords into your descriptions. Write out a couple sentences, put some effort into it, then end with just a couple hashtags if you feel so inclined, but don’t just type out random terms or hashtags and throw them in the box.

    If you’re stuck on what to say in your description and aren’t sure how to really optimize your pins or boards, think about who your target audience is and what they might be searching for to arrive at your profile. Think about your brand, your content, your products, or services. Once you get used to writing descriptions, you’ll get the hang of it.

    You’re not utilizing Tailwind

    This last mistake is a BIG one. I’ve talked about Tailwind before and how much I love it for running my Pinterest and Instagram on autopilot. It’s also a huge reason why I was able to triple my website traffic in just one month of consistent and strategic use in conjunction with Pinterest.

    If you haven’t seen the post I mentioned above, Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduling tool that allows you to create and schedule pins that will automatically pin to Pinterest at the most optimal times. You can literally schedule out weeks worth of content and save SO much time since you won’t be stuck pinning aimlessly at odd hours. You can even join Tailwind tribes (general or niche-specific groups within the tool), to share your content in order to help get re-shares, drive traffic, and add additional content from other users to your boards. I use Tailwind for all of my clients and it just makes everyone’s lives so much easier.

    Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you sign up or purchase through my link at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

    You can learn more about Tailwind by checking out this post, or if you’re ready to dive in and see what it’s all about you can sign up for your account and get started using it today.

    Final thoughts

    If you find that you’re making any (or all) of these mistakes with your Pinterest, don’t stress! They are relatively simple fixes that make a massive difference. If you’re still struggling after making some adjustments, you can check out my Pinterest services here and I’ll be more than happy to help you out! Stay tuned for my special project announcement that will provide you with even MORE Pinterest help!

    xxElizabeth

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