This week, I asked in our Facebook group (join here) if any one had questions for us and we got so many amazing ones! In fact, a few of them will get their own posts as I don’t think I can cover them in just a paragraph or two. I wasn’t able to cover them all in one post, so Q&A part 2 will be coming next week. Let me know if you have more questions to include!
(This post has links to a few products I use and love with my referral/affiliate code)
Where do you find links for round ups? – Personally, I head to Facebook groups for this. In them, you can share what type of post you are looking for and people will comment on your post with their links. You can also state that commenting gives you permission to use their photos in a collage or in post (whichever you plan to do) so you know you are using photos with permission. This is one of the main reasons I love these groups, because I can find photos to use without anyone complaining. I can then take to google or Pinterest to round out the post with more links if needed, and just not use photos from any of those posts.
A few groups I love:
What is a group board on Pinterest – I will give you a scenario. I own a board called Christmas Cheer. It’s my board, I am in control of the name, description and cover image, but I add a few friends to pin to that board with me. NOW it’s a group board and others can pin their pins to MY board for my followers to see. This can be really beneficial because if you have a smaller Pinterest following your pins are now being seen by more people and followers that you don’t’ have on your own profile.
However, a lot of group boards aren’t performing as well as they used to. In the past, when a pin was put on a group board it would immediately be seen in the board’s followers newsfeed. That’s not the case anymore which reduces immediate visibility. The other negative part of group boards is that, with so many pinners in one place a lot of them won’t stay on topic. Sticking with the topic of a board is an important part of showing up in pin searches and having your pins seen by followers of the board. A few people going off topic will reduce the visibility of EVERYTHING on the board. Don’t get me wrong, group boards are still EXTREMELY useful if you can find group boards to join I highly recommend it!
What is the secret to finding good group boards on Pinterest? I know about pingroupie, and have tried looking through other bloggers’ profiles but I’m not having much luck finding group boards that are still accepting new members.
Sadly, I’ve seen many bloggers having the same issue. Even if you find a group board through pingroupie or clicking through on another blogger’s profile, a lot of group boards are no longer accepting new pinners.
About a year ago Pinterest started cracking down on group boards because many of them had become spam-fests. Because of this, many group board owners, especially those with lots of followers, shut down adding people for awhile. Many board owners also discovered it is time consuming and a pain to add people and board owners aren’t getting much benefit for adding new people to their boards so it makes the amount of time spent not worth the effort.
That’s all a little discouraging, I don’t mean for it to be, but it helps to understand why boards seem more closed than they used to be. The best work around for this that I’ve found personally is Tailwind. It’s not the same as a group board BUT because of their tribes feature you can end up in groups with bloggers with a huge Pinterest following and increase the chance that they see and pin your stuff to their own boards. This can do wonders to improve your blog’s visibility on Pinterest.
Tailwind also helps because it allows you to schedule out your pins and be more consistent with your social strategy on that platform which will help you grow in followers and repins yourself.
If you are new to tailwind you can sign up for a free month with my referral link here. I ended up paying for the upgrade and have found it to be worth every penny. If you have the budget for it, this is one area I would recommend investing in your business. The good thing is, you can try it for a month free and see if it jives with you and if it’s helping increase your visibility on Pinterest before deciding if it’s worth paying for or not. I believe the tribes feature is available for non-tailwind users as well (you can see some of our favorite tribes & watch a video I did on how to use them here)
What is your best advice for beginning bloggers
I could (and probably will) write a whole post about this, but for now I’ll keep it short and sweet. Don’t give and up or get discouraged. Blogging is HARD WORK. It takes time and a lot of effort to build your blog into a business. There are a lot of courses and posts out there telling you how to make 6 figures in the next 10 minutes and it’s just not how it works. You can make a full income blogging, you can make 6 figures a year blogging, but it’s going to come from hard work, tons of hours and networking with other bloggers. There’s no magical formula that can keep you from needing those things.
There are strategies you can use that are really helpful, but even some of the things I did 3 years ago to build my platform are no longer relevant or helpful to bloggers today, at least not in the way that they once were.
This is not AT ALL to say that bloggers starting out today can’t be successful. But I want to warn you against any one saying they have the magic formula to success. Unless that magic formula includes a lot of hard work, and willingness to grow and change, it’s not going to work.
Readers are not looking for “cookie cutter” blogs. They don’t want just another craft blog or another food blog. People want to connect with you, your story or your cause. Just having a pretty photo or mimicking what some one else is doing will not work in the long run.
Would you recommend hiring a social media manager for a beginning blogger – Social media managers are AMAZING but on the whole, I would not recommend them for most beginner bloggers. One of the great things about blogging is that you can start a blog without putting down too much money. It’s not like starting a brick-and-mortar business where you have to take out a loan and make a huge risk to try your hand at owning a business. You can start blogging with minimal expenses and work your way up to having it pay for itself. Until your blog is making money, I wouldn’t personally hire a social media manager, or any one else.
In addition to the financial considerations, there is another reason I would not recommend hiring out if you are a beginner. If you are just starting out it’s important to establish your own voice and how you want to communicate with your followers. If some one is running your social media for you, then your readers are missing out on interaction with you. It’s hard to build that loyal fan base if people aren’t connected with you, and they are talking to you through a manager.
There are, of course, exceptions to this and in some cases I’m sure it would be a great idea to hire a social media manager from the get-go, but I do not think that’s the norm.
How can I find other bloggers in my niche to collaborate with, without seeming spammy
One way to find bloggers in your niche, is in our share groups. We set these up both so people could cross promote for one another, and so that you could find people with similar blogs that you might like to connect with. Feel free to post collaboration requests in those groups at any time! You can see a list of our current share groups by niche and request to join them here.
Look for bloggers similar in size to you and see how they might be interested in working together. If you are trying to build a mutually beneficial share group or collaboration, this won’t come off as spammy at all. Some bloggers may decline because they don’t have time, but I’ve yet to find some one who was offended by being approached, complimented on their blog and asked to promote each other.
Have more questions? Pop in to our facebook group and ask away!!! We’ll be back next week with part 2 of this blogger Q&A!