How To Explode Blog Traffic With Pinterest

This post contains affiliate links 

I get it. You are frustrated at the lack of growth you are experiencing with your blog. I’m here to tell you I have experienced the same disappointing results as you, but have found a sure-fire way to change that for the good. Building traffic is more than just writing a post, adding in a few images and links, and sharing it a few times. Real growth comes from the proper utilization of your Pinterest account.

Curious as to how exactly?

Read on to find out…

Create Quality Content

You’ve heard me preach on and on about quality content. It’s so important that I’m going to make it the first thing to focus on when using Pinterest to explode your blog’s traffic. No matter what tips or tricks you follow, nothing can screw you up more than by producing poor content.

Your content is the lifeline and blood of your site. After all, don’t you want readers converting to subscribers because of the value your blog topics give them?  For more specifics on how to create content your readers will love, read this post.

Join Group Boards

As time goes on, you’ll find out how great Pinterest group boards are for growing your blog. Group boards allow you to share your pins with thousands of people at once. Focus on those boards that relate to your niche. You’ll be surprised as to how many repins you can get with one pin.

Pingroupie.com is the best place to go to find group boards sorted by category. When you find a board you like, visit it on Pinterest to make sure the board is still accepting collaborators. There should also be instructions on how to join as a collaborator. Be sure to follow the board rules to keep from being banned or removed.

Make sure the pins you share on group boards have pinnable images and the description box is rich with keywords. To find out why this is so important, do a sample search on Pinterest looking for WordPress tips. Once you have your search results, take a look at the description boxes at some of the first pins that show up. Notice the keywords used and try to copy the same technique in your own pins.

If you need your first Pinterest group board to join, my Blogging Tools And Tips board is a great starting point.  I have over 80 collaborators and 4.5k pins.

Actively Share Other Pins

Pinterest works best when we are all sharing each other’s content and not just focusing on ourselves. I make it a habit of sharing new pins as soon as I log on to Pinterest for the first time each day.

Not only is sharing other pins important, but it shows that you are not just a one-sided blogger (looking for fast traffic without caring to share others’ content). I hope you are practicing this tip with all of your social media accounts.

Invest in Tailwind

Tailwind has seriously helped me grow my blog traffic. It’s so much easier to create a pin schedule and let Tailwind do the hard work than to spend hour after hour sharing pins to multiple boards.

Don’t forget that even if you don’t use Tailwind, you can still use Tailwind tribes. Tribes are groups you can join to share your content – kind of like Pinterest group boards.

Tailwind does require some investment, but it’s worth the return it brings. I currently use the monthly plan of 400 pins/month for $15. I decided to pin an even number of pins through Tailwind each day, so I took 400 pins, divided it by 30, and came up with a plan to schedule 12 pins each day. If you happen to pin more than 400 times in a month, Tailwind does offer an unlimited annual plan at $114/month.

Read how Tailwind has helped me grow my traffic.

Create Pinnable Images

Pinterest loves vertical pins. In fact, most group boards require pins be only vertical images. I personally work with Photoshop to create almost all of the graphics on my blog, but Canva is a great tool that can help you create your own Pinterest images.

High-quality images are also a must in converting pins to views. While there are several great free stock photo sites out there today, it might be time to invest in a subscription.

With every pin, make sure you fill in the image’s alt description with keywords tied to your pin. Alt image descriptions are searchable by search engines and can help your pin rank better.

Advertise Your Pinterest Account Everywhere

Making yourself visible on social media is very important in drawing in traffic. Take every opportunity possible to promote your Pinterest account.  Add social media icons on your blog’s home page, install a Pinterest board widget in your sidebar, add it as a social media icon in email signature, and install plugins that allow you to pin quickly to Pinterest.

What Now?

Now that I’ve given you some of my favorite tips that help me boost my blog traffic, how do you plan to implement these into your own strategy? Create goals for yourself in editing and measure your accomplishments regularly. You can even turn those measurements into really cool blog posts! The sky’s the limit! Good luck and happy pinning!

Chococurb Mini Gift Box Giveaway + 10% Off Coupon

Many thanks to Roger at Chococurb for working with Go Ask Your Daddy on this giveaway!

Chococurb Mini Gift Box Giveaway + 10% Off Coupon
Chococurb Mini Gift Box Giveaway + 10% Off Coupon

Hey guys!  You may recall that I had the opportunity to receive and review a free Chococurb Classic Subscription Box back in April. The super nice guys at Chococurb also gave me a 10% off coupon code to share with you all: GOASK.

I’m really happy to announce that Chococurb is partnering with me to giveaway one of their Chococurb Mini Gift Boxes to one lucky reader!

Chococurb Mini Gift Box Giveaway + 10% Off Coupon

To enter for a chance to win the Chococurb Mini Gift Box, complete the RaffleCopter form below.  Each task you complete from the list counts as one entry.  The only requirement to enter the giveaway is to subscribe to my mailing list. All other tasks are bonus entries and are not required.  The giveaway starts Sunday, June 25th at 12:00 a.m. EST and ends on Saturday, July 1st at 12:00 a.m.  See official rules for more information.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


Chococurb Mini Gift Box Giveaway – OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. MAKING A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. (READ MORE ABOUT NO PURCHASE NECESSARY)

1.  PROMOTION DESCRIPTION: The Chococurb Mini Gift Box Giveaway (\”Sweepstakes\”) begins on Sunday, June 25th, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. EST and ends on Saturday, July 1st, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. EST (the \”Promotion Period\”).

The sponsor of this Sweepstakes is Chococurb (“Sponsor”). By participating in the Sweepstakes, each Entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the Sweepstakes. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes. Sponsor may be reached by email at support@chococurb.com during the Promotion Period.

2.  ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal residents of the United States who are at least 18 years old (the \”Entrant\”). Sponsor, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (the \”Promotion Entities\”), are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize. Household Members and Immediate Family Members of such individuals are also not eligible to enter or win. “Household Members” shall mean those people who share the same residence at least three months a year. “Immediate Family Members” shall mean parents, step-parents, legal guardians, children, step-children, siblings, step-siblings, or spouses. This Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited or restricted by law.

3. PRIZES:
Grand Prize: One (1) winner will receive 1 Chococurb Mini Gift Box (approximate retail value or “ARV”: $20)

Only one prize per person and per household will be awarded. Gift cards and gift certificates are subject to the terms and conditions of the issuer. Prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value if a prize described in these Official Rules is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason. The ARV of the prize represents Sponsor’s good faith determination. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty concerning the appearance, safety or performance of any prize awarded. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize items.

This Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the United States and Prize will only be awarded and/or delivered to addresses within said locations. All federal, state and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. Failure to comply with the Official Rules will result in forfeiture of the prize.

4. HOW TO ENTER: Enter the Sweepstakes during the Promotion Period online by visiting the entry form, which can be found on the following website at http://www.goaskyourdaddy.com/chococurb-giveaway

Automated or robotic Entries submitted by individuals or organizations will be disqualified. Internet entry must be made by the Entrant. Any attempt by Entrant to obtain more than the stated number of Entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations, logins or any other methods, including, but not limited to, commercial contest/sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering services, will void Entrant’s Entries and that Entrant may be disqualified. Final eligibility for the award of any prize is subject to eligibility verification as set forth below. All Entries must be posted by the end of the Promotion Period in order to participate. Sponsor’s database clock will be the official timekeeper for this Sweepstakes.

5. WINNER SELECTION: The Winner(s) of the Sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The random drawing will be conducted about 24 hours after the Promotion Period by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received.

6. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information approximately 24 hours after the random drawing. Potential Winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 48 hours of notification. Sponsor is not responsible for any delay or failure to receive notification for any reason, including inactive email account(s), technical difficulties associated therewith, or Winner’s failure to adequately monitor any email account.

Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively \”the Prize Claim Documents\”). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.

7. PRIVACY: Any personal information supplied by you will be subject to the privacy policy of the Sponsor posted at http://www.goaskyourdaddy.com/privacy-policy-2/. By entering the Sweepstakes, you grant Sponsor permission to share your email address and any other personally identifiable information with the other Sweepstakes Entities for the purpose of administration and prize fulfillment, including use in a publicly available Winners list.

8. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: Sponsor assumes no responsibility or liability for (a) any incorrect or inaccurate entry information, or for any faulty or failed electronic data transmissions; (b) any unauthorized access to, or theft, destruction or alteration of entries at any point in the operation of this Sweepstakes; (c) any technical malfunction, failure, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or communications line failure, regardless of cause, with regard to any equipment, systems, networks, lines, satellites, servers, camera, computers or providers utilized in any aspect of the operation of the Sweepstakes; (d) inaccessibility or unavailability of any network or wireless service, the Internet or website or any combination thereof; (e) suspended or discontinued Internet, wireless or landline phone service; or (f) any injury or damage to participant’s or to any other person’s computer or mobile device which may be related to or resulting from any attempt to participate in the Sweepstakes or download of any materials in the Sweepstakes.

If, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned for reasons which may include without limitation, infection by computer virus, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which may corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes in whole or in part. In such event, Sponsor shall immediately suspend all drawings and prize awards, and Sponsor reserves the right to award any remaining prizes (up to the total ARV as set forth in these Official Rules) in a manner deemed fair and equitable by Sponsor. Sponsor and Released Parties shall not have any further liability to any participant in connection with the Sweepstakes.

9. SOCIAL NETWORK DISCLAIMER

A Facebook account may be required to enter. If you don’t already have a Facebook account, visit www.facebook.com to create one. It is free to create an account. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the Sponsor and not to Facebook. By participating via the Facebook platform, participants are also subject to Facebook’s data policy and terms of use, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy and https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms/update.

10. SPONSOR: Chococurb, 1101 N 199th St, Shoreline, WA 98133, support@chococurb.com

How to Write a Kick-Ass Product Review

This post may contain affiliate links

How to Write a Kick-Ass Product Review
Now that I feel like I’m a seasoned professional at writing product reviews, I want to share the wealth of knowledge I’ve learned with you today in hopes that you will become a professional at it too.

 

Bloggers all over the place write hundreds of thousands of product reviews every year. So many of these reviews could actually be great sources of passive income for bloggers, but more than half of the reviews are poorly written, dull, and uninformative. If you are spending time writing a product review, why not do it right? Otherwise, you are just wasting everyone’s time.

Today’s post should hopefully paint a picture in your head as to what a solid product review needs to look like. By investing a little more time in your writing, your reviews will become hot topics on your blog, and hopefully drive more revenue and traffic to your blog.

OWN UP TO YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PRODUCT

One of the very first steps in writing a solid product review is to detail how you got the product. Did you buy it and are writing it on your own time? Did someone pay you to write the review? Did you get the product for free in exchange for your review? However you arrived to write the review, your readers need to know. Some readers may shy away from reviews where they feel like the writer was paid off for writing positive comments.

If you are setting out to write product reviews as a part of your income, you need to establish a firm set of guidelines (see mine for an example).  Part of these guidelines should state that you only write honest feedback about products you receive. Assure your readers that the compensation for the post in no way sways your review of the product at hand.

If you have received a discount, free product, or compensation in exchange for writing your review, you MUST disclose this relationship on your blog post. This is FTC law in the United States as well as many other countries. (I am not a legal professional, so if you have any doubts as to what is expected in your country, please consult an attorney).

KNOW YOUR PRODUCT

You can’t write a good product review if you know nothing about what the product is, how it works, and how it helps people. Perform extensive research on it by going to the product manufacturer’s website. Gather as much information about it as you can and be prepared to talk about any competitor’s products. Don’t just write out a few features of the product and be done with it. Good product reviews go into great detail.  Know how to use the product – especially if it’s a complex gadget or electronic device. If you are unsure of all of the features, refer to the product’s website and/or instruction manual.

INCLUDE HIGH-QUALITY IMAGES

The presence of images in a product review can easily make or break a sale. Readers want to see the product in action.  The best way to do this is incorporate your own images with you or a friend using the product. Occasionally, you may get permission from the merchant or marketing agency to use their branding material. Always, always, always give proper attribution to any images that you don’t own, and don’t use any images that aren’t yours without permission.

CREATE A FUN VIDEO

A great way to spread the knowledge about your product review is to accompany it with a fun video with you and the product. Don’t just shoot a boring video of you using it. Make it unique and fun. Videos share very well on YouTube and can catch on quickly if made creatively.

WRITE A FREAKING SWEET OVERVIEW

The very beginning of your product review should be anything but boring. Write an overview that could sell the product then and there without having to even go into any detail. Many readers move on if there isn’t a good explanation at the top of the page.  Briefly answer who, what, when, where, how:

  • What is the product?
  • Who would enjoy using this product?
  • When is this product used?
  • Where can the product be purchased?
  • How can the product be purchased?

WHAT ARE THE PROS?

While you shouldn’t be fake about the good in a product, you should definitely call out the major selling features in a way that will promote the product positively to your readers. Be specific! Does your product have a long battery life? How long? How much longer than its competition? There’s a fine line between making a quick list of all of the features and actually going into detail as to how those features make it an awesome product. Take the extra time to make the good in the product stand out.

WHAT ARE THE CONS?

Almost every product has a bad side. Although some of these bad features may not be huge or sway someone from buying the product, you still want to present the negative side of a product in a professional manner. For example, I absolutely LOVE Candy Club. I will promote them to the moon and back for ever and ever, but I can’t get past the monthly subscription cost. It’s a little high in my opinion. Although my overall review of the product was good, I still gave the negative information to my readers so that they could decide for themselves whether or not the product fit their budget. (See my review of Candy Club)

COMPARE COMPETITOR PRODUCTS

Most people, when they are shopping for a product, will look at more than one brand. A good product review will have a comparison between your product and a competitor’s product. Charts, graphs, infographics, and bulleted lists are all great visuals for readers to see when trying to make an informed choice.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Yes, you’ve already briefly mentioned the cost in your overview, but here’s a chance to elaborate and give out any deals you might have in your possession. If you are reviewing an affiliate merchant’s product, look to see if there are coupons or special offers you can provide to your readers. If there’s a deadline to the deal, putting it in big bold letters helps draw in the sense of urgency to make a purchase decision. Don’t forget to include shipping and handling costs as a part of the total cost.

WHERE CAN READERS BUY THE PRODUCT?

Knowing where your readers can purchase the product is important. It shows that you’ve done your research. Rather than saying that a push mower can be bought at any hardware store, provide the store name and aisle name if you know it.

ASK FOR FEEDBACK

You aren’t the only one who’s used the product. Always ask for feedback from your audience about their experience using the product. It’s always possible their experience was drastically different from yours. The more feedback your product review gets, the better confidence you are giving to your readers when they are reading your review.

USE A SIMPLE RATING SYSTEM

Lots of bloggers have developed their own rating systems for the products they review. If you are going to do this, post a rating system key with your product review so that your audience understands how you’ve rated the product. A simple 5 star rating system is sufficient. These types of systems are most common and easy for consumers to understand. Don’t make them complicated.

Create iPhone Apps in Minutes.

WRITE IN THE FIRST PERSON

Nothing pisses me off more when I read someone’s product review that’s written in the 3rd person. Not only does this distance you from the product and your readers, but it flat-out makes you look like a jerk. First person is writing from your own point of view. Please, for the sake of all humanity, don’t be afraid to write in a warming tone that connects to your readers. You can’t do that if you are talking in the 3rd person. Remember how much Jimmy loved Elaine on Seinfeld?  Jimmy shouldn’t write product reviews. Jimmy should stick to the gym.

BE PERSUASIVE

Don’t be afraid to increase your persuasiveness to draw your readers in closer. Start a sentence with a conjunction (I know you shouldn’t!!). Remove any sentences in your review that are too generic, and make them more specific. Sentences with numbers, statistics, percentages, dollars, etc. do very well in product reviews because they are great in drawing in eyes. Replace plain adjectives with super high-octane adjectives that make your words jump off of the page. A simple search of awesome adjectives on your search engine will give you tons of great ideas.

MAKE YOUR PRODUCT REVIEWS EASY TO FIND ON YOUR BLOG

Product reviews should be easy to find on your blog, and not nestled in with other categories. My blog has its own “review” category. Any time I write a product review, I use the category so that it lumps it in with my older reviews. If one of the main features of your blog is providing product reviews, make an eye-catching graphic to put in your sidebar linking to your product review category.

UPDATE YOUR REVIEW

Products change constantly. What may be a fantastic product one day may soon decline in quality and value. If you’ve already written about a product and it later malfunctions, don’t be afraid to update your original post. Many newer model products don’t live up to the original version. That’s okay. Share your experience regardless. The more the reader can trust you, the better success you will have.

WHERE TO GET PRODUCTS FOR REVIEW

Marketing Agencies:  This is the primary source of products I get for reviews. I’ve worked with several fantastic agencies on several products I’ve reviewed in the past (Char-Broil Grill, Candy Club, Chococurb, Discover Our America, Little Passports). Most of the time, I’ll get a direct email from the marketing agency asking if I’d be interested in writing a review for their product in exchange for a free product.

Affiliate Networks:  If you are a member of an affiliate network, such as ShareASale, you can email your affiliate marketing manager to ask if there are any products they’d be willing to send you for review.  You can find the marketing manager’s email on the merchant’s profile page.

Amazon: Did you know that you can sign up as an Amazon Affiliate and review just about anything under the sun that appears on Amazon? For example, my Husqvarna Pushmower is on Amazon right now.  I could write a review about it as a blog post and include the affiliate links for the product on Amazon. I will get a commission whenever someone makes a purchase through that link…and it doesn’t even have to be the product you’re recommending.

Tomoson: This site is at the bottom of my list. I’ve found mixed results with Tomoson. You really need to be careful and research the products first before bidding on them. While they often times will offer products at an extreme discount, they rarely offer up compensation for posts.

REVIEW YOUR OWN PRODUCTS

It makes sense to review products you actually own and use on a daily basis. Remember when I talked about my Husqvarna mower earlier in the post? It’ll make a great product to review because I’ve had so much experience using it.  I know how long I can mow before it needs more gas, how long it takes to mow my yard, how well it trims in tight places, and so on. I also know that it sometimes clogs easily even when the grass is short and dry (ugh…that really pisses me off!). Besides, you’ve already made the purchase so you don’t have to worry about contacting someone to get a product for review. It’s already in your possession!  You also come across as more trustworthy if you actually use the product you are reviewing.

OFF YOU GO!

So now that you are ready to write a kick-ass product review, hop to it! Remember to keep your audience in mind, give them full details, direct them to the product, and be honest. Your readers aren’t looking for fluff. They want real answers, real reviews, and honest feedback about the products.

I sincerely appreciate you dropping by my site today, and hope that this post helps you become a great product reviewer! I always appreciate any feedback, and of course, please share this post across social media.

What are some of your tips on writing product reviews? Share in the comments…

 

How To Skyrocket Your Email List in 30 Days

WordPress Themes with a bang

This post contains affiliate links.  If you decide to make a purchase using those links, I’ll receive a small commission that helps me keep Go Ask Your Daddy rolling. Thanks for all of your continued support!

As a relatively new blogger (less than 2 years), one of the hardest things I’ve found in this career is growing my email list. I don’t know why it has been a struggle for me, but in reading other blog posts and Facebook group comments, I see I’m clearly not alone. That’s why I’ve finally put together a successful strategy to keep my email subscriber list moving in the right direction.

Email subscriber list growth depends on how well you are promoting your blog. If you are just writing and publishing without sharing on any social media channel, how can you expect people to find it? Spending a good amount of time coming up with and implementing the right strategy is key to jump-starting your email list.

How To Skyrocket Your Email List in 30 Days

Set a goal

So I’m a manager full-time in my day job, and I know how critical establishing achievable goals are in business. It’s absolutely no different with your blog. The first thing you need to do is determine where you want to be in the next 30 days. Are you reaching for 50? 100? 500? 1,000? Establish a goal that’s reachable in the time frame. For this post, I’m using 30 days as the time frame to really get things cookin’!

Here’s a list of ways I’ve personally grown my email list. Not every strategy or tip here will work for everyone. Find what works best for you and stick with it. Oh, and don’t be afraid to shift gears if you find the strategy doesn’t work the way you want.

1. Simply Ask People to Join

Word of mouth is still as effective today as it was 100 years ago. Before the digital age, people learned about things by word of mouth. Ask your family, friends, or co-workers to check out your blog, and to sign up with your mailing list. You’ll be surprised as to how many actually follow through. You can also ask your Facebook and Twitter followers to join too. If you have a Facebook fan page (I hope you do!), there is an option to send an invite. Don’t be shy and think people don’t want to see it. Take the leap and invite your entire list. What’s the worst that could happen?? Seriously? One word of caution here is to not put it out there like they are obligated to join. Make it a casual conversation like: “Hey, did you know I run a blog? Check it out! I’d love for you to join the mailing list if you’d like.” Don’t force the issue.

2. Write Content Worth Sharing

No matter how hard you promote your blog, if your blog posts are garbage, you can expect garbage in return. Posting for the sake of posting will get you no where. Plan out your post. I guarantee you can write an effective blog post in under 30 minutes! If you write content worth sharing, you will gain your readers’ loyalty and your mailing list will reap the benefits.

3. Offer an Incentive for Subscribing

What value does subscribing to your email list have for your readers?  Are they going to get anything free? Write an eBook, create a free webinar, design a worksheet, offer a free design service. Do something. Give them something they’ll love for free. Here are a few ideas:

4. Use a Reputable Email Marketing Service

Don’t be one of those bloggers who sends out campaigns using a personal email account. How unprofessional! I highly recommend and use MailChimp. It has all of the tools you need to get your email list started up for free. It comes with tutorials to help customize your email form, helps you schedule automatic RSS feed emails, and even gives you tons of design options. MailChimp also gives you statistics on how your email campaigns are going. It tells you how many people are on your list, how many opened your email, and how many clicked on links within the email. Once your blog grows, though, you’ll have to opt in for the paid service, but it’s totally worth the effort. Whatever email marketing service you use, be consistent with it and actually use it!

5.  Join Facebook Groups

I have met so many great blogger friends on Facebook groups. Many of us started out not knowing one interesting piece of information about the other, but as we continued sharing our content with each other through these groups, many of us have subscribed to each others’ blogs. Use Facebook threads as a way to network with others and share your content.  The more eyes that see your content, the more your mailing list will grow. Start by joining my Facebook Group, “Blogger Share and Promo Group.” I created the group with the sole purpose of sharing blog content and boosting traffic.

6. Be Genuine

No one wants to subscribe to a blog that’s going to blast 2-3 emails a day trying to sell something. If you are doing this today, I guarantee you most of your readers will unsubscribe in a heartbeat. Be genuine and you will gain followers. If you are using affiliate links in your blog posts, do so subtly, and don’t make it appear that earning a commission is all you care about. Trust me, people can see right through your intentions. It’s ok to include affiliate links in your posts, but only do so when you truly want someone to see the value in the product you are promoting.

7. Write Down Your Strategy

Above all, you need to document your email marketing strategy. Put it in a place where you can refer to it and make changes as your blog changes. I’d even go as far as to share your email strategy on your blog like I’m doing today. Let people know you truly care about the quality of your posts, and for all of those who choose to subscribe to your blog. Let them see you have a clear plan in place and that they are not wasting their time by signing up today.

8. Make it Easy to Subscribe

Nothing’s worse than going to someone’s blog and not seeing an opt-in form clearly on their blog. Don’t make your readers work to find out how to become a part of all of that great content you’re writing. Make it obvious. If you’ll look over in my right sidebar, towards the top of the page, you’ll see I’ve done just that. I want people to be comfortable when on my site, and I want them to find content with ease. Analyze your current site and find ways to improve the way you direct traffic to your sign up form. If it’s hard to find, you probably need to make some updates.

9. Send regular emails

Today, I have MailChimp set up to send a weekly email on Fridays to all of my subscribers. This email is tied to my RSS feed, and sends an excerpt of every blog post I’ve published during the past week. If you want to see what that looks like, subscribe to my blog today, and the next Friday that passes you’ll get an email. Feel free to mirror your email blasts like I have. I also recommend sending an addition 2-3 emails per week. These can be on any topic you want, but make it VALUABLE to your readers. Don’t just email to email. Make it worth your readers’ time to stop what they are doing and pay attention.

10. Use Pinterest to Market Your Mailing List

Ok, you’ve probably heard me rant and rave about how well my site performs because of Pinterest traffic. I’m telling the truth when I’ve really seen my traffic and mailing list grow because I’ve implemented a consistent strategy with Pinterest and with using Tailwind. You can market your mailing list on Pinterest by creating a visually-stimulating image and then link it to your subscribe form. Make sure to explain in the description what your site is about and why readers should join.

Were these tips helpful? Let me know what you think!

Hey, don’t leave my page just yet. Let me know whether or not this post was helpful for you in the comments section below. I’m always looking to improve all of my blog posts to help you succeed.

How to Write an Effective Blog Post in Less than 30 Minutes

This post may contain affiliate links

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

Between being a full-time manager, daddy, and husband, finding time to write blog posts is just hard – plain and simple. I’m sure there are moms and dads alike out there suffering the same problem as I do. Recently, I created a post called “Why I Create An Outline For Every Blog Post.” Outlines have been a fantastic tool for me, and I’d absolutely recommend you use them as well.

There’s another aspect to writing my blog posts that I’ve never written about before. What is it? It’s how to write a post when you only have a short amount of time. Thus, today’s post was born!

I’m going to teach you the method I use on every blog post to create a valuable, effective post in less than 30 minutes. Don’t think it can be done? Think again. I’ve broken my process down into 5 easy steps you can follow right now to create your next viral blog post.

Let’s get started…

STEP 1: BRAINSTORM AHEAD OF TIME

How many times have you been guilty of sitting down to write a blog post, and realize you have no idea what to write? The problem isn’t writer’s block. The problem is that you haven’t effectively spent time brainstorming possible topics.

You don’t necessarily have to have a formal sit down brainstorming session to say that you have officially brainstormed. And, no, you don’t have to write every idea down that floats through your head, but I do write down potential topics immediately. Normally, I’m on the go so this information usually ends up in the note app on my phone.

What’s my point?  My point is that you need to come to the table with ideas ALREADY IN MIND. This minimizes frustration and opens up the creative juices to spend that time actually writing the post.  You’ll quickly find that writer’s block isn’t real, and you actually had great ideas all along.

STEP 2: ANSWER A FEW QUESTIONS FOR YOURSELF

I can’t tell you how many blog posts I’ve read, or started to read, and then realized the writer was just in it to make a quick buck. I especially HATE IT when bloggers don’t consider their readers. Mistake, mistake, mistake! So, with that in mind, I ALWAYS ask myself a few simple questions before starting my post that help me keep in mind the WHO, WHAT, and WHY I plan to cover.

  • Who am I targeting with this post?
  • What problem am I aiming to solve by writing this post?
  • Why am I writing the post? What value will it have?

Once you’ve answered the above questions, you can get a better sense of where you want to go creatively and strategically to make the post reach people the way you intend it to reach them.  And, of course, these aren’t the only questions you have to use. Ask yourself as many questions as necessary! Write them down on a Word document and make it a part of your creation process. Make it consistent!

STEP 3: CREATE AN OUTLINE

Yeah, yeah, I know. I’ve already talked about how important I think outlines are to creating a well-organized blog post. I’m mildly OCD, so what do you expect? Ha! Anyway, on a more serious note, you should absolutely create an outline FOR EVERY BLOG POST! Yes, outlines take a little time, but not as much time as scratching your head trying to figure out what goes where and why. Outlines do that for you. My suggestion?  Do it during brainstorming. If you are already on your computer writing down some ideas, why not start an outline for some of the best ones and see where they end up? You’ll be very surprised how easy and effective this is! Try it!

STEP 4: PROOFREAD THE HELL OUT OF IT

Remember, I’m mildly OCD, right? So, it is natural that I’m very picky about spelling, grammar, and punctuation. You should be too! Nobody wants to read a post full of completely preventable errors. After all, aren’t you trying to make blogging a full-time income source?  Don’t screw it up with careless errors. Hey, if you are blogging in WordPress like me, USE THE SPELL CHECK!  Word has a spell checker too, smarty pants!  There is no excuse in the world that makes up for easily preventable mistakes that could cost you valuable traffic and readers! Take the time to do it right and do it right the first time. It’s just common sense.

STEP 5: CLOSE WITH A BANG

I read a few blog posts this week where the blogger just ended with his or her last point. There was no call to action, no conclusion paragraph, no “read more” section. I was left in the dark as to what the blogger’s intentions were. Did they want me to do something? Leave a comment? Follow them on social media? Share it with my friends? I had no damn clue because there was no call to action for thousands of miles. Only tumbleweeds blowing in the wind.  Not a good feeling as a reader. I left the post confused.

So, with that in mind, make your call to action intentional, fun, and most importantly, clear as day.  Tell your readers what you want them to do. Don’t make it the reader’s job to figure out the end result. YOU should have already put that down in writing for them. And, as soon as I find those blog posts that didn’t do this, I’m going to update this post and show you those as examples of what NOT to do.

So, here’s MY call to action…

There’s no reason why you can’t write an effective blog post in less than 30 minutes with the tips I’ve just given you.  It’s worked for me, my friends, so I know it will work for you too. Don’t waste one more minute trying to figure out how other writers are getting things done so quickly – BE ONE OF THEM!

To sum it up, here are my main takeaway points I want you to keep in mind:

How to write a blog post in less than 30 minutes?

  1. Brainstorm ahead of time
  2. Answer a few questions for yourself
  3. Create an outline
  4. Proofread the hell out of it
  5. Close with a bang

Sound off!  I’d like to hear your comments about how you get your posts written quickly, and if there are any tips you’d like to share with me to add to this list. I am very happy to answer any questions you may have.  Head on down to the comments section below today’s post and let me know you dropped by today. I’d greatly appreciate it.  And hey, you can also sign up for my newsletter to get every single post delivered to you weekly!

How I Made My First Affiliate Sale With ShareASale

If you asked me before I started my blog in late 2015 what “affiliate marketing” was, I’d probably tell you it was something I never planned to pursue.  The idea of “selling” things to my readers just wasn’t top priority.

This post contains affiliate links

Now that I truly believe I provide a ton of great blogging advice on my site, I changed my thinking. I no longer look at affiliate marketing as “selling” to people or “selling out just to make a few bucks.” If done right, affiliate marketing should feel like you are recommending valuable products and services you actually use and believe in to your subscribers.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

I answer this question in my earlier post, “20 Secrets to Affiliate Marketing Success,” but in case you haven’t read it yet, it’s really a simple concept. Affiliate marketing is the promotion of products and services for a merchant in exchange for a commission.

The first step in getting involved with affiliate marketing is to join affiliate networks that offer programs related to your niche. There are thousands of companies that offer their own affiliate programs. You simply go to their website and look for a link (usually at the bottom) for their affiliate program.

Another way to find affiliate programs is to search for actual “affiliate networks” that offer thousands of different programs you can apply for and join. I am a member of ShareASale, Rakuten, Commission Junction, and AvantLink.  These networks work with so many merchants, that there is a very good chance you’ll find something worth promoting on your blog.

I wrote a review on ShareASale a few months back. If you are serious about working with them, I highly recommend reading it to get a little more detail about what they are all about. It’s very easy to join programs and get creative materials for your site. I also wrote a post about some of the AMAZING merchant programs at ShareASale you should consider joining!

Adding affiliate links to your site

After you’ve been accepted into affiliate programs, you can’t start earning any money until you actually place their creative materials (links, banners, coupons, etc.) on your site (affiliate links).  Adding the affiliate links correctly is critical as the links are the only way the merchants can track the purchases made through the links on your site. Don’t worry, though, all affiliate programs give you your own customized affiliate links that you can simply copy and paste into your html editor or WordPress site.

Affiliate links are behind-the-scenes to your readers. There is no additional action they have to take for you to get paid, other than click on the affiliate link and purchasing something from that merchant.  It does not cost them anything extra because it’s an affiliate link. While you are required to state at the top of your post that it contains affiliate links, readers who click on your links are driven directly to the merchant’s product page.

So you may be wondering if the reader has to purchase the specific product you are advertising.  The answer is no. If your link is for a computer, but they end up purchasing a fax machine, you’ll still get a commission. What’s even better is most affiliate program has tracking cookies. No, not the yummy kind (now I want cookies!), but the kind that is placed in the reader’s computer that tracks whether or not they come back down the road and make a purchase. This means that if you clicked on my affiliate link today, but didn’t purchase anything, I could still make a commission if you returned to the site at a later date and then purchased something. Each affiliate has specific time periods (usually 30, 60, or 90 days from the initial visit).

My Strategy

You have to be very methodical about how you implement affiliate links on your site. Dropping affiliate links everywhere on the page and hoping someone will click on something is definitely NOT the right approach. Nor is throwing your links in social media. I rarely get clicks on any affiliate links I put on social media so I focus more on my blog content to drive in the sales.

No one is obligated or motivated to purchase anything from you just because you pop a link or banner on your site. They could go to another site or brick-and-mortar location to accomplish the same task. I wouldn’t buy a car from a car salesman just because he says I should.

My banner ads do get clicks, and I’ve earned sales from them, but my primary source of income from affiliate links has been through my product reviews. I have made several big sales for Candy Club simply from posting my Candy Club Subscription Box Review post on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Product reviews do very well in search engines because they give details about a product.

When I wrote my big Candy Club blog post, I didn’t immediately see any sales. I got a little frustrated, but I continued to promote the blog post every where that I could. I soon noticed I started seeing sales come in from banners clicked within the post. Proper link and banner placement is critical!

You saw me mention Pinterest as a source of promotion a few paragraphs above this one. Yes, you can promote affiliate links on Pinterest.  There are so many ways to be creative with promoting through Pinterest. I created my own affiliate products board and anytime I see a good deal I share it. It’s as simple as uploading an image, linking with the affiliate link and writing a great description full of rich keywords. You also have to disclose you are using affiliate links in the description. Don’t forget this!

Not only has Pinterest been a good source of traffic for me, but it’s also a great source to read about how other bloggers are succeeding with affiliate links. I use Tailwind to automatically promote my pins and Tailwind Tribes to share my pins even further (Tribes are free even if you aren’t using Tailwind!).

How Tailwind Is Helping My Blog Traffic

Making the first sale

The first sale is always so exciting. Whenever you log in to your affiliate network’s platform and see the balance has changed, you get motivated to do even more on your blog to keep the sales coming in. When I sold my first few Candy Club subscriptions, I knew that whatever I was doing was starting to work. Regardless of how many sales you make, always look for ways to make your process smoother.

Are you new to affiliate marketing? Or, are you making a full-time income? Share in the comments how you have succeeded (or are working towards succeeding) with affiliate marketing.  How did you make your first sale??

More reading:  How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing