Pinterest Tips for Business

Pinterest Tips for BusinessPinterest is reported to have over 70 million users and has surpassed email as one of the top sharing platforms online according to Share This.  It’s no wonder why so may businesses are riding the wave of Pinterest. With these stats, I became curious as to what made this channel so darn powerful. So, after getting past the learning curve, I went on a hunt to figure some things out. If you still don’t get what Pinterest is all about take a look at this cute and short video  (less than 2 minutes) to gain some understanding on how it works.

For businesses, Pinterest is a great tool because you can share content by way of appealing images, graphics, pictures etc. that can ultimately increase your sales. Since many people absorb better through visuals, the growth of Pinterest is  expected to continue to stay on the rise.

So, in light of this predicted growth, I set out to research the most recent and popular articles online related to Pinterest in an effort to gain some understanding. Learning some Pinterest tips for business will improve my overall interaction level on this platform through the use of methods and tools in order to bring more visitors to my websites. Here’s what I found:

Copyblogger's Pinterest WorksDoes Pinterest convert? According to Copyblogger’s Pinterest Works article, heck yeah and they have proof to show it. Copyblogger is considered one of the pioneers of blogging so when they have something to say, I usually listen. I enjoyed this article because I was a skeptic myself on the power of Pinterest for business. Delineated in it is some social proof of how this amazing tool drives thousands of referral traffic to a couple of online publishers. It also offers a simple step-by-step process on how you can use Pinterest to drive more traffic to your website. Copplyblogger debunks the the Pinterest naysayers.

Smart Strategies for PinterestNeed more proof? Here it is. This blogger shrugged Pinterest off because she thought her “marketing” and “tech” themes weren’t visually enticing enough to use Pinterest. Therefore, she embarked on a research bend and now Pinterst is her second top referral source for social traffic. She offers 40+ strategies to drive more traffic.

Optimize your imagesHow do you optimize your images for more traffic? This is one of my favorites because Cynthia Sanchez offers a video on how to do this exactly through the use keyword rich descriptions to help your pins be found. She also offers a podcast that may be helpful.

 

Hashtags for PinterestHow are Hashtags used? Hashtags are profusely used in in many social marketing platforms. Hashtags use on Pinterest, as per this article, is used differently than on twitter. If you want to learn to use of Hashtags for Pinterest for better search results, this resource offers 7 tips.

Must follow Pinterest BoardsIf what you’ve heard is that Pinterst is mostly a social media platform for recipes, arts & crafts and shoes well, here is a list of 15 bloggers using Pinterest for their blogging efforts. From SEO to Internet Marketing and social media pinboards, take a look at how these bloggers use Pinterest. It will give you a some ideas on how to combine blogging and Pinterest in creative ways.

Tools for PinterestWant to know what the best tools are to heighten the efficiency of Pinterest for your business? Here are 9 tools shared in this article by Business 2 Community that can help you make the best of your Pinterest pinboards. From Pinterest analytics to creating an online store on Pinterest you’ll be able to find at least one item on the list that you’ll be able to put to use right away.
Tricks for Pinterest

Besides tools, learn some Pinterest tricks that all bloggers should consider – 7 to be exact. In this article, Hello Society dishes out some cool tricks that can catapult your blogging and put you on the  Pinterest map. Up until know, I have just been posting my social friendly images attached to my blog content all over social media but with this article, I learned to not only have an exclusive blogging content pinboard but also exclusive images for Pinterst. This entices people to keep coming back for more so you can continue to optimize this avenue further in your marketing. There are also examples of blog content boards that just got my creative juices flowing all over the place.

Pinterest PlacesIn November of 2013, Pinterest introduced Place Pins which as per Pinterest, combines the imgery of a travel magazine with an online map. Social Media Examiner shows you 6 ways in which you can promote your business with this new feature. It also has a tutorial on how to create a Place Board.

 

 

 

Here’s How to Get Inspired When You’re Feeling Stuck as an Entrepreneur

Welcome to Spark Bits Weekly where I ask a panel of homeprenuers a blazing question about running and growing their businesses from home.inspiration

Today’s Q is: 

Where do you find inspiration when you feel like you’ve hit a plateau in your business?

Helena Bowers from Your Message Amplified says:

headshot-dec-2012-100When I hit a plateau in my business the first thing I try to do is get out of my own way. I know that I have the tendency to make things harder than they have to be, so the first place I look for inspiration is outside in nature. I’ll often take my camera and head to the river for a long walk and some quiet time communing with the ducks. The stillness gives me the space I need to get out of my own head and let the ideas flow. More often than not I end up coming home with a pretty good idea of what my next step should be, as well as a fresh batch of pictures to work with!

Brenda Trott from Done4UMedia Marketing says:

BrendaFunky_me.jpgI’m not sure if I ever run out of ideas. The reason is because I get them from my clients. They come to me with new questions before I even know I have an answer.

 

Jessica Lee from Psychic Readings Guide says:

jessica-leeI love this question because I think it’s so important to feel inspired when working.  When I feel like I’ve hit a plateau, I know it’s because I am over thinking things and not letting the business flow organically. That signals me to step back and take a few hours off doing something enjoyable that is unrelated to business, such as taking a ride or baking.  Usually, once I get into a relaxed state, ideas will quickly start to flow again.

Another thing I do is keep inspiration boards on Pinterest.  I pin blogs that I admire and articles that I have enjoyed reading.  When I go back and reread these pieces, I remember what I loved about them, and this often gets my creative juices flowing.

I also have several book excerpts highlighted on various Kindle books.  Sometimes, one great quote or a few paragraphs from a chapter is enough to inspire me.  For me, it’s all about not fighting the current.  Trying to force things when they’re not happening naturally is not fun.  Relaxing, taking a step back, and having inspiration boards that I can refer to works really well for me.

Reba Collins from PLR One Stop says:

profile-reba100x100I find inspiration in almost everything, every person, and everywhere I go.  I try to look for the good and ignore the bad, so I watch for the little things from which I can draw ideas. Family is big in my life and there’s always someone telling of how they found a great item or need something to make their lives easier. I try to apply those conversations to my business.

Since my business is an online business, I’m a member in a lot of Facebook groups and forums with others in my niche. I go to those places every day and never fail to learn something new. Everything new thing I learn I can apply to my business, so honestly, I’m never short on inspiration. In fact, I have so many ideas; I don’t have time to handle them all. It’s rare that I hit a plateau with such great people touching my life on a daily basis. [Read more...]

Passion In Business Won’t Pay the Bills. Or Will It?

A few years ago, my husband and I drove out to Ocean City, Maryland for a mini vacation. I admit, I wasn’t completelymonster01 present in the moment of the experience. I felt almost guilty for immersing myself in a pleasurable activity when my thoughts were wrecked and lost with the “would haves” and “should haves” of my life. It’s as if I had unfinished business to do (literally) and I was wasting time by not attending to it “immediately.”

What would my life look like if I had stuck it through in 2002 and not sold my very modest sized business?  Would I be feeling fulfilled professionally? Would I have wanted to get up every morning oh so vibrantly and ready to take take on the day?

Have you ever experienced an intense feeling of knowing you were meant to do something else?

Something bolder. Something better. Something that screams PASSION.

Granted, I am immensely grateful and proud to have collected  degrees that have afforded me the opportunity to earn a decent living. But in that journey, I failed to realize that I had spent a decade searching to fill a void and I was looking to fill it in all the wrong places.

What the heck is blogging?

Prior to my decision to venture out into the online world, I had been following one blogger – Pat Flynn. Of course, I didn’t realize he was a “blogger” back then. I didn’t even understand how blogging worked. I’ve always been sort of a laggard when it came to technology and online trends.

But I just knew that somehow, with my limited knowledge of technology, I was going to figure out how to start a business online – one that I intensely connected with.

So when I got home from my trip, I began to fanatically search for ways to start a business that I could fall in love with. And there were a few things I learned in my old offline business that allowed me to be crystal clear about what I wanted. Here they go:

  1. I wanted to start a business from home.
  2. I was passionate about business, personal development and wellness and wanted to find a way to inspire people.
  3. I wanted to earn a full time income.
  4. I wanted to stay healthy and sane while doing it.
  5. I wanted enough time left to engage with the people who matter to me the most.

Passion vs. Customers

There is much to be said about giving your customers what they want.

However, I’m really feeling the idea of doing what you love, then finding the right customers.

I read a great article by Jonathan Fields recently. My takeaway was the notion that often times other areas of your life compensate for the dysfunction created around a business that is ultimately not a good fit for you.

In retrospect, that’s exactly what happened with my old business. In essence, I bought myself a J-O-B. My customers became my bosses and the situation was possibly the equivalent of my worse job yet.

Why? Because I was responsible for creating it.

Black or White?

There are various schools of thought in entrepreneurship. There are some who say passion won’t help you create a successful business. Yet others who beg to differ.

I go with the latter.

I believe passion will keep your engine running. It will also sustain your thinking on your feet and motivate you enough to keep you moving forward. As you progress, you will learn to find solutions to obstacles that will come, and these will enhance the skills necessary to help you reach your vision.

There will be forks on the road… [Read more...]

10 Influential Mom Bloggers

There are many influential mom bloggers in the blogosphere, which made narrowing my list down to ten, a tremendous challenge. I decided to focus on bloggers that inspire and encourage me to hold steady no matter how rough the waters get. I hope they inspire you as well.

Jennifer James
www.mommytoomag.com
If you are mom blogger than you probably know Jennifer from the largest directory for mom bloggers, mombloggersclub.com. In fact signing up for her website opened up a lot of doors for me. I found most of my blogging friends through mombloggersclub.com. She is an amazing multi-tasker. Not only does she operate mombloggersclub.com, but she also created TheMomSalon.com, MommyToo.com and NAAHA.com.  She has been featured and quoted in a variety of magazines and newspapers. Looking at what she has achieved motivates me to stay the course and continue with my goals.

Maria T Bailey
www.mariabailey.com
You may know Maria from her most recent ventures Newbaby.com and MomTV.com, however she is also the host of Mom Talk Radio, founder of BlueSuitMom.com, CEO of BSM Media, and a National TV Talk Show Host on Lifetime. Maria has over a decade of experience studying the behaviors of moms and being a mom of four further validates her expertise. She has written several books on marketing to moms, her most recent book Mom 3.0 is a valuable resource for anyone interested in marketing to moms.

Beth Feldman
www.rolemommy.com
Beth is the president of Roll Mommy and overseas all of the online content from reviews to interviews. Her mission for Role Mommy is inspiring – helping your children realize their hopes and dreams doesn’t mean you have to give up your own. As a mother of two children I was quickly wrapped up into the role of “mommy” and lost myself in the process. However as I started blog and meet other influential moms the “me” started to uncoil and I began to set goals and plans for myself.

Allison Worthington
www.mrsfussypants.com
Another great influential mom blogger who makes multi-tasking look easy. She maintains her own blog mrsfussypants.com and is also the founder of Blissfully Domestic, co-host of the Blissdom Conference and founder of Worthington Wire. Did I mention she is also a mom to 5 boys? Need I say more?

Tiffany Washko
www.tiffanywashko.com
Tiffany is an avid environmentalist, a freelance writer, newspaper journalist, internet marketer and mother. Her primary focus is on natural lifestyle and green living. She also owns Bento Lunch Box a site I love to look at while imagining to prepare my own lunch before grabbing something at the closest food chain. Like me, she is always thinking of new ways to bring multiple streams of income into the family. It’s great to see someone else achieving the goals I’m striving for.

Jen Singer
www.mommasaid.net
Her website MommaSaid.net launched in 2003 and is now a virtual community bringing in thousands of faithful visitors around the world. Her goal was to create a community for moms on the brink of desperation can go to laugh and linger.  She has been quoted in a variety of newspapers and magazines and has appeared on several television shows. In 2005, MamaSaid.net received the Forbes Best of the Web designation for Parenting Blogs.  If you are looking for parenting advice MommaSaid.net is a great resource. Look for MomaSaid parenting books this fall.

Cindy Rushton
www.cindyrushton.com
An influential Christian blogger who provides information on marriage, mothering, or homeschooling. Her goal is to encourage and inspire moms to follow their calling in life.

Jessica Smith
www.jessicaknows.com
Who hasn’t heard of JessicaKnows.com? While she doesn’t promote herself as a mom blogger she influences and inspires me every day. I hope to build a recognizable brand for myself like she has done with JessicaKnows.com. Last year I participated in her Rock Your Blog coaching and learned so much during those sessions and still talk to many of the participants today.

Tara Crooks
www.taracrooks.com
Most known for her blog Army Wife Network and Army Wife Talk Radio show has motivated and influenced others to follow their dreams and reach their goals. You will often find her speaking and writing about military life.

Kelly Mccausey
www.kellymccausey.com
It only seems fitting to include Kelly in my list of influential mom bloggers, after all I wouldn’t be writing this post if it wasn’t for her. In the five weeks I’ve been interning at Sparkplugging.com I’ve learned to explore controversial topics, balance my time, and investigate other business opportunities.

While it is impossible for me to include EVERY blog that has influenced me. I would love to know what mom blogger influenced you today.

My name is Stephanie Elie and I am a transitional entrepreneur and mother of two children under the age of four. I am the editor of BizzieMommy.com and was recently listed in the Power Moms 50 list by Neilson Online.

Follow Stephanie on Twitter: @BizzieMommy

From the Interns: Cory’s Favorite Sparkplugging Posts

When Kelly asked us to create a list of our favorite posts from Sparkplugging, I realized I’d have to do some digging.  I’ve been a reader since December 2007 and I’ve gained a lot of helpful inspiration from Sparkplugging.  Here’s my pick of three favorite Sparkplugging posts.

The Rebranding of eMoms post.  Wendy did a fantastic job doing the research on her rebrand.  I know that she went through a lot of struggles while deciding what new direction to take her network.  I like this post because she links to the other areas where she outsourced to Twitter and her existing readers to get ideas on where her customers would like her to go – if more businesses would do this, fewer would fail when they try to change directions.

I miss Derek Semmler.  His post on helping guys buy gifts for wives was not only funny, but spot on.  Many writers try to overcomplicate or over research a how to article, but Derek wisely kept it simple just by reminding us of two things: Ask, and Listen.

One of the best ways to generate a lot of traffic to your website and increase your SERP rankings is to engage in linkbait.  Wendy’s post calling for a crowdsourcing project is a fantastic example of this.  It resulted in 52 comments and dozens of links back to Sparkplugging, as well as mentions on several dozen more blogs around the Internet.  Great job Wendy!

Follow Cory on Twitter: @aGoodHusband

Does Popularity Equal Powerful Influence?

influencepicI have to admit when Kelly asked me to write this post I was a bit uneasy and nervous about discussing such a sensitive topic. I must have written the article a dozen times before getting to this draft.

I feel obligated to say that I was never the “popular” girl in school, my blog does not bring in thousands of visitors a day and my Twitter and Facebook numbers are not the highest around. However a couple of weeks ago my blog showed up on Nielson’s Power 50 Mom Influencer List and I was floored and excited until I started to hear the negative comments about the list.

Some people were saying they just picked the most popular moms, the moms with the highest twitter followers or the moms that post every day on their blogs.

I was shocked to read a post by one blogger, “It makes me crazy when I see mediocre writers who get more time in the spotlight then they deserve because they know a lot of SEO tricks or market themselves incessantly while fabulous writers are dismissed as lacking influence.”

She even went so far to say that race was a factor in the decision making. [Read more...]

Before You Run That Blog Contest

giveaway-fver1

Before you run a blog contest, stop and ask yourself why you’re doing it.

There are so many blog contests going on every day.  Just look at giveaway submission sites like my own blog network’s Mom Giveaways and you’ll see hundreds of miscellaneous contests to enter every week.

Its a whole sub-culture. Giveaway devotees spend hours every day running from blog to blog, dropping their name and email in the comment section of every contest they can find.

Blog contests are great for driving traffic to your blog – at least that’s what we used to say.  Is that really still the case in the middle of 2009 when your giveaway competes with hundreds of others every day?

Don’t run a blog contest just because you see ‘everyone else’ doing it.

You have to realize they may have different motives than you do in the first place. [Read more...]

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