October 25, 2014

How to Build your Blog Following on Pinterest

Fall For DIY How to Build your Blog Following on Pinterest

Last week I finally managed to join in with my first #Blogtacular Twitter chat. It’s been a long time coming. Every week I do my best to remember and fail miserably, but I luckily stumbled upon the chat in the early stages and went all in! I’ve learnt a lot from Twitter chats in the past and as this particular Blogtacular chat was aimed at advice for new bloggers so it was a chance for me to give a little bit of what I’ve learnt back and try to help those people who feel exactly as I did when I first started. Excited, nervous and let’s face it, sometimes just a bit lost.

As with any newbie blogging chat the subject very quickly (and understandably) turned to traffic sources and how to drive it to your blog. (I know a lot of more established bloggers will tell you numbers don’t matter but I disagree. To stay motivated to blog and continuously improve you need to feel someone is listening. My readers are my biggest blogging motivation and I think it’s important for each blogger to find their audience. They’re out there, you just need to connect!) My biggest traffic source is Pinterest and so I proceeded to try and explain my own Pinterest practices in around 100 characters at a time… not so easy. Some very confused Twitter followers later I realised it might be time to start sharing my social media strategies in larger chunks and since I’ve just passed the 50,000 follower mark on Pinterest (thanks to you amazing bunch of pin obsessed maniacs) I thought I’d start there.

How to build a blog following on Pinterest

Fall For DIY How to Build your Blog following on Pinterest 1 Targetting

1. Targeting

Ok, guys, don’t hate me. I’m about to do that annoying blogger thing and tell you when it comes to followers quality means more than quantity… (argh I know how ridiculous that is to read) but hear me out. You want to be targeting the people who are more likely to click on your links back to your blog right? So think about what your readers like? Try to create a resource that is both visually interesting and comprehensively covers these topics. If a Pin is useful people will follow your whole board and look forward to the new Pins you add. If there’s something you want to Pin for later but doesn’t look fantastic or fit well with the theme of a board create a private board! I have as many private boards as I have public ones. They’re full of little bits that I want to come back to another time, places to share ideas with some of my freelancing partners and articles I want to read before sharing (to make sure they are actually useful/factual/interesting). Also try to vary your Pins. If a follower pops onto Pinterest for 5 minutes in their break and all they see is 100 Halloween pins from your new board they’re likely to unfollow you. Keep the content diverse. If you want to Pin a LOT of items in a certain niche use a private board and then make it public once you’ve pinned many of them.

Fall For DIY How to Build your Blog following on Pinterest 2 First Impressions

2. First Impressions

Get ready to do a general overhaul. Look at your profile page and boards. Do you have a cohesive theme running through? Are they attractive to look at? Do your board names effectively describe the types of pins on the board? First of all you want to give your boards an attractive cover that fits with your blog aesthetic and branding. This makes it easier for other Pinners to understand the type of Pins they will see from you. Pick clear images that are the best example of what’s on the board and give the boards names that people may search for. The search in Pinterest is a big deal with it fast becoming the place for image based searches, yet it is all based on the titles and descriptions of Pins and Boards. On that note always write a description!! Just a short sentence on the Pin making it available to people searching for it.

Fall For DIY How to Build your Blog following on Pinterest 3 Scheduling

3. Scheduling

Join a Pin scheduling service like Ahology. If you’re a content creator you can schedule you Pins to a time when they will make the most impact. This is my secret weapon! Living in the UK many of my followers are Pinning whilst I am sound asleep and (hopefully) not dreaming of Pinterest… The Ahology app lets me schedule my content and the content of their other users throughout the night to a lot of followers and potential followers who might not have seen it otherwise. It’s a relatively new service and is always coming up with new ways to improve engagement working with bloggers and brands together. Definitely one to keep an eye on!

Fall For DIY How to Build your Blog following on Pinterest 4 Group Boards

4. Group boards.

I was asked in the Blogtacular chat how to get invited to group boards and I was stumped. I’m part of a couple of group boards with different companies I work with but I’ve never joined a group board without having some kind of relationship with the owner or contributor. I imagine the best way to do this is to start the conversation. Where else are they online? Chat on Twitter or comment on Instagram. But it’s still no guarantee of getting an invite. I’m an impatient person. I don’t have the perseverance to wait for others to invite me so I started a group board with the bloggers I have worked with and/or have a relationship with. Now I’m so proud of our group board and the Pinners on it who all joined when I had a much smaller following. That means a lot to me because it was done for community rather than the promise of followers and glitter of personal gain. Because of this I want to keep it small including only bloggers I trust and so I don’t invite many on. That might be the way other Pinners feel as well. You have to earn it. So my advice is to start your own. When I started DIY Bloggers Unite (Yep cheesy) there were maybe 2000 followers. We now have over 40,000. It takes time and you need to work together with people you can rely on, but it’s really easy to do (you can invite anyone you are following and is following you back to a board to make it a group board) and you’ll make some fantastic friends at the same time!

Fall For DIY How to Build your Blog following on Pinterest 1 Pin all the live ling day

5. Pin all the live long day.

This is literally the first thing I do in the morning and last at night. I Pin in my breaks, when I need a minute to think, on the bus, in the pub with friends (not proud of that one), watching television. Just get a variety of Pins in at a variety of times. The people at Pinterest love to tell you that you can never have enough Pins or boards so go for it! Every now and then take a look at what’s popular (just go to all you pins on your profile page and see how many repins they’re getting) and use that information to Pin more of one type of Pin and less of others. Remember if you want people to follow you, you have to give them a reason. Pinterest can be a useful resource for your own personal use and to drive traffic You can easily use it for both.


I could go on and talk about Pinable images, connecting Pinterest with your blog, analytics, rich pins and promoting on other social media platforms but I think I need to save all our hard working brains and write more about that another time. I’ll be writing a … post twice a month from now on so if there’s anything you’d like to know more about leave me a little comment or tweet me @fallfordiy and I’ll do my best to help!

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October 21, 2014

DIY Dalmatian Spotted Horseshoe Necklace

Fall For DIY Dalmatian Spotted Horseshoe Necklace tutorials

It’s been a while since my last jewellery DIY post. Recently I’ve been making a lot of interior accessories rather than the wearable kind. Maybe it’s the weather. It brings out the nesting instinct inside of me. I want my home to be full of wonderful, shiny things because I’m not leaving again until spring… (well, if I had my way anyway). I’ve also been blogging for a couple of interior design focussed blogs (Design*Sponge and Homedit for anyone who missed the memo) and so a lot of my research has been focussed on this area. This tutorial actually came from a little left over clay I had working on a different project (you’ll have to wait for next week to see that) and after I made this I thought it was so cute I just had to share it with you! Some of my favourite ever DIY’s are the unplanned, impromptu, I just had to share this kind so I hope you like it as much as I do!

Fall For DIY Dalmatian Spot Horseshoe Necklace DIY

Materials:

  • Polymer/Air Dry Clay
  • Beading Awl/Skewer
  • Black nail varnish
  • Cotton Cord
  • Cord Ends
  • Jump Rings
  • Clasp

Instructions:

1. Roll out a thin sausage of clay. Make sure the outer sides are smooth and wrinkle free.

2. Use the awl/skewer to poke through a hole at each end of the clay.

3. Roll over so that the holes are horizontal and curve into a horseshoe shape.

Fall For DIY Dalmatian Spotted Horseshoe Necklace

4. Either bake (on a low heat for about half an hour) or leave the clay to air dry. Once cool/hard paint irregular black spots all over the horseshoe.

Mix up the spots painting bigger and smaller spots randomly over the clay.

5. Cut the cotton cord into two equal sized pieces that are both the length required for the necklace. (Check this by wrapping the cord around your neck and testing the length.)

6. Thread each piece through one of the holes and bring both ends together.

7. Close the cord ends over each double cord and attach a clasp using jump rings (check out our ecourse Beads & Baubles to learn more about these techniques)

Fall For DIY Dalmatian Spot Horseshoe Necklace tutorialFall For DIY Dalmatian Spot Horseshoe NecklaceDalmatian Spotted Horseshoe Necklace Fall For DIYDalmatian Spot Horseshoe Necklace tutorial Fall For DIY

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October 20, 2014

All in the Details | DIY Waste Basket Lampshade

Fall For DIY and Homedit Basket Lampshade tutorial

I might have mentioned this before but I have a little obsession with lampshades. So much so it took a surprising amount of time to make this DIY waste paper basket lampshade. They’re one of the things that immediately grabs my attention and done right can make even the simplest decor look amazing. This is especially important when you’re trying to make an impact on a budget or can’t make any drastic changes to you home. It’s so much a part of how I judge a new bar or local restaurant refurbishment that Al will often ask what I think of the lampshades (rather than the food, drinks, atmosphere) and gage my thoughts on my response. Yes, this is fickle and yes, I do go to places where the lampshades are not my personal favourites, but I always remember how much I dislike them… every time.

When you place this much emphasis on lampshades in places you only spend an hour or so a week (at most) it’s really hard to choose the right one for somewhere you spend half your life. My home office has gone shadeless for almost a year now. I could have changed it 12 times over but instead the pressure to pick the right shade overwhelmed me and I ended up with nothing… ridiculous! So I finally gave myself a little kick and decided to make this shade made from a waste paper basket. And guess what? I love it!

Fall For DIY don't overthink motivation

These are words I’ve been trying to live by for this past year. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to this. I’ve spent hours thinking(/eating/staring aimlessly into space) whilst preparing for (many) a project. I’ve found that 9 times out of 10 it’s better just to get started and deal with the hurdles as they come. This project is a classic example of this theory. If there’s something you’re putting off just start. Cut it down into steps and get the first one done, then the second. You’ll more than likely find it was much easier than you were expecting and you might even be surprised by the outcome!

But before you do that make sure you pop over to Homedit to see the whole tutorial to make your own waste paper basket lampshade!

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October 17, 2014

Make it Easy | Crystal Jumper

Fall For DIY Make it Easy Rhinestone Jumper

Ladies of the apprentice listen up now. You do not need to put LED lights in the collar of a jacket to really sparkle at a party. In fact unless you’re a cyclist it’s probably best to avoid flashing lapels at all costs. I mean, really guys? You had me sold at the pocket charger (seriously, why hasn’t this been invented yet?) But if you are still feeling like you need something a little special to stand out from the crowd and need that extra layer to stay warm in the cold weather then look no further. I have the answer!

(My apologies to anyone reading this who does not watch the UK apprentice, but I think you get the jist…)

I love the shape and placement of the rhinestones on this crystal embroidered jumper. They’re like little shiny exclamation marks, making it all that much more exciting. At £285 it enough to set your heart racing as it is, but you can DIY your own version for much less!

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Lay the jumper flat and place the rhinestones around until you’re happy with the look. (You could dab a little fabric glue on the rhinestones now to keep them in place)
  2. Sew each stone onto the jumper using a needle and thread. Go over each rhinestone a number of times to make sure they are secure.

And that’s it! Told you it was easy.

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