My two friends, Joy and Melissa, are starting a pretty bomb, hands-on conference here in Portland on October 8th-9th called The Hello Sessions. If you’ve been wondering about the next step for your blog or creative business, this is the perfect event, especially if you’re looking to get to the next level.
The speaker line up is beyond amazing (folks like Lisa Congdon, Molly Yeh, and Tiffany Han just to name a few) that I’m still pinching myself that I’m on the list! That’s right, you can come learn all my Instagram tips and tricks in an hour and half workshop.
AND! For the next week (until July 29th at midnight) you can get 10% off the ticket price by entering code : CRAFTED10 at checkout.
As a Pinterest addict and full time blogger, I have read more blog posts than I can even count. And since I mainly discover new blogs through Pinterest, I’ve also come across a fair amount of common mistakes bloggers are making. The good news is that these mistakes pretty easy to identify and correct. Here are a few I’m seeing with the custom pin it button:
Problem: Pin it button is only grabbing current page URL.
Okay, so let’s say that someone finds your project on Pinterest and clicks through to see the full tutorial; however, the person who pinned the project originally was on the home page, not the permalink, and the post is over 6 months old by now. What ends up happening is that the person coming from Pinterest will land on the main page again, while the tutorial they want is far back in your archives. It sends them hunting for a post, which may cause them to leave instantly even though they were initially interested.
Additionally, let’s say that someone reads your blog post, they comment, and then they decide to scroll back up and pin an image. Because commenting often changes the URL to the comment thread URL, (ie http://thecraftedlife.com/watermelon-nail-art/#disqus_thread) if your pin it button isn’t grabbing just the permalink, when someone clicks through, they will be taken directly to the comment section of your post, not at the top where the content starts.
Solution : Make sure whatever plugin you’re using (talking about WordPress here) for displaying your Pinterest share button is passing the permalink URL in the share button code. For mine, all I had to do what check a box (see image below). Easy peasy. And if you’re not using a plugin and are just putting the share button code directly into your theme, this may help.
Problem: Pinterest pre-filled text is blank or the file name of the image.
Solution: This one is super easy– just fill out the alt text when inserting an image! If anyone shares your post, this also goes for Facebook, you can control the caption with what you fill out in the alt text box. By leaving it blank, you are missing out on an opportunity to optimize repins/shares for more click throughs.
So while it’s smart to optimize your photography for Pinterest, you should also make sure the backend is running smoothly to have even greater success. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, my developer is offering a discount to anyone who mentions this post. Drop a note to Gabe at firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll be sure to help you out!
2012: The first few months of blogging were quite a struggle, mainly because of scheduling and trying to juggle everything with work. To make things as easy as possible, I started blocking out Sundays for projects. I would craft, photograph, edit and post all on the same day. Once I was done, I was free to do whatever I wanted for the rest of the week. There were times I had to pass on hanging out with friends, or events I had to miss, but it was the only way that I could establish a routine that would get me through all fifty two weeks. After a month or so, things began to fall in place and I even started looked forward to Sundays. It was the one day of week where I was able to tune out all of the other stresses in my life and create something with my hands.
One of the benefits of hosting my blog on Tumblr (though I don’t recommend using it if you’re starting out now) was that every now and then my posts would be featured in their subcategories i.e. diy, crafts, etc. I had Google Analytics installed from day one (perks of dating a developer), and noticed that my blog was starting to gain a small readership. It was exciting that people actually wanted to see what I was making and it kept me motivated. I made it through the first year and decided to stick with it. Then it happened.
Since you guys were thoughtful enough to fill out my reader survey a few weeks back, I really want to make sure to answer all your questions. And since a majority of those asked we’re related to my background and path to blogging, I thought I would just go ahead and spill the beans! Brace yourselves, this baby is text heavy.
Let’s start with a bit of background:
2009: I’d like to think that my adult life was shaped by the grand excursion I took with my dear friend in the summer of this year. I had been living and teaching in Dresden, Germany when I came back to Ohio a month before going back to school (college). At the time, I’d done a fair amount of traveling throughout Europe, but had never taken the time to explore my own country. We decided to pack up my car and head west on a three week road trip, couch surfing and relying on the kindness of strangers the entire way. To this day, it’s still one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.
Of all the incredible places we stayed and amazing things we saw along the way, Portland was my favorite. And I was determined to get back there one day.
2010: I graduated (in three years) with a BA in Art History, Minor in Writing and TEFL certificate. Eager to get out of the midwest and explore some place new, I took off to Oregon.
I began teaching art in an elementary school and tutoring reading/math on the side. After a while, I began to assume more responsibilities with the tutoring gig and eventually took over managing the program, which helped low-income students in failing schools receive free tutoring (funded by No Child Left Behind). I learned to hire and train a staff, budget at a company level and everything else in-between. My day to day involved overseeing 30 employees working in 20 different schools with over 200+ students. Needless to say, I was busy.