Why NOW is the perfect time to start a blog
YES, you CAN make money blogging. You CAN earn money working from home. You CAN do this NOW. And it’s far easier than you might think.
If you’re already in business and want a start a blog without monetizing it, read here first. If you want to start a blog and make money, read on!
Once it was the ultimate dream – quit the 9 to 5, work from home, earn money online, be your own boss.
Now, for millions of people around the world, this dream has become a necessity.
The economic meltdown due to Covid-19 is forcing many people to search for new ideas to make money.
But it’s also a time when many people are assessing their lives, jobs and futures and deciding just to go for it, take the plunge and work on their own terms.
There are many ways to do this, of course, but right here I’m just going to focus on one tried and tested home business idea, and walk you through what you need to do to make money blogging.
Blogging has made some people very rich – and given many more a comfortable living.
You can work from home with next to no money spent on launching and running the business. Also, you don’t even need an advertising budget.
And you don’t need to rent an office, you don’t need stock, you don’t need staff, you’re not going to deal with any customers, you’re not going to be responsible for shipping anything.
There are no real overheads so you pretty much earn 100% profit.
Importantly, this method future-proofs your business.
And one of the best things about this plan to make money blogging, is that you can even earn money while you sleep!
Sounds good, yeah?
So let’s get down to it….
5 Steps To Make Money Blogging
1 Think of a subject / product / genre / hobby that you are passionate about and know quite a bit about. It can be absolutely anything, from gardening to marketing to gaming to baking to… anything!
2 Set up a blog so you can write about topics related to this passion, and give helpful information to others who are also interested in the subject. (Setting up a blog is easy, I’ll explain soon…).
3 Promote other companies’ products and services within your blogs. Preferably ones you can genuinely recommend yourself. (I’ll show you how to do this and get paid by the companies for doing it).
4 Promote your blog to a wide audience, and to a receptive audience – free of charge. (Again, I’ll show you how).
5 Make money blogging! Watch the money roll in, and keep on building your business.
Are you wondering how long this will take to set up, and how long it will be before you start making money blogging?
Honestly, that’s up to you. I’ve known people go through all five steps in the space of a week. For me, it was two weeks. You can certainly expect to see returns within a month or two.
Greater returns will come over time, according to how well you execute the plan and how determined you are for this to succeed.
You don’t need any special skills to make money blogging. You are relying on your own knowledge, which of course you can always improve.
If you think you can’t write, don’t worry too much about that, either. The most successful blogs are written in a personal way, where it comes across like you are just chatting to the person reading it.
So just write like you talk! No need for any complicated sentences – that turns people off, to be honest. If your spelling is a bit dodgy, just use a spellchecker on your computer. Or a free browser extension like Grammarly.
How Much Will Blogging Cost Me?
You will need a home computer or laptop. If you’re reading this on a mobile phone or tablet and haven’t got anything else, that’s one bigger purchase you would have to make – it’s just easier that way.
Any other expenses are minimal. This is a low-cost, potentially high-return home business.
Does that all sound promising? Then let’s move on…
Choose Your Niche
You may have come across this advice before, relating to blogging. The reason most experts say you should choose a niche and write about it, is because it can confuse the reader and dilute your message if the blog is about a whole range of subjects.
But many people will tell you to niche down further and further. So you’re not just blogging about painting, you’re blogging about painting pictures of dogs using just one colour!
Ok maybe that’s an extreme example but the thing to remember when starting out is not to be too specific.
Choose your niche but understand that you may want to specialise within that niche at a later date. For now, give yourself as many options as possible.
Your aim is to present yourself as an expert. Someone who knows what they are talking about. So people will come to your blog, respect what you have to say, act on what you have to say and even come back in future for more advice.
The 50-Blog Challenge
You may have heard that there is always money to be made in content relating to health, wealth and relationships. People are constantly trying to better themselves and improve the situations they are in.
But don’t let that distract you from whatever it is that you have a passion for, or knowledge about. Because you need to write with authority.
So choose a niche that you feel you could write 50 blogs about. Not all at once, of course, but write the ideas down, or have a think about them – could you constantly write fresh content on this subject? Do you know enough about it, or can you learn enough quickly?
Whatever you know most about, there will always be people out there who want information on the same subject. YOU could be the expert to provide it. And make money at the same time.
A quick word about SEO. If you don’t know, that stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s basically about making sure the big search engines can find your content.
Google absolutely loves original, lengthy, informative blogs – keep writing these and it will do your business no harm at all in moving up the search engine rankings.
But keywords are also super important. They are exactly what they say they are – words that are key to describing your content and your business, and key to getting found on the internet.
What are people searching for when they’re looking for information on the subjects you’ll be writing about?
Try a little experiment. Open Google in a new tab. Type a word relating to your niche and look at all the options that are listed – these are the most popular current searches relating to that word. These are keywords.
We could go into a lot more detail but there is really no need as a beginner. Just bear in mind the importance of keywords in what people are searching for, when it comes to choosing a domain name (web address) for your blog. We’ll do that soon.
Have a think about it, check out the competition, see how they play it.
If you want, read the rest of this guide first so you’ve got the whole picture in your mind.
But please don’t leave it too long to act. All successful bloggers will tell you this. Stop reading pages and pages and pages of advice, stop watching endless YouTube videos. Just act! As soon as you can, and learn and adapt along the way.
How To Set Up A Blog
This part scares some people, but there’s no need. You just need blogging software plus a hosting service to store all your articles.
And fortunately, they come as one package with one click of your mouse!
At least they do if you follow my suggestion.
There are many blog platforms and website builders, but a massive 95% of the world’s blogs are written on WordPress – and for good reason.
WordPress is the most blog-friendly platform, and also offers bloggers the best chance of making money.
There are completely free blogging platforms but don’t go near them if you want to make money – they are all hampered by restrictions and in any event don’t make you look professional at all.
So you will start a WordPress blog.
The Website Host With The Most
Your blog needs to be hosted somewhere – you need to choose a company and plan to store your blog securely on its servers.
Again, there is a lot of choice and a lot of confusing options, so I’m going to keep it simple for you.
I’m going to recommend you use the hosting service that I use!
I wouldn’t use them if they weren’t super reliable, customer-friendly, secure and value for money. They are all those things and more.
The hosts are called Siteground, and they are officially recommended by WordPress.
Siteground will install WordPress for you with a simple click – it couldn’t be easier.
They will guide you through the process and if you did have any queries, their online chat service is quick, friendly and extremely helpful.
There are instruction videos you can watch too, but you shouldn’t need them, just follow Siteground’s easy-to-follow prompts.
Have a look here at how simple it is to get started on Siteground. Anything you don’t understand here, don’t worry about – as a newbie blogger, you only need the basic knowledge. You’ll also see it’s possible to add collaborators to your site…
Choose Web Hosting and then the Startup Plan at the special price – that’s all you need:
- It’s for one website
- You get 10GB of web space, which is more than enough for now
- You are allowed 10,000 visits monthly, which again, will keep you going for a while
- You get a free WordPress installation, as mentioned – and free WordPress automatic updates
- There’s a free SSL – that’s crucial, it’s the security certificate Siteground will add to your website so you don’t see the word ‘Unsecure’ before your web address
- Daily backup for peace of mind
- Free email address linked to your domain name
Don’t just take my word for it that Siteground is the best option, by the way. Listen to these experts:
Choosing Your Domain Name
As you are guided through the setting-up process, after choosing the Startup Plan, you will come to the section where you need to choose a domain name – the URL – the website address – for your blog.
If you already have one, type it in and proceed.
If you don’t, it’s time to choose one. You can do this as part of the Siteground blog set-up and it will only cost about £/$15.
This is the website address people will type in to find you. Although in practice, few people will get to your site this way.
Most people will go through a search engine like Google or Pinterest (you’ll be learning more about the power of Pinterest soon) and will click on a link or image to get to a particular blog of yours.
But they will look at your web address as they do this, and if it seems professional and convincing, you’ve already started to impress them.
So what should you choose for your domain name? Bear in mind that there are millions of websites out there and you may not be able to get the exact web address you desire.
Some people choose to use their own name (eg janejones.com), and put themselves at the centre of their blog.
This is how an influencer would act on Instagram, but if you’re starting off with a new blog, is your own name really strong enough as a brand?
Far more likely you’ll want to give some indication of what you do – again, have a look for inspiration at other businesses and bloggers in your niche and see what they have done.
Traditionally, people have preferred to go for .com website addresses, believing them to look more professional, but there are so many variations available now and one might suit your niche best. It won’t affect your ability to be found online.
So have a look at all the options that Siteground gives you.
Styling Your Blog
The best way to get used to writing your blog on WordPress is to play around with it. And because it is such a popular platform, if you hit an obstacle you will easily be able to find a solution on one of thousands of forums online.
But it won’t start looking like a blog until you’ve chosen a theme. This is your blog’s skin, dictating the design.
For starters, you can use a free theme – there are many that look great. Just look through the list from your WordPress dashboard (Appearance > Themes), choose and activate. You can change the theme at any time so don’t worry too much about it, just get started.
Bear in mind a few things when selecting and editing your theme:
- It will need to work on mobile, too – most do
- Keep it simple. Black text on white background works best
- Choose a popular font that’s easy to read – and make it large enough to read
- A sidebar is extremely useful so you can place ‘widgets’ there – these can range from a list of latest blog posts to adverts that can make you money
Plugins You Need To Add
On your WordPress dashboard, on the side menu, you’ll see plugins > add plugin.
If they weren’t already installed automatically, there are a few you really should add – they’re all free of charge.
The first one is YOAST. This helps you to construct the perfect blog for ranking on search engines. It has a traffic light system to let you know how well you’re doing in terms of blog length, using keywords, the tone of the article and much more.
As we are later going to be using the number one free traffic generator, Pinterest, it’s important that you make your blog friendly to the images used on Pinterest. So add the free plugin SOCIAL WARFARE and you’ll be able to integrate Pinterest, as well as encouraging people to share your blogs on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social media channels you choose to set up.
Finally for now, you’ll want to have GOOGLE ANALYTICS installed because that will tell you how many people are reading your blog, where from, at what time and more.
Before You Write Your First Blog
I’m a firm believer that you should just get started – or you perhaps never will.
Once you get into blogging, you can look at starting an email list, because that gives you a direct link with your audience and will lead to more money rolling in.
But it’s not essential to start immediately with that – build some great content first.
How To Make Money Blogging
One thing you do need to look at straight away is how you make money blogging. Because the method you are going to use first, links directly to what you are going to be writing about.
Bloggers make their money in one or more of these ways:
- Sponsored Posts
- Affiliate Marketing
- Promoting their own digital products or services
You can link in with advertising platforms like Google Ads, only when you have built up a decent number of page visits. So that’s not for starters.
You can sell blog space to companies, so they write the content – effectively an advert for themselves. But you’ll need to have a good reputation and decent number of visitors again, so not for starters.
You probably won’t yet have any digital products of your own to sell, like courses or eBooks, but these can be lucrative so you might want to move in this direction in the future.
So first you’ll be using affiliate marketing to make money.
Affiliate marketing is the promotion of products and services that are not your own.
You become an affiliate for the company selling that product or service, and if people go to their website through your special link on your blog, you will earn commission on that sale.
This is also how influencers earn their money. They typically promote by video on YouTube or Instagram, but this model we are talking about is for bloggers.
How big are these commissions? Anything from £/$1 to £/$1000 and more – it all depends on what you are writing about.
More than 80 per cent of brands, including most major names (Apple, Amazon, Adidas… the list goes on and on) use affiliate marketers to help sell their products and services.
Many of them do this through affiliate networks, which you will apply to join.
Most will let first timers get on board, but if any reject you because you don’t have a very large audience, just go back to them when you do.
You may have heard or read that Amazon’s affiliate scheme is the best for starters.
Well, it used to be. I wouldn’t advise going near it now.
Although it’s easy to get accepted, and very easy to link your blog to any product on Amazon, the commission rates were always pretty low, and since April 2020 they are terrible, to be honest.
Amazon changed its rules and commissions are now largely between 1-3%, so unless you are responsible for selling large volumes of high-priced items, you’re going to put a lot of effort in for very little reward.
But don’t worry about that – coming up I have given you a list of higher-paying affiliate networks you should look at, and join those which best suit your niche…
12 Higher-Paying Affiliate Networks For Beginners
(links in titles)
A great starter for beginners, as it’s simple to set up an account, then there are about 40 categories to choose from and 4,000 affiliate programs in total to join.
Sharesale was founded back in 2020 and taken over by Awin (see next) in 2017, and has retained the trust of affiliates and advertisers alike.
There are more than 1,000 merchants which are exclusive to the Shareasale network.
And payment to affiliates is regular, on the 20th of every month.
Also established in 2000, this highly regarded network works with more than 1,600 brands, many of them major ones, from across 11 countries.
A bigger operator in the UK and Europe, the network is growing across America, too.
Both digital and physical products can be promoted, from across nearly 80 categories.
Again, it’s beginner-friendly so a great one to sign up to early on.
Now that Amazon Associates, for years the number one beginner affiliates network, has reduced its commission rates to between 1-3%, consider promoting any of the 1.1 BILLION listings on eBay instead.
The commission still isn’t huge, but can be between 6-12% of the price the products sells for – that’s 50-70% of eBay’s own revenue share.
You only have to earn $10 a month for EPN to pay you.
And as you probably know, there are some weird and wonderful things in eBay land for you to promote and stand out from the crowd.
Considered by many to be the world’s top affiliate network for earnings and beginners, I recommend with a word of caution.
There are some great products on there – mostly digital ones – among six million affiliate offers.
But the quality filter is not as strong on Clickbank – there are quite a few offers on there I personally (and many others) wouldn’t want to go near.
You don’t want your own reputation to be harmed by promoting less-than-great products, just because there is a high commission rate for yourself.
Saying that, many people make a great deal of money through Clickbank, and it’s a relatively easy one to get accepted on to as a beginner and start earning from, so take a look.
Always a highly-ranked affiliate network, Rakuten was founded in 1996.
It makes up for a shorter list of partner companies with the fact that many of them are household names, so potentially easier to sell from your blog.
One thing to note, Rakuten will only pay you once they have been paid by the merchant, so it may be a slightly longer wait for payment than with other networks.
A large affiliate marketing network with faster payments – so great for beginners.
Choose from more than 10,000 affiliate programs – according to your niche, all divided into categories and sub-categories to make life easier for you.
Many exclusives among the 700-plus affiliate programs, and especially suitable if you’re operating in the genres of travel, gaming or finance.
There are some top brands to promote here, too.
This may come as a surprise to you, as you no doubt know Fiverr as a massive global marketplace where millions of people offer their online freelance services.
You may even have used it yourself, or choose to use it in future, for help with things like writing content.
But Fiverr also has a fantastic affiliate scheme with the potential to make high earnings. Definitely worth checking out.
With more than 10 years serving merchants and publishers (that’s you, affiliate), CrakRevenue has become a trusted network.
Smaller, with about 750 affiliate offers on choice, but they are mostly good quality with the potential of high earnings.
Another network that can be a good starting point for beginners. There are more than 600 brands to promote, from smaller ones to famous names.
Commission Factory prides itself on giving affiliates all sorts of tools to make life easier for them to earn.
You can also get paid weekly, using a variety of methods.
This is an ecommerce platform, with many digital products available to promote.
It’s not as often talked about but is actually operating in more than 120 countries, so should allow easy access wherever you are.
A good one if you’re looking to promote fitness or health or beauty offers.
One of the main plus points of MoreNiche is the friendly support available. You’re not alone with affiliates sharing experiences and tips in forums and a private Facebook group.
There is even an affiliate training course and other guides to help you achieve success. If you win, they win, so it makes perfect sense.
How To Join An Affiliate Network
Usually affiliate networks require you to have a website (That’s your blog. If they ask for visitor numbers, maybe give them an indication of where you soon expect to be).
If they ask for any extra channels, give them the Pinterest page you will set up soon.
Browse through these networks to find products that fit into your niche.
Then write content based around that product – perhaps a review, or a comparison with other products.
Maybe you’re aware of a certain product that you’d like to promote to but aren’t sure if there is an affiliate scheme which includes it. Just check out the company website, look for ‘affiliates’ in the footer menu, and apply if they have a scheme.
So how does the company know that the person who buys a product or service has done so after clicking on your link?
The link is personally tailored for yourself, so can be tracked.
Also, you’ll read about cookies – not the ones you eat, of course – these are of varying lengths, perhaps three days, seven days, 30 days, 90 days or more.
The longer the time period the better, because this is the time the purchaser gets to buy after clicking on your link, for you to be able to receive a commission.
So they don’t have to buy straight away. If someone clicks on your link, it takes them to the product page and they only decide to buy after 10 days, that’s still money in your account if the cookie length is 10 days or longer.
Some affiliate schemes pay really quickly, others might wait a month or two, so check the terms and conditions of each one.
Remember The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing!
Affiliate marketing will give you what is known as a passive income.
That means that once you’ve put the work in – writing the blog and promoting it – you can sit back and only occasionally go back to it to update it.
And in the meantime it will be earning you money, while you’ve moved on to something else.
It’s not unusual for one blog to carry on earning for years after publication.
So you’ll be earning even without being in front of your computer. Even while you sleep.
As the products or services you are promoting are not your own, you won’t have to provide any customer support – including any complaints!
You don’t need any stock, the startup and running costs are next to nothing, and you can work from home, putting in as much time as you want.
What’s not to like?!
How To Write A Great Blog That Makes Money
As I’ve said before, you need to quickly establish yourself as an expert through your blog articles – and you’ll do this easily if you know what you’re talking about.
Above all else you need to be helpful, you need to offer people a genuine service.
Yes, you’re trying to make money blogging, but nobody is going to read your words if they come across as a sales pitch.
You need to develop a rapport with your readers, build up a relationship.
But at the same time your words need to be strong enough, convincing enough and persuading enough to capture first time visitors to your blog and turn them into customers of the product(s) you are promoting.
Have a look at other blogs in your genre to see how they do it. Learn from them and then put your own stamp on it. Write in your own style.
The reader needs to feel like they’ve walked into a shop, you’ve welcomed them with a smile, asked how you can help, listened to their problem, and suggested a solution – in a knowledgeable, friendly and maybe even entertaining manner.
You can totally do this! Just be yourself and let your personality shine through your writing. Of course, if you are naturally anti-social, this is a good excuse instead to present yourself as the exact opposite!
There are different techniques for blogging about a subject while including affiliate links.
The most obvious, perhaps, is to write reviews. These can be mixed with news articles on a given subject.
If you are writing a review of a product, you don’t have to first buy it or use it yourself – but it obviously helps if you do. Sometimes a company will send you a particular product for review purposes.
To illustrate how the big players use affiliate marketing, check out these sites – a few from the tech field. You might not have appreciated they were affiliate marketing sites, but they are – they give helpful information, attract millions of viewers, and earn commissions every time people buy after clicking their links:
The other blogging affiliate style is to chat, pretty much in the way that I’ve been chatting to you.
You give people a genuinely helpful service, informing them of options, and if they want to check a product or service out, give them a link to do this.
The link, of course, will be an affiliate link, but that doesn’t affect anything – the customer still pays the same price (sometimes cheaper through affiliate offers), the company still gets the sale, but pays commission to you. Everyone’s a winner!
Choose your products and services carefully – keep up with the latest trends so you know that people actually want what you are writing about.
Only recommend products you are familiar with – and make sure they are a good fit for your target audience.
When you are searching through possible affiliate links, you may have your head turned by big commissions on something, but if you don’t know much about that product, or if your readers aren’t likely to buy it, move on and find something more suitable.
Remember, you are the expert, the reader trusts you and values your expertise. Don’t give them reason not to come back in the future.
How Long Should A Blog Post Be?
Google and other search engines LOVE long blogs. Long, quality, unique blogs to be precise.
So what’s long? Not 500 words, not 1,000 words. The average blog these days checks in at about 1,200 words but best results are seen when posts are between 2,000 and 2,500 words long.
Or even longer. (This one you’re reading checks in at nearly 7,000 words!)
So it’s more about quality of blog posts than quantity of them – because with research as well, it will probably take you half a day, to a day, to write one of these. But it will be worth the effort.
How Do I Write A Blog?
Some key points when structuring your blog post:
- Make your headline strong, inspire the reader or solve a problem
- Start your blog post strongly and get to the point – most people won’t read past the first paragraph or two if it doesn’t excite them
- Keep paragraphs short (1-3 sentences) and put spaces in between
- Use sub-headlines throughout to break the post up into sections
- Choose your sub-heading words carefully as they can be great for your SEO
- Feature good quality images and/or graphics at regular intervals
A bit more detail…
When it comes to your blog headline, you have to grab people’s attention. And too many headlines are generic and samey.
I know it’s getting samey to do the following kind of headlines as well, but they really do convert…
Instead of ‘How to save money’, consider something like ‘7 easy ways to save $300 in two weeks’ or something similar – people like lists, people like to know they can achieve something and within a certain timescale.
Saying that, the ‘how to…’ headline is also a strong call. It emphasises your authority and gives the reader a promise of a solution to their dilemma.
This is also where we talk more about niching down…
I mentioned before that I don’t think it’s a good idea when starting off to narrow down your chosen subject area too much.
But that doesn’t mean individual blog posts can’t do that.
For example, say you’re blogging about cycling. If you are, I might check in! I love cycling. Anyway…
Your blog might have a general theme of cycling. But individual blog posts can seek to attract different people looking for different things within that genre.
So, for example, Road Cycling for Over-50s, Mountain Biking for Beginners, How To Choose The Best Hybrid etc.
Think of something really specific, do some research as to what’s out there already and try to provide something unique.
Stand out from the crowd, get noticed, get trusted and make money blogging.
Put Your Reader In The Picture
Photos are hugely important in attracting the eye of the reader and making it easy for them to read your blog post.
But how do you get good quality photos to match your subject? You can’t just take them from the internet – NO, you can’t! There are plenty of examples of bloggers who have been asked for payment because they’d used copyrighted photos.
Best to find a good source of quality stock photos, either free or with a small monthly subscription fee.
Have a look around but I always use Canva.
There is a stock of 60 MILLION premium images, photos, videos and graphics if you sign up to the Pro deal – and it’s only £8.99 / $9.99 per month so well worth it.
You even get access to tens of thousands of images on the free plan but with this link…
Now It’s Time To Promote Your Blog!
As we are concentrating on free or very low cost methods of starting a blog business and promoting it, we won’t look at paying for advertising through Facebook, the media etc.
We’ll get you blog traffic organically – that’s without paying for it!
There are a number of places to share your content, which will reach high numbers of the exact type of reader you need. Post, answer questions or comment, using your affiliate links, on the likes of:
- Other blog posts
- Media story comments
- YouTube comments
The list goes on, but we will concentrate on the first on the list, the amazing platform that is number one at driving traffic to blogs – PINTEREST.
The Power Of Pinterest
Pinterest has become an essential business marketing tool because the platform is superb at driving tons of traffic to your website. And Pinterest users are ready to buy – or ready to take action on something.
An incredible 93% of people on Pinterest use the platform to plan purchases.
87% of Pinterest users have bought something after finding it through Pinterest.
67% say they have discovered a new brand or product thanks to Pinterest.
Because Pinterest is used to seek inspiration, to save ideas, and then to search for purchases, it allows businesses to engage with people at every stage of the customer journey.
Bloggers love Pinterest because it is excellent at driving traffic to their pages – which helps them make money through ads and affiliate offers.
There are 335 million monthly active users across the world, which is more than Twitter or Snapchat, for example.
Pinterest is the second most used social media app in Europe and the US. Even though Pinterest isn’t really a social media platform! Pinterest is more akin to Google, being an extremely powerful visual search engine.
Pinterest was once regarded as a female-dominated site for American hobbyists looking for inspiration. But the biggest growth in Pinterest users over the past five years has been among men, those outside the US, and younger people.
There is now about a 60-40 female to male split with two-thirds of users based outside the United States.
People come to Pinterest for inspiration. They’re usually planning a purchase, wanting to know more about something, planning a major event, setting off on holiday… so many things right across all genres and eventualities – but they need help.
And YOU can help them.
Pinterest inspires people. We know this because a recent survey found that an incredible 95% of users said this. Also, 91% claimed that Pinterest helps them achieve their goals.
So your business can be a source of inspiration and play and important role in people’s lives.
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Your boards are collections of pins, set out in themes or categories.
On a business level, your boards are effectively a shop window, or a catalogue, or library. Arrange the pins into sections that people will be searching for, and Pinners will arrive in their vast numbers (as long as you have done the necessary SEO work).
Pins are image-based tiles, which can also contain video, should really include text, and should carry a link to the source of the information on the pin – for example a blog post or a page on your online store.
Remember that Pinterest is a visual search engine. So if you want people to find your pins, keywords are vital.
It’s better if you include long-tail keywords – sentences, phrases, whatever people will typing or saying when they search.
Get your keywords right, and your use of keywords right, and you’re well on our way to succeeding at Pinterest.
Use them in your pin titles and descriptions, on the pins themselves, in the board names; also in your profile name and description.
One of the major attractions for businesses, brands and bloggers using Pinterest is the fact that content stays in view for ages. Certainly compared to other platforms.
Pins can actually stay prominent in searches and feeds for years, generating traffic – and therefore sales – over and over again to your blog.
Pinterest radically changed its algorithm at the start of 2020. Emphasis had previously been on sharing other people’s content – now Pinterest rewards you for fresh, original content.
Your Profile Name, Description and Photo are just as important as the descriptions on your pins when it comes to ranking higher on Pinterest.
As a business, make sure you set up a (free) business account, which opens up analytics to find out what’s working and what isn’t.
Ideally, your photo should be your business logo or a clear photo of your face.
Your profile name should not only include your business or personal name, it could include keywords about what you do, or what you are offering.
Your profile description should contain as much detail as you can fit in, which again includes important keywords.
How To Use Affiliate Links in Pinterest
When you design your pins, there is a box for you to put the web link. This usually links to the relevant blog post.
Eg, back to cycling. Say you’ve designed a pin for ‘The 7 best mountain bikes for starters’. That would link to the blog you’ve done on this subject – and the blog would include your affiliate links to websites selling mountain bikes, for example.
But you can also put affiliate links direct into Pinterest. So you might have ‘This is the best mountain bike for starters’ and you could link straight to the web page where you can buy that bike. But of course, use your affiliate link to that page, then the sale will be tracked back to you and you’ll get your commission.
Essential Tools To Use With Pinterest
Canva is the program I use to design the pins. It makes the process so easy – they have stacks of templates and they all look great. All you have to do is change the words and photo.
You log in to Canva online and it’s free of charge – although if you spend just a little each month on Canva Pro, it offers so much more.
How much more? Well, more than 60 million premium quality images, more than 20 thousand videos, a large collection of audio tracks, more than three million graphics, animated stickers and illustrations, an extra 25,000 templates and editing tools!
Seriously, it’s a creative factory that makes things so easy. There are templates for everything from Pinterest pins to Facebook posts, to Twitter ads to business cards, to logos to presentations, and much more besides.
All for just £8.99 / $9.99 a month but…
The other tool I find essential is Tailwind.
You’ll no doubt have heard all about scheduling tools – enabling you to set up automatic posting throughout the days and weeks ahead.
Tailwind is the best scheduling tool for Pinterest (and also schedules Instagram posts if you’re wanting to promote there).
Tailwind also offers game-changing analytics and the option to join and share content to Tribes – the number one reason many people give for their Pinterest reach skyrocketing.
But even more importantly now, Pinterest appears to be using Tailwind to send out information about important updates to best practices and algorithm changes.
Tailwind worked closely with Pinterest before the huge 2020 changes came into play, and now Tailwind monitors your pinning activity.
If you are not sticking to the rules, Tailwind will inform you how to fix things before Pinterest bans you for a period for being too spammy. Tailwind does this through its new feature, SmartGuide.
This means Tailwind is now an essential Pinterest tool.
Tailwind keep in touch regularly if you sign up, sharing vital information. Here, Alisa from Tailwind briefly the SmartGuide feature which ensures your Pinterest activity sticks to the rules and gets you results…
No credit card required.
That should all get you started for the first few months.
I hope it’s helpful to you.
Other things you might want to consider are:
Putting a contact page on your blog site – This isn’t crucial, as it is with most businesses. But it will help you build up a mailing list if you have a form which takes just a name and email address.
So this could be gathered through people contacting you with queries, and / or signing up for your newsletter.
If you’re going to create a newsletter – in which you will of course send people latest deals with affiliate links to the relevant products or services – integrate your blog with an email client.
I liked Mailchimp until I discovered that affiliate links are not allowed to be sent. So I went with Aweber, which I have found to be an excellent and inexpensive service.
If you want to actively engage with readers, feel free to allow comments on the bottom of blog posts, although bear in mind these can sometimes be abused by spammers.
Add a privacy page – According to where you are in the world, check out the data protection laws and ensure you are on the right side of them, and upfront and honest about what data you collect from readers, and what you do with it.
So that’s all you need for now! I’ve given you lots of free, quality information – now go and put it into action!
Be your own boss, be happy and make money blogging!
Recap: Tools To Help You Become A Successful Business Blogger
HOST YOUR BLOG: Siteground
BUILD YOUR BLOG: WordPress (download through Siteground)
PROMOTE YOUR BLOG: Pinterest
PHOTOS AND PINTEREST DESIGN: Canva
PINTEREST SCHEDULING: Tailwind