Blogging

Start a Blog in 2019: 7 Top Tips from a Full-Time Blogger

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I have been blogging full-time for 2 years now. It’s our family’s primary source of income. Let me help you reach full-time blogger status with these top tips to start a blog.

Start a Blog in 2019 with these 7 Tips from a Full-Time Blogger

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure for more information.

I started blogging back when Blogger was big. At that time, my blog was more of personal diary with low quality digital photos scattered throughout.

Then, about four years ago, I started a food/mom blog. Still, I wasn’t very competent with SEO, running ads, email marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. And after a year, I was feeling burnt out, without purpose, and overall, underwhelmed with my results.

At that time, I was making about $600/mo from sponsored posts. My affiliate income was next to nothing, even though I was an affiliate for a ton of companies.

But, I knew that I still wanted to make a living online, through my writing. This was about the same time I got really into bullet journaling. And then, The Petite Planner was born.

Due to some luck and timing, The Petite Planner took off pretty quick. But there was still room for growth. So, I buckled down, spent some money (to make some money) and most importantly, did a lot of reading, research, and learning.

Now, I am the primary breadwinner in our home as a full-time blogger. Don’t tell my husband.

I have increased my income to over $5000/mo from affiliate marketing, course sales, ad revenue, and YouTube.

How to Start a Blog and Start Making $5000 a month. How I turned my side blogging gig into my full-time job.

This post isn’t going to teach you how to “get rich quick” blogging. Having and keeping up on a blog is a lot of work, time, and dedication. But, with the right information, and if you take the right steps, you can easily achieve your dreams of working from home, for yourself in a year or less.

7 Top Tips to Start a Blog

Start a blog feels like a giant task when you are looking at the big picture. There’s hosting, social media, SEO, web design, email marketing, ads, etc.

Don’t allow the big picture to scare you off! We are going to take this one easy step at a time so you can build a blog that radiates your passion and potential.

How to Start a Successful Blog in 2019: 7 Top Blogging Tips

Get a Reliable Webhost

If you want to take your blog to full-time status and start making a worthwhile income from it, you have to have a web hosting service.

No free WordPress, no Wix, and no Blogger.

This means you will have to pay to have your site hosted. But, this also means that you don’t have to have a .wordpress site. You get your very own URL that is all your own.

Think of it like buying a house, except way cheaper. Unlike a rental that you can’t do too much to, when you buy, you can make any changes you want. It’s similar with web hosting.

And you’ll want a reliable and trustworthy web host that doesn’t frequently go down, that will help with technical issues when they arise, and one that comes with a free SSL certificate. Trust me, you want an SSL from the start so that you don’t have to do any redirects from HTTP to HTTPS.

Start a Blog With Bluehost: >99.9% Uptime and Fast Loading Speeds

After a few years of blogging and multiple web hosts, I am certain that I have endured the struggles and seen the benefits of different hosting companies.

Although my current sites have outgrown Bluehost, it’s where I started. And for the price, customer service, and other added benefits, Bluehost ranks the highest.

Bluehost has a number of benefits that secure it’s spot at #1:

  • Uptime greater than 99.9%
  • #1 web hosting service recommended by WordPress
  • 5th fastest page loading speed among other web hosts
  • Cheap prices, starting at $2.95/mo
  • Free domain name for 1-year with hosting package
  • Excellent security features and options
  • Beginner friendly interface

For someone who is ready to start a blog and wants to avoid all the hassle of self-managed hosting and high prices, Bluehost is dream.

They have 24/7 customer support available by phone or online chat. So no matter what hour of the night you are working on your blog, they are there to help.

Bluehost is the best option when starting your first blog. Between the ease of setup and use, low prices, uptime, and fast loading speeds, there isn’t a better option.

You can get Bluehost for as low as $2.95/mo, that’s almost 65% OFF, through my link. Click here to get Bluehost and start blogging right away.

How to Start a Blog on Bluehost: Step-by-Step Photo Guide

Don’t be overwhelmed when the forms start popping up asking you for different information. I’ll walk you through each step with pictures along the way.

Step 1: Choose Your Plan

How to Start a Blog on Bluehost: Step-by-Step Guide with Pictures

There are 3 options for plans on the first screen. Each plan includes different options. And they may seem overwhelming.

When you are just getting started, you don’t need much. The basic plan is enough to get you started if you want to stick to a tighter budget. You can always upgrade later. And with the help of customer service, it’s super easy.

So don’t worry too much about not choosing a big enough plan from the start.

However, if you have the funds available and want to start off at a higher tier, both the plus and choice plus plans offer unmetered website space for plenty of room for growth. And they also offer multiple websites, unlimited email accounts, email storage, and $200 in marketing (ads).

The choice plus plan also includes some really awesome security bonuses like SpamExperts, Domain Privacy, and CodeGuard Basic.

Step 2: Choose Your Domain Name

The easiest way to start a blog with step-by-step picture guide

Once you have selected the hosting plan that works for you and your budget, you will navigate to the screen shown above. This is where you get to make possibly the biggest decision of your blogging career. Your name.

Let me tell you from experience, this is important. Pick something that you love with all of your heart. If you don’t you’ll want to change it sometime down the road. And that, my friend, is a major pain in the ass.

Type in your choice domain name under New Domain (unless you have previously purchased a domain name) and then click next. As long as the name is available, you will move to the next step.

Step 3: Add Your Account Information

Step-by-step Picture Guide to starting a blog on Bluehost

This page is fairly self-explanatory. Enter in all of your information accurately. If you do have a business that you want to be associated with your new blog, add it. But, if you don’t, leave the field blank.

Step 4: Selecting Pricing and Options

How to Start a Blog in 10 minutes or Less

The next screen down is where you get to select your plan pricing and extra options.

If you prepay 36-months you will get the best deal monthly. But, there are 3 different pricing plans to choose from (12, 24, and 36 months). Select the one that best fits your current situation from the drop down list.

The price of your plan will pop up just below the drop down menu. This is the price before adding the extra options.

The extra Bluehost options explained fast:

  • Domain Privacy: when you register a website, your information including name and address become public information. If you choose this added option, that information will not be shown and instead, it will show the registrant as Bluehost.
  • SiteLock: Sitelock improves the trustworthiness of your website by verifying you and your site. It also scans for malware and spam and ensures that search engines such as Google aren’t blacklisting your URL.
  • Code Guard: This is probably the most worthwhile, in my opinion. This service does a daily backup of your website so if anything goes wrong, you don’t lose all of your hard work. And it also offers a 1-click restore in the event that you do need to use your backup.
  • Bluehost SEO Tools: this is an additional service to help you learn SEO and get your website ranking in search engines. I personally have always used the free version on Yoast SEO (talking point below) and have done well, so I don’t think this is necessary.
  • Office 365 Email Essentials: This allows you to have email from anywhere, on any device, and it’s very secure. This is another feature I have never used and think that there are free options that are equal in quality.

Select the options that best suit your needs by clicking the checkbox beside each option you want. As you add options, the total price of your package will update at the bottom of this screen.

Once you have selected your options and are happy with the price, scroll down to enter your payment information. You can pay with a credit card, or if you hit more payment options, you can pay with PayPal.

How to Start a Blog Right Now with Step-by-Step guide

Agree to the Terms and Services (read over them) by clicking the checkbox at the bottom of the page before clicking submit.

Step 5: Create a Password

Start a Blog: 7 Top Tips from a Pro Blogger

You need to set up a secure password for your account. I highly suggest that you write down your password immediately after setting it up.

Once you have decided on a strong password, written it down, and entered it a second time for confirmation, select the checkbox to note that you agree with Bluehost’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

After this, you will be directed to login to your account with the email you used to sign up and the password you just created.

Step 6: Pick a Blog Theme and Start Building Your Blog

Picking the right theme for your WordPress Blog

Now you get to some of the fun stuff! It’s time to start designing your blog. With pre-designed WordPress themes, it’s easy to create a professional looking blog quickly.

Don’t worry too much about picking the right one right off the bat. You can easily change your theme later (we will go over the best themes to use for SEO and aesthetic later on in the post).

So, pick a theme that resonates with you from list provided by clicking on it.

Setting Up WordPress as Personal vs. Business

Then, you will be directed to a screen that says ‘Welcome to WordPress’. Here you will select if you would like to set up your website as a personal or business website. Again, this is really just a personal choice and won’t affect your blog.

After you select your preference, you will land on the WordPress Dashboard screen. This is now home.

Step 7: Launch Your Blog

From your WordPress Dashboard, you have a lot of options. But the one that sticks out most is the Launch button.

You have a choice to make. Do you want to launch your blog right off the get go, or do you want to spend some time perfecting the look and feel of your blog?

I recommend the latter, although when I first started, I just hit launch and worked through the bumps.

Post Coming Soon: What You Need to Do Before Launching Your First Blog Post!

That wraps up the Bluehost and WordPress setup. But don’t skip the following 6 tips to start a blog. They are equally as important and worth your while.

Know Your Audience and Your Goal

Pre-planning is everything when you go to start a blog. I’ve jumped in all willy-nilly before, and it didn’t pan out well.

While I know you’re anxious to get going and don’t want to sit down and write out an entire business plan, you should definitely get clarity on a few things.

Finding Your Target Audience as a New Blogger

The first thing you want to get clarity on is your target audience. These are your people. Your tribe, perse. When you have new, a new product or idea, or even when you just publish a new post, they are there to support you.

So, how do you find these people and know who to look for?

The easiest way to answer this is to look in the mirror.

  • Who are you? Are you feminine and sweet, introverted, extroverted, college educated, in the workforce?

You will likely attract people that are very similar to you and have similar interests to yours. So, take a good hard look at who you are, and also who you want to be.

Don’t be fake or try to play off that you are someone you aren’t. If your house is always a mess because you have three kids, two dogs, and a never-ending laundry pile, then be that woman. Your tribe of laundry haunted, kid chasing, trying to find balance momma’s is out there looking for you, too.

The next question to ask yourself is, “what is my area of expertise?” And don’t you dare say you don’t have one.

Maybe it’s that you are an incredible story teller, that you are always the friend that people come to for advice on relationships, that you know how to calm down any crying baby, that you can cook a delicious meal on a budget, that you know how to decorate a house, etc.

You get it, right? You ARE an expert at something. And there are people searching the internet high and low for your experiences and information.

It’s okay if you aren’t the best in the world. I’m not the best blogger in the world, but I’m trying damn hard to get there. And it’s not all about your depth of knowledge, but about relatability and connection.

Passion

On that note, I do want to touch on passion. If you’re area of expertise doesn’t light a fire under your ass, then scratch it. Don’t do something just because you’re good at it.

That’s like someone who went to school to be a Pharmacist and it turns out they hate it, but do it for the rest of their life anyways because they are good at it.

Sure, you’ll probably make some money. But sooner or later you will lose the drive and the motivation to do it. Because if you don’t have passion, what do you have?

What is Your Blogging Goal?

Thinking a year, five years, or even ten years down the road, what do you want to accomplish with your blog? Do you want to make enough money to quit your day job? Retire your spouse?

Do you want to connect with people around the world? Expand your current career path?

Or do you just want to do it for fun and have a hobby that allows you to meet new people and talk about the things you love most?

It doesn’t matter what your goal is. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to have a certain blogging goal. Not everyone wants to make a ton of money from the start. And that’s okay.

But, you should have a clear idea of what your goal is from the start. Write it down along with the steps you think it will take to get there.

How to Break Your Blogging Goals Down

How to Set Realistic Blogging Goals that will skyrocket you towards success

I get asked a lot how I manage my goals. With something SO large, how do you even begin to put it into perspective.

One of my favorite methods of setting goals is to start with quarterly, or 90-day goals. So, what do you want to have accomplished in 90-days?

I like to choose 2-3 things that I would consider relatively big accomplishments and then start writing them down.

For example, in 90-days I want to:

  • Have 5,000 email subscribers
  • Have a product of my own

Whoa! Starting from nothing, those both seem like ginormous goals. And if you leave your goals at that, you will likely miss the mark.

So, continue to expand on how you will reach those goals. This will be your action plan.

Building off of the example blogging goals above, here are a few examples.

  • Have 5,000 email subscribers
    • Create a landing page on the blog
    • Add capture forms to the bottom of every blog post
    • Create a free 5-day email course incentive
    • Spend $50/mo on Facebook ads to get subscribers
    • Run a giveaway on Instagram with email signup being one of the requirements
    • Add email signup to Instagram bio
  • Have a product of my own
    • Poll my email subscriber list to see what they what types of products they like (ebooks, video courses, workbooks, etc.)
    • Take an online course in product creation
    • Look at most popular posts to gather ideas on content that my audience enjoys and wants to learn more about
    • Create a promotional video
    • Host a webinar
    • Create an email funnel

Once you have broken your 90-day blogging goals down into smaller chunks, you can start to work at your goals a little at a time.

This makes the large goals seems more manageable. And it also helps you stay motivated because you can see yourself making progress as you check these items off your list.

Get Your Photography on Point

Humans are visual creatures by nature. We love to look at photos and watch videos. They can help us to better comprehend ideas, make us feel a deeper connection, and can incite emotions.

That’s why it’s so important that you get your photography skills up from the start. Trust me, you don’t want to have to go back and redo the photos on 100 posts a year from now.

And I know what some of your are thinking.

I can’t afford a DSLR camera. Or, I can’t edit my own photos.

First off, you don’t need a DSLR camera to take nice pictures. Most smartphones today have amazing photography capabilities. Unless you are creating a website about photography, you don’t need a DSLR camera off the bat.

Secondly, with all of the information available today, there is no reason you can’t edit your own photos. You used to have to buy Photoshop outright and pay a fortune upfront.

Now, you can get an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for $10 a month that includes both Photoshop and Lightroom. That $10 will be a worthwhile investment in your blog.

For graphics creation, you can use Canva, which is totally free. They do offer a paid plan, but it’s not necessary to create amazing and eye-catching graphics for Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and you blog posts.

Learn The Best Photography Tips Quick

Photography is definitely a skill worth learning. No matter if it’s for blogging or just for capturing memories. And while you can learn photography skills by reading articles and trial and error, that may take a while.

I have been using Skillshare as my go-to learning platform for over a year now. They have courses in just about everything, including photography.

And, if you are just starting out, they offer a large range of beginner-friendly photography courses.

One of my favorites was iPhone Photography: Make Your Photos Stand Out. Almost 11k people have taken this course and 88% of people say it met or exceeded their expectations.

Another course that really helped me improve my photography skills was Lifestyle Photography: Capturing Inspiring Visual Stories. This class has over 21k students and is beginner-friendly. And lifestyle photography is one of the most common styles of photography amongst bloggers.

Join Skillshare for Free! 25,000+ online courses in photography, design, business, art

You can snag a free 2-month Skillshare membership with my link. And, if you commit to it, you can definitely improve your photography skills in that timeframe.

If you really dedicate yourself, you could also use those 2 months to learn more about SEO, Photoshop, Facebook Advertising, affiliate marketing, and more.

Skillshare has honestly been one of the best investments for my business.

Stock Photos for Your Blog

Where to Get Free Stock Photos to Use On Your Blog with no Credit

Another option to consider is stock photos. These are especially useful for Pinterest graphics, Instagram, and blog post featured images.

Stock photos are generally pretty general. They can fit multiple categories and topics. But, they are also very clean and professional. So, if you photography skills aren’t where you would like them to be or you don’t have the setup to take nice photos, stock photos are a wonderful option.

There are both free and paid stock photos available. While free is wonderful, be aware that there are probably 100 other bloggers using the same image you are. So, if you want your photos to stand out, you may have to pay a couple dollars.

That being said, I do want to give you a list of my favorite places to get free stock photos that don’t require any credit and can be altered:

  • Unsplash: this is one of my go-to’s for free stock photos. They have thousands of free photos in different categories that are beautiful and high resolution.
  • Pixabay: this is my other favorite free stock photo site. They have over 1 million images including photos, vector graphics, illustrations, and videos.
  • Pexels: Pexels offers amazing photos for free, also. Some of their bokeh photography and color collections are great for Instagram and Pinterest graphics.
  • StockSnap.io: this site makes it easy to find the stock photos you are looking for. Once you find one image, it will give you a short list of related images that are also free.

There are a lot of free stock photo sites out there. Just be sure to read all of the fine print so you don’t wind up in trouble with a photographer or website.

The websites listed above don’t require you to credit the photographer, however, there are stock photo websites that will allow you to use the image but require that you give credit with a link back.

If you want to be 100% free and clear, the best way to go is paid stock photos. And these days, the prices are fairly reasonable.

Deposit Photos is one of the best and most affordable places I have found to date for professional stock photos for bloggers. They offer a flexible plan that starts at $30 per month and includes 30 images. After that, each photo for that month is only $1 and any unused downloads transfer to the next month so you don’t lose out. And they have over 100+ million photos.

And, when you use a paid stock photo site, you will have the upper hand because most people ARE using free photos, and therefore, all using the same photos.

Plus, with 30 images and the right designs, you can come up with 100+ graphic images to promote your latest blog post, email sign-up, video, etc. The ROI is well worth the investment.

Pick a WordPress Theme that Works for You

WordPress themes aren’t just all aesthetic. When you decide to start a blog, you have to consider how your theme will help you grow, be seen, and how it will allow users to see your content.

Some WordPress themes are stunningly gorgeous, but will eat up ton of bandwidth. This increases your loading time and therefore, Google punishes you.

Okay, that sounds a bit harsh. But it’s true. One of Google’s biggest algorithm factors (at the moment) is loading time. So, the less your host has to work to load your page, the better off you are.

Another thing you want to think about when selecting a WordPress theme is mobile responsiveness. According to Blue Corona’s 2019 Report, more than 70% of online traffic happens on a mobile device.

Your website has to mobile friendly. If your theme isn’t responsive, it will instantly cut out a huge portion of your traffic potential.

There’s a whole list of WordPress theme dos and don’ts. But, here are a few critical must-haves when choosing a theme:

  • Mobile Responsive
  • Lightweight
  • User-Friendly (the more simplistic, the better)
  • Browser Compatibility
  • SEO Friendly
  • Plugin Compatibility

The Best WordPress Themes Available

Honestly, there are so many WordPress themes that hit the mark. Each comes with an array of benefits. But, you have to consider your goals and your design abilities, also.

For someone just starting out, with little web design and coding knowledge, you want a theme that allows you ease of use as well as the above mentioned factors.

I have been using the Genesis Framework from StudioPress for over 2-years now and I love it. However, in terms of speed, there are quite a few themes that offer quicker load times.

But, as a beginner, some of these themes may require a bit more coding on your part.

The Genesis Framework is kind of the master of all. It allows ease of design, while staying lightweight, offering SEO optimization, and security.

Once you have the Genesis Framework, you can choose from hundreds of Genesis Child Themes to customize and make your blog look exactly how you envision it.

Whether you are starting a food blog, lifestyle blog, entertainment blog, photography blog, or eMagazine, they have a Child Theme that will give you the tools you need to create the perfect website.

The Right Plugins

When you first start a blog, you are all gungho to start installing plugins. And the next thing you know, you either 1). break your website, or 2). bog down your load times with heavy plugins that aren’t necessary.

Hey, no shame. I’ve been there, done it.

I’ve also tested out hundreds of plugins to know which ones are beneficial, and which ones are better off your blog.

You want to do your best to avoid heavy plugins that will increase your loading time. And you want to be careful installing plugins that haven’t been verified as compatible with your website’s theme.

Plugins that Are Worth Installing

Yoast SEO

I cannot say enough about this free plugin. It is the first plugin I install when I start a blog.

Yoast SEO gives you tons of valuable information regarding SEO optimization for your blog posts, categories, and pages. You can and should set up a targeted keyword phrase for each blog post you write. Once you set this up in the box at the bottom of your post, Yoast will tell you what you need to improve to optimize your post for search engines.

Yoast will score you on numerous factors including:

  • Keyword phrase density
  • Internal links
  • External links
  • Meta description
  • Keyphrase in your introduction
  • Keyphrase in your title
  • Text length
  • Image alt attributes
  • Keyphrase in your subheadings
  • Previous use of keyphrase

Also, Yoast will help you improve your readability score. Readability is also important to your blog posts’ success. And, overall readability means that the general population can easily read your posts.

Some people think this means dumbing down content. But, it’s quite the opposite. You can still talk about complex topics, but by simplifying your content will make it more accessible to a larger audience.

Yoast rates your readability on things like the use of transition words, consecutive use of the same word at the beginning of a sentence, the Flesch reading score, paragraph length, sentence length, and passive voice.

The goal is to get all green lights. In this case, your blog post is completely optimized for search engines and even AI systems like Siri and Alexa. Getting the green gives the best chance of ranking higher in Google and even getting featured rich snippets.

WP Rocket

WP Rocket is by far the most superior caching plugin available for WordPress. And they make it incredibly easy to use for anyone.

WP Rocket automatically turns on caching features that will improve your site speed and not detract from the quality of your site. These features include page caching, gzip compression, browser caching, lazyload, and deferred js loading.

If you want to further improve speed, you can use their super simple dashboard right on WordPress to switch features on and off.

As mentioned earlier, Google considers page speed as one of the most critical factors when ranking websites. So, it’s worth your money to purchase WP Rocket for one year and improve your site speed dramatically.

Free Alternative: WP Super Cache (not as simple to use and not as many features)

Social Pug

The best plugins for WordPress that won't bog down your site

Social Pug makes it easy for your audience to share your content across multiple platforms. It’s highly rated, lightweight, and look professional.

With the free version your can customize the placement of your buttons, including before or after your content, or both. You can also customize the shape of your button shapes, and if you want to include the social share count.

I have used a few different social share plugins over the years. Social Pug is one of the most lightweight and easy to use plugins.

Social Warfare used to be considered the best of the best, but they have had a lot of issues recently that result in broken websites. Many of the bloggers I have connected with have switched from Social Warfare to Social Pug and been hapy they did.

What Plugin to Get Rid of From the Start

It took me nearly two years to finally rid myself and my site of the heavy Jetpack plugin. It comes automatically installed on WordPress and in the beginning seems like your best friend.

Jetpack is one of the biggest culprits of slow websites. So, getting rid of it right away is the best way to go.

Many people like to use Jetpack to monitor their pageviews and visitors throughout the day. This is where I was hooked. But, after I learned how to set up my Google Analytics Dashboard and took some time getting to know the platform, I didn’t even miss Jetpack.

Set a Schedule

How to Create a Blog Schedule You Can Stick To with Free Printable Blog Schedule

One of the hardest parts of starting a blog for me was making time for it. As a stay at home mom, I had a chore list that was already incredibly long. Putting in work on a project that was seeing little return initially was difficult.

There are going to be times that you want to quit. To throw in the towel. Your persistence in these times is crucial and will prove be what sets you apart from the rest.

If you are going into your blogging journey with the idea that you would like to make a business out of it (which is, I assume, why you are here), there will be times that you want to quit.

The payoff, in the beginning, is next to nothing. You might make $1000 your first month, and you might make $0.05. A lot of this is luck and your particular niche. But, those first few months are a gmable.

You will be spending countless hours writing, editing, taking pictures, creating graphics, promoting on social media, etc. It’s a lot of work!

And that’s why creating a blogging schedule for yourself is so important. You want to dedicate specific times to specific tasks each week. It will help keep you accountable and motivated when the drive drops off.

In the beginning, most of your time may be spend writing new blog posts and promoting on social media. But, as your blog grows and your brand stretches to more platforms, you will have an expanded list of tasks each week.

For instance, pitching companies to work with, responding to emails, filming videos for YouTube, hosting webinars, building sales funnels, working on product creation, etc.

From experience, it becomes overwhelming and you end up not focused and trying to accomplish 10 different tasks in one sitting. This leads to more frustration and a less than productive work session.

Instead, create a schedule — allow yourself some flexibility. Especially as a mom, life happens and things can change on a dime. But, at least you will have a set structure to come back to that will keep you on track and focused on your big goals.

Printable Blogging Schedule

If you don’t know where to start with creating a blog schedule, you can print off this printable blogging schedule I created.

Free Printable Blogging Schedule

The concept is meant to be simple easy to keep up with. Fill in the hours according to your daily life. There are 18 rows.

Then, in the key at the top, color in each box with a different color. Next, label each colored box with a blogging task. For example writing new blog posts, email marketing, pitching companies, creating graphics, filming, editing, etc.

It’s okay if you don’t have enough tasks to fill in every box. Just make use of those that you do need and the tasks that you need to keep up on weekly.

The last step is to color in the times under the days according to how you want to divide up your tasks. For instance, on Monday you are going to spend from 7AM until 11AM writing new content. Then you take an hour off and then from 12PM until 2PM you create graphics for the posts you have written. On Tuesday, you film video from 9AM until 12PM and spend the afternoon working on social media promotion.

Set Up Your Pinterest Account

When you start a blog, you have to think outside the blog. Facebook and Instagram are fun and they can drive good traffic, but it takes a long time and a lot of effort to get high visibility.

Pinterest is known around the blogging community as one of the golden tickets to increasing traffic. But that doesn’t mean you can just create a Pinterest account and hope for the best.

Sadly.

You are going to have to optimize your Pinterest account for your audience. They need to be able to find you and know your value. To do that, you need to take the time to set up your Pinterest account correctly.

This section won’t cover everything you need to know about Pinterest. I’m working on a full blog post to cover all the details of setting up your Pinterest account now. But, this will get you started on the right foo with a solid account to build from.

How to Set Up Your Pinterest Account for Your Blog

After you start a blog, you need a way to get your new blog posts and content to as many people as possible. Pinterest is the medium that can help you accomplish that.

Most content does well on Pinterest, but here is a list of the highest performing topics on Pinterest:

  • Food
  • Health and Fitness
  • Home Decor
  • Interior Design
  • Quotes
  • Women’s Fashion
  • Self-Care and Personal Development
  • Technology
  • Travel

Even if your content doesn’t fit into any of the above topics, don’t scratch Pinterest yet. There is an audience on Pinterest looking for you and what you have to offer. Don’t neglect it.

In order for your target audience to find you though, you will need to set up your Pinterest Account so that you can easily be found.

Create a Business Profile on Pinterest

The first thing you want to do is create a business profile on Pinterest and set it up with your blog/business name.

Another tip is to add a bit that describes what you offer to your Pinterest name. For example, if you are a life coach you might have “Your Blog Name”: Life Coach, Personal Development Specialist. If you are a vegan food blogger, you might have “Your Blog Name:” Quick, Easy Vegan Recipes for the Whole Family.

When people are browsing their Pinterest feed, a recommended profile occasionally pops up with the option to follow. If that’s your account, you want to make sure that the person seeing it has enough information to want to follow you.

Descriptions on Pinterest

Pinterest offers a lot of opportunity to add targeted keywords so that you target audience can find you and your content. Be sure you are using these opportunities to the fullest extent.

In your profile description, you get 160 characters to give viewers a glimpse of what you are about. Be sure to include targeted keywords for your brand.

For example, if you are a beauty blogger who caters to those shopping at drugstores and new to makeup and beauty, you want to include words like “drugstore beauty” or “beauty on a budget”. You may also want to include “beginner beauty tutorials”.

The point is to give viewers a good understanding of what you are offering in a very short amount of time.

The same goes for each individual board you create. Each board has a description area. Be sure to fill it in with targeted keywords that match the content on the board.

Pinterest Board Names

With personal Pinterest accounts that aren’t set up to drive traffic or gain followers, this is not necessary. But, with a business profile, you want your boards to be straight to the point.

Don’t try to make your board names catchy or add lots of frills. But, you also don’t want to be too bland. You don’t want to name a board “recipes”. That’s to vague. Use a short targeted keyphrase. Some examples of good Pinterest board names are below.

  • Beginner Blogging Tips
  • Summer BBQ Recipes
  • Simple Makeup Tutorials
  • Self-Care Ideas for Moms
  • DIY Craft Ideas for Kids Under 5

For one, this allows you to niche wayyyy down. Which means, even people who may not be interested in ALL of your content, may find and follow your niche specific board.

It also means you will have a lot of boards. Not all of your craft pins will fall under DIY Craft Ideas for Kids Under 5. You will also need a few other boards targeted at craft ideas as well.

Add Links and Rich Pins

The last step is to make sure you have your links added to your Pinterest profile and to enable rich pins.

Adding your links is as easy as going to your profile settings and updating your blog URL and adding the verification code to the <head> script of your site. If that sounds too technical, just check out this article for step-by-step instructions.

Rich Pins!

Oh, so many bloggers miss out on this opportunity and it breaks my heart. Rich Pins are GOLD!

Article Rich Pins on Pinterest: How to Get them and Why You Need Them

Article Rich Pins include the title of the post, AKA a description of the pin, below the pinned image. This gives viewers a good first idea of what they are pinning and why they should click it.

Once you click on the pin for an expanded view, rich pins also show the Pinterest account tied to link that the pin goes to. So, even if someone else pins an image from your blog post to their board, when someone else sees it, they will also have the opportunity to follow you on Pinterest.

This is why linking and verifying your website is so crucial.

How to Get Rich Pins on Pinterest

The first think you need to do is ensure you have your Pinterest account set up as a business account. If you currently have a personal account, you can convert to a business account for free here.

After that, all you need is Yoast SEO. Remember that from above?

Under your Yoast settings in your WordPress sidebar, find the Social tab. Click it. Then click Facebook. After you click Facebook, just check the box next to Add Open Graph Meta Data. Boom!

Finally, check to make sure your rich pins are enabled by entering a link from your website here.

When you enter your link, you should get a congratulations screen that looks like this.

How to Enable Article Rich Pins on Pinterest

Conclusion

There is a ton of information on how to start a blog. This article is 6500 words long and doesn’t cover it all. But, you should feel pretty confident moving forward from here.

The best advice I can give you after 2-years is to breathe. Take your time. This is not a quick deal that happens overnight or after putting in 8 hours at your computer. Take it slow and give yourself time to learn and try new things.

Learn, learn, learn! Always be learning. More than just this blog post. Listen to podcasts, take courses and read books. But most importantly, take your time and give yourself a break. You are doing awesome.


Have any questions for me? Let me know in the comments below.

Erin Elissa - Unleashed Potential and Passion

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  1. Hillary

    April 15, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Great tips, Erin! I really appreciate these as a new blogger hoping to go full-time 🙂

    1. enichols91

      May 6, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      Thank you, Hillary! I’m so glad you found this post useful. Wishing you the best of luck.

  2. Marissa

    April 17, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Hi! I currently use a premium wick account for my blog. One thing I dislike is for people to comment on your posts, they have to sign up to be a member, which is different than subscribing and is much more complicated. Does Bluehost have this same issue, or can anyone interact with your posts?

    1. enichols91

      May 6, 2019 at 5:21 pm

      Hi Marissa,

      Sorry for the delayed response. We moved a couple of weeks ago and it’s been a process! To answer your question, Bluehost is simply a web server. Once you have Bluehost, you will install WordPress, which is super easy with 1 click install. And then you can choose different themes and plugins to assist with comments and overall aesthetic. But, the standard WordPress comment section does not require people to log in or be a member. Anyone can comment. And I definitely agree that that makes it very difficult for people.

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