The Ultimate Checklist for the Perfect Instagram Post – Plus 4 Mistakes You Are Making Now and How to Fix It

Instagram can be so confusing when you first start. I remember thinking how in the heck do they have so many likes, followers, etc. How did they get their Instagram to look so much prettier than mine?

And after years and years of practice, I finally figured out how to create the perfect Instagram post.

It took so long for this light bulb to go off for me, but one day it just did. And since then, I have made sure every single one of my Instagram posts include these elements I am about to share.

I am certain an Instagram account won’t see any growth without adding these elements consistently. There are also things to avoid doing too that seems helpful but will affect the account negatively in the long run. Let’s start with those. Shall we?

The Ultimate Checklist for the Perfect Instagram Post – Plus 4 Mistakes You Are Making Now and How to Fix It

Instagram Post Checklist

  • Start with a photo of your choice or a carousel of photos.
  • Writing engaging Instagram captions for your post
  • Include a call to action such as directing them to your stories or website.
  • Include hashtags in your post either in the caption or the first comment after posting.
  • Tag a location or city
  • Tag other accounts or brands
  • If you have your Facebook page connected, share there too
  • Engage with comments
  • Share the post to your story
  • Go to your home page to like and comment on other posts
instagram photos

Common Mistakes

Following Bots, Buying Likes and Followers

This may seem like a good idea, but numbers don’t translate into engagement which i most important when it comes to how the Instagram algorithm works. Plus, these things can get you banned, blocked, hacked, and all the work you put into your Instagram account could be taken away from this one mistake.

The best thing to do is block them. Block them from your stories, block them from your account, remove them as a follower, and don’t follow back. Be intentional about this. When it comes to following back an account, I thoroughly make sure if I follow back that the account has similar content, they have been posting, and that it is a real person.

Not Being Consistent

The algorithm works with consistency. Even if you open the app daily and just like other content, I have noticed a huge spike in engagement when I use the app consistently. It is definitely not strictly post something every day to see growth. It is being social.

Compared to other social networks, there has been a huge spike in active Instagram users since the start of the pandemic. More people are at home scrolling through their phones than ever before. With all the features the Instagram app offers like reels and stories, it becomes a daily habit to see what others are up to on the daily.

Proper Lighting

Good lighting is key to a good photo for Instagram. Set up your tripod with the window behind the camera. Test out the lighting before you set up your photo. Take the photo outside if necessary. Especially in the winter when it is dark and gloomy, good lighting is hard to come by so go outside if needed.

Most Instagram users prefer a well-lit photo versus a dark photo. Don’t you agree?

Wrong Photo Size

Make sure your photo is the right size. I can’t count how many times I would take photos for my Instagram business page and when it was time to post, I realized they were the wrong size. That is so incredibly frustrating. So now, when I take photos, I set the size right away or I will take the photo in all different sizes if it is something I intend to post on more than one social media site.

  • Instagram Post Size: 1:1
  • Instagram Story Size: 9:16 or Full
  • Instagram Reel Cover: 4:3 or 1:1 works too
  • Facebook Post: 1:1
  • Pinterest Pin: 9:16 or Full

Read these for more IG tips…

Instagram vs Blogging – Which one is better for blogging?

Instagram vs Blogging – Which one is better for blogging?

What is Instagram blogging? How do I start a blog on Instagram?

Is it better to have a blog or an Instagram page?

These are the most common questions aspiring bloggers have before starting a blog. Many new bloggers wonder if they should invest in their own domain right away or should they start building an audience on Instagram.

The answer isn’t as simple as you would think.

I remember when I first started blogging, over 4 years ago, I had no niche, no content strategy, and no real idea of what I was doing. I thought that you had to have both a blog and an Instagram page for your blog, but truthfully, it is okay to do one or the other. Doing both is not required.

Instagram is a good way to direct traffic to your blog. I personally love directing my Instagram followers to my lifestyle blog content. I love sharing my authentic Mexican recipes on there through photos and video content.

Instagram content is completely different from blog content. It is shorter content. The way it appears matters a little more than using the right keywords.

If you run a lifestyle blog like I do, then I think Instagram is the perfect way to build an audience by creating engaging content and directing them to your blog for more info.

But is it better to start a blog or Instagram page first?

Let’s break down the differences between Instagram and a blog first.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a social media platform where you can post short videos and aesthetically pleasing photos on your feed. For business, I recommend making sure your Instagram account is set to public to reach a bigger audience.

Bloggers usually work to create a cohesive on brand feed through photos, videos, and graphics. Instagram blogging is considered microblogging because of the 2,200 character limit for Instagram captions.

Instagram is an amazing platform for content creators including bloggers to share content in unique and engaging ways. It is also an amazing way to create a connection with your audience.

Instagram features include a feed, IG stories, reels, and IGTV. There is a live feature as well.

There is a character limited bio with room for one clickable link which can direct your followers to a blog post or landing page. Instagram, like any social media, wants their users to stay on the app. They are 100% in control of their app. If the app goes down, there isn’t a lot more we can do but wait it out.

What is a blog?

A blog is your own website. A domain or name is selected and written content is posted as often as the writer would like. Blog posts can include photos, graphics, videos, and links to social media and other content.

There are no character limits. There are no limits with owning your own blog. The name, the design, what you share, menu options, everything is in your control because you are the owner of the domain. This is why it is important to start out with purchasing a domain for your blog instead of starting on a free platform.

If your blog goes down, you can contact your website hosting support and see what they can do to resolve the issue. Having the right website host is a really important investment.

I recommend SiteGround. My blog has never had a single glitch with SiteGround. I have never had to call support, but there is a support team if technical issues were to arise which is the important part.

What is Instagram blogging?

Instagram blogging is is considered microblogging. The captions are commonly shorter than a blog post. They aren’t found through a search engine.

Instagrammers work with the Instagram algorithm to get their posts seen. The algorithm loves consistency and it is difficult sometimes (at least for me it is) to gauge what content the algorithm will favor.

What we do know about the Instagram algorithm is that it favors consistency and I have seen my best results by posting everyday.

Pro tip: Take photos and video as opportunities arise so there are many to choose from in your gallery to post on your Instagram.

Instagrammers solve problems and connect with their audience. Same for bloggers. It is just a different way of doing the same exact thing.

How do I start a blog on Instagram?

Starting a blog on Instagram is simple.

Go to the Instagram app and create a new account. Choose a user name. Make the profile public. Take photos and start posting!

The biggest thing to consider is what will you be sharing. What is your niche?

Familiarize yourself with all the features Instagram has so your sharing the best content possible. Once you start using them every single day, it becomes second nature. There is definitely a lot to learn, but it comes with starting a blog on Instagram.

It is free and totally doable.

Is Instagram good for blogging?

Yes, Instagram is good for blogging. Anyone can start blogging on Instagram.

It is completely free to start.

Once you start you website, then you can simply direct your followers to your blog content and branch out.

The only downside is if Instagram goes down, we have to wait for Instagram to come back online to connect with our audience.

Instagram vs Blogging – Which one is better for blogging?

I would have to say in my opinion, owning your own blog is better for blogging. Everything is yours and you have control of your blog.

Instagram owns their platform and controls what is on it. The Instagram algorithm controls who sees your content. If Instagram goes down for a day or two, you still have a way to stay connected to your audience if you have your blog set up already.

The life span of an Instagram post is about 21 hours! Compared to the life span of a blog post which is at least 2 years.

Focusing on Pinterest marketing and SEO can give a blog post a much longer life span than this. If people are looking for a solution to a problem,

Recap and Final Thoughts

A blog gives you more control over content.

Instagram’s algorithm controls the content shared on their app.

Building an audience on Instagram is smart. Once you are ready to start your blog, they will follow.

Instagram is free to start. Starting a blog is not free unless you start on a free domain which is not recommended.

Let me know if there are any more questions I can answer in the comments.

31 Instagram Story Ideas To Increase Engagement With Your Followers

If you are on Instagram, you have probably heard how important it is to stay consistent.

But what can you do when you run into a creativity block and are not sure what to post?

I came up with 31 Instagram story ideas to help you on those days you are feeling stuck in what you should post in your story.

Instagram stories can be fun because it is the place to share relax where you can share content that won’t make it on the feed. It is the best place to connect with your audience.

How Will Instagram Stories Help Your Account Grow?

Staying consistent in your stories will help you account grow because it will increase your engagement with your audience. The more they engage with your account, the more visible all your content is to them. They will see your posts more often.

It all comes down to the algorithm and how the Instagram algorithm works.

Any interaction with your posts and this includes your stories is good for engagement. Engagement can be anything from a comment or an answer on your polls.

A few things that have helped me boost my engagement and gain real followers by using stories are:

  • Improving my photography skills
  • Using This or That polls
  • Tagging other Instagram accounts
  • Using hashtags

The best way to get engagement is to create content as much as possible. Every single day if you can! The algorithm loves this and you content will get better by staying consistent. It will be easier to understand what your audience wants to see, your content creating skills will improve, and you will step up your game each and every time. STAY CONSISTENT even if you don’t necessarily feel like it.

I am hoping this guide will help you get ideas for you Instagram stories. These ideas could work as reels too.

I am a lifestyle blogger and the ideas I am sharing will work for this niche. If you are a beginner, sometimes you may not have your niche figured out right away. That is okay. As you create more, you will figure this out.

31 Instagram Story Ideas

1. morning coffee/tea/drink

  • film yourself making your favorite morning drink

2. skin care routine morning or night

  • film and talk about the products you are using in your routine.

3. tap to glam

  • a before and after of makeup or hair. Use a tap here gif as a call to action.

4. film your work space

  • give a tour of your work area or before and after of your updated work space

5. what I eat in a day

  • share what you are eating. your audience will love getting ideas for their menu

6. make a seasonal drink

  • look on Pinterest for some inspiration for seasonal drinks and then make it on camera

7. hair routine

  • Film your hairstyle of the day or daily hair routine

8. makeup routine

  • talk about your favorite makeup products you use often or film yourself getting ready

9. show your outdoor space or view

  • a sky or scenic shot is nice and make sure to tag your location

10. exercise routine

  • i see instagrammers on tread mills, on walks, or working out at home. set up phone on your tripod record and trim the excess footage. This can be motivating content for your audience.

11. skincare/makeup/clothing haul

  • film an unboxing of your recent online or in store purchase

12. run a poll

  • running a poll can be about anything. as you post more polls you will get to know which types of polls work best. one poll idea to start with is how is your day going? good or okay

13. tap to tidy

  • posting a before and after of tidying up a space in your home such as a makeup drawer, a junk drawer, the play room, etc..

14. currently watching

  • show what you are currently watching or ask for suggestions on what to watch

15. share a funny reel or post

  • share a reel that made you laugh or a post that you can relate to. you can share anyone’s post or reel as long as they are a public account.

16. share an inspiring quote

  • create your own graphic in canva or share one you find on instagram in your story

17. share your latest posts

  • each time you post on instagram, share it to your stories. every once in a while share a week’s worth of posts in your stories.

18. online shopping list

  • share some screen shots of what items you currently have in your shopping cart and screenshots of items that you are interested in purchasing.

19. favorite beauty products

  • share you favorite beauty products or your daily routine

20. share your favorite podcasts

  • share podcasts that you are loving with your audience

21. follow friday

  • tag your favorite instagram accounts to follow and they might share it to their story which increases your reach

22. favorite snacks

  • share what you are currently snacking on or your favorite snacks

23. your daily to do list

  • type a to do list on your notes app and share it with your audience

24. grocery haul

  • share what you buy weekly. so many people are find this interesting because it helps them plan their meals for the week.

25. currently reading

  • are you currently reading a book? share the title and your thoughts with your audience.

26. photography tips

  • share the process that you take for your instagram account from taking the photos. From location and lighting tips. Share how you take those shots.

27. screen record photo editing

  • Record the process of how you edit your photos. This will provide value to your followers.

28. throwback

  • Share an old post of yourself or your blog photography. People love to see growth.

29. impromptu chat

  • Hop on stories and share something interesting about the day. Share something that you struggled with and how you overcame it. Be transparent. This is how your audience will connect and relate to you.

30. Tap to decorate

  • The only time I decorate is around the holidays, but anytime you decorate a small space in your home take a before and after.

31. Behind the Scenes

  • Share what you are currently doing for your business or what you are doing that day.

Let me know if you found these tips helpful!

Everything you need to know about Instagram reels

Instagram reels has been one of my favorite features on the platform. They are super fun to create and watch. Before you try creating your own reel, I recommend watching some reels that pop up in your similar niche to get inspired! If you are familiar with TikTok it is comparible to the shorter videos you see over on that platform.

what is a reel?

A reel is a short video on Instagram. Video length can be up to 60 seconds long. These are short videos. Audio, text, and filters can be added to your reel. Reels add a fun and creative way to engage with your audience and even grow a bigger audience because of how many Instagram users you can reach when posting this content.

PRO TIP: Save audio from popular reels on instagram that are in your niche to use on your own reels.

Instagram loves when their users create reels and they will make sure this type of content gets seen. They are obviously competing in some way with TikTok when it comes to creating content on their platform. The instagram algorithm will definitely favor your page when you are creating this type of video content.

how to create a reel?

Personally, I film my reels through the instagram app because it is easy to add all of the elements I just talked about. First, you click on the + button, & select reel at the bottom. Now, you can a set timer, change the speed, add a filter, and add your music.

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

what to know before you hit publish

create reels within your niche

Think of reels as a different way to deliver valuable content to your existing audience. It is also a good opportunity to engage and reach a wider audience. Sticking to your niche/expertise will avoid confusing your current audience and help attract more of your ideal audience as well.

Reels is completely different from stories where it is okay to share the behind the scenes of your day.

strive to inspire or add value

Instagram reels is very much like any other content where it is important to provide value. If your niche is fashion, create a get ready with me reel, a week of work outfits inspiration reel, or at home beauty hacks. Reels can allow you to get really creative while still providing that value your audience loves!

use the right song

Under trending is all the music that is currently trending on instagram reels. The list under saved is all the audio that has been saved from other reels. The for you list is a list of audio that is suggested to you by instagram. Make sure the audio you choose matches the reel and content you create.

encourage more watch time

The longer people are staying to view your reel, the more instagram favors this and makes your reel visible to a lot more users. There are few ways to encourage watch time.

  • by adding text
  • tutorials or hacks
  • a round up
  • writing a caption that peaks their curiousity
use hashtags

Use hashtags to increase your reach. Just like all other content on instagram, use relevent hashtags in your reels too! This increases the chance of instagram users seeing your content when they are searching their favorite hashtags.

PRO TIP: use niche specific hashtags with a lower to medium competitive hashtag. you want enough posts using the same hashtags, but not too many

add a call to action

Add a call to action at the end like “follow for more outfit inspo” or keep an eye on my stories for more details. there is an opportunity in every post to direct your audience to something else and keep them engaged in your content.

DO NOT repurpose your TikToks for Instagram Reels

Alot of accounts have been banned from doing reels because of the ability to repurpose a TikTok and add it as a reel. The thing is there is a TikTok watermark on those short videos. Instagram is competing with TikTok so make sure to make your reels using the instagram app.

are you ready to create your first instagram reel?

Now that you know the power of instagram reels, go start creating! instagram is highly favoring accounts using reels at the moment and those accounts are reaching much larger audiences than ever before.

Are you using instagram reels yet?

How to grow your Instagram organically

If you a new blogger on Instagram, then you have probably asked yourself:

How do I grow my Instagram followers? How do I get 1000 Instagram followers organically?

The answer: It is possible to grow your Instagram followers organically. I did and I want to help you do it too.

What does organic growth mean?

Organic growth means growing your Instagram account without buying followers and fake likes which can lead to your account being banned and low engagement.

It is tempting to do this, but it will hurt the account in the long run.

How to gain your first 1000 followers on Instagram organically?

1. Be Consistent

Being consistent on Instagtam is key to growing. This means consistent with producing new content, consistency with the look of your feed, and consistency with your Instagram stories.

Being consistent improves Engagement and strengthens the relationship you build with your audience..

The Instagram algorithm loves when you are using all of their features.

If other Instagram users are engaging with your content this helps boost your audience reach and in turn you gain more followers.

It really is this simple.

If you want to make money or drive traffic from Indtagram, be consistent.

2. Tag your location

Connect with other brands, businesses, and accounts in your area.

Majority of my audience is located in Denver, CO because I consistently tag my location or near by locations.

Another factor is a brand might be looking to connect with a blogger in the Denver area or in your area.

By tagging your location, you might come up in their search.

3. Engage with your audience

They leave a comment, let them know you read it. Comment back or liking it is crucial.

Take time to comment and like other posts within the same niche. This way you are exposing yourself to a wider audience.

Show up in your stories. Show your face. You are a person after all and we relate more with an actual person.than just the brand.

4. Use the right hashtags

Using hashtags can connect you with other accounts that are just like yours. I have been able to connect with other mom entrepreneurs by using the right hashtags.

I use Planoly to save my tags in groups according to my posts.

This is helpful because you want to review you Instagram account insights and understand which hashtag groups are working best.

Also, I recommend researching hashtags that are related to your posts every so often and adding them to you list.

5. Create a strategic posting schedule

In order to do this, pay close attention to your analytics. Specifically the hours and days that majority of your followers are active on Instagram.

Make sure you are posting when your analytics show more activity.

How to take your blog to the next level this year

2019 was a phenomenal year in my life. I have gone through my fair share of struggles. And although 2019 had its ups and downs, I still feel it was quite successful in many aspects.
I am going into my 3rd year of blogging and I feel like my blog evolves every single year. Going into year 3 of blogging I have big plans for building up from what it is today.
I am sharing my plans to not only talk about what I will be doing, but with hope that my goals and plans for 2020 will inspire and motivate someone else who may be thinking about building an online business.
These goals are solely focused on what I have in mind business wise for 2020. If you would like to hear about what I have in mind for 2020 for my personal life then like this post and I will work on it ASAP.

Invest In The Blog

There are a few things I want to invest in to the blog for 2020. I will of course invest in the usual stuff like SiteGround and a WordPress plan.

Last year, I purchased the personal plan, but this year I will be investing in the business plan that WordPress offers.

The main reason for this is I don’t want any limitations holding me back this year from growing my business. The business plan supports a lot of things that a personal plan doesn’t and I didn’t know that until I upgraded. Plugins and other features necessary to grow a business are only available on a business plan.

If you are thinking of upgrading on WordPress when you go self hosted if you aren’t already, then I would recommend just jumping into a business plan.

I also plan on investing in stock photos, a new website theme, and a high quality camera for my social media accounts specifically Instagram!

WordPress.com

Create Content More Consistently

I have really struggled with being consistent with my posts on the blog as well as on social media. I think that we all know that it is truly important to connect with your audience as much as possible.

I have had no problem keeping up with my activity on Pinterest, mainly because I have made sure to keep up with my Tailwind account and keeping up with that would be truly impossible without Tailwind.

Shout out and high five to all the bloggers who have no problems manually pinning, but I have zero time to do that. I at one point couldn’t afford Tailwind, but once I could I started right back up because that small monthly investment to keep traffic coming with little to no effort is a no brainer.

My Facebook and Twitter both need work and I plan on printing up a content calendar to plan my content for both those platforms as well as my Instagram.

In all honesty, since I started working full time and had a newborn baby, I have really struggled to keep up with creating new content, but for 2020 I plan on going full force and pushing to make more of a connection with all of you by creating content that is going to motivate and inspire both you and me.

Build An Email List, Engage More, and Collaborate

Some other things I want to work on this year is building my email list, engaging more with my audience, and collaborate more with other bloggers.

For my email list, I am working on offering something amazing. I plan on engaging with my audience much more. On social media and here, I want you to know who I really am through these outlets and be more relatable to all of you. And finally, I need to collaborate with other bloggers. I will be making more time this year to work with others. Interested? Reach out to me via my contact page!

What does your 2020 look like for you?

Jenn

How to run a successful blog while working a full time job

It is so difficult running this blog while working full time, but I have made it work with traffic still coming in strong. I just started working full time a little over a month ago and I have learned a few things on how to keep up with blogging.

These are the top things I have found extremely helpful. These tips allow give me the freedom to keep up with my home, my full time job, and my blog. The one thing I need to work on is creating new content on my days off or during the day as I purposely work a night shift.

I hope that you find these tips helpful if you are also struggling to keep up with your blog and work a full time 9 to 5.

This post does contain affiliate links. Read full disclosures by clicking here.

RELATED POSTS: 11 TIPS FOR INCREASING TRAFFIC TO YOUR BLOG EVEN AS A BRAND NEW BLOGGER – Beautifully Blogging

FIVE SMART WAYS TO MAKE MONEY FROM HOME – Beautifully Blogging

Walmart Grocery Delivery has saved my sanity. I love Walmart’s prices and for as little as $7.95 I can get my groceries and other household items delivered straight to my door that same day.

If you are wanting an early time slot for delivery, I would suggest placing the order the night before or at least by 6 AM that same morning because these time slots go fast.

But I am telling you, this saves me so much time and I can focus on other things that need to get done instead of making a trip to the grocery store every two weeks to stock up on things like laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, and dish washing liquid.

Untitled design

I am also slightly obsessed with Amazon Prime as well. I like to get things shipped as quickly as possible. Have you ever ordered things to be shipped to your home and it just takes forever? I am impatient and busy. I don’t have time to wait for things I need now.

When I order online it is because I need it right away, but I still want the convenience of not having to make a trip to the store. Amazon has amazing prices on items so we save money too. An Amazon Prime membership is so worth it.

This week I ordered some school supplies we really needed by the end of the week and I got them shipped to my door by the next day.

Tailwind is a blogging tool that helps me keep up with my Pinterest account by just spending a few minutes scheduling pins.

Once you really start to understand how Tailwind works, then it literally takes minutes to schedule a few days worth of pins which is fantastic. When I first started using Tailwind, I spent way more time on it then I really wanted to and I know a lot of people probably do too.

So I will definitely be writing a more in depth post on how to properly use Tailwind and grow your Pinterest account. I had to go without Tailwind for a couple of months recently and it was a nightmare.

Manual pinning is very time consuming, but there are methods that work with manual pinning too that I would love to share really soon here.

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

The very last tip I have for keeping up with blogging and working full time is meal planning. I personally prefer meal planning over meal prepping because I like my meals freshly made.

Eating fresh, home cooked meals is completely possible even as a busy working parent. I really love using an Instant Pot a few times a week because I can cook some of my favorite meals that normally take hours in half the time.

For some great dinner ideas using an Instant Pot, check out my recent post that lists 10 of my all time favorite Instant Pot dinners.

Even though I am making dinner every single night, I prepare in advance for it. This way it is not so overwhelming for myself nor my family.

I simply sit down and plan on my one of my days off during the week. I will look at what meat is on sale and any other on sale items I could use for meals that week. I focus on one week at a time so it doesn’t become overwhelming for me.

I keep breakfast and lunch ideas super simple and focus more on dinner. So cereal, eggs, and oatmeal are staples for breakfast and sandwiches and salads, we tend to eat these more at lunch time.

For dinner, I just cook really simple and quick recipes most of the time.

Once a month, I love getting a few HomeChef meals a month. We order 2 to 3 meals from Home Chef which I usually make for myself and my husband.

Untitled design (1)

On these nights, I will usually make the kids pizza or chicken nuggets, their favorites, so that my husband and I can sit down and enjoy a really incredible meal together.

The biggest reason I love these meal kits from Home Chef is because they save me time by putting together all the ingredients I need to try a new recipe without a trip to the grocery store.

Plus, my grocery store sometimes doesn’t have all the ingredients I am looking for so it’s super convenient to get them delivered together right to my door.

I hope that you find these tips to be super helpful as both a blogger and full time employee. It is totally possible to do both successfully by outsourcing tasks that would normally take so much time to get done all on your own!

Jenn

9 tips for increasing your blog traffic even if your blog is brand new!

UPDATED 01/15/2021

Traffic is the most critical component of any website. Without views, there isn’t a real good reason to continue working on content.

For some, this is a hobby (and that is okay), but if you want to turn your blog into a business and create a source of income, then you want to read this post.

It wasn’t until this year, my second year of blogging that my strategies for bringing in traffic have really started to click and come together.

I don’t want it to take you 2 years or more to bring in the traffic you want, so here are some of my best tips for generating traffic to your website. It does not matter if your blog is brand new, these tips will work.

This post includes my affiliate links. Clicking on my links and using my codes will not affect the price. I do get a small commission from you using my links. I appreciate you using them!

Create A Mix of Evergreen and Seasonal Content

This has helped really elevate the traffic I was gaining. It is just as important to write evergreen content as it is to write seasonal content.

There is always something in season. For example, this month the 4th of July was a trending topic and my posts about those topics did really well this month. However, after the 4th of July trend is over, back to school ideas will be trending.

It just depends what time of year it is. Think about upcoming seasons and write blog posts in advance so you are ready when that topic starts to trend.

With this blog, most of my content is evergreen. Of course I update my tips as the algorithm changes. But I can think of many types of blogs could really benefit from creating seasonal content. It really just depends on your niche.

Switch to a Business Pinterest Account

Pinterest is my number one source of traffic and always has been. I can’t really imagine not using Pinterest for my blog because it is so effective. As a new blogger, I would recommend to start with a Pinterest business account and as your blog grows then branch out to other platforms.

Pinterest makes it very simple to bring in traffic. It will gradually grow the more time has past. I cannot promise you a ton of traffic from the start, but if you use it every day it will pay off.

Read my latest Pinterest tips right here

You can probably keep using a personal Pinterest account and generate traffic, but you do not get access to analytics with a personal account. You are going to want to keep track of which boards and pins are performing the best through these statistics.

It will also help you keep track of how big your audience is on the platform. The bigger the audience the more clicks to your content you can expect. It really goes hand in hand.

Engage with other bloggers

The reason engaging with other bloggers can increase your traffic is because your comments can be linked to your website, and you can also include a link to your website after leaving a relevant comment on their blog posts.

People read the comments and if you say something that interests them then they will want to see what else you have to say. Be open to making connections instead of competition. There really is room for every blogger to be successful.

Share your posts on social media

If you have social media accounts set up for your blog. Sharing your blog posts on there is simple to do. My favorite place to share is Pinterest. Sharing on Facebook and Twitter has brought in some traffic too.

I have not been using the scheduler on Tailwind recently. I am strictly sharing my pins to just the Tailwind Communities I am a part of right now.

Be as consistent as you can with posting

Blogging is tough because once you gain momentum, it is difficult to stop. It is almost like an adrenaline rush that motivates you to keep going and creating. I have not figured out how long is too long of a break to stop this momentum of traffic, but being consistent can bring you tons of traffic if you keep it up. Once your blog grows, paying someone to keep up the momentum for you is worth it.

Make your blog posts shareable

Add Pinterest images to your blog posts in case someone decides they want to pin your post. I have in the past visited websites and I want to share them to my Pinterest, but there isn’t a good pinnable image. It will not do well on Pinterest without an attractive pin image. And we want it to do well on Pinterest.

Remember, good images in general because blog posts can be shared on Facebook and Twitter too.

seo, tags, and titles

We can’t forget to include good SEO (search engine optimization), tags, and catchy titles to our tips for more traffic. I have heard good things about the Yoast SEO plugin, but I have yet to try it myself.

This plugin is supposed to help with optimizing every post with the best SEO possible which will rank your blog higher when people are searching for content on the internet.

Since I don’t use this plugin yet, I do still get many visitors directly from search engines, but I do this by including keywords within my titles and tags. I also try to have titles with keywords throughout my blog posts like for different sections or paragraphs using a bigger font (H3 at least).

Include backlinks to other blog posts

Keep your readers on your website by providing links to blog posts that are related to one another. This helps with bounce rate too.

Share your social media accounts

Having your audience follow you on your social media accounts is helpful because it is another way to share posts with them that they might have missed. I love how every social media platform now has a story feature. It is a great feature to use to share helpful information. It can also help build a bigger audience as you get in front of more people there.

Design matters

A website theme is important. It is important to keep it looking up to date, modern, and make sure it is responsive. This means the theme will respond to the type of device the viewer has while viewing your blog.

The last thing you want is someone coming to your website and not being able to read the information they came to read. It can be frustrating as reader. Also, keeping popups to a minimum too makes the visiting a website more enjoyable. Be sure to visit your own website to get an idea of what your audience is seeing and make updates as you go.

Let me know what else I can do to help!

Jenn

8 simple ways to make money from home

When I originally wrote this post, I knew there was a need to start making money from home. Since the pandemic started, the need has grown even greater. I decided I needed to update this post and add ways to make money from home that have worked for me.

The one common mistake I see with new entrepeneurs is trying to do everything all at once. My best advice is focus one project at a time. Grow it and then branch out.

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for using my links and the support!

Here they are! Ideas for making money at home. My goal is to help everyone I can make some extra money online.

sell handmade items

I have sold handmade bows and handmade wood signs in the past. The wood signs were more profitable for me at the time, but if you can make it, you can sell it.

be a virtual assistant

There are many services you can offer as a virtual assistant such as social media management, writing, researching, editing, listing items, etc. This list can go on forever. Whatever you are good, you can turn into a service you can provide as a virtual assistant.

local odd jobs

So this one may not be completely from home depending on the services you offer, but you can pick up work completely online with these services. Here is a short list of ideas:

  • Laundry Services
  • Childcare
  • Dog Walking
  • Snow Shoveling (seasonal)
  • Running Errands
  • Customer Service

The ideas here are endless too! Anything your customers don’t have time for you can do for them for a fee.

affiliate marketing

The great thing about affliate marketing is you don’t have to create a good product, you just have to promote one. Potential customers click on your link, make a purchase, and you get a percentage!

Affliate marketing programs I am a part of with easy acceptance:

resell used items

Anyone can do this because everyone has items in their home that they do not use anymore. I have had the most success on Facebook Marketplace and Mecari. PoshMark is another used item marketplace to try.

referral links

Most websites and products I use and love include a referral link. If I really like something, I always look for a referral link to share. Usually you can receive credits for products you are going to purchase either way, but some of them payout cash too! Most of these also give out a credit to your friends that use your referral link.

Here are some I personally use or have used in the past:

start a blog

Starting a blog is so easy and it is a simple way to share your services, businesses, referrals, and affliate links. You can also make an income from ads and sponsored blog posts. Needless to say it is a great source of income that can be done completely from home on your spare time.

social media marketing

This one is as simple as starting an instagram page and creating niche specific content. Instagram gives you one space for one link in your bio. I find one link works best for a call to action. After 10k followers, you get swipe ups in your stories and you can direct traffic this way too!

Have any other ideas on making money from home? What has worked for you? Leave me a comment. I would love some feedback.

Jenn

other blog posts you will love!!

NEW YEAR & THE RIGHT MINDSET FOR 2019

Mindset is pretty important for the success of your blog or online business.

Here is what I am focusing on in 2019.

Tell me know what your goals are for 2019 in the comments.

Believe In Myself & My Abilities

It is so important to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else out there is going to either. Believing in your abilities and having the mindset that if you work hard at something you will always be successful is an important trait to have as an entrepreneur.

Without believing that you will absolutely, without a doubt crush ALL of your goals, it can be really difficult to go after something like blogging. As a new blogger you don’t really see the benefits of blogging at first. But, I can almost guarantee when blogging is done the right way, the hard work WILL pay off. You just have to believe that.

Positive Thinking

It is so easy to always see the negative in everything and it is definitely okay to have those days. We all do from time to time, but don’t make it a habit.

Try to see the positive in everything. Always see what you do have rather than what you don’t. This mindset will help throughout life and blogging.

Make Quiet Time A Priority To Think & Be Creative

Recently, I have started taking time for myself to think mostly about my blog and business. It has really helped give me clarity on the direction I need to go in order to continue growing.

For me, as a mom, I make time early in the morning or at bedtime because these are the quietest times in my home. Figure out when the best time is for you. Even if it is 15 minutes of quiet time to let your mind think clearly, believe me this is a goal you want to have for 2019.

I have noticed that I have been so much more organized with my content and I have been more motivated and focused on the end goal of making this my full time job.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone A Bit More

It can be really simple to fall into a routine with blogging, but if you want this to eventually turn into a business then stepping out of your comfort zone is so important.

For me, it is connecting with my audience in a more personal way. I am also not so good at being in front of the camera. I am definitely a writer by nature, but sometimes it is difficult to get in depth on topics without video.

I have been preparing myself to get in front of the camera a whole lot more this year. Especially on my Instagram because with the stories feature a lot has changed. I honestly don’t really go through my feed as much anymore, I do watch a lot more of the stories for the people I am following. So if I do that as a consumer, I know a lot of other people on Instagram do that too.

These are pretty much the mindset changes I am making so that 2019 is a successful year for my blog and my business.

I also wanted to share with you that I have started accepting clients this month for blog coaching sessions.

What I can do is take a look at your blog and social media, ask you a few questions, and together we can come up with a strategy for your blog to help it grow and become exactly what you want it to become.

Prices starting as low as $25. If you are serious about turning your blog into a full time business, message me on Instagram or email me at jenslifeandstyle@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!

-Jenn