This is something I struggle with. I often forget to pin things to Pinterest, even when it’s in my interests to do so.
It’s often said that pinning items on Pinterest attracts more viewers, readers, or customers. It’s also said that pinned articles have a longer shelf life than those that don’t. I haven’t noticed if either of these are true or not.
However, I don’t yet pin consistently. In a time of making changes to what I do and how I do it when it comes to this blog, this is one more thing I’m changing.
Every time I publish a post, I will pin it. Maybe after a while, I will be able to look at my stats and see a difference.
Riddle me this: Do you use Pinterest for your business/blog/writing? Have you noticed a difference when you do vs when you don’t?
I thought I would share a little peek behind the scenes and talk about how I choose pictures for blog posts.
First, I start with the topic of the blog post. If it’s a general post, I might just use a picture of me. If it’s about something specific, like this one, I know I need one that’s more relevant.
Second, I will look at the images I already have uploaded to my blog. Sometimes I can reuse one of them. I’ve done that several times. If I don’t find a usable one, I will look in the photo library of pictures I have taken.
If I don’t find a photo I want to use from my files, I have two more options. I can either take a photo or use one from the WordPress library.
It’s easy to get caught up in the image search and spend too much time on it. I’ve actually opted to publish a post without an image if I can’t find one and am short on time. I try not to do that very often, though.
Third, when I have the image in place, I finish the post. I will give it a once-over, set the category and tags, and publish or schedule the post.
That’s a little bit about how I do it things. What about you? Do you always include photos with your blog posts?
One of the things I have been wanting to do here is to have some guest posts. To that end, I have some coming up pretty soon. I only have a few currently planned, but if you want to share a post with us, here’s how you can do that:
If you’re interested in writing a guest post for my blog, I’d love to have you. You can check out my site and decide from there. It’s at www.jennippsonline.com.
My focus is on creativity, regardless of what form that may take, whether writing, cooking, painting, or something else. I love hearing about projects people are working on, how they discovered their creativity, and/or their creative process.
Posts should be around 500-800 words.
Have at least one image.
Include a short bio.
Provide a link to your blog/website/social media platforms. (If you just have one of these, that’s fine.)
Provide a head shot you would like to go with your post (optional).
Promote your post anywhere you wish.
Check in from time-to-time on the day your post goes live to respond to comments.
What I’ll do:
Schedule your post for a future date.
Inform you of the projected date.
Remind you on the day it goes live.
Promote your post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
If you decide this is something you would like to do, you can send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Guest Post” in the subject line.
Let’s revisit the poll I posted a few days ago. I asked if boredom was necessary for creatives. I didn’t get a lot of response, but that’s OK. I got a couple comments — here and on other social media platforms — that helped me formulate what I want to say.
On my Facebook page, Terri M. said:
I’m not a writer or whatever, BUT I have come up with some of my greatest garden or craft ideas while sitting here doing nothing
On the poll post, Janet said:
I think a quiet mind is needful to be creative with words. A frantic life seldom produces much. I don’t call it boredom though. Just quiet.
That is, in a nutshell, where I stand. Or sit.
As for the poll, it is still open, but results so far are evenly split between yes and no about boredom being necessary for creatives.
I have never liked being bored. It’s just not me, if that makes sense. I have always, as long as I can remember, had something with me to ensure I am never bored. That may be a pen and paper (even scrap paper in the bottom of my purse or other bag), a book to read, a sketchbook, or something to knit or crochet. I have a cousin who has commented that she has never seen me when I don’t have something to do.
That is intentional.
That is not to say I don’t have quiet time or downtime. I do. I just structure it differently. My quiet time comes in the short meditations I have started doing. It comes in the times when I am knitting or crocheting and the pattern doesn’t require a lot of attention. It comes in doodling in a sketchbook or writing practice/Morning Pages (refer to The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron if this is a new concept to you – I highly recommend that book/study).
Everyone is different. Don’t let anyone tell you that the way you do something or what you call something is wrong. It might be different, but it’s not wrong. Especially if it works for you.
What I call downtime or quiet time may indeed be boredom to someone else. Whatever you call it, it boils down to this: We need to give ourselves time for ideas to form and incubate so we can continue our creative work. Whatever name you give to that incubation time doesn’t really matter. It’s what you do with the results of it that count.
Yesterday, a friend contacted me on Facebook Messenger with a question.
My daughter is interested in trying to publish a book she’s working on. Short stories and poems. She asked if i knew anyone that did that and of course you popped in my head. If it’s not too personal, can you tell me if you make money doing that? And what the process to do so is?
The thing of it is, there’s no simple answer.
Can you make money writing? Yes and no, because it depends on what you want to write and how much you market yourself. As a preliminary, I told her this:
The short answer is that some types of writing can and do make money. I haven’t made much because marketing intimidates the hell out of me. Even the big names have to do self-promotion. As for how to do it, take a look at CreateSpace.com. They’re pretty easy to use. The way I do it with their self-guided process doesn’t cost anything unless I order books.
Yes, I know marketing shouldn’t intimidate me. That’s really not the point here. (Plus I’m working on that and getting better at it.)
One of the biggest things to remember is that writing is just the beginning of the work. How many revisions and edits you go through will vary from project to project. And then there’s the whole publishing process.
Now, like I said in my original answer to my friend, most of my stuff is published using CreateSpace, so I follow the process laid out in their self-guided system. I don’t talk to anyone in customer support, so it doesn’t cost me anything until I order books.
I almost said the work of marketing/self-promotion starts then, but, really, you need to be doing that all along. Be talking about it on your social media platform(s). I mainly use Twitter and Facebook, but I do occasionally post writing-related stuff, especially when I have a new book out, on LinkedIn. The more you talk about it, the more interest you generate, which will (hopefully) translate into sales down the road.
Take a lesson from me: Don’t be shy about marketing and self-promotion. Most of the big names even have to promote themselves. Except maybe Stephen King.
The funny thing (to me) about the timing of this question is that I’ve been thinking about that. Making money writing.
A few years ago, I taught a class through the community education program at the local college. The name of it? “Make Money Writing.” In it, I talked mostly about writing for magazines, the query process, researching articles, finding other resources, etc. I’ve been thinking about moving that online, either as a video course or an email series.
Let me know if there’s any interest in that and which format would be best.
I promised my friend a list of resources. I’ve been thinking about how to narrow that down because I have enough that I could probably fill a book with just links. I’ve decided to just list the top 5. Links will open in a new window. If you have a pop-up blocker, hold the Ctrl key down when you click it so it will open.
Note: The other day, I was going through some files and found a few articles that had been assigned to me by a website but were never published. This is one of those.
Success as a freelancer, whether writing, graphic design, etc., depends on self-promotion. Many of us were taught as children that it is considered impolite to brag about ourselves. However, that is exactly what we need to do as freelancers.
Here are five ways to promote yourself as a freelancer:
Develop (and maintain) a web site. An outdated website does you no favors. Take the time to keep your site updated. Include a list of projects you completed in the past, with links when possible. You might think no one looks at your site, but it is a valuable tool you can use to let prospective clients know what you can do and see examples of your work.
A web site is basically static. A blog is regularly updated. Ideally, keep your blog relevant to the work you do. Prospective clients use search engines, such as Google, to search for people who work in the field. Their search could lead to your blog. Keeping it updated regularly, at least twice a week, and talking about your freelance work can push your blog higher up in the search engine rankings. The higher your ranking is, the more likely it is someone will find, and ultimately hire, you. There is a caveat here: Never complain about clients on your blog. They will find out and word will get around. Keep it friendly yet professional.
Create an e-mail signature. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you have a computer and an e-mail address. Even free e-mail addresses allow you to have a signature file. Include your name, preferably both first and last, a title, and a link to somewhere people can see samples of your work, whether a web site or a blog. Put it at the bottom of every e-mail you send.
Network online and in person. If you work primarily with local businesses, join local civic organizations and consider joining the Chamber of Commerce. Go to meetings and Chamber events to network. Take business cards with you and hand them out. Remind people of what you do. Even if you work with local businesses, network online as well. Web sites such as Twitter provide opportunities to network with other professionals in your field, learning opportunities (there are numerous chats on Twitter, for example), and interaction with potential clients.
Invest in business cards and brochures. Even in the Internet age, every freelancer needs business cards for self-promotion. Brochures might be able to be replaced by web sites, but only if they’re current. Sites such as VistaPrint offer free business cards if you pay shipping. Business cards are necessary to have on hand for civic organization meetings, Chamber of Commerce events, and professional conferences. Include your name, title, web site address, and best way to contact you on the cards.
There are more ways to promote yourself as a freelancer. Word-of-mouth also works well. The above are five of the most effective methods of self-promotion and can bring you success if you use them and follow up on any leads and assignments you receive.