• Sunshine Blogger Award

    Photo Credit: Andrew Partain on Flickr
    Hi hi hi, lovely people! Today’s post should be an interesting one. We’re changing things up a little bit. The bright and bubbly Lo-arna Green nominated me for this award! I haven’t done a tag in a while, and the questions looked great, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Thanks so much for tagging me in this one, Lou!

    The rules are as follows:

    • Answer the eleven questions from the blogger who nominated you.
    • Nominate up to eleven wonderful bloggers and write eleven (possibly fiendish) questions for them to answer.

    That’s it! Without further ado, here are the questions and answers.

    1. Have you ever gotten in to trouble with the law?
    Nah. I’m a little too boring for that nonsense.

    2. Can you wink successfully?
    Oh, yes.

    3. What is your mantra when you feel like throwing in the writing towel?
    Don’t get it right, get it written.

    4. What is something random about you that not many people know?
    I don’t know how to ride a bicycle. I’ve just never learned.

    5. What is the earliest memory you have?
    Sitting in a sandbox in North Carolina, shoveling sand into a baby bottle.

    6. What is your nickname?
    Bri, The Smoll, Mrs. Gatsby.

    7. What food do you love the most?
    Chipotle, probably.

    8. What food do you hate the most?
    Salad. Some vegetarian I am.

    9. Can you give a rundown of your writing process or do you like to change it up?
    My “process” usually involves a whole lot of caffeine and crying. Lately, I’m all about self-doubt. Technically, I think I’m a plotter, though I haven’t quite gotten the hang of it–you know what? Let’s just say I change it up. That’s so much easier.

    10. What is your favourite season?
    Autumn. No contest.

    11. Who is your favourite tv character, past or present and why?
    Rupert Giles from Buffy. He’s smart, handsome, loyal, and fiercely protective. Also, he’s kind of my dream man, okay?

    I’m half-asleep right now and about to go to bed, so I’m not tagging anyone. Feel free to answer these same questions on your own blog if you’d like! And if you do decide to answer them, go ahead and link me to your answers in the comments. 🙂

    Are you going to participate in the Sunshine Blogger tag? How would you answer some of these questions?

    Tweet tweet:

    Have you heard of the Sunshine Blogger Award? See @brianawrites’ answers to @loarnagreen’s questions. (Click to tweet)

  • How to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Blog

    I never used to pay much attention to Pinterest. Sure, I pinned a few things here and there—recipes,  hairstyles, and such—but that was about it. I gave little thought to the network when drafting blog posts and creating images to go along with them.

    Then, I learned a few things about Pinterest that changed my perspective on it:

    • It boasts an impressive 70 million users at publish date
    • In the U.S., 30% of all social media users utilize Pinterest
    • Total users in the United States is expected to reach 47.1 million in 2015
    • 85% of its users are female, with a rapidly growing male population
    • The number of people who see your pins is greater than your number of followers
    • It is the top network referral source for most bloggers, ranking higher than Facebook and Twitter combined

    With these stats in mind, I decided to learn how to promote my blog using Pinterest. Now, it’s become my top source for traffic—yes, it surpasses even Twitter! If you want to replicate my social success, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

    • You need to create pinnable image. You should have at least one image per blog post, created with Pinterest optimization in mind. Choose high-quality photos and text (pins with text get more engagement than those without), and make sure your image is at least 400 pixels wide. Also, remember that vertical images perform better on Pinterest. If you want free tools to help you create images, I recommend Canva (what I use), iPiccy, and Picmonkey.
    • Be active on Pinterest. If you want to get traffic from Pinterest, you need to participate. Make several different boards, including one for your blog or niche. Follow people and spend a set amount of time each week repinning other people’s stuff, as well as your own. You won’t get much out of the network if you don’t engage.
    • Make it easy for people to pin your content. In addition to ensuring each post has a pinnable image, you should include social media links and/or a Pin It button. That way, people can add your stuff to Pinterest without hassle, even if they don’t have the Pinterest bookmarklet.

    Like any other social media network, Pinterest takes some time to get used to. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all this information, focus on spending a few minutes each day learning the network. Once you start using it to promote your blog posts, you won’t believe what a difference it makes. Whatever you do, try not to get addicted!

    Are you on Pinterest? Follow me and I would love to follow back! We can even repin each other’s blog posts. 🙂

    What do you think of Pinterest? How do you promote your blog posts?

    Tweet tweet:

    How do you feel about @Pinterest? @brianawrites explains how you can use it to drive traffic to your blog. (Click to tweet)