Gaining Followers: Giveaways and Pinterest

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Gaining followers: Giveaways and Pinterest tips | ashandcrafts.com

Hello everyone! I hope you had a nice weekend. Today I am continuing my Starting A Blog series. Please click here to read the first post on this series: How to Start a Blog

Today’s topic will be on social media. This is an area I am still working on,  but I have made some progress.

At the beginning, I probably had less than 20 followers on each social media account except for Instagram. I had a hard time because I have shied away from personal social media accounts for the last several years. I didn’t have a personal Facebook account and I didn’t know how to use Twitter or Instagram. The only thing I had was my personal Pinterest account. However, I didn’t want the blog connected to any of my personal accounts even if I had one. I didn’t want to feel like I was trying to spam my friends with my new blogs, even though no one would ever see it that way. I just wanted to see if I could gain followers beyond my scope of friends. After my short experiment in gaining followers, I’ve gone from less than 20 followers to at least 500+ on each in less than a month. Not a huge jump, but it was a huge difference for someone getting less than one new follower a week!

Giveaways

The first thing I did that really set things in motion was to join a giveaway. However, because I am so indecisive, I ended up joining two giveaways. One was for a $180 gift card and the other was for $800 cash. I contributed $20 for the $180 gift card and $41 for the $800 cash. From the posts on my site, the $180 giveaway actually had more comments. I guess it really depends on how well the other bloggers and the organizer promotes the giveaway. Upon writing this, I just realized I also joined in a third giveaway that I completely forgot about and it starts today! (Note to self: create a blog planner). This third giveaway is for a $300 gift card, and I contributed $6. If you’d like to enter, please click here!

For the duration of the giveaway, I was getting followers on all types of social media sites and my blog. I was even getting followers on BlogLovin’ and Youtube, which is very rare for me. However, I did have a moment of regret in joining the giveaways because I felt like most people were only following for the giveaways and would likely unfollow after they ended. I was gaining followers who weren’t actually interested in my blog, and likely only stopped by to subscribe without even reading a post. I’ve even seen some people who have specific “giveaway accounts” that they use to follow instead of following on their personal account. However, the $180 giveaway has recently ended and I have not noticed a sudden drop in my followers or likes. I stopped gaining followers at the same speed, but it seemed like most people who were following me on social media did not unfollow. I’d like to think that out of all the new followers, some will become active visitors. So for now, I have mixed feelings about giveaways. I want to love giveaways and I think it is a fun way to give something back to my readers, but I’m not sure about the type of followers I’m actually gaining.

Pinterest

While doing my blogging research, I’ve seen so many people talk about how Pinterest was their top referrer. I knew I had to start gaining some traction on Pinterest, so I started pinning like a mad woman! I soon had over 1,000 pins! I felt like I was pinning a ton of great pins, and I would always pin my own post when I published it. However, I barely had any followers so no one was seeing my 1,000 pins or my personal page pins. What were the chances that any of my 20 Pinterest followers would see my one personal page pin out of the millions of pins? And then they would have to like it themselves and repin for it to start spreading. Once, I was so happy to see that one of my pins had the number “2” next to the repin icon. Someone finally repinned my pin?! Nope…I forgot that I just repinned that pin to another board of mine. πŸ™ I definitely need some help with Pinterest (and I still do!).

Seeing the Data

First, I learned how to see all the pins from your website.
You need to go to https://www.pinterest.com/source/YOURSITEHERE/In my case, it is: https://www.pinterest.com/source/ashandcrafts.com/

Gaining followers: Giveaways and Pinterest tips | ashandcrafts.com Gaining followers: Giveaways and Pinterest tips | ashandcrafts.com
If you look at that page, you’ll see the first mistake I was making. I was not entering in the title and alt text of the images! So there are a bunch of pins with the title/comment “Step 11”. That certainly wouldn’t be very intriguing to other Pinteresters! Oops! So now I’ve learned to do this right after uploading your photos. You need to go to “Edit” and make sure you insert something for the image title and alt text. Usually, the alt text is what shows up when you hover over an image. In this case, it is also used by Pinterest to auto-fill in the title/comment area of a pin! You definitely don’t want it to say “Step 2” or “IMG_0032”. I have been writing a short description and including my site. For example, I might write “How to Start a Blog | ashandcrafts.com”. I also suggest doing this for all the images on your post, not just the header image because you never know which image people prefer to pin.

Analytics

Gaining followers: giveaways and Pinterest | Ashandcrafts.com

The next step I did was convert my Pinterest into a business account by going here: https://business.pinterest.com
You can either join as a business or just convert the Pinterest you already have into a business one. This will give you access to analytics! Once you have done that, go to your profile page and click on the settings button, you’ll find the Analytics option there. You’ll be able to see how many impressions your page and pins are getting and the engagement of your audience. You’ll also be able to create a widget to show your Pinterest page on your site, and place a Pin It button on your site. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to pin your page.

Also, see how there is a check mark next to my website in the header image of my profile? That means that I have verified my website with Pinterest. If you haven’t done that, please go here for the instructions: Verify Your Site.

Pin Scheduling

While I gained some followers because of the giveaways, I also did some other things to contribute to the gain in followers and repins. First, I tried out a bunch of sites that schedule your pins for you. The idea behind pin scheduling is that instead of having bursts of pins showing up whenever you have time to pin, you build up a queue of pins and the service will pin your pins throughout the day, so your pins keep showing up on people’s feed throughout the day instead of all at once. When I have free time, I love to go through DIY/crafts, weddings, and food boards to add to my queue. I’ve noticed that this has helped me gain followers slowly because my pins are showing up more often now. After trying demos at sites like ViralTag, ViralWoot, and looking at the pricing of other sites, I ended up purchasing a yearly plan with Tailwind, mainly because of the price and unlimited pins. Some sites like Viraltag have a free account option, but I did not like being so limited in monthly scheduled pins.

Pros of Tailwind:

  • If you pay annually, you get unlimited scheduled pins for $10/month.
  • You can also add to your queue from the Pinterest app by sending the pin to a specified email address they give you.
  • They also have a browser extension so you can easily add to your queue while surfing the web.

Cons of Tailwind:

  • They don’t make it very easy to schedule multiple pins at one time. You have to create multiple slots for that time period instead.
  • When you add to your queue by emailing the pins, you’ll have to go to the site later to designate the board you want it pinned it. This isn’t a problem, but the pins are staggered and not lined up neatly, so it is not that easy to see which pins are missing a board.

Group Boards

Another great way of getting repins is by posting to group boards! At first, I didn’t really know how to find group boards to join. Then I found out about PinGroupie so I went to their site and tried to find all the large craft group boards. Many of them didn’t include a way of entering, so I assume they are not taking new board members at the moment. However, I did find a few boards to join. So far, the most active one I have found is Share Your Craft. It’s a great board to find some inspiration as well as share your own pins! It is the board I get the most repins from. If you know if any active group boards, please share them with me! If you have your own group board, please send me an invite! I’m at http://www.pinterest.com/ashandcrafts . I wish Pinterest made it easier to find and join group boards!

Here are some other group boards I am in:

Blogger Buddies Share
Pin Worth Posts
Favourite Blogging Tips
How To
The Blogging Elite
All Things Printable
Unlimited Life Hacks, Crafts, DIY, and Family Health Issues
Creative Crafts & DIY Projects

That’s all I have for today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and had a good laugh at my mistakes! πŸ˜€ My upcoming posts will be on Facebook, G+ and Instagram! Please check back soon!

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21 Comments on Gaining Followers: Giveaways and Pinterest

    • Ash
      April 14, 2015 at 7:58 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope I did not overwhelm you!

      Reply
  1. Tameka
    April 14, 2015 at 9:22 pm (3 years ago)

    Blogging is definitely a learning process. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

    Reply
    • Ash
      April 15, 2015 at 11:40 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Tameka!

      Reply
    • Ash
      April 15, 2015 at 11:42 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much Sue! I’m here if you ever need any help!

      Reply
    • Ash
      April 15, 2015 at 11:42 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks so much! Good luck on your new site! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Alpana (Alpsnailart)
    April 15, 2015 at 6:21 am (3 years ago)

    Interesting post. I liked the information you shared. I too came across your blog through one of the giveaways and then got hooked to it because i loved your work. No doubt we get good number of followers through giveaways, but i always wonder how many of them stay back after its over?!

    Reply
    • Ash
      April 15, 2015 at 11:43 am (3 years ago)

      Oh wow, that’s so cool to find out that you found my blog through a giveaway! And because you left a comment on my blog, that’s how I found your awesome blog!

      Reply
    • Ash
      April 15, 2015 at 11:44 am (3 years ago)

      Hi Sarah! That’s great! We can grow our blogs together! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. Christine Kiehl
    April 15, 2015 at 12:41 pm (3 years ago)

    Thank you for the update!

    Reply
    • Ash
      April 15, 2015 at 1:09 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Christine!

      Reply
  4. Nicole
    April 17, 2015 at 6:30 am (3 years ago)

    Okay, there is so much useful information here that I actually have to pin this article! I don’t know if the internet will explode because I pinned an article about pinning but whatever…I’m doing it! LOL. As a new blogger I really appreciate these posts you are sharing. Thanks!
    Nicole recently posted…The Evolution Of A Skill: Learning To Sew With PatternsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Ash
      April 17, 2015 at 2:39 pm (3 years ago)

      LOL Nicole! Thanks so much!

      Reply
  5. Gentle Joy
    April 17, 2015 at 7:59 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you for the information… there is so much to be learned and I appreciate people like you making it just a bit easier. πŸ™‚
    Gentle Joy recently posted…Cabinet Makeover…….My Profile

    Reply
    • Ash
      April 17, 2015 at 2:46 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much!

      Reply
  6. Sharlee
    April 17, 2015 at 9:00 am (3 years ago)

    I can relate, gaining genuine follows is hard and tricky. Joining a Linky Party is another great idea! Thanks for joining the Home Matters Linky party! We hope to see you next week!
    Sharlee recently posted…My Thoughts on “Cheat Meals”My Profile

    Reply
    • Ash
      April 17, 2015 at 2:46 pm (3 years ago)

      I totally agree! I did another post just on link parties alone! Thanks so much for stopping by, Sharlee!

      Reply

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