• How to Organize Your Boards on Pinterest

      How to Organize Pinterest Boards

      You may be thinking, Melissa, there’s a way you should organize your Pinterest boards? Yes! When pinners visit your account, you want to show off your work. If you don’t manage your boards in a way that highlights your content, you’re missing out on opportunities for people to connect with you and your content.

      If you haven’t played around with your board settings, you’ll need to watch the video below. In this quick video, I show you how to change the settings so you can strategically manipulate your boards.

      One more thing before we get started, I want to be sure we are clear on some terms. Above the fold is what you can see on a website without scrolling, and below the fold is what you cannot see without scrolling.

       

      Put your most popular boards Above the Fold

      When you have a business account, Pinterest will tell you which of your boards are your audience’s favorites. You will want to move these boards to the top because this is the content that your audience finds the most relevant. Pinterest’s analytics give you tons of information about your content to help you create what your audience wants. Read UNDERSTANDING PINTEREST’S ANALYTICS to learn more.

       

      Put board with pins from your website Above the Fold

      In my Pinterest Tips and Tutorials, I teach you all about Pinterest’s best practices. One of the things I discuss is the importance of having a few boards dedicated to your content. You want people to see you as an expert in your niche, so you will and should share other pinner’s content that is similar to yours. But, you always want to have a few boards where only your work resides. You want to move those boards to the top fold so that pinners can find all your content easily.

      How to Create a Pinterest Business Account Startup Guide

       

      Make Seasonal Content the First Boards

      Most content creators have seasonal content. It is best to have a few boards that hold those pins, and they should be some of the first boards on your account during the appropriate season. But as seasons change, you should move the irrelevant boards towards the bottom.

      For example, I make a lot of content for the beginning of the school year, so from July to the end of September, those boards are the first few boards that pinners see. When the season is over, I move the boards below the fold and then move my evergreen or relevant seasonal content to the top. You’ll want to do the same.

       

      Move empty boards towards the bottom

      You don’t want pinners to find your account and see empty boards. Whenever you create new boards, don’t leave them at the top of your account if they aren’t full. By full, I mean no gray spaces. I like to move newer boards below the fold and as I fill them up, move them closer to the top of my account.

      There are many components to Pinterest marketing, and one way to show off your content is by organizing your boards. By changing your board settings to drag and drop, you can arrange your boards in a way that represents you and your brand.

      For more information on how to upgrade your business account, check out my Pinterest Tips and Tutorials. I have over 15 videos that will help you make your Pinterest account a traffic-driving machine!

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    • The Benefits of Using Pinterest’s Story Pins

        Benefits of Using Pinterest's Story Pins

        Are you using Pinterest’s Story Pins?  They are similar to the stories feature you’ll find on social media platforms. These pins have helped me grow my Pinterest account tremendously over the past few months, driving more traffic to my website.

        Currently, they are only available to people who have a Pinterest Business account.

        If you don’t have access to Story Pins, you’ll find a link to request the feature at the end of the post.

        They Help Boost Your Engagement

        A few months ago, I neglected my Pinterest account, and my engagement dropped significantly. For over 30 days, I uploaded Story Pins almost daily. And my engagement exploded. These pins were liked, shared, and commented on, instantly boosting my engagement!

        They Help You Build an Audience

        What I like about Pinterest’s Story Pins is they give your audience a way to see who you are. Standard and video pins don’t allow pinners to get to know the person behind the pin. With Story Pins, you can show your personality with behind-the-scenes footage, tips, and ideas! Story Pins are a great way to inspire your audience and build your online community.

        How to Create a Pinterest Business Account Startup Guide

        They Don’t Expire

        On Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat (do people still use that?), stories expire after 24 hours they’re posted. On Pinterest, they get pinned to a board, and they last forever. If you optimize your Story Pins (which you should), people can find your Story Pins long after publishing them. They are kind of like Instagram’s Highlights, except people can search for them.

        If you have a Pinterest Business account and aren’t utilizing Story Pins, you are missing out! They are a great way to increase your engagement and connect with an audience actively searching for your content.

        Use this link to request Pinterest’s Story Pins if you don’t have the feature just yet. 

        Read BENEFITS OF A PINTEREST BUSINESS ACCOUNT to learn why all business owners and content creators should have a Pinterest business account.

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      • 3 Reasons Why Teachers Pay Teachers Sellers Need A Website

          Three Reasons Why Teachers Pay Teachers Sellers Need A Website

          Playing around in the teacher influencer world, I’ve learned that a popular teacher side hustle is selling products on Teachers Pay Teachers. TPT was created so that educators have a place to share resources that they’ve created. I’m sure when Teachers Pay Teachers became a host for educational content, it wasn’t as easy as it is now to create an online shop. Now, creating a website with an online shop is a relatively simple process. You can make a simple website in just a few days.

          Once you start selling your products on your website, you control how much money you make, you can optimize your content so people can find you, and you can build a community that loves your products.

          You’ll Make More Money

          So you became a TPT seller to make some extra cash. But TPT takes a lot of your money… a lot. With a website, you don’t have to mark up your products to see a profit. As a basic seller, Teachers Pay Teachers only lets you keep 55% of your sales, and if you PAY to be a premium seller, you get to keep 80%.

          Teachers Pay Teachers Seller Fees
          TPT Seller Fees & Payout Rates as of February 19, 2021.

          Y’all! If I spent my time creating products, there’s no way I would want to give someone else money for what I’ve done. For the amount of money TPT Premium sellers spend just to earn more money, they can own a website. And if TPT creators don’t have a website, they are probably also paying for landing pages for a link in their bio. All that adds up…to the price of owning a website. Some TPT sellers are spending a lot of money, and they own nothing.

          I use WooCommerce as my shop on my websites, and I use Stripe and PayPal for my payment methods. To use Stripe & PayPal, there is a 2.9% base rate +.30 transaction fee. So for a $12 product, I get $11.35 deposited in my bank account.

          Free Weekly Website Checklist

          You Can Grow Your Audience Organically

          Search engine optimization (SEO) is when you make your content searchable for your audience. SEO is how people can find you organically. Using SEO strategies, you’ll have people searching for you! This is where you will have the advantage over those selling solely on TPT. If someone is searching for main idea activities, if you optimize your content, it is possible that you can show up in Google as a search result.

          From what I’ve seen, it takes a while to build your business on Teachers Pay Teachers, and many sellers promote their products on social media. The thing with social media is, most people aren’t searching for solutions when they are on Instagram. They are just scrolling. So your ideal customer may or may not see your post about your new product.

          When you have a website, your audience can find your products through a simple search on Google or Pinterest if you use SEO.

          You’ll Own Your Customer List

          When you buy products from sellers on TPT, they don’t share the seller’s contact information or social media handles. They share a link for you to follow them on TPT, but that is it. Teachers Pay Teachers does not make it easy to connect with the sellers off of their platform. And those followers, aren’t yours, they belong to TPT.

          But, if you sell your products on your website, you’re able to connect with your customers in various ways. If you have an email list (which you should), you’re able to talk to your audience directly. You can send them emails that show your personality, you can share some behind-the-scenes action, and you can let them know about your latest product/freebie.

          Customers who have previously bought your products are the best people to reach out to when you’ve created more. They are your hottest leads! When you own a website and email list, you’re able to communicate with them more efficiently, which leads to more sales.

          I’m not saying that teachers shouldn’t use Teachers Pay Teachers. I don’t believe that TPT should be the only place where they are selling your products. Selling digital products can be profitable, but you have to use platforms that will help you make money, not take from you. Owning a website is one way to have more control over your business.

          References

          “Seller Fees and Payout Rates.” Teachers Pay Teachers, 2021, help.teacherspayteachers.com/hc/en-us/articles/360044219891-Seller-Fees-and-Payout-Rates.

           

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        • 8 Tools Content Creators Need

            8 Tools Content Creators Need

            If you’re jumping into the content creation world, there are six tools that all content creators need. These are the absolute basics you’ll need to get started. 

            Before I show you the tools you need, I want you to know that this post contains affiliate links. Using them throws a little change in my pocket, at no cost to you!

            A Website

            Can some content creators flourish without a website? Yes, but if you’re starting or looking for a way to connect with your community outside of social media, you need a website. Your website is a great way to show your audience and future collaborators what you can do. 

            Legit businesses that want to work with you will want to learn more about you before hopping in your DMs. And let’s be real, most social media bios are limiting. On your website, they’ll have an opportunity to read more about you on your about me page and view more of your content. 

            I use Siteground to host both of my websites. I highly recommend that you research the host that will fit your needs.

            Although you’ll see Bluehost promoted a lot, it is not the best hosting service. When I used it for my first website, my website was super slow, and I only uploaded blog posts. So yeah…take or leave that little piece of info.

            An Email Marketing Service

            Email marketing is my least favorite thing to do as a content creator. But it is necessary if you’re looking to build an online community. You don’t own your follower list on Instagram, TikTok, or any other social media platform. But, when you create an email list, you own it. If your IG account gets hacked, you can still reach your community. With an email list, you always have a way to connect with your most engaged audience.

            Currently, I use ConvertKit for www.melissanikohl.com, and I’m trying out FloDesk for www.melissanikohlpins.com. So far, I like FloDesk, but ConvertKit integrates with WordPress much more effortless. In the future, I’ll make a blog post comparing the two services. 

            A Graphic Design Program

            You’ll need a program to help you make graphics and videos for your content. I use Canva for blog images, Pinterest images, slideshows for workshops, and videos. I literally use Canva daily. Check out 3 REASONS WHY I USE CANVA FOR MY PINTEREST PINS to see how easy it is to use.

            There is a paid version, but you can use Canva for free. I know people use other programs, but it works wonders for me. 

            A Pinterest Business Account

            Pinterest is where all content creators should be sharing their content! A business account will give you early access to new features and analytics that will help you build your audience. When Pinterest released story pins, they released them to Pinterest Business Account users first. Read, BENEFITS OF A PINTEREST BUSINESS ACCOUNT to learn how it can help your business.

             

            A good camera

            I have a camera that I’m still learning how to use. In the meantime, I use my S20 to take pictures for the majority of my content. I highly recommend investing in a camera or a phone to help you make videos and take pictures. 

            Lighting

            At some point, as a content creator, you will need lighting. Lighting will help take your content to the next level. I own two ring lights. I use the Neewer Ring Light when I’m making videos and need lighting for photos.  The Neewer Ring Light is cheaper than the name brand version, but it gives off enough light to help you make quality videos and take dope pictures.

            My smaller light goes where I go, my 8″ Selfie Ring Light has traveled with me to Cuba. It is great for Zoom meetings and provides great lighting for IG Lives.

            A Digital Writing Assistant Tool

            I use Grammarly for my Instagram captions, blog post, and YouTube descriptions. Basically, for everything. 

            I’m a decent writer, but I still make plenty of mistakes. Grammarly helps me clean up my writing and makes it almost perfect. 

            A Planner

            Lastly, you need a planner to schedule and plan content. These blank planners by JSTORY are affordable and easy to use. I love that they don’t have months or dates so you can buy them at any time of year.

            Becoming a content creator can be pricey but, these tools are the absolute basics you need to create content that people want.

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          • Why Website Owners Should Not Use Linktree

              Why Website Owners Should Not Use Linktree

              Website owners should not use Linktree or any other landing page service. As a website owner, one of your goals is to drive as much traffic to your website as you can. Using your website as a link in bio is an easy way help your audience find you off of social media.

              Everything you can do with Linktree, you can do better with your website. Check out my IG Live where I discuss why it is important for website owners to use their own website as their link in bio.

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            • Why Content Creators Should Create Evergreen Content

                Why Content Creators Should Create Evergreen Content

                Most content creators need evergreen content. If you know your audiences’ wants and needs, this fresh content can quickly become your brand’s backbone. Using evergreen content as part of your marketing strategy will make your content searchable all year, help you build an online community, and help you climb up search result rankings. 

                If you’re not sure what evergreen  means, you’ll want to read, WHAT IS EVERGREEN CONTENT? first.

                It will keep you relevant all year round

                Since you’re creating timeless content that people are always searching for, people will come to your website looking for it anytime. You want to have several pieces of evergreen content on your website to keep traffic flowing year-round. When I started blogging, I thought I was aligned with my audience, but it turned out I wasn’t.

                After several months of blogging, I analyzed my analytics to see if I had any traffic search patterns. I found out I was unintentionally making a lot of seasonal content. On www.melissanikohl.com, I share tips for teachers, content that I thought was evergreen. It turns out most teachers are only looking for advice at the beginning of the school year, which makes many of my blog posts seasonal.  

                I didn’t do it on purpose. So, I had to figure out a way to create content that would drive traffic to my website all year. This was when I started creating booklists. Many of my booklists are evergreen, and they draw traffic to my website throughout the year. 

                Take a look at your analytics. Are you unknowingly providing your audience with only seasonal content? What can you create that will draw traffic to your website all year round. 

                It Can Help You Build Your audience

                Since your evergreen content is probably answering commonly asked questions, your content will help visitors learn a skill or help them solve a problem. When they learn something of high value, and they like you, they’ll keep coming back. They will want to connect with you.

                People who like you and find your content useful and relevant are more likely to invest in your business and refer you to their family and friends!

                It Helps Your SEO

                If you’ve researched your audience, then you know their needs and wants. Your evergreen content will help you solve their problems, answer their questions, and give advice on what to do next. 

                When you make content around highly searched topics in your niche, you are optimizing your content for search engines, and as more people find your website relevant, you will climb search results rankings.

                Evergreen content is extremely valuable for content creators. It is a great way to establish yourself as a leader in your niche. It is what can set you apart from other content creators within your niche. 

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