Pinning Like a Pro

By: Kelly Beall  Photo by: Justin Hackworth

Keeping up with Pinterest can actually be a very valuable tool in growing your blog's audience. Think about it, the internet can be one gigantic wormhole! I can't even give you a number for how many times a pin has led me to a wonderful new site. Here are a few tips on making the most of your Pinterest presence.

1. Get Set Up (Correctly). 

Use the name of your blog or brand as your account name. Thoughtfully fill out your profile, don't rush through. Prep your site for pinning directly from it with a widget or the equivalent your platform uses.

2. Send Traffic (Both Ways). 

Make sure images on your site are pin-able as well as sized reasonably (I like 500-600 px wide.) Share the content from your site on Pinterest, I keep mine to one designated board.

3. Follow Etiquette. 

Keep your comments positive kind, if you wouldn't say them to someone's face keep them to yourself. Don't infringe on copyrights and make sure to credit original sources. Keep self-promotion reasonable.

4. Do Your Research. 

Keep track of recent activity on your account (repins and likes). Pay attention to other pinots/boards/brands similar to yours. Check your analytics for Pinterest traffic. 

Hot Tips:

• It's a free focus group! Test out things you would like to share on your blog and gauge reaction.

• Feel free to branch out from your usual blog topics with varied pins.

• Use the secret board to bookmark things for future blog posts.

For more great tips, be sure to check out Kelly's class in October, Expanding Your Audience

Finding YOUR Optimal Skill Set

By: Sara Urquhart Photo by: Justin Hackworth

I firmly believe that we’re most successful when we’re doing the things that make us feel alive, the things that naturally bring us joy. What’s something you’ve always loved since you were young? What are the things you enjoyed most when you were in high school? Often we’re led to believe we’ll be successful in careers that require training outside our natural gifts, and neglect our innate ability to throw together a perfect flower arrangement or lay out a beautiful page of text with ease and grace.

I was recently at a location in my hometown where I planned a regional dance as a high school student. I remembered how I’d advertised for the dance, arranged for parking and restrooms, planned for food on a one level of the venue, and the location of the DJ on another level. As I recalled the details I’d considered, my husband and I laughed to realize I’m now doing the very same thing. Alt is on a different level and for a different audience, but the spirit of the work is the same. Planning events is something that’s always come naturally to me, and something I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed. Using those skills has allowed me to develop a career and community I love.

Remember that just because something comes easily to you doesn’t mean everyone can do it. If a skill is especially easy for you, and you shine doing it, that could be an indication that it’s something you need to pursue and develop. When you can put your finger on the thing that is your unique gift, own it and protect it. Develop working relationships and a business environment that support your personal strengths. Be true to the genius that makes your work yours.

How To Capture A Connection

By: Jennifer Little

1. Love

We all love our children, but capturing the emotion of love is not always easy. It’s easy to keep the camera away from the calm moments throughout the day to avoid disruption. Turn off the flash, prepare your exposure properly, and grab one sweet shot.

2. Laughter

I love capturing a true laugh between family members. I seek genuine moments where real connections burst through the photo. Wait for a humorous moment rather than forcing a laugh.

3. Connection

Connections are not always between people. Often times your children will zone in on desires such as ice cream or a special toy. In these moments, you can photograph specific expressions that explain just what they’re thinking.

4. Tenderness

Capture these sweet, soft moments by following your subject through the lens. When the tender moment presents itself, grab the shot.

5. Comfort

Moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas all provide comfort throughout the day. A hug goes a long way and means so much. These moments are truly sweetest when the child initiates the hug. Make sure to have your camera handy and take advantage of the moment.

6. Favorite Activity

Reading, writing and playing all generate special feelings and expressions. Don’t ignore these quiet times. Sneak around the corner and grab that one shot before you distract your child.

7. Care

Sometimes we try so hard to satisfy and comfort our babies, and nothing seems to satisfy them. We feel their frustration and pain. Sometimes a warm cuddle and a captured moment is the sweetest.

8. Drama

All of our children have their moments that require our full attention. It might be caused by hurt feelings or even an injury. Whatever the cause, there will be moments when mom or dad can make it all better.

9. Siblings

On most occasions brothers and sisters play well together but often they argue. However, on really special occasions they will show their true love for each other.

10. New Friends

I love capturing a connection between two tiny new friends. They seem to instantly connect, there are no inhibitions, and they almost always find something in common. Even without carrying on a conversation they are able to communicate.

Great Blog Resources Every Blogger Should Know

By: Jenner Brown. Photography: Jenny Batt

There are lots of helpful resources online to help you make better videos for your blog. Here are a few links to get you started:

  • Lynda.com is a great way to brush up on video production skills.