Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Five Hop and Five Easy Steps to More Pinnable Posts

Welcome to the Friday Five!  Each week we feature a post with 5 things and we invite you to do the same!  Read on for this week's post from our state rep Ellie, and then link up your Friday Five post below!

Hey everybody! I am Ellie from ellie petrov: GEEK | LIFE | HOME (formerly Creative Geekery) and I am super excited to share some ideas with you today that will make your posts stand out on Pinterest AND at linkup parties. As the creator and co-host of THE Pin It Party I have looked at thousands of posts over the last year and a half, given the task of choosing the three most pinnable posts each week. Let me back up a second and explain what I mean when I say "pinnable." A super pinnable post is something that I want to pin to one of my boards before I have even had a chance to read it! Ok, so how do we create these potential pins? Here are my thoughts:

1. Come up with a great title. Coming up with a catchy title can be tough but it is worth the time and effort. While clear and concise titles are great for SEO (search engine optimization), don't be afraid to have a little fun once in a while. I am much more likely to click on a post called, "THE Printer That Changed My Life" instead of "Canon OfficeJet Review." And even if you do go for a simpler, more SEO-friendly title, don't be afraid to jazz it up when you are sharing it at linkup parties. You can edit the title that will appear at the party so have some fun.

2. You need at least one killer image WITH TEXT. This is probably just my personal preference but I really like to know what the post is about in the image I see on Pinterest. Yes, I can read the description but I my attention span is short. Add some text even if it is just hinting at the content of the post. Also, don't forget to watermark your image. You don't have to do anything fancy. Just add your blog's URL in a cute font. Turn the transparency of the text down a little if you want to be a little fancy. In terms of the image, I take pictures of random things ALL THE TIME with my iPhone just in case I might use it for a post. It might be a cool table top, a painted wall or a great evening sky. It is nice to build up a little stock photo library of your own that you can tap into. Also check out Canva. This site is a gold mine for bloggers! They have templates for all different types of graphics as well as tons of free images. Can't find a great free image? Splurge on one of their many stock photos available for $1 a piece.

3. Make sure your image looks good as a square. If you like to share your posts at linkup parties, this one is HUGE for you. Every linkup party I have ever seen or hosted allows each post to share one thumbnail image. That image is always SQUARE! If you are a lover of all things rectangular, go with your bad self. Just make sure the text is within the square. Cut-off text at a linkup is a huge turn off.

4. Consider a DSLR camera (or a better camera app). If you already own one, consider taking the time to learn how to use it. I think this is true for all bloggers but particularly for you food bloggers out there. I have seen some pins float through my feed that sound magnificent but the picture is a total turn off. If you are looking to really get to know your DSLR camera, check out my Pinterest Photography board chock full of great tips and tutorials. For some amazing tips minus all of the technical jargon, check out this post from food blogger Anyonita! A couple of awesome camera apps that really do a nice job and are worth the couple of bucks: Camera+ and ProCam.

5. Study Pinterest. Really take some time to look at Pinterest and see what catches your eye. I am not saying that you should copy other bloggers but use what you see as inspiration. What kind of fonts appeal to you? What kind of pictures? What pins would you be willing to pin without even reading the posts? What turns you off about certain pins? Make some mental (or actual) notes and keep those handy for creating your own super pinnable posts.

Happy blogging! XO, ellie

p.s. THE Pin It Party goes live every Wednesday night at 10 pm EST! Would love to see you and your pinnable posts there!

And now it's your turn!  Link up your Friday Five post below!

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

October Photography Challenge!

Welcome to our Photography Challenge!  This is a once a month challenge to take a photo that fits into the theme for that month.  This months theme is: FALL.  The link up will remain open the rest of the month so everyone has a chance to show off their photos!

Please make sure to visit other blogs on this hop if you link up and leave a comment on their photo!
Remember to link up directly to the post with your photos fitting the theme!  You can have more than one photo in your post, but please only link up once each month.  Please do not link up to your blogs main page, this link up is for the photography challenge only! 

Be sure to join us for the November challenge next month! Novembers theme is: THANKFUL and will take place starting November 13th.

Do you have a FALL photo to link up for this months theme?  Share below!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blog of the Week: {...a breezy life}

This week's blog of the week is written by one of our state reps, Brie!  Brie writes the blog {...a breezy life} all about her life and the changes that comes along with it!  Meet Brie:

Tell us a little about you:
I am a writer/SAHM living the dream in southern NJ. I have been married for six years to Pete, my RN/volunteer firefighter husband, and we are raising our nearly five year old son, PJ. I love books, coffee, music, trashy TV (think Honey Boo Boo), and Flyers Hockey!  

What is your blog about?
My blog is really just my own musings. I started it when I was a single work-a-holic, working two jobs and 80 hours a week. It has followed me through being engaged, married, pregnant, a new mother, mother of a child with Autism, woman who is separated from her husband, and reconciled wife. It is about my evolution, and everyone who is a part of that. 

What is your favorite spot to visit in the Northeast?
Oh, hands down, the Jersey Shore. The ocean is my happy place. My son PJ loves the ocean even more, and it has been the site of some of my favorite moments as a family. 

What do you love most about blogging?
Blogging is my form of therapy. I can get down on paper (on screen?) all of the things I might not be able to say out loud. It's my chance to record all of the amazing things that come with an ordinary life. 

What is your favorite form of social media?
Aside from my little blog, I am kind of in love with InstaGram! I love being able to share visual snapshots of all the little moments I might have missed otherwise. 

Where do you live and what do you love about it?
We live in southern NJ, and I love that we are an hour from the ocean. I love that we have all four seasons. I love that I live in the "Flyers Fan" part of NJ and not the"Jersey Shore" part. I love that I can see the Philadelphia skyline from Cooper River Park. I love begin tucked into a part of the world that is so close to other awesome places (NYC, Philly, Baltimore, DC). 

Brie is also the co-host of the Time for Mom Hop, a weekly hop for moms to share their blog posts and connect with other mom bloggers.

Here are a few of Brie's favorite posts, be sure to check them out and visit her blog this week to show her some blog of the week love!

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