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Holiday Email Marketing: A Sample Schedule for your Online Shop

#Holiday #Email #Marketing Campaign for Online #Shop Owners. Don't know what to write in your email blasts? Use this sample schedule! Great for etsy or shopify shops!

One of the reasons it is so important to constantly be building your email list, is because email lists convert better than any other platform for making sales. A social media post may barely get seen by your followers, but an email is way more likely to be opened and engaged with by your audience.

Wondering how to have a shop sale and use your email list effectively?

Want to capitalize on Black Friday and Holiday sales using your email list?

Don’t know what to write, or when to send?

Keep reading for a detailed sample schedule that I have written for you below!

Before we dive in, if you are wondering how to launch a shop with your own products (in a really easy way!), snag my free Launch Your Shop email course. It takes you through how drop-ship manufacturing works and how to get your own shop up in the next 30 days.

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#Holiday #Email #Marketing Campaign for Online #Shop Owners. Don't know what to write in your email blasts? Use this sample schedule! Great for etsy or shopify shops!

Sample Holiday Email Marketing Campaign:

Alright, here we go.

You’ll want to draft and schedule these emails to go out in the lead up to any holiday or major sale you might be running. If you don’t have your own online shop, you can totally use a similar schedule for promoting affiliate products, too.

This is a 5-week campaign. It takes on average 7 mentions of a product before a purchase is made, which is why we want to be cleverly inserting our products into our emails way before the actual promotion or sale. If you are regularly sending helpful content to your list already (like on a weekly basis), then you could shorten this down to a 3-week campaign.

 

Week 1:

You want to warm up your email list, offering them great, helpful content. For week 1, send some kind of useful email to your audience.

This may be your latest room makeover, a DIY tutorial, a recipe, anything that you publish on your blog and will be valuable to your audience.

If you can, try to make it an article that includes your product somehow. So if it’s a room makeover, if you can inject your product in there (say you sell art prints or pillows!). If it’s a recipe, include one of the mugs you sell in your shop. It’s not a blatant sales email, but you are cleverly showing off your product.

 

Week 2:

Send another helpful email!

If you haven’t published a new blog post, this could be an article or fellow blogger’s post that you loved and you know your reader will like.

For example, you might have seen a new home tour from your favourite blogger that is just stunning and you know your audience will be crazy for it – share that!

Anything that is engaging, helpful, and inspiring for your readers.

 

Week 3:

You probably publish a gift guide every holiday season on your blog. Publish it, and then make sure to send around an email to your list that directs your readers to your gift guide.

In my experience, narrowing the theme of the gift guide helps it do better. So instead of just doing “gifts for her”, it might be “gifts for the girl who loves home decor” or “gifts for fixer upper fans” or “gifts for 4 year old girls who love science”. Your theme here will depend on your audience, but try to niche it down.

The other thing you want to do here is include 2-3 of your own products within the gift guide. Again, you are getting them seen by your audience. Did you know that on average it takes 7 instances of someone seeing your product before they will buy? This is why you need to get it in front of them a lot before you actually announce your sale.

 

Week 4:

Video is an amazing way of engaging your audience at another level. They get to see and hear you in a more real way.

For this week’s email, try to do a video of some kind where you are showing off your product line and answering any frequently asked questions about your products.

You can do this as a Facebook Live Stream on your blog Facebook page that you can then embed in your email, or record it and upload it to YouTube.

Don’t stress about this being a beautifully put-together video. A fun live stream is totally good enough! The key thing is that you are showing off your products in a fun way. If you sell tea towels, do the video in your kitchen and show off your designs. If you sell art prints for kids room, do a room tour of your kid’s room where the artwork is featured.

Most email service providers don’t allow you to embed the video directly in the email, so just take a screenshot of the video image, embed that in your email, and then link the image to where you video is hosted.

 

Week 5:

This is the big sale week!

You are going to want to send multiple emails to make sure everyone sees the promotion.

Don’t stress about bombarding your email list – during promo times, people are used to getting several emails. If they unsubscribe, well they weren’t your true fan anyway!

Here are the 3 emails you want to send in week 5:

  • Email #1 – You’ll send this email out at the beginning of the week, hinting at the sale that’s about to come. Give them the sale start date/time and what the promotions are going to be (% discount, free gift with purchase, free shipping, etc). Make it peppy and fun!
  • Email #2 – Sale starts! Send this email the minute your sale starts. Make sure you have clear links to your shop, remind them of the promotions, and have some great catchy graphics.
  • Email #3 – This is your last chance email. Send this one out about 4 hours before the end of your sale. Remind them to act fast and that stock is dwindling. You want to create a sense of urgency in this email. Going, going, gone!

 

That’s a wrap! Sit back and watch the sales roll in 🙂

I recommend writing this email sequence out in advance so that you have everything ready to go. If you use an email service like ConvertKit (my personal fave!), you can have it all scheduled so you literally don’t have to lift a finger during the promotion.

I would also encourage you to send engaging and helpful emails regularly to your email list, so that they are used to seeing things from you. If you have an email list that is primed to receive great content from you, then they are more likely to open your emails and buy products. Cultivating your email list should be a top priority as a blog and business owner.

 

Wondering how to build your list?

Grab this free email series below, where I show you exactly how to do it!

How to Grow your Email List [free course!]

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Want to know how to grow your email list AND how to build "funnels" or email sequences that work on autopilot? Get in on this free email course and I'll show you how!

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Good luck and let me know how it goes! 

 

Related Posts:

How to Create Your Own Product Line with Drop-shipping Manufacturers

How to Start an Etsy Shop

My Honest ConvertKit Review

5 Reasons Why Every Blogger Needs To Build An Email List

How to Increase Blog #Traffic and #Pageviews | Click through for a list of submission websites you can use to submit your blog posts for features.

8 Easy Ways To Increase Your Blog Traffic and Pageviews

Page views and traffic can be a major obsession for bloggers.

Before we dive into strategies on how to increase blog traffic, let’s just set the record straight: Page views should NOT be the be-all-and-end-off of your success as a blogger.

You actually DON’T need huge numbers to make an income blogging (I talked about that here), and you shouldn’t stare at your numbers day in and day out. You can get stuck in the rat race of trying to build your views, and it can be so discouraging if it takes a while to get there or whenever you see a dip.

So just remember all that as we go through this post, OK?

Having said that, you DO need to get some eyeballs on your content in order to grow your blogging biz. I have rounded up some of the best strategies to help drive traffic to your site, particularly as a blogger in the home decor and DIY niche.

 

How to Grow your Blog Traffic:

1 // Have a Strong  Pinterest Strategy

I have said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but Pinterest has GOT to be on your radar as a blogger. It’s a MAJOR traffic generator for bloggers in any genre, but especially in the home + DIY niche. It’s a visual search engine, and design and decorating is ALL about the visuals.

Pinterest is my #1 traffic generator, and I know that many of my blogging friends would tell you the same. If you are going to spend time on any platform, this should be it.

There are lots of things you can do to improve your Pinterest game to make sure you are using it to it’s capacity. There is a 3-pronged strategy you want to put in place: Pin your new content to your own boards, pin all of your content to group boards, and pin other people’s content to your boards.

Make sure that the images on your blog are Pinterest-friendly: beautiful, vertical, and have good 1-2 sentence descriptions in the alt-tag.

Check out this post for tactics to grow your Pinterest.

And this post to set up your pinning on autopilot using Boardbooster.

FREE Pinterest Workbook

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Build your traffic and your brand on Pinterest with these quick-to-implement strategies.

Powered by ConvertKit

One of my favourite people to follow for Pinterest advice is Katie Ahl from Simple Pin Media. She’s gold! Get on her email list for sure.

 

2 // Pay Attention to SEO

SEO (“search engine optimization”) is super important so that your blog posts come up as high as possible in google searches. Writing an evergreen post (ie. one that doesn’t go out of style) that ranks high in Google will continue to bring you traffic for months and years to come.

There are tons of factors at play that go into how Google ranks pages, and it isn’t the most straight-forward thing, but there are some basic things you can do to improve your ranking.

The first is to install some kind of SEO plugin on your site to make sure each post is optimized. I personally like the Yoast SEO plugin that gives you a green light when you are good to go.

Secondly, you need to use a good keyword phrase. You will be identifying a new keyword phrase for each blog post you write. The phrase should be 2-4 words in length, and something that you can imagine people would search for (and you want them to land on your post). This post, for example, would be “increase blog traffic”.

There are a number of keyword search tools you can use to do research on your keyword phrase. Google Keyword Tool (but you now need to have an AdWords account), Google Trends, SEOBook, Moz, and more.

So for example, say you were writing a post on faucets. You would want to do some research into google to see what the search term is that a lot of people are searching for. If “brass kitchen faucets” is a highly searched term, then you would want to use that as your keyword for that blog post. It could be something like “20 affordable brass kitchen faucets to transform your space”. You would aim to use that same “brass kitchen faucets” phrase in your title, throughout your post, and again in your meta-description.

I know all of this can be overwhelming, but even just doing the basics for better SEO will be great for your posts to help drive traffic to your site from Google.

 

3 // Submit your Post for Features

Submitting your blog posts to other larger sites to get featured is a great way to help bring some of their traffic over to your blog. Having other sites link to you is also a great way of boosting your blog’s overall SEO.

An example of a feature would be getting a room makeover showcased on Apartment Therapy. They would feature some photos of the transformation, but link to your blog as the source of the images. Then the interested readers from that post would click on over to your site and hopefully become raving fans of yours.

It’s an amazing feeling to get featured on big sites that you follow and love. It really makes your day!

There are lots of big sites out there that you can submit your work to. I have built up a list over the years of sites that offer features – it’s like my handy little reference tool whenever I do a really stellar project or have a room makeover I would love to get some extra attention. Instead of keeping it all to myself and making you do the legwork of creating your own list, I thought I would just share it here with you!

Click below and I’ll send you the list straight to your inbox. It has over 25 websites where you can do submissions!

Get the list of over 25 submission sites!

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Get your blog seen by more people with features on these home decor + DIY sites!

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The only caveat I’d throw in here is that it can be time consuming to send out your work to a bunch of sites. I would watch closely to see which sites actually feature your work often, and track whether you get much traffic whenever there is a feature. This will help you know which sites are worth your time submitting to.

 

4 // Amplify Across Social Media (repeatedly)

I’m guessing that you already have yourself set up across several social media platforms – be it facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. Remember that only a tiny percentage of your followers on each of these platforms are actually see your content when you post. I think it’s like less than 5%? Those damn algorithms.

So don’t stress about over-sharing your blog posts across social media. I promise that no one is going to complain of being bombarded by it, since they will very likely only see a small portion.

This means you want to have a strategy in place for regularly sharing your blog posts (both new and older ones) across your social media platforms often. I just recycle through my older content and keep mixing it up with other things, like favourite finds, sharing other bloggers’ posts, and promo’s for my etsy shop.

I want you to create a schedule like this for all of your social media platforms and use a scheduling tool to batch schedule it all out in advance. Check out my Blogger Resources for my favourite scheduling tools.

 

5 // Share your Posts in Facebook Share Threads

Facebook groups have become quite a popular way of bloggers helping bloggers to share their content. Search around for facebook groups in your niche, and see if they have facebook share threads. Usually what you do is share your own blog post link, and then send the love back by sharing and interacting with other bloggers’ posts.

Like submitting for features, I would suggest that you monitor which threads actually produce a good result for you in terms of engagement building and traffic. Don’t spend hours on Facebook everyday submitting your links all over the place if it’s not bringing back tangible results.

Here are some blogger Facebook groups you might want to check out.

 

6 // Truncate your Posts

Did you realize that every click a person makes on your site means another page view?

If you have your blog setup so that each blog post is “truncated” – ie. has only a snippet of the text on the main page and the reader has to click “continue reading” or “read more” to get to the rest of the post – that just totally increased your page views. Same person, but double the views when they click on the button to get to the rest of the post. It’s also just a nicer way of showing off more posts on one page (and your reader can click the posts they are interested in, versus having to scroll through a ton of text).

If you look on my homepage, you’ll see an example of this. See how there are half a dozen of my latest posts but you have to click on “continue reading” to get to them? That’s truncating!

blog-post-truncate

 

To actually do this, you’ll need to look into your blog theme and platform to change the settings to truncate. Usually it’s a checkbox located in the theme settings area.

 

7 // Be Consistent

Another way of increasing your traffic is actually just to make sure you are being consistent. Choose how often you want to publish to your blog, and then pick a particular day(s) of the week and stick to it.

It’s surprising how this can actually affect blog traffic. If your loyal readers know that you post every Tuesday morning, they will start to come to your site regularly at this time knowing they can expect a new update.

I used to think that this wouldn’t play a huge role, but it’s been shown over and over again that once a blogger gets super consistent with their publishing schedule, their traffic goes up (even if the number of posts doesn’t go up – just the consistency of them).

Grab my free editorial calendar below and get planning!

Editorial Calendar & Goal Setting Worksheets

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Grab these free templates (the exact ones I use!) to help you plan out your blog content and set goals. Your productivity is about to go through the roof, yo.

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8 // Collaborate with Other Bloggers

This one is equal parts fun and advantageous for your blog. Since every blogger has a different audience, if you are able to collaborate with other bloggers in your niche, you can share your audiences and both grow your readerships. The idea here is that you write guest posts for each other, include links back to your own blog, and then when you publish you are each directing your readers to the other’s site.

If swapping guest posts takes too much time or isn’t up your alley, there are totally other ways to do this too. You could gather a group of bloggers together and do a series – like a house tour series or a DIY project series of some kind. Each post in the series links to the others, so it encourages readers to click around and check out the other bloggers’ posts.

Another option is simply to do a lot of sharing of other bloggers’ stuff on social media. By sharing their work, they are likely to check out yours and share it back. Bloggers are nice people and it’s all about spreading the love!

 

That’s a wrap! 8 tried and true strategies for increasing page views and blog traffic.

 

Free List of Submission Sites:

If you are a home / DIY blogger, don’t forget to download your free list of submission sites below. Save yourself the time of creating your own list and just use mine! Click below to get it sent straight to your inbox.

Get the list of over 25 submission sites!

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Get your blog seen by more people with features on these home decor + DIY sites!

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Don’t forget to Pin it!

How to Increase Blog #Traffic and #Pageviews | Click through for a list of submission websites you can use to submit your blog posts for features.

How to Increase Blog Traffic and Pageviews | The tried and true ways I have grown my DIY and home decor blog. Tips & tricks for bloggers to help grow their blog and make money blogging. Plus a list of submission websites you can use to submit your posts for features. Click through for the free download!

 

Related Posts:

5 Strategies to Grow your Pinterest Traffic

One Quick Tip to Explode your Traffic

How to Start a Blog

#Convertkit Review | Wondering what email service provider you should use for your blog newsletter? I have used Mailchimp and others, but ultimately landed on Convertkit. I'm laying out the benefits and features - like email funnels, opt-ins, landing pages, automations, tagging, and more.

My Honest ConvertKit Review

Email lists are a really important part of running a successful blogging business. I truly believe that you need to stop worrying too much about social media and instead focus on building your email list: It’s going to stay with you no matter what algorithm changes happen, or what social media fads come and go.

That group of people on your list are going to be your biggest fans and your most important customers. You are building up a really engaged audience on that list. Very different from the blog reader who clicks over from Pinterest, stays for 50 seconds, and bounces off again.

And let’s be clear, email lists aren’t just for people who sell digital products. You can use them to drive traffic to your blog (therefore increasing your ad revenue), to sell affiliate products, to sell your actual products (you might have an Etsy shop or whatever), and to use as a negotiating tool when pitching brands for sponsored work.

So bottom line: email lists are important. And therefore, your email service provider is too.

While I haven’t used every email service provider out there, I have used a few and haven’t found one that is as packed with blogger-friendly features like ConvertKit.

 

Why I Love ConvertKit:

While there are a few little things I would change if I could, I have honestly loved using ConvertKit from the moment I started with them.

Here’s why…

Forms & Landing Pages

One of my favourite things about ConvertKit is how crazy easy it is to setup places for people to sign up to your list.

Within ConvertKit you build sign-up forms that you embed into your blog (if you use wordpress they even have a plugin so you don’t have to copy/paste any code).

To create a “form” (ie. a sign up box) you upload a photo (optional), some text about what the opt-in incentive is, customize the colours, and boom: you’ve got yourself a great looking sign-up form. Then you edit the settings so that it automatically sends the opt-in incentive to your new subscriber, and maybe puts them into a sequence of some kind (up to you!).

You can see here that they have different template options for the form, so it can be as much or as little as you want.

This is an example of one of my ConvertKit forms (and yes, you can actually get on my email list if you want by filling it out – I’ll send you a sweet plug and play newsletter template you can use!):

Get the Newsletter Template

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Get the plug-and-play newsletter template to take all the guesswork out of writing your weekly newsletters!

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Similarly, you can build landing pages right in ConvertKit. So if you want to create a whole page that is dedicated to promoting a product of yours, you can. They don’t have a ton of landing page templates, which is something I hope they add to down the line. I would love it if they would have more templates similar to what you can find through LeadPages.

But even still, it only takes 15 minutes to put one of these together and you can edit them to your colours and overall aesthetic. Super easy!

Here is one of my landing pages I created in ConvertKit – very simple but effective.

Tagging

In ConvertKit you have the ability to create an unlimited number of “tags”.

What this means is that you can tag subscribers based on their interests. For example, in my own account I have some subscribers that have signed up to my list to be able to use a coupon code in my Etsy shop. I will tag those as etsy customers. I also have another tag setup for people who have signed up for local workshops – I have them tagged as “ottawa” (where I live). Or two of my biggest tags are just “The Sweetest Digs subscriber” (for all of my subscribers who opted in on my DIY and home decor blog) and “Bloggers” for folks like you who would have opted in to my list from this site.

Here is a quick snapshot from in my account. You can see that I have a whole bunch of opt-in’s that I created for my blog, The Sweetest Digs, and that they are tagged as a “The Sweetest Digs Subscriber” when they opt-in. You can also see “GBC Subscriber” further down, which are subscribers to this site. And like I said above, I have the Etsy tag, a local tag, and more. The sky is the limit here.

By having all of these tags, it means you can send seriously customized emails. For me,  if I want to run a promo for my Etsy shop but don’t want to send it out to my whole list, I can easily segment the list and send it just to those who will be interested. Or if I’m hosting a local workshop, I can send that email to just my local subscribers. Or if I’m sending out a blogging tips newsletter, I just send that to those tagged as bloggers.

It’s such a useful tool!

 

Sequences

This is the money. I have come to LOVE sequences. Also known as “email funnels”.

The idea is that you create a sequence of emails – so whether it’s an email course, or a series of emails that eventually sells one of your products or an affiliate product, or a welcome/onboarding sequence. Then when someone opts in to a certain form that you setup as being the “funnel” for this sequence, every new subscriber automatically goes into the sequence and is sent those emails. You can set up when they get the emails (ie. 1 day after subscribing, 5 days after subscribing, etc.) and you can connect multiple opt-in forms to the same sequence.

Sequences are AMAZING for creating passive flows of income. If you sell any kind of product, create an opt-in related to that topic and then write up a sequence that eventually leads the subscriber into a potential sale.

I have a friend who has a sequence like this set up for her de-cluttering eBook and it generates on average about 2 sales a week, just through her sequence that she only had to set up once. She has multiple spots throughout her blog where readers opt-in for a free printable related to de-cluttering, and then she has a few more emails that send around de-cluttering in general (including another freebie), and then in the end she has a promotional email for her eBook. She is generating trust and credibility through the sequence, and so the customer feels more motivated to buy her product at the end.

Similarly, I have a sequence setup that takes customers through a funnel ending in an affiliate product promotion. That really cranks up my affiliate revenue every month because it is consistently generating sales.

Here is what it looks like in ConvertKit when you go to write a sequence. You just write as many emails as you want for the funnel, connect it to an opt-in form, and then you’re golden.

 

Automations

The automations feature in ConvertKit is kind of like your rule-book. You can create all of these “rules” that tells the system to do certain things at certain times.

So if someone opts-in to Lead Magnet #1, you can tag them with a few tags and send them directly into a sequence. Or you can create a rule that says those who opt-in to Lead Magnet #2 are automatically sent a welcome email. Or when someone buys a product from you, they are tagged with X, so you know not to send them promotional emails regarding that product anymore.

You can see, there are lots of triggers and rules you can setup:

This level of automation is incredible. I love the whole “set it and forget it” approach because who has time to go in and do these things manually when you are trying to run your online biz?

 

Subscribers

So you know how people will opt-in to multiple places on your site? Like in one spot to get a printable, and then in another to get a free eBook or something? Well, some email service providers will charge you double because they are list-based versus being subscriber-based. So that subscriber that opted in to 2 or 3 different things on your site – you are paying for him or her 2 or 3 times!

Not ConvertKit. They recognize the email address and won’t ever double-charge you. They are “subscriber-based”, which is awesome.

 

Deliverability

When I first switched over to ConvertKit from Mailchimp, I felt like my emails got ugly. That they were missing all the pretty colours, pictures, and styling of my previous emails (which was really easy to do in MailChimp). However, I also quickly noticed that my emails got a higher open rate and click-through rate without all that stuff.

The more images and HTML you have in your emails, the more likely it is to get put in people’s spam boxes because it looks like a promotion. Not good!

ConvertKit on the other hand is setup so that your emails make it into inboxes. They have a whole deliverability team dedicated to this. It’s also why the emails you create in ConvertKit generally just look like a normal email that you would get from a friend. No fancy stuff.

Take your images out of your email and you’ll see your click-through rates go up. It’s weird and counter-intuitive to me…. but it works!

 

Pricing

Sure it would be great to use a free email service provider forever, but as you build your list and need more functionality, you are going to have to pay for an email service. I find the ConvertKit rates extremely reasonable, particularly when you consider all of the features it comes with.

I used to have LeadPages AND my email service provider, and I’m slowly moving away from needing LeadPages at all. I’m switching everything over to ConvertKit forms and landing pages, and won’t need to renew my subscription with LeadPages this year (hundreds of dollars per year saved!).

Maybe you don’t use any other software providers right now, but you bootstrap the delivery of your opt-in’s. Or have some big complicated system for keeping your subscribers organized. ConvertKit will save you all that headache and time. Totally worth the investment. Spend that time on other elements of your blogging business that will help grow your income.

 

So that’s that. My honest review of ConvertKit. I’m clearly a fan;) The other thing I like about this company is that you feel really connected to it. They have a face behind the product, a very accessible customer service team, and great support in their Help forums.

If you are thinking about building your list, or want to make a switch from your current provider, I’d say go for it. Sign up here!

Free Template

Don’t forget to snag my newsletter template. It’ll take the “what do I send this week?” out of the equation and give you a template to use week-after-week to send a great newsletter to your subscribers!

Get the Newsletter Template

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Get the plug-and-play newsletter template to take all the guesswork out of writing your weekly newsletters!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Don’t forget to Pin it!

#Convertkit Review | Wondering what email service provider you should use for your blog newsletter? I have used Mailchimp and others, but ultimately landed on Convertkit. I'm laying out the benefits and features - like email funnels, opt-ins, landing pages, automations, tagging, and more.

 

Related:

Why You Should be Building Your Email List

Free Email Course on How to Create Email Funnels

How to Start a Blog

How to make money on #pinterest with #affiliate marketing | Blogger, entrepreneur or small business owner - you should be using affiliate links on Pinterest. It's a great way to make money.. passive income! Click through for the step by step tutorial with screenshots on how to embed and add your affiliate links to pinterest.

How To Use Affiliate Links on Pinterest To Make Money

Affiliate marketing is one of those avenues of blog monetization that you want to hit from all angles. Often it just brings in little drops of income, but each of those drops will fill a bucket and can turn into a lucrative income stream. So outside of blog posts, you need to make sure you are capitalizing on affiliate linking in your social media strategy: Enter Pinterest.

Pinterest had previously put a ban on affiliate links, but in 2016 they lifted the reins and opened it up again to affiliate linking.

If you haven’t been capitalizing with affiliate links on Pinterest yet, now is the time.

What exactly do I mean when I say affiliate links on Pinterest? Well, I’m not referring to pinning photos from your own blog posts that have affiliate links in them. I’m talking about pinning product images on Pinterest and embedding your direct affiliate link into that pin. When a viewer on pinterest clicks on that product pin, they are taken straight to the product’s website via your affiliate link (and not to your blog).

Pretty sweet, right? We all know that there are tons of folks out there browsing Pinterest for inspiring things to make and buy.

 

Free Workbook

Before we dive in to the step-by-step instruction, make sure to grab this free Pinterest workbook. It’s going to help guide you in creating a better Pinterest profile and show you how to grow your traffic using Pinterest.

FREE Pinterest Workbook

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Build your traffic and your brand on Pinterest with these quick-to-implement strategies.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Alright, let’s walk through a quick tutorial and show you how easy it is to embed affiliate links on Pinterest.

 

How to Embed Affiliate Links on Pinterest:

 

Step 1 / Find Product

First up is to find the product you’d like to pin. For this example, I’m going to pin some super fun oversized gold clips from Urban Outfitters.

I go find the product on it’s website, and usually there is a pin-it button somewhere on that page. With Urban Outfitters, you can see that there was a pinterest button on the far right side of the page, and also one that appeared when I hovered above the image.

Step 2 / Pin Product

Click on the pinterest button to pin the image to pinterest.

Fill in the description so that it represents what the product is all about. Throw in as many keywords as you can into the paragraph to increase the chances of that pin being found in a search.

Also *always* make sure to put in your affiliate disclosure into the description of the pin, to comply by FTC guidelines. Something like [affiliate] should be sufficient.

Then choose the board you want to pin it to (if you’re with Tailwind*, you could schedule the pin using their “schedule” button like you see beside the search bar in my example pic, but I’m going to proceed with this tutorial as though you were just pinning it normally).

 

Step 3 / View Pin

Right after you have pinned something, a screen will pop up that shows other boards where that same pin lives, but in the bottom right hand there is a red “See It Now” button. Click that button!

Do it quickly, since it disappears quickly.

Step 4 / Edit Link

Then you’ll come to this screen, which shows your pin and a few different options.

Click on the “Edit” button in the top left corner.

This second screen will pop up, which gives you the field where the URL for the pin lives. You can see right now that it’s directing viewers to the urban outfitters link where I got the product image from.

So instead of that link, I replace it with my affiliate link that takes the viewer to the same page.

To get your affiliate link, you’ll need to login to whatever affiliate network you work with and get your URL. I use RewardStyle, but you might be with ShopStyle Collective, Affiliate Window, CJ Affiliates, etc. Here is a blog post that outlines a bunch of affiliate agencies and the brands they work with.

Also know that at this time as far as I know, you are not allowed to use Amazon Affiliate US links on Pinterest (something to do with Amazon’s Terms of Service).

 

That’s it!

You have officially done an affiliate pin.

Oh and I should mention – you don’t have to use the brand’s product photo. If you have an amazing original photo that you took yourself of the product, then totally feel free to use that one instead!

 

Want to take your Pinterest to the next level?

Grab the workbook I have put together below. Some actionable strategies you can using right away to increase your following, get more repins, and grow your traffic!

FREE Pinterest Workbook

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Build your traffic and your brand on Pinterest with these quick-to-implement strategies.

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A few things to remember:

 

Imagery:

One of the big “rules” of creating a great Pinterest feed, which encourages followers, is to have an overall aesthetic to your boards and pins. You want to curate a beautiful experience so when someone lands on your pinterest page, they are immediately drawn to it (if they share the same interests/style!) and follow you.

Keep this in mind when you are pinning affiliate stuff. Don’t pin it just for the hell of it. Make sure it stays true to your look and feel.

I always try to keep to vertical images, so a lot of times a products image just won’t work well with Pinterest. Even if I love the product, if the image isn’t good for Pinterest, I don’t bother.

 

Don’t bombard:

As with anything, don’t go overboard with this. I don’t have a formula and there isn’t a hard and fast rule, but I keep my affiliate pins to a certain small percentage of my overall pins.

 

Mix It Up:

You could create a board that was something like “favourite rugs” or “throw pillows” and pin a bunch of affiliate ones in there, but I personally like to mix up my affiliate pins throughout my main boards. For example, I could pin a product image of a gorgeous marble and wood cutting board into my kitchen design board. Or a gold toilet paper holder into my bathroom design board.

Do whatever feels right for your Pinterest feed, and then go in and monitor how your affiliate pins do a few months down the road. Maybe the ones mixed into your main boards will get more repins, or vice versa. Then build on whatever works.

I started doing affiliate links on Pinterest just a few months ago, so I don’t have a lot of data to report back on about whether it’s been very lucrative for me yet, but I’ll keep you posted on how it goes! The thing about Pinterest is that it only takes one pin to go kinda viral, and you may bring home some serious bank.

Let me know if you try out the tutorial, and how affiliate links on Pinterest do for you!

 

Want more? You might also be interested in:

If you have wanted to try a pinning scheduler, you’re in luck. I put together a comprehensive BoardBooster tutorial. I have used both Boardbooster and Tailwind, and I honestly can’t live without Boardbooster.

How to setup Boardbooster | Put your pinning on autopilot and use this amazing scheduling tool to repin your content and automate new pins. Click through for the step-by-step set up tutorial.

This post has a bunch of affiliate networks to join, if you aren’t a part of many yet. You’ll be able to get affiliate links for a huge variety of brands, like Etsy, Target, Lowe’s, West Elm, and more.

Affiliate Marketing Networks | How to get affiliate links | Make money blogging | Affiliate networks for home and DIY bloggers

This last post goes over affiliate marketing strategy. If you’ve just been willy nilly inserting amazon affiliate links here and there into a few posts, have a read through this one to get a whole lot more strategic and purposeful.

Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money blogging. Here are 5 things you can do today to increase your affiliate earnings. Plus, where to get affiliate links, and a free tracking sheet!

*Affiliate link.

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

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Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

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Don’t forget to Pin it!

How to make money on #pinterest with #affiliate marketing | Blogger, entrepreneur or small business owner - you should be using affiliate links on Pinterest. It's a great way to make money.. passive income! Click through for the step by step tutorial with screenshots on how to embed and add your affiliate links to pinterest.

Blogger, entrepreneur or small business owner - you should be using affiliate links on Pinterest. It's a great way to make money - a passive income! Click through for the step by step tutorial with screenshots on how to embed and add your affiliate links to pinterest.

Related:

-Boardbooster Tutorial

-Affiliate Marketing Programs to Join

-How to Start a Blog

 

Want to start an online #shop to help grow your #blog income? Get the info on creating a line of physical products to sell on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc using dropshipping manufacturing. Plus a list of manufacturers to get you started!

How to Create Your Own Product Line with Dropshipping Manufacturers

Want to start an online #shop to help grow your #blog income? Get the info on creating a line of physical products to sell on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc using #dropshipping #manufacturing.
Want to start an online #shop to help grow your #blog income? Get the info on creating a line of physical products to sell on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc using #dropshipping #manufacturing.

Have you wondered how to create your own product line without going the handmade route?

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know I am a big promoter of diversifying your income streams as a blogger.

There are the traditional ways of monetizing – display ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsored work – but then there are some not-so-traditional avenues too.

Selling my own physical products in an online shop is one of the ways in which I have been able to dramatically increase my income. It’s a great way of expanding the potential your blogging biz.

I started off selling knit baby booties on Etsy, then moved into paintings, then art prints, and now carry pillows, pencil cases, mugs, tote bag, and more to come.

Etsy Shop Tips | Thinking about opening up an Etsy shop? Wondering if you should open up on your own e-commerce website instead? Here are the reasons why starting on Etsy is a great idea, and how launching a product line can be a good avenue for monetizing your blog. Click through for the full post and lots of etsy and blogging tips!

 

As currently a stay-at-home mama though, who still spends a lot of time on those “traditional” blogging channels, I needed the online shop to be manageable.

When I first started with the handmade items, making, packaging and shipping each one was OK. But as things grew, orders became overwhelming, I became busier with kids, and it wasn’t making sense anymore.

I thought about hiring a helper, but I wasn’t sure if that was really the best move financially or time-wise (managing a person takes time!). I also wanted to expand my line beyond things I knew how to physically make (ie. I didn’t know how to screeprint a tote bag), but I knew that I didn’t have the budget to purchase a large wholesale bulk order, or have the space to hold all that inventory.

 

Enter dropshipping manufacturers.

If you have a design idea and want to translate that into product, then a drop-shipping manufacturer might be just the right thing to go from concept to reality.

Basically, a dropshipping manufacturer is a company that does two things:

First, they print the product for you. So whether it’s a tee-shirt, a mug, an art print, a tea towel, whatever, they source the product and print it.

Secondly, the dropship part refers to the fact that they will ship the product directly to your customer on your behalf. This is amazing because it means you don’t have to package and ship the product yourself, and you don’t need to order and store inventory.

Before we dig in to how it works, make sure to snag my list of dropshipping manufacturers. I’m spilling the details in here on which manufacturer you might want to use, including the ones I have personally used for my own shop!

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

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You can also get in on my free 10-day email course that takes you through how to launch a shop. It’s packed with actionable advice!!

 

Here is how it works:

1 / You create your design

Maybe you are a hand-letterer who wants to translate your quotes onto products. Or maybe you are a painter. A graphic designer. A photographer. Whatever it is that you design, if it can be made into a digital graphic (ie. a PNG or JPG file), then it can be translated onto a product.

Even if you don’t have experience taking your art and making it digital, do some searching around on Google for tutorials. It’s probably easier than you think and just requires some software and know-how.

Or if you don’t have much experience in graphic design but know exactly what you’d like to create, then maybe take an online course in graphic design or watch some tutorials on YouTube. I self taught myself using videos and courses on how to use Illustrator!

The ability to take design and turn it into a product line is easier than it ever has been.

 

2 / Choose a dropshipping manufacturer

There are a ton of dropshipping manufacturers out there, and you might spend ages down the rabbit hole on Google checking them all out.

You should also know that not all dropshipping companies are manufacturers who print designs – some are simply companies that offer dropshipping of products (anything – tech, home decor, jewelry, etc!) that you could resell online, like through Amazon or your own website. That kind of dropshipping isn’t what I’m referring to here.

I’m referring only to companies that actually manufacture an item that has YOUR design on it. This is to create a brand new product line that has your aesthetic and your branding.

I have used several myself, researched, and talked to friends. Ultimately I have come up with a list of about 20 manufacturers who you could partner with. If you want access to that document, it’s all yours! Just enter your info below and I’ll shoot it over via email.

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

A word of warning: You’ll want to ask questions and be comfortable with whatever manufacturer you partner with. Find out where the items are made, how many employees they have, what their policies are, etc. I know for me that it’s important that I partner with a company that has strong ethics and fair policies.

Further, if you are going to sell on Etsy, then you need to abide by Etsy’s rules around manufacturers, and apply to have your outside manufacturer approved (you can do that here).

 

 

3 / Order samples

Once you have decided on a company to try out, upload your designs using their interface. You’ll be able to play around with placement, style, etc. and see how your design looks on the product.

I usually do a design in Adobe Illustrator (the graphic design software I use), upload it to my manufacturer’s website to see how it looks on the product mock-up, and then go back to Illustrator to make edits. I do this a few times until I get the product to look just right. Don’t rush it – make sure you take the time to ensure your design looks amazing.

Then once you’ve done that, I encourage you to order samples of the product. I have put an asterix beside the manufacturers I have personally used and can recommend in the Manufacturer’s List, but you’ll want to do quality control yourself.

Usually I’ll order samples of every product in every design and put it through testing before launching.

For example, with my mug line, I ordered the mugs and used them for my coffee every single day for months before actually launching. I wanted to make sure those bad boys held up to my dishwasher, and that I actually liked them before selling to the public.

Similarly, I’m currently putting some tee-shirts and tote bags through quality control testing right now!

Not only do you want these samples for ensuring quality, but you also need them to photograph for your shop.

 

4 / Photograph

Once you have developed your product line you need to actually launch it online.

There is prep work involved here: You need to photograph your products (or use a mock-up if that makes sense for what you’re selling) and write out your product descriptions.

If you aren’t adept at using your camera, either check out tutorials online or potentially hire someone to photograph your products for you. Photos are what sell products, so you want to make sure that yours are STELLAR.

Creative Market* is the best spot to find product mock-ups.

If you are looking for some mock-ups for art prints, stationery, or mugs, Lucie from White Hart Co. is one of my absolute faves. A really beautiful, minimal, style that lets the product shine. I love these  simple black frames* of hers if you are selling art or photography prints…

And aren’t these bright and sweet mug mock-ups* are LOVELY?!

Remember that with any mock-ups you need to make sure the sizing is right. You can’t advertise a 14 oz mug using a mock-up showing an 11 oz, or sell an 8×10 print with a mock up meant for 5×7. See what I mean?

As for writing your product descriptions, make sure you are connecting with your potential customer. Tell them how the product will solve a problem or enhance their life in some way, and then give all of the specifics: sizing, product materials, how it’s shipped, etc. Don’t leave anything out – you want to be as upfront with the info as possible, partly just to reduce the number of customer inquiries you may receive!

 

4 / Launch your new shop!

There are a ton of options for actually selling online.

You can sell on your own wordpress blog by using WooCommerce.

You can use an ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCartel.

Or you can sell on one of the big sites like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay.

I currently use Etsy and have outlined my reasons for loving their platform in this post. But choose the platform(s) that are going to be the right fit for you. There are pro’s and con’s to each.

(I’m going to test out Amazon this year and will report back on my success over there!)

 

6 / Sell!

Now it’s time to sell!

Unless you are a unicorn, you probably won’t make a zillion sales right away magically. You need to put in the work!

This means marketing. Figuring out how to optimize the SEO for your product listings, having amazing photos, writing blog posts that feature your products, building your email list of customers, connecting with bloggers and influencers to have them promote your product, reaching out to press and magazines for features, etc etc.

Don’t let that overwhelm you though – simply choose one or two areas to focus on first and go from there. You don’t need to do it all at once! I would recommend focusing on SEO and photos first, and then the rest over time as your shop grows in momentum.

 

Free Email Course

Click here to snag my totally free, 10-day email course that takes you through how to launch a shop!

Don’t forget to Pin it!

Want to start an online #shop to help grow your #blog income? Get the info on creating a line of physical products to sell on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc using dropshipping manufacturing. Plus a list of manufacturers to get you started!

 

 

 

Free Resource

And if you didn’t catch it above, make sure to download my Manufacturer’s List to help you get on your way to setting up your shop. I’ve done the legwork for you – save yourself the headache!

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

Powered by ConvertKit

*Affiliate links have been used. Please know I only ever recommend products and services I genuinely believe in and use myself.

 

Related:

8 Bloggers who sell physical products

How to Start an Etsy Shop

How to Start a Blog

Seasonal #Blog Post Ideas for Every Month of the Year - perfect for home, DIY and lifestyle bloggers. No more writer's block when you use this as your guide to blog content creation!

How To Create a Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas in 1 Hour

Do you ever struggle with coming up with blog post ideas and planning out your content?

Hit writer’s block from time to time, or just feel plain un-motivated?

Working from some overall theme guidelines might just be what you need to stay on track and come up with a ton of blog posts.

I plan content for 3 months in advance for my home decor blog, The Sweetest Digs.

 

Using an Editorial Calendar

Before I started using an editorial calendar, I was flying by the seat of my pants and inevitably felt rushed, didn’t produce quality content, and felt a little bit like a crazy person trying to finish up DIYs the night before I wanted to post them. Exactly the kind of thing that leads to blogger burnout.

So, planning content out in advance is KEY. To do this quickly and to stay on trend, I have created overall topic ideas for each month of the year that any home decor / DIY / lifestyle blogger can use.

These fall in line with holidays and general interests, so your readers will feel that your posts are timely and relevant.

Before we dive in, make sure to grab my editorial calendar printable, so you can sit down and start filling it out with blog post ideas for each month. It feels *amazing* to have your year largely mapped out. You also get some sweet goal-setting worksheets too!

Editorial Calendar & Goal Setting Worksheets

Editorial_calendar_and_goal_setting_sheets

Grab these free templates (the exact ones I use!) to help you plan out your blog content and set goals. Your productivity is about to go through the roof, yo.

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The infographic above is perfect to pin on Pinterest as a reminder, but here are all the topic ideas by month…

 

January:

  • De-cluttering
  • Organization projects – you could even offer free printables related to organizing and budgeting
  • Budget-friendly DIYs (people have just spent money on the holidays, so purse strings are tight at this time of year!)
  • New Year Resolutions
  • Healthy living – Recipes, Exercise, Clean Homes, etc.

 

February:

  • Valentine’s day gift guide
  • Valentine’s day decor and crafts
  • Date ideas
  • Handmade gift ideas
  • Any pink decor or DIYs

March:

  • St Patrick’s day decor
  • Easter home decor
  • Easter egg decorating
  • Any interior room makeover is great at this time of year, since people are usually stuck inside (winter!)

 

April:

  • Easter home decor
  • Easter egg decorating
  • Freshening up the home with lots of white, pastels, and spring patterns – time to break away from the winter stuff!
  • Spring wardrobe and accessories

 

May:

  • Cleaning tips
  • Organization Ideas
  • Gardening tips; Landscaping ideas
  • Porch Makeovers
  • Flower arranging
  • Switching out your decor to that summery, beach-y aesthetic. Think light and bright.

 

June:

  • Upcycling projects – garage sale season is in full swing this month!
  • Backyard makeovers
  • Curb appeal projects
  • Landscaping
  • Pools / Spa
  • Fitness (people want to feel healthy and fit for summer time!)

 

July:

  • Colourful and fun projects
  • Outdoor parties and events
  • Cottage Decor
  • Gardening
  • Road trips
  • Summer bucket lists
  • Cocktails and BBQ
  • Summer style
  • Summer reading list
  • Beach must-haves

An example of a cottage bunkie makeover I did – a perfect type of post for July/August.

August:

  • Beach must-haves
  • Outdoor parties and events
  • Back to school shopping guides (give people enough time to order online)
  • Back to school projects and traditions
  • Flea market decorating (people have been hitting up garage sales and flea markets this summer!)

 

September:

  • Fall decor ideas
  • Decorating with warm colours – think red/orange/brown/pinks – and lots of layers and textures
  • Fall fashion and transitional pieces
  • Fall printables are always popular!
  • We’re getting into all things pumpkin spice 🙂

 

October:

  • Halloween decor and DIYs
  • Costume ideas
  • Thanksgiving table decor
  • Thanksgiving DIYs
  • Fall Wreaths
  • Using natural elements in your decor and DIYs – acorns, leaves, rocks, sticks, etc.
  • Pumpkin painting and carving ideas

November:

  • Christmas gift guides (get these out in November to ensure your readers have time to order online!)
  • Holiday home decor
  • Any indoor projects popular as people move inside for the colder months
  • Cozy decorating – lots of layers, textures, etc.

 

December:

  • Holiday home decor
  • Handmade gift ideas
  • Holiday traditions
  • Winter Printable
  • Christmas Tree Decor

 

Posts that work all year round:

Beyond these seasonal ideas, there are many styles of blog posts that will work all year round. Try and mix these in throughout the year, where they make sense for your schedule.

  • Room makeovers (everyone loves a good before and after!)
  • Renovations (always try to write these as evergreen posts where you are teaching the reader something tangible – not just “stories” of your own renovations, which won’t have a long lifespan on the internet)
  • DIY project tutorials
  • “Day in your life” posts (great for injecting some really personal stuff into your blog and connecting with your readers!)
  • Reviews of products or “favourite things” round ups – just be sure to keep these really genuine, not just an obvious spot for affiliate links
  • Recipes and/or Fashion Tips, if you blog about those topics
  • Personal stories – It’s great to do these every now and then to create a deeper connection with your reader. I would just warn against doing these ALL the time, as often they don’t become evergreen pieces of content that bring you traffic for months and years down the road. Try to mostly create blog posts that solve a problem, make sense on their own, and can stand the test of time, and then throw in personal stories and anecdotes when you can.

Don’t forget to Pin it!

Seasonal #Blog Post Ideas for Every Month of the Year - perfect for home, DIY and lifestyle bloggers. No more writer's block when you use this as your guide to blog content creation!

Seasonal Blog Post Ideas for Every Month of the Year - perfect for home, DIY and lifestyle bloggers. No more writer's block when you use this as your guide to blog content creation!

Want more?

How to grow your blog with goal setting

How to utilize an editorial calendar

How to Start a Blog

 

Free Printable

Don’t forget to snag the editorial calendar I use for my own blog content creation. Once you’ve printed those, go make yourself a cup of tea and have fun blog post brainstorming. I loooooove that part! You’ve got this.

#Free #Stock Photos | The best websites to find royalty free stock photos and images that you can use for any personal or commercial project. Perfect for bloggers who need images for their blogs and social media! Click through for the full list.

The 10 Best Sites For Free Stock Photos

One of the things that I notice a lot when new bloggers hit the scene, is that they don’t realize that photos out on the internet cannot be used on their blogs. Even if you link back to the original source, it constitutes a copyright violation to have any photo on your blog that isn’t yours unless you have written permission from the photographer.

I totally made this mistake myself when I first started blogging. I was just trying to pull together images to highlight a certain home decor trend, but either didn’t link back to the original source, or if I did, I hadn’t gotten permission from them to do so. A huge No-No that I could have been fined for!

So, what do you do if you have a blog post that needs pictures but you don’t have your own original photography?

Or if you want some images to use on social media or even in some graphic artwork or digital download?

That’s where stock photos come in.

 

Free Workbook:

Before we dive into the list, I want to make sure you know how to use those images to grow your blog traffic with Pinterest. Pinterest is all about using amazing graphics to pique a readers’ interest and send them your way.

Grab the free Pinterest workbook below.

FREE Pinterest Workbook

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Build your traffic and your brand on Pinterest with these quick-to-implement strategies.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Paid Stock Photos:

If you are looking for something really specific or unique, you may need to go the paid route for stock photos.There are plenty of sites where you can go to search out what you’re after.

For instance, I personally need quite a lot of office/desk stock photography for this blog, so I use Haute Stock (affiliate), which is a subscription-based service. It means I get fresh new photos each month and have a LOT to choose from.

For my Etsy shop on the other hand, I’ll usually head on over to Creative Market (affiliate) if I’m looking for a stock photo for digital art prints or my mugs.

Creative Market is like my bad habit of choice. There are soooo many pretty things to browse!

 

However, if you don’t need stock photos all that often, you may just be able to get away with using free ones. Luckily, there are quite a few sites out there that offer free stock photos that you are able to use on your blog or on your social media, without permissions or often attribution required.

Let me just explain the terminology regarding copyrights for a sec.

“Creative Commons” or “Creative Commons Zero” means that you can use those photos  in any way you’d like, without asking permission or linking back to the photographer. You can copy, modify and use the photos (even for commercial purposes) without asking permission.

“Creative Commons with attribution” means that you can use the photo in any way you want, BUT you have to give credit to the photographer (ie. a link under the photo).

 

 

Now on to the round up…

Top 10 sites for free stock photos:

 

1 / Pixabay

Pixabay is a huuuuge site. Beyond great stock photos, they also have vectors and art illustrations, if you’re looking for something to do some graphic design work.

I find the quality of the files on Pixabay to be really professional. There are so many beautiful images to choose from!

Because everything on their site is released free of Copyrights, there is absolutely no attribution you need to worry about. You can use everything royalty-free and modify however you wish. So great!

I found these lovely images on Pixabay in a matter of minutes – no digging required!

blue-furniture-stock-pixabay

coffee-mug-stock-pixabay

 

2 / Pexels

There is a pretty huge variety of photography on Pexels and I find the quality to be good. They have an easy search bar up at the top, so best if you go in there with an idea of what you’re looking for.

The other nice feature is that if you find a pic you like, they have suggested other free stock right underneath. So sometimes I’ll click on something that is “okay”, but then it leads me to the perfect one. I like having those “suggested for you” features.

coffee-work-desk-free-stock-pexels

 

 

3 / StockSnap.io

A lot of landscape and scenic photos are over on StockSnap. One thing I really like about this particular site is that there are a bigger variety of shapes and sizes to the photos (they aren’t all horizontal, like many stock photo sites stick to).

Seriously, I could browse through the homepage for a long, long while … so many beauties!

You could totally grab some of these to use for your instagram.

StockSnap_6F8QGSMGLW

StockSnap_8Z6ZCTO07P

 

4 / UnSplash

GORGEOUS photographs over on Unsplash. It’s a very simple, streamlined site featuring super beautiful pics. Lots of landscapes. All horizontal, though.

The other downside? There isn’t a search bar. Means a lot of scrolling to find what you’re looking for.

Doesn’t this look appetizing?

Unsplash-free-stock-photo-food

 

5 / Death to the Stock Photo

I love love love the options on Death to the Stock Photo (“DTTSP”). They are so professional and gorgeous. They also have quite a variety of things from quotes, photoshop actions, art prints, writers’ prompts, and more. You can sign up for a monthly email from them, which delivers new stock right into your inbox.

DTTSP included this statement on their site, which is a basic guideline in terms of copyright: “Under the license, you may display a DTTSP photo as you please, reproduce it, add it to a collection, and make adaptations of it. However, you may not distribute the photo—so don’t include it in any photo packs or give it out for others to use.”

So, use their pics, but don’t claim as your own or redistribute in any way. Pretty obvious.

Check out these adventure themed art prints (from here). Fun, hey!? You could even use these for a DIY art project and then write a blog post about it!

scenic-route-art-print-smaller

great-outdoors-art-print-small

 

6 / Picjumbo

PicJumbo has really beautiful photographs, but not as many as some of these other sites.

I like the way their homepage is laid out and I find it really easy to search for whatever I’m looking for. From what I can tell, all the photos are horizontal.

I kinda love this pink sneaker shot, don’t you?

girl-with-pink-shoes-laying-in-meadow-picjumbo-com

7 / Morguefile

In Morguefile, there is quite a mixture of photos uploaded by the general public, meaning some definitely are NOT so great. You need to go to this site with a specific need in mind and then search for it. If you do that though, you may just find a gem (like this one I found below!).

Unlike the other sites on my list, Morguefile indicates that if you use the image exactly as-is, you need to credit the photographer underneath the photo. Of all of these sites (at this time of writing), this is the only one that requires an attribution.

Desk-stock-photo-Morgue

Photo by: Agatha Brown

 

8 / Creative Commons on Flickr

On Flickr you can check on the Creative Commons area, which has a variety of free photos that fall under different categories. There are some that require attribution to the photographer, but the photos that fall into the “Public Domain Dedication” group means that they are up for grabs by you and you can alter and use those images however you please without any credit or attribution required.

If you go here, these are all images within the “Public Domain Dedication” group. Use the search bar to find what you’re looking for, and just double check before downloading it that it does indeed say “Public Domain” under the image.

I find this site to be harder to find great photos because anyone and everyone can upload to Flickr, but if you are looking for something specific then it might just be the right spot!

Desk-scene-Flickr-stock

 

9 / Gratisography

All of the images on Gratisography are photographed by the same photographer (Ryan McGuire) and so they have a similar modern and artsy aesthetic, which is really nice for cohesiveness.

There are definitely some quirky shots. The photographer obviously has a sense of humour. If you are looking for something a little different, then this may be the right site for you.

From what I can tell, all the photos are horizontal.

free-stock-photography-palm-trees

stock-photo-camera-pic

 

10 / Free Images

I don’t actually love the stock photos on Free Images, but the one thing they have that most of the others don’t are textures and patterns.

These are great to be able to use as backgrounds for something you might be designing. Want to make a printable or some other kind of graphic? You’ll probably need a background pattern of some kind.

Like images, patterns you find online aren’t free to just copy – you need permission. You kinda need to look through the weeds, but if you look around you can find some cute ones (the turquoise one is here, anchor one is here).

One thing I don’t like as much about this site is that I find it has more ads than the others, and you also need to create an account to download (which you don’t with the ones above).

free-turquoise-geometric-pattern free-anchors-pattern

Alright – there you have it! My insider tips on where to snag the best stock photos and graphic design elements FO’ FREE.

 

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#Free #Stock Photos | The best websites to find royalty free stock photos and images that you can use for any personal or commercial project. Perfect for bloggers who need images for their blogs and social media! Click through for the full list.

Free Stock Photos | The best websites to find royalty free stock photos and images that you can use for any personal or commercial project. Perfect for bloggers who need images for their blogs and social media! Click through for the full list.

 

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

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Want more? Check out these related articles. 

How to Increase your Blog Traffic

How to use Boardbooster to Schedule and Grow your Pinterest

-How to Start a Blog

Start an online shop on your #blog! Here are 8 Bloggers who sell Products through their Blog. A great way to make money blogging!

Start Your Online Shop: 8 Bloggers Who Sell Physical Products

One of the things I’m always talking about when it comes to monetizing your blog, is to make sure that you diversify your income streams. In the ever-changing landscape of blogging, you do not want to put all of your eggs in one basket.

Why?

If you rely solely on ad revenue, then if your page views take a nose-dive because of a pinterest algorithm change, you’re panicking. If you rely mostly on sponsored posts and there are a dry couple of months when brand budgets are down, you’ll be feeling that too. If you rely only on affiliate income, what if a slow month randomly hits after Christmas?

By diversifying the income streams, if one of them takes a hit one month, then it isn’t really the end of the world. And, let’s have some real talk: it’s hard to build up a sizeable income with only the traditional forms of blog monetization (ads, sponsored work, affiliate marketing). It takes time, a lot of hard work, and the chase for page views.

Selling your own products or services – whatever that might look like for you – is something I recommend to every single blogger who wants to turn their blog into a business. It means you are taking your revenue into your own hands.

 

Free eBook

Before we dive in, make sure to grab my eBook that goes over how to start a product line or service as part of your blog. There are a TON of tips packed in and it’ll be a perfect jumping off point for this new part of your business.

FREE eBook!

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This eBook covers the 101 of selling products & services, includes case studies, and has a huge list of product and service ideas to get your blogging biz booming!

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Selling Physical Products:

So what about going the physical product route? Are you at a bit of a loss of where to start? Thinking about starting a product line can be daunting or overwhelming.

I thought it would be fun to check out what others are doing as a source of inspiration. Here are some amazing bloggers who have all started selling physical products. They are all a little different, doing things their own way, and rocking it.

 

1 // Centsational Girl

Kate from Centsational Girl is one of the original DIY and home decor bloggers. The girl has created an amazing and popular blog, that tons of folks flock to for inspiration and advice. She clearly has an eye for design, so she has used that to create a fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap line utilizing SpoonFlower. So many people go to her for design advice, so it was probably a natural move to offer something that could help get that “Centsational Girl look” in their own homes.

Spoonflower is a cool way to go, too, since they do all the printing so it’s extremely easy to setup a shop and you don’t need to worry about inventory and overhead costs.

Check out Kate’s shop here.

centsational-girl-shop

 

2 // Craftberry Bush

You guys know Lucy from CraftBerry Bush, right? She does the most gorgeous watercolour paintings – such a talent! She has been able to take those paintings of hers and create a full product line using Society6. Society6 handles the manufacturing of the products, the payment processing, and the shipping, so it’s extremely easy to get started on their website.

Having a popular blog like CraftBerry Bush means that Lucy can direct her readers to her shop. I would guess that it might be challenging to get your stuff seen on a Society6 shop on it’s own (there are so many other sellers out there!), but being able to send your blog readers over to the shop is great.

Check out Lucy’s shop here.

craftberry-bush-shop

 

3 // Dans Le Lakehouse

Tanya from Dans Le Lakehouse has a knack for finding quirky and collectible vintage wares. She has created an engaged and large blog readership by writing about her mission to decorate her lakeside home in a mid-century style (with a lot of turquoise!). Because her readers love that same style, she started an Etsy shop where she sells her vintage finds. Tanya loves the treasure hunting, so this was a perfect avenue for her to increase her revenue by doing something she adores and is good at.

Check out her shop here.

dans-lakehouse-shop

 

4 // The Sweet Escape

Melissa from The Sweet Escape sells the most lovely handmade cake toppers. I wish I could get married all over again just to be able to use one of these beauties. I definitely have a cake topper on my wish-list for James and Maya’s birthdays next year!

Since Melissa is an amaaaaazing crafter and event stylist, this was a perfect avenue for her to take. It allows readers to get some of that signature Melissa-look for their own parties.

Check out Melissa’s shop here.

sweet-escape-shop

 

5 // Vintage Revivals

Mandi from Vintage Revivals has a shop that perfectly reflects her fearless DIY style. From the himmeli wreath kits, to brass planters, to wooden menagerie from her epic nursery design, readers can pick up her products to emulate her style.

I think this is a perfect example of someone who blogs about DIY and design, and who has been able to monetize their blog with products that totally reflect her style and compliment her blog posts.

Check out Mandi’s shop here.

vintage-revivals-shop

 

6 // In The Fun Lane

Holly from In the Fun Lane has incredible style. I love the way she keeps her spaces really neutral and minimalist, but will then throw in little pops of colour in a quirky way. She doesn’t have a big shop, but she has started selling some of her art prints through her blog. They are photographs she took in New Orleans and they have that quintessential “Holly style”. I love them!

Check out Holly’s shop here.

holly-baker-shop

 

7 // East Coast Creative

Monica from East Coast Creative Blog came out with a bedding board game. I know, I know, you’re like ….  “ummm, a what, Gemma?”

No, it isn’t all about sex. It’s about bringing fun and games back into your relationship. Getting you to communicate and laugh with your partner. Just go have a look, it’s pretty neat.  And TOTALLY different from any other physical product I have seen other DIY and Home bloggers create.

Check out Monica’s board game here.

east-coast-creative-shop

 

8 // The Sweetest Digs (me!!)

And me! I have been selling physical products of one kind or another since 2012. I started with knitted items on Etsy (flop!!!) but have learned and made my way through trial and error to a product line that I love and feel excited about.

I sell art prints, pillows, pouches, mugs, and tote bags.

I have used Etsy since getting started, but am planning on getting my products directly available on this site too in the new year. I design everything myself, but then use manufacturing partners to turn my products into real life things.

Check out my shop here.

sweetest-digs-shop

So there you have it.

Eight bloggers who have created physical product lines to help monetize their blogging businesses.

 

Want more?

Download my free list of drop-shipping manufacturers below (including which ones I personally work with!).

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

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Head here to read more about how to design a product line using drop-shipping manufacturers. It’s way easier than you think!

 

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Start an online shop on your #blog! Here are 8 Bloggers who sell Products through their Blog. A great way to make money blogging!

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Related:

-How to design a product line using drop-shipping manufacturers

-How to start an Etsy shop

-How to Start a Blog

#Etsy Shop Tips | Thinking about opening up an online shop to sell products? Here are 6 reasons why you should be using the Etsy platform!

6 Reasons Why You Should Be Selling on Etsy

One of the best ways to monetize your blog is to create a product to sell. The key to building up a successful income as a blogger is to diversify, and by selling your own stuff you are not only in total control, but the sky is the limit in terms of income generation.

If you are thinking of creating a product line (physical or digital products), have you thought about selling on Etsy? I don’t want to discourage you from selling your products on your own blog (if you are setup with that functionality, then go for it!), but Etsy might just be the right place for getting your online shop off the ground.

I first opened up shop on Etsy in 2012. I tried out different things – from knitted baby booties, to paintings, to art prints.

There has been a lot of trial and error, honing in on my niche, and figuring out what works for me. I now sell prints, mugs, pillows, tote bags, and pouches directly on Etsy, wholesale through Etsy, wholesale locally, and sometimes in person at craft shows or pop-up shops. My little experiment selling knitted booties on Etsy totally turned into something way bigger than I imagined, and it has been a significant contributor to my income (you can check out my shop here).

 

Free List of DropShipping Manufacturers:

Before we dive in, grab my free list of drop-shipping manufacturers. This goes over how to partner with a manufacturer to create a product line, and which manufacturers you might want to work with (I have included the ones I have personally used and can recommend!).

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

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Selling on Etsy:

Here are some of the biggest advantages to selling on Etsy and why you might consider starting over there:

 

1 / It’s Easy to Setup

Registering an account on Etsy and then opening up your shop is crazy easy. Of course there is a lot of thought that needs to go into creating an amazing shop: the name, branding, photography, listing descriptions, policies, etc. but the actual nuts and bolts of getting a shop page up is so simple. Here is a link to Etsy’s “Seller’s Handbook” where you can find the answers to just about every question.

If you were to build your own e-commerce site, you would need to buy a domain name, get a website host, design and create an entire website, setup payment methods, etc – a pretty major under-taking, particularly if you are just looking to test the waters with a creative business. Even if you already have your blog all setup, the ability to setup e-commerce on it isn’t always easy or straight-forward if you have an expansive product line. The fact that Etsy has all of that handled and you just need to walk through a few quick steps to get your shop up and running within minutes it’s pretty darn dreamy.

 

2 / The Payment Processing is Organized & Reasonable

Etsy already has payment processing all setup within its’ system. This is gold, since figuring out what payment processor to use and how to implement it properly on your own website can be confusing and more tech-y than most people are comfortable with on their own.

The breakdown of fees with Etsy is this: You pay $0.20USD to list an item and then a 3.5% transaction fee of the item’s cost once it has sold. So if you were selling a $20 item, the 3.5% cost would be 70 cents on top of the 20 cents you’ve already paid to list it — so 90 cents total in fees. You would take home $19.10. Here is the section on the Etsy website where they chat about fees and payment policies.

Those are definitely reasonable rates overall. If you were to be hosting your own e-commerce store, you wouldn’t have the $0.20 listing fee, but you would still need to pay for payment processing, the cost of website hosting, domain name purchase, etc.

 

3 / It Has Built-in Traffic

Although it does have competitors, Etsy has made a name for itself worldwide and subsequently sees huge traffic. According to this website, in December of 2015 Etsy had over 92 million visitors that month alone. Crazytown, right?!

Now, why WOULDN’T you want to be able to tap into that existing traffic base with your own shop?! Yes, it means that it comes with a whole lot of competition (I can guarantee that there is someone selling something similar to you on Etsy), but being able to drum up the visits to your own e-commerce site would be super time and energy intensive.

If you are smart about the look of your shop, how you write up your listings, your keywords, and use SEO (search engine optimization), you’ll be able to be found on Etsy. The more work you put into it, the better you’re going to do… but being able to start somewhere that already has that level of traffic coming through the virtual “door” is such a huge plus.

[this “jeans, tee shirt, top knot” mug is one of my listings on Etsy!]

4 / There is a Level of Trust and Credibility

Because Etsy is such a brand in and of itself, there is a certain level of trust that a potential buyer has when they are shopping on Etsy. If you have your own e-commerce store out there and haven’t built up a reputation yet, you might just look super random and not trustworthy to a possible customer.

Buying through Etsy where there are policies and procedures in place, lets a buyer know that it’s a safe bet and they can trust that the item will actually be delivered to their door (and if it isn’t, there are avenues they can take to make formal complaints).

Another way Etsy helps you build trust around your brand is simply by giving you a legit shop website. If you already sell locally at craft shows or in boutiques, having an Etsy shop can be that extra vehicle to expand your marketing potential. If you want to hand out business cards to potential customers or sell wholesale locally, being able to send them to an actual shop website instead of just having an email address looks way more profesh. It adds a certain level of biz credibility when you have your own website, you know?

 

5 / There is a Community

Sure, Etsy is huge and it means there are a zillion sellers on there, but it also comes with a great community. The Etsy staff are good at providing valuable newsletters and helpful information on the site, and there are seller teams that you can join. Teams may be geographically based or by genre of product, but either way they are a great way of forming a community of like-minded folks. There are also lots of facebook groups out there for Etsy sellers, again helping to form that community.

It’s important as a solopreneur that you have other biz friends to bounce ideas off of, get advice from, share success, and commiserate on frustrations with. Being an Etsy seller is kind of like automatically having an entry ticket to all of those groups out there.

 

6 / A Testing Ground

You might just be playing around with the idea of starting up an online shop, not sure if the product(s) you have in mind would actually sell, or maybe just want to keep it as a very low-cost hobby business. Whatever the case – Etsy is the perfect place to test the waters. The only start up cost is that 20 cent listing fee. It doesn’t get much cheaper than that! For example, listing 20 items would cost you $4 and it would be the perfect opportunity to see what sells.

 

Having said all of that, there are some cons to setting up your shop on Etsy:

 

  • You are limited to Etsy’s overall aesthetic and look. Sure you can brand your shop with your header and photography, but you can’t create a fully customized shop page. In my opinion, this is fine in the beginning and might always be for many sellers, but if you want something really on brand and custom then you will likely want to open your shop’s own website at some point down the road.
  • Etsy has certain policies and procedures set in place that you are bound to. I have never found anything to be much of a barrier, but there might be elements that irk you. You are also always at the mercy of any changes they make.
  • You can’t easily collect email addresses from customers. This drives me crazy. I would love the option of having buyers opt-in to my newsletter upon purchase or have a very obvious “sign up!” button somewhere in my shop, but this isn’t possible with Etsy.
  • There is a lot of competition. It’s hard to stand out in a sea of designers and crafters, so you really need to be on your A-game in terms of marketing your products beautifully, getting your name out there, and understanding how to get your listings high up in the search. You would need to do all of this if you set up your own e-commerce site too, but all that to say that you can’t just throw up a listing and expect it to sell like wildfire without working at it.

Despite those items though, in my opinion Etsy is where it’s at for getting started with an online shop. Especially as a busy blogger who wants to create their own line but doesn’t want the headache of figuring out how to transition their blog into an e-commerce site.

 

Free Etsy Listings:

If you sign up through this link, you can get your 40 first listings FREE! And full disclosure – I get 40 free too. So it’s a win-win all around!

Drop-Ship Manufacturers List:

Don’t miss out on my list of drop-shipping manufacturers. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to design products with the help of a drop-ship manufacturer, and how much time you will save. It’s by far the easiest way to start a shop!!

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

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Don’t forget to Pin it!

#Etsy Shop Tips | Thinking about opening up an online shop to sell products? Here are 6 reasons why you should be using the Etsy platform!

Etsy Shop Tips | Thinking about opening up an Etsy shop? Wondering if you should open up on your own e-commerce website instead? Here are the reasons why starting on Etsy is a great idea, and how launching a product line can be a good avenue for monetizing your blog. Click through for the full post and lots of etsy and blogging tips!

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

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Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

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Related Posts:

-How to Start an Etsy Shop: The Ultimate Guide

-8 Bloggers who are Selling Physical Products

-How to Start a Blog

Printable Blog Planner | Blog Tools | Blogging Editorial Calendar and Worksheets | Blogger Guidebook

The Printable Blog Planner That Will Help You Grow Your Blog Biz

Do you want to double or triple your productivity as a blogger?

Start actually using an editorial calendar and goal-setting method and stick to it?

Use a system for each blog post that will ensure it’s written in an evergreen, SEO and Pinterest-ready way?

Then grab your coffee and keep reading. I’ve got a really sweet printable blog planner you need to hear about.

Printable Blog Planner | Blog Tools | Blogging Editorial Calendar and Worksheets | Blogger Guidebook

 

There came a point in my blogging career where I realized that I felt “busy” all the time, but that the busy didn’t necessarily translate into productivity.

You know the feeling: You are doing a thousand things every day but never feel like you are *actually* growing your blogging biz. I knew I needed a concrete tool for myself to stay on track with my task list, streamline my systems, and keep myself organized.

I had a traditional agenda that was pretty, but I wasn’t actually using it. The design wasn’t laid out for a blogger. I tried to use a google calendar for my blog stuff but I never really liked having to look at it online. I was constantly making hand-written to-do lists, brainstorming, and trying to set goals on random sheets of paper, because my agenda didn’t have any dedicated space for it. And I couldn’t track any of my blog growth or other blogging-specific info, since there wasn’t a spot for it.

I kept feeling like there were important things I wanted to write down or keep in one spot, and I didn’t have the right tool to do it.

So, I created it for myself. I designed printable sheets that were dedicated specifically to growing a blogging business. There is an editorial calendar. There is a goal setting section. There is an audit tool that works like a checklist for each blog post before you hit publish. There is a section for tracking social stats and blog growth. Multiple sheets for tracking income by month and year. Contact sheets. A blog post brainstorm sheet. And more.

You can buy the Printable Blog Planner here. It’s currently on special at $9.95. A steal!!

blog-planner-5

All in all, there are over 20 sheets that make up the planner. I wanted each and every sheet to be seriously useful. No frilly stuff just to bulk it up. Just sheets that I knew I would actually use and that would help me build a better blog.

Ever since I printed out that first version, there literally hasn’t been a day that I don’t use it. I printed the sheets and put them into a slim white binder, and it sits on my desk right beside my computer. I can glance over and know exactly what’s on my calendar for the week, exactly what I need to be working on to reach my goals, and so much more.

Because it’s date-less, I can just re-print any sheets I need and re-fill the binder as required.

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

Plus, did I mention it’s pretty?! There is a whole lotta pink and fun graphics. And since I couldn’t settle on just one, there are 6 cover page options. Ha.

blog-planner-2

 

Oh and I threw in 3 free art printables that you can either print out to use in your planner as section dividers, or just frame and put up in your home office!

I’m especially obsessed with the shine bright one. It looks amazing just up on a white wall with some washi tape.

blog-planner-5

blog-planner-7

planner-buy-button

Because the calendar sheets don’t have months on them, you can just print off 12 for each year. It means you can use the planner year after year, without having to buy a new one.

In terms of printing – don’t stress. It’s super easy. There are detailed instructions on how to print included in the purchase, but basically you just print the sheets on regular 8.5 x 11 white paper, hole punch, and slip into a 1/2″ binder. You can do it all in colour or not, and do different numbers of sheets as it makes sense for your use (printing in black and white makes the binder super cheap to print).

You need to print several copies of the following pages, as you’ll need multiples to take you through the year. This is generally what I recommend:

  • Calendar sheet: 12 copies (1 for each month)
  • 90-Day Goals: 4 copies (1 for each quarter)
  • To-Do List: 5-6 copies
  • Blog Post Ideas: 5-6 copies
  • Blog Post Brainstorm: 10 to get started
  • Blog Post Audit: 1 if you are going to use it as a guide and not mark it up, multiple if you plan to mark up the sheet for each post
  • Biz Expenses – Monthly: 12
  • Income – Monthly: 12
  • Income Breakdown – Monthly: 12
  • The rest –> Print just a single copy for the year! You may find that you have to print additional sheets every now and again, but these will be good quantities to get you started.

blog-income-report

Here are what a few folks are saying…

“With pieces of note papers everywhere, to-do lists and blog post ideas swirling around in my head, I’ve been looking for a good system to capture it all in one place. Not only did this planner help me to get organized, but included in it are extremely helpful tips and templates to take our blogging to the next level, such as ones for blog post brainstorming and short- and long-term goal-setting. I highly recommend this valuable resource.” – Jane (& Sonja), Sustain My Craft Habit

“Gemma’s blogger planner was EXACTLY what I needed to help me develop and stick to my blogging strategies. Anything that could be added to this planner is in there and I now depend on it daily. A blogger planner isn’t something that you can really appreciate until you have tried it and now there’s no turning back for me! This planner meets my needs, is super chic, and the price can’t be beaten. Thank you for thinking of it all, Gemma!”– Amy, AmyHowardSocial.com

“I honestly didn’t think I’d benefit from a blog planner. I have an editorial calendar system that is rocking BUT I’ve struggled to keep all the information a blogger needs in order. Affiliate spreadsheets, brand contacts, and social stats? Come on! And goals? I couldn’t even remember where I’d written them down to see if I’d met them. It is such a lifesaver to have all this information in one place and looking beautiful. Thank you Gemma for changing the way I look at blog planning!” – Colleen, LemonThistle.com

blog-post-audit-tool

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

You can buy the Printable Blog Planner here. It’s on special at $9.95. A steal!!

blog-planner-1

planner-buy-button

 

Related: How to Start a Blog

 

If you don’t want the full planner yet, then grab the editorial calendar and goal setting worksheets below. Free!!