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Is Facebook a Dead End for Bloggers? (And what to do…)

Anyone who has been paying attention to their page analytics knows that Facebook is constantly changing the algorithms in order to control what is seen by the average Facebook user. In their quest for “high quality” content, Facebook has given page owners a choice: Pay for engagement or be ignored.

Is Facebook a dead end for bloggers? Four specific tips on what to do as organic reach bends to ZERO%.

In a recent report posted by Social@Ogilvy, the organic reach of most Facebook pages is in a downward spiral that Facebook sources have hinted will reach ZERO. And the larger the page, the more significant the impact will be.

Organic reach from Facebook pages in a downward spiral. Projected to hit ZERO.
Visit Social@Ogilvy

Why is Facebook making these changes? The “why” doesn’t matter. They are a business and the focus of any healthy business is to make money. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that you cannot rely on a third party platform to build your blog. If you have been focusing all of your effort on Facebook, you are now essentially stuck without a way to grow your reach and traffic. So, what should you do now?

How to use the “new” Facebook

I have already started being very selective about what I share on Facebook because I am very conscious of spending my resources (time and money) where I will see a good return on my investment, and honestly… my Facebook pages have been dry for a couple of months.

While referrals from social media account for roughly 60% of the traffic to my blog at, less than 4% is directed from Facebook despite the fact that I have been playing with the paid features.

So, I have cut my losses. I stopped paying someone to maintain my brand Facebook pages and have encouraged the ladies who volunteer on the Inspired Bloggers Network Facebook page to scale back on their efforts. There just is no need to spin our wheels where we are not getting traction.

Should you abandon Facebook all together? No. Because you never know what changes they will make. But, instead of spending the majority of your time and money on a dead end, try this strategy:

Stay active but be intentional

Keep your Facebook page active by posting at least once a day. Save the BEST of your content for posting to Facebook and change the way you present it. Consider a 7-day rotation like this:

  1. Ask your readers a question.
  2. Post a status update with a link. Disable the link preview.
  3. Share a photo with a question as your caption.
  4. Post a status update with a link. Do not disable the link preview.
  5. Tell a funny story from behind the scenes.
  6. Upload a video.
  7. Share a favorite post from another blogger and tag that page.

This is just an example but I think it shows you the general idea of not sharing the same type of content every day.

Also, do not schedule your Facebook page updates through a third party. Instead, schedule directly through your Facebook page. Using another scheduling application might be convenient but it will instantly kill any hopes of organic reach your post might have.

Use the Instagram connection

One exception to sharing through a third party… I am still seeing decent engagement when I share a post to my Facebook page through my Instagram account. But, of course, Facebook paid a billion dollars for Instagram. They want it to succeed.

Budget for Selective Paid Promotion

If you can profit from what you are sharing, pay for engagement on your Facebook post. And by profit, I mean: you will see an increase in sales or subscribers.

Set aside an amount dedicated to Facebook in your advertising budget and keep a close eye on how much you are spending because it can add up very quickly.

But, when paying for promotion, be very picky and very deliberate about what and how you share. There is a right way to set up a paid Facebook promotion and a way to waste your money. 

Build an audience elsewhere

Focusing on any one social network is always a bad idea. Instead, I recommend that you find what it working for you and put the majority of your social media efforts there. I am willing to beat that you will find Pinterest is your leading referrer. If it is not, you are doing something wrong and need to make changes immediately to take advantage of Pinterest while it is hot.

Pinteresting: Pinterest Strategies for Brands and Bloggers
Purchase my book, Pinteresting: Pinterest Strategies for Brands and Bloggers on Amazon.

Even so, dabble in the other social media outlets too.

Meanwhile, build your subscriber list. Your subscribers are the only numbers you can truly count on. If all social media fails, your email subscribers will still be there.

How will you approach Facebook?

As a blogger, what will your plan be for using Facebook? If you are being specific and intentional, we would love to know what you are doing and if it is working. Please share in the comments.

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Imperfect Lives Revealed Can Increase Engagement

Many times, a blogger’s life appears just too perfect on the other side on the computer screen. It is easy for readers to think that our lives are filled with rosy moments and spotless dishes because that is all they see in our posts. We have to strive to be transparent and to encourage instead of creating doubts and anxiety in the lives of those who read our blogs.

Imperfect lives are revealed as bloggers of the #InspiredBN strive to be authentic and real. Come take a look behind the scenes.

Within our network of bloggers, we have resolved to reveal the imperfect parts of our lives through social media.

Using social media to increase authenticity

While writing about your spotted carpet might not naturally flow into a blog post, you can certainly show the less perfect side of yourself though social media.

You can turn any awkward situation into an opportunity to build trust.

Just to get you thinking…

  1. Take a picture of your spots and ask your readers for a natural solution to get the stain out of your carpet. Post before and after pictures.
  2. Put out a plea for help, “My mother in law is 10 minutes out and this stain suddenly appeared? What can I do?”
  3. Encourage your followers in social media to guess what caused the stain and give a $10 gift card to the winner.

Remember to think about social media as a “mini blog” and take these opportunities to not only increase engagement but to endear your readers to you by being transparent. Your vulnerability will build a community… a tribe… that will follow you anywhere.

Imperfect Lives Revealed

This week, you can follow #ImperfectLives and/or #InspiredBN to get a behind the scenes look at what is really going on in our homes.

Many bloggers will be writing with transparency, revealing secrets and dirty corners, and linking them up below. If you are a blogger and have a post about the importance of being authentic, feel free to add it to our linky party.

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What to Pin in July

Did you know that July is considered the most unlucky month to get married? I have no idea who decided that, but I do know that it is ALWAYS a good idea to pin bridal ideas. Weddings are HOT on Pinterest all year long.

Now, if you are an automobile company, I do not recommend pinning wedding dresses. No. Keep it authentic to your audience. But, you could create a board for getaway cars!

If you are looking for other things to pin in the month of July to attract followers to your account, check out what I will be looking for…

what to pin july

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Search Your Own Pins

The newest feature to be unveiled yesterday on Pinterest gives you the ability to customize your search. Now, you can select to search everything or just your own pins. Pinterest suggests using this to find if you have already pinned something.  But what exactly does this mean for companies who are using Pinterest to expand their reach and market their products?

How to use the newest Pinterest feature: searching your own pins on Pinterest


An unreliable search engine

The search function on Pinterest has always been somewhat unpredictable. In the beginning, your search would bring up the most popular pins. Then, the search function changed and would reveal the most recent pins on your topic. Most recently, the change in the way a hashtag search functions seems to reveal an even deeper struggle by Pinterest to master the ability to provide an effective way to search billions of pins.

The newest search function seems to have even more complicated results. A search for the term “homeschool” brought up pins with various dates and interactions…

pinterest search results research show no noticeable pattern

At first glance, I thought that the search results were based on recent interactions, but then how would I explain the search result that had no repins, likes, or comments? This also means that the results are not based on popularity.

I know for a fact that the search results are not based on recent pins since I am a member of a large community of homeschool bloggers who pin regularly and none of their pins showed in the top ten.

Only one thing is clear… keywords are a necessity if you have any hope of showing up in someone’s search results. For brands and bloggers, as you pin your own content, make sure that the pin description contains the words that will help pinners find you.

How does the Pinterest search work?

I would LOVE to know what you have discovered about the Pinterest search. How do you think the algorithm picks search results?


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Do Hashtags Work on Pinterest?

At a recent speaking engagement, the question was posed about using hashtags on Pinterest. Do they work with the new format?

The answer is “yes” and “no.”

Do hashtags in Pinterest? Not the way you think.

If you are asking if hashtags work as well as they do on Twitter, the answer is “no.” When you search Twitter with hashtags, the search results come back with the most recent tweets pertaining to that hashtag. Using hashtags on Pinterest has never worked this way.

On the old format, you could use hashtags to search but the results would include the pins with the most interactions first.

Now, the new format has changed your ability to use hashtags even more.

How hashtags work on the new Pinterest format

If you place a hashtag in the search bar on Pinterest, your results will be the pins with the highest level of engagement with that word in the pin description whether or not it contains the corresponding hashtag.

For instance, consider this image where I search for #homeschool:

hashtag search

Now, if you are browsing Pinterest and you spot a hashtag, you can still use it as a way to quickly search for pins on that topic. Just click the hashtag and it will automatically search Pinterest for you.

hashtag search direct

So, in the traditional sense, hashtags do not work but in a technical way, they do. Just depends on what you want them to do.


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A Pinterest Tracking Shortcut

If you have been looking for an easy way to know what is being pinned from your website, I recommend PinAlerts.

You can know who is pinning and what they are pinning by using Pin Alerts. The report gets emailed to you and is simple to understand!

Signing up for PinAlerts

Visit PinAlerts to create your account. It takes seconds. Just enter all of the URLs for the websites you want tracked and the frequency of the reports.

Then, sit back and wait for your notifications.

An example of PinAlerts

For my websites, I receive updates once a week. I receive one email that shows the entire list of websites and the number of pins each has received.

How PinAlerts works

I also receive a report for the exact pins from each website.

How to use reports PinAlerts

If you are in the beginning stages of growing your Pinterest account, you can click the pin URL and leave a personal message on the pin to thank the Pinterest user for spreading the word about your blog or product. By commenting, you are encouraging that person to return and pin again. Your Pinterest account is also linked to your comment, encouraging those who see your comment to come take a closer look at your account.

For larger Pinterest accounts, it is probably too difficult to comment on every pin but you can see the most popular topics from your website and create related content. You can also monetize those pages and list related links within those posts to capture the traffic you are receiving from Pinterest.

Do you use PinAlerts? How do you make that work for you?

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Grow Your Email Subscribers with Pinterest

In my book, Pinteresting: Pinterest Strategies for Brands and Bloggers (affiliate link), I describe how I created an email campaign to grow the subscribers of my website at

Building a Pinterest campaign to gain email subscribers for your business

Essentially, I created a graphic, pinned it, and linked it to my feed so that when someone clicked, they would be taken straight to the RSS where they could preview a few posts and subscribe. Imagine my surprise when that image was repinned 139 times and continues to be repinned today.

Pinteresting Email Subscription Campaign

1. Create a branded image to represent your email campaign.

  • A long, vertical image works best.
  • Describe the most appealing features of your website or email service.
  • Include your logo on the image.

Create a Pinterest campaign to build your email subscribers

2. Upload your image to your Pinterest account and add an enticing comment about your product or services.

3. Click to edit the pin and add the URL for your splash page (featuring your email opt-in) or directly to your feed where they can subscribe.

4. Pin or repin the image to any boards that relate to your website.

This type of campaign works best when you have a significant number of followers or have a network of friends who are willing to help by following these steps with you.

Best wishes for a successful Pinterest campaign!