Doesn’t life feel like a popularity contest some days?  I thought I would be through with facing such demands when high school was over.

And then social media happened and it some days it feels as if we’re all regressing into that old school (no pun intended) mentality.

The struggle to stand as a blogger in a sea full of influencers and heavy hitters on Facebook Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter is real

The good news?  Not all social media apps are created equal.

The even better news?  Pinterest is NOT a social media app; it is a search engine.

The even BETTER better news?  You don’t need to have a ton of followers to grow your audience via Pinterest.

Repeat:  You do NOT need to have a ton of fans to build your audience via Pinterest.

Do Pinterest followers matter?  Not really.

Why?

It is not Pinterest’s goal to encourage users to have lots of followers to impress others.  In fact, followers don’t matter because Pinterest uses a smart feed which determines the way that Pinterest shows and shares your Pins.

Pinterest’s smart feed works with the following sources:

  1. Repins:  And by repins, I mean by the people and the boards you follow.  So, if you are following people who are pinning categories relevant to your audience, you will see their pins first and often on your feed.   Pinterest will supply you with a constant stream of content for you to fill your boards.
  2. Pin related to your searches:  Pins related to your search items are suggested to you on a regular basis.  For instance, if you are searching for “weight loss recipes,” the next time you sign in to your Pinterest account, you will likely see Pins that relate to the search, and they will be labeled as “picked for you.”  Pinterest takes a lot of the search effort of your shoulders by keeping you immersed in fresh content tailored to what interests you the most!
  3. You see Pins that are performing well, not users who are:  The smart feed enables your Pins to be discovered by the search bar rather than just randomly appearing in your followers feeds.  Before the smart feed algorithm, Pinterest would share your Pins in your followers feeds.  However, with the smart feed, you will see Pins that are performing well by the people you follow as well as Pins relevant to those topics.  So, the goal switches from wanting the content you Pin to perform well so that it gets shared with a larger audience.  People will click and be driven to your blog or website regardless of whether they are following you or if they happen to see your top pins.

So, you do not have to have 100,000 followers to get a significant ROI from your Pinterest efforts.  If you Pin beautiful images and graphics and Pin and Repin often, you will reach drive traffic to your blog or website and grow your email list.  Pinterest is for having fun and planning out the future.  Whether it is a recipe, outfit, or exercise program, Pinterest is there to enrich the users experience personally.

It’s not how big your following is; it’s all about the quality of what you’re putting out there!

Do Pinterest Followers Really Matter-

Do your metrics show that the number of followers doesn’t impact your traffic and growth via Pinterest?

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Keyword.  Remember when that wasn’t a word that resonated with many of us?

I may be aging myself right now by asking this question.  No, in fact, I know I am aging myself by asking this question.

As a brand, your online presence now likely supersedes your in-person presence.  Making yourself stand out in the crowd (and it’s a big group) is no longer just contingent on your professional demeanor and beautiful store front.

Online success means fully understanding your audience and knowing the keywords to connect what you have to offer directly to your base.

When it comes to Pinterest, keyword placement makes a big difference when it comes to connecting brands to a larger audience.

5 Pinterest keyword placement tips

  1.  Your Pinterest Business name.  By putting your keywords in with your business name, it helps Pinterest determine what your niche is and how to searches directly to your boards and pins.  For example, if you have a gluten free cooking business and it’s called “Flourless Confections,” you would want to place your business name:  ‘Gluten Free Bakery – Flourless Confections.’
    5-places-for-pinterest-keywords
  2.  Profile URL.  If you’re not already fairly well established on Google, you might consider changing your Pinterest profile URL to include the main keyword which represents your brand.  For example, if you’re a wellness professional, you would want to add that keyword if it will fit (limited character numbers).  For example, Wellness Bakery’s business name and URL include the keywords ‘wellness’ and ‘bakery’ – which enables them to connect with relevant searchers.
  3.  Board names.  If you’re using Pinterest for fun, it’s fine to have board names like, “Things I want to buy when I win the lottery” but when you’re a brand, board names should include relevant keywords.  For example, if your board is for fitness, you should assign it a keyword reflecting this.
    5-places-for-pinterest-keywords

    Photo: Pinterest

     

  4. Your pin descriptions.  What you type in the description tab of your pins is critical in helping Pinterest searchers connect with your content.  If you are a food blogger, you will want to use keywords relevant to cooking, baking, and other associated descriptions, to connect with your target audience.  For example, Running with Spoons recipe for ‘Flourless Chocolate Zucchini Muffins’ and the description for the pin:
    5-places-for-pinterest-keywords

    Photo: Pinterest

     

  5. Pin image text.  When creating pinnable texts within your content, consider the added power of including the keyword within the image text.  When you include the keyword within the image text, you are showing your potential audience what the pin is all about.  People have short attention spans and like to be able to make quick decisions – if they can see what your pin is about, they are likely to pin, repin, or like your brand’s pins.

    5-places-for-pinterest-keywords

    Photo: Pinterest

With these five Pinterest keyword placement tips, you can begin to improve your power to promote your brand and grow your conversion rates.

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We’ve all been there. You get some bad news, a parking ticket or have a fight with a friend or family member, and what’s the first thing you want to do? If you’re like me, some days hit the snack aisle.

What is emotional eating?

Emotional eating is the consumption of food — usually “comfort” food or junk foods — in response to feelings in place of actual hunger. Feelings caused by emotions formulated to make us believe that food can bring us comfort.

Why you often want to eat the worst foods when you have an emotional eating episode

According to one study, there are various biological factors which link mood, food intake, and brain signaling that trigger the peripheral and central nervous systems as we eat. In more simplistic terms, when you take that first bite out of a piece of cake, your body releases dopamine, which stimulates the area of your brain that tells you that you feel pleasure.

Where’s the harm in seeking comfort in food?

All you want is to feel better, so if that piece of candy or cake makes you feel better, what’s the problem? The problem is that it likely doesn’t stop at one piece, and once you’ve finished swallowing that food your remorse can kicks in, and you feel more powerless than before.

Do you suffer from emotional eating?

The first step to overcoming your emotional eating habit is to admit that you have it. If you think you have an emotional issue with eating, you can complete an assessment, like this one from Psychology Today or seek the help of a professional. A few indications that you may be suffering from emotional eating include:

  • You eat when you’re not hungry or “unconsciously”.
  • You use food as your top source of pleasure.
  • You have a toxic relationship with your body image.

I think I am an emotional eater. What are some ways I can overcome my emotional eating?

Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or solution to stop your emotional eating cycles. The only way to actively stop emotional eating is first to be aware of it, and second, find other ways to manage your reaction to triggering situations. Here are a few of the ways you can manage your emotional eating.

  1. Confide in someone you can trust who can help during times of stress and anxiety
  2. Find ways to reward yourself that have nothing to do with eating. Evaluate other things in your life that bring you pleasure and turn to those in times of need.
  3. Be present and allow yourself to feel. Since feelings such as boredom, anxiety, and sadness trigger some emotional eating episodes, allow yourself to process emotions thoroughly before turning to an external solution

When you become aware of your triggers, you can then seek out a better plan of action to stop feeling helpless and start your healing process going forward.

If you are struggling with emotional eating, you will want to check out my free eBook “How To Digest (And Still Save Room For Sanity!)”

This post was originally featured on Huffington Post.

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