Pinterest Scheduling: ViralTag vs. Ahalogy

Pinterest can be a great traffic source. But, manual pinning is very time-consuming. In this hangout, we will compare two popular Pinterest schedulers: ViralTag and Ahalogy.

Pinterest can be a great traffic source. But, manual pinning is very time consuming. In this hangout, we will compare two popular Pinterest schedulers: ViralTag and Ahalogy.

We have spent weeks talking about ViralTag and the power behind it for bloggers. Along the way we’ve sparked a great amount of interest about Ahalogy.

Speakers in Hangout Are:

Crystal Van Tassel of Crystalandcomp.com

Kelli Miller of 3Boysandadog.com

Kelly Dixon of Smart School House

Kelly Dixon of Smart School House has been blogging for a little over a year and uses Ahalogy to schedule content on Pinterest. She loves that you can schedule more than one day at a time. Kelly uses Ahalogy on a daily basis so she can see performance reports and adjust her pinning accordingly.

The strategic pinning and scheduling of pins both ensure her success and success is fun!

Kelly watches what others are pinning from her site and pins more stuff like that. Whether it’s her pin or someone else’s, if the pin doesn’t do well, she doesn’t pin it anymore. She grows her Pinterest following, increases traffic to her blog, and she makes more money

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about two Pinterest scheduling tools: ViralTag vs. Ahalogy.

ViralTag is “a complete visual marketing platform for Pinterest and Instagram. Discover, create and schedule content.”

Ahalogy helps “marketers connect with consumers via meaningful, data-driven content.”

AHALOGY

Can I view the time schedule based on Pinterest analytics?

Check the performance tab. In ViralTag, Crystal looks at which boards are doing well and getting the most repins.

In the Ahalogy Network, you can add your pins to the network (made up of bloggers who can also pin your stuff). The score of an individual pin shown at the top left of the screen. A score of 100=pin is doing amazing. It’s guaranteed to get repins and likely gain followers. It sends the original pinner traffic.

Go to All My Pins. Schedule repins to group boards.

Kelly aims for 65 or higher score. If not, she works on pinning a different image. If a pin does well, she will continue to pin it.

Kelly always includes at least 2 pinnable images in every post to increase the chances of the pin getting a high score (in case one doesn’t do well).

How is the score determined?

Ahalogy’s algorithm (# repins, interaction, # followers gained, overall performance). Score=repins divided by followers+traffic generated by the pin. Ahalogy is free to use. You have to apply to their network.

Are you limited to the number of pins you can publish through Ahalogy a day?

Yes, limit is 25. Kelly Dixon pins more than 25 things a day. She uses all of her pins through Ahalogy on her site. Pin groups, tribes, etc. geared toward pinning stuff- organically pins. Keep track of what you pin and where because you don’t want to pin the same thing over and over to the same board (especially group boards) (could use a Google Document to keep track).

Susan at Ahalogy said it will always be free for content creators. Businesses “pay to play.”

When you add your pin to the network, it allows a brand to pin it. Links to your site, but the engagement box pops up to encourage you to follow a brand. Your photo may be cropped or sized to fit the brands boards, but your name, watermark, URL, or logo shouldn’t be removed. Read the terms of service before adding your content to the network.

Consider your blogging goals before participating in the network. Do you want to work with brands? Do you want traffic from Pinterest? Do you like the idea of a brand putting a “stamp of approval” on your pin/content?

The engagement box is part of Ahalogy’s content. You get it free.

How do you make money from Ahalogy?

Each time a brand pins your content and it gets engagement, you will be paid. Check Smart School House’s media page. She shows the brands that have pinned her work.

Kelly uses Pinterest and Ahalogy to maximize the promotion of her blog’s content. She gained 20,000 followers and her income has quadrupled since starting with Ahalogy.

When you pin things that have a high score, the original pinner gets the traffic and your engagement box pops up when a visitor goes to their site.

Kelly’s goal was to build her Pinterest following, but not get paid for the brand’s pins of her content.

How did you learn that a brand has pinned your content?

Check her source (i.e. pinterest.com/smartschoolhouse.com). She sees what people are pinning, then repins and pushes content out to new boards. Her ratio is usually 14 of hers/9 from the network.

Kelly is not exclusively looking for friends’ pins. She does that with organic pinning and searches for the best score.

Pinterest can be a great traffic source. But, manual pinning is very time consuming. In this hangout, we will compare two popular Pinterest schedulers: ViralTag and Ahalogy.

Do Rich Pins show in Ahalogy?

Yes. It’s an easy way to see clicks on your pins each day – based on Ahalogy only (not all of Pinterest). You can check Pinterest Analytics for all of your information.

The score helps you evaluate the quality of the image and the content readers want to see.

How does a big following of people make you money?

Is it for your media kit to look good so big brands want to advertise on your blog? That’s how someone could use it, but Kelly Dixon just adds her numbers to her media kit.

If you are making money through Ahalogy, do you have to give them your bank account information?

They can send you a check.

How does Ahalogy bring brands and bloggers together with their network?

Certain brands are contracted with Ahalogy. If they pin your content and it turns into clicks on your site, you get the traffic and the brand’s engagement box pops up on your site.

Ahalogy brings brands and bloggers together with their network – the blogger can give permission for a brand to pin your content without the potential legal ramifications of not having your permission.

It’s a guaranteed way to bring traffic to your blog.

Can we pin sponsored content?

Yes! Add it to your Ahalogy schedule. You don’t have to add that pin to the network.

Should I outsource my Ahalogy pinning?

Would it make more sense for a blogger to pin their own content through Ahalogy instead of having a VA do it, so that you can see feedback on its performance? Yes! You need to have a close eye on this. Analyze the performance of your pins based on the score your pin is given.

Each time you pin, there is a box that pops up where you can give permission to add it to the network.

ahalogy-screenshot

Savannah, a Pinterest VA, says you should hire someone who can manage that for you or you will have to give them direction on pinning content for your site.

When you hire a VA for any task, always know how to do the task yourself so that you know it’s been done correctly and how long it takes to do the job, so you’re not being overcharged.

Can you see a pin before you pin it?

You can click on it before pinning.

Benefits of Using Ahalogy:

  • the engagement box that shows up on your site
  • the engagement box will show up on others’ sites if they pin your content via the Ahalogy network
  • thinks the process is slow, but for 25 pins/day it’s not a big deal
  • in the morning, uses it to pin half of hers and half of the network’s
  • will now be checking the score to choose what to pin

VIRAL TAG

Benefits of Using Viral Tag:

Download the ViralTag button to your browser’s toolbar. Kelli Miller uses both Ahalogy and Viral Tag.

What Kelli Miller loves:

  • When she goes to Crystal’s site, Kelli wants to be able to pin her stuff quickly to multiple boards.
  • From Crystal’s site, if she sees 7 images she likes, she can hit the ViralTag button and schedule them out to different boards, over whatever period of time she wants.
  • From Pinterest, Kelli can go to one of Crystal’s boards, pull up 20 images, hit the ViralTag button, it re-pins all 20 of those images and schedules them out. It’s very fast!
  • Kelli happily pays for it because it saves her a lot of time.

3 Smart (& Easy!) Ways to Diversify Traffic Sources

What if Pinterest went away and it wasn’t just an April Fool’s Day joke? If you get most of your traffic from Pinterest, you need to find other ways to bring traffic to your site.

What if Pinterest went away and it wasn't just an April Fool's Day joke? If you get most of your traffic from Pinterest, you need to find other ways to bring traffic to your site.

Speakers in Hangout Are:

Crystal Van Tassel of Crystalandcomp.com

Kelli Miller of 3Boysandadog.com

How Would Your Traffic Be Affected if Pinterest Was Gone?

What if Pinterest went away and it wasn’t just an April Fool’s Day joke? If you get most of your traffic from Pinterest, you need to find other ways to bring traffic to your site.

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

Work on things weekly or monthly to even out your traffic source. Ideally, you are receiving equal percentages from four traffic sources which each bring in 25% of your traffic, for a total of 100% of traffic.

In your tribe, work just as hard to promote them as yourself. On social media, it’s best to share others’ content 80% of the time and share your content 20% of the time.

Related: How to Grow Your Blog With a Tribe

Spend 5-10 minutes daily on each social media site you’re on. Focus on one for 30-60 minutes a day (i.e. Pinterest or Facebook).

Don’t understand Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools? You need the The #LearntoBlog Online Blog Class.

What if Pinterest went away and it wasn't just an April Fool's Day joke? If you get most of your traffic from Pinterest, you need to find other ways to bring traffic to your site.

How to Bring in More Search Traffic Strategically With Keywords

Search which keywords are used in Google. Ask yourself, “how would I search?”Be deliberate and intentional.

Put your keyword in all of the right places (post title, URL, meta data, image name, alt text, in the first 150 words of your content, ideally once every 150 words of your content, etc.). However, be organic (no keyword stuffing).

What keywords is the best traffic coming from on Google? Plan to write multiple posts about that holiday or keyword.

Example keyword: “how to make sweet tea.” Also write separate posts about Chai, green, hot, regular, etc. types of tea. Interlink these posts, link to/from your landing pages, link out to others’ posts. Others will be more likely to link to you and share your posts since they are on the same topic. Say “Don’t forget to check out my other tea recipes.”

Related: How to Create Landing Pages for Your Blog

How to Get Referral Traffic from Other Bloggers

If you see something you like, but it’s not that season yet, pin it for later. Comment on their content. This puts you on other bloggers’ radar. Follow 10 pages in your genre for your audience.

Share from larger Facebook pages, it increases your Facebook post’s reach.

Again, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. You can share on Twitter, Google+, Facebook. Comment on other blogs. Participate in linky parties. Work with a tribe.

Remember, the VIP Learn to Blog Forum is $7.99 a month (go here to join) with over 2,000 topics being discussed with actionable tasks for growing your blog. This forum is for the fully invested bloggers looking to make an income from their sites. The non-complainers. The folks wanting to invest in their businesses.

Watch the Pinterest Insider News hangout:

Answers to Your Burning Questions About Blogging

No matter how many blogging videos you watch or posts that you read, sometimes there are burning questions that never made the list. Here are the answers to more than five of the most asked questions in the #LearntoBlog community.

No matter how many blogging videos you watch or posts that you read, sometimes there are burning questions that never made the list. Here are the answers to more than five of the most asked questions in the #LearntoBlog community.

As mom bloggers, so many of us are self-taught. We didn’t go to school to learn things like social media promotion, or search engine optimization. So naturally, we have a lot of questions!

Speakers in Hangout Are:
Crystal Van Tassel of Crystalandcomp.com
Kelli Miller of 3Boysandadog.com

In this hangout, Kelli and Crystal answer many of the most frequently asked questions from their listeners like:

How do you find a blogging mentor?

Kelli and Crystal share the experience as blog mentor and mentoree, as well as answer questions about how to find a blog mentor using connections you already have, and even how to make new connections:

  • Don’t start at the highest level of traffic.
  • Reach out to someone who is bigger than you, but not at the top. Just start reaching out to people in groups where you are already networking. Build a relationship.
  • Consider reaching out to others in your tribe, Facebook groups, etc.

What will a blog mentor expect from you?

If you are looking for a mentor, be willing to put in the work and make it a priority. Complete your assignments and report back to your mentor. Keep track of what you’re doing, what’s working, and what’s not working.

It has to be worth it for the mentor, too. Offer guest posts and to share their content, too on social media.

What is True Twit (and should I be using it)?

Do you need Twitter account verification for followers? This is a service that many bloggers use to cut down on spam, but that many other bloggers loathe for its cumbersomeness.

TrueTwit “attempts to validate your new followers to see if they are human as opposed to automated bots.”

It’s like the Akismet plugin is for WordPress. Kelli does not recommend it. She said it’s more useful to use for kids’ or personal Twitter accounts.

No matter how many blogging videos you watch or posts that you read, sometimes there are burning questions that never made the list. Here are the answers to more than five of the most asked questions in the #LearntoBlog community.

How do you legally include other blogger’s images in your blog posts?

As you can imagine, this can be a sticky issue for many bloggers, but Crystal and Kelli give you many ideas including:

  • if you have a linky party, use that. This is an especially good idea because you want your link party participants to see traffic coming from your site to keep them coming back.
  • ask permission from the blogger by email
  • create round-up images using multiple pictures so that you’ve essentially created a new image. Doing that will prevent people from pinning the owner’s image your blog getting the credit.
  • ask your networking groups for pictures

How do I increase blog subscribers when readers simply close the pop-up?

Kelli and Crystal explain how to create more eye-grabbing pop-ups and incentivize your description. As Crystal says “let them know exactly what they’re getting.” Make sure to tell them they’re getting your posts in their inbox for FREE.

Offer a freebie as an incentive for opting in to your email list. Free printables, eBooks, and resource lists are great ways to incentivize your list. An easy way to create a free eBook for your opti-in incentive is to create a PDF of your top five posts.

Let them know how often they’ll be getting your newsletter i.e. daily, weekly, or monthly.

Could having a pop-up hurt your blog?

Some people do get annoyed with pop-ups, but the reality is, the average reader doesn’t care. Even so, you should set your pop-up box so that it no longer shows to people who have already opted in.

There are thousands upon thousands of blogs out there to read. How are readers going to remember yours over all the noise? Getting an email reminder into their inbox is gold.

Using a pop-up, Kelli went from fewer than 200 newsletter subscribers, to over 5,000 in less than six months.

The Power Of Blog Commenting

A common refrain you’ll hear from other bloggers is that commenting and interacting with folks on other blogs is an important part of building your own blogging business. In this hangout, Crystal and Kelli give you all the details for why, how, when, and where you should comment.

Are you wondering if commenting and interacting with folks on other blogs is an important part of building your own blogging business? Learn all of the details for why, how, when, and where you should comment.

Speakers in Hangout Are:
Crystal Van Tassel of Crystalandcomp.com
Kelli Miller of 3Boysandadog.com

Why do we need to leave comments?

  1. It’s a great way to network and build community. Crystal shares that she has gotten to know blogging friends because they took the initiative to comment on her blog, which in turn, sparked more engagement on her blog, and inspired her to go visit the original commenter’s own site and leave comments.
  2. Commenting is a great way to be personable and relatable in your community.
  3. It helps you build links that point to your blog.
  4. It builds your authority with search engines.

What is the correct way to comment on blogs?

Simply saying “hey, that looks cool” or “Hi, I found you though xx” isn’t going to cut it. To build real, authentic community, you need to leave real, thoughtful comments.

Kelli and Crystal share how you can leave relatable, relevant comments on blog posts that help build relationships.

For instance, many bloggers have a call to action at the end of their posts. Answer their questions!

How To Drive Traffic Via Blog Commenting

Most comment forms allow you to include your website url. Great news for you! But do you know how to make the best use of it?

Make sure you leave a relevant url, rather than just dropping your homepage address. Doing this brings traffic to a post on your blog that they’re most likely already interested in, resulting in more long term readers for you!

Are you wondering if commenting and interacting with folks on other blogs is an important part of building your own blogging business? Learn all of the details for why, how, when, and where you should comment.

Don’t forget to respond to your readers’ comments!

People who comment on your blog are invested, and they deserve your attention. On the flip side of that, as Crystal says, there’s nothing more discouraging to potential commenters than to see that you don’t respond to comments.

Not only does engaging with your commenters build community with your readers, it catches the attention of brands that you could potentially work with.

Which Blogs Should You Comment On?

  • Blogs within your niche. This seems pretty obvious, right? You want to find blogs within your niche, with similar content to your own to comment on, because more people who will be interested in what you write will see it.
  • Blogs that use CommentLuv. Leaving a comment on a blog that uses the CommentLuv plugin will result in a much higher number of click-throughs to your blog. Why? Because Comment Luv populates your last blog post – or if you’re a Comment Luv member, you can choose from your last 10 blog posts – along with your comment. Pretty Sweet!

Where can you find blogs to comment on? 

  1. Start with your tribe mates’ blogs. Not only will commenting on your friend’s blogs help you, it supports them!
  2. Use your link party if you host one! It’s a great way to thank linkers for linking up with you, and especially good for giving those that get caught in the middle a click through.
  3. Use link parties that you link to. Start by commenting on the two posts before and after yours, and then scroll through the rest and click through to whatever catches your eye!
  4. Any social media that you spend a lot of time on – What is your go-to when you pick up your phone to browse? Whether it’s Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, or Stumbleupon, use whatever you’re scrolling through to find blogs on which to comment.
  5. Any blog’s that bring you traffic. Check your Google Analytics to see which blogs are listed in your referrals.

How do you find time to leave comments on blogs?

Set a timer for fifteen minutes and do nothing other than comment on blogs for those fifteen minutes. Don’t open any other tabs, get rid of all your distractions. Once you have your timer going, get focused. You’ll be amazed by how much you can get done with fifteen minutes of focus time!

5 Easy Ways To Get More Traffic

Do you want to grow your traffic? Do you feel like you can’t get any traction? Learn five easy ways you can start getting more traffic today.

Do you want to grow your traffic? Do you feel like you can't get any traction? Learn five easy ways you can start getting more traffic today.Finding ways to get more traffic is one of a blogger’s main goals. After all, if we don’t have traffic, what do we have?

A steady stream of visitors to your website is a large part of the foundation to a profitable blog.

So what can you do? In this hangout, Crystal and Kelli go in depth on Five Easy Ways To Get More Traffic to your blog.

Speakers in Hangout Are:
Crystal Van Tassel of Crystalandcomp.com
Kelli Miller of 3Boysandadog.com

1. SEO

From this point forward, make a commitment to use keywords properly, and even go back through old posts to update SEO keywording.

Crystal says: “If you’re not putting blog posts out there using the keyword that you’re trying to build for search engine traffic, and if you’re goal is to make money at some point from your blog, and if your goal is to increase your page views, you’re wasting your time if you’re not using your keywords properly.”

Don’t forget to spend some time going over old posts and ensuring that they’re set up properly. Crystal points out that one of the best things you can do is to go back to your posts from the same season of the year previously (Fall, for instance), and update them to be search engine friendly. That way you can link to them in this Fall’s related posts, and build search engine authority.

Not every post should be SEO-driven though, as Kelli says, doing so would make search engines think you’re trying to game the system!

Your first priority is your readers, but you also need to do your best to be search engine friendly, so you can accrue more readers.

2. Engage in social media

Don’t just drop your links and run. Engage and communicate with people on your various social media platforms. Spend some time retweeting, repinning, and commenting on Pins, tweets, and Facebook posts. Stumble other people’s things on Stumbleupon.

It’s a good idea to spend ten to fifteen minutes a day on each social media platform, but we all know how easy it is to get sucked into social media, but we can beat that problem by setting a timer, and scheduling things ahead of time.

Think about what times are best for social media interaction. What times are moms sitting in the school line playing on their smart phones? Times like those are when your blog and social media interaction are going to spike. This is an especially go time to be active on Pinterest.

Facebook

Don’t just drop your link and run! Like and/or comment on fellow bloggers posts. It’s helpful for them, and will result in return likes and comments.

Crystal has found that creating and using interest lists in Facebook makes it easy for her to quickly go through and like, comment, and share fellow bloggers posts.

Using your personal profile to connect with other bloggers and their readers will impact the reach of a post much more than using your blog page profile.

Twitter

The lifespan of a tweet is roughly eighteen minutes, so tweet often – but not so often that annoy your followers.

Some ways to fill your Twitter stream are:

  • share your Instagram pics to twitter
  • share a few pins to twitter
  • use the Easy Tweet button on blogs. You don’t even have to think about this one! The tweet is pre-composed for you – all you have to do is click to share!
  • share your google+ posts
  • retweet other’s tweets
  • respond to other’s tweets

Buffer is a great web browser extension for scheduling out tweets (as well as other social media) in order to avoid clustering your posts and annoying readers. With the paid version, you can easily schedule social media while you browse, and with the free version, you can go into the app to bulk schedule.

Do you want to grow your traffic? Do you feel like you can't get any traction? Learn five easy ways you can start getting more traffic today.

3. Create Engagement With Comments

Use a clever plugin

Using the Thank Me Later plugin helps make your website more memorable, and results in more page views.

How does it work? Simple! When a reader leaves a comment on your site, they are automatically emailed a thank you email which you have previously created containing links to, and info about your site. This is especially powerful when you set up a specific reply for each category on your blog.

For instance, Crystal gets many comments on her Letter of The Week articles, asking for more of them, so for this particular type of post, the Thank Me Later automated email is set to send them links to more letter of the weeks articles. It’s very helpful for readers, and nets you more page views.

Comment On Other Blogs

Kelli and Crystal have a policy of commenting on at least five different blogs each day. Leaving honest, useful comments on other blogs will often result in not only the blog owner visiting your site, but many of the reader who see and enjoy your comment.

If you host a link party, comment on linker’s posts! The blog owner will notice that you’ve taken the time to read their article, which creates goodwill, and keeps them coming back. Often, this also results in comments back, which boosts your authority with the search engines.

Be interesting and engaging. Build relationships with your fellow bloggers!

So how do you find other blogs to comment on if you don’t host a link party? After all, we don’t want to constantly comment only on the same blogs!

  • Use social media. Actually click through to those articles that show up in your feed!
  • Use other blogger’s link parties. There will never be a shortage of posts on which to comment when you make a habit of scrolling through fellow blogger’s link parties!
  • Utilize comments on your own site. Go to the comment section in your dashboard (it should be in the menu section on the left side of the screen in your WordPress blog). Often, commenters are fellow bloggers, and will leave their website address in the comment form, which makes it super easy to click through, read, and comment on their articles.
  • If you’ve done something for someone who’s article you’re reading, it might be a good idea to let them know. For instance, if you’ve pinned their article to one of your board, leave a comment mentioning that you did so, and how much you think your readers will love it. This encourages them to check out your Pin board, and often leads to them following your board, which leads to them seeing your pins and eventually repinning your content and even clicking through, which can eventually generate quite a lot of traffic.
  • Answer comments! Especially if it’s the first few in an article, answer the comments, and take it a step further by going over to the commenter’s site and commenting on their articles.

4. Drive your New Traffic To Your Old Content

  • Go into Google Analytics and see what posts were popular last year
  • Go into Adsense and see what posts are making the most money per click
  • Go to Amazon or other affiliates, and see what posts are making people buy things.

Using information from those three sources, drive traffic to these posts via new posts. Round ups are great for this!

Make the images pinnable if they’re not already, and pin them to every applicable board.

Another way to get attention to older, popular or money-making posts is to advertise them in your sidebar. Create an attractive graphic that describes what the post is about (both with words and picture).

For instance, for Crystal, her CrockPot Ravioli Recipe is one of the most popular articles on her site, so the for the sidebar advertisement, she has a picture of the dish, with its title, and an eye-grabbing graphic showing that the article has been pinned over 100,000 times. This grabs the reader’s attention. They know that this recipe must be worth reading given the pin count.

5. Amplify Your Brand

First, you do have a brand. It’s you! Your blog is a faction of that brand, and you need to amplify it so that more readers can find it.

There are so many ways you can do this!

  • Amplify via social media. Cycle posts through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and  Pinterest.
  • Guest post. By writing a quality, original piece of content on another site, you expose your brand to a whole new audience, gaining new readers for yourself, and, when you amplify that guest post on your blog and social media, new readers for the blog you guest posted on. Guest posting also helps build search engine authority when you write on topics that Google “knows” you for.