Wednesday, 26 October 2016

HELP! My Christmas Ornament DIY Went Viral And I've Been Trying To Make The Most Of It Since 2010

Christmas - the most shareable, pinnable, instagrammable time of the year. For bloggers and pretty much anyone in marketing, it basically takes up around three to four months of your life. There are a million articles and informative podcasts and youtube videos about how to make the best of the world's interest in crafts, baking and cheese at this time of year- with the ultimate aim of creating some content so awesome that it gets pinned a billion times and drives traffic to your blog for years to come.

I did this - but I've struggled to capitalise on my creation for the last six years and now, I need to know whether it's time to just give up, and move on, or if there is something I can do to get the traffic that gets so interested in this DIY to come here, instead of the web address that's been attached to it since the beginning.

In 2010 I was writing on a different little space on the internet. I'd been blogging for quite a few years by this time and I knew what I was doing with photographs and sharing my content, I was getting around 100 hits a day, not amazing, but it was going steadily upwards and I was making jewellery for an Etsy shop that I've since shut down. Because of this, a lot of my social network at the time were crafty types and a lot of the content I was creating was craft related. When it came to Christmas 2010, I was at home with my little guy, I'd just been made redundant and I had a lot of time on my hands. I created this:

I popped the DIY up on the blog and did the usual round of promotion, a post on twitter, Pinterest and on the Etsy forums. Instagram wasn't as huge a thing back then and I hadn't quite worked out how to best use it to promote my content. It's since been pinned 4,700+ times - linking back to the original post on my old blog.

I have tried everything I can to capitalise on this creation in my new space, here at I moved most of the content over to here when I migrated to the new username but because the original Pin linked to the old blogspot, traffic is still being driven there by Pinterest and it drives me INSANE. Hits on the old blog go up to around 3K a day as we get into prime Christmas crafting time, and the old article still gets shared regular as clockwork by all the major crafty DIY sites and blogs. It would basically be a dream come true for traffic and my profile in general - IF the traffic was going to the correct blog! I haven't updated the blog over at the old address for nearly 6 years - I don't want to use the username anymore, I want to use this username and keep the content here. I want traffic to come here, driven by the awesome DIY I made 6 years ago and all the other Christmas, crafting and digital marketing / social media help I've posted over the years.

As someone who works in digital marketing and has done for nearly eight years, I feel like this is an issue I should be able to solve and it frustrates me no end that I can't. That's why, dear reader, I am calling in the big guns and asking for help. Here are the things that I have done to try and get the traffic coming here:

  • Reposted the entire article on this blog under the same username and repinned it. The pin has been shared 47 times. That's 1% of the times of the original. You can read the article as reposted here by clicking here ➡click here
  • Put a big link up at the top of the original post directing traffic to this space
  • Put a link at the top of the new post
  • Set up an automatic divert on my old blog - with a large image that should have just enough time to load before the viewer is diverted. I think I still lose about 50% of traffic as they lose interest (or panic because scammers) - although towards Christmas hits on this blog do go up with the majority of traffic coming from the original blog.
  • Repeatedly over the last six years reposted and resubmitted the pictures and article to many crafting sites, repinned it hundreds of times myself, shared it on every social media platform imaginable
  • Written this post in an attempt to find a final solution - or give up and accept that I can't make the most of the interest in this DIY on a new blog.

I can't change the link on the original Pin, and besides, it's too late. Perhaps I have no choice but to watch in resigned pride as the hit count on my old blog goes through the roof every Christmas and accept the fact that I cannot get that traffic here. Or perhaps, someone out there knows the answer. Perhaps someone has helped a business or individual solve a similar issue and wants to share with me the secret to diverting traffic from one ridiculously popular source to another. I have lots of DIY content here for people to enjoy. I have the full DIY for the Christmas bauble. Which, by the way, fell apart after two days because I didn't use strong enough glue and no longer exists - in case you thought I  got it out every year and cried over it, weeping for my lost traffic. I'm only saying this because I would definitely do that if it hasn't have been such a shoddy DIY in the first place.

So, digital marketers, people with ideas or Pinterest experts - how can I make sure that the traffic comes to my blog here this year? What are you tips and suggestions for driving up the traffic of this here blog based on this one successful DIY I created 6 years ago? Or, I feel this might be the one, is it time to let go of the dream and concentrate on creating more Amazingly Awesome DIY's that will bring readers here themselves. Please drop your thoughts and ideas below, I can't wait to read them :)

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Amazingly Awesome Instagram Accounts You Must Follow (if you don't already!)

In the last of my strange little series of posts about Instagram, I wanted to share some of the fun accounts that I came across - people who are very clearly doing it right! I'm having a little issue with the HTML on my blog, and I can't seem to make links show up very clearly in the text. Since I learnt my HTML skills playing Neopets about 11 years ago, this does not come as a surprise to me.If anyone feels like giving my blog template the once over and maybe tweak it a bit, I shall repay you with a beverage of your choice - but I have linked the account in the name above the picture in the meantime.

I hope you like these :)

Can you believe this kid? She's 3, and has this adorable blog as well as over 35,000 followers on her hilarious and full-of-attitude instagram. I'm a huge fan, as well as being slightly jealous that there's no way I'll ever have this much sass.

This crazy old lady gives me serious #OAPGoals - If I reach this age I want to be sitting front row wearing a sheer sparkle bodysuit and swearing at the camera for sure.

I found this amazing Aussie-Based-In-Paris gal  whilst on the hunt for travel bloggers, and I love the theme of her 'gram - most of the time, there's a round pink balloon in the shot, although sometimes you have to really search for it - kind of like a classy Parisian Where's Wally. She also has a beautiful blog - here.

Kayter_co is a Sydney-based confectioners - Okay, so, I know I can't exactly order any, although if I did, a box of crisp-topped chocolate cronuts with a side of Nutella Syringe would be my choice - but it makes me happy to know this company exist.

If you have ever needed an example of how an Instagram theme might be the best thing ever, this is the account for you.I have no idea if Stellamariebaer's life just happens to be entirely played out in peaches and whites (probably not) but I do know that I want mine to be. Plus, her paintings of the moon are really beautiful.

Basically,I don't think it's possible that you haven't heard of SymmetryBreakfast - the guy got a book deal this year, but it started with posting these breakfast-for-two shots on his Instagram. He shares breakfasts from literally every corner of the world and they all look incredible.

So, yes. These are my current favourite Instagram accounts - the ones that stand out for me in a sea of marble-backed flatlays and massive black evebrows. And butts. Obviously.

Have a great day :)

Monday, 17 October 2016

Honesty, Disclosure and The Future of Influencer Marketing

Who like getting free stuff?

Answer? Everyone. There are so many companies out there right now that I speak to every single day looking to gift people with more than a thousand Instagram followers, or more than 3,000 monthly page views on their blog. It’s fun right? But do you actually trust the majority of the reviews you are reading? I want to talk about a taboo subject here in my little space today – Are We Being Honest?

Here’s the process. A brand emails you and they say, oh hey, we like your internet shizzle, we want to send you some products and we’d love to see a review of them on your blog! So you pass over your address and you receive the package and much excitement! Say, you have the whole of a cosmetic brand's new collection in your hand. So, you start using the products and then you take some photos and you post up a hopefully well-written ‘review’ in which you ensure you fulfil the brands expectations by including a call-to-action such as pointing your readers towards an online retail space where they can make a purchase. Then the products are yours and everyone moves happily on with their day – the company is happy because of your lovely comments about them and the content you have created and you are happy because your drawers are brimming with products you wouldn’t have the budget for.

So, what happens if it’s a really awesome brand that loves working with Influencers (yes, that’s you!) and you usually love their stuff, but on this occasion you aren’t that thrilled with the product they have sent you and you actually feel that if you were completely honest, your review wouldn’t be as positive? I mean, you won’t do that, because they won’t send you products again, right?

This is the issue. In order for Influencer marketing to develop as an industry, there need to be standards in place. We are all familiar with recent high-profile cases in the US that have led to people getting into trouble for not disclosing that they are being paid to advertise a brand – by posting a positive review.

Guys, know this. It’s not a review if you are only able to give a positive opinion. A ‘review’ is a rundown of the pros and cons and your experiences whether good or bad with a product. If you have been told what angle to take – you are creating advertising content. It’s not a review.

I’m worried that bloggers and Influencers are starting to lose their authenticity because they don’t want to be seen to be sharing negative comments about a brand that has paid them – because the brand might not come back with more free product or payments – and why would they? With a million identikit beauty bloggers out there, brands have their pick of the bunch right now and if someone is posting to their audience that their eyeshadows aren’t as pigmented as a competitor, they’ve essentially paid out for bad press – with 74% of consumers using social media to make purchasing decisions, a negative comment about pigmentation can mean a difference of a lot of money for a popular cosmetic brand.

What’s the answer? I mean, brands want to send product out to bloggers and bloggers want to receive it, in the majority I don’t actually think many bloggers care if they are being 100% authentic as long as the packages keep rolling in and their audience is reacting and engaging with them. As far as anyone is concerned at the moment this could be a relatively short-term bubble anyhoo – and by the time it bursts most people just want to achieve collaborations with brands that they love and possibly have a few more pennies in their bank accounts - There’s no loyalty from the Influencers either; I’ve seen three separate detox tea adverts on the same Insta feed this week – if there’s money offered, people are going to take it, however much talking they do about only working with brands that are cohesive to their aesthetic, if a brand flashes enough cash, product or free trips to Bali, they can usually get the Influencer they want on board, and if not, there are a million waiting in the wings.

 Personally, I don’t think this is a problem with Bloggers and Influencers – it’s a brand issue. I’m finding that brands are becoming increasingly complacent about the laws surrounding disclosure – possibly because we haven’t had any high profile bloggers in the UK getting into trouble for non-disclosure; but it will happen. Brands aren’t shy about asking directly for positive reviews. They aren’t checking if disclosure is happening and they aren’t worried about reaching out to multiple Influencers to get the coverage they want. Read more about disclosure and the law here.

In order for the Influencer industry to survive, brands and marketers need to understand that the true value of reviewing a product comes from honesty.  I want to push this agenda in my job at a major Influencer agency and in my personal blogging life, because as soon as the buying audience of Instagram and the blogosphere start to feel like they are only getting one side, the positive side, of a product story, you lose the thing that's valuable in the first place - the ability in influence purchasing decisions.

I'd love your thoughts & experiences in the comments :)

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