Warning: this is a rant post.
You see, I belong to many blogging related Facebook groups.
I frequently catch myself getting worked up and wanting to contradict other people’s advice in the comments.
Sometimes I’m eye-rolling like:
There isn’t one right way to do most things in the blogging world, and everyone has their own perspective on things.
Sometimes, I don’t see eye to eye on what other bloggers are preaching.
I decided to write this post to express my differing opinions on popular topics instead of debating on Facebook.
Let’s dive in with the oldest ones in the books.
Guess what? I recommend Bluehost.
Despite it getting negative reviews.
Spend a week in a blogging Facebook group, and a question about Bluehost or hosting is sure to come up.
And many blogging experts and tech support people shout, “avoid Bluehost at all costs!”
If my tech lady reads this post, she will go bonkers.
But I am here to tell you that Bluehost is hands down the easiest hosting platform to get started as a brand new blogger.
That is why I recommend Bluehost for brand new bloggers.
Bluehost is the easiest, most friendly non-techy user experience out there. The dashboard is clean and easy to navigate. The set up is smooth and straightforward.
Before I updated my start course last year, I tested Bluehost, Siteground, Namehero, Flywheel, WPEngine, and Biz Budding to see if I could find a better alternative, and I couldn’t.
They were all more complicated.
Starting a blog is complicated enough. New bloggers need things to be as easy as possible.
I will be the first to tell you that Bluehost is not your blog’s forever home. Bluehost is great for new bloggers, but once you reach 10,000 pageviews a month, it’s time to upgrade hosting to something beefier than basic shared hosting.
Usually, people that have problems with Bluehost are the people outgrowing their hosting plan.
If you’re just getting started, Bluehost is my preferred hosting company. (yes, that is an affiliate link)
The main reasons I recommend Bluehost:
- Easiest setup
- Great customer service
- Discounts to G Suite
- Free domain
- Free domain privacy
- Great interface
Bluehost’s support is usually top-notch.
Another common reason you see so many negative comments about Bluehost is that people have unrealistic expectations of what support covers.
Bluehost customer service exists to help you with hosting issues. And they excel at that! You do not pay for them to be your tech gurus, your developers, or your WordPress maintenance package.
Don’t even get me started on the Bluehost vs. Siteground.
Okay, I guess I started.
Bluehost vs. Siteground
Switching from Bluehost to Siteground is just switching from one basic shared hosting to another basic shared hosting.
You moved from Burger King to Wendy’s. Wahoo.
Bluehost and Siteground both have their pros. Both have their cons.
If you want stellar hosting, invest in stellar hosting. But don’t waste your time, energy and efforts switching between those two. The best one out of the two is the one you already have.
And before someone says, “she’s only recommending Bluehost because they have a higher affiliate payout… blah blah blah.”
Based on the number of sales I make a month on hosting, my commissions for Siteground and Bluehost are equivalent. And even if they weren’t, I could probably negotiate the same deal if I promised to switch everything over to one or the other.
- If you want the most user-friendly experience, go with Bluehost.
- If you aren’t tech-savvy, don’t use Namehero.
- If you don’t want your site traffic capped when you have a pin go viral for the first time, don’t go with Siteground.
While I’m ranting about Facebook and Hosting, let me add that FB is not the best place to ask for the best hosting recommendation. Your hosting needs are dependent on the size of your blog, the amount of your traffic, how much you want to DIY vs. have it managed, and your budget. The people of Facebook are going to give you various answers of all perplexities. Look into hosting that fits your current (and near future) needs.
Phew. Two down. Three to go.
Next up is…
How to Launch a Blog
I already have an article dedicated to how many posts I recommend you write before launching your blog.
And I have an entire course called the Blog Launch Plan.
But the question “how many blog posts should I launch with” gets asked so often on Facebook I have to include it on this list too.
I’m afraid I have to disagree with the notion to “just launch” with one post for the sake of getting out of the Google sandbox.
I see this answer all the time:
“It can take Google six months or more in order to index and see your site so the sooner you can start the better“
And on the flip side, other SEO experts tell you to write 30 blog posts and launch with those, so there’s an ocean for Google to index when you go live.
My blog launch plan is not designed for search engines.
It is for you.
I also disagree with the idea to “do it scared and launch before you’re ready because you’ll never be ready.”
(side note, I know he looks all buff and manly in this GIF, but I just can’t move beyond Even Stevens and Holes.)
I get where Shia and the just do it experts are coming from. It’s true; it is easy to get stuck in the research and the preparing stage. It’s easy to put off your dreams. But…
Launching on the fly with one post and no plan leads to discouragement, confusion, and usually, the new blogger quitting.
You don’t need a ton of posts, but you do need to have a few posts written and a content plan for moving forward.
Okay, I’m done with beginning blogging topics; let’s move to Pinterest.
Yes, things are heating up in here.
“Pinterest hasn’t changed”
Maybe you’ve read these statements lately, “Pinterest hasn’t changed that much” and “We didn’t have to make any big shifts when announcements were made because this is what we’ve been teaching all along”
It has changed.
I will be the first to admit that I have actually said this one myself. In February 2019 I sent an email that said, “For the most part, I do not feel like much has changed in terms of how we approach Pinterest marketing. Because you have gone through Pingineered for Growth, you know that saving to Pinterest is only a small portion of what contributes to success on Pinterest.
But in the last almost two years it has changed.
Yes, Pinterest has always said to space out Pins. Pinterest has always said not to spam with repetitive Pins. And Pinterest has always reminded us when we saved the same Pin to a board.
But how bloggers were spacing out Pins in 2018 is very different than how we need to be spacing them out going into 2021.
In 2018-19 we were intentionally creating multiple, similar boards on Pinterest to save the same Pin more often. (That is not a good idea anymore)
Because I’m a nerd, I dug deep into Pinterest FB groups and old Pinterest marketing blog posts.
In 2018 the recommendations and conversations about Pinning were:
- 12 – 24hrs is a good interval time. It really depends how much you’re sharing. You just want to make sure there are enough pins in between your reshares.
- Pin it to all relevant boards at least one time per day. 24 hour interval in between until you have no more boards to Pin to
In 2019, these were the discussions and suggestions
- When you create new content, pin it to all relevant boards at least one time per day (use a 24-hour interval between if you’re using Tailwind).
- Maybe try stretching out 2-4 days apart.
- When you create new content, pin it to all relevant boards at least one time (I add them to each board about 3-4 days apart using Tailwind)
Although, hat tip to Louise, who started spacing her Pins out seven days back in 2019.
Going forward into 2021:
We need bigger spacing. Longer intervals.
I am spacing out the same Pin 30 days. That means I am waiting at least 30 days before the same image shows up on a different board. And I am saving it to far less boards than I used to.
Some of my Pinterest guru friends are only saving a Pin to one single board. Yes, you read that right. One and done.
So, don’t say Pinterest hasn’t changed.
When it comes to saving on Pinterest, the change has been dramatic.
The foundation elements of Pinterest haven’t changed. Keep rocking your keywords. Keep saving to relevant boards. Keep designing eye catching Pins.
But don’t keep saving the same way you were Pinning in 2018.
We need to change.
You don’t need to save other people’s Pins
I saved this one for last because it gets me most riled up.
This one has popped up a lot lately: “It’s not really necessary anymore to save other people’s Pins”
I apologize in advance to anyone I offend saying this, but it needs to be said:
Anyone who says that saving other people’s Pins isn’t necessary doesn’t truly understand how Pinterest works. And yes, sometimes that means Pinteres reps themselves. Their suggestions are based on followers and your profile page.
But the algorithm is a whole different story.
The Pinterest algorithm is all about relevancy.
- The pins you save on a board help Pinterest understand the context of each Pin.
- The Pins you save around the same time (in a session), tell Pinterest what your Pins are about.
Most bloggers need to save other People’s content to help Pinterest understand their Pins content.
Note: I do agree that well-established bloggers with loads of content and good domain rank do not need to save other people’s Pins when it comes to relevance. They have enough content that Pinterest is going to figure out the context. But I’d also argue that they don’t need to save their own Pins either. Although not needed, I think they still should in both instances.
Saving other people’s Pins also helps keep boards active. Pinterest recommends active board to Pinners throughout various places on the platform and in their email blasts. If you can’t keep boards active with your content, you need to supplement with other’s Pins.
Everyone’s talking about how we don’t need to save other people’s Pins anymore, and then in the next breath, everyone’s talking about how Pinterest traffic is down, and Pinterest just doesn’t work like it used to.
Hmm… I wonder why.
Do you know what the best way to grow your audience is? By tapping into someone else’s audience.
We help each other out when we save each other’s Pins. If you aren’t saving pins from your industry, who is?
If other bloggers aren’t saving your Pins, then who is?
You want bloggers saving your Pins! They have your audience!
Which means we need to be active participants in this. A rising tide lifts all boats. This is true with Pins on Pinterest too!
Now, I am not saying we need to save other people’s Pins mindlessly. Don’t log on to Pinterest or Tribes to find Pins for the sake of finding Pins.
Pin for the sake of relevance. Pin to support your fellow bloggers. Pin to keep your boards active.
Oh yeah, one more thing. Those percentage statistics about how much content of yours vs. theirs…
They are made up numbers.
They were made up numbers when it was 50/50. They were made up numbers when they were 20/80. And they are made up at 80/20.
It is not an algorithm thing that puts up a flag saying you saved the wrong ratio.
So don’t stress the ratios.
Okay. Rant over. I’ll probably add more to the list on an as-needed basis.
Meaning when I get the urge to disagree on Facebook.
I enabled comments on this post.
You are free to disagree with my disagreements.
But no hating.
If there’s anything you’d add to this list, leave them in the comments!
And/or save this post to Pinterest!