Weekender Workshop: Pinterest 101

Comment

Weekender Workshop: Pinterest 101

fstockphotosb-6.jpg

The only regret I have when it comes to my business is that I didn’t spend a little less effort on Instagram and a little more on other platforms along the way. If I had been putting more of my energy into growing my blog traffic, my newsletter audience, or my Pinterest reach this whole time, I wouldn’t have so much riding on my Instagram!

Well, there’s no time like the present to make a change, so lately I’ve been working on upping my game on Pinterest. The platform just went public, so it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon! I’ve rounded up some of the best of the best of the pinners I know & asked them to share some of their top tips that have brought them success on Pinterest. I’ve outlined each person’s follower count, but also their monthly views, so you can see that you don’t have to have a ton of followers to get a good amount of Pinterest traffic (which could equate to more traffic for your blog or your online shop)!

This post contains links that will earn me affiliate commission on Tailwind, the Pinterest helper I swear by! As soon as you sign up for Tailwind, you can apply to be an affiliate, too.


Pinner: Charleston Weekender (that’s me!)

Pinterest Followers: 1,079

Monthly Pinterest Traffic: ~150,000 views

My Top Tip: Start Using Tailwind & Join Group Boards

I’ve always heard that daily pinning is the key to Pinterest success. Well, who has time for that?! My assistant and I have been using Tailwind to schedule out posts, and it only takes us about an hour to schedule a month’s worth of posts to Pinterest! Tailwind is basically just an easy scheduling tool that let’s you schedule pins from your own blog or any other websites on the internet, and it gives you very valuable analytics about which boards & pins are getting the most traffic. Give Tailwind a try here (it has an Instagram scheduling component, too!). Read on for more on Tailwind “Tribes” in a few…

Another thing I’ve always heard is to try to join group boards. This allows you to exponentially expands your potential reach. For instance, a group board I’m on has 14,000 followers (because each of our followers are now following that board). My pins I pin to that board get SO many more views than they would if I was only pinning to my own board. I have a few group boards that you can join, just request to do so here!


Pinner Extraordinaire: Marianne of Basil and Bubbly

Pinterest Followers: 22,371

Monthly Pinterest Traffic: 2.3 million views!

We asked Marianne: What are the two most important things you should do to set yourself up for success on the platform? Below she’ll share about verifying your website on pinterest & setting up rich pins.


Verifying Your Website on Pinterest

Verifying your website on Pinterest is an important way to indicate to pinners and Pinterest alike that you are a serious content creator, plus it gives you access to great analytics on how your account is performing and who your audience on Pinterest is.

  1. If you don't already have a business account, go to your Settings and upgrade your account (there should be a big red button for you to click to do this). 

  2. Once you've set up your business account, go back to the Settings page and click the link on the lefthand menu that says "Claim Website."

  3. Enter your website in the text input, and click the "Claim Website" button.

  4. Select "Add HTML Tag".  Copy the tag and then paste it into the <HEAD> section of your website.  Your web developer can do this for you, or if your blog is on a WordPress site, you can use the "Insert Headers and Footers" plugin to drop the code in yourself under the plugin Settings, in the "Scripts in Headers" section.

  5. Go back to the Pinterest website where you got the HTML tag, and click "Next", followed by "Submit" to submit your site for verification.

It will take about 24 hours for Pinterest to validate your site, but once they do, you should see a checkbox in your settings next to your website address, and have access to all the analytics! 

How to Get Rich Pins

Rich Pins are an important part of a robust Pinterest strategy. They entice users to click through to your site, by giving them information pulled directly from your site right on the pin, teasing them to get the rest of the article directly from the source. 

If your site is using SquareSpace or Shopify, great news! You already have everything you need to set up Rich Pins, simply enter your site into the Rich Pin Validator and click Validate. Once you receive the success message, click "Apply".  Note: It might take several days for your blog to be approved, but Pinterest will be in touch as soon as they have finished the process.

If your site is using WordPress, you'll need to make sure the Open Graph tags needed for Rich Pins are added to your posts and pages.  If you use Yoast SEO, they have some great tutorials on their website for how to do this with their plugin ( you can find them here .)  If you don't use Yoast but are a recipe blogger, your recipe card plugin should handle these tags for you. Once you've added the Open Graph tags, you can follow the same process as SquareSpace/Shopify users by entering our site into the Rich Pin Validator, and then applying for Rich Pins.

As a last resort, you can add them manually into your <HEAD> code of each individual page, and update the information for each post.  This is painful, and I highly recommend choosing one of the aforementioned options instead, but if you insist, the code can be found on Pinterest's website.

Find Marianne’s blog here!


Pinner Extraordinaire: Laura Leigh of Louella Reese

Pinterest Followers: 3,767

Monthly Pinterest Traffic: 1 million views!

We asked Laura: How many pins a day should we be pinning?

The optimal amount of pins per day really is all trial and error. Play around pinning 5-10 pins a day then jump to 15-25 per day. See how that changes things. Are you receiving more engagement or less? If you're receiving more, move on to 30-45 pins a day. If you're producing content 4-5 times a week pinning that many pins a day will be no issue. However, if your blog publishing schedule is one to two posts per week maybe stick around 10 pins per day. That way pins are consistently going out and not paused while you're waiting to publish new content. This will also keep a great mix of pins going out - that way it isn't always 5-10 pins from the same post in order going out. It stretches that content out longer. 

Laura also recommends a mix of pinning multiple pins from your blog as soon as you publish a new post and scheduling your pins (via Tailwind or another Pinterest publishing tool).

Find Laura’s blog, Louella Reese, here!


Pinner(s) Extraordinaire: Michael & Ian of I Love That For You

Pinterest Followers: ~100

Monthly Pinterest Traffic: ~100k views

We asked Michael & Ian: How can I make one of my pins go “viral”?

As the go-to DIY hub, Pinterest users are looking for fun and easy “How-To” pins to try themselves. We’ve found the most success when sharing a popular How-To (but with our own unique spin), such as Cookie Jar Organization with all different types of cookies. Other popular post topics include home decor DIYs & travel related pins. So, just give it a try to add a unique twist on your favorite DIY How-To, because I Love That For You!

Side note: if you’re using Tailwind, it helps you determine which of your pins are “viral” (getting the most repins/views/etc.), so that you can reschedule them again in the future.

Find the I Love That For You blog here!


Pinner Extraordinaire: Hillary of Hill Heady

Pinterest Followers: ~1000

Monthly Pinterest Traffic: ~230k views

We asked Hillary to tell us about the “Tribes” feature on Tailwind:

One of my favorite things about Tailwind is their Tribes feature! Tribes are a great way to get your pins out there and increase your reach. Not only are you growing your own account, but you get the chance to connect with like minded users and help each other! In addition to being a communal tool to have your content reach more people, tribes are also a good place to find content to pin on your own boards when you’re not sure what to pin.

If you're a blogger and are interested in Tailwind Tribes, join Hillary’s blogger tribe here!

fstockphotosb-12.jpg

A few other pro Pinterest tips I hear over and over:

  • pin only vertical images

  • try to brand your boards and pin content that goes with your overall aesthetic/niche (I don’t cook, so I don’t pin a lot of elaborate recipes, but I love to entertain so I pin easy recipes to my “Weekend Eats & Treats” board

  • don’t only pin your own content! Apparently you should aim to pin about 70-80% other content and 20-30% from your own site or blog

  • add “alt text” to all of the photos on your blog or website; this helps more of your photos be discoverable on Pinterest

  • for your pin description, try to use keywords that people might be searching when they are on the platform. For example, instead of “hair styles”, try to add more details like “best wedding up-dos” or “easy hair styles for summer”


I hope you find those tips as helpful as I did! Don’t forget to check out Tailwind or head here to request to join my group boards. Happy pinning, my friends!

Comment

1 Comment

Weekender Women: The Real Housewives of Palm Springs!

20190327_CWat830_NCS_108.jpg

I’m not sure where to even begin as I try to write this post, which is an attempt to recap the level of “extra” that happened at the end of March with the fabulous ladies I bunked with during the Alt Summit conference! We were lucky enough to be hosted by my favorite Palm Springs vacation rental company, ACME House Company! You know… the rental company I always talk about who I will one day have manage my dream Palm Springs Airbnb ;) ALL of their homes have pools, and all of their properties I’ve stayed at have been in really really great locations (no more than a 5-10 minute ride from wherever I’ve needed to go to eat or shop).

20190327_CWat830_NCS_084.jpg

We stayed at “The Eight Thirty PS” all week and got majorly spoiled by the pool, the proximity to town, and the beautiful mountain view. The only child in me also loved that I had a separate little “casita” all to myself!  As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by the fragrance from the bougainvillea & our gorgeous citrus trees.  Heavenly!

The Eight Thirty is only a short bike or Uber ride away from downtown. Andrea and I tried our hand at a tandem bike, and thank goodness she was at the helm!

The pool was probably all of our favorite feature, perfect for sunning & socializing!

During our trip, we laughed (a lot), we cried, we grew, we blossomed! We decided we had fallen victim to “ACME Extra”.  This a phenomenon that happens when your vacation rental is stocked with fresh fruit trees beside your luscious swimming pool and you are living in the lap of luxury. Your most fabulous innermost diva is bursts forth from within you, and you rediscover yourself!  You also feel the need to wear lots of turbans and/or caftans.

Ok, so without further ado, let’s met “the cast” of the Real Housewives of Palm Springs (i.e. my roomies for the week)!

Left to right, top to bottom:

Me, a.k.a. “Weekender”, Andrea, a.k.a. “The Curator”, Jenny a.k.a. “Jenny from the block”, & Julianne, a.k.a. “JuJu Von Fabelhoft”. What do you think, would you tune in to watch these sassy gals? Maybe we aren’t ready for our own show just yet, but we sure are QUITE a scene!

20190327_CWat830_NCS_124.jpg

A very special thanks to ACME House Co for hosting us, Nathan Cox Studios for capturing the essence of our “extra”with his photos, and the below product sponsors for making us feel fantastic!

Heidi Houston (caftans) // Bike Palm Springs // Persifor (bike outfits) // Charleston Shoe Company

1 Comment

Comment

Weekender Wednesday on Lowcountry Live: Wellness pt. 2

Last month on my Lowcountry Live segment, I shared some of my favorite ways to eat well, take care of myself and my skin, and have more fun! Achieving overall wellness (both mental and physcial) is SUCH an important component of what it means to me to be successful, so I shared even more of my favorite wellness- related products and places again this month. Have a quick peek at the companies I featured below, or watch the segment here.

Huriyali

A sunny & happy downtown cafe with fresh, nutritious offerings.

Vegan and vegetarian restaurant Huriyali in Charleston SC
Huriyali vegan and vegetarian food in Charleston SC

Mount Pleasant Towne Centre

The new Lululemon store just opened and is hosting a free “SWEAT” series in May.

CharlestonWeekender_TowneCenter

The Yellow Bird

An all-natural skincare company, hand made in the USA.

all natural face oil by the Yellow Bird
all natural beauty products from The Yellow Bird

Don’t miss all the details in the video from today’s segment here, and be sure to check out my other wellness related recommendations from last month’s segment here!

Comment

Comment

Fun With Friedrich's

Stylish Round Sunglasses from Friedrich's Optik worn by Charleston blogger Charleston Weekender

When you think truly iconic glasses & sunglasses (so iconic, in fact, that they have been worn by the likes of fab femmes Jackie O’ & Iris Apfel) you probably already think of Friedrich’s Optik. They have stores all over the world, but a lot of people don’t know they also have a brick and mortar right here in Charleston on lower King Street!

This post is in partnership with Friedrich’s Optik, but all opinions are my own.

Chic round sunglasses from Friedrich's Optik in Charleston SC

I recently went to Palm Beach to meet Iris Apfel, so I had to stop in the Friedrich’s store there so I could twin with this stylish lady. How cute is SHE?! My life has basically been made because we were even in the Palm Beach Daily News together (as seen in the photo below left).

The following week, my friend Andrea and I were so thrilled to get to borrow several cute Friedrich’s styles that we took on our Palm Springs trip with us. We felt like the most fabulous queens in our shades; I’m talking movie star status! If you need prescription sunglasses like I do, Friedrich’s can take care of that for you. They also have plenty of gorgeous styles of regular glasses to choose from. Have a look at some of the styles we sported during our trip!

Chic round blue sunglasses from Friedrich's Optik in Charleston SC
Charleston Weekender & Charleston Shop Curator wearing Friedrich's Optik Sunglasses in Palm Springs California

After trying less expensive, mass produced glasses brands like Warby Parker (and being disappointed in them), I’ve come to the conclusion that you definitely get what you pay for! Glasses are something I wear nearly every day, so it’s really worth the investment to get a pair that will last. Plus, when you learn about the materials Friedrich’s uses to create their iconic frames, you understand what a wonderful value they really are. Silk is what gives them their vibrant colors, and the frames are made from buffalo horn (which is plentiful in Germany)! Another added bonus of shopping with Friedrich’s is that you are supporting a family operated business that will likely be around for generations to come. You really get what you pay and can feel great about your purchase when you support small businesses like theirs!

UPF fabric caftan from Zags in Charleston SC worn by Charleston Weekender

Check out some of the fab Friedrich’s styles my pal Andrea was rocking during our trip, and follow us on Instagram at The Curated Weekend to see more of our joint adventures & fun with fashion!


images c/o Nathan Cox Photography, Kim Graham Photo, & Palm Beach Daily News // clothing provided by Zac by Zac Posen, Persifor, & Zags // Shoot locations: ACME House Co.’s The Eight Thirty & Saguaro Palm Springs

Comment

Comment

Weekend Entertaining: Golden Girls Style

Charleston bridesmaid luncheon Golden Girls theme

As part of my recently founded partnership with my friend Andrea of Charleston Shop Curator, “The Curated Weekend” is our joint venture that allows us to team up to create content for brands we love. It lights us up to share about other local businesses and to inspire other women as much as possible! We love a good theme, so we came up with an idea for a different spin on a Bridesmaids Luncheon for a recent issue of Charleston Weddings Magazine. Read more about that Golden Girls themed bridesmaid soiree here, or scroll on down to see how to execute a “Thank You For Being a Friend” party any time of year!


julielivingston-goldengirls-91.jpg

Special thanks to:

Julie Livingston Photography (photography) // Sunwoven Studios (location) // Silhouette on Site (make-up) // Petaloso (floral design) // Lu.nu.la Nail Lab (manicures) // The Skinny Dip Charleston (shoes) // Danielle Fabrega & Duolan Li (models)

This post is created in partnership with the brands mentioned below, but we hand selected products and highlighted companies we truly adore!


-Set the Tone With Invitations-

The beautiful cards we used as invites were created by our very own “Dorothy” model, Danielle Fabrega of The Town Serif. Instead of a formal invitation, just write a personal note inviting your girls to join you for a fun gathering and that will be one invite they won’t want to pass up!

Thank you for being a friend golden girls card

-Offer a Dress Code-

It’s always adds a delightful sense of celebration when you offer a dress code, no matter how casual or formal your event. You can opt for a slumber party with sweats and pjs attire for a friendly fiesta, or don caftans & coverups for an afternoon pool party. We decided to get a little bit gussied up for our “ladies who lunch” vibes. Beckett Boutique outfitted all of us with some styling help from Andrea Serrano, and we wore outfits that we imagine the Golden Girls would have rocked if they were modern day thirty- & forty- somethings like us! Left to right we have our modern day Blanche, Rose, Sophia, and Dorothy.

Charleston Golden GIrls Themed Bridesmaid Luncheon

Beckett Boutique is located on King Street, just north of Calhoun, and is a bright and airy shop we know you’ll love! In addition to the lovely attire they offer, you’ll find some beautiful jewelry there; a mix of offerings with everything from local designers like Hart Hagerty, and other bold vintage statement pieces like this gold necklace.

charleston sc jewelry and clothing boutique beckett boutique

-Set the Table in Style-

Wicker & rattan have been a trend that thankfully seems to be sticking around, so we kept our food and beverage accessories cohesive with a lot of these natural elements from Vieuxtemps. We thought it would be neat to add some of their dinner plates in complimentary patterns for a fun mix and match effect. Always the fan of a pop of color, we incorporated some hints of green throughout our table scape.

For all of you brides to be out there, these items are all available as part of the wedding registry service Vieuxtemps offers, but they make great additions to your bar cart or china cabinet!

-Serve Up Something Healthy-

Hamby Catering & Events is hands down one of the best catering companies in Charleston; I’d love to get married all over again so I could have an excuse to use them for a reception! They have it down to a science when it comes to executing the perfect combination of a delicious menu that is a little out of the box. My favorite part of our meal was Hamby’s modern spin on the popular Salad Nicoise (which incorporated fresh, seared tuna instead of the traditional tuna salad that was popular during the Golden Girls era).

julielivingston-goldengirls-77.jpg

By serving a light and elegant veggie-heavy menu, the table becomes so much more colorful, and as a bonus your guests can truly indulge and linger over the meal without needing a nap afterward! That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy a little dessert (cheesecake for Golden Girls, of course!), but consider serving a rich treat in a pre-filled dish for the perfect portion with less guilt.

Check out our full menu below:

Individual Fruit Parfaits with Vanilla Bean Yogurt, Seasonal Berries, Muscadine Jam & Housemade Granola // Roasted Carrots atop Arugula with Roasted Lentils, Pomegranate Seeds & Tahini Dressing // Petite Mixed Berry Muffins // Salad Nicoise with Arugula, Seared Tuna, Haricot Verts, Petite Potatoes, Sliced Radishes, Hard Boiled Eggs, Olives & Citrus Herb Vinaigrette // Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs // Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse

Serving a family-style menu is a fun and modern way to host a luncheon, and lends itself to a more laid back way of entertaining.


Natural tropical decor for boho brunch in Charleston SC

-Decorate Your Space-

Andrea and I knew Celadon Home would be the perfect place to find some decor elements to give that extra nod to the Golden Girl’s abode of Miami, Florida. We incorporated white lanterns as extra vases for the long wooden table, found some fun planters like this owl basket to incorporate, and added a couple of peacock chairs for the perfect focal point for taking photos (because what soiree is complete without a couple Instagram-worthy scenes?!).

-Gift Your Gals-

Whether you’re celebrating your bridesmaids or just gathering some gal pals, it’s fun to share special treats with your best babes! We picked Spartina 449’s Sea La Vie Say Thanks earrings & necklaces as the perfect “thank you for being a friend” gift table addition.

pineapple necklace and earrings from Spartina 449

Spartina 449 is a brand we adore that started not far from Charleston in Dafuskie Island, and Andrea and I got to visit their flagship store last fall. We also adorned ourselves with their jewelry for this shoot, and they keep adding to their line all the time! They also have really quirky & cute stationery, both statement and staple handbags, and recently started offering colorful clothing as well!

Golden Girls Bridesmaid Luncheon theme

Spartina 449’s new “Cabana Leaf” collection looks very Golden Girls-esque, too, don’t you think? Below are a few of my favorite pieces from this adorable new line (click on the image to shop):

We hope we inspired you to get your girl gang together soon, and see more from this shoot on my Instagram at #CHSGoldenGirls!

Comment