It’s time for another Grow Your Blog interview. This week, I’m talking with Claire from Clarity Avenue, a blog about growing your Pinterest account and blog. Let’s get to the interview.
In this interview, we’ll be chatting with Claire from Clarity Avenue and Heart Handmade. Claire is a Pinterest strategist, blogger, and crafter by trade.
When it comes to increasing your blog traffic and making money with Pinterest, Claire knows her stuff. Within 24 hours of implementing techniques from her online course Pinning for Profits, I was able to earn $225 with my blog. Talk about instant results! If you want to learn tips for growing a successful and profitable blog, make sure you check out Clarity Avenue.
1. Tell us about yourself.
Everytime a question like this is posed, my mind goes completely blank lol.
My name is Claire, I’m from Belfast in Northern Ireland. My husband and I have a cat and she’s a terrible monster demon who is in fact, the creative director of my business.
She’s really good at filing papers underneath her, and then falling asleep immediately. You can really see how she progressed so quickly.
Before I started my business, I had been blogging for eight years, and after the first year of hobby blogging I got sick.
At that time I was finishing my degree in Photography and Creative imaging, and I owned a photography studio, but quickly I had to stop everything.
My mystery illnesses left me bed bound for a while, and I’ve been housebound ever since, purely because I have very limited energy levels and I have to prioritize my tasks and arrange rest times around them.
My hobby is making a mess! I love painting, drawing and creating mixed media art journal layouts.
2. Why did you start blogging?
I initially started blogging in 2007 as a hobby blog, I had NO clue what I was doing, I just knew that people were making money at this blogging business and I wanted to be part of it.
Then in 2010 after a year of being sick and stuck in bed, I decided to take a blogging course and really get serious about blogging.
3. What is your top source of traffic?
My top source of traffic is Pinterest but I try to diversify my traffic sources as much as possible because you never know when an algorithm change can cut your traffic in half (that happened to me in 2014 with Pinterest and I never forgave them ha), I worked very hard to get the traffic back up but it took a while.
4. What strategies did you use to make that your top traffic source?
Oh my goodness. It’s not complicated per say, it’s just in depth and having a real understanding about how Pinterest works and SEO.
My background as a meta data manager in a stock photography company really helped me back when people didn’t really understand Pinterest SEO.
5. What is your favorite way to attract new readers?
My favourite way to attract new readers is by creating really in-depth guides or tutorials and by choosing really really good photography to share.
6. What has been your most successful blog post? Why do you think it's appealing?
On my craft blog, my most successful post is a guide that I wrote about improving my handwriting, as I had dislocated my shoulder during a seizure, nipped a nerve and had to completely retrain my handwriting.
I provide a really in-depth guide with printable practice sheets. Those practice sheets are locked in a social locker style plugin, which means to unlock the guides, the post must be shared on social media.
I also wrote that at a time when not a lot of people were writing about that but a lot of people were searching for it on Google.
On Clarity Avenue, my most successful post is the post where I outlined my Pinterest strategy. It’s a case study about how I managed to grow a new Pinterest account by 26.5 Million % in 100 days. It’s a great way to promote and share the course that I created.
7. How do you stay motivated as a blogger?
I try to listen to Podcasts and digest information from fellow business ladies who are a few levels above me because that’s where I want to be. It’s a reminder for me to keep trying harder, even if it means scrapping what you do and your time wasting habits, it’s a great way to motivate instead of comparing yourself to fellow bloggers on your level and getting despondent.
8. We all make mistakes, what is your greatest mistake as a blogger?
This is mortifying. It’s mortifying to me because it had such an effect on my mental health. Years ago, I wanted to feature a blogger but didn’t send her the email as a request. It just totally left my mind, I was convinced that I had sent the email, but I had only written it in Google Docs and saved it so I could check grammar and spelling, etc. But I was in such a rush to publish some great content that I skipped the step but convinced myself I had done it.
I then stumbled across the ladies post on Instagram complaining and being furious, which she was fully in the right to do. I apologized profusely, and I get it, I understand why she did it that way, but I was kind of annoyed that she didn’t email me directly to deal with it and to ask me to take it down. Instead, she just wanted to shit talk. Which again, I get, but it’s not a great way to handle a situation.
I felt so guilty about it, about how angry I had made her that I had a complete breakdown. I’m not kidding. I ended up having to go on pretty strong anxiety medication that summer that left me totally blank, but I still felt shit. Getting through the day was a real struggle. I would get to 3 pm and need to meditate to break the day into two. That was the summer I discovered mindfulness meditation, and it changed my life completely.
9. What is your favorite way to make money blogging and do you think it can work for everyone?
Oh. I think my favourite way is through advertising because it’s truly the most passive. But again, it’s important not to rely on one source of income. My previous ad company had a real problem with their payment system for a month and a half; usually, I would receive payments twice monthly, but I got nothing, and it really hit my bottom line hard!
Yes, it can work with everyone, but if you’re selling digital products etc, you may not want to put advertising on your site. It depends how you want your site to look and come across.
10. What are some of your favorite blogging tools or resources?
- Google Calendar
- The Google Docs/Sheets suite of apps
- MiloTree has been awesome for growing my Pinterest followers pretty quickly, averaging about 50 new followers each week thanks to that.
11. Are there any bloggers that inspire you?
Oh goodness yes.
Ashley Crouch - she is so vulnerable with what she shares with her followers, I’m in awe.
12. Do you have any additional advice for helping bloggers grow?
Stop consuming so much content and do not fall into a comparison trap. It’s so easy to do. Especially when you see “how I got 25,000 pageviews in my second month” because those bloggers conveniently leave out that they’re launching their blogs with about 50 blog posts published and ready to go. That they’re also in one of the most searched for Niches on the internet and they already know the foundations of a great blog.
13. Can you share three fun facts about yourself?
#1. I’m 6’0 tall. A true lady giant.
#2. I’m a vegan. Is that fun or really really dull?
#3. About 20 years ago, I was concerned about my Granny being lonely, even though she has a lil granny apartment attached to my auntys house, so during a dinner party I was sneaking Salmon out to some stray cats, so I kept doing it and suddenly my Granny had two cats, to the dismay of my clean freak Aunty lol. She still has them.
14. Can you share your products or any blog posts you would like us to check out?
I would love to share this post, with 9 proven techniques to make you insanely influential and get the most traffic possible to your blog.