What? We’re talking about Pinterest making us happy? Yep. I am talking to Kristen Doyle, from Dine and Dish.
In a departure from our normal type of conversation, Kristen and I are chatting about why she gave up on Pinterest. Kristen has been blogging for 10 years now, and her “claim to fame” is that she began blogging the exact same month and year as The Pioneer Woman!!
Kristen began blogging as a family journal, but within the first month, she made the switch from blogging about babies to blogging about food. Back when she began blogging, Kristen was a part of a forum that is now Food.com. She started getting into photography while taking pictures of her recipes for that forum, and soon combined it all to become a food and lifestyle blogger.
Pinterest – Beginnings and…Endings?
Kristen was a late adopter of Pinterest, although the idea was right up her alley. She is very into vision boards, collages, photography, recipe clipping…but she still only used her Pinterest in a personal way, not realizing how important it was for growing her business.
She began using Viral Tag for her Pinterest scheduling, but it just felt too time consuming to her. Kristen began her business because she wanted to be able to stay at home with her children while bringing in some income. Adding Pinterest scheduling through Viral Tag was just taking up too much of her time.
She doesn’t have a love of Pinterest, and it was getting harder and harder to justify spending the time away from her family to do something she wasn’t enjoying, just because everyone else was doing it. So she hired us at Simple Pin to take over her Pinterest account.
Kristen was very involved in some group boards and had a lot of great connections with other bloggers, but as group boards began to decline in popularity, her page wasn’t picking up the forward movement that it needed.
As she began to really think through her reasons for blogging, Kristen realized that her initial desire was for connection. She no longer wanted to spend money each month on something that she just really didn’t care about, and she really didn’t care about Pinterest. While it did bring traffic to her site, those people were coming only for the recipes…and she longed to connect with her readers through story.
I’ve never been one to look at my stats…I call myself a fake business owner…it’s not what motivates me to do better…what motivates me are the emails that come in saying they made my recipe and it’s going in their rotation…or that a reader connected with something I wrote…
Loosening The Expectations
So how did it feel to “give up on Pinterest”? Going into 2016, Kristen felt great about her decision. She felt like she had been way too caught up in what she was supposed to do just because everybody else was doing it, and not doing the things she enjoyed doing. Creating content made her so much happier; happier than spending her time scheduling Pins.
Kristen blogs for connection; that is what motivates her and makes her happy. But that’s not to say that she took the easy route. It hasn’t been easy. She has been nervous to go a different route than what is expected of bloggers. It’s never easy to be different than everyone else. She was afraid of what the results would be.
She had no reason to fear though. Her readership has remained steady, she has seen growth in different areas, and she made more money last year than she did in the 9 years prior altogether. Because she was doing things the way she enjoyed doing them, she was motivated; she wasn’t dragged down by all the pressure to do things a certain way.
What is your why? What is your purpose in blogging? Make sure that whatever you invest money in somehow relates back to what your purpose is. Otherwise you are just throwing money away. You can buy courses and information any day of the week, but if you never look at it, you are wasting your money.
While Pinterest wasn’t something that Kristen enjoyed, it also wasn’t making a big difference in her traffic. She does feel, however, that if Pinterest is driving most of your traffic, then it is worth it if you can afford it to hire someone to manage your Pinterest account for you.
Decide how you want to spend your time…do you want to spend an hour creating content, or an hour pinning?
Doing What Works….for You
Kristen feels so strongly about not doing things just because someone tells you that “you should” be doing them. It is so important to know your audience and what they want. You need to be seeing a return on your time and money investment.
By focusing on what she loves and actually enjoys doing, Kristen stays motivated to continue blogging. Even when she does Pin, she doesn’t do big collages with large text overlay; it just isn’t her style. Because her style is different than what everyone is doing, her readers can easily recognize her photos.
Be you, and be who your audience wants you to be.
As soon as you start following the crowd, you risk burnout. If you are all business, and that business is one that you don’t even identify with, that is not sustainable long-term.
Rock Your Happy
When Kristen found herself at home with lots of littles and a husband who traveled for work frequently, along with her blogging and client work, she realized how little self-care she was practicing. She strongly believes that we each need to do those things that bring us happiness, because being happy is the only way we can pass happiness along to others.
Being a firm believer in “doing what makes you happy”, Kristen set out to write a newsletter for her readers that wouldn’t be annoying or just another email in their inbox, but something truly worthwhile. It’s called the Rock Your Happy newsletter.
She has a podcast coming out soon called The Two Handed Coffee Talk, but her current love is Snapchat. She does a Snap show every weekday, where she shares with her audience just as if they were sitting down to coffee together. It has been a huge success for her. Her handle is dineanddish.
She recommends you find something that you love and make a series about it. Whether it is behind the scenes tutorials or how you work your Pinterest, choose what you love and work it.
Whether it is behind the scenes tutorials or how you work your Pinterest, choose what you love and work it.
Each social media platform has a different audience, so recognize that what works for one platform may not work for another.
Make sure you follow Kristen on her happiness journey in these places: