New Blog Approved For AdSense In Less Than 8 Weeks! Here’s Exactly How I Did It. How To Get Approved For Adsense

how to get approved for Adsense
New Blog Approved For AdSense In Less Than 8 Weeks! – Graphic © 8FigureStack. Background photo – Shutterstock (under license)

If you are looking for insight on how to get approved for Adsense, this post is for you!

I checked my Google Adsense account today and discovered that 8FigureStack has been approved for Adsense – in less than 8 weeks since I created the first post! Yay! 🙂

I now have a total of 15 sites/blogs approved by AdSense.

This was in fact my second application for this blog: I applied a couple of weeks prior – partly out of curiosity as I knew this was still a small blog – and got rejected.

Since then I added a few posts but also spent significant time making overall improvements: Editing, lengthening and improving the existing posts; ran a spelling checker and broken link checker; added 600×900 Pinterest images to the top of each article; worked on the factors recommended by the Yoast SEO plugin; added a Favicon; and made sure each post contained at least one in-content link to other related posts on the same blog (internal linking).

Interestingly, at the time of monetization this blog only has 32 articles (+ an “about this blog” page). I would consider this a small amount of content for an Adsense application. However the article length on 8 Figure Stack is much longer than typical blog content and I made a huge effort to pack in as much value into each post as I could. This seems to help!

I have also been approved for Infolinks; this happened I think at around 20 articles.

Monetization is always a great feeling: Your blog is officially rocking and rolling and is going to start paying you! 🙂

Let’s look in depth at more detailed stats to help you get insight and get your blog approved for ads!

Detailed Stats

Approval Date:

First article published: Jun 12th 2021
Adsense approval: Aug 1st 2021

Traffic:

Almost zero! I have done virtually nothing to start promoting this blog yet, hence am typically seeing only around 10 visitors per day; mostly via Google – I haven’t investigated the search keywords yet but I am guessing they are probably arriving through some long tail searches, as I have done zero “external” link building (and pinned about 3 images to a Pinterest board):


Plausible Analytics – Early days yet!

To give further insight on this: I have had a site that gets around 5,000 pageviews per day rejected by Adsense! High traffic volume, which is a deciding factor for some ad platforms, evidently doesn’t matter to AdSense approval at all. 🙂

Onsite SEO:

It’s hard to know whether this is relevant to Adsense approval, but it’s a good practice anyway. I simply followed the recommendations in the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin and got the posts the point where 8FigureStack scores “ok” on 28 posts and “good” on 5 posts:

Content Quantity / Length:

• 32 posts + 1 “about this blog” post.
• Super long content!

Many of the posts on 8 Figure Stack are “monster tutorials” – with 8 posts clocking in 5,000+ words. 2 of these posts have over 10,000 words!

I can’t be sure if this was a deciding factor – but it seems to help. All I know is… this is what I did and I got monetized. They don’t give you a detailed scorecard; only a set of “vague reasons” if you aren’t approved and an approval status update in the Adsense panel if you are.

To give you a more detailed idea of the content length, here are the word counts of the articles.

5,521
3,044
4,543
682
758
1,223
759
1,038
1,042
3,105
1,162
3,407
5,772
4,641
3,492
1,698
3,485
8,283
4,055
6,044
1,007
4,038
5,437
3,891
3,763
7,553
12,567
2,909
2,998
4,465
10,174
3,135

Total word count: 125,691
Average words per article: 3,928

Content Originality:

The content is all unique and “hand written” by me. No spun articles, no outsourced articles. About 15 of these posts were “ported over” from an old blog and deleted / 301 redirected from that old blog. I have a feeling that if you are migrating content to a new domain and 301 redirecting the old, your old content *may* need to disappear from Google’s cache to avoid a duplicate content issue – I don’t know for sure though and don’t know how long it takes; I would guess “weeks”. If your content is a “clone” of content appearing on another site, I would think it highly likely that your ad application is rejected.

Top Tips To Get Approved For AdSense And Other Ad Platforms:

I have a full tutorial on that here:

12 Key Factors That Will Help Your Blog Get Approved For Top Paying Ads

Here are some additional notes based on the fast approval I just had with 8 Figure stack:

Focus On These Key Points To Help You Get Monetized:

Honestly my #1 tip would be to concentrate 75% of your efforts on your content length and quality. Don’t just spit out thousands of words of fluff and filler – but focus on making your content better. Add more value. Go further in depth into the topics in your articles and “go the extra mile” in consistent quality. This seems to be the most consistent pattern I have seen when comparing sites that got approved with sites that didn’t.

I would say aim for 50 good, solid articles minimum before applying to Adsense. I was not confident that I would get in at 32 posts, but thought it would be interesting to give it a shot and see what happened. If my content had been “thin” I don’t think even 50 articles would cut it. Unique, good quality “Long-form” content is key. Full-length, well researched tutorials and articles. Put yourself in the shoes of the visitor. How would you feel if you landed on your site? Be really honest.

I also think there is an element of luck of the draw. I imagine that the approvals team have thousands of sites to whip through and different reviewers are going to have different feelings about a site; so if you make some improvements, wait a week or 2 and then reapply, you might be in luck and may get a different reviewer. Don’t just keep on reapplying for a weak site however. Make it stronger first! 🙂

Adsense definitely evaluates sites on a case-by-case basis. If you have other sites approved, it doesn’t mean that a new site will be approved. Similarly, if you have had other sites DISapproved, it doesn’t necessarily mean a new site will also be disapproved!

I now have 15 sites/blogs approved by Adsense and 2 still disapproved that evidently need some improvements! One of the rejected sites is an “image site” with unique “quotation pics” – it has over 1,200 posts; some posts have a short article (around 200 words) but the majority of posts only have the image and the quote written out below it – no article at all! – so I think it’s fairly obvious why it was disapproved. Despite the fact that the graphics are original and loved on social media, there is not enough written content.

Ask yourself these simple questions about your blog:
Does this blog provide VALUE to the visitor?
How can I improve the value delivered?
Does the visitor “get what they came in for” when they view my content; leaving them better informed and (hopefully) closer to making an informed purchase decision (that’s the ideal scenario from an advertiser’s point of view at least!)

In essence, Google (and other advertisers, especially well paying ones) don’t want their ads to appear on “junk websites”. Think that over and consider what it means – and why.

So now you know where “the bar” is to get monetized. Make it happen! 🙂

Staxxx

How To Make Pinterest Graphics That Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog (Full In-Depth Tutorial)

How To Make Pinterest Graphics That Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog
How To Make Pinterest Graphics That Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog – Graphic © 8FigureStack. Background photo – Shutterstock (under license)

This tutorial will show you how to create Pinterest graphics that blow away the competition! 🙂

Introduction / Getting Started

After 8 years of doing this; creating and testing thousands of images and generating millions of visitors (yes really millions, I am not exaggerating) from Pinterest to my 20+ blogs, I think I can safely say that I have identified the key factors that go to make up a successful Pinterest graphic… 😉

For this tutorial I am going to assume that you / your graphic designer have the required technical skills to operate Photoshop, Canva or whatever design platform you are using. (If you are totally new to creating graphics – use Canva. Canva rocks. I love it. I used the free version of Canva to create the above graphic!)

Good news: You don’t need to be a college-educated graphic design pro to do this! I’m completely self taught in graphic design (using both Adobe Photoshop and Canva) and have created graphics that got millions (yes really) of shares.

No disrespect at all to pro designers – but the nuances of what go to make a successful social media graphic are not necessarily the same as the kind of graphic design that may be taught at college. Social media graphics that get massive traffic are a specific skill set and an art form in their own right – and this is what this tutorial is about!

Related Post: How To Make Money On Pinterest (full tutorial)

Traffic Equals Money

Generating traffic is the lifeblood of an internet based business. You may have heard the expression “traffic equals money” and it’s true.

I have multiple blogs pulling consistent traffic from Pinterest and these deliver an ongoing passive revenue stream. Here’s an example of the traffic on one of them:

This is a screenshot from the analytics of my recipe blog. You can see how traffic always spikes on the weekend, when people spend more time cooking. The “bump” in the middle was when the lockdowns started in 2020 and restaurants were closed!

Good graphics make a huge difference to your Pinterest traffic: You can create pretty much any image (that doesn’t break ToS of course) and pin it on Pinterest; however some images will generate crazy traffic and some will not. You need the RIGHT kind of images and there is an art and science to this. The VITAL thing to understand is how to make the kind of image styles that are going to get a lot of clickthroughs and repins.

Stand Out From The Pack

Put yourself in the mindset of the average Pinterest user who is ‘consuming content’. They are most likely either searching for content on a specific topic, looking at themed boards on topics they love, or randomly scrolling through images related to something they just looked at.

In every case, your pins are going to be presented by Pinterest in a “sea of pins”. Pinterest will notice which of those pins get the strongest engagement and will display those images to more people.

So making images that stand out from the pack and get the click is essential. Your images need to “pop” in a big way and for best results you need to understand what makes an image pop – then max out those characteristics.

The most successful Pinterest images tend to have one very strong hook that grabs the eyeballs immediately. Typically this hook will be either huge “power words” or a very compelling image (this image could be either an illustration or a photo).

Note that compelling images don’t necessarily have to be beautiful. They can be compelling because they are bizarre, unexpected or confusing: One of my most successful Pinterest images ever, featured a bright amber-orange colored blob of resin oozing from the trunk of a tree… I am sure its viral success is because it generated massive curiosity – the “What the heck is that?” reaction. It’s impossible to ignore.

A Bit Basic And “In Your Face” Often Beats Elegant

Note, interestingly, that ugly images can sometimes do really well. It has to be “the right kind of ugly” though. Super elegant graphics can get lots of repins but just don’t seem to drive traffic as well as graphics that jump off the page and grab you by the scruff of the neck.

Youtubers have learned that a wide-open mouth photo – even to the point of absurdity – grabs more attention than a photo of a person with their mouth closed. Look at “Mr.Beast” Youtube thumbnails for a perfect example of this.

You can see that the main graphics on this blog are intentionally bold, high contrast, somewhat “in your face” styles – with the most important words of the headline ramped up to a huge size…

Interestingly also, sometimes “amaeturish” (in the right way) looking graphics can have great appeal. The reason for this is psychological: If you are “super fancy”, it can be a bit unintentionally intimidating; leading people to “exclude themselves” subconsciously. Whereas (I hope this doesn’t sound terrible but it’s really true) if you come across “a bit basic”, people conclude “this person doesn’t exactly seem like a genius – but they are crushing it, which means I can do this too!” *click*…

Big Headlines Rule

Putting your headline into the graphic is a tried-and-tested tactic that works extremely well on numerous social media platforms. I discovered this in 2013 and it’s an absolute key factor that I’ve been using ever since. I’ve had “headline graphics” send so much Facebook traffic (over 260,000 pageviews in one day) that they crashed my VPS hosting; and once had a headline graphic earn me enough money in one weekend to buy a BMW – which I did (true story!!)

The first thing to note is that your headline should be a winner in its own right and should be displayed in a very large, clear, easy-to-read font, typically together with one or more attractive images – however sometimes “just the words” can work well too! Your logo should be in there somewhere but it can be v small and unobtrusive, because most people are not really too concerned about that at this point.

Make the words way too big. Then double that. Then make them a bit bigger still. And then they will be nearly big enough. 😉 You get the picture… Make your images with monster size words and lay them out clearly – because then your image just jumps out more than 99% of what is on the screen. Content creators are catching on now and you can see “big word” graphics all over Pinterest – but remember also that the majority of people simply don’t do this and never will, so you get an immediate, big advantage!

Now let’s look at how to arrange your headlines and words for maximum effect.

Vary The Word Size, The Right Way

You can see also that I put the “power words” in big, capitalized fonts, with the less “important” words minimized. This is deliberate too! When people are scrolling, they have a minimal attention span. A big block of uniform text is “too much” for the brain to process at first glance. Their eye is going to go naturally to something that is quick to comprehend and speaks directly to their needs. My graphic here was optimized so that the person scrolling on Pinterest will see “PINTEREST GRAPHICS” “DRIVE MASSIVE TRAFFIC” first. That’s the “hook” – as “bite sized” as I could make it! Then there is a second stage of comprehension, where they take in the rest of the headline, the other elements and make a snap decision “is this for me”?

Phrasing And Word Clusters

Note also that my headline wording is carefully organized so that the “flow” of the phrasing is natural:

How To
Make Pinterest Graphics
That
Drive Massive Traffic
To Your Blog

reads much easier than

How
To Make Pinterest
Graphics That
Drive Massive
Traffic To Your Blog.

Can you see the difference? This is more important than people realize!

Read your headline out loud – and take note of the natural tendency we have to “group” words into small clusters. Then organize your headline visually according to those clusters. This “natural phrasing” will help with at-a-glance comprehension – which is vital to grabbing attention!

Use More Than One Font

You can see that on all my main graphics for this blog, I use more than one font. That’s deliberate. I don’t know why, but it seems to add appeal and “just works”. Try using a blend of “handwriting” and bold sans-serif fonts. Handwriting fonts have a “friendliness” to them that is inviting and gives a flourish to “round off the edges”. Try also using a blend of lower case and capitals. If you exclusively use bold capitals, it “sounds like you are shouting” and that can put people off!

For the above graphic, the fonts I used were Euphoria Script, Open Sans Extra Bold, Josefin Sans Regular and Courier Prime (for the logo at the foot). The free version of Canva includes lots of super great fonts that ‘just work’ so explore and try some out until you find a ‘flavour’ that you feel represents you well and has the right vibe. 🙂

Lists, Numbers, Percentages And Brackets

A simple tried-and-tested headline formula that perennially works well is the “numbered list”. You can see these all over this blog. That’s deliberate! People love numbered lists. Strangely, researchers have found that odd numbers get more clicks than even numbers. I’ve no idea why.

How big should your list be? For some list-style blog posts, a very large list works well i.e. 80+ Ways To Make Extra Money – because that is indicative of a really high value resource. A “Top 10” list suggests a fun but informative post. However a small number (try 3,5 or 7), combined with a sense of urgency, suggests that the post will be a quick, low-commitment read but contain vital info; this can get tons of clicks too – for example something like “The 3 Things You Must Know Before You ___________” (try that headline! 🙂 )

In all the list graphics on this blog, you can see that I made the numbers really big on the page – bigger than the words – and put them in a circle of the opposite color, to make them jump out even more.

Percentages, specific amounts of money (be honest though, because that’s actually extremely important for legal reasons) and brackets, have all been shown to increase headline clickthrough as well and have all generated viral traffic for me. My God, am I really telling you all this for free? 😉 You don’t even know how much money this made me.

[for more on headlines, I will post a power headline tutorial very soon].

Optimal Pinterest Image Sizes / Image Ratios

The next thing to note is the image size and dimensions.  TLDR: Make your images 600×900, 800×1200 or 1000×1500. These are “tall” images with the height 1.5 times the width.

Here’s an example of how a well-crafted Pinterest image stands out:

This is a generic Pinterest “More like this” section. Which of the images in this screenshot stands out the most? Easy – the “Eco Experts” image!

You can see that in the “sea of images”, The Eco Experts not only have the biggest wording and most eye catching high-contrast colours, but they have the tallest image – which makes it about 3x as visible as the others!

This is important to understand. Because of the way images are displayed on Pinterest, with the image widths standardized and the heights variable, Pinterest naturally awards tall “portrait” images more overall “pixel real estate”. They simply take up more of the screen! Hardly anyone will notice a flat “landscape” image on Pinterest – because these are given a tiny amount of the screen and just don’t stand out at all.

So make tall “portrait versions” of your images and you will get more Pinterest clicks!

Not too tall, though. The height ratio needs to be in the zone: If you make your graphic super crazy tall, Pinterest automatically cuts off part of the image when it is in the feed! Pinterest themselves stated that super tall “skyscraper” images get less visibility from Pinterest’s algorithm – to stop people abusing this quirk of the way Pinterest displays images. We researched it and the maximum size ratio before it cuts off some is 1:2.1 – though note that this figure seems to change often.

I have done well with images that are between 600×600 (square) and 600×1260 and I think anything within this ballpark should be fine.

For years the optimal image size for Pinterest has been regarded as 600×900. Pinterest is now actually recommending 1000×1500 when you upload pins directly; however this is a hassle – because if you post an image at that size on your blog, it will load WAY slowly because of the massive file size – and Google for example uses page load speed as one of its ranking factors! Pushing up the recommended image size to 1000×1500 was in my view a horribly shortsighted move by Pinterest… but it is what it is. I’m still posting 600×900 images – and my old 600×900 images are still getting traffic. I’ve tried using 1000×1500 images and didn’t notice a difference in traction so far.

Tiny images – whether tall or flat – are not advised at all. I would say use nothing that is less than 600×600 pixels as a general rule of thumb. Images need to be more than 80 pixels in size to be picked up by Pinterest’s “pin it button”. Thumbnails won’t be found – for good reason. Also note that anything within flash sites or frames cannot be picked up by the Pin It button and shared on Pinterest, neither will web page “backgrounds”.

One Awesome Graphic Will Outperform 10 Average Or Weak Graphics, Every Time

Focus on quality first, quantity second.  A good graphic doesn’t have to be complex, but it has to have the right attributes.  Make it your goal to create graphics that are going to be big winners first, rather than just trying to crank out a gigantic number of run-of-the-mill images.

Let’s look in detail at some examples of good and bad Pinterest graphics:

Max Out The Appeal (Good And Bad Examples Below!)

Now this (below) is a GREAT pinterest graphic, and look – 20k repins, which is MEGA. They paid some bills with this graphic 😉


Image – homebnc.com

Whoever made this graphic was a Pinterest pro (and a real estate pro, I’ll bet). It has all the hallmarks. They made the whole thing very appealing and it really sparks some excitement.

Note how they laid out their photos.  There is one well-chosen “show piece” photo that has the wow factor, with that classic industry-standard “real estate golden glow” that is artificially added to make an interior space seem warm, cosy and inviting. Then there are a few small pics underneath, that you can’t really see, and so it makes you want to click them to make it bigger. I’d say that’s deliberate!  Also, you think, hmm, the headline says 50 altogether, but I can only see 7 thumbnails. That means there are many more in their article! This adds to the curiosity too.

Grabs attention → makes sense quickly → appeal generates desire → sparks curiosity = they got the click and the share.

It’s a great exercise to just go on Pinterest and search for something, it can be anything like ‘best living room designs’ or whatever, and then just scroll, and see which images jump out at you. You can see that only a few will jump off the page – and that most people are doing it totally wrong!


Not many people really understand this. It’s a ‘social media secret weapon’.  Most people are just posting whatever image they have and hoping for the best!

Even a large number of pro graphic designers don’t really know how Pinterest works (because they are not internet marketers!) and don’t know how much of a huge difference it makes when the image has all the right factors!


Image – Buzzfeed

This example (above) is not really a “Pinterest image” (it’s not tall) but this one did SUPER well on Facebook.  The wording is AWESOME. This is just how you should do the words for Pinterest. I rate this wording 10 out of 10. A textbook example. See how it fills up the entire space, has great color and grabs your attention in just the right way. See also how the most important words are BIG, speeding up comprehension and making it “bite sized”.

The image choice too is awesome. It features one of the 12 exercises, makes you want to check the other 11. Also the model is doing the pose well, and looks stylish in their black workout clothes. The whole thing is cool, cool, cool. Buzzfeed are of course Grand Masters of the social media game and success isn’t an accident…

Next (below) is an example that is “not bad”. It got 1k repins. Nice big words that hit you right in the face – check. And some useful info.  But… their color scheme is… kinda ugly to be honest… really no sense of style lol. Super uninviting bare concrete wall. Also, I would have put the numbers in each image, i.e. 1 – Downward Dog, 2 – Cat Pose…. so people can see 1,2,3,4,5 and then click because they want the other 4. Put the numbers in nice little colored circles also. People love things that don’t involve “mental gymnastics” to figure out what is going on.


Image – beachbodyondemand.com

Now this one (below) is better. It got 4k shares.


Image – hiitworkout.net

People love simple hand-drawn illustrations and in the health niche especially, simple “anatomical” style images of the body (or the parts of the body relevant to the post) are a proven winner. The overall colors here are nice. I still think the words could have been even bigger! But this is definitely on target – a winner.

Now apologies to the creator, but this one (below) is a true disaster, can you see why? So many reasons….


Image – freecycleusa.com

It grabs your attention, but, it does so like someone throwing a drink in your face.  First, that headline is a verbal train wreck. You are reading it and thinking huh??? “Number one best how to guide to.“  What???? Did they really write that and think it was good? It’s the most clumsy wording ever! Also their phrase grouping is non-existent.  



There are many other things wrong with this picture.  Their graphic has poor layout, truly horrible color choice… and the funny little skyscrapers and houses have nothing to do with containers also. Also, their photos have literally ZERO appeal. Not only are they ugly (compare this junkyard with the amazing sparkle in the container homes in the winning pic from homebnc.com and ask yourself “Who on earth would want to live in one of these rusty old boxes?”) – but also, they have cropped the photos terribly so you just can’t even see what is going on there anyway.  They are failing at social media. This graphic was done by a rank amateur, not a professional.

Sometimes “work in progress” pics can add interest to a graphic – but with recipes, DIY crafts and other creativity-oriented niches, a big “showpiece image” of the finished product should be front and center.

Learn From Your Data

As with all things social media; if you create a batch of new graphics and pin them, you will most likely find that some will flop, most will perform “somewhere in the middle” and a few will blow the others out of the water.

Quite often, you won’t be able to predict which posts will be the super strong ones. But then when you review the statistics, you can take note of which of your posts did best – and start to interpret why. This is absolutely key because it enables you to improve your skills. Study your analytics and learn from the data, so that you can do more of what works. You can also learn a huge amount from looking at the stats of other blogs.

This process of refinement is ongoing and you will improve over time – but you will find (I still do after 8 years) that the performance of your images can catch you by surprise. Typically when I get a “unicorn” image that generates mega shares and viral traffic, it was unexpected – however overall, you will become more consistent and your chances of hitting that bullseye viral image increase.

Keep learning and keep going – because, put simply, the more darts you chuck at the dartboard, the higher your odds of hitting the bullseye (especially if you learn from your shots as you go along).

You will find that after you have made thousands of graphics, you will be a reliable sharp shooter. It’s also fun to look back at your early attempts and see all the ways in which you have grown.

Another benefit of having a large image portfolio is that you will naturally end up with a higher number of winning cards in your hand – that you can re-play whenever you need a traffic boost. “A viral image is a viral image” – and in many cases can continue to generate good traffic even if re-posted years later! There are certain viral images of mine from the old days (2013) that still generate good traffic whenever I post them!

This phenomenon is interesting. You would have thought that “everyone would have seen it by now” – but that’s not the case. The world is big. Even if your post gets a million views, that means only about 1 in 7,000 people has seen it: Try posting it again a few months later – I bet it does well all over again. 😉

Learn From The Data Of Others

You can learn a huge amount about “what works” by looking at the statistics of other accounts! You have to know which stats matter, though. For Pinterest, the number of “monthly views” is the key metric when it comes to traffic and this gives a fairly reliable indication of how much traffic is being driven by that account. You can see the monthly view count on the home page of any Pinterest account.

Pinterest caps the “maximum” displayed monthly view count at 10m+ and so to see which designs really work best, dig around in Pinterest and make a list of accounts that have 10m+ monthly views. Then go to their “created” tab and check out their designs.

If A Design Is Performing Well, It’s Ok To Use Similar Layouts And Styles For Multiple Posts

Looking at Pinterest accounts that have a high number of monthly views (in the millions) you can see that quite often, they use the exact same design / layout / fonts / color schemes for multiple images, or even for all of their images! This doesn’t seem to be harming them at all! So, once you hit upon a winning design that gets noticeably better traffic than your other graphics, try making lots of images in this style. Interestingly also, this can have the effect of “brand recognition” of that style, which is very desirable – as well as speeding up the process of creating new Pinterest graphics! 🙂

I would suggest to try developing a number of different styles until something performs visibly better than your other designs (keep an eye on your blog analytics to see which posts are getting the most Pinterest traffic) – and then try replicating that design with new headlines and unique imagery. Canva has a super-useful “Make a Copy” function (in the “file” menu) and this can be used to duplicate an existing image, which you can then edit to use for a new post.

Image Licensing: Should You Use Free Or Paid Images?

While “free image” sites such as Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash give tons of amazing, usable “CC0 / Public Domain” images that you can incorporate into your graphics, numerous Pinterest pros now advise against using these – and my own research agrees.

The reason is simple: They have been massively over-used. Pinterest’s algorithm gives a visibility boost to original content. The vast majority of people use Pixabay / etc “free” images – and these will have likely already been used on hundreds or perhaps thousands of Pinterest graphics.

It’s widely agreed that you will notice a significant bump in the traffic generated from your Pinterest graphics when you stop using Pixabay / Pexels / Unsplash and other free image sources. My best performing pins ever have used either “paid” licensed images or images coming from uncommon, less well known sources…

So for best results, either take your own photos or license images from one of the “pro” image licensing sources such as Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. I love Shutterstock – they have tons of incredible images and if you purchase a monthly plan (you can always cancel before renewal) you get the best deal. So I tend to wait until I have a big batch of content that needs images – then buy a monthly plan, download the maximum amount and cancel before the renewal date.

Note – doing simple Photoshop processes to Pixabay images to try to “fly under the radar” of image uniqueness, probably won’t work. I tested this, using a Google reverse image search (which uses similar technology) and found that ‘flip horizontal’, resize, hue/saturation adjustment etc makes no odds, the image is still picked up. I had to really “smash” images to get them to beat Google reverse image search: “Inverse” (which creates a photo-negative) works but is not usable for the majority of photos because it looks terrible. Saving as a PNG with massively reduced color spectrum (i.e. down to 2,3 or 4 colors) also works and can look attractive, so this could possibly be utilized for some imagery.

What I just wrote will make sense if you are a Photoshop pro. All the above is time consuming and fiddly. You might as well just license an image or take a photo 😉

Pro Trick: Multiple Pinterest Images Per Blog Post

In order to generate mega Pinterest traffic, your overall long-term objective should be to build up a large number of usable images and to be pinning consistently both to your own boards and to group boards.

Each of your blog posts should have at least one “Pinterest image” – so focus first on making one great Pinterest image for each blog post. Once you have read this tutorial you may find that you want to revisit your old blog posts and create new images for them – and that’s fine! New images can breathe a new life into old posts.

Some Pinterest pros however create 5 or 10 unique images per post – especially for the most successful posts! But make sure you are getting things right before creating lots of images for one post.

A great strategy is to look at your blog analytics and create additional Pinterest images for your best performing posts. Note that (thankfully) these images don’t all have to appear on the blog post itself – as you can pin an image directly to Pinterest and then specify the URL you want the image to link to. These additional images can also contain both headline variations and totally new design elements; which gives you further opportunities to “split test” different styles and note which ones do best.

Keep Your Materials Organized

You need to tailor your graphic sizes to each social media site because they all have different requirements.  So you will probably find that you end up with a custom version of the graphic for Pinterest, one for Facebook, one for Instagram, one for your Youtube placeholder, and so on.

You will find that you need a well-organized system to prevent things descending into chaos! 😉

I keep ALL the “bits and pieces” from each blog post – article, images, source material, PSD files – in the same folder, and the images are labeled systematically – for example shipping-container-FB.jpg (Facebook image), shipping-container-PI.jpg (pinterest image), shipping-container-IN.jpg (instagram image).  

Keep a copy of everything in a folder and keep it organized with “Photoshop PSDs”, links to the Canva files online and other elements intact, so that you can go back later and edit if needed. And make a backup!

It’s great to be able to return to old graphics later and make changes as needed – and I will bet that you WILL need to do this at some point. It’s a real hassle to have to re-create it all again from scratch because you lost your .PSD file and all the source imagery. A coherent naming and folder system will be your friend in the long run – and make sure that everyone on your team sticks to the same protocol.

Don’t Steal Images!

SUPER IMPORTANT! Aside from attracting DMCA takedown orders and potentially Pinterest account closure, there are now really serious consequences coming down the pipe for image thieves. Even if the image was posted on your blog ten years ago… even if you didn’t know it was a stolen image… I am 100% serious. The hammer is falling in a big way when it comes to image theft. This is happening right now.

There are companies that are filing mass legal actions (thousands) against image thieves and these guys play hardball. If you get one of these legal threats, it can result in a grim choice to either settle out of court for perhaps $500 to $1000, or face court case with a potential $20,000 fine. This is not a set of choices you want!

Avoid stealing images, and keep track of where every single image comes from that you use on your blog. If you don’t know where an image came from or whether you are cleared to use it – don’t use it. It’s that simple. Keep a note of the URL of the image source. If you got written permission, screenshot it and keep it in the folder with your post.

You will thank me later for this, I promise you! Note also that if you hire freelance workers, you would very likely still be legally responsible if they steal content and you publish it on your website. And “But I thought it was Public Domain!” isn’t gonna cut it as an excuse. You don’t need to take these kinds of risks!

Your Best Stuff Will Probably Get Stolen…

… and it will drive you crazy. They will scrub out your logo, and redirect your graphics to their own (typically spammy) pages.   It’s infuriating – but it happens at mass scale. I’ve had my images stolen literally thousands of times – and in my experience, Pinterest won’t do a thing unless and until you file a DMCA takedown request; then they will strike down the stolen content because DMCA is a form of legal action; they are required to.  So periodically, you might wish to scan through your keywords on Pinterest, and use “report pin” for stolen content to be taken down. It’s a tedious job though – and the content thieves only get away with it because people are too lazy or busy to file complaint. You can also assign this task to a VA but just be aware that it is an ongoing game of whack-a-mole. You may find it better to simply “invent faster than they can copy”. My intuition is that the image thieves are about to get hit so hard with legal actions that they will scatter in terror – and it will put a stop to it. We will see…





Tall “Pinterest Images” Don’t Really Work Well For Facebook And Other Social Media Sites

All the various social media sites have an optimal image format that works for their platform. For best results, you’ll need different versions of the graphic for the various platforms.

For example, while “tall” images are best for Pinterest, these don’t work so well on Instagram (they get truncated – potentially cutting off important info) – you will want square versions of your images (i.e. 800×800 or 1080×1080) for Insta.

Facebook? It has its own quirks: I would advise 2 images – a “flat” 1200×628 version for “link posts” and a square or “slightly tall” (but not as tall as Pinterest images) for image posts. I know, its a bit annoying.

If you are adding your graphic to your blog post (recommended!), don’t set a “tall” image to be the one that is scraped by the “Facebook debugger”. Otherwise, FB will cut off most of your image and this will negatively affect the clickability of the resulting Facebook post.
 The Facebook Debugger tool will show you which image Facebook is pulling when someone drops your link on Facebook.  You are better off with a “flat” image being pulled by FB, so nothing is cut off. In other words, create a different version for Facebook link posts that is of the size ratio 1200×628.   You can set the FB image either with the Yoast SEO plugin Yoast SEO plugin (WordPress) or with the “og:image” tag (HTML). Then run the debugger again to refresh the pulled image to your new one. There’s a bit more to it than this but that’s outside the scope of this tutorial.

That’s it!

Now go crush it on Pinterest and have fun doing it! 🙂

Staxxx

27 Surprising Things You Can Sell On eBay For Quick Profits (I Made $12,000+ Doing This!)

27 Surprising Things You Can Sell On eBay For Quick Profits
27 Surprising Things You Can Sell On eBay For Quick Profits Graphic © 8FigureStack

I had the “mother of all clearouts” in 2020 – and I made well over $12,000 in the last 12 months just having a massive “cull” of my crazy mountain of stuff and listing everything on eBay that I didn’t need!

Stuff happens… you probably have hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of stuff laying around, getting in the way; or possibly even costing you money to store every month!

You are probably sitting on more of a gold mine than you realize – and eBay is probably the best way to turn your “trash into cash” that exists. 🙂 People will buy all sorts of things and it’s simply amazing what can be sold now; including many items you might not have thought had any resale value.

So here is a super list of Surprising Things You Can Sell On Ebay For Quick Profits that will get you inspired and excited to get that money flowing in. 🙂

I have lots of experience as an eBay seller (870 feedbacks / 100% positive feedback) so I can help!

I found that the key to this is to have a “mega decluttering weekend” – perhaps once or twice a year (or just when you need some fast cash) – and list it all in one go. This saves time as you can for example do all the photography in one session. You can also consolidate on trips to the post office / parcel drop-off. You might even be able to empty out your storage and save money every month there too!

If you can, designate part of a room to be your ‘ebay pile’ and then comb through the house carefully, one room at a time. Ask yourself:

• Do I love it?
• Do I need it?
• Can I live without it?
• Am I sick of looking at it?
• Will someone else benefit from it more than me?
• Can I do something better with the money than with this item right now?
• Will it sell?

⭐ Pro Tip: Before listing an item, search for it to get a feel for the price they are selling for. You can also do a “completed listings” search to see recent sale prices. On the right of the search bar in eBay, click “advanced”:

Advanced Ebay Listing

and then choose “completed listings” or “sold listings”. Anything with the price in green shows that was the actual price realized:

advanced-ebay-listing-2

Ok, here’s the list! 🙂

1. Old Tools:

Tools are one of those types of item that I have found “fly out of the door” when listed on eBay. When people buy new tools, they tend to keep the old ones and ‘relegate’ them to seconds… which means they probably never get used again! It’s useful to have some spares, but after a while, it just piles up….

You can even sell entire boxes full of rusty old tools, fanatics love these and there are some eBay sellers that have a “hobby business” of restoring them, especially if they were classic brands of yesteryear. Often the tools from the “good old days” were made with high grade steel and are better when restored than the modern stuff is when new! Look out also for old power tool battery chargers!

2. Broken, Untested, Or Damaged Items:

I have sold many items on eBay that were completely defunct – yet because I was absolutely crystal clear about this and gave a lot of details in the sale description, it worked out perfectly! The buyer knew what they were getting and the sale went just fine, they thanked me and I received positive feedback.

You gotta love having the ability to sell your broken old junk to someone who knows exactly what they are getting and is happy to give you money for it… 🙂

Broken items have resale value to refurbishers or people who simply need spare parts for their own item. You may not have the equipment, time or skills to test or fix certain items, or you may simply have no way to be sure if it is working; for example an obscure item of consumer electronics with a missing power supply. All these scenarios are fine, so long as you are transparent and give full details!

If your item has scratches in the paintwork or any other physical damage, mention this specifically in your item description, as well as taking a close-up photo of the damaged area. If your photo does not show the extent of the damage, say so. In one case recently I said something like “This item has some scratches on the screen which you can only really see in the third pic.”

There are some fairly standard eBay phrases to cover scenarios of this type: For example you might say something like “I have no way to tell whether this item is working or not. It may not be working, therefore it is for sale AS-IS, with no guarantees whatsoever.” Or, in another instance you might say something like “Important – this item DOES NOT WORK. However, you may be able to use some parts of it as spares.”

Direct and accurate details are considered good form on eBay (and in any business for that matter). Just be meticulously honest about things. The clearer the information you can provide about what the buyer is actually getting, the better.

3. Original Product Boxes (Empty):

Yes! You can sell the empty “original” boxes for various electronic and other items, if they are in good condition! Just have a look on eBay! Favorites include iPhone boxes, which may sell for around $5. I just sold 2 small original boxes that SSD hard drives came in for $6 total a few days ago.

When receiving new items, get into the habit of opening them carefully so as to have undamaged boxes, then storing the box plus “all the bits” – manual, instruction CD etc together. Put them inside some kind of storage crate if possible so that they stay dust-free and don’t get bashed.

4. Lumber Off-Cuts:

Lumber prices have gone through the ROOF since 2020. Some lumber types have tripled in retail price! So if you have pieces of cut oak or other off-cuts of hardwoods / exotic woods in good condition, now could be the perfect time to sell them on! You are also doing a small environmental service by “recycling” the scraps.

Often people will buy a small piece because they only need a small amount and don’t want to make a big purchase. Or you could sell a box of scraps, especially of the same type.

So if you do any sort of woodwork, start keeping the scraps and organize them by type.

You could probably also sell the shavings – especially if you use one of those hand planes that makes those lovely thin ribbon-like shavings.

5. Broken Small Appliances:

I should have listed my old toaster oven instead of taking it to the dump! Non-op kettles, coffee makers and so on can all be sold for spare parts, helping another item get a new lease of life. 🙂

6. “Junk Boxes” And “Job Lots”:

These are a bargain hunter’s paradise! If you have a “junk drawer” full of bits and bobs from the old days, these can be sold complete and can be quite popular.

If you have a big box of something of the same type – records, tools, IEC cables, you name it – you can very often sell it as a “job lot” or “box full of _________” and this is of course a lot less hassle than listing the items individually.

7. Anything Electronic:

Whether working or faulty, if priced correctly and described accurately, these will sell. MP3 players are a popular favorite. Old TV remote controls, headphones, cameras, “old skool” car audio from the 80’s and 90’s… all of it.

8. Old Golf Balls:

If only I had known about this before! I live near a golf course and if I go for a walk down the lane, I almost always see abandoned / lost golf balls in the hedgerow.

9. Vintage Electronics, Especially Japanese:

Most consumer goods have what is known as a “value curve”: When new, it is at the top of the curve, and the value goes down as it gets older. Then, something mysterious happens. It becomes rare and value starts to go up again – perhaps even going up way past the original price! Most items (there are some exceptions) have such a value curve – especially if in excellent condition.

Vintage electronics can sell for fantastic sums – especially if the condition is “near mint” and the item has the original box and manual.

⭐ Pro Tip: Look out for Japanese electronic brands of yesteryear (such as Sony, Akai, Korg, Sansui, and Panasonic). These items, while less technologically advanced than the consumer electronics of today, were in many ways of higher quality: The components and build standards of those days were often superior – hence these items are revered by those who used to use them and still prefer them to the modern devices!

Look out especially for vintage synthesizers and drum machines; the market for vintage gear of this kind has gone absolutely insane. Some of these, from the 80’s and before, now fetch a small fortune. For example the original Roland 808 drum machine can be seen now priced in the thousands of dollars!

Another surprisingly valuable item: “High end” cassette decks – including Nakamichi (these fetch top dollar) and Sony Walkmans (upper range models such as D3, D6, DD series, DC6, TPS and “pro” models are often selling for several hundred dollars in good condition – I was blown away!)

10. Old Lego:

We gradually accumulated heaps of it when we were kids, then when we decided that we had grown out of it, I think we just gave it away. Genuine brand Lego bricks can sell “by the pound” – but prices are much higher if you have the original boxes and complete original sets. Same goes for many old toys – especially if they have the original boxes and are in great condition.

11. Instruction Manuals:

If you have a stack of old instruction manuals for equipment / appliances etc you no longer own, then you are in luck as these can often sell for a few bucks each.

12. Textbooks:

These deserve a special mention as textbooks often fetch significant money on resale. There is sometimes a very wide disparity in prices. There are now even online courses teaching people how to flip textbooks for profit – obtaining them both online and offline and re-listing them on eBay, Amazon and other places. Check Bookfinder.com to get price comparisons across several websites.

13. Uncommon Coins (And Postage Stamps)

Very old coins and stamps are of course a highly desired collector’s item and should be valued by an expert; however another possibility is modern coins of an unusual type. In the UK, the Royal Mint cleverly created interest in coin collecting by minting very limited numbers of coins with artistic designs. These immediately started selling on eBay for much more than their face value.

Other coin varieties such as uncommon dates can fetch high prices, depending on the rarity and condition. If you know the rare dates, keep an eye on your change. The rare types continue to go up in value over the years.

14. Old Trophies:

These are popular with crafters.

15. Blank Media In Old Formats:

Blank media in old / obsolete formats sells surprisingly well. Cassettes, VHS and Betamax tapes, CDRs, DAT tapes and so on – especially in great condition with original wrapping.

16. Electronic Components / Parts:

I had a small audio mixer that had a “missing knob”. I was amazed to find that someone was selling the knobs on eBay for a few bucks each – and they were selling! The same applies to all sorts of other electronic components – especially older, obsolete, rare and in-demand items. If you have the means (and the patience) to strip down, test, photograph and list such items, you could possibly sell the components for much more than the full item. Some types of IC / silicon chip that are now obsolete have high resale value and this market seems set to grow, though you would need expertise in these items and the equipment to test them.

17. Empty CD / Cassette / DVD / Game Cases:

If the cases are in good condition, these have resale value!

18. Car, Motorbike And Bicycle Parts:

There is always a market for auto and bike parts in good condition. This one is likely more work, and items may need to be cleaned up / degreased / stripped down / etc – however the potential is there – especially if you have an old classic. Selling the parts individually may yield significantly more than the scrap value, though of course you have to put the work in.

19. Old Power Supplies / Adaptors / Chargers / Power Cords / Plugs:

Most people have a drawer or box full of old phone chargers, or perhaps the power cords for various old devices that went to recycling. Old “wall wart” power supplies can often fetch around $10, perhaps more. Be sure to take a photo of the label with all the important details i.e. voltage, pin polarity etc. Old USB cables are a difficult sell because there are mountains of them – but old style monitor cables (DVI, serial etc) can sell.

20. Old Prescription Glasses:

If you go to the optician and are informed that you need new glasses because your eyesight has changed…. the old glasses end up in a drawer and forgotten. And because prescriptions are unique, you would assume that these old specs are no use to anyone else. However people purchase these for the frames! Brand name and designer frames of course sell for good money. Same of course with vintage brand name sunglasses, which even though you might think are completely out of fashion, become collectors’ items, often of surprising value.

21. Wine Bottles And Corks:

Empty wine bottles are popular with crafters and can fetch a couple of bucks each! Corks – not worth much if you only have a few; but if you have a big pile of authentic corks, these sell well for decorative and craft purposes – netting perhaps $10 for 100 corks.

22. Pine Cones:

You may have pine trees galore in your area and think nothing of them; however not everyone lives in an area where they have pine trees – and these are always in demand for craft projects. The really big ones are popular and could fetch up to $1 each – however even the small ones can be sold; especially in the run up to the holidays. Be sure to pick undamaged ones and blow out any dust using an air compressor if needed.

What other natural items can you think of that might have value? Sea shells? Dried leaves and flowers? I haven’t looked these up but there are probably more!

23. Old And Even Broken Phones:

Many people have several old phones laying around. What’s interesting is that you can sell these even if they are non-operational; so long as you are clear about the condition. They contain valuable components and might be usable for parts or refurbishment. In addition to eBay you could also try DeCluttr, however there are more options, for example CeX, MusicMagpie (UK) and Sell My Mobile. Note – be sure to erase your device fully before selling!

24. Old Magazines:

Depending on the magazine and the condition, yes these will sell. Some will fetch a dollar or more per “standard” issue, however special pull-out supplements and commemorative issues can become collector’s items. If you have a large stack of a certain type of magazine, it might be better to sell in bulk than individually due to the logistics of photographing every item individually.

25. Incomplete Games:

An incomplete board game can still be sold – someone else out there has an incomplete game and needs the missing parts! The same applies of course to incomplete sets of anything else.

26. Empty Ink Cartridges:

These have resale value for businesses who refill them. A good service that has environmental benefits.

27. “Trash” For Crafts:

Amazingly, all sorts of things that you might consider as trash have craft uses. For example, crafters will buy toilet and kitchen roll tubes, buttons, old ‘junk’ coins, wool scraps, egg boxes, beer bottle caps, plastic bottle tops (yes really), glass jars, coat hangers. Check on eBay to see the current prices these things are selling for! Make sure items are clean and in good condition.

28. Packaging:

Packaging materials in good condition (clean bubble wrap, packing peanuts, unused moving boxes, padded bags). However if you start selling on eBay you will probably want to start keeping all these materials for your own re-use! I used to tear into everything like a kid at Christmas, now I open everything carefully so as to preserve the packaging for re-use. 🙂

Items To Avoid Selling:

• Restricted Items. The list of these is different in different regions so be sure to check the eBay restricted items list in your region – as well as the rules of the postal service in your location. There are a few surprises here, for example in the UK there are restrictions on shipping of perfume bottles and this makes sense as a leaking perfume could ruin other goods. Other items with restrictions / special rules include lithium batteries and items with sharp blades.

• ‘Complicated’ items that you don’t really understand and thus are not able to describe accurately (although this can work if you are clear about your lack of knowledge on the topic).

• Very large or heavy items (difficult to ship).

• Anything with a high failure rate.

• Anything highly fragile – although if you are a “packaging pro” you can of course do this.

• I listed a mountain of stuff in 2020. Audio gear and tools “flew out of the door”. The items that in general seemed to be the slowest to sell and generated the least interest were books and CDs – apart from a few rarities which went quicker. There is no real “problem” with selling books and CDs other than the fact that they will probably sit there for weeks / months – and then even when they sell, by the time you have taken out shipping and eBay costs, there isn’t much profit left.

Learn More About Selling On Ebay:

For a more in-depth tutorial on eBay with TONS of useful tips and helpful ideas, check out my free tutorial 26 Insider Tips For Ebay Success