You probably think Pinterest is only for chicks? Six months ago I thought the same thing. But then I decided to take my blog visuals and Pinterest a little more seriously. The result? Pinterest is now my second biggest social media traffic generator. Twitter has been my first and main focus on social media throughout 2013, so obviously it can’t be beat. However some days I do get more traffic from a few pins! For many bloggers it is a bit of a mystery how Pinterest can help them. I know, I felt the same way in the beginning.
It’s all chicks and handbags.
And you are right. A lot of women use it, and there are a lot of products on there. But with every social media platform, there is always a way we can make good use of it. You just have to know how. So to help you out, I have compiled a list of some of my best Pinterest tips. Things I have been doing in the last months, and have found to work well. Apply them all (or at least most of them – especially the images section) and you will see more and more traffic come to you from Pinterest.
And another big thing many people don’t often talk about:
Pins have a long life. So something you have pinned a long time ago (and perhaps forgotten about), can suddenly get a second wind and give you a new boost in traffic.
On the rest of the social media platforms that rarely (if ever) happens!
Take a look at the nicely sorted and categorized Pinterest tips below. Click on the links to take you to each category (then click Top to come back up again).
Let’s start with the basics. There are a number of places you should have and use Pinterest buttons.
Make sure you have a Pin It button in your social media share buttons if you want to get serious about Pinterest. If you need some social media share buttons, or some with better options, take a look at my post on 45 of the best wordpress plugins.
This may sounds similar to the option above, but it is a little bit different. Adding a Pin It button to your images directly, gives your readers control over which images they pin and it also entices them to pin. If you need such an option, try this very small but helpful wordpress plugin.
As you browse the web, it is always a great idea to be able to pin things as easily as possible. Adding a Pin It button to your browser is the best option, and you can get one from Pinterest directly. This is an awesome tool for pinners, because it not only means you can pin without the blog or site having Pin It buttons, but it gives you the option to pin any image on the page.
You should also promote your presence on Pinterest by adding your Pinterest account to your website with a Pinterest Button (right next to your Twitter, Google Plus etc icons). Make sure these icons are not hidden, by including them either in your header or in the sidebar near to the top. People want to connect with you, so make it easy for them. Back to Top
Pinterest is a very visual social media platform, and if you are going to take it seriously then you need to make sure you have great images on your site. If you are looking for somewhere to find jaw-dropping free images, or ideas on how to work with them here is a page with all my mind blowing image posts. But keep reading, because below I will go over the important things you need to think about for Pinterest success.
Finding great visuals for your blog or website is key. And some of the best places to find such images for free is via Flickr Creative Commons. Both PhotoPin and Compfight provide sexy interfaces to help you search for these images. You can use Flicker’s creative commons search directly. Don’t forget to attribute the image owner in your post.
Pinterest is all about long images, so portrait images have a lot more impact – they take more space on a Pinterest board and in your stream. So people notice them more. This means you will get more repins, likes and comments. The ideal image size according to Pinterest is 600px wide. The length is scaled accordingly, but obviously longer is better.
If you want your blog post to be shared and your posts read via Pinterest, it is crucial to add text to your images. After all, who will know what the image means. The text can be either your blog post title or something similar that encourages people to click on your image on Pinterest. If you want to learn how to do this like a pro, take a look at a guest post I wrote on this subject. Back to Top
Although a large percentage of pins on Pinterest are simply repins, you will get a lot more attention if you start adding new material. So I recommend you have the Pin It Button in your browser as I mentioned earlier, then pay attention to the following information about the pins you add.
Pinterest is really like anything else you do on the web – it’s searchable. As such, it is super important that you add useful and keyword filled descriptions to your pins. That way, you will get a more eyes on your pins than just the followers you have.
Along the same line of thinking, hashtags are also important to Pinterest. Maybe not as much as Twitter, but people do search for them. So I recommend that you add a couple of related hashtags on a new line after the description. Why not get even more people finding your awesome pins! Add some hashtags now!
If you are pinning someone’s post on Pinterest (or any social media platform actually), it is a great to let them know you have done it. The best way to do this on Pinterest is to add them somewhere in the description (maybe something like: great post by @madlemmings). All you need to do is add the @ symbol followed by their name. Back to Top
Pinterest is really the same as any other social media site when it comes to followers and following. Find people with the same interests as you.. The ways you can do this is maybe a little different, but the outcome is the same. Let’s take a look at some of the ways it can be done.
Hopefully most people have their Pinterest profile easily accessible on their website, like their other social media profiles. So when you find an interesting blog, I recommend you follow these people on any social media platform you are active on. Pinterest is now one of these – of course.
Use Pinterest search to find people or their boards. Simply type in the keywords you are interested in and hit enter! Then follow the boards that suit your niche. Be careful when you follow people directly (rather than a board) because they might have a lot of boards you have no interest in. This will result in your Pinterest home stream being flooded with uninteresting pins.
In the notifications tab on Pinterest you will see people who like, comment, repin or follow you. Check this constantly and see who is interacting with you. Then you can follow them or their boards if they match your interests.
You might not see all the notifications of people who have pinned your stuff. And sometimes you just don’t get notified (that is my excuse anyway). So take a look at who has pinned from your site by typing in the following URL: http://www.pinterest.com/source/madlemmings.com/ Replace madlemmings.com with your URL. Back to Top
Group boards are a great way to interact with like-minded Pinterest users. Not only that, but by posting to group boards or hosting one yourself you expose yourself to a new audience. If you have not gotten involved in group boards yet, read on and learn about the benefits.
In the beginning you will want to follow a few group boards to see the kinds of pins that are being posted. You can also interact with the other members by liking, repining or commenting on their pins.
In the description of many group boards are the instructions and conditions for becoming a contributor on the board. Don’t be shy, contact the owner of the board, making sure you fulfil the conditions (ie. don’t waste their time) and start reaping the rewards. As a member of the group board your pins will be seen by all the followers of that board. This is a whole new audience for you. But don’t just pin your posts, it’s not an invitation to promote only yourself. Pin a variety of stuff and become a valued member of the board and you will find people will naturally start to follow your boards too.
Once you are comfortable with Group Boards and all the shenanigans surrounding them, you might want to consider hosting a group board yourself. It is a bit of work, because you do have to maintain the quality of the board (or else your followers might stage a revolt!), but it is worth it for many reasons.
Pinterest is the misunderstood future superstar of social media. And with Facebook dying a slow death maybe it’s time you found a new place to get some social media traffic. If you take the above tips seriously, improve your images, add the right buttons, and interact with people on Pinterest, I can guarantee you will get more traffic. So what are you waiting for? Get busy on Pinterest now!
Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).
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