As a blogger, I am very aware of the importance that Pinterest can play in connecting people and driving traffic to your blog. I have seen the connections that other bloggers have made, and regularly use Pinterest for finding inspiration and ideas. More often than not, the links connected to the pins lead you straight to a blog rather than a website run by a large company. It’s easy to see how helpful that can be for a blogger, right?
But just because you can see the importance of using Pinterest, doesn’t mean you know how to use it effectively, does it? I use Pinterest almost daily, yet I rarely pin my own blog posts. And I rarely use the few collaborative boards I am actually a member of. So imagine my relief when I discovered BritMums Live had arranged a sesson with some of the UK’s top pinners from within the parent blogger niche.
Jen from Love Chic Living, Jennifer from Jennifer’s Little World, and Helen from Kiddy Charts all happily shared their thoughts and experiences with a room jam-packed with interested bloggers. The session was incredibly interactive, with lots of questions being fired out from the audience throughout, and so I hope I managed to capture all the key points in my notes.
- Pinterest now uses smart feed, which means that when you log in you’ll see pins of “related content” that are based on things you have previously pinned
- Pins can either be pinned from their source or repinned from within Pinterest itself
- It’s important to check the pin links directly to the post you want and not the homepage
- Always check and edit the description so that it includes key words (e.g. ingredients used in a recipe)
- Do not use hashtags – these are not used on Pinterest and are seen as spam
Making the most of your account
- Set up a business account – this is important if you plan to make money via your blog. It also gives you access to analytics within Pinterest. It is easy to switch from a personal account to a business one (NB: I did it yesterday and it really was very simple!)
- Once you’ve changed to a business account, you’ll be able to verify your account.
- Apply for rich pins – these are pins which have a bold title and provide space for a lot more information than standard pins. Using these will give your pins more weight in searches and they also stand out more in a feed. Pinterest are also adding “call to action” buttons to rich pins.
- When people first see your profile, they will only see the first 8 boards, so make these count. You can change the order regularly, so consider making these seasonal.
- Remember that we are naturally drawn to the top left of the screen, so make your first board the one you want to be seen first. This is a good place to create a blog board to pin your own blog posts to.
- You can pin to your blog board first, and then repin your own content within Pinterest to other more specific boards or collaborative boards. Just make sure that you don’t do this too much in quick succession, otherwise you will be seen as spamming.
- Make use of secret boards for pinning ideas and projects you are planning for a future date. You can then publish them when you are ready to go live.
- Use sensible keywords for board names and include them in your profile as well.
- Make sure your boards are all in the right category, to make sure they are easy to search for.
- Pin regularly, but keep it natural by making sure that the pins are relevant to you. Mix things up and pin other people’s content, this is how Pinterest works!
Understanding Pinterest and how it equates to blog traffic
- Pinterest works like a search engine and discovery tool rather than a social media platform. You don’t need a lot of followers to be successful, and the number of followers does not always equate to traffic.
- Pins are evergreen – don’t delete pins, they will continue to grow organically over time. Seasonal posts, in particular, will be more popular at certain times of year.
- Talking of seasonal posts, remember to pin them in a timely manner. For instance, Christmas-themed posts will start to gain interest in October when peple start searching for inspiration. If you pin something in December, it may not gather much interest this year, but could be much more successful the following year.
What makes a good pin?
- Always use portrait images with a ratio of 2:3, and never post a landscape image.
- Make sure the image is engaging, beautiful, and high quality.
- Give it a searchable title
- Make sure that the description includes keywords, but that it is also written naturally. The longer the description, the better.
- Add teaser text over the image if you think that it adds to it, but remember this won’t always work and some images will be better without it.
- Collaborative boards are good for extra exposure and offer more pinning opportunities
- PinGroupie is a great way to find collaborative boards and get involved
- Make sure you always follow the group rules
Jen’s collaborative board, Love Home Bloggers, is a great example of how these work.
- Do not run “Pin It to Win It” competitions, Pinterest hate these.
- You cannot be paid for pinning to one of your boards, but you can pin sponsored content.
- You can, however, be paid for pinning to a collaborate board run by a brand.
- You can run creative competitions (i.e. entrants have to create a board based on a theme) so long as the sponsor does not require entrants to pin content of their own products.
- You can be paid for offering Pinterest consultancy.
- Link to Pinterest in a blog post whenever you can and embed relevant boards.
- Make pins searchable
- Link to Pinterest boards from your other social media channels
- Have a Pinterest board for your blog and remember to use categories
- Stock photo sites, such as Pixabay and the Creative Commons area on Flickr can help you find relevant images for your pins. The image I used in this post came from Canva.
- If you use WordPress, there are various plugins you can use to make everything easier. Try SumoMe for starters.
- There are many resources you can use to help organise your content and sharing. These include Buffer, Ahalogy, Curalate, Expion, Newscred, Percolate, Shoutlet, Spreadfast, Sprinklr and Tailwind. Some focus specifically on Pinterest, some are more general social media schedulers. Some are free, some charge a small fee. Find one which works for you.
I do hope that these notes are helpful – they have certainly given me a lot to think about and a long list of things that I need to change.
This post is part of a series entitled Lessons from #britmumslive 2015. You can find the other posts in this series below: