If you are a blogger and not using PInterest, you need to change that today. Many blogs are getting 400,000 or more pages views each month almost exclusively from PInterest.
I am not one of those bloggers – yet. However, I am seeing big gains from Pinterest. More on that below and in a future post.
Today, I want to talk about why you should be using Pinterest.
First, though, let’s look at some Pinterest basics.
More Than Just Recipes
Somewhere along the line, Pinterest got the reputation of being just a recipe site. While it’s true there are millions of amazing recipes (I have gotten a lot of great ones, including my favorite potato soup recipe), it is also so much more. Amazingly, almost all of those recipes are found on blogs. That’s million on blog pages represented. So you can imagine the huge potential available with Pinterest.
It’s considered a social media site, but it is very different than Twitter or Facebook. Pinterest is more of a large search engine with visual search.
Suppose you are interested in finding tips on how to increase blog traffic. Typing “increase blog traffic” in the search bar on the site will bring up hundreds of images related to that search term. When you find something you like, you can click the image, also called a pin, to go to the site referenced, or click “save” and have that image saved to your personal board for later use. Saving an image is called pinning.
Think of a board like a traditional bulletin board. You can save each pin you are interested in onto one board, or you can created individual boards for each category. My boards include titles like:
- Author Interviews
- Book Reviews
- Book Trailers
- Life Lessons
- And lots more!
Wise pinners know that if they are making their own pins (images) that they need to include valuable text with the image. The reason for this is because many people won’t read the pin description, no matter how wonderful it might be.
Which would you click on?
Here are two examples of what pins might look like on Pinterest. Both pins might have the same description saying how the post can increase traffic.
Look at each image and decide which one you would be more inclined to click on. If you didn’t decide Example B, well… I don’t even know what to say. But I’m confident you picked Example A.
Suppose both pins were take you to the same place. In this case, they do. Clicking either one will take you to my home page.
The splendor of Pinterest is driven by the fact that people are drawn to shiny things. Represent your blog with something shiny enough, and lots of people will click through to visit your blog. Millions of blog visits are logged each day. The best part for you? Pinterest is completely free.
Create Pins in Minutes
If you follow my blog, or me on social media, you have heard of my addiction to Canva. I am not an affiliate, so that is not an affiliate link.
Canva is a wonderful designing platform that makes creating pins, and graphics in general, incredibly easy. Nearly all of my blog images were created on their site.
When you are first getting started, you can click on any one of a large selection of great templates. That template can then be updated with your blog title and web address. Voila! You have a beautiful new pin.
Canva is free to try. You can create lots of great pins for free, and for as long as you want. Not all options are open to free members, so if you find yourself using it a lot, you may want to upgrade. Lots of bloggers only ever use the free option.
I won’t bore you with the statistics here, but not all pins perform in the same way. Square images and short rectangles have a much lower response rate than tall pins. Tall pins, like the examples above, usually are twice as high as they are wide, but many are much taller.
Again, Canva takes all the work out of the equation. From your home screen when you sign in, just click “Pinterest Graphic” and the size is set up automatically.
If you’re not already on Pinterest, take a moment to go browse the site. Notice which pins draw your attention. Most likely, the ones you most like are not square or short. Studies also show that using yellow or pink in the pin text gets more attention. See Example B above.
Once you have created an image you like, simply download it to your computer. Be sure to note which folder you save the file into.
Canva does a great job with their tutorials, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here. If you find yourself with a lot of questions, let me know and I will help as I can.
Adding Your Pin to Pinterest
Adding new images to Pinterest is really easy. From any page, click the red circle in the upper right-hand corner, and then click “Create Pin.”
A new window will pop up that looks like this.
Either drag your new pin image into the box on the left, or click in the box to search for the folder where the pin is saved.
Next, copy a link to the blog page you want readers to reach by clicking your pin. The easiest way to do this is to pull up the post in your browser window and then copy the address from the browser and paste it in the Website box.
Then you will want to enter a description. It doesn’t have to be long, but say something about what readers might find on the blog page. Usually one or two sentences are plenty.
Most people won’t read this information, but enough of them will to make it worth spending a few minutes writing a good description. In addition, completing the description increases the chances of your pin coming up in the searches of other users.
Try to use some keywords in your description. Keywords should be applicable to your site and the post the pin will be attached to. Hashtags can also be entered in this box. If you already select tags when publishing a blog post, those same tags would be good keywords for your pin.
When all three boxes are complete, the “Done” button on the bottom right will turn red. Click it and you’ll be taken to a list of all your boards. Save the pin to an appropriate board. That’s it. You have just created free advertising for your blog.
Where You Might Be Missing Out
No doubt you know the value of having social media sharing buttons on your blog. You took the time to make sure the buttons were there so that people could easily share your content.
Pinterest is a little different than the other options. If someone clicks the Pinterest share button, they may see something like this:
Remember, tall pins perform much better. With that it in mind, when someone clicks on the Pinterest share button, you want them to have a tall image option. This is why you should always include at least one pin in every post. Right now, I am in the process of updating all of my posts so there is always at least one tall pin available.
Side note: Up above, in the section on adding your pin to Pinterest, one of the things you need to complete is the pin description. You don’t want your readers to have to fill in this information when they are sharing a pin from your site. The good news, you can do it for them.
Each time you upload a picture to your blog, there should be an Alt Tag field for that picture. You are probably in the habit of leaving that blank or ignoring it altogether. It’s important that you change that habit for any pins you want shared. Put in the Alt Tag field the same information you would put in the Pin Description box if you would adding the pin directly to Pinterest.
The Alt Tag information automatically becomes the Pin Description when a reader share the pin.
Interestingly, over the past few weeks I have visited A LOT of blogs. Very few included pin-worthy images in their posts. That means lots of readers might not be sharing posts because they only want to share good pins to their boards.
One is Great, Two (or More) is Better
When putting pins on Pinterest, you are not limited to one pin image for one website link. Many blogging experts recommend that you have several different pin images for each post.
Scrivs from Billionaire Blog Club, recommends 6-15 pins per post. Still other Pinterest power-players recommend 30 pins or more for each post. I started with five and am working my way up from there.
Until you get the hang of things, I recommend only doing two or three pins. I recommend this for two reasons.
One, it can feel a bit overwhelming, unless you are a natural creative, to come up with 15 or more unique pin designs.
Two, uploading a lot of pins for the same post all at one time can look spammy. Instead, upload a couple pins for each post and then produce a few more pins for each post every couple weeks.
Does It Work?
I’m a little embarrassed to say that I have known most of this information for some time. Unfortunately, I did not really put it into application until last week. It took a particularly blunt and motivating email from Scrivs at Billionaire Blog Club to get me going in the right direction.
It takes a little time for pins to gain traction, but once they do, they should take off. Pins typically continue to produce traffic for about four months. However, when one is reaching the end of its cycle, you can simply pin it to a new board or create it again and the cycle starts over.
Does it work? I don’t have a lot of time to go on, but I am seeing big changes. My numbers aren’t impressive (page views have been awful in May), but look at the change.
And, I fully believe, it is just getting started. Here are my referrals for May (again, May was a dismal month), and my referrals for June through today, which is June 6 as I write this.
I’ve gotten more than three times ad many referrals from Pinterest in six days as compared to 31 days of May. I couldn’t be more excited.
My New Obsession
Moving forward, I am going to have another obsession in addition to Canva. Pinterest is quickly becoming my new best friend. This trend should continue, and I will share updates in future posts.
Great pins are only one of the keys to success with Pinterest. Group Boards and Tribes can be tremendous forces for growth. I am just learning about both, so a future post will discuss how these tools can help you, too.
I hope this information helps you. If you start sharing on Pinterest, be sure to let me know your results.