Pinterest for bloggers – The things you MUST be doing if you’re serious about getting noticed. Tips and advice from an Official UK Pinterest Ambassador.
I loved Pinterest from the first time I used it. I stumbled upon it during a recipe search and when I emerged hours later, I’d decided that I needed an outdoor fireplace and I had learned to paint my nails to look like a watermelon.
It’s been a love affair that has endured. So much so that last year, Pinterest UK asked me to be an ambassador for them. This means that I help people make the most of Pinterest (bloggers or not). As part of my freelance work, I also help brands to use the full force of Pinterest (which hardly any are doing yet).
A couple of weeks ago I went to speak to the largest audience I’d ever spoken to (about 200 people) at BlogCamp in Birmingham. I weirdly didn’t feel too nervous about my actual presentation, as I guess when you’re talking about something you love, it’s not too bad is it?
(Although I was worried that I would fall over or accidentally say a rude word. I wore flat shoes to help with the falling over possibility and took my chance of saying BUM.)
It was a brilliant day, I enjoyed sharing my passion for the platform so much and hopefully helping inspire other bloggers to make it work for them too. I realised I’ve never actually written any of my Pinterest tips here so I thought I’d write a few posts about it, including the tips from my presentations that day. (If you’re here for the recipes, normal service will resume shortly!)
Below is some of what was in my first Pinterest session, a basics, 101, here’s how to use the platform as a blogger. In the coming weeks I’ll write some more about my second, more advanced session and also some other tips and advice. Please sign up to my email subscription (in the side bar) if you’d like to know when those are published.
First a reminder of the basics of the platform..
Pinterest for Bloggers – The Basics
- Pinterest is a visual discovery tool. Like a cross between Google Images and a good old fashioned pinboard.
- It’s a place to share and discover new ideas.
- A reminder of the basics of using Pinterest. If you follow a user, you’ll follow every new board they create. Or you can follow a single board of theirs.
- You can also follow Interests, for those subjects to appear in your home feed, this is a great way to discover new content.
- Landscape rotation images always ALWAYS work best on Pinterest.
- All pins lead back to somewhere, normally (hopefully) the source of the image, which is the original use of it online. So a food photo will lead back to the webpage with the recipe.
- Pin, pin, pin. Pinterest is ALL about sharing. Pinners love to discover and share, which is great for content creators.
- If you’re a blogger, consider your Pinterest tactics in two parts; your Pinterest profile and then how ‘pinnable’ your blog itself is.
- Getting your blog ‘pinnable’ should be your first goal as this will encourage your readers to do the work of sharing for you. Worry about this first and your profile later.
How to make your blog ‘Pinnable’
These are the things that you should absolutely do before anything else if you’re a blogger planning on getting serious with using Pinterest.
They are all fairly quick and simple and I’ve found them definitely worth the investment of time.
The ‘Pin It’ button is a really nifty little tool that appears in images on a website when you hover over them (like on this site). Or you can add it (like in the slide above) onto the post.
I am a huge fan of the image ‘Pin It’ button as it reminds people that they can pin any time they go near an image on the site! There’s lots more info about how to implement here for various types of site: Build a Pin it Button.
These are special types of pin that include extra info. You set them up for your own blog by adding a piece of code to your site, then validate them (once) on Pinterest. Then when the posts get pinned, they look like one of the pins above. Read more about them here: Rich Pins.
This is really useful as:
- Once it’s set up it’s done forever.
- It’s easy and free.
- You gain extra exposure on Pinterest as your pins stand out.
There are heaps of tutorials online for how to set this up for each platform you may be blogging on.
- By verifying your website, each time a pin from your site appear on Pinterest is has your site name (and favicon – if you’ve set one up on your blog). It makes your pins identifiable and also look more professional. Read a guide here: How to Verify Your Site.
- Converting to a business account, it is free and it allows you to access your analytics and see which of your pins are doing well, what your monthly reach is and what your click through rate is – all very useful to quote in your media pack. Read how here: How to Convert to a Business Account.
- One of the main ways that Pinterest searches content is in the pin description box.
- When you pin your own content, make sure that you have written a good, detailed, NON SPAMMY description. Don’t stuff it with keywords but write naturally with a nod towards what people may be searching for.
- In the example above, people may find the sweater on the left when searching for ‘slouchy sweater’, or ‘blue jeans’, ‘Converse’, ‘casual sweater’, ‘casual look’, ‘skinny jeans’, ‘high heels’ and so on, compared to the example on the right where it would only be found by ‘grey loose knit sweater’.
- Depending on which Pin It option you are using (a single button on the page or the hover over image button) the description is normally automatically filled with the <alt> tags from your photos on your site. Make sure these are filled in as you would like the descriptions to read when people pin your photos.
- This is REALLY worth the time as it means every time someone pins from your site when are making your content reach wider and wider on Pinterest.
- Share your Pinterest on other platforms, don’t be spammy, but if you find an amazing pin share it on Twitter now and then, mention your profile and the useful boards on your blog.
- For example, when you write a post with a picnic recipe in, mention your picnics Pinterest board.
- As a content creator, remember, not all of your content will work well on Pinterest and that’s okay.
- Focus on making your content that will, super appealing to pinners.
- Content that’s future orientated and actionable work best. Along with lists, pinners love lists.
Final Pinterest Tips for this Beginner Session:
- Don’t use hashtags, they don’t work on Pinterest and are considered spammy.
- NEVER delete pins!
- Don’t spread yourself too thin, focus on the interest and boards you will want to maintain.
- That said, you can never have too many boards or pins.
- Be authentic.
- Most content is consumed through search, not who people follow, this is especially helpful when you’re starting out as Pinterest traffic does not only rely on followers.
I hope that was useful, I have a post coming up on using Tribes for Tailwind for blog growth on Pinterest and also my more advanced session from Blogcamp. Please do pop me a comment below if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can help with about Pinterest for bloggers.
Do you love Pinterest? Has it helped your blog or is it still a mystery?
Pin my Pinterest for bloggers advice for later..