How to Use Pinterest to Market Your Blog
To use Pinterest to market your business, you can’t simply have an account and use it occasionally. You will have to actively pin other pins, and create visually appealing pins for your own blog posts, pin and repin often, as well as engage with other Pinterest users. The time you invest with Pinterest will pay off much greater dividends in the form of referrals and repins. These tips will give you what you need to understand how to get started using it.
Your Pinterest Goals Should be Three-fold:
- Build your following
- Create visually-appealing pins that get repinned over and over again
- Pin often, and pin effectively
Gaining Pinterest Followers
Just like any social media platform, it takes time to build a following. Pinterest is no different. One of the easiest ways to build a following is to simply follow other like-minded pinners and engage with them. Here are some easy way to start building your Pinterest following:
- “Like” other pins
- Comment on other pins
- Tag other users in Pinterest comments by using the “@+ username” feature
- Use the “popular” tab on Pinterest and be the first to comment on those pins
A word of caution when leaving comments: Your comment should add value and be relevant, otherwise you risk being reported as a spammer. Never mention your home business in a comment. If people see your comment and believe it adds value/information to the pin, they will look you up.
Creating Pinterest Boards
While your content and photographs should be visually appealing and creative, the titles of your Pinterest boards should not. When creating new Pinterest boards, give them titles that people use when searching for specific things. For example, some of the really cute names like “Mi Casa” or “Kim’s Crib” won’t help people searching for home decor ideas.
How many boards should you have? The more, the better in my opinion – as long as you develop and curate them effectively. Your boards will come up in search engines, so you will want to name one for each keyword term for which you’re trying to rank. Instead of creating a board for just dinner recipes, why not chicken recipes, vegetarian recipes and fish recipes? Have a blog category for home workouts? Name your board the same thing. Have a category for running? Get a Running board set up!
Don’t forget to use those keywords in your board descriptions as well. That will help users (as well as search engines) know what your board is all about.
Now, you’ll want to make your blog Pinterest-friendly. Add Pinterest follow widgets on your blog, as well as the “Pin it” plugin on your images. You can find a wide variety of social sharing buttons in the widget section of your WordPress control panel (Appearance → Widgets). Doing a search on Pinterest you’ll see how many different options you have. A couple of my favorites include:
- Pin it Button For Pinterest (this adds a hover “Pin It” button for Pinterest to your images)
Designing Your Pins
For every blog post you create, you should have a visually appealing image to go with it that your readers can use to pin to Pinterest. Research has shown that vertical images as well as those that are colorful but not cluttered are repinned most often. If adding text, make sure it is simple, straightforward, and tells the reader what he/she will find when clicking on the pin. Don’t forget your blog’s URL.
- Sources for affordable images: Dollarphotoclub.com ($1 per image, $10 minimum to get started)
- Free online image editing: Picmonkey.com
After you’ve come up with your blog post and added the image, you will pin it to Pinterest. The next step is to choose your descriptive text wisely. Don’t simply use the title of your post. Again, use keyword phrases and hashtags. Does it compel others to click through to your website? If not, try to reword-it. Why should they click on the pin? Give them a reason to do so.
Marketing Your Pins
Collaborating with other pinners is one step most bloggers miss out on, but it is one of the quickest ways to build your following. When others share your pins, your pins seen by an entirely new audience. Here are a couple ways to make that happen:
- Join Pinterest group/collaborative boards. These are the boards where multiple pinners (collaborators) add their pins to a board of common topic and/or interests. You can tell a board is a group board by the three-person icon in the upper right-hand corner. Group boards require that you follow them first. Next, read the board description. Often, it will include instructions on how to be included as a pinner. PinGroupie is a site that allows you to search for Pinterest group boards by category (such as health and fitness), then filter according to criteria such as number of followers as well as number of collaborators. The best boards to join are those with a high number of followers and a low number of collaborators. That way, your pins are seen by a large audience but not lost in the shuffle among thousands of other pins. In order to be invited to pin a group Pinterest board, you must follow the other pinner and they must follow you. Don’t request an invite before you follow (that’s just Pinterest common courtesy).
- Join Pinterest “share” groups on Facebook. There are many private Facebook groups where bloggers participate in social sharing to boost traffic to their sites. Typically this is how it works: There is a daily thread where everyone posts a link to the pin they would like others to repin. In exchange, you repin everyone else’s pin.
Timing is everything. When you pin is just as important (if not MORE important) than what you pin. There are Pinterest auto-schedulers you can use to set pin times for you, so you don’t have to be online yourself and post manually during those busy times.