Trying new social media can be scary and confusing. But it doesn’t need to be. With a few helpful tips you can dive right in and learn how to use Pinterest to grow your blog.
If Pinterest is new to you then you are in for a treat. While most new social media can be a bit like the first swim in the pond after a long winter – exhilarating and crazy chilly – Pinterest is anything but an icy pond. Think of it more like diving in to a hot fudge sundae because it’s made up of amazing and beautiful pictures. It’s quite painless I assure you.
When you first log in you are taken to a screen that has everything from nail polish to puppies to cheesy bacon ranch dip. Ahhhhhh! The folks over at Pinterest have created a little something called a Smart Feed. They ask you what you are interested in and then use their magic (also known as algorithms) to serve you up fantastic photos of the things you like.
Planning a wedding? There are photos of ridiculously perfect weddings and receptions and invitations and photo booths to send your mind into overdrive. Need to plan a kid’s birthday party? You can find examples of everything from Frozen to Minions to Star Wars and they are off the chain.
Just to be clear, I’ve never attended a party like the ones I see on Pinterest. It has led me to believe there are people with way too much time on their hands and even though their parties are incredible, they probably don’t have kids. At least they don’t have my kids.
But I digress.
How does one not get swallowed by a perfect pair of earrings, an amazing castle in Croatia or a heart-melting kitten? The opportunities for falling down the rabbit hole are immense. You’ve got to resist if you want to grow your blog.
UPDATE: This post has been updated for 2017 and the changes that have happened at Pinterest since this post first appeared in 2014.
How to use Pinterest
Pinterest is a superb way to show off your blog. Graphics from your posts become gateways back to your site. Well-organized boards draw in readers and excellent content keeps them coming back for more. If you optimize each of your posts for Pinterest you increase your chances for more people to find you and create opportunities for increase pageviews.
To use Pinterest well you need to be consistent and learn to create excellent graphics for your posts.
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Consistency is key.
Pinterest moves at lightning-fast speeds.
In the old days (read four or five years ago) people were hand-pinning content. Saving the pictures that caught their eye and thus sharing it with all their followers.
Today, due to the size of Pinterest, the algorithm changes, and time constraints, most bloggers use some sort of service to post. Services such as TailWind and Board Booster have automated the process of pinning. There are also a variety of other free and paid methods to pin your content.
As a small or new blogger you do not have to pay for pinning, but you may want to work towards being able to use one of these for ease and growth.
Obviously, if you are using an automated service you are pinning all the time. However, if you are still pinning manually be sure to do it regularly.
Okay, note to self. Pinterest can be a time suck. You start pinning gardening tips which leads to pictures of mind-blowing flower arrangements which leads to lovely living rooms and other home decor. The problem isn’t the jumping around it’s the fact that the next time you look at the clock two hours have disappeared from your life.
To avoid this set a timer. Ten to 20 minutes of Pinterest time is plenty to grow your boards and share new content with your followers.
I’m a pinner. She’s a pinner. He’s a pinner. We’re all pinners. Wouldn’t you like to be a pinner too………? (name that ad)
As a regular visitor to Pinterest give your followers something new to look at as often as possible. It keeps them coming back and it builds trust between you and those who follow you. The more you pin the more your followers know you are going to give them access to amazing content they are looking for and even things they didn’t know they needed.
Create excellent graphics.
Pinterest is all about the visual. If you want others to pin your content your graphics must be top notch. There are so many excellent posts about how to do this I could never list them all. As a challenge, open a new window on your browser right now and go to Pinterest.
1. Make yourself a new board called “How To Use Pinterest” – to create a new board go to your profile and click the create a board section that comes before all of your boards. Easy.
2. Search for “create great graphics for Pinterest”
3. Pin at least five articles
4. Read at least one today
Creating beautiful graphics that others want to pin and click takes practice. Keep working on your skills and be sure to take notice of graphics with high repins. Notice what makes them so popular and then go and do likewise.
Pin what you blog about.
You will find great success if you have great boards. If you’ve been around Pinterest for a while then you have come across some really eye-catching pinners who have stunning boards. They are organized, grouped, make sense, are always being populated. Am I right?
If you are new to Pinterest this is your next task. After you make it a point to visit the site regularly you need to create some impressive boards. Fill them up with anything that tells your followers about you. Tell them about your blog. Tell them your story, with pictures.I'm tackling Pinterest with the info I found at Small Blogger SavvyClick To Tweet
Keep organized boards that make sense.
(To organize your boards, click and hold down your mouse. Then drag your boards around.)
There was a time when order was an important part of hosting an effective Pinterest account. You can organize alphabetically, topically, according to color, and seasonally. Now, not so much. What is important is boards that make sense and utilizing the showcase option at the top of your account.
When Pinterest first started the drive was to follow people. Today, the drive is to follow boards. First and foremost, use the showcase option and highlight your top five boards for new visitors to explore. Next, make sure your cover photo is outstanding and then arrange your boards in such a way that it makes sense for your account and reflects your blog.
Here’s what I mean. I curate a Pinterest library that corresponds to this blog highlighting blog tips, social media, and everything having to do with blogging. I do not pin recipes, DIY, or crafts to the account. Therefore, it makes sense for me to organize my boards according to what people are looking for in terms of blogging assistance.
I also curate a lifestyle account connected to a separate blog where my first few boards are always seasonal. Whatever the next holiday is, those boards are front and center on my profile. I change them with the seasons. I also make sure to change them on my showcase.
As you get to know Pinterest better you can also use analytics to show you which boards are getting the most repins. These should also be at the top. Analytics are available to all Pinterest business account owners. Get all the deets here.
Use and pin graphics that lead back to your blog.
A very important tip is to pin your own content. Pin from your blog and make sure you have a board dedicated to your blog in the first row of your profile.
Every one of your posts needs to have a pinnable graphic. This is a key element of how to use Pinterest to grow your blog.
If you are new to blogging or Pinterest PicMonkey is your friend.
When I first started blogging almost ten years ago I used pictures that I pinched from Google. It wasn’t right, but I was learning. As I did I realized that graphics were essential to my posts. I also learned a thing or two about copyrights so I started taking my own photos and using PicMonkey to make my own interesting graphics.
You can start creating beautiful graphics today. You should have already read an article about creating great graphics for Pinterest. Now, it’s time to start practicing.
There are a lot of opinions about the right size for Pinterest graphics. My go-to size is 600×1025 for vertical graphics. Horizontal graphics should not be used on Pinterest. You can see all the sizes I use for social media and download a handy cheat sheet from Dustn.tv (His sizes are a bit different than mine but both work.)
If you want to make your blog successful make sure you have at least one graphic in your post and pin it to an appropriate board. Who doesn’t want traffic back to their blog? This is a no-brainer people. The exception here is if you use the Social Warfare plugin to placehold your Pinterest graphic, which is what I started doing.
Hey, here’s a good reminder……
#YouCanDoThis (or should I say #YouCanPinThis)
*Be sure to click the links in this post as there are some very handy tips and tools that will speed up your blog success.