In the time BIB, Before I Blogged, I used Pinterest simply as a search engine. Which is exactly what it is. If I want ideas for an outfit or interiors it’s the perfect place to look. But since I started to blog, I have been hooked on the idea that it could also be used to drive lots of readers to my website.
What’s the appeal? As of September 2017, Pinterest had 200 million active users every month. Each image you pin can link back to your website. And your Pins have staying power, they can send readers (or customers) to your site for years after you have pinned them.
I knew that I wanted a piece of the action, but have had trouble understanding how to get going. This is not social media as I know it. But now I have finally done the reading, and come up with a plan. Here is how I will try to establish a presence on Pinterest.
Switch to a business account
An easy place to start is to switch from a personal to a Pinterest for Business Account (just search it up when you are logged in). This is completely free, allows Pinterest to verify your website, and gives you access to analytics on how your account is performing.
Install the Pinterest browser button to your website, this means a reader can click on the little red ‘save’ button to share your work. You should find it on all of my images.
Establish my Pinterest personality
I have spent a bit of time working out what I would like to do achieve with my Pinterest account. Who do you I hope Not About the Kids will appeal to, and what will they be looking for when they are searching?
On that basis, I have built a selection of Pinterest Boards that serve two purposes. First, they appeal to the interests of my readers (I believe interiors, social media, colour and casual fashion are a good place to start). Second, I can pin my content on these boards. I’m aiming to have 10 – 20 really good boards on the go, looking great and full of fantastic pictures, including my own photos.
Pin my work alongside others
When I began building the NATK Pinterest account I created a ‘Not About the Kids Blog Posts’ board. This is where I planned to post all of my blog posts and nothing else. Now while this is perfectly valid, it’s also really important to mix it up a bit. Pinterest likes relationships between Pins, you need your content to appear next to other similar, complementary images. This will make it more likely to pop up in search results.
Naming your boards
Pinterest is a search engine, so make your boards and pins searchable. This means giving them does-what-it-says-on-the-tin titles and descriptions (click on the little pencil icon), not cryptic and creative ones. I’m including as many relevant and searchable words as I can think of, and sometimes using hashtags too.
Build great pins
This is a visual platform, so great Pins start with great pictures. Vertical tall thin images are the way to go, as these are the ones that catch user’s attention and are more likely to be clicked, saved or re-pinned. If it makes sense, for blog post pins, for example, I overlay the image with words. I am using an App by Adobe called Spark Post to create them.
This is an example of a pin that I created using the Adobe Spark Post App. Click and pin it to your Pinterest if you think other people might be interested in reading this post.
If I am re-pinning other people’s content, I check that the link works and the description is valid. Some pins link through to spammy content or nothing at all. Either way, it’s rubbish for your account to re-pin it.
This comes up again, and again, and again with social media. In order to get the kind of results I am hoping for, I will need to use the platform consistently. The advice with Pinterest is to pin most days. As a beginner, I am setting myself a target of pinning at least ten times a day.
This will include a variety of new Pins of my own content, new Pins I have created from other website’s content, and re-pinning other users content. This is actually not too time-consuming (nowhere near as demanding as Instagram), but you can use schedulers such as Tailwind to make it easier.
Now I have to be patient. I have seen a tiny amount of growth in my following since I got this strategy started (Not About the Kids Pinterest account come and find me, let’s be friends!), but the experts say that it can take months for Pinterest to really start driving traffic your way. I will update you on how it is all going soon.
Jewellery maker Megan Auman has more than 37,000 followers on Pinterest and offers a comprehensive online training course via Creative Live and features on numerous podcasts offering her advice on how to utilise the platform.
I have pinned great, easy to read articles by both Jen and Megan to my Social Media: Pinterest board.
Are you using Pinterest for your business? Would you like to? Please let me know if you have found this useful, or have any additional tips to share.