For the longest time, before I was even on Pinterest, folks were pinning our crafts and then repinning them and then… Traffic was flying towards our site on very particular posts, I had to see what it was about. Really I wasn’t doing anything except perhaps my typical weekly blog content. Turns out…Everybody’s pinning it. What I have learnt is that Pinterest really does grow your blogging community, despite you… Posts that were lost and hidden away in the archives have resurfaced and are going around and around again. It’s brilliant and yet another great reason to love Pinterest.
I have blogged about Pinterest before and I will most likely blog about it again – I write about the things I love!!! Pinterest is relaxing, all work and no play makes a mom a very dull blogger… often at the end of the day I need to just have 30 minutes of my own time before I settle into blogging… Well Pinterest is an easy stress free place to go. Think of a keyword and search it… You might feel like “hot chocolate” or “A walk in the country” even a “Weekend away” – you can do all that and never leave your desk!!! You can even do that and come up with a blog post… Se7en trips I would really like to take… and so on and on and on.
In case you are new to Pinterest this is how it works in a nutshell… When you join, you are given a tool that allows you to “pin” an image to any one of the boards in your collection. Then you are left to do your normal surfing on the internet. While you are surfing, you see an image you like and you “pin it” onto your virtual board. Anyone who follows you, and a whole lot more folk too, can click on that image and it takes them to the source of the image. For example if someone pins a finger puppet photograph on my site then an image will appear on their board. When a visitor clicks on the image they will be transported back to the source page on my site. What happens is when folk see the pin on someones board they think, “Gosh, I love that” and they repin it on their own board… where all their followers see it and think “Gosh…” and so on. Pinterest really can spread the “word” of your blog while you are sleeping.
As I said, Pinterest first peeked my interest when I started to receive traffic from it… and more traffic and then some more traffic. Turns out that a couple of our kids crafts were pinned and then repinned and repinned and so on… And to this day those few crafts continue to draw traffic as they spread further into the Pinterest web and continue to attract new and interested followers. I have a feeling that Pinterest may have taken many bloggers by surprise, they appear to have passed Pinterest by… at their peril. Because it is a visual media and a place folk go to relax, folk may have been lulled into thinking that it is a place where people play. This is one place where you can play and Pinterest does the work, of driving traffic back to your site.
Here Are Se7en Ways To Help Pinterest to Help You:
- Know Your Reader: I am a blogger and I am interested in the traffic that flows to our blog. I like to see who visits, I like to see what keywords folks are looking for… and because I follow my stats as ardently as I follow my Twitter feed I very quickly picked up that Pinterest was sending us traffic and quite a bit of it!!! If I look at Google Analytics most people visit our site for recipes – I kid you not!!! Just posting a recipe every week or so keeps our traffic buzzing along… these visitors tend to linger and look at parenting posts. Pinterest provides a different dimension to our reader profile… and sends crafters of all ages, shapes and sizes. These readers split up some are homeschoolers looking for quick projects and tips and others are more design and travel orientated, they like to stay and look at our Saturday Spots – outings in Cape Town, and mini-tours of our home. So Pinterest has really provided a whole new readership to our blog and I love it!
- Tell your Pinterest/Blog Followers Where to Find You: You have to make it quick and easy for potential readers to find you… As soon as you sign up to Pinterest make sure you pop a link to your website into your profile. When I am on Pinterest and I find myself consistently repinning a particular persons projects then I know I am most likely going to enjoy what they have to share on their blog. I straight away look at their profile for a link to their website. I don’t want to hunt for a link. You have to make it easy for potential readers to find you, otherwise they will just follow the next good looking blog. It is important to remember to keep a link back to your blog so that folk who find you on Pinterest will discover your website too. Similarly, Make It Easy For Your Blog Readers To Find Your Pinterest Boards: It just makes sense!!! If someone loves your blog and has taken the time to follow you then chances are that they want to follow you wherever you are. Trust me a lot of your readers really want to know what you are pinning.
- Get Your Product Up There: You can pin anything, really: Crafts, favourite books, clothes you love, best biscuits, awesome chocolates… even your best podcasts – Anything!!! And if you are passionate about a particular type of camera, a particular type of toy, a particular type of t-shirt, or even a particular type of tea-cup then Pin It!!! And if it so happens that you have written twenty-five e-books about painting sea-shells then start a board and pin them!!! Seriously, if you review products – start a board on the products you review… I know I need to start a board with our crafts so that readers can find them, all in one spot, with a great and easy to follow visual display.
- Help People To Pin Your Posts: Make your blog “Pin Friendly”… I have been lucky so far in that folks do pin our crafts when they see them… But you can do more to encourage readers to pin your posts. I have seen folk that have “Pin this” button alongside every single photograph – and I just want to say overkill!!! It is not a subtle invitation but rather a bit of a turn-off. I have found folk who pop a “Pin-it” button next to the photograph in a post that they like the best and that they would like folk to pin for that post. For myself, my project for this weekend is to put up a button – “If you Love it, Pin It” in our side-bar, just a gentle reminder to readers – it isn’t in their face and they don’t have to act on it… but it is there in case they see something on our site that they like. I found this really cool button over on ClickinMoms.. If you like it – Pin it!!!
- Pin What You Love: Readers follow your blog because they like your style, if you stay true to yourself, then it makes sense that they would follow your Pinterest style too. Because Pinterest is such a visual medium… there is no returning to read an article later or going back to something that you might be interested in. Many of our readers are looking for recipes and crafts to do with their kids… that’s what I pin. Projects that I would like to do with our kids. I also pin a whole lot more. For example, if you have a blog all about mushrooms say, then you would pin information about mushroom farming, varieties, inspiring farms and so on. If you then added a board about sunflowers or bean teepees… it wouldn’t take away from your “mushroom identity,” but it would provide your readers with a little more dimension about who you are. Everyone who reads our blog knows I love Crayola and post-it notes… if you follow our Pinterest Boards you will know I cannot resist a map, or whales for that matter!!!
- Pin What Inspires You: Pinterest is an inspiration board – not an action board. Pin away but only what inspires you, that is what your readers expect from you. It is easy to pin something because you have chosen that category, say bunting… it doesn’t mean you have pin every single photograph of bunting that you find on the web… Just the stuff you love!!! And don’t fall into the trap of thinking: I have pinned so many things and haven’t actually done anything with them. That is guilt trip that you just don’t need to have!!! It is a place to chill out and enjoy. Honestly I haven’t done many of the projects that I have pinned – but I have loved and admired heaps of other folks projects and creativity. I think that is a good thing, to acknowledge other folk’s hard work. Seriously the amazing thing about Pinterest for me is to be “wowed” at what other folk are doing.
- Let Pinterest Widen Your Community For You: So many folks say Pinterest can literally take their day away… and believe me I can see why!!! The point of Pinterst for me is to add another dimension to my blog and so I don’t want to spend time away from blogging for Pinterest. I simply don’t follow an enormous amount of folk… If someone follows me I get an email, I take a quick look at their boards and follow only the one or two that I am interested in. It is very rare for me to “Follow All” of someone and if I do… then I am most likely a huge fan of theirs already. Also I stay well away from plenty of boards that I know I could vanish into. So, for instance, I only look at the “education” stream occasionally, I want to be inspired by but not directed, when I blog about a school topic I really want it to be something totally fresh.
- Be Nice to Your Pinterest Community: I have a cloud of folk that I follow on Pinterest and a lot of them follow me back. When I head over to Pinterest I look at their “pins” first. And I know that as soon as I pin something new those are the folk that are going to repin my pins almost instantly. Pinning is a quick sport, you can but you don’t have to, think about a witty comment or fit what you have to say into 140 characters… you literally like it and can “Pin it” – so easy and so fun!!! The point is… while I don’t talk to these followers as I do with blog commenters or twitter friends, I do share with them. It would be easy to be self-absorbed and just roam about Pinterest looking for things to re-pin… I like to go the extra mile and pin things I see in my day to day surfing… that way I provide our Pinterest followers with new pins to look at and I support the blogs I follow by getting their posts up there.
And the Se7en + 1th Thing…
And finally I shouldn’t have to say this, but here goes, just one more small thing:
Always Acknowledge the Source: If you do blog about something you have found on Pinterest then make sure you publish the source – it is just the right thing to do. Folk will appreciate the acknowledgement and will follow back to you. I have found the best friends on the internet just by acknowledging a source. I am sure the reverse would be true too!!!
That’s it!!! Happy Pinning!!!