Pinterest is a visual feast of all sorts. I often find myself getting carried away swooning over incredible images, inspired by amazing quotes and pinning great business and blogging articles to read later on. Have you ever wondered how you can really harness the power of Pinterest to make it really work for your blog?

I have always added images in my blog posts with key phrases and messages over them so they were more attractive for my audience to pin but i never put too much thought in to it.

When i decided to dig in and really get to know my Google Analytics and flesh out where all my traffic was coming from, i was surprised to see that a very large percentage were heading my way from Pinterest.

I’m a strong believer that social media can be all consuming and if you try to show up on every platform, it leaves little time for much else and your potent message is diluted as it’s very hard to do a large number of social networking sites well.

Since Pinterest is a key traffic driver for myself and for many bloggers, i wanted to drill down into how it works and how you can make it work most effectively for your blog. And guess what? There are 70 million users + gracing the pages of Pinterest so it’s well worth getting your head around how you can harness this visual beast.

> Once you are all set up or if this guide is too basic for you, check out this newer poston growing your blog through Pinterest which has more advanced tips and tools.

How to set up a Pinterest account

First things first – If you don’t yet have a Pinterest account, jump over here and sign up.

A few tips –

  1. This is your profile area that will be visible to everyone that visits your page. Make sure you upload a logo image and add in your website details and your blog tagline, mission or whatever key message you want to leave your readers with. To make these changes  – click on the little pencil icon in the right hand bottom corner.
  2. This is where you will find your settings, find friends and board suggestions, log out and also view your recent notifications.
  3. This is where you can view the number of boards, pins and likes that you have made.
  4. Here you can see the number of followers you have and how many other Pinterest users you follow.
  5. This is your collection of boards. The most clicked boards are the ones in the first and second rows so put your best boards here or the ones that your target audience will find the most helpful.
  6. Here you can create a new board. There is also the option of creating a secret board that will not be visible to the public.
  7. Click this ‘edit’ button to change the cover image, name, description and category of your board. Make the cover image something appealing and relevant to the board contents.
  8. This little drop-down button will give you a world of suggestions about popular and key categories.
  9. Here you can search for any phrase, quote, profile name, board names ect and you will be show all relevant results.
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Creating pinnable images for your blog posts

When you write a blog post, peppering it with images to grab readers attention and also highlight key phrases and messages with text over your images is a great way to entice people to pin your work.

 

There are a range of free and paid tools that you can use to do this and you don’t need to know a lot to create something that looks appealing. Check out Pic Monkey, iPiccy or Pixlr which are online programs that you can edit your images in. They are pretty easy to find your way around and don’t cost anything to use for the basic editing features. If you are looking for some free images for your posts, have a look at these. Try out adding your post title to an image, key phrases from your blog posts and quotes.

Some tips about what works the best when creating pinnable images

  • Brand images on Pinterest are 23 percent more likely to receive a repin if the image does not contain a face.
  • Images with lots of colour are preferred, while red, orange and brown images are twice as likely to be repinned over blue pictures.
  • Images of medium lightness are 20 times more likely to be repinned versus mostly black images, and eight times more likely to be repined than white images.
  • images with less than 30 percent background are repinned the most

Source – Curalate*

What kind of descriptions work best

When you pin an image make sure that you use key-word rich descriptions that describe what your image is about. This will help pins and boards get found more easily when people use the search tool. Steer away from simple phrases like ‘cute dress’ and instead write something like ‘gorgeous black evening dress from Zimmerman’.

Don’t paste entire posts, recipes or very lengthy descriptions. It’s not good Pinterest etiquette and clutters images with lengthy text in search results.

Using hashtags in your descriptions

Using hashtags in your descriptions is an additional way to create richer descriptions for your pins and helps your show up in search results. Hashtags are ONLY clickable and searchable in the pin descriptions section. They do not work as they are not clickable if you use them in the board title, board description, profile name and account descriptions.

When you click on a hashtag in a pins description the result will include all pins with the same hashtag but also pins that include the same words and phrases in the pin description area.

Here is an example of the pin description and some relevant hashtags that will all be drawn on when someone is searching for a topic.

Make it easy for people to pin from your blog

There are a number of ways you can make it easy for readers to Pin your content and i would highly suggest setting this up. If you are on WordPress there are some great plugins you can install that will add Pinterest ‘Pin It’ icons over your images. You can also set up ‘Pin It’ buttons below your images using these tools.

The additional way to make sharing easy is to have a sharing bar on your blog posts and pages so that people can easily share all your content on Pinterest and also other social networks. If you use WordPress here are some great plugins for sharing and if you use blogger, check out ShareThis or AddThis.

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Make it easy for people to follow your boards

You can do this in two ways – you can add a Pinterest ‘follow me’ button to your sidebar. Get yourself one here or you can add some code in to your blog posts so that people can follow you using this code <a href=”http://pinterest.com/rahuldigitalworld/”>Follow me on Pinterest!</a>

Tip – if you use WordPress click look in the right hand corner of your post editor box and you will see – Visual and Text. Paste the code in the Text section where you would like it to appear.

How to easily Pin content online

By using the Pin It Bookmark you can add a ‘Pin It’ button to your bookmarks bar and every time you come across some great content online you can easily click on the ‘Pin It’ button in your bookmarks toolbar to Pin content. This is great when you come across sites that don’t have Pinning options or are difficult to Pin from. You can set one up here.

Create your own Blog Board

It’s great to set up a board to Pin all of your own images to. This makes it easy for followers to go through your content and follow that specific board to check out new posts. Make sure you also create helpful boards around a specific topic and also Pin your own images to those boards so that more people find them.

Creating collaboration boards on Pinterest

Creating collaboration boards is a great way to get people involved and to collaborate with people in your niche on similar topics and to also increase your followers. To set this up, simply create a board or select the ‘edit‘ button on one of your existing boards and then go to the ‘who can add pins‘ area and invite contributors by email.

The benefits of creating collaboration boards

  1. It can dramatically boost your followers – If users select to “follow all” of any contributor’s boards, then they will be added as followers to a group board you are part of. This is great as it gives you increased exposure and visibility and therefore these kinds of group boards will increase your followers at a faster rate.
  2. Largely increase the number of repins – The more followers you have the more likely they are to see your content as well as their own followers. When you use these kind of boards to gain more followers you in turn promote more traffic to your site and can increase subscribers, clients and loyal readers.
  3. Create brand ambassadors out of your followers – By inviting your followers to collaborate on boards with you and making them feel included as a key part of your brand message, you will create more of a buzz and turn them into your brand ambassadors.
  4. Ease the time you spend on Pinterest by delegating – Once you have build up a popular collaboration board, which will take time and effort to begin with, your contributors will then begin taking over the role of pinning great content so in essence it will run itself more passively without you having to drive it.
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How many of your images have been pinned?

You can use this great tool to see how many of your images have been pinned and how many times. Simply type this into your browser http://pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com and replace yourdomain.com with your bog address.

Pinterest Etiquette

If you Pin an image from the main page of a blog, when someone clicks on that pin in the future they will be taken to the site but it is very likely that the pin is now gone from the home page and buried in the blogs content. If you Pin directly from a post, this will attach the correct URL to the image. It’s very frustrating when a pin goes to a home page so try and always go to the individual post to Pin something.
If you are looking at certain subjects or researching, it can be very easy to Pin a large number of images which will flood someones feed. You could break this up by pinning images from a variety of topics but if you Pin a large number of images based on one topic you may annoy your followers so space out your Pin sessions.
 The most clicked boards are the ones in the first and second rows so put your best boards here or the ones that your target audience will find the most helpful. Organise them according to topics and name your boards with clear titles.
Create new, fresh and engaging pins for people as there is a lot of the same pins flying around just being repinned. If you create fresh content as well as Pin great content from others, your followers will love it and your will have more people jumping on your boards.
Remember there is a 500 word limit to descriptions. Short concise descriptions are easy to scan and search so craft them well for your readers.
By simply using the @ symbol you can tag people in Pins which is a great way to let them know you are talking about them and sharing there content.
Before you Pin something it’s a great idea to check that the link actually works. If not, don’t Pin it or notify the user of the Pin and kindly ask them to edit the link.

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*Stats drawn from visual analytics and marketing platform Curalate who did a comprehensive study on 500,000 Pinterest images.

Image Source – A Prettier Web

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Thanks so much for reading, i hope that you find this really helpful and that by using these tips you can build up a bigger tribe of readers who love what you are putting out into the world.

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