I love Pinterest, and have been a casual user for years. I really want to start using Pinterest more as an extension of my blog though - here's a guide to Pinterest for Bloggers which will hopefully encourage me to practice what I preach!
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is an image sharing website which lets users upload or simply save images ('pins') to different folders ('boards'). It was launched just six years ago, in 2010, but quickly became the dominant social media network for aspirational living - they don't call all those beautifully styled interior shots 'Pinterest Perfect' for nothing!
Why should I be using Pinterest?
Pinterest has over 70 million users worldwide; about 3 million of those are UK based, pinning some 3 million images per day. The most popular searches are for recipes, crafts and tutorials but people can - and do - search for anything and everything on the site. So, no matter what you write about, Pinterest has the potential to drive traffic to your blog.
How do I use Pinterest?
The simple answer is you sign up for an account - preferably with a username that links you to your blog - fill out your profile information, and then start pinning pictures. You can even schedule pins in advance using sites like Buffer.
But nothing is ever simple!
You need to make your Pinterest account attractive enough that someone looking at it would feel inspired enough to click through to your blog. Write clear descriptions of what your boards are about, to help them show up in searches, and use hashtags in your actual pin descriptions for the same reason. Another idea is to 'brand' your Pinterest boards so your account looks cohesive, like so:
|My Pinterest account - the board cover images are 217 x 147 pixels. (Edit as of August only the top section, or 217 x 111, is actually visible.)|
Make sure your readers know you're on Pinterest too; include a button in your sidebar, for instance, or even embed a Pinterest board or widget. You can generate the code HERE.
How can I make my blog Pinterest friendly?
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and, on Pinterest at least, it's true. You might have written the best tutorial / guide / review / etc ever, but the inferior post with the pretty 'pinnable image' is the one which will get pinned and repinned on Pinterest.
Because a 'pinnable image' is exactly what it says on the tin - an image which will represent your post on Pinterest. Make it big, make it bold, and make it striking. The ideal dimensions for a Pinterest image is at least 735 pixels wide, the width of the enlarged image when a pin is clicked on. Canva, the go-to online design tool, has a default Pinterest friendly template available.
To illustrate what I mean, here are two images I've used for a post on creating a blog media kit. The first I created when I published the post:
|The unadjusted size is 810 x 450 pixels.|
Months later I went back and updated the post to make it more search engine friendly. I also swapped out the previous image for this one:
|You don't even need to take the fancy photos yourself - these are royalty free shots I received as a subscriber to the Wonderlass blog. More cool images can be found on any number of free photography websites.|
The content of the post is almost entirely unchanged, but I think we both know which image is more likely to get it shared across Pinterest! Adding my blog address to the bottom ensures that people will know where it came from, even if the link gets lost along the way.
How can I make it easy to pin my content?
Once you have the images, you need to get them onto Pinterest. You can manually add them yourself, of course, either through the pinterest website or via a browser extension. But what about your readers?
Most default blog post footers will have a pinterest share option, but it's not always that obvious. Another option is to install a 'pin it' button which will appear on all your images. Pinterest makes this easy to do with their widget builder page, and you can then modify the code to suit your own needs. If you don't want a particular image to be pinnable - or just don't want the hover 'pin it' button appearing on your sidebar images, for example, include nopin="nopin" in your image html.
Finally, don't forget to confirm your website with Pinterest. This will make sure any image pinned from your blog will be attributed to you.
Anything else I should know?
In addition to personal accounts, Pinterest also offers business accounts. They offer a few extra features - pinterest analytics, promoted pins (if you're in the USA), and rich pins. There are six types of rich pin, which need to be verified with metadata:
- App. (USA only.)
- Article. This will make the headline, author and a description automatically show up.
- Movie. Shows extra details like year of release, name of director, etc.
- Place. This will add addresses, phone numbers, and maps - perfect for restaurants or events.
- Product. Links to the product page, and automatically updates the price for you.
- Recipe. Rather than just linking to your recipe, this will show the ingredients, serving number, method, and so on. You can still get people to click through for more detailed instructions.
Setting up a business account, or converting your existing account to a business one is both free and easy - and well worth considering!
You can also embed pins into your post to make them easy to share.
What tips do you have for making Pinterest work for your blog?
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