What is Pinterest?
Pinterest as you may already know, is a social media network .In this platform , you predominantly create and share visual images ,which are known as "pins" . You must have visited websites ,where the images show a red and white pin , on the upper right hand corner when you hover over them . This is to indicate that the image can be pinned or saved to your own Pinterest account .Each of these pins usually have a link to their original website .
If you have a Pinterest account , you can browse for images, based on your interests ,by typing in the Pinterest search bar . Pinterest users usually search for ideas, information and inspiration for their hobbies , projects and interests. It is sometimes even referred to as, a visual search engine like Google . So basically on Pinterest ,one can create visually appealing pins ,which would link back to your blog or website. The images are called pins .The pins are pinned on a board , which is nothing but a group of images .The boards are usually based on a category. It can be even compared or thought of as visual bookmarks in a folder .
Why is Pinterest important for bloggers ?
As a blogger ,when you spend a lot of effort writing posts for your blog , you naturally want it to reach maximum readers or audience . We have all heard of how social media can help us in that regard. Twitter, Facebook , Instagram ,Pinterest and the like are most commonly used social media platforms by bloggers .
I had my Pinterest account enabled a long while ago .However I had not explored it much , except for the occasional pinning to my own boards after a post was published. I did not see any major changes in my traffic after adding Pinterest all along. It is well known that Pinterest is one of the leading social media tools to drive traffic to your site .I was curious and wanted to explore and know more about it . Although there is a lot of information out there , it is overwhelming to know too many details.After making some basic changes, I saw some positive effects , although it has just been a week or so . I compiled the changes made to my account in this post .It could help beginners, who may be looking for this kind of information .
Interesting Statistics on Pinterest
Here are some of the research and claims , gathered from various sources .This makes Pinterest even more appealing, and a must try social media platform for all bloggers looking to reach a wider audience.
- A pin is 100 times capable of reaching an audience than a tweet.
- “The half-life of a pin is 1,680 times longer than a Facebook post.” So basically a pin stays longer ,and folks can interact with it much longer than it was posted.
- Each pin can get about 2 page visits and 6 page views.
- Life of a pin is a week, 24 minutes for a tweet and 90 mins for facebook.
- Average user spends 15 mins at a time when using Pinterest .
How to setup and use Pinterest?
Creating an account is simple and straightforward . You can even login with an existing gmail account in a jiffy.
Ensure to create a Pinterest business account :
- It is important to create a Pinterest business account .
- The business account is free , so do not hesitate to create it .
- It is only in the business account that you can avail the detailed Pinterest analytics . The analytics can give information on how your pins are performing ,and show which pins are driving traffic to your site.
- The business account also gives access to rich pins and promoted pins , which are not available with the regular account.
- I had a regular account all these days and I recently switched to the business account .
- You can easily convert an existing account to a business account with a simple click from the account settings tab in the settings page.
Set up Rich Pins :
- The rich pins are pins with extra metadata .This helps raise the users curiosity and interest and , may even make them click on the link for more information.See the highlighted part which shows the extra information for pins in the image.
- The rich pins increase the credibility and also help search engines to find what the users are looking for , as they have extra information.
- To set up the rich pins, is very straightforward . Install Word press plugin Yoast and ensure the social tab face book has "Add open graph metadata" enabled.
- You will then need to go to the Rich Pin Validator and enter a valid url of a blog post and validate it . If it works a green check mark appears with validated and you can then click on the Apply button.
- You may either get approved right away or it may take 1 or 2 days .It took me about a day to see the rich pins enabled in my account. I found the details of setting the rich pins in this post very informative .
Create visually appealing pins :
- Create pins using eye catching images , related to your blog post .You can even use free stock images from various sites. There are many sites where you can download stock free images from.
- Be sure to enter a good pin description .You can even use up to 500 or more words ,web address and hashtags in the description.
- Vertical images are preferred than horizontal ones. Usually pixels of 650 width and 975 height are considered ideal.Ideal aspect ratio of image is 2:3 and minimum width is 600 px. This is because majority of the viewers are mobile users .The longer images are hard to ignore!
- Face image on the pin is not preferred. Minimal text , vibrant colors , red tones , high resolution and bright images are preferred.
Create boards for the pins :
- Create relevant boards for your pins , preferably based on all niche categories that your blog is about . You may also introduce some creativity creating boards , based on ingredients, cuisine, diet foods etc for recipes.
- Use keywords specific to your category in the naming and description .The Pinterest search bar can be used to see the trending keywords . Keyword stuffing on name description , board and pins is okay and encouraged. This helps users and search engines to easily find the related information, the end user is looking for . In my case for example, the boards are classified based on recipes , photography, inspiration, blogging tips etc .They can be further grouped into segments . I will be adding a couple more in the next few weeks as I explore further.
- Pinterest is not only about pinning your posts, but also about re-pinning other users posts .
- Create separate boards and segments for each category found from the feed that you follow, so that it is well organized .
- Make sure the boards looks appealing , with cover images and are placed in the right category.
- Showcase your main blog board which contains your pins preferably, as the first that shows upon your profile .Your featured board should include them. To set it up ,navigate to settings -> scroll past location .You will find an option to set a featured board.
- You can have up to 500 or more boards and unlimited pins. Pinterest is integrated with facebook and google ,so you get a chance to reach a wider audience .Users rely on search to find their pins. Hence, putting the pins and boards in the right category, along with proper description is very important.
Join Group boards :
- Group boards are collaborative boards ,which are owned by one user .The owner can add multiple users who are eligible to pin on the board .You can identify a group board by looking for a circle in the lower right hand corner.
- The idea is to get exposed to a vast audience , as your pin on the group board , can be viewed by the collaborators followers and other group members followers .This can in turn result in repins , engagement and new followers .It ultimately helps with adding new traffic.
- The owner has to invite you to become a collaborator , before you can pin on the group board. You can send the owner a request if you want to be a contributor.
- Group boards helps in engagement and brings users to your blog. I am part of one lifestyle group board currently and am still navigating and researching about other groups to join.
- If you are new and wan't to find a new group board to join use pingroupie
Get a pinterest save button
- A pinterest save button is a good idea to have on your blog posts. I used the plugin jQuery Pin It Button for Images for my blog. There are many others that you can use.Installing and setting the plugin is straightforward. This helps automatically highlight a red and white P button for pinterest when hovering over any image on your blog. Users can easily pin the image to their pinterest board by clicking on it .
About Pinning (How/when):
- Pin very frequently and consistently .It is recommended to pin and repin about 40 or more pins in a day.
- It is a good practice to return favors , follow , repin, like and engage with others.
- It is recommended to repin 50% or more of others pins and 50% of your own , so you have a healthy mix of pins .Some even suggest about 80%-20% is a right proportion. The algorithms keep changing so we need to keep checking.
- Pin the items not related to your blog into secret boards, so it looks professional.
- It is important to pin at the right time. The best time is 12 pm to 2.30 pm EST on weekdays . Saturdays mornings and Friday afternoons are good times as well.
- Some folks also use Tailwind to schedule their pinning . I have decided to manually pin for now.
- You can also use promoted pins with business account .This is kind of like an advertised pin , and so will be seen by a wider audience.
Grow Pinterest Following
The number of followers on Pinterest do not affect the traffic you are able to get . However it is recommended to have about 1k followers so that your profile looks established. It is a good practice to follow other accounts that match your niche or interests.
Hope this post is useful and help bloggers who are new to Pinterest. If you have any beginner tips that I missed,please add in comments below. Please do visit my Pinterest page when you get a chance. If you are an owner of any group boards that are open to new members ,would like to hear from you.
Thank you for reading and have a good weekend!