I have been blogging for just over 3 years now and I have tried various methods for publicising my posts. I have grown my social media following from zero to thousands and I do get a fair bit of traffic from those platforms. However, despite being my smallest in terms of following, Pinterest is my biggest source of traffic by miles!
Lots of people just don’t understand Pinterest, they use it for personal means but don’t use it for blog promotion – now, if that is you then you are missing out!! My most popular post was written over a year ago and gets the most traffic every single day, pretty much year round! If you can create posts that are evergreen then you can guarantee traffic daily and you don’t have to do a thing!
So how do you do it?
Ok, now first things first, you need to set yourself up a Pinterest account if you don’t already have one. You can set up a business account straight away or you can convert your existing account by adding in a link to your website – you will get a notification from Pinterest asking whether you’d like to convert to business – accept!
I wrote about the best ways to get yourself ‘Pinterest ready’ over on Live. Love. Blog if you want to take a look. Today though, I want to go into exactly why it works for you as a blogger because I think that is the problem for most people- they know how to use it but don’t get why!
Ok, lets’s take my most popular post as an example – The Best Bubble Mixture For Summer. In the summer I get over 1000 views on that post alone – daily!! I wrote it in April 2015 and at first it didn’t get many views at all. However, I knew that people love a ‘how to‘ post and so made a pinnable image for it (It wasn’t the one you see there today, I recently updated that but will talk about that further on). But now, a year on, it is one of many posts that bring in 1000
‘s of daily views and it will continue for years to come.
Let’s imagine: The summer holidays are on the way, you are starting to worry about how you are going to be able to occupy the kids for a whole 6 weeks and you think of bubbles. You type into google ‘bubble mix for summer’. BOOM! Up pops Pinterest as one of the top articles in the search. They click over to the relevant search in Pinterest and voila! There I am with my bubble mixture post! Woo hoo!! And why is that year round? Australia have their summer in our winter don’t they? People are pinning for different reasons, all year round.
But I don’t have many followers, now what?
Do you know what the biggest secret is? You don’t even need a single follower to make Pinterest work for you!! Hurrah!! I have 3.6K followers on Pinterest, it grows steadily but I’m not at all fussed about actively growing it because…..
Did that person find me because they follow me? Nope, they found me because Google reads Pinterest. The same can happen through using Pinterest directly of course, type in bubble mix for summer and there I am. Fab!
Who should I follow?
You need to understand that Pinterest isn’t a social media platform, I don’t go on there to follow my friends and catch up with what they’ve been up to. One of the first things Pinterest asks you to do is sync up with your FB friends – ummm no thanks. I don’t want to see what my Uncle John is pinning- I want to see pins relevant to me.
I follow pinners and boards that share my interests; toddler crafts, fashion, food (specifically desserts… mmmmmm) etc etc.. So, when I log into Pinterest I have a lovely feed full of pins relevant to me. So let’s spin that around, people might follow me because I post great recipes – every time I pin another recipe (whether that be one of my own or not) they will continue to enjoy my feed and look to me as a source of great content. They will also see my other pins and find my other great content – brilliant huh?
So how can you make Pinterest your top referrer?
Once you have set up your Pinterest account, start pinning. If you see a pin that interests you – pin it. Create boards that reflect your personality. If people share your interests they will follow you.
Now, here is the important bit so listen up. You need to PIN YOUR OWN CONTENT. It is all very well being active on Pinterest and pinning great stuff, but if you don’t pin your own then people aren’t going to come knocking at your door are they?? They will click through to all the other lovely pins you’ve pinned and those bloggers will get the traffic. Get it?? Now you might be sitting there thinking that is obvious but do you do it?? When was the last time you pinned one of your posts?
If you write about kids fashion – PIN IT
If you write about travel – PIN IT
If you write amazing recipes- PIN IT
Pin, pin, pin, pin!!!
Let’s talk about those pins.
A landscape photo might look gorgeous on your blog but it will not work on Pinterest. You need long thin images. I’ve written before about how to use Picmonkey to turn those landscape images into a long pin but the best habit to get into is to turn your camera round to portrait while you shoot, to get that pin-worthy shot. Canva also has some great templates for making stand-out images and if you want to create uniform pins then it is well worth making time to create one that you can use again and again.
A point to note is that the picture doesn’t have to be your own. You can get some great copyright free images and they work just as well. Go back and look at some of your old posts, if they are pin-worthy then make yourself a pinnable image and pin it! Similarly, if you have an old pin that you don’t think is working, update it with a new image – that is what I did with my bubble mixture pin.
Now I understand that many people do not want to ruin the aesthetic of their blog posts by having those long pins – no worries! Pinterest allows you to upload an image and assign it a url. That way, people can find the image on Pinterest and hop skip it over to your blog. Hurrah!
I don’t write pinnable content though, can it still work?
How do you know? Do you know what people are going to search for? No!! Pin it anyway! Take a look at this photo – why do you think it might have been pinned?
Kids fashion? Easter Egg hunt ideas? Cute dungarees? Pink hoodies? Stripy tights? Girls hair ideas?
Anyone might pin it and hop over to my post to find out more. It is a photo showing my girls on their Easter egg hunt but people look at a photo and see different things. I might find that pin on someone’s ‘Tights Obsession’ board as well as a ‘Ideas to Try’ board. You just never know.
Do you know what I see on Pinterest? A total lack of British content!! I follow quite a few UK bloggers but they just pin other people’s stuff and that tends to be from the US. Where is your own content? I want to pin that to my boards!!
So, your homework is to start taking portrait images and pin them to your Pinterest profile. Have a ‘Latest Blog Posts’ board for those random posts that ‘might do well‘ and then make yourself some topic specific boards- anything you are interested in. Pin your stuff there too (but maybe not on the same days as you’ve posted to your blog board). Join collaborative boards if you can, but only those that have quality pinners and content – you don’t want your followers to get a load of spam from a dodgy board you are a part of do you?
Remember, people love a recipe, they love a ‘how to’, they love to hear tips about travelling… the list is endless and you need to jump on board! I am telling you, it is totally worth it!