By: Natalie Vereen-Davis
“I just can’t get Pinterest to work for me.”
I read variations on that just about every day in the blogging support groups that I’m in. And every time I hear it, I want to write this long response urging them to rethink their Pinterest strategy and pushing themselves towards pinning greatness.
After all, I might not have made the 7th grade squad, but there’s a cheerleader buried inside me.
If you’re wondering whether to start a Pinterest account--or stick with your efforts on the one you already have--I’m hear to tell you that you NEED Pinterest. Whether you’re a small business with a blog on the side, or a parenting blogger with big dreams, Pinterest is where you have to be.
I’m showing my age here, but I was around for the beta version of Pinterest when you could only get an account if you were invited. I opened a personal account as soon as I could, and switched over to a business account in mid-2014. Since then, I’ve amassed 14,000 followers, and see 70% of my monthly traffic come from this one platform. My pins have a daily reach of 45,500 impressions, and my top pin (A First-Timer’s Guide to Charleston) has been repinned more than 31,000 times.
Clearly, Pinterest has the ability to send some serious traffic to your website, and you’re missing out if you’re focusing on Facebook and Twitter and forgetting about Pinterest.
Here’s what you need to know to make Pinterest your #1 traffic referrer.
1) Pin daily, and pin A LOT. I spend so much time on Pinterest: I’m not browsing leisurely, though. I’m repinning my content and content from other travel bloggers that will also appeal to my readers.
I don’t have exact numbers of how much I repin, but I’m guessing that I will repin somewhere in the ballpark of 200-300 pins per day. Yes, that’s a staggering amount if you’re new to Pinterest, but you’ll quickly see a return from your efforts as your pins gain a wider audience.
2) Your following doesn’t have to be huge to have an impact. That’s the beauty of Pinterest: your followers are a great place to start, but you have to remember that they will be repinning all of your glorious pins to share with their followers, who will share it will their followers. Add the wonders of the Pinterest search feature, and you’ve got a nearly unlimited number of ways to share your blog content.
3) Forget the word “horizontal” ever existed. Pinterest is ALL about the vertical. Those horizontal images that work perfectly for Twitter and Facebook are worthless in Pinterest. They just get lost in the shuffle when they’re competing with big, beautiful, and very long pins. I usually aim to make pins that are about 800 pixels wide by 1200 pixels long.
Include a pinnable image in every single one of your blog posts so blog readers can share your content--and then have it show up in their feeds looking just like you’d like it.
4) You need to join group boards. This has been another key to my Pinterest success. Instead of gathering followers and only sharing your pins with them, group boards allow you to share that pin with hundreds or thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands!) Pinterest users. How can you find group boards? Pin Groupie is a good place to start. You can also message the admin of a group board if you come across one that is relevant, and hopefully, they will add you.
5) Above all, remember that Pinterest is a search engine. If you’re working on ranking on Google, you’ve heard terms like “short tail keywords” and “SEO.” These practices work on Pinterest in a similar manner.
So, if you’ve written a post about your favorite baby carriers and slings, you’d want to put that term (“favorite baby carriers and slings”) in your title and description so that Pinterest can index it and provide it as an appropriate search result for anyone looking for those things.
Yet, I keep seeing pins with titles like, “Guess what my favorite baby product is?” or “The thing that all new mamas should have!” The click-bait title approach might work in the short term and have people click on it as the pin shows up in the feed, but (even if they repin it) the key search term (“favorite baby carriers and slings”) isn’t present. And therefore, people who don’t have the pin right in front of them--and are searching for pins on that topic--will never find your pin.
Are you a fan of Pinterest?
Natalie, a former college literature professor, decided to combine her passions for travel and writing into Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown, a travel blog, in 2014. Since then, she and her family have explored King Ludwig’s castles in Bavaria; flown in a World War II era plane over St. Simons Island, Georgia; explored an Iron Age fort on Ireland’s Aran Islands; and touched fossils in the Grand Canyon. Her travels focus on the intersection of history, literature, culture, and family-friendly adventures. When she’s not traveling, Natalie can be found exploring her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and two young children.