Do you want more people finding your content and reading your blog? Heck yeah, right?! Have you tried Pinterest yet?
If you’re thinking ‘that’s all crafts and pretty pictures, it’s not for businesses like mine’, or ‘oh man, not another social media site’, it’s time to think again.
There are so many different types of content being shared there.
Yes, there are an awful lot of pretty interiors pics on there (which is great if your business is related to architecture/interior design/decorating etc). And there are loads of DIY and crafts (perfect if your business relates to that).
But there are also tons of health, fitness and food related pins on there (raise your hand if your business or blog covers any of that). And fashion and clothing (any retailers, designers or stylists out there?).
More than that though, there are a huge amount of business-related pins. There are pins about web design, marketing, writing, financial and accounting advice, blogging tips and much, much more. So if your market is B2B, you can totally use Pinterest too.
I do. Over the last 3 months, over 50% of people finding my website through social media came via Pinterest. That’s down to promoting my blog posts on there.
You see, although Pinterest is classed as a social media site, it doesn’t actually work like one. It’s a visual search engine with over 200 million monthly users. They aren’t just on there looking for pretty pictures, they’re looking for information too. They want inspiration, advice and they want to learn. So if your blog posts are full of helpful advice, it totally makes sense to share them on Pinterest.
Let’s look at how to use Pinterest to promote your blog.
Any links marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links, which means if you buy through them I might get a small commission (that will probably be spent on pretty fonts). This is at no extra cost to you and I only share products and services that I use and love.
Create a business account
If you haven’t got an account already, sign up (it’s free). Make sure you create a business account so that you have access to features like Rich Pins (more on that later) and Pinterest Analytics. And if you already have a personal account, convert it to a business one.
Optimise your profile
Your profile needs to be optimised for SEO to help people find you. People want to see who’s pinning so for your profile picture, use a picture of you instead of your logo.
Next fill out your name. This is a good place to tell people what your business is all about, so add your business name, followed by some relevant keywords that you want to rank for.
For example, mine is Fiona Robertson Graphics (business name) | Branding + Web Design (keywords).
Add your website address. This would usually be your homepage, but if your site has a separate blog (for example, if you have a Shopify site with a separate WordPress blog) enter the address of your blog instead as that’s where we’re aiming to drive traffic.
And now for your bio. This is basically where you put your elevator pitch. You have limited space so keep it short and sweet. Start with a statement on what you do/who you help; this tells people what they can expect from your content and encourage them to follow you.
Make sure you include a call to action; this isn’t a link to your website (since that’s already taken care of) but if you have an email opt-in you want people to sign up for, or a Facebook group you want them to join, be sure to include it. And if you have any space left over, why not add more detail to fit in more keywords. Or add a fun fact to show more of your personality. People love to see who’s behind the brand.
So my bio is:
Branding + web design for businesses who want to look awesome + get more customers. (what I do/who I help) Illustrator + caffeine addict. (fun fact) Free WordPress course: http://bit.ly/2mi8ipx (call to action)
Create relevant boards
Next you want to create some boards. This is where you’ll collect and organise your pins.
Create one board to use exclusively for your own content. Make this the first board on your profile (you can drag and drop boards to rearrange them). This means that anyone who wants to explore your blog posts can see them easily, without getting distracted by other things you’ve pinned.
Then create other boards relating to the topics you blog about. These will be a mix of your content and other people’s and is designed to help people solve any problems they’re having.
For example, I create a lot of WordPress tips and tutorials, so I have a WordPress Tips board, with my own articles plus other people’s WordPress content. And anyone who needs help with their WordPress site can find a lot of advice there.
If you have boards on subjects that aren’t related to your business or blog but still want to save pins to them, you can make them secret boards, so they’re not public on your profile. For example, I pin a lot of recipes but that’s not relevant to my business, so that’s a secret board.
Claim your website and activate Rich Pins
Now head over to your website. You’re going to claim your website so your profile picture will appear beside any pin coming from your website. For full details see Pinterest’s guide.
If you’re on WordPress, it’s really easy to verify your site. Install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin, if you haven’t already. Follow the instructions in the above link to get your meta tag, and then use the Yoast Social Settings, to add the Pinterest confirmation.
Now activate Rich Pins. They tend to rank better and therefore get more engagement than regular pins.
Head to the Facebook tab and enable the Open Graph meta data. Pinterest also uses this data to add things like the blog title, post author, and description to pins coming from your website.
Now follow these instructions to apply for Rich Pins using Pinterest’s validator. Thankfully you only need to validate one post to activate Rich Pins across your whole site, so you don’t need to go through this process with every post 🙂
Create pin-worthy images
Before you start pinning your posts, you need to create some images to pin. Vertical images show up much better and get repinned more; the ideal size according to Pinterest is 600 x 900 pixels, or a 2:3 ratio. Set up an image template at that size in Photoshop or Canva (or whatever app you’ll use) to make creating your images faster and consistently branded with your colours, fonts etc.
If you’ve got loads of older posts, it’ll take ages to create new Pinterest-ready images for all of them. Start with your new posts and whenever you have spare time, choose 1-3 of your older posts to update. I’d recommend starting with your most popular posts, then promotional posts or posts with content upgrades, to make sure you’re prioritising your most important content.
Pro-tip: create more than one pinnable image so you can share your content more often without seeming repetitive, plus you can test which style of image gets more results!
Don’t forget to add a quality description to your pins too. This should be fairly short and make sure it uses relevant keywords to help people find your content. It needs to encourage people to click through from your pin to your blog, so try including a call to action too.
Pinterest recently added support for hashtags, so add a few relevant tags to your descriptions too. Users can use these hashtags to search for the latest content on a particular topic – super handy 🙂
Now it’s time to start filling up your boards.
Ideally you want to start by pinning a mix of your own content and other people’s – aim for 20% your own content and 80% other people’s. You can change the ratio later, like once you have loads and loads of content you may need to in more of your own stuff. But that’s a good ratio to get started.
Mix scheduling + manual pinning
Pinterest likes profiles who pin lots and if you spread your pins out throughout the day you can reach more users. But if you were to manually pin 15-30 images per day, that would take ages. You’d constantly be hopping on and off of Pinterest, and let’s face it, no one has time for that!
This is where one of my favourite tools comes in. Tailwind* is a pin scheduling tool. You queue up a bunch of pins and the app will send them out at recommended times throughout the day so you can get the most engagement.
But Pinterest also likes people who pin manually, so it’s good to mix the scheduled and live posts. What I like to do is spend one advert break when I’m watching tv each evening on Pinterest and repin a few pins. And then every time I publish a new blog post, or update an old one, I’ll be pinning from that manually. And Tailwind takes care of the rest.
Reach more people with Group Boards
Group boards are like regular Pinterest boards, except as well as the board creator, other people can contribute pins. A quality Group Board is a great way to reach a whole new audience, through the board owner’s followers and because the contributors wil be encouraged to repin each others’ content.
PinGroupie is a good way to find group boards relevant to your niche, and if you network with other people in your niche you can also find other boards to collaborate on.
Yep, I’m recommending Tailwind* again. Tailwind Tribes are an awesome feature, similar to group boards, in that you join a Tribe that’s focused on a particular niche. You share your content to it other Tribe members can easily repin it to share with their followers, so you get to reach a new audience.
A good Tribe will have strict rules about your sharing ratio – like how often you can add pins, and for every pin you add to the Tribe you must repin one of someone else’s pins. The bonus of this is that the Tribe shouldn’t fill up with low quality or spammy content, so if your Tailwind queue needs to be filled up, your Tribe is a good place to find quality pins to schedule.
Go forth and pin 🙂
If you need any help optimising your site for Pinterest, creating image templates, or working on a strategy to get your content shared, I’d love to help: get in touch for a chat!
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