Pinterest Basics for Bloggers

This guest post is by Yang of ChilliSauce.co.uk.

Does your world only revolve around Facebook and Twitter? Now it’s time to move on: in case you haven’t heard, Pinterest is the new rising star of social media!

Pinterest was developed in December 2009 as a closed beta that was released within a restricted group of individuals. After it opened registration to everyone in 2010, the Pinterest boom began. On August 16, 2011, Time magazine named Pinterest among the “50 Best Websites of 2011”.

Pinterest has dominated the headlines in Mashable, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and many other websites. The world seems to be going Pintereset crazy.

The Pinterest home page

So what is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual social network. Every time you come across pretty or eye-catching images online, you can “pin” them to your Pinterest bulletin board, where you can share and organize them into various categories.

For example, if I see a pretty wedding dress, I will pin it to my “wedding ideas” board, which is full of images of my favorite wedding-related ideas gathered from various websites.

Pinterest boards

Image 2: Pinterest Boards

Shareaholic compiled a Referral Traffic Rrport that looks into various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Youtube, and so forth. Their findings, based on aggregated data from more than 200,000 publishers that reach more than 260 million unique monthly visitors, show that Pinterest has driven more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined!

Shareaholic Referral Traffic Report

So what are you waiting for? Let’s start mapping out Pinterest strategies for your site!

How can you use Pinterest on your blog?

To get started, you need to register for your own Pinterest account.

Take some time to fill out your bio, as this is a great opportunity to introduce yourself or your business to the masses of Pinterest users. Then you are ready to start pinning!

A good place to start is by following other popular pinners and “re-pinning” their images onto your board. Browse through the categories on the network that interest you (see image below), such as “Art, Design, DIY & Craft” and so forth. When you find an image you like, you can pin it to your boards.

Pinterest has more than 30 categories

Bloggers can make use of these “clickthrough images” to attract more people to our blogs. Set up your bulletin boards and pin images from your site. Then, when other users click on an image, they’re taken to your site, where that picture is located.

Take my favorite chocolate bars, for example: I saw this yummy Snickers bars under the “Food & Drink” category.

Clickable Snickers bars image

When I clicked on the image, it immediately led me to the How Sweet It Is website, where that image is hosted (see below).

The landing page of that clickable Snickers bars image

Scroll down and there’s the image, pinned to my Pinterest board

6 tips to kickstart your Pinterest campaign

1. Pin with discernment

Every time you pin or re-pin a picture, it shows up on the Pinterest community boards. Here, all the pinners can see your pins, which gives you exposure to the public. So pinning quality images from your site to your boards is a must.

But don’t spam the community boards with your pinned images. Remember that Pinterest is public and social; I’m sure you don’t want to brand yourself as a spam artist. In the following example, I just pinned a yummy Snickers bar and my pin immediately appeared on the whole community board.

Start pinning!

Your pins show up on the Pinterest community board

2. Pin quality images

Pinterest taps into people’s love of “visually sumptuous eye candy.” Therefore, when you’re blogging, try to attach interesting and high quality images to go with your articles.

If your pictures are not clear or look dull, then don’t waste your time on Pinterest. The whole point of the network is to use images as “bait” to attract more people to your blog. If your images don’t stand out in Pinterest, then people are not going to click through.

3. Track recent activity from your account

When you’re logged into Pinterest, the top-left column, labeled Recent Activity, shows who has re-pinned, liked, or commented on your pins. In social media platforms, social always comes first. So do these people a favor: browse their pin boards, and re-pin or comment on their images as well!

Being social and showing them your appreciation will help you become popular on Pinterest. I still get a little buzz every time I see people re-pin my image, and I always visit their boards and show them we share the same interests.

The Recent Activity column

4. Use watermarks

Try to add watermark with your blog’s URL to your original images. Then, no matter how many times your images have been pinned or re-pinned, readers can always see the image is originally from your site, which gives your blog maximum exposure.

Add a watermark to your images

5. Add catchy descriptions to your images

Try to craft catchy image descriptions that include key words or tags that are likely to be searched.

To make them more engaging, express yourself and your sense of humor here, to provoke a response from other pinners. Or simply ask a question as the description, such as “Who wouldn’t love a yummy donut like this?”

6. Speed up pinning with the Pin It button

Don’t forget to add a Pin It button to your bookmarks on Pinterest: go to About in the main navigation, and click Pin It Button. Then, drag the white button to your bookmarks bar.

Now, the next time you come across an awesome image, you can just click the Pin It bookmark, choose the picture that you want to add to your pin board, add an engaging and interesting description, then you’re done! Easy!

Add a Pin It button

Drag the Pin It button to your Bookmarks bar

Can’t wait to try it? It really is easy to get started! I look forward to your comments about your experience with Pinterest.

Yang manages the Chillisauce.co.uk website, who specialise in organising corporate events.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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Pinterest Basics for Bloggers

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