If you’re anything like me, when you first heard about Pinterest you probably thought “Oh no – not anothersocial media site I’ve got to get to grips with!” It’s hard enough keeping pace with Facebook and Twitter – how are we going to find time for this one? There just aren’t enough hours in the day!
But it’s becoming more and more apparent that anyone wanting to make money blogging can’t afford to ignore it – because Pinterest has exploded in popularity in the last few months. And the word on the street is that Pinterest is now driving more traffic to users’ websites than any other social media site except Facebook. Yes, you heard that right – it’s driving more traffic than Twitter. So the old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words may be true – sounds like it’s certainly more valuable than 140 characters!
On average, people are spending about an hour at a time on Pinterest, so it has impressive ‘stickability’ – that’s quite an achievement when you consider the famously short attention span of most web users! It’s also integrated with Facebook, so it’s easy for people to see what others are posting or pinning – but you can choose whether or not your Pinterest activity is published to your Facebook timeline.
Anyway, like it or not, I reckon you need to think about hopping on this bandwagon. The good news is, once we’ve got over our ‘first date’ nerves, it looks like it might be fun!
So – what exactlyisPinterest?
Basically, it’s an up and coming social sharing website, in the form of a massive virtual ‘pinboard’ or scrapbook. It’s highly visual and that’s what makes it so attractive – and addictive! Peopleadoreimages – just think of the the kind of stuff people ‘share’ and ‘like’ on Facebook – more often than not, it’s material with stunning visual impact.
You can’t get away from the fact that we live in an era of increasinglyvisualmarketing techniques – so if you’re using your blog as a marketing tool, you need to bear that in mind. The great thing about Pinterest is that it’s a relatively simple way to harness the power of visual imagery to promote your blog.
I gather the majority of Pinterest users are currently female, but I find it hard to believe that the men aren’t going to get in on the action. In fact I’ve heard male marketers talk about the need to engage with Pinterest and I know they’re exploring ways to make it more appealing to the male demographic.
How to Use Pinterest: Some Beginner’s Tips
- In order to join Pinterest you have to request an invitation – you can’t just ‘sign up’ like you do for Facebook or Twitter. This shouldn’t be a problem, though – you can request an invitation on the Pinterest home page or, if you know someone who already has a Pinterest account, just ask them to send you an invite.
- When you’ve created your account, it couldn’t be easier to access the site – you can log in with your Facebook or Twitter login details or with the email and password you set up for your Pinterest account.
- If you want to use Pinterest to promote your blog, you might want to create a more ‘business-like’ profile. At the moment, unlike Facebook, Pinterest doesn’t allow you to create a business ‘page’ as such, but you can adjust the profile in your account settings. For example, you could change your user ID from your own name to business name. You can also choose not to publish your Pinterest activity to your Facebook timeline – if you’re using Pinterest primarily for business purposes, you may not want to share this activity on your personal Facebook profile. Unfortunately, there is not currently an option to link your Pinterest account to a Facebook business page.
- Once you’ve registered, you can start displaying your own images or ‘pins’. You can ‘pin’ just about anything, including pictures, videos, products, books and infographics. Simply click on the ‘add’ button to ‘pin’ the images to your own virtual corkboard.
- You organise your images on Pinterest by creating ‘boards’. Just click on the ‘add’ button to create a board, which you can name and add to a relevant category if you wish.
- If you’re not sure how to do anything, there’s a very user-friendly ‘help’ section, with simple instructions on using the site. There’s also a ‘goodies’ department, which includes a ‘Pin It’ button, which you can easily add to your browser’s toolbar. This makes it even easier to pin images you find online – you just click on your ‘Pin It’ button and away you go!
- If you have a WordPress blog, there are now a range of free plugins, available from your WordPress dashboard, which will add Pinterest buttons to your posts or to images on your site. This makes it easy for your visitors to ‘pin’ images from your blog posts.
- Whether you market physical or digital products, you can create Pinterest boards to advertise your wares and provide links back to your website or blog. If your products aren’t obviously ‘visual’, you will need to be creative in producing some image themed ‘pins’ to represent them. Remember, though – you’re not restricted to ‘pictures’ – you can display infographics, spreadsheets, graphs and mindmaps – anything ‘visual’.
- You can also easily use Pinterest to promote your blog posts, by ‘pinning’ a relevant image with a link back to the full post.
- Always remember to edit your ‘pins’ to add a link back to your website and be sure to add a description with relevant keywords to make it ‘searchable’.
- Remember – people visit Pinterest to find great images. So you should aim to pin striking, high quality visual images – things that are really going to catch people’s eye. That’s the secret of Pinterest success.
If you know how to use Pinterest well, it can drive tons of targeted traffic to your blog. And if you haven’t looked into it yet, I’d say it’s got to be worth exploring. It will challenge you to harness the power of visual imagery on your blog, and that in itself will make your site more attractive to visitors. If you’ve any ideas or tips, particularly if you’re already using Pinterest to promote your blog, I’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment below. And if you haven’t started yet – get pinning!