You’ve heard people talking about the amount of traffic they get from Pinterest but you still don’t get it. When you go to the site all you see is recipes and craft projects. It doesn’t seem the right place for the raw, edgy, honest stories you tell on your blog. So you sigh, close your browser and think it’s not for you.
But you’re missing out. Pinterest is the best social media platform for bloggers of all flavours. And because Pinterest is saturated with those food and DIY pins you see all the time, being different means you stand out from the crowd.
Being different means you can attract hundreds, even thousands of clicks to your blog every single day. And not just for one day — the long shelf-life of pins means the traffic keeps coming and coming. You can’t afford to stay out of the game any longer, can you?
What is Pinterest for?
Pinterest is a digital version of the paper scrapbooks we used to fill with glossy pictures cut from magazines when we were kids. Pinterest is also a digital version of the display folders our mothers kept full of recipes, bathroom makeovers and hairstyles. Instead of saving small snippets of information in physical form, we now save digital information to virtual pin boards.
I can already hear your objection. People didn’t (and don’t) save stories from newspapers and magazines unless it’s something like a birth announcement, a death notice, or an article that mentions their name.
And I agree. On the surface, it doesn’t seem the right place for life-writing and storytelling bloggers to get noticed.
But while your mother was scouring the latest fashion magazine for inspiration for her next sewing project, she would often stop to read an interesting story. The goal of every blogger on Pinterest is to seamlessly appear beside the latest casserole recipe or the hottest new handbag and lure the user into pausing for a moment to check out a fascinating article (your blog).
And if your writing connects with them in some way, they will subscribe, follow you on Twitter or like your Facebook page. Or if you’re lucky, they will share your pin or perhaps even create a board where they can collect all your articles. Now doesn’t that sound good?
SIX EASY STEPS TO PINTEREST MASTERY
 Transfer Your Personal Account to a Business Account to get RICH PINS
With a business account, you can take advantage of rich pins. This means every time someone (or you) pin an image from your site, the pin has additional information auto-generated below the image. This information stays on the pin no matter where it ends up.
Rich Pin information includes your logo, the words “Found on website.com”, a bold headline underneath the image and a summary of the post.
Another great feature of business accounts is analytics. You can check on your impressions, views, engagement, repins, likes and clicks.
→ Action: Convert to a business account.
- Go to Pinterest for Business
- Choose CONVERT NOW
- Follow the instructions
→ Action: Apply for Rich Pins
- Go to the Pinterest Rich Pins Validator
- Enter the URL of a blog post (not your home page) and hit the VALIDATE button
- If the HTML of your blog is set up correctly (and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be) you will be validated. Then you must click on the APPLY NOW button.
- Pinterest will send you a confirmation email, but the Rich Pin function is usually applied immediately.
 Create a Killer Profile Description
Take a moment to think about the four most common topics you write about. These are probably the categories you use on your blog. My topics are relationships, sexuality, body positivity and aging disgracefully.
Use these words on your profile page, so people looking for your area of expertise can find you. Put your tagline at the front and your job description at the end and you’re done.
[Image reads: Katie Paul | Blogger – Sydney Australia – head-heart-health.com – Celebrating midlife’s juicy moments | Relationships • Sexuality • Body Positive • Aging Disgracefully | Blogger & Image Maker]
→ Action: Edit yourprofile.
 Optimize your Boards
I recommend starting with 4 different types of boards.
(a) The Primary Board
Your primary board is your “body of work” board and everything you post from your blog goes on this board first. It is where you re-pin from to ensure your pins accumulate a high re-pin count. You can call this board “The Best of YourBlogName” or something to that effect.
(b) Blog Boards
You should start out with 8-10 blog boards. Do a search on Pinterest using one of your topics. Take note of the subheadings that pop up, which are based on popularity. This is what you should name your Blog Boards.
[Image reads: Relationships – Goals, Quotes, Advice, Controlling, Pictures, Problems, Cute, Love]
In this example, my relationship boards could be two or three of the following.
(a) relationship quotes
(b) relationship advice
(c) love and relationships
(d) relationship problems
Repeat this for each of your categories.
(c) Personal Boards
Although some people advise against having personal boards, I believe it helps drive followers to your profile. If recommend having 8-10 board relating to topics that are popular on Pinterest such as food, craft, fashion, beauty and/or inspirational quotes.
(d) Group Boards
Join up to 10 group boards on topics that reflect your blog material. Pick boards that have large numbers of followers, lots of pinning activity and good re-pin rates. Don’t join too many group boards or you will look spammy.
[I have a group board for Bloggers who write about their lives, right here: Bloggers with Brains and Heart. Let me know if you want to join.]
As well as using the key words applicable to your particular board in the description area, include a copy of your profile information as well. It is worth remembering that people can access your boards without ever going to your profile page, so your website address should be the last thing they see. There is no character limit on board descriptions.
[Image reads: Sexuality Sexy Time – Physical Love • Sexual Expression • Intimacy • Passion • Feminine and Masculine Essence • Celebrating midlife’s juicy moments = Relationships • Sexuality • Body Positive • Aging Disgracefully | Blogger & Image Maker | Twitter @chaotickatiep | Web ♥ head-heart-health.com]
→ Action: Set up your boards and fine tune their descriptions
 Make Compelling Images with Interesting Descriptions
It is not enough to pin the featured image from your blog if it is not the right dimensions. Pinterest favours vertical images, with the recommended size being 735px wide by 1100 tall — but remember that pins are smaller than that in the stream, so use large fonts and unfussy images.
Think of your pin image as a movie poster or a book cover for your blog post. You don’t want to just have the title on it, nor do you want to give away the entire plot.
Craft text that is enticing and perhaps a little puzzling, making the urge to click and read irresistible. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of emotive words like sex, death, pain, joy, secret, loss, love, etc. Check out popular pins from other bloggers for inspiration.
The default pin description comes from the ALT TEXT field in your media file. Although you might edit your pin description when you pin, other users may not bother. Please don’t just leave the Alt Text field empty — use keywords so the Pinterest search engine can find your pin easily.
You can run an effective Pinterest beginner’s strategy with 10-20 good pins. Look at your blog stats for your most popular posts, but don’t just limit yourself to those. My most popular pin had barely any views at all before I put it up on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a new market filled with a lot of people who don’t normally read blogs, so you never know what might interest them.
→ Action: Create a batch of custom-made images with compelling text and add them to your primary board, ready for pinning.
 Pin and Re-Pin
When it comes time to pin, start off pinning just 3 or 4 of your own pins a day, as well as pinning content from other people on to all your boards. It should only take five minutes twice a day.
Make sure you re-pin your own material from your primary board on to your blog boards and group boards. By doing this, you increase the re-pin count on your pin which makes Pinterest see your pin as something worth showing to everyone.
You can check out my pinning system here: Hello Trello.
→ Action: Make pinning twice a day a habit (you can do it on the bus in the morning and while you watch TV at night).
 Don’t Get Too Worried About Not Getting Re-Pins
Because life-writing and storytelling content is naturally consumable (ie – once a viewer has read it, they probably won’t need to save it), don’t get too upset if you don’t see the number of re-pins an inspiration quote or a recipe might get. As I said at the start of this post, we’re the stories in the magazine, not the pictures that get cut out and glued into the scrapbook.
This can also mean that readers don’t think to pin your image when they are on your blog, which leaves the pinning task largely up to you.
The one statistic you want to take notice of is clicks. If a pin gets a large number of click-throughs to your blog, make a note of it. I have a list of my top twenty pins that I pin often to keep the traffic rolling in.
→ Action: Keep a list of your most “clicked” pins so you can recycle them.
Mastering Pinterest if you’re not a food, fashion or DIY blogger can feel like a challenge, but it is well and truly worth the effort. Pinterest is now my leading source of traffic, and my page views have quadrupled since I started making optimized pins and pinning regularly.
Now is the time to do it because there aren’t many life-writing, storytelling bloggers on Pinterest yet. I know you can find a whole world of new readers on Pinterest if you just give it a chance.
Need help? I provide the following services
- Pinterest Content Creation – Create pinnable images from your existing blog posts – from US$2.50 per image
- Pinterest Set Up – Set up your profile and 10 x boards – from US $60
- Full Pinterest Analysis and Strategy – an overview of your current account and a list of personalised recommendations – from US$79
- Full Pinterest Social Media Management – Pin images daily, find group boards to join, grow follower count, monitor analytics, create new visual content – from US$40 a week.
Do you enjoy Pinterest? Do you have a success story? Or does it confuse you?