Stuck struggling to get traffic?
Finding difficulty building a community?
What if I told you that regardless of your niche your frustrations can be behind you by uttering one word?
That word is Pinterest.
Whether you are a blogger or marketer, Pinterest will solve your traffic needs and for absolutely free.
This post will detail the techniques of blogging coach Beth Hayden who has written a book about how to drive traffic to your site from Pinterest. According to Hayden, there are five steps to increasing referral traffic coming over from Pinterest.
Are you busy in and out of the blogosphere and don’t need more work?
These tips will involve shortcuts, hacks, designed to save you time.
According to Beth, you don’t even need to spend that much time on Pinterest, but if you follow these tips, you can still use Pinterest as a powerful traffic source.
Step 1: Build Good Content
Even if you don’t spend time on Pinterest, you still need to have useful content on your site. The goal is to get potential readers to leave Pinterest to go to your site. My recent post How to Create Better Blog Content that Will Build You an Enormous Audience discusses how to craft strong content–offer information that will solve readers’ problems.
Include a strong headline. Make sure you make your readers feel understood in your article.
Step 2: Tweak Your Content
Okay, so you’ve just written a strong post.
You’ve got a headline so intriguing anyone would want to read the information, and your content makes your readers feel understood and solves a problem for them.
Great! Good job. No go change your content.
According to Hayden, nine topics get the most attention from the Pinterest crowd.
Listed in alphabetical order, Beauty, Crafts, Home Decorating, Fashion, Fitness, Food, Kids, Pets, and Travel are the most popular categories of Pinterest pins. However, 20% of all Pinterest pins are about food.
Now that you know this, you need to tweak your blog post so that the content relates to one of these topics.
If you are thinking, “My content does not relate to any of these topics,” you are preaching to the choir (I have a post coming up on cultural idioms, sorry). I totally understand. I write about blogging, a topic not connected to any of the nine.
Could I make a minor tweak to change my content, no matter how tiny? Absolutely.
I wrote a recent post offering time-management tips. (Look at the nine. Which could I pick?) If you guessed, kids, I agree. Some of the busiest bloggers work outside the home, blog in their free time, and have school-age children they are raising all at the same time! What if they have pets too? Get the idea?
I wrote a recent post about daily life in California. (Look at the list again.) Did you guess travel? Absolutely. I have readers who are travel bloggers who could also incorporate the food of the sites they review in their posts.
I wrote two posts recently about photography (look at the list). Did you guess travel again? Bingo! (Was that another cultural idiom?)
Be creative. Think outside the box (sorry, another idiom).
For example, I know I have some parenting bloggers. Where will you take your child this summer? (travel) What will you feed them while you are there? (food) What will you wear? (fashion) What will they wear? (fashion). Get the picture? (Sorry, that was another idiom.)
Step 3: Make Clickable Pins
Again, the goal is to get Pinterest users to leave Pinterest to come to your site.
Of course, all pins over at Pinterest are “clickable.” However, how many have the probability of being clicked?
How to Make a Clickable Pin:
1. Combine pictures, or a collage of pictures, and words.
2. Include the headline in the picture. List posts are very popular. Put the number of tips in your post in your graphic.
According to Hayden, people will be more likely to click your pin if they know what to expect when they get to your article.
The photo badge, as Hayden calls the pin, and the article work together. At your blog, readers will be more likely to share your pin on Pinterest if it follows this criteria.
Over at Pinterest, more people will click your photo badge and come to your site if it follows these instructions. This will result in your article getting free promotion.
According to Hayden, Pinterest is the second most powerful driver of traffic to blogs, more than all other social media combined. (She did not mention Facebook, so I am drawing a conclusion that is Number #1.)
I prefer using my own photos in my graphics. However, if you are going to use stock photos, you need to make sure they are royalty free. There are many free photo sharing sites. Creative commons sites exist where, depending on the license, you can use the photo if you give attribution to the photographer.
Step 4: Include Good Descriptions
Tag your pin like you would tag your blog post.
Include keywords or keyword phrases in your pin. Pinterest can’t see your image. It can only read text. If you are trying to get potential readers to find you on Pinterest, you have to come up in the search query. Only if you tag your pins with your keywords will you come up.
You should tag your Pinterest boards as well. If you are trying to drive traffic to your site from Pinterest, you will increase the odds of pinners finding your article if your boards containing pins to those articles are tagged with the same keywords your blog posts are.
Be specific. Google users will be more likely to find your post if you have longer tags. Accordingly, Pinterest users will be more likely to find your pins if you have longer, more descriptive tags.
Use hashtags with your pins, but no more than two per pin.
After tagging your pin, give pinners a call-to-action just like you would do at the end of your blog post. Tell them to click the pin, and give them a reason they should do so. I might add “Click to find out how” if my post is about how to increase blog traffic.
Add your blog’s URL. It is possible the link could break, so this ensures the pinner can find your site.
Step 5: Optimize Your Pins
1. Pinterest pins should be long and skinny. Too many bloggers make their pins short.
Hayden actually went as far as to advise bloggers make their pins 700 – 800 pixels wide. Although my pin isn’t that wide, I did make it a “large” graphic instead of my usual “medium” size graphic. I still feel it fits her suggestion of “long and skinny”.
If you did want to change the size of your pin, here is how to do it:
- Click the picture.
- Click the pencil to edit.
- Choose Size, Custom.
- Change the height and width.
2. Pinterest pins should have natural light shining on them. If it’s possible to take the photo outdoors, do so. If not, put the subject near a window, so the natural light is shining on it.
3. Your photo should be clear, not blurry.
4. Crop tightly. You want people to focus on the subject of your photo, not the extraneous images around it.
5. Include a way for readers to share your pin on Pinterest by including a Pinterest share button.
6. Let people know you are on Pinterest. I have my Pinterest information on my Contact page. Hayden recommends having this in your sidebar or at the top of your blog if possible.
To review, Hayden’s steps are easy, quick, free, and make a lot of sense.
In conclusion, the best part about using Pinterest is your trending pin topics will be trending for a long time. The nine topics you will create pins about are called evergreen content. They don’t get old.
In accordance with Hayden’s instructions, one of the tags I used was travel photography. While my post is not about travel, tourists could apply these tips to taking great photos when they travel whether or not they are bloggers or Pinterest users. All photos can benefit from natural light, tight cropping, and being sharp and crisp.
This will always be true. Therefore, these “travel” tips will never go out of style. I am trying to prove a point. Blogging tips do well on Pinterest too. Actually, all “tips” do. Make sure you use “tips” in your tags.
As you can see, you could still be getting your “roof-blowing” traffic years from now because those nine topics are consistently popular. However, people lose interest in updates on Facebook and Twitter extremely fast.
Before I end this post, I do not want the business people I have following my blog to feel left out. Hayden recommends you check out Hubspots Pinterest boards for examples.
Readers, if you think other bloggers and Pinterest users can benefits from these tips, please share.
Has Pinterest been useful in sending you referral traffic? What did you think of Beth Hayden’s five-step technique? Do you think you will try it? I look forward to your views.