Top Tips For Using Pinterest
We’ve got a Pinterest whiz over on the Foodies100 this week. Nicola from Mummy to Dex is sharing her Top Tips For Using Pinterest.
My name is Nicola and I created my blog Mummy to Dex in 2016. I write about our baby and toddler led parenting journey, baby led weaning and toddler meals, travel, days out and a plethora of other topics under the ‘lifestyle’ umbrella.
I first became interested in using Pinterest as a driver of traffic to my blog in January 2017. At this point I was only getting one or two hits per day, but fast forward to today and the number of people clicking through to my website totals over 12,000 a month accounting for 70% of my traffic. Pinterest is a goldmine that is just waiting for you to utilise it, as long as you know how. Although currently on maternity leave, I work full time, so I know better than anyone that it is possible to fit in Pinterest in around your busy life. Frankly, with the amount of traffic it brings, you’d be quite bonkers not to make it an integral part of your daily ‘blogmin’ schedule.
By following these top tips for using Pinterest you will start to see an increase in your monthly viewers and ultimately traffic to your website or blog. As with anything, consistency is key, but the good news is you only need to dedicate around twenty minutes a day, if that. I’ve started with the absolute basics, but even if you’ve been using Pinterest for a while, there’s no harm in going back to check that everything is as it should be.
Set up a business account and enable rich pins
First things first, you need to make sure you have a business account enabled. Why is this important? Well firstly, you will get access to Pinterest Analytics which will be imperative if you want to see which pins are performing well; and secondly, you will be able to claim your website meaning your profile picture and name will be visible on every single one of the pins you create, whether they come from you pinning them, or from others pinning direct from your website. Your profile will also look more professional and will include the number of unique monthly viewers below your name.
Rich pins add an extra bit of copy to your pin from your website and are more likely to generate traffic than a standard pin. There’s plenty of information about rich pins and their benefits online so I won’t bang on too much about them here, just know that as a blogger you should have them enabled.
Decide on your niche
It’s quite important, in my opinion, to have a niche when it comes to Pinterest which will give other users a reason to follow you. For me, my niche is parenting, but more specifically it is baby led weaning. My blog covers a huge range of topics under the parenting-lifestyle umbrella, but ultimately it’s my baby led weaning recipes and blog posts that do well on Pinterest and so that has to be my focus.
If you are new to Pinterest start by creating niche related boards and fill them full of pins. You want each board to have a minimum of fifty pins to start with. My best performing boards are the ones with the most pins on them. The more you pin, the more Pinterest will begin to understand what you are interested in and ultimately what your niche is, and the more it will show you relevant pins for you to add to your boards.
If you have been using Pinterest for a while and have been pinning anything and everything to multiple boards that have no link to your blog, then think about having a good clean up. I recently archived and merged around twenty boards that had nothing to do with parenting as they were useless to my ideal Pinterest follower/pinner. You need your profile to look clean and sleek, just like your blog, so that if people stumble upon your profile from a pin they’ve found, they can quickly and easily look through your other boards to find more relevant pins to repin, increasing both views and engagement.
SEO your profile
First have a look at what your business name is. I think it looks great if you have your blog name followed by your tag line or niche. I chose to have “Mummy to Dex | A Parent Blogger and Baby Led Weaner” which describes exactly who I am and what I pin about. Second, fill in the ‘about you’ section and again fill it with keywords relating to your blog and niche. If you blog about early years learning for example you want the words ‘EYFS’ ‘activities’ ‘toddler’ ‘preschooler’ ‘ideas’ fitted in there in a nice natural way. Finally, make sure your website address is filled in and choose a picture of YOU so your followers and pinners can see you are a real life person and not a bot.
Set up Featured Boards
Featured Boards are boards that sit at the top of your profile. There should be a board dedicated to your blog and the main one or two boards of your niche which for me are my top two performing baby led weaning boards. You obviously want your blog board to appear first so that users hopefully click onto that and start repinning all the glorious content from your blog.
Create an optimized Pinterest image for each blog post
Each blog post you write will need a Pinterest image or two ready for you to pin to your boards once the post is live. Some people like their Pinterest image to sit at the top of the blog post as the featured image; some like it right at the end of the post, and some people like both. I create my Pinterest images in Canva which has a plethora of templates for you to choose from. Your image should include some text which encourages Pinterest users to click through to your site. The best performing pins explain how to do something or give advice on the very best places to visit or things to do. Have a quick search through Pinterest to see what keywords flag up when typing in what your post is about. What pins have others added under this topic? What language have they used on their text? How could you make it even better?
Once you’ve added the image to your blog post, you need to edit the html to describe what the pin is all about, using this piece of code: data-pin-description=”Your Pinterest description here”
Forget about using ALT text for Pinterest, which is primarily used to describe the image for sight impaired readers and SEO purposes and use that code instead. You can then add a keyword rich description plus a few hashtags too. Yes, Pinterest likes hashtags now and are another fantastic way to get your pins to be noticed by people searching for ideas.
It is worth noting that not all generic users of Pinterest, ie non-bloggers, will pin your beautifully designed and optimized image at the bottom of your post and will likely pin another image. Ensure you have a description for all your images for this exact reason.
This will seem hugely overwhelming if you have over 200 blog posts and have never created a Pinterest image in your life. Start small and make it your mission to tackle one or two posts per week to start off with. Look for posts that tend to do well: crafts, recipes, interior design. You may find it time consuming at first, but as you get quicker at understanding how to create the ultimate Pinterest image, you will find it takes less than ten minutes to design a pin, add it to your blog, create a keyword rich description and pin it to all the relevant boards you have created.
Put a ‘Pin It’ button on your blog
The next top tip for using Pinterest is there’s no point having beautiful pinnable images on your blog if there is no way for Pinterest users to pin them. If you use WordPress you can download this Pin It Button on Image Hover and Post plugin which does exactly what it says on the tin. You may even have this option built into your theme (especially if you use Pipdig) and there are options on Blogger to add a ‘Pin it’ button. I’ll just reiterate here as well, that your average Pinterest user is likely to want to pin images other than the optimized image you have created specifically for Pinterest, so make sure if you are using ‘Pin it’ buttons that you have them next to all your images. I get an awful lot of a click throughs from an old blurry image of my son doing tummy time that has been repinned hundreds of times! You can check the ‘Activity’ tab on your profile to see what is being repinned from your blog. It is a good idea to check this regularly to ensure that the images people are pinning are fully optimized.
Follow people in your niche
Working with other bloggers is key to making Pinterest a success. I don’t see the other accounts who share baby led weaning recipes and tips as my competition and instead look to them for ideas and pins for my own boards. In fact, a few of us set up a group board and I have had thousands of click throughs from the pins that have been shared here. Although it is like a search engine, Pinterest is after all a social network, so treat it as such; talk to people, find out what is working for them and use it.
Pin, pin, pin
I cannot stress enough how important it is to pin on a regular basis. A lot of people have started using Tailwind as a means to schedule their pins so that they are pinning all hours of the day, seven days a week. I’ll be honest, I don’t use Tailwind. I used it for around three months in 2018 and didn’t find the price warranted the very slight increase to my traffic that it brought. Whether you use Tailwind or not, manual pinning is still hugely important and I suggest that you manually pin at least ten times a day. Pinterest loves it when you pin stuff that they suggest, so click your notifications and see what they’re offering you to pin. You should also make sure you are regularly clicking ‘more ideas for this board’ to see what’s there, especially for those niche boards you have created. The more you pin, the better Pinterest will get at showing you what you like. Manually pinning through the app should only take up around five minutes of your time each day. (Unless you are like me and fall into a Pinterest shaped hole while looking for interior ideas for toddler bedrooms!)
Find your Tribe
Although I no longer pay for Tailwind, I do use the free version to access Tribes which has been an incredible source of traffic for me. It is important that you find a tribe with strict rules and people who follow them. I am part of the most wonderful tribe that is closely monitored by its admin and I get a lot of shares and repins from here which translate into those all-important click-throughs. Spending your time adding pins to tribes where you don’t get anything back is just a complete waste of time, so find one what works for you and stick to a schedule where you are regularly adding content and sharing content from within it.
Choose Group Boards wisely
Group boards have the potential to show your pins to a huge audience, but if you choose a group board that has too many contributors, the pins you add will disappear into the ether quicker than the blink of an eye. Again, just like Tribes, you need to find group boards with strict rules and an admin who will police it. The best group boards have fewer than a hundred members who are regularly repinning. Use analytics regularly to check how many pins are on the boards versus how many saves you are getting to work out whether it is profitable or not. I did read that if you add a pin to a board and it doesn’t get any engagement it is possible Pinterest will believe it is a worthless pin, so it is important you only pin to relevant boards and ones where you know you’ll get some engagement back.
Create beautiful Pinterest images regularly with Canva
As well as ensuring you have a lovely optimized image on your blog post, make sure you are regularly creating different Pinterest images and uploading them onto the site along with a keyword rich description and link back to your blog. I have recently started creating one new Pinterest image per day (however I am on maternity leave so I have the time!) that have a slightly different feel to the one on my blog post and I’ve been adding them to group boards to generate some extra traffic. This stops you repinning the same old content time and time again and the new pin may appeal to a new audience gaining you even more saves and click throughs. Find a schedule that works for you, whether it’s one new pin a day like me, or one per week, it’s all extra traffic to your blog.
I hope I’ve given you some inspiration to start improving your Pinterest profile and gain some extra traffic for your blog. I promise you, it’s worth the daily investment!