According to Mashable (among other places), in February 2012, Pinterest started driving more traffic to websites and blogs than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined. By the end of 2012, Pinterest had sailed past Twitter as well. If Pinterest is the #1 referrer of traffic to blogs and websites, and you want more eyeballs on your blog posts or website, it makes total sense to start thinking about Pinterest as a way to share and promote your blog.
If you have a blog, a website, or a business, I’m about to justify the amount of time you spend on Pinterest. You’re welcome.
I’ve been experimenting with different ways to use Pinterest for my own blogs and EffYeah Media‘s clients. Knowing that it has the potential to drive so much traffic to your blog and/or website, it’s time to get strategic about how you use Pinterest to promote either of those things.
Below, I’ve curated some of the best tips and findings I’ve discovered so far, complete with links to tutorials and examples of brands that I think are using Pinterest in creative ways. I’m going to mostly address bloggers here, but many of these ideas can just as easily apply to a business website and overall marketing strategy in general.
Ready, set? Pin!
1. Pin images from your blog to drive traffic back to your blog.
This means your blog posts would need to include at least one image for pinning, and that image should be something you’d want to share and would expect others to want to share as well (good photography, inspiring quotes, tasty recipes, beautiful places, etc).
Then, you can assume your blog readers have the Pin It bookmarklet installed, or you can make it really easy for them to pin your images by adding a Pin It button to your website, or adding a mouseover button to images on your blog with this tutorial from @kevinandamanda (hint: always make it easy for people to do exactly what you want them to do with your content!).
My personal Pinterest profile includes a board called Champagne With Breakfast, where I pin my favorite images from my own blog.
If you’re adding a board to your existing Pinterest profile, awesome! However, if you’re thinking instead of creating an entire Pinterest account for your blog (say, if you cover a wide range of topics and use a lot of great images), I would highly suggest including a variety of images from your blog as well as blogs of other people. It’s one thing to promote your blog as a part of your brand and your Pinterest profile, but an entire Pinterest account that only posts and links from ONE single website? Boorrrrrring. Share the love. Pin your friends’ blogs. Create an inspiration board to refer to you when you don’t know what to write about. Curate pretty things. Be a resource.
2. Want to see examples of businesses using Pinterest creatively?
Etsy is really good about showing off their products and curating beautiful things. By showing off the products listed by their users, they’re driving traffic to their own website and ideally, selling the products they’re linking to. By curating other beautiful things, they’re becoming a resource and establishing themselves as a company with great taste.
Want a more digital/marketing example? HubSpot has an awesome Pinterest profile stocked full of resources for marketers, and a lot of these are relevant for bloggers as well.
3. Find out what’s being pinned from your website or blog.
You can find this out by adding your URL to this, like this: http://pinterest.com/source/[YOURBLOG.COM]. For example, if I want to see what’s being pinned from my food blog, NomadicFoodie.com, that would look like this: http://pinterest.com/source/nomadicfoodie.com.
And then you get a page like this, and it’s really, really interesting:
4. Are you selling a physical product?
Pin images of your products in use. Anna Joyce is a textile artist here in Portland, Oregon, and she has a board dedicated not just to showing off her beautiful work, but showing these textiles actually in use, with beautiful photography and great lighting.
5. Looking for a job? Want to show off all of the people who rave about you, your blog, or your business? Create a board for that.
Rachael King is a Community Manager for Adobe, and an all-around kick-ass social media pro and enthusiast. Among many of her useful and informative social media and community management-related boards, she’s got one called The Living Resume, a digital and visual representation of her career-related accomplishments.
Do this for yourself, show off places your blog and/or business have been featured, and make bragging look really, really good.
6. Create and use Pinterest to collect inspiring images and ideas for future blog posts.
When you find photos, blog posts, ideas, anywhere else across the internet that you want to write about sooner or later, pin it. Then, refer back to that board when you’re looking for inspiration.
I have created two boards for my “fairy blogmother”-related inspiration. These are tutorials and guides for bloggers and marketers and are meant to serve both as a resource for me, you, and anyone who’s interested in such things, as well as inspiration for the types of things I’d like to dive deeper into and perhaps share once I’ve played around a little bit. Want to check those out? My Fairy Blogmother board is resources for bloggers, and How to Internet Better is a collection of tips and tricks meant for anyone who wants to, well, Internet better.
7. Show off your style.
Lindsay Goldner, an LA-area graphic/web designer, shows off her design skills with custom Pinterest board covers. Neat!
If you want to be known for your bold, impeccable, classy, unique, colorful, beautiful taste (or whatever it is that you do, blog about, and/or want to be known for), then make sure people who are checking out your boards see examples of that. Show off your work, but show off your inspiration, too.
8. Are you trying to build an actively engaged audience? Of course you are.
Celebrate them. Spotlight them. Molly Mahar (Stratejoy.com) has a whole board dedicated to the group she calls “The Tribe.” These are her customers, fans, and audience who have shared how they’ve used her products, coaching, and guides.
Such a fun way to promote and celebrate your audience!
How are you using Pinterest in support of your blog? How is your business using Pinterest to expand its audience or establish itself as a resource?