Using Pinterest to Grow Your Blog

This week’s #pfchat focused on a tiny new social network every blogger should pay attention to. Scratch that. Pinterest isn’t tiny or new; in fact it’s now bigger than Twitter. So we called up our Pin-worthy friends and gathered a few expert tips on how bloggers should be using this massively addictive service.

Reminder: our Twitter chats are every other weekend and involve tips and reminders for how to build your blog business. Come join us by following #pfchat on Twitter.

This week I reached out to a couple friends who I knew were rocking Pinterest and could help us understand how to use it. Big thanks to these fine ladies for taking a few minutes to share:

First let’s lay down some Pinterest basics:



Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board

We’ve all pinned stuff we love onto actual cork bulletin boards. Pinterest is that but it’s everywhere and everyone uses it. It’s bigger than Twitter! Chances are, 80% of your followers are active on it.

Bulletin board, visual bookmarking, whatever you want to call it, it’s a super easy way to save and share the things you love.

It’s got a lot of the same underlying rules of etiquette as other social networks. Get on there and follow people, post regularly, and be careful to be polite with how much you post. They’ll even bring over all your Twitter friends.

Are you salivating yet? It’s a blogger’s dream! Use it right and you can explode on Pinterest and bring mad traffic to your blog.

Here’s how, in the words of our experts:



Tip #1: Make Pinterest a priority

Use it daily, but be careful to not overdo it. Engage on your posts, leave comments and follow people you like. Just like the other networks, the more time you spend, the more you’ll grow.

Everyone I talked to agreed: pin consistently but don’t flood the stream. Space out your pins, especially ones from your blog.

Tip #2: Pin from your own blog

Create a board for your blog and post pin-worthy images that link to your posts. Be sure to space out your selfish pins like these, and be sure not to pin more than one or two from your blog at a time. Otherwise your followers will get the message that you’re only in this for yourself.

It might be tempting to go back and pin from all your old posts. Do this slowly, one or two a day, so you don’t flood your stream with your own pins.

Top #3: Make your blog pin-friendly

Each post should have sharable photos, with good descriptions and pin-it badges.

Pin-friendly means different things to different followers. If your post is a how-to, create an image that summarizes the steps, like my steps 1-4 above. Overlaying your post’s title on top of your main post image is also a friendly way to provide an attractive image to pin. Other users prefer nice imagery without a lot of text.

You can also install a Pinterest pin-it button to your blog so each image has a nice quick link to pin that image. Here’s a pin-it button tutorial by Sarah Webb, or go right to Pinterest’s widget builder guide.

Get into the habit of putting your post title right into the image’s Alt tag so it will populate the pin with a good description.

Of course the key to this strategy is having a blog full of posts people want to share. Pinterest has actually helped me brainstorm better content by making me think of what value I’m providing to our readers. If you provide something of value, they’ll pin and share it.

Tip #4: Pin content from all different sources, not just your own blog

Pinterest is a place to share what you love from all over.

It’s tempting to re-pin posts all day too, but be sure to balance with original pins from all over the web. When you see something inspiring or shareable, pin it!

You can also use Pinterest to share the great things your followers and sponsors are doing. This is a great way to boost the value of your sponsorship packages and foster some good will within your blog following.

You’re crazy if you ignore this

Pinterest is becoming the top referrer for many of our favorite blogs. By doing just a few of these things, you can help your blog gain exposure for all the great content you’re producing and take advantage of the huge community on Pinterest.

Questions? Success stories? Let’s us hear it:

  1. Always appreciate your advice! One tip I would add is be aware which boards you should just flag as secret to stop flooding news feeds – like if your board has nothing to do with your personal brand or blog, it may be easier to just make that board secret so you don’t overwhelm your audience with unrelated content.

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