But first, you have to understand what makes a pin, well, pinnable.
This post breaks down Pinterest to teach you how to create unique, sharable pins and how you can use your Pinterest page to promote your blog and extend your blog’s reach.
Anatomy of a Pin
There are three parts to a pin:
Let’s go to Pinterest with a query or inspiration for using Pinterest for a business and type it into the search box. This query brings up images with the keywords “Pinterest,” “business.”
When you click an image that appeals to you, it takes you to the pin, which you can see is a simple image that includes a short text overlay, branding and a website.
When you click on the Pin, it takes you to the post associated with the pin:
In just a few steps I arrive at the Mom Blogger’s Club blog! The takeaway from this (and we’ll touch more on this later in the post) is that a good pin has a clear image, a clear and articulate title and description using keywords, and includes a link to your website.
We Love Widgets!
Before you start creating images for your website or blog, you should install the Pin it widget so people can pin and share your posts.
But, before linking your blog with Pinterest, you may need to do a little bit of blog and Pinterest housekeeping. First, if you’re not on Pinterest, then you need to be.
It’s a great tool to organize your life, to provide inspiration and to help you keep your blog on theme (a must for brand consistency).
A lot of people are unsure of whether to have a separate Pinterest account for their blog from their personal Pinterest account. If you are serious about expanding your blog’s reach, then you should set up a Pinterest business account. If you already have a Pinterest account, then you can convert it into a business account. The biggest benefit to having a Pinterest business account is that you can gain access to Pinterest’s analytics to track your pins and repins.
This doesn’t mean that your personality can’t come through on your Pinterest business account, but creating a business account is a great way to keep your image professional as well as appealing to sponsors and advertisers who may want to work with you. Don’t forget, you can always create “secret boards” so you don’t reveal content you aren’t ready to share or don’t want to share.
Make sure your Pinterest boards have relevant themes, content, and clear and concise keywords in the descriptions. Pinterest searches are generated by keywords, so if you post a pin that you created on rose bush gardening, it’s important to have “rose,” “bush” and “gardening” in the title and description of the pin so Pinterest doesn’t overlook it. If you’re going to have a board labeled “stuff,” make that a secret board until you can better organize it.
This infographic featured on social media blogger Jeff Bullas’ website gives a lot of valuable research on the effectiveness of images, which you should definitely take a look at, but this is the most important takeaway: On average, articles containing images that are relevant to the content have 94 percent more total views than articles without images.
*Check out our article on images and your blog.
That’s a pretty compelling statistic and clearly exhibits why it’s important to create an image with every blog post you publish! While you can optimize your content on your blog to be more searchable to Google and Bing, what people are most compelled to click is an image that relates to what they are searching for.
Create Unique, Branded Images to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website
When determining what image you should create to go with your post, it is important is to understand your own limitations. Don’t overthink it! And most important, be patient with yourself. Learning a new skill is never a quick and easy process.
Programs such as Photoshop, Canva and PicMonkey can help you to create beautiful images, but don’t forget to add your brand to the image (only if you created it yourself, do not brand a re-pinned image!). You can also use PosterMyWall to create professional, stunning and on-brand Pinterest graphics in a matter of minutes for free by simply customizing their templates. At the very least, you should include your website or blog address, or your logo if you have one.
Also, the image you use on your blog will have to be sized differently for Pinterest, Facebook and other social media sites. Rebekah Radice of rebekahradice.com says her sweet spot for Pinterest is an image that is 735x1200. Naturally, Pinterest has a board dedicated to this conversation if you don’t quite understand sizing images. Keep this social media cheat sheet handy to use across your social media outlets. Or here’s a shortcut: just pick the Pinterest graphic size when creating a design on PosterMyWall or resize an existing design to Pinterest graphic size for free.
There also are a few interesting trends for what pinners prefer: tall images over short images, light images over dark images and warm-colored images over cool-colored images. Utilize these data trends to guide your graphics.
Not sure where to begin? Start a Pinterest board of images that you have the capability of simulating! Just remember to be mindful of Fair Use and copyright protections.
*Study up on fair use guidelines in our blog post.
If you create images that you would pin yourself, then chances are someone will want to pin your image too, which in turn exposes your pin and blog or website to that person’s network, and so on and so on.
Titles and Descriptions: Dangle a Carrot
Like I mentioned above, keywords are vital in populating pins. If you create a blog post on rose bush gardening, give your pin a clear title and add a little teaser about the content of your post in the description box, but keep it under 200 words.
Also, remember that your blog posts shouldn’t state the super obvious that just anyone can find from a Google search.
What’s your special trick that you use to keep your rose bush garden beautiful? Is it a tip that your grandmother taught you? Consider this title: “Tips I Learned from my Grandmother to Create a Stunning Rose Bush Garden” compared with “Rose Bush Gardening.” Which would you rather read? The first title, along with a beautiful image and a little bit of text overlay will give you a pin that will stand out above your selfie in your rose bush garden taken at an awkward angle.
If you blog about motherhood and publish a post on breastfeeding, consider a compelling description such as this: “What I Wish I Knew about Breastfeeding with my First Child.” You want to give readers some context about the post but also dangle a carrot in front of them to entice them forward.
One thing you should know about Pinterest titles and descriptions is that you can leave out the hashtags, or only include one at the most, because the Pinterest search function does not support hashtags.
If you use a lot of hashtags in your pin, then Pinterest could demote your pin because it will appear “spammy,” so save the hashtags for Twitter when you tweet about your newest blog post (more on that next!).
Broadcast your Post Across Social Media
If you publish a blog post and then don’t broadcast it on your social media channels, then chances are no one is going to read it outside of your devoted readership. Pinterest offers lots of widgets to connect your blog, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and everything else all together. Spend some time on Pinterest’s “Getting Started” to become familiar with all the tools Pinterest has to offer.
Here’s what a social media widget look like:
Adding these social media widgets help connect your blog with Pinterest and Pinterest to your blog, so it creates a two-way street for readers to discover you. Once you publish your post, tweet out the URL and post your image on Facebook, Google+ and all your other social channels. Don’t be afraid to ask for retweets and shares!
Pinning Etiquette and Best Practices
Please and thank you still go a long way in this world. A re-pin is a lot like a retweet. If someone re-pins one of your pins, be sure to tell them thank you in the comments section of the pin and use an @ tag to notify the users.
Also, engage with other pinners on Pinterest. If someone pins something you’re really into, let them know! Just like you, they are trying hard to be noticed above everyone else, and maybe they’ll return the favor. A conversation between two people on social media can quickly grow!
Familiarizing yourself (or becoming obsessed) with Pinterest will help you to become better at recognizing what people are interested in pinning. Pinterest has a lot of boards dedicated to better utilizing its website and the tools, and because of its popularity, there is no lack of resources on the Internet to find the information you need.
And, of course, when you find a good piece of information, pin it!
Add your Pinterest page link in the comments section below so we can all get Pinspiration from each other!