November 30, 2017

The New Bloggers Guide to Pinterest

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Hi There! I'm so excited for your new adventure with blogging.  When I first looked into marketing my blog on Pinterest, I was utterly confused. I remember thinking, "I just don't get it" It was a real low point for me. I researched on Pinterest, Google, and YouTube for different tutorials and explanations about "How to use Pinterest to Market your Blog"  Through hours of trial and error, I finally figured out tips and tools to make it less overwhelming. .  Let's get started, Shall We?  

Commercial Break: Pinterest is not a social media platform.  It is a search engine.  Think Google but with lots of pictures attached.

The New Bloggers Guide to Pinterest

STEP 1: CREATE A BUSINESS ACCOUNT

Step 1: Create a business account with Pinterest for your blog. Its fast, easy, and totally free! What's even better is that it comes with the big A word. Analytics. You can look at how well your pins are performing, how many saves you are getting, and even how many times people click through your pins.  On your profile, make sure you do 3 things. 1. Confirm your website.  It gives you more validity with Pinterest as a real user.  All you have to do is follow the directions and it should be valid within a few minutes if not seconds. 2. Have a nice picture on your profile.   3. Create a nice concise bio to tell people who you are and what your blog is all about.

Pro Tip: Make your profile picture a picture of yourself.  People connect more with real people than a brand image.

STEP 2: CREATE BOARDS

Whether you are switching your personal account or creating a brand new business account, you need to make sure you have Boards with high quality pins for people to follow and re-pin.  I recommend between 10-15 boards with at least 20 pins to start out.  I usually keep my new boards secret until I have at least 20 pins.  That way I have enough content on a board to entice someone to follow the board and re-pin content.  When naming your boards, don't forget to utilize SEO.  Instead of "Good Munchies" write "Healthy Snacks". That title is much more search engine friendly, and will result in more views.

Pro Tip: Use the Pinterest search bar to see the most popular searches for a particular board name.  The most popular search phrase will pop up as you begin to type.

STEP 3: CREATE HIGH-QUALITY IMAGES FOR YOUR PINS

Pinterest users will re-pin vertical images more than horizontal images.  The program I use for images uses 735px X 1102px. This makes for nice long vertical images for all of my pins. I recommend looking at your newsfeed and really studying the pins that make you want to click through.  While re-pins are great, you actually want someone to click through to your blog post.  Questions to ask are: What do I like about the images? What types of fonts do I like?  What do I like about the placement of the words on the pictures? What don't I like? What do I like about the wording of the blog title? These questions will help you to create High-Quality pins. 

You can use a variety of programs to create pins and other blog graphics. I personally use Canva.com as its so user-friendly and once again Free.    With Canva you can click directly on the Pinterest image template (and so many other templates) and get started. Download your images and then simply upload them into your Pinterest account.

Pro Tip: Choose a few specific formats for all of your blog pins to add more brand consistency. It helps save time because you just need to change wording, and looks great on your profile. I use 1 format for How-To's and another for other Title slides.  The design may vary touch but still gives a cohesive look to my graphics.

STEP 4: CREATE MULTIPLE IMAGES FOR EACH POST. 

You want to get your post in front of as many people as possible so you need to create multiple images for each post.  That way people have different images to choose from when they pin from your site.  Additionally, you also have multiple pins to schedule. We will get more into scheduling later.  I recommend having at least 3-5 images for each blog post.  I normally make 3 different blog title slides and 2 images with a punchline from my blog. Here's an example of what they look like

 

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 There are 2 ways you can "store" these images. 1. You can hide them within your blog post.  There are a lot of tutorials on how to do this. I recommend looking at a YouTube video to get a step by step look at the process.  This is a little complicated for me, so I do things a differently.  Within my Pinterest, I have a secret board titled Additional Blog Images. I store my additional pins on this board. This is my process. 1. Create additional blog graphics. 2. Upload the blog images that are not in your blog post. 3. Copy and paste the URL for the post into the URL section. 4. Write a description that will engage a pinner to re-pin or click through to your site. 5. Save it to your Additional Images Board. 6. Re-pin it to other boards and schedule it out (more on that later).  The only downside is that my readers from my site are limited to only the images in my post. However, I haven't found that to be a huge problem.

Pro Tip: How-to Titles get a high number of re-pins and click throughs. Try to give tips or steps where applicable and create nice How-to titles to engage more pinners.

 

STEP 5: SCHEDULE OUT YOUR PINS

Earlier, I mentioned that you need those additional images for scheduling you pins.  Pin scheduling is simply using a program to pin for you.  Its that simple.  There are 3 reasons you should schedule your pins. 1.The more you pin the more your content will be seen. 2. You can't always pin at the high traffic times or throughout the day because of work, school, and life. 3. It helps you to stress less about Pinterest and focus in more on other aspects of your marketing strategy.  There are a few pin schedulers, but I will talk about the one I use, Tailwind. This pin scheduler saves me so much stress.  I sometimes upload pins several weeks out. Some people even schedule for months at a time. 

The Cost:Tailwind is not a free service, but it's totally worth the cost.  It costs just $15/month or $119/year.  There is a free trial that allows you to schedule up to 100 pins before you have to upgrade. How awesome is that!

The Process: To use Tailwind, simply download the browser extension into your webpage.  Once you do that, you can simply click and schedule  any image to your Tailwind account. Whenever you hover over an image, you will see a blue wing like (wind-like?) icon pop up. Click on that icon and another webpage will open asking you what Pinterest Board you want the pin added into.  Once you have typed your Board just click save and it goes into your Tailwind drafts.  On your Tailwind Account you will see a  tab in the menu that says Publish.  Click the tab and your draft section will come up. Now all you have to do is make sure all of the pins have a board, description, and URL.  Tailwind will let you know which pins are missing which information.  Then, click schedule and you will see your time slots fill up. No more worrying about needing to pin throughout the day. It's all taken care of.  Although I schedule my pins, I still  manually pin for a short time each day or every other day.

Pro Tip: Schedule 50% your content and 50% other content from Pinterest and other bloggers.

STEP 6:  JOIN GROUPS JOIN GROUPS JOIN GROUPS

One of the best ways to get your content in front of a wider audience is to pin into group boards.  I use both Pinterest and Tailwind to pin to group Boards. 

The Purpose: Groups Boards are simply a place where bloggers collaboratively share each others content. For, example, if your niche is lifestyle, you should try to find lifestyle group Boards. Pin your content and pin someone else's content.  Most boards have a 1:1 or 1:2 pin ratio. So, for every pin you upload you should re-pin someone else's content from the the Group Board into your individual boards.  You can even just name a Board for Other Bloggers Content.  

The Search: There are many ways you can find group boards for your niche.  You can look at the people that you follow and see what group Boards they participate in. Or, you can also use a website like pingroupie.com to find niche specific group Boards.

The Invite: To get invited into a group board, read the group's description. Many times they request you to follow the Board Creator and send a Pinterest message or email requesting to be added to the group. If there is no information, then you can just click on the first person's image listed on the group Board( the Board's Creator) and send them a message asking for an invite.

I also use Tailwind Tribes.  It is the equivalent of group boards, but through Tailwind.  The best Part is that you don't have to have a Tailwind account to use Tailwind Tribes.  In Tailwind, you can actually search for a Tribe with your niche keywords.  

Pro Tip: Be sure to write a professional email.  Your blog is your business. This email is a reflection of it, so you should use the same professionalism that you would when sending an email to your boss.

You Can Do It!

There are so many other aspects of Pinterest marketing, but this should give you a good start.  When you implement these steps you will see more traffic being driven to your website, gain more subscribers and followers, and become more confident using Pinterest with your blog.  When you feel overwhelmed, simply,  walk away and come back later.  Don't try to do it all at one time.  Give yourself at least a week to start diving in and marketing your blog with Pinterest.