I just finished doing a month-long Pinterest challenge with a few other bloggers. The purpose of the challenge was to see if I could dramatically increase the amount of traffic to my blog from Pinterest. You, like me, have probably read tons of testimonials and case studies that talk about bloggers who got tons of traffic from pins that went viral.
Our Pinterest challenge consisted of dedicating 15 minutes a day to being active on Pinterest. We did a variety of different things; following new people, cleaning up boards, creating new boards, and pinning new posts, or old ones.
In terms of increasing my Pinterest presence, the challenge was a big success. In terms of driving traffic to my blog… not so much. You can read all about that here. My feeling is, people love Pinterest, and spend a ton of time on there, searching and pinning, but at the end of the day, it’s just window shopping. Very few people actually click the link. It’s possible I just haven’t hit on the formula for a viral pin, yet. But I’m unsure if such a formula even exists. Anything going viral consists of having great content, great timing, and a little luck. It’s hard to break that code.
However, I did learn some great things this month, so here are my Pinterest Tips for Bloggers:
1. Be present. I know this seems painfully obvious, but if you want to be successful on a social network, you need to be on it. Regularly. Every day. It works.
2. The more people you follow, the more people will follow you back. Again, it’s pretty obvious, but if you follow a bunch of folks, at least some of those folks will follow you back. The issue with following a ton of people is that it dilutes your feed. The fewer people you follow, and the more specific people you follow (based on what you like), the better your feed will be, and the more things you’ll find to post. However, when you start following more people, you’ll see more repeats cropping up in your feed. By the end of the month, after pinning on a daily basis, I could barely find anything new to re-pin.
3. Names count. What you call things makes a big difference to your Pinterest searchability. I would encourage you to put the name of your blog and your personal name in your title. I love a little whimsy myself, but make sure your boards are named in such a way that it’s clear what they are about. A board about ice cream, for example, could be called “We All Scream…” but a better bet would be to make sure the keywords “Ice Cream” appear somewhere in the board’s title.
4. Pin from Inside and Outside Pinterest: don’t just re-pin all the time. Bring new pins into Pinterest as well, they like that. It adds a nice variety to your boards.
5. Create pinnable images. I’ve written several blog posts about this already, so I won’t go into a ton of depth here, but don’t forget to attach the most beautiful photos you can possibly take to your blog post. Write the name of the blog post on the photo using a tool like Picmonkey, and you can watermark them, if you like, as well. Once you upload the photo, make sure you change the alt tags to a description of the photo, or a description of the blog post, as this will be what people will see when they pin it.
6. Infographics and DIYs rock. If you can show people in a photo how to do something, they will pin it!
7. Join some group boards. By far, the most success I’ve had on Pinterest so far has come from pins I have pinned to group boards. There is power there–bigger audiences. Check out PinGroupie for lists of group boards. Be aware some group boards have rules, like limiting to a certain amount of pins to the board per member, per day.
Now get pinning, bloggers! I’m hoping that someday I’ll stumble upon the elusive formula for a “viral pin.” But in the mean time… what are your favourite Pinterest tips?
Also, follow our group board: Pinterest Marketing Challenge