Thursday, 15 October 2015

How To Use Pinterest To Promote Your Blog

As promised, today's post is all about using Pinterest to promote your blog.

How To Use Pinterest To Promote Your BlogSet up a business account/apply for rich pins
First, upgrade your account to a business account if you haven't already (just follow the simple steps on your profile).

You can now apply for rich pins. Rich pins are like normal pins, except they let you add far more text below the image. I have included them here because a lot of bloggers swear by them. I will be honest. I don't have, nor do I want, rich pins. I think the point of Pinterest is that the image speaks for itself. I simply make sure I change the alt text (at the point of adding the post) to the post title so it doesn't read something like img_001.

Create a pinnable image
You can pin any size image, but the ones that get seen within searches are portrait (the optimum size is 735x1102). A lot of bloggers like a landscape image that stretches the size of the post. By all means use these images, but always have at least one that's portrait. Why not make a collage of your landscape images to form one portrait one, and run it down the side of your post. Don't forget to add the post title (or whatever you want displaying under the pin) to the alt text of the images.

The image needs to be clear, and attractive. The ones that work best are crafts, recipes, drinks, make up/fashion tutorials, or "how to" ones. For "how to", add the title somewhere in the pin. (Use PicMonkey or something similar to easily add text to your images.)

Add the Pin It widget to your blog
You can easily add a widget. Click the little bolt icon from your profile page, choose "make a widget". Copy and paste the code to your side bar, or wherever you want the widget to display. It is now super easy for your readers to pin your images on their boards. I have a share button at the bottom of each post, and I have also installed SumoMe, so I have share buttons at the left hand side of each post for all social media channels.

Choose your approach
There are two ways to approach Pinterest.

What I call the gentle, non serious way. This is the method I use. I like Pinterest a lot, and I like to pin things I like, even if they don't bring in massive amounts of followers/re-pins. You will see a bit of extra traffic, but not a massive amount in my experience.

Then there's what I call the ruthless way. Not ruthless towards others, but ruthless in that you only pin tried and tested stuff and get rid of the rest!

I will share with you how each method works.

How To Use Pinterest To Promote Your Blog

The Gentle Way
1. Organise.
Set up your boards in categories of things you want to pin, and stick with them. You can add as few or as many as you want. People may then choose to only follow the boards that interest them.
 
2. Ratio rules!
As a rule of thumb, for everything of your own you pin, pin four posts from others. I honestly think this is only necessary if your blog is massively niched. People might get bored of your pins if they are all about the exact same thing, so mixing some others in can stop this. If your pins aren't too similar, I really think you can get away with it, but its still nice to spread the love. People are more likely to return the favour if you regularly pin their stuff!
 
3. The frequency of your pins.
People always say pin a lot of stuff - up to 100 a day I have read some places! I think you can go into over kill if you do too many at once. Pinterest will only display so many, so unless people specifically choose to look at one of your boards, they will see perhaps 5% of what you pin if you bulk pin. I wouldn't advise more than 20 in one go, less if you want to. I often only pin one or two at a time.
 
4. Use analytics
On your profile, click the little bolt icon to bring down a menu. From there, click analytics. This shows you your most popular pins. Try to pin similar things. You can also work out the best time to pin as long as you have a rough idea what time you pinned them.
 
The Ruthless Way

Remember when Pinterest decided we were all happy so they changed their algorithms? Basically, it seems they decided that the more popular you are, the more chance you should have to become even more popular. So if you have a lot of re-pins, your posts are more likely to be seen than if you don't have as many.

You can hope for the best that you get re-pinned enough to make it, or you can trick Pinterest into thinking you are popular.

Once it thinks you are popular, it will promote you more, which means more people see your pins, which in turn makes you popular.

So, here's the ruthless part (its also kind of time consuming if you have a lot of pins). To make Pinterest think you are popular, you have to get rid of content that isn't popular.

Let's say on average, you get 10 re-pins per pin (it may be less, it may be much more, choose a number fairly close to your average, then drop it a little.) Go through each of your boards, and look at each individual pin. If they have less re-pins than the number you decided on, delete them (see why I said it's ruthless?).

You may even delete full boards at this stage. Remember, you may lose a few followers this way if they only follow one board and you delete it.

Once complete, Pinterest algorithms now see all your pins as getting re-pinned, so they show your stuff more. If there's the odd pin (and I mean the odd one!) that you really don't want to part with, re-pin it yourself to a new board to get it's number up.

Once a month, go through and repeat the process, the number will be higher each month as your popularity increases and more people see your pins.
I haven't tried this method, but I know people who have and they all swear by it!

I wouldn't recommend this method until you already have a good number of followers and re-pins or you might find you have to delete more than you keep. If you want to give it a go and your re-pins aren't high, try deleting posts with none or 1 re-pins first!

If you delete something that has been re-pinned, it won't affect the re-pin. The people who have re-pinned will still have the pin visible on their boards so you won't upset anyone else!

How To Use Pinterest To Promote Your Blog


Best of both worlds
If you want use Pinterest seriously for your blog, but you want to pin fun things too, why not have a business account for your blog where you are ruthless, and a personal account for friends and family etc where you pin whatever you want to!

Have you tried the ruthless method? Did it work for you? Any tips to add? Let me know in the comments :)

You can find me here: Twitter Bloglovin Pinterest and Instagram Please do stop by and say hi!

You Baby Me Mummy
Binky Linky
Domesticated Momster
thumbnailsize

58 comments:

  1. Ohhhhh wouldn't have thought about the ruthless part!! Will give that a go. Got a whole list of blog jobs at the moment but really trying to grow my following across social medias so this is a big help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My to do list is far bigger than my done list lol! Glad you found it useful :)

      Delete
  2. There is a science to everything. And here I thought Pinterest was about saving your stuff on line. hah!!! I don't know how ruthless I can be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think technically it is, that's how I use it - things I like or want to refer back to, but you're right, there is a science to everything! I couldn't do the ruthless thing!

      Delete
  3. Bookmarking this. Pinterest is the one platform I haven't gotten into yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope this helps :) I find Pinterest one of the most fun platforms!

      Delete
  4. Ooooh! so helpful. Thank you for sharing.

    Ana
    http://anarazon.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/make-up-revolution-london-focus-fix.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great tips for all bloggers out there! I'm not great at self-promotion, so thanks for sharing x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I'm glad you found it helpful :) x

      Delete
  6. Great post. I don't use Pinterest much and didn't even realize they used a new algorithm. I have a local family days out blog though so I'm not sure Pinterest is really worth my time? I'd love to know if anyone in a similar niche to mine has made Pinterest work for them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good question! Honestly, I think it would be quite difficult because only people local to you are likely to save the pins for checking back later. You could maybe still join in your blog's name but use it more for pinning stuff that interests you and just try to build up brand awareness.

      Delete
  7. I love pinterest but not great working out how to apply it to my business. I have loads of secret boards to keep some of the personal pins seperate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Secret boards are a great idea if you want to pin things that you don't want to share. It's good because they won't affect your ranking either :)

      Delete
  8. Useful advice. I set up Pinterest because everyone said you should, but couldn't see how it helps at all & barely use it. I suspect that pinterest will never really work well for people who don't use or emphasise images in their blog, like me. #justanotherlinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) Yes, it is all about images! Just have fun with it instead, pin all the things you love :)

      Delete
  9. I used to find Pinterest worked really well for bringing traffic to my blog, but even though I do all the things listed, I don't find it works as well nowadays :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've only been using it for a couple of months so I haven't really noticed a change. Wish they would leave them dam algorithms alone though!

      Delete
  10. Thanks for the tips, loads I didn't know. Pinterest gives me a headache, but I hadn't a clue about the popularity thing so will have to get ruthless. #justanotherlinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, glad it helped :) Get ruthless!

      Delete
  11. What great advice! If I can manage to fit it in to my hectic schedule then I will try the ruthless approach and see how out goes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) It takes time, but even if you have five spare minutes here and there it can be done, it doesn't all have to be done in one go, although you probably won't see massive results until it is mostly complete!

      Delete
  12. This is fabulous as I have been meaning to get onto pinterest for ages but not managed to get around to it until now. I even bought a book to help but it has sat on the shelf for 6 months. Have bookmarked this for when I have a spare hour or two to get started on pinterest. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go for it, it's such a fun network! Thank you, I hope it helps you :)

      Delete
  13. Thank you for this - I've always used pinterest personally to get ideas for recipes and crafts but have only just set up a blog account. I was trying to get my head around what to do next.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope this helps you, good luck with your new account :)

      Delete
  14. Very informative! I don't use pinterest but will most definitely be getting on it and using some of your suggestions! Thanks! #momsterslink

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) Good luck with Pinterest and I hope this helps you once you get started!

      Delete
  15. Pinterest is still a bit of a mystery to me so thank you for this, very useful! #binkylinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, I'm glad you found it useful :)

      Delete
  16. This is interesting. I'm still not focussing on pinterest yet. Maybe when I have more time in the future! thanks for sharing these tips Debbie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) More time sound good to me, if you learn the secret to getting some let me know lol :)

      Delete
  17. I love pinterest for myself and use it all the time for inspiration. Pinning a lots is not a problem :) I've only recently started to think about using it in a more businesslike way so these tips are perfect and I will take some time to go through pins and boards soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If its just for yourself, I say have fun with it, and don't worry about who sees it :) Thank you, good luck with it!

      Delete
  18. I love Pinterest but I don't use it anywhere near it's maximum potential for my blog. It was really interesting to read the ruthless method, I will have to give that a try. Thanks for sharing your tips :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here, I tend to just pin what I like :) Thanks, good luck with it!

      Delete
  19. Really interesting post thanks for linking to the binkylinky

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love Pinterest for finding things like Cupcake designs or arts and crafts things, but I rarely use it for my own blog! Great post! Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use it a lot for finding shoes and fashion (which is weird as I hate shopping lol). Thank you and thanks for hosting :)

      Delete
  21. I am trying to get to grips with Pinterest, great post, thank you for sharing. Kaz x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck, hope this has helped you :) Thanks x

      Delete
  22. Perfect post hun. I love Pinterest LOADS!
    You have nailed it on the head.
    Charlotte x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, glad you liked it :) I love Pinterest too! x

      Delete
  23. When I started my blog I used Pinterest a LOT to promote my blog but I wasn't getting anywhere with it. Maybe I was doing something wrong... Not sure. But I think I have to redo the whole Pinterest concept with my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think its a bit hit and miss unless you play to their algorithms, otherwise I think a lot of it is luck if people happen to see your pins.

      Delete
  24. Oh this is great to read, since I really must start to tackle Pinterest. I've been meaning to set up on there for ages.

    So you've inspired me. I'm going to do it! Thank you, some great advice there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, so happy to have inspired you! Good luck with your new Pinterest :)

      Delete
  25. Great post. I really need to get into Pinterest more as I love browsing just don't use it for the blog. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) I do use it for my blog, just not as effectively as I could but I enjoy it! Thanks for hosting :) x

      Delete
  26. Wow this is so useful! I never realised that Pinterest promotes popularity but that's definitely worth a go! Thanks for sharing this! #justanotherlinky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) Yeah, I think their theory is if your pins are popular, people will want to see more of them!

      Delete
  27. Woah! Mega fascinating. I've not thought about pinterest properly since January 2014 when i did the whole pin 100 times a day thing and that grew my followers from about 100 to over a 1000 in a month, then I got a side-tracked with the other 1million things bloggers have to do. I then totally lost track as you say, they changed the old algorithms so this has really helped me feel I could have another go :) Thanks for linking up to #TheList xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the old way was better, certainly easier to understand! Good luck with it if you decide to give this method a go :) Thank you and thanks for hosting x

      Delete
  28. I am starting to learn about pinterest so this is another great post. thanks so much for sharing it with us x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it has helped you get to grips with it! Thank you :) x

      Delete
  29. I too have been studying Pinterest a lot...well not lately as I have reached a blogger burnout lately and can't seem to shake it. These are all great tips and some I didn't know about. Thanks for sharing them with #momsterslink.
    ❤️Trista

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That doesn't sound good, hope you manage to shake it soon! Thank you and thanks for hosting :)

      Delete