Who else would want to submit a simple snapshot and receive 90,000 views?
Everyone, I presume?
If you haven't been living under a rock, you've undoubtedly heard about Pinterest, the newest social media kid on the block that focuses on connecting users with interesting photos. You may have even heard some outlandish tales about people who recently began blogs and used them to attract a flood of visitors.
But I imagine you're perplexed.
How do blogs use Pinterest to drive traffic? Why does it seem like you're underutilizing this brand-new social networking platform? Why is Pinterest causing everyone else's traffic to pass you by like a freight train in the middle of the night?
I've got you covered, though. I delved into some of the web's most successful Pinterest case studies while conducting research for my upcoming book on Pinterest marketing to learn just how it all works.
And I came upon some intriguing tactics. I've chosen eight of the top blogging tactics for this article, along with some advice on how to put them into practice:
1. Employ photo IDs
Making "photo badges" and using them as the featured picture at the top of your blog posts is one of the finest methods to attract people to your website.
Consider Nester Smith, the creator of a site on interior design with almost 30,000 followers. Every time Nester writes a piece, she posts a gorgeous, moving, amusing, or motivational image. She is an excellent photographer, and she utilizes many of her own images on the site.
Every post by Smith includes at least one crystal-clear, high-quality image. However, she goes a step farther on several posts. A stunning photo badge she produces begs to be posted on Pinterest.
Smith typically adds the post's title to a photo for her photo badges. She ensures that the badge as a whole is eye-catching and captivating, and that the text is simple to read. Then she pins the picture to one of her Pinterest boards, making sure to include a link to her blog article in the picture's photo badge.
This method is effective. Since it was posted in 2010, Smith's straightforward-yet-beautiful photo badge from the article How to Paint Furniture Like a Pro has gotten over 90,000 page views and 55,000 pins.
Additional advice regarding photo IDs:
Use genuine photographs instead of text over a plain background. Real photos will garner more attention on Pinterest.
Use vibrant, eye-catching hues instead of neutral or dark ones (think light blue, pink, or yellow).
Keep your pins under 5000 pixels high because it is more difficult for people to re-pin pins that are taller.
The more effective this strategy is, the better your blog article title should be. If you want practical, honest tips on writing effective headlines, check out Jon's Headline Hacks report. (And don't be hesitant to bolster the sentiment with one or two additional strong words.)
2. Choose the right timing.
The short shelf life of pins is one of Pinterest's drawbacks.
An image or video that you pin is immediately added to the "New" pages of your followers. You have a very small window of opportunity after that for it to go viral on Pinterest. Others claim as little as 20 to 30 minutes.
Does that imply that all hope is lost if your photo doesn't go viral right away?
Not entirely, actually. Your pins do remain visible on your pinboards, and every now and then one of them will be repinned a few times or picked up by another user, which will bring you a little stream of traffic.
But the disparity is substantial. The number of individuals who will bother to look through your previous pins is negligible in comparison to the number of people who will view your image while it is new.
You must therefore consider timing strategically. By pinning your photographs when the most people will see them, you can make the most of your time in the Pinterest spotlight.
That's usually between 6 AM and 6 PM, Eastern time, but keep in mind that this is only a general guideline. When your audience is online and most likely to share your content, look at your blog's traffic statistics to determine when you typically receive the most visitors. Then, plan to pin at those times.
Is that terrible news?
There is currently no practical way to automate it. You have to be online and pinning during those Pinterest "peak times" because it isn't possible to construct a pin scheduling application until Pinterest provides its API to developers. Sorry.
3. Pin Fresh Content
Like other social media users, pinners enjoy fresh and creative material. So look for fresh content on the web to pin rather than merely repinning stale photographs from other users.
Be unique. Take risks. Be captivating.
You'll earn new followers and see an increase in the size of your Pinterest platform if you pin fresh content to the site once each day. Additionally, the more people click on links to your blog pieces when you pin them on Pinterest, the more traffic you will receive from Pinterest.
4. Obtain and Curate Outstanding Content
You are a curator on Pinterest if you collect and present amazing material related to your niche.
Professional curators gather, arrange, and display artifacts for museums and galleries in the real world. As an online curator, it is your responsibility to provide the same for your online audience.
When you curate content for Pinterest, you choose the best images and arrange them in a way that appeals to your target audience. To put it another way, you handpick only the most relevant photos and pin them to your boards.
If you do a good job, it will increase your authority and eventually make you the go-to person for cool photographs on your subject. When that occurs, you can sure they'll keep coming back to you, offering you plenty of opportunities to promote your site.
Get the goods, then. then pin the merchandise. Because your audience will expand rapidly if you are an excellent curator.
5. Don't constantly pin your own content.
You might be tempted to solely pin photos from your own website and blog when curating. If you sell things, you could want to create boards that just showcase your own products, those of your affiliates, or your blog entries, if you're a blogger or other type of content producer.
Defy the desire. With all your might, resist it.
You won't succeed as a pinner if all of your Pinterest pins are of your own content. You'll never experience the steady stream of targeted traffic you long for.
Some people advise limiting the number of pins that go to your own blog posts or product pages; some experts even advise sticking to just one each day.
Although I don't like arbitrary restrictions like this, I believe you'll be able to tell when you're pinning your own content too frequently. You'll have self-doubt. It won't feel pleasant either.
So trust your instinct. Don't be a schmuck, too. Post only quality stuff from other sources, and if it feels right, pin one of your own articles as well. By doing this, you will gain far more momentum than by continuously marketing yourself.
6. Provide more of what they desire.
Do you want to know which of your site's pictures and videos people have been pinning?
You can learn more by visiting the Pinterest source page for your website. To view your source page, navigate to www.pinterest.com/source/[yoursitehere.com].
You may find out which images are popular with Pinterest users by frequently visiting your source page. Give pinners more of what they enjoy after you know what they appreciate!
Develop Your Platform 7.
You need a large number of followers if you want Pinterest to send you a ton of traffic. Obtain a sizable following by:
Pinning a little bit each day, ideally during busy periods
Going to the "Popular" or "Everything" tabs on your Pinterest navigation bar will help you locate other intriguing individuals to follow.
Utilize Pinterest's integrated social media features to cross-post your pins to Facebook and Twitter.
8. Lead conversations
It makes sense to work on increasing the number of comments on your pins because Pinterest may be used to encourage discussion. Many of the fantastic recommendations from Jon's previous essay on how to increase blog comments also apply to Pinterest. Don't forget to reply to the comments you do receive, pose simple questions, give them some motivation, or tell them a moving story.
By holding regular discussions and curating excellent content for their followers, the members of the marketing team at pediatric staffing service PediaStaff have created a Pinterest empire for themselves. For inspiration, look through their discussion forums.
9. Sponsor Successful Competitions
Similar to other social media platforms, Pinterest allows for an excessive amount of contests. And some people can be critical of you for "buying" followers through competitions.
However, I believe you can hold a Pinterest competition that is successful. When done effectively, contests on Pinterest may both generate publicity for your company and interest among contestants.
To organize an effective competition:
Instruct your readers and followers to make pinboards around a certain topic. Recently, the London department retailer Harrod's encouraged its customers to submit ideas for storefronts based on the theme of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee this summer. For their Pinterest followers, Better Homes and Gardens also held a comparable "Dream House" competition.
Ensure simplicity. Don't make contestants complete five distinct tasks in order to participate. Make the procedure two-steps: Make a board, then let you know about it (through Twitter, email, or blog comment).
Make careful to make the rules crystal clear on your blog. Post a Pinterest board specifically for contests with a link to that blog post.
Your contest should start and end on time.
Make a big deal out of declaring the winner. You should announce the winner's board on your blog, discuss it on Twitter and Facebook, and create a lot of buzz about it on Pinterest if you want that person to receive a lot of positive press. More people will probably enter your next contest if you promote it more widely and announce the winner.
Avoid entering too many contests. Just once or twice a year is plenty.