To explain “what is Pinterest” and how it can grow your lifestyle blog, let me make a confession… There’s an old and tired looking pin board next to our kitchen backdoor. It’s a memento of a time when everyone used to pin up their favorite photos on a rectangular corkboard.
Pictures of my son (when he was still smaller than me), catch my eye when I walk past. Images of a boy playing among the rocks at Fontainebleau are fading, with the paper curling up at the edges.
But what has this got to do with Pinterest?
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Pinterest is like your old corkboard on steroids. Family snapshots are hidden away on secret boards, (heaven forbid anyone else will see them). Instead, your public profile is full of make-believe. Pinboards with the perfect recipes, the latest fashions, and the best possible decor.
It’s a world of reinvention. Like a marketer’s dream come true…
Pinterest Tips For Bloggers
Just in case you haven’t been swept up into the Pinterest bubble, this post sets out the basics. (And why you should be bothered). Think of it as a beginners guide…
- What is Pinterest?
- Why use Pinterest for blogging?
- How does Pinterest work for bloggers?
- Fresh content for Pinterest.
- What are Pinterest Pins and what size should they be?
- What are Boards?
What Is Pinterest?
In the words of the company “Pinterest inspires you to discover and do what you love”. Think of the platform as lots of different pin boards. You discover ideas (or Pins) on other people’s pin boards and repin these ideas to your own pin boards.
Your boards can be viewed by other pinners or kept secret, it’s up to you. You may chose to create boards that inspire other people or use boards for personal projects.
Your pins and boards are saved in your profile. Anyone can view your profile but your secret boards stay hidden from view.
Why Use Pinterest For Blogging?
At 400 Million Monthly Active Users (MAU’s), Pinterest is tiny compared with the 2.7 Billion MAU’s enjoyed by FaceBook. Yet, bigger isn’t always better. Pinterest users are predominantly female and represent all adult age groups. It’s become a huge community for Mom Bloggers and Etsy Creators.
Pinterest is basically a search engine and users are actively searching for ideas, products, and solutions to their problems. This can make Pinterest an excellent source of traffic. As an extra plus, it’s often overlooked by competitors. Pinterest is a growing platform and the users are from high-income countries (predominantly the US).
Whereas people use FaceBook to connect with their friends, Pinners, (as users like to be called), are actively searching for products and solutions and are far more likely to engage with your material.
How Does Pinterest Work For Bloggers?
There are two ways Pinterest can work to grow your blog.
First, use rich pins on your blog.
What does this mean?
Having the little red Save It icon on your site images. If visitors to your blog see something they like, they can pin the image to one of their Pinterest boards.
With rich pins, the pinned information picks up information from your blog post. This can be anything from real-time pricing and availability if your blog sells products to a list of ingredients for recipes.
How do you get rich pins?
Yoast provides a quick and easy solution to validating rich pins…
Validate Your Rich Pins Using Yoast
Once you’ve signed up for a Business Account you need to validate your rich pins. Check the Pinterest instructions for setting up Rich Pins, but currently this neat trick makes the set up process so much easier.
- Open Yoast Social tab in your dashboard and check that Open Graph Meta Data is enabled.
- Open up the Rich Pin Validator in Pinterest.
- Enter a URL from one of your posts and hit validate. (I found it didn’t work entering my home page URL, I had to add the URL of a blog post). You just need to do this once.
Add Pinterest Save It Buttons To All Images
Pinners visiting your blog will love sharing your material if it’s full of inspiring recipes, home decor tips, fashion ideas, or any of the long list of topics popular on Pinterest.
I have Pinterest Save It buttons on all images on my lifestyle blog and pinners frequently share my material.
After some experimenting with other plugins, I now use Grow by Mediavine for my social sharing and save it buttons.
Become An Active Pinner
Secondly, you can use Pinterest to actively entice traffic to your site. I use Pinterest with huge success to send traffic to my lifestyle blog.
If you have a brand new blog with very little traffic, becoming an active pinner could be a great way to drive traffic to your site.
There are a few provisos…
- You have to take Pinterest seriously and pin new pins regularly. Fresh content works best.
- It needs to be a good match for your blog.
- You need to create beautiful pins with clear enticing images and/or text. The type of pin design depends on your niche.
I use the scheduler Tailwind to save time and make sure I pin regularly throughout the day. One of the huge advantages of Tailwind is Tailwind Communities.
These are groups you can join where you interact with other pinners. You share your pins with the community and in return share the pins of other members. It was Tailwind Communities that exploded my lifestyle blog in my second month of blogging.
You can read all about it here:
✅ I’ve negotiated a $30 credit for Simply Hatch readers towards your first Tailwind subscription. You can claim your credit via this link.
Fresh Content For Pinterest.
Pinterest does take some hard work if you want to really grow traffic to your blog. You can’t just build a few boards, design some pins and keep re-scheduling old pins and content.
This used to work. Pinners pre-2019 could keep recycling old material and still grow their audience but these days Pinterest sees this approach as spam.
Instead, Pinterest rewards creators – pinners who add fresh content to Pinterest. In fact, Pinterest relies on creators to keep adding new material. Otherwise, the feed would be one long list of adverts with nothing to interest the platform users.
Ideally, try and add 1 – 3 new pins a day. These don’t always have to be linked to fresh or substantially updated posts. Instead, you can continue to promote old posts but you do need fresh images for each new pin.
What Are Pinterest Pins And What Size Should They Be?
A pin is an image that links to a post or website page. The recommended pin image size is 1000 by 1500 pixels. This is also referred to as a 2:3 scale image. This can be a large image to add to a blog.
The plugin Grow By Mediavine recommends you add or schedule the full-size image to Pinterest but add a slightly smaller, 800 x 1200 image, to your blog. You can add the Pin ID to your scaled image using the Grow plugin, so Pinterest will relate back to the original full-sized image whenever anyone shares your post.
Pins can be just images or images with text. It depends on your niche. My pins all have text on them designed to hook customers. Niches such as fashion, food, and interior design seem to work best with just images.
All pins need a description and should link to a relevant post or page on your site. It’s important that the pin description matches the linked post. For best results make sure keywords used in the pin title match the keywords in your post.
What is repinning?
If someone visits your boards and sees a pin they like, they can pin it to their own board. This is called repinning. Confused?
- Pinning is creating your own content or sharing material you’ve found online.
- Repinning is sharing pins (to your own boards or group boards) you’ve discovered on Pinterest.
Unlike other types of social media, Pinterest isn’t about commenting and interacting, it’s all about the pinning. Instead, think about Pinterest as a search engine. It’s not as sophisticated as Google but it’s still a search engine.
What Are Boards?
Okay, I’m guessing you’ve got the idea by now that Pinterest boards are virtual pinboards. It’s the old corkboard by my kitchen backdoor with a digital face-lift.
You can create as many boards as you want. One for every topic. Plus you can pin away to each board as much as you want. (Pinterest does have an account limit of 200,000 pins but that’s a lot of pins).
It’s best for blogs to make sure your boards reflect your blogging niche. If you want to pin those must-have new shoes use a secret board. A secret board is only visible to you and it’s a good way to keep your personal and business pinning separate.
There are also group boards where pinners collaborate to share their pins. Group boards will be based on a certain topic. Regrettably, Pinterest has tired of the way group boards are now used purely for promotion and tends to give less exposure to these boards.
My post on Pinterest SEO teaches you how to increase the visibility of your boards:
Does Pinterest Work For All Blogs?
I don’t think you can ever expect one social media channel to work for every blog but Pinterest does cover a lot of niches.
These statistics from Hootsuite make interesting reading:
- Pinterest is most popular with women, especially Moms
- It’s the third-largest social network in the US.
- At 29%, 25 to 35-year-old women are the largest ad group followed at 15% by 35 to 44-year-old women.
- Shopping is a top priority for 48% of users.
- High-income households are twice as likely to use Pinterest as low-income households.
If this matches your target blogging profile, you need to be on Pinterest!
Pinterest has 36 categories. Aside from the catch-all categories, Popular, Everything, Gifts, and Videos, the categories cover just about every popular topic. The most popular categories are Food & Drink, DIY & Crafts, Home Decor & Women’s Fashion.
This doesn’t mean the other categories won’t drive significant traffic to your business. Even if your business doesn’t quite match categories you can still benefit from using Pinterest. (I tend to stick my blogging boards in DIY & Crafts – it still works).
Here’s the full list of Pinterest Categories:
- Animals & Pets
- Cars and Motorcycles
- Celebrations & Events
- DIY & Crafts
- Food & Drink
- Hair & Beauty
- Fitness & Health
- Home Decor
- Illustrations & Posters
- Kids & Parenting
- Men’s Fashion
- Science & Nature
- Women’s Fashion
It’s quite a curious list. Don’t be put off if your topic isn’t an obvious match, it really won’t matter. Unless your niche is extremely obscure, you’ll still find interested people to follow you on Pinterest.
Conclusion – What Is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a search engine where pinners create pins and share information in a very visual way. It’s an excellent opportunity to reach women in the 25 to 44 age ranges, particularly US-based Moms.
There’s an extraordinary breadth of topics pinned on the platform and unlike other social media platforms, pinners are actively searching for products and solutions.
It takes time to learn how Pinterest works and build up a following. The key is consistency. It won’t work for your blog if you just pin a few times then forget about it. You really need to be pinning fresh content 1-3 times a day.
Using the scheduler Tailwind can be a big time saver allowing you to pin regularly throughout the day. Tailwind is an approved Pinterest scheduler and you have the added advantage of using Tailwind Communities to boost your visibility.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pinterest is a visual search engine to help you discover ideas for fashion, recipes, home decor, crafting and so much more. Pin your favorite ideas to boards just like a virtual corkboard!
Creators post images called “pins” to a virtual pinboard. Visitors to the platform can view these pins, choose to follow boards, and share “pins” to their own boards.
Bloggers use Pinterest to grow traffic to their blogs and receive income from ad networks. You need a high level of traffic (50,000 sessions per month) to apply to the premium network Mediavine. With a smaller blog, it’s best to make money from affiliate marketing or sponsored posts and use Pinterest for promotion.