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A while back, Sean Platt and I wrote and published a book called How to Build A Blog, exclusively on Kindle, laying out an overview of my entire online audience-building framework.
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I have an admission: I joined Pinterest for fun.
I’m a 30-something professional woman, and I couldn’t resist its allure. Pinning recipes, crochet patterns, DIY beauty ideas, and quotes was too much fun to resist. And, of course, I pinned a few of my favorite blog posts from my own site.
And then something unexpected happened.Tweet it! Pinterest became my biggest referral traffic source (after Google organic search results.)
So I took notice. I did more of what was working – creating more boards, pinning more content – and saw my traffic from Pinterest continue to increase.
I have a service-based business (holistic health coaching), which means I don’t sell physical products. (Some online marketers will tell you that Pinterest is only good for businesses who sell physical products.)
That’s when I realized that Pinterest has serious potential to drive traffic to your website - if you approach it in the right way.
The problem is that most people don’t.
There are too many small businesses just creating 3 or 4 boards of their products, and leaving them to languish, unattended.
Let’s be honest: why would anyone want to follow a board of your products? They can get that off your website.
The key to generating traffic through Pinterest is making it easy, appealing and authentic to Pin your content.
The first step is to make the images on your site pin-friendly. Even if you’re not on Pinterest, you should use this strategy on your website.
It goes without saying that they should be high-quality images. Obviously your product photography will be good quality, but what about the photos that run with your blog post?
Every one of your blog posts should have a related image. This not only increases readability of the blog post, but it makes your post pinnable.
One strategy that has really worked for me is creating a “Title Image” at the head of each blog post. A title image is a related image onto which I’ve added the title of the blog post in a large font, and the URL of my website in a smaller font. You can see examples of this title image strategy on my website.Tweet it! Creating a pinnable image which includes the blog post title suddenly makes every blog post pinnable.
If you sell a physical product, it makes sense to pin photos of the product itself.
But what if you run a service-based business? What can you pin then?
You’ll need to pin your content (i.e. your blog posts.) I’ve seen the most re-pins with actionable content.
This makes sense, because the reader will pin something that she wants to learn to do, achieve, or create. And then she will have to click-through to your site, to actually learn how to do that thing.
That’s why you need to make it really clear in the pinnable image what she will learn. And when she clicks-through, she should go directly to the page where she can learn that thing (not to the main page of your website!)
For example, you might create a blog post that answers common reader questions, gives a list of top tips, or provides a recipe, how-to, or an action plan on a topic related to your business.
Then create a pinnable title graphic (see tip #1) for this post.
And pin it on a relevant board!
Here’s another tip for your website: make it as easy as possible for a reader to pin your content. (Again, even if you’re not actively using Pinterest, you should use this strategy.)
I’ve installed a WordPress plug-in on my site that displays a ‘Pin’ button when a reader hovers over the image. You could also put a little link below the image to pin the content.
Your readers are busy. They don’t want to think. Make it as easy as possible for them to take action and share your content on Pinterest.
Instead, you want to expand your brand and show your ideal customer that you understand her lifestyle, dreams, and aspirations.
Create a variety of boards that relate both to your business and to the lifestyle and aspirations of your ideal customer. For example, if you rent holiday homes, you would create boards showcasing your properties, but also featuring re-pins of regional food, tours, activities, travel tips, clothes to wear at the destination, etc.
Now, when you sprinkle your own blog posts and products into these curated boards, it feels natural – not salesy.
That’s how you’re going to drive traffic with Pinterest.
Look in the analytics section of Pinterest to see your “most repinned” pins. That gives you an idea of which types of pins are most effective.
Do more of those.
Rather than continually trying to come up with new types of pins, focus your time and energy on the type of pins that are resonating with Pinners.
Let’s not overcomplicate the analysis at this point. Do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t.
Pinterest is more than just pretty pictures – it can drive serious traffic to your website. The key is to make the images on your site pin-friendly by creating title images and making it easy to pin from your website. Then when you sprinkle your own pins across your boards, they will generate re-pins and click-throughs to your website.