Whether you have a design blog that focuses on home décor or a business blog on restaurant credit card processing solutions, you’ve likely heard about the newest social media site, Pinterest. The virtual pinboard has caught the attention of the general Internet public, in addition to social media marketers, designers, artists, techies and bloggers.
For everyday Internet users, Pinterest is a simple, visually-appealing bookmarking tool for organizing ideas and inspiration – from recipes to home projects to party planning tips. For social media marketers, Pinterest is becoming an effective way to improve brands and promote products, services and lifestyles.
For bloggers, Pinterest can help you improve your site through inspiration, research, increased traffic and networking opportunities.
One of the main purposes of Pinterest is to provide users with an easy way to curate inspiration boards with images that link back to the original source. It’s a bookmarking tool, allowing you to dog ear your favorite images, posts, articles and how-to’s across the Web. Many bloggers use Pinterest to help brainstorm new ideas for blog posts, as the cure for writer’s block can sometimes be as simple as a single image. Or a blogger for Chicago Web designers might create a pinboard of interesting website layouts that inspires him to redesign his entire blog. If a certain image gives you a great idea, be sure to write a few notes in the description and you can pin it away for later use.
Not only can you collect your own inspiration, but by following users with shared interests, you can see what’s trending in your niche. If you write an environmental blog, for example, you can use the Pinterest search bar to see what people are pinning related to “sustainable packaging.” If hundreds of people are repinning images of corrugated cardboard designs, you can focus your next post on corrugated materials and potentially increase how much the post is shared across sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
You can also see what people are pinning from your blog by typing pinterest.com/source/yoursite.com in the address bar. This can give you a better idea of the topics that most interest your readers when they visit your site.
In February, Pinterest drove more traffic to blogs than Twitter did. Images can have a more powerful effect than headlines and links, with the ability to draw attention and evoke emotion in an instant, while tweets can get hidden among lines of text and are often truncated and poorly written. One way to drive traffic to your site through Pinterest is to create a board for your blog, and pin your own posts. Self-promotion is generally accepted among the Pinterest community, as long as all of your pins are not solely used to promote your blog. Pinning your own images means they should be pin-worthy, as well. With more visually appealing images accompanying each post, you encourage more people to pin from your blog.
Adding a “Pin It” button on your blog makes it even easier for your readers to pin from your site.
At its core, Pinterest is a social site, allowing users to share content with others and providing a great opportunity for bloggers to connect with the blogging community. Follow readers and other bloggers in your niche. Comment on their pins and use the @reply function to mention them in your own pins. Start a contributing board that invites people to share their images on a certain category or topic, and continue the conversation through your blog.
For example, if you write a business blog for a company that provides disposable latex gloves, start a contributing pinboard for Clean Kitchens. Invite fellow bloggers to contribute images of their dream kitchens, and tell your readers to check out the pinboard for inspiration. You’ll engage your readers, connect with other bloggers and build your brand.
Are you on Pinterest? How are you using it to improve your blog?