Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to Optimize Your Blog for Pinterest

Pinterest is my baby. It's where I started falling in love with fashion and crafting and baking and it's also a large part of my blog social media incorporation. A lot of people ask me about it and blogging, but Pinterest is actually a HUGE benefit when it comes to blogging.

Now before you read this whole post, you might as well follow me on Pinterest!

A little side note: I think that a lot of blogs start from one main source of social media, and mine happened to be Pinterest. I really don't know how I have followers other than the fact that I got one four years ago when you still had to have an invite to join (yeah, major throwback). So it's not like I just woke up one day with a following!

Pinterest is great for growing traffic on your blog, so I've written out why it is and how to optimize Pinterest to do so.



Put images on your blog that you can imagine seeing on Pinterest. 

I'm not saying you have to change everything on your blog, but especially if your post is more writing-focused, adding in a few images that you can pin that will adequately show what your post is about is absolutely fantastic. One person who's incredible at this is Sarah, and it was actually her questions about Pinterest that prompted some of this post. Here's an example of her photo and how beneficial Pinterest really can be:


This was genuinely a post that I wanted to save to my board for college preparation and the photo showed that this was a link to 'tips for storage, decorating, and saving space', while showing an example of Sarah's dorm for aesthetic purposes. It may seem silly at first, but creating images that you can put onto your blog that have text in them are crucial. I don't even have any big photo editing software, but I use the heck out of Google Drawings to edit images into pinnable ones or create text images.

Pinned? Duh. And look at the repins. This brings me to another great aspect of Pinterest...

Everything can be shared and shared again.

As opposed to something like Twitter or Instagram where your tweet or photo only has the ability to reach out to a select few and die down, once a pin is uploaded and repinned, it can be spread over and over again. You don't have to have a lot of followers for your pin to be seen! The only downside to this is that there's no way to collect the total amount of repins, but hey, I ain't complainin'.

When you edit your caption, put the name of your blog in it. 

It's all about branding yourself and your blog. Pinterest's 'Pin It' button automatically puts the name of your site and the title of your post in the caption, but in the event that you want to change it, I still recommend keeping the name of your blog in it. This way, when someone repins you, you're still branding yourself. It's also beneficial for doing a search on your blog name. If I'm looking for pins from my blog on Pinterest or someone's doing the same, then all of my blog pins pop up.

Here's an example:


Keep your captions simple but intriguing.

I know that hashtags are the tempting things that we all love and adore (#fun #friends #girl #cute #instagood #love #like4like-- sound familiar?! Just kidding, we don't love these hashtags, but know that it gets likes on Instagram), but they're annoying on Pinterest. I'll be honest. I'm sorry if you use them, but I feel like it clutters up an otherwise normal caption with them and doesn't really get you any more repins. Keep them simple (no hashtags or links in the caption) but get a way for people to click on them. Examples can be things such as "Click to read how..." or "Always wanted to know ____?" or "Easiest recipe for chocolate chip cookies!". Emphasizing that your post will teach you how to do something or that your post has the 'best' or 'easiest' of something is always a great way for people to not only repin you, but click on the pin that links to your post.

For example, I've seen success with this pin in particular:


Also, I recommend changing your captions for each pin, especially when you have several images of one similar thing. Use a guess and check for this to see which kinds of captions are drawing more traffic and views, as well as capturing the attention of different pinners. In the example above, there were several different types of captions for that blog post and different types of people repinned them. Keep it fresh and original.

Utilize the Pin It button.

This is one of the easiest things you can do that will save loads of time. Instead of saving the photo, uploading it, writing in the caption, and then sourcing it as you normally would, this is a bookmark at the top of your computer that allows you to pin any image on that page. It is incredibly simple, here's the link for the download!

When you pin from your own blog, it is crucial that you're pinning from the post and not the blog. This means that the URL at the top is www.monogrammeredith.com/examplepost instead of www.monogrammeredith.com. There is nothing more annoying than finding a really good pin for a recipe and it going to the most recent post instead of that specific one.

Pin all the images on your blog, but at different times.

I always have this struggle of thinking, oh, this won't get repins or traffic, there's no need to repin it. Especially because my blog is a lifestyle one and isn't specifically recipes or Pinterest-optimized for guides on something, I repin everything. You never know who'll repin it or how many times, and there's not a weird stigma on if you pin something and it doesn't go very far. True story: The pin with the most amount of traffic, like more than anything I have ever put on Pinterest, is a box of puppy chow. There was no recipe included and the photo wasn't even that great of a photo, but for some reason, it was pinned and clicked on more times than you can imagine.


Pin at different times throughout the day. I will repin something, but maybe not all of the pins surrounding it if they're of the same thing, especially when it comes to style posts. It's not like I'm a snob, it's just that if you can spread the pins out, there's a better chance that different people will see them.

Put the name of your blog in your Pinterest name. 

If you've started your Pinterest after your blog and your blog name is in it, kudos! But I know that personally, my Pinterest name was just Meredith Scroggin for the longest time. I didn't want to change my username of 'mlscroggin' because that doesn't really mean anything, but I didn't want to just be Monogram Meredith on it, either. So, I settled for being 'Meredith Scroggin {Monogram Meredith}', and I think it's helped a lot. It 1) shows that I'm not just a random person on Pinterest but have a blog attached to it and 2) makes me more searchable and can brand myself more. It'll feel weird maybe, but I think it can help a lot!

Use Pinterest for how you want to use it, too. 

Pin things all the time, even if they're not from your blog, because you can gain followers and inspiration that way. Pinterest was created for inspiration, so use it to inspire you for posts and fashion and everything on your mind! It's also crazy important for when you really do want to save something to remember it. For example, I have a 'Shopping' board so that when I'm online shopping and want to remember it, I pin it there, because I have way too many random pins on my fashion board to be able to find it when I want it. 

Upload your Instagram photos in a timely manner.

Maybe I'm just a social media freak, but as soon as I upload an Instagram photo, I upload it to Pinterest with my username. You can link it or not, but a quick caption about the photo with your username in it can do wonders for your Instagram game!


And finally, one of the best parts about Pinterest: actually looking at your stats.

Pinterest is my #1 Referring Site (Google is my #1 Referring URL), so it's proof that it does work. Be comfortable going through your referring URLs to see which pins are getting repinned and clicked on the most, then adapt accordingly.

Again, Pinterest is one of my favorite things in the world and is a huge attribute to my blog's traffic! I'll probably think of things I wanted to write about later, but maybe that'll just be a post for another day.

Let me know what you think and if there's anything else you think is important!!

xoxo,
Meredith

8 comments:

  1. You are the Pinterest queen. These were such helpful tips! I really want to try to gain more readers through Pinterest.

    Pink Champagne Problems

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  2. Awesome post Meredith! I'm starting to develop my use of social media to promote my blog and so this was so helpful. I actually started today...and so finding this post was perfect timing! :) Super helpful!

    -Taylor

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    1. Ahh good luck, Taylor!!! So happy I could help! :)

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  3. Love your Pins and you blog even more! Thanks for the advice :)

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    1. Melissa, you're too sweet! And ahaha I LOLed so hard at your tweet where someone commented on your pin... one of the weird things of Pinterest! :)

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  4. I love Pinterest and these tips will definitely help me out in the future! Thank you so much for posting this:)

    www.classycathleen.com

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  5. hey Meredith your gorgeous and thanks so much for the tips we we will all need these tips in the future!!!!!! lol but I was wondering if you could put some cute username for [pintrest I really want a cuite username but I just don't know what to put for it ever lol just let me know :)

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Well thank ya for wanting to leave a comment! I love reading what you think! xoxo