Oct 27, 2017
Last week we discussed how to develop a social media strategy. I did an overview of how I handle social media on my main blog, Young Wife's Guide.
Today I'm back to discuss how you can use Pinterest specifically for massive growth! Pinterest is an amazing way to build up your community and reach a massive audience. And Pinterest doesn't have to take very much time at all.
We get traffic from Pinterest in two ways:
1) Through my own personal Pinterest account for my blog.
This is where I pin my own content and other people's content. I typically follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of what I pin is other people's content, 20% is my own. Althought sometimes this shift on Pinterest is more like 50/50.
2) Through other people pinning my blog posts.
This is the beauty of Pinterest! As long as you've got good pictures (see below) and have some strategy when it comes to Pinterest, other people will start pinning YOUR content and you will get traffic from Pinterest without ever being active on Pinterest. Although being active yourself certainly helps.
(HINT: Here's the Wordpress plugin I use to install a Pin it Button ON MY BLOG, very important!!)
The best thing you can do to increase traffic from Pinterest is to make your blog posts more Pinterest friendly. When someone lands on your blog and finds your blog post interesting, make it easy for them to "pin" it to Pinterest.
The biggest thing you want to do is create long graphics to have in each blog post. Each blog post doesn't have to have a picture with words on it, but I always do. Here's a good example of a blog post with a tall vertical image at the top with words on it.
Please note: When I recorded this podcast episode, PicMonkey was a FREE option. However they have no moved to a subscription only service so you need to pay to use it. I think it can still be worth it, but it will cost you $3.99-7.99 a month now. Canva is the free option I now recommend.
PicMonkey is a free, really easy to use tool that allows you to put words on your pictures.
Canva is another excellent free website that gives you even more options (but can be a little more complicated to use).
I personally use Photoshop and have for years but this definitely has a learning curve to it. If you are not a techy person, the first two options will work beautifully for you. With Adobe Creative cloud, you can get access to the full newest version of Photoshop for just $9.99 a month (which is now almost comparable to PicMonkey)!
You need to be very careful about where you find images to use on your blog. It is illegal to just go to google and pull any photo you find (EVEN if you link back to the original source). It has to be a royalty-free photo, which means the original photographer or artist has given permission for it to be used on your blog.
There are some places to find free photos, but I caution you to be very careful about these free stock photo places because many of them have fine print that means you can't crop, add text, change, use for commercial use, etc. So just be careful with any stock photos you find (free OR paid for).
I personally have used 123rf.com for years. Their photos are usually $1-3 a piece and have been very affordable for me. But ask around because there are some other good sources out there. However I haven't purchased a photo on there for a long time now because...
I do still use some stock photos, but I'm moving more and more to using my own photos. I was hesitant to do this for a long time because I am NOT a photographer and felt like I just didn't have the time. But now I'm realizing that that authenticity IS worth the time.
But now when I plan out a blog post, I set aside 5-10 minutes of time to snap some photos of my own. They may not be professional quality, they may not always be the best lighting but I have found that they show more about my life. My own photos help my readers connect with me on an even deeper level.
Moving forward, I plan on spending FAR more time doing my own photo. Even if they are not great. NOTE: If you are a recipe/food blogger, your own photos are a MUST!
Here's a good example of my own photos. I wrote this blog post and asked Jason to spend 5 minutes following me around the house taking a few photos for it. (You can notice a difference with one of my earlier blog posts using all stock photos. You can connect a lot more with the one with all MY photos.)
Now, when pinning to your own Pinterest account, it's important to think strategically about it. Pinterest now runs on an algorithm which means they no longer show your pins in chronological order.
Like Facebook, Pinterest now watches its users to see if you are pinning high-quality content. If you consistently pin things that other people find interesting (i.e. get a lot of pins and click-throughs) then Pinterest will show your pins to more people.
So it's more important than ever to be strategic about what you pin and to pin fantastic things!! QUALITY over QUANTITY now! This means when you are hunting for things to pin, watch for those that have been pinned hundreds or thousands of times.
I pin about 60 times a day on my account (or my social media manager does). And of those 60 pins, 20% of them are my own pins from my website and the other 80% are pins from other people that I know will serve my audience well.
I know that might sound like a lot, but we use a website called Tailwind that helps us to schedule everything. We've been using it for about a year and LOVE it. I schedule inside it as well as my social media manager!
This is the only social media website that I pay for to schedule things so it makes it really worth it to me. I schedule my Facebook posts directly in Facebook and I don't schedule Twitter or Instagram. Most social media schedulers are $50-70 a MONTH. So $9.99 being my only cost is well worth it to me!
You can sign up and try a FREE month of Tailwind to see if it's right for you, which is what I did. And then it's only $9.99 a month after that. It's highly worth the investment in my opinion as Pinterest is our #1 source of traffic year after year.
I know it's overwhelming to try and keep track of your social media and work on growing it. That's why I created these social media worksheets for you! Keep track of everything from your social media numbers to what you post and schedule and even track your growth from quarter to quarter.