Let me preface this post by saying… there are LOTS of resources out there to support bloggers who want to optimize their Pinterest presence. But for the new(er) blogger eager to learn it all, some of these resources and classes can feel overwhelming or confusing (or expensive!).
The purpose of this post is to get right down to the nitty gritty of what I’ve found to be the 3 most important things to know about Pinterest for the emerging blogger. For me, these 3 have contributed to a significant increase in Pinterest engagement and blog traffic! And they are all things that are better to know sooner than later so you don’t waste precious time posting to Pinterest with little to no engagement.
So without further delay, here are the 3:
- Optimize Your Images
- Use Rich Pins
- Join Group Boards
Optimize Your Images
Over the past few months, I’ve made some adjustments to my Pinterest images that have drastically increased my traffic and engagement. Here are my tips:
Go Vertical: All images on Pinterest are the same width, regardless of the height. Going vertical is the way to take up more “pinterest real estate” so to speak. Make this shift and I’d bet you’ll begin to see an increase in likes and repins. Making your images vertical doesn’t mean you have to use only one image and get the dimensions just right… it could be a collage of images or stacked images with text in between like I’ve chosen for my site. I used Canva to create these images.
Brand Your Images: While I doubt I’m popular enough (yet!) that anybody outside my circle of friends and family immediately recognizes my brand on Pinterest, the shift to branding my images has been a huge help to me (on all social media platforms). I use one style for “recipes/food posts” (see above left), another very similar style for “lifestyle” posts (see above middle), and a third style with the same color scheme and font style for my “blogging tips” posts (see above right). This branding will help your social media presence and blog pages feel similar to your audience, which in turn builds familiarity and trust.
Zoom In: For whatever reason, close-ups do better on Pinterest. I’m guessing here, but because a huge portion of Pinterest users access the app on their phone where images show up in tiny form, the closer up the image, the easier it is for viewers to recognize. Thus, those images perform better statistically. Also, if you don’t take your own photos, there are lots of great Stock photography sites out there, including: Pexels, Pixabay, and PhotoDune.
Write Good Descriptions: This probably goes without saying but a description like “Lemon Cheesecake” is not going to draw in as much attention as a description that reads “Created specially for mom’s on the go, this healthy Lemon Cheesecake recipe only calls for 5 ingredients!” or something similar.
Use Rich Pins: See below!
Use Rich Pins
Rich pins are another way I’ve increased my Pinterest presence.
In the words of Pinterest, “Rich Pins show metadata right on the Pin itself, giving Pinners a richer experience and increasing engagement. Information in a Rich Pin is independent of the Pin description, ensuring that important information is always tied to the Pin. There are 6 types of Rich Pins: app, article, movie, place, product and recipe Pins.”
Not going to lie… the idea behind rich pins is simple to understand- you get more audience engagement, brand visibility, etc. However, the description Pinterest provides for how to get rich pins is quite confusing for those of us lacking extensive tech experience.
So if you’re like me and get confused when instructions start using words like “metadata,” “open graph”, and “schema”… don’t worry, there is an easy fix. It’s called, YOAST. If you have a self-hosted wordpress site (find out how to create one here), you should definitely use the Yoast plugin. Using Yoast, follow this step by step process to get rich pins:
Side Note: Make sure you have a business Pinterest account and have already verified your website.
Download and install the Yoast plugin (the free version is fine for what we will be doing with Rich Pins).
- Log into your wordpress dashboard.
- Head to the plugins section.
- Search for Yoast SEO and download/activate it.
Set up Rich Pins
- Log into your wordpress dashboard.
- Find the Yoast plugin on the sidebar (says SEO).
- Click “Social”
- Make sure all your linked Social accounts are set up (I have Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram Connected)
- Make sure “Add Open Graph Meta Data” is enabled under the Facebook tab.
Validate Your Rich Pins
- Visit the Rich Pins Validator
- Type in the URL of any recent blog post
- That’s it! It may take up to a few days to validate. You’ll get an email that looks like this:
Join Group Boards
Joining group boards is a fantastic way to get your pins in front of a MUCH larger audience. I use PinGroupie to search for boards I might want to join. I research their stats (followers, collaborators, repins, likes, etc) and try to find boards that a) are in my niche, b) have fewer collaborators and more followers, and c) have a high rate of repins and likes.
Most boards will have instructions for how to apply to become a collaborator in their description. Others don’t… or aren’t accepting new pinners. Finding the right boards is a process that takes a little time, but if you can get in with a few good groups, it is definitely worth your while!
Also, there’s a reason I left this section for the end. Optimizing your images and establishing Rich Pins are important steps to take prior to joining group boards if you want to get the most out of the experience!
Well, fellow bloggers… that’s a wrap for today. I hope this helps… this post definitely wasn’t in any content calendar of mine, but I’ve seen such drastic Pinterest improvement since making all these changes that I just couldn’t keep it to myself. I hope it helps you as much as it has me! Feel free to send me questions in the comments below. I’ll shoot you a quick answer or research and find the answer for you!
If this article was helpful and you’re looking for more blogging resources, check some out here!