Pinterest has become a favourite social media hangout for me recently, probably because you don’t actually need to be that social on it. Unlike other social media sites it works firstly by using images, and so the obvious question for a content writer (or any business) is how does that work for me?
This article explores the role that Pinterest can play in promoting written content on blog sites, as well as discussing the increased use generally by businesses of this social media platform.
- Explaining Pinterest
- Using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog
- Using Pinterest to source images and other blog sites
- Build a following on Pinterest
So what is Pinterest?
For those of you who are not that familiar with the site you can view my account here, after clicking you will be taken to a series of my own Pin Boards. The diagram below shows some of my Pin boards which are mainly connected to this particular blog.
Basically Pin Boards are your own personal collection of visual materials, with links to articles of interest.
The way it works is that everything in Pinterest needs an image, and it this image that then becomes a visual representation of whatever you want to add to it; such as a blog article or link to a website.
The Pinterest site has it’s own mechanism for detaching images within a blog post or article, so all you need to do is paste the web site url for the page and Pinterest does the rest, it couldn’t be easier.
What Can a Pin Do?
There are a number of different ways in which you can use Pinterest to support the promotion of your site and also help with the development of material for your writing.
Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic to you blog site
So what exactly can Pinterest do that will affect your web site or blog? Well according to the following infographic from 2014 found on alight.com, a single pin can lead to 2 extra website visits, with an average of 3 pages viewing per visit. So one pin could equal 6 pages of your site read or viewed by a potential new reader / follower.
As with all social media statistics this depends on a number of factors, especially the length of time you have been on Pinterest and the kind of followers that you have developed (are they relevant to your niche topic?).
Some of the current topics that people are pinning include, food, crafts and style / fashion. Traditionally Pinterest has been viewed as a predominantly female user site (80%), which is represented by these current themes.
As a visual site it obviously lends itself to products that are visual, such as the clothing industry. But there are other advantages that affect all products.
Using Pinterest to Source Images
The nature of content writing is slowly changing and articles are becoming much more image friendly. Some bloggers even include a Pinterest image that can be picked up and used to promote the blog. If you are promoting work on Google+ or Facebook (and if not then why not?) they also source images from within your blog and use them in their post.
It is therefore important that all your content writing uses images, which is a point I made in this article along with examples of other sources of images.
The advantage of the Pin Board system is that you can start a new board for each new content area that you want to develop.
I tend to make the themes of these boards quite broad, such as Digital Marketing. Then I can collect anything related to this topic as I begin to visit different sites.
After I have repined (added that image to my own board) Pinterest usually asks if I want to follow a related board. This is a great way to build up boards without having to constantly search the entire site.
The easiest way to use Pinterest to find new images, is to use the search bar along the top. Simply type in a word or phrase and Pinterest will automatically break it down into search tags.
Here you can see that Pinterest and blogging are the tags and so all the pins shown have a link to those two themes. The results are also classified under a number of sub themes which are shown below the search bar – social media, business, marketing etc. This helps to break down the pins (which can be thousands) into more manageable groups.
Acknowledging the source of the image
Any image that is sourced form the internet needs to be acknowledged, sometimes however this can be problematic. Some bloggers may have used a picture and yet not know the source of the image and it is only possible to acknowledge their site.
It is important though that every effort is made to find the true source of the image and this may require a bit of digging or visiting several sites.
This ensures that there are no infringements of copyright and that appropriate acknowledgement is not given to the right person. Similar to someone using your work and then not naming you as the original author.
Using Pinterest to Link to Other Blogs in your Niche Area
Pinterest provides a unique opportunity to browse through images relevant to the niche area that you are working on, and to connect to other blog sites that are also working in your area.
Many other bloggers and content writers are in the same position as yourself and need interesting and unusual images for their articles. By noticing the image and repining it you also have the opportunity to visit the source site and read the article, or see other images by the same artist.
Obviously the same applies to content that you publish on Pinterest and that is ultimately the aim, to use the images to attract readers to visit your own site.
Building a Following on Pinterest
Like many social media sites there is the opportunity to build a following and to follow other of interest. There is little interaction amongst followers it’s just a way to ensure that new pins are shared to a specific audience.
One advantage is that it is a way of ensuring that a ready audience sees your new posts and hopefully helps to drive traffic to the website. Each pin provides a link to follow the original person who pinned the image (although note this is not necessarily the original source of the image).
There are other options as well such as following specific artists and photographers whose work may have particularly inspired or interested you.
In addition Pinterest also provides the opportunity to build any type of collection on a specific theme, just because it is of interest to you. Some of the existing collections include motivational quotes, animals, nature, jokes and cartoons.
You can also extend the pins you collect to cover hobbies and areas of personal interest. Maybe eventually some of these hobby followers will also be interested in your blog and may become new readers. Eventually people will start to follow you as you share your links on a regular basis, but like all social media sites the process is slow at the beginning and requires some patience and commitment.
The Benefit of Pinterest to Writers
Although Pinterest is a visual media site it has the potential to play a vital role in promoting and increasing the visibility of written works. However it does require a bit of thought and careful planning if it is to be used effectively. Some of the pros to Pinterest are;
- It is a source of thousands of images already categorised into different niche areas
- There is the potential to visit other sites and blogs working in your area for ideas
- You can build up followers who hopefully will come and visit your site
There are however a number of cons to Pinterest that you may wish to consider.
- Images need to be planned into the article you are planning on using Pinterest
- It can be time-consuming having to source and acknowledge images found on the site (or from any other site)
- Building up a following can be along term strategy and probably won’t see immediate returns
As a final word I’ll just add that I have found the site an invaluable resource to access images and articles relevant to my own niche areas. It is a good resource as well for collecting and sourcing infographics to include in articles and ultimately this saves on time, rather than constantly searching the web.
I would love to hear your own experiences and suggestions for using Pinterest and what other recommendations you would make, especially for using it in writing content.
Other articles on this site related to images and social media are;
- Using images in your blogs and online writing
- Why Writing Is Only Part Of The Content Production Process
- How to Develop a Social Media Strategy