When Pinterest beta was released in 2009 I was graduating high school. Obsessed as I was with all the new mobile apps that were making an appearance, I realize now I was a tester of many of these new apps, these new initiative ideas to change lives. I got a beta account and as a personal user (before using it for business was even thing,) and as you can tell from my personal Pinterest account here: I love Pinterest!
I'll be even more honest, I wasn't the best student in high school. I know now that I'm a self-learner and do best with self-study outside of a classroom! I know this mostly thanks to Pinterest. As this search engine began to collect its information databases, new information being submitted and collected by the second. I was ecstatic to have a way other than bookmarks to learn about my interests. Those interests vary so widely! And with the information age on rapid growth, I kept using this platform to organize my interests, ideas, projects, and images. And so did the rest of the world.
At first, I used this platform to collect images just as much as I used it to collect and organize articles. As you can see from my personal Pinterest account I have boards of images and art projects, zodiac collections and photography resources. Gosh, there's just so much! I did this because I have also come to realize (about myself) I have whatever the opposite of the picture-perfect mind is. I DON'T see things in my mind very well. It's hard for me to "see" in my mind. I'm not good at drawing or painting, because I can't even imagine the final image, let alone remember the right angle, shape or shade to use. I tend to live in my reality in the moment and rely on the image I receive from the world right in front of me... So Pinterest!
Allowed me to collect a huge library of images that I could refer to. I'm a photographer, so this practice allowed me to grow and advance my view of photos and layouts. And a way to let my brain have a way to explore more creative ways to see things. Because I can't naturally "see things" well without images. And maybe this is true for other people too? Is this why we're so obsessed with media (photographs, video). How blind are we?
I'm telling you this as the introduction because before I describe exactly what Pinterest is and explain the purpose of having Pinterest for your blog is. I want you to know how much this account can help you because of it's potential to teach you, and guide you, and allow you to organize your interests, personally.
There's a ton to learn about blogging, and it doesn't matter what stage of blogging you are in, it's always going to inclue learning more about blogging, and then practicing new strategies, and improving your recognition. Ultimately, it matters because of the purpose that your blog serves to the world, more specifically to your readers, and... to you!
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What is Pinterest?
Pinterest launched in 2009 and had one of the quickest, unexpected growths in its first 2 years of any "social" platform. You can read the full background on Pinterest's Wiki but basically, they built Pinterest with users and education in mind. Pinterest has always valued its users and has done a lot since the very beginning to build Pinterest into the amazingly educational search engine it is today!
Pinterest is based on the collection of website articles that are "labeled" with an image.
Pinterest allows it's users to collect and save website pages, posts, articles, and more by labeling the page with an image and then saving it to a Pinterest Board. Each Pinterest Board is a collection of these "pins" they are called, which are the website pages or bookmarks, with the selected image on display in that board. A Pinterest Profile can have any number of Boards, and a collection of Pins. Supposedly there is a cap of the number of pins being 200,000 but I've never seen this be a problem (even for bloggers who pin multiple times a day), let alone enforcing this rule on its users.
At first, Pinterest relied on the images having a title. It wasn't until website authors and Pinterest users started creating their own images with text on the image for the article before it was pinned. This is how Pinterest has turned into the glamorous and beautiful pin images you see now. It wasn't Pinterest that said, "Do it like this." It was it's users that said, "This is how we're going to use this." And thus, we're in 2019 celebrating the growth of ten years on Pinterest!
Pinterest uses algorithms to provide a news stream much like other social media news feeds. It suggests pins or articles related to who you follow and what pins are in your boards already.
I've noticed that on my personal account, where I have too many boards, I see all kinds of pins on my news feed! But on my blog account, I see mostly pins related to blogging, business, marketing or finance. And that makes sense since I pin a lot about these things on my Blog's Pinterest account. And finally, my photography Pinterest business account shows me loads of cameras, photo tips, photo cheat sheets, useful poses, and all around great photography!
How Is Pinterest Used?
I'll use myself as an example because I have these accounts to show you what I mean. I'll now explain a bit about how personal users (not blogs or businesses accounts) use Pinterest so that you can better understand how your pins will be seen, used, and saved to a board by any Pinterest user.
The quick video of my personal Pinterest account that I have had since I started pinning in 2009. (See video on the right on a desktop or below this section on mobile.)
As you can see this is an extensive collection of boards with a very wide range of interests! Everything I want to learn, use as inspiration, and refer back to on the web... Can be found in these boards.
You'll notice some of my boards look a bit "Loving Life With Lee"-ish because almost every single Pinterest Blog Account Board is shared to my personal account by inviting my blog account to a group board. Thus, I can be signed in on either my personal or blog business account and pin to the same board. So I didn't make a third video of my Loving Life With Lee Pinterest Account, because it's about 1/5 of the boards included in my entire Personal Pinterest Account!
There the secret is out! That's how I do it!
Here's an example of how I use Pinterest as a tool for creative ideas and expression for my business (or blog):
Still, to this day, I bring my mobile phone to any photography session or photo shoot I do, specifically to bring up my L. Y. Photos Pinterest boards. I can quickly scan my board collection here from my L. Y. Photos Pinterest Business Account, and access my collection of Ideas for poses, props, settings, info charts, photo sheet sheets, colors and shades, and many other instant reference cheat sheets and guides. It saves me a ton of time on the job, because of my collection of inspiration right at my finger tips. Also, I work with my two best friends so to be able to say, "Just look at the Pinterest Board called 'this' and have an idea expressed so quickly for employees and even customers!
Pinterest truely is my favorite tool for learning about photography, sharing photos, and collecting references for photo shoots.
Nowadays, I use the platform to learn and collect articles much more than images. Because well, I'm a blogger 24/7 and I only take photos about once a month these days.
The most popular pins are those in the niche of arts and crafts, DIY projects, infographics, beauty products and accessories such as clothing or jewelry, art, and photography. You can also find a lot of parenting, education, financial, business, marketing, blogging, and social media tips and advice.
And from what I can tell. Blog posts about everything else you can think of can now be found on Pinterest also! It truly has been an honor to be a Pinterest user since the beginning, but that doesn't mean I have all the marketing figured out yet! It's always changing, developing, growing.
The point is: It doesn't matter what your personal interests are, it just matters that you have a way to collect and organize ideas, projects, and information with Pinterest!
How can you add pins to boards?
- You can be signed in to Pinterest on a desktop or mobile app (Facebook, Google or Custom Email Account)
- You can pin from Tailwind, a scheduling tool for Pinterest
- You can right click on any image on any webpage and share it to Pinterest
- You can click on a Pin It Button on an image (this is a very popular feature on blogs and online magazines or news websites)
- You can download the add-on, extension or integration tool to your browser!
Basically, I use a combination of all of these depending on what device I'm using, what I'm researching, and how I'm going to use the information I find when I go looking for it. Users in the buying mindset, the shopping mindset when looking for a product they have in mind. They go to Pinterest to gather several of the items, maybe its Wedding Dress ideas or the perfect set of shoes for a party. For guys it's that perfect car or ideal cheat sheet.
Pinterest is an amazing way to collect ideas, see where this is going? Is Pinterest making any more sense yet?
My Photography Pinterest Account
Note that this account only has 5 followers, because it's purpose isn't to gain followers. It's about my own collection for my photography, my business's photographers and my clients!
My Extensive Personal Pinterest Profile
8 Reasons Why Every Blogger Needs A Pinterest
- You will learn so much about Pinterest, Blogging, Marketing, and every other topic you want to learn more about!
- You see fresh, relevant articles from other bloggers that you may not have seen otherwise
- Extensive audience reach and outstanding traffic rates from Pinterest users
- Your pins will stay relevant, evergreen, and can easily be recycled = Pins have long lifespans!
- It doesn't take a lot of time to make a pinnable graphic, include it in your post, and write a description = And it's well worth the time!
- When you begin to get good at Pinning, you can begin to think about monetizing or promoting your pins
- It's a great way to collect resources and your favorite blog posts, in a way that's useful to you and readers
- This is a media platform that attracts clients who are looking to buy for their next project, event or idea
How to Get Started With Pinterest For Your Blog
First of all, Kate wrote a whole post about this for you, 5 Ways to Up Your Pinterest Game, and that covers a lot of the how-to basics of setting up your Pinterest Business Account and how to optimize your Blog Profile.
So what I'd like to talk about is the actual process of building boards and how to pin.
First of all, let's go over a bit of Pinning Etiquette:
- Pin high-quality Pinterest images - but read the link that's attached to it!
This is really important because a beautiful graphic (or book cover) does not mean that it's a good blog post (or book). Right?
- Pin high-quality posts from others - more often than your own!
This is the beauty of Pinterest, is most of the work to build up your account is pinning and collecting other peoples posts and finding helpful articles to share. There's the 80/20 rule with Pinterest and I'd encourage you to stick with that.
- Don't be afraid of pinning too much or too little - just link 3-5 pins manually a day!
I know there's a ton out there about Pinterest marketing and using scheduling tools like Tailwind. All the jazz about group boards and communities. But let's be honest. If all you did was pin 1-2 graphics from each post you wrote and pinned 35 other pins a week. (x5 a day) then you would have a GREAT collection of pins, consistent views, and Pinterest will appreciate your dedication and reward you by sharing your pins!
- Treat your boards like dedicated post categories - do not trouble yourself with boards that are too similar.
Create boards that are on topic, within your niche, but not so related that you have trouble deciding where to put your pins. This leads to disorganized and confusing boards for you and your followers! Your better off using Sections within Boards to further categorize your pins when your boards fill up with more than 50 each. In other words, leave room for Board Growth!
- Hide irrelevant boards - no one needs to see them if they only have 1 pin!
If your brand new, it's expected that you'll have some skinny boards. But Start with 5-10 and build them up with 20 pins each right away! Any new boards that don't have more than 10 pins, I recommend keeping secret until they are valuable enough to share with your followers.
- It's okay to report pins that are broken or misleading - Pinterest will thank you and so will I!
Because Pinterest is so long-lasting occasionally you will find a pin that leads to a broken page, or a page that redirects you somewhere similar. Although, it's not what the pin lead you to believe. Do us all a favor and quickly report it so that Pinterest can stay clean for everyone.
Now, let's talk about some Pinterest Terms you may want to know more about!
Boards that multiple Pinterest users can pin to together. To join a Group Board you must be invited by the Board Creator. Look in the board description to see if there is a prefered way you can join such as sending a message or email. If there are no instructions, it never hurts to send a message to them on Pinterest saying, "I am interested in joining your group board Titled This, are you currently accepting contributors? Please consider me, I've followed your account." You must be following the Board Creator to be sent an invitation.
This is brand new as of 2018, and is still in it's early stages of development right now. For years everyone has said, "Pinterest is a search engine, not a social media platform", and Pinterest didn't agree! They are now encouraging their users to engage with each other, and work together like never before!
Related Resource | Click here to Join Our Pinterest Community, Blogging Buddies!
No really, what's the big deal about Pinterest for bloggers?
To me, as someone who has used and learned SO MUCH for Pinterest, it's a little difficult for me to understand what people don't understand about Pinterest. And that's kind of why I decided on writing this series because a really popular saying where I live is... "What's the flippin' point?!" or "WTF". And that's stated everyday, in every way, in every conversation people ask and state, "BUT WHY?"
So bloggers, why is Pinterest effective for some, but not you. Let me just be straight with you because it's not about perfection and it's not about pinning your blog content once it's published like you do on social media. Pinterest sees content as a resource for it's users and it WILL rate your work, based on what is being viewed, clicked, and saved for later to boards. Let me be vary clear, this is the platform that is the BEST at relying on it's users for their algorithms and results. What you see, is based off of what other people are recommending, not their bots. (With the exception of paid ads, which still do heavily factor in targeted audience data because it knows each user SO WELL. Not everyone sees s a boosted pin, just a the best possible users of interest for that pin.)
So the "algorithm" that we are all trying to break.
Is mostly human Pinterest users, so it's not about obsessing here, it's about possessing useful pins and creating content that other HUMANS are going to want to collect as resources themselves.
Ever heard of a barter system? Stop thinking in terms of money when you're pinning, and think of it as a barter system of information.
As a blogger you create content and then put it on the market that is Pinterest, saying with an image cover that this is a title, and an image to give you the idea. And then when the image is clicked, the users is showed the exact location of the content assigned by the author.
That content or product is then seen and shared by other content creators.
Let's be clear though, unlike Instagram you are not paid to post. It's no guarantee that even your followers are going to see your pins or find your content. Unless it's of interest to one other person out there that goes, "Oh that's awesome, I want to save that to this board I have of other stuff like it". Even further, if you as the content author do not TELL PINTEREST with descriptions, titles, a few hashtags, and good board assignment then it will not suggest it to the users that will use it! So you have to be the first one to understand the kind of PERSON that will want to save that post for later (on board they made).
Just like any other marketing or social media scheme, you have to know the kind of person will read, save, and buy from your blog. Not during this visit, but the next visit. And after the next email. And again after Christmas. Those people out there that come back to your blog, reoccurring and loyal.
Those people can be found on Pinterest too. It's a matter of making a nice cozy home of your boards, welcoming your readers with information and resources outside of just your own content.
Need I state the obvious here, but other bloggers in your niche are those kinds of people! You need to market your BLOG content to other BLOGGERS who write the same kind of things.
This is the platform in which you FOLLOW OTHER BLOGGERS IN YOUR NICHE.
Pin each other's stuff! You'll see a difference in your pin performance, I promise. Simply because your aligning yourself with pins that will interest you and be easy for you to pin. And the stuff you create, will resonate well with them too! It's a win-win when you start to collect pins on similar ideas and you can then consider creating a group board together. And everything you collect just compounds into this incredible collection of data on a single topic?
Just think about all the things you could learn! Wow!
Wait, but how is that people make money on Pinterest though?
Bloggers let us think outside the box and start by saying you don't have to just pin your blog posts. There are tons of other things you can pin. Like I started this post with, I have a lot of boards of just pictures! There are also some websites that don't have "Pinterest specific" or Pin-Ready titled images for you to use for pinning to a board. You used to be able to make a colorless image pin with just the title, but you now do actually need an image for a pin. Can you make an image for someone else's content? Yes, as long as you title and credit the post accurately, you can pin any website!
What this means is that you can create custom pins for affiliates, reviews, or products.
Pinterest users do go there to gather ideas for purchases, events, and projects. So it is safe to assume users go there to buy!
You can now purchase products for sale from Pinterest, but this isn't a huge deal... Yet! It's more common to see clothing or beauty product examples, with the name and cost in the title, short description of the product, and then the pin leads the purchasing page. You can see how the girl collecting ideas for a Wedding Dress could get easily obsessed, yet find the PERFECT dress after some searching!
It's also brilliant to make pinnable graphics for your lead magnets, freebies, and other things that lead into your email list or social following!
Hope this all helps a little everyone. Abrupt ending because I have to save something for later. I could just go on for days. So - leave me your questions! I've got TONS more to share!
- Pinterest allows users to save or pin content from websites with an image attached to a specific URL location.
- You can use pins to collect similar ideas for projects, events, art, interests, products, and resources.
- Humans pin content to their own boards based off of their need or what they are trying to find or learn about
- The best place to learn everything you need to know about Pinterest is Pinterest!
- The best place to learn about anything you are interested in, Pinterest it!
If you enjoyed this post about Pinterest, please Pin It for later! *insert big cheezy wink*
Our beautiful Pinterest graphics are created by @Kate Erram, of All the Trinkets. Thanks for all you do here!