Have you heard about Pinterest yet? I’ve given away some invites to my Facebook fans a few weeks ago and another bunch of them to the newsletter subscribers, just days ago. So now is the time to dig deeper into it :)
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What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a place where you can pin your interests. You can create boards and pin images to them to share them with your followers. That is the simple way to put it. Note that Pinterest is still invitation only site.
The two main things on Pinterest are boards and pins. Imagine it as having a cork board where you can pin images of your birthday party :)
This is how my profile looks with all the elements I will show you below marked:
#1 Search box works like any other search box, just type in your interest and you will get piles of results displayed on the page. I did a search for “put bull” and got a bunch of cute looking dog images :)
#2 User menu
Pressing Add+ will give you three options:
- adding a new pin
- uploading a pin
- creating a new board
About drop down menu will take you to Help, Pinterest Blog and a few other places you may want to check out. I haven’t really had the need to use it.
2.3 The username drop down menu
First two options are Invite Friends and Find Friends. You can do it by e-mail or by connecting your Facebook account with Pinterest.
The second group of options are your Boards, Pins and Likes.
And the third group are Settings and Log Out.
#3 Your stuff on Pinterest
The area marked with #3 is displaying the number of your boards, pins and likes (same as second group of options in 2.3 note above).
#4 Pinterest Board
This is one of my boards and you can see the Edit button at the bottom of it. When you click it, you will be taken to the board page. That is where you can further edit the board and fill in/change:
- the title of the board
- the description of the board
- who can pin on the board (it can be you or you and the contributors)
- category of the board
You can also delete the board from this page.
Two things that I like about this is that you can see how many followers the board has and you can Like the board on Facebook. So if you keep your board interesting and update it regularly with some cool content, you can make it very popular on Facebook.
#5 Public profile
This is where you can see and edit your profile. It shows your name, number of followers/following, profile image and Edit button.
I would recommend using the image you usually use across social media, so people who already know you, would recognize you easily.
The edit button lets you edit the whole profile, areas #5, #6 and #7.
Write a short “about” description as you would on Twitter. Just say a few interesting things about yourself and don’t make it complicated.
You can add a link to your site, Facebook and Twitter. To add links to Facebook and Twitter, you will have to connect accounts from Pinterest to those two networks. Adding a link to your site only takes a URL. The RSS feed is automated by Pinterest and it is the RSS feed of your Pinterest activity.
How to use Pinterest?
I use Pinterest two ways. I pin stuff I like while surfing the web and I repin pins someone already put up over there.
To pin stuff while surfing the web, I added a Pinterest bookmarklet to my Chrome browser.
When you want to repin something, all you need to do is hover over the image you want to repin and three buttons will show up: Repin, Like and Comment. Hit repin and choose which of your boards you want to repin the image to.
Like button let’s you like images without adding them to your boards. Comment is another great option to communicate and connect with other users.
Now you know what Pinterest is, how to use it and now we are getting to the really good stuff.
Pinterest is no different than other social sites. You follow interesting people or boards and they follow you.
You can follow a person on Pinterest and that means you are following all of their boards. But you can also follow only certain boards from a user. This is great in case a person has 20 boards but you only want to follow 2 of them.
This can mean that you may have only 10 followers but one of your boards can have 500. Number of followers on a board will tell you how interesting the content is in it. When you look at someone’s profile, you will see how many followers they have but to see the board following, you need to click on the board.
You can use comments to connect with people as well. Networking 101, same as you would do on Twitter or Facebook.
Pinterest link building
How do you build links with Pinterest? When you pin an image to Pinterest, the service will add a dofollow link to the source of the image.
So if you pin the image in this post in the top right of the pin you will see the source as “live-your-love.com” while it is linking to the actual post and not just home page.
The more repins you get, the more links you will have, since a repin keeps the source link with the image.
Pinterest search engine optimization
Here is the good news: links on Pinterest are dofollow!
That means that the link to your site from your profile is a dofollow link. It also means that every link from a pin is a dofollow link. And no, don’t hop over there and spam the whole sites with your links…
I haven’t found a lot you can do with the profile page itself. The image isn’t linked to anything and you can’t customize the ALT tag.
The title of the page will be “Your full name (your-username) on Pinterest“.
The description of the page is “Your first name is using Pinterest, an online pinboard to collect and share what inspires you“.
Links: as I mentioned, your links will be dofollow, so make sure you add them all, the link to your site, Twitter and Facebook.
This is the really cool part :) because you can get some SEO out of the board. The title of the board will be the name you use for the board. You can add a description to the board and it will be used as a description of the page.
How is this good for search engine optimization on Pinterest? If you are targeting a long tail keyword in a non too competitive niche, this is a great opportunity to grab the ranking for it. Use the keyword as the board name and then include it in the description of the board. Make sure you are actually making the board useful for potential followers.
Pin page has a few elements you can optimize. The title of the pin will be “name of the board/image caption” and the description of the page will be “image caption“.
So what you want to do when you pin/repin some of your content, is to write the image caption using a keyword for the page you are linking to.
This is no guarantee that you will rank this page or get PR 6 and then have a PR 6 link back to your site. But if your image gets repinned many times and does get a PR, you will have a link from a related page. How is it related? Because you put your keywords in the title and the description.
Generate traffic with Pinterest
Pinterest has an Alexa rank of 187 at the moment. Do I even need to tell you how crazy good that is… That is a great potential for everyone who wants to generate traffic from Pinterest.
So how can you do it?
Start with – don’t self promote! Any time you start blowing only your own horn on any social media, people see through you.
Considering that Pinterest is image focused, one of the best things to do is have amazing images on your site. Being in a niche where you do a lot of unique ideas and crafts is a perfect foundation for success on Pinterest.
If you have a blog similar to mine, infographics can work miracles.
But what if you are in a niche that has really nothing to do with images? Well, I had a really great question from one of my newsletter subscribers the other day that I answered with a few ideas:
Q – “Sites such as weight loss, parenting or animal related sites are easy but what about a dry cleaning website or consulting website? ”
A – Here are 4 ideas off the top of my head for a dry cleaning website:
- before and after pic of a really big mess of some really unique dress?
- pinpoint the store on the map and pin the map to Pinterest
- interesting decoration in the store
- the most interesting pieces of clothes that come in
So you can make this site work for any niche.
Besides sharing other people’s content, and having great images, you should add a Pinterest sharing button to your site. You can find the buttons here and add the code like you would add any other sharing button. Try it out here
Connect with other Pinterest users like you would on other networks. Follow them, repin their pins and comment on their pins.
Pin other people’s stuff way more than you pin yours.
How not to use Pinterest
This is one thing that kinda poked me in the eye few days ago. I got an email from a blogger asking me why I am not following him on Pinterest, when he is following me.
First of all, I don’t follow back just to follow back on any social media. But I went to check his boards and see if I should do it.
He has only a few boards and all of them are internet marketing boards! If I want to read blogging and internet marketing updates and posts, I will follow you on Twitter and Google+.
Pinning a stock image from a blog is not really in spirit of Pinterest and I am sure Pinterest-ers would not appreciate influx of marketers and spammers. So don’t pin stuff just for links! Having a lousy pin won’t get any repins, so it is a waste of time and Pinterest space.
Another extra use of Pinterest boards
You can set your board to be available for pinning by both you and contributors. This can be a great way to share things with your team or even have a board where all of you can pin ideas for projects.
So let’s say you have a crafting shop in Atlanta and you don’t sell your products online. But you always need inspiration for new products. You can create a board where you would make your business partners and friends contributors, so they can all pin some interesting products you should include in your product line.
Now you know what Pinterest is and how you can use it, how to optimize your stuff for search engines, get traffic and links from the service.
Pinterest can be amazing source of traffic for a lot of niches, from wedding and craft sites to art and animal sites. Use it! Don’t spam.
This is definitely a service you should hop on even if you don’t see use in the business sense, I use mine mostly for the stuff I like that have nothing to do with blogging. And it is so much fun!