For the past couple of weeks I've been doing an immense amount of behind the scenes work on Apartment Number 4, spending hours reading and watching webinars to learn more about how I can grow my audience.
I'm currently blogging every day in April to boost my creativity and seeing the visitor figures go up is almost addictive. I've been putting a lot of work into SEO (although I still don't feel like I know what I'm doing properly), and I've just finished a course on how to increase traffic to your blog via Pinterest through the Female Entrepreneur Association, which I became a member of last week.
I'm sure you've all heard this before, but Pinterest is not only a virtual scrapbooking tool, it's a search engine tool just like Google. How many times have you put something into the search bar in Pinterest, looking for a recipe or how to do something technical with your blog for example? And if you're a blogger, brand or company the beauty of Pinterest is that it can drive a huge amount of traffic to your website without really doing very much at all.
I've discovered some valuable tips through the course mentioned above and reading other advice pieces online, so today I thought I'd share eight changes I've made to my Pinterest account recently in an attempt to grow followers and drive traffic to my blog.
1. Create a Business Account
By converting your Pinterest to a business account instead of personal, you are able to see analytics of what Pins are the most popular, how many impressions said Pin has attracted and you can see what people are Pinning from your website. All you need to do is visit the Business for Pinterest website, switch to a business account and then confirm your website if you haven't done so already. Just head to your profile picture, scroll down to settings to the website field and add your domain.
2. Use A Picture Of Yourself
I know a lot of companies use logo's on Pinterest, but it really helps if you use a warm, friendly image of yourself so visitors are able to see exactly what you're about as soon as they click on your profile. It's so much nicer to put a face to a blog, and the audience can create a personal connection with you.
3. Optimise Your Profile
You can optimise your Pinterest profile by adding a short description of your website. I want visitors to know that I focus on home decor and style so I've added those keywords to my headline. Just describe what words are associated with your brand. There are also three things to include in your Pinterest bio - what you are offering your audience, a reason for them to follow and a call for action. My account, for example, says that I'm an award winning blogger whose aim is to help visitors create a Pinterest-worthy home on a budget, as well as pointing out that they're able to sign up for my free monthly lookbook if they click the link above my bio. Remember to keep is short and snappy as it will cut off after too many characters.
4. Add Descriptions To Each Board
For years I've Pinned as nothing more than a hobby, and even though I have over 40 boards, I hadn't up until recently even categorised them. Go through and add keyword rich descriptions to each so they show up better in search results, making sure to click what category each board belongs in, such as home decor, fashion or beauty. For example, my board about living rooms is described as:
"This board features a stylish and eclectic mix of living room interior inspiration, from mid century modern to country cottage, Scandinavian design and feminine decor. Sign up for our free monthly shoppable lookbook for all the latest interior design trends and how to create popular Pinterest home decor ideas on a budget."
5. Organising Your Boards
With Analytics you're able to see your most popular boards, so what I suggest is that you make sure those boards are at the very top of your profile. My most popular are Interiors | Living Room, Colour | Pink and Interiors | Guest Bedroom, so I've placed them on the very first row. What you can also do is make sure you Pin every single thing from your blog into one exclusive board of its own, just to showcase your work to visitors so they can see what you're about instantly. I want to attract people who are looking for interior inspiration, so as soon as they land on my profile, they can understand that straight away.
6. Make Sure Your Branding Runs Throughout
One piece of advice I ran with was to go through all my boards and add cover images which worked well together when you looked at my profile as a whole. I'm a fan of colour and beautiful photography, so I went into the edit section of each board and changed the lead picture. This is something you can do for your exclusive blogging board which I mentioned above, by uploading your logo or an image of you and using that as the cover image. You want to only Pin content which is relevant, and if you're looking for something personal like wedding inspiration or healthy recipes, then why not create a secret board so it's not cluttering your main page. I also went through and deleted any old pins which weren't fitting to my brand profile anymore and trust me, I joined Pinterest when it very first launched so some of the Pins I'd collated were questionable to say the least.
7. Tailoring Your Blog For Pinterest
Making sure your blog and its content are Pinterest-ready is fairly easy, but it does take a little technical work. What you need to do first if you haven't already is add the Pin It button to your blog (this article explains how perfectly), which enables readers to Pin directly from your site. Next, consider changing the picture ratio of your lead image to be more Pinterest friendly. Portrait images work much better on Pinterest than landscape, as the eye is scrolling down and will see more of your image for an increased amount of time. If you want to go that step further and create eye catching graphics for your blog's leading picture, then I'd highly recommend checking out Canva, which enables you to build pretty graphics with ready-made Pinterest templates. The only reason I don't do this is because aesthetically, it's not what I want for my blog's home page to look like.
8. Enable Rich Pins
OK, so this was the very last thing I did for Pinterest, but in all honesty, it should be the first thing you do. Enabling Rich Pins means Pinterest pulls information directly from your site, such as author name, the title of the article, the first part of the article and a "read it" button, keeping it updated automatically and boosting traffic to your site. It took a little while to find out how to do this, but if you have Wordpress follow this article, and if you have Blogger, follow this article. Both super easy to understand and execute. You basically add some copy to the body of your website, send a link to Pinterest for them to verify it and within a couple of minutes you should get an email telling you that you are Rich Pin enabled. Easy peasy. I just wish I'd done it sooner.
So there you have it. I don't claim to be an expert - there are some amazing courses out there if you want to really understand your Pinterest analytics etc - but I'm taking it step by step and these are my beginner tips on how to create a more cohesive Pinterest account, hopefully gain more followers and drive traffic to your website.
Are you a fan of Pinterest? Is there anything you've discovered here that you didn't know already? I'd love to discover more of your boards so leave me a link to your account below or follow me right here.