We’ve heard the stats: More traffic referred than LinkedIn, You Tube and Google Plus combined and we’ve all headed over to Pinterest like the hordes of Khan, descending upon the Steppe.
The regular users of Pinterest must be thrilled at all these marketers descending upon them telling them how to use the site and use it to their own advantage
But can Pinterest be used by bloggers, too? Of course – and here’s how!
Setting up your Pinterest account is easy:
If you don’t have an invite, says so in the comments section and we’ll get one to you.
Then set up your boards – they key to getting found is accurate naming and categorising of the boards. You can use keywords in your board names and you should have a variety of boards. Not just one board stuffed with anything you like, but a board for each topic and that topic categorised correctly.
Pinterest: Create a Board
You can add a board to your account at anytime. You start out with 5 boards that Pinterest suggests for you. To create a new board, click the “Add+” button on which is located on the site’s top right menu.
Next, you’ll get the choice of adding a pin, uploading a pin or creating a board. We choose the “create a board” option.
Next you can create a name for your board and select a category. For the purpose of this tutorial call the board anything you like, but remember you can make the title keyword rich.
You can choose to allow others to pin to your board. This is really useful if you’re working on a collaborative project, planning an event, planning a wedding, restoring a car, a road trip or something else that requires input from others.
If that’s the case, you can select “Me + Contributors”. Add an email address and then click “Add”.
You can also add people who are already following you, by starting to type their name and Pinterest will populate the field with potential choices.
You can edit your board at a later date, including adding or removing contributors later.
The Actual Pinning Part…
To create a pin, you can
- Do it directly from the Pinterest website,
- Add a “Pin It” button to your browser
- Or using the iPhone mobile app (at the time of typing other Smartphone apps are not available).
We’re going look at how you can pin from the Pinterest website and using the Pinterest Bookmarklet via your browser.
Pinning from a Web Page Using the Pinterest Website:
At the top right menu, click the “Add+” link.
You can add a pin from a web page or upload a pin from your computer. To a pin from a web page, click “Add a Pin.”
Enter the web page address that you’d like to choose a picture from. Enter the specific page you want, not just the website name. The website name will give you a very limited choice of images to pin.
Click “Find Images” when you’re done. Now, Pinterest will locate the images on the page you specified. Choose the image you want, specify the board you want to pin it to and add a little description. You can also highlight the text on page and Pinterest will pull that text into the description box. Click “Pin it” when you’re done.
Pinning an Image from Your Computer Using the Pinterest Website
Pinning an image from you computer is a great way of adding an image to a pin and then embedding that pin into your blog post.
After you’ve clicked the “Add+” button in the menu, this time you’re going to choose “Upload a Pin” instead.
Next, choose a picture from your computer, select an appropriate board and add a description. The description is important – if you add a price in dollars your pin will show in the gifts section of the site. The description should be keyword rich and image related wherever possible. When people search they want to find relevant images. If you keyword stuff or describe a pin inaccurately the searcher will get bored and move away from your boards.
Remember to click “Pin It” when you’re done.
Pinning from the “Pin It” Button on Your Browser
The “Pin It” button is the easiest way to pin from a website, so I recommend you set it up. To add it, go to http://pinterest.com/about/goodies/ and read up on the “Pin It” Button. All you have to do is drag and drop that button into the bookmarks toolbar near the top of your browser.
Now the button is on your toolbar. To use it, go to a web page you want to pin from and click it.
Pinterest will find all the images on that page. Just hover over the one you want and click the “Pin This” button that appears.
It’s as simple as that.
A Note About Images You Find on the Web:
Before you get really into pinning (it’s quite addictive) have a look through Pinterest’s Pin Etiquette page at: http://pinterest.com/about/etiquette/.
Pinterest stress the importance of providing proper credit for the images you use. This means you must go to the original source of the image, rather than directly pinning from Google Images. If you are using Google Images to find your photos, click to view the original page and click the “X” at the top right corner of the image. That will bring you to the original web page and you can pin from there.
When an image is pinned through Google, if it’s not pinned from the source it will be attributed incorrectly. That doesn’t help anyone and at best seems lazy and at it’s worst it could be copyright theft.
If you are an artist or creative you will understand the important of attributing the images you pin correctly. Make sure if you use Google for images that you click the “x” and pin directly from the website.
You Can Also Pin Video
Although I have struggled to pin videos directly from You Tube, it is possible to pin Videos onto your pinboards. In this instance I find it works best when the video to be pinned is in a blog post or article and pinned directly from that page. When I have tried to pin from You Tube it tells me there are no videos or large images on the page
At the top of the Pinterest site you will see a selection of videos that are pinned. You can watch them directly on Pinterest and repin them from the site.
Repin, Like, Comment and Tagging
You can find great images, by viewing the pins of other members. Whether you look at the public timeline or people you’re following, you can participate in Pinterest by repinning, liking or commenting on their pins.
Hover over any pin, you’d like to repin and you’ll see 3 options. Choose “Repin”.
Then you’ll be able to choose the board you want to pit in it to and you can also change the description( if you’d like to) before repinning. If you highlight text on the page, then click the pin button, the highlighted text will be pulled into the description box.
Check to see what is actually in the description box before you re-pin. Or you could find people think you are the one saying how cute when you re-pin a photo of jellybabies.
To like a pin, you just select “Like” option shown earlier and the pin will then be recorded in your “Likes” section. It’s a bit like bookmarking and it’s very visual. These are public and anyone can see the content that you have liked. This is handy if you want to like something but not share it via your boards.
You can also leave a comment on anyone’s pin. Just click the “Comment” button and say what you love about the pin, or thank them for re-pinning. In the Pin-Etiquette section it asks you to be respectful in your comments as we all like different things. Wise words.
How Not to Comment…
Yes, that’s one image and a whole page of text. I don’t read that text, I am looking at interesting images and masses of text makes me less likely to re-pin something. The ideal amount of text is 3 or 4 sentences describing the image.
Just like on Facebook and Google Plus, if you use the @ symbol and start typing a friends name you can tag them in the description box of a pin. As you start typing Pinterest suggests people you may be looking to tag.
We Can Find Images from Pinterest to Use on Our Blogs
Using the search function we can search using keywords, I used blogging. This pulls up all the images people say are related to blogging. To embed a pin you have to select one.
Then click the embed button
When you have the html code, add into your blog post via your HTML editor and it will look like this -
The pin, when embedded, credits the pinner and the original source.
If you add additional images you have a whole new type of list post, one created from pins. This can be used by bloggers looking to create product lists that are visually appealing or a different look for their online store.
Additional Blog Marketing via Pinterest
Pinterest can be used for more than just images when it comes to blogging. You can pin coupons to a board and show that board in your blog’s sidebar. The plugin just for that is the aptly named Pinterest Pinboard widget. In your sidebar you can show the boards that are relevant to the content of the site and not every board that you have.
You can have a board of images with your URL or logo watermarked onto the images, when these are re-pinned they mention you the original source – useful in case the images land up in google images and not attributed correctly. My friend, the botanical photographer Anita Hunt, does this with her images. Her URL is in white, on the petal, in the 5pm position.
The Super Simple Pinterest plugin displays your most recent pins in a widget, well that could get a little dangerous for me. Charlie Hunnam would take over my sidebar and detract from my content … more on WordPress plugins for Pinterest can be found here – WordPress and Pinterest.
Images, Where Do I Find Fabulous Images?
Here’s the thing… if you are using an image created by someone else, you are not the source. Now is the time to learn how to get creative with graphics, how to take a better photograph, how to hack up the images that you do own. It doesn’t take much, trust me when I say that (I don’t even own a copy of photoshop), to create n image that’s quirky or different. You can buy stock images and add to them / resize / re-shape and create something new.
But I Don’t Want Anyone Pinning My Images
Well the good news is you can add a snippet of code to the “head” of your site or a page on your site and prevent the images from being pinned. This is useful to photographers who wish to protect certain images or images of a commercial or sensitive nature.
You can find out more about “no-pinning” here.
Can I Pin Affiliate Links?
Yes you can Pin affiliated products. Remember to add the $ symbol so people are aware that it can be purchased. Also be aware that this is the exception and not the rule. If every Pin you post is one that is an affiliate link or a product promo people will soon get fed up with you and your pins won’t get viewed. Be sensible here.
Pinterest is an established community already.
With many people, who have been happily pinning whilst we have all been working out Google Plus. They are mainly female (73% of users according to Experian Hitwise) and they have a great deal of influence (although the ratio in the UK is skewed towards man – go figure!).
I have read posts from blokes moaning that women are on Pinterest or it’s only shoes and wedding businesses there. Now is the time to put aside “gender” differences and go and mingle with people you have not met before.
For blokes that lack the imagination to work out what to pin, start with classic cars and your greatest books and the best things on TV. It will grow on you and you will find that when you follow your friends you will find new people with similar interests.
You do not have to look at every single pin, you choose who you follow and what you see, just like you do on Twitter.
So, there you have it – the ultimate guide to Pinterest for bloggers. Ready to start Pinning?