Bloggers and publishers are looking for more ways to drive traffic back to their websites. Yet many continue to make the most basic mistakes without even realizing it. You don’t know what you don’t know right?
Pinning your blog on Pinterest and achieving success is going to take more than a “hope and pray” strategy. Hoping for more followers and repins isn’t going to cut it if you’re not fully committed to learning what it takes to win on Pinterest. You probably joined Pinterest awhile back (you possibly don’t even remember when) and you might be thinking of dabbling into it again. You’d be smart to because Pinterest drives more traffic to publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined.
According to Pinterest, over 14 million articles are pinned on their discovery tool every single day. What does that tell you? You should make Pinterest the first place you promote your blog posts.
But, why invest your time on Pinterest when you can barely keep up with Facebook and Twitter? Well here’s the thing: pins live forever on Pinterest. They have a longer shelf life compared to every other socials. What that means to you is that when you pin your blog it will keep getting shared over and over and over again.
I bet when you revisited your Pinterest account after abandoning for several months you were surprised to see that your blog images actually had a few repins. That’s the beautiful thing about Pinterest. If you have great content that serves your target audience you’ll see action. Your Google Analytics will show you’re receiving traffic from Pinterest, too.
If you’ve been in the habit of only writing for hours, split that time with creating images for your blog posts. I know that it’s in you to have the discipline to create great work.
With that in mind let’s stop making these basic Pinterest mistakes.
1) You don’t have a strategy
Pinning whenever you feel like it is not a strategy. Unless you want to waste your valuable time on Pinterest, you must have a well thought out plan before you start creating your boards. Starting a Pinterest marketing campaign without having a plan in mind is like wandering through a forest without a map… you’ll end up frustrated and lost.
Actionable Tip: Brainstorm about your goals & think on paper:
- What are you hoping to achieve through Pinterest?
- Who is your target audience?
- What type of content will you share on Pinterest that your target audience wants, needs and would love? How will the info you share help them solve their pressing problems?
2) You’re not making it easy to find you
I’m all for creativity but you need to make your board titles obvious. Board titles are indexed by Google. That means garnishing your board titles with keywords will help you rank high on Google too, not just on Pinterest’s search engine.
Have a look at this board below. Is it obvious what it’s about? The category “trends” is definitely popular on Pinterest but the board could use some TLC by adding the kind of trend. Is this flower arrangement trends, wedding bouquets trends, or color trends?
3) You’re not using secret boards
If you’re serious about getting more followers, eliminate having empty boards like the ones you see below. There is no reason for your boards to be empty. Use your secret boards to prep your boards and wait until you have at least 10 images to publish it live.
As a Pinterest account manager I find it important to use a Pinterest scheduling tool like Viraltag. When I’m looking for images that I feel worthy of repinning, I place them on my client’s secret boards and publish them on days that Pinners will most likely be searching. For example, I schedule health and fitness related pins on Mondays.
4) You’re not repinning images that didn’t get a repin
One of the most important indicators that your images are pin-worthy is when they get repinned. If your pins did not receive any repins then you need to pin it again. Do this on a weekly basis. Don’t repin in one sitting. Use a scheduling tool like Viraltag so you’re spreading your pins versus pinning them all in one sitting.
Some Pinners have asked “is it still necessary to use a scheduling tool given that Pinterest shows pins randomly anyway?” Absolutely, you need a scheduling tool like Viraltag because it forces you to develop a timing strategy to connect with your target audience. It’s important to pin images when you have the highest possible odds of engagement. For example, according to Pinterest, pinning fitness related topics is best shared on Mondays.
5) You’re not leveraging Pinterest’s free tools
One of the most important tools that bloggers have access to are the Pinterest analytics. You have access to this free tool once you’ve verified your website. Pinterest’s analytics will show you what your followers love! Having success on Pinterest means serving your target audience with information that they love to help them shape their future. Don’t you want to know which of your content is working? Having access to Pinterest’s analytics is invaluable and it’s free.
6) You have no board description
As you can see this board below has no detailed, magnetic, alluring description. Maybe the blogger thought it didn’t need a description because it was obvious. Desserts are no doubt popular on Pinterest, which is even more reason to add two things on your board description.
a) What can Pinners discover on your boards?
b) What’s unique about them?
Actionable Tip: Create a detailed description
You have 500 letter characters to work with so include a description of what they can expect to find. And of critical importance, garnish the description with your chosen keywords so that Pinners find your content first on the Pinterest search engine.
7) You’re not thinking mobile
Everything you do has to be mobile friendly. Ask yourself:
a) Are you ignoring text overlays on your images? If you want to get more visibility on Pinterest one of the ways to do that is to add text overlays on your image. Have a look at the image below. Which one stands out to you the most?
Double check that your selected fonts are easy to read!
b) Are your images too short or too long? Create vertical pins with a preferred image aspect ratio of 2:3 to 1:3.5 and a minimum width of 600 pixels and 900 pixels to 2100 pixels tall. Pins get cut off in feeds if the ratio is greater than 1:3.5 so make sure it’s not too tall.
c) Do your pin descriptions display the most vital information?
80% of Pinterest users use their mobile device. Here’s how the pin descriptions appear depending on device.
- On the iPhone grid, up to 4 lines appear, which is around 100 characters
- On the iPad, up to 10 lines appear, which is around 250 characters
- On the Android, descriptions are truncated to either 3 or 4 lines, which is at about 100 characters
The average is entirely due to the size of the letters. To keep it conservative, use 75 characters to make sure to show up on iPhone and Android.
Unless, and until, you stop making these basic mistakes, nothing you do will put you on the path to amazing results with Pinterest. As a visual content marketing expert, I recommend that you please go to your Day-Timer right now and decide when to fix these basic mistakes.
And if you’re not making any of these mistakes then kudos to you! Keep up the good work.