How to Use Pinterest to Draw Traffic To Your Blog

by Nicole on November 8, 2011 · 12 comments

A month or so ago, I heard about Pinterest from one of my clients. She was telling me how she found a healthy recipe on the site. It sounded a lot like a recipe I had blogged about. I found this curious, so I decided to check out this Pinterest site.

Pinterest is like an online scrapbook for anything you find visually worthy on the Internet. Looking at it, all I wanted to do was pin things, and create little virtual memory boards. I started to daydream like I was back in middle school clipping cute pictures out of Teen magazine. For those who are visually driven, and love scrapbooking — beware, you may get sucked in.

(First, though, I found you have to request to be a member. I found this strange. Why would you have to wait until they say it is OK for you to join? It may be because the site is still undergoing small changes and initial testing.)

Once I was invited to become a member of Pinterest and log in, a few things happened:

First, I found it extremely addicting. I check for new pins every day. I can’t wait to see what cool hairstyle can inspire me or what new home decor idea I can try.

Beyond that, it’s been great for blogging. Since joining, I have become more absorbed in the blogosphere. Pinterest has led me to visit new and interesting blogs and websites I hadn’t known about before. It’s almost like StumbleUpon, but better. When I see a photo that interests me, I may go to the website for further information. I can follow bloggers to see all their pins; it’s just a different way of getting to know them outside of reading their blog. While it’s possible to have a multi-interest blog, that doesn’t work for everyone; rather than trying to fit fashion into your healthy living blog, you could encourage your readers to follow your fashion board on Pinterest.

Even better, my blog’s page views have increased since I have joined Pinterest because yes, I am guilty of pinning just a few of my own recipe photos. (Don’t act shocked. If I have a blog, of course I want people to visit it, so why not pin it?) But I only pin special pictures. I don’t want to be responsible for adding junk to Pinterest (and I feel that food pictures should be more for sites like Foodgawker and Tastespotting). But Pinterest is like any social media site that you join and link your blog to: you are likely to receive hits if you promote yourself. In my case, Pinterest seems to draw just as many — or more! — readers than Twitter and other social media sites.

One negative thing about Pinterest is that you may find the same pins reappear multiple times in your feed. This happens with the most popular pins or if a pin is being discussed. I don’t mind it too much, but it can get annoying. I recommend that those who join Pinterest post new and fresh pins so we don’t get the same images repeated. It’s also a way for you to really distinguish yourself and your unique tastes. I fear that as more people discover Pinterest, more spam and junk will appear on the site but for now, Pinterest remains mostly spam-free, and full of girly, fun, inspirational pictures.

Pinterest may seem like it’s just another social media site, but it gives me inspiration. I enjoy perusing the site, and I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time. And beyond that, it helps me connect with the blogosphere and drive traffic to my blog. I think as time goes on, bloggers will find more and more ways to use it as part of blogging.

What do you think about Pinterest? Have you gotten sucked into pinning? Has it helped your blog at all?

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janetha November 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I am one of those people that thinks it’s lame to pin photos from your own blog. I use Pinterest to pin things I want to make, buy, etc. or that I like a whole lot (ie: photos of ridiculously cute dogs, ladies with amazing abs, etc.) So I would never pin something from my blog because I already know about it or have already made it. I will leave the pinning of items on my blog to others. I have noticed a lot of traffic from Pinterest and it grows each day since the site is getting more popular.
janetha´s last post ..go pack go.

Parita @ myinnershakti November 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I am currently obsessed with Pinterest but haven’t really used it to draw new blog readers. I’m still trying to figure it out for myself. Thanks for the useful info!

Bethany @ More Fruit Please November 8, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I agree that Pinterest is a great tool for having your blog content publicized and shared, but I don’t pin thngs from my own blog for reasons similar to Janetha’s. I think that only way I would pin my own blog’s content is if I had a dedicated board for my items so that it was clear to my Pinterest followers that I was simply highlighting my favorite posts/recipes and not just looking for more clicks.

Also, for anyone interested in knowing what items from their blogs are being pinned, you can check by using:
Bethany @ More Fruit Please´s last post ..Purging the Fridge

Bethany @ More Fruit Please November 8, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I don’t know why the link didn’t show up. It’s:

Alicia from Poise in Parma November 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I hadn’t thought of pinning my own photos from my blog to my Pinterest. I don’t know if my usual content would apply as I don’t usually find the photos I take to be very “Pinterest” worthy. But if we’re using Twitter and Facebook, why not Pinterest?

I personally use it as a place to hold recipes. I pin the photo with the URL for the recipe. I’ve also seen another Cleveland blogger hold a Pinterest party where the guests were to make dishes inspired by their pinned photos on the site. I thought it was a really cool idea!
Alicia from Poise in Parma´s last post ..three things this tuesday: Ohio Blogging Association announcements!

LizK November 10, 2011 at 9:41 pm

I am not a blogger, but am I blog reader and I have a bone to pick about Pintrest. I love Pintrest. I’ve been on for awhile and think it’s a great way to find new recipes, fun DIYs, hilarious quotes, cute fashion, etc. I have recently started to follow some of my favorite bloggers’ pages. I’ve noticed (and been annoyed by) two things in particular. #1 They pin something and then put that picture on their blog. Like, they see a recipe or a quote they like and then you see it on their blog with a title, “doesn’t this look great, I’m going to have to make it” or “isn’t this such a good quote” and then that is all their post is. You’re going to have to give me something more! #2 They pin EVERYTHING from their blog. I understand pinning a few of your special posts, I’m okay with seeing double every once in awhile, but I think it is cheap to pin all of your posts (I’ve even seen multiple pins of different pictures for a single post.) If your content is good enough, people will pin for you, no need to whore yourself out like that.

In fact, Pintrest has a “Pin Etiquette” section and this is listed: Avoid Self Promotion — Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.

I’m frustrated with bloggers wanting me to follow them in all social media- blog, FB, Twitter, Pintrest, etc. but then not giving me anything new and different. I don’t think it’s okay to beg people to follow you across the board and then repeat the same things over on each avenue.

I’m sorry for the ramble, but this pintrest thing has got me a bit frustrated. Thoughts?

Rachel Wilkerson November 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I totally agree it’s in poor taste to pin EVERYTHING you shoot or post, but I do think that tooting your own horn once in a while is fine! I love the idea above of having a specific board for this though — it’s kind of disclaimer.

With regards to pinning things and posting them to your blog, I can see why that’s obnoxious, and I get your frustration with people posting the same things across all social media channels, but I think some people do this because they just want to be wherever their followers are. For example, people can friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Personally, I prefer Twitter to FB, but most of my friends aren’t on Twitter, so if I only posted my blog links on Twitter, my friends would never see them. So I post a lot of the same content both places. I’ve debated posting my pins to my blog because I know my mom, for example, doesn’t follow me on Pinterest. My concern with posting some content in just one place is that it effectively alienates people who don’t/can’t/choose not to use that social media platform.

So is following me so different across the platforms? No, it’s not really, so that’s why I’d expect it’s an OR thing — follow me or friend me, whatever YOU want to do. I feel like everything these days is about how the user wants to get content (TV shows, books, blogs, websites, etc.) — get it on your computer, on your smartphone, on your iPad, Kindle, etc. That’s why websites have to tailor to all these different types of browsers (which is a huge pain for them, but it’s just what you have to do these days). I do duplicate content across social media platforms but it’s in an effort to give people the content how THEY want to receive it.
Rachel Wilkerson´s last post ..Reading Into It: Two Funny Books by Two Really Funny Authors

Rebecca November 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

I couldn’t agree more Rachel. My situation is very similar to yours! I like Twitter better, too.
I have a separate board for MissHotcakes, which is my (etsy) store. I have generated interest for items there, and I feel confident that my pics are good/fit in, so…
But of course, my ‘random’ board is just cool stuff that I like, otherwise.

Rebecca November 21, 2011 at 8:29 am

PS have you guys ever seen your own pins? I have not, does it block your own pins? Just curious..
Rebecca´s last post ..Lily dangly earrings

Vicki November 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I discovered Pinterest when I checked the stats on my blog and found links to bulletin boards. Since then I have found some good ideas for projects to do in the art classes that I teach for children. I just started my own account, but haven’t completely figured out how it works.

Allie July 17, 2012 at 11:15 pm

I used to be in love with Pinterest. I had my gripes, like how easy it is for people not to credit/link original sources appropriately, but it was definitely addictive & a very effective social-media-type-tool for many bloggers. I think there are a lot of ethical issues that need to be resolved though, so I deleted my account months ago.
The agreement you sign says you will only Pin images you have the rights to; yet you also agree to avoid “self promotion”. Confusing. You also give the image to Pinterest to use in any way they want, which technically holds you liable if that’s not ok with the owner. If you choose to use Pinterest, you should only Pin with permission.
There were some good discussions going awhile back. I cite some of them in this post:

Kal sums up the issues with Pinterest really nicely in her post.

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