One of the most surprising revelations in my study of other people’s blogs is that Pinterest apparently matters in driving traffic to blogs. Several bloggers I’ve read who talk about traffic and referrals cite Pinterest as an important referrers. This would seen logical for DIY bloggers, hair and fashion, photography and food blogs–things that have a highly visual component. But are they working for other kinds of blogs? Should this blog be on Pinterest? How would that even work?
I’ve set up a Pinterest site for Impractical Advice to test this notion. I pinned on my personal account years ago. It has too many old boards that are not relevant to the audience I want to draw on Pinterest, so I set up new business Pinterest account (no worries, there are no costs) to test the waters.
Lordy, mercy, Pinterest is big even for my topic of beginning blogging and blogging as side hustle. What a freaking surprise. This could quite possibly be the best resource for traffic for bloggers that there is on the Internet. Mind Blown.
Verifying Your Blog Account to Pinterest
After creating the account, you can verify your WordPress (or other) blog, which begins the whole process. Figuring out how to do this is not obvious. You start with the basic settings in your Pinterest account. There you will see a box for “website” . and the opportunity to generate a verification code for your website. Click that button and copy that code (Ctrl-C), a short snippet of HTML that includes a long unique string that you put into your WordPress blog.
After many attempts and pushing many buttons, I discovered that I needed to use the SETTINGS menu in my WordPress blog to put this code in and verify the blog.
Here’s where you put the Pinterest code.
Explore other people’s boards in your area of interest
If you have a hair blog, a DIY blog, a travel blog, a mommy blog–whatever kind of blog you have, you need to do research on your competitor friends. Yes, think of them as friends. The huge deluge of pins and blogs out there will totally rock your brain. Don’t get scared or discouraged! If there are lots of people in your topic space, that means the topic space has audiences.
Audiences are always hungry for new things. You are new! You have something to say that audiences haven’t heard before. Concentrate on quality content, frequent posting, and keep your focus on your target audience. Educating yourself on the competition shouldn’t be anxiety producing– and if it is you’re doing it wrong.
What I learned by checking out the competition
The community of people writing for new bloggers has a large presence on Pinterest. They make great use of picture on their front pages and create art that incorporates the title of their blog post. The top pins I saw have pretty good content; they are worth checking out. I can now see more of the standard that I’ll be expected to hit when I begin marketing through Pinterest.
While the top pins are worthy, I was a bit astonished to see how blinged out these posts were in advertising content. Everywhere, I had to endure distracting, clashing content that made reading posts difficult. I specifically chose a WordPress premium site so that my readers wouldn’t have to struggle like this. It is “sell, sell, sell” and it makes my teeth ache. Advertising is all well and good, but there has to be some restraint and some good design involved. I got a bit worn out struggling through some of the posts because of all that bling.
It’s made me more committed to my mission: to provide new bloggers with real help. It’s sharpened my sense of what blogging at its best should be about: positive education. More on that soon.
And so loyal readers–and there appear to be about 7 of you now–I’ll keep you in the know about my experiences with Pinterest this week and as we go along. Is Pinterest as good as people say? Is it a good place for new bloggers to market their content? Stay tuned. We’ll find out more in weeks to come.
Oh, and if you are already a veteran pinner? I WOULD LOVE to hear your experiences in the comments! Thanks for dropping by! ~ Lola