If you are a blogger trying to get your posts noticed by Google, then you probably already know how important it is to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. One way to do that is to build links to your site.
Over the years I have built links to my site in a variety of ways. Years ago, reciprocal linking was popular, but with Google now cracking down on unnatural link profiles, this practice is generally frowned upon.
Other ways I have built links to my site include guest posting and commenting on other people’s blogs. While it is always a good idea to do these things, the drawback of these approaches is that you are building links ONE link at a time. If you want to build a lot of links, it will take a long time to build links this way. There must be another way!
The Power of Pinterest
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past year, you have probably noticed Pinterest’s huge rise in popularity. Many bloggers haven’t yet jumped on the bandwagon, but when they realize the power Pinterest has and learn how to harness that power, they will quickly change their marketing strategies.
I started out using Pinterest for my own personal use, and I quickly grew to love it. I loved all the photos, and that is definitely what draws people in– the beautiful photos. Photos of mouth-watering recipes to try, things to grow in my garden this year, crafts to make…it was easy for me to jump in with both feet and create and organize my own Pinterest boards.
I began creating photos and images for my own articles and pinning them on Pinterest. Soon I noticed something really startling…the links to my site were growing, exponentially!
I started using Pinterest in February 2012. By September Google’s Webmaster Tools reported I had more than 11,000 links pointing to my site from Pinterest. In November 2012, there were 23,000 links, in January 2013, there were 53,000 links, and less than a month later Webmaster Tools was reporting 69,000 incoming links to my site from Pinterest.
Exponential link growth is an understatement. Webmaster Tools isn’t even reporting all of the links. If you add Pinterest’s “pin it” button to your posts, it will show you how many times your post has been re-pinned on Pinterest. To date, I have ONE post that has been re-pinned 71,000+ times, another that has been re-pinned 42,000+ times, and another that’s been re-pinned more than 20,000 times. That’s just three posts. I have several hundred posts currently pinned on Pinterest, and I am working to go back and create photos and images for thousands of posts that don’t have a photo yet.
Don’t have the pin it button on your site yet? There are a number of WordPress plug-ins you can use, such as the “Pin it on Pinterest” plug-in. If you don’t use WordPress, Pinterest offers a simple line of code you can place on your pages.
Not only can you get more links to your site by having people re-pin your posts on Pinterest, but you can also get a steady stream of traffic to your site both from Pinterest itself and from people that find your Pinterest boards when they are searching Google.
Setting Up and Organizing Pinterest Boards
It is easy to set up boards on Pinterest. Just pick a topic and create a board with that name. I have boards with names like “Favorite Recipes”, “Laundry Care”, “Organize”, “Gardening”, etc. I now have 70 Pinterest boards with more than 4,000 pins. The more boards and the more pins you have, the more likely people will be to find you and your blog.
One thing you will notice if you are searching for key phrases in Google is that Pinterest boards will show up in the search results. After I noticed that I realized how important it was to be very specific with my board names. Instead of a board just called “Weddings”, you could have boards called “Wedding Receptions”, “Wedding Decor”, “Bridal Showers”, etc. Of course this isn’t necessary for every topic, but if you are looking for search engine traffic for specific niches, then the more focused your topic is the better.
After you set up your Pinterest boards, you will want to spend some time organizing them. You have the option to re-arrange your boards any time you want to. I’ve noticed that a lot of sites, like Better Homes and Gardens, for instance, organize their boards by seasons or holiday, with the most relevant boards most visible at the top of the page. Because my boards cover so many topics, I have placed similar boards together, but other than that they are in no particular order. Some people organize their boards in alphabetical order.
Promoting Your Brand on Pinterest
To get links and traffic from Pinterest, it is important to promote your brand as much possible. There are several ways you can do this.
When Pinterest first started, you could not have a link to your web site on your profile page. That has recently been changed, however. In your account settings, you can now verify that you own your site and it adds the link right at the top of your profile page, next to your photo.
Make sure to post a good photo of yourself for people to see at the top of your Pinterest page. If you have a recognizable business logo, then a logo will work too, but if you want people to associate you with your blog, then definitely add a photo of yourself. People like to connect with other people, and if they recognize you and associate you with your blog, then they are more likely to engage with you and explore your Pinterest boards.
You can also add your business name to your profile name. A lot of people put their first name with the @ symbol and then the name of their business name. My Pinterest name is Rachel @ Creative Homemaking. This helps to get your business name out there and become more recognizable.
An additional way to promote your brand is to create boards with the name of your blog. For instance, I have a board called “Creative Homemaking”, and this is the first board you see when you visit my Pinterest page. You can really use this type of board to your advantage.
Every time I pin something from my site to Pinterest, I first pin the page to my “Creative Homemaking” board. Everything I pin from my site is on that board. A couple of days later I visit that board and “re-pin” my latest posts to the most relevant board for that topic, such as “Canning and Preserving” or “Gardening”, etc. This gives people more than one way to find your posts on your boards.
A lot of people won’t follow all of your boards, they will just follow the ones that interest them. Most people who are familiar with you or your blog will follow the board with your blog name, so this helps make sure they see all of your posts even if they don’t follow all of your boards. This will also be the first board they see when they visit your Pinterest page, so they will be much more likely to see posts from your blog than if they have to sort through all of your boards to find your posts.
Of course you are not supposed to just promote your own site on Pinterest. One rule of thumb is to pin 9 pins from other sites for every 1 pin from your own site. I have found, however, that people are very tolerant of you pinning articles from your own blog if the photos and posts are good quality.
Harnessing the Power of Pinterest
If you have not been using Pinterest in your marketing strategy for your blog, then now is the time to start. In order to use Pinterest to its full potential you have to have great photos or images. If you don’t have a photo, create an image with the article name on it, such as “Top 6 Coupon Apps”. Any image that catches people’s eyes will get re-pinned. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a photo.
Strategically arranging your boards and only pinning the best photos and images you can find will guarantee that your posts get re-pinned on Pinterest. Every new re-pin is a new link to your site.
In addition, make sure that you have Pinterest pin it buttons on all of your blog pages so that people can easily re-pin your posts to their Pinterest boards. Promote your Pinterest boards both on your blog and in your email newsletters. Follow other people on Pinterest and re-pin their posts too. The more great pins you have the more visibility your site will have and the more likely it will be that people will find you through your Pinterest boards.
Start by adding photos and images to all the new articles you post, and then as you have time go back and add photos to your older articles too. Then sit back and watch as the links to your site grow daily!