I love Pinterest.  Like, loooooooove Pinterest.  A lazy Sunday morning pinning inspirational kitchens and outfits?  Yeah, that’s my kinda morning!  But Pinterest is more than just photos of my aspirational cozy living room with plants and those wooden strip poster hangers that are surprisingly expensive.  It’s also an amazing tool for driving traffic to your blog!  Pinterest for bloggers can be a great element to your social media strategy if you know how to take advantage of it.

Pinterest for Bloggers

Getting Started

I chose to make a separate account from my personal account for my sewing Pinterest.  Like Facebook, it lets me distance myself a little bit.  Plus, then I can be sure that everything is sewing and DIY focused, with no random cupcake recipes mixed in!

Pinterest lets you create a business account.  Like business accounts on other social media channels, the big plus to this is greater analytics on what you post.  Whether you create a new account or use your personal one, make sure it draws followers in!  Get a good picture of you, and clearly link to your blog in your bio.  Write something quick and enticing that gets people interested in you.  Maybe your Instagram bio would be a good fit here.

Make sure that your board titles and descriptions are full of keywords, too.  The more precise you can be, the better!  Don’t call an embroidery board something like “floss and needles” if you’re looking to gain followers.  Call it what it is!  You can provide a description for your boards.  Putting a category and including a description can help guide more followers to your boards.

What Should You Pin?

What you pin depends in part, I think, on how you mentally organize your projects.  I most often see a style I want to replicate and pin inspirational images until I find the perfect pattern.  So, I usually create what I call a project board for all that inspiration.  I can pin photos of real life outfits, and add patterns I think would be a good fit as I come across them!

Sometimes you’re in love with a pattern and looking for a way to make it your own, or lots of different hacks so you don’t feel funny making it a million times!  Pinterest boards can be great for that, too.  I have a few project boards for specific patterns.  I also love to make boards of potential hacks for #SewMyStyle2018.  If you’re a pattern designer, you could use a board to pin images of inspiration for that pattern, or photos of people wearing that pattern.

Finally, I have boards not focused on specific projects.  I have a whole board for Sewing Blogger 101 links, one for sewing tips, one for general inspiration, and one for free patterns!

It’s important to pin from a variety of sources — this post says anywhere from 50 to 80% of pins being from a source other than your blog is the magic range.  Most of my pins are from other sources (in part because I’m bad at uploading my pins…).  Pinning other people’s content can give you more inspiration, and also allow you to pin more often!

What and How to Pin from Your Blog

Well, you’re going to want to pin your posts, of course!  I have a board for all of the pieces I make, which I have not update in… too long, honestly.   I’ll touch on why that is in a second, but first let’s talk about how to get the best pins from your post.

As with basically everything we’ve talked about already, make sure your photos are high quality.  A better photo is going to be way more appealing than a dark or blurry one!

Depending on the type of post you’re writing, you may want to have one of those classic pinnable images — you know, the long rectangular ones, often with your post title and a brief description.  I feel like this doesn’t always make sense if you’re doing something like a pattern review.  When I look for a pattern on Pinterest, I’m really more interested in how it looks.  I’ve been inconsistent with creating pinnable images for my posts, and it’s something I need to experiment with more.  If you want to create pinnable images, I recommend Canva!  It’s super easy to use, and incredibly versatile.

Make sure your images have information attached to them so that when someone pins them, they get key things like what’s in the image and where they can learn more.  Put this all in the image’s alt attribute when you upload it to your host.  To write a good description, think about what you search for on Pinterest.  Use the keywords you’d use to find your post if you were someone else.  You can throw in hashtags, and definitely include your blog name!

Finally, you want to make sure that people can actually pin the images on your site!  You can allow social sharing in the settings of your site (or at least you can on WordPress), or use a plugin to have a little more control.  The one linked in that last sentence lets you customize the image that shows up when people hover to pin!  Other plugins, like Sumo, let you add in sharing buttons for all the social media sites.

Maximizing Pinterest for Bloggers

Now, one last thing — how often do you need to pin?  Well, the articles on my board will tell you anywhere from 30 to 100 pins a day!  That’s a lot, especially when you factor in things like work and sewing and food and sleep.  So what’s a blogger to do?  The easiest thing to do is to invest in a service that will pin for you.  Tailwind (not sponsored) is the #1 service I see people using for this purpose.  I’ve used their free trial myself, and was really pleased with it!  It allows you to schedule your pins, and then it posts them automatically for you.

This is good for a few reasons.  One, if you know you always have a few hours to pin on a certain day, you can get your pinning done for the week then!  Two, it spreads pins out.  This is good because it doesn’t flood your followers feeds’ with photos of you (although I’m sure they’d appreciate seeing your cute face!).  Even if you’re pinning other people’s posts, your posts will appear consistently throughout your followers’ feeds for a while.  Three, it can help you reach followers in other time zones!  Someone is always pinning, even when you’re asleep.  Why not take advantage of scheduling pins for 1 AM?

So, am I using Tailwind right now?  …No.  Not because I don’t like it!  But because I want to get a good feel for what my followers like before I outsource something like that.  I don’t feel like I’m using Pinterest to my full potential yet, and I want to learn more about it before I spend money on it. It’s my own personal preference!  If you’re ready to jump in and grow on Pinterest, though, I do recommend Tailwind.  It’s reasonable ($10 a month), easy to use, and reliable.

Okay: a few more links, and then I’m headed back to pinning adorable outfits!

See you next week for another installment of Sewing Blogger 101!