Attracting new readers is every blogger’s endless, daunting, and most important task. Social media is an accessible and free way to promote content, but often hours spent tweeting, and Facebooking are met with mediocre results. But when Pinterest came on the scene, it completely changed the face of promoting blog content.
I have been blogging for over four years, and I often struggle to find the best ways to promote my content. Facebook has been a total dead end, and Twitter has brought moderate results, but by far the most traffic comes from pinning my posts on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a visual bookmark site where users can create boards and separate content by subject. Inititally, Pinterest required an invitation by an existing member to join, but as of 2012 is open to all users who register a account. The website was first launched in 2010, and in four years’ time has grown to more than 70 million users. When Pinterest launched its mobile app in 2011, downloads exceeded all projections, and the number of users exploded. The app has been downloaded more than 200 thousand times per day. According to Hitwise data, by December 2011, Pinterest had cemented its place as one of the top 10 social media sites.
It didn’t take long for bloggers to start promoting their content on Pinterest, and as the user base grew, so did the traffic it was driving to blogs. Many successful bloggers credit the website at their number one source of view referrals, and some have launched successful businesses seemingly overnight due to the success. With results like that, its no wonder that bloggers are tailoring their posts for optimal Pinterest views and repins. On my personal blog, Pinterest is the top view referrer.
Pinterest users’ preferences have been studied, in an attempt to decipher the science behind viral Pinterest pins. According to vision critical.com, 83% of Pinterest users are women, and 45% of those users are between the ages of 34-45. According to the Build Your Blog conference, the best time of the day to pin on Pinterest is between 2 and 4 PM EST and between 8 PM to 1 AM EST. According to Pinerly the pins that are most likely to be re-pinned are trending topics, followed by “call to action” pins, and then recipes, tutorials, and DIY.
The photo editing web site Picmonkey.com is one of my favorite photo editing tools because it provides an easy way for non-technically minded people to add graphics and text to the pictures, thus making them more likely to be repined. According to wired.com Pinterest photos that are most likely to be repinned have six characteristics:
1. No human faces.
2. Little background.
3. Multiple colors.
4. Lots of red.
5. Moderate and light color.
6. Vertical, portrait orientation.
Tips like these have changed the way that I take photos, and edit them for my blog content. I try to optimize them for pinning more than any other social networking site that I promote my blog on.
Sources: Build Your Blog Conference, Pinerly.com, Pinterest.com, wired.com