How to get Started with PinterestLike all of the other social media networks, Pinterest can potentially drive a lot of traffic to your website. I recently went to Google to search for the title of a blog post I wrote awhile back. I was surprised to see that the first result on Google wasn’t from my blog, it was from the pinned photo of that blog post on Pinterest! This site can be powerful and a lot of fun.

Here’s how to get started with Pinterest:

Create pin boards. When defining your boards, consider what topics and images would be of interest to your target audience. You can create multiple boards with various themes and should avoid using the default board titles that Pinterest suggests. Instead, rename your boards with descriptive, keyword-rich titles to help Pinterest users find your content. Google also gives a high priority to boards on Pinterest, so that keyword-rich title has a good chance of showing up in search results.

Download the Pin It button. Pinterest allows you to download a Pin It button to add to the toolbar on your web browser. This makes it easy to get in the habit of pinning interesting content to your boards.

Start pinning content. One of the great benefits of pinning photos to Pinterest is that a link is automatically included back to the source of the pinned photo. So if you pin a book from Amazon, the image will be linked back to the book’s page on Amazon. You can also add descriptions to each photo that you pin to your board so be sure to include a descriptive title. Here are some examples of content you can pin to your boards:

  • Books in the same genre as yours, including your books of course. For example, you could create a board called “Favorite European Travel Books.” Since Pinterest automatically links back to the source of the photo, be sure to pin your books either from a sales page on your site or a sales page on one of the online retailers. For extra assurance that visitors will click through to buy your book, you can also copy and paste the sales page link into the description for the image.
  • Blog content from your own blog. For each new blog post, pin its associated photo to a board you have designated for your blog. Pinterest will automatically link back to the source of the photo so that visitors can easily click through to read your content. For example, you might create a board called “ABC Travel Blog – How to Travel Through Europe.”
  • Photos from events including book signings, speaking engagements, launch parties, etc.
  • Themes from your book. If your book is set in a specific city, you could pin photos of various city monuments. If your book includes recipes or food-related topics, pin photos of food with links back to the recipes online. Look for interesting ways to promote visual elements from your books.
  • Photos from readers. Ask readers to submit photos of themselves reading your books and have some fun pinning these to a board. If your book has a pet-related theme, you could ask readers take pictures of your book with their dogs and cats! Or ask readers to send photos of your book from their vacation destinations. Have some fun with this and get others engaged in the process.
  • Unrelated content also works on Pinterest. I recently created a board called “Creative Wall Art Ideas,” and began pinning photos I found through searching Google and Pinterest. That board has generated a lot of re-pins from Pinterest users, which increases my overall engagement on Pinterest. We don’t know their algorithms for ranking users, but they most likely assign higher priority to users with active boards.

Build your audience. You can cross-promote your Pinterest presence with other social networks by periodically sharing links to your boards on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Also, be sure to add a link to your Pinterest profile from your website alongside your other social media site links.

Engage on Pinterest. Spend some time visiting Pinterest boards created by other users where you can choose to follow a user, leave a comment on a photo, like their photo, or re-pin their photo to one of your boards. As with all of the other social networks, the more you participate, the better results you will see as other Pinterest users begin to return the favor.

Add a Pin it button to your site. To encourage website visitors to share your content on Pinterest, install a Pin it button across all pages and blog posts on your website. WordPress users can easily install the Pinterest Pin It button plug-in or add the button from the ShareThis social media plug-in (search plug-ins in WordPress to locate these).

Get creative with your pins. Start paying attention to the content you come across online and pin interesting articles, news, info graphics, short stories, poems, or products to a board on your site (you can always create a new board if needed). As long as the content appeals to your target audience, anything goes. You might be surprised to discover how many others will begin to engage with you, visit your website, and repin your content as a result.

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