If I knew how to use Pinterest instead of focusing on Twitter and Facebook during my early days of platform building, I’d be much further along than I am today. Still, at 27 I’m not too late in the game, but I want to tell you how important Pinterest is when it comes to building a platform….next to Google+, it’s number two on the list.
Some of you might be raising eyebrows at Pinterest and Google+, especially Google+, which will meet its demise later this year, but here is my reasoning:
1. People are visual, and Pinterest has visuals, which is powerful. Think about it; people these days would rather read pictures and memes than a peer-reviewed, published article. My guess is because we were brought up reading pictures and memes. We’re visual from day one.
2. Google+ sharing will grant you faster Google Indexing, which leads me to believe Google will replace Google+ with something greater and I can’t wait to see what.
3. Another method on sticking to visuals, and something I need to work on, myself, is Instagram, which also attracts visuals and has gained steam.
Doesn’t Social Media Suck?
Some of you following me might say, “Wait a minute, Todd, didn’t you claim social media is the worst way to build an authoring platform?”
Yes, I did say that but I’m not contradicting myself.
Let me explain:
1. Twitter: You can either use Twitter cards or simply share your blog with each article you write and while this may help increase traffic, a Tweet loses steam after a few minutes. Unless you wanted to Tweet over and over again, Twitter isn’t going to be effective.
2. Facebook: You might reach 100 people tops if you just share the blog with your Facebook page. Facebook posts also come and go after a few minutes. Facebook can be a great tool, but you better be willing to pay for Facebook ads or have such a loyal fanbase they’ll share each of your posts, which is highly unlikely.
3. Pinterest: Pinterest posts stay, and do so for the long run. Why? Because with Pinterest, you save posts to boards and all a follower who’s following your boards and finds just ONE article interesting is to click on that board and boom, each image is one click away from your blog. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where a follower would have to come across your post, which is hard to do.
4. Google+: Since Google+ is a product of Google, saving posts here will give your blog a chance to get indexed and ranked in Google. Meaning if a user searches a keyword Google itself has indexed your blog in, you’ll build traffic. Again, it only takes a user finding one article captivating before you have a new follower.
Back to Pinterest
How do you use Pinterest?
It’s quite easy, even if I found it confusing for a time.
You need to create a Pinterest account and start a business theme since this is a writing or author business.
Don’t worry, this is free on Pinterest. It’s kind of like a Facebook Page versus a Facebook Profile.
Make sure you create a board with your blog’s name, so mine would be My Freedom Flame.
In the upper right-hand corner you’ll see a red circle with a plus sign in in the middle. Click on it, and this will lead to a pop up window in the middle of the page.
You’ll see a space to leave an image on the left, and a button that says ‘Save from Site’ below it.
Click on the ‘Save from Site’ button and copy the url of your latest bog post. Once copied, paste the url into the ‘Save from Site’ box, which will then bring up images associated with your blog post (I do hope you have at least one image in your posts).
Now, click on an image, and fill out the box on the right-hand side of the screen with a post title (it should be the title of your own post) and place a description inside the box.
The description should contain a question, like this: Want to know how to use Pinterest to increase author visibility?
After the question, use a call-to-action: Click the link below to learn more.
Now, there’s always a link below the description box, but in case someone can’t find the link, I always place one below the description.
You need to save the post to a board that you created earlier. The board that says My Freedom Flame is the one I save all my blog articles to.
Notice at the bottom right there’s a drop down menu. That’s where I choose the board I’ll save my pin to. I’ve already selected My Freedom Flame, so the last step is to scroll back up and click the red ‘Save’ button.
On my budding sister site, Lord of Columbia Series, I have another board entitled with that name, where I save articles to that site from.
How to Build a Pinterest Following
This is quite simple. For one, I always follow like-minded people. Anyone in the writing niche are great to follow and always be sure to follow a few a day. This will gain you some followers with other users following you back. I follow anyone in the writing niche who are following me.
You will also gain a following when you continue to post to your blog and link each post to Pinterest.
Make sure you’re posting what are known as Evergreen posts, or posts that won’t go out of fashion any time soon. For instance, posts regarding social media can be considered Evergreen because social media is here to stay for the long-run, perhaps forever.
I’ll create an article later describing Evergreen posts and their importance to bloggers.
Also, to build an effective following, it’s important to stay in your niche. Since our niches involve writing, stick to the writing topic and that’s it. If you own multiple blogs you want to use Pinterest for, create multiple accounts if the blogs belong to different niches.
For instance, My Freedom Flame and Lord of Columbia Series go hand in hand, but Get Pro Football Apparel, my NFL-based blog, doesn’t. Therefore, Get Pro Football Apparel has its own Pinterest page, while the former two share one.
Another great way to build a Pinterest following is to have a ‘follow button’ on your blog. If you look to the upper-right-hand corner of my blog, you’ll see the follow buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
I also have an email subscription form as well for those who’d rather sign up via email, or, since My Freedom Flame is a WordPress.com/business page for the time being until I transfer it to my Wealthy Affiliate page later this year, WordPress users can just follow the blog with their WordPress profile.
I hope you learned a lot and saw the value in what creating a Pinterest page can and will do for you. Thank you for reading.