Why Pinterest made me reconsider how I create blog posts (& you should too)

Posted on February 13, 2012

“Makeover blog” has been on my to-do list for quite a while. In fact, it’s always on that list. You see, the downside to being able to install WordPress, design and edit themes, write, produce and market your own blog (that is, “doing it all”) is that because you can change it without the help of others you always are!

Normally giving my blog a makeover is based around finding a cool new font or discovering a WordPress plugin with to-die-for functionality. The kind Rachel Zoe might call “bananas”. But not this time…

Nope, this time it’s Pinterest that’s got my brain in overdrive. I wrote about Pinterest and its benefits for bloggers about six months ago. Here are some of the main points I covered:

1. Pinterest is like an online vision board, full of images you like that you’ve discovered around the web
2. Images (usually) link back to the website on which they were found
3. Pinterest users can sometimes click on the image to discover more about it (for example, if it was a picture of a hairstyle, they could click through to get the how-to directions)
4. This in turn drives traffic to the website or blog on which it appeared

Sounds pretty simple, right? Yep, it is. But it’s actually had me awake at 3am, staring at the ceiling. Let me explain…

It’s because of point 4: Pinterest is turning into a huge traffic-driver. H-U-G-E. It’s got the internet buzzing and I’m seeing posts on it pop up almost daily. Mashable reported late last year that it was expected to compete with the top 10 social networking sites, and they also reported on a study just a couple of weeks ago that claimed it drives more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.

But how much traffic are we talking about? From a single visitor to tens of thousands of visitors overnight. The Nester claimed the site sent her over 100,000 “hits” during September 2011, while a blogger from Savvy Blogging saw Pinterest help generate 43,000 page views in a single day. And I know from my own experience that a simple image of mine that I added to Pinterest sends me up to 100 extra visitors a day. (Not the five- or six-figure results the other bloggers have experienced, but am I going to scoff at potentially finding 3,000 new visitors from a single picture? Nu-uh!)

So what if you want to experience these king of Pinterest-driving traffic numbers yourself? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Make sure you have a Pinterest button on your blog (Blogger instructions here, WordPress plugins here). iFabbo is using the Pinterest “Pin It” Button plugin, styled with a little CSS (the plugin developer provides examples of this you can play with if CSS isn’t really your cup of tea). This plugin is used in conjuction with the Digg Digg plugin.
  • Make sure there is a HOT image associated with your post. The kind that’s so good, it makes you want to lick the screen*
  • Make sure the image looks good when resized to around 190 pixels wide. That’s the width Pinterest users will first see it when browsing the site on their laptop
  • Join a couple of images together. Again, using a hairstyle as an example, it’s clearer to Pinterest users there will be how-to instructions if the single image shows the before and after, rather than just showing the “after”. Check out Lauren Conrad et als’ The Beauty Department for great examples

If your blog posts are text-heavy, it’s time to get creative! I’ve seen some bloggers create Pinterest-specific images to sit within their posts so there is something worth pinning, and I’ve seen other bloggers create images that are essentially post headings in picture format (like on this post). I’m taking it one step further and will be redesigning my blog to suit posts created purely with Pinterest in mind.

Pinterest is growing fast. It went from 1.2 million visitors in August 2011 to 4 million by the end of 2011. Its core audience are females aged 25-44 (and if you’re reading this, that’s likely your blog’s target audience too!). If you’re not on Pinterest, you need to join – pronto!

How has Pinterest helped your blog traffic? Have you noticed any pageview spikes or new readers as a result?

Need a Pinterest invite? Simply let us know in the comments below, using the e-mail address you’d like us to send the invite to! Find iFabbo on Pinterest here.

*This is how some magazine editors determine which cover option they think is going to sell best when it’s sitting on the newsstands. Really!

24 Responses to “Why Pinterest made me reconsider how I create blog posts (& you should too)”

  • Cintia
    Twitter: Mypoppetshop

    Pinterest is the no.1 referer of traffic to my blog. All my craft projects have a title image with the title of the project included.
    I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to use your own original image. According to Pinterest etiquette, pinning an image not from it’s original source is a no no. Bloggers that borrow images even with credit, are doing themselves and the blogging community a disservice.

  • Cheryl from BusinessChic
    Twitter: Busichic

    OMG – I hear you on the To-do list: I’m making the slowest progress ever on mine but last night I finally installed a Pinterest plug-in so readers can easily save and share their favourite workwear looks!

    I also wish that Pinterest had a dedicated app for iPads because I can’t pin things unless there is a Pinterest button on the page- proving very annoying for me as I try to save my favourite New York Fashion Week looks but am limited to tweeting them….

    My own Pinterest should anyone be interested is http://Pinterest.com/busichic !
    Cheryl from BusinessChic recently posted..Put a pin on it!My Profile

  • Heidi/The Closet Coach
    Twitter: closetcoach

    I’m not seeing a ton of Pinterest referral traffic yet, but my posts are either a personal style photo or an advice post with a Polyvore collage or an image sourced from Flickr’s Creative Commons with a link back to the originator. I don’t know how pinnable that makes them.

    I am trying to remember to pin my own style photos to my Pinterest board called My Style, and my Polyvore collages to another one. If I do that enough, perhaps they’ll start to gain traction.

    And you can follow me on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/closetcoach/ :)
    Heidi/The Closet Coach recently posted..How to make 3 different level outfits with one blazer (part 2)My Profile

  • Maria @CrashingRED
    Twitter: CrashingRED

    What a great article! I had Pinterest account for a while and only NOW started utilizing it. I wouldn’t say I saw thousands of new visitors but quite a few coming from Pinterest!

    Thanks for sharing! Also the tip of putting titles on photos of DIY projects is great. I’m going to do that.

    My Pinterest is CrashingRED’s Pinterest, in case you lovelies would like to “connect”
    Maria @CrashingRED recently posted..Derek Lam to your office and beyondMy Profile

  • Thomas Ho
    Twitter: DrThomasHo

    Any word on an Android app?

  • Tenisha Mercer
    Twitter: mercermedia

    Great post. I have a hair and fashion blog that I’ve been repinning and have noticed a modest traffic increase — not huge, mind you, but still traffic, nonetheless. Still trying to figure out how to make Pinterest work for my content marketing blog, tenishamercer.com. Great tips.

  • Sabrina
    Twitter: sabrinacompany

    Great post. Confirms what I already started doing and thinking. Love that you thought about this early in the morning…I also had a light bulb moment…or should I say a “pin prick” moment about images on my website! Thanks for all the details, suggestions and insights. I have two accounts…one for me and one for my biz. Pin me-sabrinaespinal Pin me biz-sabrinacompany
    Sabrina recently posted..The Gold Medal Race To The New York Times Bestseller List by Danielle LaPorteMy Profile

  • picturetalk321
    Twitter: picturetalk321

    Really interesting and great links. I joined pinterest a few months ago to order my own to- do lists and what’s on ideas – or at least those are rhe main benefits I’ve found. It’s not (so far!) driven much traffic nor have I had many repins but that’s not what I’m focusing on, I suppose. My blog is already image-heavy. It’s an art blog and the focus of each point is visual so Pinterest was the most suitable venue for dealing with images. I pin all upcoming exhibitions, e. g., and use that for my own reference purposes. I also select exhibitions to include in a what’s on in a blog post with a link to the pinterest board. I’m afraid I don’t know how to check pinterest stats so have no idea how many people clicked through to my pinterest board from my bog. (Do you know how to do that?) I look forward to the comments here to see how others use it . I find it very useful! Example of my what’s on: http://artincambridge.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/five-exhibitions-in-london.html?m=1
    picturetalk321 recently posted..Three Cambridge exhibitions in January 2013My Profile

  • Talaia @ WholeYum
    Twitter: wholeyum

    Great post Bree! I really just started using pinterest and have seen a growth in traffic to my site. It’s a healthy food site and that niche is HUGE pinterest.
    My pinterest: wholeyum

  • Maggie Reyes
    Twitter: LifeCoachJam

    I love this article *and* the fact that I got here via the PIN on Pinterest for the article!
    I blog about marriage and relationships and loving life and I have added pins to my blog posts.
    On one of my recent posts, the pin that went with it was repinned 77 times. I just started blogging last year so for me, that is a huge number!

    Thanks for this – more inspiration to keep creating pins and having fun with quotes and mixing them into my blog posts. I also find that it makes them more visually interesting and attractive which is an added benefit to the blog itself.

    Thanks again – super valuable information here!

  • Brianna
    Twitter: BriannaLaRouche

    I’ve definitely noticed that Pinterest has affected my blog viewership. Not only is it a great way to grab someone’s attention with an image rather than text, but it’s an easy way for a blog to reach a large audience. All it takes is one person repinning your blog to be able to reach a mass audience.

  • Hello Bree,
    Like previous visitor, Maggie, commented, I arrived here via Pinterest too… over 18 months AFTER you published this article! I need to pin more of my blog images on my Pinterest boards. I forget to do it. It would be easier to get traffic on my blogs than with social bookmarking, or burdening my Twitter followers with URLs they aren’t especially interested in (they don’t follow me for my history of science, economics and fluffy math blog)!

    You said this:
    “I’ve seen other bloggers create images that are essentially post headings in picture format, like on this post.”
    I wanted to compliment you on the image you created for this post! It is nicely done, and displayed well on Pinterest. The colors are harmonious, with a very cool typeface. You are a good designer!
    Ellie Kesselman recently posted..Via therumpus:

    Here’s today’s Daily GIF!My Profile

  • Very interesting article, I need to get Pinterest implemented on my site as soon as possible I pretty much dismissed Pinterest and focused on the other major social networks instead.
    Tom Bunn recently posted..5 Tips to Speed up Your WordPress SiteMy Profile

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