Pinterest has rapidly exploded in popularity over the course of several months, and it now sends more referral traffic than Twitter according to Shareaholic. As a blogger, something's wrong if this doesn't cause your ears to perk up. Marketing your blog on Pinterest can be a great idea, but keep the following in mind.
1. Are You a Fit?
Pinterest's primary audience consists of homemakers. The site is called a virtual pin board, but it may be just as appropriate to think of it as social scrapbooking. If your blog appeals to audiences that care about home and garden, recipes, fashion, DIY projects, inspirational quotes, self-help, home decor, and so on, it's practically insane not to take advantage of Pinterest.
If, on the other hand, it appeals to a different market, you may want to invest your time elsewhere. Give the site a visit, browse the topics, and see if you can find a community revolving around subjects that matter to your blog, dive in. If not, keep an eye on the site to see where things are headed, but move on for now.
2. Invest In Great Photos
Pinterest is a visual site, period. It is for sharing images and occasionally videos. If your blog doesn't host attractive or shareable images, Pinterest isn't going to do you any good as a marketing tool.
You either need to have professional, beautiful photos, or you need to have images of things that people just can't resist sharing with others. Browse your topic on Pinterest and see what kinds of images are being shared there. Try to replicate the results.
3. Audience Research
Even if you can't afford or produce stellar images, Pinterest can still become a powerful research tool. Find out who the top influencers are in fields related to yours, and take a look at what's up on their boards. You might not be able to replicate the results, but you can certainly learn a lot about what interests your audience.
Most people use Pinterest as a source of inspiration. As a blogger, you need inspiration even more than most people, so there's certainly no harm in getting involved even if it's only for this reason. Remember, social networks are for discovery just as much as they are for marketing.
Currently, you can still get "dofollow" links from Pinterest by including a link back to your site in the pin description. Originally, the photos themselves linked to the site with "dofollow" links, but these have since been no-followed. There's no guarantee that the links will continue to pass search engine benefit, but this is certainly an incentive to get involved.
Bear in mind, Google is watching social sites very carefully and very well may count these links anyway, or at least measure the referral traffic. Even if there are no search engine benefits, you can't ignore what amounts to over 1% of all internet referral traffic.
Once again, you don't need to be a visual site to benefit from Pinterest. The site is also a great place to network. You can use it simply to pin great photos that you find on the web. If the pin goes viral, you can send tons of traffic to somebody's site, then get in touch with them and let them know it was you who shared their content. Most of them will be more than willing to repay the favor in one way or another. Get creative, but don't just come right out and ask for a link in exchange for the pin.
Similarly, you can develop relationships with influential people on interest by repinning them and leaving comments. These relationships can be leveraged in many ways down the road.
As with any social network, Pinterest is just as much about listening and being helpful as it is about promotion. You don't need to be a visual site to benefit, but you do need to understand the visual nature of Pinterest and leverage it properly. Get on board early before this becomes par for the course.
About The Author: Jeff Gross is an internet marketing consultant and a part time blogger. He is also a consultant and content contributor for Queens NY houses community. You can connect with Jeff on Twitter @jeffkgross and on Facebook.
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