I noted at the beginning of the year that I wanted to improve the blog’s Pinterest account this year. A lot of bloggers credit Pinterest with giving them a large amount of traffic and page views, and I want to make sure I’m not missing out. This is with the caveat that these bloggers are not in the book blogging niche; they have blogs devoted to other topics that already get far more traffic than book blogs: parenting, lifestyle, finances, blogging advice, etc. The one book blogger I saw do a post on how Pinterest has helped her (The Uncorked Librarian) has a blog dedicated to both books AND travel, and when I commented asking if she saw more success with her travel pins than with her book pins, she said yes. Still, I’m jumping into the Pinterest world with some gusto here, just to make sure I’m not ignoring a source of potential readers for my blog.
I know a lot of people (like me, really) are not sure how to best use Pinterest to point people to their blog posts and gain traffic, so I’m going to discuss some of the things I’ve done so far and whether they seem to have had any success.
1. I created uniform Pinterest board covers.
While I was researching posts on how to improve my Pinterest profile, this advice from My Twenty Cents stood out as an actual concrete step I could take (as opposed to vague advice like “pin a lot” or “pin at the right times”). So I went on Canva and created graphics to use for the featured photo for each board that matched the Pages Unbound blog branding and that clearly stated the purpose of each board.
My Twenty Cents noted that nice board covers have no direct impact on traffic, but they make you look professional and make it easier for other people to follow your boards, and she says that she saw an increase in Pinterest followers after making nice board covers.
2. I created a group board for book bloggers.
You can request to join the book blogger group board here. (Also it wouldn’t hurt if you left a comment on this post telling me you did, so I know to check to approve you.)
A lot of Pinterest advice boils down to “join group boards,” but I couldn’t find a ton of book blogger group boards, and the ones I found were often closed to new members. So I started my own. Because the board is new, it’s smaller than the more established ones, but I’m hoping it will give book bloggers a board to join that’s actually open and that, in time, it will continue to grow.
3. I started pinning every day.
The advice I’ve read also suggests that Pinterest really values consistency in pinning. You must pin every day in order for your account to be seen as credible by the site and for your pins to be more visibly featured in the feed. Before, I used Pinterest sporadically, whenever I thought of it or when I particularly needed it for something like a specific project I was working. I don’t have a set amount of pins I pin every day (some people recommend 100, and some people only do 15), but I do try to pin a couple things every day, specifically focusing on other book blogs.
As I said in my post on reasons to focus on blog images this year, however, a lot of bloggers do NOT have pinnable images on their posts, and I, therefore, cannot share their content on Pinterest.
4. I started experimenting with the pinnable images on my own blog.
We’ve had verticle, Pinterest-sized images for our discussion posts for awhile, but I thought I could make them more visually interesting, so I tried some different templates from Canva.
Unfortunately, most people say that colors like red and orange do well on Pinterest, and cool colors like blue, green, and purple do not, but I’m sticking with purple since it matches our branding.
5. I cleaned up my Pinterest Profile.
I deleted boards I wasn’t using. (Some people would probably argue I should delete all boards that have nothing to do with books/writing/blogging, but I like my baking boards and am too lazy to have a blog account and personal account or even to make the boards secret.) I also tidied up or added board descriptions and some pin descriptions. Finally, I deleted old pins that were not good quality or images that had never been repinned.
These initial five steps had visible but marginal results on blog traffic that came from Pinterest, about a consistent 5-10 referrals per day. That’s more than we usually had, but it also is not necessarily worth the time I put into Pinterest. I’ve started to see more traffic after signing up for the free trail of Tailwind, a Pinterest scheduling service that also has other features like “tribes” that share your pins, and I will write a more detailed post on my experience with that in the future.
Do you use Pinterest for your book blog? What strategies do you use? Have you seen any traffic for your blog from Pinterest?