7 Concrete Ways to Boost Book Bloggers

How to Boost and Support Book Bloggers

Throughout 2020, there has been a near-constant cycle of discussion on Twitter about book bloggers’ feeling under-valued, particularly in comparison to other segments of the online bookish community, such as a Booktube and Bookstagram (and maybe even BookTok, which is very new!).

The vast majority of book bloggers blog because they enjoy it. There is no payment received, and many bloggers don’t even receive “compensation” in the form of ARCs or free books to review. Many bloggers who do review ARCs, especially international bloggers, only have access to digital galleys, so they’re not even receiving a physical product–just early access to reading a new work.

However, it can be difficult to spend hours a week reading, writing, formatting posts, taking photos, making graphics, promoting posts on social media, etc., even when you love it, if you feel as if no one is reading your content or if they don’t think it’s as valuable as other types of online content. To help address some of that, I’ve put together a list of some ways to boost and support book bloggers.

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Read Book Blogs

This is obvious, but it’s also so essential I think it deserves the top spot on this list. Bloggers blog because they like to do so–and really nothing is more rewarding than knowing other people are reading and enjoying the content you are posting. However, reading book blogs also boosts their stats, which can help bloggers who want to ask publishers for ARCs or even ask to be paid for their time: more people reading the blog means the publisher is more likely to agree to their request.

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Comment on Book Blogs

Comments are basically the lifeblood of blogs. Bloggers can know people are reading their content if they look at their stats and see they’re getting pageviews, but comments mean people found the content engaging enough to take the time to respond to it. Bloggers love this and love having discussions! And, again, comments can help bloggers who want to receive ARCs or other compensation or even just grow their audience because other people can see the comments and that the blog has an active and engaged audience.

Share Links to Book Blogs– Everywhere

If you want to help book bloggers boost their audience and influence in the online bookish community, sharing links to blogs–either the homepage or to specific posts you find interesting–is key. People can’t read blogs if they don’t know they exist.

Places you can link to and promote book blogs include:

  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Youtube description sections
  • Reddit
  • Goodreads forums
  • Podcasts
  • Your own blog posts
  • Anywhere else you post online

The idea is to expand beyond the book blogging community and bring book blogs to the attention of people who might not normally read them or even be aware of them.

Write a Post (or Video/Instagram Post/etc.) about Why You Enjoy Book Blogs

In a world where “experts” are constantly saying visual platforms like Youtube and Instagram are the future (or, at this point, the present), some people may need convincing that book blogs offer something worthwhile. So, if you like reading book blogs, it can help to explain to other people why you like them and to point out what features blogs have that platforms like Youtube and Instagram might not.

Boost Book Blogs in Awards When Possible

There are frequently online “awards” for bookish things, and sometimes these awards (like the Epic Reads Book Shimmy Awards) have categories that essentially amount to “best bookish influencer.” Book bloggers are not often nominated for these awards. (If they are, there will be about 10 Booktubers/Bookstagrammers nominated and one blogger.) So, when possible, you can nominate and vote for book bloggers!

If You Have a Blog Tour, Share the Blog Posts

This is directed more towards authors/publishers, but if you are asking bloggers to take part in a blog tour, asking them to spend time reading a book and creating content, or to post authored content on their blogs, and to do so to a specific schedule in order to promote a book– you should share that content! Link to it on social media and encourage your followers to read it!

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Talk about Book Blogs in Real Life!

There are a lot of people who are not involved in the online bookish community AT ALL. So if you can work some book blog promotion into real life, blogs might get more readers! If you have a blog, you can even start with promoting your own, either by mentioning it to friends or “casually” leaving your own bookmarks or business cards in library books or other places. Or you can tell people about other blogs you like to read!

*Katie from Doing Dewey says, “I’ve recommended bloggers who review a specific type of book several times when non-bloggers have asked for book recommendations :)”

Blogging in the Time of Coronavirus

Finding time to blog during a pandemic can seem not only futile, but also pointless or even insensitive. Many people are juggling telework, schoolwork and childcare, all from home. Many people are experiencing indescribable suffering, from the loss of income, from illness, or from illness or death in the family. Writing about books may seem silly at best, offensive at worst. How can the world go on pretending everything is normal?

I know I have had less time to read and to write in recent weeks. My situation is better than most, yet I struggle to find the opportunities to do what I once loved. I also struggle to find meaning in it all. I try not to obsessively watch the number of cases and deaths in the U. S. and the world rise, but I cannot help but be affected by the shutdown, and what it could mean for the future. In such a time of uncertainty, musing over literary techniques, cheering on fictional romances, and falling into fantasy worlds simply seems hollow.

However, I still think it is important to try to go on and to recover some semblance of normalcy. The pandemic and the shutdown are likely to continue far longer than anyone had predicted. It is no good sitting on floor and staring at the wall, trying to shut the world out. It is far better to try to accept the world as it is now and to find a way forward. So far, I have been doing that by attempting to maintain a routine, making sure I eat healthy, and making sure I get outside at least once a day for a socially-distanced walk and some exercise. A sense of anxiety never fully goes away, but I get by.

As I reflect on my way forward, however, it seems important not only to maintain a healthy schedule, but also to return to some of the activities I love. Staying at home will be the new normal for some time, and I know I need to do more than simply get by. Finding comfort in reading, in writing, in connecting with others online, is not merely escapism. It is a necessity.

Trying to find happiness in times of misery is sometimes viewed as inappropriate. But wallowing in fear ultimately helps no one. It only makes things worse. Reading and writing are activities that help me relax, give me a mental break from the tragedy around me, and help me process my thoughts. So I’m making a new commitment to continue blogging. Because being at home does not have to mean losing the activities I love.

Do Book Bloggers Influence Book Sales?

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Introduction

A recurring piece of “advice” for authors, circulated on Twitter but likely other platforms as well, is that “bloggers don’t influence book sales.” I don’t have widespread statistics on whether this is true (Does anyone?), and I’m certainly under no delusion that I, as an individual blogger, am inspiring mass purchases. I admit that very few people come to my blog, read a review, and then prance off to their bookseller of choice to purchase a book I just praised. (Bloggers who have affiliate links might have a little more insight on direct purchases, but they still can’t tell if someone bought a book later because of their review or bought it in-store or bought it but not through the affiliate link.)

However, of course no individual person is going to sell a significant number of books. The real question is whether bloggers in aggregate sell books–or essentially whether the existence of blogs has any marketing value at all. I’m certain they do, and anyone dismissing bloggers out of hand is likely giving up a lot of free publicity.

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Think of Bloggers As Word of Mouth Publicity

It might be helpful to start by thinking of bloggers as word of mouth publicity, something which is also difficult to measure–but which most people would say is valuable. Bloggers are, essentially, avid readers and book fans who like to talk about books publicly and recommend them to other people. Again, of course most people aren’t going to hear about a book just once, even from their best and most trusted friend, and then immediately purchase it–but bloggers provide more than one time exposure. When bloggers pick up a book, readers see and here about that book from multiple sources. There’s a marketing theory that suggests that someone needs to hear about a product about five times before they consider buying it. Bloggers do the work of making sure people hear about a book multiple times, which puts it on their radar and makes them more likely to read or purchase it.

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Book Bloggers Do More Than Blog

Next, consider that most bloggers aren’t just writing a book review on their blog and calling it a day. They are promoting the review across multiple platforms, often across days or even weeks. A single blogger who reads and review a book could promote it on:

  • Their own blog
  • Goodreads
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Amazon
  • Other review sites
  • Instagram
  • Youtube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Other sites

And they might continue to promote the book by mentioning it in subsequent blog posts like lists of favorite books or round-ups. They might even do a giveaway and pay for a copy of the book with their own money to give to another reader.

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Bloggers Are Often Book Pushers in Their Day Jobs

Also take into account that a disproportionate number of book bloggers are involved in the book industry in more than just blogging. Many are teachers, library workers, and booksellers. So a blogger who came across a book solely from blogging (i.e. would not have received or read an ARC or other promotional material at work, even if they do work at a library or bookstore) now has the opportunity to recommend the book to students, patrons, and customers.

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And Most Book Bloggers Do This Free

And this is all free publicity and marketing for the book. Some bloggers do charge and make some money from blogging (especially if they’re actually more popular on platforms like Bookstagram or Booktube), but the reality is that the vast majority of book bloggers are doing all this work free. If the price of having a single blogger (never mind dozens or even hundreds of them) write thoughtful reviews distributed across multiple platforms and create social media mentions across multiple networks is basically nothing, it seems strange to say that bloggers are irrelevant, don’t influence book sales, and aren’t worth authors’ time.

Yes, of course, things like individual booksellers stocking and hand selling your book and getting an interview on a major television show or getting a movie deal are going to be massive movers for books. But bloggers aren’t exactly doing nothing to market and sell books either, and for an investment of literally $0 (or maybe the cost of a review copy), it’s worth giving them a chance.

Briana

5 Things My Favorite Book Bloggers Do

5 Things My Favorite Book Bloggers Do: What Makes Me What to Read Your Blog
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Write Informative Reviews

I’ve posted about how I think it’s possible for a book blog to not have any reviews at all, but I’ve also written about why I think book reviews really aren’t going away and personally…I like reading reviews on book blogs. Specifically, I like reading medium to long reviews that really get into the heart of the book, what’s working and what’s not and why. I also like to know about the themes or any interesting questions the book raises, since that’s the most interesting thing to me, not necessarily whether the plot is fast or the characters are witty. Reviews that are actually mostly summary or that are too short to really help me decide whether I’d like the book are less interesting to me.

Write Discussion Posts

I think unique and thoughtful discussion posts are what really help certain blogs stand out and brand themselves. Specifically, I love blogs where the discussions go beyond common topics like “Do you comment back on other blogs?” and “How many books do you read at once?” to address questions I might not have thought about myself or that I haven’t already seen a dozen other bloggers discuss.

Include Evidence in Their Posts

This is apparently a bit controversial, as the one time Krysta talked about including evidence in blog posts and backing up claims, a lot of people disagreed and said blogging is just a hobby and not an academic endeavor, so they didn’t need to do research. However, “evidence” is a broad term, and mostly what I mean is that I like to see bloggers support what they’re saying. In a review, this is as simple as giving an example or explanation of why, “The main character is whiny.” If the reviewer gives a quote or explains a scene where they think the character is whiny, this is helpful to me.

For discussion posts…more research might be necessary, and I appreciate bloggers who put in the time to do that. There’s a lot of incorrect information on the Internet and that can bleed into the book blogosphere. A blogger who does research is less likely to make incorrect claims like, “Children’s books are not priced cheaper than adult books” or “Libraries don’t pay a lot of money for ebooks,” and I love following bloggers whose posts I can trust.

Elaborate on Their Lists

Books lists are a really fun part of the book blogosphere, and I love when bloggers go beyond simply listing titles to explain more about the books they have chosen for the list. For example, has the blogger read the books on the list and what are their opinions on them? Or was the list mostly curated by Googling something like, “Books set in Antarctica,” and the blogger doesn’t really know much about them or whether they recommend them?

Write Posts They’re Passionate About

I’ve seen some complaints that (in particular) big bookstagram accounts and big booktubers often seem to be more about marketing than sharing a love of books, and while I think this is less common in book blogging, I do think readers can tell when someone is writing posts they love and when they’re writing posts they think will get traffic. My favorite book bloggers write about topics they’re passionate about, even if those things aren’t the best for getting page views, and it helps their blogs seem vibrant and unique.

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Conclusion

I think a common theme among these points is that I like following blogs where I feel I am getting valuable content. For me, blogs are about reading, learning, and discussing, and my favorite bloggers give me robust information that I can think about, form an opinion about, and engage in conversation with them about. Again, this does not in any way mean I am expecting book blogs to be academic blogs with a bunch of sources and a Works Cited at the end, but I do appreciate blogs where I feel I’m getting unique perspectives and voices and informed content that might not be getting elsewhere.

Briana

How to Get More Traffic for Your Book Blog in 2020

How to Increase Your Blog Traffic

I’ve written a couple posts on getting blog traffic, specifically for book blogs which can sometimes feel a bit different from more popular niche blogs like fashion, lifestyle, travel, and finance. For example, in 2019 I shared 5 tips to drive traffic to your book blog. This year, however, I’m presenting what I feel are some of the most fundamental ways to get more page views for your blog, if that happens to be one of your goals for 2020.

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Comment on Other Book Blogs

This is the number one way I see other book bloggers, including rather large ones, say they increased their blog traffic. Admittedly, if you follow some of the big bloggers’ “methods,” it will be time-consuming. Some of them comment back on the blog of literally every single person who comments on their blog. This is admirable if you can swing it, but also really not necessary! Just make sure you’re engaging authentically with the community and commenting because you want to and have something to say, and you’ll soon begin building relationships. After all, no one can find and comment on your blog if they’re not aware you exist, and commenting on their blog is a good way to say “hi!”

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Write Original Content

There are a lot of book blogs, which is fabulous, but it can also make it hard to stand out from the crowd. So what will inspire someone to follow your blog over another blog? In many cases, the answer is original content, and I’ve seen many bloggers say they prefer reading this and that one of their goals for the new year is to write more of their own.

For some inspiration, check out my recommendations for bookish discussion post prompts.

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Join Pinterest

I spent nearly the whole of 2019 preaching the good news of Pinterest for traffic–because with a medium amount of effort, Pages Unbound went from getting 500 page views from Pinterest in 2018 to getting nearly 9,000 in 2019. That is to say, I didn’t even do Pinterest “right,” and I saw a significant increase in this source of traffic. Bloggers who are really committed claim to have 1,000+ page views for their blog daily. So if you go from not using Pinterest at all to using it moderately, this could also be a new source of traffic for you this year.

Related Posts

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Post Consistently

Taking a break and having a life outside of blogging is fine (actually, encouraged!). However, I do think consistency is key for maintaining an audience for a blog. When bloggers I like and follow simply disappear for month, I admit I often forget about them. Posts titled things like “I’m Back!” frequently pop up in my reader…and I have no idea who the blogger is or when they left. Scheduling posts ahead of time can help with this, as can posting consistently in general. You don’t need to be some sort of super blogger posting daily, but posting several times a month keeps you on readers’ radars and helps them get to know you and become invested in your content.

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Revive and Boost Old Content

This is a great method to help boost traffic if you’re short on time. If you’ve written something interesting that was popular in the past (or you think should have been popular but just didn’t get the attention it deserved at the time), try updating it and resharing it to get new traffic. This can mean updating lists of books with newer books that have been released, tweeting out seasonal content, or even just linking back to old posts in a new one you’ve written.

What are some of your best suggestions for increasing blog traffic?

Briana

The Circularity of Book Blogging (Discussion Post)

The Circularity of Book Blogging

Krysta and I have been blogging for over eight years now, and while she recently wrote a post about the things that have changed in book blogging over those eight years, both of us have also been struck by how much has stayed the same.  While scrolling through posts in our readers or brainstorming our own discussion post topics, we’ve both noticed that there seem to be perennial questions, that things we wrote posts about five years ago continue to pop up as new conversations.

I’m sure this is partially because there’s a decent amount of turnover in the book blogging community, both in bloggers and readers.  So although we wrote posts on things like “Do you comment back?” and “Why I Don’t Listen to Audiobooks” quite a while ago, these questions are going to seem new to people who simply were not blogging or reading blogs five years ago.

Yet even questions that seem as if they ought to have “settled,” like whether paper books are better than e-books, whether listening to audiobooks counts as reading, and whether YA books have any value or are trash written for children, come up year after year.  Even when one thinks the debate is over and the topic has been discussed from every angle possible, the conversation continues.

It’s interesting to note that the same questions repeat themselves, but sometimes it makes it a bit difficult to be an “older” blogger.  Sometimes this is because I’ve already read a large number of posts on the same topic over the past eight years, so unless something new is being brought to light in the discussion, I have no personal interest in reading the most recent posts on the issue.  This means I can scroll past a dozen discussion posts in my reader and not want to read a single one.  Sometimes it also feels as if it makes it difficult to write discussion posts.  If “everyone” seems to be discussing something like “why adults should be allowed to read YA” but I already wrote a post about that—maybe even more than one—a few years ago, do I write another?  Can find something new to add to the conversation?

I love that people read and discuss books, and of course I think people should blog about what they like and realize that the conversations will in fact be new to many readers.  That’s why they get so many comments and engagement!  Yet on a personal level, I do sometimes struggle with the repetition, if only in the sense I personally no longer find these topics as shiny and new and interesting.

What do you think?  Have you seen some of the same conversations repeat while you’ve been blogging?  What is your reaction?  Do you keep reading the posts?  Keep writing new ones of your own?

Briana

Secrets to Blogging Success: How to Schedule Ahead

Running a blog can be a struggle.  There’s so much to do, from writing content to taking pictures to commenting around to handling social media.  Here are some of our strategies to keep everything on track.

Pick a schedule and stick to it.

Our general schedule is to post reviews on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  We used to do memes like Top Ten Tuesday when we first started out, but have since stopped, leaving room for other days to have discussion posts and recommendation lists, or more reviews if we have them.  Having this schedule means we don’t have to spend time figuring out how or when to post.  We simply fill in the dates with posts as we write them.

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Fill in the most important dates.

To make it easier to stay ahead, however, we don’t typically fill in the schedule one week at a time.  Instead, we schedule weeks ahead.  For instance, we might fill in all the Mondays and Thursdays with reviews first.  If we have a several discussions ready, we’ll start filling in all the Tuesdays.  This has two advantages.  The first is that, should we find ourselves unable to post for awhile, we have content scheduled to go up for weeks, not just one week.  The second is that this leaves us room to add in time-sensitive posts.  We can fill in empty days with reviews for new releases, ARC reviews that need to be posted at a certain time, etc.

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Look ahead to events and holidays.

When we know we want to do an event (such as our celebrations of L. M. Montgomery and William Shakespeare) or recognize a season or holiday, we save posts for those events.  For instance, we typically feature reviews of spooky stories in October.  However, we don’t read all those books at once.  Instead, if we read a spooky book a few months in advance, we just schedule the review for October.  Then, we don’t have to rush to find and read ghost stories suddenly when fall comes around.

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Keep running lists.

Sometimes Briana and I have ideas about lists of recommendations we could post, such as YA books featuring male protagonists or YA books with little to no romance.  However, we may not have ten titles to recommend at the time we have the idea.  So we create a draft and add titles to it as we read them.

What are some of your strategies for success?

4 Reasons I Rarely Participate in Blog Tours

blog tours

1. Bloggers are asked to commit to a blog tour without having read the book.

This means that at the point I have to commit to posting something for a blog tour, I think and hope I will enjoy the book in question, but I have no guarantee I will.  And if I don’t actually like the book, I’m left looking flaky and trying to back out of the tour, or I’m stuck providing promotional content for a book I might not actually recommend.

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2. Some blog tours have really tight turnarounds.

Tight turnarounds for some blog tours contribute to the fact that I may not be able to pull out of the blog tour if I don’t like the book because the organizer will not have time to find another blogger.  Tight deadlines also put pressure on me when I am doing a service entirely for free. I once agreed to a blog tour where the publisher sent a digital ARC on Friday afternoon and asked me to send author interview questions by the end of the weekend, essentially giving me only two days to read the book and come up with thoughtful questions.

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3. Publisher and author provided content is hit-or-miss.

Some blog tours come with a whole package of information, while others kind of leave bloggers scrambling to get graphics, find an author bio, etc.

Also, if you are posting author-provided content like an interview or guest post, the fact is that some authors put more effort into this than others. I once had an author guest post topic that was to the effect of “ways to survive a desert island” (I’m making this up because I’m not actually trying to name or insult the author here) and got back a list of five items that had no explanation. The author-provided content was less than 40 words.  It was not particularly interesting or useful to readers and was not the type of quality content Krysta and I usually try to post.

I have also been sent content I am supposed to post the day before it is supposed to go live. This is stressful to me because, again, this is a hobby and I have other things in life that take priority over formatting blog posts, and I may not be able to put the content up when the author or publisher wants if they do not get it to me in a timely manner.

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4. I get practically nothing out of participating in blog tours.

Blog tours often come with a lot of stress and planning for me, but I don’t personally get any benefit out of it.  A lot of blog tours are moving to e-ARCs, so I don’t even get a “free copy of the book;” I’m actually reading a PDF of the book on my laptop, which I do not really enjoy.

I also have to admit that blog tours tend to get less traffic and less interaction than other posts on the blog.  Since Krysta and I together have managed to post practically every single day on the blog for the past two years that we’ve been blogging, I don’t need these types of posts to add content to the blog.

I know a lot of people see their purpose as bloggers as being “support authors,” and I do like to support authors, but I admit I blog primarily for myself and for other readers. Being given a strict two-day deadline to read a book and then post specific content that may or may not be engaging and that will not contribute to my blog stats is not really a super-fun deal for me.

What is your experience with blog tours? Do you like participating in them? Do you like reading them?

Briana

4 of the Most Important Things I Learned about Using Pinterest to Get Blog Traffic

4 Ways to Use Pinterest Marketing to Get Blog Traffic

I noted in January that one of my blog goals for 2019 (actually my only goal) was to start using Pinterest more to actually drive traffic to my blog.  I’ve had a Pinterest account for years but always assumed that the site was better suited to things like cooking, lifestyle, parenting, etc. and that getting traffic to a book blog from Pinterest was probably not going to happen. (Here are the initial five steps I took to improve my Pinterest profile.) Now that we’re a couple months into 2019 and my Pinterest experiment, here’s what I learned about using the site and what seems effective–or not.

You can follow Pages Unbound on Pinterest by clicking here.

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1. Vertical Pins Do Best

This is obvious, and you will find this advice on any post about how to succeed at using Pinterest, but since I wasn’t focused on pinning my posts for a number of years, many of our posts did not have Pinterest-optimized images.  This included anything from lists and dicussions (horizontal headers) to reviews (square Instagram images).  I had to make new, vertical graphics for any post that I wanted to add to Pinterest AND delete any old, non-vertical pins from my existing boards.  A lot of book bloggers also do not have vertical, pinnable images on their posts, and best practices for Pinterest suggests that you do not pin others’ graphics if they aren’t good for Pinterest either.

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2. Book Reviews Get Some Traffic–But Not a Lot

You can post book reviews to Pinterest, and they do get a small amount of traffic. Lovely Audiobooks even started a group board specifically for book bloggers to share book reviews that you can join to promote your reviews.  However, book reviews do not get as much traffic as other book-related posts, so if you’re just getting started out on Pinterest, I would suggest focusing on other content before reviews.  If you do want to promote your reviews, consider using a Canva template that you can quickly customize for each review, instead of simply posting the book cover as your pin.  Here’s what I use:

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3. The Most Successful Posts Are Ones that Are Already Getting Search Engine Hits

Reviews don’t necessarily do as well as other posts because, as people have pointed out, Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social media site.  Users log onto Pinterest often looking for specific things, like recommendations for recipes, make-up tutorials–or lists of books to read.  This means that if you have a post that is currently getting good traffic from Google, it will probably also get good traffic from Pinterest if you promote it correctly.  Lists of books and blogging advice (or reading advice like how to read more or read quickly) will probably do well.  This does mean, however, that discussion posts–which tend to generate a lot of traffic on book blogs–might not get a lot of traffic from Pinterest simply because the topic might not be one that users are actively searching.  Here is an example of a pin that did well for us:

If You like this classic, read this middle grade book

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4. Pins with Lots of Book Covers Do Well

Finally, I learned that pins with lots of book covers tend to do better than pins with a single large image.  People like books lists.  This also, unfortunately, means that our branded Pages Unbound pins in purple and gray don’t always do as well as I’d like, so I often make a couple pin options to see what will do better.  For example, the pin with the covers performed better than our original heading image with just a background picture of a hobbit hole:

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Discuss!

Do you use Pinterest, either for your blog or for personal use? What kinds of pins do you post? What types of pins do you find yourself drawn to saving/repinning?

Briana

What I Learned about Getting Traffic on Pinterest from My Free Trial of Tailwind

How to Boost Blog Traffic with a Free Trial of Tailwind-min

Introduction

A  week ago I wrote about Five Steps I’ve Taken to Improve Pinterest Traffic to My Blog, where I noted that some of the things I’ve done increased traffic, but I saw the biggest increase (about 60 views a day) from my free trial of Tailwind.

For background, Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduler for pins that has other features like “looping” your pins, analytics, and tribes, which I’ll explain in a minute.  The free trial is for 100 scheduled pins, rather than a specific time period, but you can also get a credit for a free month (about a $15 value by clicking the link above–and I get a free month, too.)  So basically you can get two free trials, the first 100 pins (no credit card required) and then a free month (credit card required).  This post is about the free 100 pin trial.

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How the Tailwind Free Trial Helped Me Increase Blog Traffic

As I said, Tailwind is primarily a pin scheduler; you pick pins and add them to your queue, and the program will schedule them at “optimized” times when it believes your audience is most likely to see them.  However, most Pinterest advice suggests pinning anywhere from 30 to 100 times a day, so since the free trial is only for 100 pins, I scheduled about 5-7 pins daily to make the trial last and did most of my pinning manually.

So what was the free trial good for?  Tailwind Tribes.

Tailwind tribes are groups of people with similar interests who share each other’s pins.  The general rules are that for every pin you add to the tribe, you must schedule one of someone’s else’s. (Tailwind itself, in the basic package, allows you to join 5 tribes and add 30 of your own pins to a tribe each month, unless you upgrade for more tribes and pins. You get the 30 pins with your free trial.)

In the sense that you are supposed to leave a pin and then repin someone else’s to boost it, Tailwind tribes are kind of like Pinterest group boards. (You can join my book blogger group board here.However, Tailwind tribes are better than group boards (or were for me) for a couple reasons.

  1. People on Tailwind are serious Pinterest users. Remember that they’re paying about $10-$15 a month to belong to Tailwind.
  2. This means they are likely trying to follow the rule of pinning 30-100 things per day.
  3. Tailwind tribes give them a quick place to find content specifically related to books and book blogging that they can schedule in bulk.  They want to share your pins because that helps boost their own Pinterest profile and pins.

Group boards for book blogging, in my experience, do not necessarily get 30 pins a day that one can share to one’s own boards, whereas tribes have a much better selection of content to share, and I had far more success with people actually repinning my content from tribes than from most of the group boards I belong to.

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Results

A couple days after joining some book blogging tribes, my pins began getting shares (remember that people are scheduling them, so they might not be repinning your stuff immediately but rather a few days in the future), and I began getting much better blog traffic from Pinterest.  When things first took off, we got 60 page views just from Pinterest in a day, which is about as many views as we got in a whole month previously. It was obvious to me that the pins that were taking off and bringing traffic were specifically the ones I had added to tribes–not ones I tried to promote by adding them manually to my profile or group boards.

So am I joining Tailwind Permanently?

At this point, probably not. I definitely think it works, but the fact of the matter is that I make absolutely no money from blogging and I, therefore, try not to spend money on my blog.  If you do make money from your blog or you simply are willing to spend money on it as a hobby, I do recommend checking Tailwind out.

You can follow Pages Unbound on Pinterest by clicking here.

Briana