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How Does Pinterest Work?

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When it comes to Pinterest – if you are standing there with a puzzled expression on your face and wondering – how does Pinterest work? – then you are not alone.

Many people that I know “get” Facebook and Twitter – but Pinterest, well, that is a whole different animal.

But, I promise you, if you take the time to learn the in's and out's of Pinterest for business, your blog traffic will thank you.

The key lies in how you look at the platform. You have to make a mindset shift from consumer to provider.

Consumers look at Pinterest as a great place to find ideas – food, recipes, weddings, decorating. Providers, on the other hand, look at Pinterest as a great place to share what their business or blog offers.

Are you ready to think differently?

More Useful Blogging Tips

Think of Pinterest as a Search Engine, If You Want Traffic

The first step to understanding how Pinterest works is to embrace the fact that Pinterest is a search engine.

Consumers go to Pinterest when they are looking for an answer to a problem.

They might do a Pinterest search for a visual topic like:

  • beautiful kitchen islands
  • easy breakfast recipes, and
  • Superbowl food and party ideas

Pinterest is their first stop over Google because they want to see pictures and images before they read the instructions on how to make it happen.

It comes back to the “a picture is worth a thousand words” philosophy.

Pinterest Guided Search Provides Laser Targeted Results

Consumers also turn to Pinterest because of something called Pinterest Guided Search.

Head over to Pinterest.com right now and type anything in the search bar.

As you type each word, Pinterest creates a list of suggestions that you can use to further refine your search.

Providers can use this list to create and share content that matches what people are searching for.

Ninja!

You Can Use Pinterest Even if Your Business Is Not Visual

Based on the above, you might think that Pinterest is not for you because your topic is not visual in nature.

Time for another mindset shift.

You can create a visual to go with every single one of your blog posts. You should. Period.

I use stock photography and text overlays to create “pinworthy” images for every single one of my blog posts.

Companies like Haute Stock and DepositPhotos offer affordable stock photos.

Grab something that is relevant to your topic and use a photo editor like PicMonkey to resize it and add text.

You can even use the built in Pinterest photo editor right from within Pinterest if you are in a pinch.

If you are not up to learning how to do it yourself, hire someone at Fiverr to do it for you – but make sure you have shareable images for your posts.

Now, I know you are wondering …

How Do I Get My Stuff on Pinterest in the First Place?

Sure, waiting for some random readers to visit your site and share your content on Pinterest may seem like a longshot.

And that is because — wait for it — IT IS!

You can't sit around, twiddling your thumbs, and wait for people to share your stuff.

You NEED to Pin your own stuff.

The concept is simple …

3 Simple Steps to Get Started on Pinterest

Pin a good mix of other people's stuff and your own stuff to your boards.

If you don't have time to spend on Pinterest, invest in a good Pinterest scheduler.

My scheduler of choice is Tailwind.

This is why I think Tailwind is worth the investment.

If you previously used Boardbooster then Tailwind is a good alternative – especially since they now have a looping feature.

Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot

Not only will you share your stuff but you do want other people to share your stuff too.

I can't tell you how many sites that I have visited where people don't have sharing buttons on every blog post.

If this is you – I will state the obvious – you are NOT making it easy for people to share your stuff.

Stop that!

Get some sharing buttons this instant! Personally, I like the Grow plugin for this (formerly Social Pug).

Ummm, but aren't we talking about blog traffic here?

How Does Pinterest Work to Make Traffic Come to my Blog?

When you or somebody else, pins a pin from your website onto Pinterest, a link will be created to the original article.

As people search Pinterest and find your pin, they will

  • pin it to their own boards AND
  • click it if they want to read more. This will take them to your website.

Side note: It is also important for you, as a blogger, to apply for something called “rich pins”.

When these are enabled, the pinners will see the headline, author, and story description of your post as part of the pin – thus making it more likely that they will click through to read your article.

Sweating the details?

Save Time by Investing in Guidance

Sometimes a little guidance can be a good investment.

You came here because you were wondering about how does Pinterest work and this is a high level overview.

But you probably want more details on the specifics:

  • How many Pinterest boards should I have
  • Pinterest followers – how do I get them?
  • How often should I Pin?
  • Image sizes – how do I create images that compel people to share?
  • Group boards – what are these?

I had all of those questions, too.

Truthfully, you can find all of the answers on the internet – but everyone will tell you something different.

Personally I have invested in many Pinterest courses – each one offers a different perspective.

The two that I have had the most success with are

You Can Make Money On Pinterest Too

You can also use Pinterest to make money – either directly or indirectly.

This article explains how to make money with Pinterest.

Don't Ignore Pinterest

The bottom line is that Pinterest is a huge source of web traffic and you should not ignore it.

At a minimum, create a Pinterest for Business account and start pinning your stuff to get it out there.

You can find me on Pinterest here.

Your Pinterest Questions

Still wondering how does Pinterest work? Ask your questions in the comments below.

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Pin this article to your favorite board on Pinterest to refer to later.

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Susan Velez

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

Hi Neena,

Great post on Pinterest, I agree with you, it's important to have social media buttons on every blog post. This makes it extremely easy for people to pin other people's pins.

I also invested in The Pinning Perfect course when I got started with Pinterest about 2 months ago. I wanted to learn the ins and outs of using Pinterest, especially, since I had never used it before.

I've been using Pinterest for about 2 months now and I can now see that it is becoming my biggest traffic referral. When I first got started, I didn't have a lot of my own content to share. So I was sharing other people's content.

Now that I have more content of my own to share, i'm finally seeing the results from it. I love it and it's extremely easy to use. I agree though, if you don't know anything about it, it's quicker to learn from someone who already knows the ins and outs.

Thanks for sharing, have a great day :)

Susan

Neena Nandagopal

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

Hi Susan,

That is so great that you are seeing increased traffic from Pinterest!

It really is a platform that bloggers should not ignore. I love the Pinning Perfect course, too.

Thanks for sharing your experience and for taking the time to comment. :-)

Lisa Sicard

Monday 27th of March 2017

Hi Neena, I love Pinterest bUT my traffic slowed down from it. I think because I was not engaging there and I need to up my images for it. Thanks for sharing these tips and the course links too. I know Pinterest worked great years ago for a retail site I once did. They have been making changes and making it easier to purchase from pins. It's a social network that should not be ignored. Thanks Neena and have a great day!

Neena Nandagopal

Tuesday 28th of March 2017

Hi Lisa, They have made a lot of changes to their algorithm over there at Pinterest - so what worked before doesn't necessarily work the same way now. Nothing like spicing things up. :-/

Of course, Pinterest is great for retail and product oriented sites - but it can still be a great source of traffic for any topic.

It is getting harder to create great pinnable images, though. The pins just keep getting better and better.