Creating Content Pinterest Users will LOVE

9 ways to bring pinterest users to your blog | theblogmaven.com It’s no secret that Pinterest is an amazing source for generating new readers for your site.  And if you’re a seasoned DIY or food blogger, chances are, you’ve already seen this at work on your blog.  But Pinterest isn’t just for the big people; it’s a tool that ANY blogger can harness to increase their reach on the internet and grow their blog with new readers – and it’s not hard to do.

In this post, I’ll explore just what Pinterest users are looking for – what type of content grabs their attention and makes them want to share it.  And I’ll give you some concrete ways to put this to work on your blog.

*Note* This post contains lots of examples from my boards on Pinterest. If you like them, you should Follow me on Pinterest!

Now, at the risk of missing the real point by listing “nine steps” first, I’ll go ahead and give you the big picture here:

The Guiding Principle: Be Useful

The most successful blogs are USEFUL blogs.  Repeat this to yourself.

A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a blogging friend who contested this idea – when I said that people read blogs to learn things, she said, “but people don’t come to my blog to LEARN, they come to be inspired!”  And it’s true – they do.  But isn’t inspiration a sort of learning?  Whatever the reasons we come to a blog, we always feel good when we can take away something – whether it’s a new perspective or a new skill, we like a bit of evidence that we’re better for having read a blog that day.

When a reader has a great experience with a post you’ve written, their natural reaction (especially if they’re female!) is to want to share that with other people.  And whether they’re doing it via email, Facebook or Pinterest, they’re doing it because they were better off for reading your post.  Now there’s something to feel warm and fuzzy about.

The thread that holds blogging together – I mean the sustained kind, the “classic” blogs that seem to grow and grow – is Generosity of Spirit.  A willingness to share, give, encourage and inspire.  And luckily, that’s just the kind of thing Pinterest users are looking for.  So without further ado…

9 Ways to Bring Pinterest Users to Your Blog

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers | theblogmaven.com

The most concrete way to teach someone is with a tutorial – this is Giving at its finest.  You don’t have to have discovered something new, or have a completely original idea no one’s ever thought of.  You just have to slow down long enough to share it with the folks who want to experience it with you as their tour guide.

What’s the difference between a “show and tell” post and a tutorial?  It’s showing every. single. detail. of a process.  The formula goes like this:

Title Image

Written introduction

Step #1 description

Step #1 image

Step #2 description

Step #2 image

Step #3…etc.

Discussion of what could go wrong + how to avoid it

BIG PHOTO FINISH

(preferably of someone enjoying what you’ve made or done)

Now, writing a tutorial isn’t for the faint of heart.  You have to break things down simply enough that a complete novice can replicate what you did without getting frustrated.  For real-world objects, a camera is a must.  For computer-based tutorials, it’s all about the screen shots and/or videos.  It takes some planning, but writing a handful of tutorials will do more for growing your blog than writing 50 “regular” posts.

This is where Pinterest has taken the crafting world by storm.  If you craft it and are willing to break it down into bite-sized pieces, new blog visitors are yours for the taking!  I’m a homeschooling mom, so tutorials like how to make homemade watercolor paints or a DIY (kid’s) stained glass window have caught my attention (and they’re good models to follow, for any tutorial), and I’m now reading these blogs because I was introduced to them via tutorials on Pinterest.

But what about non-crafters?

Tutorials aren’t just limited to traditional “crafts” – just take something (anything!) you know how to do, grab a camera, and share it.

Okay, this is way too much fun.  Moving right along…

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers | theblogmaven.com

Everybody loves a good list.  They teach you something, and they’re easy to share with others.

But what kinds of things could you share?  How about 20 questions to ask your kids at bedtime or a list of what fruits and vegetables are in season at different times of the year?  Maybe 10 tips for reading with your baby.  My fave: 100 ways you know you’re a mom.  Yup.

If you’re given to long bouts of prose, try breaking things up with a *list* and see how many people share it.

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers | theblogmaven.com

If you don’t have a single concept you’d like to break down into steps, why not round up some of the most helpful information you can find on a subject?  This is a great way to resurrect some of your older posts (see 50+ watercolor techniques + ideas for kids for a great example).  And if you truly want to reinforce some blogging friendships, you can “share the love” by including links to other bloggers’ content in your post as well.

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers | theblogmaven.com

If you’re passionate about something, use your knowledge to make it easier for others to understand.  Like this (beautiful) guide to gluten-free ingredients.  Or a guide to how much fabric you’ll need to reupholster different kinds of chairs.

This goes from simple “tricks of the trade” to more serious endeavors.  I saw this “unofficial guide” to Ethiopian adoption on a friend’s Pinterest board just the other night.  This is a woman who has traveled a life road and is willing to help others navigate the process so things will be easier for them.

Guides aren’t tutorials because there’s no step-by-step involved – it’s taking a bunch of information you have about a topic, and organizing it in a way that makes sense to others.  A quick (or not-so-quick) reference.  And this is the type of post that will have people not just finding your blog, but returning to it again and again.

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers | theblogmaven.com

Solve a problem – only a brief discussion about “why it’s a problem” is necessary.  Just tell how you solved it and the results.  Preferably with lots of pictures or videos.

Like a song for teachers to keep kids quiet in the hallways.  And this way to keep baby bibs organized right on the high chair?  Brilliant.

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers | theblogmaven.com

(Show Off Seasonal Crafts, Decor, Rituals or Inspiration)

Holidays are big stuff on Pinterest.  I mean BIG.  There are lots of Pinners (me included) who have entire pin boards that center on specific holidays.  If you want to attract the Pinners who are surfing the seasonal wave, write a post (or ten) that revolve around the next closest holiday.  It might seem short-sighted, until you remember that holidays happen year…after year…after year.

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers | theblogmaven.com

Take something simple and make it beautiful.  Share some of your favorite quotes or photograph some of your favorite places.  Share your dreams.  But don’t forget to photograph or illustrate them – because without the “eye candy” factor, your life-changing poem just won’t make it to Pinterest.

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers | theblogmaven.com

Writing down a favorite recipe doesn’t take nearly as much work as writing a full-fledged tutorial.  And we use them every day!  I hope you realize that the recipe you share doesn’t have to be original.  As long as you give proper credit to the person who wrote the recipe or shared it first (usually via a link to that post or to that book) and you only use your own photos, the recipe is all yours to share.

And now the delicious part: a few examples.

You could share recipes like your favorite buttercream cupcakes (and yes, gorgeous photos do help) or melt-in-your-mouth glazed apple pie bars.  It’s not just for food, either – here’s a handy guide to dyeing yarn in 135 different colors…with Kool-Aid.  I have preschool aged children and I knit; that one’s on my to-do list. :)

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers | theblogmaven.com

Yes, for FREE.

Everyone wants to know how to make money with their blogs, and it kind of seems counter-intuitive to just give things away.  But that’s the magic of giving: people want to pass your generosity on to their friends.  And when people come to collect the freebie, they’ll see all of the other amazing things you have to offer (as long as you’ve optimized your blog for new visitors, that is…) and stick around for awhile.

A few examples of this in action: How about these Photoshop templates for digital scrapbooking?  Or these free Montessori printables?

Whatever your skill or area of expertise, figure out a way to give some of it away.  And when you do, make sure you have your best foot forward to show off the other amazing (perhaps non-free?) things you blog about.

::

And now, in the spirit of Pinterest:

I give you…

An image.

Yes, just for you.

And anyone else you want to share it with. ;)

Pinterest tips for bloggers | theblogmaven.com

This post is part of the series Growing Your Blog with Pinterest: the Ultimate Guide. You can read the rest of the series here.

Please leave a comment below | theblogmaven.com

95 Comments • Leave yours below!

  1. says

    These are great ideas! I’m always looking for ways to “go viral” on Pinterest. Haven’t succeeded yet, but maybe soon. I’ve put some thought into doing step-by-step recipes on my blog, but wasn’t sure if I’d alienate readers with the lengthy posts. I’ll have to give it a try!
    Bailey recently posted..Julia Child’s Best Ever BrowniesMy Profile

    • says

      For food bloggers, I think tutorials work best when you focus on “the basics” – things like “how to make homemade pasta” or recipes that involve a certain technique you can demonstrate. Not every recipe would work for a tutorial, but going back to basics may be an avenue you can explore.

    • says

      I don’t mind long and involved recipes, if the visual appeal is there and is something I’d like to try. I’d rather know all the details, so it turns out well for me.

    • Yvonne says

      Bailey,
      Be really careful with your step by step. some people get so happy with their photos that they are a real pain to read. Really, I think that I know how to add 2 tablespoons of oil to a pan without a photo. I’ve read your blog and I love it. You should be going viral soon.

  2. says

    OK here’s a question or two. Like blogging you add labels or tags is this being done with Pinterest? My husband is the beader and I am trying to kickstart his hobby by blogging about it. Your 9 points are very well taken. Thanks
    doodles recently posted..Beyond the SeaMy Profile

    • says

      Hi there! You can use a # hashtag in front of a keyword you want to stand out, but this isn’t very commonplace yet. For people who sell things, it’s important to note that when you add a $ amount ($20.00, for example) to the description, the dollar amount will be featured on your pin. It helps set “for sale” items apart from everything else. The biggest tip I can give you for this is to use keywords (in your case, like “beading” “bracelet” “handmade jewelry” or others) in your descriptions. And don’t just jumble all those words together, but use these keywords in a well-written description for your pins – this helps for people who are searching Pinterest for terms like yours.

      Hope this helps!

      • says

        Thank you so much. Your blog is a wealth of information that I need to take in little bits at a time. I subscribed to your newsletter and I’m sure I will be able to spiff up Mr’s blog once I digest your tips.
        doodles recently posted..Beyond the SeaMy Profile

        • David M says

          It helps if you create specific boards for ultra-specific needs and audiences. The narrow focus of the board helps to emphasize the uniqueness of the keywords you have chosen, and it allows a follower to focus on 1 aspect of what you are doing. It’s the same idea as using the navigation in your blog to create content silos.

    • says

      Hi Gena, thanks for stopping by! I’m a designer, so I use Photoshop to create these. I don’t have a tutorial on that yet using more basic (free) tools, but I can definitely write one. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll be notified of my new posts…and yours will be at the top of my list. :)

      • says

        Hi Jeni,
        I thought I’d let you know that I figured out an interim way to do it before I head into Photoshop (can’t decide which one to buy). I used Picmonkey.com to do the image in my blog header and the image on this post: http://ichoosejoy.org/2012/09/17/i-choose-joy-fitness-challenge/ It’s far from professional, but will do for now. Also, I just switched to Genesis and a child theme. I can’t afford to hire you to design it, but I did use your affiliate links to purchase it! :) Now, to try to figure out CSS and stylesheets.
        –Gena
        Gena recently posted..It’s coming Monday! Are you ready?My Profile

        • says

          It looks great! I’m so glad you wrote back – I’ve been thinking about writing that post for the last several weeks, but…life got busy. :) I’m glad to see it’s working out for you. (and thanks for buying Genesis with my link – it’s truly the best there is.) Good luck with your fitness challenge!

  3. says

    Jeni,
    I’m addicted to Pinterest and I think it’s because of YOU and your previous article on Pinterest! Thanks for this very useful advice. I’ve made a few mistakes in uploading pins without proper links back, but I’m learning along the way.
    Thanks so much and aloha, Lori

    • says

      It’s addictive, isn’t it? It took me about four times as long as it should have to write this because I kept chasing rabbit trails, getting caught up finding new pins on Pinterest.

  4. says

    Some really fabulous advice here! I’ve bookmarked your blog to future reference and will be utilizing several of your tips and tricks! (I also linked to it on my professional FB page, as I think my fellow freelancers could also benefit from many of your posts.)

    Thanks for putting this together in clear, concise, easy-to-follow language! Kudos!
    Erin Griggs recently posted..Smart. Geektastic. Prone to Well-Written Acts of Character Violence: What’s Not to Love? An Interview with Seanan McGuire, a.k.a. Mira GrantMy Profile

  5. says

    Great advice! I too love Pinterest (I have 2 accounts – ssh don’t tell my husband!). My family groans when I start a sentence – “I saw this thing on Pinterest … !” I have been trying to figure out how to get my followers on Pinterest (I have over 1,000 followers) to be followers on my blog (not that many!). Your series has given me some great ideas. I also need to do more self promoting of my blog on my Pinterest acct! I do too much re-pinning! Can’t wait to explore your site some more to get more ideas for my blog! Thanks again!

    • says

      You know what’s funny? I started out with two Pinterest accounts – I thought my blog followers wouldn’t be interested in all my personal pins…but then it got to be too much to keep up with, so I closed down one. Streamlining has also helped me make better use of my Pinterest time…which as you know, can run away quickly!

    • says

      Hi Sandra – I’m glad you stopped by. From a blog growth perspective, I’ve found that keeping these “types” in mind helps me focus on the content that will be most helpful and useful to others. Two or three Pinterest-conscious posts have brought in way more traffic for me than ten “regular” ones. So in my experience, it’s been worth the extra time. I’d love to hear how it goes for you. (BTW – beautiful photos on your blog!)

  6. says

    Hi Jeni – another reader from Pinterest here:)
    I’m a visual person so I took to Pinterest like a duck to water. Love it, but …
    I haven’t figured out how to use it for my on line photography businesses (one for fine art photography prints/canvas and the other for photo art products at zazzle, or my new travel blog.
    I don’t even know if I need to have a separate account if I post a print or an iphone cover that is for sale.
    It’s funny today was the first day I looked around for information about blogging/pinterest/business which led me to you.
    I know the first thing I need to do is put my travel blog back into gear and put a schedule in place for blogging and stick to it, but I’m still a bit in a learning curve with wordpress …
    Any tips where I might find more information? I signed up for your blog … thank you! Rose
    Rose Hill recently posted..Cheetahs at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FloridaMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Rose, I have a few resources I can recommend: for really getting the hang of WordPress, WP 101 has some great tutorial videos. For my design clients, I install videos like these to their dashboard and it helps them learn everything they need to know quickly. As far as Pinterest, if you add a dollar amount in the pin description, it will put a neat little price tag over the image – so that’s one method people use for advertising actual products. But the big thing is to pin *everyone’s* stuff, and not just your own, because that’s how other pinners will see you as a good resource…and when you pin your own stuff, they’ll be more likely to visit the links. Hope this helps!

      Jeni

  7. says

    Once again, fantastic advice. I worked for years as a technical editor, and I so appreciate your clear, well-organized writing and your super graphics. I’m inspired to get on my blog and create some helpful content. Must be the teacher in me.
    Lisa McK recently posted..Yarn AlongMy Profile

  8. says

    Jenni, I just read this, and found it so helpful. I’ve been in a funk recently not knowing how to take my blog to the next level. I need to set some concrete goals for the coming year… I frankly don’t even know where to start, though… So overwhelming. :-)
    Johanna Hanson recently posted..Clutter free gift ideasMy Profile

    • says

      Well, that’s what Beech Retreat is for. I think it’s going to do all of us a world of good. :) I think blogs are like marriages: you have to inject them with something different every few years, or they’ll get stale. I’d love to hear about what kinds of changes you make (or new things you try!) and how well they work out for you. Keep me posted.

  9. says

    Thank you for this awesome article — it is full of great information and you have presented it so clearly! I came over from Pinterest and I’ll definitely be repinning!

    I’d like to share a tip, too: once you have that great traffic flow to your blog from Pinterest, make sure you protect your pins with a backup! Many people have lost whole boards to hackers and accidents, but Pin4Ever has a great solution: save a copy of all your pins, boards, and likes to your own computer. Go to pin4ever.com today to backup your Pinterest account free, if you haven’t yet!

    • says

      Glad you found it useful, Amy. If you use these tips to do something different on your blog, I’d love to hear how it turns out for you!

  10. says

    Loved this post! I’ve been working hard at trying to increase the amount of readers on my blog and these are definitely some great tips! Thank you for taking the time to share! =)

  11. says

    I am learning so much from your blog! Since beginning a blog I have been reading everything I can find on the web as well as on my kindle. I am not very techie and have struggled with some very basic concepts. Reading this article has given me some ideas on what to do with my blog. Your explanations are by far the clearest, most straight forward. thank you!
    Paula recently posted..Creating TasksMy Profile

  12. says

    Hi Jeni!
    Love this tutorial. Lots of things really stood out and lots of things I feel like I already implement on my blog. My blog gets loads and loads of traffic a day and I have multiple posts that are being pinned like crazy on Pinterest… why am I not getting the followers? I have about 320 or so and I probably get maybe 1 or 2 a week or every other week. Very slow growing. We’ve done giveaways and I have over 14,000 followers on Pinterest. I also don’t understand why some of my popular posts don’t receive comments?
    I need to stress that we are just barely starting out and trying to grow our blog. I also tried adding the images of my most popular pinterest pics on my sidebar with the pin it button under it , but my pictures were showing up pixelated even though I had the images shrinked down to the size of my sidebar… Ok.. I’m stopping. Thank you so much for all the information you post on how to grow your blog. I hope I can figure it out! :)
    Nicole recently posted..Chicken Pillows | RecipesMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Nicole, thanks for your note! I know it seems like it should be easy from the tone of my article, but I get it – growing your blog is really (REALLY) tough. In my experience, there seems to be a critical mass of followers that – when you reach it – eventually things get easier. For me this was right around 800 subscribers…but of course it’s different for everyone. Pinterest has made it really easy for people to find new information, but a little tougher in terms of getting readers to “commit” to following a blog. Why would they become your lifetime follower, when they can just surf Pinterest and find a thousand other cool ideas? I don’t mean to be pessimistic…it just means we *all* have to step up our game to show *why* a new reader should follow our blog. I took a quick look at yours, and I think the “subscribe” box isn’t prominent enough. In case you haven’t heard, Google Reader is going away in July (which is how most people read your posts, who subscribe by clicking the little RSS button). Email subscriptions are going to be critical for getting (and keeping!) subscribers. For people who seem to do everything right in terms of their blog and who have lots of traffic…but who are still struggling with getting new subscribers, I’d suggest making subscribing (by email) a really prominent part of your sidebar. I might even go so far as to take down your other social media buttons for awhile, but have a really glitzy looking subscribe box – and then see if that gets you anywhere. Since you’re on Blogger, you’re really limited with the tools you have to achieve this, but it might be worth offering your email subscribers something (free) in exchange for subscribing. Just a few thoughts here. :) I appreciate you taking the time to write. Have a good evening!

      Warmly,
      Jeni

  13. says

    Thanks for this great post. I’ve been working on getting my new Pinterest page up and running. I do find that I want to post things that are going to be value added and answer a question. I have to remind myself of that constantly when writing posts for my business blog. It all comes down to giving people a reason to come back.
    Jen recently posted..Social Media Overwhelming? Stop, Breathe, Make a PlanMy Profile

  14. says

    Hi there,
    I just found this through Pinterest! I am addicted to pinning! I found this through searching for something else entirely (I love that–just have to have time!), and trying to grow my blog like I am, this has come in completely interesting ;) I have a personal blog that I’ve been trying to grow, I switched from a WordPress blog to my blogger one that I have now and love so much! I so enjoy bogging just because of the enjoyment I receive from it but I would like to reach a larger audience and connect with people via comments. I have 5-8 posts already created and per-scheduled to publish that I created yesterday so now I might have some extra time to work on some projects and do tutorials so to reach my pinterest followers!
    Anyways, blogging is so fun but has its own times of discouragement for me…would you be willing to look at my blog and let me know (very honestly) what I could change to make it better! I would SO appreciate that!
    gladhearthannah.blogspot.com
    Thanks so much for the tips here!
    Blessings,
    Gladheart Hannah
    Gladheart Hannah recently posted..My Apologies….My Profile

  15. says

    Just found this via a friend’s link. Just started blogging in February, but have been “pinning” even longer. :) Would love to learn ways to link it all together. Sounds like YOU are my answered prayer for everything!! Thank you!
    Pam McCormick recently posted..Behind the Curtain….My Profile

  16. says

    Once again, you’ve given some great & practical advice! I’ve noticed the stats go up on my site when I do a tutorial or a compilation of ideas together. I really appreciate your posts–pinning this right now!

    • says

      Hi Ursula, thanks for your note! Glad to hear you’re growing your following on Pinterest. If you want to make sure you translate those followers to new blog followers, make sure you’re pinning lots of other people’s work that’s written on the same topic as what you write about, and mix your pins in between. So…don’t *only* pin your own content. The more people get used to following your other pins about crafting, the more likely they’ll be to follow pins from *your* site back to your blog. Glad you’re here!

  17. says

    I came across your time management post this morning and saw this article on Pinterest as well. As a new blogger, I can’t tell you how crucial this information is to me. I came up the The Weekend Wife because for years I’ve been working full time for an employer while also having a part time bookkeeping service business. It seemed all I did was work while my home was being seriously neglected. This past year I decided to hunker down, set boundaries and make a plan to allow time for work, home, husband and….me. I have compiled a list (and have spent many unreclaimed hours on Pinterest!) of recipes, DIY projects, organizing, craft/decorating, etc. stuff which need to get done around the house and realized I only have the 48 hours of the weekend to indulge my domestic side. I decided to blog about it in order to keep me focused and on track – if I have to write and post about it, I better get it done! My phone has turned me into an amateur fotog taking photos of ingredients, scenery, ‘before shots’ of things around the house for which I will be taking ‘afters’ to where I may have to pilch hubby’s digital camera (some photos come out good, others not so much and the lighting in my kitchen is too glowy and yellow, but hope to improve that)

    I’ve already taken some of your advice and set up a ‘Blogging’ board on Pinterest to where I’ve pinned my blog (and others) posts to in order to engage those who are already following me and can’t wait to read all your archived as well as future posts as well. Thank you SO much!

    • says

      Hi Elena, congrats on starting a new blog! I think that the main take-away I hope people get out of this article is the need for life balance. Things get busy fast – and while it’s important to carve out dedicated time if your blog is something you truly want to pursue, it’s also important to allow breathing space. Having too much tunnel vision on your blog not only leads to burnout, it also makes everyone else in your life less supportive as they start taking a backseat to the blog. Good luck with the blog – I hope to hear great things from you in the future!

  18. says

    Jeni, Great advice! I love Pinterest for many reasons but one definitely is that it brings in some great traffic. I just stumbled over your website because of Pinterest and I loved it as much that I signed up for your newsletter. So if I do that others might do as well and so Pinterest is a great tool for marketing!
    Monja recently posted..How To Reuse ContentMy Profile

  19. says

    Hey there! I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead
    and give you a shout out from Porter Tx!

    Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!
    Kit recently posted..KitMy Profile

  20. says

    What a great set of tips! I’m new to the blogging world and have been looking for ways to get people besides my friends and family to pin my pins and/or read my blog posts. There are several items here that I already do, but could definitely do better, and there are a few that I will definitely have to try. :) Hopefully things will take off as I keep building. Thanks for the advice!
    Lindsey recently posted..Homemade Thin Mint CookiesMy Profile

  21. says

    I have been already using Pinterest but I have only a few followers. However, after reading your article I am feeling excited to put this into practice. thanks you for writing about developing content for pinterest …

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, Allie – so glad you’re getting so much out of the site! And thankful that you’re chiming in to be part of what we have going on here. :) Welcome!

  22. David M says

    This is a terrific info resource. Thank you. I found you via Pinterest, like many of the commentors. And, I also admire the automated, pre-populated optin form (nice touch) you’re using for list building. I’m looking forward to sifting through your resources. Email me anytime if you have marketing questions. I’ll try to help and add value for your readers.

    A point: your readers will have success attracting Pinterest users to their blog by choosing 1 of the ways to talk to people and help out (which you have so elegantly written above) and then creating a Pinterest board devoted to that stuff and those people only. Try it. It’s the first step to making those viewers (they’re not readers yet, remember), to making those viewers feel special and wanting to click through to your blog.

    Great information Maven, thx.

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