7-Pinterest-Tools-to-Improve-Your-Blog

If at first glance Pinterest seemed only a pastime where you can collect recipes and ideas for house decoration, Pinterest proved to be so much more than that.

In the past year while doing monthly reports for my clients, Pinterest never failed to prove that it is the strongest referral source, in many cases even stronger than Google!  According to Shareaholic, this visual social network draws more referral traffic than YouTube, Google, LinkedIn and Reddit combined.

With that in mind, if you are not doing so already, consider including Pinterest in your social media strategy in 2014!

Here are 6 Pinterest tools and plug-ins to get more value out of your pins.  Add these to your blog to optimize it for great traffic results.  Besides those, don’t forget to pin beautiful photos / interesting images!

1. Feature Rich Pins

Enabling easy pinning from your website or blog is crucial to enhance your Pinterest reach.
Pinterest offers five different types of “rich pins” on your blog that will make your content pop.

– Try product pins for your online shop.
– Try recipe pins for the food blog.
– Travel related businesses should consider pinning their pins to the map.
– Bloggers devoted to feature articles or news stories should check out article pins.  The resulting content has a bold headline, site logo, and relevant clip, all serving to draw readers to click on the pin.

To enable rich pins, go to rich pins and click the “Get started!” button at the bottom of the page. Follow the step-by-step directions that result, and, once it’s approved, your blog’s content will be a touch more impressive.

2. Pin it button for images

Add this handy little Pinterest plug-in (Pin it button for images) to your site to make it easy for your visitors to pin your content to Pinterest.

Don’t add the plugin if the hover-over pin button would conflicts with other pop-ups or features on your page.  If adding the button makes your site too cluttered, it might just get lost in the confusion; in that case, it’d be better to leave it out.

3. ‘Pin it on Pinterest’ button

Another way to encourage pinning is to add a “pin it” button to the bottom of your posts.

With the Pin It On Pinterest button, you not only get a clear “pin it” button at the end of every blog post, but you also get the opportunity to customize what the resulting pins will say.

Right within your dashboard, you can create a custom description for the picture the button will pin.  Though there’s no obvious downside to the “pin it” post footer button, it still should be used strategically.  Think first before making it yet another of the many “pin it” buttons everywhere on your site.  You don’t want to annoy your readers. Choose which locations will draw the most attention, and focus your Pinterest buttons there.

Alternative: For our website and lifestyle blog I use Really Simple Facebook Twitter Share Button, which shows Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and other popular share buttons within one setting – that way I don’t need to install several different plugins to enable my readers to share the content on their favorite website.  The plugin offers easy customization in the Settings menu.

4. Pinterest Widget

Want to point your blog readers to your Pinterest page to increase your followers? Get the Pinterest badge widget plug-in.  This helpful plug-in adds a widget to your site that links visitors to your Pinterest profile, shows off your most recent pins, and displays your follower count.

The Pinterest badge tool is definitely a bigger and more obvious way to promote your Pinterest profile—which for some bloggers might be overkill.  This widget is best used when you are focusing on pumping up your Pinterest following.

5. Pinterest Follow Button

Another way to point readers to your Pinterest profile is with a simple button. The Pinterest Follow Button plug-in offers various styles, from a red “Follow Me on Pinterest” button to a white square icon with the Pinterest logo.

Add the plug-in to your WordPress blog, and customize it to your tastes.  Most bloggers have social media buttons on their sites, so the Pinterest button is nothing new; what’s more, it’s not that difficult to install, even without a plug-in.  Nonetheless, adding it with this plug-in makes it especially easy.

Note: if you don’t want to focus only on Pinterest, but would like to promote sharing on other social media channels as well, see my note “Alternative” in point 3.

6. Pretty Pinterest Pins

People react to the visual content in astonishing 80%, so work that to your advantage.  If you are a blogger that wants to heavily promote your Pinterest profile, with Pretty Pinterest Pin you can display your two or three most recent beautiful pins in your sidebar?

The Pretty Pinterest Pin widget automatically creates large, eye-catching clips of your pins to display on your blog. However, since the badge can seem large and a bit flashy, some bloggers might not want to use it.

7. Use Canva to Create Beautiful Pins

canva

Canva is a simple, drag-and-drop, design software that’s completely online (I also love their iPad app!) and free to use.  Canva’s own library is home to hundreds of awesome and professionally designed social media templates created by their team of designers.  Canva social media templates can be used on not only on Pinterest, but on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube and Instagram as well.

What we love about Canva is that they already have predetermined optimal sized for each network; so you just click on the social media network that you’d like to create an image for, and they’ll offer you plenty of templates, where you can add the text, add your own image or use any from their library (they have free and for purchase images available). Check them out, I’m sure you’ll find it a very useful resource. (Featured image of this post was also created with Canva).

Do you use Pinterest and promote it’s usage from your website or blog?  What are your favorite tools or methods?  I’d love to learn about them in the comments below.

I got inspired to do this post after seeing the Shanna Mallon’s post on PR Daily, and especially because of the results we are achieving with the Pinterest traffic we are achieving for our clients. Photo source here.