Intro To Pinterest: Why Christian Bloggers Should Check It Out
Obviously being part of the awesome Christians bloggers community on google plus makes me a little biased in choosing google plus as my favourite social network, but Pinterest is quickly rising up in my ranks as my second favourite. This is largely a personal reason of just finding the experience highly enjoyable. I think I am a quite visual person and Pinterest appeals to that side of me, it’s also a great place to seek design inspiration and being a single guy who lives alone and enjoys good food, Pinterest Is the perfect place to both discover and keep recipes.
However, Pinterest isn’t just for foodies and designers. Pinterest has rapidly grown and is quickly becoming a key social network for people to discover their interests online and bookmark useful resources.
The Web Is Becoming More Visual
It’s a point I’ve made a few times but with the increase of high bandwidth internet and higher processing power of browsers and computers has lead to the web becoming more visual. Just like the ability to mass print in detail and color had the same effect in the publishing industry. Pinterest is the visual social network, it discards the blog text and leaves only a header or small text box of notes and puts the text in bold.
It’s The Third Biggest Source Of Traffic On The Web
The third biggest driver of traffic is Pinterest, it’s third only to Google and Facebook (you know the biggest search engine and the biggest social network in the world). It tops YouTube, Google plus and twitter combined. There maybe a variety of factors at play here such as information gaps (if I tell you I know a secret your mind naturally wants to fill in the gap), food pictures from recipes naturally make people want to find out how to cook it etc. But considering there are fewer Pinterest users than other networks it suggest that the click through rate is higher.
It’s So Easy To Use
Just set up an account, install an app or add a bookmark to your browser and you’re good to do. Create boards (which are based on a topic) and then add pins about that topic with useful pictures. Try to think of a good explanation for the text to go with it and away you go.
You can do some more advance features like secret boards (no one can see them but you or people you invite) collaborative boards with other users or even adding a photo map to the board. you can also commenting on other peoples boards as well which is a way to get some dialogue going and make the platform more social.
It has become part of my blogging ritual that after I write a post for Christian bloggers I add it to my blogging board for people to read. All it takes is a click of the bookmark and it’s done.
Top Pinterest Tips
Set up boards not just on your direct topic but topics around it too.
Don’t Just Pin Your Own Things
This is one of my top personal mistakes, I have boards on topics I write about which are pretty much links to my things and then topics which I don’t write about which are about (such as recipes) are on other boards. Really I should pin more articles by other bloggers on these topics too. It shows more objective value and can lead to building connections with the writer.
Interact On Pinterest For More Value
This is my top mistake, I don’t really comment on other peoples pins. Sometimes it’s because the only comment which I can think of is “nice picture” (and it’s my personal mission never to leave a comment which just “I liked this” but either adds value or is a real question). However, Pinterest is a social network and it has the ability to “like” pins and also leave comments. This can lead to finding more readers and also learning more about the people on the other end of the phone line.
Use Pinterest To Bookmark Ideas For Later
This is one of the features I love about Pinterest, obviously this works well for recipes, craft ideas and infographics but you can use it for your average post as well. I have a secret board with “stuff for blogging” which I use to store ideas for blog posts. I have a food board which I use to find a new dish to experiment with each week and I also have some boards to save good tips and ideas.
Share Your Pins
One tip that Peg Fitzpatrick recommends is to share your pins on other social networks. After all, how are your followers going to find and share your pins if they never see them. You can simply tweet or share your pin on twitter or facebook after you pin it, or alternatively you can try Peggie’s trick of “pin it for later” (which goes back to my last point).
However, perhaps one of the other uncommon tricks I’ve seen is to share a complete board on a network. This one’s a bit more tricky to get right and you really have to sell the value of it (perhaps with a summary of the best pins on that board) but that way you can get people to follow the whole board rather than just the pin you share.
Don’t Just Use Photo Badges Of Blog Titles
Photo badges are taking over the web, and creating them for your blog is a great way to encourage people to share that post. Some people (puts hand up) tend to just put their blog headline. This is an okay tactic, when you are offering some useful tips and have a great headline it can really encourage sharing but the best photo badges stand on their own. Here are some ideas for how you can do that.
Quotes that fit well with your post (either from you, maybe from the post or of a famous person that fits in.) can both reinforce the message of your post and be easily shared across twitter, google plus and especially Pinterest. It also encourages people to see the post it came from.
In some ways a bible verse is just a special quote, but obviously it’s from the best source and carries extra clout. You’ll certainly find that the people who share this will be different from a quote, even by a Christian author. If you are looking to entice people who aren’t Christians or maybe on the fence, then maybe it’s better to use quite in your photo badges, if you want to reach Christians, then maybe bible verses are better….maybe.
This is quite useful for Christian bloggers and is one thing I’m going to try more for this site but creating an action plan or a step by step is quite useful. I love this for recipes and “life hacks” which show you how to do something. I know you might want the person to come to your site and so it might seem strange to give away everything in a picture but if you miss out the details then people will still come to the site to read it and it will be shared more.
Pin Videos And Slides Too
You can Pin more than just images, Videos and slides (from slideshare) can also be pinned. Not many users are taking advantage of this yet and so they still stand out (slides especially). People can even watch the video and go through the slides
Start And Join Collaborative Boards
Collaborative boards let you join in with others, this usually means more pins in total and can lead to other members of the board reading your things too. As such I’m setting up some collaborative boards for the Christian bloggers community. The basic idea is that you ask to join the appropriate community, when you finish a post, you pin it to the board. Sit back and enjoy.
As such we need to set up some specific topic boards and I need your help here. Here are my ideas for the boards but if you can think of a specific one then leave a comment below (and also say what you would like to join)
- Bible studies
- Quotes worth thinking about
- Bible Verses
- How tos
Stay tuned for to the community for the release of these boards.
Personally I just enjoy the experience of browsing the pins and seeing amazing pictures, yummy food and occasionally awesome quotes and informative infograohics. It doesn’t bring me bucket loads of traffic yet but that’s not too much of a problem, I like using it and maybe that’s the most important thing.
Pin these tips for later.
What collaborative board would you like to join?
About Chris Wilson
I'm a 27 English as a foreign language Teacher based in Badajoz in Spain. I also run the Christian Bloggers community and enjoy writing in my free time.