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Pinterest Hacks - Tips and Tricks for Hubpages and Blogs

Updated on September 8, 2014
Pinterest Hacks
Pinterest Hacks | Source

Got Traffic?

Bring more traffic to your Hubpages articles or blog posts by making them more Pinterest friendly. In this article, I will "hack Pinterest" by breaking down the basic fundamentals of this popular social sharing site, and how you can use this simple information to bring more visitors to your articles. These tips and tricks are ones that I use on my own articles.

Read on to see if your lenses or articles are living up to their potential.

Pinterest Poll!

What are your thoughts on Pinterest?

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What is Pinterest?

While still a newer social site than Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest is a force to be reckoned with in the social world. Pinterest is what is called a "social bookmarking" site in which users can add "pins" of their favorite things on the Internet. These "pins" come in the form of an image, usually with a website associated with it. Pinterest users can follow each other, to see what others are pinning and "re-pin" the images that they like to their own Pinterest page.

Regardless of whether you choose to have a Pinterest account, your images can still be pinned on Pinterest by users that visit your articles, lenses, or website. If these pins "catch" on Pinterest, you could get a load of new traffic to your site, all without ever setting up an account. Why not take advantage of this fact and make your online content more Pinterest friendly?

Source

Why Should I Care About Pinterest?

With over 50 million users, Pinterest has become the number one social bookmarking site on the Internet. It is most popular among women aged 25-34 years, but don't let this statistic fool you. 20% of Pinterest of users are men and 10 million is not a number that you should ignore:

  1. For the Ladies - Women mostly use Pinterest as a "wishlist," ie they pin things they admire, or may want to buy, but may have no intention of actually doing so. If you are a writer looking for more traffic to your blog, and like to write about lady centric things (house & home, babies/children, fashion, beauty/makeup, and ESPECIALLY cooking), you need to have Pinterest on the brain. While the statistics say that women are less likely to buy the stuff they see, that doesn't mean they won't click over to your site to read your lens on cornbread or article about baby clothes. Pinterest Clicks = traffic. Clicks + Shares = MORE traffic.
  2. For the Men - Men are more likely to use Pinterest as a way to keep tabs on the things they actually want to buy. So if you write about tech gadgets, men's fashions, automotive stuff, or other stereotypically manly men stuff, you need to have Pinterest on the brain, especially if you are an affiliate marketer (ie you use Amazon, Ebay or other affiliate links on your articles).
  3. AHEM. Your Gender Stereotypes Offend Me - I know that not all women OD on flowery things and the smell of a baby heads. Some men like to cook and some women will go just as nuts over the car parts as others go nuts over nail polish. Heck, some MEN like nail polish. My point is, all kinds of people use Pinterest. Don't get trapped in the statistics too much, but keep them in mind so you can be smart about what you write and how you market it.
Statistic Sources: Convince and Convert | Pinterest Insider

In a Nutshell...

Pinterest is as much about sharing pretty things as it is about sharing the products we love and/or want to buy. If you are on Hubpages or any other blog platform, and have articles that can be represented in a visually striking way, Pinterest can be a very valuable tool for you regardless of whether your audience is male or female.

Picking, Pinning, and Pining
Picking, Pinning, and Pining | Source

Pinning and Pining

Why simply pinning your lenses is not enough.

A lot of Pinterest users will add a new pin without much thought, then hope it will miraculously help the traffic on their site. I know this because I am guilty of this myself. The truth is, unless you have a TON of Pinterest followers, the simple act of pinning your lens or article to Pinterest is probably not going to yield a steady stream of visitors. Sure, you may get a few clicks back on your site initially, but unless you are careful about both the image you use and the text that accompanies it, you probably won't see much action down the road. Your pin will simply be lost in the millions of pins that are already on the site.

Here's the good news: Having Pinterest followers is not the end all be all. Growing a following can take time, a consistent (non-selfish) posting schedule and patience, so don't be discouraged if you're lacking in this department. Even if you only have a handful of followers, you can still get traffic to your articles and Hubpages posts from Pinterest.

As writers and bloggers, we need to insure that our articles and lens are set up in such a way that facilitates and encourages sharing from the people that found your content via search engines or other websites. That way, your lens or article can "self generate" traffic and bring in new visitors from OTHER people that like your stuff enough to share it with THEIR Pinterest followers. Your own Pinterest account may not even factor into this.

Image Credit: thejbird on Flickr (CC)

How to Grow Your Following on Pinterest

It didn't appeal to me to follow thousands of pinners in the hope that they'd follow me back, or to utilize any kind of trick to gain a following on Pinterest. Instead, I stayed active on the site. I made boards that I loved and thought other people would too, and pinned consistantly/unselfishly. I'd wager that only about 10% of my pins are my own articles. I'm at the point now where I get a handful of new followers each week, resulting in more traffic on the things I do pin that are my own.

Want a Little More Help?

Pinterest Savvy: Strategies, Plans, and Tips to Grow Your Business with Pinterest
Pinterest Savvy: Strategies, Plans, and Tips to Grow Your Business with Pinterest

This $5 e-book is a must for bloggers looking for ways to extend their reach. According to the glowing reviews, it's a quick read, very easy to understand, and effective.

 
Images are King on Pinterest
Images are King on Pinterest | Source

Pinterest Fundamentals

On Pinterest, images are king. Photos and graphics become clickable links on Pinterest. As such, these images are the most important part of Pinterest.

Don't forget about Prince Harry. The captions are like the younger prince of the British Royal Family. They may not get to be king (like the images do), but they're still pretty darned important.

To clarify this, you need to understand how users find pins on Pinterest:

  1. From Their Feed - If you have a Pinterest account, you will see a whole pages of images or "pins" on the Pinterest homepage. This "feed" is composed of all the most recent pins from the Pinterest users they follow. Images are most important for pins that are found this way.
  2. From Search Queries - If a Pinterest user is looking for something specific like "bright red hair," they may do a search directly on the Pinterest site. Unless an image has "bright red hair" in the caption (or image URL), the user will not find that pin (even if the pin is of bright red hair). Therefore, for images found via search, captions are the most important.
  3. From "Related Pins" - If you pin something, then scroll down, there is often a whole bunch of pins and boards that Pinterest suggests to you. These pins are similar to the original pin, and have either been pinned or liked by another user that also pinned the original. "Related Pins" are also sprinkled into the homepage feed. Since related pins are simply existing pins that have been reorganized based on user behavior, the images and captions are both important.

How users collect pins to share with other users:

  1. From the Pinterest Website - 80% of all pins on Pinterest are simply "repins" of stuff that's already been added to Pinterest website by other users. You do not have much control over the content that is already on Pinterest.
  2. Directly From External Websites, Hubpages, and Blog Articles - 20% of all pins are from Pinterest users that visit a website and add ad the pin directly. They will either pin the whole article, or pin a specific image or product that strikes their fancy. You do have control over your own content and, to a certain extent, how it would be pinned.

Image Quality, Pinterest, and YOU

Quality images encourage pinning from visitors and repins on Pinterest.

So, images are king on Pinterest. I GOT it. GOOD. Lets step up our image game, shall we?

  1. Buff Your Main Image to a High Gloss - On Hubpages and other blog platforms, it is very important to include a main image that is a real stunner as the main image is going to be pinned the most. Typically, the main image is the first image on the page.
  2. Long Images on Pinterest - The longer images often stand out more in the feed. Because long images are not always a good choice as the main image on your blog, you can always add a few at appropriate places in the body of the article, then add a Pin It button to that section. I will explain how to do this shortly.

Images on Pinterest are often re-pinned without even looking at the site the image links to. Pinterest users may not even see all the awesome stuff that the image represents, so you need to make sure the images on your article or lens represent your awesome stuff effectively. At the same time, having an eye-catching and engaging image on Pinterest encourages clicking (which = traffic to your site YAY). Think of it this way, are you more likely to click on a pretty picture of a cupcake or that same pretty picture of a cupcake with "The Best Cupcake Recipe Ever" on it?

Which reminds me...

Graphics and Text are important for Pinterest
Graphics and Text are important for Pinterest | Source

Using Graphics to Your Advantage

As you browse Pinterest, you may notice that a some of the images on the site have text on them. I believe that "images + text" stands out more than a stand-alone photo does. Unless the main image on your article is truly a work of art, I mean really freaking fantastic, you should consider adding some kind of graphic element to it. Keep in mind, you don't necessarily need text to make your images more interesting.

You should really consider doing this if you're writing on a topic that is highly shared on Pinterest such as cooking, DIY, crafting, fashion, or makeup. If you're doing some kind of product review article and are using the product itself as your main photo, try to think of ways to jazz it up, otherwise it will look like every other product image on Pinterest. Give people a reason to choose to repin your image over all the other identical ones.

I have added a few of my favorite main images that I've used for my articles below so you can see what I'm talking about when I say "graphic." I designed these specifically with Pinterest in mind.

Photo Credit: Social Spice on Flickr | Graphics Credit: shay-marie

Main Images from My Articles

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This White Elephant Gift Guide blew up over the holiday season. I got 1,000s of visits on this article entirely from Pinterest.Main Image for my "I Love the 80s" Author Page - No text, but it draws the eye and looks really good as a thumbnail.Main Image for my Guide to Comic Books (for women).I love this one because it's subtle. It's Phil Collin's "Face Value" album, but I changed the "Phil Collins" on his forehead to "I Love Phil Collins."Yes, I sometimes write about dog vomit. I had fun with the font on this one.My Orphan Black Costume Guide main image. I wanted the names to be reminiscent of a genetic code.
This White Elephant Gift Guide blew up over the holiday season. I got 1,000s of visits on this article entirely from Pinterest.
This White Elephant Gift Guide blew up over the holiday season. I got 1,000s of visits on this article entirely from Pinterest. | Source
Main Image for my "I Love the 80s" Author Page - No text, but it draws the eye and looks really good as a thumbnail.
Main Image for my "I Love the 80s" Author Page - No text, but it draws the eye and looks really good as a thumbnail. | Source
Main Image for my Guide to Comic Books (for women).
Main Image for my Guide to Comic Books (for women). | Source
I love this one because it's subtle. It's Phil Collin's "Face Value" album, but I changed the "Phil Collins" on his forehead to "I Love Phil Collins."
I love this one because it's subtle. It's Phil Collin's "Face Value" album, but I changed the "Phil Collins" on his forehead to "I Love Phil Collins." | Source
Yes, I sometimes write about dog vomit. I had fun with the font on this one.
Yes, I sometimes write about dog vomit. I had fun with the font on this one. | Source
My Orphan Black Costume Guide main image. I wanted the names to be reminiscent of a genetic code.
My Orphan Black Costume Guide main image. I wanted the names to be reminiscent of a genetic code. | Source

The Importance of Images on Pinterest: A Case Study

The Importance of Images on Pinterest: A Case Study
The Importance of Images on Pinterest: A Case Study | Source

Above, you'll see two images that I used for my "Best Christmas Gifts for Young Women" gift guide. The one on the left is the first image I created and pinned to Pinterest. I got a few clicks, and repins, but nothing overly impressive. I had always been unsatisfied with this image, so I went back, found a new photo (by christina rutz (paparutzi) on Flickr, CC) popped it up in photoshop, and added text. This image is shown on the right.

When I pinned the article again this second time with this new image on Pinterest, the results were almost instantanous. I got a steady stream of repins that day, and week, and it continued to grow over the holiday season. The count is over 400 now. I received a combine total of 2,500 visits to the article for November and December, which was huge for me. All the traffic came from Pinterest and next to nothing came from Google. This not only shows the power image quality has within Pinterest, but the power of Pinterest as promotional tool.

Source

Pinterest Hack: Captions

SEO for Your Pinterest Pins

When you pin your article or lens to Pinterest, you have the option of adding a description to the image. While the limit for Pinterest descriptions is 500 words, Pinterest is image based. As such, it is best to keep your Pinterest captions keyword rich and relatively low on word fluff. So for that bright red hair pin, it's much better to caption it "bright red hair how-to" than "I looove this!" or something equally ridiculous and non-descriptive.

Captions are important because, along with the URL of the image, they are how Pinterest finds existing pins via search. Because Hubpages does not allow you to customize the individual image URLs, you really need to make sure your captions are descriptive. On top of THAT, captions are what tell people what the pin is about. Without them, Pinterest users may not realize that that photo of a cupcake is actually a link to a delicious recipe or that an image of a cool red hairstyle is actually a link to a red hair dye how-to.

While including a URL in the caption is not necessary (the link associated with the picture will remain intact with re-pins), I do sometimes add the URL at the end. I ONLY do this for pins where the image is not self explanatory and may not encourage clicking.

It's best to truncate down captions to carefully chosen keyphrase. While you can add a caption for a pin you add yourself, what other pinners do is out of your hands... unless you make it a little easier for them by adding custom "Pin It" buttons to your lens.

Pinterest Hack: The Pin it Button

On many article and blog platforms, the "Pin It" Button comes standard on all articles published, along with other sharing buttons such as Facebook and Twitter. This is usually where the pinning fun ends.

Well, friends, I've discovered a useful Pinterest Hack that could step up your Pinterest game. Pinterest has a Button and Widget Builder that allows you to create "Pin It" Button with HTML that you can put wherever you want on your articles. While this cannot be done on Hubpages, it can be done on Blogger, Wordpress, or any other platform where you have a reasonable amount of flexibility with the html code.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Go to the "Pinterest Button and Widget Builder": http://business.pinterest.com/widget-builder/#do_pin_it_button
  2. Get Your Link - Use the URL of your article here. Put this URL in the "URL" field of the Pinterest Button builder.
  3. Get Your Image Link - On a published article, you can right click (or control click on a Mac) and select "Copy Image URL." This photo should be associated with the specific module or part of the article that you are targeting from step 1. Put this URL in the "Image" field of the Pinterst Button builder.
  4. Write Your Caption - Write a keyword rich caption in the description field that explains what the photo is and how it relates to the article. So if you're doing an how-to article on bright red hair, and you have a section of the article dedicated to hair dye brands (with a photo to match), the caption could be "bright red hair dye brands" or simply the name and shade of the hair dye brand. For these captions, I like to add my article's URL at the end.
  5. Build It! - Click the Build It! button and copy and paste the HTML code wherever you want the button to appear. That's it!

Pinterest Hack: The Image Upload Option

There are loads of scammers and spammers that used the "hack" I'm about to describe in scammy, spammy ways. I do not condone this, but I realize I have no control over other people on the Internet (despite what I like to tell myself!).

Anyway... On to the Pinterest hack! I sometimes use this when I upload a small or a horizontal image on my blog, but want something larger or longer for Pinterest only, I do the following:

  1. I resize my image image to somewhere between 400 and 500 pixels in width and save it to my computer - In general, an image around 500 x 500 pixels looks fantastic on Pinterest.
  2. Click on the "Upload a Pin" option, found in the plus "+" dropdown, to the left of your Pinterest name in the header (see the screenshot up top).
  3. Upload your image and add a caption (I often use the title of the article I'm pinning), and hit the red "Pin It" button.
  4. This part is very important: Once it pins, go back to the pin, click on the grey pencil icon to edit (located in either in the lower right or upper right), then add the URL of your article. If you skip this step, you won't have a URL attached to the pin, and no one will find your article!

Example: This pin is from one of my articles pinned directly from the site. This pin is from one of my articles as well, but was added via the Image Upload Option. It's a pretty big difference, huh?

I had stated in the beginning that this trick can and has been used for evil, and by that I meant this: There are people on Pinterest that will upload a completely unrelated image then slap their URL on it, or worse, repin an image that's already on the site, then use the "edit" option to change the article or URL listed to their own. This is bad because other users will blindly repin without checking to see if the image links to the appropriate site. It removes authorship and is really crappy for the person who made the image or wrote the article.

If this kind of stuff gets you all riled up, and you're feeling particularly feisty, you can always report the pin to Pinterest. You can also report pinners, but be sure you're reporting the account that originated the pin, and not someone who simply repinned it.

The Importance of Good Social Media
The Importance of Good Social Media | Source

Social Media: There's a Good Chance You're Doing it Wrong

If you find yourself on the fence as to whether social media is a worthwhile investment, take a look at this article:

The Importance of Good Social Media Marketing - Why OK is Not Enough

It's a quick read that breaks down why social media is no longer optional and is quickly becoming a requisite for all writers, content creators, brands and businesses. It also discusses what separates "good" social media from "bad" social media with some quick and dirty tips for how to become a better, more effective social media user.

© 2013 Shay Marie

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    • NightMagic profile image

      NightMagic 4 years ago

      Great Tutorial. I always wanted to know how to get the link to a particular part of my lens --- now I know. Thanks for all the info on Pinterest. I think I will set up an account now.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Blessed-great lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for all the information. Ill have to come back and digest it in smaller pieces, so I don't get overwhelmed.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 3 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for the tips. I really enjoy Pintrest.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I have learned more about pinterest, thank you.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      Still a Pinterest newbie in terms of any kind of savvy. Appreciate these hacks. Thanks!

    • HalloweenCarols profile image

      Kristen Lawrence 3 years ago from Orange County, California, USA

      Brilliant and yet easy to understand. Thank you! I will put your information to work for me as I learn more about Pinterest and Squidoo.

    • nicenet profile image

      nicey 3 years ago

      Your analysis on Pinterest has given me a boost. I'll start repining on the site.

      Thanks

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I've been creating inspiration boards on Pinterest then using the RSS module to feature the pins on my lenses. It makes a nice section of graphics and updates on its own.

    • shay-marie profile image
      Author

      Shay Marie 3 years ago from Southern California

      @Virginia Allain: That's a great idea!

    • MarathonRunning profile image

      Martina 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Thanks, nice tips!

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      Very good tips, learned a lot from this article. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 3 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      Great tips @shay_marie. I learned a lot from your lens. Thanks for the share.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 3 years ago

      Very helpful, Shay - thanks!

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      Wow--a lot to absorb but I will come back to learn more! Thank you so much for all this work!

    • shay-marie profile image
      Author

      Shay Marie 3 years ago from Southern California

      @Lynn Klobuchar: Your welcome!

    • Alyssa DeBoer profile image

      Alyssa DeBoer 3 years ago

      thanks for the helpful tips

    • profile image

      susan369 3 years ago

      I can not tell you how helpful this is for me! I've been looking into Pinterest for the past couple of days to see how I could use it to my advantage and you told me everything I need to know! I've bookmarked it so I will keep coming back! Thanks so much for the information!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have not been very active in Pinterest lately but now with these tools, I'll get back in.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 3 years ago from California

      I'm not very good with social media and I have no experience with Pinterest, but maybe I could be successful with it after reading your great tips.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      This is such great information! Just did my Facebook page for Alzheimer's and Dementia contributor, but haven't gotten into pinterest (except for browsing). I would like to though. I've bookmarked this for encouragement when I start! Thanks for putting it together.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 3 years ago from Guatemala

      This is insanely useful. I have been using Pinterest for a while now, but there are some new tips for me here, plus a good reminder for others. Good job!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      This is such valuable information! I really appreciate your sharing your extensive knowledge of using Pinterest successfully as a social marketing tool. Thank you!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Great information, easy to understand. Thanks for sharing this, Shay Marie!

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I've loved Pinterest for ideas, and am excited to try out the great stuff you've shared (of course in a very NON-spammy way) :) Thank you for the extremely thorough and practical tips and how-tos.

    • aminebombom profile image

      Amine 3 years ago from Doha, Qatar

      Well i haven't heard of pinterest before joining to squidoo about a month i just started so i gotta take and work by your beautiful tips and make pin works for me.

      Thank you

    • profile image

      jerrybarndorf 3 years ago

      I love Pinterest! I think the success of a Pinterest account is based of strict curation. I've noticed that there are very pinteresque images which appeals to many users and what makes a post popular. I don't want to say it should have a hipster vibe but it needs to be a clean image, sort of minimal and very creative. Okay, sometimes the hipster quotes and images are there but all in all a well curated pinboard and great images. And yes! a popular Pinterest is a great marketing platform.

    • Urosevic profile image

      Urosevic 3 years ago

      Great tips... I will definitely come back to this lens....

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 3 years ago

      Awesome lens! You did a great job writing all these tips, thanks a lot for sharing with us!

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image

      Dawn Romine 3 years ago from Nebraska

      Love Pinterest, I've set it as a goal this year to get an average of one follower a day. Yes, I'm ADD and OCD that makes me goal oriented. It's extremely important to add text to your PIN, people who are searching won't find your pin without great text crammed full of keywords. Just make sure you're writing it in a conversational manner

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      this is a wonderful page filled with excellent tips for people to learn about pinterest - you're absolutely right about the time and focus it takes to build, I love Pinterest!

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Great ideas and advice on using pinterest. Love using it.

    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 3 years ago

      I have used Pinterest a little...but I definitely have not mastered it yet. Or even developed a strategy for that matter. Thanks for the useful tips.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 3 years ago

      Wow, this is fantastic information! Thanks so much.

    • profile image

      OriSnori 3 years ago

      This was an incredibly well-thought-out, informative, well-presented article. Thank you for taking the time to write and share. See you on Pinterest!

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 2 years ago from Burbank, CA

      WOW This great info. Thanks. Even if I do one or two of the things you discuss I should be moving right along!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, I had no idea. So much good information here. Thanks for that PinIt button widget link. Looking forward to giving that a try. One of these days, I'm probably going to have to take a photography class and learn how to take better photographs. Thanks for all the info here.

    • profile image

      tiffanyrose2015 2 years ago

      Very nice article, thanks for the advice.

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 23 months ago

      Thank You for Sharing These Great Tips and Tricks for Hubpages and Blogs

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