3 No Brainer Ways to Optimize Your Blog for Pinterest

3 No Brainer Ways to Optimize Your Blog for Pinterest from @GretLouiseThere are two ways to get your blog posts pinned on Pinterest. One is complicated and requires lots of time (and some talent) dedicated to creating graphics for every single post. The other involves a few simple rules that every blogger should be following, yet it can gain you big results on Pinterest without ever having to put any effort into graphics or Pinterest itself.

1. Make sure there is a pinnable image somewhere in your blog’s header, sidebar, or footer.

It can be your headshot, your blog button, whatever — though I prefer to pin a button that is representative of the blog. Just make sure something is pinnable so that even if you never put images in your posts, they can still be pinned — even from a browser Pin It button. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding the perfect recipe or best tip and realizing there is not a single pinnable image on the entire page. Preferably, the image source would be big enough to look good on Pinterest (at least 600px is recommended) and include your blog name as well as perhaps your domain name. Whatever you use for your blog button will work — just make sure it’s available on every page and post!

Tip: The image doesn’t have to be visible to regular visitors to be found by Pinterest. I can put a button in my footer set to width=”0″ height=”0″ and it’s still pinnable! If you use the WordPress Plugin SEO by Yoast, just specify your logo as the images in the “Social” settings, and your logo will be available as a pinnable image on every page of your site that doesn’t already have a “Featured Image” (this doesn’t always work for mobile browsers, though, I’ve discovered).

2. Include Pin It buttons with each post.

In WordPress, plugins like Jetpack and Digg Digg make it super easy to include share buttons below each post. Make sure the Pin It button is there! For a frequent reminder about pinning your images, you can install the Pinterest Pin It Button For Images that displays a Pin It button whenever the mouse hovers over an image.

If you use WordPress.com, you can use the same Jetpack style share buttons below each post.

With Blogger, AddToAny makes it simple to place share buttons including Pinterest at the bottom of each post. No special coding a separate button for each image!

Tip: The presence of Pin It buttons is generally understood as giving your readers permission to pin the images from your blog, but if you want to go into further detail, you can create a pinning permissions policy or put a “Permission to Pin” button in your sidebar.

3. Edit the image alternate text when you insert your images.

This is the tip that has as much to do with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as with pinning ease. If you use a plugin to put share buttons below your post, the Pin It button is usually going to grab your post title for the Pin Description box. But when someone uses the Pin It button in their browser (which is apparently the most common method of pinning), Pinterest is likely going to grab the image title — you know, the one that is something like IMG2567.JPG. And there are no keywords in that. If they don’t take the time to retype the description of “Best Book Organization Tip Ever” then no matter how many times people search for “book organization” on Pinterest, they will not find the pin directing them to your post.

For ultimate SEO, rename the image to something like “book-organization.jpg” before you upload it. But if you don’t do that, at least fill out your Image Title (this is just that–whatever you would title your image) and Alternate Text (this is what shows if your image hasn’t loaded yet).

  • If no Alternate Text is specified, Pinterest will grab the Image Title for the Pin Description.
  • If you specify both an Image Title and Alternate Text, Pinterest will use the Alternate Text for the Pin Description.

Tip: You can even get creative and add your Twitter handle in the Alternate Text, assuming they will Tweet their pin also: “The Best Book Organization Tips from @JaneDoe”.

WordPress gives you the option to specify your Title and “Alt” Text when you first upload your image or when you update it later:Specify Image Title & Alternate Text in WordPress

In Blogger, you have to click “Properties” and edit the title text and alt text:Specify Image Properties in Blogger

 

If you are like my friends Natasha and Trina who adore Picmonkey and find creating beautiful, pin-worthy graphics both fun and relaxing, you can utilize these three steps to really optimize your posts for Pinterest. But for the rest of us who would rather be writing than making pin-worthy graphics that are just the right size and have text that’s readable when shrunk down to the size of a pin? Learn these best practices for creating Pinterest-friendly blogs and it won’t matter if there’s a graphic in your post or not. Because if your readers love your content, they will pin it and like it and share it — and you couldn’t ask for anything better than reader-generated promotion.

 

Tweetables:

  • Would you rather be writing than making pin-worthy graphics? Click here! (Click to Tweet)
  • Did you know that how you describe your blog post images matters not just for SEO, but on Pinterest? (Click to Tweet)
  • If your readers love your content, they will share it, and nothing’s better than reader-generated promotion. (Click to Tweet)

curating contentment on Pinterest

I like to call Pinterest my “cheap therapy.”  Of course, that would necessitate that I’m usually visiting Pinterest when I’m tired, discouraged, lonely, hungry, or all of the above.  Rarely do I hop on Pinterest just because I’m feeling so happy and content with my life.  And when I’m not, I somehow think that I will feel better by looking pictures of pretty things I don’t have and ideas for crafty things I will never create.

I’ve always had the highest respect for my friend Everly’s commitment to not having a wedding board on Pinterest, since she’s not yet planning a wedding.  But then it hit me: why is this discipline limited to singles and wedding boards?  What about my dream home organization ideas?  What about those ridiculously intricate crafts I will never create?  Am I curating contentment or covetousness by pinning those ideas?

curating contentment on Pinterest

Your Pinterest boards say a lot about you, according to the fun new eBook Pin-terpretation.  But what if my Pinterest boards are displaying more than just my random personality and my love of bright colors?  What if my Pinterest boards are reflecting the state of my heart? Are my boards showing contentment in my circumstances or a desire for more of this, less of that?

My crafty friends have boards called “Completed Pins”, where they repin all the Pinterest ideas they’ve actually completed.  But I know I’ll never be completing any of those creative ideas I find on Pinterest, unless you count completing a recipe.  So I decided instead to create a “Contented Pins” board, where I repin the things that remind me to be content, whatever my circumstances.

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How to Display Your Latest Pinterest Pins in a WordPress.com Widget

pinsMy friend Darlene emailed me last night and asked how to get the Pinterest widget I had on my blog.  It would have been a simple answer—except that she has free WordPress.com and I don’t.

Self-hosted WordPress has a plethora of plugins to allow you to display recent pins from a specific Pinterest user or board (I use the Pinterest RSS Widget Plugin).  However, WordPress.com has yet to provide any options for Pinterest other than the Pin It button.

But there’s an easy work-around.  Just add the Flickr widget, but specify your Pinterest RSS URL instead! 

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Pin-terpretation

Pin-terpretationWhen I first signed up for Pinterest, I had a brand new baby and spent hours nursing and pinning and repinning.  After the copyright issues came to the forefront, I scrapped some of my boards and became a bit more careful in my repins, tracing images to the source before I repinned them.  And as “downtime” online diminished, I often forgot to even visit Pinterest.

Now I think I’ve finally developed my personal sweet spot in my use of Pinterest: I pin frequently, but I don’t go there unless I’m too tired to do anything else or when I’m desperately seeking some creative ideas—whether it be for dinner or for a new hat.

My pin boards might not be quite the representation of everything that catches my eye that they once were.  But the new eBook Pin-terpretation from Squee! Inc. was a fascinating take on Pinterest, my own pin boards, and how Pinterest relates not only to personality but personal branding.

With a promise of “16 Fun Ways to Find Out What Your Pinterest Boards Say About You”, I expected a read quick enough to keep the short attention span of a Pinterest user and informative enough to appeal to the student of social media—and I wasn’t disappointed.  Holley Gerth and Stephanie Bryant bring their expertise in personal branding to the latest social media craze of Pinterest in a truly delightful form.  Who knew your Pinterest boards were a reflection into your personality and your very soul?

But Pin-terpretation is much more than just a pinning personality analysis.  It also gives you a lot to think about as you analyze how your pins can reflect your personal brand—or provide the framework for developing your personal brand.  It provides the paradox of how what you pin without thinking reflects who you are and how you can analyze your pins with the purpose of discovering who you want to be—and what you want to pin more of.

It’s safe to say that if you love Pinterest, you’ll love Pin-terpretation. (Available as a PDF eBook or on Amazon Kindle.)

(P)interest(ing) Pictures

Pinterest_FaviconI’ve finally figured out how to describe Pinterest.  It’s like all the pretty pictures we used to cut out of magazines when we were little.  Except, instead of pasting them on construction paper or putting them in magnetic photo albums, we pin them to our online Pinterest boards.  And, of course, instead of finding the pictures in catalogs and magazines, we find them in blogs and webzines.  And thanks to the world wide web, we can show our friends all the fun things we’ve collected pictures of without ever leaving our computers.

When I was little, I liked cats.  So much that I started a girls’ club called the “Purry Kittens” along with my cousin Melissa.  All of us girls in the PK’s fed our love of cats and kittens by collecting pictures of cats.  Greeting cards, calendars, magazines, rubber stamps—if it had cats on it, we cut it out and put it in our cat albums.  There was even a section of our original “PK News” newsletter dedicated to sharing cat picturess.

The club grew up and became YLCF.   I grew up and don’t actually have the dozens and dozens of kitties I planned on.  But I realized, the other day, that I still have that little girl penchant for collecting pictures of pretty things.  It just happens on Pinterest instead of in the pages of magnetic photo albums these days.  And, oh yes, I’m pinning pictures of more than just cats.  (In fact, my PK friends would be scandalized—I don’t think I’ve yet pinned a kitty picture!  I’d better remedy this post-haste. Winking smile)

So here’s a very basic explanation of Pinterest from a relative newbie—for my mom who’s learning Twitter this week and doesn’t want one more online thing to have to manage, and for my aunt who says it’s not a good idea to follow her on Pinterest because she’s lost. Winking smile

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