We talk a lot on IFB about all the different social networking tools that bloggers can use to grow their traffic and interact with their peers. Some are more powerful than others, some are long-established, and some are very up-and-coming. Pinterest is definitely the latter. If you haven't checked it out yet, Pinterest is a social image-sharing site that displays the images of those you follow in a format similar to a corkboard or inspiration board you might have at h0me. You can “pin” images you find online onto “boards” that you title, organizing them into trends, design, shopping, food, whatever you might like.
I joined Pinterest a few months ago, and I have found it to be sort of like a speed-reading version of Tumblr. You get all the great imagery, with none of the anonymous comments or question-and-answer feeds. There's no text (besides brief descriptors of the images), so you're just inunndated with gorgeous pictures, art, outfits, editorials and insane amounts of blogging inspiration.
How Pinterest Can Benefit Your Blog:
1. When an image is pinned to someone's board (or one of your boards) it keeps the URL where it was found. When people come across one of your images on Pinterest, it can lead them directly back to your blog – and gain you a new follower!
2. Pinterest is a genius way to store images and inspiration. When you're feeling stumped on what to post, go back to your boards and look at the different images and items you've pinned. You'll probably find a great trend story or shopping piece just waiting for you. (A recent IFB commenter also mentioned that she used Pinterest boards to make gift guides that she could direct her readers to through hyperlinks – which I think is rather a stroke of genius!)
3. It's also a great place to find inspiration. Use the search bar to look for specific items, TV characters, bloggers, magazines… You name it. Chances are you will come across at least one image that turns your blogging gears and gets you excited. You might also find a new “pinner” or two to follow, to keep the inspiration coming!
4. To reep the benefits of Pinterest, you don't have to do all the pinning yourself. Your readers can pin their favorite images from your blog to their boards, and in turn their followers will see them and be exposed to your blog. Images can be “repinned” over and over, with the potential to “go viral” in a sense, and give your blog some hype without you doing any of the PR. (Try typing in the name of your blog in the search bar to see if anything comes up!)
5. The more you're out there – the more you're out there. I know some people gripe about spreading yourself too thin, but with something as easy as Pinterest, I think it's worth the effort. When you add the tiny “pin this” tool to your browser's toolbar, it becomes about a 15 second project to pin an image to one of your boards.
Do you have a Pinterest account? How do you use it?
[Image via my Pinterest]