pinterest tips for beginners

There has been a lot of buzz about Pinterest recently. Pinterest is just a few months old, but it has already reached top-10 status for visitors among social networks recently. In fact, here in Type-A Parent, I am seeing now that many days Pinterest drives as much traffic as Facebook (which has long been a steady leader in referrals). If you are jumping in because you have heard all the buzz, here are five Pinterest tips for beginners to help you navigate and understand this new site.

Pinterest Tip 1: Integrate Facebook and Follow All Your Friends

Pinterest is much more interesting when you have a steady flow in your friend stream, which is what you see when you log in and go to the Pinterest home page. If you haven’t already tied in your Facebook account, you can do so in Pinterest Settings. Link to Facebook there, and then click the “Find Facebook Friends on Pinterest” button. You can just click “Follow All” to save time or follow one by one.

Also be sure to check out the Pinterest Profile Linkup to add your profile and find others to follow.

Pinterest Tip 2: Repin Away!

Finding killer content to pin can be challenging, but repinning is so easy. Best of all, there are thousands of wonderful pins on Pinterest now. Go to the home page to repin from your followers, go to everything to see all pins, or mouse over everything from the home page and click a category. You can also easily pin as you browse with the bookmarklet.

Pinterest Tip 3: Pin During Downtime

Pinterest is definitely addictive, but don’t let that scare you away. I am extremely active, but I don’t let it interfere with work. I use Pinterest during downtime (standing in line, with my morning coffee, between tasks during the day, in bed at night before reading). You can use Pinterest for just a couple minutes at a time. I actually use the Pinterest iPhone app* (free) more than I use Pinterest on my browser.

Pinterest Tip 4: Be Pinnable

If you’re a blogger jumping in, it is probably because you would like to get exposure and traffic as a result. Just like other social networks, you should primarily pin content from other sources or you will look spammy. Still, you can pin your own content on occasion. What is even better, however, is to encourage others to pin your content. You can do that a few ways.

One, have pinnable content (a great photo is required). Tutorials, recipes and how-to posts do very well, but that isn’t a rule. You can also add a “pin it” button to each post, although the current options for doing so are a little limited and require that you add it one post at a time. Pinterest has instructions here, and there is a Pinterest pin WordPress plugin (used at the bottom of this post). I really wish some of the popular social sharing plugins would add a Pin It button that is automatically on all posts, however. Hopefully, there will be one soon.

Tip: Inbound links from Pinterest are currently dofollow, which means Google will credit you for a link for each pin. You can also see who has already pinned your site by visiting pinterest.com/source/YOURURL.com.

Pinterest Tip 5: Track the Impact

Even if Pinterest is fun and inspiration (two great reasons), if you are also doing it for traffic you should track the results. You won’t see tons of traffic at first. As with any social network, you need to build up a presence there and a following. But each week, look in your statistics programs to see how many visitors arrived via a Pinterest pin.

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