Images have always helped enhance blog posts. However, thanks to Pinterest, adding a visual representation to your blog posts has now become critical for increasing your traffic from social networks.
The challenge when promoting content on Twitter is coming up with a clickable summary for your link in under 140 characters (even less when you add a URL and space for people to retweet). On the opposite end of the spectrum, Pinterest is almost entirely visual. When you pin content, you choose which image you want to pin – if the image doesn’t catch your follower’s attention then it won’t be liked, repinned or clicked.
Your images must be Pinteresting. The best way to get interesting image? Create your own! Learn how to make images for the web on our Photoshop for Web Graphics course and you will be able to create visually pleasing, shareable images for every blog post you write. If you already have the creative ideas but aren’t sure how to use the tools then our Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator courses are perfect for getting to grips with Adobe’s Creative Suite.
Before we delve further into Pinterest, here is a quick Pinterest Glossary:
- Pinterest - the latest major social network to. A form of digital pinboard.
- Pinboard - a bit like a page, this is a virtual board for posting your content.
- Pin - the actually content posted on Pinterest.
- Pinning - the act of posting content on Pinterest.
- Repinning - when somebody reposts your pin.
- Like - very similar to a Facebook like – showing your appreciation for a pin without repinning it.
Here’s how a Pinterest profile looks:
This is an amalgamation of all our most recent ‘pins‘ in chronological order (from left to right then down). Each pin is just an image and a short description that link to a web page.
These pins are added to ‘boards’ – usually divided by categories or interests. We split our boards into the different course categories that we sell. Here is a screenshot of our ‘Photoshop’ board:
Reports from early adopters of Pinterest show that it is a great tool for internet marketing. Businesses have seen boosts in traffic – some report more traffic from Pinterest than all other social networks together! Also, Pinterest users are converting better. One of the hardest jobs for internet marketers is converting social media interest into sales. However, selling items on Pinterest does seem to work. Shop owners have found that posting attractive pictures of their products encourages their followers to click and then buy.
Increasing Blog Traffic with Images
So you’ve heard all the buzz surrounding Pinterest, set up your account and started pinning, but nobody is repinning, following or liking your pins. You need to consider your choice of images.
It isn’t enough to just use screen-grabs, logos and stock photos anymore. Creating your own images using Photoshop is likely to gain a lot more interest!
Learn how to save images for the web in Photoshop by following our Save for the Web Photoshop tutorial.
This week we published an article on our main site about new security features for the last Apple OS X Mountain Lion – namely Gatekeeper. When preparing the article for publication we thought about what image to use with Pinterest in mind.
Our options included a screen capture of Gatekeeper in action:
Or the Gatekeeper logo:
We could have gone for an Apple logo:
Or mountain lion:
Instead, we used Photoshop to create an image of a mountain lion patrolling a front gate (using our Photoshop Quick Mask Tutorial of course).
Which would you rather click on?
Within a minute of pinning this image, 12 people had liked it and two had repinned it. This is within days of setting up our account.
Although Pinterest does allow you to add a description or title to your pins, it is unlikely that its image hungry audience will read this until after you’ve grabbed their attention with a photo. It really doesn’t matter what you are linking to if the image isn’t good enough.
Pinterest is not the only way to gain traffic through your images. Gain traffic through Google Image Search with our SEO for Images Tutorial.
Why Create Your Own Images?
From a marketing point of view this spawns another conundrum. Does the image match the content?
Those bloggers who just want to drive traffic but aren’t concerned about the value of that traffic can game the system. Include a funny picture of a cat on every blog post you write and people will click and share. However, images that match the content and are correctly labelled should do wonders for your social media ROI.
With Pinterest, using stock photos isn’t going to cut it because every other blog has used them already.
While you can go mining for creative commons photos these too will have been used by others and will need the proper attribution.
However, creating original images – infographics for example – means that when your content is shared it really is your content and not the first result off Google Images.