Why is Pinterest disregarded as a blog traffic booster by new bloggers? Pinterest is my main source of traffic referrals, with hundreds of thousands of eyes on my Pinterest profile (therefore bringing in traffic) and my blog is still just a baby!
Since we are speaking of Pinterest, are we Pinterest friends yet? Click the adorable little strip above to get to my Pinterest profile and follow me there!
Twelve million people use Pinterest nowadays. When you are running a blog or a business, Pinterest is a great tool. But when you are running a food blog, Pinterest is your best friend. A beautiful pin with gorgeous, lip-smacking food photos, an amazing adjective to up your title a notch, a great description; it brings readers, it brings followers, it gets your brand and recipes spread across the globe much more easily than you doing it yourself. It's a God-send, isn't it?
Let's take a peek at what makes a perfect pin that drives blog traffic and gets exposure on Pinterest.
The Pinterest-Ready Photo
Go browse Pinterest on another tab. Don't worry, I'll wait.
When we look at a Pinterest page, the pins are all fighting for your attention. In food blogging, when you have followed tons of other food bloggers and bloggers in your niche, your page may look like this:
Don't you just love the variety in colors and the way the photos are so vibrant and colorful? Seeing all my food blogging peers and friends' pins looking all lovely and foodie-licious gets me all giddy. Ignore my cornball ways.
The pictures of food are well lit, vibrant; some show action, some show ingredients with the dish, but all are trying to get your attention. From what I've noticed, these are the main parts of a popular food blogger pin...
Popular Food Blog Pins Have:
- Clean text styles, with intricate lettering used sparingly
- Open space away from the food, whether created or within the photos
- Bright colors, preferably red tones. They are the highest repinned pins
- Good saturation, colors are important in food photography
- Fantastic descriptions and alt tags
After taking note of this, I made the necessary changes and my pins have been pinned thousands of times since.
Did you see any Pins like this? Meet a very old pin of mine, before I was seriously blogging.
This pin has a lovely photo. I mean, the spoonful of the filling for my DECONSTRUCTED CHICKEN POT PIE is beautifully displaying its ingredients. It's a well lit photo, actually pretty good for someone who really didn't know much about food photography at the time. But the pin itself is not good.
But that's quite alright, we are going to create this "perfect" pin for that recipe in my next blogger resource post: how to create a long pin with Picmonkey.
In that old, sad little pin, the picture is incredibly small compared to other pins. Imagine, that one tiny photo with little writing and no personality shining through next to all those vibrant photos in long pins with plenty of personality. Which brings me to the basic -so well known they're almost cliche- tricks to making your pins have a chance at getting noticed...
Make a Long Pin
Like I said, if you know about pinning, this trick is so cliche, but it's now absolutely necessary to have your pin at least seen amongst all the the other long pins.
Have an Action Text Title or Description
Photos and long pins with an 'action' that tells the pinner (and potential reader) that you have information that they absolutely must know about a certain topic. It brings a subconscious sense of urgency and piques curiosity for them to want to click.
Alt Tags and File Names
When you save a photo or a just made pin to your computer, you need to name it with keywords that you are using in your blog post and in its title. So a strawberry cheesecake should be named 'strawberry cheesecake' in your files when you upload it onto your computer and onto your blog; this way it pops up on Google and pops up correctly on Pinterest if someone pins just an image from your blog.
As for your alt tags, they are pertinent to getting your pin repinned and your blog read. They are the little description for your pin and if it's not there, how will you describe your recipes and posts to potential readers? Those little descriptions are a chunk of gold, luring your reader to your blog.
I spoke about creating a Business account and Rich Pinning more in my PERFECT PINTEREST PROFILE post, but basically rich pins are a big boost for bloggers, especially food bloggers. It gives the reader the low down on your recipe/blog post, giving them a tiny bit of a taste of your post and making it incredibly easy for them to go to your blog and follow you on Pinterest.
Warm Toned Photos are Pinned More
Red tones are more 'friendly, warm' feeling, while blue tones give off a smaller, 'cold' feeling. Colors and the tone of your light can change the feeling of your food photo, it can go from feeling family-weeknight-meal to isolated and moody, and vice versa. I'll go over color and lighting tactics more as I go over Photography in a separate post.
Create a Signature on your Pins
When you create a signature for your pins, when people see them they will automatically know who the pin is by and make your pins look more pleasing to the eye in your board. My pins before I found my signature were all over the place.
See how random they are? Sure, they came out cute, but they took a lot longer to create and didn't get as many re-pins as I do now with my recent (as of August 2016) pin style:
By the way, each of those pins are clickable to their respective recipes. Ya know, just an FYI 😉
You see how nice and uniform they are? They have a my personality involved, and anyone who sees the pins will know without even really having to look that they are Sweet Tea & Thyme recipes.
Here's the last tip:
I gathered pin inspiration from food bloggers I admire.
Sure, that sounds kinda bad, but I suggest you do the same! I probably won't be the last to do so either. Don't steal their signature, obviously, or do anything basically identical, but look around at their pins. Most food bloggers have a signature pin style, which may change every so often, but find one who's text style you like or how they add different overlays or pick bits and bobs of different styles and aspects and mash them to create your own flow. I DON'T suggest stealing their look.
Alright, that's all the info I can think of right now. I may edit this post if I think of some more tidbits about what a pin needs to boost your blog traffic.
If you are craving more information about blogging, traffic, social media, and other blog related nuggets of knowledge, visit my BLOGGER RESOURCES page and take a look around.
And if you're a new blogger and you're wanting to know how to use Pinterest to it's full potential for your benefit, subscribe to Sweet Tea & Thyme and get ready to learn how to make a perfect pin and learn how I got 300 Pinterest followers in less than a week.
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Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.