Pinterest is the darling new social networking site whose meteoric rise has attracted the attention of the social media world. At first glance, one might view Pinterest as nothing more than a virtual pin board where users can showcase stuff that interests them.
But Pinterest is proving to be more than just an online cork board; somewhat to many people’s surprise, it has opened a new, powerful, and lucrative online marketing channel.
And bloggers are finding interesting ways to use Pinterest.
The site is now home to millions of images and videos that provide tremendous inspiration for homemakers, entrepreneurs, teachers, and bloggers. By browsing through the site’s vast collection of pinboards from millions of users, bloggers can find a wealth of ideas and concepts to blog about.
If you are a budding blogger, or a veteran thought leader who has fallen victim to writer’s block, here are three simple ways to use Pinterest to jumpstart your creative juices.
Browse and save images or videos that interest you
Say you’re web surfing and run across an interesting topic accompanied by images or videos. You could easily forget about them when you click onward, however. They will be shoved into oblivion, and you lose the opportunity to blog about a brilliant new idea.
The next time you come across an interesting image or video, pin it on Pinterest. The great thing about Pinterest is that you can create categories or tag pinned images so they can be easily located the next time you need them.
Be sure to label your pinboard with a title that you will easily remember, such as “Funny Stuff,” “Science Stuff,” “Startling Photos,” etc.
Share your own stuff for link building
Pinterest is also good for self-promotion and offers great opportunities for link building. While I do not advocate a lot of self-promotion, Pinterest offers yet another great online channel that marketers can take advantage of.
Each time you update your blog, for example, include an image that could also be shared on Pinterest. You can pin the image on Pinterest and link back to your original post. This invites users to learn more about the images you’ve posted, and possibly wander deeper into your other site(s).
If you are into video blogging, Pinterest can also serve as a channel for additional exposure of your video posts.
Posting some of your own stuff on Pinterest is also a great way to allow like-minded users to find you and your content. This can provide opportunities for you to open new and potentially fruitful social relationships with other users.
I believe that there really isn’t a problem with posting too much of your material online as long as it provides substantial value. But be cautious when posting your own stuff.
The goal should be to provide value in the form of entertainment, education, and inspiration. Don’t be too promotional. Consider posting other people’s useful content on a consistent basis as well.
Like, repin, and comment to create relationships
Pinterest is now home to millions of pinners. Most likely, the people you think may benefit from your blog are also on Pinterest. You can reach out to them by liking, re-pinning, and commenting on their pins to start a relationship. You can also follow their pinboards and individual pins.
When people start liking, re-pinning, and following your pins, be sure to return the favor by doing the same for them. This will provide you with more opportunities for exposure, traffic, and even lead generation.
The key to success with Pinterest is consistency — just like when you blog and interact with your contacts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The more you engage your audience by posting interesting and high-quality pins, the more you will create a steadily growing number of followers and readers for your blog.
There are lots of other great ways to use Pinterest. If you’re not active there yet, create a profile today and start building a follower base on Pinterest.