Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing social networks and brings in lots of referral traffic to blogs (according to one study, more traffic comes from Pinterest than Twitter). While one tweet may bring in traffic to your blog for a day, a pin could bring traffic to your blog for months.
If you’re not on Pinterest yet, you could be losing out on a lot of potential traffic to your blog.
But how do you know if Pinterest is right for you? With so many social network sites out there, how do you decide if it’s worth it to spend your time on Pinterest? While we can’t make that decision for you, these five questions will help you figure out the answer.
1. You have time to make Pinterest-ready pictures.
Unfortunately, you can’t just slap any picture on your post and expect people to pin it. If the picture is unclear or uninteresting, people won’t click the “Pin It” button. While you don’t need professional-quality pictures, you will need to take time to make sure your photos are Pinterest-ready.
This includes the time it will take to find or take appropriate pictures that are legal to use (check out our post 11 Places to Get a Free And Legal Photo for Your Blog), edit them if necessary, and add text.
We’ll dive into what makes a picture “Pinterest-ready” in a follow-up post next week.
2. Your blog fits well into one or more of Pinterest’s categories.
You may be surprised how many categories Pinterest has–it’s not just for recipes, weddings, and hairstyles anymore. There’s something for everyone! Many bloggers will find their blog fits pretty neatly into one or two categories.
If you find that your blog just doesn’t fit any of the categories, or is a weird conglomerate of multiple categories, it may be time to reconsider.
3. A good chunk of your audience is women.
While many men are jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon, women still make up the vast majority of Pinterest’s users at 80%. If you have a particular male-heavy audience, Pinterest may not be your best bet (unless you specifically want to drive more female traffic to your site). You may find you have more success using Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ than Pinterest.
4. Your audience already uses Pinterest.
Not sure? Ask them on Twitter or Facebook. If you know that hardly any of your current audience is on Pinterest, they’re probably not going to sign up in order to pin your posts–which then makes it less likely that new readers will see your pins and find your blog. If, however, a substantial portion of your audience is already on Pinterest, it makes sense to go where they already are.
5. You already use Pinterest yourself (or are willing to take the time to learn).
While you don’t *have* to be on Pinterest in order to make your blog Pinterest-ready, it certainly helps. The traffic from Pinterest to your site will increase dramatically if you have your own account that people can follow. While some people may pin directly from your site, others are more likely to re-pin stuff already on Pinterest (in fact, 80% of pins on Pinterest are re-pins).
Also, you’ll increase your follower count on Pinterest if you pin more than just stuff from your own site. If the only pins you have come from your site, people may get bored or feel that you’re only on Pinterest to promote yourself. If you consistently repin things that are interesting to your audience, people are more likely to follow and repin and what you pin.
In addition, Pinterest is just an awesome tool for authors to use. Many authors use it to collect inspiration for their novels, organize their ideas, or just for personal use.
Do you use Pinterest? Would you recommend that other bloggers use it? What advice would you give to those just starting out?