Pinterest Tips for Bloggers & Small Business Owners

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers | Pumps & Iron @nicoleperrPinterest can be a powerful—and I mean POWERFUL—tool for growing a blog or online business. It’s actually my number one driver of traffic to P&I, even before Google search. Crazy! Its power will of course depend on what type of blog or business you have, but if visuals are a key component (that could mean professional photography, graphic collages, product photos, pictorials, etc.) then this blog post is definitely worth a read. These are all the Pinterest tips for bloggers and small business owners I can think of, but feel free to leave a comment with any questions remaining!

Create Pin-Worthy Images

Long images (portrait orientation) perform best.

Because width is limited in Pinterest’s gallery layout, landscape orientation images will appear very small. Long images, on the other hand, will take up more of their column and catch the eye of those scrolling through.

A lot of agencies will say 2:3 is the preferred ratio for image size on Pinterest, but in my experience, I’d say it’s more like at least 2:3. Longer images still perform really well, but don’t go any shorter than that 2:3 ratio. One thing to consider if you’re going longer than 2:3 is the placement of text, if any. Beyond a certain length, users have to click to expand to see the rest of the pin so keep in mind the bottom may be hidden from initial view.

Add (aesthetically pleasing) text to images so that the topic is clear.

image sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

It might seem redundant because you’re (hopefully) filling in a descriptive caption to the pin that explains what it is, but when it comes to the internet, everyone is skimming. Pinterest only shows the first line or so of image captions, and when scrolling through, not everyone is going to do that extra click to expand the description.

I don’t think adding text is necessary in all cases—depends on the content of the blog post. If, for example, you pin a gorgeous image or image collage of blueberry pancakes, users can easily assume that if they click that pin, they’re going to a blueberry pancake recipe. Same goes if you’re pinning product images for an online retail store. If it’s an image of a tank top, users can assume they’re going to be taken to a site where they can buy that tank top.

But if you’re trying to get exposure for a blog post that isn’t so easily visually represented, text is key. Using the image above as an example, the food pins don’t need the text to convey the content (although I’d argue it adds to the visual quality of the overall pin). If, however, “Why I Stopped Drinking Coffee” and “7 Ways to Take Viral Food Photos” weren’t written on the other two images, you’d have no idea what was waiting for you on the other side of that pin click unless you read the pin description.

Combine multiple images with text to show details or the “how to”.

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers - combine multiple images and text to create how-to pictorials

image sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

If the content of your blog post/webpage involves any sort of step-by-step instruction, DIY or how-to, I find images perform really well when you combine the previous two points I discussed: long image(s) + text. Visually showing a recipe in progress and then finished, a DIY project step-by-step, or all the exercises in a workout gives users a full picture of what to expect at just one glance. Because they clearly paint a picture of what to expect on the other side of that pin click, they’re also really “shareable”. My workout pictorials and long recipe collages get far more repins than a single picture.

To make pictorials, I use Adobe Photoshop (affiliate link). There are other apps out there but I’ve been using Adobe products since high school so I stick with what I know (and what I think, in my biased opinion, is best). 😉 A little tip about picking the font color if you’re going to add text to your graphic: match it to the images. For workout tutorials, I’ll use the eyedropper tool in Photoshop to lift the color from an article of clothing I’m wearing in the pictures and then use that as my font color.

Optimize Your Site for Pinning

The cool thing about Pinterest is that you don’t need to necessarily have a huge following on your Pinterest account to reap the benefits of it. Because other people pinning your content can be just as powerful as you doing so, you can start to see big increases of traffic to your blog or site from Pinterest even if you only have a small following on the platform. To see this happen, you need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to your blog/website to pin your content.

Add a Pin It button to appear when you hover over images.

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers — how to add a Pin It button when users hover over images on your blogYou want to make it as easy as possible for people to pin images from your site. While some users may have a Pin It tool installed in their browser’s toolbar for easy pinning as they browse the web, certainly not everyone will. By installing a plugin, a Pin It button will appear when readers hover over an image on your site. All they have to do is click it to open a small window that allows them to pick a board on which to pin the image.

I use the jQuery Pin It Button for Images plugin (I have a WordPress site). It’s easy to set up and I like that it allows you to customize the Pin It button. Right now I’m just using the default look, but you can create your own button image to match the theme and style of your blog layout.

Activate rich pins.

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers - activate rich pinsThis is especially important if you have a Shopify site (but good for bloggers to do as well!). If rich pins are activated, it means that Pinterest will use the available metadata to populate the pin description and give it a bolded title (shown above). If you’re pinning images of products for sale on your Shopify site, it’ll display the price as well.

Instructions for activating rich pins can be found here.

Add alt text to your images.

This is good practice for your blog’s SEO so even if you have no interest in Pinterest, you should be doing this! I’m not sure what the workflow is like with Squarespace, but in WordPress, when you upload an image to a blog post, you’ll see this:

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers - add Alt Text to your images

You want to make it as easy as possible for people to pin images from your site. Filling in an engaging Alt Text that uses keywords relevant to the blog post/web page (think of it as your elevator pitch) will help. It depends on what you’re using to pin an image (Pinterest hovering button, bookmarklet, third party app), but typically when you go to pin an image, the pin description will autofill with whatever Alt Text has been specified.

If the Alt Text is blank, typically the pin will autofill with the Title instead, but not always. Sometimes it autofills with the file name (deck-cards-workout-dumbell-exercises-23.jpg), which is no bueno. If that’s the case, pinners have to go in and edit the description. Yes, it’s only one more little step, but you’d be surprised how many people that will deter.

Pin Strategically to Increase Traffic and Grow Your Pinterest Following

Ok this section is going to sound like an ad for Tailwind but it’s in no way sponsored by them—I just seriously love the tool and would recommend it to all bloggers. Not only does it streamline the content pinning process, but I attribute much of my follower growth on Pinterest to using the platform. In the year since I’ve been using Tailwind, I’ve gone from about 15k followers to 50k followers on Pinterest, a MUCH bigger jump than I’ve seen in years past.

This referral link will give you a $30 Tailwind account credit if used today (after May 31st it’s a $15 credit).

All the tips I’m about to cover on pinning strategically are either automated or made much easier by using Tailwind. I was asked for time-saving Pinterest tips and it pretty much all comes down to this tool!

Pin quality content from both your site and other sites.

You of course what to pin content from your site, but to truly grow your Pinterest following, you need to pin quality content from other sites as well. Think about it: If the only content you pin is from your blog, then there’s not much of a need to follow your blog and Pinterest account—they’re the same thing! As your Pinterest following grows, you’ll get more exposure for your content when you do pin from your site. So this is a great place to start if you’re new to blogging and don’t have a ton of your own content to pin. Focus on growing an engaged Pinterest following for when you do.

My work flow for keeping a constant stream of pins is as follows: Each morning I open up Bloglovin’ and scroll through all the new posts from my favorite blogs. I open the posts that catch my eye and use Tailwind to pin images. Pinterest Tips for Bloggers - Tailwind for scheduling pins ($15 discount)

After you select a board (or multiple boards) on which to pin it, Tailwind will generate some similar pin suggestions from its other users. I. Love. This. Feature. If anything catches my eye, I’ll pin that as well. Not only does the suggested pins feature make it easier to keep my queue of pins topped off, but it gains more exposure for MY blog. If other Tailwind users pin something related to the content I post, Tailwind will be serving up images from Pumps & Iron in their suggested pins. Pinterest Tips for Bloggers - Tailwind for scheduling pins ($15 discount)

In addition to pinning from the blogs I follow, I’ll also go to Pinterest occasionally (a couple times a month) and load up a bunch of repins into my Tailwind queue. When you’re on Pinterest, you’ll notice a Tailwind button when you hover over images so that you can easily schedule with their tool rather than immediately pinning directly to a board.

Pin regularly, at the right times.

Pinterest Tips for Bloggers - Tailwind for scheduling pins ($15 discount)In general, Pinterest users are more active in the evening after work, so that’s when you want your pins to go live. Tailwind will create an optimized pinning schedule so you don’t have to think about this. You pick how many pins you want to go live each day, and they’ll calculate the ideal times to publish them. When you go to your Tailwind dashboard, you can see the queue and easily drag and drop pins to different days and times as needed.

Pin the same content to multiple boards—but not all at once.

Increase the lifespan of your content by pinning an image multiple times to different boards. Tailwind makes this easy. You select all the boards to which you want to pin the image and then click “Use Interval.” This will allow you to choose how much time you want in between each pinning of the image. I usually go with three weeks to a month in between each pin. Pinterest Tips for Bloggers - Tailwind for scheduling pins ($15 discount)

I should note that I only do this with pins from Pumps & Iron—I don’t repeat post other people’s content.

Speaking of multiple boards, another great way to increase exposure of your content is to join group boards with other bloggers, influencers and business owners in your content area. I admittedly don’t do this as much as I should, but it gives anything you pin to that board exposure to all the other group members’ followers as well.

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Phew. That was a lot of info! If you have any questions or your own Pinterest tips to add, do so in the comments. And if you don’t already, follow me on Pinterest. 🙂

Memorial Day Activewear Sales

Save on activewear from Bandier and other brands with these Memorial Day Sales

1. Body Language Sculpt Leggings // 2. The Upside Sailor Alex Crop Bra // 3. Alo High Waist Moto Leggings (been dying for a pair of these for a while now—I’m pulling the trigger!) // 4. Monrow Athletic Knit Sweater // 5. P.E Nation Sprint Leggings // 6. Nesh Luxe Hooded Wrap // 7. Body Language Kai Leggings

Heads up, this post is loaded with affiliate and referral links. They don’t change what you pay for *anything*; they just give me a little kickback for referring you. 🙂  

Anyone have fun plans for Memorial Day? I’m heading home to the Vineyard tomorrow and can’t wait! The past couple summers, Joe and I have had so many weddings that I haven’t been able to spend as much time on the island as I’d like. This summer we have none (say whaaaaa?!) so I plan to get home as many weekends as possible. Fingers crossed for sunny weather and lots of time away from the computer, but with Monday looking a little rainy, I thought I’d roundup some Memorial Day sales going on to ease your online shopping. These are all good now through Monday night. And real quick before we get to those …

Save Even More with Ebates

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend signing up for Ebates. When you shop certain sites online (a TON of sites are included in this) you get cash back on your purchases. Sometimes it’s minimal (like 1%) but sometimes you can get 10%+ cash back on stuff you’d be buying anyway. I did all my Christmas shopping online this year and got over $200 cash back—YASS. I recommend installing their toolbar button on your browser after you sign up. That way you don’t have to go to Ebates first and click to the site from there. You just go to the site you want to shop and if there’s an Ebates deal available, it’ll pop up in the corner. So much more convenient! Sign up here.

Memorial Day Sales to Shop

  • 20-60% off at Bandier | The code MEMORIAL20 gets you 20% off select full-price items and 60% off markdowns—yes, please! The above collage is of some of my favorites. You can shop individual pieces with the links directly below it or browse the whole sale here. Ebates users get an additional 1.5% cash back. 
  • 30% off Orders over $50 at Almondon | I discovered Almondon through the Yoga By Candace Mantra Box and only have one top from them (so far) but wear it all the time! It’s this high-neck white shirt that ties in the back. Their sports bras look adorable, too. Use code 30MEM17 at checkout.
  • 15% off New Balance | New Balance gear is hit-or-miss with me, but I can not recommend their Newbury leggings high enough. These are among the most flattering, comfortable leggings I own. Ebates users get an additional 5% cash back. 
  • 20% off Sweaty Betty | Use code MDAY20 to get 20% off your order at Sweaty Betty. Ebates users get an additional 5% cash back. 
  • 25% off Sale Items at Free People | I have a couple pieces from Free People’s activewear line and think they’re adorable (these leggings are my jam). They don’t have a ton of activewear pieces included in their sale but a bunch of cute everyday clothes!
  • 30% off Gilt City | Use the code WKND30. I like checking Gilt City from time to time to see if any local fitness studios are offering sales. I’m hoping Exhale does one soon—I love their outdoor yoga classes in the summer! Ebates users get an additional 3% cash back.

Enjoy your weekend!

30-Minute Low Body Workout (Glutes) with Resistance Band Loop + Med Ball

You'll need a resistance band and medicine ball for this 30-minute low body workout focusing on the glutes. Video included so you can follow along at home or the gym! | Pumps & IronHope you all had a great weekend! I spent mine on Nantucket, and even though it was a little chilly, it felt like an unofficial kickoff to summer. We rented bikes, hung out with friends, did lots of eating and drinking outside in the sun—it was wonderful. And after a few days of relaxing, I am craving a good sweat! This 30-minute low body workout will pay extra attention to the glutes (my bum was sore for two days after filming it).

30-Minute Low Body Workout (Glutes)

Equipment I Used:

This workout is broken up into three circuits. The first two circuits use a resistance band loop for low-impact, targeted exercises for the glutes. The third and final is a HIIT circuit using a medicine ball to target the lower body with high(er) impact exercises. Rest for 30 seconds in between each circuit.

You'll need a resistance band and medicine ball for this 30-minute low body workout focusing on the glutes. Video included so you can follow along at home or the gym! | Pumps & Iron

Resistance Band Loop Circuit 1: Tabletop Exercises

Do each of the exercises for 30 seconds, moving one right to the next without rest in between. Go through the four exercises twice. First on the right, then on the left.

  • Donkey Kick Pulses | In tabletop position with your hands stacked under shoulders and knees under hips, engage your core and bring your right foot up so that the knee is bent and around hip height. The resistance band should be around your left ankle as an anchor and your right foot. In this position, pulse your right leg up and down a couple inches, keeping tension on the band.
  • Straight Leg Lifts Up + Out | Straighten out your leg at about hip height. From here, lift the leg up then swing it out to the side with control, back to center, and then lower back to starting position. These are small, controlled movements. Keep the top of the foot pointing to the floor the whole time and the hips square.
  • Spider Crunch with Pulses | From tabletop position, lower onto your left forearm so that your upper body is stacked open. Your right kneecap and toes should face the wall, not the floor. Start with your right leg straight and then crunch the knee in to your shoulder and back out straight. Do three straight-leg pulses here. You’ll be targeting the right side but your left glutes need to work as well. Try to keep your left hip stacked over your left knee as best as you can. If you have super tight hips, this can be a tough one. Try doing it laying on your side instead to modify.
  • Tabletop Plank Jacks | Start in a plank position with the resistance band a couple inches above your ankles. Jump your feet out wide (like a horizontal jumping jack), back to center plank, and then bend your knees and hop your feet forward so that you land in a hovering tabletop position (knees under hips hovering a couple inches off the floor).

Resistance Band Loop Circuit 2: Standing Exercises

Do each of the exercises for 30 seconds, moving one right to the next without rest in between. Go through the four exercises twice. First on the right, then on the left.

  • Out-turned Straight Leg Pulses | Stand with the resistance band a couple inches above your ankles and your hips pointing forward. Your right leg should be straight, extended behind you at an angle and rotated outward. Keep a soft bend to your left knee. From here, pulse the right leg up and out.
  • Deadlifts | Square your hips to the floor. Keep that mini-bend to the left knee and your core engaged as you tilt forward as if your body is a seesaw. Come back upright with control until your right toes lightly tap the floor.
  • Deadlift Pulses | Hold the tilted position and pulse your back right leg up and down a couple inches.
  • Popcorn Squats | Jump your feet out wide as you sink into a squat and touch the floor with one hand. Jump your feet together as you come upright and then repeat, touching the floor with the other hand.

REPEAT CIRCUIT 1 + CIRCUIT 2

Repeat the two circuits, this time starting on the left side and then the right side.

Circuit 3: Med Ball HIIT

For your final circuit, you’ll do 15 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. You’ll have five medicine ball exercises that you’ll go through three times. It will take 10 minutes in total.

  • Jump Lunge Scoops | Start in a split-stance lunge position, one foot planted on the ground in front, the ball of the other foot planted behind you, both knees at opposing 90-degree angles. Holding the med ball in both hands overhead, do a jump lunge, switching your feet midair and landing back in a lunge with the other foot forward. From here, scoop the med ball down and to the outside of your front leg. Scoop it back up overhead and repeat to the other side.
  • Bottom-Half Burpees with Forward/Backward Hop | Start in a low squat position with med ball at chest. Bring med ball to the floor and jump feet back into a plank. Jump them back up into a low squat position, bring the ball back to your chest and hop backwards, staying low. Repeat, but the next time hop forward.
  • Soccer Taps | This is like high knees but as you drive your knees up, tap your foot on top of the medicine ball. Try to make physical contact with the ball each time without causing it to roll away.
  • Marching Wall Sit | Hold the med ball at chest height. Back against a wall, knees bent to 90 degrees, feet hip’s width apart. Lift one foot at a time, marching the knee up towards your chest.
  • Pivoting Low Lunge – Squat – Lunge | Pulse in a low lunge position with right foot in front and then, staying low, pivot to center and pulse in a low squat position. Finally, pivot to the other side so that the left foot is leading the lunge and pulse there. Stay low the whole time as you pulse right, center, left, center, etc.

You'll need a resistance band and medicine ball for this 30-minute low body workout focusing on the glutes. Video included so you can follow along at home or the gym! | Pumps & Iron

WEARING | Zella leggings c/o Nordstrom // Lululemon tank (old) via thredUP ($10 off your first order with this referral link)

If you try the workout, let me know how it goes in the comments! And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel. 🙂