Update, 3-21-2013: No more prizes, but as far as I know, this information is still a good starting point for Pinterest. Let me know if you see any problems or have any questions by commenting on this post: Bloggiesta Spring 2013.
I am hosting a mini-challenge to sign up and use Pinterest for, among other things, promotion of your blog. Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board where people pin interesting pictures they have seen around the web. Aside from being a fun, visual way to collect images and ideas, Pinterest is proving to be an excellent way to market websites.
Complete this challenge to be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to your favorite bookstore (or as close an approximation to your favorite that we can make mutually convenient). I’ll be happy to work with an international winner. If you’re already a Pinterest user, you can still enter this challenge and drawing — just skip the parts you’ve already completed. When you have completed the challenge, leave a comment to let me know and you will be entered in the drawing for the gift card.
If you have any problems while working through this challenge, please ask for help. If you are having problems, someone else will, too — it will give me a chance to tweak this post to be more useful for the next person. I’ll be available all weekend, except for a couple of hours here and there. Leave a comment, send me a tweet (@joyweesemoll), or use my yahoo.com email which is also joyweesemoll.
[Edited 23-Sep-2012: Pinterest no longer requires an invitation, so head on over to http://pinterest.com/ to sign up]
First things first. Pinterest is still Invite Only, so let’s get you an invitation! You can request one from Pinterest, but they are reportedly slow to hand them out. It is much quicker to get one from someone who already has an account. Start by asking your Facebook and Twitter friends for an invitation.
If your friends can’t set you up pretty quickly, then leave a comment on this post or tweet or email me. I’m joyweesemoll on both Twitter and Yahoo. Janice of Janicu’s Book Blog and Jacinda of The Reading Housewives of Indiana volunteered to form a small team of Pinterest inviters, so you will get an invitation from one of the three of us as quickly as we can manage it. Thanks, Janice and Jacinda for helping me out!
While you’re waiting for your invitation, familiarize yourself with the look, feel, and functionality of Pinterest. Start with the About page from Pinterest: What is Pinterest? Next, take a look at this infographic from Infographic Labs: Pinterest – The Social Media Darling of 2012.
Finally, take a look at the Pinterest home page to see the most recent images that have been posted there. Try a search (upper left corner) on your favorite animal or your favorite color. To get back to the home page, click on the Pinterest logo at the top of the page. Mouse over “Everything” to see pins sorted by category.
Under each pin, you will see a phrase like “Joy Weese Moll onto Healthy Lifestyle Books.” Click on the name to see more of that person’s boards, click on the board title to see all the pins on that board.
Click a pin to see it larger. Click the large pin to go to the originating website with the recipe or the review or other accompanying information.
Getting excited yet? Doesn’t that look like fun? I hope you have your invitation by now. If not, shoot me a tweet or email so we can get you going on this.
Follow the instructions in the invitation to sign up. I’m not sure it matters whether you use your Facebook or Twitter account for the verification, because you can control in the settings how much interaction there is between accounts. I used Facebook and was quickly following all my Facebook friends who were already on Pinterest.
To see a few more boards on your home page, why not follow me, Janice, and Jacinda:
To find more book bloggers on Pinterest, check out this list on The Well-Read Wife: Directory of Book Bloggers on Pinterest. While there, take note of how to get yourself added if you decide at the end of this exercise that Pinterest is something you want to continue to use.
Play around with repinning some of the pins you see either on the boards that Pinterest created for you or on new boards you make using the Add+ button at the top of the page. You can always delete anything that you don’t want later.
Now is a good time to grab the “Pin It” Button. This will go into the toolbar of your browser to make it easy to pin an image from the web page that you are visiting: Pinterest / Goodies.
The quickest way to start promoting your blog is to use the “Pin It” Button from the last paragraph to pin images from your own posts. Be sure to be on the post page, not your home page. For example, my Food Rules pin doesn’t go to http://www.joyweesemoll.com/ but rather to the long link that is the actual post: http://www.joyweesemoll.com/2012/03/24/book-review-food-rules-by-michael-pollan-illustrations-by-maira-kalman/. That way when someone clicks on the pin to get to the originating post, they will go straight to the review.
For books, you could have boards for genres that you care about, a board for each annual reading challenge you entered, and a board for your favorite books of all time. Each time you post a book to your board, others will find it via the stream immediately or later from the search box. For this challenge, pin at least one image from your own website onto a board at Pinterest.
You will want to keep an eye on what other people are pinning from your website. Pins from my website are here: http://pinterest.com/source/joyweesemoll.com/. To see pins from your website, replace joyweesemoll.com with your domain.
That’s it for the challenge, but here are some bonus items to consider in the future, or to do if you want to push ahead.
Pinterest has a Follow Me On Pinterest button to install on your website alongside other social media buttons–it’s on the Goodies Page.
Edited to Add: It’s only Thursday and I’m already having a blast. People are sending me other Pinterest resources. I’m going to start a list here, so if you know of or find something that you think might be useful, let me know! Pinterest resources for Book Bloggers:
- Pinterest and Book Blogging: Use The Latest Social Media Craze To Your Site’s Advantage (from The Well Read Wife)
- Pinterest and Your Blog (from For Love and Books)
- Let’s Fix Pinterest – How to Fix the Source Link of a Pin (Callista’s Ramblings)
Get Off Pinterest and Back to Bloggiesta!
I probably should have warned you in the beginning that Pinterest is kind of addictive. If you made it this far, you completed the challenge. Congratulations! Leave a comment to let me know and I will put you in the drawing for the $20 gift card.
Thanks again to Janice of Janicu’s Book Blog and Jacinda of The Reading Housewives of Indiana for helping me issue Pinterest invites. And, thanks to Danielle of There’s a Book and Suey of It’s All About Books for hosting Bloggiesta!