When this website was first conceived in 2009, I didn't want it to be a blog.
I thought blogs were for deep, personal thoughts. They were for poetry and journals. I wanted thediymommy.com to be a static website - a resource for moms who wanted to make things for their babies.
Then came Pinterest. Pinterest, a place to "pin" inspirational photos of things that you loved, wanted to do, or wanted to make, started to explode in late 2011. I've loved it ever since I got my first "invite" in its beta stage. It was like Google, but a million times better because it was in curated, beautiful photos form! Not only did I love it for its entertainment factor, but here's why else: Pinterest helped me grow my website from 2,400 unique monthly visitors in January of 2011 to over 41,000 unique monthly visitors in January 2013!
I know that might not be an impressive number to the upper echelon of crafty bloggers, but to me this is amazing and wonderful and inspiring. This growth of readership helped nudge me to post more often on this site and turn it into more of a blog format. This boost in readership gave me the courage to give glimpses of my personal life more often on here.
How do I know that Pinterest is one of the main causes for the growth of The DIY Mommy? When I look at my jump in readership (via my statistics program on my web host's control panel and via Google Analytics), I can see how sharply it started curving upwards when Pinterest became popular.
I can also see that I get more referrals from websites than search engines to my blog, and Pinterest now gives me over 80% of those referrals!
Would you like to use Pinterest to help get more unique visits to your blog? Here are some things that I've learned over the past couple of years that may help you grow your readership.
- Ensure you have good quality photos and/or illustrations on your blog. This is the most important thing, in my opinion - people like posting beautiful images on Pinterest. If you're using grainy, low-light photos they won't be pinned. I don't think you need an expensive DSLR camera for this - a point & shoot will work just fine. Find tutorials on the net about how to take captivating photos for your blog. Mine are slowly getting better. I can definitely see a difference from 2009 to today! Here's a good round up of photography tips & tricks on iheartnaptime.net.
- Use a variety of images within a post - include text on some and not on others. Having interesting, descriptive text incorporated into at least one photo in your post can make it more "pinnable". Some people like to see text on pinned photos while others like photos free of text and other "distractions". Give your pinner options.
- Use Pinterest as a guide to what you should post next. By seeing which images people are pinning from your blog, you can know which of your posts are making an impact. Are people pinning a certain post far more than the others? Why? Do you think it's the content, the photography or a combination of both? What could you write next that is similar to this post or that would make a similar audience excited? Coincidentally, as I was finishing writing this post I learned that Pinterest just launched an analytics feature which will help make this step so much easier! Check out this post for the details on how to use the new Pinterest stats feature.
- Maintain your own Pinterest boards that compliment your blog and feature more of other people's work than your own. There's no denying that I'm a complete Pinterest addict. I have no problem taking time every day to pin ideas because I love being inspired (and it's such a great down time activity that I can do write from my phone). I try to pin things that are related to DIY, home decor, cooking & baking, fashion and toddler activities like the posts on my site are. I think it's perfectly fine to pin your own posts, but try to pin far more of other people's work than your own - no one likes a selfish pinner!
- Add a "Pin It" button to your blog posts for easy pinning. Adding a Pinterest button to your posts will make it easier for readers to pin your images. There are a couple of plugins you can use to do this if you're running WordPress, or you can manually add it into your code.
Do you use Pinterest? If you're a blogger, have you noticed a change in your views because of Pinterest?