Pinterest guide for Book Bloggers
[This guide is in most parts useful to bloggers from other niches as well. The ideas stay the same and work just as nicely.]
Hello fellow book bloggers!Maybe you wonder: “Hey Eline, you’ve only been blogging for 4 months. What do you think you can tell me about Pinterest?”
It’s a fair question. I have indeed only been blogging for 4 months. But I’m the kind of person who reads a lot of guides. Like… a lot. And then tries out a lot of things. Also like… a lot. Especially in regard to Pinterest, because it’s something I have not really used before or understood. Lately, I have also seen a lot of confusion and questions about Pinterest. I’m by no means an expert. But I have a good idea now how Pinterest can work for book bloggers and I might be able to answer a few of your questions and solve some confusion in regard to the current state of Pinterest affairs.
I’ll also answer the two most popular questions I’ve encountered lately:
How can I get more followers on Pinterest? (And why you want them…)
How can I find book blogger group boards on Pinterest? (And why you want them…)
I currently have 350k monthly unique viewers. That, in itself, is a fairly useless number. It’s the amount of people who’ve had pins from my boards shown somewhere in their feed. I have 15k monthly engaged users, people who do something with the pins I’ve pinned (which are not only the ones I’ve made, but also everything from other people I have saved). This all resulted in 210 visitors coming from Pinterest to my blog in the last 4 weeks.
These are not breathtaking numbers compared to some of the pins you might see around. But it’s what I’ve reached with only books and book quotes. None of the popular Pinterest topics like DIY, design or food.
Pinterest – Ever changing
You see, one problem with Pinterest is, what worked a year ago, likely won’t work that well anymore today. Actually, what worked a month ago might not be the perfect thing anymore today. That being said, I can’t tell you the currently perfect Pinterest strategy (I don’t actually know if anyone can). Great way to sell a guide, right? 😀 But I want to tell you what I have found out that wasn’t covered in other guides, especially in regard to book bloggers. And I hope it will be useful to you for starting a Pinterest, for growing your profile, or just for joining a few of the group boards I will tell you about later.
I will assume that you have read a general guide on how to set up a business account for Pinterest. Just one thing I’d like to stress here:
Mention books or book blogging in your profile name!
This is helpful because other book bloggers or avid readers might only follow you back if they see right away that you share their interests.
How does this all even work?
Maybe you’ve heard that Pinterest is not so much social media, but a visual search engine. And it’s true. We’re working towards organic traffic here and we’re applying SEO. But followers are still important! When they click and save your pins it tells Pinterest that you’ve got good stuff. That means your pins show up more often for other people and you extend your reach. This also means that you need quality followers who like your pins.
One way to find followers are follow-for-follow groups or threads on Facebook and Twitter. This is a quick and easy way and it’s what I did first. The problem with that is that travel or food bloggers are less likely to share your bookish pins.
What I do now to grow my following is to follow other book bloggers and readers. If they follow me back, they are also much more likely to engage with my pins because they fit in with their boards. And if you’ve read some general guides, you know that it is preferable to stay within specific niches and not save and share pins from a wide variety of topics. Share books, libraries, quotes, and related topics, but keep your favourite hair styles in a secret board or on a private account.
Why? Well, for me, when I click on my following feed, it’s simply annoying to scroll through 50 hairstyle pins to find one bookish pin. Another reason why follow for follow is not ideal. It’s much easier to build a meaningful network and engage with the people you follow, if they’re in your niche.
To sum it up: Mention books in your profile name and follow other people who save bookish pins, because they are more likely to engage with your pins if and when they follow you back.
Keywords and you
So, we just talked about engagement with your pins making Pinterest show them more prominently in searches. Which brings us to the topic of keywords. I like to ask myself who would be happy to find my pins, what might they be searching for.
Is it a book cover that’s linked to your book review? Then write a description stating that it’s a review and include the name of the author, the title of the book, the genre, and possibly the subgenre. If there are other aspects of the book that stand out for you (I recently added to one “female vampire”), add those too. Remember, Pinterest works with keywords, like Google. It can’t interpret your actual image so well. You’ve got to tell Pinterest which people would be interested in your pin (to get back to my previous example, people who look for books with a female vampire).
Just to have it mentioned, hashtags are maybe or maybe not a thing now. But it’s one of those things where one guide tells you one thing, the next tells you the opposite. If you’re a hashtag-person, by all means, give it a go. I believe most people recommend a small amount of hashtags in addition to the keywords in the description.
Let’s backtrack quickly, I told you to follow people with bookish interests. But how do you find them?
Firstly, a great starting point to build your book Pinterest is this fantastic Facebook group: Pinterest Repin for Book Bloggers. You’ll get in touch with a bunch of other bookish pinners to get your pins seen. I love this group! You find people to connect with and your pins will be saved and clicked through. Both tells Pinterest that they’re good content.
And now, secondly, we’re doing two things at the same time. I’ll tell you about group boards and you’ll find a whole bunch of bookish pinners to follow (in the hopes that they will also follow us back and that we can share each others’ pins).
You’ve probably googled Pinterest guides and found that group boards are a great way to grow your reach. This is true, but, as I said before, Pinterest changes. And now, Pinterest prefers if your group boards fit in with your niche. That means joining general blogger group boards won’t work as well anymore to get your pins seen by more people. But how do you find those fabled bookish group boards? Google doesn’t help.
One thing you can do is go to Pingroupie. It’s not the most user-friendly website but I found a few boards there: Pingroupie Book board search
What I found worked best, is finding other pinning book bloggers, check which group boards they are in and apply to those that fit my niche. This was way faster than visiting groups from Pingroupie because you don’t have to sort through spammy or dead boards. At the same time, I follow the blogger because they have pins like mine, as well as the leader of the board. These people are likely already connected. You can see who they follow (and who follows them) and find more book bloggers and more bookish group boards by exploring their networks.
This is not something that happens quickly. Trawling through lists takes time. What takes even more time is waiting to be accepted into group boards.
To sum it up: Going directly to the Pinterest profiles of your peers is the way to go to find group boards in your niche! And also the way to get started on finding quality followers who will improve your reach if they follow back. This is by no means a selfish thing. You share their pins because they fit in with what you do and they will share your pins. Together you can grow on Pinterest.
Now, to give you a head start, here are the book group boards I am in:
And here is the group board I’m starting. If you want to be added feel free to leave a comment under this post with your Pinterest name or send me a message on Pinterest:
This board is loosely connected to the book review link-up and you can pin your favourite reviews here.
To tailwind or not to tailwind..
I’m tailwinding thanks to Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest. As this point it’s the biggest amount of money I’m spending on blogging. It didn’t make my profile instantly explode as you can see by my stats mentioned before. But I just love what it does. And I believe it plays a big role in my profile growing so steadily.
If I were to start over again, I would not use Tailwind right away and instead grow my profile a bit first. Make 10 boards with at least 10 pins on each, create my own pins with book covers for everything I’ve reviewed and make graphics with Canva for non-review articles. Join group boards. Follow people. Once that’s all set up, I’d get the free trial month and see how quickly I can grow further.
To grow your Pinterest nicely, you need to pin regularly, several times a day (at least 5). You want your own blog pins to go into several boards, but you don’t want to pin the same image several times in a row. All these things can be done manually while getting results close to what Tailwind could achieve. But it takes a whole lot of dedication and time and that’s why everybody and their cousins will tell you to get Tailwind.
I’ll be sharing my Tailwind link, you don’t have to use it. But you should use someone’s affiliate link because it gives you a $15 bonus if you decide to sign up (and the affiliate gets one, too).
To grow on Pinterest you need to put in your upfront time investment, but then you see the organic traffic building up more and more. In that sense it is so much more like a search engine than social media, where your content is seen at most for a day. But your traffic benefits much faster than from SEO practice. If you put a good pin up, you might see an increase in clicks in the following hours. And that’s what slowly turned me into a Pinterest addict. You see the immediate effects but you also have the long-term organic traffic.
That was it for now. I hope my Pinterest guide for book bloggers was useful to you. If you have any questions, ask in the comments and I will try to answer them as well as I can. If you have any additional info, please share 🙂
And on your way out, please save my pin and follow me on Pinterest! 😉