How to Use Pinterest to Grow your Side Hustle
Recently I got to visit the Pinterest London HQ for a Pinterest Bootcamp. I came with a ton of questions to ask and spent the afternoon soaking up as much as I possible could! Here’s a little summary of what I learnt and some tips for using Pinterest to grow your side hustle.
WHY USE PINTEREST?
Firstly, there are more than 250 million people on Pinterest from all around the world, all coming together to discover new ideas to try or buy to create a life they love. This means there is very likely to be an active audience of people looking for ideas, products or services in your niche area to solve their particular problems. So using Pinterest to grow your side hustle is essentially working out how to get in front of these people to show them how your small business has the answers or solutions they are looking for.
The rest of this post is a little summary of how to do this; how to be found and get in front of your target audience and how to create pins that clearly show how your products are the solutions they are searching for.
HOW TO GET FOUND ON PINTEREST?
The good thing about Pinterest is that it’s not about trying to grow your following. I have just over 500 followers on Pinterest but this isn’t limiting as it could potentially be on other social media platforms. Actually, apparently Pinterest success isn’t much about growing your following but just about creating good content combined with some SEO optimisation. This means, even if you have hardly any followers on Pinterest, if your content is good and has a good title and description, you can still reach a huge number of people. For example, with my small following, I still have up to 600k unique monthly viewers and recently one of my pins went a bit viral and brought 14k new, unique clicks to my website in one week. So what makes good content for Pinterest and how can you optimise it for SEO?
WHAT MAKES GOOD CONTENT FOR PINTEREST?
What makes a good pin? What kind of content goes viral? These are some of the questions I had written down before the bootcamp. The answers I got were as follows;
Original content. Pinterest likes original content, so rather re-pinning from Pinterest, manually add an image from your phone/ computer with the link and add an original title and description.
Good imagery. Particularly lifestyle imagery
Vertical images do better than horizontal ones.
Include some text in the image. Overlaying your image either with some text that clearly shows how it is an answer to what people are searching for or with a clear call to action such as ‘five vegan puddings to cook for your vegan friend’, or something like that. You can also put your logo in the image too for good brand recognition.
Broad hashtags. The number of people using hashtags to search Pinterest is growing, but they need to be broad, so I would use #babymittens rather than more specific ones such as #dresskids_likekids which is more useful on Instagram
Have a look at Pinterest’s trend forecasting article for 2019 here and see how you can apply it to your content.
I was also interested to know what made that successful pin that I mentioned above, successful. Here it is below. You’ll notice that it fits some of the pointers above. It’s a vertical image with text clearly showing what the pin is about. It has a clear call to action as you know from just looking at the image that by clicking on it, you will find out how to transform your rib stitch from the before image to the after image. It is also simply useful content for anyone interested in knitting.
HOW TO OPTIMISE YOUR PINS AND BOARDS FOR SEO
Once you’ve created your content, you need to optimise it so that is can be easily found when your target audience is searching and looking for those new ideas to try or buy to create the life they love. This is all about your pin titles and descriptions as well as your board titles and descriptions.
PIN TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS
When writing your pins, try to think of the key phrases people are searching for and then use those key phrases in the titles and description. Be specific. Again from my neater rib stitch pin above, the title includes How to Make Rib Stitch Neater which is a phrase someone would type into a search bar. I know this because this is what I was searching for when I was struggling with my rib stitch a few years ago.
You can see what people are searching for by typing a word into the search bar in Pinterest. You will then be given a list of more specific suggested ideas to search for. These suggestions are the actual phrases that people are searching for in high frequency and are the key phrases you should use in your titles and descriptions.
Another way to find more specific phrases is to search for an item, say mittens for example. Pinterest will give you some related words below and you can use these to make your key phrases specific. So rather than having Mittens as the title of my pin, I could have Children’s Fingerless Mittens.
BOARD TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS
Again it is important to be specific and use key phrases for naming your boards and writing board descriptions. During the bootcamp we had a look at some of my board names and looked at how to improve them. One of my boards was called ‘little clothes’ which sounded cute and fun in my head. However not many people are likely to search for ‘little clothes’. ‘Clothes Inspiration for babies, toddlers and children’ is much better. Better still could be more specific boards called ‘gender neutral clothes for babies and toddlers’ or ‘knitted cardigans for babies’. I still need to do a bit of work on mine!
FINALLY, HOW PINTEREST CAN GROW YOUR SIDE HUSTLE
As mentioned above Pinterest has a huge number of users and there will be people actively searching for products or services like yours. It’s all about getting in front of them. Pinterest is the biggest source of traffic to my Etsy shop and I have a few pins that I pinned years ago that still draw in new traffic every month. Though most of these people don’t go and buy my products immediately, they do now know who I am and what I do and hopefully will pay me a visit again for any knitwear or knitting kit needs that arise in the future!