10 Tips For Driving Traffic From Pinterest To Your Blog

Pinterest Shiny Icon

You should be using images with your blog posts. You should also be using social media platforms appropriate to your audience and business. If that means it’s appropriate for you to be using Pinterest here are ten tips to help you drive more traffic to your blog.

1. Identify Useful Keywords

Identify the keywords that are relevant to your blog and any other online presence you want to link through Pinterest. If you use the correct keywords your pins will appear as the result of searches and when people are looking at images and boards that are related to your content.

2. Choose Your Username Carefully.

Pinterest allows you to have a username that is a keyword. If your username is a keyword related to your niche your boards will be displayed among the results when anyone uses that keyword in a search.

3. Optimise Your About Section

Use keywords when writing your About section in Pinterest. You can write about your background story, why your content would be useful or of interest to your readers, and any other reasons that will encourage people to consume your content. Then go through what you have written and insert relevant keywords where possible without overdoing it. This will help people find your work when searching in your niche.

4. Create Themes for Your Boards

Create boards that gather images related to a keyword relevant to your niche. Use boards the way you would use categories on your blogs.

5. Optimise Your Descriptions

Use the description of each pin wisely. Including relevant keywords and URLs will help you gain and direct more traffic.

6. Use ALT Tags

Whenever you put an image on your blog you should set up an ALT tag for it. Pinterest is no different. An ALT tag should describe what the image is showing and include some keywords that people in your niche would be looking for. For example, if you are working in the photography niche don’t just put ‘This is a picture of the Moon’. Add more detail so there is more chance that a search by someone in your niche will include your work in the results, for example ‘Nighttime photography picture of the Moon taken with a Canon EOS 20D’.

7. Use Unique Hashtags

Pinterest is a social media site, so it supports hashtags. Currently there is no official limit to the number of hashtags you can use. However users have been finding that searching Pinterest using hashtags can often produce results dominated by the keyword in the description rather than the hashtag. Until this improves we might as well stick to keywords and only use hashtags for words or phrases unique to you. For example your brand, name, or for an event with a unique hashtag.

8. Use Watermarks

A watermark with your logo and/or URL will discourage others using your unique images as their own. If the image is used by someone there is an obvious way to track down your blog or website right there in the corner of your image.

9. Link to your blog

Link each pin you create to your blog or website. Ideally to a specific, relevant page. You should be creating blog posts with images, and then pin to a board from your blog so that visitors always link back to your site.

10. Re-pin Images with your Keywords

Search your keywords on a regular basis and re-pin other people’s boards and pins that also carry your keywords. You can also follow them and their followers to help build a following of your own and increase interactions.

I’ve said before that trying to be on every platform is a mistake. However if you have decided Pinterest is right for you, following the above tips will help you drive traffic to your blog or website.

How to grow blog traffic with efficient blog hopping

Feedly page of resultsBlog hopping (also known as blog commenting)is a traffic generating method where a blog owner visits other blogs in their niche, leaving comments on blog posts and getting links back to their own blog. The idea is to increase the links to their blog and get an increase in traffic.

The great thing about this method is that it can be done by someone new to working online and it actually works. The drawback is that if you are not organised you can lose track of which blogs you have visited, revisit posts you have already commented on, and spend so much time on this method that you don’t make progress in other areas of your online business.

So here are some tips to help you blog hop more efficiently.

Firstly you need to identify and list appropriate blogs to comment on. You may start with a pool of blogs belonging to people you have met at an online hub, like a Facebook Group or forum. However, you’ll want to increase your blogging circle, especially you are new to blogging and the hub is a place for people with as little experience as yourself. Nearly everyone will be starting from scratch and you’ll only end up with a small circle of people leaving low quality comments on each others posts.

You can search for blogs in your niche by Googling the niche keyword + blog. Also look for experts in your niche and see if they have a blog. Add these to your list.

Next you want to consider how active the bloggers are. If you are part of a group of people new to blogging there are going to be some who give up and stop blogging after a while. The most active will make themselves known when they announce their latest blog post or visit your blog to comment. At this stage you can comment on their blogs. After a few weeks those who give up will simply stop posting.

Once you have reached this stage it’s time to weed out those who have stopped posting and start getting organised.

You can waste a lot of time visiting blogs that have not posted since your last visit. To overcome this you need a resource where you can see when a blogger has published their latest post.

Feedly is a site where you can follow blogs and organise them into categories of your choice. The site suggests blogs for various niches and you can add blogs from your list too. Once it’s set up you only have to login to Feedly to see the latest posts from the blogs you are following. They can be viewed in their categories or as a list with the most recent posts at the top. The list includes the title and the first few words of the post. This overview helps you quickly decide if it is a topic you could leave a comment on and is a great time saver.

You can login to Feedly using your Google or Facebook accounts. The basic version is free and I’ve found that adequate for this purpose, but there are paid upgrades available. One advantage of upgrading is you can receive alerts so you know instantly when new content is posted. This can help you be an early commenter, increasing your visibility to those visiting the blog later.

On many blogs when you leave a comment you have the option to receive an email if replies are made. Take advantage of this as it means you can follow up on any replies, giving you an opportunity to further engage with other blog readers.

Blog hopping is a long term traffic method. Ideally you should leave comments on different blogs in your niche every day. However you may want to allocate more time on days when you post on your own blog to quickly get a healthy number of comments.

When blog hopping set yourself a target and use a timer to ensure you do not spend too much time on this task. For example, you could allocate one hour to this method. At first you may aim to spend ten minutes per post and only reply to six posts a day, but eventually you will become faster at reading and replying to posts and could get it down to six minutes per comment, giving you ten new links to your blog each day.

Could the above help you with your blog hopping? Are there other steps, methods or resources that you’ve found improve your blog hopping efficiency? Let us know in the comments below.

The Mindset For Generating Free Traffic

IM Myth: Traffic for freeThere are a number of methods to get traffic to your website that work quite quickly. Unfortunately many of these require a financial investment. The versatility of the internet means there are ways to get traffic without any financial cost, but it usually means you have to put in more time and effort. Even on the world wide web there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

This means that although you don’t need a sackful of cash you will need the proper mindset. Generating more traffic for your site will take long-term drive and perseverance.

That’s why I want to look at the approach or mindset you need to have to make these methods successful.

The first thing to realise is that it may take time. Unless you know and can work with some online marketers who are already successful, building a decent flow of traffic without spending money is not a push button business. Don’t believe you’ll be in your swimwear on the beach overseeing an online empire by the end of the month.

Producing written content requires at least a basic ability to write. Don’t become overwhelmed by the thought you have to be well read or able to write a book of publishable standard. You need to be able to communicate. That means if you can imagine sitting down with a friend and discussing the topic, you can write well enough for a blog or Facebook post or YouTube script. Just make sure you don’t make basic grammatical or spelling errors in anything people are going to read. The most common mistake I see on the internet is the misuse of the words it’s and its, and there, their and they’re.

Your material needs to be interesting and entertaining. This comes with practice and experience. Finding your own voice really does happen, but may take some time.

People expect to be reading something written by a person who knows their subject. That requires you to adopt the mindset of an expert. This does not mean you have to know everything about everything connected to a subject, but it does mean you have to know more than your reader. You also need the confidence that such expertise would give you.

Think back to when you were at school. A teacher at the front of a class rarely seemed unsure about their subject. Your history teacher would never have said the second world war started about 1940. Your science teacher would not have told you Newton might have discovered the law of gravity. You need to have equal certainty about your subject. Never use the words perhaps or maybe. When writing an article or post you are the teacher now. Have confidence in your knowledge of your subject.

You should take a similar approach when interacting on forums and online communities. You are likely to be communicating with a certain group or demographic that has a more than average interest and knowledge in a topic. You need to establish your credentials as an expert so look out for posts where you can offer an insight. Remember, one of your objectives for taking part in forums and other online commuities is to build trust and a reputation for your expertise, knowledge and insight.

Most of the above boils down to having a belief in yourself and the methods you are using to generate traffic. Be sure of your sources of information and realise that no matter how inexperienced you may feel, you have a unique and valid take on your topic. Remember, even a newbie has a point of view that others can find helpful.

Don’t be Everywhere Now, Stop Spreading Yourself so Thin and End Overwhelm

Be like a postage stamp - stick to one thing until you get thereLast week I listened to a webinar that encouraged me to be “everywhere now”.

The “be everywhere” idea says that you should try to be on as many platforms as possible to drive traffic. However, I don’t think this is necessarily the best advice. In fact, I believe it’s an example of the inappropriate advice we sometimes get from the experts.

I say this because a lot of the advice that we find online is not appropriate to the stage our business is at. We may not have the resources or the abilities required to successfully follow the methods we are taught.

The root of the problem does not lie with the experts. Perhaps they could target their webinars and courses better, but the ultimate responsibility lies with that part of the audience who decide to tune in and follow inappropriate advice.

Be Everywhere Now

It seems like the best advice. If you look at the most successful internet marketers it appears they do have a presence on multiple platforms, they do have sales funnels packed with numerous products and they complete scratch that and they do incredibly successful JV campaigns with other well-known names in the industry.

So it seems sensible to follow their lead.

However, this doesn’t take into account the maturity of your business, your resources or your abilities.

For example, if you are to successfully follow the “everywhere now” approach you will need to know how each platform works, how to get the best from them and how to source content on a regular basis.

Outsourcing

Whenever you get a list of tasks like this the usual solution offered is to outsource the work. However this is another example of advice that can be inappropriate to your business.

To start with you need to know exactly what you want the outsourcer to do. This implies a familiarity with the tasks, so you probably have to be quite good at it yourself. That implies a certain level of education and experience. These take time.

Next you have to find someone to outsource to. If you’ve ever had to hire someone in the “real world” you’ll know this also takes time and effort. You’ll need to find someone who is reliable, can communicate effectively and has the right skills. If they don’t have the right skills you will have to train them, and even if they do have the required skills you’ll still probably have to explain the approach you want them to take so that it fits your brand.

If you can get past these hurdles you then have to be able to pay them. This can be a challenge if your business is not yet generating enough revenue.

The Solution

It all comes down to what stage you are at.

Whether we are considering learning to drive, mountain climbing or internet marketing you should operate at the level appropriate to your abilities and experience. It’s not worth enrolling on an advanced driving course if you haven’t mastered clutch control, it’s a bit premature learning how to camp at the top of Everest if you’ve just recently started hill walking, it’s no use learning how to drive traffic from multiple platforms if don’t yet have a blog. Especially considering the rapid pace of change online which could mean the best practice for using the platforms could change by the time you start using them. You have to fit your targets and learning experiences to your current situation.

So if you are still holding down a full-time job you may find it challenging enough to keep your blog up to date, let alone build a presence on multiple platforms. If you’re planning to launch your first product it won’t be easy attracting the attention of high-profile JV partners.

The key is knowing when to focus on certain goals. This is a great strategy for beating overwhelm. If you are in your early days keep to one core money making method and get good at it. You can do this as a one-man (person) band and with only one or two platforms that are most effective at driving traffic. Once you have sufficient income and experience then move to the next stage for your business. Don’t diversify until you are ready.

 

Where to Step Into the Traffic Stream

If you’ve been reading anything about making money either online or offline you would have come across the idea of finding a flow of money and stepping in front of that flow. There’s a similar philosophy with traffic. Instead of creating traffic or diverting it, you get your site into the stream. This usually means placing an ad or using a joint venture to get some sort of presence on a website that is already receiving a lot of traffic.

There are broadly two ways you can find these sites. One is to discover which sites are getting the most traffic on the entire internet, the other is to narrow your search to a particular niche. There are no surprises for the general sites you can leverage. Get yourself into Google’s results pages, set up a Facebook page, and put a video on YouTube and you’ve applied the principle to the top three.

Finding the busiest sites in a niche takes a little further research, but uses some of the sites I’ve just mentioned. Start by using relevant keywords in the top search engines and noting the resulting list of sites. Then use Alexa to discover how much traffic they are getting.

The Alexa Traffic Rank is not an ideal ranking method for the entire internet as it relies on surfers that have the Alexa Toolbar, but it is probably the best available. Use the statistics to rank your list of sites and you have your traffic generating to-do list. Now it’s a question of looking at each site and finding advertising or JV opportunities.

More Thoughts on Free Incentives

Last month I posted about using free incentives . Now, there are times when offering something for free is a good tactic. If you get the offer right it can encourage people to take action. This may be to read your latest blog post, subscribe to your email list or to invite others to do so.

On the other hand a paid offer can be useful when presented correctly. If you have a list or are working on building one it’s important to know when it’s best to use a free offer and when to use a paid one.

A free offer can be useful if you have an unresponsive Twitter account. You should be tracking any links you include with your tweets and so should be able to tell how many of your readers actually follow your links. If no one is clicking your tweeted links it could be because your links are not of interest to your readership or that no one is reading your tweets. Offer something relevant for free and you should get some response, unless no one is reading. You can use the same tactic with a blog.

The big problem with offering something for free is that you are likely to attract people who are only looking for free giveaways. Use only free offers to build your list and you’ll get a list of people who may be reluctant to buy. You’ll get a big list, but it will be of poor quality.

This is where you need to use a paid offer to separate the tyre kickers from those willing to buy. You can either present the paid offer on its own, or present it as a one time offer after someone has signed up for a freebie. This combination is the best of both worlds and you’ll see it used quite often by internet marketers.

If you’ve never before considered whether you should use a free or paid offer you need to be clear about what you hope to achieve with the offer. What action do you want people to take and what type of list do you want to start building?

Does Online Traffic Equal Cash?

One of the potential benefits of generating traffic is the opportunity to monetise your traffic flow.

It’s true that, like any business, without any customers you don’t get sales. It’s also true that the more people who see your products the more people there should be to buy them.

However, contrary to what some so-called experts may imply, generating more traffic does not make it inevitable that you will make money. Traffic does not equal profit.

An online shop is like any real world shop. Not everyone that goes in will buy. Not even increasing the number coming in to browse the merchandise will guarantee that more people will buy. Getting visitors to buy depends on the visitors themselves and other factors inside the shop, not just how many pass through the entrance.

The visitors have to be potentially interested in what you are offering. It’s no use driving freebie seekers if you are hoping to make sales. If your visitors are interested in purchasing you need to make the buying process as easy as possible.

Traffic and a method of converting visitors to customers is what equals profit. It’s this second element of making money that is often not mentioned, especially by those selling ways of getting more traffic on the internet.

Free Incentive – Are You Offering One?

I signed up to a webinar earlier this week. Nothing unusual in that, I probably attend quite a few each month. But I was struck this time by the use of free incentives to encourage me to spread the word and get more traffic to the webinar sign-up page.

Attracting people to a site using the lure of a free incentive is a pretty standard method. Spread the word, via social sites for example, and the right offer can produce a boost of visitors.

Free incentive possibilities include free reports or ebooks, articles, software, audios, videos, access to part of a membership site or the whole of a site for a limited time.

This week the deal was that I tweet to my followers in exchange for some ebooks, but it could have been any incentive from the above list.

So, are you offering a free incentive? Have you thought about combining it with the power of Twitter or Facebook? It pays to be aware of what others are doing on the internet. I haven’t listened to a word of the webinar replay yet, but it’s reminded me of some valuable lessons already.

Recovering from Traffic Flatline – Becoming More Sociable

In my last post I mentioned I was going to try to get more traffic from Facebook. With this objective in mind I have set up a Facebook fan page.

If you want to take a look you can find it here.

The idea is that not only can I start to build relationships with others interested in internet marketing, but I can also put a link to a blog post via my fan page and it will appear in every single one of my fan’s feeds. This is rather how an RSS feed operates, except the link appears on Facebook, a site people use far more often than any RSS reader.

Having set up the Page I now need people to become fans of my Page by Liking it. This essentially means they’ll be opting in to receive what I post on my Page. Now, the more fans you have the more likely it is that other people will Like the Page too. It’s a form of social proof. So I need to start building a fan base. I could use Fiverr to do this, but my understanding is the resulting fans are unlikely to be targeted. Apart from showing an impressive number of Likes on my Page this is a waste of time. I need real people who have a genuine interest in what I post and are likely to visit this blog too.

Soon I will start to invite my own Facebook friends and members of a couple of Facebook groups I belong to. There are a couple of other tactics I intend to use, but I’ll leave them for another post, when I’ve had a chance to evaluate how well they work.

As you can see I’ve also added a Like Box plugin in the sidebar. This will hopefully encourage my blog visitors to like my fan page too. There are a number of these plugins available but I’ve used one called ‘Facebook Fanbox (with CSS)’ because it automatically blends well with the appearance of a blog. Having said that I’m not sure it stands out very well, but that could be because as I write this there’s only one thumbnail picture shown – me! – which is rather pathetic, but hopefully the number of Likes will soon grow.

So in the next week or so I intend to grow the number of fans on my Facebook Page. I’m also considering adding a Facebook comments box below my posts. I could leave the current comment facility with Commentluv active too, but I think that could cause some confusion. One or the other would probably be neglected. So I’m thinking of disabling the current comment facility. What do you think?

I will be sending an email to my list asking them to Like my Page, and I’ll also add my Facebook Page details to my email signature.

So what do you think? Has Facebook worked for you in getting traffic? As always it would be great if you would leave a comment below and share your thoughts, feedback or progress.

Till next time .

David

Recovering from Traffic Flatline – Another 7 Days

Last week I outlined my initial response to receiving no traffic to my blog for a full 7 days, something I have called traffic flatline.

Since my last post I have added some features to the blog to encourage interaction and retention of visitors. If you look at the right of the page, below the opt-in form you’ll see I’ve set up an RSS feed. It’s so long since I’ve done this that I had to go hunting for help and found some easy to follow instructions here. I’m not sure how many people are likely to use the facility, but if I don’t set it up I’ll never find out.

I’ve also added two other features. CommentLuv allows anyone leaving a comment to include a link to their own most recent blog post, and I have also installed the Select Sociable plugin, which produces the sharing buttons below each post. I also intended to have a tell a friend plugin but discovered that the one I planned to use has an out of date security certificate and opens a warning window when used. Not exactly what I was aiming for so I deleted it and have yet to find a recommended alternative.

To get traffic I’ve continued to post on forums and blogs. After publishing last week’s update I posted a link to it in my Facebook account and in a couple of Facebook Groups I am in. They are both internet marketing related so I was hoping the links would attract some interest. I monitored any comments to my blog posts and replied to those that were not spam.

I also emailed my list letting them know that my traffic had flatlined and invited them here to see how I was responding and what was working.

So if that’s what I’ve done what results am I getting?

Below are my Google Analytics stats for 18th November – 4th December. The patient is no longer dead, but hardly a picture of health!

Google Analytics of traffic results

The top three traffic sources are organic Google searches, then direct click throughs, then Facebook. The remainder come from blogs I have left comments on. There has also been one visitor each from Stumbleupon and the Warrior Forum. As you can see there was a peak of 22 visitors last Thursday after I announced my blog post to the Facebook groups and my email list. You can also see that traffic is still dropping to zero when I don’t maintain forum and blog commenting.

My plan for the coming week is to persevere with commenting and bookmarking. However these methods are less than ideal and may be dropped if I can get alternatives to work. One alternative is Facebook. My results show it can help build a spike in traffic and everyone says its a great traffic source and too big to ignore, so it seems wrong not to attempt to leverage it somehow.

I hope you’re finding this useful. If you’re shadowing what I’m doing or finding your own ways to grow traffic to your site it would be great if you would leave a comment below and let me know your story, thoughts or feedback.

I’ll post another update next week.

David