We have been using Pinterest for some time now for our craft site BUT we haven’t been at all serious about it. It’s just been one of those things that we add to whenever we upload a new video to YouTube, assuming we even remembered to do it. So when we create the thumbnail for the YouTube video, we also create a smaller version to place on the blog post for that video and that image is the one we post to Pinterest. As you can imagine, the thumbnail for YouTube videos is rectangular – wider than longer, and if you have been over to Pinterest lately you will notice that just about all of the images are taller than wider.
Hmm, you’d think we would have caught on sooner that we weren’t quite doing the right thing when it comes to posting on Pinterest. It was only when we were checking out Google Analytics and we noticed we were getting a decent amount of traffic from Pinterest that we thought we had better get a better handle on this Pinterest stuff. I mean, despite posting images that weren’t the best, we still managed to get around 300 to 400 visitors a week from Pinterest. We knew we had to get serious about it.
It was time for some research which brings me back to the image size, which according to most Pinterest experts, was extremely important and it was one of the most obvious things we could change. So change them we would, but to what size? Good luck with that one. Everyone had a different opinion on this and really odd numbers too like 736 x 1128 or 564 x 1692. Meh, I would never remember those sorts of figures. I personally went with 800 x 1200. Nice clean and simple and they look good. I could even make it longer than that if I wanted but basically I kept the images taller than wider.
I created about 10 different images in total and staggered them out over a period of about 5 days. I didn’t really take much note as it didn’t look like anything was really getting pinned but I know now that it can take a couple of days for Pinterest stats to start showing up.
Also and this is important, the number of clicks (visits to website) that Pinterest shows up for the image in my stats only refers to the clicks from the image that I personally uploaded. If that image is re-pinned by others then that image can also get clicks through to my website. The more people that re-pin your pin, the more likely you will get more traffic.
You can see the jump in activity in the Pinterest stats from around the 29 January.
According to Google Analytics, we received 7280 visitors from Pinterest to the website for the period Dec 28 to Jan 5, that was just for 10 images. And just as a comparison, for the week prior to that we received 359 visitors from Pinterest.
Sound good? I think so.
I think it’s fair to say that the taller images do so much better.
It’s only been a week or so, so anything can happen at this point. It might be a case of initial traffic and then it trails off over time. However, we have over 250 posts on that craft blog and not all of them have been pinned to Pinterest and those that have were in the wrong size. So I think we have plenty to work with. We will see how it goes.
Let me know in the comments if you are using Pinterest and what works for you.
So far it’s been a fun experience. That’s the only way to describe Pinterest – it’s fun but also highly addictive if you let it be. We like to spend no more than 15 minutes a day on it although to be honest it can end up being much longer than that.
There seems to be conflicting opinions on whether Pinterest is worth it or not and we are still deciding that ourselves. But we can’t make an informed opinion without giving it some effort and that involves pinning content and getting followers.
Now the pinning part is easy. Just find a photo that you like and click the ‘Pin It’ button. Up goes the image with a link to wherever that image actually came from – you can then add your description if you like and it’s done.
Getting the followers is a whole different story. We struggled with this and it took about 4 weeks to get a measly 16 followers. At that rate, it would take us a year to get a couple hundred followers. We tried following other people but that didn’t seem to work. We thought that maybe we just needed a lot of boards and pins on our page but that didn’t seem to work either.
What finally worked was a simple strategy that had almost immediate results. After using it, we went from 16 followers to 50 followers and those extra 34 followers came in just one week. But not only that, we suddenly had our pins being pinned multiple times. Prior to this we were lucky to have any of them repinned.
So what did we do?
What we did was make use of the group board option in Pinterest. This is a relatively new option which allows users to invite other people to pin on their boards.
However, that’s not how we used this. We didn’t invite people to pin on our boards – instead we did the opposite of this and went to people with group boards and asked them if we could pin on their board.
You can tell if a Board is a Group Board by the little group icon at the top of the board.
We didn’t spend hours looking for group boards. All we had to do was go to this page which includes a big list of group boards and look for those that were in a similar category to ours. In this case, our Pinterest page is about muffins, cupcakes, wedding cakes and so on.
We scrolled through the group directory page until we found a group board that related to our niche and had more than a thousand followers. Fortunately, the owner included instructions on how to get an invite from her that would allow us to pin to her board. We simply had to email her and ask, which we did, and she happily accepted us and sent us an invite.
Now this user has over 25,000 followers on her cupcakes board. That’s a lot of followers! Even so, we weren’t expecting to get the reaction we had. We pinned only 2 pins to her board and almost immediately people started repinning those pins and we started getting followers.
We were amazed.
We left it for close to a week before we pinned again to her board, only because we were relocating our office and things were in a bit of a mess plus we didn’t have any internet for that time. Even so, we still had people repinning our pins and following us during that time and this is something that we hadn’t experienced before. So those two pins generated a lot of action.
When we got back to it yesterday and pinned on her board, again we saw a lot of multiple repins and followers.
As of today we have 50 followers so it’s going really well. We are now in the process of contacting other group board owners to see if we can pin to their boards.
What you need to keep in mind…
This process obviously works but only if the following criteria are met:
1. You should already have multiple boards and pins. If you are starting from scratch and expecting others to allow you to pin to their boards then you will be disappointed. Add at least 10 boards and multiple pins to each board before requesting an invite.
2. Your pins should be of a high quality. Don’t pin rubbish and don’t automate your pins so that anything and everything goes up. Be choosey about what you pin to your own boards so that it looks amazing when people look at them.
3. Only pin to group boards in the same niche. There’s no point trying to pin unrelated things to a group board. You will only get banned and at the very least people will just ignore your pins. Choose boards in the same niche or category so that you get people wanting to repin your pins. If you take a look at our Yummy Muffins Pinterest page you will see that we have kept them very specific.
UPDATE: 7 March 2013 – By following the methods outlined above we managed to get another 51 followers on our Pinterest page. We are now at 101 followers as I write this note.
UPDATE – 8 March 2013 – We are now at 191 followers.
UPDATE – 19 March 2013 – 277 followers.
UPDATE – 21 March 2013 – 305 (would probably have more but we have been a little busy with other things – the followers are still coming despite this.)
I’ve been waiting what seems like forever for a Google invite and finally got one a couple of weeks ago. But you know what?…its only this week that I finally got around to logging in and checking it out properly. Pretty bad I know since there are thousands still dying to get in and try out Google Wave.
I’ve only had a quick play but have already integrated the ability to tweet from my Google Wave account and now I am trying to see how it integrates with WordPress. I have downloaded a WordPress plugin called Wavr which allows you to imbed Waves into a blog post.
So to see if this works and also how it works, I have created a Wave in Google Wave and imbedded it below. If nothing shows up then I obviously didn’t do it right but if it does I will be adding to the Wave to as it is supposed to automatically add each addition of content to this blog post. So let’s see…I am going to Publish this post right now…I’m excited!
Update: Well I can’t seem to get it working just yet. As you can see below there is a Page Not Found window. Too late for me to play around with it now so I will see if I can get it working tomorrow.
Another Update: Seems to work in Firefox but I can’t see it in Internet Explorer…and what’s with the green background.?
Latest Update: I’ve decided to remove the plugin because it really isn’t working consistently. Instead I have put in a screen print below of how it looks in Firefox.
Twitter has definitely become the place to be for anyone wanting to create a presence on the web. So with this in mind, we have put together 30 links to great Twitter tutorials, useful tips, hints and tools from around the web.
There are so many sites now that provide excellent information and advice for using Twitter effectively so it was actually difficult to choose what to include. But we think we have found some of the best to help both those new to Twitter and those that have been around for some time.
If you have any others you think could be added then leave a comment below and we’ll take a look.
1. The Twitter Tutorial – if you have no idea what Twitter is or if you do you’re still not sure what it all really means then this is the tutorial for you. It should only take you about 5 minutes to go through this slideshow. I would have to say that this is one of the best little tutorials I have seen on the subject. Highly recommended.
2. How to Set Up a Twitter Account – another useful piece of information for those that are new to Twitter. This one includes both a video and written instructions.
3. How to Set Up Multiple Twitter Accounts with One Email Address – We have a number of Twitter accounts all using different email addresses we set up in Gmail and Yahoo. I wish I had found this post before setting them up – it would have saved a heap of time.
4. Twitter in Plain English – A quick video to give you the basics of Twitter.
How to Get More Followers
5. 5 Tips to Grow Your Twitter Presence – Another Problogger post
6. How to Grow Your Follower Numbers to Over 10,000 In a Week – See how Sitepoint gathered 10,000 followers in a week.
7. 7 Ways to Be Worth Following on Twitter – A few basics to get yourself in a good position to start attracting followers.
8. 6 Tips for Using Your Twitter Profile to Get New Followers – Tips for customizing your profile in order to attract more followers.
How to Be a Success on Twitter
9. 10 Traits of Effective Twitter Users – An analysis of successful Twitter users.
10. 8 Sure Fire Ways to Tick off The Twitterverse – How not to be a success on Twitter.
11. How to Automatically Add Your Blog Posts to Twitter Using Twitter Feed – This is one I wrote.
Tips and Hints
12. 50 Great Twitter Tips and Secrets – A good comprehensive list of Twitter tips and hints.
13. 35 Twitter Tips from 35 Twitter Users – An old post by Problogger but still highly relevant.
14. Top 10 Twitter Tips for Beginners – Some of these are not just for beginners.
15. 8 Tips for Building a Strong Presence on Twitter – Some interesing tips here.
16. 55 Twitter Tips – Another comprehensive list of tips and hints.
17. 9 Advanced Twitter Tips – Some excellent tips here – worth reading.
18. 100 Serious Twitter Tips for Academics – Tips for instructors and students…and worth reading even if you aren’t an academic.
19. 137 Small Business Twitter Tips – You’ll need to click on the link to a pdf to view them…it’s worth it.
20. Is the Tweetie 2 Application Worth Buying? – Tweetie 2 is an application for the iPhone/iPod Touch. This is my review of the application.
21. What Twitter Application is Right for You – A great post about the variety of different applications available for Twitter including desktop applications and iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry and other mobile applications
Twitter Themes and Backgrounds
22. Twitter Background Gallery – Has over 1500 Twitter backgrounds as I write this post.
23. 10 Beautiful Customizable Photoshop Twitter Background Templates – I put together a list of customizable Photoshop templates. You obviously need Photoshop for these but it is worth the effort as you will have your own (almost unique) Twitter background.
24. TwitRounds – New backgrounds added daily.
25. 40 Free Artistic Twitter Backgrounds – A beautiful list of Twitter backgrounds.
26. Twitter How-To Design and Best Practice – If you are thinking of creating your own Twitter background this is a great place to start.
27. Create a Custom Twitter Background the Right Way – Another post that provides some tips on creating a Twitter background the right way.
Twitter Plugins, Tools and Widgets
28. 35 Awesome Twitter Plugins for WordPress – An excellent list to start with by W3Mag.
29. 10 Best Twitter Tools, Plugins, Widgets for WordPress – A nice list if you are using WordPress.
30. Must Have Twitter Plugins for Twitter Fans – Another list of plugins for WordPress.
31. Tweet Adder – I know we have reached 30 but there is always going to be one more to add. Tweet Adder allows you to run Twitter on autopilot or at least reduce some of the regular tasks you might want to perform. It’s not free but well worth the money.
If you have any others, please let us know in the comments below.
Today as I logged into Twitter I noticed an announcement at the very top of the screen introducing Twitters new LIST function. So I promptly clicked on the ‘Create New List’ option and proceeded to create my very first List. It wasn’t difficult and within about a minute or so I had a list of some of my favorite tweeters.
As I was doing this it suddenly occured to me that this could possibly change the face of Twitter forever…at least in terms of making money from it.
Let’s face it, the good majority of those on Twitter follow someone only to get them to follow them back. This is what Twitter has become. It is really just a big marketing network with each person trying to sell something. Even the big celebrities are there to sell themselves, their image, their next movie or whatever. There really are only a small handful on Twitter who use it to chat simply for the sake of chatting…and the reason there are only a few is that as a means of communicating it really is a clumsy system.
So if we want to make money on Twitter and we need followers to do that, then I can see the potential for the new LIST system to make it just that much more difficult.
This is how I see it…users are going to log in and head straight to their favorites list and hang out there. What this means is that they don’t get to see the full list of tweets coming from the regular list they are following…they only see the tweets from their favorites list.
Now I see this as a good thing because when you think about it, it can only increase the quality of the tweets on Twitter. I mean who is going to add a spammer or someone who is constantly promoting products to a favorites list? You are really going to have to start getting good with your tweets in order to be added to someones list AND ‘getting good’ means providing quality and not promoting products every second tweet.
If it happens to go this way, then a lot of people are going to leave Twitter as it will get harder and harder to make money with it. If enough people start to leave then Twitter’s popularity may just start to wane. After all, the only reason Twitter became as popular as it has is because of its money making potential. Or to put it another way, if Twitter suddenly made it mandatory that you could no longer promote products on the site, how many people do you think would actually be left on it?
I believe that people really need to be able to continue to easily make money from Twitter if it is to maintain it’s popularity. If the money is no longer there then people will only leave looking for the next big thing to make them rich.
This could just be the beginning of the end for Twitter if this is how it all pans out. Hopefully my thinking is totally wrong and instead the new List system opens up a whole new world of opportunities. I guess we can only wait and see…