Last Updated March 26th, 2013

Have You Checked Your Pinterest Web Analytics?

Pinterest has unveiled web analytics for pinners with verified web sites. It’s a nice tool if you want to see what content of yours is getting the most interest on their site. If you’re serious about building traffic from Pinterest, you need to check this out.

Pinterest web analytics

This tool lets you see how often content gets pinned from your site, how much it gets repinned, how many impressions it generates, and how many clicks. All pretty useful information. You can look at anywhere from a day to a month to see what has been happening.

If you haven’t verified your website with Pinterest yet, it’s pretty easy to do so. Just follow their instructions. Just takes a few minutes of your time. You also need to have access to Pinterest’s new look. After that, you just use the top right dropdown menu to find the Analytics section.

I don’t get great traffic from Pinterest as of yet, although I’m working on that. This site isn’t exactly prime pinning material, since working at home isn’t a huge Pinterest category. Still, there are some things people have found interesting, and that’s useful information for me.

It’s not just what information of mine that’s being pinned that I find interesting. Board names can be interesting too. It’s helpful to know how other people are categorizing your stuff. What they say about it is interesting too.

I’m pretty pleased with this new tool. Are you going to use it also? What do you think of it?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated January 7th, 2013

How Do You Make Sure Your Images Are Pinterest Friendly?

I’m working on including more images in my posts, partly because they look better that way, but also because it’s better for getting traffic from Pinterest. The challenge is to ensure that my images are okay for use on Pinterest.

You can’t use just any image, after all. There are copyright issues to consider when an image is pinned. Make it easy on your visitors, and be sure that these issues won’t get in their way.

Take Your Own Photos

This is the safest way to avoid copyright issues. If it’s your own photo, you can say that it’s safe to pin, so long as there aren’t copyright issues with the subject matter.

I’ve been going through my photos to make a collection of personal stock photos I can use in posts. Some of the kids, some flowers or other nature shots, that kind of thing. They’re good when it’s not so easy to just take a brand new photograph for a post. Not so good if you’re posting about a recipe or craft project where photos showing the steps are more appropriate, of course.

How to Make Your Images Pinterest Friendly

You’ll want some basic photo editing software. I use Gimp, which is free but not as good as Photoshop. Still pretty good and very useful. If you haven’t used this kind of software before it takes some getting used to, but it’s a wonderful tool. You can use it to crop photos, add text or special effects, or even create images from scratch.

Create Your Own Images

I mentioned briefly above that Gimp can be used to create images from scratch. If you’re artistically inclined, this is a wonderful option. It can be really time consuming, but you can make graphics for just about anything if you have the ability and the tools.

If you want a better tool than Gimp, you’ll probably have to pay for it. Photoshop is of course very powerful, and Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 is pretty affordable. I’ve also made graphics using an old version of Fireworks. Find the tool that’s most appropriate to your skill level.

Use Public Domain Images

This is a bit more difficult, as you have to be sure of the source you get them from and that the image really is in the public domain. There are sites that try to have freely available images, such as http://openclipart.org/, but you do need to be aware that sometimes non-public domain images may be mistakenly uploaded to the site.

There’s also a great listing of public domain images from government resources. Many photos taken as a part of a government employee’s job are in the public domain. And of course there are many other websites offering public domain images.

I keep images downloaded from these sites separate from the ones I take myself. If there’s ever a problem, it’s good to know where the image came from, even if you believed it to be in the public domain.

Make Your Images Relevant to Your Post

If you want the traffic from Pinterest to be relevant to your post, the image must relate. You can make this as simple as including the post title in your image (make it look great!), or by having the image be a major component of the post. Infographics can do very well, but they’re hard to make well.

I often forget this part myself, but also consider having your name or your domain name on your images. This way there’s information about the source of the image no matter how it travels, even if it gets separated from any links to the original post.

It’s also very helpful if the title of your image is relevant. Some people pin the image and don’t write their own description. Keep that in mind and have something relevant to go with the image when its pinned.

Add a Pin It Button

If by any chance you aren’t already including a Pin It button on your posts, start doing so. There are plugins to make this easy in WordPress. The easier you make this, the more likely it is to happen. You can even ask people in your post to share it on Pinterest and other social sites. Make sure you test things out yourself to ensure that any plugins or code are working properly.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated November 29th, 2012

Do You Have Your Pinterest Business Account?

I came across an interesting post on Hubspot about Pinterest offering business accounts. If you’re using your Pinterest account for your business, you may want to take a look at this. I’ve had a lot going on family-wise lately, but I finally had the time to look this over myself and make the switch to a business account.

At this point, it’s not really all that different. Just visit business.pinterest.com and click the link to convert your account to a business account, then agree to the business Terms of Service.

What’s New?

Your pinboards won’t look any different as a business than they did when you had a personal account. On the surface, you may not see a lot of changes. There are, however, some nice new tools.

Take the profile or board widget, for example. You can use it to share your recent pins on your website. This could be useful in drawing more attention to your pinboards, hopefully to encourage more shares of your material on Pinterest and eventually drive more traffic to your site. After all, building your traffic is what it’s about if you’re a business.

You also get access to case studies. Some businesses have done quite well on Pinterest, and this makes it easy to take a look.

There will also be access to any future tools they release for businesses. What that means, no one knows yet, but there are certainly tools that would be useful to business owners that personal accounts usually won’t care about.

If you haven’t done it already, you should also go ahead and verify your website with Pinterest. This lets them know that yes, it’s your site. Just go to your Settings page and click the Verify Website button, then follow the directions.

Why Bother?

It may not seem like there’s all that much reason to bother with making the switch from a personal to business Pinterest account. And I’ll agree that the differences are minor… now. I don’t know if that will continue to be the case. There’s also a clause in the personal accounts TOS saying that if you’re using Pinterest for commercial purposes, you’ll use a business account. I don’t know when they’ll start enforcing that, but it’s something you should be aware of.

The big question is do you convert your current page to a business one or start a fresh one for your business? The answer depends on how you’ve been using your pinboards so far.

If you’ve been keeping it pretty much personal, and most of your followers are personal, you probably want to start a whole new account for your business. It may be a bit of a pain logging in and out between them or using separate browsers for them, but that’s something you have to work out for yourself. Getting followers from the old account to the new account may be a challenge.

If you’ve been using it mostly for business, go ahead and make the switch. Odds are no one will notice the difference.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated March 19th, 2012

Is Your Blog Pinterest-Friendly? Do You Want It to Be?

Pinterest is huge right now, with both praise and controversy. Some blogs are getting huge traffic from Pinterest. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to get your blog ready for Pinterest. It comes down to one simple thing: have images.

The image on your blog post is what will show up on Pinterest. Make it a good one and it may be repinned all around, driving some good traffic. That said, there are a few catches. Like most things, it’s really not as simple as it first sounds.

The problem basically comes down to copyright. Users are supposed to make sure they have the right to share the photos they pin, but almost no one does. It’s a part of the TOS that is largely ignored and may cause legal issues. You don’t want this to become an issue for your own Pin Boards, as the legal issues can fall right in your lap. Even if the legal issues don’t impact you personally as such, you don’t want your posts that others have pinned to vanish due to copyright issues.

Stock Photos

If you use stock photos on your site, you don’t own the copyright on them, and in time this may be an issue for people who use Pinterest. Those royalty-free photos you use don’t include a license to have them go onto sites you don’t own. You don’t want to pin them onto your own boards to market your site and you shouldn’t encourage pinning of that page either.

Fortunately, Pinterest does allow you to block pinning to their site, as they have recognized the problem. You do have to take action in the form of a meta tag, and there is a WordPress plugin which will handle that for you. It’s easy enough to do manually; all you have to do is add <meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin” /> to your header, and your images are safe from Pinterest.

Blocking pinning is a very good idea if you don’t have the rights to spread the image around. It may not directly be your fault that someone has pinned the image from your site, but if you know there’s an issue, it’s not that hard to prevent it.

Is the Traffic Right For You?

Some people don’t like the traffic they get from Pinterest, which is why sites such as Flickr now allow users to block pinning. Many crafters on sites such as Etsy aren’t all that happy about having their images used by people who simply intend to make the projects on their own. You really have to think about what it is you’re going to get from Pinterest before you start chasing the traffic.

Others have seen great success. There’s a good article on BusinessGrow.com about the success some people have found on Pinterest.  Sure, we can’t all have that kind of success, but it’s certainly fun to try.

AdAge has a very good article on planning for Pinterest.  These are things you should be thinking about if you want to leverage Pinterest traffic for your online home business, such as using images to improve audience engagement.

It’s something you have to think about whenever you look at any traffic source. Traffic is great, but if you aren’t getting what you want from it, what’s the point? Traffic doesn’t bring sales unless it’s targeted.

As for me, I know I don’t get much Pinterest traffic much. I have no doubt that it’s in large part to a lack of images here. I don’t know how often I’ll put in the effort to add in pinnable images here, but on some of my other sites, they’ll be more of a priority.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated July 28th, 2011

How Do You Use Facebook For Your Home Business?

Facebook is hugely popular. Many people love how it allows them to keep in touch with family, friends, old classmates and so forth with little effort. It’s an easy way to share those fun little moments you wouldn’t call and tell people about, but want to brag about anyhow… hopefully without sharing too much information.

Facebook is also great for many home businesses. Just as with your personal life, you can use Facebook to keep in contact with people about your business.

Don’t mix your business with your personal stuff on Facebook, however, or at least not too much. Facebook makes it easy to set up a page for your business, so that people who are interested in your business can follow it there, rather than being a part of your personal page.

It’s not that business acquaintances can’t become personal friends – they can. It’s that you want most of your business contacts separate. You don’t want to hit your Facebook friend limit due to business contacts and then not be able to friend your friends when your business page can be liked by as many people as care to do so.

What Should You Share on Your Business’s Facebook Page?

You probably don’t want to share what your kids or pets just did, or talk about your vacation plans on your business Facebook page. That’s not what most people are after when it comes to your business.

You do want to share what’s going on with your home business. Link to new blog posts. Announce sales and new products.

Interact With Current and Potential Customers

Facebook is one of many places you can interact with your customers. They may contact you with questions or problems through Facebook. Sometimes you’ll even get a rave review there.

How Do You Get People to Like Your Page?

The frustrating part at first can be getting enough people to like your business Facebook page. It’s frustrating trying to get those first few likes.

You can ask your current personal friends to like your page. Odds are many of them already know what you’re doing, and it’s a simple way for them to support you. Some may even be curious about what you do with your business anyhow.

You can also pay people who will build your account to a certain number of likes. I’m not a fan of this, as you really want people who are actually interested in your business to hit the like button, not just random accounts. This gives a nice looking count for your page, but if it doesn’t give anything more than that, what’s the point?

Facebook lets you post on the site using the name of your page rather than your own name. This is useful for some careful, polite marketing. You don’t want to spam all over Facebook, saying “visit me, buy from me!” Just as with any other site, you want to be interesting enough that people visit your page because you sound like someone who has something they want to check out.

Be careful what you post on other people’s and businesses’ walls. The nice ones just delete you if they don’t like how you posted on their wall. Others mark your posts as spam, which can lead to the loss of your account.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.