A Baking Blogger’s 7 Step Guide to Successful Pins
Pinterest can be a baking blog’s secret weapon for gaining consistent traffic and finding more of your ideal readers, but it all relies on creating successful pins in the first place.
I’m going to show you how in 7 easy steps. Learn from the lessons I have learned over the last 6 months on Pinterest so you can have successful pins bringing you new people to your baking blog, cake business, or email list through increasing their engagement.
Keep pins vertical
This is the most well known of Pinterest techniques. When you scroll through your feed, you will notice that the vertical or portrait pins take up more space than the horizontal or landscape.
The larger the pin, the more eye-catching it is and so the more likely you are to click on it, like it, or repin it.
Scroll through your latest pins and see what proportion are vertical in comparison to horizontal. For Knead to Dough’s Pinterest feed as I write this, the one thing that draws the last 20+ pins I have repinned together is the fact that they are vertical. Chances are your boards are looking similar.
Keep your pins vertical for your images to appear bigger, attracting a lot more engagement as a result.
Some bloggers are keen promoters of a certain pixel height and width for their perfect pin.
By creating a pin that fits the largest size Pinterest will give to an image in its feed, you are giving yourself maximum visual impact.
Whilst this can be a really useful strategy, I don’t personally build my pins with a one-size-fits-all approach. I prefer to take appealing portrait photos of my recipes and show my baking off to the best of my ability without trimming or enlarging to fit a certain size ratio.
As long as your images or graphics are a good size and vertical, you don’t have to make sure every pin fits certain dimensions if you don’t want or have time to. Decide where your time is better spent. If it is making your pins totally ideal, go for it! Just remember you can still generate great engagement with other sizes.
High quality images
Pinterest is often dubbed the visual search engine. It goes without saying, whether you are posting photographs or infographics, they need to be visually appealing.
One easy way to add appeal to your images is to make sure they are high quality. Take your photos in good natural light and spend time finding the best composition and styling for your baked goods. Your new recipe or cake to buy is only as good as the images that sell it.
The quality of many phone cameras is now good enough, although I still prefer to use my Canon for optimum results.
Staging your photos
When photographing new recipes, how tos, or products for sale, it’s really important to set up the photo well.
The two styles of image I pin the most on Knead to Dough’s Pinterest are of baked goods with simple, relatively plain backgrounds or infographics.
It can be so tempting to pack a lot into your photos or for the scales and odd bag of flour to find their way into the background. The beauty of a simple and plain backdrop for your new cupcake recipe is that it makes the cupcake stand out. With nothing to distract the eye, all the attention is on the cake.
I also love infographics for making information visual and easy to work through, like graphics for cake serving guides or pricing guides.
Both types of image work really well for me on Pinterest, attracting more repins and likes than my busier older photos.
I add text for almost all of my pins. When I pin my recipes, I use a pin that has a photo at the top and bottom with text in the middle naming the recipe. So for my Cherry Bakewell Shortbread Hearts, it says that in between two recipe photos.
Personally I find this structure gets better engagement compared to just my photograph pins because the viewer knows what the pin (and blog post it links to) are all about before they even get to the pin description.
Not everyone is a fan of adding text to pins, so see what feels natural to you and your baking blog or biz. If you like adding text, go for it – but don’t worry if you don’t.
When I first started pinning, I basically ignored the pin descriptions. I filled them out with ‘Cookie Dough Brownies recipe’ and left it at that.
Boy, was I missing out on a big share of Pinterest pie.
Pin descriptions are actually really important. The opening needs to draw you in and make you want more, much like the title of a blog post or the strapline in a magazine. So whether these brownies are the richest, the gooey-est, the fudgiest – say so!
Follow this up with a keyword-rich description so that Pinterest can understand what your pin is all about. You can find keywords relating to your new recipe by typing in ‘brownie recipe’ for example in the search bar. The other terms that come up are often searched with your search terms. See if you can naturally fit a few into your description for even more Pinterest SEO.
Round up with a call to action, just as you would for a blog post, to tell the pinner to click through to make your recipe/find out more/see more of your cakes. This little nudge is all people often need to take the next step, but without it they’ll often leave and move on.
Pin and then repin
Once you’ve pinned your image it’s very easy to think that you can step away. But you shouldn’t leave your pin’s success to the powers that be. This won’t get you your best results.
Over time – so Pinterest doesn’t think you are being spammy – repin your relevant pin from your main blog or business board. Add it to all the other boards it is relevant to, including group boards you are part of.
This gives your pin more exposure for two reasons.
Firstly, you might have different followers for different boards and certainly will have a wider pool of followers for group boards. Repinning to these creates more opportunity for your pin to be seen, engaged with, and clicked through from.
Secondly, the Pinterest Smart Feed values pins based on the engagement they receive. The more repins your pin gets, the more likely Pinterest is to show it in your followers and other feeds, creating endless potential to reach new readers, customers, or even have your pin go viral.
Are you on Pinterest for your baking blog or biz yet? What do you do to create successful pins? What else would you like to learn about Pinterest?
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