Showing posts with label Analytics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Analytics. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 31

7 Ways To Get More Out Of Pinterest

7 Ways To Get More Out Of Pinterest

I’ve heard one of the best ways to attract visitors to one’s website is Pinterest! I’m not sure if Pinterest is the best way—I've had a lot of success with Twitter—but today I talk about 7 steps anyone can take to get more traffic from

1. Get Analytics

Anyone can get a business page—and it’s free!

If you’re not a new user, you can convert your current page to a business page (that’s what I did).

If you haven’t converted already, don’t wait! The number of times a particular pin is viewed, repinned, and so on, is only recorded AFTER you convert the page so you’re not going to have any data to start off with. Which means it will take a couple of months before you see anything interesting, anything that can really help you. So the sooner you set up your business account, the sooner you’ll be able to see which of your pins are the most popular.

The Key: Once you find out what Pinterest content is the most popular you can give visitors more of what they like!

2. Make it easy for visitors to save your pins by enabling “save” buttons to appear when the cursor hovers over an image.

The title says it all. To read more about the gory details go here: Build a Save button for your site.

3. Pinterest Rich Pins

Rich Pins are pins that include extra information; there are five different kinds: Article, Product, Recipe, Movie and Place. Here's Beth Cooper’s description:

Article pins include the headline, author, story description and link.
Product pins include real-time pricing, availability and where to buy.
Recipe pins include ingredients, cooking times and serving info.
Movie pins include ratings, cast members and reviews.
Place pins include an address, phone number and map.[1]

Note: You need to apply to Pinterest to use rich pins. You can read more about it here: Getting Started. You’ll need to run your pins through the Rich Pins Validator before they can be pinned.

4. Structure your pinterest groups.

What is your blog about? Picture someone visiting your blog for the first time. After a year of reading your blog how have they changed? What problems have they been able to solve because of the information you gave them?

For instance, if you blog about dogs you might imagine that folks coming to your blog for the first time are new dog owners who live in the city. They’re stressed out and short of time. Their immediate need is to know more about dogs—how many times a day they should be walked, what kind of food is best, does their breed of dog need to be groomed every day, and so on. Let’s say this person, after they’ve been reading your blog for a year, is a more confident, relaxed dog owner. Why? Since they know more about dogs and how to care for them they have a better relationship with their animals.

Now think about keywords (or key phrases) that would describe the problem your writing solves. In the above example it might be: General information about how to care for dogs. Now think of supporting categories (for example, pet nutrition, the benefits of exercise, remedies for common health problems, and so on). Try to come up with at least 4 or 5 key words or phrases.

You want to turn these categories into boards over on Pinterest.

5. Interact with like-minded pinners.

Find folks who are active in your categories and then repin, like and comment on their pins. Briallyn Smith writes:

“Pinterest also allows you to directly draw other users’ attention to a specific pin by tagging them @Username in a comment or pin description. This can be an excellent way to initiate conversations and discussions!”[2]

6. Pin your articles

I’ve seen more and more writers choose not to set up a website or blog and, instead, opt to use social media. I encourage you not to be one of them! Set up a website. If money and ease of use is an issue, try Blogger or I think it's important to have one place where potential readers can go to find everything: your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blog posts, books, etc.

If you decide you really don’t want a website you could try posting on Google+ and places like Medium, though these sites don’t make it easy to share links to all your creative output. But at least they give you the ability to post your writing with an image optimized for Pinterest.

7. Use eye-catching graphics.

Let’s talk about images. I’m going to recommend two programs: and an app I use all the time, Snapseed. Both are free and easy to use.

Size. According to How To Optimize Images And Graphics For Pinterest the ideal size for a blog photo is 600 pixels wide and 900 pixels high. But don’t make it more than 900 pixels in height or your image will get cut off!

Brand. Find some way to brand your image. I just put my domain name at the bottom, but if you have a logo put it on the image.

I’m sure there are many more ways to improve your Pinterest account (I didn’t have time to say anything about how to choose effective keywords). If you have a tip that I haven’t talked about, please share it in the comments!

Every post I pick something I love and recommend it. This serves two purposes. I want to share what I’ve loved with you, and, if you click the link and buy anything over at Amazon within the next 24 hours, Amazon puts a few cents in my tip jar at no cost to you. So, if you click the link, thank you! If not, that’s okay too. I’m thrilled and honored you’ve visited my blog and read my post.

Today I’m recommending an older book (2002) but it’s excellent, Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maass. Donald Maass is the author of over 16 novels and is a well known literary agent.

From the blurb: “Maybe you're a first-time novelist looking for practical guidance. Maybe you've already been published, but your latest effort is stuck in mid-list limbo. Whatever the case may be, author and literary agent Donald Maass can show you how to take your prose to the next level and write a breakout novel - one that rises out of obscurity and hits the best-seller lists.”

That’s it! I’ll talk to you again on Wednesday. In the meantime, good writing!


1. 17 Tips, Tools and Tricks to Improve your Pinterest Marketing Strategy, by Belle Beth Cooper.

2. How to Use Pinterest Effectively, by Briallyn Smith

Tuesday, December 18

The Value of Google+ As A Writer's Platform

The Value of Google+ As A Writer's Platform

I've blogged before about the importance of a writer having a platform, what a platform is, and how to build one but I've never talked specifically about the value of Google+ for writers.

Many feel that Google+ was a good attempt to build a social networking platform but that it falls short. For instance, Chuck Wendig has written that he's underwhelmed and more than a little confused by it (Of Google-Plus And Circle Jerks).

It seems to me many people, perhaps most, share Chuck's assessment of Google+.

The question: is Google+ a graveyard?

How To Quantify The Popularity of your Google+ Feed

What I've wanted is a way to quantify how many views my Google+ account received. I've been more active in Google+ over the past month and I wanted to see if that increased activity resulted in increased views.

The problem: I didn't know how to get a listing of views for my Google+ account.

How To Measure Google+ Traffic Using Google Analytics

If you already have a Google Analytics account this is easy to do. If you don't, Google Analytics is free and easy to set up. A friend of mine who gleefully describes herself as a Luddite did it, by herself, in 5 minutes. (By the way, you have to wait a month or so after activating your account to get meaningful data.)

What we're going to do is measure Google+ traffic by measuring referral traffic to your main blogging site, or website.

For instance, say you have your blog on Wordpress or, like me, on Blogger. Go into Google Analytics and open up your blog's profile. Now go into:

Traffic sources > Sources > Referrals 

Here you'll find a listing of which URL's send your blog the most traffic as well as the number of visits you receive from that URL each month.

The URL you're looking for is:

Click on that URL and you'll see a graph that depicts the number of visits from your Google+ account. (You can change it to measure pages per visit, average visit duration, percentage of new visits or the bounce rate, among other things.)

You can also compare how your current traffic compares to the traffic from a month ago (you can customize this feature).

For instance, I discovered that since I've been more active on Google+ that visits to my blog from my Google+ account have increased by 40%! That said, I still get 5 times more referrals from Twitter, although I do have about 12,000 Twitter followers while I have only about 550 people in my Google+ circles.

Is Google+ Worth The Time?

I find it's always a question of time, where one's time is best spent. Every person is different, but it's difficult to decide where to invest your precious time without some sort of objective guide.

My intention in writing this article was to show you a way to find objective measures that could help you decide what is right for you, where your time is best spent.

If you'd like to read more about how to get the most out of Google Analytics for Google+, click here: How to measure Google Plus with Analytics.

Do you use Google+? What social network (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and so on) do you use most?

Other articles you might like:

- The Benefits of Handwriting
- Getting Ready for 2013: A Writer's Guide
- Writing Goals Versus Writing Dreams: How To Get From One To The Other

Photo credit: "U2:all because of you" by visualpanic under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.