A Guide to Pinterest – Tips on How to Become Very Pinteresting – Part 2

This two-part series was written by our guest, Faith Marcus – the talented artisan behind Faith Marcus Designs. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter @FMdesigns and, of course, Pinterest!

Thank you for sharing these tips with Craftsyble readers, Faith! Your Guide to Pinterest has inspired us to work on Craftsyble’s Pinterest boards. 🙂

If you haven’t yet, please read Part 1.

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Remember : Content is king! So pin images that are the most visually inspiring !

Other ideas that will help spring- board your following :

1) Create a group/community board — invite followers to pin on a board. When you create, (or hopefully get invited yourself — I now receive board invitations almost daily!!) to pin on a group board, the board will post on your page, and everyone who is included, as well as their followers will see this in the pin stream (this is great way to go viral). I would suggest creating a group board once you have a substantial following. Make it a “theme”, as a random board becomes a mess over time. If you create a group board too early in the game, chances are no one will pin to it, and then it’s sort of a “flop”. I am on two of these boards right now, and it’s primarily due to “lack of theme” provided. I am also on five community boards that have thousands of followers, so I make sure I pin to those on a regular basis! Do not ask to be invited to a board. Post great content, and you will be noticed and invited !

2) Pin It To Win Contest : On my to-do list, I will update when I have some results.

3) Do keep up to date with marketing reports, and also Pins that are generated from marketing sources, chances are you will find a lot of valuable information.

4) Use the statistic sites, pinpuff and pinreach to see which boards and pins are popular. Pinreach also provides you with your most influential followers. Make sure you know who these people are, and see who they pin from, and look at their followers. Take some time to see what makes someone with major followings so sought after. Chances are, they have great boards! Use these as inspiration and follow suite, make it you own and do not copy!

5) Use FaceBook and Twitter to share your Pinterest profile, as well as a great board. Twitter is also a great source to find pins, as all major publications are posting updates that will likely have a “pin it” button on their site.

Other Resources to check out:
www.repinly.com
www.pinpuff.com
www.pinreach.com
www.url2pin.it

I hope you have found this information useful, and that it will help you gain lots of followers and help you become a Pinterest rock star!

I would love your feedback! Thank you and happy pinning!!

Faith

P.S. Please follow me: www.pinterest.com/fmdtreasures

A Guide to Pinterest – Tips on How to Become Very Pinteresting – Part 1

This two-part series was written by our guest, Faith Marcus – the talented artisan behind Faith Marcus Designs. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter @FMdesigns and, of course, Pinterest!

Thank you for sharing these tips with Craftsyble readers, Faith! Your Guide to Pinterest has inspired us to work on Craftsyble’s Pinterest boards. 🙂

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I hope you will find these tips helpful in building a following on Pinterest, and driving people to your site! There are many marketers and bloggers now offering tips for brands, some of these may be covered in what I will share. This is primarily to help you build a following and to give you the basics on how to create a dynamic Pinterest profile.

I had heard about Pinterest when it was first in Beta, and thought it was silly. I joined in March of this year, and decided to pin just for fun. When I signed up, I had 19 followers. At the beginning of April, I crossed the 100 follower mark, and in mid July, I reached my first initial goal of 1,000. I now have (as of August 5) close to 1700 followers, with an average of 50 new followers daily, and continual visits to my website (which I track on google analytics), and sales! I hope my tips will help you to achieve the same results!

If you are new to Pinterest, and don’t have a good grasp on the basics, I highly recommend you go to “BootCamp”. This is a very insightful video series that will cover all you need to know to get started. Also, follow Jason Miles (search by this name and click on ‘People’ on Pinterest), he provides a lot of good marketing tips for brands. The initial video series was free, but this offer has ended. It is excellent, and highly worthwhile, if you are just getting started, and don’t know where to begin! There is also plenty of great free info on the site for brand marketing, if you don’t want to purchase the program.

http://marketingonpinterest.com/2012/03/05/pinterest-boot-camp-launched-but-its-not-too-late/

“Because storytelling, and visual storytelling, was put in the hands of everybody, and we have all now become storytellers.” — Levar Burton

● Unlike FaceBook and Twitter, where you can shout it out, and communicate with words and images, one of the most important things to understand, is that Pinterest is a site that people (the majority being women) go to be inspired, and to collect images that they enjoy. Your “job” is not to bombard your page with your products, but to tell your own story through images. This will, hopefully, lead people to your page, to follow you, and to find out what it is you do sell, and then will click on your links and visit your site.

● If your boards are all about you, or your brand, you will likely be considered “spammy” and not very interesting, nor Pin “worthy”, so be inspirational (and patient)!

● If you are just getting started, create about 12 – 14 boards. The boards should be varied, with depth! What are you passionate about? Photography, design, cooking, nature, travel, fashion? The possibilities are endless, but think about what you do sell, and try to build your boards from this “core”, before developing boards that do not relate to your product. So, for example, if you are a jewelry artist, you might want to consider well – known jewelry that you find inspiring, period jewelry, gemstones, etc. If you are a photographer, boards on nature, people, places. Where do you come from? Boards about places are great, and add some identity ! Consider each board a “magazine”, remember you want people to repin your pins, and to follow you! Be a visual curator ! This is the number one golden rule of Pinterest! Beautiful images get repinned! People who post exciting, beautiful content get followed — it’s really as simple as that!

● If you have a business name, use it! You will gain much more recognition as a brand with your business name, than your personal name.

Like Twitter, the more people you follow, the greater your chances are to be followed! Need some ideas for developing boards and finding people to follow? Let’s say, for example. you love the color blue, and would like to create a “Blue Board”. Go to the main search bar and type in blue, and see what comes up. Or use the category search to find what you are looking for. If you find a page that is interesting, and fits your style, repin and make sure you follow that person! If you have a follower, and they have pinned something you like, hover over the person they pinned from, and visit that page! Another way to ‘pick up” interesting people to follow. SEARCH is to the left of the Pinterest logo.

● Pinterest has its own set of etiquette, so do not repin more than 3 images from another page and not follow! Be considerate!

● Want to gain the attention of a cool or influential pinner? Then “like”, repin and comment! People who have tons of followers will not always see the comment, as the stream (on the left hand side is a bit time delayed, and only gives you a handful of recent updates), so do not be discouraged! Commenting and liking are not as “popular” as repinning, so this is one way to get noticed and stand out! Do not ask for people to come check out your page — be genuine! Check in with the people who do follow you, and see who they follow or repin from. This is to the right of your profile page. Or, scroll through the list of a popular pinner, and see who follows them. Another way to connect with like minded followers. If you are following someone with hundreds of thousands of followers, chances are they will not notice you, so stick with pinners whose boards and style relate to yours and go from there! Broaden your following list on a regular basis, as the more diverse your circle gets, the more interesting the content pool will be generated.

● Make sure your boards have “interesting names”, don’t just name a board, ‘cookies’, or ‘soap’ or ‘fashion’ or ‘things for my house’, try to come up with something a little more creative.

● Make sure your boards are categorized properly. This will help in others finding you by proper category. Also, using hashtags (the same as Twitter) in your pin descriptions is helpful. Check out the categories which are below the Pinterest logo. If you are adding a pin description, the source of the image is always best: ie, the name of the brand, photographer, etc. Avoid “cutesie” comments like, my daughter will love this, or anything too personal, that someone else will have to edit before they repin it!

● Rotate your boards so that your page looks cohesive, and make sure your cover photo is set with one of your most visually inspiring and dynamic pins. You can rotate your boards by using the “edit profile” feature (see screenshot — and don’t forget to save!). Freshen your page by changing the cover photo from time to time. If you were a store, you would want to change your window every once and awhile, right?

● Your own board should be in the top row, either in first , second or third position. Do not be discouraged if your own products are not repinned. It takes time for people to discover you, and products are less likely to be repinned, so be patient. Do not pin to your own board each and every day! I pin my own work maximum of three times a week, sometimes less! If you do not have an established following (at least 1,000 followers), I recommend that you have only one board for your work. If you are a photographer and a jewelry artist (or a soap maker and a stationery designer), make one board for each. Include your celebrity gifting and press in one
board (chances are no one is going to repin these, they are more for info and showcasing your brand). Make it the best of the best, and cohesive !

● The top two rows of boards are probably the ones that will have the most attention. Profiles with 100’s of boards can be overwhelming. Remember quality, and depth! To see your most popular boards and pins, check your stats with www.pinpuff.com and www.pinreach.com. Keep your less popular boards, or boards you are developing on the bottom. You can always rotate them at a later date.

● Look at your page with an outsiders’ ‘eye’ : do your boards flow, and look inviting? You want people to discover your board content, so give them a “visual reason” to do so !

● Do not make boards of family, friends, customers. etc, wearing/and or posing with your items. Or your pets, home life, etc. These photos belong in your FaceBook photo albums, not on Pinterest! People will not repin them (unless you want them there for your own personal enjoyment!) . If you create tutorials, then put them in a separate board, along with others that are a good “fit”. Tutorials and DIY are great boards to develop, especially if they relate to your brand.

● Don’t pin “tiny” images or ones that are so long they take up three or four columns. They are generally not repinned ! Try not to pin images with very dark backgrounds, they are difficult to see, and do not ‘pop’ !

● If you are pinning others work a board is fine, but, you can also pin these images to other boards. For example, someone who photographs nature, might work well on a “flower” board. If you have a board dedicated to products you love, or color boards are also a good way to vary who you pin and where. Try it both ways and see which one gets more pins.

● In order to gain followers, you should be pinning daily! Yes, make it a habit! At first it may seem daunting, especially if you are not following a lot of people, so pin outside the box! Use sites such as tumblr, google, twitter, blogs, and major websites to generate your own pins. And make sure pins that you originate have a clickable source. Do not just upload them from your computer (see the Pinterest guidelines for this).

● At the point when you reach several hundred followers, you should be gaining 3-10 followers daily. If not, then you are not active enough on the site. Once you get to 1,000 followers, your daily number of followers should have doubled, and now it gets easier, as, if you are pinning regularly, your following will increase accordingly.

● The best times to pin are morning (I am basing this on PST), between 7 – 9 AM, around lunch hours (12-1 PM) and after 6 PM. Marketing statistics will show you that many pinners are working, successful people, so these are the best times to catch the activity. It varies on Fridays (with a pick up of about 4 PM), and on weekends. There is a bit of a lull mid day, seven days a week, so try to pin during these times, if possible. Try to scatter your pinning time, some in the morning, some in the evening.

● If you have thousands of pins and less than a few hundred followers, it’s time to clean up those old pins and start fresh! Much better to catch followers in a brand new stream of activity. Very difficult to gain followers if you have 50+ boards filled with pins that have no activity!

● To price or not to price, that’s a good question. In my opinion, the price tags are tacky. I think it totally depends on what you are selling. Try it both ways and see what happens. When you do add a price, it goes into the gift section, under categories. 99% of all marketing reports I have read suggest this, but I have found the reverse to be true, so do what works best for you and your brand! Pins with prices may not get you repins, however pins with prices may get you more “clicks” via the gift guide. The best way to gauge your stats is with Google Analytics. (Sorry, I don’t know how this works for Etsy users).

I hope you have found this information useful, and that it will help you gain lots of followers and help you become a Pinterest rock star! I would love your feedback! Thank you and happy pinning!! If you liked this post, check out PART 2!
Faith

P.S. Please follow me: www.pinterest.com/fmdtreasures

Applications for Etsy Artisans

In this day and age, social media and portable technology is becoming an increasingly influential component of selling crafts both offline and online. As for Etsy artisans, there are many creative applications (or apps) to consider when you are a seller. You can use the tools to help track the progress of your small business, save time relisting items, advertise your shop, and conduct your business no matter where you are. A few applications to consider include:

The Etsy App

With the touch of a finger, users can connect to Etsy using an app for their iPhone or iPod. Sellers can access their listings and see their latest orders. Merchant tools are also available to manage your business while you are on the go. For buyers, they can search for handmade and vintage goods, as well as browse Treasury Lists. If something catches their eye, they can make a purchase from their mobile device. The app provides access to carts, favorites, purchase history and shops, which increases the opportunities that people can connect to your Etsy shop. This app is free and available at the App Store.

AutoRelister

There is no need to log into Etsy.com to quickly re-list sold items when AutoRelister lets you do so from your Android phone. Sellers can view sold creations and manually relist. You can also schedule items to renew at a specific date and time. A convenient feature of the app is the ability to set your budget to keep track of how much you spend on renewals. The app is currently priced at $10.

Etsy Shop Tracker

If you’re the type of person who likes to assess the popularity of certain listings, the Etsy Shop Tracker can help. The tool tracks information regarding all the items on your Etsy shop. You can keep up with the number of views, admirers, and treasury lists associated with each item. The data is updated on a daily basis, and it is free to use.

The Pocket Shop

The animated, interactive version of your Etsy shop offers a fun, portable way to advertise your products on a blog and/or website. With a variety of themes to consider, this enticing approach gives you an edge against the competition by spreading the word and sharing your creations in an inviting manner. Once you choose your desired option for your widget – all you have to do is grab the code.

Using Pinterest for Crafting

The purpose of Pinterest is to offer a social website that allows users to create, manage and share collections of images based on various themes. Users come in contact with other members from around the world – connecting with those that share the same interests, styles and hobbies. After becoming a member of Pinterest, you can start creating boards and mingling with others. And don’t forget to follow Craftsyble on Pinterest!

Basic Components of Pinterest

A ‘board’ is a set of ‘pins’ centered on any given topic. When creating a theme-related image board, the pictures will fall into subcategories. For crafters, you will most likely organize your information under architecture, art, design, DIY & crafts, education, home décor, photography, and print & posters. Pinterest gives you suggestions for the themes of your boards, such as “Books Worth Reading,” but you can tweak and create your own. An example of a board is seen in the image, which shows ideas for future crafts the user wishes to try out.

A ‘pin’ is an image added to Pinterest – represented by the small thumbnails on the board. One of the ways to add an image to a board is with the “Pin It “button. This feature fits nicely on your Internet toolbar, allowing you to create your visual boards with media you’ve come across while surfing online.

Users can ‘like’ a pin on anyone else’s board, and also ‘re-pin’ an interest of another user, which will appear on their boards for their followers to see. Members can additionally leave comments on ‘pins’. Users have the opportunity to follow other Pinterest users – which helps you keep up with the latest trends and inspiration.

Pinterest for Crafters

Pinterest provides a wealth of inspiration for a crafter. You can use the platform to:

  • Save the links to visual pockets of inspiration
  • Keep track of interesting tutorials
  • Connect with like-minded crafters
  • Save information that will make your business better
  • Highlight resources for materials, tools and other supplies for your business

How to Gain Traffic to Your Craft Blog

Crafters often establish a blog to spread the word about their latest creations, share techniques and tutorials, as well as communicate with others who have the same passion. Nowadays, your blog is a tiny fish in a gigantic pond of websites that want some of the same things you do – to gain traffic and keep readers interested. So, how do you gain traffic to your craft blog? Consider the following suggestions:

Keep the Content Coming…

A regularly updated craft blog means that you are keeping readers entertained with your knowledge, experiences, and crafts. Keeping to a schedule helps build a relationship with your readers. They know that you have something to say, and they can count on you to keep them routinely informed. The next time a crafter is looking for inspiration, they will more likely visit a reliably active blog.

Attract Attention with Keywords and Tags

Keep the content of your craft blog in the loop by utilizing effective keywords and tags that strengthen your placement in search engines, such as Google and Yahoo. If you’re writing about a beading project for your readers, consider keywords and tags such as: “beading project,” “project for crafters,” “crafting project,” and “bead craft.”

Mingle, Mingle, Mingle

Have you ever left a comment on another blog? You’d be surprised just how many people will curiously make their way to the blogs of their readers – especially when a thoughtful comment or response to their writing or crafts is left behind.

Keep an Eye on Current Traffic

To improve the amount of traffic that comes to your craft blog, it’s important to know what is already working. Your current traffic will give you a glimpse into how people are locating your blog. Use helpful plugins, such as Wassup and Stat Counter, to gain website traffic details. These services record the traffic that comes to your blog – giving you revealing information regarding your blog posts, topics, and links. Hopefully, you’ll be able to answer the following questions:

  • Did entering your site into a crafting directory help?
  • Do you have any keywords that rank high in search engines?
  • Are people finding you because you belong to a specific web forum or discussion group?
  • Are you gaining hits from the comments left behind on other sites?
  • Is Twitter and Facebook connecting you with interested readers?

Get Social

Haven’t explored the possibilities of social media yet? Don’t be afraid of Twitter and Facebook – joining at least one platform can really affect the number of visitors to your blog by increasing your overall exposure. We can help if you’re interested in Using Twitter for Your Etsy Shop or Using Facebook for Your Etsy Shop.

5 Tips for Starting a Craft Blog for Your Business

Image courtesy of MagicSenses.com

No matter where you decide to sell your crafts, starting a craft blog can be an essential part of your crafts business. Your blog can help you promote your products, build a customer base, and show off your creativity. Your blog can be a great compliment to your Etsy shop, online store, or even a great referral for customers you meet at craft parties or craft fairs. There are many books and detailed tutorials that will guide you through things like choosing a blog host, creating custom themes, and optimizing your site for search engine results, but we can get you started with a few basic tips for building any good crafts blog.

1. Be Yourself

Even though your blog will be about crafts and the particular products that you make, readers will be interested in learning more about you. This doesn’t mean that you should turn your craft blog into your online diary, but it does mean that you should allow readers a glimpse of your personality. Don’t try to adopt an overly formal or professional tone. Use casual language and talk the way you would talk to your friends. Use your real name, not a pseudonym, and post a picture of yourself. It will build trust with your readers and help to build rapport.

2. Customize Your Blog

You don’t have to be a Web wizard or learn how to design custom templates. Many free templates are available, with easy-to-follow instructions for downloading or hosting them on your blog. You can also customize the layout of your blog, the font, the background, and other elements by simply arranging the choices you are given on your blog dashboard. Creating a unique look for your blog doesn’t have to be hard, but you do have to do it. A bland and boring blog template will reflect on the quality of your work: Readers might think that the products you made are equally bland and boring. Show off your flair in whatever way you can!

3. Share Lots of Pictures

Have you ever tried describing the wonders of France? Or tried putting into words just how cute your baby is? It doesn’t really paint the real picture, does it? Craft blogs should be loaded with pictures of crafts. Share pictures of what you’re working on, share pictures of finished products, share pictures that inspire you, and share pictures of work that you admire. Your readers will find similar inspiration, and they’ll keep coming back for more. And if they really like what they see, they’ll buy what you’re offering.

4. Share Your Process

Readers love to pick up tips and learn about your crafting process. You don’t have to give away everything! If you have a special technique or trade secret, it is better to keep it to yourself. However, you can share basic tips and tricks that readers will find useful, and it will help build your reader base.

5. Build Community

Keep your readers (and potential customers) coming back by building community. Respond to comments. Elicit reader feedback. Create polls. Make it easy to contact you by posting your e-mail address. This will engage your readers and create a kind of conversation with them.

These are just some of the basics for getting your craft blog started. The most important key is to provide honest content and not to give up. It takes a while to build a reader base and to draw traffic. But if you are persistent and follow these steps, your blog will be buzzing in no time.

About our Guest Blogger: Born and raised in North Carolina, Heather Green has worked as a fashion and beauty consultant as well as freelancing for various wedding, fashion, and health publications. She currently acts as the resident blogger for Online Nursing Degrees where she’s been researching pediatric nursing programs as well as online nursing programs.

Thank you, Heather!