Sometimes, I see myths & ideas in the book blogging world that I just sort of want to take a blogging version of myth busters to. Why do we think these things? Are they true? What if there are unnecessary norms we’ve created for ourselves and we didn’t even realize it? And then I realized I COULD do a series of book blogging myth busting.
Now, before I begin, let me just preface this by saying everything in this series is just coming out of my personal experience. I’m definitely not an expert on blogging, bookish or otherwise. I’ve been doing this for about a year, and that’s NOTHING compared to the bloggers who are going into their 4th year of blogging. So I definitely don’t know everything, nor do I claim to! Also, I’m aware that not everyone who reads my blog may be a blogger themselves, so I’ll do my best to write these posts in such a way that any could benefit from it.
The first blogging myth we’re going to talk about? Pinterest as a social media tool for book blogging. I hear things like this all the time:
“Pinterest is nothing but crafts and recipes”.
“I think Pinterest could be useful for lifestyle bloggers, but I don’t see the purpose for a book blog”.
And it makes me sad, because next to twitter, Pinterest is my favorite social network, and I am able to use it for blogging! So I wanted to bust this myth that Pinterest can’t be useful for book bloggers.
First, things that are true about Pinterest:
Pinterest may be useful to your blog, but it probably WON’T be the biggest driver of your traffic. Maybe there are bloggers who get ton of their traffic from Pinterest, but as far as I know, there aren’t very many. That being said, you can get a good chunk of traffic from Pinterest. I actually get more traffic from Pinterest than any other social network besides twitter. That’s social networks only, of course, and I get most of my traffic from other blogs and from searches, but as far as social networks go, it’s a pretty good percentage.
Pinterest is a visually oriented social network, so if you’re thinking of using Pinterest for your blog, keep that in mind.
And lastly, Pinterest is a community. Another good idea to have in mind as we navigate through the waters of what Pinterest is.
Thinking about Pinterest & Your Blog:
Remember how I said Pinterest is a community? Okay, good. So think about twitter. As far as I’m aware, twitter is the main social media channel most of us book bloggers use. You use twitter for your blog, of course, and it probably drives some traffic to your blog, but do you post on twitter SOLELY to get hits on posts? Probably not, because just linking to posts doesn’t exactly make people want to follow you. You engage with the bookish community on twitter, and probably get some traffic to your posts in the process. It’s part of the process, not the only thing. You can’t just link to a post and think tons of people will click it. Well, Pinterest is the same way, and I think having that frame of mind when thinking about Pinterest for your blog is useful.
Busting the Pinterests Myths:
So before I talk about how I personally use Pinterest, busting a myth or two here:
1. Pinterest is SOOO much more than just recipes.2. Pinterest is much more than just crafts
3. Pinterest can be used to great affect to get the word out about things like giveaways, etc.
People use Pinterest for all KINDS of things. I have 40 Pinterest boards. Know how many of them are crafts & recipes? SEVEN. Seven out of forty. And Pinterest can be a place for inspiration, for recipes and how-tos, and it can also be a place for visual inspiration. Some pins don’t require any further action. At some level, Pinterest is really just social collecting of . . . things, whether those things be art or information.
For example, here’s a board I use only for collections of visuals I like:
As you can see, I just really like Ampersands and wanted a place to collect Ampersand visuals. Pinterest it is! I’m not planning on clicking through any of these pins to get to a website, either. Hence what I mean about Pinterest not always driving traffic.
Pinterest & Book Blogging
How do I use Pinterest for Book.Blog.Bake.? Well, first of all, I also use Pinterest to collect information about blogging in general. I’m constantly learning about the technical side of blogging(you know, the CSS and stuff that I’m horrendous at), and I like having it all in one place. But the main way I use Pinterest for blogging is my book boards.
Of course, the first thing that probably comes to your mind when you think Pinterest & blogging is to pin your posts to Pinterest. And that can work, if they’re visually suited to Pinterest. There are definitely some posts I don’t pin just because I don’t think they have enough visual interest for anyone to actually click. I tyically pin my posts that have a small post graphic at the top–so most posts beside reviews, which I put on a Book. Blog.Bake. board. I get some traffic from these posts. Not a lot, but at least a handful every time I pin a posts.
But the main reason I use Pinterest for book blogging is just my other book boards, and by following other boards. Basically, I get in to the bookish community on Pinterest just like I did on twitter. And does that bring traffic to the blog? Yes, and more long-term, because it’s that community-oriented view that is much like twitter. My two favorite bookish boards? Quotes from books and Eye-catching book covers:
Look at all those pretty books! Also, by the way, this is by far the Pinterest board of mine that generates the most involvement–lots of re-pins and likes.
Is it worth it?
That’s up to everyone for themselves, of course. We can’t all be on ALL the social networks–or at least not in a way that makes each of them really work for us. And Pinterest is definitely not the biggest driver of traffic for Book.Blog.Bake. Twitter has given me 20x more traffic than Pinterest has. But Pinterest, at least for me, has given me a sizable chunk, and I really do consider it one of the most fun social media networks. And even if you don’t use Pinterest for blogging, I hope I’ve busted the myth, at least a little bit, that Pinterest is all crafts & recipes.
Discussion time! If you’re a blogger(or even if you’re not!) Do you use Pinterest? Do you want to, and just not sure it’s worth it?