I’ve been teaching workshops at writers’ conferences on creative ways authors can use Pinterest. So I thought I’d follow my own advice and explore how to repurpose my blog posts on Pinterest.
I’ve been planning this idea for close to a year, and after considering several options, I decided to emulate what Joan Stewart, aka, The Publicity Hound, does on her Pinterest board, “50 Tips for Free Publicity.” If it works for Joan, why reinvent the wheel?
Here’s what I’ve done so far:
1. Scour my blog’s archives.
I checked my blog’s Google Analytics to see which posts have been the most popular over the long haul (I’ve been blogging here since 2008, so I had a large volume of posts to review). I copied and pasted the titles and URLs of relevant posts into a Word document.
2. Create an A-Z file.
Using the template, “A is for ___,” “B is for ___” and so on, I organized the article titles and URLs that I’d pasted into my Word document into A-Z order by topic.
For some letters of the alphabet I have multiple entries. For “A,” I listed:
- A is for All-Star
- A is for Authorship
- A is for Apps
- A is for About
I’m still searching for articles for the letters K, N, Q, X, and Z. I’ll probably write new articles for the missing letters (if you have suggestions for topics that begin with K, N, Q, X, and Z, please post them in the Comments).
For each entry, I crafted a short “teaser” that includes an action verb. Here is my entry for “S”:
S is for Share
Make it easy for your readers to share your blog posts on Twitter with “Click to Tweet.”
3. Design a Pinterest template.
I decided to create a branded image for all my A-Z pins. The optimum width for Pinterest images is 735 pixels, so my template image is exactly that width.
I’m not a graphic designer, but fortunately, I have a superb designer on my team. Recently, he designed a series of PowerPoint background images, so I experimented with a few of the images he’d created.
I know that reddish-orange images get repined twice as often as blue ones and that color images get repined 10 times more than black and white ones. So I made sure that my A-Z template met the “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” test:
Not too dark, not too light, but jussssst right.
I added my brand’s “watermark” inside the coffee cup, which worked perfectly, as coffee cups and mugs are the iconic images for the Blogging Bistro brand.
Note: If you’re designing your own Pinterest template image, use the photo editing software you like best. You may want to try Canva – they have lots of templates you can experiment with. See our Canva tutorial to get started.
Once I had my PowerPoint slide the way I wanted it, I saved the slide as a .png file and uploaded it to my favorite free online photo editing service, PicMonkey. I cropped the image to 735px wide and then went into mass production, changing out the text for each letter of the alphabet and saving each tip as a separate file. For brand consistency, I kept the type font and size the same in all images.
4. Upload images to my blog
I uploaded of all the A-Z images to the Media Library on my WordPress.org blog.
5. Upload each image to its corresponding blog post.
From within my original Word document (the one with the A-Z teasers and links), I clicked on the URL of an individual A-Z post. That took me straight to the published post on my blog.
Since I was logged in to my WordPress account when I clicked the link, all I had to do was click the “Edit Post” button at the top of my WordPress dashboard and it immediately opened the text editor for that post (a MUCH faster method than hunting through the WordPress dashboard for a post I wrote three years ago!).
I clicked the “Add Media” button and from my Media Library, I selected the correct A-Z image to go with the article. I placed the image at the top of the post (I also use the “Featured Image” tool to make it display a smaller version of the same image on my website’s Home page).
Rather than creating a Pinterest board with only one pin on it (which is a no-no), I created a Secret (private) board. I named it A-Z Social Media Tips.
My board description includes searchable key words:
“Free social media tips A-Z, from Blogging Bistro. Each tip links to our blog, where you’ll find oodles more tutorials and tips.”
7. Upload the first five pins
Pinterest boards should have at least five pins on them when they go public, so I uploaded the tips from A-E.
I tested two different ways of uploading my template images. First, I used the “Pin It” button to pin the image directly from its corresponding blog post. That looked okay, but the image displayed kind of small on Pinterest.
So I uploaded the image directly from my hard drive instead. This added an extra step to the process – after uploading each image, I had to edit it and and paste in the URL to the blog post – but it resulted in a larger, crisper image. When a Pinterest user clicks on each image, it will take them straight to the corresponding blog post.
For each pin, I added a description and a couple of hashtags. I decided to use a standard hashtag, #socialmediatips, for every pin on my A-Z board. When I share these images on Facebook and Twitter, I’ll use the same hashtag.
8. Upload a branded board cover
What would a Pinterest board be without a branded cover image? I created a slight variation of my A-Z images and set it as my board cover.
9. Publish Secret Board
Finally, it was time to reveal my creation to the world. I made my Secret Board public (one you do that, there’s no going back).
10. Promote A-Z Social Media Tips
Check it Out!
Hope you’ll visit and follow A-Z Social Media Tips on Pinterest.
It will be interesting to see how well this experiment works. I’m certainly open to suggestions!
Here are ready-made tweets so you can share what you just learned: