How to Generate Traffic Using Made for Pinterest (MFP) Images
UPDATE: This article was written nearly four years ago. Using this method, I've now received over 200,000 pins on Hubpages, and thousands more on my own sites. It takes some experimentation and practice, but this IS a tried and tested method for getting great traffic.
Pinterest is another of social media. And I've seen it double the traffic on some of my content. But it's important to make sure you use it correctly to get the most traffic back to your content as there are some big Pinterest copyright issues. Not to mention the fact that randomly pinning just any photo will mean that you only have a random chance of hitting the traffic jackpot - why do that when you can almost guarantee an increase in traffic with the right pictures?
Pinning to Pinterest is not about the number of pictures you pin - but about the number of repins you get from other users.
The following is a guide for using made for Pinterest (MFP) photos for promotion of your online hubs, articles, blogs, and websites.
Made for Pinterest images WILL increase traffic if attached to an interesting article that is already getting traffic (get your current traffic to do the hard work for you!). I got over 1000 pins in the week after I added an MFP the first time. And only one of those pins was mine.
What Is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a place to bookmark photos but each photo links back to a website. For more information, you can read my basic explanation of Pinterest.
1. Choose a Free, Modifiable HD Image
There are plenty of free image sites on the internet, many of which allow you to modify the images and use them without attribution as you wish. Just make sure that you've read the fine print before grabbing any online image.
The image I've chosen on the right is taken from Pixabay.com. It's important that the image is of reasonably high quality as the full image will be displayed on Pinterest. If it looks pixelated or dodgy you'll reduce interest, views and repins.
It's also a good idea to choose an image that has a large area of the same colour (such as sky or a wall.)
Alternatively, you can use one of your own images, if it's based on something you've created (such as a craft project or recipe.)
2. Modify and Change It
You can use a simple free site like Picmonkey to change your image around, make it darker or lighter, add a border, soften it or anything else to make it more visually appealing.
There are plenty of other free image editing sites around as well as programs you can download such as GIMP.
The more appealing and professional it looks, the higher the chance people will notice it instead of skim over it.
3. Add Your Text
Add your title to the picture using an interesting font that matches the image and lets people know what your article is about.
The best text is simple and to the point—generally, a well-keyworded title of five to ten words is enough to grab interest.
Don't make the text too small or complicated - you only have a few seconds to grab the viewer's attention before they go on to look at other images.
Don't use a caption, use a promise or a teaser.
Example of a caption: This is a beautiful purple flower.
Example of a promise: Click here to find out how to grow a purple flower.
Example of a teaser: Learn 10 ways to grow purple flowers without water.
4. Add it To a Prominent Place In Your Article
With more and more people regularly pinning photos from all over the internet, it's important to place your newly created image somewhere that visitors will see it. Close to the top of the page, generally in a right aligned position, so that it's seen as one of the first images on the page.
You can also place another full-size version at the bottom of the page if it fits the flow of the article.
Quick Tips to Make a Great MFP Image
- Create a 'teaser' title so that people want to click the photo to find out more.
- Don't use boring serif fonts that look too clunky and homemade (such as Times New Roman).
- Put everything you want to say in the image. When people repin your image they'll often change any text you've added when you pinned it, so make sure the image will convey the full message.
- Another idea is to use a quote from your article. However, this method can lead to lower views unless you add an appropriate teaser or use a quote that can easily be understood to be part of a larger piece of content.
Why It Works
1. No matter how many followers you have, everyone on Pinterest can see your pins. So if you pin an image, you can get hundreds of repins if it gets enough interest, even if you have no followers at all.
2. Anyone who visits your page can simply and easily share the title of the article on Pinterest, instead of just randomly pin an image that doesn't appear related when not in the context of your article. You can also pin the image yourself.
3. People are curious. Give them a teaser image and they'll want to click and read more.
Other Pinterest Tips
- Edit your pinboards so each one is in the most relevant category to increase the chance that your pins will be viewed by the most interested people. For instance, a pinned article photo about dogs will do far better in the pet section than the sports section.
- Have you written interesting articles on saturated topics? Getting no views on them? Try pinning them... since you're bypassing Google you might be surprised how much Pinterest traffic you get!
Does This Break the HubPages Rule on Watermarked Images?
Several people have questioned whether adding text to an image would break the HubPages rule that forbids watermarking an image.
I have been in contact with the team via email, and although they have not given a definite yes, they have indicated that creating a "made for Pinterest" image should generally be acceptable as long as the image meets the following criteria:
- High-quality image (not pixelated or low quality).
- The text complements the picture and is added tastefully.
- The text does not obscure important parts of the image or detract from the image.