As you may imagine, having killer content is a cornerstone of being able to rock it on Pinterest. So is having an amazing website (but that’s for another post). In this post, we are going to be talking about what goes into creating killer content online and how you can use this strategy to your advantage to grow your brand and following on Pinterest.
Having a focus will get people interested when they arrive on your site, especially if that focus resonates with them, but you need awesome content if you want to keep them around. You can’t just have a strong focus but then have bad content where it is not engaging or it’s not interesting, or it’s not really giving them anything valuable. Having a strong focus and then also having awesome content is important to growing your blog and website.
What goes into high quality content?
1. Create in-depth, lengthy posts.
Think along the lines of the complete guide to X, where X is anything that is relevant to your brand rather than just posts that just skim the surface. Add screenshots, chapter, audio and/or research to support your post. Think outside the box. You don’t have to just do text – you can add other things like graphics and video and audio and all sorts of media content that really helps your post to stand out. It also helps because people engage with content in different ways.
For me, personally, I enjoy reading posts, but other people I know love to watch videos and would rather watch a video than read a blog post. It really depends on your audience and the types of people that you are going after, so you want to make sure that you can mix it up so that you have different options for your audience.
2. Don’t be afraid to do what others aren’t.
Sometimes I get questions from people who say there is nobody else in my niche who is doing this right now, should I do it or is it a bad idea? I usually tell them it kind of depends on the idea but almost always, I tell them that they should just go for it. They should try to do this thing where they are thinking outside the box and doing what other people aren’t, because that is what is going to help you stand out. Also, create evergreen content. Evergreen is a buzzword that basically means “timeless content”, so it’s not content where you are including a lot of dates or a lot of things that could be outdated in a month or something like that. It’s content where somebody could read it a year from now and it will still be relevant. The content could be from the year 2013 and still be relevant if it’s considered evergreen.
3. Add content upgrades to your post.
We used to call these “upsells”. Content upgrades are basically just additional pieces of content that somebody can get if they subscribe to get that piece of content from your post. You don’t need to have a subscription model for content upgrades, but you could theoretically turn it into an email series. You could just give it away – but collect that email address – don’t just have a download on your site without collecting information. For example, a content upgrade example would be like a free checklist.
If your audience reads the post about some sort of step by step tutorial and then you could have this free PDF checklist that will help them in accomplishing the steps in your tutorial. You could give that away for free; that would be an awesome content upgrade. It’s a different form of media that upgrades your blog post, or what I like to do is to say subscribe to get my freebie or my free content upgrade. They are subscribing because they really want this free thing that you created and you are growing your email list at the same time.
Content upgrades are a way to create more high-quality content. When people arrive on your site from Pinterest, you want them to be wowed, because people on Pinterest are clicking over to tons of different sites every day. So why would they click over to your site and then stick around? It’s because you have a strong focus and very high-quality content. You want to have that high-quality content to keep those people around and not just those kind of passerby Pinterest users who are just looking at your content and collecting one little morsel from you. You want them to subscribe, buy your products and become forever fans.
Now if you only focus on getting new visitors and don’t work on creating great content, then it’s like opening up a bakery where all you sell are stale muffins. Yucky. Basically, if you create a great focus, you’ll have a focus, sure, but you only focus on getting new visitors. You’re opening this bakery, and people are coming into your bakery – all these new visitors, but then when they arrive into your bakery, they’re like, “These are stale muffins! Sure, there are a lot of them but it’s all stale!”.
So they leave and don’t come back. You want to open up your bakery online that people love, where all the muffins are fresh and steamy hot, where it’s really high quality, where maybe you even have some new muffin recipes for people to sample, and some things that people aren’t doing with their content. You’re standing out, you’re being unique and you’re really keeping those visitors and turning them into fans.
Step 1: high-quality content development
It all starts with a title. Titles are important because they are often what get people to click through. Once you enable rich pins, they’ll also be prominently displayed below each of your pins. The title of your post is going to be displayed in bold text below your pin. So you want your title to be enticing and persuasive and interesting in order to get people to want to click it.
If you are creating great graphics, your title will be on your blog post image too. It’s imperative that you have a strong title so that people are wanting to click through. But do not overthink it. In fact, you should be able to come up with a whole month’s worth of titles and headlines in five minutes. Great titles are persuasive, realistic. They don’t over embellish, so you don’t want to tell people a lie in the title, you want to be realistic. They share value and they’re SEO friendly (Search Engine Optimization friendly).
Basically, they include keywords or phrases that somebody would be searching for to find your post. Titles that tend to do well. So here are a few examples:
• List posts always do well; “10 Ways to Do Something”, “Unique Ideas for Summer”.
• “How to do”, “how to” posts do well on Pinterest; “How I Created the Step by Step Guide to…”.
• People love steps; step-by-step guides perform well and get shared dozens of times over.
Overall, lists and “how to” posts are very enticing especially on Pinterest.
Step 2 : high-quality images and design
What kinds of images or photos will you use in your post? What brand story will you tell? If you take your own photos, aim to take them in bright, natural light. You can get great photos even with an iPhone if you’re using natural light. Make sure that you have bright photos, crisp photos. You want your colors to stand out and you don’t want to take them in a dark room because your photos are just not going to look as good.
Bright, natural light is really important, and then also telling your brand story, making sure that your imagery is consistent. Now if you use stock images, find images that compliment your brand. Don’t use dark images if your brand is fun and upbeat. It’s important to find stock images that also match your branding. Remember your photos convey your vibe, so make sure the imagery you choose is on brand.
You want your photos to be on brand to really convey your vibe and that’s also going to help you stand out on Pinterest and in the blogging world. Some great sites for non-corporate looking stock images exist and they are some great resources for images that don’t look so cheesy.
Here are a few of my favorites:
• Death to the Stock Photo. They have a free and a paid version.
• Stocksy, they have a pay per photo plan. You pay per each photo but they have really nice, really high-quality photos.
• PicJumbo, they have free and paid photos.
• UnSplash, as far as I know, they only have free photos.
• To capture amazing pictures read this guide on Natural Light Photography on Pixpa.com.
All of these sites are awesome options for finding beautiful stock images. Many of them are free that you can use on your blog posts.
Tip time! Batch your own photos. Batching works in all facets of running a blog or business, but the idea is simple: do several days of work of the same task all at once. Take all your photos for the week all at once in like an hour. Set aside 1-2 hours a week and take all your photos for the week or month, just get it all out of the way and batch it together so you’re not spending 15 minutes here to 45 minutes there, you’re doing it all at once, getting it all out the way so you can just set up your equipment, get it all done and have all those photos finished. This is going to save you so much time. It also works great for writing content. If you’re having trouble getting your content finished, then just set aside a couple hours a week and work on your content so that you can schedule it out and have it finished.
Step 3 : structure your content
Honestly, you can be a mediocre writer and still make it as a blogger, (trust me I’ve seen plenty of them, even articles from great writers with mediocre blogs) primarily because many blogs don’t only rely on writing. There are a lot of blogs out there like fashion, lifestyle, or food blogs where you don’t necessarily need to be a great writer. Of course, it will help, but if that’s not your strongpoint then you could still make it with beautiful photos and other components of your blog.
But, no matter what you do, your writing needs structure. People nowadays will look at huge paragraphs of writing of text and simply say “ugh”. It’s just. Too. Much. They can’t process that amount of information. They’re not going to read a huge paragraph of text. You need structure. Great structuring includes short paragraphs; try to keep them to five lines or less. You don’t want to have this huge mass of text. Five lines or less is what you are aiming for, short paragraphs.
Use headings to divide each section, so that it’s easier to scan your content and find exactly what the article is about and if they want to read it. Lists are a great way to divide up content too. Consider using headings in conjunction with lists. So, you can have point 1, 2, 3, etc. and create a great-looking, structured post.
Step 4 : create clear paths
When someone arrives on your site, what do you want them to do? Make it obvious. Most people honestly don’t do this and this is a huge thing for any type of website. You want to have a clear path. What do you want people to do when they arrive on your site? What do you want them to do when they arrive from Pinterest on a specific post? What’s the end goal? Is it just to have them read your post? Is it to have them subscribe to your Instagram account or your email list? Is it to have them purchase your e-book?
Think about what’s the end goal of them arriving on your site and then make it obvious. You shouldn’t set up your posts so that they read one and then spend five minutes figuring out where everything else is. You want it to be obvious what you want them to do.
Examples of some clear paths that you can implement on your blog:
• Add categories to your menu bar at the top. Categories with the most relevant topic to your blog that make it easy for people to view the other content in a specific category that they might be interested in.
• Include email opt-in forms in your header, below your posts and in your side bar. Add a bunch of email opt-in forms so that in case your reader doesn’t see the first one, like in your header or below your posts. They might see another one like in your side bar or maybe you even have a pop up, so include multiple opt-in forms.
• Include related posts below your post to keep them browsing, clicking around, getting more engaged and interested in your website.
• Add social media icons below posts and encourage them to follow you.
• Include images of your products or services in your sidebar, letting them know how they can work with you.
These are just some examples of different clear paths that you can implement on your website to make it more obvious what you want somebody to do once they get on your site.
Step 5 : what is the takeaway?
For every single post you write, you should be able to answer specifically what is somebody going to get out of reading this post? What’s the takeaway? Posts with a strong takeaway or value are ones that get re-pinned and increase your Pinterest followers and fans. People are not going to re-pin your posts, or click through to your posts if it is vague or hard to understand what the value of the post is. You need to make it extremely obvious what the value is, and define what’s the takeaway.
What are they going to get out of reading your post? A takeaway can be that you taught them something. Maybe it’s a tutorial, a “how to” post, etc. – any type of post where you are teaching them how to do something. It could also be that you inspired or encouraged them in some way. It doesn’t have to be quite as tangible; maybe it’s more of self development or an encouragement type of post. The takeaway can be a little bit less tangible in that sense, but you still want to be able to very specifically answer, what is someone going to get out of reading this post?
Step 6 : Give, give and give some more (plan on giving, for like, forever)
So many bloggers nowadays operate under the idea that you can publish blog posts that are short and don’t go into too many details. It seems like a lot of bloggers are more under the mentality that they want to publish posts often, but it doesn’t really matter if they’re super, super high quality, but that’s kind of backward thinking in my opinion. That is just not a solid model for your blog and it’s not going to create raving fans.
If you’re just giving them a few details, you’re not really giving them the whole story, and then it’s not going to create these huge raving fans that love, love, love your website. Instead, give as much as possible. Don’t write posts that barely scratch the surface on a topic. I’ll say that again. Don’t write posts that barely scratch the surface on a topic. Write posts that answer just about every question someone might have on a specific topic. You want to be detailed, you want to give the goods.
Think of it this way, write content worth selling. Write content that you could probably sell and make money from and then just give it away for free. You want to give, give, give so that when you do eventually want to sell something or you try to grow your audience, then your audience is already super engaged in what you’re doing because you’ve given them so much awesome content already.
Again, don’t be afraid to think differently. It is all good if you want to try something a little over the top. People are used to what they see in blog posts so shaking things up will help you standout. Try adding video, audio, or anything else that will level up your post. It’s so, so, so okay if you haven’t seen others in your niche do what you want to do. It’s a good thing because you really want to stand out and it’s hard to stand out if all you’re doing are the same things that you see other people doing. So really try to think a little bit over the top, think a little bit differently, elaborate on what other people are doing and remind yourself that it’s okay to be a little bit different.
• Killer content includes a click worthy, descriptive title, great imagery and brand imagery.
• An easy-to-read structure-so remember we have our short paragraphs divided with easy to find and scan headings.
• A clear path of action, so ask yourself “what do you want somebody to do after they read this post?”
• An obvious takeaway, so ask yourself “what are they going to get out of the post?”
• Content that doesn’t just brush the surface. Content that goes into detail, that gives them more facts, more information, that answers their questions before they ask them.
If you do all these things for every single post your blog is going to grow like a weed: uber fast in a good way (some weeds, like dandelions, are awesomely sweet). Killer content is the foundation of what you do with your blog. Then, once you create that killer content, and then on top of having a focus and a defined tribe, you’ll get on Pinterest in the next chapters, and you’re just going to blossom. It’s going to grow really fast and your brand is going to grow and just be a lot more clearly defined and loved by your people.