OIL 021: An Interview with Pinterest Uncovered Author Simon Skilling
In this episode of the podcast, I’m joined by Simon Skilling, author of Pinterest Uncovered.Â
This podcast is especially necessary due to the recent growth of Pinterest and its ability to increase your online presence. In this session we’ll discuss what Pinterest can do for your niche sites and some of expansive possibilities it has that you were probably unaware of.Â
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Simon lives in London and has worked in digital marketing for the past 5 years. In recent months he was inspired to work more independently and focus on information marketing. He became familiar with Pinterest in its early stages and knew there would soon be a demand for an informative e-book on Pinterest’s intricacies and how-tos. Â The Pinterest Uncovered E-book is his first digital information product that he developed, marketed, and launched. Well done!Â
In this Session We Discuss:
- Use of Infographics
- Pinterest for SEO and link building
- How to use Fiverr and PinterestÂ
- Best practices for building a followingÂ
- How to use Pinterest Plugins
- How to integrate pinning and tweetingÂ
- How to ensure text is used correctly for SEOÂ
- Best practices for getting followers and re-pins
- How to use Pinterest to drive affiliatesÂ
- How Simon used the Warrior Forum to promote his productÂ
OIL 021: An Interview with Pinterest Expert Simon Skilling
Trent Dyrsmid: Hey everybody! This is Trent from the Online Income Lab and Niche Site Mastery. Boy I canâ€™t talk today. And Niche Site Mastery. And Iâ€™m coming to you today with a guest from, whoâ€™s an expert rather in pinterest. His name is Simon Skilling. And Simonâ€™s here on skype with me. And Simon, I think youâ€™re over in England, is that correct?
Simon Skilling: Thatâ€™s right, yes, in London.
T: In London. Terrific! Well thank you very much for making the time to join us on the podcast.
So thereâ€™s been lots going on in the internet marketersâ€™ world in the last week or so. And thereâ€™s always lots going on in the internet marketersâ€™ world or any online marketersâ€™ world and so the reason I asked Simon to come on to the podcast is pinterest. Has been all the buzz for a couple of months now and that doesnâ€™t seem to be subsiding. And itâ€™s an area where Iâ€™ll be honest Iâ€™m not particularly knowledgeable about pinterest. I donâ€™t really quote unquote get it. I donâ€™t know why people are so obsessed with pinning stuff all the time. So Iâ€™m sure that Simon is gonna be able to shed some light on that. As well weâ€™re gonna talk about how pinterest can be used as a SEO and linkbuilding tool. So if youâ€™re a niche site owner and youâ€™re wanting to figure out what are some of the things that you can be doing which are gonna be working for you in the future to maybe replace some of the things that aren’t working anymore. You will definitely want to keep on listening as we’re gonna get onto that as well.
So with all that said, Simon thank you very much for making the while to come on the show here. Let’s start off with what inspired you to write Pinterest Uncovered for Business Growth? How did you kinda get, how did you become a pinterest expert?
S: Right. I’ve been looking for a project to take off with. It’s actually my first released book. I’ve come across pinterest late last year and I got pretty hooked quite quickly. And I suddenly thought “hang on there I haven’t heard about this before.” And I’ve been around a lot of forums on internet marketing and thought “well why is that?” And so I’ve kind of thought well I did some research into how quickly it’s been growing, the traffic it’s getting, the users that are on there. And kind of forward thought where it might be going. I thought “well this looks like a good place to get in and develop a book before, you know, it got started with products. And do something genuine and be comprehensive.” So that was kind of what got me started and I kind of got an outline together and did some double check to make sure I wasn’t, you know, creating a product that was about to disappear. But all seemed to be going well and yeah that’s kind of what got me started. I just figured that everything I got hooked on was something that would help other people as well.
T: Terrific! So in terms of your background then and I probably should have started with this question, are you relatively new to the information marketing space? Or have you been at this for a little while?
S: I’ve been working for myself in the space for about 6 months but before that I worked for a digital marketing agency for the last 5 years. Working with kinda big name clients doing their social media, email marketing and web design kind of work for several companies and European companies.
S: So I basically had a good one at bat and thought I’ve learned a lot I can now have a go at dealings for myself which is kind of what made me switch. So yes so big experience in digital but yeah reasonably new I guess in the rest of the things to information marketing and doing my own thing.
T: Wow! I wouldn’t wanna totally discount working for the agency. I think that’s a heck of a lot of very valuable experience that probably a lot of the listeners don’t know.
S: Yeah obviously it was excellent and yeah so I did.
T: So this Pinterest Uncovered ebook is your very first digital information product that you have created, marketed and sold is that correct?
S: That’s right yeah.
T: Okay. And so before we, there’s so many things I wanna ask I wanna make sure I ask them on the right order here. So let’s go back to my original thought coz otherwise I’m gonna end up jumping all over the place with much questions coz I’m naturally curious. But pinterest, how important do you think it is for those who are seeking to grow their online businesses to become active and visible on pinterest? How big of a deal is this thing?
S: Well when I first started researching it I saw it as an opportunity so something people could use, I hate to use the word exploit but for lack of a better word, kind of get on there whilst it was fresh. I mean I think we’ve all looked at things like facebook and twitter and thought what if I was there right at the beginning I could have done a lot with it. But then as I did the reseach and since I’ve released the product and seen what’s happened since then it’s just become that more inevitable that it’s gonna be part of the big social media players now at there. And even if it doesn’t have the legs that the others do right now it has had that penetration and therefore it’s a back stage rest if you are not aware of it. So soon you’ll be if you’re not aware of it then you’re behind the game. If you’re not doing anything with it people would start to spot that you’re not doing anything with it. So and it’s still fresh enough for you to look knowledgeable and look cutting edge having integrated it with your site or referenced on your site because people will see it and then they say “ah yeah there’s that thing out there. We’ve got to go on that website. Clearly yeah at the top of their game.”
T: Yeah there’s no question, you know, I, for one, believe pinterest will be around for a while when you start seeing, you know, the pin it buttons. They’re getting so commonly used and you just look at the sheer volume of traffic and sure volume of press releases that print pinterest has been receiving. It would take an awful lot for that lament of momentum to flame out here in the near future. So with that said from an online marketer’s perspective, are there some successes that you could talk about before we get into how those people or how you recommend people become successful?
S: Ah you mean kind of examples of other brands or success stories?
T: Sure, either or.
S: Well I mean the best thing is coz it’s kind of a tight item of all the other social media models and it’s a bit like twitter in some ways in that you have your followers. They see and they feed your posts and your pins but the pins also go on to the general feed so people can discover them whether they’re your follower or not which is one of the powerful since obviously it defeats constantly flowering so you’re only gonna capture snap shots of people but it gives you that chance to expand. And I personally had quite a few followers just randomly. I can’t analyze it coz their analyzing tools are not as mature as they are on othernetworks.com. It certainly proved, you know, this purposing came direct from the feed and this person came from a third generation of follower, follower, follower. And but I definitely noticed that you gain more than just your followers can organically grow for you.
So I’ve had a mix of successes really. I mean some of the obvious ones that you’ll see within 5 seconds of taking a look at pinterest is infographics. Quotations and texts you could obviously see the way they really work is that they’re visual but they give you more than just an image to catch attention. And they’ve got content on this so they’re in any ways they’re nice to look at but their educational and they’re emotional whereas an image of mostly of some food or some thing. It’s good but it can’t inform you that much. I mean you do get the description underneath but if you get that content in the image then that’s very powerful hype. You know I’ve just seen a nice infographic. We pinned it and boom! Suddenly it got to our people and repinned it and 5 people following you because you pinned it and it’s just been in just 5 minutes. You can just look at some of the pins and you can see you click through the notes I’ll tell you how old they are.
T: Well let me jump in if I could with a couple of questions.
T: So from my perspective, you know, as a niche site marketer one of the things that I wanna learn about with pinterest is how can I use pinterest to help my SEO efforts. How can I use pinterest to get more backlinks? And from the reading that I did in your ebook it seems like that’s a very viable strategy with pins, repins, editing metadescriptions, inserting URLs so before we, coz I think my audience is probably more interested in that than they are in how they can use pinterest to maybe build their brand. And if we’ll have time we’ll get to that as well. But let’s talk about your, about the SEO.
So let’s say that, I’ll just give you a scenario and hopefully this is, coz I didn’t hit you with this before we started recording, so hopefully this is a realistic scenario. Let’s say that you ‘ve got a niche site, it’s gonna be about bird watching for lack of a better term. And so the owner of the niche site they’re gonna have some adsense on it and they’re gonna have articles about all the different forms of bird watching. And maybe they’re gonna have some affiliate offers for bird watching trips or bird watching products like binoculars or books or whatever. They’ve decided that they wanna have a niche site on bird watching. One of the ways they’ve been getting that site ranked in the past, there’s obviously plenty of ways to do it but one of the ways is they’ve been article marketing. They’ve used a variety of blog networks, public, private. Some of those networks are no longer available, some of them still working very well. The future though, lots of people are wondering “okay well how long until blog networks or article marketing just doesn’t work anymore.” Nobody knows the answer to that question.
So being a smart entrepreneur I wanna diversify my link footprint. I wanna get on this pinterest thing. So there’s gotta be some way for me to build links with pinterest that are gonna help my bird watching website go higher in the search results for a variety of phrases. Can you talk a little bit about how we might go about doing that?
S: Sure yeah. I don’t know, I know you’ve had a look in my book. It has been, I did had to abate it after I released it because they changed some of the technical ways it works. So basically you’ve got a few places for back links, start offers. Hello…
T: Yap I’m still here.
S :Oh sorry your picture froze. So you can put, so the first phase you go to profile and you’ve got a place to put a website URL in your profile which is obviously it’s just a single place but it’s a great place. Everyone has it. And it appears quite prominently in your profile page which people will see if they click on a follow me button. It’s, if they wanna see all your boards in one place that is your profile page and it will appear as a little logo there along with your facebook link and your twitter link. So that’s the quickest and fastest and foremost place to do it.
T: Sorry can I.
S: There’s still a do follow link. And pinterest was last time I checked PR6 site so it’s a great link to have. Any of them are great. Sure it’s gonna be 7 or 8 pretty soon. But then the real power comes over use of the pins coz you can do as many pins as you like.
T: So Simon before you get into that, before you get into that let me jump in with one quick question. Many times niche site owners, let’s say I’ve got a site on bird watching, one on dog training, one on fast cars and one on body building. Should I have 4 different per pinterest profile? One profile for each of those niche sites that I am trying to rank?
S: For niche sites I would suggest yes because although you could have an umbrella brand perhaps but I may have a board for each niche but then you may some mixture with people, you know, wondering why this diverse topics together rather than the one brand.
S: Obviously once you’re in and you’ve got your invites and you got an account you can easily invite yourself on a renewed address and create many different accounts very quickly.
S: The only downside is at certain times coz you have to open your pinterest account with either your facebook or a twitter account tied into it. And your facebook account is the real facebook acount so chances are you’ve got one facebook account on multiple fan pages. But you need that one facebook account to tie in so you’ll only be able to tie one of them in your true facebook profile. Does that make sense? So what I’ve done is I’ve done my closest, my biggest niche sites and tied to my real facebook account. And my other accounts is with twitter because obviously it’s easier to maintain much many more twitter accounts.
S: So yeah it’s a great question. I would keep them separate because whilst at the beginning you may think you can do one umbrella brand and have a board for each one. It’s much better to have a collection of boards for each niche because, you know, you’re gonna grow and grow your collection of pins and that I think will give you the biggest scope. And there isn’t yet but there is very serious I think there’s one creating beta tool that’s coming out to help you manage multiple accounts at the same time.
S: So it gets easier and easier to do.
T: Okay. Alright so pins and repins and meta tags and all that business. Let’s first of all before you get into those, just very briefly for people who are not very familiar with pinterest, let’s define board, pin, repin, all that stuff so that they know what we’re talking about as we go forward.
S: Sure. Yes sorry I should have started with that. So the overall concept of pinterest is like it’s a big board and you pin things that you like to it. That’s the analogy. So a pin is an image which has a link to a destination of where that image came from and a brief description. And you can pin that and people can comment on it and that’s a pin. And a pin is something that you have pop pinned onto your board. And a board is a collection of pins and you can have several different boards. And each board you give a name and a brief description to that board. And you build up a collection of boards. Okay.
A repin is when you a pin someone else has put on and you like it and you pin it onto one of your boards. So either you can repin other people’s stuff or people can repin your stuff. And that’s how it’s worked around and goes viral at will. So that there’s the basic terminology I guess in a nutshell. You can not so like things which kind of that didn’t go on the board anywhere. They’re just there as a list of things you like. But it’s another stub that you could see on your pins to see people who like something but don’t want to put it on a board perhaps.
S: But your likes are publicly available if they dig up.
T: Is there any SEO value in getting people to like your pins?
S: SEO value not really. Not as much as a repin. Because a like is more, it’s a mathematical kind of thing. It doesn’t mean any link on your pin. It’s technically exists another time.
T: So when someone likes a pin does it end up on their facebook feed for example? Let’s say I have a website about bird watching. Someone pins my website about bird watching so I got a link from that. Correct? And then someone, if someone repins it does that give me another link?
S: Yes a repin is another pin. It’s another instance of your pin so it’s another instance of the link as well. But I don’t think a like is but it might go onto facebook as you say which in turn has the same benefits.
T: Well yeah I mean if anytime you’ve got, you know, if someone likes one of my pins it’s just like someone liking any piece of my content. It’s a social signal that goes on to the facebook feed that gets distributed to my friends’ walls and Google is paying attention to that stuff. So even a like is gonna have value.
S: Yes definitely. Yes so just a word on the links as I was, well as I mentioned earlier. They initially not long ago, January, had every link on the site as do follow.
T: Ah gotta laugh off.
S: So you got the link juice of their PR site for every single link. But what they did in early February is change the links on the pins either what happens when you click on the image of your pin to be no follow so that’s lost. But you can put URLs into the description of every pin. So that’s the way to do it now. The full juice obviously repins is too great for traffic or as you say for social signals which is important. But if you want back to your backlinking power then put URL in the description because that’s where it’ll still be a do follow and give you the high powered juice of a reference from pinterest.
T: So let me give you a scenario and you tell me if this scenario would work and would work within the rules set and the practices and the policies of pinterest. So let’s go back to my bird watching site. I got a bird watching site I come up with a, I get someone to make me a cool infographic about bird watching. And I pin that, no I guess I could pin it because if I had more than one account then I could see no reason why I couldn’t pin my own site. Could I then go to fiverr and order a gig for another 20 people to repin my pin under their own accounts and would that create a bunch more links for me?
S: Yes yes I’ve seen fiverr gigs like that. You can get it that way. I would pause initially. I’d do your pin first and then wait coz it might just go a wrong turn. You know, for me to help. But yes if it’s slow then you can get a helping hand from somewhere like fiverr. And yes everytime someone repins it will mean, if you put the link in your description then that link will exist as many times as it has been repinned. And so if you get it repinned 20 times you get 20 backlinks but you do have to put it in the description though for it to get all the juice.
T: Okay. And obviously as a part of that fiverr gig have each person repinning it rewrite their own description so it’s not the same description over and over and over coz that’s spammy and pinterest will nail you to the wall for that. So it can contain the same link or you might wanna link to different pages on whatever site you’re targeting. Just make sure that the description changes from worker to worker to worker.
Now I wanna jump back for a minute because you’ve made a very good point of pinning it yourself and then waiting. I recently became aware there was a wso a while ago. It was called hooked pigeon by a guy by the name of Chris Munch. And it was really, really an interesting concept and very difficult to execute. And I saw right away how you could use pinterest for this. And Chris in his wso basically is teaching people to create like a cool or funny image. So generally you can go to, it’s like a stock photography site, find a cool image, come up with an entertaining caption and people, if it’s funny people are gonna share it. And it’s one of the ways that you can get a very, very natural links. So this whole hooked pigeon thing is beyond the scope of this podcast. I don’t wanna get into it anymore. But for the folks that are listening I don’t want you to just think that the only way to get repinned is to go to fiverr a buy a gig and get people to repin your stuff. The reason that pinterest is so popular is because so many, it’s so visual and so many people are digging what they’re seeing that the more appropriate term would be repinning. So there’s a terrific opportunity there. So don’t go and put a bunch of crap on pinterest. That’s not what I’m encouraging you to do. I’m must letting you know that there are other ways, fiverr gigs for example, to help you give it’s called seeding your content to help give it a little nudge maybe in the beginning.
Anyway sorry for interrupting you there Simon if you wanna keep on tracking.
S: No that’s alright. Yes that’s very good point. And you’re right the visual nature is what’s king and the best way to get natural repins is for your content to be something that people will want to share and want other people to think they’re cool for having seen it and shared it. And you can, I think fiverr gigs are there, they’re useful like they are for other things. But I would recommend everyone just has a go in building their in following first. It’s a lot easier and faster to do.
So for example they’ve got, the main feed of their pins is divided into some categories, board categories will be it. You won’t get down to niches like bird watching. An animal is one for example. Just have a browse through there, pin stuff you like and start following people that have got pins in the same kind of area that you have. And you know there’s no limitation like there is on twitter of how many people you can follow for a certain time frame.
Keep following people. Dig down to the followers of the people you’ve already found. Keep going down and down and just keep on following people coz the moment the culture is if someone follows you you have to follow them back. And I found a lot of people sticking to that. And the more followers you’ve got the more people are gonna see your pin when you put it out there and therefore kinda repin it especially if you’ve been following people of interest in the similar niche to you. And they’re gonna see in their feed right at the front and they’re gonna go “that’s cool I’ll put that on my board.” And a lot is gonna have a board about your stuff as you’ve picked people. As you can see whether someone is in your niche. They’re all out. Just come to their boards and you’ll know from the visual nature that they’re into the same kind of niche as you are.
T: So this is.
S: Sorry go on.
T: I was just gonna say this is starting to sound to me like it’s gonna be actually a whole lot easier than article marketing. For those of you who are familiar with article marketing, you gotta come up with an article, you gotta spin it which is painfully slow process and then you submit it to a submitting tool and you hope that all those links get indexed and not all are gonna do. And over time, you know, that activity should help you in your search results. And basically what your doing is you’re kinda manipulating Google to a certain degree within the confines of how their algorithm was written. Compare that to pinterest. I would imagine that every pin and repin gets indexed almost instantly. Yes Simon because simply pinterest is so incredibly active that Google bots are all over the thing.
T: Now I don’t have to write articles. I don’t have to spin articles. All I gotta do is go find cool images that are relevant to the niche that I’m in, follow people, participate in the community, get them to follow me, maybe put some funny captions on those images, start pinning, repinning other people’s stuff. In other words becoming a legitimate participant within the community. And the net result of that is I’m gonna get links and they’re all gonna be indexed.
T: It seems like an SEO’s dream.
S: Yeah. Now it’s great. I mean and also a way you can do is now you can get if you got your niche logo on wordpress for example you can pick up a free plug in to put your pins in a widget area on wordpress. And then you get the links, the reverse links which is, you know, still about you that it’s all counted. Know where you’re linking to is right as well as coming in. You’ve got your, the description that you get to put in your profile as well as the description of your boards in which you can put keywords in them, stuff them with keywords because they’re again meant to be read and meant to make sense but they will help your pins get picked up because you can search for pins as well. So yeah I mean the SEO is very powerful on it. And even though some other type of do follow links have gone it’s amazing coz you’ve got no limitations on where you can go with it.
T: So just give me a, because I haven’t done this personally yet. I think I do have a profile but it was set up by my assistant. Creating your first profile and finding some people to follow I’m gonna guess that within 15 minutes your profile is created, your picture is up there and you probably found 10 or 20 people that you can follow and because the community right now does a reciprocal follow those people are gonna start following you. Is 15 minutes, is that a reasonable amount of time for someone to go in and go that base low of stuff set up?
S: Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s very simple as this. There’s no lines and lines of it empty fields which are awful a little bit. It’s just the raw essence of what you need, you know, if you’ve set yourself up on another platform somehow you’ll have all these information in your head. The only thing you’ll have to stop and think about is your description but you probably have that in your mind already. And I wouldn’t spend ages thinking about it anyway. Just make sure your brand names and your key phrases are in there and you’re all set.
T: That’s fantastic.
S: And you get, the wizard that you set up yourself will automatically ask you to pick your interest and then more automatically follow you, set you to follow people who are commonly very popular in those areas. So you’ll have some people to follow and then that’s what you’ll need to start finding other people to follow and then getting some reciprocals follow back. And it will also automatically pick up your facebook friends if that’s the way you connected and then let you bond with them if they’re already on pinterest and invite them if they’re not. So you can very quickly get it, get a good network of followers going and then just snow balls from there if you just come to knock.
T: Yeah let’s go back to this twitter tie in for a minute. If I am, let’s say that I have 10 niches I’m gonna have 10 pinterest accounts. And so I need to associate those with 10 twitter accounts which is not very hard to do. Each time I pin is there any automation that will tweet as well?
S: Yes I believe so. Yeah you can, I don’t know if it’s automated but it’s certainly integrated. You can either repin, sorry I’ll just check this out and at the same time. And yes sorry there is, there’s a tickbox. When you create your pins there’s a tickbox for twitter and it will forward it off there for you and it will sit there on the side of the pin for other people when they see your pin they have the option to tweet about it rather than repinning or as well as repinning it.
T: Terrific. Wow! What a gold mine of SEO tactics and linkbuilding all in exactly the way Google wants to see it. Real links, social signals, no spun content and no spam. Please folks make sure that when you do this that you do it right because otherwise you’re gonna get banned from pinterest. And it doesn’t take a lot of common sense to think about how do I do this right. Create profiles, follow other people, find contents to share that’s going to be interesting or entertaining to other people and this stuff is gonna work for you.
So there’s a lot of other questions that I wanna ask Simon but this silo of SEO and linkbuilding, have we covered it or is there more things that I haven’t even thought to ask you?
S: They’re the main things. Just taking care, every where you see text so your descriptions, your names of the boards even, just consider the words carefully. Balance it between keywords and what people will see so it doesn’t look like it’s been built for you to go out and follow your visitors. But if you just make, if you just follow best practice and common sense then you’ll get everything that we’ve discussed. And yeah things will change obviously it’s very fast moving. I mean I’ve seen several changes to the site in the last couple of months already. So the best way to do it is to not over do things in the same direction that mean you can have to go back and change everything should they change some rules.
T: And one thing that comes to mind folks is anchor text. The other announcement that came out last week from Matt Cutt at South by Southwest was they, Google, was gonna start to penalize for over SEO optimization, for excessive optimization coz it doesn’t look natural. So when you’re dealing with your text in your repins and your pins and your profiles do not use your keyword as your anchor text all the time. As a matter of fact I would go so far as to say you could use it none of the time. And the reason that I say that is the other activities that you’re doing in your linkbuilding, you know, for example Unique Article Wizard is not a private blog network so it still works. You could be using anchor text in those resource boxes. And if you’re using SocialAdr you could be using some anchor text there. So maybe here you don’t want to use any anchor text. So you’ve got click here, check this out, get more, this is really cool, stuff that human beings would actually do and would actually write. And in doing so you’re gonna be protecting yourself from being somehow being penalized by changes in the future that Google may or may not do to an unnatural link footprint.
Wow! Well that is absolutely awesome. So if it’s okay with you let me see I got a couple more questions here. So what key take aways do you suggest for those starting up with pinterest to focus on and help boost their followers and getting more repins. Obviously this is directly related to what we just talked about but even for someone who’s not using pinterest to build links per se but they’re wanting to build their brand, this is also a relevant question.
S: Sure yap. Well I would suggest that you balance out your pins vs. your repins. So in their guidelines pinterest have been a bit self, kind of conflicting in that. Well in one page they say don’t post anything that you don’t have the rights to and in another page they say don’t just promote yourself and put your end stuff up. It kinda don’t sit together. So you balance it, balance it out. Some of the stuff should be your end stuff obviously but add other stuff that’s from the world around you. I mean even if it’s from some vaguely competitive sites just as long as you look like you’ve mastered the topic that you are in then people will respect that, people will wanna follow that. And I think as long as you pick your images carefully, you know, it’s very easy to start picking stuff that you personally like when actually you’re gonna think of yourself as the brand at the time because you don’t want it full of jokey stuff if you’re a serious brand. So it’s always great to have a board for some sightly more jovial stuff something of nature of your brand.
But the other thing I would say is start with visit frequently and pin kinda often rather than, you know, go every weekend and blast it with a hundred pins because people will forget you as soon as they, as quickly as they found you if suddenly you don’t appear for a while. Because the pins do have that 1 hour ago, 6 hours ago, 2 days ago kind of time on them like tweets do. And so I think it does look healthier to see a steady stream and stuff.
T: And that’s something that you can easily have your VA do for you.
S: Yeah absolutely. I mean it takes 5 minutes to have it hooked on there and have a look around and repin some stuff that look cool. And then the other thing is as you’ve mentioned before is if you’ve got a website make sure that’s prepared because if you can get your website visitors to pin those stuff for you then that’s half the job done without even a VA. Just if all your blog posts have got gorgeous images and you’ve got a pin it button there people will do the job for you.
T: Absolutely. And that goes back to what I’ve been saying for months. If you’re gonna build a real business you need to be putting up high quality content that people are gonna wanna read and that they’re gonna wanna share. If you’re not doing that well you’ll gonna make, I wanna say goodluck to you coz you’re gonna make your, you’re gonna make becoming successful a lot more difficult. It is point this day that you cannot put up crap content anymore. You just can’t do it. It’s not how you build a real business. It’s not how you build a real brand. And it’s not how you build a niche portfolio. And I can’t stress that enough but I don’t wanna beat, I don’t really want a beaten horse so we’ll keep moving. Alright.
T: You have said that pinning brand or buying product images is frowned upon, how would you best suggest to drive traffic back to a product page without being overly commercial? So let’s say put that in a context to an affiliate site or a niche site. I got a niche site, I got a page on that site that promotes a certain product on Amazon or wherever. And I’d like to try and use pinterest to drive some traffic back to that page. Have you got some suggestions on what I might want to do and what I wanna make sure to avoid doing?
S: Yeah well I mean coming from the book you said about it’s found upon it’s frowned upon in terms of doing just, you know, some people have gone on they just created boards and boards and boards and all of field and weight is Amazon products directly through to Amazon may clearly just try to make some money. So there is, you have that in moderation but as you say if you’re linking to your website and then the website linking to be often than that obviously a lot better because there’s a genuine thing in between. And as long as that page where your offer is on has some reason to be other than appearing to just pass you through to the product then that should be fine. Obviously you need an image to that page which becomes the pin which is relevant to both the page and then the product coz otherwise you won’t get to people that you want. And you won’t get the conversions but then you, well I mean just as you said before just a good content, good and relevant content will work the best. I mean in some cases a direct link straight through to the offer could be the way to go depending on what it is.
T: Yeah I think. So let’s give it a good, I wanna give an example of that. So let’s say that you were promoting a camera on Amazon. So here would be a bad approach. Creating a board and putting an image of every single camera that Amazon sells in that category and linking all those direct back to Amazon. That would be stupid. Here would be a better approach. Coming up with a page on your site that had price comparisons on that particular camera from a variety of places. You could be an affiliate for all of those places. You could be an affiliate for one of them whatever you would like wouldn’t matter. You could then pin with a nice infographic which would be relatively simple to make on your pinterest board for that particular niche that the pin would suggest “hey! Here’s a really awesome price comparison page on this particular camera.” And maybe in the description you say “it’s got some really good Youtube reviews and this and that and the other thing.” And so people would, I mean that to me that’s a legit pin. You’re adding value saying to the pinterest community “look here I’ve got some price comparisons. I’ve got some reviews. I’ve got some content.” That it’s kinda called content curation which again is a whole other topic. But Google does not like duplicate content but they do like content curation.
Think of the site like the Huffington Post. Google loves the Huffington Post. Is all of the content of the Huffington Post unique? No, absolutely not. But it is curated in such a way that Google sees it as adding value and being relevant. So they indexed it and that’s why Huffington Post sold for $356 million and why Ariana or whatever her name is Huffington gets paid 4 million bucks a year to run it because it’s a successful business.
My point is don’t, don’t take the easiest, shortest, fastest and no value route and spam the hell out of it because it’s not going to work. If you wanna build yourself a real business again you have to put a little bit more time and effort into it. Thankfully for you most people would be unwilling to do that and therefore you’ll be different tuning yourself from them.
Alright, where are we here? We’re at 42 minutes. You know what I’d really love? I’d like to back up because I’m sure that some of the people who are listening to this podcast are very interested in how you decided to turn this into an information product. And then how you marketed that product. So would it be okay with you if I was to go back and ask you some questions about the business of creating your ebook Pinterest Uncovered?
S: Yes sure.
T: Okay. So would you share with us, you know, how successful has this been, you know, how did you, let’s kinda start with that. Do you mind saying like how many copies’ sold or downloaded or whatever it is you did?
S: Yeah no sure I mean it’s just over a hundred copies that’s been sold. So it’s kind of I would call it a modest success given that I was starting with no affiliate network and no contacts to advertise it for me. And so I’ve been quite happy with that. There was a small out sale, a tall keeping that you can optionally buy and that sold about 1 in every 3 people that decided to go for that. That was quite good. And that’s just from the warrior forum. I’ve now since just recently put it on Amazon for kindle and on to lilly.com. So we’ll see where that goes. I’m just about to get promotion for that going but yeah I mean for a first product I”m very happy. You know I got in there I think there’d been maybe 2 wso’s in the warrior forum about pinterest before mine. One was plr product which was very basic coz it was plr. So got in there quite early and now there’s countless related products out. So I think it’s done wonders for me and it’s been a great learning experience as well for the future.
T: No kidding. I mean for a first go around Simon to have your product sell a hundred copies that’s pretty phenomenal. You know most people spend months and months and months more and in some cases years trying to figure out how to make some money online and they never do it. And so my hat is definitely off to you. I mean you made more money than I did in my first 6 months I’ll tell you that.
So describe to me the process that you went through from “hey I have this idea I wonder if I should do this to getting it launched on the warrior forum.” And you know keeping in mind that we probably have about 15 minutes left. You know maybe this is too much to get into at this point but we can always have you back on the show if there’s demand.
S: Sure. Yes as I said earlier I kinda identified it as a topic worth going for. And I set myself quite a firm deadline because I knew that there were gonna be floods of products alike coming out soon because I couldn’t believe I would be the only one to notice that it was worth talking about and not yet being talked about. So I spent, literally I only spent 2 weeks from kind of first notes to the book to releasing it because I was kinda give my work full time on that. Had to get it out because no early there was gonna be competition but the book would be outdated before, you know, it’s like a paint in the bridge that’s never finished.
S: It can change something before I finished writing it if I wasn’t careful so I say I fasted life myself. I didn’t outsource anything. Thankfully I have a reasonable hand at photoshops and I just came up with the sales graphics myself. I did take a course on I think I don’t know if you’ve heard it wso lord’s page.
T: Yes phenomenal.
S: Which is very cool. Yeah that was elite school. I followed that. Take guidelines for, you know, laying outlines for wso and thankfully pinterest was exploding so much to too much rate itself in terms of the stats and figures to put on to convince people. Because I had 2 jobs I had to first tell them what pinterest was and why they should care about it and then why my book was the one to read.
Well then you know facebook is one where people already know what you’re talking about. So yeah I started off like I literally handled the blogs like master blogs and the tech blogs that are having stories about pinterest and started to see how they, you know they’d have like 10 top tips to pinteresting stuff and I got an idea on how to breakdown the topics and some kind of logical structure. And I had to be very careful that it didn’t at any point come across like I just rewritten the manual of the instructions because obviously we’ve all seen some wso’s so let’s do a little more than that. I then looked kind of tried to look through my brain as to every aspect of your online that I could think about and how pinterest might then apply to it. You know from things from offline to setting up boards for your kind or what have you to word prestines that look like pinterest to you and them in any rate in pinterest. Just try to get every facet in there that I could. And then yeah.
T: I gotta jump in and say that my feedback for you is this. It’s an 84 page long ebook and prior to reading it I could have detailed of what I knew about pinterest on a post it note and hopefully by the listeners here by the questions I’m asking I’ve realized that I learned an awful lot about what pinterest is, how people are using it, what the opportunities are as a result of your ebook. So you did do a terrific job to putting together a really wonderful product.
S: Thank you.
T: So did you do any jv mailing or how did you promote it? Did you just put it up on the thread and pay your 40 bucks and hoped that enough people saw it?
S: Initially yes. Well I did put it on the help wanted to get some review copies out there first of all. So I got a bunch of reviews lined up. But essentially yes I mean as I know now which I didn’t know at this time was quite how much traffic you might get from just being at the top of the listing of the wso forum and how much you get from affiliates. Since I launched I got more traffic from people asking me to be an affiliate for it than I did for people wanting to buy. That maybe just the way it works or maybe because pinterest wasn’t quite sparking people. People didn’t know what it was. But yeah a got a good bunch of affiliates going which really helps. And then I did have to bump a couple of times once it got more reviews and stuff in there. And that was really useful to know, you know, how that works and when is and isn’t a good time to do that. Obviously at the back of it I’ve had this opportunity to speak to yourself and your listeners which is great. And I also lined up a bit of press activity next week in the UK here in London publication which is a print publication so it’s quite good.
S: Yes so, so yeah.
T: I mean I think this is probably gonna be a real boom for you because pinterest is, there’s so many people who still don’t know anything about it. And you’ve done a good job of positioning yourself early as an expert by creating what I would consider to be quite a high quality product. I bought a lot of wso’s a lot of times just to see what other people are doing. A lot of times they’re rather disappointing but you know when you only pay and I don’t even remember what you sold this for but I mean sometimes I only pay 10 bucks for wso. So I don’t have high expectation to begin with.
S: Yeah it was $10 for the first 24 hours anyone on a darn sale but it hasn’t really gone beyond 12 so it’s around between 10 and 12.
T: Yeah so if you wanna know more work coz we’re running out of time here and I really wanna make sure that the folks who are listening to this can get your product because for 10 or 12 bucks it’s a no brainer folks. I mean from the linkbuilding perspective alone pinterest seems to me like if you use it correctly which Simon explains how to do in his ebook it seems to me like this is just a phenomenally good deal from an SEO’s perspective in terms of using pinterest. And so at to give Google those social signals that they want as well as getting a PR6 links my goodness you could have an easy PR6 link to every niche site that you own. Who wouldn’t wanna do that? I don’t think I have PR6 links to my niche sites right not but you know I’m going to soon enough.
So is there a URL, where does someone go Simon to get your pinterest ebook?
S: Yeah they can go to pinterestuncovered.com.
S: And they’ll get through there.
T: Okay. And do you, is there an affiliate link or whatever that I could put on my page below this? And if not no big deal I’m happy to just promote it for you anyway?
S: Yeah sure I can sort that out for you.
T: Okay. So folks if you’re listening to this in your car this is going to be found at onlineincomelab.com/ and I believe it’s, gosh I should have made a note before I started recording. I think it’s session 21 but just here’s what I’m gonna do. We’ll make it onlineincomelab.com/pinterestinterview. And that way I know that I’m not reusing a pretty link that I’ve already used before. So .com/pinterestinterview and you will be able to get access obviously to the audio file that you’re listening to as well as any links that would be relevant and one of those links of course would be to Simon’s ebook so that you can go and pluck down your 10 or 12 bucks or whatever it is to get your very own copy which I highly recommend that you do. Like I said it’s an 84 page document that I found exceedingly helpful in getting my mind wrapped around this pinterest thing. What the heck? Why is it so popular? Why are so many people using it?
And now as a result of this interview I can guarantee you that I am going to be aggressively using pinterest to help my niche sites continue to rank or improve their rankings. They’re all doing quite well but they’re not all at no. 1 yet so there’s always room for improvement.
So Simon thank you so much for taking some time to come on the show. I would love to have you back. Obviously pinterest is gonna continue to change. If at any point you’re publishing version 2.0 of your book please or you’re doing anything on the pinterest arena put me on whatever list you need to put me on so that you would reach out to me and let me know that there is an update and there’s reason for another interview. I’m, there’s probably a lot more that we could talk about but the hour tends to go by so very, very quickly. I really wanna serve the interest first of all of the people who read my stuff who are niche site owners. Coz I know a lot of people are stressing out about this whole lot SEO thing and to me having heard what you’ve told me this seems like an absolutely awesome replacement for the article marketing in addition to my overall link footprint building activities that is not gonna be very hard to do.
So for that I really do wanna thank you for being on the show. Is there any closing comment that you wanna offer up?
T: Is there any closing thoughts or ideas that you wanna offer up before we go?
S: Oh you kinda caught me off guard there. No I think the main thing is just to be genuine. You know, people will follow and people will respect stuff if it’s genuine rather than trying to be exploitative.
S: That makes sense.
T: It does. And that kinda fits within the whole internet ecosystem these days anyway. You need to be genuine. You need to produce quality content and good stuff. By the way when I’m just, this idea just popped into my head. When you’re coming to this post if you think it would be really valuable to see a webinar with Simon and I haven’t even asked him if his gonna give one yet, but if you think there’d be a lot of value in a webinar put it in the comments. Say “would love to be on a webinar.” And maybe I can talk Simon to doing a webinar so that we can add some visual aspects to the auditory training that we’ve just done here today.
So Simon we’ll be keeping an eye on the post when it comes out. I don’t know the day it’s gonna come out yet but if you’re listening to this it’s already come out. So again thank you all very much for listening to my podcast. I really love having this people on my show because I get to learn every single time. I get to share that knowledge with you all and I think that that is a real honor and a privilege to be able to do that. If you have not seen me on youtube you might wanna check out my youtube channel Online Income Lab. Sorry, youtube.com/onlineincomelab. You’ll also find us on facebook, facebook.com/onlineincomelab. And of course I think I’m somewhere on pinterest and I think it’s pinterest.com/onlineincomelab. If it’s not then I’ll have to fix it so that it is. So with that said thank you all very much for listening. This is gonna be, this is a wrap and we’ll see you again on the next podcast.