If you are a blogger and you want to increase your blog traffic, you need to be on Pinterest, period. If you aren’t already on Pinterest, then go sign up so you can snag your handle, then come back to me.
You’re back? Great. 🙂
Pinterest is a constantly changing platform. Actually, I’ve only been using Pinterest for less than a year, and there was a major update in March 2018 which threw everyone for a loop, and there continues to be small updates all the time.
The majority of blog posts on how to increase your blog traffic by using Pinterest is likely old news, which is why I am writing this post. However, as much as I would like to provide you with all of the information you need, I am still a student. There are other extremely successful bloggers that I look up to who I HIGHLY recommend you learn from as well. But don’t worry, I will discuss them more later on as I mention them throughout this post. 🙂
But basically what I am trying to say is this blog post should NOT be the only resource you read when researching how to increase your blog traffic with Pinterest. If it is you are only hurting yourself because there is a lot to learn with Pinterest, and the really good info just doesn’t come for free. I have paid for somewhere around 5 or 6 different courses all focusing on how to increase my blog traffic with Pinterest.
So yes, this post is an overview of what you need to know, but is not ALL you need to know. Agreed? Great. Let’s get started. 🙂
How to Increase Your Blog Traffic Using Pinterest
1. Create Your Profile
Creating your profile needs to be done with some thought. There are many reasons for this, which we will discuss below.
Unless you are purely a faceless brand, it’s always best to use a profile picture of yourself. Try to make it of your smiley face so that people can put a face to the blog they are reading.
It’s best to make it the same profile picture that’s used in your “About Me” section on your blog. This creates consistency between your blog and your Pinterest account. 😉
When setting up your profile, you need to add a contact name. This name will typically be your blog name, however be sure to add a bit more information afterwards on what you do. It’s important to add this because your contact name is also a keyword for other Pinterest users to find you.
For example, in my profile I have “Lavender Vines | Christian Blog & Travel Blog”. This is intentional because if someone were to search for Christian blog or travel blog, I am increasing the chances of my Pinterest page showing up.
Use this section to tell other people how you can help them. Realizing that your blog isn’t about you, but instead about how you can help other people, will make all the difference. This part doesn’t have to be overly complicated. You can take inspiration off of my profile which says, “I inspire women to grow in their faith and travel the world”.
Feel free to add more relatable, unique information about yourself as well. If you’re a coffee lovin’ travel junkie, then absolutely add that. Just be sure to share what kind of value you can provide your followers.
2. Create a Business Account & Set Up Rich Pins
Setting up rich pins is massively important for bloggers. It requires creating a Pinterest business account which links your blog to your Pinterest account. I was hesitant to create a business account at first, but trust me, it’s really important you do it.
By setting up a business account and rich pins, you will be able to see:
- Important information under your pins such as your profile picture and your contact name
- Pinterest business analytics
- Individual pin analytics
- Pinterest will be able to pull information from your blog post so Pinterest knows how to properly keyword your content (this is key!)
- Set up “feature boards” at the top of your profile (check out the image below for context)
I’ve written a blog post on how to set this up rich pins, so check it out here. 🙂
3. Start Creating Boards
If you are brand new, start by creating at least 15 boards that pertain to your niche. Try to think of boards that relate to each other. For example, for my faith niche I have boards like “Bible Study”, “Bible Verses”, “Christian Advice” and “Prayer Tips”. Do not try to be cute with your board names, instead keep them rather plain and straight forward. You do this because your board names are another excellent place to use keywords.
Keywords: You’ve already heard me mention the magical word “keyword”. If you are unsure of what keywords are, they are words (or a string of words) used to make it possible for people to find your site via search engines.
This is important for your board names because you may want to name your board “Pretty Places” however, “Pretty Places” is not a popular keyword. What might work better is if you used something like “Travel Destinations” because that is a popular keyword.
Quick Tip: A quick way to find if a word (or string of words) is a keyword in Pinterest, go to the search bar and search for it. If it pops up, then it’s a Pinterest keyword!
Remember to fill in your Board Description and Board Category, too. These are more places for you to use keywords so more people can find you.
You will want to add at least 15-20 pins to each new board you created so that your profile looks filled out.
4. Follow (some of) Your Target Audience
Especially if your Pinterest profile is brand new, start following some people who are in your target audience. I would also recommend following other bloggers who are in your niche. But don’t get carried away, Pinterest isn’t Instagram, you will not receive a ton of follow backs simply because you follow them. There’s no need to follow more than a 100 people unless you genuinely want to follow them.
But above all, please please please do not do the follow/unfollow thing. It used to work on Pinterest, however now it does not. If you do it you will only enhance your chances of being marked as spam, which you definitely do NOT want.
If you do have a new account, do not worry that much about your following number. I am becoming more and more convinced that your following on Pinterest matters less and less. When I first started out Pinterest was sending me TONS of new traffic, and I had less than 100 followers. Even now, I still have less than 1,000 Pinterest followers, but I get more than 1,000 pageviews per day.
If that’s not convincing then check out what Pinterest did in their update from March 2018. I wish I had a screenshot of the old Pinterest profile page, but your profile used to display how many people were following you and you were following back. Now (see below) your profile shows how many monthly viewers you have.
This tells me Pinterest is more interested in how active you are and how you are contributing to the platform instead of how many followers you have. Don’t get too excited though, this is only monthly PINTEREST views. It’s not the same as monthly pageviews from Google Analytics. I wish it was though!
If you do want to grow your Pinterest following, I recommend using the MiloTree plugin. MiloTree is similar to a pop up except is stays at the corner of your screen. It features a social media platform and invites readers to follow you there. I use this for encouraging readers to follow me on Pinterest, and it converts really well. Speaking of which, are you following me on Pinterest? You should be. ?
5. Create Vertical Pins for All Blog Posts
If you already have an up and running blog, this step might take a while. I had over 100 blog posts when I finally got on Pinterest, and the process of creating new pins for all of my blog posts took months. But to be fair, I also updated my blog posts for SEO at the same time, which made the process longer.
The Optimal Vertical Pin Size
The optimal pin size is 600×900. I strongly suggest you use 600×900 when creating pin images. Vertical pins do the best on Pinterest because they take up more space in the feed.
It used to be that you could create super long pins (600×1700+) which takes up even more space in the feed, however Pinterest themselves have said they frown upon this. I still have super long pins that do well for me, so if you want to experiment, hey why not. But just know they’re not the optimal size.
6. How to Create Pinterest Pins
Before you even think it, no, you don’t have to be a Photoshop whiz in order to create beautiful Pinterest pins. If you aren’t already familiar with Canva, then let me introduce you, I LOVE Canva! I have used a number of different programs to create pins (PicMonkey being one), but Canva is ultimately my favorite.
I love it because Canva is extremely user friendly. You can easily create new pins by creating a custom dimension (600×900), and then adding wording, fonts, boxes, photos, and even cute little icons to your pins. Canva also saves all of your work so if you want to create a new pin using the same template, you can easily do so.
Canva is free, however there is an upgrade option that’s great if you want more options or if you want to import your own fonts. Importing your own fonts is something I definitely find useful.
When it comes to branding, you do want to keep your pins somewhat similar so that readers will come to recognize your unique style. I am not a slave to branding, but I do think my pins all tend to look similar because I use the same fonts and colors over and over again.
The biggest things you need to look out for is making sure Pinterest users can clearly read your text. Be wary of small script fonts or pastels and light colors. Create pins that scream, click me! You’ll also want to put your blog name on all of your pins. Pin theft is become a bigger and bigger issue, so marking all your pins as yours is important.
7. Group Boards
Sadly, group boards used to be a gold mine for growing your blog extremely fast. While group boards are still super important, they do not have quite the same pizzazz as they used to.
However, I joined Pinterest after the group board era dried up, and I am still having success with Pinterest, so do not be discouraged. 😉
Finding Group Boards
A popular tool to find group boards used to be Pingroupie, which allows you to search by category for group board pinners. The website doesn’t seem to function anymore, but even when it did the tool was kind of dated in my opinion. A better way to find group boards is to search for other popular bloggers in your niche and find what group boards they are on. Then try to join those boards.
Joining Group Boards
Joining group boards can be a bit frustrating. Some group boards clearly tell you how to join the board, while other are a lot more work. It may take you weeks to start getting added to a decent number of group boards simply because your message might never be seen. It could also be because the group board owner doesn’t really pay attention to the board anymore.
For boards without instructions on how to join, try hunting down some sort of contact information from the group board owner. When you find a group board you want to join, the first profile you see is the group board owner. Go to their Pinterest profile and try to find a website or email you can contact. In the email include your Pinterest account and your email address associated with your account. They will need that information in order to add you.
Pinterest has also made updates to their messaging system within the platform itself, so you could always try messaging them through Pinterest as well.
8. Upload Your Pins
Let’s start uploading your own pins to Pinterest! You can either upload them directly from the Pinterest website, or pin them from your blog. Some people think pinning from your blog is better, however I do a mixture of both and don’t find either way to be more beneficial.
Use Keywords in Your Pins
Adding keywords to your pins is one of the MOST important things you can do. When you upload a new pin, add keywords to the pin description so Pinterest can begin to understand what that pin is about. Do not keyword stuff (adding a bunch of keywords separated by a comma) but instead add your keywords naturally in sentences.
Hashtags on Pinterest
After YEARS of Pinterest telling us not to add hashtags to Pinterest pins, Pinterest has finally decided to make hashtags a thing. I personally don’t find this functionality very helpful and I’m unsure if it’s even picking up in popularity, so I don’t really bother with hashtags.
9. Start Pinning!
FINALLY, let’s talk about pinning.
Pinning strategies are a bit complicated. I’ve bounced around a bunch of different methods, and also have been forced to change my methods because Pinterest decided to change her algorithm. Or shut down certain schedulers altogether (RIP Boardbooster).
Besides the tips I am going to list below, I HIGHLY recommend you check out the Pinterest for business page so you can see for yourself what Pinterest recommends as best practices for pinning.
The Biggest Thing Regarding Pinning on Pinterest
Above all, the most important thing about pinning on Pinterest is to be consistent. You should also not only pin your content, but other people’s content too. Many people say a ratio of 70% other people’s pins to 30% your own pins is the optimal amount. While it’s good to pin other people’s content, my ratio is usually switched to 70% my own content, and 30% other people’s content.
How Much You Should Pin
The number of pins you pin per day is not nearly as important as just being consistent on a daily basis. I pin around 60-80 pins on average per day, however I have pinned as much as 100 pins per day and as few as 30 pins per day. My favorite blog post on this subject goes to PotPieGirl, read her post for more info!
There are two main ways you can be pinning; manually or with schedulers.
For me, using a scheduler was the easy option because spending every day glued to Pinterest manually pinning sounded terrible. I started off using Boardbooster (which I loved), but unfortunately it has now shut down, so I switched to Tailwind.
If you are going to use a scheduler, Tailwind definitely needs to be your top choice. They are an approved official Pinterest partner and the only one that truly matters (no offense to the others).
You know how I said scheduling was the easiest option for me at first? Well, after hearing about all of the success other bloggers were having with manual pinning, I decided to give it a try. After manually pinning I had two pins go viral, and ultimately, it forced me to really understand what Pinterest is doing with our pins.
However, I wouldn’t just wing this. Actually (please!) DO NOT wing this. IF you are going to start manually pinning, you MUST check out this course first before you begin. It’s super affordable, and gives tons of great information about how one of my fav bloggers got 200,000 pageviews in 9 months by manually pinning. Seriously, the information in it is GOLD. I don’t know anyone else who even has a course on manually pinning, so Carly is pretty much the queen of this topic.
After manually pinning for months, I now do a combo of scheduling with Tailwind and manually pinning . 🙂
10. Educate Yourself
If there’s one thing I just can’t stress enough, it is the need to educate yourself and understand why something is or is not working. Like I said in the beginning, there is way more to Pinterest than just this blog post. But the really good info doesn’t come for free. I have purchased 5-6 different courses all about how to understand Pinterest better and I don’t regret it for a second. I was tired of not seeing the results I wanted, and I found that the more I learned, the more positive results I received. Funny how that works. ?
Pinning Perfect by Melissa Culbertson
Hands down Pinning Perfect is the perfect course to learn the ins and outs of Pinterest. If you want to start your Pinterest-strategy the right way, then this course is for you. It is very thorough and covers everything Pinterest-related really well, leaving few questions unanswered. Melissa also has a fantastic email response rate if you do have questions, which is amazing. Sometimes you purchase a course, and then never hear from the course creator again, which can feel frustrating.
BBC (Billionaire Blog Club)
The Billionaire Blog Club is a course that I recommend above the rest purely because of how much SOLID information you receive for the price tag. You will learn about Pinterest, but you’ll find there’s so much more. It’s honestly not so much a course, but more of a membership that you only pay for once.
Inside the BBC you will find courses like:
- Niche Selection
- Content Creation
- Google Analytics and WordPress
- Affiliate Marketing
- List Building
- Email Marketing
- And more! (seriously, more modules are being added all the time!)
My favorite part about the BBC is the course creator, Paul Scrivens, actually wants to help you and will usually respond to any question you have with in 24 hours. And that’s honestly being conservative, I usually receive a response within the hour. Oh, and did I mention he runs 12 blogs (at least the last time I checked) and makes somewhere around 30-60K a month? Crazy. If you’re a bit unsure about it though, I definitely recommend signing up for his 12-day blogging bootcamp because it’s a great overview of everything he offers, and it’s completely free. 🙂
Pinterest Strategies by Carly Campbell
We already discussed Carly’s ebook on manually pinning with Pinterest, but let me elaborate a bit more on her. Even beyond manual pinning, Carly gives great insight into how Pinterest works that I didn’t find anywhere else. She discusses pin design techniques and other helpful info that I just wouldn’t have thought of.
But beyond her ebook, my favorite thing about Carly is her blogging Facebook group, Blogging Like We Mean It. Besides Carly, there are lots of other successful bloggers in the group who readily lend their knowledge when a question is asked. I kind of refer to it now as my blogging news room because if anything big is going on in the blogging world, someone’s already talking about it in her Facebook group. ?
I’d also highly recommend getting on her blogging email list because she sends out weekly emails with great blogging tips that are always completely relevant to any changes/updates happening with Pinterest. She’s always on top of it. It’s awesome.
PIMP (Pinterest Improvement Master Plan)
First of all, don’t you just love the name PIMP? Makes me laugh.
The course is by a sweet southern gal named Jennifer, aka “Pot Pie Girl”, who has been blogging professionally for the last decade (or more!) and is truly a wealth of knowledge and information. However, this course is NOT for beginners. After you have your Pinterest account set up and are receiving some traffic, then take PIMP. If not you might just overwhelm yourself because this course is LOADED with complex information about the Pinterest algorithm.
I would say this course is the only course I have taken that truly goes beyond the basics of how Pinterest works and really breaks down why Pinterest behaves the way it does. Jennifer has said she plans on increasing the price of the course soon, so if you are interested then I’d snap up PIMP while the price is low.
Other Helpful Tips That Doesn’t Warrant it’s Own Section
- Pinterest Group Threads on Facebook – They don’t really work for me, but if you are new it’s definitely worth trying out. Maybe it will help you start gaining some traction.
- Being Marked as Spam – Even if you do everything right and are definitely NOT a spammer, Pinterest could still bock your account. This happened to me for about 24 hours, but thankfully Pinterest reinstated me. Pinterest is a fickle platform, so try not to do anything to get on it’s bad side. However, from listening to others, you can still be put on Pinterest’s bad side even if you do nothing wrong. UGH.
- Board Covers – It used to be a super popular thing to create nice board covers for your Pinterest profile. However, Pinterest kept changing their board cover sizes, which forced you to keep creating new board covers. It’s purely for aesthetics and if you are really on top of wanting to keep your branding consistent then I would say go for it. However, I personally don’t bother with them.
- MiloTree Plugin – Use the MiloTree plugin to organically grow your Pinterest following. (It seriously works!)
- Pin It Plugin – Make sure you have the “jQuery Pin It Button for Images” plugin to add the cute little “Pin It” Pinterest icon to your images. This helps your readers repin your content easily!
Alrighty! These tips are all ways to increase blog traffic using Pinterest, however Pinterest is not your only source of blog traffic. Just the fastest. Let’s move right along with the next post about how to get more blog traffic.
Did you miss anything in this series? Read more below!
- Are you Feeling Called to Blog? (read the intro to this series!)
- How to Start a Blog: The Ridiculously Easy Step-by-Step Guide
- The Blogging Essentials: The 5 Things Your Blog NEEDS to Have
- 8 (Sneaky!) Tips for Writing GREAT Blog Posts, Every Time
- How to Get More Blog Traffic – Let’s Get You Some Pageviews!
- How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners
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