I keep hearing that Pinterest is really good for bloggers but what IS Pinterest and how in the heck do you get blog traffic from it?! If you find yourself trying to figure this out, this post on Pinterest strategies for bloggers is for you.
What is Pinterest? You may think you know, but you have NO idea!
Was that a little cheesy? Sorry.
Pinterest is a powerhouse when it comes to driving traffic to your blog. It’s a good idea to master Pinterest rather quickly if you want to
What is Pinterest?
Firstly, let’s clear the notion that Pinterest is a social media platform. When was the last time you wanted to connect with a friend and said hmm, let me hit them up on Pinterest? Nah.
What Pinterest is, is a robust search engine made up of visual images that pop up when you type your search query into the search box.
Pinterest’s user base of over 250 million people is 71% female.
What that means for you is holy cow that’s a lot of people who could see your pin and hey, if your blog speaks to a female audience, this is your new play area.
Bloggers need Pinterest because it can drive an immense amount of traffic to your blog very quickly if you master the platform. It’s as simple as that.
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I’ve been pinning i.e. adding pictures to Pinterest from my lifestyle blog for quite a while now and get some amount of traffic from it even though I never took the time to understand Pinterest.
I knew I needed to sit down and figure it out one day because I saw the benefits of using Pinterest. When I finally did, this is what happened.
What are you seeing here? I grew my Pinterest page connected to my lifestyle blog from 29k monthly views to over 115k monthly views in 30 days.
Imagine what having 115,710 people see your pins from your blog each month could mean? And this was simply with some experimentation. Since then, I have actually taken a few Pinterest courses and whoa traffic!
To get started on your Pinterest page, the first thing you want to do is create a pretty profile page. It’s the first thing that people will see when they click over to your page when deciding if they should follow you or not.
Just like everywhere else, a high follower count on Pinterest helps. Even though there are ways to get around this which I love and will talk about further down in this post.
Building Your Pinterest Profile Page
If there’s a section to be filled out, fill it out. Remember, Pinterest is a search engine so you will need to take every opportunity presented to add keywords related to your blog on your profile page.
This means your name, your description, your board names and board descriptions all need to have been filled out thoroughly with keywords that are relevant to your blog niche.
Have a look at my profile page. You’ll see that the name is also filled out with keywords that are directly related to what I blog about. If anyone were searching for people who pin on your relevant keywords, you’ll want to be in the mix. (Update: This is not limited to only 30 characters so make the best use of it as you can.)
You’ll notice that my description is also a well-thought-out sentence that has to do with my blog. It’s not just a bunch of hashtags or keywords stuffed together. All a part of the strategy.
My profile picture is also a part of this strategy. For the longest while, it used to be my logo. But I realised that on Pinterest, people like to be able to connect with a person. It helps to build trust that I’m not spam but a real person blogging and offering these tips.
Notice that I still stuff my logo in their by way of my t-shirt. All about the branding baby.
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Organizing Your Pinterest Boards
Using board covers as an opportunity to brand your page is an extra step that’s not completely necessary but is aesthetically pleasing. It also offers another opportunity to brand.
You’ll also want your most important boards at the top of your page. See below I have the board that I pin all my blog pins on as the very first board and my first group board I created is there as well.
You can find the option to choose a board cover on the settings page of each board. Simply hover over a board and the pencil will appear to allow you to edit the board.
Claiming Your Blog, Your Pinterest Business Page
I’m able to see all these analytics from my Pinterest page because I have connected my blog to my Pinterest account and turned my Pinterest profile into a business profile.
This also gives you the added bonus of enabling rich pins. Rich pins have more information below the pin than regular pins, giving you a better chance of standing out by way of your branding, description etc. Like so:
If you compare the bottom of these two pins, one has a lot more information than the other. The angry bird pin has no snippet from the blog post where mine does.
You’re also able to see my Pinterest Profile name there so if this person wanted to click over to see what other amazing pins I have, they could. Every bit of information is important to help inspire a click on your pin instead of its neighbour.
Here, let’s zoom into the bottom of my pin so you can see what I mean.
The top part has more information about where this pin originated from and the first few lines of the blog post. The bottom part has the description that I set for this image so that if anyone pins this image from my blog, that’s the description that will go with it.
See how it has the keywords that people will use if I want them to find this pin? Spongebob themed birthday party. All keywords on their own. Then there’s Spongebob party games and decor.
And now I see a type-o in the description so great job there, Mo! (Runs to go fix)
How To Activate Rich Pins
When you started your blog, you would have more-than-likely installed the Yoast SEO plugin to help you to optimize your blog and each post for search engines. This plugin can also help you to activate rich pins on your blog.
Click on the social tab within the settings of the plugin and ensure that the open graph metadata is enabled, like so:
Once that is done you can head to the Pinterest Rich Pin validator and put in the URL (direct link) for any blog post on your blog. Hit apply once it’s been validated, and you’ll receive an email from Pinterest once it’s approved, usually within a day or two.
If for some reason you try to validate and it doesn’t work, it’s probably because the open graph isn’t set up properly. I had this issue when I first tried and had to install a separate open graph plugin altogether.
However, if this is a fresh WordPress install, you should have no issues.
You notice that the frontpage settings of the Yoast plugin are fully filled out as well? This ensures that if anyone is sharing my blog’s homepage and not necessarily a page within my blog, all the information and an optimised Facebook image size is shared.
Take the time to go through all the settings of your Yoast plugin, it is invaluable!
How to Find and Join Group Boards
So remember above when I said that followers are important but there’s a great workaround until you build your own following? It’s the infamous and elusive Pinterest group board.
A group board is a board that has multiple contributors. That’s it really. Well established group boards have thousands of followers which means if you manage to get onto these group boards as a contributor, you instantly have access to these thousands of followers without having thousands of followers yourself.
So even when you do get to thousands of followers, group boards can still be a great resource because it’s a whole new audience altogether.
You’ll know a group board is a group board by the icon on it depicting multiple people. Have a look at what I mean below. There’s a circle with three profile pictures on the group board cover image.
How to join a group board is a whole different ballgame. Some group boards have contact information right in the description, making things super simple.
This is my group board for bloggers of any niche. You can see it here (and request to join.) Two things to note, instructions to join the board are clearly listed in the description.
However, if they’re not, you can also message the group board owner to see if they’ll add you. You’ll know who the board owner is by looking at the list of contributors.
Related: 4 Unique Ways to Find ACTIVE Group Boards to Join
Notice that my profile image is the first one in the list of the three contributors you can see? That’s because it’s my board. Simply click on the first profile image you see in the list to follow the board owner (because it’s always a polite necessity to follow board owners before requesting to join their board) and then you can use Pinterest’s messaging platform to send a message if no info was listed.
They won’t always add you, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Some boards will directly say they’re not open to more contributors. You can still try your luck but I usually simply move on.
There’s always another board to join. By the way, I have since grown my following to over 4000 and have a bunch of other group boards here. See if you’re a good fit for any.
How to Create Fantastic Pinnable Images
So you have your profile all set up, you’ve created several boards in your niche and already filled out these boards with at least 15 pins from others. This gets your profile and boards all filled out and robust and now you’re ready for the next step.
This is to work on some of your own pins. Go to your Pinterest feed and see what kind of images make it to the top of your page. Take note of which ones make you want to click through to their pages or blogs.
What is it about these images? Chances are, it will be the colour scheme, the images they use within the scheme, the size of the pin and the clarity of the words (if any) on the image.
The optimal image size for your pin should be at least 735×1102 pixels. This is the smallest pin you’ll be using, feel free to go a little wider and much longer if you please.
I use Canva to create my images as they have fantastic free layouts ready to be customized. Take some time to go through the fonts and colours to create a template that matches your blog’s brand.
Use this template, tweaked for each post, again and again, to create a branded, recognizable pin style.
Whenever someone sees your pin, they’re likely to recognize and click through if they’ve done so before and enjoyed your content or found it helpful.
Create Multiple Images
Within the context of the branded pin template you’ve created, use different images and headlines to create multiple images for the same post. Test to see which one sticks and receives the most repins and click-throughs.
If you’re on lots of group boards, you’ll want to create several different images so that you’re not pinning the same image over and over to different boards.
Later on, you can assess the success of your pin and decide whether you want to create a separate pin altogether for the post or continue to repin the same image to people who may have missed it the first time.
Add two or three pinnable images to each blog post that you write. Make sure you add the description of the blog post in the alt tag of the image as this is what is used as the description on Pinterest when someone shares your post.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’ve installed social share plugins on your blog to make each post super easy to share. Check out this blogging blueprint where I list all my plugins including my favourite for social media sharing to all platforms. (And plugins you should be using to prevent hackers!)
Two Manual Pinning Strategies
If you’re not using a pin scheduler, you can manually pin daily to get great results.
Simply keep tabs on your pins by adding them to a spreadsheet. On another spreadsheet, you’ll want to keep your list of group boards.Every day, add three pins to these group boards, more if they allow, but space them out.
That way all your pins will be added in rotation to your group boards.
You’ll want to do this at high traffic times for your blog. Usually, that is around late evening but watch your Google Analytics to find this information for your own blog as for me it’s actually around noon.
If you’ve not yet set up Google Analytics or you’re not sure how to get the most from it, take my 5day free blog traffic challenge where I show you how to get the most from it with video tutorials.
My course Everything Pinterest goes 10 levels deeper than this post to give you the step by step details with videos and tutorials on implementing a comprehensive Pinterest strategy that makes money and brings in massive traffic. Sign up here today!
Another manual pinning strategy is to pin from your Google Analytics. That’s where the gold is! It’s always best to have data behind your efforts so you’re sure you’re getting the best results from your time, especially if you’re putting manual effort into your pinning. I share my exact strategy using videos in the above-linked course.
Yes, you’ll want to repin your pins over and over again, maybe once monthly or at least once every other month. You’ll also want to break up your pins with helpful pins from other people and pins that you’ve found in other niches that complement your own. How do you do this as efficiently as possible?
By using a pin scheduler. Tailwind is my scheduler of choice because of ease of use, it’s robust analytics machine and tribes included in the platform. I wrote a full breakdown of how I use Tailwind here and all the benefits of using it to schedule your pins.
Tailwind easily lets you schedule hundreds of pins per day and helps you to determine which pins, boards and tribes are doing well for you. It’s how I managed to grow my Pinterest so well in so little time! It’s free to try up to 100 pins so give it a test run.
So what are these tribes I keep talking about anyway? It’s like a group board, but to me even better. A Tailwind Tribe is a group of people who have committed to sharing each other’s pins.
I’ve joined a bunch of all niche blogger tribes and a few specific tribes relating to my genres of the Caribbean, blogging and fashion. What’s so great about Tribes is that the owner usually has at least a 1:1 sharing rule, meaning you must share one pin to your own boards for every pin that you add to the tribe.
This keeps things fair as it is almost impossible to track this on a group board which can become dumping grounds for pins if not regulated.
On Tribes however, the Tribe owner and their admins can easily see the ratio of each Tribe member and warn or kick them out of the Tribe if they’re not complying with the rules. Here’s an invite to my all niche Tribe for bloggers.
Here’s one all niche Tribe I’m in. From this shot, you can see that I’ve had 25 reshares so far with 1 repin. My reshares have the potential to reach over 99k people based on the follower count of the people that have shared them from the Tribe.
Repins may be low here because all of the reshares may not have actually been published yet. When you hit reshare on a pin inside your Tribe, it is scheduled, not published immediately.
I have quite a few scheduled already so it can take a while for my reshares to actually be published. Or, it could just be because my pins suck, who knows.
At the bottom of the screenshot, you see my pin ratio. I have added 32 pins so far in this tribe and have shared (scheduled) 29 pins from others.
Tribe admins can see this for all members of the Tribe and decide who to boot out, making it very reciprocal. Ready to take the Tailwind dive? Sign up for your free trial here.
Need more Pinterest tips? Get 27 tips to drive traffic from Pinterest to your blog here.
I hope you found this guide super helpful. If you did would you be so kind as to pin this post? That would be awesome, thanks so much! Please let me know if there’s anything I can help you with on your blogging journey. You can find me helping other awesome bloggers out in my Facebook group here. Come join!
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P.S., Pinterest is great for blog traffic but SEO is better. Check out my best Blog SEO Tips for beginners here.
P.P.S., More of a Facebook person? My best tips for using Facebook groups to grow your blog traffic plus my 50 favourite groups here.
This was a very informative post. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Lucie I hope it helped
Great information on Pinterest. I need to start using rich pins. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the subject!
So happy you found it helpful Carri. Yes rich pins can make or break that click through
This is great! One thing I haven’t done, and I need to start doing, is creating 2-3 pins for the same post. And, I like your idea of seeing which style gets the most traction – like A/B testing. Thanks for sharing your tips!
So happy you found it helpful Tanya. I’ll admit my graphic skills aren’t the best so sometimes I make many iterations of pins that never even make the post, I’ll just add it with the link directly to pinterest when I realise the pin could use some updates
Pinterest is incredible for increasing traffic. This is great information! I would also add that trying to keep a brand or cohesion with your pins can help your audience know you from just viewing the pin which can help with building a cohort of pinners. Thanks for the tips!
Yes Heather so true! I realise I’m starting to recognise pins from my favourite blogs and it makes me want to go check out their blog. Thanks for the added tip!
Wow! So much great information to utilize while I continue to grow my blog and my Pinterest traffic. Thank you for sharing all the tips!
You’re welcome Tayja happy you find it helpful
Just in time! I’ve been looking for a post to boost my Pinterest stats. I’ll give these a try!
Great read! I won’t look at Pinterest in the same way again 🙂
Thank you for this very informative post! I’ve read many times that Pinterest can help you increase traffic to your blog, but it is the first time that I find an article with clear explanations on how to do so 🙂
As someone who is brand new to using Pinterest, this post is a gold mine! Thank you for such thorough instructions on how to use Pinterest effectively. I’m printing this post out to keep as a handy reference.
I’m so happy it helped you Bonnie! Let me know if you have any questions
I am addicted to your blog. I have been trying to figure out Rich Pins forever. You make it easy. Thanks mo!