I was never a big fan of Pinterest.
And never in a million years did I think I would eventually be using Pinterest to grow my blog.
But, I’m always willing to try new things. So, I decided to experiment with Pinterest earlier this year.
And you know what I found out?
Pinterest isn’t just the place to find cute nail art and summer cocktails. It’s the place to find everything.
Pinterest is a visual search engine that brings in over 70 million users every month!
And these people are searching for every topic under the sun. So, if you want to give your blog or website more exposure, Pinterest is the place to do it.
In just over 1 month, I went from knowing nothing about Pinterest to having it become the #1 source of traffic for my blog.
In this post, I am going to break down the exact strategy I used to make this happen. And I have a feeling that if you implement the same strategy, Pinterest is going to become your biggest traffic source too.
Oh, and if you like free stuff join my Secret Library to access my Pinterest Group Board Masterlist and other awesome freebies.
Are you ready for this?
If you really want to harness the power of Pinterest, you need to make sure that your blog is powerful enough to handle it.
Because we don’t just want regular ol’ pageviews, we want your traffic to convert. You want people to visit your blog, be completely blown away by your content and then decide to stick around!
That means you need to have a purpose, a brand and a beautiful blog in place. Read my tutorial on how to start a successful blog, check out my resources page for all of my must-have blogging tools and schedule one of my blog audits! Now, let’s get into the post.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW TO USE PINTEREST TO DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR BLOG
The absolute first step is creating a Pinterest account. I recommend using a “Pinterest for Business” account. This will allow you to see your analytics and create rich pins, which will help your content get noticed more often.
Click here to sign up for a business account or convert your existing one without losing your current boards or followers.
CREATING THE PERFECT PINTEREST PROFILE
The most important tip to remember is that Pinterest is a search engine. And what’s the best way to get noticed in a search engine?
Keywords, of course!
Adding keywords to your Pinterest profile will increase your chances of being found in search results.
Like, did you know that when people search for a topic on Pinterest, profiles come up in the results?
It’s true! So, figure out what your ideal audience is searching for on Pinterest and use those keywords throughout your profile.
As you can see in this example, Melyssa has worked a lot of keywords (blogging tips, free workshop, grow your traffic, email list) into her name and description. This is surely helping her get website traffic from Pinterest.
Want to learn more about SEO?
Check out this post about SEO Basics for Bloggers.
ADDING BOARD NAMES & DESCRIPTIONS
The same SEO rules apply to Pinterest board names and descriptions.
For example, if you have a fashion board, don’t just call it “Fashion”. Call it something like “Fashion Tips | Outfit Ideas and Style Inspiration”.
Now, you have three keywords and a good explanation of what people can find on that board.
Oh, and don’t forget to add some relevant keywords to your board descriptions too. You don’t need to get fancy. Just separate your keywords with commas and leave a link to your site.
But if you want to ensure your writing game is on point, then download Grammarly. This handy app will make sure your descriptions are clear, concise and completely free of mistakes.
DESIGNING PINTEREST BOARDS
We’ve established that Pinterest is a visual platform, right?
Everything you put on Pinterest needs to look beautiful, including your Pinterest boards!
So, rather than having your boards be all over the place – it’s a good idea to stick to a theme.
And you can create your theme one of two ways:
- Create a color palette. By using similar colors throughout all of your boards, you can give your profile a very pulled together look. If your blog or brand already has a color palette, stick with the same one. For example, see how Hannah’s boards all use bright and neutral colors?
- Create board covers. If you’re anything like me, you might find this easier than sticking to a color palette! I make custom board cover images for free on Canva (the size I use is 800 x 800). Just play around with some backgrounds and fonts until you find something that works. Kind of like what Nadalie Bardo does with her boards.
How should you arrange your Pinterest boards?
Another important thing to remember when it comes to your Pinterest boards is that most people will only look at your first row.
So, use this real estate wisely!
Showcase your best and most relevant boards at the top of your profile. You only get one first impression and you want to make it count.
How many Pinterest boards should you have?
There isn’t really a magic number for this. But of course, the more boards you have will increase your chances of being found by others.
Make sure you have specific boards related to your niche.
If you write about blogging tips, don’t have a board called “Blogging” – that’s way too vague. Break it down into more specific categories like:
- How to Start a Blog
- Increasing Blog Traffic
- Blog Post Ideas
- Make Money Blogging
- Email List Building
And if you want to pin things that have nothing to do with your brand, create a “Secret Board” that only you can see. I have secret boards for recipes, craft ideas and nail art, obviously.
HOW TO GET MORE PINTEREST FOLLOWERS
Honestly, you shouldn’t worry about this too much.
It’s important to remember that Pinterest is a search engine, not a social media platform. Having a lot of followers isn’t as crucial as it is on other platforms like Instagram. Rather than focusing on getting more Pinterest followers, you should turn your attention to creating better blog content and pins!
Regardless, here are some great ways to get more Pinterest followers fast:
- Post original content. The majority of pins you see on Pinterest are repins. That means there are a lot of people looking for fresh and helpful content!
- Repin from others. You’re going to have a tough time gaining Pinterest followers if you’re only posting your own content! So, make sure you are repinning content from others often.
- Follow people. This one sounds too simple, but I swear it works! I recommend following at least 5-10 new people every day. You can find new people to follow by searching for keywords or by joining Pinterest-related Facebook groups. I have a bunch listed in my Secret Library.
- Make it easy for people to find you. You should definitely have links to your Pinterest account throughout your blog and social media channels. And to make it easier for people to share your content, you might want to add a Pin It button to the photos on your site!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN PINS
Okay, this is the fun part!
With the right tools and a little bit of patience, creating your own pins can be easy. Honestly… it can even be kinda fun!
If you would rather not create your own pins, you can always hire someone on Fiverr to do it for you on the cheap. There are some talented graphic designers on the site!
And of course, you need to have some amazing blog content before you can start designing pins. And lucky for you, I’ve written a great guide on how to start a successful blog and a cheeky list of 19 essential tips for bloggers. Check those out if you want to know how to write great content and monetize it too!
Once you’ve written an impressive blog post, you’ll want to create an equally impressive pin that is going to pop out at people the moment they see it!
Tools & Design:
You can create pins for free through Photoshop, PicMonkey or Canva, which happens to be my personal favorite. Canva is seriously a lifesaver when it comes to Pinterest and the best part is that it’s completely free to use.
Click on “Create a Design” and you’ll see that Canva already has a preset for Pinterest graphics. Click on that and you’ll be able to use hundreds of Canva layouts or create your own from scratch. The standard pin size is 735 x 1102, but you can make it even taller if you like.
For the most part, you have creative freedom when it comes to designing your pins. Just remember some of these helpful tips:
- Use eye-catching colors like red, pink and orange
- Include text that is clear and easy to read
- Only make vertical images (horizontal pins will get lost on Pinterest)
- Be consistent in the pins you post
Sticking with a Theme:
Remember how we went over the importance of sticking to a theme with your Pinterest boards? Well, the same thing goes for your actual pins.
You want your pin branding to be consistent. For example, I make all of my pins with the same template:
And it’s also important to include your domain name on your pins. The goal is to have people start recognizing your content and website.
This is where having a self-hosted blog comes in handy! I don’t know about you, but I probably wouldn’t click on a pin that had “mayamaceka.blogspot.com” written on it. You want to have a clear and powerful domain name.
If you’re interested in going self-hosted, I highly recommend choosing Siteground. They are faster and more secure than the majority of other hosting companies. And their customer support is just amazing.
Even if you’re currently hosted by another company, Siteground offers quick, painless and completely free website transfers. They actually care about their customers.
Optimizing Titles & Descriptions:
Guys, I know I sound like a broken record but you need to optimize your pin titles and descriptions with keywords too!
Now assuming you have rich pins enabled, your article headline, author, and description will already be pulled from your blog. You can’t change this information once it’s on Pinterest, so be sure to include some keywords in your meta title and description.
However, you can add a secondary description to all of your pins. And you should definitely add your keywords here. I like to write a few keyword rich sentences describing the post and including a call-to-action for people to click through to my blog.
GROW YOUR TRAFFIC WITH PINTEREST GROUP BOARDS
This is where the power of Pinterest gets crazy.
Group boards have the ability to EXPLODE your blog traffic.
When you pin something onto one of your own boards, you can see it, your followers can see it and with some help from the Pinterest algorithm, people with similar interests to your followers will see it in their smart feed.
Pretty cool right?
But get this…
When you pin something onto a group board, you can see it and all of the board members will see it. If one of the board members repins your post, all of their followers will see it AND people with similar interests to those followers.
To put it simply: group boards make it possible for your pins to be seen by a lot of people.
How to find Pinterest group boards:
Sometimes you might stumble across a group board that’s related to your niche. But in most cases, you’ll probably have to hunt them down.
And my favorite tool for finding new group boards is PinGroupie.com. Yes, it’s free.
Just type a niche-related word into the description or title box and click Filter. You can sort the results by the number of pins, collaborators, followers and repins. To check out the group board, just click on the name.
The only downfall to using PinGroupie is that a lot of the group boards are no longer accepting new contributors.
And lucky for you, I’ve already done the leg work and found a ton of awesome group boards that are currently looking for new contributors! Join my Secret Library below to access the masterlist!
How to join Pinterest Group Boards:
Okay, so you’ve found some group boards that you want to join, but you don’t actually know how to get in.
No worries, I’ve got your back!
When you visit a group board on Pinterest, the board owner will usually include directions for joining in the board description.
And if there are no directions?
Well, you’ll have to do some digging and contact the board owner directly.
To do this, simply click on the board owner’s photo, check their profile for a blog or website and then find an email or contact form to get in touch with them.
Here is the exact email I send when applying:
When someone adds you to a group board, you’ll receive a notification in your Pinterest inbox. Hit accept and you are free to post your content onto the board. And of course, follow the board rules and don’t spam the group!
Alright, so you’ve set up and optimized your profile, created some awesome pins and applied to group boards. Now, I’m going to show you how you can automate your Pinterest account and literally pin while you sleep.
This part is not necessary, but it will certainly result in a huge traffic growth for your blog!
HOW TO AUTOMATE YOUR PINTEREST
Okay, now listen up guys!
This part is the secret sauce to the entire Pinterest strategy.
The first step is to sign up for a Pinterest scheduling tool like Tailwind. I like using Tailwind because it’s relatively low-cost and it’s packed with a bunch of awesome features. Oh, and it’s also an official partner of Pinterest, which means Pinterest is going to put Tailwind pins in front of more people.
Since I started using it around six weeks ago, Pinterest has become my biggest source of traffic by a landslide!
Here are the main features of Tailwind:
- Unlimited Pins. When you sign up for the Tailwind Plus plan ($10 per month), you can schedule unlimited pins. Honestly, this is reason enough to use Tailwind, because all other Pinterest scheduling tools have a limit.
- Smart Scheduling. Tailwind will show you when your audience is most engaged and optimize your pinning schedule accordingly. You can use the suggested schedule or add your own customized times.
- Chrome Extension. After setting up Tailwind, you can download the Tailwind Chrome Extension for free and make pinning from other websites a breeze. Seriously, you can schedule pins from any website, including Pinterest with just one click.
- Detailed Analytics. You can see exactly how well your boards and pins are performing on Pinterest. This is invaluable for your Pinterest strategy. You’ll know when your pins go viral and which boards give you the most repins.
- Tailwind Tribes. These are basically little clubs that make it easy for Tailwinders (totally just made that up) to share each other’s content. It’s where I often go to get new and fresh content for my Tailwind queue!
How’s that for a Pinterest Strategy?
I know that was a LOT of information to go through. And I’d ask you to trust me when I say that it’s totally worth it, but I want you to find out for yourself!
So, go on!
Start optimizing your profile, arranging your boards, following others and designing awesome pins. Don’t underestimate the power of pinning to group boards – this will exponentially expand your reach!
And don’t forget the secret sauce: automation.
Without automating and scheduling your pins, you won’t reach your true traffic potential.
I know that Pinterest is free, so paying for a tool like Tailwind might seem a little overkill – but think of this as an investment. To get a taste of Tailwind, sign up for a free month trial here.
LOVE THE POST? PIN IT:
If you’re hungry for more must-have blogging tips and tools, check out my resources page.
What works for you on Pinterest?
Let me know in the comments below!