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Pinterest can be an enigma. If you've clicked on this post, I'm guessing you're probably struggling: either you don't have a clue where to start with Pinterest, or you've managed to figure out the basics but want to learn how to grow your traffic.
This was me until not too long ago. I've had this blog for almost five years and I only started taking my Pinterest account seriously about a year and a half ago, which I now kick myself for every day. If I'd only known how effective it can be, I could have had so much more traffic for those first 3.5 years.
The BeginningThis is how I used to operate: I would upload a random picture from my newly published post to Pinterest, with no description. I didn't make pins. I didn't even have any boards. Then I would forget about it until I published a new post, and do the same again.
This actually makes me cringe now. No wonder my views from there were so low. I had no idea how to use Pinterest properly, or why other people would say they were receiving thousands of blog views a month from there. I didn't believe that was actually possible.
Before I learnt how to use Pinterest I would receive around 5,000 pageviews a month on my blog, if I was posting consistently (which, let's be honest, I rarely do) as well as sharing old posts on social media. None of these views came from Pinterest, btw. Most of them came from Twitter and Google searches (which are still both in my top three referrers, it's just that Pinterest has now overtaken them both combined).
Now I'm receiving around 20,000 monthly pageviews, with minimal effort, whether I publish a new post or not. And it's all thanks to the magic of Pinterest.
Here are my top tips for cracking Pinterest, growing your account and increasing your click-through rate. Please note that I am by no means a Pinterest expert - I'm just an average user who has learnt how to use the platform effectively. I still have a lot to learn, but I want to share some of the things which have helped me grow my following and ultimately 'explode' my blog traffic.
Firstly, switch to a business account, claim your website and enable rich pins. These are all quite simple and Pinterest itself has clear instructions on how to do these things, so I don't need to go into details. Also make sure to upload a photo of yourself, preferably the same one you use for your blog and other social media accounts.
|My Pinterest stats|
It's Not All About the NumbersWhen I first cracked Pinterest, I was a bit obsessed with how many monthly unique viewers I received on the platform itself. My goal was to hit one million and I even wrote it as one of my blogging goals for 2019. Now I realise that monthly Pinterest views aren't all that important if people aren't actually clicking through to your site. At the time of writing I currently receive 296.7K monthly viewers, which is quite good, but like I said, it's not the be-all and end-all.
Another thing that doesn't matter much on Pinterest, unlike other social media sites, is follower count. You don't need loads of followers in order to get your content seen. This is because Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social network. Think about it: you don't log into Pinterest to chat to people, do you? You more than likely go on there to search for something, click on a pin that seems relevant, and head over to the person's blog to read more.
(For the record, I have about 1.1K followers and like I just said, still receive almost 300K views and 20K blog views per month, which proves that your follower count isn't all that important).
Write for Your AudienceI mainly write my blog posts with my Pinterest audience in mind as they give me the most traffic. For example, Pinterest users seem to love minimalism and personal development so my posts on those topics always get shared a lot on there. On Twitter I have more followers, but most of them are bloggers and aren't necessarily interested in those subjects (with some exceptions) but do enjoy my blogging tips posts. If one platform gives you more traffic than others, it makes sense to put more of your time and effort into growing it. You'll definitely notice the difference in your blog traffic as a result.
As a side note, I've found that Pinterest users are also the most likely to use my affiliate links. My theory is that because they're already searching for something specific, when they find your post which answers their question (and yes, you have to answer their question completely, without making them more confused) they're willing to use your link to purchase the service or product they're looking for.
Casual readers such as, say, your friends from Twitter or someone who's just randomly stumbled across your blog, are less likely to be in the 'ready to buy' headspace. They're just reading for fun and aren't thinking about making a purchase right now. That doesn't mean that they won't in the future - if they see something that interests them, they'll probably remember your post and come back to you when they're ready to buy - but people who have actively searched and found your post through Pinterest are more likely to click those links right away.
I can't go any further in this post without giving credit to my friend Ell Duclos from Boss Girl Bloggers for her amazing course, Pinterest with Ell, which is what helped me finally understand how to use Pinterest effectively. Since buying this really affordable course just over 18 months ago, my traffic has risen dramatically. I still think this one course was the best investment I ever made for my blog - you can read my more detailed review here.
Obviously I'm not just going to repeat everything I learnt from the course as that wouldn't be fair to Ell - if you want to know more, you'll have to buy the course - but I will share my personal strategies and techniques, some of which I learnt from the course and adapted to suit me and Nic's Healthy Life.
It's important to note that you need to be patient when you first start implementing new Pinterest strategies - you will see an improvement in your traffic within the first few weeks (or even days), but don't expect to be receiving millions of views overnight. If you think that way, you're going to be disappointed and tempted to give up. Give it time and you'll slowly start to see your stats creeping up.
Now let me get into the nitty gritty and tell you about the specific strategies I personally use to get traffic from Pinterest.
The Secrets of My Pinterest SuccessFirst of all you need to create some boards that are relevant to your blog's niche. I have boards called Health & Fitness, Personal Development, Minimalism, Blogging Tips and Cleaning & Organisation. I've further split most of these boards into sections, so for example, in my Health & Fitness board I have separate sections where I pin healthy recipes, fitness tips and mental health content. In my Blogging board I also have a section for social media tips.
I also created covers for all my boards using Canva, which is pretty quick and simple to do. This just gives all my boards a uniform look.
I make all my pins on Canva, too. My biggest tip for Pinterest success is to create eye-catching pins - you're competing with millions of other pins on the site so make sure yours stand out and grab people's attention.
Have a little scroll through Pinterest to see how other people design their pins and notice what kind of pins you're drawn to - chances are most other people will be, too. Don't straight up copy someone else's pin but use it as inspiration for your own. As a general rule, vertical pins with high quality images and bold fonts tend to perform best. Here's an example of one of my pins which is currently doing well:
You probably already know how important SEO is to a blogger. Well, it's just as crucial on Pinterest. Make sure to optimise your display name, bio, boards and pin descriptions by using relevant keywords which people will be searching for. You can use the search bar to give you suggestions: for example, if I type in the word 'minimalist', Pinterest also suggests the search terms minimalist bedroom, minimalist tattoo, minimalist fashion, minimalist lifestyle and more.
Pinning Tips and TricksHow often should you pin? I tend to pin every day, throughout the day. I make sure to pin a mix of my own content and others'. You don't want to seem spammy by posting only your own pins all the time.
Try to pin approximately 30-50 times a day. This may seem excessive, but the more you pin, the more blog traffic you'll achieve. If you don't have time to pin manually you can join Tailwind which is a pin scheduling service (the first month is free with my link). This takes a lot of the stress away because you don't have to spend as much time pinning but will still see amazing results. Just make sure to also pin manually from time to time as Pinterest does like its users to be on the platform.
It's okay to pin the same pin to multiple (relevant) boards; the more boards you have, the more times you can re-pin the same pin. Don't post a pin to an unrelated board - it would be ridiculous for me to pin a minimalism related post to my health and fitness board, for instance. It wouldn't perform well and would look really out of place. The people who've specifically followed my health and fitness board wouldn't be interested in it either and I would just look like a spammer.
I also wouldn't recommend pinning the same pin to the same board more than once. This can also come across as spammy and Pinterest may penalise you for it.
It's a good idea to make multiple pins for the same post, in different styles and with slightly different titles. I do this a lot to see which pins perform better. I don't post them all at the same time, though - I spread them out over time, on multiple boards.
If you have a business account (which you should), make use of Pinterest Analytics and the Business Hub to see which of your pins are performing the best. These are the ones to re-pin. If a pin isn't doing very well for me, I usually create a new one for that post, in a different style to see if that works. The insights on Pinterest Analytics are often fascinating and really useful to help you grow. Don't ignore them.
I'm also a member of a few group boards. Some are niche-specific and some are just for bloggers to share their posts, whatever their niche. The niche-specific boards tend to offer more traffic, but I've found that all can be helpful. You can join a group board by emailing the owner and asking them to add you.
Group boards can be especially helpful for newer bloggers and people with a smaller Pinterest following, as they get your pins in front of a larger audience so you have a higher chance of being re-pinned. Make sure to pin other people's content from the group boards to your boards to support them too - don't just drop your pin in the group and run.
As you can see, there's a lot to learn when it comes to Pinterest and I feel like this post only covers the tip of the iceberg, but I hope it's been helpful and given you some useful ideas. Let me know if you try them out and how they work for you.
If you really want to get serious and grow your Pinterest, I definitely recommend investing in a course such as Pinterest with Ell, the one that finally helped me to understand this elusive platform (again, you can read my review here).
Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest so we can grow together!
Do you love or loathe Pinterest? What are your best tips for growing on there? Let us know in the comments.
Let's get social!