Pinterest is hands down one of the best ways to drive traffic to you blog. If you aren’t on Pinterest you are missing a huge opportunity for your blog! You need to be on Pinterest. Want some proof? Take a look at my blog’s referral traffic. After search engines, Pinterest is the single biggest source of referral traffic I have. Every day it drives visitors to my blog through the pins they click. Over 89% of my social media traffic comes from Pinterest.
You can have this traffic too! You don’t have to be a social media guru to be successful on Pinterest. I will show you how you can build a following and start driving traffic to your blog starting right now by using Pinterest.
Step 1: Set it Up
The first thing you’ll need to do is set up your Pinterest account. If you haven’t signed up for one yet, now is the time! After you set up your account, you want to make sure that you have all of the information filled out.
Profile Set up Checklist:
- Complete Name ( ex: You @ Your Blog Name)
- Verify Account
- Add link to blog
- Add profile picture
- Add brief bio using keywords
- Connect Social Media Accounts
Business vs. Personal
There’s one question I see asked frequently by bloggers, that’s do I need a business account? The answer simply is YES. You MUST have one if you are using Pinterest for your blog. This is a requirement of Pinterest’s TOS that you signed upon account creation. If you are using Pinterest for your blog and have a personal account they can ban you. It’s completely free to have a business account there is literally no downside to it. You must have one.
Step 2: Follow Pinners & Interests
Pinterest is no fun if you aren’t following others! So start following people! Start with your friends and fellow bloggers whose content you love. Pinterest also gives you recommendations of people and interest to follow. If you have your social media accounts connected to your profile it will automatically suggest your friends from Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to check out your favorite brands too! Many brands excel on Pinterest and following them will give you popular content to share as well as help you build a relationship with them if you interact with them frequently.
Step 3: Set up your boards
All those pins will need boards to go on. So it’s time to create your boards! Pinterest has its own search function. This search engine works much the same as any other search engine. That means your good SEO is as important here as it is on your blog. Your board names as well as board description and your pin descriptions all need to have good search keywords in them. For example instead of calling a board “Pretties” call it “Jewelry & Accessories”, or instead of “Yummy in my tummy!” call it “Desserts and Sweets”. Use terms that people will search for in your board titles and descriptions.
When you create your board be sure to add an SEO optimized description and select the appropriate category for the board. All of this effort will make it easier for other pinners to find your content. You should also select a visually appealing cover image for your board. There are two schools of thought on this, some recommend having a custom image for your board covers. Others don’t. I am not a fan of custom board covers. I think you should highlight content pinned on your boards using the board covers. No matter what you choose for your board covers, the image should reflect your brand.
- SEO Friendly Name
- SEO Friendly Description
- Assigned to an appropriate category.
- Brand building cover image selected.
Step 4: Pin & Engage!
Finally, the fun stuff! Pinning! To pin successfully on Pinterest you need to keep a few things in mind. First, share others content! Your pins and boards should be filled with the content of others. Secondly, spread out your pins. Thanks to Buffer this is now easier than ever as you can schedule your pins to share automatically at times you select. If you go on so-called “pinning sprees” you run the risk of annoying your followers. Pinning sprees end up filling your followers boards with nothing but your pins and essentially spamming them. This can cause them to unfollow you!
Don’t forget the comments and the likes! In addition to re-pins, Pinterest values comments and likes on pins. Pins with many comments, likes, and re-pins are considered popular and will be more visible on Pinterest. Encourage your fans and followers to comment on and like your pins, while also returning the favor on other pins you come across on Pinterest. Replying to comments you get on Pinterest is just as important as it is on your blog or else where on social media. No one wants to be ignored!
Your Guide to Success!
You’ve set up your Pinterest account, you are pinning and engaging. Now what? What are the best techniques to use? How can you make your pins popular, and draw in followers? Use the following best practices and tips to get the most out of Pinterest.
Get the word out. Let your fans know you are on Pinterest. Add it to your social media icons on your sidebar, talk about it on your other social media accounts. Don’t assume people will just find you!
I’ve already mentioned it, but it’s not just for your blog! Pay attention to your SEO on Pinterest from your profile, to your boards, to your pins! Your SEO matters and your keywords matter!
Have Good Image Quality
Images are very important on Pinterest! It’s a highly visual social network so your visuals need to stand out. Your images must be of high quality, both in terms of resolution and design. In general large taller images are more successful, so go big! Make sure every post you have has a Pinterest worthy image. Encourage people to pin it in your post as well as sharing it yourself to Pinterest.
Join & Create Group Boards
Group boards are a great way to expand your audience and find awesome pins to re-pin. Don’t stop at joining group boards, build your own! They encourage more people to follow you and give your pins a wider audience. What could your blog’s group board be about? Fashion tips? Recipes? Travel locations? Deals?
Pin Popular Pins
Pining popular pins increases the chances other users will pin your pins. When this happens it will increase your visibility and show your board and pins in the suggestions after the pin has been pinned.
Pin in Your Niche (But remember your brand)
It can be so hard sometimes, but if your blog has a niche, stick to it on Pinterest too! However, that doesn’t mean you can only pin fashion pins if you are a fashion blogger. Remember your brand. The most successful brands on Pinterest (like Whole Foods) go beyond their niche to build their brands. They aren’t just pinning veggies and eco-friendly products, they pin things that encourage the lifestyle their brand encompasses. Use Pinterest to build the lifestyle your blog is all about. If you blog about boho fashion, show other aspects of a boho life from home decor to recipes to travel locations.
Consistency is key on Pinterest. It may take some time for you to build a following or your pins to gain traction. Keep going. It’s common on Pinterest for Pins to not take off right away. It’s not an immediate network like Twitter is. Be patient, and keep at it.
Pinterest gives you the ability to promote your pins. This does come at a cost, as with all advertising, but it can be well worth it. When promoting your Pins choose pins that are particularly topical (like holiday cookie recipes near the holidays) or that are your most poplar pins.
Protip: Not sure which pins are popular? Pinterest has a great analytics suite to give you lots of useful information. Use it to see what techniques and content is preforming the best for you and to figure out how you can improve.
Re-pin Old Pins
It might seem odd, but re-pinning old pins when done correctly can be very helpful. The key is to pin your pin only to places where it is relevant. For example a cookie recipe might go in your cookie recipe board, but it also might be good for holidays, so you could put it on your holiday board. Then it can also go on your group recipe boards. It can also be particularly beneficial to re-pin old content at relevant times for holidays and seasonal tips as people are often looking for that seasonal information.
Be Careful What You Pin
Pinterest does have guidelines for your Pins. They should point to the original content (not Google image search), they also don’t like pins that go to domains that have a bad reputation or broken links. So take care when you re-pin!
This protip contains an affiliate link. Should you sign up using this link I’ll get Board Booster credits.
Managing your pins can be time-consuming! Board Booster gives you tools to manage your Pinterest account, including scheduling pins, moving pins and managing and fixing common pin problems.
I’ve heard people rave about this. I’ve also heard Pinterest employees say that it doesn’t matter at all to your pin ranking. So take from this what you will. Until I see definitive evidence I won’t encourage one way or another.
Some people claim that by deleting pins you can increase your visibility on Pinterest. Some people have had great success doing this. I have tried this on both of my Pinterest accounts and didn’t see much improvement. I do have a theory though…
My theory is that certain people might have had a higher level of the low quality pins Pinterest doesn’t like. Lots of duplicate pins in the same boards, pins leading to bad domains, or with bad urls, etc. Deleting these pins will help clean up your account, and so put you in better standing with Pinterest and get you more visibility. So if you are careful about what you pin, and don’t duplicate your pins I don’t think you will see much improvement.
(Have you tried it? Let me know! I’d love to hear about your results!)
Order Your Boards
Your board order matters! You can move your boards around by dragging and dropping them. Pinterest will emphasize the first board you see when you visit your profile and then go down the line. So you will want to put your most important boards near the beginning. This should be a “Best of…” board or another board that highlights all of your blog posts on your blog.
Pinterest can be your blog’s new best friend. It will take a little effort on your part, but it can be the catalyst that drives your posts viral and increases your traffic. You can be successful on Pinterest no matter what niche your blog is or how big or small your blog is. Follow these tips and you are on your way to success!