Were you surprised by the results of my Pinterest interview?
Pinterest experts were interviewed in my post 15 Experts Share: Pinterest is the Best Way to Get Mind-Blowing Traffic. Regardless of their gender and blogging niche, the overwhelming majority of them indicated Pinterest is still worth your time.
Therefore, it is important you know how to use this popular social media site. After all, its user base continues to grow. For this reason, this Pinterest guide has great value to you as a blogger if you want to woo Pinterest’s users to your blog.
Other social media sites’ popularity may fade, but not Pinterest, this online virtual bulletin board visual feast.
What is Pinterest?
Think of Pinterest as a gallery full of giant bulletin boards. On your home feed, you will find pins from people you follow, suggested pins that Pinterest has strategically placed on your home feed based on your other pins, and promoted pins from those who purchase their spot on your home feed.
Within your Pinterest account, you will find your boards. Here you can create many boards relating to different topics as a way to categorize your pins. There are also secret boards, ones only you can see, and group boards, where multiple people pin to the same board. It’s a fairly simple set up but can yield incredible results.
The Popularity of Pinterest
Pinterest’s user base currently boasts over 100 million users, 85% of them are women.
An 8-Section Pinterest Guide
How to Make a Pinterest Account
Go to Pinterest.com and make an account.
Try to make your account look professional. For example, add your avatar. People are more apt to trust someone they can see.
If you are asked if you want to verify your account, do it. Again, people will be more apt to trust you and send traffic your way if your account is verified. Verifying your Pinterest account is easy.
How to Make Pinterest Boards
You make new Pinterest boards by clicking the + sign.
When you make a new board, you are given the opportunity to describe it. Make sure you use keywords in your board description so pinners (Pinterest users) can find your boards when they use Pinterest’s powerful search engine.
Break your blog into subtopics. Make each a Pinterest board. People say you should have personal interest boards, so pinners know you are a real person, well-rounded, and multifaceted with interests outside your blog.
I offer 23 suggestions for Pinterest boards you can publish. These are generic, applicable to any blogging niche.
How to Add a Pin to Your Boards
You can add your pin (your blog post’s graphic) or anyone else’s pin to your boards.
By looking at the screenshot, you can see two ways to pin to your boards. I have a Pinterest browser extension and a social share button on my blog. I could use either of those to save my pins to my Pinterest boards.
How to Order Your Pinterest Boards
You want your boards listed in order of traffic potential. This means you may have to change the order of your boards throughout the year. People say your holiday boards should be first during the holiday season. When people scroll through your boards on mobile devices, you want them to see the boards that have a chance to bring you blog traffic first.
For example, my blog is about blogging tips. I have my board name with “tips” in the title first. “Blogging Tips,” “Social Media Tips,” “ SEO Tips” are among the first of my boards.
After the boards that are likely to bring traffic to your blog, you should have other boards that reflect your personal interests.
After these, you should finish with the Community Boards you pin to. (Community boards will be explained more in depth later in this article.)
How to Make Pinterest Pins
Your Pinterest pins should be long and narrow. Your pins should look vertical.
The optimized image size on Pinterest is 735 px x 1102 px, 735 px is the widest an image is allowed, and 1102 is the tallest a pin can be. I usually make my pins no longer than 900 pixels just to be sure my pins will fit on Twitter.
I once had an administrator of a Community Pinterest board I pin to warn me against pinning horizontal pins to her board.
Many people take a photo that relates to their blog content and save the photo to their Pinterest board, which is fine. Other bloggers turn their photos into graphics.
They take their photos and upload them to a photo-editing site. Canva, FotoJet, PicMonkey, and BeFunky are examples of excellent, free websites which enable you to add colorful backgrounds, borders, and text with a variety of fonts to turn your photos into beautiful graphics. The more eye-catching your graphics are, the more likely the chances are that people will notice and click your graphic over at Pinterest which will bring you blog traffic.
Strategy to Get Blog Traffic from Pinterest
In February of 2016, Pinterest changed its algorithms which made it harder for bloggers’ pins to get visibility.
Previously, all pins were put to the top of the “smartfeed” which is not the case anymore.
However, there are steps you can take to increase the chances that people will see your pins and click on them.
- Choose bright colors. When choosing colors for your background and border, it is important to note that certain colors work best at Pinterest. For example, bright colors like red, purple, and pink are colors so bright that your pins will get noticed amid all the other pins at Pinterest.
- Comment on pins. Pinterest is a social media site. Be social and comment. You might even comment on your own pin when you see it in the feed since comments have been known to increase visibility.
Recently, I received a comment on a pin. I commented back. Immediately, my visibility at Pinterest increased.
However, you can still see your pins in the smartfeed even if they have no comments on them. What matters is you are commenting on pins, not necessarily the pins you comment on. I have been following this strategy for six months, and my experience is the same: commenting on pins brings you visibility at Pinterest, which can, in turn, bring you blog traffic if people click on your links.
I used to link to the Pinterest Game each week since the hostesses of this linky party commented on my pins. My Pinterest traffic grew as a result.
When your pins increase in visibility, it is likely you will see your own pin in the feed. I often see my own pins in the feed with the caption “Picked for you.”
3. Pin to Community Boards. Sites like Pin Groupie have Pinterest Community Board directories where you can find other pinners with content like your own. Pin to those boards so like-minded pinners can find you. (Note: Mostly Blogging has a Pinterest Community Board. If you are a follower of this blog and not currently pinning to our board and would like to, let me know in the comments section of this post.)
Philosophy about how many pinners should pin to the board varies. Community Board directories will tell you how many pinners pin to the board, how active the pinners are, and when the last pin was placed. I have heard anywhere from only 200 is advisable to the more pinners the better. I believe the latter is best.
4. Use automation tools. Automation will help you pin to your boards. If you pin too often, people may accuse you of spamming their boards. If you don’t pin often enough, you may be missing optimal times when you like-minded pinners are on Pinterest.
I highly recommend Viralwoot as a way to automate your pinning. I have over 100 boards, yet I am able to pin to my boards within a few minutes. Viralwoot has a free plan.
Ahalogy also is a free Pinterest scheduler. Others like Tailwind have a nominal charge. Viralwoot takes me less time than Ahalogy which is why I recommend it.
5. Make Pinterest pins rich. Rich pins have extra information on them.
Look– when I click my Pinterest social share button, I have two options for which pin to choose. Since I have Pinterest rich pins, I can actually have part of my article 5 Ways to Be a More Successful Blogger with a Perfect Homepage show under my graphic if I choose the pin on the farthest right. The name of my blog shows up as well.
According to the Pin Groupie blog, making your pins rich will actually help your SEO since your visibility will rise in search engines. The Pin Groupie offers an excellent article on how to make your pins rich.
6. Tag your pins. This is important. Pinterest is a content curation site. People use content curation sites to find content. By tagging your pin by putting a hashtag in front of your keyword, you can help people looking for posts to read find your content.
Certain tags get researched more than others. If you tag your graphic a popular keyword, you will increase your chances of your graphic getting found.
My advice is to tweak your keywords, so they fall into one of the popular searches. My article How to Blow the Roof Off Your Traffic Using Pinterest lists the nine most popular searches at Pinterest. Buzzsumo.com can tell you topics that are currently trending on the Internet that people may be searching for.
7. Click the heart. In her book THE ART OF PINTEREST PROFITS, Pinterest expert Julie Syl Kalungi recommends clicking “like” when you see your pins on Pinterest. If the powers-that-be think people like your pins, they will display more of them. I tried this, and the next morning I had traffic to one of my pins, a different pin.
8. Repeat your successes. There are several ways you can check to see how your pins are doing.
- You can check your blog’s dashboard and see how much traffic you are getting from Pinterest.
- Click Analytics. This will show you how many people saw, saved, clicked, and liked your pin.
- Look at the Pinterest social share button. The number of repins appears. My top screenshot shows the graphic to my post This is the Way You Can Make Big Money Blogging Now was repinned over 1,100 times. I can repeat this success by analyzing why the pin was so successful. I know the answer– it solves a pain point for Pinterest users– they want to know how they can make money blogging.
- Look at the number on the pin. It will tell you how many times the pin has been repinned. Since the graphic for How to Increase Blog Traffic by Writing Comments has a 2 on it, I know it’s been repinned twice. Clearly, Pinterest users would rather know how to make money blogging than how to write traffic-generating comments.
- Look at your source to which pins have been repinned and the repin count. This is MostlyBlogging.com’s source: https://www.pinterest.com/source/mostlyblogging.com/ Follow this model. Go to Pinterest.com/source/yourURL to see how popular your pins are.
9. Have multiple pins in each blog post. This will increase your chances of getting traffic from Pinterest to your blog. For example, you could have an infographic to accompany your post along with the graphic. I’ve even received Pinterest traffic from people clicking my screenshots.
10. Pay to promote. You can pay to promote your pins and get them more visibility.
Pinterest experts advise how to get traffic from Pinterest
- Katie Paul advises having a transparent shape over the photo. She recommends putting the letters over the transparent shape. This has a dual purpose. The colors from the photo “seep through” the transparency. You can still tell this is a dark, stormy day which fits the content of the article This Is How to Deal with Negative Blog Comments, 47 Ways. The second advantage of the transparency is the letters are visible as well.
2. Julie Syl Kalungi recommends you make your pins “sensory”. Looking at the above graphic, you can almost feel the wind. There actually was no wind that day. However, staring straight on, it looks like the rain clouds are being blown around the sky by the wind.
3. Raelyn Tan recommends a different strategy. She volunteered that she shares other people’s pins often and feels her pins going viral is a direct result of that sharing. According to Raelyn, when asked why her pin as received so much visibility, she responded:
- Loop 88 will pay you to make pins.
- Many people use Pinterest for marketing purposes. Make a Pinterest board with “offers” so people know what they see on the board is available for purchase at your site.
- Have a “Buy Button” on your pin. This enables people to buy your products directly from Pinterest. According to Jayson Demers, Pinterest now has “buyable pins“. If the pin has blue on it, the site user can buy the product pictured in the pin.
- According to Sunday Williams, bloggers and companies that make products for women are likely to do well on Pinterest since 85% of its users consist of women.
- Are you an affiliate marketer? Pinterest is now allowing affiliate links.
To help figure you who has unfollowed you on Pinterest
Recent Changes to Pinterest
Have you noticed the Tried It button? This new innovation by Pinterest enables you to keep track of which ideas you’ve already tried.
In closing, anyone can use Pinterest to increase website traffic.
In addition, recipe bloggers and crafts (DIY, Do It Yourself) bloggers are among the most commonly found pinners at Pinterest.
I blog about blogging tips. Many visitors and new subscribers to my site explained they found my blog on Pinterest.
Clearly, Pinterest is not niche specific. The site is also not specific to genders. Both genders can benefit from using Pinterest. Pinterest is composed of 85% women. Clearly, men are using Pinterest as well.
Many people lose interest in Pinterest believing they will never get traffic from the site. Pinterest is for patient bloggers. Once your graphic is on the site, people could click it years later.
Pinterest is designed this way. It’s a social bookmarking site, and your pin is the bookmark. People bookmark and come back later. What is important is that they eventually do return, and that is when you’ll see your reward– your blog traffic.
Please share this Pinterest guide, so other bloggers learn how to use Pinterest and its traffic-boosting and money-making potential.
Readers, what is your experience with Pinterest? Have you had success getting blog traffic from Pinterest? I look forward to your answers in the comment section.