Welcome to the ultimate beginners guide to Pinterest for bloggers.
Pinterest is an awesome traffic source - and yet many new bloggers completely ignore Pinterest marketing. Big mistake!
Many bloggers are reporting exponential traffic growth from Pinterest in 2020. But how can beginners who are new to Pinterest get serious traffic from Pinterest in 2020?
In this ultimate beginners guide to Pinterest for bloggers I'll show you step by step how turn your Pinterest account into a traffic generating machine.
We'll go through the process from starting a Pinterest business account all the way to using Tailwind to automate your Pinterest marketing.
Giddy up, let's get started.
What Is Pinterest and how does it work?
Pinterest is a visual search engine where users save ideas to try later. Think of it like Google search but with images.
An easier way to think of Pinterest is like a digital version of an old-school corkboard where ideas are pinned to.
These "pins" are images that link to the source URL.
For example, users can save a DIY coffee table how-to, an in-depth travel guide or hopefully your amazing epic blog post.
These ideas to try later are saved by users to their Pinterest boards.
For example, a keto recipe might go in someone's "Keto Recipes" board and in someone else's "2020 Weight Loss Goals" board.
For this article, the pin image(s) I create are going into my "Traffic Tips" and "Pinterest Marketing" boards.
The best tip I can give you is this: Use the platform as a regular user to understand how people use PInterest.
Understand what makes someone save a pin to a board, click on a pin or follow a user.
When you begin to see how Pinterest is used, you can get a better understanding of how to market your blog on Pinterest.
Why Pinterest is a great traffic source for bloggers
Remember, Pinterest is a search and discovery platform, which means its' users are on there to look for new ideas or solutions to problems.
In other words, they are looking for your content.
Pinterest, unlike social media sites, is designed to send you traffic.
Best of all, Pinterest is perfect for new bloggers because you can start getting traffic from Pinterest right away.
While there is a slight learning curve when you're new, there is nothing in the Pinterest algorithm that punishes new users and new pins.
On the contrary, fresh pins are exactly what Pinterest wants!
But there's more:
- 1Pinterest traffic is free and plentiful
Forget about trying to pry Facebook, Instagram or Twitter users off the platform, it's not going to happen.
Social media sites get a lot of traffic - but they aren't designed to send you any of it. Their number one goal is to keep you on the platform to show you more ads.
But Pinterest? Pinterest traffic is free and there are 335 million active users in 2020 looking for ideas and solutions.
- 2Your content can go viral
Just one pin that takes off can send you loads of free traffic.
While Pinterest is more search engine than social media, there exists a virality factor that can skyrocket your pin visibility across their entire network.
- 3Pinterest traffic is evergreen
Pinterest is a search engine - not a social media network. This means one pin can remain in the search results for years to come.
Think of the average lifespan of a tweet, Instagram post or Facebook update. It can be a few hours - tops.
Now think of your reach. You are lucky if even 5% of your followers see your post.
On Pinterest, the exact opposite happens. The pins you post to Pinterest will stay on the platform forever.
I have actually tried to delete old pins but people keep sharing them. I have years-old pins that are still making their way through Pinterest.
That’s the power of Pinterest.
- 4You can (practically) automate your Pinterest marketing
You can mass-schedule your pin images to be posted at peak hours months ahead of time. This can be done using Tailwind (more on how to do this later).
- 5Google SEO takes a long time
If you're a new blog you can forget about getting Google search traffic, it's not going to happen.
Google will not show love to new blogs, period. New blogs lack quality backlinks, lots of content, social media shares and domain age - all important Google ranking factors.
what blog niches can be successful on pinterest
You might think your blog content isn't suited for Pinterest. Think again. Many niches can be successful on Pinterest.
In my how to pick a blog niche article, most of the profitable niches I listed do very well on Pinterest.
While home decor, crafts, recipes and weddings are huge on Pinterest - so are blogging, travel, parenting, heath & fitness and personal finance. Bottom line is this:
If your niche is about helping people improve their lives, it's going to do very well on Pinterest.
Latest Pinterest demographics for 2020
If you're still not convinced that Pinterest is the traffic source you should focus on, maybe these numbers will change your mind:
Pinterest has 335+ million active users.
71% of users on Pinterest are women. (And who has final say over important financial decisions in your household?)
40% of dads in the US are on Pinterest.
52% of millennials use Pinterest every month.
Only 28% of marketers use Pinterest. (There's plenty of room for you)
80% of users access Pinterest via mobile. (Is your blog design mobile-friendly?)
Why new bloggers should focus on pinterest first
So you start a blog, write a few blog posts, put some ads on your blog and what happens? Crickets.
For many bloggers, traffic is the most challenging part of blogging.
The problem isn't that there's not enough traffic sources, but that there's too many of them.
When you're a new blogger you are going be tempted to try everything to get traffic to your new blog.
That's where the problem lies. When you try to be everywhere, you end up being nowhere.
If you try to learn them all, you will end up knowing a little bit about everything - but you will not master anything!
Instead, focus ALL of your energy on ONE traffic source.. and DOMINATE it!
Hopefully by now you see the power of Pinterest marketing for bloggers.
Ready to get started? Let's start by setting up your Pinterest account.
STEP 1: SET UP A PINTEREST BUSINESS PROFILE
If you already have a Pinterest account you can convert your personal account to a business account here.
If you go that route, be sure to set your non-business related boards to Private.
To start fresh, you can sign up for a Pinterest business account here.
- 1Add a username
Choose a username that matches your blog title. Mine is dosixfigures.
- 2Choose a profile image
Add your websites' logo or a headshot.
- 3Set your display name
Since Pinterest is a search engine, keywords matter. Add a couple of keywords to describe what you do. Here are a few examples of good display names.
Do Six Figures | Start A Blog | Make Money | Work From Home
Photog World | Photography Courses For Beginners
Nancy Saves Money | How To Get Out Of Debt
Fit Planet | Weight Loss Tips For Women
- 4Add a keyword-rich bio
Write a one or two sentence description of what your business is about. The best bios focus on how you can help your ideal reader.
As with everything Pinterest, use keywords in your bio.
"Want to work from home and make money online? I help people start & grow money-making online businesses. Take my free 4-day blogging bootcamp to get started."
STEP 2: CLAIM YOUR DOMAIN AND ENABLE RICH PINS
Not all pins look the same. Rich pins stand out and will drive more traffic to your blog.
With rich pins enabled, your profile picture title and description are prominently displayed.
In order to get rich pins enabled on your account, you'll have to take the following steps.
- 1Claim your domain name
Go to the Claim section in your account settings and add your domain name.
Select the "Add HTML tag" option.
Copy the meta tag, we'll be adding it to your blog next.
In WordPress, go to SEO > Social > Pinterest and paste the tag there.
- 2Add open graph tags
To get rich pins your blog needs to output "open graph metadata" so Pinterest can grab data from your blog post like your blog icon, the date, title and description.
To add them, again in WordPress, go to SEO > Social > Facebook and enable Open Graph metadata.
- 3Apply for rich pins
Submit any live blog post to the Rich Pins Validator tool. If you claimed your blog and added open graph tags, it will pass validation.
After it has been validated your rich pins should show up shortly.
STEP 3. CREATE AND POPULATE 10-15 BOARDS
As I mentioned earlier, Pinterest is made up of pins that are saved to boards. Before you can start making and saving pins, you need a place to put them.
- 1Create 10-15 niche specific boards
Use your blog categories to help you create your 10 to 15 boards that relate to your niche.
You should create boards about topics you write about or plan to write about.
Don't be afraid to really niche down into smaller sub-niches. The more specific you can make your board the better. I've even found some niche-specific boards show up in Google search results.
Here are some of my board titles:
How To Start A Blog
Blogging Tips For Beginners
Pinterest Marketing Strategies
- 2Use keywords in your board title and descriptions
Don't get fancy with the board title. Pinterest needs to be able to find the keyword in the board title.
Fill out the board description with additional related keywords.
For example my How To Start A Blog board description reads "Step by step guide on how to start a blog and make money for beginners."
- 3Populate these boards with popular relevant pins
When you're new on Pinterest you might not have any pinnable content yet. That's perfectly fine.
Start by saving other peoples' content on Pinterest. We want Pinterest to see us as a curator of great content.
As you create more content you can start prioritizing posting your content instead.
If you save content on Pinterest that consistently gets good engagement, your overall profile will benefit.
- 4Follow similar accounts
In order to populate your Pinterest home page with relevant pins to share, you need to follow a few accounts first.
Do a keyword search for your niche and follow the accounts that have pins at the top of the search results.
You will probably end up getting a few followers of your own by following a few accounts first. You can start with my Pinterest account here.
The real benefit of following high-quality accounts is that your Pinterest feed will be populated with only high-quality pins you can save on your newly created Pinterest boards.
STEP 4: create and post your first pinterest pin
Now that you have your Pinterest account set up, it's time to start creating your own pins.
- 1How to design a Pinterest pin image
There's a few ways to create pins.
Clearly the best option is to create the pins on Canva and use their pre-made Pinterest templates. All you have to do is change out the image, edit the font and text, save the file and upload to Pinterest. Easy peasy!
- 2Recommended pin size for 2020
For a while, really long vertical pins worked best. But in 2020, Pinterest has been clear they want a 2:3 aspect ratio or 1000 x 1500 pixels.
Anything longer and it may be cut off.
- 3Create multiple pins per post (Fresh content)
Even if your blog is new and you don't have a lot of content, you can still be successful with Pinterest.
The trick is to create multiple pins for each article. Each one will have a different image and pin description but link to the same URL.
I create anywhere from 5-10 different pins for each of my blog posts. This isn't spamming. This is creating the fresh new content (images) that Pinterest wants on their platform.
- 4Publish your pins to Pinterest
There's a few ways to add a pin on Pinterest.
Directly on Pinterest. Click on the red and white plus sign on upper right hand corner on Pinterest. Upload your image, add a title, description and the URL.
With the Pinterest save button. Install the Chrome extension to pin from your blog.
Directly on Pinterest. Click on the red and white plus sign on upper right hand corner on Pinterest. Upload your image, add a title, description and the URL.
From your share icons. Use the Social Warfare WordPress plugin to add share icons to your blog post. You need this plugin to help your readers to share your content on Pinterest.
STEP 5: JOIN relevant GROUP BOARDS
Posting pins on your account can get you some traffic. But if you really want more exposure on Pinterest, you need to put your pins in front of a larger audience.
That's where group boards come in to play.
- 1What are group boards anyway?
As I mentioned earlier, a group board is a collaborative board where different members can add content to the board.
Originally, it was intended for a small group of people to contribute ideas on a project.
For example, a wedding planner could invite a bride to be to a group board so they can share ideas.
Marketers sort of took over group boards and now they've become a way to get more exposure to your content.
Pinterest group boards in 2020 are not dead. But what has changed is the way to benefit from them has evolved.
To be successful with group boards in 2020, you need to be selective and only post on Pinterest boards where your pins get engagement.
You can find pin engagement data on your PInterest analytics here.
- 2Find niche boards to join
While Pinterest group boards aren't as useful as they once were, you should still join curated boards within your niche.
To find group boards you can do a search on Pinterest and search in board names.
You can also search for keyword + group boards to get better results.
You can identify when a board is a group board by the circle in the lower left hand corner showing multiple users.
Once you find a group board you like, send a message to the board owner asking to join their group board. The owner of the group board will be the first person listed under Group members.
Be selective and only join boards where the pins posted closely align with your own content.
If you find a board that's full of spam or off-topic pins, do not join these boards. What will happen is pins you post will get zero engagement and you'll actually be hurting your entire account.
STEP 6: SIGN UP WITH TAILWIND
If you want to be successful on Pinterest you need to use Tailwind. There's just no way around it.
Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduler that helps you automate Pinterest marketing. Here's what you can do with Tailwind.
- 1Smart scheduler
Pinterest wants you to be active on the platform. According to Pinterest's own best practices page, they recommend and reward creators for being consistent:
"Add new Pins over time rather than uploading a bunch at once. This helps you reach a wider audience. You can schedule Pins up to two weeks in advance with our scheduling tools, or plan even further out with tools from approved Marketing Partners."
The Tailwind Scheduler is great because you can create content in batches, then schedule out your pins to be shared for months in advance. Best of all, Tailwind will actually recommend the best time slots to post when your audience is most engaged.
The only way to succeed in Pinterest is to see what is working & do more of it and see what's not working and stop doing that.
Using Tailwind's Analytics you can see so much data about your account, your pins and your boards.
If you see a certain group board doing well, post more often in it. If you see a group board doing poorly, leave it altogether.
The same applies to your pins. If you see a certain style doing well, add more with the same style. And if you see a blog post doing well, create additional pins for that post only.
Looping your pins is when you recycle your old pins and post them again. While it's important to create new content for Pinterest, if you have good performing pins they deserve to be shared again.
With the Tailwind Smartloop feature you can schedule your best pins to post again and again to the boards you specify.
Smartloop is not spamming and is not against Pinterest's TOS. There are built-in controls within Smartloop to prevent you from saving the same image to the same board too closely.
You can see the performance of each of your looped pins too. So if any are not performing well you can just remove them from the loop. As you continue to do this throughout the months ahead you will eventually be pinning only high quality pins that receive engagement.
Tailwind Tribes are groups you can join within Tailwind where users share each others' content.
The way it works is like this:
Let's say there's a group of fitness bloggers who started a Fitness tribe. You have a fitness blog too so you join the tribe.
You can add a pin to the tribe and the other tribemates can share your pin with their audience. Can you see just how valuable this is for a new blogger?
Each tribe has its' own rules, but most of the time the rule is for every pin of yours you add to the group, you have to share a pin from your other tribemates.
Tailwind Tribes is by far the best way to get traffic to a new blog.
If you use this link to sign up with Tailwind you can schedule up to 100 pins for free (no payment info required). Plus you can join up to 5 tribes and add up to 30 pins to your tribes per month.
STEP 7: focus on creating fresh content in 2020
Pinterest, unlike Google, has been very open about what they want from content creators.
And in 2020 Pinterest made it abundantly clear: they want fresh pins.
Here are some frequently asked questions about fresh pins.
- 1What is a fresh pin?
A fresh pin is an image that has never been published on Pinterest before.
- 2Can I still save (or re-pin) my older pins?
While the focus should be to create new images, this doesn't mean you can't republish some of your best performing pins again. It just means Pinterest prefers brand new images.
- 3Who will suffer from the fresh pin algorithm change?
Older established accounts who have been running republishing their old content over and over again will suffer.
- 4Who will benefit from the push for fresh content?
Pinterest will reward content creators who are actively creating new content for their platform.
- 5Where can I get the latest on Pinterest marketing for bloggers?
You can follow the Tailwind Facebook page here, it's a great resource to learn about the latest Pinterest algorithm updates in 2020..
Thanks for reading and if you found this post helpful, please save it on Pinterest in your Blogging or Pinterest marketing boards!