In this blog post, I'm going to go over some Pinterest marketing strategies for bloggers to start getting real traffic from Pinterest.
If you are new to Pinterest and need help getting your account set up, I created a Pinterest guide for beginner bloggers here.
I've tried a lot of marketing strategies: Pinterest, Google Adwords, Facebook ads, Google SEO, Twitter and a few others I'm too embarrassed to even admit to.
Some were good, some were bad, some were expensive. But there was one that was great and free: Pinterest.
It's the reason why I can now start a blog from scratch and make $1,000 per month within a few months - every single time.
WHY YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON PINTEREST
When you're a new blogger you're going to be tempted to try and learn everything. You'll want to be everything to everyone and be everywhere for everyone.
That is the exact opposite of what you should be doing.
Instead of trying to please everyone - find your ideal reader and focus on them only.
Likewise, focus on one traffic source and master it.
When you operate with a laser focus - you'll be amazed at just how much you can accomplish.
I can't overestimate how important Pinterest has been for my business as a full-time blogger.
If you know my story, you know I started creating (mostly) personal finance blogs. What you might not know is that the vast majority of their success was due to Pinterest.
I use Pinterest to drive hundreds of visits to my blogs every single day. Pinterest is by far my number one traffic source, beating out Google by a mile!
The reason for this is because Pinterest is a search engine designed to send you traffic. And unlike Google, new blogs can get a ton of traffic from Pinterest.
Traffic grows over time
When you post something to typical social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) your post is visible to only a fraction of your followers - and for a very short amount of time.
The average lifespan of a social media post could be mere hours - tops!
But on Pinterest?
Your pins last forever.
And as for reach, even your non-followers can see your posts!
Pinterest is a search engine and the more you add, the more chances you have of being shown in the search results or the home feed.
The pins I'm creating for this blog post can (and will) be seen by 5 or even 10 years after I add them.
If you want to see how this post ranks on Pinterest, search "Pinterest marketing strategies for bloggers".
Potential for going viral
This potential for virality with Pinterest is real.
Even though Pinterest is not social media, people still do share pins that inspire them. And when users start sharing - Pinterest takes note and may show your pin to a wider audience.
There's really nothing better than waking up to Pinterest notifications that "Your pin is heating up!"
You can automate it
Marketing is just part of running a successful online business. For me, it's 80% of... everything.
If you include writing content (which is a form of marketing) then it really is 95% of my day.
Luckily I'm able to drastically cut down on the time I spend on Pinterest marketing by automating most of it.
By using Tailwind for Pinterest, I've been able to automate my entire Pinterest marketing workload.
Tailwind makes it easy to schedule pins to the boards I choose to be posted at the most optimal times (during peak hours).
Then, there's Tailwind Smartloop which recycles my best-performing pins right back onto Pinterest. Awesomeness!
PINTEREST MARKETING FAQ
Is my audience on Pinterest?
Pinterest works for any niche that helps to improve someone's life or is about the dream of a better life.
In my how to pick a niche blog post I go over why you should choose a niche that helps improve someone's life because it not only is great for traffic - it's easy to monetize as well.
Here are a few niches that do well on Pinterest:
Do I have content Pinterest users want?
I teach in my how to write a blog post guide that every article should aim to solve one problem your ideal reader is having.
This is exactly the type of content that Pinterest users want to see. That's because, like I said earlier, Pinterest is a search engine.
And users on search engines are looking for solutions to their problems.
If you have content that solves a problem, it will do well on Pinterest.
Can you monetize this traffic?
I'm all about writing sales-centered content. That's content that is written for one specific purpose: to make money.
If you are writing about your day or your opinions about something - you're just wasting your time.
Not only will you not make money on Pinterest, you won't make money anywhere.
So yes you can monetize Pinterest traffic - if you write sales-centered content.
There are other ways to monetize Pinterest traffic without selling anything.
If you have a fashion, food, travel or lifestyle blog, you can use Pinterest to get traffic and make money with display ads. These niches do very well on Pinterest but are notoriously hard to monetize.
With these niches, you're typically not trying to sell anything, you just want as much traffic as possible.
How does Pinterest work?
By now I hope you know that Pinterest is made up of pins (images linked to content) and these pins are placed inside of boards (they're like folders).
Users can find your pins a few different ways:
- 1The home feed
This is the best source of free traffic there is. These are pins that Pinterest thinks you like. It's why Pinterest calls itself a search and discovery engine.
- 2The followers tab
If users click on their followers tab, they'll see the 5 most recent pins posted by users they follow only.
- 3Search results
Since Pinterest is a search engine, Pinterest SEO is becoming a thing now. I can get all technical here, but the short answer to appear in Pinterest search results is to add keywords on your pin (text overlay) and in your pin description.
- 4Related pins
When you visit a pin you're presented with related pins. Those pins can be related due to the subject of the pin but it's also based on the image as well.
SETTING UP YOUR PINTEREST ACCOUNT
Start a business account (or convert your personal one)
The first step is to get a Pinterest business account.
To convert your personal account to a business account click here. If you're going to go this route, set your non-business related boards to private.
If you want to start with a new account, log out first, then click here.
Set up your profile
- 1Fill out your bio
Add a couple of sentences to describe what you pin about, making sure to use keywords so your profile can be found via search.
- 2Claim your domain
To claim your domain you need to add a bit of code to your blog first. The easiest way to do this is to install the Yoast SEO plugin. It's one of the WordPress plugins I recommend beginner bloggers install.
Then, on your blog, go to SEO > Social > Pinterest and paste the meta tag there.
- 3Set up rich pins
This last part is crucial to improving the click-through rates on your pins. To set up rich pins, go to SEO > Social > Facebook and make sure Open Graph meta data is enabled.
Then go to apply for rich pins here. Choose any blog post and submit.
If you followed these steps, you should see a message that says "Congratulations! Your rich pins are approved and on Pinterest."
Okay great, now let's move onto populating our profile. You're going to want to create 10-15 boards about topics in your niche.
Don't create any broad topic boards, niche down as much as possible. If you have any content on a topic, create a board for it.
So for a fitness blog, for example, I wouldn't have a fitness board at all. I'd have unique boards for the different types of fitness techniques I write about.
Follow top bloggers in your niche
To populate your own home feed, follow several of the top bloggers in your niche. This will give you content to populate your boards with when you don't have any content of your own.
Doing this will also help you see what the top bloggers in your niche do on Pinterest to be successful. You can learn what pin designs they're using and what topics they are pinning about.
The process of creating a successful pin (or article, or course, or anything) always starts with keyword research.
You can do keyword research right on Pinterest. Use the search feature on Pinterest to discover new keywords to use on your pins.
For example, type in "weight loss" into Pinterest and you'll get the most popular keyword searches that include that term.
The top results I got were "weight loss meal plan", "weight loss motivation", "weight loss drinks" and "weight loss before and after".
And just like that, you have 4 new article ideas that you know are VERY popular topics on Pinterest.
I use Long Tail Pro as a keyword research tool in addition to Pinterest search.
The difference is that Long Tail Pro gives you the keyword popularity and a keyword difficulty score to help you rank for that keyword on Google.
Pin design basics
Creating pins all day is going to get you some traffic, but it won't generate the massive traffic we're seeking.
To truly dominate Pinterest marketing you must master the art of creating viral pins.
Let me be clear here, I am not a graphic designer. Never have been, never will be.
Yet I have somehow someway managed to create pin designs that have been shared thousands of times on Pinterest. Did I say thousands? I meant hundreds of thousands.
If I can do it, so can you!
Here are some basic principles to keep in mind when you are creating your pin graphics.
I have Photoshop and yet I always use Canva to design my Pinterest graphics.
It is incredibly easy (and free) to design a pin on Canva. Browse their Pinterest templates, pick one you like, change the text, change the colors and change the image.
The perfect image size for Pinterest, according to Pinterest is 600x900 pixels. Don't get hung up on that number though. What's more important is the ratio. The ideal ratio is 2:3.
Another common pin size is 1000x1500 pixels (still a 2:3 ratio).
The size I use is 735 x 1102 pixels (still a 2:3 ratio), which is the size Canva uses for its Pinterest templates.
Use text overlay
Many bloggers don't want to cover up a pretty picture with text. But it is necessary to find out what the pin is really about. It also helps Pinterest know what the pin is about since Pinterest can read text on images.
To make your text easily readable, find some white space in the image to add your text. Otherwise, add a box and put your text in the box.
Good design is more about what's not there, rather than what is there.
Many people just try too hard and end up messing things up. Simple is better in my opinion.
I like to choose one main color (in addition to black and white). Since I am not a graphic designer, this lets me not mess it up.
If you want to be brave and play with colors, use this color palette generator from Canva.
Write a catchy headline
I won't go into the art of writing a headline here, but boring headlines don't work on Pinterest (or anywhere for that matter).
Look at this catchy headline I just made up: 9 Insanely Simple Ways To Tame Your Wild Dog - Free Checklist Inside!
It has a number, an adjective, a keyword and a call to action. I think it's pretty good!
I use Thrive Headline Optimizer to help me write awesome headlines for my blog posts.
The way it works is easy. I add a few headlines I think will work well. Then, I let the plugin do its' thing.
It will run a test and choose the winning headline based on actual data from your blog (time on page, scroll-depth percentage & bounce rate).
Brand your images! Add your logo or your url on your pins. It will help raise brand awareness. Pin enough and pinners will start to recognize (and click on) your pins.
Create multiple pins for each blog post
I create multiple pin images for each of my blog posts. For some of them, I have up to 10 pins per post.
You don't have to create a new pin design for every single pin. Just choose a few designs and use those as templates for your other pins.
I can crank out a pin in under 5 minutes since I just have to edit the text and the swap out the image.
GROWING YOUR REACH
Pinterest isn't the enemy. In fact, they love content creators. Without us, they would have no content.
So don't think of Pinterest marketing as a way to outsmart Pinterest. Learn their rules and play within them.
In a nutshell, here is what Pinterest wants from creators.
Create and pin good content consistently and Pinterest will reward you with exposure.
Pinners who post every day are rewarded over pinners who mass-post infrequently. Don't take it from me, it's what Pinterest said.
10 pins per day is much better than dumping 70 in one day and disappearing.
It can end up being too time-consuming to post to group boards a few times per day. In fact, I think it's downright impossible. So you’re going to need some help.
This is where Tailwind can really help you maintain a consistent pinning schedule. They help you schedule your content at peak times to maximize engagement.
Good pin engagement
If you want to appear on the home feed, you need to create quality pins that receive engagement.
By engagement I mean it receives closeups, saves and clicks at a good ratio to the impressions it receives.
Imagine that each pin has a "pin quality score".
If a pin has received 800 impressions, but only has 5 closeups, 1 save and 0 clicks, that is NOT a high-quality pin and would have a low pin quality score.
On the other hand, a pin that has received 800 impressions, has 40 closeups, 15 saves and 15 clicks is more likely to be considered a high-quality pin.
Content is king
A good Pinterest marketing strategy always starts with great content. That's because Pinterest cares about providing a good user experience.
I don't talk too much about specific Pinterest marketing tactics because there aren't any. There's no magic number of pins per day. The platform just doesn't work that way.
Pinterest relies on its' users to tell them when content is good by engaging with it.
When you first post something to Pinterest, it will be shown first to your followers.
Depending on how well received your pin is, Pinterest then decides whether to roll out your pin to non-followers.
So focus on creating great content on your blog that Pinterest users will want to save to their boards.
Sharing from your site
Your blog visitors can help increase your engagement score too.
To help boost the engagement of your pins, you can have your own blog visitors help the cause by boosting your pin saves count.
At the end of every blog post, you should always have a call to action.
If you want more engagement on Pinterest, your call to action can be "pin this blog post on Pinterest". It's how I close most of my blog posts, including this one.
You should also use a WordPress plugin like Social Warfare to add share icons to your blog posts.\
In the pro version, you can add Pinterest Save buttons directly on your images.
This simple step can add valuable Saves to your pin and sends positive signals to Pinterest.
Get extra exposure via group boards
In order to get your pins seen by the most amount of people, you need to join Pinterest group boards.
A group board is a board where multiple collaborators can post to.
When you find a popular board in your niche with other contributors, you can message the owner of the board to ask them if you can join.
The owner of the board is the first profile displayed.
By pinning your content onto popular group boards, your content can be seen by users who don't follow you.
You can find group boards via Pinterest Search of course. Enter a keyword search phrase that relates to your niche and search in board names.
Note: Use group boards wisely. Only join group boards that are within your niche, are actively monitored and don't have too many contributors.
Afterward, routinely go into your Tailwind analytics to see how well your group boards are performing. If your pins are not receiving engagement, leave those boards.
I've saved the best for last.
The best way to get your pins shared on Pinterest is to join Tailwind Tribes.
A tribe is a group of users who actively share each others' content on Pinterest.
The rules of the tribes are usually the same: for every pin you add to the tribe, share one from someone else.
Tailwind Tribes is the perfect way for a new blogger to get their content shared by a power pinner with a huge following.
Thanks for reading 'til the end! If you learned something from this post, please share this post on Pinterest onto your Pinterest or marketing tips board!