Pinterest for Bloggers
What you can expect from this article…
- 1 – Tailwind, Boardbooster and other strategies to drive huge traffic in 2018.
- 1.1 Step 1: Set up a Pinterest business profile.
- 1.2 Step 2: Choose a name for your Pinterest account.
- 1.3 Step 3: Add a description
- 1.4 Step 4: Select a great profile picture
- 1.5 Step 5: Validate your website
- 1.6 Step 6: Register for Rich Pins
- 1.7 Step 7: Set up your first board – a ‘Best of’ Board
- 1.8 Step 8: Write a brilliant description for your board
- 1.9 Step 9: Find the best keywords
- 1.10 Step 10: Hide irrelevant boards
- 1.11 Step 11: Start filling your boards with QUALITY pins
- 1.12 Step 12: Make FABULOUS pins
- 1.13 Step 13: Upload your pins initially from your blog
- 1.14 Step 14: Check your Pinterest descriptions
- 1.15 Step 15: Start adding your new pins to your boards
- 1.16 Step 16: Launch your pin with facebook repin threads.
- 1.17 Step 17: Find quality group boards to pin to
- 1.18 Step 18: Request permission to join group boards
- 1.19 Step 19: Follow some people and gain some followers
- 1.20 Step 20: Start to schedule
- 1.21 Step 21 Join Tailwind tribes
- 1.22 Step 22 Pin frequently
- 1.23 Step 23 Monitor your results
– Tailwind, Boardbooster and other strategies to drive huge traffic in 2018.
I have a new obsession. Pinterest is taking over my life – in a good way. Well, at least good for my blog not so much for my social life! Turns out non-blogging friends find talking about Pinterest tactics a tad dull! But hey, I guess if you are reading this now, you find the subject ‘Pinterest for bloggers’ just as stimulating as me! So let me go on and explain why I cannot stop banging on about Pinterest and how it, along with boardbooster and tailwind can drive huge traffic to your blog!
Since I made the decision to focus my efforts on Pinterest a few months back, my traffic has been absolutely booming! I’m shocked by the results I’ve had in just a few short months! My traffic has increased by 250% and is continually rising! Where Pinterest used to be responsible for approximately 5% of my traffic – this week, it was responsible for 63%!!! My Pinterest monthly views increased from 40 000 to 234 000! For me, still just 6 months into my blogging journey, those figures are HUGE!
So why is Pinterest so good for driving traffic you ask?!
Well, firstly it’s a hugely popular search engine attracting over 200 million users worldwide each month!
It’s a growing platform – Pinterest has grown by a staggering 40% in just 1 year!
People using Pinterest are already looking for answers. They are not having your article foisted on them via their Facebook feed, they are actively looking for your article and they are hungry for information. Information that YOU have.
Pinterest users tend to have a decent income. 40% have an annual income of >$100k. Therefore they are more likely to invest in your products or services. If you are a travel blogger like me, they are more likely to have extra cash to spend on holidays and are therefore more likely to be interested in engaging with travel blogs.
Pinterest users are ready to invest. 61% say they have discovered new brands or products via Pinterest. 1 in 2 has made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin.
*all stats from pinterest.com*
Whilst there are many ways to get traffic to your site such as SEO, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, Pinterest will undoubtedly bring you the most traffic in the quickest time. SEO is super important too but it takes time to start ranking well on google searches and if you are impatient like me, you will want results FAST. This is where Pinterest can deliver. Even smaller newer blogs can receive HUGE traffic from Pinterest. My blog is only 6 months old but traffic is booming and I have Pinterest to thank for that!
So do I have you convinced?!
Here’s what you will learn if you read on:
1/ How to set up an awesome Pinterest profile that will have your readers intrigued to find out more
2/ How to optimise your site for business – everything from rich pins to Pinterest analytics
3/ How to create beautiful pins that will keep your readers coming back for more
4/ How to get your pins to show up first in the search feed
5/ How to join and use group boards and how to know if they are worth your time!
6/ How to use tailwind and board booster to save you heaps of time.
Now, I’m presuming you already have an awesome blog that you want to promote on Pinterest. But if not, then you should definitely check out my post ‘How to start a blog: a guide for technophobes.’
Before we go any further, the most important piece of take-home advice from this article is to stop thinking of Pinterest as a social media platform. It is not. It is a search engine like google or bing. You need to create content which is easy to find. Bare this in mind and follow this step-by-step guide to using Pinterest for Bloggers and you too will see a huge increase in your blog traffic.
** Pssst, this article may contain affiliate links. If you have no idea what this means, click here and everything will be explained!**
Step 1: Set up a Pinterest business profile.
There are many benefits to having a business profile from getting rich pins to Pinterest analytics. (More on those later.) Many people feel penalised for having business accounts on other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram with recent algorithm changes. But do not let this put you off. Pinterest does not penalise business owners and you will only reap the benefits of making this change.
Step 2: Choose a name for your Pinterest account.
Name your Pinterest account after your blog name and follow this with a brief explanation of what you blog about. For example The Globetrotter GP – a travel blog. This will make your profile more likely to come up when people search for ‘travel blog.’
Step 3: Add a description
Now add a more detailed description of your niche including plenty of keywords. Do you specialise in adventure or luxury travel? Solo travel or couples travel? What content can your readers expect to find? The more keywords you can work in naturally to this explanation, the more often you will be shown in searches.
Step 4: Select a great profile picture
Choose a profile picture carefully. If you have a logo, you may choose this. If not a close-up picture of you smiling and looking approachable is better than a photo of you in the distance. Make it personable. Also, make it relevant! If you are a photography blogger, what about a photo of you with a camera?
If you want to check out how my Pinterest page looks, you can check it out at www.pinterest.com/theglobetrottergp
Step 5: Validate your website
Now you have the absolute basics, it’s time to validate your website! Without validating your website, you can’t get rich pins and you won’t see any analytics. It’s easy to do, follow this great guide. Simples.
Step 6: Register for Rich Pins
Have you ever noticed how some pins have a more polished look with more information on them? It will say ‘article from..’ and the name of the blog, an icon from the blogger and when you click on it for a closer look you will be able to see the first few sentences as well as the description.
All these extra nuggets of information are designed to entice the reader to click on the pin and research has shown they have a much higher click-through rate than other pins. I definitely saw a surge in traffic after I switched to rich pins! You can read an article about how to create rich pins.
Step 7: Set up your first board – a ‘Best of’ Board
So now with all the basics in place, its time to start creating some boards. By far the most important board will be your ‘best of’ board. Here is where you will put all your brand new pins from your own website. Readers know they can go to this board and see only your quality pins and they know it will lead to quality articles.
Step 8: Write a brilliant description for your board
Take your time with this one. Remember this is the most concentrated collection of your pins available to other pinners. You want people to be able to search for your niche and be led straight to YOUR board full of YOUR pins.
So fill your description with lots of keywords that reflect your brand and niche accurately. There is no point in attracting budget backpackers if your brand is luxury travel for families. So instead use words like budget, cheap, backpacking, hostels, bargain, adventure etc.
Step 9: Find the best keywords
Whilst you can use any keyword search tool, I recommend for Pinterest, simply using the Pinterest search bar. Type in your main keyword eg ‘backpacker travel.’ Notice all those coloured boxes with words that pop up beneath the search bar? These are the words that people are searching for in association with ‘backpacker travel.’ The words on the left are the most popular so we know ‘backpacker travel packing’ has a larger search volume than ‘backpacker travel fashion.’
You need to weave as many of these keywords into your explanation as possible as long as you can do so in a natural way and as long as they truly reflect the content of that board. These keywords may also focus your searches for pins to fill your boards with. For example, you may want to find some posts on packing lists or backpacking for women tips for your backpacker board.
Step 10: Hide irrelevant boards
If you already have a Pinterest account which you are now using for your blog, you will want to hide your irrelevant boards. You may love that board full of cat memes and your bathroom board may have some great tips for tile designs but remember you are marketing yourself as an expert in your field. Your readers are not looking for cat memes or bathroom tiles. (Unless you are an animal or interiors blogger of course!) You can easily make some boards private under settings. Either that or set up a completely separate personal board.
Step 11: Start filling your boards with QUALITY pins
When you first start out, you probably won’t have many of your own pins so you will have to pin other people’s pins to fill your boards. That’s ok. Even well-established pinners will pin a mixture of their own pins and other peoples. But make sure whatever you pin is quality and relevant to your niche. Again, using the travel example, don’t pin luxury travel pins to a backpacker travel board.
Look for pins you would click on yourself. For me, these are upright pins with striking images and clear eye-catching titles. You need to show Pinterest that you can identify quality pins that get high repin rates which will boost you up the Pinterest ranking and get YOUR pins seen in the long run!
Top tip: Infographics are especially popular and have high repin rates so make sure you are pinning these to your boards and reap the benefits from the success of other peoples great pins!
To find these great pins, find some popular pinners in your niche and see what they are pinning! Visit their ‘best of’ boards and repin a few of those. Learn from experienced pinners by analyzing what they are doing and try to replicate a similar strategy but adapt it for your brand!
Step 12: Make FABULOUS pins
So now you have a great looking page full of boards with great descriptions and beautiful pins, it’s time to start drawing traffic to your own blog! The tool I use to make my pins is Canva. It’s super simple and completely free unless you want to pay for extra fancy features. You will find hundreds of predesigned pins which you can then alter by adding your own text and images, edit the colours, fonts etc.
Top tips for beautiful pins
Choose pins 735 px wide and between 1100 and 1500px long. Personally, I feel 735 x 1500 px is optimum.
Make sure your text is clear and eye-catching. There’s no point having beautiful fonts if you can’t actually read them! Choose colours which stand out. White often works well with colourful backgrounds.
Choose quality pictures. Preferably your own but if your photos are not up to scratch, you can download pictures for free from Unsplash or Pixabay. Choose images which are instantly recognisable eg for a pin about Paris, I have a picture of the Eiffel Tower. Try to avoid pictures with your mugshot in it!
Keep your pins recognisable by paying attention to your branding. You want people to see your pins and instantly recognise them. They will want to click through to your website because they’ll know you create great content. They’ll want to repin your pins as they know your content will provide their readers with value.
Whilst you’re there, why not make some pretty board covers that also fit with your branding and will give your Pinterest profile a polished look?!
Example pins good vs bad
Now let’s look at a few examples. Here is one of my newest pins against one of my very first pins back when I was clueless about Pinterest! Which are you most likely to repin?! I’m hoping it’s the one on the left! It has more information so you know what to expect, the texts stands out, it doesn’t have people in it and it fits with my colourful branding! Do you agree?!
Step 13: Upload your pins initially from your blog
Firstly, change the file name into something relevant such as ‘backpacker packing list.’ Upload it to your blog and type a pin description into the Alt text box. Again make sure your description is packed full of relevant keywords delivered in a natural way! Download a ‘pin it’ plugin so that you can directly pin from your blog to your best of group board. From now on, you can repin from the pin in your best of board on Pinterest.
Pssst, want to know which pin it plugin I use AND in fact every plugin I use to make this site? I have a secret list of 24 plugins that I use which all contribute to making this site look great, work well and bring traffic my way! You can gain access right here.
Step 14: Check your Pinterest descriptions
Usually, these should be transferred straight from your alt text, however, occasionally this is not the case. Double check your descriptions and make sure they fit the box. There is some debate currently over the use of hashtags. Whilst I’m yet to find any solid proof they can be helpful, they are not likely to harm you so if you have space left over, consider including one or two.
Step 15: Start adding your new pins to your boards
Hopefully, by now you will have several boards that you can pin to and some pins will comfortably fit on more than one board. For example, a pin about Paris would fit in a board about France, a European board and a city break board. However, do not pin to them all at once. Spread it out over a few days to maximise exposure to those pins.
Step 16: Launch your pin with facebook repin threads.
To allow your new pins to gain momentum, you want lots of people to pin them to lots of different boards. One way to achieve this is to enter a facebook repin thread. Here you enter an URL to one of your new pins. Everyone in the thread will repin that pin and in return, you must repin all of theirs. This can be time-consuming but on the plus side, you will hopefully find lots of great content for your boards. I suggest only entering threads relevant to your niche so that you don’t end up with any irrelevant pins on your profile! If your niche is travel then I recommend these facebook groups:
Pinterest for travel bloggers
Travel bloggers guide to Pinterest
Step 17: Find quality group boards to pin to
Group boards are a great way to reach a large audience even if you do not have many followers. However, you need to choose your group boards wisely. If the repin and engagement rates are low, Pinterest will deem the board unpopular and even though there are zillions of followers, the followers will not get shown the pins in their pin feeds! Therefore pinning to these boards are a complete waste of your precious time. Don’t do it!
The best way to find decent boards to join is to look at which groups the successful pinners in your niche are pinning to. Also, you can try Pingroupie to find some of the best performing boards in your niche. Alternatively, if you have blogging friends who are experienced with Pinterest, ask them if they can send you some invites to group boards. But remember to follow group board rules as it’ll reflect badly on your friend if you do not!
Step 18: Request permission to join group boards
Each board will have different directions for joining. Look at the group descriptions to find them. You will always need to follow the board and the owner of the board. You can find the owner by clicking on the list of contributors on the right. They will be the first person on the list!
You will then often be asked to comment on a pin, fill a form or send an email or direct Pinterest message with your details to join. Send your Pinterest URL eg https://www.pinetrest.com/your-name and the email address attached to your Pinterest account. If the board is very popular, I will sometimes attach an example of my pins and acknowledge the group rules in my email. You will have to apply to lots of group boards to be let into a few. Don’t be offended, move on and find new boards to join!
Step 19: Follow some people and gain some followers
I’ve purposefully left this to near the end as it’s really not as important as you would think! Followers are great but not a necessity to get results. I only have 500 followers so far and I am having great results. It’s notoriously hard to gain followers on Pinterest and it’ll be a slow progress but don’t let it hold you back. By using great descriptions with lots of keywords and making use of group boards will get your pins seen regardless of how many followers you have! You, however, should follow other people. Occasionally they might follow you back but more importantly, if you follow great pinners, their quality pins will appear in your feed prompting you to repin their fabulous pins essentially improving your ranking and getting YOU some excellent pin karma!
Step 20: Start to schedule
If you did all of the above manually, you might never leave the house! Scheduling will help immensely especially if you are pinning many times a day (I currently pin about 80 pins a day.) I personally sue Tailwind AND board booster as I think there are benefits to both. I will be writing a detailed post about the benefits of both soon! Watch this space people!
I use Board booster for automated looped scheduling to my group boards. My pins are set to go out from my ‘best of’ board to several of my best performing group boards each day. I can specify what time they go out and how many go to each board but the pins are selected at random. If you don’t have many pins, you will want to pin less frequently so that you don’t spam the board with the same pin over and over! Equally, if the board moves slowly you may want to pin less frequently than to a board which moves quickly. where your pins easily get lost! Board booster has a load of other cool features which we will discuss in a future post. It also has lists of the best group boards to join in each niche which is super useful! You can try Board booster for free here.
I use tailwind to schedule pins to my own personal boards. These are a mixture of my own and ones I’ve found either from my feed, my favourite bloggers feeds or from group boards.
You can download chrome extension which is essentially a handy icon next to your search bar which lets you pin from anywhere so I can pin en masse from certain boards. I can then either choose to add them all to one board or select different boards for each one.
Ho w to use the Chrome extension:
A really handy feature of Tailwind is that the smart schedule will tell you when is the best time to pin and will schedule accordingly. For myself, thats actually around 1-3AM as a lot of my readers are in the US and are a few hours behind me in the UK! I would never have guessed that without the help of tailwind Pinterest gurus! You can try Tailwind for free here.
In a nutshell, Board booster is great for automating your own pins into group boards. Tailwind is great for scheduling lots of content en masse at the most appropriate times for your readers!
Step 21 Join Tailwind tribes
Another great benefit of using tailwind is the Tailwind Tribes. These are groups where you can upload your content. They usually have high repin rates. You are often encouraged to repin more than you share and so as a result, a lot of your content will get shared far and wide!
Step 22 Pin frequently
The more you pin, the more exposure your brand gets! I currently repin 33 pins a day from board booster, 40 pins from tailwind and I manually repin at several points throughout the day when I see something which piques my interest. So on an average day, I will repin >80 pins. Approximately 50% are my own.
This number will be lower when you first get started as you will have fewer pins and remember you don’t want to spam boards! You also will want to repin other peoples more popular pins to boost you up the rankings! But in time when your pins become those popular pins, there is no harm in pinning more of your content.
Step 23 Monitor your results
Use Pinterest analytics, tailwind analytics and google analytics to monitor which of your pins, boards and group boards are the most successful. Use this information to fine-tune your pin design, make more popular content and focus your repinning efforts on more successful boards.
On tailwind analytics, you can see the repin rate of each board (also called virality.) I prefer to pin to boards with a repin rate of >1.0. If the repin rate is between 0.5 and 1.0, I may consider still using the board but only if I can see my pins are getting repinned or clicked on by analyzing the board in greater depth!
Keep a close eye on your analytics and make changes when necessary to keep your strategy current and relevant to YOUR readers.
This kinda turned into a mammoth post! And I’ve barely touched upon Boardbooster and Tailwind so I will be coming back to those in a separate post very soon! Watch this space!
Remember if you want access to my secret list of awesome plugins (24 of them!) then go get them here.
If you are looking for more tips on how to get traffic to your blog, check out one of my earlier articles ‘How I got over 3000 views in my first month of blogging!’
Do you have any top Pinterest tips? Any other strategies that I’ve not mentioned which have worked for you? Or any questions? I will do my best to answer them all! Oh and if you found this useful, I would so love it if you could share it with your blogger friends!