It’s no secret… I love Pinterest. Like, if I was told to choose one thing I could do for my business and nothing else, it would be spending time on Pinterest. I have even created a job for myself using Pinterest. I’m a little obsessed. Can you tell? But it wasn’t always like that.
Back in the olden days (you know, like, a few years ago) I didn’t even realise that Pinterest was meant to lead you to other websites. I thought it was all just pretty pictures of outfits and hairstyles and wedding inspiration. Yes, I was very naive and I had a lot of learning to do.
But, when I realised Pinterest had potential to not only grow the traffic on my website but seriously explode it, I made it my mission to find out everything I could, experiment as much as I could and spend every spare minute diving into the world of the little red Pin.
The growth didn’t happen overnight. And there’s not a ‘one shoe fits all’ solution. So if you’re here for a quick fix, and want to grow your reach from nada to millions in a day I’m sorry to say but it’s just not going to happen. But, if you give it your time and dedication, your Pinterest analytics could look like this too:
What Pinterest does that is amazing is that it just keeps going. What you pinned 6 months ago might go viral tomorrow. The things you do today set you up for growth in the next few months and years to come. It’s not like Facebook where you might go viral, have an insane amount of growth for a few weeks and then it tapers off. Pinterest just keeps going.
It’s a slow burner, but a very, very powerful one. Which is why I want to share with you exactly how I grew my Pinterest reach so you can learn from my experiments and mistakes and grow yours even faster.
But this isn’t something I’ve just done once.
The image above is from just one of my Pinterest accounts. And while I’ve taken clients Pinterest accounts and turned them into traffic driving machines, I also wanted to see if my strategies would work from a brand new account. Here’s the results:
This site launched on the 15th June 2017 and this shows you the Pinterest analytics through to the end of December 2017. Such a massive growth. By January 2018 this site was recieving over 100k pageviews a month.
It’s not all about your reach, it’s about translating that reach into clicks to your site and this is the way to do it.
1 – Set a Solid Foundation
Just about every ‘how to be successful on Pinterest’ post you see will have this as one of the steps. And while it may seem frustrating, it is a good idea to set a solid foundation for your Pinterest account. It’s not exactly the most exciting task but if you get it done at the start, then it is done and you can move on.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this point but I will run through the necessities.
If you’ve been around a while, do an audit of your Pinterest account. You can download a free copy of my Pinterest Audit Checklist I use whenever I take over a client’s account and need to get it back in shape.
If you’re just starting out, make sure you start out on the right foot with these steps.
Make Sure Your Information Is Filled In
Ensure as much of your information is filled in as you possibly can. Updated your name so it reflects you and your blog. This may depend on your blog and how you want to market it. For example, for this site, The Daily Femme, my Pinterest account is called ‘The Daily Femme | Business & Blogging’. This has allowed me to not only convey what my account and brand represents, but also include keywords in my title. Bonus!
You don’t have to stick with what you choose and you can change it at any time.
Also, make sure you have a clear username set. For years I had my username for The Daily Femme as ‘alexsmumma’ because I had moved my personal account over to my business account. Changing it was super simple but it did require me to go through and change any link to my Pinterest account. Changing it earlier is the best option.
You also need to create a catchy bio that lets people know who you are and what you do – bonus points if you can add more keywords into your bio as well.
Set Up Rich Pins
Rich Pins pull more data from your website URL when a pin is shared on Pinterest and makes your pins look a whole lot more professional. They seem like they should be and would be super difficult to set up but there’s a really easy way.
Convert To a Business Account
If you haven’t already, be sure to switch over to a business account. You can do this by heading to Pinterest for Business and signing in as a business account, which will convert your Personal account over.
This ensures you have access to analytics and advertising (if you ever want to advertise on Pinterest). The analytics are gold for being able to determine what your audience is loving right now and therefore what you should be pinning more of in order to get in front of them.
2 – Pin For Your Audience
Now it’s time to get pinning! But what are you going to pin?
Rather than just going all out and pinning everything that comes across your feed, you need to create a bit of a strategic action plan of what you’re going to pin and most importantly… WHY you are pinning these posts.
To start, ask yourself:
What articles have done well on your site?
Did you have a post about marriage advice that performed really well? Then you should create a board about marriage advice.
Do your posts about gluten free desserts perform way better than anything else? Create a gluten free desserts recipe board. You could even niche right down and create a ‘Gluten Free Chocolate Dessert Recipes’ board and a ‘Paleo Dessert Recipes’ board.
The idea is to start as close to the topics you have on your site and then work your way out.
You can do this with the more broad topics on your site too and then start adding boards within the similar topic range.
For example, you may write about living frugally as a family. Some boards you could create that fall into the similar topic range include:
Frugal Living for Families (broad)
Family Vacations on a Budget
Budget Family Meal Recipes
Meal Planning Recipes and Ideas
Budgeting and Personal Finance
Frugal Activities for Kids
I’m sure you could come up with many more.
Add a Board Just For Your Website
Pretty much the most essential board you’ll have in your Pinterest profile is a board entirely dedicated to posts from your website. This is where people can see all of your pins to your articles in one place and get to your site easily.
Name Your Boards and Add Quality Descriptions
It’s important to remember that Pinterest isn’t like any other ‘social media’ tool and functions a lot more like a search engine. Because of this, the names you give your boards and the descriptions you write about them are important in determining how (and if) they show up in a search.
For example, if you have a board dedicated to delicious chocolate recipes (can you tell that chocolate is on my mind right now?) and you name it ‘Nom Nom To Eat’ because you think it’s a cute name, it’s not going to show up in ANY search for chocolate recipes because you haven’t used either the word chocolate or recipes.
This is why naming your boards using specific keywords is important. This goes for the description too. These aren’t necessarily easy things to do and you should take time to carefully consider what keywords you want to have associated with your boards.
3 – Create Amazing Graphics
If you’ve spent more than two seconds on Pinterest you will have realised that Pinterest is a highly visual platform. There are tons of pins vying for your attention and you need to create beautiful graphics that stand out.
Easier said than done though.
It’s okay, I’ve got you covered.
You can use these free Canva templates if you’d like to skip the whole figuring out how to create your own Pinterest graphics.
Otherwise, you can create your pinnable graphics yourself.
To create your pins, you can use a program like Photoshop or Canva. With either of these, you can create a ‘template’ that allows you to change certain elements and keep the consistent theme of your pins.
There are 3 elements that make a pin appealing:
Search anywhere online for the correct dimension for a pin on Pinterest and you’ll find the answer to be 735px x 1103px. But I’m going to call it, and say that’s not true. This size pin is okay but it’s not the best.
After a whole heap of experimenting, I’ve found the best size pin to be 735px x 1500px. The extra length helps to get your pins seen in Pinterest’s feed and allows you to have larger images, and larger text. Winner!
Pinterest is like a gorgeous Google. It’s a search engine with beautiful imagery, and it’s that imagery which will help you get noticed. The importance of amazing images is even more prevalent for those with food blogs, design blogs or fashion blogs but even if you don’t fall into these categories, having beautiful images will increase your repin rates.
Thankfully, for those of us who don’t have the time to take our own photos of everything, there are amazing stock photography websites that offer stock images that don’t look like… well… stock images.
Trivia Note: Images with faces showing are repinned 23% less than those without.
On par with your imagery for importance, the text on your pins needs to be eye catching and appealing. Spend less time finding fonts that are in vogue and stick to the ones you use on your site already that are clear and easy to read.
Have a look at the pins you repinned yesterday, what was it about the text that appealed to you?
I always suggest having the blog post title, or at least a descriptive variant of it, as the text on your pin. You want to be clear about the information the person will get if they click through, and you don’t want to be ‘click baity’.
It’s also a good idea to add some form of branding to your pins, whether it’s your blog’s logo or as simple as the URL of your site.
Once you’ve created your pin template, use this style for all of your pins. You can experiment with various elements over time but for now, focus on creating a consistent pin style that will help your pins get noticed by your followers more easily.
4 – Create More Amazing Graphics
This has been one of the biggest ‘ah ha’ moments for me when growing my Pinterest account. I had what I thought were fairly good Pinterest graphics that had performed quite well. But it when I started experimenting with different styles I really struck gold.
I created a different pin style for some of my most popular content and pinned that to Pinterest too, linking back to the relevant URL. Suddenly I started to see surges in traffic to my site and according to my Pinterest analytics, it was because of my new pin styles.
Not that there was anything ‘wrong’ as such with my older pin styles, but the newer style may have appealed to a different audience, or it may have been easier to read, or it may have just been shared differently.
As much as I love having a set brand design, I still experiment with various styles to see which works best for my audience and tweak them along the way.
5 – Find Group Boards and Join Them
Group boards are the KEY to significantly growing your blog traffic and boosting your reach on Pinterest. While barely having a following of your own, you can ‘tap into’ the followings of others, which can sometimes be tens of thousands of people following a single board.
The goal is to find active boards and niche boards – these tend to perform better than general boards and if a board isn’t active and has very few repins, then it won’t matter if they have 2,000 or 200,000 followers if people aren’t taking action on the pins.
Some of my favourite places to find group boards to pin to are Facebook Groups (search Pinterest Group Board on Facebook and you’ll find heaps), checking out (aka politely stalking) influencers in your niche and seeing what group boards they pin to, and searching in Pinterest ‘Topic + Group Board’ for example you might search ‘Recipe Group Board’.
Follow the instructions in the group board description as to how to apply to be a contributor and make sure you pay attention to and abide by the guidelines.
6 – Make Time Every Day To Pin
I pin a lot. And I mean a lot. While there are automation tools to help this (see next point) it is clear in my experience that growth is significantly faster and sustained when manual pinning occurs as well.
A lot of Pinterest ‘experts’ will debate over the ‘magic’ number of times to pin a day. What I have found, while managing different Pinterest accounts across a variety of niche areas, is that there is no golden rule. For some, less is more. For others, more is more (up to a point). What I have found is that in no case, has pinning over 150 times a day proven beneficial. Nor has pinning less than 30 times a day.
So, that means the goal is somewhere between 30 – 150 and you need to find what works for you.
For most accounts, the 100 mark seems to work well.
Sound scary? It doesn’t need to be.
These 100 pins are made up of manual pins, scheduled pins, campaigns and looping automations – really it takes around 10 minutes a day to pin manually (sometimes more if I’m easily distracted) and scheduling takes an hour or two each week. There are a variety of ways you can schedule, it all depends on what works for you.
However, if you’re in the early stages of growing your account, I highly, highly recommend sticking to manual pinning until you have a good understanding of what works for your audience.
7 – Take Advantage of Automation Tools
BoardBooster looping saves my toosh. The scheduling tools are also brilliant and their analytics fill in the gaps that are left by Pinterest.
You can sign up to a free trial with BoardBooster which will give you around 500 free pins. I have heard people saying they get over 1000 free pins with their trial though so it’s worth a shot. Even if you ONLY use BoardBooster for the additional statistics during your free trial, it will give you a great insight into your boards and which ones are performing well.
BoardBooster is by far my tool of choice, there are other alternatives like Tailwind that some people rave about, but nothing compares to the power of BoardBooster (sounds like an infomercial for a vacuum cleaner hey..?).
If scheduling pins out is too much to wrap your head around, you can use their simple ‘looping’ feature with literally takes the oldest pin on a board, repins it to the top and then after a set number of days it determines which of the two pins has performed better and deletes the lower performing one.
What this does is keeps your pins moving and your account active, and it shows your older content (both your pins you’ve pinned and pins you’ve pinned from others) to your newest followers.
When I was really sick for around 3 months, BoardBooster looping is literally what kept my Pinterest account ticking over. I didn’t touch Pinterest for 3 months and didn’t see a drop in traffic to my site. Ah-may-zing.
8 – Assess, Adjust, Keep Going
Over time you’ll start to see trends of what is working for your audience and what isn’t. The types of things you’re pinning and your pinning style won’t be the same now as it will be in 6 months or 12 months. And if it is, then there’s a problem and you’re not adapting to changes.
Want me to walk you through each of these steps in great detail as well as an inside guide into exactly what I do? Check out my eBook – Pin Like You Mean It:
These are the steps that I took to grow my brand new Pinterest account to sending over 100k pageviews a month to my site, it’s the steps I’ve used to grow multiple Pinterest accounts for clients and it is the exact steps I’m taking to grow my next Pinterest account for my newest site. Pinterest is incredibly powerful, all you need is someone to walk you through and help you take control of what is right there ready for you to use.
This post contains affiliate links to products I use and highly, highly recommend.