While blogging about blogging—very meta!—isn’t usually my thing, over the past few months I have been able to learn and capitalize on the power of Pinterest for bloggers, and I can’t help but spread the wealth about how to increase traffic from Pinterest and gain more followers.
Right now almost 70 percent of the traffic to this site comes from pinners, despite the fact that my Pinterest following is still (relatively) small (though it did grow 160% in a matter of weeks, as a direct result of these steps!).
What’s more, I’ve discovered that traffic from Pinterest is far more consistent than that of other social media outlets—a major draw for bloggers who are frustrated by, say, changing Facebook algorithms (ahem).
The best part is that the steps I’ve been following aren’t complicated; they don’t require you to be a web developer or graphic designer. They just require a willingness to be smart and intentional about your pinning strategy (or to have a strategy in the first place!).
9 Simple Steps to Increase Your Traffic from Pinterest and Gain More Followers
1. Be picky about your pins.
Obviously the visual is king on Pinterest. If your boards are filled with eye-catching, visually attractive, and useful pins, you’re more likely to attract new followers.
The opposite is also true: It doesn’t matter how delicious the recipe title sounds or how great the parenting advice seems—if it’s been photographed in poor light or is accompanied by a super blurry image, skip it. People won’t follow you if your pins aren’t pretty.
Oh, and this goes without saying, but pinning spam or broken links won’t make you friends either!
2. Optimize images for Pinterest.
Is it annoying that the ideal image for Facebook is horizontal, while the ideal image for Pinterest is vertical? Why yes, it is. Throw into the mix the fact that lots of blog themes, including mine, are designed for square images, and you’ve got yourself a bit of a frustration!
I’ve found, however, that taking just a few extra minutes to make a Pinterest-optimized (read: long and tall) image makes a world of difference in driving traffic to your site. Using PicMonkey I can make two different versions pretty quickly.
Here’s an example of the square image that appears on my post 20 One-Line Affirmations for Moms:
And here’s the Pinterest-optimized version that I upload to Pinterest manually:
3. Give pinners a reason to click over.
Certainly you’ve heard the advice to spend as much time writing your headline as you do your article. That’s because today’s internet consumers are flooded by so much information that they need a really good reason to read your words instead of someone else’s.
Your headline needs to leave them wanting more, and so should your Pinterest image and description. Don’t give it all away; give away just enough to entice (without misleading, of course!).
Here’s an example of an image I use to draw pinners over to my review of Get the Behavior You Want…Without Being the Parent You Hate.
4. Learn from the best.
Being successful on Pinterest, just like any other social media network, is a marketing skill, and one that you can acquire.
Of course there are tons of articles and blog posts about winning and pinning (kind of like this one!), but none of them can compare to receiving up-to-date lessons, step-by-step instructions, and personalized feedback from someone who knows this game backwards and forwards—someone like Anna Luther.
I affectionately call Anna of My Life and Kids the Queen of Pinterest, a title she has most definitely earned. I got to work with her in August when I took the 2-week Pinning Perfect course she teaches through Blog Clarity, and it was an absolute gem.
Just during the two weeks of the class, while I was in the midst of implementing her tips and strategies, I saw my number of followers double and my traffic skyrocket—not just for a day but for every day since then!
If you’re interested, a new class of Pinning Perfect is opening today (September 29), and if history is any example, it’s going to fill up fast. You can get more information and sign up here. (That’s my affiliate link, which just means Blog Clarity will give me a small reward for referring you to the class. I promise I wouldn’t tout its benefits if they weren’t true.)
5. Pin your own stuff regularly.
I never used to pin my own stuff. It just felt weird and too self-promotional.
Then I had a revelation: I believe my blog posts are worth reading, right? I believe they offer something of value to the people behind the screen, don’t I? Of course I do, or else I wouldn’t keep doing this!
So then why would I not take steps to promote my posts?
The key, of course, is to avoid pinning your own stuff back to back, all the time. You should definitely pin your own stuff, just remember that your followers are interested in seeing other people’s stuff too—good stuff that you’re helping them find!
6. Time it right.
Many mornings I’m awake and at my computer at 5:30am, but of course not many people are going to see what I’m pinning then.
It’s worth it to figure out when your particular followers are hanging out on Pinterest so you can be actively pinning then. Lots of moms tend to pin in the evenings as a way to unwind once the kiddos are in bed, so that’s when I send out a lot of my stuff.
[Note: There are some services you can use to schedule pins, like Ahalogy and ViralTag. Unfortunately right now these have a wait list and a price tag, respectively.]
7. Build a Pinterest-friendly site.
Pinterest offers all kinds of tools and widgets to help make your site pinning-friendly. There’s the classic Pin It Button for images—which makes it fast and easy for readers to pin your posts—plus widgets for inserting your profile or a specific board directly onto your post page, like this:
8. SEO: It’s not just for Google.
Techies say that Pinterest’s new “guided search” feature—which is the slider that appears at the top of the screen when you enter in a search term, offering you additional terms to narrow your search—officially makes Pinterest a visual search engine. The search bar is also more prominent on the site than it used to be, meaning more people will be using it—and you should be too.
Before I write a description of my pin, I type my main keyword into the site’s search box to see what words and phrases it suggests to narrow the search. Then I see if I can incorporate one or more of those terms into my description.
Some people feel downright giddy about numbers, charts, graphs, and stats; other people feel downright depressed. But whether you love or hate analytics, they’re key to figuring out what you’re doing right so you can do more of it—and where you’re falling flat, so you can change course.
Pinterest recently revamped its analytics tools, but you can only access them if you’ve upgraded to a business account (so do that now!). Blog Clarity has a great breakdown of how to make the most of the information you can find there, including who’s pinning your stuff, which pins are most popular, and more.
Social media is the backbone of blog marketing, and for many of us, Pinterest is the most useful network out there. Making the most of it doesn’t require a degree in public relations or a background in web coding; it just requires an intention and awareness about how, where, and what you pin.
Do you get a lot of blog traffic from Pinterest? Which of these tips are you already using—and which do you want to start implementing?
If you found this post useful, I’d be forever grateful if you pinned it! (Pinning a post about Pinterest…we’re being very meta again!)