Pinterest for Bloggers
You may have heard by now that Pinterest is the #1 way to drive traffic to your blog. Tons of bloggers swear by it, and so do I. Since you’re here, you’re probably wondering exactly how. This is something I can help you with!
When you’re first starting out with a new Pinterest account, it’ll take a bit to start seeing a real difference. But you don’t want to wait until you have a more popular account before you prepare your account and your blog. You need to get started as soon as possible to see results sooner.
I’ve written this post to be an ultimate guide to Pinterest for bloggers. These tips will teach you how to use Pinterest for your blog and get traffic through proper set up on your blog and your Pinterest account. You’ll also learn how you can track your progress with analytics tools.
How to Use Pinterest for Your Blog
There are 5 main things to remember when using Pinterest for blog traffic:
- Link your blog to Pinterest
- Add buttons and images specifically for Pinterest to your posts
- Create a Pinterest traffic building strategy
- Use analytics to track your Pins
- Allow time for your methods to work
In addition to this post, I’m also offering up a free workbook to help you create your own Pinterest marketing strategy. You can use it to make sure your blog and Pinterest account are set up properly and that you’re doing everything you should be to start getting traffic from Pinterest!
View this post and some of my other Pinterest-related posts in e-Course format:
Let’s start by talking about your Pinterest account. There’s a lot of things you can do to keep your Pinterest account in good shape for driving traffic to your blog. In fact, it starts as soon as you decide to sign up.
If you already have a Pinterest account, don’t worry. This guide will show you how to can fix up your account so it’s perfect for promoting your blog.
Create or Convert to a Business Account
If you decide to use your personal account for your blog, the first thing you should do is turn it into a business account. You may also want to create an entirely new account specifically for your blog and that’s okay too. I did this as well.
Why a business account? Well, you’ll have access to things like Pinterest analytics, website verification, and you’ll be able to set a business name for your account. You’re going to want all these things to help you grow your account and send traffic to your blog.
Verify Your Website
Linking your blog to Pinterest is what allows you to view repins, clicks, and saves for pins from your blog. To link your blog, you need to use the website verification in the Pinterest settings.
Enable Rich Pins
Rich Pins are those cool pins you see that tell people where a pin was pinned from plus some extra information about the linked content. Rich Pins provide information like an article title, a map, or even movie ratings. Along with verification, they’ll make Pinterest trust your content a bit more.
How to Apply for Rich Pins
In the past, I think this was a whole big thing where you had to wait a day or two to be approved, hence the scary sounding “apply”, but really it’s a quick and easy process so long as your blogging platform supports it. Fortunately, WordPress does!
All you have to do to enable Rich Pins is have an SEO plugin on your blog (I recommend Yoast SEO) and enter your URL at the Rich Pin Validator.
It’s not enough just to add your posts to Pinterest or expect people to use their own Pin It button. You need to make it easy your readers to share. Give people subtle reminders that they can pin your content through buttons, images, and text.
Social Sharing Plugins
You want to make it easy for people to share your posts on Pinterest, so you’re going to want to make sure you have a big red Pinterest button on all of your posts. Okay, maybe not BIG but you definitely want the button!
While yes, a lot of Pinterest users are using the Pin It button browser extension, having the button on your posts is a reminder that pinning is an option.
If you’re not using a social sharing plugin yet, this is a good time to get one. If your blogging platform doesn’t support plugins and doesn’t have a way to add a Pinterest button, you can also add a button with a code from Pinterest.
Pinterest Sharing Plugins
There’s a ton of options for social sharing plugins out there, but here are a few popular ones:
All of these include options for other popular social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Pick one that works best for you!
Some of these also have options to create floating buttons that appear on your images. This helps as another little reminder for people when they hover their mouse over an image. You can create these with Sumo or find another plugin specifically for overlays.
To get traffic to your blog from Pinterest, you need images that are going to get found on Pinterest. Just like how there are optimization techniques for your blog, there is SEO for Pinterest. Pinterest SEO includes two things, optimization of your Pinterest account, and optimization of your images on your blog.
This post will help you out with the Pinterest account stuff, but I have another post that shows you how to optimize your Pinterest images.
Now that you’re all set up, it’s time to start developing a strategy for getting traffic from Pinterest. You’re going to need the right board setup and to do a fair amount of pinning. Of course, you can’t forget to add your own posts to Pinterest as well!
If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to break out that free workbook!
How Much Should You Pin?
I recommend that you pin a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 50 times per day. Some people do more than this (way more, like 100-200 pins per day) and see great results. I suggest you start out low and then work your way to up a good amount for you. Remember, you’re not gonna get tons and tons of traffic right off the bat, so pinning MORE doesn’t mean you’re going to do better.
In fact, it may do more damage than good. A study by Tailwind showed that engagement “flatlines” after 50 pins each day, resulting in less followers and repins, and that high volume pinning actually results in penalties that decrease your visibility.
So be careful when going too far over 50 pins, and don’t constantly pin hundreds of times each day. When you’re first building up your account, you’re going to pin a LOT, but tone it down once you’ve got some pins on your boards! Use secret boards or a scheduler like Tailwind (includes a $30 credit until February 28th!) if you find your pinning finger is itchy (happens to me a lot).
Pin Your Blog Posts to Pinterest
There’s basically 3 ways you can pin your blog posts to Pinterest; through the browser “Pin It” button, by using your social media sharing plugin, or by adding a pin directly from Pinterest. Just as you would any other post online.
If you created multiple images for one post and you don’t want to add them into your main blog post, you can upload directly to Pinterest and set a link to your post. Otherwise, you can visit your blog post and use your browser or Pinterest share button to add your pin to Pinterest.
Make sure you’re pinning from the actual post and not a preview page of the post. If you pin from a preview, the link won’t work for others. The pin also won’t show as a Rich Pin, so if you notice one of your pins showing up wrong, check the full link to make sure it’s the right one.
Using the browser button or your sharing plugin are the easiest ways to add pins, but you can also upload directly from the Pinterest website. If you have extra images for your posts that you don’t want to show on the post and don’t want to deal with the little extra coding it takes to add hidden images, website upload is a good choice.
You can also use the direct upload when creating custom board covers. When you upload, you have the option to add a URL. Your board covers upload as pins, so might as well have it point to a page on your blog, right?
Check out this tutorial on Mint Swift if you’d like to know how to create board covers that fit the upcoming new Pinterest board previews.
Pin Relevant Content Only
All your boards and pins should reflect the message for your blog. If you’re pinning things that aren’t related, you’re going to get followers who might not care about whatever your blog is about.
Your goal is to drive traffic to your blog from Pinterest, so you need to do everything you can to only attract people who would be interested in clicking through to your blog posts. If you have an art blog and your Pinterest mostly contains food pins, when you add your art related blog posts, it’s going to be out of place. People follow you for food. Maybe they like art, too, but that’s not why they’re following you.
Plus, with the new Smart Feed algorithm, your art pins just aren’t going to reach for your followers who are mostly into food pins unless they also express an interest in art. So it’s possible most your followers won’t ever see your posts at all. So! Stick to keeping your Pinterest account as close to your blog’s niche as possible.
Clean Up Your Boards
Every single one of your boards should have a purpose. That purpose is attracting your potential blog readers. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your boards are optimized for your audience:
- Only include boards that your intended audience would search for.
- Keep board names obvious. Don’t use cutesy names that aren’t descriptive. (Use “Desserts” instead of “Dangerous Yum Yums!” or something).
- Add descriptions to each board with relevant keywords.
- Make sure the pins in each board actually belong in that board.
What do you do if you already have an active Pinterest account and you don’t want to delete or move pins that aren’t relevant? Turn it into a secret board.
Secret boards are what Pinterest calls its private boards. Only you and other collaborators can see them. That means you can pin whatever you want to them, even if the pin has nothing to do with your blog.
Creating Secret Boards on Pinterest
To create a secret board, just flip the little switch that says “Keep secret?” when you create or edit a board.
You can change a public board to private at any time by editing the board and flipping the switch from there.
If you have any boards with pins you still want access to, but the boards don’t make sense to have on your account, you can switch them to secret boards instead of deleting them.
You might not have tons of Pinterest followers, but that’s okay! You don’t really need them thanks to the Smart Feed and group boards. Group boards are the best way to reach a large audience of people.
Not only will you connect with other Pinterest users who might be interested in reading your content, you’ll also be exposing your pins to other collaborators of the board. They could see your pin and repin it on one or more of their personal boards. This means you have a chance to take advantage of a whole lot of audiences.
What are Pinterest Group Boards?
Group boards and Pinterest boards that are pinned to by multiple people, or collaborators as Pinterest calls them. You could have just 2 people or hundreds of collaborators all pinning to one board. It’s a good way to get your pins seen by another person’s audience and start building your own follower base.
Starting Your Own Group Board
If you want to start your own group board, all you have to do is start inviting people to one of your boards. Make sure they already pin stuff relevant to the board. Add your rules and how to contact you for an invite to the group description along with the relevant keywords for the group.
Finding Group Boards
There are a few ways you can search out pinboards that allow contributors; search in Pinterest, websites that list group boards, and also in Facebook groups or other communities. There are also tons of bloggers out there that post lists of their favorite group boards.
Group Board Websites
- PinGroupie (no longer updated but still useful)
- The Pin Junkie
- BoardBooster (you don’t need an account to view!)
Pinterest Facebook Groups
Joining Group Boards
Joining group boards isn’t exactly the most obvious thing, but honestly, it’s not hard at all. Pinterest doesn’t have a magic “request to join” button, unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get invites.
Joining a board is as simple as asking the group owner. Usually, they’ll provide some instruction (usually sending them an email) for what you need to do to get an invite if they’re still accepting contributors.
If no instructions are provided, I just send the group owner a message through Pinterest. You can also try finding their email or contact form on their blog if they have one.
Make sure you keep track of the rules for posting to each board. You don’t want to get removed from a high performing board because you posted the wrong thing. Totally happened to me one when I was tired and not paying attention.
RIP, best board.
Try Tailwind Tribes
Tailwind Tribes are a new-ish feature recently added to Tailwind. You don’t need to have a paid Tailwind account to use them, though.
Tribes are groups that people fill with pins so other people in the tribe can repin them. In order for tribes to be successful, people need to repin from them as well as adding their own pins. Together, everyone shares in a huge pool of pins. Bloggers helping bloggers! What an awesome tool, right?
Be Careful When Using and Joining Tribes
Most Tribes have rules to make sure people are repinning others’ content. If you don’t, you’ll get kicked from the tribe.
Fortunately, Tailwind is pretty awesome with helping you keep track of things. You can actually see how many times you’ve pinned from a tribe, what pins you have in each tribe, and if you’ve added a pin to a certain tribe already. It even shows you if you have a positive repinning rate when you’re adding pins to a tribe.
For best results, choose a few tribes that are closely related to your niche. A say a few because being in a bunch of tribes can get difficult to manage your repins, just like group boards. I’ve joined a bunch to start out with so test the waters and see which tribes work out best for me. Then I can narrow down which ones I want to be posting to a lot.
How to Add Pins to Tailwind Tribes
While they are AWESOME, adding pins to Tribes might be a little confusing the first time. It’s not very obvious if you’re not used to using Tailwind already, so I’ll help you find it!
There’s two ways you can add pins to tribes:
Through the scheduling interface, either after using the Tailwind browser extension or from your drafts
And through the Pin Inspector
Join My Tribe!
You can join my tribe for bloggers and entrepreneurs and also get a $15 Tailwind credit ($30 until February 28th!). Try it out for a full month! Remember, you don’t NEED a paid account to use tribes, but it makes it way easier to add and schedule pins from tribe members.
Tribes are pretty much a huge step forward in helping bloggers promote themselves and other bloggers. I suggest you at least check it out. It’s a good way to get your pins out there while you’re waiting to hear back from group board owners since tribes are way easier to get into. All you need is an invite link to join.
How to Find Tailwind Tribes
There are tons and tons of niches out there, so you’ll need to do some digging to find the perfect tribe for your blog. A Google search can help you or even a Pinterest search. Lots of bloggers are promoting their tribes.
Singing Through the Rain has a great list of 75 Tailwind Tribes to join from a variety of niches that you can check out. Here’s also a good link to tribes for blogging tips as well. There’s a few there that allow posting of non-blogging related content, too.
You can also find tribe admins in Facebook groups. In addition to the groups mentioned under the Group Boards section, here’s a couple Facebook groups dedicated to tribes:
I bet you’re going to want to know how your efforts are paying off! There are several ways you can keep track of your progress of Pinterest. You can see how many pins you’re posting, how many followers you’ve gained, and track clicks, saves, and repins. Oh, and of course, see if you’re getting traffic from Pinterest and also how much.
This is where you can see all your Pinterest stats directly from Pinterest. As mentioned before, you need a business account to be able to see the analytics options. You can view stats for your profile views, all pins on your account, or pins linking to your verified website. Pinterest Analytics are delayed by about 2 or 3 days so you won’t see real time stats.
There are in-depth pages for each section from which you can change the date range and view specific stats for each pin. If you hover over a point in the graph, it’ll display the exact stats for that day.
Sometimes it’s a little buggy for me if I mouse over things too fast and it won’t show the information tool tip. If this happens to you too, just refresh the page and try again.
Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling tool that is useful for much more than just scheduling. It provides suggestions for your account, free email reports for followers and pins, and can help you find more items to pin as well.
Tailwind analytics are great because they provide you with so much info! You can look at stats for every board on your account, even group boards. Track the number of pins added, new followers, and repin rates in the last 7 days. You can also track your own pinning and follower activity.
Even if you don’t subscribe to Tailwind, you can make use of all of these features. Paid accounts do have more features, but you can see the basics that you need.
If you’ve got Google Analytics or another analytics software installed on your blog, you can track your traffic from Pinterest. Visits from Pinterest will show as “pinterest.com / referral” or if you have some other UTM tracking on your links, it will show that as the medium instead of the referral.
If you know how to use Google Analytics, you’ll be able to tell how Pinterest users (and any other visitors) interact with your blog. Do they leave after reading one post? Have they subscribed or purchased an offer? What links did they click on?
You can use all this information to help you revise your current blog posts or to help you create new ones.
WordPress Site Stats
I like using my WordPress stats because it’s easy to view everything you want to know in a simplified format. For those of you who are overwhelmed with all the data from Google Analytics, WordPress site stats is a lot easier to read.
It doesn’t provide you with as much information, but you can at least see which pins are driving traffic to your blog, how many views each post receives and what links people are clicking on. You won’t be able to see these in the context of “THIS traffic came from Pinterest and then went on to this link, then this one, then other” but you can get a sense of the overall performance of your posts.
Don’t forget to connect the Jetpack plugin to a WordPress.com account so you can record and view your stats.
Once you have your strategy in place and a way to track it, you need to give it time to work. Pinning stuff doesn’t mean it’s going to be popular right away. Pins have to sit and “age” for a bit before they become popular. Following the steps outlined above should help to get the ball rolling when it comes to people finding and saving your pins, but you need still to have patience.
Pinterest has crazy longevity
Remember that technically, Pinterest isn’t social media so it shouldn’t be treated like Twitter or Instagram. On social networks, you post something once, maybe it appears at the top of the feeds of your followers, and then it gets buried by all the other posts that are made after it. Your post has a really short lifetime!
Since Pinterest is a search engine and bookmarking platform, your pins could be seen months or years after your original post. New people will search or content, see your pin, and repin it. You pin will get a boost of life every time it’s repinned.
If you’re a Tumblr user, you probably know exactly what I mean on this. Reblogging is sort of similar.
Deleting pins isn’t helpful
Because it could take awhile for a pin to build traction, deleting pins just because they haven’t performed the way you hoped isn’t actually helping you. You could be deleting that pin just days before it explodes. There’s a lot going on with the Pinterest algorithm so some pins need more time than others. Plus a little luck of being seen and repinned by just the right person.
Pinterest doesn’t show your pins to all your followers at the exact same time. So if you delete a pin after 5 days of nothing, you probably have some followers who haven’t even gotten the chance to see it.
Using Pinterest to Get More Traffic to Your Blog
Phew! Quite a long post but you should now know a whole lot more about Pinterest marketing. We covered a lot so here’s a basic summary of what you need to use Pinterest for blog traffic.
- Use a business account
- Verify your blog and enable Rich Pins
- Add social sharing buttons so people can pin from your blog
- Create images that will perform well on Pinterest
- Don’t forget to use Pinterest SEO
- Create a pinning strategy that works for you
- Pin what your audience wants to see
- Pin others’ content as well as your own
- Use group boards and Tailwind Tribes to connect to new audiences
- Use analytics to keep track of your performance
Over to you now!
Don’t forget to grab the workbook if you haven’t already! This will help you make sure you’re doing everything perfectly.
I’ve seen great results after just a month of strategizing, and really I just now feel like I’m really getting my keywords down. It’s an amazing feeling! Give yourself at least a couple months and see how far you get, okay?
Also here’s an awesome graphic because why not? Pin this graphic and show people that YOU know how to use Pinterest for your blog!