Pinterest Hacks – 11 Tips and Tricks for massive traffic to your blog
Pinterest is much more than a social media network. Yes, it’s fun, easy and useful. But, did you know it can be a huge traffic builder (and ultimately lead generator) for your business website? I’ve been using Pinterest for years (I think I started in 2012), but I wasn’t using it to its full potential. It wasn’t until September 2016 when I realized that I was completely missing out on this huge source of business.
During that time, I was reading up on many blog and traffic reports and I was blown away by what I learned. For many of the top bloggers out there, their #1 source of traffic was Pinterest! Not only that, but many were getting well over 100,000 clicks/month from Pinterest. (Some were even getting between 300,000-500,000 clicks.month). And, some of these were new bloggers…they had only been blogging for 1-2 years. Wow. I was missing a goldmine.
One of the great things about Pinterest, unlike other social media channels, is that it acts like a search engine. So, when you pin great pins, with great key word descriptions, they are permanent. For most social media channels, once your status update has rolled off the 1st page, it’s pretty much gone (for Facebook, that may mean 1-2 days, for Twitter that may mean 30 minutes). But, pinterest images live on and can continue to generate traffic for a long time (i.e. well over a year. Further, some great pinterest images even come up on google searches.
And, users that are on pinterest are there to read content…and buy. So, they are a great audience if you have excellent blog posts.
Another great aspect of pinterest is that you don’t need a ton of followers to make a big impact. It’s easy for someone new to get started. The key is not how many followers you have, but rather, the total reach of your pins…which can be attained by joining large groups (more about that later).
So, I decided to read, study, learn and test. And, I’ve learned a ton. I wanted to share that with you. Now, I’m not a super star yet, but I’ve done pretty well. I’ve been able to get a bit over 20,000 clicks/month from Pinterest. (My goal is to reach 100,000/month by the end of year.)
It may be a bit more challenging for me because my topic is a lot more narrow and niche (flooring). But, I’m certainly on my way. By the way, I’ll also add that this traffic has been profitable for me too, as Pinterest users tend to have higher incomes and are in more of a buying and researching mode.
Come join me in my journey and learn from what I’ve learned.
Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
Overall key to Pinterest
There are 2 elements that are critical to success in Pinterest: 1) Creating outstanding pins and 2) Generating Extensive Reach (via group boards). So, for #1, you need great images that are “click worthy” (i.e. they attract attention and then make users curious, so they want to click onto your website and they want to share them (i.e. repin them). And, for #2, you need to join large and effective group boards.
Notice that I didn’t say you need a lot of followers (because you don’t). Your key to success is joining group boards as that will give you the reach and exposure. So, for example if you only have 200 followers and you share your pin just to your board, only 200 people see it. But, if you join a large group with 100,000 followers, then 100,000 people can see it. Voila, you’ve leveraged the scale of others. This gives you the potential for your pins to go viral.
If you only focus on these 2 things, you will be golden!
Top Pinterest Tips and Hacks
1. Create Great pins that are click worthy
Use great images. Use text overlay with amazing headlines that create curiosity, so that users want to click onto to your website and read further. If they are interested and like your pin, they will repin it so that others can see. And, then more people can see it and click through to your site.
Make your pins Vertical! Vertical images will appear much larger and will get shared way more often. Horizontal images appear tiny. You want to use a size that is Ideal sizes are at least a ratio of 2:3. Often, I use 702:1135 or I often use 800 x 1600. (more about how to do that easily in a second).
Use lighter images, bright pictures and warm colors. Dark colors and cool colors don’t get repinned as much, most likely because they recess into the background. (This is a bit challenging for me as dark hardwood is in style, but I add pops of bright color (e.g. orange) to help.
Collages tend to work well for many categories. Borders on the outside of the image don’t seem to do well.
Generally, you want to avoid using people in your images, especially those that make direct eye contact with the user. For some reason, these aren’t pinned as much. (They can work well on other social media, but they perform much worse on Pinterest).
An EASY and FREE way to create great and professional images is to use Canva.com. That’s where I create all of my Pinterest images. They also have some free stock images you can use as well as some you can pay for that only cost $1. Also, they have default sizes for pinterest and other social media, so it’s super easy.
Note: You will get better at creating great images and headlines. Not only will practice help, but as you are on Pinterest and looking at other people’s pins, you’ll get formatting ideas and headline ideas. I feel like I keep getting better and better and improving my images as I up my game. I’m sure you’ll find the same.
Here are some examples of how my images evolved over time.
The first one is from years ago well before I knew that vertical pins were so important. The 2nd one was when I created a vertical version. The problem with this one is all the dark purple. The 3rd one was much more impactful (and it took off on pinterest right away and drove a lot of traffic to my site. Note: This one is longer than most of the pins that I typically create (it’s 800×2400).
As you look at this set, you’ll see that I kept progressing and changing the headline as well as making it brighter so the headlines would create more intrigue.
2. Group boards
Group boards can often be the best and fastest way to spread your reach. This may be the best kept secret of them all. What is a group board? As the name implies, it’s a group of people that can share pins on a topic. By participating in these, you see more pins, and more people see your pins…you are leveraging scale. For example, on my pinterest profile, I only have around 2,800 followers. But, I participate in several boards that have 100,000-900,000 followers, so every time I share a pin there, way more people can see it. And, you have a much larger potential for them to share your pin.
Group boards all a circle on the bottom left with multiple pictures of people. n the bottom right (the picture on the left is the group board owner_. When you open the board, the first person listed is the group board owner. You can usually reach out to that person to ask for an invite. Or, very often the group owner will post instructions on how to join (or if they aren’t accepting any more collaborators). If you have an interest in joining my group board, please follow me and then leave a comment below and your pinterest profile.
Generally, you would follow the board and the group owner and then direct mail them a request (via Pinterest).
IMPORTANT: Don’t spam the group boards (or you will get kicked out in a heartbeat). And, follow the instructions at the top of the board. Some boards only allow 1 pin per day; they may not allow repeats or ads for products. Just be sure to follow the guidelines and pin items that apply to the group board topic. Share your best pins to these groups.
How do you find group boards? One way is to check out pingroupie. Here you can search for boards that relate to the topic of your blog and you can sort by # of followers. You can also check out the boards of those doing well and look at their group boards.
Note: You can also start your own group boards and invite others. This can help you better establish your niche as well as expand your reach.
If you pin a bunch of home/decor images, you can join one my groups flooring ideas for your home or kitchen ideas for your home. Just follow the board and me, and leave a comment below to be added with your pinterest profile.
3. Convert to business account
This is a quick process (I think it took 30 seconds or less). For years I was hesitant to do this as I was afraid it might impact the # of followers or my effectiveness. But, it turns out that is a myth and it was just me being paranoid.
When you convert to a business account, you then have access to great analytics. That’s why you want to do it. (You also have the option to pay to promote your pins, but I have not done that yet). Just do it. I don’t know why I waited all these years. It was stupid.
4. Set up Rich Pins on your website
If you own your own website (which you should), then Rich pins are a must. This is free, but you have to set it up with pinterest. These will help make your pins stand out further with bold titles and often a summary of the article/pin. I believe it also helps with SEO. When they first came out with this, it was a really complicated process…so I delayed for about 2 years. Somewhere in there, they made it simpler, and I think it only took me 5 minutes to get it set up.
Do you have a your own website yet? If not, here’s a quick tutorial that shows you have to create you own wordpress blog in 3 simples steps…for under $4/month. (It should only take 15 minutes).
5. Pin often…and, space it out
Your most important board is your first one. You may want to name it “Best of XYZ website.” This is where you pin your blog posts. You will pin from your website to this board. Then, pin it to several other boards that you own (where it fits in). E.g. If I wrote a blog post about dark hardwood floors and it showed a kitchen, I would first pin it in my Best of board, and then my “Dark hardwood flooring” board, and then my Kitchen board and any other ones where it fit in. Then, I would share to the appropriate group boards that I participate in. (I would space the pins out).
Pinterest is quick and easy. Thankfully, it takes way less time than the other social media. It’s ideal to pin at least 50 times a day…and to space it out throughout the day. I know what you’re thinking …say what? How the heck am I going to do that?
After all, I have a business to run, or a job, or a life. I know…that’s what I thought too. And, isn’t that overkill?
But let me first share why this is important and then let me share how you can do this efficiently. This is one of my recent discoveries. You can automate most of this.
Before I forget, I’ll mention it again – don’t spam. And, don’t over saturate. At the most do 4 pins at a time. But, doing less at once and spacing out is way better for the pinterest algorithm. It will help you rank better, and you are more likely to be seen by your followers (who may go on at all different times of day).
So how do you accomplish this? Well, there are 2 tools out there that allow you to schedule you pins. The first is Tailwind. It allows you to schedule pins and it helps track repins so you know what’s doing best. They have a free trial, so give it a whirl. (You have nothing to lose).
The second is Board Booster. This program is super cool as it allows you to create a series of pins (or repins) to any board (including group boards). It will automatically space them out for you (e.g. 1 per day) and you can even set it to loop, so it will keep reposting them as it goes through the cycle. They also offer a free trial for 100 pins to schedule. After that, it’s just $5/month which is totally worth it vs. the time it saves.
So give these a try – try them for FREE and see if they make a difference.
Note: Tailwind is also super helpful for analytics, so you can see which pins are doing better and which boards are more effective.
Also, bear in mind when I’m saying 50/day, that doesn’t mean 50 different pins…Remember you’re going to be in group boards, so it may just be 5 pins that you schedule to 10 different boards. Believe me, it’s way faster than it seems at first glance.
Also, I want to point out a super helpful Pinterest ebook. It’s called Pinteresting Strategies and Carly Campbell wrote this book. She goes into a lot more detail on how to kick butt on Pinterest (from just getting started all the way to advanced). And, she shares her method of manually pinning.
Carly has gotten well over 200,000 clicks per month from Pinterest to her site. She knows what she’s doing and she is happy to share her tips. You can buy her ebook here.
6. Analyze results – Rinse/repeat/learn/improve
After you’ve been using Pinterest for a couple of weeks, check out your analytics. 1) Pinterest has analytics (if you convert to a business account) where you can find which pins are getting the most repins and clicks. You can also see the Top boards so you know which group boards are most productive for you. 2) You can also check your traffic from Google Analytics (go to Acquisition>Social>Network Referrals>Pinterest. From there, you can see the traffic for each blog post (and even see which pin is driving the traffic). 3) Tailwind has another slice of info and allows you to quickly repin your best pins.
7. Create a key word rich profile, boards and pin descriptions
I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but I will say make sure that your profile has your key words, and use key words for your board and pin descriptions. This will help you both for SEO and for internal searches (yes, pinterest is a search engine). Note: Don’t use hashtags on Pinterest. They don’t work and they just add clutter.
8. Write awesome headlines…and have an image with text overlay
I know I said this before, but it’s so critical that I’m repeating it. Try to make headlines that create a sense of urgency and curiosity, so that people want to click through to read more. Sometimes this can work by asking a question or sometimes sharing that you have unique and unknown solutions.
9. Create and test multiple pins
Yes, you can (and should) create multiple pinterest images per post. Try 2-3 out with every new blog post and see which ones do best. Then, later, for high priority articles, you can create more. I have done this many times, especially as I learn and try to improve my images.
10. Pin other people’s pins, especially high performing pins
Yes, sharing is caring. And, if you repin images that are already doing well (i.e. they have a lot of repins), it can help you because some of that wears off on you, so your boards and your pins tend to do better. Also, this will really help you learn and improve so your future pins are better.
11. Leverage Pinterest as a source to your grow your database
Hopefully, you already have a database and use that for your mailing list. Maybe you even have a CRM program. (I use ActiveCampaign as it’s excellent and super cheap, too).
Anyway, you can create free lead magnet (e.g. a free ebook or printable – whatever makes the most sense for your business). It could even be a coupon or discount for your services. Generally, free works.
Have you started your own website yet? What are you waiting for. Here’s a quick tutorial to show you how you can get started for under $4/month.
- How to set up a website in 3 simple steps
- Pinteresting Strategies Ebook
- 4 ebooks I recommend for massive traffic to your blog
PRODUCTS YOU MAY LIKE:
- BLOG TRAFFIC EBOOK – How I went from 17,000 to 400,000 page views in 10 months. In this ebook, Lena shares 17 strategies she used to quickly boost her blog traffic. This will help accelerate the traffic to your website, regardless of niche and help you do it much faster. It is EXCELLENT! In fact, I plan on rereading it soon.
- ACTIVECAMPAIGN (For email marketing and CRM) – I should have done this years ago! But, I’m so glad that I finally took the plunge and invested in a CRM program. If you have a customers and if you are looking to improve your close rate and/or looking for more repeat/referral business, this is a MUST HAVE. Click here for your free trial of ActiveCampaign.
- TAILWIND and BOARDBOOSTER (for Pinterest). Wow. These tools have already doubled the traffic I’m getting from Pinterest, and I’m just getting started. And, they are HUGE time savers. They both come with free trials. Here’s the free trial for Tailwind. After that, it’s just $10/month for unlimited pins (if you by the annual plan). And, if you use my link, you’ll get $15 off your first month. Here’s the free trial for Boardbooster. After that, you can do a plan for as low as $5/month. It’s totally worth it when you think about how much time it saves you and how much more effective you’ll be.
- PINTERESTING STRATEGIES: – Pinterest is one of the easiest and most effective ways to drive massive traffic to your blog, especially if you are just starting out. I’ve gotten over 20,000 clicks a month from Pinterest. If you want a jump start on how to use this amazing platform, check out Carly’s ebook. It is simply awesome. She is so down to earth and straightforward, and you’ll see that in her writing. I LOVE this ebook.
- MAKING SENSE OF AFFILIATE MARKETING – If you’re interested in affiliate marketing and how to make money off of your blog, I highly recommend Michelle Gardner-Schroeder’s course. I learned so much from this course. It was easy to follow and had so many examples and action steps. Also, she has a lesson on Pinterest, and you can join her private Facebook which it totally amazing. I have learned so much from the group. It’s incredible. This is a bit more expensive than what I would typically spend, but it was so worth it, and I’m so glad I did it! I have already made back my investment and then some.
Pinterest hacks to rapidly increase your traffic