For the past four months, I’ve been keeping track of my Pinterest stats and strategies. My goal was to reach 50k average monthly viewers and increase my blog’s traffic. My not so secret goal is to reach 100k average monthly viewers.
Why am I focusing on monthly viewers instead of followers? Average monthly viewers refers to the number of impressions your pins receive, not how many people view your account or engage with your pins. Your pins can receive many views even if you don’t have many followers.
When I started focusing on my Pinterest strategy, I had 325 followers and around 8000 average monthly viewers. Today, I have 473 followers and 75k average monthly viewers. September was the month I reached and surpassed my goal and Pinterest is my biggest traffic referral.
As you can see, I had a huge increase in viewers from the beginning to the end of September when I had more than 90k viewers per day. Let’s take a look at what I did to increase the number of viewers and grow my blog with Pinterest:
Make your blog Pinterest friendly
Before I tell you what to do to increase your viewers, I want to talk about how you can make it easier for your readers to share your images. My blog’s traffic started to increase after some of my readers pinned a few of my posts.
A lot of people use a Pinterest browser extension to pin images, but you shouldn’t rely on that. You can add a pin it hover button over your images and share buttons under your posts. Make sure your share buttons are only visible on your posts, not on your home page.
You can also add a Pinterest social media button and a Pinterest widget that display’s your latest posts to encourage your readers to follow you on Pinterest.
Create pinnable blog images
When I started this blog, Pinterest was not very popular and a lot of my posts didn’t have images or had only screenshots. Yet a lot of my posts were pinned because people wanted to bookmark them. After a while, I realized how important images are and I started using images in all my posts and even updated old posts.
I spent a lot of time trying to find the right style for my images. I wanted beautiful images that represent my brand. It wasn’t easy and I created a lot of images that were not exactly what I wanted until I found the right style.
You should use vertical images because they are easier to see on Pinterest. Red-toned images are more popular than blue ones and photos are more popular than graphics. It doesn’t matter if you use free graphic design software like Canva or Adobe products, but it’s important to try different styles until you find the right one.
If you don’t like vertical images or your blog is optimized for horizontal images, you can hide them in your post. This CSS trick will make images appear when someone pins your post. Add the image to your post, switch to the Text/HTML editor and add the following code:
<div style=”display: none;”> Image CODE here </div>
Set up rich pins
Rich pins include extra information about the pins, like the source of the image. They increase user experience by adding extra content to images and are favored by Pinterest. Setting up rich pins is very easy and you should be accepted in a few days.
Create a business account
If you want to see your stats, then you need a business account. Business accounts are free and you don’t need a business to use one. You also have an option to verify your blog so you can see stats about the images that are pinned from your site.
Focus on your niche
When I started using Pinterest, I didn’t use it to promote my blog. I only had a few boards with everything from web design to IKEA furniture for my home. There’s nothing wrong with mixing your business boards with personal boards, but if you want to drive traffic to your blog, you should focus on your niche. Your most important boards should be at the top and you should add pins from your blog to them.
I recently deleted boards that I don’t use anymore and created new ones that are connected to what I do. My most important boards are Branding, Blogging and Business, Web Design, and eCommerce.
I recently attended a webinar and the host was saying that you should pin 100 images a day. I’m sure she’s right and it’s probably a great way to boost your views and gain many new followers, but it seems too much to me.
I noticed that the number of impressions my pins received started to grow when I began to pin every day. I try to add at least 10 images every day, sometimes even 20 or 30, though I think it’s more important to pin daily.
Pin quality items
I also learned that your followers will engage with your pins if you pin quality content. Quality content refers to more than just pretty pictures and interesting articles. You should always click on an image before you pin it because you only want to pin links that work. Make sure the link takes you to the post and not to the site’s homepage.
Add original pins
I repin a lot of images, but it’s also very important to add original pins. By that, I mean images from your blog or from bloggers you follow. You can add new pins anytime you read something you like. This way you are helping your favorite bloggers by sharing their posts and you are also helping your followers by showing them great articles.
Optimize your boards
I spent a lot of time choosing the right cover images for my boards and adding keywords and descriptions. Pinterest is similar to a search engine for images, but in order for your images to be found, you need to add descriptions to your boards and pins. Remember that you are doing this for humans, not just crawlers, so add a few sentences, not just keywords.
Update your profile
Having a photo instead of an avatar will make people trust you more. There’s nothing wrong with adding an avatar if you don’t want to show your face, but your should use your logo or something that you use on all social media accounts so people will recognize you. Adding your blog’s name and a link to your site are also very important if you want your followers to visit your site. Don’t forget to add a few words about who you are and what you do.
Delete pins with no likes or repins
Since Pinterest has updated its algorithm to show the most important pins first, it’s important to have quality boards and pins. Quality is measured in the number of likes and repins your images receive, so a board with many quality pins has more chances to appear in the smart feed. You can tell Pinterest that your board is great by deleting old pins that have no likes or repins.
You should also delete the following pins:
- pins that you no longer like or don’t represent your brand anymore
- pins that lead to the homepage of a site
- pins with broken URLs
Join group boards
I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing group boards are. Group boards make it easier for you to share your posts with a larger audience. They also help your pins to go viral. Instead of waiting for someone with a big following to share your posts, you can add them to group boards and people will continue to repin them and visit your site.
Group boards are also a great way to share older posts. A lot of my old posts didn’t get that much attention when I published them because I didn’t promote them. After adding them to a couple of group boards, they received a lot of attention and now are bringing a lot of new readers to my blog.
You can use PinGroupie or Board Deck to find group boards in your niche. You can also check the profiles of your favorite bloggers to see if they post in any group boards. Before joining, you should check the number of followers and the quality of pins.
Don’t worry about apps or schedules
I love using Pinterest to discover new blogs to read and find inspiration for my work. This is one of the reasons why I don’t like to use scheduling tools. I’m sure they might be able to help me grow my viewers and increase my blog’s traffic, but I prefer to pin when I have a little free time or when I take a break. If you want to use an app, then do it, but if you can’t afford it or just don’t like using one, remember that you can get many viewers and repins just by being active.
I noticed that it’s important to pin often and there are times of day when people are more likely to interact with my pins, but I do not worry about pinning every hour. When I pin, I don’t add images to a single board and I don’t pin more that 2-3 images to the same board. It’s very important not to spam you followers so don’t add a hundred images at the same time.
If you managed to read all of this, you probably know that in order to grow your blog with Pinterest, you have to not only share your posts but also posts from other bloggers. The most important thing is to have high-quality boards that are valuable to your followers.
Do you use Pinterest to increase your traffic? What is the most important thing you’ve learned about Pinterest?