Whether you’ve just started blogging to earn a few extra bucks on the side, or want to learn how to turn a part-time hobby into a full-time career so you can quit your 9-5 job, one thing is for certain: you want to know how to increase blog traffic. While blogging can be extremely cathartic, it can also be incredibly frustrating when you spend hours pouring your heart and soul into each and every one of your blog posts with little to no blog traffic to show for it. And with so many bloggers earning 6 figures (or more!) from their blogs, there may be moments when you wonder why you even bother.
The good news?
I’m about to share 8 of my best Pinterest marketing strategies to teach you how to drive traffic to your blog without selling your soul.
I’ve been using these Pinterest marketing strategies for 3+ years now, and they have helped increase my blog traffic from 125,000 monthly pageviews to over 1,000,000 monthly million pageviews.
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
Just because these Pinterest marketing tips worked for me, it doesn’t mean they’ll work for you, right?
As long as you are willing to put in the work, the results will come.
Pinterest Marketing Strategies that Work
Before we get started, I just want to be clear about one thing.
This guide is designed to teach you how to use Pinterest for marketing, and the assumption is that you already have a business account setup on Pinterest, have a Pin It button installed on your blog, have Rich Pins, and know how to pin like a pro. I won’t be providing basic set-up information, teaching you how to upload pins, or helping you create beautiful boards, but if you need help from the ground up, the Pinning Perfect course taught by Anna Luther from My Life and Kids will teach you all of that – and more! I talk about her course in a lot more detail at the end of this guide as I think anyone who starts a blog should be required to take Pinning Perfect, but now that you know what you can expect from my guide, it’s time to up your Pinterest marketing strategy!
1. Learn How to Use Pinterest Search to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
Pinterest Search has been a total game-changer for me. Not only does it allow me to find relevant pins when I’m searching for recipes, beauty tips, kids’ activities, and home décor ideas, but after learning how to use it effectively, it also helps me brainstorm blog post ideas I know will get noticed.
A quick way to come up with blog post ideas using the Pinterest search bar
- The first thing I do when I’m planning out content for my editorial calendar (snag a free copy of the template I used right here!), I type the broad topic I’m interested in writing about into the search bar at the top of my Pinterest feed. Pinterest will then provide me with a list of the most common things people search for in relation to that keyword in a drop down menu, which will help me refine my blog post topic. For example, if I type in the word ‘paleo’, Pinterest gives me 5 options: paleo recipes, paleo, paleo diet, paleo breakfast, paleo snacks.
- Since ‘paleo recipes’ is the first – and therefore most popular – paleo topic, I will click on ‘paleo recipes’ and see what additional options Pinterest gives to me. In this case, Pinterest refines my topic even further: paleo recipes, paleo recipes dinner, paleo recipes easy, paleo recipes breakfast, paleo recipes dessert.
- You can continue doing this to help you refine your blog post ideas further. My only caution is to ensure you choose something that is specific enough that it will stand out, and not so narrow that no one will be interested in it. Which leads me to my next point…
- Once I’ve picked my topic – for the purposes of this post, let’s use ‘paleo recipes dinner’– I type it into the Pinterest search bar and take a look at all of the pins that show up in my feed to get a sense for which ones have done well and which ones haven’t. I pay close attention to the text overlays used on each pin to see which ones grab my attention, and I take a look at the re-pin numbers to see how successful each pin has been. I then use all of this information to come up with a blog post topic that is similar, but not exactly the same, as the ones that are trending on Pinterest.
- I think this is common sense, but it bears mentioning just in case… Never, ever copy someone else’s work! Use their success as a guide, and aim to write something that is different and better to help drive traffic to your blog.
What if you can’t come up with a specific blog post idea?
If you have a case of writer’s block, or you need to fill your entire editorial calendar and you’re quickly running out of ideas, you’re in luck. The Pinning Perfect course will teach you how to increase blog traffic with additional Pinterest marketing strategies for choosing trending topics.
2. Learn How to Write Pin Descriptions that Get Noticed
As you can see, the Pinterest search bar can be a very valuable tool for Pinterest users – particularly bloggers – and while some would argue that your Pinterest image is the most important thing when it comes to promoting your blog posts on Pinterest, I would argue that your pin description is just as important.
What is a pin description?
Simply put, a pin description is the little caption of text that appears just underneath each image you see on Pinterest that explains what that specific pin is about.
In the grand scheme of things, the pin description looks relatively unimportant as most people look at the image itself rather than reading the fine print below, but if you want Pinterest to know what your pin is about and where to display it, it’s important that you incorporate as many relevant keywords into your pin descriptions as you can.
How do I find keywords for my pin descriptions?
This is surprisingly easy. All you need to do is type the keyword(s) from your blog post title into the Pinterest search bar, and Pinterest will provide you with a ton of related keywords.
And now comes the fun part!
How do I write pin descriptions to show up in Pinterest search?
There is some debate on the best way to write pin descriptions. Some will argue that since only a small part of your pin description is visible to readers, you should just type all of your keywords into your pin description and call it a day, and while that may be effective, it doesn’t feel genuine to me. Here’s an example:
Paleo Recipes Dinner | Easy | Crockpot | Chicken | Tilapia | Beef | Gluten Free | Best | Sides | Pork
I always try to remind myself that Pinterest is about user experience, and even though full pin descriptions are no longer visible to readers, Pinterest still uses keywords to help rank your pins. My recommendation is to craft a pin description that incorporates as many keywords that make sense to your individual pin, but keep in mind that the intention isn’t to include ALL of the keywords in your pin description. You only want to focus on the ones that are relevant to your blog post, and you want to ensure your pin description flows naturally. For example:
Looking for easy paleo dinner recipes? From delicious crockpot creations, to simple ways to incorporate chicken, beef, pork, and fish into your diet, we’ve rounded up 21 of the best paleo dinner recipes the whole family will love. The baked lemon butter tilapia is to die for – gluten-free recipes never tasted so good!
This is a much more authentic way to explain what your pin is about while still incorporating keywords to help you rank in Pinterest search.
A few additional things to consider about pin descriptions
- Don’t get hung up on how keywords appear in Pinterest Search as they don’t need to be an exact match. For example, if you are using the keywords ‘paleo recipes dinner’, you don’t need to use them in that exact order in your pin description in order to rank in Pinterest search. Not in my experience anyway! The idea is to incorporate all of the keywords in your pin descriptions in a natural way.
- Don’t give the entire blog post away in your pin description. You want readers to click through to your blog! Give them enough information to peak their interest, and then add in a hook. In our paleo dinner recipes example, this could be as simple as saying something like, ‘The baked lemon butter tilapia is to die for!’
- Don’t use hashtags. Not ever. I can’t remember the exact reason why they should be avoided on Pinterest – it’s covered in the Pinning Perfect course – but I do know that hashtags aren’t clickable on Pinterest, so save them for Twitter and Instagram.
3. Learn How to Create Pinterest Images that Drive Blog Traffic
Now that you’ve come up with a good blog post title and you’ve written a killer pin description you know will rank well in Pinterest search, it’s time to create a Pinterest image your target audience will notice in their feeds.
There are a lot of Pinterest marketing tips you can use to create killer images, and I’m going to share the ones that have worked best for me.
What images work best on Pinterest?
I’ve read a lot of conflicting opinions about how to create Pinterest images that get noticed. Some say to avoid photos that include people’s faces, others recommend choosing photos with a lot of red hues, and others debate whether text overlays are effective. It can be pretty confusing! I’ve tested a bunch of different strategies of my own over the years, and I’ve learned that the best approach to use when choosing an image for Pinterest is to select a photo that best represents your blog post and niche.
I was so paranoid when I read that images with faces don’t perform as well on Pinterest that I avoided them for a long time, but since I write a lot of beauty content, I found it extremely limiting. I eventually tested out a few images with faces for my beauty posts, and they performed so much better than the ones that didn’t.
Forget all of the advice you’ve ever been given about which kinds of images work best on Pinterest and use that energy to find an image that fits with your blog post instead.
Where can I find image for Pinterest?
When I first started creating Pinterest images, there weren’t a lot of royalty-free options to choose from, so I started buying credits with Bigstock. If you buy 500 credits at a time, you end up paying about $1 per image, and since Pinterest is such a huge driver of traffic for my blog, it was a worthwhile investment. I have since learned about all of kinds of free stock photography websites for bloggers, and I’ve shared my favorites HERE.
A few more tips about creating Pinterest images
- Use the right size. At the time of publishing this guide, the recommended size for Pinterest images is 735 x 1102. Don’t go smaller or bigger than this!
- Always include a text overlay. I use Picmonkey to add text to my images, and I try to be clever in the words I use. I use words I feel will grab someone’s attention on Pinterest rather than just using my blog post title.
- Test collage photos. This is particularly important when pinning round-up posts as it will give potential readers an idea of what they can expect in your post. Just be sure to ask for permission before using someone else’s photos in your Pinterest image (or on your blog). While it’s okay to link to someone else’s content on your blog when you give proper credit, images are something entirely different and require additional permissions before use.
- Make multiple Pinterest images to see which one performs best. In a perfect world, I would recommend testing 3 Pinterest images for every blog post, but if you’re anything like me, you probably don’t have time to do that. At the very least, you should create 3 different images for your top-performing pins.
4. Find Out the Best Day and Time to Post on Pinterest
When I first started pinning my blog content on Pinterest, I would do it all in one shot at 8 pm each evening, which meant I was pinning the same pin to multiple boards all at one go. The result? I looked like a spammer. Fortunately, but my Pinterest strategy has come a long way since then and I’m no longer pinning all of my content at 8 pm each evening.
Which days and times should I pin to Pinterest?
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know.
I use a scheduling tool to help me figure that out.
There are a lot of different Pinterest scheduling tools available, but I’ve personally only tested 3 – Viraltag, Ahalogy, and Tailwind. For a long time, I favored Ahalogy because it’s API-approved and I found it easy to navigate, but then I discovered Tailwind Tribes, which Tailwind describes as:
… a tool that enables you to meet and grow with other marketers, just like you! Tribes will also help you with two key problems that social marketers face everyday:
1. Having a steady supply of high-quality content to share
2. Getting your posts seen by the right people
With this tool, you will be able to add your own content to a Tribe and have others view, schedule and share your content to their own audience. This is so helpful because not only are you sharing your own content, but you are leveraging the collectively large audience of your peers.
I’ve also found Tailwind’s analytics to be far superior to any of the other Pinterest scheduling tools I’ve tried, but regardless of which scheduling tool you choose to use, I guarantee it’ll improve your Pinterest strategy by taking the guesswork out of what days and times to pin to Pinterest.
New to Tailwind? Kate Ahl’s course, How to Master Tailwind, is a GREAT resource to help you get your feet wet. It’ll teach you:
- How to use board lists for pinning your own content
- What is batch pinning and how to use it
- How to use Content Discovery
- How to effectively utilize the Tribes feature
- How to read and understand Tailwind analytics
5. Know When to Pin Seasonal Content
Creating seasonal content is a great way to get noticed on Pinterest, but the trick is to pin seasonal content early. It takes time for pins to show up in search, and people start planning for holidays weeks in advance, so a good rule of thumb I like to use is to create and start pinning seasonal content 6-12 weeks in advance.
6. Hire a Pinterest VA!
Once you get yourself set-up with an API-approved Pinterest scheduler, I highly recommend hiring someone to do your pinning for you. While it’s important to learn the ins and outs of Pinterest so you know how to pin your blog content yourself, every minute you spend doing monotonous tasks like scheduling your pins takes you away from more important things like creating content that will drive traffic to your blog!
For the longest time, I had a virtual assistant schedule my pins for me, but when Pinterest changed their algorithms in January 2016, I saw a noticeable dip in my Pinterest traffic and decided I needed to up my game and connected with Kate Ahl from Simple Pin Media. We discussed the challenges I was having, and I decided to give her services a try for 3 months to see if it was worth the investment.
I saw a 13% increase in my Pinterest traffic growth within the first 30 days, a 29% increase the following month, and in my fifth month as a Simple Pin Media client, my Pinterest traffic increased by 43%!
7. Harness The Power of Group Boards on Pinterest
Pinterest group boards have been both a blessing and a curse to my blog over the years. For a long time, group boards drove a ton of traffic to my blog, but then Pinterest changed the rules and they aren’t as effective as they once were. They still give my blog traffic a boost each month, but the results are a lot less impressive than they once were.
Admittedly, I cannot keep up with all of the rules and changes surrounding group boards, nor do I have the patience to test out different Pinterest group board strategies each time Pinterest updates its algorithm, but the Pinning Perfect course has an entire section dedicated to Pinterest boards that is updated each time Pinterest changes it’s game.
8. Take a Pinterest Course
Whew! That was a lot of information, and while I learned most of this through trial and error throughout the last 3 years, I recognize that Pinterest is a very different social media tool than it was when I first started using it, and that most people don’t have the time or interest to test different strategies out until they find something that works specifically for their blog.
If that sounds like you, I highly recommend the Pinning Perfect course, which will teach you how to use Pinterest as a marketing tool and how to increase blog traffic with many, many more tips and tricks than I’ve covered here. Perfect for bloggers, shop owners, virtual assistants, and virtual business owners, the Pinterest marketing strategies Anna Luther teaches in Pinning Perfect will walk you through the exact steps you need to take to learn how to drive traffic to your blog.
In addition to my own Pinterest marketing strategies that I’ve covered in this guide, Anna digs a lot deeper and will teach you:
- The basics of Pinterest
- Why Rich Pins matter
- How to make your blog Pinterest-friendly
- How to use the Pinterest search bar to fill our editorial calendar
- How (and why) to add pin descriptions to your blog images in WordPress
- Everything you need to know about creating branded images for your blog
- How to design pinnable collages
- Html hacks all bloggers should know
- Pinterest boards 101
- Should you delete pins?
- …and much, much more!
Oh, and she also hosts a Facebook group for Pinning Perfect students, and updates the course regularly based on Pinterest changes.
There are heaps of Pinterest marketing strategies you can implement TODAY to learn how to increase blog traffic, and I hope this guide and the courses and services I recommended throughout have helped lay the foundation on what to do and where to start.
Paul J. Meyer once said, ‘Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.’
And he was 100% right.
Figuring out how to drive traffic to your blog may seem overwhelming and time-consuming, but if you commit to these Pinterest marketing strategies, the pay-off will be worth it.
All you need is a little faith.
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