This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please read my disclosure for more details(Last Updated On: October 18, 2018)
I am super excited to write this post and share my new-found “mini-success” on Pinterest through manually pinning (which I mostly learned through the Pinteresting Strategies ebook). I decided to give Pinterest a try at the beginning of April 2018 (my second month blogging) as a way to drive more traffic to my blog. I saw so many other bloggers who were getting literally hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors from Pinterest. At the time, I was only getting around 20-50 visitors a day and I was getting desperate. I am so glad that I found Pinterest and in this post I am going to share the secret to how I grew my monthly traffic by 10x using Pinterest (manually pinning without Tailwind)! I am now getting over 250-350 daily visitors (300-600 page views per day) to my blog!
My Pinterest can be found here: mytwentycents
Related: How To Pick The Perfect Blog Name
My Pinterest monthly viewers – first 30 days
In the beginning of April, I had almost no followers on Pinterest. I started with only 1,000 monthly viewers. Fast forward 30 days, I am now at over 100,000 monthly viewers and the number is growing day by day.
You can see in the following screenshots the growth in my monthly Pinterest viewers:I bought Carly’s ebook, Pinteresting Strategies, on April 16, 2018 and started implementing the strategies right away. Not surprisingly, that’s exactly when my Pinterest traffic started taking off! And it hasn’t stopped since.
I’d highly recommend Carly’s ebook, it’s the best value resource out there for Pinterest. A lot of bloggers who don’t manually pin exclusively still use and recommend her strategies! I started seeing results right away.
What is Pinterest?
If you haven’t used Pinterest yet, it’s an online pinboard and functions as a visual search engine. You can search just about anything from home decor to recipes and more. The results are displayed as images which you can then “pin” to your own collection of boards.
It’s a bit difficult to explain. I advise you to just head over to Pinterest and check it out yourself.
My newbie mistakes on Pinterest
Oh boy. When I first started on Pinterest, I was making all of the classic mistakes of a Pinterest newbie. Here’s what I was doing that was totally wrong:
- I thought that you could only pin one image per blog post, EVER! So I only pinned one pin per blog post and was wondering why I never got any traffic.
- I was mass-pinning other people’s content with no rhyme or reason. I didn’t even care if there was a spelling mistake on the pin, I just wanted to pin as much as possible. However, I quickly learned that Pinterest favours quality over quantity. I toned down the rate at which I was pinning but still kept getting more and more traffic (yay!).
- I wasn’t consistent with pinning and only did it once every few days. This was a huge mistake too.
Steps to pinning to monthly 100,000 viewers on Pinterest
Now let me unravel the steps to pinning to your first 100,000 monthly viewers on Pinterest. This is EXACTLY what I did and I am now consistently driving 250-350 viewers to my blog per day (300-600 page views per day). I know this number may look small and insignificant compared to the large bloggers out there, but this is HUGE considering that my blog is only 2 months old and that I have only been using Pinterest for one month.
Follow these steps, they won’t disappoint:
1. Set your blog up for success
There is no sense in driving traffic to your blog if no one wants to read it. Before you even start worrying about Pinterest, the first thing to do is to make sure that your blog is “pin-worthy.”
A blog is pin-worthy if it meets the following criteria:
- Self-hosted (sign up with Bluehost for a free domain)
- Beautiful WordPress theme
- Organized and easy to navigate
- Near-perfect blog posts without any grammatical or spelling errors (I use Grammarly to check over all my blog posts before I publish them)
- Has at least 5-10 high-quality posts
The problem is that people are visual creatures and if your blog is not “pretty,” no one is going to read it. It’s just like with movie stars. You wouldn’t watch a film with an ugly actor in it, would you?
That’s the ugly truth. It doesn’t matter how good your blog post is, what matters is that the information presented in a visually-appealing way. I have to admit, usually when I land on a blog that’s disorderly or ugly, I hit the exit button right away (sorry)!
2. Set your Pinterest account up for success
In this section, I am going to talk about 2 things: branding and SEO.
You want your Pinterest account to have a consistent “brand” which allows Pinterest users to instantly recognize that a pin is yours. I am still working on this one but I usually try to use the same font types and font colours in all my of pins. I also make sure that my blog name is written on each and every one of my posts.
Here’s a screenshot of some of my pins:
See how they all have a consistent look and feel to them? My older pins were hideous and the design was all over the place. I’m slowly working on cleaning my old pins up.
Consistent board covers
Not a must, but it really helps making your Pinterest look “professional” if you create board covers for all of your boards. I use Canva (free) to make my board covers but I’ve heard great things about Picmonkey (click for a free trial) as well. Here’s an example of how I’ve made my board covers:
You see how all the board covers are the same look and design? With the name of the theme of each board cover (i.e. “Affiliate Marketing”)?
Since I changed my board covers, I’ve noticed a lot more people starting to follow my Pinterest account. Also, it just makes things easier for other viewers to browse your boards and for you to organize your boards.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and it’s all about using the right key words to get your post to show up in Google search results, or in this case, Pinterest search results.
I started writing more “SEO-friendly” descriptions for all my pins. What this means is that I will try to use as many key words related to a given theme as possible.
Here’s an example of a pin I’ve written using key words related to starting a profitable blog:
My pin description was:
Need help choosing a blog niche? This guide discusses how to choose a profitable blog niche to start making money from your blog.
“Blog niche,” “choose a profitable blog niche” and “start making money from your blog” are all key words that a potential user would type into a search engine if they wanted to learn how to choose a blog niche.
Having good SEO is so important to getting more reach on Pinterest. With the same pin description above, my pins have started showing up on Pinterest’s search results whenever you type in “profitable blog niches.” See screenshot below:
It’s obviously not the first result but it’s still something considering that my account is a brand new Pinterest account with very few followers.
Branding + SEO
SEO is not only relevant to the pins that you post but also to your Pinterest profile. I wrote a catchy description of my profile using key words to attract my ideal audience. I also use key words like “blogging” and “make money” in my name itself. See example below:
3. Turn your Pinterest account into a business account
Head over to Pinterest for Business and sign up for a business account. This gives you access to Pinterest Analytics which is an amazing tool for you to understand exactly how your profile and pins are doing. Here’s a screenshot of how the dashboard looks like:
I analyze my stats on Pinterest on a near-daily basis. If I see any pins that are trending, I will make sure to pin them more often.
The only problem I have with Pinterest Analytics is that there’s a time lag of about 2 days. I’ve worked around that issue by using Google Analytics which gives me real-time analytics. Carly goes further into detail about using Google Analytics in her book Pinteresting Strategies.
4. Enable Rich Pins
Follow this guide from Pinterest on how to enable rich pins. Rich pins allows you to add more detail to your pin descriptions which is great for SEO (meaning your pins will show up in search results)!
More search results = more traffic
5. Create boards and curate perfect content for your target reader
Have a target reader in mind (your avatar) and only create boards that he/she would like. My target reader is someone who is interested in blogging, personal finance/career advice, and travelling. All of my boards are related to these themes. I recommend at least 20-25 boards as a start.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my boards at pinterest.ca/mytwentycents. All my boards are, in some way, related to either blogging, finance, or living abroad.
6. Pin consistently
This one is KEY to making Pinterest work for you. When I first started blogging, I decided to take weekends off and resume on Monday. This was a HUGE mistake which costed me hours of work. A workaround is to sign up for a scheduler like Tailwind.
The thing is, Pinterest favours consistency. It looks SO BAD that I would mass pin during the week and then have zero activity on the weekends. When I started pinning consistently including weekends, I saw my numbers go up.
I usually pin 50-100 pins per day but I’ve seen other bloggers who pin only 15-30 pins per day and still see great results.
I try to pin 50% my content, 50% other people’s. Other bloggers will tell you to pin 80% your own content, 20% other people’s. I’m starting to pin more of my own content and I think eventually I’ll do 80%/20% as well.
7. Join Pinterest group boards
Pinterest group boards allow multiple users to collaborate on one board with a shared theme. Group boards are awesome because you instantly gain access to all of the followers of the group board. I only join group boards related to my niche (i.e. blogger, personal finance).
I started applying to group boards like crazy and got accepted to a few. There are a few ways to find group boards that I’d recommend:
I joined a Facebook group called Pinterest Group Boards and it’s people who own a group board to connect with others who want to join one. It’s pretty easy to get into these boards.
The advantage is that it’s easy to get into these boards (since the owner is literally asking people to join). The bad news is that some of these boards are quite new and don’t have a lot of followers.
PinGroupie is a site that lists all the Pinterest group boards that exist and rank them by various factors such as pins, collaborators, followers, likes, and repins. Here’s a screenshot:
PinGroupie is great in that you can find a group board in just about anything and you can sort the results based on number of pins, collaborators, followers, etc. The problem with PinGroupie is that it lists every group in existence and some of them might not be open to collaborators.
Through stalking other people
This is my favourite method of finding groups to join because I love stalking people 😉
So, what you do is find influencers in your niche. These would be the popular bloggers in your niche. Go to their Pinterest account and check out the group boards they’re on. Then, if the board is open, request to join.
This method is my preferred method because I know that these influencers have a high reach on Pinterest, and therefore most likely their groups are of high quality too. The downside of this method is that a lot of the “good” groups are no longer taking collaborators.
8. Don’t re-pin ugly pins
Pinterest ranks your profile based on how well you “curate pins.” What factors does Pinterest look at to determine whether you’re good or not? Well, it depends on the number of saves or clicks that you’re getting to the pins that you pin.
If the number is high, Pinterest starts recognizing you as a high-quality pinner and then will start suggesting you to other users who are interested in the same topics. I am pretty sure that’s how I am getting new followers everyday.
Once Pinterest starts recognizing you as an “expert curator,” your pins will start showing up in the smart feed and your boards will start being recommended to others. Here’s a screenshot of one of my pins (re-pinned by someone else) showing up in the smart feed:
My hard and fast rules for re-pinning other people’s content:
- Never repin anything that’s ugly. Same with my comment above (see #1). Humans are visual creatures and they’re not going to click or save an ugly pin. You need to pin and re-pin the prettiest of the pretty pins.
- Never repin anything with a spelling error. It looks unprofessional and I want my brand to represent professional pins only.
- Never repin anything that looks spammy or fake. Sometimes, people make exaggerated claims on their pins which are entirely untrue. I’m usually suspicious of those pins and I rarely re-pin them.
On the other hand, I usually re-pin:
- Pretty pins with clear fonts that are easy to read (nothing scripty)
- Clear and beautiful stock images used
- Catchy titles that make you want to click instantly
- Pins from bloggers who I already know and love (this is why it’s important to have a consistent branding as discussed in #2)
9. Make sure your first 5 pins of the day are your best pins</h3
This is relatively new strategy. Last month, Pinterest announced that they’re now going to prioritize the first 5 pins for distribution. A “new day” starts at 12AM UTC which means 2AM my time. I am usually already sleeping by this time but when I wake up I make sure to pin my best 5 pins to my best 5 boards.
This month, I think I will start using Tailwind to automate some of this manual work. I hope it gives me good results nonetheless 🙂
[EDIT] My Pinterest monthly viewers – first 60 days
In my second month on Pinterest, I was able to bring my monthly viewers to over 460,000! I used a combination of what I learned in manually pinning (described above), plus automation with Tailwind. To learn how to have a fool-proof automated pinning system, I highly recommend the Billionaire Blog Club Pinterest manual. A true life saver for me 🙂
Pinterest is a game-changer and I would definitely recommend that every blogger invest at least a few weeks in trying to learn the ins and outs of this powerful tool. The first little while will be tough but then one day all of your work will pay off and you will actually start seeing some traffic coming to your blog. That’s what happened for me!
Follow the strategies I discussed in this post. I have mostly Carly’s ebook, Pinteresting Strategies, to thank. At first, I was hesitant to buy the book as Carly started manually pinning in 2016. The Pinterest landscape was totally different back then and a lot has changed since the “good old days.”
I wasn’t sure if the methods were outdated. But lo and behold, I gave the method a try and can now attest that it is still working today (in April 2018)!
If you love this post, please share it, especially with new bloggers struggling with getting traffic. I was there a month ago and I know how depressing it can be to put so much effort into a blog and not see any results. Happy pinning!!
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