Over the last month or so, I have been switching up my Pinterest strategy. Okay, that might be an overstatement. I didn’t HAVE a Pinterest strategy, and that was a problem. I was hearing a lot about how much it can boost your blog traffic, and about how it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a small following because you can still reach loads of people. Almost all of these blog posts and guides mentioned something called Tailwind. I have never used Tailwind, and I don’t intend to – at least not right now. Nothing against it of course, but look at what I’ve managed to do on my own!
Even if I do say so myself, I think this is pretty damn awesome. I’m not going to lie and say that this didn’t take a little time and effort upfront and on an ongoing basis, but it is nowhere close to what you’re probably thinking of right now. And all of this was achieved with a very small (in Pinterest terms) follower count. I had 112 followers when I started out, and now have 141 almost a month later. But as you’ll see during the course of this blog post – your follower count doesn’t mean much in terms of the reach or engagement your pins have. And I think that’s pretty cool.
Want to see how I did it? Here are my top six Pinterest tips. This is a long one, so grab a cup of tea and let’s get started.
Convert your account into a business account
Converting your Pinterest account into a business one is quick, easy and free. Just click on this link and follow the instructions.
The main advantage to having a business account on Pinterest is that you’re able to access all the analytics that sit behind your account – from the number of views, to engagement, to demographics about location and gender. You’re also able to see the stats behind every pin. This is incredibly useful for your blog links, because you can see which pins are being saved, clicked on or just looked at. It also shows you your most popular boards, and other people’s boards with many of your pins. Depending on how much time you’re willing to put into this, you can get a whole lot of insight and play around with your strategy accordingly. I’m only just started to scratch the surface of it, because there is so much information available, but it’s a whole lot of fun.
Claim and verify your domain
The next thing you need to do is claim your blog domain and verify it so it shows up on your profile. Again, this is very easy to do, and this page has instructions on how. When I verified my website, I did it using the first method – adding a meta tag to the head section of my site. I’m on self-hosted wordpress, and used the ‘Insert Headers and Footers’ plugin which made it very easy.
Organise your boards
The amount of time this step is going to take will depend on how long you’ve been on Pinterest and what kind of boards you already have set up. This is where you’re going to align your Pinterest account with your blog content and the kind of content your readers are after. I had a Pinterest account long before I had a blog, and luckily, the categories I had already – beauty, hair, travel, food, fashion – still made sense as a lifestyle blog, so I didn’t have to change TOO much.
Make sure your boards are named accurately and that you have filled out the description and set out a category for each of them. This will help Pinterest to recommend your boards to others to follow, and will also make it more easily searchable.
I’ve seen Pinterest accounts with a very obvious theme with their boards – for example, everything is a particular colour or every single board corresponds directly with their blog. Personally, I like to have a little bit more flexibility with my account. If you want to have a colour theme, go for it, but it can get rather restrictive. And if you want a completely unrelated board in there – I have an Animals board for instance – there is nothing wrong with that.
For example, my Animals board is at the very bottom, so when someone’s looking at my boards at a glance, they’re able to see what it’s about because all the beauty, fashion, travel stuff is front and center. And when you scroll a little, you get a board filled with cats, foxes and puppies. Bonus!
It is YOUR account and you can have what you want in it! Just make sure you organise it correctly.
Create a good mix of boards
Following on from my previous point, make sure that you’ve got a good variety of boards in there. If your blog is primarily fashion-centric, then perhaps have different boards for different seasons. Or one board for dresses and another one for trousers. There is SO much content on Pinterest already that it won’t be hard to fill these up, and having more targeted boards will mean that people after those particular kinds of pins are more likely to follow.
For example, when I started my Pinterest account, I used to have one generic ‘For the home’ board and I pinned everything decor-related to that. But then I split it up, and now have one for living rooms, one for bathrooms, and so on. This allows me to branch out more.
The good thing is that they still count as a follower, even if they’re only following one of your boards. 🙂
More and more people (myself included) now prefer to follow specific boards instead of following all the boards from one person.
When it comes to my own content, I have a Pinterest board called ‘Best of the blog‘. This has sub-categories within it that correspond to the categories on my blog, and I pin everything in there. It’s a lot newer than the other boards so it looks comparatively empty, but I’m working on filling it up.
Optimise your blog pins
This mainly applies to your own blog pins, and is to ensure that they are found by people searching on Pinterest. Try to create custom images for each blog post that you pin. This will vary depending on the type of content. Fashion posts that have a person in it outperform posts with just the clothes shown. Beautiful, evocative photos with little to no text on the image but with well-written descriptions do really well, tall skinny photos with the recipe title are great for food posts and if you’ve got something instructional (like this post), then make sure you have a snappy title in the image.
Write a description for each pin, and also use hashtags! This is very important. And finally, use rich pins! Rich pins make it easy for people to find your blog. Here is an easy guide to help you set up rich pins.
Pin, pin, pin!
Now that you have set up your account correctly, and know how to optimise your pins, start pinning! This is the single biggest change I made in my Pinterest strategy and the one thing that showed the fastest results.
Without an external scheduling app doing this for me, I have to be smart about it because I aim to pin about 50-60 pins per day. That seems like a lot but it’s not hard once you break it up. So here’s what you do:
You need to pin, pin, pin. Every. Single. Day.
- Make sure you’re following a fair number of accounts. Pinterest creates a custom feed on your home page with recommendations of things it thinks you will like, pins based on your previous pinning activity and the people you follow. The more pins you’re recommended, the more you can pin!
- Set aside 10 minutes a day, three times a day and just focus on pinning. Whether it’s your lunch break at work, or while you’re sitting in the bus (the Pinterest app is great for this), just pin as much as you can. However this doesn’t mean that you pin mindlessly. Make sure you’re pinning relevant content – that’s the whole point of doing it manually. Yes it takes more time, but you have control over it. You should still enjoy the whole process, because otherwise what’s the point?
- Mix in your own blog pins on a regular basis because that’s what it’s ultimately all about. I pin images from my blog posts both to my ‘Best of the blog’ board AND to a relevant board. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it’s relevant and you’re not repeating the same image in a short span of time.
I’ll update this guide as I uncover more Pinterest tips and tricks (like I said, all of this is based on just a month’s experimenting). I might even make a part two. I hope you found this useful, because it took a while to research and put together.
Remember, having a Pinterest account that is reaching thousands of people means that your blog content does too. We all put so much work into our blogs, so it deserves to be seen!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and if you have any tips of your own, please do share them! Oh, and follow me on Pinterest if you feel like it. I really appreciate your support. 🙂