Pinterest is often considered to be one of the best ways of bringing traffic and attention to your blog posts. It’s something I would agree with now that I understand how it works. If you don’t, however, the thought of even attempting to replicate the success of certain bloggers can be completely daunting.
Where do I start? What are rich pins? Are group boards really that important, and if they are, where do I find them?
These questions, and many like them, were things I asked myself constantly before I committed myself to learning more about the platform. Before a couple of months ago, I used to share my own content, but I didn’t understand how to use it beyond that.
You might be able to tell that I’ve come some way since then, though. By implementing what I have learned, I managed to double my Pinterest traffic in a single month!
Keeping the things I learned to myself when I had no clue myself a few months ago didn’t sit right with me. With that in mind, I thought I’d sit down and share the most effective methods I’ve used when it comes to increasing my Pinterest traffic.
Make use of the business Pinterest account feature
If you haven’t already, you need to make sure you’re using a business Pinterest account. Unlike a personal account, a business account allows you to break down where your traffic comes from, and what pins perform well. This will help you to produce content Pinterest likes, and make sure you’re posting to worthwhile group boards.
You will also need to verify your account to get full use of Pinterest’s business features. It looks scary, but it’s far easier than you might think. All you need to do is go to your Pinterest account settings and click on the ‘claim a website’ section. You will find a piece of code that you will need to edit into your website’s code.
DON’T PANIC! Would it make you feel better if I told you I don’t have a clue how to edit code, either?
There’s a plug-in for everything, though, as they say. All you need to do is download a header and footer plugin (click here to use the one I’ve used) and paste the code into the header section. Click done, and you’re all set! Your website has been verified and you now have full use of Pinterest’s business features.
Organise your Pinterest profile
While it isn’t essential, organising your Pinterest profile can help people understand what they can expect from your blog based on your personality. I’d recommend having a board where you post all your blog posts to first, followed by the things most relevant to your blog.
From the picture above, you can see that I’ve put my autism, mental health and self-care boards on the first line. I think this demonstrates me and my blog pretty well. After that, I’ve included other things I’m interested in. I used to think my profile needed to be 100% professional, but I’ve done so much better since adding back personal touches.
After my personal boards, I’ve then put my own group boards, followed by the group boards I contribute to. I’ll talk more about group boards and how to join them later in the blog post.
Use alt attributes on WordPress to describe your image
When you go to edit a photo on the WordPress editor, you’ll have an option to add alt attributes. Not only is this good for SEO purposes, but it’s also the description that will come up when others post your image to Pinterest directly from your website.
You want to use keywords to make sure it’s as searchable as possible, but remember, it still needs to be readable. Some disabled people rely on alt attributes to help them understand what a photo is showing them, for various reasons. This is something I only realised recently, and something I’m going back to implement in my old photos. I’d recommend you do it, too, if you want your website to be as accessible as possible.
Make several pins for each blog post
In that phase where I would pin my own posts and hope for the best, I’d only ever create one pin per post. They were all the same brand-wise because I’d read that worked well, and honestly, they looked awful. Some people do it well, but if I’ve learned anything in recent months, it’s that I’m not one of them.
When creating Pinterest images, it’s best to create one that you broadcast either at the top or bottom of your post. This serves as a reminder for your readers that they can pin the post if they’d like to (hint… hint… 😉). I also try and hide one or two different images in my blog post so that people have options when pinning my content. This does involve a little bit of coding, but it’s easy, I promise! Check out this post to find out how to do it.
Post your pin to a relevant board first
When I used to pin things to Pinterest, I’d automatically pin it to my blog post board. Over time, however, I’ve found that pins posted to relevant boards first work much better. With my last post about self-care, for example, I posted it to my self-care board. I then went back and shared it to my blog post board later. This meant that Pinterest recognised it as relevant, increasing the chances of it being seen by people interested in self-care.
Switch up the style of your pins
Pinterest has a preference for vertical images when it comes to blog posts. Canva is an editing tool that has a template you can use if you don’t know the dimensions yourself. One thing you might not have tried, however, is switching up the type of pins you’re creating.
Infographics are supposed to do really well on Pinterest. Personally, this hasn’t worked for me, but I’ve had limited experience and I’m really bad at creating them. Something I’ve found has worked well for me is pulling a quote from my blog post and sharing that instead. You can view an example here.
Doing this gives people variety and means people who might not be looking for blog posts end up finding your post and re-pinning it anyway because they like the quote.
Recreate images for old posts
As part of my blog relaunch, I went back and recreated a lot of my old pins to create higher-quality images. It’s a work in progress, and I won’t tell you that it doesn’t take time, but it’s so worth it. Even if your pins aren’t bad quality like mine were, updating them gives you more chance of being seen by a new audience. You might want to word your title a little differently or present it differently to reach said audience, too.
This was probably one of the best methods for me. Two of my new pins went semi-viral on Pinterest, which increased my traffic massively. They weren’t the best pins, but they obviously resonated with the target audience (autistic people and their caregivers). Not every pin will go viral, but it’ll be worth it for those that do. Even if they don’t go viral, they’ll draw more traffic to your site, which can never be a bad thing.
Join Group Boards
On Pinterest, group boards are boards full of several contributors, all of whom want to share their content with a wider audience. The idea is to share your content in relevant boards so that others will see them and, hopefully, re-pin them to one of their own boards.
The trick with group boards is making sure that you only join those that are relevant to you. There’s no point in joining a parenting bloggers group board if you don’t have children or content relevant to children, after all. You should also make sure you’re following the rules, usually displayed in the description, so you aren’t removed from the board.
To find group boards, you could search Google, or ask on Facebook or Twitter for recommendations.
Share other people’s content
I cannot stress to you the importance of sharing other people’s content enough. You might view Pinterest as a competition, but truth is, viewing a profile where the only content is their own is boring. It doesn’t inspire people to follow you or tell them anything about what they can expect from you. It may also come across as spam to Pinterest, which may lead to your account being deactivated.
The rules about sharing other people’s content vary. Most people agree that pinning 80% of other people’s images and 20% of your own works best. Some people have found they are able to increase that to as much as 50% before any negative results occur. It’s something you need to play around with to see what works for you.
PRO TIP: Don’t post the same image to more than one board consecutively. Pinterest has a feature where the header compiles all the images you’ve posted. It can look like spam if you’re posting your own images several times. Alternatively, though, you could post different images one after another if you’re short on time.
Check that your pins are still working from time to time
I never even considered that the images I pinned would stop leading back to my website. It happened after I went self-hosted, and it took months for me to rectify the issue. In that time, I potentially lost out on a whole heap of traffic. Yes, I’m still kicking myself now.
Changing your website address isn’t the only reason to check old Pinterest images, though. I’ve heard many horror stories of bloggers having their pins redirected to spam websites, or virus downloads. Not only does it draw traffic away from your website, but it could also affect the trust you share with your readers. Nobody really wants that, do they?
Have you used Pinterest to increase your blog traffic? Are you going to be implementing some of these tips, or do you have others you think should join this list?
Leave a comment below so that we can start a discussion and help one another out!
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