HOW TO USE PINTEREST TO GROW YOUR BLOG

I’m gonna let you into a little secret here: I freakin’ LOVE Pinterest. Like seriously if I could spend all day on it, I would. And guess what? It’s working wonders for my blog so the hours I spend pinning don’t feel like a total waste of time. Bonus!

Here’s another secret: Pinterest never used to work for my old blog. I didn’t understand the algorithm nor how to create graphics, so it just never worked and I never saw a traffic boost from it.

However, like I mentioned, Pinterest now works wonders for this blog. Around 60-70% of my monthly referral traffic comes from the site and I’ve even seen a huge spike in my mailing list since I started using it properly.

If you’re looking to use Pinterest to grow your blog, increase traffic to your blog or even increase the number of people subscribed to your email list, follow these steps:

1. Switch to a business account

Before we dive in with actually starting your new Pinterest strategy, I’d recommend switching your account from personal to a business one, if you haven’t already.

A business account is essentially the same as a personal one but it gives you access to your analytics – something you’ll want to refer to when refining which techniques are working the best.

With a Pinterest business account, you’ll be able to see:

  • How many users your pins are reaching
  • How many people are engaging with your pins
  • The interests of your audience
  • The demographics of your audience – such as their location, gender and country.

Here are my stats since I’ve been monitoring and using them:

Pinterest results stats

Once you’ve got access to your analytics, it’ll give you a better understanding about the type of content which is the highest-converting (i.e. results in a click back to your blog), and the style of graphic which are the most engaged-with.

Use this data moving forward to continue improving your strategy. Genius, right? 😉

2. Optimise your profile

Once your account is setup properly, it’s time to optimise your profile and let people know that you’re a serious Pinner.

The steps for this are similar to the ones you’d do for your blog. Make sure that the branding of both your website and blog are consistent to help your content and profile get recognised and pay attention to the following areas:

Your photo

If possible, pick the photo that you use across your other social media platforms. It should be a professional headshot and be framed so that people can see your beautiful face.

Wanna optimise your Pinterest profile? Do these things! Click To Tweet

Your name

Picking a name on Pinterest isn’t as simple as entering your full name and having done with it. Pinterest is a search engine so you’ll want to pack your name with the keywords that describe your profile (more on that later!).

Your bio

Keep it fun, optimised and to the point. You only get a small area to describe yourself on Pinterest; try and include the key thing that you want a new visitor to do. Is it to subscribe to your mailing list? Visit your blog? Or follow you?

Here’s a screenshot of my profile, just as an example:

pinterest profile example

3. Find and use keywords

Many people assume that Pinterest is a social media platform and that they can’t optimise their profile to get more visitors – and better results. Guess what? They’re wrong!

Pinterest is a search engine, just like Google, and you can implement simple strategies to help boost your profile. The easiest way is through keywords.

You should try and use your keywords throughout all of the steps outlined in the section about optimising your profile. This helps a visitor landing on your page get a key idea about what you’re all about, as well as rank higher in searches where people are looking for what you offer.

For example, I’m a freelance writer and blog about blogging. Therefore, my keywords are “freelance writing” and “blogging” – both of which are included in my name and bio.

Board descriptions

One of the best things I learnt when taking Melyssa’s Pinfinite Growth course was that adding keywords into your board descriptions does the world of good.

Your boards are like the structure of your Pinterest account and you’re able to edit the description. Don’t leave this blank! Find keywords relating to the topic of the board and insert variations of them in the description to increase the chances of the board ranking higher in a Pinterest search.

Here’s an example of how Melyssa has done it on one of her boards:

pinterest board keywords

Pins

When you’re uploading graphics to your site and pinning them directly from there, Pinterest will automatically pull the alt text and/or description that you set.

Alt text is a factor used by Google to suss-out what an image is (since many search engines can’t look at the actual photo).

Use this field as an opportunity to hit your keywords and give a brief sentence about what the blog post is talking about. This will then pull-through when someone pins from your site and again, improve your chances of appearing for a keyword.

On WordPress, you can edit the alt text when uploading your photo by pressing “Edit” and typing into the Alt Text field:

pinterest change alt text

4. Create your own graphics

Without a doubt, I credit the majority of my Pinterest results on the graphics that I’ve begun to create.

People in general (although particularly on Pinterest!) are visual people and we like to interact with things that look nice. Use this methodology when creating your graphics and you’ll soon see a boost in the amount of times your blog post is repinned.

I use Canva to create all of my designs because it is AMAZING and so easy for a non-techie like me to understand!

Here are a few other top-tips for creating Pinterest graphics:

  • Use a horizontal format as this demands more space on the page
  • Use a colour scheme similar to your blog
  • Think about font pairings
  • Include mentions of content upgrades if you have them, such as a free workbook or a discount code for your online course
  • Make your text stand-out and easy to read
#TopTip: Use Canva to create bold, horizontal Pinterest graphics for the best results! Click To Tweet

5. Enable Rich Pins

Have you ever seen that bold title below a Pinterest graphic that tells you briefly what the blog post is about before you click on it? That’s called a Rich Pin and you should have them set-up for pins hosted on your site.

Rich Pins pull the title of your blog post through to the pin itself. Here’s an example of pins with and without it:

pinterest rich pins

Notice how much the one which has Rich Pins stands out so much more than the one without?

Not only do they offer you the chance to grab someone’s attention and make them click your article, but it looks more professional – something that you’ll want to do if you’re planning on turning your blog into a biz.

(Here’s the full setup guide for Rich Pins if ya need it!)

6. Pin regularly

Now that you’re all set-up and have your strategy (almost) conquered, it’s time to start pinning – a lot.

The lifespan of a Pin is long but because people spend so much time discovering new content that they’d like to save and read another day, you’ll need to pin multiple times a day to ensure that your pins are actually reaching your audience.

Here's a lil secret: scheduling your pins will save you SO much time! Here's why > Click To Tweet

Scheduling

Now unfortunately, you might not be able to spend every minute of the day pinning. Sleep, work and general life can get in the way, which is why I schedule all of the pins you’ll have seen on my profile (shhhh!).

BoardBooster is my pin scheduler of choice because it’s just so goddamn easy. I pin content to my secret boards whenever I get a spare few minutes to log on and it’ll re-pin them to my normal boards throughout the day.

Not only does it mean that my content is always going out and it appears like I’m always active, BoardBooster allows you to reach people all over the world, no matter what time zone they’re in.

Quality pins

In order to make sure that people are gonna like the stuff you’re sharing, you should only pin quality content. That means keeping the style of graphics in-line with the overall brand of your profile, and checking that the links they’re sharing actually work.

Heck, even I’ll admit that I’ve been caught off-guard and pinned a graphic that links to a dodgy website or even the homepage of the blog. Not good.

Before repinning anything, always click through and see if it’s a link that’ll provide value.

It’ll increase your followers’ trust in knowing that the stuff you’re sharing is good (and actually there!); making your profile much more valuable to someone.

7. Create a board for your blog

Even though you should be pinning content from your blog into the different boards you’ve got on your Pinterest profile, it’s a good idea to create a separate board to host all of your own stuff.

Organising your boards so that your own content-board is first in-line is a great way to convert visitors of your profile to visit your blog. It also acts as a mini-archive, allowing them to sieve through your content and repin what they’d like to read later.

Here’s how McKinzie from Moms Make Cents has done this on her profile:

branded pin board

Top tip: Use a variety of image and graphic styles to keep your own-content board interesting. It’ll also show off your graphic design skills and improve your branding, even if they were done through Canva!

8. Join group boards

Ah, group boards; another thing that I credit a lot of my Pinterest and blog success to.

Group Pinterest boards as are the name suggests, created for groups of people to pin content on the same board. Some of them are HUGE and have thousands of members; others are more niche and only have a few engaged pinners involved.

To increase the exposure that your blog content gets, find a handful of group boards that are in your industry. Some of my favourites for bloggers are:

Once you’ve found your target boards, look at the board description to find out how you can be added. This is often as simple as emailing the board’s admin.

Once you’ve been added, check the rules of the group. Similar to a Facebook group, posting unwanted, unrelated or the same content repeatedly can result in you getting removed.

Generally, it’s good practice to post both your own content and repin others’. This makes your pinning activity look less suspicious and still receive the chance of getting users to click back to your blog.