Updated for 2018!
Like everything on the Internet, Pinterest is changing very fast. Pinterest tips for growing your audience published in 2015 or even 2016 are definitely outdated in 2018. The platform evolves, and algorithms become more sophisticated day by day, which makes it harder to manipulate it.
I started my blog in the middle of February 2017, I created a brand new Pinterest account associated with my blog, so I had 0 traffic and 0 followers for starters. In 3.5 months, if we compare monthly traffic for Feb and May, I’ve got 10 times more pageviews! And haven’t yet a chance to quit my 9-5 job and work on the blog full time, it’s just a side hustle for now, with less than 20 posts published so far.
So, guess where does my traffic come from? Pinterest! About 94% of my audience comes from Pinterest! Is this a good or bad thing? Well, keeping all eggs in the same basket is never good advice, but having mostly Pinterest traffic is way better than having no audience at all!
When I started the blog, I knew that Google will take about 6 months to give at least some trust to my site, so I was ready for the dull months of talking to myself with no audience at all. But I saw that so many bloggers are successfully driving tons of traffic from Pinterest that I decided to give it a try… and it worked!
So, now I have my own experience and success story with Pinterest, and I’d like to share with you some tips and tricks that you might find completely contradicting everything you’ve read before. But it works for me, and I hope it can help you drive traffic to your blog too!
The Internet is full of Pinterest tips which you could give to anyone – like to use vertical and long images or to add descriptions to each of your pins. If you are blogging for a while, you probably already know these. I wrote earlier a very detailed post which explains who to make perfect images for Pinterest so you can check if what you are doing now is the most efficient for your growth strategy.
Let’s look at the things that I believe were the biggest factors which contributed to my Pinterest traffic growth.
If you haven’t heard of these, you probably are new to Pinterest marketing. Do it ASAP because rich pins get more attention in Pinterest search results, and consequently, you get more likes, repins and traffic to your site. To make it simple, Rich Pins add more content from your site under the image. There are several types of rich pins explained by Pinterest, but for most of the bloggers, article type is the best.
There are several ways to enable rich pins on your account, I’ll show you the one I used.
Install Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress and set in its Social settings find the Facebook tab and click “Enable“ Open Graph.
2. Validate your site on Pinterest
Validate your site on Pinterest’s Rich Pin Validator by giving a link to any post on your blog. Make sure you don’t give a link to your main page, it has to be a blog post URL!
After the validation is complete and approved by Pinterest, you will start seeing under your pins additional content from your site.
Use Tailwind as a pro. If you don’t, your competitors will anyway!
You can ignore marketing automatization tools, you can spend tons of your time manually pinning every single pin. It’s up to you, guys!
Just know that many other bloggers and I won’t ignore automation, we will invest those 90 dollars a year and will grow our audience much faster than you. Sounds like you have not much choice left, sorry 🙂
You can try the first month of Tailwind for free (plus if you use my affiliate link, you get $15 credit in case you switch to a paid account) and see how it goes. I had no patience to use the free version for longer than 3 days because I was desperate to schedule the posts for the next month and forget about it. I was also eager to try all the available features. So I just paid the yearly subscription, it has a better price than if I paid per month. I thought, if I’m going to make a living with a blog, the investment of 90 USD which will contribute to the blog growth, is an excellent deal.
How about Boardbooster? I know many bloggers recommend it. I use it from time to time too, I pay not more than 5 USD per month (it’s 500 pins) to schedule my best-performing pins to the best performing group boards with Random Campaigns feature. If you manage to overcome the pain of using their outdated interface design, then the minimum $5 plan should be enough.
Another reason to go for Tailwind is the real stats for each pin which Pinterest stopped showing in 2017. As of November 2017, Pinterest doesn’t show you repin counts on mobile devices and on the desktop, for all the boards except your own boards. If you want to add some popular pins from other people to your boards, now you have no way to know which pin has been repinned how many times before you. If you use Tailwind Tribes feature, you can still see repin counts for there (see an example on the screenshot below).
Remember the 80/20 rule? Forget about it!
This is a standard recommendation of many Pinterest gurus – publish about 80% of other bloggers and only 20% of our own. In group boards especially. This is about ethics, they say, and about giving your audience a feeling that you are not there just for promoting your own stuff. Well, this advice is a good one to give and a bad one to follow. Analyze the activities of those gurus, and you’ll notice that they publish way more than 20% of their own content.
Answer yourself a simple question. What happens when you pin other bloggers 80% of your time? Come on, just say it! Yes! You are driving traffic to their blogs about 80% of your day! Does this advice make any sense? To me, it doesn’t.
If I find some really high-quality content of my fellow bloggers, I happily share it and repin. But for God’s sake, what am I doing in this business if I don’t consider my own content good enough to share it and bring visitors to my own site?
I can’t tell you the exact share of my own content I’m pinning right now, never made this with % precision. I repin my best posts at least once a month, and I’m always checking how my boards look. If there is only my content, it looks too bad, so I add something like 20-30% of the other bloggers’ content. In my Pinterest tips one of the most important ones would be about 80% of your own content and only 20% of other bloggers.
I need to make a remark here though. If you are just a beginner, and your blog doesn’t have a great variety of content, repinning the same 10 posts in a loop will look very weird. Another note.
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Repin infographics from others
Why infographics? Because they are so long and so popular on Pinterest! They get lots of repins and will drive your boards to grow faster. At the same time, they are preferable because you don’t send traffic to other bloggers so much. People tend to read infographics on Pinterest, and so they don’t need to even click through to the site of your competitor!
Take advantage of trends and seasons
Pinterest is very liable to the season, holiday, public events related trends. This means that you can grow your boards by following these trends and planning your publications ahead. You need to post your content a little bit in advance; so by the peak time, your post already has some repins.
It’s quite simple to see the search trends on Pinterest. First, the platform sends you emails with these trends about 2-3 times a month. Just search in your inbox for “search trends” from Pinterest, and you’ll see something like this
Want an example? About a 2 months before the Halloween this year, I made a post about DIY Halloween decorations. And look what happened with this pin – it went viral like crazy in just 10 days and resulted in the biggest (so far) spike in my Pinterest traffic. After the initial peak, the same post still worked pretty well until the Halloween, and after October 31 it retired, which was absolutely expected. I hope the same post will work for me next year again. Meanwhile, I work on Thanksgiving recipes and Christmas gifts under $10 posts, I’ll let you know if they go viral.
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