How I Got 25,000 Blog Subscribers from Pinterest - in 2 Months Flat - Make a Living Writing

How I Got 25,000 Blog Subscribers from Pinterest — in 2 Months Flat

Carol Tice | 39 Comments

25,000 Blog Subscribers from Pinterest. Makealivingwriting.comBy Taylor Flanery

Pinterest is currently the fastest-growing social networking site on the web. It mainly attracts female users because of its visual appeal — it’s a way to “pin” images onto virtual pinboards and then look at what everyone else has pinned, too.

Because of Pinterest’s website bookmarking feature, it has also recently emerged as one of the biggest referrers of traffic to websites and blogs.

Here’s how my newest website, started at the end of October 2011, gained over 25,000 newsletter subscribers in two months thanks, in large part, to Pinterest. The beauty of my strategy is you don’t personally have to be active on Pinterest to do this. You don’t even need to be a member of the site — you can just encourage others to share your articles through Pinterest so you get more traffic.

How it began: a year long reader challenge

Use Pinterest to get more blog subscribers. Makealivingwriting.comI’d love to tell you I had some kind of master plan for the phenomenal growth of my website, Home Storage Solutions 101, but instead, this is a story about being in the right niche, at the right time, with a graphic that is ideal for sharing on Pinterest. Also, I had quality content and enough foresight to set up my website to capture the emails of interested visitors who came to my website from Pinterest, for my weekly newsletter.

When I decided to start my website about home organization and storage solutions, I knew I had lots of topics to cover. I decided to do a year-long challenge, where I’d discuss organizing one small area of the home each week. I called it the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, and put the schedule for the weekly challenges on the site on a landing page, listing the topics I would cover over the course of the year.

I choose a popular niche for pinterest

I benefited from the fact that many pinners were already creating boards related to home organizing. Others who followed that board were often also interested in organizing. When they saw the pin they, too, were alerted to the challenge. The landing page of the Challenge was pinned and repinned over and over in this loop of interested users, which is what makes sharing so viral on Pinterest.

Take a look around Pinterest, looking at boards in the niches in which you write, and see what types of things are being pinned to get an idea of topics pinners are interested in, and what types of boards they pin them on.

The seasonal advantage

As it turned out, I started my challenge at exactly the right time. I started promoting in earnest in November and December, right when people make New Year’s Resolutions to “get organized.”

In fact, the most viral traffic and newsletter subscriber growth occurred from right after Christmas through the first weeks of the new year. One day, for example, I received over 25,000 unique visitors to the site.

Help pinners know what your article is about

Since Pinterest is a very visual site, having a compelling graphic — preferably not a stock photo — on your blog post or webpage is key to getting pins and repins. The graphic I created for the Challenge was very self-explanatory, as you can see above, which helped it spread like wildfire.

One thing I wish I had done with my main 52 Week Organized Home Challenge graphic, however, was to have my URL or site name on it. As of the time of this writing the Pinterest button on the main challenge page says it has been pinned over 28,000 times. I can’t even describe how much I regret missing that huge branding opportunity. Duh!

Sometimes pins don’t get attributed to the right source after they’ve been pinned and repinned a lot, and this can get people to the right source to read your article if they’re interested.

Add Pin It buttons to your pages

I got a lot of activity and traffic from Pinterest at first without actively promoting it on the site. Once I noticed all the traffic coming from Pinterest, I quickly acted to encourage it.

I went back and added “pin it” buttons to all of my challenge pages. (You can grab the pin it button on Pinterest here – scroll down to where it says “Pin It button for websites.”) When you add a pin it button to your page you can choose which graphic will be pinned, and in addition, you can suggest language to describe the pin.

I tried to encourage others to join the challenges with my suggested language. For example, for the Organized Home Challenge page, the suggested language is: “I’m Joining The 52 Weeks To An Organized Home Challenge!” Further, when I pinned the page myself I said, “This is what I’m doing for the next year to get my home in order. Will you join me?” Both of these phrases have been popular on Pinterest, and been repinned many times.

If I had it to do over, I would have added my site name and had a better call to action, like, “I’m joining the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge on Home-Storage-Solutions-101.com to get my home in order. Will you join me?”

If you’ve enjoyed this article, I encourage you to pin it with this pin button: Pin It

Taylor Flanery is a former lawyer turned work-at-home mom. She is a home and garden and legal freelance writer and owner of multiple niche websites including Household Management 101.

Do you have questions about how to earn more from your writing? Learn more in my community Freelance Writers Den — take ecourses, attend live events, ask writing pros your questions in our forums, and use our exclusive Junk-Free Job Board.

 

39 comments on “How I Got 25,000 Blog Subscribers from Pinterest — in 2 Months Flat

  1. Preeti on

    I have been hearing more and more about Pinterest. I will definitely be checking it out more.Thanks for Sharing Nice Information !

  2. Swadhin Agrawal on

    Hello Carol madam,
    Just returned to your site after a gap of may be 2 months I love your new design it makes the site look more elegant and converting. Can I know the theme you use and the framework it is on?
    Coming to the post I am tremendously in love with Pinterest and I really think its a cool place to try out. This cool tutorial will surely help me out in my Pinterest venture. thanks for sharing your secrets. 🙂

  3. Rebecca Lutz on

    Guess how I found your blog? …. that’s right – PINTEREST! I just started a blog of my own where I share all I know on graphic design, working from home, and creating a life that I’m passionate about. I am beginning to pin some of my imagery on Pinterest and know there is so much potential Im excited to see where it goes. Thanks for sharing!

    • Carol Tice on

      Cool to know — I’m increasingly going to be using the strategy of letting other people pin ME on Pinterest while I’m not personally that active on the platform. I’m hoping to create more pins for some of my blog posts in 2014.

  4. Laura Townshend on

    I love Pinterest! It’s a great way to showcase the places we’ve been. I never thought of using Pinterest to build an email list, however. I can be a bit slow to catch the train. 😉

    Thanks for a great article, Taylor. There’s quite a bit of inspiration to be found here.

  5. Jessica on

    Love this post. What an inspiration. I’m so happy to have found this post and read about ways that I can appeal to more readers and get them to subscribe. Thanks!

    Jessica @ All She Cooks

  6. Brown Williams on

    I don’t have a long experience on Pinterest but for the short time I have used it I have realized that it has various tools you can use to improve your site. They include
    Repinly, Url2pin.it, Pinstamatic, Pinzy, Pinterest Right-Click, SpinPicks, Pinspiration, Snapito, Woobox Pinterest Tab, Pin Search, Reachli, Pinpuff. Great post though.

  7. Sharon Thoms on

    Hi great idea, and use for Pinterest. Was wondering if you had the crowd subscribe to your challenge, to be able to take part in it?
    I once was going to use a picture that I found on Pinterest, so I was looking for the original author and you would not believe. The pic had been shared by someone on Tumblr and so I followed it backwards. From what I remember, It kept coming up with shared by, and the next one back, then shared by, next one back, never giving credit to the original author until I guess, when you got back to the very end, and the very first person that shared the picture. I gave up well before that.

  8. Kellie on

    This is fabulous insight into building a following via Pinterest… but more importantly, I need to learn how to organize my house. SO a huge help! Thanks a bunch… for covering both topics. 🙂

  9. Amielle on

    This is an interesting way to use Pinterest and definitely what I’m going to start using mine for! Now to blow the dust off of my account and get to it. 🙂

  10. Neil on

    Pinterest has certainly grabbed my attention. I’ve spent some time looking through all the comments on this page – its motivated me to do something about this – maybe I can use my writing skills to show more people how to play guitar?

  11. Suzanne on

    Taylor – Thanks for sharing your experiences with Pinterest. 25,000 blog subscribers in 2 months – that is fantastic! …. no, it’s AMAZING!!!

  12. Cath on

    What an inspirational story! Thank you for sharing it, Taylor. I have been using Pinterest even though it is more or less unknown in Europe, but it seems I need to think harder about the possibilities for using it as a business opportunity rather than just for personal stuff.

    • Taylor on

      Jean, the demographics of Pinterest show there is a much higher percentage of females using the site than males, and the site is visually based. All people, male and female, are unique and different, and therefore different things appeal to different people. However, the demographics suggest that females seem to like Pinterest more than males, at least so far. It will be interesting to see if this continues as the site grows in size.

  13. Melanie on

    I love Pinterest too! I love your idea for the 52 week challenge! Did you set up the whole year in the beginning or do you create it month to month?

    • Taylor on

      Hi Melanie, I set the schedule for the whole year for the challenges all at once, but I post them once a week, on the day set on the schedule, which is when I also send out my newsletter with the challenge. It definitely gives me a hard and fast deadline to meet each week, for sure!

  14. Rayven on

    This is fantastic, and so inspirational! (And I will admit, the thought has disrupted my day now as ideas are floating around.) I have been having a lot of fun on Pinterest lately. Looks like I’m about to have even more fun! Thanks for the tips.

  15. Marcia Clarke on

    Thanks for sharing this info about Pinterest, I signed up for it about a month ago but have not done much with it; a learning curve and so little time… Thanks!

    • Taylor on

      Marcia, there is definitely a learning curve to pinning on Pinterest itself, but I would encourage anyone interested in first just trying it personally, as a regular person not trying to market or promote anything, so you can get a feel for it, and how real users (not marketers) use it. I did that first, and since I was interested in my own niche, I used that time to really see trends in your niche (hopefully you’re interested in your niche, right?) and figure out how to share cool stuff that not only interests people, but gets you some traffic at the same time. Of all the social media sites, it is the one that feels like the least “work” if you know what I mean.

      • Carol Tice on

        Thanks for all the tips on this, Taylor! I need to spend some time poking around on there as a user to see what sorts of useful things I might pin up that would interest my readers. I notice there is no obvious category for writers…or am I missing something? I felt a little like it wasn’t for me when I signed on because there was no category for anything business-related really, it’s more of a lifestyle focus.

        But I love your strategy of just using the button and letting others who are more proficient on Pinterest send you traffic.

      • Marcia Clarke on

        Thanks, Carol. I have been slowly getting familiar with Pinterest as we speak. Just have to find enough time to play around to get the hang of it, especially the boards I’ll get there eventually.

  16. Leslie on

    This is incredible. Of course, some businesses lend themselves to pinning and some don’t. For those of us like me, (I’m a copywriter) we need to think outside the box to use Pinterest for business.

    I made a portfolio of my work on Pinterest, pinning photos of clients’ products that I’ve written about on one board, and their logos and banners with some of my copy attached on another.

    Love to hear how some of you writers are using Pinterest to market, and if you are seeing any traffic from it. (I haven’t so far.)

  17. Terri Huggins on

    Thanks for sharing this. It definitely gives me something to think about as I’ve been debating limiting my activity on Pinterest after hearing about the questionable terms of services as as it pertains to rights for pinned images.

    On a side note, I never thought to put a “pin it” button my website or blog.

    • Taylor on

      Teri, I’ve been following closely the debate about copyright and Pinterest, and am still doing research on that issue. I completely understand that concern. I think the strategy I’m proposing here is a good one though, since even if you don’t personally use Pinterest or create your own boards (such as because of these concerns) you can still encourage traffic from Pinterest back to your own blog, and we can all use more targeted traffic.

  18. Josh Sarz on

    Thank you for sharing this, Taylor. I haven’t been as active in Pinterest as a lot of people are, despite hearing about it again and again.

    You’ve definitely showed how Pinterest can give your blog a super boost.

  19. CJJohnson on

    Pinterest is tough cookie to crack it appears. But it is widely becoming the new “it girl” in social media. Thanks for sharing your success with the site, it was very encouraging. And your strategy and approach was awesome!

    • Carol Tice on

      Taylor even got me to join it. I discovered you apply to get an ‘invite’ from Pinterest. Mine came in about 24 hours…so be patient if you’re trying to sign up.

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