More Blog Traffic With Pinterest: Inside One Writer’s 161% Jump

Get more blog traffic with Pinterest. Makealivingwriting.comI remember the first time I heard of Pinterest. It was four years ago. I was having coffee with a friend. She couldn’t stop talking about the platform, and how to get more blog traffic with Pinterest.

Her enthusiasm for Pinterest was infectious. When I got home that day, I created an account and started pinning away.

Want to know how to use Pinterest to grow your blog traffic? Let’s look at this platform’s potential to help bloggers.

The power of Pinterest

Today, Pinterest is one of my top sources for website traffic, second only to Google. In fact, over the past year, I’ve been able to increase my page views 161 percent, which lead to a 151 percent increase in my blogging income.

And no, I’m not a food, fashion, or crafting blogger. It doesn’t matter what your niche is. With the right approach, Pinterest can be a game-changer for building an audience and growing your business. If you’re not using Pinterest, you’re missing out.

Want more proof that Pinterest works?

Last year, Daniela Uslan, a freelance writer and blogging coach, tripled her blog traffic with Pinterest in less than a month — with fewer than 100 followers.

And she’s not the only blogger to see major success with Pinterest.

Addi Ganley, a personal finance blogger, doubled her blog traffic and hit the 600,000 mark for monthly page views within a year. While Addi had a multi-step approach for increasing her blog traffic, Pinterest accounted for 200,000 of those monthly page views.

Ready to learn how to use Pinterest for your blogging or freelance writing business?

Here are the four strategies I’ve used to exponentially grow my traffic:

1. Create an account

When you create a Pinterest account, you have two options. You can either set up a personal account or a business account. You’ll want to choose the latter of the two.Pinterest3

When you set up a business account, you’ll get access to special features that are not included with personal accounts, such as, rich pins (which add additional snippets of information to each of your pins), analytics, and paid advertising options.

Have you already set up a personal Pinterest account?

No problem. Pinterest allows you to switch from a personal account to a business account (it’s easy – I had to do this myself). Go to this page and click on the “convert account” and it will walk you through the steps.

Complete your profile

Remember to fill out your profile completely. Use a professional-looking headshot, add a keyword-friendly description, and links to your website and social media profiles.

Verify your website with Pinterest

You’ll also want to verify your website which can be done by adding a snippet of code to your blog or through the Pinterest Verify plugin. And if you don’t have a website, you can still create a Pinterest account and start using it.

Add social share buttons

Most importantly, you’ll want to ensure the images on your blog are pin-ready by adding social share buttons to all of your blog posts. This can be accomplished through a variety of plugins and widgets. Shareaholic is a free social sharing plugin, and Social Warfare is a paid social sharing plugin.

2. Set up boards

Now that your profile is in place, it’s time to start creating your virtual bulletin boards. This is where you’ll add your content.Pinterest2

Create boards using keywords

Because Pinterest acts as a search engine (users can search by pin, board, user, or related content), you’ll want to create boards with catchy titles and keyword-rich descriptions. Take time to research keywords in your niche and diversify your boards accordingly.

While you want to target a wide variety of keywords and topics in your niche – you don’t want to dilute your efforts by having too many boards. In fact, according to a study by BoardBooster, the majority of successful pinners have less than one hundred boards, and top pinners with 3 million followers have an average of 62 boards.

You don’t have to create all of your boards in one day. Start with five to 10 boards that contain catchy titles, rich descriptions, and high-quality pins. And from there, you can build up. I currently have 73 boards, but 44 of those are group boards.

Once you’ve created your boards and added your descriptions, you can arrange them in any order you wish. I suggest moving your most important boards to the top row, as these will receive the most visibility.

3. Choose pin-worthy imagesPinterest1

To create eye-catching pins — here’s what you need to know.

Find the perfect image

If you have a niche where you are taking your own photos, you’ll want to educate yourself on proper lighting, staging, and composition. Luckily, there are tons of free photography guides online where you can sharpen your skills. If your blog is unrelated to foods, fashion, or crafts, you can use inexpensive or free stock photos. 

Make your images stand out

According to a study done by Curlate, the following features will help your image stand out from the crowd and generate more repins.

  • Choose images with warm colors
  • Avoid dark images
  • Make your images vertical with a 2:3 or 4:5 ratio
  • Avoid using images with faces

Add text to your images

Why add text to your image? Research shows that pins with text overlays perform better than images without text.

To add text (usually the title of your blog post) to your images, try a photo editing program like PicMonkey or Canva. Both platforms are free for basic use, and they’re simple to use. If you have an indecisive personality, try Canva. It has ready-made templates and font combinations that can take some of the guesswork out the design process.

To help create the right color combination for your image, check out ColourLovers.com. This site has tons of color palate combinations with HEX codes (the numeric expression of each color) to help you create a professional and polished-looking image.

Write engaging descriptions
Even though Pinterest is a visual platform, written descriptions for your pins are equally important. Like your blog content, your pin descriptions should be conversational, keyword-rich, with clear and concise explanations of the content.

You should also include a Call to Action in each description. According to a study done by reachli.com, Pinterest descriptions that contain a CTA see an 80 percent increase in engagement.

4. Plan your pinning strategy

Now for the fun part…pinning content.

While you want to pin your own content to your boards, you’ll want to do it in a strategic manner over an extended period of time.

Create a pinning schedule
You can manage your content and pinning schedule via a spreadsheet, or you can use a third-party scheduling tool like BoardBooster, ViralTag, or Tailwind.

Because Pinterest is an algorithmic platform like Facebook, you’ll want to diversify how you pin. Try combinations of manual and automatic pinning at different times during the day.

According to this infographic from Buffer, the best times to pin are afternoons, nighttime, and Saturdays. Experiment and figure out what times your target audience is online and using Pinterest.

You’ll also want to diversify your content by pinning other people’s content to your boards.

For my audience, I’ve found that pinning from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. yields the best results. I use a third-party platform called Board Booster to schedule nighttime pins. And during the day, I pin manually.

How many pins should you pin each day?

According to Ahalogy, if you want to aggressively grow your Pinterest following you should aim for 20-25 pins per day. On average, I do 40 pins per day (manual and scheduled) and spend about 20 minutes pinning and 20 minutes on image creation.  I also have a virtual assistant who creates pinnable images for me. And I spend about 60 minutes a day Pinterest marketing.

Use group boards

One feature Pinterest has that other social platforms don’t is group boards. These shared boards have the potential to extend your reach exponentially by showcasing your pin to other pinner’s followers. However, you’ll want to be cautious when creating and joining group boards, because other people’s pins will also go out to your followers.

When joining group boards, look for well-defined groups that pertain to your niche and that have quality assurance rules in place for its members. You’ll also want to monitor the board’s activity to see that it has the right balance of engagement.

If the board is a ghost town or there too many spammy pins being promoted, you can choose to leave the group. Apply the old adage “quality over quantity” to group boards, and you should see good results.

Use Pinterest to grow your blog

If you’re ready to increase your blog traffic — try implementing these Pinterest strategies. It may be your ticket to exponential blog growth.

Have you had success using Pinterest to grow your blog? Leave a comment below.

Holly Reisem Hanna is the publisher of the award-winning blog, The Work at Home Woman. Stop by to find out more about paid writing assignments.

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35 comments on “More Blog Traffic With Pinterest: Inside One Writer’s 161% Jump
  1. Adil Zaman says:

    Great advice.

    BTW I’m using Flipboard, an awesome app that drives more traffic than any other referrer. Well, thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts with us. Rise and Shine Carol 🙂

  2. Hi, thanks for this. For the 20+ pins a day, are you repinning your pins to your own boards or are you constantly making new pins?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Not sure Holly will see this, but I think it’s a combo of repinning your own pins and repinning other peoples’ interesting pins on related topics that you discover on Pinterest.

  3. This is brilliant, and just what I needed. I’ve never used Pinterest to promote my writing business, but I’m sure going to now. Thanks for the insights!

  4. wow I am using the pinterest from past 3 years and I love how we are able to make links from the profile. I think that you have desrcibed it very well, some infographics are so popular that they get so many backlinks from pinterest only

  5. Krissy says:

    I really thought this article was very informative. I have just recently started out as a freelance writer and currently am working for a content mill(ugh)just to gain some experience and get some writing under my belt. But since no one really knows of me yet, how could I use Pinterest to gain some decent paying gigs? I guess I don’t really understand how this all works, forgive me. Any pointers would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much!

    • Holly Hanna says:

      Hi Krissy,

      Do you have a blog? If so, you can create images for your bog posts and pin them to Pinterest. By pinning content to Pinterest you gain traffic to your website and you showcase your skills to a wider audience.

      If you don’t have a website or blog, you can still use Pinterest as a visual portfolio by creating boards and pinning content that you’ve written. With Pinterest you can upload your own pin-friendly image and insert the link of any website. When clients ask to see your work — you have a beautifully, organized board of your work.

  6. Thanks so much for this detailed and fascinating post. I’m working on other aspects of marketing at the moment, and I don’t think I’m ready to take on another social media platform, but I’ve saved this article for later. Once I’ve got some other strategies under my belt, I’ll definitely be coming back for another read.

  7. Dave says:

    This is a great article filled with valuable information. I have been putting Pinterest on the back burner, but you have lit my fire! Thank you!

  8. Lem Enrile says:

    I’m only using Pinterest to check out DIY crafts and feast my eyes with yummy recipe photos. I haven’t really thought of it as a great marketing platform. But after reading this post and seeing how many shares a blog post could get from Pinterest, I will consider using it to boost my blog traffic. I just recently learned how to use Canva and I’m still practicing on how to make beautiful text overlays on images. I couldn’t quite get the right combination of font styles and colors. But thanks for sharing ColourLovers!

    • Holly Hanna says:

      You’re welcome, Lem. Like writing, the more images you create, the better you become at it. Good luck with your strategy.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I love CoulourLovers — saw that site in a Pam Wilson presentation a few years ago. 😉

      I’ve seen Pinterest become a top-10 referrer for me — and all I do is create nice images and share them about ONCE, maybe three times tops on 3 different boards I frequent. That’s it!

      Even just sticking a toe in seems to be worth it on Pinterest.

  9. Boon Ong says:

    Very informative post for people likes who love Pinterest as well. Now I know how I can boost my traffic by using it properly.

    Pinterest fans reporting! =)

  10. Karen Ingle says:

    Thanks, Holly, for this powerful post. The choice to be a business pinner vs. personal pinner totally escaped me. Until now. I’m going to go get “converted.”

    • Holly Hanna says:

      That’s the important thing to keep in mind; pinning pins that revolve around your business. While my boards are diversified, the majority of my pins and boards are business topics, not recipes, crafts, or fashion pins. It can be easy to forget that with all of the mouth-watering recipes on Pinterest.

  11. Holly Hanna says:

    So I guess you shouldn’t rely on Pinterest to be “on trend” – LOL. All kidding aside, I’ve had pins take off a year after I’ve pinned them. When you use Pinterest to promote your blog/business, your efforts have a much longer lifespan than say Twitter, Facebook, or even email marketing.

  12. Abby says:

    I am a mildly popular pinner within the women’s clothing niche (not to toot my own horn here) and it’s a running joke on my other fashion boards that Pinterest holds onto fashion trends farrrr longer than the industry at large. There are trends from spring 2012 that are to this day (note: 4 years later, basically a fashion generation) downright unavoidable on Pinterest. Twitter and Facebook are constantly refreshing like month to month apartments, while Pinterest is the family home, where things constantly get “lost” but never really leave. Definitely worth dipping your marketing toes into, no matter what your niche.

  13. Holly Hanna says:

    Hi Colleen, So happy that you find the guide helpful. Good luck with your Pinterest strategy!

  14. Colleen says:

    What timing! I just started looking into Pinterest this morning after a friend suggested I could get a lot more traffic from it, especially in my niche (simplifying/minimalism). This is a great guide- thanks so much!

  15. Gail Gardner says:

    I wrote about a mom blogger I know who got over 600k page views a month with one-third of them coming from Pinterest. It can definitely send a lot of traffic, especially if a power pinner shares one of your posts.

    What is most significant about Pinterest is that if something goes viral, it continues to send traffic month after month – unlike most social shares that have to be repeated to be effective.

    If you want more details about how she uses Pinterest, see my post on AllBusiness titled The Truth About How Freelancers Make Money While Sleeping and her many Google Hangouts about Pinterest on LearntoBlogHangouts.com/learn-to-blog.

    They have almost 100 videos there including a new one on how to get 1 million followers on Facebook organically.

    • Holly Hanna says:

      Wow, that’s awesome! What I find interesting is each blogger’s strategy varies significantly. Some find success with deleting poor performing pins while others find success with pinning 100 or more pins per day. Bottom line, you need to experiment with the platform to find your sweet spot.

      • Gail Gardner says:

        Yes, there are different strategies that do work. The most successful tend to use pinning tools that surface viral pins and then repin those at optimum times.

        Having a power pinner repin content on your site can send traffic month after month which is how they got started focusing on Pinterest. One pin was generating 50,000 visits a month indefinitely. I’ll have to ask them if that ever tailed off or is still happening.

        I do know that Pinterest changed their algorithm and they changed their strategy because of it. They tested and found out that what was working didn’t work as well as another strategy.

  16. Jeffrey Hill says:

    Pinterest seemed like such an afterthought when it came to marketing, but I’m starting to see how much of a growth opportunity exists there. Definitely going to consider adding it to my repertoire.

    Like Evan said above, I’m so used to just using pinterest for recipes, memes, or home related stuff like DIY or organization ideas. Could have been completely ignored if I hadn’t been reminded.

  17. Holly Hanna says:

    Hi Evan, I think a lot of people have the same sentiment about Pinterest. One thing I didn’t mention in the article, is the half-life of a Pinterest pin is 1,600 times longer than a Facebook post – which is one reason why the platform is so powerful. Glad you found the tips useful.

  18. Evan Jensen says:

    Holly, I really had no idea Pinterest could be such a powerful marketing tool. Honestly, I’ve naively assumed people were mainly using it to share recipes and memes. Thanks for explaining the steps to use Pinterest to build a bigger audience.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I took the strategy I learned way back, to simply make my images pinnable and let others spread it in that medium. I don’t know where I’d get organized to do 30-40 pins a DAY…but it’s interesting to hear how that’s paying off for some!

      I have upped the quality and social shareability of my images, and at this point Pinterest HAS become a top-10 referrer for me, just from THAT. So I find that notable!

  19. Angie says:

    This is great advice – and covers a platform that I think a lot of writers overlook. Thanks, Holly!