The secret to using Pinterest to increase your blog traffic

How to use Pinterest to increase traffic to your blog

Pinterest can be the number one traffic source for your site, but there are a few secrets to using Pinterest to increase your blog traffic. 

When I got started with Pinterest two years ago I got my profile looking good, I created a few boards, used Canva to make my own pins and I got to pinning. 

Things went well, but then they stopped growing. I was stuck at around 200k monthly viewers (that’s Pinterest viewers by the way, not blog views). I felt like I was putting effort in but not getting much back. 

I decided it was time to change strategies and I’m going to share my current Pinterest strategy with you here, because I’m now on 900k monthly viewers with a goal of eventually hitting 1million. 

As I said above, your monthly views on Pinterest does not equal the same number of blog views. I get between 500 and 1,500 unique visitors to my site every day. It’s right down at the lower end right now, possibly because it’s summer or maybe because my site is just in a bit of a slump. 

I’m going to deep dive into things in a minute, but here’s a little summary of how I get Pinterest working for me: 

  • Enable rich pins on your profile. 
  • Pack your profile with key words describing what you do and what topics you offer help with. 
  • Pin manually every day (you only need to pop in for 10 minutes or so). 
  • Create multiple boards on your profile to enable you to pin your content to multiple boards. For example, if your niche is food then have a family recipes board and a chicken recipes board, so any chicken recipes could be pinned to both. 
  • Write engaging and helpful content. 
  • Create at least two pins for brand new posts. 
  • Create new pins for old evergreen content. 
  • Research your best performing pins on Google Analytics, then repin them. 
  • Join loads of group boards and keep researching to find new ones. 
  • Use Tailwind to pin in your sleep. 
  • Pin other people’s content, but make sure it’s quality content. 

There’s probably a few tips in there that you’ve seen before, but maybe there’s a couple that aren’t so familiar. Before I carry on, if you haven’t yet started your blog you may want to check out my post that gives step-by-step advice on getting started with blogging.

So let’s dive in and start with how to get Pinterest driving traffic to your blog. Before I carry on, this post contains affiliate links. This does not increase the cost, but it means I get a slice of the sale price. I only recommend products and services I have used myself and worked for me.

Creating an amazing Pinterest profile 

People landing on your profile need to see clearly what you’re all about. Hopefully as a blogger you have an idea of your audience and niche. If you don’t, there’s no need to panic. 

Think about who you help, the type of content that you create and what problems that tackles. 

Put key words into your actual name, as well as your profile description. My niche is parenting in the early years, so I have babies and toddlers and pregnancy in my title. 

If you’re struggling, look at other profiles within your niche and see what keywords they are using. The keywords can help people to discover you, and tells Pinterest what type of content you are producing which can help the algorithm show your content to the right people who are searching for it. 

Your Pinterest boards 

If you are just starting out I suggest 20 boards with 50 pins on each of them is a good first step. 

If you have been pinning for a while, it’s always worth having an audit of your boards to see if they are relevant to your niche, if the titles are the best they can be and make sure your descriptions are in place. 

Pinterest board covers are not essential, but they do make your Pinterest profile look a bit more professional. You can make them in Canva. 

Try to create boards that have some overlap in terms of topics. For example, you may have a weekend recipes board and a beef recipes board that would each be relevant for a pin about beef curry. 

Manual pinning method

Tailwind is brilliant, but Pinterest wants you to be in Pinterest pinning content in the actual site. 

I spend around 10 minutes a day pinning my content and other people’s content (more on the ratio later in this post). 

So you see you don’t have to spend hours in Pinterest, but it is worth spending time every day. You will see a difference!

Now, time to take you through my manual pinning method: 

Let’s start with a brand new pin. I take that pin, give it a good, snappy description including keywords and add at least two hashtags at the end, and then I pin it to my The Mummy Bubble blog posts board.  

I then click on that pin and repin it to another of my boards. I then go to that board, and repin it again. 

Because my boards are set up deliberately with some crossover, I can pin the same pin to at least five of my own boards, sometimes more. For example, a pin about baby sleep can go on my Baby’s First Year, New Mum Tips, Newborn Baby Tips, Parenting Tips, Baby Sleep Tips and Mum Life Tips boards. 

I then take this pin and pop it into Tailwind and schedule it to be added to my group boards. 

Using the Google Analytics method I describe below, I will occasionally find my best performing pins and repin them to one or two of my group boards. 

I then go into my main explore feed and pin three to five pins. Then I look at other Pinterest users I follow and pin some of their content. I then go to some of my group boards and repin content from there. 

For me the best pinning wisdom I have ever come across has come from two courses.

I use strategies from Ready Set Blog for Traffic by the amazing Elna Cain and Pinteresting Strategies by Carly from Mommy on Purpose every single day. Both are a great investment for your blog.

Pinteresting Strategies used to be a book but is now a course. It’s updated regularly and the content is just amazing. Don’t believe me? So many other pro bloggers rate this course too. Every time I do a little research to see what’s new out there, this course gets mentioned at least a dozen times! You won’t regret getting it if you want to get serious about Pinterest.

How to use Tailwind

I love using Tailwind. It tells me the best times for me to pin my content, I choose how many times I pin per day and then I just load up my queue with pins from my blog or from my Tailwind Tribes. 

Tribes are groups of bloggers who share content among themselves. You then add pins from fellow bloggers to your schedule and they do the same for you. It’s a great way of getting other people to share your content. 

I probably only spend about half a day per month getting my Tailwind in order, it’s so easy to keep on top of once everything is in place. This video is brilliant for explaining how Tailwind works: 

I have another Pinterest post that talks about Tailwind in way more detail, so do check that out. 

You can get a free trial with Tailwind right now! After that it’s $9.99 a month if you pay for a full year or $15 a month. I’ve been using Tailwind for nearly two years and would not even consider giving it up. If you are a blogger who wants to increase their blog traffic, it’s really essential. 

How to write brilliant content

All of this advice is pretty pointless without brilliant content that people actually want to share. You can’t trick the readers who visit your site. 

My best advice in this area is to know your niche, to know what kind of content you can write that will really help people and focus on that. 

Write long-form pillar posts that really explain a subject in depth. If you have key posts that are already there, go back and take a look at them. Make sure they answer all of the questions someone may have on the subject. 

Double check your spelling. Use good grammar. Be thorough and double check your content to make sure it makes sense. 

I have a post all about writing brilliant blog posts fast here with loads more advice. 

Creating pins

Pinterest loves fresh content so you need to be creating new pins for your old content, as well as your new posts. This was a big mistake I had been making! 

I would write a post, create two pins, pin them to Pinterest and that was it. Now I make pins for my old posts. I try to go back and review old posts every week so I can make new pins for them. 

If there are too many pins for a single post, I haven’t found that number yet!

Making pins is easy in Canva. It’s free to use, which is amazing considering how fantastic it is. 

Canva has its own pin templates you can use, changing the colours or fonts depending on what you like, or your can start from scratch. 

Play around with pin designs to see what people respond to. Make it bold and eye-catching as possible!

Using Google Analytics to improve your Pinterest game

I love this trick, which was brought to my attention by Carly’s brilliant course which also has loads of other Pinterest tips to help you up your Pinterest game. 

You can use Google Analytics to drill down to which pins are driving traffic to your site. It gives you the URL to that pin so you can click on it and repin it to a board, giving it a little boost. 

There are a few steps to take so follow this process: 

  • Log in to Google Analytics (not the app, you need the desktop version). 
  • Go to Acquisition. 
  • Click on Social and then the Landing Pages option. 
  • You will see a list of your most viewed posts. Click on a post title. 
  • You will see Pinterest come up as a source of traffic. Click on Pinterest. 
  • You will see a list of URLs showing the specific referrer of traffic for this post. Use this to find your top performing pins!

Strategy for finding Pinterest group boards

Pinterest group boards can feel like a bit of a nightmare. There are loads out there, but so many of them are closed! It can be frustrating sending out dozens of emails and not getting a response. 

But you just need to keep plugging away at it, because group boards really are a fantastic way of growing your blog!

So, how do you find Pinterest group boards? One of my favourite ways to do this is to look at the profile of a bigger blogger in my niche. 

I look at which group boards they are a member of. I click into that group board and follow the instructions to join. If it’s closed to contributors, I just keep going. 

I much prefer this method to searching, it just seems to turn up so much more boards. 

Be polite in your email requesting to join the group board, and be sure to promise you will adhere to the group board rules. 

If you sign up to Elna’s Ready Set Blog for Traffic course she offers a list of hundreds of group boards as part of the course. It’s absolutely amazing and there are lots of different niches too, so you’re sure to find the one that fits your blog. 

Should you pin more of your content, or more of other people’s content?

When I started blogging the theory was that you should be pinning 80 per cent other people’s content and 20 per cent your content. This is no longer the case. 

I pin about 90 per cent my content these days, and honestly it is the way forward. 

I have around 50 slots in my Tailwind queue per day. Of these, most are my own pins and the others are Tailwind Tribes content. 

I then manually pin another 10 to 20 pins, most of which are my own pins with about five to 10 pins belonging to other people. 

One of the key things to remember when pinning other people’s content is to check that the URL is not broken or blocked due to being spam, and that it’s a popular pin with lots of repins already. 

When you pin quality content, Pinterest considers you to be more of an authority on the platform and so your content is shown to more people. 

So those are my top tips for using Pinterest, were they useful? Let me know if you have any questions!

You may also like: How I make money from my blog

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