UPDATE September 2022: Pinterest is no longer the traffic gold mine it once was. Now, it’s clear their purposes are to keep users on their site and serve ads from ecommerce brands.
In 2021, almost 50% of this blog’s traffic came from Pinterest. The same is true for prior years. In 2022, 50% now comes from Google Search and Pinterest only accounts for 30%.
This is a change I did not expect and is due to changes on Pinterest itself. In light of this, I instead recommend you learn everything about SEO and focus on good writing.
Another piece of advice I have is to become trend-proof by building a community of like-minded people who like your blog, newsletter, Instagram, etc. and love seeing what you create.
There’s nothing like a person saying “I love following you!” to keep you going. At some point this fall, I will write a blog post with advice for beginners in light of everything I’ve learned since day 1.
This industry has changed rapidly, especially since 2020. Not all of these changes feel positive, but there are still ways to create online that are worth doing.
This whole blogging thing is overwhelming. I remember sifting through hundreds of blog posts, stressed about which marketing channel to prioritize. Honestly, I still don’t have everything figured out. But, one day, I changed my Pinterest to a business account, and realized that Pinterest marketing is the way to go for me.
It is 100% free to convert your personal Pinterest into a business account, and when you do so, you gain tons of perspective that you didn’t have before. Most importantly, you can now see how many unique monthly viewers you have. When I did so in March 2019, I had over 55K viewers. Now, I have over 200K.
How did this happen, and how can you do the same? Keep reading to find out!
1 // Use Pinterest for business
Without this step, all the others are fruitless. You first must convert your Pinterest personal to a business account in order to see analytics, apply for rich pins, and essentially optimize the platform for your blog or business interests.
Luckily for us, it’s free and easy to do so! You can start by clicking the three dots in the top right of your screen, and selecting “Add a free business profile.” Pinterest will then ask you to answer some questions, like your business’ sector or industry. You’ll also have the opportunity to claim your website, which I highly recommend. That way, your website’s link will show in the description of your Pinterest page to all your monthly viewers.
Pinterest provides even more info about creating a business account, as well. I found it to be super helpful while I was doing so for my blog!
2 // Continue to re-pin and engage on the platform
Honestly, it was a surprise that my engagement and views on Pinterest surpassed six figures. I love Pinterest, and I loved it just as much before seeing success through it. As a result, I pinned and re-pinned regularly with no other motivation than enjoyment. The best piece advice I can give for higher engagement and views is to be active on the platform. And for every pin you upload, re-pin two or three pins that aren’t yours.
3 // Create and upload your own pins
I realized that I could design my own pins that would directly link to blog articles before I converted to a business account. My steps after writing for my blog are to design a 735 x 1102px Pinterest graphic in Canva with catchy text related to the content, include my blog’s name, and upload it to Pinterest. Easy, peasy! See? Pinterest marketing doesn’t have to be hard!
4 // Schedule pins
Pinterest’s scheduling screen is easy to use, and you can click “Create pin” to either post immediately or schedule a pin to publish later. You can only schedule a couple of weeks in advance, and the tool may glitch if you try to schedule too many at once.
When I was traveling recently, I definitely fell off the bandwagon with my pin scheduling and tried to schedule too many at once. The platform capped it at 20-25 before the scheduler experienced some technical issues.
5 // Design 3 different pins per link
After doing some of my own research, I found that it’s not enough to post one pin per blog article or webpage. Instead, it is best to post 3-4 and schedule them at differing intervals. I wouldn’t go much higher than that–Pinterest can and often does flag accounts as spam if they upload the same pins upwards of 10 times.
For example, I created three different pins about my Chicago post that are all relevant to what I wrote about, and yet have different text and different photos:
6 // Join group boards
Aside from active, regular engagement, joining group boards made a world of difference for me. This way, I’m able to meet and pin with other like-minded Pinterest users and engage in content I love to see in my feed.
Requesting to join group boards, however, is no easy feat. I’ve applied to tons and received no response from many. My success on this front was found through joining the Mappin’ Monday, Pinterest Group Boards, Pinterest for Travel Bloggers, and Travel Bloggers Guide to Pinterest Facebook groups.
Be sure to read and follow the rules for engaging in these groups, and on their Pinterest boards. You don’t want a mishap to get you kicked out!
In these Facebook groups, people market their group boards and accept requests to join. It helps to send them a link to your profile and write a blurb about your content.
All of that being said, it is also possible to find Pinterest group boards with the “Request to join” button on their page. I see this rarely, though. If you come across a group board you’d like to join, then there are usually instructions about how to request membership in their description.
If they tell you to email them and follow a bunch of accounts, it’s safe to assume you won’t hear back at all. Expanding your network through Facebook groups and applying through “Request to join” buttons are the way to go, according to my experience!
7 // Apply for rich pins
Rich pins confused the heck out of me before I spent hours researching how to apply for them. Now, I understand that they are intended to point users more directly to your content. These are more valuable for bloggers or article-style content, because rich pins show more information about the linked text on the platform.
There are four types: recipe, article, product, and app. I applied under “article,” but may tack on recipes down the road. Whenever you see a pin that has the recipe in its description, that’s how you know it’s a rich pin. Likewise, article pins always show the author, headline, and story description.
Regular pins don’t have as much text, and therefore don’t engage the viewer for as long. You can follow Pinterest’s instructions for exactly how to apply!
8 // Add Pinterest HTML code to your website
In order to get the Pinterest “Save” button on your website photos, you’ll need some HTML code. There are other ways to obtain this, but the HTML code is easiest. Believe me, I tried it all!
Here’s the code I input by adding a block at the end of each post, and converting it to HTML:
<script async=”” defer=”” data-pin-hover=”true” data-pin-tall=”true” src=”//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js”></script>
9 // Check your stats and learn about your viewers
Once you’ve established an introductory Pinterest marketing strategy, stick to it and see how your views react. Pinterest analytics will show you how well your account performs from day to day, and which pins are bringing in your views.
In order to increase your engagement, it is important to know who’s in your community, and what their interests are. For example, most of my viewers access Pinterest through the mobile app, are 18-30, and female. They are mostly interested in food and nutrition pins, which is where my veganism boards and posts come in handy.
That being said, don’t let the analytics get to you and make you only pin what your community displays interest in. It’s always evolving–you never know if their interests change if you don’t mix things up a little and be yourself!
Pinterest marketing takes time, but it is doable to gain a footing on the platform. If you follow me and comment below with your Pinterest account link, I’ll gladly follow you back! I want you to be successful, and I know it’s hard when it feels like using social media to advance your business or blog isn’t working.
Let’s lift one another up, and get to pinning!
Don’t forget to click the “Save” button and have this post for future reference!