Want a way to increase your traffic, gain new readers, and build engagement for your writing? Pinterest is your secret weapon.
It’s time to stop thinking of Pinterest as your personal pinboard, and start looking at it as a powerful marketing machine to grow your audience.
Tweets have a shelf life of a few minutes, you have to pay to play on Facebook, and even Instagram posts stop gaining engagement by the end of the day.
Only Pinterest has the potential to take the Pins you post today, and keep putting them in front of new eyes and new potential readers over and over again for months (and even years!) into the future.
What is Pinterest anyway?
interest is a search engine and should be treated like Google with good SEO, keywords, and proper linking. While there are a few “social” aspects to the platform, being social won’t get your content and your pins found.
While every other “social network” is designed to get the user to stay on their platform, Pinterest is specifically designed to get users to click through to your website or articles.
Pinterest functions on keywords, just like Google or any other search engine, to help users find what’s relevant to them and what they’re looking for. Pinterest rewards users who consistently pin relevant content by boosting their posts in the algorithm.
So it takes some daily activity to really make good use of it. Pinterest allows you to create visual pins, graphics that typically link back to a specific URL.
A few Pinterest stats worth knowing
While its user count may not blow you away, compared to Facebook or Instagram, Pinterest is seeing steady growth and is now up to 291 million active users, a rise from 250 million in September 2018.
In October 2018, Pinterest debuted product pins that show up-to-date pricing and inventory information and also have direct links to a checkout page on a retailer’s site to make a purchase (just like Instagram’s stoppable feeds). In February, the company automated the curation of its shop the look feature to reduce dependence on human employees to match images with the appropriate product links.
Research shows that some 57% of weekly Pinners use the app in-store while shopping, while it’s also the leading social media platform in terms of product discovery. Also, video pins are currently booming, with searches for “inspirational videos” increasing over 31% since last year.
It’s not too surprising to hear that 85% of women users use Pinterest to plan “life moments.” This is according to a study Pinterest commissioned to better understand its American women users aged 25–54. Only 53% use Facebook to plan these moments, and 44% use Instagram.
What are “life moments,” according to Pinterest?
Big ones might include decorating a new home (43%) or going on vacation (50 %). Small ones are more like meals (67%), gym routines, and party planning.
How to triple your traffic and grow your database with Pinterest
We’ve all heard how important it is to build your email list, and that couldn’t be truer when you’re a writer that is considering monetising your content in the future.
Your email list size and how well targeted those subscribers are to your blog content will have a huge impact on the effectiveness of growing your blog impact and readership.
So how do you build your email list, your traffic, and your loyal readership consistently and effectively throughout the year? My answer is the powerful duo of Pinterest marketing plus blogging strategy.
To start, make sure you’re creating Pinterest worthy imagery for you blog posts, pin them from your blog to relevant boards on Pinterest, alongside pinning others’ pins in a good mix. Make boards relevant to your niche and pin regularly and consistently.
Creating a Powerful Pinterest Account
If you’ve only used Pinterest as a personal social media platform in the past, or if you have been ignoring its potential for growing your blog, it’s important to start by creating a strong Pinterest foundation. Be sure that you’ve set up your Pinterest profile as a business account and you’ve confirmed your website, and applied for Rich Pins.
There’s a lot of focus on rich pins, especially for food bloggers but it’s important to remember it’s just one element in successful pinning. Don’t overlook other aspects such as a good pinning strategy, a business account and great images.
Having said that, rich pins will help as they show much more information to your follower (although currently this isn’t shown on the home feed anymore) AND they help you get found in search.
Look for ways to include keywords in your business name, about section, board titles, and board descriptions to gain the maximum SEO power from your Pinterest account. Finally, don’t forget the overall aesthetic of your Pinterest page. Be sure you’re choosing pins and board cover images that match your blog branding style.
The key is to remember that your Pinterest account is no longer for you.
It’s all about your audience. Your focus is on what they like, what they want to see, and what inspires them. Your Pinterest profile should fully reflect that!
Optimise Pins for success
As a visual person, I don’t want to clutter up my beautiful feed with things that look like an infomercial. In my opinion, it’s way better to visually communicate and provide minimal text on the pins.
When it comes to Pins, I like to stay consistent and on-brand. I think that’s essential.
My feed is full of pins that work with my boards so that it’s easy to share new content. And in terms of my own pins, I’ve found what works really well for me — so now it’s all about rinse and repeat. I’d rather not reinvent the wheel if I don’t have to.
Be really careful with text-heavy pins.
Things that have huge blog post titles and things of that nature. While I understand why and I see where that came from I actually really dislike it. As a visual person, I don’t want to clutter up my beautiful feed with things that look like an infomercial. In my opinion, it’s way better to visually communicate and provide minimal text on the pins.
Creating a recognisable style of Pin, that reflects your website, will help your followers recognise your Pins in their feed. That will also help readers connect Pins to where they have seen your website on other platforms and just create a stronger brand impression across all of your networks.
When it comes to Pin structure, you’ll have space on your title and description section to use the right keywords for your content. We could argue that the most important strategy for Pinterest is knowing and using your keywords (yes, I went there). Not only do they need to be used in your profile, but they’ll be essential for targeting the right audience when you get to promoted pins (paid advertising).
Use relevant hashtags and keywords so your posts are found by people searching on Pinterest. Always repin from your blog and not from the Smart Feed itself so that your posts are always connected to your website.
Use the Pinterest search bar to find what people are searching for on Pinterest that has to do with what you offer. Keep in mind that people are at the top of that research funnel, so think of what they have in mind when they first figure out they have a problem they want to solve.
- A business coach might not find a lot of keywords around people who are looking to hire a business coach.
- But they will find keywords around people who are searching for how to be a more productive entrepreneur, how to make better to-do lists, or lessons learned from being an entrepreneur – make sense?
Once you have your keywords, make sure they are woven throughout your profile name, about us section, board titles, board descriptions, and pin descriptions (your own pins, not others’ pins).
Keep your posts in circulation on Pinterest by pinning them at least once a month. Focus on your most popular posts – Pinterest knows they are popular by how many times they are repinned.
Setting up a Pinterest List Building System
Now that you have a powerful Pinterest profile all set-up, it’s time to put a system in place that drives people from Pinterest to your blog and secures their subscription to your email list.
Step 1: Create the blog post
Your blog content is at the heart of this system. You must create a blog post that is of interest to your target market. Try to include actionable tips that can be implemented right away (think step-by-step, DIY, etc.), and don’t forget the headline! Spend some time ensuring that you have a highly intriguing title for your blog post.
Step 2: Create a Content Upgrade
Think about what a reader of your blog post would need, to be able to implement the strategies or information that you provided in the blog post. How can you provide a highly valuable piece of content that will propel them forward? This is your content upgrade, or “freebie”, that you’ll offer in exchange for the reader providing their email address to receive it.
Step 3: Design the Pinterest pin
The next step is to design a Pinterest pin that leads Pinners back to your blog article. Be sure to create a vertical image that includes a text overlay with the intriguing blog post title. Your pins should include bold text and easy to read fonts, to cater to the large audience of mobile Pinterest users. Work to create a branded Pin image style template that you can reuse over and over again for future blog posts. This consistency will help you gain brand recognition for your Pins on Pinterest.
Step 4: Optimise your Blog Post
Every blog post should have a goal or the action that you want a reader to take next after reading the post. In this list building system, your goal is to have the reader opt-in to your email list.
Therefore, your blog post should be optimised to achieve this goal. You can encourage opt-ins by implementing a strategy such as including multiple clickable buttons throughout the blog post that lead to the freebie. Another powerful strategy is showing a visual representation of the freebie within the blog post.
Step 5: Develop the Relationship
You’ve got the new subscriber to your email list, but your work has just begun! Once you’ve provided the freebie that you promised, don’t let their email “go stale.”
New subscribers must be indoctrinated to your blog, and it’s time to start growing your know, like, and trust factor with them. Consider implementing a welcome email sequence, where you provide the ‘freebie’, and then follow up with some of your best blog content and resources in future emails.
Once you’ve set up your Pinterest list building system for your website, as long as you maintain an active presence on Pinterest, your system will continue to work for you months into the future.
Set a Pinterest goal
The biggest piece of advice for beginners is learning the strategy and be clear about what your goals are.
I see a lot of people actively growing their accounts, but if it doesn’t actively lead to their bottom line in some way I think it’s a waste of time and energy.
And it makes me so sad to see people try it without an understanding because they ultimately give up thinking it’s not for them. When in fact it’s exactly for them and it’s a crazy powerful tool. If they knew how to use it properly.
I’ve found that being crystal clear on who you’re trying to attract and knowing exactly what you should share to attract that person is key.
It’s absolutely essential that people know what to expect from you and you know what your followers want to see from you. That includes not publicly pinning recipes or DIY projects if that’s out of your brand scope.
This all depends on what your brand is all about. I’ve heard people say things like, “red performs well.” This is not necessarily true.
The key is attracting your ideal audience and if they hate red because they’re die-hard minimalists and only want to look at neutrals, that doesn’t make any sense. If you want traffic you need to know your audience, understand their desires and share pins that reflect that.
Now you have everything you need to get started with Pinterest. Good luck, and get pinning.