Welcome to Part II of the “Epic on Pinterest” series!
If you missed it, click here to read Part I of the series with tips 1-17. Those tips are the foundation for what we’ll be covering in Part II, so make sure you give them a quick read before moving on to this post!
In the first post, we talked about how to create the perfect profile, boards, and pins for your account. Today we’re focusing on the last 3 steps in my Pinterest Perfection process:
4. Optimize Your Blog for Pinterest
5. Develop a Winning Pinning Strategy
6. Gain Followers + Traffic
Let’s dive right in with the tips and strategies for Step #4!
Oh, and don’t forget to download your Pinterest-Perfection checklist with all the tips from Part I and II combined:
Got your checklist ready? Great, let’s dive in!
Step 4. Optimize Your Blog for Pinterest
People are lazy with a capital L. It’s just a fact of life! And it’s why you need to make it as easy as humanly possible for your readers to find and follow your Pinterest account, and to share your content on their own Pinterest accounts. Here’s how to optimize your blog for Pinterest sharing:
18. Add a Pin-It button for your images
My absolute favorite way to do this is with the JQuery Pin It Button for Images plug-in. I love this plug-in because it’s really customizable and also super easy to use. Within the plug-in, there are tons of different settings and options you can choose from, including:
• uploading a custom Pin-It button that matches your branding
• choosing where you want the button to show up on the image (top left, bottom right, etc.)
• disabling the button for specific blog posts, pages, tags, or images
It’s seriously the best Pinterest plug-in out there, and you NEED it in yo’ life. Trust me.
P.S. If you’re on the Blogger platform, here’s a tutorial for installing a Pin It button on your site!
19. Add Pinterest Share buttons
When it comes to social media sharing, SumoMe is where it’s at. See that little green rectangle hanging out over on the left-hand side of this page? That’s SumoMe!
SumoMe gives your readers the option to share any of your blog posts with the click of a button. A basic SumoMe account is totally free, so you have nothing to lose! I also love that you can customize the buttons to match the colors of your blog, so they mesh seamlessly with your branding and visuals.
20. Add Pinterest Follow Buttons
There are plenty of great plug-ins for adding social media follow buttons to your site. I use the BluChic plug-in that came with a Theme I used on a previous blog, but the Jetpack plug-in comes with buttons that work just as well and are completely free to use.
Places you can add your Pinterest Follow button include:
Make sure you choose or create buttons that match your blog’s color scheme. If you’re on the Blogger platform, here’s a tutorial for installing social media buttons to your site.
21. Include 1 or more pinnable images in every post
Pssst. Not sure what makes an image “pinnable”? Check out the criteria in Tip 16 of Part I for all the details!
Vertical images are a must for Pinterest, but if horizontal photos go better with your blog post layout, here’s a tip you can use to “hide” a vertical image within your post.
If you hide a secret image, when someone goes to share your blog post through SumoMe or another sharing app, that image will show up as an option for them to pin. Use the following HTML code to “hide” a pinnable image within your post:
22. Embed your account/boards on your blog
Adding one of your most popular boards into your sidebar or within your blog posts is a great way to draw attention to your Pinterest account and encourage people to check it out. There are WordPress plug-ins that will do this for you, but it’s probably simpler than you think to embed your boards manually.
For step-by-step instructions on how to embed your boards into your blog posts, check out this awesome quick and easy guide from Learn WP.
Step 5. Develop a Winning Pinning Strategy
Once you have a strong foundation in place, it’s time to start creating a strategy for success. This section’s a big one, because I’ve got a LOT of awesome tips to share with you!
23. Sign up for a Pinterest For Business account
With a Business account, you can access Pinterest Analytics, which are so SO helpful. You’re able to see which of your pins are performing well (i.e., the ones that are getting a lot of views, re-pins, and likes), which ones aren’t doing so hot, and much, much more.
As I mentioned in Part I of this series, a Business account also allows you to use a “Business Name” (your blog + brand name) on your profile, instead of just your personal name. This makes it a lot easier for your readers to find and recognize you, and will therefore boost your traffic and followers even more.
It’s completely free to switch over from a personal account to a business account if you’re using it for your blog. Click here to make the switch today!
24. Enable Rich Pins
Once you have a Business account set up, you can enable “Rich Pins” for your website. What’s a rich pin? Check out the difference in the two pins below:
See how the first pin has nice bold text underneath the image? When you enable Rich Pins, your blog name and the blog post title are automatically added to any pin that comes from your website. And the best part? It doesn’t even have to be you who’s pinning them! Whenever anyone pins one of your blog posts, that pin automatically becomes a rich pin. Neat, hey?
Because of the extra info added underneath the image, a Rich Pin takes up a lot more space in the Smart Feed than a regular pin does. Plus, it gives all of your pins a consistent, branded look that’s super appealing to potential readers and followers! Click here to learn how to enable Rich Pins for your website.
25. Join relevant group boards
Group boards are one of the best and easiest ways to get your pins and blog posts “found”. Use PinGroupie.com to find group boards in your niche, and then follow the steps in the board’s description to join that board.
Try to find group boards that:
• Appeal to and are followed by your ideal readers
• Have a high number of followers
• Have a high level of engagement (re-pins, likes, etc.)
Start off by joining around 3-5 group boards, and then pin your content regularly to each of them. And make sure to spread the love and re-pin other people’s pins from the group boards as well!
To learn more about group boards, how to find and join them, and what to pin to them, check out my group board series here: How to Grow Your Traffic Exponentially With Pinterest Group Boards.
26. Use a scheduling tool
The key to quickly building up a following on Pinterest is to be pinning all.the.freakin.time. If possible, up to 40-50 pins per day. Of those pins, 20% can be content from your own blog, but at least 80% should be other people’s content.
If 40-50 pins a day is sounding like a lot of work, there are some great scheduling tools that can help lighten the load. BoardBooster is my absolute fave EVER.
Scheduling tools make it easy to spread your pins out throughout the day, and to pin the same image to multiple boards. Some, like BoardBooster, can even “loop” your pins for you. Click here to learn more about BoardBooster and all of its amazing features!
27. Re-pin your own pins regularly
It’s perfectly fine to re-pin your original pins on a regular basis, as long as you don’t go overboard with it. I also don’t re-pin ALL of my own pins — just the ones that fit well on multiple boards. I also re-pin my pins to various group boards I belong to.
Doing so increases your re-pin count, which boosts you in Pinterest’s algorithm (and means you’re more likely to show up in other people’s Smart Feeds!)
28. Install a Pin It Button for your browser
Ever come across a super awesome blog post that you can’t wait to share, but when you go to pin it, the blogger doesn’t have a Pin-It button installed on their site? SO. FRUSTRATING. As if you’re going to take the time to save an image from their blog (or go as far as CREATING ONE), and then upload it to your Pinterest account. No thanks.
Help those (naughty) bloggers out by installing a Pin-It button for your browser. There are extensions for everything from Chrome to Safari to Firefox and more. Once your extension is installed, a teeny tiny Pinterest button will show up on top of every image you come across online. And with the click of a button, you can pin absolutely anything and everything to Pinterest.
29. Create a secret “Pin Later” board
On my own account, I have a secret board called “Private” where I pin everything that needs a little more TLC before I pin it elsewhere. Whether it’s a blog post I didn’t get a chance to fully read, a description that needs tweaking or filling in, or links/facts that need to be checked.
A few times a week, I go back into that board, update things as necessary, and then pin those posts to my public boards. I find this technique is especially helpful if you use Pinterest on your phone a lot, because updating pin descriptions is pretty hard on a tiny iPhone screen!
30. Bring your own content to the top of your boards
Remember, your main goal with your blog’s Pinterest account is to promote your OWN blog and content. Don’t let your epic posts be washed away by all the other pins you’ve been sharing to build up your account and your following.
It’s actually pretty easy to bring certain pins back to the top of a board again. When you’re on the board, click the little icon on the top left of the board that has four arrows. Select all the pins that lead back to your blog posts, and then click “Move” again in the top left. Then simply “move” those pins back to the exact same board — and Voila! They’re now right at the top again (back where they belong!)
31. Do a monthly Pinterest audit
This is something I recommend doing for every aspect of your blog – not just for Pinterest. At the end of every month, spend an hour or two analyzing what’s working and what’s not working, then tweak things as needed.
Are you spending enough/not enough/too much time on Pinterest? Can you speed up your pinning process? Is your scheduler working to the best of its ability? Are there better times of the day you could be pinning?
Next, take a look at your pins. Are any of the descriptions uninteresting or outdated? Are all the links still working? Fix anything that needs fixing. (I love BoardBooster’s Board Doctor feature for quickly “doctoring” your boards!)
Every once in a while, it’s also a good idea to go into your boards and delete any pins that stand out in color, style, or feel. At the same time, delete any under-performing pins — those with zero/low likes or re-pins. Again, this will help boost your standing in Pinterest’s algorithm, meaning you’re more likely to show up in the Smart Feed.
32. Set goals and track your performance
Setting goals at the beginning of every month will help motivate you to continue growing your Pinterest presence. Choose specific goals for how many new followers you’d like to gain that month, how many pins you want to get from your website, and so on. Then make a plan to achieve those goals!
At the end of the month, when you’re doing your audit, make note of whether you achieved those goals or not, and how you can improve your strategies for the following month.
33. Use the Smart Search feature to your advantage
I absolutely LOVE the Smart Search Bar. Finding the perfect SEO keywords has never been so easy. Finding people to follow and interact with has never been so easy.
You can use the Smart bar to find keywords for everything from your profile descriptions, your pin descriptions, your board info and titles, and basically anything else you can think of. Type a search term into the bar, press Enter, and instantly other related and commonly-searched for terms pop up underneath. C’est brilliante.
Step 6. Gain Followers + Traffic
By this point you should be well on your way to Pinterest epicness! But there are still a few more things you can do to grow your Pinterest following and get more traffic to your blog…
34. Follow + connect with other pinners
Every so often, make a point to reach out to:
a) Peers in your niche (e.g., other bloggers)
b) Your ideal readers (people interested in the topics you blog about)
Again, the Smart bar is the perfect way to find these people. Type in some descriptive words about the people you’re trying to find (“beauty blogger”, “food blogger”), hit Enter, and then select “Pinners” to filter out everything else.
Another easy way to find your ideal readers is to head over to a popular Pinterest account in your niche (for example, if you’re a yoga blogger, check out Lululemon’s account), and look at their list of followers. Chances are, those people love yoga, so they’re gonna LOVE your blog!
Follow these people, like and re-pin their stuff, and leave genuine comments on their pins. They’ll be sure to check out your account in return, I promise!
35. Be social
When it comes to Pinterest, people often forget about the “social” part in “social media”. Going out of your way to like and comment on someone’s pin can go a really long way. Because comments are so rare and unexpected on Pinterest, I find that they make a really great impression!
Try commenting with something simple and sweet about the post/pin, and I bet you 90% of the time that pinner will be heading over to check out your own Pinterest account and blog. And who knows — you might have just found a new blogging bestie!
36. Show thanks when people pin from your site
Once you’ve verified your website, if you type:
into your URL bar, you can see what people are pinning directly from your site. Neat, hey? Now, go into those pins and say thanks!
A quick “Thanks for sharing this!” will do wonders for your reputation, and you’ve probably just gone from one simple re–pin to a new follower in less than 10 seconds.
37. Cross-promote on other social media accounts
Cross-promotion is seriously the best thing ever. Chances are, the majority of your Twitter followers also use Pinterest, so make an effort to send out a few tweets a week linking to your Pinterest account. Include a Call-to-Action, and tell people exactly why they should follow you (e.g., “for more epic blogging tips!”)
Do this regularly on your Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and any other sites you use, and watch your follower count grow and grow!
38. Join a Pinterest promotion group on Facebook
One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the 5 years I’ve been blogging is that bloggers are some of the friendliest, most helpful people in the entire world. To prove my point: Bloggers have created Facebook groups with the sole purpose of sharing and promoting OTHER PEOPLE’S content on Pinterest. (mind. blown.)
Find some promo groups or threads to join on Facebook, and share your stuff in their regularly. Tailwind also has a feature called “Tribes” which works in a similar way, and you don’t even need a paid Tailwind account to use it!
39. Tag the content creator in your pins
Did you know that you can “tag” people on Pinterest? All you have to do is use the @ sign before their Pinterest username. If possible, try to tag the person who wrote the blog post whenever you’re pinning it from their site or re-pinning it on Pinterest. That blogger will get notified, be super appreciative of your share, and be more likely to follow you, check out your content, and share your stuff in return!
40. Create your own Group board
Who says joining other people’s group boards is the only way to make it on Pinterest? Go ahead and create your own group board if you want to! Invite the best pinners to join your group, and be sure to set specific rules for what and when they can pin to the board.
Creating your own group board is a great way to get your pins out there. And, bonus — you can make it a rule that in order to join the board, every pinner has to be following you first! It’s an easy, non-sleazy-looking way to build your follower count quickly. For more details, check out this post where I talk in detail about creating your own group board.
Still need to grab your Pinterest Perfection Checklist? It’s free!