40 Tips for Using Pinterest to Get More Blog Traffic, Subscribers, & Sales — Part Two
Welcome to Part Two of our epic Pinterest series! If you missed the first part, click here to check out tips 1-17. Those tips are the foundation for what we'll be covering in Part 2, so make sure you've read and understood them all before moving on to today's post!
In the first post in this series, we talked about creating the perfect profile, boards, and pins for your Pinterest 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 + Get More Traffic
Let's dive right in with the tips and strategies for Step #4!
Step 4. Optimize your blog for Pinterest
Let's be real: people are lazy with a capital L. That’s why you need to make it as easy as humanly possible for your blog readers to find and follow your Pinterest account, and (hopefully) to share your blog content to their own Pinterest accounts.
Here's how to optimize your blog for Pinterest sharing:
18. Add a Pin It button on your images
If you use WordPress, my absolute favorite way to do this is with the JQuery Pin It Button for Images plugin. This plugin is really customizable and super easy to use. It has tons of different settings to choose from, including:
Uploading a custom Pin It button that matches your website's branding
Choosing where you want the button to show up on the image (top left, bottom right)
Disabling the button for specific blog posts, pages, tags, or image sizes
It's seriously the best Pinterest plug-in out there. Trust me.
P.S. If you're on the Blogger platform, here's a tutorial for installing a Pin It button on your site!
P.P.S. My website is currently on Squarespace, and SS has a built-in Pin It button feature. You can enable it by going to Marketing >> Pinterest Save Button.
19. Add Pinterest Share buttons to your content
When it comes to social media sharing, SumoMe is where it's at. SumoMe gives your readers the option to share any of your blog posts to social media with the click of a button. A basic SumoMe account is totally free, so you have nothing to lose by trying it out! I 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 in multiple places
There are plenty of great WordPress plugins for adding social media follow buttons to your site. Jetpack is a great, free plugin with social media buttons.
Places you can add your follow buttons include:
The end of your blog posts
The top navigation
If you're on the Blogger platform, here's a tutorial for installing social media buttons on your site. Again, Squarespace has a built-in option for this.
21. Include 1 or more pinnable images in every post
Not sure what makes an image "pinnable"? Check out the criteria in Tip 16 from my last post for all the details. Basically, vertical images are a must for Pinterest — so make sure every single one of your blog posts has a long, vertical image with a text overlay on it.
22. Embed your account and/or boards on your blog
Adding one of your most popular boards into your blog 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 can 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 your strategy for Pinterest success. This section's a big one because I have lots of awesome tips to share with you! Ready?
23. Sign up for a Pinterest For Business account
With a Business account on Pinterest, you can access Pinterest Analytics so you’re able to see which of your pins are performing well (i.e., which ones are getting lots of views, re-pins, etc.), which ones aren't doing so well, and much more.
As I mentioned in Part 1, 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 easier for your readers to find and recognize you.
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. A rich pin will have extra information added to it versus a standard pin, helping it stand out more in the feed.
25. Join relevant group boards
Group boards are one of the easiest and fastest ways to get your pins and blog posts "found" on Pinterest. Simply use PinGroupie.com to find group boards in your niche, and then follow the steps in the boards’ descriptions to join each board.
Try to find group boards that:
Appeal to and are followed by your ideal audience
Have a high number of followers
Have a high level of engagement and re-pins
Start off by joining at least 5 group boards, and then pin your content regularly to each. Make sure to spread the love and re-pin other people's pins on the group boards as well!
From there, aim to join at least 3 new group boards every month. To learn more about group boards, how to find and join them, and what to pin to them, check out my group board series: 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, 50% can be content from your own blog, but at least 50% should be other people's content. If 40-50 pins a day sounds like a lot of work, there are some great scheduling tools that can help lighten the load.
Tailwind (*affiliate link) is my absolute favorite. Tailwind makes it easy to spread your pins out throughout the day, and to pin the same image to multiple boards. It will even schedule your pins to go out at optimal times throughout the day. Start a free 1-month Tailwind trial here (*affiliate link).
27. Re-pin your own pins regularly
It's perfectly fine to re-pin your own 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 your Pinterest account in the algorithm and means you're more likely to show up in other people's homefeeds. So don't be shy and feel like you can only share each pin once. The more shares, the merrier!
28. Install a Pinterest 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. Right? As if you're going to take the time to save an image from their blog and then manually upload it to your Pinterest account, add in the link and write a description, etc. No thanks.
Help those 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 tiny Pinterest button will show up on top of every image you see online. With the click of a button, you can pin absolutely anything and everything straight to your Pinterest account.
29. Create a secret "Pin Later" board
On my own Pinterest account, I have a secret board called "Private" where I pin anything that needs a little more TLC before I can 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, make updates as necessary, and then pin those posts to my public boards.
I find this technique especially helpful if you use Pinterest on your phone a lot — because updating pin descriptions is pretty hard on a teeny tiny iPhone screen.
30. Bring your own content to the top of your boards
Your main goal with your 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 boar. 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 single aspect of your blog, not just for Pinterest. At the end of every month, spend an hour or so analyzing what's working and what's not working, and then tweak your strategies 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 at?
Next, take a look at your pins. Are any of the descriptions uninteresting or outdated? Are all of the links still working properly? Fix anything that needs fixing.
32. Set goals and track your performance
Setting goals at the beginning of each month will help motivate you to continue growing your Pinterest account. Choose specific goals for how many new followers you'd like to gain that month, how many pins you want to be shared 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 upcoming month.
33. Use the Smart Search to your advantage
I absolutely love the “Smart Search” bar at the top of Pinterest. Finding the perfect SEO keywords to use on your account 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, pin descriptions, board info and titles, and basically anything else you can think of. Just type a search term into the bar, press enter, and other related and commonly-searched for keywords will pop up underneath. C'est brilliante!
Step 6. Gain followers & traffic
By this point you should be well on your way to Pinterest success! But there are still a few more things we can do to grow your Pinterest following and send more traffic to your blog, freebies, and offerings…
34. Follow + connect with other pinners
Every so often, make a point to follow and 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 "People" 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.
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, they make a really great impression. Try commenting with something simple and sweet about the post or pin, and 90% of the time that pinner will be heading over to check out your Pinterest account and blog when they see your comment.
36. Say thanks when people pin from your site
Once you've verified your website, if you go to → http://www.pinterest.com/source/YOURBLOGURLHERE (for example: http://pinterest.com/source/blogbeautifully.com), you can see what people are pinning directly from your site. Neat, hey?
Next, go into those pins and say thank you in a comment! A quick, "Thanks for sharing this for me! I’m so glad you liked it!" will do wonders for your reputation — and you've probably just gone from one simple re-pin to a new follower in less than 5 seconds!
37. Cross-promote on your other social media accounts
Chances are, the majority of your Twitter followers also use Pinterest, so make an effort to send out a few tweets each 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, and any other social media platforms you use.
38. Join a Pinterest promotion group on Facebook
One of the biggest things I've learned over the 5+ years I've been blogging regularly is that bloggers are some of the friendliest, most helpful people in the 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 (*affiliate link) also has a feature called "Tribes" that works in a similar way.
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. That blogger will get notified, be super appreciative of your re-pin, and be more likely to follow you, check out your content, and share your pins in return!
40. Create your own group board
Who says joining other people's group boards is the only way to make it big 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.
Aaaaand we made it! Kudos to you if you've stuck with me for all 40 tips. Hopefully you learned a thing or two (or 40), and found some strategies to use on your own Pinterest account. What was your favorite tip in this series? Do you have any other tips for Pinterest success?