This post was updated in 2020. This post contains affiliate links, earning me a commission from any purchase you make after clicking on my links, at no additional cost to you.
To be taken seriously as a blogger, you need page views. Lots of page views. But visitors don’t magically show up; they need to be lured over to our wonderful creations on the web.
While there are many avenues our ideal readers can take before finding themselves hanging out on our blogs, I found that Pinterest has consistently been my top performer. At least 80% of my visitors arrive via a Pin either I or someone else has shared.
Using Google Analytics, you can find out if Pinterest is a huge traffic source for your blog, too. Go to Google Analytics -> Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels -> then click on Social.
Since Pinterest continues to be my top referral source, I wanted to optimize it.
How I Optimized Pinterest
Pinterest is a fantastic search engine and is very visual. Learning what types of pins work best and how to optimize your profile will drastically improve the interaction on your pins. I learned all kinds of tips and tricks to optimize my Pinterest account when I took Addi Ganley’s course called Pinaffiliate Masterclass.
Optimizing your Pinnable Image
- Vertical pins do best on Pinterest. Other shapes/sizes do better on other social media. Sure, you can pin a square image, or even *shudder* a horizontal rectangle, but it won’t do as well. Vertical images show up best on a mobile phone, and that’s why they work so well on Pinterest. Design sites like Canva and Stencil even have the perfect size image for Pinterest that you can start with when creating your designs.
- Bright images work best. With text. Big, bold text. You want your pins to catch the eye, and bright photos tend to do that. Pins with text on them – text that explains what the link is about – work best. It can be a simple as putting your blog post’s headline on a beautiful background.
- Pinterest loves fresh pins. That means we should make several pins for each post, and pin them over time. Change up the descriptions, too. Then, if you want to give a post a boost, go make another new pin and pin that.
Optimizing your Pinterest Profile
- Always use a profile photo. No one wants to see a pin-head. Connect with your readers and show cohesion by using the same photo as you do on your blog.
- Write a complete bio with a quick description of who you are, and what you blog about. Add keywords.
- Include your blog URL and validate it.
- Apply for Rich Pins. WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO make that easy by putting in the correct open graph data for you. Then just apply and done.
Optimizing your Pinterest Boards
- Organize your boards (you can drag them around) so that your most important boards are first. My board for my blog’s posts is first, then other boards relating to the topics I blog about the most and that my readers interact with the most, are next.
- Keyword descriptions! Be specific and include various keywords that people are using to search for your topics.
- Categories matter, too. Edit each board to pick an appropriate category and write descriptions for each board.
- Also important, not to pin the same pin to the same board often. This appears spammy.
Optimizing your Pinterest Strategy
- Pin often and regularly. The stronger and more consistent your account, the more chances your pins will be seen. Share your pins to your most relevant board first, and continue to share to other personal boards and relevant group boards over time. But not all at once! That can get your account marked for spam. Pinning 20-30 pins each day consistently is great. Pinning over 100 one day and none the rest of the week is not good at all.
- Pin multiple times per day when your target audience is on their phones or their computers. But realize that sometimes it takes a pin some time to gain traction, so a pin you added months ago might suddenly start showing up as a top referrer. Or a pin you just pinned might go viral just for today.
- Keywords in Pin descriptions are important!
- Automate when possible, because we don’t have all the time in the world to sit around and pin all day. Scheduling is a must! I love using Tailwind.
- Pinterest loves fresh content – that means a new image you haven’t pinned before. So add to your schedule a rotation of creating new, high-quality fresh pins for existing posts.
Using Tailwind for Pinterest
My Pinterest strategy, thanks to Pinaffiliate Masterclass teachings, includes using a scheduler to share my pins to group boards and continually share my pins on autopilot.
I use Tailwind to schedule pins to specific board lists and their Smart Loop to pin my niche pins to specific niche boards over time (I purchased a Power-up for additional functionality). I have a Working Moms Smart Loop, where I have all my boards relating to working moms listed, and when I make a new pin, I add it to that Smart Loop. Then, over time, it trickles out my new pin, spreading it out so not to be spammy.
I love using Tailwind Tribes (another power-up I used to have unlimited tribes) to share my new pins and have others pin them. Tribes are groups where you see everyone’s submitted pins, and pick the ones you want to share. This allows you to share pins that align with your niche and board topics. Everyone shares, and everyone benefits.
Tailwind, as a Pinterest partner, just released a SmartGuide to help us keep up with Pinterest’s best practices and avoid over-pinning. It helps monitor your pinning and tell you what to change if you are putting your account at risk.
They also have a separate subscription to manage your Instagram account, if you’re interested in that.
The social proof
I know, you want to see numbers. Let me share some lovely stats with you to show you my growth in the past couple of months. Of course, everyone’s results will differ. The screenshots you see below are from when I first got serious with blogging. I went from almost no views to a huge increase. Now, my growth is not so dramatic.
I started using this Pinterest strategy in May, and that is when I also tweaked my Pinterest account to improve optimization.
These are my Pinterest stats for the month of May. You can see where I started using the scheduler and tweaked my profile that the impressions start to skyrocket. You can see your stats by going to analytics.pinterest.com.
These are my Google Analytics from May to the end of July. You can see where my sessions begin to increase with the help of Pinterest. Of course, holidays (a huge dip on July 4th) and weekends in the summer are rough on page views, but the results are evident.
Have I done anything else differently? Well, I’ve actually started writing fewer posts. These past few months have been busy for me on the home front, with solo-parenting, work, etc. But I am focusing on quality in the posts I do write and adding vertical, lovely Pin images to my posts. Then I pin them to a relevant board and schedule them to automagically be shared for me over time, and enjoy watching my stats go up.
What’s your Pinterest strategy?
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Melanie Schmidt says
This is such a huge help to me, I am pinning this so I can come back to it over and over as I take this blogging journey! Thank you for your willingness to share and help other bloggers. 🙂
Thanks Melanie 🙂 Hope Pinterest brings you some good traffic 🙂
Tiffany-A Touch of Grace says
I love Board Booster! It has helped me increase my Pinterest reach and following. Great tips!
Thanks for sharing on the Shine Blog Hop!
Yay another BoardBooster fan :):)
Helpful post, thanks for sharing. Pinterest is one area I need to work, but I’m still working out how to makall my commitments fit together. So much to do. You are doing a fab job with juggling, cutting down on quantity and working on quality is definitely a smart move. 🙂 ~ commentluv
I know there are so many pieces and we just get over committed to everything. I like to automate things to go simply so I don’t have to always be present on everything. Thanks hon 🙂
Tori @ The Mama Nurse says
I never realized what a beast Pinterest is until recently! It’s actually the social media that I spend the least amount of time on (thanks to Boardbooster) but get a lot of traffic from! Maybe I should focus more of my attention on it! Duh. Lol. Great post Julie!
Kendall Patton says
Thanks for this info. I’ve been debating whether to go with BoardBooster or Tailwind. I hear one is officially ‘approved’ by Pinterest and the other isn’t, but I’m’ not sure that’ll be an issue. Is there a particular reason you chose BoardBooster over Tailwind??
I hear Tailwind is the “approved one” but it seemed like a lot of work to me to do the exact same thing I’m doing with Board Booster. If I wanted to schedule one pin to go out to many group boards, I had to manually pick that pin, and list out the group boards. Each time. But with BB – it just continues to do it. I think a combination of the two is probably the best strategy, but I didn’t want to pay for both just yet. I’d love to have someone convince me though, show me what I didn’t get to experience in 100 free pins. So I pin other people’s posts in share threads in real time, but also have the campaigns going in the background.
Kendall Patton says
Thanks for that info! You’re probably right about using both though. It’s an interesting thing this social media! 🙂
Samantha @ Momma Wants Java says
I think I really need to try board booster or tailwind. I’ve just been so scattered lately that Pinterest has been falling in my list of priorities. Time to get it back up there! I love Pinterest!
That’s why I love to set it and forget it with as much as I can – Board Booster for Pinterest, tweeting plugins to share my old posts for me. I also RT various hashtags using Round team. Because things need to work even when I am off doing something else – like work. HAHA
Bonnie Way says
Hi! Thanks for linking up with #BloggersFete 2016. To be eligible to win one of the prizes, please add a link back to us at the bottom of your post. You can see the linky rules again here: http://thekoalamom.com/2016/08/bloggersfete-2016-blog-linky/ Thanks!
I linked to #BloggersFete on my linky party page. I don’t go back and edit posts with linky codes because that adds a ton of clutter. If that doesn’t qualify me for linking up then I apologize.
Bonnie Way says
Okay… I can understand the clutter. I’ll check your linky party page. It just makes it harder for us to verify that you qualify. 🙂
I starting using Tailwind about the time one of my pins went viral (28K repins at last check!) so it is actually a little hard to tell which had the greater effect. But there is no denying that Pinterest is my biggest referrer.
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
I’ve often wondered about Board Booster. I use Tailwind but it doesn’t have a looping feature like you’ve described.
I love Pinterest. I’ve seen huge growth since I started paying attention to curating pretty pins and regularly pinning content.
Great results for you Julie! High fives!
Thanks for sharing!
Nikki Crump says
Board Booster is the best! I tried Tailwind but I got so confused! This is great advice for bloggers! Thank you!
Tailwind was confusing to me too. I feel like I’m missing something, but so far I haven’t been able to get someone to tell me what it is that I’m missing haha.
Great read! Thank you for this.
This is excellent food for thought! I definitely have been focusing on other areas of social media and often forget to include Pinterest! Thank you for sharing!
Are you getting more traffic from other areas of social media? If so, then your focus is right 🙂 I’d love to hear more about your strategy. I’m starting to work on my Twitter and IG strategies. FB continues to baffle me.
I’m still getting my feet wet in all social media areas. 🙂 I have started to see more followers on IG but it hasn’t lead to an increase in traffic yet. Previously, my main focus for my first few months was developing strong posts with good content, but you have inspired me to think more strategically.
This is something I need to do improve my pinterest traffic and I will have to read it again. Need to understand the rich input.
LOVE this post! I need to re-read again and again, lol. I WANT to love Pinterest.
It helps if you’re a bit addicted to it 🙂