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?