I have been noticing recently on Twitter that my feed has a lot of bloggers asking questions about Pinterest. They are aware that it can be brilliant for boosting traffic to blogs, but not quite sure on how to use it to its full potential without having to invest in Tailwind.
I started being more active on Pinterest about 2 months ago (without Tailwind) and I have seen a significant increase in traffic which I’ll break down for you here. From November to February, I just used it casually without implementing any kind of tried and tested strategies.
November 2017: 11/1244 (0.01%) views from Pinterest,
December 2017: 52/2486 (2%) views from Pinterest,
January 2018: 208/2501 (8%) views from Pinterest,
February 2018: 236/1980 (12%) views from Pinterest,
March 2018: 762/2650 (29%) views from Pinterest,
April 2018: 709/3180 (22%) views from Pinterest.
This post will be a bit of a beginner’s guide to Pinterest for bloggers based on strategies that I have used since the end of February as well as answering questions that bloggers have asked me on Twitter. This may be a long one so be prepared!
First, you need quality images to share to Pinterest. For every post, you should have a title pin. I create mine on Canva which is free to use and has plenty of templates for those less skilled at graphic design. Each pin should be vertical, longer than wide as Pinterest is mostly used on mobile apps so vertical pins are more visually appealing and increases the chance of yours being clicked on.
I add my title pin underneath my opening paragraph so it is the first thing that readers see. You can share your picture to Pinterest from your blog directly (either using a plugin if you have one, or if on mobile web, click the share button & add to Pinterest that way.
Your Pinterest Profile
Your username is better if it is the same as your other social media platforms and blog but if it isn’t, you can make your name the same as your blog. You should also add your blog into the URL section. Your biography should include some keywords that explain what your blog is about, this way if people search for ‘travel bloggers’ and its in your bio, you’re more likely to show up in their search results.
You should also have a board that is dedicated to just your title pins, I call mine ‘Bexcapades: travelling with anxiety’ which is my blog name and tag line. As I am a Travel and Mental Health blogger, I have got a board for every country that I have visited as well as a Mental Health awareness board & a Mental Health Monday board (which is a monthly blog share that I created with The Book Moo).
I have found joining group boards pivotal in boosting my traffic to my blog. The way it works is that it is 1 board with multiple contributors (pinners). You can add your pins and not only will there be a chance that your own followers will see it, but also that the followers of the other contributors will see it. The reach it will give your pins is immeasurable, e.g. my follow count is (29 April 18) 673 but my monthly reach is 8.6k! I attribute this success to the amount of group boards I have started to join.
To find group boards just use the search function – blogging groups, or even better, specify your niche and add group after it and see what results you get. Message the owner of the group board asking if you can join.
The group boards I have are Asia Travel, Bloggers Support Bloggers, Europe Travel, Mental Health Blogs, North America Travel, Oceania Travel & Travel Bloggers. If you want to join any of these, just message me on Pinterest.
This is something new that I’ve been trying out so I’m still testing out which bring out the best long-term results but so far what I have noticed is that if you have typed in alt-text into our pictures whilst they’re in your blog, if you share it directly to Pinterest then it will keep that for the description. You can leave it at that, however what you could do is put as many relevant keywords and key phrases in so that your pin has a better chance of appearing in more searches. The more exposure your pin gets, the better chance of clicks and repins it has.
I manually pin everything & don’t use an automated app as at the moment, I don’t have time to try it out and make full use of the free trial, I might try it out in the future though.
I currently have a list (written down, I know, very 2003) for all the group boards that I am a member of and all of my blog posts and I just rotate them in order. This means that the more active the group board is, the more often I can add my pins to it without becoming spammy. I check each morning how many pins have been added since my last addition and if there have been a few, I’ll add 1 more, if there have been more, I’ll add 2 but if there have been a lot then I’ll add 3. I just keep rotating it and as I post new blog posts, they get added to the rotation so people don’t see the same pins all the time.
I posed the question to people on twitter asking them what they would like to know and I’m going to try my best to answer them here.
Which pins get the most traffic? I can only answer this from my own perspective but vertical pins with a swirly font & either bright, vibrant colours or pink/black writing on white backgrounds with a flat-lay style background seem to get repinned the most & the more repins you get, the more chances you have of getting link clicks. My most popular pins are: My Packing List for a Year Abroad and How Travel Made Me Want More For Myself.
How important is it to personalise every pin? I pin every photo I put on my blog with a link to the specific blog post but I only personalise my title pins purely for time reasons and efficiency. People are more likely to click on title pins if they’re looking to read something so I focus on that one.
Should I be pinning lots of different pins I have or should I focus on just a select group at a time to help them gain traction? This is entirely your decision. Personally, I pin all of my title pins on rotation so focus on all of them at the same time but you could just focus on a few at first to practice promoting. Just think though, by pinning lots of pins, you have a higher chance of one being repinned or clicked on.
How do you maximise your SEO on pins? Use long descriptions, the more keywords the better so that when people search for something specific, your pin could show up in their feed (make sure your keywords are relevant to that specific pin).
Should you add descriptions & use hashtags? Definitely use descriptions, Pinterest will class them as more informative and genuine, making them less likely to be pushed down the search results, as mentioned above! In terms of hashtags you should only use them for newer pins as when people search a specific hashtag, only the most recent pins will show up, notched most popular.
Can you recommend any apps for auto pinning? I haven’t used any as of yet but I’ve heard that you can use Buffer and of course there’s Tailwind which I haven’t done the free trial for yet (it’s a paid service).
Is there a way to pin to several boards at once? Not yet, unless you’re using a pre-scheduled service like Tailwind.
Basically, group boards are important (remember to message me if you want to join any of mine), using descriptions and keywords are important if you want your pins to rank higher in searches & link everything back to your blog.
If you have any other questions, let me know & I’ll do my best at answering them. I’m still learning myself so I may do a follow up when I have more tested techniques.
|| Related: How I use Social Media for my Blog ||