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As a blogger, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to grow my site and drive new traffic to it. I’m sure many of you who are also bloggers and business owners do this as well. Well recently, I’ve completely fallen in love with Pinterest. Actually, let’s be real here. I’ve always love Pinterest. But now I’m using it for my business rather than for personal use and in the last three months I’ve seen such huge results because of it.
In December 2016, Pinterest accounted for 60% of my blog’s traffic. 60%! I actually had no idea it drove that much traffic to my site because 1. I wasn’t using Pinterest correctly at all and 2. I wasn’t even on it that often. It was actually pretty messy and out of date for the longest time. But the moment, I realized just how much of my traffic was coming from it, I decided it was time to start taking it seriously. Now, just two months later, Pinterest accounts for 80% of my site’s traffic (two days ago, it was actually 77% but after double checking it, I’m now seeing that it’s at 80%)! How great is that?! And most of my Pinterest is completely on autopilot as well. Little to no effort on my end.
So how did I go from not using Pinterest at all to using it to drive 80% of my blog’s traffic to my site? Well here’s how!
Switch to a business account.
I see a lot of people lately posting in Facebook groups wondering if it’s worth it to switch their account to a business account. I say, YES! Same goes for Instagram, but we’re not talking about Instagram here. For the most part, your account will generally be the same as before, but the one thing I really love about switching these accounts to business accounts are the added features like analytics. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be keeping tabs on your analytics both for your blog and your social media profiles. They tell you so much about your audience and can help you grow a ton. In addition to having the added analytics, you will also have access to Pinterest ads and rich pins, but we’ll discuss these later on.
Share to group boards.
These are such a great way to share your content. I recommend being in 5-10 group boards, but definitely not more than this! You don’t want your entire account to be group boards. Otherwise, it will look very spammy and you don’t want that. So how do you find these group boards?
First, you can do a basic search on Pinterest for specific topics related to your niche. You can organize the search results to show boards only and from there, you click around and find ones with multiple contributors. It can be a little time-consuming sometimes to constantly be clicking around to find them, but I promise they’re there! You can also join Facebook groups like ‘Pinterest Group Boards’ and find others who have openings on their own group boards. This is how I found the majority of the ones I’m in and it’s so much easier than searching Pinterest for them.
If you come across a group board that you want to be apart of, then simply reach out to the owner of that board and request an invite. Sometimes they have specific rules in their description on how to join their boards, but if not, then go to the very first person listed on the board and track down their email or a social media platform to connect with them and request that invite.
Turn on rich pins.
Some of you are probably wondering what rich pins are. Well rich pins are Pinterest pins that include extra information on the pin. So for example, article pins (which will most likely be the ones you’re using) will include your website name and icon underneath the pin image. They might also include the author of that post (you), the date it was published, etc. in addition to the pin’s description. This makes it easier to direct users to your site. You can turn on rich pins here. If these instructions sound a little confusing, then you should definitely check out this great post by Melyssa Griffin. This shows you a super simple way to turn them on!
Create Pinterest-friendly images.
Everyone talks about how important Pinterest-friendly images are so I’ll try to make this one brief! A general rule of thumb is that Pinterest images should be long and vertical. I believe that suggested width is 735px, but the length can totally vary depending on the content of the image. Some are longer while others are a bit shorter.
Creating these images can be super simple! If you’re more tech savvy then Photoshop is a great program to use. If you’re not so tech savvy or don’t have the money for Photoshop then Canva is awesome! It comes with a ton of great templates for various social media channels and document sizes so it makes it really easy to create your images from there. Their standard Pinterest graphic is 735 x 1102 pixels. I actually have Photoshop on my MacBook and still use Canva 9 times out of 10 because it’s so much quicker. So use whatever program you’re most comfortable with!
Last note here, be sure to incorporate your branding on these images as well. Keep them consistent with your blog in terms of style, colors, fonts, images, etc. And always include your blog’s URL as well!
Have a kick-ass bio.
I admit, I am SO bad with bios. Or at least I feel like I am. It’s a work in progress for me. But Pinterest is a super important platform to have a good bio on. Since Pinterest isn’t a form of social media, your bio shouldn’t be like your bios on Instagram and Twitter. Instagram and Twitter will end up having a more personalized type of bio whereas Pinterest should tell your audience exactly who you are and what you do. Let’s take a look at my personal bios for a second so you can see the difference:
First we have Twitter and Instagram which are pretty much identical when it comes to my bios. They’re super basic and just tell a little bit about me and what I do.
Then we have Pinterest which tells who I am and what I do from a business/blogging perspective. I used my name to insert my job titles and then used my bio space to tell my audience what it is that I do. With Pinterest, it’s also a great idea to use your link space to share a freebie for your email list. This gives new followers a reason to subscribe your blog. And lastly, I also make sure to have my website listed on all three of these accounts so that new followers can easily hop on over to the blog as well.
I hope this gives you a rough example of what I’m talking about here in terms of your bio!
Pin for your audience, not for yourself.
This right here was a bit life-changing for me. Until recently, I had been using Pinterest all WRONG. Yup. There’s a wrong way to use Pinterest. Like most, I used Pinterest as a way to gather inspiration for myself whether it’s stylish wardrobes or gorgeous interiors or even cute, fuzzy animals. But this isn’t what drives traffic to your blog or gains you new followers. You have to be pinning for your audience, not yourself.
With this in mind, I switched all my personal boards to ‘secret’ so that I could still pin to them and have that inspiration and then I added boards that are relevant to my own site and my audience. When people come to my profile, I want them to feel inspired and helped rather than seeing what inspires ME. So if your account is catered to you and only you, then you should make it a priority to give your account a bit of an update!
Create a board specifically for your content.
This one is super simple. The very first board on your account should be dedicated to your content only. Every time you have a new post, you should be sharing it to this board along with any other relevant boards and group boards on your account. This makes it really easy for people to see what content is yours when they come across your profile.
Currently, I pin about 50ish pins a day. Now I know that sounds like a lot (and it is) and it also sounds a bit time-consuming, doesn’t it? Well it’s not! I have most of my Pinterest completely on autopilot. So even as I type this, I have content being pinned and re-pinned even though I’m not even on Pinterest. Here’s how I do this:
Tailwind is absolutely amazing in that it schedules your pins AND has this awesome thing called Tailwind Tribes which is pretty much like group Pinterest boards. So it’s a great way to get your content seen by others as well as re-pinned. Now as for the scheduling part of Tailwind, this scheduler gives you a list of the best times to pin based on YOUR profile and audience. So ignore all the infographics out there that gives you specific time slots of when you should be posting to all your accounts. This really varies by audience so be sure to be looking at your analytics on a weekly basis.
*Modification (Aug. 2, 2018): When I first wrote this post, I was also using a tool called Board Booster which allowed me to loop my pins. BoardBooster has since shut down, but Tailwind is in the process of rolling out their own looping feature! This is a great way to make sure your account is always on autopilot and your content is always being shared.
I sit down every Saturday or Sunday and spend maybe 30-45 minutes scheduling out my Pinterest for the ENTIRE week or two. That way I don’t have to sit on Pinterest all day, every day pinning a bunch of new content. Let’s be honest, no one has time for that and sometimes, it can be a real time waster as well. There are plenty of other things we need to be doing for our blog and businesses. So this system works wonders for me!
Take a Pinterest course.
If you really want to see huge results from your Pinterest, then I highly suggest taking Melyssa Griffin’s Pinfinite Growth Course. While the above tips are all great and super helpful, nothing compares to actually taking one of Melyssa’s courses.
I’m not taking Pinfinite Growth right now, but I am taking her Blog to Biz Hive course and the amount of information that this course covers is INSANE. I’ve only gotten halfway through it in the last two months because I’ve been so busy implementing everything I’m learning. But within this course, she has a brief unit on Pinterest and WOW. Just wow. There’s no way my Pinterest would be where it is right now without that unit. I imagine her Pinfinite Growth course is even more in-depth and amazing.
Now I know that taking courses can be time-consuming and more importantly, expensive. There are tons of free articles out there on the internet, so why pay for a course? Even the information I provided here was free and can be found in thousands of other places across the web. I really do get that and understand where you’re coming from with this mindset. But information like this is super basic and to the point. It doesn’t give you an in-depth look at how to do all these things and what works and what doesn’t. You’re only going to get that type of help and assistance by enrolling in a course or a mentoring session of some sort, hosted by a blogger who truly knows what they’re doing.
I’m one of those people who believe that you must invest in yourself and in your business in order to grow and succeed and courses are a big part of that investment. So if you’re really ready to improve your Pinterest and start driving real traffic to your blog, then you should definitely look into Pinfinite Growth!
Lastly, I just want to link this awesome post by Melyssa Griffin which goes over so much of what I just discussed with you all and so much more!
How do you use Pinterest to drive traffic to your site?
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