Yep, you read the title right! Back in June I had 13 followers on Pinterest and just under 750 monthly unique viewers which I thought was fab seeing as I’d never really used it properly. But when I realised that Pinterest had so much to offer, I managed to grow my follower count to just under 500 (and growing quickly all the time) and over 3.7 million monthly unique viewers. Yes! Millions!!
I’ve always been a huge fan of Pinterest and have been using the website long before Instagram came onto my radar. I loved the simplicity of it, if you were looking for kitchen inspiration, you would type kitchen into the search bar and hey presto! All the dreamy kitchens you could ever ask for. I would then pin the image onto a board and often I would click through to the originating website and find out more information. But that was about the extent of my Pinterest use and for most people this is all they’ll ever use it for.
When I started my Instagram account, I stopped using Pinterest as much as I found that I was getting most of my inspiration from the talented people of Instagram and it was taking up a lot of my time. This was until I started my blog and I quickly realised that, although Instagram is probably at the top of the game when it comes to social media, it was terrible at directing people to my blog. On a good day, I’d be lucky if 10 people (out of my 66k+ followers) would actually read it. Maybe it was down to my terrible blog writing skills? Or probably because I think a lot of people just go on to Instagram to look at images and for a quick fix. Reading a blog requires commitment and time, which a lot of us haven’t got in this fast-paced world!
I kept reading how established bloggers found that Pinterest was absolutely invaluable when it came to referrals, so I started doing a lot of research and asking other bloggers. I think that people are actively researching and looking for advice when it comes to Pinterest, so they are much more likely to click on the pin and be directed to your website. People seem to keep their Pinterest tips to themselves as it was extremely frustrating trying to find out information, and a lot of advice out there meant signing up to subscriptions or newsletters or even paying for a course (which I get, there’s a lot of money to be made out there in the form of advice!) So, I decided I would start writing about how I’ve grown my Pinterest account, starting with the top tips I found most invaluable and will talk about in more detail in coming blogs…
The first thing I had to do was really get my head around Pinterest. I couldn’t see how repinning other people’s images onto one of my own boards would direct people to my website or why people would be interested in seeing my boards. Pinterest is not a social media site, it is most definitely a search engine where you can find all sorts of information and images from vegan recipes to open plan kitchens. I see Pinterest like a big scrapbook, full of your own magazine cuttings and ideas all cleverly displayed in sections so that they are easy to find. It’s all about being discoverable (very much like Google) and the more quality photos and descriptions you put in your boards and pins, the more people will see your content.
So here are my top tips on how to grow your Pinterest views –
1. Change your Pinterest profile from a Personal to a Business account. This means you can display your business or blog name instead of your first and last names and gives you access to things like rich pins and analytics.
2. Make sure your blog or website is verified with Pinterest. This will let Pinterest know you mean business and it will give your pins more credibility.
3. Optimize your name, information and boards with lots of descriptions. It is all about being found so when people use that search bar, you want your pins to turn up in the results.
4. Which leads onto SEO (search engine optimization). By using a lot of keywords in your text to describe your pin, this will help your pin to be more visual. I tend to look at a pin and think, if I wanted to see this image, what would I have typed into that search bar?
5. Post a lot of your own original content from your website or blog, or even images you’ve found on the internet (just make sure you always credit these images). I try to pin 50/50, that’s 50% of original pins and 50% of repins from Pinterest.
6. Follow People! This means you will see more content from your chosen niches which in turn you can repin and hopefully people will follow you back.
7. Make sure your website is Pinterest friendly by adding a Pinterest “Pin It” button to your blog or website. Also, apply for rich pins as this means your original pins will show more information like the name of your website.
8. Pin often! This is a biggie for me. The advice is between 10 – 30 pins a day (these can be original or repins) but be consistent. Try not to pin 10 images in one day for a week and then none for weeks after. I started at pinning 10 a day and have recently increased to 15. Also make sure that your Pins are spread out throughout the day. A lot of my pins are scheduled for Pinterest between 1am and 4am and this is because the US (and its 125 million active Pinterest users) are engaged at that time.
9. Which makes a scheduling app or programme like Tailwind hugely important if you want to be successful within Pinterest. I use Tailwind by scheduling 15 pins a day, normally a week in advance and let Tailwind do the rest. Tailwind optimises your pins by scheduling your content for when your profile is most active, making sure a large part of your audience gets to see your pins.
10. Portrait style images do better on Pinterest and info-graphics even more so! You’ve probably already seen on Pinterest that there tends to be a maximum width on all images, but not on length. So, the longer your pin, the more chance of it getting seen (just don’t make it as long as a piece of string…)
11. Pinterest rewards people that are pinning consistently with high quality images. A bit like Instagram, if your images are well received, the platform will take notice.
12. Participate in Pinterest group boards. This will help extend your reach and hopefully increase your followers and traffic.
These are the most important tips I have found since taking an active interest in Pinterest and I really have seen huge increases in my follow count, views and referrals to my blog, so they really do work! I will break down each tip in future blogs and I hope you have found this useful. If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments. I am by no means an expert in Pinterest, but my knowledge is expanding every day and I really do find it a fabulously inspirational and helpful tool.