How I Increased My Pinterest Viewers from 9k to 150k in One Month
Are you wondering how to increase your blog or business's Pinterest views? If you've been blogging for any length of time, you’ve probably heard that Pinterest is an essential ingredient for growing your site. In fact, many blogs rely heavily on traffic generated from Pinterest to increase their monthly views and in turn their income.
I started my blog close to a year ago, and I’ve known for quite some time that I needed to “learn” Pinterest, but with posts to write, photos to edit, social media to keep up with and freelance work to finish, I just hadn’t found the time to figure out the secret sauce.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been “on” Pinterest for several years, and have tons of hidden boards full of home decor, party planning and haircuts spanning several phases of life. But I hadn’t fully figured out how to use it for business until recently.
One of my goals for 2018 was to attack one big thing that I need to master for my blog each month – a way of breaking these seemingly endless parts of growing a business into more manageable fragments.
February was Pinterest month, so I sat down and started reading guides and paying attention to the Q&As going on in Facebook groups that I’m a part of. I studied the Pinterest accounts of people who know what they’re talking about to see what they were using in their descriptions and how they were organizing things on their pages.
And without spending a dime on courses or platforms like Tailwind and BoardBooster, I managed to skyrocket my account from less than 9k viewers at the beginning of February to more than 150k viewers at the end, and increase my engagement by 1,300%. Pretty incredible for the shortest month of the year, no?
If you’re new to using Pinterest for your blog or business or struggling to figure out how to make it work, I’d like to share the five steps I took to increase my views drastically in just one month, and what I plan to try next.
1. Enable Rich Pins
Rich Pins display extra information directly on your pin that makes it easier for a viewer to engage and adds a level of professionalism. In addition to your photo or logo and the name of your business, there will be a bold title and, depending on which type of Rich Pin you choose, things like an article excerpt, recipe or real-time pricing for a product. It’s basically a big teaser for the content you are pinning that will hopefully entice the viewer to give it a save and/or click through.
This was probably the easiest thing I did for my account, and I’m not sure why I put it off for so long. I meant to do it months ago and for some reason let it linger on my list for way too long, but it turns out that it is super straightforward to do, especially on Squarespace, the blogging platform I use. If you’re on Squarespace, too, here are the instructions on how to do it. It’s as simple as copying and pasting your URL into the Pinterest validator. If you use WordPress, Melyssa Griffin has a great guide for which plugin you need to install and it looks equally as easy as it was for me. Just remember, you need to switch to a business account on Pinterest, first, if you haven't done so already.
Growth plan: After you install Rich Pins you’re good to go on this step. It will apply to everything that you pin from your site, so you don’t have to do anything else!
2. Create attractive pins
I have been making pins for my posts for awhile, but this month I took it a step further. I started creating multiple pins (typically three or four) for each blog post, and went back to old posts and created some extras so that I’d have more circulating for each.
I make my pins in Canva, which is an easy-to-use online platform full of creative layouts, attractive photos and pretty fonts. Most features are completely free, but you can pay for a wider selection of templates if you wish.
A few things to keep in mind as you create your pins:
Design them vertical and long, as these tend to perform better on Pinterest (they stand out more when you’re scrolling through). Canva provides the standard vertical dimensions when you select their “Pinterest Graphic” template.
Use high-quality photos that you would be tempted to repin from your feed.
Make sure your text is readable. Don’t use colors that are too light to read or fonts that are too small or fancy to decipher while scrolling quickly.
Growth plan: My next step for my pins is to create consistent branding. So far I’ve been designing them with colors and layouts that fit with the particular article or photo I’m using, or just slapping them together quickly if I’m in a hurry. I know long-term they will do better for me if I use consistent layouts, colors and fonts that represent my brand.
3. Update pin descriptions
Previously, my pin descriptions were either some pretty sentence that popped into my head that I thought fit the article I was pinning well, an excerpt from the article itself or maybe just one or two words to describe it if I wasn’t in the mood.
One of my changes this month involved going back through all of my pins to update the descriptions with keywords. Pinterest is a search platform, and when people are looking for things like “Hawaii budget tips,” I want them to see my pin and read my post about how to save money on a vacation to Kauai.
Pinterest makes it pretty easy to find keywords to use, as several suggestions will pop up when you start typing a word into the search bar. So, for my post of the best waterfalls in Iceland, for instance, I can type in “waterfalls” and learn that people are searching for the term “waterfalls around the world.” That fits my post perfectly, so I’ll add it to the description.
I also have been going back to make sure that I have keywords in the alt text for all the images on my website, because when someone pins a picture, it will pull up that information as the description.
Growth plan: I need to do more reading and research about keywords on Pinterest and make sure I am using ones that I can rank for as a small and new blog. So far, I’ve just been using keywords that I know people will search for, but I’m not sure if I’m getting any traffic from them, as my pins may not be showing up in the search.
4. Join and use group boards
Group boards are a great way of getting your pins seen by a much larger audience. Each board will have multiple contributors. In my case, most are a collaboration of bloggers in my niche. We all share our pins to the board, where they will ideally be seen by the thousands of followers of that board, much more than the measly 600 followers of my account.
Most boards have rules about how many pins you can add per day, and some require you to pin someone else’s content from the board when you pin yours (a great way to get it distributed even further).
I've joined several group boards over the last year, but I hadn’t really used them until this past month. In fact, I didn’t even realize I had amassed 20 group boards until I just went and counted them.
How do you get invited to a group board on Pinterest? I found most of mine through Facebook groups that I’m a part of in my niche, but if you search “group boards” on Pinterest, you’ll find lots of lists that bloggers have compiled of boards you may be interested in. You can also look at which boards other people in your niche are a part of and request to join those as well. Most group boards open to contributors will identify who you should contact to join.
Growth plan: I’ve only been sharing content to group boards a couple of times a week, or whenever I think of it. I’ve been concerned about sharing the same content too frequently, so I need to implement a system to track which boards I’ve pinned each image to so I can space them out and use the boards more effectively. This is definitely something that Tailwind can help with if I decide to start using it.
5. Participate in pin threads
Pin threads are a system in which each participant shares one pin and repins all the others shared, usually within a 24-hour window or so. I began using them a few days into the month, and they have been the lifeblood of my growing account! The threads I’m in take place on Facebook, and I found them by searching terms like “Pinterest for bloggers” to find groups that fit my niche. There are TONS of groups on Facebook dedicated to bloggers and business owners supporting and promoting each other, and I highly recommend you join and participate in at least a couple if you are trying to grow an online biz.
I joined two dedicated solely to Pinterest growth, where daily pin threads are posted. Between the two groups, I participate in five to 10 threads a week (depending on how much time I have) and pin about 50 to 100 pins for each thread. I’m pinning upwards of 500 pins a week by hand, which is a lot, but it’s really easy to complete while watching TV or in bed at night. Nothing like falling asleep to Pinterest!
It’s absolutely worth it though, as you can see from the increased views. Those 500 pins I’m pinning means my pins are being circulated 500 times, too, and often by accounts with many more followers than I have.
Growth plan: I plan on sustaining my activity on group boards for the next month, as it seems to be working well. Many bloggers swear by Tailwind to automate and schedule their pinning, but I’ve been reading things lately that indicate pinning by hand is the way to go moving forward. I will probably give Tailwind a try in the coming months, but for now, I’d like to see whether my views continue to grow while I pin at this consistent level.