A few weeks ago, I became OBSESSED with Pinterest.
I heard a lot of people talking about it. How pins have a much longer shelf-life than tweets or status updates. How Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined.
I decided I had to get in on that awesomeness.
I found lots and lots of articles on how to rock the Pinterest world, mainly by looking at Pinterest boards.
I read Pinterest savvy: Strategies, Plans, and Tips to Grow Your Business with Pinterest and The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick.
I’m not saying I have it all figured out. But after 3 weeks of learning like crazy and working on my Pinterest presence every day, I have more than tripled daily page views of my blog. I have been working on this blog for about 3 months, and my pre-Pinterest traffic was about 30-40 page-views per day. Now I get around 120 page-views per day.
For a 3 month old blog, I think that’s pretty good.
And if I can do it, so can you. Here are the exact steps I took.
1. I made my blog Pinterest ready.
First, I made my blog post images super-pinnable, and also gave them a recognizable, branded look.
Examples: Before & After
In The Art of Social Media, Peg Fitzpatrick suggests that the most pinnable size for images is 736 pixels wide and 1102 pixels tall.
Also, images should have the title of the post on them, as well as your blog’s logo, because you want everyone who sees the image to associate it with your blog.
I got to work creating graphics for each of my previously posted articles. I focused on the ones that related to my opt-in at the time, which was a mini-course for developing your blog voice.
Here’s the process I use for each post:
1. I created a template for my blog images in Pixelmator by making a document that was 736×1102, adding a headline using the fonts from my blog, and placing my logo on the bottom edge of the picture.
2. I duplicate my original template and delete the background image.
3. I find a (completely free) stock photo from one of these sites:
4. I download the image, drag it into Pixelmator, and then resize it to fit.
5. Then I replace the template headline with the one for the post I am working on. Since the fonts are already there, I don’t need to worry about changing them.
6. I change the colors of the headline by using the color picker to choose colors that are already in the image. I use a circular background for the headline if it is hard to see against the image. Then I do the same for my logo.
7. I save it as a new document, export it as a JPG, and upload it to my post.
If you have a Mac, I would HIGHLY recommend Pixelmator. It only costs $30 and is well worth the investment. Check it out here.
If you’d rather use Canva, you can use a very similar process.
Just create a graphic you like for a template, and then when you want to make your next one, instead of creating a totally new one, copy the old one and alter it to create a cohesive look. You make a copy in Canva by hovering over a design until you see a little white arrow appear on the upper right. Click it, press “Copy” and you are set to go!
2. I joined some pinning communities.
Group boards are super-powerful. You can get your pin in front of a lot of people without having many followers of your own.
I am currently a member of just 4 group boards. But one of them got me 450+ repins. So it doesn’t take many to make a difference.
I’ve used 3 ways to join group boards.
1. Join the Pinterest Collaborative Boards group on Facebook. Everyday, people write in the group asking for board collaborators. All you need to do is go to Pinterest, follow the board, and then add your email to the comments chain in Facebook letting the board administrator know that you want to join.
2. Check out pingroupie.com. You can search for group boards on any topic. Then organize them by pinners, followers, repins and more. I have found that the number of repins is the most important factor to look at when considering if the board will be a good place for a pin to get noticed and seen.
3. Look at the boards of other pinners in your niche. Usually, the ones with a lot of followers will have a bunch of group boards toward the bottom of their page. In the description, you’ll see the board administrator’s email address. Just follow the board, email them, and you’re good to go.
In addition to the group boards, I also joined a Facebook group where people pin each other’s stuff every day.
Check out Pinterest Promotions for Bloggers. Every weekday, there is a comment chain where people repin and like each other’s pins. It’s a great way of getting your pin out there.
3. I strategically pinned and re-pinned my posts.
I created a board called “Daniela Uslan blog.”
That is the first place where I pin all of my posts.
I don’t immediately repin, because repinning the same post to a bunch of boards at once really annoys people.
So I wait until later, after 8PM EST seems to work well for me, and I repin it to one group board. A few hours later, I pin it to a different group board.
I try to pin one of my posts once a day to each group board. Sometimes twice, but always different pins.
More will clutter the group boards, and since I have a distinctive look to my pins, I don’t want to be taking over or pinning too much.
4. At the same time, I pin other people’s stuff.
No one likes someone who only promotes their own blog.
For every pin that I share from my blog, I try to share at least 3-5 other pins that I think will be helpful to people.
This shows my fellow pinners that I don’t just care about people seeing my blog, but that I’m interested in spreading great content as well.
Also, when you repin someone’s pin, they can see it. Often, they will return the favor and pin something of yours or follow you.
5. I have gradually grown a few pinboards.
I don’t want to create a ton of boards with few pins, and I’m not going to pin dozens of pins at once.
So I’ve built a few other boards over time. I have one about Valentine’s Day gifts for men, one about coffee, one about travel, etc.
Pinterest is a site where you can be a real person and showcase your interests. It’s not only nice to show people who you are, it’s fun to curate resources about other things you like.
I am not sure if doing this has gotten me more traffic, but it’s certainly gotten me more followers.
When I started this whole process, I only had 66 followers. Now I am up to 105. It’s still a small number, but getting 40 new followers in a span of 3 weeks isn’t bad for a beginner.
To sum up, if you want to dramatically increase your traffic with Pinterest, and you are a newbie (or you’ve been using it but haven’t made the most of it), do these things:
1. Make your blog Pinterest-ready.
2. Join pinning communities.
3. Pin and re-pin your own stuff strategically.
4. Pin other people’s stuff.
5. Create other boards that reflect who you are