Caroline's Corner How to use Pinterest to grow - my experiences

A little over a month ago I started looking at my Pinterest profile more seriously in regards to my blog. I didn’t use Pinterest for my blog yet and never even thought of pinning my blog posts to Pinterest. I used the website to keep my wishlist up to date and had tons of hidden boards full of inspiration for future projects that I would probably never do.

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Facebook is my biggest source of traffic currently, but with Facebook’s announcement on the new algorithm, I want to rely less on Facebook. Or spread my traffic source at least. At the end of March, I received a newsletter from a blogger I follow. She claimed she receives over 15,000 visitors from Pinterest every month. She started blogging last year and hasn’t written a new blog post since January. Yet her blog is ever growing, and so is her bank account. 15k for a website that’s not regularly updated raised one main question with me: HOW?

We emailed for a while and she explained she started to treat Pinterest as a search engine instead of a social medium. People are not on Pinterest to see what their friends like, they are looking for a solution for a problem they have. The difference with Google? You have a personal feed when you open Pinterest. And it is visual.

Skepticism

I was skeptical. I don’t like promoting my website, due to my inner critic who thinks it’s necessary to tell me no one wants to read my blog posts and I should not be bothering them on Facebook or anywhere else. Also, I dislike scheduling my social media to promote my blog and I definitely do not like to make the graphics for my blog. I am a writer, but as a blogger you have to be all-round, unless you’re as lucky as me and you can blog for Yoast where there’s an entire team who will create graphics and do the promotion for you. Unfortunately, they won’t do promotion for my personal blog. I should’ve negotiated that at the beginning of my contract.

Still skeptical about Pinterest, I walked into Joost’s office last month and asked him what he knew about Pinterest. He explained to me that there are mom blogs, especially in the US, that get ten thousands of visitors through Pinterest. The statistics can get bizarre. He told me I was definitely in the right niche to grow through Pinterest and should give it a go.

That night I sat down and started creating graphics for my blog. Pinterest suggests vertical pins instead of the horizontal scaled images for Facebook.

What Pinterest did to my statistics

I would love to say that I woke up the next morning, opened Pinterest and saw that my pins went viral. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Your exposure will slowly climb and the more active you are on Pinterest, the faster you will get rewarded.

If you have a business account with Pinterest, you can look at your statistics. I saw that one of my pins had been shown over 400 times in just a few days. So I squealed and told everyone how amazing Pinterest was. I then showed my statistics to everyone who wanted to see, and even those who didn’t know they wanted to see.

But out of those 400 impressions on Pinterest, not one person had repinned my pin. And no one had clicked the link. Facebook advertising sounded a lot more appealing right now. And less work. And easier to understand.

It took me a week to understand and find the mix that started getting me visitors. I can now say that after one month, 10% of my traffic to my blog is Pinterest. 10% in just one month! My stats are surprising me each and every day and I actually love looking at Google Analytics and my Pinterest statistics. I’ve created a board for my blog and created boards that are close to my niche. I’ve repinned pins from others and pinned my own blog posts.

How you can start to grow

To start growing, the first important step is that your image should be appealing and of high quality. Pins with the message in bold letters across the image, work wonders. People want to know what your post is about in one glance. Writing compelling titles is already important for SEO, so dust up those skills and get them to use for Pinterest!

Another important factor of getting seen is collaborating with others in group boards. By pinning your content to group boards, your content will be seen by the others who contribute to the board.

But balance is key: don’t just pin from your own website. Repin as well. Don’t be afraid to repin a blog post from a competitor if it fits one of your boards. For example: one of my best performing boards is about self-care. I have only written two blog posts on this subject yet, but funny enough, these two blog posts generate the most traffic to my blog.

There’s no easy fix to gain visitors fast. It’s much like Google, Facebook or your other sources of traffic: you need to solve a problem for you visitor by creating content your visitors are looking for.

Read more: Blogging: the ultimate guide »

22 Responses to Caroline’s Corner: How to use Pinterest to grow – my experiences

  1. Liton Biswas
    Liton Biswas  • 5 months ago

    Pinterest has been the top source of my blog traffic so far. To get traffic from Pinterest, you need a Pinterest business account and then apply for rich pin.
    You also need to implement SEO for your profile and pins.
    One of the nice strategy to get blog traffic is to participate on Pinterest group boards. Apply for joining Pinterest group boards and eventually increase your reach.

  2. web design
    web design  • 5 months ago

    Honestly, I still did not use Pinterest. But with this article, I really decided to activate my account.

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 5 months ago

      Nice! Have fun with it :)

  3. web design
    web design  • 5 months ago

    Honestly, I still did not use Pinterest. But with this article, I really decided to activate my account.

  4. Terri Katz
    Terri Katz  • 5 months ago

    Pinterest is a great place to market your business using visual content. If you have a business with products that can be photographed or visually represented, this is the place to be

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 5 months ago

      You’re totally right Terri!

  5. Melanie
    Melanie  • 5 months ago

    Thank you for this! I am in the process of thinking if Pinterest is for me and was looking for info on the subject. I will definately take a look. It’s all still so new to me and I feel I have info overload at the moment. This was easy to digest and understand.

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 5 months ago

      Great to hear Melanie! Have fun exploring Pinterest :)!

  6. Basit
    Basit  • 5 months ago

    I know Pinterest is one of the best social website and thank for sharing wonderful article with us.

  7. Eve Jones
    Eve Jones  • 5 months ago

    The read is really interesting but I think it is dependant on the niche whether pinterest will work out or not. For instance, mine is law, there are less to least people preferring pinterest for attorneys so I think it is not useful to me.
    :(

    • Caroline Geven

      I’m not sure if that’s the case. I think you can make it work. If I enter ‘law’ as a query, I get information about laws for blogging (regarding advertorials for example), but also information about criminal law. This could be useful for writers of fiction for example.

      I know there are lifestyle bloggers and mom bloggers who blog for example about a car crash they were in. If they pin that blog to Pinterest, they might search for it, repin your pins about that, if you have blogs regarding that. If you repin bloggers who blog about the things you focus on with your niche, your audience will grow as well. I found that you need to find a twist sometimes with the ‘harder’ niches.

      I might not look for a lawyer on Pinterest, but I might be looking for information on things you have written about. And that’s exposure too. I hope my reply makes sense and helps you.

      • Eve Jones
        Eve Jones  • 4 months ago

        Yes, it does makes sense. Thanks for you kind help. Really appreciate.
        :)

  8. RPL Sample
    RPL Sample  • 5 months ago

    I have never known that Pinterest has such a capacity. Thank you for the great article.

  9. Zubida
    Zubida  • 5 months ago

    The other ways to optimize your e-commerce site for pinterest are:

    Add images of 100 x 200 pixels at least.
    Insert Image alt text in your images.
    Add the pin it button.
    Enable rich pins.
    Write Next-Level Pin Descriptions
    Pin products and content.
    Use contests and offers.

    • wasim akram
      wasim akram  • 5 months ago

      mam but if we use bigger images then size willl create loading issues and loading time will increase.

    • Caroline Geven

      Yep, definitely, although I would suggest using bigger images than 100px by 200 pixels.
      Contests I’m not too sure about, what if the information is outdated? You can remove your own pins, but you can’t remove pins others created.

  10. sgfraz
    sgfraz  • 5 months ago

    Congratulations, Caroline, on what you discovered, and thank you for sharing it. I, too, have a Pinterest page, one that’s very popular in its niche. I haven’t given what you share much thought because there are so many directions to go for promotions on the web. However, I will keep what you reveal here in mind for future possibilities.

    • Caroline Geven

      What niche are you operating in? You can go many directions yes, I wasn’t that active on Pinterest before and to grow popular, you need to have a strategy. What’s been your strategy so far?

  11. Karl
    Karl  • 5 months ago

    Hi Caroline

    You say you have only written 2 posts on self care but you get 10% of your traffic now from Pinterest, when you repin do you leave the pins original URL in tact or change it to yours ? if you don’t how do you manage to get all that traffic from what I presume just 2 of your own pins

    Karl

    • Karl
      Karl  • 5 months ago

      Thanks

    • Caroline Geven

      I don’t change the URL to my own when I repin, because it’s not my content. I did get 10% of my traffic with just those two pins. The reason they skyrocketed is because I’m active on that board and if people repin something from that board, they will more likely see the pins I’ve created myself as well. It’s a combination of writing what people want to read, using compelling titles, attractive images and repinning pins from others.

      • Siddarth Kanojiya
        Siddarth Kanojiya  • 5 months ago

        what is the best and unique Description for the antivirus support website


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