Two weeks ago I was one of those people who wondered what the big deal about Pinterest was. I was on there, I pinned stuff, but my following barely grew and my daily Pinterest traffic was in single digits.
I have been blogging for about 8 months and in that time I’ve built up a pretty decent following on Facebook (nearly 10,000) and reasonable numbers on Instagram. My Pinterest though sat at a lonely couple of hundred followers and my referral traffic was basically non-existent.
I’d seen the success others were having and I decided I NEEDED to work this Pinterest thing out.
This is what I did and how you can do it too!
First, how Pinterest works…
Pinterest is basically an aggregate website. People create topic “boards” and collect together images from websites as “pins”. These “pins” link back to the site they came from so if people like the look of it they click on it and end up on that site.
Pinterest is different to other social media as it is a very proactive platform where the vast majority of people actively search out content they are interested in. While there is a “news feed” of sorts, people can (& do) actively seek out content and inspiration. For example, someone may seek out inspiration on kids rooms, funny quotes, date ideas or DIY gifts. The possibilities are endless but it is important to understand that people search rather than just passively watching a news feed. This is a good thing as it means your pins can be found even if you don’t have a big following!
Content spreads on Pinterest in two ways, the first being from people visiting a website and initiating a pin from the site and secondly from people repining content they find on Pinterest already. They may repin content in their “newsfeed” from those accounts they already follow, or they may repin from things they have found when searching.
Ok, onto the good stuff…
How I grew my Pinterest traffic and following FAST!
Firstly, I’m by no means an expert on Pinterest. Two weeks ago I had only a couple of hundred followers and my following is still comparatively small but growing fast.
What I’m sharing here is what I learnt, how I’ve implemented it and how it has worked for me.
Get your website Pinterest ready
You don’t want to be the only person pinning your content. The more people who you can entice to pin your stuff the more it will spread…Hint Hint: Feel free to pin this article 😉
Here are some ways to make your website Pinterest friendly and encourage readers to get pin happy.
Install a Pinterest sharing plugin
At the top of this post you’ll notice my little social media sharing widget. I use the Genesis Simple Share plugin as well as the Sharaholic plugin (for my Pinterest hover button and the related content widget below each post). There are heaps of options around, but these two are free and working well for me.
After I have published each blog post, I use this plugin to share my content to my main Pinterest board (more on that later).
Create Pinnable images
Longer images are best for Pinterest. My posts were typically not image heavy but I have been proactively creating Pin-able images to go into each post. These can be anything from a nicely presented quote, your post title with a nice picture or some kind of infographic. I am also slowly going back through my old posts and creating Pin-able images for them. Also make sure you are using good image descriptions when you upload them, as these will form the basis of the description show when people pin your images.
In terms of optimal image dimensions, the research I have done suggests a ratio of 2:3 (width:height) is optimal. I’ve been creating mine to be 735px by 1103px which seems to be working ok. I also throw in a few square ones and some longer. If you use Canva for design they now have a Pinterest template.
Share your boards on your site
This is one that I had overlooked but it is such an easy thing to do. You might have gorgeous boards on Pinterest but if your website visitors never click through then they never see them!
Integrate your boards into your posts. You can do this by logging into Pinterest and clicking the little settings cog in the top right corner when you are on your account page. The click the “learn more” section to go to the widget builder.
Click on “create a widget” and create board widgets relevant to your posts. I’ve integrated my blog resources widget below as an example.
You can also create an account widget that shows people the most recent stuff you’ve pinned. Stick this in your sidebar or footer!
These are the first steps you need to take to get Pinterest ready. I’ll be back shortly with Part 2 of how I grew my Pinterest traffic by over 2500% and doubled my followers, with tips on creating boards, how to share content, how to get followers and what drives traffic.
Stay tuned! P.S If you aren’t on my newsletter list sign up on the side 🙂