Although Pinterest is classified as “social media,” it operates differently than other platforms.
The best way to think about Pinterest is as a search engine.
Users find pins based on keywords and similarities to previous pin images.
Pinterest = Visual Google
So when we talk about using Pinterest to bring more traffic to your blog, we’re talking about strategies that resemble SEO practices — that is the key to understanding how to use Pinterest for traffic.
In order to get traffic from Pinterest, you need to OPTIMIZE everything (content, profile, hashtags, captions, etc.) to BE FOUND by this visual search engine.
Once you have everything optimized, you’re going to need to post them with this automatic scheduler.
In this section, we’ll go over how to optimize each part of the Pinterest experience:
- Pinning Strategy
1) Optimizing Your Profile
First, upgrade to a business account (it’s free!).
The business profile will give you access to Pinterest analytics and other tools that you’ll need later to gain more traffic on Pinterest.
First, make sure your name and your business name are in your bio to clearly state who you are alongside your business.
Ex. “Elaine Rau | LadyBossBlogger”
Try to make your username match your blog name or your personal name for consistency.
In your description, focus on what your boards are and what kind of content you will be pinning. Try to include as many keywords as possible that relate to your blog.
Ex. Resources for current and aspiring female entrepreneurs + bloggers. Motivational Quotes | Inspirational Stories | Business + Blogging Tips | Social Media Tips
Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to “claim your website” so that your blog URL will show up on your page.
Once you do, it will take Pinterest 24 hours to verify it.
Then, add your location. Just like with SEO techniques, having a location helps more people find you. You’ll show up on people’s pages that live in the area or are looking for things in a certain city.
As for your profile picture, choose either your blog logo or a picture of you.
I recommend putting a picture of yourself because it makes your profile more personal and trustworthy. Pick a picture that is focused on your face, is brightly lit, and has a solid background.
Finally, you need to optimize your boards for your upcoming pins.
You need to choose long tail keywords for your board names.
(long tail keywords = keyword phrases that target specific audiences)
Instead of using general phrases for a mass audience, choose a title that is specific to a niche.
Ex. “Small Business + Startup Resources” rather than “Business”
Pinterest recommends you have 10-12 boards with at least 9 pins each.
Never have empty boards — they look unprofessional. If you don’t have enough content yet, keep the board secret until you have 9 pins and then launch it.
I would also recommend joining some group boards (go to pingroupie.com to find them), so that you can pin and re-pin content to them.
Make sure you write down the rules of the group board so you can stay on topic and pin only what is allowed at the right volume!
2) Optimizing Your Images
Your pin should be vertical and have a 2:3 ratio — 600 x 900 is the best size, but you can go up to 600 x 1260.
Any other sizes or horizontal pins will look unprofessional and out of place.
You’ll want to work WITH Pinterest, not against it. The size that the average pin is? Stick with that. Don’t try to think outside the box in this area!
On every pin, include your website name or logo at either the top or bottom center of the image so people can match the image to your brand.
If you have a signature color on your site, definitely use it when building your Pinterest page — the more consistent you can be the better.
But don’t make every pin look the same either! On your blog, it’s awesome to have the same graphics on every post, but your Pins will get boring if you use the same strategy here.
This is your chance to use different fun images to get your blog posts out there!
For the best Pins, I recommend using Canva.
Canva is a design website that lets you create FREE pinterest images with their templates, fonts, images, and more!
All of the Pinterest templates on Canva are already the right sizes and look professional, but here’s some advice for personalization.
- Choose simple fonts (those curly letters may be pretty, but they’re hard to read!)
- If you have text, make sure the background isn’t too distracting
- Pick a background image that actually goes with what you’re writing about
- Use bright colors
- Keep the text to a minimum — headlines and catch phrases only
Generally, if it looks good and is easy to read, you’ll be great!
Pin the image below!
3) Optimizing Your Captions
Your captions should make your post findable and clickable.
As we’ve already discussed, Pinterest works like a search engine, so your caption needs to have the right keywords (via hashtags) for it to be a findable pin to your potential audience.
As with all other keywords, hashtags are about targeting the right audience.
Think about what your potential reader would search if they wanted to find content like yours.
Ex. #makemoneyblogging, #workfromhome, #bloggingtips, #newblogger, #entrepreneurship
You can use up to 20 hashtags per caption, but quality is the most important, so make sure you’re not just putting keywords that will get you found but don’t really apply to your post!
Second, making your post clickable.
I recommend putting some sort of call to action (CTA), catchphrase, or rhetorical question to catch the reader’s eye.
Ex. Tired of the commute? Click to learn how to start working from home TODAY!
My question and/or catch phrase is “tired of the commute” and the CTA is “click to learn.”
Make sure your caption stays short and memorable.
You want maximum impact in the shortest amount of words!
4) Optimizing Your Strategy
Pin only relevant content.
I realize that when you have a personal pinterest account, it’s fun to have boards covering a ton of different topics that you love, but for a blogging account, it’s essential that you STAY ON BRAND at all times.
Pin only content that directly applies to your blog’s niche.
If you just love using Pinterest, you can create secret boards to pin your own stuff like recipes or wedding dresses, but keep those private and build your account to fit in your topic instead.
In addition to your own content, remember to re-pin content from similar blogs.
Blogging = collaboration, not always competition!
The more you pin stuff from other blogger’s, the more they will be motivated to share your stuff, read your blog, and invite you to their group boards.
Plus, if you’re on group boards, it’s good practice to re-pin other people’s stuff to keep the community going.
Finally, if you’re serious about promoting your blog, use your Pinterest analytics to keep track of how your pins are doing and which ones tend to be the most popular for your followers.
I recommend making several different pins for the same post and putting them in a little competition with each other.
- Which image performed the best?
- Which caption got the most clicks?
- Do I see any patterns in my best-performing pins?
Once you’ve spent some time getting good data, you’ll be able to see what works for your followers and apply it to all your future pin creation.
A good way to keep track of your analytics is with the social media scheduler I use called Tailwind.
Once you’ve optimized your account to get the most traffic possible, you’re ready to get going.
No go on and pin those blog posts!