Pinterest rocks for newbie bloggers. Yes seriously! Currently, it has to be the easiest way to drive web traffic to your brand new lifestyle blog. When you’re waiting for Google to recognize that you even exist, Pinterest can come to the rescue. You just need to treat it like a search engine and learn your Pinterest SEO.
But surely Pinterest is a social media platform? Well yes and no. If you think social media is all about commenting on posts, liking, following and unfollowing, then no Pinterest is not a social media platform. It works completely differently…
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If you’re brand new to Pinterest, you need to read my post:
It will tell you everything you need to know to set up your business account and start using rich pins, plus all the basics:
- What is Pinterest?
- Why use Pinterest for blogging?
- What are rich pins and how do you validate your rich pins?
- How to add Pinterest “Save It” buttons to your posts.
- Recommended Pin sizes.
- What are Pinterest Boards?
- Pinterest categories.
This post assumes you have mastered the Pinterest basics but you need to help to use Pinterest to grow your blog.
The Benefits Of Pinterest To Grow Your Blog
If you’re blogging about a popular topic and your target audience is mainly women with children in the 25 to 44 age group, you need to be on Pinterest.
For the right niches, Pinterest will kickstart the growth of your blog.
This is the Pinterest effect for my lifestyle blog in just my second month of blogging:
You can read more about how I managed to grow my lifestyle blog to 100K monthly visitors in just under 18 months in my post:
Pinterest loves popular topics. Food recipes, fashion tips, craft ideas, home decor, and parenting tips are just some of the topics that can get thousands of repins – even if you’re a new blogger.
While FaceBook won’t even show your posts to all your followers, Pinterest will happily send viral traffic to even a tiny new account. You just need beautiful pins, boards optimized for Pinterest SEO, and a little bit of help from Tailwind Communities.
Read on to get the lowdown on using Pinterest to explode your traffic…
What is Pinterest SEO?
It’s more usual to hear the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when you’re talking about Google. When I first heard the term Pinterest SEO, I was really skeptical. How can a social media platform be a search engine?
But it’s true. If you think about it, all social media platforms have some kind of search function, it’s just that the Pinterest one works better than most and is key to the success of the platform.
In the words of the company “Pinterest inspires you to discover and do what you love”. The platform is about searching for a winter coat, finding an idea to keep your toddler busy or ways to get your succulent to flower.
It’s not about chatting, commenting or liking. Pinners are searching for solutions and ideas to pin to their boards. Think about Pinterest as a search engine and the platform starts to make a lot more sense.
Creating Beautiful Pins
Canva is the best tool for creating beautiful pins and the free version works just fine! I’ve found that creating pins that get traffic is all about trial and error.
You don’t been to be an expert at graphic design, (I’m not), you just need to design pins that stand out amongst the competition.
If you’re struggling to design pins there are lots of options for buying pin templates or you may benefit from using Tailwind Create. Tailwind Create helps you design beautiful pins quickly. It’s a great help now that Pinterest has pushed their focus onto new pins and fresh content.
Design Pins For Your Audience
Each niche is different on Pinterest when it comes to pin design. Check out the successful pinners in your niche. What are they doing? Look at the pin size, is there text or no text? Are the pins colorful?
The only rule you can’t ignore is that any text on pins needs to be clear and easy to read on a phone.
Otherwise, it may just be a case of trial and error. Take note of which pin designs are working for you and your competitors. Can you improve on them?
Optimize Your Boards For Pinterest SEO.
Pinterest Boards are an often overlooked step for optimization. Pinterest needs to understand the content of your boards.
Find Your Pinterest Keywords
What are your potential followers searching for on Pinterest? This is really easy to find out.
Go to your Pinterest account and pop your topics in the search bar.
This is my result when I enter the term running. It’s good to see one of my own pins on the second row for such a general term. You can drill down into sub-topics such as running for beginners or running motivation to find even more keywords.
Make a list of the keywords you find and decide which ones are the most relevant for your topic.
Create Boards That Match The Keywords
If I now search for “Running for Beginners” and select boards, I can see it’s a very popular term. There are several hundred boards and the top board has 21,000 followers.
Of course this means the search term is super competitive (I already know that), but not everyone will follow the next steps.
Give Your Board The Same Name As Your Keyword
D’oh! Sounds obvious but I’m spelling it out for you! If someone’s looking for running for beginners, name your board “running for beginners”.
This is not the time to get creative. Stick to the keyword!
Add A Board Description
Start your board description with your keyword.
You can add in a few extra related keywords. Just make the description easy to read. Don’t add too many keywords.
This used to be relevant but I know believe Pinterest pays little attention to Board covers. If you do use one it needs to be an actual pin.
Add 8 – 10 Popular Pins To Your New Board
You need to kickstart your new board with some pins. It’s a waste of time starting with your own new pins – Pinterest doesn’t yet know what they’re about. Instead add 8-10 of the most popular pins you can find for your search term.
Pinterest SEO Magic
So far what do you think? Obvious?
This next step was like a lightbulb going off in my head.
Create a trail for your keyword
What do I mean?
People are searching for the term running for beginners. So give them this keyword at every step.
It’s on your board name and your board description. Create pins with the title running for beginners and add the phrase to the pin description with some related text. You can also try using hashtags although not everyone agrees that these are helpful.
Link your pins to posts or pages on your website with the title running for beginners and make sure the text of the post is great content about running for beginners.
Wow! Powerful stuff! And guess what? Hardly anyone does it. It’s a lot of work but it will get results.
You used to be able to keep repining the same content over and over to your boards. It required little effort, you could upload your pins to Tailwind and basically spam Pinterest with old, tired content and still get lots of traffic.
This approach had started to fail before I even started using Pinterest. I could say sadly, but this approach only favors established bloggers. Some of these long-term bloggers have relied on old posts and pins driving traffic to their blogs for years. It crowds out your new fresh content!
Pinterest finally realised this created a really lousy user experience. Everything changed over the last 1-2 years with some old-time pinners losing almost all their traffic.
Pinterest now wants a constant stream of new pins. You can continually promote the same post but it needs a fresh image. The emphasis is on new images rather than tweaking the text on your pins but it’s a good idea to test both.
For best results upload 1-3 new pins a day and leave a gap of at least a week before creating and uploading a new pin to an existing post. I like to wait about a month.
Create New Posts
If you want to really win at Pinterest, keep writing lots of new posts. This is where there’s a clash between the best approach for Pinterest (and other social media channels) and the best approach for ranking on the top spot of Google.
Goggle favors long-form in-depth posts that take a while to write. Pinterest just wants lots of new material.
As long as the titles are catchy, the posts refer to the relevant keywords and are reasonably well written, your post doesn’t need to be the definitive guide on the topic. It just needs to be good enough that people will save your pins.
When I launched my lifestyle blog, I started by promoting 30 new posts with 90 new pins on Pinterest. This is one of the reasons my Pinterest traffic grew so quickly in my second month of blogging.
Get People To Share Your Pins
Pinterest puts lot of emphasis on sharing. It’s fundamental to how the platform works. You need other pinners to be saving your pins to their boards.
How do you do this as a new pinner?
My solution is Tailwind Communities (until recently known as Tailwind Tribes). You used to be able to join group boards where you added your own pins and shared the pins of other members in return. Pinterest has recently downgraded the importance of group boards.
You can still give group boards a try but it’s become a lot harder to make this method work and a lot of pro-pinners have been leaving group boards.
Tailwind Communities works in a similar way. You add a pin to the community and in return share other people’s pins. (I tend to share a lot of other people’s pins – people feel obliged to reciprocate even when you’re a new pinner). It’s better than group boards because you can easily see who’s sharing your pins and check out their pins in return.
It was Tailwind Communities that exploded my Pinterest traffic to 20,000 Pageviews in my second month of blogging. When you sign up for Tailwind and access the scheduler and Tailwind Create, you can also join 5 Tailwind Communities.
When other pinners from Tailwind Communities start sharing your pins, these shares will give a big boost to your Pinterest profile. This is my traffic taking off with Tailwind Communities in my second month of blogging.
✅ I’ve negotiated a $30 credit for Simply Hatch readers towards your first Tailwind subscription. You can claim your credit via this link.
Create Pins People Want To Share
There are two types of pins on Pinterest: ones that get you clicking through to the post and the pins that people mainly share. You need both. The pins that share well are hugely important for a new blogger.
These help to bring your Pinterest account into good standing.
Other pinners love sharing infographics. For these types of pins, it seems okay to ignore the 2:3 size ratio and go for narrower pins so you can add more text. I find 600 x 1200 works well.
Conclusion – Pinterest SEO
Thinking about Pinterest as a search engine will give you a far better understanding of the platform. Unlike other types of social media, Pinterest is all about searching. Commenting on pins is a waste of valuable time.
People are actively searching on Pinterest so give them what they want. Optimise for Pinterest SEO. This stuff works!
Apply logic and create a trail from keyword search to your board and board cover, pin title and description and lastly to your blog post. Use the same keywords at each step of the trail.
Remember Pinterest loves fresh content! Regularly create new posts and try to pin 1-3 fresh pins everyday.
Enjoyed this post? Please share my pins and give my Pinterest profile a quick follow!
Frequently Asked Questions
Use Pinterest search to find relevant keywords. Use the relevant keyword in your board descriptions, your pin title, and your pin descriptions. If you’re using text on your pins make sure this text uses the keyword. Link your pin to a post targeting the same keyword. Add 1-3 fresh pins to your account a day but don’t repeatedly promote the same material.
SEO is key to using Pinterest, more so than with any other social media platform. Pinterest is basically a visual search engine. Relevance and shared pins are the most important attributes of a good Pinterest campaign.
The best way is with good Pinterest SEO and by getting other people to save your pins to their boards. You can do this with group boards but these boards are becoming less relevant. I find you get much better results with Tailwind Communities.