This 10,000-word guide will help you convert your Pinterest personal account to business and to set it up to skyrocket your traffic.
The subject can be frustrating, therefore I collected all the facts in one place about rich pins, group boards schedulers, etc.
Want to know how to use Pinterest for marketing your business, get traffic and email subscribers?
Now you can become an expert one in a day, if you read this ultimate guide.
I never paid much attention to the platform… until I saw multiple bloggers reporting how they get tens of thousands of free traffic from it.
I found out that Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents made $1,536,732 with her blog in 2017… and her successful action is the red P.
In this post, I’m going to break down the steps you need to take to skyrocket your traffic and then use this to drastically increase your email subscribers.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
What Is Pinterest And How Does It Work?
Pinterest is a platform that allows users to visually share and discover new interests by posting (known as ‘pinning’) images or videos to their own or others’ boards (a board is a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned.
Think of this platform as a picture gallery, where you can exhibit your own and others pictures.
Why is it different from other platforms in terms of marketing?
It’s all about quick wins. If you do things right with your pinning, your blog could get the first 100 page views in the first couple of days and then, unlike Google, increase it to tens of thousands in a couple of months.
Is Pinterest Social Media Or Search Engine?
It is mainly a search engine, mixed with a little bit of social media.
On social media you interact with people, leave comments, likes, share stuff.
On Pinterest you interact with pictures (pins) and there’s not that much commenting and almost no sharing.
The platform is similar to Google Image Search, but it’s not that sophisticated, simply because it’s younger.
Search engines use keywords as the center of their algorithm. Keywords tell Pinterest what type of content you pin, and it uses that data to show it to people who are interested in that subject.
Pinterest is much more open about ranking pins in its search and the concepts of SEO work there, too.
Your pins are categorized into boards. You can make a board about anything.
When a user saves your pin onto one of their boards, that content also gets shown to their followers and therefore it has the potential to reach a wider audience. It’s like an avalanche effect.
This combination of search engine algorithm with the ability to follow, like, and comment on pins makes a unique blend of a search engine and a social network.
It is not necessarily visible from the surface for the casual eye, but there’s a complicated pin recognition, classification mechanism that assigns interests and scores to the different pins using a machine learning algorithm that was published by a Pinterest engineer.
Monthly Search Values
Pinners search for everything and, maybe you don’t know this, but a lot of people go to Pinterest instead of going to Google to find their answers – especially if the subject is visual, like recipes (but not limited to these).
If you never tried this, I strongly suggest that you go on the platform and actually try searching for something, such as “e-mail marketing”, see what comes up and try pins.
You don’t believe me? Here are some of the phrases people search on Google, with the monthly search values:
And this is some of the monthly search values on Pinterest itself on the subject of blogging:
This is from the promoted pins section and it doesn’t give exact values, but you can see that all those phrases are searched for over 5 million times, definitely worth paying attention to.
How to Convert Your Personal Pinterest Account Into a Business Account
Note: If you don’t have an account yet, simply go to the business page and create an account for your blog.
If you already have a personal account that you have been using for a while and have built up a following, there’s no need to start over and create a new account (unless you want to – some people prefer to use two separate accounts). You can convert your existing personal account to a business account in just a few clicks.
Pinterest recommends converting it to a business account using this link.
Don’t forget to verify your domain through the “claim your website” tag in your settings menu.
You can easily do it by uploading the verification file, and it takes up to 24 hours to get approved.
There are several benefits to creating a business account. First, you’ll be able to access Pinterest analytics.
Also, with a business account you can use your business name vs. first and last names.
Apply For Rich Pins
Now you’ll be able to create Rich Pins, and get access to business features such as advertising.
Before you can do that, you need to enable meta data for WordPress – the easiest way to do that for WordPress is to use the Yoast SEO plugin or the All-In-One SEO plugin.
The screenshot below is from the All-In-One SEO plugin, Feature Manager. You need to activate the “Social Meta” feature.
If you have a theme like Thrive themes, meta data for social media is already included and in that case you don’t need to do the above.
Then you will need to validate by entering an actual blog post URL into the pin validator (which you can also use for verifying if your site has rich pins)…
and then apply for Rich Pins selecting HTML Tags.
After this, it takes up to an hour to get rich pins enabled.
Pinterest needs to be able to scrape data from your blog like this:
Having trouble getting your pins validated? Or Pinterest cannot fetch the data?
Clear your cache and check your plugins. If you have blot blocker enabled, that can also stop the crawler from getting your data.
Then check with your host to make sure they are not blocking their bot.
If you still get an error, contact Pinterest support with a screenshot. They will probably take a few days to respond, but they will manually verify your site.
Rich Pins provide more context about an idea because they show extra information directly on a pin.
There are four types of rich pins:
- recipe and
Each have specific features, such as the product rich pin would have a price field. For regular blogging you should select “article”.
You will then be asked to choose a business category and request a few other pieces of info. Then… your account is now a business account!
In order to see your analytics, there is one more step to take, if you haven’t done this already with your personal account.
Verify your website. They provide instructions on how to do this and call it “claiming” your site.
Follow those instructions – upload the HTML file to your public_html folder via your hosting File Manager or using an FTP client like FileZilla.
You’ll need to wait a bit for calculating your analytics, and the stats only begin from the day you verify your website. You can watch this web analytics video to learn how to use your analytics features.
Pinterest Web Analytics Walkthrough from Pinterest on Vimeo.
Add Share Buttons To Your Blog
Adding a Pinterest ‘save’ button to your site allows people to save your pictures to their Pinterest boards directly from your website.
Alternatively you can use the Social Warfare plugin, which has very nice additional functions. The main advantage of this plugin is that it takes the data of your pictures from your blog and makes it part of the pin, and when you update the data in the picture, Pinterest pulls the data from there and updates it on the pin also.
Does Pinterest Really Drive Traffic?
“…users conduct 2 billion searches every month to find things to buy or do.” eMarketer
If you look at the sites driving the most traffic, it is among the top five.
“Not only does Pinterest drive traffic, when its users click through to a branded site, they’re prepared to spend money. Not only do people go there looking for ideas, Pinterest referrals result in an average order value of $50. Pinning something even indicates intent, as 93 percent of surveyed said they planned to buy the item in question.” AdWeek
In contrast with social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you don’t need to have a huge number of followers to get your stuff seen. You should still build your followers, because they will be shown your new pins first, and then distributed to others based on their engagement (or lack of).
This channel represents a huge opportunity to overcome your competition, as many online businesses are using it completely wrong, or not at all.
In order to get maximum traffic, you will need a business account, which won’t look any different than personal pages, aesthetically.
The Smart Feed Algorithm
Just like all search engines, Pinterest uses an algorithm, called its Smart Feed, which determines what people see in their home feed.
The smart feed has the purpose of getting the best relevant content to people. Therefore the best way to get your stuff into the feed is to provide materials that people want. The kind of content that will get you to click on it and to come back for more.
Pins used to be real-time, but now the best pins are shown first. Smart Feed prioritizes and ranks pins based on their quality, as determined by its algorithm.
There are three different pools of content that your home feed is drawn from:
- Repins from users you’re following
- Related pins
- Pins from your interests
Pinterest chooses pins from each of these three pools to display in your Smart Feed.
The Smart Feed was designed to increase the relevance of the pins a user sees for their personal interests. Users see a mix of pins that are relevant to their likes, interests, and the boards they follow.
Smart Feed grades pins based on several factors, and these influence the ranking of pins for the Smart Feed.
Dominate Smart Feed: Domain Quality
This is very similar to Google’s Domain Authority concept.
Domain quality is their idea of the quality of your website (not your profile).
It keeps track of your domain and trusts certain domains more than others – especially for given topics or types of content.
When your domain quality score increases, all pins from your domain will have a greater chance of showing.
Therefore if you create high-quality content, you not only create great new pins, but also increase the value of all of your pins.
How do you improve your domain quality ranking and get Pinterest to trust you?
- Convert to a business account if you haven’t already done so.
- Verify your website to show Pinterest that you are a legitimate pinner.
- Enable rich pins on your account.
Rich pins add extra information to your pins directly from your blog. If you update the information on your blog, it’ll automatically transfer. The added information helps to improve your ranking.
- Create and pin high-quality content that gets many repins and likes.
Dominate Smart Feed: Pin Quality
Pin quality is a combination of factors to assign a score to an individual pin.
Popularity is taken into account, freshness and the probability that the pin is spam.
Freshness seems to be a more important factor in time. In the early days some Pins remained viral for years, today even the most viral Pins will begin to fade as they saturate over some number of months.
Your pins have to be not only great, but incredible. Create pins that both show and tell the pinner what they need with eye-catching images and helpful descriptions.
Log into the site and interact with the pins that show up in your specially created smart feed. And finally, make sure your links work.
Improving your pin quality
- Writing compelling blog post titles.
The entire point of a blog post headline is to get people to read the next sentence. Similarly, a juicy or compelling headline goes a long way towards getting repins and likes.
- Creating pin-worthy graphics.
You can have the best post in the world, with a great headline, but if your pin graphic is ugly it isn’t going to do well.
Here are some best practices for creating pin-worthy graphics:
- Make sure your image is tall rather than wide (2:3 ratio).
- Use a high-quality image.
- Use warm colors.
- Don’t use dark images.
- Don’t use images that may confuse the visual recognition engine about the subject of your pin.
- Overlay your blog post title on the image.
- Use multiple images in your pin. This works well for food, DIY, and craft bloggers who can show the steps in their process. It also works well for outfit posts, roundup-style posts and before/after transformation posts.
- If you have a free download you’re giving away with your blog post, create a mock-up of it and add it to the pin. People like to see what they’re getting and it shows that your post is packed with even more value.
- Use longer images. They take up more space in the feed and get more engagement. Note: As of November 2017, there are reports from some users that long pins are truncated in the feed.
- Monitor your boards for repins and clicks
If your pins aren’t being repinned from your personal boards or your group boards, upgrade them.
- Participating in share exchanges
If you want to give a certain pin a boost, there are many groups on Facebook that run promo days where you can post a link to your pin and ask for repins.
Participating in share exchanges gets you a boost in repins that helps your pin look better to Pinterest and increased reach from the shares you receive.
On the negative side, your pins may be negatively affected by being pinned to irrelevant boards.
Your pinner quality ranking could also be negatively affected by reciprocating and pinning poor quality pins that don’t fit your niche.
Share exchanges may cause unnatural pinning activity and can get you penalized by Pinterest, so don’t overdo it.
An alternative to share exchanges is using Tailwind Tribes.
Join niche specific Tribes and promote your own pins and you’ll also have access to high-quality, relevant content to pin to your own boards so you don’t have to spend as much time curating content.
Dominate Smart Feed: Pinner Quality
How much does Pinterest trust you as a curator of the type of content you have shown an interest in?
Does it trust you to curate the best and the most relevant content?
Pinner quality is largely based on how well your content is received.
- Do you receive a lot of repins and do people try your pins?
- Do you pin content that Pinterest already rates as high quality?
- Are you an active user?
- How often do you pin?
This is where factors such as repin rates on past pins, quality of your boards come into play.
I can’t say for sure if pinners who frequently pin to low quality group Boards are somehow being penalized.
This could make sense, as poorly curated group Boards are basically beautified link farms.
Be active throughout the day.
You can invest in a scheduler like Tailwind to save time.
This keeps your account active throughout the day, without you spending all your time pinning.
Make sure you repin from group boards, everyone doing this will increase the quality of those boards.
Meera Kothand writes that pinning manually is beneficial, especially when you are new.
Meera published a manual pinning strategy if you want to avoid paying for a service. She recommends keeping a spreadsheet and storing the pin URL there, this way you can just click on it when you want to pin it, you don’t need to find it somewhere on a board.
Pinning to 30-50 boards takes 15-20 minutes a day, once it is set up.
Here is a video where she summarizes this strategy.
Pin already popular content to your boards.
There are several ways to find popular pins. Here are some you can try:
Browse the “Popular” category.
Check out Repinned.net for the most repinned pins by category.
Simply do a search for your topic on Pinterest, and usually the first pins to come up are very popular with thousands of repins.
I just found an interesting way to auto-pin high quality content to your boards for free – check out this short video series on SkillShare.
Dominate Smart Feed: Topical Relevance – Using Keywords
Topical relevance is key to content showing in the Smart Feed.
Even if Pinterest views you as a high-quality pinner, it won’t show your pins to its users unless it thinks your pins are relevant to them.
It’s important to always pin each piece of content to relevant boards. More pinning isn’t better if it risks diluting the topical relevance of a Pin by placing it on irrelevant boards.
If you try to pin something and you don’t have the subject… Just create a new board!
Create one for Lifestyle & Motivation, create one for blogging. Then later you can use sections to break it up more.
Combine your quality content with the best timing, found on your Tailwind dashboard.
Tailwind is able to analyze when your audience is active, its suggested time slots help boost your pins into the smart feed.
Relevance is how closely your pins fit your audience’s overall interests, boards, specific searches, and recent search history.
If you know much about SEO, you’ll know that the only way for a search engine to know what your content is about is keywords. Just like on Google, keywords influence what appears in searches on Pinterest.
While domain quality, pin quality and pinner quality tell how important your pins are, keywords say what your pins are about.
Here is the best way to do keyword research your pins:
When you’re typing in a search query, you’ll notice that it auto-suggests keywords to you. Similar to the way Google does. These suggestions are popular search phrases, the most searched-for phrases are at the top.
After you’ve run a search, a set of suggested keywords will appear beneath the search bar for you to add to your search to narrow it down even further.
Like Google SEO, Pinterest SEO is all about long tail keywords (multi-word phrases rather than single words). There’s a lot of competition for general keywords, so the key is to get as targeted as possible with long tails.
Sadly, you can’t see the exact number of searches for keywords. But, if you’re interested you can look at categories and drill down into Topics to see how many people have indicated that they’re interested in the topic. E. g. click to see how many people follow “computers“. This will give you some kind of an an idea of how popular any given category is.
Alternatively you can use this keyword tool for researching keywords.
And this is a keyword research hack…
Setting Up And Optimizing Your Profile for SEO
Your profile needs to contain keywords in the following areas:
Name and Description
There are three places you can add keywords to optimize your profile:
- Your username
- Your business name
- Your bio
Your username determines the URL of your profile. You can use this to add one of your broader keywords or, alternatively, use your business name. This is how it will look like: “https://www.pinterest.com/FunnelXpert”
(To add a business name instead of your personal name, you’ll need to have a business account.)
You are given you plenty of space in the business name field to add keywords. Add keywords right after your business name to show people what you do. The line breaks after about 36 characters.
This is the business name: “FunnelXpert (Sales Funnels, Blog Profits, SEO)”
Getting Email Subscribers With A Good Bio
You’ve got a short 160-character space to fill with your bio.
As it is a visual tool, the first thing they will look at when visiting your profile is your photo. Upload a good quality photo, 600 x 600 pixels. No blurry images.
You should use the same headshot you use on all your other social networks. This will help people recognize you.
You need to follow the rules for writing a headline/meta tag. Be concise, focused, attention grabbing, add keywords and a call to action in there as well.
Link to your lead magnet with a shortened URL. You can very simply open your target post in Edit mode and click on “Get Shortlink” just below your headline.
If you use all the data in my post on lead magnets, and you create a really good post specific lead magnet (called content upgrade), you could get a 10 percent opt-in rate.
It pays off to spend some time on optimizing it.
If you’re not sure where to start, try this bio formula:
“I help __________ to __________ by __________. Learn more/Click here/Sign up for my free thing: [your URL].”
Brand your Pinterest profile by designing COVERS for your boards. They should be 800 x 800 px, 72dpi, you can easily create them in Canva.
SEO Optimize Your Boards
You should start with at least 10 boards relating to your niche.
Create one board dedicated to your blog and name it something like “Best of [your blog]”. Place it as the first board on your list.
This is where you should pin everything directly from your blog, and then from this board, you can share your pins to other boards and group boards.
You also need to add keywords to the names and descriptions of your boards.
Don’t leave them blank! You’ve got 500 characters to spend on your best keywords. You can simply list your keywords out separated by commas, or you can work it into a paragraph.
There doesn’t appear to be any penalty for “keyword stuffing” your board descriptions. However, this may change in the future, so strive to make your board descriptions as user-friendly as possible.
By the way, you won’t find a category for marketing, this is a problem that you will run into when trying to categorize your boards – there’s no search function for categories. However you can find a topic called “marketing”.
The best board category for blogging and social media content? Technology. There’s always a big number of pins in that category related to blogging—and it’s the most logical in my mind. And you can look up the topic “blogging”.
When you dig down from categories, after a while they become topics, per my experience.
Creating Your Own Group Boards
This was an experiment I was doing. I just randomly made some of my boards into group boards and I invited some people to collaborate…
The description of my group boards told the people to see my profile for instructions to join, and I basically require them to sign up for my free e-course to get the instructions.
I closed this project, because it was a failure.
First of all, I didn’t promote it too much.
Second, a lot of pinners when they join your board, they just want to dump their pins and they are not going to pin from the board.
The problem is, if no one pins from the board, it’s engagement score goes down and it is not only pointless, but also it influences your overall account negatively.
If you want to moderate your group board, that’s a big job.
Therefore I recommend that you only start a group board if you have your own friends or close community that are actually going to contribute by also saving pins off your board.
A Pinterest employee has said,
“Don’t invite anyone to a group board that you wouldn’t invite to a dinner party.”
Here’s a group board story I just read –
[pullquote align=”normal”]”I finally closed the group board in late March 2018.
“I let the last handful of Pinners know a week in advance in case they had any successful Pins they wanted to move to another board.
“Then I deleted them and all their content.
“What happened next?
“My repin rate on the board instantly doubled.
“My virality and engagement scores hit a 30-day high.” [/pullquote]
SEO Your Board Sections
Board sections were rolled out on Pinterest beginning in September 2017. Basically, board sections are like boards within boards.
Here’s a suggestion on how to use board sections:
- Use them to showcase your best pins in different categories
- If you sell multiple types of products, use them to showcase each type
No matter what you do with board sections, remember that Pinterest is a search engine. Even though there’s no official word about board sections affecting your SEO, it’s just one more place that you can, and should, use keywords you want to rank for.
How to optimize a pin for SEO
The better your keywords in your pin, the more chance you have of showing up in the Smart Feed for people who like your subject.
Your posts need to be optimized for pinners to share your content.
The ‘pinnable’ images for your posts, for instance, need to give the option to pin the image which has the post’s title on it, or some text.
If you’re creating content that you want to share (which I’m assuming you do) then you need to create at least one pinnable image with the title clearly overlaid on the image.
Otherwise you will be missing out, as people would love to share your content on Pinterest and will rarely do as a result of the pins not being easy to read.
Pinterest users need to be able to figure out immediately what the post’s content is about when they’re scanning through a bunch of similar pins.
Optimize your pins by adding keywords to the descriptions. As of 2017, the platform was updated to only show titles in search and the feed. It’s not enough to just write an enticing description anymore, sadly, most pinners won’t even see it unless they click on your pin.
You need to be doing both keywords and enticing descriptions.
Keywords are what will get your pins found in search and enticing descriptions are what will get you the click.
Text overlay SEO
Pinterest can read your text overlay.
Its engine can see your images and is making associations with similar ones.
Make sure you’re using your keywords on your text overlays and making relevant image choices.
SEO your pin image name.
Not many people take this final step and take the time to keyword their image names.
Rather than allowing your image to go out named “IMG18196.png”, change it to something meaningful with your keywords in it, like “more-blog-traffic.png”.
Change the description when you repin other people’s content
There are a lot of bloggers and website owners out there who don’t know much about Pinterest.
As a result, there are a lot of great articles lacking keywords.
It takes time to change the descriptions on pins. And it seems like it would benefit the blogger who owns the pin.
However, it benefits your pin quality to get more repins, even if they aren’t your own original pins.
If you try this, monitor your results and weigh it against the time investment.
Should you upload your pins directly to Pinterest or should you pin it from your blog?
If you pin your images directly from your blog, then any changes to your image meta data automatically update on Pinterest (if you have rich pins enabled).
If you upload your pins directly and don’t have the image on the post, then others can only re-pin it if they find it on Pinterest first or through a tribe.
Therefore you should pin from your blog.
SEO your blog posts.
Another thing you can do with your keywords is to use them in your blog post title and in the body of your post.
Using keywords here will transfer through to Pinterest if you’ve enabled rich pins.
SEO your hashtags.
Hashtags are relatively new, previously they were not supported.
Make sure you’re choosing hashtags that are relevant and specific to your content.
When you save a pin, if you type the ‘#’ sign and start entering in a potential hashtag, Pinterest will populate a drop down list that shows how many pins are within each hashtag.
I do not recommend “hashtag stuffing”, in other words avoid using more than 6 hashtags per pin.
If you add hashtags to an existing pin, it’s not going to influence its performance.
Should you delete underperforming pins?
Deleting pins with low repin numbers can increase your quality ranking.
Which means better overall rankings in the feed, more repins, and more followers.
However, there’s also stories of pins going viral months or even years after they were first pinned and had few repins until then.
If you’d delete that pin, you might miss out on thousands of visitors.
Re-creating and upgrading under-performing pins could be an option.
Ultimately it depends on where you’re willing to invest your time.
Do you want to spend time on old pins or creating new content?
How To Create A Pin That Drives Clicks
There are three factors that determine if a pin will get a lot of click-throughs:
- The design of the pin
- The picture itself
- The text as a headline
Your pin needs to be vertical.
The optimum image size is at least 735 x 1102 px, per Canva’s template.
Experienced pinners typically won’t even pin horizontal pins and many group boards don’t allow them so your pin will take much longer to gain traction if it’s not vertical..
Creating a Pinterest Marketing Funnel
How To Get Massive Traffic From Pinterest
Let’s cover a few basics about how to get massive traffic from Pinterest…
Pinterest describes the best practices for success. It says:
“Save to your boards during peak times—generally in the evening and on the weekends in the U.S.
“Consistent, daily activity is better than a once a week flurry. We suggest saving 10-12 Pins per day, instead of 70 Pins once a week.
“Save to the most relevant board first. It’s okay to save a Pin to multiple boards, but save to the most relevant one first—that Pin will get distribution priority. Saving to irrelevant boards won’t help and may hurt the distribution of your Pins.”
They said previously that he first 5 Pins you save each day would be prioritized for distribution, but this guideline was removed shortly after.
I have read several times that followers “don’t matter”.
Well… It’s true that you can extend your reach through tribes. But in the same post you can read the following:
“We distribute your content to your followers first to figure out what’s resonating. From there, we distribute your best performing Pins to other people who are looking for ideas like yours. You can help grow an authentic audience by encouraging your loyal customers to follow you on your website or through your other channels. We’ll do most of the work for you by recommending you as someone to follow for Pinners interested in your content.”
Will Pinning To Group Boards Grow Your Traffic?
You can recognize a group board from its profile picture being split in three.
Pinning to group boards used to be essential for growing your blog traffic.
When you pin something to your own boards, your followers see it, and it will be shown to other people who like the same things as your followers too (thanks to Pinterest’s algorithm).
When you pin on a group board, the members of that board see it and they may repin your content onto their boards.
This means that their followers will see it and people similar to their followers in their Smart Feed.
Some group boards have tens of thousands of pins and followers. This used to expose your content to a huge new audience, but recently the importance of group boards decreased. This is due to irrelevance and spam.
Quality Of Group Boards
Pinterest really only cares about the group boards that have relevant pins and aren’t filled with junk. Joining a group board just to join a group isn’t going to help you at all.
Just because a group board has a good following doesn’t mean the pins on it get a lot of engagement.
Keep an eye on how well your pins are doing in your boards – no saves and click-throughs mean you are wasting your time/money and it hurts your account.
Boards will only work if there is an engaged audience that also pins FROM the board.
A repin rate of 0.5 means that there’s 1 repin for every two pins pinned to the board, which is horrible.
If the board has a low repin rate, e. g. less than 1, Pinterest won’t show the pins in the search results or the home feed.
Therefore group boards are only recommended if there is a small community that uses them for pinning.
Saving Quality Pins To Your Own Boards
Pinterest rewards you for being active.
It marks under the board how much time passed since the last activity on that board.
Therefore saving pins shows you are active and helps you – especially if you save high quality pins.
What are high quality pins? They are pins with high number of saves, comments, tries and clicks.
This was an experiment – I was saving truly great pins like this:
I realized afterwards that a board like the one above only works if the board is relevant to the pins you are pinning to it.
“Viral” is not a real subject. Also, pins that you should pin to your boards are not just ones with catchy titles, but ones that have a high repin count, comments, tried-its. Those are the factors that increase that value of your boards.
People get a notification when I save their pins and they may look at my viral board and follow me back.
I talked about putting keywords into your board names…
But how about giving your boards an interesting name…like this on a mainly female platform:
But again, you need to have relevant keywords AND catchy names at the same time.
Saving pins to my own boards is what I do MANUALLY.
I open my Pinterest feed several times a day and just save the pins that have a great viral-sounding headline.
I always check the quality of the article that is behind the pin, otherwise I could forward spam. Many times the catchy headline covers a short useless blog post.
Making Your Pins Go Viral
After you set up your account and boards with keywords, starting to pin to group boards, Tailwind tribes, etc., what you may run into is that your profile views and pin views increase, but you get no engagement.
Like the above pin with 1,141 impressions but no views and clicks.
And also my account had a similar problem:
Out of 18,000 views for the last 30 days only 324 engaged.
And most of those “engaged” are from tribes saving my pins and around 1-2 clicks to my blog every day.
I would say a lot of those are not voluntarily engaging with my pins.
Therefore you need to generate engagement for your pins and make them go viral.
What I see is that a “viral pin” is basically what’s known as “positive feedback loop” in the subject of electronics and engineering.
Your pin gets repinned multiple times, Pinterest sends traffic to your blog post where the pin is from, then these visitors repin it again, which will result in more visitors being sent to your post, and it’s a self-feeding process that continues until saturation (when there are no more people available to see the pin any more). Or maybe the algorithm can also break the self-feeding circle by deciding that your pin is not fresh enough, etc.
Therefore promote and share your pins! Here are 31+ Places to Promote and Share Your Pins.
Viral Pin Images
The first thing you need to realize about images is that there are different categories.
The first kind of image you save because of the image itself, like the following:
and with the overwhelm of pins you get in your home feed on a similar subject, you may never click on it at all.
The above pin was an experiment and it didn’t do well.
The one below is a highly shared pin (6,554 times) and honestly, looks really crappy.
So I am thinking that the only way this pin was shared so many times is that people visited the blog post itself and found it so good that they pinned it.
But then, Surprise!, someone stole the pin and it is actually directed it to a spam website, and I am not going to link to it, but here’s the screenshot:
So watch out and don’t just repin without looking at the link itself.
Anyways, in order to make an image go viral, it helps if the image refers to some juicy part of the content.
Other than that, I see a lot of viral images with cats on Repinned.net. Cute animals seem to do well, probably creating an effect at an emotional level.
Viral Pin Text Is Catchy…
Like this one:
Unfortunately it’s not a great pin, because it is dark and the colors are not warm.
You can create several pins for the same blog post. Just be creative.
Who Repins It?
Naturally it makes a huge difference if someone with a big following repins your pin and that alone can cause your pin to go viral.
Therefore it is important to build your account up with real followers, because you increase your chances to get your pins go viral.
How Much Should You Pin?
Yuwanda at Inkwell Editorial says, she schedules 35-50 pins a day, split 50/50 between her own pins and from other sites.
Others speak about 80/20, 20 being your own pins, and scheduling up to several hundreds of pins a day with several accounts.
It seems like adding fresh pins to your boards increases your views each time.
I am re-pinning the viral-looking pins regularly from my viral board, this makes the process really simple.
If you are a member of group boards or tribes, don’t forget that you are required to pin from those boards. You should do this anyways to keep them high quality.
How many boards should you have?
You can have as few or as many boards as you like, there is no ideal number. You are allowed maximum 500 (this includes secret boards and group boards that you didn’t create.).
Having more boards will help you get more exposure, but only if the pins on each board are relevant and high quality.
Keep each board very specific.
Don’t have a board called “Social Media”. That’s a big topic. Instead, break it down into specific boards, like:
- Social Media Traffic
- Social Media Followers
- Social Media Likes
How many pins should you have on each board?
A good range to stick within is 100-200 pins per board.
Join Tribes To Increase Your Traffic
Tailwind Tribes are a feature in Tailwind, where a group of people share each other’s pins, which in turn boosts each other’s reach like crazy! Tailwind Tribes are free, but you need to be invited to join.
Here’s a video that explains Tailwind tribes:
In Tailwind, tribes are free and you can join up to 5 tribes with your free plan.
How Does Pinterest Make Money? Promoted Pins
What are promoted pins?
They can be an amazing way to grow your email list. And this is how the platformmakes money.
Promoted Pins are only available to business accounts in the US, CA, UK, IE, AU, & NZ at this time.
The USD minimum bids for each bidding model are:
- CPC: $0.10
- CPE (engagement): $0.10
- CPM: $2.00
- Autoplay video (CPM): $6.00
Promoted Pins Best Practices
When you use keywords, you have the option to apply a keyword level bid for when your ads show in search results.
You can fine tune your targeting with broad, phrase and exact match keywords.
When adding match types through Ads Manager directly, you can use operators to indicate the match type. For broad match, leave a keyword as is, for phrase match, use “quotations” around your keywords, and for exact match, use [brackets} around your keywords. Negative keywords let you exclude certain search terms from triggering your ads.
You can even use audience targeting and re-targeting, you can create audiences similar to Facebook. Pinterest even allows you to upload existing customers’ emails or mobile ad IDs (MAIDs) through a CSV file—and then they’ll compare that list to people who use Pinterest so that you can either include or exclude that audience in your targeting.
You can retarget people who visited your site or engaged with pins from your claimed domain.
You can also create an act-alike audience that behaves similarly to one you already have: act-alike targeting helps you easily reach even more people who are similar to an existing audience. Pinterest creates act-alike audiences using info they know about Pinners and their behaviors.
Do Promoted Pins Work?
Some bloggers have had some pretty fabulous success using promoted pins for their blog.
For example, someone ran a campaign for an affiliate blog post. By the end of my campaign he spent just $15 and from those leads he made over $150 in affiliate income. That is a 10X return on investment!
If you have a really valuable opt-in on your site your can run a Promoted Pin to direct readers to your blog post and increase sign-ups.
However, promoted pins are not for everyone. If you are selling or promoting product under $20 or have a very low conversion rate, the Promoted Pins are probably not for you.
I recommend having a $5 advertising budget for every product or affiliate product you want to sell, and experiment with it just like people did it with Facebook ads.
Spam And Stolen Pins
As Pinterest is very successful and drives a lot of traffic, it has become target of spammers and blackhat marketers who steal your viral pins and redirect them to their own spam websites.
Unfortunately this practice is becoming rampant and not enough is being done to stop it.
You can find deeper discussions on it in Facebook groups.
Tailwind costs $15 for 400 pins monthly.
With this plan you can be a member in 5 tribes, 30 monthly pin submissions.
You can also choose the annual paid plan, which costs $9.99/month, $119 for the year.
With this you get unlimited pins monthly. While this is a nice deal, starters rarely want to pay this in full right away.
This plan give you participation to 10 tribes, 80 pins per month in all.
Get your 100-pin Tailwind free trial, there is no time limit for the free trial account.
Tailwind is the official Pinterest-approved app. There used to be BoardBooster, but it wasn’t approved by Pinterest and got shut down.
Here’s a video that shows you the main scheduling functionalities of Tailwind:
And here’s another one that shows how you can handle boards:
PinPinterest is another scheduling tool that I recently discovered. However you need to be careful, it is not approved by Pinterest.
It is advertised as a tool to get Pinterest followers, however it is a lot more than that.
It is actually a tool to boost your account.
PinPinterest has the following features:
- Automatically pins content onto your boards based on subject tags you specify
- Schedule your pins from your website to your regular or group boards
- Follow/unfollow other users in order to gain more followers
- Like and comment on other people’s pins
- Automatically invite people to your group boards
There is a 7-day free trial, no credit card needed.
The most popular plan costs $60 for 90 days.
PinPinterest doesn’t charge you for the number of pins pinned.
In fact you pick your own pinning frequency, which is only limited by the fact that Pinterest could get you banned if you get too high in your activity.
If you decide to sign up for 180 days, that costs you only $90, making the tool even cheaper.
There are a lot of misconceptions about Pinterest. Here are just two of them that you should get rid of:
- It is actually not just a site for women where they can share their recipes.
- It is not a social media platform. In fact using it as social media is going to get you no results… Find out how to get results with real marketing.
In reality, Pinterest is an extremely effective tool for generating traffic and new subscribers to your website, if you know how to use it.
One of my first revelations was that the items I’m pinning should be meant for my audience… and not for myself. Putting up all the Star Wars stuff was useless… I don’t even look at them, ever.
Is This For You?
- If you are 100% in love with Pinterest, it’s for you. If you have heard about it but never explored it, it’s time to do so, simply because it works and not everyone is doing it yet. This is the right time to get in.
- Do you have a lot of blog posts? To have explosive growth on Pinterest, you need to pin A LOT. So the more blog posts you have to pin, the better.
- Do you intend to get subscribers and make money from your blog? If you don’t want to monetize your blog, you don’t really need to grow its traffic. If it’s just a hobby, don’t worry about it. But if you want to make your blog into a business, you cannot overlook the power of Pinterest.
- Are you sick of seeing bloggers brag about the visitors coming to their site, while you don’t even know what it is? Isn’t it so annoying?
- Have you researched HOURS of Pinterest material on Google and not gotten anywhere?
What Is Your Next Step?
We have covered a lot of ground in this post, and I am sure that by now you can see that I have done a lot of research. (This blog post is close to 10,000 words.)
I have to tell you, however, that all the above was just the basics of Pinterest, the stuff you need to understand to get started.
What you need in order to be successful is some actual pinning strategies and hacks.
I went through several Pinterest manuals and courses and I can tell you that many of them show off with the hundreds of thousands of page views per month they get. However they do a terrible job of actually explaining what you need to do in order to get the same results.
I recommend that you check out Pinterest Ninja, an affordable e-book.
Pinfinite = Pinterest + Infinite.
Pinfinite Growth is a signature course created by Melyssa Griffin. It’s about optimizing your Pinterest presence to increase traffic, sign-ups and sales to your blog or website.
Melyssa used to be an English teacher and she started a blog as a side hustle. Very soon she quit her job, as her blog was making more money than her profession. But then she had to tackle her next challenge: How to set up her business in such a way that she doesn’t need to spend all her time working in her business? Because what’s the point of making money if you don’t have the time to spend it?
Using Pinterest for marketing literally tripled her blog’s traffic. She got 30,000 email subscribers in twelve months.
I used to recommend this course, however I found one that is just as good, but it is less expensive.
Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets
Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets not just a one time class that you go through then finish. It’s a business resource. It’s a Pinterest business strategy resource that you can come back to again and again as different parts of it become more relevant to you.
It’s updated by the creator Anastasia as Pinterest changes, so the information is reliable. This is what she says:
“It’s not just a hobby! Even if you started a blog as a hobby, it CAN become a prosperous online business. You just need to know how to get traffic fast and then how to monetize it the best way.
“I’m the biggest fan of Pinterest because it brings me over 170K pageviews a month to my blog and helps me make about 80% of my entire online income.
“My own journey as a blogger, and many other success stories I witnessed during the last 1-2 years, show that Pinterest IS the place where you should start promoting your content. Your Pinterest traffic can grow faster than you could ever imagine with Google traffic to a new site!
“You don’t even need thousands of Pinterest followers, I know bloggers whose Pinterest accounts have less than 500 followers, and they make full-time income with ads on their blogs.
“Since Pinterest has been such a great traffic source for me, and so many people are just dreaming to be in my place, working from home, doing what I love, I thought it wouldn’t be fair to keep all my knowledge and expertise about Pinterest to myself. I want to share it with the people who are just starting a blog and struggling to get traffic.”
And that’s just her first blog. She started a second one, and this is how the traffic looked after two months:
The Pinterest SEO Traffic Secrets course is broken down into manageable sections so you can work on the course even for a short time each day. Each section of the course is video-oriented so you can even watch it while on the bus to work. Most videos are 5-15 minutes in length and just long enough to get the point across but short enough that you won’t become bored.
- How to set up your Pinterest account for business
- Pinterest SEO & keyword research
- How to organize your Pinterest boards
- How to get access to the best group boards
- Should you leave group boards?
- How to use Pinterest and Google analytics
- Manual pinning vs. schedulers
- Tailwind strategies
- How many pins should you pin a day?
- Avoid these terrible mistakes
- How to create clickworthy pins with Canva or Photoshop
- All about tribes
- How to get your pins viral
- How to revive viral pins after they died out?
- Do all niches have traffic potential?
- Is it worth setting up your own group boards?
The above data will get you started on your way to became a Pinterest expert and to start getting traffic.