The statistics made me sick.
I knew that my blog posts were better. They were longer and more valuable. They also weren’t surrounded by so many ads that they were virtually unreadable.
By any measure my blog was many times better, but they were the one getting all the traffic each month.
This was the point when I had a simple realization: if they could do it, then I most certainly could.
Thus began one of the most intensive testing periods of my life…
In that time I’ve pinned over 10,000 images to Pinterest, started (and grown) four different accounts, and tested just about everything possible in the process. Now I’m pretty confident that I’ve got the process figured out.
Here are a few of the things that you’re going to learn…
- The right way to choose your Pinterest profile name
- 5 never-ending sources of great images for your account
- My proven strategy for creating Pinterest images that work
- 5 factors you must apply to every image you create
- My 3 favorite tools for creating great-looking images (no design experience needed)
- How to properly optimize your images like a pro
- 9 ways to get more Pinterest followers
- How to find the best group boards – and get accepted
- My 7 step process to creating a winning Pinterest plan
- A glimpse behind the exact system I use to start and grow my accounts
By the end of this guide, you’ll know everything you need to start promoting your blog or affiliate site on Pinterest based on your real-world trial and error…
Introduction to Pinterest Marketing
Its my opinion that Pinterest marketing currently represents the #1 marketing opportunity for bloggers, affiliate marketers and anyone else regularly producing high quality content.
As you’re going to see, Pinterest can drive an astonishing amount of traffic to your site in a relatively short space of time. This is in stark contrast to SEO which, while powerful, can take months to produce results.
Pinterest marketing is therefore the perfect companion to SEO, allowing you to quickly ramp up your website traffic and revenue while waiting for all your precious link-building efforts to start kicking in.
All the same, there are a lot of moving parts to a successful Pinterest marketing campaign. Each element works together – and the more aspects you can get right, the better the result.
We’re going to start this guide by introducing some more general aspects of Pinterest and why it deserves your attention. We’ll then move on to discuss how to set up (or modify) your Pinterest account for best results. We’ll look at how to create high-traffic images to share on Pinterest and how to grow your follower numbers.
Arguably most importantly of all, you’ll see the specific pinning strategies you should be using to generate as many visitors as possible.
Let’s get going…
7 Reasons to Promote Your Blog on Pinterest
There are dozens of different ways to promote your site, so the first natural question is why Pinterest is worth your time?
Having tested out just about every way possible to promote a website I truly believe that Pinterest is one of the biggest and most exciting opportunities of all right now. Here’s why…
Pinterest is capable of sending more traffic to your website than almost any other social media site.
There are numerous bloggers receiving 100,000+ visitors every single month to their sites from Pinterest.
Part of this is down to what Pinterest calls the “Smart Feed”. This algorithm means that not all your followers will see every image you add.That’s the bad news.
The good news is that when you pin an image that does well – people comment and share it – then your image starts to show up more and more.
Suddenly it’s not just your followers who see them – but other people too.
Then of course there’s the search feature. You pin an image from your amazing new blog post and, if tagged correctly, other Pinterest users will be able to find it for years to come.
Unlike other social media sites where your content may only drive traffic for minutes or days at best, on Pinterest your effort can be repaid over years.
These elements combine to drive far more traffic back to your site than most people will achieve via Facebook or Twitter.
So go where the traffic is – and prioritize Pinterest over other social media platforms.
One common concern I hear about Pinterest is the quality of the traffic – do these people take action on your website?
Over the last 12 months, I’ve been carefully watching my statistics, and I can confirm that Pinterest visitors are taking action on my website. They’re buying products, clicking on ads, and opting into my email newsletters.
According to recent research, the half-life of a tweet is just 24 minutes. For Facebook, the figure is 90 minutes.
This means that to drive consistent traffic from most social media sites you’ll need to be continually posting updates – multiple times per day.
Within minutes of posting the impact of that tweet or share will begin dropping significantly.
However thanks to the search feature on Pinterest, and the way that other people can pin your images onto their boards (where they’ve opened up to a whole new audience), a single image can drive traffic for months or even years to come.
The blogosphere is rife with stories of people who suddenly found an old pin of theirs that went viral months after they originally shared it.
Ease of Traffic Generation
Let’s be honest: we’re all busy people, and we want the maximum results possible for our effort.
The reality is that Pinterest is that tool.
Unlike other techniques – such as SEO – where you need to spend months learning what you’re doing before you become effective – with Pinterest you can start generating traffic within days.
I’ve always been in love with SEO. It’s something I’ve done since the year 2000 and it’s what I do for a career. But there’s no denying that the everyday drudgery of link building can be far from exciting.
It’s a means to an end. More links = more traffic. But it’s not fun.
In contrast I have found Pinterest marketing most certainly is fun.
You get to click around, create and look at beautiful images, meet new people, and reading new blog posts.
If your website is on a topic that you’re passionate about then Pinterest marketing can be one of the most enjoyable ways I’ve found to grow your traffic.
It’s Cheap (Or Free!)
Promoting your blog on Pinterest doesn’t have to be expensive. Setting up and maintaining a Pinterest account is free. There are also a number of free places to find or create images for your site.
Therefore, marketing your site on Pinterest doesn’t necessarily have to cost a thing.
That said, if you’re serious then you’ll probably want to invest a little money. Doing so can drive far greater results in a shorter period of time than doing everything for free.
Some examples of potential investments include:
Pin Scheduling Tools – We’ll discuss these later on in the guide, but in essence pin schedulers like Tailwind and Boardbooster allow you to queue up images in advance, and publish them to a schedule. You could, for example, queue up 10 images per day for the next few weeks and then largely forget about Pinterest in the meantime.
As a result, Pinterest marketing takes up far less time, while still maintaining a continual posting schedule of new traffic-generating images.
Image Creation – While there are free solutions, some website owners opt to spend money on premium image subscriptions (my personal choice is Big Stock Photo) or paid tools like Snappa to create eye-catching images. Again, we’ll discuss all of these options below.
Lastly, Pinterest marketing has no negative consequences for any other marketing activity you might be considering.
For example, there’s nothing to stop you promoting your site through SEO and Pinterest at the same time.
Therefore you don’t need to focus exclusively on Pinterest marketing, but can instead consider it an integral part of your marketing mix.
How Much Time Does Pinterest Marketing Take?
For those of us with limited time available each day, a perfectly understandable question is just how much time is takes to market your site on Pinterest.
Do you need to spend hours at the computer each day to yield measurable results from Pinterest?
Here I have good news for you. You can think of Pinterest marketing in three distinct phases:
Setting up your Pinterest the first time will likely take you some time.
In truth, Pinterest can be an astonishingly addictive site, so you may well find that you keep getting side-tracked when you first get onto Pinterest.
Setting up your Pinterest account for the very first time will likely take some hours – but this process only needs to be completed once so is a reasonable investment of time.
Pinterest is not a “set it and forget it” site. If you only set up your account but do little else with it your results are likely to be very poor indeed.
In general, the more active you are in Pinterest the more results you will see.
Being active each day adding new pins can be a great way to very quickly grow your account and your traffic.
Ultimately, you’ll also see far more traffic than you would with less less frequent activity. Fortunately, once the initial setup is complete, this regular activity doesn’t necessarily need to take long – or to be too arduous.
There are two ways to make this daily activity less of a chore…
Firstly, the Pinterest app can be downloaded onto your phone. When you have a few minutes of downtime it is simple and enjoyable to just pin a few more images to your account.
Alternatively (or additionally) there are a host of Pinterest scheduling tools like Tailwind that we’ll talk about later on that do much of this work for you.
You simply select a bunch of images in advance, and tell the tool how many to pin each day, and the work gets done for you.
In this way some very successful Pinterest marketers are able to queue up images for weeks into the future, largely letting the tool do the work for you while you get on with other things.
Lastly, it’s likely that from time to time you’ll want to carry out some routine maintenance of your account.
You’ll want to log in to look at your statistics, and see what’s really working for you. You’ll probably want to set up a few new boards and follow a few more people.
If you’re using a pinning tool like Tailwind then you may opt to combine your maintenance routine with queuing up content into a once-a-month process that should only take a few hours.
Then, you simply let things run for the next few weeks before repeating the process.
Over time, you’ll get ever more efficient at your pinning, and you’ll find that you’re able to complete your routine tasks very quickly indeed.
In brief, while regular activity is important when it comes to Pinterest marketing, there are tools that will do most of the hard lifting for you. After your initial setup, therefore, the time commitment really is minimal.
Pinterest: Social Media Site or Search Engine?
Pinterest is generally described as a social media site, but I think that is a mistake. While you can follow others, and they can follow you, there aren’t too many “social” features about the site.
Sure, I can leave a comment, but if I’m going to comment I’d rather do it on your blog post. What’s more, commenting on Pinterest tends to be a spam fest, and so bigger accounts barely even look at them.
On the other hand, it’s easy to find images by just using the search feature.
Just because I’m not “connected” socially to the other users whose pins appear in my search results doesn’t prevent me from seeing them.
In general therefore I think it’s more accurate to describe Pinterest as a search engine.
If your pin ranks #1 for your target keyword phrase – such as “potpie recipes” – then every time someone searches for this keyword phrase you’re going to show up. You’re also going to get plenty of traffic as a result of this “ranking”.
Perhaps even more interestingly, it seems that Pinterest boards are currently ranking very well on Google itself. Thus your potpie recipes article might perform well in Google, while your pins from the post – sat on Pinterest – can rank close behind.
This means yet more traffic opportunities for you.
The key message is this: while there are some social angles to Pinterest, the most effective attitude is to approach Pinterest marketing rather like SEO. We need to consider keywords, and we need to consider how the Smart Feed algorithm works to rank our images as prominently as possible.
In this way we’ll generate the most traffic possible.
What’s more, while you might get a “burst” of traffic if one of your pins goes viral, this often soon drops off again. Having hundreds of pins ranking well for all sorts of keyword searches helps drive ongoing, residual traffic to your site – traffic that you’ll benefit from for months to come.
Keyword Research for Pinterest Marketers
If Pinterest can be thought of as a search engine for images then the next obvious question is how we decide what keywords to target.
Unlike Google, where keyword research tools will show you the search volume of any keyword phrase, Pinterest keeps things a little more secret.
That said, we’re far from blind as to what other Pinterest users are really searching for. Indeed, Pinterest offers a feature called “Guided Search” which can be thought of as synonymous with Google’s Auto Suggest feature.
Notice what happens when we enter a broad keyword phrase into the Pinterest search box: in this case “chicken”…
Notice all those phrases beneath the search box? These are the phrases that other Pinterest users are entering.
These are the exact sorts of phrases that you should be including in your Pinterest marketing. In the next few sections we’ll discuss where to use these keywords for best results…
Setting Up Your Pinterest Account Correctly
Now that you’ve got a good basic understanding of what Pinterest is, how it works and how you’ll get traffic, lets start on the real work.
You can think of a Pinterest account on three different scales. At the bottom of the pile are the individual images that you add – known on Pinterest as “pins”. These pins then all sit within folders known as “boards”. Lastly, all the boards that you create are gathered together into your account.
So an account has a variety of boards in which an assortment of pins sit.
The most successful Pinterest accounts address each of these three elements in turn, carefully applying keywords to each in order to maximize visibility of your profile, boards and pins.
In the next few sections we’ll look at exactly how to do just that…
Business Accounts Vs Personal Accounts
Before we actually start optimizing your Pinterest profile, it’s worth being aware that Pinterest offers two different types of account; either a business account or a personal account.
Both are free.
Note, also, that you don’t need to be a “traditional” business to have abusiness account.
The benefit of having a business account is that it lets you do all sorts of things that you can’t do with a personal account. You’ll be granted access to powerful analytics, for example, which allow you to track your account and to see which of your pins are performing most strongly.
If you’re using Pinterest for marketing, therefore, I would strongly suggest that you sign up for a business account due to the extra functionality.
Note that it is possible to convert a standard user account into a business account, so if you have existing account that you’ve been using on Pinterest you don’t necessarily need to sign up for a new account to market your authority site or blog on Pinterest.
You can convert your account.
Pinterest Profile Optimization
So let’s assume that you’ve signed up to Pinterest for the very first time. How do we set up your profile for maximum results?
Every Pinterest account has a “name”. Most users, of course, use some version of their personal name. It may say “Vera” or “Vera Smith”.
However you don’t necessarily need to – and there’s a handy tip here for getting better visibility on Pinterest.
When you carry out a search on Pinterest there are three types of results that can get returned. Firstly, and by default, you can see the images that relate specifically to the search term you’ve entered.
Secondly, we can see results of boards that reflect our search.
Finally – and most importantly here – we can also get a list of accounts that meet our needs.
And how does Pinterest work out which Pinterest accounts to show?
My research suggests that the name used on your account has a major influence.
The use of choice keywords in your account name can therefore help you to appear more prominently. Whenever another Pinterest user decides to go and search for new accounts to follow up you’ll pop – helping you to get more followers and traffic as a result.
On the other hand, just stuffing the “name” section with dozens of keywords is not only tremendously snappy but also doesn’t help other Pinterest users to “connect” with you mentally as they might another person.
My suggestion for an effective Pinterest account name is therefore to try and merge the two: include both some relevant keywords (ideally at the beginning of your profile name) followed by your blog and/or personal name.
Here are some examples:
- Running Tips from Bob @ RunningWild.com
- Home Schooling Pins from Angie
- Vegan Cooking and Recipes with Everyday Vegan
See what we’ve done? We’ve merged a relevant keyword phrase with our blog or personal name to not only help potential followers to find us, but to also allow other Pinterest users to very quickly assess what types of content we’ll be pinning.
Your bio is the brief sentence or two of text that appears at the very top of your profile. There are a number of schools of thought here on what your profile bio should contain:
A Personal Message
First and foremost your bio should explain to potential followers who you are and what you do. In other words – what is the focus of your Pinterest account, and therefore what can followers expect.
Ask yourself: what can I say that will appeal to my ideal follower, and encourage them to click that “follow” button?
A Keyword-Rich Description
Just as with our Pinterest account name, including relevant keywords here in our bio file may also help our account to surface when other users search for the words we include.
Once again, therefore, think about a range of relevant words related to the topic of your website that can be included here.
A Link to Your Money Page
Lastly some Pinterest experts recommend including a link in your bio to the most important page on your website – in the hope of encouraging other Pinterest users to click it.
For some people that page might be their homepage. More often, however, the link included here points to an email optin page, offering a valuable bonus gift in exchange for subscribing.
In this way Pinterest can be used to help help your email newsletter subscriber numbers.
Try to combine these elements to create a keyword-focused bio file that accurately describes the topic of your website and what followers can expect fro you. If you are engaging in email marketing then this can also be a great place to include a link to your optin page.
While Pinterest has done a much better job than Twitter when it comes to controlling spam, in reality there are still thousands of fake Pinterest accounts.
One element that many have in common is that they use no profile picture.
Uploading a profile picture therefore helps you to be seen as “real” rather than a spammer.
Quite what you want to upload as your profile picture is up to you. Some bloggers like to use their site logo here, though my own personal recommendation is to use a genuine picture of yourself.
The reason is quite simple: when people see you appearing on Pinterest we want these other users to mentally “connect” with you – and it’s far easier to feel this way about a person than it is a faceless blog or business.
Pinterest Board Optimization
Now we’ve set up the main header section of your Pinterest account, the next step is to actually create some boards into which we can save images (“pins”).
These initial images and boards will really only be a start; over time you should expect to add new images to your existing boards, and even to consider creating new boards over time as your profile grows.
The end result should be a selection of boards that – between them – address the general topics of your blog.
If you have a blog about vegetarian cooking, therefore, you may want a board to pin your pasta recipes to, one for soups, one for meat-free burgers and so on.
In this way, no matter what you end up publishing on your website you’ll have at least one or two boards onto which you can start sharing your Pinterest images.
How to Create a Pinterest Board
Creating a Pinterest board is quite simple. All you need to do is to select the big red “+” button that you’ll find on the top-left of your profile.
This will then open up a window which allows you to specify all the key ingredients…
The easiest aspect of all is giving your new board a name. Due to Pinterest being more of a search engine than a social network all the standard keyword practices that we discussed in the profile section also apply here.
Try to avoid short names that fail to include relevant keywords.Examples of bad board names – which you’ll still find all over Pinterest – would be things like “Cool!” or “Stuff I Like” or “Fab Ideas”.
No – go for keywords that are being searched to increase your chances of appearing prominently in the search results. Better examples would therefore be “Weight Loss Tips”, “Get Rid of Acne” or “Summer Clothing Ideas” – think of things that other Pinterest users might actually be searching for.
Pro Tip: Consider the categories of your blog here, and consider setting up a board that addresses each of the main themes you’ll be writing about. In this way you’ll always have at least once board onto which to pin your own content.
Try to explain to other Pinterest users what your board is about in more detail here.
Once again, include a range of related keyword phrases for which you’d like to appear.
Pinterest boards can be placed into general categories to increase your visibility. Take a look through the options here and select the most suitable category.
Pinterest boards can either be “public” or “secret”. In general you’ll want each of your boards to be “public” so that other Pinterest users can find the content that you’re sharing.
There are a handful of reasons why you might to keep a board secret.
Firstly, you might want to start adding pins to a board and only make it public when the board has a decent number of pins on it.
Alternatively you might just want to keep things secret permanently. Perhaps you’re going on a diet but the general topic doesn’t really match the niche you’re in. In such a way you could add weight loss pins to your secret board where only you can see them.
Lastly, you might want to create a “content ideas” board where you can pin the content of other bloggers, acting as a source of inspiration when it comes to writing your next batch of blog posts.
Here you can allow other Pinterest users to also contribute pins to your board.
You probably won’t want to do this in the early stages of setting up your Pinterest account, but some time later you may want to consider this option – something that is then termed a “group board”.
We’ll talk extensively about group boards a little later on, so you’ll learn all you need to know about them.
Lastly click the button and your shiny new board will be created, ready for you to add images.
What Pinterest Boards Should I Create?
So now we know what a Pinterest board actually is, and how to set one up, the obvious question is what boards should you set up. How do you decide what boards to create in the first place?
Here there are a number of options:
Use the keyword research tip given earlier to braintorm a number of target phrases, then create boards around these topics.
Pick a handful that you think will appeal most to your audience and start by creating these boards.
Blog Category Boards
A second option for deciding what boards to create on Pinterest is to consider your own blog. If you’re creating content on a regular basis then your blog posts will probably fit into a number of categories on your site.
These blog post categories can be a rich source of inspiration when it comes to choosing boards.
You can even use the broad categories of your blog, then combine these with the simple Pinterest keyword research strategy outlined above, to come up with a host of suitable board categories.
A Best-Of Board
Lastly most bloggers and authority site owners like to create a “Best of” board onto which you’ll pin all your blog posts.
In this way it becomes easy both for you and for your Pinterest visitors to see all the posts that you’ve written.
As we will see later, having such a board also makes growing your traffic much easier, as it’s easy to quickly see all your blog post images in one neat place, ready for further promotion.
How Many Boards Should I Create to Start With?
With your Pinterest account setup it’s entirely possible to build hundreds of boards, each around a specific keyword phrase or topic.
That said, it’s important to appreciate that right now Pinterest seems to reward “activity”.
That is to say: the more frequently you’re adding images to a specific board, and the more repins and likes those pins are getting, the more likely you are to appear in the Smart Feed or to rank when someone searches for your target phrase.
Setting up dozens of boards and then ignoring most of them for ever more therefore probably isn’t the most effective solution.
Instead, it’s better to start with a handful of boards, and try to make these the very best that you can.
Curate only the best images and add to them constantly to keep them “fresh”.
A good rule of thumb is to consider the broad topics of your blog or authority website.
If your site is about dogs then maybe you’ve got a blog category for dog care, dog training and dog supplies. Why not start with these boards?
Perhaps start with just five or ten boards to begin with, then as you get familiar with how Pinterest works and your account starts to grow you can then add extra boards from time-to-time.
Pro Tip: There’s nothing to stop you pinning the same image to more than one of your boards. Doing so can help you to grow your visibility, as adding a single image can keep two (or more) boards active.
As your Pinterest profile develops and grows, therefore, don’t be afraid to create boards with a degree of crossover.
An article about how to do deadlifts could logically be added to boards about weight lifting, fitness and crossfit all at the same time. In this way you leverage a single image to keep multiple boards full.
How Many Images Should Be On Each Board?
While there will always be exceptions, broadly speaking the more pins a board has, the better it will perform.
Of course these pins also need to be on topic and of high quality, but overall more pins are better than less.
Think of your Pinterest account rather like your blog. If you have just three categories (boards) and each one only has a couple of posts each (pins) would you really bother following that person?
Far more appealing is the blog stuffed with hundreds of high quality articles all logically arranged into a number of focused categories. So it should be with your Pinterest account.
I would therefore suggest you start each board with no less than ten pins, but that you actively look to increase this in the coming weeks and months. Eventually you’ll be looking at boards with hundreds (or even thousands) of carefully chosen, high quality pins.
So, you’ve set up your profile and created a number of boards – next we need to add some actual pins to these boards.
How to Pin Images to Your Pinterest Boards
Once your account is set up, the next obvious question is how you actually add images to the various boards that you’ve created.
Here there are two options – you can either curate images from other people’s Pinterest accounts and add them to your own (a process known as “repinning”) or you can add images from external sources (other websites, your computer etc.) including your own website.
Both of these are equally valid, and I suggest that you use both methods.
One of the most common beginner mistakes I see is people only pinning their own images.
This is especially prevalent among users trying to grow their business.They’re petrified that sharing someone else’s image will send them traffic, so they end up merely uploading half a dozen images from their own website and then they wonder why they’re not getting any followers or driving any traffic.
The truth is – as we’ll see later – that in order to be successful on Pinterest you need to be active.
You need to be continually adding to your account.
Unless you’re lucky enough to have hundreds and hundreds of pre-made images, it’s unlikely that only pinning your own stuff is going to bring the results that you want.
There’s more. The Pinterest Smart Feed tends to reward particularly successful pins. The more “actions” that a pin has had – the more likes, repins and clicks – the more visible it is. This includes when you pin it yourself.
In other words, when you repin an image that is already successful, you’ll increase visibility of your own account.
Popularity by association.
In summary: you should be pinning other people’s images as well as your own. A healthy mixture is a key ingredient to success.
How to Repin Other People’s Images
Repinning other people’s images couldn’t be simpler. Just use the search box at the top of the page and type in a relevant keyword phrase. If any pins come up that you like the look of you can simply click the red “Save” button over any image.
Note that if it is desirable you can change the description of any pin before it is published on your account.
In this way you can add useful keyword phrases (see later) to increase the chances of these pins getting found. You don’t have to – but you can.
Additionally, to make it easy to find new images to repin in the future consider carrying out the same keyword search, but this time consider specifying Boards or People.
Then make use of the Follow button.
Once completed, new pins that are added to these boards or accounts will show up in your Pinterest feed – making it easy to select the best pins and to add them to your own boards.
Pinning from External Sources
Adding images from external sources – whether that’s your own website or someone else’s – is just as easy. There are a number of ways to do it…
Using the Pinterest Website
First and foremost you can add pins directly from your Pinterest account.
Simply select the “+” at the top-right of your profile to bring up an upload menu.
Here you can select an image from your computer, or enter the URL of the page on which your target image sits.
Enter a few details, press the button and the image is added to Pinterest.
Using the Pinterest Browser Extension
Possibly the easiest way of all to add images from external websites to Pinterest is to use a browser extension. Pinterest themselves have a browser extension which you can download here, but there are other options available too (which we discuss later on).
When you’re surfing the net and you find an image that you like, just click the browser extension to bring up a menu.
Confirm you’re happy with the description (or change it if you like) then click the button to upload it.
Using a Social Sharing Plugin
Lastly many authority sites and blogs add easy social sharing buttons to their content.
You may find, for example, a “Pin It” button somewhere on the article.
Alternatively, you may find that rolling your cursor over the top of an image brings up an option to pin it to your account.
As you can see, adding images to your virgin Pinterest account is both quick and simple.
5 Never-Ending Sources of Great Images to Pin
One common Pinterest marketing mistake is to pin only your own images. Unsurprisingly, most bloggers and authority site owners rapidly run out of images to pin, and their account then lays dormant for weeks on end while their writer tries to pump out lots more content to share.
On Pinterest, pinning only your own images isn’t just seen as spammy by many people, but it also significantly holds back your results.
In brief, the more you pin, the more followers you’ll generate.
The more followers you generate, the more seriously you’ll be taken and the easier you’ll find it to get accepted into giant group boards.
So, in short, you need to be pinning other people’s images as well as your own.
But how do you quickly and efficiently track down hundreds of images to start filling up your carefully chosen Pinterest boards?
Pinterest Search (Pins, Boards or Users)
The most obvious way to start sourcing pins for your boards is to repin other people’s images. This is considered perfectly acceptable on Pinterest.
You can simply carry out some searches on Pinterest, then carefully repin the best images that you find to your own boards. You can also follow specific pinners or boards, so that your Pinterest feed comes to represent a constantly-updated source of images for your own boards.
We’ll talk about Tailwind a little later on in this guide, but for now it’s worth mentioning their incredible pin sourcing facility.
Currently in Beta at the time of writing, Tailwind allows you to simply type in a keyword phrase, and the tool will gather up hundreds of strongly-performing pins.
Just select those images that are most appropriate for your various boards and queue them up ready to be published.
Boardbooster Board Sourcing
Boardbooster is another tool that we’ll be talking about shortly, but for now its worth highlighting their “pin sourcing” facility.
You simply tell Boardbooster the sorts of images you’re interested in, and the tool then goes out and finds hundreds of likely images on your behalf. All you need to do is sort through them, deciding which pins you’d like adding to your account.
Spend a little time on Pinterest and you’ll find the same people and the same sites keep coming up time and again. These are the “heavy hitters” who are pumping out loads of great content, which in turn is getting pinned nonstop.
Feedly is an RSS feed reader, a tool that essentially lets you subscribe to multiple blogs. Every time a new blog post is published it appears in your Feedly account. Subscribe to a healthy number of blog in your niche and you’ll find a never-ending supply of new images to pin.
All you need to do is go into your Feedly account from time to time, sort through to find the best content and most appealing images, then pin these to your Pinterest account.
Your Own Site
Lastly, of course, if you’re serious about promoting your site on Pinterest you should also be regularly producing new “Pinterest-friendly” content – complete with one or more attractive images.
These images can then be pinned both to your Pinterest business account and to the various group boards you’re a member of, to effectively drive traffic back to your site.
The Importance of Your Own Pinterest Pins
While it’s true that pinning other people’s images (“curated pins”) will help you to grow your followers and traffic to a degree, there’s no denying that the most important element of all is creating and sharing pins that link back to your own website.
In the next few sections of this guide, therefore, we’ll take a deep dive into the subject of Pinterest pins. We’ll look at what types of images tend to work best, we’ll examine some ways in which you can create your own pins, and how to maximize their visibility on Pinterest.
The Secret to Creating Successful Pinterest Images
Read around the Internet and you’ll find all sorts of “gurus” who claim to have the perfect formula for Pinterest.
There are dozens of articles all proclaiming to have the “secret formula” to make your pins go viral.
While it’s a tempting promise, and no doubt attracts all manner of traffic, I hope you’re smart enough to realise that this just isn’t reality.
Of sure, some of your pins might go viral – it’s certainly happened to me on a number of occasions – but there’s no silver bullet here – no mysteries.
Often, your pin just grabbed the attention of a major influencer, who shared it with their followers, and the thing went crazy.
That said, there are some proven “rules” that will maximize your chances of this happening to your pins…
Take a look at Pinterest and you’ll find that they currently display images in a vertical format.
That means that horizontal images don’t tend to stand out as much as vertical alternatives.
Visually Appealing Image
One of the most critical elements of a successful Pinterest pins is that it uses an attractive image.
The image should be clear and draw the eye. Ideally it should also be relevant to the topic of your blog and/or the specific post you’re promoting with it.
In recent years many people have relied on free stock photo sites to source their background images but there are three distinct downsides to the use of these photos:
Many of the images that can be downloaded and used for free lack the kind of impact that makes a pin successful.
While there are exceptions, in my opinion you’re better to target alternative sources of images which are of much higher quality.
The second concern around free stock photos is of course that so many websites are using them.
This risks your images being used by an entirely different website.
In turn it lessens the impact of your own images.
Lack of Range
If you’re looking for a very general image of a beach then free stock photo sites are likely to at least have a few potential images that you can use.
Unfortunately if you’re looking for something more specific then you might struggle to find a suitable image.
As an example, finding any beach is easy, but trying to find a photo of a specific beach will be much, much harder using free photo sources.
In short, therefore, while you can use free images if you’re on a very tight budget, I would strongly suggest anyone serious about their Pinterest marketing strategy utilizes a paid source of images.
When you’re willing to spend a little money you’ll find a far greater range of photos, of a much higher quality than many free stock photo sites.
The end result is a more appealing pin, and more potential traffic as a result.
While it should be obvious, it’s worth mentioning here what you shouldn’t do. Don’t “steal” images from other websites, from Google images or from Flickr without making absolutely certain that you can use the image in question.
If you opt to create pins which are essentially an attractive image with an overlaid article title then it’s important that you choose a clear font (or even better a pair of fonts that work well together) so that you grab the attention of people scrolling through Pinterest.
Want to know a secret?
The one thing that drives me mad about Pinterest marketing articles is that they always seem to tell you to “pin great pins”.
Surely that’s obvious, isn’t it?
Also, what does a “good pin” actually look like?
Nobody seems to say…
Over the last few years I have therefore taken matters into my own hands. I’ve tested and experimented. I’ve created hundreds of Pinterest images and I’ve tracked many more than that.
Over time, a pattern started to appear.
I found that I could “get my eye in” and have a fair understanding of how well a pin was likely to do – based just on its appearance.
Now, I’d like to tell you about my findings – so that you can mimic the most effective strategies for your own Pinterest marketing.
Here’s what I found: the most successful pins seem to have at least one of the following factors in common; ideally two or even more. The more effectively the following tips are utilized, the better results you’re likely to see…
The Knowledge Gap
A “knowledge gap” can be defined as deliberately leaving out some detail from a title, which makes people want to click over to your content and find the missing piece.
Here’s an example:
- The 5-Stage Process That Doubled My Traffic in 14 Days
Wow – how exactly did they do it? What tools did they use? What was the impact? If you’re a serious blogger or authority site owner then you’ll probably click on such an article just to satisfy your curiosity.
The Clear Benefit
What concrete benefit can someone expect when they click over to your website? What should they be able to achieve afterward?
The more exciting and inspirational this promised result, the more likely a click will be.
Let’s assume for a moment that I’ve just written an article about how I clean my house each week. It discusses a number of time-saving tips that help me to keep my home in perfect condition without having to spend all weekend cleaning.
A boring headline here might be:
- My Cleaning Regime
- How I Keep My House Clean
A more exciting, benefit-laden headline might be:
- How to Shave 3 Hours a Week Off Your Cleaning
- How to Keep Your House Spotlessly Clean in Just 2 Hours a Week
- 8 Tricks to Halve Your Cleaning This Week
Hopefully you can see that the first examples are just boring and unexciting. Who wants to read about how some unknown person cleans their house? Yawn.
The second options, however, promise a benefit. You’ll learn instantly how to save time – so you can do more of what you like. To house-proud individuals, such headlines will be far more appealing.
Pinterest is a search engine as much as a social media site. Ideally, we want our pins to rank for high-traffic keyword phrases, so that they continue to bring in traffic for months into the future.
The way we do this, of course, is to carefully feature target keywords into our headline and description. So ask yourself: what phrases might the ideal reader of this article actually be searching for.
Perhaps some example might be “cleaning tips” or “time saving cleaning tips”. Whatever we decide on, try to incorporate this into your pin title and description, to increase the chances of ranking.
One final element which has gained in popularity (and results) over the last few years is to incorporate even more value into your pins by offering some kind of free gift to visitors.
Arguably the most common examples are pinners offering printables – checklists, spreadsheets and the likes.
By incorporating these into your Pinterest image you add even more value. If someone is interested in vegetarian recipes and sees a pin promising a free downloadable vegetarian cookery book isn’t it likely that they’ll click on that pin to find out more?
Samples of Effective Pinterest Pins
As bloggers and affiliate marketers there are a number of different types of pins that we can create in order to drive traffic to our site.
Here are three of the most popular types of pins on Pinterest to start your mind working:
As the name suggests, an image-only pin is just that – simply a standard photograph. If you are to use these pins then you’ll almost certainly want to ensure that all the photos you use are your own.
Image + Text Overlay
Among bloggers the standard pin image is a background image with a text overlay. Generally speaking the background image is closely related to the text, creating an image that works as a whole.
The benefits of such pins are that it is much easier to create something “unique” and that the text you overlay can attract far more clicks than an image alone.
Lastly, a small number of bloggers create collages comprising multiple images in one – generally with a text overlay somewhere.
The downside of such images is that they can take longer to create, and potentially cost more if you’re purchasing images from stock photo sites.
The upside is that clickthrough rates from such images can be considerably higher than for most other types of image.
How to Create Pinterest Images
One of the single most important factors in a successful Pinterest marketing campaign is the creation of truly beautiful pins.
You want to create images that stand out from the crowd and look so great that other pinners gladly repin them to their own boards.
Having covered what makes a great pin, the next obvious question is how exactly do we make them?
Over the last few years I’ve tested out a variety of graphic design tools, and tried all sorts of different pin styles. What I’d like to show in this section of the course is exactly how I make my pins right now.
By the end of this section you should have a good grounding of the steps I now go through to create an awesome-looking pin with only the most basic of resources (and pretty much no graphic design skill!).
Even if you’ve never created a custom image in your life, by following these steps and getting in a little practice you should be churning out great-looking pins in no time. Ready?
In this tutorial I’m going to be using Snappa to create my image, simply because it’s my personal favorite tool that I now use for all my blog imagery.
Of course, if you prefer you can always use a different tool to create your pins, but all the features and elements we’ll look at won’t necessarily be present in alternatives…
We’ll start by choosing a pre-defined Pinterest image size then get designing…
This takes us to the editing screen where we can start to create our Pinterest pin…
Select Your Background Image
One of the biggest mistakes I see other bloggers making is choosing low quality images for their pin background.
We want an image that’s going to stand out from the crowd and draw the eye. As we’re going to be adding text to our image it also helps if there’s an obvious place for this text to go. Remember, also, that bigger blog post text tends to be more easily readable; so more space for text is better than less.
Due to the importance of selecting a truly beautiful image I now no longer use free image sources, but instead rely on a subscription to a premium image site known as Big Stock Photo.
I’ve found that they offer the best value-for-money while offering up one of the widest ranges of images to be found anywhere. As a result it’s almost impossible to run out of suitable images.As a side note, I probably spend more time selecting a suitable background image than I do all the other steps in this process added together.
That’s how important I believe it is.
In this tutorial let’s assume that I’m trying to make an image for this article.
Having looked around and found a background I like, I download the image from Big Stock Photo (or whichever royalty free image website you choose) and then upload it to Snappa ready to use.
This is easy to do, by just selecting the “Uploads” option from the “Background” menu then selecting the chosen image from your computer.
Here’s what our pin looks like at this stage – with the background image added:
Enter Your Text
Next I like to enter my text onto the image. I don’t worry about design or placement just yet – I just want to get the words down.
We’ll format the text later on.
Here we simply click on the “text” option in the menu, select the headline option, and start typing.
Here’s what our pin looks like with the basic text added..
Select Your Font Face
Don’t worry – I know our Pinterest pin looks pretty bad right now – but we’re just getting started.
Let’s start by changing the font face to something more appealing. Here I want my text to be as obviously and easily-readable as possible, so that as people scroll through Pinterest their eye still takes in the message I’m portraying.
This means big, bold, easy-to-read fonts. If you opt to use more than one font (as some people do) then try not to go too far – ideally use no more than two fonts to keep things looking professional.
In this case I’ve selected Raleway Bold, but I’m thinking that changing the font of the “for bloggers” might look better.
Arrange the Text
Next we arrange the text to look good, as well as being easily readable. For each line of text we can choose to align it left, center or right, then drag it roughly to the right place. Maintain some flexibility here and be willing to change things slightly as you go for maximum impact.
We can also increase the font size of the text if appropriate. This is super-simple to do in Snappa. Firstly I drag out the box in which the text sits to specify the maximum width of the text.
Then I can simply click the “up” arrow by the font size to gradually increase the font size. Remember that each line of text doesn’t necessarily have to have the same font size; make your decision on what looks best.
Highlight the Text
Things are starting to come together. Next we need to consider what else we can do to draw attention to our text. Here there are a number of possibilities:
Change Text Color
We can select any piece of text and then easily change it’s color.
In general I like to stick with either black or white text for readability, but on occasion I may select something a little more exciting it if works well. Remember also that you can change the text of just some of the text to help draw attention to specific parts of it.
Add Shadows and Blurs
One of the things I particularly like about Snappa is the ease with which we can add shadows and blurs to text. This simple feature can really make your text look so professional, as well as helping it to stand out from the image.
We can select these features here – try out different colors of shadow and blur and different widths.
Add Background Shading
If our text still isn’t standing out as much as we’d like another option is to add some shading to the background image. This can instantly make the text “pop” out. This is simple to accomplish in Snappa. All we need to do is to select a shape…
We then need to change the order of the layers, so that the shading sits over the background image, but behind the text.
We can of course change the color and opacity of the background shading to find the optimal contrast here.
Add a Box Beneath It
An alternative option to make your text as visible as possible is to put it into a “box”. While most boxes may be square or rectangular, other shapes can also work well, such as circles.
In Snappa I select the “Shapes” tool again, but this time rather than covering the whole image I just want to draw a box over my text. Change the layer order and we’re getting somewhere. We can also control the outline, to make it more colorful as well as modifying opacity again to maximum impact.
You certainly don’t need to use all of the above elements – indeed doing so may well be overkill – but I wanted to show you just how many ways there are to easily make your Pinterest pin look great, and to help your text stand out when people are scrolling aimlessly through their Pinterest feed.
So simply have a play around with all these features until you decide on a combination of elements that works for you.
Here’s what our finished pin looks like with a nice neat box added to highlight the text:
Tweak & Save
Lastly I like give my image a final once-over to make sure that I’m happy with it, then change the file name to include relevant keywords, before clicking on the “Save” button. Perhaps the text could do with a little realignment, or could be slightly smaller, or I want to change the text color a tiny bit.
Here, in truth, it’s really just a few tiny tweaks (if anything) to give my pin that “polished” look. Then we’re all done!
While the above tutorial may have seemed intimidating, appreciate that this is probably the first time that you’ve seen a Pinterest image designed before your eyes, and that Snappa is new to you.
With a little practice and experience you can pop one of these images together in minutes; especially once you’ve decided on the color schemes and font faces that appeal to you.
Pro Tip: One of the really nice things about Snappa is that it is simplicity itself to “duplicate” images.
This can significantly speed up pin design in the future, because you can start with an existing pin that you’re happy with, then just make a few modifications to it.
Quickly change the background image, swap the text out and give it a little polish without needing to worry about creating boxes, selecting fonts and on.
Top Pinterest Design Tools to Create Awesome Pins
If you’re going to start marketing your blog on Pinterest then you’re going to need some kind of tool to create Pinterest-friendly images.
Here there are an overwhelming range of options including expensive professional-grade software packages like to Photoshop or Illustrator.
However, before you go pulling out your credit card allow me to give you the good news: you really don’t need one of the super-expensive tools to create incredible Pinterest pins.
There are now a range of simpler Pinterest design tools available, which are not only much cheaper but are also much, much easier to use. This avoids the painful learning curve associated with many more traditional graphic design tools.
With a little practice you’ll find that you can knock up a fantastic-looking image in next to no time – and you might be surprised by just how easy these tools make it.
In this section of our Pinterest marketing guide, therefore, I want to discuss three of the most popular graphic design tools for making Pinterest pins.
In almost every case these “slimmed down” and far more user-friendly options will allow you to do anything you like on Pinterest. Several of them will even allow you to quickly and easily design other graphics too – such as header images for your Twitter profile or Facebook page.
I have tried all three over the last few years, so I’ll do my best to give an honest rundown of each in turn, including my personal first-hand experiences of using them.
Ready? Let’s get going…
Snappa is probably the least-known the Pinterest design tools described in this article, but it’s also my personal favorite. For me, Snappa offers the perfect compromise between features and ease of use.
Here are a few of the things I particularly like about this tool…
Built-In Background Images
While I recommend that you carefully choose the background image that you use for your pins, Snappa is notable for including thousands of royalty-free background images as ready for you to use.
If you’re on a budget, therefore, Snappa is a great option because you don’t need to worry about buying separate images.
Just use the search feature and you’ll find a host of options available to you. Clicking on one is all it takes to add it to your Pinterest image.
Premade Pin Templates
If you’re just getting started with Pinterest marketing then it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the various design options available even with simple tools.
It can also be frustrating when your design doesn’t go quite the way you’d like. Here Snappa has a fantastic solution: premade Pinterest templates.
When you choose to create a pin, not only does Snappa resize the canvas to Pinterest’s recommended dimensions but it also offers up dozens of templates that you can use straight away.
You have total control to change them in any way you see fit – different text, imagery, colors and so on – but they can be a fantastic way to start off on the right foot. By taking an existing template and modifying it to suit your blog anyone can quickly knock up a Pinterest pin design to be proud of.
Powerful Text-Formatting Options
Unlike some other basic tools for creating Pinterest pins, Snappa makes it easy to add blurs and shadows to your text.
While this might sound like a tiny thing to be happy about, the reality is that these seemingly-subtle features can completely change the look of a pin.
Formatting your text suddenly very easy indeed; and you end up with a far more professional-looking image.
“Idiot Proof” User Experience
Lastly I have found the user experience to be very simple indeed.
There are no complex menus, and the tool even guides you through the steps needed to create your Pinterest pin. In essence you’re “spoon fed” the steps you need to complete.
This is contrast with many other pin design tools on the market, with their complex menu systems and navigation.
This means that Snappa has very little learning curve; in less than half an hour most first-time users should have managed to create a serviceable Pinterest pin, and that time will only drop as you get more experienced.
Canva is one of the most popular graphic design tools for creating Pinterest images. It generally has a lot in common in Snappa, with numerous free templates and a similar layout to the design tools.
That said, to my eyes it just doesn’t seem quite as user-friendly as Snappa. The templates, for example, may look a little more “classy” than Snappa’s (which are more “fun” than “elegant”) but modifying a template is – in my experience – rather more difficult.
Then there’s the background images, most of which one needs to pay for. This is in contrast to the thousands of free backgrounds that Snappa offers, even on it’s free account level. The fact is, if I’m going to pay for a background image (as I often do) then I’d rather use a premium stock photography site for a full range of images.
While Canva certainly has it’s fans, and is in many ways so similar to Snappa that they could almost be seen as nearly identical, the way that Snappa is built for ease-of-use has won me away from Canva.
PicMonkey is the first pin design tool that I used, and still retains a special place in my heart.
Using PicMonkey is just plain fun, thanks to the huge range of different “overlays” you can put onto your images, from hearts and cut animals to moustaches and glasses. Even their user-experience is built with a sense of humour, as the tool brings up amusing messages while carrying out tasks.
PicMonkey may therefore be the simplest and least-intimidating tool of all for making Pinterest pins.
Prepare to really let your creativity run wild!
So if I’m such a fan of PicMonkey what made me eventually move away to Snappa?
The reality is that PicMonkey is designed first and foremost as a photo editing tool, while Snappa is designed specifically to create social media images.
This means that while PicMonkey is great fun to use, it’s functionality is far more limited – and as a result I don’t think the end results are quite as polished. It doesn’t automatically set the canvas size to the Pinterest optimum, for example, and doesn’t include a collection of background images that you can use.
Which is the Best Pinterest Pin Design Tool?
All three of the options discussed above are all great graphic design tools: there’s no doubt about it.
Rather like the differences between different pinning tools, there are so many similarities between the tools in question that in many ways you need to try them all to see which you get on with best.
Fortunately, this is simple enough to do as all the tools outlined have a free version.
If you like what you see then you can always upgrade to a premium account at a later date.
From my own perspective, having tested out each tool extensively, my own suggestion would be to start with Snappa as I believe it is the quickest and easiest way to design amazing Pinterest pins – particularly if you have little or no graphic design experience.
How Many Images Do I Need?
The more images you have on Pinterest linked to your site, the more potential traffic you will receive.
Therefore, more images will always be better than fewer – assuming of course that the images are all of equally high quality.
An interesting observation that many people have made (including me) is that quite often one single pin will go crazy for a while.
Heck, some of my most successful articles have been pinned 30,000+ times each. That’s a lot of opportunities for people to find my site.
Once again, the more images you’re creating and pinning, the better your odds of hitting one of these “home runs”.
That said, you don’t need to suddenly add hundreds of images to your website. This can be done slowly and progressively over time, investing a small amount of time each week to add new images and pin these to your account.
Pinterest therefore offers you flexibility.
You could invest a few minutes each time you publish an article to make a suitable “pinnable image” before adding it to Pinterest, or you can go “all in” and make hundreds of images for all your blog posts in one go. The choice is really yours.
How to Add Pinterest Images to Your Website
Once you’ve created at least one Pinterest image for each of your articles it’s next time to add them to your website.
Fortunately this is arguably the simplest part of all.
Under the assumption that you’re using WordPress here’s exactly how to do it…
Firstly log into WordPress and navigate your way to the Media section.
Here you’ll find an option to upload your images. Simply drag them into the upload box, or identify them individually on your computer.
Click on the “upload” button and your pins will start uploading to your site.
Pro Tip: Large images can really slow down how quickly your website loads for visitors.
This is an issue that can not only frustrate your readers, but is also part of Google’s ranking algorithm. It is therefore important that your images are optimised for speed. There are whole host of tools that will do this for you, but my personal preference is for TinyPNG. It’s free to use for up to 500 images per month.
Simply add the plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/tiny-compress-images/) to WordPress and every time you upload an image it will be automatically optimised for load speed.
Once your images are uploaded you’ll now want to start adding them to your individual articles. Let’s open an article up now as an example.
To add your Pinterest pin select the little camera at the top. You’ll find a popup appears, showing all the images you just selected. Select the relevant image(s) for this particular blog post.
Pinterest Pin Optimization
Earlier on we discussed that Pinterest should be seen primarily as a search engine – and that our goal should be to rank prominently for keyword phrases that other Pinterest users are searching for. But how do we achieve this?
In this section we’ll cover some of the most important aspects of optimizing your own pins.
The filename of your pin should be optimized for a specific keyword phrase, rather than simply being a random string of letter or numbers.
For example, if we decide that we’d like to target the phrase “best dog beds” then it would be wise to save your pin as best-dog-beds.jpg or similar to help Pinterest (and Google) to understand what your image is all about.
You can either download your Pinterest pin, then change the file name on your desktop, or set it in your graphic design tool. Here’s how you do it in Snappa, for example…
Each image that is added to Pinterest can have a description. This not only helps Pinterest to decide what keywords your image should appear for, but also assists other Pinterest users in deciding whether or not to click the image and come on over to your website.
The description of your pins should therefore aim to do two things:
- It should include an assortment of relevant keyword phrases without looking spammy.
- It should encourage real humans to click over to your website.
Here are some examples of pin descriptions that do quite a good job of this.
Consider spending some time looking at what other bloggers in your niche are doing, so that you can take some guidance from what seems to be working for them.
Pinterest has a feature known as “rich pins”. Pins that are approved for the program offer a more engaging experience on Pinterest by providing additional information to users.
Here are two pins that I just found at random; one is a rich pin, while the other is not.
Hopefully the difference between these two pins is quite obvious; the image on the left has a big bold title, while the other looks far less tempting.
All other things being equal, it should be reasonably obvious which of the two pins would receive more attention – and as a result more clicks and repins.
A great way to increase your Pinterest traffic is therefore to implement rich pins on your own website and thus benefit from more eye-catching images on Pinterest.
Here’s how to do it…
Verify Your Website
Firstly, before we can begin to implement Rich Pins on your website you’ll want to be certain that you’ve verified your website successfully.
We’re going to need the snippet of code provided by Pinterest. The easiest way to find this code is to navigate to your profile (top right in Pinterest) then scroll down to your website and click the “Verify” button. Pinterest will then give you some code that needs to be pasted into your website.
Next, we need to add the code to your website. Here some less technical site owners may struggle, so let’s break down the process is detail…
In your WordPress back-end, navigate to Appearance > Editor.
In this screen, look over to the right-hand side of the screen and locate the “header.php” file.
Then, with your header open, locate the HEAD section, as shown in the following screen capture. You simply want to paste the code between the start and end of the head, then click save.
Finally, you just need to click the “Verify” button.
Pro Tip: I have found that of all the features offered by Pinterest their website verification system is the most buggy of all.
In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had the system work first time for me.
Therefore, if and when you receive an alert that your site can’t be verified you have two options. The first of these is simply to be patient for a day or two, perhaps retrying the verification process a few more times in the preceding days.
The second option, which I normally end up resorting to, is simply to contact Pinterest support and let them know about your issue. While I have never received a reply back, I do find that in a very short space of time my website gets verified – so I assume there is a team of people at Pinterest “fixing” issues like this in response to customer queries.
Set Up Rich Pins on Your Website
The first step in getting Rich Pins set up on your website is ensuring the necessary code is present behind the scenes. This is actually a lot easier than you might think…
The Yoast plugin provides all the code necessary to implement Rich Pins on your website.
Simply install the free Yoast plugin and ensure that the “Facebook Open Graph” section is turned on in the settings.
To do this, look down your sidebar for the Yoast SEO section, and select the “Social” option.
With the window open, click on “Facebook” and make sure that “Add Open Graph meta data” is “enabled”. Then click save.
Test Your Pins
By now you should have all the code required on your website, so it’s time to test that the code is working correctly, and Pinterest can access it.
In the box, simply paste in one of your blog posts which includes an image and click the “Verify” button.
If everything goes according to plan you see a “Success” statement and a readout of the code that Pinterest has managed to find.
Assuming all has gone well, the final step to getting Rich Pins added to your website is simply to request access to the program.
Requesting access to Rich Pins is as simple as just clicking the link and you’re all done. All you need to do now is wait for a day or two for Rich Pins to be added by Pinterest.
Soon enough you should be seeing those nice big bold titles appearing under images that are pinned from your blog.
Pinterest Pinning Tools
A Pinterest management tool’s main aim is to allow you to collect together a large pool of images that you’d like added to your account, and then to create a schedule that defines how many images to pin each day, and at what times to pin.
Once your tool of choice is set up the pins you specify are then added to your account throughout the day – without you needing to lift a finger.
In consequence, while you can promote your blog or authority site on Pinterest without such a tool you’re going to see far less in the way of results than you will when utilizing one of the many low-cost pinning tools currently on the market.
In truth, it is through the utilization of such tools that I’m able to maintain my four different accounts in various niches without driving myself mad!
So, with that said, let’s take a look at two of the most popular Pinterest management tools that I have personally used for some years:
Tailwind can be considered the “premium” pinning tool on the market, and offers an incomparable features list. Let’s take a quick look at a few of the options available to Pinterest users…
Adding pins to your Tailwind account for future pinning is made super-simple with their browser extension can make adding pins to your account.
This sits next to the address bar in your browser, and by clicking it while on any page you can instantly add images to your Tailwind queue. In this way, during your normal everyday surfing activities you can quickly add new images to your queue without having to go and log into Tailwind or do anything complicated.
Once images have been added to your queue you’ll find them all displayed here.
You can click on any image here to view it at full size. Beneath each image you can also see the default description, and change this if you see fit.
You’ll also be able to choose which board(s) you’d like the image to be pinned to – yes, you can select more than one board here. This is a nice feature as it allows you to quickly add an image to multiple boards, thereby speeding up the process of setting up your pinning tool.
Once the relevant boards have been selected just click on the “Save” button and they’ll be added to your schedule ready to go out.
One of Tailwind’s most powerful features is the ability to create a list of closely-related boards.
As an example, imagine your blog or authority site is all about home cooking. You have a board called “Soup Recipes”, but you’ve also been invited to four other group boards about soup.
Rather than having to select all five boards manually when filling your Pinterest queue, you could instead add all your soup boards to one big board list called “Soup”.
Simply by selecting this one list your pin will be queued up to all five boards at once.
As your Pinterest account develops, and you end up with dozens of boards – both group boards and those of your own – such a feature can be worth it’s weight in gold as it allows you to fill up your Pinterest schedule in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take.
This is the schedule of when your pins will go out.
Tailwind, by default, tries to figure out what time it thinks you should pin based on historical performance of your account. Green timeslots are live, but you may also find grayed-out timeslots here.
These gray times are not live – but by clicking on them they will also become live. In this way, adding new timeslots to your schedule is easy.
Sometimes finding suitable images for your Pinterest account can be challenging; especially if you only have a limited amount of time available each day. Tailwind’s image sourcing feature, which is in Beta at the time of writing, makes this process much easier.
Simply select which of your boards you want additional images for, or enter a keyword, and Tailwind will display a whole list of top-performing pins.
With the click of a button any that appeal to you will be added to your queue.
I can’t over-exaggerate just how much time this one feature can save when running a Pinterest account with minimal time.
One of Tailwind’s real benefits over other pinning tools is that they offer you a whole host of powerful statistics on how your account, boards and pins are performing. This allows you to benchmark your activities and their results – such as follower numbers, repins and so on.
Wonder whether changing your pinning schedule, to see if pinning more often each week has a positive impact on your account growth? That’s easy. Just make the changes and then keep an eye on your statistics to see whether results have improved.
One particularly nice feature is the ability to see your most successful pins to date.
Not only can you see the activity they received, but also which boards they were added to. This is useful for two reasons. Firstly, it allows you to start “getting your eye in” on what is working. You can look for patterns in the topics, designs and boards that seem to be working best for your followers.
In this way you can do more of what works.
On the other hand, pins that have performed strongly in the past tend to continue to do so in the future. Combing through your top pins, then re-scheduling them again in the future can help to give your account a nice “boost” as these pins are likely to see lots of action when aired again.
Each website or blog that you operate will require a separate Tailwind account. What’s nice, however, is that it is possible to “link” these accounts with one another. Simply by clicking at the top of the navigation menu you can quickly jump from one account to the other.
This concept of connected accounts can make life much easier indeed.
Imagine, for example, that you maintain an affiliate site about cookery equipment, and a blog on birdwatching. You’re carefully gathering images of wild birds for one account, when you stumble across a useful blog post about waffle makers.
With connected accounts there’s no need to log out of one Pinterest account and into the other to save these images; instead you can simply jump from one account to the other with ease.
How to Use Tailwind
There are two ways in which I use the Tailwind browser extension to fill my queue with suitable pins.
Firstly, it’s quick and easy to share images from the various blogs that I subscribe to in Feedly. I make sure that I follow a range of blogs in my niche that offer a combination of high quality content and Pinterest-friendly images.
Once or twice a week I simply open up each of these new blog posts and save any relevant images into my Tailwind account.
The second, super-sneaky tip for quickly gathering enough images to keep your pin queue filled is simply to navigate to Pinterest itself. I log into my account, which brings up my stream.
From here I can simply click the browser extension and scroll through all the images found, clicking on any which I think will appeal to my audience.
In a matter of moments I can add dozens of images to my queue.
In addition to filling my queue with the browser extension there are two other ways that I source images for my account.
Firstly, Tailwind’s pin sourcing area can be a goldmine of opportunities; just enter a keyword phrase and Tailwind will offer up dozens of options for me to consider.
Lastly, a feature that I really like in Tailwind is the ability to see which of my pins have done particularly well in recent months. As we know that pins with a strong historical performance will likely perform well when shared again it can be a good idea to “recycle” these winning pins again in the future.
I therefore avoid any pins from the last month (easy to do with the date selector at the top) then scroll through the remaining images selecting the option to “Repin” my top-performing images.
Using these four strategies; curated pins from Feedly, curated pins from my Pinterest feed, Tailwind pin recommendations and historically high-performing pins you can gather dozens – even hundreds – of pins in a very short space of time.
Added to this, of course, I like to include a number of my own pins. Whenever I publish a new blog post, for example, I will carefully pin it to one of my boards (typically my “Best of” blog board) and then queue it up in Tailwind.
With my pins gathered, I can slowly work through my board list, deciding where they would be most appropriate.
Here I select as many boards as are relevant; frequently one pin will be shared to multiple boards, greatly expanding the impact of those sourced images.
In this way, 100 images doesn’t equate to 100 pins, but often 200 or more as each is pinned to multiple boards.
This too helps you to quickly fill up your pinning queue.
Over on the right-hand side of the screen you’ll see your images slowly filling up the slots in the schedule that you decided upon. This can be very motivating, as you see your pins stretching out for some weeks into the future.
Once all my pins have their respective boards selected I go ahead and click “Save All”.
I also like to click on “Shuffle Queue” which randomly changes the order of the pins in my queue.
Such an activity is designed not to overwhelm my Pinterest feed with dozens of the same image in the case when I have used a board list to add a single image to dozens of relevant boards. Instead, they are spread out randomly throughout the coming weeks, looking far less overwhelming.
In other words the basic concept is the same as Tailwind; pins are held in a secret area before being gently distributed as you instruct it; however rather than the pins sitting in your Tailwind account they instead sit on secret boards in your Pinterest account.
Same concept, different action, same end result.
Whilst Tailwind allows you to target specific times and days with pin-point accuracy Boardbooster takes a rather more relaxed view of pin scheduling.
You tell the tool how many pins to add to each board on a daily basis, then simply set the earliest and latest times. Boardbooster then pins your queued up images at random intervals between the two limits you’ve set.
In this way, as an example, you could simply tell Boardbooster to pin five images a day to your board, between the times of midday and 8pm.
Some people will love this rather simpler setup, while others will find the greater accuracy of Tailwind a rather more appealing option.
There are several options for sourcing pins in Boardbooster but my personal preference is for board sourcing. You specify a list of other people’s boards that you like, and how many pins you’d like Boardbooster to source.
You then specify a list of rules that any sourced pins from these boards must meet.
As an example you could request just vertical pins (recommended) and you can source only those that have over a specified number of repins.
Lastly, you decide whether you want these pins to be automatically added to your boards, or whether you’d rather manually check each pin before publishing. It is this second option that I myself prefer, as I don’t like the idea of pins I haven’t personally checked getting added to my boards.
The initial setup process for pin sourcing consequently takes longer in Boardbooster than it does in Tailwind.
Firstly, you need to decide which of your boards you’d like to source pins for. Then you need to go and find a list of boards that would make suitable sources and enter each one into Boardbooster. Then you need to select how many pins to gather from each board, how many approved pins to add to your own board and so on.
Once set up, however, the process is very simple indeed.
All you need to do is to log into your Boardbooster account every so often and look through the images that the tool has sourced, either approving or declining all the various options.
In this way, filling your boards with content becomes very efficient indeed, and you can queue up dozens of images in a matter of minutes.
Boardbooster maintains a variety of maintenance tools which help you to move pins from one board to another, to remove duplicate pins, to find broken pins that no longer point to a working page and so on.
This suite of tools all help you to maintain the quality of your account; important if you’re a details-oriented person like myself.
One of Boardbooster’s most powerful features is known as “looping”.
As the name suggests, “looping” is the process of taking the oldest pin on any of your boards and then republishing it again at the top.
If required, Boardbooster will even wait for a period of time that you select to see which of the two versions has performed best, before deleting the underperforming pin.
The benefit of looping is that it allows your boards to remain active without you having to do anything. Every day dozens of new pins are made to your boards, using only pre-pinned images that you have personally approved in the distant past.
The only downside, if there is one, is that you’ll probably only want to loop pins when your boards are already well-populated with high quality pins.
If you start looping aboard with just twenty or thirty pins your followers may soon start getting bored with seeing the same images over and over again.
Personally, while I am a fan of board looping, I like to apply it only to my my bigger boards with several hundred pins. This keeps my boards active, without repetitively showing the same old pins time and again to my followers.
A pin campaign can be thought of as akin to Tailwind’s board lists. In brief, you can make one pin do multiple things, by pre-programming the rules you’d like followed.
As an example, you might specify a source board called “home decor”. On the day that a pin is added to this board, your pin campaign pins it to your very own interior design board. Then on day 2 it adds it to relevant group board. On day 3 it is added to another related group board, and so on.
Like the other features of Boardbooster, while setting up a campaign takes time initially, once this one-off task is done your campaigns can run almost on autopilot.
It therefore becomes super-simple to add a single pin to a single secret board only for it to be published slowly, over a matter of days or even weeks, onto a range of public boards.
This can be an incredible feature for sharing your pins on group boards while saving you huge amounts of time each week.
While Boardbooster’s statistics area is arguably less impressive than Tailwind, it is also much easier to digest while still providing you with all the key bits of data. You can track your follower growth for example: this makes it easy to see whether a change to how you’re pinning is impacting your results. You can also see the best times to pin, results of recent pins and so on.
For most bloggers, affiliate marketers and content marketers these statistics should be more than enough to make informed decisions about the impact of your Pinterest marketing campaign.
How to Use Boardbooster
Boardbooster can perhaps be a little intimidating when you first start using it, due in part to the many different pinning features that it offers, and also that so many seem at face value to be quite similar. As described, the setup process can also take quite a bit of time to start with, while Tailwind is much quicker to get started with in my experience.
So how do I use Boardbooster?
Actually, I have found Boardbooster arguably the most useful tool for starting a brand new Pinterest account and getting it growing with minimal effort.
You just need to be willing to invest the initial setup time before your Pinterest marketing is almost set on autopilot.
Lets started off with pin sourcing. I like to use this feature to help to quickly fill up new boards with fresh content.
Create your new board, then add it to your Boardbooster account. Spend some time finding suitable source boards – I normally look for five to ten different boards to gather pins from. I’ll ask Boardbooster to source me three pins from each board, with at least five repins each, then just set the thing running.
A week or so later I should have dozens of images ready for me to approve. These will then start filling up my new board.
I tend to apply this process to four or five new boards at a time, meaning dozens of new images are being pinned to my account on a daily basis. I have found this consistent, daily activity is instrumental in starting my follower count growing.
Then, once these boards in question start to reach a decent number of pins (I shoot for 200+) I then turn off the pin sourcing and instead switch on pin looping.
Each of my boards then loops five or so pins per day. Multiplied by dozens of boards that’s tons of new pins being added to my account each day with no more effort required. Next it’s therefore time to go back and set up some new boards – with the pin sourcing tool, and so on.
When it comes to sharing on group boards I must admit that I typically use Tailwind for this aspect, as I find the act of queuing up my pins clearer and easier to work with.
If you’re just using Boardbooster, however, it’s relatively easy to set up a pinning campaign to gently “drip feed” the various group boards that you’re on with your blog pins, without overwhelming anyone with dozens of the same pins; just ask Boardbooster to add one of your own pins to a group board of your choice each day.
Which is the Best Pinning Tool?
In truth I have tried both of these, together with a range of other alternatives, and just never find that they live up to the power, ease and control of Tailwind and Boardbooster.
So if you’re serious about promoting your content on Pinterest which of these two options should you consider?
Firstly, let me re-iterate what I said earlier; these tools don’t necessarily need to be seen as mutually exclusive.
I, in fact, use both tools in conjunction with my Pinterest accounts, as each has their strengths and weaknesses.
If in doubt, I would suggest you sign up for both tools if only for a month in order to see which one you prefer. In my experience, most bloggers quickly decide that they vastly prefer one tool to the other – but every blogger varies by which one they end up keeping!
The only way to be sure is to try them both for a month and then make your decision based on real-world use.
How to Get More Pinterest Followers
There are two obvious metrics that most Pinterest user’s concern themselves with: the number of followers that they have, and the volume of traffic that they receive.
The funny thing, however, that these aren’t always related.
Thanks to Smart Feed, just because you have thousands of followers doesn’t necessarily translate into millions of visitors each month.
As a result, I wouldn’t get too paranoid about starting a Pinterest account when you’re surrounded by giant accounts.
That said, I do think there are two benefits of growing your number of followers:
Like it or not, we humans are impressed by big numbers. Most of us would assume that an account with 10,000 followers is going to be “better” than one with just 100. That person with only one hundred followers simply looks like a “pretender”.
Growing your follower numbers therefore helps to give you some “social proof”. You can show off your follower numbers on your website, which will help to encourage other people to follow you too. It can be a useful bargaining chip for other forms of marketing too.
For example, if someone agrees to accept your guest post, then you promise to share it with your 10,000 Pinterest followers.
Lastly, impressive follower numbers can be useful for getting accepted into group boards, a topic that we’ll be covering in a lot more depth in just a few minutes.
The other benefit of paying attention to your follower numbers is simply that of continual motivation.
The first few months of starting a blog or authority site can be pretty lonely. You can find yourself plugging away, producing content and trying to promote your site – and seeing little in the way of traffic or revenue.
Focusing on growing your Pinterest follower numbers can therefore be a useful “benchmark” to keep you motivated.
So with that said, how do you grow your follower numbers?
There seems to be a near-direct correlation between how many pins you add to Pinterest (either from external sources or repinned from other accounts) and how quickly your follower numbers grow.
In other words, the more active you are on Pinterest, the more followers you’ll get.
Note that this applies both to pinning your own images and those of other people.
The rule is: more pins = more followers on average.
But how do you keep on adding images?
When you follow an account or board on Pinterest that action shows up in their own account.
At least a proportion of the people that you follow will receive the “New Follower” alert and then come on over to your profile to take a look.
If your profile is set up correctly; it is based specifically around a certain topic, it is well optimized, has numerous boards all filled with great images then they may well decide to follow you back.
While I wouldn’t recommend following thousands of people just in the hope that they follow you back (unless you want your Pinterest account closed down!) some judicious following won’t go amiss – especially for a new account.
A good plan is to type in one or two broad keyword phrases that relate to your niche, then to select first “People” and then “Boards” from the search results. Spend some time going through the results that you find, and click that red “Follow” button on any accounts that look of interest.
Carrying this out from time to time in the first few months that you’re on Pinterest should help to kickstart the process of gaining your first handful of followers.
Optimise Your Pins for Search
When it comes to your own blog images, it should be obvious that the higher these rank in the Pinterest search results the more people will find and pin your images.A pleasant side-benefit of this increased visibility is simply that you will generally experience more followers too.
We have, of course, covered how to optimize your pins for search a little earlier on in this guide. Go back and re-read the section if you missed it.
Share on Group Boards
Group boards, as we will see a little later on, are a critical part of a successful pinning strategy right now. Being a contributor to a group board quickly opens up your pins to a whole new audience – and often one that is considerably larger than your own following.
Just imagine the impact it can have on your Pinterest account when you pin your images to a board with 100,000 followers. It shouldn’t surprise you that such increased visibility can ramp up your follower numbers rapidly.
Drive Followers From Your Site
If you have an existing blog or authority site that is receiving traffic, you can grow your follower count further by converting as many of your visitors into followers as possible. There are several ways to achieve this, depending on your personal tastes.
You’ve seen the popup windows that bloggers use, encouraging you to submit your email address in exchange for a freebie? Well, popups like this work just as well for increasing your Pinterest followers.
In essence a visitor arrives at your website, and then a small box scrolls in, encouraging people to click the “follow” button on your profile. In my experience, these tend to work well, especially if you’re already getting some traffic from Pinterest.
Pinterest gives you the ability to actually embed one of your boards into your blog. This board can either be all your latest pins, or you can just display the pins from a single board of yours.
Most people using this technique opt to include a “general” board of their latest pins in their sidebar. However, I have experimented with this option and actually found a rather more effective solution…
It’s no secret that people tend to ignore content in your sidebar, but instead focus their attention on your actual content. I have personally found, therefore, that embedding a board directly into the body of a blog post tends to work much better.
Here’s how I do it.
Firstly, I make sure that I have a board that accurately targets the overall topic of my article. If you’ve followed my advice from earlier, and have made sure to create at least one board targeting each of your main site categories then this shouldn’t be an issue.
If not, build one.
If you’re a travel blogger writing about the wonders of backpacking across Australia then build yourself an Australian backpacking board. Targeting and specificity is the key.
Why? The reason is simple: when someone has finished reading my article, I want to give them something to do next. One obvious answer is inserting my highly-relevant Pinterest board, and encouraging them to explore the content I have carefully curated for them.
You’ll find that when the board is highly relevant to the article a fair number of people click over and follow you.
Thank You Pages
If you’re marketing your blog or authority site by email (and you should) then when someone signs up they’re probably taken to a “thank you” page. These pages just confirm that the person has been added to your list, and often asks them to confirm their subscription.
These pages, however, are some of the most profitable on your site. The reason is simply that (a) they’re only seen by people who are motivated enough to actually submit their email address to you and (b) at that moment in time you have their full attention.
Placing an offer – any kind of offer – on such a page tends to yield very good results. This could be an affiliate link to a recommended product, a link to a product you own or – in this instance – an encouragement to follow you on Pinterest.
Add a little text here and a great big follow button, and watch your follower count going up every day.
We’re all busy people, and often don’t take action the very first time we’re presented with an opportunity. Repeated exposure, however, can significantly increase the chances of us taking that action.
It you run an email newsletter, it can therefore be a really smart idea to include mentions of your Pinterest profile, in order to encourage extra followers.
You could design a specific email in your sequence, discussing the benefits of following you on Pinterest.
Alternatively, you could include a link to your Pinterest account in every email you send to further increase the number of people who visit your profile – and end up clicking the “follow” button.
Group boards are one of the big secrets to success on Pinterest.
They are defined as boards that are owned by one user, but where multiple users can add pins.
The collaborative nature of these group boards exposes your pins to a potentially huge audience. For example, I am a contributor to a number of boards with over 100,000 followers.
You can imagine the potential impact of exposing your images to just a tiny fraction of this audience.
In short, group boards have the potential to significantly grow your following – and the traffic that you receive – with minimal effort.
In this section, therefore, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know to capitalise on this fantastic opportunity…
Where to Find Pinterest Group Boards
There are three primary ways to locate group boards that you can join…
Group Board Lists
The first way to find group boards is to consult one of the curated lists of Pinterest group boards which can be found online.
Try searching Google and you will often find additional lists that other bloggers have put together (an example search might be “best weight loss group boards”).
Boardbooster maintains a list of group boards, but what makes this directory even more valuable is that the group boards in question are ranked by their performance.
Now we come to possibly the most powerful method of all for finding group boards. Here you’ll become a detective, hunting down group boards directly on Pinterest.
Using this technique you’ll be able to identify far more potential targets than using either of the previous methods, which can really help to take your Pinterest marketing to the next level.
The first step in locating group boards is being able to tell the difference between a group board and a standard board.
Luckily, this is very simple indeed.
If you’re looking at just a board cover then you’ll see this icon:
Alternatively, if you’re actually on a group board itself you’ll notice that a number of contributors will appear at the top, just like this:
Both of these signify a group board. Now what we need to do is hunt them out – like a pig snuffling for truffles…
Start off by carrying out a Pinterest search for a broad keyword phrase related to your niche. We might look for “travel blogger” for example, or “dog training”.
When the results come up, click the button at the top to specify your want to view pinners, rather than boards or individual pinners. This will bring up a list of the “top” accounts for that keyword phrase.
What’s more, the top accounts for broad keyword phrases will normally be very established pinners.
They’ll have big followings, lots of pins and – critically – will be contributors to a wide range of group boards.
Our search for group boards starts here.
The process is quite simple.
Just open up the first listing, and scroll down their list of boards, looking for that group board icon.
In many cases you’ll find that an established pinner is active on dozens of such boards. Note down the URL of each one that you find.
From here you can open the next profile from the search results and carry out a similar study. Hopefully you’ll add a few more boards that weren’t on the first account.
And on you go, through dozens of accounts, until you either run out of time, or find that you’re seeing the same group boards duplicated over and over, and nothing new is being added to your list.
There are other ways to expand this process yet further. Firstly, of course, you can try searching for a different relevant keyword phrase, then repeat the process of identifying the group boards that these people are members of.
Alternatively, you can visit each group board in turn, and make a note of all the people who are contributors.
You can then click through to these accounts, to see what other group boards they are members of.
It’s not unusual for this sleuthing process to yield literally dozens of potential group boards for you to join in a very short space of time indeed.
Choosing Group Boards to Join
If you’ve followed all the advice in this guide so far then you’ll know that targeting a specific niche with your Pinterest account can be a very smart idea. The same thing goes for group boards.
I would caution you against joining any old group boards – only because they have plenty of followers.
Instead, consider your audience, and the content on your blog. Only if there is a natural cross-over should you join a specific board. After all, you won’t want to be pinning your vegetarian lasagne recipe to a board for dog lovers.
Not only will such an activity yield minimal results, but you’ll also probably get banned from the board very quickly indeed.
As with so many aspects of a successful Pinterest marketing plan, therefore, consider each board based on proximity and relevance to your specific niche. In some verticals you’ll find dozens of giant group boards that you can join (cookery and fitness are two great examples) while in others there may be few or none.
Whatever the case, try to weigh up each group board based on whether or not it would be an appropriate board for the specific type of contentyou’re producing.
How to Join Pinterest Group Boards
Frustratingly, there is no single process for becoming a contributor to a group board.
For example, there’s no “apply” button that you can quickly click.
Instead, the process varies from board to board, and can be quite time intensive.
For this reason I recommend dedicating a few hours every so often to applying for group boards. Keep a note of which boards have accepted you, which have declined, and which you got no answer from.
This list can be continually updated, with new potential group boards being added as you stumble across them. Then, every month or so, you can invest a little time to contact the new group boards – plus any you have contacted before but never heard back from – in the hope of landing access to a few more group boards.
Typically, there are three ways in which you can become a group board contributor.
When you land on the board you’d like to join there may well be instructions on how to join. If so, follow these rules carefully. If not, you’ll need to use your judgement and try one of the following strategies.
Option 1: The Email
The most effective way to become a group board contributor is simply to email the board owner. As so many of us are bloggers and authority site owners, you’ll often find that the board owner’s website is listed in their bio.
If so, it’s quite simple to click over, grab their details (name and email) and then fire them off an email. Be polite, be respectful, tell them where they can find your profile, and ask whether there is any chance you could become a contributor.
Option 2: The Comment
Some group boards will ask you to comment on a specific pin. Typically this will be a pin that the board owner has added. Leaving such a comment is quicker and easier than sending the board owner an email, but in my experience the success rate is rather lower.
All you need to is to scroll down the board until you find a pin that the board owner has added, then leave a polite comment asking if you could be added as a contributor.Pro Tip: Use the built-in search feature in your browser to quickly locate suitable pins on a busy board. On my PC, for example, I simply click Control and F (Ctrl + F) to open a search box, then enter the person’s name. If they’ve pinned recently, I’ll be taken straight to their pin.
Option 3: The Private Message
The final option is to send the board owner a private message. The difficulty here is that unless both you and the group board owner are connected (following one another) then they’ll have to “approve” you before your message is presented to them. As a result, once again response rates can be reasonably weak.
All the same, if you opt for this solution then the process is reasonably simple…
The Group Board Application Process
At this point you know how to locate group boards, and you understand the methods of becoming a contributor. In this section we’ll tie all that together, and provide a step-by-step guide to actually applying for group boards.
Check Your Account
First things first: make sure that your Pinterest account is in good order.
Check that your boards look presentable, that you’ve been pinning good quality images and that your bio and board descriptions are all good quality.
While you can apply for group boards at any point, I personally like to wait until I’ve accumulated 1,000+ followers before I approach group board owners.
I feel at this point that I offer some kind of value; I’ll be bringing a respectable number of followers with me.
I have found that many group board owners – quite reasonably in my mind – will ignore “small fish” with only a handful of followers simply because they won’t be contributing much in the way of visibility.
Read the Board Description
Read carefully through the description of the group board you’d like to join.
Note down any guidance on how the board owner would like to receive new contributor requests, and also double-check that the board is still accepting contributors.
In many cases, bigger boards stop accepting new members simply because they become so challenging to manage at scale, and that the board owner is probably getting so much traffic that they’re busy with their own business. If the board states it isn’t accepting contributors then move along.
Follow the Group Board
You can’t be accepted for a group board unless you’re following both the board itself, and the board owner. So simply click the “follow” button here.
Follow the Group Board Owner
Visit the profile of the group board owner and click the button to follow them too.
Send Your Application
By now you’re all set to actually apply. Use the techniques discussed earlier to apply for your contributor status, taking notice of any application requests from the group board description.
As a reminder, this process can take some time. You’ll likely be reading descriptions, following boards and pinners, then writing all manner of personalized emails and messages so it can take several hours to apply for a decent number of boards.
All being well, however, your work will produce results.
You’ll find that messages start appearing in your Pinterest account, inviting you to contribute.
Simply accept them as they come in and you’ll officially be a group board member!
Re-Check The Rules
As a final step in the group board application process it is wise to revisit any boards that you have been granted access to, in order to remind yourself of their rules.
Many will impose limits on how often you can pin, for example, or will ask contributors to repin other people’s images.
Make a careful note of these and always follow these rules.
Group board membership is worth it’s weight in gold, and the last thing you want to do is to jeopardize your status here.
Now this stage in Pinterest marketing guide you should have a good all-round knowledge of Pinterest. You know your way around the site, you understand what makes a great pin, how to create them, add them to your website and pin them to Pinterest.
You also know all about the tools that can help to improve your Pinterest marketing results: the only topic left for us to cover is arguably the most important of all: what should you be pinning and when – in short, what pinning strategies should you be applying.
It’s no secret that the more you pin, the more followers you get and the more potential traffic your site will receive. Of course, more pins also means far more chances for someone with a really big following to stumble across your pin and send it viral.
So how much should you be pinning, and how often?
There are those people who claim they know the magic number of pins you should be adding to your account each day.
Oddly, bearing in mind how many people seem to feel they know Pinterest better than anyone else, everyone claims different numbers.
I think the reality is that there isn’t one magic number of pins you should be adding to your account; the number of really controlled by elements such as how much time you have to source suitable pins for your boards, which tools you use and even the niche that you’re operating in.
In general I suggest that the only way to ascertain the best number of pins to add each day is to do your own research.
This is simple enough to do.
Start off with a baseline – let’s say ten pins a day as an example.
Then in Tailwind or Boardbooster increase the number of pins to fifteen or twenty and watch your results. Repins, follower numbers and traffic going up?
Great, let’s push it a little further. I know of some pinners who add 100+ images a day to their account but if I’m honest I just don’t have the time to source so many pins!
Personally, most of my accounts sit at around 30 pins per day – the maximum I have time to source without spending far too long on Pinterest.
The key is really to ensure consistent daily activity and to track your results over time to find the “sweet spot” for your own unique situation. Then stick with it.
It used to be the case that when you added a pin to your account it would pop up in the feed of your followers right away.
In such circumstances it paid to target the times when your Pinterest followers were most active, because you’d ensure as many of your followers saw, repinned and clicked on your image.
Thanks to the Pinterest Smart Feed, however, most Pinterest experts believe that timing is of less importance. Pinterest works hard to surface the best pins for their users, with little regard to how recently that image was pinned.
As a result, it’s hardly surprising that I have found very little difference in what time I pin – so long as it’s when America (the biggest audience on Pinterest) is awake.
Generally, therefore, I’m happy for my pins to go out anywhere between lunchtime and late evening – typically midday to 10pm or thereabouts. Whether you use Tailwind or Boardbooster it’s simple enough to specify in your schedule that pins should only go out at these times.
Pinning Multiple Times
Don’t think that you should only pin each of your lovingly-created Pinterest images to a single board and then forget all about them.
In truth, such a pin will never reach it’s potential with so little attention.
Instead, a Pinterest pin should be nurtured like a seedling, and you should do everything possible to increase it’s visibility and chances of really taking off in the Smart Feed.
Doing so also reduces your workload, whether we’re talking about curated or your own handmade pins, as a single pin can do more when multiplied.
Here are some tips:
Pin to Multiple Boards
As your account grows, and so too do the number of boards that you have access to (both personal and group boards) so you’ll find that a single pin might fit neatly into dozens of different boards.
If so, feel free to include them where they are relevant.
If you’ve got a pin all about building a shed from old wooden pallets then feel free to pin it to your “Garden Ideas” board, your “DIY Projects” board and your “Pallet Projects” board.
After all, it makes sense, and also means that a single sourced pin can be used more than once, which saves you time.
Pin Repeatedly to the Same Boards
Just because you’ve pinned something to a specific board once doesn’t mean that needs to be it.
In truth, when you have thousands of followers all active on different days and at different times, it’s all too easy for a winning pin to go unnoticed by a large proportion of your audience.
Pinning the same pin again can therefore be an entirely reasonable idea – so long as you leave enough time between repins so as to not overwhelm your followers.
One easy way to do this is to use your “Best of” blog board that we discussed earlier.
This board acts as a single source of all your blog post images. It therefore becomes very simple to grab a few of these images on occasion and then schedule them to go out again.
Prioritize Winning Pins
It’s a sad truth of Pinterest that you’ll receive vastly different results between pins.
You’ll find that the pin you were certain would be a surefire winner fails to get get any traction whatsoever.
At the same time that ugly first pin you created – with the design that now makes you groan with embarrassment – just keeps on drawing in ever more repins and clicks.
Don’t ask me how or why – just appreciate that it will happen.
Infact, when you’ve created enough pins for your blog you’ll likely find that 90% of your traffic comes from a tiny handful of pins. The rest just fester away, bringing in a handful of visitors each day.
The reality here is that pins that have already done well, will almost certainly do well again. Therefore when it comes to “recycling” past pins, focus on those that are getting you the most traction. Then reshare them again, and again, until they stop working for you.
But how do you know which pins are performing most strongly? Here are a few elements to consider:
Which of your pins are getting the most repins? I now have several pins with 25,000+ repins in their lifetime. These are what you call serious winners.
Even easier, take a look at your Google Analytics to see which pages of your site are receiving the most traffic from Pinterest. This is easy to do. All you need to do is navigate to Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals. Here you’ll find a list of your top pins and pages.
Lastly you can look at your Pinterest Analytics to see which pins are driving the most engagement among your audience.
All three of these metrics – or even a combination – can easily be used to tell which pins have performed the most strongly. Then get ready to repin them again at a later date.
Prioritize Winning Boards
Just as some pins get more engagement than others, so you’ll find that some boards are more successful than others.
What’s more, don’t assume that the boards with the most followers will necessarily get the most engagement. Frequently, the best-performing boards actually have a far smaller, yet more focused, audience.
You will often find that pinning an image to these boards results in far more traffic and repins than the same image on less-engaged boards – even if they have more followers.
Just as you should prioritize your winning pins, so too should you put extra focus on those boards that are driving you the most engagement.
So, how do you know which boards are driving the most engagement?
Create Multiple Images
We now know that some pins perform better than others – often without reason.
We also know that repinning our more successful pins can drive further visibility of our content, while repinning unsuccessful pins is unlikely to resurrect them.
So what is the solution?
Simple: we make replacement pins.
One of the easiest ways to grow your Pinterest traffic, especially as your account starts to mature, is to go back to those blog posts of yours that never performed as well as you expected. Then create a new pin for that article.
You can now start pinning this brand new image, and potentially driving yet more traffic to your site – but without having to write a whole new article. The blog post remains the same; you simply create a new pin (with a new description) and get promoting this.
Your Pins Vs Curated Pins
One common concern among new pinners is the ratio of “my pins” to “other pins”. For example, should you bother sharing a curated pin (i.e. one that doesn’t point to your website) on a group board – or is this largely a waste of time?
In my experience, the pattern of some pins and boards performing better than others relates both to your own account and group boards that you’re a member of.
This means that sharing high-performing pins to high performing boards is almost always worthwhile – whether the pin is yours or not, and whether you’re pinning to a group board or your own boards.
That said, a proviso is necessary…
It should be obvious that, all things being equal, the more you pin your own images the more traffic your site will receive. Therefore, if in doubt, the best option is generally to shuffle in the best of all pins – both yours and curated.
Just be certain to include enough of your own to help your traffic grow.
My Proven Pinning Plan
Now we know what is working, and what isn’t, we can start to turn this knowledge into a plan of action to grow your site traffic through Pinterest marketing.
For New Accounts
Gaining traction for a new account can be a difficult and time-intensive process, so let’s try to make this as simple as possible. For new accounts my own process is as follows:
Start off by creating a handful of boards on your account, using the tips provided earlier in this guide.
For example, make sure you have chosen your keywords carefully and included these in the board title and description.
Then use a tool like o set up pin sourcing as discussed earlier on. I then like to log into my Boardbooster account once a week to approve or decline the images that have been gathered for me.
I also use my Tailwind account to gather curated pins from blogs I subscribe to, adding extra levels of interest and originality to my account.
What I do not do is start to share my own pins – yet.
The reason is simply that new accounts don’t yet have the “power” to make a success of your own pins. I like my account to grow nicely first, then I start to share my own content later on.
For now, just aim for curated pins.
To get my account growing as rapidly as possible I like to pin plenty at first. I might start with ten boards, and ask Boardbooster to add five approved pins per board per day.
That’s fifty pins going out per day.
Now certainly this will take time and effort to wade through all the sourced pins and approve them, but a high pinning frequency can start your account growing rapidly.
While group boards can be tremendously beneficial, if you apply for a group board with only a handful of followers you’re probably not going to be taken seriously.
A better option is to wait until you’ve got at least 500 followers – and ideally 1,000 – before you start getting onto group boards.
There’s more. The more boards and pins you have yourself, the more established you’ll look – and the more appealing you’ll be a group board member.
Keep that pin sourcing going in the background, therefore, until your account reaches the point that you feel confident that your account looks respectable.
I like some 20 or so boards, 1,000+ pins and some 500+ followers before I go looking.
At this point, however, start doing your outreach with the hope of being accepted onto as many niche-relevant group boards as possible.
For Established Accounts
While it may take some months to achieve this level, by the time your account becomes established you should have a decent number of boards, followers and pins.
You will also hopefully be a contributor to a number of group boards, and will be confidently watching your follower numbers going up like clockwork each day. This is the stage where we can ramp things up a notch and start to see things getting excited…
Firstly, for my established boards (200+ pins) I now switch off the pin sourcing and instead switch to looping. This just cycles through my existing pins, keeping my account without having to wade through all the pins that Boardbooster has sourced.
I still add new pins to my boards on occasion, thanks to Tailwind gathering curated pins from new blogs I am following.
While you have been accepted onto a number of group boards, it’s unlikely that you have approached all the relevant group boards available.
It’s also likely that at least some of your outreach didn’t result in a group board invitation for whatever reason.
Every few months I therefore like to re-contact anyone who didn’t respond last time around, as well as looking for new group boards you haven’t applied to.
This means that the number of group boards you’re able to pin on will gently gently grow over time, as will your overall reach.
It is at this stage that I start to pin my own content – both to my own boards and to group boards. Either use Tailwind or Boardbooster to spread these out over time, avoiding the risk of being seen as a spammer.
After some time you’ll start to be able to assess which pins and boards are getting the most engagement.
This is where things can start to get exciting as you combine this knowledge to produce a winning campaign.
Your goal here should be to set up a campaign that pins your best-performing pins to your best-performing boards on a regular basis.
Quite how many times to pin is open to debate.
Some bloggers recommend pinning their top five pins to their top five boards, every single day, like clockwork. Personally I think this is a little over the top, so I try to pin one of my top five pins to my top boards each day. Set this up in Boardbooster so that it repeats indefinitely.
In this way, all you need to do is to keep an eye on your pin and board statistics, swapping them out if another board or pins starts to take off.
The final stage is to spend some time each month recreating pins that have not done as well as you expected.
Consider changing the background image, the font, or the title text.
This is easy enough to do in a tool like Snappa which saves all your designs and allows you to modify them at any point.
Alternatively, go wild and try a completely new design.
Either way, don’t accept failure; keep reworking underperforming pins until you find an image that works.
By now you should be a Pinterest ninja – all you need to do is to spend some time practising how to make eye-catching pins, and getting to grips with either Tailwind or Boardbooster.
Soon enough you’ll start to find your follower numbers and traffic rising.
What is particularly nice about marketing your blog or affiliate site on Pinterest is just how quickly things can take off if you’re willing to invest the time.Coming Up Next…
Coming up next we’re going to look at another social media site which is worthy of your time – Twitter
We’ll talk through the tips and strategies you need to apply to network with others in your niche, land marketing opportunities and grow your site traffic yet further.
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