I have had a Pinterest account for a couple of years now. I signed up to it simply because I liked the concept and I found myself pinning inspiration for a ton of different things; life hacks, photography tips, DIY craft projects… the list goes on. Despite being a fan of Pinterest, it never really occurred to me that Pinterest could be used to promote my blog until earlier this year. Since I have turned my focus towards this, I have discovered that Pinterest has a lot of potential for bloggers.
That said, when I first got started with Pinterest for my blog, I felt a bit lost. I had seen advice from people with thousands of followers but I couldn’t help but feel it must be easier for them to gain followers since they already had traction. With all social media, I find it’s getting the ball rolling and finding those initial followers that is the biggest challenge.
I, therefore, want to share how I got my first 1k followers on Pinterest with you. It took some time, experimentation and persistence but I finally found a formula that works and my following is steadily growing. Even better, Pinterest has become my biggest referrer of traffic to my blog. Think of Pinterest more like a search engine than a social media; it is set up for evergreen content! This is perfect for blogs.
Below are the steps and strategies I took to get my first 1k followers. By following them, you will be able to achieve the same:
Set up a business account
Using a business Pinterest account allows you to access Pinterest analytics, which is useful for showing you how well you are doing and which of your pins are most popular. You can set up a business account here.
Set up rich pins
Have you ever noticed that some pins have a logo and bold title underneath, which also tell you the site the pin came from? These are rich pins. They help your pins to stand out and are easy to set up. You can find a tutorial on how to do so here.
Write your bio
Your bio is the first thing people see. Who are you? And more importantly, what do you have to offer to other people? Why should they follow you? What sets you apart from all of the other chronic illness bloggers? Use a photograph of yourself (ideally the same across all of your social media so you are recognisable) and think about using keywords in your name and description too.
Keep boards relevant
When I first started with Pinterest for my blog, I simply changed my personal account over to my blog’s business account. This meant I had a ton of boards about everything and anything. I slowly removed irrelevant boards (and made the irrelevant ones I enjoy secret) to keep my boards within my niche and on brand. I thought about the audience I wanted to attract and then started to create boards I felt would be of interest to them. Another tip: order your boards to put your most relevant and important boards first.
Create a board specifically for your blog posts
The very first board on my profile is one specifically for my own blog content. It gives people an idea of what the content is like on my blog and hopefully, they are more likely to then click over to my blog.
Brand your pins
This is the biggest mistake I made initially. I did not create pins specifically for Pinterest and I just pinned any old image from my blog posts. If you want to get serious with Pinterest, you need to create eye-catching pins. It’s no secret that vertical images do best on Pinterest. Create vertical images and add bold text to them so that people know what your pin is about; these are more likely to be repinned than a random image that is likely to get overlooked. Even better, brand them so that people get familiar with your style and will immediately know when a pin belongs to you. I have a template in Photoshop and simply change the text and background image so it only takes me a few minutes to create each pin I make. If you don’t have Photoshop, GIMP is free to download. If you aren’t interested in learning how to use either of those, Canva is a great option.
When you upload images to your blog, be sure to give them a description that is rich in keywords. Do this for all images, not just your specific pin as you can’t be 100% sure which image people will choose to add to their Pinterest. You can add a description to the “alt text” and the “title” field in the WordPress gallery works too.
Start by creating pins for your most popular posts
As I mentioned above, Pinterest is great for evergreen content. So take advantage of that by creating pins for your most popular posts. Go to google analytics and click on behaviour > site content > all pages. Here you will see a list of the most popular posts on your blog.
Add a ‘Pin It’ button to your blog
This makes it super easy for people to pin images straight from your blog onto Pinterest. I use WordPress and installed a plugin called ‘Pin it button for Pinterest’ by Pinterest. If you aren’t on self-hosted WordPress, you can find out how to add one here.
Pin to every single relevant board
When you add a pin to Pinterest, don’t just add it to a single board. Re-pin it to every single relevant board. Don’t worry- the image won’t appear in people’s feeds multiple times (Pinterest doesn’t work like that). The way I do it is I add the pin to the first board, then click on “saved to….” to go to the board I just saved the pin to and I will re-pin from there onto the next board and so on. Pinning to multiple boards increases the likelihood that your pin will get good exposure.
Only follow relevant people
This makes life so much easier when it comes to finding pins to pin to your boards. If you follow people out with your niche you will be scrolling and scrolling through your Pinterest feed, trying to find pins suitable for your own boards. This is just a waste of time. You don’t want to be spending a long time on Pinterest, so be sure to follow only relevant people and boards so that you immediately have quality content available to you that you can repin.
Find relevant group boards to pin to
Group boards are great to join as it makes your pins available to a bigger audience. If you are a member of chronic illness bloggers, we have a group board that you can join to get you started. Follow it here. Can’t find any others? Why not start one up with fellow bloggers in your niche.
If you can, try to pin at least 30 pins per day; the more, the better. This may seem like a lot but you don’t need to just pin new content all of the time. As well as adding new content to your boards from your Pinterest feed, be sure to re-pin older pins. Go to the bottom of your boards and repin some of those old pins that have been buried. Each time you do so, be sure to delete the original pin so that you don’t end up with duplicates. Make sure you re-pin your own pins on a regular basis too.
There are programs, such as Board Booster that helps with all of this but you do have to pay for them. However, I don’t use these and instead, spend about 10 minutes each day on Pinterest pinning new content and repinning old pins.
By following the above strategies, I have grown my audience to over 1k followers and it only continues to grow. Before doing the above I was lucky to get 30 new followers a month. Now I get up to 300 new followers per month; all from spending just 10 minutes per day on Pinterest. I know if I invest even more time, this figure could be even bigger.
The biggest benefit, though, is that my blog traffic is also increasing. So if you are struggling to increase your blog traffic and you aren’t on Pinterest, well… now is the perfect time to get started.