Last month I wrote a post about getting 24,000 views in May, with most of the increase in page views being from Pinterest. June brought a 20 percent increase in page views. The Pinterest news flooded my Twitter DMs with questions. I had written a few lines explaining Pinterest in last month’s post, but was still getting a ton of questions. So, I decided to write this post about how to use Pinterest to increase your page views.
- 1 How I Got Reached 25,000 Views In 3 Months With Tailwind
- 2 1. Set Up Your Pinterest Account
- 3 2. Use TailWind To Get More Page Views From Pinterest
- 4 3. Optimize Your Blog Posts For Pinterest
- 5 4. Common Mistakes I see – Things NOT To Do
- 6 5. The Most Important Pinterest Factor To Getting Page Views
How I Got Reached 25,000 Views In 3 Months With Tailwind
Below is a screenshot of Google Analytics for my Pinterest referrals for the past few months. I had used the free trial in January during my first month of blogging but had no clue what to do so didn’t purchase it. I wish I’d had this blog post at the time to explain it better to me. At the beginning of April I began pinning on Tailwind again and saw some really amazing results. But that was just the beginning.
100 hits a day in April were a huge traffic boost for me! After 2 weeks, life got busy so I forgot to schedule pins and put it on the back burner. You can see the dip for the last two weeks of April due to that. I started pinning again the last few days of April, and only missed a few days in May, and continued to ramp up my Pinterest game. It definitely paid off, with multiple days seeing more than 1,000 page views from Pinterest, and a day breaking 1,500 page views from Pinterest.
If you want to try out the tool, Tailwind offers a free trial. Scroll down a little on the Tailwind page to see the “try it free” button in green.
Tailwind has a blog post about the average results people see when using their tool, but it doesn’t have specific page view numbers so I thought I’d give you my example above.
Due to my Pinterest referral traffic, in late June I got accepted to Mediavine, which was one of the things I’ve been working hard on since April (yep, that’s why I got Tailwind!).
I’d read that Mediavine had $15-$30 CPMs (this means $15-$30 per 1,000 page views froms ads), which was a godsend compared to Adsense’s paltry $1-$3 CPMs. For a few months I had used Sovrn with a waterfall system for $5 CPMs, but Mediavine’s obviously still blew everything out of the water. Everything I’d heard about Mediavine was true. Their CPMs are really as good as people said!
Mediavine requires 25,000 sessions (not pageviews!). I knew if I wanted to get into the program I’d have to master Pinterest, because let’s face it, no matter how good you are at SEO, it will probably take a lot longer than 3 months to get 25,000 sessions per month from SEO (if you do know how, send me a message, I’d be interested in learning!).
Pinterest can be one of your biggest traffic drivers. It’s definitely mine. Below I’ll outline some steps that you should follow in order to be successful.
In June, I managed to increase my Pinterest impressions from 500,000 to 930,000 in 30 days with Pinterest!
The big reason why Pinterest is such an amazing traffic driver for blogs is because:
- it’s filled with pins that lead to blog posts, and people on Pinterest love that. They’re looking for blog posts to answer their questions, and that’s perfect for you.
- It’s the platform with the most people open to self-promotion.
- The number of followers doesn’t really matter. It’s easy to get your pins seen if you know what you’re doing. For example, I had 930,000 viewers on Pinterest with just 467 followers. That being said, if you’re looking to work with brands, it’s a nice vanity metric to have.
- You can leverage group boards to reach more people. It’s kind of like getting followers without them actually having to follow you.
Pinterest is not social media, it’s a search engine. Once you can get your pins to “rank” at the top of people’s smart feed, all you need to do is get them to click by the pin image. It’s like Google, except instead of focusing on meta descriptions to get people to read your content, you’re getting them through the door with your pin image on Pinterest.
We’re going to go over the the steps you should take in order to get a basic understanding of how Pinterest works.
1. Set Up Your Pinterest Account
Sign Up For A Business Account To Create Rich Pins
Get a business account for free from Pinterest in order to leverage extra information on your pins. It’s free and Pinterest explains it best here.
When you get accepted for a business account, you’ll want to apply for rich pins. Also free! You’ll see a headline and description on rich pins, whereas you’ll only see who saved the pin on a non-rich pin.
There are four types of rich pins: article, app, product, and recipe.
If you’re a blogger, you’re most likely going to want to apply for article (blog post) and/or recipe if you have a food blog.
Apply To Group Boards
Group Boards allow you to leverage other accounts with more followers than you.
If you’re a beginner, apply to group boards that have at least 1,000-2,000 followers. If you have free time, apply to group boards with more followers, but your acceptance rate to those boards might be much lower. If you’re willing to take that extra time, it’s pretty rewarding for your Pinterest traffic.
Once you get accepted to that board, it’s like getting access to the followers of the board.
When you increase your followers and Pinterest impressions, you can try applying to those group boards again after a few months.
I’d recommend keeping a spreadsheet of the boards you’ve applied to so you can try again after a while.
Most group boards will have an email so you can contact the group board leader. If you can’t find an email, try using the contact form on the group leader’s blog. You can also try sending a direct message to the group leader’s owner.
Create Personal Boards + Board Covers
Take the categories of your blog and create a personal board behind each category. Be sure to do Pinterest keyword research to make sure your board will be found by those searching for information related to it.
Create a board cover so your profile looks neat and people will be more likely to follow you. If you want to work with brands, it’s a good vanity metric, even though the Pinterest algorithm doesn’t care as much about the number of followers you have.
2. Use TailWind To Get More Page Views From Pinterest
Tailwind offers a free trial , so check it out because it’s helped out my Pinterest game immensely. Below are the basic things
Schedule Your Pins At Optimal Times
The best part about Pinterest is being able to schedule your pins days, even weeks in advance.
The Pinterest algorithm likes it when you pin everyday, throughout the day. Who the heck has the time to pin throughout the day? We have jobs! It’s also extremely inefficient from a time perspective to randomly pin throughout the day, especially if you’re pinning 50-100 times a day.
With Tailwind, it only takes me a few hours to schedule my pins 2 weeks at a time. It also suggests the best times to pin and just slots your pins for those times.
Using Tailwinds Smart Schedule feature, you can tell it how many times you want to pin per day and Tailwind will automatically generate times to automatically pin.
Leave Underperforming Group Boards
In Tailwind, you can see the repins per pin for a board, which is called a virality score.
For example, a score of .1 means that for every 10 pins pinned on a group board, only one of those are repinned. That’s a terrible virality score. A lot of good group boards require 1:1 repinning, which means that for every pin you pin, you should repin another pin.
I usually wait 2 months before leaving a board in order to build up enough data. Unfortunately, you can’t tell if a board is good or not before you join. Use Tailwind’s Board Analytics to make sure you’re pinning to healthy boards so Pinterest doesn’t penalize you and reduce your traffic.
Loop Your Pins
I was using Boardbooster for looping, but they shut down last month :(.
Fortunately, Tailwind has been working on a SmartLoop feature and it’s currently in Beta. Hopefully they’ll release it soon as I don’t see another Pinterest scheduler with the same option. Hopefully they’ll open to the public soon so I can finally get my loopin’ back on!
Looping is where pins are brought to the top of a board by deleting the old pin and repinning the same exact pin to the board. It keeps your old pins relevant and makes it much easier for older pins to go viral again.
Apply To Tribes In Tailwind
Tailwind Tribes is a little like group boards, but actually keeps people accountable for their repinning rates. If you’re the Tribe owner, you can see the number of pins someone has pinned. as well as the number of pins they’ve shared. Most Tribes have a 1:1 rule, which means for every pin you pin to the Tribe, you need to share one.
Try to find a Tribe with a large number of members as well as a high activity score. The more people who see your pin, the more likely it’ll get repinned.
Above is a great example of a tribe for a food blog. It has hundreds of members, and the activity score is 5/5. Tailwind also has an Insights tab to check if your Tribe is performing, just like the Group Board Insights.
You’re also more likely to be accepted to Tribes than group boards, which is especially nice if you’re a newbie to Pinterest.
Delete Underperforming Pins
In Tailwind, you inspect pins you’ve pinned via the “Pin Inspector”.
Pin Inspector only shows the last 5,000 pins you’ve pinned. Every once in a while, I go back and delete underperforming pins. Tailwind makes it easy to track down your old pins by date and then sort by number of repins.
It’s a good idea to delete underperforming pins (ie, pins with no repins) because Pinterest looks at how popular your pins are to decide if they should keep showing them in the Smart Feed.
3. Optimize Your Blog Posts For Pinterest
Put Hidden Pins In Your Post
HTML is a language used for webpages. In wordpress, your images are described through HTML.
This is what HTML looks like when describing an image. I’ve substituted “___” for things that can be changed.
<img class=”______” src=”______” alt=”________” width=”____” height=”____” />
The important thing to note is that images will start with <img class…..
If you’re trying to hide a pin, all you need to do is put <div style =”display:none;”> before <img class…. and then </div> after the the end of the <img class…
Here’s the full example:
<div style =”display:none;”><img class=”______” src=”______” alt=”________” width=”____” height=”____” /></div>
When you click on the Pinterest share icon, it should look something like the above. People can pick their favorite pin and you’ll be able to A/B split test pins this way from your blog post directly.
You’ll also want to hide the images that are not pins, so that people don’t accidentally pin a random image, instead of pinning a pretty pin you created. To make sure you’re hiding non-pin images, add “data-pin-nopin=”true”” to your <img class….> tag.
<img class=”______” src=”______” alt=”________” width=”____” height=”____” data-pin-nopin=”true” />
Put Pins At The End Of Your Post
I’ve never pinned a pin from the beginning of a post, because there have been too many times where the pin was pretty, but the content was terrible. If I really liked a post, I’d pin it but after I read it. So put your pin image at the bottom of each post.
Also, if you put a pin at the beginning of the post, it’s going to take a much longer time for your website to load, and people might “X” out of your website. Since more than 80 percent of people on Pinterest are on a mobile device, it’s going to take even longer to load than desktop. While I’m not sure if Pinterest tracks bounce rates to decide who to show pins to, I know Google tracks bounce rates for SEO purposes.
4. Common Mistakes I see – Things NOT To Do
Don’t Play The Follow/Unfollow Game
While it’s not encouraged to play the follow/unfollow game on social media sites, it’s generally accepted that it does actually work on Twitter and Instagram. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work as well on Pinterest and you don’t want to look like you’re following a ton of people on Pinterest. People generally will not follow back. Also, as mentioned in the beginning, the number of followers doesn’t matter as much.
Creating Your Own Group Board When You Don’t Have Followers
If you just started, creating your own group board is probably not the best idea. People join group boards because they have a lot of followers, and if you’ve just started, people are less likely to join yours.
Instead, create a personal board, where you pin your images.
Forgetting Keyword Research
Just like you need to do keyword research for SEO, you need to do it for Pinterest as well. Try typing a few words into the search bar, and see what Pinterest recommends, just like Google does.
5. The Most Important Pinterest Factor To Getting Page Views
Every single item above this is do-able as long as you can read and understand the steps and put in the work. This last step is significantly harder to teach in a blog post.
Can You Tell Which Pins Are Pretty? If Not, You’re In Trouble.
Go to Pinterest and take a look at the first 10 pins. In my experience, 2 will be excellent pins, 4 might be “fine”, and the rest will look terrible. If you can’t tell which of these 10 pins are in which category, this step is going to be a huge challenge for you. Get a friend, close family member, or anyone in your life who can tell decent design and titles apart to guide you with which ones they think are in each category.
In this picture, the second pin on the top line and the 3rd pin on the 2nd level are the best pins. You’ll notice that the two infographics on the way left are really great visual pins. However, this frequently backfires if not done properly because people save the infographic but don’t click through to the blog post.
Group Pretty Pins With Interesting Titles In A Secret Board
If you’re an artist or designer, you learn by studying the techniques of those who came before you. Learn the basics before you try to create your own style.
Branding is important, but if you’re starting out and a tiny Pinterest presence, there’s time and room for you to grow your design skills before you settle on a specific style.
Create a secret board and pin your favorite designs. If you find a certain person is ending up on your “pretty pins” board a ton, write down the link to their profile on a spreadsheet and you can study their pins.
- What colors are they using?
- How are they complementing their primary colors?
- What kinds of fonts are they pairing?
- What is it about the title that makes you click? What emotions do you feel?
- Is the background type common against your prettiest pins?
- Always think of more questions and how you can qualitatively analyze those pins.
Practice Makes Pin Perfect
Just like learning to blog and write takes time and incremental improvements, so does creating awesome pins.
Your 1st pin might be crappy. So might your 10th. But as long as you improve a little bit each time, your traffic grows.
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