In this post, I am sharing the Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Marketing for bloggers, as a sort of starting point for all new bloggers trying to “crack” Pinterest and grow their traffic.
I have regularly shared my Pinterest journey this year and I have a lot of posts dealing with different Pinterest issues I faced. I always test new ideas and make small changes in my strategy and I like to share that with my readers and hopefully help some new bloggers who are struggling as well.
So if you are a new blogger or if you are planning to start a blog, this post is for you. It will help you understand Pinterest, and set up your profile the right way from the very beginning.
Here are the topics we are going to cover.
Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Marketing for bloggers
- What is Pinterest?
- Can you make money using Pinterest?
- How to create an account
- How to enable rich pins and validate your website
- How to create your own boards
- Should you join group boards?
- How to create the perfect pin?
- What apps to use for creating pins?
- How to come up with a pinning strategy
- The importance of Pinterest Analytics
- Should you use Tailwind?
- Should you invest in Pinterest ebooks and courses?
- Final thoughts and a recap of all actionable tips
- Recommended size is 900x600, but feel free to test slightly longer pins
- Try to use an image that is related to the topic you are talking about
- Use an easily readable font and make it large
- Make sure not to overuse script fonts
- Bright colors work great, avoid using light colors for the text on your pin
- Make sure to use intriguing, power titles that draw attention
- Use keywords in your pin's description
- Use hashtags in your pin's description
- Make sure your profile, boards, and pins are optimized (use keywords from Pinterest)
- Create high-quality pins with interesting titles
- Create new pins for old posts
- Focus on your own boards, not on group boards
- Pin consistently multiple times per day
- Repin high-quality third-party pins
- Use a scheduler, but also pin manually
- Focus on Google Analytics, not Pinterest Analytics
- Keep adjusting and updating your Pinterest strategy
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is like an online pinboard. The entire content is driven by visuals and you cannot share anything on Pinterest unless there is an image involved.
It is a hybrid between a visual search engine and a social platform. You can follow other people and their boards, you can leave comments or message users. But most people primarily use Pinterest to search for recipes, home decor, fashion, quotes, parenting tips, business tips and much much more.
As a visual search engine, images you post as well as keywords you use become really important in your bid to reach more and more viewers.
Why is Pinterest important for bloggers?
There is no doubt that Pinterest is the most powerful social media platform you can use for your blog. Unlike Google, you do not have to wait for months and years to get traffic to your blog.
People are actively going on Pinterest and searching for information and solutions. And Pinterest gives them results in the form of Pins.
So if you manage to set up your profile the correct way and learn how to attract people to click on your pins, then you can have thousands of people visiting your blog even if it is only one month old.
That is not going to happen on Google as it takes a while for Google to trust your blog.
New bloggers should also keep in mind that some niches do particularly well on Pinterest and these are: health and fitness, cooking, parent tips, fashion, home decor, DIY, quotes.
So if your website is not in these niches, then you cannot expect crazy results from Pinterest. You have to set realistic expectations.
Can you make money directly on Pinterest?
There are many ways you can make money using Pinterest. Since May last year, Pinterest has allowed pinners to add direct affiliate links to their pins, so you can promote your own products, or someone else's products in your pins and make a commission.
To do this, you do not even need a blog.
Make sure to disclose on any and all pins that you are acting as an affiliate. Otherwise, your account can be banned.
How to create a business account?
Your first step should be to open a Pinterest business account or to convert your private account to a business one.
You need a business account because you want to use additional features such as Pinterest Analytics and rich pins.
This process takes only a few seconds and I will not guide you through it as I assume most of you are already familiar with this. Just click on Create a business account link and fill in your details.
When you complete your profile, make sure to use a professional photo. You can use your own photo or your logo, and write a description of what you do. Make sure to include keywords you want to target!
How to set up rich pins and validate your website?
This is really one of the most basic steps you do not want to miss. A rich pin is similar to a rich snippet, an HTML markup that adds extra detail to the text underneath the URL in a search result.
This type of pin stands out from the rest and clearly points out your URL and name.
I wrote about this in more detail in my post How to enable rich pins in WordPress. All you have to do is install Yoast SEO plugin. Configure the plugin with your social links, and then navigate to SEO > Social > Facebook tab. Click enabled, under Add Open Graph metadata.
Your next step is to validate your blog. Visit the Rich Pin Validator and choose any post on your blog. Insert the URL in the box below:
And then click Validate.
How to create your own boards
After you completed your profile, enabled rich pins and validated your website, it is time to start organizing your boards. With the new Pinterest updates in 2018, your own boards are very important for your success on Pinterest.
So it is time to carefully plan what type of boards you want to have.
If you switched your private account to a business one, your first step will be to delete all boards not related to your blog categories.
You may be a fan of keto recipes, but your followers are not. So remove any boards that may confuse visitors, and keep them on your private Pinterest account.
Now you have to find keywords for topics you plan to write about. So if your topic is Blogging, then your boards should be named with keywords such as Blogging tips, Blogging for beginners, Blogging tips for experts, Grow your blog, Affiliate Marketing, Make money blogging...and so on.
So I first create one general board which will contain all pins from this category, and in this case, it is named Blogging tips. And then you start creating other subboards named with important keywords you want to target.
Do not rush and create a lot of boards. It takes time to fill them up and it takes time for you to create your own content and pins for these boards.
So start with 5-10 boards and start increasing them over time. Pay attention to the quality of your pins, and not quantity. You need to fill these boards with high-quality pins that your followers are interested in.
If you just pin for the sake of pinning, you will have to clean up your boards occasionally and improve the quality of your boards.
Related posts: How to create the best Pinterest boards
Should you join group boards?
I wrote an entire post about group boards, as I was myself struggling to decide if group boards were still valuable for new bloggers after the 2018 Pinterest update.
The fact is as a new blogger, group boards can still be useful for you, especially if you manage to join category-specific smaller boards that have a well-optimized description.
So try to avoid large general group boards where you see pins from different categories and different topics. Pinterest does not rate these group boards well and will not promote pins from them.
And have realistic expectations. You are probably not going to have a crazy number of repins but still, you may get some engagement that will help your new account grow.
How to find keywords on Pinterest?
Finding keywords on Pinterest is not too difficult. Use the Pinterest Search field and start typing the category you are interested in, for example blogging.
Pinterest will suggest keywords that Pinterest users search for the most. And these are keywords you should be using. Also, you can use these keywords in your description as well as your Pinterest name.
Now, take a look at ideas that Pinterest is proposing when you click on Blogging: For Money, Blogging Inspiration, Starting a blog, Blogger Planner and so on.
How to create the perfect pin?
You created boards and started writing new posts. Now it is time to create pins that will help your blog grow and bring new visitors.
What makes a pin perfect? Why users click on some pins and skip other ones? There is no right or wrong formula to share but there are some tips you should keep in mind when you create new pins:
Now you have to understand that the best way to find out what works for your niche is to test different designs, colors, titles and see which pins work best.
This is a time-consuming process, but I think every pinner has to go through it. It takes time to find your best design, and you have to find it through trial and error.
Even when you do find your ideal design, sometimes "uglier" pins will be more popular. There really is no way to know what Pinterest users will find interesting.
Related: How to create the perfect pin
What apps to use for creating pins?
Both tools are great for someone who is not too tech savvy.
Have in mind that you will probably have to invest and use a paid version of these services as they have some features that are not available in the free version. For example, if you want to resize pins in Canva, you need a paid version.
The good side is that they are easy to use and you can quickly learn how to create beautiful pins. They also have a lot of Pinterest templates, which can be very helpful especially in the beginning.
How to come up with a pinning strategy?
Your profile is ready, boards are created and you finally created your first pins. But how, when and how much should you pin?
It is important to have a pinning strategy if you want to succeed on Pinterest. You cannot just pin randomly and expect success.
There are many ebooks and courses you can check and different approaches to Pinterest.
Let's get over some most frequent questions.
Automated or Manual Pinning?
When I switched to automated pinning via Tailwind, I did experience a dip in traffic and I think that Pinterest really wants you to spend time on their platform.
So I mix both manual and automated pinning and that works ok for me. It is really difficult to do only manual pinning, as life always gets in the way. I also live in Europe and my readers mostly in the USA, so I use Tailwind to pin at night my time.
Yours or third party pins?
In the beginning, you will pin more third-party pins than your own.
As you create more and more content, put more emphasis on your own pins. After all, you are using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic, not to promote someone else's content.
In the end, the ratio should be 80:20 (your own pins:third-party pins).
How many pins per day?
Choose quality over quantity. I read sometimes that bloggers pin 80 or 100 pins per day. I would not be able to check all those pins and be sure that they are of good quality.
So I pin around 20 to 30 pins per day. Sometimes more, when I am free.
But I make sure to check pins, read posts and really see if the pin is of good quality.
When to pin?
It is best to pin several times per day than to sit down and pin all 30 pins at once. So I usually pin a couple of pins when I get up, then around midday and again in the evening. I use Tailwind for pinning at night.
Tailwind has a great feature which determines the best time when you should pin your pins. If you start using this tool, then you will see what timeslots you should use.
Should you pin the same pins over and over?
According to the new Pinterest updates, you should avoid spamming boards with the same pin over and over.
It is, of course, better if you create new ones, or if you make minor changes to the pin description. Also when you pin your pin that was saved by someone else Pinterest counts that as a new pin. So it is also something you should be doing.
The Importance of Pinterest Analytics
All new bloggers tend to check Pinterest stats every day, sometimes multiple times per day.
I used to do that as well until I realized that Pinterest stats are really not that relevant.
Yes, you might have 1 million monthly viewers, but how many viewers are clicking through to your blog?
Google Analytics is much more important so have that in mind. Also when you see posts, where bloggers brag about the number of monthly Pinterest users, be very cautious.
To better understand Pinterest analytics terms, I will mention a couple of important things:
Average Monthly Viewers - people who see your pins (this means that your pins appeared among other pins when people browsed Pinterest)
Average Monthly Engaged - this is a much more important figure, this means that these users at least clicked on your pin. But again this does not mean they saved it or clicked through to your website.
The most important part of Analytics is the Website tab. Statistics on this page refers only to your pins whereas the previous stats included third-party pins as well. So here you can see the pins people are saving from your website, the number of saves, clicks and much more.
Should you use Tailwind?
You can pin manually on Pinterest, but honestly, it is very difficult to maintain consistency and do it daily without any breaks.
I started using Tailwind when I was on holiday as I realized that I was not able to keep up with pinning. I also wanted access to Tailwind analytics and tribes.
You can start without Tailwind, but down the road, you should consider investing in this tool. It will save you time and enable you to pin even when you are asleep.
It also provides great analytics for individual pins and boards, and most importantly, group boards.
Should you invest in Pinterest ebooks and courses?
As a new blogger, you will constantly be thinking about investing in ebooks and courses and wondering if that will help you get traffic to your blog.
You can find a lot of useful free content online that can help you set up your account the right way. In this post, I shared some very useful resources where you can find great Pinterest tips and I also shared some free courses and ebooks with tips for beginners.
But I have to say that I learned a lot from ebooks/courses I purchased and I found them very useful for improving my Pinterest profile.
I have a full-time job and not a lot of time to spend researching online, so I liked the convenience of reading all the tips in one place.
But I do not think that any ebook or course will help your blog succeed. There are many factors that will affect your success on Pinterest: your niche, number of blog posts, the quality of your content, and so on.
If you are in an unpopular niche on Pinterest, then you cannot expect to get results that someone is getting in mega-popular niches such as cooking or fitness.
There are two most important things you need to remember if you want to grow your Pinterest account and bring visitors to your website.
The first one is Consistency and the second one is Adaptability.
It takes time to build an audience on Pinterest and bring people to your website. And the key to your success is consistency. That sounds easy, but is, in fact, the most difficult part of any Pinterest journey.
You have to pin every day of the year, even when you are on holidays, ill or feeling overwhelmed by other things in your life.
You also need to accept that Pinterest changes a lot, much more often than other social platforms.
And when the Pinterest algorithm is updated, it will affect your stats. You need to constantly be on top of things and follow and adapt your strategy based on Pinterest updates. Check out my recent post on How to get your Pinterest account ready for 2019.
In the end, let's just recap the most important actionable tips you need to remember from this Ultimate Guide to Pinterest Marketing for bloggers: