Let’s face it…we’re all chasing the same thing. Traffic.
Some people are willing to spend thousands of dollars to get website clicks while others a left to grind it out for free traffic.
Well, that free traffic grind is easier than you think. You just need to focus on the right things.
One of my favorites is Pinterest.
I’m going to teach you exactly what you need to do in order to harness the power of Pinterest (even if you’re brand new to the platform).
WHAT IS PINTEREST?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know a little bit about Pinterest.
Pinterest is sort of like a digital corkboard. People “pin” things they find interesting. Usually, it’s things that they want to refer back to at some point or share with their friends or followers.
It’s often referred to as a social media platform like Twitter and Facebook but that’s not really what it is. At its core, it’s a search engine. Think Google. People go to Pinterest to search for things. That could be recipes, tutorials, DIY tips…really anything.
Thinking of Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social media platform is important. Keep this in mind as you set up your own Pinterest profile and start pinning.
Pinterest has become a powerhouse. At the time of writing this, the site has more than 150 million monthly active users. As you can imagine, there’s potential to build a massive audience on this platform alone…in any niche.
Here is one of the craziest Pinterest statistics. Ready? The lifespan of a pin is 151,200 minutes. Compare that to the life of a tweet at 24 minutes and a Facebook post at 90 minutes. That’s an absolutely staggering figure. If I’m spending time on something, I’d much rather see it last over 100 days rather than an hour or so.
Pinterest is an amazing traffic source. I’ve seen case after case of people’s traffic exploding after implementing a proper pinning strategy into their businesses.
Take a look at this post from Side Hustle Nation. They increased their website visits from 479 to 11,733 over a two month period. That’s a 25x increase! I challenge you to find another platform that can help you grow that quickly.
Here’s another post to have a look at. Kristin from Believe in a Budget increased her pageviews from 5,000 to 40,000 in one month of using Pinterest. Imagine what you could do with traffic numbers like that.
There’s no shortage of these types of stories. They’re definitely not one-off’s. These results are achievable by anyone if they have a solid strategy.
If you haven’t realized it yet, you HAVE to be on Pinterest!
SETTING UP YOUR PINTEREST ACCOUNT
There are two types of accounts you can use on Pinterest; personal or business. They both work the same but the business account allows you to access a few extra features. These are Rich Pins, Promoted Pins, and Analytics. Rich Pins and Analytics are the main reasons you should use a business account. Promoted pins may or may not be of interest to you. It’s basically Pinterest’s version of Pay-Per-Click advertising.
Don’t worry if you already have a personal account, it can easily be changed over to a business account. I’ll show you how below.
First, let’s go over how to set up your Pinterest business account if you’re completely new.
Head over to the Pinterest business site
Click Join as Business
Enter the required details and click Create Account
Like 5 topics then click Done
You now officially have a Pinterest business account. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
If you already have a personal Pinterest account you can do the following to convert it to a business account.
Log into your Pinterest personal account
Head over to the Pinterest business site
Click Convert Now
Enter the required details then click Convert
Boom! Easy! You’re done. You now have a Pinterest business account.
BRANDING YOUR PINTEREST ACCOUNT
Branding your Pinterest profile is very important. This is what’s going to draw people to you and what you have to offer. If you already have a website or blog you should focus on keeping your Pinterest branding close to what you already have in place.
You don’t want your profile to look like you set it up in 30 seconds then took off on vacation.
We’re going to go over the different aspects of your Pinterest branding below. Take your time with each of these steps to make sure your audience can get a good feel of who you are, and your brand, from your profile.
First, you’re going to want to choose a good profile picture. This is what people are going to see when you pin something or they reach your profile. I highly recommend using a high-quality photo of yourself. You want people to feel a connection to you. Using a picture of your pets, your car or something like that is a not the best idea.
Even using a logo isn’t recommended. It’s much easier for your readers to feel a connection to you personally than it is for them to connect with a brand.
I don’t follow anyone on Pinterest who doesn’t have a picture of themselves in their profile. So make sure you use one of you!
Next, is the business name section of your profile.
You should just plop your business or blog name in there, right? Wrong. You have an opportunity to add more and you should take advantage of that.
For example, my business name on Pinterest is “Income Superhero | Entrepreneur + Online Business Tips”.
It includes my business name but also gives a simple description of what I do. On top of that, it includes a couple keywords, “entrepreneur” and “online business tips”. This will help my profile come up more often when people are searching Pinterest for those terms.
Think about what you really do and find a way to describe that in a concise way. Also, consider what your target audience may search for. Use these keywords in your title if you can.
Once you’ve come up with something for your business name it’s time to move onto the About you section. This is the true description of your Pinterest profile. It’s a good place to introduce yourself to your audience.
Keep this section short and sweet. Write 2 or 3 lines about who you are. Pinterest doesn’t give you a ton of room to write, so get straight to the point.
The last and most important part of setting up your profile is adding your website’s URL. This is going to add your web address right above the About You section you’ve just completed.
DO NOT skip this step. It’s another way to get people who are interested in you to your website or blog.
CREATE YOUR BOARDS
Before you start pinning, you need to create some boards. Boards are how your pins are organized on Pinterest. Each will have their own title and house pins that are relevant to that topic.
Using boards properly will help your audience find things that are relevant to them. Keep that in mind when you’re creating your board titles and descriptions.
Let’s look at an example. Imagine you’re a fitness trainer and you’ve just set up your Pinterest account. You might have boards like “Healthy Eating”, “Ab Workouts” and “Cardio”. In the Healthy Eating board, you would pin healthy smoothie recipes and things like that. You get the idea, right? Great!
Looks like you’re ready to rock. Let’s get started creating your first boards.
While logged into your Pinterest account click Create Board.
When picking a name for the board, remember what we talked about. You want to use names that give your audience a clear idea of what they can find on that board. Keep it simple and straightforward. Stay away from anything too vague or fancy. Also, consider using strong keywords if it makes sense.
After you create and name the board you want to go one step further and edit the details.
Click on the little pencil icon while you’re on the board and that’ll open up a new window with some more options.
This is where you’re going to enter a board description.
The description is very important. The key here is to use powerful keywords that are related to your brand and what you offer while also detailing what the board is about. Here’s an example of one of my board descriptions.
Building an email list is one of the most important things you can do for your online business. Learn the best strategies for building a targeted list of your own.
This one’s for a board called List Building. On that particular board, I pin things related to starting and growing an email list. You’ll notice it describes what the board is about and also includes some keywords like “email list” and “online business”. This gives me a better chance of displaying in the search results when someone uses those terms. They’re also relevant to what is actually on the board. Don’t just stuff random keywords in there.
The last thing you do in the board settings window is select a category for your board. There aren’t a lot of options so just choose the category that’s closest to what your board is about even if it isn’t exact.
You now know how to create optimized Pinterest boards. Just repeat this for each board you create. I recommend starting with 5-10 boards. You want enough to fill your profile out but not so much that it gets overwhelming. Once you get into a solid groove you can start to add more boards if it makes sense.
Now, the most important thing of all, creating pins.
The ultimate goal of your pins should be to have people click them and eventually end up on your website or blog. Keep that in mind when you’re designing them.
First, let’s talk about sizing. It’s important that you use the proper pin size so they don’t show up looking like garbage.
Your pins should be tall and skinny. Ideally they should be 736px wide and between 1104px-2061px tall. Long pins stand out more and get more attention. The reason you don’t want them any higher than 2061px is that they’ll get cut off on a mobile device. Mobile makes up a good portion of Pinterest’s traffic so you definitely want to make sure your pins look good in that format.
Moving to the actual design of your pins. What should they look like? What should they include?
You want to make sure your pins stand out. As you can imagine, people see hundreds of pins each day. You need to give them a reason to click yours and that starts with an eye-catching design. Browse through Pinterest a little bit and look at some of the popular pins in your niche. You can see a number on the bottom right of each pin (next to the push pin icon). This is the number of times the pin has been repinned. What do they have in common? What elements grabbed your attention? Use this information to create your own style.
You also want to keep your pins on brand. The goal is to eventually have people recognize them without even seeing who the creator is. Use a similar style in all your pins but don’t make them the exact same. Here are a couple examples of my pins. They all use similar colors and fonts but are slightly different.
Use wording that entices people to click your pins if you can. Tell them exactly what they’ll learn by clicking through or, if you have some kind of freebie with the post, include that right on the pin. These things encourage people to actually click. Here’s an example.
The easiest way to physically create pins, in my opinion, is Canva.com.
To get started, go and create a free account if you don’t already have one.
Then click on the Create new design button.
The cool thing about Canva is that you can actually select Pinterest graphic and it’ll give you a perfectly sized image template. From there you just have to add your images, text, and any other elements. Play around with this until you come up with a pin template you’re happy with.
Once you get some pins up and start building a following you can begin to review what pins are working best for you. We’ll talk more about this in the analytics section, but you can review pin performance and create more pins that are similar to your best-performing ones.
When you’re ready to actually pin a pin you’ll have to come up with a pin description. This will be similar to what we did with board descriptions. Clearly describe what the pin is about and include relevant keywords.
Pinterest is pretty generous with the length of pin descriptions, so don’t be afraid to use the space.
Make sure you include a call to action. At some point in the pin description, you want to prompt the reader to click through to your website or blog.
Let’s look at an example of a good call to action. Let’s say you have a pin about green smoothie recipes. On the pin, it says “5 Amazing Green Smoothie Recipes To Help You Lose Weight”. Your call to action could simply be, “Click To Find Out What The Recipes Are”. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated. You’re just trying to nudge the reader to click.
Remember when we talked about the reasons for getting a business Pinterest account rather than a personal one? Rich pins were one of those reasons.
Rich pins are awesome! They are very similar to normal pins but include a little more information. There are four types of rich pins: app, product, recipe, and article. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on the article one as this one most likely applies to you.
Article rich pins show a headline, the author, and a story description. Here’s an example of a normal pin next to a rich pin. You can see that extra information in the rich pin.
How to easily enable rich pins using WordPress
If you’re using something other than WordPress for your website you can follow the instructions on Pinterest’s help site to get rich pins up and running.
Go to your WordPress dashboard and download a plugin called Yoast SEO (you may already have it, it’s super popular).
Once installed find the Features tab in Yoast SEO and make sure Advanced Settings Pages is Enabled.
Next, visit Pinterest’s Rich Pin Validator, enter your site’s URL and click Validate.
That’s it! Simple! Now when you pin things from your site, your metadata will automatically be included.
The showcase board is a large board that shows up at the top of your profile. It can house up to 5 different Pinterest boards. It acts as a showcase, hence the name.
This wasn’t mentioned in the board section of this post, but you should have at least 1 board that is dedicated to pins that lead back to your site.
When setting up your showcase board you want to use the board you’ve set up with just your pins on it. That way your own pins are going to show in the showcase board. The idea is that it’s the first thing that someone visiting your profile sees, so it’s most likely to be clicked.
That’s what you want. Here’s an example of what my showcase board looks like right now. Notice how they’re all my own pins and on brand?
Analytics was another reason you should be using a Pinterest business account.
The analytics area of Pinterest allows you to look at key statistics about your profile and pins.
You can see things like daily impressions and daily viewers you’re getting from your profile. It shows how many people you’re reaching on a monthly basis and how much engagement you’re getting. You can also see how your own pins are performing (pins related to your website or blog).
The analytics section is good for finding out what pins are performing the best. You can see how many impressions they’re getting, how many saves and how many clicks.
All of this stuff is important. By reviewing it periodically you can learn what kinds of pins you should be focusing on and which kind you should stay away from.
What are some things you can learn in Pinterest’s analytics?
Testing your calls to action: If you have some pins that have really high impression numbers but no clicks, you could try different calls to action to see if you can bump that number up.
Good designs: If you’re seeing a certain pin or pins that are getting lots of clicks and saves relative to the number of impressions you can try to figure out what’s causing that and replicate it. There’s a reason this/these pins are performing well. Testing similar styles or wording could lead you to more strong pins.
Trends: Look at the graphs for impressions, viewers, followers etc and see what’s happening. If you’re seeing a downward or upward trend try to figure out what you’ve done differently. Maybe you’ve started pinning a certain number of times per day and you’re noticing a strong upward trend in interaction. Take note of these things. Same for downward trends. If you’re noticing strong drops in any areas of your account try to figure out what is causing it and correct it moving forward.
You’re going to have periods of ups and downs, just ride these out. You don’t need to worry until you’re seeing large or sustaining changes. This is especially true in the beginning. With a small account, changes are going to look bigger than they really are. Don’t worry too much during your first few months.
Group boards are a secret little weapon that most people either don’t use correctly or don’t use at all.
In a nutshell, group boards are Pinterest boards that have multiple contributors. This means you could have hundreds or even thousands of people pinning things to a single board.
The beauty of group boards is that they can have a lot of followers. This means you can have access to large audiences even if your own follower count is low.
Here’s a quick example. Let’s say you personally have 100 followers and you pin something new to one of your boards. The best case scenario is that around 100 people would see that pin. Now let’s say you’re part of a group board with 5,000 followers. When you pin to that particular board, your pin could potentially be seen by 5,000 people.
Note: These numbers are hypothetical. Not every one of your followers is going to see all of your pins. That’s just the nature of Pinterest. You can see, though, that you have a much better shot at more people seeing your pins on the group board in the example above.
You can see how powerful group boards can be.
Once your account is up and running I recommend you try and become a contributor on some group boards that are relevant to your niche.
To find group boards you can use PinGroupie to search for relevant boards. At the time of publishing this post, the PinGroupie site hasn’t been updating too often. However, it’s still a good resource for finding boards to join.
Another way you can find group boards is to view other people’s profiles in your niche. You’ll be able to see any group boards they’re contributing to. You can usually identify group boards by the number of pins. Keep an eye out for any boards with a number of pins significantly higher than the average board on that profile. If you click on the board and see more than one person listed, that’s a group board.
In order to become a collaborator on a group board, you have to reach out and request permission from the board owner. A lot of the time you can find out how to join in the board description. If there are no details in the board description, take a look at the first person listed on the board. That will be the board owner. Personally reach out to them and ask if they’re accepting new contributors and how you can become one.
You want to pin to your group boards often. Make sure you’re pinning a mixture of your own pins as well as pins from other people. A good ratio is 80/20. 80% other people’s pins and 20% your own. This way you don’t look spammy. You don’t want a group board to be filled with a whole bunch of your stuff.
Pinterest is all about consistency. If you want to see the best results you need to be pinning quite often. Some people pin upwards of 50 times per day. That seems like a lot and it really is. The truth is Pinterest rewards people that are active.
Pinning 50 pins a day would be absolutely crazy if you were doing it manually. You would have to spend a good portion of your day on Pinterest alone. How would you get anything else done? You probably wouldn’t.
Enter Pinterest automation. There are tools out there that can help you stay active on Pinterest without sitting in front of your computer for hours each day.
With automation tools, I can spend about 30-60 minutes per week on Pinterest and still reap all the benefits.
If you’re interested in automating all, or some, of your Pinterest efforts you can check out my post about BoardBooster and Tailwind. In it, I describe how I use each tool as well as their pros and cons. It also includes a free checklist you can use to determine which tool would work best for you.
There you have it
Well, there it is! You should have a pretty good understanding of how to set up a Pinterest business account and start driving traffic to your website or blog. Pinterest is huge and it’s only getting bigger.
I urge you to get your account up and running as soon as you can.
Don’t forget to download my free checklist that goes along with this post. There was a lot thrown at you and I wouldn’t want you to miss any of the important steps.
Let me know in the comments what you’re struggling with on Pinterest.