This sounds like a gimmick right? I promise you it isn’t. I’ve been on Pinterest since it launched in 2010. It’s also my top referring social media platform for my blog. I also love that it’s a social platform where things just get better with age and you never have to really unfollow annoying people (unless you started a maternity/baby board then I usually unfollow that board only, sorry but it throws off my feed!).
But a little situation happened a few years back that forced me to take a good look at my Pinterest strategies. One random day I was going through old pins and deleting ugly off-brandpins that weren’t being repinned (something you should be doing!). And something happened….
Somehow I managed to not pay much attention and I ended up deleting my entire My Style Vita Board.
This board had EVERY image from my blog on it since I started my blog. I almost cried, I was so panicked. At first, I thought I’d lose HUNDREDS if not thousands of followers (tip, don’t EVER delete a board) but I thankfully only lost a handful. I only ended up losing about 50-100 followers, but I’ll never forget it. Right then and there I decided to finally do some research and see what I can do to increase my followers and make Pinterest really work for me.
How I Grew My Pinterest Following
After reading lots of articles and testing out some things, I’ve found 5 ways to boost your Pinterest followers and increase blog referral traffic. After one solid month of doing all of the below, I went from 6,622, to 7,698 followers and also grew my average daily impressions by 40%.
Why do we care so much about Pinterest? Pinterest is truly a search engine and there are 335 million users MONTHLY. By not utilizing this platform, you are missing out on pageviews, new followers and readers. But you have to TREAT Pinterest like a search engine with proper keywords and providing helpful content that people are searching for. Plus, Pinterest is very much like Google search in that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. These tips will take a few weeks or months to see good results.
This post was originally written in 2015 and has since been updated. And in addition, my account has grown even more!
1.Update Your Profile & Board Descriptions
This may seem odd as you think your profile is good the way it is, right? You have your name, a little blurb, you’re good! Wrong. When people search for fashion blogs, outfits, DIY or whatever it is they are looking for, your profile plays a huge role in what shows up. If your profile doesn’t have the keywords associated with your content in it, you’re missing valuable exposure. For example, I’m a fashion and lifestyle blogger that provides helpful tips on these topics. I want people who search for those things to find me, right? So I changed my Profile Username from just my blog name, My Style Vita to: My Style Vita ~ Style Beauty + Life Tips For An Elevated Everyday. This is on brand as it reflects my “elevated everyday” tag line and also includes the proper keywords like style, beauty, and TIPS!
Now what about your profile description? This should be 2-3 sentences that get to the point, that entice the Pinner to follow you. It should also include buzz words that are relevant to your content. You want people to know exactly what they’re getting with your content. Plus, you should include a call to action to drive them to your newsletter signup! My profile description is:
I help women create a more put together life from style advice, beauty tips + everyday life hacks. Get the FREE braid guide ~ https://mystylevita.com/subscribe/
A few other things to double check are your URL and profile photo. Does the URL work? And is your profile photo on brand and current? I have some information about updating your profile pages here so you can always make sure profiles across all platforms are up to par.
Just like your profile, boards are a great way that people may discover your content. If you have a recipe board, be sure to write in the description of the board and all relevant terms for that topic. Below is an example of a few of my boards.
Women’s Spring + Summer Style Ideas – This board includes pins about outfits and style ideas for spring and summer seasons
Description: The best warm weather outfit ideas from vacation style to spring and summer style trends. Get the spring capsule guide when you subscribe today! https://mystylevita.com/spring-capsule-signup/
Beauty, Hair & Makeup – This board contains all things related to these 3 beauty topics
Description: The best beauty tips and ideas. Get inspired for makeup, skincare, nails, manicures, hair tutorials, braids, beauty trends and more. Plus get my 14 page braid guide when you subscribe!
My descriptions include lots of great search terms that people may be used to find ideas. Be sure to classify your board correctly as well. You can also brand your board by selecting a cover pin so that your profile looks cohesive.
2 . Pin Good Pins And Pin Constantly
There’s no secret to this one. Constantly pinning means you’re constantly creating content for followers and to be discovered. When you pin, be sure it’s still relevant to your brand and that they’re quality pins that people want to re-pin. You’ll be wasting your time if you’re spending all day pinning landscape style photos, images that aren’t quality, and images that aren’t relevant to the boards they’re going on. So the rule of quality over quantity does apply here, but I recommend pinning anywhere from 15-30 pins a day.
The BIG thing to think about though, is what kind of pins you’re pinning. You want to make sure our pins are a 2:3 ratio and at least 900px wide (I just make all of mine the same as my blog images which are 1500px wide). Once you have your size down, you want to make sure the actual pin content (image, text overlay, call to action) are all enticing to the user. I make about a dozen custom pins for my blog posts that have varying text overlay, call to actions and some even include a mention of a freebie (like my spring capsule or braid guide). Below are a few examples of strong pins that will get more clicks/saves than just a pretty image.
Examples Of Good Pinterest Pin Templates
The above pins all have a few things in common. Can you spot them?
All of your pins should include the following
- Your logo
- Your website URL
- Branded colors, textures, graphics
- Strong title text overlay
- A call to action – like a freebie you offer!
- Pin Title – You should have a short and clear pin title
- Pin Description – Your pin description should be a few sentences that describes the pin, the content it’s linking to and any other relevant keywords that people are searching for.
3. Use Tailwind
Tailwind is a great tool for many reasons, but pinning non stop is what I love it for. You simply install a bookmarklet and you can then pin from your own site and other sites as well. When you click the bookmarklet, it populates all images that can be pinned as well as the description. You can then select whatever boards you want it to go to as well as Tribes or SmartLoops. I sometimes want one image to go to several boards depending on what I’m pinning which makes this super fast. I also like to schedule them out so new content goes live instantly, and then the other boards go out a few days later to not bombard my Pinterest followers. This way I’m also pinning fresh content all the time which is exactly what you want to be doing.
What Are Tailwind Tribes?
Tailwind also has something called Tribes where you can join like-minded groups where you add your own content, and then pin other people’s content to your boards. It’s like a big support group that can really help increase your content’s visibility on Pinterest. It’s a great way to get your content in front of new eyes.
What Are SmartLoops?
You can also create SmartLoops which are basically your own personal collections of content and you assign it to boards and a schedule and then it just loops it all for you. This is great for niche content like holiday stuff that you want to pin during the holidays only. Or evergreen content that lives year round like easy weeknight dinners, or self-care, or blog tips! It’s kind of a, set it and forget it, mentality and it’s a huge time saver.
A few other things I love to use with Tailwind are their analytics. You can easily see what’s being saved most, what’s being clicked most and so on. It’s a great way to see which blog posts you may want to work on to update with better pins, or update the blog post so it’s more helpful than it originally was written.
4. Great Pin Descriptions
Your descriptions in your pins are crucial to growing your following and becoming discoverable. I have a few tips that I do every single time I pin my images that have helped to increase visibility.
First and foremost, your description should be relevant. It’s best to make sure your descriptions match your photos and the content it’s linking to or else people won’t repin, and if they do, it won’t be as effective. This should be for the Pin Title and Pin Description.
Second, include strong searchable terms in your description. You can find relevant terms by utilizing the Pinterest search bar to see what people are also searching for. Below is an example when you search “diy face mask”. You’ll want to use a mix of these keywords that other people are searching for. They go in order from most common to least common. So with this search I would include terms like “for acne, pores, dry skin and easy”. These words should be in the pin description somewhere, somehow.
5. Clean Up Your Boards & Pins
There are several things you may have on your boards that can be inhibiting your growth. Start by looking at the boards you have. Are they relevant to your brand and how many do you have? You should aim for no more than 20 boards. And your boards should be super relevant to your profile description and what you offer. Archive any boards that aren’t relevant or relate to your content or brand. Full transparency, I had a “coffee break” board of just pretty coffee photos. Useless. Instead, my boards reflect my brand and what I offer followers.
When removing these off-brand boards, it’s important to archive them and not delete. This way you maintain your followers and if those pins are trending somewhere, they won’t go away. You can also add sections that better help organizes the board.
Pins are also important to review. From pins that don’t have great descriptions, don’t link to the right page or aren’t vertical, the list goes on. I like to clean up my boards and pins in a few ways.
Remove Poor Performing Pins – Having most of your pins on your boards be ones that are re-pinned, tells Pinterest your content is top notch. To remove poor performing pins I use Tailwind to see which ones aren’t doing well and move them to a secret “old pins” board.
A Few Other Things To Keep In Mind With Pinterest
This list is just the tip of the iceberg with Pinterest. But a few other things to consider to grow your Pinterest and referral traffic are to make sure you’re a verified user if you’re a business. This helps to pull your logo from your site, your meta description and so on.
Also, use Tasty Pins. This is a great tool to add the pretty new pins you created but you may not want them in your blog post. This “hides” them in the post and only populate when someone goes to pin your post. It’ll show up as an option to pin. You also can add your own Pin Title and Description so you have some control over what people are pinning as most don’t change the description. So if you can add a good description, you can ensure that pin performs the best it can.