Let’s start this lil’ post with a fun fact: I’m obsessed with Pinterest. Even more fun fact? I actually worked for them very briefly as a contractor!
Pinterest red runs through my veins…
but I digress. Pinterest is the bomb dot com. And it can be amazing for driving traffic to your blog.
I’ve been getting a ton of questions from other bloggers lately about how to harness the power of Pinterest. I decided to synthesize my knowledge on how to grow your blog traffic by using Pinterest into this one blog post!
Get ready for my deep dark dirty secrets that have led to my Pinterest success – and no, you don’t have to have thousands of followers to drive thousands of people to your blog.
I’ve always seen Pinterest as more than just an online mood board. While everyone else was planning parties and pinning wedding dresses, I was researching how to use Pinterest as a search engine.
Because it is. Pinterest is part planning tool and part search engine. And that’s exactly why Pinterest is an important potential traffic driver.
Let’s break it down even further.
People use Pinterest to plan. From weddings to parties to other life decisions, people flock to the platform when they are in the early planning stages to research.
Your website or blog could have just the info they’re searching for – if you’ve made it available for them to find. It’s important to remember people use Pinterest to plan – weddings, parties, and purchases. Remember this when creating content and create content that will help people plan their lives. Put that content on Pinterest and you’ve got a delicious recipe for referral traffic.
How do people use Pinterest to plan, you say? Like they would use a search engine.
Users go to Facebook to browse and catch up with friends and family. Users go to Twitter to catch up on the daily news or Instagram to get inspiration and kill time.
Users come to Pinterest with an intent – an intent to plan and an intent to search.
Have you spent tons of time researching SEO and have been optimizing your blog? Well if not – you should. But if you have – treat your Pinterest profile and pins with the same level of TLC. The platform will reward you with traffic in spades.
So now you’re sold on Pinterest as a traffic driver…but you’re stuck. You have no idea how to tap into the magic of Pinterest.
I’ve got you!
Let’s break down my three golden rules of how to get more website traffic from Pinterest.
This is my number one rule not just for creating good pinnable content – but just good content in general. I try to make sure all of my posts are helpful and are solving for some problem people have in their lives. Whether you’re seeking to inspire or inform, understand that because people come to Pinterest searching for specific things, top performing content on Pinterest is always helpful.
I totally fell victim to this when I first started blogging. I spent so much time curating each image for a blog post, editing, etc. Once the post was published I simply hit “pin” and moved on with my life.
And saw zero traffic from Pinterest for years.
Not months, years. Let that sink in.
Once I started creating pins specifically for Pinterest all that changed. I spent a solid weekend, hours at a time, sitting and creating pin after pin. This wasn’t hard – just time consuming. And the man hours have long since paid off because two weeks later, once the pins started “heating up,” I saw big spikes in traffic.
Want proof? Here’s a little snapshot of my Google Analytics for ya’ll below. I’m not really a blogger that blogs about blogging so I’ve kept my hard traffic numbers private, but you can see my % increase in traffic referred from Pinterest over a one month time period and that’s the key here – how to get Pinterest to go from zero referral traffic up to the number one or two spot.
By investing time to create Pinterest specific graphics and scheduling pins (more to come) I was able to increase my Social % contribution to my total traffic from 11% in December to 37% in January.
Talk about wowza.
I love to mix imagery with text for my pins and have seen these perform better than images or text alone. I also only create vertical pins as they take up more space in the Pinterest feed as people are scrolling. Horizontal pins get lost in the mix.
If you’re intimidated when it comes to graphic design, I recommend signing up to use Canva. Canva has some amazing pre-designed pin templates you can use – for free!
If you take nothing away from this post except one thing, let it be this: Pinterest rewards the active user.
The only way to be successful on Pinterest and drive traffic is to pin consistently. Period. There are lots of schools of thought here on whether or not you need to physically be hands to keyboard for every pin, but I’m going to share what has worked for me and my blog.
And this, my friends, is where Tailwind comes in.
I like to keep it real – I’m a Tailwind affiliate. This means that, because I love and use Tailwind myself, I’ve been given a special link to use. If you sign up for Tailwind using my link I do get a small kickback. You guys know me – this post is in no way sponsored and I wouldn’t ramble on for over 1,700 words if I wasn’t actually obsessed with Tailwind.
So let’s get into the nitty gritty of what makes Tailwind my go-to Pinterest program!
Tailwind is a social media scheduling tool with the ability to schedule and analyze Pinterest and Instagram. I haven’t really jumped on the Insta Tailwind train yet – but I’m allll about their Pinterest capabilities.
Tailwind allows me to schedule my pins ahead of time and automatically pin them to Pinterest so that I do not have to be hands on keyboard pinning in real time.
Baby girl has a full time job. I can’t be on Pinterest all day. Tailwind is a life saver.
Tailwind costs $9.99 a month for small businesses and bloggers.
The good news? You can start free literally by clicking the button below! Click below to start your free trial of Tailwind and give this whole kicking ass at Pinterest thing a whirl.
You didn’t think I would just direct you to Tailwind and drop you, did ya? Nah.
Real friends give you the inside scoop. And we’re real friends.
So let’s take a tour of Tailwind together!
Upon logging in you’ll be directed to your “Dashboard.” The Dashboard is sort of like your home base. You can come here for a quick snapshot of how your Pinterest profile and pins have been performing for the last week. This is a great place to pop into once a day for a quick gut check on how your growth is going!
Navigate on to the left hand side of the screen to see your menu bar. We’re going to skip “Tribes” for now (that’s a whole can of worms I’ll let ya’ll research on your own).
The “Publish” tab is where you’ll go to schedule pins, create your pinning schedule, as well as see previously published pins.
I spend most of my time in the “Drafts” and “Scheduled Pins” sections.
Under “Drafts” is where you’ll be able to upload all your fancy pins you created using Canva. You can use this space to upload your images, create captions, and even schedule them to your queue! After you’ve hit “schedule” you’ll see these pins appear under “Scheduled Pins.”
Before you start setting up pins in Tailwind make sure to create your pinning schedule first. Under “Publish” click on “Your Schedule.” A crazy screen filled with tons of time slots will appear and you’ll want to throw up in your mouth. DON’T PANIC! Tailwind is super helpful and recommends time slots for you to pin each day – you can simply follow their recommendations if you don’t feel super passionate about pinning at specific times. The key thing to note is you want to pin between 15-20 pins per day minimum.
Set up your schedule, start working on some drafts, and get your pins scheduled! Boom. With pins in the queue you can now go about your day and Tailwind will be working for you in the background.
I’m definitely an analytics kind of girl. Can you tell?
Under “Moniter your domain” you’ll be able to see your account analytics with a little more granularity. I particularly enjoy looking at the “Referral Traffic” section to see how much traffic Pinterest is driving to my blog!
In the “Track your brand page” section you’ll be able to track your Pinterest profile’s growth! I look at the “Profile Performance” section to see how many followers I’ve gained week over week.
Curious which of your pins are performing best? Head over to the “Optimize content” section and take a peek at the “Pin Inspector.” This is where you’ll be able to see your top performing pins so that you can re-schedule or create more pins with that same high performing design!
I gave the Instagram Tailwind feature a shout out at the beginning of the post, but wanted to make sure to highlight a new feature on Tailwind: auto publishing to Instagram.
Until now, Instagram has not allowed publishers to automatically publish posts to IG. This means you could schedule your posts, pre-write your captions, and that was all fine and dandy. But you could not have the post automatically publish.
IG has since changed its API to allow for auto-publishing and Tailwind has hopped on creating a special function for its users.
Click below to learn more about how Tailwind can be used not just for Pinterest, but also for your Instagram!
All that being said – stop wasting time. Seriously. I look at my traffic now and question why I didn’t spend time optimizing my Pinterest months ago.
Show Pinterest a little love and it’ll show you a lot of traffic in return!
*Blondes & Bagels uses affiliate links. Please read the disclaimer for more info.