Feeling overwhelmed by Pinterest and how to get traffic from Pinterest to your blog? This Pinterest strategy can help you get traffic with minimal effort and the correct way. My favorite Pinterest tool, Tailwind is sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’ve loved Pinterest since it started back in 2010. I was an early user back when you needed to be invited to get on the platform. At that point, I just used it for fun with my friends.
It wasn’t long though before bloggers started using it to promote blog posts. It was a fun way to share my posts and find blog posts to read. It was pretty simple those days but it also wasn’t a huge traffic source.
A Pinterest strategy is a bit more complicated now but it also has become a top traffic source for a lot of bloggers. It currently is my top traffic source with Google following behind closely.
We often think of Pinterest as social media but really it’s a search engine like Google but visual. That’s what they call themselves, a visual search engine. As a visual person, I love it and use it almost as much as Google, more when it comes to recipes and DIY projects.
The most common questions I get about blogging are about Pinterest. At first, it can seem very complicated and overwhelming. There is so much info out there and everyone seems to have different advice.
The nice thing about Pinterest is they really like creators, they know they need us, and because of that, they are pretty open about what they want to see and how to best use the platform.
This changes from time to time so you will see bloggers upset about algorithm changes but I’m grateful they are as transparent as they are. I find when we don’t fight against what they say they want we can see big wins.
Recently Tailwind had a Facebook live saying there were big changes with what Pinterest wanted us to do but really it was just confirmation of what Pinterest has been telling us they want for a while.
Many bloggers say they are doing well not following these guidelines and it won’t be the same for everyone but in general, people that follow these guidelines are seeing success. They are also likely at less risk for being marked as spam, something that is happening more and more.
Since I get asked all of the time what my Pinterest strategy is I wanted to share it, especially with these new concerns with the guidelines Pinterest has told us about. My strategy is all about working within what Pinterest is telling us they want and it’s working!
How to Use Pinterest
OCTOBER 2021 UPDATE: Pinterest has had a lot of changes recently. I still do most of these things but I’m also using strategies learned in Scheduling Shortcuts [Hacks for the New Pinterest Algorithm]
I’m going to give you my step-by-step process. My process keeps in mind Pinterest best practices and comes from a lot of testing to see what would work well. I have found when I follow this strategy my traffic goes up and if I go away from it my traffic drops.
You may need to play around with some parts of this strategy for it to best fit your site but it’s a good starting point. Any adjustments you do make, try to make sure they fit within best practices and good user experience.
Step 1- Create a Blog post
The most important thing for Pinterest is having good content to share, that’s why this is the first step. You want to make sure that if someone does come to your page from Pinterest that you are giving them quality content.
This is also the time to think about SEO and creating a post that Google will like as well. Ideally, you will be getting traffic to your post from both traffic sources.
Step 2- Create Pins
Once you have a good post you need images for people to share on Pinterest. I like to use my own photos or stock photos from Depositphotos. You want to make sure the photos you are using you have permission to use. Using copyrighted photos can lead to you being removed from Pinterest, you can also be sued.
Once you have the photo(s) you want to use then you need to create the pin. Pinterest recommends using 2:3 images for pins. I make sure most of mine are this size but I also usually make a few in other sizes. The sizes I often make are 600×900 (which is 2:3), 700×1550, 600×1200, and square.
Usually, 600×900 does the best for me but sometimes one of the others will take off. Just be aware longer pins can sometimes be cut off in feeds. You can read more about image sizes on Pinterest’s image guide.
Pins with text tend to do the best. You can add text to your photos and make other edits in most photo editing software. My favorite editing program is PicMonkey. It’s really easy to use and they even have built-in Pinterest pin templates. These templates are really great if you are just getting started and need more ideas.
I highly recommend getting a basic account. It’s not very expensive and it gives you more features. There are higher levels as well but basic will work for most bloggers.
Many bloggers will make several pins at once for each blog post. I only make one at a time as you will see in my strategy.
Step 3- Add a Pin to Your Post
Once you have your pin created be sure to add it to your blog post. You will see in this post I have my pin image at the top of the post. You can do this or some put it at the bottom of the post or even hide it with HTML code. I personally think it’s good to include it in the post.
If you have made multiple pins for your post just include one in the post. I will give information later on how to use multiple pins.
Step 4- Pin Your Post
Now that you have your post done and your pin created it’s time to pin it. While you can just pin directly to Pinterest as you get more and more pins scheduling your pins becomes a lot easier than manually pinning.
I use Tailwind to schedule my pins. It makes it so much easier to make sure I’m consistently pinning. It’s one blogging tool I couldn’t do without. Make sure the first time you pin your post that you pin it to the most relevant board. This helps tell Pinterest what the pin is about.
Step 5- Pinning Safely to Multiple Boards
Once you have pinned to the first most relevant board you want to make sure to pin it to other boards it fits in on your account. Make sure when you pin something to a board that it makes sense.
Something else to remember when pinning to multiple boards is that Pinterest has told us we need to space out our pins and not pin the same pin to the same board too often. This can be stressful to track but an easy way to make sure you follow the Pinterest guidelines is by using Tailwind.
Tailwind has now they have introduced SmartGuide which helps you make sure you are pinning using Pinterest’s best practices.
Tailwind’s SmartGuide will help monitor your pinning and alert you if you are doing something that might reduce your overall reach or put your account at risk of being closed for spamming. It also suggests easy fixes to keep your Pinterest account healthy.
Here is a screenshot of one of my Tailwind accounts with the message from SmartGuide telling me I’m pinning correctly and everything looks good.
Here is a screenshot from Tailwind’s examples showing what happens if you aren’t sticking with the Pinterest best practices.
There are additional places where you may get messages from SmartGuide to help you stay on track. For example, when using their tool to pin one pin to multiple boards it will tell you if you’ve already pinned that pin to a board and how long it’s been.
I don’t have to have a fancy spreadsheet anymore with when I last pinned something, I can just check Tailwind and it will let me know. It has really made everything a lot easier.
Step 6- Add to Tailwind Tribes
Once you have your pin going to your own boards adding it to Tailwind Tribes can help get your pin even more people reach as others start to share it.
Tribes work by giving pinners a place to find pins to add to their own accounts while sharing their own pins with others to increase the reach of their own pins.
Be sure to join tribes that are active and that have rules in place to keep everyone sharing as much or more than they add. It doesn’t need to be a huge tribe to be useful. Many of the very small tribes I’m in are active and get me a lot of great shares.
Step 7- Make More Pins
Pinterest has made it clear they want fresh pins. That means a new image that has never been pinned before. The post doesn’t have to be new just the image itself.
Some people make several pins all at once for their posts. I tend to make one when I first pin and then I make a note of when that pin will finish up in my Tailwind queue.
When the first pin is done I will see how it did and make the next one. If the pin did well I will make the next one very similar, if I don’t like the way it did I will change it up more.
Just make sure you change up the graphic you use, that can mean a whole new graphic, cropping it differently, or even flipping the direction of the photo. You also want to change up your text and possibly the design altogether.
I love using PicMonkey for my pins because they have really great templates. Canva is another option with amazing templates. Either one will help you have quick and easy ideas for creating a lot of new pins.
I also like to create new pins for posts that are doing really well but I’m not currently pinning or ones that are getting no traffic to see if I can get some going to those older posts. It’s a great way to make use of the content you already created while making fresh pins.
Once you have your new pin go over to Tailwind and schedule it again, you can add your pin directly to Tailwind so no need to add it to your post. I like to wait about a month or more before adding the same post with a new pin to my boards, that way I’m not pinning the same content over and over again.
Here is the TL;DR for my pinning strategy.
- Write a blog post.
- Create a pin and place it in my post.
- Add the pin to Tailwind and schedule it to multiple boards.
- Follow Tailwind’s SmartGuide to make sure I stay within the guidelines Pinterest has shared.
- Create new pins for old content to keep fresh content in my Tailwind queue.
The big thing to remember is don’t spam (SmartGuide can help prevent this) and keep making a lot of fresh pins either with new pins for old content or brand new content.