UPDATE: There have been some MAJOR changes! Looking for a new Pinterest strategy for 2021? Read the post here!
Get ready for the nitty-gritty no BS Pinterest marketing strategy you can use to skyrocket your website traffic!
But first, check out these major Pinterest mistakes you definitely don’t want to be making!
And in case you’re thinking about starting a new blog, here’s a step-by-step guide!
Ok guys, are you feeling stuck and frustrated trying to figure out Pinterest?
Hang tight because I’m going to tell you the Pinterest strategy that landed me 140k more views in 4 weeks (for a total of 600,000+ views in 5 weeks!).
For every blog I’ve owned, Pinterest has been a crucial part of my marketing strategy. And I mean CRUCIAL!
In the early days, it can take a hot second to rank on Google, so your organic traffic coming from search will definitely be low (or non-existent).
Pinterest is amazing because you don’t need ANY followers to get your content seen! It’s basically the visual version of Google with lower competition.
Back in the day (2015) your follower count on Pinterest was super important. Fast forward, and instead of showing how many followers you have, Pinterest now shows how many monthly views you have when people visit your profile.
I’ve seen people with under 1000 followers who have OVER 500,000 views every month on their profile, which absolutely proves that followers are no longer crucial on Pinterest.
Back in December 2018 when I really started this blog (for the second time!) my monthly Pinterest views were 65,000.
My monthly “engagement” score was around 2,000.
I was using Tailwind (pretty improperly) and joining a ton of group boards to get my content seen. I jumped to 250,000 monthly views in January 2019 but from January-March, I couldn’t seem to get over 250,000 views!
I joined a ton of group boards hoping I could get in front of more people, and I increased my daily pins in Tailwind to 100 (I definitely don’t recommend that!!).
No matter what I did, my Pinterest views were NOT moving.
So I spent a week researching EVERY profile I could find with over 1 million monthly views. I read up on different strategies, took a few courses, and spent time scouring Pinterest’s website finding out any information I could on the algorithm or recommended strategies.
And then, on March 5th, I adopted a totally new Pinterest strategy and I told myself I would give it 30 days.
And I was SO freakin’ excited when it WORKED!! My monthly views increased by 140,000 in 30 days and they’re continuing to improve!
My website traffic coming from Pinterest actually doubled in April, doubled AGAIN in August. Best of all, it continues to improve every week!
So what the heck did I do to finally crack the Pinterest code and get 140k more views in 4 weeks? Let’s look at that right now!
Make sure your boards and pins are SEO optimized
I know you’ve probably heard this a MILLION times in every other Pinterest marketing strategy, and there’s definitely a reason for that!
Optimizing your profile, boards, AND pins is super important because it’s the difference between getting found or being hidden amongst the THOUSANDS of other pinners out there.
Optimizing your content for Pinterest SEO is super easy.
All you need to do go to Pinterest and start searching for things you think your target audience would most likely be searching for.
For example, if you run a parenting blog and most of your boards are about parenting, that might be your main search term on Pinterest.
Now you can see all the recommendations and popular search terms Pinterest knows people are looking for.
From here, you’re able to know exactly what topics you should use for your boards and what keywords to include in in your board descriptions.
For example, if you chose to create a board called “Parenting Hacks” (based on one of Pinterest’s suggestions above, you would click on hacks to get more suggested keywords.
From here, I would write a board description that sounds something like this:
Parenting hacks every mom needs! Everything from hacks for morning routines to parenting hacks for toddlers and teenagers. Plus some extra DIY parenting hacks for the hands-on parents.
In this example, we were able to use 5 keywords recommended by Pinterest which is GREAT and will definitely increase searchability for the board 🙂
***People often ask if they should use full sentences in their board descriptions or just list a bunch of keywords like bullet points. I noticed more followers and engagement with my pins when I switched all my board descriptions to proper sentences and made them less keyword-stuffy!
Diversify Your Boards
Ok, so some people may disagree with this one, but instead of being hardcore about one niche on Pinterest, you can improve your monthly views and engagement by actually diversifying your boards!
Here are some examples:
Melyssa Griffin is a blogging GENIUS and uses Pinterest to get a huge percentage of her traffic. In addition to boards about blogging, she added boards about color schemes, self care, personal development, and quotes.
As a lifestyle blogger, Jenny Melrose has a HUGE following on Pinterest because her topics are so diverse. She has boards about recipes, crafts, holidays, organization AND blogging.
Use Tailwind + Tribes
I know people are really on the fence about whether or not they actually need Tailwind.
And, truthfully, you do NOT need a Tailwind account to be successful!
There are tons of manual pinning strategies out there that people swear by.
I actually tried manual pinning back in 2018 and I saw moderate success with it, but I just didn’t have the time or the motivation to stay with it consistently!
Tailwind helped me consistently plan and schedule my content so I never had days when I was too busy for Pinterest (or days when I would forget all together!).
Now, I schedule pins once a week (usually Sunday or Monday night). I currently pin 55-65 pins every day and I make sure that 35-40 pins are MY OWN content!
If you don’t have enough content to pin 40 pins a day, don’t worry! Just remember that the 80/20 rule for pinning (pin 80% other people’s content and 20% your own) is D-E-A-D.
I was doing the 80/20 rule for years! My new 2019 Pinterest marketing strategy means I always pin at LEAST 50% my own content every day. As long as you’re not spammy, it’s perfectly fine to post predominently your own content!
What does Pinterest consider spammy?
- try to avoid posting the same graphic or pin back-to-back. For example, when you publish a new blog post, pin it to your most relevant board. After 24 hours, then start scheduling the pin to other boards and relevant group boards. No need to pin it on all your boards back-to-back!
- don’t post the same pins to the same board less than 3 months apart. Always wait at least 3 months before repinning the same graphic to your board. If you don’t have enough content to wait 3 months, just create new graphics linking to the same blog post so you have something fresh to pin 🙂
But Tailwind isn’t just about scheduling pins! There are some key features that make it WELL worth the money.
Tailwind Tribes is probably THE most valuable feature they offer! If you’re not already a part of it, Tribes is a feature that allows you to join like-minded people in super niche specific groups to share your content!
Unlike group boards, the BEST part about Tribes is that there are rules about repinning. Usually, for every piece of content you share, you need to repin 1-2 pieces of somebody else’s content from the group. And all the contributors are tracked to keep everyone accountable!
Smartloop is a relatively new feature in Tailwind, and it allows you to repin all your best content to your boards. You can also set up a pinning schedule to all your group boards.
It’s a Pinterest-approved feature and works a lot like the old school Boardbooster software we all loved!
Tailwind offers analytics on Pinterest pins, boards, and engagement, which can be SUPER helpful to figure out what’s working (and what’s not!).
I usually go in once a week and analyze my pins to see which ones have the highest repins. I also look at which boards have a high “virality” score and which boards are underperforming (this is super helpful for group boards which we’ll cover later on!).
Add fresh content every 1-2 days
If I had to choose only ONE tip from this Pinterest marketing strategy to start implementing, it would be this.
Sharing new content on Pinterest consistently is INCREDIBLY crucial to your pinning success.
For most of 2018, I was sharing content really inconsistently, and I only had about 25 blog posts on my main blog.
I quickly realized that, in order to drive traffic to my website using Pinterest and become a mega-pinner, I NEEDED to share fresh content on the platform.
Pinterest (like Google) can only grow when users add new content. They need pinners to actively engage with them and help find new sources of information to share with their audience.
Once I started sharing new content every 1-2 days, Pinterest started loving me!
And I don’t mean going on Pinterest and simply re-pinning other people’s content. I mean actually creating a brand new pin with a NEW image, description, and link.
Now you may be thinking: great, how do I find 20-30 pieces of fresh content to share every month?!
It all boils down to your content creation calendar.
As a blogger, ideally you’re sharing 2-3 pieces of fresh content every week, and if you are, GREAT! You’ll have no problem coming up with fresh pins daily.
For every post you publish, create 5-7 different pin images with the same link, and share one each day for the week. You can even share 2-3 everyday if you have enough content being pumped out on your blog!
Even if you post on your blog once every 2 weeks, you can spread out your 5-7 pins across the 2 weeks for fairly consistent pinning.
If you only have 5 blog posts and you’re totally stuck for ideas, you can create new pins linking to any page on your website including your contact page, home page, or a landing page.
Quick tip: Pinterest is a very positive platform and people LOVE inspiring pictures, hacks, and quotes. Go to Canva and design a quick quote image, a hack, or any quick tip to share. Link it back to your home page or a relevant blog post and: voila!
If, for some reason, you can’t come up with any of your own fresh content to share, find interesting articles on the web and share them to Pinterest. Make sure you’re sharing the articles through the website using either a share button on the wesbite OR a Pinterest chrome extension (like the Pin it extension).
Engage with pins and pinners
When you think about Pinterest, engaging with other users is probably the LAST thing that comes to mind!
While other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook are based around users engaging and interacting with each other, Pinterest isn’t.
Pinterest operates more like Google: a search engine where users engage with content, not people.
But here’s something I noticed with my own Pinterest growth: I gained more followers faster when I 1) sent messages to other users thanking them for sharing my pins, and 2) started commenting on pins.
It’s so easy to get lost in the algorithm and keyword strategy on Pinterest that people rarely stop to look at who’s sharing their content and show them a little love.
A simple “thank you” can go a really long way when trying to build your Pinterest community!
I also started leaving comment on other people’s pins within the same niche.
This is great for 3 reasons.
First, you’re increasing your activity on the platform and it shows Pinterest you’re an engaged user.
Second, you’re helping out other pinners by leaving positive reviews on their work.
Third, your comment will be seen by other people reading the pin, and since you’re in the same niche, they may go ahead and click on your profile and find even more relevant content to browse through!
I will say, this strategy require a bit more time and is probably the least effective in terms of raising your monthly views quickly, BUT, if you’re super dedicated to growing your account long-term, I promise this strategy will make a huge difference.
Engaging with other users on Pinterest is always a win-win!
Leave group boards
Ok, this was a hard one for me! Earlier this year, I was a part of over 80 group boards (and I actually pinned my content on all of them!). I thought they were getting me a ton of views and repins, but in reality, most of them weren’t doing anything for me!
By the way, this strategy requires Tailwind to get information on individual group board performance.
The health of your Pinterest board can be measured by your “virality” score. This basically means how many repins you get per pin on each board.
If you have a board with 100 pins and only 10 repins, your virality score will be 0.10. This means for every 10 pins you share on the board, you’re averaging only ONE repin. This tells Pinterest that the content you’re posting to that board is not helpful nor interesting to your followers.
In Pinterest’s eyes, you’re a pinner with LOW repins and LOW engagement.
And if you’re not posting helpful or interesting content, why would Pinterest want to show off your pins or recommend you to other people in the community?
Now I will say this is PURELY speculative and Pinterest hasn’t come out and said this is part of their algorithm,
BUT, from my own experience and researching literally HUNDREDS of mega-successful pinners, there is definitely a correlation between virality/engagement on any given board, and overall monthly reach.
So how do you figure out which group boards to leave?
From your Tailwind account, on the left-hand side bar go to “Insights” and “Board Insights”
Here you’ll see a list of all your Pinterest board.
Under “Virality score” click on the pin/repin to order the boards from highest virality to lowest.
When I first started leaving group boards, I selected the ones that had a “virality” score of under 0.30 (yes, most of my boards were super low!).
I waited about 5 days and noticed my Pinterest reach improving, so I went ahead and left all my group boards there were under 1.0 virality score.
If you’re worried about leaving the group boards you worked so hard to get on (trust me, I know the feeling!) try making a note of all the boards under 1.0 virality and stop pinning to them for a few weeks.
If you notice your reach improves, then go ahead and start cleaning up your profile and leave those boards! You can do it!
Delete under-performing pins
Another scary one! Because when I say delete under-performing pins, I don’t mean just other people’s pins; you need to delete your own as well!
Deleting pins is similar to leaving group boards (and one of the TOP tips in this Pinterest marketing strategy!).
Pins with 0 repins show Pinterest that the content you’re sharing isn’t valuable. In turn, Pinterest thinks you’re not a valuable pinner and won’t show your content to as many people.
So the key is to only keep pins on your board with at LEAST 1 repin. Once you start becoming a pro at deleting pins, you can move up to 2 or 3 repin minimums.
And yes, you might end up deleting TONS of pins over the next few weeks. I went from 20,000 to 11,000 pins over the course of 4 weeks!
I go board-by-board and do batch deletes on under-performing pins (about 200-300 at a time).
And you might be thinking: isn’t that a s***ton of work?!
Yes, yes it is. It took me a few hours over the course of a month, but once you get your Pinterest profile to a certain level, maintaining becomes WAY easier! You only have to do a big cleanup once!
Deleting pins is easiest in the mobile app. Just go to any board and you’ll see the number of repins underneath the pins. Press and hold the pin and you’ll be able to mass-select up to 50 pins to delete at one time.
Highlight every pin with 0 repins (yes this may be most of your pins at first!) and hit delete. Be careful to keep any pins with 1 (or more) repins!
Don’t get too fired up when you first start deleting pins!
Start with 200-300 pins a day and see how it affects your profile. It can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks to start seeing major improvements, but I started noticing positive changes on my profile within the first week!
How long should you wait to see if a pin will take off?
I start deleting pins after 1 month. If they’re sitting at 0 repins after that long, there’s no point in keeping them around! You might be hoping the pin will go viral, but letting it sit on your board weighing you down in the hopes it MIGHT magically takeoff in a few months isn’t doing you (or your Pinterest profile) any favors!
Remember, you can always try pinning the content again or create a new graphic to see what takes off.
Spend time on the platform
So I can understand how tons of people would be on the fence with this one!
Pinterest has never actually come out and said they favor users who spend time using and engaging the Pinterest platform, but I’ve heard tons of people say it’s helped their reach.
It makes sense when you think about it: Pinterest wants people to be active on the platform so they see content from their followers, recommended pins, and of course, sponsored pins and ads!
If you’re ONLY using Tailwind in your Pinterest strategy and posting from tribes without actually logging on and enjoying the Pinterest platform, it could hurt your reach!
I make sure to get on Pinterest every night (or at least 5-6 nights a week) and do a few manual pins right from my feed.
I’ll spend time checking out interesting articles, following a few boards in my niche, and pinning 4-5 pieces of content manually.
You can do this in less than 10 minutes a day and it’s definitely worth a try to see if it improves your traffic!
And that’s it!
We’ve reached the end of the Pinterest marketing guide! I really hope this helps you improve your Pinterest profile over the next few weeks and months.
It definitely takes some work but the results are totally worth it! Pinterest can be an absolutely INCREDIBLE source of website traffic- especially if you’re a new blogger!
Here’s your 2019 Pinterest marketing strategy in a nutshell:
- make sure your boards + pins are SEO optimized
- diversify your boards
- use Tailwind scheduler and tribes
- engage with other pinners + pins
- leave group boards!!
- delete under-performing pins
- spend time on the platform
Hopefully these tips help you slay your Pinterest game in 2019, 2020, and beyond!
Have any other suggestions? Feel free to leave comments are questions below 🙂