Are you using Pinterest as one of your methods to grow your blog but are frustrated by the lack of growth you’re seeing? Are you baffled at how bloggers rave about how powerful it is, desperately seeking the same results? Girl, I was there too. I even reached a point where I was so frustrated that I gave up and said to hell with this platform! How is Pinterest ever going to help me grow my blog?
But if there is one thing I’m good at, it’s being persistent and curious. After rebranding my blog, I wanted to dive deeper into pinning strategies because I wanted to see its power for myself. If Pinterest is changing the lives of other bloggers, why can’t it change mine?
So that’s why I wrote this ultimate how-to guide. Keep reading to learn ways you can take your Pinterest strategy up a notch and *unlock its power.* On top of this, you can learn more about my free video vault I just launched to help your Pinterest game even more. Make sure to bookmark this page to come back to because it is JAM-PACKED with juicy info!!
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase by clicking on one of my links, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, that will help me continue to bring you valuable content. Thanks for supporting In Search of Sheila! 🙂
Pinterest has truly changed my blogging game and it constantly amazes me at how simple + easy it is to do. These are strategies I have personally tried, saw results, and continue to use to grow my blog + email list every day. And the best part is: there’s nothing sneaky or sleazy about them. These pinning strategies are 100% authentic, actionable, and applicable to your blog.
Let’s be real: if you aren’t developing + implementing a Pinterest strategy, you’re really hurting your growth. I won’t lie and say you can develop your strategy overnight and instantly get results, but I will say if you take a few weeks to really work on it, you will see an increase in your blog growth in a month. Once you find your groove, you’ll be able to drive traffic to your blog every single day by virtually doing nothing. Believe me when I tell you that this can be achieved.
Before we get all in-depth with Pinterest, there are 3 things you need to get up to speed with before we talk strategy. A lot of blog posts and resources out there have great information on how to use Pinterest, but I don’t really see much on how to use it to work for YOU.
Y’all know I’m all about blogging with purpose, so of course I’m going to mention it in this post. Because it’s true. If you don’t set yourself up with intention, you’re going to crumble. Especially on Pinterest.
Let’s get this started.Learn how to make Pinterest work for YOU with this step-by-step guide! Click To Tweet
1. Your Blog Needs a Foundation
I’ve had a few bloggers reach out to me and say they are doing everything right from a strategy standpoint, but they still can’t get traffic to their blogs. Yes, you can still do “everything right” and not get results. Why?
Hate to break it to ya, but there’s a crack in your blog foundation. Maybe you don’t have a solid mission statement or strong focus. Or you’re failing to write your content directly to your target reader. Maybe your branding is off or inconsistent, or your blog posts aren’t compelling enough.
If you find yourself following all the strategies you’re reading about and aren’t growing, it’s probably your blog itself, not your Pinterest strategy. I suggest reevaluating your mission + focus. Get these really solid so you can set yourself up for growth. I have a free workshop you can watch to learn how to create a strong foundation for your blog.
2. Write Clickable + Shareable Content
The second most important thing after a strong foundation is that you need to write content that is FULL OF VALUE! With so much information and blogger overload out there, it is very easy to get lost in the sea of noise. You need to figure out how you’re going to stand out with your content to compel people to want to read it.
When you sit down to write your next post, ask yourself if this post will do any of the following for your readers:
These are the type of blog posts that really resonate with readers, which means they find value in them. If you’re posting content that’s not helping your readers in one way or another, what’s it worth to them? Why would they even share it? These are hard questions you need to start asking yourself about your own content to step up your Pinterest game.
Blog posts that contain a ton of value have what it takes to succeed on Pinterest. When you have a compelling blog post + catchy headline, you can then work on translating that through your pin graphics and descriptions to market it on Pinterest.Blog posts that contain a ton of value have what it takes to succeed on Pinterest. Click To Tweet
These type of posts tend to do well on Pinterest:
- numbered lists
- how-to posts or tutorials
- long blog posts
- catchy headlines
- quickly solves a problem/provides an answer to a common question
Again, if you’re feeling like you’re doing everything right on Pinterest from a strategy standpoint, maybe it’s your content that’s the problem. You can always go back and edit your posts and optimize them for sharing!
Now that we got your content out of the way, we can now work on your Pinterest game.
3. Understand the Pinterest Smart Feed
Before we dive any further, we need to understand how Pinterest works.
Did you know Pinterest runs on an algorithm? Yep, just like Instagram and Facebook. The pins on your home feed are made up of:
- pins from users who you follow
- pins “recommended to you” by Pinterest
- promoted pins (ads)
Okay cool. I get that…but how does Pinterest decide what pins to select for me? Popularity.
Every pin is weighted by:
- quality of pin image + description
- your interests (who and what boards you follow)
- the activity level of the pinner (Pinterest “rewards” users with high-performing pins by placing them in high in the algorithm)
Learning how the Smart Feed works is powerful because then you can use this inside knowledge to improve how Pinterest views and ranks your content.
Now that we got your content out of the way, we can now work on your Pinterest game.
4. Switch To a Business Account
One of the first things you should do if you haven’t already is to switch to a business account. It’s free.
Having a business account is important because you will be able to:
- view your Pinterest analytics
- enable rich pins
- use your blog/brand name instead of your personal name
- run Pinterest ads
Having a business account will allow you to access features to improve your strategy and help you get taken more seriously on Pinterest…and in the blogging world in general. We all want to feel a little more Pinterest Professional don’t we?
Click here to start the process. Once you add your info, you will have to wait for Pinterest to verify your domain name, which shouldn’t take long. Once that’s complete, you will be recognized as a legit “business,” woohoo!
5. Enable Rich Pins
Rich pins have a bold title underneath the pin image. They help make your pins stand out to users, meaning it will increase your chances of getting clicked on.
Enabling them on WordPress is quite easy:
- Make sure you have the Yoast SEO plugin installed
- Go to SEO > Social > Facebook (yes, Facebook–it and Pinterest use the same metadata)
- Click the button to enable Open Graph metadata
- Then go to Pinterest’s Rich Pin Validator and follow the directions. You’ll need to plug in a link to any blog post on your site, but keep in mind it can’t be your homepage!
6. Optimize Your Profile
First impressions are everything, even with your Pinterest profile. You want to make sure your bio explains who you are, what you do, and why your account is worth following. This is how you will get people to view you as a credible source, scroll through your boards, click through to your blog, and follow you!
Your profile should include:
- 2-3 sentence description of you, your blog, and what you do
- a branded headshot of you
- a short description of you and your blog
- keywords in your name + bio related to your niche/focus
- your blog URL
*Pro Tip: Using relevant keywords in your Pinterest name + bio will help you pop up more in Pinterest’s search feed!
Ana of thesheapproach.com does a great job with her profile. She includes her name, keywords related to her niche, and her blog URL.
7. Verify Your Account
Get verified! Why? It’ll tell Pinterest you’re a legit blogger to be trusted. Plus it will help you rank higher in the Smart Feed. Win-win.
Verifying your blog URL on Pinterest will add your profile picture to any image you pin. You’ll also get access to website analytics so you can see what readers are actually pinning from your blog.
You can do this by entering some code that Pinterest will provide you by going to your account settings and clicking “confirm your website.”
If you’re using Blogger, you insert this in the <head> section of your website’s HTML.
If you’re on WordPress:
- install the Insert Headers + Footers plugin
- add the code
- that’s it!
Click here to learn more about verifying your account.
8. Regularly Follow Accounts In Your Niche
Believe it or not, you don’t need a lot of followers to be successful on Pinterest. But you do need the right followers aka accounts that have similar content to you.
Following similar accounts will not only fill up your Smart Feed with relevant content to pin, it will also grow your following. Whenever someone follows me I take a quick scan at their profile + boards. If they blog or share similar content as me, it’s an instant follow.You don't need a lot of followers on Pinterest to succeed. You need the RIGHT followers. Click To Tweet
To find other pinners with content related to you, do a search for boards and people using relevant keywords to your niche. Another option is to stalk other users and see who they follow/follow them. I use both of these strategies 🙂
*Pro Tip: Follow “influential” pinners with a large following and blog readership. Since their pins have high engagement, they’ll be more likely to get repinned from your board, helping you stand out and grow your own Pinterest influence!
9. Create Niche-Relevant Boards With At Least 30 Pins
Now you need to build the foundation of your Pinterest account in order to attract the right kinds of people. I suggest starting out with at least 10 boards that are all related to your niche or focus. When coming up with your boards, remember to only choose topics that your readers are interested in or need help with.
I like to think of boards as being similar to categories on your blog. For example, a health and wellness blog might have boards called “Meditation,” “Yoga,” and “Essential Oils.” I have boards that are about blogging, social media, and email list-building, but also boards on self-care and personal development because those fall in line with my focus + readers.
As for how many posts your boards should have, I suggest having at least 30 to start with. In order to appeal to readers, your boards need to have some substance to them. Are you more likely to follow a board with 10 pins or 50 pins?
*Pro-Tip: Create a board specifically for your blog to highlight your posts and place it in the top row of boards on your profile! Pinterest also has a cool slider function that lets you feature up to 5 boards.
10. Optimize With SEO
News flash: Pinterest isn’t really a social media platform. Yeah, you can message people and comment on pins, but is that your purpose everytime you open up your account?
Heck no! You’re getting on Pinterest to LOOK for something. Girl, it’s time to start thinking of Pinterest as a SEARCH ENGINE. It’s actually the most popular search engine AFTER GOOGLE and runs off of KEYWORDS! Do you know how powerful that is?
Like, the power is literally in your hands to control your account’s growth because the Smart Feed LOVES SEO. Remember how I explained that it shows users what’s relevant to them? How do you think they know what pins to showcase? Keywords plays a huge part of it.It's time to start thinking of Pinterest as a VISUAL SEARCH ENGINE! Click To Tweet
Learning the basics of SEO is an essential to creating a Pinterest strategy that converts. Now, I know it might seem scary but I promise that once you spend a little time on it, it’ll be a breeze to implement.
SEO= Search Engine Optimization
Chances are you’re probably already incorporating SEO into your blog posts (your title, opening paragraphs, throughout the text, alt-text, etc.) When it comes to using SEO on Pinterest you need to figure out what your target readers are searching for in the Pinterest search bar.
The nice thing about the Pinterest search bar is that once you get a general term to look up, it will auto-generate popular related searches. Spend some time punching in words that relate to your blog topics and explore to get an idea of the kinds of posts that are showing up.
Add keywords to these locations:
- your pin descriptions
- your board descriptions
- your profile (name + bio)
- your image file names
11. Create Eye-Catching + On Brand Pins
Visuals play a large role in your Pinterest strategy, so perfecting your pin design and sticking to it is an essential to developing your strategy.
Elements of an eye-catching pin:
- interesting or bold background (photo, graphics, color)
- attention-grabbing text overlay that explains what the post is about and is click-worthy (Does it speak to your target reader? Does it hit their pain points?)
- on brand: incorporates your blog’s colors + colors to make you memorable
- includes your blog name or logo so users know where it comes from
- click-worthy + SEO optimized description
What goes into a good description?
- a “hook” statement that draws interest. I like to start mine with a question.
- briefly describe what’s in the post and how it’s beneficial
- a call to action: tell users to “click here” to read more
Create pins for:
- blog posts
- email opt-in freebies
- affiliate links
- resource pages
- your Facebook page or group
12. Create Multiple Pins For One Post
Another way to maximize your impact on Pinterest and create more opportunities for your blog to get clicked on is by creating more than one pin for each post!! There are no rules saying you can’t pin your blog post more than once…so that also means you’re allowed to pin it with different visuals!
I always make a branded pin image which shows up in my post at the beginning. Then I create another similar branded image at the end of the post to encourage readers to share it. Another way to is to create an entirely different one and manually upload it to your Pinterest account. I’ve created manymany pins for my top performing opt-in freebies and blog posts and they continue to get crazy traffic + sign ups every day!
*Pro-Tip: Use Canva to save your templates and swap out a few elements everytime you go to make a new pin!
13. Pin With Your Readers In Mind
I’m sure many of us like to use Pinterest for our personal use by pinning recipes, hair tutorials, and aesthetically pleasing shots of coffee. Well, if you want to drive traffic to your blog + grow your audience, you can’t necessarily do that anymore (publically at least.)
You should always pin with intention, meaning that you need to keep strategy in mind. Everything you re-pin should serve a purpose by relating to your niche/focus, attracts your audience and encourages clicks to your account + blog.You should always pin with intention. Keep a strategy in mind. Click To Tweet
I used to pin fashion and lifestyle images, but I have now cleaned up my boards and stick to blogging, social media, email marketing, business tips, and intentional living because that is what my blog is about and what my readers come to me for.
*Pro-Tip: You can still pin for yourself, just make a secret board. This way it won’t be seen by your followers, only you!
14. Join Group Boards
Now, this is where it gets good. My secret sauce to my extreme growth in 3 months is GROUP BOARDS!! A group board allows multiple people to pin to it, which means a greater chance for your pins to be seen, saved, and clicked on.
The two best ways to find group boards are:
- search through other users’ accounts.
Always read the board’s description which will give you directions on how to join. Usually, you send an email or direct message to the creator, or you can leave a comment on a recent pin on the board.
When it comes to sharing to the boards, the biggest rule of thumb is to follow their rules. Some have a posting limit such as x pins per day or you can only post certain topics. Not following the rules will get you kicked out or…blocked (this actually happened to me, lol.)
IN THE VAULT: Group boards confusing you? You can watch a crash course on how to find, join, and pin to them inside my vault!
15. Pin Like Crazy
The top strategy that allows blogs to grow so quickly (mine included) is that you need to be pinning often. I’m talking at least 30 times a day and if you’re really trying to hustle, 50-100 times a day. I know this sounds absurd, but it’s what I and many other bloggers swear by and dare I say…is a blogger’s secret weapon.
Look at it this way: Pinterest’s algorithm isn’t chronological…it’s a Smart Feed! This means that posting multiple times a day isn’t going to hurt you, it’s only going to increase your chances of your pins getting seen, shared, and clicked on…which = more traffic and possibilities to grow our audience, email subscribers, and make $$$.
16. Pin Yours and Other People’s Content
A question I get a lot is what should I be pinning? Should I just pin my own stuff? Other people’s stuff? How often??
You should 100% be pinning a combination of your own pins AND other people’s content that is RELEVANT to your niche/focus and interest your target readers. If you’re a health and fitness blog, you should only be sharing content that is health and fitness related.
My blog is about blogging so I pin about blogging (shocker, right?) social media, email lists, business/entrepreneurship…but also a little bit of personal development + self-care because I write about intentional and purposeful blogging. And my readers are interested in all these tops I share. Make sense? This is why you need to be very clear on what you blog about and who you write it for to maximize your impact on Pinterest.
As far as how often, there’s no science per say, but I usually tell people 60% of my own and 40% of others. But you need to see what works for your account and experiment.
IN THE VAULT: Learn how I pin other people’s content step-by-step inside the vault!
17. Re-pin Your Content More Than Once
I feel like one of the biggest things bloggers are missing out on is the power of RE-PINNING their own content. If you’re only pinning your new blog post once, you’re killing your strategy. This is NOT going to get you anywhere. Pin your new blog post once. Then schedule it to 20 group boards so it will get re-pinned 20 times.
You’re probably worried about spamming your followers, but the Smart Feed isn’t going to let that happen. I definitely don’t recommend pinning your new blog post 20 times right after each other within an hour time period because that’s totally spammy but do space them apart about 2 hours in between.
When I post a new blog post I immediately pin it to my blog board and then I will schedule that same pin on Tailwind to over 40 group boards with a 2 to 2.5-hour interval.
IN THE VAULT: I share my personal pinning strategy for my blog posts and how I pin other people’s content in the vault!
GO ABOVE + BEYOND
18. Optimize Your Blog For Sharing
You need to make it easy for users to pin your content!! Having “Pin it” buttons on your blog images will make it simple and encouraging for people to share. A lot of blog themes come with Pinterest share buttons that already come with your template.
Another option that I personally use and recommend is to get the jQuery Pin It Button For Images WordPress plugin. You can either use the default image that comes with the plugin, or you can create your own in Canva or Photoshop and manually add them to your template.
Also include “pinnable” images in every blog post, either at the beginning or end. Lastly, use a call to action at the end to ask your readers to share it on Pinterest. It works!
19. Have Brand Consistency
This means you use the same fonts, colors, images, writing style, and overall vibe across your blog, emails, social media accounts, video, and…yes, your Pinterest too!
Here’s how to be consistent on Pinterest:
- same headshot as your blog + other social platforms
- same/variation of your mission statement/tagline in your bio
- branded pin images (same colors, fonts, images as your blog)
- board covers or similar looking pins
- only pin and re-pin content relevant to your blog niche/focus + target readers
When you’re consistent on Pinterest you will become memorable and recognized by other accounts. You need consistency to stand out. One of your goals should be for people to start telling you they always know it’s your pin they see in their feed without even seeing your name!
Elna of Twins Mommy has really nailed her branding on Pinterest. I ALWAYS know a pin is her’s when it pops up on my feed!
20. Invest In Scheduling + Automation Tools
Now, you can hop on Pinterest constantly throughout the day and manually pin 30-50 times a day…or you can be smart and invest in either Tailwind or BoardBooster to schedule your pins to run on autopilot.
I use both tools, but I understand that not everyone is in a place to use both or either at the moment. So let me break them down for you.
I started out with a free trial of Tailwind then stayed on for their monthly fee of $14.99 but quickly upgraded to an annual membership to save money. I also felt limited with the monthly subscription because I only had about 500 pins a month. With an annual subscription, you have unlimited pins and it equals out to $9.99 a month.
Tailwind is smart because it connects with your Pinterest and tailors a schedule for you based on what times of the day your pins perform the best.
The great thing about Tailwind is that you can join and pin your content to Tailwind Tribes, which is a similar feature to group boards. You can also view an in-depth breakdown of your Pinterest analytics that honestly makes a lot more sense than on Pinterest itself.
Click here to try Tailwind out for free!
If you’re on a budget, I recommend BoardBooster. Its lowest plan is $5 a month for 500 pins and it has features that work just as well as Tailwind. BoardBooster can be characterized best as an automation tool. You can schedule pins like Tailwind, but you do have less control.
My favorite feature about BoardBooster that Tailwind doesn’t have is…looping!
Looping is amazing because it will take pins in your boards and move them to the top of your feed! I mean, how amazing is that?! This is great for older pins you posted when your account was smaller than your new followers haven’t seen yet. Now if only we had this feature for Instagram…
Click here to try BoardBooster for free!
COMING TO THE VAULT: A crash course in Tailwind + BoardBooster and how to figure out which one will work for you!
21. Manually Pin
While I am 100% for investing in tools to make your pinning life easier, I do recommend maintaining a real-time presence on Pinterest. Pinterest’s Smart Feed is known to reward users for manually pinning, so it should defintely be on your strategy list!
If you struggle to find time to manually pin, I suggest blocking out 5-10 minutes throughout your day to hop on and pin. To get the most of this, pin at times when your users are active most. This is when knowing your target audience’s demographics (location + timezones) and lifestyle (student? mom?) come into play so you can figure out when THEY are on Pinterest so you can pin at optimal times.
22. Review Your Analytics
When you’re on a business account you’re able to check your analytics for up to a month’s period to see which pins are performing well and which aren’t. Pay attention to these factors when looking at your stats:
- type of blog post
- pin design
- board location(s)
- text on the image
- which group boards re-pin (or don’t) your posts the most
I think this is important to do at the end of every month because it can tell you if you need to improve anything such as your pin design or which group boards your posting to. You can also see what pins are doing really well for driving traffic to your site and come up with more ways to optimize the blog post by adding an email opt-in or affiliate link.
23. Promote Your Pinterest Account
The last thing I want you to know is…you always want to be giving your Pinterest a shout out whenever you can! This is a great way to gain more followers + engagement OUTSIDE the platform.
Mention it in your:
- email newsletters
- Instagram posts + stories
- Instagram lives
- Facebook posts
- share it in Facebook group threads
- talk about it IRL!
And PLEASE make sure you have a clearly visible Pinterest icon on your blog so readers can find and follow you. I can’t tell you how many blogs I visit where I can’t find a link to their Pinterest…you’re losing out BIG TIME!!
Okay, that was A LOT! I know it can seem super overwhelming all at once, so remember to bookmark this page to come back to in the future.
But to sweeten the pot even more (cuz you know I’ll all about helping you guys) I know when I learn new things one thing that really helps me is seeing it in visual form…such as VIDEO! Since videos are my favorite way to learn, I made my FREE Pinterest Video Vault! I wanted to create something helpful, but also inspiring and motivating. I always feel 10x more pumped to take action after watching a video, am I the only one?
Inside you’ll find walkthrough videos where I take you step by step through Pinterest to really unlock its power + potential! If you’re more of a visual person this vault is FOR YOU! Plus it’s…free so how can you say no to that? Sign up below to get instant access!
Let me know in the comments what you’re planning to work on first! And please share this post in Pinterest to help others grow their blogs 🙂