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One of my favourite social media platforms is Pinterest. Outside of Google, Pinterest is my biggest traffic driver to my travel blog.
Too many bloggers underestimate the power of Pinterest. They instead work at increasing engagement on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, which I think is a mistake.
Unlike other social platforms, Pins can become more powerful with time. Plus, it requires little engagement and minimal effort – great for time poor people.
Claire is a Pinterest expert and shared some great tips on how bloggers can use Pinterest to drive traffic and ultimately make more money.
In this interview, you will learn...
- How Claire uses Pinterest to drive traffic to her website
- What you should be focusing on when using Pinterest
- How Claire promotes new posts using Pinterest
- Using Tribes on Pinterest
- How to measure what’s working
- Tips on how to monetize your Pinterest account
- Encouraging interaction on Pinterest
What is your main focus for your Pinterest account? eg interaction with community, growing authority, hits to your website etc.
Well, my main focus for my Pinterest account is to generate Quality Traffic to my website.
And yes, Pinterest can do just that 🙂
Let me tell you a bit more so that you realise its potential…
1. Pinterest is not another social network
I can’t believe how many general blogging and marketing articles categorize Pinterest in the same box as Instagram just because it has pictures! They are soooooo different. Pinterest is not a social media network like the others.
Pinterest is actually not that “social” because conversations are not really happening on it. There are a few comments here and there, and small exchanges when people try recipe or DIY instructions but not more than that.
Pinterest is actually an Idea Finder, as well as a Search Engine.
This is why it can bring a lot targeted traffic to your blog:
- From people actively searching for a subject
- From people who have shown interest in a subject and for whom the algorithm is bringing related content in their feed
2. Pinterest is a great source of Traffic
I did a survey with Travel bloggers and most of them reported Pinterest being their first or second source of traffic, well above Facebook, Twitter and the likes. It is a very powerful tool!
Personally, it is my second source of traffic for both my English and my French blogs. I love how constant the traffic is, even if I don’t generate new articles 🙂
Many people get discouraged quickly because results in Pinterest are delayed. There is no instant gratification, so people think it does not work. But it does!
Let me give you some examples.
With my new French Blog, I started from scratch: 0 articles, 0 pins, 0 boards, 0 followers….
What happened? I kept at it even though nothing was happening and I started getting traffic after 3 months. And now, after 8 months, I have received over 5000 visits in August from Pinterest only (despite the French Pinterest user pool being way way smaller).
Not bad, is it?
And recently, a student of my course StructurPinterest shared her success with me. After 2 months of implementing my strategies, she has tripled her overall site traffic just with Pinterest!
I love it!
Oh and I should clarify one point. Those are results without paying for ads!!! All organic 🙂
3. Pinterest directs quality traffic with purchasing intent
Some might say that yes, it brings visitors, but traffic for the sake of traffic is not interesting.
Well, actually, Pinterest is one the social networks with the highest purchasing intent.
Many brands are late to realise its power but it does generate direct sales.
And even in the travel industry, a study from last year has shown that many users are taking advantage of Pinterest to choose a destination and plan their trip.
I check the quality with time on my site (because I can’t directly trace my eBook sales).
Compared to organic traffic from Google, my time on site from Pinterest is just 20% lower. Considering the high targeting of Google visit, I think this shows the quality of the Pinterest traffic.
What do you think people should focus on with their Pinterest account and why?
First, let me tell you what I think they should stop focusing on: their number of followers. Pinterest has shared some information and showed in their actions that it is not the most important element of their platform. They focus on the match between what people want and need vs the content they can show them. They focus on ideas.
Of course an account with 100,000 or 1 million followers will get more reach than one with 1000, but it is not possible to reach those numbers anymore as a blogger. If you see an account like that, it is because they were featured in the beginning years of Pinterest when it was making new users follow 50 people automatically.
So I think the most important aspects people should focus on are:
- Pin design
Design is first for the user. It must be attractive in a flow of other pins and it must be clear right away about what it can offer the user.
Often, I think people don’t think of the user and how he interacts with Pinterest when they create their Pin.
Improving your Pin design and what/how you write on it is probably the single most important step you can take to grow your traffic.
Plus – side note – Pinterest is working more and more on visual reading of what is on the image, so it is becoming important for the algorithm too.
- Pinterest SEO
Don’t forget that Pinterest is an algorithm. It is not showing all your pins to your followers.
It needs information to be able to link a Pin and its content to a request via the search function or to a favorite subject of a user to show on his feed.
I still see travel bloggers not mentioning the country of the place they are talking about in the description! How is the algorithm (or the user by the way) supposed to know?
How do you best promote new posts on this platform to get hits to your blog?
Wow, that is a big question! A lot of things can be done.
So I will take the question the other way around and share with you the most critical things I see many people doing that limit their reach:
- Creating only one pin for their article
Don’t forget it is an algorithm so users only see a sample of all the pins created. You should create several pins with different designs to have the best chance that one takes off.
- Not paying attention to what and how they write on the pin
As I said before, it is essential to pay special attention to the design of the Pin and the attractiveness of the words you use.
- Not implementing SEO on Pins and account
The algorithm is not a magic wand 🙂
- Not pinning to all their relevant boards
You don’t pin once and forget. You must create a board structure that allows you to repin your own content to multiple boards (without going overboard of course).
To take the travel niche example once again – an article about the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris could go in boards about: Paris, France, Architecture, Religious sites in the works, UNESCO sites… the structure of your boards should be well thought out to provide maximum exposure.
Best tips for encouraging repinning of your pins?
Well I won’t get into design again… You know what I think 🙂
However I will share with you one thing: Pinterest is currently testing feed formats where they don’t show the number of repins anymore… so that the users are not impacted by the social pressure and to find the best content for them? We will see where it goes…
Any tips for Tribes? Do you recommend using these and why?
I am a big fan of Tribes.
I get really frustrated with group boards because you can’t really see the impact they have. You can see some statistics if you have a Tailwind account but that’s it. And not many boards are providing real exposure.
With tribes I know exactly how many people have shared my contents and the reach I am getting from those shares.
My top tip for Tribes is to not join generic ones where you can share pins about absolutely all subjects.
These tribes are huge and people are less likely to share your content because it is out of their niche.
You should join tribes that are in your niche, but not too narrow that you don’t have enough content to share. For example: Travel Blogging or Vegan recipes or Yoga for beginners.
The advantage is that it can’t hurt to be in as many tribes as you want because it is outside of Pinterest.
How do you measure that what you’re doing works?
Because of the delay in results in Pinterest (2 to 3 months) and the fact that Pinterest is young and keeps changing, it is really difficult to say when something is working.
All I can do is monitor my traffic from Pinterest and see if it is growing or at least being stable.
But we are creatures of comparison. This was one of the reasons why I did my survey with travel bloggers. I wanted to confirm that my approach was actually bringing top results. And it confirmed that I get top traffic considering my bracket of followers 🙂
Any tips for monetising your Pinterest account?
The 3 main approaches to monetising a Pinterest account:
- The obvious one is to take advantage of traffic to your top performing articles with ads, affiliate links and your own products.
- Otherwise you can also create Pins pointing directly to your affiliate links – you have to, of course, disclose it in the description and make sure the affiliate program allows sharing on social media.
- Another option is to make direct sales with buyable pins using the Shopify platform for example. This way people can buy your products directly from Pinterest.
How do you get new followers?
Since Pinterest is not focusing on follower number, growth is not the easiest nowadays.
The best solution is to let the natural growth happen on the platform itself and to focus on getting new followers from your blog.
- Set up widgets (using Pinterest widget developer) in your side bar.
- Recommend boards to follow in your article.
- Create an article on how to use Pinterest to do something and recommend your account.
How do you encourage your blog readers to pin your articles?
There are 2 main options:
- If you already have a social media plugin with sharing buttons, add Pinterest to it
- Otherwise add a ‘Pin it’ button that will appear as people hover over the images e.g. “Pin it Button Plugin”
What you should never forget is to fill in the Alt tag of your pin image with a keyword since it is pulled as a description when a reader pins it.
Any tips around scheduling and saving time?
Like many others have done before, I recommend Tailwind. It is one of my favorite blogging tools.
It allows me to pin throughout the day and to pin during my holidays even if I am not on Pinterest at all. I tend to plan 1 to 2 months in advance via Tailwind using content from the tribes I am in, so it is very very fast.
What remains is adding my new articles when I publish them and regularly pinning directly from Pinterest to show the platform that I do interact on it!
Any other tips?
Don’t force yourself to be on the platform if this is not your thing.
I know it is tempting when you see people telling you it is a great traffic generator. But if you really hate it and can’t afford to outsource, pick another one! Find the right traffic strategy for you.
If you do enjoy it, spend time on your feed and learn from what attracts your eyes. Why did you stop on that pin? How is the text written? Was it the image? You learn better by looking at the work of others with a critical eye.
I would have many other tips but it would take a full course to share them all 🙂
Want more? Claire shares everything she knows about growing traffic from Pinterest in a step by step course. Click here for more information.
Disclaimer: This article contains an affiliate link to Claire’s excellent Pinterest course. I have gone through this course myself and I recommend it for anyone looking to grow traffic to their blog.