One. Million. Monthly. Viewers. Y’all. That’s a biiiiiigggg number.
So, while I was too sick to get Monday’s post launched on time (it’s now going up on Friday instead so get excited!), I definitely couldn’t slack on launching this blogging basics post detailing my Pinterest growth strategy today.
Before we dive in on my Pinterest growth strategy, let’s set the stage. In the fall of 2016, I developed and began to implement a Pinterest growth strategy. At the time, I had around 1,000 followers on Pinterest, most of whom had followed me through giveaways. My average monthly views hovered around 10,000 and about 75% of my pins were re-pinned at least once (but rarely were they re-pinned more than once).
Now, a year and a half later, I have nearly 6,000 Pinterest followers and over 1,000,000 monthly viewers. 100% of my pins have generated at least one repin, and the average number of repins per pin is 6.6 (this is also known as the virality score). Some of my boards, like this one, perform as high as 37.4 repins per pin. In case all of those numbers are confusing you, here’s the takeaway: that’s a massive increase.
What I’m Wearing:
Dress: ASOS / Shoes: Caslon / Bag: Cult Gaia (similar for less) / Earrings: Tuckernuck
Last month, I checked my monthly viewers and I was so excited when I saw my monthly reach was nearly 850,000 users on Pinterest. And then I was even more excited when, just a few short weeks later, that number increased to 1,000,000 users.
So… how did I do it? How did I increase 200,000 viewers in a month? How did I grow my following by 6x in 18 months and my viewers by 10x in the same amount of time? And – almost as importantly – why the stinker do I care about Pinterest at all?
That last one is actually the easiest to answer, so let’s start with that:
I care about my Pinterest performance because I have seen a direct correlation between it and my blog performance. As my Pinterest follows and views increase, so do my blog page views and unique visitors.
Furthermore, Pinterest isn’t like the other social media platforms: the lifespan of an average pin is significantly greater than the lifespan of an Instagram post or – even worse – a Tweet. Every time somebody pins my content, it increases the likelihood that somebody else will see that content and pin it too, no matter how old the pin is. As people pin this old content, chances of people clicking through to my blog increase… and once they click onto the blog, it’s up to me to keep them hooked, clicking around, and pinning more.
Basically, Pinterest is a free traffic driver, so why not use it?
My Pinterest Growth Strategy Which Led to 1,000,000 Monthly Viewers
As I said earlier, I implemented this Pinterest growth strategy about 18 months ago. In that time, my following has increased 6x and my monthly viewers have increased 10x. I’ve had months with slow growth, and months with rapid growth. Months where the growth seems to be solely concentrated in my following and my monthly viewers have decreased, and months where my following is stagnant and my monthly viewers have jumped by 200,000.
So instead of looking at any one individual month, I always look at growth over a several month span for Pinterest (e.g: quarterly growth).
So let’s go back to November of 2016, when I first began this Pinterest growth strategy journey. My Pinterest was all over the friggin place. It wasn’t really serving as a traffic driver, and not all of my pins were necessarily on-brand for me.
Pinterest Growth Strategy Tip: Ensure Your Pinterest is On-Brand + Search-Friendly
The first thing I did was rename all of my Pinterest boards and their descriptions to be search-friendly. I do this okay. Like it’s meh, TBH. A few people who do this really well are A Lo Profile and Style on Edge.
To further ensure that my Pinterest was on-brand and search-friendly, I deleted pins that didn’t really fit my “look” (why did I have so many black dresses pinned? I literally never wear black!) and I created new boards that were more specific. For instance, I used to have a “Fashion & Beauty” board, which has now become six boards: Glitter & Spice, Outfits I Love, Shopping, Black Tie Outfits, Hair & Makeup Ideas, and Jewelry. Feel free to use the new “sections” tool to your advantage here – in my Glitter & Spice board, I have my outfits, my recipes, and my travels (I’m planning on adding interiors soon!).
Pinterest Growth Strategy Tip: Create “Pinnable” Images
Creating Pinnable images has two main components. The first: create clickable graphics, using tools like Canva, like I did here and here. A few bloggers who do this really well are Coming Up Roses (like she did here) and Sher She Goes (like she did here).
I like to create my pinnable graphics in Canva, but you can use Photoshop or any other tool with which you are comfortable, if you prefer.
The second part of creating Pinnable images is figuring out how to name your pins. This means using hashtags, key words, and search terms. It’s basically like SEO, but for Pinterest.
For example, in a pin I’m creating from today’s post, I might say something like “Dallas Fashion Blogger sharing a summer look featuring a yellow halter dress, striped flats, and a bamboo handbag. #ootd #summerstyle #summerlook” Just make sure you vary it up from one pin to another. For instance, on another pin, I might say “Dallas Style Blogger Glitter & Spice wearing a yellow and white striped dress, white statement earrings, and a Cult Gaia bag #halterdress #summershoes” or even incorporate verbiage having to do with stripe mixing.
Pinterest Growth Strategy Tip: Make Your Website Pinterest-Friendly
One of the best things I’ve done in the past 18 months in terms of my Pinterest growth strategy has been installing the Shareaholic plugin. If you’re viewing this post on a laptop, you’ll see it along the lefthand sidebar of this post, along with a counter that shows how many times this post has been shared across all of the various platforms.
I’ve also used the jQuery Pin It Button for Images plugin to create the little Pinterest button that pops up on any photo you hover over on my site on a laptop (it appears when you tap a photo on a mobile or tablet). Combined, these plugins make it as easy as pie for my followers to pin my images. And for me to track how my posts perform.
But, before you do either of these, make sure you’ve claimed your website under “Settings” on Pinterest and made your Pinterest a business account. By having a business account and claiming your site, you can access analytics on pin performance and so much more. Also, once you have a business account, you can enable rich pins by following the directions here. Rich pins are useful for creating shopping posts, recipe posts (like here), and even basic article posts.
Pinterest Growth Strategy Tip: Use BoardBooster and Tailwind
Last but not least, the tools. When I first developed my Pinterest Growth Strategy, it was heavily reliant upon Boardbooster. And slightly reliant upon Tailwind. Now, the scales have tipped: I cannot imagine my Pinterest without Tailwind.
Boardbooster allows users to recirculate their old content through “looping”. Looping forces content people haven’t seen in ages to suddenly reappear in their feeds, giving both new followers and old followers the chance to engage. Boardbooster also has scheduling capabilities. These allow you to pin a bunch of images at once to a secret board and then have those images roll out over time on your public boards. Of its looping and scheduling capabilities, I found that looping on Boardbooster yielded the best results, especially when used in tandem with Tailwind’s scheduling.
Tailwind really excels at allowing users to bulk schedule pins. Before you say “eh I don’t need to do that”, keep in mind that I pin about 20x per day on Tailwind and I have my pins scheduled currently through late June. And scheduling these pins only takes a few minutes each week. So worth it, especially when you note that Pinterest recommends pinning 40+ pins per day.
I also recommend using Tailwind as a part of your Pinterest growth strategy because of Tailwind Tribes. Tribes allow users to share their content with other Tailwind users, in exchange for pins and repins. For instance, in one of my Tribes, I’ve added 300 images from my site. These 300 images have led to 500+ pins and repins, increasing my reach by 3.4 M! It can be tricky to find new Tailwind Tribes to join, but I’ve set up a tribe you can join just by clicking here!
Hope this helps y’all get started on your Pinterest journey! If you have any questions about my Pinterest growth strategy (or about anything, really!), please let me know in the comments below.