One reason I’m bullish on blogging as a side hustle is Pinterest. While you have to wait 6+ months for Google to send you decent traffic (and that’s with a lot of content and link building), Pinterest makes it far easier to grow and monetize a new blog.
In fact, 12 months after I created my Pinterest account, this site had over 275,000 page views in a month from Pinterest.
As The Ways To Wealth has evolved into a business, I’ve spent more and more time on systems and procedures. I’ve had to evaluate what tasks have the highest ROI. Then, try to break down those tasks to look for ways I can make the process more efficient and effective.
Pinterest is responsible for much of the revenue this blog produces. I’ve spent a lot of time refining and optimizing my process lately. And I also wanted to write a more in-depth guide on Pinterest for those who signed up for The Ways To Wealth’s How To Make Your First $1K Blogging Course (sign up free below).
As such, I’ve written this post for both the beginner and the advanced Pinner who wants an inside look at how to drive serious traffic. I’ll start with the basics, then get into what I’m currently doing.
While you’re able to learn a ton with the information here, follow my Pinterest account to see the process live
Setting Up Your Pinterest Profile
If you’re just getting started on Pinterest, there are some basics you want to cover. These have been covered on many other blogs, so I won’t go too in-depth.
But before you go into the more advanced strategies, here are the basics you want to know:
- Sign up for a business account or convert your current account to a business account.
- Create a keyword rich profile description (See TW2W’s profile)
- Enable rich pins on your accounts
- Keep your personal pins and business pins separate, use secret boards for your personal pins if necessary
- Create a Best of Your Blog (here’s mine) board that has all your Pins and list it first
- Create 15-20 other boards that cover subcategories of your niche (that’s OK if some of these subcategories overlap)
- Create keyword rich descriptions for all your boards
- Follow relevant people in your niche to start gaining followers of your own
- Write keyword rich descriptions on all your Pins (I learned how to do this from The Penny Pinchin’ Mom, see her account or eBook where she goes more in depth)
- Make sure your blog has a plugin that allows readers to Pin images (I use Social Warfare)
- Share other bloggers valuable content
If this sounds foreign to you, that’s OK. It was to me at first.
My go-to free resource has been the Simple Pin Podcast and accompanying blog.
The Ways to Wealth Recommended Reading
- The Insanely Simple Guide To Starting A Successful Money Making Blog In 2019
- How to Start a Blog That Actually Makes Money
Writing Viral Pinterest Content
I belong to a handful of Facebook groups for bloggers. Often someone wanting to grow their blog with Pinterest will post something like, “I’m doing everything right. I’m doing this best practice, that best practice… But can’t seem to get any traffic from Pinterest.”
What’s often at the root of the problem isn’t just a group board strategy, the timing of their pins, or their keyword descriptions. Instead, it’s simply creating content that Pinners want.
Pinterest users like certain types of content. Other types of content don’t perform well on Pinterest.
The mindset you want to have with Pinterest is that it’s a search engine. It’s very different from Facebook and Twitter. People are actively searching for content on Pinterest, compared to Facebook/Twitter where they’re looking more for entertainment.
Your goal then is to create content that Pinterest users want and enjoy.
To do this I recommend using the free tool BuzzSumo (there’s a paid but I haven’t needed it).
Here’s what you want to do:
1) Type in some of your primary keywords into the BuzzSumo search box . For example, I would type keywords like money, personal finance, budget, making money, etc…
2) Hit search then sort by Pinterest shares
3) See which types of content are doing well within your niche (this is also a great way to find valuable content to share).
BuzzSumo also allows you to search a certain website, then learn what types of content are doing well for that website. This allows you to enter some of your favorite blogs and see which content on their site gets the most shares.
I then aim to create types of content that the top spot has over 5,000 Pinterest shares. My goal is to:
- Make the content extremely valuable to the reader
- Plus, put my own unique spin on the topic
Once you do that, you then want to create a Pin for the post.
That’s been covered well in this podcast on Simple Pin Media.
Joining The Right Group Boards
I don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers.
What allows my content to get seen is three things:
- I create Pins that people search for and optimize the description of those Pins
- I Pin to relevant group boards
- I use Tailwind Tribes
Let’s talk group boards…
Pinterest has a group board feature that allows Pinners to join together and share Pins on a certain topic. For example, here’s a group board on saving money that I’m in.
What’s nice about this feature is many of the group boards have a much larger following then myself. This allows my content to get seen by more people.
The strategy though isn’t to join as many group boards as possible. Instead, you want to join a select few group boards and then share your best content on those boards.
Ben and Jeff at Breaking the One Percent have an excellent strategy guide for setting your group board strategy.
Here are two tips I’ll add/emphasize:
1) Do not send template emails to bloggers to join their group board. As a blogger who gets dozens of these emails a day, these get deleted fast. It’s not a numbers game, it’s a relationship game.
For example, one thing I did was reach out to people I met or heard speak at FinCon. I might say something like:
I really enjoyed your FinCon presentation. I implemented this thing you talked about and it’s really helped me.
I shared it on my social media feed/blog, here.
Just wanted to say thanks.
Then, depending on where the conversation goes, I might ask to be on their group board.
2) All group boards are not created equal. Just because a Group Board has 20,000 followers doesn’t mean it’s better than a Group Board with 2,000 followers.
In order to understand which Group Boards drive the right type of traffic, you can use Tailwind.
How & Why I’m Using Tailwind
I now use exclusively Tailwind to schedule posts to my own and group board.
- Schedule to my own boards. I’ll schedule my own Pins to my own boards using their Pin interval feature.
- Schedule to group boards. Scheduling my own pins to group boards I’ve joined.
- Schedule others Pins. I’ll schedule other bloggers Pins to my own boards.
- Source content from Tribes. Tailwind Tribes allows me to easily discover quality content from other bloggers.
- Share content via Tribes. I then use Tailwind Tribes to share my content.
I definitely recommend joining Tribes on Tailwind. I’ve seen over 30 million impressions just from other members of Tribes I belong to sharing my content.
As for the optimal Pinning schedule with Tailwind, a lot will depend on how big your blog is.
A blog with 300+ posts and pins can Pin a lot more. A blog with only 20 posts will want to pin less.
Here’s a best practices, which I picked up from an excellent and affordable course Precision Pinning.
- Pin 80% of your own content and 20% of others
- No more than 50% of your pins should be pinned to group boards.
- Space out pins between at least 2-3 days to boards
Let’s say then you’re pinning 20X per day. What they may look like is:
- 8 Pins from your blog to your own boards
- 8 Pins from your blog to other boards
- 4 High quality pins from other bloggers, which may be from Tailwind Tribes
Split Testing Pins
You spend hours crafting a valuable blog post. You take your time designing the perfect pin to match. You then use every best practice for getting that Pin out to the world.
What happens, next?
Only a few clicks.
You’re back to putting in more hours on another post hoping it gains traction.
Sometimes a Pin simply will not take off. Maybe the color scheme is a bit off. Maybe there’s a better headline out there.
Instead of writing an entirely new post to get it right the next time, simply create a new pin for that post.
For every blog post I feel has good potential on Pinterest, I’ll typically create 2-3 Pins. For some posts that have taken off, I’ve created 5-6 Pins.
Many times a blog post can solve multiple problems. As such, you can write multiple headlines to target different people or problems.
For example, a post on making money could have the following Pin headlines:
- How to make money on the side
- How stay at home moms can make money
- How to make money from home
- 8 Side hustle ideas
The title of Pin doesn’t have to exactly match the title of the article. What does have to match is the problem it’s solving. In the above example, the content on the post all matched what the Pinner would expect going from Pinterest to my blog.
With this strategy, you get to cover a lot more keywords on Pinterest with not necessarily a lot more posts. Plus, with more Pins out there, you increase your chance of a Pin going viral.
Summary: Pinterest Traffic Tips
This may seem like a lot of work and it certainly can be.
But it’s definitely worth it.
Pinterest is a phenomenal way to grow a blog. It’s free, it’s fun, and it works.
The Ways to Wealth Recommended Reading
- 16 Hottest Small Scale Business Ideas of 2018
- 65+ Hobbies That Make Money: Fun Ideas For Moms, Retirees, and More
- 14 Ways Introverts Can Make Money Without a Job in 2018
- 27 Side Income Ideas With Potential To Generate $10K A Month