As most bloggers quickly find out, it can take a while to get any meaningful traffic to your site from Google.
But what if I told you there is an alternate source of free and immediate traffic, that can generate pageviews and affiliate sales while you are still hanging out in the Google waiting room?
Pinterest is the traffic source, and I’ve made over $100,000 by using an easy-to-carry-out marketing strategy to send traffic from Pinterest to my blogs.
In this post, I’m going to finally share my step-by-step Pinterest traffic strategy that you can steal to grow your own blog.
How I Used This Pinterest Strategy to Grow a Six-Figure Blog
Back in 2018, my wife and I decided to start a blog in the party planning niche.
She is an accomplished writer and I am a self-proclaimed “tech geek” so she wrote all of the content and I focused solely on the technical side of things and devising an SEO strategy to get traffic.
We make a great team (in life as well as work), and combined possess the necessary skills to make any blog a successful venture.
However, as most of you reading this probably already know, it can often take many months (or years) for Google to even start sending significant traffic to your new blog.
We had the same goal(s) as the majority of successful bloggers:
I’m an impatient person and didn’t want to have to wait months to start getting results, so my wife and I looked outside of Google to see if there was a better/faster way to achieve our goals.
I was thinking about trying to leverage Facebook and Instagram to generate some quick traffic, but one morning my wife pulled out her phone, smiled, and showed me a platform that I wasn’t all that familiar with (but she was)…
As I watched her scrolling through her Pinterest feed and clicking on pin covers that sent her directly to blog posts with almost no friction, I knew what she already knew…it was time for us to take Pinterest seriously.
So over those next few months, we bought every Pinterest traffic strategy course we could get our hands on, started relentlessly experimenting, and came up with a method that started to generate massive results!
Pretty soon we had a business Pinterest account with over 3 million monthly views and our little blog was getting over 100,000 new visitors each and every month.
At its peak, our blog generated $10,000 per month and a lot of that revenue was attributed directly to Pinterest traffic.
Keep reading if you want to find out the exact method we used to make six figures per year…
Pinterest Traffic: An Overview
With 335 million monthly viewers, Pinterest is as much a search engine as it is a social media platform.
So, if your blog targets mostly women, Pinterest is one of the best places to reach them. But it’s still worthwhile to market on Pinterest even if the target audience is men.
But how much do Pinterest users spend?
One of the most staggering statistics about Pinterest traffic is that 45% of Pinterest users in the U.S. have a household income of over $100K.
Not only do Pinterest users bring home a nice salary on average, but they also like to spend it!
Shoppers on Pinterest spend a whopping 80% more than users on other social media platforms and have a 40% bigger average cart size too.
Sounds great right? Well before I jump into my Pinterest strategy I want to let you know something upfront…like other forms of social media, the traffic from Pinterest is not as targeted as the traffic from Google organic search.
This is reflected in higher bounce rates, less time spent on page, and fewer pages viewed per session.
And because it is still considered a social media platform, advertisers place lower bids on your Pinterest traffic than they do on users who arrive at your blog from Google. This results in slightly lower RPMs (revenue per mile) from your display ads.
While Pinterest traffic may be less targeted there is still a lot of money to make from it:
So there you have it. I’ve outlined the positives and negatives of working with traffic from Pinterest.
My Pinterest Strategy for Bloggers
Pinterest itself is kind of an enigma. No one seems to know exactly what the algorithm values most.
You can talk to 10 people who have had success with Pinterest and they will probably each tell you a different method to try.
That being said, I’ll go over in detail the steps that I follow when creating and maintaining a Pinterest account.
The Tools I Use:
- Tailwind – A must-have tool to execute this strategy. Save time creating and scheduling.
- Canva Pro – Every blogger should have Canva Pro. Graphic design swiss army knife.
- Pin Inspector – Does all my Pinterest keyword research. Cheap lifetime license.
- Tasty Pins – Inexpensive plugin. Necessary for high-level strategy.
How Does Pinterest Work?
You first need to gain an understanding of the two different sources of Pinterest traffic before you can learn how to optimize your account to attract more visitors to your blog.
Home Feed (Social)
A user’s home feed is displayed based on what Pinterest’s algorithm thinks they are most interested in.
Users aren’t actively searching for the pins that appear in their feed, but historically have shown some level of interest in a topic or brand.
Users can also utilize Pinterest as a search engine.
Traffic that comes as a result of the search is going to have more intent than home feed traffic.
As a blog owner, you want your pins to show up at the top of Pinterest search results, just as you would want your posts to appear on the first page of Google.
The ways you achieve this are:
- Using keywords in your pin and board descriptions
- Creating a pin cover that encourages users to click through to your site, therefore increasing saves and repins
It’s pretty easy to get started with Pinterest…
1. Setup Pinterest Business Account
The first thing you want to do is set up a Pinterest Business account.
If you already have a personal Pinterest account, you can add a new business account by going to your profile and choosing Add Account.
Once your business account is created, you will need to verify that you own your website’s domain name.
By verifying your domain, you’ll be able to use Pinterest Analytics, which will help you figure out how popular your pins are in the future.
2. Create Your Profile
Because every brand is unique, I won’t waste your time by walking you through the process of creating a profile for your account step by step.
Instead, I’m going to list a few tips for creating a profile that will stand out and lay a sturdy foundation to help you compete in your niche.
Establish Brand Identity
If you want others to be able to discover you on Pinterest by name, try to keep the Name and Username fields consistent with your other social media accounts
Get Top Niche Keywords in the Description
When crafting your description make sure to include all of the top keywords for your niche. However, don’t stuff keywords for the sake of getting them in the description.
Add Keywords to Profile Pic
Before uploading your profile pic try to use your top niche keywords in the image filename (i.e. james-lee-affiliate-marketing-seo-online-business-expert.png)
3. Keyword Research
Most people use the Alphabet Soup method when it comes to doing keyword research for Pinterest.
I wish I could teach you some other secret method, but it’s what I use as well.
The thing is, I value my time, so I don’t want to peck away at a keyboard and copy and paste my results all day.
Instead, I use a tool to automate the process and export the results.
All you have to do is put in your seed keyword and press Start.
A minute later, you will have a spreadsheet containing what would have taken you much longer (hours or days depending on the keyword) using the alphabet soup method.
I put this information on a master spreadsheet and do the same thing for each seed keyword.
🔎 Check out my complete Pin Inspector Review to learn about other ways it can help grow your Pinterest account
I’m going to use these keywords as pin titles and board titles.
People aren’t generally searching for super long-tail phrases on Pinterest.
If they have a query like that, they are probably using Google, so you don’t want to niche down your keywords as deeply on Pinterest as you do with a search engine like Google.
4. Competitor Research
After I’ve finished my own keyword research, the next thing I’m going to concentrate on is reverse engineering the strategies employed by the most successful Pinterest accounts in my niche.
Pin Inspector allows me to quickly take care of this process by entering my top keywords and generating a spreadsheet of the top accounts that come up when the keywords are searched for.
You can spy on your competitors and sort them by important Pinterest metrics like:
- Board Count
- Pin Count
- Profile Views
- Profile Reach
- Last Pin Date
- …and much more
Alternatively, you could manually search for your top keywords and make your own master spreadsheet of all the accounts that appear in the results if you don’t want to spend money on Pin Inspector.
5. How to Create Pinterest Boards
Pinterest Boards are used to save, categorize, and organize pins. You can create new boards directly from your profile or whenever you make a new pin.
The first thing I am going to do with my spreadsheet of competitors and spy on them and see how they are naming and grouping their boards.
Examine the keywords and categories that many of the most popular accounts use when making boards, and adopt the same strategy for your own account.
The next thing you will want to do is create all of the main boards for your account.
I create 4 types of boards:
- Best of Brand Board – Every pin gets pinned here
- Category Board – Matches site category name, any page/post in the category gets pinned here
- Money Board – Matches topic of Money Page, pins from money page and its supporting content get pinned here
- Sub-Topic Board – Sub-topics of any category, all appropriate pins get pinned here
So if your site is about Outdoor Sports and is called OutdoorSportsGuy.com you may have a board structure that looks like this:
- Best of Brand Board – Best of Outdoor Sports Guys
- Silo Board – Hunting
- Money Board – Hunting Rifles
- Sub-topic Board – Safari Hunting
For example, if I had an article about safari hunting rifles, I would pin it to all 4 boards since it’s appropriate.
But if I had an article about hunting rifles, I wouldn’t pin it to the Sarafi Hunting board because it’s not specific to Safari Hunting.
Use your best judgment when choosing which boards to pin to, but always be sure to pin to the most relevant board first.
If your site is more narrow in niche you may not have four different levels of boards. This is really going to depend on how broad or narrow your overall niche is.
When naming a board you should put the keyword in the front position of the title.
In the description field, you should also use your main keyword once and a variation of the keyword as well.
Pro Tip: Make sure to write casually (i.e. conversationally) in the description to avoid the appearance of keyword stuffing.
6. Designing Pin Covers
I believe that creating Pin Covers is the most important thing that you will do with regard to your Pinterest account.
How a pin cover looks is crucial to its click-through rate, which is truly the only metric I focus on.
So how do you get someone to click on your pin?
Create pin covers that are scroll stoppers.
Either the graphic, the title, or a combination of both should stand out in the feed and stop them dead in their tracks.
Typically, the best way to do this is by creating your pin covers one by one in a tool like Canva.
But hand-crafting pin covers takes A LOT of time…
Because Pinterest traffic is lower quality than Google search traffic, my goal is to get the best results while expending the least amount of effort.
I currently use Tailwind Create to automate the creation of my pin covers. It’s probably 10x-15x more efficient than creating pin covers by hand.
All you have to do is load the titles, subtitles (optional), images (Tailwind provides a huge stock image library as well), and color palettes.
Tailwind Create will then spit out hundreds of combinations of pin covers which you can easily edit to your liking.
The learning curve is almost nonexistent, and it really does help you build your Pinterest account quickly.
📒 Note: I use Tailwind to schedule my pins as well (we’ll talk about this later). There’s no true alternative to Tailwind other than manually creating and pinning everything yourself…and I’m not about that life!
I always use custom pin covers and never just pin a photo.
Other Pin Design Tips
People will say that the words on your pin cover should be “clickbaity” to get the most clicks.
Use words that accurately describe the post that you are sending them to. If they click on your pin thinking the post is going to be about something it’s not, they will just bounce from the page.
Try combining numbers, power words, and descriptive adjectives on your pin cover designs for maximum click-through rate.
7. Writing Pin Titles and Descriptions
Each pin has two areas of text that you need to fill out before you can post it: the title and description.
Tailwind has a feature called Ghostwriter which uses AI to craft the perfect titles and descriptions for you. It’s pretty amazing and will save you a lot of time.
If you want to take a more hands-on approach, just make the title of your pin the same as the title of the blog post it links to.
This creates zero opportunity for confusion when a user clicks through to your blog.
As for the description, start by copying and pasting the blog post’s post meta description and editing the pin’s description based on the Pinterest keyword research you have already done.
The goal is to get your main keywords as close to the front of the description as possible, while still making sure it reads as a coherent paragraph…don’t keyword stuff!
8. Scheduling Pins
I schedule all of my pins using Tailwind because I don’t have the time to do it by hand and I like to have everything automated.
When I started building my first Pinterest account, I hand-pinned everything.
I had a spreadsheet and a system for rotating my pins.
I quickly learned that I was a waste of time and energy.
Once I moved to Tailwind I was able to schedule my pins weeks in advance, which freed up time to work on growing my site in other areas.
As far as scheduling goes, here are my basic guidelines:
I always start out by creating and pinning 4 different covers per post.
Two different designs and two different titles. (i.e. Design A w/ Title A; Design A w/ Title B; Design B w/ Title A; Design B w/ Title B)
I also recommend using the Tailwind Chrome extension to schedule pins right from your post. I’ve found that pinning from the post itself is the most effective method.
9. Make Sure to Provide Fresh Content
Pinterest favors accounts that provide fresh content. In fact, I think the long-term success of a Pinterest account is often directly correlated with how often (and consistently) the associated blog posts new articles.
I also believe, based on some data that I’ve seen, that Pinterest may limit the amount of traffic it sends to a particular URL.
⚠ For Pinterest to be an effective traffic-getting method for your blog, you are going to need to be continually creating and pinning fresh content.
Advanced Pinterest Strategies for Bloggers
So far we have covered the basics of my Pinterest traffic strategy for bloggers, but in the next section, I am going to talk about some of the more advanced tactics that I use to succeed with Pinterest marketing.
10. Force Pinning
When a Pinterest savvy user is on your site they may see something that they want to pin to one of their boards.
This is how you really grow on Pinterest.
The problem is they could grab any image on the post and use that as the pin cover.
We want them to pin the most visually appealing pin cover.
To force this, you edit the HTML code for a post and add the data-pin-nopin attribute to every image you don’t want to be pinned.
However, this is time-intensive and also deactivates the hover button for a particular image.
Using a plugin called Tasty Pins, you can automatically choose which image you want to be pinned, and force the user to choose that image no matter what image they try to pin.
I use this method for all of my posts by attaching all of my pin covers to the post via Tasty Pins and hiding them.
11. Use a Hover Button
I suggest enabling a Pinterest hover button for every photo on your site, but only if your site is in a more Pinterest-friendly niche.
The hover button allows any visitor to pin directly to one of their Pinterest boards.
I have force pinning enabled, so my best pins covers are going to get shared.
Since I’m already using the Tasty Pins plugin for the force pinning feature, I use their hover button integration as well.
If you choose not to buy Tasty Pins, there are plenty of free options as well in the WordPress plugin repository.
12. Identify Viral Pins (Repin ID)
Each pin has a unique identifier called a Pin ID.
They allow you to add the pin ID from your best performing pin to any page and force users to repin it which increases its virality.
This is a trick that I rarely see discussed, but it works.
I will wait a few months after I first start pinning a new post and then figure out which pin pointing to it is the most popular.
You can achieve this through a combination of Google Analytics, Pinterest Analytics, and Tailwind Inspector.
I’ll then go back into the post and tell Tasty Pins to force visitors to pin that version.
13. Post to Group Boards
On Pinterest, a Group Board is exactly what it sounds like it is.
It’s a shared board that everyone in the group may use to pin content to.
When starting out Group Boards are a great place to get some early traffic to your pins.
You can search manually for group boards in your niche or use a tool like Pingroupie to find any active group boards that are worth trying to join.
Just like engagement groups on Twitter and Instagram, most group boards have rules you must follow when pinning, and often times the requirements for entry are posted directly in the group board description.
If you get added, make sure you follow the rules, so you don’t get kicked out.
14. Join Tailwind Communities (Formerly Tailwind Tribes)
Communities are specific to Tailwind. They are basically group boards for other Tailwind users.
As a Tailwind subscriber, you can join Communities for free.
Join as many niche-specific Communities as you can find, and pin to them like you would group boards.
📒 Note: Some Pinterest pros claim that both group boards and Tailwind Communities are outdated or pointless, but I disagree. When just starting out on Pinterest, it’s worth the time and effort to get your pins seen by as many eyes as possible.
Pinterest can be an amazing source of traffic for your blog, but you will only get out of the platform what you put in.
If I had to guess what the most important lesson I’ve learned while trying to master Pinterest marketing is I would sum it up in one word: CONSISTENCY.
No matter what Pinterest strategy you use, if you aren’t consistent with your content production and pinning schedule…you will most certainly get suboptimal results.
Once you start pinning….never stop. Not even for a day!
Tools like Tailwind make it easier than ever to schedule your pins weeks in advance so you don’t have to worry about missing a beat.
If you have any questions about my method or want to add some of your own Pinterest marketing tips to the conversation feel free to leave a comment below 👇