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As a travel blogger, Pinterest has become my bread and butter.
It’s the reason why I’ve been able to build my blog to where it is today and make a comfortable living from affiliate sales.
I’ve spent hours on Pinterest testing, learning and generally being a lil’ too obsessed with pinning (yep, it’s my favorite “non-social” platform!).
I’m constantly asked by my blogger friends for advice on how to use Pinterest to grow your audience and increase page views.
Psst: to check out my Pinterest profile, click below!|
Why should bloggers use pinterest?
Pinterest has more than 322 million monthly active users world wide. For context, that’s like having more than the entire population of the US use pinterest every month (yep, that’s a lot of people!)
Chances are, if you run a blog, your potential target audience is using pinterest.
When you look at the US, Pinterest reaches 83% of women ages 25-54. This group makes 80% of the buying decisions in US households.
So if you run a blog and you’re not on Pinterest?
You’re leaving the opportunity to connect with potential readers who are actively searching for your content on Pinterest.
How can bloggers make an income from Pinterest?
For many bloggers (like me!) Pinterest is our main source of page views, which converts to affiliate sales and ad revenue.
Every blogger is different, but chances are if you’re a content creator, Pinterest is the place to be to grow your blog.
As a Pinterest obsessed blogger, I’ve seen many bloggers make countless mistakes on pinterest.
The truth is, many of these things are easy to fix.
So if you want to learn more about Pinterest, read on for the mistakes I see bloggers make on Pinterest:
1. They haven’t installed rich pins
A rich pin is when Pinterest pulls information from the blog post or link that your pin links to. It uses this information to display a bolded title for your pin and a brief description of the pin.
This is a free and easy way to let Pinterest users know what your pin is about.
Above is an example of one of my pins that is a rich pin. Both the bolded title and description are pulled from my blog post. If I didn’t have rich pins installed, this information wouldn’t display.
How do you get rich pins? You only need to install rich pins once and all your pins will display this way!
2. Not having a business account on Pinterest
Most Pinterest accounts are Personal accounts, but if you switch your account to a Business account, you get access to special tools and analytics.
These tools let you know which pins are performing the best, how many saves, clickthroughs you get and so much more.
Business accounts are free on Pinterest and do not negatively impact your reach or performance on Pinterest (unlike other platforms *ahem* Instagram *cough*)
3. Not using pin descriptions to their full potential
Many users on Pinterest assume that it’s just another social media platform, like Facebook and Instagram. But the truth is, Pinterest is really a search engine.
Yes, it’s a visual platform, but users search for content on Pinterest. Based on a user’s interests, Pinterest also recommends content in the home page feed.
Only the Pinterest gods know exactly how this algorithm actually works, but it definitely uses an aspect of keywords. So every time you upload a pin to Pinterest, make sure you fill the description with as many relevant keywords as possible.
This makes it easier for Pinterest to recommend your content to interested users and it also means when users search for topics related to your content, your pins will appear in the search results!
4. Not optimizing the profile + board description for relevant keywords
Pinterest uses keywords to figure out what niche or type of content you pin. Other than the pin description (which we talked about in #3 above) there are a couple of other places where you can include relevant keywords.
- Your Pinterest profile name
- Your Pinterest profile description
- In your board descriptions
So whatever your niche, make sure you include relevant keywords so Pinterest knows what type of content you blog about!
So make sure you include any relevant keywords in your profile and board descriptions!
5. Not creating niche boards
Creating multiple boards covering each of your niches + topics that you blog about will signal to pinterest (and it’s users) what type of content you create.
For example, I’m a travel blogger, but I don’t just have multiple boards about travel and call it a day!
I create boards around the different topics I blog about e.g. Japan travel, New Zealand travel, Hiking… The list goes on!
This means Pinterest knows that I specialise on travel about Japan and New Zealand. So when users are searching for content on these topics, Pinterest knows that I specialise in these topics.
So make sure you create a board for every topic you blog about.
6. Not having a “best of board” on Pinterest
You’ll be pinning other content related to your niche on pinterest, so having a “best of” board allows you to signal which pins belong to you.
Pinterest users often follow boards (rather than accounts), so if someone finds your profile and likes your content (yay!), you want to make it easy for them to follow a board that only shares your content.
Psst: check out my best of board below!
7. Not joining group boards
Group boards are boards where multiple pin users can join and pin their own content. Each group board has it’s own rules (often you need to pin another pin from the board in exchange).
Many Pinterest users are split between being anti-group board and pro-group board.
Honestly? I’m pro-group board.
I’m a huge fan of group boards because they’re easy to use and don’t take up much time.
You never know when a pin will go viral – and if it goes viral because you happened to pin that pin to a group board? Then I’ll take the group board any day!
8. Treating Pinterest like Instagram
Pinterest is a highly visual platform that prefers bright, beautiful images. Because of this, many bloggers (wrongfully) assume that it is a social media platform, just like Instagram.
But if users wanted Instagram, they would go and use Instagram, rather than Pinterest. There is a reason that Pinterest is so popular and that’s because it helps its users plan and create their future lives.
Simply pinning content that you would post to Instagram (very) rarely drives meaningful traffic to your blog.
Yes, beautiful images are important.
But you also need to create helpful and aspirational content that will help your readers create, achieve, or plan their dreams.
9. Not pinning regularly
Like any platform, Pinterest loves users who use its platform often.
So use Pinterest like a regular user and pin often.
You want to pin high quality content that is a mixture of your content and other users content.
The best way to do this is to either pin manually or use a scheduling tool (like Tailwind, which is a Pinterest approved tool).
Psst: if you want to try Tailwind for free, just click the banner below for your free trial!
10. Not pinning vertical photos and pins
Pinterest has confirmed that they prefer vertical pins (that is, they’re taller than they are wide) over horizontal images or pins.
Vertical images and pins are optimised for mobile use (70 million users / month access Pinterest on their mobile) and the Pinterest home feed is optimised for vertical images (not horizontal).
This means your pins should be vertical (not horizontal!) and you should only be pinning vertical pins to your boards.
11. Not using analytics to understand what is and isn’t working
I did this a lot when I started using Pinterest.
But the truth is you can never know what is or isn’t working unless you’re regularly checking your analytics.
Both Pinterest Analytics and Google Analytics are the best sources of data in this scenario.
Your google analytics will help you understand which of your content is performing the best on Pinterest (look at which blog posts receive the highest amount of traffic from Pinterest) and which blog posts are performing the worst.
Similarly, Pinterest Analytics can give you similar information, but it can also tell you which pins that you didn’t create that are performing the best on your boards.
This information can help you to understand what type of content performs the best on Pinterest and give you ideas for future blog posts to write.
12. Your pin designs suck or the text on your pins are too small/ineligible
Yep, I’m being super honest here.
This is the mistake I see the most on Pinterest and it can be frustrating, because small text or unattractive images should never stop anyone from saving your content – but it does!
Pinterest is a visual platform, so having bright images that entices users to save or click your pin is super important. Similarly, the text on your pins should be easy to read (don’t make them too small or will ineligible fonts!)
Pinterest is a visual platform, so you want to make your pins attractive as possible!
Psst: I’ve spent hours refining pin design on Pinterest and honestly I get it. Designing pins is like another thing you need to add to your endless list of blogging tasks. If this is what you’re struggling with, check out my Pinterest services page – I can design some kick-ass pins for you!
See an older pin design of mine below (on the left) and a newer pin with bright images and easy-to-read text (on the right):
So there you have it! When I first started sharing my content on Pinterest, I was a lil’ overwhelmed and felt like I would never get it right.
But making the above changes made a huge difference to my Pinterest traffic and reach.
Do you have any Pinterest questions? Leave them for me below!
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