You might not realise it, but Pinterest is one of the biggest platforms on the planet. It has about 250 million (!!) active users, who have created billions and billions of pins. Their user base is active, engaged and they like spending money. So let’s get some traffic from Pinterest! I’m pretty new to the platform but I’ve been doing a lot of learning and experimenting and here is my advice on how to drive traffic from Pinterest.
Most people think of Pinterest as they think of Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. That is, it is a big scrolling newsfeed. That actually isn’t right.
The problem with those platforms is that the life expectancy of content is very short. Most content disappears down the digital rabbit hole in a couple of days, if not hours (or minutes!).
Pinterest is more like a huge visual search engine. Not everyone conducts searches on it, but even if they are not doing a search, Pinterest is much more interested in showing the most relevant and quality content, rather than the most recent.
The half-life of content on Pinterest is much, much longer than that of other platforms. In fact, according to this article, it is 3.5 months. That’s compared to a couple of days for Facebook or just a few hours for Twitter and Instagram!
This means you want to be creating a lot of good pins and consider very carefully how you categorise them and where you post them. We’ll get to that in a bit.
When you create your Pinterest account, turn it into a business account and give it a business name that is relevant to your niche. My account is obviously called Citizen Affiliate, since it is about affiliate marketing. Don’t call it something abstract or obscure.
You also need a description. Remember, Pinterest is a search engine, so put relevant keywords in your description. Make it readable and fun, don’t be a dumb spammer (e.g. don’t just put marketing in fifty times), but keep it on topic. Basically, write a paragraph about yourself and your business that includes some important keywords and topics.
Put a nice picture of yourself too. It’s important to be very personable and friendly on Pinterest. People here don’t want to get an abstract corporate vibe from you, they want to see you as a friendly person. The Pinterest demographic is overwhelmingly female (about 80%!), so try and use some warm colours and friendly images. More puppies, less ninjas!
Pinterest is based around the concept of “boards”. A lot of people don’t understand these because you can’t really see a board. But a board is basically like a big container filter or search in Pinterest.
You create boards for the different types or categories of content. So I have set up boards for digital marketing, affiliate marketing, blogging, SEO, product reviews, and so on.
Give your boards a meaningful name and give them a good description. Again, this is a search engine, so keywords are essential. Pinterest is continuously trying to find pins from different boards to show to readers. Make its job easier by putting relevant keywords in your board description.
Pinterest supports hashtags too, so throw a few of them in. But as always, don’t go crazy. Put in three or four, not twenty. And put them after the description so as to make it more human-readable and friendly.
Rich pins is a way for Pinterest to verify your website and pull in meta tags about your articles. This makes them more visible and relevant for your audience and increases your views and engagement.
You need to install some plugin like Yoast that sets up the right meta tags for your articles (title, author, and so no), so Pinterest can pull that in easily. Make sure to install Yoast (which you should already have done anyway), then you need to verify your website.
You can do that on this page – you only need to plug in one URL from your website and Pinterest will then do Rich Pins for all your articles without any more work. Do this ASAP!
Now it’s time to start making pins. You want to create lots of pins for articles on your blog or website (or ecommerce store or whatever). But don’t spam – make sure to throw a pins around for other people’s content too. I do a mix of somewhere between 50 / 50 and two thirds / one third (my content to other content).
Pinning to other people’s content is super easy. Just look at your Pinterest homepage, see some relevant pins, maybe check some of them out. If they are good content, then just Save the pin. It will ask you which board – choose a relevant one, and you’re done. It takes literally a few seconds.
Creating your own pins is a bit trickier. You need a good image. Pinterest favours an unusual image resolution that is portrait, i.e. tall and thin. Most platforms use landscape style (Youtube) or square (Instagram). Use a tool like Canva or Stencil that will let you choose the appropriate Pinterest dimensions automatically.
Create an image with some text overlaid on it (always have both). Obviously, make the image and text relevant to the content. Now create a Pin, put in the URL to your site, and put in a description.
The pin description is very important. Again, you want to strike a balance between keyword utilization, and friendliness/readability. Like an SEO Meta Description, you also want to make it enticing for people to click through and find out more.
Throw in a few hashtags as well, but only after the main description, to make sure it is human-friendly (also only the first 20 words or so are shown on the Pin preview, and you definitely don’t want hashtags there).
Then you save it, and choose a board, and you’re done. Then do it again! You can create different pins for different images for different boards, or you can use one image for multiple boards. Creating multiple images works well but is a hell of a lot of work.
At the very least, change the description and hashtags a bit for your different boards so that they are more closely aligned with the board description.
The next bit? Do it again and again and again!
In some ways, Pinterest is a bit of a firehose, like Twitter. People are pinning like crazy and you probably need to as well. Some say you should be aiming for ten pins or so a day. Another course I took said you should be doing 30 to 50, which is a hell of a lot.
Keep in mind though that is for both your and other people’s pins and across all your boards. So if you say have ten boards, then each day you could create two pins, save each of them to your ten boards. Then save one pin from someone else to each of your boards. That’s your 30 done!
Anyway, at the moment I’m doing more like ten pins a day and I’m starting to get a bit of traction. But I’m going to start getting towards 30 a day because that’s where I think things really start taking off.
And remember, unlike Twitter or Instagram, the half-life of a Pinterest pin is very long. So pins you create today may be getting traffic months later. So just because you created 30 pins yesterday and you don’t see much traffic today doesn’t mean they’re not working.
Pinterest is a long-term game that starts small but snowballs as you build up.
You can become a contributor to group boards too. These can be huge because there are often thousands of people following them, so your pins can get a lot of views very quickly.
Group boards aren’t spam-fests though, they are locked down by default. So you need to go to the board, and click on the first follower shown for the board – they will be the admin. Send them a private message telling them how much you love the board and how you want to post some really valuable content there from your site and other people’s websites. Tell them a bit about yourself and your site.
If you get approved, don’t abuse your position. Post reasonable and add in a mix of other people’s content, otherwise, you will probably be stripped of your powers.
Pinterest has ads, of course – and they are cheap! This is something I’ve just started looking into but they seem to have a cost per click of 20 to 50 cents. Which is absurdly cheap (a fraction of Facebook ad costs).
Just create a pin and click Promote. Pinterest will take you through the process of setting up an ad. The targeting is less sophisticated than Facebook so the process is very simple. You basically choose a target keyword, a budget per day and duration, and that’s it.
The targeting might not be as good as Facebook’s, but if the cost is 20 cents per click, I’m pretty happy! Also, Pinterest traffic is
Well, I’m not a black belt expert on Pinterest but I’m working hard and hopefully soon will be one! I hope you found these tips helpful – do you have any others? Share them in the comments below!