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Ok, I’ll admit it. In the first year of my business, I completely neglected Pinterest. Based on my early experiences with the platform, I pigeonholed Pinterest into a place for only DIY projects, wedding inspiration and over-processed recipes. And while I still used the platform personally, and for a select few business tasks (especially gathering inspiration for mood boards), I totally wrote it off as a source of traffic to our blog and website.
Lord, I was so wrong.
After hearing about the amazing results so many other bloggers were having on the Pinterest, I decided I had to give it another try. Last month, I started focusing my efforts on the platform in an effort to bring in more blog traffic – and the results were amazing. Our total referrals from Pinterest jumped by 993%. Yes, that’s just shy of a 10x increase! Here’s what we learned:
Create an optimized cover image for each blog post
If you’re not already doing this, this is the first place you need to start. The rest of your Pinterest strategy hinges on you presenting images that are appealing for repins and clickthroughs. Most importantly, it needs to be a vertical image – we like to use images that are 500px by 700px for a good balance of size and image load time. Create a template or style guidelines so that your images consistently reflect your brand. Include a kickass headline that will appeal to your ideal client.
Join group boards
If you have a relatively small following, get your pins in front of a larger audience by teaming up on group boards. Find a complete listing of all group boards at pingroupie.com. Be sure to follow good Pinterest etiquette by limiting your self promotion on these boards – we suggest adding your own pins just once or twice a week to avoid overwhelm.
Play with promoted pins
Nostalgic for how inexpensive it used to be to advertise on Facebook? Try Promoted Pins! Pinterest has recently started opening up Promoted Pins to small businesses on their waitlist, and after experimenting with it, we were super impressed with the cost per click (CPC) we were getting on our pins. For most of our experiments, our CPC was around $0.10 – you can expect to pay 8-10 times that for similar ads on Facebook! Plus, repins and clicks of repins are free! Since any given pin can have a very long lifetime, we think it’s worth it to test out, especially for pins leading to a landing page or other opt-in.
Automate your pinning to avoid overwhelm
Ok, so this is the only one on our list that costs a dime – but we think it’s $10/month well spent. In the long run, increasing your Pinterest following will drastically increase your traffic from Pinterest and your chances of going viral with a pin. One of the best ways to increase your followers and your engagement is to repin frequently. This can be a challenge because you don’t want to repin too many pins at once – which will flood the feeds of your followers – but taking frequent pin breaks can be distracting and interrupt your workflow. So, we were thrilled when Buffer started offering their fantastic set-it-and-forget-it service for Pinterest. Every few days, we load up our Buffer with tons of fantastic pins, and then the app pins them for us at 30 predetermined times per day. It’s awesome – and we’ve almost double our following in the last month!
Enable Rich Pins
Ever noticed how some pins look more legit than others? You’re probably noticing Rich Pins. You can see the difference between the pins below on the left (rich) and right (regular). These beauties are enabled by Pinterest to have more information on the actual pin – including your website icon, post title and a short excerpt from the post. Enabling rich pins is actually not that difficult, and adds an extra layer of authenticity to your pins and account. We’ll share our super easy method for doing so soon!
What are your favorite strategies for growing your reach and traffic from Pinterest? I’m dying to know in the comments!!