I’m welcoming all kinds of bloggers today with this short post about my manual Pinterest strategy that I really didn’t plan to write. But I got up this morning and found that the number of unique viewers on my Pinterest analytics had shot up to 96k (with a jump of 25k overnight!!) – and I’ve only been doing it for six weeks.
What’s more, while I tried Tailwind for all of 1 evening, I absolutely HATED it. Yep, not a fan.
Which means that I have basically taken a brand new Pinterest account, opened on March 13th 2018, and managed to get my pins in front of almost 100 THOUSAND people in less than two months, by just pinning manually.
This, I HAD to share. And while I’m at it, you can follow me on Pinterest here.
Pin me for later!
Now, Food Blogging Collective is a food blogger’s blog; it focuses on helping food bloggers grow and diversify their businesses – basically covering everything that they need to do on top of the cooking. But the genius thing about this manual Pinterest strategy is that it can be applied to ANY blog field at all, not just food.
So whether you write about food, parenting, fashion, travel or movies, you can give this a go and see how much you can increase your views. And, experts tell me, these days it is all about the views, and not the number of followers. Which means that Pinterest is a piece of the pie that you definitely want a finger in.
Here’s the proof!
A quick disclaimer: I cannot guarantee that you will immediately hit almost 100k unique views, and I know that there are a lot of different approaches to Pinterest out there. However, today I’m sharing EXACTLY what I did for THIS WEBSITE and this strategy can help you do it, too. Also, this is not my first rodeo, my friend – it’s my second blog. So I knew what I was doing when I started out.
Ready for a piece of the action? Here goes!
Task #1 make sure your Pinterest profile is optimised for visitors
I’m not talking about installing any clever techie stuff, I promise. Instead, by “optimised”, I simply mean that you want to make your Pinterest profile as user-friendly as possible. A term I like to use when talking about my profile is “hub”. I am a “hub” of knowledge for anything on my subject – food photography, consistency in recipe writing, monetising food blogs, growing your reach on social media, running a food business and so on.
Sure, not all of the pins are mine. But they are all on my profile. Which means people stick around for longer – and pin more of my stuff!
It’s so important that your Pinterest profile puts the visitor first (remember: the customer is always right!). Check you’re not making the mistake of leaving them out.
task #2 get pinning
You’re going to make a promise to yourself to pin 20 pins, three times a day. Does that seem like a lot? Well, hold up, before you panic, let me break it down.
Each time you visit your Pinterest, you’re going to pin (or repin):
- 5 pins from your own website;
- 10 pins from other sources; and
- 5 “trending” pins.
Let me explain what all that means.
5 pins from your own website
5 pins from your own website should be clear enough. Every time you write an article, recipe, review or guide, you are going to design a custom graphic (like mine above) that clearly tells viewers what the post is about. You upload the pins to your Pinterest account with a link to the blog post’s URL and a keyword-rich description, and then pin it to one of your boards. If you only have five articles written, then that’s fine – because you can repin them again the next day, to different boards on your profile.
Because Pinterest makes it possible for people to follow a single board rather than them having to follow everything you do. So there might be more than one board to which the pin is applicable, and you want to make sure that that board’s particular audience benefits from it.
Furthermore, Pinterest has recently announced that the first five pins you pin in a day are considered as your most important pins, and Pinterest will actually promote them above everything else you do in the day. So you want to make sure your first five are YOURS. Still with me?
UPDATE As of June 2018, your first five pins are no longer favoured by Pinterest in the same way. So, there is no longer any need to make sure the first five pins of the day are yours, but it’s still a good ratio of pinning to get into.
10 pins from other sources
10 pins from other sources is also easy enough. For example, I have a board entitled “food photography” (it’s my most popular board). Any time I want some new pins for that board, I type “food photography” or “food styling” or “photography tips” into the Pinterest search bar and find some new pins that look interesting. When you hit that search bar with a term, take note of the other words Pinterest offers you to go with it and consider using some of those too. Those are Pinterest’s way of letting you know what people are actually looking for and they’ll help you in the long run.
I also have a few favourite sources that I like to pin from, that I can always rely on to be putting out great content, regularly. If I’m really in a hurry, I go there first and see what they’ve got that’s new.
A word to the wise: make sure that the pins you select actually send you where they say they do; you don’t want any misleading or “dead” pins)
5 “trending” pins
5 “trending” pins is a great tip that was given to me by a Pinterest coach. Basically, every day, Pinterest publishes a list of topics that are currently “trending” in the Pinterest world. If you can repin from some of those popular topics, then the chance of someone spotting you (and therefore your profile) becomes greater. Think of it as jumping on the bandwagon.
To find the trending pins for the day, look for the compass symbol next to the search bar. You might need to do some clever thinking to decide which boards to pin to if the trending topics aren’t immediately relevant to your profile, but a pin can always easily be included in a photography or inspirational board without too much work.
But, do I really have the time for a manual Pinterest strategy ?
This entire strategy honestly only takes me 10-15 minutes a time and I usually do it while I’m waiting for the kettle to boil in the morning, waiting to pick my son up from school at 3pm and when I first hit the sofa after dinner. It’s not necessarily the optimal times for pinning (and if you do use Tailwind, it will very helpfully tell you when your most popular times are), but since I’m pinning manually, I’m not about to sit up doing it over night 😉
Furthermore, I found that by choosing my own three regular times to pin, I actually managed to easily fit the strategy into my daily life, and still hit the UK breakfast market, the US EST morning traffic at 3 pm (5 hours behind GMT) and the US PST morning traffic in the evening (8 hours behind).
Another note: I am primarily targeting other bloggers who might get up in the morning and read through a few blog posts to help them with their work for the day. That means that I’m anxious to catch them at the start of their day, when they have time to implement what I’m teaching. However, if you want to reach readers in their evenings, then you’ll need to adjust your timings accordingly. If, for example, I was a food blogger and I wanted to hit a cooking audience, I would probably push my timings to 3pm, 8pm and bedtime, to catch people in their afternoons when they start the “what’s for dinner tonight?” panic!
And Pinterest has a feature called a “smart feed” which means that it notices – and rewards – pinners who are using the programme frequently and effectively.
The Pinterest Smart Feed
Did you know that Pinterest is not a social-media channel, but a search engine? That’s huge! That means that we need to treat it like Google, and give it the respect it deserves.
It also means great news for bloggers: FREE advertising for you!
The majority of bloggers use a plugin like Yoast to control what Google pulls up on us. But with Pinterest, you can directly tell it each time you upload a new pin.
And what’s more, if you use Pinterest regularly, pinning top-quality content and attracting visitors to your account, then the smart feed actually REWARDS you for doing so by boosting you up the feed!
That means you get seen more in search results, more people visit your profile, Pinterest rewards you again for attracting business and..bingo! Skyrocket.
Anything else I can do?
Yes! Make sure you’ve got pins all over your website with handy (blatant!) hints as to what you want your viewers to do (like my “pin me for later!”). You can also add in some social-sharing buttons and social icons to make it as easy as possible for your readers to pin and share your stuff!
And, of course, you have to have your Pinterest account set up in the right way to start with. More about that here.
My next task is to get my engagement up; I know there’s a huge potential for Pinterest to be my number-one referrer because it’s where all the food bloggers hang out! But remember, this is a new Pinterest account and a new blog (only 6 and 8 weeks old respectively at the time of writing!) so I’m very happy for now. Imagine where I could be in six months!
Drop your Pinterest profile in the comments and we’ll share the love!