So you’re a blogger and you want to increase traffic to your website. You’ve heard other bloggers go on and on about Pinterest and praise its magical results, but you don’t know what it is or how it works.
That’s ok, I didn’t either. As someone who had never used Pinterest before for personal use, I struggled to understand how the platform worked, let alone how I could use it to drive traffic to my site. Today I have 1.4 MILLION monthly viewers on Pinterest, which translates to 30,000 monthly clicks and views to my blog (see the screenshots below if you don’t believe me!)
If you already have a Pinterest account and understand the basics of it, this guide isn’t for you.
This guide is for the beginners that want to properly understand what Pinterest is and how it works before implementing growth techniques incorrectly. So let’s get started!
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a social media and web platform that allows people to visually share and discover new interests. Think of it as a visual search engine. It’s like Google but for people that prefer photos over writing.
Say you want to plan your holiday to Cuba but instead of searching for “best things to do in Cuba” on Google and getting a list of links as results, you search for it on Pinterest and the following “pins” will appear as results.
Similarly to Google you find a link or pin that seems to answer your question, you click on it and read the article. As a blog owner, that is how Pinterest has the potential to drive traffic to your site.
Sounds good but what is a Pin?
A pin is any photo that you share on Pinterest. Usually, pins have writing over the photo or are designed as collages so as to be more visually appealing for people searching that topic on Pinterest.
You add pins to your blog as you would any other normal photo, they don’t officially become “pins” until they are shared on Pinterest.
Sharing a photo on Pinterest is called “pinning”.
So yes, the terminology when it comes to sharing content on this platform is: pinning pins on Pinterest. I hope I haven’t lost you.
What is a board?
If I haven’t lost you with all the repetitive pin terminology yet (I do apologise, I would have varied it a little if it was up to me!) at this point you’re probably wondering ok cool, but where am I actually pinning these things?
You pin your pins to boards. Boards are a way of organizing your ideas and interests. When you first create your Pinterest account, you will be able to create boards around the areas that interest you.
For example I run a travel blog and have the following boards on my Pinterest account. I create a board for every country I visit and write about. Any articles I write will be pinned to the relevant country board.
What is a group board?
A group board is like a normal board but with the added option of having other contributors to it. You can create a group board yourself and add other Pinterest users to it or you can join the group boards of other people.
The idea is that when you pin something to a group board it can be seen by all the followers of all the contributors of that group board. By sharing a pin to a group board you give it the potential to reach a much bigger audience, which potentially means more clicks to your blog.
How do I create pins?
There are tons of different programs you can use to create pins. My personal favourite is Canva. Besides being free and very easy to use, Canva also has a vast resource library of templates, fonts, logos and stock photos. All the pins you see on my blog and Pinterest account are created with Canva.
What does following someone do?
Like other social media platforms Pinterest also has the option of “following” other users. You follow Pinterest accounts whose content you are interested in.
Unlike Instagram or Facebook though, this doesn’t really mean much. Pinterest will usually display on your homepage pins that it thinks you are interested in (eg. if today you pinned a lot of inspirational quotes, you will see more inspirational quotes on your homepage. If tomorrow you pin about brownie recipes, you’ll find the less quotes and more brownie recipe pins) not necessarily the latest activity of the people you follow as Instagram would.
The biggest mistake bloggers do when it comes to Pinterest is treating it like a social media!
The number of followers you have on Pinterest doesn’t matter. I only have 3,000 followers on Pinterest and yet I have 1.4 million views. I’ve seen accounts with considerably higher follower counts and considerably fewer views.
You need to treat Pinterest like a search engine, not like a social media. If you’re looking for advice on how to increase your traffic from search engines don’t worry, we’ve got advice also on that! Just click here to read my guides on getting more blog views from Google.
How do I actually pin things?
You can pin content directly in the Pinterest website, either when you search for things or when you create a pin in your account. You can also pin directly from most websites thanks to their social sharing plugins.
As a blogger, what should I be pinning?
Normal users pin things they are interested in. As a blogger, you should be doing the same. Once you have your account set up and have created a few boards, you should be pinning content relevant to those boards to them.
This means a mixture of your own and other people’s pins too.
I know what you’re thinking. Why would I want to pin other people’s pins too? Surely I just want to get my own stuff out there? Because if you were only pinning your own pins over and over in the same boards, Pinterest would see that as spam. After all, your Spain bucket list post isn’t the only out there. As good as I’m sure it is, there are other Spain bucket lists out there worth reading.
Pinterest rewards quality over mindless self-promotion. Select pins by other users that are well designed and that link to well-written quality websites. Pin other Spain bucket list pins to your Spain board and in the eyes of Pinterest, your own pins in that board will also acquire more value.
I understand what Pinterest is now, how do I use it to get tons of blog traffic?
If you’ve understood what Pinterest is and how it works and you now want to know how to actually get traffic from it, you’re ready for our next Pinterest guide.
I hope you found this introduction to Pinterest for bloggers useful, let me know in the comments below if you have any questions! If there is anything else about Pinterest that you don’t understand please let me know, I’d be happy to include it and make this a more complete Pinerest beginners guide.