How Storytelling Bloggers Get Massive Traffic From Pinterest

{click on the image to reveal the hidden pin}

You’ve heard people talking about the amount of traffic they get from Pinterest but you still don’t get it. When you go to the site all you see is recipes and craft projects. It doesn’t seem the right place for the raw, edgy, honest stories you tell on your blog. So you sigh, close your browser and think it’s not for you.

But you’re missing out. Pinterest is the best social media platform for bloggers of all flavours. And because Pinterest is saturated with those food and DIY pins you see all the time, being different means you stand out from the crowd.

Being different means you can attract hundreds, even thousands of clicks to your blog every single day. And not just for one day — the long shelf-life of pins means the traffic keeps coming and coming. You can’t afford to stay out of the game any longer, can you?

What is Pinterest for?

Pinterest is a digital version of the paper scrapbooks we used to fill with glossy pictures cut from magazines when we were kids. Pinterest is also a digital version of the display folders our mothers kept full of recipes, bathroom makeovers and hairstyles. Instead of saving small snippets of information in physical form, we now save digital information to virtual pin boards.

I can already hear your objection. People didn’t (and don’t) save stories from newspapers and magazines unless it’s something like a birth announcement, a death notice, or an article that mentions their name.

And I agree. On the surface, it doesn’t seem the right place for life-writing and storytelling bloggers to get noticed.

But while your mother was scouring the latest fashion magazine for inspiration for her next sewing project, she would often stop to read an interesting story. The goal of every blogger on Pinterest is to seamlessly appear beside the latest casserole recipe or the hottest new handbag and lure the user into pausing for a moment to check out a fascinating article (your blog).

And if your writing connects with them in some way, they will subscribe, follow you on Twitter or like your Facebook page. Or if you’re lucky, they will share your pin or perhaps even create a board where they can collect all your articles. Now doesn’t that sound good?

SIX EASY STEPS TO PINTEREST MASTERY

[1] Transfer Your Personal Account to a Business Account to get RICH PINS

With a business account, you can take advantage of rich pins. This means every time someone (or you) pin an image from your site, the pin has additional information auto-generated below the image. This information stays on the pin no matter where it ends up.

Rich pins for pinterest

Rich Pin information includes your logo, the words “Found on website.com”, a bold headline underneath the image and a summary of the post.

Another great feature of business accounts is analytics. You can check on your impressions, views, engagement, repins, likes and clicks.

→ Action: Convert to a business account.

  1. Go to Pinterest for Business
  2. Choose CONVERT NOW
    convert now
  3. Follow the instructions

→ Action: Apply for Rich Pins

  1. Go to the Pinterest Rich Pins Validator
  2. Enter the URL of a blog post (not your home page) and hit the VALIDATE button
  3. If the HTML of your blog is set up correctly (and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be) you will be validated. Then you must click on the APPLY NOW button.
    rich pins gretel
  4. Pinterest will send you a confirmation email, but the Rich Pin function is usually applied immediately.

[2] Create a Killer Profile Description

Take a moment to think about the four most common topics you write about. These are probably the categories you use on your blog. My topics are relationships, sexuality, body positivity and aging disgracefully.

Use these words on your profile page, so people looking for your area of expertise can find you. Put your tagline at the front and your job description at the end and you’re done.

Pinterest profile

[Image reads: Katie Paul | Blogger – Sydney Australia – head-heart-health.com – Celebrating midlife’s juicy moments | Relationships • Sexuality • Body Positive • Aging Disgracefully | Blogger & Image Maker]

→ Action: Edit yourprofile.

[3] Optimize your Boards

I recommend starting with 4 different types of boards.

(a) The Primary Board

Your primary board is your “body of work” board and everything you post from your blog goes on this board first. It is where you re-pin from to ensure your pins accumulate a high re-pin count. You can call this board “The Best of YourBlogName” or something to that effect.

(b) Blog Boards

You should start out with 8-10 blog boards. Do a search on Pinterest using one of your topics. Take note of the subheadings that pop up, which are based on popularity. This is what you should name your Blog Boards.

Board topics

[Image reads: Relationships – Goals, Quotes, Advice, Controlling, Pictures, Problems, Cute, Love]

In this example, my relationship boards could be two or three of the following.
(a) relationship quotes
(b) relationship advice
(c) love and relationships
(d) relationship problems

Repeat this for each of your categories.

(c) Personal Boards

Although some people advise against having personal boards, I believe it helps drive followers to your profile. If recommend having 8-10 board relating to topics that are popular on Pinterest such as food, craft, fashion, beauty and/or inspirational quotes.

(d) Group Boards

Join up to 10 group boards on topics that reflect your blog material. Pick boards that have large numbers of followers, lots of pinning activity and good re-pin rates. Don’t join too many group boards or you will look spammy.

[I have a group board for Bloggers who write about their lives, right here: Bloggers with Brains and Heart. Let me know if you want to join.]

Board Descriptions

As well as using the key words applicable to your particular board in the description area, include a copy of your profile information as well. It is worth remembering that people can access your boards without ever going to your profile page, so your website address should be the last thing they see. There is no character limit on board descriptions.

board description

[Image reads: Sexuality Sexy Time – Physical Love • Sexual Expression • Intimacy • Passion • Feminine and Masculine Essence • Celebrating midlife’s juicy moments = Relationships • Sexuality • Body Positive • Aging Disgracefully | Blogger & Image Maker | Twitter @chaotickatiep | Web ♥ head-heart-health.com]

→ Action: Set up your boards and fine tune their descriptions

[4] Make Compelling Images with Interesting Descriptions

It is not enough to pin the featured image from your blog if it is not the right dimensions. Pinterest favours vertical images, with the recommended size being 735px wide by 1100 tall — but remember that pins are smaller than that in the stream, so use large fonts and unfussy images.

Think of your pin image as a movie poster or a book cover for your blog post. You don’t want to just have the title on it, nor do you want to give away the entire plot.

Craft text that is enticing and perhaps a little puzzling, making the urge to click and read irresistible.  Don’t be afraid to take advantage of emotive words like sex, death, pain, joy, secret, loss, love, etc. Check out popular pins from other bloggers for inspiration.

The default pin description comes from the ALT TEXT field in your media file. Although you might edit your pin description when you pin, other users may not bother. Please don’t just leave the Alt Text field empty — use keywords so the Pinterest search engine can find your pin easily.

alt text

You can run an effective Pinterest beginner’s strategy with 10-20 good pins. Look at your blog stats for your most popular posts, but don’t just limit yourself to those. My most popular pin had barely any views at all before I put it up on Pinterest.

Pinterest is a new market filled with a lot of people who don’t normally read blogs, so you never know what might interest them.

→ Action: Create a batch of custom-made images with compelling text and add them to your primary board, ready for pinning.

[5] Pin and Re-Pin

When it comes time to pin, start off pinning just 3 or 4 of your own pins a day, as well as pinning content from other people on to all your boards.  It should only take five minutes twice a day.

Make sure you re-pin your own material from your primary board on to your blog boards and group boards. By doing this, you increase the re-pin count on your pin which makes Pinterest see your pin as something worth showing to everyone.

You can check out my pinning system here: Hello Trello.

→ Action: Make pinning twice a day a habit (you can do it on the bus in the morning and while you watch TV at night).

[6] Don’t Get Too Worried About Not Getting Re-Pins

Because life-writing and storytelling content is naturally consumable (ie – once a viewer has read it, they probably won’t need to save it), don’t get too upset if you don’t see the number of re-pins an inspiration quote or a recipe might get. As I said at the start of this post, we’re the stories in the magazine, not the pictures that get cut out and glued into the scrapbook.

This can also mean that readers don’t think to pin your image when they are on your blog, which leaves the pinning task largely up to you.

The one statistic you want to take notice of is clicks. If a pin gets a large number of click-throughs to your blog, make a note of it. I have a list of my top twenty pins that I pin often to keep the traffic rolling in.

→ Action: Keep a list of your most “clicked” pins so you can recycle them.

Mastering Pinterest if you’re not a food, fashion or DIY blogger can feel like a challenge, but it is well and truly worth the effort. Pinterest is now my leading source of traffic, and my page views have quadrupled since I started making optimized pins and pinning regularly.

Now is the time to do it because there aren’t many life-writing, storytelling bloggers on Pinterest yet. I know you can find a whole world of new readers on Pinterest if you just give it a chance.


Blogging traffic from Pinterest

Need help? I provide the following services

  • Pinterest Content Creation – Create pinnable images from your existing blog posts – from US$2.50 per image
  • Pinterest Set Up – Set up your profile and 10 x boards – from US $60
  • Full Pinterest Analysis and Strategy – an overview of your current account and a list of personalised recommendations – from US$79
  • Full Pinterest Social Media Management – Pin images daily, find group boards to join, grow follower count, monitor analytics, create new visual content – from US$40 a week.

See full list of Pinterest Services here or email me at [email protected] to chat about your requirements.

Do you enjoy Pinterest? Do you have a success story? Or does it confuse you?

About Katie Paul

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing • Join the hottest group on FB → Sassy Midlife Women

78 thoughts on “How Storytelling Bloggers Get Massive Traffic From Pinterest

    1. Thanks Carol. One of my plugins is not playing nicely and causing me trouble. I’ve added a direct link to the pin on the feature image, and the social sharing button works, so hopefully that’s fixed it. Thank you for letting me know (oh the irony!).

  1. Katie, you are not only kind and generous but also a gem of a lady. Thank you for writing this post. I am following it step-by-step, and since I have to re-do a lot of my images from past posts from my blog I will get this done. Please know how much I deeply appreciate not only this post but other ways you stretched your kindness my way.

  2. Thanks for the fabulous Pinning tips, Katie. I love Pinterest but could use some brushing up. I’ll be editing my board descriptions and taking many of your great tips and putting them into action. I’d love to join your bloggers with brain and heart board. I already follow it 🙂 BTW, where do you get your images? Do you buy them? they’re wonderful and very ‘pinnable’.

    1. I’ve invited you now, Lisa. I find some of my images via Pinterest by searching “Vintage Fashion” and then try to figure out if they are in the public domain before using them. Recently, I signed up with Deposit Photos which saves me time because (a) I know I have the rights to use the photo (b) they are high quality images so I don’t have to spend hours fixing them up. The photo on this post is from there.

  3. This is fantastic Katie!

    I’m going to update my last Pinterest post right now and add a link to this post. No question, successful pinning is an art as much as it is a science.

  4. Well, I pinned this of course. Saw this on the Bloppy FB feed and immediately clicked, because I know how helpful Pinterest can be. I’m making this my long-term project for 2016 – thank you for inspiring me to get my butt in gear!

  5. This is my goal to have my blog better engaged with Pinterest. You have some great advice and suggestions. I will be pinning this for future reference. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I have a question. When I re-do old images from past blog posts, do I replace the old photo with the new image on my original blog post? Also on my blog board on Pinterest, do I remove my prior pin and replace it with the new pin? Thanks again, Katie.

    1. You don’t have to update your images on your blog post – no one will worry if they don’t match the pin. But it is a good idea if you have time to include (or link to) your pinnable image somewhere. I’ve just started linking my feature image (the one at the top) to the pinnable version (see this post).

      If your old pin doesn’t have an re-pins or comments, I would delete it.

    2. Never mind. I just answered my own question. I leave the blog photo alone and the new image I created will be pinned onto Pinterest. Now my only question is do I get rid of the original pin on my blog board or do I simply add the new one I just created? Thanks.

  7. OK, you’ve convinced me to use Pinterest for blogging. I love Pinterest and have a over 2000 pins on my personal page. I use it for decorating ideas and crafts/recipes, etc. Should I start fresh with a business account or convert my personal page? (and thank you for this! I always learn so much from you when I visit here!)

  8. OK, I’m convinced. I’m adding Pinterest to my list of things to do for my blog and my writing this year. You make this sound really easy. I’ve been avoiding it because it looks hard and honestly confuses the hell out of me.

  9. Thanks for sharing this..I’m going to take this up as a project and complete before my maternity leave ends..I really want to take my blog to the next level and I’m going to start with this 🙂

  10. Really interesting & helpful. I can’t get to grips with pinterest. But I don’t use photos on my blog so that makes it harder. I only blog about my kids, & I don’t put pictures of them online at all, so I can’t really change the photo thing!

    1. If you speak about universal truths or lessons about parenting, you would still do well on Pinterest. You don’t need photos of your kids, a cartoon like your avatar would work, or other types of graphics.

  11. I joined Pinterest when it was brand new and it felt awkward to me. I couldn’t figure out what it was really about. I was also worried about copyright issues. So I tried to shut down and it wouldn’t let me, but it also wouldn’t let me back in. I know, it’s weird and I’m sure it’s me. I will save this post and try to get in as a business and see if it will work.
    Thank you for this!
    b

  12. Thank you for sharing this post. It was very helpful. I’ve got to get myself together on Pinterest. I’m now realize I’m doing things wrong. Thank You! #blogsharelearn

  13. I don’t use Pinterest anywhere near enough with my blogging – I use it as an entity unto itself – I really need to up my blog/pinterest game 🙂

  14. Thanks for this, Katie. I actually read it the other day but was too not-with-it to comment at the time.

    Your pinterest (and blogging) tips, alongside Elena’s have really helped me over the past few months. My rich pins are still buggering about, but i’m hoping that once I’ve applied my (just purchased) Domain name to the blog the canonical issue will be a thing of the past… and there are still other things I need to work on, but at least now, thanks to you and a few others; I feel I (kinda) know what I’m doing.

    I hope this week is kind to you. Kimmie x #blogsharelearn

  15. Well thank you for this. While I’ve just converted my private profile to business. Your pins are very visible on Pinterest. I found quite a few of your posts there. 🙂

  16. This is hugely helpful! I’ve been using Pinterest for years for personal use. It’s only recently I’ve been looking into using it for my business. I was a bit cautious about changing my personal account to a business one, but following your advice I will do. Thanks so much! Lyndsay

  17. Just today I was thinking that me and my blog on Psychology, Child Psychology and Lifestyle don’t fit anywhere in the current world of DIY, cosmetics and clothing… Your article is very encouraging and I came across it just in time. Thank you!

    Wish you success!

  18. Hey Katie. So glad I came across this. Do you use canva to add the text to your images?

    So once you create an image for Pinterest, you put it on your blog and then pin it??
    I never usually put text on my blog photos so it looks like I’ll have to do that?

    1. Hey Liz

      I use Photoshop but Canva can do the same job.

      You can pin directly from your blog, or upload it on Pinterest and then add the link afterwards.

      You don’t have to put text on your blog photos if you don’t want to. You can have a separate image for Pinterest and put it at the bottom of the post or some sharing buttons let you upload a different image for each platform (Social Warfare does that).

      Thanks for reading.

  19. Katie this is the greatest pinterest tutorial I have read. You totally demystified it for me and made it so easy for me to understand it all. Thank you! Thank you! xo

  20. I came across this post and I am really excited to get started! I have a question that I hope you can answer. When I validate a Rich Pin, I don’t see it on any of my boards and I haven’t gotten an email from Pinterest about it. My blog is a WordPress.com account, which doesn’t offer plugins. Is this the reason things aren’t working? (I’m learning how all this stuff works but it’s been a slow process…)

  21. Hi Katie, I’m late to this post (I found it on Pinterest though!) but I’m lapping up the advice. I had a go at following your Trello system as well…..as others have said you’re very generous with sharing your wisdom!

    I’ve emailed you as I’d be interested in working with you to sort out my own Pinterest (and other stuff). 🙂

    Lisa

  22. Thank you for this! I’ve been sort of stumbling along through Pinterest, and this really helped clarify so much. I actually feel as though I almost understand it now . . .

  23. This broke everything down so simply thank you! Pinterest is definitely a beast that I’ve been avoiding but I need to get a system going so I can use it effectively. Thanks for the help!!

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