15 Ways to Make Pinterest Work for YOU and how I doubled my blog traffic overnight! Learn how to make Pinterest ROCK! #blogging #pinterest

How to Make Pinterest Work for Your Blog

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here. Okay, so today’s post is totally off topic. I mean, I almost never post about the “how to’s” of blogging. {In case you’re wondering I blog on the topic of the 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman.} But, Pinterest has been…

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

15 Ways to Make Pinterest Work for YOU and how I doubled my blog traffic overnight! Learn how to make Pinterest ROCK! #blogging #pinterest

Okay, so today’s post is totally off topic. I mean, I almost never post about the “how to’s” of blogging. {In case you’re wondering I blog on the topic of the 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman.}

But, Pinterest has been such an incredible resource for my blog that I thought maybe there are some of you out there who’d like to better utilize Pinterest to help you increase your blog traffic almost over night.

So, let me start at the beginning. I joined Pinterest about two years ago. I loved Pinterest mainly because I loved all of the pretty images and I really loved finding all the neat ideas people share on there. So, while I did post things from my own blog, I was really using Pinterest for mainly “personal use.”

Back in April of 2013, I had a burst of inspiration. I updated a photo for an article I had written 3 years earlier.

Here is the original image:

{How To} Structure the Day for a Toddler | A Virtuous Woman

Now, there’s nothing really wrong with this image, but it’s not Pinterest friendly. I added this image to the post:

{How To} Structure the Day for a Toddler | A Virtuous Woman

I’ll never forget the next day. Now you have to realize, I wasn’t really expecting anything AMAZING to happen. But when I logged in to my WordPress Dashboard the following morning, my heart almost stopped. I’d had 2000 people visit that one page on my site in less than 24 hours.

That was the day I totally fell in love with Pinterest.

To this day that post continues to be one of my top posts each month. That image has been pinned over 29,000 times.

I’ve been blogging here at A Virtuous Woman since 2001. That’s a long time! But for years I didn’t really focus on trying to “grow” my readership. I just did what I did.

In early 2013 I decided it was time to really kick it up a notch. And when Pinterest changed my blog life forever… I really got excited about growing my readership.

And since then, my monthly totals have more than doubled and continue to steadily grow – where as before I had pretty much leveled off for a number of years.

With over 70,000,000 users on Pinterest worldwide, your blog can’t afford not to be using Pinterest to the best of your ability!

So here are my tips for using Pinterest to grow your blog.

[Tweet “15 Ways to Make Pinterest Work for You. #intentionalblogging #blogging”]

15 Ways to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Blog

1. Use Amazing Images. You have several options.

  • Learn to take really great images with your own camera. You don’t have to have an expensive camera to take really good photos.
  • Use photo editing software to add the title and your blog name to the picture.
  • Warm colors {reds} get repinned more often than cool colors {blues}.
  • Make sure EVERY photo on your blog has your blog name on it.
  • Use stock photos when you need to. My favorite sources: {free} sxc.hu and {paid} bigstockphoto.com.

2. Use Captivating Titles. You want to grab the attention of your readers. Use easy to read fonts and make sure your title enhances the image. Don’t clutter your image with too many words.

3. Use Vertical Images. Pinterest loves vertical or square images best. Your followers will be able to see the images better and bigger if you use vertical or square images. You don’t want your vertical images to be too long or Pinterest will shorten them. The maximum I would suggest is 1000 pixels.

Personally, though, I usually like my photos to “fit” in the screen so that when readers visit my site, they can see the whole image without having to scroll down. So I usually use a maximum length of 600 or 650 pixels. Most of my images these days run in the 450 x 650 pixel range.

4. Pin Other People’s Stuff. Yes, you want to pin your articles to Pinterest, but make sure that’s not all you’re posting. Make sure that you are following the best of the best in your niche.

Also, don’t follow just anybody. You don’t want your feed cluttered up with stuff you and your readers won’t be interested in – that’s a waste of time. Instead, be selective. Follow people with more followers than you who pin lots of awesome content. That way, you have more awesome content to share with your own followers.

5. Pin LOTS. The more you pin, the more followers you will get. And the more you pin in the categories that fit your blog niche, the more your pins will show up in the “suggestion” boxes that Pinterest showcases when someone pins. And the more followers you get… well, the more people who will be clicking your blog’s awesome pins.

6. Pin Throughout the Day. Not all of your followers will be online at the same time. Take a few minutes off and on throughout the day to pin, pin, pin!

7. Repin Your Own Pins. I have an average of 400 new followers every week. So, that means it’s likely they’ve never seen most of my pins from A Virtuous Woman before.

Here’s the thing. Most pins on Pinterest are repins. I go back and repin my pins to select boards every few days or weeks depending on what the pin is. I only do this on my own personal boards {not collaborative boards} and I only do this on boards that I pin to frequently.

In other words, if someone were to click on my “Get Organized” board, I don’t want them to only see the same pins over and over. So, since I want to promote my “Get Organized” board often, I pin lots of organizing pins from other people often. And then add in my own pins from time to time. If that doesn’t make sense, let me know in the comments!

8. Use Longer Descriptions. Studies have shown that images with a longer description get repinned more often. Be sure to add a good long description in the title of your image to make it easy for your readers when they pin your image.

A good description looks better than the actual uploaded image name. Plus, by adding a description to the title of your image, you get to control what the description looks like when other people pin your images – not many people will edit this. Also, include hashtags!

9. Get Verified. Be sure that your blog is verified. You do this in your profile settings.

10. Use Rich Pins. Pinterest rich pins add more information and branding to your pins. You need rich pins! I’ve done it and it’s not hard. Here’s a tutorial if you need one over at Pinterest Savvy.

11. Ask Your Readers to Pin Your Images. It’s okay to ask! In fact, I’ve realized that my loyal readers are happy to share. So, I’ve started asking them to pin images. You’ll notice on the How to Structure the Day for a Toddler post {images above} that I asked readers to share the image.

12. Make It Easy. You want to make it easy for your readers to share your images on Pinterest. Also, make it easy for people to follow you on Pinterest. You can use social media plugins to help you with that.

13. Collaborative Boards. Join a few active collaborative boards with “bigger name” blogs if you can. You’ll get more exposure that way! Or create your own group board and invite some of your favorite bloggers to join. The worst thing that can happen is they don’t accept the invitation. Collaborative boards can get you a lot of exposure for not just your followers but other members’ followers too.

14. Comment on Pins. Comments stay with the pin – so others see your name. So, if you can offer a thoughtful comment that is relevant and not spammy – do so. Just don’t go overboard. One or two comments a day is all I would recommend, but I only comment on pins when I really do have something of value to add.

15. Add Your Blog Name to Your Name. If you visit my Pinterest Board, you’ll see that I have my blog name {AVirtuousWoman.org} in Brackets next to my full name Melissa Ringstaff. So every time I pin, people see my bio photo along with Melissa Ringstaff {AVirtuousWoman.org} and that might peak someone’s interest and lead them to click on my profile to see what else I’ve got going on – or even click through the verified link in my profile at the top of my Pinterest Board to visit A Virtuous Woman.

Over the last few months I’ve been going back a few times each week and giving ALL of my old posts Pinterest friendly images.

So there you have it. 15 easy ways to make Pinterest work for you.

Do you have any other tips for using Pinterest?

P.S. If you’ve found this post helpful, would you mind sharing this image on Pinterest of Facebook. I’d really appreciate it!

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66 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips! I will definitely be referring back to this. I'm chuckling to myself about how I just found your post: Twitter + #intentionalblogger + Ad page + close ad page + "Oh, I should check out her Pinterest Profile again. I haven't been there in a while" + Twitter + #intentionalblogger + Ad page + home page + Pinterest profile + blogging board. lol You just never know! :-)
  2. Thanks for the helpful tips, Melissa! Very useful information that I never considered doing before. I can't figure out how to "get verified", but I'll keep working on it :)
    1. Hi Laura! In your Pinterest profile there is a place where you can get your site verified. In other words, you verify the fact that the website you list in your profile is indeed your website. It also allows you to access the Pinterest analytics for your blog - and you'll be able to see what the top pins are, what your reach is, and what pins are clicked the most!
      1. Melissa, thank you for sharing your experiences and insight in this post. Thank you for explaining these additional details about Pinterest.
  3. Hello Melissa! First time to your lovely blog. Questions about: 7. Repin Your Own Pins 1) Do you delete the original pin after repinning so you don't duplicate in same board? 2) If so, don't you lose the pin count? I'd hate to lose that social proof but I have heard before to repin so thought I'd get complete scoop from you. :) Thanks, darlene
    1. Hi Darlene! Good questions! Okay, here's what I do. I repin my own pins. I personally do not delete pins to the same board. I know some people do delete their repins. But I don't. I'm currently getting over 1000 new followers on Pinterest a month... so I don't think repinning has hurt me. I make sure that I am pinning a lot in between pins to all my favorite boards. I know that Ruth Soukup from Living Well Spending Less repins and has multiple pins in the same board and she does really well with traffic and is making a full time income from her blog! It works for me. I have not heard of repinning hurting your social proof. If you know something I don't... be sure to share! Thanks for stopping by! I hope that helps!
  4. Thanks for the detail. :) "I have not heard of repinning hurting your social proof. " What I meant about social proof was if you deleted and then repinned fresh, would the number of repins be back to zero? ...or pick up where the original pin left off? This only matters, if you delete and repin I think. darlene
    1. Darlene, I see what you're saying now! Yes, if you repin, the new pin starts at 0... however, the old pins will still continue to be repinned too! I have some pins that have been pinned 1700 times for a single pin. It's also a good thing to repin from your own boards instead of other people's boards so that people see where the pin came from. ;) Hope that makes sense.
  5. Great tips! I think I'm finally beginning to wrap my head around how this all works..especially the whole repinning thing! I'm still a bit mystified by the whole group board concept...are you supposed to pin TO or FROM the group board? Or both??
    1. Thanks Amanda, you could repin from a group board to your own boards. Group boards are also great for pinning your own relevant content. Some groups boards have tens of thousands of followers so you can get your content in front of a lot of new people that way!
  6. Thanks, Melissa I just started using Pinterest and am learning the ropes. My take a ways are pin more often, leave comments and use long descriptions.
  7. Hi, Thanks so much for this post! I have a question. To get rich pins verified, do you have to put every post in that veryify page? (Hope that makes sense) Also, exactly what are RICH pins? Thanks a lot!
  8. I have never bothered with Pinterest, but now that I have started a new blog, I'm going to print out your tips and give it a try. Thanks.
  9. your tips are helping me very much to increase my visitors,,now i am daily using to post edited pics on my pinterest account....thanxx for sharing your ideas.
  10. Hi! So I'm trying to figure out this whole marketing on Pinterest thing and your article is great! Thanks so much. I got the FB marketing down and this is my next step. My question is you said: " Pin Throughout the Day. Not all of your followers will be online at the same time. Take a few minutes off and on throughout the day to pin, pin, pin!" So where are you pinning your posts that you put on everyday? Crystal from Money Saving Mom said the same thing but you're not putting them on your boards. Are you just pinning them to pinterest in general? I'm sorry if this is so basic I'm missing it but I really appreciate you help! Tawra
    1. Hi Tawra, I'm glad you liked the article and I hope it helps you! No need to apologize - remember, there are no dumb questions! ;) I do pin to my boards - but I'm pinning different stuff off and on all day long. So each day when I have a new post I'll do an initial pin - probably to my AVirtuousWoman.org pinterest board. Then later in the day I'll repin that same pin to another relevant board - so for instance let's say I wrote a post on organizing my time - I can pin that post to my AVirtuousWoman.org board, then later pin it to my Organized Mom Board, then later maybe to my Get Organized Board, and later maybe to a group board like Family and Kids. I'll repin that post again in a few days to a board here or there {basically duplicating the pin}. I'll also be pinning lots of stuff from other blogs and repinning lots of stuff from other pinners. Everytime I pin something - even if it's not one of my pins, it puts my name {at the bottom of the pin} in front of thousands of people who may want to know more about me, click through my profile, and then click through to my website. Duplicating a pin works best if you are pinning lots of other content to your boards in between duplicating a pin. Does that make sense? I hope that answered your question - feel free to ask something else!
  11. Melissa, thanks for this post. I noticed a lot of my traffic comes from Pinterest too and I need to devote some time to adding more pictures. Best, Elaine www.OMGlifestyle.com
  12. I accidentally ran into your site looking for ways to help my husband get his school website noticed. I just recently got involved with Pinterest. looking for stuff to put onto my Blog http://www.modestchristian.blogspot.com. I don't really understand how it works but I am hoping to help my husband get some traffic to the school. Got any ideas on a main topic we should use for the school? It is a Christian school.
    1. Hi Amy! I was thinking about your questions and I thought of a few ideas. I'm not sure if they are the best ideas, but here's what I think: 1. You might want to begin boards on either subjects or by grade level or both. 2. Think about subjects parents are interested in and start boards with those ideas in mind. 3. Some more ideas: After School Ideas, Back to School Ideas, Lunch Boxes, Snack Ideas, Organization Good luck! Let me know how it goes. :)
  13. This is great Melissa! I never thought about putting my blog name in brackets next to my full name, awesome tip and I hope all my traffic these days would come from Pinterest too!
  14. Great read! I find the hardest part is "Take a few minutes off and on throughout the day to pin, pin, pin!" Between work, kids, house duties it's tough. Have been using Tailwind's pin scheduling recently and it's been a life saver!! Now I don't need to try to pin all day. I go in the morning, set 20 or so pins and it runs for me. Takes maybe 10 minutes a day. And the pins actually show up- which didn't always happen when I used a different tool to schedule in the past.
  15. Great pointers and I am actually going to put some to good use. When you say you go back to old posts and add images, how far back at the most would you go back?
    1. I've redone the images on most all of my posts and continue to do more as time goes with the goal of having Pinterest friendly images on every single post over the last 14 years! I even sometimes go back and redo images on posts that have done really well with the images as font styles and such change. :) Hope that helps!
  16. Thank you for the great tips! You have answered a lot of questions I really didn't know I had. haha I will definitely use these tips for my blog. Blessings
  17. Excellent suggestions clearly presented. And what a rich set of comments! I'm planning strategy for a blog and love Pinterest, so these tips are spot on for me.
  18. What a fabulous post Melissa. Thank you! Your tips make sense, your writing makes the "how-to" easy to understand and I appreciate that you write with specifics. Many "helpful tips" columns are quite broad and so while interesting in concept, hard to figure out how to implement.
  19. Thank you so much for this Melissa. I've been using Pinterest for a while but rarely get any visitors to my blog from there. I've just book-marked this page so I can check back as needed. Thanks again.
  20. I just started a blog yesterday! It's so much more confusing than I thought. I've always been a Pinterest fan, a DIY type person and have a background and love for the Social Sciences and interpersonal relationships so this is an exciting new endeavor for me. I'm now following you on Pinterest and all I can say.. is OMG! You have so many boards and pins I'm interested in. I'm going to devour your blog and knowledge too. Thank You! You are an inspiration and I can only hope to create a blog as worthy :-).
    1. Hi Jessica, starting a blog is exciting. There's lots to learn, but you'll get the hang of it in no time I'm sure. Thanks for following and for your sweet words. God bless you!
  21. This is an excellent article. Thank you for sharing. I am just starting to harness the power of pinterest as I revive my blog and your tips gave me a lot of new information. I can't wait to implement it all!
  22. Melissa!! You are a doll, thanks for sharing this info!! I would absolutely love to pin your pins for you!! Funny enough that's how I found your website way back when How to Structure your day with a toddler. So glad to have found you! Your posts continue to give me faith and courage <3 Have a fantastic Friday :)

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