How to Grow Your Blog and Make Money Using Pinterest
Let’s talk about two of my favorite things: Pinterest and blogging! Chances are, you’ve heard that you can grow your blog traffic using Pinterest.
But how the heck do you set up your business account, track analytics, optimize your profile, and get people to check out your blog? Better yet, how does Pinterest help bloggers make more money?
The honest answer is: it takes some work, and some trial-and-error. But, Pinterest is a fun platform, it’s an effective tool, and it’s free, so who wouldn’t want to hang out over there and learn more about this blogging stuff?
If you’re a blogger, you should be taking advantage of every free tool and resource you can get your hands on, to grow your blog traffic and build up your business. And if you didn’t know it yet, Pinterest is up there among the best free blogging tools.
I’m going to walk you through the process of setting up your account the right way, optimizing your content for your readers, and driving people back to your blog. And yes, you absolutely can grow your blog using Pinterest! It will take a little work, but I’m going to walk you through every step of the way with this article!
Let’s get to it.
This post probably contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through one of these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
What is Pinterest All About?
Pinterest is pretty much the visual equivalent of Google. It is a search engine that allows you to search for and save content on any topic under the sun. Here’s a brief quote straight from the resource section on the Pinterest website:
“Pinterest is where people discover new ideas and find inspiration to do the things they love!
Pins are ideas that help you get creative or try something new, whether you’re planning a camping trip or collecting home improvement hacks.
Pins are saved to boards, keeping your ideas organized and easy to find. Follow other people or boards that are saving ideas you’re interested in, so you can do even more of what you love.”
It’s a wonderful resource for life hacks, recipes, DIY projects, wedding inspiration, business tips, branding help and more. And to be quite honest, I use the Pinterest search function more often than I use Google.
If you don’t have a Pinterest account already, I’m going to show you how to set one up for your business in just a minute, so hang in there with me!
How to Use Pinterest in Your Business
Before starting my blogging business, I used Pinterest for party ideas, wedding inspiration, nursery checklists, etc…I was a consumer, and learning about the way consumers use Pinterest will help YOU to leverage this platform for your blog.
When you think of the fact that Pinterest is a search engine for users that need a solution to a problem, it becomes a lot easier to use this tool to your advantage.
Why do people use search engines?
To search for something that they NEED. If someone needs a cookie recipe, they search on Pinterest. If someone needs suggestions for side hustles that actually make money, they search on Pinterest.
And that’s why you need to optimize your Pinterest account so that people find you right when they need you.
Search engine optimization is a super important part of your job as a blogger. It puts your solution right in front of your potential client, the person who is actively searching for YOU and what YOU have to offer them. Your recipe, your photography, your home school curriculum, your blogging course, your spiritual guidance, your workout routine, your self-help book, etc.
Keep this in mind when you’re working on your Pinterest strategy.
Getting Blog Traffic From Pinterest
More than half of my blog traffic comes directly from Pinterest.
Let me say that again.
More than half of my blog traffic comes directly from Pinterest.
That means that someone was scrolling through Pinterest, either browsing casually or searching for something specific. They saw one of my pins and it caught their attention. They clicked on the pin to read more, and this led them straight to an article on my blog.
Blog traffic. Yay.
So, how does one increase their blog traffic using Pinterest?
By getting more people to click on the pins that direct to your blog.
Remember, Pinterest is a search engine, so if you want people to find you in their search, you need to optimize your Pinterest account: your pin descriptions, your pin images, your pin boards, your board descriptions. It all needs to be optimized for your ideal client/reader to find you.
** If you need help setting up your blog to start monetizing it, check out this article.
How to Optimize Your Pinterest Profile
Set up a Business Account
If you’re anything like me, you probably already have a Pinterest account full of recipes, wedding ideas, and cute date-night outfits.
Those boards are for you, NOT your readers, right?
It’s time to either switch to a business account and adjust your board strategy, or start a brand new business account that is designed just for your blogging business. Your business Pinterest account should be filled with boards and pins that are helpful to your ideal reader or client (including lots of pins that direct to your website)!
I personally choose to go by the 80/20 rule. Meaning 80% of my Pinterest content is specifically pinned for my target audience, and then 20% of my content is more personal and casual. It might still be interesting to my potential readers, but it’s really there to show people who I am and what I love.
You can set up a Business Pinterest account HERE.
Claim your website.
Once you have your business account set up, you can go into your settings and click the tab that says “claim website.” It looks like this:
Or you can follow the “techy” steps here.
** If you scroll down past the tech stuff, there are links to the instructions for all of the popular hosts.
Apply for Rich Pins.
Rich pins add some extra information for the user that’s checking out your pin. They’re a super important tool for your Pinterest strategy, because they add helpful info for your reader, helpful SEO for you, and a little extra authority to every one of your pins.
Applying for rich pins is a two-step process and it can be a little bit techy, so be sure to check out this article I wrote with the exact steps for enabling rich pins. It basically requires you to add some code to your site and then validate your site for Pinterest.
The good news: if you use the YoastSEO plugin, the whole process will take about two minutes!
Make your bio stand out.
Are you still with me?
Whew! I know the convert/validate/rich pin stuff is frustrating, but it’s suuuuper important to your credibility as a business owner that shares content on Pinterest…so take a deep breath and push through! And then move on to the fun stuff, like setting up your bio 😊
You seriously have about three seconds to capture the attention of your reader when they land on your Pinterest page. I’m a bit of a realist by nature, so I don’t do a lot of “fluffy stuff” in my bio…but that’s just me! When my readers come to my page, I want them to know in that three seconds, exactly what I plan to offer them.
So, I keep it short and sweet.
My name section is just a quick snapshot of my first name and the subjects that I teach (blogging and business). It simply says: Cate | Blog + Business Strategy
My bio section is also just a quick snapshot of what you can expect from my boards and my pins: blogging and business stuff. It says: Blogging tips and growth strategies for aspiring bloggers! Get my free guide on making your first $1K from your blog >> SweetandSimpleLife.com/library
Keep it simple and be YOU. You only have 160 characters in your bio section, so you’ll need to get creative and be concise.
Add an opt in.
You can’t say that your content is optimized if you don’t have an option for someone to hand over their contact info. You always want to be ready and willing to grab someone’s email address and put them on your mailing list, so that you can continue to build a professional relationship with them. **We’ll talk more about email lists another day, but they’re important**
If you don’t want to direct them to a mailing list, you can direct them to your blog or your sales page. I personally switch off between directing people to one of my free opt-in guides and directing them to my blogging course.
Grow Your Blog Using Pinterest
If you have your business account set up, your rich pins enabled, and your bio optimized, then you’re off to a great start! Those are the first steps if you want to grow your blog using Pinterest.
Remember that our goal with Pinterest is to lead people to our website in order to help them solve a problem or fill a need. Your number of followers is not all that important on the Pinterest platform itself, because Pinterest is a search engine.
People don’t necessarily have to be following your boards to see your great content and find your blog. They just have to type specific words into the search bar and find your pin.
So, how do we help them find us and follow us over to our blog? Here are a few important tips:
1. Create appealing graphics.
Pinterest is very visual. You’ll need to create images that appeal to the eye and show off what you’re offering. Canva is a great free resource for designing your own pins, and they have a Pinterest pin template that is already set up with the standard pin size of 735×1102 pixels.
2. Use SEO.
I know search engine optimization can be overwhelming and a little stressful, but let’s simplify it for the sake of this article. When YOU are searching for something online, what words do you type into the search bar? If you’re looking for a pizza recipe, you probably type something like “easy homemade pizza recipe” or “healthy gluten free pizza recipe” into the search bar, right?
Think of that the next time you’re creating a pin description for one of your articles. Think about your article or the product that you’re sharing/pinning, and ask yourself what someone might type into a search engine if they were looking for your solution, recipe, product, service, etc.
3. Use automation tools.
Automation tools are a game-changer for our modern bloggers. We have sooo many options when it comes to creating, scheduling, and sharing content. And we need to be sharing consistently if we expect people to find our stuff.
I’m using Tailwind, and I highly recommend giving it a try if you’re interested in boosting your blog traffic using Pinterest. This automation tool has made my life so much easier, I schedule posts throughout the week and Tailwind does my pinning for me (they are a Pinterest-approved tool, so no fear of getting in trouble)!
Of course, these are just my personal results, but Tailwind also publishes the Typical Results of Tailwind for Pinterest Members every year, so you can see exactly what the average growth rate looks like for their members.
Tailwind is a super simple scheduling tool and you can get $15 off your first month if you use my referral link >>> Try Tailwind for FREE!
It’s super user-friendly and their customer support team is incredible.
4. Join Pinterest Group Boards
Pinterest Group Boards are great because you get to pin your content on someone else’s board for another audience to see.
Typically, one person sets up a group board and invites contributors to join their board and pin to that board. All they need is the email address associated with your Pinterest account and they can send you an invite.
You can find other Pinners in your niche, check if they have any boards that are open to contributors, and then send them a message and ask if you can join. You’ll know when it’s a contributor board because you’ll see three profile images next to the board name. The one on the far left is the board owner, and the others are some of the board contributors.
You can also use sites like PinGroupie to find group boards that accept contributors, but personally, I like to browse for users within my niche that I already know and respect, and ask them to join their group boards.
As of the 2018 Pinterest update, group boards are given less authority than individual boards, so it’s important to keep this in mind! I still use and love my group boards, but I give more time and attention to my own boards now.
5. Pin, Promote, Pin, Promote
You need to be pinning regularly and promoting regularly.
How else is anyone going to find you?
Right now, I’m doing 70/30 automated and manual pinning every single day, 7 days a week, and I’m getting steady Pinterest growth and steady blog traffic growth. And the beautiful part: I’m only working on Pinterest for a few minutes every day, thanks to Tailwind.
You can also join Facebook groups and follow their promo schedule to promote your new pins. My Facebook group has Pinterest promo day on Thursdays, you can join HERE.
Make Money Using Pinterest
Pinterest is now allowing you to use affiliate links on their platform, and this is great news for bloggers and online business owners. You can create graphics that link directly to an affiliate product that you love and promote to your audience. If someone clicks on your pin and buys that product, you get a commission.
You can also write blog articles that contain affiliate links, and if someone clicks over to your blog and makes a purchase through one of your links, you get a commission. So, as an example, you can write an article with the top 10 must-have items for your next beach trip, and link to items that are sold by one of your affiliates.
If you aren’t interested in affiliate marketing, you can use product rich pins like we talked about earlier, and sell your own products on Pinterest. This option is great because you get to keep 100% of the profits.
The fact is: if people are seeing your stuff on Pinterest and they’re liking what they see, you’ll be able to boost your blog traffic AND increase your blogging income very quickly.
Putting it all Together
I know we’ve covered a lot of ground here today, so thanks for hanging in there with me.
If you really want to grow your blog using Pinterest, then there will be some time, effort, and patience involved. But you absolutely can do this, and you can use any or all of the tips and tools I’ve shared here today to help you get there.
I’m one of those people that loves testing new systems and simplifying my processes to make everything a little easier in my online business…and I’m guessing you’re like that too, which is why you’re here reading my tips.
Once you find your Pinterest groove, you can absolutely rock this business in just a few hours a week, and save some time for the more important things in life.
Pinterest is just one of the many tools you have at your disposal. If you want to learn how to make more money from your blog in six months or less, check out my blogging course HERE.
Did you find these Pinterest tips helpful? If so, please take a moment to share on social media or link to this article on your own website! Thank you!