When I first started my blog, one of my biggest struggles was getting people to actually read my posts. I’d spend hours writing, editing, photographing and promoting a post, to only get a handful of views. Mostly from my friends!
Then when I was at university I was introduced to Pinterest.
The tutor was explaining how designers can use it to promote their work and find new clients. He explained that Pinterest was basically a visual search engine and you can upload your own work onto it, meaning that other designers and potential clients could find you through it.
Part of the assignment was essentially to set up a Pinterest account and use it to promote the portfolio and/or service page of your website, which we had created earlier in the semester.
In less than a month I was already generating over 100 views a day to my portfolio (which I wasn’t promoting anywhere else) and I even had someone enquire if I was currently free to take on a small design project! Because of the success of that project, I realised I could take the same principles and apply them to my blog. I started creating a promotional pin for each post I created, as well as going back and batch creating + pinning promotional pins for my past content too.
I made a dedicated board for all my blog post pins and used it as the featured board on my Pinterest profile. And I started to be a lot more intentional and thoughtful about the keywords I used in my board and pin descriptions and titles.
Nearly two years later and Pinterest has become my largest source of traffic; not just for my blog posts but for my shop, email list and resource library too. Last year I had over 30,000 views from Pinterest, and I’m on track to beating that this year too – I probably would have already if it wasn’t for taking 4 months away from my blog to focus on my Master’s degree!
These are some of the tips and techniques that I’ve found to be most helpful, and which will hopefully help you grow your own views too.
Promotional pins are one of the best way to get people to re-pin and click through to your content. You don’t need any fancy or expensive software to create them either. Even though I’m a graphic designer and have access to professional Adobe software, I still use Canva to create all my promotional graphics.
Not only do they have a huge collection of templates and graphics that you can use as a starting point, but it’s completely free! There is a paid for version which has a lot of benefits such as being able to save PNG’s (no background to your images) and create brand kits and brand colour pallets, but I personally just stick to the free version as it does everything I need it to.
I always make sure to include at least one promotional pin in each of my blog posts, which people can pin directly from my site. I’ll then create several different additional pins, which I post directly onto Pinterest with a link back to my post and specific keywords which I’ve researched, but more on that later.
While you don’t have to be a design expert to create a popular pin, there are a few key things to remember:
● Make sure you use eye catching colours or images which will make people notice your pin as they’re scrolling.
● Make sure the font you use it actually readable. It’s okay to use a fancy calligraphy style font if that’s your thing, but make sure it’s something everyone will be able to read, especially people who might have visual impairments.
● The title you use for you pin doesn’t necessarily have to be the same as you blog post title, so feel free to play around with using different variations of the title for different promotional pins. Just don’t clickbait!
Pin Your Blog Photos
This one can be easily overlooked, but pinning your normal blog photos to Pinterest can also be a fantastic way of generating traffic.
The first pin I ever had which became very popular was a photo of some of my skincare products, which I had taken for my Morning Self Care Routine post. I still see it regularly pop up in my analytics from people repining it, and the traffic to that post from Pinterest has been pretty consistent for the past year or so.
Make sure you pin these photos to any appropriate boards you might have (so in the examples case it was my Beauty + Skincare board) and use a mix of keywords in both the title and description – more on keywords later!
Promotional pins are great, but I’ve found that creating alternative graphics such as infographics, extracts, lists and quotes has been fantastic for my blogs traffic as well.
In fact the top 5 pins in my analytics currently are quote pins!
If there is a line in a post which you feel is very powerful, or which your audience have been responding to well in comments/social media – turn it into a quote and upload it to either your dedicated blog board or a inspirations/motivational quotes board if you have one.
If you’re feeling a little stuck for ideas, take a look at the pins that are already coming up on your Pinterest feed, or search for a particular keyword and see what other people have created. Obviously don’t copy someone else’s work, but it’s a great starting point when you first start making alternative content and you’re brainstorming how to repurpose your existing content into new pins.
Again Canva has a lot of templates which you could use if you aren’t too confident designing pins, and (shameless self promo incoming) I actually offer pin templates if you’re looking to invest in professional designs.
Knowing what keywords to use on a pin can be hard, even when you’ve been doing it for a while.
One trick that I’ve found to be really helpful is to use the Pinterest search bar. You can type in one of the keywords you know you want to use, such as Self Care. Once you’ve pressed search, it will come up with a bunch of additional suggestions just under the search bar: Self Care For Busy Women, Self Care While At Work, Self Care Routine, for example.
Obviously not all of these suggestions will fit in with your post, but you can use those that do and then search these additional words/phrases to generate additional options.
Another option might be to take a look at the top pins for the keyword you want to use, and see what they’re using. Again, as with the additional graphics, don’t just copy what someone else is doing. Instead you can use those recurring words to search for even more keywords, which you might not have thought of and which prove to be popular and have a high volume of searches.
All of these techniques can be used to promote just about anything, not just blog posts but also your email list, freebies, shop products and YouTube videos!
I could talk about Pinterest all day, but this post is already one of the longest I’ve ever written, so I’ll leave it here.
If you have any more questions about using Pinterest or creating promotional graphics, feel free to drop me a DM over on Instagram – my username is @itsjademarie
Jade Marie | jademarie.co.uk