Pinterest can be difficult to get your head around when you first start blogging – trust me, I know. Here’s my beginner’s guide to getting the most out of Pinterest when you’re first starting out. Don’t make the mistakes I did…
Below is a list of everything I did wrong with Pinterest when I first started blogging seven months ago. I’m still learning as I go, as well as making lots of positive steps forward, so I wanted to share this now so it hopefully resonates with people who are just starting out. For the record, I have around 300k monthly unique views on Pinterest which equates to between 2-3k monthly blog views. So I’m still very much at the beginning of my blogging journey and looking to grow! Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and not do what I did – although, that said, mistakes are all part of the process, right?
1) I didn’t make it part of my social media strategy
This was the first big mistake I made. I’d only had a personal Pinterest account before so I had zero idea how it could work for bloggers. I joined Twitter, I already had an Instagram account, and I thought I could focus on those two platforms while also engaging with fellow bloggers on WordPress. That’s all very well and good, but it takes up time to build up an engaged audience on these platforms. On Pinterest, you can drive traffic to your blog pretty much instantly. It was only when I started following a few people in my niche and I saw THEM talking about Pinterest that it clicked into place for me.
2) I didn’t take Ell Duclos’s Pinterest course
I just want to state that I’m not an affiliate of Ell’s, I’m just a fan. A super fan! I see her course helping so many people and it’s had a huge impact on my traffic too – I’m now getting more traffic in a day than I used to get in a month, and it’s still going up now. I waited it out until I could get the course for $10 but in some ways I wish I had taken the plunge and done it a lot earlier – it really is that good. Ell grew her blog from zero using the Pinterest strategy she sets out in the course, so it’s the real deal. If you’re looking to grow your blog and increase your traffic then it’s the best thing to do, trust me.
3) I only pinned other people’s content
As I said above I only ever had a personal Pinterest account, which was mostly to save decor ideas for my living room. I had no idea to use it to promote my blog. I’d read a couple of things saying that you had to pin frequently to get your monthly unique views up, so I did, but I was pretty much only pinning other people’s content. Nuh-uh. It’s fine to pin some content from other people, but if you’re using it as a tool to drive people to YOUR blog then it makes sense that you need to be pinning your own content way more. Now, I pin about 90% of my own pins to 10% of other people’s and that seems to be working.
4) I just used my own photography
I’m not a professional photographer and when I first started using Pinterest I only used photographs I’d taken myself. I’m not saying my photographs were awful – some are actually perfectly fine and I still use them in blog posts and in pins – but it was just so incredibly limiting. Sometimes I wouldn’t have a related image for the blog post so I’d end up using something quite random that didn’t make sense. It was only when I took Ell’s course that I realised everyone else was using stock photographs! I now use images from Canva and Unsplash, which are both free, and have given me a lot more to work with.
5) I only pinned one pin for each blog post
I didn’t realise that you’re supposed to schedule multiple pins for each blog. It just wasn’t something I was aware that you should be doing. I merrily created one pin, scheduled it onto one board, and that was it. Now I create loads! I was joking the other day that I didn’t realise being a blogger was basically copying and pasting links, pin descriptions and pin titles – but it is. I have a couple of posts that do really well each time I schedule pins about them so I change up the titles a little and post them several times a week across multiple boards. This means I get a steady stream of traffic from these pins.
6) My Canva designs were shit
I actually used to use Canva a long time in one of my old jobs on a magazine. However, this was a long time ago and let’s just say I had become very rusty. My first few designs I created on Canva were HORRIBLE and suffice to say the rest of the world agreed as they did next to nothing when I uploaded them onto Pinterest. I needed to really flex that old design muscle again, and in the past few weeks I’ve been creating A LOT of pins. That means lots of practice though, right? I now think my pins are turning out pretty nicely and I have a few fail-safe designs I can rotate for quickness.
7) I didn’t pay attention to what was trending
This is a new addition to Pinterest that I picked up this tip from @TheEmilyDyson, who I follow on Twitter. Thanks Emily! Anyway, when you go onto Pinterest there’s now a ‘today’ header that tells you what’s trending on that particular day. If you have any blog content that can tie into that topic then my advice would be to schedule some pins around it and get them scheduled sharpish. Twice now I’ve added in the hashtag of the topic of the day and seen a healthy increase in my web traffic. It’s also worth going into your analytics to see the breakdown of your audience – you can see this by age, gender, location and by the specific categories that they’re interested in. All very useful information! I saw that my audience liked quotes so I’ve since created a quotes board that’s been pretty popular.