When you’re just starting out, you’ll be easily overwhelmed by all the blogging things you think you should be doing. But if you’re really serious about turning your online business into a four-figure monthly income within your first year of blogging, then do yourself a favor and focus only on these two things: learn how to get traffic from Pinterest, then leverage that Pinterest SEO to turn that into passive traffic from Google.
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Why new bloggers should focus on Pinterest
For one, it’s a traffic source that could get you hundreds of thousands of pageviews for absolutely free. It can also continue to bring you traffic for months and years without you doing anything if people are liking what they see.
If you asked me what I thought about Pinterest before I started blogging, I would’ve chortled because I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of virtually pinning things to a bulletin board.
But as a business utilizing this as a marketing tool that brings me the traffic that earns me thousands in income each month, I am totally in love with it.
From a business perspective, Pinterest beats every other social media platform out there. Whereas a post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter lasts hours, minutes or merely seconds, you putting a pin out there in Pinterest land lasts for eternity. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving; what you put months or years ago can find traction again. And you might not even be the one who revives it.
What do I mean by that? Once you post something on another social media platform, if it gets no action, then it’s pretty much dead forever. But with Pinterest, because other pinners can pin your stuff way later than when you first did (eg. a Christmas recipe the next year when the holidays roll around again), it signals to Pinterest that your pin is worth sharing so they’ll put it in front of more eyes again. That means more publicity and potentially more clicks to your site. If you’ve set up your blog with proper monetization strategies, then you could be generating income from that audience.
Whereas other strategies may require you to establish relationships with other bloggers or to build your follower base (which is hard when you’re a nobody newbie and takes time to achieve), Pinterest gives you the best bet of starting from scratch yet still get lots of traffic if you know how to use it correctly.
Understand what Pinterest really is
I think you can gather from above that Pinterest is not truly a social media platform. But it does retain some traits, like allowing users to go in just to browse and find new ideas through your home feed or discovery tab (try just poking around Google without prompting it and see how long that lasts). There is also the ability to follow other pinners, and engage with pins by commenting on or trying them. So while lots of other bloggers say it’s not a social media platform, that isn’t entirely true.
But because Pinterest does have a built-in search function, you do have a slightly different audience than what you would find on other social media platforms; these users are looking to solutions to their problems, and they are most likely to be buying things.
Don’t forget about Pinterest itself. It is a business and it uses a computer to help it run its business. It wants to get people to stay on their platform so there are algorithms to help it try to connect relevant content to its users.
So, remember, if you want to succeed on Pinterest, you need to keep these two points in mind:
- Make sure you appeal to humans (regular Pinterest users)
- Make sure you appeal to computers (Pinterest and its algorithm)
Let’s get more into this in the next section.
Making pins that appeal to humans
Have vertical pins (standard size is 600 x 900 pixels, but you can go up to 1260 in height). If you make horizontal pins, then your pin gets squished so people won’t see it.
- Include captivating images. Pinterest is a visual search engine. People will be scrolling through hundreds of pins so have images that stand out.
- Create clickworthy headlines. Which would you choose: “12 ways to save money on groceries” or “12 clever ways to cut your grocery bill in half”
- Use legible text. At least 80% of users do so on mobile, which means your pins will look smaller. This means bold, block text (fancy script fonts can be tough to read on mobile) and complementary colors or else people can’t read it and will scroll right past your pin.
Of utmost importance is giving users assurance that they made the right decision to click on your pin of all the pins they could've chosen. That means quality content that actually helps your readers and better yet, makes them feel it’s worthy enough that they want to pin it to come back to later (and thus becoming a social share, which ultimately helps you).
Making pins that appeal to computers
- Use relevant images. Pinterest is a visual search engine, so use images that make sense. If your post is about yoga poses, don’t put a picture of your cat on the pin.
- Use relevant keywords. This will cue Pinterest in on what your pin/post is about. If you’re wondering how to figure out words and phrases to use, Pinterest does an awesome job of telling you, which I’ll explain further in the next section.
After you enter a term, you’ll see tiles underneath the search bar to further refine your search. Those are keywords. Usually from left to right is the popularity of that phrase, so use that to your advantage.
Where to incorporate Pinterest keywords
There are multiple areas to get keywords into your profile and pins. They are:
- Your name
- Your profile description
- Your blog post title and metadescription (this info appears on your pins if you have a Pinterest business account and validate your site)
- Your pin description
- Your board title
- Your board description
Stick keywords wherever you can to help Pinterest help you. When it knows what your pin is about, then it can figure out whose eyes to get it in front of.
And if your pin becomes popular enough, you can actually rank your pins in Pinterest.
Since this post is lengthy, going into a detailed pinning strategy would have to be for another post. Basically, you want to be constantly keeping your pins going in Pinterest land by pinning them onto different boards over and over again. Remember these key points:
- Pin things more than once
- Have more than one pin per post
- Pin things only to boards that will help Pinterest learn the context of your content
Use Pinterest SEO to grow Google traffic
Your popularity on Pinterest can boost your Google ranking in several ways:
- Gives a social signal that Google takes into consideration as a ranking factor
- Allows others to discover your content and reach out for collaboration (this happened to me when a Canadian news site asked me to contribute a short blurb based on a post I wrote and linked back to me)
- Pinterest also wants to rank itself in Google, so may pull your Pinterest info (pin, pin description, board) to help it rank, and if a user clicks on that, then they would see your stuff and continue on to your site from there
So yeah, you optimizing for Pinterest gets you great traffic but also in turns helps your Google rankings. Capitalize on that.
Turning that traffic passive
As much as I love Pinterest, it is not a consistent source of traffic. Because Google is a more reliable, it is wise to employ SEO tactics to keep or improve on your rankings some more.
This includes on-page SEO techniques like incorporating other ranking keywords, improving the page content and interlinks, and so forth. Guest posting and finding other means to get quality backlinks will also help (which is something I need to work on as I don’t do much of that now).
If you’re a blogger who wants to earn an income quickly and smartly, then grow fast by learning how to get traffic from Pinterest in the beginning, then use the Pinterest SEO that is helping you to rank in Google to grow a more steady stream of traffic from there.