Only within the last 4-5 months have I taken Pinterest seriously. Beforehand I was pinning cute outfits, not paying attention to the number of repins or likes I was receiving, and certainly not concerned with the number of followers I had. Pinterest and I are now close friends who tend to argue a lot, but I have more than doubled my Pinterest following and engagement rate in 4 months!
I know how frustrating it can be growing your social media presence as a blogger, so I thought it would be helpful to share how I grew my Pinterest following.
All of the tips on this post require zero financial obligations. I use free programs and websites to create my pins, and free services to schedule my pins and repins. These are my top tips that helped me grow my Pinterest following.
Tips to Increase your Pinterest Following
One of the biggest factors in growing my Pinterest following and engagement was joining and creating group boards. It can be a little confusing to gain access to these boards, but it’s not impossible.
First, check out PinGroupie.com. They have a huge database of group boards, and many of them are open to contributors. Click on the board you are interested in, and then check the description. Often times, they give an email address where you can request an invite. If not, try following the board and the creator (the first person in the contributor list), and comment on one of their pins, requesting an invite.
Another great tactic to get into group boards is to join a Facebook Group dedicated to Pinterest Group Boards, like THIS ONE. You MUST have your blog listed in your Facebook profile to be accepted. This group has worked out excellent for me. People post boards opening all the time and then all you have to do is comment that you want in. It’s that easy.
Group boards expose you, as a Pinterest user, and the pins from your blog to thousands of people. Be active, repin from the Group Boards, follow others, and pin consistently, and you will see your numbers jump.
You NEED rich pins! This is an absolute must. Pinterest values rich pins much more than those that are not, meaning that rich pins show up in your feed above pins that are not rich. We all want our pins to be seen by as many eyes as possible, right? And it’s super easy to do with a little reading and researching.
You have to add Schema markup to your website. If you use WordPress, there are plugins like Schema Creator by Raven that work wonders, so you don’t have to go in and edit your website files. If you feel confident in your coding, follow the instructions on this page, as this guarantees schema is properly implemented.
I pin a lot of recipes from my blog, and there are a number of free recipe plugins that offer schema markup. I use Zip Recipes, and all of my recipe pins on Pinterest are now rich pins. They show ingredients, time, servings, and my favicon.
Once you have added schema to your website, all you have to do is verify it through Pinterest. You can see the instructions for validating HERE. You only have to validate one URL, and Pinterest will let you know if you have any problems. Once you have validated one pin, every pin from your website will be Rich.
Another great tip is to add longer descriptions that are SEO friendly to your pins. Pins with 200 word descriptions are more frequently repinned than those that have short descriptions. Add a Call to Action for even better results. I like to use “Check out this…” or “Don’t miss this…”
One more step in Optimizing Your Pins…
Vertical images with text are a must on Pinterest. They are pinned much more frequently than horizontal images. Just check out your Pinterest feed. The optimum size for Pinterest images is 735 x 1,102px. If you are using a website like Canva or PicMonkey to design your Pinterest images, you can specify the dimensions of your image. If this size doesn’t work, try to stick to a 2:3 or 4:5 ratio.
Look at the below screenshot! What jumps out at you? All the pins you notice are verticle!
Create Visually Appealing Pins
Here are the basic pointers for making your pins more noticeable, and getting more repins.
- This takes some practice and a lot of trial and error. But, in general, pins with red or orange as their primary color get more pins than images with blue as the primary color.
- Another thing to avoid is extremely light or extremely dark images. Go with a medium lightness that has a good amount of color.
- Avoid images with a lot of background showing. Get up close on your subject. The best guide is to keep your background to 30% or less.
- Avoid faces. They are the least likely pins to be repinned.
I highly suggest you download an app on your phone or your computer to edit images. I use Camera+ on iPhone, which is a paid app, to take my pictures and to edit the brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc. But, you can get Lightroom on your phone for free, along with tons of other photo editing apps.
Gimp is a great free photo editing program if you are using a computer to edit your images. There are thousands of tutorials on Youtube that explain how to use the program and edit images. But, if you don’t want to download the program or learn how to use the more advanced features, I strongly recommend PicMonkey, a free website for editing images, making collages, and adding text.
If you haven’t explored the world of Facebook Groups, you are missing out. There are a number of great groups that are for promoting and sharing content. In return, other people share you content.
I am an admin of a Facebook Group called Growing Social Media for Bloggers. Every day new threads are created where you can ask other people to share you content. For example, a Pinterest Repin thread, where you post the link to a pin you want repinned, and in exchange, you repin others’ pins.
Search Facebook for blogger groups. You will find a massive list. Look for group descriptions that talk about social threads. And if you feel so inclined, request an invite to my group, listed above.
This is something I recently implemented and has helped grow my Pinterest following immensely. There are a few ways to redesign your Pinterest boards, and make the most out of the first impression of your profile.
- Name your boards appropriately, and make SEO optimized descriptions. Although you may want to be really creative with your board names, it’s best to go with something that is searchable. Pinterest boards do show up in Google Searches, so you want to use that to your advantage. If you have a Dinner Recipe board, be sure to name it something like “Great Dinner Recipes” or “Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes”. It seems obvious, but I see a lot of board names that don’t fit the content of the boards, which is frustrating to followers and people who are looking for specific content.
- Change your cover photo. Pinterest automatically adds an image as the cover photo for your board. For the best results and more followers, change the image to something that has bright colors, is inviting, and showcases what kind of content will be found on the board. You can do this by going to the board you want to change, clicking the ‘Edit Board’ button in the upper right-hand corner, and then selecting ‘Change’ beside the Cover label.
- Have a board dedicated to your blog posts. Most people already do this, but having a specific board just for your blog posts is great for your followers.
- Place most important boards above the fold. When we refer to the fold, we are talking about what you see on a website before you scroll down. This means you want your most important boards at the top of your Pinterest profile. I selected my top 8 boards, and moved them to the top, with my blog post board being very first on the list. In both the web and app version, you can just click and drag boards to where you want them.
Scheduling Pins using Tailwind (Updated: 6/16/2016)
This takes very little time, and has been extremely effective in seeing more repins and getting more followers. I use Tailwind* to schedule my pins. NOTE: The below photo is from my Free Trial which I went through fairly quickly and have since upgraded to the Plus Plan, which runs $15/month, and allows me to schedule 400 Pins per month. If you choose to pay for a whole year at once, it’s $119/annually and you get unlimited pins!
If you would like to start scheduling pins through Tailwind, I would much appreciate if you used my Affiliate Link*. I greatly appreciate your support and promise to continue writing helpful blogging tutorials and tips in return.
This helps me pin the same pin to different boards without seeming spammy. And, they schedule your pins at times when traffic is at it’s highest on Pinterest. I have seen huge benefits from this service, and it’s taken a lot of the stress of remembering what I have pinned and what I need to pin, off of my shoulders.
They also offer analytics where you can see how many times your pin has been repinned, impressions on your profile and specific pins, and your followers. If you follow along and track your analytics, you can see what is doing well and what isn’t. Then you can start to replicate the good stuff for better results.
You still have to be patient, but if you are consistent with above tips, you will be able to grow your Pinterest following over time, and in turn increase the traffic you drive to your website. Good luck, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.