Pinterest Strategies for New Bloggers
When I posted my Month 1 and 2 blog reports I got a lot of questions about how I use Pinterest and I wanted to share with you a blog post I created for my site about the topic. All of the links and graphics in this post have been removed but if you want to see the original post let me know.
• Related: Month 1 Blog Report(exists below)
• Related: Month 2 Blog Report (exists below)
When I started on Pinterest I had zero followers and zero monthly viewers. In two months I was able to gain 341 followers and get 111k monthly viewers. There are many different blogs out there that talk about how to set up your Pinterest account and they have a lot of good information. This post is a step by step guide for what I did to increase my following.
When learning about Pinterest I didn't take any courses on it or read any books. I wanted to try doing this on my own with only free information that is readily available. You can make Pinterest work for you without taking a paid course!
Create a Pinterest Business Account
The first thing I did was to create a Business Account for Pinterest. It is completely free and it gives you access to Pinterest Analytics and a business profile.
When you sign up for a business account, Pinterest will walk you through 8 steps for setting it up. The most important steps are to claim your website, link your social media, and create an optimized business profile.
Optimize Your Business Profile
The second step to rocking Pinterest is to optimize your profile. Make sure you have a great photo, awesome name, and an About You section that clearly defines what you are about.
My Biggest Tip for Your Profile is to Use Your Space! If you are allowed more characters, use them. That way you can pop in more key words and showcase your personality.
To optimize your profile you are going to need a good photo of yourself. Right now I am using one of myself and my fiancé but I plan on getting some photos of myself taken and will switch it out. When I switch my photo I will spend some time making sure the photo I chose is what I want my brand to convey. I don't want anything too serious, I want something that is clean and bright, something that says:
Hey! I Have A Personality!
Tip: Always make sure to have your face in the photo. I don't want to follow your cute dog's Pinterest account.
You are allowed 30 characters for your business name. If you can include keywords in your business mane and use all 30 characters.
One thing for me is that I didn't want my business name and title of my Pinterest account to look messy. I wanted something that was clean and clear about what I am doing on Pinterest. My blog is about my financial journey and creating a new blog from scratch. I knew I wanted money in my title and something about blogging.
Tip: Use icons or characters instead of words when appropriate. The + sign gets my message across without having to type "and."
This section is very important to me. I feel like I have the chance to share in my own words what I am all about.
Keywords are key but also make sure you sound relatable. Personally, I don't follow people that don't have an about you section or are just listing off words for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I want to know that I am following a human that has similar interests to what I do.
It is always good to add a location. I was not convinced I needed to at first but you will get people that follow you because they are in the same area and in my opinion it "ups" the relatability and real person factor.
Once you have your profile optimized the way you want it and everything claimed and linked. You need to create boards to house your pins.
The Best Pinterest Boards
How you sort your pins are important. I've heard the recommended number of boards is around15-20, not including group boards. Stay away from general boards and instead create specific boards related to your niche.
Include key words in your board titles and write a detailed description for your boards.
I like to include cover images for my boards and I created pins with the same style to be used as cover images. This also separates your personal boards from any group boards you may belong to.
There is a lot of mixed advice when it comes to group boards. Some people say that they are dead and you should not join them while others say they are still a viable way to grow traffic.
I have had a good experience with group boards and I think they are a decent way to increase traffic. It is just so hard to get accepted to group boards.
The real draw in group boards is the ability to:
• Network with fellow bloggers
• See what bloggers in your niche are writing about
• See how bloggers in your niche are promoting themselves on Pinterest
We are not reinventing the wheel when it comes to promoting our content on social media. Definitely, do not hesitate to learn from others. Are they using specific language that is resonating with people? What do their pin descriptions look like and how can I make my pin descriptions resemble theirs.
Note: I am not saying that you should directly copy anyone's pin but you can take inspiration from the pins that are doing well.
Joining Group Boards
All that I can say is that there are going to be a lot of boards that you do not get accepted to. I've reached out to several group board owners and didn't hear anything.
Once you start building your following and making connections people will start accepting you and may even invite you to collaborate. There are a couple boards that I did not apply to and it was the coolest thing to get an invite from them.
To join a group board, the board will usually have instructions in the description of the board. Some boards now have a "Request to Join" button next to the follow button on a group board which makes things a lot easier.
What Group Boards to Join
So I am surprised more people don't do this, but I stake out certain bloggers profiles on Pinterest. There are a few bloggers in my niche that have over 1 million monthly viewers and that is where I want to get to. So I look at what group boards they are a part of and put in requests for those group boards.
Again, I am probably not going to be accepted at first but as I build my following I can submit a new request to join.
Pining On Pinterest
For every post, it is important that you are creating multiple pins with different images and wording.
• Pins with numbers tend to do better than pins without numbers.
• Always keep in mind what you are offering the reader, why should they read your post?
• Expressive Language is an attention grabber and will make people more likely to click on your pin.
• You want to monitor which pins do well and replicate the wording and graphics on those pins.
• In the description of the pin make sure you include keywords and hashtags, which Pinterest now accepts.
How to Pin: Manual or Automated
Another big question you are going to have to answer is how you want to pin. You can be successful with either manually pinning or using a program like Tailwind to automate your pinning.
Tailwind offers free trials for those that are interested in the program. If you haven't tried it out yet, it is worth getting the trial to see if you like automated pinning.
I use a combination of manual pinning and automated currently. I have found Tailwind to be an invaluable resource when it comes to scheduling pins and getting my content shared in Tailwind Tribes. It can be used as another tool for networking.
My Tailwind Analytics
I was able to go from a completely clean slate back at the beginning of December to having 691 repins as of today. In my opinion, those results were achieved by using tribes powerup. When you first sign up for Tailwind you get access to 5 tribes and 30 submissions.
I went through those submissions way too quickly and wanted to increase my reach. I purchased the Tribes Max PowerUp which allows you to join an unlimited amount of tribes and have 200 monthly submissions.
There is a higher level plan that allows for unlimited submissions but I find I do well with about 50 submissions to my tribes a week which averages out to 200.
While I use Tailwind for most of my pinning I always spend time on Pinterest doing a few manual pins every week. Right now I try to create 10 new manual pins weekly and most of those are targeted towards my group boards. I always want to make sure I am sharing content from my group boards when I add new pins to those boards so I prefer to do that on Pinterest versus Tailwind.
I don't think people associate Pinterest with networking the way they do twitter or Facebook but it can be a powerful tool to connect you to other bloggers. Almost every contact I made in the blogging world has come from either Pinterest or Tailwind.
I've dabbled with networking on Facebook in blogging groups but those groups are only about self-promotion, not making real connections. When you are on Pinterest you find so much content that is relevant to what you are or want to be writing about. It then can be easy to reach out to that person and strike up a real conversation about content that you both are passionate about.
We are all in the same boat when it comes to wanting a bigger audience and growing our reach. It is important to be as generous as possible with fellow bloggers and share their content. Send them a message for sharing your pin and be friendly.
The first thing you learn when you start a blog is that it is about community. The saying that "Bloggers support bloggers" is very true and they are the ones that can develop into loyal followers but more importantly into friends.
When you come on the scene with a willingness to share, engage, and facilitate the journey of other bloggers, 9 times out of 10 they will reciprocate. This is especially true if you are pursuing blogging to make money. So many of us are working towards making writing and working online a side hustle or a full time income. When I help out others I am making it easier for them to achieve their goal but I am also getting closer to achieving my goal by making that connection.
Month 1 Blogging Stats
I started a blog just over 30 days ago and want to share my experience. I love seeing other people's results for their new blogs. If you all have any advice for a new blogger I would love to chat with you.
To give you a background on where I started. I first created a website in September <year> with my name as the domain. Unfortunately, I didn't do much with the site and it never went anywhere. In November of this year, I came up with the name Financially Free Ever After and decided to purchase the domain and give blogging a real try. This is also the time when I finally began to see that making a living remotely is possible.
I purchased the domain on November 29th and the blog went live on November 30the. I did transfer some of the blog posts I had written before over to Financially Free Ever After. I ended up launching with 3 posts on the site.
Social Media Following on November 30th
Instagram: 55 followers
Twitter: 0 followers
Facebook: 0 followers
Pinterest: 0 followers
Blog: 0 subscribers
My Month 1 Goals
Reach 1,000 page views Failed
Gain 50 followers on Pinterest Success
Reach 100 followers on Instagram Failed
Write 5 blog posts Success
Reach out to 2 fellow bloggers Success
Month 1 Stats as of December 28th
Page Views: 571
Unique Sessions: 351
In the first month of blogging, I was able to post 10 articles including this one. I started with three that I transferred over from my first domain. I was able to add 7 more posts which is almost 2 posts a week.
These posts worked well because they were giving answers to the big question of how do I live on less money. My Pinterest strategy with these posts also worked well and that is where I received most of my traffic from. Which Oh My Goodness, how great is Pinterest!? More on that below.
I was surprised that no one really wanted to read about how I save a butt load on my phone bill. It is by far one of my favorite things I did when I was cutting my expenses.
My Can I Make Money Online post was not a winner this month. I think a lot of people want to make money online and they want to see how you do it. They are not as interested in your planning of it. I am still happy that I wrote that post as I think it gives a lot of good background into what I am trying to do.
Three people have subscribed to my blog this month!!! I am so excited that I got a few people interested enough to sign up!
My Mailerlite dashboard says 5 email subscribers but 2 of the emails are mine that I am using for testing purposes.
Everyone online talks about the importance of growing your email lists and I am definitely trying to get mine up and running. I tried ConvertKit, Mail Chimp, and Mailerlite. For some reason, I had a super hard time setting this up but I was able to get it up and rolling with Mailer lite.
I believe most people use ConvertKit which does seem really nice. It was just too expensive for me at this point in my blog journey. Eventually I will probably make the switch over but for now, I am super happy with Mailer Lite and my account is approved for up to 500 subscribers to my email list.
My social media strategy this month has been about divide and conquer. I felt overwhelmed by the thought of trying to build a following on all of the social media platforms. From all of the blogging research I had been doing it was very clear that Pinterest needed to be the platform, I focus on first.
Over the course of December, I gained 144 followers and have 36,000 monthly views on my pins! This has been way more growth than I expected for my first month and I hope I can keep growing during Month 2.
Signing up for Tailwind has been the biggest reason for my success and it was one of the few things I was willing to spend money on.
I was able to get onto 2 group boards in December! Most of the group boards I applied to didn't even respond to my request so I feel lucky that 2 were willing to take a chance on me. I have been hearing some mixed reviews lately on group boards and their importance in gaining a following. What are your thoughts?
One surprise this month was the new social media app from India, TUBBR.
It has been a learning curve on TUBBR but the engagement you get for posting is amazing! One of my email list subscribers came from TUBBR and I was able to get my Debt Free Journey board on the featured page with minimal effort. Currently, I have 41 subscribers.
I had some Instagram followers before starting this blog and have gained 16 more for the month of December. I have not focused on Instagram much this month and definitely need to step up my game on this platform. I was posting about once a week this month and want to get that up to about once a day in January.
Facebook and Twitter
I have a Facebook page and twitter account but I have not used them at all this month.
I received 571 page views this month which was way more than anticipated. My highest page views for a day were 62. I did not reach my goal of 1,000 but I am so happy with what I ended up with.
To monetize or to not monetize, that is the question… I personally, have not started the monetization process yet. I want to learn more about blogging and build up my subscriber base before I start that process. There is so much to learn when it comes to monetization and I really want to make sure that I am doing it the right way and honestly making as much as I can. I don't think there is anything wrong with monetizing from the beginning, I'm just not ready yet.
BlueHost: $89.99 This was for my first domain which did not work out and for hosting for a year.
Domain: $11.99 This was for financiallyfreeeverafter.com
What Worked Well
My Pinterest strategy worked well this month and drove most of my traffic. Finding and signing up for TUBBR was something totally unexpected and yet has really helped with my engagement. I am glad I didn't focus on too many social media platforms at once. Taking them a couple at a time has made everything seem doable and I liked getting to a deep dive into Pinterest.
Writing two posts a week has given me a decent amount of content for month 1 and has not seemed too overwhelming. I don't think this will be sustainable for the Month of January as I will be insanely busy with work.
What Didn't Work
Creating an email list was way harder than what it should have been. I started with Mail Chimp and for some unknown reason, my account was suspended about a half an hour after opening it.
I then tried the trial of ConvertKit which seems to be the standard most bloggers use and the trial was great but I am not ready to pay for the product.
Mailer Lite has a free version of their program which is good for up to 1,000 subscribers. I have had success so far with this program and plan to stick with it for a while.
Goals for Month 2
Reach 1,000 page views
• Gain 5 new email list subscribers
Create 5 new posts
• Create a free product/guide for my email subscribers
Reach 200 followers on Pinterest
Reach 100 followers on Instagram
Connect with 2 Fellow Bloggers
Month 2 Blogging Stats
Thank you so much for all of the feedback I received on my month 1 blogging stats! I have been blogging for two months now and wanted to share with you my latest stats! January is one of my busiest times at my day job so I didn't have as much time to devote to my blog but I am still really happy with my results.
I felt like these past few weeks have been about settling into a consistent writing schedule and maintaining the promotional habits I started during the first month.
Month 1 Stats as of December 28th
Subscribers to Blog: 3
Page Views: 541
Unique Sessions: 325
Month 2 Goals
Reach 1,000 page views Success
• Gain 5 new email list subscribers Success
Create 5 new posts Success
• Create a free product/guide for my email subscribers Failure
Reach 200 followers on Pinterest Success
Reach 100 followers on Instagram Failure
Connect with 2 Fellow Bloggers Success
Month 2 Stats as of January 29th
Subscribers to Blog: 13
Page Views: 2,393
Unique Sessions: 1,638
***Update: I will talk more about this in my Month 3 update but the day after I published my month 2 blogging stats, my post on things not to buy to save $1,000 blew up and I ended up receiving over 500 page views in one day!
My goal for month 2 was 5 new posts. This post I am counting as number 5 so I was able to hit my goal. My latest posts this month I think are way better than the ones I wrote during the first month. I feel like I have found the layout I like and I loved the content. I am a bit worried as I continue to blog that I won't have as many ideas for new content but for now my creativity is going strong.
My Most Successful posts were:
5 Tips for Living On One Income
Month 1 Blogging Report
The day after publishing my month 1 blog report I got my highest views up to that point of 74 and that was all thanks to tips for living on one income. To date that is still my most successful post with my month 1 blog report not far behind it.
My Least Successful post was:
5 Tips To Save Money on An Engagement Ring
People are not interested in how I saved money on my engagement ring. I am thinking about changing the title of this post to something slightly more catchy, any suggestions.
I have to give a shout out to Kendall, who commented on my last blog report. I took the advice to change the title of my Republic Wireless review and it has been doing really well since then!
This month I have gained 10 new email subscribers! I was not able to get out any exclusive content to them this month and I am going to make that my top priority for Month 3. I get a lot of questions about my Pinterest strategy and I am thinking my first piece of exclusive content will detail that.
Pinterest again has been the main driver of my traffic this month. I received close to 1,000 referrals from the platform last month. I was also able to surpass my goal of 200 followers and now 266. I did upgrade my tailwind account and purchased the tribe power-up that allows for 200 submissions a month. I was toying with getting the unlimited tribe power-up but after doing some research I felt that it wasn't needed. Tailwind has been amazing! I definitely think it is worth the money and while I know some bloggers have a lot of success with a manual strategy I prefer the convenience of it being automated.
I was accepted to a few more group boards this month and now I am a member of 7 boards in total.
I am up to 84 subscribers for my TUBBR board Debt Free Journey. I have not focused as much on TUBBR this month as I did in month 1. I am planning on focusing more on this platform in month 3.
I had such high hopes for Instagram going into this month but I am still just not excited about the platform. I want to build a following there I just need to carve out time to do so.
Facebook and Twitter
Like last month, I still have not done anything with Facebook or Twitter. I did receive some advice for Twitter and plan to start exploring the platform in the next few months.
I received some suggestions for Twitter on my month 1 blog stats but I keep getting conflicting advice. Some people say that Twitter doesn't do much for your blog, some say it is good for networking. What are your thoughts on Twitter for bloggers?
I got 2,393 page views and 1,638 unique sessions this month! What! I cannot believe it. My goal was 1,000 and I was able to crush that goal. Pinterest and Reddit were my traffic drivers this month.
I think I got a good start in my networking journey this month. I commented on two different blogs and reached out to two bloggers personally to see if they would be interested in working together!
I was able to work with a UK blogger named Vicky, from ibeatdebt.com, and wrote my first guest post. I am so excited I was able to have content published on another site. We will see if it drives traffic during Month 3. From my research, I am not expecting guest posting to be a huge traffic driver. The benefit for me is getting to work with other bloggers and get backlinks to my blog.
I am still not monetizing my blog yet. It is still too new. I want to build my audience and grow my skills before I start trying to make money from the blog.
I added a Tribe PowerUp to my account so I can submit 200 pins a month to the tribes I am a part of. I will let you know next month if this was worth the cost.
I am still in the negative and plan to be that way for at least the first 6 months or so.
What Worked Well
My Pinterest strategy worked really well this month. I am doing a combined manual and automated approach.
Posting on Reddit was an amazing experience. I am still unsure about posting on subreddits directly related to my niche. If you all have any experience with that, please let me know how it worked for you.
Having a consistent one post per week made creating and posting content easy to manage and it is something I am planning on sticking with for the foreseeable future.
What Didn't Work Well
Instagram was a failure this month. I want to start using Instagram stories to share little things I am going through at the moment but I never remember to pull out my phone.
• I was not able to create content for my email subscribers. My day job thankfully slows down a bit in February so hopefully, I will have more energy to devote to my email list.
Goals for Month 3
Reach 3,500 page views
• Gain 15 new email list subscribers
Create 5 new posts
• Create a free product/guide for my email subscribers
Reach 400 followers on Pinterest
Reach 100 followers on Instagram
Connect with 2 Fellow Bloggers
Write 1 Guest Post
Thank you so much for checking out my stats. Again, if anyone has advice on Twitter and if it is worth it, please let me know. Are there any social media platforms besides Pinterest that work well for bloggers? Also, does anyone use a manual Pinterest strategy instead of automated? I would love to know how that works.
To Get Traffic From Pinterest
To Deliver Pinterest Traffic to Websites This Year
This Pretty Pinterest Expert opens Pinterest Courses within her website
I Run 30 Websites That Generate 2 Million PVs a Month and $400K a Year