The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Bloggers

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Pinterest can be the best thing since sliced bread or the millstone around your neck. If you feel like you are not seeing anything positive from your Pinterest interactions, then I want to share some tips and things I’ve learned lately that can jumpstart your Pinterest activity and see some great results.

The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Bloggers

Over the past month or so, I decided to revamp my Pinterest and try a couple experiments to see if I could generate results like so many other bloggers have. I did some research, created a plan, and began implementing some of it right away.

Hint: my plan uses Pinterest Group Boards. Looking for some active ones? Click here!

The biggest step, however, was a couple weeks ago when I started my group board strategy. Not only did my Pinterest impressions skyrocket, but I saw an increase in clicks — and my google analytics showed more activity as well. But don’t just take my word for it: here’s the proof! (the black line shows when I started my Pinterest strategy)

So What Makes a Great Pin?

Before implementing a Pinterest strategy, you need to have good, quality pins that attract attention. The good sort of attention. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Before implementing a Pinterest strategy, you need to have good, quality pins that attract attention. Click To Tweet

You probably know all this already, but just to be sure we’re on the same page, let’s review what makes up a pin that has viral potential.

  1. Image: you want to use a photo that fits with the topic and/or your brand. ย If you choose to do solid colors, definitely use your brand colors for a cohesiveness among your pins. You want someone to look at them and know they are yours.
  2. Text: ensure that your text is legible. I really can’t stress this enough! Examine your pins from different angles and at small sizes to be sure you can still read the text. Be careful using script fonts and use high contrast (black letters on white background or vice versa) to ensure your text can be read. This is one of my biggest pet peeves! Scroll through random Pinterest searches and you’ll instantly see what I mean.
  3. Size: vertical only! Don’t bother posting a horizontal image to Pinterest. All the layouts and tools are built for vertical images and a horizontal image just won’t cut it.ย You want your image to be at least twice as long as it is wide, but even longer is better. Personally, my pins are 868px x 1632px. These numbers might seem random, but I design in PowerPoint/Google Slides and have to do some fast inch-to-pixel conversions. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m planning on creating more templates, and will likely make any new ones even longer.
  4. Branding: use your link! You definitely want to make sure that the image itself bears your mark. Whether that’s your logo or your website URL, be sure to add an identifier to all your pins. Keep it consistent (all my pins have a light gray bar at the bottom with my URL in bold, spaced letters) as this will help encourage recognition. Also, I’ve used the link/name info on a pin to locate the original post as sometimes a link or description is missing or changed and I want to find the source. Make sure your tribe can find you!

NOTE: Be sure that you are using your keywords on pins and throughout your pinterest profile. This is an area I’m still working on as I have a hard time deciding on keywords/phrases! My friend Krista has a great post about Pinterest keywords, so if you struggle too, I recommend checking it out!

If all of this has been new to you, or you are just starting out and need more information about how to set up your Pinterest account and get started the right way, I highly recommend Eden Fried’s Pinterest Unpuzzled*. It’s very budget friendly and a great tool! I’d been pinning for several months and gleaned a LOT of little tweaks I could make to increase my Pinterest ROI.

Where Should I Pin?

The key to great visibility on Pinterest is Group Boards. A group board is a Pinterest board with multiple contributors. Created by an individual pinner, these boards usually have a specific topic and other pinners can request an invitation to contribute to the board. Some boards have special rules (ie: no more than 3 pins a day, or repin once for each pin you post), and not all of them are currently accepting new contributors.

The key to great visibility on Pinterest is Group Boards. Click To Tweet

There are several ways to locate group boards. One popular site is PinGroupie, but the last few times I’ve checked it, it’s been really outdated. Another way to locate group boards is to check Facebook. Many Facebook groups have their own Pinterest Group Board, and there are Facebook groups specifically geared for Pinterest Group Boards.

Another option is to find a resource that can give you tons of great information. My favorite resource like this is Find Your Tribe Online by Jennifer Snyder*. This resource not only includes Pinterest Group Boards for a multitude of niches, but Facebook Groups and Blogs as well. In addition, Jen has great information on Guest Posting and excellent lessons on how to use all this information and apply it to your blog/business.

While I used all of the above tips to find group boards, another trick I discovered was to check out the Pinterest profiles of pinners in my niche. It’s easy to see which boards are group boards by looking for the group member circle at the lower left corner of the board (see image above). I pulled up these group boards and checked the descriptions to see if they were 1) still accepting contributors and 2) how to request an invite. I checked out maybe two dozen boards and requested invites for most. That gave me a nice palette of boards to pull from for my group board pinning strategy. Click the image below to get my Pinterest Group Board list for free!

My Pinterest Strategy for Group Boards

You may have heard the term “loop your pins” in various blogs and social media posts. This is a strategy that a lot of pinners use with their own pins on group boards. “Looping” is setting up a system to automatically pin a group of pins to a specific board, repeating the list once complete. Many pinners prefer to use Boardbooster* for this, but there is a cost involved.

Personally, I already invested in Tailwind* to schedule others’ pins to my boards, so wanted to use this app instead. I found a great post by Suzi Whitford of StartAMomBlog.com on how to use Tailwind to semi-loop your pins. I won’t reinvent the wheel by going through the whole process here, but check out her post if this is of interest to you and let me know if you need help with the process.

I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. I chose 7 posts about blogging and created 5 different pin templates to use. Once my 35 images were created, I used Suzi’s method to “loop” the pins on 7 different boards. I repeated the process with the next set of 7, so I actually had 14 pins/groups per day.

As I create more content, I’ll be able to add more variety to this. Since I don’t want to bombard the groups, I’ll likely pause the strategy while I work on a few other projects and then ramp it up again when I have more content to include.

As mentioned earlier, my impressions skyrocketed! I didn’t see as much of a boost in terms of traffic, but my visibility definitely increased and that was my goal with this experiment.

Don’t forget to grab my list of 20+ Pinterest Group Boards!

Have you tried this or something similar? Let us know your results in the comments!!

~R

8 Comments

  1. Group Boards and Branding are 2 super important things when it comes to Pinterest strategy. I use a combination of Tailwind, Board Booster and manual pinning throughout the day and it is really helping! I joined a bunch of group boards and rotate my pins on those – my pins and re-pins of others. Great post – especially showing your readers the difference between a good pin and a bad pin!

    • Thanks Grandi! I haven’t played with Board Booster yet, but likely will soon. I love to hear people’s success stories with Pinterest; it gives us all hope!

    • Pam – I was so happy when I finally had enough group boards to try this strategy! Now to maintain the momentum, lol!

    • Nadalie, visuals really help, don’t they? It amazes me that soo many people still post horizontal pins or pins that are illegible. Feel free to share the image! ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t want to use someone’s real pin, so made up the bad one myself. Since I was wincing the whole time I created it, I thought I probably hit the mark, lol. ๐Ÿ™‚

      ~R

    • Whitney, I hear you! Having said that, it seriously took me all of 20 minutes to locate the boards I wanted to join (and with the free list, you can save that much as well!) and then using my template email, maybe 30 seconds each to request an invite. Honestly, that was the hard part! You don’t have to do a looping strategy like I did, but even just normal pinning using group boards will boost your exposure! Good luck!

      ~R

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