In this 2,000 word guide, I’m going to show you how you can use the social media website Pinterest to grow a large profile of targeted followers, and then use that profile to send traffic to your website or affiliate links. It might seem like Pinterest is quite complicated to use, but it really is quite easy and I’d recommend giving it a try.
First, lets look at what exactly Pinterest is, just in case you’ve been living under a rock. Pinterest is a social network, much like facebook, twitter, and google plus, where users “pin” and “tag” images to what are called “boards.” Users can repin or like other people’s pins, and you can follow boards and users, as well as interests.
Some Pinterest Statistics
Pinterest has around 70 million total users.
Roughly 65-84% of all Pinterest users are female (sources give varying numbers).
Almost 29% of Pinterest users have a household income over $100,000 per year.
The age breakdown of Pinterest users is estimated to be:
- 27.4% of Pinterest users are aged between 25-34 years old
- 22.1% of users are between 35-44
- 17.9% are between 45-54
- 17.3% are between 18-24
- 4.1% are between 12-17.
Some categories/niches/topics that perform well on Pinterest include:
- Babies & Children
Here is an awesome infographic that was made recently by techinforgraphics.com that demonstrates some of the stats listed above:
Is Pinterest Right For You?
Based on the above information, you should probably be able to get an idea if Pinterest is a good social network for you to grow your brand. I imagine any category would be able to have some success on Pinterest, but those above listed categories (which are quite broad) are probably your best bet for wider success.
I have seen some people use Pinterest for male dominated categories and have success, like for technology, video games, sports, beer and alcohol, etc. so it still is probably worth having a go at Pinterest even if you think your category might not be a great fit. Once you do it for awhile, you can monitor results and decide if it is something you want to continue spending time on. If nothing else, it presents an opportunity to get a lot of nofollow links. I have seen quite a few sites that have one of their largest backlink sources as Pinterest.
Signing up for Pinterest
Now that you know whether you want to give Pinterest a try, let’s discuss how to setup a Pinterest account.
Head to pinterest.com and you are greeted by a page where you can continue by using Facebook, or you can sign up for a new account. To sign up for a new account, you just need an email and password. Once you enter that and hit “sign up,” they take you to a page to setup a profile. This includes getting a username, writing a description, and linking to your website.
You also can set a profile image, which I think is kind of an important step. Your profile image should be 600 x 600 pixels, but it also needs to be readable when it is shown as a tiny thumbnail or mid-sized thumbnail. If you are a brand that has a logo, your logo might not work that great if it has a lot of words in it. Instead, maybe you could just make your profile image the icon part of your logo (like if there is an animal, tool, or other object inside your logo). Otherwise, I would go with a high resolution image related to your topic that has kind of an artistic or crafty-type feel to it. If you are in a coffee niche, maybe an image of a coffee cup on a wood table that has some sort of cool filter to it would be good. Don’t use an image that is unrelated to your company, brand, or niche/category/topic.
Building your profile up
Once your Pinterest profile is ready to go, you can start working on building boards, adding pins, liking stuff, following people, and gaining followers.
To create a board, go to you profile and there is a row for adding boards. You actually might want to do some keyword research for this, as a pinterest board has a decent chance at getting high in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for keywords, depending on what the keyword is. So you probably want something that will get you a lot of traffic.
In the profile image example above, I used coffee as an example niche. Well, if that is your niche you don’t want to name a board “coffee” as that is way to competitive of a keyword on Pinterest and especially in Google. Instead, you might niche down and do boards for “old hand coffee grinder,” “auto-drip coffee machines,” “keurig coffee reviews” or any keyword that has decent search volume and isn’t that competitive or doesn’t have a lot of exact focused content aimed at it.
Once you have boards, you can add pins. Just use the search bar at the top left to search for your keyword or related keywords. This should bring up tons of pins. There are 50+ billion pins to choose from according to the Pinterest homepage, so you should be able to find some cool pins. When you pin something, Pinterest gives you the option of following the person who originally pinned the pin you are repinning. You should do that.
You also can add pins manually by going to the pins page from your profile, and clicking “add pin.” From there, you either can add a pin from the web or upload one from your device. I would recommend adding pins from outside of Pinterest, as those are likely to be things Pinterest hasn’t seen yet and are more likely to get shared. A lot of stuff on Pinterest has been on there for awhile and it just keeps getting repinned around. I’ve seen images on Pinterest that every single person in a niche has repinned. If you repin such an image, you probably aren’t getting as many repins as if you added something new.
When you add a pin, you’ll want to write a description that includes tags. Those are like hashtags on twitter that start with the pound sign, stuff like #coffee #milwaukee #wisconsin. When people search for those words, they then could be shown your tags. Also, if it is a popular tag people can click on it and see other pins with that tag, or they might click on a tag on someone else’s board or pin and be shown your content because you used the same tag.
These tags also help with boosting your board in Google’s eyes. It really is keyword stuffing, but apparently it doesn’t really matter for Pinterest. I haven’t heard of Google de-listing Pinterest boards because they are keyword stuffing, and the way Pinterest works makes using keywords in that manner the best way to pin.
Add your URL to the Pin description
I also recommend adding links to your pin descriptions. This makes it easy for people to click the links, as if the link is there then people can click on it from the board showing multiple pins. If not, users need to click the pin to open it to the large pin popup screen, and tehn click it again to get to your site. Having your link in the description also makes it easy for Google to find those links and count them as backlinks for your site.
Once your profile is setup and have boards and are pinning, you should naturally get repins and gain followers. This kind of works in an exponential manner. The more pins you have, the more likely you are to get repinned or followed. The more repins or followers you have, the more likely you are to gain even more repins and followers as your content is shown to at least a percentage of your followers and all repins are shown to a percentage of the followers of the person that repinned your stuff.
Besides just growing your boards and pins in this manner, there also is a trick to gaining targetted followers on Pinterest. It is really simple; just search for pinners that pin similar things to you, view their profile, go to their followers, and following the people that are following them. So you are following people that are already following other pinners in your topic/niche/category.
Pinterest seems to let you follow around 150 pinners per day currently (it used to be 300). I would say that at least 10% of those people will follow you back, if not more. Most of my Pinterest profiles seem to be getting around 25% of the people I follow following me back.
Once you grow your Pinterest account to a large following with thousands of pins, you’ll just naturally gain tons of repinners and followers every day. As mentioned, it just grows exponentially.
Another sort of trick to getting Pinterest followers is group boards. These are boards where multiple people are allowed to add pins, and the following of all of those people get to see the pins. There are a lot of monster group boards on Pinterest that have 100,000+ people following them. Would you like your pins to potentially be seen by 100,000+ people? Of course you would.
The trick is getting invited to pin to the board. You’ll just naturally get a few invites, and I would accept them if they are in your niche. Getting onto the big boards can be a bit tricky though.
You should probably try to find out who are the pinners on the big board (each pin says who pinned it) and then follow that user. After your repin some of that users stuff, maybe you could start messaging them. You could just ask to get added to the big group board right away, but your odds of getting invited are probably better if you first become online friends with another pinner on the board and then you ask for an invite. You also could ask that person if they want to start a group board with you and then work to grow the board together. As part of that process, you could ask to get invited to the other person’s group boards, and you could invite them to your group boards.
What you should expect in terms of results
After you’ve been pinning for awhile and growing your profile, you should start to see your profile gain more and more followers. In your website’s analytics, you also should see more and more referrals coming from Pinterest.
So what kind of results should you expect to get from Pinterest? Honestly, it varies. Some boards just take off while others don’t, but if you’re following the advice given above, you should at least be gaining 15 followers per day (probably 30+ followers per day really) and getting around 4-5 times that in repins. Over time, this will build exponentially.
Clicks to your website are probably going to be around 0.50-2% of your pins, in my experience. So if you have 1000 pins, you likely get 5-20 clicks to your website per day. You can increase this by repinning a lot so people are constantly being reshown your old pins with your links in them. Basically, the more active your are, the better your profile should do and the more clicks to your website you will get.
Hopefully this guide gives you some ideas as to how you can use Pinterest to get traffic to your website.
It does take time, but really is pretty simple to follow this strategy and use Pinterest. Once you get used to just quickly pinning stuff and following people each day, it just becomes routine and you can do it in under 15 minutes. The results seem small at first, but I recommend sticking with it for a month or so. At that point you should have 1,000 followers and be gaining more and more followers and repins each day. As mentioned, it really builds exponentially, and before long you should be getting a decent amount of traffic from Pinterest, all for very little work each day.