Pinterest is one of the most popular online social platforms today, and it's getting top notch traffic and conversion results for bloggers and businesses in almost every niche. But, as with all social media, having followers is the key to success.
How do you get your Pinterest following off the ground without going crazy?
With nearly 10 years of blogging under my belt, about 15% of my traffic coming from Pinterest, and over 13,000 Pinterest followers of my blog Natural Family Today, I feel I can speak confidently about the topic of increasing your followers on Pinterest.
It definitely takes time and patience to build a substantial Pinterest following, but it can be done, and (thankfully) anyone can do it!
From experience, here are my strategies to get more followers on Pinterest:
1. Create Great Pins
Pinterest is a visual social network. Anything beautiful and eye catching is going to stand out, and regular users will be able to spot “spammy” looking pins from those that have been carefully crafted.
It's imperative that you create beautiful pins with a clear message and intent. If it's a recipe, craft, or project that you have photographed, make sure that your pin includes the most beautiful and eye catching of your images. If it's a word-graphic pin, make sure it's visually appealing, clear and concise in wording, and not cluttered.
Decidedly, vertical pins perform the best on Pinterest. Currently, a pin size of 735 x 1102 pixels is most often recommended.
Technically pins can be taller than 1102 pixels. However, any pins larger than a 1:2.8 will be cut off on the screen until users “expand” the pin.
Should you use branded images?
First of all, branding is not about slapping a watermark on an image and calling it good. Branding is about using the same style, fonts, overlays, and image styles for all or most of your pins. But, does it work?
Kate at Simple Pin Media came to the conclusion that branding your images can definitely increase your traffic and engagement!
The best way to go about branding your Pinterest images is to find themes that are consistently performing well for your brand, and then start mimicking those elements for all of your pins. Try asking other bloggers within the community which of your pins they find visually appealing and which they feel fit with your brand.
Do they like certain fonts? What elements stick out as unique and appealing about your pins? Identify those elements and incorporate them within all of your pins.
Pin Creation Tools
I use Canva most often because it allows me to save my own templates and create similar (i.e. branded) pins on-the-fly. Plus, Canva has an enormous selection of pre-made templates for all of your social media needs.
The next step in growing your pinterest following is to optimize everything from your pins, to your boards to your profile.
Optimize Your Pins
Part of optimizing your pins is to create beautiful ones with the right dimensions, which we already covered.
The next step to optimizing your pins is to write a description that identifies clearly what your linked blog post is about, and incorporate keywords that will get your pins more easily “discovered” through the Pinterest search feature.
Here are some tips for keyword optimization on Pinterest that are helpful. You can also check out what keywords and topics are getting the most shares on Pinterest with the Pinterest Popular feature.
Optimize Your Profile
Did you know that everything from the description in your Pinterest profile to your board names determines to some extent it's performance?
Start by researching what keywords are popular for your target audience on Pinterest, and then work those keywords into your profile description. You should also have an eye-catching profile image that is consistent with your brand.
Optimize Your Boards
There are also several ways to optimize your boards for maximum exposure. First, rename your boards to fit with keywords within your niche, and write keyword rich descriptions for your boards as well.
In addition, make any boards that are irrelevant or underperforming “secret”. (Psst: Don't delete them, as you could lose followers if you do that!)
3. Pin Regularly
The biggest question that most bloggers have is, “How often should I pin?” Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer except that you should pin consistently.
Different blogs will get different results, and you need to experiment and see what works for you.
My recommendation is to start with about 10-15 pins a day, and work your way up from there. Monitor your growth as you go. Pay attention to whether or not pinning more seems to translate to more followers or not. If it doesn't, stick with a lower number. If it does, then feel free to scale up slowly.
I wouldn't pin more than 50 times per day, as Pinterest tends to begin throttling your traffic and engagement at that point.
Using a Pinterest scheduling service like Tailwind can help you fill up your daily cue during peak hours.
4. Pin On-Topic
Just like any other professional social media profile, you should stay on topic within your niche. People follow you because they like what you post. For example, it would be off putting if someone followed you for healthy recipes and you started posting unhealthy, sugar-laden desserts.
Bottom line – make sure your pins stay consistent with the type of followers you wish to gain.
Collaboration with other bloggers is one of the most powerful ways to grow your Pinterest following, and you can do it in a variety of ways.
First, I recommend joining any large group boards in your niche that you can. They can be difficult to find, but it's well worth the effort.
Ask other bloggers in your niche which group boards they belong to, contact the owner, and ask how you can join. Just make sure that you follow all rules of the group boards you are a part of. Here's a helpful guide to finding group boards in your niche.
Collaboration groups exist in every niche and in a variety of places across the web. I've always found Facebook collaboration groups to be the most accessible and convenient, especially if you're on Facebook a lot like me.
Again, if you're not in any already, try to ask around to a few people in your general niche. Or, you can try searching for blogging groups within Facebook. These groups are a general jumping off point, but you'll probably want to find groups more specific to your niche eventually.
Most collaboration groups have weekly threads in order to exchange shares. It's a great opportunity to get your content shared and find relevant content that your audience will enjoy as well.
If you're a user, Tailwind has a unique new feature that allows you to share your content with other bloggers and share directly from the dashboard.
To recap, growing your Pinterest following quickly and effectively first involves creating great pins. Secondly, you should make sure your profile, boards, and pins are all optimized with keyword rich descriptions.
Pin consistently, stick with niche-specific pinning, and collaborate with other pinners!
If you follow these tips, I have no doubt your Pinterest following will grow steadily. Let me know if you have any questions or further tips in the comments. 🙂