Updated: Oct 10, 2018
As Pinterest heads towards a 2019 IPO they seem to be chopping and changing things on their platform more often than ever.
With Pinners everywhere confused on how best to proceed, it seemed like a great time to do a ‘Pinterest Experts’ Best Tips’ roundup post.
Pinterest, of course, is well known to bloggers as often their best source of traffic after Google and THE best source of quick traffic for newbie bloggers.
Pinterest recently published some ‘Best Practices‘ info, but Facebook groups are still flooded with flustered Pinners asking questions such as “how often should I pin?”, “when should I pin?”, “how many pins per post?”, “should I have hashtags? Which ones and how many?”, “which group boards are good, and why won’t they let me join?” etc etc.
Nobody seems to have all the answers–some swear by manual pinning but Pinterest says it doesn’t matter.
Others claim their longer pins give the best results, but Pinterest says only 600×900 is optimal. Does that mean they’ll get truncated or penalized in the smart feed?
Some say to make your pins invisible in your post, but others claim that will look suspicious to Google and they’ll penalize you in search.
So what’s a perplexed Pinterest pinner to do in 2018?
I didn’t know, so I hunted down some of the most experienced Pinterest experts to learn their best Pinterest tips–unless you’re a Pinterest Ninja I’m sure you’ll learn something useful from their tips as well:
17 Pinterest Experts’ Best Tips For 2018
Adam Connell | Blogging Wizard
There are 3 things that have been working really well for me on Pinterest:
1) Super high-quality vertical images – the better the design and quality, the more shares you’ll get. Vertical images work great because they take up more visual real estate.
2) Share content people are looking for – there needs to be interest in your topic/niche for this to work.
3) Go outside your existing audience – your followers are easy to reach, but you need to expand. Try using group boards and Tailwind Tribes. Creating your own group boards works great too.
Ultimately, you don’t need a lot of followers to get traction on Pinterest but it definitely helps. For a few actionable ideas to grow your following, this post Alee King wrote for Blogging Wizard is a good starting point.
Ana | thesheapproach.com
There’s a lot that rides on the success of a pin or Pinterest account, but I think one of the most overlooked aspects is Pinterest SEO. The words you use on your profile, in your boards, and on your pin descriptions matter.
Whenever I craft a description for a new pin, I make sure to do some keyword research first. You could do this by using Pinterest’s predictive text and see how users are phrasing their searches.
From that, I make sure to include both specific keywords relevant to the pin (so “Twitter tips for bloggers” for example) and broader key phrases that explain the context of the pin (“social media marketing” for example).
To give you a further example, if you were pinning a recipe pin, you would want to describe the recipe in question and add broader terms that people would be searching for if they wanted ideas. (So you would want to include both “chicken roast” and “quick dinner ideas”.)
Once you’ve decided on your keywords, use them in actual sentences so your pin descriptions appear editorial and not robotic.
And as a pro tip, if you have multiple pins for the same post, you want to try and add different keyword variations for it and write new descriptions for a better chance of appearing in search results.
Angie Gensler | AngieGensler.com
Pinterest is a search and discovery tool which means it’s essential to use keywords and create stunning images.
Keywords will help your Pins show up in search results as well as get displayed in the Smart Feed. Place keywords in your profile, board titles and descriptions, and Pin descriptions.
Eye-catching images will help your Pins get Clicks and Saves. Your keyword strategy could be perfect, but without great images, you’ll never generate traffic or email subscribers from Pinterest.
If you want more detailed information on how to create stunning Pinterest images, you can read my post on the topic.
Anna Bennett | White Glove Social Media
One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they randomly join group boards without calculating if it’s smart for you to belong to that group.
Before you even consider joining a group board you should be looking at the style of the images. Do they complement your brand? Are there spamming activities or unrelated content saved to the boards?
Think of it this way, when you join a group board you’re saying, “yes…this is content I would create myself and this is content my target audience would want, love and need.”
And how realistic is it that you can monitor all the people saving pins to that many boards? Pinterest management reality check.
Here’s the thing.
If the content on those group groups doesn’t complement your brand, and the group board owner doesn’t take the time to remove spam content or people who are just pinning unrelated content, guess what? Your followers will quickly unfollow you, which is the exact opposite reaction you hoped for when you joined the group board to begin with.
Pinterest Expert Actionable Tip: You have to vet the group board first and you need to commit to monitoring the group board activities yourself.
Brie Kirbyson | Go Rattle The Stars
Pinterest is a visual platform, so the #1 important thing in determining your success on Pinterest is your pin design.
Pinterest functions as a visual search engine, so if you can get your pin to really grab the attention of your target audience, you’ll have a huge advantage over your competitors.
I use paid stock images (because using unique images will help you stand out) and add text overlay in bold fonts using Canva. Bright colors, bold text, and eye-popping images will help you get more shares on Pinterest and drive more traffic to your site.
You’ll also want to consider the purpose of each pin. Is it to drive traffic to your site, or get more shares and exposure?
Things like checklists or infographics are fantastic for getting shares, but won’t drive much traffic back to your blog.
Pins that tease what your reader will learn in a blog post are much better for driving traffic.
It’s a great idea to have a mix of both types of pins for each blog post or page on your website for maximum results.
Carly Campbell | Mommy On Purpose
I’m not sure if I have a “favorite” Pinterest tip – but I think something we talked about today in another thread is really important and often overlooked.
Don’t use Pinterest just as a content creator. Experience Pinterest as a USER – with a non-business account.
Trying to understand user intent and user experience will help you create content and pins that will do well on Pinterest. (Because a perfect ‘strategy’ won’t matter at all if you’re not delivering what the user wants!)
(Carly’s one of the better known Pinterest experts – her excellent ebook ‘Pinteresting Strategies’ is reviewed here.)
Cath Oneissy | CatherineOneissy.com
Make sure your post metadata makes sense and contains a strong call to action.
When you have rich pins, Pinterest pulls your post metadata and when someone close-ups on your pin, your metadata description is front and center!
Your carefully crafted pin description is less prominent… or not even visible on mobile.
Don’t waste this space with a slow intro to your post, or worse, an affiliate disclaimer!
Make it punchy, benefit-driven with a strong CTA.
Debbie Gartner | The Flooring Girl
My tip is often overlooked, and that is to repin high-quality third party pins to your own boards.
This will help your own boards do better, which in turn will help your own pins in those boards.
It will also organically accelerate your followers as they repin these third-party pins and choose to follow your boards.
You can find these pins by
- doing searches for the keywords for that board
- going to ‘Trending’ and
- leveraging Tailwind, where they will show you related pins and you can see how many repins those pins have.
Dexter Roona | InfoBunny
Add images that generate Pinterest traffic.
Pinterest users like a specific shape of image to pin. They like square images and they like portrait images, with Pinterest saying that 600 wide x 900px is the ‘optimal’ image size for a pin.
So knowing this it is absolutely key to supply your visitors with pinnable images that are in the portrait format.
Make your Pinterest image big and bold, make it stand out and look appealing to viewers. Make your message clear and concise and valuable enough for a visitor to want to pin the image to one of their own boards.
Lots of bloggers get lazy when creating images but if you want to tap into Pinterest traffic then you can’t afford to be lazy.
They will go through the process of adding images to their articles but then only choose the landscape format.
These type of images work well on a lot of the social sites when visitors click a share button. They look great on Facebook and Twitter for example.
But if you want to pick up Pinterest shares then you need to make at least one portrait image per post. Because real Pinterest users (those who will help you generate traffic) will ignore landscape images.
Gemma | Seasidesundays.com
My top tip for Pinterest is to be constantly willing to experiment.
In a platform that changes as much as Pinterest, you can’t expect the same thing to work forever. Especially if you are a new blogger.
Test pinning at different times of the day. Try 10 pins a day and then 50 – how does it affect your repins?
Test multiple versions of each pin to see which one attracts readers in your target niche – I am often surprised by which of my pins does the best.
Also, give each change you make a bit of time to work. Pinterest is a slow burn and most changes seem to take about 3-4 weeks to really take effect.
Janice Wald | Mostly Blogging
My Pinterest traffic increased when I reduced my number of Pinterest boards.
This may sound like the opposite of what would be expected to occur.
When I reduced my boards, Pinterest’s algorithms realized I blog about blogging. For example, I eliminated my news board and my recipe board.
When I stopped using Pinterest as a content curation site and more as a place for content promotion, my Pinterest traffic to my blog increased.
You can have boards, just make them your blog subtopics.
Viralwoot will allow you to schedule your pins to your boards for free.
Here is more information about Viralwoot: https://www.mostlyblogging.
Lisa Sicard | Inspire To Thrive
Use other applications with Pinterest like Viral Content Bee. If you share more when you use this tool you will get your article pins shared more too.
Share only relevant pins to your boards. Don’t pin just for the sake of pinning!
Another tool I love is Tailwind – I started this year and gained over 325 followers in a few months with not a lot of effort. I use it weekly and try to schedule for several days out.
It’s a great way to schedule pins to multiple boards and invite others to your tribe. It’s like a combination of using the Buffer app and Triberr.
You can refer others and they get a discount to join. I believe I paid around $100 for Tailwind which is good for a year.
They do try to get you to spend more for more services etc but so far I really like it!
Tailwind sends out weekly emails that let you know how your pins are doing and who shared them, etc. Very nice feature!
Be sure to add Pinterest size images to your blog posts. I use the YOAST premium plugin and this is included with it but I use Canva to create the right size image for them.
Size is everything on Pinterest. Use hashtags and label all of your images.
Be sure to label your boards as well.
Last but not least is to be consistent.
Don’t pin one day and not again for another month. Try to pin at least several times a week!
Lisa | The Drifting Desk.com
My biggest tip is easily this one:
Don’t try and tackle Pinterest all by yourself. I rely heavily on social media management tools, and spend most of my time focusing on my Pinterest scheduling; be it sharing my own content, as well as making sure other people’s stuff gets shared as well – even through automation.
For real – I would have never gained the followers I did without automation and sharing the love 😉
McKinzie Bean | Moms Make Cents
If you have a post that’s a big driver for affiliate sales, your own product sales, or a high converting email opt-in try promoting it with a ‘Promoted Pin’.
In most niches promoted pins have very low competition so you can get clicks for super cheap.
Start by running campaigns that target specific keywords relevant to that post or retarget people that have already viewed your site.
Using these methods I’ve been able to get my effective cost per click (CPC) as low as $.04 and my email conversions down to $.25!
Michelle Carlton | The Mix Shopping
My best tip is to check out your competition, especially when it comes to board ideas and graphics help.
Most just look using the search bar, when it’s best to find one in your niche that is actually doing really well, not just one with the prettiest feed.
Use the one that has more monthly viewers, and ones that get good traffic (I even use Semrush for this.)
I research the top two or three in my niche and draw inspiration from them ONLY. Lots will give their opinion but you want to draw your inspiration from the ones that are actually very successful.
Dive into and research what they are doing, and implement those tactics directly in relation to your content and brand.
E.g. if you are a food blogger sharing about a chocolate chip cookie recipe, which is VERY common content, and you find the pin not succeeding:
- Go to the top dessert blogger (research for the best of the best on Pinterest that is successful) and see why her cookie recipe pin sticks out, why people are clicking on it.
- What board is it on?
- What keywords is she using for the board and pin description?
- Does her pin graphic have text overlay?
Use that as inspiration for your pin, and use similar tactics with your style and branding.
Ronald Segura | Web SEO Marketers
I always get very excited when I talk about Pinterest. The reason why is just because I never knew there was so much potential for driving traffic to my blog and finding new clients through this platform.
To be completely honest, after I started working with Pinterest and looking at the results it was giving me, I started to neglect other platforms and social networks. This is natural because no other platform has given me similar results so far, in just a couple of months.
Here are my top tips to take full advantage of Pinterest:
1. Enable Rich Pins. I’ve seen many people ignoring this (maybe they just don’t know about it) but the truth is that Pinterest gives higher priority to Rich Pins compared to normal Pins.
2. Use Keywords everywhere. Just like Google is the most powerful search engine, Pinterest is actually like the search engine for images.
Using your keywords everywhere will help other people find your content easily.
3. Leverage the Power of Tribes. This is a term that I actually never heard of before I started to work with Pinterest and Tailwind.
Tailwind is a platform that allows you to share other people’s content on Pinterest and also get your content shared and seen by hundreds of thousands of people if you do it the right way.
By just following these three tips I believe you’re guaranteed to be successful on Pinterest.
Tracie Fobes | Penny Pinchin’ Mom
1 – Use the five board rule.
Make sure every pin you make from your site has five of YOUR boards to live on (do not count group boards). That way, you can share that post every month and not repin it too frequently.
So you would start with the pin going to Board 1 and then five days later, pin it to Board 2 etc.
Repeat this process until you come back around to the next month and start over again.
In the interim, you will pin a mix of your own and other people’s content to these boards so that by the time you repeat your pin, there is other stuff on the board.
(For new and existing pins, see next tip).
2 – When you pin something for the first time always start with the most relatable board first.
Make sure that the description includes the proper keywords for the pin as well as those in the board description. That way, you make the connection.
Pin the same new pin to all of your other boards every 2 – 3 days – again making sure to use a description that includes keywords for the pin and those for the board.
Once you hit all boards with your new pin, start the process listed in #1 above.
3 – Analyze group boards.
Some people are saying leave all of them, but I would not recommend that.
For anyone who does not know, Pinterest is starting to devalue some group boards. Not all – just some.
That means you need to dig into the board to find out how many repins and clicks your content gets. For clicks, you will need to look at Google Analytics and for repins, either look at the stat on the board or use something like Tailwind.
If you aren’t sure if you’re getting much traffic from a board, stop pinning to it for a week or two.
If you don’t see any negative effects as far as reduced traffic or reach, continue for a few more weeks.
After 6 – 8 weeks you will see if you need that board or not. If not, leave it.
Of course, if you instantly see a traffic decrease, you may need to continue pinning to that board.
4 – Manual pinning vs. schedulers.
You will hear people say you must do one or the other. The thing is, Pinterest doesn’t care if you manually pin or use a scheduler (this has been confirmed and anything to the contrary is a myth).
But, you should be OPEN to trying both options. Don’t do it only one way just because one person says you should. The truth is that what brings success for one person may not be the same for another.
For instance, I tested manual pinning and had much better results when I used a scheduler. So, it makes sense for me to continue using one.
You need to be open and willing to try something new, realizing that you have to test a new method for 4 – 6 weeks to really see if it works or not.
Pinterest can be great for traffic, but if it’s your number one source, you need to focus on SEO and other methods.
One change and you can lose your traffic overnight.
What did you think of the Pinterest experts’ best tips? Do you have any of your own? Let me know in the comments.
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