Day 5: Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic

Start a Money Making Travel Blog

At this point, you should have a website up and running, and you should know how to write great articles. Now the question is, how can you start driving traffic to those articles?

Well, as we explained in Day 3’s lesson, SEO (aka optimizing your articles so search engines, like Google, love them) is one way to drive traffic.

Today, we’re going to introduce you to another way to drive traffic to your website. Yep, you guessed it:

Pinterest!

In case you’re unfamiliar with this platform, here’s the basic gist:

Pinterest is a visual search engine (not social media). Users can see graphics relating to all sorts of topics, from recipes to home decor to parenting tips to travel. When they see something that interests them, they can save it or they can click through to the website, thus driving traffic.

Our personal story with Pinterest…

When we first started blogging, we completely ignored Pinterest. (One of the many major mistakes we made!) It’s not that I didn’t like it; I mean, I had my own personal Pinterest account where I had boards for recipes and planning our wedding. But I had no clue how valuable it could be for driving traffic to our website.

Let’s back up for a moment and just remind ourselves that when it comes to blogging:

Traffic = Money

The more people who visit your site, the more money you make (because of affiliates and ad revenue). So if you think about it, spending time on Pinterest can actually earn you money.

We’ll share exactly how much money Pinterest earns us each month, and we’re going to share our very favorite tool for Pinterest that literally skyrocketed our traffic (we have a super cool graph that shows our results). Plus, we’re explaining what exactly makes a pin one that will perform well.

Pinterest Blogging Bootcamp Course

How to get website traffic from Pinterest

Alright, we’re going over what exactly is going to make your Pinterest account successful.

1. Create a Business Account

First things first: Make sure your account is set up as a business profile, not a personal one. If you already have a personal one with lots of pins, you can migrate it to a business account (that’s what we did).

Make sure you fill out your profile completely and use a good profile image. Duh.

2. Create Boards based on SEO

When you’re setting up your account, you will build “boards” or categories where you will save relevant pins. Don’t get too creative with your board titles. It might seem counter-intuitive on a visual platform to say “don’t be creative”, but here’s why: As we mentioned above, Pinterest is a Search Engine.

Which board is someone more likely to find?

  • “Best Beaches” or “Sandy Surf”

  • “Germany Travel Tips” or “Prost!”

  • “Hikes Around the World” or “Sweat and Views”

Start with a handful of boards, and you can always add more later.

3. Know what content does well on Pinterest

Some content KILLS it on Pinterest. Other content will absolutely flop. The good thing is it’s pretty easy to tell what’s going to work.

If we’re specifically talking about travel, here are things that consistently work well:

  • Things to do

  • Inspiration (Best beaches or Epic hikes)

  • Travel Guides

Things that don’t work well on Pinterest:

  • Personal stories

    • Just gonna put it out there plain and simple: People on Pinterest aren’t there to hear your stories. They are there to find inspiration and resources.

  • Time-sensitive content

    • Content that is Evergreen (aka ALWAYS relevant) is going to do much better than something that is time sensitive. For instance “19 Places to Visit in 2019” is going to be dated very soon.

Use this information to prioritize which content on your website you will create pins for. Chances are, there will be several articles that you can skip at first.

4. Use Canva to create beautiful pins

Pinterest Blogging Bootcamp Course

We use a combination of Photoshop and Canva to create our Pins. But if you’re just starting out, Canva should be all you need. It’s free and has a ton of beautiful templates and easy-to-use tools.

We’d suggest putting your own spin on it and creating 3-5 templates that represent your brand.

Use your brand colors and fonts to create a consistent look. Also, we’d recommend adding your logo somewhere on the pin so people recognize it is yours. We’ve heard of some people using other bloggers’ pin designs and redirecting the link to their site. It will be harder for someone to steal your pin like this if you brand it with your logo.

Your pins need to be pretty. The whole “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” thing doesn’t apply here at all. You are essentially creating “covers” for your article, and the only way people are going to click on them or save them is if they are BEAUTIFUL. And high quality photos go a long way here.

Want some tips to improve your travel photography? We gotchu covered!

Doesn’t matter how good the article is, if your pin is ugly to look at, it’s gonna tank. You have a tiny space to grab people’s attention with design. Don’t waste it.

5. Create Pins that Convert

When you are creating your pins, think about the wording you use. In order for someone to click, not only does it need to be beautiful, but it should have a catchy title too.

Think of your pins as mini “ads” that are selling your article. Your goal is to entice people to click through or to save it for later.

Make it catchy. Make it something the view feels like they have to click on.

Which pin would you save, based on the text?

“Khao Sok National Park” vs. “Thailand’s Best Kept Secret”

I don’t know about you, but I’m itching to know that the best kept secret is, so I’m gonna click on that one right away!

Here’s a tip: The text does not have to be exactly the same as your article title.

6. Make more than 1 pin per article

Pinterest Blogging Bootcamp Course

I know, I know, I’m telling you to do even more work. But trust us, this is pretty important.

We almost always create at least 3 pins per article. And we don’t just change up the photo. We do a different design, and we try to alter the text as well so it appeals to different people.

Check out your Pinterest analytics so you can analyze how each design is doing. Keep track of which types of pins perform the best for you.

For instance, we found that one of our designs just never drove any traffic. So why keep using it? We took our top-performing design and tweaked it a bit to make a fresh look, and that one is actually killin’ in right now.

7. Pay attention to your descriptions

So you’ve got some beautiful pins made with super catchy text… all set, right?!

Not so fast! That description is just as important as your pin design. And SEO matters. So be sure when you write the description, you are including keywords that people will be searching for.

You can also use hashtags in the description (and you should!).

8. Join Group Boards

One of the best ways to get your pins seen is to join Pinterest Group Boards related to your topic. Try to choose some that are as specific as possible, because niche boards perform better than general group boards.

Group Boards are basically where multiple people in your niche put their pins, and hope that other’s will re-pin, thus giving you a larger audience.

The thing is, you must request to join, and some group boards are very selective. They will want to see that you’ve been pinning for a while and create quality content. But find some boards and make it a goal to apply after a couple months of hard work on your Pinterest account.

9. Be patient

Just like Google, Pinterest takes a little while to really drive traffic. We’ve heard you should expect pins to start working their magic around 3 – 6 months after first pinning them. So don’t give up if you don’t see your pins driving traffic right away.

Also, when you look at your statistics, your monthly viewers are more important than the number of followers you have. So don’t get too hung up on that, remember Pinterest is not a social media platform, it’s a search engine.

Pinterest Blogging Bootcamp Course

Ready to take your Pinterest game to the next level?

10. Join Tailwind

Seriously, do it. At $10 per month (on the annual plan), Tailwind is a paid service, but OH MY GOODNESS is it worth it.

Pinterest Blogging Bootcamp Course

Currently, we get more than 16,000 sessions each month from people coming from Pinterest. And we owe that entirely to Tailwind. It is 100% worth the $10 we pay each month.

Tailwind allows you to schedule all your pins out which saves a ton of time. Plus, it automatically analyzes your audience and optimizes the times your pins will go out, without you doing anything extra!

Another huge perk of Tailwind is you can join “Tailwind Communities” — essentially groups that will repost pins from others in the Community. And this can be AMAZING for traffic!

How is it different from Pinterest Group Boards? In Tailwind Communities, you are expected to repost others’ pins in the Community. In Pinterest Group Boards it is not always required to re-pin, so your pins might never get picked up by others.

Pinterest Blogging Bootcamp Course

Just take a look at this graph that shows our Pinterest reach which has increase our traffic significantly. I bet you’ll be able to tell when we joined Tailwind!

BONUS: We have a $15 off code for you if you want to get started on Tailwind.

Takeaway from Today’s Lesson

Pinterest is a Search Engine that can be super helpful in driving traffic to your website, if you use it correctly. All the tips above will help you get your Pinterest game started off on the right foot.

Your Assignment

1. Create a Pinterest Business Account.

2. Make boards (with SEO in mind).

3. Take a look at other pin designs you like, and create at least 3 different templates you will use in Canva.

Now you’re ready to start creating pins!

4. If you already have a website up and running with articles, choose 3 articles you think will do well on Pinterest and create 3 pins for each.

5. And if you want to really drive traffic, sign up for Tailwind (use our link to get $15 off!). You can even do a free trial where you’ll get 100 pins without paying anything.

What did you think about today’s lesson?

Do you have any questions about Pinterest? Reply to today’s email and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

Tomorrow’s Lesson: We’re talking about how to monetize your blog

We’re delving into the topic we know you’re itching to hear about: How to make money from your blog. After tomorrow’s lesson, you should have a plan in mind that you can use to get your blog on the path of earning you money.

Things you should know by now from this course:

  • Know WHO your audience is, and know how to write for them (Day 1).
  • Understand the structure of articles Google likes (Day 2).
  • Have a grasp on basic SEO techniques (Day 3).
  • Understand the importance of guest posting and know how to make the perfect pitch (Day 4).
  • Understand why Pinterest is a powerful platform and how you can create pins that convert (Day 5).
Blogging Bootcamp Course Katie & Ben