Updated: November 13, 2017
Nobody wants to write a blog just so they can read their own writing. They want an audience and to get an audience you need traffic.
While there are a lot of different ways to generate traffic to your blog, the one that I always come back to is Pinterest.
It’s unbelievable in how quickly it can get your blog up and running.
- You could spend months trying to make something go viral on Twitter or Facebook
- You could try and crack the code of turning Instagram likes into actual website visits
- You could guest post until your hands fall off
Or you could leverage one of the world’s most popular marketing platforms in the world: Pinterest.
Yep, marketing platform.
Pinterest gets often mislabeled as a social network, but it’s more of a marketing platform where people can like and save the content of others on the site. However, there isn’t much interaction between users.
Instead, all of the interactions are done with the content and almost all of that content points back to a site.
Pinterest is essentially a site full of ads that people don’t view as ads.
It’s every business’s dream if you understand how to leverage it properly.
I work with a number of different clients on their traffic generation strategy and every single time, Pinterest has proven to be the #1 driver of traffic in the short term. It can be the source of long-term traffic as well, but you want to diversify more as your site ages and your site has built up enough Google juice to do well in the search engine rankings.
However, if you are going to use Pinterest you can’t just create an account and start pinning. You have to have a strategy or you will simply be wasting your time.
In this post, I am going to show you the strategies that I used to get 17,000 pageviews on a blog that hadn’t received a 1,000 pageviews total in over 3 months.
The site that I will be talking about in this post is Thrive/Strive. It’s a health & wellness site that was started on June 1, 2016.
For 3 months the site hadn’t received 1,000 pageviews total.
Yes, you read that right.
In 90 days that site hadn’t even reached 1,000 pageviews in total. This is never good for any site.
However, this site had something going for it. The Pinterest account was very active and pins were being published daily with the help of Tailwind.
This is one key to doing well on Pinterest. You need to pin frequently and consistently and the best way to do that is by using a Pinterest scheduling tool like Tailwind or BoardBooster.
So even though the site itself wasn’t receiving a ton of traffic there was still an underused asset in Pinterest that I knew I could leverage.
The Magic Is Group Boards
One of the best ways to appear on someone’s home feed is by getting your pin pinned by someone they follow in a topic that they are interested in.
While you can do that organically by hoping that your pins appear in Pinterest’s search results, there is an easier way to get in front of these people.
It’s really hard to grow a new Pinterest account without the use of Group Boards. If you are in one of the more popular categories on Pinterest, like arts & crafts or cooking, then you might be able to get by without Group Boards. However, Group Boards help to provide your content with a giant megaphone.
Let’s say you made some awesome lemonade. One way to market it is by setting up a little lemonade stand in a neighborhood. Sure you might get some business, but are you getting enough?
One of the problems is that your lemonade stand isn’t seeing enough foot traffic. You know that everybody that walks by isn’t going to buy your lemonade so to increase your chances of making a sale you need to get in front of more people.
Unfortunately, you can’t control the amount of people that come into a neighborhood.
Luckily one day a grocery store representative happens to come by and they want to put your lemonade in their stores. Their stores receive 1000s of customers each week.
Being in their store allows you to leverage the audience of the grocery store to make more money.
This is how Group Boards work.
Piggybacking on Someone Else’s Audience
Some people have been on Pinterest since the beginning of time. They have thousands upon thousands of followers. It’s a real boost to your pins if you can get in front of their audience.
Group Boards give you the easy way to make this happen.
Thrive/Strive’s Pinterest account was under 100 followers when I decided to join some group boards in September.
By the end of September two of the site’s pins had gone viral helping the site reach over 19,000 pageviews in a month and 17,000 pageviews in one week. The Pinterest account also ballooned to over 500 followers and it was all because of Group Boards.
What happened is that someone in one of the Group Boards saw a pin I posted in there and decided to repin. This sent it out to their audience of thousands. Once that happens you get to see how the network effect takes hold.
Finding Group Boards
This all sounds great and you don’t need any more convincing to see the value in Group Boards, but how do you find them?
The easiest way is to explore the Pinterest accounts of other people in your industry. Odds are they are in a couple of Group Boards themselves. You can find a ton of new Group Boards this way along with some interest accounts.
Another way to find Group Boards is by using Pin Groupie.
Pin Groupie finds Group Boards on Pinterest and organizes them so that you can find ones that are relevant to you. They also offer helpful stats like collaborators, followers, likes and repins. The one downside to Pin Groupie is that it is only updated every couple of months.
BoardBooster has also recently added a Group Board directory that you can find under the Reports section. It’s similar to Pin Groupie, but I’ve found it more valuable as it seems to update more often.
One thing to keep in mind is that you only want to join Group Boards where you can provide value. Don’t go out of your way to find a Group Board that pins things that you would never pin.
Also, not all Group Boards are created equal. There are a number of “viral” Group Boards that allow you to pin anything and everything. Because they aren’t helpful to a specific audience they don’t usually do well at all. You can join them just to pad your stats, but don’t expect to get much out of them.
Joining Group Boards
How do you join a Group Board? It depends on the board.
Most boards will usually provide you with instructions on how to join in the board’s description.
Simply follow the instructions and you are good to go.
However, what happens if a board doesn’t offer any instructions? In that case, there are two routes you can go:
- Leave a comment on a pin on the board mentioning the group board owner (@ them) and let them know you would love to join the board.
- If the board owner has a website, find their contact information and contact them letting them know you would love to join.
Even if a group board says it is no longer accepting new contributors don’t hesitate to shoot the owner an email to let them know you are very interested. A lot of group boards close themselves to new contributors due to the spam they get from people commenting wanting to join their group boards.
Pinning to Group Boards
Some Group Boards have specific rules for how many times you should post to them daily. Pay attention to these rules because you never want to violate them.
Once you join Group Boards how should you pin to them?
If a Group Board allows 3 or more pins daily then I will reserve two of those pins for my own site’s pins and then fill the rest of the quota with pins the board’s audience will find helpful.
You never want to seem like you are just spamming your own content. Pinterest is about sharing the love so spread the good karma around and help out others.
Pinterest Is a Marketing Must
For any small business with a blog (or a blog as a business) I always suggest you use Pinterest. While results will vary depending on your topic we’ve found that integrating Pinterest into the marketing strategy for a site has only yielded positive results. Especially since you have the ability to handle most of your actions on auto-pilot.
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