Generating Pinterest traffic to your blog is one of the best ways to grow it early on.
I spent a long time trying to understand exactly how Pinterest works and how to make the most of it.
Granted, not every niche can do well on Pinterest, but because my blogs all fall under the major money-making blog niches, then they should do great on Pinterest.
I started my Pinterest journey with both Obstacle.co and Thrive/Strive.
Obstacle.co saw some early success but that was understandable when you have pins like How I Made $3,000 in My 2nd Month of Blogging.
Thrive/Strive took me a little more time to get going and understand but once I figured out how to get the most out of Pinterest, it’s traffic exploded and hasn’t looked back.
Once I figured out how to master Pinterest traffic I wondered if it was possible to launch a blog and get it up to 100,000 page views by its second month.
It’s a pretty lofty goal but I’ve found that a lot of bloggers quit their journey because they don’t see progress early on.
I thought it was possible but thinking about something and actually making it happen are two different things so I set out to give it a shot.
The blog I started was for my wife and it was called Bitch A Fit. It’s now Miss Fit Living, but I want to make sure I get the history of its existence right.
We wanted a health and fitness site that catered more towards women.
If you’re wondering why I would create another health and fitness site to compete with my first one, the goal is to reach as many people as possible through different brands. Some brands will resonate more than others with people and so far it has worked really well.
However, if you’re just getting started, only devote your time to one blog.
For this 100,000 pageview challenge to work, I knew I had to use the only platform that works best for marketing a brand new blog: Pinterest.
Pinterest is kind of the equalizer of all of the different social media and marketing platforms. What Pinterest cares about is showing their audience relevant pins because the better pins someone sees, the more likely they are to stay on Pinterest.
It doesn’t matter if your blog is brand new or 3 years old. Everyone has a shot of doing great things on Pinterest.
I’m not going to go into the basics of Pinterest because I’ve written about it numerous times elsewhere.
I do want to talk about one aspect of Pinterest that is necessary for quick growth and that is group boards.
Group boards might be the greatest thing on any marketing platform. They give you instant access to larger audiences that could take you months or years to build up on your own.
It means your brand new Pinterest profile that has 187 followers can suddenly have a pin that gets in front of 50,000 people.
So for this 100,000 pageview experiment to work, I knew I needed to get into group boards but those can take a lot of time to get into, especially if you don’t have an established Pinterest account which this blog didn’t.
However, I had an ace up my sleeve and that is the fact I had another blog in the same niche that was part of a number of group boards.
That meant I had access to group boards without needing to get my new Pinterest account into them.
Before you start thinking that isn’t fair then you could take this approach with your brand new blog:
- Fill your Pinterest profile with good boards and awesome pins
- Apply to group boards
- Launch blog and pin your new pins to the group boards
I was simply able to skip the first two steps but that alone doesn’t guarantee success.
Important Note: In February 2017, Pinterest changed their algorithm and this had a huge impact on some group boards. You couldn’t see success with just any group board. You had to focus on group boards that were topical and relevant to the pins you were creating.
Joining the group board “Viral Pins Awesome” with 60,000 followers wasn’t going to help your pins succeed as much. This is important to remember.
What Does You Audience Want?
Not many people go to the grocery store to browse around.
They go with a specific purpose.
Let’s say you sell carrots. What are your best chances of selling those carrots?
To get them in front of people that need to buy carrots!
Targeting anybody else is generally a waste of time. Sure you will get some random people come by that see the carrots and by them but it won’t be many.
With this in mind, if you want people to click on your pins and head over to your site you need to start writing content that people want right now.
An Instant Solution
People go on Pinterest to find solutions to their problems. They aren’t looking for opinion pieces or posts that aren’t going to help them out right now.
If you can write a post that has a good solution to something and made sure you convey that in your pin title then you have a decent shot of success.
But how do you find the topics for these posts?
Pinterest is the best (I’m drooling a bit too much over Pinterest here) audience research tool at your disposal. Pinterest already tells you what kind of posts resonate with your intended audience by showing you how many retweets a post gets.
If I see a pin with 50,000 retweets then I don’t have to question if the topic is popular. I know it is popular and obviously addressing a need people have.
The Skyscraper Technique
This is when your idealist side starts to tap you on your shoulder to tell you that you’re supposed to be the unique butterfly of the blog world. That you are supposed to come up with your own topic ideas. You can do that later.
For now, let others do the initial work for you of finding what topics people want.
Once you find the topics it’s time to use the skyscraper technique. Don’t find a nice post and copy it. You might as well buy an existing site if you’re just going to be scummy.
Instead, find a nice post and write a better version of it. Make it your own, add more valuable info, more actionable steps, and more personality.
You are simply using other sites for content ideas, not the actual content itself. If you see a post with 23 ideas to make a bowl from sticks then write a post on 47 ways to do the same thing.
You also want to write better versions of these posts because down the road when you start to work on SEO you have a leg up on the competition.
I understand if you don’t want to go this route. You want to be truly unique and come up with your own posts and that’s admirable. Good luck with that strategy it might pay off and it might not.
I’m also not saying that every single post you write for the rest of your blog’s existence should follow this strategy. I’m just saying that if you want to get off to a quick start with your blog there are worse things to try.
Every penny that I earn starts with my blogs. I’ve put together a free 12-day blogging bootcamp for you that goes through every step that I take to build a successful blog.
While doing all of the steps above you also want to continue to fill out your Pinterest account. There is no point in launching a blog and doing everything else if you don’t have a filled out Pinterest account that people want to join.
My profile was filled out, 8 posts were published, and I put the pins (with keyword-laced titles and descriptions) into my BoardBooster scheduler.
Once that was done I went back to writing and pinning.
You Can Only Increase Your Chances of Success, Not Guarantee Them
Here’s the thing with Pinterest: you just don’t know if or when a pin is going to pop (go viral). All you can do is follow all of the guidelines to make a perfect pin and sit back and wait.
Creating perfect pins only improves your chances, it doesn’t guarantee them.
So when a pin doesn’t pop right away don’t sweat it. Just keep pushing through and eventually it will start to click.
So what happened?
Here is a snapshot of the first 30 days:
109,969 pageviews in the first 30 days. And that’s for a topic that is terrible for December.
This gave me great hope but then something tragic happened.
Pinterest Killed the Account
One day I tried to log into the account and I couldn’t. I received a message that Pinterest had suspended the account.
I checked their terms of agreement to see if I had done anything wrong and I couldn’t find a thing.
My only guess is that Pinterest didn’t like the fact that the Pinterest account only pinned from Bitch A Fit and Thrive/Strive.
Maybe they considered that spam but it sucked because the account had built up 300 followers and as you can see it was doing really well.
I figured I was dead in the water but something amazing happened.
The pins still lived. While I was unable to access the account and pin new things to it, the existing pins were still around. This meant traffic continued to come in.
I’ve since created a new profile and am slowly working on building that one up. The only thing I changed was that I now make sure to include 3rd party pins in my pinning schedule and so far that has worked out just fine.
Pinterest wants to see some type of diversity with your pins and that makes sense.
The Second 30 Days
My expectations were pretty low for the 2nd 30 days. Especially after being demoralized with the Pinterest suspension.
Most of my time was devoted to my other blogs and I figured that eventually, I would get back to Bitch A Fit.
One day I had a funny feeling and went to Bitch A Fit and the site wouldn’t load. This is never a good sign and when I checked the stats I saw that the site was overloaded.
I ran to the analytics to see if it was traffic or spam bots and I saw that it was actual traffic from Pinterest.
A pin that I had pinned from the old account in late November had popped. Again, this was from the suspended account that I had no access to at all but because I optimized my pin and my pinning strategy I increased my chances of success.
317,143 pageviews in the second 30 days for a total of 427,112 pageviews in 60 days.
Not too bad. Not too bad at all.
The question you should be asking is if this is a fluke. Sometimes bloggers do get lucky with a post going viral and then they never see that kind of traffic again.
The strategies I used for Bitch A Fit are the same ones I had started using with Thrive/Strive at the beginning of November (which prompted me to start Bitch A Fit).
Take a look:
While Thrive/Strive hasn’t had a pin go as crazy as Bitch A Fit it has still done pretty well. Over 500,000 pageviews in the first 8 months.
What makes this even more amazing is that you can see there was very little traffic from June 1st – October 31st. There was a tiny streak in September when a pin popped but beyond that nothing major.
As you can see from June – October the site only received 30,000 pageviews total and that’s benefitted from the late October pop.
Here we have Nov 1st – Jan 23rd. Almost 470,000 pageviews so the strategy has worked on two different sites.
Now I know I can launch sites and not have to wait long to get the traffic I am hoping for.
Why wait a year to get 50,000 pageviews in a month when you can possibly do it in the first 3 months?
Does Niche Matter for Pinterest Traffic?
Niche will always matter. By no means should you think you can get the same results if you have a tea blog but you can still apply the same strategies.
There is a reason why I stick to these 7 niches.
I’m a firm believer in getting fast results. Fast results encourage you to continue to move forward and work on your blog.
I also believe that you should be able to replicate your results over and over again.
These are the things that I teach over at the Billionaire Blog Club.
Everything that I do to grow my own blogs I teach you how to do. Why? I guess because I want to help change the world. I’ll continue to grow my blogs and make money no matter what. It would be nice to get others on the same train.
If you want to learn more ways to get traffic to your blog then check out my guide to getting blog traffic.