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16 Ways To Get Massive Traffic From Pinterest
We all know that traffic is one of the keys to a successful side hustle, and that so many aspects of online business are dependent upon it.
But the question is always, “HOW do you get traffic that you don’t have to pay for?”
Back in the day *insert old person voice here*, if you had a Facebook page or group, if you posted something, chances are, a significant portion of your audience would see it.
Those days are no more. Now, it’s pay for play, and the word is ads.
There’s nothing wrong with using Facebook ads. In fact, now that I’ve started using them, I wonder why it took me so long to do so in the first place. That’s a story for another time.
Because if you haven’t already heard, Pinterest is THE best place online to get free traffic. There’s no other place online that allows you to build traffic and a following like Pinterest does, and no matter the niche, it’s a critical asset to have.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: What Pinterest Is (And What It’s Not)
There are a TON of misconceptions out there about Pinterest.
The primary misconception is that Pinterest is only for stay-at-home-moms looking for meal and crafting inspiration, or for women looking to plan their weddings, or just a random repository of pretty pictures.
While Pinterest IS for those things, Pinterest is not JUST for those things.
Because unlike Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, Pinterest is NOT a social media platform.
It’s time to reframe everything you know about Pinterest.
Think of it as a search engine. The biggest visual search engine out there.
And it’s SO easy to make that search engine work in your favor.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: Free Leads (And How To Get Them)
The best part of Pinterest is, because it’s a search engine, you can get a TON of free leads from it.
By pinning your content on a regular basis.
It’s that simple.
The more often that you pin your content, the more likely that it will get seen, clicked on, and lead people back to your website.
Below are ways to do that strategically, because it’s not all about pinning all your content, all the time.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: A Business Account
This one is an absolute must.
You may notice as you peruse your way through Pinterest that sometimes accounts look different. That’s because some accounts are persona accounts and others are business accounts.
A personal account looks like this:
(Yes, that is my personal account, which I very clearly used and then promptly forgot about…a very long time ago.)
And this is a business account:
In order to establish yourself as an expert in your niche (and on Pinterest), you need to have a business account.
Fortunately, it’s really easy to get one.
And yes, they’re free.
If you’re starting completely from scratch, all you have to do is go to the Pinterest for Business page and create a new account from there. You’ll fill out your information like you would for a regular account, and other than a few extra steps to confirm your website, you’ll be up and running easily.
If you already have a personal Pinterest account that you want to convert into a business account, you can do that too, by going into your account settings. You’ll fill in some extra information, accept the business side’s Terms of Service, and you’ll be good to go.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: Rich Pins
Rich Pins are the ultimate in Pinterest strategy.
What are Rich Pins?
Rich Pins are a type of pin that include extra details about the pin, which makes it easier for a viewer to know what it’s about. It showcases the title of the pin, or which blog post the pin is coming from (when I pin from my blog posts, I make sure my article headline is the first thing in my description).
When a user clicks on the pin, it shows information like how many times that pin has been re-pinned, or more on the description (which I go into further below).
You have to apply to get Rich Pins on your account, and the Pinterest for Business website has a very easy, step-by-step process to do it. Once you’ve got the meta tags and the validator in place (a little copy-paste work on your website), it takes about 24 hours, but often less time, for you to see your pins have been converted.
Once they do, they’ll look like this.
As you can see, the content I have pinned recently to my Pinterest page all have those bold keywords below the image. That’s what you get from Rich Pins.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: A Strong Niche
Like you need a strong niche for your side hustle (more on that here), your Pinterest page needs a strong niche too.
Here’s the rule of thumb:
Your business’ Pinterest page is NOT about YOU.
It’s about what your AUDIENCE wants.
So if your side hustle or business has a focus on homemaking, you’re not going to want to pin all those cute outfits you come across when you’re scrolling through your smart feed (that’s Pinterest’s equivalent of a dashboard).
Or can you?
If you want to have boards that are just for your eyes only, that the people in your niche won’t see, you can always save those pins to a secret board (one of the options when creating a new board is to make it ‘secret’), and when you do that, no one but you will see that content.
That way, you can focus your boards and its content on what your niche needs.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: A Ton Of Boards
Having a ton of boards is another critical factor to your success on Pinterest.
When you have multiple boards, you can cover all the different categories related to your niche, and the things that you talk about on your website.
Right now I have about 30 boards, but there are Pinterest users who have hundreds of boards. There is no such thing as too many, nor should you worry about having too many pins on a board.
If there is a topic on Quest for $47, I have a board for it. I have boards for Blogging Tips & Tricks, Making Money, Writing For Bloggers, Your Money Mindset, Motivation, Growing Your Email List, Getting More Traffic, Generating Passive Income, and more.
All those boards have a combination of my own content from my posts, along with other content I’ve curated from Pinterest.
And since Pinterest loves FRESH content, they love when you create new boards. I try to create a new board every few weeks, load it up with 30-50 pins before moving it from my secret boards, and then start pinning to it regularly.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: A Board That ONLY Has Your Pins
One of the best ways to ensure that your Pinterest followers, or anyone who stumbles across your profile, sees your content and knows what you have to offer is to make sure that you have one board that has ONLY your content in it.
It may have fewer pins than some of your other boards, and you may not pin to it as regularly, but that’s okay.
When you create that board, make sure it’s at the top, front and center on your profile. Pinterest makes it easy to drag and drop your boards so you can organize them in any order that you want. The more prolific the board, the higher up, is what I do.
I also have multiple boards that are Quest For $47-only content, to keep things organized. If you have certain series’ that you post to regularly, or other content you want to highlight, you can have extra boards for them too.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: High Quality, Vertical Images (Lot of Them)
Pinterest is ALL about high-quality, vertical images.
As I talked about in my post, 5 Reasons To Optimize Your Posts With Vertical Images, vertical images do better on Pinterest because they keep your attention on the content longer.
Especially now in the days of mobile use, so many people are using the Pinterest app on their phones, rather than the Pinterest website on their computers. That means that you have only so much space to stand out, and people scroll quickly.
When you have a pin that is vertical, 2 x 3, it takes up more of the screen and allows the viewer to have more of an opportunity to look closer, rather than just scrolling by.
And have a LOT of images.
While you don’t have to include every image that you make in your blog post (as you can see with mine, I only include one), you want to make sure that you have a LOT of different pin images associated with each post.
This is easily done in Canva, where you can create multiple pin templates, and then plug in the new headlines and tag lines every time you come up with a new post. Once you have those pins created, space them out so you’re not posting 10 different pins, all at once. Mix it up, pin some new content, and then go back and pin some older content so you’re getting fresher eyes on not just your new stuff.
Since there is not a lot of space on each pin, you want to make sure it’s eye-catching. Bold, easy to read fonts tend to do best, along with bright colors. If you have your own images, like from a branding shoot, those do very well, because it tells Pinterest that you’re pinning brand new content to their website.
If you don’t have branding photos, stock photos are a fantastic option.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: Get Creative With Your Pins
This where my favorite Pinterest trick comes in. The one where I can at the very least double my output. And most often? I quadruple it!
And it’s one of the simplest, too! I promise, you’re not going to add much more to your already busy side hustle plate.
Let me ask you another question: How long are you blog posts? Pretty full of words, right? And you probably have some awesome nuggets of information in there, waiting to be read.
So, don’t just rely on your cover pins to entice Pinterest users to click through to your website.
Use the content IN your posts too!
You have words, you have headers, you have kick-ass one-liners, you have SO much at your fingertips. Be creative and pull from that content. Turn them into pins! Quotes from your content can do just as well as your awesome headlines to entice readers on Pinterest to click through and see what you’re all about.
And all it takes is two or three different graphic templates to get where you’re going. Don’t reinvent the wheel there either. You already have cover pins. Modify those. Make them work for your blog quote pins. And boom, you’ve at least doubled the amount of Pinterest content one blog post can provide.
Remember, the biggest perk of blogging is that there are no rules! You can do whatever you want.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: Keyword Rich Descriptions
This is a big one. Just like the fact that it’s critical to use strong keywords and SEO in your blog posts, you need to use those same tactics in your pin descriptions.
So often, when I am pinning content, I’ll find that the original posters have used very short, not very descriptive descriptions for their pins. That doesn’t help your content reach the largest audience possible.
You have the space for 500 characters in your pin description, and you should take advantage of every last one of them.
Having a unique description that is full of keywords that you want to reach, makes it easier for Pinterest to know what you’re talking about, and then get that pin in front of the people who are searching for those keywords.
If you’re talking about the next big thing in at-home gluten free recipes, make sure your description talks about it, something along the lines of:
Check out my new post, which revolutionizes at-home baking of gluten free bread. In the post, I dive deep into how you can bake the best gluten free bread at home, with my four-step recipe.
Now, that example is pretty short, but you know what I mean. Make sure that you are using full sentences, not just dropping keywords willy-nilly too. The more it sounds like actual dialogue, the better reach you’ll get.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: Hashtags In Your Description
Recently, Pinterest decided to hop on the Twitter and Instagram bandwagon by introducing hashtags into their search algorithm.
Prior to that time, even if you had hashtags in your pin descriptions, it didn’t matter, but now, you can use them. It increases the likelihood that your pins will show up, especially in featured hashtag feeds.
While hashtags are great, from experience I have seen the best results with descriptions that feature more content, and just a few hashtags at the end. There’s no need for a ton, and in fact, I would recommend no more than three per pin description.
And if you forget hashtags? No biggie. It’s not the end of the world and you’ll still get the most out of your pin by really rocking that description.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: Pins That Go Directly To Your Opt-In
While it is very important to ensure that you are pinning content that goes to your website, because that showcases to the audience on Pinterest exactly what you’re all about, that’s not the only place you should link your pins to.
Creating pins that lead directly to your opt-in, be it a newsletter, a free email course, a case study, a checklist, etc., means that you are not just focusing on growing your traffic, but are also focusing on growing your email list.
These pins that lead to your email list showcase your content the same way that your blog content does, but also gives you a quicker opportunity to earn income from your side hustle.
Through a little thing called a tripwire. It has a lot of different names, but the core of it is a low-priced offer that you appears on the thank-you page after someone opts in to whatever your freebie is.
When utilizing Pinterest, you pin something that leads directly to your email list, and then on the thank-you page, you have your tripwire.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: To Pin Directly To Your Affiliate Products
Not only is it possible to bring in income through directing Pinterest visitors through your opt-in, but you can also pin affiliate products directly to Pinterest.
If you have products that you are an affiliate for (and that you believe in—which I talk about more in this post all about affiliate marketing), you can pin them directly to your Pinterest boards.
Now, make sure you know the rules for whatever affiliate products you represent, because you can’t pin all of them to your Pinterest boards, depending on the outlet’s Terms of Service. You also must disclosure that the product is an affiliate in the description.
But other than that, it is that easy.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: An Approved Pinterest Scheduler
Now, I know I’ve just thrown a TON of information at you.
It may feel like the only way to have a successful Pinterest account is to spend every waking moment on that platform.
But that’s not true at all.
And anyway, the whole point of my business is to teach you that you DON’T have to spend every waking moment of your live promoting your content. You have other, much better things to do.
That’s where Tailwind comes in.
Tailwind is an approved Pinterest parter. It allows you to schedule your pins and it’ll pretty much pin them for you. Not only that, but with Tailwind’s algorithms, it knows the best times for your pins to go out for your niche and schedules them accordingly.
You barely have to do any of the work.
And one of the other big benefits to Tailwind is its Tribes. Tribes are groups you can join on Tailwind, and you can schedule pins from those tribes to your boards. This means you are getting curated content from other people in your niche and it lessens the likelihood of you pinning to outdated, or broken content, like you run the risk of finding in your Pinterest feed.
Tailwind also allows you to see metrics for your pins and your boards, so you can see exactly what performs best and then replicate that strategy.
You can sign up here for a free month of scheduled pins on Tailwind.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: Don’t Forget To Manually Pin Too
While Tailwind is amazing, nothing replaces manually pinning content to your boards, especially your content.
Pinterest loves when people use their app, or their website, rather than just saving everything for Tailwind.
What I like to do, and what I have seen work well, is I will go into Pinterest, usually on my phone, and pin a handful of pins to my boards in the mornings, since my scheduled pins tend to go out in the afternoon.
I will also manually pin a couple of my own pins, which I have notices does very well in my Pinterest analytics.
It doesn’t take a lot of time, usually a couple minutes a day. You can easily knock out a little bit of manually pinning while waiting for an appointment, or waiting in the pickup line before your kids get out, or while you’re waiting for your dinner to cook.
What You Need For Pinterest Success: Include Your Pins IN Your Blog Posts Too (And Have A Save Button)
An amazing, and not to mention EASY way to take the best advantage of Pinterest that you can is to include a pinnable image in each of your blog posts.
You see them at the bottom of each of my blog posts, and it’s very common to see a large, vertical image in blog posts all over the web.
Because these bloggers, side hustlers, online business owners are leveraging their own audience to help them grow their traffic.
When you make it easy for a visitor to your blog to pin your blog post, the more likely they are to share it to one of their boards. And when they are sharing, it means that you are not the only person on Pinterest sharing that image and linking to your website.
That tells Pinterest that people WANT to see YOUR content, which gives it more street cred, so to speak.
And to make it even easier, make sure you have a Pinterest “Pin It” button plugin active on your website. It means that images on your website will be pinnable, and all your visitors have to do is click that button to be able to access their Pinterest and save it to one of their boards.
Ready To Start Your Own Side Hustle?
Have a lot to talk about, but don’t have the website to guide your readers to? Now is the perfect time to get started.
Now is the perfect time to take my free email course, where I teach you how to plan a year’s worth of blog content in just one day. This training takes away all the mystery behind figuring out what you’re going to write from week to week and helps you plan the ultimate in blogging content that your audience will absolutely love.
Don’t forget to get hosting (plus a free domain) for as little as $3.95/month through Siteground. You can read why I choose Siteground to host my websites in my post, 6 Reasons I Host My Side Hustle On Siteground (And You Should Too).
Pin It For Later!
So many good things here! I feel like I’m getting better at Pinterest, but there’s still so much that I’m confused about and this definitely helped. I like your tip about adding new boards every so often. I know that Pinterest likes fresh content, but I guess I always assumed that meant fresh pins. Now I need to start periodically adding new boards. Great post!! Thank you!
Yes! When I heard the tip about boards, I was surprised, but it totally makes sense. You got this! Glad you enjoyed the post!
Phew! That was a lot of information to digest. I will need to go back and figure out all that you said when I have pinterest open. It’s still a mystery to me.
I know it’s a lot, but just take it one step at a time. You totally got this! If you have any questions, feel free to touch base! I have your back!