Could you use an extra 1,937% increase in traffic from Pinterest?
Yea, you read that right. Almost two-thousand percent increase in Pinterest traffic. How the heck did I do that?
Let me start by first showing you where I started with Pinterest and then show you how I got to where I am today.
In 2013 Pinterest was getting a lot of buzz. It was a hot new social network (even though it had been around since 2009) that was turning into a referral traffic machine. And lots of people were talking about it.
Meanwhile, over on Google+, I was having a blast and wasn’t paying much attention to Pinterest. Mostly because Google+ was sending me a crap-ton of traffic and Pinterest wasn’t even a blip on my analytics radar.
I saw Pinterest as something that my wife and her friends used and it seemed like a female-dominant network. Not that there was anything wrong with that.
So when my friend +Jeremy Smith started writing about how Pinterest was a goldmine for bloggers, I didn’t really believe him. He then showed me his stats and I immediately became determined to figure it out.
Curiosity turned into complete outrage quickly because something was very apparent about Pinterest— it was extremely visual. As someone who is known for their ability to create visual content, I was dumbfounded as to why my posts weren’t doing better on Pinterest.
Here’s where my Pinterest traffic stood as of December 2013:
Not very good. Pinterest referral traffic was a laughable 3% of total social network traffic for dustn.tv.
I had to figure out why my articles and visuals weren’t getting the attention I felt they deserved on Pinterest. So I started studying. Here’s what I found.
Knowing and Optimizing for Pinterest Culture
After browsing Pinterest for a while you’ll notice that the most predominant type of pins are the ones that are tall.
The width of pins are fixed in the Pinterest stream but the height is not. So if your image is taller, it will automatically take up more screen real estate, giving you more exposure.
This became a visual norm for Pinterest and the users really seemed to love these types of tall images.
Taking note of this, I ended up speaking with +Peg Fitzpatrick and she gave me what she believed to be the golden size ratio for Pinterest. I then began to strategize how I might create a Pinterest specific image for every blog post I wrote in the coming months.
Armed also with some advice from Cynthia Sanchez at Social Media Marketing World, I was ready to attack this new Pinterest strategy head on.
It just so happened that at the time I was in the middle of my 2014 redesign process. As part of that process, and idea was born.
Getting Content Shared More, Better
Here was my problem— I didn’t really like any of the social sharing plugins on the market. I wanted a way to have beautiful, attractive and responsive social sharing buttons on my blog and I wanted to be able to customize what happened when people hit those buttons.
I’ll spare you the full story, but we used the first part of 2014 as a testing ground for how well the plugin worked.
One of the features I was very specific about building into it was the ability to upload a custom Pinterest image that would automatically load when someone hit the Pin button.
I didn’t want to have to shove a vertical graphic into my blog post like most people were doing. It ends up squashing the text and hurting the reading experience.
I didn’t like that. So we built the custom Pinterest image option into our social sharing plugin, Social Warfare.
So Now to Create the Images
Once I had the beautiful sharing buttons and custom Pinterest upload option available, it was time to just start creating the images.
I’ve share my social media image templates previously but here’s the Pinterest specific template I use:
The size is 735px wide and 1102px tall.
For every blog post I wrote I created both a standard headline image and a Pinterest image.
In the first month of using Social Warfare and Pinterest images my Pinterest traffic jumped 361%.
Fast forward 1 year later and the overall amount of traffic dustn.tv is getting from Pinterest is up +1,937% year-over-year. Pinterest traffic is now over 50% of the total social network traffic sent to dustn.tv.
The big kicker here— I actually blogged less in 2014 than I did in 2013.
Let that sink in. I blogged less. My traffic skyrocketed.
How Can You Boost Your Own Pinterest Traffic?
That’s great Dustin, good for you. Yay. So how do I do what you did?
I’m glad you asked.
1. Create the visuals
The first thing you need to do is commit to creating a Pinterest specific image for every blog post. You can steal my template above (or better yet, steal all my social image templates).
Choose a graphic design software that works for you such as:
Also be sure that your visuals are:
- Easy to read. You want to tell people what to expect when they click-through.
- Brightly colored. Warmer colored images tend to do better.
- High quality. No cheap stock photography or images that have clearly been distorted and/or pixellated.
Even if you’re not a graphic designer, you can create visuals that don’t suck if you follow my three visual content design principles.
2. Make sharing easy
You can grab a copy of Social Warfare for yourself and you then have everything you need. But if you would prefer some free alternatives I recommend (all WordPress plugins):
- Genesis Simple Share
- Jetpack Sharing
None of the above options will allow you to upload a custom Pinterest image like Social Warfare does. You will just have to place your Pinterest image somewhere on the page and hope people share that one. If you find any plugin besides Social Warfare that does, let me know.
3. Get active on Pinterest
One of the greatest things about Pinterest is that it’s not complicated. You don’t have to spend hours figuring it out and sharing things.
A few minutes invested every day can go a long way:
- Start some relevant boards
- Pin 2-3 times per day
- Follow people who pin things similar to you
- Be consistent
If you follow these steps I guarantee you’ll start seeing the Pinterest traffic on your site go up, and up, and up!
Once you build your momentum on Pinterest you will start to see that Pinterest also has some great long-term benefits. Pins have a lot of evergreen value and can continue seeing action long after they were first pinned.
So what are you waiting for? Go get your pin on!
And don’t forget to pin this post using the Pin button below to see the Pinterest image for this post!