I remember the old days – when I used to mock my friend about her “dream wedding board” and her “quotes that define my life board”! I used to look at her and say, “why the heck are you spending on this time on a site with pictures?” Then I started a food blog.
For the first 4 months of my blog I still didn’t really get Pinterest. I mean I could see that some people were “finding” my site from Pinterest – but I just wasn’t getting how it was happening! Then in November, something FINALLY clicked and I decided I needed to get serious about Pinterest if I wanted my food blog to grow.
This is a graph that shows how many people are seeing my pins on Pinterest. Each point on the graph represent the total number of people who’ve seen my pins in the past 30 days. You can see that in November I really started to get this whole “Pinterest thing.”
Currently from Dec. 27th – January 26th 513,000 people have seen my pins.
The thing that I love most about Pinterest is not only it can be deliberately used to grow the traffic to your blog – but it’s actually a FUN place to hang out! Like seriously, how cool is it that when I’m “working on my food blog” I can actually be scrolling through delicious pictures of food on my phone, and finding ideas for inspiration!
So today – I’m going to share with you my 5 tips for Pinterest for Food Bloggers and how I’ve tripled my blog traffic and gotten my pins seen by half a million people in the last 30 days!
1. Your Pinterest Profile is NOT a Billboard for YOU!
Okay so you’re thinking, “Zach come on man it’s all visuals, it’s nothing but a billboard for me!” I hear you, but hear me out okay?
I see lots of new food bloggers looking to break into Pinterest for leveraging blog traffic and what they do is create a brand new Pinterest account, pin all their stuff only, then they can’t figure out why their blog isn’t growing!
You have to stop pinning only your stuff on Pinterest and being overly self promotional! If I had to guess right now – I would say less then 5-10% of the things I’ve pinned on Pinterest are my own recipe pins – I pin a lot of stuff from other Pinterest accounts!
Notice how on my Pinterest I have 1633 pins, but only 61 of those are placed on the board I’ve created exclusively for my blog! Now I do have more pins of mine on other boards and on group boards (not pictured here, but to be discussed soon) but overall – most of the content on my Pinterest is OPC (Other People’s Content)!
Pinning other people’s stuff is what is going to get your name out there, having your name pop up in their notifications gives them incentive to come back to you and pin your stuff and helps expand your reach! Pinterest is different from other platforms because in order to grow YOUR account you have to be willing to pin and share a lot of other people’s content!
Bottom Line: It’s okay to pin your own stuff – but spend time on Pinterest repining other people’s content!
2. Stop worrying so much about followers!
Now as you’ll notice in the picture above I only have about 1,300 people following me at the time that I’m writing this article! While that number does seem “low” for social media – I can tell you that my reach is crazy awesome on Pinterest, and here’s why:
On Pinterest it’s not about how many people are following you, it’s about how popular your pins are and how much quality content you share!
Now I want to share some statics with you – and it’s not to brag or be flashy but to show you that low followers DO NOT define the success of your food blog on Pinterest!
In just under three months (July 1 – January 24th):
- My content has been repined over 30,000 times on Pinterest
- Over 1/3 of those repins were recipes from my blog (about 11,000 of them)
- Traffic from Pinterest has tripled and is consistently growing
- My site gets original pins DIRECTLY from my website not included in these numbers
Suddenly the fact that I only have 1,300 people following me doesn’t seem like such a big deal right? And if you are still stuck in the mindset that you NEED followers on social media, don’t worry – following these strategies is going to help you gain followers! I currently gain 10-20 followers a day (and it’s been on the rise) with no “extra effort!”
Bottom Line: Followers do not equal success on Pinterest – so stop Googling “how do I get more followers on Pinterest!”
3. Pin QUALITY content – both visual and textually!
You need to be consistently pinning to have your Pinterest account grow, which we’re going to talk about, but you also have to be consistently sharing good content!
First and foremost – when you pin something take a second to click on it and make sure that it actually links to what the pin is – you’d be shocked by how many viral “spam pins” are out there! Then make sure that it meshes with your food blog – for example I run a vegan food blog so I wouldn’t want to pin something if it comes from a site that focuses on a diet with a lot of meat. Makes sense right?
Also when you pin – make sure that the description is clean, neat, and maybe throw in a personal note – normally pins that you comment on with your personal thoughts and ideas tend to get more repins!
Now, let’s talk about what Pinterest-ers (That’s a word right?, maybe “Pinners” haha) love to see and what they don’t love to see!
Pins that Get Repined:
- Are bright and well lit photos
- Include or are a close up of the food
- Can be easily identified from the picture
- Have a text overlay (not always required though!)
- Have that visual “wow” factor – catches your eye
- May have already been repined quite a bit (don’t reinvent the wheel)
- Are vertical (meaning long), this way they are on the screen longer as people scroll
- If you are scrolling through Pinterest and you stop and click on a pin to “look at it” and it’s appealing, easy to understand, and matches your food blogs vision – PIN IT those get repined!
- Are Rich pins, meaning that have that line that says “From Website Name” and when you open the pin it list the ingredients
Pins that Don’t Get Repined:
- Are dark photos and hard to see
- Are far off shots
- Have a very orangey “haze” on them – comes from taking pictures without natural light
- Make you say, “wait what is that a picture of?”
- Are horizontal not vertical, it’s easy to swipe right past them!
- Are not rich pins (this “bad example” is a rich pin, just as an FYI)
A really great way to figure out if you should be pinning this is to ask, “would I want to pin this picture for myself, does it look attractive, and would someone else who saw it say it looks delicious?”
If you can answer yes to all three of those questions – then it’s time to pin that sucker to your favoritre board…or group board which well talk about next!
Bottom Line: Make sure any pins that go on your Pinterest boards are ones that you are proud of – whether they are yours or not – and always go for the vertical pins!
4. Share your pins with 100,000 people instantly!
Okay so maybe that’s a little dramatic – but only a little bit! On Pinterest there is something called group boards. These boards are just like the boards that you have on your profile, the only difference is that multiple people can pin to them!
Now because more people can pin to them often times they have more followers then you have when you’re just starting out (or even if you’ve been in the game for a while!)
One group board that I’m a member of – for example – has over 35,000 followers! So when I pin to that board – it goes into the feed of 35,000 people! Now, those people have to be online or scrolling through there feeds to see this pins, but it’s more likely that 1 in 40,000 sees my pin then 1 in 1,300 right?
Group boards are like “instant Pinterest fame” but there is always a catch
Groups boards do let you get into a lot of feeds but some of them have SO MANY CONTRIBUTORS that you can get lost in the noise. At the opposite end, some have so few contributor and followers (or inactive followers) that your pins don’t really get seen by anyone anyways!
You have to find boards that fit your blog and your followers – it’s trial and error! While I’m a member of about 20 different group boards – I get the big results from only 2 or 3 and it took months to find those ones! So don’t get frustrated when you first start!
If you need help finding group boards PinGroupie.com is a group board search engine to help you find some boards that might fit you!
Things to Remember about group boards:
- Just like your profile these are NOT places to spam your own content – yes you want to sprinkle in your own stuff, maybe even daily, but make sure you’re pinning mostly other people’s stuff
- All group boards have their own rules and requirements! Some group boards don’t allow more then 5 pins per day, some require you to have a certain number of followers to join, and some may not allow you to pin your own content! Read the descriptions before you go pin crazy!
- When you join a group board – take some time to GIVE VALUE to that board! Repin others pins from the board, share pins that aren’t yours – Pinterest is a community where a hand that’s open to give is open to receive!
Bottom Line: Find some group boards to join, give value to them, and share your pins too!
5. Be on Pinterest CONSISTENTLY!
I don’t care what you’re working on with your food blog – if you want to grow you have to be consistent at it – and Pinterest is no exception!
I get on Pinterest at least once a day, pin some pins and get on with my day! And now that there is an iPhone app it’s RIDICULOUSLY simple to do!
I take time once a day (or 2-3 is even better) to do the following:
- Pin 10-15 recipes from my feed onto my personal boards!
- Pin 5-10 recipes to active group boards I’m a member of (being sure to follow the rule limits)
- Pin 1-3 of my own blog pins to my personal board, or to group boards (yes, it’s okay to have duplicate pins on your boards!)
- Identify someone who’s style I like – follow them and pin 3-5 of their pins! This can help you gain followers but also network with fellow Pinners
- Check for comments on any pins and RESPOND – it’s important to build community
- Share a recipe on another social media platform with a link to the PIN (once a day) to gain new followers and Pinners
Oh and here’s a FREE printable checklist you can use each day to help boost your Pinterest following – just click the image, and you can print it!
Now this is a daily checklist, but I get it your human – and I’ll admit sometimes I get busy and miss a day on Pinterest! If you’re new to Pinterest or just jumping into using “strategy” then try to hit 3-4 days a week, once you get that down then bump it up to 5-6 (that’s where I’m at)! You need to be consistent – but not obsessive!
Bottom Line: If you’re serious about growing your Pinterest you need to be on there daily getting shiz done!
Bonus: Make your Profile “Pretty”!
When you follow the steps above people are going to naturally become interest in you and your profile and they are going to click over to pay you a visit! You want to make sure that your profile is appealing – and appealing enough that people want to click that little follow button at the top!
Here’s a quick checklist for your profile (sorry this one isn’t printable – cause it’s a one time haha):
- Fill in your profile with a little blurb on who you are and what people can expect if they follow you, include a link to your website!
- Make sure that your boards have pins – if you’re new to Pinterest, start with 4-8 boards and populate all your boards with 20-50 pins before you start actively “marketing” yourself. When people come to profiles with empty or scarce boards – they probably won’t follow.
- Make the cover images to your boards good quality pictures. Make sure the food is centered and not cut off – these are what people see when the visit, show them that you share high quality and beautiful pins!
- Use descriptive and easy to understand board names! While it’s fun to name a board “vegan nom nom nom” people can’t tell what it contains! Use names like “vegan snacks” “vegan dinners” “vegan soups” – it makes it clear what you offer and will improve your following and repin rates.
- Give each board a description – don’t just leave it at the title.
Now get to pinning!
So there you have it! 5 Things every food blogger needs to know about Pinterest! Keeping this 5 things in mind and using that checklist while help you get your Pinterest off the ground and growing faster then you ever imagined!
Action Step: Set aside 30-60 minutes in the next few days to clean up your profile and beautify it. Also print out the FREE checklist and put in by your computers and follow it today – it should only take 10-15 minutes!
Now I want to know:
Did this help answer some of your questions about how to grow on Pinterest?
What other questions do you have about Pinterest (Maybe there’s a Part II in the making!)
P.S. You should TOTALLY pin this post – come on You’d be hooking me up and proving that I know how Pinterest works to other Pinners out there haha!