I’ve always been a fan of using Pinterest for blogging. This social media platform has way more potential than most bloggers know.
I recently launched a new niche site, Road Trippin’ The States. It’s a little different to my current travel blog – instead of focusing on my personal travel experiences, it will feature destination guides purely for travel within my new home country of USA.
The site is still just a baby (launched in September, it currently has just 17 posts) so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to conduct a social media experiment to find out just how much I could increase my Pinterest referrals.
Before I stared the experiment, I’d already created this Pinterest account for my new site. The actions I had taken so far were:
- Created 7 of my own boards on travel in the USA.
- Used my AGWT Pinterest account to invite my new account to be a contributor to 9 group boards.
- Followed 416 other people/boards related to USA travel and America road trips.
- Pinned 478 Pins, which were a combinations of other people’s Pins, and Pins that I’d created for posts on my new site.
As a result, I had 28 followers and was seeing around 10-20 Pinterest referrals to my new site each day. With the goal of growing my Pinterest traffic, I got started on the experiment!
I decided to start by sprucing up my Pinterest profile to make it more appealing for people to follow.
Even though I’d only had the account for a few weeks, I didn’t want people to land on my profile and not find anything that they liked, so my first step was to increase the number of boards. Landing on a Pinterest account with hardly any boards is kind of like walking into a store that only sells 5 items. Would anyone buy anything from a store like that? Hell, no.
My current boards were sorted by major regions, so I divided them into states or smaller regions. This increased the total number of boards I had from 16 to 23, which would give people a higher chance of finding a board that they wanted to follow
Now my new boards were looking rather empty, so I made sure that each of them had at least 20 Pins by using the search bar to find new Pins. I also changed all the board covers to feature an attractive photo, and edited the board descriptions to include the term ‘road trips’ and the state/region name so that they could be found in search.
Time spent on Pinterest: 2 hours
When I logged in the next day, I found that I had no new followers. Boooo. It wasn’t all that surprising, really, as I hadn’t engaged much with other users the day before. That was today’s job.
I started by visiting a few accounts that I knew would have a similar audience to mine, and following some boards from each of the users that followed them.
Originally, I was going to save 2 Pins and follow 1 board for each user, but this turned out to be rather time consuming. Instead, I typed ‘travel america’ into the search bar, selected ‘boards’ for the results, and then went about following each board and saving 2 pins from each.
As I was doing this I realised that I probably didn’t need to spend so much time earlier making sure I had 20 Pins in each of my new boards, as I was collecting plenty more. Oh well.
By the end of the day, I’d followed an extra 40 people and increased my total number of pins to 692.
Time spent on Pinterest: 1 hour
Hallelujah, I had 2 new followers! It wasn’t many, but it was a start.
As group boards are one of the easiest ways to get more traffic, today’s task was to save my Pins to group boards. I’d already been using the group boards on occasion, but now I wanted to take it up a notch by saving my Pins to them multiple times throughout the day.
Sitting on Pinterest all day seemed like a massive pain in the ass, so I decided to sign up for the Tailwind free trail to schedule my Pins.
I’d been reluctant to sign up for any paid scheduling product so far, so I was interested to see whether this would actually made the Pinterest experience any better. I spent a while installing and figuring out the platform, and ended up scheduling 5 of my Pins to post to every group board over the next 5 days.
Time spent on Pinterest: 15 minutes
Time spent on Tailwind: 2 hours
Time spent creating Pins: 1.5 hours
No new followers (sad face). My new Tailwind account was in full-swing though, and I could see that my Pins were getting some saves from the group boards.
I decided to try saving some more Pins from other people, but with a different tactic – this time I went through my feed, then clicked on all the ‘you might also like’ suggestions that came up after I saved a Pin. This was basically the same tactic as day 2, but I was following suggested boards instead of searching for them.
By the end of the day, I’d followed an extra 42 people and increased my total number of pins to 825.
Time spent on Pinterest: 1 hour
I woke up to see very little difference on my stats as far as traffic, but I did have 2 new followers! Yipee. It wasn’t as much as I would have liked, but I didn’t let it worry me as it had only been a few days since I started really concentrating on this Pinterest account.
Without a new tactic to try for today, I repeated some more of day 1 by splitting up boards and filling them with other people’s Pins. I really felt like users would be more likely to follow and find something they liked on my account if there was a larger selection of boards to choose from.
By the end of the day, I had 34 boards, and 901 Pins.
Time spent on Pinterest: 1.5 hours
DAYs 6 & 7
I spent the weekend just going through my feed and saving anything interesting to my boards. I was determined to see whether having over 1000 Pins would make a encourage more followers, so I made it my mission to reach those numbers.
Time spent on Pinterest: 30 minutes each day
I was originally going to do this as a one week experiment, but it just wasn’t quite enough time to get a good view of the results.
After logging in to my account after the weekend, my pageviews had gone up, but not quite as much as I thought they might. My efforts the week before did seem to be paying off – it was just taking a bit longer for my efforts to flow through to my stats.
So in the following weeks, I actually spent what I would consider a normal amount of time on Pinterest. I used Tailwind to schedule my posts for the week, Pin a few things from my feed, and follow a few new people.
Time spent on Pinterest: 40 minutes each week
Time spent on Tailwind: 20 minutes each week
Time spent creating Pins: 1 hour each week
Analytics screenshot – Click to enlarge
When I logged on after week 2, I was surprised to find that I had actually acquired 5 new followers – it seemed that the work I’d done to spruce up my account in week 1 was actually paying off. This means I had a total of 10 new followers since I’d started the experiment.
Also, scheduling my Pins via Tailwind did seem to be making a real difference. Even though I’d spent less time on Pinterest in week 2, my referrals had gone way up. I compared my analytics for the experiment to the two week period before it, and my Pinterest referrals had increased 119% (meaning that they had more than doubled! Hell yeah!).
Analytics screenshot – Click to enlarge
I checked my stats again after 4 weeks and compared them to the 4 weeks before the experiment, and my Pinterest referrals had increased 408%! I was truly stoked. It seemed that Tailwind’s effectiveness at putting my Pins in front of people at the right time was definitely paying off.
Some of my Pin designs
One final thing that I believe made an impact to my Pinterest experiment is that I made sure my Pins looked really attractive. This is half the battle with Pinterest – if you don’t have clickable Pins, then you could spend loads of time on Pinterest and not see results. If you struggle with designing Pins, you can use something like Canva to create them, or I can create them for you!
After all this, I’m just as convinced that Pinterest is the way to go to increase traffic to your site. I think that just one week of hard work + a scheduling app like Tailwind can make a big difference. Give it a try, and see what kind of results you get!
What do you think of growing your Pinterest referrals? Have you tried any of these tactics? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
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