I still can’t believe what has just happened. Having a 1000 ( t h o u s a n d ) daily page views has been my goal this month indeed but I wrote it down not entirely believing that it would happen just yet. They say that a goal should be bold enough to scare you a little and it should be challenging but not impossible. Hmm… yes, that was quite a challenge, especially seeing that until the 27th of January my daily page views still kept oscillating between 150 – 200. I had no hope… Until the day after when a miracle happened!A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot! - Joe Vitale Click To Tweet
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From 4K to 2.3M monthly viewers on Pinterest in only 2.5 months
Let’s start from the beginning. Two and a half months ago I joined Pinterest. I had only 4K monthly viewers back then and I was stuck having only 9 followers for a very long time. You see, my blog is still a baby and I have no close friends who’d be blogging or had a profile on Pinterest and who I could count on to support my blog. I was learning it from the scratch, trying different things and keeping an eye on analytics to see if something is working or not.
Now, 2.5 months later I’m honestly impressed! Within that period of time, I managed to grow my profile from 4 thousand to 2.3 million monthly viewers! Right now I have nearly 500 followers which is still a tiny amount, but my example only proves that the number of followers is not always the most important factor as it comes to driving traffic to your blog.
How has that happened?
I’m basically using a trial and error method and I read bits and pieces over the Internet about how best to utilise social media for your blog growth. There’s still so much to learn! It seems that you’re discovering new things behind every corner so to say, so I just keep trying different strategies… I have not taken any courses nor have I read any books or e-books about Pinterest yet. It simply doesn’t work for me right now. However I do recommend broadening your knowledge. Simply find your best way how to do it.
So here’s what I did in general:
- I followed a few tips which I’ve found in the Internet, made my profile and boards look professional and SEO-friendly.
- I enabled Rich Pins.
- I designed high quality pins (as much as my talent allows me to) and unique covers for my boards (you can see them HERE). I’m using Photoshop and occasionally also Canva, which is a great tool, user-friendly, with lots of fonts and free photos to use.
- I joined a few group boards and I kept pinning (like crazy!) manually and through scheduling, my own pins and others (focusing mainly on the quality of those pins)
- I also took the free trial version of Tailwind and later bought an annual subscription because I found that app very useful (especially its scheduling tool and Tribes – I talk more about that further deep in this post).
From 200 to 1000 daily blog visits overnight
And then suddenly one day one of my pins went viral! (“viral” in my small following world of course) —> it was this pin <— I was shocked to see that it’s been saved to 18 boards at once. It’s never happened to me before. Perhaps 18 is not that much but that was only the beginning! That pin kept being very popular and it’s been saved tens of times since (probably even more, as I don’t really know how to track it yet…). What I’ve noticed then was the fact that I kept getting traffic from that pin to my blog post all the time and it’s been my post no.1 ever since.
My daily blog views then grew from 30 to around 100, sometimes 200 (the highest was 303). And then suddenly last weekend it happened again! But this time with a double force! Two of my pins went viral during just one night and I was only watching with total disbelief and undisguised amazement what was happening with my blog stats. This pin has been shared to 52 different boards and this one to 39, in only one night! (and they keep being re-pinned as I’m writing this post). My daily blog views skyrocketed to 932 and the number kept growing till it reached 1459 the day after! This is what happens with your new blog when some of your pins become viral, and it’s absolutely beautiful.
If you look at different posts on my blog you’ll see how many times they’ve been shared and via which social media platform. The number is usually around 100-200 times, sometimes less than that, sometimes a little bit more. But go have a look how many times my most popular article has been shared!!! It kind of scares me and excites me, and definitely motivates me to work harder at the same time.
What’s even better is the fact that it all happened automatically (because those pins had been scheduled through Tailwind) and it totally caught me by surprise.
Pinterest is the main source of traffic to my blog and I absolutely love that platform:
How to help your pins go viral
This is the hardest part. It’s nearly impossible to reproduce the whole situation since I haven’t been tracking these pins. Besides it started happening when I was sleeping. However here’s a few things which I managed to figure out:
1. Group Boards
Those two pins which have become so popular recently, had been re-pinned from two different group boards. Both of those group boards have over 20K followers but one of them is brand new as it only has 30 pins so far. I’m sure that helped a lot! Being a member of group boards which have a large following definitely broadens your potential reach.
At the moment I’m a member of about 30 different group boards. Some of them have large following, some have quite small, but I see that groups which have smaller following, have higher engagement so I think it’s worth to be a member of both, give it some time and see which ones are most beneficial to you.
If you’re looking to join some group boards, the easiest way to do it is to check somebody’s Pinterest profile, click on one of the group boards that person is a member of and read the description where all the requirements about how to join that group should be listed. Usually it’s enough to follow the owner of that group board and provide your email address or your Pinterest profile name. You can also check www.pingroupie.com and browse through the list of group boards there (I’m not sure if it’s being frequently updated though).
I also have two group boards open for contributors so if you’d like to join, you’re very welcome to do so:
GROUP BOARD FOR LIFESTYLE BLOGGERS
GROUP BOARD FOR FITNESS, WELLNESS & BEAUTY
2. Comments and “Tries”
Another thing which I’ve noticed today was the fact that my most popular pin has actually been “tried” by someone and that person shared it and wrote a note with a few hashtags (see it HERE). I’m not sure if that gave it a viral boost but I would assume that it definitely helped! It works as a recommendation and improves your pin’s rank on Pinterest, just like comments do.
3. Design of your pins
All my pins are designed especially for Pinterest publication. I keep them 735px wide and at least 1200px long. Vertical pins are more attractive on Pinterest so make sure that your pins are long. Remember to keep your title big enough and eye catching. A little extra advice from me (a total graphic design freak and a photographer/editor): less is more, if you know what I mean. Your pins should be neat. Stick to max 3 different colours which should resonate with each other nicely, and don’t put too many ornaments. I’ve read that warm colours perform better on Pinterest (I can’t back it up personally yet though). Also having a high quality (not blurry!) photo (if you want to include one of course) is absolutely unquestionable.
I use mainly Photoshop for designing my pins, however on certain occasions I also use Canva. If you’re not familar with graphic design or photo editing, I strongly recommend you use Canva for your pins. In its free version you can find loads of templates which you can easily edit according to your own needs. I think it’s absolutely brilliant!
4. Different designs of the same pin
The fact that I have at least two different pins related to the same blog post is definitely another reason which helped. One of those pins become popular over a month ago and this time I was sharing a different design of the same pin, which also became popular. So I was getting traffic to one blog post from two different pins! I strongly recommend you this method. So far it’s been working great for me! People have different artistic taste and by diversifying your pin designs you give them higher chances to attract a wider audience PLUS you don’t flood your own profile and group boards with the same pins over and over again. Think about it.
Here’s an example of 3 different pins I have designed for one blog post:
5. Good timing
Both of those viral pins I mentioned earlier have been shared automatically via Tailwind. To me scheduling works great because I live in Ireland and most of my followers live in the USA so when they are most active, I’m usually sound asleep. Thanks to Tailwind and its scheduling tool, my pins are being pinned for me at the most attractive time slots, when I’m not able to do it myself.
Scheduling via Tailwind is my lifesaver!
I’m the busiest person you can possibly imagine. I work full time, I’m a wife and a mommy, in the meantime I run my own cosmetics business and occasionally I do portrait photoshoots which requires a lot of time spent on editing afterwards. I’m also crazy about fitness so I need to literally “make” time for my workouts at least 3 times a week. Last year, in addition to all of that, I took up blogging and it honestly feels like a second full time job to me. And one needs to eat and sleep sometimes, right? So scheduling my posts takes a huge load off my shoulders.
At the moment I schedule about 40-50 of my own pins and about 20 pins from other pinners daily and Tailwind chooses the most optimum time slots for my account. I also do some manual pinning during the day. I love Tailwind because it does the job for me and it publishes my scheduled pins while I sleep!
Here’s a few other features which I love about Tailwind:
You can shift your scheduled pins around manually if you want to, you can add more time slots too, and listen to this one: you can create lists of your group boards and schedule one pin to a few group boards in just one click and set the interval time between each of those pins! I find this option absolutely brilliant!
Would you like to test Tailwind for free?
Apart from that you can also join Tribes. Tribes are groups within Tailwind itself. They work the same way as group boards except that here you can see WHO is re-pinning your pins and how many times. You can also see how popular your pins are in general (see the blue box at the top right corner of your pin). Tailwind is packed with very useful analytical tools.
The one below shows one of my viral pins:
I have recently set up my own Tribe on Tailwind. If you are a lifestyle blogger, you’re more than welcome to join me there.
Here’s a link to my Tribe: Blog Your Life (Lifestyle Bloggers)
Joining my Tribe will also automatically give you 1 month free of Tailwind.
That’s all I can think of right now. I promise if I discover any other important factors thanks to which those pins have become so popular, I will update this post with that information.
An important lesson learnt – DON’T EVER GIVE UP!
That chain of events also taught me a great life lesson. Last week on Friday I had a pretty bad breakdown. I was seriously thinking that perhaps it’s not worth keeping this blog anymore. I felt overwhelmed and completely drained of energy. In my schedule I try to publish my posts on Tuesdays and Fridays. That Friday I didn’t do anything apart from scheduling my pins on Pinterest through Tailwind. I was supposed to have an extremely busy weekend and I knew that if I didn’t schedule them I would loose two days in a row because I wouldn’t be able to find time for pinning manually. So I did that, driven solely by the deep thought in my heart that the most successful people hustle no matter what and they never give up, even when they feel like crap and they loose their will to continue their work!
I did absolutely nothing for my blog all weekend. Instead I took time off for myself and my family. I went to Strong by Zumba class (which I couldn’t attend for like… ages!), then my daughter went to a birthday party and then we went out together with my husband (at last!). It was great to have that time off and “re-start” my brain, because I’d been spending way too much time blogging, designing, editing photos, scheduling, sharing on social media etc… I needed to stop and take a deep breath. That Sunday night when I checked what was happening on Pinterest, my jaw literally dropped! It was beyond my expectations! My motivation was back, I got proof that your hard work and hustle pays off (sooner or later). That situation also inspired me to write this post because I felt a strong urge to share my little success with others, and I was hoping that my example would help other bloggers too. I really hope it does!No matter how difficult things get, just keep going because you only fail when you give up. Click To Tweet
How about you?
Are you using Pinterest and have you experienced a similar situation by any chance? I’d love to hear your story!
Hope I could help a little. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in a comment. I’ll answer as best as I can.