(65,000 figure based on January and February 2017 – it was actually 92,000 back in December although March is looking a little lower than the last few months so far in all honesty. ;-))
I often get asked about how I have grown my blog over the years and I’ve had quite a few emails over the years from bloggers asking me how I’ve managed to grow my page views to the level they’re at now.
Despite my (self imposed) rule about not blogging about blogging, I thought that I would share a few of my tips, tricks and ideas with you all so I’m starting a series of posts today about blogging smarter not harder!
I want to start by saying that this isn’t me bragging about my page views and it certainly isn’t me saying that I’m an expert – it’s just me sharing what’s worked for me.
As always, your blog is your blog and if you’re happy with it as it is then why change things? It’s your corner of the internet so don’t put any pressure on yourself to achieve some magical figure (be it page views or blog charts) unless it’s a goal you want to achieve for you.
Always bear in mind that blogging isn’t a competition and it’s a pretty safe bet that if you start to stress about these things, you’ll lose your passion for blogging and believe me, your readers will be able to tell!
Putting all that to one side though, if you DO want to increase your page views then you need to start with some great blog content that you share consistently. When you have that, Pinterest is probably the best place to start promoting your content and it’s definitely the place that gives me the best return for my efforts.
I know that to some, 65,000 page views from Pinterest might sound like a lot and to others not that many at all but for those of you who would like to increase your Pinterest traffic then I hope that this will help.
So, let’s look at your Pinterest account.
The fist thing I did when I started to work on my Pinterest traffic was to set up a Pinterest board solely for my own blog pins – like a showcase of my own work. I moved that to the top of my profile page and then tried to organise the rest into some kind of order. I then have my money saving boards grouped together, followed by my foodie ones, then my parenting boards etc etc…. To be honest, this is the part where I could really do with some help with myself as I need to optimise my board descriptions but it does it’s job at the moment so it’s not too high a priority for me right now.
I don’t have a huge personal following but the next thing I did was to join as many collaborative boards as I could that were relevant to my blog and the things I like to pin. There are groups on Facebook like this one where people will share the boards they are open to collaborators on or you could just message board owners directly on Pinterest if you see a board you’d like to be a part of. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the board rules (usually in the board description) before you start sharing as I’ve had to delete lots of pins from my collab boards that were repeated multiple times or were so spammy it was ridiculous.
The next thing to do if you’re serious about Pinterest is to consider signing up for a service like Tailwind or Board Booster as they will help you to automate your pinning and to make sure that your pins get the most exposure possible. I use Tailwind which has honestly been a game changer with my Pinterest strategy – it costs me $15 a month I think and it’s worth every penny.
Essentially Tailwind is a scheduler so you can pin to all of your relevant boards over a period of days, weeks or even months rather than either just pinning everything at once as I often used to do or worse, pinning to a few boards and forgetting to go back and do the rest. You can set your time slots, as many or as few as you want to, and then you just schedule your pins to be shared over whatever period. It’s super simple as the option to schedule comes up in Pinterest once you have Tailwind!
You can either select each board to schedule to individually as you normally would when you pin or there’s even an option in Tailwind to set up groups so you can schedule your foodie posts for example to your foodie boards in just a couple of clicks.
There’s also some great analytics in Tailwind too but I rarely use them if I’m honest.
The final amazing thing about Tailwind is the relatively new Tribes feature where you can find a group of people who post about similar things to you and share your pins with each other to repin. Kind of like you pin mine and I’ll pin yours but with no obligation to share pins you don’t like. The general rules in the tribes are that you share one of someone else’s pins every time you add one but they’re such a great source for content that I often go in once a week and schedule as many as I can to go out through the week.
You can get a free month’s Tailwind service when you sign up using my affiliate link here.
I couldn’t get away with Board Booster personally but lots of bloggers love it so even though I’m not going to go into detail about how it works here, it’s definitely something to consider.
So, we’ve talked about your boards and the tools you can use to help you with your pinning now so let’s move on to your actual blog pins. Ideally you should be making a pinnable image for every single post you write and you should have an easy way for your readers to share these images when they want to. I have a share bar at the bottom of each post and a pin it button that displays if you hover over an image so it can be pinned quickly and easily.
My images are 735 x 1100 usually which is the best size for me – there are other recommendations out there though but I’d say it needs to be at least 700 wide and it should always be a vertical image as square of portrait just get lost in the Pinterest feed. I use Picmonkey or Canva for editing my posts and I usually try to use an image I’ve taken for it but often I don’t have one so I’ll use Unsplash or Pixabay for free images and Canva for great images for $1 each.
Edited to add: I’ve started using Canva business for designing most pins as I love that you get free images and can set up your brand kit with them so all your favourite fonts an brand colours are pre-loaded. It’s around ten pouns a month I think.
Your image should say what the post is about, not be too messy and it should have a great description saved to your Alt tag as that’s the description that will be pinned when someone pins your image.
The description is super important as Pinterest is more of a search engine now with most pins being found through the search function than by users simply coming across them in their feed as they used to. I’m currently going back through my old posts and creating new, better images to be be pinned with keyword rich descriptions – trust me, it’s not a fun job!
To give you an idea of how I get my posts out there, this is what I do after every post is published:
- Pin to my blog board in Pinterest.
- Go to that pin and share it to as many tribes as it fits with using the Tailwind scheduler.
- Again, using the Tailwind scheduler I’ll schedule it to be pinned to any boards that the post is appropriate for, usually leaving a gap of about 1 day between each share.
I then revisit my most popular pins every 3-6 months and re-share them where I can – there are a couple that I know will always give me a big boost when I re-share them but I don’t want to do it too often.
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