I launched my Pregnancy and Parenting blog in October 2016. 30 days later, I had over 95,000 pageviews. 60 days later, I had over 140,000. As my 6 month “blogiversary” neared, I hit over 1 million pageviews… in six months.
So what was the secret?
PINTEREST. Pinterest was my traffic powerhouse.
You know what nice little perk came along with all those pageviews? Monetization. As in full-time income in just 6 months. We’ll get into that later. First, let’s talk about Pinterest.
Pinterest is the 4th largest source of traffic on the internet. Most bloggers credit Pinterest for up to 90% of their pageviews. So if you don’t love Pinterest, it’s time for a change of heart. It can seriously take your blog (and your income) to the next level.
As I mentioned earlier, my blog growth did not come as a stroke of luck. I worked hard in the weeks leading up to my launch and months after that. I was constantly researching, reading, educating myself and tweaking my strategies. I dug into every piece of analytics I could get my hands on and took control of my blogs success. If you want to apply my same strategy to your blog, you can download my eBook “Pinning for Pageviews” here.
There are four key components to my Pinterest strategy that I believe contributed to my pageview growth: branding, my audience reach, automation and understanding the Pinterest Algorithm. My full-time income was possible due to affiliate marketing (again, more on that below)
Pinterest is a visual platform meaning that branding is huge. A strong blog brand will allow your followers to spot new content of yours a mile away! Every item you put out there should have your brand included. We’ve got a blog post all about building your brand here.
While my first 5 or 6 pins were randomly created, I quicly found my “look” to my marketing materials. About 40% of my sites visitors are return visitors. I believe this has alot to do with this recognizable brand. If I post a pin, they can quickly see that it belongs to Swaddles n’ Bottles. Since they have visited before and found helpful information, they come back! You can also browse through my Pinterst pins to see the branding in action (and you should totally follow me too!).
Branding also helps give your blog a professional and clean look. Readers are deciding within just a few seconds if they want to become a “follower”. Make sure your website and all visual materials are helping them decide in your favor!
At the time of writing this post, I have less than 5,000 followers on Pinterest, yet my monthly reach is over 2.5 million people.
This is possible thanks to Group Boards!
Group boards are a collection of pinners who pin their material to one location. A group board generally revolves around one topic, such as recipes, fitness advice, pregnancy, ect. However, there are many “free for all” group boards out there that allow the contributors to pin just about anything. I have persosnally had pins go “viral” with niched down boards and free for all group boards.
A quick way to find group boards to join is PinGroupie.com. This website has a database of all the group boards on Pinterest. You are able to search by keyword and category to find the perfect group board with your target audience. It allows you to see how many followers and contributors each group board has. This is a great place to start!
Another great way to find group boards is to find bloggers within your niche and see what group boards they are part of. You can identify a group board by looking for this logo next to a board title:
I keep a running list in my Google Docs of group boards that I would like to join. Once a week I go in and send an email to 10 or so board owners. I also take a few minutes to follow up with any unanswered requests from the following week. Again, this can be a draining task, but it is totally worth it!
I have about 6 group boards that I am currently accepting new contributors too! Take a look here and send me an email if you would like to be added!
If you’ve been blogging for even a short amount of time now, I’m sure you have heard of Tailwind. It is an automated system that pins your pins for you, when you want and where you want. Let me give you a quick glimpse into my pinning schedule.
My Tailwind schedule is set to pin 35-40 times a day, Monday through Sunday at specific times based on my audience. At the beginning of June, I sat down for about 50 minutes and scheduled my pins through August 31. That is a total of over 3,100 pins scheduled in under an hour. Wild.
Tailwind saved me alot of time in those first 60 days of starting my blog. Could you imagine if I had to pin for hours a day? I was able to use the time it saved me to focus on other tasks that led to my blogs success.
I leave a few slots available each day to ensure that there are time for new content I publish to be scheduled. I can easily go in and find a pin I would like to edit if need be. My pins are looped in a strategic way that ensures I am only pinning to each group board I am part of 1-2 times a day to ensure I do not break any group board rules. There are screen shots of my pinning schedule inside Pinning for Pageviews.
As if all of that time saved wasn’t enough, it comes with some amazing analytics tools that help me pin point where my efforts are working and where they are falling flat. Here are some of my favorite analytics pieces:
- Which of my group boards has the highest re-pin rate (I try to keep my boards clean and leave any that do not seem to reach my niche)
- Which pins are performing best (I always make sure these are first to be re-pinned at each 90-day scheduling. I also look at the low performing ones to determine if they need a new graphic created)
- How many organic pins are being created from your site each day (this helps me see what my readers are most attracted to on my site)
- Link checker- Tells me if any of the links to my pins are broken!
- How many new followers I am gaining each day and week (I use the Milo Tree plug-in to help with this!)
Tailwind tells you all of this. And so, so, so much more!
Just to be transparent, Tailwind is not a free service. When I started my blog, I was very cautious of spending money. I didn’t want to go crazy with spending until I had some income. I purchased Tailwind within 15 days of starting my blog, before any money had come in. I did one full years subscription on one payment for a total of $120 and I have never doubted if it was worth it!
WORTH. EVERY. PENNY.
You can sign up for a free Tailwind trial here. With the free trail, you can schedule 100 pins for free!!!!!
The Pinterest Algorithm
Way back in the day, Pinterest was live feed, just like Facebook and Instagram are. Not anymore. Now, Pinterest operates on a “smart feed” system. It’s so smart that it can be really tough to understand without taking the time to break down every component. I spent alot of time in the first 60 days adjusting my strategy to work with the algorithm. Did you know there are even some aspects of YOUR PROFILE that can go into the algorithm? We dig deep into the Pinterest algorithm in the Pinning for Pageviews eBook.
Pinning for Pageviews
Like I mentioned much earlier in this post, I was able to take my blog from $0 at launch to an average of $5,000 per month in less than 6 months. I did this all while being a stay-at-home mom with an endless to-do list and one active toddler! The biggest source of income I have each month is affiliate marketing. I’ve written out my entire affiliate marketing strategy in the Mastering Affiliate Marketing eBook (seriously, the entire strategy). You can find the eBook here!