How to Use Pinterest to Dramatically Boost Blog Referral Traffic

How to use Pinterest to increase your blog traffic

The power of Pinterest for bloggers is undeniable for your social media marketing promotions. Tweets on Twitter and posts on Facebook and Google+ have relatively short periods of time that they are viable and found by your followers. By contrast, a Pinterest pin will be repinned the same day, next week, next month, and even years later!

The viral nature of a successful pin is like a pinball bouncing around adding repins, likes, and blog traffic along the way.

An article on the Tailwind blog shows the viral nature of a pin and how it continues to spread and blossom. “Virality takes time.  It took 32 weeks between the time this image was pinned and when Dan repinned it to his followers. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, pins on Pinterest continue to gain traction for months after they are originally pinned. Even though Facebook and Twitter have instant gratification from posts, content on Pinterest has staying power.”

I’m going to share some solid tips that you can use starting today to get your blog started with some solid, long-term referral traffic from Pinterest.

1) Build a solid Pinterest presence

If you’re just getting started, you’ll want to create ten boards with a minimum of ten pins each. One board should be for your blog content and another for the general topic of your blog.  For example, I have a Blogtastic board that I pin all my blog posts to and another called Social Media Savoir Faire where I pin social media marketing resources. It’s ok to pin your blog articles to more than one Pinterest board, but spread them out over time and pin other content in between so your Pinterest feed isn’t just you pinning five pins of your blog post to different boards. This is considered spammy behavior on Pinterest and people will unfollow you for it.

Keep it fresh!

Being active on Pinterest helps your pins in the Smart Feed and keeps your Pinterest presence relevant. This, of course, needs to include pinning each of your blog posts to Pinterest.

While you can’t schedule pins on Pinterest, there are a few third-party apps that you can use to schedule pins:

Tailwind - Smarter Pinterest Marketing

2) Think KEYWORDS when you are naming your Pinterest boards and writing descriptions

Pinterest is a guided search engine that helps pinners find great content using keywords. Write descriptions for your blog content that will help it be found by search but don’t stuff it with keywords or force your language.  For example, for this blog post, I would write something like this for the Pinterest description:

Are you grabbing some great referral traffic for your blog from Pinterest? Dramatically improve your readership by following these tips!

Craft inspiring pin descriptions that will help your pins be found in the Pinterest Smart Feed. They need to be relevant to your content so when people click through your blog follows up on what you promised.

Hashtags aren’t needed or supported on Pinterest so using them doesn’t help your Pinterest content and it may hurt your pins.

Make sure that each Pinterest board has a description and a category to help with searchability.

Pinterest board descriptions

3) Use a Pinterest for Business Account

There are many benefits for a Pinterest for Business Account and no negatives so get serious and sign up.  A few of the benefits:

  • You receive access to analytics on your pins.
  • You can add Rich Pins so each pin from your blog has enhanced meta-data.
  • You can apply for Promoted Pins which are still in beta but are fantastic! In my initial experiments with Promoted pins, my average cost per click (CPC) was .37 per pin and I received over 85,000 Pinterest impressions.

Pinterest Promoted Pins

Here’s what the analytics for one Promoted Pin look like:

Promoted Pin Analytics

4) Add a Pinterest Pin-it button to your blog

Make it as easy as possible to share your content to Pinterest. There are easy instructions for this on the Pinterest website for various styles of Pin-it buttons for your blog. If you aren’t sure about the HTML, you can ask the person who built your website to take care of this for you.

5) Design a Pinterest-friendly image for every blog post

Blogger Rebekah Radice is wildly successful with her blog post images on Pinterest. This example is at 12K repins and is still going! So, if you think taking the time to create an image for your blog post is going to take too long, think long-term blog referral traffic. If you are writing great content, you want people to read it, right?

Rebekah Radice

The elements that make a great pin:

  • Size counts! 735 pixels x 1102 pixels or 735 pixels x 735 pixels if you need a square image on your blog due to your design
  • Tall, vertical images work best
  • Minimal, easy-to read text
  • Check your images on mobile to see how they look
  • Add your logo or URL to the pin but don’t overwhelm the image
  • Use a beautiful, clear image or graphic.

This is what the pin looks like on Pinterest:

6) Share your pins on other social networks

Cross-promoting your Pinterest presence is as easy as adding links to your Pinterest pins on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.  I start my social media post promotion for each blog post by going to Pinterest and pinning my 735 pixel by 1102 pixel graphic for the post – all other social sharing stems from Pinterest and I include the link to “pin it for later” everywhere that I can.

Promote your Pins on other networks

Add a link to your Pinterest presence in your email signature and add your most popular pin of the week in your weekly email blast.

I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration to boost your Pinterest presence! Give these a try and see how it goes. Questions about Pinterest for blogging? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

And of course, here’s if you want to Pin this post…

  • This is great–I think Pinterest is such a great asset to any blog! I am typically against hashtags. I feel like they look spammy on Pinterest. However, I am curious why you say in the post not to use hashtags but then you include a hashtag in your pin. Should they just be used sparingly?

  • Good call Chloe, it wasn’t Peg, a member of my team added it. 😉

  • Fantastic post Peg! It’s full of great information, and I’m so glad you guest posted for Socialmouths.

    I would like to mention something and ask a question as well.

    (1) Rich pins is something a lot of people don’t know about. It’ll be great if you could insert a link to the page where people can just apply for approval! I applied for mine 2 weeks back and received it just 3 days ago.

    (2) My question is unrelated to the first point. I wanted to find out if you’d recommend us to create a completely separate image or to adapt the one we already have in our blog post’s featured image. My blog’s featured image is set to fit to Facebook’s dimensions, and I found that these kind of images turn up badly on Pinterest. They also look compressed when uploaded on Pinterest – in short, they look ugly!

    If we were to create a different image and put into the post, what would help both platforms know which images to grab?

  • Carey

    This is great! Just as I’m doing homework for a possible client about using Pinterest!

  • Great tips! Can’t wait to put them in action

  • Great Article Peg. We have been a great fan of your work and your latest book “Art of Social Media”.

    Thanks for the mention and hope we become your favorite soon – we just released support for FB, Twitter, Tumblr to be a one-stop Visual Marketing Platform. Would love to give a demo sometime and get your feedback 🙂

  • You’re right about hashtags on Pinterest, @ChloeWest. What are your fave ways to use Pinterest for your blog?

  • Hi Viral Tag – thank you! I’d love to give your service a try.

  • Thanks @NailgamsTV!

  • Good luck with the homework!

  • Sure – would love to connect and show you the product. sudheer (at)

  • Hi Jason!

    I’m tickled pink to be on SocialMouths!

    Images are a challenge! I create a separate image for Facebook that is 735 pixels by 1102 pixels. It’s best to have your image look good on your Facebook page and have a long Pinterest image. Adding the embedded Pinterest pin at the bottom of the post (like on this post) is a very successful tactic. There’s a new plugin called Social Warfare that allows you to add the Pinterest image but it doesn’t show on the blog post however when you click the Pinterest sharing button, the large Pinterest image populates. You can see it on my blog posts:

  • The plugin looks really good but I don’t want to replace my social sharing button! Seems like it’s possible for a plugin to do such a job for you. I’ll do some research, thanks!

  • All great content here Peg, Pinterest can be such a valuable online marketing tool for business owners and bloggers.

    I particularly like your tip about using the right keywords within your descriptions – this is something which I sometimes forget myself, which I should pay more attention to!

    Rebekah Radice’s blog imagery is always so well designed and eye catching, and not only benefit her Pinterest marketing, but also her Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts too, it’s a win-win scenario!

    Thanks Peg!

  • Great overview. I’ve been meaning to get a lil more active on Pinterest but the strategy sounds like a great way to get started and organized. Definitely looking into making my images more Pinterest friendly.

  • Rebekah Radice

    Wow – there is a crazy awesome amount of actionable advice in this article @PegFitzpatrick:disqus! You know my love of Pinterest, especially given the increased traffic I’ve seen this last year. It’s an amazing opportunity so many are missing. Thank you for including my pin!!

  • I’m so happy you liked it @rebekahradice:disqus! I included you pin as an example because it shows how much value you got from creating one image for a blog post and adding it to Pinterest. You got a whole lot of traffic from it!

  • Awesome @mmendoza:disqus – thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Glad I’ve found this article very useful for me.. I’m gonna start using Pinterest from now on.

  • Wendy Kiana Kelly

    Finally read this through. Very helpful information. Setting up the boards on Pinterest has always been a bit of a mystery to me 🙂 (You can tell by how my personal account is set up…) Do you recommend having both a personal and business account? I do at the moment, but find it very difficult to work with both.

  • Seray

    Great post Peg!

    It’s a major bonus to switch your personal account into a business one easily, when in need.

    This seems often neglected, but I find it crucial. We may need to get taller to be more visible on the platform. Personally, taller images attract me faster than the others! 🙂

  • Lena

    Thank you so much for this post! I have never been clear on the correct size image for Pinterest…there’s so much conflicting advice out there! I’ll give your dimensions a try.

  • Great post dear. Thanks for sharing informative data. Great help! Cheers!


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  • Its really something interesting on Pinterest. I grab all the things and creating account on Pinterest and start following your guidance ! Great post! Keep blogging!

  • The 3rd party apps you have shared to schedule pins are very useful. I am looking for something like this from a long time.
    Though, you have covered many useful points to get referral traffic on blog via pinterest. But I’m bit doubtful about the usage of hastags you mention in your 2nd point. People still use these tags in the description and they do search for various boards or pins by adding hashtag in their search. So these are very well used and supported in Pinterest.


  • Malcom Obëýz
  • vipul baldaniya

    thanks… pinterest is the best social media sites and help double traffic on my website

  • SMM Services Shimla

    this post was very useful in understanding the importance of Social media Marketing, thanks for sharing it on web

  • Melissa Megginson

    Wonderful advice as always, Peg! Thanks for calling Tailwind your favorite – we’re pretty fond of you, too 😉

  • addy80

    its very nice post. very easy to understand and implement. Thanks for sharing..!!

  • Victoria Whyte

    Thank you for this, I’m in the very early stages of learning to use Pinterest.

  • Barbara Piatkowska

    thanks Peg that’s very helpful. really excited to make some changes on our company account and hopefully it will start to work better for us!

  • Great article dude… I’m a great fan and after reading your tricks I put them to use. To my utter
    surprise it started picking up online followers for my Pinterest account.

  • wow.. very informative post.. pintrest in most powerful platform for share post and blogs. i suggest one more tool for social sharing

  • Great, thanks for the tips! Tumblr is also good too for boosting ref traffic

  • Thanks for sharing how to optimize this tool

  • Agreed!

  • Girl, if there were a letter before “A” you’d land it. 😉 A++ | Do you find that people focus on one network then link to other networks? I love Twitter, use Hootsuite to co-share. Tend to focus Pinterest/Instagram for clients. Thanks @PegFitzpatrick:disqus ! #alwayslearningfromyou! 😀

  • I will try it never use Pint rest but use facebook.

  • Jessica Jordan

    I’m a great fan and after reading your tricks I put them to use. To my utter surprise it started picking up online followers for my Pinterest account.Salomon Chaussures

  • I am just starting to get into Pinterest and am realizing how important it is for a life & style blog such as mine! Thanks for the tips.
    xo Annie

  • Cheryl von Tress

    Excellent. Valuable for this blogger newbie.

  • Pav

    Sweet post. I’m going to need to figure out how to use Canva well enough to make epic content.

  • Great post, thanks. This is something that occurred to me and I started doing – but it’s great to see that my intuition is validated here. And the business account analytics you mentioned is now something new to consider.

  • Very useful guide! I’m just starting out with pinterest having never used it before and I will definitely be referring back to this!

  • Sanjay Negi

    Pinterest is a great source of referral traffic for bloggers, i got a great amount of traffic on regular basis to my blog which converted into paying customers. I am using to increase my traffic from Pinterest.

  • I’m still getting to grips with Pinterest! Really want to get the hang of it to increase traffic to my blog but having to monitor Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, your blog itself as well as Pinterest is quite a lot to handle! Wish me luck!!