Case Study: How I Made One Of My Pins Go Viral

Someone posted in a blogging group on Facebook yesterday “When all of our friends are getting married and having children, and you’re just trying to go viral”. And man, did I have a good ol’ cackle. As a blogger and a creative entrepreneur, its easy to get fixated on the idea of going viral. Let me just say this first: I don’t think the idea of “going viral” is the be-all-and-end-all. Long term, you want good quality traffic (with a low bounce rate), an engaged audience, to be positioned as an expert in your field, and to have a ever-growing list of subscribers.

SEE ALSO: Your Essential 5 Step Pinterest Makeover

It is however a wonderful moment when you realise that one of you pins has been shared across Pinterest thousands of times. Yes ma’am, as I was sipping on my cup of tea this morning I saw these incredible stats. I was aware that the pin was performing quite well from looking at my Google Analytics earlier this year, however some recent repins from some influential accounts has seen these stats skyrocket.

Hint: If you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your blog, register now! These statistics are SO important in knowing what posts are performing, where you traffic comes from, who’s looking at your site and so.much.more. So today I thought I’d share with you how to create high-quality, sharable pins for Pinterest. First thing’s first, here’s a preview of the high-performing pin from my lifestyle blog Tell Me Tuesday:

free_tracking_tools_for_your_blog
Had a good ol’ look? Great, then let’s get started!

Viral Pin Tip #1: Size Matters

When designing your Pinterest pin (whether it be in Canva, Photoshop) be sure to make the canvas taller than it is wide. Why? Because:

  • Statistics show that pins sized to a 2:3 ratio get far more repins
  • Pinterest restricts the width of your pins, but not the height
  • The new optimum size set by Pinterest is 600 x 900 pixels.

Action Time!

  • Create a template in Canva or Photoshop that is sized in the 2:3 ratio. Now, every time you create a new blog post, customise this template so all of your pins are the same size.

VIRAL PIN TIP #2: I Used the word ‘Free’

Just like a news headline or a magazine article, there’s power in an attention-grabbing title. Take a step back and think about yourself as a Pinterest user: it’s in our nature to be drawn to a freebie. Now, my post didn’t include a freebie as such, but I knew from my blogging groups that most start-up bloggers have very little funds when it comes to launching their business, and the phrase “free tools” is very catching. There are many ways you can add value to your blog posts by adding a freebie too, no matter what industry you’re in. Here’s just a handful of examples:

  • a discount code for your online store
  • a printable checklist, organiser, calendar or daily planner
  • a digital recipe book
  • free templates, such as a Photoshop or Canva templates for graphics
  • an printable inspirational quote
  • an ebook
  • a how-to guide (like “how to grow indoor plants” or “how to create a capsule wardrobe”)
  • a stock photo package
  • graphic design elements, such as watercolor brushstrokes, paper textures, patterns, icons, etc
  • a list of blog post ideas
  • … and a whole lot more!

If you’re not sure what your readers would like, ask them! Why not ask them on Instagram or create a poll on Facebook?

Action Time!
  • Go to your Google Analytics and have a look at which posts are performing best. Now, have a think about what freebie you can add to the post. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big.
  • Now I want you to recreate the Pinterest graphic for this post (sticking to the 2:3 ratio) and add the words “includes free _____”. An example could be “How to Declutter Your Home In 4 Days (includes a free planner!)”.

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Viral tip #3: I SEO’d My Pin

When I first pinned my graphic to Pinterest, I was sure to add a long, keyword rich description. This is known as “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimisation”. In a nutshell, I “optimised” (added keywords to) my pin’s description so it was more likely to appear in the Pinterest search results. There are a whopping 500 characters available when writing your description for your Pinterest pin, so there’s plenty of opportunity to add keywords relevant to your niche. My pin’s description went as follows: Free Tracking Tools for Your Blog | Want to know how successful your blog’s social media campaign or marketing strategy has been? Here’s some free tools to help you track your conversions.

Action Time!
  • Think of the Pinterest search engine just like Google. Now, what do you want your target audience to be typing into the search bar in order to come across your pins?
  • If you’re stuck for what keywords to use, go to Pinterest and type into the search bar your post’s topic. For this example (below) I used the topic “Corporate Fashion”. The Pinterest search engine will then display common words used to refine the search results for this phrase (in this example you’ll see keywords such as “women’s”, “business”, “summer”, etc). If any of these keywords are relevant, be sure to include them into your pin’s description.

How to Optimise Your Pinterest Post With Keywords

  •  Now, I want you to go to your Pinterest account and optimise your pin’s descriptions using keywords. Remember, it’s important that these descriptions have a natural tone, so be sure to write in proper sentences.

Hint: Just like social media platforms like Instagram, hashtags have come to Pinterest. Adding 2 to 3 on-brand hashtags is a great way of helping users discover your content.

VIRAL TIP #4: I pinned (and REPINED) to multiple group boards

Group boards are an excellent way of targeting a broader audience. I know a lot of you have struggled in the past with being accepted to group boards, but it’s well worthwhile persevering. Rumours have been flying around recently that group boards are detrimental to your account, however this blanket statement isn’t 100% true. Group boards are still an important tool, however you should only join high quality boards. This means that the board has an even re-pin count for all posts. For example, if most pins have a repin rate of between 20 and 30, then all pins with less than 20 repins should be deleted by the board owner.

Action Time!

To find a group board that will work for you and your biz:

  • Connect with those in your niche and go on the hunt for good quality group boards. If you’re part of a Facebook group relevant to your niche, post a shoutout.
  • Once you find a board, email the administrator and ask to be a contributor. Remember to be genuine in your approach (that means writing more than “Hey, I want to join your board”), and don’t forget to include a link to your Pinterest profile so they can see all of the amazing pins you have curated on your boards.
  • If you haven’t heard back form the board administrator in a week, follow up with a polite email, however if they don’t respond, move on.
  • Once you’ve been added to a group board, remember to follow the rules, don’t be spammy (generally no more than 1 pin per day is standard) and be sure to repin the work of other members. Remember, it’s a community y’all.
  • If you’re using a program such as Tailwind or Boardbooster, pin your post once to the group board, then set it to be repined again to the same board in 4 weeks time.
  • Don’t forget to also pin (and repin) your posts to all of your own relevant boards

Want to join my group board? You can find out more here.

Viral tip #5: I Kept The Blog Post ‘Evergreen’

Ok, so yes this is another marketing term, but it’s one you should get to know. Evergreen Content can be described in two words: timeless and relevant. Do you think your target audience or your peers are going to share a post that’s out of date, or no longer relevant? Hell no they’re not! Since I first published my post about the tracking tools over a year ago I have updated it twice–technology had changed, some programs were no longer free and I had discovered new tools which I knew my audience would find helpful. By investing in your content, you’re also investing in your audience, and this is something that won’t go unnoticed. 

Action Time!
  • Look at your top performing posts on Google Analytics, and review your post’s content.
  • If the post contains information is no longer relevant, update it!

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VIRAL TIP #6: I made it easy to share my post

At the root of any successful marketing strategy is a solid foundation, and one essential for your blog these days is the ability to easily share your posts. Enter my new favourite plugin, Social Warfare which adds social media share buttons quickly and easily to my blog posts (plus, they look so damn good). Remember, you want to make the ability to share your rockin’ content as straight forward as possible for readers so make sure it’s easy for them to tweet, pin, and share with just the click of a button. Are you using Pinterest for your biz? And if so, is it helping drive traffic to your website? As always, I L-O-V-E hearing from you, so share your thoughts in the comments below.

Your Essential 5-Step Pinterest Makeover

If you’re a creative entrepreneur you’ve probably been hearing a lot of chatter about Pinterest recently, and for good reason. You see, Pinterest is my #1 referrer of traffic to my site, and lucky for you, it’s easy to make Pinterest work for you and your business, no matter what niche you’re in.

Today I’m going to share with you 5 quick and easy tips for giving your Pinterest profile an overhaul which will lead to gaining more followers, driving more traffic to your site and turning your fellow pinners into subscribers and paying customers.

Ready? Let’s do this!

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1. Rename Your Boards

The first thing to remember when using Pinterest to grow your traffic is that Pinterest is a search engine, not a social media site. You’re probably thinking “Girl, what on earth are you talking about?”

Well, let me ask you this: do you use Pinterest for keeping up with friends, sharing personal photos and keeping tabs on the Kardashians? Or do you use it for searching for recipes, outfit inspiration, birthday party ideas, planning your next vacation and entrepreneur tips? Chances are you use Pinterest for the latter, and just like Google, you can optimise your account to make it search engine-friendly.

The first step in optimising your Pinterest account is to rename any boards that don’t have search engine friendly names. Though it’s fun and playful to have boards called “If I had a green thumb” for a gardening board, or “Happily Ever After” for a wedding board, these are simply not terms that your potential customers are typing into the Pinterest search bar.

For example, if you are a photographer your boards should have short, sharp, keyword-rich titles that align with what your customers are searching for. For example, board titles may include “Photography Tips”, “Camera Tips”, “Photoshop Shortcuts” or “Photography Tools for Beginners”.

If you find renaming your boards a little challenging, think about what you type into the Pinterest search bar when you’re looking for handy hints, tricks and strategy articles.

2. Reshuffle Your Boards (and put your work first!)

If you haven’t already, I want you to create a Pinterest board which is only has content from your website or blog, and name it after your business. There are a couple of ways to name your board:

Option 1: Simply name it after your business (mine is Kate Wilkinson Creative)

Option 2: Use your domain name, for example WebDesignerKate.com

Option 3: Add the word ‘blog’ to the end of your business name (i.e. Kate Wilkinson Creative Blog)

Whatever you choose, use this board to house only your blog’s content– nothing else.
Now I want you to drag this board into first position on your Pinterest account so it’s the first thing your customers see when they visit your profile. Remember, our mission is to drive loads of good quality traffic to your site, so we want to encourage readers to start exploring all of your really great content on this board, re-pinning your pins, visiting your site and subscribing to your mailing list.

Keeping your brand board in first position, I now want you to re-order your remaining boards so their position reflects to services or products you offer. This helps solidify your brand’s message and positioning. Remember, you want every visitor to your profile to know in an instant who you are and what great knowledge you offer.

3. Remove ALL Off-Niche Boards From Your Profile

You’re probably noticing what’s happening here as we roll through these changes– we’re working to build an impossible-to-ignore Pinterest profile that’ll have your customers screaming “OMG this person has the answers I’ve been looking for!”.

This next tip can seem a little daunting, but it’s an essential step in positioning yourself as an expert in your field: I want you to go to your profile and remove all boards on your profile that don’t support your niche. You can either delete these boards (I feel like some of you are screaming right now), or if they are boards you want to keep for future reference, simply make them private (edit > make secret > switch to “yes”).

Let’s use an example to show why this is so important: if your niche is wardrobe makeovers, you want every board on your profile to reflect this niche. Now if your fabulous wardrobe tips and tricks are mixed in with other off-topic boards such as arts and crafts, children’s birthday party ideas or vegan recipes, your potential customers won’t have a clear snapshot of who you are, and therefore will be far less likely to hit the follow button.

4. Pimp Yo’ PROFILE

The first step in building a connection with your audience is to tell them in no uncertain words 1) who you are, and 2) what value you’re going to add to their lives.

So next I want you to add keywords to your profile name. Remember how I said that Pinterest acts like a search engine? Well another way to optimise your profile is to add some industry-relevant keywords to your profile name, which will help our account appear in relevant searches.

Let’s keep rolling with some examples:

My Pinterest account name for my other biz is Tell Me Tuesday, however my profile name is Tell Me Tuesday | DIY, Food, Travel & Lifestyle Blogger.

Check out Amber McNaught whose account name is Amber McNaught: fashion, beauty and blogging advice.

Grow Your Pinterest In 5 Steps_1

Another example is Kerry from the blog Oh So Amelia. Kerry’s profile name is Kerry | Parenting & Lifestyle. She also has a rocking bio, but we’ll get onto that a little later…

Grow Your Pinterest In 5 Steps

There are 37 characters for you to work with, so start customizing your profile name to reflect the key products and/or services your organization offers.

To update your profile hover over your image and select Settings
Under Profile > Business Name enter your new keyword-rich name
Click Save Settings when finished.

Important: in order to do this, you’ll need to have a Pinterest business account. Don’t have one? No stress, it’s easy (the folks at Pinterest show you how here).

The second part of this step is to write a rockin’ bio. This should have 3 parts:

  1. Who your target audience is
  2. How you solve their problems
  3. A link to your free e-course, webinar or email challenge (something that’ll have your customers clicking without hesitation)

One of my favourite digital duos Think Creative Collective shows us how it’s done:

Grow Your Pinterest In 5 Steps

Their target audience is small business owners, creative entrepreneurs & bloggers (Part 1), they help these people grow a biz that fuels their soul and their pocketbook (Part 2) and their web link goes to a page on their website where you can start a free course and download free printables (Part 3).

Cool, right?

Here’s social media star Caitlin Bather with another great example of a bio that converts:

Grow Your Pinterest In 5 Steps

And here’s one more for good measure from XO Sarah:

Grow Your Pinterest In 5 Steps

If you don’t know how to create a custom url like the TCC ladies or XO Sarah you can just use a link shortener such as bitly.com.

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5. Set a Profile Image That Builds Trust

The final step in building your winning bio is to set a nice, friendly, clear photo of yourself as your profile image. By showing your lovely smiling face you build trust with your audience.

In the case that your Pinterest profile is for a company, make sure your brand’s logo fits seamlessly into the space available. Remember, good design builds trust so that means no stretched logos, no text hanging over the edges, and absolutely no pixilated images.

Phew! That’s a wrap folks! You’re now well on your way to growing your Pinterest account with intention and proven strategy. Feels pretty great, don’t it?

Do you use Pinterest for your blog and biz? Have you got any other tips to share? I’d love to know in the comments below!

Until next time!


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