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When I was a few months into blogging I had already read thousands and thousands of blog posts and ebooks about how to gain traffic yet there I was barely getting 100 page views to my blog for those months and I simply couldn’t work out why.
I felt like I had literally read every single post there was out there on growing traffic and there was no more left to learn. I was quite close to giving it up to be completely honest.
Until all of a sudden one of my posts started getting a little bit more traction… then a lot more… and from there I went from 400 page views for the month to a massive 8.5K. So In this post want to share with you how I gained those extra page views by really only changing and tweaking the way I did a few things.
So for my blog right now Pinterest is my main source of traffic and in my opinion, this is the best place for any new blogger to start. The best thing about Pinterest is that your post and be seen by hundreds of thousands or even millions of people without even having a large following like other social media platforms. Buuut I’m sure you already know that and have read it on the 364 other blog posts you’ve just binge read.
Pinterest is pretty much another search engine, which is why SEO is very important and that is something I will definitely get into later on in the post along with aesthetics, group boards and all that good stuff. But with a little twist that I didn’t really seem to find on any other blog posts which really helped me gain these page views! Our ultimate goal here is to get as many people as possible to click through to the blog post and then from there to repin.
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First of all, you need to make sure you are writing quality content and content people actually want to read. The biggest mistake I was making at the start was just writing posts about anything I could think of and they weren’t exactly full of a lot of useful and in-depth knowledge because I was just trying to smash out posts as quick as I could thinking people would read them.
As soon as I changed to actually researching questions people were asking or posts my target audience was actually reading my page views shot up. The best way I have found to do this is definitely in facebook groups. Just search for your niche topic on Facebook and there will be numerous groups to chose from. Add yourself to them and start reading through the posts to get some ideas of what people really want to know. You can even find some smaller niche groups if you are struggling to find the perfect group for your blog.
For example, my blog has quite a broad range of topics so I haven’t really found the perfect groups for the mix of topics I blog about and I don’t think I ever will just because the group will probably be all over the places. Becuase of this, I like to break it down, so for my lifestyle design niche, I really find Lavendaires facebook to have an audience who would appeal to that category. Then for my travel posts, I like to look through Girls LOVE Travel group and for blogging topics I’m in a lot of groups for that, mainly because I am asking a lot of questions as well. Some good ones I have found with active users are Blogging Newbs, Blogging 101 and Millenial Blogger Network.
Finding pins with lots of repins or likes and comments means people are interacting with this topic and it’s something will gain some traffic. Now the idea isn’t to just completely copy the blog post and its title but instead just using it for a little inspiration. Put your own spin on the content and maybe offer a content upgrade with it or pack it full of even more information.
Okay so I’m sure this is another thing you have already read in other blog posts but people repeat it because it’s true. My pin aesthetic has drastically changed over time. Originally I read that all your pins should look the same so that you create a brand and when people look at the pin they will instantly know it is yours. And while I still do believe that to a certain degree I want people to think “that looks like Rylie Lane” when they see my pins I don’t think they should all be identical. Like when I’m saying identical I mean I had 2 different templates with the same shaped overlays, text and image placement that I used for every blog post.
See they just look very plain and didn’t really have much personality to them and they clearly didn’t work because they barely got any click-throughs or repins. So then I realised I needed to change it up. I played around with some different designs and made lots of different pin images as time went on. This took me quite awhile to be able to find a really good balance of something I liked and felt was my brand and blog feel with something that would actually interest people and make them click on.
Now my pin aesthetics are similar, I still do have the 2 different templates I loosely follow however I tailor the image to the blog post a lot more and add in whatever text I feel it needs. I also try to stay a little bit consistent with the fonts, I always have my main bold font and then the cursive font usually changes between the 2 above depending on which one I’m feeling. I also like to try and put a little paint stroke or something in there to highlight an important word and also link that detail with knowing its a Rylie Lane pin without making them all look identical.
As I mentioned in my Essential Tools and Resources for Bloggers post I use photoshop to make all of these graphics. This is only because I did study this program in university as a part of my degree so I feel really comfortable with using it. You can still achieve the same results with something like Canva or Pic Monkey.
Play around with your pin design and you will eventually find something that works for you. It just takes time, be patient. I wanted to give you these examples so you can actually see a transformation instead of just reading the words which is what I found really unhelpful on the blog posts I read in when I was in your position. And remember these 2 examples were about 4-5 months apart so it did take me some time to get it right.
Okay now that we have a pin that looks pretty and people will want to click on, we need to make sure people will see it. SEO sounds a little scary when you don’t know much about it but in terms of Pinterest, it’s actually quite simple. There are just a few small steps you can take to help get your pin seen a little more.
The way I find relevant keywords to my posts is to either use Pinterest and start typing in your original keyword and it will autogenerate a whole bunch of other longer keywords people are searching for or by using Google Trends. This is a really good tool for finding keywords people are searching for because it gives you a whole lot of detail about search trends and how often it has been searched over time. Then at the bottom, it will give you related terms sorted by top and rising so I will use the relevant keywords listed here.
You need to name your image with one of the keywords and make sure instead of spaces you use hyphens. This will help with the search engines when searching for your keywords, your image will have more of a chance of showing up.
What you put in your alt text is what will show up in your little pin description that everyone will see. You can add this in before you place the image in your blog post on the right-hand side if you’re using WordPress.
A good little formula I like to follow for a strong pin description is: question, answer, keywords and then a call to action. This is important to add in on every pin as this is where Pinterest will search for the keywords you are using and want to be found by.
So, of course, the way to get these beautiful pins you have made to be seen by people is to share them on group boards. Every post I read while still being new to the whole Pinterest blogging world said just share your posts to group boards, so that’s what I did and all I heard were crickets. There is a particular way you should go about group boards. The whole idea of them is that you want as many people to see your pins as possible so the best way to do this is add them to group boards that have more followers.
When just starting out you may not get accepted to these larger group board, I definitely got rejected by a few just because I didn’t have very many followers or an established blogging presence yet. But don’t be discouraged by this, just apply anyway because a lot of them will accept you. Ideally, you want to be going for boards with at least 1,000 followers when just starting out and then increase from there. Also, there is really no limit to how many group board you should be on, you just want to make sure it is the right board for your pin to be shared on.
Now that you have these amazing blog posts and pins, you don’t want to be spending all this extra time pinning them to all these boards. This means you would either spend a chunk of time pinning them to all different boards which will make you look really spammy, definitely putting people off visiting your blog or you will have to check in and share them multiple times per day which most of us do not have the time to do.
Tailwind is your answer. I think my all-time favourite thing about tailwind is the lists feature because you will want to post to so many different boards that all have different topics and rules, you need a way to keep track of it all. Tailwind allows you to organise these boards into lists and with one click you can select multiple boards that you would like your pin to be share to.
Tailwind also has an interval feature which I definitely recommend using. This means you can choose the time between when each pin is sent to a group board meaning you won’t look super spammy and your pins can be nicely spread out over a couple of days or so. It will also post them at optimized times for your followers.
If you haven’t signed up to Tailwind yet, then you can do it here and get 100 free pins to get a trial to see if it’s for you!
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