Pinterest for Bloggers 2018: How to Increase Your Traffic with Pinterest

Increase Your Pinterest Traffic

Before I started my travel site Two Scots Abroad, I had dabbled with Pinterest. I used the platform to search for nail art ideas and Halloween costume inspiration but never considered how Pinterest could help those with a business. Pinterest drives traffic to your website. It fast became my number one referrer by simply creating one new pin for every article I published (it’s now rivalled by organic search traffic from Google). The point is, Pinterest is easy to use and can get hundreds – thousands of new eyes on your pages every day. All you have to do is add your pins to Pinterest, which are directly linked to your posts. If pinners are inclined, they can click through to your website to find out more about the image/pin. Now I receive traffic from Pinterest daily. Warning, if you do use Pinterest already, your Pinterest strategy may be outdated. Don’t worry, we’re here to show you what is hot in 2018.

The following 8 steps will get you to this stage in no time.

By the end of this post you will be able to

  • Create quick, good-looking pins
  • Engage with and gain followers (not actually that vital)
  • Pull traffic to your site via Pinterest in 2018

PS. 2 out 3 most popular articles on my travel blog are also two of my most popular pins (see here and here!)

Set up: Pretty Pinterest boards

Create a profile, fill in the usual (you’ll need to verify your website by putting a code in your website), and create boards. You want these Pinterest boards to look aesthetically pleasing. Lots of research suggests that one of your first boards should be your ‘blog board’ so that your followers can keep up to date with your newest posts. Upload your first pin by clicking ‘edit’ and type in the URL which is associated with your pin or choose ‘upload from site’ and put the web address of the post. Before you do this read the next section.

Add a pin to Pinterest

1. Add keywords to Pinterest 2018

This is also known as ‘optimising’ which you may have heard of already if you are following our guides to get more traffic from Google. What is the main topic/theme of your webiste (what are your keywords)? Add this to your Pinterest ‘business name’ found in profile. For example, if your niche is glucose free living, add that to your title. Now add an ‘about you’ bio which includes your the main aim of your site and keywords.

Pinterest keywords

You should also add keywords to your board descriptions. To do this, hover over the board and click the pencil symbol. Here you can change the board’s profile image, description, type of board, and whether it is private it or not. If you have a personal board which is not in-keeping with your brand I wold recommend removing it, or setting it to private.

Why do I need keywords on Pinterest?

Great question, Pinterest is not actually a social media channel like some sites would lead you to believe. It’s a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo. Pinterest users type in keywords into the search bar and Pinterest returns the best match based on the queries made by the user.

How do I find keywords for Pinterest?

There are a few ways to do this. Firstly, if you have a keyword research procedure for organic traffic like Google (if you don’t you should, read this guide), you could use those keywords. Other articles recommend using Goggle Adwords to find the correct keywords, we do not suggest that as a solid SEO strategy here at Make Traffic Happen. Why? Because the volume (the number of users asking Google the query) is not specific enough. We prefer targeted keyword research.

Alternatively, you should use Pinterest to find keywords. Go to the homepage, click on the search bar and type in the topic of your pin/article. Pinterest then returns the most suitable pins for the user to consider. Before you hit return after typing your keyword, Pinterest recommends some additional options – add them to your pin and board descriptions if they make sense. For example, when we type in lose weight, Pinterest make these suggestions based on what others have previously asked/clicked on.

Pinterest also suggests other keywords in coloured text underneath your search. You may want to consider these options too.

Finding Pinterest keywords

The problem with Pinterest keywords

The issue is the same reason we don’t recommend Adwords for Google keyword research, there is no volume so you do not know how many users are actually requesting information on these topics.

Extra tip: Pinterest board images

Branding is just as important on Pinterest as aesthetically pleasing pins and boards. You may to add a title image to each board. They can be created for free using a platform such as Canva or Picmonkey. The ideal image board size is 217 x 146. Remember to add your keywords in your board description.

Adding Showcase to your Pinterest

Showcase does what is says on the tin – you can add your best boards to the top of your Pinterest page. To activate go to setting, profile and select the Showcase option. Edit by adding your best boards using the drop down. The Showcase can get quite messy as it not only shows your beautifully crafted board cover but also all of the pins you have added to that board (some of which will be other people’s pins).

2. How to create pins for Pinterest {free}

Photos which are vertical (long), slim and bright get more attention. Currently bigger, vertical images work best. I use Canva as it offers pre-set Pinterest templates. I edit all images on Lightroom before uploading to Canva. Quality is key. You not only want pinners to click on your pins, but you want them to pin them to their own boards too!

 3. Call out pins for Pinterest

When I create a new article I always create a new pin (using Canva, see above) to support it. This lets me tell the world MY ARTICLE HAS LANDED.

Pins with nice images and catchy titles do well on Pinterest. For example, ‘10 Things to do in Ljubljana’. These pins grab even the shortest of attention spans as the reader knows that the article is going to be succinct.

Next I add the pin to my blog article. To do this I upload the Canva template sized pin to WordPress, add to my post from the media library and then click the pencil on the image to manually resize to a smaller size (somewhere in between 400-500 long edge).

There is confusion over whether to add your Pinterest keywords to the alt tag section of the upload information or your targeted organic traffic keywords. Tailwind advises us not to add the Pinterest keywords, sticking with the organic ones. Check out this article which explains why.

Finally, on my article I write a quick sentence suggesting that the reader hovers over the pin and saves to their own Pinterest boards (see below for my pin call out for this article – Pinterest for Bloggers).

Here is one of my most popular pins (not the best in my opinion) but there is a statement on it which obviously works!

Pack for success with this female travel packing list. What to pack from backpacks to bras and beauty. Catering for sun, snow, and long-term trips. (1)

4. Hashtags on Pinterest

Pinterest has said that hashtags may be a thing of the future *heavy eye roll*. We have been experimenting with hashtags but a few things stand out. Many of the hashtags that Pinterest recommends look like Instagram hashtags. Some of the hashtags we have researched pull up very poor quality pins (small, square, terrible photography) – not what we are accustomed to seeing on Pinterest.

Don’t miss out: Keywords are not just important for Pinterest, they help you rank of Google too which means you can get an enormous amount of traffic to your site. Come join our free Facebook group {Make Traffic Happen} for more tips on driving traffic to your website.

5. Pinning & sharing Pins to increase traffic

When I first started using Pinterest I searched for ‘travel’ in the search bar and added the most popular pins to my boards. I also followed 50 travel related accounts per day, to get some numbers behind me. This information worked for me, but with the development of research on how Pinterest works it has become clear that it is not a social media channel, it’s a search engine. However, you may still want an audience to show your pins to when you first upload them.

When I produce a new pin I add to all of my group boards (section 6) while also re-pinning other blogger’s pins from a Facebook share thread (section 8).

I also re-pin my popular pins. Pinterest has been going through a transitional period layout wise. It now appears to be displaying analytics on each pin in the graph icon at the top of the pin. I add my most popular pins to a spreadsheet and share to group boards and share threads again (although some shares only allow new pins annoyingly).

Pinterest analytics | Make Traffic Happen

Want to increase traffic to your site? Consider optimising every article you write. Here is out 8 step on-page SEO strategy (it’s honestly easier to implement than to say!)

6. Group Pinterest Boards

You want to get access to group Pinterest boards so you can share your pins with others who do not follow you. Use Pingroupie to find group boards looking for pinners. Some have instructions on how to apply. Just follow that (something like – go to this website and fill out a form). Others don’t. To find out who to contact, delete the board name in the URL and hit return. This will take you to the board owner’s page. Click on any advertised social media and contact them politely. Aim for boards with lots of followers, but not as many pinners (5000-10.000 followers and more than 20 pinners has been suggested.) Check back on the board to see how quickly the pins move, if it’s slow then it might be worth moving on from that group board.

Once you are on a board, add a quality pin every day. I have a spreadsheet with all the board names on it and I note down what I’ve shared and which board I pinned it to. Tailwind and Buffer are pin-scheduling websites which allow you to set up your pinning beforehand. Boardbooster is used to re-pin older pins and keep them alive.

As you progress you will be invited to group boards. Accept the invites that fit your niche.

Pinterest has its own analytics dashboard however, Google Analytics is still the best tool for measuring the success of your pins.

Free resources: Here’s a list of the Pinterest group boards I pin to and am active in: group boards

7. Pinterest Plugins for your website

There are many plugins which will connect Pinterest with your website. This will allow readers to pin any photos of interest from your site to their boards. When the pin is selected it takes your alt tag with it. I always add my SEO keywords to the alt tag (for organic traffic from Google).

8. Pinterest Facebook groups

Joining social media sharing Facebook groups has changed my life. Pinterest for Travel Bloggers sets up daily Pinterest shares. You just add your pin to the list and add the others to your own Pinterest boards. Other bloggers will do the same for you. I’ve recently joined another group who shares high-performing pins (so we repin an original pin), I’m hoping to see positive results. The pin has been successfully thus far, why not push it further?

Start winning: Facebook groups are the gateway for networking. Here are the 29+ I’m active in

Did you find this useful?

Pin to your blogging Pinterest board for others to see!

Pinterest for Bloggers - How to Increase Your Traffic with Pinterest

Pinterest for Travel Bloggers

Obviously, Pinterest is just one tool in your travel blogging toolkit. It is possible that many of you actually found this post via Google – this shows the strength of good SEO which should not be ignored for social media! SEO is something I wish I had paid more attention to from the start however it has given me an excuse to revisit old posts which need a bit of love. To find out more on my procedure for blogging check out this post tips to get more blog followers. Pinterest is guilty of creating high bounce rates – blogging needs a balance between all forms of traffic.

Pinterest now allows users to share affiliate links which is something I would like to explore in the near future! Is anyone using it? Let me know how you are getting on in the comments below.

Travel Bloggers Pinterest Weekly Task

Assuming you already have a Pinterest account set up (if you don’t, that is task 1)

  • Go to Canva
  • Select the Pinterest template
  • Create a stylish pin using the grids, templates, or free reign
  • Upload to your specific Pinterest board (remember to edit / link to blog / add keywords)
  • Join a Pinterest group board
  • Share pin with group board / like and add someone else’s pin
  • Join a Facebook share group and share your pin / share pins from other bloggers
  • Sign up for our 4 free lessons to drive more traffic to your site today

Next up: Twitter for Travel Bloggers

Pinterest is so useful for traffic and ideas – what have you found that works?


I have no affiliation with any of the websites mentioned above, I just think they are great for growing your Pinterest following and creating very pinnable pins for Pinterest!

5 thoughts on “Pinterest for Bloggers 2018: How to Increase Your Traffic with Pinterest

  1. Cherri Megasko says:

    Laura – You rock! I’ve had my blog for three years but I’m so technologically challenged that many things like this I’ve just ignored. When I read this article through the first time I was overwhelmed. But then I took it one tiny step at a time and within a half an hour I had created my very first Pinterest-specific image. I know that as I use these tools more I will get much faster. Thank you for breaking this process down to a level that even I can do it!

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Cherri. Gemma actually wrote this article. But we both use Pinterest and love it. You will definitely get better and faster at it. And it’s great for driving traffic.

    • Gemma says:

      That’s very cool to hear Cherri, thank you. I’m a teacher to trade so it makes me doubly happy to hear that the lesson worked! I may quote you in future

      How is your Twitter game? We have an article on building your audience there too (it’s here).

    • Gemma says:

      Thanks Rebecca! I feel your pain, plugins break all of the time. I actually just use a Chrome add-on (I also use the Chrome Buffer add-on, helpful) and don’t have a plugin specifically for Pinterest as my social share plugin picks it up on Two Scots Abroad.

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