How I went from Zero Pinterest Traffic to 50K Pinterest Visitors in One Month

How I went from Zero Pinterest Traffic to 50K Pinterest Visitors in One Month

disclosureOne of my friends was telling me back in January how she receives hundreds of thousands of visits from Pinterest. I knew I wanted to jump on the Pinterest traffic bandwagon, but wasn’t quite sure how. Then last month,when my daughter told me she searches Pinterest for everything (like how to treat a sore throat) instead of using Google, I knew I needed to take the initiative to learn how to get traffic from Pinterest. And I did.

I went from ZERO Pinterest traffic to a new visitor every minute in one month’s time (and this StatCounter image is just from one of my websites).

Traffic from Pinterest

Here’s how you can do it, too…

First, if you don’t have a Pinterest account, get one now! I’ll wait right here.

Important First Steps

Once you have an account, it’s important that you follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your Pinterest account is set up as a Business Account. You can convert your personal account quite easily by clicking here.
  2. Add your website URL to your Profile and confirm your website.
  3. Enable Rich Pins. First you must make sure that your website supports Rich Pins. If you use the Yoast SEO Plug-in, then you do already! If you don’t, I suggest that plug-in (plus it’s free). Click here to validate that you have Rich Pins enabled and submit your site to Pinterest.

Why Rich Pins?

Want to know why I did all of the above? See the example below where I compare pins before and after enabling Rich Pins.

Why You Should Enable Rich Pins on Pinterest

See the difference? Adding Rich Pins adds your blog name and blog post title above the pin as well as the meta description below the pin. This not only helps users know more about your pin, but it add great SEO value.

If you have multiple blogs on different domains (like I do), I suggest that you set up a Pinterest account for each domain name. That way every url can have Rich Pins enabled. Keep reading to see how I manage multiple Pinterest accounts easily.

SEO Hint

A good SEO strategy that I recommend is editing the description of each board to include what your board is about and include keywords that you’d like that board to rank for. Have you noticed how when you Google something, a lot of queries are Pinterest links? Yes, and we want our boards to be in those listings!

Think of Pinterest as a Search Engine with Images!

Best Image Size

The best image size for Pinterest graphics is 735 x 1102 pixels.

Pajama Affiliates gives you more tips on how to create good Pinterest images, like using vibrant colors, good keyword phrases in your titles and easy to read fonts.

Creating Images

I have been using Picmonkey for a couple years to create graphics (unfortunately it is no longer free), but my new BFF is Stencil (they also have a free version). Why do I love Stencil so much? Let me count the ways…

  1. You can search 1 million royalty free photos right from their site and add that image to your graphic. No more trying to find a free images and importing it, although you can import if need be.
  2. Recommended size templates for everything imaginable! I use the “Pinterest Post (735×1102)” the most, but it has all the sizes for every social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Youtube) posts, ad and/or header size.
  3. Design templates galore! Simply change the image and the wording and you can have a graphic made in literally under a minute.
  4. And this is my favorite part… You can share your image and message directly to social media! No more downloading a dozen images and going to upload to the various social media platforms. Every time I update an old post with a new Pinterest graphic, I share the post and appropriate sized graphics via social media.

Stencil Share To Pinterest Example

Another SEO Hint

When adding your graphic for Pinterest to your blog post, don’t forget to add keyword rich descriptions to the “Alternative Text”. I recommend using different verbiage from the title and the meta description since those will show with Rich Pins. You may want it to sound more “personal” as well since it will show where the person sharing usually comments. i.e. “Yum! This chocolate cake looks delicious and perfect for a picnic.”

Hiding Images

If you don’t want your Pinterest graphic to show up on your actual post, especially if it’s very similar to the main blog post image, you can “hide” it from the blog surfer, but still make it available for pinning. Simply add this code around your image source (Under “Text” in WordPress):


But, Where’s The Traffic?

So now that your Pinterest account is good to go, and you know how to make the best Pinterest images to use, you need people to see what you’re pinning!

Grow Your Followers

  • Make sure you have a link to Pinterest on your blog and cross promote on your other social platforms. i.e. Tweet out “Do you follow us on Pinterest yet?” with a link to your Pinterest account.
  • MiloTree is one of my favorite new finds that pops up on your site asking visitors to follow you. And this plug-in is free, too!
  • Repin “popular” pins that already have hundreds, if not thousands of repins, so you may show up to those other pinners as someone they should follow.
  • Update! Pinterest now allows hashtags, so start adding your keywords as hashtags to your pin descriptions. When you add, you’ll see how many others pins have that same hashtag. Since it’s still new, you may be the first to use a specific hashtag!

Join Group Boards

Finding and pinning to relevant group boards that allow collaborators gets your pins seen more often. I wish Pinterest offered the option of requesting to collaborate to group boards, but unfortunately they don’t. Some group board owners include instructions on how to contribute to their group board in the board description (i.e. email, fill out form, leave comment, contact via Pinterest).

Finding Group Boards To Join

Sometimes finding group boards is the biggest challenge. But I’m going to make it easier for you!  I’ve already went to a lot of trouble and finding and joining group boards, so if you’d like to join any of the group boards that I belong to, simply follow me on Pinterest and then contact me with your Pinterest URL and all the boards you’d like to join (please include the full URL so I can just click it on and don’t have to search as some boards may have the same name if I don’t own it). I may not be able to add you to all as not all owners allow others to add, but if I can, I will.

Pinterest Ads

Much like you can buy Google Ads and Facebook Ads, you can promote your pins. You can pay for “awareness” (impressions), “engagement” (likes, repins) or “traffic” (visitor to your site). I recommend traffic. The stuff that made Pinterest popular (i.e. crafts and recipes) are going to be quite expensive to buy keywords for, but you can get clicks for pennies to your site on newer niches (to Pinterest).

Who Has This Much Time?

Time Saver

I use Tailwind to schedule my posts at optimal times when Pinterest is the busiest. So it may look like I’m pinning all day long, when in reality, I set those all up last week. I installed the Chrome extension so I can schedule directly from Pinterest or my websites.

Whenever I add a new post or update my old posts, I share the graphic directly to Pinterest, then I use that pin for Tailwind so it’s repinned. Pinterest changed it’s algorithm to favor those pins with more repins.


Tailwind also recently introduced Tribes. There are various Tailwind Tribes (similar to Group Boards) with different niches where you can contribute pins and share other’s pins in exchange. I found this list of Tribes to join (most let you join instantly). I even started my own Tribe for fashion and beauty bloggers as I couldn’t find any Tribes in that niche.

Multiple Accounts

Remember I told you how I manage multiple Pinterest accounts? I set up the main boards on those accounts as group boards so that my main Pinterest account can contribute, or collaborate, as they call it. So they are basically “group boards”, but only I can pin to them. That way I can pin to multiple accounts from one account.

Advanced tips and tricks

Advanced Pinterest Tips

Once you have mastered all of the above, I recommend PotPieGirl’s Advanced Pinterest Tips to learn even more tricks (yes, I actually bought this course myself) for more Pinterest traffic. This video course paid for itself with what I learned. Yes, there is always more to learn…

[Free Guide] Pinterest for Business: Everything You Need to Know

How I Went From Zero Pinterest Traffic to 50K Pinterest Visitors In One Month

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Pinterest Affiliate Marketing: The Ultimate Guide To Making Money On Pinterest

Pinterest Affiliate Marketing: The Ultimate Guide To Making Money On Pinterest

What Is Pinterest Affiliate Marketing?

Pinterest affiliate marketing is when you recommend products on Pinterest for your followers to buy. When your followers purchase these products, you get a commission.

This doesn’t cost your reader anything extra and it won’t hurt them or you if they buy using your link. On the contrary; it’s a pretty win-win situation. Your viewer gets something that they wanted and you get paid. Buying from you doesn’t cost your viewer anything extra.

How To Add Affiliate Links On Pinterest

Adding affiliate links to Pinterest is pretty easy. First, you’ll create a pin like normal. You can do this from your profile page. Click the plus sign under the search bar, and then Create Pin.

pinterest create pin

And then you can fill in the title of your pin and a description. The only things left are to add your affiliate link and your picture.

I’m going to be using Amazon Associates for my example since it’s a pretty common affiliate program. Amazon has verified that their EU affiliates can use affiliate links on Pinterest. The US is a little bit more unclear. If you are nervous, I’d steer clear of putting Amazon on your social media accounts.

If we are using Amazon, we run into a problem:

We are not allowed to use Amazon’s pictures on Pinterest (or anywhere else).

So we’re creating a pin that looks like this:

incomplete pin

We need our affiliate link and our picture for the pin.

We’ll get the affiliate link off of Amazon using Sitestripe. You can search for the product you want and then near the top of the page, you’ll see the Sitestripe bar. Click Text and you’ll get your affiliate link:

link from amazon associates

So now we have to get our picture. Remember that we can not use any of the pictures on Amazon for this. We have to get our own.

There are a few places that are great for getting beautiful, free stock photos. I recommend Unsplash and Pexels. Both have a pretty wide variety and won’t charge you a dime.

If you need more stock photos, I recommend avoiding expensive options like Shutterstock or Adobe. I use Canva’s stock photo service. It costs $12.95 per month and is very much worth it. 

You’ll have to resize if you get a picture that’s wider than it is long. That’s a free feature in Canva and it won’t take more than a minute. Once we have our picture and link, we can put them in the pin:

finished pin

When anyone goes to your pin and clicks on the link, you get a commission if they purchase your product.

Easy as that.

Ideas & Best Practices For Pinterest Affiliate Marketing

So you know how to create pins with affiliate links. Now let’s talk about how to get the most out of your pins.

#1: Recommend Relevant Products

The first step here is to make sure that your pins are relevant to your audience. Here are some niches and items that would be relevant to one another:

  • Fitness: heart rate monitor, Crossfit equipment, workout at home gear
  • Outdoors: hiking equipment, tents, water bottles, backpacks
  • Home living: Stylish bar stools, kitchen knives, TV sets
  • Dogs: Food, bowls, collars
  • Crafts: DIY tools, craft supplies
  • Internet marketing: Software, marketing tools, courses

You want to offer your audience things that could help them. It will not help you to spam affiliate links to all sorts of products. Know what your audience wants and offer them good solutions to get it.

#2: Test Linking To Buying Guides Or Reviews

This will depend a bit on your niche. It might be a good idea to test for how you get the most sales. I would try linking straight to the affiliate product from Pinterest and linking to a review or buying guide on your website if you have one.

You will have to have good tracking for this method, but it’s not too difficult. The first thing you’ll need is to have separate links for your Pinterest post and for your buying guides. This isn’t a problem in Amazon Associates.

From the Associates dashboard, click on your email address. Then click on Manage Your Tracking IDs.

amazon associates manage tracking ids

Once you’re there, you want to click Add Tracking ID.

amazon add tracking id

Name it something so that you remember that it’s going on Pinterest.

Spend the next month or so comparing these tracking IDs. Send some of your pins straight to the affiliate product and other pins to your buying guides or reviews. Compare the results after about a month and see what’s bringing in the most conversions for you.

#3: Disclose Affiliate Relations & Avoid Link Cloaking

Almost all affiliate networks will require that you have some disclosure to an affiliate relation. This is due to FTC requirements for affiliate networks. You should always disclose these relationships in your pins. Amazon in particular has a specific line you have to say:

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

That disclosure changes, so be sure to check up on Amazon Associate’s TOS.

You’ll also have to pass on link cloaking. Pinterest’s Acceptable Use Policy makes it clear that your viewers should know where they’re going. No, no Bitly, no Pretty Links, nothing. I think that Amazon’s short links would be an exception to this, but I would stick with the full URL links just in case.

Growing Your Pinterest

Now that we’ve talked about some best practices, let’s look at expanding your income. It’s time to grow your little Pinterest account.

One of the most vital steps you can take early on is to make your profile look authentic. This means publishing pins, creating boards, and following others. If you already have a Pinterest account with 200+ followers, you can skip steps 1 and 2 below.

Step 1: Create 8-10 Boards & Start Pinning

The first thing you’ll want to do with a new or small profile is to create several distinct boards. The numbers here don’t have to be exact, but I think that 8-10 is a pretty good starting point. When people look at your profile, you want them to see that you’re authentic and have a range of interests.

These boards should be diverse, but contained within your niche. Here are some niches with potential board ideas:

  • Fitness: weight loss, body weight exercises, motivation
  • Outdoors: hiking views, camping, hiking locations
  • Home living: Home decor ideas, home fashion, living room
  • Dogs: Dog memes, cute puppies, humans and dogs
  • Crafts: homemade items, sewing, DIY project ideas

The goal here isn’t to make 8 or 10 random boards. You want these to make boards that your future audience will see and appreciate.

You can create a board by going to your profile on Pinterest and clicking the plus button. You’ll get an option to create a board:pinterest profile create board

After you click Create board, you’re given an option to name your board and mark it secret.

pinterest create board

You can mark your board secret if you like, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Some people like to mark their boards secret until the board has a significant number of pins. We’ll be pinning enough that your board will be filled up in just a few days, so I don’t think you have to mark it secret unless you want to.

Once your boards are set up, it’s time to start pinning.

Pinning on your own can be exhausting and time-consuming. I recommend a tool called Tailwind to do your pinning for you. Tailwind allows you to pin in mass. You can schedule pins, add them to your boards, and do a week’s worth of work in just a few hours.

For $10-$15 per month, it’s one of the best productivity boosters on the market for Pinterest or Instagram.

And you can use it free. 🙂

Click here to try Tailwind for free and boost your Pinterest affiliate marketing

Gain more followers and earn more money with Tailwind

Tailwind’s pin scheduler allows you to find all of the pictures on a page and schedule them for pinning. If you’re on Pinterest and activate the Tailwind Chrome extension, you’ll see something like this:

tailwind pin schedule

This screenshot has a lot going on, so allow me to explain.

Tailwind allows us to click images that we want to schedule. Any scheduled images get a blue highlight. You can see a list of scheduled posts on the bottom left of the screenshot.

When you have the images you want to schedule for Pinterest, Tailwind allows you to find and set your optimum times for publishing. These optimum times are based on the times your pins get the most views, repins, and engagement. This feature alone is worth the price of Tailwind.

Tailwind also allows you to choose what boards you’re pinning to and gives you the option to shuffle your pins so that you aren’t spamming your followers. I recommend pinning 30-50 images per day. You can back off as your account fills up with more content, but 30-50 per day is a good way to fill out a new account.

Once you’ve got your boards set up and pins publishing, it’s time to start gaining followers.

Step #2: Start Gaining Followers

There are a couple of primary ways that you’re going to gain followers:

  1. Following other people
  2. Repinning the most popular content

You should start following other profiles after you’ve got a few boards filled up and some published pins. These should be people in your niche, but they don’t have to be a carbon copy of your Pinterest profile. You might get a few followers this way, but the objective here is more to build an authentic profile.

You’ll gain the majority of your followers by pinning content that’s already popular.

I recommend that you pin already-popular content because you know that there’s an audience for it. This content has succeeded in the past so you know it will do well in the future. It will do well when you publish it.

This is pretty easy to do. Go to Pinterest and search for a topic. I’m going to search for “outdoor design ideas”. Activate Tailwind and find the pins that you love the most. 

selecting great pins

A general rule of thumb is that any of the top pins are pretty successful. And since you’re going to be pinning 30-50 images per day, you can select a lot of these images.

I recommend doing this for a few weeks. If you’re pinning at the rate that I recommend, filling out your boards, and repinning amazing content, your follower count should be on the rise. 

You can also begin pinning affiliate content or pins that redirect users to your website. Once you have a few hundred followers, it’s time to scale your Pinterest operation. 

Step 3: Scale Pinterest

You have some boards and you’re pinning a lot. You’ve built up a couple hundred followers and maybe your account is starting to get some traction. 

At this point, you have a filled out profile, look authentic, and have some followers of your own. To scale the operation, you’re going to start joining group boards.

Group boards look like this:

inside a group board

They are places where several people can join and post their pins. When someone joins a group board, all of their followers also join the board. This board has 67 pinners, but a whopping 271,903 followers.

When you join a group board, your followers will be able to see pins from other people than you. It’s a little bit of a dilution for your followers. But you get access to an enormous number of eyeballs in the span of a few seconds because all of those 271,903 followers can see your posts now.

It is 100% worth it.

To find a group board, I like to search “[topic] group board”. You can tell they’re group boards because the picture of the owner will have multiple people. You can see it in the red box below:

pinterest finding group boards

Click to enter in any of these group boards and see the content plus contributors. If a board is welcome to new people joining, they will almost always say so in the description of the group board:

group board description

This group board says “For an invite, please follow me first, and then message me for an invite.” But wait a second – who is this “me” person? Who do you message for an invite?

That’s not too hard to figure out either. When you click on the list of contributors at the top right, the founder is always the first person listed:

group board founder

You can also tell because this person is out of alphabetical order with the rest of the group 🙂

Follow the group founder and send him or her a message. Something simple will work fine: 

“Hi [name], are you still accepting contributors to [board]? If so, I would love to join. I specialize in [niche] and will follow all the rules you set.”

Once you are in a group board, it’s time to start directing users to your site. Your content has the ability to reach thousands of people now. Continue publishing popular pins, but start sprinkling in more pins to your own content. 

Joining group boards is the fastest and easiest way to scale your growing Pinterest account. Keep up your high number of pins or repins and you’ll be on your way to a significant account.

Why Should You Choose Pinterest Over Other Networks?

As you can tell, Pinterest isn’t the easiest win. It takes work and doesn’t bring overnight success. You can think of Pinterest as a marathon: the longer you pin and the more you pin, the bigger of a success you’ll be on Pinterest.

But I think it’s a lot more viable than other social media networks.

The game used to be played in Facebook and Twitter. What caused these two giants to move out of vogue?

Facebook lost popularity due to a variety of reasons. It started when Facebook changed algorithms so that posts from Facebook pages started showing up less and less. Pages could use ads to boost posts, but could otherwise expect that only a fraction of their users would see any given post.

Then ad costs began to rise. And they rose faster than your average portfolio: Facebook ad costs rose about 122% year over year.

Being pay-to-win is fine. To an extent, all of life is pay-to-win. But Facebook became pay-to-play-at-all.

Twitter has a different story. Users didn’t leave Twitter because it restricted their posts or because it boosted ad costs.

Users left Twitter because they realized it wasn’t working. An average click-through-rate (CTR) for Twitter links is about 2.8%.

But as your followers increase, your click through rate decreases. And considering that you can get a 20% open rate for your emails on a bad day, there are just better avenues of investment than Twitter.

Pinterest doesn’t share either of these weaknesses.

You can buy ads on Pinterest (though I’m not sure how effective they are). But you don’t need to buy ads on Pinterest. Instead, I recommend investing $50-$150 on a Pinterest VA each week who can repin existing posts and create new posts.

Pinterest is also built on the idea that your pins should reach a lot of people. It’s built on repins and groups, both of which work by increasing your reach. People want to have great pins on their page, so they will repin awesome content that you create. 

Group boards allow you to reach enormous numbers of people without having to spend years building a following or shelling out a fortune on ads.

Why Pinterest over Twitter and Facebook?

It requires less work and less money to reach a larger audience. It’s not an overnight success or a silver bullet. But Pinterest provides the greatest return on your investment per hour of time spent.

Affiliate marketing on Pinterest is easy to do but isn’t so crowded that everyone is getting spammed. Pinterest can drive traffic to your site and help you get sales. It just takes a little work.

Your Pinterest Affiliate Marketing Campaign

Pinterest affiliate marketing takes a little bit of practice, but it provides a higher ROI than other social media networks. I recommend using the inexpensive ($10-$15 per month) tool Tailwind to automate your pinning. A small investment of $10-$15 per month could save you hours of your (or a VA’s) time.

So you can invest more in other projects like improving your SEO or building authority sites

Click here to use Tailwind to automate your Pinterest account.

Pinterest affiliate marketing isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

By Brady Cargle

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