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How to Grow Your Pinterest Followers from Scratch
When I first started on Pinterest, I had two followers – my daughters then aged 10 and 12. That was it. It took me a while to learn how to grow my followers organically and from scratch.
Now before I say anything else… I need to make it clear that I’m not a Pinterest expert or anything remotely similar. I’m just a blogger… like you.
I’m not telling you that these are surefire ways that will make your Pinterest profile go berzerk. All I’m saying is that these are the ones that worked for me and if I’ve got this right; then I’m hoping it will work for you too ♥
Okay – now that that’s out of the way… let me tell you.
I made the mistake of starting my Pinterest journey from scratch, instead of using my old personal account – and that proved to be quite difficult. You see, Pinterest takes your account’s age into consideration when it is deciding to show your pins to other pinners. It looks at your account and goes hmmm… oh yes; or in most instances, oh no, not yet. So I had to work hard to grow my followers.
This is a long post, so put your feet up. If you’re too busy right now, feel free download this article as an eBook to save and refer back to later one, you can go ahead and get it here or click on the image below.
- How to Increase Your Pinterest Page Views in 5 Easy Steps
- How to Hide Vertical Pins Within Your Blog Post
- Blogging for Beginners: An Honest Guide
So, I started as everyone does.
You know what I mean, aye? By joining Facebook groups and doing the Follow-Me-I’ll-Follow-You and the Share-Mine-I’ll-Share-Yours dance routines.
It was not fun. It literally took up so much of my time. I’d end up setting aside every other day to sit in front of the computer, jump on Facebook and complete all my “commitments” for fear of getting told off or being booted off the group.
Every. Other. Day. That’s 2-3 days a week! 2-3 days that I could actually have been focusing on writing good content, reading some valuable resources, and learning.
Instead… there I was responding and commenting on Facebook, “Pinned”, “Shared”, and “Commented”. It was sad.
Don’t Do It
I don’t have a lot of followers, so I can’t claim to be anything than a normal Pinner. I’ve currently got
1020+ 1330+ 3,600 followers and 1.1M monthly views*. Also, it grows every day; so I’m pleased with that. Remember, I started with 2 followers… both children (my children!), who pinned pins about unicorns and Stranger Things memes. *(Updated: 18 April 2018)
I guess what I’m trying to say is – I’m no expert, but I do know this much: Growing fake followers is not going to help you in the long run.
Don’t do it. Here’s why:
- It takes up a tremendous amount of time to meet all your outstanding commitments, for very little to no ROI (return on investment)
- It’s not genuine – they’re not your true followers, and likely won’t even bother clicking on your pin to read your post. So what’s the point?
- When your stats spike up on those Follow Me thread days, Pinterest knows you’re up to no good and will likely just punish you and send you to Pinterest jail for a few days. That’s not fun.
- Pinterest is an intelligent tool – so treat it like one.
10 Secrets You Should Use to Grow Your Pinterest Followers From Scratch:
So anyway – here you go! Everything I have learned *so far* (because I’m always learning – you have to!)… and in no particular order.
Grow Your Pinterest Followers #1- Manual Pinning
Have you heard about the Manual Pinning method? If you haven’t, you should look into it. Carly has been a tremendous help in my journey. She has an awesome book that covers everything Pinterest and goes in depth about the steps to this method. It’s especially good for people who are just starting out… or perhaps have been pinning for a while but have not seen any results.
You can read about how it helped me here. If you choose to get the book (which I strongly recommend), you also get to join a Facebook group, which is an amazing community filled with like-minded bloggers. It’s not a follow-me-follow-you group. It’s one where you genuinely get to ask questions and get genuine answers in return. Carly is also super active in this group, so you get a chance to engage with her too.
So anyway, the idea behind manual pinning is that Pinterest “sees” you as being engaged. It knows that you are not some bot that is just pinning away. It trusts that you are discerning in what you are pinning – and Pinterest likes that.
Grow Your Pinterest Followers #2- Automated Pinning
Individually, both tools have really good functionality which comes with a lot of benefits. I have tried both Boardbooster and Tailwind, and I have to say that my preference would have to be Tailwind.
Tailwind is a great tool. Some people find it confusing to start with, but once you get the hang of it – I think the benefits outweigh the initial confusion.
So you start off by creating time slots – or you can use the time slots which are auto-generated for you.
I particularly love it for its smart Board List, which is actually a new-ish feature that was recently introduced. Through this, you can sort your boards and group boards into smart lists. So when you need to pin something, you simply select which board list(s) you want it pinned to.
I just make sure that my time slots are filled for at least a week; and that way I can focus on manual pinning throughout the week. Tailwind also has a feature which allows you to automate your pinning schedule at different intervals – so it doesn’t look like you’re spamming your group boards. You don’t want that!
You should be pinning not just your pins, but also the pins of others. In fact, the ratio known to boost more Pinterest authority and traffic is a 70:30 ratio. 70 of other people’s pins, and 30 of yours. Yes – more of theirs, and less of yours.
If you would like a more in-depth rundown on Boardbooster vs. Tailwind, I’d suggest you head on over to Obstacle.Co here. Paul Scrivens has a fantastic and very detailed article on it.
Grow Your Pinterest Followers #3- Pin Throughout the Day
So now that you’ve got your pins automated, you need to ramp up your manual pinning strategy. You do this by pinning whenever you’ve got a free moment – say for instance, while your baby is asleep and you want to have a quick rest off your feet while waiting at the bus stop, while having a cup of tea, a few minutes before you fall off to sleep at night. Whenever suits you.
This lets Pinterest know that you are the one that’s active…. not just your automated pins.
Now when you’re pinning throughout the day – try and pin a mix of yours and others again.
When you’re scrolling through your Pinterest feed, and you see a Follow suggestion… if you feel it fits within your niche or anything else that you normally pin, go ahead and Follow it.
This tells Pinterest that 1- It understands you, and it’s reading your activity well, and 2- you’re engaging with it.
Grow Your Pinterest Followers #4- Join Pinterest Group Boards
Pinterest Group Boards play a very big role in getting your pins out there.
Because every time you pin your own pin into a group board, other pinners in the group board get to see it. Whether the followers of a group board’s owner sees your pins or not is a whole other story. Pinterest keeps changing up its algorithms and strategies.
The point is – you want to get into as many high performing group boards as you can. Note that I said high performing here. That’s important. If the group board that you are in doesn’t perform (meaning, you’re not getting any repins or relevant activity from it), then it’s not worth it. Feel free to leave the board… or keep watch of it.
Personally, I’m on around 60-65 group boards.
I know that getting into group boards can be a bit difficult. The first thing to do is to find group boards that fit your niche – Parenting, Kids, Money, Career etc. Then get in touch with the group board owner and ask if you can be invited.
You can normally find instructions on how to find a group board at the top of the board page.
Personally, if the group board instructions are hard to find, too stringent, or make me jump through hoops… I just give it a miss. It’s not worth it – at least, not for me.
Have you heard of the Dare to Conquer? Right. So I just purchased my membership this week, and so far, I am not regretting it. That’s good, right? No, but seriously, if you are a new blogger Dare to Conquer is a really good investment. I wish I bit the bullet when I first started blogging. But anyway.
My point is, with Dare to Conquer, you pay a one-off membership fee, and get lifetime access to all the courses, ebooks, and resources that Paul Scrivens (or Scrivs) offers. Even better, you get access to an amazing community of bloggers with varying levels of experience. Scrivs himself is always online to respond to you himself. I think that’s really cool.
Another thing I found really helpful with Dare to Conquer is the Pinterest Group Boards. There is a list of Group Boards that other bloggers own. They give really simple instructions on how to join. For most, you literally just send them an email saying that you’re a Dare to Conquer member and that you’d love to join their group board – and you’re in.
And instead of the follow-me-follow you strategy, Dare to Conquer gives you an opportunity to work on “tasks”. For example, if someone needs help with sharing their pin, they open a task. You then go on a complete the task for them… if you want to and more importantly, if it fits with your niche. And by completing a task, you “earn” points which then allows you to raise your own task. Cool!
Side note here… Enrollments for a lifetime Dare to Conquer membership are now closed, but you can sign up to be notified when it’s back up and open. He has a free 12-day Blogging Boot Camp available in the meantime… and I recommend you sign up for this. This is how I first learned of Paul’s teaching style. Moving on…
Grow Your Pinterest Followers #5- Create Awesome Quality Images
I’m sure you’ve all heard that Pinterest is a visual search engine. Right? Okay, so this means that us human users use visuals to decide on whether we want to click, pin, save, or skip a pin.
Your pins need to be visually appealing. Images, colors, text, and font all need to be considered.
If your font is hard to read, it’s going to be skipped.
If your image is poor or overly graphic, it’s going to be skipped. (I recently saw a pin with an image of a butt hole. An honest to goodness anus hole. To be fair, it was a pin about how to counter so and so butt problems, but really… or should I say, butt really?! Choose your images wisely! Good grief!
Your colors? They need to be bright and inviting. Very light and very dark pins don’t do well. The same goes for blue. For some reason, studies have shown that Red and Orange pins outperform blue pins. It’s a science… it really is.
The optimal pin sizes as recommended by Pinterest are 600 x 600, 600 x 900, and 600 x 1260. Vertical pins perform the best, simply because if someone is scrolling through their mobile phones (which majority of users do), tall, vertical pins are easier to see.
Grow Your Pinterest Followers #6- Create Pin Titles that are Click-Worthy
Now it’s all well and good to have visually attractive images, but your Pin Title needs to stand out too.
Let’s talk about what makes a pin title click-worthy, shall we?
Pinterest users go into to Pinterest because they are looking for something. It’s the same way that someone would go into Google… it’s to search for something they want to know, learn, solve, or purchase.
Pinterest is a search engine, just like Google; and these are the four key drivers of Pinterest users: To Know, Learn, Solve, or Purchase.
So when you are creating a pin title, it’s important to keep these key drivers in mind.
1- Who is your target pinner? Are you targeting moms of a certain age? Or perhaps, you are hoping to attract married women, single moms, working moms, millennials?
Example: Married women
2- What do you want to tell your pinner? What problem or issue are you promising to solve for them if they click on your pin? Are you telling them something that by clicking on your pin, they will learn something?
Example: I can help you fix your marriage.
3- Is what you are telling them to do believable and doable? How will you help them?
Example: I can show you how to fix your marriage by doing 31 small acts – nothing major.
Take this pin for example:
This pin has been pinned over 3K times. Why? Because it speaks to an emotional need that promises how to fix it using a small, realistic method.
Grow Your Pinterest Followers #7- Optimize Your Bio and Make It Clear
More than people looking at your bio (because most don’t anyway), an optimized bio is important because it helps Pinterest to understand who you are.
So take a look at my bio here… when I first started blogging, I thought that I would be blogging about raising a blended family – hence the name, This Blended Home of Mine. Well, I wasn’t very wise in choosing a name because it wasn’t long before I started writing about other things outside of being a blended family. (Lesson right there!)
Now if I just left my bio with my blog name – This Blended Home of Mine, Pinterest (or other pinners) wouldn’t know that I actually write about other things. So by taking some keywords, I created a bio or a quick blurb, elevator pitch – call it what you want – saying:
“This Blended Home of Mine – Empowering Moms – Parenting, Life, Money Matters, and Career.”
Below that (under the larger text) you will a little bit more in terms of detail.
So it goes on to say: “Empowering moms through personal development and simplified living | Parenting, Life, Career, and Money Matters.”
This actually helps Pinterest (and Google when you’re Googling) know who I am and what I’m about.
That means when Pinterest is making recommendations on who to follow (as per Grow Your Pinterest Followers #3- Pin Throughout the Day above), it knows who I should be promoted or recommended to.
Grow Your Pinterest Followers #8- Make Your Pins Searchable and Optimized for Indexing
It’s really important to know first the important criteria that meet the Pinterest search engine to index your pin and display it in search results.
When Pinterest is analyzing pins for indexing – meaning choosing which content to show and to whom; Pinterest looks at the following:
Title – 10 Clear Signs That Tell You That Your Marriage is in Trouble
Description – Everyday life keeps us so busy, and often we forget to pay attention to what matters most. Here are 10 Signs in Your Marriage that you shouldn’t ignore.
Meta Description – 10 Signs That Tell You That Your Marriage is In Trouble This Blended Home of Mine – Marriage Problems, Marriage Advice, Marriage What To Do
Image – as per image below
Now you’ll see in the image below that by optimizing my pin, Pinterest has decided that it understands what my pin is about. So when you go in to search for marriage trouble tips, my pin comes up along with other suggestions.
Grow Your Pinterest Followers #9- Create Your Own Group Boards
Okay, so now that you’re doing things consistently and putting the right bits in place… now is the time to create your own group boards.
Having your own group boards is a great way to collaborate with other bloggers. While you may think, “hang on, I’m only just starting” or “Oh but I don’t have enough followers”; I’d suggest you drop that thought.
You see – we all start with nothing. And just like you and me, there are always new bloggers who either need a hand or would like someone to collaborate with. Joining large group boards can be quite intimidating for new bloggers. By creating your own group boards, you are giving other bloggers a chance to be part of something.
There’s a saying in Karate (I use this because my daughter does Kyokushin Karate)… “A black belt is a white belt who never gave up”. Perfect!
I mentioned before (Point #4) about Dare to Conquer – once again, this is a really great investment. Here you can both join group boards and invite other bloggers to join yours.
There are also many Facebook groups that are specific to growing group boards. Personally, I like Pinterest Pals. This group is hosted by Amber Temerity, the face behind the Thrifty Guardian. She also has a free Pinterest course in case you might be interested.
Grow Your Pinterest Followers #10-Be Consistent and Be Patient
Okay, so you think you’re doing all the work – you’ve implemented everything. Now it’s time to be patient. Don’t get frustrated. Don’t get demotivated. Everything takes time.
Here’s the thing though… you need to be consistent.
So just to wrap it all up, here are 10 (Non-)Secrets You Should Use to Grow Your Pinterest Followers From Scratch:
- Manual pinning
- Automated pinning
- Pin throughout the day
- Join Pinterest group boards
- Create awesome images
- Create pin titles that are click-worthy
- Optimize your Pinterest bio and make it clear
- Make your pins searchable and optimized for indexing
- Create your own group boards
- Be consistent and be patient
Resource Investments that are Truly Worth It
There you go! I hope you found that useful xx