How I Grew My Pinterest – BritMums Bibs Finalist 2019
Last week, I received a message from a friend to tell me that I was a finalist in the BritMums Brilliance In Blogging Awards. I was somewhat shocked.
I have to say, when I heard BritMums had a “Pinterest” category this year, I thought to myself, “yeah, a category that I would genuinely fit into”. I love Pinterest and have been working hard at it for the past three years. I thought to myself it would be amazing to become a finalist or even to win that Pinterest category of the Bibs Awards and I mentioned this to two online friends.
Then life got in the way.
I became unwell, we travelled to New Zealand, I got more sick, I came home and went into the hospital, I even had minor surgery and I just thought to myself, maybe this is not my year. So, it was a wonderful surprise to find out that I am one of the five finalists in the Pinterest category of the BIBS for 2019.
I was so happy and overwhelmed, I had a little cry.
I Can’t Grow On Pinterest.
Three years ago, I felt frustrated. I had a two-year-old blog and had grown my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages at a slow but steady rate. Pinterest, however, was a whole different kettle of fish. I had around 150 followers and I just could not get any traction.
No one was following me. I didn’t pin regularly and despite the efforts, I did make, I couldn’t seem to go anywhere. Even worse, I could not get any traffic to my blog from Pinterest and I saw it as a waste of space. Then something happened.
I created a Vegetable Train for my daughter’s birthday. I created a blog post and pin which I pinned to Pinterest and nothing happened!
That’s right! Nothing! Nada, Not a thing.
One Year Later on Pinterest!
Fast forward one year later and I began to get traffic from my Vegetable train. It wasn’t a lot, maybe 10 views a week but that was a lot to me back then. People were pinning my Veggie train pin and it was driving traffic to the blog.
I decided to repeat the process. I made more content and more pins for my blog. Again nothing happened, but then after about 6 months a few more pins took off and sent me small amounts of traffic. I finally realised that Pinterest could send me traffic if I could just learn how to use it.
Claiming A Pinterest Account
In 2016, I decided to try and work on my Pinterest skills. I started by reading what I could. I enabled rich pins on my account and claimed my site, so Pinterest could analyse how much traffic was going to The Inspiration Edit.
I then started pinning my own content along with pins which I loved. My following grew a little. I did more research and learnt more. I discovered I needed to SEO my boards! What did that mean? I hated the word SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and I really didn’t want to know anything about it.
Pinterest SEO and Keywords
I learnt about keywords and went through my Pinterest boards adding keywords to each board that I had. It took a few weeks to complete the task. I then started to add keywords to my pins, whilst improving my Pinterest design skills. Adding keywords, descriptions and making my pins searchable really began to make a difference.
People began to follow me and I began to grow a following.
Growing Traffic Through Pinterest
Despite the fact my boards and audience were growing, the traffic to my website was not really growing very much. I had the odd click through but the reality was my boards were not all relevant to my blog and I pinned a lot more “other” content than my own.
In 2016 I began designing Pinterest pins for other bloggers. I worked as a virtual assistant for several American bloggers with big Pinterest accounts designing and creating pins for them. The pins would do well and I still see many of these pins that I created being re-pinned over and over again today!
Growing My Own Pinterest Account
In 2017 I told myself, if others can do well on Pinterest then I can too. I began to create more content for my blog. I pinned the content using descriptions and keywords. I cleaned up my boards and removed any pins which did not really match the tone of my site. I improved SEO again and continued to improve my pin design skills, trying to grow my following and traffic even further. By 2018 I had grown my account to 8,000 followers.
In 2018 I joined Tailwind and began scheduling my pins. I dabbled in tribes but didn’t really get it. I did not understand analytics and pretty much threw spaghetti at the wall, making a pin, pinning it and hoping it would stick! I did this for another year and continued to grow. By the end of 2018 I was getting substantial traffic to my blog from Pinterest and had grown my monthly reach to 4.2 Million.
I’ve had to adjust to changes, for example when long pins became unpopular when hashtags were introduced and each time the algorithm threw a spanner in the works. I’ve had to constantly battle spammy and dodgy websites who steal my pins and traffic and do my best to keep up with the ever-changing world of Pinterest.
Where I Am Now On Pinterest
Fast forward to 2019 and I am still working hard on Pinterest. I took a course and studied everything I could about Pinterest. I am still putting what I learnt into practice and still have a long way to go. I now understand how to use Tailwind, from scheduling to making the most of tribes to using the smart loop system for pinning.
I finally understand both Pinterest analytics and Google analytics and can see what pins are doing well. This can guide me on which pins to refresh and what content will do well on my blog. I watch tutorials and keep up to date on best practices. It’s a learning curve and a journey I am still making.
I had a goal to reach 25 thousand followers by 2020 and I smashed my goal at the end of August this year. I’ve reset that to 30K. Another goal was to double my monthly traffic. I’ve done that too! I currently have a monthly reach of 6.3 Million on my Pinterest account. This does fluctuate over the months and seasons and can go up and down but I’m doing great and winning at Pinterest. The main goal though is to grow the traffic to my site!
My Future With Pinterest
I have to be honest, becoming a BIBS Finalist in the Pinterest category is exciting and whether I win the Award or remain a finalist, I am grateful for the knowledge I have gained and the skills I’ve developed in this area of blogging.
I am so excited to keep learning new things and put them into practice. I’m currently learning how to make Pinterest videos to drive traffic and am studying more and more each day. I’m learning more about deep diving into analytics and am looking forward to refreshing my pins and doing some a/b testing over the Halloween and Christmas seasons.
Pinterest is exciting and hard work but it is a search engine platform that can drive traffic to a blog or website and is a great platform to use. This is only the start and I can’t wait to see where the future takes me.
If you would like to vote for me in the BIBS2019 Awards, you can visit the voting form here!
About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!
Lyndsey O'Halloran says
Well done on being a finalist. I could do with putting a bit more effort with Pinterest if I’m honest! I do the basics now but could do a lot better.
There is a lot to do and we all have social channels we do better in. I think Pinterest is my best!
Talya Stone says
Wow Angela congratulations that is fab news I’m not surprised in the least as your Pinterest has always been fab!
Thanks Talya. It’s been a learning process.
Kim Carberry says
Congratulations! You have done amazingly well.
I have no idea when it comes to Pinterest. lol
Oh thanks Kim and thanks for supporting me the whole journey! You’re awesome!
lucy mackcracken says
Congratulations on being a BIBs finalist! Pinterest is one platform that I haven’t worked on at all. I recognise that it’s a good way to drive traffic but it feels a bit daunting starting from scratch, you’ve shown that it can be done.
Thanks Lucy! It’s a tough platform to get going and takes a long time… it’s not fast but is worth it!
Natalie Brett says
That’s brilliant, congratulations! I have to admit, I still don’t really understand Pinterest and I know I must spend more time studying it as I really want to grow my blog traffic. You have motivated me to get better at it, thank you!
It takes time but is possible if you learn.
Annette, 3 Little Buttons says
Pinned! Congratulations Angela! Wow – I just popped across to your Pinterest and you are totally bossing it. I on the other hand have no idea what I’m doing. So this post will come in handy to say the least! It’s amazing how much you have achieved. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you for BiBs. xx
Thanks Annette. It’s been an interesting journey so far and so much more to learn!
Well done on being a finalist! I have two pins that consistently send me traffic, and those are also my two blog posts with consistently the highest page views, so I need to find some time and see how I can apply that to other Pinterest content to increase traffic.
Thanks… Pinterest is slow and steady but does bring in traffic eventually.