Category: Pinterest

How To Make Pinterest Graphics That Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog (Full In-Depth Tutorial)

How To Make Pinterest Graphics That Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog
How To Make Pinterest Graphics That Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog – Graphic © 8FigureStack. Background photo – Shutterstock (under license)

This tutorial will show you how to create Pinterest graphics that blow away the competition! 🙂

Introduction / Getting Started

After 8 years of doing this; creating and testing thousands of images and generating millions of visitors (yes really millions, I am not exaggerating) from Pinterest to my 20+ blogs, I think I can safely say that I have identified the key factors that go to make up a successful Pinterest graphic… 😉

For this tutorial I am going to assume that you / your graphic designer have the required technical skills to operate Photoshop, Canva or whatever design platform you are using. (If you are totally new to creating graphics – use Canva. Canva rocks. I love it. I used the free version of Canva to create the above graphic!)

Good news: You don’t need to be a college-educated graphic design pro to do this! I’m completely self taught in graphic design (using both Adobe Photoshop and Canva) and have created graphics that got millions (yes really) of shares.

No disrespect at all to pro designers – but the nuances of what go to make a successful social media graphic are not necessarily the same as the kind of graphic design that may be taught at college. Social media graphics that get massive traffic are a specific skill set and an art form in their own right – and this is what this tutorial is about!

Related Post: How To Make Money On Pinterest (full tutorial)

Traffic Equals Money

Generating traffic is the lifeblood of an internet based business. You may have heard the expression “traffic equals money” and it’s true.

I have multiple blogs pulling consistent traffic from Pinterest and these deliver an ongoing passive revenue stream. Here’s an example of the traffic on one of them:

This is a screenshot from the analytics of my recipe blog. You can see how traffic always spikes on the weekend, when people spend more time cooking. The “bump” in the middle was when the lockdowns started in 2020 and restaurants were closed!

Good graphics make a huge difference to your Pinterest traffic: You can create pretty much any image (that doesn’t break ToS of course) and pin it on Pinterest; however some images will generate crazy traffic and some will not. You need the RIGHT kind of images and there is an art and science to this. The VITAL thing to understand is how to make the kind of image styles that are going to get a lot of clickthroughs and repins.

Stand Out From The Pack

Put yourself in the mindset of the average Pinterest user who is ‘consuming content’. They are most likely either searching for content on a specific topic, looking at themed boards on topics they love, or randomly scrolling through images related to something they just looked at.

In every case, your pins are going to be presented by Pinterest in a “sea of pins”. Pinterest will notice which of those pins get the strongest engagement and will display those images to more people.

So making images that stand out from the pack and get the click is essential. Your images need to “pop” in a big way and for best results you need to understand what makes an image pop – then max out those characteristics.

The most successful Pinterest images tend to have one very strong hook that grabs the eyeballs immediately. Typically this hook will be either huge “power words” or a very compelling image (this image could be either an illustration or a photo).

Note that compelling images don’t necessarily have to be beautiful. They can be compelling because they are bizarre, unexpected or confusing: One of my most successful Pinterest images ever, featured a bright amber-orange colored blob of resin oozing from the trunk of a tree… I am sure its viral success is because it generated massive curiosity – the “What the heck is that?” reaction. It’s impossible to ignore.

A Bit Basic And “In Your Face” Often Beats Elegant

Note, interestingly, that ugly images can sometimes do really well. It has to be “the right kind of ugly” though. Super elegant graphics can get lots of repins but just don’t seem to drive traffic as well as graphics that jump off the page and grab you by the scruff of the neck.

Youtubers have learned that a wide-open mouth photo – even to the point of absurdity – grabs more attention than a photo of a person with their mouth closed. Look at “Mr.Beast” Youtube thumbnails for a perfect example of this.

You can see that the main graphics on this blog are intentionally bold, high contrast, somewhat “in your face” styles – with the most important words of the headline ramped up to a huge size…

Interestingly also, sometimes “amaeturish” (in the right way) looking graphics can have great appeal. The reason for this is psychological: If you are “super fancy”, it can be a bit unintentionally intimidating; leading people to “exclude themselves” subconsciously. Whereas (I hope this doesn’t sound terrible but it’s really true) if you come across “a bit basic”, people conclude “this person doesn’t exactly seem like a genius – but they are crushing it, which means I can do this too!” *click*…

Big Headlines Rule

Putting your headline into the graphic is a tried-and-tested tactic that works extremely well on numerous social media platforms. I discovered this in 2013 and it’s an absolute key factor that I’ve been using ever since. I’ve had “headline graphics” send so much Facebook traffic (over 260,000 pageviews in one day) that they crashed my VPS hosting; and once had a headline graphic earn me enough money in one weekend to buy a BMW – which I did (true story!!)

The first thing to note is that your headline should be a winner in its own right and should be displayed in a very large, clear, easy-to-read font, typically together with one or more attractive images – however sometimes “just the words” can work well too! Your logo should be in there somewhere but it can be v small and unobtrusive, because most people are not really too concerned about that at this point.

Make the words way too big. Then double that. Then make them a bit bigger still. And then they will be nearly big enough. 😉 You get the picture… Make your images with monster size words and lay them out clearly – because then your image just jumps out more than 99% of what is on the screen. Content creators are catching on now and you can see “big word” graphics all over Pinterest – but remember also that the majority of people simply don’t do this and never will, so you get an immediate, big advantage!

Now let’s look at how to arrange your headlines and words for maximum effect.

Vary The Word Size, The Right Way

You can see also that I put the “power words” in big, capitalized fonts, with the less “important” words minimized. This is deliberate too! When people are scrolling, they have a minimal attention span. A big block of uniform text is “too much” for the brain to process at first glance. Their eye is going to go naturally to something that is quick to comprehend and speaks directly to their needs. My graphic here was optimized so that the person scrolling on Pinterest will see “PINTEREST GRAPHICS” “DRIVE MASSIVE TRAFFIC” first. That’s the “hook” – as “bite sized” as I could make it! Then there is a second stage of comprehension, where they take in the rest of the headline, the other elements and make a snap decision “is this for me”?

Phrasing And Word Clusters

Note also that my headline wording is carefully organized so that the “flow” of the phrasing is natural:

How To
Make Pinterest Graphics
Drive Massive Traffic
To Your Blog

reads much easier than

To Make Pinterest
Graphics That
Drive Massive
Traffic To Your Blog.

Can you see the difference? This is more important than people realize!

Read your headline out loud – and take note of the natural tendency we have to “group” words into small clusters. Then organize your headline visually according to those clusters. This “natural phrasing” will help with at-a-glance comprehension – which is vital to grabbing attention!

Use More Than One Font

You can see that on all my main graphics for this blog, I use more than one font. That’s deliberate. I don’t know why, but it seems to add appeal and “just works”. Try using a blend of “handwriting” and bold sans-serif fonts. Handwriting fonts have a “friendliness” to them that is inviting and gives a flourish to “round off the edges”. Try also using a blend of lower case and capitals. If you exclusively use bold capitals, it “sounds like you are shouting” and that can put people off!

For the above graphic, the fonts I used were Euphoria Script, Open Sans Extra Bold, Josefin Sans Regular and Courier Prime (for the logo at the foot). The free version of Canva includes lots of super great fonts that ‘just work’ so explore and try some out until you find a ‘flavour’ that you feel represents you well and has the right vibe. 🙂

Lists, Numbers, Percentages And Brackets

A simple tried-and-tested headline formula that perennially works well is the “numbered list”. You can see these all over this blog. That’s deliberate! People love numbered lists. Strangely, researchers have found that odd numbers get more clicks than even numbers. I’ve no idea why.

How big should your list be? For some list-style blog posts, a very large list works well i.e. 80+ Ways To Make Extra Money – because that is indicative of a really high value resource. A “Top 10” list suggests a fun but informative post. However a small number (try 3,5 or 7), combined with a sense of urgency, suggests that the post will be a quick, low-commitment read but contain vital info; this can get tons of clicks too – for example something like “The 3 Things You Must Know Before You ___________” (try that headline! 🙂 )

In all the list graphics on this blog, you can see that I made the numbers really big on the page – bigger than the words – and put them in a circle of the opposite color, to make them jump out even more.

Percentages, specific amounts of money (be honest though, because that’s actually extremely important for legal reasons) and brackets, have all been shown to increase headline clickthrough as well and have all generated viral traffic for me. My God, am I really telling you all this for free? 😉 You don’t even know how much money this made me.

[for more on headlines, I will post a power headline tutorial very soon].

Optimal Pinterest Image Sizes / Image Ratios

The next thing to note is the image size and dimensions.  TLDR: Make your images 600×900, 800×1200 or 1000×1500. These are “tall” images with the height 1.5 times the width.

Here’s an example of how a well-crafted Pinterest image stands out:

This is a generic Pinterest “More like this” section. Which of the images in this screenshot stands out the most? Easy – the “Eco Experts” image!

You can see that in the “sea of images”, The Eco Experts not only have the biggest wording and most eye catching high-contrast colours, but they have the tallest image – which makes it about 3x as visible as the others!

This is important to understand. Because of the way images are displayed on Pinterest, with the image widths standardized and the heights variable, Pinterest naturally awards tall “portrait” images more overall “pixel real estate”. They simply take up more of the screen! Hardly anyone will notice a flat “landscape” image on Pinterest – because these are given a tiny amount of the screen and just don’t stand out at all.

So make tall “portrait versions” of your images and you will get more Pinterest clicks!

Not too tall, though. The height ratio needs to be in the zone: If you make your graphic super crazy tall, Pinterest automatically cuts off part of the image when it is in the feed! Pinterest themselves stated that super tall “skyscraper” images get less visibility from Pinterest’s algorithm – to stop people abusing this quirk of the way Pinterest displays images. We researched it and the maximum size ratio before it cuts off some is 1:2.1 – though note that this figure seems to change often.

I have done well with images that are between 600×600 (square) and 600×1260 and I think anything within this ballpark should be fine.

For years the optimal image size for Pinterest has been regarded as 600×900. Pinterest is now actually recommending 1000×1500 when you upload pins directly; however this is a hassle – because if you post an image at that size on your blog, it will load WAY slowly because of the massive file size – and Google for example uses page load speed as one of its ranking factors! Pushing up the recommended image size to 1000×1500 was in my view a horribly shortsighted move by Pinterest… but it is what it is. I’m still posting 600×900 images – and my old 600×900 images are still getting traffic. I’ve tried using 1000×1500 images and didn’t notice a difference in traction so far.

Tiny images – whether tall or flat – are not advised at all. I would say use nothing that is less than 600×600 pixels as a general rule of thumb. Images need to be more than 80 pixels in size to be picked up by Pinterest’s “pin it button”. Thumbnails won’t be found – for good reason. Also note that anything within flash sites or frames cannot be picked up by the Pin It button and shared on Pinterest, neither will web page “backgrounds”.

One Awesome Graphic Will Outperform 10 Average Or Weak Graphics, Every Time

Focus on quality first, quantity second.  A good graphic doesn’t have to be complex, but it has to have the right attributes.  Make it your goal to create graphics that are going to be big winners first, rather than just trying to crank out a gigantic number of run-of-the-mill images.

Let’s look in detail at some examples of good and bad Pinterest graphics:

Max Out The Appeal (Good And Bad Examples Below!)

Now this (below) is a GREAT pinterest graphic, and look – 20k repins, which is MEGA. They paid some bills with this graphic 😉

Image –

Whoever made this graphic was a Pinterest pro (and a real estate pro, I’ll bet). It has all the hallmarks. They made the whole thing very appealing and it really sparks some excitement.

Note how they laid out their photos.  There is one well-chosen “show piece” photo that has the wow factor, with that classic industry-standard “real estate golden glow” that is artificially added to make an interior space seem warm, cosy and inviting. Then there are a few small pics underneath, that you can’t really see, and so it makes you want to click them to make it bigger. I’d say that’s deliberate!  Also, you think, hmm, the headline says 50 altogether, but I can only see 7 thumbnails. That means there are many more in their article! This adds to the curiosity too.

Grabs attention → makes sense quickly → appeal generates desire → sparks curiosity = they got the click and the share.

It’s a great exercise to just go on Pinterest and search for something, it can be anything like ‘best living room designs’ or whatever, and then just scroll, and see which images jump out at you. You can see that only a few will jump off the page – and that most people are doing it totally wrong!

Not many people really understand this. It’s a ‘social media secret weapon’.  Most people are just posting whatever image they have and hoping for the best!

Even a large number of pro graphic designers don’t really know how Pinterest works (because they are not internet marketers!) and don’t know how much of a huge difference it makes when the image has all the right factors!

Image – Buzzfeed

This example (above) is not really a “Pinterest image” (it’s not tall) but this one did SUPER well on Facebook.  The wording is AWESOME. This is just how you should do the words for Pinterest. I rate this wording 10 out of 10. A textbook example. See how it fills up the entire space, has great color and grabs your attention in just the right way. See also how the most important words are BIG, speeding up comprehension and making it “bite sized”.

The image choice too is awesome. It features one of the 12 exercises, makes you want to check the other 11. Also the model is doing the pose well, and looks stylish in their black workout clothes. The whole thing is cool, cool, cool. Buzzfeed are of course Grand Masters of the social media game and success isn’t an accident…

Next (below) is an example that is “not bad”. It got 1k repins. Nice big words that hit you right in the face – check. And some useful info.  But… their color scheme is… kinda ugly to be honest… really no sense of style lol. Super uninviting bare concrete wall. Also, I would have put the numbers in each image, i.e. 1 – Downward Dog, 2 – Cat Pose…. so people can see 1,2,3,4,5 and then click because they want the other 4. Put the numbers in nice little colored circles also. People love things that don’t involve “mental gymnastics” to figure out what is going on.

Image –

Now this one (below) is better. It got 4k shares.

Image –

People love simple hand-drawn illustrations and in the health niche especially, simple “anatomical” style images of the body (or the parts of the body relevant to the post) are a proven winner. The overall colors here are nice. I still think the words could have been even bigger! But this is definitely on target – a winner.

Now apologies to the creator, but this one (below) is a true disaster, can you see why? So many reasons….

Image –

It grabs your attention, but, it does so like someone throwing a drink in your face.  First, that headline is a verbal train wreck. You are reading it and thinking huh??? “Number one best how to guide to.“  What???? Did they really write that and think it was good? It’s the most clumsy wording ever! Also their phrase grouping is non-existent.  

There are many other things wrong with this picture.  Their graphic has poor layout, truly horrible color choice… and the funny little skyscrapers and houses have nothing to do with containers also. Also, their photos have literally ZERO appeal. Not only are they ugly (compare this junkyard with the amazing sparkle in the container homes in the winning pic from and ask yourself “Who on earth would want to live in one of these rusty old boxes?”) – but also, they have cropped the photos terribly so you just can’t even see what is going on there anyway.  They are failing at social media. This graphic was done by a rank amateur, not a professional.

Sometimes “work in progress” pics can add interest to a graphic – but with recipes, DIY crafts and other creativity-oriented niches, a big “showpiece image” of the finished product should be front and center.

Learn From Your Data

As with all things social media; if you create a batch of new graphics and pin them, you will most likely find that some will flop, most will perform “somewhere in the middle” and a few will blow the others out of the water.

Quite often, you won’t be able to predict which posts will be the super strong ones. But then when you review the statistics, you can take note of which of your posts did best – and start to interpret why. This is absolutely key because it enables you to improve your skills. Study your analytics and learn from the data, so that you can do more of what works. You can also learn a huge amount from looking at the stats of other blogs.

This process of refinement is ongoing and you will improve over time – but you will find (I still do after 8 years) that the performance of your images can catch you by surprise. Typically when I get a “unicorn” image that generates mega shares and viral traffic, it was unexpected – however overall, you will become more consistent and your chances of hitting that bullseye viral image increase.

Keep learning and keep going – because, put simply, the more darts you chuck at the dartboard, the higher your odds of hitting the bullseye (especially if you learn from your shots as you go along).

You will find that after you have made thousands of graphics, you will be a reliable sharp shooter. It’s also fun to look back at your early attempts and see all the ways in which you have grown.

Another benefit of having a large image portfolio is that you will naturally end up with a higher number of winning cards in your hand – that you can re-play whenever you need a traffic boost. “A viral image is a viral image” – and in many cases can continue to generate good traffic even if re-posted years later! There are certain viral images of mine from the old days (2013) that still generate good traffic whenever I post them!

This phenomenon is interesting. You would have thought that “everyone would have seen it by now” – but that’s not the case. The world is big. Even if your post gets a million views, that means only about 1 in 7,000 people has seen it: Try posting it again a few months later – I bet it does well all over again. 😉

Learn From The Data Of Others

You can learn a huge amount about “what works” by looking at the statistics of other accounts! You have to know which stats matter, though. For Pinterest, the number of “monthly views” is the key metric when it comes to traffic and this gives a fairly reliable indication of how much traffic is being driven by that account. You can see the monthly view count on the home page of any Pinterest account.

Pinterest caps the “maximum” displayed monthly view count at 10m+ and so to see which designs really work best, dig around in Pinterest and make a list of accounts that have 10m+ monthly views. Then go to their “created” tab and check out their designs.

If A Design Is Performing Well, It’s Ok To Use Similar Layouts And Styles For Multiple Posts

Looking at Pinterest accounts that have a high number of monthly views (in the millions) you can see that quite often, they use the exact same design / layout / fonts / color schemes for multiple images, or even for all of their images! This doesn’t seem to be harming them at all! So, once you hit upon a winning design that gets noticeably better traffic than your other graphics, try making lots of images in this style. Interestingly also, this can have the effect of “brand recognition” of that style, which is very desirable – as well as speeding up the process of creating new Pinterest graphics! 🙂

I would suggest to try developing a number of different styles until something performs visibly better than your other designs (keep an eye on your blog analytics to see which posts are getting the most Pinterest traffic) – and then try replicating that design with new headlines and unique imagery. Canva has a super-useful “Make a Copy” function (in the “file” menu) and this can be used to duplicate an existing image, which you can then edit to use for a new post.

Image Licensing: Should You Use Free Or Paid Images?

While “free image” sites such as Pixabay, Pexels and Unsplash give tons of amazing, usable “CC0 / Public Domain” images that you can incorporate into your graphics, numerous Pinterest pros now advise against using these – and my own research agrees.

The reason is simple: They have been massively over-used. Pinterest’s algorithm gives a visibility boost to original content. The vast majority of people use Pixabay / etc “free” images – and these will have likely already been used on hundreds or perhaps thousands of Pinterest graphics.

It’s widely agreed that you will notice a significant bump in the traffic generated from your Pinterest graphics when you stop using Pixabay / Pexels / Unsplash and other free image sources. My best performing pins ever have used either “paid” licensed images or images coming from uncommon, less well known sources…

So for best results, either take your own photos or license images from one of the “pro” image licensing sources such as Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. I love Shutterstock – they have tons of incredible images and if you purchase a monthly plan (you can always cancel before renewal) you get the best deal. So I tend to wait until I have a big batch of content that needs images – then buy a monthly plan, download the maximum amount and cancel before the renewal date.

Note – doing simple Photoshop processes to Pixabay images to try to “fly under the radar” of image uniqueness, probably won’t work. I tested this, using a Google reverse image search (which uses similar technology) and found that ‘flip horizontal’, resize, hue/saturation adjustment etc makes no odds, the image is still picked up. I had to really “smash” images to get them to beat Google reverse image search: “Inverse” (which creates a photo-negative) works but is not usable for the majority of photos because it looks terrible. Saving as a PNG with massively reduced color spectrum (i.e. down to 2,3 or 4 colors) also works and can look attractive, so this could possibly be utilized for some imagery.

What I just wrote will make sense if you are a Photoshop pro. All the above is time consuming and fiddly. You might as well just license an image or take a photo 😉

Pro Trick: Multiple Pinterest Images Per Blog Post

In order to generate mega Pinterest traffic, your overall long-term objective should be to build up a large number of usable images and to be pinning consistently both to your own boards and to group boards.

Each of your blog posts should have at least one “Pinterest image” – so focus first on making one great Pinterest image for each blog post. Once you have read this tutorial you may find that you want to revisit your old blog posts and create new images for them – and that’s fine! New images can breathe a new life into old posts.

Some Pinterest pros however create 5 or 10 unique images per post – especially for the most successful posts! But make sure you are getting things right before creating lots of images for one post.

A great strategy is to look at your blog analytics and create additional Pinterest images for your best performing posts. Note that (thankfully) these images don’t all have to appear on the blog post itself – as you can pin an image directly to Pinterest and then specify the URL you want the image to link to. These additional images can also contain both headline variations and totally new design elements; which gives you further opportunities to “split test” different styles and note which ones do best.

Keep Your Materials Organized

You need to tailor your graphic sizes to each social media site because they all have different requirements.  So you will probably find that you end up with a custom version of the graphic for Pinterest, one for Facebook, one for Instagram, one for your Youtube placeholder, and so on.

You will find that you need a well-organized system to prevent things descending into chaos! 😉

I keep ALL the “bits and pieces” from each blog post – article, images, source material, PSD files – in the same folder, and the images are labeled systematically – for example shipping-container-FB.jpg (Facebook image), shipping-container-PI.jpg (pinterest image), shipping-container-IN.jpg (instagram image).  

Keep a copy of everything in a folder and keep it organized with “Photoshop PSDs”, links to the Canva files online and other elements intact, so that you can go back later and edit if needed. And make a backup!

It’s great to be able to return to old graphics later and make changes as needed – and I will bet that you WILL need to do this at some point. It’s a real hassle to have to re-create it all again from scratch because you lost your .PSD file and all the source imagery. A coherent naming and folder system will be your friend in the long run – and make sure that everyone on your team sticks to the same protocol.

Don’t Steal Images!

SUPER IMPORTANT! Aside from attracting DMCA takedown orders and potentially Pinterest account closure, there are now really serious consequences coming down the pipe for image thieves. Even if the image was posted on your blog ten years ago… even if you didn’t know it was a stolen image… I am 100% serious. The hammer is falling in a big way when it comes to image theft. This is happening right now.

There are companies that are filing mass legal actions (thousands) against image thieves and these guys play hardball. If you get one of these legal threats, it can result in a grim choice to either settle out of court for perhaps $500 to $1000, or face court case with a potential $20,000 fine. This is not a set of choices you want!

Avoid stealing images, and keep track of where every single image comes from that you use on your blog. If you don’t know where an image came from or whether you are cleared to use it – don’t use it. It’s that simple. Keep a note of the URL of the image source. If you got written permission, screenshot it and keep it in the folder with your post.

You will thank me later for this, I promise you! Note also that if you hire freelance workers, you would very likely still be legally responsible if they steal content and you publish it on your website. And “But I thought it was Public Domain!” isn’t gonna cut it as an excuse. You don’t need to take these kinds of risks!

Your Best Stuff Will Probably Get Stolen…

… and it will drive you crazy. They will scrub out your logo, and redirect your graphics to their own (typically spammy) pages.   It’s infuriating – but it happens at mass scale. I’ve had my images stolen literally thousands of times – and in my experience, Pinterest won’t do a thing unless and until you file a DMCA takedown request; then they will strike down the stolen content because DMCA is a form of legal action; they are required to.  So periodically, you might wish to scan through your keywords on Pinterest, and use “report pin” for stolen content to be taken down. It’s a tedious job though – and the content thieves only get away with it because people are too lazy or busy to file complaint. You can also assign this task to a VA but just be aware that it is an ongoing game of whack-a-mole. You may find it better to simply “invent faster than they can copy”. My intuition is that the image thieves are about to get hit so hard with legal actions that they will scatter in terror – and it will put a stop to it. We will see…

Tall “Pinterest Images” Don’t Really Work Well For Facebook And Other Social Media Sites

All the various social media sites have an optimal image format that works for their platform. For best results, you’ll need different versions of the graphic for the various platforms.

For example, while “tall” images are best for Pinterest, these don’t work so well on Instagram (they get truncated – potentially cutting off important info) – you will want square versions of your images (i.e. 800×800 or 1080×1080) for Insta.

Facebook? It has its own quirks: I would advise 2 images – a “flat” 1200×628 version for “link posts” and a square or “slightly tall” (but not as tall as Pinterest images) for image posts. I know, its a bit annoying.

If you are adding your graphic to your blog post (recommended!), don’t set a “tall” image to be the one that is scraped by the “Facebook debugger”. Otherwise, FB will cut off most of your image and this will negatively affect the clickability of the resulting Facebook post.
 The Facebook Debugger tool will show you which image Facebook is pulling when someone drops your link on Facebook.  You are better off with a “flat” image being pulled by FB, so nothing is cut off. In other words, create a different version for Facebook link posts that is of the size ratio 1200×628.   You can set the FB image either with the Yoast SEO plugin Yoast SEO plugin (WordPress) or with the “og:image” tag (HTML). Then run the debugger again to refresh the pulled image to your new one. There’s a bit more to it than this but that’s outside the scope of this tutorial.

That’s it!

Now go crush it on Pinterest and have fun doing it! 🙂


How To Get Your First 1,000 Pinterest Followers (Free Tutorial!)

How To Get Your First 1,000 Pinterest Followers
How To Get Your First 1,000 Pinterest Followers – Graphic © 8FigureStack. Background photo – Shutterstock (under license)


If you are starting out on Pinterest and want to build a following, this is the tutorial you need! 🙂

If you are a blogger it’s highly advised to give some push to your social media, especially in the beginning – as opposed to just trying to “build it and they will come” – which doesn’t work at all well.

Creating good content is essential, but you also need to promote it. You need to put your blog and your brand in front of people – and if you don’t, you will be all but invisible in the giant “digital ocean”. Visibility is king and social media – done right – is probably the best way to create that visibility!

For bloggers, Pinterest is especially well suited to driving traffic and generating revenue. Many bloggers in fact state that Pinterest is their #1 traffic source and responsible for the majority of their income.

So let’s get ourselves some Pinterest followers! 🙂

I’ve done this process lots and lots of times and these methods still work reliably every time. It’s not that hard if you do things the right way. Whenever I start a new brand / blog I go through these steps.

With all social media platforms, getting the first thousand followers is the hardest, then it gradually picks up momentum like a giant snowball.

So we are going to use a mix of methods and just “gangbuster it” – do a bit of everything we can in order to get that snowball rolling and get to 1,000 safely but in the fastest possible time.

For this tutorial, there will be some steps you need to take before you begin the process of actually getting the followers. Let’s cover those first:

Step 1: Getting Your Pinterest Account Set Up Properly

For this tutorial, I’m going to assume that you have already created your blog and got it set up… If you are really right at the beginning of that process and literally starting from ground zero, that’s ok – I have free tutorials for all of it! 🙂 Start by choosing a good niche: Top 26 Profitable Blog Niches Plus 11 You Should AVOID At All Costs

The next step will be to choose a great name for your blog / brand: How To Choose A Superb Domain Name For Your Blog

[I will link the rest of the tutorials v soon]

If you are completely new to Pinterest and need help setting up your Pinterest account, here is a great video tutorial from Anastasia Blogger. She makes it nice and clear and simple:

Make sure you select the “business” account option, which is pretty similar to the personal account (and still free!) but gives you analytics and allows you to place a clickable link on your Pinterest account homepage. To do this you will need to verify – by adding a small piece of code to your blog or by uploading a small file which Pinterest can read. This is definitely a recommended step.

Step 2: Be Well Branded

Branding is a key component of picking up a social media following. Social media gives a truly great opportunity to create visibility for your brand, but there is a big difference between profile icons and brand names that get clicks and those that don’t. Most people are doing it wrong.

Branding is an in-depth topic but in general you need to be unique, appealing, memorable and “decipherable” – in other words it should be instantaneously apparent what your brand is about, enabling people to “get it” in a fraction of a second and make that spontaneous decision to click and follow. These brand factors will make a big difference to the pickup rate of your following.

Do the best you can, but don’t get stuck here or go off on a massive tangent: One good thing about Pinterest is that you “rebrand” an existing Pinterest account at any time – you can change the name, URL and profile pic of a Pinterest account later. I would counsel however not to change niches on an existing account, because people who are into recipes might not be into gardening, if you see what I mean. Give it your best shot but remember that you can always create more Pinterest accounts later if you come up with new and awesome brand ideas! Note that if you change the URL of your Pinterest account, any existing links to your profile will break and will need to be fixed.

Here’s my tutorial on How To Choose A Superb Domain Name For Your Blog

Step 3: “Pad Out” The Account And Make It Appealing

One of the key factors that makes people follow a Pinterest account is the overall “wow factor” when they land on your main account page. The good news is that this is easy to create! 🙂

Be aware that just creating a Pinterest account and hoping people will follow, will not work. Very few people will follow an empty or “thin” Pinterest account. You have to give them a reason to follow you!

So once you have made your account, you will need to populate it with some attractive boards and pins, so that when people land on it they are “won over” and much more likely to hit the follow button. If people follow, your new pins will be shown to them on a regular basis. We want this!

When it comes to populating the account, I would advise to create 20 to 40 boards and give them appealing names. Each board should have its own topic or theme and I would make these a “mix” of the topics of your blog and topics that will “also be interesting to people who like those things”. Have a look at some popular Pinterest accounts that have a big following to get ideas.

Create some boards that are directly related to the main topics of your niche. A good strategy here is to look at your main content categories and give your boards names that are the same as those. So for example if your niche is recipes, your blog will probably have for example categories for smoothie recipes, breakfast ideas, main courses, light bites, etc. Create boards with those names.

Create some other boards too that are not on the exact same topics as your niche, but on topics that are “peripherally related” to your topic. So for example if your niche is natural health, think about what else people interested in natural health will likely be interested in. Probably beautiful nature scenes, so you might have boards called “amazing forests” and “beautiful beaches” or something. Yes, I did that.

It’s not essential to pin just your own pins. To get things going fast, do a Pinterest search on the topic of your board:

… and then just repin a bunch of images that have the best “wow factor” and that you love the most. Choosing great images will really boost the appeal of the account and it’s not hard to make a really beautiful and appealing looking account quite quickly this way! Pin at least 5 images to each board in total. 20 is a good goal but make things look organic and natural.

Don’t spend forever (weeks or months) on this. The goal is to whip something up fairly fast that looks cool and makes the account “worth the click”.

Once you have an account that you feel proud of, the kind of account that when people land on it makes them think “Oh, I like this!” – then you are ready to start getting followers. 🙂

Now It’s Time To Go Get Those Followers

Quick note on account limits and bans. Pinterest has been known to ban accounts if people go crazy pinning or do something else that could be considered “extreme”. I will explain this in more detail in a minute but the main thing to note is that while an account ban is a pain in the butt, it’s not the end of the world – especially if you only have a small following. You can simply create a new account with a new email address and start over. Even so, we will do our best to avoid this!

Step 4: Linking To Your Pinterest From Your Other Internet Profiles And Pages

If you already have a social media following on other platforms, for example Youtube or Facebook, then you can link to your Pinterest profile. You can also place a button on your blog / website and I like to create a nice big one with high visibility – this will get more clicks and follows.

Step 5: Announce Your Account To Your Audience

If you already have any kind of relevant fan base – either in an email list, contact database or on any other platform – now is the time to pitch to them and announce that you have a Pinterest account. You have a shiny new venture and something worth looking at! You’ll pick up a few followers this way.

Note however that I would recommend not to pitch to your “friends and fam” and I will explain why shortly.

Step 6: Followbacks

Probably the easiest “beginner strategy” to get started picking up a significant number of Pinterest followers is to follow some people. It’s ultra easy but as with all these things, there’s a good way and a bad way to go about it.

When you follow people, you will almost certainly get some followbacks. This is a phenomenon of Instagram, Pinterest and various other sites where, when you follow someone, they will get a notification that you followed them. That notification is a form of visibility! Some of those people will see the notification, some of those will “click you” out of curiosity, and some of those will follow you back when they see how magnificent you are. 🙂

You might be able to pick up hundreds or even thousands of followers, gradually, just using just this simple technique alone!

It stands to reason (via simple maths of course) that the more people you follow, the more will follow you back. But the exact percentages will vary depending on the quality of your content, your branding and your overall awesomeness.

Branding, for these purposes, typically includes how good looking your profile pic is (love it or hate it, it is well established that conventionally good looking people, especially females, get more clicks and followbacks), how good your profile name is, how appealing your logo is and what you have on offer. But regardless, if your profile is well put together and relevant to the people you follow, you will still get some followbacks. And you don’t have to use your own photo if you prefer to remain incognito. Your logo or even a cute kitten from Pixabay will do! 😀 Don’t get bogged down! Just do it! You can always go back and optimize the profile later.

People typically report a 5% to 20% “follow back ratio” on Instagram and Pinterest but your mileage WILL vary. Be appealing!

Now – imagine if you could follow all of Pinterest’s hundreds of millions of users? Couldn’t you get 50 million followbacks? Nice thought, but no, absolutely not! There are strict limits to this. You are allowed to follow “some people per day” – of course – but in order to prevent abuse, sites typically place a cap on how many! You can’t just go crazy clicking on every account you see. Flaunt this and you risk getting banned. You may or may not get a “slow down!” warning first.

With Pinterest the absolute maximum used to be (I think) 200 follows per day and it might now be less than 100. These limits often change and so you will need to do some quick research on up-to-date stats and then aim comfortably inside of those. I would think that 10 to 50 follows per day will probably be fine. Google “How many people can I follow on Pinterest per day” but be prepared for the fact that you might get 6 different answers! Vary and spread out your efforts, don’t do too much too fast and make some effort to “appear natural” – in other words don’t just open up one of the big Pinterest accounts in your niche and follow everone one after another. Do a few here, a few there – a bit like the “normal behavior” of a random person using the platform.

⭐ Pro Tip: Don’t bother trying to get followbacks from huge accounts or celebrities. Like them of course if you like them, but these people may get hundreds or even thousands of new followers and DMs per day and they almost certainly won’t see the notification.

Should you use “follow bots”? A “follow bot” is an app that automates the process of following accounts. This is high risk with regard to account bans and it almost certainly flaunts Terms of Service and so I cannot directly recommend you to do this – however in the spirit of honesty I have to admit that I have done it in the past – it was very successful and I “got away with it”. The best of these bots allow you to unfollow people who have not followed you back – so you can ‘recycle’ and keep going. If you are going to do this, a way to mitigate the risk is to create a Pinterest account specially for it or use an account that is smaller so that you are not risking a high value property. Then simply stop doing it when you have built up the account and start using the account as normal. I had success with Pin4Ever‘s “power follow” tool – great results.

Although it’s tempting to hit this hard, it’s generally advised to not go too crazy. Follow a few people per day and stop or slow down doing followbacks on well-established social media accounts.

A Note On “Targeted Followers”

Important: You should “target” your follows; you want to follow people who have the same interests as those of your page. So for example if your page is about dogs, find existing high quality and popular dog pages and follow a few of the dog lovers on each. Be sure to have a dog-themed brand name and the most adorable dog picture you have access to (don’t steal, use Pixabay!) as your profile pic. These folk are way more likely to follow back than random people! Follow the people who you think will connect with your brand.

Isn’t it great that you can find your fans this way? It’s amazing – and free!

Keep all outreach efforts tightly focused around your target audience. This is actually extremely important for more reasons than the number of followbacks you get. Targeted followers are vital for your enterprise.There are two reasons why.

1) Because they are actually interested in the topic; thus they are more likely to buy, follow, share, like, repin, link or whatever.

2) Because the social media algorithms use weighting. This means that they detect the stuff that gets the reactions and they reward it with much, much greater visibility. The sky is the limit for this visibility but it only happens if the “core audience” engages strongly. Followers who are not interested in the topic are worse than useless, they are harmful!

The rationale behind this extreme disparity of content distribution makes perfectly logical sense: The platforms want to keep people hooked in all day, because then they can display more ads and make more revenue. Showing “everything to everyone” would be a disaster for them because then every single mundane “I had a sandwich for lunch” post will appear and make their platform boring as hell! This is very important to understand. 95% of what most people post on social media is either very boring or just irrelevant to most people. This is a very big part of the reason (let’s not get into conspiracy theories) why they control the reach of posts and dial down all but the most engaging content.

Let’s say you make heavy metal music. If you play your amazing new song to 1000 “random people”, you might get 25 likes. However if you play it to your people – 1000 metal fans – you might get 500 likes and you have a chance of viral growth. The social media platform will recognize that 50% of the core audienceengaged with the post and will give it some distribution to a wider audience.

So if all you did was collect random, untargeted followers who are not even fans of the genre, it creates weak future engagement which is not a good look and will cause the social media site to bury not only the content but bury your entire channel. If your subscribers don’t even care about your content, why would anyone else? So you can see that not all followers are worth having and in fact some are worth avoiding. Find the places that your demographic already hangs out and focus your promotional efforts there.

Step 7: Create Some Really Good Content And Pin It

This is of course the “ultimate strategy” for building a fan base! Having great content and pinning your images will also start pushing traffic from your Pinterest account to your blog, so it’s really the main goal of the enterprise. It would be very slow going to begin with though if this was the only thing you did.

In general, Pinterest accounts with more unique images tend to attract more followers. It’s simple math; the more content you have, the more places your account name and icon appears in Pinterest and the greater your potential slice of visibility.

The “standard” method here, that works, is to create high quality blog posts that are relevant and useful for your audience, and then create at least one “tall” image to go with each blog post. Around 5 images per post is typically recommended. I’ve gone into lots more detail on this in my tutorial How To Make Money On Pinterest (Full Length FREE Tutorial).

Creating images that work well on Pinterest is super important and there is a gigantic difference between an average or mediocre image and a really good Pinterest image. All things considered, this is probably one of the most important aspects of “winning on Pinterest”. A really top Pinterest image can send tons of traffic whereas a poor one might send none at all.

⭐ Pro Tip: “Graphic design for social media” is NOT the same as “regular” professional graphic design and there is a whole layer of nuance in creating graphics and images that drive traffic from Pinterest (and other social media sites). Check out my free tutorial How To Make Pinterest Graphics That Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog

The better your Pinterest graphics and the more of them you pin, the more your traffic will grow and correspondingly, if you have done things right, the more your blog revenue will grow. If you can get to the stage where your blog income from Pinterest gives you enough to hire someone, you can start getting Pinterest graphics made – and I have done this to scale up and create thousands of images for Pinterest!

I would definitely recommend before you hire someon though, to learn the techniques for yourself first and really understand the differences between images that do well on Pinterest and images that don’t. Don’t assume that the “sacred knowledge” is common – it isn’t and most people are not good a graphics for social media. 😉

Step 8: Pin Button On Your Blog Images

I use a great WordPress plugin called jQuery Pin It Button for Images that makes a Pinterest button appear when people hover over an image on my blogs. Super cool! This encourages people to repin the image, which in turn will help boost your Pinterest traffic and help you grow the following. So it’s an “indirect” strategy but all these “marginal gains” add up and help build the momentum. This is an easy step that is worth doing.

Step 9: Existing Contacts & Personal Outreach (Is It Worth It?)

An important thing to note is that I built over 4.5M social media followers WITHOUT doing any “personal outreach” whatsoever. In fact only a handful of my real-life friends are followers of my business pages! I never “pitched” to them to try to get them to join – and actually strongly recommend you to avoid doing this. Let me explain why, and how this dovetails nicely into the important topic of targeted followers.

Let’s pick a very arbitrary number and say you know 200 people personally. Of those, how many are actually interested in your topic? Perhaps 20.

The rest are people you know through social circles, family and friends. There is about as much point in doing outreach to them as there is in selling embroidery tutorials at a heavy metal concert.

But let’s say for the sake of argument that you go ahead and pitch your “friends and fam” and you get 20 new followers.

Big whoop. As they are your friends, they will expect freebies… and will probably want to chit chat and waste time. Worse: they will not engage with your content in the same way as “real fans”. Social media does not reward polite clapping. It rewards when people go bananas.

Forget it. Let it go. It’s all bad! You can go onto Pinterest and follow some people using the Followback Strategy and pick up 20 targeted followers with minimal effort, within a few days or less! And these people will be people that have already professed an interest in your niche or topic!

By all means dig into your existing contact databases and promote to the ones that are relevant. Thus if you are already in an established business and are building a new social media channel, you should definitely see if you can pull email addresses, business cards etc of all past clients, fans and especially past buyers (the most golden contact list of them all!) and notify them of your new enterprise.

Step 10: Buying Followers / Using Ads

Should you buy followers? I have to be honest and say “hell yes” because this was an absolutely vital component that allowed me to make my first million online! On many social media platforms, buying the first few thousand followers is the absolute best way to get the ball rolling – but there is a right way and a wrong way. Understanding this is ultra, ultra important.

The first thing to note is that just spending money to build a following should NEVER be the only string to your bow. You will need to be delivering ongoing good content to maximize the pickup and sustain the growth of your fan base. So if you don’t have much actual content yet, fix that first. Throwing money at an empty account or one with poor content is simply not going to work – it’s just a waste of money, no matter how big the budget. It is however worth spending money to show people things they are going to love – especially if the popularity of that content has already been validated by the data.

In other words, first make sure your profile, blog etc is getting a good response from people who land on it. Are they sticking? Are they responding positively? Are you picking up fans organically? If so, it may be time to show your brand to more people. In general, if you are going to run an ad, use your #1 most popular post / image / whatever it is that has picked up the best response.

Use The Platform, Not Third Party Sources

When “buying likes” or using advertising to drive traffic to your social media profiles, I consider it a 100% hard and fast rule to ONLY do it via the platform itself i.e. Facebook advertising for Facebook likes.

On Pinterest, there isn’t a direct way to buy followers. Your best bet would probably be to start by creating some content and pins, and then when one “pops” (does really well compared to the others), trying out an ad spend to boost that pin – and seeing how many new followers it picks up. Start with a small budget – 5 or 10 dollars – and if it does well, by all means spend more.

You should absolutely seek to calculate your ROI (Return on Investment) or LCV (Lifetime Customer Value) if you possibly can; these will dictate the policy of your ad spend better than just going by feel. However these are tricky metrics to calculate with a social media following – because the future growth and long term behavior of that following is quite unknown; but do what you can.

Another way to do this is to allocate a percentage of your ad revenue back into growing the audience, thus allowing you to “make it pay” before you scale.

There are lots of third parties offering to “sell followers” on the major social media platforms and I would not touch them with a ten foot pole; not only is it almost certainly against ToS but often these may be either fake accounts or created through some other type of spam. Another reason is because they may not even be from countries where your language is the primary language. And for various other important reasons. Just don’t!

This is worth explaining in a bit more detail. Avoiding buying crappy followers from third party sources is actually extremely important and I learned why the hard way: Back in 2013, when I was still new to social media, I attempted to kickstart a new Facebook page with 5,000 cheap “likes” purchased from some dodgy seller (might have been on Fiverr or somewhere, there are lots of them). I got the likes I paid for… but then watched in dismay as the page completely failed to pick up any sort of traction, no matter what I posted. The followers were low quality, untargeted follows from some random country, quite possibly entirely fake accounts – and, seeing that my content was not engaging my audience, Facebook then buried the content because the algorithm only rewards good engagement with greater visibility!

The fake followers did not like, share or comment, the page tanked and I was never able to get it off the ground – because the fake followers ruined the metrics both of the posts and of the entire page, causing the algorithm to interpret everything I posted as weak. It was hopeless, a lost cause. The only thing to do was delete the ruined fan page and move on – which I did. Lesson learned.

A further possibility is driving traffic directly to your Pinterest profile via some other advertising platform – which is entirely possible and should not be a problem – but I have not tried it.

“Follow For Follow” Schemes (Don’t Do It!)

Don’t ever get involved with any sort of “like for like” schemes or “follow groups”. There are worse than a waste of time for the same reason. Yes you get “likes” but those people don’t have any genuine interest in your content. They are worse than useless followers that will harm your overall engagement scores and literally prevent you from going viral. It’s very hard to recover from this, and again, the only thing to do in many cases is scrap the “polluted account” and start again. The number of your engaged followers is what matters.


Well done! If you have done a selection of the above correctly, you should have 1000 followers. If not, simply rinse and repeat. Make more awesome content and then run through the steps again as appropriate. At this point it’s time to start getting focused on delivering a stream of continual content as it’s pretty much going to be a requirement from here on in.

Check your data using Pinterest analytics. Some of your content probably got noticeably more traction than the rest and some probably got less. This is normal. Figure out why (if you can), and do more of that. 🙂

How To Make Money On Pinterest (Full Length FREE Tutorial)

How To Make Money On Pinterest
How To Make Money On Pinterest Graphic © 8FigureStack. Photo © Shutterstock (under license)

If you want to learn how to make money on Pinterest, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s get right into it.

Introduction: Why Pinterest? rocketed to being one of the world’s most popular websites in a very short span of time. Originally launched in 2009, Pinterest hit 10 million monthly visitors in January 2012, making it one of the fastest social media web sites in history to achieve this milestone. Pinterest surged forward, blasting its way to #15 most popular site on the web by late 2012. It’s dropped a little in 2018 and now sits at #28 in the USA and #77 in the world. However Pinterest is still our business’s overall #2 source of income-generating traffic, second only to Facebook and way above Google at #3. Instagram is all the rage but honestly we have done far better with Pinterest.

Although the majority of Pinterest users are on the site for social / leisure purposes, the site has real business potential: What makes Pinterest so interesting from an internet marketer’s point of view is that it can drive traffic to other sites by the boatload. According to Shareaholic, in January 2012 Pinterest drove more traffic than Youtube, Google Plus and LinkedIn combined. Pinterest is a traffic monster.

Pinterest has been found to generate traffic that converts well – something that cannot be boasted by all of the popular web sites. According to a PriceGrabber survey, 21% of users had purchased something seen on the site. (source – Beth Haydn – Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest ). Our own experience backs this claim: We also noticed that visitors from Pinterest tend to be more engaged and have a higher click-through rate on ads and products. If you do it right, Pinterest can generate significant traffic (thousands of visitors per day) and corresponding ad revenue.

A couple more stats:

1) “Petplan’s Pinterest success began when the company added the “pin it” button to their website, included Pinterest “follow” buttons in their email footers and social campaigns, and optimized site content for Pinterest. The following quarter Petplan saw an 87 percent increase in new site traffic, a 35 percent increase in page views, and a 12.5 percent increase in insurance quote requests.”

2) “Pinterest generates four times as much revenue per click as Twitter and 27 percent more revenue per click than Facebook.” (source)

These are incredible statistics – and what this means, essentially, is that Pinterest is a tremendous opportunity for the creative entrepreneur and the person seeking online revenue opportunities.

How Pinterest Works

Pinterest is very simple to understand and use. Users “pin” images to pages called “boards” and explore the boards created by others. What keeps users hooked into the site is not only the fantastic image collections that can be viewed and the ease with which they can be created, but the ability to “repin” favorite images to your own boards, creating collections of your own favorite images.

Each pin’s individual page also features a huge “More like this” selection below the main image that greatly encourages further exploration – as it displays a diverse selection of appealing related images, which you can then visit, explore and pin to your own boards. It’s like scrapbooking on steroids, and Pinterest auto-arranges the images in a neat, attractive fashion – enabling you to build surprisingly elegant, artistic and inspiring collections of “things you like” of all kinds – swiftly.

What really makes Pinterest work for the marketer is that (unlike Instagram), pinned images automatically embed the link to the web page where the image was originally pinned from – plus a price tag is auto-added if the item is for sale! The nature of Pinterest means that it is suited to shoppers – who like to make collections and wish lists of things they like. This is superb news for internet marketers.

Pinterest is hugely popular with the female demographic (60%) – who are delighted to be able to “window shop” and effortlessly make awesome collections of desired items of all kinds, including recipes, hairstyles and jewelry. Pinterest also works super well for interior design, infographics, cute animals and “how-to” tutorials of all kinds. It is also known to be working well for artisans who create objects with strong visual appeal. The number of uses for Pinterest is limited only by the imagination, as you can theme your boards around anything you like.

According to Pinterest’s Wikipedia page, “The most popular categories on Pinterest that got the most popular pins are food & drink, DIY & crafts, and women’s apparel.”

How To Use Free Pinterest Traffic To Generate Ad Revenue

A typical way that bloggers and other entrepreneurs make money with Pinterest is to create pages on their own web sites / blogs with both written content and highly attractive, shareable images, then placing advertising on the pages, and then pinning the images to Pinterest, where they will hopefully be repinned and seen by many people. Some of the Pinterest viewers will click through to the web site, and some of the traffic to the web site will visit the advertising, generating commissions, leads or click revenue.

This formula works: Revenue is highly variable and will of course depend on the quantity of images, “virality” of the images, the size of the audience following the Pinterest boards that the images are pinned to, the quality of the article and on the relevance / click through rate of the advertising.

There is genuine potential for the creation of an income stream simply using this method of Pinterest traffic => Web site => Ads and it should be possible to make an auto-pilot income of several hundred dollars per month from a single site using this method – so long as you are pinning several high quality images a day, and also using the group boards method (see below).

There are three main ways your images will get pinned to Pinterest: 1) You pin them on your own boards on your own Pinterest account 2) You pin them on group boards (tutorial below) 3) They are pinned by visitors to your site who decide that they like what they see and will share on Pinterest.

To get a decent revenue from this method depends, more than anything else, on posting the kinds of images that get a lot of repins, thus being seen by many more people. Motivational / humorous / “love” quotes, with a nice typeface or background image are always popular – some having over 1,000 repins. However, these typically do not drive a huge amount of traffic off-site. You will get better success creating images which compel click-through: The typical method is to include the headline of your information pages in large text in the actual image itself.

Browsing through the accounts on pinterest that get high visibility (10m+ monthly views) we can quickly see strategies marketers and blog owners are using successfully. It’s also easy to see the legions of bloggers and internet marketers who are not using Pinterest effectively to maximize traffic and revenue. Once you have studied this tutorial, you will quickly be able to see the strategies used by the few who are hitting it out of the park and the mistakes of the many who aren’t. As with other marketing methods, a spark of creativity is often (but not always) needed to generate something that is both popular and relevant to your target site; however there are also technical foundations and inside knowledge required to win the game.

If you want to check how well your site is doing on Pinterest, go to (replace with your site URL. You can see what is getting pinned and how much interest it is generating.

How To Grow Your Pinterest Following

Check out my full tutorial on How To Get Your First 1,000 Pinterest Followers.

Pinterest, like any social media platform, requires a significant time investment up front in order to create a really successful account with a big following. A large following generates a large “reach” – whenever you pin an image, it appears (briefly) on the home page of each of your followers – meaning that if you have a lot of followers, you will get a burst of repins and the potential for some significant traffic back to your target site.

There are numerous ways to grow your Pinterest following. The first and most obvious is to have a great account name and create numerous compelling themed boards with a lot of appealing content. In general, boards with more images tend to attract more followers. It’s simple math; the more content you have the greater your potential slice of visibility.

There are various ways to source images to build up your boards’ content:

1) Re-pin other content appearing on Pinterest (easy and you can build popularity / followers but none of the images link back to your site of course)

2) Pin content appearing elsewhere on the web (i.e. using the “Pin It” button) that you can add to your bookmarks bar. Also easy – but images pinned from other websites of course don’t link to your site.

3) Create / remix your own – using photography / graphics software. This is perfect!

4) Free public domain images. (TONS at the page linked!) Note – several sources have now stated that using “copyright free” images for Pinterest results in much lower visibility, because the Pinterest algorithm recognizes content that has already been shared many times, which copyright free/ public domain images typically have.

5) Purchase image licenses from image libraries such as – then edit as required, typically adding the headline as I have done on this blog – then post to your own site and pin. This is perfect too!

6) Uploading your own photo collections. I found an AMAZING app that can allow you to do this in bulk with a few clicks: This app totally rocks. You have to fill in the information about each pin but you can just add a dot and then hit tab. On my first use of the app I was able to upload 126 images in about 1 minute with a few clicks.

Note – it’s considered a Pinterest no-no (as well as against copyright) to download images from google images and then upload them to Pinterest (or pin directly from google images). This does not provide a link through for the image creator and so causes annoyance and may lead to DMCA takedowns and even an account ban. If you are going to pin images you find from the web, pin them from the actual page of the owner of the image, so that they get the link benefit of their hard work.

You should also link to your Pinterest from your various other internet real estate (website, other social media profiles, email list etc) and encourage people to follow you on Pinterest.

Another great way to gain followers that really works is to follow other Pinterest accounts, some of whom will follow back. The number of people you can safely follow per day is disputed – with various people claiming “200 people every 2 hours for old accounts and 50 every 2 hours for new accounts” or “300 per day”. The limits are also subject to change: The safest thing to do is create a “disposable account”, develop it “naturally” for a while and then test perhaps 50 or 100 follows per day. Pinterest will give a warning first time that you are going too fast. Push the limit and your account will disappear in a puff of smoke…

I have used follow bots in order to build accounts and this has been very successful. The best of these allow you to unfollow people who have not followed you back – so you can ‘recycle’ and keep going. If you are going to do this, use an account that is smaller so that you are not risking a high value property. I had success with Pin4Ever‘s “power follow” tool – great results.

Use Pinterest in conjunction with a related Facebook page (see Facebook chapter). Many of the most successful Pinterest users are “combining” their social media presence, running a Facebook page and Twitter account dedicated to the same subject, casting a wider net and diverting streams of traffic towards their intended targets. Observe successful boards and see if you can spot this strategy in action.

There are also ways to buy followers but I would avoid these as they may be bot accounts. As with all social media, you want genuine followers every time.

The Best Traffic Tip: Do What Works

The difference is huge between a mediocre Pinterest image that does not send much traffic, and an awesome Pinterest image that sends tons of traffic. Data mine to see what works. Take a look at to see images that got tons of repins. This reveals the style of images that are popular. However, not all of these generate clickthroughs. In general, tall images with a strong headline embedded in the image will get the most clickthroughs, whereas highly attractive images / photos will get more repins but less clickthroughs.

Top 10 lists, tutorials and simple “how to’s” that offer easy solutions to commonplace problems are gold. When you have a large following, you can look at your Google Analytics to see which images are pulling the most Pinterest traffic and do more of that. See my full tutorial How To Make Pinterest Graphics That Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog/

Pinterest Account Overall Limits

From Pinterest themselves: You can have up to 500 boards, 200,000 pins including pins added to group boards, and 50,000 follows. But – good news – Pinterest also welcomes you to create new accounts with a new email address. There is in other words unlimited potential to scale.

Avoiding The Spammers

Your copyright images WILL get stolen and pinned by spammers, who will substitute your link for their own; using your images to drive traffic to their own websites. The better and more successful your images, the more this will happen. Just visit one of your successful images on Pinterest and you will likely see other stolen images of yours in the suggested images section below it! We have so many images of our own on Pinterest now that this happens without fail. Our images have been stolen literally thousands of times. Pinterest as a rule won’t do much about it until you take action; you will need to “Report Pin” and follow through with the DMCA copyright claim. This is a slightly tedious process but note that you can report numerous images within one filing. Even so, it is time consuming and feels like and endless game. You may opt instead to “invent faster than they can copy” and spend your time creating new stuff instead. However, you are doing a small service by whacking the image thieves; if enough people do it, and their accounts keep on getting banned, they will give up and go leech somewhere else instead…

Exploding Your Traffic Using Pinterest Group Boards

This technique is somewhat underground but I’d say it’s responsible for at least 75% of my Pinterest traffic at the current time. It also has the benefit of giving you greater access to a large audience even if you don’t have very many Pinterest followers of your own!

A group board (sometimes also known as a “contributor board”) is one which is “open” to multiple contributors. Some of these group boards are very popular, having tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of followers. Imagine the scenario where you are a member of a dozen good group boards related to your topic. Whenever you have a new image to pin, you can pin it not only to your own board, but to several others also – giving a massive boost to your traffic. The more of these (relevant) group boards you can locate and join, the more traffic you can drive – it is as simple as that.

Finding Group Boards

There are free resources and methods that enable you to find group boards easily:

1) One of the best is Pingroupie – which has a massive, searchable database of group boards with some very useful search functions. I would advise not bothering with group boards that have less than 10,000 followers – the audience size is too small to be worth the effort.

2) Finding the people who have already joined a lot of group boards, and examining their account. Here is a quick example of someone who has joined a ton of group boards: (Update Aug 2020, this Pinterest account appears to have been deleted – probably banned for some unknown reason.)

Once you have found a big group board with thousands of members and pins, take a look also at the homepage of the person who created the board (such as the example above), and also the people who are doing significant amounts of pinning… quite often these contributors are running this method – and also signed up for a lot of other contributor boards, which will be listed in their profile.

Another clever method is to use a “board search” together with your keyword; as follows – (replace “yourkeyword” with the topic you are looking for):

Joining group boards

In order to join a board, you need to receive an invitation from the board owner. There are several possible ways to go about getting an invite. Quite often, the owner will leave instructions either in the board itself or on their home account, saying something like “To pin to this board, please ________”

Sometimes you will be required to send an email request, or leave a message on a recent pin (together with @Boardnameowner which will help your message be seen by them). Other times, you may find that there are no obvious ways to contact the owner – and I have achieved success sending them either a nice Tweet, or a Facebook message, or even visiting their own website and using the contact form provided. Contact them however you can, just get on as many boards related to your content as possible! 🙂

There are some general codes of conduct when it comes to pinning on group boards, and individual account owners may have their 0wn specific rules. In general:

a) Don’t “flood” any one board with lots of pins in a “block”. A few per day, spread out over time, is optimal. Some board owners specify a max number of pins per day.

b) Keep it relevant! The biggest single grievance is when people pin irrelevant crap to a board. Target the boards that are going to appreciate your contributions.

c) Make a good caption for the pin, if it does not have one already. Often, the headline of the page it comes from is optimal.

d) Build up some of your own boards in your own account. You don’t want to have an account that is 100% group boards, as it may make you look as though you are just there to spam.

This is the kind of work that you can outsource to a good worker, for example using as I do. I now have an outsource worker managing my entire pinterest campaign and keeping spreadsheets for everything.

Other Pinterest Revenue Ideas

As with all social media platforms, you don’t necessarily need an audience of your own; there are countless others who have a huge audience and very often these people are in great need of ways to monetize their following.

Thus there is also a further possible revenue model in outreach to Pinners who already have access to a huge audience – either their own followers or a large number of group boards, and offering them a small revenue to pin your images! You can also find people on offering services such as these. You can use Google Analytics to find your most successful pins, and promote those using paid services such as these. Note that it is always best to promote your strongest material, rather than the weakest. You will get the best Return On Investment, the most traffic and revenue, boosting stuff that has already done well. Don’t focus your efforts on boosting content that got the worst response.

Pinterest also has their own advertising platform but I have not used it at this time.

How To Make Pinterest Graphics That Drive Traffic

This section has its own full tutorial: How To Make Pinterest Graphics That Drive Massive Traffic To Your Blog

How To Get Pinterest To Pull The Headline You Want When People Pin Your Images

This clever technique is an important aspect of driving traffic. As you no doubt know, the majority of internet traffic these days is driven by winning headline-image combos. These are what “gets the click”. However when you are pinning an image, you will have to put in the caption you want it to have. Now this is all very well for you, the savvy internet marketer, who knows all about killer headlines – but the majority of people pinning your image are regular folks who have never made a winning headline in their lives. If only there was a way to control the headline they are using.

Well, it turns out that there is!

When you hit the browser-based pin button, typically you have to fill in the info that you want in the text box.

The success library

“The Success Library” is not the full headline of the post that we want in there.

It turns out that the words pinterest auto-selects to populate this box are governed by the “alt tag” that is in the wordpress post:

It’s a bit hard to see here so here it is zoomed in:

It turns out that if you edit the alt tag, whatever you put in there will appear in the Pinterest box when you click the pin button!  

So in this example, I copy pasted the headline of the post into the alt tag…

And as if by magic…

Can you see how this image will get a lot more clicks and repins, just through the correct use of the alt tag? You should go back through all your best blog posts, make tall images and put your strong headline in the alt tag.

Note that Pinterest are always changing things. Of all the social media sites, Pinterest is probably the one where they make the most little changes to the way the site operates. It’s a bit annoying and the phrase “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” springs to mind – but it just is what it is. By the time you read this post they probably will have made some updates as it seems to be non-stop!

That’s It!

There it is, now go make some money with Pinterest! Share this post with your friends and don’t forget to check out the rest of my full free tutorials!