social media how toAre you wondering how Pinterest could increase your blog readership?

Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than YouTube, Reddit, Google Plus and LinkedIn combined according to new research.

With this in mind, here are six easy steps for tapping the power of Pinterest to drive more traffic to your blog.

#1: Choose the Best Blog Posts to Pin

You don’t need to pin every blog post on Pinterest. You’ll get better results if you selectively pin your blog posts on subjects that already have an audience on Pinterest.

This means you need to do a little research on Pinterest to find if people are already pinning items on your blog post topics.

It’s easy to do research on Pinterest, and you don’t need an account to get started. Pinterest has a search feature that lets you find one or more keywords throughout the site.

For each search, Pinterest shows you:

  • Pins that contain the search term in the description
  • Boards that contain the search terms in the title or description
  • People who have the search terms in their profile

Tip: Pinterest never returns a list of every possible match. You should try each search several times to see how the results change.

For each blog post you consider pinning:

  • In the search box, type a word or phrase that fits the blog post topic.
    search box

    Type your search term in the Search box and click the magnifying glass.

  • Pinterest displays a list of pins that contain your search term in the pin description.
    search results pins

    Pinterest displays a selection of pins that contain the search term "scone recipe."

  • Review the list of pins to see how your blog post topic would fit into this list. Make a note of the words used in the pin descriptions.
    Tip: Modify your search terms to see if there are different words that people are using for your topic.
  • Click Boards to review all boards that contain your search term in their title or description.
    search results boards

    Pinterest collects search results for pins, boards and people each time you search.

  • Pinterest displays a list of boards that contain your search term in the board name or description.
    search results boards

    Pinterest displays some of the boards that contain pins for your search term.

  • Review the pins in each of these boards.

Make a list of the search words and most common words found in the pin descriptions. You want to consider using these terms in your pin description as well.

After spending a little time using Pinterest and figuring out how it works, you’re ready to start using it to drive traffic to your blog.

Tip: As you do your research, why don’t you start following some of the people who are actively pinning on related blog post topics? It’s a great way to make a connection to people who may be interested in your blog.

#2: Select or Create Your Pin Image

Choosing the image for your blog post pin is the most important decision you make. A good image encourages people to share your post.

There is no right or wrong choice. You want an image that is eye-catching and related to your blog post content. You want to invite people to click through the pin to visit your blog. The best image should clearly identify your blog post content to Pinterest users.

Reuse Blog Post Images

You can reuse your blog post images as the pin. You chose the blog post image because it conveys the idea of your post. However, taken out of context, the image can appear meaningless.

post image uncustomized

This pin shows a blog post image as it appears in the post.

Reusing a blog post image usually doesn’t provide enough information to explain the article’s content. If someone repins it and changes the description, the image’s meaning is lost.

Instead, you may want to use the blog post image as the background and customize it with the blog post name or contents. This doubles the effectiveness of the blog post image.

post image customized

This pin shows the blog post image with customization. By adding the article title to the image, the picture clearly identifies the blog post contents.

Create a New Image

You can create a new image for your blog post pin. An effective custom image uses the blog post title on a plain background.

post customized image

This pin shows a customized image created using the blog post title.

Tip: Your image must be available online (have a unique web address). If you customized your blog post image or created a custom image, upload it to your blog and make note of the image’s web address. You will need it later.

#3: Write Your Pin Description

The pin description appears under the pin image and provides additional information about your blog post. You should always write a pin description. No one else can write a better blog post description.

Your description appears every time someone pins your post directly from your blog. However, each Pinterest user can delete your description and write his or her own description.

full pin description

This pin explains the importance of the image to the casual viewer.

Writing your pin description is like writing your blog post summary or excerpt. In it, always tell people the benefit of reading further.

Your pin description should:

  • Tell people what to expect in your blog post.
  • Leave a little bit of mystery so people want to read more.
  • Include all search terms appropriate for the blog post.

While you can use up to 500 characters in your pin description, shorter is always better.

You can also add a web address and hashtags in your description. Hashtags are search words that start with the hash or pound symbol (#).

For example, if you include the hashtag “#socialmedia” in your description, people can click on the hashtag to instantly search through Pinterest to find all pins with this search term.

pin with hashtags

A pin with hashtags in the description.

#4: Add the Pin It Button to Your Blog Post

The Pin It button allows blog visitors to easily pin your blog post. You provide all of the pin description information when you add the button to your site. This way, your blog visitor can click the button and pin your post quickly and easily.

Unlike other social media sharing buttons, you must add the Pin It button individually to each blog post. This is a little extra work on your part, but it only takes a couple of minutes to set up and install.

In return for this effort, you get to choose the image and set the default description for everyone who pins your post from your blog.

To add the Pin It button to your blog post:

  1. Log into Pinterest (if necessary).
  2. In the top right menu, choose About | Pin It Button.
    about menu

    The About menu contains the Pin It button option.

  3. Pinterest displays the Goodies area.
    pinterest goodies

    The Pinterest Goodies area.

  4. Scroll down to the Pin It Button for Web Sites area.
    pin it button for post

    The Pin It form collects the information you need to create your Pin It button and displays the code in the boxes.

  5. Provide the blog post web address for “URL of the page the pin is on.”
  6. Provide the web address for your chosen pin image for “URL of the image to be pinned.”
  7. Provide the pin description.
  8. Choose your pin count format (horizontal, vertical or no count).
  9. Copy the top code box contents. Open your blog post and add this code where you want the Pin It button (top, bottom or both).
    Tip: You must insert the code from steps 9 and 10 into the HTML view of your blog post. Consult the help for your blogging software if you are not sure how to do this.
  10. Copy the bottom code box contents and paste at the bottom of your blog post.
  11. Save and publish your blog post. The Pin It button appears where you pasted the code in step 9.
  12. For WordPress users, Phil Derksen has an excellent plugin called Pinterest ‘Pin It’ Button.

#5: Pin Your Blog Post

You have created a pin for your blog post. You can be the first person to pin your blog post in Pinterest by adding it to a board in your Pinterest account. This step is not necessary if you don’t have a Pinterest account. However, at this point, your post does not yet appear in Pinterest. You have only created a pin for someone to use.

To use the new Pin It button to add a pin for your blog post on Pinterest:

  • Display your blog post.
  • Locate the Pin It button.
    pinterest new pin button

    The Pin It button on your blog post before any pins.

  • Click Pin It. Your blog displays the pin window.
    pinterest pin window

    The Pinterest pin window with the image and description you set up with the Pin It button for this blog post.

  • Choose the appropriate board for your blog post pin.
  • Click Pin It. Pinterest adds your pin to the board.

#6: Track Traffic to Your Blog from Pinterest

The pin for your blog post appears in your pins and in your selected board. Everyone who follows your pin has a chance to see it. Anyone who checks out your pins can also see it.

Other people see your pin, and if they find it interesting, they will click through to your blog post. They may also repin your blog post to share it with the people who follow them.

There are several ways you can track the traffic to your blog post from Pinterest. Use whatever traffic monitoring tools you have in place on your blog. For example, you might use the blog statistics in JetPack for a WordPress blog, or Google Analytics.

pinterest google analytics

An example from Google Analytics showing traffic coming from Pinterest to a website.

It’s Your Turn

What do you think? Have you found an audience for your blog on Pinterest? Have you created customized images for your posts on Pinterest? What is working well for you? Share your insights and experiences in the box below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Get Social Media Examiner’s Future Articles in Your Inbox!

Join 480,000+ of your peers! Get our latest articles delivered to your email inbox and get the FREE Social Media Marketing Industry Report (56 pages, 90 charts)!

More info...
  • Pingback: CRM Update – May 29 : 2:28 pm()

  • Pingback: How to Use Pinterest to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog | Marketing()

  • Charlene,
    Thanks for the great post.  Very timely as I’m hosting a Pinterest seminar this week!  For businesses that sell B2B, do you have any ideas on what they can do to have more interesting pictures to post?

  • That’s a great question. With the growth of Pinterest and the emphasis on photos for the Facebook timeline format, every business needs to be thinking about having a photo strategy. More than interesting pictures, they need to be capturing images that showcase their products and services. I’m not talking about glamour shots of products (althought they should have those, also). I’m talking about pictures of people engaging their products. When possible, have photos showing how the products or marde, the raw materials, etc. For service businesses, it’s capturing people in the process of delivering the services, or interacting with their clients at their place of business. But don’t take my suggestions literally if they don’t fit for your products and services. Use them as a jumping off point to figure out how to capture images of your business at work improving the lives of your customers.

  • Donna H

    I didn’t know about creating a custom image and the pin it button (I have a generic pinterest add button). I noticed that there seems to be a bit of a correlation between time of day that I pin something and amount of traffic I receive from that pin. Has any research been done on that?

  • I haven’t seen any research on the timing of pinning yet, but I’m sure many people are interested. My feeling on that is that research is only a rough guideline. I always recommend that each business experiment on its own to find out the most effective time for posting for their audience. That might match the research results, or it might be very different. 

  • Charlene, …this was really helpful information. Thanks so much for sharing it! Pinterest is the hottest social network on the planet right now and it only makes sense to include it in our marketing strategies. ~Ilka

  • You are welcome. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned through trial and error and save you some time!

  • Seeing more and more posts on leveraging Pinterest for their businesses and blogs. Great suggestion on editing your pinned picture to better convey your blog message. I’ll definitely have to start doing that. Social Media is becoming more and more visual, and we have to adapt and change ourselves to not only be gifted writers, but have a pretty wrapper for our writings as well! Thanks for the informative post.

  • It was my pleasure. As I said above, having a photography strategy is starting to be important for businesses, even tax professionals!

  • Would love your feedback on our Pinterest Video Guide? We covered some similar topics but also look at the ways brands can use Pinterest to sell.

  • activesuccess

    Enjoyed your article very much. It’s amazing how much traffic we’re seeing at our various sites and blogs that begin at Pinterest. Very cool platform. Sharing your article with my tribe(s) 🙂  Thanks again!

  • It’s my pleasure, Mitch. Pinterest won’t drive traffic for every blog, but if you are talking about topics that capture the interest of Pinterest users, it’s golden.

  • Pingback: Marketing Day: May 29, 2012 | | IntoxicativeIntoxicative()

  • I think Pinterest should be part of the modern day Social media marketing strategy considering the amount of time people spend on that site, more than Facebook& Twitter combined, when it comes to Pinterest marketing, I also think image matters a lot, the better the image, the more people the people that will be interested

  • Hi Charlene, thanks for the great blog post! I really liked to idea of customising the blog image. It made a lot of sense. Thank you!

  • Hi Charlene,

    Very informative article – it helped me increase my knowledge of Pinterest which I’m still learning.  I was wondering if it wouldn’t be easier for your users to use some of the plug-ins available to add Pinterest buttons to their WordPress posts, like the “Pinterest “Pin It” Button” plug-in?  Also, I see SocialMedia Examiner uses the Wibiya toolbar and are you aware there is also a Pinterest app for the Wibiya toolbar?  This is what we have implemented on our website, but always good to give people lots of options to share great content such as this article.  Though by setting up each button per post, I see you can set the default image and description which some may find advantageous.


  • Far out… Nice post and very detailed…. I haven’t got stuck into Pinterest just yet but after reading this post I am going to start integrating it into my marketing mix… 🙂

  • Johnhowell354

    I have used pinterest on my site and the result was great, it jumped from page 8 to #3 at first page in 2 weeks time.

    The trick is we must got our website pinned and repinned by many people, which is the toughest part. Most of pinterest users won’t doing repin when they aren’t like what we pinned.

    I do simple thing to outsource it on fiverr and got my site pinned by 75 people, I don’t know how can he did it just search by typing pinterest on fiverr and you will find it on the TOP. Many other seller offer pinterest service on fiverr but in my experience they can’t make my website increase in SEO. I don’t know why.

    Reasons why Pinterest is great for SEO:
    1. Once our website pinned it has 3 backlinks counts. 
    2. Even not support anchor text (except the url link), it’s still perfect for placing our keywords in description. Google will read it. 
    3. Google interest in social media signal so it will not tagged as links farm.
    4. You need to ping the links of your pins to the to get your website increase in SEO.

  • No doubt business images are becoming more important on social media. Thanks for sharing.

  • I’m glad it helped you, Minna. It takes a little more time to create a customized image, but I agree with you–I think it is time well spent.

  • There are many ways to set up Pinterest, as you mentioned. This strategy does take a little more time to implement, but I think it has some really nice benefits for that time. Of course, it’s just one way to do it, and every business can decide which route is best for them.

  • I’m glad that I inspired you to check out Pinterest, Billee. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you blog about a topic of interest to pinners, it can be a really smart tool to have in your toolbox.

  • I was only focused on driving eyeballs to a blog with this article. There’s a whole world of SEO just below the surface. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Pingback: How to Use Pinterest to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog | Social … | Seo & Traffic()

  • MAC Design Inc.

    Thanks a lot Charlene.

    Very nice and detailed post about Pinterest!

  • Hi Charlene,

    This is something I was looking forward to. I am new to Pinterest and have a very little or rather no accurate knowledge on how it can help in driving more traffic to a blog. Nowadays social media has turned out to be one of the biggest platforms that facilitate to drive traffic. Pinterest is yet another such platforms and I am sure your post will be exceedingly helpful for me.

    Thank your for sharing!

  • Hi Charlene –

    I have been searching a lot for perfect pinterest guide. I watched couple of videos and now am using this great social networking site. However, this is one of the most comprehensive blog posts on pinterest. As a novice social media marketer, this guide will help me use this social network in  a better way. Thanks a lot.


  • Pingback: B2B Marketing News » Weekly Reads for May 28, 2012()

  • I have been using Pintrest for a while now and while I find it does send me some traffic users are quite picky about what they like. It is also all about the image you choose to pin the wrong image and you dont get a second chance. Great article cheers

  • Pingback: Weekly Social Media Wrap Up - Helpful Articles and Tips - 06-01-2012()

  • Pingback: Top links of the day « all the Global news()

  • Pingback: Social Media and Blogging Weekly Round-up {06.02.12}()

  • I love this step-by-step guide!  You are awesome.  Now, I’m going to follow the steps.  I really appreciate this post.

  • Thanks for the great tips!

  • I Charlene,

    I am still not using Pinterest,I don’t like to join everything others join without knowing what I’m doing.
    But thanks to your great guide here I will try it out very soon.


  • Jason Miles

    Hi Charlene,

    Great article. Totally agree it will be unique to each business. But for general discussions, Bitly’s chief scientist, Hilary Mason, has released some of their (massive user level) data which suggests Saturday morning is the best time to pin – for maximum repins. Her article appeared in a Mashable post about ‘the best time to share on Pinterest’. Hope that helps.


  • Colleen

    I’m a freelance writer by trade and although I use my site “Between the Pond and the Woods” (which is for dementia caregivers) as a showcase for my writing, I am often at a loss as I try to incorporate new social media with my content. I found your explanation of Pinterest to be very helpful for someone like me who is very creative, but technologically challenged. Thank you very much. 

  • I have tried to drag some traffic to my blog from pinterest using almost same technique even I tried to post some other blogs popular post in my Board to get more followers on my board. 

    So In my stance you should not only post your blog post but also pin few other post/articles from other famous blogs so It will help you get more reppins and followers as well.

  • Pinterest seminar is it self very unique idea and I would love to attend this seminar, is there any chances of webcast / or post seminar videos??

  •  great post have not really known how Pinterest worked and now know the in and outs thank you

  • Heard about pint but never used it on my blogs. After going thru your post i need to have work out on this really. Thanks for making me to work!

  • Anabelle

    Awesome post. Thank so much.

  • Pingback: Ways to Increase Your Blog Visibility With Social Sharing « Quarterpants()

  • Carra

    Hi Charlene, thanks for the insightful post! I liked the suggestion about customizing images with text. I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind when I begin pinning blog posts on Pinterest.

  • Pingback: How To Get Traffic From Pinterest 101 #MasterRedesUNED | Vicente Montiel Molina()

  • Yet another great post from this blog. We started using Pinterest about 2 months ago and noticed an increase in traffic immediately. One day it will be a useful resource for any industry sector.

  • Great post. Thanks for this useful information.

  • Thanks, Jason. I hadn’t seen that research. I still believe that research about timing should only be a guideline for people. They need to experiment to find out what works best for them. But certainly starting with the results of research is a smart way to go! Thanks for sharing this.

  • My pleasure. Thanks for sharing your opinion here.

  • I’m glad you found it helpful, Suneeta. This is what I’ve learned from my experience and from working with my clients. If we all share what we have learned, everyone benefits. At least that is my philosophy. Thanks for sharing!

  • You are welcome, Yasir. 

  • Don’t be afraid to try things, Craig. If something doesn’t work, you can always delete it, or leave it and try again. 

  • My pleasure. Good luck with your Pinterest strategy.

  • You are welcome, Melissa. It’s what I learned from my experience. I’m glad it helps others.

  • It’s smart to get educated about things, Sandy. But don’t be afraid to jump in and try things, too. Social media takes some courage. You have to be willing to try things and experiment. Sometimes, great results are just one small change away.

  • You are so welcome, Colleen. Good luck to you. You are doing important work.

  • I agree. I think everyone does better on social media with they share great information. And sometimes, great information comes from other people.

  • Glad I could help you out!

  • Good luck with your Pinterest work, Chaya.

  • You are welcome.

  • That’s one I learned the hard way. Now, when I’m working on the image for a blog post, I make a second image for Pinterest. It takes a couple minutes more, but it is so worth it! Good luck!

  • I’m glad to hear that Pinterest is giving you good results.

  • Amina Saqlain

    its very helpful and effective 

  • Pingback: SoMazi Week’s Top Social Media Stories 20.05.2012 | SoMazi()

  • Pingback: iLibrarian » How to Use Pinterest to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog()

  • I have been trying to use Pinterest for a week or so, but have found that my blog posts so far really don’t lend themselves to this type of social media site. I simply don’t have the type of images that encourage repining, but that may change thanks to your advice: adding texts to my images could make the difference, assuming I come up with the right words. I’m excited to try it and see if I can make it work. Thanks.

  • Hi there Charlene! Thanks so much for creating a wonderful explanation for new-to-pinterest folks like me! I have a real newbie questions: once I’ve created a PIN image on my blog post, do I then post the image on my FB as well?  I’m trying to understand how and if there is a connection with Pinterest AND FB or if they are pretty much separate. Also, should I go back through my previous posts and create pins? I run two art-infused sites that inspire creativity in my readers. Maybe I should create a new blog post with ALL my projects with individual pins? A lot of work, but may be worth it. Thanks for reading.

  • Danielle @CentsMakingSense

    Hello Charlene!  Thanks for the interesting and informative article.  I have had trouble figuring out how to use Pinterest since I joined because I felt it had no relevance to my website.  This article has helped me so much and I will begin implementing these functions shortly. 

  • Pingback: 50 Ways to Drive Massive Traffic to Your Blog()

  • Hello Charlene. I am glad I have stumbled over your great article. Just opened an account with Pinterest a few weeks ago, so your article and the great information you are giving comes at the right time. Awesome, thanks very much.
    Regards, Martin

  • Pingback: 6 Ways to Drive More Pinterest Engagement | NEVER GIVE uP THE DREAM!()

  • this is very interesting
    i just heard about pininterest and am eager to use it
    thank you

  • this is very interesting
    i just heard about pininterest and am eager to use it
    thank you

  • Can you pin facebook photos? And thus link a facebook page and pinterest? I am just starting out with pinterest and trying to learn the best way to go about things. 

  • Pingback: Gaining Exposure for your Food Business Blog: The Basics « eatingitupblog()

  • Pingback: Writing Blog Treasures 8~4 | Gene Lempp ~ Writer()

  • Saimakhanzadi

    Well very good article but i am not getting much traffic due to my less follower kindly this is my email follow and check out my website for better pinning it is a humor website which contains the funny amazing stuff !!

  • Hello 

    Informative post. Pinterest is good source of driving traffic if we use it properly, and all the tips you shared will help us to do that easily.  

    The success mantra for pinterest is: Be Inspiration +Be Creative + Be Frequent = Success.

    Thanks for such awesome post. 🙂


  • Really great post! Pinterest has become a great way to drive new traffic to your properties. 

  • Pingback: My Week’s Top Stories | Maz Nadjm - Thoughts about Social media()

  • Pingback: Pinterest, my new addiction … « Whatever takes my fancy()

  • Pingback: Drive Food Blog Traffic with Pinterest()

  • Pingback: Pinterest: the pin-up of travel?()

  • Excellent post. I’m just getting started signing up for Pinterest and didn’t have much of an idea what it all entailed. Your information really helped a lot, especially when it comes to how to use images to really pull people to your website. I run several websites, but my main one is a site about everything to do with Thailand, where I live. I have some amazing photographs ready to go up but wasn’t quite sure how to use them to best effect. Now I do. Thanks a lot 🙂

  • Pingback: Pinterest can Drive Traffic To Your Blog | Pinterest Income()

  • jennifer

    Hey thank you so much for your post that so clearly explains the topic to increase traffic from pinterest. I am not much aware of pinterest technicality so i would like to ask after we pin the image the users who clicks our pin are taken to image url so how the visitors can visit that specific post from where we have pinned the image. 
    thank you

  • I would like to know if you have thoughts on how to connect your physical presence with your online presence via pinterest. I read another article on INC that touched on this loosely but was curious if you had any thoughts.  Katherine at Clix wrote about pinterest briefly but the more I read about other uses of pinterest the more I’d like to know some thoughts on connecting on/offline. Would love your thoughts!

  • Pingback: My favorite blogs on Social Media |()

  • Pingback: How and why to generate images which get you noticed on social media |()

  • Its really a great post, I got so much info from this post.You have done such a great work by sharing such nice info.Thanks a lot for sharing this post.

  • Pingback: How to Easily Increase the Value of Your Blog Post/Article by 1000 Words | ECHO Electronic Cigarettes()

  • Hi, Charlene! Thank you for talking about Pinterest. However, just HOW do you add text over your image so that it will be more productive? 

    Thanks for answering..

  • Joseph

    I don’t get it.  I want to get it, but it makes zero sense to me.  I spent 15 years in marketing and sales.  I get facebook.  I get twitter.  I get e mail marketing.  I get Tumblr and Reddit.  I’m a photographer.  I don’t get why I would ever pin a bunch of photographs from other boards that I didn’t take so that I can drive traffic to my website from people who like an image I didn’t create and can’t repeat. I have my own stuff up there, but clearly you need to be pinning and repinning in order to succeed.   I have even tried to come up with boards that would be interesting (outside of “Cute Wedding Ideas” and “What to wear for your portrait”) and have come up short.  Am I supposed to make a board with “Photoshoot” locations on it so that the entire world knows where I like to shoot?  Maybe I am.  I know I sound like I’m being a sarcastic idiot, but I really don’t understand it. 

    I wish someone could explain it to me!  I apologize.  I’m really not an idiot, though I’m sure it must appear that way.  I just. Don’t. Understand.

  • Pingback: Pinterest Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know to Succeed |

  • Pingback: Pinterest Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know to Succeed | Social Media Examiner()

  • The Flying Couponer

    Still learning! Thank you for your post!

  • Pingback: 5 Killer Tips for Driving Business Blog Traffic with Pinterest | Bethesda Emedia Marketing Library()

  • Pingback: How To Drive Traffic To Your Site Through Pinterest — SEO Company Singapore()

  • Pingback: Pinterest Marketing: What Marketers Need to Know to Succeed – Creative Social()

  • Pingback: 4 Superb Pinterest Marketing Tips for your Business | How To Social Network()

  • Pingback: AskCharly » How to increase Pinterest traffic and direct it to your site()

  • Pingback: How to increase Pinterest traffic and direct it to your site | PJExploration()

  • Pingback: How to increase Pinterest traffic and direct it to your site – The Next Web | The Collector of Things()

  • Awesome post! You made it easy! Thanks!

  • Charise

    Are hashtags still relevant and used on Pinterest anymore?

  • SMiller

    Helpful, but doesn’t say where to put your link. How do I link my post to the image?

  • Nvrmore

    Thanks Charlene for the wonderful Informations
    More power
    God Bless