Pinterest Case Study: Focus on Pins and Not Pinterest Followers

Pinterest is one of the best platforms to grow your website’s traffic these days. Even after regular algorithm changes, Pinterest remains one of the top traffic sites for bloggers and business owners.

My top referral source for driving traffic to my blog each month is Pinterest! In fact, over 90% of my monthly traffic comes directly from Pinterest.

Please note, this blog post and Pinterest case study was written in 2016 to document what it’s like to be a beginner blogger using Pinterest. Some updates have been made so this blog post can be relevant with current information in 2020. 

When I first started blogging, I spent way too much time worrying about SEO, ranking well in Google search results and figuring out long-tail keywords.

Once I realized this was a moot point for me, I chose to ignore every blog post and article that discussed how important these things were if I wanted my blog to do well.

Instead, I started spending more time on Pinterest. Immediately, I started seeing results! My blog traffic continued to climb each month, all directly from Pinterest.

Here’s a snapshot of my traffic as a first-year blogger:

  • From January to July, I was getting between 1,000 to 5,000 page views a month. Once I implemented Pinterest last summer, my traffic started increasing.
  • After my first month of using Pinterest, I went from 5,000 to 40,000 page views in August! Since then, my traffic has continued to climb each month.

 

Traffic

Pinterest is a platform I feel extremely comfortable using. If you are not using Pinterest, you need to start immediately.

Compared to other platforms like Twitter or Facebook, Pinterest has a much higher reach to your targeted audience.

Pinterest Case Study

One of the biggest misconceptions with Pinterest is that a user needs to have a high following to do well. This is not true and just one of the reasons it varies from social media platforms.

What if I told you it doesn’t matter how many Pinterest followers you have? Sure, common sense says high following should convert into high traffic right? Well…not necessarily.

I am going to show you how I drive traffic to my blog each month from Pinterest with a low following.

In my first year as a blogger, I had around 2,700 followers on Pinterest. Today, I have over 18,000 followers.

Pinterest followers

Even though I had a small following early on compared to bigger bloggers, my audience reach is really high. Each month, my pins are seen by 600,000 to 800,000 viewers.

Pinterest audience

A higher audience reach may result in more traffic to my website.

In the past month alone, I’ve had around 200,000 page views to my site, even with my small amount of Pinterest followers.

This means my audience reach converts really well when it comes to click-thru rates to my blog. The primary goal when using Pinterest is to have the audience click on one of my pins and visit my website.

Traffic from Pinterest allows me the opportunity to do so many things, such as:

  • Increase page views and ad revenue
  • Have someone subscribe to an email
  • Purchase a product
  • Read a tutorial, blog post or review
  • and so much more!

 

Monthly Traffic

Why Traffic is So Helpful Vs Followers

Early on as a new blogger, I didn’t pay for promoted pins. All of my growth to my blog is organic and I can monitor what is working and not working via Pinterest analytics and Tailwind analytics.

Today, I use promoted pins on a regular basis for as low as $5 per day.  

Second, I spend roughly $15 a month for Tailwind. I have an annual plan, which is the scheduling tool I use to schedule all of my pins in advance.

I have been using Tailwind since it’s inception and it only gets better and better.

In addition to scheduling pins, I am also able to be a member of Tailwind Tribes, which is a place to connect with like-minded Tailwind users who help share each other’s content.

Tailwind Tribes has been a helpful, additional way for a larger audience to see my pins. Again, I am not relying on having a high amount of followers to view my pins. Instead I focus on getting my pins in front of as many eyes as possible.

Third, I spend roughly an hour a week to plan my Pinterest schedule on Tailwind. This saves me a lot of time instead of manually pinning each and every day.

Resource: 10 Ways Your Blog and Business Can Benefit from Pinterest

Blogs and Businesses Should Focus On For Getting More Traffic From Pinterest

Unless you have a great marketing plan to utilize Pinterest, it doesn’t matter how many Pinterest followers you have.

Pinterest case study: Each month over 90% of my blog traffic comes directly from Pinterest. Last month I had over 200,000 page views from Pinterest. I don't pay for promoted pins either and have a really small amount of Pinterest followers - under 3,000 followers. Learn these 3 ways I drive traffic to my blog each month from Pinterest!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure for more info.

If you don’t have a pinning plan, it doesn’t matter if you have 100 followers or 1,000 Pinterest followers.

Of course, if you have a high amount of followers and have a solid marketing plan, you will see the results and drive even more traffic to your blog.

If you aren’t pinning in front of the right audience, with the right pins and on a regular basis, your followers aren’t going to see your pins.

Instead, you should focus on finding the right audience.

There are several different factors that go into creating a dynamic Pinterest presence:

  • Vertical pins that follow the 2:3 ratio, such as 600x900px or 1000x1500px
  • Fonts that are big, easy to read and really stand out
  • If using an image, select an image that conveys your pin’s message. Basically, make sure the image being used matches the context
  • Write a CTA – call to action – that will help a Pinterest user solve their problem
  • When creating boards, make sure each board has a description that includes key words that are relevant
  • Create and organize boards based on your pins’ themes and topics
  • Not all Tailwind Tribes and group boards are created equal
  • Just because a group board has a high following does not make it your ideal board
  • Using Pinterest and Tailwind analytics, research who your audience is. You can learn what topics our viewers are researching – use this information to your advantage!
  • Use Tailwind’s scheduler to pin in advance and save time

Bottom line – you need to do a few different things if you want to succeed on Pinterest.

Just because you create a beautiful pin doesn’t mean someone is going to see it. And just because you schedule your pins each day, viewers aren’t necessarily going to click on your pin if it doesn’t meet the criteria of a perfect pin.

The Monthly Pin Community

If you are a new blogger or an experienced blogger that has yet to tap into Pinterest’s resources and want to grow your traffic ASAP, the Monthly Pin Community is a great resource.

Each month, you receive 10 Pinterest pin graphics that can be customized to fit your brand. You simply have to swap out the graphic, change the text, and add your logo.

In addition to 10 custom Pinterest pins, you will be a part of a private community that provides design feedback, monthly office hours, pin design homework, and more!

To learn more, check out the Monthly Pin Community.

Related reading:

Do you use Pinterest? What’s your best traffic source?

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58 Comments

  1. Thank you for the great content to learn that Pinterest is quite better than doing SEO on your new site for new bloggers to gain traffic. Now I will definitely work on Pinterest because I was thinking that getting followers on Pinterest is difficult, but now I understand that there’s no need thousands of followers to get thousands of viewers.

    1. Kristin Larsen says:

      Pinterest is definitely a great way to catapult your traffic!

  2. This is an awesome case study. Thanks for sharing this! But how many times do you pin per day with tailwind?

    1. Kristin Larsen says:

      It’s really varied over the past few years as Pinterest has changed its algorithm so many times. It depends on how many boards you have, Tailwind Tribes and the amount of content to share!

  3. This information has been completely helpful. I am very excited to start the journey knowing that there is s way to grow the number of traffic to your blog organically.

    1. Kristin Larsen says:

      You got this!

  4. Nancy Sawyer says:

    Hello, i am having such fun learning about blogging. I am learning a lot of information while I save up my funds to start my journey. This is my question, you say to use Pinterest Analytics to see who your audience is and what they are researching… Couldn’t this also be used to make a decision about what to blog about? Acknowledging that a blog should be about something the writer is knowledgeable and passionate about, couldn’t this also be used as a tool for the beginning blogger who isn’t quite sure of her subject? Just wondering, Thanks for everything

    1. Kristin Larsen says:

      I started this blog to write about my history with side hustling – long before side hustle was even a phrase people used. So it was easy for me to write on a topic that was/is part of my real life. As my blog gained traction, readers would ask me to write about different things. Pinterest Analytics is specifically for Pinterest business accounts (it’s free!) and provides data, like if your viewers are male/female, age brackets, what they are interested in, etc. So really, you need to blog first and then can review your Pinterest Analytics, then adjust/pivot if you want to!

  5. I just recently really got into blogging and learning. I have seen amazing results. Thanks a lot

  6. Hi Kristen,
    Great blog! Very insightful. 😉
    I just recently really got into blogging and learning more about it and I decided to start a Pinterest business account. I thought I would need a lot of followers to have a lot of page views, but with just 16 followers I already have 16k monthly views. I freaked out when one day I went on and it said 4k monthly views and I hadn’t hardly done anything. So this helps me understand it a bit better! Thanks so much 😉

    1. Kristin Larsen says:

      Right?! It’s not about the amount of followers at all – it’s all about who views your pins, if they go viral, etc. CONGRATS!

  7. Nancy Doyle says:

    Hey,
    thanks for the post.
    Totally agree with you..the number of followers don’t actually matter in the amount of traffic Pinterest can redirect to your blog. I’m a firsthand witness of this . .
    I use PinPinterest com to automate and manage my Pinterest account, and it manages my account so efficiently that I get followers for my account, as well as those who don’t follow back, they see my content and come back as interacting traffic on my blog. So ultimately, yes, the number of followers you have on your Pinterest don’t really matter, just the content you have on your boards should be interesting and relevant enough for your audience. Plus, you need a good managing tool..the best I’ve found so far is PinPinterest 🙂

  8. Can’t wait to take this course and see the results!

  9. I’m new to Pinterest and am curious about what you pin every day. What is the split between new pins that you have created and other people’s pins? I seem to be spending a lot of time creating new pins. Do you repin your existing pins?

  10. Great post Kristin. I’ve been blogging for a while, but I just started really working on Pinterest. I regret that I didn’t give it more attention when I first started, but your post gives me hope that maybe I can still get some great results.

  11. Hey Kristen,
    I loved this post! But I’m only just about to start a blog and I’m trying to figure out how to get traffic earlier rather than later and not sure how to START using pinterest as a tool. Any advice?

  12. Sounds very helpful. Red to get back into blogging.

  13. Hey Kristin
    Thanks for the great post. I have been using pinterest for a while but never really had a strategy so results were sketchy. I have now set some goals and am working on content to giveaway. I have applied to become a member of many group boards but hardly get a response so not sure what I am doing wrong here. I am just going through your product now so hopefully I will find some answers.
    Also on the waiting list for your VA course it looks interesting and a great way to make a side hustle

    1. Kristin Larsen says:

      Thanks Jenelle! The course re-opens on 4/7 for a few days 🙂 Pinterest is still my #1 traffic source after 2 years of blogging, so it’s worth the time to spend learning as much as you can!

  14. How would you recommend using Pinterest for a financial blog focused on investing/dividends?

  15. You are completely right. Since optimizing my profile, pins, and strategy I have seen amazing results. I do use Boardbooster now primarily for time purposes and I love it.

  16. Hi Kristin,
    Thank you so so much for making me feel better about a small following.
    I have a question, till I invest in a schedular, should manually also pin around 70 pins daily, even when I’m not in any group board?

    1. I think you should work on getting into group boards in addition to pinning to your own audience! You can pin as much as you want, but if your audience is small you want to work on your pins being seen by new faces! That’s why group boards will help so much!

  17. I just started a blog about 2 weeks ago and grown no and learning is fun And difficult. I have only had a 300 view total in this time. I don’t know to be excited or nervous. Is this about normal for 2 weeks?

  18. Im hooked. Great content, relevant to my Pinterest needs (i.e.drive real traffic)

  19. I’ve taken different pinterest courses. My blog was just launched on the first of the year. Yet, I can’t seem to get the pinterest thing going. I followed all the tips. My niche is a difficult one, a bit of a stigma follows it. I’m thinking of changing things around a little bit to see if that helps. I’m just stuck.

  20. Hi Kristin!

    I just signed up for the PP Mini Course. I can’t wait to get started! Thank you for sharing your insight. It’s clear you know what you’re doing, considering your follower count compared to your page views. I found this post through Pinterest, after all. I had no idea scheduling services existed for Pinterest… but that just shows how little I know about all of this!

    Thank you again, and I look forward to more of your content! I’ve added your blog on feedly, so I’ll see you soon.

    All the best,

    Stevey @ Bizzie-Body.com

    1. Thanks Stevey! I’m always available while you take the mini Pinterest course, so let me know if you have questions 🙂

  21. Hi Kristin,
    Nice post!
    I have one question: How many pins do you schedule in a week?
    Thanks,
    Andrea

    1. This varies, but for the most part I pin around 75-100x a day. It really depends on how many group boards you are in and the rules of each group board. Some group boards have a strict 1 pin per day policy, while others might be unlimited.

  22. Hi Kristin,

    This post really made me feel better. I am a new blogger and having a really hard time with Pinterest. I have signed up for Boardbooster but still not getting the hang of it.
    Hope to get the Pinterest game soon.

    1. Hey Sireesha! Pinterest can be overwhelming when you are just starting out. Did you sign up for my free mini-Pinterest course? I used to use BB, but have better results with Tailwind. BB is less time consuming though, so a lot of people prefer to start on that platform 🙂

  23. Hi Kristin,

    Some wonderful insight here and it kind of follows the same logic about other types of followers on different social networks. While it can be too easy to get caught up in the numbers (because they are awesome), one thing we can easily overlook is the quality of those followers. Are they aligned with our values, etc.

    Obviously, you want as many people as possible following you and becoming part of your tribe, but those numbers become meaningless if they aren’t on the same path with you.

    Getting a 40k boost in pageviews is pretty awesome by just starting off. Can you give any insight into what you did or what you think caused that quick success?

    1. Hi Paul, I don’t worry too much about gaining instant followers. I’m more focused on organic growth, so if that takes time – I would prefer it that way in order to get the right tribe! DEfinitely in agreement on that – no one wants spammers 🙂

      If you are just starting with Pinterest, you need to make sure you are pinning regularly, have great looking images with killer descriptions and getting your pins in front of the right audience! You definitely want to be consistent across the board. I’m hosting another Pinterest webinar on 6/25 where I cover a ton of tips and strategies, so check it out if you can! (Make sure you are on my newsletter list to get the signup link)

  24. These are great tips. I should look at Pinterest more i think. There are so many social media sites, its so overwhelming but I guess pinterest is the best to draw traffic to your site. Thanks for sharing xx

    1. Hey Eva! Pinterest quickly became the dominant source for my traffic – nothing has come close and the best part is that Pinterest is FREE. The payoff is just amazing!

  25. Thanks so much for the great info! As a newbie blogger, it is really nice to know that a heavy Pinterest following isn’t required to get traffic to my page. I just saw that I missed the training session, will you be hosting another one soon?

    1. Hey Christina! Yes- you can do fine without a lot of followers, so don’t be intimidated. I plan on doing a Pinterest webinar each month – I can email you when the next one is!

  26. Hi, great article. I’m still learning about the whole blogging thing and promotion and driving traffic is something I’m really struggling with. Is your course still available? I’d be really interested in learning how to become a member of group boards. I feel like there’s so much to learn.

    1. Hey Katherine! YES – Unit II is full of info on group boards. I go over how to find them (there’s 3 ways you can do this) and how to apply. I even include a list of group boards I’m in (with links) so you can see if they are a good for your blog! I also discuss strategy on how to use group boards to really get that traffic!

  27. Thanks for the great post. It was more descriptive than most posts about using pinterest and how it helps you get blog growth. I’m new to blogging and I spend a lot of time on pinterest to bring traffic in. How would I find group boards in my niche to join on Pinterest so I can get more involved with others bloggers? If you ever think about writing a post about finding group boards or party links and describing what they are and how they are useful I would love to see it. Your a great writer and its so hard to find posts about this. I wish someone could just simply explain what they are instead of assuming new bloggers know exactly what they are and the benefits of it.

    1. Hey Carmen! Thanks for your kind words. Ok – if you read this in time, I’m actually teaching a free Pinterest session this Saturday – you sign up here: bit.ly/First100kWebinar . I’m going to cover a lot of info, including info on group boards! I also have a Pinterest course that has a ton of CRAZY helpful info on group boards, including the best 3 ways to find group boards, how to apply, etc. I also share ALL the group boards I’m in so other can check them out. Hope this helps!

    1. There are 2 ways – you can upload an image directly to Pinterest and there is a space where you insert the URL. Otherwise, in the blog post you just insert an image and it will automatically link to your post!

  28. Thanks your post . i love this post …great blog.. I started a new blog and am using Pinterest to drive traffic.

  29. Hi Kristen,

    What a great post! I started a new blog and am using Pinterest to drive traffic, but I’m finding more success on Facebook in terms of engagement (comments) and subscribers.

    But, I still think Pinterest can help with generating traffic, so I’m working on that. Looking forward to your free Pinterest course 🙂

    1. Thanks Elna! That’s great you are having the results with FB. Hopefully you got the .pdf for the free Pinterest mini course 🙂

  30. I signed up for a free trial with BoardBooster and am slowly noticing Pinterest driving some traffic to my website. Next month, I will try Tailwind. BoardBooster isn’t very intuitive. I’m hoping Tailwind is more user-friendly.

    1. Hi Aliyyah! I think everyone has different results with TW and BB. I moved all but 1 of my clients to Tailwind and the results are just so much better. Tailwind lets me be so much more specific with my pinning date and times, where I feel like BB is hit or miss. The only advantage I found for BB was that it has the mentality of “Set it and forget it”. With Tailwind I put in a full hour a week, but I’m super precise with all my pins!

  31. Very interesting! I always thought that the more followers you had the more traffic you’d get from Pinterest.

    I’ve been meaning to get into it for quite a while. Do you think it’s worth outsourcing the pinning and repinning at 4 bucks an hour or should I just do it myself first?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Ilya! I consider Pinterest to be more of a search engine – so that’s why I don’t worry about followers as much. There are people who manage Pinterest accounts (myself included). I actually created my Pinterest course for people that want to go the DIY route and save money!

  32. This is very interesting indeed! I have just over 10,000 followers but my Pinterest traffic is quite a bit lower than yours so I certainly think there are things I can learn from your course!

    1. Thanks Richard! I think when you have a large following, you can definitely target your own audience when you pin to your own boards as well as expand your audience reach for a double whammy 🙂

  33. I’m just starting out on Pinterest with my blog and I definitely see the value and potential there. Currently, almost half of my traffic comes from Pinterest and that’s with little content of my own. Thanks so much, Kristin, for the reminder that the number of followers is not important. Good stuff, as always.

    1. Great job Regina! The more work you put into Pinterest, the more it pays off.

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