Making The Most of Pinterest {When Your Blog’s Not That Pinteresting}

by Gigi Ross on January 15, 2014

pinterest tips

This post is for all of my blogging friends who are just like me and fit into one or more of the following categories:

You have a nicheless blog.

You can’t cook your way out of a paper bag.

You don’t even attempt crafts because they’re always a disaster.

Your content is mostly stories about parenting.

You don’t blog about weddings, beauty, fashion, and you don’t know any good quotes.

So if you’re like me, you hear people tell you that Pinterest is BIG for them and yet, you’ve not seen THAT much benefit for YOUR blog. Because you don’t have dreamy food photos and you don’t know how to make any type of craft in a jar.

That’s what I believed up until about a year ago. I was spending all of my energy on cracking Facebook’s code and spinning my wheels. I’d pin my blog posts to Pinterest, but it wasn’t the game-changing social platform that it was for many of my more Pinterest-y friends.

Then I decided to run a little experiment. Maybe I could make Pinterest work for me.

In February 2013, I kicked off a little strategy to make over some of my old blog posts for SEO purposes and for Pinterest. I became more active on Pinterest.

Here are my year over year stats from calendar year 2012 to calendar year 2013.


After blogging at a plateau for nearly two years, traffic from organic search went up 55% from 2012 to 2013. Awesome!

Traffic from Pinterest went up 1,583%. ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY percent. That’s not a typo.

My Pinterest following tripled from January to December of 2013.

If I can do it, anybody can. Because I write about everything from fonts to dirty bathrooms to an occasional recipe to blogging.

If you’ve been letting Pinterest hum along in the background like white noise, I’m here to tell you that you DON’T need to be a Pinterest-y blogger to have success on Pinterest.

Here are my tips.

Find some good collaborative group boards for the topics you write about. 

If your Pinterest following is small, you’ll want to get started by getting connected with some valuable group boards. Group boards are a great way to drive traffic and gain followers.Do this by asking blogger friends for board recommendations, posting the question on FB or Twitter, or just spending some time clicking around Pinterest for boards. Many collab boards have instructions on how to request being a contributor right in the board description.

Make over your top 20 posts.

Cull through your archives and grab your twenty best posts.They don’t have to be in a specific niche or all on the same general topic. Just make sure you’ve got a good solid board to each of them to. ADD an amazing image. Don’t know where to find amazing images? This post will get you started.  Use PicMonkey or PowerPoint to crop the image, add text overlays, dress it up. Give the image a headline that’ll grab people.

Find your seasonal content.

Now go back through your seasonal/holiday content and follow the same steps. November was one of my biggest traffic months because I made over some 3 year-old Thanksgiving content. Not every post will be worth making over. Look at your stuff through a Pinterest lens.

Don’t overlook guest posts.

If you’ve got great guest post content on your site, USE IT! Some of my now best-trafficked posts are guest posts that I’ve updated for Pinterest and shared to the right boards.

Create a pinning calendar.

Plan to pin each of your new shiny happy posts to at least one board over the course of a month. Put seasonal stuff on your calendar in the appropriate places. Use good descriptions that people would search for. Post 1 goes up on the 1st, Post 2 goes up on the 3rd, etc. until you’ve got a date for each of the posts. Now you can repin the posts on the same day (or thereabouts)  every month. Try not to pin the same post to multiple boards all at the same time. Space them out if you can – even by a few hours.

Frame up your future posts with Pinterest in mind.

You don’t have to change your voice or your topics to be successful on Pinterest. You just need to consider how you’re packaging that content up. When I write about parenting topics (example: my daughter’s tangled hair), I frame it up with Pinterest in mind. Do people really want to hear me do nothing but bitch? Instead, I wrote a post called How To Deal with Your Kid’s Tangled Hair, in which I shared tips from other moms and my own experience  on how to deal with nasty tangles. Same subject, but the post is now infinitely more useful and pinnable.

Sometimes, you just need to write from the heart, and not for Pinterest, and that’s okay. But still take the time to make a pinnable image no matter what. I wrote a post about my dad a few years ago and recently updated the image and pinned it to Pinterest. I didn’t think it would get any repins, but it actually ended up doing well, considering it was a personal memoir piece. You never know.

What works for Pinterest will work for G+.

This is the great news: that work you’re doing for Pinterest translates REALLY well over to Google Plus. Google Plus likes beautiful images and good content. So you’re killing two birds with one stone. Yay!

What else works for you?

I shared some other tips on how to turbocharge your Pinterest account last week – they work no matter what type of blog you have, so check ’em out! Follow along with all of my blogging posts at my Pinterest board I Heart Blogging and Pinterest-specific content on Be Epic on Pinterest.


Tara Newman January 15, 2014 at 4:39 am

LOVED this post. And so excited you have an entire Pinterest Board dedicated to this topic. I now know how I am spending my lunch hour. Thanks Gigi!

alexandra January 15, 2014 at 6:31 am

This was a great post, Gigi. Thank you. I’ve heard people tell me they get 900 to 1k views a week just from one pinterest post, so it’s something I need to spend time on to learn. I really appreciate you breaking it down like this.

Gigi Ross January 15, 2014 at 10:54 am

Hi A,

It is definitely not a “natural” fit for folks who write more memoir stuff, but if you can discover the right boards to pin that type of content to, your voice will have a whole new audience :) Good luck!

Trish January 15, 2014 at 9:13 am

Excellent tips, Gigi! Thank you. I’m pinning this!

Gigi Ross January 15, 2014 at 10:53 am

I’m kinda thrilled to have finally figured it out!

Dorien Morin-van Dam January 15, 2014 at 10:46 am

Great post! I was doing some research for a Pinterest post when yours popped up. :) I will reference your post, if not in this post I am working on now, in the next one for sure. Happy pinning, and blog on. ~Dorien

Gigi Ross January 15, 2014 at 10:53 am

Excited that it turned up in your search! Thanks for reaching and will definitely read yours when it’s ready! :)

Angela January 15, 2014 at 12:24 pm

This is EXACTLY what I’ve been needing! I just relaunched my blog & am trying to do a couple pin-able post each week. I’m definitely going to back to my old content & use your tips. Thank you!!

Angela @ The Mango Memoirs

Gigi Ross January 15, 2014 at 3:51 pm

It makes a huge difference. Good luck!

Meg {Phase Three of Life} January 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I had to come back and thank you for this post. I’ve been wanting to use Pinterest more to my advantage but was sort of stuck as to how to do it. I’m using this as my guildeline!

Gigi Ross January 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm

It’s easy to get stuck :) Let me know how it goes!

Joann Woolley January 18, 2014 at 11:30 pm

So MANY great tips here – could be my favorite pinnable blogpost on Pinterest! Love how you lay out what you did AND the results from that action plan. If that doesn’t get people taking action nothing will.

OrnaBakes January 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Gigi – I can’t thank you enough for your great advice! Your two posts inspired me and I’ve seen a HUGE spike in Pinterest Followers, re-pins, and traffic to my site – pretty much all thanks to you! I was feeling quite despondent because I know I have great, relevant content to people trying to lose weight (specifically Weight Watchers members) but I was struggling to drive traffic to my site. Thanks for showing me the light at the end of the tunnel. Looking forward to more posts from you! :)

Natasha @ Epic Mommy Adventures January 25, 2014 at 10:22 am

These are definitely some great tips! I also fit in your same category – I mostly blog about my daily life. I’ve been adding some interesting photos to my posts and pinning them and I’ve also seen an increase in my views! Thanks so much for sharing!

Patti Welsh May 21, 2014 at 7:53 am

I just came across this post on pinterest and WOW is it timely for me! I am a writer and my blog is about writing, Ireland, and novels. All of the (great) advice out there on pinterest for bloggers is geared toward the lifestyle blogger. I am not one of those, so thank you for a great post!

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