How to Get More Followers on Pinterest – How We Got 75k Followers in Less Than a Year
Looking for how to get more followers on Pinterest?
So you’re looking at your abysmal 500 followers and whatever how the heck you’re ever going to get traffic to your blog…
Or maybe you’re looking at your 2.1k followers and comparing yourself to the 200k+ followers your competitors have. It can be majorly depressing.
I get it. I was there a few months ago. It felt like I would never climb out of the depths of that “beginner status.”
You have to have followers to get followers, right? And it’s true, really. I won’t lie to you.
Follower growth is exponential.
It usually goes something like this:
- One month to get your first 100 followers
- 3 weeks for your next 100
- 1 week for your next 100
- Finally, 100+ in one day
You can see it in your competitors if you watch their daily pins and followers, which we recommend. You might wonder how you will EVER catch up…
That’s the beauty of Pinterest (and really any social media, I suppose).
It’s a game. If you play it better, you will jump ahead.
That’s exactly what we did. I remember starting out on the bottom and looking at those with a few thousand followers with utter and complete jealousy.
Now I look back at them and see that they have gained maybe 2k followers in the last 6 months, while I have gained over 50k… What!?
How to Get More Followers on Pinterest
So let me back up and introduce myself… My name is Lauren, and I’m the other half of the Create and Go team. Alex writes most of the content about blogging, and I’m the Pinterest gal.
If you’re new to this blog, let me tell you how things roll around here.
Unlike most others in this niche, we did not make our money online by teaching others how to make money online. We didn’t make our money by blogging about blogging.
Our other blog is a health and fitness website at Avocadu.com, and that is our primary business.
We teach from the standpoint of this blog, because it is where we have found most of our success, and we believe it’s more relatable to our customers to teach about a totally different niche than the one that we are writing from.
In any case, these concepts illustrated below relate to how we grew our Avocadu Pinterest account to over 75k followers (at the time of this writing):
Before we get into these strategies for gaining followers, I will put a little disclaimer out there.
You MUST spend a lot of time on Pinterest if you wish to succeed with it.
We only grew this fast, because we made Pinterest TOP priority. It’s our livelihood. It makes us all of our money.
Getting awesome at it was the #1 most important thing in our blogging journey.
We structure our blog content and strategy around what works well on Pinterest, and you would be wise to do the same if Pinterest is the name of the game for you as well!
Ok here we go… You’ve likely heard this one before, but it’s extremely important as a newbie.
1. Optimize for profile and pins for search.
There is a reason this tip is #1 on our list of how to get more followers on Pinterest.
Optimizing for search is THE quickest way to increase your visibility on Pinterest.
Pinterest is jquery search-based. What does that mean?
Unlike Facebook or Instagram, users tell this social media platform exactly what they want to see. You don’t hop onto Facebook and type in “yoga workout for beginners.”
So how do you get your content more visibility? You make sure that your pins and post titles are EXACTLY what people are searching for.
In other words, “Thigh Blaster 100” might sound like an awesome name for a fat-burning workout, and maybe you have an even more awesome picture of a super fit woman with glorious thighs on your pin. But guess what?
No one is going to search for that… EVER.
“Workout for thighs” however, comes up in the search terms pretty quickly.
Another great example… This one literally JUST came up a few seconds ago when I checked Pinterest while writing this.
A girl invited me to join her group board called “A Munch for Every Crunch” with 378 followers… That’s adorable, really, but I’m trying to run a business here…
Find out what keywords your audience is looking for, and make sure to optimize your profile name and description, board titles and descriptions, and pin description as well as the actual words on the pin (yes, Pinterest can read this).
Now let’s take a timeout for a minute and introduce an important concept before we continue on with our list. I’m going to tell you WHY the next few points matter so much.
They matter more than when I first started on Pinterest, because the algorithms have changed.
It’s now actually much EASIER to get followers to your account.
This nifty little follow button started appearing a few months back, and it was around the same time that I started noticing tons more people following my entire account rather than just one board in particular.
Optimizing your board titles and descriptions for search means that they are found easier and you get more followers to certain boards, but people don’t usually follow your entire account. Now all of the sudden, people were beginning to follow my entire account.
Pinterest changed its algorithm to reward pinners that have better content. Every time one of your pins is pinned, the user has an option to follow your account.
Note that it only works with your domain pins. If I pin something from someone else’s website, a button to follow them will pop up.
So on this note, we are going to focus on techniques that will get you more REPINS, so that this pretty little button pops up at the bottom of the screen as much as possible for other users (aka your future clients).
2. Get on group boards.
Let me rephrase that… Get on GOOD group boards.
Don’t waste your time with boards that have a lot less followers than you. You will just pin a bunch of content that won’t get seen, won’t get any repins, and will weight you down by hurting your overall account score.
What I like to do is join a bunch of group boards that look reasonable or promising, and then I check their scores on Tailwind before pinning anything (more on that later in the article).
Group boards are a good tool for anyone, but they are INVALUABLE to someone that has very little followers or even under 10k.
At over 75k followers, I have a hard time finding group boards to join, because most of them have less followers than me. The people that have group boards with over 100k followers are generally VERY selective about who they let on or don’t let any new contributors on at all.
I do still belong to a few that have less followers than me, but only because I know that they have good engagement on their boards.
I digress. Pingroupie.com is the best place to find group boards to join, because you can sort them by repins and # of contibutors.
Next up on our list of how to get more followers with Pinterest is…
3. Focus on repins, not followers.
This goes directly back to what we prefaced earlier about that follow button. Forget about getting as many followers as possible for a moment, and focus on creating awesome, pinnable content.
Create the best content out there, and the followers will come.
Your pins will get more and more visibility, and you won’t be sweating the small stuff anymore.
In short: Focus on getting your pins to go viral.
Here is an example of just one of our many pins that does really well on Pinterest.
As you can see, the text is very readable, the image of the girl doing yoga is very large. Make your pins STAND OUT.
This means that you are getting traffic without having to pin anything. Your content is popular, and Pinterest is recommending it to people because they like it. It’s a win-win.
We average around 15k views/day on Avocadu.com, but it’s as high as 30k+ when we have a few pins that are viral.
We have gotten as much as 97k views in just ONE day due to a viral pin.
Our followers average around 300 followers/day, but when our content is viral and our traffic is high, we average 500 followers/day and have seen as much as over 1000 followers/day.
The power is in the viral pin!
How do you get a pin to go viral? Keep reading for our last tip on how to get a pin to go viral (which directly results in getting more followers on Pinterest)…
4. Make new and better pins.
If your pins aren’t getting pinned enough, make new and better pins. It’s as simple as that.
I’ve gotten pretty good at making great pins on the first try because of experience, but I often still have duds. I used to attribute that to the content not being “good enough” or the title not being “eye-catching enough.” Now I’ve learned better.
If your pin is a dud after a couple of weeks, make a new one!
Look at what is working for your competition or even others in a different niche. What does the popular content look like?
Make sure you are using Canva.com to design your own pins. It’s free, easy-to-use, and the best tool out there at the moment!
5. Use tailwind to check out your stats.
Now we’re back at Tailwind. I have a Tailwind account for both of my accounts (Avocadu and Create and Go), because I don’t have the time or money to waste to not know what the heck is going on with my traffic.
Tailwind is a web-based software that provides analytics for your Pinterest accounts.
There are other websites like it, but Tailwind is the best, and it’s an approved API partner with Pinterest. This means that Pinterest approves of the company and has officially recognized them as a partner.
Tailwind analytics will tell you what pins are performing the best, which boards have the highest virality and engagement scores, and so much more.
That’s a snapshot of our account from last month. You can see your growth in followers and repins to help you determine what’s working and what’s not.
If you know which boards are performing the best, you can pin more often to those boards to increase your exposure. It also rates the group boards that you belong to, so you can tell if they are worth your time or not.
I highly recommend giving it a go. It’s $15/month, but it’s totally worth it when you don’t have to pay any advertising costs on Pinterest (unless you promote pins).
So now that we have covered what you SHOULD be doing, let’s briefly talk about…
What NOT to do…
These things are a time-suck, and the reward just isn’t there. Newbie bloggers are usually short on two things: time and money.
You should only be spending those two valuable resources on things that will actually get you somewhere, and fast.
1. Do not follow/unfollow.
There is a time and a place for this, and it is Instagram. It’s very effective on Instagram, and it’s a complete waste of time on Pinterest.
Yes, it does work. Sort of. You will get followers, but the rate of followers you will get is abysmal. Then you will have to go through the pain of unfollowing everyone, and Pinterest will penalize you for that.
Pinterest associates any sort of abnormal behavior with spam. They will temporary ban your account, and your pins won’t get ANY visibility while you are doing those things.
If you have learned ONE thing today, know that Pinterest HATES spammers. They banned all affiliate links for a couple of years because of spammers.
We’ve also tested it, guys. We tried following and unfollowing at the beginning and read about many others that had tried it as well. It’s not worth it, and your followers won’t be as targeted.
What will happen is that you will create new and better looking pins and content, and then you will have no idea whether it is truly working or not, because Pinterest won’t show it to anyone anyway. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
2. Forget the little shit.
Forget the articles that are titled “50 ways to get more followers!” and “100 ways to get more exposure!”
Ain’t nobody got time for that…
You’ll read about all kinds of little bitty ways to barely boost your followers, including adding widgets to your blog and cross-promoting on other social media accounts.
Of course, there are exceptions. If you have 500,000 followers on Facebook, you should go ahead and cross-promote.
But if you have a couple thousand or less, it just isn’t worth it. You will spend time and energy trying to figure out the best way to cross-promote for only 100 people to even see it, and maybe 1 or 2 of those people to follow you.
Adding widgets and random follow boxes and things on your blog will slow it down.
When your blog takes more than 2 seconds to load, users bounce. Remember that the website is pulled up IN the Pinterest mobile app, so the user never even leaves the app to visit your website. It is FAR too easy for them to hop on to the next article.
DO add social share buttons so that others can easily share your content, but don’t waste time with the Pinterest widget-builders.
As we always say at the end of our articles…
FOCUS ON CREATING AWESOME CONTENT!
That should always be first and foremost. The followers will come!
- Pinterest for Business: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide from Actual Power Pinners
- Optimize your Website for Pinterest Pins and Traffic
- How to Drive 300k+ Visits/Month Using Pinterest
And our ultimate resource for success on Pinterest: Pinterest Organic Traffic Avalanche
Now go out and create something awesome today!
Alex & Lauren
Co-Founders, Create and Go
P.S. What are the biggest struggles you are having with your current blog and/or Pinterest account right now? Share them with us in the comments section below, and we will do our best to help!
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Alex & Lauren
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