Frugal Foodie Mama: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Pinterest Following

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Pinterest Following

I am often asked how I grew my Pinterest following to over 10,000 followers.  Other bloggers want to know my secrets, my magic formula for reaching 5 digits.

At first, I have to look behind me to make sure they are actually asking me.  ;)  While I am thrilled with my Pinterest following, I know there are MUCH bigger Pinners out there with tons more Pinterest followers than I could ever fathom having.  
Of course, if you would have have walked up to me the very first week of January of this year when I had 900 and some Pinterest followers and told me that I would have amassed over 10,000 by August, I would have laughed at you!
At that point in my growth, I just wanted to reach 1,000.  That seemed like such a daunting goal at the time, but one I was willing to strive for.

So, what is my secret?  What one thing did I do that caused me to gain 10 times as many Pinterest followers in just 8 months?

The answer is... I don't know.  
Yep, I have no clue.  There is not any one single thing that I can point to and say that was it! 

What I can tell you is that I KNOW it was a number of factors working together that made my Pinterest growth possible.  I did put some work and time into it, and it all paid off.  
This post isn't about getting a quick spike in Pinterest followers.  It took me EIGHT months to get from less than 1,000 followers to almost 11,000.  

I will also be sharing a few tips from some of my favorite bloggers and Power Pinners- ladies who all reached over 10,000 followers WAY before I did.  And two who have over 20,000 Pinterest followers today.  Because I know I am in no way the ultimate Pinterest expert and even I still have room to learn more.

So who is ready to learn how to grow their Pinterest following? :)

About Your Pinterest account...
  • I think most bloggers have done this already, but switch to a business account.  If I did have to give credit to just one thing for kickstarting my Pinterest growth, it would be to making that switch.  I had been stagnated at just a little over 900 Pinterest followers for two months when I made the switch.  In less than 2 weeks after converting to a business account, I was at over 1,000.  I have chatted with many other bloggers who have made the switch, but didn't see a considerable growth in followers after.  That is why I believe it must be the converting to a business account with a combination of other practices that made my own growth possible. ;)
  • I always stress this and I will again- have consistency throughout all your social media accounts related to your blog!  Use the same photo & the same name (when possible) that you use on your other blog social media accounts, and always include a link to your blog's site when setting up your Pinterest business account.  Pinterest will verify your website therefore making it much more searchable in their databases.  
About Your Pinterest Boards...
  • Potential new followers will judge your Pinterest account by it's cover, so make sure those first 3-4 rows of boards on your home page are attractive and accurately reflect you and your blog.  For instance if you are mainly a food blogger, you probably don't want to include a board of books you would like to read in your first row.  And if you are a craft blogger, you might not want have your fitness board with new workouts you want to try out near the top.  I am not saying you cannot have those kinds of boards.  I have ALL kinds of boards- one for the dog, scrapbooking ideas, travel tips, etc.  But you would have to hit the scroll button more than once to find them. ;)  My top 3 rows are almost 100% all food related because I am predominantly a food blogger.  I have also just recently created a Pinterest board that is dedicated JUST to Frugal Foodie Mama Recipes and that board is first and foremost on my Boards page. ;) I learned that little trick from my friend Julie who blogs over at White Lights on Wednesday when she shared her July 2013 Blogging Income post.
  • Give your Pinterest boards fun names!  A board just titled "Chicken" or "Painting Projects" is not very exciting or enticing.   I try to make all my boards sound like fun, a board you must follow.  Like my group board for cocktails is called Any Hour Can Be Happy Hour.  My board just for pinning bundt cakes I love (I might have a mild obsession with bundt cakes. ;) ) is called Bundt I Love Cake.
  • "If there is a holiday coming, put that board in the first position. I've also made the covers of all my boards my photos (where applicable)."- Dorothy, blogger at Crazy for Crust and a Power Pinner with over 24,000 Pinterest followers!
  • And speaking about board covers, pick attractive and appealing photos for your covers!  Again, you are trying to catch the eye of a potential new follower.  Pinterest is ALL about the visual.
About Your Pinning...
  • Keep what you pin authentic and true to you. If you are a vegan food blogger, it might be a little weird to your followers if you start pinning pork recipes.  Be selective about what you pin- Pin great, relevant content and the followers will come.
  • I am a firm believer in pinning smarter and not necessarily harder.  Aim to do a majority of your pinning at peak times.  When are the peak times?  When people have the most down time to play on Pinterest- think that afternoon lull at the office usually between 2:30 and 4:30pm, later at night after the kiddos have went to bed around 9:30-10:00pm, and weekends are always peak.  You want to put your pinning and yourself out there in front of as many new potential followers as you can.
  • "I believe that the most important thing that makes us a good member of the Pinterest community is to always ensure that we are pinning from the original source. If we are repinning, we should take the extra minute to first click on the link to be certain that it is a viable link to the correct source and not spam. Pinterest is an amazing place to share, be inspired, discover new blogs, products, recipes, ideas - nothing is more disappointing than to click on a link and it takes us somewhere we don't want to go."- Cindy, blogger at Little Miss Celebration and Power Pinner with over 29,000 Pinterest followers!
  • "...I think the best tip for growing Pinterest is being active. I notice if we pin daily that our numbers grow. We do pin a lot of our own content, but we also try to balance that with other quality content."- Kimberly, blogger at A Night Owl Blog and a Power Pinner with over 14,000 Pinterest followers!
  • Pin your own posts (Duh!), but also be sure to be pinning from other blogs and sites.  No one wants to follow the Pinner who is obviously only there for self-promotion.  "I pin a lot of my own stuff every day (about 20 pins). But I also pin from other blogs throughout the day. Spread the love."- Dorothy from Crazy for Crust
About Pinterest Interaction...
  • I suggest checking for pins that have been sourced from your site or blog at least a few times a week.  The easiest way I have found to do that is by either typing in blog/site's web address here (for example, or you can click on your Analytics (only if you have a business account) and then click on your Most Recent pins from your site.  Scroll through and check for any comments or questions that may have been posted to those and then interact if you see any!  That lets others who see that pin know that you care about the people pinning your posts and want to engage with them, and will probably lead to a few new followers.  
  • Also check your traffic sources once or twice a week. If you have a heavy amount of traffic coming from a particular pin link, visit it and thank the pinner and even start following that pinner. :)  Then anyone else who re-pins that same pin will see your comment and are more likely to click on over and give you a follow as well.
As you can see, a majority of my top referring URLs are from Pinterest pins. 
  • Let's talk about group boards.  They can be AMAZING for gaining tons of traffic your way. I can say that ALL three of the other Power Pinners in this post all made one comment or another about the power of joining and contributing to group boards.  Kimberly from A Night Owl Blog said, "I think group boards also play a huge roll. By collaborating and contributing to group Pinterest boards, we have definitely seen a spike in activity and an increase in followers. Pinning your best content to boards in your niche is a great way to attract followers with similar interests."  Cindy from Little Miss Celebration had this to add about group boards, "Accept invitations to group boards that interest you and contribute in a way that makes others happy you are part of the group! Respect the guidelines established by the board owner and enhance the experience for the whole group with your pins."   **And one more note on group boards- if you belong to multiple group boards, please don't pin the same post to 10 different group boards in less than 5 minutes.  It can turn off potential new followers big time.  Spread them out.  Pin to 1-2 group boards per day and at different times.  There is no need (or benefit) to doing the massive blast of pinning of just 1 or 2 posts in a short period of time.
And one final tip for you all who are really wanting to expand your Pinterest follower base a little more quickly- Buy in to one of the big group giveaways every now and again and use your Pinterest as one of your entry links.  While giveaway follows haven't accounted for a majority of my Pinterest following I would credit them with at least 2000-3000 of my followers.  Most of the bigger group giveaways can cost anywhere from $10-$30+ to buy into, so you will have to assess for yourself what price to pay is worth it to you for more followers. 

Which of these tips did you find most hopeful or made you say, Ah-ha!?
What else would you like to know more about as far Pinterest goes?

Be sure to give each of the Power Pinners in this post a Pinterest follow!
(I made it super easy- just simply click on each of our names below and you will be whisked away to each of our Pinterest pages. ;) )
           Carrie                           Cindy                              Kimberly                      Dorothy

And while you are here, don't forget to get entered in my Pinterest Dreams to Reality $400 Paypal Cash Giveaway in celebration of Frugal Foodie Mama reaching over 10,000 Pinterest followers! :)