7 proven ways to create viral Pinterest posts

The author has seen multiple post go viral on Pinterest, earning tens of thousands of pin. She explains how you can do it, too.

Pinterest has demonstrated its traffic-driving ability in a big way.

As a lifestyle blogger, I have seen huge traffic from Pinterest in the past six months. I have had multiple posts go “viral,” each receiving anywhere from 1,000 to 35,000-plus pins. These posts have translated to:

• new followers of my blog;
• revenue from affiliate links;
• higher positioning in Google search.

For each viral post, I used the same strategies. If you want to see your blog posts get pinned hundreds, if not thousands, of times on Pinterest, consider these seven tips:

Write your post as a list

This is the easiest tip. People love lists. They are easy to read and pinned a lot. Consider writing your post in bulleted or list format.

Use text on your photos, or create a title graphic

This is the single most important thing you can do to stimulate pins and repins. When people pin and repin on Pinterest, they are scanning through a lot of thumbnails. Having text on a photo makes it easier for users to identify what an image is and if they want to pin it.

(It is important to note that if you are using stock photography on your blog, you should check the terms of your contract. Many stock sites do not include rights for a photo to be pinned to Pinterest.)

Add a “Pin It” button beneath the photo you want to be pinned, and write a smart, searchable tag for the caption

Some people think that they don’t need to add a “Pin It” button to posts—that people who use Pinterest will naturally just pin the posts they like. This is not true. People don’t always have “Pinterest on the brain.” You need to tell them to pin the post. The pin button is an easy way to say hey, you should pin this. It also shows that you give the person permission to pin the content.

Also, when you put the “Pin It” button on your post, you can customize the copy. Be smart. Include key words and hash tags to make your content searchable.

Write a post that is timely

This is a big one. My post on 101 Easter Basket Ideas would not have been pinned more than 41,000 times if I had posted it in February because people weren’t thinking about Easter yet. Be very strategic about a post’s timeliness and you will likely see big returns on pins and repins.

Ask friends who are active on Pinterest to pin your content

If your content is relevant to a friend’s Pinterest boards, ask if they would be willing to pin your post. It is important to do this on the first day, when you are trying to gain momentum on Pinterest.

I have a circle of blogging friends who regularly support each other’s content through pins, tweets, etc. It can be difficult to keep up with so many blogs (even of people you genuinely like), so don’t assume that your friends will share your content. Of course, don’t forget to say thank you and return the favor when the time comes.

I have seen a direct correlation between asks and posts going viral. That early traction can make a big difference.

Push the post out via social media, multiple times over an appropriate period

While I am not an advocate of posting every single blog post to Twitter, Facebook, etc. multiple times, certain posts that I am really trying to push via Pinterest I will share numerous times.

For instance, I had a post that received more than 19,000 pins related to Father’s Day gift ideas. I tweeted about that post almost every day for the two weeks leading up to Father’s Day. Each day, I saw more pins to Pinterest, more traffic from Pinterest, and more sales from the affiliate links within the post. I was creative with my tweets, posted at different times of day and had other unrelated content in my Twitter stream, so it wasn’t like my followers were only hearing about that post.

Remind people of the posts after the initial “peak” period

In my experience, posts gain the most traction on Pinterest in the first 72 hours of being live on your blog. That doesn’t mean you can’t gain additional pins after that period, but you might have to work a little harder.

If you have an evergreen post, consider sharing it periodically to remind people that it exists and introduce it to people that haven’t seen it before. You can simply share the post via your social media channels, or link to it in another post. Either way, you will likely see additional pins and traffic as a result. I’m amazed that my post 10 Tips for Using Pinterest Well continues to have strong momentum on Pinterest, despite being published in March.

Jessica Turner is a marketing professional by day and a lifestyle blogger by night (and early morning). Her site The Mom Creative includes topics on memory keeping, motherhood, frugal living and faith. She and her family live in Nashville, Tenn. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


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