Wondering how to make your Pins go VIRAL and drive traffic to your blog? Here’s how to use Pinterest to its full potential with 8 things you MUST do before posting your content on Pinterest.

So you wrote a blog post. Congratulations. Uh, now what?

Other than sending it to your mom, your BFF, and maybe your high school English teacher (this isn’t lame, my husband is a high school teacher and he would shed happy, dorky tears if one of his students sent him something they wrote) where else should you stick your blog post to make sure that people will actually, like, READ it?

By now you’ve probably heard about Pinterest. Pinterest is one of the best social media channels to drive traffic to your blog. And a well-crafted Pinterest strategy will serve you well. It’s how I built my blog’s success early on, before I had mastered much more long-term strategies like SEO or building an email list.

But Pinterest isn’t a magical cure-all: you can’t just share a link to your blog post on Pinterest, sit back, and let the traffic pour in. We’ve already written a guide to what to DO on Pinterest, but what about before that?

This post focuses on that moment of time after you’ve written a blog post and before you’ve posted it on Pinterest – when you’re still figuring out your marketing campaign for the post (psst: each post should have its own tailor-made marketing campaign). A viral pin on Pinterest will send you steady traffic for a year or more, so you want to give yourself every opportunity you can to get as many viral pins as possible.  

Here are 8 things you should do to help ensure your blog post’s success on Pinterest and, hopefully, get your pin to go VIRAL on Pinterest!

Hey, this post has moved! Head over to my travel blog, Practical Wanderlust, to read the rest of this post.

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Comments (20)

So, when you say meta description/alt text, are you talking about the image alt text that pulls through to the Pin title? Because a meta description is a completely different thing isn’t it? Meta dx is what appears in Google when your website shows in search results…?

Great post, with some great tips I will definitely use 🙂

So the image meta description includes the alt text, that’s one part of it. And you’re right, it does have to do with Google search results (and other search engines). The meta description for your post shows in Google search results. Your IMAGE meta description shows up in IMAGE search results. Basically, Google looks at what you’ve written in your alt text, description, etc and uses that to figure out whether to serve up your image in search results. Here’s a post that explains more about what image meta data is: http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/image-meta-data-101-title-caption-alt-text-and-description/

What’s important when it comes to Pinterest is that your alt text appears as the description for your image, which is why we want to stuff it full of keywords!

Yay! The good news is, I was already doing a lot of this!
But fuuuuuuudge… The bad news is, when I pin an image from my site, it’s pulling the info incorrectly! Most of it is correct, but for the Pin Description, Pinterest is pulling my post title instead of the image’s alt text. So I’m losing out on all the ah-mazing keywords and hashtags I stuffed in there.
Can’t figure out what the heck am I doing wrong! Oh, the frustration

That might be related to your sharing plugin – I would submit a ticket with them and see if they can help!

Pinterest keeps pulling the horizontal featured image instead of the pin no matter what I do. Bottom, top, hidden, visible, mediavine script. How do I force pinterest to select the vertical pin?

Also, this happens even when I have many images on my post. Only the featured image is pulled by Pinterest.

Sounds like that might be an issue with your theme, Owen! I’d contact whoever designed your theme. If that’s not it, reach out to whatever sharing plugin you’re using and check with them.

I create pins and upload them straight to my pinterest boards. I don’t put them on the blog post or hide them. People that visit my post are able to pin all the images they want from the site itself, they just can’t pin the one I created unless they repin it. Is there anything wrong with just doing that?

I wouldn’t recommend doing that – you want to send a diverse kind of traffic to and from that blog post & Pinterest. And you want your readers to WANT to pin your post, which might not cross their minds if there isn’t a pinnable image (personally, I’m unlikely to pin a post without a pinnable image or a DYNAMITE vertical photo). Also, you never know when someone might pin directly from your post and send it viral! One alternative you could try is to embed your pin directly in your post instead of putting the image in there – that way you’re getting repins on that one pin over and over again from your readers.

Where do you put the code so only the half size image is shown?

You’ll put it in the text editor.

I do the same as Urvashee because I’m brand new to using Pinterest for this kind of thing. My main reason is that I am hesitant to put any money into this blog (aside from hosting fees, etc.) right now. Are there any social warfare -type plugins that are free? My understanding is that social warfare requires a subscription. I’m not opposed to paying for something down the line, but I’d like to see where this whole blog thing goes first. Thank you!

Makes sense. There is a free version of Social Warfare. The paid version is great because you can customize your colors and re-direct old URLs if you’ve recently changed your URL structure or upgraded to HTTPS. But you can totally use it for free! Another popular one is SumoMe, which I used to use. Jetpack has sharing buttons too if that’s a plugin you’re already using, but they’re pretty small. Hope that helps!

Please forgive me,but your gifs are so distracting I had to copy your written info elsewhere in order to read it. It’s valuable and interesting, why do you feel the need for these graphics that offer little support for your ideas?

I’m sorry to hear that, Brian! We think the GIFs provide a nice humorous relief/break from the otherwise semi-overwhelming practical knowledge we try to provide in each of our posts. They’re meant to be a fun distraction. Most of our readers have let us know that they like them, but I can definitely see how they would be an irritation if you’re not a GIF fan!

Great content! Thanks for the insight as I am a newbie to the blogging world and I am currently setting up my blog.

theincometrain.com (coming soon)

Very informative!! I noticed you used a vertical line to separate your keywords in the pin’s alt tags, I currently use commas to separate them, should I be using the vertical line or does that not matter? Also, is there a better way to do keyword research for Pinterest other than typing out the keyword you’re thinking of in the search bar and see what comes up? Thanks!

It honestly doesn’t matter either way 🙂 And that’s pretty much the best way to do keyword research on Pinterest, oddly enough!

Very Informative blog!! Valuable information on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing.

ha. . ha. . i was amused with your line about a dog in surfboard comparing it to pin that goes viral. . . ha.. ha so amusing. it made my day.

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