How to get Pinterest traffic to your blog using group boards

Pinterest group boards offer a way for bloggers to increase their traffic. They simply have a larger than average following and if you can join them as a contributor, you can put your pins in front of thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of people.

I mentioned group boards a couple of weeks ago in my post about forming a Pinterest strategy for promoting my blogs. One of my goals was to join at least four group boards in September. I’ll be posting a report about my experiences with Pinterest promotion this month (they’re good!) but I can tell you already, I failed on the group boards traffic front.

I waltzed into this unique arena entirely unprepared. Having read one or two blog posts, I plunged right into the deep water. It’s fair to say that I drowned. Not a single invitation came in.

Time to regroup (pardon the pun) and focus on the do’s and don’ts of group boards on Pinterest. Today’s post is going to be all about Pinterest group boards traffic and how to get it flowing into your blog. It’s based on extensive research and reading dozens of blog posts on that very topic. I found a few real nuggets of great advice out there, so happy to share them here. Grab a coffee, this isn’t a short post.

How to generate blog traffic from Pinterest group boards

What are Pinterest group boards?

Group boards are Pinterest boards where several pinners add on-topic pins. These usually draw in more followers, so if your pin gets up there, you’ll get more clicks and more traffic.

Sounds good? It is, according to many a blogger. The problem is how to tap into that board groups traffic source and as is the case with all good things, it’s not easy.

How to join Pinterest Group Boards

Your goal is to join quality on-topic group boards. The kind that will get your awesome pins in front of tens of thousands of users who will then click through to visit your site and also repin to share the awesomeness with their followers. The viral effect and all that jazz.

Group boards provide you with one special ingredient in your Pinterest recipe: The ability to instantly reach a large number of people. It’s like using instant yeast for your bread instead of culturing your own sourdough.

Group boards are the yeast in your Pinterest recipe
Group boards are the yeast in your Pinterest recipe

In order to get that instant yeast magic, you have to do three things –

  • Find quality group boards in your niche.
  • Get invited to said boards.
  • Pin to the boards (without getting kicked out).

Let’s break these into more manageable questions and address them one by one.

How to find quality Pinterest group boards?

Bloggers recommend many ways to find good Pinterest group boards. Some recommendations keep repeating themselves but a few have suggested some ideas that seem to be less utilized. Here’s the complete list –

1. Use Pingroupie

Pingroupie is a directory of Pinterest group board. They crawl Pinterest to find boards that have more than 2 collaborators, more than 250 followers and more than than 50 pins. When all three criteria are met, the board gets listed in their database. Their website says the last crawl was 3 months ago.

You can search Pingroupie by category and keyword and sort the results according to the board’s size, number of repins and other parameters. Most bloggers recommend using this as your first tool for finding group boards in your niche.

Not everyone does, though. Kara Gorski says that the days of Pingroupie are over and it’s no longer an effective tool to find the right group boards for you.

My own impression is that it can still be useful for that initial comb-through but the results must be carefully assessed for quality.

2. Search Pinterest for board groups

When you search Pinterest, you can switch between four types of results: All pins, your pins, people and boards. So, you can basically search for boards in your niche by entering the keywords. It used to be possible to see at a glance which of the boards were group boards, as the little group icon used to show up in the search results. This is no longer the case.

However, if you add the word “group board” to your keyword, you can still get good results. For example, I searched for travel + group board and got this –

Travel group boards

As you can see, these are all group boards.

3. Just Google it

Pinterest is indexed by Google, so in principle, that could be another tool you could use. It’s how Windy City Bloggers find their group boards. I haven’t had very good results with that. It’s doable but you have to comb through many results that aren’t actual group boards relating to your topic. This may be a good option in some niches, or if you’ve run out of boards using the other methods.

4. Check the profiles of other Pinners in your niche

This is a time-consuming way but quite a few bloggers swear by it. Free Borboleta calls it “stalking” her favorite bloggers. The gist of it is –

a. Find the bloggers you like in your niche and track down their Pinterest profiles.

b. Scroll down their list of boards and look for the group boards they participate in (they’re usually at the end).

These would be your best niche group boards.

Mariah Halthoff goes even deeper down the rabbit hole. Once she finds a good group board, she goes to the profile of that board owner and scrolls down to see which group boards they also contribute to… and so on, and so forth.

5. The Facebook group

Apparently, there’s a closed Facebook group for bloggers/pinners who are also looking for group boards. It’s recommended by SimplePinMedia. I haven’t tried it yet but it has several thousands of members so it looks promising. They have rules on how to join so read those carefully if you’re thinking of doing that.

How to assess the quality of a group board?

Now that you know how to find hundreds – maybe thousands – of Pinterest group boards, should you really try to join them all?

Obviously not. You want to focus your efforts where you can see actual results. Here’s what makes a quality board for our purposes  –

  1. A lot of followers – the more the merrier.
  2. Daily pinning activity.
  3. A high number of repins (a sign of quality followers with an interest in the niche).
  4. Matching topics.

How to ask for an invite?

At this point, we have a list of quality on-topic group boards. How do we start pinning to them? Alas, to do that you have to be invited to the board. There are several ways in which you can try to get invited.

1. Read the blog description and look for instructions.

If the blog owner is looking to get more contributors, they’re going to say that in the blog description and tell you how to contact them. Usually, they’ll have an email address you can write to.

2. Track down the board owner.

Can’t find the instructions? You could try contacting the board owner directly. His or her Pinterest profile may indicate where you can find their blog which will probably have a contact form. You can also try finding them on Twitter and sending them a message there.

3. Find a contributor that you know

If you already have a strong presence in your niche, you can try skimming through the list of contributors. You may find someone that you know. If the board allows for contributors to invite other contributors, you can contact your new bff and ask for an invite.

There’s a trust factor here. These people need to really know and trust you because if they invite a spammer into the board, they’re putting their own place as a contributor as risk.

Which is the best way?

I prefer to work with boards that clearly state how you can join them. For two reasons. First, it’s less time consuming. You don’t have to spend time tracking down their blog or Twitter account. Secondly, if they don’t have a clear description on how to join, they probably aren’t looking for new contributors at this point. I’ve actually read an angry comment by a board owner complaining about people who bother her with requests via her blog/twitter.

How to improve your chances of getting invited?

Ahh, lots of tips and tricks here!

1. Prepare the ground

At the very minimum you have to be following the board itself and the board owner. Technically, they won’t be able to add you unless you follow both the board and them personally. They probably won’t bother with telling you to – they’ll just ignore your request.

It’s best to be following the board for awhile and show some level of involvement. Repin, like and comment pins. Try to interact with the board owner through pins, preferably by commenting. Make sure you’re responding to what the board owner himself/herself pinned recently and not just to pins by other contributors.

2. Write a good request

When it’s time to make the request, write a short and concise one. Things to mention include –

  • Who you are, including a link to your Pinterest profile and the email address that’s associated with your Pinterest account.
  • Why you’re interested in the topic of the board.
  • The fact that you’re already following them and the board.
  • If there are rules to pinning to the board, mention that you’ve read them and will be following them closely.

3. Use your Pinterest email address to send the request

That means you should send the email from the same email address that you used when you signed up for your Pinterest account. The board owner will be inviting an email address, not a user. If they end up sending the invite to the email address you sent the email from and that’s not the same as your Pinterest email address, you won’t be able to use the invite.

4. Have a great Pinterest profile.

They’ll check that, so make sure your profile is ready to be inspected. What you need is a good username, picture, description and a list of beautiful active boards with lots of on-topic pins in the same niche as their group board. If you’re serious about getting Pinterest traffic, you should have those anyway.

5. Have your own group boards

Having your own group boards means you’re a team player. You’re willing to manage a board like that yourself and reciprocate. Make sure the boards have some content and that the description includes clear instructions on how to join.

Good practices after you got accepted

Let’s say you got accepted. Hooray! You worked hard on getting there, now don’t blow this away. Here are some good practices to follow that will help you become a positive contributor and avoid getting kicked out.

1. Follow the board rules.

If there are any rules that are clearly stated, follow them. Board owners don’t want to deal with editing and deleting pins. When someone breaks the rules, it’s easier to just kick them out.

2. Stick to on-topic pins.

Read the board description and stick to it. Let’s say your niche is travel and you got invited to a board group about road trips in the US, don’t pin your general “advice for budget travelers” post there. Pins should be very specific to the board’s topic.

3. See what others are pinning and follow suit.

Is the board all about beautiful pictures? No text on pictures, just inspiration? Pin similar materials yourself. On the other hand, if everyone else is focusing on detailed guides, or infographics, then stay in tune with them and add similar pins yourself.

4. Pin often but not too much.

Find the goldilocks zone for that specific board. Some boards have rules about how often you should pin but even if they don’t, avoid flooding the board with your pins. If you’re not sure, ask the owner what they prefer.

5. Contribute – don’t just promote your pins

Repin lots of great content to the group board and not just pins that link back to your blog. This is just plain good netiquette. Contributors are there to help create a rich and diverse board on the topic, not just to promote their own sites. Also, according to Brittney Llynn, the current Pinterest algorithm will penalize you for simply pushing your content onto group boards and leaving. Your pins will have a smaller chance of being seen by the board’s followers.

6. Repin from the board

There are several reasons for you to repin other people’s pins from the board, as Blog Ambitions explains. First, it’s helping other contributors which is basic good karma. Secondly, the more repins the board has, the better its score in the Pinterest search algorithm. By repinning from the board, you’re helping to promote it – and that includes promoting your own pins too.

Generating Pinterest Group Board Traffic: The Plan

I’m going to give this another try and be much more methodical this time around.

So far, I just grabbed some boards off Pingroupie and mentioned in comments to pins that I’d like to join them. Zero response and now I can see why. It’s time to get more serious about this. As I mentioned in my previous post, this month I’m focusing on promoting my travel blog, so here’s the plan for getting Pinterest group board traffic to that blog.

1. Create a spreadsheet with 10 travel-related Pinterest board groups that meet the following criteria –
a. More than 5000 followers.
b. High rate of repins.
c. Owner has instructions about how to join (telling me he/she is actively looking for contributors).

2. Follow these boards and the board owners.

3. For one week, visit these boards daily, repin at least 2 pins from each one and leave at least one comment. Preferably, on pins by the owner.

4. Contact each of these board owners via email (as specified on their board) and ask to join as a contributor.

In two weeks time, we’ll see how this pans out. Expect a report back from the trenches sometime in mid-October.

How about you?

Are you using Pinterest? Are you a member of any board groups in your niche? I’d love to hear about how you joined and what your thoughts are about the tips in this post! Don’t be shy, leave me a comment!

Touching Base – Mid-September update

I wonder if I’m currently suffering from jet lag. No, I haven’t traveled to a different timezone. Still here at home. However, I’m right in the middle of one of the most hectic – and fun – weeks I ever had.

The Challenge – A Super Busy Week

For the past four days, we’ve hosted friends who are visiting our country. Not only did we get to enjoy their company, we also traveled with them almost every day. There’s nothing quite like seeing your own country through the eyes of a first-time visitor. It was fun and also gave me ideas for new posts in my travel blog (not to mention the trip reports and pictures themselves which will also become travel blog posts at some point!)

Yesterday evening we went to a family wedding which included a dance party. We danced, we drank (moderately and responsibly!) and crashed back in our own beds at around 2AM. At 5AM there was a knock at the door. My Dad and his lovely wife returned from a year and a half long trip in South America and made our home their first stop. It was wonderful to see them but I sure could have used this specific morning to sleep in. My brother and my sister both joined my father and step-mother as they woke up and we all had lunch together. They left about an hour ago and so I’m finally here, sitting by my desk and blogging.

The week isn’t over yet!

Tomorrow we’re meeting more friends who are currently visiting our country. The following day? Oh just a small get-together of 30-40 friends in our home…

I think that this week brings a level of social interaction which suggests I may have some social skills after all!

What about my work? What about the Blog Revival Project?

Well, I’m afraid that pesky thing we call “life” came in the way once more.

I knew this would be a busy week, so I pre-scheduled posts for a few of the blogs. I had meant to do that for all six project blogs but alas, only managed to pre-schedule posts on four of them. The blog you’re reading right now – – is one of the two that I just didn’t get around to posting in. Almost two weeks with no posts <insert sad smilie here>.

(I would have used an actual sad smilie, but some RSS readers take these smilies and use them to feature your posts with. Your post ends up with a huge blurry yellow smiling face for a cover image. Scary stuff!)

Of course, there’s more to blogging than just writing posts. I regularly comment on other people’s blogs and promote my blogs on social media. Not too much of either happening this week, I’m afraid.

So, I’m touching base here today to boost the blog with a new post and let everyone know where I’m at. I’m at home, having fun but not working as much as I should be!

Taking a break is not all bad!

I may be feeling tired (almost jet-lagged) today but that’s a very temporary thing. At the same time, I feel mentally refreshed and even rejuvenated by spending time with friends and family and by traveling around the country.

I find myself toying with ideas for posts and almost writing them in my head. I know there are some awesome new posts about to be added to my travel blog! Looking forward to putting it all into writing next week!

So, how to promote a new blog on Pinterest?

Pinterest can be an excellent source of traffic for blogs. I know because I’m getting a nice amount of Pinterest traffic to a couple of my websites without even trying! Or at least without trying too hard.

This month my focus in the Blog Revival Project is on promoting my travel blog. Traveling is a great topic for visuals. They’re prime Pinterest material. The conclusion almost begs itself: Pinterest should be at the core of my social media strategy for this blog.

The challenge: How to promote a new blog on Pinterest?

My travel blog is a new(ish) blog with a new Pinterest account. If you have an established account with thousands of followers, Pinterest is easier. Post lots of awesome pins and let your followers spread the love around. With any luck, at least some of these pins will become at least somewhat viral.

So, what about a new blog promoted through a new Pinterest account? How do you jumpstart your Pinterest traffic with that? I gave this question a lot of thought and done quite a bit of research. Let me share the key points of what I came up with.

How to promote a new blog on Pinterest

Pinterest traffic comes through pins that link back to your content. For your blog to get traffic, two things need to happen –

  1. A user needs to see a nice image that was pinned from your blog.
  2. Said user should be intrigued enough to click through to your content.

Virality happens when your pin is awesome enough to be re-pinned and get even more eyeballs seeing it and hopefully clicking through. But first, you have to reach those initial users who can – hopefully – ignite the magic of social sharing.

First things first, you need to get people to see your pin.

If you’re an established pinner with thousands (or more) followers, you can just pin your image and it will show up in their Pinterest feed. If you don’t have a good-sized following yet, you have two other ways to get people to see your pin –

  • Join a large group board on your topic.
    If you manage to do that, you’ll be able to pin your content and get it in front of all of the board’s followers right away.
  • Get your pins to show up on Pinterest searches.
    It’s a bit like Google SEO. You want to craft your pins in ways that will increase their chances of coming up when people look for specific keywords or key phrases within Pinterest.

Joining group boards on Pinterest

These are Pinterest boards where the owner gives other Pinners permission to pin directly to the board. If you find established group boards with a large following, you could potentially get a lot of exposure at once.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. You can’t expect someone else to do the hard work of growing a quality board for you to just waltz in and essentially spam the board with your pins. If this is a quality group board with real human (not fake) followers then the owners are probably quite discriminate as to who they let in as a pinner.

Which is why I don’t consider Pinterest group boards to be “easy traffic”. It’s going to take time and effort to establish a presence in quality group boards by commenting and interacting first, and then pinning quality content from various sources, not just my own blog. I still think it’s a channel that’s worth pursuing for a new blog with a new pinterest account. I’m just saying it’s not a source for instant traffic.

“SEO’ing” for Pinterest

Pinterest isn’t just a visual bookmarking service. It’s also a visual search engine. Many people turn to Pinterest when they’re looking for a recipe, or inspiration for their latest crafts project. When your pin that comes up in the first row of images in the search results, that could mean traffic to your blog.

Pinterest keeps changing its algorithm but that should not deter you. As long as you’re not trying to manipulate search engines (be them Google or Pinterest’s internal search engine), you should be ok. The general idea is to provide Pinterest with the right amount of textual information about each pin. I’ll elaborate on the techniques in a minute, when I get to the actual list of tips and ideas.

Don’t forget to have awesome pins!

Awesome content always comes before promotion.

Pinning on group boards and optimizing your pins are simply ways to gain some initial exposure.

In the end, everything needs to come together. The harmony of promoting on Pinterest is made of excellent graphics, optimized pins and good pinning channels. Mix well, season with a bit of luck and use regularly.

And now, it’s time to wrap everything up into a list of actionable items.

Promoting a new blog on Pinterest: Action Items

1. Get a “Pinterest for Business” account

Anyone can do that and it’s even free. A business account adds Pinterest Analytics to your account so you can track your pins and see how they perform.

2. Set up Pinterest templates

Each one of your blog posts should include at least one “very pinnable” image. Getting a good pinnable image is crucial. Everyone knows that it should be vertical (and it should) but there are other elements you have to consider. I’m going to blog about that in a separate future post.

3. Add descriptions to pins


Every pin can come with its own description. Most experts agree these description play a large role in pin optimization for internal Pinterest searches, so it’s important to include your target key phrase in there. Pinterest shows users the first 10 words or so of the description so you can use that to get people curious enough to click through.

4. Use appropriate image file names and ALT tags for all images

You never know which one of the images in your post will get pinned. When pinned using the Pinterest browser extension to pin, that image’s ALT text will show up as the description. The text for your ALT tags should aim at three targets: Pinterest user experience, Pinterest algorithm rankings and your overall onpage SEO.

If there is no ALT description, Pinterest will try and grab your page’s description or even the first few lines of text in the article. That may or may not work for your needs so usually, optimizing the ALT tag is best.

Image file names should also be optimized as Pinterest seems to be drawing on that for its search results as well.

Overall, do your SEO and keep Pinterest in mind too. User experience is key for Pinterest as much as it is for Google. Abide by the 11th commandment of ‘Thou shalt not spam’ and optimize your page and each one of your images and you should be fine.


5. Experiment with a variety of pins

There are many graphic formats you can use. Yes, visuals are key here but there’s so much you can do with those. Off the top of my head, I’ve had success with the following as pins –

  • A single image with no text
  • An image with overlaying text
  • Collages of images
  • Infographics

A lot depends on what you’re trying to achieve too. Infographics can help with brand awareness but won’t necessarily get people to click through as you’re already giving them the information in the pin. Collages may work for some types of images, such as long product lists, but not for others. You should really experiment to find out what works best for your niche and for your type of posts.

Applying this strategy

Going back to promoting my travel blog on Pinterest this month. Here’s the short version of my plan –

  • Prepare Pinterest templates.
  • Optimize existing blog posts for Pinterest.
  • Join 4 group boards this month.

What do you think? Have I left out anything crucial?

How’s your Pinterest traffic doing? I’d love to hear more tips and ideas about what works for other bloggers, so do share in the comments!

August 2016 Traffic & Revenue Report

August is over which means I’m officially halfway through to the first milestone the Blog Revival Project. Time to look at the stats and see what traffic and revenue were like during the month of August.

August Traffic & Revenue Report

What’s the Blog Revival Project? That’s just me trying to bring six blogs back to life by doing what bloggers do: create quality content, promote and monetize. I started in June, exactly three months ago, and my aim is to generate at least $200 in profit from all six blogs combined during the month December 2016.

You can read more about the project’s goals and strategies here.

So, let’s take a look at the numbers. I’ll then offer my own insights as to what’s going on and why.

Expenses in August 2016

Almost no expenses in August. I only paid for hosting, a total of $20.

As far as I can tell, I didn’t have any other expenses on the blog revival project this month.

Total expenses: $20

Traffic & Revenue Per Blog

Let’s dive into the specifics for each blog with the following metrics: number of blog posts made during August, traffic stats and revenue stats. In gray, you’ll find the traffic and revenue stats for the past three months so you’ll be able to see the progress made (or lack of, in some cases).

Blog #1 –

Posts made during August: 6

August traffic: unique visitors: 107 pageviews: 164
July unique visitors: 184 pageviews: 262
June unique visitors: 52 pageviews: 106
May unique visitors: 126 May pageviews: 215


August Adsense Revenue: $0.87
July Adsense revenue: $0.03
June Adsense revenue $0.30
May Adsense revenue $0.51

August Clickbank revenue: $0
July Clickbank revenue: $0

Blog #2 –

Posts made during August: 6


August traffic: unique visitors: 686 pageviews: 1271
July unique visitors: 635  pageviews: 1,442
June unique visitors: 124  pageviews: 415
May unique visitors: 161 pageviews: 323

August adsense revenue: $0.43
July Adsense revenue: $0.38
June Adsense revenue: $0.16
May Adsense revenue: $0 (blog had no ads)

August Amazon revenue: $1.20
July Amazon revenue: $0
June Amazon revenue: $0.47
May Amazon revenue: $0

Blog #3 –

Posts made during August: 4

August traffic: unique visitors: 47 pageviews: 92
July unique visitors: 68 pageviews: 107
June unique visitors: 56 pageviews: 120
May unique visitors: 36 pageviews: 167

August Adsense revenue: $0.18
July Adsense revenue: $0.02
June Adsense revenue: $0.01
May Adsense revenue: $0.01

August Amazon revenue: $0
July Amazon revenue: $0
June Amazon revenue: $0 
May Amazon revenue: $0

Blog #4 –

Posts made during August: 4


August traffic: unique visitors: 353 pageviews: 565
July unique visitors: 276 pageviews: 450
June unique visitors: 351 pageviews: 580
May unique visitors: 402 pageviews: 754

August Adsense revenue: $1.18
July Adsense revenue: $0.24
June Adsense revenue: $3.79
May Adsense revenue: $2.66

August Amazon revenue: $18.54
July Amazon revenue: $17.11
June Amazon revenue: $3.48
May Amazon revenue: $17.51

Blog #5

Posts made during August: 6

August traffic: unique visitors: 212 pageviews: 452
July unique visitors: 152 pageviews: 318
June unique visitors: 72 pageviews: 339
May unique visitors: 151 pageviews: 151

August Adsense revenue: $0.56
July Adsense revenue: $0.04
June Adsense revenue: $0
May Adsense revenue: $0

Blog #6 (this one!)

Posts made during August: 6

August unique visitors: 255  pageviews: 663
July unique visitors: 403  pageviews: 795
June unique visitors: 168  pageviews: 377
May unique visitors: 136 pageviews: 151

July Adsense revenue: $0.15
July Adsense revenue: $0.92
June Adsense revenue: $0.02
May Adsense revenue: $0

Total August Revenue & Profit

Expenses: $20
Revenue: $23.11

Profit: $3.11

So, is this good? Bad? Maybe ugly?

Looking at the bottom line, you could say it’s a positive trend. In fact, this is the first month with an actual (positive) profit. The total is only three dollars and eleven cents but hey, that’s better than a total of -$291 in July and -$563.73 in June.

August's profits

If you look at revenue alone, the picture isn’t very rosy. Revenue hasn’t gone down but growth is painfully slow and let’s face it, at this scale, it’s pretty random too.

Revenue growth

As anticipated, fewer posts meant less traffic –

Traffic trend

In fact, this is actually better than what I had expected, considering that I only published a total of 32 posts across the project blogs in August. Compare that to a total of 54 posts in July – a decrease of more than a third – and the traffic looks surprisingly good.

Losing steam comes at a cost

August was a difficult month for me. I was overwhelmed with work and was getting too close to the dreaded burnout point. To avoid that, I deliberately slowed down and the Blog Revival Project paid the price.

I’m worried, to be honest. I wonder if maybe I have bitten on more than I can chew. Maybe six blogs is too much and I should have focused on three, two, or maybe even just one?

At this point, I’m sticking with all six blogs

Yes, I can see some blogs are doing better than others. I can also tell by now which blogs I enjoy more (which is just as important because I do believe that blogging about what you love is the key to long-term success). However, I still think blogging is a marathon and not a sprint. Three months is just way way too short a time to tell much about anything. So, I’m going to keep at it. I’m going to take it one month at a time and we’ll see how that goes.

You can read here about my plans for September. I’m going to keep the cycle of posting and promoting on all blogs, paying special attention to this month (my travel blog). This basically means more posts there as well as developing a stronger Pinterest presence and a more robust mailing list.

Overall August was a mixed bag in terms of results: a slight decrease in traffic due to slowing down but a (very) slight increase in revenue. Let’s hope September will blow away the summer fatigue and I’ll be able to push forwards on all fronts.

Here’s to a fresh, crisp and fruitful fall!

Have a great fall!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

Do you think six blogs is too ambitious for a side project? Should I stick with all six until December or maybe I should lose the excess baggage sooner rather than later? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to tell me what your August was like too!