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Pinterest is a titan in the social media industry, one because of how visually addicting it is for creative people, but also for artists looking to expand their art brand and get some much needed traffic to their work.
Let me explain.
If there is one thing I cannot stand is the fleeting, likes-driven frenzy that is social media.
In fact, I kinda sorta hate it with a passion.
There is a constant race to be seen first in a feed and oftentimes requires the help of paid ads to even give your work the slightest chance of being noticed.
But, from what you may remember in my previous posts, I don’t like to work this way. It’s not efficient and it requires a butt-ton of time from you, CONSTANTLY.
Hence why I always turn to the true online search titans – Google, Youtube, and Pinterest.
And in this post, I want to really dive deep into the incredible world of Pinterest and share some great strategies I use to grow my art brand.
First of all, why Pinterest?
Like google and Youtube, Pinterest serves as a search engine, giving people what they are looking for based on the keywords they punch into the search bar. Why is this super awesome?
It means that content I make is SEARCHABLE, which means I don’t need to compete for the number one spot in anyone’s feed within a 24 hour time period.
Instead, I can make a pin and it will be discovered over and over again for years!
This means that Pinterest acts like your bank of valuable brand content – all your pinned content, whether it be artwork, articles, videos, etc, will continuously be found all year round, at any time in the day (while you sleep, while you eat, while you are eating a turkey leg at Walt Disney World, anytime!) by a highly engaged core audience that wants and likes your stuff. Your pins keep working for you, without you having to bust your butt after hitting “publish”.
If that doesn’t excite the literal socks off you, I don’t know what else does!
How can Pinterest grow my art brand?
So, now that you know the potential Pinterest can have on your art brand, how can you leverage the searching powers of Pinterest to get people to find you and become your biggest die hard fans?
Some of the tactics I will be sharing actually came from the Pinteresting Strategies course I took, which completely changed the way I use Pinterest and helped grow my fan base. If you want to check out this course and get extremely in-depth knowledge on growing your brand with Pinterest, I highly recommend you check it out.
So, Pinterest. Growing a brand. Fans. How does one do this?
Whenever someone hops over to the search bar and types in a word or phrase, they are entering a keyword(s) to help them find a specific pin or answer to their problem.
They are looking for a solution – something that can give them lots of value and help them with their problem.
Value is the fundamental thought here.
This is the very heart and soul of what makes Pinterest, and any search engine really, an extremely valuable asset to us as artists.
When creating your content/artwork/whatever thing you want to drive traffic to, you got to think about the key search terms your target audience member will be typing to find you, and utilize it to serve them with lots of valuable content.
For example, let’s say you want to drive traffic to your art portfolio website that contains a good smatter of mixed media abstract art. What are the keywords your core audience will most likely type to find your stuff? They most certainly wouldn’t be typing “Amanda’s art gallery”; they have no idea who I am or what I am about.
Instead, think of keywords like “mixed media abstract art”, “abstract art”, “newspaper art”, “canvas art”, etc. and type them into the Pinterest search bar. For the sake of this example, let’s stick with “mixed media abstract art” as the target keyword.
Working with the Pinterest autosuggest feature, you can come up with longer (long tail) keywords that are less competitive and will most likely make your pins discoverable and clickable. In this case, with mixed media abstract art, Pinterest is suggesting other keywords (like “mixed media abstract art collage”, “mixed media abstract art inspiration”, and “mixed media abstract art acrylics”) that my target audience is already searching for that I can potentially use for my pins. This is HUGE!
and going further into this, you can observe what the pin results from that keyword look like. If I decided to go with “mixed media abstract art collage” as my long tail keyword, the result page of existing pins would like something like this:
You can see a good deal of pins featuring mixed media art collages, and this helps set the tone for designing your pin, which we will discuss next.
Like I mentioned previously, Pinterest is a visual place and very much like Youtube thumbnails or a good billboard ad, a well-designed pin can make or break your brand discoverability – aka can affect how your fans are discovering you.
For example, here are two pins, both of which direct to the same post on my art blog. Which one would you rather click on?
In most cases, you would pick Pin #1. The colors are brighter, the text is readable, and the overall pin size takes up more real estate (and thus more eyeballs land on it). These are just a few key elements of why this pin is much more clickable than Pin #2.
Remember, this is what your potential fan is thinking about when perusing a whole list of pins. Amongst all the other pins they see, your pin needs to stand out, draw their attention, and compel them to click onto it.
And this requires you to put a good deal of thought into what this pin will look like.
Now, considering you are a creative artist, you have a huge advantage! Seriously, you already have an eye for what looks good, so this is a great opportunity to flex that creative muscle into your pin creation.
So what are some things to consider when designing a pin?
Pinterest is a visual platform, so you need to use pictures to help convey your message in your pin. If you are displaying your art gallery work, a high-resolution picture of your painting or creation would be excellent here. Here are just a few examples from the “mixed media abstract art collage” keyword, which coincidentally all link back to Etsy listings.
Large readable text
Nothing says “DON’T READ ME!” with small, boring, hard-to-read text. Make sure those words are legible, big and bold, and easy to read at various sizes. Seriously, make it easy for your fans to understand what your pin says. Don’t give them extra work. They won’t like that AT ALL.
Think about using bright saturated colors in your pins to draw your key audience’s eye. This gets them interested and more likely to pick out your pin amongst the other pins.
The size of your pin matters. If you have ever navigated pinterest, your eye most probably landed on pins that were larger in size, usually in the vertical orientation. This is because it takes up more real estate and increases the chances of your content being seen. Of course, you don’t want to create a massive pin (no one likes a pin hog), so the recommended size to make your pin should follow a 2:3 aspect ratio, meaning your image’s width is ⅔ its height. I usually like to use 735px X 1300px.
Ok cool. So, doing all the above steps should guarantee instant Pinterest success, right?
heh. well, not quite.
For a while, I used the above pinning strategies to get traffic to my art blog and Youtube videos. But, even though I was seeing traffic going to these areas, it probably was AT MOST 4-9 visitors a day from Pinterest.
Sure, this is nothing to sneeze at, but these numbers were just not where I wanted to be, and I wasn’t able to see significant growth and traffic until I finally utilized a unique pinning strategy to helps organically increase traffic.
…and this little secret is called Pinteresting Strategies.
Developed by Carly the Mommy from Mommyonpurpose.com, Pinteresting Strategies was her proven system for manually using Pinterest to boost traffic to her blog and earn an online income doing so.
With peaked curiosity, I decided to buy her $47 course (the cheapest price I have found thus far on any Pinterest-related courses) and give it a whirl.
Using Pinteresting Strategies (with the Carly Method)
Now, we being in the art space, hearing the words “traffic” sounds great. We need eyeballs on our work. We need targeted people who are just dying to see and potentially buy our work. For some of us, a “blog” might actually be a Youtube art channel, a website art portfolio, or even an art shop like Etsy where you sell your work.
I suppose my point here is, I found lots of potential in the strategies Carly promises in her Pinteresting Strategies course in helping grow my art brand presence online, so with a ready, open-mind, I bought her course and really focused on building traffic to my blog and youtube videos.
The entire course is a mix of written articles and video demonstrations visually showing you what to do and how to do it. This was very helpful for me, since I am a visual learner through and through.
And if there is one thing I want to say about Carly’s course is her informal, conversational, and very entertaining writing style when teaching her strategies. Throughout the entirety of the course, I felt like she was my best buddy, sitting next to me, showing me what realistically works on Pinterest and what doesn’t.
The stupid crazy part of all this? It actually WORKED. Like holy sh!t, I am seeing results with my online traffic! WHAT!?
So much so, that I am now a firm believer of Carly’s method and became her affiliate cheerleader, preaching the good word of this strategy.
To further demonstrate my progress using Pinterest, let’s dig into some numbers and graphs (I promise it won’t be a snooze-fest!).
I am a big fan of using charts to show progress. So, here is a snapshot of my website traffic stats before AND after implementing Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies, and the difference is pretty noticeable.
I managed to go from 5 to at most 10 visitors a day to almost 40 to 100 visitors per day, which is almost 10X growth. all organically….without paying a dime for ads or other services.
And, just to further verify this was in fact Carly’s strategies, I dug further into the stats to see where all this traffic was coming from. Lo and behold, the majority came from Pinterest, and the other came from my Youtube channel (which was only 1/3 of the traffic Pinterest brought in!). In just a month, Pinterest brought in over 500 organic page views (which means no paid ads or using paid services!), and for those of us just starting in the blogging world, this is a lot of eyeballs and exposure for our brand without shelling out dough.
Second to that traffic source is Youtube, which is also another great organic traffic-boosting engine for your brand. You can read more about how I use Youtube to grow my art business here.
Looking at all this together, I do want to make something very clear.
Sure, my traffic numbers are not miraculously huge, but showing you my progress in the early adoption stages of Pinterest is the necessary step in the right direction for realistic growth, which should only get better and better with time and consistency.
Plus, I don’t know about you, but I tend to believe these little achievable stories as opposed to the eye-popping “I got 240,000 monthly visitors in my first month blogging” ones. I mean, yeah, it’s an attractive thought, but from my experience in the online space, traffic exposure and brand recognition do take time, and I always applaud every little victory getting there – and over 500 organic page views from just Pinterest alone is that victory for me.
UPDATED: November 2019
I decided to look at my analytics once more spanning over a period of 30 days from October 14th to November 14th and saw a new milestone in traffic, with 463 page sessions and 552 page views! Looks like this tactic is still working pretty great, and I am getting a steady flow of traffic every single day to my website.
So, if you want to effectively grow your art brand online and bring traffic to your website, portfolio, Youtube channel, or online store, consider using Pinterest as a serious means of free, organic promotion to your brand. I am seeing more email signups, more traffic to my Youtube channel and blog, and have gotten quite a few sales, without spending a penny or spending endless nights begging for views, all thanks to the power of Pinterest in conjunction with Pinteresting Strategies.
Amanda is a self-taught artist and founder of The Buzzed Artist, dedicated to teaching adult beginners how to art with confidence using acrylic paint and love themselves in the creation process. If you want to get started right with acrylic painting, be sure to enroll in her FREE mini-course The Acrylic Artist’s Toolkit.