If you have been using Pinterest for a while, I am more than certain that you have at many times coveted the viral pin success. And who doesn’t anyway, especially if they are serious with Pinterest. A viral pin can make all the difference.
With a viral pin, your blog traffic can explode in just a few hours. You have no idea what a viral pin can do for you until you have one. Think of the visibility it is capable of bringing your account overall. Your first viral pin may be all you need to increase your monthly views on Pinterest.
By the way, if you have not read my post on how I achieved 1 million monthly views on Pinterest in just 2 months, this is where you should stop and go to read it. Really.
Think of the other ripple effects of a viral pin aside from the traffic influx. More email subscribers, more money if you have monetized your blog, brand visibility, more advertisers seeing the potential of working with your blog. Amazing stuff yea!
And I didn’t even talk about the joy of seeing something you create go viral. We do not talk about this one but really guys, if something you do explodes, it has the ability to get you moving and even faster. You are happy, encouraged, motivated to do more. It is an awesome experience overall.
What counts as a viral pin on Pinterest?
I cannot categorically state what Pinterest or anyone considers as a viral pin but guys, you know when your pin has gone viral, yo!
Sometimes, Pinterest sends you notifications like “your pin is heating up!”
When I see that on my pins, I literally stop to dance. It makes me so happy that I have created something that has done so well and will get me to achieve my blogging goals at the end of the day.
If we are to go with metrics, I would say that a pin’s virality can be measured in terms of the number of impressions it has gained and/or the number of saves overtime and/or the number of clicks it has received to your blog. Of course, we are referring to numbers in thousands and tens of thousands here.
It also depends on the niche. A recipe pin might need to have hundreds of thousands of repins to be considered as viral while a pin in the tech niche might need just a thousand to be considered as viral.
Some of my viral pins:
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Now these numbers are even estimates. They are not the exact figures. Pinterest doesn’t catch all the stats into one pin.
The said post on waking up by 5 am for example has 60,000 page views already. This happens because blog readers might decide to pin other images on the blog post. Sometimes I myself pin other images to this blog post in different places.
I am going to give you my own recipe for how to make your pin viral and yeah, no useless and repetitive information. I am showing you the real deal. Pinpoint, relevant and replicable processes.
I must confess, some of my pins went viral by mistake. You see, you can never always be right or too sure about a pin, sometimes it is just sheer luck. I needed to say this so that you are equipped with the right information on all fronts.
There are some pins you will create and expect the least from. These pins will explode and leave you stunned. What you can do in instances like these is to try to learn from what you did. What did you do to cause the spike? Can you remember? If you can, how can you replicate it?
My second viral pin was created intentionally! I saw what worked the first time and I replicated it immediately and I got results in ten folds this time around.
My recipe for a viral pin on Pinterest
Please pin this
1. Write on what people are searching for
I will be realistic with you, to have a lot of people read what you think they would like may not be your best shot at this. This is not a case of you thinking for them, this is a case of you writing what they are already in the lookout for.
Isn’t this the case when we are optimizing posts for search engines too? In the end, the same principle cuts across. For search engine optimization, the sweet spot is writing on something thousands of people are looking for but only a few people are writing on.
So how do you know what people are searching for on Pinterest?
i. Use general keyword research
Whatever people are searching for on Google, there is a likelihood that they are searching for it on Pinterest too. They are all the same kind of people, just different platforms. If you do not have Keywords Everywhere, now is the time to install that extension on your Chrome Browser. Keywords Everywhere gives you the volume of people searching for a keyword in a month.
ii. Observing what pins people are pinning and saving to boards the most
My article, how waking up at 5 am every day changed my life completely, I wrote it when I saw one particular pin of such heavily shared.
I had wanted to write on how to wake up early every day but I kept lazying up on it until I saw the pin. So, I made sure that it had 5 am in it and not just the vague “early”. Not too many pins were about that even though people seemed to be searching for it a lot.
Of course, it received a lot of shares and as it stands, that article keeps on getting about 1,000 clicks to it every single day.
2. Design viral worthy pins
There are general rules for great pin designs. If you live by them and a few more other specific rules, your pins are going to do very well even if they do not go viral at first.
i. Use tall images
Yeah, you have heard that a lot but really, use them. I have never seen a square image go viral before. These pins might exist but I have never seen any yet. The best way to make sure you are within the Pinterest size is to use Canva. Just go to Canva and search for the Pinterest size of templates.
ii. Write legibly on your pins
You have to find the balance between pin aesthetic and viral worthy fonts. I know that a lot of us like to use fancy fonts, I have done that before. The pins looked beautiful, the fonts were fanciful but they did very poorly.
I had just started on Pinterest then so you can imagine the discouragement. I wasn’t happy as my first set of pins were doing so poorly. It felt like I wasn’t very going to have the thousands of visitors people were having from Pinterest.
You do not have to make the same mistake. A good rule of thumb is that your letterings should be visible even in a grid system of three. You can still read your words without you even clicking in to see the pin stand alone.
iii. Use warm colours
A lot of people say that and I have found it to be very true. Use colours like yellow, red, orange, light brown and their variations. They do better than blue, purple and stuff.
iv. Make a list on your pins
I have never had any of my list pins go viral but a lot of people swear by it so I think it might be something you might make work for you. If your post is a lot of lists, you can give a teaser by writing some of the points on your list. This will help people to be curious enough to click on your pins.
This is what I mean by having lists on your pins:
v. Design stunning infographics
Infographics are these pins that naturally go viral. My first and only infographic has done so well on Pinterest. People love to share information on a pin that is loaded and all-encompassing.
Below is my infographic pin
I must warn you, the click-through is going to be low in many cases. This is because they already have what they need on the pin. So why would anyone want to pin an infographic then?
Take a look at how it did :
Why you need Infographics all the same:
Infographics help to bring your Pinterest account to visibility. If your infographic is stunning enough, people want to check you out. it is natural. Plus a viral infographic means more monthly viewers. This will definitely increase your monthly viewers’ score.
vi. Lure your potential repinners
Make sure the title on your pin is very catchy and click-worthy. Be careful of click baits though because your readers will definitely be pissed off. And have you noticed? Pinterest has a feedback column on every page from a Pinterest pin.
If too many people give you a thumbs down, Pinterest will be forced to stop serving the pin or drastically reduce the reach and you know it, eyes will be on your other pins as they will be concerned about what you are feeding their platform with.
3. SEO your pin!
There is also something called Pinterest SEO. Just like you do SEO on your normal blog posts, you can and should do SEO on your pins too. You must have heard several times not to treat Pinterest like a social media platform but like a search engine.
What you want to do is to make sure that your pin title contains your keyword. Your description also contains very important keywords too. This is what I do with my Pinterest SEO. I leverage on Pinterest secondary keywords a lot.
When you type a keyword on Pinterest for example, if it is a keyword that a lot of people are searching for, there are going to be secondary keywords beneath it in different colours. These are the variations of other things people are searching for in combination with the main keyword.
This is an example below.
I typed in Michelle Obama. See what comes out below:
I have “michelle obama + quotes”, “michelle obama + style”, “michelle obama + fashion”. These are secondary keywords for you to target on Pinterest. Now, if you want to take this a step further and really get to the juiciest part of Pinterest SEO, further click on “quotes”. See what we have:
“michelle obama quotes + inspiration”, “michelle obama quotes + woman”, “michelle obama quotes + feminism”. Did you see that? So if you write a post on “top 50 Michelle Obama quotes on Feminism” and you do your SEO well, you are going to show up at the uppermost part of the searches.
Take a look for yourself, I clicked on “michelle obama quotes feminism”, none of the pins are specifically for that!
These posts are just similar, nothing exact! If you decide to write on that, optimize, design a pin and also optimize the pin, you will show up really high. God help you, the keyword has a high search volume on Google, you are on your way to reaping from both Pinterest SEO and Google SEO.
When people search for the keyword you have targeted on Pinterest and even their variations, you want to show up close to the top and if it is a less competitive keyword, chances are that you will show up faster and closer to the top of the search box. This is a way to keep your pin evergreen.
If your virality is due to the fact that people saw your pin when they search for that keyword, best believe that you are not leaving the scene anytime soon and Pinterest is just so good that even in years, your pins are still doing so well. The best part is when these pins now rank on search engines. Forget it! You just set yourself up for steady blog traffic.
4. Use hashtags
There are a lot of arguments for and against hashtags lately but I say that hashtags have helped some of my pins go viral. Hashtags may help to cause a faster distribution of your pin.
Some of my pins contain hashtags. All things being equal, I am not so certain of the input these hashtags had but I made sure that the hashtags were keyword rich.
What to do after your pin goes viral
After a while, your viral pin may begin to lose momentum, this is normal. some may not lose momentum but many will. How do you keep getting traffic from Pinterest to the post? I mean, you already know that this is a title and subject matter that a lof of people like so you would want to make sure that you keep getting the clicks you deserve.
Here are a few things I have tried:
Repin after a week
I resave the pin on my viral boards every week to bring them up to the front. Here is the catch though, I save it as my first five pins after UTC.
I am planning to write a post on knowing your optimal Pinterest time and the rule of first 5 pins on Pinterest. If this is something that you would like, please indicate in the comments section below.
Create a sibling pin
I create a pin that looks exactly like it or is similar to it. I usually get the same or almost the same effect. Look at these ones below:
This is the sibling pin below
Take a look at another example.
Viral pin number 2
This is the pin’s sibling
Edit the pin description after popular pins
Normally, Pinterest alerts you of the most popular pins or the pins that are trending every week. For the pins that are within my own niche, what I do is look at them, pick key phrases that were used in their descriptions and add them to my own description too.
I do not do this for only my viral pins though, I do this for all of my pins. I edit a few, not all, every week. After that I repin. This refreshes the pin and makes it look new to Pinterest.
In conclusion, creating a viral pin might look like an impossible feat but if you follow all the steps, it is going to be easy for you. Also, note that a pin may not go viral the following day or week even. Some pins just begin to pick up on their own after a week or a month. You’ll just be amazed to see a notification from Pinterest about a pin heating up.
There you go, everything you need to create your first viral pin. I have a lineup of other articles I want to write on Pinterest but if you have any topic ideas or Pinterest concerns you want me to address, just drop them in the comments section below.
I would be more than grateful to have you share this post if you loved it. You can also pin on Pinterest too. Thank you.