Let me tell you the story of how I went viral on Pinterest and got 350,000 shares, millions of views, and made over $150,000 on a single post.
Here’s the proof that it happened:
Why you should care about Pinterest
Pinterest is a great source for traffic. Especially if you have a blog that relies on ads, selling digital programs, or affiliate marketing.
This social platform hasn’t yet been bombarded with paid ads like Facebook, so you can still drive massive amounts of traffic for free by just consistently posting great content on Pinterest.
The secret is, you have to know the right way to create viral worthy content on Pinterest to get the best results.
And that’s what this post is going to teach you.
Understanding The Pinterest Algorithm
I’m going to show you my viral post, but first I want to be up front with you.
Even though my post went viral and got millions of views in 2018, Pinterest and pretty much all other social platforms (and search engines) are constantly their algorithms. What work then doesn’t always work now.
I continue to create viral posts on Pinterest, so most of these strategies have withstood the test of time (and constantly changing algorithms).
So the tricks I share below will not only help you get more traffic from Pinterest (and maybe even Google), they will help you get more sales, leads, customers, affiliate sales, and ad revenue.
Pinterest’s algorithm has been consistent about one thing over the years: high-quality content, combined with great images, and consistency gets RESULTS.
If that’s what you focus on, you’ll see more traffic.
If you want to leverage Pinterest to get thousands, even millions of free views for yourself (or clients), there are a number of steps to take in order to achieve a desired result – a viral Pinterest post.
A few things to be ready for when you go viral on Pinterest
- It’s scary. I’ve bene blogging for years and written hundreds of blog posts, but it’s still intimidating to hit that PUBLISH button. Putting your “art” out there is scary, but it does get easier and you will build more confidence as you become a better blogger.
- Your spouse/family will “get it.” I remember when I first told my wife I wanted to become a full-time blogger, I’ll never forget how she looked at me (while pregnant mind you). I’ll also never forget how she looked at me the first time I made $1,000 in ONE day. I made her a believer with ONE blog post. By the way, my parents still don’t understand how I make money.
- You’ll be surprised. People (even family that doesn’t get it) are very encouraging. You’ll get comments on your posts, start receiving random emails about someone you helped that you’ve never met, and you’ll be surprised at how you can share your advice with people thousands of miles away!
- You’ll be motivated. The moment you get a few Pinterest shares and start looking at your analytics you’re going to want to publish blog posts all day long. You’ll be thinking about blogging and Pinterest all day. Motivation is
- You’ll be unmotivated. With motivation comes discouragement. Why? Because not every post you publish will go viral, even if you do all the right things and follow the steps I’m going to lay out for you below.
Anyone can go viral on Pinterest
It’s worth saying that you don’t need millions of followers on Pinterest to have your post go viral and seen by millions of people. In fact, when my post first went viral in 2018 I only had about 15,000 followers on Pinterest.
The number of followers or connections you have has nothing to do with how many people see your Pinterest post. The Pinterest powers that be are tricky!
This is one of best things I love about Pinterest.
Unlike with SEO and Google, it’s almost impossible to outrank the BIG guys.
With Pinterest, you can compete with the large brands. All you have to do is write awesome content, follow a few simple steps, and you will results.
The Anatomy of Viral Pinterest Content
Now, this is what I call, “The Anatomy of Viral Content”. I believe that quality content should make up most, if not all, of these different points that I’m detailing below.
Here are the main elements of viral content:
Well-researched and planned out – before you create every piece of content, you should be doing some research beforehand to identify what people are looking for, what they are interested in, what their problems are, and create your content around that, based on meeting the needs of your niche or your market.
Keyword Optimized – it delivers what the title promises, and so if you have a certain title or a headline of a video or an article, you want to make sure that when people actually read the body and actual content in that video or article, that people are satisfied, that it delivers what it promises.
You don’t want to mislead people by having an inaccurate title for the content.
Adds value to the visitor – I’ve already defined before what adding value is, it’s based on the perception of the niche, market or the demographic, so, for some people, the value might be entertainment, or the information, or it being inspiring or entertaining in some way. Every niche and market has a different perception of what is value; you have got to identify what that is and make sure that when people consume your content, they are receiving value and they are happy as a result of it.
Easily consumable – content should be easily readable; it should not be complicated or challenging to read in any way. It should be written in easy to understand English that, someone that’s in elementary school, could read your content and understand it. The same thing with videos, making sure that the information is presented in an easily discernible way.
Proper grammar, spelling and formatting – if you are focused on articles or social media posts, you should always make sure that the grammar, spelling and formatting is professional. I have seen a lot of people that make mistakes with this; there might be spelling errors in the title or throughout the blog posts, or maybe they are not capitalizing things properly. That is why I always recommend that you edit or proofread, or at least have someone else proofread your content so that when people go to it, they can easily consume it.
Clear and concise – you want to try and avoid rambling on too much or getting off topic.
Emotionally engaging – this is what will make content viral, is if you can evoke a certain emotion in someone, whether that is laughter, inspiration, motivation, anger, frustration, love, or happiness. If you can evoke that with your content, than your content is going to be powerful and it is going to have a real impact on someone’s life.
Examples of evoking emotion and being emotionally engaging can be storytelling; sharing stories throughout your content. People love to learn, and when people listen to a story and hear someone speak about a story or read about it, oftentimes they go into a trance, so storytelling is very powerful. Humor is great, if you can put in a little bit of humor or make your content entertaining and inspiring as well.
Attractive presentation – make sure that your content is attractive, so your presentation of it, whether that is on a blog or on a YouTube video, just making sure it is attractive in general. Maybe there are some images or some videos embedded, or the formatting is attractive. Make sure that the video quality and the environment is attractive as well.
Builds rapport and connects – building rapport is powerful because that allows you to connect with your audience. Building rapport could be sharing parts of your life, personal examples or stories from your life, because that allows people to connect with you; that makes you human to them, and builds a connection and relationship.
Meets needs and solve problems of your demographic.
Genuine and authentic – people can always tell when you are genuine and authentic; making sure that what you are sharing, you genuinely want to help people, you are trying to serve their needs and solve their problems.
If you are being dishonest, people can read through that. There is nothing wrong with profiting, but like I said before, you want to focus on meeting needs, adding value first, and profit second.
Content is relevant and targeted to your audience or demographic – that involves doing the research and identifying what people need, what they what, what they are looking for, what are your biggest challenges and problems in your niche and market, and then just making sure that your content is relevant and targeted exactly to them.
How to Create Quality Pinterest Content
I am going to be creating some separate videos where I am going to share more specific ways on walking you through this process to create blog
posts and articles, as well as YouTube videos and social media content.
For the most part, I believe that creating quality content comes down to five primary steps:
1. Effective Research
Research involves just researching different ideas for content, and I’m going to show you how to do that in another video, so identifying,
what are all the different ideas that I can create content around in my niche and market and identifying the keywords that people are
I already introduced you to keywords in an earlier module, but we are going to dive a little bit deeper into keywords in this module,
sharing how to optimize content that is relevant to keyword.
Keywords are those phrases that people search for in the search engines, they search for them in Google, Bing, Yahoo, so anytime
that you can optimize your articles or your content for keywords you are going to have an advantage because people will easily be able to
Content, so maybe on certain topics you might not know as much as you want to know, and so you can research and find different
information that you can reference and include in the content that you are creating.
2. Create a compelling headline and hook.
The headline or title should get people’s attention, it should make them want to click on it, and consume your content, whether it is an
article or a video.
You need to start with a good hook.
This especially applies to Pinterest and social media in general. We scroll past thousands of posts and are bombarded with thousands of messages every day. Our attention spans are shorter than ever.
In order to get someone to stop scrolling, click, and read your post you have to draw them in with a powerful headline, then reel them in further with an intriguing hook.
3. Create the actual content.
This includes writing the content, if it is an article, recording the video, recording the audio, and also outsourcing it as well. If you want to
outsource it to other people, then I am going to share how to do that in another video as well. With the actual content, there is a lot of
different pieces involved in that, as I mentioned previously, but just making sure that the content delivers on what the headline promises.
Again, you do not want to mislead people and have a certain headline or title, and when people click to read or consume the content, it is
about something totally different and it is not even relevant. That is very important.
4. Proofread, Edit and Format Content.
You always want to make sure that you go over the content and you improve it, the grammar and the spelling. If you are editing videos,
edit them in certain ways to make it more engaging and format it in a certain way so that it looks attractive.
5. Optimize and Improve Content.
This might involve keyword optimization, and that is something I am going to share a little bit later on creating blog posts, because
including keywords and optimizing the content itself can help the content rank better in the search engines.
It also might include having a call to action or promotion, inside your content. We are going to focus more on that in the monetization
module, but if you can promote or have a call to action or an affiliate link in your content, and not overdo it, than that can help you
monetize your content and also add further value, thereby increase the quality of your content as well.
Example Pin Hacking List Posts
The Pin Hacking Template r is extremely flexible and can be used in virtually any niche or mainstream vertical.
Have a look at this article from Upgraded Health:
https://upgradedhealth.net/keto-diet-menu-7-day-keto-meal-plan-for-beginners/ that has over 132,000 shares on Pinterest and has generated over $100,000 in digital program sales, thousands of email subscribers, and thousands in ad revenue.
This second example from Cushy Spa received 83,000 Pinterest shares: https://www.cushyspa.com/keto-meal-prep-ideas/
Notice how each of these posts is a list containing short descriptions of content from OTHER blogs and a link to the full post.
Aside from a quick introduction and closing, this post requires no original content from the publisher. It is simply an aggregation of the best “stuff” on the web surrounding a specific topic.
Use this 4-step guide (or send this guide to an outsourced writer) to start creating your own
STEP 1: Choose A Topic
Choose a topic for your Pin Hacking post that is proven to be popular with your audience.
To find proven, popular topics you can…
- Mine your own data
- Mine your competitor’s data
To mine your own data, open your Google Analytics and run the SOCIAL LANDING PAGES report over (at least) a 90 day time period.
The Social Landing Pages report will show you the most socially shared content over the time period you have selected.
Look for trends in the topics that are shared most on your blog and choose one of those topics for your Pin Hacking post.
The second method is to mine a competitor’s data.
To do this, you’ll use a tool that tallies the social shares of content across the web called BuzzSumo.
Type a competitor’s URL into BuzzSumo, take note of the trends and choose a topic for your Pin Hacking post.
For example, a blog with a similar audience to MakeUpTutorials.com is TotalBeauty.com.
By analyzing the most viral content on TotalBeauty.com I find that two of the top six topics relate to hair care and hair styles.
So, we select the topic: hair styles.
And, to add an interesting twist to the ‘hair style’ topic—we will create a post about BRAIDED hair styles.
Now, let’s find the most viral content about ‘braided hair styles’ to aggregate in our blog post.
STEP 2: Find Popular Content
To find popular content (content that has a high probability of being socially shared) we will turn again to BuzzSumo.
We simply type the keyword (and variations of the keyword) into BuzzSumo and find the most viral content about that topic.
PRO TIP: For best results, put your keyword(s) in quotation marks to force BuzzSumo to return only exact matches of your keyword. This may get more relevant results. Then, try your keywords without quotation marks to find broad match results.
By querying BuzzSumo for the term ‘braided hair style’ I get 26 pages of results.
Now, I simply need a list of the top articles displaying braided hair styles that would be relevant to this article…
I’ve got a hot topic (braided hair styles) and the most viral content on the web about that topic—that’s a recipe for success.
Now, I need a killer headline…
STEP 3: Create A Headline
The Viral Listicle Article is a list post.
As a result, any blog post headline that uses a list post formula will work for this article.
Here are a few proven list post headline formulas you can copy, paste and publish on your own
Viral Listicle Article posts.
X Ways to [DESIRED END RESULT] in [TIME PERIOD]
– Example: 19 Ways To Cook a Nutritious Dinner in 15 Minutes or Less
X [TOPIC] Ideas That Will [DESIRED END RESULT]
– Example: 22 DIY Projects That Will Increase the Value Of Your Home
X Ways to [DESIRED END RESULT] Without [UNDESIRED RESULT or CONSTRAINT]
– Example: 5 Ways to Purify Water Without Having To Build a Fire
X [THINGS] That Will [DESIRED END RESULT]
– Example: 11 Skin Care Products That Will Remove Wrinkles
X Ways to Rid Yourself of [UNDESIRED RESULT]
– Example: 19 Ways to Rid Yourself of Credit Crushing Debt
For most Viral Listicle Article posts I use simple headlines like…
- 17 Amazing DIY Paint Chip Projects
- 24 Perfect Prom Hairstyle Ideas
- 7 Ways to Bulletproof Your Home From A Hard Freeze
- 31 Keto Dinners You Can Make In 20 Minutes Or Less
Give yourself ample time to write a good post title as the strength of the title will effect the number of clicks and shares you receive on social channels.
Now, it’s time to lay out the Viral Listicle Article post.
STEP 4: Structure Your Post
Now that you have your content and a title for your post, it’s time to lay out the post.
Create a simple introduction to the post—nothing fancy. Get the reader to the list as quickly as possible by using a short, punchy introduction that simply tells the reader what the post is about and why it’s important.
The heart and soul of The Pin Hacking List Post is the actual list:
Each list item has 4 components:
- Subheading: Each list item needs a subheading that explains what the original post is about.
- Description: Quickly (1 or 2 sentences) summarize what the original post is about and what the reader will find if they visit that original post.
- Image(s): Place one or more images under each list ite.. Use an image (get permission if you are concerned about fair use of images) from the original post or create your own images using Photoshop or Canva. Alternatively, buy stock images from sites like Dreamstime or iStockphoto.
- Infographic: Pinterest loves infographics, so you’ll want to create 2-3 infographics for each listicle post.
- Link: Create a link to the original post under the image.
Now, repeat by placing a subheadline, description, image(s) and link for each list item.
As for the closing—keep it simple by simply asking the reader to take an action such as liking it on Facebook, pinning it to Pinterest, adding something to the list in the comments section, downloading a Lead Magnet, etc.) Use the template below and refer to the examples at the beginning of this guide until creating the Content Aggregator becomes second nature.
Does This Actually Work?
Yes. It does.
I’ve repeated this process for at least 20 posts on my Health and Weight Loss. 2 of those posts are responsible for over $100,000 each. And I’ll add a third to that list by the end of this year.
Here’s what I’ve generated from selling digital programs since 2018:
It’s actually a few thousand more than this as I’ve played around with different shopping carts.
95% of these sales came directly from free Pinterest traffic.
Like I said before, you don’t need millions of followers to get millions of views on Pinterest. All you need is great content.
Now go get started!
And have a great time being a Pinpreneur.
P.S. If you’re looking for more personalized Pinterest growth tips, feel free to book a time with me here.