How to Get More Followers on Pinterest (How We Got 200,000+)

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Whether you are a newbie or consider yourself an advanced user, everybody is always looking for how to get more followers on Pinterest.

So, you’re looking at your abysmal 100 and something followers on Pinterest and wondering how the heck you’re ever going to get traffic to your blog…

Or maybe you’re looking at your 4.1k followers and comparing yourself to the 200k+ followers your competitors have.

It can be majorly depressing.

I get it.  

I’ve been there. It felt like I would never climb out of the depths of that “beginner status.”

I searched high and low for this type of article when I first started on Pinterest. Looking for someone to give me that “magic recipe” for skyrocketing my growth on Pinterest.

still waiting meme

I’m here to tell you that there isn’t any magic recipe.

BUT that isn’t to say that there aren’t things that you can do to speed up the process. And you CAN catch up with those power pinners and even blow past them. I know because I did it.

I was able to reach the 100,000-follower mark within the first 2 years on Pinterest on one of our accounts, and it now has over 200,000 followers.

But is that because you started “early?”

Partly so.

The algorithm has changed a lot. But it has swung in many different directions. Pinterest changes things a lot and there have been many periods of slow growth and fast growth and then back to slow growth.

How the Follower Game Works

You have to have followers to get followers, right?

For most platforms, yes. Follower growth is usually pretty exponential once you get going and start pleasing what I call the “algorithm gods.”

It usually goes something like this:

  • One month to get your first 100 followers
  • 3 weeks for your next 100
  • 1 week for your next 100
  • Finally, 100+ in one day

And now you’re left wondering how you will EVER catch up…

It’s a game.  If you play it better, you will jump ahead.

That’s exactly what we did. I remember starting out on the bottom and looking at those with a few thousand followers with utter and complete jealousy.

But along the way, I looked back at some of those accounts and realized that I had blown past them — and I was continuing to do so at an accelerated rate.

Before I get into HOW to get more followers — I want to share my story with you first, so you have a better idea of how I got started on Pinterest.

How I Got Started on Pinterest

Hey there! My name is Lauren, and I’m one half of the Create and Go team. Alex, my business partner, is the YouTube guy, and I’m the Pinterest gal.

The first blog that Alex and I started was in the health and wellness blog space.

We made six figures with our blog in the first year — mainly due to the gobs of Pinterest traffic we were getting!

We teach those traffic strategies along with our monetization strategies on this blog, Create and Go.

We teach from the standpoint of this blog because we believe it’s more relatable to our customers to teach about a totally different niche than the one that we are writing from.

Related: How to Write an Amazing Blog Post (Blog Writing)

The strategies that we discuss in this article come from growing both of our accounts.

At the time of writing this article, our Pinterest account was just about to hit the 200k mark.

Avocadu Pinterest followers

Before we get into these strategies for gaining followers, I will put a little disclaimer out there.

You have to put in work to get here.

We were only able to grow this quickly because we made Pinterest our TOP priority.

The Pinterest traffic helped us grow our email list, which helped us get to know our audience better, which helped us better sell our products.

It can all be traced back to the traffic!

We structure our blog content and strategies around what works well on Pinterest, and you would be wise to do the same if Pinterest is your main traffic source.

One last thing before I tell you my strategies to get more followers… I want to explain why followers DON’T matter.


Why Pinterest Followers Don’t Really Matter

Say whaaaaat!?

That’s correct. They don’t really matter. Not as much as you think they do anyway.

Why is this?

Because Pinterest is mainly a search engine. Sure, there is a follower and home feed factor in there as well.

Pinterest serves up great content in your home feed and some of that content comes from people that you follow. So followers do matter.

But you know what matters more?

Your content.

If you focus more on getting more traffic, the followers will come. Our followers have always increased consistently with an increase in traffic.

Your focus should be on putting the best content out there on Pinterest. That’s your magic recipe for fast followers.

But here are some tips for increasing that growth.

1. Optimize your Pinterest account for search.

There is a reason this tip is #1 on our list of how to get more followers on Pinterest.

Optimizing your content for search is THE quickest way to increase your visibility, followers, and reach on Pinterest.

Pinterest is jquery search-based.

What does that mean?

Unlike Facebook or Instagram, users tell this social media platform exactly what they want to see.  You don’t hop on Facebook and type in “yoga workout for beginners.”

So how do you get your content more visibility?

You use keyword research to find what keywords people are searching for. There are tons of keyword research tools for bloggers out there, but you can also just use the Pinterest search feature:

Pinterest search for yoga poses

You can see in the above example that when you type “yoga” in the search bar, Pinterest also suggests additional, related topics that people are searching for.

If you click on “yoga poses,” additional boxes below the search bar popular, which are also popular, related terms that people are searching for.

pinterest search for pins

Including these keywords in your content will help your content get found in search (increasing your reach on Pinterest).

You should include popular keywords in:

  • Pin images (within the text)
  • Post titles (make sure to have rich pins enabled)
  • Pin descriptions
  • Board titles
  • Board descriptions

Try to avoid getting “cutesy” with your titles and descriptions.

In other words, Thigh Blaster 100 might sound like an awesome name for a fat-burning workout, and maybe you have an even more awesome picture of a super fit woman with glorious thighs on your pin.

But guess what?

No one is going to search for that…

EVER.

“Workout for thighs,” however, comes up in the search terms pretty quickly.

Another great example… This one literally JUST came up a few seconds ago when I checked Pinterest while writing this. A girl invited me to join her group board called A Munch for Every Crunch with 378 followers…

That’s adorable, really, but I’m trying to run a business here…

Optimizing your board titles and descriptions for search means that they are found easier and you get more followers to certain boards.

get visitors banner

2. Use Tailwind Tribes to increase your reach.

It used to be that getting on group boards was the best strategy here.

I still think that group boards are a GREAT way to increase your reach and get your content in front of more people, but high-quality group boards that are easy to get on are few and far between these days.

You can find group boards using tools like PinGoupie and PinSprout, but it’s hard to find GOOD group boards that are still accepting contributors.

The best way to join group boards is to network with other bloggers in your niche and get on a couple of their group boards (try emailing them).

But if you’re just getting started with Pinterest traffic, an even better route is to use Tailwind Tribes to give your content a boost (before you have the followers).

Tailwind is a software that provides the following services for your Pinterest account:

  • Content (pin) scheduling
  • Tracking and Analytics
  • Collaboration (Tribes)

If you don’t have this software yet, I’m here to tell you it’s the #1 tool for growth on Pinterest. You need it. Like yesterday.

You can sign up for a free trial and also get a $30 credit with our affiliate link.

Let’s talk about tribes.

Tribes are simply a collaboration tool that allows you to get your content shared by others in your niche. It’s essentially a share-for-share.

For every pin that you upload to a tribe, you have to share 1 in return. Some tribes have slightly different rules, but that’s how it works for most tribes.

Tailwind tribes

It’s not a guarantee that your content will be shared but if you create great content, it will be shared more often!

I personally think that Tailwind Tribes are the absolute BEST tool that you can use to increase your reach on Pinterest before you have a ton of followers.

3. Focus on engagement, not followers.

This goes directly back to what I said earlier about followers not being that important.  

Forget about getting as many followers as possible for a moment, and focus on creating the absolute best and most shareable content that you can.

The more shares and engagement your content gets, the more followers you will get.

Your pins will get more and more visibility, and you won’t be sweating the small stuff anymore.

In short: Focus on getting your pins to go viral.

viral pin example

Here is an example of just one of our many pins that does really well on Pinterest.

As you can see, the text is very readable, the image of the girl doing yoga is very large.

Focus on making your pins STAND OUT in the sea of images on Pinterest.

This helps content to go “viral,” on Pinterest, which essentially means that Pinterest is boosting its visibility because people LOVE are highly engaged with it (clicks, saves, etc.)

We have gotten as much as 97k views in just ONE day due to a viral pin.

Don’t underestimate the power of a viral pin.

One way to get viral content is to freshen up your content on Pinterest.

4. Create new and better Pinterest pins.

If your content isn’t getting enough engagement or if you’ve been on Pinterest for a while and seen a decline in traffic, it might be time to “freshen” up your content a bit.

I’ve gotten pretty good at making great pins on the first try because of experience, but I often still have duds.  I used to attribute that to the content not being “good enough” or the title not being “eye-catching enough.”  

Now, I’ve learned better.

If your content isn’t performing as well as you’d like, make new pins!

I recommend making at least 2-3 pins for each new post so you have more content to share and so you can tell what people like the most.

Look at what your competitors are doing. Get ideas from people in other niches. Test out different styles of pins.

All of this trial and error will help you figure out what DOES work.

And make sure to re-design old pins as well. Pinterest counts old content as “new” when you give it a. new look with a. new image!

Make sure you are using Canva.com to design your own pins.  It’s free, easy-to-use, and the best tool out there for anyone who isn’t an avid Adobe user (like myself).

5. Use analytics to track your stats.

Remember how I told you Tailwind was the FREAKIN’ BEST!?

Without the analytics that Tailwind provides, you’re basically pinning in the dark and building strategies based on guesswork.

tailwind analytics for Pinterest

That’s a snapshot of our account from our account.  You can also track your follower growth (since that’s why you’re here and all).

Tailwind analytics will show you which pins are performing the best, which boards have the highest virality and engagement scores, and so much more.

When you know which boards are performing the best and getting the best engagement, you can pin more often to those boards to increase your exposure.

You’ll also get access to the scheduling features and Tailwind tribes, so if you’re finally convinced, make sure to grab your free trial and $30 credit.

So now that we have covered what you SHOULD be doing, let’s briefly talk about…

What NOT to do on Pinterest

It takes time to get rolling on Pinterest, so let’s not waste any of that valuable time of yours on BS tactics that don’t actually work.

You should only be spending those two valuable resources on strategies that will actually get you somewhere, and fast.

1. Do not follow/unfollow.

There is a time and a place for this, and it is Instagram.  

Follow-for-follow or follow/unfollow is pretty effective on Instagram, but it’s a complete waste of time on Pinterest.

I mean, it sort of works.

You will get some get followers, but the rate of followers you will get is abysmal. Then you will have to go through the pain of unfollowing everyone, and Pinterest will penalize you for that.

You’ll probably get blocked or suspended because Pinterest (like Instagram) isn’t a fan of this. They associate it with “spammy” or “abnormal” behavior.

Pinterest absolutely HATES spam, and they’ve been known to suspect accounts for FAR less than this. I wouldn’t even bother to go there if I were you.

It’s not worth it.

I’ve also tested it myself when I was desperate for followers in the beginning. It doesn’t work.

Your followers won’t be as targeted. They didn’t follow you because they liked your content. They followed you because you followed them first (which just seems dumb when you think about it).

Just. Don’t. Do. It.

2. Leave the little sh*t.

There are all kinds of articles out there telling you to install this software or that widget on your blog to get more followers.

They don’t work. There are no shortcuts. Don’t waste your time.

yoda meme

Most articles you read will talk about all kinds of itty bitty ways to barely boost your followers, including adding widgets to your blog and cross-promoting on other social media accounts.

This doesn’t generally work.

We tried to use our Pinterest account to boost our YouTube subscribers and our Instagram followers. It doesn’t work.

Because people on Pinterest don’t want to leave the Pinterest platform to go watch a YouTube video or check out your Insta profile.

You should link your Pinterest account on your blog and make it prominent. And sure, if you have 5,000 YouTube subscribers, give cross-promotion a try.

But avoid the little widgets and pop-ups and random crap you put on your blog to convert an extra 5 Pinterest followers per day. It ain’t worth it.

These types of widgets will only slow your blog down and make it look worse.

DO add social share buttons (we like Social Pug) so that others can easily share your content, but don’t waste time with the Pinterest widget-builders or other apps.

The best and most popular Pinterest widget out there is MiloTree. Try it out if you want. I personally didn’t see extra follower growth from it and I prefer to direct people to more important places like my building my email list.

But that’s your call. I always encourage everyone to give stuff a try for themselves before they make a decision (I’m just going to preface it with a warning if I don’t think it’s effective!).

Now, just to tie everything back together…

Focus on Creating Awesome Content

That should always be first and foremost.  The followers will come! And they will absolutely LOVE you!

Read Next: Pinterest for Bloggers (Get Massive Pinterest Traffic to Your Blog)

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