How to Promote Your Etsy Shop or Website on Pinterest
So, you’ve started selling products online. Maybe you’re on Etsy, maybe you have a website, or maybe like me, you’ve got both. You’ve followed all the advice online about taking great product photos, improving your SEO and getting your Etsy shop set up, but now comes the hardest part – promoting your shop and making money!
When I first opened my Etsy shop to sell my coloring books, I was lucky enough that coloring books were a huge trend and attracted hundreds of searches every day. But once the trend started to fade and the marketplace started to become saturated with competing products, it wasn’t as simple as “build it and they will come” anymore. I had to find my own customers and build my own following. 😬
The challenge increased further when I took the step of starting my own website. Without an established marketplace of buyers searching for my products, it was nearly impossible to attract new customers.
I had already been using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote my business for about a year. But I’d put Pinterest on my “I know it’s important and I’ll get to itone day” list. After all, Pinterest was just for collecting pretty pictures, planning a dream home or finding recipes, right?
But here’s what I didn’t know:
87% of Pinners (Pinners being people who use Pinterest) have purchased a product because of Pinterest.
So as it turns out, Pinterest is the perfect platform for selling products online!
After realizing this, I immediately started focusing on Pinterest. I signed up for a free Tailwind trial (more on that shortly) and spent a few weeks learning everything I could about how to use Pinterest to drive more traffic (and buyers) to my website and products.
In my first month, my website traffic jumped from 16,000 to 57,000 monthly page views. By the second month, it jumped to 76,000. My monthly revenuedoubled, my Pins reached over 2 million people on Pinterest, and Pinterest became my #1 source of traffic and sales.
And yes – that was just my first 2 months.
So, in this article, I’ll take you through my 5 top tips to increase your product sales with Pinterest.
But before we jump in, let me be transparent here – not everyone will see the huge results that I have on Pinterest, even if you follow the exact strategy I’ve detailed in my blog posts and my e-book, The Pinfluence Playbook. However, I believe that Pinterest can be an amazing tool for product-based businesses and I’m confident that you’ll see an increase in traffic to your website if you put in the effort.
Note: This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase. This is at no cost to you and I only recommend products that I love.
Haven’t opened your online shop yet? Read this article to get started on Etsy and use my link to get your first 40 listings for free.
1. Find out what your audience wants.
When it comes to setting up your Pinterest profile, you want to attract the audience that will eventually become your customers.
This means more than just pinning your own products. It means pinning other things that your audience will find interesting.
I sell coloring books and printables. So, if I just made Pinterest boards called ‘coloring books’ and ‘printables’ and pinned my own products, I would only show up in searches for people who are looking for those specific search terms.
But what about the people who are looking for coloring tutorials, color combinations, free coloring pages, or tips on the best pencils?
Those people are my potential customers too, so I want them to find my Pinterest profile, follow my boards, and give them resources that will attract them to my website or Etsy shop and my email list, where I can then get their full attention to show them my products.
Each board on your profile gives you a new opportunity to reach a wider audience with different keywords and topics that are relevant to your products.
Spend about 5 minutes brainstorming the topics that would interest your audience, thinking of keywords they might use in a search on Pinterest or Google. Use these keywords to create different Pinterest boards, and fill in your board descriptions with a detailed explanation and more keywords to help it show up in searches.
Then, you can do a search on Pinterest for Pins from other people that are relevant to the boards you have created and start filling them up with content your audience will love. I use Tailwind to schedule these curated Pins so it’s not all pinned on the same day, and so I don’t need to be on Pinterest every day.
Not every board needs to include content of your own, although it helps if you work towards creating your own blog posts or resources that will eventually relate to those boards too. Remember, some of these boards will serve the purpose of attracting people to follow your account and increase your general reach on Pinterest – not every board needs to direct back to your website (but if they do, it always helps!).
For more details on setting up your profile and boards, read my article on How to Optimize Your Pinterest Profile and Create an Account That Attracts Followers.
2. Make your product Pins stand out
When it comes to pinning, quantity IS important – but NOT as important as quality.
One Pin can get shared hundreds of thousands of times if it stands out from all the other Pins around it. The first step to creating a ‘viral’ Pin is to take good product photos and look at what other popular Pins have in common.
For example, vertical (tall) Pins perform better than horizontal (wide) Pins because of the way Pinterest is laid-out, so create a vertical image of your products that you can upload to Pinterest or hide on your website product pages. If you’re on Etsy, you can upload a vertical image as one of your product photos so that other people can Pin it from Etsy too. Canva has some great Pinterest-friendly templates you can use if you need help designing taller Pins.
I often make multiple images for my products because different images will attract different customers, and it allows me to test different image sizes and layouts against each other, providing more opportunities for them to be found on Pinterest.
Make sure you include a good description with your Pins (approx. 100-200 words) to help Pinterest identify what your Pin is about and provide context for your readers. Use descriptive keywords and hashtags about your product that people might search for, but don’t “stuff” them in – use them in a sentence that makes sense for your readers.
As a final note before we move on, make sure you’ve activated ‘Rich Pins’ and connected your website to Pinterest, as this allows Pinterest to pull more information to your Pins, including prices. If you’re on Etsy, your Pins will already be Rich Pins. If you have your own website, I explain how to set up your website and Rich Pins in this article.
(Here is an example of Pinterest Rich Pins)
3. Pin Consistently
One of the most important ways to attract an audience on Pinterest (and a huge part of my own strategy) is to keep providing fresh content and regularly share your Pins. You can do this manually with spreadsheets and visiting Pinterest every day, but this can become tedious and absorb all that time that would be better spent elsewhere in your business, so I don’t recommend this method.
One of my favorite business words is AUTOMATION. I love automating things, so the only way I was going to get serious about Pinterest is if I could find a way to see results without a daily commitment or hours of work every week to maintain it. One of my big goals is to spend less time making more money (doesn’t that sound nice!).
I signed up to the free trial of Tailwind to schedule my Pins in bulk, and wow – was I impressed. I decided to upgrade to a paid account within my first few days, and it’s still one of the best investments I’ve made in my business.
With Tailwind, I can spread my Pins throughout the day, pinning a mix of my products and other curated content 15-30 times a day, without spending more than about an hour per week. Sometimes I spend a day pinning, and then don’t touch Pinterest for the rest of the month.
Even when I completely forget about Pinterest for weeks (yep, this has happened a few times!), Tailwind continues to share my content, and myPins reach millions of viewers every month.
If you don’t have enough content to Pin 15-30 times a day, you can re-use the same Pins and reach different audiences by pinning them to different boards. Tailwind makes this even easier by offering interval pinning, meaning that I can upload my image, select 5-10 boards that it is relevant to, and Tailwind can spread out that Pin to be shared at intervals to those boards, so it doesn’t become spammy or repetitive for my followers.
Sometimes I share the same Pin to different boards a few hours apart, and other times I share them a month apart. Either way, it still only takes a few minutes to set up per Pin.
You can sign up for a free Tailwind Trial here. (Get your first 100 Pins free)
After some time has passed, I go back and re-share those same Pins to the same boards again – which will soon be an automatic process as well with the introduction of Tailwind’s upcoming SmartLoop feature (currently in closed beta-testing) – which is super exciting!
4. Give things away for free!
Giving things away seems counter-productive if you’re trying to sell products, but it’s actually one of the best methods to attract new buyers.
Think about the websites you use or the shops you visit – how many offer a free trial? Or a free sample? Or free advice?
Freebies are an opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ and give potential new customers a chance to get to know you before committing to a purchase. Considering that 92% of consumers visiting a website for the first time aren’t there to buy, freebies are a great incentive for readers to visit your website multiple times, giving you the opportunity to engage and connect with them, capture their details, and take them on the journey towards purchasing your products.
Just like my free Pinterest checklist that you’ll get if you subscribe to my email newsletter: 😉
Freebies can be products, printables, articles or tutorials, tips, videos, or more. The best way to offer freebies and resources like this is to have a blog on your website – even if you only post new content once every month or two.
In my experience, my tutorials and freebies get MANY more shares on Pinterest than my products.
And more shares = more traffic that flows through to my paid products = more paying customers.
As a result, the more I give away for free, the more I seem to sell. In fact, my best-selling products are the products that offer a free sample or free version.
Examples of free printables that upsell to paid products on my website
5. Collaborate with others in your industry
Collaboration allows you to create more content and reach a wider audience than you could on your own, and this is especially true with Pinterest.
Guest Blog Posts
One way I collaborate is through guest blog posts. I don’t have all the knowledge on my topic (or the time to constantly write new content) so I get other artists to write tutorials for me that my audience will find useful. This means I have even more content on Pinterest to attract readers to click through to my website. In return, those artists get the exposure from my shares on Pinterest and the traffic to their article and links to their own websites.
Another way to collaborate is to join group boards on Pinterest. Group boards are the same as regular boards, except that multiple ‘contributors’ can save Pins to that board. Group boards are often seen by more people because each contributor has their own followers, so there’s a higher chance that your Pins will be seen and re-shared by other people.
But the collaboration that regularly has the biggest impact on my Pinterest reach is through Tailwind Tribes. Tribes are an extra feature of Tailwind, but you don’t have to be on a paid plan to use them (although you can upgrade to a paid plan for extra features).
Tailwind Tribes are like teams of Pinners within a particular niche that share each other’s Pins. Tribe users are usually very active on Pinterest, so you’re likely to find ‘influencers’ or Pinners with big followings who might share your content. Often, a single share from someone in one of my Tribes gives me a reach of 10k to 50k people on Pinterest, because those pinners already have a large, established following.
You can start your own Tribe or use the ‘Find a Tribe’ feature to find Tribes that already exist within your niche. The key to a successful tribe is to give as much as you take – share content from others in your Tribe, and they’ll share your content too, as long as it’s relevant to the topic of your Tribe.
It’s still just as important to have quality Pins and descriptions if you want to stand out in your Tribe, in the same way you’re trying to stand out on Pinterest.
At the time of writing this article, my Pins have reached a total of over 57 million people through Tailwind Tribes, and this number goes up every week as I keep contributing and sharing content.
Are you ready to start on Pinterest?
Whether you’re planning to spend hours on Pinterest every week or looking for a quick-fix so you can get on with other areas of business, it’s worth investing the time to get set up on Pinterest and get a scheduler like Tailwind doing the work for you.
You can get started on a free trial of 100 Pins with Tailwind to see if it’s a good fit.
You can also use my free Pinterest Marketing Checklist and blog series to walk through the initial steps of getting set up, optimizing your website, creating your Pins and finding your first 1000 followers. I’m confident that you’ll see a difference in your website traffic in just a few weeks.
If you want to learn more about my own Pinterest experience and my specific strategy, please check out The Pinfluence Playbook. In this guide, I’ll show you how I grew my website traffic from 16,000 to 57,000 monthly page views in just ONE month and what I do now to maintain a steady growth in about an hour per week (or less, because I often forget!)
Thanks for reading, and please share this post or save it for later using the links below if you found these tips useful!