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The Viral Pin Formula Every Pinterest Blogger Should Know
Pinterest is hands down one of the fastest and easiest ways for new bloggers to get traffic.
If you are a new Pinterest business user, you should know that Pinterest traffic ebbs and flows with each new pin. It's never truly consistent.
One of the reasons for this is what we call viral pins.
A viral pin is pretty much what it sounds like- A pin that becomes very popular very quickly and gains tons of repins and saves in a short period of time.
A viral pin can send hundreds or thousands of visitors to your site in one day, but will usually die back within a week.
This can be really disheartening if you believe that your entire Pinterest account is gaining popularity so quickly. Usually, real Pinterest growth is slow and steady.
However, that doesn't mean that viral pins aren't important! If you have your email marketing system set up, you can benefit so much as a blogger from viral pins that bring in tons of traffic.
You can easily see dozens of email sign ups and sales to your products when one of your pins goes viral.
And of course, it's simply good practice to try to put out the best pins we possibly can.
Why Do Viral Pins Matter?
The more re-pins your pins get, the more Pinterest sees your account as a favorable one that people like. And thus, the more traffic they give you.
So, I did some digging. I wanted to know what the similarities are between the most recent viral pins I've seen with Tailwind.
What kinds of colors were they using what kinds of fonts, what kinds of images... I wanted to create a viral pin formula for you so that you can start getting the best results possible from your pins.
Here's what I found out.
#1. Visual Interest is Key to Creating A Viral Pin
When you look at the viral pin examples I've included in this blog post, you'll see that nearly all of them have good visual interest. This means that the pin creator has included images, overlays, text, and a variety of colors to create a pin that makes people want to click on it.
Take this pin for web designers for example.
The creator has used an eye catching and multicolored geometric image in the background to help the pin stand out among the rest. She has also used several different fonts to highlight different pieces of the text and draw your eye to the things she wants you to read. The whole pin looks cohesive and easy to read.
Let's look at another viral pin about growing your email list.
Viral Pin Formula Example #2
This pin has 422 repins that it received in the last month, which is really really good! Lots of people have repinned this pin, and I'm sure the owner is getting plenty of traffic from it.
So what's so great about this pin?
The visual interest on this one is really good. The creator has used a black and white photo that incorporates a keyboard in the background, so you automatically know what this post is about without even reading the text.
On top of that, she's used two different fonts in two different colors to really draw your eye into the center of the pin. And lastly, she does something I see very few Pinterest users do, and that's that she has included a graphic to help a Pinterest figure out what this pin is all about.
The mail graphic not only helps readers figure out what the pin is about, but it helps the Pinterest algorithm as well!
Okay, let's check out this last one.
Viral Pin Formula Example #3
At 301 repins, it's safe to say that this pin has gone viral too.
So why do people like it so much? For one, it has a really nice image in the background. Because I'm familiar with Elle Duclos's blog, I know that she runs the Styled Stock Society, a blog photo membership.
I have no doubt in my mind that using one of her own stock photos has helped her pin in this instance. One interesting tidbit I've learned through trial and error on Pinterest?
Pinterest favors using your own images and paid images much more than using free stock photos.
Because tons of people are using the same free stock images over and over, Pinterest has started looking for more unique images in order to display better content to viewers. When someone purchases a stock photo, or uses a photo they have taken themselves, it's worth a lot more to Pinterest.
You can check out my unique stock photo collection Sassy Styled Stock here.
#2. The Image Relates to the Pin’s Topic
One crazy tip I learned from taking Pinterest Traffic Avalanche is that Pinterest can actually “see” the images that people put on their pins.
The Pinterest algorithm uses images to help determine what the pin is about, and who they should show it to. This is why creating pins on solid backgrounds isn't a great idea. Pinterest has no idea what to do with it.
If you look at the viral pin examples I've shared throughout this post, you will see that nearly all of them use an appropriate image to help designate who the pin is for.
This particular viral pin is no different.
Viral Pin Formula Example #4
Images of desktops and keyboards are a great way to show Pinterest that your pin relates to topics like careers and entrepreneurship.
Search for a topic like gardening on Pinterest, and you will see that all of the top pins come back with pictures of plants and garden items. This isn't a mistake.
Because Pinterest is such a visual platform, they really value photos. The best kind of photo in Pinterest eyes is:
- Related to the pin’s topic
- Visually appealing and in full color
- Is a purchased stock photo or a photo created by you
#3. Viral Pins Are Easy to Read
Creating pins that are easy to read is so important to ranking in Pinterest. Because people scroll so quickly through the platform, they don't take any extra time to try to read pins that have complicated fonts and that are hard to read.
Pinterest knows this and wants to promote pins that are visually appealing, on topic, and also super easy to read at a glance.
If you take a look at this viral pin example, you can see that it has received over 500 repins in the last month. Holy moly!
Viral Pin Formula Example #5
The second thing you'll likely notice is that it is crazy simple and easy to read. The creator has used only one font in all caps, although she does place it in a couple of different sizes.
A desktop image in the background helps tell Pinterest what the pin is about, but the fading overlay makes the canvas very simple and readable.
This next viral pin has even more repins, and it is also very easy to read. The creator has used one font in all caps, and has given the text space a completely blank white background to make it as readable as possible.
When I look at these viral pins, I always try to figure out what makes them so popular to other Pinterest users.
It's easy for me to see that simplicity takes the cake. These pins are not convoluted, hard to read, or complicated. They are well designed, simple, and aesthetically pleasing.
If you want to give your pins the best chance at going viral on Pinterest, you’ll want to follow these foundational criteria:
- Make them visually appealing
- Use an image that relates to the pin topic
- Make sure your pin text is easy to read
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