Today we’re going to take a deep dive into the coveted “1 million Pinterest views.”
This is a case study where I analyzed whether growing my monthly views on Pinterest had any positive impact on my blog and whether it’s really an important metric in itself.
You’re going to find lots of detail and a complete breakdown of all the different analytics so you can really understand the exact things you should be focusing on if you plan on using Pinterest to grow your blog traffic.
Fortunately enough this happens to be on an active Pinterest account so you can go back and check on some of the details for yourself.
But not to completely lose you with all of the boring stuff, I want you to know there’s a lot of value in this post and I’m 99.99% sure your approach will never be the same after you read this.
Let’s jump right in.
The Obsession with Pinterest Views
If you’ve ever been interested in social media traffic, which I’m sure you are, then you know Pinterest is a powerhouse for social sharing and blog traffic.
It’s a great tool in itself and one I’d definitely recommend for anyone looking to get more visitors to their blog – especially if you’re a beginner.
But there’s one particular metric that keeps getting people confused.
Perform a Google or Pinterest search for “Pinterest views” and you’ll find posts like:
How I got 1 million Pinterest views in XX amount of time.
How I grew my Pinterest monthly views to (insert number here)
How to get more Pinterest views… etc.
The list goes on and on.
It’s a trend that had slowed down but was gradually returning again up until the recent Pinterest algorithm changes in early 2020 that shook up the entire landscape.
It doesn’t mean those types of posts are gone forever but I’ve definitely noticed so many Pinterest “gurus” change the tone of their language and much of their content to some extent.
There’s something to be said about all of those titles because they really miss the whole point about why any blogger should be serious about Pinterest traffic especially if the content is lacking.
But the numbers are impressive, they’re appealing, and they attract more visitors so you’re always going to have people write about them.
And guess what?
We’re all bound to read and obsess over them for one reason or another.
Which leads me to…
Why do people focus on how to get more Pinterest views?
The short answer is it’s a vanity metric.
To put things into perspective, let’s remind ourselves of what vanity means – “excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.”
The number of Pinterest views you get every month is something you can see, measure and quantify very easily.
It doesn’t require a lot of effort besides making sure that you actually pin something.
And for better or worse, it’s right there on your Pinterest profile for everyone to see and be impressed with.
It’s the same reaction we get across every other social media platform we interact with.
More instagram followers, more twitter followers, more likes, and so on and so forth.
The main reason why all the vanity metrics get more attention is simply because they are pleasurable (the dopamine release).
However they take away from what you’re really trying to achieve.
In the case of your monthly Pinterest views, that number alone isn’t any guarantee that your blog is getting more traffic or that you’re making more sales.
The sad part is I’ve seen so many people fall into the same vicious cycle and there are even people out there who use this metric alone to market their Pinterest courses or services.
I’m not here to rain on anyone’s parade but it’s always good for you to do your due diligence especially when you’re unsure or just getting started.
I’m going to use myself as an example to show you why focusing on (1 million) Pinterest views alone is a complete waste of time.
A few bloggers have covered this subject before but I was (un)fortunate enough to have the actual stats to prove it.
Side note: As you continue to read through this post, remember the focus is only on Pinterest views and its relevance to blog traffic.
Do not confuse that with all the other analytics I’ve included as well.
Backstory on How I Got to 1 Million Pinterest Views
This site you’re currently on isn’t my first blog. It isn’t even my 2nd or 3rd either.
Prior to this one (June 2019) I had another blog that was focused on meal prep and healthy dieting in general.
The idea came about after my experience getting really sick the year before and all the changes I made in my diet as a result of the illness.
Long story short, I finally got into the habit of prepping my own work meals and I eventually had a few coworkers and friends ask me about the different things I was doing to improve my diet.
After thinking about it for a little while and doing some research I decided why not create a blog.
And research had shown me that the meal prep or healthy diet niche is one that does extremely well on Pinterest.
My thought process was if I was going to work on the blog, why not find a way to drive more traffic and eventually monetize it.
So I spent some more time figuring out the kinds of meal prep topics that do well on Pinterest and how I was going to create similar content.
P.S. If you’re curious, list posts and recipe posts do extremely well on Pinterest and within the meal prep niche in general – if done right.
Anyway I created a business Pinterest account for the blog and everything was coming along great (at least in my opinion at the time) right up until the end of the year and eventually the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
WORD OF ADVICE
Before we move on, I want to give you a few words of advice and some helpful tips if you plan on starting a meal prep blog or something similar.
Your audience may appreciate your journey but what they really want to know is how meal prepping will fit into their lifestyle.
Specifically things like:
- How will it help them save money (You need to show examples of how you did it. Not just tell someone it will).
- How to shop healthier (List the different foods and their benefits).
- How will they lose weight or maybe build muscle if they want to (Once again real life examples are essential here).
- How do they meal prep? (Meal preppers are more interested in step-by-step guides, recipes, all the nutritional info and so on)
Sure, there are superficial ways to go about a meal prep blog but it’s one of those niches where you really need to think about the expectations of your visitors.
To be honest, you should apply the same strategies to any niche you’re in.
That’s how you build a successful BRAND!
As for myself and the blog, the combination of a hectic schedule, the holidays and the effects of the pandemic made me lose a lot of steam.
I love meal prepping and still do it all the time (Fun fact: I have more prepped food in my freezer than I do anything else) but documenting the entire process wasn’t something I necessarily enjoyed.
This is a classic example of why your passions will only get you so far.
Meal prepping is an excellent niche, it’s definitely profitable, it’s something I’m passionate about but I now know with certainty that I am definitely more interested in the act of it than I am writing about it.
That’s a very important lesson for you to remember.
If you’re going to start a blog or an online business, make sure you pick something that you’re willing to commit to and sustain.
Blogging has become a lot more of a challenge than it used to and if you think you’re going to rely on just your passions alone or the potential amount of money you could make then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
I learned that the hard way.
I wasn’t going to delete the previous blog because I had already invested heavily in it (emotional attachment) and also it was going to be perfect for me to experiment with.
But as I pivoted over to this blog, I wanted to delete the previous Pinterest account because it was linked to a Tailwind account and I wanted to transfer that over for this blog.
At the time, I thought it wouldn’t be of any use.
I mean why keep up with 2 Pinterest accounts if the other site was going to be primarily for experimentation at this point?
But when I logged on I was shocked at the numbers I saw.
At the time I had grown to almost 500K monthly Pinterest viewers!
That was for an account with no new pins in months and I hadn’t added any new content on the blog either.
My thought then was to keep the account active and see how high the number of monthly Pinterest views will get.
I honestly did it just for the sake of curiosity but I’m extremely happy I did because I now see there was a valuable lesson to be learned.
At the height of its “success”, I was getting close to 1 million Pinterest monthly views (919k to be exact) and well over 1.1m monthly impressions.
Impressive ain’t it? And that’s for an account that was basically dormant.
In hindsight I should’ve launched my own Pinterest Masterclass course.
Okay, just kidding. 🙂
But take a look at the screenshots below:
30 Day Stats (05/2020 - 06/2020)
90 Day Stats (March - June 2020)
Look at the growth on those charts.
I have to admit, every time I logged on to take a look at the numbers it somehow put a smile on my face.
It made me feel like I had finally accomplished something – The Mecca of Pinterest.
But that’s only half the story…
This section is just some of the thoughts that were going on in my mind as I worked on this post.
I’m sure this stuff may ruffle some feathers because I’ve seen several Facebook ads of Pinterest marketers who use similar images as proof of growth… even though you never really see the accounts they’re referring to in the screenshots.
Then there are also the folks with genuine intentions who really want to help other bloggers but their wording may just not be the way they intended to be.
Either way, I think the value of this post and the benefits you’ll get from it far outweigh someone else’s opinion.
Okay thoughts aside, the next section is where things got really interesting.
The exact date on which I finally got to 1 million Pinterest views was June 24th, 2020.
All the images above were prior to that and the numbers were actually dropping for a few days before they climbed back up again.
The next section is also based on the statistics prior to the mark but even with the increase, it actually re-emphasized the point that your Pinterest views really don’t matter.
The screenshot below shows the new dates.
Why You Shouldn’t Focus on Pinterest Monthly Viewers (Only)
The numbers looked great but I had to dig deeper.
Remember the whole point of using Pinterest as a blogger is to get more traffic back to your site.
But in the 30 day period (5/18/20 – 6/16/20) with close to 1 million Pinterest views and over 1m monthly impressions I was only getting about 15,000 link clicks (1.14% Click Rate) and slightly over 7,500 saves (0.71% Save Rate).
Total Number of Link Clicks
Total Number of Saves
That alone should tell you something was wrong.
But it gets even more interesting.
Out of all the amazing number of monthly impressions and Pinterest views, close to 90% of them didn’t belong to any of my pins!
811.12k impressions, 6.29k saves and 10.51k link clicks belonged to a pin that wasn’t mine at all.
I had just watched a pin go viral right before my eyes and it wasn’t even mine!
In fact over that same 30 day period, only 2 out of the top 10 pins were mine and the discrepancies between all of them weren’t even close.
The next best pin (which thankfully) was mine had 43.04k impressions, 289 saves and 1.05k link clicks.
The only other pin of mine in the top 10 had 5.21k impressions, 34 saves and 153 link clicks.
THE PIN THAT WENT VIRAL
MY TOP PERFORMING PIN
MY SECOND BEST PIN
The next screenshot below is a roundup of the top 10 performing pins on my Pinterest account.
Side Note: I couldn’t get a good screenshot without including the relevant dates so all you see is the top 6 pins.
My pins ranked at #2 and #9.
THE TOP 10 PINS
To be fair, no 2 pins are expected to grow at the same rate.
But there’s still something to be said when you have such a huge gap.
So my next step was to head over to Google Analytics to do a comparison of the numbers.
Remember our end goal is to get more clicks.
I wanted to see how much traffic the blog had gotten from Pinterest during that time frame.
And the numbers were as you would’ve expected them to be.
Just a little over 2000 sessions from Pinterest and 1,893 pageviews from my own pin.
It should come as no surprise that it sent the most traffic to the blog (Did you notice it was a list post?).
Google Analytics (Pinterest Sessions)
Google Analytics (Pageviews)
Side note: Some organic search accounted for a very little discrepancy in the total number of pageviews.
About 184 organic views at the time.
Now that you have all the information right here for you to see, I’m sure you’ve already realized you need to be careful about the things you’re focusing on.
The obvious lesson here is even though the huge number of Pinterest views was flattering, it was completely meaningless.
If I had spent my time relying primarily on Pinterest then this would’ve really been frustrating and unfortunately this is the same thing that happens to other bloggers all the time.
Granted there were so many different things I could’ve spent more time working on but the question you need to ask yourself is how much control do you really have over those things?
If you’re going to spend any amount of time on Pinterest then it should be because you know it’ll eventually lead to a good return on your investment.
In other words you CAN’T get started without some sort of plan in mind.
But here are a few more takeaways from everything I just showed you:
- Create some sort of balance between your pins and those that belong to others. Ideally you should share a little bit more of your own pins (Even though you have no control over which pin will go viral. As clearly was the case here).
- Optimize your pins for Pinterest search (When I look back at some of my pins and compare them to the others that did well, there was definitely a lot of room for improvement).
- You shouldn’t rely on Pinterest as your only source of traffic. In fact you should spend more time on SEO than you do Pinterest.
The recent Pinterest algorithm changes (early 2020) are a reminder as to why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket.
As time goes by, more and more changes will happen.
Those are all things you can’t predict and in so many ways are out of your control.
All in all, the lesson learned from all of this is if your Pinterest views aren’t converting into a decent number of link clicks then something needs to change.
Understanding Your Pinterest Views
I think it’s important that we go over a glossary of terms so you understand exactly how all of these metrics work.
This is the number of times your pin was on someone’s feed.
They may or may not have seen it and they definitely didn’t click on it.
Impressions are NOT the same thing as clicks.
So if someone was scrolling through their feed and one of your pins happened to appear when they stopped mid scroll, that would count as an impression.
Pinterest Views (Monthly Viewers)
This is where it can get really confusing.
A view basically represents a person.
If I got on Pinterest and saw 1 of your pins, that would count as 1 view and 1 impression.
If I saw 20 pins, that would count as 1 view and 20 impressions.
If a second person came by and saw 30 of your pins, that would be 2 views and 50 impressions.
That’s the simplest way I can explain it to you and I’ll leave it at that.
We could talk about what happens if someone leaves then comes back, etc, etc and make it really complicated but it’s one of those things that really doesn’t matter so stick to the simplified version.
The important thing for you to know is your impressions and Pinterest views include stats from ALL of your pins – Yours and those you may have shared from someone else.
Once again these are just views, NOT clicks.
That’s why every time I see posts about Pinterest views, I’m curious about what percentage of those pins were actually theirs and how well did they convert.
The number of times people tapped on your Pin for a closer look (again could be yours or someone else’s).
Closeups do NOT lead off Pinterest.
These are the number of clicks that actually lead off Pinterest.
This is by far the only metric that really matters for anyone who owns a blog.
The number of times your pin was saved to a board.
Those are the only terms I’m going to include on here.
Your Pinterest analytics dashboard has a few more metrics you can measure.
By now you should already understand that your monthly Pinterest views or your impressions have no meaning if they’re not converting.
There’s no point having over 1 million people looking at your stuff elsewhere if they’re not coming back to your site.
It’s like having 1 million people look at your ad in a newspaper but nobody ever visits your store.
Sure you’re going to garner a lot of attention and maybe a few window shoppers but your business won’t thrive just on people reading the newspaper or standing outside.
The 2 metrics you should really be focusing on are:
- Your Link Clicks (Actual clicks to YOUR site) and by extension your Link Click Rate.
- Your Saves (although to a lesser extent than clicks)
The whole point of having a business account on Pinterest is to get people to engage with your pins and ultimately have them visit your website.
Everything else is basically just another metric that looks good on paper.
That means you shouldn’t only be paying attention to your Pinterest Analytics but also checking in on Google Analytics to compare your results.
I’m definitely not an advocate for anyone who focuses just on their average monthly viewers.
What About Your Number of Pinterest Followers?
I’m going to cut straight to the chase here.
Your total number of Pinterest followers does not matter.. at least not by itself.
I’ve seen small accounts that do well and big accounts that struggle.
You could argue that a higher number of followers could lead to more interactions with your pins but that’s only true if you have an audience that’s really engaged with your content.
Read the last part of that statement again.
What matters is the amount of engagement you get, not the total number of followers.
Pinterest favors active accounts.
So if you want more visibility, you need to be engaged yourself.
That means you need to pin on a consistent basis, follow and pin from other boards, respond to any comments you get, optimize your content and so on.
The only thing you want is more saves and link clicks for higher engagement.
Can Your Number of Monthly Pinterest Views Increase Your Blog Traffic?
Just in case you misread the title, what I’m referring to here is your monthly views not your number of clicks.
Here’s the deal.
The only “pure” way you can determine what kind of impact your Pinterest views will have on your blog content is if you pinned only your own content i.e 100% yours.
That of course is a horrible idea and bad practice because that’s not how Pinterest works.
Do you think other people will share your content if you don’t share theirs?
But there’s still a little bit of logic as to how your Pinterest growth can eventually lead to more blog traffic.
The only instance I can see this happening is if you do the following things:
- Balance out the ratio between your pins and pins from other accounts.
- Make sure all of your pins are well optimized for Pinterest search.
- Continue to increase your reach with a higher amount of engagement.
If you do all of those things then that could possibly lead to more visitors on your site.
But that said, the outcomes of higher Pinterest views aren’t always mutually inclusive of what happens on your blog.
One doesn’t always directly lead to the other.
In fact if you look at all of those points again you’ll realize what’s driving more blog traffic is the engagement and not the monthly views.
The way I see it, your monthly Pinterest views and your blog traffic is the difference between the features and the benefits.
- Your number of Pinterest views is simply a feature – A component of what happens on Pinterest.
- An increase in Blog traffic is the benefit – That’s what you get as a result of your efforts on Pinterest.
Now let me ask you again.
Which one do you think you want? Pinterest views or blog traffic?
The accounts that do well on Pinterest are the ones who understand and use those strategies effectively.
Your focus should never be on monthly impressions or Pinterest views alone.
See, I told you your perspective would change by the time you were done reading this post.
How Can You Drive More Traffic to Your Blog With Pinterest?
Like I said at the start of all of this, I’d still 100% recommend Pinterest to anyone unless something dramatically happened and it really wasn’t effective.
Despite all of the recent Pinterest changes, there’s still a lot of opportunity for you to use the platform to grow your blog.
But long gone are the days when you could just pin some stuff and hope it’ll eventually go viral.
If you really want to drive more traffic to your blog then you can’t go through the process blindly.
One very important aspect you need to keep in mind is you’re creating content for human beings.
We get so lost in what the algorithm wants and trying to create the “perfect” pin that we often forget that we’re creating stuff for other people to see.
Are there some pins that do better on Pinterest than others? Sure.
But I’ve seen ugly pins go viral, beautiful ones do the same and vice versa.
You have absolutely no control over whether or not any of your pins will go viral.
The only thing you can do is position yourself for it to happen.
There are definitely some excellent resources and amazing bloggers out there who can show you exactly what you need to focus on beyond just your monthly views.
Pay attention to what those bloggers are doing and what’s bringing them the best results – not just on Pinterest but to their blogs as well.
And one of the best ways to do that is not just reading other success stories but actually investing in the right Pinterest courses.
If you’re interested, here are 2 courses I recommend:
1 - Pinterest Traffic Avalanche
To give you a brief summary, the course is basically a rundown of their experiences getting an incredible amount of Pinterest traffic over to their health and fitness blog (Avocadu) and how they used that to build a 6-figure blog in a very competitive niche.
I stumbled across the course in the early days of my previous meal prep blog and being that I was in a similar niche at the time, I knew it would be very helpful.
I have to admit I was very skeptical at the beginning because many of the testimonials were based on the “old” Pinterest and it was a bit pricey for me at the time ($197).
But I’ll tell you right now it certainly was a smart investment and I can tell if I had continued to put in the time and effort on that blog alongside the strategies they teach, I could’ve eventually made it profitable.
The course is constantly updated (even for the recent February 2020 Pinterest Algorithm changes) and I know it will definitely help if you’re struggling to grow your blog traffic.
If you want to eliminate all the trial-and error and get an easy to follow guide that helps bring more visitors to your blog then it’s well worth the cost.
2 - Making Pinterest Possible
If you’re looking for a much more affordable option that checks all the boxes and shows you the exact strategies you can use to get more traffic, then Making Pinterest Possible is the solution for you.
It’s an ebook created by Ana over at The She Approach (a very successful blogger in her own right) and it goes into a lot of detail on how you can go from being an average pinner to eventually running a full-fledged business.
The best feature about the ebook is it walks you step-by-step throughout the entire process and you even have checklists to make sure you’ve completed everything before you move on to something else.
For an ebook that costs only $39, it’s definitely an excellent resource for you to understand what really moves the needle and how to increase your overall blog traffic.
If you want better results from Pinterest then get this ebook.
Final Thoughts on Pinterest Views
Nobody starts out on Pinterest hoping to get a low number of monthly views but that number is irrelevant if no one is seeing your actual content.
In so many different ways I’m happy I kept that account because this turned out to be a really helpful way to show why focusing only on 1 million Pinterest views or any other vanity metric will do you no good.
Your time is already limited as it is so don’t waste it on things that won’t have a positive impact on your blog.
The only time your Pinterest views will ever really matter is if you’re getting a lot of link clicks and a high link click ratio.
If you’re going to watch that number grow then you should also pay attention to the growth on your blog.
Otherwise it’s pointless.
I hope you found this article helpful and now you know the different things you need to focus on from here on out.
I’d also really appreciate it if you shared the article with anyone else you think may benefit from it.
As you leave today, remember Pinterest is great but it shouldn’t be your only source of traffic.
Work on improving your SEO and your organic reach as well.
If you can haul in Google and Pinterest traffic, then you’d be almost untouchable.
So go out there and put everything you’ve just learned to good use.
Most frequent questions and answers about Pinterest Views
Your number of monthly viewers is available only for Pinterest business accounts.
It usually shows at the top of your Pinterest page.
- Log in to your account.
- Select Analytics and Click on Overview if you want to see more stats.
Your number of Pinterest monthly unique viewers is the number of times any of your shared pins appeared in someone’s feed.
It refers to the number of people who saw the pins regardless of whether or not someone actually clicked on them.
Your average monthly engaged is the total number of engagements on your pins.
So someone say your pins and actually acted on them.
It could be saves, link clicks, closeups or carousel swipes.
Anything above 100K monthly views is a likely indication you’re doing well on Pinterest.
However you shouldn’t focus your attention only on your number of Pinterest views.
The most important metrics are your link clicks and saves.
No you can’t.
The only thing you can see is the people who saved your pins or anyone who’s following your boards.
If you want more insight about your audience, you can do so in the Analytics dashboard.
The real question here is how do you increase your blog traffic.. with the help of Pinterest?
Here are a few things you can do to increase your Pinterest views AND blog traffic:
- Optimize for Pinterest search.
- Create high quality and engaging pins.
- Pin to relevant boards.
- Pin fresh content consistently.
- Follow and Repin content from other accounts.
- Pin content your target audience is actually interested in.
Overall you need to make sure you’re active on Pinterest.