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How to use Pinterest to grow your blog

Pinterest is not just for food bloggers or DIY-ers. Whatever you blog about you can make Pinterest work for you and your target audience. 

You just need to develop a strategy that works for you. If you are struggling to grow you following on Pinterest, or just starting out then our helpful tips will help you in developing a great strategy for success. 

Pinterest is by a long way the biggest referral site to SavingScotts and has been for some time. If you are looking to develop blogging into a side-hustle then tapping into the gold mine that is pinterest is a must. Despite this I had seen very little growth on Pinterest in the beginning of 2016. 

Pinterest is a valuable resource for bloggers and a great way to reach your target audience,  and if your are looking to make your blog a success then developing a successful Pinterest strategy is key.  Knowing this I knew something about how I was engaging with Pinterest needed to change.

Over the past month (July) my goal for the month was to get really intense and focus on refining my Pinterest strategy. I set myself key elements to focus on and stay consistent with throughout the month and the results speak for themselves. 

Since the start of June we have gone from getting 20,000 viewers and 600 engaged (avg monthly) to 105,000 viewers and 3500 engaged. 

There were a number of elemments to the strategy we explored in order to get these results.

1. The Basics

Refining your profile is one of the first basic steps to improving your Pinterest experience. There are three simple steps you can take to make your profile instantly more professional.  

A. Profile Picture
This sounds so simple but think about it, how many times have you followed someone on Pinterest who has no profile picture at all? Probably not to many times. 

Having a profile picture of your rather than a logo makes Pinterest feel like a more personal experience for your followers. It makes it seem less corporation and more girl-next-door which instantly means your less likely to be spam selling.

B. Get verified + business account

Verify your website to your Pinterest account to allow PinterestAnalytics to track your Pins (available for free business account). 

Analytics is a great essential tool to help you better understand how you are performing on Pinterest and areas that can be improved. Using analytics when implementing a strategy is key to assessing its success and a must have for any blogger. 

C. Have consistency with your board covers

Whilst they don't all have to be matching, coordination even by colour scheme can go a long way for consistency and continuity. I makes it clear you have a brand and that you are more than just a 'regular' pinner. I currently have some simple text board covers that I made in photoshop that state the boards name. 

2. Pinning Success

A. Ensure all your pins are Pinterest ready. 
You may have heard of this idea before that certain images work better on pinterest. This is because of how their algorithms organise the layout on someones screen. 
Pinterest works best with taller and narrower pins. There are set optimal dimensions for a pin which are 735 x 1105 pixels.

To save time I keep a template in Photoshop in this size that I use to edit Pinterest pictures quickly and easily. 

Another element to having optimal pins is developing a 'blog pin' style. You want to develop a consistent style that is associated with your blog 

I have a pre-made template that I use for all my blog posts that has the two fonts I always use, the URL at the bottom and a semi-opaque box for behind the text for clarity. 

B. Schedule Pins

Nobody has the time to pin 24/7. Trying to pin manually is time consuming and will leave you feeling frustrated.  
Previously I was doing all my pinning manually this invariably meant that there would be days with loads and others where I would forget. Also I meant I wouldn't be do using on at what time I was pinning and whether this was the optimal time to reach my audience. 

I started using BoardBooster a couple of months ago and love it. It has massively increased the productivity in my pinning time.
I have the scheduling feature set up, whereby I pin to a secret board what will be pinned later. I generally try to keep the boards stocked so that I am only pinning to them once or twice a week. 

I love that I can pre-set when the pins go 'live' this is especially key if you live in a non-USA time zone. Most users of Pinterest are based in the USA and as such optimal times are dominated by them. Manually pinning to hit this times was unrealistic. 

On my blog board "best of SavingScotts" I have looping where old images are looped to the top of the board again (and the old one deleted to avoid duplicates). This means that old blog posts are not allowed to go 'stagnant'. I will also try to tweet about the post that has been looped as my post of the day. 

Finally I have a campaign set up to pin from my blog board to certain group boards I am members of. This takes the hassle out of organising pins to these boards. By using a campaign from my blog board it ensure that all the pins I send to group boards are ones I have created for my blog. 

Whilst BoardBooster is a paid service it is super affordable (I'm on the $5 a month plan) and 100% worth the amount of time it saves you through automation of pins. If your not sure why not sign up for a free trial and see for yourself how it could be a game changer for your Pinterest strategy. Its analytics also allow you to see the best times to pin and allow you to break this down to both weekday and weekend (and you can schedule different times for these days).

C. Be wise in who you follow
With my account having been used previously as a personal account,  I was following several pincers who were of no relevance to my blog and so I took the time to unfollow them. 

The people you follow should be because they pin relevant images and are a great resource. So don't be afraid to to unfollow some less revenant profiles. 

Instead I began following people in my blogging niche who are active on Pinterest (have recent pinning activity)  and have at least 1000 followers.

D. Join Group Boards

Posting on group boards relevant to you topic niche can be a great way to gain exposure to so many more readers as these boards are likely to have a lot more followers than you. Try to join groups with reasonable re-pin rates 3+ for the best possible chance of success. 

I love using PinGroupie to search for Pinterest group. It's important to remember the most Pinterest group boards have rules one what they allow you to post so it is always a great idea to be aware of these rules, as the last thing you want is to be kicked out of a group

Which of these strategies do you find most helpful in developing your traffic on Pinterest? Got any other tips share them in the comments below. 


    If you are new to our blog, we are all about finding new ways for students and millennials to make and save money. Here are some of our favourite sites and products to help you out:
    • Start a blog. Blogging is our side-hustle just over a year ago we didn't think I would bring us any income . You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
    • Save money with gift cards Whether its for buying clothes, your weekly shop or dining out use Zeek to buy discounted gift cards to get more bang for your buck. 
    • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is a passive way to earn gift cards. Over the course of a year you could earn $500.  Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. Receive $5 for signing up today.
    • Try matched betting. Matched betting is a great way to may easy money online. Despite the name it is not gambling and could see you earn £500-£1000 a month for only a couple of hours work a day see here and here. For your free trial head to profit accumulator or join the Facebook 'getting started' group.  
    • Sign up for a cashback site like Quidco. where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free £10 bonus!

    Earn up to $25/£15 per hour to deliver for amazon flex

    We all love flexible working opportunities and amazon flex is perfect for anyone from the busy mom to a college student. In the world of ever expanding flexible work opportunities this is a great option run by the mega corporation that is Amazon. Best of all Amazon has just unveiled that it will be introducing AmazonFlex to the UK. 

    Presently only available in Birmingham in the UK. But they will be expanding to other cities shortly so it is worthwhile being added to the notification list. 

    It is currently available for those in the following USA cities:
    Seattle, New York, Richmond, Nashville, Portland, Raleigh, Virginia Beach, Austin, Dallas, Baltimore, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Columbus metro areas.

    What is Amazon Flex?

    With Amazon growing so much and an increase in prime and subscribe and save members they are needing more and more delivery options to keep up with the constant increase in demand. Making this a great opportunity for you to get involved in its expansion. Working as a Flex driver you would deliver amazon parcels in your local area. You will pick them up from a local delivery station and distribute them.

    Whilst there are no guarantees of hours, the block system amazon use does allow a lot of flexibility. Just let them know what days you can work and for hour many 3 hour blocks you are available. 

    What are the requirements?

    All you need to get started is a car and a smartphone (android). Sadly they are not offering it to those on bike or walking yet. 

    You need to be over 18, have a drivers license and fully insured on your vehicle. Beyond that and living in a Amazon Flex area there are no other requirements. 

    Though cost of fuel, millage and insurance is not covered by the job. So this is something to keep in mind and thing about how efficient your car is.

    But when you consider that you can earn up to £15/$25 per hour, the generous salary could quite easily make up for the cost in fuel etc. 

    How to sign up?

    If you live in an area where Amazon Flex is already operating then go ahead and sign up to this great gig. 

    For those in areas it has not yet reach (especially those in the UK where this is new to) you can get ahead of the game by registering your interest on their site. That way Amazon will contact you as soon as it start recruiting in your area. 

    Overall it seems like a pretty great flexible job opportunity. With a decent salary and flexibility options. There is the perk of not having to deal with customers much like Uber or Lyft. Nor do you have co-worers or bosses to deal with. Just you and the open road. It is not marketed as a full-time opportunity but could be a great way to supplement your income. 

    Have you had any experience with Amazon Flex? Share your stories below. 

    Financial lesson my Grandad taught me

    This past Sunday, my beloved Grandad passed away. Whilst it has been a period of immense sadness for all the family, we have also had the opportunity to think about the good times and all the wonderful things he taught us.
    My grandad was raised a Quaker, they were incredibly entrapenaurial, thrifty and philanthropic people. He carried his heritage with him throughout his life and it shaped the financial decisions he made and the lessons he taught my mum and I.

    1. Save a big percentage of what you earn.

    Unusual for their era, but my Granny was not a stay at home mother but a headmistress in a School. Her career was in many ways more reliable than Grandad's as a scale salesman. However, early on they decided that they could live off one income and instead save Granny's for retirement.

    Doing this massively increased what they could save but it also helped to prepare them for when Granny became ill and had to retire early as they were not used to living off both incomes. It meant they were fully prepared for the cost of 30 years of retirement, where they could travel and enjoy activities they loved.

    There was never any question but the only way to live was below your means, well below. Give yourself a big savings buffer because you will never know when a rainy day may occur.

    2. Invest, Invest, Invest.

    The power of inflation over time erodes the value of cash making investing it so important. Grandad loved to buy shares and did most of his adult life. He taught me the value of not being complacent about investing (he would check share prices EVERY day) and that in depth and thorough research should be done into a company before investing in them. Be intentional in where you invest your money and why you have chose to invest in that way.

    I remember as a small child making a money box and I gave it to Grandad because I knew he loved to save. Every time I visited him after he would bring out the box and let me take home the pennies he had put in there. He taught me that to save, you need to purposeful and have a place you want that money to go (i.e the money box) because the pennies won't collect themselves.

    3. Don't worry about the Jones.

    Granny and Grandad could have chosen to move to a more affluent area, but instead (Warren Buffet style) chose to live in the same house they had always. Though they kept renovations to a minimum, but it always felt like a home. They never bought new cars, loved to use public transport, grew a lot of their own food and made much from scratch.  They're holidays were not fancy, but they were sure fun and filled with memories. Not once did I ever see Grandad compare his life to another, and I think this was key to his contentment.

    Some might of thought they were too tight with money, but they taught my mum some valuable lessons. Her rent used to increase with inflation and phone calls were charged to the minute. When she left home and bought her first house with dad during an era of unprecedented interest rates, she had already learnt the powerful less of the power of inflation.

    4. Give generously.

    Especially as Grandad got older he became increasingly generous. He would always sponsor family doing good causes, even if he couldn't directly participate. He gave generously to those in need in India, after developing a passion for Yoga opened his eyes to the hardship the impoverished suffer.  The happiness in his life as he aged seemed to coincide with increased generosity.

    Reflecting on the lessons he taught me, I am so grateful for his example. What lessons have your family before you taught you about money.

    In honour of Harold Hey. 

    Budget friendly summer fun

    Summer is here (where has the year gone already). Whilst I love summer, it has the potential to really burn a whole in a budget. Kids being home from school, longer daylight hours meaning you want to do more with your evenings and weekends to enjoy the sun. From trips to the beach to family BBQs it all adds up. Enjoying summer doesn't mean you can't continue to make headway on becoming debt free. Today I will be sharing some fun family and budget friendly activities for the summer months.

    1. Walk (or cycle)  on the seafront/country side/park. 
    Make the most of the great weather by discovering new walks and hikes in your area. If you have little children, creating an "I spy" activity where they have to find things in the surrounding area is a great way to keep them engaged. Let it be an opportunity to see new places you have never been to before, even if they are not far from home. Also always be on the look out for free parking, on popular routes people have cashed in on walkers and charge a lot to park so it is always worth looking into first. 

    2. Go fruit picking.
    Growing up, I loved hunting out blackberries, crab apples and sloes. We would usually turn them into jam, but there are lots of options. If you can find edible fruit near you on public areas then this can be a great free activity. If you don't live near somewhere like this then try searching for farms that do pick-you-own for a small fee you can pick fruit there.
    To know when is best to look for certain fruit here is a quick guide for when fruit is ready for picking
    • Strawberries - June to July
    • Raspberries - July to mid October
    • Blackberries- June to July
    • Tayberries - June to July
    • Blackcurrants - Mid July to mid August
    • Plums - late July to August

    3. Take a trip to the beach. 
    Going to the beach doesn't have to be expensive. Packing your own food, blankets and chairs means you don't need to fork out for these at tourist prices.  You could even (if permitted) make a fire pit and have s'mores or bananas stuffed with chocolate buttons.

    4. Ice-cream bar. 
    Pick up a couple of tubs of ice cream in different flavours, as well as some of your favourite ice cream toppings (sprinkles, cherries, fudge and chocolate are all great options) and let the masterpieces develop. 

    5. Stargaze in your garden. 
    Try to find night where the sky is going to clear, and there is not to much artificial light, grab a blanket and your sweetheart and look to the sky. Have a go at guessing what funny shapes you can see. Remember, this doesn't have to be a super serious, make it your own. Involving kids is brilliant for this activity as they had wild imaginations and will see things that never even occurred to you. 

    6. Visit a farmers market or a country fair. 
    Other than getting to see lots of wonderful produce and exhibitions. It can be fun to give each other a small budget (i.e £5) and you each get lots of little bits of food, that the other has to try. Sometimes they have livestock as well which is great fun for children and is normally much cheeper to visit that a 'family farm'

    7. Go fishing. 
    Find a creek, grab a net and have fun trying to catch tiddlers. You could even take a picnic with you.  Just don't expect to have dinner sorted :) If you don't have a net, grab an old laundry bag (a fine mesh one), wire and garden pole and make a DIY net.  

    8. BBQs
    Over the summer you can get quite a few invitations to BBQs, often you are expected to bring food (meat) to the event. If you are on a tight grocery budget it can be a great idea to buy burgers and sausages when they are reduced (preferably 50-75% off) and freeze them. That way you can keep a stockpile ready for the next BBQ you attend. At the end of the summer what you haven't used up, can be added to dinner menus over the coming weeks. Also keep an eye out for when your favourite BBQ drinks go on sale and stock up a reasonable amount. 

    9. Library Time
    Going to the library is great for all ages. For bookworms like Chris and I it can be all to easy to be tempted into buying every book we want to read but its just not economical. Many libraries over the summer run reading schemes for children that are rewards based, making reading fun and educational. 

    Summer doesn't have to be swipe and forget it season. For those who are struggling with debt I would  not recommend taking on more especially not for summer fun (see 5 steps for getting out of debt). For those out of debt wise use of credit cards can earn you some surprising rewards (compare the best rewards here (USA) and here (UK) . If you are making big journeys over the summer, putting petrol on a card can be a good option as many providers offer preferential rewards on transportation. As a general rule of thumb only make pre-planned purchases on a credit card, this avoids the temptations to purchase due to the lure of rewards. However, the cash back is only worth it if the balance is paid off in full each month (otherwise the cost of interest is more than cash-back earned).  When using a card its important to fully understand what you are doing, this Glossary is very helpful if you are feeling overwhelmed by jargon. 

    What are your favourite budget summer activities?

    This post is sponsored by Credit Card Insider. All opinions are my own.