How to Convert Pinterest Visitors to Subscribers

How to convert pinterest visitors to subscribers - You already have your Pinterest profile optimized to drive traffic to your blog, but what happens when they get there?  Sure, they’ll love the post they came to see – but what makes them stick around and become members of your community?

In this post, I’ll give you a few blogging tips for keeping the visitors you attract – not only through Pinterest, but from anywhere around the web.

Most of what I’ll be focusing on is in your sidebar. Know why? Because aside from your header, which is a fairly fixed part of your blog, your sidebar is what every visitor sees, on every page. Your sidebar is prime real estate, and it’s time to treat it like the powerful tool it can be.

1. Keep it Personal – Add a photo.

If there’s not a picture of you in your sidebar, there should be.  People who are active Pinterest users see dozens of blogs every day and when they arrive at yours, they need to be able to connect a face with a blog.  Why?

People don’t connect with blogs – they connect with people.  [Tweet this]

Connect with your readers to build community |

Give your readers a person to connect with.

Building readership for your blog is building a community.  And while the content of your blog is at the center of the discourse, you’re at the center of your content.

The best blog builders are those that make a personal connection with their readers.  This starts with adding your photo, so your visitors can see the face behind the voice.

 2. Showcase your tutorials + best content

If the only post a Pinner is going to see on your blog is the one they clicked over for, you need to make sure you show them the very best of what you have to offer.  Invite them to explore by giving them a guided tour!

Tag/category clouds were cool when they first came out, but I rarely click them anymore.  Why would I click the words “my kids” or “decluttering” from a tag cloud, when I could click on this:

Convert more Pinterest visitors to subscribers with these easy tricks!

In fact, Ruth from Living Well Spending Less has an amazing sidebar.  She features a photograph of herself at the top (*check*) and gives me a dozen images to help me find more great content from her blog.  You should check out her blog to see it in context.  Truly professional.

3. Simplify your sidebar.

If you want people to stick around after reading a great post,  you need to make their choices clear.  Ditch the blog awards and the six different stats counters (one is fine.  really.) and feature yourself.

  • Do you want people to subscribe to your blog?  Put that at the top.
  • Have you written an eBook or are you promoting something you’ve created?  Feature it!
  • Do you want people to visit your sponsors?  (of course.)
  • Do you want people to explore your content and connect with you?  Give image links to your best content.  (Note: If you’re using the Genesis theme for WordPress, you can use the Genesis Featured Widget Amplified to generate these automatically – although custom designed ones may look cooler).

A word about sponsor ads

If you have an eye for growing your blog and have a dozen ads in your sidebar, you may want to think about scaling back on your sponsorship program.  Now, hang with me here:

I attended a fantastic webinar the other night with Tsh Oxenreider, media maven at the Simple Mom network.  She recommended that your sponsorship section be limited to four ads.


Growing your blog's readership |

Don’t let too many sponsor buttons detract from your readership.

Because the more ads you have, the more you’re diluting your visitors’ attention.  Any visitor that’s reading your blog can only click one thing at a time.  If you’re building the readership of your blog, you want to both:

  1. Keep the focus on your blog, and
  2. Give your sponsors a great experience. (but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post…)

Don’t send people AWAY from your blog and onto your sponsors’ sites before they’ve had a chance to get to know you and see why they should come back.

Simplify your sidebar to help your readers prioritize their next steps.  Make it count.

4. Link to your best content from *everywhere*

Don’t just give links to your content from your sidebar.  The most effective way to keep people browsing around your blog is to link within your posts.  For example,

“When I tell people to start following influential pinners to grow their blogs, they sometimes question my logic.  Why should you follow other people, to be followed yourself?”

People have an automatic desire to find out what you’re talking about, so capitalize on that by using links to your other content within your posts.

Don’t forget that prime “end of post” spot!

The reason WordPress plugins like Microkid’s Related Posts and Link Within are effective is that they engage your readers once they’ve finished reading your posts.  If they had a great experience with the post they’ve just read, they’ll naturally want to read more.

By linking to your best content at the end of your posts, you’re giving them a chance to stay and enjoy themselves a little more, and hopefully decide your blog is worth coming back to.

5. Advertise Your Own Pins

Pin Button SidebarOne of the smartest ways you can make your blog more appealing to Pinterest users is by showing them how much traction you’ve already got on Pinterest.  I wrote a blog post about featuring your most Pinterest-worthy pins in your sidebar, but now there’s an even easier way to do this.

Pin Button Sidebar is a WordPress plugin that will automatically display your most Pinterest-worthy content in your sidebar.  If you want to read more, I’ve written about it, along with the other Best Pinterest Plugins for WordPress.

Optimizing your blog for new visitors is hard – but it’s worth it.

If you’re serious about capitalizing on incoming traffic, you’ll have to do a little work to get your blog in order.  The most important thing is to make a personal connection with your readers, then lead them by the hand and show them what else you have to offer.

Give your visitors a great experience, and they’ll stay.


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Please share it in the comments below.  I’m always expanding my vision for blog growth and would love to hear from you!

*Note* This is an article from my series Growing Your Blog with Pinterest.  You can check out the rest of the articles (and what’s to come!) by clicking here.

68 Comments • Leave yours below!

    • jeni says

      Glad you enjoyed it, Tawnee. There’s more coming on Pinterest soon – and you’re welcome here anytime. :)

  1. says

    what a helpful article..found this through Small Things blog, and love the image link idea. That’s why I started blogging, to see what I could do with images, and I totally forgot it and ended up down a ‘content storm’ road. Thanks for reminding me why I do this x
    claire recently posted..My Glitter CollectionMy Profile

  2. Suzy says

    I think the thing mostly likely to make me a subscriber is having a consistant topic. I don’t want to read about your outfit one day, your vacation the next, and the a bunch of crap about your kids if the point of your blog is home decor. I don’t know you and I’m not really interested. Oh and not having a bunch of sponser posts and not having to click on your page from my blog reader.

    • says

      Hi Megan, thanks for your comment. It’s hard sometimes to remember to work on your blog itself rather than just writing posts…because you can’t measure the outcome with any statistics. But it’s still a very necessary part of our blogging lives. I’d love to see how things turn out for you once you’re finished with the reorganization!

  3. says

    I have to say I really like your content. I am just in the process of writing a post about some very useful tips on blogging that I have collected and also include a link to this one. (Even though I have to admit that I still have some work to do to achieve all of the things you recommend – ha ha!)
    I’m your newest follower, by the way. Keep up the great work!

  4. says

    So I have a question that I have been wondering about. I love putting my posts into linkup parties but the sites almost always request that you add a button to your sidebar. This really clogs things up! I get why they do it (because they care about stats as much as I do), but is there a better option? I’ve seen some bloggers just add a fine-print of “sometimes I link up with these places” with simple text links to the linkup parties, but that seems like a pain to go through to put that on every single post. What are the other options? Or are linkups simply not worth it? I mean I get some hits from it for sure, but is it worth clogging up my sidebar? Opinions and experience on this would be helpful!
    Aprille recently posted..11 Books I Read in 2012My Profile

    • says

      Hi Aprille, I wish I had some hard-and-fast advice for you on this, but I’m afraid it’s just up to personal choice. Is it about the traffic? If so, then bite the bullet and keep those buttons up! Is it about being part of a community? Well, that’s something different altogether. If you’ve joined someone else’s community and they’re giving you traffic in exchange for a little traffic…so that more people will join your mutual community, then I think you really just need to decide whether you’re willing to be a part of their community on their terms. If it’s more important for you to have a beautiful sidebar, then perhaps quit participating for now. Or you could get a new WordPress theme with an extremely wide (400px) sidebar and then you could tile the buttons three-across…and they’d only take up a few vertical inches. If you do want to continue, it’s probably a good idea to just keep a .txt document on your desktop that has the HTML code for all the link parties you participate in. That way, when you write a new post, you can just grab the appropriate code and put it in the post you’re linking.

      I don’t know if this is helpful, but I do understand what it’s like to have goals that are different from those of other people I work with. The nice thing is, nothing is forever in the blog world; I’m sure that if you decide one thing now, you’ll be able to change your mind and do something different later. Good luck! :)

      • says

        Thanks for your input. I blog with and just got my new website up so I’m not really wanting to change themes right now. Mine is a little limited in my options as far as side bar, but for now I think I’m going to work with what I have.

        I think I’ve come to a little bit of a compromise. I took out some of the linkup buttons (I had about 10) to go with the linkups that I really love to linkup with. Then for the ones I had left, I took off the title (why do you need a title when the title is in the button?) so there is less clutter as far as text. Then I added my own “buttons” made of photos with captions that link to posts I want to promote (like you suggested in this post, although not as nifty as a lot of my older posts don’t have pinteresty photos with text and all of that. I’m doing that kind of thing more often now.) I got interrupted because naptime ended. I added two for now, But i’m thinking of adding more or rotating them out every few days or something to direct people’s attention to posts I want to promote.

        If you want you can take a look at because I would love input!
        Aprille recently posted..In which I can’t even read a four letter word…or is it five? {five minute friday}My Profile

  5. says

    I prefer NRelate to LinkWithin since it offers more options including a sidebar widget and more importantly you get statistics! I’m a data nerd so I find it extremely helpful. Since I’ve added the popular posts widget to my sidebar I get a ton more traffic to those pages, and people are sticking around a lot longer!
    Kelly recently posted..Spoiled by FiOSMy Profile

  6. says

    Thank you so much for these tips! I am new to the blogging world and really am discovering the power of Pinterest. I’ve seen it bring a lot of new readers, and I would love to turn each and every one of them into a follower! I especially love the tip about the “Link Within”. I’ve seen that on so many other blogs but never took the time to look into it. You saved me a step! :)
    Erin recently posted..February Goals and ChallengesMy Profile

  7. says

    Hmmm. I haven’t really considered using pinterest for sharing my posts. Have been using it only to share images so far. Do people actually click-back to view the source link on pinterest?

    By the way, Rocking Granola’s blog has private settings apparently. Can’t access that blog. Can you give any other example? I have tried using some images in my sidebar to link to some of my categories, but I’m not sure if I’m getting any click-throughs via them.
    Chicky recently posted..Silly Saturday: The Family Tree!My Profile

  8. says

    Hi, Jeni. Thanks so much for this and all your other blogging advice. Turning visitors into subscribers is on my mind a lot. My search and Pinterest traffic is steadily going up, but my bounce rate is upwards of 80%. I keep reading that this is very bad, but it makes sense to me. I look at A LOT of recipes online, and if I’m clicking on a pin or searching for something specific, I usually just read what I came for and leave. It definitely doesn’t mean I didn’t find what I was looking for or that the blog wasn’t inviting. It’s just that I’m on a mission and not looking to browse around. I’m assuming people visit my food blog the same way. I do want to take your advice, especially about my sidebar, but I wonder if a high bounce rate always means there’s a problem.
    Andi (The Weary Chef) recently posted..Easy Weekly Dinner Menu # 17 – New Grocery List Feature!My Profile

    • says

      Hi Andi, it’s pretty common for recipe blogs to have high bounce rates, but just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Ideally you want people to find what they’re looking for and interact with it in some way. A sure-fire way to lower your bounce rate would be to incorporate video into your blog. That’s one of the techniques used by larger recipe sites like and They’re starting to feature more and more recipes with videos. A high bounce rate is only “good” for sites like couponing sites or sites that are monetized with lots of affiliate links: the more that people see their content and click away (through one of their money-making links), the more money they’re making. :) Hope this explanation helps!

  9. says

    Thanks for the tip about adding my photo to my sidebar. I am shocked that no one ever told me to do that and I just never thought about it. I think it’s brilliant. I’ve been blogging for 7 years and just in the last 6 months or so that I’ve been leveraging Pinterest has my site really taken off and it’s really made blogging so much more fun for me.

  10. says

    Hi Jeni, I love the idea of including a little welcome with a photo on my sidebar, much like you have. I am not a WordPress expert. Is there a plugin I can use, or a short tutorial I can watch to learn how to do that, like you did? I appreciate you sharing all of this great insight. Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Julia, thanks for your note! Since you have Gravatar set up, there’s a widget available when you activate Jetpack called “Gravatar Profile” that might do what you’re looking for. Mine is just HTML in a text widget, but if you don’t know HTML, then here’s a trick:

      You can create a new Page on your site and use the editor area to lay out the page as if it were a widget. Write the text, put the photo in and decide if you want it to be on the left or right. Click “Preview” to see how the Page looks. When you know you have your image positioned properly, click the “Text” editor button to see the HTML code that lays out the text and image properly. Then copy that HTML code and paste it into a text widget in your sidebar.

      If you don’t know HTML and just want to do something like that really quickly, that’s the hacker’s method. :) Hope this helps!

    • says

      Hi Jennie, the idea is to show visitors things that are relevant to what they’re looking for, and proving that your blog (on more than one post) meets their needs. It helps readers say, “I belong here” and “this chick has stuff I like!” so they don’t automatically bounce off your page, but may see other things they’re interested in. Think about how huge sites like BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post use their sidebars and end-of-post areas.

  11. says

    I’m currently stuck using the free version of wordpress due to cash flow problems so I’m implementing your strategies as best I can with not being able to use some of the plug-in’s you suggest. Plus I’m new to WordPress after switching over from Blogger in June. I love seeing an email from you in my inbox because I hope the info inside will take me one step closer to a successful blog!

    ~Meaghan from DIYfaerie

  12. says

    This is a very resourceful article. The tips on how to effectively use your sidebar is spot on. I never thought about how linking a post in a post can encourage people to continue exploring my blog. I will be linking from now on. Thanks for sharing this.


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