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Over 90K Hungry Followers: Pinterest Tips from a Food Blogger

Penned by Janet Thaeler

food bloggerWe recently interviewed food blogger Kalyn who has blogged at Kalyn’s Kitchen since 2005. Her blog features low carb and diet-friendly recipes. Always known as a good cook, she realized she had to make some changes to recipes if she wanted to lose weight. After making those changes she lost 40lbs. She did it by adapting her recipes to fit the South Beach diet. After so many people requested her recipes, she decided to start a blog to share them with others.

Pinterest is a big part of her marketing strategy for getting traffic to her blog. After several years Kalyn was able to quit her job as a teacher and blog full-time. Today, Kalyn has over 90,000 followers on Pinterest. When she started she said she got about 15k hits per day to her blog from Pinterest. It’s more crowded now and so that number has dropped to about 10k hits per day. She photographs the food she prepares and puts the recipe name on the image. However, she doesn’t watermark or otherwise label her images with her brand name or web address.

Here are 5 Pinterest tips from Kalyn:

1. Monitor and Respond to Comments
Make sure that your settings include getting emails from Pinterest when there is a new comment on one of your pins. She makes a point to respond to comments because it makes them more visible and leads to more repins. She also deletes spammy or junk comments.

2. Use Hashtags
Although they’re not clickable on Pinterest any more, Kalyn uses hashtags in her pin descriptions. The hashtags are based on the categories on her website. She also uses the same hashtags on Twitter. We did notice that the hashtags are not part of the descriptions on her website. So when someone pins a recipe from her site (rather than repinning one from Pinterest) it doesn’t have hashtags.


To control the description text (which people can change, but usually don’t), write hashtags into the image tag. She could put the hashtag #slowcooker after the title and it would give her additional exposure. Here’s an example of where Pinterest gets your pin description (with the part that becomes a description in bold):

<img alt=”Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice Soup with Chicken Andouille Sausage” border=”0″ src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lIrcqGVLJO8/Ux5I8qfKeCI/AAAAAAAArtU/YlDUYf8u2Bo/s1600/1-text-red-beans-rice-soup-500topbest-kalynskitchen+copy.jpg” title=”Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice Soup with Chicken Andouille Sausage”>

3. Join High Quality Group Boards in your Niche
Kalyn moderates the slow cooker board on the official “Foodies on Pinterest” profile. In addition she belongs to 30-40 other group boards, mostly from other full time food bloggers.

4. Pin Older Content from your Website or Blog
“Every morning I go through my archives to see what was posted on that date in past years. (I stick to the exact day so it’s easy to track).” When she finds recipes she wants to feature she shares them on Buffer so they go to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. For Facebook and Google+ she includes a link to PIN the recipe she re-pinned that morning.

5. Put a PIN IT Link on Facebook and Google+ Links
Remember that over 70% of people access your content from a phone so be sure to include a PIN IT link when you share to Facebook and Google+ (more Facebook than Google+). “This has been HUGELY popular with my readers. It makes it so they can pin right from their phone much more easily. Now if I forget they link they complain.” Kalyn also has rich pins, or recipe pins that pull information including the actual recipe, directly from her blog.


Bonus: Name your Boards after your Website Categories
Kalyn brands most of her board titles with Kalyn’s Kitchen and then the category. So for her Paleo recipes, she has Kalyn’s Kitchen Paleo as the board title. “I have a board for every category in my recipe archives (left sidebar) as well as every recipe label I use (see Recipe Labels for list of those).”

Kalyn says she spends approximately 5 hours a week pinning. Looking at her followers and the traffic Pinterest sends to her website, it’s a strategy that is working well!

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