Is Pinterest for Real? A Case Study on Milk & Honey Nutrition

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Are you wondering whether Pinterest SEO strategies really work? When I first started in Pinterest management, I wondered, too!

Today I’m sharing a Pinterest growth case study from my client, Mary Ellen of Milk & Honey Nutrition. Mary Ellen is my sweet friend, and I’m excited that I get to work with her, too! Keep reading to find out the measurable results that she’s gotten from Pinterest, as well as strategies that you can use for your own Pinterest growth. 

A Little Background Info for a Pinterest Growth Case Study

Mary Ellen and I have been friends for about three years. We were in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) together and also in the same Bible Study class at church. Plus, my mom is gluten-free, so I’ve been a fan of her blog since the very beginning. Our kids are quite close in age, and my younger son adores her daughter. It’s the cutest thing how he always asks when we’re going to see her.

Mary Ellen is a registered dietitian who blogs at Milk & Honey Nutrition. She started her blog in 2015 after becoming a stay-at-home mom to her two little girls. On her blog, she shares gluten-free, low-sugar recipes that are delicious. I have tried many of her recipes, and they all taste great!

Mary Ellen’s blog has grown significantly in the three years since she started it. She has a solid following on her blog and Facebook page, but her Instagram following is seriously impressive! If you love looking at gorgeous food, you definitely need to check out her Instagram immediately. (Warning: Do not view if hungry! ?)

Anyway, one day in early June, we were set to have a playdate with our kids. I had just started my Pinterest business, and I went to Milk & Honey Nutrition’s Pinterest account. There was very little there, so I talked to Mary Ellen about it at the playdate. Since I wanted to test out everything I had read and learned about Pinterest strategy, I asked if she would be ok with me using Milk & Honey Nutrition for a Pinterest growth case study. She said she hadn’t had time to focus on Pinterest and didn’t really want to learn, so she hired me immediately. 

My Process for the Pinterest Growth Case Study

As a new Pinterest manager, I did everything I could do to understand how to grow an account on Pinterest. I viewed webinars, listened to podcasts, read blogs, and took courses. Of course, I learned that it’s very easy to find outdated information, so it’s important to make sure the information is current. I found out exactly what I needed to do and got to work.

Setting Up a Pinterest Business Account

Since Mary Ellen had already started a Pinterest profile for her business, I simply took over managing that account. It had just been sitting there with a few boards created and a few things pinned. She had not completed all of the steps for fully setting up the account, so I had to claim the website and validate Rich Pins. If you haven’t done those things for your own Pinterest business account, you can read more about how to do that in my blog post here.

Optimizing the Pinterest Profile

As I was taking over the Milk & Honey account, I wasn’t really starting from scratch. Mary Ellen had about 12 boards, and each board had about 14 pins on it. My goal was at least 20 boards with a minimum of 25 pins per board. I had to figure out exactly what the rest of the boards would be and what keywords and long-tail keywords I wanted to focus on (If you have no clue what I’m talking about, check out this post).

With input from Mary Ellen collected from this Google form I made, I identified boards to start with, keywords to use for optimizing the account, and Pinterest profiles to follow to find content. This process took a while, and I made sure to break the task into multiple steps to keep from being overwhelmed. 

Developing the Pinterest Strategy

As I added pins to the various boards that I had already optimized, I began working the Pinterest strategy for success. I pinned multiple pins every day through Tailwind (affiliate link). This showed the Pinterest algorithm that this account was a consistent pinner and the pins should be shared with others.
I also began creating pins for her many recipes. I created three templates with her brand colors, logo, and a layout that she liked. I then started pinning these pins to applicable boards. I was careful to space them out and intersperse pins from other pinners that fit with her content. This prevented her profile from appearing spammy and developed a mix of content that would appeal to many pinners.
As I scheduled and pinned Mary Ellen’s various pins, I was diligent to create descriptions that contained appropriate keywords and hashtags. I was also careful to make sure there was a clear call to action for each pin. Finally, I worked to create a consistent schedule that was maintainable for the long term. I also added boards as needed, both individual and applicable group boards. 

You can read more about the process I used to develop a Pinterest strategy here.

Stats from the Pinterest Growth Case Study

After all the background information and my Pinterest strategy, it’s finally time to share the results!

Screenshot of Milk & Honey Nutrition Pinterest Profile
Milk & Honey Nutrition Pinterest Account from June 6, 2018

As you can see from the screenshot above, Mary Ellen had an average of 91 monthly viewers and 52 followers. As an established blogger with a significant social media presence, it is obvious that Pinterest had not been a focus. I was very excited to have the opportunity to change that!

screenshot of Milk & Honey Pinterest profile
Milk & Honey Nutrition Pinterest account Aug 31, 2018

If you look at the screenshot from August 31, you can see that Milk & Honey Nutrition’s Pinterest account has experienced some growth in the three months since I took over. Both Mary Ellen and I are very excited about how the account has grown in this time.
While the numbers shown above are impressive to look at, people who are familiar with Pinterest know that the monthly views from Pinterest are not the most reliable tool for accurately measuring account analytics. To get a more accurate depiction of the growth of Milk & Honey Nutrition’s Pinterest account and website, I used the Pinterest analytics and Tailwind analytics (since I schedule through Tailwind) to see the growth within Pinterest.

The results from the analytics reveal:

  • Monthly views of Milk & Honey Nutrition’s Pinterest profile grew by over 280,000%
  • The number of followers of the profile grew by 350%
  • The number of people engaging with the Milk & Honey Nutrition profile each month grew by 84,000%
  • The number of repins of pins from the account has grown by over 3oo%

While all those changes are nice to see, they don’t necessarily translate into more visits to a website. That’s why it is always best to look at Google Analytics to see what traffic Pinterest is generating for Milk & Honey Nutrition website. 

When looking at Google Analytics, the results show that Pinterest growth is a real thing. When looking at the Google Analytics for the months of May through August, the monthly Pinterest referral traffic has grown by over 600%. Obviously, Mary Ellen is very happy with the increase in traffic!

Takeaways from a Pinterest Growth Case Study

While it’s great to see the results from the Pinterest growth case study, you might wonder what is in all this for you! Since my goal for May Virtual Assists is to help you, I wanted to share the tips I used to grow Milk & Honey Nutrition’s Pinterest account. Perhaps you can use some of the tips to grow your Pinterest account.

  • Identify keywords and optimize your profile, board descriptions, and pin descriptions with those keywords. If you need help with that, check out this post.
  • Create pins with quality graphics and easy-to-read words. Mary Ellen has excellent photography skills, so the pins for Milk & Honey Nutrition have fabulous images. I created the pins with input from Mary Ellen on color choice and font choice. I have three pin designs that I alternate between depending on which design fits best with the images from the blog. **I have not made multiple pin designs due to the amount of content on the blog that needs pins. In a few months when I have pins for each post, I will go back and design multiple pins for A/B tests.
Pinterest pin with pictures of chocolate hazelnut pancakes and the name from Milk & Honey Nutrition
A pin from Milk & Honey Nutrition’s Pinterest account – You hungry yet??
  • Create multiple boards where you can pin each pin. For each of Mary Ellen’s recipes, I pin to at least five boards, and I use the interval feature in Tailwind to spread out the pins.
  • Pin consistently! This makes the biggest difference. I pin at least 20 pins a day with Tailwind. About half of the pins I pin are Mary Ellen’s and half of them are other people’s content. Pinterest has said that they don’t penalize creators if they only pin their own content, but I think it makes a profile more interesting when there is a mix of content.
  • Use group boards and tribes to expand your reach. While group boards are not as valuable to expand your reach as they once were, they can still be useful. You can read how I use group boards here. Tribes in Tailwind are also an excellent way to grow your visibility. Since the tribes are usually focused on a topic, any pins there are more likely to be repinned by the other tribe members. **If you aren’t familiar with Tailwind Tribes, you receive 30 pins and 5 tribes per month with your plan, and additional submissions are available with power-ups starting at $5 per month! 
  • Have patience. For me, this was the most difficult. I wanted to provide value to Mary Ellen by growing traffic to her blog. It took about two weeks for the impressions on Pinterest to go up. Her blog did see a small increase in traffic during the first month I was managing the account, but it was about only about 30%. July saw a bigger increase, but August has shown the most significant jump over the month before.  

I hope you now see that Pinterest growth is a real thing. While I cannot guarantee that following these steps will lead to the same growth as Mary Ellen’s profile, I hope her story encouraged you to try some of them for yourself! I would love to know what worked for you. Please share your own results on my Facebook page.

Of course, if you prefer done-for-you Pinterest management, I would love to help you grow your business! You can read about the services I offer here

Need a reminder of the strategies I used to grow Milk & Honey Nutrition’s Pinterest account? Download a PDF of this post now.

Thanks for checking out this case study on Pinterest growth! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at

Until next time, 

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