How to Design a Viral Pin and How to Completely Screw It Up

October 17, 2022

If you’re new to the UCYD community (WELCOME!!), let me explain something about how I work. I’ll be the first to admit that I know a lot…but I also know practically nothing. I did NOT go to business school. I did NOT magically gain over 5,000 followers in one weekend or find a mythical business unicorn that showed me “How to Make $2k in 24 Hours”. (Gotta love a good alliterative title, though!)

What I HAVE done is try EVERY freakin’ trick in the book…taken EVERY frickin’ course in the catalogue…and made EVERY frickin’ mistake there is to be made. My business is based on the glass walls you guys get to gaze through.

SO…today, you guys get to “the patient in the glass room” (i.e. me), work through a little bit of Pinterest.

Pinterest has LONG been one of my top sources of traffic…and YES, I’ve taken ALL of the courses and have read ALL of the books on this platform. It was only recently passed up by Facebook. (I finally launched my first real FB ad three weeks ago! But more on that in a future email…).

SO, today, we are going to break down my top performing (and viral pin)…as well as my craptasticist (#notaword) pin to date. We’ll be going over MORE than just “make your pins long”…so get ready to take some notes!!!

**There are images in this newsletter to better illustrate pins and pin analytics, so make sure you can see them!! (If you can’t, you probably need to click a link at the top of this email giving your email server permission to show them.)**

The Best Pin

We are starting off with the BEST pin I have to date!! Now, I’m leaving out the “Promoted Pins” in analytics, since I feel like that’s kinda cheating. Just know, that if you promote a well designed pin with Pinterest…it’ll probably be at the top of your analytics board.

I am ALSO not looking at just traffic sent over the last 30 days! Instead, I’m focusing on the ONE pin, that’s sent consistent traffic to my blog every day since I posted in 2 years ago.

A few things to know about this pin:

1) It’s ugly as hell.

2) It has pretty much NO bearing on what I teach now.

3) It HAS made me a pretty penny over time.

The pin under scrutiny is this bad boy:

I’ve spent the better part of two years trying to figure out WHY this pin has resonated with readers so well!! It’s had (to date) nearly 5,000 repins (and that doesn’t count the other 4 versions that have had close to the same). Right now, it brings in between 100 and 150 views and reads a day. And it has been the pushing point for over 1,500 sign ups to the newsletter list in just 2017. (That’s when I started tracking.)

If I head to my Pin analytics —-> Activity from ——-> All Time…it pulls up the three boards that tell me WHY this pin is consistently sending referrals my way.

On the “All Time Tab”, this pin is consistently considered a Most Save, a Best in Search, and a Power Pin.

So, what makes this pin such a popular girl on the block? I have a few guesses.

1) She aint’ like the other girls. This pin, although it’s tall and easy to read and has a person in the background, is NOT a topic you see a lot of on Pinterest. It appeals to pinners of rampant articles like “The Top 10 Productivity Tools I Use For Blogging” and “How I Automate My Small Business”. Instead of presenting this article in the same exact way as the other pinners did…I appealed to the bloggers that REALLY resonate with being scatter brained! (Uh…there are a SHIT ton of us out there, by the way.)

2) She’s a little bit crazy. SOMETIMES, we wonder why Jimmie even LIKES Nadia. She’s batshit crazy!! Why put up with all the drama!! BUT, more often than not…the crazy is what draws Jimmie in. This pin is NO different. Between the crazy looking chick in the background and the “in your face” use of the shit-bomb, this pin’s visuals AND text tell the pinner that this is going to be a fun read.

Look…I’m not saying you have to cuss. I generally don’t! BUT, you DO need to find a way to grab your reader’s attention and stand out from your competition.

3) She makes a promise. The second you read that title, you KNOW what you’re going to get from the post. It clearly lays out your problem, and the solution that I intend to give you!! The title of this pin could have easily been “How I Stay Focused During a Workday”.


Spice it up and say it in a way that makes your reader react! They see the pin and they WANT to click…not just save it for a later read. This is NOT just an informational post…this is an ACTION WORTHY, problem-solving post. If a reader feels like you might be offering a chance to get a problem off their plate in minutes, they’ll be SUPER ready to click.


The Worst Pin

QUICKLY…let’s go over one of my worst pins. Pinterest ONLY shows you your best, so this one is more of a guess in my book. This pin is not even MY least favorite!! The purple makes me think of Jolly Ranchers…and Jolly Ranchers make me happy. But whatevs.

This…ladies and gents, is what I believe is probably my worst pin.

Like the BEST pin, my goal was to pull my readers into an important topic with a little bit of “shock” factor. Only problem is…I don’t think I did it very well. As you can tell by the branding, this pin is almost as old as the best pin. It’s clean. Easy to read. Has a funny image.

BUT, in the nearly year and a half it’s been on the interwebs, it’s seen only TWO clicks through to the website.

So what do I think went wrong? A few things, actually!

1) Could I have been ANY more verbose when I wrote this title? Head/desk. Look, the importance of unsubscribe rates are TOTALLY a thing…but in an effort to present content NOT in the dime a dozen category on Pinterest, I wanted to write an article that showed the difference between someone unsubscribing and unsubscribing in indignation. Still not a bad topic…but this email title was so convoluted, the reader had to read it a few times to figure out what the point was. As you can see…the majority of pinners did NOT read this title twice.

2) I love old people. I do! I have a huge respect those that have gone before us and know the wise ways of our industries. Where I THINK I went wrong was using an image of one of the wise folk dressed in a collander hat and robot suite. 0_o

WHAT??? I thought it was funny!! Unfortunately, though, this image did NOT resonate with my ideal reader or the emotions they were feeling for this particular topic.

3) Finally, and this probably the biggest blunder, I did NOT give my readers a glimpse into the solution I was going to be providing. By reading that title, you know I’ll be talking about unsubscribes…but not a particular problem or solution. A better title might have been “Why Subscribers Rage Quit Your List”. It’s to the point. It’s still funny. It uses a strong adjective to describe the emotions of your readers. AND…it tells you WHAT I’ll be talking about.

Well THAT was a fun newsletter to write!! I’ve even inspired MYSELF to create some new pins and even analyze a few others!!

Inspired to create some new Pinterest content yourself? I’d love to see it!! Post it to the Facebook Group or send me an email with a link!

In addition!! If you loved this article, you can check out even more action tips inside of the Blogger’s Guide to Traffic Membership site!! I’ve compiled new courses, video trainings and downloads…all to help you grow your audience, your reach AND your profits!


  • I am Brazilian and I knew your work today (10/25/2017) through the blog OptimizePress.
    Pinterest is a very little explored network in my country, but from today I will follow your tips because I have seen that they are effective.
    Congratulations on the great work. You have just won one more follower.

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