Make Photos Go Viral on Pinterest

I thought it would be hard to figure out how to make photos go viral on Pinterest, but I was wrong. It’s fairly easy.  I’m not about to tell you that this is the only way to make an image go viral, because you’ll surely be able to point to another way someone else made their photo go viral on Pinterest. But you can check the “most popular pins” on Pinterest category at any time, you’ll find they all follows these rules:


This rule is going to sit all by itself because if it’s pretty, people are going to repin it. That’s everything from a tree lined street to a fabulous bow window. But pretty doesn’t mean viral. It will certainly be repinned, but it takes more than “pretty” to get 30,000 repins.


The image needs to clearly be about one thing. Not only that, but the caption needs to be in sync with that one thing. A beautiful sunset overlooking the harbor is great. But that won’t go viral if the caption is “I would love to be drinking a smoothie”. Cute, but that clarity isn’t there.

Take a look at this summer-y sangria looking drink. Beautiful picture of the drink. And the caption makes it even better. You look at the picture and say “that looks awesome” but then you read the caption and say “ooh I gotta pin this so I can make this later”.

[stextbox id=”info”]If you’re using Pinterest as one of your Social Media spokes, check out my video Making Money with Pinterest.[/stextbox]


Words are the #1 thing that make photos go viral on Pinterest. Sure a picture says a thousand words, but 9 words on a picture say 1,009. There are many examples of this and this includes both words you add to the image itself and to the caption.

As in the Clarity section above, the words must compliment the picture. If the picture is of an apple, the word “apple” doesn’t compliment the picture. The words need to add depth and interest. And if the image is of an apple, it’s gotta be one heckuva photo, because that’s just boring. (Perhaps I should “don’t be boring to this list”.)

Take a look at this board from  She  purposefully prepares the images on her site for Pinterest with words.  She’s got over 50 with results just like these (Psst. . . that zucchini one has over 34,000 repins in all, by the way):

When learning how to make photos go viral on Pinterest, there’s isn’t a much better example to base your work on. So let’s ask the questions from above:

  1. Are the pictures pretty?
  2. Are the photos specific?
  3. Do the words compliment the photos?

Obviously the answer is yes to all three. Look at the french fries. You can’t tell from the image that they are ‘garlic” french fries, so the words add an extra dimension. And the caption below that doesn’t reitterate that they are french fries. Instead the caption adds value to the image. The fact that they are “. . .done in 20 minutes” makes it even more appealing.

The exact same thing can be said for the other two and all her photos.

Let’s take a look at another example. On Jessica Turner’s site The Mom Creative, you’ll find a post that’s been pinned over 30,000 times (as of this writing).

That image is pretty, specific and includes complimentary words. But there’s something more important about both Jessica’s Easter Image and those on the BudgetSavvyDiva site.  Neither website assumed that the image itself would do all the work.

That brings us to the 4th component of what makes an image go viral.

Social Media Assistance

When you click through to both sites, they demand you pin their images. The BudgetSavvyDiva site says specifically “If you like this picture, Pin It on Pinterest” in big bold letters. And on, the Facebook Like button is next to the picture and is showing 300+ Likes. How can you not press it and be like everyone else?

You’ve got to make sure that your website is designed for viral.  That means don’t rely on hope that people on Pinterest will make it go viral all by themselves.  Give your current readers and opportunity to help make it go viral AND give your traffic from Pinterest a way to share their love on Facebook.

[stextbox id=”info”]Hope is not a marketing plan[/stextbox]

Like I said, it doesn’t take much to make a photo go viral on Pinterest. I will add this disclaimer, if you aren’t following anyone and no one is following you – all this is for naught. So make sure you’re following all your friends and contacts and anyone else you can find. You know what they say about a tree falling in the forest. . . that’s true in Social Media too.

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2 Responses to “Make Photos Go Viral on Pinterest”

  1. […] is the result of a body of work since 2009.  That’s completely opposite of my recent article “How to make your photos go viral on Pinterest”, and a much stronger community building strategy at […]

  2. […] is the result of a body of work since 2009.  That’s completely opposite of my recent article “How to make your photos go viral on Pinterest”, and a much stronger community building strategy at […]