Last Updated May 21st, 2019

10 Tips To Get Started On Pinterest

10 Tips To Get Started On Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the most popular social media sites for bloggers, reaching more than 250 million people each month. Better yet, more people on Pinterest say they find content from brands useful than on other platforms. Used right, it’s a great place to drive traffic to your blog or home business. So how do you get started on Pinterest?

It’s not complicated, but there are some things you need to be careful of. It’s easy to make mistakes that will limit your reach on Pinterest or even get you in trouble.

1. Get started on Pinterest with a great Pinterest profile.

Your Pinterest profile can help you look more professional. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you verify your account as a business account. This will give you access to tools and statistics you won’t have otherwise.

Ideally, you want your business name as your user name and your account name. These will show up to visitors. If this is already taken, find a similar alternative.

pinterest profile

Include a personal photo or business logo as your profile picture. Which one is most appropriate depends on the kind of image you want for your business. Are you focused on building your brand or are you more personal?

You will also want to fill in the about your profile section of your profile. Use it to describe what your business is about.

2. Separate your personal and business Pinterest accounts.

Pinterest allows businesses to have their own Pinterest accounts. This is a good thing. You can make your business account focused on items relevant to your business while keeping your personal pins to yourself.

If you don’t want to have multiple accounts, you can hide your personal boards by making them secret. This way you can keep saving all the fun pins you want while maintaining a professional image.

3. Make your boards relevant to your niche.

Set your Pinterest account up with a variety of relevant boards to pin your content on. It is often recommended to have 4-5 related but not identical boards per topic.

Let’s take parenting as an example. You could have a parenting board, but there are several related boards you might want to include as well, such as:

  • parenting teens
  • stay at home moms
  • parenting toddlers
  • working parents
  • kid activities
  • parenting styles
  • kids and chores
  • parenting books
  • single parenting.

Having a range of board subjects means that each pin you make may fit on more than one board. That gives you multiple opportunities to promote each blog post.

Make sure you give each board a relevant description and category. You can do this by clicking on the pencil button that you see when you hover over the board, or when you’re on the board itself.

pinterest boards

4. Be sure you have permission to pin images on Pinterest.

Many people assume that they can pin just any image they want. That’s really not the case.

If you’re pinning from someone else’s site, check for a Pin It link or other indication that it’s okay to use. It’s kind of a drag when you really want to pin something, but if there’s no indication that it’s okay, you could be committing copyright infringement if someone doesn’t want their images shared on Pinterest.

If it’s a photograph you took or a graphic you created from scratch, obviously it’s fine to use on Pinterest if that’s what you want. This has the advantage of being unique to you, rather than an image several other people have used.

If it’s a stock image you got on another site, it may not be okay. Check your license. Some stock image licenses significantly limit what you can do with them.

There are sites that offer photos and graphics that should be free to use. Just be careful, as you can’t be absolutely certain that the person sharing it on the site actually has permission to declare it free to use. Look for Creative Commons Zero and public domain images on trusted sites.

5. Use images on your site with Pinterest in mind.

Make sure the images you place on your site are Pinterest-friendly. That not only means using images where you have the copyright issues under control, but that will help draw people to your post when they see it. Make it relevant, and use text in your images to help people know what it’s about.

This doesn’t mean you have to make huge images on your site, even though long images tend to do better on Pinterest. You can control which images are pinned to Pinterest so that the images which show on your site are sized to go with your style, while the associated pinnable images are optimized for Pinterest.

You should create multiple pinnable images per blog post if at all possible. They don’t all have to be visible – you can even hide images if you need to.

6. Use keywords in your pin descriptions.

Use relevant keywords as you write descriptions for your pins. This makes them easier for people to find when they search Pinterest.

If you aren’t sure which keywords to use, do a little research. Type your main keyword into Pinterest. Pinterest will give you the pins that come up for that plus suggested words to add onto your keyword. Use the relevant ones as appropriate.

You can add Pinterest descriptions to your images by adding

data-pin-description=”your description here”

to the HTML of your images. In WordPress, you can do this by clicking on the three vertical dots near the top of the block and selecting “Edit as HTML.” WordPress editor isn’t terribly fond of this code – it always tells me there’s an error – but it works just fine in the actual post.

waterfall

7. Use hashtags.

Pinterest did not support hashtags for a long time, but they do now. But unlike Instagram, they don’t want you to use a ton of them. They recommend no more than 20 hashtags, but I’ve seen others suggest as few as 2-3 per post. Given the character limitations on Pinterest descriptions, I would suggest balancing your descriptions with your hashtags.

Hashtag search is displayed in mostly reverse chronological order – that is, the newest pins will show first. This means their benefit may be limited. Use them right, however, and you might give your pins an early boost.

8. Pin regularly.

Building the habit of pinning regularly to Pinterest may be one of the hardest parts of getting started on Pinterest. It’s something I struggled with for a long time, being just one more thing on top of everything else I had to get done.

These days, I use Tailwind to schedule my pins. It’s much easier. It takes just a few minutes to schedule pins out for each post.

I still have to go to Pinterest regularly to pin content other than my own, but that’s fine. Many people believe that pinning directly from Pinterest has advantages, but that’s not something I’ve tested.

Do not do all your pinning all at once. This is one of the things I love about Tailwind – that it spreads my pins out throughout the day. People use Pinterest at different times of the day. Scheduling means I don’t have to figure out for myself what the best times are. Tailwind does that for me.

Especially do not pin the same blog post all at once. Not only does it look terrible on your profile, Pinterest may view it as spamming. Schedule your pins out. I prefer to go about 24 hours between pins of a particular post.

night sky

9. Share more than stuff from your own site.

As a blogger, you’re probably using Pinterest in part to promote your own stuff. Share more than that – it makes your account more interesting for people to follow.

If you join any group boards on Pinterest, sharing from them will likely be required. Group boards are a way for your pins to get in front of people who don’t already follow you. It can be difficult to get onto the best ones, but it’s worthwhile.

You can also join some Tailwind Tribes. These are groups on Tailwind that share pins based on a particular subject and require that for every pin you add, you have to pin one or more of someone else’s. You can try it out for free!

10. Don’t expect immediate results.

As with any other free promotion method, it takes time to see results for Pinterest. You have to build a following and get a feel for the things that do well on Pinterest.

Remember that all those people you see with thousands of repins on their posts were once in the same position. They had to develop a following. The post may have been updated and reshared, so that it has been gaining pins for years, not just a few days.

Give yourself time when you’re just getting started on Pinterest. Test styles and use the right tools to make it easier. It won’t be fast for most people, but Pinterest can be an extremely valuable source of traffic.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated January 7th, 2019

Can Tailwind Improve Your Pinterest Marketing? A Tailwind App Review

tailwind app review

Are you getting good results from your Pinterest marketing? It’s a lot of work, isn’t it. Well, if you haven’t tried a Pinterest scheduler already, you want to check out this Tailwind App review and decide if it’s for you.

I’ll admit I’m something of a latecomer to serious Pinterest marketing. I tried it a little early on, but didn’t do enough to do well, and dropped it.

But these days I use Pinterest quite a bit more extensively, and I’m starting to see results. Enough so that I decided to subscribe to the Tailwind App to make pinning easier.

My Pinterest Story

As I said, I started out not using Pinterest a whole lot. I didn’t put a lot of images in my blog posts then either, which I deeply regret now.

If you’ve been hesitant to add images to your blog posts, don’t be. There are a lot of places to get free images for your blog posts if you don’t want to take your own photographs. Then you can use a free tool to make those images look great on your blog. It’s really not difficult.

I had assumed for a long time that because my niche isn’t all that visual, Pinterest wasn’t for me. I was wrong. If you can come up with images for your posts, you can use Pinterest.

When I finally got serious about using Pinterest, I did manual pinning. Manual pinning can be a great method, but it is time consuming. The one problem is that pinning often took me more than an hour a day.

I developed a spreadsheet to help keep track of my posts and when they had been pinned to each board. This way I didn’t have to worry about repeating too often.

Then Hootsuite added in their own way to schedule pins. The interface isn’t great for that, but it works. I could schedule my pins out rather than have to do them daily. That was a big plus.

Still, I hadn’t tried the Tailwind App. I had read a number of reviews about how good it was, but hadn’t made time for it myself. Using Hootsuite made me realize that it was time to test out the competition myself and use the free trial Tailwind App offers.

A family crisis delayed my plans. I wasn’t about to try Tailwind when I didn’t have the time to test it properly. I delayed signing up.

Finally, I had time to sign up for the Tailwind App and time to use it. It took just a few days for me to decide that it was worth the subscription. I’ll explain in the rest of the review.

woman working

What Is The Tailwind App?

The Tailwind App is a scheduling tool you can use with Pinterest and Instagram. Once you have everything set up, it can be a huge time saver for your marketing efforts on those sites.

Tailwind helps you figure out the best times to post and takes care of the actual posting for you. It also has detailed analytics to help you figure out what’s working for you.

Tailwind is also an official Pinterest marketing partner. This is vital. Scheduling pins through an unofficial tool can damage your account.

What Does The Tailwind App Cost?

As social media scheduling tools go, Tailwind is extremely affordable. It even starts you out with a free trial, so you can decide if it’s worth the cost before you pay for it. You can schedule up to 100 pins or 30 posts on Instagram to try it out before you have to pay for a plan to continue. That’s enough to give the Tailwind App a solid review on your own schedule.

You don’t even have to give your credit card information for this free trial, so there’s nothing to cancel if you don’t like it.

That said, as of this writing, it’s about $10 a month if you pay annually, $15 a month if you pay monthly. That’s per account, so if you want to use Tailwind for both Pinterest and Instagram, it will be about $20 a month if you sign up for the annual plan.

I know, it can be difficult to shell out $120 or more at times, but the savings are significant if you can do it.

The time you save pinning will be worth it as well. How much do you value your time at? If you spend an hour a day pinning manually, that $10 a month to handle a large chunk of your pinning automatically looks like a bargain, doesn’t it?

Tailwind saves me hours of work and much frustration. It’s well worth the money to me.

calendar

Setting Up Your Account With The Tailwind App

Once you’ve started your free trial or subscribed to Tailwind, you have to set up your account. This is fairly easy, but takes a little time.

Tailwind will start your out with the Smart Scheduler. This starts out by using times that people are active on Pinterest.

Odds are that you will want to pin more often than the initial recommendations Tailwind gives you. This is easy to do.

Go to the Your Schedule page on Tailwind. This will show you the times that Tailwind has selected for you to pin. When you start out, this will be just a small number of slots, but you can decide how many to have open each day.

If you’re doing a lot of pinning, you will want to increase this number. In the Smart Schedule box, there’s a small button that allows you to recreate your schedule, and tell Tailwind how many slots to include. Tailwind will create a new schedule with that many slots during the times of day that they have determined your audience will be most engaged.

smart schedule

The number of slots will change by the day of the week. Tailwind knows that Pinterest gets a lot of use over the weekend, and Smart Schedule takes advantage of that.

You will also need to group your board into Board Lists on Tailwind. This is key to making scheduling a snap!

Go through all of your boards on Pinterest and figure out what groupings will work best for you. A board can be in more than one board list. This means you can create different versions of more or less the same list, so you aren’t always pinning to your boards in the same order.

I don’t know that it matters if you do that, but mixing things up is unlikely to hurt anything.

With these features set up, you’re ready to start scheduling your pins with the Tailwind App.

Scheduling With The Tailwind App

The Tailwind App makes scheduling your pins incredibly easy. Once you’ve done a little setup, scheduling a pin to go on all the appropriate boards at an interval you specify takes mere moments. It’s incredibly easy.

Install the Tailwind addon to your browser. This is the easiest way to use Tailwind, as it allows you to use it directly on the site you’re on.

When you’re on a page that you want to schedule pins from, click on the Tailwind addon icon. It will open up an overlay with the pinnable images from that page.

Select one or more images for pinning. When you’re ready, click the Go Schedule button. This will open up a Tailwind window with those images.

For each image, select the boards or board lists you want that image pinned on. You can also tell Tailwind how much of an interval you want between pins for that image. I suggest at least 24 hours between pins of any particular image, so that you aren’t flooding your Pinterest account with pins of the same image from the same page over and over. That is much too spammy.

You can also decide which day you want the pins for a particular image to start.

I like to mix up my pins pretty well, so I take extensive advantage of these features. I currently set things up so that I’m pinning from a particular page about every other day, and alternating between the images. This means that Image 1 gets pinned on day one, Image 2 on day 3, Image 3 on day 5, and so forth.

With this method, I set Tailwind to pin each image every 6 days if I have 3 images, 8 days for 4, and so forth. With multiple images per post and lots of boards to pin to, each schedule I set can run for months.

I will note that I haven’t tested this method enough to know if it’s the best way to go. I like that it means my pins look different every day. Pretty sure that’s a good thing.

In general, start out with something similar to your current Pinterest marketing routine, and adapt it as you get used to the advantages Tailwind offers. This should be just one part of your social media marketing strategy.

computer lens

Check Out Smartloop

Smartloop is a new feature from Tailwind App that allows you to loop your pins. This is a huge advantage when you’re marketing your blog or online business. You get 250 looped pins per month with your Tailwind account. If you need more, you will need to buy a powerup.

I like Smartloop best for seasonal pins that are a pain to remember to start on time. Just let Tailwind handle it! You set up the loop for the right season, and let Tailwind handle it. It’s best to start the loop at least two months before the event.

But you can also use Smartloop for evergreen content. It’s great for those posts that you want to keep promoting.

Smartloop even allows you to set board rules, so you don’t have to worry about overpinning to a group board.

Make The Most Of Tailwind Stats

One of the best features of Tailwind has to be the stats. If you want to understand how your pins are performing, you need to check these out.

While you may often see posts about people bringing their pin views to 100k a month or more, that’s far from the most important statistic. In fact, it’s relatively unimportant. All it tells you is that your pins are being seen. It has nothing to do with how they’re performing when it comes to driving traffic.

What you need to see is how individual pins are performing. This is the kind of information you need to see what kind of content performs well for you, as well as which style of pin.

This is what you see in the Pin Inspector.

Be aware that if you want to see stats on your pins from more than 30 days ago, you have to pay for an upgrade. If you’re keeping up on your stats, this shouldn’t be an immediate problem, but there may come a point where you want to pay the extra to get a longer view of how your pins are performing.

You can also see how your boards are performing. This is a big help in deciding which group boards are worth the effort. Check out the Board Insights page

board insights

If you’re a member of a bunch of “all niche” group boards, for example, you may find out that these really aren’t worth the trouble for the most part. Pinterest doesn’t really like “all niche” boards anyhow. They can make it harder for Pinterest to decide to show your pins for the keywords you’re after, because the all niche boards make the niche of that pin unclear.

Group boards with a distinct niche should perform better. Check your boards by doing a few different sorts on them. Group boards are not as favored by Pinterest as they once were, but are still worth testing.

First, check engagement. This is where the Board Insights page start for me, so it’s easy. You want to see which boards get the most response from your followers. These boards are valuable to you. You’re doing something right with them.

Low engagement may not be a bad thing. Seasonal boards will have low engagement when it’s the wrong time of year. Same for any board that you don’t pin to often. If there’s nothing to create engagement, nothing will happen.

Sorting by number of repins can be interesting, but will definitely be biased toward the large group boards. Lots of repins doesn’t necessarily mean a lot, especially if the board has a low engagement score and the number of repins compares poorly to the number of pins to the board.

Your virality score is useful as well. You want a lot of repins per pin.

working

Join Tailwind Tribes

If you really want your pins to spread out across Pinterest, you need to join relevant Tailwind Tribes. You can do this without signing up for a paid Tailwind account.

A Tailwind Tribe is a group of bloggers on Tailwind that agree to share each others’ pins. Usually, for every pin you share to a group, you must share one other pin from the group.

Your basic Tailwind account allows you to join five Tribes and share a total of 30 pins across them each month. If you share a pin to multiple Tribes, it will count against your total each time.

You can add pins to your Tribe from the Tailwind browser addon, just as you add any other pin to Tailwind. The addon will warn you if you have added that particular pin to that tribe already, which is useful because many Tribes have rules about resharing the same pin.

You can upgrade your Tailwind account to get access to more Tribes and pins. This is called a Tribe Powerup. Prices for powerups as of this writing run from $59.88 – $359.88 per year, depending on how much of a powerup you need.

tribes powerup

This may seem like a lot of money, but it’s an investment in your blog. The more people spreading your pins across Pinterest, the better chance they have to go viral if they’re high quality.

Of course, don’t spend money on a powerup until you know what you’re doing with Pinterest and Tailwind Tribes. Give yourself a little time to discover what works before you spend extra money on these things.

You can also use Tribes to find more content to pin. You should always pin a mix of your own content and the content of others. This way you won’t be seen as 100% self promotional. Pinning the content of others from your Tribes doesn’t impact your limits – only sharing your own content does that.

How To Find The Right Tribes

Tailwind makes it easy to search for Tribes by searching for them by keyword or category. You want to seek out active Tribes that are a good match for your niche.

But how do you know they’re a good match?

Tailwind allows you to preview each Tribe before you join it. You can get a look at the rules and see what kind of content other members are sharing there.

If you don’t like the looks of it, don’t join it.

Some Tribes allow you to join freely, but others have you put in a request, so the person running that Tribe can look over your Pinterest and decide if you’re a match.

working on carpet

Does Pinning With The Tailwind App Really Help?

When it comes right down to it, the only thing that really matters with the Tailwind App is if it works. If it doesn’t work, there’s no point whatsoever in using it.

Tailwind does several things that can help you pin more consistently while spending less time doing so. It also helps you find the most effective times to pin, and schedules your pins during those times.

That’s huge.

With the way Pinterest works right now, there is some debate about how much the timing of your pins really matters. The feed Pinterest users see varies quite a bit, after all. But I believe there’s a real advantage to having your pins spread out throughout the day, rather than all done at once manually.

Not that you can’t do well on Pinterest with manual pinning. But it’s a lot more work. I found manual pinning my content frustrating and exhausting.

Does Tailwind Have Any Disadvantages?

By now, I’m sure you can see that there are a ton of advantages to Tailwind. But it’s not a complete Tailwind App review if I don’t admit to the disadvantages.

Honestly, there aren’t a lot. But there are a few.

You Can’t Set Pinning Rules

The biggest one, perhaps, is that you can’t tell Tailwind that it can only pin to a particular board a certain number of times per day, except in Smartloop. This can be a real issue on group boards that have rules about how often you’re allowed to pin on them. It’s quite common for a group board to limit members to 3-5 pins per day. It’s easy to go over those limits with Tailwind.

You Still Need To Visit Your Group Boards

Tailwind also won’t handle your group board reciprocation. Most group boards expect that you will pin at least one other pin from the board for every pin you share to it.

That said, it’s not the worst thing that you can’t do that from Tailwind. Having to reciprocate on the group boards means you still need to go to Pinterest daily and take care of those. It’s a great way to show that you’re active on Pinterest itself, not just an automated account.

I usually check my pins first thing in the morning and figure out which boards I need to share pins from. I pin interesting things from them, then go to my Pinterest home feed and pin a few more interesting things from there.

If you want to be something of an authority on Pinterest, you can’t just pin your own stuff. You have to pin other people’s stuff. Doing this shows that you’re making an effort to do so.

Tailwind Can Be Slow

Tailwind can also be slow at times. Every page loads relatively slowly. This can be quite frustrating.

The Publisher page that shows your schedule can be especially slow when you have a lot of pins scheduled. That’s because there’s so much data for it to pull up. These things take time to process.

No Android App

While Tailwind has an iOS app, they do not currently have an Android app. Hopefully that will change someday.

work hard anywhere

Is Tailwind Worth It?

If you’ve read this whole thing, you already know my answer to it.

Yes.

Absolutely yes.

There’s a reason why I switched over to the paid version of Tailwind well before my trial was over. I knew my answer.

Is it right for you?

It’s free to try out. Why not find out if Tailwind is right for you by giving it a try?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated August 28th, 2018

Is Your Blog Pinterest-Friendly? Do You Want It To Be?

Is Your Blog Pinterest-Friendly? Do You Want It To Be?

Pinterest is huge right now, with both praise and controversy. Some blogs are getting huge traffic from Pinterest. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to make your blog Pinterest-friendly.

It comes down to one simple thing: have pinnable images.

The images on your blog post are what will show up on Pinterest. Design high quality images and they may be repinned over and over, driving amazing traffic.

That said, there are a few catches. Like most things, it’s really not as simple as it first sounds.

Respect Image Copyright

One problem basically comes down to copyright. Users are supposed to make sure they have the right to share the photos they pin, but not everyone does. It’s a part of the TOS that some ignore. This can cause legal issues.

You don’t want this to become an issue for your own pinboards. It’s not just that your pins can be removed for copyright infringement. It’s that you may have to pay serious money for copyright infringement. Legally, that can be anywhere from $200 – 150,000 per infringement.

It’s not that hard to respect image copyright. Get your images from the right resources, and it won’t be a problem at all. Consider these options:

Create Your Own Images

The absolute safest thing to do when it comes to image copyright is to create your own images. This way, you own the copyright. No worries about someone else.

For some kinds of sites, this is the only way to go anyhow. If you run a crafting blog or recipe blog, you need original photos. Stock photos won’t show what you need for such sites.

But you can create your own images for any kind of site. It’s not always easy, but it is possible.

Images don’t have to be photographs, of course. You can have text on a solid background if that’s what works for your post.

Use Paid Stock Photos

If you use stock photos on your site, you don’t own the copyright on them, and in time this may be an issue for people who use Pinterest. Some royalty-free photos you use don’t include a license to have them go onto sites you don’t own. You don’t want to pin them onto your own boards to market your site and you shouldn’t encourage pinning of that page either.

Fortunately, Pinterest allows you to block an image from being pinned from your site.

In WordPress, switch to the text editing tab of the visual editor. This allows you to view the HTML. Go to the image you want to block from being pinned. The HTML should look something like this: <img src=”yourimage.png”>

Add the nopin code like this: <img src=”yourimage.png” data-pin-nopin=”true”>

Blocking pinning is a very good idea if you don’t have the rights to spread the image around. It may not directly be your fault that someone has pinned the image from your site, but if you know there’s an issue, it’s not that hard to prevent it.

Use Creative Commons Zero Images

pencils and paper

I have a great fondness for using Creative Commons Zero (CC0) images. These are images that theoretically allow you to use them however you would like.

You can modify them, use them commercially, whatever you want.

So what’s the risk?

The risk is that someone may have added them to a CC0 site without permission.

It’s a good idea to do a little research on your CC0 images, to see if there are any obvious problems with using it, especially if there’s anything that makes you doubt its CC0 status.

This can also help you decide if the image has been used too often by others. Some CC0 images get used so much that your use of that image won’t stand out.

This can especially be a problem on Pinterest. Having your adaptation of that image be one of many of that same image can impact its performance. Pinterest is very good at recognizing images.

There are ways you can make even these images more unique, however. I don’t mean adding text – that’s too small a difference. Everyone does that.

You can put two or more images together, for example. You can make a collage of relevant images.

Another way to combine images is to find or make an image with a transparent background that you can place on top of another image, to add something to it. You could place a cat in a field of flowers, for example, or do as I did in this post and place a pile of folded towels on a desk.

How much you can do depends on your skills and the image editing tools you use. I can do a fair bit with Gimp, and I don’t think of myself as that great an expert. There are lots of people who can do far more than I can with image editing.

Make Multiple Pinnable Images

Pinterest loves it when you provide multiple images for your content. They’re more of a search engine than a social site in many ways, and that’s a part of what you need to consider in creating content for Pinterest. I try for at least 3 pinnable images per post, even if I have to hide the extras.

Multiple pinnable images gives you a lot of advantages when pinning. It puts more variety in the pins you share on Pinterest.

Making multiple pinnable images doesn’t mean you have to have tons of huge images in your posts. You can control which images are pinnable on your site, and that includes telling Pinterest to use a particular image in the place of another. I’ve described this in more detail in my post on controlling which images can be pinned from your posts, but here’s that part again:

<img src="image.png" data-pin-media="image-you-want-pinned.png" alt="image description" />

Upload the image you designed for Pinterest to your WordPress media area, and use the image URL in the data-pin-media section.

Every image should have its own description for Pinterest. Pinterest loves unique content. You don’t want all your different images to have the same descriptions. Pop this into the img section of your HMTL, before or after the data-pin-media section:

data-pin-description="description you want on your pinned post"

Vary your descriptions, using keywords you believe are relevant to your post and that will drive traffic from Pinterest. Use relevant hashtags.

Pinners can change your descriptions to whatever they want when they pin your content, but that’s all to the good. You’ve given them a start so that those who just want to pin and move on still have a solid description on their pins, while those who want to say their own thing can do that as well.

crayons

Set Up Your Pinterest Business Account

While you don’t have to set up a Pinterest business account to use it for your business, I strongly recommend you do so. This is how you get access to Pinterest Analytics, which will give you information on how well your pins are performing.

It’s not hard to do. I’ve gone through the steps in this article.

It takes a little time to get set up, but it’s worth the effort. If you do things right, your pins should perform better, plus the information from analytics will help you figure out what works for you.

Once you’ve done that, consider taking a Pinterest marketing course so that you know what you’re doing. It will help you avoid some of the more common mistakes people make.

Use Social Media Sharing Plugins

A good social media sharing plugin will help make your site more Pinterest-friendly. This way people can easily pin off your site when they see something they like.

Ideally, you want a Pinterest link off to the side on your posts as well as a Pin It button on all of your images. You never know which of these buttons a visitor will want to use.

If you don’t have such buttons on your site, it is much harder for people to share your site on Pinterest. You’ll get less traffic from Pinterest if you don’t have people sharing from your site because they find it interesting.

I’m currently using the Shareaholic plugin, although I’m considering going to something else. I’ve used it for a long time, which means I’m overdue for checking to see if anyone does the job better. I’m considering Social Warfare, which looks quite affordable even on the Pro side of things. The features are more appealing to me.

Use Tailwind

My favorite tool for pinning from my site onto Pinterest is Tailwind. While your use of Tailwind has no impact on your users, it can be of tremendous benefit to you.

Scheduling your pins with Tailwind is incredibly easy. That’s what sold me on it.

I’ve done manual pinning. I’ve scheduled pins with Hootsuite. It doesn’t compare to how easy Tailwind is to use. Hootsuite is wonderful for other uses, but Tailwind is far superior for Pinterest.

If you have any doubts at all, sign up for Tailwind’s free trial and see for yourself with no risk at all. That’s what I did. I wasn’t far into the trial at all before I was sold on paying for a subscription.

Using Tailwind to get your pins onto Pinterest is one of the basic Pinterest marketing steps you should take. It’s fast and easy. You can get your pins scheduled out months in advance, rather than having to go back to your posts and remembering to pin every day.

Is Pinterest Worth It?

pinterest on tablet

Some people feel that the traffic they get from Pinterest is not to their benefit, which is why some sites block pinning entirely. There are some good reasons to consider whether Pinterest is worth it for your site.

If you’re selling photographs or things you’ve made, for example, you need to balance the traffic you get from Pinterest with your concern that people are pinning your ideas to steal for later. Are you losing more than you’re gaining?

For the most part, I would consider the traffic from Pinterest worth those risks.

Why?

The people who only want to steal ideas from you won’t buy anyhow. But they might expose your work to others who will buy.

Thieves will find your work anyhow if that’s the kind of thing they’re looking for. Maybe not as easily, but they’ll find it.

If you’re still having doubt, I invite you to consider these success stories:

5 Inspiring Pinterest Marketing Case Studies
Success stories

Most people won’t have this kind of success, especially right away. But you don’t need an extreme amount of success for Pinterest to be worth your while. You only need enough targeted traffic to come to be worth your while. Viral pins are an occasional side benefit you may get.

Will Pinterest Work For Your Niche?

I remember when I had my doubts about using Pinterest. I had them for a long time. It was hard to see how it would work in my niche. Recipe sites? Sure. Products for sale? Why not? But here?

Suffice to say I was wrong.

I’m still playing catch up with my Pinterest marketing, and I know that. I’d be getting a lot more traffic from there if I had started years ago. But do you know when the next best time to get started is?

Right now, of course!

Pinterest marketing is low risk. You’ll spend some time on it, but it works for many niches, and not just the ones that have to do with making things or being creative. It’s worth a try almost no matter your niche.

I strongly recommend using a tool such as Tailwind to make pinning easier as you try it. You can do manual pinning, but it will take up a lot of time, especially as you try to keep track of what you’ve pinned where and when.

Been there, done that. Should’ve bought Tailwind sooner.

At worst, you’ve spent some money and found something that doesn’t work for your site. If you’re serious about your business, these things will happen. It’s not that big a financial risk if your business is otherwise making money.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated July 10th, 2018

Do You Have Your Pinterest Business Account?

Do You Have Your Pinterest Business Account?

How’s Pinterest working for promoting your online blog or business? Are you having a lot of success with it? Even if you aren’t sure how much you’re going to like Pinterest for marketing purposes, I strongly suggest setting up a Pinterest business account. It has a lot of advantages that you’re missing out on if you don’t bother with it.

A Pinterest business account in many ways is not that different from a personal Pinterest account. Your pins look the same to others. Pinning works exactly the same. It’s free. It’s the little extras that business accounts get that make it worthwhile to either switch your account over to a Pinterest business account or start an entirely separate Pinterest account for your business.

What’s The Difference?

It can be difficult to understand why you should make the switch to a Pinterest business account when you can’t see an immediate difference. It won’t give your pins preferential treatment or anything like that. So why bother?

The difference comes in what only you can see in your account. The tools you can use with a business account can help you use Pinterest in a much more effective way.

Take the profile or board widget, for example. You can use it to share your recent pins on your website. This could be useful in drawing more attention to your pinboards, hopefully to encourage more shares of your material on Pinterest and eventually drive more traffic to your site. After all, building your traffic is what it’s about if you’re a business.

The big deal, however, comes from the analytics you get with a business account. There are aspects that make relatively little difference, but some of the features of Pinterest analytics are essential to understanding how well your pins are performing on Pinterest. We’ll cover that shortly.

How To Convert To A Pinterest Business Account

It’s fairly easy to convert a new or personal Pinterest account to a business account. It only takes a few moments, in fact.

If you’re starting a brand new Pinterest account to use for business, go to Pinterest for Business and click Join as a Business. Follow the instructions there to set up your new account. It won’t take long. Pinterest needs a few details about your business and the person managing the profile.

You will also want to provide a link to your website and verify your ownership of it. Pinterest provides simple steps to do this.

If you plan on using your current Pinterest account, you can use this link to convert your account to a business account. Once again, it’s quite simple to do, and you will want to verify your website, just as you would if you had made an entirely new account.

If you have the Yoast SEO plugin, the simplest way to verify your site with Pinterest is to go to the Pinterest tab of the Social menu of that plugin, and add the meta tag provided by Pinterest right there. This way you don’t have to mess with your blog’s HTML, which makes some people nervous. Pinterest provides instructions to verify your site other ways, but this is the easiest if you have Yoast SEO installed on your WordPress blog.

yoast verify pinterest

Should You Use Your Pinterest Business Account For Personal Pins?

If you’ve been using your personal Pinterest account for your business pins as well as your personal pins, you may want to consider whether you should continue to do the same when you move to a Pinterest business account.

Keeping your business account strictly business has the advantage of focus. Followers of your business account will know exactly what kinds of pins to expect you to share. This can be an advantage, as it also helps Pinterest to know what kinds of pins you’re sharing.

On the other hand, it can be easier to keep your Pinterest account super active if you do all of your personal and business pinning on one account. So long as you keep your boards well organized and optimized, this may not be the worst thing… so long as your personal pins don’t make your brand look bad.

Some of your personal pins may be interesting to your business followers, of course. This depends on your niche. If you blog about parenting and family life, for example, no one is likely to mind seeing your recipe pins as well.

If you’re truly concerned, but don’t want to have multiple Pinterest accounts to keep track of, you can pin your personal pins only into secret boards. This way you can still see the things you like while logged into your Pinterest business account, but your followers won’t see anything you don’t want them to see.

Enable Rich Pins

If you want Pinterest to show as much information as possible about pins from your site, you must activate Rich Pins. Once again, if you have Yoast SEO, this is simple.

Go to the Facebook tab of the Social menu of your Yoast SEO plugin. Make sure that ‘Add Open Graph meta data’ is enabled. Save the changes.

yoast rich pins

Now go to this page on Pinterest to validate your site for Rich Pins. Give it a link to a single blog post. Click Validate, and see if it worked. That’s all it should take. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to follow the documentation and try to figure out what went wrong. Most blogs shouldn’t have any problems at all.

Making The Most Of Analytics

Pinterest analytics are the big reason most bloggers love their business accounts. It’s a huge help to know how your pins are performing. Just make sure you’re looking at the right statistics.

Monthly Viewers

I consider the Monthly Viewers statistic that Pinterest puts right up there something of a ‘meh’ statistic. It helps you see if your pins are being viewed more, but views are nothing.

Most especially, views aren’t action. You want action.

The one good thing about seeing your monthly views go up is that most likely your other statistics are doing better as well. It’s not a lot of information, but it’s a little and can help alert you to changes that you need to look at.

Monthly Engaged

Monthly Engaged is the other statistic Pinterest puts right up in front of you. It has a little more meaning than Monthly Viewers, but not a lot. It simply means that someone interacted in some way with your pin. You don’t know which way with this statistic, but it’s still good to see this number get bigger.

To learn more, you need to click on the Analytics dropdown menu you see on you business profile, and take a look at the different sections.

pinterest analytics dropdown

Overview

The Overview section of your analytics gives you a quick look at what’s going on with your account. When I look at mine, for example, I see a drop at the moment. This is likely related to the Fourth of July holiday that we just passed as of this writing.

Events like that will cause significant drops in your traffic that have little to do with the quality of your marketing. They’re something to be aware of, but so long as your traffic recovers in an appropriate time, nothing to worry about.

There may also be seasonal drops. Many people find that they get less traffic from Pinterest in summer as a general rule.

A drop in traffic may be cause for concern if you don’t know why it happened. Take some time and find out what has changed so you can figure out how to fix it. Maybe you’ve been doing a little less pinning, or maybe your site is getting less traffic overall, leading to fewer pins. It’s good to know that you have to look, so you can figure out the problem.

Profile

The Profile section of your Pinterest analytics allows you to examine how your pins are performing. You can see how your top pins and boards are performing.

It’s a huge help being able to see which pins are getting clicks or being saved by other pinners. These are the actions you want to see. Lots of impressions are nice but only mean so much if you don’t get clicks and saves to go with them.

You can also check out your all time best performing pins.

These stats will not be limited to pins from your site. This can be frustrating when that’s what you’re most interested in, but also helpful. You might get ideas for topics you need to cover. Clearly your followers like that content – now make it your own and make it better! No copying, and give credit where credit is due.

People You Reach

The People you reach section gives you a little information about the number of people. It’s in the process of being replaced by the Audience Insights report, which is far more useful.

Website

The Website section allows you to see activity from your website on Pinterest. For example, you can see how often people have used the Pin It button on your website (you do have that, don’t you??).

This can be very similar to the information you get in the Profile section, but you will see data only for pins for your site. If there are a lot of other pins showing up in your Profile’s data, this will clear things up for you.

Audience Insights

As of this writing, Audience Insights is not in full release but looks great.

You can see the categories and interests of your audience and their affinity for various interests. I can see a lot of potential for this in terms of deciding what to blog about, and from there what to pin.

You’ll also learn about the demographics of your audience, where they’re from, and the kinds of devices they use to visit Pinterest. This is a lot more information than was available previously, and you should make the most of it. You can even learn about what the Pinterest audience as a whole is interested in.

Make The Most Of Pinterest Scheduling Tools

If you’re serious about using Pinterest for business, you should at least consider using Pinterest scheduling tools. There are people who prefer manual pinning methods as well, but I prefer scheduling, and I can tell you why.

Simply put, scheduling means even when life throws a great big obstacle in your way, your pins keep getting posted.

I’ve been dealing with a horrifyingly huge problem in my life. My father died.

That’s awful for just about anyone, but this case was complicated. I won’t go into too many details, as we’re hoping for legal action on the scam he fell for that completely messed up his finances, but suffice to say the whole thing has been a mess, and I’ve learned things about my father I wouldn’t want to know about anyone. And the finances weren’t even the worst mess we had to deal with.

I’ve lost many days of work time dealing with this situation, as have my sisters. But because I’m using Hootsuite to schedule my pins, they’re still being posted. All I had to do was keep up with reciprocating on the group boards.

Hootsuite has a fairly adequate Pinterest scheduling tool. I think it could be better. But it’s there and I use Hootsuite anyhow, so that’s what I have right now.

What I like about scheduling with Hootsuite, however, is that it’s easy to vary both the images and what you say for each pin. Pinterest is developing a preference for a greater variety of images per blog post and unique descriptions for pins, rather than recycling the same thing over and over. The way the Hootsuite scheduler works, it’s not that hard to switch things up regularly.

My next plan is to start using Tailwind as well. Most pinners who schedule love Tailwind, so far as I can tell. I’ve been too busy to give it a proper chance, but once things get better, I’ll test it as well. I understand its scheduling tool is far more powerful, which sounds great.

When you’re serious about using Pinterest to market your blog, you need the consistency that a scheduling tool can offer. Handling the entire thing manually takes a lot of time out of your day that could be better used elsewhere.

If you want to learn to make the most of Pinterest, don’t forget to consider taking a Pinterest course. Learning how to make the most of Pinterest is much easier if you get advice from someone who has gotten great, consistent results.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 18th, 2018

How To Use Pinterest To Market Your Blog Or Business

How To Use Pinterest To Market Your Blog Or Business

How hard have you tried to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog or business? It seems like a lot of people are having amazing success with it, but maybe it isn’t going that well for you. It’s incredibly frustrating. You’d love to use Pinterest to market your blog or business. What does it take?

The first thing I will warn you against is an excessive focus on going viral. If your content is good, and your pins are attractive, viral pins will come in their own time, so long as you’re also working on your Pinterest marketing.

Besides, the traffic from viral pins can peak suddenly, then disappear. You want consistency. You want to build regular traffic. Viral pins can help with that, but they aren’t everything.

Start With The Basics

Whether you’re just starting out with Pinterest or have been pinning for some time, there are some basic things you need to take care of before you do anything else.

If you haven’t created your Pinterest business account, do so now. This will give you access to analytics, which is a huge help in discovering how your pins are doing. It’s free. You can convert your personal account or start a new one to use entirely for business purposes.

Make sure you verify your website with Pinterest. Pinterest will give you a code for this.

A business account can also pay for sponsored pins, which can be a help in bringing attention to your pins. You don’t have to do this, but it’s worth considering.

Next, apply for rich pins. You will need some code on your site. If you’re using WordPress and have the Yoast SEO plugin, this is super easy. If you’re using WordPress and don’t use Yoast, I strongly recommend adding it. It’s helpful in many ways.

In the Yoast SEO section of your WordPress admin, you will see a social section. Select the Facebook tab and enable the Open Graph metadata setting. This will give Pinterest the information it needs as well.

turn on open graph

Once this is done, you need to validate one of your URLs with Pinterest. Choose any blog post and put it into Pinterest’s Rich Pins Validator. If everything comes up fine, you can tell Pinterest that you used HTML tags, then click “Apply Now.” If everything has gone right, your pins will now show up as Rich Pins.

Rich pins show more information from your site. They can pull recipe information if you share recipes, or article titles and a bit of text from articles.

Figure Out Your Best Pinterest Keywords

In many ways, Pinterest is more a search engine than a social website. This makes the right keywords in your profile, boards, and pins vital to your success. Take some time early on to figure out your basic Pinterest keywords.

Start out with your best keyword for your business. Put it into the search box on Pinterest and see what comes up. It should look something like this:

find keywords pinterest

See those colored boxes with words in them? Those are words other Pinterest users include in their searches for that term. You want to use these words in your profile, board descriptions, and pins whenever they’re relevant.

Do this often. You may find it worthwhile to check Pinterest keywords for most of your posts, especially when coming up with a description as you pin them.

Make The Most Of Your Profile

How does your Pinterest profile look? Is it clear to people who visit it what your business has to offer?

Take advantage of the space Pinterest offers to create an appealing description of what followers can expect from your Pinterest profile. If you do this well, it may also attract people to visit your website.

Use some of the keywords you discovered in the section above for your profile, but keep it interesting as well.

Pinterest now has a feature where an image of your pins goes diagonally across your profile page. Take advantage of this.

pinterest header

If you don’t have a board that has just pins from your website, create one now. You’re going to use this board to display your pins on your profile.

Click the little edit button on the image of your pins that go across the top of your profile. This will allow you to select which board is used for this image. Select the one that has only your pins. Save your changes.

change pinterest header

That’s all it takes. Now you don’t have to worry about which pins show up there. You’ve chosen to make it all yours.

Optimize Your Pinterest Boards

It may not be immediately obvious when you create a board that you can give it a category and description. You can, and it’s helpful to do so. This will give visitors to that board an idea as to what you pin there.

Go to your board and click the edit board button. This will give you a little popup to change the settings.

You can give the board a description. Make sure that you use some of the keywords you researched. This may help it appear in board searches.

You can also give it a category and a board cover. The board cover is a pin that will show as a larger image on the page that shows all of your boards.

If you want a consistent look to your profile page, you need to create board covers for all of your boards. Many bloggers like to create board covers that are consistent with their branding elsewhere. This is not something I have done so far personally, but many recommend it.

You can upload a custom board cover as a pin and link it to a relevant section of your website. You can create one that is at least 600×600 pixels. Board covers are square, but you can use a rectangular image if you want. Just consider which section will show up.

The idea behind branded board covers is that it gives your profile a more cohesive feel.

Finally, decide what you’re going to do with boards that aren’t relevant to your brand. You can delete them or make them into secret boards if you like. If not, at least make sure that they are beneath your business boards. You can drag and drop your boards on your profile to arrange them the way you would like them. Think about what will work best for your visitors.

Optimize Your Pins

Applying for Rich Pins is only the first step to optimizing your pins. There are a few other things you should do.

Start out by knowing the currently preferred image sizes. These change occasionally. As of this writing, Pinterest recommends pin images be no more than 600 pixels wide and will cut off pins longer than 2.1 times the width, which is to say longer than 1260 pixels long. Their preferred size is 600×900, but there are plenty of times when a longer image makes sense.

Longer pins will still show the full length when clicked. Many bloggers find that they perform better than other pins.

Create great descriptions for your pins. These will help them be found in searches. Remember to research your Pinterest keywords when creating your descriptions, and keep them accurate to the post they’re linked to. Don’t mislead your visitors – people hate that.

You can even have your preferred description show up when visitors to your site pin that image. In your blog post, use the Text editor tab rather than the Visual tab.

In this tab, the code for your image will be something along the lines of:

<img class=”aligncenter” src=”yourimageurl” alt=”alt tags for your image” width=”500″ height=”765″ />

You want to add a Pinterest description. This is done by adding data-pin-description=”your description here” so that it looks like

<img class=”aligncenter” src=”yourimageurl” alt=”alt tags for your image” width=”500″ height=”765″ data-pin-description=”Your pin description here.” />

Once you’ve done this, the description you put in the data-pin-description section will show up if someone clicks the image to pin it.

This won’t guarantee that your description will be used by everyone, as visitors can change the text as they like, but many will leave it as is.

You can go further by using data-pin-url=”URL you want the pin to lead to. Usually the URL of your post” data-pin-media=”URL of a different image you want pinned rather than the visible one. Very useful if you want smaller images in your post” and data-pin-id=”ID number of the post on Pinterest after you have pinned it.” These give you still more control over your pins. You can also control which images in your posts can be pinned to Pinterest.

Should You Brand Your Pins?

Many people strongly recommend keeping your images similar, so that they are all clearly a part of your brand. This makes it easier for people to recognize one of your pins when they come across them.

This can be as simple as using the same colors or fonts on all of your pins. Some people use very similar images on all of their pins as well.

The problem is that this gets very repetitive. Your pins are easily identified, but are they easy to tell apart?

This is where it becomes a good idea to make multiple pins for each post. You can have your strongly branded pins and have your pins that stand out.

It’s also easier to test pin styles when you have multiple pins for each post. You can compare and see which performs the best. If you find a new style performs better, you might even decide to change your branding to be closer to that style.

Pin And Pin And Pin Some More

If you aren’t pinning a lot, and pinning regularly, your pins aren’t likely to be discovered.

This also means you should pin content from other sites. You will see all kinds of advice – people telling you that the best results come from pinning 80% your own content and 20% of others, 50/50 yours vs others, or even 20% yours and 80% others. You’ll also hear that you should post 20 pins a day, 30-50 a day, or even over 100 pins a day. The advice varies widely.

I’ve never stressed about numbers. I pin a lot of my own, but also share pins from the various group boards I belong to. Most group boards require that you repin at least one other pin when you pin something of yours to the board. That ensures that I have a mix.

Group boards are a huge help in getting your pins out there. Request to join as many relevant ones as you can find, so long as they have a good number of followers. You won’t get much exposure if the board only has 100 followers, after all.

As much as possible, pin to relevant boards. Your pins will rank better if they are regularly pinned to relevant boards, rather than to general boards.

You will find a number of group boards that accept all niches. Some of these have excellent followings. You may find it worthwhile to try a few general boards, but don’t pin to many of them. Keep that focus so that Pinterest knows what your pins are about.

Manual Pins Or Scheduled Pins?

I’ve seen a lot of debate over whether manual pinning or scheduled pinning works better. There are some great tools out there. Tailwind is the most popular, I think, followed by Board Booster. Their features are slightly different, but each one allows you to schedule your pins, which can be a huge time saver.

Many people say they have seen huge traffic boosts from using these tools. At the very least, they make it much easier to be consistent with your pinning.

However, some people think you get more traffic if you pin manually. This is the method I currently use. It is often difficult to be consistent, but I keep working at it.

I track my pins using a spreadsheet. My boards are grouped by category, one sheet per category of board. This allows me to date when I do each pin. I mark when I’m using more than one image per blog post, as I don’t want to pin the same post on a board too close together, even if the images are different.

pinterest spreadsheet

I indicate group boards by putting their names in bold. This way I know which require repinning, and how many. Most only require a single repin, but some expect two or three for each pin placed on their boards. I always do at least a single repin – the more active the board is, the more attention pins on it will get.

Take a Pinterest Marketing Course

You may want to learn a lot more about pinning than I’ve shared here. A Pinterest marketing course can help you learn more than the basics. They’ll all start with the basics, to make sure that you aren’t missing obvious things, but go into more advanced techniques from there.

I recommend this Pinterest marketing course on Udemy. It’s well rated and has been updated recently. Read the reviews to see if it’s the course for you. You will learn a lot more about how to use Pinterest to market your blog if you take a good course.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.