Hello fellow blogger/business owner! If you are reading this, then you’ve probably heard all the buzz that having a Pinterest account is vital for growth. Well I’m here to tell you – it’s the truth! Ready for a crash course in Pinterest 101?
Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Why Pinterest? Aren’t there enough other social media platforms that I should be worrying about first?” Well, if you want my honest opinion, then Pinterest should rank as a top priority for you. Why? Because if you aren’t using it, then you’re missing out on not only TONS of possible blog and/or business traffic, but also sales if you’re selling a product.
Pinterest is different from other social media because it is not really a place to be super “social” at all. It’s actually used as a search engine, just like Google! Think about it. If you want a new recipe for banana nut bread, then you hop on pinterest and search “banana nut bread recipe”, don’t you? Yep. So if someone searches for one of your blog topics, they just might find you!
Personally, Pinterest currently racks up about 80% of my own personal blog traffic! YES, I SAID 80%! How nuts it that? I mean, if I wasn’t on Pinterest, it might have been a sad and lonely world for me. Haha.
The following 5 steps are going to get you up and running as a Pinterest Pro in no time.
Step 1: Make sure all of your photos on your website are pinnable. You can do this before you even open a Pinterest account. That way, if people read your blog and like your content, they can go ahead and get to sharing! You can achieve this easily by adding a free plugin to your website. I have a wordpress.org site (self hosted) and I currently use one called “Pinterest Pin It Button On Image Hover And After Post & Page Content“. There are others out there! This creates a “pin it” button when you hover over any image and it looks like this:
See it in the top left corner of the image? This is super convenient to your readers because they can pin straight from your blog!
Step 2: Create a pinterest account if you haven’t already. Already have one and trying to decide if you should open a separate one for business or just convert your existing one? Here’s a big piece of advice – convert your existing one. Why? Because chances are, you already have some followers! Even if it’s not too many, it’s still better than none! I pinned a lot and I already had 500 followers when I converted to business! Not too shabby for a start.
What do I do once I convert to business?
Well, if you’re anything like me (an avid pinner), then you might have a lot of cleanup to do. Don’t get scared though, it might take you a little time, but do what you can! Here’s why:
I’m about to give you a very vital piece of Pinterest advice – you ready? This is big. If you already have a Pinterest page, then you need to realize this: Everything you will pin from this point on IS NO LONGER FOR YOU. Say huh? That’s right. You are no longer going to be pinning goofy memes, sexy celebs and inspo for your own wedding. That IS unless your target audience wants to see those things.
Does that mean I can’t pin anything for myself ever again? No, it does not. All you have to do is make your personal boards secret! You simply do this by going to the board, click edit settings, and push the button that says “secret”. Easy peasy! No one will be able to see these boards now except for you and whoever you personally invite to that board. So go ahead and pin away.
Pinterest for business also has an analytics tool that you’ll want to utilize- it tells you what your followers’ favorite topics are! Here’s an example. I’m primarily a beauty and mom blogger. But I don’t want my entire Pinterest profile to be full of only my own pins from my blog, or even just makeup. This will not keep your reader interested usually! They have lots of interests beyond what you write about.
My analytics told me that people who pinned my pins love Home décor. I do not blog about home décor currently, but I still have a board set up for it and pin ideas to it all the time! Why? Because if you pin often with popular posts, then people will love your content and follow you! Good deal, I say. I recommend trying to re-pin pins with a high pin rate because you know those are popular already!
Step 3: Keep it cohesive. You’ll also want to think about keeping a unified look, something that gets your brand recognized. Look how chic this profile from Uniquely Women is! Very clean and sleek, just like her blog, and it fits her brand colors:
Since I add a lot of beauty products and parenting advice on my profile, it’s hard to keep a unified look on every pin. But one thing you CAN do is change your board cover image to one that matches your color scheme! The larger image on the left is the cover and will remain the same. Take a look at my profile and boards – can you tell that I use pinks, greys and neutrals? These match my brand.
Another thing that you can do is to create your own board covers to make a cohesive look. Check out this profile from Caitlin Cosmetologist:
Doesn’t that look fun and organized? As you can see, there are many ways to do this. You can also change your board covers and re-arrange your boards anytime you want. PRO TIP: Make your very first board a board with pins dedicated ONLY to your blog – then people can see what your niche is!
Another super important aspect to your profile is changing your header and your logo. You will want these to look professional but inviting, but while sticking to your brand. Instead of your personal name, consider adding your business name (unless your name is a part of it). Add what your blog or business is about in the info section so people know what you’re all about right away. And chances are, you already have a logo or headshot if you’re working on Pinterest. If not, no worries! But it definitely makes you look more professional and makes people want to follow you more.
Here’s a good question – logo or headshot? Which one should you use? This is a toss-up. Some people will say that a headshot makes you look more personable. Others say a logo makes you look more professional. Look at the example above from Caitlin Cosmetologist again – her logo matches her board covers! It looks very fluid and put together! I chose a headshot for my own profile simply because I use the same shot for all of my social media and I feel it keeps the recognition for my brand. It’s ultimately your choice – and I don’t think you can make a bad one unless the image is super blurry! Try to keep it crisp and well lit.
PRO TIP: See that large board right under my profile? It’s actually a slider that displays a featured board of your choosing! I have mine set to display both my blog board AND my beauty board since I pin to that one often! It definitely catches attention. Check out my profile here and you can see how it switches back and forth between boards after a few seconds.
Once you look like a brand and less like a hodgepodge of craziness, then there’s one final step to looking uber professional! You will need to enable rich pins. Here’s a good tutorial on this from blogger Nicole Floss: https://uniquelywomen.net/rich-pins-pinterest/
This creates a subheading on your pins from your blog and looks like a professional article! This drives more traffic for you, so it’s a must do, in my opinion. Here’s an example of one of my own pins from Pinterest – you can see the details below the image where it says “Article from” and it shows your profile pic! Totally makes you want to click “read it”, doesn’t it? 😉
Step 4: Gain followers and get re-pins. How do I do this? The easy answer is – you need to pin a lot. More pins=more visibility and more traffic. Don’t have a lot of content yet and worried about pinning the same things over and over? No worries, just spread your pins out and don’t pin everything at once. One vital piece of info – join some group boards. Group boards are boards that other people create. You can ask to be invited to pin with them and therefore, your pins get seen more! This prevents you pinning from to the same old boards always and it gets more eyes on your pins. NOTE: You cannot change the cover of a group board unless it’s owned by you. So it may not match your look, but you can always put them at the bottom of your profile together!
There are a few ways to join group boards. My biggest suggestion is to join some facebook groups for bloggers! These help TREMENDOUSLY. Why? Because they are bloggers also trying to get seen too and they want to reciprocate! You can find fellow pinners in your niche and pin content that you know your readers will like! Pretty cool. And if you want to join a pretty sweet group on Facebook that’s ALL about Pinterest for bloggers, then click here to join one that I actually run myself! This group is growing super fast, so your content will get tons of eyeballs on it!
Another way to gain followers? Start searching for bloggers in your niche and follow them! People really like to return the favor, so go ahead and give it a shot if you like their content!
Step 5: Pin your heart out. What if I don’t have time to pin on Pinterest all the time to get my pins out there? Honey, join the club. I don’t know many bloggers that do. That’s why you have a program do all the pinning for you! Sound crazy? It’s magical. You can actually do a free trial to see how you like it – and when you see your blog traffic go up, you’ll be amazed! There are a couple of them: Tailwind and BoardBooster. I don’t have a ton of experience with Tailwind yet, but I LOVE BoardBooster. Disclosure: If you click here to sign up for BoardBooster and become a customer through my personal link, then I will receive a discount from a future payment.
It does cost money after your free trial if you wish to continue with the service, but it’s SO worth it! Since I have started using it, I have actually almost tripled my following! And currently their LOWEST pin plan is only $5 a month, and that gets you 500 pins per month! How cool is that!? Once you sign up, you’ll also get your own referral code like mine here and if you have fellow pinners that sign up through your link, you will get $5 off your monthly plan! And if you have the plan that’s $5 a month, then you’ll get your plan for FREE! Pretty amazing!
Alright, I’ve thrown a lot of info to you today, this is the quick guide to getting started, but I’ll be posting more in-depth posts regarding exactly how to implement some of these ideas coming soon! Make sure you subscribe to my blog so you’ll never miss out – plus grab my super handy free printable with all of the info from this post in checklist form!
Are you excited to get pinning? Know any good Pinterest tips and tricks? I’d love it if you shared below!