This post was last updated Sept. 2020.
Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. See my full disclaimer for details. In addition, though my blog title says “blogger”, Pinterest can serve any type of content creator, influencer or business owner out there. As long as you have a brand, Pinterest can work for you.
Why is Pinterest useful for bloggers, influencers, and business owners?
Pinterest is a visual search engine, with over 200 billion posts.
As a Pinterest user, search engine optimization (SEO) is the name of the game. It’s about optimizing pins so that it comes up in searches and gets traffic. As long as your content is click-worthy and good, it will land on people’s feeds when they search for a given topic. According to the most recent statistics, 322 million people use Pinterest daily (1). 7/10 of those users are women. 87% of Pinterest marketing trends say that people purchase things that they’ve seen online (2).
Owning a Pinterest account has a high return on investment (ROI) as long as one takes the time to invest in properly learning the platform, or outsource the management to a professional. Both options will set you up for success, but both are undoubtedly an investment.
However, seeing as Pinterest is one of my #1 traffic drivers, I think it’s 100% worth it.
Why? Because Pinterest is a search engine that people use to make buying and planning decisions (think of how many people use it to plan projects, outfits, DIYs, and events).
When your content shows up on Pinterest, it has the potential to be seen by MANY eyes.
You will not get overnight results with Pinterest, it is a slow but steady SEO game that takes a minimum of 3-6 months of effort. You will need to pin consistently. Like any search engine, it has an algorithm and it takes time for the platform and other users to optimize your content. As long as you use great keywords that people are looking for and visually compelling pins, your pins will begin to pop up more and more (organically) to your ideal demographic.
Once your profile and content become getting popular, your conversions grow.
First things first, you’ll need a Pinterest account.
I recommend getting a business account. Having a business account on Pinterest is helpful because it allows you to see your analytics dashboards. If you have an account already, I recommend starting over a business account as Pinterest differentiates between its two types of users: content consumers and content creators. If you’ve been using Pinterest as a content consumer, feel free to keep doing so on a personal account, but for your own business, you should be using a business account as your behaviour on the account is going to change.
How to Get a Business Account on Pinterest
1. Log in or sign up to Pinterest
2. Go to Pinterest for Business
3. Click Convert now
4. Fill out your info and then click Convert
Optimize your Pinterest profile for conversions
We have to remember something crucial about Pinterest; it is both a search engine but also a social media meaning it has a human element. Think about how YOU use Pinterest or any search engine. Something it’s “how to plan a budget wedding” or “how to upcycle an (item)?” but chances are, you are typing not just words into the search bar, but questions or short sentences.
Likewise, a good profile needs relevant keywords.
Good profile components:
- A name that defines what your blog/biz is about
- A good bio that prompts a call to action
- A link(s) to your website or lead magnet
Include “keywords” in your bio, such as what people might be looking for, according to your niche/industry, such as “Plant-Based”, “Podcast Tips”, “Strength Training” etc.
You will also want keywords in your pins.
An example of a great Pinterest profile: Here’s Jenna Kutcher.
I took Jenna’s introduction Pinterest course, Pinterest Lab, a few years ago, and while it is not the most comprehensive Pinterest course out there, it is a good primer for beginners.
Next, claim your website.
This helps Pinterest know that you are a content creator.
P.S. Have an e-commerce platform such as Podia, Shopify, or Etsy? Install the Pinterest button there so that people can pin products directly from your website.
Create at least 8+ boards relevant to your niche/industry
Your niche/industry pertains to your topic and also the sub-topics you are an expert in or the ones that your audience would be interested in based around your MAIN category.
Your niche/industry is your area of expertise (or interest).
For instance, if you’re a travel and lifestyle blogger, here are some board ideas:
- Photography Tips for Travel
- How to Travel on a Budget
- Places to Visit in (Area)
- Eco-friendly Travel
Create pins that will attract.
I’m a Canva girl, personally. I just find it easier to use. But use whatever you’re comfortable with!
If you are a DIY kind of blogger, grab some Pinterest templates (they’ll make your life easier).
Here are some great places to buy some Pinterest templates online:
What are viral pins? They are pins that look good and they know how to use their words wisely (in other words, their content is search-engine optimized.)
There are 3 factors that go into what makes a pin good!
- The content is useful and relevant to what people are interested in
- For instance, if it’s the holiday season, people look up content related to that
- Consider the time of the year or any global/local information that people search
- Bold font, eye-catching, easy to read
- Visually compelling
- Font colour is easy on the eyes
- Bold colours if you like, or black on a white background
- Stay away from pretty script fonts — if people/Pinterest can’t read your pin, they’re moving on. You have very little time to catch people’s attention.
According to Pinterest, on making great pins: First, start with high-quality images. They should be crisp, clear and well-composed. Vertically-oriented Pins look best on mobile screens, so make yours stand up nice and tall, with a maximum vertical aspect ratio of 1:2.8. … And if your image has a text overlay, keep it short and simple. For more, see this article.
- Compelling, attention-catching
- Good description
- Use of keywords
- Use of hashtags
- Use of numbers (attention-catching)
You also need to be succinct, specific and simple.
Think of what people will type into a search engine. Simple (but specific) is better than fancy. Fancy titles like “Flirty Blush Ensemble” sounds like a nice title, but it’s probably not what people plug into the search bar. However, if you write something specific like “romantic date night look”, it’s easier to find. Make sure the use of keywords that you use in the title of your visual pin is going to be consistent with the words you use for your keywords, description, and caption.
Words are EVERYTHING!
- Grab people’s attention. Numbers are a great way to do that (I don’t know the psychology behind this but there’s something about “5 Reasons Why…” vs “Reasons why…”
- Give people a great headline and then deliver a knockout video/blog post
- Make your headlines and tag-lines catchy and descriptive. Some examples:
- Boring/general: “5 Things To Do At Home When Bored”
- Better: “5 Effective/Unique Ways To Combat Boredom at Home”
- Boring/general: “How to make money online teaching English”
- Better: “How to make $2000/month teaching English online”
- Make sure you are using long-tail keywords (essentially phrases people will type into the search bar, such as “paleo recipes”, “DIY floral bouquets” etc.) rather than single-words
- Include relevant, useful hashtags (3-5)
Images to consider using:
- Please use high-definition, visually appealing photos on Pinterest
- Your own photography if possible, for originality and uniqueness
- Clean, bright photos do better than dark, shadowy ones
- Flat-lays and lifestyle shots are great!
- Take your photos in good lighting, with an HD camera or iPhone/Android
- If you don’t have time to take your own photos, try stock photos
- Vertical images do best on Pinterest
- 2:3 aspect ratio
- Quality matters: 735 x 1102 px, 1000 x 1500 px or even 2000 x 3000 px is good
- On Canva, when downloading, you can 2-3x your image to get a higher pixel quality
Give people a “why to click”: tell them to click/save your pin
- The pin should incentivize people to click through to your website
- Once people get to your website, you can invite people to join your email list
- Inviting people to join an email list can be effective because while people might not be willing to buy from you right away, they might be later as you build rapport with them (having an engaged email list helps with building brand loyalty)
Create multiple pin images (10-15+).
The more pins you have per blog post, the more chances of content distribution.
I go for the in-between and typically create 10 images per blog post, personally.
Each pin typically has a “lifespan” of 4-6 months, so I recommend posting 4-5 pins across different boards (staggered over minimum 7 days so it doesn’t look like you are spamming) and tribes (if you are using Tailwind App) and doing the other pins you’ve created in another 6 months.
Create fresh content consistently.
Any search engine needs to see that your website is active (updated at least once a month).
The purpose of any pin on Pinterest is to get people to your website, email list or online shop.
A blog post or a lead magnet that is valuable will do great on Pinterest, and you need fresh content as much as possible that’s high-quality and useful to show expertise and engagement.
For content, I recommend content and information repurposing. Turn an Instagram story into a longer email, or blog post. Turn a podcast episode or blog post into a PDF freebie.
Pinterest recommends 1-2 hashtags per Pinterest graphic. I personally am not a huge fan of hashtags but Pinterest says they’re helpful. Research your niche to see which hashtags get the most searches and views. See this article for more Pinterest content tips!
Be consistent pinning every day.
Pin consistently every day. It is not so much about how many times you pin, but about how consistent you are and the quality of the pins you are posting. A good way to start out is with 5 pins a day and slowly grow it up to 15-30 pins daily. Using an automated scheduling tool like Tailwind App can help with automating the process of pinning consistently — I use this all the time as it saves me a ton of time. It’s nice because it also allows me to take weekends and holidays and trips off from pinning. I still manual pin from time to time, though, using my phone (usually when bored).
A great manual pinning course is this one: Pinteresting Strategies. It’s beginner-friendly, $47.
Group boards are also great to join as you will get your content viewed by others in the group.
I would recommend pinning your content to group boards as much as possible.
Two places to find group boards:
I also wrote a blog post on group boards to join for popular niches.
You can find that post here!
Be willing to learn and keep up with the latest practices of the platform as it does occasionally change like any social media (unless you choose to hire a Pinterest manager).
When you’re new to something, you have to be open to its novelty.
Yes, DIY and googling around is fine, but it’s also the long-way around.
Courses + coaching give you more streamlined + step-by-step support.
With courses and coaching, you receive up-to-date practices and personal mentorship. Consider getting group coaching or taking an online course on Pinterest from someone experienced.
As a blogger, I started off with Pinteresting Strategies (this an ebook turned text e-course, and even though there are very few videos in the course — Carly, the course teacher, is very active in her Facebook group where you can ask questions) and I began taking other courses such as Pinterest Lab. I also started working as a VA in 2017 where I took Abbey Ashley’s SavvyVault program and learned the ins and outs of Pinterest from her comprehensive video training.
(**As of 2020, I also now offer Pin Design! Email me for information.)
Based on your level of knowing Pinterest, there is a different course for everyone.
Whether you prefer to get a Pinterest coach or take a self-paced course, learning the platform is important as it will help you be successful in the long run on the platform.
Pinterest is an evolving platform, so I would recommend buying an e-course that is updated regularly, rather than an eBook as the information can become outdated.
Interested to see how Pinterest can work for your blog or business? Need a Pinterest manager? I do account set-up for a one-time cost of $300 USD, and monthly management for $400/month, as well as Pinterest design services.
You can check out the service details here!