Did you know Pinterest is a visual search engine?
All the rules about keywords, regularity of posting and search engine optimization apply. This is great news! If you’ve got a good handle on SEO, you’ve got a big advantage on Pinterest.
If I just lost you with that statement – don’t worry. This guide to Pinterest is going to start at the beginning, with the basics.
Let’s get cracking…
Pinterest works like a virtual pin board. Users take an image they like and ‘pin’ or save it to a ‘board’. Boards are like categories (or folders, really), keeping the place organized. Each pin contains a link to the website it was pinned from, hence the traffic and why it’s such a good medium to use.
…and create your Pinterest account.
- Open Pinterest.com.
- Enter your email address and a password and Sign Up.
- Enter your name, age and sex.
- Choose at least 5 topics to follow.
- Get the Pinterest Browser button (it’s worth it) and an add on will install. You will now have a cute little Pinterest P icon up in the browser that will allow you to pin any images on the websites you visit.
- Don’t forget to confirm your account via email.
Setting up your profile to attract followers
There are only a few places you can optimize to attract followers. So, make them count.
First up is your profile. For best results – have a direct, to-the-point profile with a strong call to action.
Let’s get it sorted now.
- Click on the Pin top right to get to your profile.
- Click Edit Profile.
This should be of YOU, not your logo or a picture of your dog. So upload your best happy snap. Note – images should be good quality, not blurry or with weird lighting.
You have very limited space for this, so don’t waste time waffling. Get directly to the point. You can use this example as a guide:
I help …………… (moms/dads/new bloggers/people) to ……………………….(do something) by ……………………. (how). Come on over to my website for …………………… (reason, such as a free course etc) ……………… (link)
I help new bloggers to grow their audience using Pinterest. Do you want to learn the secrets of the Pinterest Pros? Take my free course: LINK
What sort of things are you going to pin in your niche? These should be your boards.
If you’re stumped, search for your main topic on the Pinterest bar.
Find pinners in your niche and spy on their boards. Create similar boards for your account.
This is how you create a board:
- Click on Create a Board.
- Enter the title of the board – note, this is not the time to get cute. You need searchable, keyword driven titles (sorry).
- Enter a description – this is your chance to add more keywords (SEO) to help Pinterest know what it’s about. For example, blogging, blog tips, new bloggers etc. Don’t be shy to add a lot here, though you should make sure it makes sense don’t just stuff your keywords in.
- You need to select a category for your board. (If you blog about blogging, this is Technology.)
- If you aren’t ready to share it with the world yet (or you want to keep it private), you can toggle it over to Secret and no one will be able to see it except you.
- You can turn your board into a Group Board by inviting collaborators here.
- Click create. You now have a Board to save pins to.
You need to have a board for your own content – regardless of niche. This should be the very first board on your profile. Name it your websites name.
For example, some pinners use ‘The Best of WEBSITE NAME’.
You must have other boards to appeal to your target audience so they will recognize you as an authority in your niche. You can pin your own content and others content to these boards.
Examples of other boards you might have if you blog on blogging:
- Blogging tips
- Email marketing tips
- Social media tips
- Monetize your blog
Some pinners also recommend having boards that aren’t niche specific but that your audience would like. For example, having a Food board when you blog about blogging.
I’m not a huge fan of this approach. I prefer laser-focused Pinterest accounts.
The one exception is if you are participating in Facebook promotion groups – you’ll need all different types of boards to reciprocate pin sharing.
Once you’ve followed a lot of people, you might start getting invitations to group boards.
Some won’t be niche related. Decline those.
Only join boards that are relevant to your niche. Don’t be afraid of posting to group boards (I found it a little nerve-wracking the first few times!), just make sure you are pinning your best stuff and don’t spam.
You may want to make your own group board. I recommend building the board up with 50+ pins first before inviting others to join you. No one wants to join an empty board.
Validating your website
For this section, I’m assuming you are using WordPress and have All-In-One SEO or Yoast SEO installed. If you don’t, please install one.
Validating your website means that your website will show up like this in your profile:
It looks a lot more professional.
To do this, click on the pin in the top right and Edit Profile.
- Enter your website.
- Click confirm. This gives you a pop up code that starts with a meta tag.
- Copy the big long number immediately after the word “content”.
- Jump back into your website now.
- Go into All-In-One SEO plug in menu and scroll down until you come to the Webmaster verification section. Enter your long code in the space provided.
Then scroll to the bottom and save.
If you are using Yoast – go into the Social tab, then the Pinterest tab.
- Paste the long code into Pinterest Verification field.
- Now scroll to the bottom and click Update Options to save it.
- Back on Pinterest, click Finish and Save or, hey why don’t we convert to a business account now? Its super quick and easy.
Convert to a Business Account
If you are using Pinterest for your business or for your blog, you definitely want to upgrade to a business account.
You get access to all kinds of things as a business account user, such as:
- Promoted pins
- Rich pins
These features are awesome and absolutely must-haves to run your biz.
To convert your account, you’ll notice that there’s a link saying ‘convert to business account’ when you are trying to validate your website. Click it.
- Enter your business name.
- Enter what category your business falls under. Give special consideration to professional (includes bloggers).
- Enter your website and click continue.
- Confirm your website by clicking in the yellow box that appears at the top of the screen.
- This time when you click finish, your website will be verified.
You’ll notice that your profile name display has now turned into your business name. You can alter this if you wish to include your name, I like it in this sort of format:
Cath | This Mama Learns
Enable rich pins
Rich pins are just another step towards making your pins look professional. What is the difference between a rich pin and a normal pin? It actually varies slightly depending on what type of rich pins you have enabled – there are six different types of rich pins:
I’ve only used Article pins, so that’s what I’m going to cover in this guide. I’m sure that enabling the other types are similar in process.
Here is a picture of a rich pin, side by side with a non-rich pin. Can you see the difference?
- My favicon and website name appear at the top section of the description.
- My article title appears in bold just below that.
- A short description is pulled directly from my site. Great!
To enable rich pins in All-In-One SEO, you first need to enable Social Meta by visiting the Feature menu and enabling it, then its simple:
- Click on Social Meta.
- Ensure that Autogenerate OG Descriptions is checked.
- Go to the social tab.
- Ensure that Add Open Graph Meta is checked.
Now you need to visit Pinterest and validate your rich pins, it’s ridiculously easy – go here:
- Enter in the url of a blog post and click Validate.
- A message will pop up that says “your pin’s been validated!”
- Click Apply Now.
- A pop up will appear with your website’s domain and HTML tags selected.
- Click Apply Now.
It may take Pinterest a little while to approve your rich pins, but when they do your pins will appear with your favicon and website name.
Developing a Recognizable Pinterest Brand
Once you get started with Pinterest, you’ll start to realize that most of the serious users have a strong brand unifying their pins which makes them instantly recognizable. This is not as difficult as you think.
Pro tip – spend a bit of time creating your first pinnable image and then use that as a template for all future images. It works really well – I rarely spend more than 5 minutes (if that) creating my graphics these days.
Some pointers for images that do well:
- Tall, portrait oriented images.
- No human faces.
- Red, orange, pink and purple colors.
- Text overlay that is big, bold and easy to read.
Affiliate Links on Pinterest
After a long dry patch, Pinterest is now allowing affiliate links again.
What you need to know:
- Cloaked, shortened or pretty links are NOT ALLOWED. Only the full (ugly) link is allowed.
- You can’t pin from Amazon (their Terms of Service preclude it).
- Many common digital affiliate programs are blocked as spam – Wealthy Affiliate and Clickbank included.
There are some specific affiliate programs that work fantastically well with Pinterest, like ShopSense. You can Pin directly from their selection – affiliate link included. Huge time saver!
So, what is a Pin anyway?
Here’s a pin:
There are quite a few options you have to interact with it.
You can like it, save it, schedule it (if you have a scheduling app like Tailwind), comment, follow the user who posted it, send It, read It and check out who else has interacted with it.
What to Pin
Your boards are looking a little lonely. We need to fill them with some awesome pins!
There are a few places to find pins. You can pin from:
- Pinterest – either the smart feed or other users directly
- Any website via sharing buttons
- Any website with the Pinterest browser Add On
- Uploading an image from your PC and creating a pin manually (not really recommended, unless you are creating multiple pins for the same post)
When pinning, you need to select a board to pin to and hit the save button.
And what should you pin?
Firstly, pin your own stuff (all of it).
Then, pin high quality content in your niche (the majority should be pins from influencers and peers).
Note – best practice is not to pin anything unless you’ve checked that it meets your standards for quality. Some pins have been altered to spam links, so always check it.
And that’s a wrap…
Pinterest is a fantastic traffic tool. It accounts for about half of all my blog traffic. Other bloggers report that Pinterest is their number 1 traffic source.
So, it’s definitely worth your while to master.
Annnnnd… I’ve made it super easy for you! Just sign up for my free Pinterest course, Pinterest Power Up below.