Pinterest Marketing 101

pintrest marketing for beginners

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Pinterest is an awesome traffic source for websites and blogs - and yet many new bloggers completely ignore Pinterest marketing. Big mistake!

In this ultimate beginners guide to Pinterest for Bloggers I will show you how to set up your Pinterest account to bring explosive traffic to your blog.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual search engine where users save ideas to try later. Think of it like Google search but with images instead of text. An easier way to think of Pinterest is like a digital version of an old-school cork board where you can pin ideas to.

People turn to Pinterest for an inspiration or to find a solution. Either way, they're looking for help.

How Does Pinterest Work?

On Pinterest, the images are called pins. And pins are linked to the source.

Take a recipe pin, for example. The image may tell you it's a 15 minute, 4 ingredient recipe while the source link will show you the ingredients and cooking instructions.

Users on Pinterest save these pins to their boards.

For example, a vegan recipe might go in someone's "Vegan Recipes" board and in someone else's "2021 Weight Loss Goals" board.

The best tip I can give you is this: Use the platform as a regular user to understand how people use PInterest.

Understand what makes someone save a pin to a board, click on a pin or follow a user.

When you begin to see how Pinterest is used you can get a better understanding of how to market your blog on Pinterest.

Pinterest is a search and discovery platform, which means its users are there to look for new ideas or solutions to problems.

Unlike social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Pinterest is designed to send you traffic..

Pinterest rewards new content - Pinterest is perfect for new bloggers because you can start getting traffic from Pinterest from the jump. Pinterest wants fresh pins.

Pinterest traffic is free and plentiful - Other social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest have a lot of traffic - but they aren't designed to send you any of it. Their number one goal is to keep you on the platform to show you more ads.

However, Pinterest traffic is free and there are 367+ million active users in 2020 looking for ideas and solutions (source).

Your content can go viral - Just one pin that takes off can send loads of free traffic to your blog. While Pinterest is more search engine than social media, there exists a virality factor that can skyrocket your pin distribution across the platform.

Pins stay on the platform forever - Pinterest is a search engine - not a social media network. This means one pin can remain in the search results for years to come. The average lifespan of a tweet (15 minutes), Instagram post or Facebook update. It can be a few hours - tops.

Don't forget about reach on these platforms with is average 5% (if you are luck) of your followers see your post.

On Pinterest, the exact opposite happens. The pins you post to Pinterest will stay on the platform forever.

I have actually deleted old ugly pins I made years ago but they keep popping back up as users continue to share them. These old ugly pins are still making their way through Pinterest, years after first posting them.

You can (practically) automate your Pinterest marketing - Many traffic sources require you to be present and more active to benefit from any kind of free organic traffic. Google wants freshly-updated content, YouTube wants new videos weekly, and Instagram wants daily posts with high engagement.

Pinterest is the same, however you can give the impression that you are present, without actually spending time manually pinning.

You can use a Pinterest scheduler like Tailwind to post on Pinterest for you.

With Tailwind (join for free here) you can mass-schedule your images to be posted at peak hours months ahead of time.

Google SEO takes a long time - If you're a new blog you can forget about getting Google search traffic overnight - not gonna happen!

  • Google will not show love to new blogs, period. New blogs lack quality backlinks, lots of content, social media shares, domain age, trust, and authority - all important Google ranking factors.
  • You can expect to wait at least 6 months before you start seeing any traffic from Google (source). In contrast, a new blog can get traffic from Pinterest much faster.
  • This is because Google looks at your website to determine where to rank you, whereas Pinterest looks at your pin engagement to determine where to rank you.
drive sales with pinterest

What Niches Work on Pinterest

You might think your niche isn't suited for Pinterest. Think again. Many niches can be successful on Pinterest.

In my how to pick a blog niche article most of the profitable niches I listed do very well on Pinterest.

While home decor, crafts, recipes and weddings are big on Pinterest - there's also a community of members who are passionate about marketing, travel, parenting, heath & fitness, and personal finance. 

The bottom line is this:

If your niche is about helping people improve their lives, it's going to do very well on Pinterest.

Pinterest Demographics 2021

If you're still not convinced that Pinterest is the traffic source you should focus on, maybe these numbers will change your mind. Data is from this earnings report and this source.

  • Pinterest has 459+ million active users.
  • 71% of users on Pinterest are women.
  • 40% of dads in the US are on Pinterest.
  • 52% of millennials use Pinterest every month.
  • Only 28% of marketers use Pinterest. (There's plenty of room for you)
  • 80% of users access Pinterest via mobile. (Is your blog design mobile-friendly?)

There are so many traffic sources that you can get lost in the sauce. When starting out you are tempted to try everything to get traffic to your new website.  That's where the problem lies. When you try to be everywhere, you end up being nowhere.

Instead, focus ALL of your energy on ONE traffic source.. and DOMINATE it!

Ready to get started with Pinterest? Let's start by setting up your Pinterest account.

1. Set Up Pinterest Business Account

If you already have a Pinterest account you can convert your personal account to a business account:

  • Log into your personal Pinterest account
  • Click the directional chevron down icon in the top-right corner to open your menu
  • Select Settings
  • Click Account settings from the left-side navigation
  • Click Get started next to Convert to business account
  • Click Switch to business at the bottom of the table

If you go that route, be sure to set your non-business related boards to Private.

To start fresh, you can sign up for a Pinterest business account here.

2. Build Your Pinterest Profile

  • Add a username - Choose a username that matches your blog title. Mine is dwainiagrey.
  • Choose a profile image - Add your website's logo or a headshot.
  • Set your display name - Since Pinterest is a search engine, keywords matter. Add a couple of keywords to describe what you do. Here are a few examples of good display names.- Dwainia Grey | Online Marketing Specialist: Web Design, Social Media Management, Search Engine Optimization, Online Reputation Management - helping clients make money online, John Saves Money | How to Get Out of Debt- Fitness Guru | Weight Loss Tips for Women- John Doe | Kettle Ball Tips
  • Add a keyword-rich bio - Write a one or two sentence description of what your business is about. The best bios focus on how you can help your ideal reader.As with everything Pinterest, use keywords in your bio.

3.  Claim Your Domain 

  • Go to the Claim section in your account settings and add your domain name.
  • Select the "Add HTML tag" option.
  • Copy the meta tag, we'll be adding it to your blog next.
  • This next step requires you to install the free Yoast SEO WordPress plugin.
  • Once installed and activated, go to SEO > Social > Pinterest and paste the tag there.

4. Set Up Rich Pins

Not all pins look the same. Rich pins stand out and will drive more traffic to your blog. With rich pins enabled, your profile picture, title and description are prominently displayed. In order to get rich pins enabled on your account, you'll have to take the following steps.

  • Add Open Graph - To get rich pins your blog needs to output "open graph metadata" so Pinterest can grab data from your blog post like your blog icon, the date, title and description.
  • To add them, in WordPress again, go to SEO > Social > Facebook and enable Open Graph metadata.
  • Apply for RIch Pins - Submit any live blog post to the Rich Pins Validator tool. If you claimed your blog and added open graph tags, it will pass validation. After it has been validated your rich pins should show up shortly.

5. Set Up Pinterest Boards

Pinterest is made up of pins that are saved to boards. Before you can start making and saving pins, you need a place to put them.

Create 10-15 niche specific boards - Use your blog categories to help you create your 10 to 15 boards that relate to your niche. You should create boards about topics you write about or plan to write about. Don't be afraid to really niche down into smaller sub-niches. The more specific you can make your board the better. Here are some of my niche-specific board titles:

  • Money Making Blog
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Pinterest Marketing
  • Instagram Marketing

Use keywords in your board titles and descriptions - The board title, description and category impact how your content shows up on Pinterest (source), so don't mess this up!

Use the board title to clearly describe what the board is about. Fill out the board description with additional related keywords.

6. Start Pinning to Your Boards

When you're new on Pinterest you might not have any pinnable content yet. That's perfectly fine.

Start by saving other people's content on Pinterest. We want Pinterest to see us as a curator of great content. The Pinterest algorithm rewards accounts that consistently posts pin that receive good engagement (source).

As you create more content you can start prioritizing posting your content instead.

7. Follow Accounts 

Follow a few accounts to start populating your Pinterest home page.

Do a keyword search for your niche and follow the accounts that have pins at the top of the search results.

You will probably end up getting a few followers of your own by following a few accounts first.

You can follow my Pinterest account.

The real benefit of following high-quality accounts is that your Pinterest feed will be populated with only high-quality pins you can save on your newly created Pinterest boards.

8. Design Pin Images 

Now that you have your Pinterest account set up, it's time to start creating your own pins.

There's a few ways to create pins.

  • Pay a graphic designer on (expensive
  • Hire a freelance designer on (expensive)
  • Buy photoshop and learn how to use it (expensive and time-consuming)

9. Design Multiple Pins for Each Post and Promotion

Even if your blog is new and you don't have a lot of content you can still be successful with Pinterest.The trick is to create multiple pins for each of your blog posts. To make each pin unique, use a different image and pin description but link to the same URL.

I create anywhere from 5-10 different pins for each of my blog posts. This isn't spamming. This is creating the fresh new content (images) that Pinterest wants on their platform. You also want to create multiple product pins and multiple pins for your promotions.

For a while, really long vertical pins worked best on Pinterest. But in 2020, Pinterest has been clear they want a 2:3 aspect ratio or 1000 x 1500 pixels.

Anything longer and it may be cut off.

10. Publish Your Pin

There's a few ways to add a pin on Pinterest.

Directly on Pinterest - Click on the red and white plus sign on upper right hand corner on Pinterest. Upload your image, add a title, description and the URL.

  • With the Pinterest save button - Install the Chrome extension to pin from your blog.
  • From your share icons - Use the Social Warfare WordPress plugin to add share icons to your blog post. You need this plugin to help your readers to share your content on Pinterest.
  • With the Tailwind app - With the Tailwind browser extension, you can schedule your pins in bulk to be posted on a schedule (Available for Chrome | Safari | Firefox).

11. Join Relevant Group Boards

Posting pins on your account can get you some traffic. But if you really want more exposure on Pinterest, you need to put your pins in front of a larger audience.

That's where group boards come in to play.

What are group boards anyway? It's a collaborative board where different members can add content to the board.

Originally, it was intended for a small group of people to contribute ideas on a project.

For example, a wedding planner could invite a bride to be to a group board so they can share ideas.

Marketers sort of took over group boards and now they've become a way to get more exposure to your content.

Pinterest group boards in 2020 are not dead. But what has changed is the way to benefit from them has evolved.

To be successful with group boards in 2020, you need to be selective and only post on Pinterest boards where your pins get engagement.

You can find pin engagement data on your PInterest analytics here.

Find Niche Group Boards - search on in board names on Pinterest. You can also search for keyword + group boards to get better results.

You can identify when a board is a group board by the circle in the lower left hand corner showing multiple users.

Once you find a group board you like, send a message to the board owner asking to join their group board. The owner of the group board will be the first person listed under Group members.

While Pinterest group boards aren't as useful as they once were, you should still join and participate in curated boards within your niche.

Be selective and only join boards where the pins posted closely align with your own content.

If you find a board that's full of spam or off-topic pins, do not join these boards. What will happen is pins you post will get zero engagement and you'll actually be hurting your entire account.

12. Sign Up For Tailwind

If you don't use a Pinterest scheduler you will end up spending too much time manually pinning every day.

The Pinterest scheduler I recommend, Tailwind, actually partners with Pinterest to ensure their tool conforms to Pinterest best practices (source).

Use the Smart Scheduler - Pinterest wants you to be active on the platform. According to Pinterest's own best practices page, they recommend and reward creators for being consistent:

"Add new Pins over time rather than uploading a bunch at once. This helps you reach a wider audience. You can schedule Pins up to two weeks in advance with our scheduling tools, or plan even further out with tools from approved Marketing Partners."

The Tailwind Scheduler is great because you can create content in batches, then schedule out your pins to be shared for months in advance. Best of all, Tailwind will actually recommend the best time slots to post when your audience is most engaged.

Take Advantage of Tailwinds Analytics - This is by far one of the best features of Tailwind The only way to succeed in Pinterest is to see what is working and do more of it.

Using Tailwind's Analytics you can see so much data about your account, your pins, and your boards.

If you see a certain group board doing well, post more often in it. If you see a group board doing poorly, leave it altogether.

The same applies to your pins. If you see a certain style doing well, add more with the same style. And if you see a blog post doing well, create additional pins for that post only.

Use Smart Loops - Looping your pins is when you recycle your old pins and post them again. While it's important to create new content for Pinterest, if you have good performing pins they deserve to be shared again.

With the Tailwind Smartloop feature you can schedule your best pins to post again and again to the boards you specify.

Smartloop is not spamming and is not against Pinterest's TOS (source). There are built-in controls within Smartloop to prevent you from saving the same image to the same board within 3 months to prevent you from overdoing it.

Use Tailwind Communities - another awesome feature exclusive to Tailwind. Tailwind Communities are groups you can join within Tailwind where users share each others' content.

Let's say there's a group of yoga bloggers who started a Yoga community. You have a yoga blog too so you join the community.

You can add a pin to the community and the other community members can share your pin with their audience. Can you see just how valuable this is for a new blogger?

Each community has its' own rules, but most of the time the rule is for every pin of yours you add to the group, you have to share a pin from your other members.

Tailwind Community is by far the best way to get traffic to a new blog.

If you use this link to sign up with Tailwind you can schedule up to 100 pins for free (no payment info required). Plus you can join up to 5 communities and add up to 30 pins to your communities per month.

13. Consistently Create New Awesome Content

Pinterest, unlike Google, has been very open about what they want from content creators. They want fresh pins.

What is a fresh pin? - A fresh pin is an image that has never been published on Pinterest before.

Can I still save (or re-pin) my older pins? - While the focus should be to create new images, this doesn't mean you can't republish some of your best performing pins again. It just means Pinterest prefers brand new images. Pinterest will reward content creators who are actively creating new content for their platform.

You can follow the Tailwind Facebook page here, it's a great resource to learn about the latest Pinterest algorithm updates in 2021.




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