Updated: July 28, 2017
I love Pinterest.
If it wasn’t for Pinterest I wouldn’t have been able to make over $17,000 in 4 months with my first blog.
Pinterest helps you skip over the boredom of having to wait for Google to bring you traffic. Instead, you can get an instant burst of traffic right away from Pinterest if you do things right.
When we work with clients on their Pinterest profiles we often find that they pin like any normal person would. They find the things that interest them, have a couple of boards set up, and only pin when they have the time.
The people that excel at Pinterest though understand that you need to be strategic about it. When you do you can see some awesome results like getting 400,00 pageviews in 60 days all from Pinterest.
In this post, we are going to share over 40 tips on how to do well on Pinterest.
Prep Your Profile
Your profile is your audition. It’s your time to show people that they should follow you. Even though Pinterest uses a smart algorithm to sort pins on your homepage, that doesn’t take away from the value of having followers. Followers are almost guaranteed to come across your pins whenever they surf Pinterest so your goal should always be to increase your follower count.
If you have a crappy profile then you can expect to only get followed occasionally by real people and almost always by spam accounts.
So how do you go about prepping your profile?
1. Make It a Business Profile
First things first. To get the most out of Pinterest you want to ensure that your account is a business account. Why? Because it allows you to access a couple more features that normal accounts don’t.
It’s free so you don’t have to worry about money and if you already have an account setup it’s easy to convert it over.
2. An Awesome Avatar
Your avatar is going to be the first visual experience someone will have of both your profile and your brand so you need to make it count. When it comes to your avatar you have two options:
- A nice headshot
- A nice logo
The choice is completely up to you. If you are running a blog and it is only you and it’s the only brand you are going to work with then we suggest that you use a headshot because it makes it more personable.
However, don’t think you are forced to use a headshot. We use logos on all of our Pinterest accounts. We can’t verify if this is true or not, but we do believe it makes it just a tad bit harder to get followers since Pinterest users like to believe they are following other real people.
That hasn’t stopped us from being successful on Pinterest, though.
With your avatar, you want to ensure that the image is as clear as possible because it will show up on your profile page (duh) and it’s a bit janky looking then people might not trust you.
If you have other social media accounts then try your best to use the same avatar that you use on those. You want brand consistency across all platforms. This isn’t the time to be a unique butterfly that comes up with something awesome every time they create a new account somewhere.
3. A Keyword-Rich Name
Some people like to just write their name and be done with it, but this is your chance to let your audience know what you are about. Start with your name and then pick 2-3 keywords that will help people understand what your Pinterest account is all about.
As you can see with Obstacle.co’s Pinterest profile, the business name is Obstacle.co | Entrepreneur, Blogging & Voltron. Blogging and Entrepreneur help to attract those particular audiences and Voltron was simply used to make the account seem more human.
4. A Keyword-Rich Description
This isn’t the right time to write an autobiography. This is the time to bring in the right people from your audience that might be searching for something specific.
You want to pick 2-3 keywords again and get those into your description. If you still have enough room then include a link to a landing page where people can sign up for your mailing list.
Why a landing page?
- They convert better than the cluttered homepage
- They only have a single offer and that is what the person is there for
5. Link Your Site
This goes without saying. If you have a site then you want people to wander upon it any way possible. Sometimes that will happen on your Profile page so be sure to include the link.
You’ll also want to confirm your website and this can easily be done using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress.
If you’re not using WordPress or want to get the info straight from Pinterest then just follow this mini-guide from them.
6. Link Your Facebook and/or Twitter Accounts
You want to expose people to your brand as much as possible and if you are active on either of these social media platforms then it doesn’t hurt to push people to them. It just gives another opportunity to get to know you and your brand better which is always a good thing.
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This is the meat of Pinterest. People want to follow boards that are going to provide them with the pins that they want. If they visit your profile and don’t see any boards that interest them then there is no reason for them to stick around.
7. Your Boards Represent You
You know those people that say they like every type of music? Those people suck because you know it’s not true and it just means they don’t know how to curate anything.
You want to show your audience that you know how to curate and your board selection shows them that. At a minimum, you want 15 boards that have at least 10 pins in them. If you find that you have boards that are being neglected simply because you can’t find pins for them or you forgot about them then you might consider deleting them.
When deciding what boards to create, it really comes down to your audience. What are they going to be interested in? It’s not your interest, it’s theirs so if you can’t create boards that appeal to your audience they have no reason to follow you.
To start off, you can think of all of the categories for your blog and use those as boards. Next, you can go deeper or wider with your board topics.
For example, let’s say you have a board on social media marketing. Going deeper would mean finding something that fits within social media marketing, but is even more specific. Twitter Marketing would be a good example. Going wider would mean you create a board for online marketing that encompasses social media marketing and a ton of other marketing as well.
If you’re still having trouble thinking of boards then go check out the profiles of other pinners in your industry and copy their boards.
Just copy their boards.
Trust me, you won’t be the first person with a backyard gardening board and you certainly won’t be the last.
Now that you’ve covered your niche-specific boards, you might want to consider some boards that go just a bit further outside the niche. A Pinterest profile that focuses on budgeting might also have a board on how to make more money.
8. Pick a Category
By default when you create a board, Pinterest gives you a whacked category of “other”. Never leave a board in “other”. “Other” is purgatory.
Pick a category that matches your niche. There is a good chance you won’t find it so try to get as close as possible. For a lot of blogs, we find that their boards can go into education because they are teaching people something.
9. Keyword-Rich Names
People tend to get cute with their board names because they are so used to them being personal. Don’t get cute with them, get specific. The reason why you want keyword-rich names is because you want to give your board a shot at showing up in Pinterest search results.
People love finding pins that match their search results, but they really love finding a whole board that matches it!
10. Keyword-Rich Description
This is really no different than your profile description. Think of the keywords that people will search for that pertain to the board’s topic and get those into your description.
In general, there are two approaches that people take:
- Just spam a ton of keywords into their board descriptions that don’t form any sentences.
- Create a human-readable board description that elegantly integrates the keywords.
We always go with #2 because we believe in creating strong brands every step of the way. Plus, #1 just comes across as spammy but it might be more effective.
11. Create Board Covers
Pinterest, by default, chooses the first pin in a board as the board cover. Usually, you don’t want this because you want to have a great looking profile.
That’s why Pinterest gives you the option of choosing which pin is the board cover. For our Pinterest profiles, we like to create custom board covers that give the board name. Another great way to use board covers is by picking branded images that all have the same main color scheme.
So if your brand colors are green and blue you would want to pick images that are predominantly green and blue. This can have a really slick effect.
12. The Home Board
The Home Board, we just made that term up, is the board that houses all of your content. You want this board to be the first board that people see on your profile because it always leads back to your site.
13. Organize Your Boards
Because board selection matters, you want to put your best boards first. What are those? The boards that cover the most popular topics. Be sure they are relevant to your audience, however.
If you run a cooking blog, but also happen to have an arts and crafts board, don’t sneak that into the top row. Your cooking audience wants cooking pins first.
14. Join Group Boards
Group Boards are one of the most powerful features of Pinterest. They rock because they allow you to piggyback on someone else’s Pinterest audience giving your pins great exposure and a better chance of going viral.
To learn more about Group Board and how helpful they can be for your site check out this post on how we got 17,000 pageviews in a week thanks to Group Boards.
If your boards are the meat, then pins are the potatoes. Remember that just because you created a pin doesn’t mean people have to interact with it. Your pin is competing with millions of other pins on Pinterest so you have your work cut out for you in making sure it stands out.
15. Pin Templates
The most important thing you can do for your pins is to make sure they are custom to your brand. You don’t want to create pins that look like someone else’s pins. Now we aren’t saying you have to be completely unique. You can borrow different elements from other pins, but you want your pins to be recognizable by everybody.
The best way to do this is by creating a template for your pins. Graphic designers can easily do this in graphic design apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, or Sketch, but if you aren’t a graphic designer then you can use free sites like Canva
16. The Right Pin Size
You can upload a pin of almost any size, but that doesn’t mean you should. The optimal pin size is 735×1102. The reason for this is because it fits within the right ratio for Pinterest so that the pin looks great in the home feed and on the specific pin page itself.
You always, always, always want to make sure your pin is vertical. Horizontal pins take up less space on Pinterest and are easily overlooked.
I am a fan of sticking with the 735×1102 (up to 1350) dimensions, but sometimes you need to go longer, especially if you are creating an infographic. However, don’t make this the norm.
17. Readable Text
Pins with text overlays do much better than pins without. People want to know what the pin is about without having to click on it. This isn’t a guessing game. Your audience doesn’t have time for that.
You want the text on your pin to be clear and legible. Don’t use crazy fonts that are hard to read.
18. Write Killer Headlines
Writing awesome headlines is a science. If the text on your pin isn’t enticing then why should people click on it? While the process of coming up with awesome headlines is a bit much for this post, Hubspot has a great post that will help you out.
19. Brand Your Pins
You always want to include the URL of your site on your pins so that your brand is constantly in the face of your audience. When some comes across a pin from Obstacle.co, we want them to automatically click it when they see the URL at the bottom because they trust the brand.
20. Use Keyword-Rich Pin Descriptions
I’m sure you get the idea now. Pinterest SEO plays a huge role in the success of your profile. Be as descriptive as possible and include the keyword in your pin descriptions so they have a better chance of showing up in the search results.
21. Be a Great Curator
If you only pin junk then people won’t care about the good stuff that you pin. It’s important to provide some level of curation to the things that you pin.
Have you ever clicked on a pin only to find that the link no longer works? That’s pretty annoying, right? Don’t be the person that pins stuff like that.
You also want to make sure that the pin is relevant to your audience. Imagine going to a conference on writing musical scores for movies only to find that most of the talks are on how to create a hit Youtube music video.
You want people to trust you and your brand and the things that you pin go a long way in making that happen.
22. Create Multiple Pins
The purpose of using Pinterest is to get people to your site. That means you need to pin your content multiple times. The problem with that is you can’t just keep on pinning the same pin over and over again.
People will catch on and not like what you are doing.
However, there is nothing wrong with pinning multiple pins that go to the same blog post. Mix things up a bit.
I create multiple pins for all of my posts and the only thing that is different is the background colors. This means that I can pump out 2-3 pins per post in just a couple of minutes.
This allows me to constantly pin mt content to group boards without it looking like I am pinning the same post over and over again.
23. Sign Up for Rich Pins
Rich Pins are awesome because they add bit more context to some of your pins. Rich Pins will automatically take information from your site and add it to your pins. This, of course, saves you a lot of hassle and makes your pins look more official.
If you are using WordPress and the Yoast SEO plug-in, the only thing that you need to do is pick a blog post, copy the URL, and submit it to the Rich Pin validator. If you’ve done everything properly you should be validated immediately.
What’s awesome about Rich Pins is that they work no matter who is pinning from your site. It’s all automatic.
Optimize Your Site
There is no use in doing all of this work on Pinterest if you can’t get your site optimized so it does well with the traffic that it gets.
So what can you do?
24. Add Pinterest Share Buttons
There are about a million and one plug-ins that will help you get Pinterest share buttons on your site. SumoMe is one popular solution.
For our own blogs we simply create custom Pinterest share buttons, but with so many great plug-ins out there you really don’t need to go that route.
25. Make Your Pinnable Image Apparent
We’ve already talked about creating multiple pins for your posts, but if you don’t let your audience see those pins then there is no point to them. Where do you place these images? There is no guaranteed winning strategy and we’ve seen bloggers put them at the beginning, middle, and end of their posts.
26. Add Pinterest Follow Buttons
There is a good chance someone will come to your site from somewhere besides Pinterest. If that’s the case you want them to know about.
Let your audience know that you have a Pinterest account that they might want to follow. Just like with the Pinterest share buttons there are a number of plug-ins to help you with this and a lot of themes come with these Pinterest buttons by default.
27. Embed Your Account & Boards
Very similar to adding Pinterest follow buttons to your site, you can actually embed a Pinterest board to your blog. If you are on WordPress then LearnWP has a great post to show you how to do this.
Your Pinning Strategy
All of the pieces are starting to come together now. All this work will be for naught if you don’t have a good pinning strategy set up.
A good pinning strategy ensures that you are consistent with your Pinterest activity and if done right can be done almost on auto-pilot. How great would it be to only have to visit Pinterest for 15 minutes a week to check on things while everything else is humming behind the scenes?
Sounds great to us as well.
28. Use a Scheduling Tool
The best two tools for Pinterest scheduling are Tailwind and BoardBooster. Both of these apps will save you hours of time.
If you want to get a better feel for these apps along with an idea of how we use both of them check out the Tailwind vs BoardBooster review.
29. Pin Consistently and Frequently
One of the keys to strong Pinterest growth is pinning multiple times a day every single day. This is why you want to use a Pinterest scheduling tool because you can’t spend all of your days manually pinning stuff on Pinterest.
You could, but that would be a waste of time.
Generally, you want to pin at least 15-30 pins a day. We’ve found that depending on the industry you are focusing on, the more pins you pin, the more activity you can expect.
There is a point where you will reach diminishing returns though and not see much growth by adding more pins.
30. Re-Pin Your Own Stuff
Don’t think that because you’ve pinned one of your posts that you are done. Nothing is stopping you from pinning the pin multiple times to different boards. Of course, you wouldn’t pin the same pin to the same board daily (that’s one of the reasons why you create multiple pins), but if a couple of weeks have gone by since you’ve pinned a pin to a group board, go back to it and pin it again.
BoardBooster has a great feature, called looping, that will recycle your pins back to the top of your boards.
31. Continue to Monitor Your Progress
At the end of every month, we take a look at our blogs and their social media accounts to see if we like the direction they are going. It’s always good to run an audit of your Pinterest account to see if anything can be improved.
This is especially important if you use a Pinterest scheduler because it can be very easy to set it and forget it. However, you might find that your pin quality is going down or that there are boards you are neglecting.
- Does your profile’s description still fit what you do?
- Do you have a new opt-in offer you can send people to?
- Are there more boards that you can create?
These are just some of the things you will want to ask yourself when doing your Pinterest audit.
32. Set Goals
Following along on the audit you will want to see monthly goals for your Pinterest account. It doesn’t make sense to follow all of these tips if you aren’t sure things are improving. If you’ve setup your account to be a Pinterest Business account then you now have access to Pinterest Analytics.
These analytics are extremely valuable. Tailwind and BoardBooster also have great analytics and reports to help monitor the progress of your profile.
For both our blogs and our clients we create spreadsheets with the different metrics that we are looking to track. This way we can look at everything in a glance to see if everything is trending upwards.
32. Utilize Analytics
We just talked about analytics! But that was in the context of tracking your goals. You can also use Pinterest analytics to help make decisions on future pins and content.
Pinterest Analytics will show you what pins are performing the best over a 30 day period. Some of these will be your pins and some will be 3rd party pins. If you’re ever stuck on what type of content draws your audience in, Pinterest Analytics is a great tool to help you figure this out.
While we believe that Pinterest is more of a marketing platform than social media platform that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore the social aspects of it. As is the case with any platform with social capabilities, the more you interact with others, the better chance you have of building connections.
33. Create Your Own Group Boards
You know the power of group boards so shouldn’t you hold some of that power yourself? Creating a group board is easy. If you aren’t sure what type of rules should be in place then look at the group boards that you have joined (you did join some, right?) and copy those.
The most important thing when running a group board is ensuring that the quality of the pins remains high. There is no point in running a group board that doesn’t provide value to your audience and the audience of the collaborators.
Make the Most out of Pinterest
Depending on your blog’s niche you can generate 100s of thousands or even millions of pageviews from Pinterest. You just have to take the right steps.
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