Struggling with traffic? Have you heard of Pinterest but can’t seem to understand how to use the platform?
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Pinterest is a visual search engine (like Google) that you can use every single day to get an amazing amount of traffic to your blog.
What Is Pinterest?
Pinterest is the number one referrer for most mom bloggers! However, Pinterest is NOT a social media platform. Pinterest is a search engine (like a visual Google).
To learn more about Pinterest, see this post.
Pinterest is an image and link social media platform. In short, you share images and Pinterest users will (hopefully) click on the image to visit your blog.
In many ways, Pinterest is a simple platform, but there are some things you need to know to succeed as a blogger.
Why should you use Pinterest? In 2018, there were 77.4 million users on Pinterest worldwide (source).
That’s a LOT of people you can potentially reach merely by creating pinnable images on your blog posts that you AND your readers can save on Pinterest.
Yup, that’s right: there’s enough information about Pinterest that there’s a submenu:
With every social platform comes a set of unique terms or phrases you will come across to describe different things. Below are some common terms you will encounter as you learn about Pinterest:
- Board: Where a user will save (“pin”) images for later. Think of this like a clipboard of images where a user will have multiple clipboards for each topic they choose.
- Pin: An individual image with text and link. This word can also be used to say something like “your pin was pinned” (meaning it was saved/repinned to a board).
- Repin: When a user sees your pin and decides to save it to one of their boards (“pinning the pin” or “save the pin”).
- Rich Pins: once you have claimed your website, your pins will now show more information to entice the user to click on your pin.
- Tried It: if a user has clicked on a pin and tried the recipe, craft or whatever the site instructed, they are allowed to share their experience with the pin to help others. This may include things like images of the finished recipe and/or a written review.
When it comes to Pinterest analytics, here is what is meant by certain terms:
- Clicks: Number of times a user has clicked on a pin to visit the site.
- Impressions: Number of times a pin is viewed in a feed (looked at, not clicked on)
- Monthly Engaged: Number of users who have clicked on your pins in a month.
- Monthly Viewers: Number of users who are visually seeing your pins in a month.
- Saves: The number of times a pin is saved/repinned. Some places may refer to these as repins.
Choosing A Pinterest Name
Since you want people to be able to find you, try to choose a name for your Pinterest account that closely matches your blog name.
With so many people on Pinterest, this may mean a little change to the name you would like if you have chosen a blog name that is a common phrase, etc.
Your handle (your username – the name you choose that will start with an @ symbol that will also be used in your profile URL) can be different than what is displayed as your name when users look at your profile.
For example, someone may have a handle of @weirdmomlife (username weirdmomlife) and they change their displayed name to “Kirsta @ This Weird Mom Life | Pregnancy | Birth Doula”. Both are searchable by users on Pinterest!
Before deciding on your handle/username and then editing your name, make sure you discover keywords to use in your name (not necessarily in your handle).
There is nothing wrong with simply using your blog name as your Pinterest account name!
But, adding some simple keywords can help grab attention and show up in search results.
Setting Up Your Account
In order to access analytics (data about your pin performance), you will need to sign up for a business account (free).
It is highly suggested to use a new account rather than an account you use personally. Not only do you want to only pin (a word for saving images) relevant content to your boars (collections of pins, kind of like a filing system), but you also want to associate your Pinterest name with your blog.
If you have a personal account, make sure you log out before going through the steps below:
- Go to pinterest.com/business/create/
- Fill out your email, password and business name then select a business type (whichever closest matches your blog)
- Click Create account
Claim Your Website
With a business account, you get access to analytics to see how your pins are performing. But, in order to view the data, you will need to verify you own your website.
Once you have claimed your blog (website), your profile picture will appear next to any pins that come from your site and a small globe will appear next to your URL in your profile.
Basically, by claiming your website you are making sure Pinterest finds your account trustworthy.
Updating Your Profile
Once you have your account, now you can go to your profile and update your name.
Go in the upper right hand corner and click on the triple dots, then Settings.
- You can also add your profile image. Although you can use your blog logo, most bloggers prefer to use an image of themselves to help your account feel more personable.
- Update your “about me” section with a description of what you blog about (meaning what types of pins you save). Make sure to use keywords.
- It’s your choice if you want to add a location (you can always just list your country for reference).
- Under the location field, you can click to add or edit featured boards at any time that appear in your profile. If you don’t have any boards yet, come back after you have some to feature. you can feature up to 5 boards.
How do you edit your header area showing pins?
On your profile page, there is also a top area you can customize to show recent pins from your site (by anyone, not just pins you save), most recent pins you have saved (regardless of the site) or choose a board you want to display pins from.
Many choose to display pins your site to show activity from your blog.
Boards on Pinterest are like files or buckets in which you save your pins. You can have as many boards as you like, but make sure you only have boards you will actively pin (save) to and ones that only cover topics that match your blog content (relevent topics).
Under your profile picture, there is another navigation menu. Click on Boards. Here is where you can create new boards by clicking on the plus symbol.
Add a board name, closest topic from the dropdown and a good description with keywords (try to do this in full sentences rather than a list of keywords or using hashtags, though you can do that as well).
If you get lost on the types of boards to create, look up others in your niche for inspiration.
Board covers are a way to create a seamless look to all your boards.
Creating board covers is just like making pins in whatever tool you use (Canva, PicMonkey, Photoshop, etc). To keep your page looking consistent, try to stick to a single template for each board cover.
It’s debatable whether the effort of making one for every board is worth it (the largest group of people who repin your pins will never to your actually profile). However, if you have the time or inclination, board covers provide a very professional look to your account.
The image sizes for your board cover should be 340 x 340 with the optimal size being 736×736 (though make sure any text is right in the center in case of cropping, notably on mobile).
After you have added your first board cover, make sure to look at it on a computer and, more importantly, on mobile.
Seasonality Of Pinterest
There are definite times of the year when certain types of pins and content will do better on Pinterest.
Here is an image from Pinterest showing holidays or other events and when pinning ACTUALLY starts (usually months in advance!):
Keywords on Pinterest
As mom bloggers, Pinterest is a fantastic referral source. To help your readers find you, make sure to include a keyword rich name, bio, board names/descriptions and pin description.
Using relevant keywords will help your audience find you and your content.
How do you find keywords?
Go to Pinterest and search for what your article topic (like “toddler tantrums”). After you hit enter, you will find additional keywords below the search bar you can use in your pin description!
Image and Pin Descriptions
When you create a post on your site and upload images, it’s good practice to place a description on every image (unless you set the image to not be “pinnable”).
Many users may use a browser extension (like the Chrome Pinterest extension) that lets them pin any image from a site without using the share buttons on your blog.
That means that unless you mark your image to not pin, all images will be available to pin! Many times you may see images you didn’t intend to be pinned on Pinterest because a reader wanted to save an idea, not the fancy pin you created for the entire post.
While this isn’t always possible, you can do what you can to avoid readers pinning images you don’t intend to end up on Pinterest. Some sharing options (like browser extensions – basically plugins for a browser) will pull all images even if you code your image to exclude from pinning.
Pinterest loves lots of pins from a single post but will give higher priority if there are multiple pins with differing descriptions. Apparently, Pinterest knows when a description is recycled. (source)
Where To Place Your Descriptions
There is a lot of debate on where to put your Pinterest pin descriptions on your post images.
Although it takes a little more time, you need to use the alt descriptions in your images for search engines and the visually impaired only.
There are a couple of ways you can provide a pin description without using the alt description:
Use Code: There is a snippet of code you can add to your image HTML –
data-pin-description=”Your Pinterest description here” .
Use a Plugin: There are 2 options you can use (both paid) to save you TONS of time!! Both of these options allow you to enter a Pinterest description and select share options for all your posts without writing a line of code!
Plus, you can hide pins with ease!
I’ve used both and loved them.
- WP Tasty Pins (just adds Pinterest functionality)
- Grow by Mediavine Pro (formerly Social Pug – includes additional functionality like share buttons for your posts)
Frequency of Pinning
There is no end to the debate on how, when and how much to pin to gain traction on Pinterest.
It is far more important to create quality pins that attract your readers than worry about how often you pin.
When it comes to how many you should create in a day, some people say a minimum of 10 and others will tell you 30-40 throughout the day.
That’s a LOT of pinning!
First, check out the section below on using Tailwind to handle the bunk of your pinning.
Second, test out different methods and see what gets you the most traffic.
Hiding Images From Pinning
Do you have images on your post that you DON’T want users to pin?
If you want to try to keep some images (like personal photos of your family you don’t want shared) on your post from showing up in the list of images a reader can pin to Pinterest, there are a couple ways you can do this.
Keep in mind that this may not block every possible way a user can pin an image. For example, if you have a plugin that has a floating button to pin on Pinterest over all your images, a reader may still be able to pin the image.
But, for most people, the following options will block your image from being pinned through most methods:
There’s a little snippet of code you can add to your image in the code editor (HTML): data-pin-nopin=”true”
Insert your image into your post. Click on your image and switch to Code view (WP classic) or Code Editor (Gutenberg) to see the highlighted image code (HTML). Then add the code snippet after the image URL quotes:
<img src=”example .com/myimage.jpg “data-pin-nopin=”true”> (without the space before .com)
Through a Plugin
As mentioned earlier, some plugins like WP Tasty Pins (see the image below that shows the ability to enter a pin description directly in the image and a box to check if you want to exclude the image from pinning) allow you to merely click a button to exclude your image (adds the code for you).
Both are paid, but the benefits of each are very much worth the expense (ease of adding Pinterest descriptions, hiding pins, etc).
Hiding Pin Images From Displaying
It’s good practice to create multiple pin images for every post. Not only will this allow you to pin without looking spammy but will also provide a couple of different designs to appeal to readers.
Ultimately, this means that you will have an image you create as a pin that is on your page but not displayed (it won’t even show in your Visual Editor).
Here are a couple ways you can do this:
There are some bloggers that have issues using this code, but the majority of bloggers can use this code without problems: <div style =”display: none;”>
Insert your image into your post. Switch to Code view (WP classic) or Code Editor (Gutenberg) and locate the image code by the file name (HTML). Then add the code snippet before the brackets and a closing </div> after the last bracket:
<div style =”display: none;”> <img src=”example.com/myimage.jpg”> </div>
Through a Plugin
While there may be other plugins out there, you can use the WP Tasty Pins (paid) plugin to hide pinnable images.
Once the plugin is installed, just insert the image at the very bottom of your post (scroll all the way down).
As a side note, if you decide to use this plugin, you will need to make sure to go to your Media, find the image and update the Pin Description and alt text from there. You can also do this by clicking on the image in the provided section to open your Media and edit there.
When you are designing pins to place on your post or page to share, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Is the text legible? Can you read every word without trying?
- Does your description on the image clearly tell the reader what content they will be reading? (if the content differs, your reader may close your site and navigate to another: “bounce”).
- Is the image the correct size?
- Would YOU click on the pin you created?
- If you are including a photograph, does the photo clearly represent the topic of your post? (there are many Pinterest experts that say there should be no faces looking at the reader, though this isn’t always true)
- Does the pin include your blog URL (even small)? This is essentially your branding AND your watermark that the pin is yours.
- Is there a clear color scheme (contrasting is fine!)? Does your image stand out, even when displayed at a smaller size (think mobile size!)?
While there are a lot of courses you can take to get a more in-depth understanding of designing and creating Pinterest pin images (free and paid), here are some good webinar videos from Pinterest.
When you create a board on Pinterest, you are the only person that can add pins unless you invite others to the board.
While the actual intention of group boards from Pinterest is to share ideas with each other, many bloggers use these boards to help promote their own content and have it shared by other bloggers (to increase their reach).
Group boards are almost always targeted on a specific topic, like motherhood, toddlers, kid crafts or any number of other categories. You will find some boards that allow any kind of content as well.
The size of the board and the rules of that group board differ by the wishes of the individual who created it. That means, when you search for potential boards to join, you should read through the board description to discover the rules first.
There is some debate on the effectiveness of group boards, both from receiving repins from others and how often your pins are shared in Pinterest user feeds.
But, it doesn’t hurt (and may actually help) to join some group boards that may result in your content being shown to more users. Other bloggers may also see your content and decide to follow you (either on Pinterest or on your blog) which furthers your reach even further!
While it’s great to join a board that is HUGE and has millions of followers, the shear number of people contributing to the board may limit the number of repins you receive (no matter the rules of the board). So try a mix of big and medium sized boards to see what works best for you.
If you are interested in promoting pins (your content), you can create an ad on Pinterest and target specific users.
To learn more, you can also click on “Ads” next to “Analytics” in the upper left hand corner of the screen when logged into Pinterest. Note that this will only appear if you have claimed your website for your account.
It’s very common for bloggers to join a few Facebook groups to help them promote their content.
In many cases, the groups provide daily or weekly share opportunities. This means you share a link to your content and other bloggers may share that content with their audience.
Almost all groups you find on Facebook will require you to request to join the group and answer a few questions to verify you are a good fit for the group (like your blog URL).
Make sure to read the rules of each group before requesting to join.
You can either navigate to the Group section of Facebook and search for your topic (the easiest) or merely type in a topic in the search bar.
Are you a mom who blogs looking to connect? Check out the Blogging AND Momming Facebook group! (any niche!)
Try to find groups that closely match your niche (if possible).
Not only do Facebook groups dedicated to blogging help you share your content, but it also gives you a forum to ask questions.
This is the closest partner between Pinterest and any other scheduler.
While this service is paid, you are able to try it out first.
By using this link for Tailwind, you will receive a free month of Tailwind!
You can, however, try Tailwind out for free for your first 100 pins to make sure it’s a good fit before you sign up. AND, they do not require a credit card to do the free trial (so you don’t have to worry about canceling before you are charged).
Tailwind is also the most popular way to schedule your pins on Pinterest and offers the following benefits:
- Schedule Pins: this is the obvious one – you can schedule pins (yours and others) to fill your “queue” and develop a schedule for pinning.
- Analytics: see how well your pins are performing on Pinterest that you have scheduled. The analytics aren’t limited just to your Tailwind account! In fact, Tailwind provides more in depth analytics than Pinterest.
- Tribes: join groups of your choice to add your pins to and reshare others in your scheduler. The number you can join depends on your plan. Make sure to check out the rules of each Tribe before joining (or requesting to join).
- Power Ups: Buy power ups to increase the number of Tribes you belong to, add Tailwind loop (SmartLoop) functionality, schedule posts to Instagram and so much more!
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