Pinterest is such a powerful tool in your blogging journey. When done right, it can explode your traffic, increase sign-ups and sales. If you are thinking of investing your time and money on Pinterest and Pinterest related services, you are making a wise decision.
Pinterest has helped three of my blogs (travel and blogging) to increase traffic and bring in income. Through this post, I want to share insights on how to set up a Pinterest account and do it right from the start.
Disclosure: This site uses affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you use my links and make a purchase without incurring an additional fee yourself.
This post + my Pinning Checklist is available for free to download. I hope you find it useful.
Create a Pinterest business account
The first thing you need to do is to set up a Pinterest business account . It’s easy to create and it’s 100% free to use. All you need is an email address to get started.
There are many benefits to opening a Pinterest Business Account for your blog. It gives you valuable tools such as Pinterest Analytics, and Pinterest Ads. The Analytics section is very helpful to understand how your pins are doing, and what is working and what is not.
If you have a personal Pinterest account for your blog, we recommend upgrading it to a business account for free.
Claim your business account
Claiming your website on Pinterest is important to gain insights into how your blog and account is doing. By claiming your website, you verify that you’re the owner of your blog or your website.
- Head to Pinterest Account Settings, and enter your domain name under ‘Claim your website’ (see image)
- Then, upload a small HTML tag file to your website’s source code or add a DNS TXT record to your website (can be done via your host)
- Or insert the tag into your website directly in WordPress
Activate rich pins
Activating rich pins is a great way to let the Pinterest search engine know what your post is all about. By doing so, you allow Pinterest to automatically include more information from your website to your pins.
For example, when you share a blog post on Pinterest, your post title and meta description will be displayed on your pins, adding more keywords to your overall pin. Whenever you make changes to your title or description, with rich pins enabled, all of your pins for that post will update automatically.
Adding keywords to your account profile
It is important to add keywords to your account name. Your account handle could be “Wandering Yogi”, but Pinterest allows you to add more characters. Use that to add search terms relevant to your niche. Like,
“Wandering Yogi | Wellness & Travel Blog”
This helps users find you when they do a search with those keywords.
Step: You can access and edit it in your account settings.
After updating your account name, use keywords in your Pinterest account description. There are 160 characters for this. You can also include a call to action here like ‘Learn More’, ‘Sign Up’; to get followers to sign up to your offer, or check out your blog or your shop page.
Upload a photo to your profile
Upload a clear profile photo (of yours) to your Pinterest. I have a photo of my husband and I, on our travel blog (Pinterest accounts). For our blogging tips website, we have used a logo. But feel free to use a personal photo, if you like.
Set up your Pinterest boards
Now that you have Pinterest Account set up, it is time to create some pin boards relevant to your niche. There are 3 elements to board creations
- Pin Cover and Cover Image (please name them as your board name)
- Pin Descriptions
And what ties all the 3 together are relevancy. They should match your niche and what is on your blog, plus include relevant keywords.
What types of boards should you create?
- What’s your blog niche? [Travel, Food, Lifestyle, Parenting, DIY, Blogging]
- What types of posts do you write? [How to, Destination specific, meal specific, skills, seasonal]
- Or create a board for each of your blog post categories.
Once you have created your boards, add at least 30-50 pins based on the Pinterest suggestions you see inside of that board. Or click on “more ideas” to pin relevant top pins to the board first.
Pro tip: You can keep the board secret at this time if you like. Fill it up to 50, and then you can make your board public.
As your Pinterest and your blog grows, you may want to create additional, more specific boards for pinning content.
Don’t forget to create a Best of Blog Board
This is for your own blog posts. You must create a board to house all of your pins. Set the board with a blog name or URL as the board name. Use keyword rich description that reflects your blog contents, or your niche, making it easy for users to find you!
Follow accounts in your niche
Once you have your boards set up, and filled with relevant pins, it’s time to connect and follow similar accounts in your niche. Although follower counts do not matter for Pinterest reach, it is nice to follow similar people/accounts and get inspiration (not copy, but inspired). You can also follow specific boards that you like, and will benefit your followers.
Create click worthy pin images
Pinterest is a visual search engine, so you need to make sure your pin stands out.
- Pin Size: The ideal Pinterest image size is 1000 x 1500px and an aspect ratio of 2:3
- Use bright pretty images (your own, from Canva, or stock image websites)
- Use not more than 2 fonts when creating your pin image. Make sure the text is enticing and reflects the article contents (and not clickbait)
- Place your logo, blog name or URL at the top or bottom, centered
- Use a Call to Action (examples: Click to read more, Get the entire list here, Claim your free gift). Pin text like, ‘you go to read #6”, “free printable for download”, will increase sign-ups and your audience will click through to read more!
- Consider how your pin image will appear on mobile, that’s where your audience and followers will be interacting with Pinterest content
I use Canva Pro account to create pin images, ebooks, and other printables. It also gives me access to thousands of stock images for a monthly fee. You can create a few templates on Canva, and swap the images, text, and colors to test out what works and what doesn’t.
Other than a great design or a gorgeous image, always remember to name the Pin image. If you are downloading it from Canva, ensure you save the image as the keyword for the pin/post itself.
Do not post it as ‘copy of copy London bucket list’, when the image is of Nashville Weekend Guide. This step is often overlooked, don’t miss an opportunity to increase your chance of being found via search in Pinterest.
Add keywords to your pin
Pinterest wants to show its users the best possible results, just like Google. Knowing how to find the right keywords and put them in the right places is super important, as this helps Pinterest distribute your pins and blog posts to right users.
In order to reach your ideal audience, you need to ensure your pins are optimized. This is the MOST important part of my pinning strategy. Whenever you create and publish a new pin, you should use keywords.
They should be used in
- Pin Image title (as you save it on your computer)
- Pin Title
- Pin Description
Pin descriptions should include keywords and terms that you want to rank for. Searching for pin keywords is easy and free.
- From your search bar, type in the name of the term you are targeting
- See the image below, you will find a few terms that go with your main keyword. Use them in your description in a natural way
- Add as many keywords as you can (as long as it reflects the contents of the blog post without misleading)
Add a call-to-action (CTA)
It is a good idea to add words like “click to download”, ‘read the entire list here” in to your pin description. You can add that to your pin design as well.
Include tags in your pin description for vidoes
Hashtags are a great way to increase reach on Pinterest in the past, but no anymore. Hashtags are no longer supported on static pins.
However, you can use tags on video and idea pins. I use 3 to 5 tags that are highly targeted and relevant to the blog post I am pinning.
Pin to your most relevant board first, and then to your best of board (optional)
Once the pin description is done, save the pin to the most relevant board first, and then in 7-day interval, you can pin it to your best of the board. Pinning to your best of board is completely optional.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you must pin it first to the most relevant board as this is going to set the tone for your pin and your blog post when done this way.
Pinterest will use this information to understand what your blog post is about. This helps them to decide how to distribute your pin to others based on the first board you use. Depending on what boards you have set up, find the one board that closely matches the pin-blog post.
For example, if I have a pin titled ‘things to do in Seattle’.
I can pin it to a “Washington USA Travel Board’, or “USA Travel Board”. (Not Spain travel, travel tips, Food board).
Doing so, Pinterest will get useful hints to figure out what the pin is about. And once your followers start clicking, pinning, and sharing your pins, it will help the pin perform even better, and spread out the reach.
Pin your own content (and others), consistently
When you’re new to Pinterest, you will be adding others content to fill your boards. And that is okay. It gives your boards more relevancy.
Once all the boards are set up and you have blog posts to pin to, you can focus on your own content. It is important to remember that there is no set ratio as to how many are your own pins vs others.
When I started with Pinterest in 2018, there was a 80/20 rule – pin 80% of others, and 20% of your own content. Then it changed to 50/50. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to Pinterest marketing.
In 2020, when I started my niche site, I started with pinning others content to fill the boards, and after that the focus has been my own content. Every account is different, and every pinning strategy is unique.
I would recommend that you test it out and see what ratio works for you. Feel free to pin images with or without text overlay. Your #1 priority on Pinterest is to promote your own content and get traffic to your blog. The more blog posts you publish and share on Pinterest, the more traction you will gain on the platform.
If you’re new to Pinterest, remember it could take upto 6 months to see solid gains on the account. Use the 6 month time frame to pin consistently and share your blog posts, and click worthy pins.
Create multiple pins for each blog post
To keep pinning consistently, and stay active on Pinterest, it is important to publish new pins. This is even more important with the focus on fresh pins vs ‘re-pins’.
If you can’t publish a new blog post daily or weekly, it’s OK to create new, fresh pin images for your old blog posts. I like to create at least 2-3 images for each post. I add 2 pins inside the blog post, and the rest I pin them directly to Pinterest over the next few months.
Creating more pins helps me to understand what types of images and text resonate well with my target audience. Once you nail down the design, text and type of pin design that’s working, create more of that content, in a similar layout.
Pro Tip: Add social sharing buttons to your blog posts. This makes it super easy for readers to pin and save your images and posts. I use the Grow by Mediavine paid version for my blogs. It’s super easy to set up and use. I use the paid version as it allows me to add a pin description for each image (do not use alt text for pin description. Use of alt text is for identifying an image).
Avoid (re) pinning to other boards
When you create a new pin, don’t post it to all of your related boards right away. It looks spammy to Pinterest and to your followers. With the importance of fresh pins (and Pinterest prioritizing it), I recommend that you avoid re-pinning the same image to other boards – even at an interval.
In the past I/others have re-pinned the same image with an interval of 1 to 2 days to all the relevant boards one by one. Tailwind (a paid and an approved Pinterest partner) allowed us to schedule pins on an interval and helped us to consistently active on Pinterest.
But not anymore.
Right now if you were to re-pin an image Pinterest lowers the reach/impressions on the second and the third repin – so why pin again?
Secondly, Tailwind doesn’t create a new pin each time we repin from the platform. The easiest way to understand this by looking at your ‘CREATED’ and ‘SAVED’ tab on Pinterest. If it is a NEW pin it shows up on CREATED, and none of your re-pins will show up there (maybe 1-2 in a hundred).
Now, you can use Tailwind to schedule your fresh pins ahead of time – like beyond 2 weeks (which is a limitation inside the Pinterest Scheduler). Plus if you find Tribes or Communities that work for you, it is 100% worth paying for it. If you’re not familiar, you can try Tailwind for free here.
Add the Pinterest Save Button to your website
Use your blog assets to further your Pinterest reach. As mentioned above, I use Grow plugin for my social media share icons. Using the same plugin I include a “pin it”, or “save on pinterest” button.
Including the Pinterest Save button on your blog will create an overlay on all of your images and this makes it easy for readers to pin, and save on Pinterest.
The way it works is when your readers hover over an image they will see a small pin icon that allows them to save that image directly to their Pinterest boards. (You can disable it on certain blog posts like affiliate heavy posts with clickable product images, if you want).
If you don’t have the paid Grow plugin, you can install this free plugin – ‘jQuery for Pin it Images’ to get the ‘pin-it’ icon.
Feel free to ask your readers to share your content on Pinterest. You can include that as a call to action at the bottom or middle of the post, such as “In a hurry, pin this post to read later”, or “If you found this post helpful, do share it on Pinterest!”
Track your performance with Pinterest Analytics
Everything in the blogging or business world needs tracking and analysis. And Pinterest is no different. Pinterest Analytics gives you valuable insights into how users interact with your pins and what type of content performs well.
Take time out on a weekly and monthly basis to check the impressions and link clicks to your pins.
Automate your pinning
Once you have nailed down the pinning process, and what posts work for your account and Pinterest in general, it is time to automate your pinning. My Pinterest traffic skyrocketed when I added Tailwind to the mix in 2019.
I use Tailwind to fill my Pinterest queue, with my own and others’ content. This saves a ton of time each week.
In Tailwind, you can
- Create your pinning schedule. You can choose how many times in a day you want to pin, and also choose optimum time slots
- You can pin to relevant boards for months to come (not restricted to 2 weeks)
- This helps to stay active on Pinterest while I am busy doing other blog related tasks, or in a full time job. So you don’t have to remember to pin 15-50 times manually. And Tailwind not only does that for you, it will also tracks them
- Relevant Tailwind Communities are also useful in improving your Pinterest reach (paid)
You can upload your pin images directly to Tailwind or pick pins directly from Pinterest, it really doesn’t matter.
Pinterest also has its own scheduler, but you can only schedule for 2 weeks in advance.
Pinterest has been a game-changer in my blogging journey. Using my pin strategy I was able to increase my pageviews to my niche site (when it was still new to be ranking on Google), and also reach over 110k pageviews on my first travel blog.
It will also make a difference to your blog and your business. Give it a try.
Need help with Pinterest, get in touch with me. I am here to help!