Pin Like a Pro – Mini Course

Learn how to make money by utlitizing the power of Pinterest! In this lesson we start at the very beginning by setting up a business account, completing a branding exercise, and creating new, awesome boards!

Please note this post may include affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure policy here.

I don’t usually write about the business side of blogging here on Little Girl Designs but I do get questions about what methods I’ve used to grow this blog. Since Pinterest has been very helpful for me to get the word out about my blog and products, I thought I’d start a series called Pin Like a Pro that will help you get started.

Pin Like a Pro – Part One

I owe everything to Pinterest. Okay, maybe not everything, but consider this: when I first started Little Girl Designs in October of 2014, I had a whopping 173 page views for the month. And I’m sure many of those were my husband and I checking the site from various devices to see if it was even working. Our second month in business, we had 124 page views. Yeah.

I had a Pinterest account at the time but wasn’t quite sure how to use it as a tool to bring traffic to my site. It took a few months for me to figure it out, but once I did, my site traffic went up and up and up.

Why am I sharing this? Because Pinterest might be the best thing that happens to your blog too. It’s free, it gets your blog out there among all the big blogs, and it helps you establish credibility.

But here’s the real secret.

Even if the Pinterest algorithm changes, you can still use it to grow your email list. You can still bring targeted people who are interested in your products to your site. You can utilize ads that have a high conversion rate (because you know what your people are looking for and wanting to learn!) You can earn an income off of your blog whether you’re getting millions of page views or thousands. This is coming from someone who works maybe 10 hours a week on her blog and brings in a healthy part-time income. It’s pretty incredible.

So let’s get started!

Getting Started with Pinterest

First things, first. Pinterest offers two different kinds of accounts. You’ll want to choose a Business Account. This will give you access to Rich Pins, allow you to run ads later on, and give you access to analytics that you can peruse (and see what pins are actually working for you.)

To set up your business account, go to: https://www.pinterest.com/business/getstarted/

If you’re a blogger, you’ll want to choose “Professional” under the dropdown menu for business type.

* Quick tip: Choose a blog/business name you can use across all the social media platforms. I’m still bummed that Little Girl Designs is way too long of a title for most of the platforms and for those where it would work, it was already used. I went with it at the time but that means all of my social media handles are different which is not the best way to go. Learn from me. Choose something succinct, and keep it the same.

First, A Little Research

A discussion on branding could be an entire chapter (or eCourse), but let’s make this as succinct as possible. Your brand is your identity. When you see the Coca Cola lettering on a red can, you know it’s Coke at just a glance. You want potential readers and fans to see your pins and think, “Oh, it’s [insert your name here]! I love her!” before they click through to read more.

Now that you have a business account, take a few minutes to create a Secret board and begin filling that board with brand images that inspire you. Maybe you are a landscape painter, and you’re drawn to lush jewel tones. Find images that reflect that. Fill your board with at least 50-100 images of furniture, food, DIY projects, and quotes that reflect what you want your brand (and business) to be about. If you’re having trouble finding ideas, remember that Pinterest is a search engine. Type your query in the search box and have fun discovering new things.

Set the timer and pin away for 20 minutes. Don’t edit yourself. GO!

Okay, you should now have a board filled with images that inspire you. Now it’s time to go back with your proverbial notepad and do some research.

  1. Is there a consistent color scheme in these images? What is it?
  2. How would you describe your blog’s style? Quirky, corporate, geek, friendly, artsy, etc.
  3. What are your two favorite colors? Are you using those in your blog? Is there a reason why you’re not doing so? (If you aren’t using them.)
  4. What are you trying to communicate to your readers? Competence in a certain subject matter, approachable, best friend you wish you had, teacher, etc.? Note that the colors and fonts you choose speak volumes when it comes to defining your brand.

Make Your Boards Awesome

A glance at your Pinterest boards is the first impression many people will get when they’re deciding whether or not to follow your account. These boards are also what allow you to be found in Pinterest search.

P.S. Always, always, always remember that Pinterest is a search engine. This will help you tremendously as you write descriptions for your pins and boards.

I write about making creativity a priority in your life on my blog, Little Girl Designs. First of all, I have my Best of board for my blog. Then I have a Crafts board, a holiday board, Letter writing (a very popular subject on my blog), and a board that covers creativity (retreats, creative businesses, prompts, etc.)

Learn how to make money by utlitizing the power of Pinterest! In this lesson we start at the very beginning by setting up a business account, completing a branding exercise, and creating new, awesome boards!

If you haven’t created your boards yet, write out 20-30 board topics you could create that are inline with your current blog. The more niched you can make these, the better.

Make sure your board names are clear and descriptive. Rather than having a board called, “Recipes” or “Oh, Yum!,” create a board called Chocolate Desserts. Be as specific as possible. You are not trying to reach the entire world with what you have to share and offer. You are looking for your people.

Keyword City

You have an idea of what your style for pins is and you have your board topics ready. Now it’s time to create those boards. Simply click “Create Board” on your Pinterest page, type a descriptive title in and choose to make it public. (Secret boards are only for you to see.)

The board will appear on your page. You can now click the edit button to add a more detailed description about what kinds of pins you will be pinning to that board. Make sure you include the keywords people are most likely to use when they’re looking for the subject matter contained in your board. Some people list a long list of keywords for their board descriptions and some write a descriptive paragraph. I do both and haven’t noticed a difference between the two.

(Think of a “keyword” as the words you type into Google search to find something. They’re the main point of the blog post you’re writing. A keyword phrase for a delicious recipe for chocolate chip cake mix cookies would be: “chocolate chip cake mix cookies.”)

If you have a free opt-in for your email list, be sure to offer it in your Pinterest board description. People will have to copy/paste the link as it won’t be clickable, but it’s a good idea to share your freebie wherever you can.

Here are some examples of board descriptions:

Learn how to make money by utlitizing the power of Pinterest! In this lesson we start at the very beginning by setting up a business account, completing a branding exercise, and creating new, awesome boards! Learn how to make money by utlitizing the power of Pinterest! In this lesson we start at the very beginning by setting up a business account, completing a branding exercise, and creating new, awesome boards!

We’ll talk about how to fill up your boards and how to keep them refreshed on a consistent basis in the next lesson.

Just one more thing before I sign off for today: As you’re starting to fill up your new (or redefined) boards, remember . . .

It’s not all about you.

Even if you create gorgeous looking pins that make people want to click over and visit your site (and even buy your product), you need to be pinning at least 70% of other people’s gorgeous pins as well. This practice does a few things:

  1. Your Pinterest boards will have variety and not just be your projects. Yes, you will need to have a “Best of {your biz/blog name}” board where you exclusively pin your blog’s pins, but the rest of the boards should cover topics your ideal reader will enjoy reading as well.
  2. Sharing other people’s pins on your boards increases your expertise as you are showing a depth about a subject that people are interested in. For example, if you enjoy sharing scrapbooking tutorials, it is likely you have a certain design look that is repeated often. Sharing other designs shows your followers the possibilities out there. You’re basically curating a magazine of sorts filled with lots of different ideas on one subject. Make your magazine (aka, board) beautiful!
  3. Some experts say Pinterest will penalize you for only pinning your own pins. You’ll notice they share your pins less and less if you do so.
  4. Also, it’s just a nice thing to do. :)

Another thing to note: share pins that are high quality and reflect your brand. If you tend towards minimalism for your own branding, find pins that also reflect that style. They don’t have to perfectly look like your brand, but make sure they’re going to go along with the image you’re trying to create. Consistency is key. (If you do find pins that you personally want to save but that don’t go with your brand, then create Secret boards for them. Then you can pin away and no one will ever know! :))

Now, fill those boards up with at least 20 pins each. This might take some time as you’re now looking for a specific look for your boards. That’s okay. Schedule some time in your schedule to get this done. You’ll be so glad you did!

Here’s the second post in the series, where we’ll automate our pinning. Hope you enjoy it!

Have a great day!