On Thursday evening my blogging friend, Caroline, popped into my Facebook messenger and said hi. She started telling me all about the recent conference she went to, the FIRST EVER Pinterest Conference for Creatives (that means bloggers) like you and me! She learned a ton of new Pinterest tips and hacks and exactly how to use Pinterest right now!
She volunteered to come talk to my audience Live on my Facebook page, and I begged her to come chat the next day! So on Friday she chatted with my audience for over an hour. You can watch the entire live interview here, watch the video below, or if you prefer text you can read the highlights and notes on how to use Pinterest right now below!
I’ve pulled out the best tips from the over hour long interview and transcribed Carlolina’s advice below. I’ve also included a few of my tips, highlighted in yellow.
*This post contains affiliate links.
What Are People Looking for On Pinterest?
The founders of Pinterest and people behind it are passionate about and committed to Pinterest being a platform that people go to for inspiration and to find ideas, especially ideas they didn’t know exist.
For example, they showed a chart of how they figured out how moms pick clothes – moms will go on Pinterest to look for a denim jacket. They will tunnel search for an authentic denim jacket, but then they will find something else during the search and widen their search again. Slowly, going between what they searched for and new recommendations they discover, they will narrow down their search and eventually they’ll make a purchase – maybe not even ending with a demin jacket, but a pixie white suede jacket instead!
The makers of Pinterest want the platform to be a place where people find ideas to be better. For example, to improve their skin tone, their home organization, their weekly schedules or their home.
Unlike Facebook and Instagram, both heavily focused on the social interaction between the users, Pinterest is more a personal and private platform. It’s all about the user. You’re allowed to dream about personal topics (and even things you DON’T want to share) like trying to get pregnant or new fitness goals, because you can create a secret board and pin to it.
Pinterest is Working With Creators (aka Bloggers)
There is a big push for Pinterest to work with bloggers “creators” for fresh, new content. It’s a mutual benefit to both us and Pinterest. We provide the content and they send us traffic – win win!
A creator for them is someone who creates new pins or uploads new pins at least once a week. They’re going to start favoring creators right now. So how do you stand out and become one of their favored creators? Does this mean you need to write a blog post every day?
How to be a Favored Creator with Pinterest
You do not need to write a new blog post every day. There are multiple ways you can push new content to Pinterest.
Examples of New Content for Pinterest:
- Make a roundup of your post, an outfit with your affiliate link, etc
- Create a new pin image for a blog post. They have no problem that you have several pins going to the same blog post.
- You can do a twist to your post. Pinterest is a lot about seasonal stuff. So maybe you wrote a post about wooden toys for babies, but you can edit the post and make it The Top Wooden Toys For Babies For 2018 and make a new pin. You’re still using the same content because the information is still relevant but you are giving it a twist and making it relevant to the person searching because they are looking for current content.
Should you dump a ton of new pins onto the platform at the same time?
No, don’t make a ton of new pins at once. Instead stick to a schedule of making 3 pins a week or whatever schedule you can stick with consistently. Also, if you’re uploading a rectangular pin and a square pin, space them out by pinning one a day rather than the same day so that you are continuing to feed Pinterest new content in an easier way.
Can I Use Affiliate Links on Pinterest?
Are we allowed to have affiliate links directly on Pinterest? The answer is yes and no. Pinterest has an affiliate program that is authorized by Pinterest, it’s called Shop the Look.
Another way to use affiliate links on Pinterest is to add them to a blog post and pin the post to Pinterest. Some creators add Amazon affiliate links directly on Pinterest – but it’s a gray area – and I tend to stick to a more cautious method.
Can I use Board Booster or Tailwind to Schedule my Pins?
Pinterest does not like any software or any other tool that is not approved by Pinterest. If you’re using a scheduler that is not approved by them, you should stop right now. A few of the approved ones are Tailwind and Buffer.
I personally use Tailwind to semi-loop and schedule all of my pins (because I forget to pin while running behind my three little kids).
Pinterest and BoardBooster
Pinterest is not happy with BoardBooster. They are not going to start shutting down accounts, but they are going to start going after it harder. The way BoardBooster works is that it imitates spam behavior by clicking in all over the world. It is hard for them to determine if you are a spammer or using BoardBooster.
In other words, Pinterest is seeing pins by BoardBooster as spam. A lot of the bloggers being shut down are saying that it is because of BoardBooster. They said that they had other reasons that they weren’t going to talk about. In the meantime, stop using BoardBooster and use a scheduler that is approved by Pinterest (like Tailwind which I have used for the past two years super successfully!)
You can see the full list of Pinterest approved partners here.
How is Pinterest Helping Us Become Smarter Creators?
Pinterest wants to let us know what they’re doing and what’s going on. They have a new section on their website that is for creators and that is where they will be updating with all of the things that are going to happen, they are going to put information on how to be a good creator on Pinterest, and any new changes. This is awesome!
Pinterest also said to check your emails because they are going to be emailing creators once a week. Pinterest wants communication with bloggers. Like I said before, we supply the content and they provide the traffic – win win!
- Go to your Pinterest account, in Settings, you will see there is a section where you can enable emails from Pinterest. When I (Carolina) started using Pinterest I went from 1,000 pageviews a month to 10,000 pageviews in 2 months because I had a lot of content. How awesome is that?!
- Or you can sign up for the Pinterest Business Newsletter here.
They test a lot. A few months ago there was a rumor about the first 5 pins that were better, but that’s no longer the case. Because they started noticing that people were not pinning their 5 best pins first and they shut it down because we were prioritizing bad pins. It all changed within two months which is why the emails you can sign up for are so important.
Just keep in mind, Pinterest has a few different departments and some of the departments at Pinterest don’t speak to one another. So you may get a different answer depending on who you talk to such as someone who works with promoted pins may not be able to answer a question about other things.
Can I Upload Videos to Pinterest?
Yes! But you can upload it only on desktop. They didn’t say anything about the size of a video. There are some that show up rectangular, vertical like a pin, or some using a smartphone. Upload a video and add a description with keywords. You can link the video to a blog post and then pin it to a board. It would be great for posting tutorial videos, especially food, craft and fashion bloggers!
What are Pin Codes and the Camera App?
Pin codes is a little code around a picture. We all have pin codes linked to our profile and each of our boards. If you tell your followers to follow you on Pinterest and they scan your pin code with their phone by opening Pinterest and using the camera feature, it will show your Pinterest profile. Or if you share a pin code for a specific board it will show them that specific board. You can have someone follow your profile or your board by scanning an image. Kind of like a QR code.
If you go to the Pinterest app, they have a camera icon (visual search) and you can take a picture of anything in your house and it will show you related pins including an exact match if they have an exact match.
They really want creators to use the pin codes and the camera icon in the app and share it. To get a pin code for a board open the board on your app and click on the dots. See the image below.
What Does Monthly Viewers Mean?
The number in our profile, for example below, 3.3 million viewers means unique viewers. Which means if one person saw three pins it just counts as one. It is like your unique page views on Google.
The follower number doesn’t matter as much on Pinterest. Mostly because sometimes big inflated follower numbers are spam accounts.
Followers on Pinterest only matters because if they see your content and they like it, Pinterest will know your content is good and they will push it out even more. But if your followers don’t engage with your content, for example spam accounts, then Pinterest thinks the content isn’t that good and they will not push it that much. So it doesn’t matter if you have 1 follower or 100,000 followers, you want them to be liking your stuff.
Followers matter in that they have to like and engage with your content. Please don’t go into Facebook groups and tell everyone to follow you. Let followers happen organically otherwise it can hurt your account.
Pinterest is a Visual Search Engine
If you haven’t discovered this yet, Pinterest is a huge visual search engine, or as I like to call it, it’s a Dream Builder. I use Pinterest to build my dream baby boy nursery, or my ultra fun kid friendly backyard, or the six pack I hope to one day have, or the recipes I want to make for the holidays.
Search has never been more important with Pinterest than now. You need to check that your profile, pin and board descriptions include keywords of what your blog is about. If you are using sections make sure to use keywords in those descriptions and that your sections make sense with your niche.
Should I Do Sections on My Pinterest Boards?
First, don’t freak out if you don’t have a section. It’s not going to hurt you if you don’t, but if you have a board that’s pretty active and it would make a lot of sense then use sections. Don’t worry about having sections for each board as some will make sense to have sections while others will not.
For example, the group board below is so massive and contains hundreds of contributors, it makes sense for it to be split into sections.
Focus on descriptions and incorporate sentences rather than just keyword stuffing it for descriptions. Because someone new to the board who sees only keywords will think this does not make sense.
For example: “This creamy chicken recipe is easy and fast to make.” Instead of “chicken recipe, fast, easy, creamy, delicious, #makeitnow, #repinplease.”
Should I Still Pin to Group Boards?
When Pinterest started group boards it was for people to collaborate on a project, not to increase their blog traffic, which is what most of us use it for now.
Pinterest advises to pay attention to which group boards you are in so that they relate to your niche and what your following is interest in. Group boards unrelated to your niche won’t help you as much.
For the group board descriptions, make sure the descriptions align with the board. For example, delete the group board rules because that information is not useful for the reader.
If someone is spamming or posting things that have nothing to do with the board then your profile and theirs may get hurt. It’s good for everyone to remove those group board rules, add to the description, and make it a collaboration between similar content.
What Size Should My Pins be?
The current rule from Pinterest is that 600x900 pixels is the preferred pin size.
The maximum pin size you can do is 600x1200 pixels. However, if someone is searching for chicken recipes and there is a pin that is 600x900 and one that is 600x1200, the larger pin is taking 30% more space on your screen. So for Pinterest to show the longer pin first in the results it has to be engaging 30% more than the smaller pin.
Make sense right? Basically, you have to earn the real estate space. It makes sense to create both a 600x900 and 600x1200 pin. They also said that square pins do well too. So create multiple sized pins for all of your blog posts, and bonus, this also counts as new content which makes Pinterest happy!
Worried you’re adding too much text? The 20% text rule is only for Facebook. Pinterest loves text. Pro Tip: The more straightforward and helpful the copy the better. Add text that will help people to click through and will tell them what the pin is about.
Should I Brand my Pins?
Use your branding, such as your logo, elegantly. Pinterest wants you to use branding to help your pin stand out in a sea of pins that look alike. They want your followers to recognize your stuff when they see it and branding helps. They also said to never put your logo on the bottom right because when you look at a pin there is a little box of options that pops up that you can expand. If your logo is on the bottom right you’ll block it and people won’t be able to see it.
What about Promoted Pins?
Pinterest wants Promoted Pins to do super well. The promoted pin department at Pinterest works hard to figure out what the perfect pin is. Your job is to pay attention to other promoted pins and see if you can tweak yours to be more successful. So definitely pay more attention to promoted pins as you scroll your feed.
Don’t use hashtags on promoted pins as they don’t work. A CTR above .5% is considered good and a CTR above 1.5% is considered really good. The benefit of promoted pins is that the pin starts as promoted but ends up being pinned organically the rest of its life.
How Many Pins am I Allowed to Pin per Day?
Pinterest does not have a limit. They used to have a lifetime limit of 400,000 pins and they have removed that. There is no limit for creators. If you’re a regular Pinterest user that is different, but if you have a business account there is no limit.
They do not want you to pin one thing after another. You’re spamming your posts. Spread them out. One way is to schedule other people’s content to be pinned with Tailwind. (You can see my process here and sign up for Tailwind here.)
Carolina’s Pin Process:
- You don’t have to pin a lot of other people’s content. Try 50% other’s content and 50% your content.
- Be sure that what you are pinning is relevant to your content.
- Pin 5 of your own pins a day.
- After publishing a post, I will upload a pin the same day and pin that to my own 2 boards for my blog.
- Then I will repin it to one of my related boards and to group boards. I never repin the same pin twice in one day.
- If I repin one of my pins to my DIY board, I will not repin it to a group board on the same day. I spread them out.
Is There a Perfect Pin Strategy?
One of the developers at Pinterest said different things work for different people on Pinterest. The algorithm is the same but maybe for someone their pins are so amazing that people feel they have to click on that. Maybe someone’s strategy is just pinning popular recipes. There are different ways to be successful on Pinterest which is why you will hear a wide variety of tips and advice from bloggers. Be true to yourself, test things out, and see what works for you. The same advice doesn’t work for everyone, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
How Do I Write Great Headlines for my Pins?
I search my headlines in Pinterest before I post it to see what is coming up in the search. When you do that you will see keywords right below the search bar. They go in order of how much they are used.
The first keywords are the most searched ones and the last ones are keywords that people search for less. Those popular keywords should be used in your description, in your title, and on your pin.
For the example below, Baby Boy Nurseries Themes are the most popular search term, followed by Baby Boy Woodland Nursery etc.
Should I Use Hashtags on Pinterest?
Hashtags work for getting your content out there faster, but not necessarily for a search. Pinterest is still using keywords more than hashtags. Search results go by the description and the hashtags are being used when someone actually goes in and searches by a hashtag in the search bar.
- They said to use broad hashtags and you can use up to 20, but don’t be spammy when using them.
- Make sure hashtags make sense with your pin.
The Future of Pinterest Analytics
The word is, they are improving analytics a lot! New analytics are launching at the end of June 2018. It’s going to look completely different. They are going to give us access to a lot of information to help us so we are going to be able to see how our pins are doing – how they are ranking, the click throughs, what topics are trending, and how that compares with our pins.
They want us to be able to use the new analytics to create new content. Our analytics are going to be something that is going to enable us to see what is working right now so you can create more fresh content.
They are also going to give us insights on not just our account, but Pinterest itself. We are going to be able to see what is happening with trends, for example you’ll be able to see when people begin pinning Christmas posts.
- Tip: People start pinning holidays and big events about 45 days out and the month before it spikes. You need that traction from the days before for you to be able to see that spike the week before the holiday.
Remember, our relationships with Pinterest as creators is a win-win. They want to help us so we continue to push great content to their platform. Here is Pinterest’s page for creators to help us be better!
What is Shop The Look on Pinterest?
Shop the Look is Pinterest’s affiliate type of pins. You can find out more and apply here. It is not just fashion and they have a ton of brands that they are always adding to it. It takes about 2 week for your account to be approved.
I haven’t tested it out yet, but instead of bringing traffic to your blog, it generates affiliate income for you. So every time that pin with the little dots (Shop the Look pins) gets repinned, you’re getting affiliate money.
Below is a Shop the Look pin for a dress that is $26.99.
Then when you scroll down, you’ll see more recommendations for other dresses from Lyfie.
Pinterest says that when you have multiple dots on the pin you will do better which means you have tagged more than one product in your Shop the Look pin.
Tag 3 products or more for a Shop The Look pin because then they will show 3 pictures of the products at the bottom of the pin. Items under $50 are the sweet spot for Shop The Look as not everyone can afford more expensive items. Or if you have an item that is more expensive, be sure to include comparable items that are less expensive.
What’s Coming to Pinterest in the Future?
Pinterest is coming out with communities and it’s in beta testing right now. It looks a lot like a Facebook group and people can post an image and then comment. They will remain a visual search engine, but they are looking to bring some engagement to the platform.
So that means Pinterest is starting to look at social interaction between its users, which means:
- They said that comments have weight. If someone leaves a comment on your pin you should engage. They said they are working on sending notifications when you do get a comment so you don’t miss them. Until then check to see if your pins have comments and if so reply to them.
- You can even leave picture comments – think recipes and fashion!
A Few Noteworthy Pinterest Trends
Remember pinners are shoppers.
For home, this category continues to grow 75% in pins each year. Pinners spend 20% more on decor than those who don’t use Pinterest.
Non-toxic toys has an increase of 173%
Mom jewelry is pretty popular right now on Pinterest with an increase of 140%
There is an 85% in baby nursery stuff that doesn’t make a nursery look so baby-ish.
Health on Pinterest includes everything mind, body and soul. Increase from 72% to 3, 379% on some of the topics – for example Vitamin C Serum. (I just bought my 3rd bottle of this stuff – it works super well!)
You can see the full list of Pinterest trends here.
I hope the video interview with Carolina from MamaInstincts.com and the post above helped you a ton! I am beyond honored that she so generously shared all of these tips with us.
Bottom line: Create new content and push it to Pinterest, even if it’s just a new pin to an old blog post. New content will be featured.
Also, it would mean the world to me if you could repin this post and comment on the pin! Let’s test out the new strategies we just learned!