Pinterest Marketing Beginner’s Guide for Online Entrepreneurs

wooden desk with a latte with text overlay: Beginner's Guide to Pinterest Marketing for Online Entrepreneurs

If you’re trying to scale your online business, you’ve probably found that organic growth on most social media platforms takes an impossible amount of time and effort.

When I was just starting out with my first online business, I burned myself out quickly by focusing on platforms and strategies that showed minimal results for maximum effort.

Then I found out about Pinterest.

Pinterest marketing is different than marketing on other social media platforms for one crucial reason: not only is it a search engine, but it’s also a recommender system.

What does that mean, exactly?

Not only will Pinterest show your pins to your followers, but it’ll ALSO push your content out to other users who have signaled to the platform that they’re interested in your type of content.

Read that again.

Instead of showing your content to a small percentage of your following, Pinterest pushes your content to people who haven’t even followed you.

Sounds like a game changer? It is.

It takes time and experimentation to figure out a Pinterest marketing strategy that will work for your business. If you don’t have time to figure it out, you can hire a Pinterest manager. Or if you’re more of a DIY kind of gal, keep on reading!

And make sure you grab my Pinterest Foundations mini course on all things Pinterest marketing! This will SERIOUSLY give you a head start with your Pinterest strategy. Click here to sign up!

The Very Basics of Pinterest Marketing for Online Businesses

To start, it’s important to remember that Pinterest doesn’t work like other social media platforms. A good long-term Pinterest strategy involves getting pins to rank in search so you can generate leads + sales passively.

When your pins rank in search (and sometimes when they don’t), Pinterest will pass those pins around in the Smart Feed—aka, the home feed. This is good news for us!

Of course, there are some best practices to follow for setting up + maintaining your account. This guide will take you through setting up your Pinterest account to creating a Pinterest marketing strategy that will help you grow your business!

Step 1: Get a Pinterest Business Account

This is actually quite easy! If you already have a personal Pinterest account, you can convert it in minutes. Or you can start from scratch if you’d prefer.

If you have a personal account with a ton of pins that have nothing to do with your business, I’d recommend starting with a brand new account.

If you have a personal account you wish to convert, click your profile picture in the top right corner. You’ll see this menu pop up. Click on “Add a free business account,” and you’ll be on your way!

Screenshot of Pinterest Settings Menu
Pinterest Menu

A Pinterest Business Account is free, and you need one if you want to succeed on Pinterest. It gives you access to analytics, and it’s also how you can claim your website and get Rich Pins for your site (Pinterest tends to push content from your claimed site more).

Speaking of claiming your website . . .

Step 2: Claim Your Website + Get Rich Pins

Once you have your Business Account set up, navigate to your profile and click the “Edit profile” button next to your name.

From there, you can click on the “Claim” link from the navigation menu on the left-hand side. Then paste your website’s address into the website field, and hit “Claim.”

From there, you’ll be given two options to claim your website:

  • Add an HTML tag
  • Upload an HTML file

The exact steps on how you do this vary based on where you host your website. Click here to find details for how to connect your website to Pinterest.

Note: This section of your settings is also where you can claim your Etsy shop, Instagram profile, or YouTube channel.

You used to have to set up Rich Pins separately from claiming your website, but when I claimed this site, I didn’t have to do anything to enable Rich Pins. It was just done automatically! Not sure if you have Rich Pins enabled on your site? Click here to find out.

Loving this article? Pin it!

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Optimizing Your Pinterest Account

There are a lot of things that go into having an optimized account, so I’ll just cover the basics here. Make sure you grab my mini course on Pinterest marketing if you want to dive deeper. (Trust me, you want to dive deeper.)

Use Keywords in All these Places

Keywords are SO important! Remember, Pinterest’s search feature is wildly popular, so you want to eventually start ranking.

Pinterest SEO is similar to Google SEO, but it’s also SUPER different. While the keywords in your titles and blog posts matter, Pinterest also assigns keywords to pins based on where they end up.

That’s why it’s so important to have keywords EVERYWHERE on Pinterest.

Here are all the places you need to add keywords on your Pinterest profile:

  • Name
  • Bio
  • Board titles
  • Board descriptions

To get the tea on Pinterest SEO, check out my guide on Pinterest keyword research + how to create your pins for Pinterest SEO as well!

Create + Start Strengthening Your Boards

As I mentioned above, Pinterest assigns keywords to your pins based on where they land. Sure, you want to add keywords to your pin titles and descriptions, but your board titles and descriptions matter as well.

So after you’ve done your keyword research, create boards around the content you create, and make sure they have keywords in their titles and descriptions.

How to Strengthen Pinterest Boards

A lot of content creators run into the same fear when it comes to Pinterest:

“I don’t want to pin other people’s content! What if their pins do better than mine?!”

If you’re feeling this way, take a deep breath. The way Pinterest marketing works is so different than Instagram marketing, Facebook marketing, and even SEO.

When it comes to promoting your content on Pinterest, I do recommend saving other people’s pins as well.

Why?

Because it increases your board strength.

Think about it this way: If you search something on Pinterest (we’ll use “self care” as an example), the pins that show up are ranking pins. That means Pinterest 100% without a doubt knows what those pins are about.

. . . So when you pin ranking pins for the search term “self care” to your new boards, that’s a HUGE signal to Pinterest that your board is about self care.

See, when you create a new board called “Self Care,” Pinterest won’t just take your word for it that it’s a self care board. There are tons of factors that go into Pinterest figuring out what your boards (and your pins) are about. Pinning relevant, popular content is a great way to signal to Pinterest what your boards are about.

Pssst! Want even more Pinterest marketing tips? Make sure you’re following me on Instagram @rebekahjdietzcreative!

Do Group Boards Matter for Your Pinterest Marketing Strategy?

First of all, if you don’t know what a group board is, it’s a feature Pinterest created for friends/family to be able to pin content to the same board. The idea was to make collaborations such as co-hosting parties, redoing your house, planning trips, etc. easier since you can store all your ideas in one place.

In a recent Pinterest algorithm update, Pinterest announced that group boards weren’t going to pull as much weight as they used to.

But . . . well, I think they can still matter—as long as you use them correctly. I say this because I have multiple ranking pins for my personal development blog’s account that are on group boards.

With that being said, those group boards are good group boards. They’re tightly niched-down, they have limited contributors, and they’re well keyworded.

So if you’re planning on using group boards in your Pinterest strategy, here are a few things to ask yourself before joining one:

  • Does the group board have your target keywords in the title + description?
  • How many contributors does the group board have? (I’d recommend under 30.)
  • Are the pins on the board relevant, well-designed, and also keyworded well?

See, the thing with group boards is that they often turn into dumping grounds for any and all content. I don’t recommend joining any general group boards like “Best Blog Posts,” etc. Stick to group boards that are on specific topics that you can create content around.

I also wouldn’t recommend building a strategy around group boards. I only pin to a very select few group boards these days. Your focus really should be on creating strong personal boards that you control!

Marketing Your Business on Pinterest

While creating your Pinterest marketing strategy, you need to keep two things in mind:

  • What you want to get out of Pinterest. (Email list signups, passive income, etc.)
  • Your end goal on Pinterest should be to rank in search so you can get consistent traffic without doing anything.

I’d also recommend learning a thing or two about Pinterest user intent. Mainly that Pinterest users are typically cold leads, so don’t be surprised if you don’t make a lot of direct sales from Pinterest. It’s best to put them through a good welcome sequence so they can warm up to you first.

Step 1: Create Content that Solves a Problem Your Ideal Client Has

Here’s the thing about Pinterest users—if your content isn’t inspirational/motivational, helpful, or valuable, it won’t do well on Pinterest. For more info on what I mean, read this.

Here are some types of content that typically perform well on Pinterest:

  • Blog posts
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Lead magnets

I’d also recommend adding email opt-in forms to all of your pages that you promote on Pinterest. That way you can grow your email list instead of just getting cold traffic, which won’t do you too much good.

Step 2: Create Pin Designs for Your Blog Posts + Opt-in Landing Pages

Pin design is super important on Pinterest. If you don’t give users a reason to click through your pin, they won’t. So keep these things in mind:

  • Use a ratio of 2:3 or longer for your pin designs
  • You need to have an enticing headline on your pin
  • Make sure the fonts you use are big enough to read on mobile
  • Stay away from fancy, hard-to-read script fonts
  • Using colorful photos + fonts make your pins more eye-catching
  • Make sure the words on your pin contrast enough against the background to be readable

If you’ve done any digging, you’ll probably have noticed that people are telling you anything longer than a 2:3 ratio will get cut off. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to experiment with different lengths. I’ve noticed Pinterest cutting off all sizes and ratios, even the “ideal” 2:3. So experiment and see what works best for you!

Need help with pin design? Click here to shop beautiful + affordable pin templates for Canva!

Step 3: Basic Pinning Strategy

You’ll see a lot of different advice when it comes to creating a pinning strategy for your business. The reason why? Because they all work! There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy.

With that being said, there are some best practices.

First, pin your pins to the most relevant boards first. If you have a board about losing weight, pin it to your weight loss board before you save it to your fitness board. If you have a journal prompts pin, save it to your journaling board before you pin it to your self improvement board.

A lot of Pinterest marketing experts recommend pinning your first pin to your “anchor board” first, which is a board solely for content that comes from your site. Personally, I don’t do this, but I’ve seen content creators have great success with this strategy. It all depends on your board strength!

After You’ve Pinned that First Pin, You have a Couple Options:

  • Let it sit and never repin it—see if it gains traction on your own
  • Pin it a couple more times manually or with Tailwind to relevant boards ONLY

Reason for doing the first: Pinterest is built to recognize a normal user’s behavior. And typically, a normal user only pins a pin to one of their boards—sometimes two.

Reason for doing the second: Pinning your graphics to more than one board helps Pinterest to gather more keyword info on your pins, and it can also give pins that didn’t do well a second chance at getting engagements.

I wouldn’t save a pin to more than 10 boards, and I typically wait 1-3 days before pinning the same image again. Once a pin has cycled through all of my boards, I create a new one and repeat the process.

Related: Your Weekly 30-Minute Pinterest Routine

Consider Signing up for Tailwind

If you’ve researched Pinterest marketing at all, you’ve probably seen TONS of blog posts claiming that Tailwind will skyrocket your traffic, etc.

The truth?

Tailwind won’t do that. What it will do is help you to stay consistent with your pinning strategy and keep your account active every day.

So if you’re struggling with making time to pin every day, you probably will see an uptick in traffic if you use Tailwind. But just using Tailwind won’t give you a winning strategy. It’s only a tool.

With that being said, I use Tailwind for my accounts + all of my clients’ accounts. It’s a huge time saver! So if you’re interested in checking it out, you can get a $15 credit with my referral link.

Keep an Eye on Your Analytics

Tracking your Pinterest analytics will help you figure out if your pinning strategy is working. And it’ll also indicate which pin designs work best for your account!

I also recommend installing Google Analytics on your site. Pinterest analytics tends to be super glitchy, and Google Analytics is WAY more reliable.

Remember to Always Work toward a Goal with Your Pinterest Marketing Strategy

A lot of people will say that if you’re getting lots of clicks from Pinterest, then you have a great strategy going. And while that’s great for, say, bloggers who make thousands off of ad income, clicks mean virtually nothing for online entrepreneurs.

So what should you focus on?

Of course, clicks matter—and so do repins (they help you to rank in Pinterest search).

But even MORE than clicks and repins, conversions are the best way to measure the success of your Pinterest strategy.

If you’re getting lots of clicks to your website but no email list signups, you’re probably wasting your time. While there’s nothing wrong with traffic, are you truly getting the best ROI for your time + money with traffic that bounces from your site once they finish reading your blog post?

Personally, I love to use Pinterest to grow my email list, make passive income through tripwires, and drive my subscribers to my Instagram so I can nurture them through email + my Instagram content.

If you want to learn more about Pinterest marketing, click here to sign up for Pinterest Foundations, which is my mini course that will teach you EVERYTHING you need to get started with Pinterest marketing!

And if you’re overwhelmed by Pinterest marketing, you can learn more about my Pinterest management + coaching services here.

And I’d love it if you pinned this post on Pinterest! ↓

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