Pinterest

Starting With Pinterest

Word on the street is that Pinterest has 250 million active users, 81% of them are women and the median age is 40 (although the most active are below 40). They are deemed to be affluent and it is fast becoming a search engine where people have their purses open and ready to spend. (It is not a social media platform that a lot of people refer to it as.)

Now, I don’t know about you, but I am gonna hazard a guess that, like me, you want a piece of that action. And, although I actually started on Pinterest when it first started with my previous business back in the day (2010) when you needed an actual invitation, I got serious with it about 6 months ago with this business. Back then, it was all about people getting inspired to DIY, and while those pinners most definitely do exist, it also now has people actually creating mood boards and purchasing from those that make the stuff they put on those boards.

The first thing I am going to assume is that you actually know how to use Pinterest as a user? If not, it is a bit like a picture version of google, only you get to save all your favourite stuff in albums, or boards as they call them. You can search anything from gifts, to recipies, gardening tips or business and wedding planning… Plus much much more. If you have not used it before, I suggest you have a go for a couple of weeks as a user so you get a good idea of what you are trying to achieve. This is really important as you will not gain an insight as a seller on there, more as a user first. In short, it is like a big massive scrap book full of all your favourite things. Your aim as a business is to make your product, someones favourite thing.

Have you heard everyone talking about Pinterest for driving traffic and you have no idea where to start? Or, do you have an Etsy shop, an Amazon shop or a website, or even all three and you want to drive traffic with Pinterest. As a side note, I would personally only choose on, and if you have a website, it would be that every time.

Hopefully I will have the answers to your questions and I can get you on your way to getting set up and driving traffic to your fabulous products. And, as usual, allow yourself to ponder for just a little bit, if you really have to but otherwise, just crack on with the actions and get to it.. The work is not going to do itself! Even I am writing this blog at midnight on a Saturday night. I know I know I need to get out more, but someone has to encourage you guys to get your groove on.. and as my husband is snoring on the couch, I thought why not?

Firstly, I am going to preclude this with the fact that I am not claiming to be a Pinterest Guru. I am sharing what is working for me so far. I haven’t bought any webinars, but I have researched until I am blue in the face though and tested out various methods. And, whats more I will continue to do so and update the blog as and when I find more information that is helpful to both you and I. Having this blog is actually great for me as it gives me somewhere to jot down all of my findings and make me do them in an organised fashion.

What to do first on Pinterest?
This screen will pop up when you go to http://www.pinterest.com. I am talking to you as if you are a business, because I am assuming that is why you are interested in this blog. So, my first piece of advice is to register as a business.

When you go to pinterest,com you will see the screen below.

Click on the ‘Create a business account’ and follow the instructions. They are really easy, you know, enter your name and email address and all that jazz. I don’t have the screen to show you because I have already done it but trust me, this bit is nothing to worry about.

Complete Your Profile
First things first, fill out your profile. I personally prefer to keep things simple with a short account of what I am there for and what we do. I do describe it with keywords though, you will find a section on that below. My pinterest account is also below if you want to follow and keep up to date with what I do to grow it.

Rich Pins and Site Verification on Pinterest
Now, if you have your own website, I really advise you to verify your site and apply for rich pins as it helps with re-pins and views enormously and gives the pinner much more information than a regular pin. Go to my blog here to read more about this. If you are pinning from Etsy or Amazon, carry on reading.

Create Boards
The next thing you need to do is to create some Pinterest boards. Now, these boards should not really mirror your categories in your selling platform, they should reflect what people are actually searching for on Pinterest. So, before you actually create the boards, compile a list of keyword phrases that people are looking for. I will be doing a whole blog on how to find keywords but for now, there are a few tips below.

How to find keywords
The first thing to do is to start typing keyword phrases you think people will be looking for in the search bar of Pinterest. I sell personalised wine glasses so I started with that. As you can see below, you get a drop down list when you start typing. These phrases are what people have recently typed in the search bar that pertains to that particular product.

Now, the term personalised wine glasses is a bit too generic and don’t forget, it is not only a personalised wine glass, it is a gift for mum, a present for sister. It can be a wedding gift for bride and groom etc, you catch my drift. You should be going for something more specific but also that applies to a lot of products. A good example of this would be ‘gift for her’ although I personally think that is too overused. ‘funny gifts for her’ would narrow the category right down but ‘funny gift for wine lovers’ would narrow it down even more. You can see my boards on my pinterest account above to see what I decided on.

So my advice would be to play around with various keywords that you can pin a lot of your own products in. You know, like gifts for women, funny gifts for men, cute presents for mum etc. You may not even sell gifts, it may be more like ‘country home decor for the kitchen’. Anyway, no one knows your products like you so you should take full charge of this. Have a look at other accounts to see what they have done. Then get in that search bar and write down a whole list of keywords, that are both descriptive of your products and also what people are looking for. You will also use these in your descriptions.

Starting a Board
Choose a keyword phrase that best suits a board overall. For instance, mine may be ‘gifts for the bridal party’. Then use this as a title for your first board.

In the description, write a paragraph about what people will find in this board. It is here that I write down all my keyword phrases that suit the actual products. And, although my pins are rich pins, the extra phrases are not going to hurt are they? So, I would include things like ‘personalised gifts for bridesmaid’ and ‘custom presents for best man’ etc in the description. That is just a short example, I would certainly include as many keywords in the description as possible. To help you visually, I have put an example of my board description below.

You should then start a few boards and even though you have not pinned anything yet, that is fine. You are setting up as you mean to go on. I personally make a note of the board I have started and then write down the products I am going to pin. But, I do like to keep organised so all of this is in my sales and marketing planner. I am planner mad but I have to say, it keeps me on track and has literally changed the way I look at business all together but that is another blog for another time.

So, by now, you should have a few boards, at least three I would say to start. They should be keyword rich and have good generic titles. If you are planning on pinning from Etsy, Pinterest picks up the titles and tags too which is great news for SEO.

The next thing you need to do is start pinning. General advice is not to pin all at once. As tempting as it is just to fill up all your boards and have your Pinterest page full as a butchers straight away, this is not good for the algorithm. You need to show consistency and regular pinning. So, my advice would be to either set aside some time per day, or per week to pin your products to the relevant boards or to register with an app that does it for you. Now, I did not have time in my schedule to do this so I bulk pin during a product launch and I use a website called Tailwind. This allows you to pin all of your products to a board, via their software and then they drip feed it to your boards when you tell them to. I have written more about Tailwind further down the page.

Download the Pin it Button and Pin Yourself
If you want to pin yourself and not use Tailwind, you will need to add the pin it button to your chrome extension. In fact, it is probably helpful to download this anyway as you can save other images you may find useful for all kinds of reasons. You can save these to secret boards. I use secret boards for things like recipies at home, or fashion (for when I eventually lose that 2 stone), I even pin things like funny quotes that make me laugh, cause really I love laughing more than anything.

I find the easiest way to do it is to directly pin from the product you want to sell. I have put the link down below that you need to follow in order to add this. What this does it add a little red square as shown below to every picture you ever look at on the internet via chrome. You can then click on this and add the picture to whatever board on Pinterest it is more relevant to. The image below is an old image, but it is still the same now. You can even pin pictures you like and maybe add them to a secret board on pinterest. (Yes you can make them secret and I tend to do this for personal stuff.)

Once you have this, you literally go to your own pictures in whatever platform you wan to pin from and start pinning to the boards you have created.

Click here to add the chrome extension now.

The right size for a Pinterest pin.
To get a maximum reach and subsequent re-pin rate you should put your images in a pin that is the right size, which is oblong shape. Pinterest recommend that you use a ratio of 2:3 or 600 x 900 pixels. I am going to throw a huge disclaimer in here and say that I have not done this, I simply haven’t had the time and it was a choice of ‘to be on Pinterest’ or not ‘to be on Pinterest’. And, as I am a firm believer of getting things done and cracking on, it was the former I chose. Now, this is not to say that I am not prepared to put the time in, because I am, but I also am realistic about what I can and can’t manage and as I have 500 products plus, it was safe for me to say that I could not commit to re-sizing each pin.

But, saying that, when I get a spare 5.. I will do this. The easiest way to do it is to create a template so you can just slot your existing picture in. You can do this via canva. You could maybe just pop a border around the template so that your picture slots in nicely. Because I am so nice… (I know I know I shouldn’t have), I have actually created a pin in Canva, to show you how easy it is. Now, I am not saying this is the best pin in the world, but it shows my image and it is the right size. I simply went into canva and created an image 600×900 pixels, gave it a nice graded background and slotted an image I already use for my website on top. Voila…. like magic! In fact, I am going to add this to my launch strategy now so that each new product line will be in a ‘proper Pinterest format’.

Board Covers
This is something that I want to do, because I am a neat freak but have not got around to doing it yet. I think it makes you look professional and I will be creating a look that goes with my branding very soon. I will update this blog when I create them and show you what I have done. I am not sure it does tons to your conversion or pin rate but it certainly looks good.

Join Tailwind
This would be my best advice by far. I have put the link down below for you to try out. Rather than me go into massive detail on how to use the app, it is best just to watch the ‘how to’ videos as they have explained it really well. Far better than I could, it is their baby, not mine and they have broke it down into really easy chunks of information.

https://www.tailwindapp.com

https://www.tailwindapp.com/dashboard/video-guides

Start Pinning Via Tailwind
So, after adding the Tailwind schedule pinner to your Google Chrome header, which Tailwind explain how to do, it is really easy to pin your products. At the beginning, I did a product line at a time. I went into my website and pinned each product, then ticked it off in my product line sheet so that I knew I had done it. Tailwind even schedule it for you across the week so that it is drip fed into Pinterest and it essentially looks like you are pinning regularly. After a bit of work at the beginning, your work here is done and you can move on with your day.

I have now built it into my product launch strategy, so after a product line is listed on all my selling platforms, the next step is to pin it from my website. You may be pinning from Etsy or Amazon, the theory is the same.

This is literally a rinse and repeat formula.

I advise that you get all your own boards up and running as described above and get them full, however you choose to pin. You will see your views going up and down all the time. I find that adding bridesmaid and groomsman stuff on Pinterest shoots my views right up as brides are one of the the most visual groups on the platform.

The next thing to tackle is group boards. Read this blog to get a good handle on how to do that, including what apps to use to make it easier for you.

I hope you have found this useful. If you have excellent, crack on.. And, if you want to read more blogs, click here to sign up to be a ‘grafter’ and get all the info on my latest blogs.

Till next time.. keep on grafting.

TTFN
Paula
The Grafter

Pinterest

Verifying Your Website and Rich Pins

So, you have set up a business account on Pinterest and now you want to verify your website and set up rich pins? Hopefully, this short blog which I have kept short and sweet should help you do just that.

Verifying Your Website
In the top right hand of the screen, you will see three dots as you can see in the picture below. Click on this and then in the menu that drops down, click on SETTINGS. When you get to that, click on CLAIM. You will be given a code to copy and paste into what is called the <head> of your website. There will be a section in the back office or admin panel of your website, mine is called HTML fragments and I am with http://www.create.net. It is fairly straight forward with mine and I have great support too. When you have done this, confirm it on the same page on Pinterest. It should be verified within 24 hours.

This is really much more simple than it sounds so don’t let the terminology put you off. But if you do have trouble, get in touch with the host of your website and they should talk you through it.

You should be then able to click claim or finish and it will start the process of verification. It can take a day or two to be verified but once it is, it is all done. You then go on to claim your rich pins and you are good to go. It is worth waiting to get all this in place before you start pinning.


This shows the three dots in the top right hand corner of your screen in Pinterest.

This shows my screen after verfying my website. You need to follow the instructions above in order to get to this stage.

When your website is verified you are then ready to apply for rich pins.

What is a rich pin?
Rich pins are a superior type of pin which have extra information attached to them that is independent of the pin description. This means that the right information is always tied to the pin that you have put in via your website. They show metadata (the place where you put keyword rich data in your website) right on the pin itself and it really helps if you apply for the right to have the feature applied to your account. As far as I know, you can only apply for rich pins for your website and not for Etsy or Amazon or a site you don’t own the domain for.

When you click on a rich pin, you can go right through to the website and the meta description that is on the website for the product is shown on the pin. The pinner can then click right through to your website. It is reported that business with rich pins, in general report a higher (CTR) to their website.

How to apply for rich pins.
You have to have your website verified first and you also have to have a business account. If you are brand new to Pinterest, you should read my starting out on Pinterest blog first.

Rather than tell you in my own words, I have copied the instructions from Pinterest itself. If it sounds complicated to you, trust me when I say, it honestly isn’t. The link to this page is below too as it gives you a link to the actual page you need to go to in order to validate one pin. Once one pin is validated, all of your pins are validated.
https://developers.pinterest.com/tools/url-debugger/

I hope this helps, and for those of you reading that haven’t got a website and can’t apply for rich pins for products, don’t worry, Pinterest can still be a great source of traffic for you.

So, crack on with verifying your website and claiming your rich pins. Then let the traffic flow…

Keep on grafting..

Paula
The Grafter

Pinterest

Pinterest Group Boards

So, you have joined Pinterest, created all the boards for your own products with popular keywords, pinned all your products via tailwind and you feel like you want to do more to drive traffic via Pinterest?

Well, I am going to show you how to do that, with the use of Pingroupie.com and Tailwind. Pin Groupie is a free site and I actually pay a small fee for Tailwind and I will put a link below for both. Tailwind is a great site, that drip feeds your pins, quite passively, to Pinterest giving you plenty of time to get on with other things. And, let’s face it, time is something we all feel we are short of isn’t it? Who can fit in half an hour a day to ‘pin’? I know I can’t and when I found Tailwind, it was the difference in being active on Pinterest or not.

You can find more on Tailwind on my Pinterest blog and I recommend reading that before you action the points on this blog and visit pin groupie.

About Pin Groupie
So Pin Groupie is a free site, that lists group boards that are on Pinterest. The image below is a screen shot I took while looking for wedding boards. I thought it would be a good place to start.

As you can see it has several columns. I have given a basic description of what they are below.

Titles
This is quite simply the title of the group board that has been created.

Description
If you hover over the description button, it will tell you a little bit about the board and what type of pins should be pinned to it. I would read this carefully to make sure your products or services are going to be a good fit. Group creators will not be pleased if you start to pin irrelevant content to their boards, and likewise their followers will not be interested in your content either. No point in pinning for pinnings sake.

Creator
This tells you who created the board which is really handy for when you need to get in touch to ask to join.

Category
This tells you which category they have placed themselves in on Pinterest.

Pins
This tells you how many pins have been pinned to the actual board.

Collaborators
This is how many people are actually part of the group board. I tend to avoid the ones with a low amount of collaborators as I feel that this tends to be a group of friends who have decided to create a group board between them. They are less likely to let in other people. So, my strategy is to target the boards that have 10 or more collaborators in them.

Followers
This is how many followers the board actually has which is how many people your pins will be potentially shown to.

Average Re Pins
This is the average amount of pins that are re-pinned from the board.

How to Search
As you can see in the image above, there is a field to pop in a category you are interested in. I have clicked on ‘Weddings’ for this exercise as I wanted to see all boards pertaining to this subject. You can be more specific by using the other fields along the top and can also search by number of followers etc. I prefer to be more generic as I feel it opens you up to more possibilities. When you are happy with your search, click ‘FILTER’ and it will show you a screen like above.

Group Boards
Scroll down until you see a group board that you think fits your products or services and hover over the description to check. You can click on the group board name which will take you to a separate page and show you the group board so you can see examples of the pins. You will also see the description of the board which should give you details of how to join the group. This is not always the case though.

How to Join A Board
As mentioned above, the description of the group board should give you instructions of how to join it. If this doesn’t I send a message directly to the owner of the board. You will not always get invited to join boards so don’t be offended, in fact you will not always even get a reply. Don’t be offended by this either, just do the graft and someone will reply. Making sure what you are offering is relevant is a good start. They may not even want to open it up, it may be a group of friends of collaborators who are happy with their own team and that, quite frankly is fair enough.

How to Message a Board Creator
As you can see from the image below, in the top right hand corner of your screen, there is a speech bubble. Click on this bubble and it will give you the option to enter the name of the person you would like to message. (Don’t forget you get the name in the main screen). (If you find a group board that is not on pin groupie, the board creator is the first circle you see in the top right. ) As you start typing the name, it will come up with suggestions of who you mean in a drop down list. Click on the person you want to message and then click enter. Then click next.

This window will then pop up on the bottom left hand corner and you can write your message to them. Your name will appear to them in the message box so there is no need to introduce yourself by name. The image above is an actual message I sent to someone asking to be part of their group board.

Once you are part of that board, you can schedule your pins using Tailwind to the group board you choose. Details of how to do this are in my Pinterest blog.

Links as promised
https://www.tailwindapp.com/
www.pingroupie.com

I hope you found this blog helpful. If you would like to get emails when I publish other blogs to help small business grow online, click the link and become a ‘Grafter’ .

http://eepurl.com/goJ6xH

So, until then, keep on grafting!

TTFN
Paula 🙂