Mastering Pinterest – Part I: The Basics

Mastering Pinterest! Tittle

Welcome to my two part user manual on Mastering Pinterest and putting it to work for you. Why should everyone else rake in the benefits of this rising social media star? Don’t wait any longer, read this article and learn the basics of Pinterest and how to get started. Heck, even if you’ve been using Pinterest for some time, you might learn something new. Then tune in next week as well, as I unleash the full blast of Power Tips, specifically designed to gain you more followers, and in turn reach a much higher audience to your blog. I’ve been on Pinterest for almost two years and I find I’m still learning something new everyday. Not only are we getting you started today, but make sure to read some of our tips from other great Pinterest users at the end of the article!

Mastering Pinterest Pin

Every blogger should be on Pinterest!

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media platforms and is gaining momentum daily. Why should you be on it? According to the Global social media research summary 2015, Pinterest is the 7th most popular social media platform, but it is also the fastest growing by members. This means that if you are not using Pinterest you are missing out on a powerful marketing tool and a significant way to gain more blog readers and a wider audience. What is it? Utilizing beautiful photography and bright, catchy infographics and illustrations, Pinterest appeals to the modern day “I’ve got no time to waste!” kind of person–for the most part women. Pinterest users are primarily women, in fact 80% women, and these women also buy! Pinterest has consistently proven that it sells ideas and products. So how are you going to tap into this amazing audience? Here are my best basic tips for using this powerful tool to increase your blog readership and promote your brand.

My Page
The Basics: Tip 1

Sign yourself up for a business account on Pinterest, write an engaging profile, and start off with a minimum of eight boards. If you are a blogger, you will want to track your pins and boards. Your profile only allows 160 characters so script it wisely, showing how you are an expert in your field and where to find your blog. When building your Pinterest account, think strategically and align your profile and boards to reflect your brand. As with many of the popular social media platforms, Pinterest may have started as a place for people to show their personality, their likes, and their wishes and dreams, but if you are using it to promote your business it should be streamlined to show what you need it to show.


The Basics: Tip 2

Your boards represent you and your brand so create them strategically. I’ve read that many people like to title their boards with something funny, ironic, personal, or just witty. You can. It’s your board. However, if you want to maximize your search possibilities and have people find your boards, you will want to make sure there are key words in your title. I also see plenty of titles that are too long and I have no idea what they are.  Twenty-six characters is the optimum length of a board title, so tell it like it is!  Can I just say, why? It should not be a puzzle to figure out what the boards are collecting. If you are making a Travel in Europe board and you call it “Life on the Continent”, how am I supposed to know what you are collecting? Why would I click on it and explore it? If you are collecting pins on Paris, call it something that includes the word “Paris.” Don’t make it confusing. If you look at my boards, it’s obvious that travel is my thing. The majority of my boards are just about travel, all kinds of travel, where to go, what to eat, where to stay, etc. It’s travel through and through. Of course you can have other things on there as well, but at the very least it should be heavy on your brand.


The Basics: Tip 3

Once you have written your profile, uploaded a current photo of the real you, then you can start collating your pins. This is the fun part! I love finding a pin on something I’ve been wanting to do, like dog sledding or swimming with pigs and putting it on one of my boards. I also love collecting recipes, even if I’m probably never going to actually bake anything. It’s just plain fun. However, just like building your boards, don’t get so carried away that you are all over the place. It’s okay to show a little personality, but it’s not okay to be too scattered, that is if you want to actually use Pinterest for gaining more of an audience or customer base. If you want to have a place to pin all your personal favorites like macrame or woodworking, great, just create a personal Pinterest account and primarily target your business pins to your brand.


The Basics: Tip 4

Pinterest is social. It is imperative that you interact on Pinterest at least once a day, even if it is only for 10 minutes. Yes, more is better, but life is a balance, so you just need to find yours. What types of interacting should you do? There are three types of interactions when you are perusing pins. You can “repin” them onto your own boards, “like” them, or “comment” on them. You can repin and like as many pins as you want. You will never get blocked as a spammer even if you do this all day long. However, if you comment too much you may be blocked from making more to prevent spamming. A general rule would be no more than 10 comments per day. At the very least, look for pins that are in line with your brand. I find that the more time I spend on Pinterest, the more notifications I will have the next day. If I do nothing, I will still get some, but if I’m interacting it goes up exponentially, like from 57 to 316. That shows me that Pinterest logarithms reward those that are consistently interacting.

A word on commenting: it is often difficult to identify who created the pin. Is it the person that you are following, or was that a pin that she liked and now you like. You cannot assume that a pin that you think is really well done or has a beautiful scene on it is the person whose board you are pinning it from. It most likely was pinned, as well as created by someone else. So, complimenting them will fall on deaf ears. It is much more practical for your comments to add a tip, a statement about how much you enjoyed that place, or even posing a question about the place, because that way the person who receives the comment can appreciate it and maybe reply.

As a travel blogger, you will be repining, commenting, and building pins on travel. It is important to always put where the pin is. Also, if you use the “Pin it” button, many times the writer did not put any information on the pin so it may come up as “Img 2013” or something else that makes no sense. You can edit the description right there to make sure it tells what and where it is.


The Basics: Tip 5

The next step is to start creating your own pins so that more people find your blog. They must be vertical, colorful, and have good descriptions. This is primarily what next week’s post is going to be about. Make sure you come back and find out a lot more about conquering Pinterest.

What are successful bloggers doing?


Rhonda from Albom Adventures  tells us, “This board is about travel images, and I think the secret to its success is keeping the focus. It’s a group board that features only beautiful or interesting shots of destinations, vertical pins with few words. It is a group board, meaning that many people can add pins to it. Therefore, on an almost daily basis, I review it, deleting pins that don’t meet the standard. Pinterest has become my leading social media tool driving traffic to my blog. My followers have grown to 14K+ in the past year. My top five tips for newcomers would be to focus on quality, pin vertical images, give each board a specific focus, add a description to your pins and pin often, but only a few images at a time. And, have fun.”  Follow Rhonda on Pinterest!


Dale and Franca from AngloItalian Follow Us give us this piece of advice: “Our most popular pin to date is our “20 FREE Things To Do in Barcelona” ( which has over 2000 repins thanks to it being repinned by a bigger Pinterest user (yTravel Blog). Over the past few years there have been a number of experiments with longer pins up to a maximum length of 1680px and the results have shown them to be incredibly popular in Pinterest results – however, the only downside is that they’re usually too long to put in posts. There is the option of posting a Medium size inside of your related post, but the image pinned won’t be the full 1680px and will be reduced instead. To counter this and still have the longer pin available you need a simple piece of CSS tricky: When posting your image into your post go into Source/Code mode of your post and look for the <img> of your pin. Once there add the following code and you’ll save yourself a lot of space, yet still have the full image available to pinners: style=”max-width:50%.”  Follow Dale and Franca on Pinterest!
Candace from Free Candie shares a great idea with us: “I published my “365 years of wanderlust” board back in 2012, and it’s still my most popular board to date. It did so well because people looked forward to something new each day — they appreciated the consistency of posts. I’ve taken a long break from Pinterest and am only just getting back into it, but this board is still my most engaged.” Follow Candace on Pinterest!
Monica from The Travel Hack says:
“I’ve found that pins of beautiful, idyllic locations from exotic travel destinations are the most popular. My followers are fans of travel so pins on any other topic don’t tend to do so well. Beaches with white sand and clear blue sea are the most popular. Long, thin images get significantly more engagement than landscape images. These are longer than the traditional landscape size. I’ve found that evenings are a popular time on Pinterest so pins between 6pm-10pm are usually the most popular.” Follow Monica on Pinterest!
Phoebe from the LouMessugoBlog tells us:  “I think it does well as it catches a niche market in a very popular place right now, Iceland.  Iceland is hot, all my Pins about it have done very well but add in the words “budget” (which doesn’t usually go with Iceland in the same sentence) and “children” and it stands out from the crowd. People want to visit Iceland but think it’s too expensive and not suitable for children. This shows how it can be done. My tips for beginners on Pinterest are to have a good vertical image, some text and a good description using key search words. This last point is really important as many people forget the description. Pin regularly making sure to pin quality pins (check they lead to a decent source and not porn/irrelevant rubbish or simply nowhere).” Follow Phoebe on Pinterest!
So there you have it, the basics! You certainly can now get started on Pinterest. However, don’t forget to check back with us next week to find out much, much more when we get down and dirty and tell you some Power Tips! In the interim, if you have any questions that you want answered, ask them in the comments!

Are you on Pinterest?  What’s been your experience?


28 thoughts on “Mastering Pinterest – Part I: The Basics”

  1. This was a really helpful post – thanks! My Pinterest account has been hanging around for ages because I didn’t really ‘get’ Pinterest, but I’m going to try to revive it!

  2. I admit I haven’t gotten into Pinterest yet (personally or for my blog) but I’ve been doing a bit of reading and it really sounds like it drives a lot of traffic! Do you guys use it to sell products as well or just drive followers to your blog?

      1. Thanks! I’ll have to continue looking into this and considering starting it up. Sometimes there are so many social media channels to juggle it gets overwhelming for just one person. Thanks Corinne! 🙂

  3. Ok, I’m on my way to part two. I like that you included tips from others, too. My question (for now) is are you tracking traffic to your blog from Pinterest? Is that via google analytics or ?? Thanks, Corinne!

  4. I know Pinterest is great for traffic and I follow most of your tips, but I have not yet found the time to get started on the vertical pins. It’s certainly a priority now, though. Looking forward to the next installment.

  5. I’m adding this to my Pinterest board titled “Blogging”—-or should I start a new Pinterest board on Pinterest? So many pins, so little time.

  6. This is great. I joined Pinterest a while ago, but I’ve neglected it for a while. This is motivating me to get back on track and start getting more active on Pinterest.

  7. Interesting post! I’m on and off on Pinterest. Sometimes I really like pinning and then I go off on a tangent. So I think my big point is to be consistent.

  8. Phoebe @ Lou Messugo

    Thanks for featuring me Corinne, I’m a very humble pinner compared to you, but I enjoy it, am slowly but surely building up my following and above it it has hugely increased traffic to my blog.

  9. Congratulations on your very impressive Pintrest following. Great tips. I don’t comment very often on pintrest, but I think I will start. I am also looking forward to part 2. Also, thanks for featuring me 🙂

  10. Excellent advice on reminding people to check the actual link out first before pinning. The last thing I want to do is send my followers to rubbish. Thank you!

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