A year ago, I had something like 300 followers on Pinterest. Maybe.
Today I have about 35,000.
No that was not a typo. I didn’t add an extra zero. I have 35,000 followers on Pinterest.
Here’s the thing. It was pretty easy and hardly took any time. It’s been essential to growing this fledgling business of mine. And you can do it too.
I must disclose here that I am not an expert on this matter. I’m still hacking away at it, trying to figure out what makes the ol’ Pinterest beast tick. Sometimes I think I am really nailed it, and I flop. I’ve had some wins, too, so I am writing this post for those of you who might find these tips helpful toward your own efforts in Knitty-Crafty-Yarny-Land
Be An Active Pinterest User
If you want to use Pinterest to grow your business/brand/site, you actually have to USE Pinterest. At least in the beginning. Now that I am set an up and automated, I rarely scan Pinterest to actually look for new content, unless I am searching for something particular like a unique stitch pattern. In the beginning, however, you do need to spend a bit of time re-pinning existing content from Pinterest. The good news is that it’s fun.
Establish Half a Dozen Foundational Boards to Start
You are going to want at least six boards related to your craft or business. I recommend making these boards about your business only. If you are trying to grow a craft business, don’t waste your Pinterest mojo on a travel board. Stay focused. Rearrange your boards so the MOST IMPORTANT boards show up at the top. I think I have a cocktail board, but it’s at the end and not very active. EYE ON THE PRIZE.
Link to Pin-Worthy Content from Your Site and Others
Feed Pinterest some good stuff. I started out by linking images I saw on some of my favorite knitting blogs to my board. I do this from my Iphone or Ipad using the sharing feature. Super easy. It’s even easier from a desktop. If you are linking to your own site, make sure the link is going to the POST and not your HOMEPAGE. This is an easy error when pinning from your phone or tablet. Sadly I just realized this the hard way last month after discovering I had pinned a dozen key posts from my homepage and not the actual post. This means Pinterest users that clicked my image went to my homepage and didn’t land on the piece related to the pinned image. This was probably irritating for these people and didn’t particularly help me out either. Sorry folks! Check your links. That’s all I can say about that. Some of my boards are just from my site, but most of my boards have a balance of content from other sites alongside my own content. MIX IT UP!
Use Canva to Develop Large Pins
See that fancy little image at the top of this post? It takes me ten minutes or less in Canva, and it’s free and easy. Maybe someday I will do a little Canva tutorial, but I’ve found it pretty intuitive. Everything I’ve read indicates branding consistency is key. All the images you create for your own site should have the same look and be recognizable to YOUR brand. I’ve largely followed this, but I’ve played around a bit too. I’m curious to see if there’s a catchier look I can use that will improve the traffic I receive from Pinterest. Also, longer pins receive far more clicks that landscape pins. Go with long pins! The longer, the better.
Use SEO in Pin Descriptions
Pinterest uses SEO. This means you can search Pinterest for a scarf pattern and it will show you a bunch of images of scarf patterns. Pretty snazzy. So, if you want people to find your scarf pattern, write a pin like: Super easy scarf knitting pattern from Andrea @ This Knitted Life. Perfect for beginner knitters. I have also read that people prefer LONGER descriptions over shorter ones. Remember, you only have to write your description once the first time you pin it from your site to Pinterest, so make it a good one.
Pin. Pin. Pin. When I first started using Pinterest, I thought you added your image from your site once and sat back with your feet up.
Ha ha ha.
No. Repin that baby. All the dang time. To all your relevant boards.
In the beginning, I probably did 100+ repins per day. But then I saw a post from Tailwind that Pinterest penalizes users that pin more than 50 pins per day, so I reduced my number of repins. I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge difference, but 50 is easier and cheaper than 100. I’m sticking with that for now.
Once You Have a Good Base of Content on Your Boards, AUTOMATE
For the first six months, I did all of my repining manually each day. It took me 20 minutes or so and quickly became MINDNUMBING! After a while, I read about Tailwind and splurged $100+ on that for a year. Bad idea. It took me just as long to “schedule” pins and they wouldn’t give me money back after I asked for a pro-rated refund. Boo. Now and again, I find their blog posts helpful but otherwise I wasn’t a fan. Use Boardbooster instead!
Tailwind vs. Boardbooster
I’ve tried them both and honestly say go Boardbooster all the way!!! First of all, Boardbooster is cheaper than Tailwind. It’s like $10/month to start which was worth it to me to spare myself from my eyes popping out of my head. I want to knit, not pin images to Pinterest over and over again.
Tailwind didn’t save me any time! It let’s you set up pins in advance so they propogate onto your boards throughout the day. But I still had to schedule each repin. I couldn’t pin something once and be done forever. That’s not enough for me.
Boardbooster let’s you do two important things. First, you actually can pin images once to your “Secret Boards” and never have to repin the darn thing again. Boardbooster let’s you adjust the settings of your boards to restart at the beginning AUTOMATICALLY and run through your content all over again. Yahoo!
Boardbooster also does this nifty little thing called Looping. It will repin old pins from eons ago to your feed. ALL BY ITSELF.
Once these two features are set up (fifteen minutes, tops), you CAN pretty much sit back and put your feet up. Hallelujah!
I promise to go into more detail on this in a future (soon!) Part 2 post. Pinky swear. In the meantime, go sign for Boardbooster already!
Participate in Group Boards
In the beginning, you can use group boards if you don’t have a huge Pinterest following of your own. I even established my own group board, Knitting Forever. (Email me if you would like to join. I would love to have you.) There are group boards for all kinds of things, knitting included.
I think the secret to using Pinterest to help build your brand is to minimize the amount of time you spend on your phone pinning content and maximize the time you spend on your needles, practicing your craft. I’m sticking with that!