Tips and ideas for how to create the best Pinterest pins! My top 3 ways for figuring out what Pinterest thinks would be a perfect pin for your blog, product or service.
I am a huge marketing nerd and love figuring things out… but up until now, Pinterest was a bit of a puzzle to me. I knew I should be able to get more traffic from there, but nothing I did really seemed to make a huge difference.
Until I figured out this one thing….
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Pinterest Marketing “Rules”
When I started doing Pinterest seriously a few years ago, I really tried to get big numbers and had a few pins that drove some traffic to my website and Etsy stores, but honestly, it felt like I was doing A LOT of work for not all that many results.
So I took some classes, some were AMAZING and some were just blah, but they all had “rules” to live by! And now I get so much better results by breaking ALL the rules!
You HAVE To Stick To Your “Brand”
This one killed me for so long. All the normal marketing people told me to “have a brand” so I did. I had a look to my pins that was super distinctive and … wah, wah, wah. I got okay Pinterest results, but nothing amazing.
And then I figured out that Pinterest doesn't care about my brand, it cares about what people on Pinterest like… doh!
You CAN'T Make More Than One Pin For Your Post, Product or Service!
I don't know if this was ever true, but for sure it is not true now, you don't have to have just one pin for post, product or service offering. You can have as many as you need to get traction.
Keep adding pins until something “hits” and you start to see results. Don't just give up when it isn't working.
I frequently check my stats to see if I am getting traffic from Pinterest and if not, then I make a new pin and see if I can get that one to pop!
You CAN'T Pin Multiple Times A Day
Oh my gosh, this one… Pinterest doesn't care how many times a day you pin!
Pinterest WANTS new and fresh pins that are interesting to their users. Pin as many as you want as long as you have a plan and are mixing things up and not just pinning the same 3 things over and over again.
There is a RIGHT Ratio of Pinning
Back in the day, like 2012, there was a right-ish ratio of pinning. Pinterest was more concerned with you having curated boards and sharing.
But now they are more pin/subject based and want to have as many great pins available for their users as possible.
You don't have to pin anyone else's pins if you have enough content of your own! that said, I DO pin other people's pins from my Tailwind Tribes, but that benefits me too!
Looking At Pinterest – Search
Okay, here is the first big secret to getting your pins to work. Honestly, I do this for every set of pins I make and it has changed my life.
Do a search on Pinterest and see what the first “group” of pins look like. I always use my desktop so this is usually 17-20 pins.
You will see that there are a few different kinds of pins that rank highly. When you are making your own pins, do those exact kinds of pins!
I am a little obsessed with headbands right now (I just got a super short haircut) and so I frequently check Pinterest to see what is out there. Taking a quick peek at the headbands pins, we see headbands on people, product posts, and a couple of headband articles.
This is great if you are an Etsy seller or blogger. As a seller you don't have to blog, but as a blogger you can have an article pin, a lifestyle pin and a product pin! Whoo whoo!
Making any of these kinds of pins would mean you might be able to get traction in the Pinterest search!
I am starting to do more decoupage posts on my Artsy Fartsy blog so before I even start taking pictures, I need to know what kinds are popular on Pinterest! Here we see finished products, kind of a collage of what was used with a finished product and then a “how to” pin of the entire process.
Yes, writing a blog post is fun for me, but seeing these kinds of pictures helps me to know what I need to do when making my products and taking pictures of the process!
Okay here is one for my Etsy seller, product peeps! A quick peek shows that few of the Etsy jewelry pics are “products on white backgrounds”, even the plain ones have a bit of a flair. Also lifestyle pictures and a collage show up!
I am SUPER careful with my product peeps not to make blogging suggestions! My besty sells on her Shopify store and she is NOT going to write a whole blog post about her products, but FOR SURE she could do a collage with some of the products in a category in her store and get Pinterest traffic!
If you are a blogger like me, you know that coming up with 3-5 different pins for a blog post can seem overwhelming and you DO want things to look nice on your own website. But here you can see that there certain “styles” of pins that are showing up high in the search. There are plain color/illustration ones, dark background ones and then Pinterest pretty ones. doing Pinterest pretty pins has increased the traffic to my little site by something like 6,000%… zoinks!
THIS would be a great example of how to do different styled pins for a blog post. Any of these could be interchanged to test and see which did the best in Pinterest search!
Alzheimers & Dementia
One part of my baby website is an Alzheimers and Dementia Caregivers section. This is what finally opened my eyes to the amount of traffic that Pinterest could drive! Just one of my posts is bringing in over 8,000 hits a month and so I want to make more that could do even better.
I have 4 different pins for that post and two of them took off, getting shared thousands of times.
What was interesting to me about this search was how different these pins are. They are graphic, infographic and products. This is because I went WAY up the search chain to just Alzheimers rather than adding caregiving to the search. Sometimes it pays to go really broad and get some new ideas!
Poor boring accounting, I use it as an example all the time because I couldn't think of anything worse than being an accountant! But it does seem that there are some standard types of pins that are doing well for accountants! “Normal” blog pins are working but also spreadsheets and flowcharts are showing up… interesting.
One blog post about flowcharts or spreadsheets could have been the basis for all these pins. Don't forget to make a variety of pin styles for every one of your posts!
One of the hardest things about selling vintage on Etsy is the low volume of searches for old dear products. That is not a problem in Pinterest, farmhouse style and vintage decor are SUPER popular and easy to take pictures of!
Again, if you are not a blogger, just a seller you don't have to do the first one, but for sure have some lifestyle photos for your products. Grabbing some cookbooks and sticking them in a wire basket could drive traffic to your shop for years!
Note: Because my vintage Etsy peeps sell one of a kind items, when you do your pins set the URL to one of your categories rather than the item. Because of how Etsy treats “sold” listing, you want to make sure your pins drive traffic to YOUR shop if they go viral and you sell out!
Real Estate Marketing
Sometimes your pin style can change search! From hearing all my Pinterest woes, you might think that I can't make anything work on Pinterest, but my pin style has changed what Pinterest thinks is popular for real estate marketing, Two of my pin styles (the pink marketing posts one and the green postcards one are mine!) It just so happened that my ascetic matches what Pinterest likes in this one search… yay!
WOW is this a different search results page. There are blog posts like mine, but also infographics and even “candid” pictures… hmmm something to think about when developing content for my site!
Looking At Pinterest – Drilldown
Once you find some styles of pictures that you like on Pinterest, click that picture and then see what other things Pinterest thinks are related to that picture.
For example, yes to hangers, I get that, but also super close up pictures and other ideas are there! So boxes, paper clips, spoons, chairs and suitcases too!
THIS can save you so much time when you are creating content. Instead of having to come up with a huge list of pictures ideas on your own, you can brainstorm a list right from what Pinterest tells you is related and interesting to their users!
Looking At Your Popular Pins
When you get a pin or two that “hits” this is SUCH a fun way to monitor what is working! Simply do this search in your browser:
https://www.pinterest.com/source/artsfartsylife.com/ (change out my side address for yours!)
You will get a results page that shows all the recently pinned items. As you can see here, my fighting chronic inflammation with essential oils is doing well. Funny thing, that was the SECOND pin I made for that post. The first one did okay, but this one is really striking a chord with Pinterest.
Another thing that is interesting is that lady in a gown is a product recommendation from my poop post. I never would have thought that people would save the pieces and parts of my site, but someone saved every one of my product recommendations.
I changed my site graphics to match the Pinterest popularity!
When I started my little B2C site I thought that I would use the same graphic style that I had always had, but then I found out Pinterest hates it SO MUCH… okay maybe that is a little dramatic, but for sure Pinterest likes my “pretty pins” better than the illustrations I used before. So I changed my site!
There was no sense in being stubborn and insisting that I like what I was doing, instead I said, “what the heck” and started changing over everything to match what the people have said they like!
Using Tailwind – BONUS!
Okay, one last bonus tip… use Tailwind to track what is popular!
I was going to do a whole section about how to use to Pinterest analytics to track what is popular, but I don't honestly use them ever. They are not super helpful and just doing the browser trick above gives me a better idea of what is going on day-to-day.
But I also use a couple of the Tailwind reports frequently…
This shows my pins that I have posted using the Tailwind scheduler. It shows the repin numbers for each and every individual pin so I can see which ones are taking off AND which of my boards they were posted to that worked.
For example, I would have NEVER thought that a pin on my tiny little Author Marketing board would do well on repins. It super pays to check and monitor!
Smartloop is a library of my pins that post on a schedule to my boards AND gives me data about which of my pins is doing well. This is more for my old pins and surprisingly enough, that one is a product pin… whoo whoo!
Okay, last one, but I saved the best for last! In tribes I can see the aggregated amount of pins that they have over all time for all the different versions… whoo whoo! THIS IS MY FAVORITE THING!
The reason the ones for my account above are all in tens and twenties and these are in THOUSANDS is that tribes gives me access to pinners with much bigger accounts than my own! You post your pins to Tribes and other pinners post your pins and you post theirs!
Pinterest Marketing FAQs
Okey doke, that was super fun and reminded me to do more pins, better pins and get that sweet, sweet Pinterest traffic!
But still there are questions… my peeps always have questions….
How To Make A Pinterest Pin – How To Make A Pinterest Pin In Canva
All of this is great, but how can you make Pinterest pins without having a big program like Photoshop? I have your back, here is how to make pins in Canva (with a video AND a checklist!)
How To Find Free Stock Photography For Pinterest
I KNOW, everyone is not going to take every picture they use on their blog or even in their product photos or collages! So I made a list of my best free stock photography sites with commercial commons licenses!
How To Find Help With Pinterest
As I said, I have taken A LOT of Pinterest courses over the years, but the best info that I have ever gotten about doing pictures for pins is from Monica Frose in her free Pin Practical Ads class! Even if you never plan on promoting a pin, you will get SO MUCH great info about creating good Pinterest images!