How to Get Started and Level Up Instantly with Pinterest (+ Free Pinterest Planning Worksheet)

Getting started on any new platform is confusing. The way it looks, where all the options and settings are located and how to edit it - it's all big questions. But one of the biggest questions I see time and time again is how to make the most of a platform when you first join it.

Now, the tips and tricks I will be sharing today are not just for people starting out, but also for Pinterest users that want to level up and really start using Pinterest to make an impact on their business! But, if you are just starting out, this guide will help you Pinterest FAST and you will get the most out of it really quickly! So here are a few tips on how to get started and how to make the most of Pinterest right away:


JOIN AS OR CONVERT TO A BUSINESS ACCOUNT

The first thing you should do is join Pinterest as a business using this link. This will allow you to either join as a business (using the red button) or convert your current account (using the 'convert now' link located under the red button). Creating a business account or converting your account will instantly give your blog authority but more importantly, you will also be able to access the Analytics that Pinterest provides its business account holders. It doesn't cost you anything, and makes a huge difference when you are able to see what is being pinned. I check these analytics once a month when I am planning my blog content for the month ahead, and it can provide some insights into what my readers want to see!


VERIFY YOUR WEBSITE

Confirming that you own your website adds your profile picture to any Pin that came from your site. It also has an impact on your analytics as you will be able to see what people are Pinning from your website. 

How to confirm your Squarespace site:

Squarepace and Pinterest recently partnered to make connecting your accounts easy peasy.

The first thing you'll need to do on your Squarespace site is approve the connection. Do this by navigating to Settings > Connected Accounts > Pinterest Account > Connect. This will then ask you to authorize the connection between Pinterest and Squarespace. Click Allow.

How to confirm using a meta tag (using Wordpress):

If you are not using Squarespace you can opt to add a meta tag to complete the connection. So this is perfect if you are using Wordpress. To do this you need to navigate to your name at the top of Pinterest and then click on the gear menu > Account Settings. In the Website field, click Confirm Website and it will generate a meta tag for you. Copy this snippet of code.

Navigate to your website and add this snippet of code to the <head> section of your index.html file. This section is located before the <body> section. In Wordpress, to do this navigate to Theme Settings > Header Scripts and paste the snippet there.

For full confirmation instructions, Pinterest have created this great guide for you to access here.

After you have authorized the connection in your Squarespace or added the meta tag to your header, you can navigate back to Pinterest, click on your name > the gear menu > Account Settings and click Finish on the website confirm field. Pinterest will automatically check the meta tag is working and confirm your site. If it doesn't work, try refreshing your browser and confirming again. If it is all authorized and installed properly, it will confirm your site!


STEAMLINE YOUR BOARDS

The way your boards look are actually really important - so important infact, I have written a whole tutorial on branding and styling your Pinterest where I show you a bunch of examples of well branded Pinterest boards.

It is so very important to maintain your branding across your social media platforms and your Pinterest boards are no exception. Here are a few quick tips for streamlining your boards:

1. Only display boards that are relevant to your business and blog niche.

This means that if you are a knitting blogger, ensure all your boards are related to knitting, yarn, crafting etc and that you don't start pinning about gardening and cooking for instance. Keep your visible boards relevant to your target market and this will build you up to be an authority in the field, somewhere people can come if they want to know about your specific niche.

Don't be afraid to delete boards that don't fit with your focus. You can also make boards that are off topic secret meaning that they are visible only to you. Use the table in the workbook to outline which boards you will have!

2. Pay attention to what you re-pin.

I also encourage you to re-pin images that fit with your overall brand aesthetic. Keeping everything on a similar colour palette or mood creates brand consistency and keeps people's attention. They don't have to work overtime trying to figure you out - it's simple and easy to consume.

3. Brand your Pinterest board cover images.

This is my favourite part! Making sure all of your board cover images are branded is such a neat trick and something most people forget about! It doesn't take long and creating custom board covers is actually really fun. I have created a full tutorial in that brand and style your Pinterest post, and PLUS you can download the Pinterest board cover template for free!

4. Delete under-performing pins.

This is something I hesitated with when I first started getting serious about Pinterest. I was afraid to delete anything and now I am not sure why I ever had that fear! Deleting pins with low or no re-pins might feel weird, especially if you like the pin, but it tells Pinterest that you are serious about maintaining quality boards. 


MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR READERS TO PIN FROM YOUR SITE!

There are a few ways that you can make it easy for your readers to pin right from your site.

1. Install Pin-it Buttons

Firstly, displaying Pin It Buttons is a great way of encouraging your readers to pin your images to their Pinterest boards. Sometime people just need a little reminder that they have this option, so install pin-it buttons or turning on social sharing if you are using Squarespace is a great way to nudge them to do so!

Using Squarespace: To add your pin-it buttons navigate to Settings > Marketing > Pin It Buttons and select Enable for Blogs.

After selecting an option, additional style options will appear. You can customize these options using the drop-down menus and select the size, shape and colour of the pin-it button.

Using Wordpress: If you are a WP user, I have written a full guide on how to install custom pin-it buttons here. PLUS, there are a bunch of free pin-it buttons you can download and use on your own Wordpress site.

2. Create Pin Worthy Images

Here are a few things to remember when creating your blog images with the hope and intention that your readers will pin them to their Pinterest boards. Firstly, vertical images have a much higher chance of getting re-pinned than landscape images. The reason being is that they sit nicer on the Pinterest feed and the way that Pinterest boards look are actually really important to users. 

Using high quality, well designed images are also important. Colourful photos are often more successful than darker images and images without faces are preferred. Weird right? But statistics also show that images with backgrounds rather than white space are more likely to get re-pinned.

One of my biggest tips is to make all your blog images follow a consistent theme. This tip wont only help your Pinterest, but it will also help your blog as a whole. For instance, all of my blog images follow a set theme:

ByRegina.com also does a great job with this. Her images are all unique in their own, yet they follow a clear and cohesive theme:


NAME YOUR PHOTOS TO BE INTEREST FRIENDLY

Here is a fun fact, when you name your images, this is the copy that will appear as your pin description when someone pins an image to their Pinterest from your website or blog. So this means that what you name your images actually really matters! Most people wont edit that text, they are all about doing things quickly, so make sure your image names are full of keywords, describe the pin and the topic or article it leads to and make it easy for your pins to be successful without relying on your readers to come up with pin descriptions.

The keywords are really important here because this will be one of the main factors that will impact on if your pin will turn up in a search that a Pinterest user does. So be specific in your image names and make sure they are interest friendly!


MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR PROFILE INFORMATION

Remember that Pinterest is actually a search engine more than it is a social media platform. But on this search engine, your profile matters! Add information that are full of your target market keywords and see the difference it makes to your stats!

Access the Edit Profile button located next to the gear icon inside your Pinterest page. What you put here is so very important!

Business Name: You will be able to input a business name rather than just your name because you have a business account (remember this was the first part of this tutorial!)

Picture: 165 x 165 px is the best dimensions for your profile picture. I encourage to use a branded image of yourself looking smart and approachable!

Username: Make this relevant to your brand - using your brand name is recommended.

About You: Use this area to load it up with keywords that will attract your niche. I also like to pop a link in there to my latest opt-in offer and freebie. So as you can see here, I link to my free 5-day brand clarity course right there in the 'about you' field.

Location: This is a great thing to enter too as it will come up on your pins.

Website: This is where you can confirm your site (step 2 of this tutorial). You should have your website URL entered and the Site Confirmed should have a tick next to it.


AUTOMATE YOUR PINTEREST EXPERIENCE

Lastly, I also want to share with you my Pinterest secret weapon (that's not so secret anymore, because it's so damn useful, we are all shouting it from the roof tops!)

It's called BoardBooster and it is a miracle!

You can read my whole blog post on it here, but essentially, BoardBooster gives you the ability to loop pins, schedule pins and clean your boards to ensure maximum success. I have to tell you, since using BoardBooster my engagement has just been going up and up! Look at this graph, showing my engagement over the last 30 days alone!

Want to use this amazing tool to
grow your own Pinterest account?

And make sure you check out my post all about this for more details on how to use BoardBooster and all the great functions it offers!


So now I have given you all the tips and tricks to start out and level up with Pinterest, I would also like to give you a super handy Pinterest checklist and guide! It's short and sweet, only 3 pages, so it wont take up too much of your time but walks you through getting your Pinterest on track for success!

GET ACCESS TO THE VAULT AND YOU WILL FIND THE GET STARTED ON PINTEREST CHECKLIST + WORKBOOK THERE! PLUS LOTS MORE GOODIES TO MAKE OVER YOUR PINTEREST!