Getting Started with Pinterest: Building Positive Momentum

Last Update: June 19, 2018

I keep hearing how Pinterest is a must for increasing your traffic if you're a blogger, so finally I decided to give it a go! I must say it's very addictive. I've easily spent entire days creating pins, setting up boards, and browsing (and re-pinning) others' pins.

A Delicate Balancing Act

Like anything, it's good to put in a lot of hours at first to get some momentum going, but at the same time, you don't want to spend so much time that you totally neglect other areas of your business.

Here are the steps I've taken so far. This should also function as a handy Pinterest guide for beginners!

1) Learned as much as possible

I didn't even know what Pinterest was, so I figured I needed to educate myself! Of course, I also have a tendency to go overboard with the learning and never get started, so after a certain point, it was time to put the learning into action.

This interview on Do You Even Blog? with Rosemarie Groner was what got me to finally act. I think it was hearing how much Rosemarie made each month!

Next, I signed up for the free email course that was mentioned in the interview. It helped that the lessons were delivered in bite-sized chunks and each one had an action step.

2) Created my profile

When creating my profile, I used my name, the name of my website, a friendly photo, and a succint description of my website. Just listing the name of my website put me ahead of the game, as I noticed when browsing other profiles that most people only listed their names.

Writing the description of my website probably took me a good 30 minutes -- brevity is NOT one of my strengths -- but it was definitely a necessary exercise, and now I can use it for future profile descriptions.

3) Set up my boards

I set up one board for stuff from my own blog (I called it "name of website: top posts:"). Then I set up other boards for topics related to my niche such as personal development, blogging, and natural health.

I mostly filled the other boards with other people's pins rather than my own. For one, after creating my first pin (more on that later), I realized that creating the recommended 10 pins for each of the recommended 10 boards would take forever!

Also, the Pinterest community is all about sharing and connecting with others. In the spirit of this, then, I decided it would be best to populate the majority of my boards with others' pins.

4) Created my own pins

Messing around with colors, fonts, and graphics is something I enjoy but I'm not particularly good at. That is, I don't really have an eye for design.

So I like to make things as simple as possible. I use Snappa to put together my pins and Coolors to generate color schemes.

For the latter, I found a color scheme I liked and now I just copy and paste the color codes directly onto my pins. I also found a few "go-to" fonts so I don't spend hours each time trying out all the different fonts.

5) Joined group boards

Group boards are the way to really get your message in front of a lot of people. According to Rosemarie, though, most group board administrators won't accept you if you don't have a lot of followers.

So I used the same strategy I used to build a following on Twitter, which is to follow as many (relevant) people as possible and re-pin their stuff. Out of goodwill, most of them would follow me back.

Once I had about 200 followers, I used the template provided in the free email course to contact group board administrators. It was a little frustrating because the majority didn't get back to me, but I did get accepted to a few boards with a large and active membership.

6) Signed up with Tailwind

It's good to be strategic about scheduling your posts. For a while I was manually writing down what times I was going to be posting what pins and to what boards, but that got to be pretty tedious after a while.

That's where Tailwind comes in. It allows you to conveniently post your pins on a calendar in a few seconds and then be done with it. This is particularly useful for group boards as most of them have limits on how many times per day you can pin.

The best part about Tailwind, though, is the Tribes. Tribes are kind of like group boards but better.

Every Tribe I applied to responded in less than 24 hours and so far, every one has accepted me. Plus, I've found that compared to the group boards, the Tribe members are more active and post more helpful, high-quality content. So I'd suggest applying to Tribes before Group Boards!

Closing Thoughts

I've only been on Pinterest a little over a week, and I've been encouraged by the rapid growth I've seen in terms of followers and re-pins. It's also a lot of fun!

Now, it hasn't yet translated to tons of traffic to my blog or dollars in my pocket. Naturally, that's frustrating.

But as I often remind my students, patience is a virtue.

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