Pinterest may have seen its fair share of changes over the years, but it’s still a great place for bloggers to share their content! In fact, according to Search Engine Journal, Pinterest remains in the Top 10 social media platforms with active monthly users. 444 million to be exact. Think about all of those eyes on your recipes! 👀
Whether you are a Pinterest novice or you’ve been using the platform for quite some time, this step-by-step guide is a great way to learn the ropes or refresh your strategy. We’re covering everything from setting up a business account, creating rich pins, using hashtags, and more!
1. Set up a business account
When it comes to using Pinterest as a blogger, we highly suggest creating a business account (you can either create a new account or convert your existing personal account.) This account is useful for many reasons, including access to features that increase your brand authority such as Rich Pins, Analytics, ads, and promoted pins.
2. Claim your website
Claiming your website is super easy and it’s an important step in the setup process! By claiming your website, you are telling Pinterest that you own that specific website. This means that any pins that include your domain will be attributed to your Pinterest account, which will allow you to add your URL to your profile, give you access to Pinterest Analytics, and the ability to enable Rich Pins for your account. See how all of the puzzle pieces are starting to come together? 🧩Do not skip this step!
For simplicity’s sake, we will walk you through the process of claiming a WordPress website (this tends to be the primary platform used by food bloggers) using the Yoast SEO plugin, but Pinterest outlines how to claim a website from a variety of other providers as well.
- Open your settings by clicking on your profile picture in the top right
2. Click on claimed accounts and then claim next to “Websites”
3. Copy the HTML tag on the left side of the window
4. Paste your HTML tag into the Yoast SEO settings on your blog
5. Verify your claimed website on Pinterest
It normally takes about 24-72 hours for Pinterest to verify your website. You’ll receive an email once your site is verified.
3. Apply for Rich Pins
Once your account is set up and you’ve claimed your website you can now apply for Rich Pins! Rich Pins allow viewers to see quick details about your recipe on the pin (i.e. serving size, cook time, ingredients, etc.) so they can decide if they want to take action or not (why send someone to your blog who’s just going to leave after 10 seconds?), and it lets Pinterest know about the context of your pin. Pinterest will retrieve all of this metadata automatically as long as you have a recipe card plugin that implements recipe schema, like Tasty Recipes, installed.
Just like claiming your website, applying for Rich Pins is another super easy, but crucial step for honing your strategy! 👩💻
- Go to the Rich Pin Validator: https://developers.pinterest.com/tools/url-debugger/
- Paste a URL for a recipe on your website into the field at the bottom and click “Validate.”
- Once the markup has been validated, click “Apply Now” to apply to have Rich Pins appear for your website URLs.
Once you apply, Pinterest will process your application within 24 hours. After which, your regular pins will automatically be transformed into Rich Pins.
4. Create and curate your boards
Now that all of the setup steps have been completed, it’s time for the fun part: creating boards and pins! We recommend starting off with 10 or so boards that are relevant to your blog and audience. For example, if you blog primarily about desserts, it would make sense to create boards like “Cookies”, “Brownies”, “Cakes”, etc. rather than “One Pot Dinners.” Your audience is following you because they want to see dessert recipes, so keep your boards within that same realm. Start by pinning 10-20 pins to each board and select a cover image for each board (either upload a custom image or choose one of the pins on the board.)
The thing that’s important to remember about Pinterest is your account should lead people to your content. This is why you should also create a “branded board”, in addition to topic boards. This board should have a title that includes your blog name, something like Best Recipes of BLOG NAME. This way, your audience can quickly navigate to your recipes when they visit your profile.
One last thing to remember is to add a description to each of your boards. It may seem tedious, but descriptions can help drive traffic, engagement, and reach. Descriptions add context to your boards, telling not only your audience what the board is about, but Pinterest too (think Pinterest SEO!)
5. Create pins
One of our favorite tools for creating Pinterest pins is Canva! This online software is FREE to use and they provide you with a bunch of templates so you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create beautiful pins. We like to create 2-4 custom images per post, using different photos, fonts, and colors to give your audience different options to pin. Before you start designing, be sure to check out our best practices to give you some ideas for designing top-performing pins!
Note: Custom images are great, but make sure to pin just your plain photos too! Sometimes people prefer pinning a photo rather than an image with text on it.
Descriptions and Titles
Pinterest has made a lot of changes to pin descriptions over the years, but the most drastic change was the removal of descriptions completely for the front-end user! 😱 You may be wondering why in the world you even need to worry about descriptions still… Users may not be able to view the description anymore, but they are still an important part of Pinterest SEO. Your pin’s description helps the Pinterest algorithm determine relevance for delivery. Essentially, if someone is searching for a chocolate chip cookie recipe, Pinterest will make sure they’ll find that cookie recipe they are looking for rather than showing them a taco recipe.
Unlike descriptions, titles are a short and concise way to tell a user about a pin. Titles can be up to 100 characters, but depending on a user’s device only 40 characters may show up. This means you have only 100 characters to encourage a person to click on your pin!
Our Tasty Pins plugin makes it really easy to add descriptions and titles to pins. When you are viewing an image block, the Tasty Pins plugin actually adds additional forms above the Image Settings (where you would find the alt tag, etc.)
Did you know you can use hashtags on Pinterest? Hashtags serve as a way to organize content and they can make it easier for people to find specific recipes. Unlike Instagram where it’s perfectly acceptable to throw in 20 random hashtags like #food, #yummy, and #delicious, it makes sense to use more specific hashtags on Pinterest so people can actually find the recipes they are searching for. For a peanut butter brownie recipe hashtags like #brownies, #dessert, and #peanutbutter would make more sense. And while you technically can add in 20 hashtags on Pinterest, if your heart really desires, we recommend sticking with 3-4 so your description doesn’t end up looking spammy! 🤖
There’s a whole strategy surrounding hashtag use on Pinterest!
The Pinterest algorithm uses keywords to help users find what they are searching for, just like with a Google search.
There are several places where keywords can be added, including:
- Board Titles
- Board Descriptions
- Pin Descriptions
- Pin Titles
- Image Name
- Blog Post Meta Description
- Alt Text
So what keywords should you be using? The short answer is to use keywords that are specific to your audience and their search intent. Going back to our previous example, as a dessert blogger you’ll be posting dessert recipes, so don’t create a “dream wedding” board and start pinning wedding-related content because you think it might be helpful for a random user. Stay within your specific niche because that’s what your audience wants to see!
If you want a user to find your easy homemade ice cream recipe use specific and relevant keywords like “summer dessert recipe” or “easy ice cream recipe.” Think about your target audience and what they are searching for. Your keywords don’t necessarily need to be your specific recipe title (easy homemade ice cream), but it should still be something related (summer dessert recipe!)
You made it! There’s a lot to learn when it comes to using Pinterest as a blogger. We hope these steps come in handy as you step up your Pinterest game! 🥳