Time for the nitty-gritty of Pinterest profiles! In this post, you’ll learn all the details of how to create a business profile and what a scheduler is and why you should be using one. This is the post you’ve been waiting for: The IKEA of Pinterest profile building!
Pinterest offers personal or business accounts. As an author, you will want to upgrade to a free business profile in order to utilize the tools Pinterest has set up for business owners. We’ll discuss those in a separate post as this article is intended to walk you through the setup of your profile. If you’ve never used Pinterest then you’ll be able to start an account and build it to suit your needs as an author. If you already have an established account then you can easily switch it to a business account and change things up a bit based on the ideas I will outline. Your profile will be as unique as you are and the more information you share the broader your potential reach. Always remember: as an author You are the brand. This doesn’t mean you have to bare your soul on social media but definitely let your hair down.
Once your business account is established you can lay down what I consider the foundational boards. These are boards that I consistently use for clients to begin to build their presence. To make it a bit easier to understand I’ll use Jane Doe to stand in for places where I would use the author’s name. I will also break it down by board category and explain briefly why these are important.
The following boards relate to you as an author and your work. Here is where you will pin all of the content you create about your work. I suggest creating boards for each of the books you have written or are considering writing and naming it the book title. If it’s a working title you can always rename a board later if needed. By doing this you are creating a small amount of momentum simply by having your name and book titles out there. If someone likes the content of your board and chooses to follow it then automatically your name/titles are being spread around the search engine. Remember the dandelions from the previous post? This is how you generate the wind that blows them across the internet.
Jane Doe Books and Blog
Book Title 1
Book Title 2 (you get the idea here, yes?)
Within the boards, you create for your books make sure to pin content that links back to your author page, images of your book, and pins from Pinterest or online that convey the idea of what your book is about. If it’s a book about ghosts then pin a lot of ghostly material. Did you write about the origin of unicorns? Mythology, movies, and unicorn images are all great starting places. Remember anything that can help people to better understand, at a glance, what your book is about should be pinned to these boards. This is also a great place to save links to websites you are actually using for research and ideas.
Each blog post you write should also have its own pin linking directly back to the post. File these under your Books and Blog board, to begin with, and over time repin them to other boards that are relevant. It is NOT overkilling to have your books and blog pinned to multiple boards on your profile. How to do this in a way that maximizes the Pinterest algorithm I will detail later.
The next section is basic boards that appeal to a broad, general audience. It’s good to have them as you never know who will follow a pin back to your profile. Also, these are all popular searches on Pinterest and writing blogs on these topics, then pinning them to those boards can help people find you when they click back to your site. Even if you have a book that has nothing to do with any of these topics it is good to cast a wide net with your blog and perhaps that way gain new readers who would otherwise not see you.
Podcast tips (if you’re into that)
Books and Book Club
Any Hobby type interests (separate boards for each)
I would suggest also creating boards that appeal to the niche elements of your audience. If you write about unicorns have a board for your unicorn book AND have a board just about unicorns- with pins about your book as well. Do you see the pattern here? We’re going for a very wide net but hoping for it to also sink deep in an effort to catch as many people’s interest as possible. Even the most niche book can cast a wide net by capitalizing on your interests and life experiences. Your author blog is a great resource for this.
If you’re wondering if something would make a good board ask yourself: Can I write a blog post, or perhaps a series of posts, about this topic? If yes then definitely create that board! Redecorating and using Pinterest to find ideas? Create a board for that and then blog about the experience!
Remember: All the content you create and curate is intended to build your online presence and share a bit about you, the author, with your audience and encourage them to read your blog, buy your book, and interact with you by sharing your Pinterest content to their profiles.
After you’ve determined what boards to create each one needs a brief description added. This is also a good place to add hashtags specific to the category. For example, your author books and blog board could say something like this for the description:
“I started writing when I was nine years old and have never stopped! I write fantasy novels about unicorns and ghosts. Sometimes I think I’m still that kid with a better vocabulary!” #author #fiction #books #read
Note the use of keywords in the description and the use of hashtags for adding additional keywords that pertain directly to the content this board will contain.
Put a Pin in it
So now you’ve got a bunch of boards that look like empty windows. It’s time to fill them up with pins. The majority of these will come from Pinterest. The 80/20 rule of most social media applies to Pinterest as well: 80% of other people’s content and 20% yours. You can browse the search engine and start pinning interesting content that relates to your board topics to get the ball rolling. This is important! You want your boards to be filled with content that is relevant to the subject of the board. This allows the search engine spiders to easily categorize your boards and start picking through them for the content a user is searching for. This means the content you create and file to those boards will then begin to be associated with those ideas. This is one reason it is important to have a good foundation of pins on each board (15-20) which are not your personal pins but have everything to do with the subject of the board.
You can also go back to your site and start pinning from there if you already have the Pin button/widget installed AND you have images connected to each blog post that can be used to create a pin. Remember from my previous article: Pinterest is a visual search engine. Your blog posts need images. If you don’t have images embedded in each post then now is the time to do that. Find images you like which make sense with the subject of your article and have your web person attach it to your post. This makes it so you and other people can easily save it to Pinterest.
The content you pin from your website (blog posts, book covers, quotes, etc) will be the other 20% that gets added to your boards. Pinning original content is a power move. The Pinterest algorithm loves getting fresh content added and profiles that regularly add new pins (as opposed to repinning from within the platform) gain traction with the algorithm. There is such a thing as too much though. Pinterest wants a good balance of fresh content as well as repins so everyone gets a fair chance at being seen on user feeds. If your profile is always adding but never sharing then it could be flagged as a bot or spam account and temporarily disabled until you can prove you’re an honest, upstanding human citizen.
Scheduling for freedom
Consistency is key with Pinterest. As a business account, you want the algorithm to key onto you and share your content. If you’re pinning 5-10 pins every day, with an overall mix of 80% repins and 20% fresh content then you’re in the Goldilocks zone for the platform. You’ll see your broad reach grow pretty rapidly. But if pinning every day seems daunting and time consuming then a schedule is the way to go.
A scheduler is a program that allows you to schedule pins (and often other social media posts) in advance. Not all schedulers are created equal and only a few are currently approved partners of Pinterest. While the list of approved Pinterest partners changes (and can be found with a simple search on their website) I know that as of this writing Tailwind, Buffer, and Hootsuite are three schedulers that can be used without fear of your account being suspended. All three are reasonably priced, offer a suite of options for scheduling your posts, and have their own analytics to explore. At this time the only one I have personally used is Tailwind and I find it user-friendly and flexible.
Any scheduler you choose to use should be one that allows you to pin in batches based on search terms, then shuffle those pins into a queue that will pin to a variety of your boards at different times during the day. Into your queue, you also want to mix your own content. A looping feature is a great way to set your personally created content to circulate through your boards so your pins are being seen consistently. This is a delicate balance to maintain though. You don’t want to pin content to a board that it doesn’t fit on- don’t pin your unicorn blog to a board about decorating bathrooms. It will get lost and that’s a wasted opportunity.
Likewise, when looping your pins, take care to not have the same pin repin onto the board more than once every few months. A good scheduler will alert you when you are doing something that can trigger the spam filter on the Pinterest algorithm. When in doubt, take yourself over to Youtube and get some training on the schedule you’re using as well as how often to circulate your content. A word to the wise: ALWAYS check the date of any blog, article, or tutorial you are using for help. If it’s more than two years old and hasn’t been updated then the information will no longer be current enough to be useful.
Using a scheduler has a learning curve but is a wise use of your time. Whichever one you chose, spend some time watching their videos and doing the tutorials. Also, make use of their help desk. You’re paying good money for them to help you promote your brand so get your money’s worth!
Be a Groupie
Another useful way to find pins for your profile as well as share your content is group boards. Pinterest has group boards that are created by users to share and spread similar pins. When you join a group you will be able to share pins of your content to the board and also pin other members’ content to yours. A good group board has many members that are active within that community and follow a 1:1 pin ratio, meaning that for every one pin you add to the group you pin one onto your profile. This allows everyone’s work to be spread through the community and to the followers of each person in the group. Some groups are very specific and have tight rules to follow while others have broad types of content that can be added with loose rules. If you don’t find a group that fits your needs you can also create one and invite people to join. A good resource for finding a group board to join is Pingroupie.com.
Once you’ve implemented the strategies described in this post your profile and pins will join the Pinterest community. In the early days and weeks, you may see slow growth and interaction. Fear not, this is natural. Pinterest is about the long game. Stay consistent with your posting schedule and keep creating content (reblogs) on your author site that can be shared to Pinterest and other social media outlets. After two weeks or so of consistency check out your analytics and see what kind of numbers you’re getting. Find it a little confusing? Learn about interpreting Pinterest’s analytics and how to make it work for you in part 3- Pinterest: Finding Your Edge
Heather Daleccio has sat on the open loading deck of a C-130 as it flew over the white cliffs of Dover, been trained to evade and survive in enemy territory, and eaten the brain of a cow in France. These experiences have proven useful for raising three kids. She reads, writes, and researches. Her most recent adventure is working on social media marketing.
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