Rocking the big P! Making Pinterest work for you!

Listen, I love Pinterest. I’ve made no secret about that.

But I know a lot of people who managed to get themselves an account, but then just follow from the side lines. 

If you’re one of those it’s my self-proclaimed duty today to get you all fired up – and getting the most out of Pinterest.  After all, you joined cos you liked the look of it. But then maybe you got all flustered or overwhelmed. We’re sorting that out right now! 

And if you’ve started but want to build your following, these tips helped me quadruple my followers from 120 to 500 in less than 3 months.

Why does Pinterest matter?

  • It is a virtual mood/ vision board for anything you are dreaming up
  • It will fire up your creativity. Guaranteed.
  • You will discover loads of like minded foodies/ creatives/ mamas all around the world.
  • It’s cheaper than buying magazines and books. It’s free!
  • Looking at your boards is like bathing in beauty, it gives you a great beauty boost.
  • It’s a great way to archive links that you love so you don’t lose them.
  • It’s a great way of sharing your own links to your creations, blog, shop etc.
  • It is, in the words of Suzanna Conway, a magazine of you.

So first things first.

What lights you up? What are you obsessed by/ What makes your heart beat faster. (These things do it for me…) Set a timer for 5 mins, free-write everything down.

1) Now create new boards for each of these. This will help you to categorise, and make sure you are passionate about what you’re pinning. Make them niche … and give them curiousity-piquing titles. Be funny, be clever. Be precise. Be particular. When I say niche I mean don’t just have “art” – subdivide it into genres, artists. I recommend mixing it up between specific genres, like spirals, peacocks, full moon, sumptuous cakes and more compilation type story boards, like Woman of the Woods, In the Red Tent

2) Make gorgeous board covers. People will TOTALLY judge your pins by your cover. Pick your most favourite pin. Which works cropped to cover size. To do this, on your profile page hover over a board cover, then click on “Edit board cover” press the arrows to go through the possibilities, click and move the image to centre it as you want it.

3) Be a curator. Imagine your Pinterest boards as a museum. Or be an editor, imagine them as a magazine. Rearrange your boards to walk people through them in a way that makes sense. Some choose to group them alphabetically by title. I choose to have my most popular at the top, and then group by similar interst, so I have all my craft ones together, all my recipes together. Cos the chances are if someone’s into cakes, they’ll probably be into pies and donuts too. But they might hate moon time. This way I keep them near what they want.

Handy hint:To move your boards, at the top of your profile page next to “Edit profile” is a picture of a computer monitor with two arrows. Hover over it and it’ll say “rearrange boards”. Click this, it’ll go red. Click and drag. And then click that button to save. Save regularly, if you move off this page all your hard work will be lost. I speak from experience!

4) Follow people who have similar boards. This means that their feeds feed into your personal fee, so you get lots of what you love and little general stuff that you don’t. To get into your personal feed press the Pinterest logo in the top centre of the page. This alone will make your Pinterest experience infinitely more fun and beautiful. On this page, on the lefthand sidebar you will see the “recent activity” column. Here you’ll see who’s repinning and following you recently. You can click through to any of them.

How else do you find people to follow? When you repin a pin, a little box flashes up telling you another board that it is pinned to as well. This is a great filter. You can either click follow right then and there, or click on their name to go through to check out their boards. Do this!!!

Handy hint: Every image, (unless it is “uploaded by user”) is linked to a website. To get to the website click on the image, and then when it opens up in a separate window click on that image and it will take you there. 

5) Choose carefully!! When you are choosing people to follow, go to their profile page, focus on those who have less than 800 followers, as they will still get email notifications and will notice you pop up in their control panel. They will then come and check out your boards, see you are a kindred spirit, follow you, and a beautiful Pinterest love affair is born! If you follow Pinners with massive (usually bought) followings, they will NOT follow you back.

REMEMBER, you can follow individual boards rather than follow a Pinner. Just follow what you love!

6) Make a good profile page. Put up a nice pic of yourself, share a few words that tell people about your interests and passions. Share your blog/ website.

7)  Pinterest etiquette: don’t pin 50 things on one board on one go, it puts people off and they will unfollow. So mix it up.

Handy hint – In the past, every pin went out onto the main boards, now only one pin every eight hours goes onto them, so the more followers you have,the more possible repins. Why does this matter? Platform building… and ego boosts!

8) Get techie!! Go to to “About” menu in the Pinterest header, and select the second option from the drop down menu “Pin It button“. This gives you lots of goodies:

  • A “pin marklet” to download onto your browser’s navigation bar to make adding new pins easy as pie.  Then whatever website/ blog you are on when you’re going about your daily websurfing, you hit that button and it will show you all available images to pin, and opens your boards straight up.
  • Apps for i phone and i pad
  • Badges to add to your blog/website so people can follow you easily.

9) Upload good quality new pins from other sites, label them well – with the name of the artist/ author/ website and a few key words. Places like foodgawker and etsy are great places to get new images from. Do not upload images from google image searches, this is a rookie mistake. Be sure you link direct to the original site. Introducing original images will get you out there and get lots of repins with your name

10) Be wary of group boards. If you follow them you will be bombarded with lots of mediochre pins, and the occasional bit of spam advertising too.

11) Change your email notification settings. Do this. You do NOT want to know every time someone repins a pin. But it’s great to know when you get new followers.

12) Share your boards on Facebook, Twitter and your blog, especially in groups! If people don’t know you have boards, they won’t know to follow them!!

13) Pin regularly. The more you pin, the more you get the hang of it, and the more repins you get.

Hope this helps! Do share your pinterest accounts below! And follow me!

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