Pinterest is kind of an obsession for me. Seriously… I’ve given more hours to Pinterest over the past months than I have any other social media platform. Not only is it a place I enjoy purely for visual inspiration, it’s also a great place to find other bloggers. It’s also a source of traffic to my blog. In this post, I thought it would be fun to address common Pinterest questions and answers in the hope it can help to fill the knowledge gaps of those new to Pinterest… or those who want to dig a little deeper into how Pinterest works.
I’ve categorized each Pinterest question and answer set into the following groups:
- General Pinterest Questions & Answers
- Pinterest Business Accounts
- Growing Your Pinterest Account
I’ll start with general questions move onto more specific topics. For further detail on any of the questions, click the links in the answer sections where you find them.
General Pinterest Questions & Answers
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is the social media equivalent of an online pinboard, for images, GIFs and video. Although it’s understandably categorized alongside other social media tools, Pinterest shares many characteristics of search engines. Indeed Pinterest describes itself in these terms:
Pinterest is a visual discovery engine for finding ideas like recipes, home and style inspiration, and more.Source: Pinterest
Pinterest users curate and create visual Pins that link to useful content. As such much emphasis is placed on Pin design “beauty”, to appeal to other Pinterest users so they curate them, repin them and click the links connecting Pins to content outside of Pinterest.
Pins are saved to specific Boards, that Pinterest users also create in order to curate related Pins together. Pins may be saved to a board from Pinterest itself or from anywhere on the Web using the Pinterest Pin It Button.
The Pinterest Pin It Button
This simple guide shows you why & how to add the Pinterest Pin It Button to your WordPress blog.
Any Pins you add to your Boards can also be shared on other social media accounts such as Twitter and Facebook, by adding the URL for the specific Pin into a tweet or post.
How Many Pinterest Users Are There?
In a June 2020 press release, Pinterest announced that at the end of 2019 its monthly active users had risen to 335 million globally… 88 million of which reside in the US!
Hence, Pinterest has an enormous user base of people searching for creative ideas or solutions to problems. This makes Pinterest a fantastic source of potential traffic for bloggers looking to grow visitors to their blogs.
How Many Pinterest Accounts Can I Have?
You can have as many accounts as you have email addresses, since each Pinterest account requires a unique email for verification.
Conveniently, Pinterest enables you to log into up to four accounts at the same time by linking them together. This is a helpful function for people who either manage Pinterest accounts for others or those who have several accounts of there own.
This feature means you can switch between accounts without having to log out of one account before signing in to another.
Can Pinterest Be Private?
The short answer to this is yes, Pinterest can be private.
You can configure Pinterest Boards to be either Public or Private. The Pins you post to Public Boards are visible to anyone. Conversely, the Pins you post to Private Boards are only visible to you.
Hence, if you only ever want to use Pinterest as your own private collection of pinboards you just need to set your Boards up as Private.
However, because the content of Private Boards cannot be seen by anyone, it will make growing your Pinterest account impossible. You won’t grow followers, gain Repins or generate clicks to your blog without making your Boards public.
Are Pinterest Images Free to Use?
This depends on what you mean.
You are freely allowed to Repin images that other people Pin to their boards. You can also share other people’s Pins in your social media accounts. However this does not mean you’re allowed to use those images outside of Pinterest as if they belonged to you.
Neither does Pinterest own the copyright of images used as Pins:
Pinterest is not the copyright holder in the images that users pin on the site.Source: Pinterest
Are Pinterest images copyrighted? This is a complicated question to answer. The images used in Pins may be copyrighted. So… even if it were ethical to use someone’s pin as your own (it isn’t), it could be the imagery it contains is copyrighted.
When creating your own Pins, you must be sure that you have permission to use any imagery you include. Using copyrighted images in your Pins that you do not have permission to use can result in Pinterest removing your Pin or in worst cases suspending your account.
Remember… you could also land yourself in legal hot water if you use copyrighted images.
Can You Delete Your Pinterest Account?
You can delete your Pinterest Account quite simply and there is a robust process in place for you to do so. I’ve written a specific article about how to do this:
How Does Pinterest Make Money?
Pinterest makes money by selling targeted Promoted Pin advertisements. Promoted Pins are a way for Pinterest users to generate more engagement on their Pins by paying for them to be placed at the top of other Pinterest user feeds and in search results.
However, only users with a Pinterest Business Account are able to create Pinterest Ads. You might imagine that with over 335 million active monthly users, many of these are businesses.
Pinterest makes a pretty penny selling advertising space!
Pinterest Business Account Questions & Answers
Are Pinterest Business Accounts Free?
Yes Pinterest Business Accounts are free. The benefits of setting up a Business Account are:
- Access to Pinterest Analytics, showing details about your account performance, such as Pin impressions, repins and clicks.
- The ability to use Pinterest Ads.
- Access to Pinterest Rich Pins.
- Special tools to enhance your profile.
You can set up a Pinterest Business Account from the get go or convert your personal account into a Business Account.
Are Pinterest Ads Effective?
The first thing to establish is how you determine “effective”. For the purposes of this answer I’ll assume effective means:
- More Pin impressions
- Increased traffic
- Follower growth
Pinterest Ads can be effective for sure. However as with any Pinterest activity there are caveats.
It’s entirely likely that your Pinterest Ads will generate many more impressions for your Promoted Pins than your regular Pins. Promoted Pins appear at the top of user feeds and Pinterest searches way more frequently than they otherwise might.
This can be a good thing or a bad thing. If your Promoted Pin, your landing page and objectives are all aligned and relevant to one another, you’ll likely see better performance towards your overall objective.
Pinterest Ads, like regular Pins, need to be targeted to the people you want to see them. The less targeted, the less effective they’ll be. This means identifying who you want to see your ads, the keywords they may be using to search and choosing images that are likely to resonate with them.
Pinterest provides all the tools you need to target your Promoted Pins to a specific demographic and / or those interested in specific topics.
The landing page you’re promoting needs to be compelling as do your ad copy and Calls to Action.
Pinterest Ads can be extremely effective, but only if you put in the required effort to target your ads to the people likely to be interested in seeing them.
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How Much Do Pinterest Ads Cost?
I have to generalize here, since there is no fixed price associated with how much Pinterest Ads cost. Your objective too affects how much you’ll pay:
- Brand Awareness (impressions) – Approximately $2.00 to $5.00 per 1,000 impressions.
- Engagement (closeups, Repins, comments) – $0.10 to $1.50 per engagement (maybe even more).
- Traffic (clicks) – $0.10 to $1.50 per click (maybe even more).
The competitiveness of your niche may also have a bearing on the cost of your Pinterest Ads.
Can Pinterest Make You Money?
Yes Pinterest can make you money… but only if your Pins are generating clicks.
You can’t make any money within the Pinterest domain, you can only monetize the landing page you link to from your Pins. Of course you need people to click through your Pins and visit your blog.
You can encourage people to click through to a landing page selling your products, promoting affiliate offers or displaying ads that you’re paid for.
Pinterest can also make you money in other ways, such as selling your pinning services to help people and charging either a consultancy fee to manage their Pinterest account entirely or an hourly rate as a VA.
What Does Pinterest Analytics Show You?
Pinterest Analytics shows you all sorts of wonderful data about your Pins, Boards and the people who engage with your content.
- Pin Impressions – The number of times your Pins have been displayed in a user’s feed, the category feed or in searches.
- Saves – The number of times somebody saves your Pins to a board.
- Clicks – The number of times someone clicks a link in your Pins.
Pinterest Analytics also show you demographic information about your audience as well as details about their interests.
The data it shows you can help you to understand what does / doesn’t work well and helps you to modify or design an effective Pinterest marketing strategy.
How Often Does Pinterest Analytics Update?
Pinterest Analytics does not show real-time data and it can take up to 48 hours for data to appear. Hence you’re always looking at data from a couple of days behind where you currently are.
While frustrating to those used to getting real-time feedback from systems such as Google Analytics, my personal take is it’s not a huge hindrance.
You still get enough juicy data from Pinterest Analytics to help inform what you do on the platform.
Growing Your Pinterest Account Questions & Answers
How Many Pinterest Followers is a Lot?
Another difficult question to answer… and like many other follower metrics, it may be more of a vanity number than an indication of the number of engagements and clicks you’re likely to get.
That said your pins appear in your followers’ feeds, so there is potential to gain more impressions on your pins the more followers you have.
For me personally I feel that 1,000 plus is a lot of Pinterest followers… though to be fair half that it pretty decent!
How Do You Get Followers in Pinterest?
As with most social media sites, you gain more followers through a combination of:
- Regular Pin scheduling
- Creating high-quality content (i.e. attractive Pins leading to useful blog posts)
- Sharing Pins from other people
- Commenting on Pins
- Following others
There’s no real secret other than this, although you can implement strategies that incorporate all elements, as I do in my sociable Pinterest marketing strategy (see below).
Looking to Grow in Pinterest?
Check out my 3-step sociable Pinterest Marketing Strategy to add a boost to your Pinterest marketing efforts.
Should You Buy Followers on Pinterest?
I won’t take long over this. The simple answer is no!
Aside from the fact you could well end up getting your Pinterest account suspended for spam, buying followers on any platform is unlikely to deliver followers who want to engage with you.
I’ve written about the effectiveness (or lack of) of Twitter follow back accounts… the same goes for any social platform online.
Paying for followers is a BIG no-no.
How Do You Get Traffic from Pinterest?
You get Pinterest traffic in the same way you get followers. Regularly schedule high quality Pins pointing to high-quality content on your blog.
Your pin designs need to be attractive to catch someones eye so they click it for a closeup. This might mean offering a giveaway or providing something else that no-one else can.
When someone sees your full pin, your description needs to give them a compelling reason to click. What’s in it for them? What are they going to get if they click your link.
You need to be clear in your Pin descriptions about the benefits of leaving Pinterest to visit your blog. A clear CTA in your description will also help… you should literally tell the reader to click to visit your site!
Th other thing you need to get traffic from Pinterest is time. It takes time and consistent, high-quality pinning to build traffic. Doing so manually can be a chore and difficult to maintain.
That’s why I use Tailwind to handle all of my Pinterest Pin scheduling… but the truth is, Tailwind does way more than this. Read my review of Tailwind for Pinterest to see all the benefits it delivers.
Want to Really See a Difference on Pinterest?
Check out my review of Tailwind App for Pinterest.. a tool to super-charge ALL your Pinterest activity!
How Many Pinterest Boards Should I Have?
Let’s start with limits. Pinterest limits you to having 2,000 Boards (containing a maximum of 200,000 Pins). These include Secret Boards, Public Boards and any Groups Boards you belong to.
So there’s your upper limit!
In terms of how many Boards you should have… there is a rule of thumb figure for many Pinterest gurus I’ve read about: 50.
This doesn’t necessarily mean YOU have to run out and set up 50 Boards right now, but it gives you an idea of the number of Boards some successful Pinterest marketeers have.
The point is you should create Boards that are useful for the content you’re Pinning. Right now I have around 30 Boards and I add new ones when it’s useful to do so.
What Pinterest Boards Should I Have?
I always recommend having one board which contains your Pins alone. These Pins may appear on other Boards they’re relevant too, but a “Best of” Board containing just Pins you’ve created that link to your own content is a must.
You should create other Boards relevant to your niche, and you should “niche down” i.e. create boards targeted to for specific things within your topic area that people are searching for on Pinterest.
What Do You Do If Your Pinterest Account is Suspended for Spam?
The first thing I’d recommend is not to panic. Having your Pinterest account suspended is not uncommon: it happened to me and I’m still on Pinterest, so you can restore things.
There is a clear process to follow if your account gets suspended and as long as you’ve not been deliberately spamming Pinterest you should be okay.
I’ve written about my experience of suspension and the steps you need to take to restore Pinterest accounts suspended for spam.
I managed to get my account back in under 10 hours so there is hope!
This is going to be my dumping ground for Pinterest questions and answers… it’s certainly not definitive at the moment.
Keep you eyes on this post and I’ll update it with more Q&As as I find more questions to answer.
Bye for now.
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If you have any other Pinterest questions you need answers for, drop them in the comments section below.