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Oh Sierra


Everything You Need To Know About Making a Profit on Pinterest

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Pinterest, Pinterest, PINTEREST.

It seems so many of you are wondering about this platform – but hesitant to get started with an unfamiliar audience (or maybe, just don’t know here to begin).


We felt the same way, at first – but after much experimenting, we saw our Pinterest account grow from less than 1K to more than 200K monthly viewers in just 4 months (and started selling online products to people all over the world, along the way). Yeah, it’s been wild.

Here’s what we’ve learned, plain and simple: if you are selling an online product and service, putting energy into Pinterest will make you more money.

(AND, this blog post will teach you how).

But WHY, friends, are we sharing this information with such gusto?

No, we’re not promoting a Pinterest management service. We’re promoting our passionate focus on ensuring that – beyond the branding we create – our clients find success. When we find a resource that will help you do that? Dang right we’re going to research it, share it, and empower you to use it.

So, let’s tackle this Pinterest intro with some of our most commonly asked questions, providing you with the insight but mostly, the confidence you need to take your brand to the next level.

The most important thing to note as we dive in is that Pinterest is not a social networking tool. It isn’t about followers or relationships at all, in fact. It’s a search engine – and to be seen on a search engine, you have to be making content that is useful, relevant, and answers someone’s question.

Hang onto that knowledge nugget for the rest of your Pinterest career.

How do I set up my Pinterest account?

  • If you have a Pinterest account already, you’ll want to make sure you switch it over to a business account so that you can assess your analytics + use the business features, including ad campaigns (although, ads are totally not necessary for growth). You can do this by selecting the dropdown from the top right corner and selecting, “add a free business account.” Follow the prompts accordingly.
  • Once your account is set up, make sure it’s ORGANIZED. This means creating boards that are related to the type of things you’ll be pinning, and pins you’ll be creating.
  • You’ll want to be pinning from other accounts and creating your own original content in order to see growth in engagement and profit as a business.
  • On our account, we’ve created boards that are organized by “INSPO” or “OH SIERRA” prefaces, so that our audience can differentiate our work from what we re-pin (this helps to ensure there’s no confusion as to whose work is whose in the creative field, especially). I’ve seen people organize their boards in many ways, but ultimately, keep it simple and find a method that makes sense for you.
    • Each board also has the option to have a description – revisit our primary tip, that your content should answer people’s questions, and create descriptions accordingly, using keywords. Think of keywords as SEO for your Pinterest site. More on this, as we go.

How do I create a Pin?

  • The practical “how” involves selecting the “+” button on the top left, and setting up your pin. But it’s so much more than that.
  • Each pin has a title, a description, and a purpose. For example, if you’re a photographer + you’re sharing an image – how might this image help your intended audience? Is it a great example of a self-portrait? Is it a clickthrough to a blog about how to use a film camera? Is it leading your audience to purchase a preset? Get clear on why you’re sharing it, and build a description that speaks to this. It should be simple, without being robotic, and it needs to be direct.
  • When creating your Pins, you’ll want to use keywords that signify what you’re sharing, and a call-to-action that tells your audience what happens if they click through. There are many resources online for finding high performing Pinterest keywords for your industry –it’s very similar to SEO, because it relates to people’s searches, which is very different than the hashtag systems we’ve become accustomed to on other platforms.
  • On that note, FYI, Pinterest doesn’t use hashtags, so that’s one less thing to worry about, at least! EDIT: Pinterest has been slowly integrating hashtags in 2020, but we need to do some more research before we can say for sure how they impact growth.

What should my Pins look like?

  • Now you’re speaking our languaaaage! Your Pinterest visuals should be two things: on-brand for you, and eye-catching in a sea of Pins in your industry. Do your recon by searching questions that may lead back to your pin.
  • For example, look up “light and airy photography presets” and do something that is very UNLIKE all of the other ones you see popping up. Is there a colour missing? Would a minimalist layout be impactful? Going the extra mile to be original is a surefire way to get noticed.
  • Your pins can either be designed with text overlay (Canva has some great pre-sized templates for Pinterest) or they can be images, or video. Think about why you’re sharing the pin, what your audience is looking for, and what will stand out. Go from there.
  • Experiment! Try a few different pin designs for the exact same content, and see which ones perform better.

How often should I be posting on Pinterest?

  • The Pinterest posting recipe is more about participation as opposed to production. For every original Pin you create, you should be re-pinning 5-10 pins, so as not to get flagged for spammy behaviour. Participating in the platform shows that your account is actively seeking helpful information for your people. There’s no timeline or algorithm when it comes to Pinterest – your pins can be found ANYTIME, even if you made them 10 years ago, as long as the keywords scream: SEARCH RELEVANCE.
  • That said, the more you post, and the more you participate, the more views you’ll get, and then more quickly you’ll find success on the platform – but that’s not an algorithm, that’s sort of just a basic principle of what happens when you make an effort.
  • The wonderful thing about Pinterest is you can post as many pins as you want about the same thing – same blog post link, same product, whatever it is – just swapping out keywords and images to see what performs best. You can also GO BACK and edit pins, changing up keywords if they didn’t perform great, to see if it gains new traction. It’s a very fun platform if you’re into experimenting and tweaking to get things right, without the grid scrutiny that comes along with the IG world.

What industries thrive on Pinterest?

  • This platform was created for any business, in any industry, with an online presence, that will benefit from global traction. Pinterest is not location-based, so, for example, if you’re a seasonal ice-cream shop on a pier in a single city, and have no online presence – hold that thought. Actually, to be honest, you could probably STILL USE PINTEREST if you have any element of tourism. Post photos of your ice cream, link to your Google location, and bam! You’ll be added to the “Travel Goals,” boards of humans everywhere.
  • Even if foot traffic is your main source of revenue, there are ALWAYS ways to add value, and convert new clients on Pinterest, through blog promotion, digital downloads, mailing list growth, and beyond. I’m tellin’ ya, this platform is the real deal.
  • That said, to see the most immediate + affirming results, if you have an online product ready to sell or a blog post ready to share, it’ll be love at first Pin (give or take some trial + error, but that’s to be expected in any relationship, right?).
  • Pinterest is also an amazing space if you have a mentorship component to your business. Any search engine is a happy place for an online leader. And if you don’t think that applies to you? Think about it until you realize, it totally could.
    • Anyone – ANYONE!! – with online products or free digital downloads (courses, workbooks, how-tos)
    • Creatives (artists, writers, photographers, designers) looking to expand reach
    • Nutrition, cooking, fitness/wellness-based products + services
    • Anyone who does any kind of online coaching or community building
    • Interior design blogs + products + specialists
    • Beauty industry educators (tutorials, blogs, products)
    • Online shops with physical products who can offer global shipping
    • Anyone looking for a platform to help grow their following on other social media platforms, for any reason
    • Anyone looking to grow their mailing list on a global scale

How do I start selling products on Pinterest?

OF COURSE, the question you’ve all been waiting for.

Here’s the beauty of it:


Link the pin to the product. Trial it out. See what works. Make a profit.

It really is that simple.


The Appleyards

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About The Appleyards

We Are Passionate Community Cultivators, Partners in Life and Business, And Firm Believers That Work Should Feel Like Play.

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