7 valuable lessons for Pinterest

During the month of May, the sweet Stacy of Kids Stuff World invited me to be a guest pinner on the gigantic collaborative board of the Top 20 Must Follow Pinterest Moms. It's a lovely place full of activities, essays, recipes, and varia of amazing from moms who know their stuff. At the risk of sounding cliche, I was honored just to be asked to post, and I was delighted to share my content!

When you're around people who are really passionate (and good!) at what they do, you can't help but learn from them. Whether you're a momma or not, if you want to grow your following on Pinterest here are seven valuable lessons that I learned.

1. A great pinnable image is where it's at.

Pinterest users gravitate to the vertical format, we know that. We also know that pins with warm colors and no human faces (perhaps it makes it seem too personal if we have images of others) are more likely to be repinned.

I found that sometimes one great, large image worked well.

For our summer bucket list post, I pinned the rainbow watercolor image of the list. The vertical format and bright colors were enough to grab people's attention. It has over 800 pins so far, and it's been exciting to see our list pop up on different boards all over Pinterest.

2. Don't give it all away in your image.

Our summer bucket list pin drew a lot of repin traffic, but it didn't necessarily lead to a lot of traffic back to my blog. Why? I kind of gave away the cow with the milk on that one. No one needs to click into that pin to get the ideas for a summer bucket list, it's all right there before them.

For greater traffic to my site, I found that slightly less informative pins with interesting titles drew more viewers. Take for instance a project pin like the one below. The process for these shirts is hinted at below, but you can't walk away with all the information - you need to click in for more. This pin has generated almost 800 repins so far.

Or consider this one that has seen nearly 400 pins. An interesting idea (to me) with a fun photo, but in order to really get into the concept, you'd have to click to the post on my site.

3. Sometimes you just need the right eyes on your content.

This was the most gratifying piece for me. You mean, they like me? They really like me?

The ideas and projects that I've developed over the last two years, that I thought were so great, were seen by a whole new audience, probably the best audience to receive them. And guess what? These posts were pinned and repinned like I had hoped that they would be!! No longer a small one or two repin, but hundreds?

Sometimes you need the right stage to put on a good show.

Unfortunately, not all of us can pin to boards with hundreds of thousands of followers, but here is a grand old nod to collaboration. Working together with other writers/creators in your genre can help out a ton! I've loved collaborating on group boards for the Mini Cooks series and now the Endless Summer series. Combining our networks has brought so many more eyes to the content we want them to see. Find like minds and create collaborative boards on specific topics.

4. Pinning your stuff to multiple boards is okay.

This is a real matter of skill. The key, I think, is to pay careful attention to your audience. When are they pinning and from what boards are they pinning? Some boards might dominate your traffic. For example, I see interaction on my board Mommy and Daddy School. Many of my followers follow only that board. So, if I were to pin one of my kid craft projects to the DIY & Ideas on Pars Caeli, this audience that follows only one board would miss out on the pin, and I'd miss out on their traffic.

From the pros I noticed that multiple pins the same post (sometimes different images though) over a series of days and time slots to try to reach different eyes. And as a follower of these pinners, you can either feel turned off to see these pins more than once or perhaps begin to like (feel a moderate sense of peer pressure) these posts more and more when you see them come up in your feed again and again.

5. Use those descriptions for fun or provocative info.

The description of the pin had been pretty lifeless on my pins until I discovered just how much you can make that space work for you! With a great lead-in or teaser, that interesting photograph can become something readers will want to follow. Consider posing questions or alternatively leaving only the most interesting words that will lead your audience. Even a light-hearted joke might do the trick!

6. Keep that 80/20 rule going strong.

No one likes a narcissist. Your readers will get turned off by over posting your own work. Find, cultivate, and repost great work that you find from other creators. Make sure that pins follow your brand and fit with your style, but be sure to promote great work that see and share it abundantly with your audience. And by abundantly, we're thinking 80% of pins from others/brands and 20% of your own content. You'll be surprised by how much more your readers will come to trust you once they see what you are recommending and get to understand your brand identity.

7. Timing really makes a difference.

As I watched the other women set publish their pins, I was surprised to be the first one of the day pinning content. If I pinned a project or parenting post at 2pm, it saw drastically fewer pins than those I posted at 8, 9, or even 10pm (EST).

I caught on (slowly) that the audience I want to hit - busy moms and even busy ladies - weren't pinning until later in the day (largely). Sometimes a recipe or an organizational post would do well early in the morning and early in the week, but projects and longer posts scored higher in the late evening. Additionally, Saturday and Sunday are high pinning times for my audience - and at almost any point of the day - so I tried to save my favorite content for the weekends.

Consider who you want to reach and when they will most likely be on Pinterest. There's a ton of data and pins out there to help you narrow down who pins when, and it's always a good idea to experiment yourself.

I'm so grateful to the opportunity to work alongside these creators, and I'm loving all my new knowledge.

What would you have to add to the must know list of success on Pinterest? I'd love to pin it. :)

xoxo, MJ