Monday, July 24, 2017

Pinterest Basics & Insider Tips, Part 1

by Bethany Jett @BetJett

We’ve spent the last few months covering the Instagram platform, and now it’s time to move to Pinterest!

Pinterest isn’t really a “social media” platform. Instead, consider utilizing Pinterest as a search engine for your audience. After all, there are times when I choose to search Pinterest instead of Google. And if you’re a Pinterest-user, I’d guess you do, as well.

Today we’re going to do a light overview on some Pinterest basics, starting with…

You should always “claim” your username on a new social platform. Because I was a slow adopter to Pinterest, my username…the username I use on everything was taken.


If you can keep a consistent username across platforms, great! If not, create a username that identifies you easily. My username {betjett2} is an example of what not to do, aka, use a numeral after your username.

Business Accounts
We’ll go more in detail about this next month in Part 2, but if you’re a writer or author, you’re a brand. A business. And you should utilize the business account feature.

My username is betjett2, but my Business Name is Bethany Jett
🎀 Live Brilliant. I added the “Live Brilliant” because is the hashtag I use and the name of my blog. The bow is my icon. These are words and items I want associated with my brand, so I use them everywhere.

You can put any word(s) you want after your name, or even use your tagline if that’s how you’re known. If you’re a company, you can put the company name in that space. 

Profile Picture
Consistency is also important here. People need to see your face. It allows trust to be built. Do not use a photo of your dog, cat, or backyard. Choose a picture that reflects your personality, and if you can, use it across your other platforms, too. This is especially important if you have a common name.

Your bio is the first thing your audience sees, aside from your picture. Utilize this space to let your audience know what to expect from your feed. My bio currently says: Girly topics, Godly perspective from a wife, mom, & CEO on relationships, organization, and style. Award-winning author: The Cinderella Rule.
Inside of this bio area a few strategies.

First, I wanted to have a broad enough overview, so I used one of my taglines: “Girly Topics, Godly Perspective.” This indicates a faith-based feed of fashion, hairstyles, shoes…anything I want that fits under that category.

Second, while I don’t often use the terms wife or mom in my bios, Pinterest is different. There are a lot of pins I want to utilize, so by sharing these details, I have room to have a Back to School or Homeschool board, even though I’m not a “Mommy Blogger.”

Third, I specifically use CEO (a great three-letter word!) to cover business-y boards, and then I actually spell out the other broad topics: relationships, organization, and style.

Since I’m not famous, I share that I wrote The Cinderella Rule, so my readers can identify me and possibly pique the interest of future ones.

Brainstorm some keywords and play with your bio. I constantly update and change mine, so don’t feel like you’re married to your terms. As you create your feed, allow your bio to grow with it.

Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board. Users can pin any picture from any website or upload a photo from their computer. Boards are used to categorize those images.

There are a few different types of boards: public, secret, and collaborative.
  • Public boards contain images that anyone can view and repin to their own boards.
  • Secret boards are hidden from your public page and are only visible to you.
  • Collaborative boards are shared between multiple users.

You want your Pinterest page to be aesthetically pleasing and to make sense to your audience. You can include “off-topic” public boards on your page. After all, we have multiple interests, and so will your audience, but since I’m not a food blogger, I have the majority of my recipe boards, fitness boards, and boards used for research set to secret.

How to Categorize Your Boards
It’s important to have your Pinterest page reflect who you are. As an author, you’ll want a board that contains your books and a board for blog posts. You’ll also want boards that reflect the type of things you write about.

For example, if you write historical romance set during World War II, you may have a board dedicated to that era filled with pins linking to websites with historical information. If you write contemporary romance, you may create boards for your characters, filled with fashion ideas for each one.

Evergreen content is great, as well. This would include holidays and seasons…events or categories that can always be shared.

Your boards can be moved around, so your top boards need to include your books, but also whatever is happening in the world around you. School is starting again, so if you can cleverly work a “Back to School” board in your theme, go for it!

Trade Secret: Use the Search Feature
The search bar is a wonderful source of information about your audience. If you click in the search bar at the top of the screen, a dropdown box will appear with your “Recent searches” and then “Trending ideas.”

You can see that my audience is currently searching for: vegetarian and crockpot recipes, summer nail décor, and for some reason, Halloween décor. School supplies made the bottom of the list in light gray.

Because my audience is looking for vegetarian recipes, I should pin a few vegetarian recipes to my Healthy Recipes board. The “Trending ideas” will change, so it’s a good place to start if you’re logging on and want to pin for a while.

There is a lot of great information on Pinterest. For more information, I recommend 31 Days to a Better Pinterest Page and Melyssa Griffin’s Pinterest strategies. Next month we’ll cover hashtags, keywords, and strategies for pinning great pins.


Military wife and all-boys-mama Bethany Jett is the award-winning author of The Cinderella Rule, speaker, ghostwriter, Co-Owner of Serious Writer, Inc., and a marketing grad student who unapologetically overuses exclamation marks.

Bethany is addicted to suspense novels and all things girly, and writes on how to #LiveBrilliant at and micro-blogs on Instagram.


  1. Bethany, thank you so much for this valuable information. Just yesterday, my husband was asking me about Pinterest. I had a hard time explaining it to him. This is helpful. Can't wait to see what else you have for us in future posts. Blessings!

  2. Thanks Bethany. This is helpful!