Growing on Pinterest from User-Expert, Deb Chitwood

Pinterest success with Deb Chitwood
Interview with top Pinterest user-expert, Deb Chitwood, on her success.

I {Heart} Social Media: What is the benefit for you to be on Pinterest?

Deb: I love social media in general, but Pinterest has been my favorite social media format from the time I first discovered it. I’m a visual learner, and I love that it’s so visually appealing. It’s my favorite way to save posts I want to refer to later. I guess I’m a natural curator, so it really appeals to me to “collect” posts about a specific theme onto a pinboard.

As homeschoolers, my family used unit studies. As a blogger, I’ve enjoyed publishing posts about a variety of Montessori-inspired unit studies. It was easy to extend my unit studies to Pinterest by creating pinboards around specific unit studies. I like that I can publish a post with a Montessori-inspired unit study and then add activities of all kinds to my related pinboard. It gives my readers many more resources than I could put in one post. So I began with many of my pinboards as unit studies. (The one with the most followers is my Dr. Seuss Unit Study Board after it was featured by Pinterest a couple of years ago.) I also have lots of kids’ activity pinboards with a holiday or seasonal theme.

I mainly just focus on pinning what my readers and I will find helpful. Pinterest is my #1 source of traffic each month, so that’s been a definite benefit as well.

I {Heart} Social Media: Do you follow a daily or weekly schedule?

Deb: I typically pin every day. When I publish a post, I pin it that day and then repin it to other boards throughout the week. I keep records of pinboards and dates for each post. I don’t normally keep lots of records, but it’s much easier with Pinterest to have records.

I {Heart} Social Media: What kind of pins get the most click-throughs to your site?

Deb: I’ve had the best luck with posts that are specific to my niche … especially Montessori-inspired posts and kid-related roundup posts that I’ve published. I try to publish a Pinterest-ing image for each post, which makes a big difference. I always publish a collage or another image with text at the beginning of a roundup post so that people don’t pin other bloggers’ individual images from my post. I’m still working on updating the images from my pre-Pinterest posts, though, which seems like a never-ending process.

I {Heart} Social Media: What tips do you have for intermediate users who are trying to increase followers and repins?


  • Have a Pinterest-ing image (vertical if possible) for each post.
  • Don’t pin the same post to different boards without a gap. I generally pin my post to one board per day until I feel it’s on the amount of boards I prefer. I don’t always get my posts pinned to every board I’d like, but I get them all on a few at least.
  • Try to join some large collaborative boards in your niche if you haven’t already.

I {Heart} Social Media: Do you cross-promote on other social media – and if so, how does that work?

Deb: I haven’t started sharing my pins on Facebook, but I’ll have a post sharing a specific pinboard on Sulia, Facebook, and Twitter once a week or so. In my Sulia posts, I often include a link to a related pinboard of mine.

I {Heart} Social Media: Anything else you want to share that will help us improve our Pinterest skills?

Deb: Try to fit most of your pinboards to your niche. Find what your unique gift is and use that to create a special emphasis for your pinboards.

I {Heart} Social Media: Thanks, Deb!

Find Deb on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and G+.

Readers, what do you have on your to-do list after reading Deb’s advice?

Get Big on Pinterest Deb Chitwood

Want More Followers on Pinterest?

If one of your marketing goals is to increase your followers on Pinterest, try this strategy: Embed a board on your blog post(s) for your readers to follow.

1. Pick a board you want to embed. Go to that board and copy the URL. It’s at the top of your screen in the white box.
Science Board URL

2. Go to Pinterest’s widget builder page Select “Board Widget” and enter your Pinterest Board URL.  (You can also do these same steps for Pin Widget and Profile Widget.)

3. Click “Build It.”

Copy the code at the bottom of the page.

copy code

4. Go to your blog post. Make sure you switch from “Visual” to “Text” mode. Scroll to the location where you want to insert the board and paste in the code.

embedded board code

This seems to be a bit buggy so I suggest that you do this LAST thing before you publish. For me, anytime I update or resave, the board disappears.

Now our blog readers will see your board content and follow you.

Don’t forget to track your starting numbers before you publish the post. Then see how much your followers increase.

Go forth and get followers! Good luck.

~ Melissa


Are You Making a Splash on Pinterest? Here’s How You Can Tell . . .

Using Google Analytics for Pinterest Strategies
For businesses and entrepreneurs, Pinterest is not just about getting repins and followers. You need to be converting those followers into 1) website traffic, 2) email subscribers and 3) purchases.

So, don’t forget to check where your website traffic is originating.

Google Analytics can help.

1. Go go Google Analytics. (Sign up if you haven’t already.)

2. On the left sidebar, click on Acquisition. (This section used to be called “Traffic Sources.”)

What sites are your top referrers?

Be sure you’re dates at the top are the month you’re trying to track. You’ll want to compare your performance to previous months to see improvement or decline.

Using Google Analytics to Inform Your Strategies

3. Now that you’re in Acquisition, click on All Referrals. Find and click on that for the specific pins that sent you traffic.

Using Google Analytics to Improve Your Strategies

4. You should see a screen like this with the top traffic pins for the month.

Using Google Analytics to Improve Your Strategies

5. Click on each pin and take notes on the following . . .

What pins sent you the most traffic?

CONTENT (what topic?)
PIN IMAGES (pin characteristics?)
BOARDS (where were these originally pinned?)

6. Use these notes to inform your getting-traffic-to-your-website strategy for next month.

CONTENT (what other blog posts can you write and promote in these same topics?)
PIN IMAGES (how can you continue to make pins with these same characteristics?)
BOARDS (what boards should you always pin to?)

I want you to keep improving. The best way you can do this is to be informed and strategic.


Are You Out of the Loop About Pinterest’s New Rules?

New Rules and Guidelines for Pinterest
Yes, Pinterest published new rules and guidelines last week.

Yes, you need to know about them.

I don’t know what will happen if you’re caught breaking the rules. But, I imagine your account could be suspended. Which would be damaging if you use Pinterest for marketing.

So, let’s get to the rules. Then you’ll know what not to do.

New Pinterest Guidelines- February 2014

New Rules

1. Compensation.
You can not pay someone to pin an individual pin. You can not get paid to pin an individual pin.
You can still have a relationship with pinners or an affiliate network as long as it’s not pay per pin.

2. Contests
You can not require people to pin from a selection, require a pin, board, like or follow for an entry, ask pinners to vote with pins, boards, or likes, or require a minimum number of pins.
You can have a Pinterest follow as an *optional* entry.

Old Rules

1. Use the designated Pinterest logo — do not make your own in other colors or proportions.

2. Don’t make it seem like Pinterest endorses you.

3. Don’t encourage participants to comment on pins. It’s spammy.

4. You can’t require a pinner to repin contest rules as an entry.

5. You can’t call a contest “Pin it to win it.”

6. You must make sure contest include official rules, terms & eligibility requirements and regulation.

7. If you run a Pinterest contest, it must be a contest — not a sweepstakes. Sweepstakes have randomly selected winners. Contests winners are judged best using a given set of criteria.

For more about contests, please see “Pinterest Contests that Work.”

What do you think about these new regulations? Pretty strict, huh?

Review of Canva, the New Photo Editing Site

Canva Tutorial and Review
Will you like the the new online photo editing site, Canva? Many other bloggers are giving it good reviews.

I, however, have mixed feelings.

First, let me walk you through the basics of using Canva. Then, I’ll tell you what I see as strengths and weaknesses.

Canva Designs

To begin, start by selecting a type of design. For our Pinterest purposes, we’ll use “Blog Graphic.” However, you might want to check out the Document, Facebook, and Card templates for some beautiful pre-made options.

Canva Tutorial and Review 1

Canva Layouts

Use the left sidebar to view your the layout options. Of course, these options are editible (is that a word?) — in other words, you can delete or add anything to them.

Canva Tutorial and Review 2

Canva Images

Like all editing sites, you can use your own photos. On the left sidebar, select Uploads and upload your image.

Canva tutorial and review 3

But what makes Canva very different than PicMonkey, another online photo editing site, is the option to buy stock images for backgrounds or photos right in the program.

Select Search in the left sidebar. You can choose one of the broad categories, or enter in your own keyword. I searched for nature photos and selected the bird image.

If I decide to use this image, it will cost me $1.00 when I’m done editing and want to save it.

Canva Tutorial and Review 4

All of the Canva images cost $1.00. At checkout, there is a pre-pay option of buying $10 for 11 images.

Canva Editing

When you click on any design element, the editing options box pops up. You can see from the image below that the editing features are pretty self-explainatory.

Canva Tutorial and Review 5

Canva Save and Pay

To save, click Link & Publish. You’ll be able to choose if you want an image file (.png) or a .pdf file. This is also the time when you will pay for any Canva images.

canva publish and review 6

Canva Tutorial and Review

Canva Review – Updated

I think Canva is useful in certain instances. Those being: when you want to channel your inner graphic designer but you don’t have the skills.

I tentatively like Canva more than I first did, after trying it for another few weeks. I really like the Facebook cover option, the frames, and the tons of fonts.

My original assessment of Canva’s clunkiness is still a concern — but I think that every time I use Canva, I get the hang of it more and more. Certainly, compared to Photoshop, it’s way easier.

For now, I think I’ll stick with Photoshop Elements and PicMonkey for my photo editing. And, if I want design help, I’ll give Canva a whirl.

How about you?

What do you think about Canva?