Today, we’re doing an Ask Kate episode! I’m answering all of your Pinterest marketing questions. I asked my Facebook group to send me all the questions they might have about Pinterest. We’ll be addressing those today (click here to join the Facebook group, it’s totally free!).

I’ve brought along my friend, Angela Davis from Frugal Living NW to help me with the questions and also provide some humor. So let’s dig right in.

collage of Pinterest boards with text overlay that says "Ask Kate! Your Pinterest Questions Answered".

What’s Driving You Nuts Right Now?

To start off the episode, Angela asked me this question and it really made me laugh. To give you a little sneak peek into my personal life, my husband and I function on Dave Ramsey’s cash-based system. He runs the errands on Monday and usually hits up Costco, and if he comes out and has had to dip into his personal money to buy things for the family, he will immediately call me and say “petty cash owes me $10.”

The petty cash envelope doesn’t even exist. Even though I’ve told my husband this a million times, he still insists on calling me and telling me exactly how much “petty cash” owes him. It drives me insane, and now that he knows it, I think it’s his life goal to keep doing it as much as possible.

Angela’s internet is what’s driving her crazy. Another behind the scenes sneak peek- we were in the middle of recording this podcast when her internet just mysteriously shut down for no reason! Gotta love it when you can’t trust the technology you’re paying a gazillion dollars a month for. And you know what shuts it down? It’s always the microwave. True story.

Onto the Pinterest marketing questions…

Concerning Webshops

Jody wanted to know:

What is the best way to deal with products you are no longer selling but the pins are still bringing traffic to that page or product?

My first rule of thumb is if you can redirect it, you should. Make a note on the page that you’re going to send them to a similar product. Or you can update the page by saying that the product no longer exists and offering a few other products they might be interested in.

A lot of people ask if you can mass update pins on Pinterest, and you cannot. You can only update and edit the pins you have pinned, but even that is going to take a very long time. If you can, I definitely recommend redirecting as your best plan of action. It’s not a difficult.

Effectively Using Pinterest Without a Blog

Another Facebook group member had this request:

I would love to know more about how to effectively use Pinterest without a blog.

This is such a good question. It really depends on your goals. If you’re someone who is just going to use affiliate links on Pinterest, that’s a little tough. If you’re looking at a sales funnel, Pinterest is at the top of the funnel where you start warming people up. It’s where they go to plan, dream and prepare (not necessarily to purchase).

You can share affiliate links directly to Pinterest, but the blog side definitely helps to warm them up even more and leads to that ultimate purchase. Honestly, my advice would be to have a blog. At the most, you want to get them on an email list.

The Best Way to Use Your Time

Sharon sent in this question:

I work full time and can’t afford a VA, so I don’t have time to do everything I wish I could. How do you formulate a Pinterest strategy when you are pressed for time? What Pinterest activities will give you the best return for the time invested? If you only had a couple of hours a week for Pinterest what would you do?

My first piece of advice is to get your editorial content calendar planned out in advance. Figure out your keywords for the pin images for each one of your posts. Next, I would spend two hours per week pinning to the boards that match those keywords and to group boards.

Using the right keywords and creating great pinnable images are the two most effective ways to get great reach on Pinterest, so I’m going to put the majority of my time into those two things. As far as scheduling, I just try and make sure that I have pins scheduled for every single day. Block out an hour a month to look at your analytics.

It doesn’t have to be tough, it just needs to be consistent and you need to be actively getting your content on the platform.

Related: Pinterest Pinning: Manual vs. Scheduled Pins

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Can You Rank Higher in the Smart Feed?

Catherine asked:

I know keywording and analytics have been covered by you in the past and that Pinterest is a slow burn. That being said, bloggers talk about strategies to rank high in Google search, but are there any strategies to rank higher in the smart feed?

The best strategy that I know is adding your keywords to your pin description and then keywording your boards. Pinterest will index pins and it will index boards. So, if you are optimizing for those, that’s your best way to rank higher in the smart feed. Pinterest categorizes the keywords that are on your pin and then funnels them towards that particular search, so it will take time and you’ll have to be patient. Basically just using those keywords over and over again is the best way.

Again, as I’ve talked about before, you don’t want to just have a description that is a bunch of keywords. Use three to five sentences full of keywords. You can also use four to five hashtags as well.

If your site is on WordPress, be sure to fill in your pin description on your site. I talk about my favorite plug-in for that —Tasty Pins. And I talked about SEO and Pinterest in this episode.

What To Do When You Have Multiple Sites

Another group member asked:

I have more than one URL, but managing more than one Pinterest account sounds painful. But if I don’t set up another account, I’ll have to pick just one for rich pins, right? What do you recommend for your clients? What are the pros and cons?

In this situation, I would say that, because it is tough to manage a second account, until you feel like your second site is getting good traffic, just stick with your main account if they are similar niches. If the branding is similar, just stick with one account.

For most of my clients, I would recommend having that second site, not only for the rich pin piece, but more for branding. You can manage both of your sites in Tailwind without having to log in and out every time, which I think you would find super helpful.

What Methods Don’t Work and Which Methods Are Optional

Phon asked:

What methods don’t work anymore and what are optional efforts that are no longer a “must”, like board cover images?

Don’t even waste your time on board cover images. Just pick a lifestyle image with no text. They look great and you can keep them there for forever.

The good old bait and switch “follow and unfollow” method doesn’t work anymore. Lots of people used to follow someone, wait for them to follow them back, and then unfollow them. That’s a waste of your time.

Cute board titles are ineffective. You want your board titles to be keywords. All the pins in the board need to match the title and then Pinterest is more likely to share your pins in the smart feed.

Like I talked about in our last the episode about Pinterest marketing funnels, the Pinterest algorithm is based on keywords, images and domain authority. The Pinterest smart feed provides each individual user to have a custom feed. Keywording is the number one way to get into someone’s smart feed.

collage of Pinterest boards with text overlay that says "Ask Kate! Your Pinterest Questions Answered".

Buyable Pins

Jennifer shared:

I’d love to hear more about buyable pins for those of us who sell products. I’ve listened to all the product podcasts you’ve had so far and loved them!

A buyable pin is just a pin that has a button that says “Buy Now”. It allows a user to perform all the checkout features inside of Pinterest. Buyable pins are run through Shopify and Bigcommerce.

Because Pinterest is at the top of the funnel, I don’t think that users on Pinterest are conditioned to use buyable pins just yet. If you have the option, you can definitely use it. But you probably can be just as successful by creating really great images that lead to your site where customers can then purchase your product.

Value From Promoting a Pin

Nikki asked:

What is the best way to get value from promoting a pin? I have never done it before and I’m not sure how it works.

I won’t go too deeply into this. We have an entire guide dedicated to promoted pins on the site. Before you start promoting a pin, you need to define your goal for the promoted pin campaign. You have to determine what you’re trying to do with a promoted pin and start there.

I run promoted pins to get sign ups to my email list. The value of an email subscriber is much higher to me than someone buying a product. Know your goal before you start your campaign. Before worrying too much about promoted pins, you need to understand your key performance indicators and how you can get the most out of those.

UTM Codes in Google Analytics

Jessica wants to know:

I recently discovered UTM codes in Google Analytics and I’m curious to hear some strategies about how to leverage them to test things in Pinterest. So far I’m using them to understand which boards drive traffic. Curious about other ideas!

We just did an episode that focused on using UTM codes in A/B image testing. UTM codes are best used to figure out what images resonate with users. That’s how we use them here at Simple Pin.

Local Businesses That Don’t Offer E-Commerce

Nicolette asked:

How to use Pinterest for local businesses that do not offer e-commerce? Can you optimize pins for local users or does Pinterest have that built in? I blog and pin for two wedding stationery companies (a saturated market), and am wondering how I can use Pinterest to bring in more local clients.

The wedding industry is ridiculous on Pinterest because it’s where everyone goes to see all kinds of images. 

In every single pin description, use a keyword describing your location. Have a board dedicated to your wedding stationery company in whatever city you’re in. Be very clear about your location. Pinterest will eventually recognize that you are targeting that specific location.


Kaylie chimed in:  

I’ve heard some chatter that Pinterest is going to go back to putting weight on followers. Is this true and if so, how do you increase followers? I know it is not necessarily needed for pin reach, but it would still be nice.

The chatter is true. My app actually just updated and I now have a “follower feed” where I get to see all the pins, chronologically, from the people that I follow. Pinterest switched to the smart feed in 2014, which you still see when you open the platform. You can also choose the “Explore feed”, which will search topics, or the “Follower feed’, which is exactly what it sounds like…the people you follow.

As far as increasing followers, I have the Milo Tree App. This will help you grow your following on all your social media platforms, as well as your email. I’ve been using this since May of 2016, and have grown from around 3,000 to 12,000 followers.

I have also had the creator of Milotree on the podcast and you can listen to my conversation with her in episode 13. Make sure you determine what pop-up is important to you and your site. You don’t want your pop-ups sending people away from your site.

Also, let your audience know that you’re on Pinterest. Use your other social media platforms to highlight a specific board. Sometimes we just need to let people know that we’re active on Pinterest and they will follow. Do those little things once a month and that will help you increase your followers.

To wrap it all up: make sure that you’re doing what’s best for you and your audience. Use Pinterest like a regular user. Go to your own site and see what pops up, how quickly your site loads, and if there is anything that would annoy you if you were a reader. Behaving like a typical user can tell you a lot about what you need to do.

Stay tuned, because Angela and I will be doing a podcast in the future about starting a brand new Pinterest account from scratch. You won’t want to miss it!

Time Stamp

 2:39 – What’s Driving You Nuts Right Now?
 7:12 – Concerning Webshops
 9:23 – Effectively Using Pinterest Without a Blog
11:45 – The Best Way to Use Limited Time
15:05 – Can You Rank High In the Smart Feed?
18:05 – What To Do When You Have Multiple Sites
20:30 – What Methods Don’t Work and Which Methods Are Optional
24:45 – Buyable Pins
26:38 – Value For Money From Promoting a Pin
28:32 – UTM Codes in Google Analytics
29:12 – Local Businesses That Don’t Offer E-Commerce
30:55 – Followers


  1. Can Pinterest help boost traffic for a site that uses a sub-domain and adds a cloaked affiliate link in it to promote on Pinterest? Or does that sound a bit confusing?

  2. Hi Kate,

    If I can make one more small request pretty please..can you discuss in a podcast/audio interview about retired people using Pinterest as a side hustle to make money online by working from home with Pinterest affiliate marketing? Thanks so much Kate. You’re the best! 🙂

  3. I love your podcast and look forward to it every week, if you could squeeze in a second one each week, I’d be over the moon 🙂 This one though, the Q&A with Angela had me laughing. I loved it. Y’all gel together quite well.

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