Granny Geek’s Guide to Cleaning Up Your Pinterest Boards

boardsUnderstanding Pinterest Boards

In the first post in this series, you learned that Pinterest and Google have a lot in common (more than, say, Pinterest and Twitter). The second post in the series showed you exactly where to write the copy for your Pinterest graphics. Today, let’s talk boards!

Remember my claim that if Google and Evernote got together and had a baby, the offspring would look like Pinterest? Well, remember that—because it will help you understand how Pinterest really works.

Google, a search engine, crawls through the Internet finding keywords in people’s posts in order to include posts in search results. Evernote acts kind of like a clearinghouse for things you find on the web, notes, reminders, photos, and other stuff that you want to see again later on. You could compare it to a giant electronic filing cabinet that reminds you of things, too.

Now that you understand a little about Google and Evernote, you’ll understand how Pinterest works as a combination of the two. It serves as a filing cabinet that other people can look into. Instead of having a lock on it like Evernote, Pinterest shares your file folders (aka boards) with everyone. Unless you set them to remain ‘secret.’

When you start a Pinterest account, you become a curator (even if you never wanted to work in a museum) of stuff.

Think of Pinterest boards little museums, and you're the curator. #Pinteresthacks #blogger #GrannyGeek Click To Tweet

Rewards for Tidy Files

Learn to clean up your Pinterest boards (think of them as files) and why it matters. #Pinterest #GrannyGeek #bloggerBack in the good ol’ days, before the Internet, I had a filing cabinet with folders in them where I kept recipes I wanted to try, ideas for wedding dresses, quilting projects, and houses I’d love to own one day. I tore photos and articles out of magazines and dutifully dropped them in the proper files.

The last time we moved, I finally purged my filing cabinet and discovered some of these old treasures. Now, I confess that at times I kept those files tidy, and at other times I’d just toss articles and photos into a big pile to file later. I don’t love filing things, but I loved having tidy files. Mostly because it made things easier to find.

Pinterest understands the value of tidy files, and rewards curators who keep tidy boards. This means that it behooves you to create boards (think of them as a file folder) that have pretty specific titles. Don’t worry, if you want to have a giant of pile of things to file later on, you can still do that—just make it a secret board.

I’ll prove it. Here’s a screen shot of my Blessed (but Stressed) Pinterest account that I’ve had for almost six years:boards

Here’s a shot of my Anita Ojeda Blog Pinterest account that I’ve had for almost four MONTHS:


See the difference? Pinterest requires a long-game approach, though. I can’t promise instant growth to your blog, but I have charted a steady increase in blog traffic coming from Pinterest. Each month the numbers increase.

Action Steps for Fixing Your Boards

1. Edit Your Board Names. Review your boards and edit them to have ‘file-folder type names.’ In other words, if a stranger wanted to find articles and ideas for vegan cakes, name the board ‘Vegan Cakes.’ This helps Pinterest understand what you plan on keeping inside the file (board).

2. Keep Them Secret. Until you have a chance to sort through all of your boards and rename them, you CAN make them secret. Only you can see the content of secret boards, and Pinterest doesn’t care how tidy they look. I call myself the ‘Agonized Organizer,’ because while I like being organized, I don’t always enjoy the process of getting there. But, if you want Pinterest to reward you, you’ll have to tidy your files up.board


3. Choose Board Covers. I have seen some Pinners who have matching board covers for all of their boards that includes a description of the board in the graphic. Honestly, I don’t know how they did that. I DO know that you should probably choose one of the pins from YOUR blog to feature as the cover for each board (file). If you’ve dabbled in branding (not the kind one does with a hot iron and a longhorn), your covers should end up looking similar. Here’s the difference between a board with a cover, and one without:


4. Write Keyword-Rich Descriptions: When you go into the editing panel for a board, don’t forget to write a great description with keywords that show what pinners will find inside your board.

Learn how to help Pinterest help you! #Pinterest #blogger

It’s time to start organizing and cleaning up your Pinterest act! Don’t let it overwhelm you, just set aside a little time each day to work on it. If you have any questions, make sure to ask in the comments section!

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  1. Well, knock me over with a feather.
    This is all new to me, so I’ve “cleaned up” a couple of my boards, and since I’m a newbie, I’ll keep doing this as I go forward.
    I had thought that I was subscribed to your blog, but did not get a notification about this post, so I’ve subscribed or re-subscribed, whatever the case may be.
    Michele Morin recently posted…Lessons from C.S.Lewis: Becoming Fully HumanMy Profile

  2. Anita, I know I’m late to this “party” but I was wondering what kind of input you could give me on group boards. Is there a limit on how many you should be a part of? I have been trying to get better at understanding Tailwind. Which stats in their insights section make the most difference if I’m going to withdraw from some.

    By the way, I know my boards need some work so I found this very helpful.

    Donna Reidland recently posted…Rock Your Faith: The Danger of Self-Imposed BlindnessMy Profile

    1. Never too late, Donna! So, I’ve heard/read conflicting things on the group boards question. I seem to remember that they no longer work as well as they used to, but that there’s nothing wrong with being part of a few. It seems like Tailwind is sort of taking over that market with their tribes. I have been part of Tailwind for about six months now, and other than the ease of scheduling (I’m not a ‘be on Pinterest all the time kind of gal’), I’m not certain of how well it’s actually working for me. Sigh. I guess I need to learn how to read the analytics a little better ;). I’m glad you found it helpful!

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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