I’m sure you’ve already heard about the amazingness of Pinterest. This visual search engine is such a powerful marketing platform for bloggers and online business owners. By creating pinnable images (commonly known as pins) and sharing them on Pinterest, you can drive massive traffic to your website or landing pages for free.
There are a couple of Pinterest tools you need to add to your arsenal to make the most of the platform. From designing eye-catching pins to scheduling your pins, these Pinterest tools are essential for success on Pinterest.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links as explained in my disclosure policy.
Pin It Button
You want to make it as easy as possible for visitors to your website to share your content on Pinterest. That’s why you should definitely install a Pinterest ‘Pin It’ button, which usually comes in the form of a WordPress plugin. A ‘Pin It’ button allows people to share any image from a blog post to Pinterest. I use a free plugin called JQuery Pin It Button for Images. Here are some other trusted Pin It button plugins:
Once you’ve installed a Pin It button, a Pinterest icon appears whenever you hover over any image on your blog post. If you click on that icon, you can save the image to a board on Pinterest. This makes it easy for Pinterest users who visit your site to save your pin for reference later.
Canva is a graphic design tool that allows anyone to create eye-catching visual content. I would describe it as a less complicated alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It comes with a massive collection of templates, stock photos, icons, elements, vectors, and other design features.
What makes Canva great is that it’s a drag-and-drop design tool so you don’t need any graphic design experience to use it. It allows you to create professional-quality graphics quickly and easily. Canva has thousands of templates to create promotional content for your blog. You can also create a blank template of any size if you want a custom design.
Thousands of bloggers, including myself, use Canva to create pins for our blog posts. I’ve been using Canva for more than three years, and have created over a thousand pins with it at this point. Canva is so intuitive and easy to use, which is perfect because I’m not a professional graphic designer. The sheer volume of stock photos, fonts, and templates can actually be overwhelming. You could create a unique design every single time.
I should note that there are two versions of Canva: the free version and the paid version. I use Canva Pro, which comes with more features, more features, such as 400,000 free photos, 60,000 free templates, and a brand kit to save your logos, colors, and fonts. I upgraded to the paid version of Canva so that I could unlock all of its features and also manage my workflow more easily. The brand kit and unlimited folders are huge time savers when I’m making pins.
Read my full Canva Pro review to find out more about the pros and cons of using this design tool.
PicMonkey, another drag-and-drop design tool that is similar to Canva. I also use PicMonkey mainly to design Pinterest pins so I can give you a comparison. I’ve been using PicMonkey for about two years.
The chart below compares the features of Canva and PicMonkey. It was created by the PicMonkey team so take it with a grain of salt. That said, I would agree that PicMonkey is a more advanced design tool with capabilities that Canva does not have.
Based on my experience using both Canva and PicMonkey, I would say that Canva is more user-friendly. PicMonkey uses layers in its interface, just like Photoshop. It also comes with a number of advanced features that are best suited for those with more design experience – like graphic designers and photographers. You may not need some of PicMonkey’s features, like photo editing, if your goal is to create banners and pins. While I’m also a big fan of PicMonkey, I wouldn’t recommend it to a design novice.
What sets PicMonkey apart from Canva is that it gives you more control over your designs. You can tweak the exact angle of the shadows on your text or remove blemishes from a face. In that way, it allows for more customization than Canva.
With PicMonkey, you have to create each design, like a Facebook ad, individually. If you duplicate the design, it opens as a new template. On the other hand, you can create multiple designs on one Canva template and export them either separately or as one download. There are some differences in functionality between Canva and PicMonkey. I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other. It all comes down to your personal preference and level of design experience.
Deposit Photos is a stock photo service that gives you access to millions of professional, royalty-free photos. I use stock photos for not only Pinterest pins but also for blog posts to landing pages. Once you download a photo, you can use it over and over again for as long as you want.
I’ve been using Deposit Photos for about two years now, and it’s one of the most indispensable tools in my business. About 95% of my Pinterest images come from Deposit Photos. Before signing up for this service, I used to use free stock photos from sites like Pexels and Pixabay. However, I would caution against using free stock photos. They are ubiquitous on Pinterest so your pins will just blend in. Paid stock photos give you an edge. I instantly noticed a boost in saves and clicks once I switched from free to paid stock photos.
Deposit Photos comes with two plans: a monthly subscription that starts at $29/month or a $1 per photo pay as you plan. With a monthly subscription, which I have, you get access to 20 photo downloads per month. If you don’t use them all, they roll over to the next month.
Group boards are still a good way to expand your reach on Pinterest. They’re not as powerful as they were back before the 2019 Pinterest algorithm changes. However, joining relevant group boards can help you get your pins in front of your ideal audience. When you save a pin to a group board, it’s seen by not only the collaborators but also their followers. This can boost the number of saves and clicks your pins get.
Pin Groupie is a free tool that helps you find group boards to join. You can search for group boards by niche and see key stats for each of them. This includes the number of followers, the number of collaborators, and the total number of pins. For instance, if you search for the keyword ‘blogging’ you’ll get a list of blogging group boards with their stats. From there, you can click the group board link and be taken to its page on Pinterest, where you can find the rules and instructions for joining.
In the example below, I click on the link for the group board called ‘Blogging and Content Marketing.’ Then I was taken to the Pinterest page for the group board.
Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduler that you can use to automate your pinning and schedule your pins in advance. Tailwind is a core part of my Pinterest strategy. I use it to fill up my personal boards every week to keep them active and strong. But I think the best part of Tailwind are Tailwind Tribes. They’re like Pinterest group boards, but with more accountability. I’ll break down Tailwind Tribes and other Tailwind features later.
I should add a caveat before we proceed with talking about Tailwind’s features. I don’t recommend Tailwind if you’re a brand new blogger. Tailwind is an entirely different platform in itself so I wouldn’t try to master it when you’re new to Pinterest. Instead, I suggest that you spend at least two to three months doing manual pinning before you sign up for Tailwind. This will help you better understand Pinterest so that you can use it strategically. The best way to learn how Pinterest works is to log into your Pinterest account everyday, look through your home feed, save pins to your boards, and observe what happens. Once you understand how Pinterest works, then you can automate your pinning with a scheduler.
The main components of Tailwind you need to understand to use the platform effectively are:
- The Smart Schedule
- Tailwind Insights
- Tailwind Tribes
- Board Lists
The Smart Schedule
Tailwind automatically generates a pinning schedule for you based on the number of pins you want to share in a day and the best times to pin. It recommends pinning times based on when your audience is most active so that you can maximize your reach. Below is what my Smart Schedule looks like.
Tailwind compiles data from your Pinterest profile to show you how your account is performing. You can find out about your top-performing pins, top-performing boards, the number of repins you’ve received, the growth in your number of followers, and more. I find Tailwind Insights to be more detailed and useful than Pinterest Analytics.
Tailwind Tribes are like Pinterest group boards; pinners who write about the same topics come together to share their pins. The purpose is to discover new content to schedule to your boards. Tailwind Tribes are a great way to get your content in front of even more people. Pinners are specifically looking for content to schedule to their boards, and they are required to reciprocate, unlike in Pinterest group boards.
Board lists are essential to staying organized and simplifying your workflow on Tailwind. They allow you to group your boards by category so that if you want to save a particular pin to a set of boards, you don’t have to add the boards one by one. When you want to save a pin to a specific set of boards, you simply select the board list and Tailwind will save the pin to all the boards on the list. You can choose a time interval to spread out the pinning. This saves so much time!
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