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Build a Pinterest Presence from Scratch: Sign Up and Create Your Profile (Day One)

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This is part one of a five-part series to help you create a Pinterest presence from scratch for your business or online content. Make sure you’re subscribed to our blog so you don’t miss a single day!

So you want to start a Pinterest profile. Good thinking–this is one of the hottest social networks right now, and that’s a trend that isn’t going to change any time soon. Learning a new social network can be daunting, though. This five-part series is all about making the process as painless as possible and setting you up so that you can be successful on Pinterest well beyond five days.

As a reminder, you can also pick up our free ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Blog, Podcast, or Videos with Pinterest, if you want even more in-depth education about using Pinterest. But this series will at least get you started out on the right foot.

Let’s dive right in! Today’s lesson only has TWO steps that take about ten minutes to complete, so no excuses! You can get this done right now.

Step One: Signing Up

In the past, Pinterest was in beta, so you had to request an invite to join or get an invite from someone already using Pinterest. If you requested an invite, it could take anywhere from an hour to over a week to get in. How annoying! Just recently, however, Pinterest opened up the network to absolutely everyone, which is a fantastic update. Now, you can get right in! Yay!

I recommend using the same username that you use on other networks, like Twitter. This consistency will help people find you more easily as they’re moving across all networks.

On Pinterest, there’s no division between personal accounts and business accounts like you’ll see on Facebook and Google+. This is more like Twitter–you can create a profile under your own name, under your business/website name, or both.

When you sign up, you’ll go through a process where they’ll ask you to pick a few images that speak to you. It will then auto-follow a number of people for you based on the images you liked.

I feel like this is a poor system on Pinterest’s part, simply because the people it auto-follows for you often have nothing to do with the images you picked and they tend to be people with large follower numbers who aren’t following many people themselves. It also only follows single boards, not entire profiles (more about boards versus profiles later in this series). I suggest you go through these auto-followed people right away and unfollow them all so you start with a fresh, empty profile. Hopefully, Pinterest will change this in the future!

Step Two: Creating Your Profile

Now it’s time to create your profile. You edit your profile by clicking on your name in the upper right-hand corner and then choosing “settings” as shown below:

Creating Your Pinterest Profile

Scroll down until you reach the “About” section. Here, you have 200 characters to describe yourself. I recommend using some keywords to help people find you. Most of the time, you can use whatever you’re using on Twitter, with some minor edits.

Next, upload an image. Again, for consistency’s sake, I recommend using the avatar you use on other social networks.

You can choose whether or not to include a location (it doesn’t really matter), but definitely make sure you list your website. This is a do-follow link, so not only will it lead followers to your site, but it’s good for search engine optimization.

You can choose to link with Twitter and Facebook if you want. If you do, you don’t have to send every pin to Pinterest. You get to pick and choose where you notify people with every pin, simply by checking these boxes when you pin something:

I recommend turning both of these to the “on” position so you can send pins to Facebook and Twitter when it makes sense. Linking will also allow Pinterest to find your friends who are already on Pinterest, giving you a base of people to follow, and it allows little Twitter and Facebook links to appear on your profile so people can find you from one network to another.

That’s it! You now have a Pinterest profile. See? That didn’t take long at all. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Build a Pinterest Presence from Scratch post, when we’ll talk about creating boards for your profile.

See the entire series here:

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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