The Art of Storytelling with Pinterest    

It’s a place I visit often.

I pin, I post, and I search everything.

Whether it is a recipe for dinner, how to craft up slime with the boys, or what natural ingredients make the best cleaning products, it’s all there. Pinterest is my go-to place to find anything and everything, and it is just so pretty. Long before Pinterest, I was one of those people, cutting out inspiring pictures and recipes from magazines, and making myself a collection “for one day”. Well, now my collection is digital, and Pinterest is the place to be.

As a mama of three that simply enjoys searching for things online, I love Pinterest. But as a blogger, I am also curating my own page with a focus on reaching more people to come and read . For those who have a business and for those like me, that are their own brand, you will absolutely love this interview I had with Paula Coop McCrory. And for those of you that just love pinning, you will find this interview very interesting. And if you are not following Paula yet, you will want to for sure.

Back in 2014, I made sure to be at Paula’s Pinterest session during the Blissdom Canada Conference. (Clearly, I didn’t have the best phone camera back then!)

To say I am a fan of Paula Coop McCrory is an understatement. I got to know Paula some years ago thanks to the blogging community. She is a delight, a wealth of information and a guru at Pinterest. There is no one better than her when it comes to curating pins in an artistic, warm and welcoming tone, and her Pinterest fame is proof. With over 4 million followers, Pinterest is where Paula has built her community, as well as helped top brands and businesses do the same.

Ever the true artist, she is taking her knowledge, and is sharing it with the world. In her new series of blog posts, she shares how to build your Pinterest page for your brand. With simple, step by step advice, Paula’s posts are clear and organized, perfect for those struggling with Pinterest or even those that have not tried it out yet.

I had the chance to speak with Paula about the series as well as ask her some questions in relation to our insta-worthy world.

Paula, tell my readers a bit about you.

I have been working in the social media space for over 8 years. It happened unexpectedly. I began pinning after having our third child. My background is in visual art, film and PR. I connected with the platform because it allowed me to quickly curate and collect all the things I loved. I now work for myself, collaborating with brands and businesses that want to optimize their social media presence.

I’ve always enjoyed Pinterest as a searcher. I appreciate finding out things there and I am gravitated to it naturally when I am looking for things. How did you get into Pinterest and when did you realize it was a passion of yours?

Pinterest is not a social engine but a search engine. This is why I love Pinterest. It’s all about finding what you love and collecting those images you connect with to create boards that inspire. I’ve always followed the motto – ‘Pin what you love.’ This is something I hope my boards and ultimately, my brand reflects.

You are already an excellent teacher through public speaking, and I’ve enjoyed hearing you speak at a conference once before. What made you decide to create a series to help others now?

Thank you. The landscape in social is ever evolving. Regardless, the one thing that has always mattered to me is to connect, collaborate and support. Speaking allows me to share my story and insights. Recognizing that how we best manage our time, paired with how we each like to learn- my hope is that by creating a blog series on how to optimize your Pinterest account, I can further share my insights.

I know for a fact, I am not tapped into my followers/viewers on Pinterest enough. What areas do you think we (as businesses/brands) are getting wrong when it comes to posting on Pinterest?

The first question I always ask is, ’Have you converted your Pinterest account from a personal account to a business account?’ Once you’ve done this, you will have access to all your accounts analytics. It’s free and it’s something you shouldn’t ignore. Paired with a using a schedule tool, understanding your analytics and posting content at your audience’s peak times will grow your reach and heighten your audience loyalty.

How would you suggest women in business (entrepreneurs, bloggers, brands) use Pinterest?

200 million people globally use Pinterest every month. That’s an audience no one should ignore. Paired with Pinterest sharing that 93% of its active pinners use Pinterest to plan purchases, while 88% of users go on to purchase something they have pinned, the potential that Pinterest offers us all to build awareness and audience, is HUGE. It’s all about understanding who you are as a brand and making sure your Pinterest account reflects this. This is another reason why I’ve begun my blog series – to help demystify and simplify how to do this.

Storytelling is something you and I feel strongly about. How do you think bloggers can express their story in a unique fashion to their potential readers with Pinterest?

Is the content you’re creating authentic to who you are as a brand? Is that content you’re sharing following the guidelines that work so your pins are receiving the greatest return? I feel you should always be asking yourself these questions when you’re creating and sharing. If someone who knows nothing about you was to look at the image you want to share, would they understand your message?  It’s easy to get overly invested in what we’re creating. Ask those around you what they think. If it doesn’t feel right then it’s not. Always listen to yourself.

What way can we combine our love for photography and Pinterest? For example, I just traveled through Europe with my family. I shared a lot on Instagram, but how can I share it authentically for the Pinterest community?

Yes! Travel is big on Pinterest. Using your experience to share travel tips, insights, unusual places, markets, galleries or regions you travelled with your family – could become a wildly successfully blog series that you promote through your Pinterest account. Pinterest for many bloggers, is their top referral source for social traffic.

On that note, do you feel it is important to link to a specific blog post for each Pinterest post, or can storytelling exist on Pinterest on its own?

Your pins should always connect to a URL. Be it a repin or your own content, always make sure it is connected to its original source.

I recently read an article about how so many Instagrammers are creating “the similar shot”. With the boom in Instagram influencers, and the knowledge that there are many doing similar things out there because “it works” (in SEO, algorithm, visually attractive…) how can we keep a true and artistic voice without getting lost in the sea of similarity?

Be you. Share content that you’re passionate about. Don’t get caught up in what others are doing but how you are doing. By understanding your audience, creating content that is about sharing experience, insight or offering solution – you will attract an authentic audience.

What do you feel are the key elements that need to be added to each Pinterest post?

This is what my blog series is all about. As I shared earlier, once you’ve converted your account from a personal account to a business account – you need to make some key changes. Look at your header – Have you clearly defined who you are a brand? Have you authenticated your website? Overall, what is your account revealing about you as a brand.

I know you are a fan of IG as well (@paulaepcoop), but your photos there are different. How do you encourage readers on either platform to check out the other? Is it important as a brand to do so?

There is a lot of overlap in content sharing between IG and Pinterest. Beyond image formatting, you can ‘cross pollenate’ between platforms. Just do it strategically. Again, it all comes back to recognizing that each platform is different as is each audience. Make sure you are sharing at the peak times on each. For example, when sharing on IG – telling a story both in text and image is important. On Pinterest, that same image needs to tell its story through its imagery and headings.  Hashtags are important on both platforms, though Pinterest is about using less, while IG is open to the inclusion of more.

For those that have begun on Pinterest but have not succeeded in creating a real coherent page with consistent boards, how do you suggest they clean up and make it better?

My next blog post is all about this. I believe in the KISS principal – Keep it Super Simple. Don’t have 100 boards, have less than 50. You want to be able to manage your content and add into all your boards. Do your board titles make sense? Have you branded your boards? Again, these are the things I’m sharing to help simplify while optimizing your Pinterest account.

Thank you so much, Paula! You truly are a wealth of information.

I am so thankful to have Paula as a colleague and friend!

To follow Paula’s series on optimizing your Pinterest account visit her blog at and sign up for her newsletter. Friends, this series is GOLD. Paula’s series has been helping me and I can attest that it will truly help you curate your page in a more concise way, allowing you to work much more effectively with this platform.

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Connie McCreight August 17, 2018 at 6:33 pm

The problem I have with Pinterest is that it sends me too much and I get lost in the volume of what I’m sent. It takes too much time to sort thru and place what comes it. It was too overwhelming so I asked it to stop sending me pins. I must admit that I gave up not knowing what to do with all the postings. I may be convinced to try again if I knew what to do with everything and could control what is sent to me.

Julia a.k.a Mama MOE September 5, 2018 at 10:25 am

Great comment! Over the years, this has become easier. I’m sure Paula will have tips coming up in her series about this.


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