When it comes to getting started using Pinterest for business, one question I hear a lot is “Do I need a website to use Pinterest?” I get clients who are brand new to online business and don’t have a website yet. However, they have heard of the benefits of using Pinterest and are wondering if they can utilize it, even without a website. And of course, I think everyone with a business should be on Pinterest. So let’s find out if you can really use Pinterest to market your business if you don’t have a website yet.
Is Having a Website Essential to Use Pinterest?
Let’s get straight to the big question: Do you need a website to use Pinterest for business?
The answer is no.
You don’t technically need a website to get started with Pinterest to grow your business. But you do need something to drive traffic to.
Pinterest is essentially a search engine, and all you need is a URL. Create a pin, add in the URL, and Pinterest drives traffic to it. You can drive this traffic to your website, but you don’t have to. Anything you create that has a URL can benefit from a pin. Here are some ideas:
- You can drive traffic to a funnel using an email marketing platform
- If you are a YouTuber, you can drive traffic to YouTube channel
- If you are in network marketing, you can send people to an order form
- Build a landing page in your email platform and drive traffic to an opt-in freebie to collect email addresses
- Make affiliate sales by creating pins that link to the product
- Drive traffic to grow your Facebook group or Facebook lives
- Send people to your Instagram account to grow your following there
A lot of people get started using Pinterest to increase their following on other social media platforms. You may have noticed the square pictures on Pinterest. If you hover over them to see the URL, it says “Instagram.” This means it’s been posted by someone on Instagram and automatically shared on Pinterest.
By sharing your photos on your Pinterest account, you can send traffic from Pinterest to your Instagram profile, gaining you new followers on Instagram. The more social media platforms a person follows you on, the better it is for your business!
For example, I like Rachel Hollis, and I follow her on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and I get her newsletter. All these different ways that I follow her, mean I’m a dedicated fan. The same goes for you and your business. You want people to follow you on more than one social media channel so that they can become dedicated fans of you, your content, and ultimately your products or services!
How to Use Pinterest Effectively, Even Without a Website
While Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to all these different places, it is most effective when you have three things.
Like any other platform, staying consistent is the quickest and more effective way to grow. Pinterest itself has even said that it likes consistency. The way that I consistently pin on Pinterest is through a helpful scheduling tool called Tailwind. Tailwind is amazing! It has a Smart Loop feature, which recycles your content.
With Tailwind, you can almost schedule it and forget it. It’s a great time saver for scheduling out content in advance. I highly recommend Tailwind for that consistency because it is going to constantly recycle your pins, keeping your Pinterest account active and consistent.
Like any other business tactic, you need to have a strategy and a funnel. Pinterest can drive traffic to any content, but you’re still in the driver’s seat. Where do you want to take this person from Pinterest? Where do you want them to go?
When it comes to Pinterest strategy, ask yourself: What is the end game?
Do you want to make money through affiliate marketing and using pins that you direct to affiliate sales pages? To learn more you can read my Ultimate Guide to Making Money on Pinterest.
Grow a Social Media Channel
I have a client who wants to grow her YouTube channel, and we are using Pinterest as one of her traffic drivers to her channel. I created a Pinterest Funnel in which I created pins to drive traffic to her YouTube. Once people get to her channel, she has a call to action to direct them to where she wants them to go.
So Pinterest is being used to grow her YouTube subscribers and viewers, and then she makes money on her channel with advertising. She is also monetizing with affiliate products, her own products, and courses and has an opt-in freebie.
It is important to do the same with Instagram. Sending people back to your Instagram to follow you there is great for growing your fanbase but you still need to ask yourself, what’s the journey? Once they get there, what’s your strategy? Most of the time, you’re going to have a link in your bio that may contain links to your freebie, a call to action to sign up for a webinar or get on a discovery call, or to buy something.
When designing your Pinterest strategy, keep your ultimate goal in mind and make sure that the path people take from Pinterest is aligned with your endgame.
Grow Your Email List
And here’s a bonus tip: While it’s great to have followers, whether on Pinterest or Youtube, you want to get their email address so you can market your products or services to them personally. Create an email sequence so you can nurture the potential client and build a rapport with that person. Create a strategy and map the journey before you start creating pins.
Pinterest loves new content which is why it is a great platform for content creators. Pinning other people’s content will help get people to view your profile (which should have your bio and links to something as well) but nothing sets you up as an influencer as creating and sharing your own content.
Which is why I do think everyone should eventually have a website. It allows you to create new content on a regular basis and keep your Pinterest feed fresh (which we know Pinterest loves).
No matter what, if you stay consistent with your pinning and have a strategy of where you’re going to send people, then Pinterest will be effective for you … whether you have a website or not!
Why You Should Eventually Have a Website and Claim It on Pinterest
While it’s completely possible to build a business and utilize Pinterest without having a website, eventually you should have one so you can claim it on Pinterest. Besides having a place to create new content consistently, here are other reasons why you might want to have a website:
- With your website to drive traffic back to, you can check your analytics and see how pins from your site are performing
- You can enable Rich Pins to add more information to your Pins
- Your profile picture will be added to all Pins from your site. Even when your pins are shared by others, your information “goes with” the pin and highlights you, the creator
- People can click on your website URL in your profile to learn more about you
- Your content positions you as an expert. When people start pinning your pins, you get seen as an expert in your industry.
So while I do recommend having a website for your business, it is not essential from day one. If you want to start using Pinterest for your traffic strategy, you can absolutely get started without a website. All you really need is a URL to send people to and a strategy so you know what you want your audience to do once they get to that URL. And of course, stay consistent! The more you pin and share, the more your Pinterest following will grow.
To help set up Pinterest for your business, take a look at my course, Pinning Foundations, which will help you set up your Pinterest account correctly from the beginning with keywords, strategy, how to create pins that will get clicks, and more.
Or if you prefer to hand it over, you can set up a time with me to discuss your strategy, and I can do it for you.