I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little irritated right now.
I get emails from other bloggers on a daily basis requesting to join my Pinterest group boards.
Note: This post contains affiliate links.
This isn’t a big deal. I don’t have a problem receiving these emails. I have multiple group boards on Pinterest and all of them are currently accepting contributors.
My boards have clear instructions regarding how to join them and what rules you need to follow to avoid being removed from the board.
Life happens, though, and I rarely have the time to add a new member to my boards.
When I receive the email, I ignore it and let it sit in my inbox until I have some free time.
And then I usually put off adding the contributor because it’s a bit of a hassle. I mean, it isn’t the hardest part of this blogging job of mine, but it’s just… annoying.
And it’s probably just me. I’m sure other bloggers are way better at this than I am.
It’s just one of those weird tasks I hate doing.
Honestly, sometimes months go by before I clean up my inbox and add all the people who have requested to join my group boards. So, if you’ve been waiting a few weeks, don’t assume I forgot about you!
Here’s where the real problem is. Here’s why I’m just a wee bit annoyed right now and why I avoid this task:
I believe it’s safe to estimate that at least 85% of all the people who send me requests to join my group boards both failed to read my instructions and lack what I would consider to be common blogging sense.
I get so annoyed with all the stupidity that comes with owning a Pinterest group board that some days I just want to close all of them and ruin it for everyone!
So, today I decided that rather than angrily shuffle through a thousand emails, adding any and all bloggers that have requested to join my boards, I’d start writing an awesome post about how to NOT BE A DICK and piss off the board owner when you’re requesting to join and participating in group boards.
Why Are Group Boards Awesome?
Pinterest is my absolute favorite blogging tool right now.
Yes, I know… most people will say that Pinterest is just another form of social media or even simply a search engine, but I prefer thinking of it as a tool that’s helping me reach my goals.
You see, I’ve been struggling with problems in my personal life for the better part of the last 2 years. Many times my blog has been put on the back burner while I handle issues in the real world.
I decided it was time to make a change, though, so I’m going at it hard. But starting this new plan to “go at it hard” a couple of months ago was sort of like being a brand new blogger again.
A brand new blogger with a crapload more knowledge than a real brand new blogger.
My readership was low in the beginning. I was losing followers and I was ranking poorly on search engines.
My traffic has been increasing the last couple months and in February just over 75% of all the people who visited my blog found me through Pinterest.
I’m trying to take advantage of that right now. That’s where the awesomeness of Pinterest group boards comes into play.
Thanks to my group boards, more people are getting their eyes on my pins. People who aren’t even my own followers!
Pinterest group boards can be an amazing way to share your content with a larger audience when you’re pinning to them.
The Right Way to Join A Group Board
Making Your Profile Appealing
Make sure your profile picture, name, keywords, and boards are all on fleek.
I could go into a whole bunch of detail about this, but that would be such a long story that it’s best left as a post for another day.
Since I’ve yet to write about the topic, I recommend heading over to Kimberly’s Pinterest Profile Optimization post and read up!
Read the Instructions
Almost every board has explicit rules stated in the board’s description.
Most list instructions regarding how to join and how often you can pin.
Some will have weird rules regarding membership, though. I tried joining one board that request I do not apply to join the board unless I had a minimum number of followers AND I invited the board owner to one of my boards, too.
It was a pretty strange thing, but I was happy it was stated in the board description.
Find the Board Owner
Not only do people regularly email me asking to join my group boards, but I also get messages on Pinterest from people wanting to join other group boards that I contribute to.
I know how and why it happens. Someone sees I’m in a group board and simply assumes I’m the owner. They shoot me a message thinking I can add them to the board.
Even though I’m not the owner, I can usually add new members to boards. It all depends on the board’s settings. But guess what? I’ll never add you.
It’s just another one of those things for me. If I receive a message like that, I know you didn’t do any real research into the board. You don’t really care about the board, you’re just hopping around Pinterest looking for all the boards you might, maybe, possibly be able to join. You’re thinking quantity over quality.
I totally get it, but this technique isn’t going to get you far.
Make sure you’re actually contacting the board owner.
Include All Pertinent Info In Your Email or Message
Emails that say things like “I love your blog! I’m a new blogger and your board is awesome. Could you add me? Thanks!” are probably the most annoying emails I receive, aside from the spam requests from VAs in India. Speaking of which, if you have a virtual assistant handling your Pinterest account, make sure they aren’t being dicks, too.
First of all, I know that when you’re being that vague, you don’t really give a crap about my blog.
You’ve maybe skimmed through it a little.
If you like my blog, give me a real, sincere compliment, okay? Do a little homework. Show me you actually read some stuff and I will send you an email back thanking you for being awesome.
Secondly, how the heck am I going to add you?
Personally, I like writing my instructions for joining in the group board’s description area. This way, if you don’t include the pertinent info I told you to include, I know you’re just half-assing this request. And why would I add someone who was half-assing things and not actually paying attention to my board’s instructions and rules?
Not everyone has specific instructions regarding how to join their board, so when you’re sending a request to join a board, especially via email, always include the email address associated with your account.
Like, if you choose to include only one fact about yourself, include that one. Throwing in a link to your Pinterest account is cool, too, but nobody cares about any of the other info you think you should probably include.
What Not to Do
Here is what the description of my Blogger Round-Up board looks like:
Here are a few examples of what you shouldn’t be doing when you email someone with a request to join their Pinterest board:
I received this email recently and, while it doesn’t seem too horrible, I want to point out a couple of things.
First, my instructions clearly state that I would like people to send their email addresses. This blogger sent links to two separate Pinterest accounts instead.
Aside from her obviously sending me the wrong information, she also asked me to add both her profiles without any explanation whatsoever. I found it strange and a little rude.
She didn’t include the name of the board she wished to join in the email, either. I have multiple group boards. Without emailing her and requesting more info, I have no clue which board she wants to participate in.
I did not add this person to any of my group boards.
My biggest problem with this one is that there’s no info about her at all. No email address, blog or Pinterest link.
As I’ve already said, my board has rules. One of those rules is that only bloggers can join. This seemingly nice lady says she is a blogger, but can I believe her? There are a lot of scammers out there.
I didn’t add this person to my group boards, either.
You shouldn’t be surprised that I didn’t add this person to my group board!
I mean, I’m glad someone finally decided to include an email address, but this email address is a little off.
I didn’t add this person because I felt the email address was extremely unprofessional and could very well belong to a spammer.
What You Should Say
Here’s a template you can use the next time you request to join a group board:
Hi, (board owner’s name)!
I’m following you on Pinterest and was hoping I could be added to your board “(board name here)”.
My email address is (your Pinterest email address).
My Pinterest profile can be found here (link to Pinterest profile).
My goal is to become an active member of your board, pinning not only my own pins, but those of other members as well.
Thank you so much for your time,
(your name here)
Occasionally a Pinterest group board owner will ask you for more information, but generally the above message works perfectly fine.
Still, it’s important to double check the board rules prior to sending your request. Make sure you are in complete compliance prior to requesting to join the board.
I’m a Collaborator in an Amazing Board. Now What?
Don’t be a dick
Seriously. This is the most important thing. Just don’t be a dick.
You can start by asking yourself one thing every single time you participate in someone else’s group board: would I be cool with someone doing this?
And I mean, maybe other people acting like dicks isn’t something that bothers you, but that isn’t going to be the case for most of the owners of your group boards.
So, the following are the 5 most important ways to avoid coming across as a dick to the owner of the board you just got accepted to.
Follow the Rules
Earlier we talked about reading the board instructions. Even though you’ve been accepted, you shouldn’t just blow off the rules in the description.
Always follow them. Always.
That’s the very best way to keep a happy relationship between yourself and the board owner. Otherwise, you may find yourself removed from the group board with no warning.
No Affiliate Pins!
This is a biggie.
Even if the owner doesn’t explicitly state that affiliate pins aren’t allowed, it’s in poor taste to pin them to the board.
I totally get it! You’re just trying to make a buck.
That’s what we’re all doing, right? And affiliate pins are a good way to make extra money.
But here’s the deal. Let’s be real.
You are trying to make money for yourself. Therefore, you should be pinning to your own boards. Not those of other people.
Pinning affiliate pins to another person’s board is just slimy. Don’t piggyback off another blogger’s success on Pinterest.
Pin Your Own Content
It drives me nuts seeing other bloggers pinning content that isn’t their own to my group boards.
In all honesty, I didn’t have a rule against it at first.
As time went on and more and more bloggers started pinning other blogger’s content, my boards were flooded with subpar pins from blogs I didn’t want to support.
Subpar pins help absolutely no one except maybe the creator of the subpar pins.
The better the pins and the content they link to, the better it is for every contributor’s traffic and reach.
Don’t Add Your Friends (or Strangers)
I get at least one email or Pinterest message every week from complete strangers asking to join group boards I just belong to and don’t actually own. People who haven’t done any real research to find the owner of the board they want to contribute to.
This will likely happen to you, too, at some point. Your blogging buddies may even ask you to do the same request once in a while.
I think I’ve seen maybe one group board in the last 3 years that stated in the rules that it was okay for contributors to add other people to the board.
Most boards won’t state that doing such a thing is frowned upon, but chances are most people won’t appreciate a contributor (usually a complete stranger to them) adding new members whenever they like.
The best way to handle a friend or random blogger requesting to join a board you contribute to is to just point them in the board owner’s direction.
Pin From the Board
The more often pins get repinned from a board, the more popular the board becomes. The more popular the board becomes, the more people who see your pins.
At the very least, use a 1:1 ratio.
I like to immediately pin one pin from a group board to one of my own boards and schedule at least one more to Tailwind every time I pin my own content. Most board owners are satisfied if you pin one for every pin you pin to their group board.
How Do I Find Group Boards?
Pin Groupie is the only tool I know of that helps people find Pinterest group boards. I highly recommend checking it out and trying at least one board search before dismissing the idea.
Jen over at Women Winning Online has a great little package called Finding Your Tribe Online that you can purchase if you’re interested in spending a little money.
This package includes a whole lotta stuff, including a regularly updated list of Pinterest group boards.
Honestly, I absolutely love FYTO. Purchasing it and implementing Jen’s advice was a game changer for me.
Facebook blogger groups can also be helpful in your search for open Pinterest boards, as can doing a quick search on Pinterest. Not that boards are going to pop up in your search results, but tons of bloggers do the research themselves (including me!) and write posts about open Pinterest group boards.
My favorite go-to way of finding new boards, though, is by checking out the boards my fellow contributors belong to.
Say there’s a contributor in one of my boards named Ashley. Let’s say Ashley pins the same type of stuff I pin. I’ll head over to Ashley’s profile and see what other group boards she contributes to.
It’s all about spending a little time (or money) doing some research, regardless of which route you choose to go.
Why are you still reading? Take all this awesome info and head over to Pinterest. Happy pinning!