How to Enjoy Pinterest Rich Pins with Your WordPress.com Blog

TL;DR

Implementing Pinterest’s “Rich Pins” feature on your wordpress.com blog pulls additional info per pinned item, such as title & description. Rich pins also auto-update, reflecting your changes to the pinned post subsequent to the pinning. Finally, your assigned title follows the pin, immune to changes by anyone but you, the post author. Here’s your cheat sheet to implementing that feature on your WordPress.com site.

✧︎︎︎ Estimated Reading Time:1 6 minutes.

✧︎︎︎ Estimated Task Time: 10-15 minutes (including excess time spent triple checking as you move along, courtesy of paranoia 😏).

Note: If you maintain a self-hosted/Wordpress.ORG site & seek Rich Pins configuration steps, your steps include installing the Yoast plugin, as detailed by U.K. blogger Sarah Kay

Exploiting the combined power of two mega-sites // Long-Toed Plover (Africa):  Sylvan Heights Bird Park, Scotland Neck, NC

Preliminary Info and Steps

Before you start, suggestion: be sure one of your website articles/asides is posted to Pinterest. Take a screenshot of it, since you’ll want to compare before and after the rich pins go live. Also, don’t be nervous. This IS doable, once you pinpoint what’s needed where to accomplish this goal.

There are 6 types of Rich Pins: app, movie, recipe, article, product and place. As a blogger, I focused on the article Rich Pin. Related instructions follow.

KNOW that WordPress.com ALREADY has mechanisms in place to handle Pinterest Rich Pins. We just need to plug in certain data in precise locations. We also need to know that WP uses the Open Graph format, which Pinterest places in the HTML TAGS category, as noted below (5th step).

The Five Primary Steps to Implement Pinterest’s Rich Pins for Your WordPress.com Site

✧︎︎︎ Step One: Desktop/Laptop Browser Required (!!)

I conduct well over 95% of my electronic endeavors on my iPad (Pro). As a general rule, selecting “Request Desktop Site”, or using app Perfect Web Browser, avoids mobile nuisances. This Rich Pins configuration scenario forced me to switch gears and return to the iMac situated on my home office desk. Avoid grief; follow these instructions while seated before your BigBoy machine, i.e. desktop or laptop, the latter including Chromebooks.

✧︎︎︎ Step Two: Site Verification

Open two browser tabs.

In the first tab, go to your WP Admin area.

  • Dashboard → Settings → Traffic → scroll down for “Site Verification Services.”

You’ll see a field for Pinterest. Just be aware of it & leave it for now.

WordPress.com: Settings → Traffic → scroll down to the Site Verification Services section

WordPress.com: Settings → Traffic → scroll down to the Site Verification Services section

In the second tab, visit your Pinterest Account Settings page. Look at the Website field to ensure your website is listed. You must Confirm your site. To begin this process, click the confirm button. The resulting page provides the meta tag required to verify your control of the website you added in the website field. Copy the full meta tag.

Pinterest: enter your website URL, save, request confirmation

Pinterest: enter your website URL, save, request confirmation

Return to your first/WordPress.com tab, showing the “Site Verification Services” admin page. Paste the copied meta tag info into the Pinterest field, then save it.

WordPress.com: After pasting the meta tag provided by Pinterest, click “Save Settings”

Step Three: Convert Your Pinterest Account to “Business”

Rich Pins appear to be a business-only offering. Thankfully, no obstacles prevent a quick switch from personal to business account. At this writing, no fee is associated with a Business account. (But hey, we all know capitalism; remain vigilant!)

Open a third tab and visit business.pinterest.com .

If you already have a (personal) Pinterest account, click the “Convert” link

Click the white “Convert now” text link if you already have a personal Pinterest account. Doing so triggers the popup you see below:

The first screen Pinterest presents during the convert-to-business-account process

The first screen Pinterest presents during the convert-to-business-account process

Fill out the business-related info. (FYI: I entered writesquire in the business name field.) Read and accept the Terms of Service by checking the checkbox, which transforms the Convert Button to a clickable state. Tap it.

Step Four: Grab the Full URL to one of Your Standard/Aside Posts/Pages

Open a fourth tab to visit your WordPress.com hosted site. Select any article/aside you’ve previously posted.

Pinterest tells you to choose a post where you’ve “added metadata.” When you publish any post/page, the WordPress.com system auto-generates customized metadata. Translation: ignore the gobbledeegook; just choose a post. 😁

Visit that post, clean (outside of your Admin area), so you can capture the full URL. Copy that URL, including the http/https segment. I did not want to tempt Murphy’s Law; I opted to grab the standard full URL, as opposed to the WordPress.com short URL. You’ll paste that URL into a Pinterest page in the next/final step.

Final: Step Five: Rich Pin Validator

Open another tab to visit the “Rich Pin Validator – Pinterest Developers” page at the Pinterest site.

Enter the URL to your blog post

Enter the URL to your blog post

Notice the single blank field. Paste the full URL to your website post/page in this field, then click the blue Validate button. To clarify, the URL must be to a page or article/asides post, as opposed to the base site (home page) itself. (I suspect an audio, video, image, gallery, chat, quote, or status post would also satisfy the requisites, in terms of metatags, but did not test.)

Read the third item of the list on that page, visible in the preceding screenshot. A “view source” of any WordPress.com blog post confirms: WordPress.com employs Open Graph. This critical tidbit is needed for the selection screen Pinterest auto-generates after you tap the Validate button.

Regrettably, I did not keep notes as I indulged this chore, so I’m relying on memory while composing this article. After you enter your URL and tap the blue Validate button, the page changes a bit, reflecting the Pinterest system’s acknowledgement of your Rich Pins application. Remain on this page!

Pinterest categorizes Open Graph as HTML Tags, and pre-selects the HTML Tags button within its auto-generated selection page. You want to keep that pre-selected HTML Tags option. There may be other info requested in that pop up. If so, it’s easy to fill out (gotta be since I recall no specifics). The screen will say something about needing to check your site; my rich pins went live well within the hour. I performed this task around 3a.m. Eastern on a Sunday morning, which may explain the super speedy system response. (Translation: I started researching this topic at a more decent hour, 10p.m., vowing my head would NOT hit a pillow until I conquered this Rich Pins integration task.)

The craved confirmation, advising your Rich Pins are now live at Pinterest

The craved confirmation, advising your Rich Pins are now live at Pinterest

To confirm the visual changes attending Rich Pins, I looked at the screenshot taken at the beginning of this mission, then returned to the pin at Pinterest. When I refreshed the page, the Hallelujah choir sang! Comparing the “before” to “now” confirmed: the title now accompanied the pin!

WrapUp:

I have zero formal computer training. However, futzing with assorted DOS and Windows PCs through the Windows Vista years (at which point I threw in the towel & jumped on the Apple ship) coerced my emergence as a troubleshooting champ. Those efforts schooled me: start with logic and refuse to quit until I find my answer.

In this instance, I knew WordPress is among the premier blogging services, while Pinterest is also a heavyweight. Logic suggested the two were already on speaking terms. My job: research to unearth the critical specifics.

Why WordPress.com provides no dedicated how-to page is beyond me. Once you’re at a BigBoy computer (desktop/laptop), indulging four steps implements Rich Pins. Hopefully, this cheatsheet via my stumbles and bumbles will lead you to the Promised Land. Enjoy!

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Call to Action

  • If you don’t have a Pinterest account, research how it may prove beneficial to you.
  • If you have a Pinterest account & a blog, consider implementing Rich Pins to maximize the info pinned from your blog.
  • Take a leisurely stroll around your ‘hood or in a nearby park. Nature juices creativity! Take a notebook and pen, or dictate your thoughts via an Apple/Android watch. As you enjoy the scenery, ask yourself: how can I improve my online presence generally, and specifically— website, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Social media indulgence can overwhelm other activities. The trick is to think it through, conjure a plan of attack, proceed and devote (only) the pre-ordained period of time tending to your eLife.
  • Grab a calendar. Pick a week. Set an umbrella goal, e.g. Maximize/Polish my Social Media Presence as regards My WebSite. Then list specific steps, reflecting social media networks, each assigned to certain days of that week.
  • If you choose to employ Rich Pins, create a tracker so you can keep tabs on the increase in pins originating from your site (Google → bullet journal tracker (pinterest|website) ←  then flip to a review of Google Images after the search results listing appears).
  • Consider. Plot. Plan. Do. Tweak. Review. Succeed!

Til later…. 👍🏽

  1. My preferred writing app, iOS/Mac’s Ulysses, includes a reading time estimate feature. If your preferred tool does not, try Read-O-Meter. In essence, you copy & paste the entirety of your article into the text field, then tap a button, triggering the reading time estimate. Easy peasy.