Pinterest Marketing For Online Courses

Ashley Hockney

| Aug 11, 2016

Here at Teachable, we rarely talk about using social media to promote an online course. It might surprise you then, that the first platform we’re choosing to discuss is Pinterest. Why?  

According to Buffer:More adults use Pinterest than they do Twitter. Do you have a Twitter marketing strategy? I imagine you do. Could you be reaching more people on Pinterest? As of this year, yes.” 

This is a powerful statistic, only trumped by one more tiny little fact: “Customers spend more money when they convert from a Pinterest referral than any other social referral. Average order value for a Pinterest conversion is $80.54. Facebook, in second-place, is $71.26. (Monetate)” 

That said, Pinterest is an often overlooked social media channel. AND even if you do decide to test it out, there just aren’t the same kind of guides, blog posts and content talking about how to use Pinterest the right way...until now. 

Meet Melyssa Griffin. She’s the brains behind The Nectar Collective and the founder of Pinfinite Growth, a course on how to grow your blog's traffic and audience using your new secret weapon: Pinterest.

Pinfinite Growth, Melyssa Griffin

Lucky for us, Melyssa has adopted some of her top strategies for online courses and is sharing them with us! 

In this blog post I’ll discuss how to set up your profile page, master Pinterest SEO and start promoting your course. 

However, you can also listen to Melyssa's webinar with our Teachable CEO, Ankur Nagpal, as the two discuss how to leverage Pinterest with an online course.

Pinterest Basics 

I’m going to assume that some of you may not have played with the platform. So to start, here’s a few basics taken from our own account.  

Profile Page:


Inside a Board:

Teachable Pinterest board

Here’s what our Pinterest feed looks like:

Teachable Pinterest news feed

Everything Starts With Your Profile  

Much like finding your profitable course idea or developing your writing voice, you’ve got to tailor your profile to attract YOUR people. Or in marketing terms, qualified leads. You want to communicate a brand and lifestyle for your ideal customers. 

For example,

Holly McCaig Creative Pinterest

Your profile bio should explain three things:  

  1. What you do or how you help people 
  2. Who you serve 
  3. Include a Call-To-Action (CTA) to join your email list  

When you create your boards, they should be tailored to what you’re teaching and your expertise. A good formula for success is one board about your course and a few more boards based on your target markets. 

Here’s Melyssa’s pinterest profile:

Melyssa Griffin, The Nectar Collective Pinterest board

See how she has one board titled: The Nectar Collective and the next three boards are blogging tips, social media tips and entrepreneur tips. That’s because these are three topics her audience is interested in. 

The first board is Melyssa’s own content and the other boards are full of relevant and helpful information. 

PRO TIP: When you name your board use popular keywords. Don’t feel obligated to get punny or fancy. 

Here is a list of popular keywords on pinterest from Buffer.

Keywords, Pinterest

When you’re creating the board about your course, include multiple images from your course such as screenshots, styled photos of your course workbook, your sales page. 

“An easy way to get more photos? Create a hashtag for your course and encourage students to post about it on social media,” Melyssa says. 

Here at Teachable, we're just starting to create our own Pinterest board. We'd love to see what you course creators are doing and show off your brilliant work. If you leave a link to your courses's pinterest page in the discussion board we'll be happy to repin a pin about your course to our page.  #teamwork 

Master Pinterest SEO 

The first thing to know about Pinterest is that it has a SmartFeed. This means that people will see the best pins above the newest (Medium also does this). This also means that it’s important for Pinterest to think your pins are great. 

The best pins are repins similar to a retweet on Twitter and also come from a credible source. 

Here’s what Melyssa might include on a pin:

Perfect Pin for Pinterest

Notice that the description Melyssa writes has 3 components:  

  1. Keywords that your audience is searching for 
  2. Several sentences to stand out, entice, and be found more easily in the search 
  3. A call to action, such “click through to read the full post!”  

You can increase your SEO in your board descriptions by using the words your audience is searching for. 

Automate your Pinterest 

Since we originally published this post nearly a year ago, we began using Board Booster to automate a large part of our Pinterest account and have seen incredible results.  

Boardbooster can loop your pins for you so that you don't have to constantly be posting and updating your account. Using this automation helps your account grow passively.


A lot of people set up to have all of their boards loop and then don't touch Pinterest again and get fine results. We recommend, though, that you add new pins to your boards every week or so to keep the content fresh and make the most of your account. 

Use Pinterest as a Sales Funnel Dream Machine 

Pinterest is the #2 traffic source for Shopify and it can work as a top-funnel way to pull people into your email sequences AND you don’t have to spend money as you might with Facebook ads. 

Think about it, if someone likes your pin, it could lead them directly to your sales page or lead magnet where they’ll enter their email address. 

As Melyssa says, “Pinterest is crazy effective at capturing new subscribers and putting them into your automatic sequence.” 

Leverage Group Boards 

Similar to marketplaces like ProductHunt or discount website, Pinterest has group boards that are cultivated by more than one person. 

Using keywords, you can search for boards that are relevant to you. You’ll be able to tell it’s a group board by the two-person icon. There will be directions for joining or you can email the board creator. 

As you start to build your Pinterest following, make sure to track how your board's are performing. As in content marketing, it's equally important to be data driven on Pinterest. Don’t be afraid to leave boards that aren’t producing results. Your time is better spent elsewhere. 

Consider Promoted Pins 

You can pay to promote pins on Pinterest and it turns out to be much cheaper than Facebook ads. 

Melyssa points out that since Pinterest is a search engine, you’re targeting keywords that people are searching for, not just someone’s assumed interests (like Facebook ads). 

These pins work as highly effective top funnel email gatherers. 

While these are a few basics for how to start using Pinterest, Melyssa got into the nitty-gritty in her webinar with Teachable.

Click on the orange button below to view the conversation.

Pinterest marketing for an online course can be incredibly effective. Melyssa Griffin of The Nectar Collective walks us through her best tips and tricks. Click to read them now!

What do you think? Are you using Pinterest? As mentioned, here at Teachable we're just starting to launch our Pinterest account (P.S. Follow us!). If you have pins about your course, post a link to them in the dicussion board and we're happy to include them as we start building our content.

Ashley Hockney is a Content Marketer & Writer. Her background is in food & beverage PR i.e. she wants to talk to you about single malts.