Guys, my insatiable curiosity has lead me down a rabbit hole once again. In a wild Pinterest flurry I came across a blogger name Melyssa Griffin over at over at http://www.melyssagriffin.com. After reading a few of her blogs I signed up for her newsletter because I like to show my support for people who are awesomely helpful. During the past week she has been offering a workshop on how to build an email list and page views with Pinterest. It was amazingly interesting. It also lead to one of the most frustratingly, rage-inducing two days of this blog’s short life.
Real talk now, alternative post titles I considered for this post included:
The information from the workshop was immensely helpful and I’m already seeing a huge difference in traffic, but let me tell you that I would not have made it through last weekend if it weren’t for Scandinavian stubbornness, Irish tenacity and copious amounts of caffeine.
Before we get too much further I would like to emphasize that I don’t want to turn Reverie into another blog about blogging. I’m a healer though, and this was a problem for me. It’s in my nature to want to fix these problems for others - my hope is that by sharing this experience no one will ever have to be as frustrated about this as I was.
The problem I want to solve is that it seems like 90% of the bloggers out there use WordPress or Squarespace. This means that almost all of the tutorials out there are for these popular platforms. I am a fan of Weebly but it works differently mostly because of its drag and drop templates. I found one - one - tutorial for enabling rich pins on Weebly and it only worked temporarily. I had to piece together all of my information and even then there were holes.
My intention is to include my whole process - what did and didn’t work so that as some future person reads through they can put a checkmark next to everything saying, “Yup, tried that” or they can add it to their todo list.
For those of you that just want what I did, skip to the bottom for a tl;dr. :)
The first thing I did was go directly to Pinterest to find out how to enable rich pins. My first red flag was the first step of the official Pinterest how-to:
“Prep your website with meta tags or an oEmbed endpoint. This can be a bit technical, so you might need to loop in your website’s developer.”
I scrolled down to "Article Pins" to see what I would need to add to my site’s code:
“1. Add Open Graph or Schema.org markups between the <head> </head> section of your HTML code for each page you want to enable article Rich Pins on. Here are the required Rich Pin fields for each type of markup. Edit the highlighted fields to reflect your articles”
Easy enough, I knew where to modify the <head> section of my site so it should just be a simple matter of copy/paste/done, right? I do like to be more informed so I did a little more digging.
So what *is* open graph?
Open graph was developed by Facebook so that it could “scrape” or gather information about articles, recipes, apps and other things and create posts that show that extra data that you don’t have to type in. Pinterest works through the same portal basically. That’s what allows my posts to look like this:
EDITYou absolutely, 100%, need to have open graph tags in order for Pinterest to be able to scrape the data needed for rich pins.
The first attempt seemed to be a success - initially. I copied over some of the open graph coding that Pinterest provided on their help page. But it seemed from all of their examples that I would be having to change the <head> section of every blog post. Now, I’m not techy. I joke with my techy friends that there’s a reason I practice a 5000 year old medicine. But I’ve dabbled in programming and I know the point of any code is to prevent that kind of redundancy. There should be no reason I that I need to add this information to every post. SURELY THERE ARE VARIABLES!
And of course I was right, the code didn’t work.
Bust numero uno.
“Fine then” I said as I cracked my knuckles and googled: “enable rich pins on a weebly site” This brought me to an incredibly helpful blog called The Felicity Jar with a lady named “Kayla” Awesome! I followed her instructions, ran my site through the rich pin validator and saw my green check marks and was good to go! Awesome.
The rest of my evening went wings - beer - sleep. Fantastic. I went to sleep planning on building my newly minted Pinterest business account the next morning.
As of 9/1/2017 (and apparently much earlier than this) the Felicity Jar site is 404ing!
Scroll down to the TL;DR portion for the code. I don't remember where she had you post it so you may as well skip that step and add it straight to the main header of your overall page.
The following morning
What I awoke to was a site on which my rich pins were indeed, not enabled, when they had appeared to be working only the evening before. It was at this point I began channeling Mr. Furious from Mystery Men. No joke, I screamed at my computer three times. That’s what I get for trying to problem solve pre-coffee.
I immediately went back to Kayla’s post on enabling rich pins on Weebly and following it to the letter only to copy the code to Weebly, save, publish, and have it disappear. WTF? I tried it a few more times with the same results. Nothing.
I sent a report to customer service and received an apology - Weebly cannot (understandably) help with individual HTML problems.
As a matter of covering all my bases I opened up my site in an incognito window on Chrome and Mozilla firefox and checking the HTML to confirm that the code was NOT being added to the <head> section.
Three hours of research, copy/pasting code and contacting customer service got me nowhere and Kayla’s blog was the only Weebly tutorial.
Thinking back I can’t believe it took me this long to figure out because the answer had been in the back of my mind all along. It had just been hidden behind a fog of frustration.
I went to computer camp when I was in sixth grade. Yes, yes, keep laughing. Get it out of your system. Anyways, we learned BASIC and HTML so I did know the basics of <head>, <body>, and <foot>. In a moment of caffeinated clarity I asked myself,
“Why am I adding this code to the blog header and not the website header?”
And that question was the key, my friends.
I copy/pasted the Felicity Jar code into the actual header (which is what Pinterest originally recommended), ran it through the validator and voila! Rich pins validated!
That’s when I saw the Pinterest confirmation message. I hadn’t been looking for it before because on no article was it made explicit that you would recieve a confirmation within the validation page AND recieve and email once it was confirmed (which took less than five minutes.)
So now it works
Rich pins are enabled! Hooray!
They may seem like a more important step for content marketers or creative entrepreneurs but I highly recommend that you enable rich pins on your site. That way if you do decide to make a pinterest page to highlight your blog or articles you’ll be a step ahead in the Pinterest article game.
I would like to say thank you to the customer service at Weebly (they can’t help policy), Pinterest for their instructions and quick validation and especially to Kayla over at Felicity Jar. I would never have gotten this working at all if it wasn’t for her code.
Thanks to pinterest, felicityjar, and other sources (to be listed below)
Find Melyssa Griffin and her awesome blog advice at: http://www.melyssagriffin.com
Not currently a Weebly user? Experiment with their awesome drag and drop editing at: www.weebly.com/
The official instructions for enabling rich pins can be found here
The rich pins validator can be found here
Kayla and her original instuctions and code can be found at her blog The Felicity Jar - try her way first, it's easier.
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What problems have you solved that have benefited your business?
Jessica Gustafson, L.Ac.
I am an acupuncturist and a mama from the Twin Cities. I needed a place to talk about the nitty gritty of bootstrapping a clinic, parenting and freelancing so I made a blog. Hooray! It was never meant to become what it has, but blogs evolve. I've enjoyed the process and look forward to developing it more as I grow.
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