I absolutely love Pinterest! It's by far my largest source of referral traffic to my website to this day. Not to mention, I just flat-out love the platform. There's such a wealth of information in one place all wrapped up in beautifully packaged pins.
It's easy to see why it's so popular! Since I've started using Pinterest to promote my blog, I've had many, many Pinterest pinning strategies along the way.
Some worked, others made no change at all, and other pinning strategies flopped completely. I even had to change a portion of this exact post because Board Booster was officially banned by Pinterest and I had to change that part of my strategy.
At the end of the day, it's necessary to try out what works for you and your blog until you strike Pinterest Gold. And in the last year, I struck gold myself with a Pinterest strategy called manual pinning!
I absolutely love the concept of manual pinning. It’s both effective and has proven to be highly favored with the Pinterest algorithms. And that’s why I stuck with it for so long.
In case you’ve been living under a blogging rock for the past year, you may not have heard about Carly Campbell’s successful ebook – Pinteresting Strategies. Her book is literally the epicenter of the Manual Pinning Strategy.
There’s just one problem I found with this strategy… TIME. Or lack of it, I should say.
In the book, which is now a course, Carly is very upfront with how long this strategy can really take and how cumbersome the tracking of all your pins can be. Kyla from Dishitoutsocial actually streamlined the process a bit so she wrote a book on it – Manual Pinning Simplified.
Honestly, both books are great and highly recommended if you plan to exclusively use the manual pinning strategy.
However, I think it's important to add that Pinteresting Strategies is a MUST READ for bloggers even if you don’t plan to pin manually. It’s just THAT GOOD! Carly offers a wealth of knowledge and experience that's essential to understanding the “brain” of Pinterest.
Get more information on her course and my other favorite blogging courses here!
What Happened to Pinterest
Basically, manual pinning gave me an amazing framework to skyrocket my traffic from Pinterest but I knew there was a way to automate it so I wasn't stuck having to do everything manually for the long haul.
I first started using Board Booster and it worked great and I actually shared my exact Board Booster process in this exact post. Then things went south shortly after and I needed to find a new way and then update this post, of course.
To give you a very abbreviated glimpse into what happened to Pinterest, there were some pretty massive changes that Pinterest implemented in early 2018. You can read all about them here.
As we all scrambled to figure out the best way to proceed on Pinterest, I knew Tailwind was going to be my trusty Pin scheduler.
If you'd like a FREE Month for a new Tailwind account, click through using my Tailwind link here!
My New Pinning Strategy
I have decided to go back to using Tailwind. And I'm actually quite happy because the issues I didn't like about using Tailwind before are no longer an issue! Tailwind now mimics BoardBooster looping and campaigns.
McKinzie at Moms Make Cents actually wrote a superb and detailed tutorial post on how to use Tailwind's new Smart Looping feature, I recommend that you click over and read her post here!
Pinterest's new looping feature is great and mimic's easy looping like on Board Booster. There's just one problem… it's an added fee on top of Tailwind's regular pinning package. So after trying it and liking it, I still decided not to buy the smart loop power up… for now.
Maybe I will in the future but that wasn't what made the difference for me in my Pinterest traffic. It was fully understanding the inner workings of the Pinterest algorithms.
When I was introduced to Jennifer Ledbetter through Carly's Facebook group I realized she was a genius at figuring things out that I just didn't have the patience or brain to figure out on my own.
She wrote a book called Pin Signals and this small tweak that I learned in this gem of a book has literally changed my blog's traffic for the long haul. I went from just over 17,000 visitors to my site in July 2018 to just a hair under 100,000 visitors to my site in November 2018.
I starting using her strategy in the 3rd week of July 2018.
That's quadrupling my traffic in under 4 months!!
And it was all due to the changes shared in her book. The funny thing is her book is priced very low but I wavered on whether to buy another blogging book.
Knowing what I know now, I would have gladly paid much, much more! Due to this strategy, I've started making a steady income from my blog just a month later. I'm honestly, still shocked!
It wouldn't be ethical for me to share any of her trade secrets here in this post. I highly recommend you purchase your own copy. It's a very quick read and you can start implementing the changes the same day.
It only took a week or so for me to start seeing a difference!
My Pinterest Pinning Strategy in Detail
Basically, what I learned with Pin Signals was how to properly set up your Pinterest boards. She also goes into detail about group boards. This may sound like a small thing, but it was a game changer!
Though I can't share her tips on setting up your boards. I can share with you my own strategy for pinning my pins on Pinterest through a combination of scheduling through Tailwind and manual pinning.
This strategy works well for me and it's understanding Pinterest boards that gave me juice I needed to go the distance. I do want to say that as for an actual pinning strategy, there is no “one perfect way” to do it and see success.
This is just my way. And honestly, this could change tomorrow because of all the crazy changes Pinterest seems to love making all the time!
So let's dive in on my current Pinterest pinning strategy that I'm still using here in 2019!
How I pin brand new pins
Any time I publish a brand new post, I create at least 2-3 pins for that post. Here's an example of a few different pin designs for the same post.
Notice that I'm using the same photo in each pin and only a slight variation on the titles used. But each pin is bringing in a wide range of traffic. This is why making multiple pin images is so important!
As tempted as I am to create totally branded pins, I find that doing this doesn't really benefit me. My goal is to get the click so creating images that are unique and grabs the attention of different people seems to do the trick.
When I publish a new post I pin it first directly from my site using the Pinterest browser extension. You can do this also by sharing your pin to Pinterest from your site using your site's share buttons too.
I start by sharing my pin to my strongest and most relevant personal board first. What defines strong and relevant is what I learned in Pin Signals. So moving right along!
Then I immediately schedule that Pin to all my niche specific personal boards using Tailwind's board lists.
I then pin that pin separately to my niche specific group boards. Because of the number of group boards I pin to, that pin will be pinning one day at a time for several weeks. Yes, I still pin to group boards but they simply don't deliver even close to the amount of traffic as my personal boards.
So if I had to choose, I'd pin to my personal boards all day!
Then as that Pin circulates in Pinterest, I go forward and treat it as an existing Pin and use the following strategy to keep that pin in good circulation going forward.
Let me just add here that some pins just flop on Pinterest no matter what you do. That doesn't mean your post isn't great or valuable to your readers. It just means Pinterest doesn't see it that way… at least for now.
Pinterest can suddenly pick up and older pin and cause it to go viral for many reasons so don't lose heart! Plus, focusing on good SEO for your blog is a good idea from day one. Check out this tutorial! That's because a post that may flop on Pinterest may get tons of traffic from Google.
How I Pin Existing Pins
The purpose of pinning existing pins over and over is to keep them fresh with the intention of pushing them into the smart feed. This is where manual pinning comes in.
Every day I start by looking for pins that are doing well. There are several places to look:
- Look in your notifications for pins that other pinners are rapidly pinning to their boards. Repin those pins to your highest performing personal boards.
- Look in your Pinterest analytics under your profile and look for the pins that are getting the highest clicks. Don't focus on repins/saves or impressions. Clicks should always be your focus! Repin those pins also to your highest performing personal boards.
- Look in Google Analytics for pins that are bringing you the most traffic. You can find those pins by going to Acquisition>Social>Network Referrals. Carly goes into great detail on this process in her Pinteresting Strategies course.
- Repin any of my own pins that I see in my own smart feed.
Then I do a couple more things every day to keep my traffic up.
- I pin 2 random pins from my site to my personal boards with fresh pin descriptions.
- I upload at least 2 pins to my highest performing personal boards. This was my own experiment I tried and it really works. Basically, I upload one of my “already posted” pin designs directly into Pinterest using their upload feature. Even though it's exactly the same pin design, it seems to trigger Pinterest as a brand new pin and often results in a sharp incline of traffic from that pin!
These things really only take a few minutes a day, tops and make a really big difference!
What I Do When Traffic for a Post Dips
Traffic for any given post will always rise and fall. That's why it's important to pay attention to your pins closely and look for those that were doing well and then slowly or rapidly drops off.
There are several things I do when I see that one of my pins is dipping in traffic. This also works well for pins that never seem to take off and need a boost.
I do these things in order of the least effort activities first. Efficiency is the name of the game in blogging!
- I'll pin that pin directly from my site with an updated pin description.
- I'll upload the highest performing pin design directly into Pinterest using their upload feature with a new keyworded description.
- I'll create a new pin design for that post.
Final Thoughts on Manual vs. Scheduled Pinning
I believe using a combination of manual and scheduled pinning works best. I find that I can't beat the precision of manual pinning and I can't manually duplicate the reach of so many boards without exploding my brain without scheduling.
As Pinterest constantly rolls out new updates and changes, it's also necessary to note that not practicing “spammy” looking habits is important. Even their new header shows all your latest pins front and center. If you're pinning the same pin all day… it's going to look bad. You want your header to look more like this:
You never want to pin the same pin design over and over, back to back. You want to make your boards flow naturally and not appear spammy.
Pinterest is really focused on user experience and any spammy behavior can result in getting flagged as a spammer by Pinterest. This has inadvertently happened to many good pinners so be careful.
Do you have any great Pinterest tips? We'd love to hear them! Share in the comments below!