(Head’s up: this post contains a few affiliate links! That means that if you click any of the links and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission at no cost to you at all. This will help me continue to run this blog!)
The landscaping of blog marketing has changed in the past five years. One of the biggest differences I noticed this summer when I buckled down to restart kaijumaddy was that Pinterest was THE thing to focus on. Of course, so many of the standbys were still there — solid content, networking between bloggers, and SEO — but the amount of Pinterest strategy and articles were overwhelming. Set it and forget type plans, passive traffic, links that only gained traffic over time… it sounded like a dream.
I had to learn more. This was around June 11th.
As someone who had worked in digital marketing professionally for the past three years, I had SOME sort of handle on more than just the basics of the platform, but there were a lot of techniques I hadn’t dealt with before. I bought a couple eBooks, read about a thousand blog posts on different approaches to leveraging Pinterest for driving traffic to your blog, and eventually starting changing my pinning habits.
On June 11th, before I bought any eBook or changed up my process, this is what my traffic looked like:
I remember thinking that 18K, almost 19K, really wasn’t too bad just for a base level. I had barely started blogging again, wasn’t pinning my blog posts or anything, and 19,000 people looking at my pins every month didn’t seem like a low number at all!
But then, take a look at what my average looks like NOW, only 22 days later:
In just about three weeks, I increased my average monthly viewers on Pinterest by 713%!
And I really feel like I’m just starting to break the surface on what’s possible. Here’s what I learned.
Breaking the One Percent’s “The Perfect Pin”
The first eBook that I purchased was “The Perfect Pin: How To Create Viral Pinterest Images.” This course was great for teaching me the basics on the strategy of creating different pins for each post. It goes into detail on different types of pins for different goals (traffic vs. branding vs. engagement), and then a great video series on how the bloggers behind their site create their pins. Like, literally a step-by-step tutorial.
The course also goes into the basics of Pinterest itself, simple changes to make to your profile for better results, and a guide on group boards.
The one thing that I wish the post went into more was any tips at all on making sure your pins were SEO-perfect – keywords, descriptions, hashtag research, etc. BUT – the course was more focused on the visuals, so that’s ok.
I recommend trying this course out if you’re brand new to the concept of designing pins online and want a crash course on how to make an image with repin appeal. This eBook gave me a lot of confidence to get started and a lot of ideas to move forward.
Joining Group Boards
Aside from creating pin-worthy images and having good content to back them up, group boards are the most important part of any current Pinterest strategy.
Group boards are Pinterest boards where multiple people can post to. Posting onto these boards expands your reach by sometimes thousands and thousands of users. Utilizing high-quality and niche-focused group boards get your pins in front of a ton of people who are interested in what you’re posting about.
“Pinteresting Strategies” – Manual Pinning Strategy
Ahhh, this is a good one. I purchased this book – Pinteresting Strategies – on the 17th, and after just one week of trying Carly’s strategy, my average viewers DOUBLED!
As you can see, at the beginning of that week, I was around 20K, but a week later, I was over 40K. It seemed so simple once you knew what your plan was.
And that plan was manual pinning.
Manual pinning means that you do it all – no scheduler, no nothing – just you, your images and links, and Pinterest.
Carly details how she keeps track of everything she’s posting to her group boards, what types of images she uses, and the timing of it all. I really like manual pinning because it helps you really keep track of what you’re putting out there and when and that you’re following each group board’s rules. (A lot of them have pin limits per day or require a certain number of repins for every post you make.)
She also goes into Google Analytics and more in-depth strategies than you see in a lot of blog posts floating around there, something I definitely appreciated.
The book was such a fast read — not because it didn’t have a lot to it, but because it was so exciting to see how she achieved over 200K viewers on her own. It all seemed so easy to apply and to start testing immediately. I was thrilled to see such a drastic result after only seven days.
I also had my first (somewhat) viral pin during this time!
Pinteresting Strategies is a must-buy for any blogger who wants to up their Pinterest game and to see one very detailed account from someone who made it work.
Tailwind – Pin Scheduling Strategy
And lastly, Tailwind. After reading Pinteresting Strategies, I was a bit wary to try an automated pinning program, BUT … manual pinning takes a lot of time. I only had a dozen or so articles at the time with one or two images for each, but organizing and pinning them all ate up a big chunk of the free time I had to dedicate to kaijumaddy.com. I still work a full-time job, want to spend time with my husband, try to work out, cook and eat well, and do yoga every day.
Tailwind offers a free trial, so I thought it couldn’t hurt just to try it out to see what all the fuss was about. Basically every other blog out there swore up and down by using this program, so something had to be good about it.
After a while, I knew I had to make the leap. I signed up for the year plan on July 27th. By that point by mainly using manual pinning and just a LITTLE scheduling through the Tailwind free trial (I don’t think I used up my free 100 pins yet), I was at about 84K viewers. Five days later, this is what it looked like:
That’s an 181% increase! In 5 days!
Ok, but back up a bit to when I first joined.
My first thoughts — confusing. The concepts made sense and sounded great, but the interface took a while to get used to. However, once I had it figured out, it wasn’t bad at all. I say it took me a couple days to get the hang of it all.
Tailwind lets you schedule pins in advance in a few ways:
- Batch posting with an interval loop. I use this one the most! You can make lists of different board groups, upload a pin once, and schedule them to go live at an interval of your choosing.
- Queue up pins as you see them. If you download the Tailwind Chrome extension, you can schedule right from Pinterest or blogs directly. You’ll see a little button on the image with the logo and from there, you can add it to your queue. You can’t JUST pin your own images and links, so queuing up a larger portion of external pins is key to success. This way you can do it in advance, as well.
- Via Tribes. This is a bit more indirect — Tribes are something that I haven’t TOTALLY mastered yet, but am just starting. These are just within the Tailwind website – you share your pins to interest-focused boards (your Tribe) and people share from there. It makes queuing up external pins even easier!
Once you have a subscription to Tailwind, you can audit the group boards you’re in, as well. This way you can see which boards have the best rate of repinning/engaging in what you’re posting, and trim the fat of the ones that are bringing down your reputation in the eyes of Pinterest.
So far, these are just the results I’ve seen from using the program. But get this — Tailwind is also great because discloses the generally expected performance for Pinterest accounts by giving you an infographic with straight-up data showing you typical results you can expect for members.
There you have it! After working on my blog for less than one month, I grew my average monthly viewers on Pinterest by over 700%! Not too shabby. In addition to my July goals I laid out in my June Blog Report, my next steps are to start trimming down some of the group boards I joined (quality over quantity!), work on promoting my affiliates through Pinterest, and to keep testing different image designs. I plan to do a mix of manual and scheduled posting, with a focus on scheduled.
What strategies have you found that work? Do you like control and don’t mind manually pinning EVERYTHING? Or do you say “let ’em have it” to a scheduler and just have it run for you? Let me know!
(Note: this post contains affiliate links.)