How to Increase Your Blog Reach with Pinterest
Getting Started with Pinterest
In my last Blogging Update, I posted about dipping your toes into the Pinterest waters, and trying the various tools that can supposedly drive more traffic to your blog.
I’ve been experimenting with some of these, and wanted to share what I’m learning so far.
This post contains affiliate links as well as my honest opinions (which I’m sure may fluctuate over time.) Feel free to peruse my findings, poke at any of the flaws, and come to your own conclusions.
Also note that I am a part-time blogger, therefore these results may be dampened a bit. If you have the capability to pursue this full-time, I really believe your success will be even greater. I hope to do this full-time some day. But for now, I’m taking advantage of whatever process enhancements I can find.
This post will examine how I’m faring so far in the wide world of Pinterest.
I had joined Pinterest on a personal level a few years ago, at the suggestion of my former hairdresser (true story!). Every time I went in for a cut, she’d go on and on about how much fun it was to “Pinterest” (verb), and how she could literally get lost for hours pinning, pinning, pinning away.
I thought she was a strange individual … in more ways than one. But I listened to her anecdotes, and decided to try it out for myself. And honestly, I was not impressed, or entranced. I searched for a few things, pictures of items I wanted to buy for my house, and didn’t really see the benefit. I think at the time, I actually said “What’s the point of searching on Pinterest, when I can find the same exact thing by Googling?”.
Also, I was a bit confused as to why when I clicked on a Pinterest image, it would bring me to another website.
I just didn’t get it.
I thought Pinterest was its own “thing”, like an eBay or an Amazon. And I didn’t understand why it was leading me away from its own website, to another place I could’ve just found on my own.
Again, I didn’t get it.
I didn’t understand that Pinterest is a search engine.
You go there when you’re looking for something, and want to also see what it looks like.
So akin to when you Google something, and then click on the Images in the results. But better.
Pinterest will give you a search result with both pictures AND words, so you can get the entire picture (literally), and make the best informed decision.
Going back to that point in time, I realize I didn’t give Pinterest a chance. I quit before fully grasping the potential. But then again, I was only using it on a personal level. I didn’t have a blog, and wasn’t even contemplating its usage from a business perspective.
Fast forward two years, and I’ve converted my personal Pinterest account to a business account.
I’ve enabled rich pins, crafted boards and pins to be chock full of keywords and hashtags, and am on this new endeavor to partner Pinterest to my blog.
And I’ve started to educate myself on the best ways to increase your blog reach by using Pinterest.
Namely, by using the following:
- An ebook called Pinteresting Strategies, by Carly Campbell
- A free month of pin scheduling with Tailwind
- A free month of pin scheduling with BoardBooster
Okay, now let’s break it down to the nitty gritty —
- The first thing I did – I purchased Carly’s “Pinteresting Strategies” ebook.
- I didn’t know much about Pinterest, so wanted to cut to the chase and get an expert’s guidance.
- Per Carly’s instructions, I converted my previous (barely used) personal Pinterest account to a business account, following all steps on enabling rich pins, verifying my website, etc.
- Then I signed up for a free trial of Tailwind, after receiving referral for $15 in Tailwind credits.
Note: I had absolutely no intention of trying Tailwind at all, except I couldn’t ignore the enticement of being gifted a freebie. And there was no way in heck I’d actually pay for it after that month was over. Little did I know, I’d later sign on for the annual membership.
- Once I got Tailwind all set up, I signed up for a free trial of BoardBooster (which normally costs $5 for 500 pins).
First exhibit – You can see where I go from having a reach of 0 — no audience or engagement whatsoever — when first starting out. And then roughly a month later, how my reach drastically increases to almost 22,000 viewers.
So starting out at zero, I wound up averaging almost 9,000 viewers by the next month.
And that was solely through manual pinning, and following the recommendations outlined in Carly’s ebook.
Pinteresting Strategies by Carly Campbell is one of the first ebooks I ever bought. I read through it initially very quickly. And then I read through it again, with more focus. And I’m now going through it for a third time, so I can genuinely absorb all of the great info that Carly shares.
This is a book that I purchased on a whim. (And truth be told, it didn’t cost much of anything at all, compared to some of the other Pinterest courses out there.)
I had been reading a few articles about Pinterest, and stumbled across this one in particular. I stopped to read it fully because it struck me as not being a pushy sales pitch. It was very down to earth and matter of fact. And I felt like I was connecting with everything this author was writing.
Instead of feeling like I was being circled by sharks, it was like my best bud was sharing a cool new trick she learned.
I started applying the specific strategies to my Pinterest boards, and have to say I’ve been ecstatic with the results.
I really believe this book has made a true difference in my traffic and reach.
Feel free to look into it for yourself, check out other reviews, etc. But I found this to be a huge resource for me, especially as a newbie. It was extremely helpful, and provided real, actionable guidance.
Another interesting visual — the exposure my website was given after implementing what I learned from Pinteresting Strategies. You can see above where I started out and how it took a little time to gain momentum, and then when there was an upshot in activity.
Second exhibit – While there is an additional increase in reach, you can see the majority of this next month, when I implemented Tailwind, was more or less a “holding steady” pattern.
The positive results are still there, but the numbers are not climbing upward like when I was pinning manually.
(While I did continue to manually pin, it was not as consistent or with the amount of focus I had enforced the prior month.)
From this, I conclude that Tailwind is a good way to automate a steady pinning process. Which is ideal, because it’s not realistic to expect you can pin manually on a consistent basis.
Because there are times when you just don’t have the time to. And being able to pin steadily is a must.
Below is the subsequent view of how using Tailwind contributed to activity on my website.
If you know anything about Pinterest, it’s crucial to get used to the peaks and valleys that can occur. Sometimes it’s a seasonal slump, and sometimes Pinterest changes its algorithm, including what type of activity they favor.
You need to be able to ride out the highs and lows, knowing it will all balance out eventually.
A word about Tailwind Tribes
To me, tribes are basically like regular Pinterest Group Boards. Like group boards, you make a request to be added to a tribe. Then you pin your best content, and are expected to reciprocate by repinning other people’s stuff.
It is a lot easier to request access to a tribe, because the request form is right there on Tailwind. You click a button saying you want to join, and have to complete two fields — your name, and why you want to join the tribe.
But the main differences are:
- You can only belong to 5 tribes at one time and have a limit of 30 pin submissions per month. (Unless you choose to pay for tribe power ups — which have a cost),
- You are pretty much required to pin one-for-one. (Which you should be doing in group boards anyway, but you know there are so many people out there who don’t …)
The tribe itself automatically tracks the pins that you pin to it, as well as the pins you have shared from the tribe.
Ultimately, I think it’s still up to the discretion of the tribe admin as to whether they want to boot you from the group for not following the rules.
But I guess the benefit of being in a tribe is the higher likelihood that your tribe-mates will reshare your pins. As opposed to regular group boards, where it is only encouraged, (being basic Pinterest etiquette), that you repin others’ stuff.
When we talk about sharing pins to tribes, this definitely means YOUR OWN pins. While there is still some controversy on what you should share on group boards, I think it’s pretty clear on what should be done within tribes. First off, you have a limited number of tribe submissions allotted each month. With the basic (free) plan, you can only submit a total of 30 pins to all of your tribes, cumulative (not 30 for each tribe.) So it’s in your benefit to ensure all 30 of those are pins to your website. Especially since there is more emphasis on other tribe members resharing content.
My suggestion: Go in for the one month free trial of Tailwind, and also use the Tailwind Tribes feature. That way you can get a feel for everything that Tailwind has to offer.
At the end of the month, look at your numbers in both Pinterest and Google Analytics. If you see an increase in your results, decide if you want to stick with it. If you don’t see the benefit, then no harm no foul.
Third exhibit – BoardBooster
This last leg of the review is when I added BoardBooster to the mix.
So at this point, I am manually pinning, have Tailwind going on auto-drive, and am now implementing a few campaigns on BoardBooster. Anything you do on BoardBooster costs a penny a pin, whether you loop it, schedule it, or add it to any of their specific campaigns. So you just need to make sure all of the individual activities you do don’t exceed whatever monthly plan you have set up.
In the above exhibit, you can see my reach again begins to climb, but then becomes a little sporadic and goes back down again. What’s good about BoardBooster is the looping feature — sort of a “set it and forget it” concept.
But I’ve also heard some rumblings that going too much on auto-pilot can hurt you on Pinterest. In other words, they like when you are actively engaging with the website and app. So if you are scheduling a continuous loop, then you’re not really participating in pinning.
Update: Now there’s even more controversy around the use of BoardBooster. It appears people may be getting penalized for using unauthorized pin schedulers.
It’s important to note that Tailwind is an authorized scheduler, whereas BoardBooster is not.
Do what you want with that tidbit of information — which has not been 100% confirmed.
Well, it appears this post went on a little longer than originally intended — Thanks for hanging in there! 🙂
But in summary, I’ve seen many benefits in manual pinning, Tailwind and BoardBooster.
- Manual pinning gives you more control over what is posted where, and also keeps the Pinterest gods happy. They definitely reward users who are actually going into the site or app. But it also isn’t a reasonable assumption that you can manually pin forever, with no exceptions.
- Tailwind is great for keeping your reach steady, for the times when you can’t manage having to manually pin each day. And Tribes are a great way to boost your numbers. But you have to manage your submissions wisely, because upgrading can be costly.
- BoardBooster lets you gather all of your best pins in one place, and post them to multiple boards on a schedule or in an ongoing loop. The benefit of automation makes pin promotion more efficient. You create a new pin, put it in that one board, and then you’re good to go.
So what happens after this?
There will definitely need to be a Part Two — A more in-depth review for Pinterest, Tailwind, Tailwind Tribes and possibly BoardBooster (depending).
And ideally, I’d love to create a tutorial showing how I have my scheduler set up. With screen shots and everything. I’m hoping that might be beneficial for any other newbies out there.
I’d also like to provide more details on my manual pinning methodology – How much of it I still do, given the fact that I’m now using a scheduler. Also, what is my personal strategy for deciding what to manually pin where.
More to come, and stay tuned for Part Two of this experiment —
Thanks for reading, and please let me know what you think!!
No really — I LOVE receiving comments — So hit me up, why dontcha?!?
Diana : )