I absolutely love Pinterest! It’s by far my largest referral source of traffic to my website. Not to mention, I just flat-out love the platform. There’s such a wealth of information all 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 Pinterest pinning strategies.
Some worked, others made no change at all, and other pinning strategies flopped completely. 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 recently I struck gold myself with a 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 6 months, you may not have heard about Carly Campbell’s successful ebook – Pinteresting Strategies. Her book is literally the epicenter of the Manual Pinning Movement.
There’s just one problem I found with this strategy… TIME. Or lack of it, I should say.
In the book, Carly’s very upfront with how long this strategy really takes and how cumbersome the tracking of all your pins can be. Kyla from Dishitoutsocial actually figured out a more simplified process to tracking and pinning all your pins manually every day. So she wrote a book on it – Manual Pinning Simplified.
Honestly, both books are great and recommended if you plan to exclusively use the manual pinning strategy. Pinteresting Strategies, however, is a MUST READ for bloggers even if you don’t plan to pin manually. It’s just THAT GOOD.
Get information on her course and my other favorite blogging courses here!
Why I Decided to Change my Pinterest Pinning Strategy
After using Carly’s manual pinning process, my Pinterest views skyrocketed and my traffic to my site shot up as well. Manual pinning works! I’m not going to sway you from that one bit.
However, I felt like I was holding onto a strategy that for me was like being stuck outside in a tornado and holding on for my dear life every day. Dramatic much?
The winds of life and my busy schedule were constantly pulling me away from this way of promoting my business. And if you don’t manually pin CONSISTENTLY you might as well not do it. Pinterest always favors consistency over method.
With that, I finally had to let go.
I didn’t want to… I had to.
I blog full-time and I run a real estate brokerage and digital marketing agency with my husband. Those things alone keep me extremely busy but add 3 kids and their schedules too. I just couldn’t spend an hour or two every single day pinning by hand.
Maybe you’re experiencing the same struggle?
My traffic was starting to look like the up and down track of the Harry Potter ride at Universal instead of a steady report of blog visitors. Some days I couldn’t pin at all, and other days I pinned a lot, as time allowed. Remember, inconsistency kills your pinning performance.
Finding My New Pinning Strategy
I knew I loved the manual pinning process because it worked. But I needed to figure out how to mimic that strategy in an automated process. So I started out my quest.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I still manually pin… just not all my pins. Because manually pinning works, remember? But I’ll get to that later. Stay with me!
I decided right off the bat I wouldn’t be using Tailwind. I used it before and really liked it. There were just a few problems that I really gave me a headache. The biggest being that once you fill up your Tailwind queue with all your pins, you have to refill the queue time and time again after it goes empty.
Hello, I have a time issue. 😉
Then I remembered my old friend, BoardBooster. I used to use and love this program and for some reason moved onto greener pastures and stopped using it. #ShinyObjectSyndrome
There’s a feature in BoardBooster that allows you to create a campaign of pins to be added to the boards you select in advance. I’ve used all their features and I find this strategy is the one that mimics manual pinning the best.
***Please pardon the interruption here, but this post has been updated to reflect a MAJOR change in my pinning strategy because just a couple weeks ago Pinterest publicly declared BoardBooster would no longer be an approved Pinterest scheduler. Crazy, right!
Well, let me change that… BoardBooster was never an “approved” scheduler but now Pinterest has decided to flag Pinterest accounts scheduling with BoardBooster as SPAM. Yikes! And I’ve personally seen pinners even get their accounts shut down by Pinterest. Not cool, so I made the decision to not take the risk and stop using BoardBooster immediately.
The information shared in this post is still in many ways relevant and shares important Pinterest best practices, minus the BoardBooster tutorial. I have decided to go back to using Tailwind. And I’m actually quite happy because the issues I shared about why I wasn’t using Tailwind are no longer an issue! Tailwind now mimics BoardBooster looping and campaigns.
And because this is new to me and Louise Myers actually wrote a superb and detailed tutorial post like this one on how to use Tailwind’s new Smart Looping feature, I’d recommend that you click over and read her post here! ***
If you’d like a $30 credit for a new Tailwind account, click through using my Tailwind link here!
My Pinterest Pinning Strategy in Detail
Let me explain my overall pinning strategy before I get into showing you how to set up your campaign. I just thought you might like to know.
I use my Google Analytics very closely to see which of my pins are sending me the most traffic. I learned this strategy in Pinteresting Strategies so I won’t go into that part here. It’s only fair you buy the book yourself. #SorryNotSorry
I also use Tailwind and BoardBooster’s analytics to see which boards are giving me the most repins. Those are my best boards!
Next, I’ll pin a few pins from the Trending feed to my relevant personal boards. Those are usually 3rd party pins, but if I ever catch one of my own pins in the trending feed, I stop and do a little dance and then pin that little gem for sure!
In case you don’t know where to find the trending button, it’s right here:
Pinning viral and trending pins every day to your personal boards increases your Pinterest profile. Having popular content on your profile shows Pinterest that you know what your readers crave and are actively sharing it, and hopefully, you’ll get some SmartFeed favor out of it.
I do this randomly through the day right from my smartphone. Super easy! I feel like it gives me Pin-Juice every time I do it.
Each night, I also pull out my phone and actually have fun on Pinterest!! Now, that’s something to celebrate right there!
I go into a good chunk of my group boards each night and pin good pins from that board to my personal boards. This is super important to keeping your group boards healthy. Win-win for everyone.
And finally, I share a few of my own highest traffic pins to my relevant personal boards.
Moving right along to my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE feature of this entire strategy is… it’s set it and forget it!
The queue never empties! #HappyDance
It doesn’t work like Tailwind where I constantly have to refill my queue each week. Now, it’s not exactly set it and forget it. I monitor my pins’ performance daily and weekly. If I have a pin that’s not taking off for a few weeks, I’ll remove it from my source board.
In the same turn, if I have a pin that’s taking off I’ll remove the previous pin of that image and add in the exact pin that’s sending me all the traffic. Often it’s a 3rd party pin… and I want to keep that one in full rotation!
I ONLY want my new pins (waiting to take off) and my BEST pins going out from my source board via BoardBooster.
BoardBooster Campaigns Setup
Ok, ready to actually get into the nitty-gritty?
If you don’t have a BoardBooster account, you’ll want to get one so you can follow along with me!
Just click here to get your free trial to see how this new strategy works for you.
No pressure! And you get to take it for a test drive!
Just stop what you’re doing, click the above link so you can do this with me. You’ve got nothing to lose!
I’ll just wait for you here…
Ok, now that you’ve got your account set up, you’ll want to start by hovering the pinning tools tab and selecting campaigns.
Once you’re on the campaign page, you need to click on the Create a New Campaign button. You can choose from three different campaigns: random, pin sourced and scheduled.
All are great, but right now I’m only using the random campaign. Now we’re going to create a random campaign because that’s my main strategy. This is the box that’ll you’ll see when you select random campaign.
You want to give your campaign a name first so you know which pins you’re going to be sharing in this campaign. I have five campaigns so, for example, I have one campaign titled: business & blogging for all my blogging related posts.
I also have a campaign titled: catch-all. This is where I pin all my popular blog posts to all my non-niche specific group boards. I only pin to these boards after my pins have had a chance to mature in their niche specific boards. Basically, you want each of your pins to be pinned to relevant niche boards, so Pinterest gets a greater feel for what your pin is about. You can’t do that in catch-all boards.
Now, there are two places you can choose to pull your pins from. The first is a list of actual pins. You can actually add the pin URL’s of specific pins you want to go out to your target boards. This works fine, but I like using the list of boards option.
Set Up Your Source Boards
In a random campaign, you’ll first need to create a source board. You can add many different source boards, but for my strategy, it’s not necessary. And I like my Pinterest board feed to be clean. So I only have one source board for each campaign.
Before you can select your source boards, you’ll need to create them on Pinterest. Go ahead and create a new board just like all your other boards and be sure it’s a secret board. For purposes that you’ll thank me later for, title your board: A – SB Example Title. Title each of your campaigns the same way. A, so it’ll pop up at the top of your list of boards when you are adding pins to your source board. And SB because it’s a source board… duh. 😉
Here’s a peek at my source boards:
Now, you’re ready to go back to BoardBooster and select your source board for that individual campaign. You’ll need to select the orange Refresh Boards button at the button left corner. This can take a few minutes so just be aware of that.
After that’s complete, select Add Board.
You’ll see a pop-up with all your boards on it. Your secret source boards should be right at the top. Just select the one that is for this campaign.
Set up Your Target Boards
Now we’re going to add your target boards. This is where the fun really begins. Your target boards are the boards you want to pin all your pins for this campaign to. For example, for my parenting campaign, I will select ALL my group boards that are relevant to all my parenting-related posts.
Just go down the list and select all the appropriate boards. It requires you to add them one by one, so no rushing here. Don’t worry, we’re almost done!
You want to be sure to indicate how many pins you want to be pinned to each individual board each day. The default is two pins per day. This is a good place for most boards. But some are smaller and super slow moving and some are really fast. You want to make that adjustment right away to make sure you’re not either spamming your boards or letting your pins get lost in a fast board.
These can be easily adjusted at any time as things change in your boards.
The campaign randomly pulls pins from the source board so there’s always a variety of your pins being pinned across all your group boards. You won’t have one of your pins being repinned over and over.
I recommend these pins being a combination of your new pins and highest performing pins.
As Pinterest is currently rolling out many updates and changes, not practicing “spammy” looking habits is important. Even their new header shows all your latest pins front and center. If you’re pinning one pin all day… it’s going to look bad. You want your header to look more like this:
Be sure to check on your boards daily in the first few weeks to make sure your pin per day number is correct for each board.
Add Your Pins to the Source Boards
The final step in the setup process is to add your pins to the appropriate source boards.
This is where the process is similar to my original manual pinning strategy. I add my brand new pins to each relevant source board and let them randomly get out into Pinterest-Land and grow. As they take off or even if one goes viral, I will find that popular pin of mine and pin that exact pin into my source board and remove my original matching pin.
I want the viral pin to be rotating out there versus my original pin. Make sense?
I also make 2-4 pins for the same blog post and all pin versions get added to that source board. After a few weeks, I will remove whichever version isn’t taking off. And just keep it in my main blogging board.
Here are the three different pin versions for this post:
My BoardBooster Pinning Strategy Results
This new process has helped me increase my Pinterest Page Views and most importantly, my website traffic. Since I’ve implemented this strategy, I’ve only steadily increased in both!
The image below shows my traffic with manual pinning and after April 5th the huge spike when I started this new method!
And let me tell you about the mental and stress benefits. And can’t tell you how freeing it is to know my content is being shared all day whether I’m underwater with work or family obligations or not.
And I’m no longer trying to figure out how to track which pins go where each day. I belong to over 100 group boards, so manual pinning was getting a little crazy for me.
Now BoardBooster is pinning randomly all day and night for me… what a sense of calm I feel now. Seriously!
And like I mentioned earlier, I’m enjoying Pinterest now and have time to actually read other content too!
There you have it, my entire Pinterest strategy! I really hope you try it for yourself and let me know how it works for you. And if you put your own spin on it please share it here in the comments below!