If you are trying to grow your blog, you probably know that Pinterest is one of the best ways to get visitors quickly and for free! In order to attract tons of Pinterest traffic, you want to optimize your Pinterest Profile and join Pinterest group boards in your niche. A lot of people think that you also have to pay for a Pinterest scheduler in order to grow your blog, but is it really necessary?
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Once you have a ton of group boards to pin to, you need to work out a strategy to get your pins out there in the Pinterest World. In essence, you need to do 3 things:
- Pin your content to your own boards
- Pin your content to group boards
- Repin 3rd party (other pins) to your boards
Personally, I would say that #2 and #3 are the most important things you need to be doing on a daily basis. Why? Well, Pinterest is essentially a numbers game. Let’s say you have 500 followers. If you pin your best pin “Cleaning tips for busy Moms” to your board “cleaning” then you have the potential for 500 people to see it. However, if you pin it to two group boards, each with 10,000 followers, then potentially 20,000 people will see your pin.
This is a simplified explanation as Pinterest has a smart feed that doesn’t show everything to everyone but the premise holds true.
More exposure = More repins = More Blog Page views
What about pinning other people’s pins? Pinterest seems to “reward” active users so you want to repin quality pins to your boards as much or more than you pin your own stuff.
How many pins should I pin a day?
There are so many opinions on this that I’m not sure anyone really knows the answer. I try and aim to pin to each of my group boards at least once a day.
Now obviously, if you are in a lot of group boards (I think I am in about 70) then it will take a while to pin to all those boards without a really good pinning strategy.
How does a Pinterest Scheduler work?
Tailwind and Boardbooster work a bit differently but they both aim to take the work out of pinning for you. Once or twice a month you go to their site and schedule all your pins for the month. You can then sit back and let them do the work for you all month long while you work on other things. They will pin to your own and group boards throughout the day, as many times as you wish.
Personally, I have used both services and I have a 1-year unlimited membership to Tailwind as I think their reporting and analytics are amazing. Boardbooster has a great feature that loops old pins continuously on a board which is great for keeping your boards fresh.
Note: you do not need both schedulers. One is sufficient although some people like both because they have different features.
You can use this referral link for a free month of Tailwind if you would like to check it out.
Many bloggers have found great success with these Pinterest schedulers and have seen their traffic grow in leaps and bounds.
Pros of Pinterest Schedulers
- They free up your time to work on other projects
- They have great reporting tools
- Optimized “smart schedule” in the case of Tailwind allows you to pin at the best times for your audience
Cons of Pinterest Schedulers
- Extremely time-consuming to set up (once a month)
- In my opinion, both have kinks that need to be worked out – Tailwind needs a feature that will adhere to board rules such as “not more than 3 a day” otherwise you risk being kicked out of the group.
- Some bloggers believe that only using a Pinterest scheduler hurts reach. You do still need to pin manually it seems, so you have to do some extra work on top of scheduling your pins.
- Can be expensive – over $100 a year for unlimited pins, this can be difficult to swallow when you are just starting out as a blogger
What about manual pinning?
After I had tried using both Tailwind and Boardbooster for about a month (April 2017), I came across an ebook about manual pinning that piqued my interest. I had read over and over that manual pinning is really good for attracting traffic to your blog as Pinterest seems to like active users who are on the site instead of using a scheduler.
I had tried manually pinning a few times but it became overwhelming juggling so many group boards and remembering when to pin and what pins I had already done.
The issue I found with manually pinning was I wasn’t really sure how to do it:
- Should I pin directly from my website or repin from my Pinterest boards? (both)
- How often should I be pinning to each group board? (every day!)
- How on Earth can I keep track of which boards I have pinned to? (I use plain old paper and pen)
- How long is this going to take me every day? (up to an hour)
What is manual pinning?
Sometimes called “live” pinning, this is when you do not use a Pinterest scheduler and instead, do all your pinning yourself throughout the day.
It seems like a lot of work?!!
I am not going to lie, manual pinning takes up a fair bit of time. I probably spend 45-60 minutes a day pinning my stuff to my group boards using the Pinteresting Strategies ebook method. As you will see in my stats below, I find the amazing results are worth the time investment.
The book taught me the following:
- Using Google Analytics to see which pins are doing well on Pinterest
- How to clean up my Pinterest profile to improve my standing and get my pins more exposure
- Whether I should delete underperforming pins
- Managing a manual pinning schedule
- How to maintain the momentum of a popular pin
Carly, the author of the book, is honestly a genius when it comes to looking at Pinterest algorithms and search engines features. She did a lot of research and developed a strategy that grew her Pinterest from 0-100K page views in her first 6 months of blogging.
Tons of other bloggers have followed her ideas and seen awesome results too, including me!
Below you can see the Google analytics for my first 3 months of blogging. You can almost exactly pinpoint where I started using the Pinterest Strategies manual method on May 9. I doubled my blog traffic from April to May and doubled it again in June.
My page views have gone from 7000 in April to over 30,000 in June! The hours of manual pinning are worth it!
The increased page views have opened up a ton of doors for me and allowed me to apply for an ad agency that pays a lot better than Google Adsense.
I’ve even had a few awesome moments where I look at Google Analytics and see this:
That was during the big peak you see on the graph, I had my first viral pin! I give 100% of the credit to Pinteresting Strategies for helping my pins gain that kind of viewership.
Pros of Manually Pinning
- It’s free!
- You control your pins so you don’t pin too many pins to the wrong board and get into trouble. I’m a control freak and this is my favorite thing about live pinning).
- You end up spending a lot of time on Pinterest and get to know what pins work and what group boards have the most engagement.
Cons of Manually Pinning
- Time-consuming. As I mentioned, I spend almost an hour a day living pinning. That being said, my blog income has grown so much since starting to manually pin that I think it has been worth it.
If you are interested in checking out the manual pinning plan for yourself, you can see all the details about the book here.
So, do you need a Pinterest Scheduler?
If you are short on time, using a scheduler might be the best thing. An hour or so a month will set your pins to go out automatically. You may not get the traffic you could with manual pinning but using a Pinterest scheduler should improve your reach too.
There are a lot of free tutorials on Tailwind and Boardbooster if you do a search on Pinterest. If you want a more in depth training, these two tutorials from McKinzie at Momsmakecents get rave reviews:
If you are short on cash or want to see if you can get awesome traffic yourself, then manual pinning using is worth trying. I have had amazing results and would now only using a scheduling tool to cover my vacation time. I truly think the time spent is worth it.
Whether you decide to use a scheduling tool or live pin, don’t forget to make sure your pins are top quality and eye-catching.
For tips on creating the perfect pin that goes viral, check out my free ebook “Pin Perfect”.
Check out these other posts to help grow your blog:
Create the perfect pin in minutes!
How I get over 75,000 page views a month from Pinterest
Learn all the tricks to designing a viral pin for free!