Pinterest isn't just my addiction; it's my job. I manage Pinterest accounts for my own blogs and some amazing businesses. When I first started using Pinterest for Midwest Modern Momma, I treated it the same as my personal account & pinned whatever whenever. I quickly realized that wasn't very effective at helping people discover my boards. Using the techniques below, I see about 10-15% growth on the smallest accounts that I pin the least on. Accounts that I spend 3-5 hours per week on see about 20-30% growth in followers EVERY week!
Before you start pinning like crazy, make sure your account is set up & your website is Pinterest friendly! I created a Pinterest Setup Checklist for setting up new accounts, but it works great for analyzing existing ones too!
Now that you've got your profile all neat and some boards with SEO descriptions, let's move on.
- BoardBooster has replaced ViralTag as my main scheduler. I use a combination of loop, board scheduler, and campaigns. I have both scheduled campaigns set up (according to the EBA spreadsheet) and random campaigns. It can be a bit confusing to set up and time consuming, but once you get it set up, it's the easiest to use and I've seen huge growth on all accounts I use it for. It's not an approved Pinterest partner, but I haven't run into an issue.
- ViralTag is a scheduler that I used to use to schedule the majority of my pins. It is not a free service, but it is a major timesaver. If you are serious about growing your Pinterest account, you will want to invest the $14-28/month (depending on your package selection) to use this service. The clone feature is great for scheduling your new content onto multiple group boards at intervals you select.
- Tailwind is a must have if you want to get serious about your Pinterest account. Their analytics bypass anything you can see on Pinterest and are much easier to use. They also have scheduling options. You can either set a schedule and add pins to the queue (like Buffer if you are familiar with it) or set pins to go to boards at an interval. I don't use it for the scheduler, but many people swear by it. It's an approved scheduler from Pinterest, so that is a plus.
- Buffer is another Pinterest partner, but I found it too time-consuming to use and don't recommend using it.
- Ahalogy is another scheduler I use on a limited basis. You can edit photos & schedule from their dashboard, schedule pins from other Ahalogy users, and it predicts the best time to post for you. If you want to give it a try, you'll have to request an invite & they do have a waitlist. They are the only free scheduler that Pinterest has partnered with.
I have a few tutorials for Tailwind & ViralTag that explain how I use them and some tips to make setting it up easier. I'm grandfathered into old plans on both, so your screen may look a little different. If you have any trouble, leave a comment on the video & I can try to help.
You HAVE to give people a way to easily pin from your site. Not everyone uses a Pinterest extension or bookmarklet (and some IP attorneys advise against them), so you need to remind them to pin & give them an easy way to do so. Make sure you allow each image to be pinned, instead of just putting a Pin It button once on your post that they may scroll past.
- Pinterest Pin It Button for Images by Canha is the easiest way to add a Pin It button to every image on your site. It is a free wordpress plugin that plays nicely with most themes and other plugins.
- Pin Button Attraction is a paid wordpress plugin that also lets you add a “Follow” button. I used to use this one on all my sites, but removed it after a plugin conflict.
- SNAP (Social Networks Auto Poster) has a paid Pinterest add-on that will automatically pin the featured image from your board onto the board you select. I quit using this when I started using BoardBooster, but loved it because I could schedule blog posts & it would pin them while I was away from the computer.
- You need AMAZING graphics! A Pinterest board is basically a visual bookmark folder that you let others look at, so you want to use the best photos possible. I use 1000×1500 for the image size, display at 500×750, and use a smush plugin so it doesn't slow down my site too much. Make sure you create a horizontal and square image so you aren't neglecting other social media too though!
- Make sure you fill out the title, description, and alt tags for your images. Different programs pull the pin description differently, so cover your bases. When you pin your posts, write a longer pin description that includes multiple keywords yet sounds like you are talking to a friend.
- Ditch the hashtags! They don't work like you think they do on Pinterest. The only exception to the no hashtag rule is for a campaign or contest.
- Make sure you put your blog name or url on your images. It helps cut down on copyright theft, but it also helps people find you if the link goes wonky. A large percentage of my google search traffic comes from people searching my url or blog name.
- Pin your post to your Best of Board as soon as you publish & then promote both the post url & the pin url on your other social media sites.
- When scheduling pins, space them out. You don't want the same pin to go out to multiple boards at once.
- Do NOT pin & run. Engage with others. Follow active pinners, repin a few of their pins, and leave a relevant comment.
- Do NOT pin only your own content. Try to keep a pin/repin 10 things from others for every 1 post of your own. My own account is about 80% other people's content and 20% my own. 60/40 is a good goal though.
- Avoid repinning threads/groups that require you repin from everyone. You want to pin quality images & posts and that isn't always possible in those groups.
- Enable rich pins! My Pinterest traffic more than doubled when I enabled them.
- Utilize Pinterest Analytics. Vocus has a great cheat sheet for reading Pinterest Analytics.
- Ignore anyone that tells you how many times to pin per day. I have accounts that pin 25 times a day and do great, while others pin over 200 times a day with great results. It really depends on your content, your followers, and the group boards you are on.
- Don't worry about how many followers you have. While it's so nice to see a large number, it's more of a vanity thing. I manage 2 accounts with the exact same strategy. One has over 20,000 more followers than the other, yet they get very similar traffic from Pinterest every month.
- Skip the embedded widgets on your blog! They will massively affect your page speed. Instead, act like you are creating a widget and take a screenshot. Upload the image and then link to your profile or board. Try to include a board “widget” at the bottom of relevant posts for an increase in followers.
- Create a spreadsheet and track what you've pinned & where. This is especially important for group boards. For more info on group boards, make sure you check out Pinterest Etiquette for Bloggers!
Tips from other bloggers
“I use Viral Tag to schedule pins. I can manage several Pinterest accounts from one dashboard. When I post an evergreen content I pin it and then schedule it to pin to group boards. That way the life span of the post is spread out over a year or more. I also can plan out pins from other sites so that I am not flooding my boards all at once and my followers get a nice trickle of new pins from us.” ~ Heidi from HotCouponWorld.com
“I wish someone would have told me to engage. And it's not just about pinning your own content.” ~ Ashley from CrunchyFrugalista.com