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.) So feel free to peruse my findings, poke at any flaws, and come to your own conclusions.
Note that I am a part-time blogger; therefore, these results may be dampened a bit. However, if you have the capability to pursue this full-time, I believe your success will be even greater. I hope to do this full-time someday. 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. 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 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 thing by Googling?”
Also, I was a bit confused as to why it would bring me to another website when I clicked on a Pinterest image.
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 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 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 most 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 I 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 e-course called Pinteresting Strategies, by Carly Campbell
- A free month of pin scheduling with Tailwind
Okay, now let’s break it down to the nitty-gritty —
- I first purchased Carly Campbell’s “Pinteresting Strategies” ebook, which is now available as an e-course.
- I didn’t know much about Pinterest, so I 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 a referral for $15 in Tailwind credits.
- Note: I had 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 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 usually costs $5 for 500 pins). And, alas, BoardBooster no longer exists.
- BUT — Tailwind NOW offers a feature called Smart Looping.
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 increased to almost 22,000 viewers.
So starting 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 (now a course).
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 the 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. Truth be told, it didn’t cost much of anything at all, compared to some of the other Pinterest courses out there.
I read a few articles about Pinterest and stumbled across this one in particular. I read it entirely because it struck me as not being a pushy sales pitch. Instead, 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 I have to say I’ve been ecstatic with the results.
I believe this book has made an actual 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 tremendous resource for me, especially as a newbie. It was beneficial and provided accurate, 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 and how it took a little time to gain momentum and then an upshot in activity.
The 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 pin manually, it was not as consistent or with the amount of focus I had enforced the prior month.
From this, I conclude that Tailwind is an excellent way to automate a steady pinning process. This is ideal because it’s unrealistic to expect you can continue to pin manually consistently.
Because there are times when you don’t have the time to, and being able to pin steadily is a must.
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 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 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 and 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.
When we talk about sharing pins to tribes, this means YOUR OWN pins. While there is still some controversy on what you should share on group boards, I think it’s pretty clear 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 Tailwind trial and 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.
Well, it appears this post went on a little longer than initially intended — Thanks for hanging in there!
But in summary, I’ve seen many benefits in both manual pinning and Tailwind.
- Manual pinning gives you more control over what is posted where and keeps the Pinterest gods happy. They reward users who are 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 pin each day manually. And Tribes are a great way to boost your numbers. But you have to manage your submissions wisely because upgrading can be costly.
So what happens after this?
There will need to be a Part Two — A more in-depth review for Pinterest, Tailwind and Tailwind Tribes. And ideally, I’d love to create a tutorial showing how I have my scheduler set up with screenshots 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 that I’m now using a scheduler. Also, what is my personal strategy for deciding what to pin where manually.
More to come, and stay tuned for Part Two of this experiment —
Thanks for reading, and please let me know what you think!!