Pinterest… oh how I love Pinterest!
I was introduced to Pinterest by a friend of mine almost five years ago when I was a new mom home on maternity leave. It was just the most wonderful way to pass time during sleepless nights. I filled my new boards with beautiful dreams of pretty baby dresses, stunning home décor ideas, party planning everything, and every deliciously enticing recipe I came across.
My love for Pinterest only grew as I began to discover its extraordinary power to send readers here to my sweet little space on the World Wide Web. If you’re reading this post (which clearly you are), you probably came here through Pinterest. (Check out my All in All board filled entirely with my own original content. It’s my favorite board!)
In the blogging world there is no shortage of opinions on how to gain an audience. You may find your readers through Facebook and have all sorts of advice for navigating its ever so fickle algorithms to successfully build a community of active followers. That’s awesome! Or you may just be a SEO genius knowing just exactly how to set up your site for maximum Google presence and therefore the majority of your readers find you through search engines. That’s great (and I might just hate you a little bit… in the nice way)!
I personally have found success with Pinterest. My original Pinterest strategy was this:
- Rock out the group boards. I took the advice of Ruth Soukup in her book How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul and I got myself added to as many group boards as possible. My favorite group boards are the Better Homes and Gardens boards I’m a part of. For more than a year I pinned my own content to group boards every single day and saw decent views coming in to my site because of these boards. And yes, it was very time consuming!
- You pin mine and I’ll pin yours. For quite a while I participated in Facebook groups where bloggers share other bloggers content in exchange for their own content being shared (like this one and this one). This did help get my pins to be seen a bit more. Generally it was so much more work than it seemed to be worth. Except for that one time that a blogger retweeted my tweet as a part of a Twitter syndication thread in one of these Facebook groups. Another website saw the tweet, visited the post (my Buffalo Chicken Lasagna recipe), shared the post on Facebook and BOOM… 1.5 million views. Totally worth the effort! If you have low numbers viewing your site, for sure spend some time in these kind of groups on Facebook to help boost your viewership.
Those two actions got my blog off the ground, but they could only take me so far. This past winter brought all sorts of infuriating changes to Pinterest (check out this open letter to Pinterest on behalf of bloggers). Suddenly my repins were getting zero traction. For the life of me I could not get views to my new posts from Pinterest. Group boards seemed to just die overnight and hardly anyone was seeing my pins on group boards. Bloggers everywhere freaked out thinking their livelihood was going to for sure shrivel up and die because of Pinterest greed (Pinterest seems to be becoming more of a “pay to play” now rather than the organic, user controlled experience it once was).
At the same time that Pinterest was giving bloggers a heart attack, I found myself very busy at work and when I was home the last thing I wanted to do was write. It was a tough season and my priorities shifted me away from writing temporarily. Normally, a break in blogging means traffic will likely tank, but the total opposite happened for me.
In the midst of the fear and confusion that bloggers everywhere were experiencing and my own lack of time to manage this site, my Pinterest following was growing… rapidly.
My traffic went from my all time low of 33,000 views a month (if you exclude my very early days of blogging when traffic was 6-8k a month) to well over 100,000 a month, and climbing. All of that happened while I was barely writing new content and doing no promotion of my blog on any other social media platforms.
I went from 8,000 followers at the beginning of 2016 to more than 22,000 today. I gained 10,000 Pinterest followers in two months.
I am currently gaining 1,200+ followers a week and putting in hardly any time at all working my Pinterest account. “HOW?!” you ask? I’ll let you in on the secret!
Board Booster and Pin Sourcing
I talked with Jill Levenhagen from PinterestStrategist.com about using Board Booster. She set up my account and got me started with Pin Sourcing. Total game changer!
Check out Jill’s post My “Secret Sauce” Tool that is Growing my Pinterest Account by over 100 Followers per DAY.
As it turns out, the key to growing your Pinterest account is to actually be pinning other people’s content and not just your own. I had been focusing on pinning almost exclusively my own content from this site. But when I shifted focus and began using Board Boosters Pin Sourcing function to find amazing pins from other sites, my Pinterest account took off. As a result, my own content was also being seen more as my Pinterest followers increased.
In the past I would occasionally pin content from other sites to my personal boards while circulating my own content very aggressively through group boards. This makes sense, right? But actually its not the best strategy. Pinterest likes very active accounts that are pinning high quality content from all over the web. This is so incredibly difficult to do on your own and completely impossible for a full-time working mom like me. Enter Board Booster to save the day!
Pin Sourcing through Board Booster will find the awesome pins for you as well as circulate your own content by pinning to your own boards and/or group boards. It’s awesome! I now mostly just visit Pinterest for my own personal entertainment. Pinterest is fun again! Plus, in spite of all the crazy changes recently, Pinterest is still a huge source of traffic for me. Win win!
Ready to try this strategy for yourself?
Step 1 – Set up your Board Booster account.
Step 2 – Set up your payment preferences. I am paying $40 a month for 4,000 pins. This seems to be a great place to start.
Step 3 – Go to Pinning Tools and select Scheduler from the drop down menu. Click Add Boards to pull in the boards you want to schedule pins to. Once you’ve added the boards, open one and set up the Publishing and Pin Sourcing. You will give the URL of an awesome board on Pinterest that you want Board Booster to monitor to find great pins.
Photo Credit: UnSplash
I will tell you that this whole strategy got off to a slow start. I was previously gaining about 23 new followers a day and in the first few weeks of using Pin Sourcing I only got up to 40-60 new followers a day. But then by the fourth week it just took off. Expect slow results in the beginning. Plus, you may have a bit of a learning curve with using Board Booster. Just stay calm and don’t get impatient with it. Ask other bloggers for help if needed or even pay a Pinterest Strategist to set it all up for you.
Another piece of advice I can offer is to closely monitor your pins at first. You may choose a certain board for Pin Sourcing but then as things get pinned to your boards you find you don’t like the pins or they end up being off brand. This only happened to me twice, so it shouldn’t be a big issue for you. Just be aware and take a look at your pins once or twice a day. The funniest little “oops” was when Pin Sourcing pinned a pin several times in a week about how wives can seduce their husbands. I think it selected this pin because it was popular. However, this caused some confusion for me at home when my husband came home from work with a big silly grin on his face expecting to find me feeling all spicy and sexy. Ha! On another occasion a blogging focused board I had been sourcing pins from seemed to suddenly be filled with posts that used language I wouldn’t use on my blog. Totally off brand and I was for sure called out by my followers for pinning posts with inappropriate language. Oops! But in 3 months those were the only issues I’ve had with Pin Sourcing. Not too bad at all.
Try out Board Booster and Pin Sourcing and let me know how it works for you.
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Photo Credit: UnSplash