Over the Christmas holiday, I made it my mission that 2017 was going to be the year of Pinterest. For some reason, I really had never put too much thought into my Pinterest page. My boards were all over the place with content, I had no strategy in my posting schedule and I also had way too many pins. Considering that Pinterest can be a HUGE referral to your blog, I knew I needed to invest time (and a little bit of money) into making the most out of Pinterest.
When I started my Pinterest strategy makeover (on December 23rd of 2016) I was sitting at 14,952 followers. I had over 30 boards (not including a few group boards I was part of) of random content that had nothing to do with my brand. On top of that, I had over 15,000 pins to my Poor Little It Girl blog board. Yikes!
So after so much talk about my Pinterest follower growth and what I’ve been doing behind the scenes, I really wanted to get this post out in my How To Be A Better Blogger series. Now note, I am no expert, and I’m sure I’m missing a few things and some people have found success with other ways. But this is what I have found works for me.
Ok, I know it sounds weird. Why would I want to delete pins to grow my Pinterest reach? But trust me. You need to do this! Like I mentioned before, on my Poor Little It Girl blog board, I had over 15,000 pins. When I started implementing my new strategy, I got that number down to 5,000 pins. That’s 10K pins I deleted, crazy! Considering none of them had “gone viral” or were bringing much traffic to my site, that is WAY too many. So I deleted pins, a lot of them! Here’s what I deleted:
- Any pin that wasn’t a Rich Pin. You know what a rich pin is? When the text under the photo is bigger/bolder. More eye catching. This is something that comes from the Meta Description in SEO Yoast. This enables my rich pins. I literally went through ALL my pins and bulk deleted pins. Pinterest lets you select up to 50 pins at a time to delete. This took forever, so hopefully you don’t have 15K pins to go through like I did.
- Any pin that didn’t link back to it’s direct blog post. For some reason, I was pinning images from my homepage, not my blog page, years and years ago. Why? No clue. But you want each image to link back to it’s direct blog post. When people click on your pin to find the source, they want to see that content. I also had a ton of pins going to broken URL’s or pages that didn’t exist. Again, no clue how I managed to screw this up so much, but glad I fixed it.
- Any pin with a weird rich pin title. Ok, this could be just for me. But for some reason I had a crap ton of pins that had a rich pin that said “Merry Christmas” and I have no idea why or what I did. Obviously, that’s not a good description for a picture with a pair of shoes or a cute outfit, so…delete!
- Underperforming pins. Did you know Pinterest “ranks” your page on popularity? So if you have great engagement with your pins, they consider you “more popular” and make your pins more visible in searches and as suggested pins. If you have a board full of images no one has ever re-pinned, Pinterest thinks your page isn’t great so they don’t help “promote” you. For this part, I enlisted the help of Boardbooster. Board booster (more on this at the bottom of the post) is a platform you have to pay for, but for me, it’s totally worth the small monthly fee. Basically what I do is create a public board on my Pinterest page (for this example, I named that board Pin Mover). Then I went into BoardBooster and selected my PLIG blog board and said that any pin with a direct re-pin rate of less than 5 to move to the Pin Mover board. (Moving forward I’ve started doing direct re-pins less than 10) Then, once it’s all moved over I delete that Pin Mover board. It’s the easiest way to remove all those underperforming pins. You can see how that looks in this BoardBooster Pin Mover dashboard below. Now they charge 1 penny per pin moved. For me, it was worth the cost because I had SO many pins to move, but now that I’m done with that, I’d recommend doing this a couple times a year. You can sign up with Boardbooster here.
Like I said before, prior to my Pinterest “makeover” I had over 30 boards. Sure, some where related to my content about style and beauty, but some were definitely not. Cute Animals, Sweet Treats, Random Graphics – none of which I was pinning to very often or had anything to do with my Poor Little It Girl brand. Honestly, I can’t even remember what the rest of them were, they were so dumb. In any case, I know a lot of people worry about deleting boards leading to losing followers. And honestly, that’s something you’ll have to take a chance with. All the boards I deleted were ones that people weren’t really following/I wasn’t pinning to anyways. So I didn’t loose but maybe 50 followers total when I deleted all these excess boards (Proof they were pointless, no one was engaging with them anyways). By doing this, this also improves my Pinterest “ranking” because now my page is full of boards I actively pin to and ones that my followers are actively engaging with. Now you can see that I only have around 20 boards, and am part of about 9 group boards that I actively pin to. Much easier to manage and all my boards get something pinned to them (almost) every single day. All of this was to have a well curated page full of things that relate back to my brand.
If there is one thing that has changed my Pinterest game it is Tailwind. Thanks to my amazing web designer Lindsay of White Oak Creative for suggesting I use this platform because, y’all…it’ll change your life. Tailwind offer a TON of features (note: I paid the $100 or whatever annual fee so there wasn’t a limit on the number of pins I could schedule. If you have the money, DO THIS!!!), way too many for me to go through right now, but I’ll share a few of the things I’ve done so far.
I went through and scheduled every single blog post in Tailwind. (You can sign up for Tailwind here) I know, crazy right? I have been blogging since 2010, so I’ve been going through, month by month, and scheduling out my blog images via Tailwind. While doing this, I’m also updating SEO on older posts that I didn’t have anything set for before I started using Yoast. I have a little chart I use to keep track and currently only have some of 2012-2010 to finish. Tailwind lets you bulk schedule every image at once, and add them to whatever boards you’d like to. This makes scheduling pins out SO much easier. You can see below that once you click the Tailwind bookmark (you can set this up once you sign on with the app), a page pops up with all your images. Click the images you want to schedule, they’ll then be highlighted blue, and click the Go Schedule on the bottom right corner.
The next thing that happens is a pop up appears with all the images you selected and it asks you what board(s) you want to add them to. I add every vertical pin to my Poor Little It Girl Blog board (horizontal pins don’t perform well so I just skip over them), and then I add about half to group boards I’m part of, or my own boards that they go with. For example: the post above with the one shoulder ruffled top, I also pinned a few of these images to my Spring Style board as well.
Now another favorite thing Tailwind offers is that ability to set your schedule for your pins. It analyzes your page and gives you times that are when you receive the highest engagement/activity from your followers. You can select however many times you’d like. I currently have mine set to pin 70 per day. So that’s 70 pins from my blog (since I currently really only use it to schedule out my own content, I haven’t really explored Tailwind Tribes yet) to my Pinterest Page each day. That’s a LOT! But it keeps my page active and people are 100% responding to it…so it’s a win!
So once you set your pinning times and start adding pins to your queue, You can see everything organized on your schedule. I like to shuffle them around (the button on the top right) when I add new posts to my schedule, just so they aren’t stuck at the end all together, and my content gets mixed up a bit.
My plan is that once I’m done scheduling/posting all my blog content, I’ll start going through and, once again, deleting underperforming pins and rescheduling top performers. Tailwind also shows me my top performing pins and allows me to reschedule them directly from their dashboard which is amazing. I’ll use the Pin-mover tool we discussed earlier to get rid of under-performing pins. I don’t foresee me getting to this step still early April. But like I said before, Tailwind offers SO many great options beyond what I’ve shared here. You can analyze all of your boards, see your engagements score, etc. I’ve barely scratched the surface on what this platform can do (I am just now trying to figure out all their Tribes) so I’m excited to see how my referral traffic continues to grow the more I dive into Tailwind! You can sign up for Tailwind here!
In addition to using Boardbooster for the Pin-Mover feature I stated above, I also use it for Looping. While I’m still getting content pushed out via Tailwind for my Poor Little It Girl Blog Board, I currently only use Looping this on my boards that are NOT my blog boards. So my Style Inspired board, Spring Style, etc. I loop it so that it is re-pinning old pins and then after a certain number of days, deleted the duplicate pin that ranked the lowest in engagement. (Boardbooster calls this deduplication.) It’s a great way to keep your non-blog boards fresh and active with minimal work. Of course, I’m still adding content to my boards as much as I can, usually daily or every other day, but I also love the help of this program. You can see my settings for my top board, Style Inspired, below. Now, I’m not an expert and no clue if these are right or wrong settings by Pinterest-expert standards but for me, they work!
Joining group boards is an amazing way to increase followers and referral traffic. I’m currently in 9 group boards that I try to contribute to as often as possible (ideally every other day). I can easily manage these few group boards, but I don’t think I’d take on any more. I see a lot of bloggers are part of a ton of group boards, and like we mentioned before about inactive boards, you don’t want to be part of a group board you aren’t actively contributing too. Remember, want to keep that Pinterest “ranking” up! You also don’t want to be the blogger that TAKES OVER the group board, and posts every single blog photo you’ve ever done into every single group board. Not only is this kind of pathetic looking (we get it, you want eyeballs on your pics!) but it’s also a good way to get yourself kicked out of a great group board because you’re taking over. I’d say no more than 2 or 3 pins per group board per day. However some have specific rules so make sure before you join you make sure you agree to them. Also, make sure you’re joining group boards that have a great/large following already, not small ones. You want reach!
Ok y’all, that’s it! Well, at least that’s all I can think of right now. As I come up with more strategy or thing that I see are working/not working, I’ll be sure to update this post to reflect my latest findings. So like I said, I started this Pinterest revamp journey on December 23, 2016 with 14,952 followers. Today, as I type this post (on February 26, 2017), I currently have 18,251 followers. (I hit the 3000 increase mark on February 21st!) With Tailwind’s stats page, I’m currently averaging around 350-400 new followers a week, and that number continues to grow. If you have any more questions, please leave me a comment below. And thanks for reading…sorry this is the longest post EVER!