Don’t read this if you’re in the beginning stage of your blog. You don’t need it yet. Bookmark, and come back in three months.
I feel it necessary to say that I’ve subscribed to Tailwind twice, for a year each time. I’m not here to say it doesn’t work. It obviously does, for some people. Thousands of people swear by it. People who have more time to spend on it than me.
The reason schedulers don’t work for me is that they require their own strategies and spreadsheets — and aren’t as set-it-and-forget-it as I require something that cost me £100 to be.
It’s not a short cut. It’s a procrastination technique.
My Pinterest strategy is all about generating a little bit of traffic in exchange for a little bit of effort. I batch creating pins, and then I just…use Pinterest.
Anyhoo, let’s crack on.
Set up your Pinterest account
If you already have one and you pin about your blog niche, cool. If not, or if you just want a fresh start, then set up a new Pinterest account.
There’s an option on one of the dropdown menus to switch to a business account, which I suggest you do.
It doesn’t cost anything, and it gives you access to your analytics, which I largely ignore.
They are useful if you like that kind of thing though.
I have noticed that there are a lot of vanity metrics on Pinterest (for example people pinning your pin to their board doesn’t drive traffic, you need clicks), such as monthly unique viewers, which means, er, nothing.
How much followers matters is a subject of contention among professional pinners, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
I don’t think they matter all that much.
Decide on your Pinterest boards
Creating boards that your pins fit into is important, but you also want to think of the user. You want people to come to you when they need information — whether they eventually go to your blog or someone else’s.
They’ll remember that you were useful.
If your niche was on being a digital nomad, then you might have boards on blogging, productivity, home offices, travel — everything that something researching being a digital nomad would look for.
I also have two Pinterest boards just for my content: one for blog posts and one for Instagram posts.
My niche is house plants, so I have boards for plant decor, care, pests, wishlist, inspiration, and art/memes.
Fill up your Pinterest boards
Pin things you like. You can have boards that aren’t in your niche, but it’s best if they’re all somewhat targeted to your user. Maybe delete the boards dedicated to strange men’s abs (unless it’s niche adjacent, in which case crack on).
You don’t have to adhere to a strict schedule, although Pinterest recommends pinning about 5 times per day.
I go through phases of pinning every day and then leaving it for a week or so.
If you pin every day, you’re likely to get more eyes on your pins, so it’s just of matter of deciding whether it’s worth the time.
I would personally prefer to spend that time writing, but I’m trying to get better at pinning the odd pin when I’m queueing in the supermarket or whenever.
Let’s face it — if you pinned one pin every time you went for a wee your account would grow by leaps and bounds.
Create some pins
I use Canva for this. There’s a tonne of templates on there, so just change the image, the text and match the font and colours to your blog. You want people to see the connection between your blog and your pins.
I went one step further here (because lazy) and actually use the same background image (that I found on Unsplash) and just change the text for each pin.
It's super quick and people know straight away which pins are mine. I could probably knock out 30 pins in an hour.
There is so much research on what drives people to click on pins, but I’d stick to the titles of your posts — if your keyword research is effective then they should be primed to generate traffic.
How many pins you create is up to you. A lot of people in the industry recommend making 3–5 pins per post, but I just stick to one.
If you plan on creating a lot more blog posts there’s no reason to create multiple pins PLUS as an avid Pinterest user I find it irritating when I click on two pins with two different headlines that lead to the same article.
You’ll notice that when you pick a Canva pin template they’re a certain size — this is optimised for Pinterest, so there’s no point changing it.
That being said, when I add my Instagram posts to Pinterest I just share them straight from the app without editing.
The purpose isn’t to show off my pictures but to show Instagram that it’s shareworthy content and show Pinterest that I add new content.
Add your pins to your blog
I wouldn’t overthink this. You don’t need a Pinterest plugin or anything. I don’t even try to hide the pins any more. I just upload them and stick them at the bottom of the post.
A lot of caching plugins have a lazy load feature, so they don’t load pictures until the user scrolls down, so don’t worry about them slowing down your site significantly.
There’s nothing happening at the end of the blog post other than the pinnable image, so it’s not going to interrupt the flow of my article.
Pin them to Pinterest
I have a Chrome extension. Just click it, and you’ll be shown all the pinnable images, and you can choose your board and a description.
Sometimes I add a great description, sometimes I don’t. Apparently it helps with SEO but the algorithm is changing so much at the moment that I really can’t say how much time you should be spending on this.
It should auto-populate the title though, which is probably enough to show up in a search.
Use Pinterest like a human
This seems to be the direction Pinterest wants you to go in. A few years back Pinterest was dominated by bloggers, particularly in the personal finance and blogging niches, and now Pinterest is trying to make it a bit more well-rounded.
Being flagged as spam is commonplace, especially if you’re using a scheduler. Tailwind being an approved Pinterest partner doesn’t mean as much as we initially thought it did.
It’s also worth noting that Pinterest is now trading as a public company, so it has shareholders to keep happy. Watch out for Facebook-stylee ad takeover.
What Pinterest loves:
- Pinning new content — read other blogs in your niche and pin them. I don’t think Pinterest values the quality of the image over the fact that you pinned it organically, so don’t worry if there’s not a Pinterest optimised image.
- Active users — aim to pin at least once a day, and don’t only pin your own stuff.
- Real users — maybe you could have a couple of boards that aren’t directly related to your niche but are niche adjacent. Follow people that interest you, not just to get them to follow you back.
What Pinterest hates:
- Spam — and its definition of spam expands all the time. Avoid pinning the same pin multiple times in a short space of time and check that the pins you’re pinning are legitimate. Pinterest is now deleting accounts completely as well as just blocking them for a while, so play nice.
- People playing the system — if you find a system that works keep it to yourself and don’t expect it to stay that way forever. You don’t want to create a course you’re forever having to update and research. Well, I wouldn't anyway.
I offer a word of caution to those who want Pinterest to be the main source of traffic. Eggs in baskets and all that. It should be a supplementary source of traffic, with search engines being number one.
In a few years time, I think you’ll be able to optimise for Pinterest like you can for Google, but their algorithms aren’t there yet, and they’re trying to deal with people hacking the system.
I remember when you could come up in Pinterest search results just by repeating your keyword in the description. Good times.
If I can give you one piece of (predictable) advice, let it be this: don’t let creating pins and trying to figure out the algorithm get in the way of writing articles for your blog.