If, like me, you’ve spent time researching the best way to use Pinterest to grow your business, then no doubt you’ve seen multiple blog posts such as “how to schedule a month’s worth of content in an hour and explode your blog!”. Well, I’ve read those posts and I call bullshit. Scheduling that much content takes closer to 4-5 hours. Plus I’ve tried all kinds of strategies that were supposed to ‘explode’ my views, and no dice. So I found a way to harness the power of Pinterest as a marketing platform for my online business without letting it become a huge burden and time suck. And the results speak for themselves. I get 2.2 (edit: 4.1!) million monthly Pinterest viewers using this simple Pinterest strategy! 🙂
This post contains affiliate links. Read more.
(This means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.)
I’m at a point in my business where I’m pretty tired of all the click-bait articles that promise me explosive sales and pageviews. I’ve clicked them and they’ve let me down. (Never mind the fact that most ‘how-to’ posts don’t ever tell you ‘how-to’ do anything. So annoying.)
Turns out there is no formula for making your business a success. You’ve got to march to the beat of your own drum so to speak. Your business, your rules.
So that’s what I’ve done with my Pinterest strategy. I’ve made it my own and this strategy has been working really well for me.
Here are some stats:
Monthly Pinterest viewers: 2.2 million (Update March 2021: 4.1 million)
Monthly Pinterest engaged viewers: 75K (June 2020: 125K)
(these numbers fluctuate a bit but if they go down they always come back up about a month later)
I get an average of 10-12 new Pinterest followers a day. Some days I get close to 30!
Blog monthly pageviews from Pinterest: 25K (March 2021: 30.5K)
Pinterest accounts for about 30% of my Etsy shop views.
My sincere hope and belief is that this simple Pinterest strategy can work for you too.
But I’m not going to sit here and promise you explosive results. That’s crap and I won’t do it. All I can do is share the strategies that work for me.
Above are my personal stats, but Tailwind (the Pinterest scheduler I use, but which isn’t a requirement for this strategy to work) also publishes the Typical Results of Tailwind for Pinterest Members every year, so you can see exactly what the average growth rate looks like for their members.
What I do ask, is if you give my strategy a try, try it for a minimum of 60 days. That should definitely be enough time to see if it’s working for you. You should see your followers start to grow daily and your views go up dramatically.
You’ll know it’s working for you when the process doesn’t feel like a huge chore but you’re still getting great results.
This strategy is so simple. It might be simple enough that lots of people are already doing it! But on the off chance that you’re still searching for a Pinterest strategy to help grow your business that won’t take up all of your waking hours, this is it!
I used to try to sit down once a week and schedule all the following week’s pins. I pin about 30 pins per day. So scheduling all of those was taking me well over an hour.
Now I’m a busy mom. I’m juggling a lot of stuff on a daily basis and finding 60-90 minutes to work on a single task is nearly impossible. Someone always needs a snack or help with their lego, dinner needs to get made and appointments got to. Scheduling pins just never made it very high on my priority list.
So what ended up happening was that a whole week would go by and I never got a chance to pin a thing. And an inconsistent Pinterest strategy is almost worse than no strategy at all!
I discovered that what I CAN commit to is 10 minutes a day to schedule that same day’s pins. I typically do it while I’m eating breakfast. Because mom life = multi tasking.
I schedule all my pins using Tailwind. (But don’t stop reading if you don’t use Tailwind, my strategy works with manual pinning too!) Tailwind functions as a browser extension, so this strategy applies to pinning on a desktop. But it also works on mobile without Tailwind.
Tailwind suits my needs because I pin to a lot of group boards. (around 70 I think) Tailwind helps me make sure I’m making the best use of those group boards and keeps track of when I’ve pinned to them. Mainly so I don’t end up accidentally spamming boards with my pins or breaking group board rules.
One of Pinterest’s more recent updates is that they prefer you only pin a pin to 10 boards or less. Tailwind is great because they give you a heads up if you are over-pinning.
I like that I can space out my pins and schedule them to multiple boards in just a few clicks. Tailwind also schedules pins at optimal times of day for me, so I don’t have to be awake at 2am in order to capitalize on the waking hours of pinners in California.
So let’s get to it.
BIG March 2021 EDIT! So Pinterest has made some changes that affect this strategy. I’ve modified the strategy so it still works, just not quite as smoothly as it used to. *big sigh* I’ve left the older strategy here anyway, because it still works on mobile, but I’ve italisized anything that no longer applies (unless you still happen to have the un-updated version of Pinterest.)
10 Minute Pinterest Strategy
The first step for me is scheduling my own pins. Those are pins from my own blog posts or of my shop products.
(I wrote an in depth tutorial on the best way to create pins for Etsy listings, which you can read here.
I also wrote an entire e-book on How to Rock Your Product Photography Using Only a Smartphone.)
I schedule any new blog posts, new product pins or older content that hasn’t been re-pinned for a while. I schedule all my pins to my own relevant boards and to all relevant groups boards. That will account for about 8-10 pins per day.
Next I need to find another 20ish pins to fill in the rest of my day’s schedule.
I do that by clicking on the ‘following’ tab in the top menu bar. Scroll down, allowing all the pins to load until you reach the red button that says ‘find more people to follow’.
2021 Mobile Edit: When you are on the home page in the app, simply click the ‘following’ tab in the menu bar at the top.) Then you can scroll and pin what you like!
2021 Desktop Edit: Click on your profile, then click on your ‘# following’. When the box opens up, you can toggle between ‘people’ and ‘boards’. Pick a person or a board and scroll through to either schedule pins or pin as you go. Repeat this with different people/boards until you’ve reached your daily pin quota.
Try to pick different people/boards every day.
You need to scroll all the way down in order to load all the pins. This is a necessary step if you are using Tailwind. Otherwise when you click the blue flame Tailwind button only a handful of pins will appear for scheduling.
Then I simply work my way through the feed and select the very best pins that will appeal to my audience. I schedule all those pins to my own boards. (I only add my own content to group boards, not other people’s content.)
I’ve found that I can usually pull 20-25 great pins from my ‘following’ feed.
With any luck I’ll end up over-pinning by 5 or 6 pins which will help fill in the next day’s schedule. If I do that every day I might get the weekend days filled up too so I don’t have to even think about Pinterest over the weekend, another perk of using Tailwind! (I’m trying to find a better work/life/mom balance. If that’s even possible. Whomp whomp.)
Another Pinning Option
Another similar strategy would be to pin from your home feed.
Watch out for the ads or promoted pins that tend to clutter up the home feed though.
My home feed was never that great in the past, it was full of crappy pins. But lately it looks improved. Maybe the recent Pinterest changes also affect the quality of the home feed. I’ll keep an eye on it and maybe write another post on how to curate your home feed. 🙂
How to Adapt to a Manual Pinning Process
Your ‘following’ feed is a great place to find relevant pins whether you use a scheduler or not. Since Pinterest rolled out the simplified pinning button, it takes much less time to re-pin things.
You can simply scroll through your feed, pinning as you go. If you work through the whole feed you should get a good 20-25 pins, which is a great daily amount to see some growth in your Pinterest account.
The down side to a manual pinning strategy is that you can’t take advantage of optimal pinning times throughout the day. You’ll be pinning all the day’s pins at one time.
And you’ll have to come up with another method of keeping track of the pins you send to group boards, which can be a real hassle.
Pinning manually might add an extra few minutes to the process, but not too many. Time is money and all that. Either you save time by spending money (on a scheduling tool) or you save money by spending time (pinning manually). It’s up to you how to use your limited resources!
Why This Pinterest Strategy Works
As long as you are following a good variety of people, your ‘following’ feed will contain a solid variety of pins. This means you can schedule pins to a number of different boards all from one page. No more searching for “DIY nursery decor”, finding a few pins, searching for “dairy-free desserts”, finding a few pins, etc.
Also, I like to support the people I’m following by re-pinning their content. I think it helps foster community and hopefully it means other pinners are re-pinning my content in the same spirit!
I know there’s lots of opinions out there about whether or not we should be ONLY pinning our own content. Here’s my 2 cents.
Pinterest doesn’t exist exclusively as a platform of self-promotion. A non-blogger/business owner is just pinning the content that interests them, from a large variety of sources. I think that’s the way Pinterest is organically designed to function. I don’t think Pinterest would like it if I only ever pinned my own content.
Plus my target audience is not SOLELY interested my content. They like other stuff too! So by pinning that other stuff, I’m appealing to my audience, telling them their interests are important to me, and I’m not appearing spammy.
Would you follow someone who pinned nothing but hair clips all day long? Or someone who pinned hair clips, kid outfits, nursery decor, birthday party ideas, etc? Exactly.
Ok I’ll get off my soap box. lol
How to Curate Your Follows
For the first week you use this Pinterest strategy, you may need to curate your ‘following’ feed so that you are seeing only the best and re-pinnable content. I don’t have time to sift through useless pins and neither do you.
So for the first week you’ll have to add an extra 5 mins to the process.
This part still works on mobile. Scroll through your ‘following’ feed and observe the pins that you would never re-pin. Either the content doesn’t suit your audience or the pins are visually unappealing. If there is more than one pin of this nature from a single pinner, click through to their profile and unfollow them. Unfollow 3-5 pinners a day.
(this part doesn’t): Next, click on the +person button at the top of the ‘following’ feed or on the red ‘find more people to follow’ button at the bottom. This will take you to a page of suggested pinners tailored to your interests. Find 3-5 new people to follow who produce high quality pins that will appeal to your audience.
2021 Edit: Finding new people to follow is actually much easier to do on mobile than desktop now. So that’s my recommendation. Anything you add on mobile will show up on desktop too.
When you’ve clicked through the ‘following’ tab, click the double lined icon beside the search bar.
Then click ‘recommended’ and there will be a whole list of profiles that you’ll likely be interested in!
On desktop, the best way to find new follows is to scroll through your home feed. Stop when you see a really awesome pin and click on the profile of the pinner. Follow them if you don’t already!
After about a week you will have a well curated feed of high quality content to re-pin from.
Wow, I had a lot more to say on this subject than I thought I did! Haha! Props to you if you made all the way to the end of this epic post!
Drop ANY questions you have in the comments, I’m happy to help!