There are so many instances now that I’ve been blogging for a year and half that I look back and think, “Oh I wish I had known that then!” Of course hind sight is always a b*tch but it doesn’t have to be for everyone. So, here is my entire Pinterest strategy, everything I’m doing right now on Pinterst and wish I would have done since the moment I started this blog. Right now I’m hitting around 20,000 page views a month and over half of those are from Pinterest and I’m getting nearly 100 new followers a day on my Pinterest profile. But I really feel like if I had implemented everything I know now at the beginning those numbers would probably be double that! I started using BoardBooster/implementing this strategy in July of 2016 and the numbers don’t lie, just look at what it did to my Pinterest Profile!
Congratulations on starting your new blog! Now, its time to get yourself a Pinterest account. Don’t sign in using your Facebook profile, sign in using your blog’s email or your blog’s twitter account. This is rule #1 for me here: across all of the social platforms I keep my blog and my personal life as separate as I can and I feel like that was one of the few things I did right since the beginning. Now get yourself a Pinterest for Business account so you can start creating rich pins for all of your blog’s content. Here’s a great tutorial on how to do that!
Ok, next step is to get yourself a BoardBooster account. (referral link) When I joined the first month was free and then I signed up for their $5 a month plan which covers 500 pins per month. (I am now on their $30/3,000 pins a month plan.) I’m going to try real hard not to make this post a BoardBooster tutorial so here is a great tutorial that will help get you started but I will explain along the way as we go here too because my entire Pinterest strategy basically doesn’t exist without BoardBooster.
(Pssst, I know a lot of people love TailWind but when I tried it out I gave up, compared to BoardBooster it is very labor intensive. There is also a ton of talk out there that because BoardBooster is not a certified Pinterest app (unlike Tailwind) that might actually hurt your numbers, this is why I tried Tailwind. So far, all of that remains just talk and I still honestly don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t use BoardBooster anymore but I did keep my Tailwind account because their analytics is awesome. Also, there are rumors that BoardBooster is going to become Pinterest certified soon!)
You’ve got your Pinterest account, your BoardBooster account and a blog so now its time to start making Pinterest boards! I would start with your blog categories, I have a few and each one translated into a Pinterest board: Tips & Tutorials, Before & Afters, Home Tour, Blog, Free House Plans, Inspiration Boards and the Best at – each one of those board titles ends with Grandma’s House DIY and I post nothing to those boards except my content that I produce right here on the blog. I also keep those boards at the top of my profile. I also uploaded a specific pic just for the main pic for each of those boards with my brand etc. In the case that someone just wants to follow my blog on Pinterest then they can choose one (or all of) those boards and be guaranteed to see nothing from me but pins from the Grandma’s House DIY website.
(Note: make sure and put in very detailed descriptions for each of your boards and your Pinterest profile.)
Now its time to expand your pinterest profile to include other people’s pins but not at the sacrifice of your own. You need to look at your pins and determine new boards that you could start that would be great for your pins but also great for other pins as well. For example: in my Before & Afters category on my blog I have posted everything from chairs, to rooms, to lamps and dressers – that’s a very broad category, so, I broke it down to several Pinterest boards like this: Before and Afters – Furniture, Before and Afters – Rooms, DIY Lamp Makeovers & Lighting and DIY Gorgeous Chairs.
In my Tips & Tutorials category here I post everything from household recipes to full on wood working projects so that translated to the following Pinterest boards: DIY Build Projects, Handy Tips and Green Recipes for the home. Besides that I also have boards called Farm Houses, DIY Inspiration, For Book Lovers and Hometalk My Favorites because I know I’ll have my own pictures of my own farm house to post to the Farm Houses board, I also know I’ll have some real pretty pictures of my own to pin to my DIY Inspiration board and I knew I had some great pictures of book shelves in my office to post to my For Book Lovers board and I am an avid member of Hometalk so I knew I could post my own Hometalk projects to that board as well.
So, now you have your Pinterest boards set up and ready and that is: boards you just post your own pins to and boards you post your own pins to and other people’s pins as well. Now it is time to get BoardBooster working for you so: login to your BoardBooster account and click on Pinning Tools and then click on Scheduler and now click Add Board. Choose your first board and click Continue and you will go to a settings area and the default settings are fine for right now (3 pins per day spread out between 10am and 8pm) now click Submit.
Now, do this with every single Pinterest board that you have – get yourself a snack and something to drink, this is going to take a little while. What you just did in BoardBooster was create a secret board linked to each of your boards. You will never post directly to your boards again, instead you will post to your secret boards and let BoardBooster post to your public boards for you. When you go to save a pin you can distinguish your secret boards from your main boards because their titles all have a dash (-) in front of them. Of course you CAN post to your main boards if you want to (I’m not trying to tell you what to do with your life I’m not your mom) but I would totally let BoardBooster do its job! What this means: Right now each of my secret boards have at least 50 pins waiting in each of them for BoardBooster to post for me, I could literally not login to Pinterest for a week and no one would know I was gone.
I wrote a post a while back when I hit 15k pageviews a month and I’m going to be totally weird and quote myself right now, “Every day I look for bloggers like me to support, pin and follow across all of the social media platforms … I share a lot of other bloggers’ content constantly!” And that’s how you find other pins to post to your boards and, not to mention, a lot of those bloggers will return the favor and follow/pin you too! But, for right now, to fill up your secret boards (and literally get the ball rolling on Pinterest) you can always just search pinterest to find new and great pins to share! How often do I post my own content along with other content on the boards that mix the two? Actually not that often, maybe 1 in 30 pins is from my own personal site. Here is a screen shot of a portion of my secret boards to give you an idea of how it looks in BoardBooster:
The numbers over each board/photo tells me how often I have BoardBooster set to pin to that board from its secret board, how many people are following that board AND the repin rate of that board. You can see I changed the pin rate from the default 3 per day – some I have pinning as high as 6 a day and others are only 1 a day. You will find your own groove here, the truth is I LOVE before and afters of furniture and run into more great pins for that board then nearly all of the others so I can easily keep up with 6 a day. As you start to go you’ll find yourself simply pinning more to some boards then others and that’s ok – stay authentic, pin only what speaks to you and what you yourself LOVE. You can always login to BoardBooster and adjust the rate that its pinning to each specific board.
Now its on to the next Pinterest topic that everyone talks about in every blog post ever written about Pinterest: Group Boards. Why do you want to be a part of group boards? Well, when a group board has 195 gajillion followers there’s the chance that all of them might see one of your pins as opposed to the 7 followers (and your mom) that are following your pinterest account right now. So, how do you find them? You can always do a search for “group board” in Pinterest but I found the easiest way to find group boards in my niche was to go to my fellow peers’ Pinterest profiles and check out the group boards they’re members of.
Some of the boards won’t be accepting new contributors (follow them anyway), some boards will want you to email them (they’re the first person listed on the board’s page, be sweet, ask to join whatever-the-board-is-called and include your pinterest profile URL) and some of them will have you ask to join by commenting on a pin or messaging them directly on Pinterest – just be KIND and ALWAYS follow the board and follow them first before you do anything else (they’re the first person listed on the board’s page) I always follow the board and the person who started it regardless of whether or not they’re open to contributors.
Here’s a bit of advice about group boards though – you might want to wait awhile until your profile is in better standing. Now that I have over 10,000 followers on Pinterest I literally have had people ASK me to join their group boards and I haven’t had a single rejection. However, when I had only around 1,000 followers my rejection rate on group boards was about 50/50 or worse… Once you become a contributor to a group board go into BoardBooster and click on Pinning Tools then click Campaigns then click on New Campaign and then click on Random Campaign (call it something) and then choose your source boards.
In my case my two big boards totally devoted to just my blog and my pins are Before & Afters and Tips & Tutorials, so I chose those two and then I chose the group boards I want them to pin to. You can choose as few or as many pins as you like to post to each group board per day but watch yourself: most have a limit on how many pins you can pin a day and all of them have a theme that you better stick to. I don’t post anyone else’s pins besides my own to group boards. Also, not all group boards are created equal and when you’re paying for pinning you want to watch yourself and make sure you’re not throwing your pins away to a group board that will NEVER pay you back in page views or repins. So, how do you figure all of this out?
After a couple of days I always visit the group boards and double check that my pins are not either: showing up too often or aren’t showing up at all. I like to see one of my pins within a few scrolls but not much more then that. I then adjust the pin rate to that group board accordingly.
After a couple of weeks I go into BoardBooster and check out Board Performance which is under Reports and I STOP pinning to any group boards that has a zero repin rate. Seriously – I’m spending $30 a month right now and over half of that is going to pinning to group boards – I can’t afford to waste pins on boards that are giving me nothing in return. I always, of course, double check that what I am pinning there is within the theme etc before I stop posting to them.
Another great feature of Board Booster is the Looping. Click on Pinning Tools and then on Looping. I have all of my Grandma’s House DIY boards (the boards that only get my content) set on looping 1 a day. What looping does is it pulls up your oldest pin, deletes it from the past and repins it at the top, this freshens up all of my old content without my having to do anything. When you first pinned one of your old pins it was only seen by the 7 followers (and your mom) that you had at the time now its getting repinned like its brand new and will be seen by all of your new followers too. What’s also great about Looping is that BoardBooster only does this with pins with little to no repins etc. So all of your popular pins will remain safe and untouched.
Another note here about your own pins’ SEO. (I use the free Yoast SEO plugin – its amazing, install it now.) When you upload a picture to your blog make sure it has a great title! For example, this is a horrible title: IMG943579234.jpg – don’t do that! Instead, change it to something relevant and descriptive, for instance the last pic in this post I called: pinit-pinterest-strategy-pageviews-boardbooster.jpg and then, after I upload it (but before I add it to my post) I change its title, its alt-text and its description to the same text I have for the description of this post: Pinterest Strategy: What I wish I had known and implemented when I started blogging. Using BoardBooster, how to increase your Pinterest numbers over night! – Those descriptions go a LONG way in Pinterst, make sure you hit on every possible keyword but don’t be a spammer, make it a REAL sentence, people read those! (I use WordPress and to change the descriptive text for any photo just go to your Media, click on the photo and change it.)
So, that’s basically it in a nutshell! I wish I had started all of this the day I began blogging but, of course, I just didn’t know any better! Everything above is what I’m doing right now and I just can’t believe how much it has skyrocketed my Pinterest numbers – my blog is getting around 20,000 page views a month and half of those are coming from Pinterest!