10 Tips to Grow Your Pinterest Following & how I grew my Pinterest following by over 600% (from 3,500 to 21,500) in one year using Pinterest scheduling.
2016 was a crazy year. I think we can all agree on that. But something crazy happened, that I could have never dreamt to be possible. I grew my Pinterest account from 3,454 to 21,485 followers in 1 year! I can hardly believe it! And while I will try to keep the focus on Pinterest. My Pinterest story/growth intertwines quite a bit with a variety of blogging topics…
So let’s start from the beginning! Because I know I can’t be the only one who is overwhelmed by the growth.
At the end of 2014, I tried to grow my Instagram account, & while I had some very mild success I learned that when I put a lot of attention & focus on developing growth in one platform I had better success than trying to grow all of those different platforms at the same time. So after some contemplation, I decided to stop putting my effort into Instagram & in 2015 I focused solely on my Facebook growth & I was able to Triple My Facebook Followers in Two Months. And while I am happy I was able to grow my Facebook like this, I wasn’t able to keep this strategy up for a variety of reasons. One of which was because I was trying to pump out as much quality content as possible in order to grow my page views (I have since learned new strategies that I am trying to find time to apply).
By the end of 2015, I discovered (what I should have already known) that Pinterest is Queen.
So I began to lessen my focus on Facebook while increasing my attention & strategy on Pinterest.
At the beginning of 2016, I was still sharing my blog’s monthly statics (although this – like my income reports – came to an end a couple months later, you can read about that decision here) & in December’s review you can see that I was able to grow my following from 700 to 3,454 Pinterest followers. That’s a growth of almost 500% in 5 months!
Now the funny thing is when I wrote “properly” I should have written “.” because before this I had barely been using Pinterest. I’m pretty sure I was still using my personal Pinterest account, I was not using Rich Pins, & I BARELY EVER PINNED!
Can you believe it?
So in August, I began to fix all of these problems.
- I stopped using my personal Pinterest account & started solely using Domestically Blissful’s Pinterest account. This was a simple switch with a huge payback.
- I verified my account & began using Rich Pins.
- I upped my editing skills. For example, I learned more about my camera & Lightroom & I also started using Canva (it’s free!) to create pictures with word overlay.
- I started PINning with abandon.
- Seriously, I pinned like crazy.
My strategy was to stick to the 50/50 guide. And I created my own schedule. Just about every waking hour, on the hour, I would spend 5-10 minutes pinning. My strategy: pin someone else’s content, pin mine, pin someone else’s, pin mine, pin someone else’s, pin mine, etc.
WOW! Was that exhausting! But when I started seeing the results I couldn’t stop. Literally, I was addicted to my phone & growing my views.
When I discovered my majorly HORRIBLE Google Analytics FAIL in May of 2015 I was completely devastated. After coming to grips, not quitting blogging, fixing the problem, & focusing on Pinterest, my growth was better than ever. I went from only 27,590 page views in June to averaging 156,159 page views a month for the last 4 months in 2015.
Amazing right??? That’s an increase in views by over 550%!!!
The only problem, pinning like that is exhausting & not sustainable.
So in January I started using Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling. I started with the free trial first, & then when that was up I signed up for their Plus plan, a year at a time so that I could have unlimited pins. I used Tailwind to schedule my pins & to schedule other people’s content. And I slowly continued to increase my following. Not as significantly as I did during the holiday season, but it was still steady & I was happy.
I wasn’t wasting countless hours a day pinning, I was able to create more shareable content, & my following was growing. I couldn’t complain.
Around the same time, my Pinterest following & page views began to grow during the fall of 2015 my income also began to increase. Through sponsored posts (like Linqia), Ebates, Ad income, etc. But I knew I could do better. I knew I was still missing something. While I had all of these page views & new followers, I was only making a teeny tiny percentage of income compared to other bloggers in the same area as me. I was completely frustrated & confused.
So I decided to stop trying to figure things out myself & start investing more in my blog. My first investment was purchasing a theme for my blog, previously I had been only using free themes which were slowing down my site (which then causes people not to want to stick around & wait for your post to load, which equals fewer views). I found this lovely theme from Simply Pro Theme by the Bloom Blog Shop which is a StudioPress’s Genesis Framework (highly recommended). My second investment was Tailwind’s Plus plan. My third investment was taking a blogging course (the first course I ever took), Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
BEST DECISION I EVER MADE!!
I learned so much! But what was awesome was that I not only learned a ton of useful & applicable information about affiliate income, but I also learned some important lessons about Pinterest!
And it launched me into a new drive of research about Pinterest.
There are so many posts out there about Tailwind vs. BoardBooster & I thought I had to choose a side. And for a while I did. But once I started using BoardBoster (along with Tailwind) I started to save even more time & I had a boom in growth on Pinterest that led to me beginning 2017 with over 21,000 Pinterest followers!
And you know what else, after learning so much from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, I instantly became addicted to taking courses that would teach me more invaluable information. I then took a class called Facebook Strategies Worth Sharing from a woman who grew her Facebook from 2,000 to 100,000 followers in 5 months. I took one on Instagram. And I also bought The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit (which I wrote about here) that included over 62 resources! Including, the eBook 17 Strategies I Used to Go from 17K to 350K+ Pageviews in 9 Months which was so good I couldn’t put it down. I started & finished it in 24 hours last week.
ps. While this isn’t available right now, you can click here & they will let you know when a new Bundle is available, or you can sign up here & I will let you know when this exact bundle for bloggers becomes available again!
And guess what all this research, information, & application resulted in? Not only huge Pinterest growth but, page view growth, which resulted in email subscription growth. I had my best month ever in October with over 325,000 page views.
I currently PIN around 100 pins a day. 50/50 my content & other people’s content. To break it down: I pin 50 of my own pins (to group boards) a day & 50 of other people’s content (to my boards) a day. I use Tailwind to schedule other people’s content & BoardBooster to schedule my own content.
Tailwind takes the most time as I have to hunt down the content, but I have found a way to streamline this & save even more time! I simply search specific topics like Valentine’s presents, vegetarians soups, white kitchens, etc., & then I batch schedule 100 pins from each topic to its corresponding board. I try to do this for each board I have created (according to season) so that I always have new content going to all of my boards. Then I go into Tailwind, to my scheduled pins, & click “shuffle queue” so they are all mixed up. Right now I’m all scheduled for January & into February. I also schedule content from Tailwind Tribes whenever I add content to a tribe. In regards to Tailwind Tribes I try to use the strategy of scheduling 1-2 pins of other people’s content whenever I add 1 of my own pins to a tribe.
To give you an idea of how much time it takes me here is a breakdown of my recent Tailwind/Pinterest haul: I spent about a day at the end of last year scheduling pins on Tailwind through the end of the year, through January, & into February. Since the majority of my views come from Pinterest I want to make sure that I am putting more effort, money, & quality time into it. So 1 day spent on Pinterest (using the batch scheduling trick I mentioned above) with Tailwind equaled almost 2 months of scheduled pins. That’s 1/6th of the year scheduled in under 24 hours! Which is a total win!!
Can you see all of those hours I just saved myself compared to my old way of manually pinning? Seriously! Think about all that time you can save!!!
The wonderful thing about BoardBooster is that you can have it all set up to pin for you, kind of like set it & forget it. I have campaigns/loops set up with only my content & all I have to do is maybe 30 minutes maintenance a month along with adding my newest posts to the campaigns. My pins are all on a looped schedule so I never actually need to pin my own content, BoardBooster does it for me. Because I have been blogging for 3 years & have quite a bit of content on my blog it took me 1-2 days to get BoardBooster all set up. But now it basically runs itself!
SO MUCH TIME SAVED!!!
Previously I was scheduling other people’s content & ALL of my content to Tailwind, which meant I had to manually go in and & schedule season specific pins to group boards. And that took up countless hours. Now everything is separated, simplified, strategized, organized, & categorized. And more importantly, I’m saving more time which I am then able to use to create more content to drive even more people to my blog.
To say I am happy about this discovery is a gross understatement.
So now that I’ve basically given you a gigantic snapshot of my last year of blogging & how Pinterest has largely impacted my growth & income, let’s break it down into 10 Tips to Grow Your Pinterest Following.
1. Have PIN worthy images on every post. Pinterest friendly images are vertical rather than horizontal. You can see examples here.
2. Pin regularly & pin daily.
3. Use Pinterest Scheduling Tools. I recommend that you use both BoardBooster & Tailwind together. You can try a free trial of both first! Click here for a free trial of BoardBooster & here for a free trial of Tailwind.
4. Pin your content & other people’s content. Potential followers want to see that you curate a lot of valuable information for them.
5. Share quality content. Pinterest users are seeking your help, knowledge, tips, & advice. That’s why they are on Pinterest. Give the people what they want! Pinterest readers are often interested in things like lists (Example: 75 Gilmore Girl Gifts), how to’s (Example: How to Start a Self Hosted Blog), recipes (Example: Caramel Apple Slices), & seasonal content (Example: 300 Date Ideas).
6. Create quality images. It’s important to create content that is in the same range of quality as the content you are sharing of other people’s content. Your Pinterest boards are a catalog, you don’t want your pins (or theirs) to look out of place. I use a Canon EOS Rebel T3 to take the photos & Lightroom to edit the photos you see on Domestically Blissful.
8. Create a board specifically for your content & put it at the very top of your Pinterest page. See example here.
9. Find & follow blogger’s who are succeeding at Pinterest, occasionally track their strategies & then try adapting them to your strategy. (For example, it was all the rage at the beginning of 2016 to delete pins with low repin count, but by the end of the year it was highly discouraged.)
10. Purposefully seek knowledge from others. The best decision I made in 2016 was to stop trying to figure out everything myself & to start learning from those who have already been through the trial/error/success phase. That way I can just skip to learning successful ways to succeed at blogging. I have a list of courses I have taken on my resources page that has dramatically helped grow my blog & income. You can click here to see the whole list of resources.
And if you are looking to join some Pinterest group boards & Facebook groups, you can also find those on my resources & recommendations page!
***One final note.
Something that I have heard over & over again that I want to make sure I also convey in this Pinterest focused post is to not put all of your eggs in one basket. While I continue to have social media platform goals, the number one thing I want to make sure I do is to grow my email following list. Because platforms come & go & algorithms change without a moments notice. However, your email list is yours alone & nobody can take that from you. It’s indispensable & extremely valuable. So while I greatly encourage Pinterest growth to grow your blog, I also believe that the best resource of your blog is your email list, which you can grow by driving more people to your blog through social media.
And speaking of which! If you enjoyed this post & are interested in learning more exclusive tips, advice, & special opportunities you can sign up to receive my Blogger to Blogger Newsletter.
What is your favorite Pinterest strategy?
I’d love to hear from you!
Feel free to comment below, email me, or tweet me on Twitter.
With love, G
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ,
as though God were pleading through us:
we implore you on Christ’s behalf,
be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20