I’ve shared that I have a love-hate relationship with the platform.
It can seem like a frustrating long game and terribly overwhelming if you’ve not used it before.
It takes time to build up traffic, especially if you’re new and your volume of pins is low.
This is why it’s a good decision to start out on Pinterest early which I wish I had done!
Now I recommend Pinterest and 1 other social media platform to readers who are starting out.
You’ll find that everyone has a different strategy when it comes to Pinterest and there’s more than 1 way to get results.
An interesting strategy that I accidentally discovered was manual pinning. I first mentioned the results I’ve seen from manual pinning over at this post. I’ve always been curious if there was any way to boost the results you see from it.
That’s when Jenna, a reader and friend reached out to share a manual pinning strategy that has worked for her. If you’ve always wondered about manual pinning, give Jenna’s strategy below a try!
Do you spend hours on Pinterest each week?
Do you wonder how often you should be pinning, what to pin, and how to keep track of it all?
Do you want to figure out a manual pinning strategy that works so you don’t have to pay every month for a scheduling tool?
I feel you!
It took me nearly a year to figure out a simple system to make pinning more manageable. Before this point, Pinterest took up hours of my time each week.
I didn’t want to pay for a pinning tool because I was still building my business.
If you’re feeling the same way, read on.
I will show you
- how to set up your pinning schedule,
- keep track of all your pins,
- and save hours of time each week,
- without paying a pinning scheduling tool.
You with me? Let’s dig in!
Why manual pinning is a must for new bloggers
There are two main reasons you should be pinning manually.
The first is obvious. You don’t have extra money to spend, especially recurring monthly charges, when you are just starting your blog. Paying for pinning is probably not in your budget yet.
The second reason is that I believe Pinterest rewards you for pinning manually.
That’s not to say that you can’t get traffic to your site and grow your Pinterest following by using a scheduling tool.
But I do believe Pinterest wants you to physically be in their platform.
This is not backed by actual scientific evidence, but I’ve done a little experimentation of my own and every time I use a scheduling tool, my engagement drops big time.
As your pins gain traction and your presence grows, a scheduling tool is okay.
But as you’re getting started, you will get more out of Pinterest by pinning manually.
Why Pinterest is essential for growing your blog
Pinterest is one of the best search engines available to showcase your blog or business. The fact that Pinterest is a visual platform gives you the opportunity to get your brand seen.
You can drive endless amounts of traffic to your blog, your opt-ins, your products, your affiliate products and services, and more. Knowing how to get your pins seen will ultimately grow your blog and increase your chance of making money.
Unlike other search engines or social media, Pinterest can get your content seen very quickly. What might take months to start ranking high in Google’s search engine, could take just a few weeks or even days on Pinterest.
Other social platforms, such as Facebook, will only show your post to a select few before deeming it worthy of showing to any others.
If you don’t have much of a following yet, it will be challenging to get it in front of very many people.
Setting up your pinning schedule and system
Before getting started with this system, I recommend getting on several group boards that are relevant to your content.
The best way to find group boards are to look at your favorite blogger’s profiles from your niche and see what group boards they are a part of.
Click on those group boards, read the description to see if it is a good fit for your content, and apply to be a part of the board.
I have a list of awesome group boards in my free Foundations of Pinterest Mini Course. You can learn more about the course here.
Once you have at least a handful of group boards, you are ready to get started.
Follow these steps: (When you are done reading, you may want to take a peek at the video tutorial at the end of the post.)
- Create a spreadsheet. I use google sheets.
- Open a new tab for each group board you are a part of and name each tab accordingly.
- Create a column with each blog post you will be pinning to that board.
- For instance, if it is a parenting group board you can list all your parenting posts, budgeting group board, list your money saving posts, and so on.
- Do this in each tab.
- Copy and paste the list if the boards are similar.
- Make sure you are following the rules of each board. If the board doesn’t allow affiliate post, religious posts, etc., just don’t add those posts to that particular board.
- For my top three boards (The boards my pins get the most engagement in), I only list my top 10 pins (which I change periodically to keep my best stuff on these lists). This way my best pins will get pinned way more often and they will be pinned to my best boards.
Here’s a snapshot of my spreadsheet:
You will notice I have several posts listed in the left column, the pinterest URL (not blog URL) in the next column and then dates listed in the right column.
If you could see the entire screen you would see more rows of dates as well. On the bottom you see tabs with each group board listed. The screen looks very similar in each tab. The only difference being the actual pins if they do not fit with that group board.
Now you will add the Pinterest link to the second column.
- Go into Pinterest, click on the pin you want, copy the URL, and paste it into the second column next to the blog post title.
- If you have more than one Pinterest image for a single post, you can choose one (your most popular one) or you can list them separately.
Setting this up takes a little time, but you only have to do it once and it will make your life so much easier in the long run.
Decide how many pins you will pin to each board:
I stick to 3 as long as the rules of the board allow for 3 pins per day and there are enough people pining to that board that I am not spamming it.
Even if the board allows for more, I find it easiest to just keep the amount the same for each board. The less thinking I have to do, the better!
Now for the pinning!
Start in the first group board
If you have several group boards with the same or almost the same pins, you will want to stagger them a little so you are not pinning the same pin 26 times. Pinterest may think this is spammy.
Here’s how I started.
- In my first tab, I started at the top, pinning the first three pins to that board.
- Then in the next tab, I started on the second pin, and pinned the following two pins to that board.
- In the third tab, I started on the third pin, and pinned the following two pins to that board.
- And so on.
- This way, each pin was repinned to about 3 boards, but I am making sure to continually pin all of my pins.
A side note: If you have pins that are not very popular or you don’t promote anymore, simply leave them off of your lists. If you are currently promoting a course or product, make sure to promote the posts leading to that product more than usual. You can do this by creating multiple pins to the relevant posts and adding them to your list separately so they get pinned more often without any extra thought.
Now that you have the lists and know what you want to pin, here’s a simple way to make it happen:
- Click on the pin url. This will take you directly to that pin on pinterest in a new tab.
- Click the save button and add it to the board you want (the board from the tab you are in on your spreadsheet).
- Go back to your spreadsheet tab and put the date in the right column next to that pin.
- Copy and paste the date so you can easily add it each time you pin from here on out.
- Go to the next pin and repeat this process.
- This time that same board will come up first on your pin so it will be even faster to pin.
- As I said, I do 3 pins per group board, but make sure to follow the rules of your boards as you pin.
I actively pin to around 30-50 group boards each day and it takes me between 15-20 minutes to get through all of my boards using this system.
Pinterest seems to like when you don’t do all of your pinning at once so you can split this into a couple 5-10 minute tasks if you want. I do all my pinning at one time because of my tight working schedule with my three little kiddos. Do what works for you. The 15-20 minutes is more than worth it for the amount of traffic you can get to your site from Pinterest.
Make sure to watch the tutorial below to see the whole thing in action!
A couple final thoughts to keep in mind:
- Make sure to also repin from your group boards. This will help your fellow bloggers as well as keep that group board more productive for you.
- Keep your regular boards full of good content as well. Repin high quality pins to each of your boards periodically or loop the content from the bottom of the board.
- Pin 10-20 pins from the trending or popular lists on Pinterest regularly. When you pin relevant, pins with lots of repins, you get a boost to your profile.
Once you have this system in place, be consistent and watch as your traffic and Pinterest following grows.
If you want to strategically optimize your Pinterest profile to grow your following and your traffic, join the FREE Foundations of Pinterest Course here.