Do you ever feel like there’s something you’re just missing with Pinterest?
When I started looking for ways to increase traffic to my blog, I kept coming across one thing: Pinterest.
All the top bloggers I follow, all the blogging courses I took, and all the blog traffic discussions in Facebook groups said the same thing:
Get on Pinterest! It’s amazing for blog traffic!
Well, I did all the right things. I made a Pinterest business account for my blog, set up rich pins, created pinnable images for every post, joined a load of group boards and scheduled each new post out to 20+ boards in Tailwind.
But I still wasn’t getting the amazing traffic everyone else seemed to have.
I felt like there was some big secret I wasn’t getting!
Finally, a few weeks ago, I cracked it.
I cracked the code that made my Pinterest traffic do this:
It was relatively straight forward, and makes so much sense!
Here’s how you can do it too:
The Pinterest game changer
For me, the big game changer was manual pinning.
That means you log into Pinterest and pin away yourself. I stopped using schedulers and started doing everything manually. That’s what caused the massive jump you see in the screenshot above.
It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Pinterest want to see people actually using their platform.
They make more money from their advertisers when users are actually logged in and engaging with the platform, scrolling through the smart feed and clicking on things themselves.
But there’s more to it than just pinning manually.
You also need to know how to create effective pins, which pins to repin, when to pin, and how to approach Pinterest in the most efficient way to drive maximum traffic.
This is all covered in Carly’s ebook.
(Note from October 2018: Pinteresting Strategies was a book when I bought it, but it has just been updated into an e-course format! I think this is a great idea because Carly will be able to update the course more easily. I will do an updated review once I’ve had time to test out the new course properly!)
Pinteresting Strategies review
I had so many ah-ha moments reading this book, and I really feel like it was a turning point for my blog!
Carly also offers a couple of different suggestions for staying on track of your manual pinning. However, for me, I found both of the suggestions a bit confusing to stay on top of and also impossible to stick to if I was away from my desk at my recommended ‘pinning time’.
This was the only downside of the strategy for me.
Luckily, this all changed once I found a spreadsheet to organise pins and group boards and generate a pinning schedule to save time. I purchased a pre-made spreadsheet which sadly has disappeared from sale now, but you could knock up your own with a bit of time and patience.
I recommend using Google Sheets so you can access it from your phone if you need to pin away from home. It is definitely easier using a spreadsheet than pen and paper to keep track of your pins, especially because you can include links and you can easily switch them out as various pins take off.
My Google Sheets document with the URLs of all my top pins, that I could access from my phone, is the only reason I managed to keep my traffic high even when I was travelling for two weeks last month.
Manual pinning results on my blog
So, does manual pinning actually work?
It does for me!
I started my new manual pinning routine on 12 March 2018. Since then, I’ve completely stopped using schedulers and I’ve spent time pinning manually on Pinterest every day – even though some days I could only manage five minutes from my phone.
Before I started implementing my new manual pinning strategy, I considered it a ‘good day’ if I got 50 visits from Pinterest.
Now, on an average day I get around 300 clicks, but I’ve had several days with over 1,000!
That’s over 1,000 clicks through in a single day from Pinterest alone.
I’ve also had my first ever viral pin, which brought 852 visitors in a single day from just one pin.
According to Google analytics, in the month before I started this strategy (12 March), I had 10,876 page views. In the first one month period after starting the strategy, I got 38,128 page views.
By the way, that dip at the beginning of April was when I went travelling for a couple of weeks and could only do minimal daily pinning from my phone. If I’d been consistently doing my full pinning routine, I believe I could have kept the upwards trend going.
As a result of this new Pinterest traffic, I achieved one of my major blogging goals of getting accepted into an advertising network which requires a minimum of 25,000 sessions in a month.
My advertising revenue has increased 20 fold since I’ve been approved to the program, and I’m also making more in affiliate sales as a result of my higher traffic.
Update: as of October 2018, I make a full time income blogging and I’ve just quit my job as a result! I credit my success in large part to Carly and her amazing course 🙂
So yes – for me, manual pinning works and I don’t intend to quit this strategy any time soon!
What about Pinterest changes?
Pinterest has been a bit crazy recently. In fact, it’s always a bit crazy!
They seem to go through a major update three or four times a year and each time we see some insane glitches for several weeks before and after.
However, even though we are seeing some Pinterest changes as I write this in May 2018, the manual pinning strategy set out in Pinteresting Strategies is still holding strong for me, although I do have ups and downs.
I am able to test things out because I actually have three Pinterest accounts (for different blogs and Pinterest affiliate marketing) and I can see consistently better results on my Boost My Budget account, which is purely manual pinning now, than on my other accounts where I still use Tailwind for time reasons.
Although we should always be testing and tweaking any blogging strategies, I do think that the core principles of this strategy will always work well, because they just make sense if you think about it from Pinterest’s point of view.
Of course Pinterest will always want to see people who are actually engaged with their platform. Carly’s strategies for choosing pictures and keywords just make sense too, and I can’t imagine those things would change.
The one thing that does change a lot is recommended image size! Pinterest always seems to be experimenting with pin display sizes.
The book recommends long pins of 1350 pixels but currently pins seem to be cut off at about 1250, and it may well change again by the time you read this. So I would check with Pinterest for the best image size when you are ready to start making pins.
Have you tried manual pinning? What results did you see? Do you agree with my review of Pinteresting Strategies?