Last updated on June 15th, 2018 at 05:27 am
How to use Pinterest for Business frustrating the heck out of you? Are you frustrated with your lack of Pinterest results? Join me as I start learning how to use Pinterest to grow my blog. That’s why I am running a 30-day case study to see if I can better results.
Growing A Blog is Challenging
I’ve taken the time to put together a bunch of my blog posts on one page that will help you understand and learn the basics of WordPress, you can check it out here. I understand how intimidating it can be to get started with WordPress.
My very first WordPress site took me over 8 hours to set up. I wanted to pull my hair out and throw my laptop out of the window.
But the truth is that like anything else, the more you work with it, the easier it will get. When you start your blog, what is going to frustrate you more than anything is the lack of traffic?
It’s so easy to get frustrated when you see everyone else around you growing. You’ll start wondering what you’re doing wrong?
Why isn’t your blog growing? The truth is that you’re not doing anything wrong, it just takes time for a blog to grow.
Ask any blogger and they will tell you that a blog doesn’t grow overnight. You need to treat it like a business from day one and work on growing it every day.
This is where most bloggers mess up. They get online and they read everything they can get their hands on to see what will help them grow their blog.
Then they start implementing everything they can. Don’t do that.
Choose 2-3 traffic methods and work on those methods diligently to see if they actually grow your blog.
How to Use Pinterest for Business My Case Study
For the next 30 days, I am going to be experimenting to see if I can improve my blog traffic. I’ve been using Pinterest for the past year and unfortunately, I haven’t been able to see the results that so many other bloggers have been able to see.
I know that we’re not supposed to compare ourselves to others. But it is a little frustrating to do something day in and day out and not see any improvement.
That’s why they say that the definition of insanity is:
Insanity is knowing that what you’re doing is completely idiotic, but still, somehow, you just can’t stop it.
– Elizabeth Wurtzel
Why My Pinterest Results Suck
To tell you the truth it’s my fault that I haven’t had good results on Pinterest.
I’ve been stretching myself too thin and not really learning the platform. I’ve just used Board Booster and Tailwind to set up an automated scheduler and let it do all the work.
You can’t expect an automated scheduler to teach you everything you need to know about a platform. If you really want to understand a platform, you need to take the time to learn it.
Well on January 15, I decided to put the Pinterest Strategies eBook techniques to work.
What Is Pinterest Strategies eBook?
The eBook explains how Carly managed to build her pageviews to over 200k per month just by using Pinterest.
I have had this eBook sitting on my hard drive for a while. In fact, I actually started to implement the method when I bought the eBook.
Then I got so busy trying to do guest posting, creating YouTube videos, writing Kindle eBooks, freelancing and etc.
I just couldn’t keep up with the time that it took to spend time manual pinning. I figured what the heck, I’ll just stop.
So I let the book sit on my hard drive and haven’t touched it again until the middle of this month.
This time, I am going to stick with it for 30 days. That’s actually one of the reasons that I don’t post videos on my YouTube channel every week anymore.
My YouTube channel wasn’t driving the traffic that I thought that it would. I’ll put it on hold right now while I focus on learning the ins and out of Pinterest.
I figure if I can stick with it for at least two weeks. Then it will become a habit and a part of my blogging routine.
Will This Work?
This technique helped Carly grow her page views to over 200k per month in less than a year. Now before you say that page views don’t matter.
I am a true believer that the more page views you have the more chances you have to grow your email list, make affiliate sales and just get your blog in front of more eyeballs.
I can say that since I’ve started manually pinning on January 15, I have seen an increase in my Pinterest traffic. Not just that but I’ve also noticed an increase in my email subscribers.
Really that’s the only number we should care about. As long as our subscribers continue to increase then all is well in the blogging world.
I’ve Had More People Read My eBooks
Oh, and by using Pinterest to help me market my Kindle eBooks, I’ve had more people reading them from their Kindle devices. That’s why I am a huge believer that you need to increase your page views.
Of course, you want to make sure that when someone comes to your blog, they know what it’s about. Otherwise, you’ll end up getting a lot of traffic and no subscribers or sales.
My Pinterest Experiment
Okay, so what is my Pinterest experiment?
Well for the next 30 days, I am going to take the time to do some manual pinning along with the automation tools. I just can’t stop using Tailwind to help me schedule my pins.
I figure why not share my results with you, after all, this will hold me accountable and if you’ve been struggling to get Pinterest love, this may help you out.
You can pick up the Pinterest Strategies eBook here to make sure that you’re following all the advice.
I won’t be revealing the steps I will be taking to get everything set up. You can find all that out by picking up the eBook.
Here are my current stats for the last 30 days so you can see if this actually works.
Here are the people you reach stats.
I’ve always struggled to get this number to increase. No matter if I am pinning 50 pins per day or 20 pins per day. This number has always remained in the 100,000 plus.
I’ve never been able to crack into the 200,000 or higher.
Hopefully, this experiment will help me increase my reach on Pinterest? Only time will tell.
When I started this experiment I only had 584 followers. I know that everyone says followers don’t matter, but I want to be transparent about everything.
If you check my following after reading this blog post, you will notice that I’ve already increased my followers.
And I’ve only been manually pinning since the 15th of this month.
Here’s What I Plan On Doing
I went through my Google Analytics dashboard and found my most popular pins. I copied those URLs into a spreadsheet on Google Drive.
You’re going to want to join some group boards in order to keep pinning your pin on Pinterest without spamming your own followers. Plus if you don’t have enough followers, there’s no way that this method will help you grow your Pinterest traffic.
In the eBook Carly recommends joining 70 group boards. At the time of this writing, I belong to about 20 group boards.
For this experiment, I am only going to be manually pinning 8 pins per day. I’d love to pin more, but I just don’t have the time.
I will still be pinning pins using my Tailwind scheduler. But as I mentioned above, I have been relying 100% on an automated scheduler and haven’t been able to increase my traffic significantly.
Creating Your Spreadsheet
One of the things that I’ve noticed when you’re trying to pin manually is that things can get confusing quickly. (at least for me they can)
I’ve personally color coded my spreadsheet to help me stay organized. For some reason, a color-coded system helps me stay organized because I can quickly see which pins have been pinned for the day.
I’ve even created a column so I can jot down the time that I pinned to the group board. I’m such an Analytics person, I like to see everything that I am doing.
If you don’t want to jot down the time that you pinned to the group board, don’t feel like you have to. Track whatever you want to do.
Remember, it’s your experiment and you can do what you want 🙂
Rotate your pins every day on the spreadsheet so that every day you’re pinning your pin to a different group board. You don’t want to pin the same pin to more than one group board in a day.
I know it sounds confusing, but trust me, once you start doing it, you’ll get the hang of it. Think of it as the semi-loop rotation that I use for Tailwind.
Cleaning Up My Boards
Another thing that I am going to be doing is cleaning up my Pinterest boards. I’ve read so much stuff about whether or not you should be deleting pins and I’ve decided that I am going to take the time to clean up my boards.
When I started using Pinterest a year ago, I had no clue what I was doing. I was pinning anything and everything. Some of my boards look like crap.
So for the next 30 days, not only am I going to pin manually, but I am also going to spend time deleting pins. I am going to start slowly as you don’t want to delete hundreds of pins in one day.
I’ve read that it’s good practice to NOT delete more than 40 pins at a time when you first start deleting pins. I’m new to deleting pins and I don’t want to steer you wrong, so if you want to learn more about how to delete pins on Pinterest, here’s a great article that explains how to do this in detail.
So every morning while I am drinking my coffee, I am going to use my iPad and delete pins while I enjoy my coffee. The great thing is that my boards don’t have thousands of pins. Well, one of my board has over 2,000 pins, so that board is going to suck.
My Pinterest Clean Up Strategy
I’m going to quickly explain how I plan on deleting pins from my Pinterest account and what type of pins I am going to delete. I am going to start with my Make Money Blogging Board first.
Here’s what the virality score of that board is before I start deleting pins.
I’m not sure how often these stats get updated on Tailwind because to tell you the truth I never really pay attention to it. I guess that’s one of the reasons I’m still struggling to reach 10,000 page views per month.
I’ve started going through that board and checking every pin individually. If the pin has 0-4 repins, it gets deleted. (I’m even deleting my own pins)
If you are brand new to Pinterest and most of your pins do not have that many repins, then you will want to delete pins that have less repins. For instance, delete all the pins that do not have at least one repin.
Pick a number that you are comfortable deleting, otherwise you will wipe out all your boards.
I feel comfortable with deleting pins that have less than four repins.
I am not deleting the pin if it has any type of engagement, even if it does not have any repins,
Once I complete that board, I will move on to one of my next boards. The mistake that I made here is that I should’ve started with my board with the highest virality score.
Oh well, I plan on cleaning up all my boards so that’s okay.
Why Not Use Pin Doctor
I know you’re probably thinking, why not use the Pin Doctor by Board Booster. Well, I did use it for one of my boards, but the truth is that I really want to take this time to get into Pinterest and learn as much as I can about it.
Plus they charge $10 for every 1,000 pins and I still found myself having to go in there and check the pins before deleting them.
Pin Doctor does make it easier, but I don’t want to keep paying $10 for something that I can do every morning for 10 minutes. And at the same time, I am learning things about the platform that I didn’t know.
If I really want to use it to grow my traffic, I need to understand it. I’ve realized that it will be impossible for me to ever walk away from my freelancing business if I don’t learn how to drive traffic to my blog.
That’s actually something I’ve always struggled with in the past.
I guess that’s why I suffered from the shiny object syndrome. It’s easy to get frustrated when you work so hard and you don’t see the results.
This time around, I am going to figure this traffic thing out. Like I said, with more traffic come more subscribers and the monetization comes easier.
I’m Still Using A Scheduler
As I mentioned above, I’ll still be using Tailwind to help me automate my pinning. Just in case something comes up and I don’t have time to schedule pins manually, I want to make sure that I am still sharing other people’s pins as well as my own.
Plus, I’ve already paid for Tailwind for the year because I always opt for the yearly subscription instead of the monthly subscription.
Remember, you want to keep getting your popular pins out on Pinterest.
Pinterest Resources to Use
I’d love to tell you that you can learn everything that you need to know about Pinterest from one course or blog. The truth is that I’ve read a lot about Pinterest on several different blogs and have even purchased 2 courses and one eBook. (it’s important to keep learning so you can test different strategies)
I know that you may not want to invest a lot of money on different courses because they can get kind of pricey.
If you are serious about following along with me during this experiment, I do recommend you pick up the Pinterest Strategies eBook.
It’s the only way that you will be able to follow everything that I am doing.
While the book does not cover deleting pins, this is something that I am testing out on my own.
Free Resources to Learn Pinterest
For those of you who don’t want to spend any money, well I’ve got a couple of free resources for you. I don’t use a lot of free resources because the information is usually the same.
However, here are two great resources that I have personally used.
- Kate Ahl – Simple Pin Podcast (She also shares a lot of great tips on her blog.)
- Tailwind Blog – Start reading this blog to learn how to use Tailwind. You’ll also learn how to get the most from Pinterest.
You Can’t Be Scared
One of the things that I’ve learned is that you can’t be scared to experiment with different strategies. Just because someone says something works for them, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you.
The only way that you will ever know if it will work for you is to test things out on your own. It’s your business and you don’t want to just take other people’s word for it.
What’s the worst thing that can happen?
You spend 30 days pinning manually and cleaning up your Pinterest boards and your traffic stays the same? That’s okay because you didn’t lose anything.
Hopefully, those 30 days taught you something about the platform. You may have even learned how to manage your time better.
Trust me, you won’t be sorry if you don’t see the results you want. But I can honestly say that just by spending some time pinning manually, you will start to see some results.
I’ve been manually pinning for about 5 days now and I can tell you that it does take a little bit extra time. But since I am only manually pinning 8 of my own pins, I am not spending a lot of more time on it.
Oh and guess what?
I’ve started noticing an increase in my Pinterest traffic just from spending more time on Pinterest. I’ve also noticed that I’ve gotten more followers since I started spending time cleaning up my boards.
I didn’t start deleting pins the same time that I started pinning manually. I actually started deleting pins from my boards on the 1/18/2018.
So am I getting more followers because I’ve been deleting pins or manually pinning? Honestly, I don’t know.
Doing One Thing At A Time
I know that I should’ve only tested one thing out instead of manually pinning and deleting pins. This way it would be easy to see if my traffic is increasing because I am spending time manually pinning. Or maybe I am getting more traffic because I am cleaning up my Pinterest boards?
To tell you the truth, I don’t really care why my traffic is increasing. What I can say is that my traffic has started increasing since I have done both:
- Cleaning up my boards
- Spending time manual pinning
As long as I can continue to see an upward incline and more traffic that’s all that matters to me. Then I know that it’s because of what I am doing that is helping me grow my traffic.
When I was just pinning using an automated scheduler my followers weren’t growing. My traffic stayed stagnant at around 3,500 page views per month. You can read my monthly blog traffic reports here.
Final Take Away
I wasn’t going to share this case study on my blog. However, I figured that you are probably struggling to increase your Pinterest traffic too. Maybe you’ve been pinning like crazy and you’re not seeing results.
Hopefully, by me sharing what I’m doing will help you see the importance of constantly testing new things on your own. I’ll be sure to post the second part of this case study after my 30 days of my Pinterest experiment.
If I get really good results, then I may be tempted to post a mid case study update. (although not really sure about this one, we’ll see)
It might not be exactly 30 days after the experiment because I do have a regular life offline. Plus I am still freelancing for some clients.(hopefully not much longer)
But be sure to check back sometime in February because I’ll definitely be sure to write an update with my results. Whether I see an improvement to my blog traffic or not.
Of course feel free to sign up to my email list where I will give my subscribers a more in-depth look at what I’m doing than what reveal on my blog.
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Are you using Pinterest as one of your traffic strategies? If so, are you happy with your results?
How long did it take you to start seeing the results you’re getting? I’d love to know about your Pinterest journey and figuring out how to use it for growing your blog.
Recommended Blogging Resources:
- Free 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp
- Article about using Yoast SEO for optimizing your blog posts and how to do it.
- SEMRush Free Trial to Gather Low Competitive Keywords
- Quiz: Which theme is best for your blog?
- If you want to build an email list and send newsletters, I recommend ConvertKit (starts at $29)