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I want to kick off a new series on this blog where I want to give you a little insight into our business. I personally love to read stories from other entrepreneuers of how they are growing and managing their businesses, so I hope that this category on the blog will inspire some of you as well. Today I’d like to start with Pinterest, which has become one of the most important tools for growing our business within the last year. Let me show you why we decided to use it and how it brings us a lot of new visitors and traffic to our blog posts and products.
Why I love Pinterest (personal and business-wise)
Probably like most of you I started using Pinterest for my daily inspiration – I pinned mostly recipes, outfit inspo, beauty hacks and DIY stuff for my apartment. I have signed up on Pinterest already four years ago and three of them I only pinned for fun and inspiration. When we finally decided to take the next step and go fulltime with our little business, one of the first questions was: How do we make people find our website and buy our products? I was looking for a way to increase our organic traffic because spending money on ads was not in our financial plan back then.
That’s when I stumbled over the first blog posts that promoted Pinterest as the silver bullet for growing blog traffic. I think I’ve read them all, because what they promised sounded just to good to be true. But the more success stories I read, the more I was hooked and decided to give it a try. And I can tell you that today, after one year of using Pinterest for our business, we see awesome results, and I couldn’t be happier with this decision!
Do you wonder how we use our Pinterest business account today and how we started out? Then read on through the next paragraph or scroll to the end if you just want to grab my 3 most important Pinterest tips for businesses (but you will miss our success strategy then!).
How we use Pinterest: Our personal pinning strategy
We started building our professional Pinterest account for this business around a year ago. The first thing to do was clean up my mainly inspirational, personal account and bring it in line with our blog topics and products. I converted all boards about recipes, DIY and fashion to secret boards, so I could still use them, and created a lot of new boards with topics that are directly related to our business and the products we sell. Pinterest is basically a search engine, so I made sure that I added meaningful descriptions and board titles and use our most important keywords.
If you want to read more about keywords, and search engine optimization, give our Free SEO Guide for Beginners post a read!
Are Pinterest Courses worth the money?
Don’t worry if you are just starting and wonder where I knew all this things from at the beginning. As said above, I read a lot of blog posts from successful pinners (this is my Pinterest board for all the tips I valued most), signed up for email courses and also took a few Pinterest online courses and bought ebooks.
For example from Rosemarie from The Busy Budgeter (which I can’t recommend that much, it was not very up-to-date from my point of view) and the book on manual pinning by Mommy on Purpose (which had some great new ideas for me, so I’d recommend that one more if you want to read about other blogger’s strategies). I also took the Pinterest course of DIY blogger Caroline Preuss, which helped me a lot – unfortunately it is only available in German.
In general, I can recommend spending money on these assets if you are serious about growing your Pinterest account, because they gave me a lot of input and ideas I hadn’t thought of. Especially if you are trying to find the one strategy that works for you, it’s great to discover how others did it and how they succeeded.
Do you use a Pinterest scheduler and how often should I post on Pinterest?
It took us around 3-4 months to develop a solid strategy. During this time we tried out a lot, pinned product images from Etsy and our website, then started a blog to close it again (not properly enough planned, such things happen) and went back to only pinning product images and inspiration. After some time we slowly found out what was working for us and what not and I guess that for most businesses this is how it goes. Pinterest is not about throwing 5 pins on it and becoming a viral superpinner. You have to bring patience and endurance.
After we had finally settled in and had developed a kind of Pinterest routine, things went on much more smoothly. In these first months where we pinned a lot (around 40-50 pins each day), we started using Tailwind to schedule pins. After more than a year, we still use it today, because it is a great tool to plan pins and get fresh content up on your boards every day (who has time to pin 30 pins at 20 different times each day?).
Pinterest Scheduling with Tailwind
I would definitely recommend using a scheduling tool. Tailwind is the only one we tried (obviously because I love it and stick with it for more than a year now) and I can’t compare to others, but it is very easy to use and has a schedule where you can see each pin that is planned and drag and drop your pins around. They also have this incredibly useful smart feed feature that will calculate when your audience is most engaged and automatically share your pins at these times.
Tailwind will also show you very detailed analytics (way more detailed than the normal Pinterest analytics), which secretly is the feature I love the most. I’m a little statistics nerd and love to evaluate how my pins are performing and which boards get how many repins on what kind of content. It helps me a lot to find content ideas and decide which blog post to write next.
If you are new to Pinterest schedulers, you should definitely give it a try and find out if it helps you level up your Pinterest game. Use this link to sign up for a free Tailwind trial and schedule up to 100 pins for free.
Our Pinterest Formula and how much traffic we actually get
Quality + Quantity = Success
If I had to compress our success on Pinterest into a formula then it would be this one: Quality + Quantity = Pinterest Success. From my experience, growing on Pinterest is a lot about content quality, because nobody wants to read shitty content, but also about quantity, because Pinterest seems to value your account if you pin a lot. It’s not about throwing in 200 pins on one day each week, but spreading these to 30-40 each day.
That’s why it’s so important for us to use a proper scheduling tool like Tailwind. I also do pin manually, because I love to scroll through the app, get inspired and source new content ideas – and I think that the mix between both ways is ideal.
Own Content vs. Other Content
There is a lot of confusion and different information about pinning your own vs. other people’s content. I was also experimenting with this question and have to say that at least in the very beginning if you don’t have that much own content or products, it helps a lot to pin more content from others. Today my pinning ratio is about 10% other content and 90% our own blog posts and products. This works pretty well for us and it also seems that Pinterest values this strategy of creating a lot own content and sharing it.
I have carried out this strategy pretty tight over the last year and today we have reached over 900k monthly viewers! This number sounds insane, but it is real and I’m more than happy how our little Pinterest experiment turned out! As I just started this blog 2 months ago, the clicks rates aren’t that impressive (around 40-50 clicks each day), but we are slowly getting there and I know how powerful Pinterest traffic can be, so I’m really excited about what is coming.
3 Tips if you want to use Pinterest for your Business
Finally, after telling you our own story and sharing our personal strategy – here are my three most important tips that everybody who wants to succeed on Pinterest should internalize:
1) Use Business Tools from Pinterest and their Marketing Partners
Pinterest makes it so easy to use your boards and pin for your business and grow your traffic organically and for free. The first steps are to create a free business account or change your existing one to business, claim your website and set up rich pins. Pinterest has its own analytics that will show you how popular your pins are, which ones get repinned the most and how much traffic they drive to your website.
For our Pinterest strategy a good scheduling tool is inevitable. As already explained in detail above, we use Tailwind to plan our pins. They are an approved Pinterest marketing partner, so scheduling your pins won’t harm your performance on Pinterest (on the contrary, it will help a lot!).
2) Create High Quality Content and pin it strategically
Pinterest won’t work if your content doesn’t. It doesn’t necessarily have to be blog posts, if you have inspiring and design-wise products, but writing an accompanying blog with valueable content certainly helps. Outstanding content and products that help people solve their problems plus a solid strategy are the two things that will help you succeed on Pinterest in the long term. There is no big secret behind Pinterest success, but strategy and content, content, content.
3) Be patient
This is something I’m still telling myself everyday (I’m the most impatient). If I have learned one thing over the past year then this: Pinterest success won’t happen over night and out of nowhere. You need great content, you need a lot of pins every day, but you will also need patience. Your first viral pin probably won’t happen in your first week, but maybe in your first month or after you saw the first results. And the feeling of having created ever-lasting content that has been pinned thousand times and brings in hundreds of click to your website is worth the wait, trust me.