3 Tools For Pinterest Shock And Awe

Pinterest passive traffic strategies

In this post I'll walk you through my Pinterest traffic strategy.

Historically the majority of my traffic has originated from Google Search to an affiliate site that is very Pinterest-unfriendly.

However, a new site I started is a DIY-style site, which is image-heavy. That means that it's a natural fit for an image-rich social-media platform like Pinterest.

I should say, I'm not a Pinterest expert- I'm really just playing around with it and seeing what works. That said, I'm pretty happy with the results so far. And I'm fast becoming a more confident Pinterest user. 

This DIY site is new (under 3 months) and isn't getting any significant organic traffic yet, but I have received 1,000 Pinterest visitors in between 7/21/17 and 8/19/17. See the traffic screengrab below. 

And that's with only 20 followers. That's the real beauty of Pinterest- you don't need to be some mega-brand with 500,000 followers to get traffic.​

Pinterest Traffic Example

As I wait for organic traffic to grow, the Pinterest traffic I am getting is gravy. I only expect it to increase as I get more Followers, Pin more, and create new Boards. Below I'll walk you through my (evolving) strategies regarding generating Pinterest traffic. 

My Current Pinterest Board Strategy

My current Board strategy is to create one Board for every post I do on my DIY site. These posts are really long, image-list posts- frequently over 5,000 words. So I'm comfortable having a 1:1 ratio of Boards to posts.

I'll fill the board up with a mix of Pins directing to my site and Pins directing to other sites.

Every so often I'll go into Analytics and redirect the Pin's URL, if it's getting a lot of Impressions and Clicks, to my site. In terms of generating Pins, I'm using some paid and free Pinterest tools to schedule Pinning and to generate unique images.

My 3 Pinterest Tools

My strategy depends on three different tools:

  1. ViralTag (paid)
  2. Follow Liker (paid)
  3. Canva (free and paid)

1. How I Use ViralTag For Pinterest

ViralTag has several useful functionalities. Probably its strongest feature is that it will let you load a page of images like this Bunk Bed search path on Instructables, and it enable you to schedule these images as Pins to a specified Board, as well as to Twitter and Facebook pages.

ViralTag Logo

The main ways I've been using ViralTag is to:

  1. Pin from Instructables, Instagram and similar image-heavy search paths, either linking to my DIY site or to the original image's site
  2. Pin from Instagram to find unique graphics with long-tail Pin Descriptions
  3. Upload my own graphics in bulk and schedule them out across the week

I also like that ViralTag will grab the image description and use it as a Pin description- I think that this helps attract long-tail search traffic on Pinterest.

You can also upload images in bulk and Pin them to a Board at a set schedule. That's particularly useful if you have a designer create hundreds of Pins, this is the best way I've found of uploading them and drip-feeding them to your account.

Pinterest is hungry for new images. Besides creating my own custom graphics, I've been experimenting with Pinning from Instagram. I search using hashtags for DIY-style content and then use ViralTag to scrape and schedule the images to a specified board.

The Instagram images often are text-heavy, which I suspect attracts long-tails search queries on Pinterest itself.

ViralTag And Content Scheduling

The way I'm currently using ViralTag in coordination with my site's Post publications is that as I come up with new post ideas I'll create a Private Board in advance and fill it up with Pins pointing to the URL of my pending post.

Since it's not published yet I don't want to make it a Public Board. Once I've published it, then I can make it public. It takes awhile for me to publish posts on this site. Much longer than creating a Board and scheduling relevant Pins to it.

So ViralTag pinning always runs ahead of the content schedule. Anticipating the content and pinning in advance of a post's publication helps to drive traffic to it from day 1. 


2. How To Use FollowLiker For Pinterest

Follow Liker is a desktop application that automates a variety of Pinterest tasks. I use it primarily to automate Following and Unfollowing actions, and sometimes repinning, whenever the ViralTag queue is empty.

FollowLiker Logo

You can also automate Commenting- but I'm somewhat leery of getting penalized for spam commenting, so I stopped auto-commenting.

Though this guy recommends using emojis as comments- not a bad strategy.

Don't Get Banned By Pinterest

It should be said that FollowLiker goes violates Pinterest's Terms of Service- so proceed at your own risk. ​In my experience, however, as long as you don't act too spammy, especially right out of the gate, you should be alright.

There are no exact rules for what constitutes spammy-looking behavior- but Pinterest does not condone the automation of following and unfollowing, that's for sure.

The TailWind blog has a good take on how to stay out of 'Pinterest Jail'.

Follow Liker Pinterest Settings 

As I mentioned, I use FollowLiker to automate following and unfollowing and sometimes to Repin, but I want to walk you through some settings considerations. When you buy FollowLiker you do get access to a complete training document. It's a fairly comprehensive resource.  

Take It Slow On New Accounts

Especially for a new account, it makes sense to start off slow. You don't want to come out of the gate shotgunning likes and mass unfollowing Pinterest users. You might attract the wrath of Pinterest and have your account banned.

I adjust the settings to mimic a normal user as much as possible. This means I'm not Repinning every 3 seconds, 24 hours a day, with a Repin limit of 10,000.

Since I run Follow Liker in the background on my work computer, and it's running pretty much 18 hours a day, I'm comfortable setting the Delay Repin limit really broad- something like 95 seconds and 1,045 seconds.

I also like to keep the Follow:UnFollow ratio near 1 that way it looks like a quality account and not someone desperate for Follows. 

When in doubt about a particular setting, ask yourself how 'human' it looks. You don't want to come across like a bot. 

Getting Followers By Providing Unique Value

Also, when it comes to getting followers, it's best to follow people who are likely to follow you back.

When I first started using Follow Liker I followed the followers of general DIY accounts. I've recently switched that up a bit and I started following woodworking accounts and rebranded my own Pinterest account as a woodworking plans resource- which it is.

It might be that my first pass at gaining followers failed because I came across too generic. There are tons of generic DIY sites on Pinterest- so I wasn't providing unique value.

I'm thinking if I niche down and demonstrate value to a specific, core-audience of Pinterest users (those who like woodwork crafts), I might get better follower conversions.


3. How I Use Canva For Pinterest

Canva is a free graphic design tool. Very much a drag-and-drop, Photoshop alternative, it lets you create and save graphics and store everything on the cloud.

Once you play around with it for a bit, you'll realize how easy it is to create fairly stunning social media graphics. Since I lack a true design sense, I'll often research top-performing Pins on Pinterest in my niche and then see how close I can approximate them in Canva.

Then I'll save the graphic as a template and re-use it over and over with different images.

Canva Pinterest Template Example

Pinterest Pin Canva Template Example

I'm in the process now of of creating these Canva templates that are based off of DIY pins that have proven popular. My goal is to hire and train someone to use my Canva templates to create hoards of new graphics for my Pinterest account.

Since Canva is so intuitive, my goal is to hire a generic Virtual Assistant to do the work, rather than an 'overpriced' graphic designer.

I've created Canva templates in different sizes- a really long graphic and also some with Canva's own recommended dimensions for Pinterest.

Time will tell what performs best- I'll update this post once I've seen the results of my custom-graphic Pinterest experiment. When it comes to hiring the right freelancer, you can read more about my UpWork hiring process- though this post specifically deals with how I hire and train writers, it also applies to how I would recruit and negotiate with a graphic designer.

Final Thoughts

I'm really at the beginning of defining the best Pinterest strategy for this DIY site. It's a little bit messy. For example, I'll often forget to fill up the ViralTag schedule with Pins.

Or I'll forget to turn off Follow Liker Repinning after I've loaded up the ViralTag schedule with Pins. That could lead to Pinning too close together (less than 3 seconds apart) and might flag my account for review. 

All that said, it feels good to be in a visual niche that diversifies my traffic channels. I've never liked being so dependent on Google organic traffic. No traffic channel is 100% safe, so it only makes sense to spread out your user acquisition channels as broadly as possible.  β€‹

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