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For the past 6 months or so, I’ve become quite obsessed with Pinterest. It wasn’t long until I decided that I should make something of it. Like many now, I wanted to become a Pinterest success story, where I can actually make money from my pinning obsession!
I started reading up on it and decided to take the most common and loud advice about Pinterest – switch to a business account!!
Note: In this post, when I talk about my Pinterest account I’m referring to my ‘personal’ lifestyle account, which is not associated with E-riches Club.
Switching is easy and free, so I had nothing to lose and all to gain!
I was quite a surprised to see that my reach was well over 100k per month! It gave me more reasons to try to pursue this goal of making money with Pinterest!
My reach oscillated between 100k and 140k for a couple of months, until I decided to sign up for affiliate networks and start pinning affiliate pins!
As I got a little more aggressive with my affiliate marketing on Pinterest, I noticed my reach declining significantly. I mean, the thing went from 120k to 34.8k within a month or so! I was disappointed and worried. What the hell was I doing wrong?!
My lowest reach:
I was getting a little confused about my declining reach on Pinterest! It seemed that everything was fine until I started affiliate pinning!
I knew that there had to be a way to overcome my declining reach! So many people now are using Pinterest as a platform to promote their websites and their affiliate products. I needed to know more about how they do it!
So, I decided to learn more about Pinterest best practices. That’s when I found two courses that seemed very promising:
1) 5 Days to Profitable Affiliate Pinning, from Christina Root at the Organize Your Biz;
2) Mastering Pinterest, from Melissa Riker at The Blog Journey.
I’m glad I took these two courses. They’re very different courses, but taking them really made a difference to my Pinterest reach. After taking both courses, I was able to come up with an effective strategy for my Pinterest growth!
Pinterest can be a little tricky to figure out sometimes, and different things work better for different niches and purposes. Keep this in mind if you decide to follow my strategy.
How I increased my Pinterest reach in just 2 weeks:
1. Stop looping with BoardBooster!
Actually, both Melissa and Christina recommend using BoardBooster to loop their pins and manage their boards. Although I found BoardBooster to be a lifesaver for time and pin management, I noticed my reach was suffering.
Was it from BoardBooster? Maybe, maybe not, but I wanted to test it out, so I stopped it anyway.
Keep in mind that I really had no reason to stop it, I just decided to do it. Plus, because I made more than one change at the same time, I cannot tell if BoardBooster had any impact. I may come back to BoardBooster and verify if it really makes a difference. I’ll keep you posted on that in future posts.
2. Focus on creating viral boards!
Yes, you can get viral boards too! It’s not just about individual pins. Melissa goes into more detail about this, and I strongly recommend you follow her steps and recommendations strictly!
Now, while I didn’t really get ‘real’ viral boards (why? ‘cause I suck at keeping up with self-imposed routines!), I did notice an increase in my repins, much better smart-feed content for myself and my reach began increasing!
3. Adjust the affiliate to non-affiliate ratio!
I was so fed up with my declining reach that, one night, I decided to sit down for an hour or so and source 200+ high-quality non-affiliate pins! Yeah, it sounds crazy, but I did it!
I then, scheduled all those pins with Tailwind – LifeSAVER! I tell you, I’m not very organized, so I totally need Tailwind to schedule things for me! So much easier and consistent!
Then, I sourced 20 – 50 affiliate pins and scheduled them too! Notice this is about 20% to 25% of affiliate pins! In other words, 25:75 affiliate to non-affiliate ratio! It’s not an exact science here, but it’s been working for me.
For my affiliate pins, I used ShopStyle Collective as my affiliate network. I like it because it connects me to all the brands and retailers I love and actually shop at. Better yet, once you’re in, you don’t have to apply to any more programs or brands! You’re in!
4. Stop pinning low-quality pins!
Whether a pin is low quality or high quality is not so much to do with how it looks, but more to do with its aggregated repin stats. (Say what?)
Basically, what I did was I set a standard for myself in defining high-quality pins. So, for me, I started out with sourcing pins that were at the 100K+ repin mark. Then, I went down from there to 10K+.
In the Mastering Pinterest course, Melissa explains better the importance of this little step and how it can affect your Pinterest performance on both the short and long-run.
5. Change Tailwind Schedule!
Using Tailwind suggestions, I added time slots to my schedule to increase it to about 25 pins per day or more.
Tailwind schedules and suggestions are one of the MANY reasons why I love Tailwind!! It just makes it easier to know when and how often to pin!
In both the Mastering Pinterest and the 5 Days to Profitable Affiliate Pinning courses, pinning schedule and frequency are highly discussed and emphasized. Both Melissa and Christina pin a lot more per day, but I decided to stick to a more manageable schedule.
6. Select Focus Boards!
I picked a few boards to focus on for this season, meaning, I need to pin around 5 pins per day to each focus board. Non-focus boards can get around 1 pin per day or less.
I don’t think anywhere in either of the courses it mentions to focus on specific boards. This really comes from my retail experience.
There are seasons, and at some points of the year, people are more focused on specific things than others, and that is quite cyclical and changes throughout the year.
7. Pin Organically every day!
I noticed during that period when my reach was either stagnant or declining, I was pinning through Tailwind only and not that often at that.
After taking both courses, I realized that organic pinning is necessary for growth. So, now, I try pinning 5 – 10 pins organically, every day.
So, did it make a difference?
Yes, it did! But see for yourself.
Below is my Pinterest overview for this month:
1. 24h after setting this up, the decline in my reach stopped and stayed at 36k for a few days.
2. Within 4-5 days it began increasing again, slowly but steady
3. Within a full week, it grew to 52.2k
4. Now, 2 weeks later, it’s at 65k
Update: Using these same steps, I have now (Nov. 29th, 2017) more than doubled my reach since I wrote this post – it’s at 160.6K now – which is the highest I’ve reached!
My Pinterest strategy was both a combination of what I learned from both courses – 5 Days to Profitable Affiliate Pinning and Mastering Pinterest – and my own thoughts and instincts.
Again, both Christina and Melissa recommend using BoardBooster, but I decided to stop using it. The research assistant in me tells me “Well, you really have no reason to believe BoardBooster was negatively affecting your reach, nor do you have reasons to believe that stopping it helped your reach go up!” And that’s totally true!
If anything, my reach was somewhat stagnant when I was using BoardBooster. So, I would recommend trying it and keeping track of your stats to see how it fairs out for you. (If you would like to try it out for free, go here)
So, there you go! That’s the strategy I implemented to bring my Pinterest reach back up! As I said before, it’s not an exact science, and it does depend on your niche, but I’m super happy that I can see positive results from implementing those steps because it allows me to establish a more reliable guide to using Pinterest.
But my reach is not the only thing that has increased, I have seen an increase in my Pinterest following, engagement and even in my earnings from ShopStyle Collective.
Here is a recap of the resources I used to revive my Pinterest reach:
Tailwind – to schedule my pins and understand when and how much to pin;
ShopStyle Collective – to become an affiliate for tonnes of brands and monetize my pins;
5 Days to Profitable Affiliate Pinning e-course – to learn how to optimize my Pinterest profile and boards, and how to use ShopStyle to monetize my pins;
Mastering Pinterest e-course – to learn how to create viral boards and increase my reach through best practices.
I plan on talking (erhm… writing, but you know what I mean) more about my Pinterest earnings and my Pinterest following in future posts. So, stay tuned for some more posts on Pinterest and how to monetize it.
Do you use Pinterest to monetize your website? Better yet, do you monetize your Pinterest account, without a blog? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences about it!