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Let’s be honest: you and I both know that there are a zillion bloggers out there blogging about how to succeed on Pinterest.
Some of them have really great tips, and screenshots of their Pinterest stats to back them up.
When you see that someone has 5 million Pinterest viewers, you tend to lean towards trusting their advice, right?
But I’m going to let you in on a secret: a lot of them didn’t get there organically.
Some bloggers will tell you straight up that the reason they have those kinds of numbers is because they pay to promote their pins. Which is great- if you can afford to do so, paying to promote your content is the name of the game in social media marketing these days.
However, it can be a little defeating if you can’t afford to pay for your promotional efforts yet.
But let me let you in on another secret: the Pinterest monthly viewer count doesn’t really matter.
You can have 5 million ‘Pinterest Viewers’ and only 1,000 monthly blog views. Likewise, you can have 1,000 Pinterest Viewers and 500,000 monthly blog views.
It’s totally possible to be a successful blogger even if you don’t have huge numbers on social media. It’s about the quality of your content, having good SEO strategies in place, and building relationships with your audience and other bloggers.
All I’m trying to say is this: don’t get caught up in the numbers.
Don’t take everything at face value.
In my experience, millions of Pinterest viewers do not come naturally. The algorithm and saturation of the platform almost make it impossible.
Pinterest is an extremely powerful tool for growing blog traffic, and I talk extensively about that fact in other blog posts.
The idea behind this post is not to rehash how to use Pinterest, but to debunk popular Pinterest marketing myths.
I’m going to pick apart all the expert advice I’ve seen over the years from Pinterest marketing experts so that you can get a better idea of what is BS and what is actually helpful.
I’m not saying that all of the advice from all the Pinterest gurus on the internet is false. I just know that there is a lot of information floating around out there, and it can be hard to distinguish between advice that is actually useful and advice that is outdated or straight-up false. So, here’s the low down.
You Should be Using Paid/Original Photos
It has been said that, for some unknown reason, pins will perform better on Pinterest if the pin image uses an original or paid stock photo. When I first heard this, I was kind of shocked. It didn’t make sense to me why this would matter to the Pinterest algorithm.
The only thing I could think of was that pins with original images performed better because people are (maybe?) more likely to re-pin unique images vs. stock photos they’ve seen a million times.
That could be true. I haven’t found any proven research on original images performing better on Pinterest, but many experts believe they do.
Here was my solution: In the interest of erring on the safe side, I do use paid and original images in my Pinterest designs.
There are a lot of things I am willing to spend a good chunk of change on when it comes to my blog, but paid stock images aren’t really one of them. I browse Creative Market for stock image bundles that are less than $10, and I can usually score some really great images.
I will admit that I’ve seen better results on my Pinterest pins that use paid images. But here’s another caveat: I have used 100% original photos in some of my Pinterest designs, and those pins did not perform better or worse than my other pins.
In can’t say with 100% certainty, but in the interest of doing everything possible to help your pins perform the best they can, I say take the time to use original images.
You Need Tailwind
You’d have to be living under a rock to not know that Tailwind has become the industry standard among bloggers when it comes to Pinterest scheduling tools. Tailwind has pretty much monopolized the market, and I understand the hype.
But is it truly necessary to use Tailwind to be successful at Pinterest?
In my opinion, no.
I just don’t think it’s a necessary step in my Pinterest strategy, and quite frankly, there are a thousand other things that are more productive that I could be doing with the time I would spend on Tailwind.
As someone who’s Pinterest account was recently suspended for two weeks for seemingly no reason, I’m not taking any chances on getting flagged for spam. (don’t worry- I got my account back! Minus 50k viewers, but it is what it is)
Pinterest doesn’t really reward you for using Tailwind either.
A lot of bloggers hype Tailwind up, claiming that it’s essential in boosting their traffic from Pinterest. That can make it seem like everyone and their mother is using it, so you definitely should be too, right?
No. You shouldn’t
Just because it’s what the cool kids are doing doesn’t mean you should be too.
Stick to manual pinning, invest in a good Pinterest course (Pinteresting Strategies is my recommendation), be patient and never stop trying to improve your strategy.
You Need to Use Pinterest Group Boards
In the past, group boards were a major tool in helping to grow Pinterest viewers. In recent years, however, group boards have lost their momentum.
Pinterest changed their algorithm (yet again!) sometime last year. Part of that update included not prioritizing group board pins as much as in the past.
So, in the past- anything you saved to a group board would show up first or near the top in the feeds of other users who followed that board.
Not anymore. Pinterest doesn’t give a shit about our group boards anymore- but I still use them.
Even though Pinterest doesn’t care about my group boards, I still think it’s a good way to share my content with more people than if I didn’t use the boards at all.
Tailwind tribes (a super cool feature of Tailwind, sort of like a group board) have given me really great results, so I utilize both Tribes and Group boards for maximum results.
I am currently in about 60 group boards, and you can find a list of those here.
Monthly Viewers = Blog Traffic
It can be exciting and validating to see your monthly Pinterest viewers rising. But do high Pinterest viewers mean higher blog traffic?
The Pinterest monthly viewer stat is pretty much a vanity statistic at this point. Just because 100,000 people see pins that you share on Pinterest every month doesn’t mean that those numbers will translate into actual blog traffic.
Yes, you should be doing everything you can to increase your monthly Pinterest viewers. But my advice is to not get too caught up in that number.
You Have to Run Ads to Be Successful
Will promoting a pin on Pinterest increase its views and shares? Possibly.
Not probably, possibly.
Running an ad on Pinterest isn’t as simple as clicking ‘Promote Pin’.
There are factors like budget, target audience, demographics, and pin design to consider when you’re running an ad on any platform, and Pinterest is no exception.
If you go blindly into it, without any kind of knowledge on running profitable Pinterest ads, you probably won’t see the return you expect from your ad. You’ll basically just be throwing your money away.
I recommend taking a Pinterest ad course, or at least reading up on best practices before you promote your pins.
The real question: Do you HAVE to pay to play?
Answer: No, you don’t.
Promoting your pins the right way, if you have the budget for it, is a great way to increase your blog traffic and revenue. But it is absolutely not necessary for success.
If you’re just starting out and you’re not interested in spending money on ads, then don’t! Make sure you’re working hard, focusing your efforts on constantly improving your Pinterest strategy and learning from your mistakes.
In the end, there is no one right way to do Pinterest. There are tons of tips, tricks and best practices. But what works for me might not necessarily work for you. Your results could be wildly different than someone else in your niche, but what matters is that you keep trying even if you fail a few times.
Pinterest marketing is not an exact science, and we’re all subject to the same unforgiving algorithm gods. Just be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes you longer to figure it all out.