How to Instantly Increase Blog Growth with Pinterest and BoardBooster

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Hi, it’s Nagi from RecipeTin Eats here! This is a guest post by Maggie from Omnivore’s Cookbook. Using her tips for managing Pinterest using BoardBooster increased my repins by 40% with 70% less effort. It completely revolutionized the way I drive my blog growth via Pinterest.

Take it away Maggie! And thank you so much for sharing this with us!

How to Instantly Grow Traffic with Less Effort | Another great tip from Food Bloggers Central
Hi, I’m Maggie from Omnivore’s Cookbook. Pinterest is one of my largest sources of traffic even though I don’t have an enormous Pinterest following. This is how I drive my blog growth using Pinterest  with minimum effort because it is largely automated!

If you have been blogging for a while, you might have found that Pinterest is one of the most important social media for food bloggers. Not only because it has a huge user base, about 47 millions active users (as of July 2015), just after Facebook and Linkedin, but also because as an image-centric social network, Pinterest is perfect for promoting food-related content.

Unlike with other social media platforms, you can start driving traffic to your blog immediately with Pinterest after creating an account. Chances are, if your blog is relatively new, Pinterest will become one of the top three traffic sources, and will continue to be so for quite a long time.

The reason – you can easily leverage group boards to get great exposure.

Some of the big group boards have tens of thousands of followers, or even more. There are even some group boards with millions of followers. For numbers like this, it will probably take you months, probably years, to achieve with your own account. Before spending tons of time building up a successful online presence on Pinterest, contributing to large group boards is the best way to help your blog take off.

Where to find group boards?

  1. Use Pin Groupie – Not only does it have a huge collection of Pinterest group boards, but it also shows you very important metrics, such as the number of followers and number average repins.

One thing to note, if you are a newbie blogger, especially if you are working on your photography skills, don’t expect to be accepted into huge group boards with hundreds of thousands of followers straight up!

One of my favorite ways to use Pin Groupie is to search for and join specific group boards within your niche. To search for a board, type the keywords in “description” and hit “filter”. For example, if you are a healthy food blogger, you can search terms for “healthy food”, “gluten free”, or “paleo” to look up those boards. From my own experience, although big general boards generate good repins and are quite important, smaller boards within your own niche perform ten times better, because they have a more focused target audience.

  1. Pinterest-stalk big bloggers within your own niche. OK, this is not something that I’m proud of, but it works. By checking out influential pinners and their group boards, you’ll get a good idea of their Pinterest strategy and learn a few things. If they join a lot of group boards and often contribute to them, it means these boards work for them and they’re worth checking out. Sometimes, they also host their own group board, which you could ask to join. It helps you discover your niche-related boards easily.

There are other way to join group boards, including joining smaller group boards within your own circle or group of friends. However, if you want to improve your performance on Pinterest, join active, high-quality boards that work for you, above all else.

What to do after joining group boards

  1. Read board rules carefully and make sure you follow them. A successful group board takes a lot of time and effort to manage. A strict and clear set of board rules will help every pinner in the group get better results. They are created for a reason and you should follow them. Believe it or not, I found that the boards with the strictest rules generate the most repins.
  2. Pin every day. Just like with any other social medium, you need to promote your content constantly to see good results. The end.
  3. Schedule your pins with BoardBooster. There are three reasons to do this.
  • It cuts your working time on Pinterest by 90%
  • It helps you figure out the best time to pin for each board
  • It helps you schedule your pins without being spammy

Above all, it helps your pins to reach the biggest audience and gain maximum exposure.

How to set up a BoardBooster Campaign

Do you pin your new content manually, to 10 to 20 group boards, every time you publish a new post? And you probably come back again and pin it again after a week, or a month, repeatedly, forever?

If so, there is good news! You can automate the whole process with the BoardBooster campaign tool. This way, whenever you publish a new post, you only need to pin once. Then, the pin will automatically be sent out to your 20 group boards in the following days.

There’s another cool thing you can do – hook up the board that contains your own pins to BoardBooster. BoardBooster will automatically publish your old pins to group boards every day, with 100% automation.

  1. How to set up an automatic campaign for new blog posts: pin one time, publish to multiple group boards
  • Click the “Campaigns” tab at the top of BoardBooster, then click the “New campaign” button and select “Scheduled Campaign”.
  • Enter a unique name for this campaign. E.g: “New post”. Leave “max new pins number” at 1. Click the “Add repin” button to configure the schedule for this campaign.

  • Select the name of the board or group board you want to publish pins to.
  • Enter a “Campaign day number”. Here, you should use “1”, because you want the pin to be sent out as soon as possible once a new post is published.
  • Specify the repin time, and click the “Add” button.

  • Continue to set up more group boards by clicking “Add repin”. For the next board, you might want to set it up to pin on a different day or at a different time.
  • Click “Save” to finish creating your campaign. Now you can add a pin to the secret board, and watch as it’s posted to your group boards!

Below are two samples to show what setup looks like. When you’re just starting out, you can set up several campaigns and try out different time frames for different boards (you can set up one campaign, copy it, and adjust the pinning time). After a while, you’ll figure out the best times to pin and fine tune your campaign setup.

After setup, you only need to pin one time to the secret board. Scheduled Campaign will automatically publish this pin to all the group boards on the day and time you specify.

  1. How to promote old posts with full automation – set up once to publish your pins to multiple group boards every day
  • Click the “Campaigns” tab at the top of BoardBooster, then click the “New campaign” button and select “Scheduled Campaign”.
  • Click “New Campaign”, then select “Random Campaign”.
  • Enter a unique name for your campaign.
  • The source of pins can be configured in one of two ways. I recommend you use “List of Boards”, because it’s much easier to manage.
  • Select “List of Boards”, click “Add Board” and tick the boxes next to the board(s) you want use as the source(s) of pins.
  • Click the “Add board” button on the right side of the “Repin to” section. Tick the boxes next to the group board(s) you want to publish your pins to.
  • Enter a “number of pins/day”.

  • Click “Submit”.
  • Click “Add Board” and enter a value for “pins per day” if you want to publish your pins to multiple boards.
  • Choose a time window to publish the pins.
  • Click “Save”.

Once you’ve set this up, you don’t need to do anything else. Random Campaign will automatically publish pins from your own boards to these group boards every day.

By the way, if you’re going to attend Online Blog Con 2015 (in September), you will get 1000 pins on BoardBooster for free! Dennis, the founder of BoardBooster, will also talk about latest Pinterest strategies during the conference.

What to do after publishing your pins?

  1. Use Pinterest analytics to find out which boards have the best performance.
  • Go to Pinterest Analytics, and click “activity from {your blog’s name}”.
  • Look at “Boards with top Pin impressions”.
  • Stop pinning to the boards that don’t perform as well.
  1. Use BoardBooster “Best Pin Time” to fine tune your Pinterest strategy.

If you’ve been pinning through BoardBooster for a while, you can find out the best time to pin by going to BoardBooster / report / Best Pin Time.

For my Pinterest account, although most repins happen in the evening (left chart below), I found that my Asian group board has a very different repin rate throughout the day (right chart below).

When I started using BoardBooster, I set up almost all my boards to pin throughout the day. But later on, I examined each board to find out the best time frame, so I could pin less and generate more repins.

The chart below shows my pinning history from Dec. 2014 to July 2015. You will find that even though I publish 40% less pins per day now, the engagement rate has increased.

  1. Don’t forget to pin other people’s work.

As you might already know, the most successful food bloggers focus not only on their own content, but also on curating the recipes of other food bloggers. The combination of promoting one’s own pins and repinning other people’s work  is a great strategy. It is more likely to lead to organic growth than any less social, more selfish strategy.

****************

That’s it for the day! I hope this article will help you make a better Pinterest strategy and drive more traffic to your site!

If you found this useful, share it with your friends!


Maggie blogs at Omnivore’s Cookbook – a blog that shares authentic Chinese recipes. She recently made the move to full-time blogger. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. She is also a contributor to BoardBooster, a Pinterest tool that helps bloggers and brands grow their Pinterest profiles faster and more effectively.

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The Food Photography Book by Nagi from RecipeTin Eats

Comments

  1. says

    I had a question to boardbooster. If it repins your pins to the same group every so often, but the same pin already exists in that group, will it delete the old one and basically just move it back to the top as a refreshing or will it double the pin? Bc some groups don’t like the same stuff over and over. Thanks for your help

  2. says

    Wow! I love your post and this blog! I have been using Viraltag and have been definitely getting some great results but yes, it does take a lot of time. I would ideally like to automate my content and then just add new content along with others great content. I am going to try this out. It’s too bad they don’t have tutorial videos on their site, I am a visual learner. I was deciding between tailwind and board booster. I will give this a try first and let you know how I like it. I have the same goal of reaching 1 million visitors per month! I am so glad to see that you did that! Congrats!!! How many posts did you do per week?

    • says

      Ester, I was thinking about using Tailwind too, but I think I’m pretty much sold on BoardBooster after doing the free trial and getting a ton of repins.

      Maggie, AMAZING blog post. I think I learned more from you in this post than I have in content I’ve paid for. So thank you for that. I definitely noticed there’s a specific time of day where I tend to get way more repins than any other day, but it’s so late at night (or morning I should say) that it was becoming exhausting staying up till that time each night just to pin images at that time! Geez, what an idiot I was! Haha!

      I have one quick question I’d love your answer to. With your Random & Scheduled campaigns, do you pin only your images/pins in those boards or do you pin others material as well? Or are theirs on a separate board?

      Thanks!
      Elise xo

  3. says

    You know, I remember when this was originally posted and I wish I would have read about it sooner. I had been using Tailwind and it just seemed like scheduling took FOREVER. I then decided to try this for a hobby blog of mine that isn’t recipes.. and WOW. The growth has been AMAZING and hasn’t even been a week. I’ve gained nearly 400 followers, and I’m getting traffic to my new blog. I just set this up on my recipe blog today!

  4. says

    Thanks for this post. Its very interesting and informative. I am a brand new blogger and you mention “As you might already know, the most successful food bloggers focus not only on their own content, but also on curating the recipes of other food bloggers.” My question is: since I am referring people to my Pintrest board (through my blog) should I only be pinning my own photos and posts to each board? (I don’t have very many pictures at the moment). Or do I also pin other peoples pins to direct my readers to other informative articles? This might be a silly question, but I am not generating hundreds of picture and posts every day and I love to use pintrest. Thanks!

  5. says

    hi Magie! this is incredibly helpful! i haven’t had a chance to focus on pinterest at all. with everything else blogging related, i’ve found my self quite overwhelmed, so this really sounds amazing!
    one question though, are you referring the the paid monthly plan option? or is there a way to use boardbooster free that i am unaware of? thank you so much!

  6. says

    Hey Maggie – This is amazing! Thank you so much for breaking this down. I have a couple of questions:

    1. When you set up a repin campaign, do you fill your secret board with other peoples’ pins as well, knowing that you are going to pin these ‘x’ number of pins over and over? If so, how often do you delete these pins and add fresh ones?

    2. How do you organize pinning to boards with special rules, like healthy gluten free recipes? Do you create a secret board that has only those recipes? What about boards that require 5 repins for every 1 pin? Do you just keep a list and visit those boards every so often?

    Also, I know when I first looked at this post there were a few more images/charts, but I don’t see that they are showing up anymore!

    Thank you SO much again!

    • says

      Hi Kelly, to answer your questions.

      1. I don’t usually schedule other people’s pin with campaign. I set up “Scheduler” in BoardBooster to share other people’s content. Unlike campaign, scheduler set up one secret board for each of my own board, and after publishing the pins, it delete them. It’s just like using Pinterest directly, but I pin to secret boards instead, as a cushion. I bulk schedule these content once or twice a week.

      2. The boards with special rules are tricky. So far I only have a few of these boards. The only way to do it is like you said, I need to create a special board for them, and pin all my content that fit the rules into these secret boards too. I keep a very large spreadsheet to help me keep track on things.

      For boards that require sharing, I go to them once a week and repin (schedule) for the next week (For example, if I set up to pin 1 time to this board, I only need to repin 35 pins from it for the next week). I need to publish certain amount of other people’s pin anyway, so it’s not a huge burden.

      I think Nagi moved the server last weekend and there might be some issue with the database. I’ll check with her and get these pictures back ASAP!

      • says

        Thanks for this post Maggie. I didn’t know this was possible until this post! :) I’m playing around with boardbooster still and I think I must have messed up the settings or misunderstood :(
        Do you do the 35 pins manually? and pin them to your personal secret board? and then boardbooster repins it to your personal boards?
        I used scheduler to take the pins from the FBC’s secret board,but I think boardbooster must be pinning them back to the FBC board by default :( which got me kicked out of the group possibly. Ah so much to learn…:)

  7. says

    Thank you for the wonderful post, Maggie! With your step by step instructions and explanation, I was able to set up my boardbooster account and campaigns. I have a question about the random campaign. I selected the source board to be my board with my blog recipes, and to pin 3 times a day to several boards. My question is: Is it going to pull different pins every single day, or is it possible that it pull and pins the same pin two consecutive days or several days during the week? I don’t want this to happen, as I might get kicked out for pinning the same content several times a week to the same boards. Thank you!

    • says

      BoardBooster is designed to pull different pins every single day, to prevent you from pinning duplicated pins too often. If your source board do not have a lot of pins and BoardBooster detected you just pinned the same content not long ago, it will simply stop publishing pins. So I don’t think you need to worry too much about this :)

  8. says

    This post is (again) pure awesomeness. Thank you, Maggie! It’s long been on my to-do list to find a better way to pin than whenever I happen to remember. Made a boardbooster account and started to set it up. Love it! :)

  9. says

    “•Stop pinning to the boards that don’t perform as well.” – I’m curious why you recommend that. Since it is automated it doesn’t take me any extra effort to leave poor preforming boards in my campaign. Is there another benefit to only pinning to good preforming boards? Such as Pinterest thinking your content is more important if it has a high repin vs pin rate? I’d love it if you could expand on that.

    • says

      There are two reasons:
      (1) Pinterest smart feed will lower the visibility of your pins if you publish same content too frequently over a short time span.
      (2) The ratio of your own work vs. pins from other websites matter. If self-promo pins weigh too much on a daily basis, the overall repin number will drop dramatically. So why wasting the “quota” and pin to the boards that do not perform?
      Plus, it costs money if you pin a lot.
      From my own experiment, pinning too much of your own work can damage your overall reach rate and repin number. So eliminating poor preforming boards is more efficient. From the practice of successful pinners, most of them only pin to a handful of highly performed boards.

  10. says

    This is such a great post Maggie! I am fairly new to pinterst and your tips sound Gold to me. Thanks so much for all the great tips :)

    • says

      I don’t really have a great answer for this, because it’s true that a lot of groups boards do not allow new contributors no matter how hard / how many times you asked. I found some boards that are impossible to join: (1) the boards that are aimed to cross promote each other within a very small circle (2) the boards that have too many contributors already. Beyond these two types, some boards simply have a higher or special aesthetic standard (e.g. only allows super food porn, or super tight close up). These are difficult to join, but still possible.
      My suggestions will be:
      (1) Have a exclusive board for your pins and try to display the best pins (with lot of repin number) on the top (yes, the host of large boards will check this, because obviously you will be pinning a lot from your blog)
      (2) If there is a special board you really want to join, try to become a friend fried with the host before asking.
      (3) Join your niche-related boards. These tend to be easier and perform better.
      (4) Find a few friends within your niche, create a exclusive group board in every blogger’s account, and cross promote each other’s content. It takes a bit time and setup, but works really well. All the bloggers within this group generate more repins by pinning other’s images.

  11. says

    It is true that joining a big group is difficult; it is almost exclusive for big bloggers; so thank you about pin groupie . I will look at board booster too

  12. says

    I signed up with Tailwind a month ago and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have the same functionality as BoardBooster which is a shame. BUT there’s still plenty to take away from this Maggie so thank you for the time and effort in putting this together. And good luck with your move :)

    • says

      Hi Nancy, I’m glad this is helpful! Yeah Tailwind and BoardBooster have different tools, and I heard lots of big bloggers use them both.
      It’s a pity that we didn’t find a time to meet in China! Hope we could catch up soon :)

  13. says

    I started using Board Booster earlier this year and found that I personally had a drop in my Pinterest repins/stats afterwards. I’m not sure if it was the tool itself or the reduction in live pinning I did after starting it but I’d caution others to be aware of it and keep an eye on your analytics and repins after you start to ensure you don’t have the same results I did.

    • says

      Hi Melissa, I didn’t experience exactly the same thing. But I every time I increased self-promo too much, I noticed a drop of average repin number of my own pins. I agree, you need to cautious about the setup.

      I was switching from Viraltag to BoardBooster at the end of last year. Since BoardBooster has a lot of automation tools, I tended to over promoting my own work at the beginning. For example, if I setup pinning 30 different pins from my blog to each group board, it only takes a week to rotate (I only have 200+ posts on my site) and I’ll be publishing the same image again very soon. It did affect repin rate, when I couldn’t keep up pinning good amount of pins from other sources.

      Now I schedule about 20 pins/day from my blog and 40+ pins from others. It’s working well so far.

      Which Pinterest tool are you using now?

  14. says

    Thank you for sharing, Maggie! I currently use tailwind but will have a look at BoardBooster. I think your tip for sharing other bloggers work is an important one. I’ve recently seen other group boards pop up that require repinning if I pin to it. I love this idea and appreciate that FBC’s group board is set up like this!

  15. Aena says

    This is the first time I’m hearing about Board Booster! Definitely something I’ll check out right after posting this comment. Thank you SO much Maggie and, of course, Nagi. I keep learning new things everyday because of FBC!

      • Aena says

        That’s super sweet of you Maggie, thank you! Trying to figure it out for now – seems like there are so many different things you can do with this. Your tutorial is super helpful!

  16. says

    This is interesting. I use Tailwind for Pinterest but I have to go in every couple days to set up. It sounds like BoardBooster is set it and forget it! Will check it out! Great tip!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Boardbooster is great because you create campaigns to pin content to. A secret board for each campaign is created, allowing you to pin your new content to that board just once and it will repin to all your pinterest boards for you. Depending how you schedule it and how many boards you pin to, the re-pinning can go on for days. I have several campaigns for different categories: breakfast, vegetarian, paleo, etc. This is due to group boards I participate in with a specific niche. You can also set up boardbooster to refresh older pins for you. I haven’t done that yet because I’m the queen of procrastination, but it’s on the list of things to take care of in March! You can read more on boardbooster on this super awesome post on Food Bloggers Central. […]

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