On March 22nd, I decided to get really serious about growing my Pinterest following. After all, I’ve been in the blogging space long enough to know the power of Pinterest traffic. It currently accounts for about 90% of my traffic to my other sites via my Chrystie Vachon account (personal Pinterest account). BUT, because the Living for Naptime Pinterest account was new I was starting with nothing.
I started the Living for Naptime Pinterest account in late 2015 and through a variety of follow-for-follow threads and a couple lucky viral pins I was able to get to 1449 followers. BUT, I wanted to push the limits and see if I could increase that amount, which is exactly what I was able to do….I actually managed to double my Pinterest following to 2980 followers in 30 days using the techniques that I will detail below.
First things first…
The first thing I did was change my name on Pinterest. Before I changed it, my Pinterest display name was Chrystie V. Guess what? That was a pretty boring name. Chrystie V. meant nothing to those that didn’t know me. Which meant that when someone got a notification that “Chrystie V.” was following them, they didn’t really have any incentive to go check out who was I was. SO…what I did was change it to “Chrystie V. | Blogging Coach”. Boom! Now when fellow pinners got a notification that I was following them, they would see that I was a blogging coach, which gave them more of a reason to check out my profile and follow me.
The next thing I did was create an ideal follower profile. In order to attract targeted and real followers on Pinterest, I would have to figure out who they were. Because I blog about blogging and helping women and moms blog, my ideal customer and blog reader is/are “Moms & Women interested in blogging or who are already blogging”. With this information in hand, I was ready to tackle Pinterest.
My Pinterest Following Strategy:
I started a very methodical following strategy on Pinterest. Each morning, I would devote 5-10 minutes to strictly following other Pinners. BUT, because I’m trying to build a list of followers in my niche, I was once again very strategic about how I was following. Here are the strategies I used to find targeted followers.
Sidenote: Pinterest has an hourly follower limit, which means if you go crazy and follow hundreds of people at once, it will give you a timeout message. Don’t worry, it’s not bad..it’s just a mechanism they have in place to combat spam. Although I didn’t hit this limit everyday, there were several times that I did!
Follow my competitor’s followers
I made a list of about 5-10 competitors (people that were in the same niche as me) and I would visit their followers list and follow their followers. I ONLY followed those with a profile picture and were female, since my target audience is moms & women.
Search for Pinners using targeted keywords
As you can see from my profile, I use the name Chrystie V. | Blogging Coach, turns out many bloggers use blog or blogger or blogging in their name as well. Since my target audience happens to be bloggers, I would conduct searches for the words blog, blogger, or blogging and then select Pinners. This would bring me a list of Pinners..who were bloggers!
Search for targeted Pinterest Boards
The other thing I did was search for blogging boards to follow. In the Pinterest search field, I would type in targeted keywords like “How to blog” “Blog Monetization” or “Mommy Blogging” all keywords related to my niche. This would bring up a list of boards with those keywords in the title. From there I would follow these boards.
Follow those that had pinned my pins
The other thing I did was made it a point to follow anyone who had pinned one of my pins. You can see this by bringing up your Pin and clicking on the little pin icon on the top right. This will display all of the boards that this pin has been pinned to. Go ahead and follow the relevant boards.
Bonus Tip: For some reason, I always got more followers to reciprocate if I followed them first thing in the morning. I’m thinking it’s because that’s when they check their emails and check Pinterest.
Unfollow those that don’t follow back
The follow/unfollow game is not a fun game to play. I mentioned this in my Instagram blog post and I’ll mention it again here…but at the end of the day it’s what you have to do to keep your following/follower ratio down. So I would follow people during the work week and then unfollow people in big chunks on the weekend using the Followers mobile app. This app essentially tells you who is not following you on Pinterest and allows you to quickly unfollow them from the mobile app.
Automating my Pins using BoardBooster
I’ve talked about Boardbooster many times on the blog (here & here) and it’s because I just absolutely love it and it has made my life soo much easier. For those of you who are unfamiliar with BoardBooster it is a Pinterest scheduling tool that allows you to Pin your pins to group boards and to loop the pins in your own boards. Before Boardbooster I was doing everything manually with a spreadsheet..so yeah..it pretty much gave me my life back.
How I used Boardbooster:
Group Boards: I use Boardbooster to automatically pin my blog posts to group boards each day. I currently pin to 12 group boards each day and pin between 1-2 pins each day. Each pin gets re-pinned to the same board about 1x month (this way it doesn’t appear in the group board twice). I monitor the performance of my pins & group boards and delete any that are not performing, aka not getting any repins.
Looping: Looping allows me to take older pins from my own boards and repin them to the same board. This is a great way to get more repins, because there is a good chance that your newer followers have not seen your older pins. Looping allows you to get in front of your new followers. Looping does create duplicate pins in the board, however, there is a feature that automatically deletes the pin with the least amount of pins after 3 days…so duplicate pins do not stay for long.
Group Boards: Joined Some & Deleted Some
I use Pin Groupie to locate relevant group boards to join. Once I found a relevant group board, I would follow the board and send the board owner an email asking to be part of the group board. I’m not gonna lie, I sent out dozens of emails and only heard back from a few..which is fine. One of the boards that I did get invited to has over 500k followers. SCORE!
Here’s the exact email I sent to group board members asking to join:
Hi <insert board owners name>!I was wondering if you were still taking contributors for your <insert board title> I would love to be a contributor. I think I could add some quality content to itYou can see some of my posts here: https://www.pinterest.
com/naptimenation/best-of- living-for-naptime/My Pinterest email address is: email@example.comThank you for your consideration!
Thanks to BoardBooster I can quickly see which of my group boards are performing (aka getting repins) and which ones are not performing. I used this to gauge which group boards to remain a part of and which ones to leave. As you can see above, my repin rate goes anywhere from 3.4 all the way down to 0.4.
All group boards performing at less than a 1.0 repin rate essentially go on probation for me Which means I alter the frequency and timing of my pins and if they still underperform, I leave the board. Pinterest’s algorithm strongly favors boards with high repin rates, so it doesn’t make sense for me to be part of boards where that is not happening.
I also got rid of almost all group boards that had less followers than I had. What I found with these boards is that the repin rate was really low because the following rate was so low. From now on I will no longer be accepting invitations to boards that have less followers than my account.
What am I Pinning on Pinterest?
In the last month, I’ve been pinning around 50-70 pins a day, mostly on automatic through Boardbooster but also have manually added pins through the following methods:
Looping with Boardbooster – Thanks to Boardbooster I am currently pinning about 30-40 pins via group boards and looping my own pins.
Pinterest’s Popular Home Feed – About once a day, I visit the “Popular” section of Pinterest and select some of the more popular pins that fit my board. This is a great strategy because ahem…these pins are already popular, which means Pinterest is giving them priority in your feed.
Competitors Boards – I’ll also visit some of the people in my same niche, look at their boards and share the pins with the most repins. Once again, I’m trying to share content that my audience will like, share and repin! Sharing content that was popular for others in your niche, is a great way to ensure that your audience will engage with the content.
Pinterest Share Threads in FB Groups – I still participate in the FB Group Pinterest share threads because I just love them. It serves as a great way to find good content for my own boards, plus my content is also shared across a wider network of bloggers. I pin about 20 of these a day.
Takeaway Strategies for you to try
Now that I’ve given you my strategies, here’s a quick breakdown of what you can do to increase your own Pinterest following…assuming you aren’t making any of these Pinterest mistakes!
- Make sure you have a catchy Pinterest display name
- Follow your competitors followers, people who’ve pinned your pins, boards that match your niche & pinners with your target keywords in their display name
- Unfollow non-followers with the Followers App
- Join group boards & keep a close eye on their performance
- Pin consistently throughout the week using a variety of Popular pins, niche specific pins and looping your best performing pins.