The time has already come for my second Pinterest update. 60 days ago, I had about 1 000 impressions on Pinterest and 27 clicks to my new blog. Then, 30 days later and after adjusting my pinning strategy and adopting manual pinning, I reached 20 000 impressions and 168 clicks to my blog. You can read more about it here.
And now, 60 days after the beginning of my Pinterest experiment to get traffic to my new blog (started in 2021), I’ve reached 40 000 impressions on Pinterest, and 369 outbound clicks.
So, after 2 months of pinning 2-4 times per day, everyday, I’ve gained about 350 pageviews per month to my new blog from Pinterest.
Mind you, these numbers are nothing compared to all the “How-I-got-50 000-clicks-to-my-new-blog-on-my-first-month-blogging” type of posts you see out there. But these posts are old (pre Pinterest algorithm changes), and I wanted to see if Pinterest is still relevant for new bloggers in 2021 and if the platform can still bring traffic to new blogs.
I also wanted to see if Pinterest was relevant for me as a blogger who blogs about mental health and other related themes like loneliness, self-care, and diet.
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If you’ve already read my previous update on my first 30 days of manual pinning on Pinterest, then jump straight to section 3 of this post. If not, then keep reading.
1. First, some context
I started my blog in January 2021. My blog is 10-11 months old at the time of writing this.
Technically I started pinning in May of 2021; I created 38 pins that I pinned throughout May and the beginning of June 2021.
During that time, I had reached about 2 000 impressions on the platform in May 2021, and about 700 impressions in June 2021.
And between May and June, I received 5 clicks to my blog.
This is how many impressions I had in May 2021
And my impressions in June 2021:
Then, I got discouraged, I didn’t believe I could make it work, with my niche (mental health), and the latest Pinterest algorithm update. And then summer started, life got in the way, etc., and I stopped pinning for a few months. I kept working on my blog, I was just not pinning. During that time, I was in a kind of slump.
Also, I didn’t believe my blog topic would perform well on Pinterest (or on Google for that matter). I mean, mental health is not exactly visually attractive/Pinterest friendly. Maybe it could perform on the platform (?) but let’s just say I had reservations.
But when I logged in to my account again in September 2021, after 3 months of totally ignoring Pinterest, I noticed an increase in both impressions and clicks to my blog.
- July 2021: 300 impressions
- August 2021: 1 200 impressions (!!)
As it turns out, one of my pins had started gaining some traction 3 months later (!) and was performing better than all the others. Combined.
Just the one pin.
And I had gained 40 clicks to my blog!
I know, 40 clicks seem like a ridiculously small number. But when you’ve been blogging for months and have zero (or almost) page views, 40 is a lot!
And so, I decided to have faith and to give Pinterest a real try. Besides, I kind of enjoyed creating pins just for the sake of creating pins, so I thought: why not?
On September 10th I started pinning consistently and I went from:
- from 1 420 impressions on Pinterest and 27 clicks to my blog (between Aug 9th and Sept 10th)
- to 20 629 impressions on Pinterest and 168 clicks to my blog (between Sept 10th to Oct 11th)
- to 44 914 impressions on Pinterest and 369 clicks to my blog (between Oct 10th to Nov 11th)
I gained almost x14 times the number of outbound clicks I got from Pinterest in 60 days!
Quick facts about my blog:
- Officially “launched” in January 2021
- Number of posts published in November: +/- 60 posts, mostly long form.
- I blog about mental health and depression, but other stuff too: loneliness, relationships, diet, goals, minimalism, etc.
- I decided to use Pinterest for more immediate traffic growth but my overall long-term strategy is SEO and organic growth. What I want is traffic from Google. I want the **Holy grail**. But it’s been a slow process. Very, very slow, and the fact that I blog about YMYL topics*** is probably not helping.
***Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) content is a type of content that “if presented inaccurately (…) could impact the reader’s happiness, health, safety, or financial stability” (Source: Semrush). Examples include Finance, Health, children, etc. Google takes this type of content very seriously and it can be particularly hard for new blogs to rank on search engines for these types of keywords because they haven’t yet established their Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
2. Understanding manual pinning
My Pinterest strategy at the moment for my new blog revolves solely around manual pinning. That strategy is strongly based on the things I’ve learned in Carly Campbell’s Pinteresting Strategies eCourse.
Let me tell you, I have purchased other Pinterest courses and for almost 18 months now, have been learning, reading, and researching everything possible about Pinterest marketing for bloggers and how to use that platform for getting blog traffic.
Pinteresting Strategies is hands down, one if not THE best Pinterest course for new and more experienced bloggers. Especially in 2021, as it appears.
And, don’t ask me how she does it. In a world where thousands of bloggers try to sell you their “secrets” to their Pinterest strategies (and yet they all say the same things), Carly managed to teach me A LOT of things I have never heard from anyone else.
I actually bought the course through Carly’s Course Bundle, which includes Pinteresting Strategies but also Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers and Pin Design Rules to Start Breaking. Honestly, her prices are pretty fair compared to some other Pinterest courses that bring less value for your money. So I decided to go for the Bundle.
Well, after purchasing it, I found out the content was better than what I had expected.
How Pinterest works in 2021
Carly has updated her course in 2021 to include the strategies that are working now since Pinterest’s latest algorithm updates.
AND, she also started a brand-new blog in the summer-fall 2020 to experiment firsthand with how things are actually like for new bloggers nowadays.
Unlike all these established bloggers who danced the polka 5-10 years ago and keep claiming, to this day, how “suuuuper easy it is to grow a blog to a million page views in just 2 weeks!!”.
I’m exaggerating, of course, but barely.
I won’t go into all the Pinterest changes here because others have talked about it enough. You can listen to that Simple Pin Media podcast episode right here if you want to know more about the Pinterest algorithm changes.
Let’s just say that gone are the days where you just scheduled 1 000 pins for the next month, through Tailwind, and then saw millions of readers just flowing in.
In short, what has changed for bloggers in 2021 when it comes to Pinterest:
- You can no longer pin 30-50 times per day, or will most likely be marked as spam by Pinterest
- You can no longer repin the same pin to different boards.
- Group boards don’t really matter much anymore, apparently.
- Pinterest wants FRESH PINS.
What the Pinterest Gods want is for you to be active on their platform. So, scheduling 300 pins on Tailwind for the whole month and then forgetting about Pinterest for the next 30 days apparently doesn’t really cut it anymore (?) (I don’t know if that’s true, but I’m planning on testing Tailwind soon).
Enters manual pinning, and Carly’s awesome tips.
I won’t get into the details of her course here. It’s definitely worth checking it out if you want to learn more about manual pinning and how to grow on Pinterest in 2021.
But here’s what I’ve done to go from 20 000 to 40 000 impressions on Pinterest in one month with my brand-new blog (in 2021). And multiply the number of visitors I get from Pinterest to my blog by 14x since August.
3. The pinning strategy that got me from 0 to 40k impressions in 60 days
To know how I went from 1 000 to 20 000 impressions in the first 30 days, read this post first.
And now, my Pinterest experiment continues, and we are now on day 60 of that experiment.
Manual pinning for a new blog
Between Oct 10th and Nov 11th, I pinned about 92 pins to 3-5 different boards.
I created 9 new boards (for exploration purposes) but only started pinning my own pins to 3 of them. I paid a lot of attention to the boards’ descriptions and I used keywords throughout the boards names and descriptions.
Following Carly’s advice, I began by pinning other people’s pins to these new boards first before pinning my own pins. I find that it works really well and it ensures that Pinterest understands clearly what my boards are about.
I’ve pinned every single day, Monday through Sunday, at different times of the day. There was no strategy there really; I just pin whenever I can/wake up/think about it/or when I get home from work.
I’ve been pinning 2 to 3 times per day, mostly 3, sometimes 4 but that’s rare. I try pinning more on Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed, and less the rest of the week. I’m not sure if it’s the right strategy, but I’ve been playing around with my pinning days and frequency. Maybe I will have more to say about this with time.
I still create all my pins from scratch using Canva, although I’ve recently started reusing my own pins as templates. I just swap the image and tweak the text overlay, and voilà!
Honestly, I love Canva. Canva allows me to express (and practice) my new-found creative side. It’s not easy when you have to figure everything out all at once in the beginning as a new blogger. And that includes learning how to use Canva and how to create pins. But I’ve watched a few (many) tutorials, and with a bit (a lot) of practice, I now feel more comfortable on the platform.
Plus, Canva is super intuitive, way more than Photoshop. The Pro plan is definitely worth it and it gives me access to thousands of nice stock photos, illustrations, fonts, and color patterns. But they do have a free plan, if you just want to try it out first. I’ve become a lot more creative ever since I decided to play and just have fun with Canva.
As mentioned, I’ve been pinning manually. This means I either save pins to Pinterest directly from my blog posts or I create new pins using the Pinterest Create new pin option.
However, in the last few days, I’ve also started experimenting with Pinterest’s built-in scheduler. I’ve tried scheduling 2-3 pins all the way up to a full week’s worth of pins.
What I’ve noticed so far after 60 days of pinning manually and consistently
Pinterest is weighing me down.
Ever since I started pinning on Pinterest and worrying about Pinterest analytics or how to get more traffic to my new blog (versus simply writing blog posts), I’ve become kind of obsessed with Pinterest. And it’s taking over my world… not in a good way.
Creating pins, posting them, studying my analytics and my boards’ performance has been taking a lot of energy and mental space… so much that I barely have time to write blog posts anymore.
And guess what? Not creating blog posts = I’m not gaining traffic from Google/Search console. And so, my organic traffic, which was already growing painfully slowly, has just been stagnating for the past couple of months. I need to figure a better way to do this.
But, in a way, it’s fine. My goal was to increase traffic to my blog and to try to do it with Pinterest. Of course, it will take time and energy. I knew that, so I’m willing to do it for a few more weeks/months and see what results I get.
But ultimately, my long term goal is to grow as organically as possible. And so, I will still focus on SEO when creating new content/articles.
I also need to learn to manage my time on Pinterest more effectively.
It appears that my pins get more traction (impressions and clicks), or grow faster (?) when I pin directly from blog posts versus when I use Pinterest’s scheduler.
Maybe it’s just an impression and it’s probably too soon to make assertions, but still… I think there might be something there. See my next point.
My Pinterest impressions are going down now.
In September-October, I was pinning 2-3 times a day. During that time I also got 2-3 pins go viral(ish). One got over 80 outbound clicks in less than a week, the others got a few thousand impressions fast. And all this translated into a growth spike in October.
But after a few weeks of pinning like this and when the virality of my pins came to a (very sad) end, my impressions started going down slightly.
My interpretation is that if I want to see more growth, both in terms of impressions and outbound clicks, I would need to pin more.
It appears that I get more impressions and clicks when I pin 4-5 times per day. The problem is, I was not prepared to do that: I didn’t have enough pins “in-store” to keep up with that pinning frequency. And frankly, I didn’t want to. I was already starting to get Pinterest burn-out from pinning 3 times per day!
One thing about me is that I hate social media with a passion (I’m not on FB, or Instagram, or Twitter, or whatever else people use these days). I hate being tied to a phone or a laptop unless it’s for writing; I love writing! But even that gets mentally exhausting at times.
And so, after about 6 weeks of this experiment and spending hours every day on Pinterest, tracking my analytics and pin performance, I think it started to affect my well-being.
Oh, and that slow decline in impressions you see on the screenshot above? It also coincides with the moment I started using Pinterest’s built-in scheduler.
However, my click-through rate is not going down.
As a matter of fact, it has improved slightly in the last 30 days. And so, even though my impressions are going down, my outbound clicks are still growing. OR in any case, they are not going down.
FYI, Outbound clicks on Pinterest refer to the number of times people click on your pins to get redirected to your website (versus a simple pin click, which simply refers to someone clicking on your pin, to see it closer or read your pin description for example).
And so, your click through rate is the number of clicks your pin receives (outbound clicks) divided by the number of times your pin is shown (impressions).
I’ve been trying to gauge what a “good” click-through rate on Pinterest is for blogs. I don’t mean for promoted pins; just “normal” pins. But there is not much relevant information out there.
This website, conducted a study among 21 blogs and found that the average Pinterest click-through rate was 0.28%. With the sample being so small, it’s not representative of the “real” situation, but it’s still very useful information that gives us a place to start.
Currently, my click-through rate sits at 0,82 % which I think is not bad.
Creating pins takes a lot of effort. Also, my ultimate goal is to get more clicks to my blog, not just more impressions. As such, I will aim to keep a “good” clickthrough rate, meaning the highest possible number of outbound clicks relative to my impressions.
I’m excited to try out new things in the next two months, so stay tuned if you’re interested in seeing how this works out!
I want to reach 500 clicks to my blogs from Pinterest by December 11th (up from 369 clicks).
Initially, my goal was to reach 60k impressions by then as well, but with my impressions going down… I guess we’ll see how this goes.
Are you a new blogger? Did you find this post useful?
Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment. It really makes my day when I hear from other aspiring/newbie/struggling/or even thriving bloggers!