Pinterest marketing takes a long-term mindset and a willingness to buckle down for the long haul. This begs the question: How much time do I need to invest in Pinterest marketing?
Today I have Lauren from Create and Go on the podcast with me. We discussed how much time she invested in growing her Pinterest account for her first website.
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Lauren and her business partner, Alex, started a health and wellness blog and they credit Pinterest for the success of that blog. Although the first few months of blogging were tough for them, they experienced a turning point when their Pinterest traffic began to explode.
About a year after their first blog took off, they started Create and Go, a site dedicated to teaching people how to start and monetize a blog. One of the main topics on Create and Go is how to use Pinterest marketing to grow blog traffic.
Determining Your Avatar
Lauren and Alex’s first blog Avocadu, started as a way to reach people in their 20s who wanted to work out and eat healthy, but also still have a social life. When they started putting their content on Pinterest, however, their yoga and weight loss content was what resonated most with the Pinterest audience.
Pinterest users were telling Lauren and Alex exactly what they wanted to see. So Lauren and Alex responded by shifting their content focus away from people their own age to middle-aged women (specifically, teaching them how to lose weight).
Based on the content that was popular on Pinterest, Lauren and Alex were able to see what sort of problems their readers were facing. They began to create products around those problems.
Content Creation Frequency
There are things you have to do in the beginning stages of blogging that you don’t have to do forever. In the beginning, Alex and Lauren were posting 2-3 times a week on their blogs. They no longer release content as frequently. At times, they post as little as once per month if they’re busy with other projects.
Getting a ton of content out there in the beginning is helpful to create momentum and build your platform.
The great thing about having all of that content from the beginning is that, eventually, you will reach the point where you can just update your existing content rather than spending time always releasing new content.
Spending Time On the Pinterest Platform
Lauren published an article in September of 2016 all about How to Gain Followers On Pinterest.
In the article, she stated:
You must spend a lot of time on Pinterest if you wish to succeed with it.
The article has been recently updated, but not much has changed since she originally wrote the article.
While creating more content and gaining more followers is great, the best thing you can do for your business is to spend time learning the platform you are using (Pinterest in this case).
You can take courses and learn different hacks for using any platform or beating the algorithms, but actually learning about the platform by being on the platform is crucial.
Having a lot of followers doesn’t matter if they aren’t going to engage with your content.
How Much Time Do I Need to Invest in Pinterest Marketing?
In the article mentioned above, Lauren also said:
“We only grew this fast because we made Pinterest our top priority. It’s our livelihood, it makes us all of our money. Getting awesome at it was the #1 most important thing in our blogging journey. We structure our blog content and strategies around what works well on Pinterest, and you would be wise to do the same if Pinterest is the name of the game for you as well.”
So what did that time commitment look like for Lauren in the beginning?
Lauren was fortunate to have Alex as a business partner. So while Alex worked on content, Lauren was able to really focus on Pinterest marketing.
Lauren would get home from her accounting job and spend hours on Pinterest — looking at the feed, paying attention to their Tailwind analytics, and creating more pins.
She was also running tests — pinning 20 times a day one week, and then 50 times a day the next.
She was always aware of what her analytics looked like so that she would know if any of the trial and error methods were gaining traction.
If your business is important to you and Pinterest is the key to growth, you have to be willing to spend the time on the platform.
Creating a Product For Your Audience
Not long after Lauren and Alex had gotten started on Pinterest, they created a product they thought was awesome. It sat on their very first blog for a while and they only made one sale. So, they scratched that attempt and started over.
This time around, they knew what their audience wanted because of their Pinterest traffic that Lauren had been working hard on gaining. But instead of using Pinterest traffic to try to sell a product, they worked on building their email list.
When they sent out their very first welcome email to their subscriber list, they asked their audience to share their biggest struggle when it came to weight loss. They were able to take those answers and find out exactly what their readers wanted and needed.
They then repackaged their original product and were able to sell it to their newly targeted audience.
Related: How to Market a Product on Pinterest
Growth and Consistency
It took them about four months to go from being brand new at Pinterest to actually making money, but it only took a couple of months to gain traffic from Pinterest.
In the beginning, Lauren felt it was important to be checking her analytics and stats every day. Once she saw consistency in her stats, and she was able to step back to just looking at the analytics on weekly basis.
Looking at your analytics helps you know what time of day your pins perform best, what blog posts are performing the best, and what kind of images are “clickable”. This information helps you to work smarter over time.
It’s not about your traffic numbers, it’s about experiencing consistency and seeing steady growth.
Where to Put Your Focus
People obsess about numbers in this industry. You need to forget about followers. Follower growth is not going to always equal traffic growth, and traffic is what you should care about.
When you are paying attention to the platform, you are able to discover that certain things work better than other things. This phenomenon shouldn’t be viewed as a “hack” or an example of “beating the system.” It’s merely the trends that become apparent as a consequence of your hard work.
If you are not growing or experiencing success in your Pinterest marketing, the best thing you can do is to pay closer attention and learn more about the platform. Your focus should also be directed to creating the best content you can and promoting that content aggressively.
Test out different headlines, different images, and different email opt-ins. All of that really matters, and if you are focused on your content, that is the best thing you can do.
But I’ve Tried Everything!
Some of you feel like you have tried absolutely everything and nothing is working.
Lauren wonders if you’ve tried out Tailwind Tribes yet. It’s a great way to gain exposure and get your content shared across Pinterest.
Next, take a look at your content and compare it to other similar content on Pinterest. If you have similar content to someone who is having great success on Pinterest, then you must not be doing something quite right. Are you paying close attention to your analytics? Maybe you aren’t utilizing all the tools offered to you (like Tribes or group boards).
The reason Lauren has had so much success is that she took the time to try everything.
Remember that there is no “one size fits all” plan for Pinterest, and don’t bother searching for those magical Pinterest hacks either.
Lauren and Alex didn’t identify themselves as “bloggers” in the beginning. They just viewed themselves as two people starting a health and wellness website. This caused them to have a hard time trying to monetize and really identify with what they were doing.
It wasn’t until they started using Pinterest that they started really discovering their place in the blogging world.
After hearing someone compare Pinterest to Google, they realized that Pinterest is a search engine, but it is so much easier to get to the top of the search feed on Pinterest than it is on Google.
As beginning bloggers, Lauren and Alex had spent time posting on Instagram and Facebook. They didn’t have the money to run ads, so they saw basically no return on their time investment on those platforms.
But when they started utilizing Pinterest, they saw an almost immediate return on the investment of their time.
Final Words of Wisdom
You need to think about what your goals are in your business.
If you are trying to run a business and make money, figure out the path you will follow to achieve this goal.
If your path is through content and email marketing, you don’t need to be worried about Instagram. Let go of all the platforms that are not serving you and promoting growth in your business.
The best advice Lauren and Alex give is to choose one source of traffic and truly master it.
The more you master one source of traffic, the more the other sources will begin to grow. If you are focusing on growing your Pinterest traffic, you will eventually see this in Google SEO.
Finally, Lauren urges you to utilize all the information you have at your disposal. Analytics are a key tool help you grow your business. Don’t ignore them.
3:16 – Lauren of Create and Go
5:24 – Yoga and Weight Loss
8:20 – Content Creation and Release
11:02 – Spending Time With the Platform
13:51 – Lauren’s Time Commitment to Pinterest
18:41 – Creating a Product For Your Audience
22:08 – Seeing Growth and Consistency
25:23 – What Do I Focus On?
28:23 – But I’ve Tried Everything!
35:01 – Pinterest ROI
39:58 – Master Your Source
Elizabeth Schowachert says
Thank you for another great podcast. I do think that some folks may get the idea from this podcast that product pins don’t work and Pinterest is really only for Bloggers – I am not a blogger, I am 100% about product pins, in a narrowly defined nitch. I think Pinterest can and does work well for businesses that are selling products. I get a ton of traffic from Pinterest, you just have to be smart about how you are marketing your products to the Pinterest audience. That is what is so great about Pinterest, it can work for a wide variety of categories/people, you just have to know your audience and your brand really well. You have provided all the tool one needs to really leverage Pinterest well – not just for Bloggers, but for us products folks as well.
kate ahl says
Thanks for your comment. We definitely believe that Pinterest marketing works for ecommerce. In fact, many of the clients who work with us are product sellers! Check out this episode where we focused exclusively on selling products on the platform. Elizabeth, you’re another awesome example of the power of Pinterest marketing for product sellers!
That was simply great and encouraging. Thank you!
kate ahl says
Carole – I’m so glad you were encouraged by this episode 🙂
Georgina White says
Kate and team – Everything you produce is amazing ! And I am no about to buy Lauren’s Avocadu 21 day challenge as well! 🙂
kate ahl says
Georgina — thanks a million! and Yey!
Great interview roundup. Thank you for sharing the info.
I have wondered lately if Pinterest is worth the time versus benefits. I am going to keep pursuing though. The strange thing is that an account I hardly touch ever gets 10 times more traffic than the account I work hard on. Hard to figure out why!
Ryan @ WantFI says
Create and Go was actually the source of using Pinterest for me. I had no idea what the platform was really for before reading their blog. Unfortunately I have been pinning aggressively 10+ pins a day for 45 days and have seen maybe 10 link clicks in total. I am not sure if the old techniques when bloggers like them wrote their gudies are relevant anymore.
kate ahl says
Effective strategies are ever-changing as the platform continues to evolve. Here’s a more current summary of best practices. I’d also recommend this post about the best way to keep up with Pinterest updates.