Today we are going to be talking about something that is really important, especially for those of you just starting out in Pinterest marketing. I’ve seen lots of conversation about manual pinning vs. scheduled pinning. I asked my friend Tracie from Penny Pinchin Mom to share her experience and the system that works for her.

Tracie has been blogging for nine years, starting long before the days of Pinterest. She’s made a lot of mistakes along the way, which led her to want to be the blogger that helped by answering the tough questions. She knows A LOT about Pinterest and how it works, and she’s happy to pass on her experience and knowledge to others.

white desktop with coffee cup, laptop and ipad with text overlay "Manual vs. Scheduled Pinning: Which gets the best results?".

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A Note for the Newbies

If you’re new to Pinterest marketing, one thing we want you to really wrap your head around is finding a strategy for Pinterest that boosts your page views without taking up all your time. Being intentional is so important. If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, take some time to evaluate what you’re spending your time on. Start with a balanced approach and evolve from there.

I do have some other resources you can check out, including last year’s post on  Live vs. Scheduled Pinning. this helpful podcast covering Pinterest analytics.

Manual Pinning vs. Scheduled Pinning

What Is Live/Manual Pinning?

Live pinning (also called manual pinning) refers to when you take a pin on your site, or another bloggers site, and use their social sharing buttons to share it. It is the act of being on Pinterest and pinning your own content and repinning other people’s pins on a regular basis.

Manual pinning also includes those instances when you upload an image to Pinterest directly and add your description and URL to pin it to your board. Manual pinning occurs when you are actually on the Pinterest platform itself, whether through the app or on a computer.

What is Scheduled Pinning?  

Scheduled pinning is when you use a platform, or service, to add your pins. The Pinterest scheduler slowly drip your pins out on Pinterest for you onto the board you want based on a schedule you have set. It is a simple way to make sure you pin a specific number of pins every single day.

So Many Schedulers  – What are the Pinterest scheduler options? Tailwind is the most popular, but Buffer and ViralTag also enable you to schedule pins. Hootsuite allows you to schedule but you have to own a Tailwind account for the connection.

Of all the schedulers out there, only one is an approved Pinterest partner — Tailwind. Essentially, this means that Pinterest has given approval for them to use the Pinterest API (the key that allows them to share Pinterest content). Other systems can schedule, but they are not approved partners. So if you’re using one of these alternative schedulers, it’s important to understand that you’re going against the terms and services for using Pinterest.

The Theory Behind Manual Pinning

When people start pinning manually, they sometimes get more traffic. The automatic thought might be that this is a result of manual pinning, but the truth is that it could be a myriad of other reasons, such as a pin that suddenly gains traction, pinning one pin to the right board, or getting in on trending topics. There are so many variables that it is nearly impossible to attribute the changes in traffic to just manual pinning.

Keep in mind that, in order to be confident that a particular Pinterest strategy has been successful, it requires measuring data before, during and after the strategy is implemented. 

In order to be confident that a particular Pinterest strategy has been successful, it requires measuring data before, during and after the strategy is implemented. 

Why Would Anyone Choose Manual Over Scheduled Pins?

For some people, it can be a control issue. They want to see what is being pinned to every board at every minute of the day.

The other reason is that they are listening to what one or two people have done and honestly think that is the only way to pin. They hear that one person has success so they instantly assume it is the only way to be successful on Pinterest. When you’re new and you only have information from one person, that is just what you do without testing out other options.

I recorded a podcast last spring where I dove deep into the page views vs income debate. Some people are obsessed with numbers. They’d rather have thousands of page views a day than think about how much money they are making. Don’t forget to evaluate what someone else is doing and see if it would actually work to increase your income.

Tracie’s Personal Experience

Tracie used to use Boardbooster and noticed her traffic decreasing. She knew they were not an approved partner, but some “experts” that she had listened to swore it was the only way to use Pinterest and she followed along. Just like others, she had read that manual pinning was getting people more traffic and she stopped scheduling and started manually pinning. Admittedly, she hated it, because it tied her to her computer every day but thought that she had to continue because it was going to get good results.

After she had been manually pinning for a few months, she saw traffic increasing. That trend continued for around three months. Since she still hated manual pinning and it felt like it was a misuse of her time, she decided to try something different. She had heard good things about Tailwind and knew it was an API-approved partner.

Using Tailwind, she set up her optimal pinning times and got busy scheduling. Tracie was now spending around a total of two hours a week on Pinterest. Not having to spend 45 minutes on the platform everyday freed her up to focus on things that would make her more money.

Like others, Tracie has experienced some dips in traffic. What’s different now is that many times, when others complain about big traffic changes, she continues to remain steady or have growth. She attributes that to the consistency of pinning via a scheduler.

white desktop with coffee cup, laptop and ipad with text overlay "Manual vs. Scheduled Pinning: Which gets the best results?".

What’s A More Important Variable than Manual Vs. Scheduled Pins?

Remember, working on using great keywords and creating captivating pinnable images directly ties to the algorithm. The smart feed looks at images, keywords, and domain authority, so the factor of manual versus scheduled pinning doesn’t affect the algorithm as much.

That being said, the most important thing people need to know about manual versus scheduled pinning is to NOT base your decision on how you’ll manage Pinterest solely on one person’s experience. The truth is that some people may have better luck manually pinning whereas others do better with a scheduler.

You have to be open to the idea of trying something new. If you continue using the same methods and don’t get the success you want, a new idea might be the solution. Moral of the story: How will you know unless you try?

Time Stamp
2:30 – A Note for the Newbies
6:05 – What Is Live/Manual Pinning?
8:20 – What Is Scheduled Pinning?
9:30 – So Many Schedulers
13:15 – The Theory Behind Manual Pinning
17:12- Why Would Anyone Choose Manual Over Scheduled?
19:32 – Tracie’s Personal Experience
25:30 – More Important than Manual Vs. Scheduled




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  1. Hello
    You always write beautiful posts like your blog. You have almost all solutions related to any kind of interest issues. I always learn something new about interest from your blog.

    After reading this whole post it is very easy to know about what is Pinterest manual and scheduled pinning. You have well explained the whole post.

    Thanks for sharing this informative post.

    Best wishes,
    Praveen verma

  2. I think you left out a big component of why someone might manual pin versus schedule- cost! If you’re just starting out and have zero income, manual might be the only way.

  3. Thanks for this post. Just when my head was spinning evaluating all the pros and cons of manual vs Scheduling this comes as a reassurance. I’m pressed for time and manual pinning was really taking its toll on me.

  4. One thing not mentioned is the cost. I had x amount of dollars to invest, and at this stage in my blogging, I decided to invest in an expensive, but well reviewed course. Unfortunately, that means I don’t have money in the budget for a scheduler and need to do manual pinning. I see the benefits of a scheduler and hope to use one in 2019.

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