How I Reached 500 Pinterest Followers in 78 Days

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On January 9th, I woke up to find I had exactly 500 Pinterest followers. Cool! I signed up for Pinterest on October 23, so that works out to be less than three months later. If you want to get into the nitty gritty, it is 2 months 17 days or 78 days in total. I kept detailed notes on my Pinterest experimentation, and want to share what I learned with others during so far. I also want to point out that I am not a full time blogger, and this is something I did in my very little free time.

Why Did I Sign up For Pinterest?

In October I decided I was going to try out Pinterest as a social media platform for this site, Why? Simple. I wanted to try something new since I spent a lot of time with Twitter, and I do not really like to use Facebook. As a content consumer, I have found Pinterest to be extremely useful, so why not try it as a content creator?

I went into Pinterest without a plan, but with some guidance from my friend Kate at Babaganosh Blog. Kate has way more Pinterest experience than I do, and was a massive help answering all my silly questions. Thank you, Kate! Kate also introduced me to Tailwind. She has a great post on her site called called 5 Tools and Strategies I Used to Double My Food Blog Traffic that shelfful to any blogger starting out.

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So without further ado, here is how I got to 500 Pinterest followers

My Pinterest Timeline to 500 Followers

As I mentioned, I kept detailed notes on what I did when it came to Pinterest, and I am continuing to do so.  This is where the nerdy engineering side of me comes out.  Here is everything I did in the 78 days it took me to reach 500 Pinterest followers.

October 23 – Signed up for Pinterest.
October 24 – Signed up for Tailwind Free Trial (100 Pins). Started filling up publisher queue with default slots.
November 2 – Joined first Pinterest group board.
November 11 – First website hit from Pinterest.
November 14 – Purchased The Perfect Pin course from Breaking the One Percent.
November 14 – Turned on rich pins.
November 19 – Went on a Pinterest group board binge, and joined five more. Continued to join them in dribs and drabs as I found more, for a total of 17 group boards joined when I hit 500 followers.
November 20 – Signed up for Tailwind Plus Account for One Year (Yay unlimited pinning!).
November 21 – Started pinning 10 pins a day via Tailwind.
November 21 – December 31 – Suck with 10 pin a day schedule, focused on creating and posting new pins.
December 17 – From this day forward, I saw traffic from Pinterest every day on my website.
January 1 – Increased to 15 pins a day via Tailwind.
January 9 – Reached 500 Pinterest followers!

Along with my detailed notes, I also maintained an Excel spreadsheet with a couple of different tabs:

  • Every post on my blog along with its Title, URL, and ideas for additional content
  • A list of Pinterest group boards I had found, but not applied to
  • A list of Pinterest group boards I belonged to, and how many pins “left” I had on each one.  Be sure to check out my simple guide to Pinterest group boards to learn how I did this, which shows you how to set up Excel to track the number of pins on your group boards.

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Like I said, nerd alert and I love spreadsheets, so this was a nice way to keep everything in one place.

My Beginner’s Pinterest Approach

My approach to Pinterest was, well, not having one. I sort of figured it out as I went along. This was my first time using Pinterest for something other than finding recipes, so I was completely new to the world of creating pins. While I have done pretty good so far for not having a strategy, I think I could have been in a better spot with one.

If I could do it over, I would have come up with a better strategy up front. The first things I would have done would have probably been:

  • Come up with an actual plan
  • Learned how to make decent looking pins
  • Tuned on rich pins
  • Found group boards
  • Started with 10 pins per day on Tailwind

These are all things as you can see I started doing later on, versus on day one. I can see how starting with them would have taken me further faster, but all in all I am only 72 days in and pleased with the results. I do not think I have wasted too much time.

That is one of the great things about learning about Pinterest, you cannot really mess up too badly! The worst case scenario is that things take longer than you expected them too. As we all know, launching a new blog can be frustrating at first if it is slow to start, but at the end of the day you have not really been hurt.

My Favorite Pinterest Resources for Beginners

Here are some of my favorite resources that helped me begin my Pinterest journey.

Pinterest. Well, duh. Since I was spending so much time there I tried to make it useful. I found lots of great pins about, well, Pinterest and pinned them to my Social Media Strategy board. I read many, many articles on Pinterest.

Tailwind. I simply do not have time to pin 15 pins a day on my own. Plus, Pinterest likes consistency so there was no way manual pinning would work with my schedule. Tailwind has been hands down the best tool to help me on my Pinterest journey. The best part is your first 100 pins are free, so you can give it a try to see how much easier it makes things. I signed up for a paid account less than a month after trying Tailwind and am glad I did. Some of the best pins I came across from Pinterest were from Louise really knows her stuff. The article that helped me the most was How Often Should You Pin on Pinterest?, but her blog is full of great tidbits. She also makes everything super simple to understand, so it was worth a read.

Breaking The One Percent’s The Perfect Pin Course. This blog is just all around awesome to read through, but the pin course was extremely helpful. My background is in engineering, and it showed in my earliest pin designs. Personally, I really needed a way to learn how to make my pins more visually striking and The Perfect Pin course did just that. The fist pin I made after finishing the course did better than all of my other pins I had made previously combined. I cringed at spending money on something at first, but it really was an investment for me. If you have a more artistic background you can probably figure out how to create great pins on your own.

My Essential Beginning Pinterest Tool

We talked about my favorite digital tools, but I want to go back to basics for a moment. I have been keeping track of my Pinterest progress mainly in my favorite notebook ever. I have a Stalogy notebook I use for everything related to blogging, because when it comes down to it, I still love a pen (or mechanical pencil!) and paper. I like to put my ideas down on the page, before eventually moving them to a more permanent digital home, like my blog idea list, which you can read more about here:

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Now, one of the reasons I keep going on and on about Stalogy notebooks is because I love the texture of the paper, and the grid paper format.  It is great for making lists, drawing, and bullet journaling. They also have a ton of pages in them so they will last you a long time.

I really like to have a notebook for anything I am working on. One of the reasons is it is nice to flip back through your notebook during an ongoing project, or when you have completed one. Your notebook will tell a story in itself!

My Next Pinterest Goals

You would think after preaching about how important it is to have a plan upfront, I would make one! Nope! I am going to continue my Pinterest experiment on my current course, so I am pretty much going to keep doing what I am doing.

My focus will be:

  • Continuing to refine my pin design and creation techniques, since I know this is an area I am weak in.
  • Continuing to write pin descriptions that contain hashtags and keywords.
  • Continuing to pin my own content, as well as content from others I find useful. It can be tempting to just try and fill up that  Tailwind queue with anything, but do not give in!  Only pin what you find interesting and helpful and think your audience will.
  • Continue to seek and join new group boards.

The next things I want to take a look at:

  • How long it will take me to get 1000 followers (double what I have now, and another big milestone).
  • How much traffic I am really seeing from Pinterest.

Reflections From a Pinterest Beginner

Honestly, Pinterest can seem overwhelming at first if you are just getting started with the platform, since there are many factors to being successful.  For me, it helped to keep detailed notes in my notebook, and create an Excel spreadsheet to help me track things. You will read and hear a lot about Pinterest group boards, and that seems overwhelming itself! This is what drove me to write the post about keeping Pinterest group boards simple I talked about before.

Like anything, getting familiar with Pinterest and seeing results takes time and effort. There is a lot to learn, and I hope this article helped point you in the right direction. It can be frustrating at times. There are days where you will not gain any followers, and there are pins you will work hard on that will not take off.  The important thing is to stay focused, and keep working at it!

BONUS – From 500 to 1000 Followers in Just 16 Days!

I must be doing something right, because the number of my Pinterest followers DOUBLED from 500 to 100 in just 16 days!  Learn in detail how I did it in this post:

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Do you have any tips for Pinterest beginners?  Be sure to let us know in the comments, or on Twitter!

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