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The whole “fresh pins” things kinda threw my old pinning strategy into a tailspin recently — what is a fresh pin? How often do I need fresh pins? Where will I find the time to make so many new pins???
My head hurt for a bit.
But then I sat down and figured it out, and it’s really not so bad.
What is a fresh pin?
It’s defined as a pin image that hasn’t been used on Pinterest before.
How often do you need fresh pins?
Pretty regularly. Pinterest recommends pinning the same image no more than 10 times total (to 10 different boards). Once you’ve pinned an image 10 times scrap it and make a fresh one.
What counts as a fresh pin?
This is a judgement call, somewhat, but a good rule of thumb is that the fresh image needs to look significantly different than any old ones. If you were scrolling through your Pinterest feed and saw two of your pins side by side, would they maybe look the same at first? If yes, then it’s likely not going to register in the system as “fresh.”
How can I keep all of these fresh pins straight? I have a headache just thinking about it.
I have an easy system figured out for keeping track of what you’ve pinned when, and when you last made a fresh pin.
It has two main parts: a spreadsheet to track your pins, and a basic strategy for pinning so everything rolls smoothly on a predictable schedule.
Easy Fresh Pins System
Step 1: Make the easiest spreadsheet ever
Log in to Google Sheets (or your software of choice) and start a new spreadsheet. Give it a title (I call mine “Pinterest: Posts List & Strategy”) and then create three columns titled Post Name, Blog post URL, and Pin Cycle End. You can drag the columns to whatever width you need.
Fill in the columns as follows:
Post Name: Your blog post titles, one post per line.
Blog post URL: The permalink for each blog post
Pin cycle end: The last time the post was pinned (if you’re pinning manually) or scheduled to be pinned (if you’re using Tailwind). When using a scheduler like Tailwind this date may be in the future. You may also leave it blank (for now) if posts haven’t been pinned yet or you have no idea when the last time was.
You can add more columns and track all kinds of things on this sheet if you want but I’m keeping it simple. With these three columns you can see exactly which posts have been pinned/scheduled recently, and which are coming up due for fresh pins (just sort the “Pin Cycle End” column to show the oldest dates first). The URL is there for more convenient creation of new pins.
Step 2: Set up your boards and board lists
I use Tailwind for this part, and highly recommend it for the time and effort it saves. Tailwind makes it possible to batch your Pinterest efforts into once-per-week, or even once-every-two-weeks sessions. I don’t know about you but constantly “switching gears” from one task to another is one of the hardest parts of blogging, and being able to get a lot of one task done at a time is a big deal! But while Tailwind does make things SO MUCH EASIER, it’s not an absolute requirement. I’ve included some notes below on how I think it could work if you prefer to pin manually.
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1. Start by giving your Pinterest Boards a refresh. Make sure each one is relevant to your blog in some way and that all have clear titles and descriptions with lots of naturally-placed keywords.
2. Sort your boards into groups of no more than 10 based on your blog categories and most popular posts. I use Tailwind’s “Board Lists” function to make this extra easy, but you can also do it on paper if you wish (write your blog categories across the top of a sheet of paper, and then write each board under the category it most closely coincides with). What you want is 5-10 boards that relate closely to each category on your blog, and a few to specifically fit each of your most popular posts. For example I have a blog post “How to Make Paper Snowflakes” and the boards I pin it to include “Projects & Crafts for Kids,” “Winter Activities for Kids,” “Kids Arts, Crafts & STEM Activities,” and a few others. I have all of these boards grouped together on a Board List called “Kid Activities List.” Give your Board Lists clear, obvious names (no one will see them but you) and make new boards (and board lists) if you’re short for a particular category.
Step 3: Start pinning!
1. Choose a blog post that needs pinning by looking at your spreadsheet and finding a “Pin Cycle Ends” date that is 3 or more days in the past. If you don’t have dates in that column yet choose a one of your most popular posts to start.
2. Create a fresh pin image for the post (I use the free version of Canva) and upload the image to Tailwind via the “Create New Pin” button under the “Scheduled” tab (or upload to Pinterest directly if you’re going the manual route).
2. Add the URL, a compelling title and description, and select your most relevant board first. Relevant = Most related topic and keywords. If you’re using Tailwind you can choose more than one board, but you want to make sure the best, most relevant one is first. Optional: Add a column on the spreadsheet labeled “Most Relevant Board”
3. After selecting the most relevant board, select the most relevant board list. This will populate a whole group of related boards onto your pinning list. Look the list over and make sure all boards are a good fit (delete any that aren’t), that the most relevant board is listed first, and that you don’t have more than 10 boards total (Tailwind helps monitor this also). Optional: Add a column on the spreadsheet labeled “Board List”
3. Use Tailwind’s interval feature to select an interval of 3 or more days (prevents the same pin from being published too close together and flagged as spam) and click Set Interval. If everything looks good click Schedule. And voilà! The pin will be scheduled to your best board first, followed by all the other boards one after the other, every 3+ days, automatically. Yay!
4. Note what date the last pin in the cycle will go live (varies depending on how many boards you pin to and what interval you set) and enter it into your spreadsheet in the “Pin Cycle Ends” column.
5. And you’re done! Rinse and repeat with another blog post that’s due to be pinned (cycle back up to #1).
If pinning manually pin to your most relevant board first and then enter the current date in the “Pin Cycle Ends” field. When you come back to pin again (3 or more days later) go to the next relevant board on the list, etc. When you’ve gone through your entire Board List for that pin make a fresh image and start the list again. It might work to add a column on the spreadsheet with the last pinned board?
What this fresh pins strategy accomplishes:
- You’ll never pin/repin the same image more than 10 times total
- You’ll never pin/repin the same image to a single board more than once
- You’ll never have a blog get forgotten and fall through the cracks
- You’ll be much less likely to trigger Pinterest’s spam radar (I say “less likely” because sometimes they be crazy! It’s impossible to guarantee)
- You’ll have an easy, predictable system that doesn’t require a lot of brain power to complete (because we’re all short on that!)
- You’ll have an easy, predictable system that could be handed over to an assistant or VA without much difficulty
Questions? Comments? Ideas or improvements? I would genuinely love to hear!
There are some exceptions for the “pin no more than 10 times total” rule that can be made for seasonal pins. If you have an exceptionally popular pin save it and consider re-circulating it again in a year or so (Tailwind’s Smartloop feature is a handy way to set this up to run automatically).
Need lots of beautiful stock photos for all your fresh pins? I have memberships at both Ivory Mix and Depositphotos and highly recommend both. Also upgrading to the paid version of Canva expands the stock photo options they offer (plus some other fun perks).
Group boards can be a great tool if they are relevant to your niche and your pins. They should have keyword rich titles and descriptions, and active contributors that share high-quality, well-optimized pins.
Need more help with Pinterest? Like the real nitty gritty of getting your profile set up, what exactly to title your pins and how to write descriptions, and really master the Pinterest algorithm? Check out Pinterest Ninja — it’s the one Pinterest course I’ve paid for and it covers it all (plus she updates regularly, to help you keep up with changes).