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The whole “fresh pins” things kinda threw my old pinning strategy into a tailspin — 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?
A “fresh pin” is defined as a pin image that hasn’t been used on Pinterest before. It can have the same link as previous pins (so it can point to a blog post you’ve pinned to before) but it cannot use an image that you’ve used before.
Pinterest doesn’t want users seeing the same images over and over like they used to with Board Booster and Tailwind scheduling the same pins day after day to multiple boards. And I get it. That would suck as a user.
What about the pin description?
Ideally that’s a little different too. It doesn’t seem to be as critical to Pinterest as having a new image is, but I’ve personally found I get better results when I adjust the description instead of doing a straight copy/paste. I think updating the description gives you a chance to try a new combo of keywords and phrases to give it an edge in high-competition keywords.
How often do you need fresh pins?
Every. Single. Time. You should always be pinning a fresh pin. Never pin the same pin more than once. Period. So make it good, ha! Pin it and then scrap it (it hurts, I know).
How different does the pin need to look?
Pretty different! Pinterest uses an algorithm and image identification software to both “look” at pin images and “read” any text that is on it. It can identify colors and some objects, and it can pull out keywords from text that is part of the image (so it can essentially “read” your text overlay, titles and calls to action, etc).
So “different” is a judgement call, somewhat, but a good rule of thumb is that the fresh pin needs to look significantly different than any old ones. Ask yourself: 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 glance? If yes, then it’s likely not going to register in the Pinterest system as “fresh.” When in doubt just use a completely new photo each time.
Other ways to “freshen” a pin image:
- Zoom in on the photo and choose a different focal point (if it was a woman holding flowers focus on the face the first time, and zoom in on the flowers the next) and it will feel like a new photo.
- Look for the largest, “heaviest” element in the picture (what draws your eye the most) and change or cover it (with text, a graphic element, shift the image so its off the page, etc)
- Experiment with image filters, color and texture overlays, black and white, etc.
- Change the size and placement of the text as well as the font.
- Add large buttons, arrows, and other elements to draw the eye
Should you still brand pins with your colors and fonts?
Short answer: No. Don’t worry about branding your pins. That’s really not a thing anymore and sticking to a single color scheme will only hurt your reach in the long run. Users don’t need to recognize a pin as yours, people go to Pinterest to find new things. They’ll see something that’s interesting to them, click it, and then recognize you once they get to your website.
How often do you need to pin?
I wish I knew! I wish Pinterest knew. They are a hot mess lately, and there’s just no way of knowing for sure. That being said I do know that there’s one thing *most* (not all) Pinterest experts I know agree on: we don’t need to pin nearly as much as we used to. The days of 100+ pins per day are over (thank goodness).
But that still doesn’t answer the question How many man? HOW MANY!?
Whoa. How about…1 per day?
One shiny new fresh pin per day. Optimized to the hilt for SEO, and pinned to a board and an account that’s also fully SEO optimized.
I mean that’s just a starting point, but it gives you a place to, you know, start from.
One fresh pin per day is 5-7 per week (depending on your approach to weekends). Do that and you should make progress, over time, and build up some significant (if fickle) Pinterest traffic. You could also aim for 2-3 fresh pins per day, which works out to 10-21 new pins per week. You’ll need to experiment and see what works best for you and your niche/audience, as well find the balance between sustainability and burning out in terms of your schedule and commitment. Pinterest is unpredictable and glitchy lately (we all know someone — or ARE someone — who’s been shadow banned as spam, oye) so I tend to err on the side of less is more. Not only do I feel safer from the spam blocker, but if it all goes bad I’ll hurt less if my emotional and time investments were smaller.
So you’ll have to make your own call regarding how often/how many fresh pins to post per week. Here are some additional general truths to consider:
- Quality over quantity. You’re better off doing fewer high quality pins vs many lower quality ones
- Pinterest-specific SEO is more important than ever. Optimize your pins for keywords and also your boards and your Pinterest account as a whole (your profile description, etc).
- Pinterest is not as fast for winning traffic as it used to be. It takes time to rank a pin now. Weeks and months, not (usually) hours or days.
- Diversify! Pinterest is still a great tool but it’s going through some serious growing pains. While it “finds itself” keep your foot in but also learn other traffic sources like Google SEO.
- Worth saying again: NEVER pin the same pin more than once. It’s essentially whistling “here I am!” to the trigger-happy Pinterest spam bot.
- Also worth saying again: Fresh pins are about fresh images, and (to a lesser degree) fresh pin description text. You can make as many fresh pins as you want per blog post on your website.
Now how to get all these pins done?
My “easy fresh pins system”
This system has changed many times, because Pinterest can’t decide what the heck they’re doing. So my system has become ultra basic so it’s easy to change (or abandon) later as Pinterest continues to shift.
Step 1: Get yourself some index cards and an index card box (and a nice cup of coffee or tea — you need it!)
I’m using cards I had with an old recipe box. Or if you’re an Amazon shopper and would prefer something shiny and new you can see their gigantic assortment of index cards and index card organizers here (the mini ones look cute!).
Step 2: Each index card represents 1 blog post
Pull up a list of all your published blog posts (you can do this easily within your WordPress dashboard: Posts -> Published).
Write the title of each blog post on an index card. Also create an index card for any other pages or destinations you want to pin regularly (landing/sales pages, etc).
Popular posts: Make additional cards for your top posts (those that get the most traffic). How many more is up to you: maybe 5 cards for each popular post instead of 1 to start? You can always add more later if need be.
Holiday/seasonal content: Anything that shouldn’t be pinned year round should be clearly marked in some way, so it can be separated out of the main stack when not in season. You can use different colored index cards, markers, stickers or paper clips.
Step 3: Put the index cards in the box
Put in the regular blog post cards first, then add your popular post cards, shuffling them in relatively evenly. Lastly add the holiday and seasonal cards, putting current ones in the main group, and off-season posts separated in the back.
Step 4: Make fresh pins!
It works like this: make a new fresh pin for the first index card in the box, then move it to the back of the box. Rinse & repeat.
So when you sit down to make new pins start with the blog post that’s at the very front of the card stack in the box. You’ll need to look up the url, I just click around on my website and find it (you could also write the url on the index card, or save it in a spreadsheet, but I find navigating around my own website to be a valuable experience and good opportunity to spot issues and errors on the front end that I wouldn’t otherwise see). So make a pin for that first card/blog post in the stack, and then move its card to the back. Make a pin for the next card, and so on.
Tired of stressing out over pin design for all these fresh pins? I use IvoryMix for monthly pin templates!
Doing this will have you rotate through all your blog posts once, creating a new pin for each one, before starting again. Popular posts will get more fresh pins, because they have more cards in the stack. Holiday and seasonal content will get pinned with everything else, except during the off-season when you should remove them from the main stack (this is why you make those a different color and/or mark them in some way) and store them in the back until they come around again.
That’s the basic system. Super lo-fi and that’s why I love it. It’s also very easy to pick up where you left off if you go an extended period without pinning, and it’s adaptable to fit your needs and preferences. A note on customizing it to your needs:
- An index card has room for more than just a blog post title. Experiment with other things you may want to include or have the card remind you to do when it comes up: maybe add a note about checking affiliate links on that particular blog post? Post it on Facebook or other social media? Update for SEO/check keywords?
Step 5: Start pinning!
And remember: each fresh new pin gets pinned ONCE, to your most relevant and SEO-optimized board, and then never pinned again (by you).
Batch your efforts for max efficiency
I’m a big believer in working in batches for efficiency so creating fresh pins in groups in the way to go.
I aim to make a batch of pins once per month and use Tailwind to schedule them out to 1 per day. Tailwind has been going through a lot of changes right along with Pinterest lately, but I highly recommend it for the time and effort it saves in not having to log in to post pins every single day.
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 (and they have a forever free plan now), it’s not an absolute requirement. Pinterest has a native scheduler that you can use to schedule up to 2 weeks out at a time.
Tailwind now offers a forever free plan! 20 pins per month (that’s a fresh pin every M-F) and some other cool bells and whistles. CLICK HERE TO TRY IT
What this fresh pins strategy accomplishes:
- You’ll never pin the same pin twice (everything will always be “fresh!”)
- You’ll never have a blog post get forgotten and fall through the cracks
- You’ll pin your most popular content more often
- 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!)
How to make so many new pins all the time?
It sounds intimidating but consider this: your strategy is simply shifting from pinning 50-100 pins per day to just 1 or so. You’ll spend about the same time, or maybe even less!
First: Get some pin templates
I like Ivory Mix for pin templates but there are lots of others out there. I also have Canva and they have good ones too. You need templates to save time. No templates and you’ll find yourself falling down a rabbit hole of scrolling for elements and fonts and arranging random elements and it will not be efficient at all.
Ivory Mix sends fresh pin templates every month plus stock photos plus Instagram quotes plus social media captions, trainings and more. It’s a big membership with a small price, I don’t even use half of it and still find it totally worth it.
Next swap the photo, the colors, and/or the font
You can use the same templates many times by simply swapping out the background photo, changing the element colors, and choosing a new font. You can do 1, 2 or all 3 of these. Mix and match!
Last: Choose a catchy title or phrase and call to action
Your pin does not need to have the same title as your blog post. As long as it’s clear to the user what they’ll find on the other side you’re good! So play around with new titles and always include a call to action of some sort to help encourage that click.
You’re done! Pin that puppy!
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).