If blogging is one of your side hustles or career-boosting strategies, you might be reeling from the news that BoardBooster is shutting down. It’s sad because BoardBooster generated awesome traffic with unique tools you just can’t find anywhere else.
I won’t lie—in the first three days we turned off BoardBooster after receiving Pinterest’s nasty-gram about how using it would get our account shut down, we had a 39% drop in Pinterest views.
Then something magical happened—yesterday, our traffic hit a record high without BoardBooster! Today’s numbers are rapidly climbing, too (the screenshot was taken at noon, with 12 hours left to go for today’s count).
So, take a quick moment to mourn BoardBooster’s loss, then pick yourself up and start strategizing how you’re going to make up for the lost traffic. I’ll tell you what we’re doing, and where to get help if you need it.
1. Step up Your Tailwind Game
Here’s another of my deep confessions: I don’t like Tailwind. Other bloggers write about all this fantastic traffic they get from Tailwind tribes, but we’ve had next to no traffic from Tailwind’s tribes. But, Tailwind does have its purposes, and if you don’t already have an account, you can get a free month trial here: Tailwind Signup.
Tailwind’s Tribes are Not Even Slightly Comparable to BoardBooster’s Tribes
BoardBooster’s Tribes were awesome. You pasted your pin URLs and had an even, reciprocal exchange with the other tribe members. It was guaranteed extra traffic—most of the time, assuming the other people in your tribe had a decent amount of Pinterest views and followers.
However, Tailwind’s tribe members are fickle, so nothing is guaranteed. You can post 1000 tribe members’ pins, and they might post 5 of yours. For example, here’s the tribe repost count for two of my pins from last week. It’s enough to make me want to whip out a voodoo doll to summon BoardBooster back from the grave.
You have no control over what pins tribe members choose, and they don’t scroll far enough to see member contributions more than a day or two old. So, you have to spend time strategizing when the perfect time is to post to your tribes, and that can vary by tribe. It’s annoying.
The other thing that annoys me about Tailwind tribes is that if you want to post a couple of different images as pins to a single post, you can’t. You’ll get a warning message that you’ve already posted a pin for that post to the tribe. So how exactly are you supposed to get a lot of traffic from tribes??
I even bought one of the tribe power-ups last month—and saw less traffic than when I just had the five free tribes. My guess is tribes work better for some niches than others. If you’re a food blogger, you can probably do great with the tribes. Party on.
Use the Publisher to Promote Your Own Pins
The best feature from Tailwind is their scheduling tool which they call the “publisher.” I use it the most for our own posts, because it allows me to set an interval of how often and when a new blog post will appear on my boards—including the group boards.
The first thing I did after I realized BoardBooster was done for is I set all of the posts we posted last week to trickle through our group boards at a steady stream for the next week. That’s right—I have 8 of our posts set to post every hour during peak times for the next 8 days. We saw a HUGE traffic increase the second day of this strategy.
Use the Scheduler to Plan SOME Other Bloggers’ Pins
I read all the time about bloggers who set “a whole month’s worth of pins in 30 minutes” using Tailwind. I call BS.
To get good, solid traffic from Pinterest, you have to pin a lot, and not just your own stuff. You have to pin high-quality pins from other pinners/bloggers, too. You have to pin to multiple boards. You have to have multiple pin sessions per day. Want to know how we went from 3,000 Pinterest views in early May to 167,000+ Pinterest views by mid-June on a 3-month old blog? We pinned a lot. In fact, I’m pinning in the background right now as I write this post.
There is no magic number, but if you want to drive a steady stream of traffic to your blog from Pinterest, we’ve found it takes pinning about 50-70 pins per day between our own stuff and stuff from other bloggers. This was a lot easier with BoardBooster’s pin sourcing campaigns, but now, to get the same (or better) results, you will need to schedule 30-40 pins using the Tailwind scheduler, and manually pin a few times per day to reach the rest.
Try Tailwind’s Smart Loop
First, the truth: Tailwind’s Smart Loop doesn’t work as seamlessly as BoardBooster’s looping did. There’s a reason this feature is still in beta. But, some bloggers are finding success with it, and if you want to learn more about it, try Vanessa Kyne’s tutorial on Smart Looping.
2. Step up Your Group Board Game
Group boards can help grow your Pinterest views quickly, if you join the right group boards. We struggled at first to figure out what the “right” group boards are. The basic idea is that you find group boards that have more followers than you do, but not an insane amount of contributors.
For example, if you have about 1,000 followers, look for a group board that has 5,000 or more followers, but less than 100 contributors. The bigger the number followers, the more chances you have of having your pins seen.
Finding group boards has been a royal pain. Sure, we’ve looked through Pingroupie and found ourselves largely ignored by the bigger bloggers in our career advice niche. The best luck we’ve had in finding group boards is scrolling through other bloggers’ boards and looking for group boards to join.
If you’re reeling from BoardBooster’s loss, this is one of the first things you should do after you’ve set up a new scheduling tool. Find a dozen or so group boards in your niche, and then add a couple of broader-audience boards, too. You’ll see a traffic boost within a couple of days.
3. Try the Pinterest Strategy Master Plan
To get your head back in the game and salvage your traffic, you should consider taking Caroline Vencil’s Pinterest Strategy Master Plan. Caroline’s advice has helped us grow at a much more rapid pace than I anticipated when we started this blog in mid-March 2018. I look forward to receiving her encouraging and timely emails, and her course will make a big difference in how you think about pinning.
Seriously, before Caroline, I was taking the “five pins per day is all that matters” advice from other bloggers and getting NOWHERE with my traffic. Now, our numbers are growing faster than I could have ever imagined. The course costs next to nothing, and it’s well worth the investment: Pinterest Strategy Master Plan
4. Post Like Crazy
I know you’ve probably read that you only have to post 1-2 times per week to sustain your blog. You’ve probably also read that “content is king” from those same bloggers. Here’s the truth: Yes, you can post just 1-2 times per week, but only after you have a huge library of content for your audience to read!
If you’re a relatively new blogger, you may not have a ton of content yet, which means you also don’t have a ton of pins to hedge your bets on traffic. The more content you have out there, the more likely you’ll be found on Pinterest and elsewhere. So, if you see a traffic dip from Boardbooster’s shutdown, start writing and don’t stop for at least a month.
Give yourself a content-creation challenge. Can you post 5 posts per week? If you’re already posting 5 times, can you post 15? What would happen if you posted every day for a month? I’ll tell you what: More traffic.
I’m not saying you should post mediocre, get-you-by content, but instead, make a commitment to drive your traffic by posting and pinning more for a few weeks. It will pay off, I assure you.
5. Diversify Your Traffic Funnels
If you’re heavily mourning the BoardBooster shut down, you might be relying solely on Pinterest to draw traffic to your website. If so, you’re missing out on traffic.
We are finding success with Reddit for increased traffic, but we don’t leave it to just that platform either. Twitter, LinkedIN, Facebook, Google+, and StumbleUpon/Mix help too.
You can automate a lot of posting to Facebook and Twitter, but you’ll get more traffic if you are socially engaged on those networks. That means you have to actually comment on other people’s posts and have meaningful conversations—not just post your own stuff. It’s that whole social part of social networks, and participation is expected.
We also use Instagram, but we haven’t had a lot of luck converting our followers into traffic. It’s a work in progress, just like everything else in the small business world.
The BoardBooster Shutdown is Not the End of your Blog
The biggest thing to remember is not to give up. BoardBooster was just one of many ways to automate a function and drive traffic. We loved them, but the internet keeps buzzing, all the same. Don’t let your momentary traffic setback derail your side hustle!
RIP Boardbooster. We miss you already.