An updated Pinterest traffic strategy: Chelsea from Smart Money Mamas [Updated for 2019]

2018 pinterest traffic strategy

Chelsea is the founder and head-blogger at Smart Money Mamas! She’s a fantastic blogger, and this is a cool idea)…and I really wanted to have her on the podcast to chat about how’s she found a Pinterest traffic strategy that seems to be working FOR 2019. Enjoy!

I get this question every week:

“Is Pinterest still viable these days?”

“It seems like a ton of work, and I haven’t seen that much success with it.”

It seems the “make-it-big Pinterest traffic strategy” has changed yet again…and THAT’S why I wanted to sit down with Chelsea and hash out an updated strategy.

Let’s dive in.

pinterest traffic strategy 2018
Pin me!

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The 2019 Pinterest Traffic Strategy from Chelsea at Mama Fish Saves

1 – Group boards

Ok straight up, they’re still important.

There’s been conflicting advice given about the importance of YOUR follower count, manual vs automated pinning, etc…but there’s really only one thing we know with 1,000% certainty:

Group boards are still the only way to drive substantial traffic from Pinterest.

Ok, that said, what’s the strategy?

  1. Get on as many boards as humanly possible.
  2. Start pinning to each new board ASAP, then wait about a month (ish)
  3. Analyze which ones perform and which ones don’t.
  4. Iterate and repeat.

Yes it takes time. Yes it’s still a viable strategy for traffic. (The quality of that traffic? Dunno. Questionable. We’ll chat about that later).

pinterest traffic quality
Ok great, but what’s the quality of the traffic?

2 – Why you need to join “more” group boards

When folks ask how many group boards they should start with, the answer these days is “more.”

Here’s what’s changed since 2017 (and definitely from 2015, 2016, etc):

  1. More bloggers are competing
  2. There are more and more group boards coming online every day
  3. More and more of those are…..crummy.

This wasn’t the case 2 years ago before bloggers like us started gaming the Pinterest platform for traffic.

At this time, the ONLY way to find the stellar group boards is to join as many boards as possible…and then analyze for yourself.

In 2018, you’ll need to

  1. Join 100+ group boards
  2. Get accepted to 50
  3. Find 2-5 that are REALLY worth it.

Unfortunately, there’s no really great tool for predicting how a group board will perform for you. Boardbooster offers a few stats…but it’s STILL not a great predictor.

3 – A/B testing images is still required.

AB testing pinterest images sketch
I’ve switched to using Sketch recently and LOVE it for graphics.

Here’s the extended formula, per Chelsea:

  1. Pin 1 image
  2. Wait 3-6 weeks
  3. Pin the other image
  4. Wait 3-6 weeks
  5. Analyze, re-pin as necessary.

So you might be thinking, “WOW PETE. This looks like a huge PAIN.”

You’d be correct.

But you landed on this blog post looking for ways to drive traffic to your blog. It’s 2019. That doesn’t come easily.

However, there is something you can do to make A/B testing easier (as well as making your entire LIFE easier if you do Pinterest marketing)…

4 – Start a Pinterest tracker ASAP

pinterest tracker
My Pinterest tracker  spreadsheet. Steal it below.

So I use Google Sheets to keep track of pretty much EVERYTHING on my blogs.

SEO keywords, topic ideas, blog metrics…Pinterest.

If you’re looking for more details on what to put in a tracker like this and how to set it up, check out this post.

For now, here’s the basic template. Feel free to steal and make your own 🙂

In general, I’d suggest creating 3 tabs.

  1. Put group boards on, then keep track of.
  2. Put competitors’ profiles on, steal their group boards and followers (“steal” might be harsh, but let’s be frank…that’s what it is) 🙁
  3. Your blog posts! (and the last time you pinned them! Especially relevant if you use Tailwind)

5 – How to analyze your group boards:

Ok, let’s get into the juicy center today.

tailwind virality score
this isn’t really as helpful as it sounds

While Tailwind is great for automated Pinning, their analytics are severely lacking, and I’m also sorely disappointed their EXPORT feature is only for the super-expensive paid plans. GRR.


For one, the virality score you see in your insights is over the lifetime of the group board.

Jeff and Ben from Breaking The One Percent gave me a MUCH better stat on our podcast interview here.

Current virality score = repins from the past 7 days, divided by total pins from the past 7 days.

Basically, it’s much more useful to look at how the group board is performing RECENTLY. This is actually a great little number to compare group boards.

So what happens after you’ve got 7-day virality scores for your boards?

6 – Drop crummy group boards

So does that mean you should literally remove yourself as a contributor? Or simply stop pinning to those boards?

I have no idea, and neither does anybody else 🙂

It might be wise to simply stop pinning to those group boards, and double-check their virality scores in the future. Maybe you’ll want to pin to them again in the future.

(This especially makes sense if you’re using a tracker to keep things organized 🙂

Wait, step back.

Why should we stop pinning to under-performing boards?

Because Pinterest algorithms want to show “high-quality” and relevant pins to their users, and when your pins don’t get any repins and click-throughs, Pinterest is judging that pin as NOT “high-quality.” 

Find your bottom 30% of group boards, and either leave them…or simply stop pinning to them.

Try and tell Pinterest algorithms that EVERY pin you pin is high-quality and relevant.

7 – To manual pin? Does it matter?

UPDATE: Do You Even Tribe member Briana at Finspirations reached out and shared an AMAZING Facebook live video with Tailwind, which you can find here.

In it, they pretty much say manual pinning doesn’t really matter 🙂

Does it really?

Nobody knows. Seriously.

The best we can suggest is that you try it for yourself and see…but here’s what I personally do:

  1. Automate 30ish pins a day to group boards.
  2. Manually pin 2-5 pins a day, TO MY OWN BOARDS.

I have zero evidence to back this up, and it’s not necessarily what you should do. But I’ve been doing this since February, and I’ve been growing.

8 – Pin design in 2019. What’s changed?

Nothing, and everything.

For one, the Pinterest traffic game is more competitive. More and more people are taking a stab at driving traffic here, so the importance of quality pin design (and hell, quality content) is higher than ever.

So how should you design your pins in 2019? You might want to sit down, I’m about to get controversial:

Pin design in 2019 = Clickbaity headlines and large in-your-face text and colors.

Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Note: I, Pete McPherson, am not suggesting you do this. I am simply sharing what appears to be most effective across a wide span of blog niches…stemming from “successful” bloggers who are doing great things on Pinterest.

pin design in 2018
Finance Superhero has good pins.

Aside from the slightly irrelevant promoted pin from Progressive, which pins stand out the most on the above screenshot?

Finance Superhero, for one, and that other clickbaity title in the lower-right.

“But Pete, what about Ruth and Rosemarie and etc, etc, etc?? Their pins don’t look like that?”

True, but they also started years before the rest of us, have access to a few group boards we don’t, and ALSO already had fairly massive followings from Pinterest.

If you’re starting today, you’d better get busy with pins that stand out and make people want to click-through…else insane mad massive mega ultimate Pinterest traffic ain’t happening.


Several things:

  1. Chelsea from Mama Fish Saves is the real deal. Go check out her blog and show her some love!
  2. Pinterest is still doable, relevant, and powerful in 2019+….but it STILL requires a massive amount of work, planning, failing, iteration, etc.
  3. Trackers are awesome.
  4. If you’re looking for more, grab my free Pinterest course below.

Yada yada sales pitch.

The fact is, I’ve put together a all-you-can-eat buffet of Pinterest strategies from of the bigger bloggers I’ve interviewed, and bundled them together into a free email course.

Heck, there’s not even a sales pitch at the end of those emails. Just Pinterest strats.

Here’s the fancy opt-in 🙂

4 Responses

  1. Loved this episode! I’ve been following Chelsea’s blog for awhile & So nice to hear the person behind the blog! Also pete – that Pinterest pin looks goooodd! You may want to look into either doing the hover over share thing (where touching the image on mobile or hovering on desktop makes the Pinterest symbol pop up and you can share straight there) orrr linking when you say “pin me!” To the url of a pin you already pinned. If we all keep pinning that same url, it will help “boost” it I believe. 🙂

  2. I just listened to this episode today. So many gold nuggets! I’m dedicating a couple hours this weekend to go through and work on setting up a process like this. Thanks for the info Pete and Chelsea!!

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