As a blogger, you will have to juggle so many things at once. You need to become your own IT guy, marketing guru, social media expert, content strategist, content creator, writer, photographer, and on and on and on. The hats we wear and things we juggle can seem never ending and like there is just not enough time to do it all. Social media alone can take a good chunk of your valuable time.
In the beginning, when your budget is still small, you may want to rely on tried and true time management and staying up late. Eventually though, you are going to want to invest in a scheduling program for some of your social media. It is important to understand that scheduling tools can only do so much. At the end of the day, your readers are there for YOU. They want your voice, they want to see you there commenting and interacting with them. That is the heart of blogging. Fostering a community and connecting with people. Scheduling tools simply give you more time to do just that.
I will go over scheduling tools for all social media, but for now we are going to focus on my favorite social media platform: Pinterest. Before I started blogging I would spend hours on Pinterest oggling all the amazing crafts and beauty and food that was there and pinned pretty much everything I saw. Now I am a bit more focused on what I pin, but my love for it is just the same. If I could, I'd still spend all day pinning.
Pinterest is important because it is a huge traffic driver for blogs. Some blogs get 50% of their traffic from Pinterest alone. That just shows how much of a powerful tool Pinterest is. It is important to be sure you get your name out there in Pinterest to grab the attention of those amazing and discerning readers. Through my blogging career I've tried almost every pinterest tool available to bloggers and still go back and forth between them, but I definitely have my favorites. Below are some of the best and most popular Pinterest pinning tools with an explanation as to how they work and why I love them (and which ones I use the most!)
ViralTag is one of the first Pinterest scheduling tools I've ever used. It allows you to schedule out a pin to several different boards at intervals with relative ease (provided you are good at math - more on that later). Unlike the other scheduling tools, ViralTag is not dedicated solely to Pinterest. Instead, ViralTag is a one stop shop for all of your social media, including Facebook and twitter. So now only can you plan out your pins, but you can also plan out all your other social media without having to go to - or pay for - another tool. It also has a bookmarklet to make it easy to pin from other sources. I do really love the integration with Canva allows you to create a Pinterest collage right then and there.
Price: The blogger plan is $12 a month
Cons: In my opinion, pinning from ViralTag is a bit clunky and not as efficient as other Pinterest-only platforms. When you plan out intervals for a pin, you have to decide how many minutes you want between each pin. So if you want that pin to go out every day at the same time, you need to know how many minutes are in a day (it's 1440 minutes, in case you were wondering). If you want it to go out once a day, but at different times each day, that's more math. Not great for someone like me.
Verdict: I think ViralTag is better for people who want to be able to do everything in one place. That makes it easier to be sure all of your campaigns are synchronized. If you are looking for something specifically for Pinterest, VirtalTag is still worth checking out (they do give you a free trial), and you may have better luck with it than I! I think ViralTag really shines when it comes to scheduling all of your social media at once, but isn't the best for a Pinterest-focused strategy.
Ahalogy was once one of the most coveted Pinterest schedulers, I think it was largely due to the year-long waiting list they had while they were still in beta mode. Since they've began to let people in again, they've made huge changes to their systems. I have been with them only since May, I am only familiar with their newer set up. What I do like is they have a pool of posts from fellow members to choose from and scheduling them is so easy. Brands are also pulling from these pins for their own boards, so once you've added your pins, brands can see your pins and choose to pin them to their boards. If one of these brands has a large following, then that can lead to a lot of repins for you. They also have a bookmarklet and Chrome extension you can put on your web browsers to make it easy to schedule any awesome content you find online. Their scheduler automatically spaces out your pins to effective pinning times. And if you choose to pin several photos from one source, they will automatically shuffle it so that your readers don't see repeat pins at once.
You can also sort Ahalogy members' pins to see top content as well as favorite certain bloggers so they are easier to find. They also recommend pins based on your specific audience and what's worked for you in the past. Ahalogy also makes it easier to pin anything you've pinned in the past which is great when you want to put one of your pin through the cycle again. When you pin from a site, you are also given suggested keywords - this is probably the most important feature of Ahalogy. Pinterest sees itself as a search engine and having relevant keywords are essential to being seen on Pinterest.
Pricing: Free, but there is still a waiting list
Cons: Ahalogy doesn't have the same metrics they once had which gave you a "pin score" to see if a pin is popular or not which helped in choosing pins from other bloggers in the network. They also can't pin any invisible photos, so if you've hidden a collage pin, you will have to import it manually onto Ahalogy for other bloggers and brands to see and pin.
Verdict: I love that Ahalogy is free, and they have an amazing wealth of knowledge and insights into Pinterest trends. That alone is worth joining. I love how it shuffles and schedules out things at intervals which means I can find a bunch of stuff to pin and have it already scheduled out for days, weeks, or even months, in advance!
I think Tailwind is one of the most popular Pinterest scheduling tool for serious bloggers. It provides so much that other scheduling tools just cannot touch. It is integrated with Pinterest, which means right next to the "Pin" button on Pinterest is a "Schedule" button that will automatically schedule that pin at an effective time for you. No thinking involved at all. Like Ahalogy, it automatically chooses the best times and spaces out the pins without you needed to do anything. What it also has, however, is in-depth analytics so you can see exactly how your pins are performing, what your best personal and group boards are, and more. Anything you could ever want to know about your Pinterest presence is all right there. Most of the schedulers have some sort of analytics, but none as detailed and broken down like Tailwind. This is especially important if you are working with brands and they want to know how your pins are doing.
As I mentioned, this is perfect for a serious blogger, meaning someone who wants their blog to be their business and have it grow. It tracks repins, likes, comments, and traffic and lets you know how a group board is performing for you. They leave nothing out and the customer service is great!
Pricing: $10 a month
Cons: Tailwind's analytics are pretty extensive and the site can be very daunting when you first start with it. There is a bit of a learning curve with the site due to the large amount of information. Even with the tour you get in the beginning, I did sometimes get a little lost the first day using it.
Verdict: If you decide to go with another pinning scheduler, I still recommend at least getting the free trial of Tailwind (which lasts as long as you want, as long as you do not use up your 100 free pins from them) to get some of the analytics they offer. Of course you will probably end up wanting to get more of the analytics and their integrated pinning tool, so I say go for it!
Boarbooster works by setting up secret boards that feed your personal boards as well as any groups boards you are in. Each public board gets its own dedicated secret board. When you set up each secret board, you decide how often and when Boardbooster will pin items from your secret boards its corresponding public board. The best part is that Boardbooster can also source pins for you by either finding pins based on a specific keyword, or from any other public Pinterest board. With this feature, you can also decide what type of pins to source (for example: no short pins and/or no gifs, and only pins with more than 10 repins). So that way you can be sure the pins they are sourcing match your specific requirements.
This tool can also create a pinning campaign for you. In each campaign, you decide a specific pinning schedule for a pin to go through. This is perfect if you tend to lose track of when and where you pin your own pins which can be problematic for group boards. This way, you can throw a pin into a campaign and know that the pin will be pinned to each of your group boards and applicable personal boards once. The campaign manager also keeps each pin in the secret campaign board so you can see when that pin was last put through the campaign, so you can be sure you've put the pin through the campaign and decide if you want to put the pin through the campaign again. This is hands down my favorite part of Boardbooster and is worth its weight in gold for someone like me who tends to be less organized and forgetful.
Pricing: Boardbooster has several pricing plans, but it the rate is basically one cent per pin. The lowest plan is $5 a month which gives you 500 pins. If you go over, don't worry, they won't charge you for the overage, but will request that you upgrade your plan for next month.
Cons: I do not like having so many secret boards which can make things look a bit cluttered. Boardbooster did say there is a way to pin without the secret boards, but I have not heard how exactly you can do that. The analytics also leave quite a bit to be desired. If you end up doing a lot of pinning with Boardbooster, you will also end up paying a lot more than any other scheduling tool.
Verdict: This is my favorite Pinterest scheduling tool and is the only one I've kept up since signing up. I love how hands off it is and the features are simply invaluable to me.
Are you using a Pinterest scheduling tool? What are the features you look for in a good scheduling tool?