Somewhere between high school and college I got nearly addicted to Pinterest. I spent hours scrolling through pictures of puppies and elephants, reading about “healthy” recipes, and making a list of projects to knit or crochet at some point in my life. My brother actually requested I quit using Pinterest for food after my third or fourth tasteless attempt at following a Paleo, Keto, or “lightened up” version of a recipe (usually with significant ingredient alterations to accommodate the limited food storage in my college dorm.) Those adventures taught me the power of these two little spices named salt and pepper that I had always believed made food taste bad. Apparently, they were actually necessary for making food taste good.
When I saw the ads for Rachel Ngom’s upcoming webinar about gaining blogging traffic without having to pay for ads (irony noted,) I was intrigued. I had heard of people getting brand deals from Pinterest boards, but I never understood how on earth it happened. So, I signed up and waited to see how all those puppy pictures and beauty tutorials were going to make my blogging dreams come true.
- Mrs. Ngom definitely convinced me of value of her program in that hour and ten minutes. She demonstrated a thorough knowledge of Pinterest marketing and online media. Based on the information she gave, I thought I could figure the “free advertising” out myself, but I knew it would take time to learn the Tailwind program and make connections. (More on that later.)
- I genuinely enjoyed her presentation style. Mrs. Ngom was engaging, fast-paced, and genuinely respectful of time.
- All of Mrs. Ngom’s ads, emails, and worksheets had consistent, pleasing branding. The bold salmon outlines clearly reflected her focus on female entrepreneurs. The branding remained consistent with her pins on Pinterest, so it was easy to remember where I had seen her work.
- On the email marketing side, Mrs. Ngom sent out new material about once every 10 days. Her frequency is far less than most consultants, so I don’t mind staying on her email list to learn about new promotions and business techniques.
- In covering so much information, Mrs. Ngom hit a lot of high points and left the implementation to be learned. It was a good strategy, as it feeds into her consulting business, but it does detract from the value of the free webinar itself.
- While Mrs. Ngom’s fast pace was highly engaging, she went too fast to follow the notes on her worksheets. To make it more confusing, the worksheets didn’t exactly match the content she was sharing, so it was often hard to keep up. I might have had more success transcribing my own notes from the webinar than trying to find where the information she gave fit on her outline.
- While I loved the branding of the worksheets, there was too much shading to print them out. The bold swathes of color would have eaten up all of the ink that I was already running out of.
What I Tried
- First and foremost, I started pinning my blog posts on Pinterest. I created a business account and spent more time organizing the pins than I had on my personal account.
- Per Mrs. Ngom’s suggestions, I added text boxes over my featured image so people could tell what the linked blog post was about. I created a consistent style that I could use for all of my pins.
- The webinar taught me that Pinterest was a search engine, so Mrs. Ngom’s tips introduced me to basic SEO. That knowledge was perhaps the most valuable thing I learned, as I was always terrified of the term SEO and thought optimizing articles required a degree in computer science. Mrs. Ngom made it easy to search for what people want to know by leveraging a tool built into the site itself – the search bar.
- Mrs. Ngom focused on building what you own rather than relying on outside programs like Facebook or Youtube. So, I added an email list to my site by using Mailchimp, which will allow me to engage more directly with my followers than I could by fighting the Facebook and Instagram algorithms.
- In researching Pinterest marketing, I learned that Tailwind, Mrs. Ngom’s tool of choice, has a free trial which would allow you to join 5 “tribes” or communities that share each other’s pins. In reading other blogger’s Pinterest strategies, most pin-bloggers use Tailwind or group boards to be successful. However, I also learned that you can get around the Tailwind tribes by manually engaging with group boards to exchange content.
Mrs. Ngom’s Pin 2 Purpose class was the one course I would have purchased were I not resolute against purchasing. While I believed that I could figure the techniques out myself, I knew that having her tips and backing would certainly save time in building my blog. However, I have since found other people’s blog articles through Pinterest where people explained how they were successful using the same basic structure. The tips made the overarching techniques from Mrs. Ngom’s webinar more actionable without having to pay for Tailwind or the Pin 2 Purpose course, which made me glad that I saved my money. If you are a blogger interested in Pinterest marketing, I would research the free articles on Pinterest before deciding to pay for the Pin 2 Purpose course.