When I first started blogging one of the things that I found the most time consuming was the making and pinning of new pins for Pinterest. To me it seemed like a never-ending time suck that took WAAAAAY too long, too many steps and more programs then I really cared to use.
As a fledgling blog I didn’t have the money to hire a Virtual Assistant yet, and even if I did I still wanted to understand what was all going on and have some control over the work being done. So I decided to find an easier way to make new pins.
So I started looking for ways to save time on getting my pins into Pinterest in the first place. and came up with the start of what you are going to learn here. After about a year of use and upgrading to Tailwind for the bulk of my pinning, I still use this method to get my pins INTO Pinterest for multiple accounts.
What to expect in this post
This is NOT a “How to get started with Pinterest as a blogger post” if you are just starting out as a blogger I would recommend you check out Dare To Conquer it’s a complete package about how to do that and build an online Empire. At the very least check out the free boot camps there is a tone of great info on getting started there.
It’s important to note that while this method takes some time to set up, it is worth it. I’ve done my best to simplify and break down the instructions but if you have questions or get stuck you are welcome to Email Me. I’ve spent hours working out this system so you don’t have to, and I’ve built a solid template that you can get started with as well.[mailerlite_form form_id=1]
It is important to note that this system is NOT for everyone. I get it, not everyone thinks the same way. My workflow may not work for you, just like yours may not work for me. I’m sharing however because I think this is pretty awesome stuff and I love helping people save time.
And who knows, you could find some nugget of information that helps you just a little bit.
The programs I use all have free accounts so as a begginer or someone just wanting to test out what I’m talking about you don’t have to pay to try this method. However, for these programs I do love them so much and use them so often that YES I have paid accounts. Personally I think it’s worth the investment, and for those who may not be ready to hire a Virtual Assistant yet I think building one with this team is worth the minimal fees I spend every month.
So without further ado here is the “Team” I use to automate a bunch of things for keeping this and other blogs running as well as a number of social media accounts I handle.
For life in general but specifically for this post.
I can’t say enough about Trello, seriously I’ve used it to tame all the wild files in life (the digital ones anyway). I use this to keep thoughts on possible posts clear, keyword search, and inspiring blogs all within easy reach. The best part? It’s free, completely 100% Free to sign up and use as long as you like. Free = AWESOME in my books.
There are also options to upgrade to as well if you wish to add more functionality to your boards thought things like powerups or teams for collaborating with other people. If you don’t have an account already check out How to Set up a Free Trello Account to see how quick and easy it is to get started.
Butler for Trello
Yes I have a butler, and yes that makes me giggle from time to time. As the name suggest Butler for Trello works exclusively with Trello. As such it recently was purchased by Trello, so now instead of inviting the Butler Bot (who I adored tremendously) we now have a Butler power up.
What really rocks about Butler for Trello is that it lets you automate tasks within Trello in common language. For instance, if I want a new card/task created every day at 9am I can tell Butler that and it will create the card until I tell it to stop. No need to know coding or computer speak to get automating.
Zapier’s current slogan is “Zapier makes you happier” and I really couldn’t agree more. When you sign up you get a 14-day trial with all the bells and whistles, when the trial is up you can either upgrade to account OR stick to the free one with the limits they have. (and yes you can set up multiple free accounts on one computer, I did it for my work when first starting out).
Just a note you can get a lot more detailed in your instructions to Zapier then you can IFTTT, and Zapier runs more frequently
Optional Team Member:
I’ll show you how to work with out these, but I find the process is faster or cheaper with them.
IFTTT stands for “If This Then That” and it does some pretty heavy lifting for me. It’s a free forever program that automates a number of connections between various online software. While it gets the job done it’s not always the fastest so I tend to assign it tasks that can run within the hour. Many of the tasks that IFTTT does could also be done by Zapier (see below) however I use it for the ones that I need more than 100 tasks in 4 weeks, but don’t need a tone of instruction to function.
Google Drive – Synced to your computer
Many people already have a gmail account, which means you have a Google Drive. Just login through the web and click the 9 little squares to the left of your profile pic in the top right corner of the screen and select the drive to see it. If you don’t already have this syncing with your computer then I suggest you do because it will make EVERYTHING so much easier.
If this is your first time on this post you may want to bookmark it and read it through completely at least ONCE before setting up any new accounts. If this is already your second (or more) visit by all means take the time to set up the accounts you don’t already have 😉 I’ll be here when you get back.
I’m going to walk you through this like you are using the “full team” if you want to skip some steps I’ll point out where that would be easiest. For the purpose of my examples here I’ll be using the accounts I use for this blog, some of the accounts may look slightly different from yours as I do have paid accounts but the functionality will all be the same.
1. Set up your folders in Google Drive
First things first, you will want to set up a folder in your Google Drive that syncs to your computer, I do this so I can just drag and drop any images I want to use as pins into the folder and they will be uploaded into Trello for me. It saves me a tone of time. However if you DON’T want to do this you can just drag and drop the images into Trello one by one on your own. As well.
Make sure you have a folder name that makes sense to you, for this instance I’m using “OmegaAssistants-Pins” as the file name. Then drop one image/photo into it for the next step.
Side note: I recommend naming your images with the slug from the post they are going out for. So if I’m doing pins for this post I would name all the pin images “automate-pinterest-without-tailwind” and just add a number or letter after the name.
2. Set up your Trello Board
(or snag mine 😉 )[mailerlite_form form_id=1]
If you are starting from Scratch name the board and add your first few columns. I recomend starting with the following Columns:
Ready to Pin
Pin this Now
3. Setting up your first automation
Now that the folders and boards are ready there are 2 ways your could go and I’ll give you both of them here. Both ways will work just as easily, but if you start using a lot of Zap tasks it can cost you money, so I’m also providing a “forever free” option with IFTTT.com
3.A The Zapier Trigger
This is where you want to tell Zapier what it needs to look for
- Hit the bright orange “Make a Zap” button in the top right-hand corner beside your profile & notification icons.
- Select Google Drive from the apps list
- Select “New File in Folder”
- Connect and Test your drive if you have never worked with this integration before.
- Under Drive select “My Google Drive”, & Under Folder select the folder it should pull from (in my example “OmegaAssistants-Pins”
- Hit Continue
- Hit “Fetch & Continue” this will get the photo you dropped in the folder earlier
- You can view your file to make sure it’s all good, but if the Green “Test Successful!” shows up I usually just hit Continue”
And THAT is it for your Trigger 🙂
3.A The Action
Now that Zapier knows when and where it needs to be pulling our pin’s artwork from let’s tell it what to do with it.
- Click “Your Zap currently lacks an Action step. Add one now!”
- Select Trello from the apps list
- Click “Create Card”
- Click “Save + Continue” blue button at the bottom of the screen
- Connect and Test your Trello account if you have never worked with this integration before.
- Click “Save + Continue” blue button
- Select your Trello Board under “Board” from the photo above I picked “Trello/Zapier Pinning Template”
- For your List select “Image” from the drop-down
- For your Name select “Title” from the drop-down
- Scroll down to “File Attachments” and select “File” which will have (Exists but not shown) greyed out beside it.
- Click “Continue” at the bottom
- On the next screen click “Send Test to Trello”
- Again if a Green bar shows up I usually assume it worked and move on. However, at this point, you should go check your Trello board to see if the image showed up.
- Mine worked so I clicked “Finish”
- On the last screen Name your Zap, and turn it on by clicking the toggle
And that is it, you have set up your first Zap, now when you put images into the folder of your google drive it will automatically load them into Trello for you.
Alternatively you can use IFTTT to do the same thing with the following Steps
3.B the IFTTT.com Trigger
Once you login at IFTTT.com the process is fairly similar to Zapier just a bit different wording but here are the steps I take to set up the same action
- Click “My Applets” in the top left by the IFTTT logo
- Click “New Applet” on the right on the screen
- Click the blue “+ this”
- type in “Google Drive” in the search services bar
- Click the Google Drive icon in the options available
- Click the box that says “New file in your folder”
- Manually type in your Drive folder path skipping the “My Drive” and using “/” to separate folders so for mine I use “Google Photos/OmegaAssistants/OmegaAssistants-Pins” to tell IFTTT where to look for new files.
- Click “Create Trigger” and you are DONE the first part
3.B the IFTTT.com Action
- Click “+that”
- Serch for Trello
- Click on Trello Icon
- Click “Create a Card”
- Select the board you want from the drop down list under “Which board?”
- Under “List name” type in “Image”
- Under “Title” I usually delete the “added to Google Drive” and just leave the “Filename”
- I delete the description entirely
- delete the contents under “Apply labels”
- under “Attachment URL” click “Add ingredient” and select “FileUrl” from the options available.
- Click “Create action”
- when “Receive notifications when this Applet runs” should be turned off or every time you run this (ie add an image) it will notify you in the phone app and sometimes via email.
- Then hit “Finish”
- Now click “My Applets” again so you can see it in your list of actions. Also, I find it won’t run until you do this.
To test if IFTTT is working go drop an image in the Google Drive folder and then give it a couple minutes before checking your Trello board. IFTTT dosen’t run as often as Zapier but it normally will still run fairly frequently.
4. Automating your Trello Board to make the pins
Now before you start loading images into trello to be pinned you may be wondering “what about the descriptions and titles and hashtags and links?” Well that’s the next part. 😀
So head on over to your Trello Board and in the Column named “Text” click “+ Add a card” and enter the URL for the post you want to link to with your pin, then hit “enter”
Now double click the card you JUST made, and the card will open up into a more detailed view like this.
You can double check that the URL is what you want it to be and make any changes by clicking on it. This will be the link we use when the pin gets pinned.
Under the word “Description”, you will see a nice white box, add your pin description here along with any hashtags or keywords etc. Fill it out to your heart’s content.
When you are done with that description click “Copy” in the right side bar (4th button from the bottom) and in the pop up that shows up just hit “Create Card” it will look like this.
I don’t bother changing any settings because they don’t matter for our purposes. I want a new card so I can add a new pin description.
So go ahead and do just that, the card will stay up so select the previous description delete it and write the next one.
Repeate the “Copy” write new description for as many descriptions as you want to do. I typically will do a minimum of 6 but if I’m on fire I might get 15 or more.
As you keep copying the card you will notice in the background that the list of cards in the “Text” list will get noticably longer.
When you have all your descriptions done for the first post lets go automate Trello using the Butler PowerUp.
5. Label your descriptions with the Pinterest Board ID they need to go to.
Ok this one is a whole other post on how to get this set up… but you want to create labels for each Pinterest Board ID and Set up Butler to label anything you add to that list with the correct Board ID. I show you how to do that in this post on How to Set up Pinterest Boards in Trello.
I label the descriptions because when the images are loaded I might not catch them all, and this process will create multiple pins for each image. However when I label the description the label will copy over to all the pins made with that description. It uses less tasks from Butler meaning you get more work out of your free powerup.
6. Combine the Images and Descriptions automatically
Ok, so the Butler Bot was bought by Trello after they saw how awesome Butler Bot was. So my regular workflow has had to change a bit to use the new Butler PowerUp. If you are on a Free Trello account you will not be able to add any other powerups to this board (like a helpful calendar, or google drive) however the Butler Bot is worth it as it can make you literally hundreds of pins without you having to click a whole lot or even do more than drag and drop images and write your descriptions.
Ok, Full disclosure I haven’t figured out how to do this automatically with the Butler PowerUp so I do this with a script with the Butler Bot which is still working for those of us who previously paid for Butler Bot accounts. To my knowledge, they are not accepting NEW users with the Butler Bot at this time.
However to my understanding Trello is striving to add the same functionality to the PowerUp as the Bot had so I will update this post when that option is available.
However here is MY work around for those who can’t get into butler bot.
If you go back to Step 3 on the action part you want to add into the “Name” section (for both Zapier or IFTTT) the start of your website. So if I’m doing this for Omega Assistants then I would add at the front the text “https://OmegaAssistants.com/” before the file name, as you have been naming the images with your slug from the post this will get added behind that creating the URL for all your pins.
THEN I would head on in to Trello and either write my descriptions in each card or copy and paste them from the ones you wrote in step 4.
The last step would be to go and drop the card into the correct Trello List so it gets tagged with your Pinterest Board ID & automatically dumps into the “Ready to Pin” list.