For more than 10 years I've been researching, testing, and sharing work from home opportunities with fellow introverts.I created The Pay At Home Parent in February of 2018 to help you be a successful home-based business owner, blogger or side hustler.As a wife, mom and frugal homemaker, I make a full-time income on a part-time work schedule and I know that you can too!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
Pinterest can send a ton of traffic to websites like blogs and eCommerce stores. It’s an important business tool that online business owners shouldn’t ignore.
Most entrepreneurs don’t have time to manually share pins to the platform throughout the day. If you’re like me, you have a million things on your schedule, and pinning blog posts to Pinterest is just one of them.
That’s why I set out to find a free Pinterest scheduler to use so that I could get back to work while my pins are shared on autopilot.
With this free pinning method, you can avoid the monthly cost that comes with paid schedulers. Paid tools are certainly worth the cost to many bloggers and business owners who have the budget for them, but free is always worth the consideration.
Keep in mind that if you’re looking for a scheduler that will save you tons of time, then Tailwind is your answer.
I have used both Tailwind and the method I’m about to teach, and I fully realize that time is money. As you walk through the steps to set up your pinning schedule for free, please also sign up for Tailwind’s free trial and test them out as well. It’s not fair to say that one is better than the other until you’ve tried them both!
This tutorial will guide you through exactly how to schedule pins using this free Pinterest scheduler. You can share an unlimited number of pins with no trial periods.
To be clear, automated Pinterest posting still needs manual setup and upkeep. It’s not something you can do once and walk away forever. Plus, the free method I use takes a lot of time to setup. If you’re not interested in the extra work of setting up a free Pinterest scheduler, ease your Pinning efforts and try Tailwind for free. It might be just the pinning tool you need to take your website’s traffic to the next level.
Free Pinterest Scheduler with IFTTT (If This Then That)
I recently discovered an amazing (and free) Pinterest automation tool called IFTTT and I am going to tell you exactly how to set it up below. Click here to skip to the steps.
After Crystal, over at Mommy is a Wino, walked me through some automation steps to schedule Twitter and Facebook posts, I had to see what else I could do with IFTTT. I set out to test it as a way to schedule Pinterest pins free.
If you’re concerned about the “legality” of using IFTTT to schedule Pins, IFTTT is Pinterest API approved as of May 6, 2015. In other words, like other paid schedulers such as Tailwind and Buffer, using IFTTT as a scheduler is perfectly safe and approved by Pinterest.
You will need to connect IFTTT to your Pinterest account and grant the following permissions:
What Pinterest Actions Can You Automate with IFTTT?
There are many Pinterest automation recipes that you can create using IFTTT, but it’s the uncommon and unknown recipes that you can use to automated Pinterest posting.
Automatically Pin Instagrams to a Pinterest board
You can use IFTTT to share Instagram posts with a certain hashtag to a board on Pinterest. Create your recipe on IFTTT and specify the hashtag and board that you would like some of your Instagrams to post to.
Automatically share Pins saved to a specific board to Twitter
You can trigger all pins shared to any specified board(s), to be shared on Twitter. This helps streamline your actions across social media and saves time with free Pinterest automation.
Pin new WordPress posts to a Pinterest board
As soon as you publish an article on WordPress, you might be overwhelmed with the steps that need to be done after publishing it. With this free Pinterest automation tool, you can have your new posts automatically Pin to a specified board.
Automatically Share Pinterest Pins to Pinterest Boards
Finally, you can schedule Pinterest pins for free using IFTTT. The process is simple, but it helps to be tech savvy.
IFTTT Scheduling Limitations
It is easy to use IFTTT as a free Pinterest scheduling tool but there are a few to consider when using this basic method. If you do need all the bells and whistles of a paid scheduler, then Tailwind has you covered. If you’re a new blogger or just frugal like I am, then continue reading to see if you can manage this free Pinterest scheduling tool.
IFTTT Pinning Limitations
- Scheduling Pins using IFTTT can take just as long as it takes to pin manually throughout the week. The benefit of this free pin scheduler is that you can batch your efforts and get it done for the week ahead in one sitting.
- Scheduling Pins using IFTTT is still a manual process and requires you to curate your 3rd party content and write (or copy/paste) your descriptions.
- You do not want to schedule too far in advance because adding your newest blog posts into the schedule would then be difficult. I like to pin my newest posts manually and then add them into the next scheduled batch.
5 Steps to Schedule Pinterest Pins Free with IFTTT
Using this free Pinterest scheduling tool is easy once it’s setup and ready to go.
Step 1: Signup for / Login to IFTTT
IFTTT is the tool that will help us create a Pin schedule! Sign up here, it’s free.
Step 2: Signup for / Login to Google Account
You will need a Google account (Gmail) to schedule your Pins for free using IFTTT. If you are not already on Gmail, it’s free to signup. There are some amazing tools that Google allows us to use for free – be sure to take advantage of them! Sign up here.
Step 3: Create Google Calendar Specifically for Pin Scheduler
Using your Google account you’ll need to create a new Google calendar specifically for your scheduled Pins. Let’s call this new calendar “Pin Queue” since we will be using it to schedule out our Pins to be posted to Pinterest automatically at a later date.
Step 4: Create an Applet on IFTTT to connect Google Calendar and Pinterest
On IFTTT, visit “My Applets” and select “New Applet” to get started creating your first recipe. Select the blue plus sign next to “this” to set up the trigger between your Google calendar (the tool that we’ll use to schedule our Pins) and your Pinterest account.
Type “Google Calendar” into the search bar and select the blue calendar icon.
Select the option titled, “Event from search starts.” This option allows you to assign each scheduled Pin a hashtag that sends it to a specific board. For example, all Pins that I hashtag #SideHustles will go to my Side Hustle board on Pinterest.
Next you’ll choose your newly created calendar called “Pin Queue” and add the hashtag for your first board. Make sure your hashtag matches the board you would like to schedule this first category of Pins to. This hashtag will be visible on each Pin that you schedule to this board, so you want to make sure it’s generic and fitting.
Other examples I use: #workfromhome (Pins to my board all about making money / working from home), #homebusiness (home business tips board), #pintereststrategies (for my Pinterest tips board), etc.
Leave your “Time before event starts” at 0 as this will trigger your Pins at the time you schedule them on your Google calendar.
Select “Create trigger.”
Next, select the blue plus sign next to “that.” This will allow us to create the automatic posting action on Pinterest.
Type “Pinterest” into the search bar and select the Pinterest icon.
Select “Add Pin to board” to set the board parameters.
Open your first board on Pinterest and copy/paste the exact title under “Enter a board name.” For the Photo URL, click “Add ingredient” and select “Where.” For the description. Delete the text populated in the field and then click “Add ingredient” and select “Description.” For the Source URL, delete the text populated in the field and then click “Add ingredient” and select “Title.” Lastly, select “Create action.”
Click the green slider button to turn off notifications every time the Applet runs and then select “Finish.”
Your trigger is now set! When you schedule a Pin on your calendar (we’ll walk through this next) with the hashtag #SideHustles in the description, it will automatically save to your Side Hustles board on Pinterest! You’ll need to walk through step four for each one of your boards and assign a unique hashtag to each trigger.
Keep in mind you can either create a separate Google calendar for each board, or you can place all Pins on the same calendar. I have tested both and ultimately I will be streamlining my scheduling by keeping all Pins to my boards on one calendar. I will have a separate calendar to schedule Pins to all of my group boards.
The reason for creating two separate calendars for my and group boards is because I will be looping my Pins to group boards. If you do loop Pins, just be careful to review the rules because some boards do not allow repeats whereas others allow repeats after a certain period of time.
I am still thinking about looping some great 3rd party Pins to my own boards so that a year down the road, for example, I have less manual scheduling of 3rd party Pins to do. This is completely up to you.
Step 5: Create events on Google Calendar to schedule Pins
To schedule a Pin to your newly created “Pin Queue” calendar, visit your Google Calendar. Select the date you would like to schedule your first Pin.
Let’s create a test Pin right now! Locate a nice Pin that will fit well on your “Side Hustles” board (or the board you chose for your first recipe). We’ll use this Pin as an example.
You will need to open the article that the Pin links to in order to gather the necessary information to add this Pin to your schedule.
On your Google Calendar, click on today’s date (). Paste the blog’s URL on the Calendar event’s “Add title” section. Select your start time to be 10 minutes from now and your end time 15 minutes after the start time. Select your “Pin Queue” calendar. Select “MORE OPTIONS.”
Write a new description or copy/paste the description already posted on the Pin you chose to schedule. You must include the proper hashtag in your description so that this Pin saves to the assigned board. Otherwise, the IFTTT Applet will fail/skip this entry.
I included the hashtag #SideHustles so that this Pin would go to my Pinterest board about side hustles.
In the blog post, locate the Pin image and copy the image URL. You can usually do this by right-clicking the long image and selecting “Copy image address.” Paste the image URL in the “Add Location” section of your Google calendar event.
Save the event!
Head to your Pinterest profile and view your latest Pin to verify that it is the one you just scheduled. Make sure that it posted your test Pin to the correct board using the correct image, blog post URL and description! If you’ve followed the instructions then you will find that it works! Make sure to allow 10-15 minutes to pass since you scheduled your Pin to save 10 minutes ahead.
Embracing Automation with This Free Pinterest Scheduling Tool
After you create all of your Google calendars and IFTTT recipes (a one time task), you will need to schedule Pins on your calendar.
There is some limitation on the speed of using this method because you will need to track your time and dates for your Pins and schedule them one by one. Make sure you are spacing your Pins throughout the day and week to take full advantage of this free Pinterest scheduler.
We’re in a century of automation. Embrace it and enjoy it!
If you have taken the time to set up your first Applet on IFTTT, please let me know in the comments! I would love to celebrate with you as you put this free Pinterest scheduler to use. I am the first to admit that I did a little “happy dance” when I tested this method and found that it works!