If you’re intending to commit to Pinterest, I’d commit to tailwind. I personally find scheduling with tailwind much easier than manual pinning. Plus I like the way Tailwind warns you if you’ve pinned a post recently to the same board and is, supposedly, checking that Pinterest won’t flag you for spam. I also am finding some benefit from Tribes, though perhaps not the raging success other bloggers report. I haven’t found it necessary, yet, to pay for additional tribes beyond the five included with the basic annual tailwind subscription, but I think that’s in part because my niche is small and there’s just not that many tribes serving up that content.
I can definitely related to the fears around laying out cash for a blog that isn’t yet making money. I look at it this way… compared to starting up any traditional business, the investment is practically pennies. If you’re still unsure, try three months of committed (and truly, be committed) manual pinning directly through Pinterest and see what happens. You might find a strategy that works for you that way, and decide Tailwind isn’t worth it.