Are you making the same Pinterest mistakes that I did? Do you feel like none of your pinning efforts is paying off and you must be missing something? Here are a few ideas about what that something might be!
Before you read this, make sure to get my Bulletproof Pinterest Strategy for free!
Originally, I wrote this post in early 2019. However, in mid-spring 2020 there have been several MAJOR updates on Pinterest. So now, it’s all up to date, reviewed and edited in June 2020.
I’ve been a huge fan of Pinterest for a good while.
I had my blog for a year before I found out about this platform and it turned my blogging stats around.
At the same time, there was a moment when I wasn’t reaching my full potential with the platform. Yes, it gave me hundreds of people per day but where were those thousands of people talked about?!
That’s when I reviewed my strategy and realized several big Pinterest mistakes I was making.
Although you might be successful on Pinterest and getting decent traffic from it, make sure to take a look – maybe you’re making the same Pinterest mistakes I did and you’re stopping yourself from even bigger reader increase!
Which of these Pinterest mistakes are you making?
MISTAKE #1: Joining inactive or too crowded group boards
UPDATE 2020: Group boards ARE NOT as great source of traffic anymore. Pinterest is focusing on niche-specific boards. Unless you join a group board that truly serves a specific niche, is active and well-maintained, you might need to skip using group boards altogether. Make it an experiment and see it leaving or reducing the number of group boards may improve your stats.
For years, one of the top advice for bloggers who want traffic from Pinterest was to join group boards. And there are bloggers who have joined tens of them but see no traffic… why?!
Well, here’s the reason: you have to actually join ACTIVE and RELEVANT group boards. What do I mean with this?
The most important metric to track is board followers vs pinners. So even if the board has thousands of pins and hundreds of pinners – it has no worth if there are no followers!
What is a decent follower count to aim for? The least you should go for is 3-4K followers. Give these group boards a try! Quite possibly they’re pretty new and still growing. But if the number does not increase within a few weeks, ditch it. Unless your Analytics show traffic from the board…
The best group boards are the ones with at least 10K followers. The more – the better.
The fewer pinners there are, the more high-quality the board will be.
Is it harder to join group boards with more followers? Yes, it is. It’s quite likely that the group board is not accepting new members. Most of the boards write about this in their description. If nothing about it is written – give it a try!
What if… it takes forever to get accepted?! Deal with it. Many (especially bigger) group boards have several times per year when they take on new bloggers. It can be once per month or once per six months. Just send that email/DM/comment and wait. But don’t hesitate to sign up for many more group boards meanwhile.
The baseline is – joining active AND popular group boards is the key. But do make sure they’re still related to your topic or allow your kind of pins. Joining the wrong boards is one of the most popular Pinterest mistakes among bloggers.
MISTAKE #2: Making too unique graphics
If you’re into online business and topics like blogging, online courses, passive income and affiliate marketing is on your interest list, you must be seeing tons of similar pins all over the Pinterest and think “I must stand out and be unique!”
That’s when you make one of the Pinterest mistakes and create a too unique graphic.
So what the hell do I mean by “too unique graphic“?!
Here’s the trick. Pinterest is searching relevant posts to show you not only based on the keywords and titles but also based on graphics.
Therefore, anyone who is searching for “best Pinterest tips” will, quite likely, see all kinds of white + pink graphics with a laptop nearby. Because Pinterest knows that those who are writing about Pinterest tips are sharing this kind of graphics. So those are the graphics that will be suggested and gathered around.
Here’s what Katie from KatieHarpCreative.com has to say about this:
Pinterest graphics usually have a similar look and feel, with many of them being vertical, having bright colors and photos, and using text with the headline of the blog post on top of the background. Although your branding can be fun and unique to you, it’s actually a good idea to have your pins formatted similarly to other pins in your niche so your content will get shown in the related results.
Pins that are just photos might have higher impressions, but pins with text will almost always get more clicks, and I find a good click-through rate to be 2-3% (divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions). As long as your niche is popular on Pinterest (like food, blogging, travel, crafts, etc) then the biggest factor influencing the number of clicks on your pins will be the graphic itself.
Don’t be afraid to test different graphics and even try out colors or fonts that are different than your regular branding but might be more eye-catching on Pinterest!
Don’t ditch your branding just because Pinterest said so. But do try out various pin styles to see which ones work the best. And give a try for those who might seem “seen way too much” for you.
In this post on how to go viral on Pinterest, I have reviewed some of my most popular graphics and gathered some advice for you. I hope it helps!
MISTAKE #3: Not doing any manual pinning
UPDATE 2020: Scheduled vs manual pinning has the same value in the eyes of Pinterest. However, I still believe that actual presence on the platform matters! It might not be a deal-breaker but will help you.
Tailwind is an amazing platform that helps you to pin more often by automatizing your pinning process. Which is absolutely amazing!
At the same time, to be successful on Pinterest, you have to actually spend some time on their platform and show interest in it. Which means only one thing – manual pinning.
Make sure to pin both your own and other pins manually. It’s hard to say whether there’s a “magic number” to follow. Just do your best to pin manually as much as you can. Each day would be perfect but every second or third one would work as well (basing this on my assumptions more than any real stats about this).
Yes, there might be a chance that you get success only with automated pins or most of your traffic is coming from things like Tailwind Tribes. At the same time, if you’re just searching for your sweet spot, make sure to have some manual online presence on Pinterest!
MISTAKE #4: Pinning crappy pins
This might hurt your feelings but – GODDAMN, STOP PINNING CRAPPY PINS!!
I’ve noticed many great bloggers with tons of amazing content that are not reaching their full Pinterest potential because of graphics that are pretty much terrible.
I understand that it’s hard to come up with a visually pleasing graphic if you’re not a designer or have no knowledge of any visual principles whatsoever. At the same time, there are some basic rules you should follow:
- The same spacing between the lines
- Simple font or simple font combined with a fancy one (NOT a font that’s hard to read)
- Combine black + another color or white + another color
- Choose colors that go easy on the eyes (nothing extra)
- Keep the text centered – don’t try to lay it out all over the graphic in the whole length
- Choose related background photo. Today I saw something that must’ve been a joke. The graphic was about FB groups and the background was some kind of a… what the hell even was that?! Something you might find in a garage, maybe.
Check out the most popular graphics to understand what you might be doing wrong. Your graphics CAN cost you traffic!
MISTAKE #5: Not checking your stats
I have only two modes – either I check ALL the stats each and every day or I just forget about them forever. Which is not cool.
Not checking your stats is yet another of the most popular Pinterest mistakes you might be making. If you have a Business account (and you should, if you’re interested in growing your blog with Pinterest) – you can easily access all kinds of interesting Pinterest stats.
- Which are your most popular pins?
- Where are your fans coming from?
- Which boards have the best stats for your pins?
- And much more
By having all this information you can easily optimize your Pinterest efforts and focus on the things that bring you the most readers while optimizing the ones that don’t.
Therefore, don’t be like me. Don’t freak out over stats and don’t forget about them either. Find the golden middle way and make stats work for you!
MISTAKE #6: Not sharing previously shared posts
UPDATE 2020: Fresh pins matter the most. This is an important change as of 2020. FRESH PINS (new graphics that haven’t been on Pinterest just yet) matter THE MOST. Pinterest is putting the biggest emphasis on fresh pins and, therefore, you should be pinning new pins quite frequently. On average, I’d say 2-3 NEW graphics per day, along with the rest of your pinning schedule.
Oh, the good old question Can I repeat my posts on Pinterest?!
Yes, yes you can! That’s what the whole Pinterest is all about. The amount of pins on Pinterest is HUGE. No one on the group board or in your profile will notice that you’re repeating the same pins.
Therefore, yes, you can easily pin one pin to ALL of your relevant boards and all the relevant group boards AND repeat the same action within a week or a month.
Here are a few good etiquette tips to follow:
- Pin the same post not more than once per month on one board
- Create several graphics for one post – so it might attract another audience or people who scrolled away the previous time. Ideally, you should create around 10 pins PER POST.
- Don’t lie in the graphic about what’s within it
Before you go…
Although most of us truly love Pinterest because of various reasons, it’s healthy to keep in mind that it’s also a platform that might disappear one day (just like anything else on the internet). Therefore, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Make sure to have other traffic sources besides Pinterest. Here are a few ideas on how to get more traffic to your blog (yes, you will find Pinterest in the list as well…)