Over the years, I have made quite a few Pinterest mistakes. As time went on, and my skills improved, I found that Pinterest became the number one social media source of traffic to my blog. I decided a couple years ago that I needed to get even better at Pinterest.
I have spent my summer trying to improve my Pinterest game. As a result, I have seen an even bigger increase in my referral traffic to my blog. Yay! In addition to joining quite a few collaborative boards, I also started using both Board Booster and Ahalogy to schedule pins. I also participate in several Facebook groups that share each others’ content.
That means I’m pinning and re-pinning a lot of content, some of it great, some good, some not so much. I see a lot of Pinterest mistakes that, if corrected, could help other bloggers increase their following, their repins, and their referral traffic. Here are some tips to help you achieve Pinterest success.
Are You Making these Pinterest Mistakes?
I thought everyone knew this by now. The better the picture, the more likely that it will be repinned and that people will follow the link to your blog. I understand that we are not all Ansel Adams. I most certainly struggle with my photography skills. Still, you must take the time to take the best picture, with the best lighting and angles, that you can. Learning a few editing skills can help too.
And please make it relevant to the topic! The main “pinnable image” in a post about traveling to Paris should not be a selfie of the author (unless she is standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, then maybe).
Not Creating Vertical Pins
When I first published this post, I did not go beyond suggesting creating long, narrow images, but now it should be considered a necessity. Not only do vertical pins take up more real estate, making them stand out over horizontal or square images, but they actually do get repinned and clicked through more often.
Many (or possibly most) Pinterest users are viewing your pins on their mobile devices, and a long, vertical pin can take up the whole screen. That is a good thing.
Currently, the recommended size for a pin is 600 x 900-1560 (which is the maximum height that will show). I’ve been creating pins that are 650 x 1400, because in my eyes that is what looks good.
Not Everything is “Pin-Worthy”
Now, why did that make me think of Seinfeld? Never mind. You may disagree with me, but I believe that not everything is “pin-worthy.” Your recipes, workouts, fashion tips, DIY projects, race recaps, and book reviews, yes. Your weekly training recap, trip to grandma’s, or visit to the dentist, is not (unless something unusual happened, then maybe).
Using Poor Captions
Have you ever pinned someone’s photo and noticed that the caption was something like “Paris2”? Meaning that they didn’t change the name they gave it before they pinned it. Always make sure that you update the caption on any photo that you are pinning from your blog. It should be relatively short, descriptive, and contain keywords. Don’t bother with hashtags, they’re not really relevant to Pinterest. And be prepared for people who pin directly from your blog by making sure to change the “alt text” on your photo to that descriptive phrase (instead of the name of your photo).
Not Using Descriptive Text
Here I am talking about the descriptive text on your photo. You know so people can tell at a glance what it is about? Take the time, when you are editing your photos, to make at least one that has attractive and descriptive text on the photo. Be consistent with your design, and don’t get too wild with fonts. PicMonkey and Canva are both great tools for this. While you’re at it, take the time to watermark your photo to help protect your rights.
Not Having a Business Account
Having a business account on Pinterest gives you access to analytics, which will help you refine your goals and guide your use, and to Promoted Pins, which can help you expand your reach. Make sure to verify your website while you’re at it, which will add your logo under all of your pins (even on other people’s boards).
Not Using Rich Pins
The main reason I love it when people use Rich Pins is that I can see the ingredients in their recipes at a glance. They also add a “Make It” button on mobile, which will encourage people to click through to your site.
Pinning many photos at one time can clog up your followers’ feed. Imagine that you are pinning one of your own posts to several boards. Your followers only see three or four of the same pin showing up in their feed. Instead, pin a few at a time at various times of the day. Or use a Pinterest scheduling tool like Board Booster or Tailwind, which will pin for you at optimal times.
When I was at the Sway Social this past July, we were told that it was okay to pin up to 20 or so pins at a time, that Pinterest would automatically spread those pins throughout the day. I still feel a little uncomfortable pinning too many at a time though, and fall back on using Board Booster just to make sure.
Not Making Your Photos Easy to Pin
At the minimum, you should have a Pin button for each post. Better yet, have a Pin button on every image that you would like to have shared. My current favorite is the Sumo sharing button, which also allows for photo sharing to Facebook, Twitter, and Yummly.
Not Joining Group Boards
Joining and pinning to a group board can give you access to thousands of people, even if you only have 100 followers. Try using PinGroupie to find how to join group boards in your niche. Check the stats for the boards you want to join to make sure that the members are engaged.
Forgetting that Pinterest is a search engine
Pinterest is usually lumped in with other social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, so users might forget that it is actually a search engine, not a social media site. It is important to use keywords in your Pinterest post. Imagine words that other users might be searching for and make sure to use them in your description.
By correcting some of these Pinterest mistakes, you will find that you will have more engagement, referral traffic, and overall success.
I know that some of my followers really are wizards at Pinterest. What suggestions do you have to help us improve our Pinterest success?
Disclaimer: I am not a Pinterest whiz. I do have good common sense, though. That is another way of saying that I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like. So you’re welcome to take these tips with as large a grain of salt as you like. Oh, and this post contains a few affiliate links.
Interested in improving your skills and reducing Pinterest mistakes? Here are some other helpful posts:
My weekly linkups! Please stop by and check out all of the great recipes, workouts, and information that all these awesome bloggers share every week!
Meatless Monday with Sarah and Deborah
Meatless Monday with Annmarie and Dixya
Tuesdays on the Run with Marcia, Erika, and Patty
Inspire Me Monday with Janice
Wild Workout Wednesday with Annmarie, Jen, and Nicole
The Plant-Based Potluck Party with Deborah
The Running Coaches’ Corner with Rachel, Suz, Lora Marie, and Me!
Friday 5 2.0 with Rachel and Lacey and Meranda