Pinterest is one of the simplest ways for bloggers to send visitors to their site. The platform is free to use, and with millions of annual visitors, you can reach customers and readers with little effort. But, you can’t just pin to pin, you need to be strategic.
All too often I see bloggers who pin to Pinterest without any rhyme or reason. The pins they add each day are doing nothing to help them grow their account. There are mistakes many pinners make and they don’t even realize.
The good news is that these are all things that are simple to change. Once you know what you are doing wrong, you can make adjustments and will soon be on your way to becoming a pinning pro.
COMMON PINTEREST MISTAKES BLOGGERS MAKE
You think Pinterest is a Social Media Platform
It is true that Pinterest is often called a social media platform, but the truth is that it isn’t one. Social media encourages engagement and sharing with others. That is not what Pinterest is about.
Pinterest is, instead, a visual search engine. Users visit the application to get answers to their questions and to find things that interest them. When users pin, they are pinning to their own boards, for their reference. They are not pinning, so others see it.
You need to keep this in mind when developing a pinning strategy and cannot do things there that you do on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms.
You pin the wrong images
A short scroll on Pinterest and you’ll see all sorts of pictures pinned. Some are tall, others are square, and there are those pins that are so long the words are cut off. While you can pin about any size you want, doing so will not always produce the best results.
Pinterest themselves has offered guidance on the size of an image to pin. The ratio should be 2:3. Since this is confusing to many, they even provide dimensions you can use. They advise all pins be 600 x 900. While you can make them larger, you do not want them any longer than 1260 long, or the image will be cut-0ff to fit in the window size that Pinterest wants.
In addition to the image size, what your image shows matters. Try to avoid faces of people if possible as the pinner needs to see themselves in the pin. If the woman has blonde hair and your reader has black hair, she may not feel the pin relates to her. Instead, find images that show hands or the backs of heads as these are often more relateable.
Your pin also needs text on it. If you pin a picture of a woman holding a flower, it may look pretty, but what is your pin about? You absolutely must put easy to read text overlay on images (with the key phrase being “easy to read”).
There are all sorts of fonts available, but many of them do not show well on Pinterest. You want to ensure that your reader knows what your pin is about. After all, they will decide in less than 1.5 seconds if they will click on your pin or not. Your text needs to pull them in and make them want not only want to click to read more but click over your site to get more information.
If you aren’t sure how to create your images, scroll the pages of Pinterest and look for the pins that catch your eye and make you want to click. Pin these to a secret board. Then, look through that board and you will see a trend when it comes to the pins you like. Use these pins as inspiration to make your images (do not copy them) to find the colors, fonts, and images that will best convey your message.
You do not do keyword research
The first item I mentioned was that Pinterest is a visual search engine. Search engines work on keywords. You absolutely must do keyword research before creating the description on your pins.
The description is what tells the reader, and Pinterest, what your pin is about. It gives them enough information to learn about your article, but not so much they don’t need to click over to read more. Pinterest uses the keywords in your description to display your pin to others who conduct searches for that type of content.
To properly do keyword research, use Pinterest. Enter the various keywords and phrases into your search bar, and you’ll see options come up (in small boxes beneath the search bar). These are phrases people most search for, so those are the ones you want to include in your description.
Do not keyword stuff your description, as that is counter-productive and results in a negative user experience. Readers click on your pin to read more about your pin and then decide if they want to click over. If it is nothing but keywords, they may not click at all.
The final part of your description is the hashtag. Hashtags are a feature that is relatively new to Pinterest. It used to be that hashtags were not something that worked on the platform. However, users like hashtags, so Pinterest added them in. When you click on a hashtag, you will see all pins with that same hashtag, listed in the order they were pinned (with the most recent being at the top). They can help your pins get pulled in with others and can lead to more click-throughs.
While hashtags are important, there has also been some controversy surrounding them. It seems that many scrapers and thieves on Pinterest are clicking on hashtags to find mass images to steal and redirect to their sites. It has led some pinners to stop using hashtags for the time being.
Make sure you take the time to curate a thoughtful description to not only help users learn more about your article but also to get your post to pull up in search.
You expect instant results
I am in many Facebook Groups and see new pinners who are frustrated because they have been pinning for three weeks and are not yet seeing any traffic. Three weeks is nothing in the life of Pinterest.
It can take months or even years for a pin to take off on Pinterest. I had a pin that was more than three years old suddenly get pinned by someone, and that single pin has lead to huge traffic boosts, which continue to this day.
What you pin today sets you up for success six months (or longer) down the road. You can’t expect instant results on Pinterest. Pinterest is a marathon, not a sprint.
You don’t understand your analytics
I can’t tell you how many new pinners get excited when they see they are getting thousands of impressions on Pinterest. While that is fine, what they are missing is what matters more – clicks to your site.
Pinterest has a set of analytics that gives you insight into your profile and what works and does not. It shares how some of your pins are doing. But, you can’t get hung up only on those numbers. You have to look beyond what you see on Pinterest to know what is working and is not.
Anatlyics are just numbers. They don’t do anything for you if you are not using them. You need to dig into your Google Analytics to see what is truly happening on your site.
There is a lot to know about analytics, group boards and analyzing what works and does not on Pinterest. I simplify this information in my book, Precision Pinning. It has helped countless bloggers better navigate Pinterest and use it to drive more traffic to their sites.
You believe the hype
If I had a penny for every fake article or rumor that comes up regarding Pinterest, I could retire a wealthy woman. Some of these are honest and written with great understanding. But many of them are based on assumptions rather than research.
When you see a blogger share an article, do not just run with it. Conduct additional research and as other experts in that field their thoughts. There is nothing worse than someone typing an article filled with things that aren’t true, which get the rumor mills started.
You are too invested in Pinterest
Traffic from Pinterest is a great thing. But, if you rely only on this platform for pageviews, you are making a huge mistake. Anytime you put all of your eggs in one basket; you are setting yourself up for failure.
We often see changes happen with the algorithm and seasonal trends. These issues often lead to traffic dips. When it happens, bloggers rush to Facebook groups and panic ensues.
These things happen on any platform. When you use a free system for traffic, such as Pinterest, you get what they offer. If they make a change, you feel it. These changes can result in both positive and negative results.
To avoid the feeling of fear when there is a change, make sure you are not using Pinterest as your only traffic source. Create and build your email list, so you have a direct connection to the people who want to read your content. Take time to properly work your posts, so they are optimized for SEO (search engine optimization). You should also pursue additional social media platforms to help you reach your audience.
We all make mistakes. They are good as they help us learn and make improvements and changes for the better. Pinterest is no different. When you use it the right way, it can be an additional traffic source for your website and lead to new customers and readers.