10 Mistakes You’re Making on Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the most effective platforms when it comes to getting your content seen.

Many business owners, brands & bloggers (myself included) love it for how it can quite easily put your content in front of a very interested audience & you can grow your social presence.

If used effectively that is, which is why we’re going to look at the 10 mistakes you’re making on Pinterest & how to fix them today.

10 Mistakes you're making on Pinterest - Not doing Keyword Research

I started off not knowing anything about Pinterest. You see, I’m a 20 something-year-old male, which is not exactly the demographic that most Pinterest users were a few years ago when I got started. This sort of plastered over to me the actual value that Pinterest delivers, which is quite simply stated, effective traffic.

I had the same mindset that most men had back then, Pinterest is great for crafts, fitness & food… & it’s more of a female social network.

This is just wrong.

And I know there are plenty of people that still believe this or do not understand the value Pinterest can bring to your business, blog, or website. This is why I wanted to bring this up.

Pinterest is a visual search engine, with approximately 300 million active users in 2020. Whilst there are still vastly more female pinners than male pinners, with 81% of Pinterest users being female, 40% of new signups are men & that trend does seem to be increasing. & 19% of 300 million is still 57 million males that actively use Pinterest every month.

So, if you think Pinterest is a females-only platform, you’re way off. And when it comes to different niches, all that it really takes is to head over to Pinterest and search for what you’re interested in. You’ll surely find some large accounts taking advantage of the fact that you’re not being active and are taking your potential traffic!

As I mentioned already, I didn’t know anything about Pinterest when I started using it, but I’ve grown a few accounts that reach over a million people every month since then. So, I thought I’d share with you the 10 biggest Pinterest mistakes I’ve seen pinners make and how to fix & avoid them.

P.s. I’ve made most, if not all, of these mistakes myself at one point or another. So, no need to worry if you’re also making them, we’re going to get them fixed!

Let’s get straight to the 10 mistakes you’re making on Pinterest!

1. Using unreadable fonts on your Pins

This one is a massive mistake & one of my personal pet peeves.

It’s quite simple though. If you use an unreadable font on Pinterest, pinners can’t read any text written on your pin.

This means that they won’t click through to find out more & they certainly won’t repin it.

I try to avoid overly curvy script fonts; a lot of the time letters can be mistaken & words just don’t make sense when viewing a pin that isn’t full screen.

Stick to Serif-type font styles and if you need to add something more decorative or with a script font, use it sparingly.

Protip: Zoom out on whichever program you’re using to design your types to see if they’re readable… About 25% zoom on Canva should give a decent representation of what someone would see when they’re scrolling through their Pinterest feed. Adjust the text size & font until you can clearly see what the pin is about.

Also, whilst we’re on the topic of text, don’t write memoirs on your pins. Keep it at 1 or 2 sentences tops & try for short attention capturing words.

2. Low-Quality or Horizontal Images

Horizontal images do well on Facebook, Twitter, etc. but on Pinterest, they’re a big no-no. Long pins are preferred by Pinterest, it only takes a quick look at your Pinterest feed to know why. Horizontal or landscape-orientated pins simply get lost between the long pins in your feed.

Pinterest recommends making 600 x 900 px pins, and I can’t really argue against that.

What I would add is to make sure your pins are AT LEAST that size, if they’re smaller, they could show up pixelated, blurry & just low-quality. This isn’t a strategy that works very well for gaining new followers and growing your audience.

Canva has preset dimensions optimized for Pinterest. If you’re using different software, however, you can just input the 600 x 900 pixel for regular long images or 600 x 1200 for extra long images. Don’t make your pins too long though, they could be cut off at the bottom when viewed on a pinners feed.

3. Not Optimizing your Pinterest Profile

An optimized Pinterest profile means that you have included relevant keywords where they matter. Like your business name, about section, board names, descriptions, etc.

You should also have a clear profile image & a link to your website.

If someone visits your profile, it shouldn’t look barren either.

Head to your profile, click on the board’s tab & if you can see empty space, you need to add more boards. The same can be said for pins inside of your boards, if there is white space without scrolling down, you need to add more pins.

I generally recommend having at least 15 of your own boards & at least 25 pins per board.

4. Not Doing Keyword Research

Keyword research is a big thing for SEO. As Pinterest is a search engine, that means it’s a big thing for Pinterest as well.

I don’t know how often I come across pins that just have the description cool or awesome. This is horrible. The description area allows you to type in up to 500 characters, so make use of it.

By doing effective keyword research, you’ll know exactly what to fill those 500 characters up with & your pins will shoot to the top of search results.

Don’t go keyword cramming though. Stick to a few long-tail keywords using natural sentences & don’t use too many keywords in one sentence. Pinterest is smart & they when you’re trying to cram those keywords.

Google’s keyword planner is a free resource that can help you find popular keywords in your niche. You can search for those then on Pinterest & the suggestion bar will give you a range of other keywords that people are looking for on that subject.

You could also search for your term on Google & look at what the auto-populating search bar suggests or scroll to the bottom of a Google search result and look at the related results.

5. Your Website isn’t Optimized for Pinterest

Sometimes the biggest mistakes aren’t even on Pinterest & if your website isn’t optimized for Pinterest then you’re making one of them.

By optimized for Pinterest, what I mean is that people aren’t easily able to follow you on Pinterest from your website, or share your content directly from your website to Pinterest.

People don’t search for too long if they want to follow you or share your content. Leave enough sharing options in obvious places.

I use the Grow by Mediavine plugin (formerly Social Pug) on this site so that you can easily share my posts if you love them… which I hope you do… so, if you feel the urge, hit the Pinterest share button.

I’m using the pro version of Grow. This allows you to add a custom description and select a specific image that will be shared when someone clicks on the share button (amongst other features). This reduces the number of horizontal images people share from your site. You can also optimize the specific pin with keywords and hashtags to get more people to reshare your content.

6. You haven’t enabled Rich Pins on your Pinterest Account

Rich Pins are an easy way to add extra detail and information to your pins without having to actually do anything on your part.

That’s right, it’s free optimization that doesn’t take up any of your time & Pinterest does all of the work.

So why doesn’t everyone use Rich Pins? I really don’t know to be honest, but they should.

All of my most popular pins are Rich Pins, and whenever I’ve enabled Rich Pins, my reach has improved massively.

Pinterest takes information from your website and adds it to the Rich Pin that points to it.

So, if you’ve written an awesome guide to take better travel photos, Pinterest includes the article title & the meta description in the pin automatically. Your associated Pinterest account will also show up with a follow button so that new viewers can easily follow the content creator at the source!

It may be starting to sound quite complicated now. That’s more to do with my rambling though, than the actual process of enabling Rich Pins.

Luckily, I’ve already put together a step-by-step guide to what I consider being the Easiest way to activate Rich Pins on Pinterest… You don’t need to be an IT expert to do it and it’ll take less than 5 minutes. P.s. There’s also a guide to claiming your website on Pinterest if you haven’t already.

10 Mistakes you're making on Pinterest - Not activating Rich Pins

7. Posting Too Little or Too Often

This is one that relates to your pinning strategy.

I see very often people saying you need to post 80+ pins a day, or you shouldn’t post more than 10 a day. Then there’s the very popular 80:20 rule or 1:1 rule that pretty much just means you should post 80% of other people’s pins when your account is still small and only 20% of your own & then flip it around when your account is bigger. The 1:1 rule just means you should 1 of someone else’s pins each time you post one of your own.

I don’t believe in any of these as being a rule. For Pinterest, not every account is equal and no strategy can be considered a one size fits.

I see this now still with the Pinterest account for our travel blog & the Pinterest account for this blog. The strategies are vastly different and whenever I’ve tried using the same one at the same time for both, at least one of them has suffered a drop in interaction & reach.

That’s why it really all comes down to trial and error. Experiment with different amounts of pins per day and see what brings the best results. As Pinterest loves consistency, stick to one strategy for at least a month before moving on. Otherwise, your results may not be very accurate.

You should also not post more than 10 pins an hour. Try to space them out throughout the day when your audience is most active.

8. Not using a Scheduling Tool

Pinterest loves consistency & being active throughout the day instead of an hour of pinning here and there. No one has the time to sit on Pinterest all day… or at least, you really shouldn’t be… and this is where scheduling tools come in handy.

These tools allow you to schedule pins in advance so that you don’t have to be awake at 2 am, when your target audience may be active on the other side of the world.

I use and highly recommend Tailwind as a Scheduling tool for Pinterest. Tailwind is an official Pinterest content marketing Partner, so you know that it is not going to negatively affect your account in the future & they work with Pinterest to set up new functions & features.

One of my favorite Tailwind features is the smart schedule. This generates a timetable for when your Pinterest audience is the most active. Allowing you to schedule those specific time periods.

Another is the detailed Insights so that you can see which boards and pins are performing best.

Then there is the new smart loop feature, that allows you to set & forget pins to automatically keep your content fresh.

Another is… I think you get the picture, I’m not going to write down all of the awesome features here, they’ve done a much better job on their website anyway.

Find out more about this awesome tool and start your free trial with Tailwind here.

P.s. Using a scheduling tool doesn’t mean you shouldn’t manually pin as well. It just means you don’t have to sit on Pinterest all day pinning. You should still spend some time manually pinning and using Pinterest normally as the Pinterest algorithm appreciates the time you spend with it.

9. Only making one Pin per Post

One of the biggest mistakes is thinking that one pin is enough. You may get lucky and that pin goes viral. By having multiple pins though, you’re increasing your chance and Pinterest doesn’t devalue your content just because two or more pins point to the same article.

In fact, Pinterest actually prefers new pins & treats a new image pointing to the same webpage as being a new piece of content. This means you can A/B test and see which pins perform better, what your audience clicks on the most & how you should continue making pins in the future & then include two or three pins in your articles for your readers to share.

10. Engage & Repin

If you want engagement on your boards & pins, you need to engage with other pinners as well.

Repin awesome pins your audience will love. Follow Pinterest users in your niche that create awesome pins, check out other boards in your category & repin from there as well.

It’s quite a simple one & something that many pinners overlook, but it can make a really big difference.

P.s. A quick note on Pinterest Group Boards

You may have noticed I haven’t included anything about group boards in this post. That’s because I recently left all of the Group Board’s I was a part of and received a boost in my reach and engagement.

I still believe Pinterest Group Boards are a great way to grow your account. You need to be really selective though, and ditch ones that aren’t performing.

Group boards can be a great way to grow your account when you’re getting started, but personally, I don’t find much value once you’ve started generating a decent amount of traffic.

Keep looking for and joining as many relevant group boards as you can find & pay close attention to how well your pins are performing in each board. If you find a particular board isn’t performing very well, leave it and keep searching for better boards.

Group boards are all about collaboration. Make sure you engage in the group boards you’re a part of. This just means you should look for great pins inside of the group board to repin to your other boards as well. If everyone’s sharing each other’s content, the board & the individual pins will have a far greater reach.

What’s Next?

Now that you know the 10 mistakes you’re making on Pinterest, I’m sure you also want to get your Pinterest Pins to the top of search results and drive thousands of free visitors to your blog, website, or business every month, on Autopilot.

This is where the Pinterest Traffic Avalanche course comes in.

You’ll learn how to set up your profile for maximum reach, how to create high-converting Pinterest pins, how to automate your blog traffic with pin scheduling, track and assess your progress (and how to change things up for growth), how to use Pinterest for email collection, and much more.

This course is also kept constantly updated so you won’t get left behind whenever Pinterest makes any new changes.

One of the best features of this course is the very active Facebook group where you can get some huge value on more than just Pinterest. You may even find me there answering some questions. 

Pinterest Traffic Avalanche

Find out more about Pinterest Traffic Avalanche (or read my full review here).

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