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Unlocking Pinterest Success: Avoid These 15 Mistakes That Sabotage Your Growth

When I write a blog post about Pinterest, I often receive comments from people claiming that Pinterest doesn’t work for their business or blog.

Upon visiting their profile, I immediately notice that they are making quite a few Pinterest mistakes.

Most entrepreneurs and bloggers are accustomed to promoting themselves on Instagram. Therefore, they tend to have the same expectations for Pinterest. It’s understandable because a social media platform is a social media platform.

You would expect to see some results on Pinterest within a few weeks, right?

And to that, I can say, no!

No, because Pinterest operates completely differently from the social media platforms you are already familiar with. In fact, Pinterest is not really a social media platform. It’s more of a visual search engine. This means that it requires a new approach. You also need to adjust your expectations if you want Pinterest to work for your blog or business.

In this blog post, I will share 15 common Pinterest mistakes that are preventing you from achieving success with your business on Pinterest.

Pinterest Mistake 1: Compare to Instagram

To achieve success on Pinterest, it’s important to first understand how this platform works. Since it falls into the category of social media, most people assume it works the same way.

While Pinterest does have a social aspect, such as following accounts and commenting on pins, the social aspect on Pinterest is much less important than on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Of course, having followers is important. They will be the first to see your pins, which is crucial for further distribution. However, gaining followers on Pinterest is not your main goal. Once your account starts gaining traction, the followers will come naturally.

So, if Pinterest is not a social media platform, what is it?

Pinterest is a visual search engine. Think of it as searching for images on Google. When a Pinterest user visits the platform, it’s usually with the intention of searching for something they need.

In contrast to social media, where we often log in out of boredom and seek entertainment.

On Instagram, you see content that the algorithm pushes forward from the accounts you follow. The subject matter displayed on your feed doesn’t matter. Everything you follow appears randomly.

On Pinterest, you only see search results based on a deliberate search query you enter.

In short, on Pinterest, people are actively searching for specific things. This means that the traffic you can attract from Pinterest is often more valuable as a blogger and/or business. On Instagram, someone may click through to your website, but often not because they had a need for it before seeing your post.

When someone clicks on a Pinterest pin to visit your website, it’s because they conducted a targeted search beforehand.

Pinterest Mistake 2: Not Having a Business Account

One common mistake I’ve noticed among beginner pinners is the absence of a business account on Pinterest. If you’re aiming for success on Pinterest, it’s crucial to start with a business account from the get-go.

Having a business account signals to Pinterest that you’re a content creator, and it ensures that your pins reach people actively searching for products or information. Moreover, a business account is essential for monetizing your pins and generating income.

If you haven’t set up a business account yet and would like guidance on how to do so, I highly recommend reading my tutorial on creating a business Pinterest account before proceeding.

Pinterest Mistake 3: Not Claiming Your Website

Once you have a business account, claiming your website is a crucial step. By claiming your website, Pinterest recognizes that the pins associated with it genuinely belong to you. While anyone can add pins with your link, it doesn’t mean those pins are under your ownership.

Unsure if you’ve claimed your account? You can verify by checking for the presence of a globe icon next to your URL. If the icon is missing, it means your website has not been claimed.

Pinterest website claimen - Pinterest-fouten

Pinterest Mistake 4: Profile Not Optimized for Pinterest SEO

Another common issue I often come across is an underperforming profile that lacks optimization for Pinterest SEO.

Similar to optimizing content for search engines, it’s important to optimize your Pinterest content for SEO. This primarily entails strategically incorporating relevant keywords in areas where pinners are actively searching.

But how do you find the right Pinterest keywords to use?

It’s simple! You can discover Pinterest-specific keywords by conducting searches yourself, focusing on keywords relevant to your content. As you type in the search bar, you’ll notice auto-suggestions popping up. These auto-suggestions serve as valuable keywords that you can leverage.

Tip: Kickstart your Pinterest strategy by conducting a comprehensive keyword analysis before crafting your profile texts, board descriptions, and pin descriptions. By creating a keyword list in Google Sheets comprising relevant terms, you’ll enhance your efficiency and increase the likelihood of being discovered in search results.

Also read: how to browse Pinterest without an account

Pinterest Mistake 5: Boards not Optimized

Pinterest provides various options to communicate the content available on your account. The clearer you make it for both searchers and Pinterest itself, the greater your chances of being discovered.

Therefore, it’s crucial to incorporate your keywords into your Pinterest boards, including the board names and descriptions.

In my tutorial on optimizing Pinterest boards, I delve into effective approaches and offer guidance on choosing the right board names to maximize visibility.

Pinterest Mistake 6: Using Incorrect Pin Sizes

A frequent blunder on Pinterest is using the wrong pin formats. Pinterest pins are not the same as Instagram posts. They don’t conform to a square shape but rather have an elongated format of 1000x1500px.

Properly formatting your pins enhances their visibility on Pinterest! So, avoid the temptation to haphazardly copy your content from Instagram to Pinterest without considering the differences. Such a strategy is unlikely to yield favorable results.

When creating a new pin, Pinterest provides clear instructions on the appropriate formats. And they have a good reason for doing so!

Printscreen Pinterest pin
Source: Pinterest
Pinterest pin formaten
Source: Pinterest

Pinterest Mistake 7: Irrelevant Pins for Your Niche

Before assuming that Pinterest isn’t working for you, it’s crucial to assess whether the pins you create align with the interests of your potential readers and buyers.

Conduct searches using keywords you want to rank for and observe the pins that dominate the top search results.

  • Are there pins comprising only an image?
  • Or do you notice pins accompanied by descriptions of the URLs they link to?
  • Are your pins characterized by light designs while the top search results feature bold and captivating colors?
  • Do the pins in the search results resonate with the content you offer through the link attached to your pin?

Occasionally, the search results for a keyword may present pins that differ significantly from your intended vision. In such cases, it’s advisable to refocus your pin on a more relevant keyword.

Aligning your pins with the expectations of searchers is essential. Naturally, aim to create unique pins that complement the overall aesthetic of the search results while standing out from the crowd.

Pinterest Mistake 8: Underutilizing Pin Descriptions

When pinning a pin on Pinterest, the platform provides you with space to include keywords. Use keywords in:

  • The pin title;
  • The pin description;
  • And make the most of the text space you’re given;
  • Then, pin your pin to a board with a name that best aligns with the pin’s topic.

Pinterest Mistake 9: Insufficient Number of Pins

I believe this is undoubtedly the biggest Pinterest mistake. People pin a handful of pins and then expect something magical to happen.

However, that’s not how Pinterest works.

Pinterest starts to work when you build a substantial account with a strong foundation. You need to aim for an account with many boards and pins (which can include pins from other pinners), where a wealth of information and products can be found.

Recently, I conducted a small study on Pinterest to observe patterns among accounts that frequently rank at the top. Here’s what I found:

  • The websites associated with these accounts also perform well in terms of Google SEO and often have a high Domain Authority (DA).
  • These accounts have pinned thousands of pins.
  • These accounts have been actively pinning for years.
  • These accounts share pins that link to various URLs. On Pinterest, you can create multiple pins that lead to the same URL, but it’s also important to have many posts and pages to link to.
  • These accounts are members of group boards.

Pinterest Mistake 10: Not Pinning Consitently

If you have a small account, it’s crucial to consistently provide fresh content on Pinterest. Schedule a dedicated time slot weekly or biweekly to plan and schedule pins for the upcoming week/weeks, ensuring a continuous flow of content.

Consistency is key on Pinterest, especially when trying to establish a new account.

What Pinterest currently favors:

  • Pins that lead to a completely new URL;
  • Idea pins;
  • Pins with a new Pinterest design that lead to a URL already pinned before

If you’re unsure how to create your own pins, check out my comprehensive tutorial on crafting the perfect pin!

Pinterest Mistake 11: Not Joining Group Boards

Group boards are an excellent way to see quicker results with your pins. A group board is a board where you can join and pin alongside other contributors.

Pins on these boards often receive higher engagement since they are viewed by a larger audience. The pins I share on group boards often perform better than the ones on my own boards. However, it’s important to check if the board is active and not a spam board where everyone dumps pins.

She Can Blog also has an active group board where you can join and start pinning.

Pinterest Mistake 12: No Promoted Pins

We live in a world where nothing comes for free, and that includes Pinterest. When you promote a pin, your organic pins receive a significant boost. And you don’t have to spend large amounts on Pinterest ads to achieve this.

I often see a significant difference in engagement when someone promotes pins for just $1 per day! Think of it as a Pinterest subscription that accelerates your results because that’s essentially what it is. 😉

Organic growth takes a long time, but when you invest in paid promotion, you instantly gain views and clicks!

Advertising on Pinterest is still relatively new compared to Facebook and Instagram. This means it’s less advanced but also more cost-effective in comparison.

Pinterest Mistake 13: Not Repinning

Repinning means copying a pin from Board A to Board B, Board C, and Board D.

There’s a misconception that repinning has little value or that it quickly triggers spam alerts from Pinterest. However, through experience, I’ve learned that strategically spreading your pins across different boards actually helps grow your account.

A few years ago, you could comfortably move the same pin to 10 different boards and still generate new engagement. That has changed now, and I recommend repinning your pins a bit less frequently, but still incorporating it into your strategy.

With the Pinterest scheduler Tailwind, you can automate your repins, scheduling them monthly, so you don’t have to do it daily.

Pinterest Mistake 14: Not enough / Empty Boards

Did you know that Pinterest users can search for entire boards to follow and explore?

Your boards are discoverable in search results, and by creating enough boards with compelling names and descriptions, you increase the chances of your boards being found regularly.

Well-populated boards usually rank higher in search results!

This makes sense because when someone specifically searches for boards to find inspiration, they’re not interested in boards with limited or uninteresting pins to offer.

So, make sure to create enough boards and fill them with captivating pins. These pins can be your own or from other pinners, as long as they add value to your boards.

Pinterest Mistake 15: Pinning Directly from Instagram

It may seem tempting to directly pin your Instagram content to Pinterest, but that won’t result in high-performing pins.

Let me clarify that occasionally repinning your content is okay because once it’s on your boards, pinners can discover it when they visit your profile or boards. This can potentially attract new Instagram followers.

However, I advise you to make this pinning method only a small part of your strategy since these pins won’t be automatically distributed by Pinterest.

Pinterest wants to see that you pin Pinterest-specific content, and using Instagram posts often doesn’t align with the platform’s requirements. Additionally, by directly pinning from Instagram, you miss out on incorporating Pinterest-specific keywords, making it harder for Pinterest to place your pin in relevant positions.

Make it easier for yourself by creating a set of Pinterest templates, so it only takes five minutes to create five new pins whenever you want to post a new URL on Pinterest.

Final Thoughts

Before concluding that Pinterest doesn’t work for you, it’s essential to evaluate if you’re making these Pinterest mistakes and make necessary adjustments. Everyone can grow on Pinterest, but it must be approached in the right way.