Attention all bloggers! If you don’t know already, Pinterest is a huge traffic resource for bloggers and creators. It’s one of the fastest ways to increase blog traffic—when used correctly. Unfortunately, there is a lot of inaccurate advice out there, so let’s talk about 6 outdated Pinterest Best Practices that are killing your rank.
Buckle your seatbelts. Some of these are going to shock you and have you completely changing your Pinterest strategy.
Why Should You Know About these 6 Outdated Pinterest Best Practices?
If you’ve been using Pinterest to increase your blog traffic, you probably already know about some of these Pinterest best practices.
The dangerous thing is that you may not know they’re now outdated, so you’re probably still implementing at least one of them in your Pinterest marketing strategy.
The sad part is that if you are still doing that, you’re actually hurting your strategy in one form or another.
That’s why it’s so important to know about these outdated Pinterest best practices and make changes immediately.
What Are Pinterest Best Practices?
Think of Pinterest Best Practices as a guide for your strategy. Pinterest is regularly putting out information about how Pinterest publishers should manage their content.
Following Pinterest’s Best Practices helps you rank and increases your pin performance and overall reach.
Falling out of Pinterest’s Best Practices will get you flagged by Pinterest, cause you to lose rank, or worse, have your account suspended.
Nothing is more frustrating as a new blogger in the middle of the hustle than losing your prime source of traffic over something you simply didn’t know.
Let’s not let that happen.
Outdated Pinterest Best Practices
1: Group Boards
You’ve read countless posts about how to increase your traffic with Pinterest, and most of them probably mention something about joining group boards.
Back in 2018 and earlier, that was the thing to do. If you wanted to spread your pins out to a wider network of Pinterest users, you joined 500 group boards and pinned your content in the hopes that the other board members would share it for you.
Back then, it probably worked.
Now, however, it’s a major no-no.
Pinterest made it clear in early 2020 (if not earlier) that group boards were originally created for Pinterest users to collaborate ideas.
Nothing personal, but they weren’t referring to us bloggers.
What Pinterest originally intended for group boards were things like collaborations between bridal party members, party planners, friends planning vacations, and things like that.
Boards were never intended to be clever ways for bloggers or businesses to spread content faster.
Pinterest’s algorithms no longer favor that sort of thing, so joining group boards for blogging purposes is a complete waste of time.
It’s not a good idea to burn the midnight oil on those Pinterest group boards anymore, unless you’re planning an event with some friends.
Collaborate on Tailwind Communities
If you want to join collaborations for content sharing, stick with strategies like Tailwind Communities that create platforms specifically for mutual sharing.
Tailwind is a content scheduler for both Pinterest and Instagram, which is a massive time saver. They also offer a feature called Tailwind Communities, where bloggers can join up and share content to be re-shared through those communities.
It’s convenient because you can share others’ content by simply adding it to your scheduler at the click of a button.
Communities also gives you the opportunity to stick with bloggers and creators in your niche, so your pins will appeal to their audience and vice versa.
Personally, I see blog traffic straight from Tailwind Communities, meaning members are going straight to my website from Tailwind.
That is a great way to connect with likeminded bloggers and grow together.
Don’t panic. All your hundreds and hundreds of pins with hashtags from 2015 aren’t going to come back and bite you.
Before you go on a pin-deleting frenzy (don’t do that), remember that there was a time when Pinterest said “go!” regarding hashtags and it wasn’t all that long ago.
Pinterest has gone back and forth a bit in the way of recommending using hashtags. As of 2021, the current decision is against the use of hashtags.
This doesn’t mean all your pins with hashtags are falling off the face of the earth and your blog with it.
It simply means hashtags aren’t going to do anything to help your pin rank, so don’t waste your time on them.
This could be subject to change, and just when I hit the “publish” button Pinterest might announce that they like hashtags again.
But in this moment, the conclusion is not to bother with them, making them one of the outdated Pinterest Best Practices.
Where to Focus
Instead of spending all that time and energy on hashtags, focus on keyword-rich titles and pin descriptions.
Your choice of words matters as much as ever on Pinterest, if not more. Use your keywords creatively and naturally in the flow of your text.
For best results, place your keyword in the beginning of your pin description.
3: Pinning the Same Pin
This one hurt my heart a little bit. As bloggers, we rely on the ability to re-pin our pins to maximize our reach and raise our chances of getting that golden viral pin.
But alas, we’ll be rethinking our strategy with this one as chronic re-pinning has now fallen into one of the outdated Pinterest Best Practices.
Pinterest changed their best practices with a focus on fresh content in early 2020. Along with that came the recommendation to not pin a particular pin to more than ten boards total.
A recent Tailwind study showed that 71% of a pin’s effectiveness was at the first initial create. After that, each re-pin dropped considerably in effectiveness.
This does not mean you should pin your pin to just one board and then call it good. You still want to get every ounce of that remaining 29% for your blog traffic.
Just keep in mind that it is dropping, not increasing in effect.
Instead of focusing on trying to force a pin to go viral by re-pinning it, focus on create fresh new Pinterest pins.
A fresh pin is considered one with a new image, new text, new title, and new description.
Using Pinterest pin templates is looking more and more like a good idea these days to consistently be putting out fresh content.
You can also use a Pinterest pin design service, as that is a popular way busy bloggers continually have fresh pins published to Pinterest.
Since you know that first initial create is the most important one, publish your Pinterest pins to your most relevant board first.
4: Pinning Too Often
This one is a hurter, too. Many of the original bloggers that we admire got where they are today by using Pinterest and pinning like crazy.
As a newbie blogger, I searched high and low for those “secret sauce” blog posts where they disclosed the exact number of how often they pinned each day.
I read where bloggers pinned anywhere from 50 to 100 times every day. While the idea of trying to come up with that amount of quality content was daunting, I decided I’d figure out how to do it.
After all, if you want to be where they are, you do what they did to get there, right?
Unfortunately, in this case, the answer is no.
You shouldn’t do what they did, because the Pinterest we’re using now is not the same Pinterest they used back in the day.
Pinning 50-100 times a day is now one of the outdated Pinterest Best Practices. But it’s also now a good way to get your account suspended for spam.
Pinterest recommends creators to pin no more than 50 times a day to avoid getting flagged. But now Tailwind is alerting us that 50 is pushing the envelope with a note that the most successful pinners are pinning 15-25 times a day.
While that’s a relief to hear in one way, it’s also a little bit discouraging. So, if the way to getting big on Pinterest isn’t by forcing our presence with 100 pins a day, how do we do it?
The key is fresh, quality content that matches what Pinterest users are looking for.
Pinterest now offers a Pinterest Trends feature where you can discover what is the current flavor.
While you don’t want to base your blog off every trend that’s out there, you can use this tool to your advantage for how to present your content in an attractive way.
5: Wrong Pin Size
Alright all you sneaky giraffe pinners, this one’s for you!
The days of creating super long, feed-swallowing Pinterest pins is over and is joining the outdated Pinterest Best Practices.
Apparently, the idea of monopolizing the feed by creating enormous Pinterest pins with stretched-out text became annoying—surprise, surprise—and Pinterest would like to see publishers playing more by the rules.
That means creating pins that fit within their recommended 2:3 ratio. Keep it somewhere in the ballpark of 1000 x 1500 px (for now).
You can still create those ten-foot-long pins if you want, but you will find that they won’t perform well anymore.
The new algorithm won’t favor those pins and will overlook them for pins closer to the recommended size.
While experimenting with different pin sizes is still a good idea, the range in which you should experiment is much smaller.
Instead of trying to outwit the algorithm or force your audience into clicking the pin that never ends, turn your focus on making absolutely amazing, highly valuable pins in the recommended size.
6: Pinning Others’ Content More Often than Your Own
This one honestly confuses me. I’ve attended a lot of Pinterest’s webinars and trainings and read a lot of their stuff.
I honestly can’t figure out where this rule came from or how it got so popular.
The rule is basically where you pin mostly others’ pins and a little of your own.
I’ve read where bloggers recommend pinning 80% of others’ content and 20% of your own or similar proportions.
I can’t speak for 10 years ago since I wasn’t using Pinterest for blogging back then, but there are no current Pinterest facts to back this up.
Instead, Pinterest recommends that you focus on your own content. Spend your energy making it highly valuable to Pinterest users for a high-quality experience.
Are you noticing a running theme, here?
Pinning others’ content that much over your own won’t help you grow your business—it’s not a good business move.
The idea of using Pinterest for growth is to get your own content out there. If you’re spending most of your time pinning everyone else’s content, you’re helping all those other bloggers grow their traffic at the expense of your own.
You should share others’ content–that’s what makes Pinterest work. Just keep the focus on growing your reach.
Focus on What You Bring to Pinterest
I think as bloggers, we’re overthinking the system. Yes, Pinterest algorithms are changing and we’re trying to stay ahead of the game for rank and more traffic.
But if we’re not careful, we’ll miss the point entirely.
Pinterest is telling us what to do to succeed on their platform. They’re not playing Cat-and-Mouse with us.
Pinterest works when creators create great content, and pinners pin and share. They need bloggers, and they need pinners.
As bloggers it’s easy to start feeling defensive, especially when we don’t rank or it feels more difficult to grow a following.
The honest facts are that Pinterest is getting more competitive because it’s growing rapidly. It’s also getting more particular about content to ensure a high-quality user experience.
You want in the game? Provide that high-quality experience for pinners.
Here is what is no longer working and will kill your rank:
- Rapidly creating quick content without thought or research
- Haphazardly creating pins and pinning them repeatedly, despite low results
- Gaming the system by using unorthodox methods or techniques to outwit the algorithm
- Low-quality, superficial networking of share-for-share and follow/unfollow techniques
Here is what is working and how you’ll see results:
- Spend twice as long researching and creating in-demand content
- Do a good job writing posts and actually say something that helps somebody in a new way. Cut the fluff
- Take time creating high-quality Pinterest pins with inspiring graphics and information
- Focus on giving quality first, then concentrate on trying to get something from your audience
- Connect with people and create a real, human experience that brings improvement to a situation
Focus on the Right Parts of Pinterest
Pinterest is a complex integration of social media and search engine functionalities.
In order to really do well, we need to understand those parts and how to focus on those parts.
Pinterest’s Search Engine
When it comes to being a search engine, Pinterest has sophisticated algorithms to read everything you’re publishing. As a blogger, that means your content, from your blog post to your pin, needs to be optimized.
It also means you need to avoid outdated Pinterest Best Practices and follow their current recommendations to work well and succeed within the system.
Pinterest’s Social Features
As a social media platform, Pinterest succeeds in its creative appeal to its users. Guess what? They’re going to protect that.
That means your content needs to inspire, solve, connect, and demonstrate. In order to do that, you need to make sure what you’re producing is high-quality and well defined.
As content creators, we should be hesitating more often before hitting the “publish” button.
It’s more important than ever to have clear direction in what we’re doing on Pinterest. What we’re producing will either kill our blogs or send us soaring into success.