Pinterest is an image based search engine with over 300 million users. It’s no wonder that thousands of bloggers and businesses use it to attract customers. Pinterest can be a little tricky though, so we’re going to go over the best Pinterest marketing practices for 2021 to create a Pinterest strategy that will bring your blog or business new traffic, customers, and success.
I have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. It’s a major source of traffic for me and I love that I’ve been able to reach so many readers through it! But many of us in the blogging world who rely on Pinterest to connect us to readers have been frustrated by them since they changed their algorithm in 2020. We’re going to discuss the changes and what the best Pinterest practices are.
If you haven’t already set up your Pinterest business account please read my guide to setting up your Pinterest account.
Here’s what we’re going to cover in this post:
- What to do if your Pinterest impressions & traffic tanks.
- What does Pinterest want from content creators?
- Do Pinterest followers matter?
- Should you still use Tailwind?
- How to create a pinning strategy.
- How to make creating Pins easier.
December 2020 Update:
I just want to give an overview of my Pinterest experience in 2020. As you can see below there were some spikes but overall my Pinterest traffic stayed consistent without any real growth, which is not what you’d expect for an account in good standing that pins daily.
The real let down was November when my traffic slowly declined over two weeks to getting just 50 clicks on two days. All new pins were ignored and only older pins were getting any exposure.
At that point I email Pinterest to see if I’d been marked as spam. They said I was not and it was just a fluke. They also advised me to repin less and keep making new pins. After those two days my traffic started increasing at a slow and steady rate that frankly is better than the random spikes I’d gotten over the year.
What to do if your Pinterest impressions have tanked
Along with the Pinterest algorithm update came a serious glitch that has caused many account to be marked as spam or low quality, so people who would normally get 1000+ impressions on a pin now get less than 100. Talk about frustrating!
To get Pinterest to fix this click this link and do the following:
1. Click Appeals & select Pinterest blocked my site
2. Select Something else
3. Fill in your contact information
4. Submit the following message: My Pin impressions have drastically dropped, I believe my account has erroneously been marked as spam. Please look into this issue, thank you.
They should email you back within a day. If they say you aren’t marked as spam and the issue continues keep emailing them, sometimes it takes a few tries before they fix it and your Pinterest impressions start to go back up.
What does Pinterest want from content creators?
Here’s what Pinterest is telling creators:
“Pinterest encourages creators to publish new, original content on a regular basis as the best way to build an audience on Pinterest.
We encourage new publishing over saving other’s or your own already-pinned content.“
So Pinterest wants new pins (images) that have never been seen before. This doesn’t mean you have to create new posts on your website everyday, just that you can to create new pins for posts that already exist.
For example I’ve made 50 pins for one of my most popular posts and I continue to post at least 1 new one every week. I change the photo, font, text, layout, etc to keep it fresh.
You do want to keep creating new posts over time though so your followers have new content to read.
Pinterest also values new pins over repinning old pins. Your repins aren’t going to be distributed to as large an audience as when they were first pinned. This doesn’t mean you can’t repin things, just that you want to be very selective and it may be more valuable to spend that time in other ways.
When you do repin make sure its to a relevant board with good SEO (search engine optimization) and no more than 5 boards.
That said I haven’t repined anything in weeks and my traffic is going up so I’ve stopped all repinning for now.
When should you post new pins on Pinterest?
Look at your Google Analytics to see when you get the most traffic. Go to your home page and scroll down a bit, you’ll see the table below. The dark blue blocks are your best times to pin on Pinterest. You can see mine is 5-7 pm so that’s usually when I post new pins but 6 am works really well for me too.
Consistency is more important than volume
Consistent pinning spread out over time is more effective than posting 20 new pins two days a week and not being active the rest of the time. You can easily pin new pins up to two weeks in advanced with Pinterest’s scheduler and you can upload multiple pins at once by clicking on the plus symbol on the left.
Factors that can determine your Pinterest success
Even if you’re delivering on what Pinterest says they want, there are other reasons you may not be getting the results you want.
These are some of the factors to consider.
1. Your Pin design
You pins should have text that is easy to read and clearly tells the reader what they’ll learn if they click through to your website. Keep playing with your design until you find what works.
The basic must have features for your pins are
- Interesting and to the point headlines
- 2:3 ratio such as 1000 x 1500 px, but I also do 1000 x 2000 and in between
- Text that is easy to read
- Aesthetically pleasing colors
These are three of my recent viral pins, they tell you what the subject is very clearly, they’re easy to read, they have a nice design, and I posted them at my peak traffic time.
2. Your niche
The subject of your website will affect how much traffic you get. Some niches are more popular than others. If you look at popular trends on Pinterest you’ll see what people are looking for. However, blogging about something you love is more important than creating content just to get Pinterest traffic. Make sure your pins have good SEO like we talked about in my guide to setting up your Pinterest account.
3. Age of your account
The older your account is the more Pinterest will trust your content. If you’re starting out with a new business account you just have to stick with it for a few months before you gain real traction.
4. Current trends
Look at what’s trending on Pinterest. This is currently a US only feature, you can change your location by going into your settings If you already have content that matches then make new pins for those posts. You can also look at what’s popular.
5. The time of year (seasonal trends)
Seasons and holidays affect what Pinterest users are looking for and how much they are using the platform. Pinterest traffic tends to dip in the summer months when people are spending more time outside. Traffic tends to rise around holidays when people are looking for gift ideas, recipes, and activities to try.
Do Pinterest followers matter?
A lot of bloggers will say that your number of followers don’t matter, but Pinterest says that your follower engagement determines whether or not your pins are shown to non-followers.
Your followers see your new pins first. If your followers interact with your new pin by repinning or clicking through that shows Pinterest that it’s worth distributing in search feeds. This doesn’t mean Pinterest will always show those pins to other people, I’ve pins with high click through rates that don’t get shown to more than a few hundred people, but it increases your chances.
This means you should post pins that will interest your followers, or pins that will attract the type of followers you want to have. If your content is about crafting that’s what your followers will expect from you, so pinning about monster trucks isn’t going to go well because most of them don’t care.
If you want to repin things outside your niche do it on your personal account.
Make sure you blog has social icons so visitors can follow you on Pinterst, I use the Simple Social Icons plugin on WordPress.
Should you still use Tailwind?
Tailwind is an paid auto scheduler that automatically repins your pins throughout the day.
Some people swear by it, others haven’t had any success with it. I’m in the later category, I’ve given it a few tries and haven’t been impressed with my results. You can read more about my experience in my review.
Many people aren’t seeing good results anymore from Tailwind and are just manually pinning now.
If you use it and like it by all means keep using it! It definitely can make pinning more convenient. I do suggest initially posting your pin to Pinterest instead of through Tailwind and then scheduling your repins though TW. Pinterest likes you to actually be on their platform, so many bloggers have seen better results from this method.
How to create a Pinterest strategy for 2021
The thing about Pinterest is that different methods work for different people, so literally everyone has to experiment to find what works for them. Much like with real life there is no perfect one size fits all formula.
Some people have success posting just 3-5 new pins a week (likely older established accounts), others have to post 10 new pins a day for decent traffic. Pinterest is fickle my friend.
To find the best Pinterest strategy for you start with 1-3 new pins a day at your peak hours. Then adjust accordingly, maybe add a new pin during your high traffic blocks and see how it goes.
Right now I’m posting about 2 new pins in the mornings and 3 in the evenings. It might sound time consuming but the templates I posted below really help!
It can be very easy to get emotionally attached to your results, so try to look at it like an experiment or game.
How to make creating Pins easier!
Creating tons of images for Pinterest each week can be challenging both because of the time it takes and the creative energy.
You can get good stock photos for free at Unsplash, Pexels, and Kaboompics. Eventually you’ll notice that a lot of other people are using the same photos though, so at some point it’s good to invest in a paid stock photo membership if you can’t take your own photos. I use and love Styled Stock Photography It saves me so much time and you get access to over 3,000 gorgeous stock photos for less than $25/month! They have new collections every week.
Using Canva templates makes creating pins so much freaking easier, all you do is change the text, add a photo, and you’re good to go. I’ve got a set of 20 long templates and 10 standard 2:3 templates that you can buy to save you the headache of designing new pins from scratch all the time.
If you have 50 blog posts and you make 20 pins for each that gives you 1000 unique pins!
Use the coupon APOL30 for 30% off my Pinterest templates!
Remember these 3 essential elements for a successful Pinterest marketing strategy and you’ll be ok:
- Have appealing and unique pin designs.
- Have good Search Engine Optimization.
- Post a minimum of 1 new pin a day.
I hope this article cleared up any confusion you had about the best Pinterest practices for 2021. I know it can be frustrating to figure out what the heck Pinterest wants from content creators. I wish you the best of luck!