You may have read some of my previous posts about my experiences with Pinterest. If you haven’t I’d like to give you a little summary of the “fun” I’ve had with it and as a consequence why I’ve decided to stop chasing the Pinterest dream.
Over a year ago, I decided to use Pinterest as one of the primary ways to promote SideGains. I’d heard so many good things about Pinterest as a platform to generate traffic it seemed to be madness to consider anything else.
It takes too long to grow organic traffic from Google. Pay per click advertising is too risky when you’re starting out. Other social media channels take too much work for the traffic you’ll earn.
But Pinterest is like the Yukon for potentially immediate and substantial traffic.
So “they” said!
Pinterest can earn you 1000s of pageviews every month: everyone seems to say so!
By all accounts, all you need to do is:
- Create a Pinterest Business Account
- Set up Rich Pins
- Publish 15 to 25 “fresh” high-quality Pins everyday using meaningful images
- Use Pinterest SEO in your Pin titles and description to target searches people make.
- Link your Pins to high quality content.
“They” say that consistently pinning high-quality Pins with compelling titles and descriptions and linking them to high-quality content will see followers and impressions grow.
But more importantly, this strategy delivers a rich vein of traffic
I was inspired by this formula and so I worked hard creating my 10 to 15 fresh Pin designs each and every day… and it was quite a fun process in the beginning.
I began to see impressions on my Pins growing and just as “they” say, I started to getting visits to my blog.
Amazing, it really works!
Pinterest is Hard Work
However, it takes a considerable effort to make 10 to 15 fresh, high-quality Pin designs every day… even when you use a great time-saving tool like Canva to create your Pins (as “they” always recommend).
On top of this, you have to factor how long it takes to create unique titles and descriptions for each of your Pins. This is important not only for Pinterest SEO but also so your Pinning activity is not seen as spam by Pinterest’s uber twitchy spam filters.
More importantly, you have to keep an eye on how much traffic you are gaining. Impressions are great but visitors are oxygen to a blogger and you’ll go blue without them!
It takes a lot of work to follow this kind of regime like this and I often found myself working on my Pinterest strategy until 2am on many occasions.
But I was driven and motivated because… well, you have to follow through on your strategies don’t you?
So anyway… after a month of my regime, Pinterest notified me my account had been suspended!
I’d never done anything remotely spammy on Pinterest, but by all accounts, that’s the reason why my account was penalized in such a way.
It’s actually not at all uncommon for bonafide accounts like mine to suffer acount suspension for spam… but you can get this lifted as I did.
You can read about my experience and how to fix a Pinterest suspension in this post:
Pinterest Suspended You For Spam?
Find out how to get your account reinstated fast like I did.
So I was able to get my account restored and get back on track applying my strategy.
The Next Challenge on the Pinterest Train to the Yukon!
Fast forward several months later…
After my Pinterest account suspension experience, and by working diligently on my strategy, I was seeing encouraging signs of impression and visitor growth. However, I woke up one day in August 2020 to see that my daily Pin impressions had dropped from thousands to single figures.
- Another penalty on my account perhaps?
- Something weird happening in Pinterest Analytics?
- A solar flare?
Nope… apparently an algorithm.
I won’t cover this in detail here because I’ve already written about it here:
Why Are My Pinterest Impressions Going Down
Have you experienced a sudden drop in impressions on your Pinterest Pins? You’re not alone!
You can see in the comments for this post that many people seem to have been hit by this.
Algorithm changes are a fact of online life. I’ve been affected by them in Google and so I’m used to accepting that adapting to new rules is something you just have to do.
So instead of throwing the toys out of my pram, I persisted to work within the new algorithm environment to turn things around. However, after 6 weeks of trying to deliver even better quality Pins, titles and description and throwing a much greater variety of landing pages into the mix, my impressions and visits needle didn’t budge in any meaningful or positive way.
So I decided enough was enough and jumped off the Yukon train and totally downsized my efforts in Pinterest.
What’s the Moral of this Story?
It would seem that this is an entirely negative experience, and to be honest, I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t really irritated me. I’d spent almost a year investing time into Pinterest.
I’d literally lost sleep in order to make sure I kept to my schedule and strategy.
However… I can look at this experience in one of two ways.
- I’d wasted months trying something that in the end hasn’t worked out for me.
- In trying to make my Pinterest strategy work, I standardized all the images on my blog, learned a heck of a lot, met other bloggers with this problem & produced content about my experiences that I know has truly helped people.
I choose option 2!
It might seem like I’m taking shots at Pinterest but in all honesty I’m really not. I know Pinterest works really well for some people and especially in some niches… this is key because not all niches work as well as others.
Pinterest just hasn’t proven to be a gold mine for me… and I don’t take it personally.
I could react like a gambling addict and hang on in there with a “one more throw of the dice will fix it” mentality.
But I don’t have a cavalier gambling mindset!
So if there is a moral to this story, it’s this…
Don’t let Yukon fever for any platform or strategy win out over analysis and objectivity.
There may very well be gold in Pinterest… as there may be in any other platform. I know from what I hear that Pinterest can be a fantastic traffic generator.
However… for any platform or strategy that you’ve:
- Invested in learning how to use properly…
- Persisted and overcome challenges with…
- Given sufficient time to…
Be absolutely prepared to walk away from it if it doesn’t work out. Don’t hang on in there if your time could be better spent elsewhere.
Your time is finite… and it has value.
Of course be methodical with your strategies and work on them diligently to try make them successful.
But be objective… if your strategies in any platform aren’t working out, switch things up, choose a different blogging strategy and try again.
But always keep trying!
That’s all for now… thanks for reading.
I’d be interested to hear your experience of Pinterest. Drop me a comment below and let’s compare notes!
Jon Rogers says
Hey Paul, great post! Glad to know I’m not alone on this one.
Like you, I’ve become more and more disenchanted with Pinterest. I’ve dropped my pinning down to one per week just to maintain a presence on the platform.
Same issue, very little traffic since the algo change.
I’ve dabbled with promoted pins and have had decent conversion rates with those. But I’m actually now finding that their costs are going up and Google Ads are more cost efficient. It used to be the other way around.
Anyway, just thought I’d share some of my own experiences.
Hey Jon… great to hear from you!
It’s probably a good idea to keep the ball rolling a little in fairness, as you reference. I’d be interested to hear more on how and what you use Google Ads for.