So you’re using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog or website. If you’re not, you should be! But success depends on doing Pinterest right. And in February 2020, everything Pinterest was turned on its head.
If you’re searching through Pinterest or Google or YouTube for ‘Pinterest Tips’, ‘Pinterest For Bloggers’. ‘Pinterest For Business’, ‘How Pinterest Works’ etc, beware anything written or recorded before February 2020.
Because it will be out of date.
Something massive happened in the world of Pinterest. And it affects everyone who is trying to grow their Pinterest profile and drive more traffic to their website, store, funnel or blog.
Don’t worry, I’m here to keep you right up to date. And to suggest ways you can keep on the right side of Pinterest and not have your account suspended.
What??!! That’s right, there’s a danger that pinning practices employed before February 2020 may put you in danger of having your account suspended under the new rules.
But I’ve got two essential tools to keep you in line and make sure that doesn’t happen!
First things first…
What has changed on Pinterest?
Much has been said over the years – though not everyone has followed it – that you’ll get better results from Pinterest if you stick to the 80:20 rule – 80% of the content on your boards being repins of other people’s content, and 20% being your own, original pins.
It seems the 80:20 rule still exists today – but in REVERSE.
Pinterest is now rewarding fresh, original content. It wants to see more variety on its boards.
If you don’t start creating more of your own content, you’ll almost certainly see your number of monthly viewers, and therefore those who engage with you – and ultimately your traffic – take a dive.
And if you keep on using the same pins, sharing them to your own and other people’s boards time and time again, you put yourself at risk of having your account suspended for not following the ‘best practices’.
The same applies if you pin too many times in a day, or week – Pinterest is fighting off spammers, basically – and thankfully – but anyone can get caught up in the wrong crowd if they don’t follow the new rules.
How do we know what Pinterest is thinking?
This is a really good question to ask, because if you follow Pinterest’s own Newsroom updates, they traditionally haven’t given a lot of detail.
They won’t give specific numbers about how many pins is too many, for example, because that plays into the hands of spammers (they would just keep their activity a few below the limit).
So how do we know that Pinterest has changed the rules? Because they are working closer than ever with their official partner, Tailwind.
I know about the crucial changes because the people at Tailwind told me.
In a moment I’ll reveal the importance of fresh images for Pinterest users in 2020. But first just a few words about Tailwind, and why it’s now a crucial tool for businesses and bloggers on Pinterest.
Tailwind is, at heart, a Pinterest scheduler tool, but it offers so much more in terms of analytics and options to make life so much easier so you don’t have to actually spend so much time on Pinterest in order to get great results.
It has always been a must-have tool for anyone seeking to build their audience on Pinterest, but now TAILWIND IS AN ESSENTIAL PINTEREST TOOL for two new reasons:
- Pinterest appears to be using Tailwind to send out information about important updates to best practices and algorithm changes;
- Tailwind has worked closely with Pinterest before the February 2020 changes came into play, and now offers security against your Pinterest account being suspended. Tailwind monitors your pinning activity, and if you are not sticking to the rules, Tailwind will inform you how to fix things before it is too late through its new feature, ‘SmartGuide’.
Like I said, Tailwind is an essential tool for Pinterest users in 2020. There are other schedulers out there, but they don’t have the relationship with Pinterest that Tailwind does. The two come very much as a pair these days.
If, like me, you’re already a Tailwind user, you’ll notice a host of great new features on your dashboard that make it far easier to achieve success on Pinterest in 2020.
If you don’t use Tailwind – maybe you’ve been considering it but haven’t been convinced it was absolutely necessary – then please, please just take advantage of this TAILWIND FREE TRIAL.
You’ll be able to schedule 100 pins and do it in the right way. You can only see what I mean by trying it out.
It’s worth mentioning Tailwind Tribes here. These are like group boards, only without the spam. These are groups – tribes – of people who are serious about their Pinterest presence – that’s why they are on Tailwind.
You can share their best pins to your boards, and of course, more importantly, share your best content with them.
Tribe members can have hundreds of thousands of followers and that’s why so many people report that Tailwind helps them skyrocket their blog/website traffic.
But crucially in 2020, Tailwind will allow you to do all this sharing and repinning within the new rules of Pinterest. You will be warned if your pinning is in danger of getting you into trouble.
By the way, if you’re using Instagram, Tailwind has a whole different scheduling and follower-boosting tool for that platform, too.
What counts as fresh content?
Another essential nugget of information, and one answered by Pinterest Partner Manager Lucy Matthews, when Tailwind posed the question…
A ‘pin’ is composed of an image, often with a text overlay, which is what we see as we search (remember, Pinterest is an extremely powerful visual search engine).
Each pin should have a title and pin description, with a link to a web page to find out more about the subject matter.
Traditionally, people have re-pinned these to many boards, many times over, to reach more people.
That will now be frowned upon.
Unless the pin looks different.
It seems, from what Pinterest has suggested to Tailwind, that you don’t really have to change the pin title. Or description. Or the URL you send people to.
What’s important is that you change the IMAGE.
And though it hasn’t been confirmed 100%, I would advise changing the wording too, when you have words on your pin. Because Pinterest uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to read those words, and if they are deemed part of the ‘image’, repeated use of the same phrases may be penalised as well.
Yes, I know, you’re trying to use keywords to rank higher. I’m just saying be careful not to overdo it.
And thankfully, that’s where using Tailwind comes in handy as they’ll keep you right, guiding you every step of the way. Tailwind is a welcome safety net and support to have in these changing times!
Do I need a new image for each new pin?
Tailwind cheekily suggested to Pinterest that moving an image a few pixels across might constitute a ‘new’ image. Not so.
This kind of manipulation goes against the whole reason for the Pinterest changes – to cut down on similar or identical content, and fight spam.
Pinterest’s Lucy Matthews explains: “My advice would be to really focus on creating unique images that are helpful and inspiring to pinners.
“The better you are at that, the more future-proof your processes and strategy will be.”
So it seems that Pinterest will look at tiny changes and consider them as no change at all.
Lucy continues: “We (at Pinterest) really understand the need for content creators to maximise their reach on each piece of content, and that some duplication is natural.
“But my advice is that, in the long run, it will be best to maximise your reach by focusing your time and energy on generating more relevant and fresh content for pinners.”
How do I find so many new images?
You may struggle to find suitable fresh images, that both fit the pin topic and aren’t subject to copyright.
Signing up to stock image galleries can be expensive and stealing from search engine images is fraught with danger – don’t risk it!
This is where my second ‘essential’ tool comes into play.
I’ve been a huge fan and avid user of Canva for a long time, and for many different projects. But for use with Pinterest, I always found it essential, to be honest.
Now that we all need a larger supply of images, it has become even more essential.
Canva – a web-based, user-friendly, beginner-friendly, design factory – can be used free of charge.
It gives you a huge amount of expertly designed templates for pins, to the exact proportions that Pinterest recommends.
As if that wasn’t reason enough to use Canva, you can get your choice of a perfect, high quality, royalty-free new image with ease.
In total, for all uses (Pinterest pins to social media posts to newsletters to CVs to much, much more) Canva offers more than 8,000 free templates and hundreds of thousands of free photographs and graphics.
An inexpensive subscription to Canva Pro gives you access to more than 60,000 templates and more than 4 MILLION photos and graphics. And they’re great quality too.
Canva Pro also allows you to upload your own fonts and logos, allows you to save designs with a transparent background and much more.
You can enjoy a FREE TRIAL OF CANVA PRO here to see what all the fuss is about. I bet you’ll be glad you did!
And let’s not forget…
Pinterest Now Loves Video
Yes, video is the way to go across social media to get more engagement with your audience, and Pinterest has realised this, too.
And Pinterest has acted – search for pins now and you’ll see a number of them with moving images as the video pins play before your eyes.
With Canva Pro, it is easy to make a video pin, so you have no excuse for falling foul of Pinterest’s new rules.
All you have to do is design several ‘pages’ of one pin – much like when you are putting together a carousel pin – and then save as an animation. Canva will turn your work into an impressive video pin!
Pinterest in 2020: Conclusion
So, Pinterest has changed. Everyone building a business or profile on Pinterest will have to change, too.
But there are tools to make the transition a simple one – and they’ll improve your Pinterest techniques greatly at the same time.
While there are other design packages than Canva available, I haven’t found one that comes remotely close to Canva Pro for providing everything I need for pretty much every digital or printed project I’ve worked on recently.
It’s hundreds of dollars / pounds cheaper than Photoshop.
And it’s ideal for use with Pinterest.
Don’t fall behind the times. Your Pinterest presence will suffer if you do. And you should know by now, Pinterest is mightily impressive at driving traffic to where you need it.
Onwards and upwards, pinners!