When I was compiling a post about the most popular Pinterest recipe pins of all time, it got me thinking: WHY are some of these pins so massively successful? It’s hard to imagine that some recipe pins are nearing or have surpassed a million repins.
When you think about it, it’s actually amazing: a well crafted little box on a social media network of other little boxes can somehow drive millions of clicks to a website. And behind those clicks are real life human beings. Human beings that are ready to read your stuff and maybe even make a purchase.
A lot of bloggers read this website. And the number one thing most bloggers would like to improve (besides their income) is their traffic. Sound like you?
Admit it. You’re jealous.
You wish you were a Pinterest All-Star. But you’re not.
You don’t have a pin that has been saved over 1,000,000 times.
Or even 10,000.
You’ve put in a ton of hard work. Hundreds of hours even. Meticulously crafting your pin descriptions, brainstorming catchy titles and promoting your content on social media.
And what does it amount to? 48 repins and 390 total click-throughs to your website. Sometimes not even that. And then it dies.
You don’t really know how to pin.
So what are you doing wrong?
Why aren’t you having the same success that the heavy hitters of Pinterest are having? Why don’t your pins ever go viral?
Well I’ll give you the extremely simple answer. Half of it is your fault…and half of it kinda isn’t.
The 50% That IS Your Fault
You are set in your ways. And you’re too stubborn to change.
Odds are you read something along the way and you went with it (and you’ve been doing it ever since). Perpetuating this cycle is that whatever you read probably wasn’t high quality content to begin with and now you’re endlessly making the same mistakes over and over again. You think that things will start to get better over time.
You tell yourself that it’s a process…
That things will get better…right?
Wrong. Stop repeating the same mistakes over and over.
Spend less time doing and spend more time learning. Too often people jump in because they’re too eager to get started.
Stop. Study the success of others. What are these people doing that you are not?
What is it EXACTLY that they are doing that you are not?
I am not telling you to copy others…but I am telling you to copy others. After-all, there is a reason these users have the most popular Pinterest pins of all time and you don’t.
What are your competitors doing well that you are not? Learn from their success. Find out what they are doing and then brainstorm ways you can offer something unique. Something that keeps users coming back to you and not your competition.
Accept that you don’t know it all. Accept there is probably a better way to be doing things and be flexible enough to change. Accept that what you are doing isn’t working and that you need to learn what does. You’re pinning but you don’t know how to pin.
The 50% That Isn’t Your Fault
Pinterest has changed.
If it makes you feel any better, a lot of these pins became so successful, in part, due to now defunct Pinterest algorithms. In years past, Pinterest’s sorting algorithm placed more emphasis on the recency of a pin.
If a pin was saved recently to a particular board that you a followed, a user was far more likely to see that particular pin on their feed. It was a positive feed back loop of sorts. If you pinned a particular pin frequently (or others saved your pin frequently), it was weighted more heavily/was more likely to be shown. As such, group boards expanded the visibility of pins immensely.
Unfortunately your road to virality nowadays is much more convoluted. Pinterest’s newer “smart” algorithms place a much higher emphasis on the pure quality of a pin. They want freshly optimized high quality content from proven track-record users (fresh content bias, high CTR’s, account history/followers, landing page quality and domain authority).
Interestingly enough, Pinterest’s recent focus on the freshness of content in their algorithms means that it will actually be harder to reach the top than it ever was before. That doesn’t mean Pinterest is dead for driving traffic…it just means you will no longer be rewarded with copious amounts of traffic despite producing low quality content. You need to learn how to pin with a purpose.
How To Pin More Effectively
- Learn more about what contributes to high title CTR (click thru rate)
- Focus more on the aspects of a quality pin description
- Focus on creating quality, fresh content…often
- Accept that what you’re currently doing isn’t working OR that you can do better; you have not learned it all
- Learn more about human psychology (as it pertains to higher CTRs on pin images…i.e. what colors to include/WHY people click on the pins they do)
- Learn about what people WANT to read about (if you write about things that pertain to small niches…expect small traffic).
- Learn how to pin at the right times
- Learn about the “-ates” (automate and curate)
You need to accept Pinterest for what it is.
It is an algorithm. It doesn’t care if you like your pins or if you are proud of them.
Pinterest wants to know if OTHERS are proud of your pins. Do they like them? Do they want to share them? That’s how Pinterest decides if your pin is actually good or not.
You can have the highest quality content in the entire world but if you’re making the same mistakes over and over again Pinterest is never going to like you. They’re never going to show your pins.
Study the success of others. Emulate it.
It will start to pay off.
For more specific tactics to start crushing Pinterest, check out How to Increase Your Pinterest Engagement 115,726.67% in 100 Days.