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Pinterest has made changes! Are you prepared?
It’s time for Pinterest’s latest algorithm change, and in my opinion, this one is a big one! It has completely rocked my Pinterest strategy to the core and forced me to re-think everything I once knew in the course of a few hours.
This change could seriously be affecting your reach and may force you to make huge changes in your Pinterest strategy. But don’t worry! I am going to go through each step of the change, starting with what is new, what I used to do with Pinterest and finally what I (and you!) should be doing moving forward.
Change is scary, but we can handle it! Let’s jump right in!
WHAT YOU WANT TO CONSIDER WHEN CREATING PINS
Before we get into the Pinterest changes, let’s talk about what you want to consider when you’re creating pins. If you didn’t know, the Pinterest feed shows pins in chronological order. Which means, it shows whatever was pinned first- not necessarily what is best.
This means you want to be consistently creating high-quality pins to make sure your pins get seen!
CONSIDER THE JOURNEY OF THE PINNER
You also want to get into the mind of the pinner. Think beyond the image and consider the journey they are going to go on. What is their journey going to be when they find this pin, all the way up to clicking on it and reading your post! What part of their journey are they on right now, what information are they looking for and how can you help them find it?
Pro Tip: Another good question to ask is what do they need to learn next? That way you know what content to write and link in the post for them once they click on your pin! This will improve your website pageviews and lower your bounce rate!
Do this and you will have happy readers and a happy Pinterest algorithm!
THINK OF THE RELEVANCE OF THE PIN
Making sure everything is relevant to your pin is key. This means you want the blog post (before you even get to Pinterest!), the pin title, graphics, pin description and board description to all have relevant keywords to each other for the best result!
Okay, now with that out of the way, let’s get into the important stuff!
WHAT PINTEREST HAS CHANGED
Tailwind, a Pinterest approved scheduler, has come out with a blog post for the most recent changes to Pinterest. You can check out all of the Pinterest changes here. From that post, I’ll be taking a look at the most important changes I want to talk about.
1. FRESH PINTEREST PINS
While the idea that Pinterest loves “fresh pins” has been here for a while, the concept of a fresh pin has changed.
-WHAT USED TO COUNT AS A “FRESH PIN”
So, let’s say you created a pin for your dog walking school. You’d create a description for it, a pin and then you’d pin it to Pinterest. That is considered a 100% new pin.
What people were doing before the Pinterest changes, was next time they went to create new pins, they’d make a new pin and use the old description from the first dog walking pin. That used to count as a new “fresh pin”.
This is no longer the case.
–WHAT PINTEREST NOW CONSIDERS TO BE A “FRESH PIN”
By definition, a fresh pin is an image or video that Pinterest hasn’t seen before. With that slightly vague definition, you’d think a new pin with an old description would a-okay right?
Nope, and here’s why I say that.
-WHAT PINTEREST DOESN’T CONSIDER TO BE A “FRESH PIN”
-Pinning the exact same image (I imagine they are referring to the same stock image used) and changing the pin title, pin description or alt text
-Making small, almost unnoticeable changes to an image (stock image) that has already been pinned before. (Example: Shifting the image slightly to the right or zooming in the picture a small amount to try and “fool” the algorithm into thinking its a new image.)
So, if Pinterest doesn’t want us to use the same image with a new description, it’s not a far stretch to think they don’t want us using a new image with an old description either.
2. OTHER PINTEREST CHANGES
Pinterest also said that you want to pin to your most relevant boards. Again, this isn’t new information, but it is more defined now. They have come out and said that you don’t want to pin one pin to more than 10 boards. And you want those 10 boards to be your most relevant, high in keywords boards.
3. LESS IS MORE
Pinterest would rather you pin less, if that means you can create more fresh content. So what I mean is, Tailwind has said that the best performing accounts only pin 15-25 times a day.
I’m currently pinning 50 pins a day, which I originally thought was way over the mark. But after talking to the creator of this Pinterest course, I learned that the more you pin your own content (and if you pin the same links too close together) the more likely your account will get blocked for spam.
Every account is different, but pinning under 50 of your own pins a day seems to be the best way to make sure your account doesn’t get wrongfully suspended! In the end, if 25 pins will help you create more quailty pins it’s better than quantity!
It may seem a bit backwards to pin less to increase reach more, but fresh pins is key instead of over-sharing pins to fill up a quota.
4. KEYWORD SEARCH IS KEY
If fresh pins are King on Pinterest, keywords are Queen. You want everything to be relevant, even before you get to Pinterest.
You need your blog posts keywords to match the pin title, graphic, pin description and board description that you’re pinning to. And you want to pin to your most relevant board first. This will help you get the best reach on Pinterest.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR CONTENT CREATORS
These Pinterest changes mean a lot for content creators who use Pinterest as a way to drive traffic to their blog. It means;
-Creating less, but higher quality pins
-Making sure we seriously consider the boards we pin to
-Free stock photos are a thing of the past
I’ll get to each of these in detail later, but let’s start with what Pinning strategy used to work on pinterest.
MY OLD PINNING STRATEGY
This is the old pinning strategy I used to have as of… well a few hours ago. Since learning about this change, I have cleared my entire Tailwind queue, in favor of something different. Which I will get to later.
Here’s what I used to do. This is the strategy I learned from Pinterest with El, an affordable and totally recommend Pinterest course.
-CREATE NEW PINS WEEKLY
I used to dedicate my entire Sunday just to Pinterest alone (yes, Pinterest is that powerful of a traffic driver!) Moving forward, Sunday will still be dedicated to Pinterest, but the tasks will be different.
There is a lot that goes into the strategies (which you can learn more about here). But I’m going to stick to the stuff that is changing.
I’d create one pin and use that as a “template” for all of the other pins I was creating for the week.
I promoted about 15 blog posts a week. I’d choose my newest posts and my popular posts to promote. Every pin would look relatively the same, but I’d change the title and the background image.
-PIN TO RELEVANT BOARDS
After that, I’d take a look into my Tailwind analytics and see my most engaged board. Then I’d add all of my pins directly to pinterest before pinning them to Tailwind. I’d pin to the most relevant and engaged board first.
Then from there, I’d schedule with Tailwind to all other boards. Now, I knew it was recommended that you only pinned to super relevant boards, but I thought it would be better to get the content out onto Pinterest as much as possible. So, I had a few “iffy” boards or slightly not relevant boards I’d pin to. As of this new update, I am stopping this.
THE NEW PINNING STRATEGY YOU NEED TO USE
This is what I will be doing moving forward. And, as I said there is a lot more that goes into this strategy before I even get to pin creation for keyword research and deciding what blog posts to promote.
However, these are not my strategies to share since I learned them from lauren, the amazing creator of this course. If you’d like to learn more behind the scenes, I highly suggest checking her out!!
I’ve noticed that more bloggers are moving away from Tailwind in favor of manually pinning their own content. And from what I see, this seems to be really working!
However, if you’re like me, you probably have a full time job and are thinking “How the heck am I supposed to create new pins daily?!” I know, because I’m wondering about that too.
This is what I suggest you do.
-ONLY PIN 15-25 PINS A DAY (OF YOUR OWN CONTENT)
As I said before, I was pinning 50 pins a day. Most of that was my own content, but the rest was other people’s content. If you aren’t pinning at LEAST 10-15 times a day with your own content, you won’t really see much results with Pinterest.
And I know, if you’re a new blogger with not a lot of content to share yet, you’re wondering how are you supposed to pin that many times a day of your own content? Don’t worry, I got you!
-CREATE MORE THAN ONE PIN TEMPLATE
Essentially, all a lot of these full-time bloggers are doing is creating fresh content more often (daily). So, if you can’t take the time to do this daily, all you need to do to match them is to create more templates in one work session. This also works if you don’t have a lot of content to share just yet.
What I mean by this is, if you only create pins once a week like me, instead of creating one new template daily, create 3-4 in one session (or more if you’d like).
So, remember, I said what I used to do was create one pin template a week and all of the 15 blog posts I choose to promote would be a spin off of that template (in terms of design/colors/fonts ect…)
Instead, now I’m going to create more pin templates so that the content appears “fresh” in the feed and schedule them across my boards.
Then, each time you pin a different pin template, change the pin description.
-BE PICKY WITH THE BOARDS YOU ARE POSTING TO
In addition to creating more pin templates (which results in more pins) I will be more strategic about my pinning. I plan to pin to less boards. But, since I am also cutting down on the amount of pins I am pinning per day, it evens out.
Let’s explain this a little further, because it can be confusing.
So for example, Let’s say you decide to pin 25 pins a day for 7 days a week. 25 times 7 is 175 pins a week. That seems like a lot, right? But let’s break it down.
Let say you plan to promote 10 blog posts a week. You create 4 pin designs. So 10 blog posts times 4 pins each. That’s 40 pins alone right there.
Now, let’s say you plan to pin them to 5 relevant boards each. 40 times 5 is 200 pins. (Because each time you select a board for your one pin template to go to, it counts as a new pin. One pin to two boards equals two pins total)
If you’ve done this, you’re actually OVER your 25 pins of quota (or 175 in total) for the week! See how simple that was?
Now let’s stop a minute and talk about the design of pins.
-FREE STOCK PHOTOS ARE A THING OF THE PAST
This is the last of the Pinterest changes I think will affect content creators. Free stock photos.
Because, according to Pinterest, they don’t want to see an image that has been pinned before. That means it’s not a “fresh pin”. I consider the image they are talking about to be the actual stock photo you are using in your pins.
Which means, if you are using free stock photos that hundreds of other bloggers are using, you could be unintentionally hurting your own reach.
I recently switched to Canva Business (which is the paid version) because I heard this change already with the stock photos. This new information from Pinterest further confirms what some already knew.
Free stock photos are a thing of the past.
I’ve read many cases of bloggers not being able to get their pins to go “viral” until they made once change. Paid stock photos.
WHY PAID STOCK PHOTOS ARE THE WAY TO GO
While there are a lot of bloggers using free images, there are a lot less who are willing to pay for stock photos. Less people using the photos equals better Pinterest reach! This is because, as we now know, fresh pins are key (and this includes your stock photos!)
I did some research into stock photo sites- and holy moly are some expensive! Which I get, it is a lot of work to create stock photos. But when you are a blogger on a budget… that’s a no-go.
That’s when I decided on Canva business. Not only do you get access to an absurd amount of paid stock photos, but you also get all of Canva’s other amazing paid features too like the resize tool and more branding options!
If you’re short on cash, Canva business is the way to go!
-WHAT IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD CANVA BUSINESS OR STOCK PHOTOS SITES?
If you are on a tight budget and can’t afford to pay for stock photo subscription sites, there is still hope for you.
-You can do your best to make the free stock photos look unique.
By cropping different ways, zooming in on images significantly, or whatever else you can think of
-You can create your own images.
This is actually the best case scenario because these images that you’ve taken are never seen before on the internet. But, what you make up in savings in one area, you lose in another.
Buying a good camera or lighting if you don’t have it already, buying props for stock photos. And time; learning how to take photos and even taking your own photos is time-consuming as well!
The best time saving suggestion is just pay for stock photo sites, but this is another option if you want to do it yourself!
So, in the end, these heavy Pinterest changes are shifting more towards fresh pins than ever before. The best thing to do, is do your best. You might have to change up your Pinterest strategy but in the end, I think this change is for the best!
If you’ve made it to the end of the post, I have to say congrats! This one was a long one. And stay tuned for way more Pinterest content coming your way, because after this new update, I have a ton of ideas for the future!