We all love Pinterest, right? Whether you use Pinterest for your writing business or just for your own personal inspiration board, everyone who is on Pinterest loves Pinterest. And there are still certain Pinterest mistakes we should try to avoid at all costs.

The people who use it primarily for personal use love how easy it is to organize our inspiration: recipes we want to try, clothes we want to sew, things we want to learn, places we want to go. And for those of us who use it for business? Well, it’s pretty hard to beat the traffic that comes from this particular channel. No other social channel really comes close to the return on effort and time spent.

And I know what you’re going to say: Pinterest isn’t really a social channel, it’s a search engine…

Yes, I know that. But it’s a social search engine. It’s not Google, m’kay? We can’t forget the social part.

But I digress.

As awesome as Pinterest is, it can only be as good as it’s users, right?

It wouldn’t be very good as an inspirational cork board or as a marketing tool if all it ever served up were dead links and spam, right? No one would ever use it.

So, to help with that, here is a list of Pinterest mistakes for you to avoid:

Five things you should never, ever pin on Pinterest.

Stolen Pins.

I know, sometimes it can be hard to tell whether or not a pin has been stolen. Especially if you are just running through Pinterest for a few minutes to save some things and not actively searching for anything. However, of all the Pinterest mistakes you could make, this one is probably the worst. Pinning or repinning a stolen pin can come with some serious consequences — including getting your entire account shut down. So it’s definitely not worth the risk.

But how can you tell if a pin is stolen?

The easiest way to tell is to see if it leads to what it says it’s going to lead to. Hopefully, the pin in question will have some branding on it somewhere – a logo or a watermark or something that tells you who the original belongs to. If the pin leads to any other site, then it’s likely stolen. At that point, your best bet is to either search for a different pin to pin or go to the site you were looking for and pin directly from there.

You can also let the owner of the original pin know that it has been stolen and send them a link to the pin you’ve found. Although this isn’t required, it would truly be appreciated by most of us.

If you’re not sure and can’t check right away, save the pin to a secret board and come back to it later. That way, there is no way for someone else to come across your pin and report it as stolen before you’ve had a chance to check it out.

Pins that Go Nowhere.

Remember that time you were searching for something and thought you found your answer, only to follow the link right to someone’s homepage instead of to the actual article you wanted? Or worse — following it into a dead end?

Ugh!

Neither of these scenarios is helpful. When people click on a pin in Pinterest, they want to go directly to the recipe or article the pin is promoting. They don’t want to have to start searching around some other website to find their answers.

Once again, the only real way to know for sure if the pin you’re about to pin leads to a good link or a bad link is to check it out. If you’re pinning on the fly and don’t have time at the moment, then again, save it to a secret board to be reviewed later. Better for those pins to just die in secret than to continue to plague the rest of us by getting shared over and over again.

Pins your Ideal Client Doesn’t Care About.

There’s a time and a place for personal and business pins. Does your ideal client care about your fantasy wedding? Or which recipes you want to try? Maybe…but if she isn’t interested in trying those same recipes, then pinning them to your account is not going to help draw her to you. In fact, pinning those things may draw the wrong person to your Pinterest profile. So before you pin or repin anything, you need to think about this: does your ideal client care about this? And would your ideal client follow you if she sees this pin?

There are some exceptions to this rule, of course. But for the most part, everything you pin to your account should be something your ideal client is interested in.

Pins that Have no Description.

Pinning or repinning something because it has a pretty picture or an interesting title isn’t going to do anyone any good. First of all, those descriptions are important pieces of a pin’s SEO factor. And there are 500 characters for you to use to help people find that pin and tell them what it’s about.

Of course, not everyone understands the power of a description, and you may find some people (especially consumers) will pin or repin something without even looking at the description. However, without those descriptions, you’re relying solely on your reputation and the image itself to show up in search results. And that’s not a very reliable way of bringing someone to you. You want to make sure your ideal client can find you at the moment they are searching for an answer you provide. And the best way for that to happen is if your pins have a good, easy to read, keyword-rich description.

And by “keyword-rich,” no I don’t mean keyword-stuffed.

Pins that are All Keywords and No Substance.

Pinterest. Pinterest Marketing. Pinterest Mistakes. Mistakes in Pinterest Marketing. Mistakes to Avoid. Marketing Mistakes. What not to repin. What not to repin on Pinterest.

Can you read all that? Does it make sense to you? Can you honestly read through that line and glean any information about the post at all?

Probably not. Maybe you’ll get “Pinterest mistakes” — but that’s about it. Not very helpful at all.

For one thing, there’s no context included. What type of mistakes? Where on Pinterest?

Is Pinterest making these mistakes?

If you, as a human, are having trouble gleaning the context from that sentence, imagine what a search engine is going through. Search engines are becoming more and more sophisticated because they have to return results that a human is looking for. That means they have to think like humans. They use relevance and context to help rank their results. So if a human can’t read the sentence, chances are a search engine can’t either, and that pin will get ranked lower.

Additionally, in the off chance that this pin does get found, what are the chances that someone will click on it based on that description? Not very high. And if you’re using Pinterest for business, then the point of everything you pin or repin should be to get people to your profile, to follow you, and to click through to your website, shop, or blog.

Gee, that seems like a lot of rules, doesn’t it?

Here’s the deal — you get a lifetime limit of 200,000 pins on Pinterest. Two hundred thousand. That’s it. And that includes pins on your secret boards as well as pins you leave on someone else’s group boards. And using a scheduler like Tailwind to keep you going is great, but it can also make it hard to keep count of your pins. If you’re pinning between 72 and 100 pins a day, you’re looking at a maximum of 7.6-5.4 years before you’re maxed out.

Are you planning on staying in business longer than five and a half to seven and a half years?

I am.

So it’s important that you pin and repin the posts that are going to be the most efficient. Avoid stolen pins, pins that will have a hard time getting found, and pins that aren’t going to convert so your Pinterest account will have the highest return for you possible.

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