10 Fatal Pinterest Mistakes You Are Probably Making

So let me guess, you’ve been on Pinterest for several months now and you’re scratching your head thinking “Why am I not getting more followers? Why aren’t my pins getting repinned?”

Many Pinterest users have unrealistic expectations about how to create a successful Pinterest account. Somehow they think that if you just push a bunch of pretty images out onto Pinterest you’re all set!

Getting high engagement on Pinterest is no different than getting high engagement on any other social network. You are building relationships online and that takes time… just like it does in real life.

Success on Pinterest isn’t just one thing; there are multiple factors that contribute to operating a successful account. I have said this before; there is a lot of science to Pinterest success.

The challenge for many bloggers, marketers and business owners is they think that they can just wing it on Pinterest. Ask yourself? What important goals did you successfully achieve in life by winging it?

Make no mistake about it, you are competing for eye balls and attention on Pinterest… are you playing to win or mailing it in?

Are you making these 10 fatal Pinterest mistakes?

1. You don’t have a plan

Pinterest marketing has to start with a cohesive plan. Starting on Pinterest without a plan is like wondering through a forest without a map. Would you seriously do that?

As you know social media networks changes constantly. If you think that reading every blog post out there is the smart way to learn Pinterest well, I hate to burst your bubble – it’s not. How do you really know if what you are reading is up to date?

Brainstorm about your goals & think on paper. What are you hoping to achieve through Pinterest? If you’re not sure where to start go to my website and get Chapter 1 of my Pinterest course for free. It’s a video tutorial and all the info is up to date. It’s the best way to start on Pinterest for businesses because it gives you a strong foundation to build from. There is a lot of science that goes into Pinterest success.

2. You’re too lazy to add pin descriptions

At the end of the day you want your pinning activities to drive more traffic to your website right? Without traffic there’s no transaction.

One of the biggest mistakes I see being made over and over again is how Pinterest users ignore crafting eye grabbing, attention sucking pin descriptions.

I often just see hashtags, or one liners, or even just one word. I think it is because it is so much more fun to pin while creating pin descriptions feels more like work! Guess what? It is!

Have a look at this image below. Why just use the same title as the rich pin? Use this space to entice pinners to click through this image. What’s so special about this sauce? What do you love about it?

poor pin descriptions

Raspberry Sauce.  You’re kidding me?  How is that a magnet for a click thru?

Pinterest pin descriptions are more important than ever before. Powered by user supplied captions and comments, Pinterest categorizes your pins based on your pin descriptions. One of the most powerful & important ways to improve your search results is to sharpen your pin descriptions.

However here’s the catch! Pin descriptions on Android cuts off at around 125 characters depending on the width of the letters. Over 75% of Pinterest users use their mobile device so you want to make sure that your most vital information and keywords are in your first 125 characters.

3. You don’t have enough helpful pins

Pinterest isn’t all about you. Practice the 80/20 rule which means 80 percent of your pins should be content that your target audience wants, needs and would love.  How will the info you share help them solve their pressing problems? Are you pinning with a caring heart? It’s all about other PEOPLE.  Stop talking about yourself so much!

4. You’re still naming your contests Pin It To Win It

As a Pinterest consultant it’s my job to keep up with Pinterest’s news & features and how you can apply them in your marketing campaigns. More importantly pinners using Pinterest for their business must know Pinterest’s new rules to avoid being shut down. There’s a lot of information out there and I know how challenging it is to keep up with all of Pinterest’s new rules.

As you can see in the image below Pinterest specifically states “Don’t call your contest a “Pin it to win it” contest.

Pinterest contest guidelines

5. You’re inviting people too soon

One of the most common Pinterest tactics that I’m sure you’ve come across is that you need to follow pinners so that they’ll hopefully follow you. While I totally agree with this tactic it’s not a black and white rule. Make sure your Pinterest page is properly set-up before you start following or inviting pinners to check you out.

Have a look at this pinner below who followed me. Did they give me a good reason to follow them back? Unfortunately as much as I would love to reciprocate in some way I was turned off immediately by this kind of effort.

They have 1 board with 3 pins. I’m actually surprised they even received over 300 followers.

How to fail on Pinterest


Inviting your contacts to check out your Pinterest page is like inviting your friends to a party. Can you imagine going to a party and only to find no place to sit and only one kind of appetizer was served? Ayayay! If you’re going to go through the trouble of opening up an account make a commitment to do it right.

Clearly this business has no clue what they’re doing. If they think that by following several pinners will give them more traffic and drive sales to their site they are so mistaken.

6. Your boards are nauseating

I often see many accounts that are nauseating because their boards are just all over the place. What I mean by that is I see multiple boards that are in the food and drink category but they are scattered everywhere.

I look at your Pinterest account like I’m walking into a store, a museum, an exhibit and hey even your closet. Your boards represent your products & your brand quality so select the images carefully and merchandise them in such a way that they flow nicely giving the customer a better shopping experience. Have a look at the photo below. Which one is more appealing to you?

How to arrange your PInterest boards


Failing to give purposeful thought to how you arrange your boards can be a nauseating experience for pinners and undermine your brand value at the same time. My rule is when you have over 100 boards arrange them alphabetically.

7. You’re a hashtag maniac

I came across an article on how Southern Swim used a marketing tactic that used several hashtags instead of writing pin descriptions. Are you kidding me? If you go to their account you will see how several of their pins are not getting repins.

This looks ridiculously spammy and will not produce any good results. In fact hashtags will not help you rank higher on Pinterest’s search engine instead focus on keywords in your pin descriptions.


Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 11.52.06 AM


8. You are buying followers to look good

Did you know that Pinterest does not allow companies to sell you followers? Go on Google and type in “buy Pinterest followers” and you’ll see dozens of sites that offers this service. I also see several pinners, bloggers and marketers brag about how many followers they’ve received because they bought a plan of some type to get more followers.

Buying followers to look good is a serious no no in social media. Buying people to follow you is the most artificial way to build relationships online. You know that saying you can’t buy love? This holds true on Pinterest. Building your followers takes time especially during the first few months. Remember the time when you moved to a new neighborhood or landed a new job? Do you actually think you’re going to have masses of friends in your first week?

What makes you think that these followers have any intention of doing business with you? What makes you think these followers are even real? Do you know how many Pinterest accounts I come across that are obviously fake?

The solution: Follow you target audience and engage with them by repinning their content, and commenting on their pins.

9. You go on a pinning frenzy

We all love the easiest and quickest way to do things. But if you think that pinning a bunch of pictures is going to bring you more followers – it won’t. As a matter of fact it’s the opposite. Pinners don’t want to see you pushing multiple pins in their home feed especially if it’s the same kind of image. Do you?

 You need to spread out your pins to give yourself more exposure. If you’re pinning all 10 images at 1pm versus pinning those 10 images every 30 minutes from 1 – 5:30 which approach do you think will get more pins? Not all 10 at once. I guarantee you 100% that a lot less people will see them.

In addition, you can have the greatest images but if you’re pinning when your target audience is not on Pinterest then all that hard work creating those pretty images won’t matter one bit. I use ViralTag’s scheduling tool and I love how it helps me pin when my target audience is on line so am not glued to my computer all day pinning for the accounts I manage.

10. You’re not measuring your results

How do you really know if what you’re doing on Pinterest is working?

It’s important because I want to know if I should continue with my current Pinterest marketing plans or if I need to change my tactics.

Put it this way. If you’ve ever been on a diet and most of us have, you would most likely follow a meal plan and then you would weight yourself regularly to see if you were making progress…is the meal plan was working?

So why wouldn’t you track your Pinterest efforts & performance the same way?

Pinterest is no different; if you want to drive more traffic and sales to your website checking the results of your efforts regularly is an important item to have on your checklist.

The solution: Verify your site so you have access to Pinterest’s analytics which will provide you some basic metrics like who’s pinning from your site and your highest repins.


Pinterest analytics


If you’re not sure you’re doing it right on Pinterest then get help from an expert who knows what they’re doing. If you want to get a serious ROI then you need to make an investment. Don’t be cheap about education. I highly recommend you take a course that is up to date because Pinterest makes changes all the time. What might work yesterday may not work today. There are rules you need to keep up with and features you want to make sure you are using to give you the best results your account deserves.

If you want to earn more, you’ve got to learn more.

My Pinterest course uses a sequential design. What that means is lessons are presented in a step by step formula to teach you how to manage your Pinterest business account effectively beginning with the basics and as you progress through the course you learn more and more advanced techniques. Those advanced techniques are built upon the foundation laid from successfully completing the basics which are taught first in my course. That is what I mean by the lessons are sequential.


What additional mistakes do you see Pinterest users make?

If this is overwhelming for you and you feel like you are going around and around with Pinterest and not getting anywhere contact me about my Pinterest management services or to learn more about my Pinterest Marketing Course for Business.