Hand holds Pinterest logotype printed on paper

The 5 Biggest Pinterest Myths Debunked

There are some ideas about Pinterest that has been repeated so many times by “gurus” that people believe them as fact. In your quest for Pinterest traffic, you may have unknowingly swallowed up these Pinterest myths. It’s time to unlearn them.

By buying into these myths, you end up wasting time on unimportant tasks, obsessing over vanity metrics, or even using Pinterest incorrectly. In this post, I’m going to unveil the biggest Pinterest myths and debunk them once and for all.  Let’s jump right in.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links as explained in my disclosure policy.

Monthly viewers are the most important metric

Chances are that while scrolling through Pinterest, you’ve come across pins that make claims like ‘How I Grew My Pinterest Monthly Viewers To 2 Million’ or “How To Get 1,000,000 Pinterest Monthly Viewers.’ Please pay no attention to those types of pins. Monthly viewers are the number one vanity metric on Pinterest! They seem impressive but have little to no impact on your traffic. 

Monthly viewers refer to the number of people who have seen any pin you’ve shared on Pinterest in the last 30 days. In other words, it’s the number of impressions pins you’ve saved have received in total. That’s a combination of your own pins and other people’s pins that you’ve saved. For instance, you can see the monthly viewers for my travel blog below. At the time, I was getting around 35k monthly page views from Pinterest. My Pinterest monthly viewers have risen as high as 900k, but my Pinterest traffic stayed the same or declined.

Pinterest monthly viewers on Pinterest account

I’ve found that there’s no correlation between your monthly viewers and the number of page views Pinterest sends you. Sometimes this number falls while my page views from Pinterest rise. Sometimes it’s the reverse. I’ve seen this with my own account as well as those of my clients. Also, this number seems to go up and down every week.

If more people are seeing the pins you save, that should be a good sign, right? Well, sort of. I think monthly viewers are most relevant when your Pinterest account is new. It means your reach on Pinterest is expanding, but it doesn’t mean that more people are saving or clicking your pins.

You can rapidly grow your monthly viewers simply by pinning a lot more. If you go from pinning 10 times a day to 20 times a day, you’ll almost certainly see a spike in your monthly viewers. But will you see a spike in your traffic? Not necessarily. That depends on other factors, like the quality of your pins and your use of keywords.

If your Pinterest monthly viewers aren’t important, then what matters?

The most important Pinterest metric is how much traffic it drives to your blog or website. 

The whole point of using Pinterest is to get more traffic to grow your sales, right? So your pageviews from Pinterest should be the number you pay the most attention to. You can find out how many page views Pinterest sends you using Google Analytics. Let’s a look at some Pinterest stats from my first blog.

Pinterest traffic 38,000 monthly page views

As you can see, Pinterest sent me almost 39,000 page views that month. I check my Pinterest traffic on Google Analytics at least once a week. I want to see how much traffic I’m getting and what posts are sending that traffic. Pageviews and sessions are the metrics that matter if you’re using Pinterest for traffic. You can ignore your monthly viewers altogether unless your Pinterest account is less than 6 months old.

You need thousands of followers for your pins to get clicks

Pinterest is not a popularity contest, at least not in the same sense as traditional social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Pinterest users rarely look at your profile. They spend much of their time on their home feeds or on the Pinterest search results page. After all, Pinterest is a visual search engine. It may have elements of a social network, but likes and followers don’t matter as much. 

That’s why Pinterest levels the playing field for bloggers. You can start on be brand new to the platform and still drive massive traffic to your site, as long as you focus on the following things:

Pinterest SEO

You must understand how to use keywords to get your content found on Pinterest. This means you should include the keywords on your profile, board titles, board descriptions, pin titles, pin descriptions. The good news is that Pinterest SEO is a lot easier than Google SEO. I mastered Pinterest SEO by taking this course, which breaks it down with easy-to-follow video tutorials. 

Pin Design

You want to create click-worthy pins that grab Pinterest users’ attention and also give them a compelling reason to head over to your blog. This includes using high-quality images, legible fonts, and colors that stand out. The dimensions of your pins a very important. Pinterest recommends a 2:3 ratio so pins that are 600 x 900 pixels or 1000 x 1500 pixels do well. You don’t have to stick to the 2:3 ratio, but make sure that your pins are long and vertical.

Pinning Strategy

Your pinning strategy consists of what you pin, how often you pin, and whether you use manual or automated pinning. I’ve tried both manual and automated pinning. Based on my experience, I believe that manual pinning is better when you have a new Pinterest account. It gives you more control over your pinning strategy and helps you understand how Pinterest works first hand. Once you’ve started getting some traffic from Pinterest, then you can automate your pinning.  

You need to join as many group boards as possible

Group boards used to be the surefire way to quickly get tons of traffic from Pinterest. That was until June 2018, when Pinterest decided to stop showing as much content from group boards. Pinterest users were spamming group boards with their pins instead of using them for their original purpose – collaboration. Instead, Pinterest modified its algorithm to display pins that are saved to well-keyworded personal boards.

You don’t need to join a single group board to be successful on Pinterest. The reason why you don’t need group boards goes back to how the Pinterest algorithm works. When you save a pin to Pinterest, the algorithm goes to work to determine what your pin is about and when to show it to users. The Pinterest algorithm indexes your pin based on:

  • The detected image(s) on the pin
  • The pin title
  • The pin description
  • The pin URL
  • The board name (that the pin is saved to)
  • The board description

It’s more important to have personal boards that are optimized for Pinterest SEO than to join tons of group boards. Well-keyworded personal boards combined with creating click-worthy pins and pinning consistently form part of a solid Pinterest strategy.

This isn’t to say that group boards aren’t useful at all. Niche-specific group boards can help you get your pins in front of more users. For instance, I’ve joined 75+ travel group boards for my travel blog’s Pinterest account. In reality, only about 15-20 or those group boards are actually engaged and useful. That’s why I’m not focusing as much on group boards in growing as much for this blog’s Pinterest strategy. I’m applying to a handful of engaged, online business-focused group boards and that’s it.

As long as you’re practicing good Pinterest SEO, you can teach Pinterest what your pins are about. You don’t need group boards to do that. The better Pinterest understands your pins, the more likely it is to show them on search results and as related content.

Pinterest share threads will help your pins go viral

There are hundreds if not thousands of blogging Facebook groups that host weekly Pinterest share threads. On a dedicated post, you share a link to your pin and other members of the group will save your pin to their boards. Usually, for everyone who shares your pin, you have to reciprocate the gesture. Other times, you have to save every single pin that’s shared on the thread. These threads can have hundreds of participants, which means you may spend hours saving other people’s pins.

Bloggers participate in these tedious Facebook threads because they think doing so will expand their reach. By creating artificial repins, they hope to get their pins to go viral. The reality is that Pinterest share threads, especially those that are not niche-specific, are a terribly inefficient way to grow your reach on Pinterest.

In fact, Pinterest share threads can be harmful to your Pinterest strategy. You may end up being forced to share low-quality content and irrelevant topics to your Pinterest account. In addition, for the amount of time you spend saving other people’s content, you don’t get a good return on investment. You’ll be lucky to get 50 repins. Pinterest share threads are just not worth the time and effort.

You need to use Tailwind to schedule your pins 

Tailwind home page

Tailwind is a popular Pinterest scheduler that bloggers and online business owners use to automate their pinning. It has become so popular that those new to Pinterest automatically believe they need to use it. Almost every Pinterest course recommends Tailwind, which has a generous affiliate program. I’m an affiliate for Tailwind myself but I don’t recommend it for Pinterest newbies, and I know that you don’t need it to get traffic from Pinterest. 

In fact, some bloggers have argued that manual pinning is more effective than scheduling your pins. While I don’t necessarily believe this is the case all the time, I think there’s some merit to that viewpoint. For instance, mommy blogger, Carly Campbell, uses manual pinning to drive 200,000 monthly page views to her blog. She discusses her Pinterest strategy in her course, Pinteresting Strategies. I like Tailwind because it saves time and helps you plan your Pinterest content ahead of time. However, I don’t think you need to run out and get it. 

Which of these myths surprised you the most? Comment below.

Helpful Pinterest Tools

If you want to grow your traffic with Pinterest, here are some additional tools and resources I would recommend.

PicMonkey – I use PicMonkey to make professional-looking pins to promote my blog posts and affiliate products. It comes with a wide variety of fonts, templates, and many cool features.

Canva – I use this to make pins in addition to PicMonkey. It’s easier to use if you’re new to graphic design but isn’t as sophisticated as PicMonkey. It does come with 400,000 premium photos, which is 100x more than PicMonkey.

DepositPhotos – This is my go-to source for high-quality stock photos that I use in both blog posts and pins. The website has over 70 million stock photos, covering virtually every topic you can think of! Deposit Photos is one essential tool that has improved my blog’s appearance and skyrocketed my traffic. I can’t recommend it enough!

Pinterest Ninja – This beginner Pinterest course teaches you the fundamentals of keyword research, pin design, and branding. It’s taught by Pinterest marketing expert, Megan Johnson, who gets 8-10k page views a day from Pinterest.

Pinteresting Strategies – Want to learn how to get massive traffic from Pinterest without a scheduler? This is by far the best course for that. It’s taught my mommy blogger, Carly Carly Campbell, gets 200,000 page views a month from Pinterest using manual pinning. 

One more thing: if you found this post helpful, please share it!