Let’s face it folks, Pinterest is a finicky beast. They are constantly changing things up and sometimes those changes can mean that your Pinterest traffic TANKS. I mean, totally flatlines. This can have a devastating effect on your bottom line, so you need to take some swift and decisive action to get things back on track.
I had this happen with a client recently. After a recent algorithm change, her traffic dropped like a rock and stayed that way for a couple of weeks. And it was totally unexpected – this client is a top NYC fashion blogger – lots of great photography, plenty of fresh pins, and of course I was pinning for her within all the proper Pinterest guidelines. Both the client and I panicked. A sudden drop of 50%-60% can ruin a business relationship pretty quickly.
First Contact Pinterest for Help
If your analytics start to look like a dying patient’s EEG, you may have the equivalent of a “shadowban”. This was a term that became popular during Instagram’s hashtag ban a couple of years back. They arbitrarily decided that certain hashtags were getting overused and without telling anyone, they started to throttle any accounts that used certain hashtags. I’m quite sure that Pinterest throttles accounts as well.
Or your account may have been shut off completely. It happens pretty often. Sometimes it is richly deserved – stolen pins are a real thing and so are spammers. But a lot of the time, there are perfectly legitimate accounts that get caught up by accident.
So step one is to contact Pinterest. To complain, go to To complain, go to Help.Pinterest.com and select Appeals and then write them a short (but polite!) Email along with a screenshot or two showing how your traffic has dropped. It’s been my experience that they will deny everything and basically tell you it is all in your head.
BUT – keep watching your stats. A couple of times, I’ve seen the stats mysteriously start trending upward after I’ve contacted them. If your account has been suspended altogether – keep after them. I’ve heard that they will usually unsuspend someone after a few requests – although you will still need to do a lot of work to build your traffic back up.
“This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. I was also compensated to create this post, though all opinions are my own.”
If Your Pinterest Traffic Tanks – Try Something Different
One thing that might help is to try some different things with your account. What’s that saying about insanity?
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.
So change things up a little. Try adding short video pins – clip a bit of a YouTube video or add a small amount of automation to an existing pin, even if it’s just animating the titles or creating a GIF. I’ve got one client who has a GIF pin that flips a pie from one color to another. It has gotten thousands of views, much higher than her typical pins. Sometimes little things can have a big impact.
Or try a service called Lumen5. They have a great service for making short videos directly from your post. You just put in the post URL and it chooses little snippets and images from your post to create a cool animated video in like 5 minutes. Here’s one I threw together pretty quickly from one of my posts.
And then you can easily share your videos to Pinterest on the social media platform of your choice. It’s really fun to use and the videos are just top quality. If you are like me – interested in creating video content, yet unwilling to get your FACE on camera and invest in a ton of equipment, Lumen5 is just the tool you need.
You might also try Pinterest’s new Story Pins. I think they’re a waste of time in one sense, because at this point you can’t add a link to them (hope that will change soon), but right now Pinterest is definitely prioritizing them in terms of views. I’ve seen them get THOUSANDS of views literally in 5-10 minutes. Although the views won’t lead to any traffic – because no links (sigh). But I figure anything that increases your engagement might be helpful for boosting your regular traffic as well.
Review Your Pinning Habits
If your Pinterest traffic has tanked, it might be time to change up your pinning habits. I’m a big fan of Tailwind and I have a long history with them as a beta tester and one of their top affiliates. BUT – I can’t ignore the whispers that manual pinning does help boost your engagement. I can’t really speak to that as this Mama hasn’t got time for manual pinning – I’m currently managing about 20 different accounts for myself and my clients. But even if I was just managing one account, I think manual pinning is time-consuming and hard to sustain over time. There are things you can do within Tailwind that will help:
- Change your pin frequency – If you are pinning a lot, cut back. If you aren’t pinning very much, try stepping it up
- Schedule fresh images – This one is definitely a must and make them good ones. In the image section, I’ll share some good resources for making GREAT PINS. Note that fresh images just doesn’t mean changing a background color or moving the title around. Really apply yourself to make a great NEW pin that is completely fresh and new.
- Change your ratio of pins – I generally do 80% my pins and maybe 20% other people’s pins. You want to be seen as a good community member, but I’m the one paying for the account… So change up how much other content you are sharing and pick only the best pins.
- Do a little manual pinning – If nothing else, you can try manually pinning a few posts you’d like to get extra engagement for. It can’t hurt and it may help. Or try a little manually pinning in addition to your Tailwind queue. You might even dig up some older posts you’d forgotten about.
- Try promoting a few pins – I’m a bit cheap, so I hate to pay for advertising, but I have done it on occasion, particularly for posts that are going to bring in significant money or traffic. But I have noticed that traffic definitely goes up on promoted pins and usually stays at a higher level than usual, even after you’ve stopped paying for them. And I think Pinterest is less likely to suspend you if they view you as a paying customer.
These are my personal results, but Tailwind also publishes the Typical Results of Tailwind for Pinterest/Instagram Members every year, so you can see exactly what the average growth rate looks like for their members.
• Typical Results for Tailwind for Pinterest members can be found here: https://tailwindapp.com/blog/typical-results-of-tailwind-for-pinterest-members/
You do HAVE Tailwind, right? If you don’t, I’d love it if you’d use MY LINK to get started. You get 100 free pins to get you started off right. They also have Instagram scheduling and new features coming out frequently.
Spiff Up Your Images
This step is a big one. Your images are SO CRUCIAL to your success on Pinterest, so if your Pinterest traffic
tanks flatlines, you are going to want to take another look at your images. They just may not be catching pinners attention.
Happily, Tailwind has a great solution for that too. They have a brand new tool called Tailwind Create. It’s the bomb! It gives you a way to make tons of different designs for your pins in just minutes. It’s so easy to use. You can just load in your brand colors, your logo and your title and boom!
It creates literally dozens of different designs for your pins in minutes so you can pick out the best ones. They can provide stock photos or you can provide your own photos. But like I said, don’t just create boring semi-clones of your existing pins – look for the designs that are a bit outside the box. Here’s a quick video to show you how it works. (Note that it this video was created a few months ago, so it’s even had a few more improvements since then.)
PRO Tip – It really helps to vary the titles on your pins to attract different groups of pinners. I actually keep a list of emotion-based words (like brilliant, devastating, unbelievable, etc.) taped to my wall right next to my workstation. It helps me to remember to use these emotional words in my titles, pins, and newsletters. AWESOME, right?
The best thing is that every Tailwind user gets FREE access to Tailwind Create. Now you only get to make about 15 pins with the free plan, so you might want to power up to one of their paid plans, but it gives you a chance to give this fantastic tool a good try before you decide.
PS: You DO have titles on all your pins, right??? Oh my goodness, I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve had this argument with my food and fashion blogger clients. But I don’t want to spoil my pretty photography, they say. Yes, BUT do you want to have people admiring your pretty pictures or do you want to MAKE MONEY? Me, I like money. Tailwind says that you’ll get 56% more engagement with text on your pins. Put the text on the dang pin, SusieQ!
Hire a Pinterest VA to Manage Your Account
Have you ever thought of hiring a professional to manage your account? It’s definitely a bit on the pricey side, but it is such a relief to have something like Pinterest off your plate. And because someone (such as myself!) has a lot more experience with Pinterest, they are going to know some tips and tricks to get things moving again. My clients usually see a significant boost to their traffic within a short time of me managing their account.
Note that you should be sure the person you are hiring has significant experience with Pinterest before you hire them. I’ve seen some Pinterest VA’s out there who have about 5 minutes of experience. Yes, they’re cheap, but they don’t know what the heck they’re doing. I have 6 years of experience as a Pinterest VA and I’ve worked with dozens of clients in all different genres. Here’s a hint – check their own Pinterest account first. I’ve got 40,000 Followers on my lifestyle site. If they’ve got less than a thousand Followers or their own account looks like something the cat dragged in, keep shopping.
If you are interested in working with me, check out my HIRE ME page and be sure to provide a link to your Pinterest account so I can take a peek before I provide a quote for my services. I’ve always got lots of tips on how to grow Pinterest traffic and how to gain Followers on Pinterest.
Work on your SEO
While you’re waiting for Pinterest to unblock you or for the traffic to come back around, spend a little time working on your SEO – Search Engine Optimization – also known as keywords. You would not believe some of the DISASTERS (see, emotional words!) I’ve seen with people’s SEO. In order to get traffic, Pinterest has to understand what your pin and your post is about and if your SEO is a hot mess, they aren’t going to know WHO TO SHOW YOUR PIN TO – yes, I’m yelling here because I get frustrated when people do a lousy job on their descriptions.
PRO Tip: It takes you what, 4 hours to put together a post? Then why do you spend 30 seconds on the description for it. Constantly baffles me. Spend at least 10 minutes writing a good description for your 4 hour post!
Here’s how it works. Let’s stay you’re a Top NYC Fashion Blogger like my client. You are going to be using words like women’s fashion, Fall fashion, affordable style, various brand names, and also Top NYC Fashion Blogger. And you are going to use these keywords EVERYWHERE you can.
They should be in your profile description, prominently featured on your website and post, in your board description and particularly in your pin description and on the text of your pins. Yes, Pinterest can READ the text on your pins – well, unless you use a fancy script font that it can’t read. So do your descriptions half for the people and half for Pinterest, because you have to sell BOTH of them on your description to get the click.
PRO TIP – I use the Grow Plugin by Mediavine on my site. That way I can designate my Pinterest pin and my preferred description for each post. They have both a free and a paid version and it is well worth it. I also recommend that you use a plugin such as Yoast or Rank Math to help you boost your SEO on your posts for good Google traffic. I prefer Rank Math, over Yoast. Their free plan is outstanding and they have a paid plan also. Check it out.
Check Your Analytics
When all else fails, check your analytics. I’m not a huge believer in Pinterest analytics. They are funky and definitely hard to understand. And they never seem to agree with Tailwind’s analytics or with my own Google Analytics (this is the one to watch). But in this case, I asked the folks in one of my Facebook groups for help and they suggested that I look at her analytics from the previous year.
In this case I was able to see a significant drop at the same time in the previous year, probably due to the back to school and Halloween trends crowding out some of the fashion traffic. I had a similar issue when I tried to release a weight loss series in October when everyone was thinking of Halloween candy. I was able to get better traction on it when I re-released it in time for the New Year’s resolution crowd.
So, with my client, I’m trying a little bit of everything. We contacted Pinterest, added some video pins, changed up her content to more seasonal content, and I’m having her create more pins with text. So far, she’s up 15% and climbing steadily, so I feel like we are on the right track!
Thanks for all the great tips, tools, and strategies. My Pinterest traffic has completely tanked over the past month and I didn’t know what to do about it. I’ll start with some of your suggestions since you obviously know what you’re talking about.
Fabulous! I hope they help you.
This is an excellent post – thank you. Very helpful and timely. I love your honesty and sense of humor!
Thanks! I’m glad you found it helpful.
Travel Fit Psych says
Thank you for sharing this in depth info about Pinterest. It’s such a minefield for me. I always have a hard time navigating Pinterest, and now I have some additional things to consider!
I always say that Pinterest is a lot like chess. A short time to learn, but the strategy can go on and on.
Leah Stevenson says
I’ve been feeling demotivated with using Pinterest for the past few days and I mostly have complaints about it. Your post though has given me some hope for it though. I hope they update story pins soon too so that we can add links to them.
Yes, I really hope they change that. It’s frustrating for both the creators and the users!