Are you a blogger who relies on Pinterest as your main source of traffic? Or have you too, found yourself on the wrong side of Pinterest? This is the story of how my Pinterest account was suspended.
HOW I WAS USING MY PINTEREST ACCOUNT
One of the goals I’d set myself this year was to grow my blog. Growing this little blog will hopefully allow me to start offering more free knitting patterns, which I really enjoy doing. Most successful bloggers that I’ve been reading about all have one thing in common, the majority of their blog traffic comes from Pinterest. So I had been learning all that I could about how to utilise Pinterest.
Most successful bloggers use third party pinning schedulers such as Tailwind or Board Booster to boost their views. While I don’t have anything against using schedulers, I wanted to start out with manual pinning.
After taking some advice I’d read on another blog, I decided rather than use my existing personal Pinterest account like I had been doing, I would start up a new business account all together. That way I could get off to the best start.
With a new account I didn’t have to worry about deleting or changing my existing boards, or going back and fixing my SEO which would be time consuming. It also allowed me to create more knitting and craft related boards than I would normally have on my personal account and I could make sure they all had great SEO right from the start. I could concentrate on saving quality pins to quality boards. I also didn’t need to worry about annoying friends and family with my new blogging endeavours.
I had also been working on making my blog images more ‘pinnable’ and now that I had my new account set up with highly organised boards, I was ready to get pinning. I set myself some realistic goals and to start, I pinned about 100 times over the next 3 days. This was nothing compared to some bloggers who pin up to 100 times per day. Trying to stick to the advice to pin a variety of pins and not just my own, only about a dozen of those pins were from my website.
Then one evening, only three days since starting my new account, I was suddenly logged out and was unable to log back in again. I kept on receiving the message below.
WHAT DID I DO WRONG?
I hadn’t infringed anyones intellectual property, I hadn’t been spamming or abusing anyone. I hadn’t even been using schedulers. I just couldn’t work it out. So I contacted Pinterest right away. I sincerely explained to them that I didn’t know what I’d done wrong and that I didn’t mean to breach any of their policies. I even explained that I had two accounts, thinking maybe that had something to do with it.
Later, I finally found the notification email in my junk folder explaining why my account had been suspended. They believed some of my activity went against their spam policies.
Now I really was confused. Who could I have possibly spammed? I’d had my account for all of 3 days or so, I had ZERO followers. I only posted about a dozen of my own pins and I hadn’t pinned the same one twice. I just didn’t understand. Why is it that many other bloggers use schedulers and pin 50-100 times a day, and I get accused of spamming?
So of course I appealed their decision by clicking on the link in the email. Now I just had to sit tight until I heard from Pinterest. So I waited….. and I waited….. and I waited some more.
Graphics by TheHappyGraphics © www.TheHappyGraphics.Etsy.com
THE VERDICT WAS IN!
I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that my account was lost forever, until finally after almost one week since my account was suspended, I heard back from Pinterest. They were extremely helpful, they apologised and explained to me that someone had reported one of my pins as being spam. They reviewed my case and they re-activated my account.
Because my account had only been around for 3 days, it was pretty easy to ‘pin’ point (excuse the pun), exactly which pin had caused all the trouble.
THE PIN THAT STARTED IT ALL
One of the goals I’d set myself was to find group boards to join. Most bloggers on Pinterest talk about how important it is to network with other bloggers, so I joined a group board for sharing your blog. This group was not for sharing blog posts about knitting or craft, it was only for sharing business and blogging related pins.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about “Etsy experts” who use misleading information to get Etsy sellers to sign up to paid programs or subscriptions. You can read the full blog post here.
At the time, this was the only pin I had that was appropriate for this group board, the first and only group board I had joined. I was a little apprehensive to pin it at first, but I had just re-designed my blog image that day and I was really proud of it. So I went ahead and pinned it to the group board anyway.
Three hours later my account had been suspiciously suspended… Another clue was, since having my account re-activated, I noticed that my pin had completely disappeared from the group board all together. I hadn’t broken the group board’s rules. It was only one pin, a pin that fitted their criteria. It didn’t even look like spam.
So why report it as such? Well I guess someone didn’t like what my post was about. I can’t say I was really that surprised. I knew it was a controversial topic, but I reasoned that a pin from a little knitting blog would hardly have an impact. To make myself clear though, before I get reported again, I don’t have any issue with bloggers who offer these type of paid programs or subscriptions. I do however have a problem if these programs are offered under false pretences. So my original post shouldn’t offend you unless you are in fact guilty of such practises.
WHAT CAN YOU LEARN FROM MY EXPERIENCE?
For one thing, it really sucks to have your account suspended. Another, is it’s too easy on Pinterest for people to report you or your pins for no reason at all, other than maybe they just don’t like you or your blog.
Sometimes we forget that Pinterest is a social media platform and like most social media, Pinterest does have it’s fair share of drama, especially in the blogging world. I also noticed through this experience, that there is lots of information on the net about how to report pins to keep Pinterest safe and free from spam, but there isn’t much information about how people can abuse that system. I did reply to Pinterest and explain why I believed my pin was reported and asked them if they could possibly block the person(s) on my behalf. I’m yet to back on that one….
If this happens to you, I don’t have a lot of advice to offer other than, like me you just need to sit tight. Yeah it’s really frustrating and there isn’t a whole lot you can do, other than appeal your suspension. Pinterest can see your behaviour and your pins. If in fact you haven’t done anything wrong Pinterest will see that and hopefully you’ll have your account restored to you. You may also want to familiarise yourself with Pinterest’s policies so that you don’t find yourself guilty of breaching them. You should also be very careful where you post things, especially controversial topics. Maybe my pin wasn’t suitable for a board full of bloggers after all.