Updated October 2020.
Back in May 2018, I had my Pinterest account suspended for ‘spammy behaviour’, despite being new and having hardly any pins.
After some research, I discovered that I wasn’t the only person that this has happened to – far from it.
And, since you’re here, I’d say there’s a possibility that what happened to me has happened to you, so I figured I’d tell you how I clawed my way out of Pinterest Jail and rebuild my blog traffic.
Strapped for time? Feel free to jump to any section you need:
- What is Pinterest Jail?
- How to appeal Pinterest suspension
- Why does Pinterest suspend good account?
- Pinterest best practises
- What impact did the Pinterest suspension have?
- How to avoid Pinterest suspension
What is Pinterest Jail?
‘Pinterest Jail’, as bloggers call it, refers to when your Pinterest account gets suspended. And it doesn’t take a lot for this to happen, it seems…
The month was May. The year? 2018. *pulls cowboy hat down over eyes and takes a long drag on cigarette*
Seeking Serotonin had only been up and running for a matter of weeks and my traffic was gradually growing by the day. I was so pleased, and happy just scheduling away on Tailwind, finding my rhythm, carving out a name for myself one day at a time and helping other women improve their mental health.
Then, one evening, I went to do a spot of manual pinning on my phone before bed and my Pinterest app wouldn’t log me in. After a few failed attempts, a message popped up saying that my Pinterest account had been suspended.
*Dun dun duuuunnnn*
I tried not to panic and attempted to get some sleep. At that point, all I could think was ‘what did I do wrong?’ but assumed that it would all be sorted the next day as there was OBVIOUSLY some sort of mistake.
The next morning I open up my emails and there’s one from Pinterest sitting in my spam folder – ironically enough. The reason my account was suspended from Pinterest was for allegedly going against their spam policies.
Now, I understand that Pinterest hates spammers, and I’m glad they do. They just want to make our experience on their visual search engine as authentic and fun as possible.
But I’m not a spammer.
At the time, all I was doing is sending out one or two pins for each mental health post as I published it. I wasn’t resharing my older pins at this point, just new ones, and no more than a few different pins each day.
At this stage, I didn’t even have a solid social media strategy and was probably UNDER-PINNING more than anything.
I instantly appealed the process and waited.
How to appeal Pinterest suspension
If you’re in a similar situation, there should be a link in the email Pinterest sent you about your suspension. Check your spam folder if you’ve not received it.
Click that and follow the instructions.
OR, go to Pinterest’s Contact Page.
Select ‘Getting into My Account’ from the drop-down box, then ‘Appeal Account Suspension’.
After you’ve checked out Pinterest’s Content Policies, just to make sure you haven’t broken any rules, click ‘I still need help’ at the bottom and fill out the contact form.
You’ll then get an automated email confirming that Pinterest has received your message (check your spam box). This email also contains Pinterest’s community guidelines.
Make sure to reply to the email and state that this hasn’t helped so that your case gets put through to an actual human being.
This is a crucial step that I left out at first and this is probably why it took me so long to get my case sorted.
I did this almost every day for two weeks before I got a response and finally had my account reactivated.
As you can see from Pinterest’s email to me, I wasn’t spamming at all, and they apologised for making a mistake.
Why do Pinterest suspend good accounts?
Ever since getting suspended, I’ve been racking my brain over what I did that day to trigger either someone to report me for spamming or Pinterest to believe that I was.
Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on how you look at it – it just seems like a mistake on Pinterest’s part. The chances are, if you’ve not been spamming and you’ve found your Pinterest account suspended, this has probably happened to you.
Back when I was suspended, I hadn’t yet taken the step to invest in a reputable Pinterest course, which keeps you up-to-date with all of the platform’s best practises and terms & conditions.
After this incident, I immediately invested in Pinterest Traffic Avalanche, which not only keeps you in the loop when it comes to staying on the good side of Pinterest as they keep in close contact with the platform, it also teaches you how to massively boost your blog traffic.
I’ve not been suspended since, nor have I had any trouble with either of my Pinterest accounts!
Investing in a course and learning about what Pinterest flags as spam (it seems to change a lot) definitely decreases your chances.
For example, as of 2020, Pinterest changed their best practises again and I wouldn’t have had any idea if I wasn’t part of this Pinterest course, which is being constantly updated and monitored.
Pinterest best practises
As of 2020, Pinterest has put a huge emphasis on FRESH content and brand new pins.
This means that gone are the days where you could just schedule loads of pins to go out to loads of boards everyday. Now, that might get you flagged for spam.
Instead, you’re encouraged to create a brand new pin (which counts as new content, even if the blog post itself isn’t) and post it to a different board.
For most people, this means pinning a lot less and spending a lot more time creating pins.
I now personally create about 10 new pins for each blog post and schedule them out with Tailwind to different boards over the next few weeks.
Remember, pinning the same pin to the even a different board now counts as duplicate content and may be flagged as spam.
What impact did the Pinterest suspension have?
This is the part where I’m going to be really real with you guys: the anxiety I felt during that two-week suspension was some of the worst I’ve ever experienced.
However, after two weeks of soul searching and feeling as if I was being ignored, my account was reactivated and Pinterest apologised.
The fall-out from the suspension continued for another couple of weeks.
I was so nervous about getting my account suspended again, but using the strategies I learned from Pinterest Traffic Avalanche, I now felt confident that my account wouldn’t be suspended again.
if your traffic has dropped after a Pinterest suspension, my two best pieces of advice for you are:
- Make sure you know ALL of Pinterest’s latest best practises
- Keep pinning and trust that your traffic will bounce back
If your situation is anything like mine, your traffic should recover within weeks.
How to avoid getting suspended from Pinterest
#1. Make sure you follow Pinterest’s Community Guidelines to the letter.
#2. Invest in a Pinterest course that’s regularly updated so that you can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the platform’s best practises and rules. My favourite, as you’ve already probably gathered, is Pinterest Traffic Avalanche.
#3. Don’t bother joining group boards. They used to be useful back in the day, but not now. It’s not worth wasting your time.
So, just to recap, what do you do if you get suspended from Pinterest?
- Appeal the suspension and make sure you reply to any emails Pinterest send you afterwards if the situation hasn’t been rectified.
- Make sure to check your spam folder as they ironically have a tendency to pop up there.
- Don’t get anxious – if you’ve not done anything wrong and you’ve only been suspended, this ISN’T PERMANENT. You WILL get your account back. Just wait.
- Keep blogging and marketing your work on other platforms.
- Once you’ve got your account back, sit tight, keep producing content and pinning as you usually would (as long as you weren’t actually spamming, in which case: stop).
- Invest in a Pinterest course that keeps you updated with the platform’s best practises and rules.
Your traffic WILL pick up again.