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Bloggers: 9 Reasons You Should Be Deleting Your Pins

I know that I don’t usually post on blogging related material, but I’ve been doing a lot of extensive research on Pinterest lately since the algorithms have changed and I believe that I have discovered an idea that will rock your world!

The news is simple…you should be deleting your old pins on Pinterest.

Since the new algorithm changes, if you are not deleting your pins, you are missing out in a BIG way. Check out this article, 9 Reasons You Should Be Deleting Your Pins.

9 Reasons You Should Be Deleting Your Pins

Tell Pinterest You are Popular

I think it’s pretty easy to understand that social media is all about being the most popular. The blogs on social media that are already most popular have it a lot easier. Places like Facebook and Pinterest share their posts because they ARE popular. Social media wants to be popular so it shares popular stuff. Plain and simple. But what do you do if you only have a low audience reach or get a lot of 1 repins?

You tell social media you’re popular. When I first started, I was getting horrible repin amounts. 1’s mostly. I was NOT popular in Pinterest’s eyes…at all!

In the past month, I have personally deleted a little over 10,000 pins on my account! Before that, I had tried everything to get more repins, but could not figure it out. All my friends were getting more repins than me and I felt awful.

When I began deleting pins, I started with all my own boards. I thought of it like a first impression. When a new reader comes to my Pinterest account, do I really want them wasting their time on 10,000 pins with 1 repin? Or do I want to show them ONLY the GOOD STUFF? The stuff that WON’T waste their time?

Don’t Waste Your Readers Time

Readers don’t have time to see all those garbage pins. They need and want the best and they want it now. When I started deleting my pins, I started off just deleting all the pins that had 1 repin on them. That’s it. After a couple of days, I started to notice that Pinterest was giving me 2 repins per pin generally. So, I started deleting all old pins to 3 and I started seeing 4 repins generally.

My AH-HA moment had come!

I continued deleting all my pins on my account that had less than 5 repins. Immediately, I started seeing Pinterest respond. They were giving me more repins. They were showing my stuff to other people and whereas the MOST repins I was getting before I started all this, was like 30 repins. Now, it’s closer to 100!!! I have gotten repins that are 300 and 1,000 and many in the 100’s. No longer am I getting 30’s. I’m getting 100’s. Most of my pins now get over 5 repins, even the ones that don’t do well at all.

Although I obviously can’t confirm this with Pinterest, I think there’s a correlation between what you have on your account and how much they show your pins to others, same as Facebook. In fact, the Pinterest algorithms and Facebook algorithms seem to be very similar, except for one VERY IMPORTANT detail.

You’re Pinning Too Much

If you are pinning what all the experts say to pin, that is about 60-100 a day. 80% should be others pins and 20% should be your pins, right? WRONG!

Do your research, the BEST Pinterest accounts on Pinterest, pin 10-30 pins a day. 30 pins a day AT MOST. Listen, more is NOT always better. More IS better on Facebook, but not so on Pinterest. The LESS you pin, the better. I know that sounds crazy.

Why this works…

I know what you’re thinking…if I pin less, I’ll get less traffic. That may be true for the first week of doing this, but I can tell you that afterwards, you will see such amazing results that blow everything out of the water. If you are working smart, you are being more strategic. You begin to only pin the best. NO FILLERS! Pinning random stuff all day long is like trying to throw darts in the dark. Okay, you may hit the bulls-eye, but probably not.

Being strategic in your pinning WILL get you results. And I’m not talking small results, but major ones here. My followers have gone DRASTICALLY up. I was getting about 30-50 Pinterest followers a day. Now I get anywhere from 100-200 a day. On average over the course of a month, it comes out to be 168/day. My repins are skyrocketing. Suddenly Pinterest thinks I’m popular, because what is on my boards is good stuff.

Right now, I’m personally pinning about 20 of my own stuff and about 20 of others. I’m working on getting the amount lower, but I don’t want to lose all my traffic either, so it’s a work in progress. Take it slow, but the first thing you need to realize is that on Pinterest, less is more!

Why Group Boards Are Failing

The other thing I noticed in my extensive research is that a few group boards I was on, that used to be so awesome, like the best boards ever, now stink! I wondered why….until I started seeing a ton of pins on their boards with only 1 repin each! Listen, if you own a group board on Pinterest, I’m sorry, but you need to be going in there every day and deleting the pins that don’t get at least 2 repins or more?

Sound drastic?

Maybe it is. But, if you don’t, you are basically telling Pinterest that your group board sucks, don’t put my stuff in front of people’s eyes! Since I’ve been testing this theory on my own group board, my group board repins for EVERYONE HAVE gone UP! Listen, it affects EVERYONE! So, you kind of have to choose what’s best for the entire group. It’s hard deleting other people’s pins, I get it. I cringed doing it for a long time, but now I know that I HAVE to, in order to make the board popular for everyone.

Delete Whole Boards

In deleting pins on my own boards, some of my own boards just weren’t performing. I decided it was better to delete the entire board. Yes, it’s hard to do, but I am so glad I did. Only the BEST content is in front of my audience now. Again, I’m not wasting their time with stuff they don’t want to see. As you delete an entire board, you may see your followers go down. This is okay, trust me, it’ll go up in a mega-way, so it’s okay to lose a few followers to gain a TON more.

After I deleted all my own pins on my own boards, I started going through all my group boards and deleting the pins I pinned. Anything that didn’t have at least 5 repins. Now, I do want to say that deleting anything under 5 repins may not be right for you. If all you get is 1’s, then don’t delete to 5. Just delete all the 0’s then. Whatever you are comfortable with. The way I looked at it when I first started this process, is that if I delete a 4 repins pin, it wouldn’t matter because if I went out and repinned that same pin this second, it would get 5 anyway.

When Deleting Pins You Will See Your Mistakes

Wowzer, was I ever stupid. My goal on Pinterest until now was to pin as much as I possibly could. Day and night, I was pinning. It was foolish. Most of those pins weren’t seen, weren’t liked, and I was WASTING MY TIME! Going back through every single one of those 10,000+ pins I deleted, forced me to start seeing patterns. Good AND bad. I saw the bad patterns, the bad posts that was a waste, and I saw the good things that I didn’t even expect. I learned that my most popular board wasn’t actually my most popular board and that I have two other MORE popular boards than that!

So now, I am ONLY pinning to those popular boards each day. Nothing else. Although I personally LOVE recipes, my audience doesn’t. So, I’m not pinning any recipes. I’m pinning the things they want to see, and I never would have known, had I not gone back through and actually looked at the results! I will also say that in my Pinterest analytics, they say that certain things are popular on my site, but, it turned out that those analytics are completely off. I’m sorry. They totally were! Now that I’m pinning what I say is popular and what I’ve seen, it’s doing a lot better. It just goes to show you, that a computer cannot replace a real live person.

When Deleting Pins You Will See Others Mistakes

It stands to reason while you are in there deleting, you will also see others mistakes. You will begin to see what works and what doesn’t. What’s hot and what’s not. Why things don’t work and the ones that do, you’ll see why. You’ll see it all as you are going through those pins. This is extremely helpful because you can then apply those principles to your own strategy. What I thought was working for me, wasn’t working near as much as my new strategy, and what I thought wasn’t working, surprisingly was. It just needed a bigger push. Since then, I have pushed it more and am seeing amazing results!

Don’t Delete Sponsored Posts Pins

The one thing I didn’t delete was sponsored post pins. I felt personally like they paid for me to write the article and the natural course of action would be for me to share my article to my readers on social media, I did, and I will leave it. Even if it’s 0 or 1 repins, I was paid to do a job and so I left those alone.

Everything is The Same!

There is nothing new under the sun, the Bible says. Boy is that true! Another reason why deleting your pins is a great idea is because you will see so much repetitiveness. I had a few article titles that I had planned on doing and once I saw how those same titles were plastered all over Pinterest, I decided to scrap them. They may be great titles, but I am a person ALL ABOUT BEING DIFFERENT. I do NOT want to be like anyone else. God made me completely unique. He made me, me, and you, you. While it’s great to have stuff in common, I’m not you and you’re not me.

This caused me to be more creative in my titles for my posts. I took some time and really thought about things and it gave me the encouragement and push I needed to be different and to come up with some unique posts that are not plastered everywhere online already. Not that I’m copying those titles, but that if they are already everywhere, what’s the point? Yeah, it’s hard to be different, and when you are, you’re not different for long, because then everyone just copies you, but at least you are doing your best to be YOU. And THAT is what blogging is about. It’s about YOU. Your readers may come for a title, but they STAY for you!

It Acts As a Buffer

As I was deleting pins, it was very mind-numbing work. It was SOOO boring. Like stuffing envelopes when I first got into my banking career years ago. But because you are spending so much time to delete, it also acts as a buffer on you. When you go to pin something, you will VERY QUICKLY remember that you just spent weeks deleting pins and how you DON’T want to have to do that all over again. Therefore, you will stop yourself from over-pinning. I cannot stress enough how IMPORTANT deleting your pins is, and once you do, it will become hard for you to go back to pinning 60-100 a day, knowing that you’re just going to have to go in there and delete again.

So, how do you delete?

Pinterest has a new feature called “move pins,” where you can go in and move pins from board to board. In that section, you can also delete your pins in bulk, up to 50 at a time. Simply select each pin you want to delete as you go. When you reach 50 pins, it’ll pop up a message to tell you, then delete them. After you delete, you’ll want to scroll back up and find your place again to continue.


This is great. However, after your pins are all deleted, you will want to maintain deleting pins. I have seen that pins can go up to 3-4 days old and THEN go viral, so I personally wait 7 days before deleting pins. Every few days, I go back through my pins and MANUALLY one by one (boringly so) delete anything under 5 repins. Yes, it’s tedious. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but I’m serious about blogging and I know it’s worth it.

199 Pinterest

One thing that you should know about Pinterest is that they consider it “spammy” if you pin the same pin to multiple boards at the same time. In my picture above you see that I don’t always obey that rule, especially when I’m promoting Frugal Friday. So far, I’ve never had a problem and I do try to keep it at a minimum, but I would never encourage anyone else to do that because Pinterest has stated they find it spammy.

As you are going through your boards and deleting, you will quickly see the posts that each board tends to like a lot. Each board has a different audience and so each board will like different pins better. As I was going through them, I was writing down which pins each board likes and plan on pinning them regularly. This will help me pin only what they want to see and get what they want to see in front of their eyes.

If you haven’t yet began to delete your pins, my challenge to you is to delete 100 of them and see how it goes. See what happens as you begin to pin more in the next few days. Do you see more repins? How about when you delete another 100 in a few days?

What you shouldn’t do

You shouldn’t go crazy and start deleting massive pins and boards right away. Let Pinterest get used to your NEW pattern of deleting. Otherwise, they might flag your account for suspicious behavior and you don’t want that. I’d recommend deleting about 50-100 a day for the first 4-7 days. After that you can begin deleting 200-500 a day depending on how many you need to delete. Keep in mind, that when I first started deleting, I took about a month to delete most of the pins. I took my time and went through each and every board carefully. Being sure not to delete the good stuff.

Likewise, the whole point of this is to clean up your boards. There’s no way to just TRICK Pinterest into liking you. However, you do want the best content you can possibly have on your blog and Facebook, right? Same with Pinterest. When I first started Pinterest, I had no idea how to pin, what to do, or what people liked. I just pinned a bunch of random stuff that I thought people would like and that I liked. If you’ve done the same, you should consider deleting the junk. Make you boards the best they can be!

UPDATE: Here are a couple bloggers who have tried my method. See their results here…

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Have you tried deleting pins yet? How did it work for you? Leave a comment and let me know!

With the new algorithm changes, if you are not deleting your pins, you are missing out in a major way!

What do you think? Are you ready to delete your pins? Have you ever deleted pins in bulk like this? 

Join the Conversation:


    • That’s so great Jackie. I’m at around 40 pins a day, but I know I need to get it down. Before this, I was pinning around 75-150/day! The one Pinterest lady who is the most successful that I watch, she pins about 17 pins a day and gets a massive amount of followers. That’s originally what I set out to accomplish (more followers) and the whole repins thing happened. 🙂

  1. Interesting! This may be a dumb question, but if you delete an old pin of your own does that affect the person that re-pinned it? Thanks -Holly

    • That’s a great question. I actually tested it a few times with a friend and it’s totally fine. If you delete a pin, it doesn’t delete any of the pins that got pinned from there, which is awesome of course. 🙂

  2. I have been pinning for two years, but there is so much I don’t know. Thanks for this information. I only pin 5-6 pins a day, maybe I should try more. I would love to see more articles like this. Thanks!

  3. I’m definitely trying this. I’ve been pinning about 50-60 each day of mine and others combined. I will bring that down. If I pin15 or so of mine, how many of others would you recommend? Thanks for this info.!

    • I’m not sure there’s a hard and fast rule to go by. For me personally, I try to stick to 50/50. I do notice the more you pin of others, the more followers you get, but the more you pin of your own stuff, the more traffic you get, so depends on your goals.

  4. Oh my! This really makes sense. This was an amazing article. I only got through half of it so far because there is SO much great information I definitely have to go back and read it again.

  5. WOW! This is crazy this goes against all conventional wisdom. in fact people told me to just use my personal board that I pin on for fun for my website. This is a HUGE eye opener and I will be needing to got through my site to clean it up. Thank you!

    • Yeah, I don’t know why, but all the ‘expert’ advice never works for me. I stopped listening and just do things on my own. Trial and error style works better for me personally. 🙂

  6. Thank you so much for this post. I had no idea I should be deleting pins. I started weeding out my best group board first. Unfortunately, I can only delete my own pins. It looks like you can’t delete things pinned by someone else. Am I missing a trick somewhere?

    • Yeah, you just want to delete the pins you’ve personally pinned. The exception is if you have a group board of your own that you run.

  7. Yes! I love this! I feel like I do a pretty good job on Pinterest, but I don’t have a huge following so I know there is room for improvement. I usually pin about 10-15 pins a day. I do go back and delete old pins a lot. Mostly, I have always deleted my own pins so that I can repin to the same board without being spammy. I do a lot of seasonal posts, so, for example, I want to be sure my Valentine’s post is hitting Pinterest fresh again now.

  8. Wow! Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Do you know what happens if instead of deleting those pins, you move them to a secret board?

    • You’d have to play around with that Kelly. I just deleted. There were a few pins I kept off an entire board I’d delete. Say the repin was in the 30’s. I’d just move it to another board, but not a secret board, so I’m not sure.

  9. So if I delete all my pins (on my home board) that have less than 5 pins, I’m wiping out nearly the entire thing. What then? Am I a hopeless case?

    • In that case you would just want to delete them slowly. Perhaps start deleting by just deleting all pins with 0 repins….or all pins with 1 repin only. Then, as you build up your repin numbers, you can go back and keep deleting until you get to 5. When I started this, I was only getting 1 repin generally for ALL my pins. It stunk! So, deleting to 5 wouldn’t work for me to start either. I started deleting all 1’s. I saw how well it was working, so I started deleting all to 2, then 3, then 5. Some boards I deleted to 10 because they were better boards. Some boards I deleted altogether. Even though at this point all my pins are deleted now, I go in there and delete daily because it SEEMS like the days I delete pins are the days that Pinterest gives me more traffic. Not sure if there’s a correlation there or not. I suspect there is, though I am not 100% sure.

  10. Sarah,
    GREAT POST! I actually did this to my entire account (deleted just like you did) early in January and made a HUGE jump in my Pinterest analytics. I did not, however, reduce my pinning. I pin over 100 per day and use BoardBooster.
    I wrote a tutorial on BB last week. If you decide to write a post about your BB experience, I would love for you to link it up. I offer a link up at the bottom of my post. I called it a “Blogger Online Panel” so we can all share our posts about BB. 🙂

  11. Wow! How interesting. I am pinning probably 200 or so pins a day. It will be interesting to see how this works. So you are only pining your hightest repined posts?

    • …and that day’s content. That day’s content I pin on a few boards as a ‘feeler’ to see if they will do well or do nothing. If they do well, I pin them more. If they do nothing, then nothing.

  12. Oh haha! I actually followed the link “BB tutorial” when I read your post over again…and it was MY POST! Thank you! I hope you write about it and also link up!

  13. Thank you Sarah! I’ve always been a fan of deleting pins but stopped when everyone was telling me that was no good. Thank you for your amazing research! 🙂

  14. Great tips, thank you Sarah! I’ve been going through cleaning up my boards lately, so this is even more incentive to continue. One of the things I have found is that my vertically oriented pins do about 3 to 4 times as well as the horizontal pins. So I’ve been going to the source photos that are horizontal and recropping them vertically, and then repinning them, which is working quite well.

  15. Sarah, I can’t thank you enough for writing this post. I’ve been trying to grow my Pinterest for awhile now and haven’t has as much success as I’d like. I’m sure this has something to do with it! I’m definitely sharing this on social media! Thanks again!

    • Thank you Beth. 🙂 Yes, I was frustrated too and knew there HAD to be an answer! It took me what seemed like forever to find it. LOL

  16. What an awesome post! I have been meaning to clean up my boards and make it a business page as well.. maybe I will finally get to that stuff this weekend!

  17. I am so glad I found this! I just started my website and FB this week and have been undecided whether to use Pinterest because my personal account hardly gets repins.

    I will go through and delete pins, I have done so before, but that was with a personal ‘will I do anything with this or not’ thought process. I will definitely try this.

    Also, is it advisable to share website blog on personal Pinterest or go with a business Pinterest?

  18. What great information. I never thought of deleting pins….although I have been deleting unpopular posts on FB, but I didn’t relate them. I’m going to have to try this. Thanks for the heads up!

  19. This was a really interesting and HELPFUL article. Thanks so much for the effort. I’ve read so much conflicting and confusing info. I am going to get started asap 🙂

      • Did you notice that Pinterest just changed their analytics so that now all you see is how many times the pin has been repinned total or the top pins. You can no longer see just how many times your audience has repinned a specific pin. For example, it now says 1.8 repins instead of 122 repins which were just from my audience. I’d love how to get it back so I can see what my audience is repinning.

  20. This is great advice! I do have a question….how do I see how many repins one of my pins have? Sorry if that sounds silly! Thanks!

  21. This is fascinating, Sarah! You’ve convinced me. Your logic makes sense! I’m ready to delete in bulk and prioritize my pinning a bit more. Thanks for sharing these Pinterest insights!

    • Glad you like it. When you start, just start out deleting 100 pins a day for a few days. Don’t go gang-busters because I’ve not tested that out and you know Pinterest, maybe they will hate that or something. Slow and steady wins the race. 🙂

  22. This is really interesting. I have always treated Pinterest different than all the advice out there–I curate the very best content and keep my boards really small, more like an index for each topic. I’m curious how that’s affected my stats.

  23. How do I find my pins on a group board? Some have dozens of members and thousands of pins, so is there a way to quickly find mine or do I just have to scan each pic the old fashioned way?

  24. Wow! What a wealth of information. Thank you. I just spent the morning deleting older pins. It was interesting to see what Pinterest used to look like years ago before everything was vertical and pretty. I found some older pins with horrible pictures, but high re-pin numbers.

    • That is a great thing to notice. If the older, horrible pictures pins were high numbers, I’d encourage you to go back through and redo the pictures to a colorful vertical picture and see how it does now! It may just go viral. I’ve done that several times. 🙂

  25. Hi Sarah, what a great post, so to get this straight, on my personal boards I delete any pins under 5 and on group boards only pins I have pinned (whether they are mine or someone elses, as long as I pinned them) I can and should delete under 5 re pins, correct? Thanks Rose

    • Rose, It depends on your account. Let’s say you are a new blogger who only has all 1’s. Deleting to 5 would delete your whole account. Or let’s say you have pinned for years and have mostly 10’s. Deleting to 5 wouldn’t help you much. So you have to know your numbers. When I started, I started with 1’s, then went to 2’s, then 3’s, then 5’s. Now, that all my 5’s are deleted, I am planning on going back through and deleting to 10, and so on, until I get to 30. It is a lot of work, but I’m seeing amazing results. In the last two months, I have gotten over 11,000 followers and repins are skyrocketing. 🙂 So, I would say do what is according to your account. Yes, delete to that number you come up with in group boards and on your boards. Group boards are harder to look through a gazillion pins, so I started with my own boards.

  26. Thank you for all your time and research on this. I had planned to clean up my boards this weekend, moving and deleting. I am quite new to blogging and am finally thinking of how to get all my numbers up starting with my general boards on pinterest. I have a question about deleting boards, if you delete a board do you loose the followers that are specific to that board or try not to worry because once pinterest likes you again, you’ll get more followers anyway?

    Im thinking if the number of followers on a specific board are close to the number of MY followers I should be ok to delete that board without loosing followers as they are following me. What do you think?

    • Joanne, Yes, if you delete an entire board, you’ll lose the followers that have liked ONLY that board and not followed your entire pinterest account. Yes, it’s worth it. As fast as I was deleting entire boards, the most I lost was about 100 people, I’d get that many more followers within a few hours! That may not be for everyone, but still a good idea. 🙂

      Yes, that’s a great observation. If you have 5,000 followers on your Pinterest account, and a particular board has 9,000 followers, don’t delete that board. It’s a hot one anyway, so I’d pin more to that board daily and see if you can get it on fire. That is what I do with a couple of my boards and it’s going great. 🙂 Remember that you want your most popular boards to the top of your feed. Show people the best first in your first impression. 🙂

  27. Interesting. I’ve never considered deleting pins. But then I try very hard to only pin things that are quality and I’m seeing about 300 new followers a day. I’ll have to experiment with this – thanks!

  28. Thanks for the great tip! What about pins that have comments? Do they count towards popularity? For example, it the repin number is low (say 1 or 2) but it has a comment, should I still delete it? Also, are you going through your boards and deleting just your own posts that have low numbers or are you deleting everything you’ve ever pinned from anyone (if it has low numbers). Thanks

    • No! Do not delete any pins no matter how low they are with comments. Good catch. Yes, I suspect it helps with popularity as you said. 🙂 Everything that I’ve pinned from my blog and others.

  29. Thanks so much Sarah for a very informative and totally “rock my world” post! I have just begun seeing a slight increase in my Pinterest following and would of course like it to be much more! So I will be implementing your advice! Thank you! I also like recipe pins and my followers don’t seem to repin those, so that will be the first board I tackle! Thank you!

  30. Wow! My mind is blown right now. I’m doing some housecleaning today. This will be exciting. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Imagine if most Pinners did this? Pinterest would be so much cleaner and have mostly great content for everybody! Really it makes so much sense. It is annoying but I think I actually kind of love the idea (well aside from all the work I have to do now.)

    Here is to an awesome week!

  31. This is really interesting, thanks for sharing this. I should stop pinning the same pinning to multiple boards at the same time but often do this from the convenience and so I don’t forget to do it later. The group boards are my best source of repins and visits to my blog so I won’t be deleting the ones that are working for me. Will have to take the plunge and do some deleting of my own boards though!

  32. Thanks for pulling this all together and sharing your results. I’ve suspected something like this might be going on since the latest algorithm change, but hadn’t taken the time to experiment and figure it out.

  33. Very interesting! I am focused on growing my Pinterest following in 2015, so I am going to start deleting the 0-2 repinned pins.

    Question – what’s the best way to track this to see it it is beneficial to my account too? Do you just visit Pinterest’s analytics, use a spreadsheet, something else? I have no problem acting on something like this, but I’m horrible when it comes to tracking! Thanks!!

  34. Wow! I am giving it a try! I am so nervous but it makes total sense. I deleted a few yesterday (this is my second time reading your post) and it felt awesome, like cleaning a cluttery house. I hope my results are a tiny bit like yours, thanks 🙂

  35. Sarah thank you SO much for sharing your research and results, especially when you don’t normally post about blogging. It really does make sense that having a higher percentage of popular pins, and only popular pins translates to more popularity. And your results are proof. I’m going to start trying this out right away, and just had to say thanks! (Ruth Soukup shared this with EBA and I’m glad she did!)

  36. This is fascinating! I am really excited to try it because I notice some of my pins get great re-pins and with others it’s pretty horrid. I don’t want my “bad” pins to hurt my presence.

    (Found you through EBA.)

    • Glad you found me. 🙂 Yeah, just take it slow. I think Pinterest is changing their algorithms again this week and everything’s always ify when they do that. 🙁

  37. Thank you so much! INTERESTING! Can you tell me – how long does it take you to pin each day? and how do you rotate your material? Do you have a post on this? I’m trying to balance the time I spend on social media – I’m sure you can relate!

    • I personally spend 10-20 minutes at most on Pinterest a day pinning. I have a really good system, get in, get out type thing, otherwise I get sucked in for hours. 🙂 For the rotating material, I’m still working on it. It *seems* like the algorithms changed again last week (1/26/14 is when I noticed it), so again, playing around with different ways of doing things to get maximum results.

  38. Thank you so much for this post, Sarah! I started deleting pins earlier this week … and I cannot believe the amount of repins I’m getting already! We’re talking about maybe 10 repins at the beginning of the week, and now I’m seeing well over 50 repins. I’ll keep trying your strategy!

  39. THANK YOU for giving me an excuse to re-focus on my Pinterest account. I started updating it a few weeks ago then just kind of dropped the project because I wasn’t paying attention to my updates. Today I went back and looked at the boards that I updated and you’re totally right! I definitely had increased re-pins and traffic as a result. So thanks for helping me see how much that helped and giving me better direction to keep on going. I was never much of a believer in Pinterest, but now I’m starting to see the benefits for sure. Thanks again!!

  40. I am spinning my wheels on Pinterest and something’s gotta give! I’m trying out your suggestion and first deleting a bunch of boards that I never even pin to and/or never see repins. Then I’m going to clean out a group board I manage and step away from group boards that aren’t working for me. Do you have a suggestion for the magical number of boards to have? I have 167 now, which seems like way too much.

  41. Excellent article. I started blogging a year and a half ago and thought I was suppose to pin every blog photo to Pinterest, I ended up with crappy boards and never got repinned and I didn’t “get” the concept. I have a very niche site that should be ideal for Pinterest, so in December I deleted practically all my pins (as you said, everyone said not to) figuring I had nothing to lose and I didn’t want all those photos to represent me. Since then I’ve been super selective about pinning. I don’t have many followers yet but because of my niche and quality of my pins I was invited to pin on a couple of large, important boards– and my traffic and repin rate has exploded.

    Question: On group boards, does pinterest prioritize the best pinners within the group boards? Or do I, even as a newer pinner, have my pins get the same visibility as top pinners on the same group board? I’ll get 5 to 5000 repins per pin from these boards, so I’m not complaining but am wondering how it all works and if I can improve my visibility within the group boards.

  42. I was just deleting and organizing my boards the other day and am still in the process of doing it. I feel like I have WAY TOO MANY boards and want to just cut it down as much as I can. I used to be pin crazy but going through, organizing and deleting makes me more mindful of what I am pinning. Thank you for this reminder!

  43. Thanks so much for posting this!
    I know it was a short article for you, but this was a total game changer for me! LOL:)
    Thanks for taking the time to share your experience, to help your readers provide in the best way possible for our readers!

  44. I guess my main concern with this is…a lot of my pinterest use is personal. Yes, I pin stuff to promote my blog. Other than that, I’m pining things that I like and want to save. I use pinterest sort of like a large favorites menu – so I can easily find what I’m looking for later.Any thoughts on this? Should I have TWO pinterest accounts? That just seems exhausting.


  45. Thanks for the info! I have a lot to learn with Pinterest. I have been making a few small changes and am already noticing a difference in traffic increase! This post gives me even more info.

    I learned from the comments too. I had NO idea that you delete a pin with repins it doesn’t affect the pinners who had pinned it. (Does that make sense…ha!) I was nervous about deleting a pin that had repins, but you are saying that won’t affect others who have pinned it?

  46. I suspect that, like Facebook, Pinterest is looking for behavior that looks natural. Normal users probably don’t pin hundreds of posts a day on a regular basis. Now, I will admit that I have days I go on major pinning sprees — especially when I’m researching a particular thing. (I had my Pinterest account way before I figured out I could use it for my blog, so I use it for ME and not just for blog promotion. I’m a little less concerned about doing the “right” thing for business.) But on a regular day, I don’t. I think Pinterest recognizes that flux as normal.

    Likewise, I don’t go through and mass-delete for the sake of deleting. But I actually USE my Pinterest boards regularly, and I clean things up as I go. If I find something with a broken link, no longer relevant, unnecessary or unintentional duplication, etc., I get it out of there.

    As far as I can tell, I’m not getting penalized for anything. I have a LOT of pins with only 0-2 repins. But I have other pins with dozens and, in a few cases, with hundreds or thousands of repins.

  47. What a great article! Thank you so much for sharing your studied insights, Sarah. I have actually started deleting pins… but just ‘zeroes.’ I will go ‘deeper’ at your suggestion. However, I do not pin for others… I pin for myself. I started pinning back at the beginning of Pinterest when you needed an invite. At that time Pinterest loved me. And I had a really good rating (maybe via Klout but I don’t remember) and my pins were repinned a lot. When I got really busy and bored with Pinterest about 2 years ago… I quit pinning for about 6 mos. and it’s like I lost my Pin status. It’s been an uphill climb ever since. I appreciate your tips… but one question I am truly curious about that has not been answered… if you pin for yourself… like a bookmark to remember for later/file cabinet… do you pin those pins on a private board? I truly hate the idea of deleting those. I have in some cases and in others I didn’t delete. Maybe I need to adapt a philosophy of pinning harmony 🙂 How much do I pin for others and how much do I pin for myself is something to figure out. I’d love to hear your thoughts. One more thing… I’m curious how much time each day do you devote to Pinterest? I’m sure it’s much less now that you’ve gotten things worked out. And thanks so much Sarah for generously sharing your experience.

  48. I’ve been so flustered with my Pinterest. I thought it was me… I was right !! Thanks for all these great insights. I will be following suit. And I can’t wait to read your ebook 🙂

  49. Thank you for this great post! I’m a new blogger and I definitely do not have thousands of pins to delete, but you gave me a good baseline for how much I should be pinning in general (in other words, I should be doing it more than once per day!). I guess it makes sense why I don’t have any repins!

    When you suggest we repin the best stuff, are you suggesting we pin to our boards what Pinterest has deemed popular in order to attract attention to our boards? Does that mean repinning items that have already been pinned a large number of times?

    Thanks again for this post!

  50. Hi Sarah. I definitely found this interesting, but I’m wondering if this is still true for you and if you ever noticed followers unfollowing. I did this a month or two ago and after I deleted some pins I lost about 10 followers! Has this happened to you? How do they even know that I edited the board?! Very confused….

    • Sam, it is more true now than ever. 🙂 In fact, I get a lot of the skeptical people finally taking notice because my stats are consistently rocking this whole time while others may have phased out. If you delete a board, you will lose followers who have followed just that board and not your entire account…is that what you meant?

  51. Hi, great post! I was wondering, can I still put all my personal stuff in secret folders and it not affect anything? I like using Pinterest rather than saving sites into favorites, but I also want my Pinterest to grow as well. Thank you.

  52. Hi Sarah,
    I have learned so much from your post. I wanted to let you know that I wrote a post with some of the things that I learned and am applying to my own. I fully referenced you in the post. It is attached if you want to check it.
    Thanks, Kathleen

  53. Great article! I don’t have a ton of pins but I’ve been thinking about deleting some of my unattractive pins and maybe hiding some of my boards that I don’t use often. I still want to keep Pinterest for myself, but in order to gain an audience for my blog, I need to be strategic! Thanks so much for all of these tips!

  54. What a great article. Everyone raves about pinterest traffic and I’m still trying to get the hang of it. I’ve started scheduling pins on boardbooster but keep it light because I’m trying to watch my spending as my blog isn’t earning anything yet. Your thoughts on why this approach works makes a lot of sense. I’m going to start looking at my boards and pins a little differently. I don’t have so many repins as I’m so new but I’ll see if I can use your approach to help. Thanks!!

  55. Awesome article! I think I’ve been pinning too much and have noticed less repins lately. How do I quickly find and delete pins I’ve added to group boards that aren’t mine? On my boards I can use that move feature like you mentioned. I know I can click the pin counter on the top of my profile to see all pins, but seems like I can only delete those one at a time. Any tips?

    • I deleted them all manually. Took forever, but it IS worth it. Then, I delete now on my recent pins page and keep on top of it that way. 🙂 It’s work, but the results are worth it.

  56. Hi, my interest was peaked by your post on deleting pins. However, my problem is that I’ve hand picked each pin since 2011 and I don’t want to part with any of them! I spent an enormous amount of time doing it, not so much for repins, but for my own use. I started pinning against the norm and curated my boards according to what I wanted to see and to use Pinterest as a bulletin board/idea board. I just can’t bear to part with any of my pins! So I guess I’ll have to suffer the consequences and enjoy my pins by myself, even if this leads to less repins and less followers. Thanks for all the data and research though! Fascinating and good to know. Those Pinterest people are getting tricky with their algorithms! 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  57. While I’m not a blogger and I don’t pretend to understand everything you’re saying, I use Pinterest as a way to save things I like and want to refer back to in the future. If you delete a pin that I repinned, doesn’t it “go away” so that I can’t see it anymore? I went looking for a recipe that I had pinned and it was no longer “available.”

    • No, I can’t delete your pins. There are times when a company or an owner of a pin will turn in the pin to Pinterest and Pinterest removes it, but that’s really rare and would be because of a copyright issue. If I delete a pin that you’ve repinned, my copy of the pin is deleted, your copy of the pin stays on your board.

  58. It’s funny because when Pinterest first got big, I was pinning all the time and didn’t see much benefit to my blog (but I just enjoyed saving things for myself) but in the past few months I’ve been busy and Pinterest has sort of gone by the wayside for me. Weirdly, my Pinterest following exploded from 600 to over 3.5k with very little effort! This made me really look at my analytics though and it seems like I get a lot of repins and followers but very little actual traffic to my blog unfortunately. I’m definitely going to delete a couple of boards today and then look more at my repins. Are you only deleting the pins that come directly from your website or are you deleting things from other people too?


    • That’s great your Pinterest account went up in followers like that. When you start getting more followers, more traffic comes. I got a little more than 15,000 traffics a DAY from Pinterest this month according to my Pinterest analytics. I’m at about 50,000 followers, but I focus on followers, not traffic at this point in my blogging career.

      To answer your question, I’m deleting everything that is on my account that is underperforming.

  59. I think I’m understanding this. But are you deleting just your own content pins or are you also deleting other’s content? For example, I pin a lot of recipes. So if I go into a board I have on pasta recipes that doesn’t have many repins, I’m deleting most of those pins, whether they are my content or someone elses? And as far as your own content, are you repinning that stuff again later? Or is it not on any of your boards anymore? Thanks for the clarification. It seems so strange to delete stuff when I took the time to build up those boards!

    • I agree. In the beginning, you have to pin to build up the boards, but as you grow, those underperforming pins hurt your account and make you NOT grow. For deleting pins, anything that I’ve pinned, whether my own or someone else’s, are deleted if they are underperforming. I don’t usually repin that same stuff later that I deleted, because if it didn’t do well once, it usually won’t do well again.

  60. Hi Sarah! So looks like you wrote this in January of 2015 right? We had been getting lots of re-pins (anywhere from 5 to 150) on a lot of the bigger boards up until maybe July or August of this year (2015) Then suddenly we noticed that re-pins went way way down – and not just for us but for everybody it seemed. Did Pinterest change their algorithms again??!! Sure seems like they made a major change! What\’s your take on this?

    • Yeah, social media is constantly changing. The strategy behind deleting pins is still very much alive and well. The reason for the group boards tanking repins is posted here. With this said, I believe I’ve found a way to tell Pinterest that a particular group board is popular, thus giving me more repins for that post on all boards, but I’m still in testing phase of that one. 🙂

  61. You are an inspiration! Your story touched me and I’m so happy to hear that you followed God’s will and not that of what others were telling you to do. Your kids are very blessed!
    This post about Pinterest has me wondering (it makes complete sense) about a personal v’s business account. I purchased a domain, but have not launched yet. Still learning as much as I can beforehand. I converted my personal pinterest account to my business name. I’m wondering if this was a mistake? Would it have been better to start a new account for my business? I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you! Angela

    • Although I can’t see your Pinterest account to make sure, I would say off hand that converting your personal account to your business account is a good thing because you’re not starting over from scratch. You have followers there, pins, and a foundation. Then, you can go through and delete and clean up what you need to.

  62. Sarah, this is so helpful, thank you!! Boy, I have some work to do. I’m curious, does the age of the pin have any effect on its viability? Like if a pin is several years old, but it got a lot of repins, do I keep it? Thanks again!

  63. I’ve been reading several of your great posts tonight. Kudos! I’m especially interested in the topic of Pinterest. Boy, do I have some questions for you! I’ve just about given up on Pinterest lately because of how things have changed so much in the past year or so. It used to be that I would get hundreds of people a day pinning my pins, but now I’m lucky to get 5. Weird. I even contacted Pinterest to see if something was wrong with my account and was told that my account looks fine, that things had changed, and that the point of Pinterest is to be able to pin great content, not to get lots of people pinning off of me.

    I currently have about 3.8 followers (mostly gained in the glory days of Pinterest…I’m not sure that I get many new ones any more) and am wondering if, in my case you think that I should start a new account with my tiny little blog. I have a board that showcases my blog, armchairdecoratorblog.com. Lastly, I would love it if you could take a minute and check out my Pinterest account: “Sharilee Penfold” and see if there are things that you think that I need to change. First obvious thing that I will get on is to delete some pins as your great post recommends.

    Thanks for your time and your great advice!

  64. Oh, one more question. Sorry! What if I have pins of stuff that I love but no one else loves them enough to pin them. If I put them on a secret board, does Pinterest’s new algorithm or whatever has changed (ruined Pinterest in my opinion), hold those pins against me?

  65. Great post, Sarah!! I have heard a lot about how beneficial it is to delete pins but have never been able to find this answer anywhere – do low repin rates on pins not on YOUR boards but your pins on collaborative boards? For example, I know that a pin on my own board that has zero repins would hurt my ranking but if I pin something onto a collaborative board and it gets zero repins, does that also harm MY ranking? Or does it only harm the board/board owners’ ranking? I ask because I sometimes pin to small collaborative boards to get more repins on my original pins and to see a different audience and they only get a few repins or none at all but maybe I shouldn’t pin to them at all if it hurts my ranking. The pins on my own boards do well and a few select bigger collab boards but I figure it’s good to pin to different audiences if I can. Or does it hurt my ranking and I should be more selective of what boards I pin to? Does simply belonging to a poor performing collaborative board hurt your rank? I wouldn’t think it does but want to make sure! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge – it is much appreciated!

  66. Thanks so much for this post! I need advice, though….Does the number of repins matter for secret boards? If so, do you recommend having an additional (personal) pinterest account to keep those low performing pins you would normally keep secret?

  67. Hi Sarah-Thank you for sharing this wonderful post! Does anyone know if pins with no repins on secret boards affect our Pinterest ranking? Thanks for your help!

  68. Thanks for posting this. I’m fairly new to Pinterest. At least new to using Pinterest to promote my business. I have a question. How do
    I know how many re-pins a pin has? When I see a pin I can see the amount of pins. When I pin it to my page, the number of pins is no longer visible. I use my iPhone 90% of the time when I’m using social media.

    • I think you can see the exact number on the Pinterest app on your phone (unless they changed it again), but if so and you want to check it on your desktop or laptop, click Control+U at the same time. Then, click Control+F to pop up the find bar. Then search “followers.” It’s the third “followers” down! A little more work, but for me, I track exact numbers, so this is a good work-around.

  69. Ok, Pinterest confuses the heck out of me on a marketing level. How are you pinning 20 of your own stuff per day? Is it new material? Are you pinning the same thing multiple times?

  70. This sounds like a great plan, actually, and makes lots of sense!

    I do wonder…did people on your group boards notice you were deleting their pins? If so, did they say anything? I am going to give this a shot but want to know how to respond if someone confronts me on it. LOL! Thanks, Sarah!

    • Christin, since the new migration change Pinterest just recently did, I’m not sure it’s still accurate to delete those pins. Still studying it out, but it seems like it doesn’t hurt it now. I know they read my articles before doing the migration. HOPEFULLY, they took note and are listening to their users. 🙂

  71. This is really interesting – I never would have thought about deleting pins actually making you more visible! I’ve just started my Pinterest account for my blog but I’ll keep an eye on things! Thank you for the information!

  72. Agggghh. I don’t think I can do this. Mainly because I use Pinterest for me. I brain storm ideas and collect images for inspiration and until very recently I didn’t really even care if people followed let alone repin stuff. Am I bad?! I suppose I could give it a go and refine some of my older pins, but it’s going to be tough.

  73. I am really excited to see how deleting these pins will affect traffic, repins and follower growth for me!

    I’ve got a Pinterest plan for the next month!!!


  74. I did it. It tanked my stats in December, as in less then 50% of normal. This month however I have already surpassed my December # and it looks like my stats will improve by 33-50% over normal. I also deleted boards and rearranged my existing boards so they are grouped together (homeschool, home, etc…) Yes, it was scary and watching my stats plummeting was sickening but this month it was all worth the effort. Thanks for the advice. I am currently working on your 4 Plateau’s course.

    • That’s great! 🙂 Did it tank your stats at first because you were deleting whole boards with followers on them? Or was it something else you were keeping an eye on?

  75. You just blew my mind! It does make total sense to me though. I’m off to delete and see what my results are! =) Thanks so much for this tip!

  76. HI there
    I am doing what you say because when I started on Pinterest, I did not know what to do or how to run a Business Board! It feels so great to get rid on the dead weight. It is like cleaning house.

    I hope that now my popular pins will garner attention 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  77. i’ve started upping my pinterest game the last few days, and have already started to see results in the number of likes I’m getting. I do have one question I haven’t seen addressed… do you think it’s important to have all your boards be cohesive with each other? I noticed that yours and other successful pinterest users seem to have boards around a general theme, and mine might seem kind of random because they are more for me than other people. I’m thinking maybe I should make some of those boards private? What’s your opinion on that? I so appreciate your input!

    • The only thing I would say is that you want boards that are going to attract your target audience. Think about the things they would be interested in and make boards for that. 🙂

  78. Hi, I’m writing a blog post review on BoardBooster. I’m referencing this article in it (I can send you the link when it’s published, if you like). But, my question is about deleting a massive amount of pins. So, I have BoardBooster, and they have this function where you can move pins with less than whatever number of repins you want and move them to a board of choice. I was thinking of doing this with my pins with 1 or less repins and then delete that board. As an easy way to get rid of a mass of non-performing pins. What are your thoughts on this? I’m not sure how Pinterest will view this if say 50 pins get moved to another board….oh and now it’s deleted. Thoughts? Thanks in advanced!

  79. Great article I’m already getting positive results. However I do have one question: how long do you give a pin to “perform” before you delete it? A week? A month?

  80. Are you deleting any old pin – not just ones that come from your own website? So every pin that is old and hasn’t been repined you should delete? Some of my old pins are articles I really want to reference back and it doesnt affect my traffic. This is what I find confusing. What’s the point of deleting pins that aren’t coming back to you anyway?

  81. Hi Sarah, I love your blog and all of your suggestions. I am going through my boards and very slowly cleaning things up. Thank you for pointing out not to make sudden moves. Can you also please shed some light on what is going on with Pinterest right now, and how we should best respond? There seems to be more algorithm changes. Thank you so much.

    • Honestly, I would say to just ride it out. I think that us bloggers can become so focused on one thing and try so hard to do well on that one thing (and that’s great), but we can easily lose focus of the bigger picture. While Pinterest is super important to my blog’s health, it’s not the only aspect. Take a step back, realign your focus on your long term goals and THEN go from there. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and algorithm changes, in my opinion, are small….life will always change, things will always change, technology will always change, but my focus, my passion to help others, never will and it’s THAT that shines through and makes me so successful, not a platform or doing certain tasks. It’s me and my love for others. <3

  82. So you’re pinning 20 of your own stuff daily? Forgive me if I sound ignorant, I am new to this… but does this mean you have 20 original pieces of content to pin every single day??? I’m confused. Can you help me sort that out?

  83. I am confused by this post. I pin things for myself….if others see my pin and want to also pin it, then that’s fine. I use all my boards for inspiration. I don’t pin for the benefit of others. Maybe I totally misunderstood what you are talking about. I’m sure you are very knowledgeable.

    • Yes, this would be for bloggers who are wanting to get traffic (marketing strategies). 🙂 For personal accounts, it would be something completely different = just pinning what you like. 🙂

  84. Thanks you,Thank you! I will start deleting slowly! One thing should we have group boards and be on group boards? Or just have your own boards? I love Pinterest and try very hard,I get about 100 a week ! Wow you do fab I should be so lucky:))) thanks again for your fab information!! The Best any ideas for me love to hear help!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  85. I’ve actually just started doing this in recent weeks. I am seeing a bump up but cleaning out a lot of things. I recommend it purely to see what pins worked and what didn’t (like you mentioned).
    Working on cleaning up my group boards next! Great post!

  86. Hi, Sarah! Thank you for your article. I’m working on cleaning up my boards, and I have a question for you. When I find a pin from someone else that I want to pin to group boards that are not my own, I usually pin it to one of my own boards first. Then, I repin it to the group board(s) later. Does it make a positive difference to do this? Thanks for sharing your insights!

  87. I discovered this post when looking for something else about Pinterest repins and learned a lot. I had already deleted some pins but I’m going to go back and review those boards again! Thanks and I’ve shared via Twitter.

  88. I just read your article ‘9 Reasons You Should Be Deleting Your Pins’. I just realized Pinterest can be something other than pinning things I would like to do. I don’t blog but will be reading your articles to educate myself. Thank you.

  89. Such an excellent post! I shared it with a group of bloggers I’m in. Now time to start deleting!

    Also, love your transparency when talking about Bluehost and how it’s an upfront cost. I was referred by another blog and learned the hard way when I was getting setup.

    • Thank you for sharing Jenny. 🙂 Yeah, because it’s so incredibly cheap, they require upfront payment, however, they do offer refunds, so there’s no risk. 🙂

  90. Great article, thank you so much for sharing your insights! One question though. What about my secret boards? They obviously don’t have any repins and such. Does Pinterest ignore them in regard of your performance? Or is it best to have two accounts one for personal and one for business? Until now I just put my personal pins in secret boards. I prefer to have as few accounts as possible. Many thanks and have a wonderful week! 🙂 Sandra

    • I can’t say 100% sure Sandra, but I don’t think secret boards matter, at least at this point. Pinterest could change that tomorrow. LOL.

      • Thank you so much for your fast response! I started implementing your system and it seems to work which is amazing 🙂 BUT somehow since yesterday Pinterest is suddenly showing me always the “overall number” of re-pins and likes an image has gotten instead of only showing me the reins /likes it got on my boards. That said even if I directly pin from a website it still shows me how many others pinned from there :/ I asked in a Facebook group and some said it like always and some say they have the same issues as me. Is Pinterest currently testing out an overall change? If so this great strategy I just found thanks to you won’t work any more :/ Any feedback would be highly appreciated! Many thanks again, Sandra

  91. This is a great read – load of information. Thanks so much. I’m a mum of 3 in the UK and just started as a social media manager working from home. This has been really helpful.

  92. I started blogging about a year after I started my personal Pinterest account and changed it to my blog account. (Because who has time for 2 Pinterest accounts?) What you’re saying makes complete sense, but my concern is that I would lose a lot of pins that I reference just for me. Do you keep YOUR pins (the ones that you like just for you) separate or do you have a personal account?

  93. This is great information. I have been doing a lot of studying on Pinterest. Working on getting my marketing going. I am so glad I found this site.

  94. Wow, thanks for these tips Sarah! I’m going to have a go at de-cluttering my account. Excited to see how it’ll work 🙂

  95. Hi Sarah, this is great advice, especially since it feels counter-intuitive to be deleting pins for more likes. Can I ask what you would recommend for someone just starting out? My following so far is so small that most of my pins don’t get any repins at all. I was thinking i’d wait a while and then start a good clean up?
    Thanks, Sarah

  96. I loved this post and use this principle a few months back. It was great. I had a nice bump in traffic and felt like my boards were ‘cleaned up. However the most recent update to the app and the desktop sites make it impossible to see the pin count on your boards only. It shows the total Pin count. Do you know of a work around? So frustrated not to be able to see how a particular pin is doing!