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Here’s What Happened When I Did a Pinterest Board Cleanse

So if you’ve been following me here on the blog where I write semi-specific stuff on writing and design, then you know how much of a Pinterest fanatic I am. I’ve been a pinner for over a year now, and this is not my first confession, my friends, about how much Pinterest has either influenced my site designs or has dramatically improved my website traffic both as an author and a blogger.

I’ve researched and studied Pinterest so much I was able to build a course around it, have consulted for businesses looking to use Pinterest to market themselves, and handle several accounts for people that want a certain look and result on this platform. This gorgeous, masterpiece of a search engine that we lovingly open to find inspiration, new products, recipes, books, and how-tos is simply amazing. And the beauty of it is it works for everyone – every genre, product, and website.

Well, one of the biggest things about succeeding with Pinterest is ensuring that your website has a certain niche. Well, I certainly figured that out, and my monthly viewers just from Pinterest have been steadily growing so much that running this blog is becoming so much more than just an income stream. It’s becoming a personal challenge to set the bar even higher for myself from a design sense. But with all that under my belt, I was ready for a unique challenge.

You know what happens when you just keep pinning, and pinning and pinning? Yeah. Take a look at your boards and have yourselves a lot at your own Pinterest account. Do you see an element of crazy there? Most likely, yes.

Sometimes this just happens from what I call drunken pinning. Like having a little too much wine on the weekend and deciding to pin ALL the THINGS. Like drunk buying on Amazon. It seldom ends well.

This past week I worked on a major project that pinners on Pinterest seldom do. A Pinterest board cleanse. That’s right. I shifted everything and anything that didn’t match the aesthetic I was looking to achieve to a secret board. Everything with hot pink, yellow, green, orange, and dark colors got moved, with the exception of my font board, which is one of the largest font and typography boards you’ll find on Pinterest. I love it.

When I was looking at my boards with an objective designer’s eye, my face made this grimace thing and I think I pulled a muscle. My boards looked yucky. Sure, I had coordinated board covers all beautiful and nice, but everything in those boards was like mis-matched sock drawer. It was ugly. There was no theme. I had niched everything content-wise but not each and every single pin. I’ve seen other Pinterest accounts go to this extreme and it’s an admirable challenge, really. It’s harder than it looks.

It was a challenge because my look and feel differs so much from everyone else that I figured it’d be hard to find good, quality content along with high-quality pins that matched. I felt bad not pinning some of the bloggers that have really great content but their colors were just so off-brand for me it didn’t seem right to include them anymore. So I promised myself I’d use one of my other accounts to include and re-pin them. I just can’t do heavy brush fonts and hot pink or orange fonts on this account. Sorry, everyone.

But here’s what happened, and I think you’ll find this interesting.

  1. The boards looked so much more beautiful than they did before. I’ve received tons of compliments on this account now that I’ve made this update. It’s hard, sometimes, to make decisions on elements to use and look and feel. Lots of people like bright colors, but there are also people that enjoy more elegant and sophisticated-looking boards, too, that are a bit more resembling of an ethereal approach.
  2. It looks put together. Like it was intentional and purposeful. It looks like this is not my first rodeo. It matches. It’s coordinated. I’m in love, which leads me to my next point.
  3. I actually felt better. Seriously. Design obstacles are crippling enough. Then add in an overload of mis-matched content and you’ll be rocking back and forth like a crazy person. I stopped second guessing myself once I saw the end result. Gorgeous. My heart was happy, and I was excited to look for more ways to add more to it. It was a refreshing feeling, and I felt energized once again. Proof that cleansing your boards can actually make you happier!
  4. I got rid of the excess. I had multiples of the same pin, square images that had somehow landed on there (to me, a bit yucky), redundant articles (where everyone seems to write about how to start a blog), and moved over 4000 pins altogether.
  5. I got rid of information no longer relevant to my audience. I went from basic to intermediate. Writing for sales funnels. Writing copy. Ethereal design. New, fresh stuff that I think my audience wants to learn more about.
  6. Found my people! I found some other bloggers like me – they design like me, use subtle, more muted colors, and now I feel like we have something in common and I’ll be reaching out to them, thus, just enhancing my sense of blogging community.

I’ve decided to stay inspired by other bloggers and authors, too. If I feel like a certain topic hasn’t been covered by my boards, and someone else has touched on it, I’m probably going to write my own blog post and spin it from my own perspective and experience, just to be sure that my readers (you, darlin’!) get the information they’re probably looking for or would want to know.

Has it been challeging? Only pinning things that are blue/grey/beige/white/ charcoal? Light and airy? Of course it has. But I view this more of a personal and professional challenge, and it’s keeping things interesting.  I have to stay active as a pinner, because I know that Pinterest works for me, my books, and my blog, so pinning quality pins with a matching look and feel is going to be challenging, to say the least. But now that I’ve taken it to this level, I don’t think I could ever go back to a hodge podge look. I’m loving this way too much.

So would I recommend taking your Pinterest account to this extreme? YES. If I could do it over again, I totally would, despite the amount of effort that went into it (like, hours, and hours of effort).

Here’s your Pinterest challenge for the following week: cleanse your boards. Create a theme, a certain look, and move pins around that do not match. Use a secondary account to still support the bloggers you love and admire and continue to re-pin them on a separate account. Or better yet, give them a blog shout-out, which is probably what I’ll be doing as well, come to think of it.

And yes, I’ll be updating my Pinterest course, available for purchase on my online store, to add this cleansing activity in more detail!

Happy pinning, everyone!



Also published on Medium.

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