How To Use Pinterest
A Visual Collection of the Things You Love
Ever wish you could gather up all of the amazing images you find online without worrying about disorganized bookmarks, buried blog posts or wasted paper and ink? Well, say hello to Pinterest.
Pinterest, which boasts more than 28 million visitors each month, is a visually driven social media site with endless possibilities. Incredibly addicting and easy to use, Pinterest allows its members to collect and organize the eye candy they discover everyday while browsing the web. It's streamlined, simple and -- above all else -- fun!
Here you'll find information about how to use (and NOT use) Pinterest both personally and professionally. From signing up to sharing your pins, this lens has got you covered.
Already excited to sign up for Pinterest? Check it out here. Not quite convinced yet? Read on!
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: It has come to my attention that this article has recently been copied and republished by a number of blogs and websites without my permission. While I am flattered that so many visitors have found my words helpful, plagiarism is illegal -- even when you copy a single sentence or paragraph. Remember: I'm a real person and it took real time and effort to write this lens. Please respect that. Thanks and happy pinning! - asphyxia
13 Reasons to Love Pinterest
What Pinterest can do for you (and your blog or business)
- You can save all the images you find online in a single, streamlined place.
- You can pin any image from any website using the simple "Pin It" button, also known as the pinmarklet.
- You can create unlimited boards about anything and everything that interests you.
- You can organize your pins onto themed pinboards.
- You can discover anything from new recipes and travel destinations to birthday cake ideas and decorating tips.
- You can follow other Pinterest members (or just the boards you like).
- You can contribute new pins to someone else's board, if their settings allow it.
- You can repin another member's pins onto your own board.
- You can comment on your favorite pins.
- You can mention another Pinterest user when commenting on or describing a new pin.
- You can share your pins on Twitter and Facebook.
- You can like a pin, which will add it to the "likes" section of your profile.
- You can invite others to follow you on Pinterest with cute buttons. Click mine in the introduction to check out my pinboards!
Poll: All About Boards - Share your Pinterest stats
Poll: All About Boards
How to Sign Up for Pinterest
Back when the site first launched, Pinterest required prospective members to request an invitation. Exclusive, right? Well, not anymore. Now that pinning has become as common a verb as tweeting and liking, Pinterest's sign-up process has simplified.
How can you sign up for Pinterest? Simply head on over to the Pinterest homepage, click "Sign Up For Pinterest" and create an account using Facebook, Twitter or your e-mail address. Choose a username that reflects your interests, blog, business, etc. and then start pinning!
What to Do Immediately After Joining Pinterest - Step-by-step Pinterest tips for new pinners
- Connect with your Facebook or Twitter account. This one's mandatory. Why? Because Pinterest cares about quality, and one of the best ways to ensure high-quality content is to deter the spammers, trolls and shameless self-promoters from signing up in the first place.
- Edit your profile. Pinterest will automatically import your photo and bio from either Twitter or Facebook, but don't forget to add a link to your website, blog or Squidoo lensmaster page! Including a link is a great way to give your future followers an opportunity to learn even more about you.
- Install the "Pin It" button. The "Pin it" button, or pinmarklet, makes pinning images incredibly easy. If you decided not to install the pinmarklet when you first signed up, you can always access it by visiting the Goodies section of Pinterest's About page.
- Invite your friends. Thanks to your Facebook or Twitter account, you can easily find friends who are already using Pinterest. You can also e-mail invitations to your friends who don't already use the site.
- Get pinning! You stumble across hundreds of interesting things online every single day. Why not share them with the world?
How to Create a Board - Before you can pin an image, you need to create boards
Have an image you want to share? You've got to have to somewhere to pin it! New pinboards can be created anytime by clicking the "Add" button on your Pinterest navigation bar. Don't forget to categorize your board and name it something clever or memorable to gain other pinners' attention. Giving your dessert board a title like "Things to Bake" won't catch people's attention. Get creative!
How to Pin an Image
Everything you need to know about pinning images on Pinterest
There are two ways to pin an image. First, you can upload a photo to Pinterest from your computer by clicking the "Add" button on your navigation bar. This is a great option for pinning images that aren't already hosted online.
But let's say you find an interesting image on a blog or website. Rather than saving the image to your computer and then re-uploading it to Pinterest, you can simply click the "Pin It" button, which you should have already installed by now! (What's that you say? You forgot? That's ok! Find it here).
When you click the "Pin It" button, you will be given the option to pin any of the images embedded on the webpage you're currently visiting. You'll also have the opportunity to choose which board you're pinning to and to describe your new pin. Don't worry about copy-pasting the source url into the description. All images pinned to Pinterest automatically retain the url of their original sources!
13 Great Ways to Use a Pinterest Board - Creative ideas for Pinterest boards
- Create a visual bucket list. Collecting images of the things you want to do will help remind you to live your life rather than rush through it.
- Plan your wedding (or someone else's!). Create inspiration boards for bouquets, bridesmaids dresses, cakes and other details that will make your -- or your friend or client's -- big day memorable.
- Stay motivated to workout. Whether you aspire to run a marathon or simply lose a few holiday pounds, pinning images of bodies that inspire you can help keep you in the gym and out of the McDonalds drive-thru.
- Plan a birthday party. Pick out the balloons, favors, food and games that will entertain your guests and make you a fabulous hostess.
- Explore new places. If you've always wanted to wander through the Irish countryside but can't quit afford the trip, create a pinboard of castles, cliffs and creative ethnic dishes.
- Collect your favorite recipes. Organize the fabulous foods you find online by meal type or main ingredient. Yum!
- Share your personal style. Give yourself a makeover or document your fashion evolution with photos of your favorite outfits.
- Create a wishlist. If friends and family are planning to buy gifts for a big occasion, give them something pretty to scroll through whilst shopping online.
- Inspire yourself with quotes. Beautiful words can be found in the most unsuspecting of places. Collect images of the billboards, posters and scrawled graffiti that mean something to you.
- Redecorate your home. Plan to give your living situation a Martha Stewart-worthy makeover by packing pinboards with new color schemes and furniture.
- Plan a vacation. Hundreds of people have photographed the places most people want to visit so go ahead and show people what you want to do while visiting Russia, Costa Rica or Thailand.
- Connect with people who love the things you love. Shared interests can lead to lifelong friendships. Use Pinterest to reconnect, network or meet new people.
- Showcase your Squidoo lenses. While shameless self-promotion (see below) is discouraged, creating a single board dedicated to your lenses is a great way to subtly share your content.
How to Become a Top Pinner on Pinterest - Ways to increase your followers
Pinterest's top pinners, formerly referred to as tastemakers, are the Pinterest members whose boards and pins get the most love. The more comments, views, likes, follows and repins a pinner earns, the more popular they become. Here are just a few of the many things you can do to work your way to the top.
- Contribute to the Pinterest community. Put yourself out there! Pinterest is a social site so comment on the pins you love and start a conversation with the people who share your interests.
- Create boards that are visually striking and unique. The more visually appealing your boards are the more views, repins and likes you'll get. Pin only the best of what you find while browsing the web and pay attention to color schemes and board themes.
- Allow others to contribute pins to your boards. When you create a new board, Pinterest gives you the option to allow others to add pins as well. This is a great way to involve your friends and followers.
- Add your website to your profile. If people become interested in you, they will want to know more about you. Give them a place to find that information! How? Scroll down for the details!
Can I Use Pinterest to Promote My Blog, Website or Squidoo Lens?
Self-promotion on Pinterest
The honest answer is both yes and no. YES because the images pinned on Pinterest retain the url of their original source and thus link back to that page when clicked. NO because unlike other social media sites, Pinterest is NOT a place for shameless self-promotion. Instead, it is a thriving online community where you can expand your online presence and continue to build your brand. What's the difference? Let's break it down with some examples.
Shameless Self-Promotion is...
- pinning low quality, generic images because you want to increase your blog's traffic
- creating numerous boards dedicated to the items currently available in your Etsy shop
- dropping links to your website every time you comment on a pin
- pinning high quality, unique images because you want to share what inspires you
- creating a single board that showcases your best Squidoo lenses
- commenting on and sharing pins because you genuinely like them
- pinning one or two items from your Etsy shop because they're awesome and they fit the theme of your board
How To Add a Link to Your Profile
1. Hover over your username in the Pinterest navigation bar.
2. Click "Preferences"
3. Beside your e-mail address, click "Edit"
4. Add your url where it says "Website"
5. Click "Save Profile"
Debate: Copyright Issues on Pinterest - How do YOU feel about Pinterest's use of photos?
Pinterest has sparked a heated debate about photo sharing and copyright laws. Some users happily argue that Pinterest has increased traffic to their blogs while others avidly oppose the pinning of their images for fear of plagiarism.
Do you agree with Pinterest's approach to photo sharing?
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