Have you heard about Pinterest?
Warning: DON’T READ THIS POST IF YOU LOVE THE INTERNET. Because if you’re as addicted to blogging and tweeting as I am, the last thing you need is another online way to waste time.
But if you like: art, food, home decor, dessert, crafts, photography, fashion, happiness, make up, tutorials, jewelry, etsy, joy and being inspired on a daily basis, I highly recommend you get on the Pinterest bandwagon as fast as if your pants were on fire and the wagon was covered in hot firemen.
My friend Brigid actually sent me an invitation months ago, because genius that she is Brigid knew it was a brilliant next-big-thing idea and also the sort of something I would love. I should send her a fruit basket. Maybe I’ll go look for creative fruit basket ideas on Pinterest. Because there are probably FORTY BILLION of them. I procrastinated for a few weeks, thinking I’d check it out when I had time and surly it wasn’t some sort of life changing website.
IT IS A LIFE CHANGING WEBSITE.
Here’s the overview: When you sign up, you create pin boards (like digital bulletin boards) where you can stick ideas you find online. The easiest way to pin is to add a shorcut to your toolbar following the instructions here. Then all the stuff you like is in one convenient, organized, neat-looking place. It’s like a visual representation of bookmark folders in your internet browser. Here’s a screenshot of my recipe board, where I’m keeping all the recipes I’ve meal-planned for this week. It’s so much more fun SEEING the food than just reading about the food that I am actually more inspired to cook:
The second stage of Pinterest is following other people and their boards, so you can find inspiration right there on your homepage. You can follow all of someone’s boards or just one or two, based on what you’re interested in seeing in your feed. When you click on something that’s been pinned it takes you back to the original website, where you can get the info you need to make/cook/buy/try/read about the thing that was pinned.
This is what mine looks like right now:
Food, tutorials, fashion, all in one place. And here’s another shot, if I scroll down my page a little:
Home decor, a playhouse, tutorials, crafts, more recipes, things to buy…really, there are PLENTY of things to look at on a minute by minute basis.
Have I convinced you to sign up yet? Or do you have an account you’ve been neglecting because you just didn’t really “get it” yet? Here’s some Do’s and Don’ts to help you understand how to get the most out of your boards:
- DO follow lots of people. The more people you follow the more stuff shows up on your homepage.
- DO follow people you don’t know. I promise it’s not creepy or stalkerish, so if you find a board that you’re in love with always add them!
- DO repin when you love something.
- DO use the search option to find more of what you want. I searched “polka dots” every day for a week to find inspiration for Little Evan’s birthday.
- DO check in often. Your friends will go on pinning sprees and looking at several days worth of stuff at once means you might miss something.
- DO unsubscribe from a board before a person. Maybe you love your friend’s sense of style but you don’t like pictures of babies or celebrities or quilts. Keep following their fashion board but unfollow the board you don’t like.
- DO use Pinterest to keep track of stuff you find in magazines. I do this a lot with recipes – if there’s an online version it’s so much easier to pin it than hold onto ripped out pages.
- DO check out the “staff favorites” boards and the ones Pinterest suggests you might like. It’s about expanding places you find inspiration, not looking at stuff you’d see on your friend’s blog anyways.
- But DO pin stuff from your friend’s blogs when you love it. I’m not going to lie, being pinned feels nice.
- DO be my friend on Pinterest!
- DON’T just repin stuff from other people’s boards. Add new content to the Pinterest community when you find it online, whether it’s from blogs, shops, websites, or friends.
- DON’T pin stuff to multiple boards. Pick the category it fits best and pin it just once.
- DON’T forget to label your pins with helpful tags and explanations, especially when pinning recipes. “Yum!” isn’t as helpful as “strawberry shortcake cupcakes”. For stuff from shops, adding prices is nice.
- DON’T just pin stuff from your blog. You can pin your own some sparingly, but follow the social media 80/20 rule: Promote other people 80% of the time and yourself 20% of the time.
- DON’T think Pinterest is just for bloggers. You don’t need anything besides an email to sign up and you don’t need online friends.
- DON’T post EVERYTHING you pin to Facebook or Twitter. I accidentally put my pins in my Facebook feed and was super annoying for a few hours before I noticed.
- DON’T forget that just because a picture is on Pinterest doesn’t mean it’s not subject to copyright. You cannot just take and use them on your blog without checking with the owner.
Seeing all the things I want to cook/make/buy all at once makes my life so much easier and more organized. I can actually re-find stuff I saw on the internet and thought “oh, I should do that!” Now I CAN do that. I’m also slightly addicted to checking what’s been pinned from my own blog. It’s reaching an unhealthy no-there’s-nothing-for-dinner-can’t-you-see-I’m-busy-looking-at-recipes-on-pinterest-WHAT-DO-YOU-MEAN-THAT’S-SUPER-IRONIC??? levels of time consumption, but I don’t even care. I love it.
Are you going to sign up now? Are you addicted yet? Do you have any suggestions for ways to make the most of Pinterest?