Thursday 5 July 2012

The Confused Bloggers Guide to Pinterest

This isn't the first time I have blogged about Pinterest. My first time was here, where I revealed my addiction. Back then, I used Pinterest merely as a hobby, not a social networking tool, pinning pretty things, ideas for activities with Joseph, craft projects etc. Then I left, as documented here.  Pinterest addressed the concerns many of us had about copyright and I decided to come back. As I had completely disabled my account I had to start from scratch, which to be honest has been a fantastic thing for me.

I was having a Twitter conversation with a couple of bloggers who are just starting out with Pinterest, and one of them said "I am not sure how it promotes your blog and gets you more readers". I am not the first blogger to have written about this, but I thought my thoughts might be helpful, as I was in that place too. It was deactivating for a few months and observing other bloggers that helped crystallise what I was doing with Pinterest.

So lets go back to basics. Pinterest is a way of collating online images onto boards. Pinterest gives you some boards to get started on, but you can get rid of these, as I have, and create your own. One of the things that has changed is its now no longer a faux pas to pin your own content. It's fine to do this, initally Pinterest frowned upon this. You can pin images from just about anywhere (not Facebook) and some sites can "opt out" if they wish.

It's clear with some blogs, that Pinterest is going to work for them. Red Ted Art is an obvious example and you can see the boards here. Initally Pinterest was used a lot for craft sites, but now clever bloggers have found ways to use Pinterest to their advantage. I am by no means an expert but let me show you some of the ways I use it.

My boards all have one word descriptions. This is a challenge! Sometimes it's self explanatory, sometimes a bit obscure. "Sugar" for those who know me and my blog title is self explanatory. If you don't know me you might think "huh?" but it might spur a curious person to click and examine more! On the Sugar board I pin images of my blog, and also of me that have been posted around the place. I don't have every post on Pinterest as I don't think its relevant to do this, and can look spammy. I try to have a mix on each board of pins I have pinned from my own content, repinned from within Pinterest, and pinned from the net.

Pinterest is as simple or involved as you want to make it. For me, I love visiting other boards, and getting a feel for them. I love to comment, repin and like other pins. It gives me a buzz to see others doing the same.

Like Twitter or Google + Pinterest takes time to get to know, to like and to use it in a way that suits you. What I love about Pinterest is you really get to know a person, or blogger through their pins. Its a great way of finding shared interests.

Pinterest won't suit every blogger. I love it as I have a very visual memory, and I love collating and curating my boards. However, one of the things that has stuck in my mind from Britmums Live is something Cherry Healey said, and I paraphrase "if an online networking site doesn't encourage you or nurture you, don't do it". Your blog won't fail if you don't use Pinterest, but you may find your blog experience all the richer if you do.


  1. maggy, red ted art5 July 2012 at 09:51

    Yay! Good to have a simple explanation of Pinterest! And agree.. it is totally what you make of it! You can use it in sooo many different ways to suit your needs and interests!

    (Thanks for the mention ;-)

  2. Thanks so much for this. Incredibly helpful!

  3. Thanks for this - it's really helpful to work out how it's changed - I have a profile which I used for pinning fun things but haven't played much recently so I'll have to dip my toe back in!