What is PINTEREST? When my hubby (who works in marketing and social media) asked me that, did a double-take. We crafters and craft bloggers have been hooked on Pinterest for a year or so, and I created my account and put the button on my blog over 6 months ago. So I realized that maybe I should give you all a formal introduction to a site I use and love, and why you might like to get an invite, too.
Pinterest is a visual bookmarking site.
To use the words from the Pinterest website,
Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.
Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. To get started, request an invite.
To me, Pinterest is like having bulletin boards all over your college dorm wall. You can categorize each one: food, fashion, books, crafts. You can even sub-categorize like I do- recycled crafts, kids crafts, etc.
To get started, you need to get an “invite” and register by submitting your email. (They don’t ask for any other information, like your address or anything.) Then youÂ share what some of your interests are to get you started- like cooking, home decor, DIY, etc. They will suggest some boards for you to “follow.”
To add something to your boards, you “Pin” it. You can pin something one of two ways- either spy something on someone else’s boards and “repin” it to add it to YOUR boards.
Tip: You should always take a moment to either state the name of the blog or “tag” the original author. You can do that by using the “@” sign, just like with Facebook. For more Pinterest etiquette, you should read the post from CrafterMinds.com.
If you want to “Pin” things from the original source- a website or blog- then you might want to install the Pin It Toolbar on your browser. (There is an iPhone app, too.)Â There is also a place in the Goodies section that you can copy the URL in and add your pin that way.
You’ll notice some things about Pinterest. First of all,Â things that get “pinned” & re-pinned are visually stunning and well-photographed. So if you are looking for great ideas and eye-candy, Pinterest is your candy store! And if (like me) you use Pinterest as a way of sharing your posts with a wider audience, make sure that you take really, really good photos. Time to up your game!
Pinterest is social.
Next, Pinterest is all about social networking. You “follow” folks that have curated boards on topics that interest you, and you get “followed” back.Â There are a good many notable names on Pinterest that are of interest to the crafting community, like Amy Anderson of Mod Podge Rocks, and Heather Mann of Dollar Store Crafts. You’ll also find that brands have started pinning, like Xyron, Spellbinders, and Graphic 45 paper company. There are some magazines, too, like Country Living and Better Homes and Gardens. Online magazine Craftzine has a great collection of boards.
But “normal” people are on Pinterest, too- and often I find that folks that I’ve never really heard of are finding cool sites and are worth following to get new, good ideas. I mean, you can’t be EVERYWHERE on the web…so Pinterest is like the ultimate referral service.
Pinterest is fun and functional.
Some folks out there just don’t “get” Pinterest, but for us visual folk, it’s highly addictive. You can spend hours going down rabbit holes- finding new folks to follow, checking out different kinds of boards, even searching out ideas for your next organization project. It’s fun and easy to use.
Furthermore, I’ve heard of a Pinterst spurring folks to action. People are actually USING the ideas they see for decorating, crafting, and cooking. You gotta love something that motivates people to stop just READING blogs to actually making and doing for themselves.
Lastly, if you are a blogger, crafter, or seller, Pinterest can really help drive traffic to your site. Pinterest is in my top-ten referrers- meaning that folks saw something that was pinned on Pinterest and took the time to click through to read the whole article on my URL. It’s been great for my traffic and has brought a whole ‘nother segment of web traffic to my door. And I don’t even sell anything!
One word of caution- like anything you put on the web, once it’s out there (or up there on your pin boards) it’s out there. That means that if you ARE an Etsy seller or an artist, you run the risk of getting ripped off. But the increase in visibility just might be work the risk. You’ll have to decide.
If you are wondering if your favorite bloggers are on Pinterest, look for their social site buttons.
I hope you’ll consider giving Pinterest a try & following me when you get there!