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Monday, March 12, 2012

Pinterest: Be a Better Pinner

So, I started this post and it just kept going and going and going... like, we're talking the Energizer bunny kind of going.  So... I decided to break it down and this will be a little mini series.  So, shall we get started?

I'm sure you've at least heard of the raging fad that is Pinterest.  If not, you can get all the info on that HERE.  It's a very awesome tool and I love that it's versatile, easy to use and available wherever I have an internet connection (although I'm still impatiently waiting for an Android app... hint, hint app developers...).  I don't have to be on my laptop to access all my bookmarks.  And the social sharing aspect is cool too.  It's like having tons of eyes all over the internet, because seriously there's no way I'd have time to go search out all the great things I have pinned.  Anyway, very cool.  If you haven't checked it out, you should.

Already on the bandwagon?  Awesome.  Are you really a good pinner though?  I'm not talking about what you actually pin, but how you pin it.  I have been spending many a nursing sessions with one hand holding my snuggly little guy and the other hovering over my laptop while I gaze on image after image as I scroll through pin after pin.  Nothing is more frustrating than clicking on an image, expecting to get more info on this totally awesome picture, and I get a blog home page or a Google image search and the photo that originally brought me to the site is NO WHERE to be found!  Or I get a blog post where a project has been featured, but the actual project is on a totally different site.  Does that annoy anyone else?!

I'll be honest and admit that I'm not sure if it bothers me more as a pin stalker or as a blog author.  It's frustrating when you're trying to find more details on a project, recipe, article, ect and you have to go on a wild goose chase to find what you're looking for (or, even better, waste a bunch of time looking and never finding!).  It's also frustrating to find other projects that aren't mine pinned back to my site from a feature post.  People ask me questions about a project I know nothing about.  The project authors worked hard and deserve the links to their site.  And, yes, it bothers me when I don't get the links back for my work too.

So, how do you become the best pinner you can be?  Always pin from the source.  That's it in a nutshell.  It does require a little more effort on your part, but you'll be thankful (and thanked).  You will always be able to find the direct source for your bookmarks.  The soup you saw that looked so delicious... you'll be able to easily and reliably find the actual recipe unless the source site removes it.  I very, very rarely ever use the repin button.  In fact, I only use it when I am browsing the mobile site from my tablet or phone (and then I try to go back later and repin from the original source) because Android doesn't have a Pinterest app.  Ugh.  I always visit the source of the pin, especially if I'm repinning, because I get to actually see the content in order to pin it.  That way I know I really do like the idea and want to save it for later.  And sometimes I find a better picture during my visit.

How do you link from the direct source?  For example, when I feature links from Weekend Wander parties, click over to the blog that linked it up before you pin.  It'll be less frustrating for others that see your pin and want more info because your link will send them directly to the info they want.  It'll also give the traffic (and credit) to the actual project author, who deserves it.

Instead of pinning from this page, click on the green text link
and visit the actual blog the images came  from originally.
Don't want to leave this page, right click the link and open in a new tab or window.

{Making all my links open in new tabs is on my to-do list, but it's somewhere under
"feed the baby", "bathe the two year old" and "shower".  It's a work in progress.}

 If you're browsing a blog's homepage, click on the post title before you pin.  That will save the post address as the link on your pin, not just the home page.  If you save the home page, the image and post you pinned originally will eventually get lost in archived pages as more posts go up and your pin will pull up the most recent content.

This is my home page address.
Anything pinned from this page will bring you to my most recently published content,
even if the image you pin is in an older post that has since been archived to older pages.

This is the direct link address to my Rag Edge Burp Cloth tutorial.
Anything pinned from this address will bring you (or anyone else) back to this tutorial.

If you've done a Google image search (or any other image search), click on the image and go to the source site before you pin it.  I saw a pin on one of my aunt's boards a few weeks ago.  It was this printable.  Look familiar?  No?  Check out the watermark in the middle of the print...

I thought "Ooh, hey, she checked out my blog.  That's cool."  I don't advertise my blog much with my family and was pretty sure she isn't a regular reader, so it was fun to think that maybe she checks it out every so often.  Then I took a closer look.  She had repinned someone else's pin... who had done a Google image search for "every love story".  The pin linked to the search results on Google.  Because my aunt had re-pinned the image she had no clue that I'd actually designed and made the print or that it even came from a blog, let alone my blog.  {Or that I even have a blog.}  Not that it really matters, but it illustrates my point.  The only credit I received from that pin, and my aunt's repin, was from my watermark (and now you know why you should watermark all your photos).  And her repin has since been repinned.  I spent about 2 hours designing and creating that print, a little credit isn't too much to ask, right?  Google gets plenty of traffic, and I'm working for every visit I get.  This traffic misdirection is especially hard on those bloggers that blog as a profession.  I just blog as a hobby and I don't loose much more than traffic with poorly cited pins.  Professional bloggers, on the other hand, have a lot more to lose.

One more thing.  Be descriptive with your pin descriptions.  "Ooh, very cool." doesn't help me figure out what the heck that's a picture of!  "Ooh, very cool.  Bookcase made from rain gutters." is soo much more helpful and I can decide if it's worth a visit to the source site to check  it out.

Do you have any Pinterest peeves?  Or any other advice on how to be a better pinner?


  1. Thanks for putting this out there. I have lately really been trying hard to do these same things. I notice some of my earlier pins are horrible in the ways you are talking about and have tried to fix them when I can. I hate trying to search on Pinterest. Especially because many of the pins just have nothing or very little. Sometimes it is easier to do a search off site find what I wanted and then pin it and not find the pin on Pinterest.

  2. Great idea, hope this helps some pinners out. Only problem is that most people who read your blog probably already pin this way, heehee. Thanks for the cheesecloth info too!

  3. I noticed a lot of the time I see a great craft that people do put under that "oh awesome!" but I'm a busy pinner, I have blog after blog to look at or something in the oven that needs tending. So I don't want to have to click on link after link only to find that the blog is 20 pages long and the recipe/craft I am looking for is at the very bottom. I've started summarizing my pins' project, if it doesn't link to the recipe directly, I'll find the direct link. If its a craft, I'll summarize the steps. For example, the fairy dust jars I keep coming across, I would say, "Fairy Dust Jars: Broken glow sticks splattered inside mason jars approx. 3-6 hours longevity at its brightest." Boom, simply done, you now know how to do it, if you want more info you'll post the link, easy right?

  4. For future reference (not sure I would go back and do this with old posts), but in blogger, when you create a link in the post writer, there is a little check box at the bottom that says "Open this link in a new window". If you just check that it will open a new tab for those clicking on links on your site! Hope that helps. I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest for all the reasons you posted - both as a blogger and a pinner! :) I have actually been going through all my pins making sure they link up right.

  5. Great post! I actually recently stopped repinning as I was finding it was images and not the actual site, so now when I see something I like, I open it in a new tab and then will pin it myself. Also, just an FYI, its easy to make great descriptions without typing - if you highlight some text - I usually use the title - then click 'Pin It' from your address bar, it automatically generates that text into the description!

  6. It drives me crazy when I click on pin and then have to search the site/blog to find what it was I was looking for! That happened to me yesterday. And I never did find it! I wish everyone would read this!

  7. Excellent post loaded with great info! Thanks!
    'hugs from afar'

  8. I hate when people label their pin with something not descriptive: "love this," "looks delicious," or "need to make this." That's great to add your comment but do it after you clearly label the pin. Then other pinners can search for st. patrick's lunch. Your pin will pop up. I always try to add keywords: holiday, tutorial, recipe, colors (red, pink, etc), and room.


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