Ah, Pinterest. I can’t remember quite when I fell into her wide open arms, but suffice to say I was smitten immediately. This is the first in a series of posts helping you to get the best out of Pinterest. Here we’re focusing on how to get the most out of Pinterest for yourself, rather than for a blog or business.
I’m assuming that if you’ve clicked onto this post, you probably already have an account. If not, get yourself immediately across to Pinterest and sign up forthwith. Then grab yourself a coffee/tea/24 hour ration pack and start wandering its beautiful corridors.
This post isn’t intended to offer you a start up guide, as Pinterest is pretty intuitive. It’s also got a great help section, if you find yourself in need.
The Potential Pitfalls of Pinterest
Pinterest sets you up with some great ideas for starter boards. Books To Read, for example, made me believe they were thinking of me from the get-go. But I wonder if you, like me, initially created a lot of repinned content that you haven’t seen again. Now that’s fine, and it’s not going to cause you problems. But if you want to get the very best out of that lovingly curated collection of pins, then spend a bit of time thinking about what you want from all those beautiful pictures.
The problem I’ve found is that you can get so focused on repinning new finds that you forget to go back to the ones you have saved, and click through to their detail. Sometimes you’ve pinned for the pure pleasure of the image – destinations do that for me, also handmade ceramics – and that’s great.
If you want to do something from the pins, then it’s good to be able to design your Pinterest boards in a way that supports that. Managing boards is a great way of doing this. You can also make sure that the pins you keep are those that click through to something meaningful.
The great news is that you can set up a whole range of boards to support whatever it is that you want from Pinterest. For me, boards fall into a number of different camps:
- Boards for images and beautiful things, which exist in their own right, and don’t need anything else from you
- How to boards, which link me to information I need on specific issues and instructions on making, doing or visiting
- Planning boards, which corral projects I want to do, potential purchases, events I’m organising and any other to do lists
Boards for Images and Beautiful Things
As an example of boards for beautiful things, I can describe a couple of mine. There’s a World Out There is filled with all kinds of stunning travel images. I may never have the funds to get to them all, but my, they make me appreciate all over again the beauty of our planet.
Then there’s Eye Candy which is full of illustrations. I love art, and illustration works so well when I see it on tablet or phone. This is another board that cheers me up when I’m feeling a tad blue.
What goes on your boards for beautiful things? Art, scenery, clothes, music, decor?
Boards To Show you how to
From blogging to travel packing, gluten free cooking and life hacks, I’ve got all sorts of boards to show me how to do things. On The Road for example, has packing lists for all sorts of travel destinations, while Gluten Free is a cornucopia of glutenless gourmet delights.
These are the boards I head to when I am stuck for knowledge or inspiration. If I’ve been aimlessly peering into the fridge, a quick scroll through the recipe pins works well. Click through, and the recipe is there. If I want something healthy to eat, I’ll find that on my Fitto board. When I’ve got a trip planned, I’ll be flipping through On The Road to see what others have packed for that destination.
Boards To help you plan projects
When you’ve got specific things in mind, Pinterest can be brilliant for supporting that “catalogue of ideas” in its strapline. You can set up a board for any kind of activity you are planning, from decorating a room and entertaining your children over the summer holidays to getting ready for Christmas vacation. Once you’ve started a theme, Pinterest is quick to recommend you similar pins or related boards. It will only be a short while before you are over-run with suggestions and inspiration.
I’m currently renovating my 1857 house, of which more here, and I have boards for each of the rooms I’m working on. I can pin ideas, pictures for inspiration and links to specific products and paint colours.
Making the best of Secret Boards
These can be fabulous when you have something that you’d rather not share with the world. Set up your board, move the slider to secret, and it’s your board alone. Maybe you have a medical condition you’d rather keep private. Or you could be looking to keep some of your inspiration silent until it’s ready to be unleashed. I keep a board entitled Blog inspiration, which helps me to remember ideas that occurred to me while roaming the corridors of Pinterest.
Making The Best of Group Boards
Organising an event or holiday with a group? Part of a group that has a shared interest? If one of you sets up a board and invites someone else to join, you have a group board which everyone can join. Then your virtual get together can explore all the options for what you want to do, or share your obsession for anything from Game of Thrones to gig racing.
It’s sometimes difficult to tell whether a pin is just a pretty face, or if it links you through to something meaningful. If you are looking for a how-to guide, for example, take a moment upfront to click through to the site. Then you can check that it is something you want to keep. And you’ll be bringing extra traffic to the site owner with quality content when you save great pins that others go on to repin.
Repinning vs Pinning
It’s really easy to get into a cycle of repinning from the pins that appear in your feed every time you click onto Pinterest. But may I nag you gently not to forget to pin from source. When you find a great article, blog post or item you want, do pin it there and then. Most places now have a Pinterest icon to enable you to do just that. It can help you to find things you love again. It’s also sharing the love, as pins you make from a website can be repinned over and over, bringing new traffic to your favourite sites.
The more you target your own pins, the more Pinterest will offer you up good things in your feed. If you like what you’re seeing, don’t forget to hit the bottom right white circle on each pin to see more and related content. No one other than Pinterest knows exactly how their algorithm works, but the more hints you give it, the better your feed gets.
Come And Say Hi
I’d love to see what you’re pinning too. I’m pinning here.