Getting Started with Pinterest for Blogs, Businesses, and Personal Use

Getting Started with Pinterest


I was recently talking to a few friends about how I have integrated Pinterest with my blog, and the success that I have received in getting traffic from Pinterest to the blog, and I realized that I’ve picked up quite a few tips and tricks to help funnel viewers to Doyle Dispatch, as well as to gain Pinterest followers and repins. I’m hoping that this post can help you either get started with Pinterest or take your pinning to the next level.

To make it easier, I’m giving instructions on how to use Pinterest on the computer. Once you understand how to get set up and pinning on a computer, the apps are so much easier to use.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a website that is similar to a digital scrapbook where you can save links to all of your favorite recipes, tutorials, quotes, pictures, and products. You can create categories (called “boards”) to organize each picture/link (called “pins”).

When I got married 5 years ago, Pinterest didn’t exist. So when I found an idea that I liked online, I had to save the picture into a folder on my computer, and then I also saved a link to that page as a bookmark. By the time the wedding planning was over, I had hundreds of bookmarks that I could then delete. Still, doing it this way was such a hassle, because unless I wrote a great description of the website when I bookmarked it, I didn’t have a clue what I was looking at (or how to find that great idea again). Pinterest has revolutionized the party-planning ability of women (and men) around the globe. You can have tons of pictures that show what you want your party to look like. Better yet, if you want to know more details, you can click on the picture in Pinterest, and it will take you to the original website where that picture originated from. Now, bookmarks are basically a thing of the past!

Of course, Pinterest isn’t just for parties. You can use it to gather and collect recipes, DIY projects, Etsy items, educational ideas, locations to visit… any webpage that has a picture can be “pinned” to save it for later.

Signing Up

As with most new applications, you can sign up with Pinterest through your Facebook profile. I highly recommend this, as it will then integrate all of your Facebook friends with Pinterest as well. A great way to find good pins when you are starting (and very overwhelmed) is to see what your friends are pinning.

Signing Up for Pinterest

Pinterest will ask you if you want to do XY and Z with Facebook. I usually agree to these with Pinterest. They won’t put anything on your Timeline or feed without you telling them to. Still, look at your settings to be sure of this.

Pinterest Facebook Allows

 

That’s it! You’ve signed up!

If you are a business, you will want to sign up for a business account. You can also do that from the first page.

Now you are ready to log in:

Logging In to Pinterest

Install a Bookmarklet

Now that you have a Pinterest account, you need to install a bookmarklet or button into your toolbar (“Pin It”). This will allow you to browse any website you want and then “pin” a picture or that site to your Pinterest account. I have an older version of the bookmarklet installed on my toolbar:

Pin It on Toolbar

If you go to the red + and look at the bottom, you can get directions for how to add the Pin It button (new version) or the bookmarklet (pictured above) to your browser window.

Pinterest +

 

PInterest Button How ToSetting Up Your Boards

Before you go all Pinterest crazy, pinning hundreds of recipes/projects/quotes/pictures/travel sites/tips (and many other things), you will need to set up a few boards. Don’t worry, as you can always add more later or take them away (although I wouldn’t take them away once you have people follow those boards… more on that later). No surprise here, but I tend to be VERY organized with my Pinterest Boards (which equates to a plethora of boards). Here are the different boards that I have:

  • Doyle Dispatch Blog
  • My DIY Projects
  • Baby Shower Gifts
  • Crafts: Embroidery
  • Crafts: Fun for My Silhouette Cameo
  • Crafts: Misc
  • Crafts: Painting
  • Crafts: Sewing
  • Crafts: XO Gigi Fabric
  • Crafts: Wrapping Paper
  • Family Photo Poses
  • Fashion
  • Fitness
  • For the Blog
  • Gifts
  • Giveaways!
  • Hokie Love
  • Holiday: Valentine’s Day
  • Holiday: St. Patrick’s Day
  • Holiday: Spring is in the Air
  • Holiday: April Fool’s Day
  • Holiday: Easter
  • Holiday: Mother’s Day
  • Holidays: Father’s Day
  • Holiday: Summer
  • Holiday: 4th of July/Memorial Day
  • Holiday: Halloween
  • Holiday: Thanksgiving
  • Holiday: Chanukkah/Christmas
  • House: Cleaning Ideas
  • House: General Ideas
  • House: Mantle Decor
  • House: Master Bathroom Ideas
  • House: Organization Ideas
  • Inspired by Peacocks
  • Kids: Baby Clothes to Make or Buy
  • Kids: Baby DIY
  • Kids: Child Safety
  • Kids: Circus Nursery
  • Kids: Crafts
  • Kids: Cute Activities/Ideas
  • Kids: General Nursery Ideas
  • Kids: Nautical Nursery
  • Kids: Newborn Needs
  • Kids: Playtime
  • Kids: Raising Responsible Kids
  • Kids: Tooth Fairy
  • Kids: Travel
  • Kids: Twins
  • Kids: Vintage Nursery
  • Kids: Work Stations
  • Makes Me Laugh
  • My Childhood
  • Nail Love
  • No Spend Pins
  • Party Time
  • Photography
  • Pins I’ve Tried
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy: Gender Reveal Ideas
  • Pregnancy: Maternity Style
  • Recipes
  • Recipes: Allergy Food
  • Recipes: Sweet
  • Recipes: Savory
  • Recipes: Deep Covered Baker
  • Teaching: Electricity Concepts
  • Teaching: For the Classroom
  • Teaching: Math
  • Teaching: Physics Concepts
  • Teaching: Weather Concepts
  • Thirty-One Bag Ideas
  • Thirty-One Consultant Ideas
  • Travel
  • Ugly Sweaters
  • Bridal Shower (used to be a secret board until the secret shower was over and this board was made public)
  • DIY Pink Bridal Shower
  • Elf on a Shelf
  • Mom Haircuts
  • Kids: Big Boy/Girl Rooms
  • House: Playroom Ideas
  • … and many other shared boards (and a few secret boards too)

Pinterest Boards

I would suggest starting out with the basics. Think about what YOU are interested in. Pinterest will give some suggestions for boards, so you can always go with that. I would suggest probably starting with:

  • Home Ideas
  • DIY Projects
  • Recipes
  • Fashion
  • Fitness

From there, you can add boards or create separate categories to elaborate as you see fit.

 

Following Boards vs Following People

To get started, let’s assume that you signed up via Facebook, and it has imported all of your friends (it will update this list as your Facebook friend list grows). I would recommend telling Pinterest to follow all of your friends. You can always stop following them later.

Once you have people that you follow, you will see something like this when you log in:

Pinterest Page

 

These are all of the pins that your friends have recently pinned. You will notice at the top of the picture that it says “2 New Pins.” That will update in real time as your friends/those you follow add pins.

You can choose to follow either all of the boards by one person (so when they add boards, it will automatically add those boards to the ones that you follow), or you can pick and choose individual boards to follow. I’m going to use my mom as an example for this. When you click on the name of any person (whether you follow them or not), you will see this:

Other Profile Page

 

This is my mom’s Pinterest “profile” page. It has her name at the top (and a description can go below that, if she wants to put it there). It will also show her “stats:” the number of boards she has, how many items she has pinned, how many she has liked, how many people  follow her ,and how many people she follows. If you click on any of those, you can see more details too. As you can see, I am one of her followers, because in the center of the top bar, it gives me the option to unfollow her (Don’t worry, Mommy! Not gonna happen!). If I didn’t follow her, it would show “Follow,” and I could then click to follow her.

Now, let’s say that I just wanted to follow one of her boards. If you look at her boards (Exercise and Grandma Stuff), down below, I have the option to follow/unfollow (depending on if you are already following her) the individual board. So if something doesn’t interest me, I can be picky with the boards I follow.

Here’s a reminder that you can also follow total strangers. If you like what they pin (or a certain board), you can show them some love and follow that whole board or person.

 

How to Pin/Repin

Ok, so we are now following friends (and in the future, probably some strangers… does that sound stalker-ish?), and we want to pin some things ourselves!

Once you sign in to Pinterest, remember that you are going to see this:

Pinterest Page

 

Remember, these are the pins that the people you follow have recently pinned. If you like one of them, you can pin it to one of your boards. Here’s how:

Click the specific pin that you like. You will see more information on that one pin:

Pinning

 

In the top left corner, click “Pin It.” That number next to the words “Pin It” shows the number of times other people have repinned this pin.

Pick a Board

 

Now you have to pick a board for this to go on. Obviously, it won’t work in my “Recipes:Savory” board, so I will choose the correct board from the drop-down list. I also have the option here to add a new board as well.

Before you pin that link to your own boards, check out the description. Is that what you want it to say, or do you want to change it? You would be amazed at the number of times that someone has just used the description that is already there… usually it is obvious when the description is personalized and you know that the person didn’t write it (talking about kids’ names that aren’t hers is the biggest red flag).

You can also choose to post this pin to Facebook. With as often as I am repinning items, I would lose a ton of Facebook friends out of annoyance, so I never repin to Facebook. It can be a handy tool, however, if you use it sparingly.

Pinning Shortcut

You can also use a shortcut to repin something that you like.  When you see a lot of the pins on one page, you can hover your mouse over that pin (don’t click), and you will get the option to repin from there. This is great if you know you like what you see.

Pinterest Page

 

You can still edit the description like before, but this is just a shortcut to pin items, if you don’t want to go to the larger pin like this:

Pinning

Searching for Pins

Now, you don’t have to just wait for pins to come to you in that feed. You can find them yourself! There is a search box at the top of every page (no matter where you are in Pinterest), so you can plug in your keyword and see what you see! From there, you can repin whatever you find, and you can also be introduced to new pinners (this is where you can follow strangers’ boards).

Adding Pins from Websites

All pins get started by someone pinning from a website, and you can do this too! However, you need to have the Pin It bookmarklet or button installed first. If you see something that you like, just stay on that page, click “Pin It” or the button (whichever you have installed), and this will pop up:

Pin from Website

 

It is all of the pictures that are on that page. Pick the one that you want to be the image that represents that page (or the one you want to remember for inspiration), and click on it. You will then be able to pick the board and change the description (if you want).

Pin from Website 2

If you like a lot of pictures from one page, pin them all!

A Word about Pinning from Blogs

If you see something you like from a blog, make sure that you have first clicked on the title of that blog post to open up that particular page. The nature of blogs is that it’s an ever-changing website, so if you try to go back and look at that pin again, you may only be directed to the home page. For instance, if something is pinned from www.doyledispatch.com, when someone wants to go to my blog, it will take them to the most recent post (which is always changing). Instead, if you like something from, say, this post in particular, you would want to pin from http://doyledispatch.com/2014/02/11/getting-started-with-pinterest-for-blogs-businesses-and-personal-use instead of www.doyledispatch.com. That way, it takes you back to this post, instead of the whole blog (where it will be difficult to find the original source).

Going Back to the Original Source

Remember one of the reasons I love Pinterest is because you can go back to the original source of the material. You just have to click the picture/pin a few times, and you will be directed back to the original page where that picture originated on. Fantastic!

*A reader reminded me of the following: “Pinterest is littered with pins that were pinned incorrectly or maliciously wrong (i.e. sleazy lingerie store on EBay hijacking pins) and they do not go back to a legit source. Something to warn newbies about so they don’t learn the hard way.” Thank you so much for this warning and reminder, Skye!

Future articles about Pinterest:

Once an article is written, I will link to it here.

Adding Boards

Deleting Boards

Secret Boards

Group/Shared Boards

Organizing Boards

Moving Pins

Integration for Your Business

Getting Started

How It Can Help my Business

 

Do you have a tutorial that you want to share? Leave a link in the comment so I can check it out!

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Comments

  1. A thorough tutorial…pinned!

  2. This is such a great guide for anyone new to Pinterest!

  3. Very thorough and accessible, well done. However: “Remember one of the reasons I love Pinterest is because you can go back to the original source of the material. You just have to click the picture/pin a few times, and you will be directed back to the original page where that picture originated on. Fantastic!” Except that Pinterest is littered with pins that were pinned incorrectly or maliciously wrong (i.e. sleazy lingerie store on EBay hijacking pins) and they do not go back to a legit source. Something to warn newbies about so they don’t learn the hard way.

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