The Ultimate List of Pinterest Tips

Pinterest Basics

  1. What is PinterestIt’s a place to bookmark images and videos you love from around the web. In Pinterest terms, these bookmarks are called “pins.” Your “pins” (think, pinning things to a virtual bulletin board) are visible to other Pinterest users and you can see the boards of others as well.
  2. How does Pinterest work? Here’s the basic process: (1) Surf the internet. (2) See an image/video you like. (3) “Pin” that image/video to one of your Pinterest boards to keep track of it and to share it with others.
  3. How do I get on Pinterest? Go to You can request an invite by clicking the red button, or, you can ask someone that is already on Pinterest for an invite.
  4. Add the “Pin It” Button to your bookmarks bar. It’s easy to install. Go to the goodies page on Pinterestand drag the button into your bookmarks bar (it’s right at the top of the page in the blue box). Once it’s installed, whenever you come across something great to pin, simply click the “Pin It” button in your bookmarks bar and you’re set.
  5. Save time with the Pinterest Right Click Chrome extension. If your browser is Chrome, this is a handy, time-saving extension. Basically, if you see an image you want to pin, you simply right-click on it (control-click on Mac) and you’ll see a menu that allows you to pin the image straight away, skipping a step if you’re using the “Pin It” button mentioned above. Like this:
  6. Use keywords in your descriptions. A lot of people leave inane descriptions (“Cute!”) on their pins. I’m guilty too. However, keyword-rich descriptions will help get pins and boards found more easily via search. Great for all of us!
  7. Write your own summary description. Don’t copy and paste the whole post, the whole recipe or all the instructions from the original post directly in your pin. Not only does it clutter the images with unnecessary text (see my pinterest pet peeves post), it’s not good Pinterest manners. Plus, posts are copyrighted so pasting them in their entirety is copyright infringement (more on copyright below).
  8. Edit your pins. If you need to edit a pin, hover over it and click on the “Edit” button that appears. If you need to find the pin first, hover over your name in the top right of your screen, click on the “Pins” link in the dropdown menu. This will show you all your pins listed by the most recent. If it’s an older pin, click on the “Boards” link while hovering over your name and then you can find your pin by topic.
  9. Pin from the individual post, not the home page. Again, this is another one of my pinterest pet peeves. When you’re pinning, make sure you are pinning from the individual post, not the home page. (To get to the individual post, click on the post title. If you can see comments at the bottom, it’s a sign you’re on the individual post.) There’s nothing more frustrating than clicking through a pin, only to realize the post with that image has long been pushed off the home page.
  10. Be kind and play by the rules. Know and understand the friendly guidelines Pinterest has put in place for its site. They created the site for us which we use for free. It’s good to follow the rules.
  11. Tag people in pins. Simply add the “@” sign to your descriptions to tag someone so they know you were talkin’ about them. :)
  12. Add a price tag to a pin. You can do this easily by adding a “$” or a “£” in your description. This works well, let’s say, if you are pinning from an Etsy shop or something similar.
  13. Space out your pins instead of flooding the stream. If you’re pinning a lot of stuff at once, you can overwhelm your followers. For example, if you’re researching black shoes and spend an hour pinning a gazillion pairs of black shoes to your “Rockin’ Black Shoes” board, anyone who follows you will just see a sea of black shoes in their stream. (I’m guilty of flooding the stream.) Instead, spread it out a bit.
  14. Set a timer. If you find yourself squandering your time on Pinterest (um, hello!), why not set a timer? Allow yourself a set number of minutes to browse and when the timer dings, you’re off to something else. This might also help with flooding the stream (above).
  15. Organize your boards well. If your boards are clean and organized, you’ll get more followers than if everything is hodge podge and there’s no rhyme or reason to your pinning. Vague board titles aren’t so helpful either.
  16. Take the extra time to see if a pin is a good one. Have you ever clicked through a pin only to discover that it leads nowhere? Frustrating, isn’t it? So, before you repin, make sure you check it out first. We gotta work together to weed out the dud pins. Speaking of dud pins…
  17. Use “Like” as a pending place. This was a great tip from M on my Pet Peeves post. She says, “Sometimes when I don’t have time to ‘investigate’ a pin to see if it is a good one, I’ll just ‘Like’ it. Then I can go back to my likes when I have time and look into them a little further.” Great idea!
  18. Follow individual boards to cut out the noise. One of the nice things about Pinterest is that you can follow individual boards. You don’t have to follow a person and therefore, all of their boards (although you can do that too). So, maybe you want to follow my “handy tips” board but you don’t want to follow my “easy peasy crafts” board. To subscribe to individual boards, simply click on the name of any Pinterest user and you’ll see all their boards. If you follow the person, you’ll follow all their boards. Otherwise, just pick and choose the boards you want.
  19. Find people and boards to follow by reverse rabbit trailing. That is, when you see a pin or a board you like, click on the person it came from. Or click on the original source. I’ve found a lot of good boards to follow that way.
  20. Hop on the “Everthing” page every once in a while. When you log into Pinterest, you’ll only see the boards you’re following. To find some new boards to follow, click on the Everything link at the top of your screen to find new people. Or search by category.
  21. Categorize your pins. This will make your pins more easily found and will potentially result in more people following you.
  22. Don’t just be a repinner. Be a pioneer pinner. In other words, don’t just repin what others have already pinned. Always be on the lookout for new pins that no one else has found. If you’re like me, you see a lot of the same pins come through. I pay attention, though, when I see something fresh and new. I’m much more likely to follow that person too.
  23. Don’t forget the iPhone app to use Pinterest on the go. Find them on the goodies page or in the app store.
  24. Personalize a board for your kids. You might consider making a board especially for your kids so when you’re out and about and you need to kill some time, they can look at the things you’ve found especially for them. Supervise of course!
  25. Automatically populate a pin description. If you’re on a site and you want to pin something, you can highlight a portion of text before clicking the “Pin It” bookmarklet. The text you highlight will automatically populate your description. I like to add quotation marks when I quote directly and only do a small snippet. You always want people to be directed back to the original site for the main content.
  26. Note the 500 character limit on your descriptions. Yay! That takes care of one of my pinterest pet peeves.

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