Please note: Due to changes in the Pinterest email invitation system, I am no longer able to send Pinterest invites. I apologize for the inconvenience. Best wishes in finding an invite! -- Megan
image via Twiddler House
I'm so glad so many of you have found the Pinterest beginner's tutorial to be so helpful. (over 17,000 views and counting!) I have been joking that for as much troubleshooting and question answering I have done since I published that guide last May, I really should be on the Pinterest payroll.
Just to be clear: I'm not.
But I have really enjoyed helping other people discover Pinterest and learn how to use it effectively. Quite a few questions have been asked in the comments of the beginner's guide, so I thought I might follow-up by sharing some more Pinterest tips and tricks, as well as offering some answers to the most frequently asked questions.
First, some Pinterest FAQs:
How do you get a Pinterest invite? Why are invites to Pinterest even necessary?
If you'll leave me a comment, I'll send you an invite! Warning: it might take a few days, but I'll get to it, I promise! Also, you do not need to leave your email address in the comments for all the world to see. Just make sure you fill in the email address line of the comment form accurately and I'll be the only way to see your email address.
Why is Pinterest registration by invite only? I honestly don't know. That's the way they want it, so that's the way it is. It can be all very Zen if you think about it the right way.
I just started on Pinterest and my pins are not showing up! Or, I just started on Pinterest and it shows that I have zero followers when I know that's not true!
Here's the thing: Pinterest can get a little wonky sometimes. This site is growing by leaps and bounds daily, and sometimes its infrastructure just can't seem to keep up. I hear the most complaints from people who have just started on Pinterest. My best advice is give it time. It will straighten itself out eventually!
How can I remove a follower on Pinterest?
Now, this I don't know. I've read through the Pinterest help page, and I don't see an answer there, either. So if Aunt Claudine finagles an invite and follows you, and every time you pin something of the off-color variety she tells your mother on you ... well, yuck. I hope that as Pinterest begins to grow and take off, the development team will allow a "block" function or something like that to help the system stay fun and drama-free for everyone.
Is it rude not to change a pin's description when you repin?
Nope! In fact, it seems most people do not edit the description when repinning. Nothing rude about this at all. Carry on.
What are group boards? Why would you create a group board on Pinterest?
Inviting other people to contribute to a board you have created is a really easy way to collaborate on an event or project with others. Amanda of oh Amanda wrote a very inspiring tutorial on how to use a group board to plan a shower. As the holidays approach, I can see a group Pinterest board being very useful for planning menus for parties. Your book club could have a collaborative board where people pin future book club selection ideas. Anything where more than one person contributes ideas to a project could be easily organized on Pinterest.
Pinterest Pro Tips:
1) When you click on the best and most helpful pins (click on the picture itself), it takes you directly to the original source.
When you create an original pin from a website (and remember, Pinterest can only pick up images - not text!), MAKE SURE that the address in your browser's address bar will direct other pinners to that exact spot.
For example, say I find a pin for The Best Zucchini Bread. Yum, right? Except what if when I click on the picture that has been pinned, it just takes me to Mel's Kitchen Cafe's homepage instead of to the recipe itself? I don't know about y'all, but I find that to be really frustrating. Now, Mel's Kitchen Cafe just happens to be set up with a helpful search bar, but what if it wasn't? And what if I don't have time to search her whole site for her zucchini bread? Now I've gotten my hopes up for delicious bread of the green squash variety and I have nothing to show for it, and that makes me cranky.
So, please. Pretty, pretty please. Make sure if you are creating a pin that it will be helpful and accurate to other pinners!
2) Be thoughtful when naming your boards.
Not every single board has to have a catchy or interesting board title, but I'll tell you what, I'm 100% more likely to follow someone who has interesting board names than someone who has left the default board names in place. No need to stress out about it, just think about it. For example, my hometown friend Kara has 35 boards, and only 3 of them are titled with the default title. She has created cute names like beautiful delicious autumn and oh the places you'll go ... one day. Click over and check out Tsh/Simple Mom's board names - she played on one theme to name most of her boards. Clever!
People ask me all the time, "how do I get more followers on Pinterest?" and I have to say my answer is BE INTERESTING. Start with your board names and go from there.
3) Speaking of being interesting, make sure you contribute to the Pinterest community with original pins rather than relying solely on repinning.
As you become familiar with Pinterest, you will see a LOT of the same pins coming up again and again in your feed. That's fine, of course, and that's just the nature of this community. The most interesting pinners, however, are ones who constantly bring new material into the community to share with others. Pinterest is partly about you, but it's also partly about the community as a whole. Do what you can to keep it fresh!
Bonus tip suggested by pinner Bessie Black in the beginner's guide comments: when you highlight text on a page and then hit "pin it," it copies your highlighted text into the pin description field. I found this by accident when pinning something from Etsy, and it really is a helpful thing to know when you are creating original pins.
I have to confess that when I use Pinterest on my phone, I am only repinning. When I am at my desktop, though, I really try to remember to pin cool things that I see on blogs and other sites to keep things - say it with me - interesting!
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I hope that's helpful. I would love to hear more pro tips from you all, and if you have other questions or need an invite, just head to the comments!