We know that the idea of another social media site makes you cringe, but we swear, Pinterest isn't just lovely to look at and easy to use, it's also helpful.
Think of Pinterest like a big, visual bookmarker that helps you keep track of ideas, projects, meals, and all the things you love.
Pinterest is a way of saving links by images. The picture on a blog post is the reference tab to find it later. You "pin" the image and save it onto "boards" that you categorize. Think of it as a file folder where you keep ideas and inspiration (or as my friend Bek called it "A Choose-Your-Own Magazine.")
You download a Pinterest widget that lives on your browser's bookmark bar. Any time y0u're on a website and you see a post or picture you want to pin, just hit the Pinterest button on your browser. All the images on the page will display, simply click on the image you want to save and put it into the right board. Simple.
Pinterest has an app available for the iPhone, but not one for Android (boo.)
At the top of your Pinterest page you'll see this navigation:
It defaults to the Pinners that you follow, or you can choose "Everything" to see anything that anyone is pinning. There are also other options to look at like popular pins or categories. See an image or idea you like? Re-pin it and save it to your own board. You can "like", comment, or tag your friends so they can see see what you've pinned. Search for ideas that you're interested in (although in my experience their search algorithm needs some work.)
How Do I Follow People?
If you see an image pinned you can look at the board of the person who posted it. Pinterest will automatically follow people for you (since you signed up through Facebook or Twitter) but you can unfollow people at any time. You can follow someone's individual board, or everything that they pin. This is especially useful if you like your friend's decorating tastes, but don't care for her sports obsession.
On the left you'll notice the people who've commented, re-pinned, or followed your boards. This is a fun way to find people who like what you like.
Keep Track of Useful Ideas
Sometimes you find a great idea on a website, like using scrapbook organizers to hold aluminum foil and plastic wrap, but are you going to bookmark everything? Pinning the image onto one of your boards keeps track of the ideas you want to try in an organized way.
Meals and Menus
You would not believe the great recipe ideas that are out there on Pinterest. It's a visual recipe organizer that allows you to pin meal, treats, drinks, to their own boards for easy reference.
If you're at a loss on planning a birthday party or event, your fellow Pinners have been busy finding the coolest ideas for entertaining. Plus, if you come across an idea, all you have to do is pin it to try later!
Clothes and Fashion
Like to track cool sweaters or dresses? Pin items you might want to get someday so that you don't forget you fell in love with those shoes.
Home Decor and Renovations
If you're dreaming of redoing your kitchen or bathroom someday, start a board to help you keep track of inspiration and ideas. Pin images of housewares and see how they all look filed together.
If you're a crafter, sewer, scrapbooker, baker or any other hobby, there are people pinning ideas and inspiration for you. Pin that cool quilt tutorial, those patterns, that fabric, those cakes, that layout.
Wish you could travel to Bermuda? Macchu Picchu? Save images of where you want to go someday, even if you never take that vacation.
Obsessed with an Idea
We've all been there. Obsessed with turquoise. Can't stop googling Anchorman clips. Wish you lived in the 1920s. Start a board with images that you've pinned that cater to your obsession. Hey, we're enablers like that.
Sharing With Friends
You can share a board with your friends so that you're all pinning ideas to the same board. Great for collaborating or to plan an upcoming trip!
Share Your Ideas
You have cooking ideas, baking inspiration, a cool tutorial you wrote, a great blog post, a useful tip, anything you wrote or posted a blog about that could use a traffic bump through another distribution channel. Don't be afraid to pin your own images and drive traffic to your site!
Whatever you want, GOSH
Honestly, there's no limit to the topic of your boards and pins, it's only limited by your capacity to pin. Go forth and pin!
Have you noticed any traffic coming to your blog from things people have pinned? What kind of Pinterest help do you need?
Pinterest! Inspiration board, idea folder, and recipe box all in one.