What is Pinterest?

Pin It

This is my Pinterest page. My hobby is cooking, so I've got boards chock-full of food images that link to my favorite online recipes. Your thing may be knitting or gardening ... whatever your interest(s) you can make pin boards of the things YOU love.

Has Pinterest piqued your interest? Wondering what the hype is all about? Or are you already addicted? And why is this food blogger talking about Pinterest and not posting about food?

Simple.

Pinterest has become the best way for me to visually organize recipes (and more) that I discover online and don't want to lose.  I've got bulletin boards for my favorite meals, appetizers, gluten-free brownies—and my latest, "My Fascination with Dessert Shots." But wait, it doesn't stop there. I've created boards that capture DIY projects I want to try, kitchen designs I swoon over, and sayings that motivate me. You have to experience Pinterest to truly appreciate it and in hopes of giving you an idea for what Pinterest is and what it's all about, here is a little primer from fellow blogger, Nicole, of The Pixel Boutique. I asked Nicole if she would guest post on the topic, and she said YES!

Nicole is owner and editor of The Pixel Boutique, where she offers blog design services, tips, tutorials and personal ramblings. She is first and foremost a wife and mother (to three pre-teen/teen boys) and designs photo greeting cards for Snapfish. She loves working with mom bloggers, designing, crocheting and pretty things. If you're in the market for blog design, be sure to take at look at her beautiful portfolio. Welcome Nicole!

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This guest post was originally published on The Pixel Boutique on May 19, 2011.

I first learned about Pinterest from two of my clients, Dessert Darling and Autumn Reeser when they asked me to design a little button to match their other social media icons for their perspective blogs.

Pinterest? I asked with perked ears.

And now, Pinterest is my new favorite addiction...er...resource.


In a nutshell, it is a virtual pin board where you can collect and share things that you discover and love. Simple as that.

It's very visual in nature and a great way to organize ideas, inspiration…you name it. The sky’s the limit. You can have boards for recipes, boards for home decor…anything. It's also a great way to find such things. Because it is so visually based, when I need a little creative spark, I just start perusing some of the boards I follow and I'm instantly inspired.

Here’s one of my boards I call “Design Inspiration”…

And who could go through life without a “Cupcakes” board?

So here’s a breakdown on using Pinterest…

1. Request an invitation here. Or if you know someone already on Pinterest, ask them to send you an invitation. That way, you may be able to get started a little sooner. There seems to be a longer wait time these days if you request an invitation through the Pinterest team. For a limited time, Lexie is offering invitations here too! Leave a comment requesting one and be sure to include your email address in the comments email field (required). There's no telling how long it may take to get your invite processed by Pinterest, either way there seems to be a backlog, so be patient.

2. Sign up. You can sign up with your Facebook or Twitter account or create a new login/password.

3. Find some friends to follow. There are several ways to find friends who are already “pinning”. Just run the friend finder processes and it will search your Twitter, Facebook, and email accounts. Or, in Pinterest click on "people" and search for your friends name. You can follow me under the name Nicole Bateman and Lexie under the name Alexa Croft.

4. Create your boards. Create however many categories or “boards” to organize the pins that you want to add. They start you off with the standard set but you can add, change, delete, etc.

5. Start pinning! There are three ways to start pinning, basically. First, follow some people you already know and check out their boards. You can repin their pins onto any of your boards. Secondly, you can go to “Staff Favorites” under your Boards menu and search there. Also, try browsing the “Everything” category on the main page. You’re bound to get lost in pinning awesomeness.

6. Keep the pins coming. Once you are comfy with your boards and pinning, you can start adding new pins. Add the "Pin It" bookmarklet to your brower's bookmarks bar (Pinterest will prompt you to do so at sign-in). Once installed, the next time you come across a recipe or tutorial with great images, use the "Pin It" bookmarklet to create the pin. Keep in mind it will only allow you to pin a page with a decent size image, to keep with the whole nature of the site. There’s also a very handy iPhone app. When you pin from a website, Pinterest automatically grabs the source link so that credit can be given to the original creator. If you blog or have a website, you may install the Pin It On Pinterest plugin (for Wordpress users), or download the “Pin It” button right from Pinterest (under About>Goodies).

7. Don’t overdo the self-promo. The nature of Pinterest is to share things you discover, not necessarily those you create. Not that I haven’t pinned a few things I’ve posted on my blog, but you really want to be careful not to use Pinterest solely as a self promoting tool. My rule of thumb is promote others 90% of the time, myself 10%. Let others pin your cool stuff.

8. Follow us. You can follow all my boards here. Follow Lexie's boards here.

Now you’re ready to get pinning wit’ yo’ bad self. Enjoy!

For Pinterest updates on new features and functionality, follow the Pinterest blog.