I love hearing your tips and your thoughts on this post – still going strong two years after I wrote it! Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Remember, these are my suggestions for “best practices,” so take them with a grain of salt from a blogger. :)
Did you read it? Okay, good.
After all the buzz about their TOU started to surface, Pinterest sent out an email about their updated terms and the efforts they’d made to be responsive to their users. They’ve made some positive changes addressing some of my major concerns, like the selling of pinned images, and they acknowledge that their efforts are a work in progress, which I appreciate.
So I started pinning again. Carefully.
Here’s what my Pinterest main page looks like now (after the jump). It’s a major work in progress, as I haven’t been back at it for very long, and I’m only pinning very politely.
Nobody (except spammers, of course!) is intentionally rude on Pinterest, but it happens anyway. Find out my seven tips for not being a jerk after the jump.
1. Never, never, never pin anything from Google Image Search. If you search for something, like a faux sushi cake, for example, on Google, you’ll get a page of pretty images – the answer to all your searching. Before you pin, however, you need to click through to the source of the image. If you pin off the Google Image Search page, the creator of the image will never get credit for your pin.
2. Only pin from a blog’s homepage if you’re pinning the entire blog. Otherwise, click through to the actual, specific post that you want to pin. If you see a tutorial you like on the front page of a blog, and then you pin it right then, without clicking through, then three weeks from now, people who click your pin (or repins of your pin), will go to the front page. And that tutorial isn’t on it anymore. Bummer.
3. Give credit where credit is due. Whenever I pin something from another blog, I always finish the pin with “by SF Girl by Bay,” by Katie at Lemon Jitters,” from Liz at Say Yes to Hoboken,” etc. You get the idea. Lots of times, when people repin something, they leave your original caption intact. Make sure that it’s something that calls out the hard work of the blogger who created it! You can even tag them using the @ if you know their Pinterest username.
4. Before you repin, click through to make sure the pin links back to the original source. I don’t repin anything from a roundup or a feature link from another blog. I follow the trail back until I find the person who created the image. If I can’t find it, then I don’t pin it.
5. Don’t give away the whole mystery in a pinned image. If somebody has a tutorial, and you want to pin it, pin a main image – not a collage of the whole step-by-step. Likewise, if somebody has a brilliant idea, like the sushi cake example again (because all my ideas just brilliant, right?! ha), caption the image with something descriptive, like “Easy Sushi Birthday Cake Tutorial by Shrimp Salad Circus.” Do not caption it with “Turn a regular birthday cake into a sushi cake using orange Jell-o eggs, green Fruit Roll-Ups, and shredded coconut.” When you leave that sort of caption, anybody who sees the pin can recreate the project right then and there. Likewise, if somebody has a single image that shows all the steps or an entire recipe, be a dear, and don’t pin that one. You should leave a bit of mystery so that there’s a reason to click the pin and visit the original post.
6. Likewise, don’t give it all away in the caption of a pin, either. If you pin the finished product of a tutorial of recipe, that’s wonderful. But if you pin the finished product and then copy/paste the full step-by-step or recipe in the caption, you’ve created the same problem as in Step 5. A safe rule of thumb for a pin caption: [Title of Project] by [Creator of Project], like “Faux Sushi Birthday Cake by Shrimp Salad Circus. You can even add adjectives, like amazing, easy, realistic, etc. Just don’t add the secret, post-only pieces!
7. Never pin an image you upload yourself, unless you link to the original URL. You’ve noticed by now that you can load your own image to Pinterest and then specify a website. Don’t do this. Almost ever. It leaves an annoying “uploaded by user” in the ‘source’ portion of the pin. If you have to upload the image yourself, and it’s not yours, then you probably shouldn’t do it.
Bonus. Don’t pin anybody’s work unless you know they’re okay with it. This one’s a bit more difficult to discern, which is why it’s a ‘bonus.’ One of my biggest reasons for leaving Pinterest when I did was the ‘permission by owner’ issue. Of course you don’t have permission to pin somebody’s work. That would take time and premeditation, which Pinterest really doesn’t encourage, right? How do I get around this? I only pin work on blogs if they:
a. Have a ‘Pin This’ button (which I do, so pin away, friends!)