Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pet Blogger's Guide to Using Pinterest | The Basics

I recently shared my top 10 pet pins on Pinterest and had a lot of other pet bloggers asking questions about how to use Pinterest effectively. Some weren't sure what exactly Pinterest was or how to use it, and that's OK. We all have to start somewhere!

Pet Blogger's guide to using Pinterest - the basics

Because I received so many questions on that post, I decided to create a guide to using Pinterest for Pet Bloggers, or any kind of blogger for that matter. First of all, know that gaining a following on any social media website, like Pinterest, takes time and typically doesn't happen overnight. If you are active and sharing good content, you will gain followers over time.

I hate reading guides to things where the author assumes I already know what the heck they are talking about. That's why I am going to start with the basics in this guide to using Pinterest. Feel free to skip to the sections that you need help with the most.


What Is Pinterest and What Is Its Purpose?

Pinterest is a social media website that works like bookmarks. You can create different "boards" there to place your pins in. Think of the boards as folders to help you stay organized. 

My Pinterest account is organized by species of pets, for the most part. Because I write about many different types of pets, I thought this would be a good way to go about organizing things. I also have a Pet Health and Care board and a Pet Products board

For example, if you are a cat blogger you could create different boards with titles like "Cat Products", "Cat Health", "Cute Cat Photos", or "Cats for Adoption". I have an "Adopt Me" board which is a great way to spread the word about pets looking for forever homes.

Once you've created your boards, you can start adding things to them. Did you just read an interesting article about why it's important to brush your cat? Think others might find it interesting too? Pin it! (I will tell you how to go about pinning things next.) The blogger that wrote the article will appreciate the share and the article you shared on Pinterest may be of some value to your followers. 

How Do You Pin an Image?

Many bloggers like the idea of Pinterest, but just don't seem to have the time to be active on it. Did you know that you can be active on Pinterest without hardly ever visiting Pinterest.com? I am active on Pinterest every day, but I do not visit the website everyday. How is this possible?

First of all, you need to go to Pinterest and add the "Pin It" button to your browser. A button will appear on your browser bar that you can click on any time you find something online that you want to pin. I use this button all the time. Click here to get the "Pin It" button from Pinterest

Pin It Button
Screenshot of my Pin It button on my browser bar. 

When I visit another blog, and I see a great image to go with good content I click my Pin It button. A small window pops up on my screen. I choose the board I want to place the image on and click Pin It! That's it. It's been shared via Pinterest. And I never even visited the Pinterest website! It takes a few seconds and is super simple. And because my Pin It button is right there on my browser bar, I don't forget to use it. 

Alternatively, some blogs have a Pin It button that appears over there images when you place your cursor on top of them. Just place your cursor on any image on my own blog, and you will see a Pin It button pop up in the left corner of the image. 

Pinning Directly From Pinterest

Pinterest is very addicting. If you visit your Pinterest, you may find yourself scrolling and looking at all the cool stuff for a very long time. Which is why most people don't want to use it. It sucks you in and uses a lot of your time! But, if you want to hop on and re-pin a few images directly from Pinterest that's OK too. All you have to do is hover over an image on Pinterest and click Pin It. Then you can select the board you wish to add it to. 

Is It OK to Pin Other People's Images?

This is a fair question. The images that we produce as bloggers are special to us, and it can be upsetting when people "steal" them without credit. I am going to share the answer that I personally believe is correct as far as this topic goes. 

I say yes, it's OK to pin other people's images. If you are a blogger, this is what you should want to happen. It's a good thing to create "pin-friendly" images that entice people to share them. If something looks nice, it's more likely to be shared and catch people's attention. The more people who pin your images, the better. Why? Because it means more potential traffic for your blog. 

If your image happens to go viral or something, there is always the potential that it will be stolen and used without your permission. If you are worried about this, then I suggest you add a watermark to your photos. 

If you do not want any images from your blog to be shared on Pinterest, there is a way to block people from pinning things from your blog. Here is an article I found with some information about how to prevent your Blogger images from being pinned

How Can Pinterest Bring Traffic to My Blog?

Some bloggers seem a little unsure of how a social media website like Pinterest can bring traffic to their blog. After all, it does just seem like a bunch of cute photos of puppies and kittens and delicious looking desserts. 

This brings me back to what I was just talking about - pin-friendly images. If you have an image that looks nice to go along with your blog post, more people are likely to click on it. One of your Pinterest followers is browsing on Pinterest, and they come across an image they like and find interesting that links back to your blog post - "How to Make Paper Flowers for Your Dog's Collar". Maybe they'd like to try that craft? So they click on it and voila! You have received traffic to your blog from Pinterest. 

Creating Pin-Friendly Images
My pin-friendly image from the post on how to make paper flowers mentioned above.

Pinterest posts can also be shared via Facebook and Twitter, which is another way to receive blog traffic. 

Now that you know the basics of Pinterest and how to use it, you better get pinning! Remember that you don't actually have to spend time on Pinterest to be active there. Pinning directly from a blog is simple and takes seconds. 

If anyone still has questions please feel free to ask! And if you have any good tips or advice that weren't included here, please let me know in the comments. Happy pinning! 

50 comments:

  1. Great tips and we have updated ours and will try and keep up with it. Just never enough time, Big sigh. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

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    1. Good luck Molly. Hope this is helpful for you!

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  2. These are terrific tips! I have to be careful about ever actually going to Pinterest because I can get lost there - lol. Recently read a good article about tools to use for Pinterest http://www.sitepronews.com/2014/01/27/top-11-pinterest-tools-blogs-businesses/

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    1. Same here Sue. I will spend WAY too much time on there if I start looking through all the pins lol. Thanks for sharing the article.

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  3. Great tips, I have a pinterest account but don't utilise it enough. Will have to spend more time on it. In the meantime, I have an award for you on my bloggy: http://themisadventuresofmisaki.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/award-tuesday-2/

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    1. Thanks Misaki! I will stop by and pick it up in a little bit. I am running behind today!

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  4. Thanks. This is great info. I will have to try harder with Pinterest. I am going to share this. :)

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    1. Thanks! Hope you are able to make Pinterest work for you!

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    2. Thanks dear, I love your blog ! You have provided a good info through this blog about a pet. I’ve learned more titanandmilo(dot)com through this blog.
      Really your your blog is top notch and very classy.
      Many thanks again for sharing.

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  5. I think the key to Pinterest is the photo - has to be a good one, and then crafts and recipes seem to be the biggest draws, but other pins work too. Just make sure the items you pin link back to the actual website.

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    1. Agreed Emma. It's something I still try to work on myself... creating the perfect image for Pinterest. I like that sort of thing, so it's fun for me usually. Definitely agree that the image should link back to the website it comes from.

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  6. Emma is correct, if you are pinning make sure they link back to the actual website and while you are right if it is there we can pin it, I have had pinterest email me telling me that they removed the pin because the ORIGINAL PERSON WHO PINNED IT should not have pinned it to begin with (and I pinned it from their pin).......some images ARE copyrighted. Also (and I learned this from another blogger), depending on where the watermark is, often they can be easily cropped off. I personally don't care if my photos are shared but others do but I do want them linked back to my original post.

    I forgot to say that this is a great post but there is another thing. Not all browsers display a "pin it" button as you have it shown above. Mine doesn't. I have to click on my bookmarks and then on the drop down menu it says "pin it"........on WordPress many photos will have "pin it" when you have your cursor hover over the image. (Pinning from WordPress and Blogger ARE different)

    I get a lot of traffic from Pinterest as you do and I think part of the key is that I don't have my profile keyed to entirely pets. I have boards based on all of my interests including pets. You never know if someone reading your "Favorite Music" board might just have a dog or a cat too!!!

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    1. Hey Caren, thank you for adding this! You are totally right about the watermarks, they can be cropped away unfortunately. There is also a way to block people from right click saving images from your website if you are worried about people stealing your stuff. I think if someone is that concerned about it, they should take the extra step in preventing it from happening. Most of the time when people "steal" images, they are just unaware that they are doing it I think.

      Also, you're right about the bookmark thing. My pin-it button is actually a bookmark, but I must have my settings set to show some bookmarks on my browser bar. I am using Chrome. I am using Blogger and am able to add the hover Pin It button :) They are different, but many people don't realize all the cool stuff you can do with Blogger. You can do almost all the cool things as you could with WP.

      If my Pinterest account were more of a "personal" one I would totally have way more boards than just animals. I put all of the misc. stuff on a "other cool stuff" board. Love it!

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  7. I think we should visit this site too. Am I the only one who hasn't an account there? Many thanks Anne for your great tips, think with your guide we will try it :o)

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    1. Oh Easy, I think that if your mom uses Pinterest she will definitely love it! It is like a huge trash-ure hunt!

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  8. Great tips on pinterest! Thanks for sharing that. I gotta admit I'm still finding my way around pinterest!
    ((Husky hugz frum da pack))

    "Love is being owned by a husky"

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  9. Thanks sooooo much! We have been wondering how to do this for a while now...
    We are going to go get a pin it button...

    Noodle and crew

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  10. We are so glad you put this together. Pinterest is one of our top 5 traffic drivers. Sharing this on the BlogPaws Facebook page right now. Way to go!

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  11. Great tips. I have boards of all my interests but most of them are animal-related.

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  12. Great post! We are somewhat new to Pinterest and we really like it, but still often forget to use it frequently.

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  13. We want so much to join Pinterest , but it will become a little difficult for us to manage all those social networks :)

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    1. You don't have to join Doni. I think you should only take on as much as you can handle! Conquer one thing at a time!

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  14. thanx shiner for all de werk ya putted inta thiz post...we haza hard enuff time on blogger let a lone pinterest... !!!!! we visited de site once N wuz like....uh........happee day two ewe !!

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  15. Thanks for posting this! It's a great reminder not to forget other social media channels!

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  16. i know how to use pinterest but wasn't sure how to use it WITH my blog... thanks for sharing this! gives a sort of jumping off point!

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  17. We never knew how to do that..will grab a coffee tomorrow and go through all you tips :) Thank you xxxxxooxxxx Hope Mom is doing well x

    Mollie and Alfie

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    1. Good luck Mollie! Feel free to have your mom email you if you need any help. Mom is doing good too btw.

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  18. Great info! It's important to know the difference between sharing the images on pinterest and stealing them. By sharing the image, credit always goes back to its original location on the blog or website. This is why it helps to build traffic. Stealing an image means someone copied it and put it on their own blog or website or into a video without giving proper credit. You're right, Ann, adding a watermark is a very good idea. I need to do this more often because I do want people to pin my images but not to steal them. It is a pain reporting copyright infringements (which I've had to do before).

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    1. The watermark is a good idea, although it can sometimes still be cropped out. There are times when I forget my watermark, but I usually try to add it in. I have also had to report stolen content before and it is a pain in the butt.

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  19. I’m glad to see TW knows what she’s doing. We’ve have a Pin it button since we joined and TW uses Pinterest to pin my blog posts and to “bookmark” stuff that she/we find inneresting.

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    1. Glad TW knows what she's doing too! The Pin it button is awfully handy :)

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  20. Very cool post! I really have to learn how to use my social media to my advantage. I have sort of put off using Pinterest too much because I plan to move to my own hosting and get my own domain and I don't want to have to re-watermark my photos. I will be referring back to this once I start really taking advantage of pinterest.

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    1. Good luck with that Robin! I've been there before, and it was kind of a hassle with some of my pins.

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  21. Thank you, I've bookmarked this. I only just signed up for pinterest and haven't given it a good clear look yet.

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  22. OMG! Now I'm going to have to get a Pinterest account so I can pin this post!

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    1. Lol, well it would be much appreciated :) But hope this helps you when you do start one!

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  23. You give some very useful information. It took me quite a while to work out how to get started on Pinterest, but it is worth it.

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  24. A great post, Ann. I use Pinterest but didn't know about how to get the "pin it" when you hover over a picture in Blogger. Will go and try to set that up :) BTW I have "pinned" the graphic and this post to it if that's ok! :)

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    1. Thanks :) And yes it is most definitely OK for you to pin this! Adding the hover pin it image on Blogger isn't too hard, but you do have to go in and mess with your HTML. If you have any questions, just email me and I can help you.

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  25. What a great post! I was one of those asking about using images. Your answer was perfect. I try to include the name of the blog with images I pin. I love pinterest and am building my blog site.

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    1. Yes ma'am! You were the one who asked! Caren added in some very good insight about that in the comments above too. Adding the name of the blog with the image is perfect. I think it's good Pinterest "manners".

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  26. What a great post! I was one of those asking about using images. Your answer was perfect. I try to include the name of the blog with images I pin. I love pinterest and am building my blog site.

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  27. This is great, Ann. I've been resisting using Pinterest because I just don't feel I have the time. But friends of mine were raving about it recently so it's always in the back of my mind. If I decide to take the plunge, your instructions will come in very handy!

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    1. Good luck if you do join Jan. It really doesn't have to be so time consuming, in my opinion. Like I said, I am hardly ever on Pinterest except maybe to check my followers or see what's getting pinned.

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  28. I so need to do better about updating Pinterest. As I'm sure you well know, it can be so difficult juggling all the social media channels, maintaining the blog and keeping a full-time job! Thanks for the tips. Much love, The Scottie Mom.

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    1. Yes, it can be difficult! Fortunately for me, my blog is my full-time job so that makes things simpler. It would be much harder if I had a job where I didn't work from home.

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