Tips for Making the Most of Pinterest

Are you on Pinterest, yet? They say Pinterest is the newest social media, I've seen countless articles on how to use Pinterest for your business, and I've seen people get into long discussions in the comments, but for me Pinterest is what it was originally designed to be- a digital pin board. If I see an image I like, I can keep it somewhere that I can look at it again for inspiration. Even better- I can organize all the images I like into boards, so I can soak up some visual inspiration specifically for fashion, crafts, unicorns, my favorite movies or people.

After using Pinterest for a while, I've created a good system for myself of how I make the most of Pinterest, keep myself organized and stay inspired. Pinterest is only as useful as you make it. I hope these tips help you out if you're feeling overwhelmed by this new site so full of images and ideas for just about everything.

Get some Pins
Browse by Category
If you've just joined Pinterest, you're not following any boards yet, so take a browse through the categories. You can scroll through "Everything", or categories like "Women's Apparel", "DIY & Crafts", or "Geek". Don't just go for categories that seem obvious to your likes, try categories you wouldn't think you would like. You may find something you didn't know you liked, plus people don't always label boards correctly, so you'll find a lot of off-category pins.

Search Bar
Try typing in a word or phrase in the search bar. Scroll through pins with that word in their description, or click on "boards" to find boards (collections) named with your word. Sometimes looking through boards with the title you're interested in can be more helpful because pins aren't always labeled with specific words, but people will put pins in a board with a specifically descriptive title.

Who to Follow 
While searching through pins/boards, you may find a board that has a lot of pins that you like. In this case you may want to click "follow" that board, so any new pins added to that board will show up on your main page, for you to see (and then pin in your own boards, if you like).

You can follow individual boards, or if you find a person who has many boards you enjoy, you can click "follow all" to see all of their new pins. If you're an avid fashion/design/craft/baking blog follower, like I am, you will probably find your favorite bloggers on Pinterest and enjoy following their boards.

The Pin It Button
At the top of the page click on "About", then "Pin It Button" and get yourself a plug-in for Firefox that allows you to "pin" any image from any webpage you visit. 

As you may have noticed from checking out pins, if you click on the image, it takes you to the original webpage where it was pinned from. This makes it easy to pin DIY projects, for example. You can pin the image of the finished product, rather than bookmark the page, and when you click on that pin, it will take you to the page with the instructions to make that project.

You will probably find images you like as you go about your regular internet routine, or if you want to create a board with a specific theme, try good old Google image search to find what you're looking for.

Organize Wisely
I'm an organization geek, so this is important for me. I have a lot of boards because they all have a specific visual theme, or are devoted to a specific person/thing. I could just have a board for pretty girls, but I have specific boards for some of my favorite girls like Audrey Hepburn, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Skye Sweetnam

Keep in mind that when you're pinning, your boards will be listed alphabetically in the drop-down menu. That's why I've named similar boards with their broad category first, then their specific category. (ie "Fashion // Style", "Fashion // Shoes", "Fashion // Jewelry", etc.) so they're easy to find. (However, you can arrange your boards in whatever order you choose on your profile page.)

If you can't decide between two categories, pin it in both! I have a lot of double pins because I might pin something in "Home // Things" and also "DIY".

If you have a board that is really full, try dividing it up. I started with one board "Fashion" which I later divided up into Style, Shoes, Jewelry, Fancy, Swimwear. This makes it easier when you're browsing your boards for inspiration, or looking for a specific image.

Keep It Going
Don't forget to pin! When you first start using Pinterest, it may take a while to get into the habit of thinking "Pin it!" when you see something you like online. You may end up changing your internet habits from bookmarking pages to just pinning your favorite image from the page, which will be a link back to it from Pinterest.

Regularly review your boards to soak up your inspiration. I'm guilty of forgetting to do this. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, and am always pinning anything I like online, but I need to take the time to actually look through my own boards to enjoy all those images and be inspired. Don't be hesitant to delete anything that no longer turns you on. This is not the place for hoarding. Keep your boards fresh and not clogged with mediocrity. If you don't love it, you don't need it. (This applies to everything in life, but I can get into that later.)

Now, get out there and start pinning! Don't forget to follow me!