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Wouldn’t it be great if the things you did in your spare time directly affected the amount of traffic driven to your website? Like true 21st century people, a majority of us spend our time either tweeting, blogging, or poking each other on Facebook. Now you may believe that all of this time spent through various social media may be wasted but there are sites that are not only fun to use, but valuable in promoting yourself. With sites like Pinterest it’s not only possible to promote yourself, but also get encouraged!
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you share, discuss, and organize interesting things you find all over the Internet. With Pinterest you can save or share inspirations from anything ranging from photography to sports. You can use Pinterest to discover new blogs about design or simply keep track of recipes that look delicious. Pinterest currently has a rapidly growing user base that tweets and shares pins across the web that are beginning to spread like wildfire.
Pinterest revolves around the use of virtual pinboards with photos of different links or pictures pinned to them. Users can create their own pinboards with different categories and pin new pins onto each board to help organize content. Because there are so many categories that are constantly being updated with new pins you have an opportunity to pin your website or article on any number of different boards.
There are a vast amount of categories to choose from that may interest or inspire you and others around you. Now that you have a few categories in mind to help categorize your interests we can dive into how to utilize these boards to your advantage.
There are a couple of ways to upload pins to Pinterest that will help you promote your designs or website. Users can either upload a picture, post a pin from a URL, use the ‘Pin It’ bookmark button, or use a Pinterest button that can be embedded in your website to let other users pin it on their pinboards. One of the great things about Pinterest is the ability for users to copy or “re-pin” content from one board to theirs.
To add a pin directly from the Pinterest website you simply click the ‘Add +’ button located on the top right of the Pinterest bar. From here you can use an already existing URL to link to a pin or upload a picture from your computer. Pinterest has several default boards for you initially but you can create new boards using the ‘Add +’ button as well. Each board you have is linked to a particular category, which will be important later.
Once a pin is added you have the option to click through the photos located on the website that the pin is linked to for your thumbnail as well as the option to either share your pin via Facebook or Twitter. Depending on the website you may have to first link directly to the main picture of your particular blog post or website article but you can edit your URL on any pin at anytime once it has been posted. Now that we know how to post a pin let’s take a look at how to make sure your pin gets noticed.
Pinterest was designed so that users could share and organize things that they love. Because all of the pins are based off of a thumbnail it’s no secret that the pin should be just as attractive as the content that it is linked to. Here a few guidelines that will help your pin get spread across the boards:
When first submitting your pin you are given the option to choose which board you would like to post your pin to. Because users can browse by category, pins that are in the correct category will be browsed by users with similar interests to your pin. This is why it’s important that you post your new architectural design for the museum district to a board that is categorized under the ‘Architecture’ category instead of ‘Other’. This is a simple but crucial step to getting the right amount of exposure.
After choosing the correct board and category for your pin you must enter a description. Describing your pin can work in your favor when you use expressive and enticing descriptions. Try using numerical statements and lots of colorful adjectives to help persuade users to repin your pin or visit your website. “10 Great Pumpkin Recipes” sounds much more appealing than “Cool Shoes”.
Pinterest has a light-hearted and fairly soft feel to its website. The majority of the pins featured on the site often correspond or contrast well against the background of Pinterest itself. Choosing the right thumbnail for your pin is the only opportunity for you to get exposure among the hundreds of pins in a given category. Thumbnails featured on the boards are often heavily manipulated and well-lit or have high contrast. Try to bring out some of the colors featured on the Pinterst website itself or adding a little saturation to make sure your pin stands out from the crowd.
Pinterest also has a loose set of guidelines set in place to ensure that the site is filled with meaningful and inspirational content. While posting pins, it’s best to keep these rules in mind. First and foremost it is expected that all users be courteous and polite while commenting and posting pins. Because the site is fueled by its user base, it is important that the users respect each other. Secondly always try to find the original source for any work you submit. Whether this is your own personal design or something you found on Google images, it is best to give credit to the author. After all you’d want the same done for you. Also keep in mind that there is no nudity or hateful content permitted and objectionable content can be reported and removed. Lastly and most importantly, Pinterest frowns upon having an account solely for the purpose of self-promotion. Remember to contribute to the community with things that other users might have in common with you.
Currently Pinterest is invite-only. You can either request an invite directly through Pinterest or by receiving an invitation from a user that is currently registered on Pinterest. Once you request an invite a Pinterest staff member should send you a invite within a few days. Feel free to leave a comment here and I’ll try to send as many invites as I can. Kind in mind that Pinterest was created to share and inspire creative ideas and interests from around the web so try not to solely self-promote your website or blog but instead dive into the Pinterest community and discover new and interesting things a long the way. Good luck and happy pinning!
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Isaiah Cisneroz is a software analyst and computer engineer by day and a crime-fighting graphic designer and blogger extraordinaire by night. He spends his free time learning about new and creative ways to design things both on and off the web. Follow Isaiah on Twitter for design updates.
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