Pinterest Etiquette

With Pinterest still being relatively new, I think now is the perfect time for us to start a discussion on the etiquette. Remember when facebook was young, and people were “poking” each other? Ew. Let’s avoid that sort of mishap on our beloved idea sharing site.

We can work together to make Pinterest a better place for all. Here’s how:

The power is yours!

1.  Make sure the link works!

It only takes a few seconds to check the link (by simply clicking on it) before you repin. There’s nothing worse than seeing a cool diy project, or a recipe you want to try, then clicking for more info, and ending up with an error message.

No soup for you!

The Fix: If the link is broken, go to your internet search bar, and type a description based on the photo or the caption. See if you can find the page it belongs to. Check and see if the blog title is in the existing link, and that will help you narrow it down. When you have found the page, you can either pin from the site, or repin from the original pinner. When that fails, write in your caption something like, “Broken link, but great idea!” Speaking of captions…

2. Personalize the caption!

I’ve done it from day one, and for the longest time I thought all my friends did, too. Any time I’d read a  witty or clever caption, I assumed they wrote it. One day, I pinned some cupcakes with the description: “This would be perfect for Max’s pirate party next month.” It started popping up all over the place with the same description, and I knew the odds of all these people having a child named Max who was having a pirate party in a month

Then it all came together.

Just a moment, I'm having an idea

The Fix: First, you have to care. Some of you don’t, and that’s okay, but think about it this way:  Your friends follow you to see what you like. Why not let them know what you actually think, too? Some phone apps don’t allow you to change the caption, which is why I never pin from my phone. If that’s how you like to do it, so be it. I think the apps will catch up eventually, and then there will be no excuse! Well, unless the caption is just so perfect, that there’s no way you could change it.

Now THAT is a magnificent cock

3.  Make your boards unique!

If you like someone else’s board, pin a few things from them, but don’t lift their entire board and call it your own. Surely you can find similar items that speak to you. Much like the people of the world, Pinterest would not be an interesting place if all boards were the same.

This picture gives me nightmares

The Fix: If you come across, say, a clothing board full of dresses you love, figure out what you love about it. Are most of them 50s retro? Are they bohemian? Do a search for “bohemian dress” and see what you come up with. Click on the pin itself to see what site it came from. If it’s a site like Modcloth, you’ll be able to find plenty of things you can pin yourself. Which brings me to my next tip…

4.  Variety is the spice of life!

Try to take your pins from different websites. Part of your “job” as a member of the Pinterest community is to help it grow. Pinning the entire collection of Chef Emeril’s pasta dishes may seem appealing in the moment, but think of how it will look on your food board.


The Fix: All that said, don’t feel like you have to pin consertvatively. Go to websites you love, check with blogs, do google searches, and search within Pinterest. If you come across a site with oodles of great free sewing patterns, just post a few of your very favorites that you can’t wait to try. Same goes with recipes, clothing, anything you can think of. If you followed Step 1, your pins will have a working link, and you will always have the website bookmarked for later browsing. And finally…

5.  Pin From Your Own Blog Sparingly!

A) Spamming your friends is tacky, and B) The Pinterest team even requests at sign up that you not do so. Pinterest is about sharing ideas, not self-promotion. If you feel like you’ve overdone it in the past, don’t fret. Now you’ll know how to do it tastefully.

The scandal!

The Fix: If you must pin from your own blog, do so sparingly, and create a board specifically for your own material. Karina Allrich of Gluten Free Goddess has a Board titled “I eat my work”. I recommend following her. The other option is: Do nothing. If you’ve written something useful or interesting, people will see it. Remember: If you blog it, they will pin it.  And if they don’t, you can always ask your friends to pin your content for you. <wink>

Agree? Disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Is there anything you would add to my list?


3 thoughts on “Pinterest Etiquette

    • Yes. I totally agree, 100%. You gotta give credit where credit is due. I will say, however, that it can be a challenge on the internet to find who the original image, or whatever, belongs to. It’s easy if you’re using a person’s work directly from their blog, but everything gets “borrowed” so much on the internet that it can be hard to find the source. I’m experiencing that here when I use pictures. Some of my pics will link back, but others, I can’t figure out where to link them back to, you know?


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