Last December, when I gave my reader survey (I’m already gearing up for this year’s survey!), I was shocked to see how few of my readers used Pinterest. I remember thinking to myself, “Really, how do these design- and craft-loving folks not use Pinterest?” But truth be told, in the months that followed, I found my love of and daily use of Pinterest also dwindle to almost nothing. I blame it on inspiration overload, frustrations of not “living up” and “keeping up,” as well as inherent changes Pinterest made to our feeds. In fact, until just a few months ago, I had stopped using Pinterest as entertainment and a design resource all together, and only pinned my new blog content to my boards when appropriate. However, in the last few months, I’ve had a bit of a reconciling of sorts with Pinterest. While I strongly dislike a lot of the changes they’ve made (sponsored pins, buyable pins, “Picked for You” pins, etc,) I also had to acknowledge that Pinterest is my number one resource when I’m in a design pinch or creative funk AND my number one referrer of traffic of new readers to the blog. Since coming back to Pinterest, I find that I’m using it very differently than I did before. So today, I thought I would share a bit about how I use Pinterest in the hopes that you’ll follow along with me, and possibly even share how and why you do or don’t use it yourself!
FOR THE EVERYDAY USER
FOLLOW YOUR FAVORITE BLOGGERS. I used to primarily use my main Pinterest feed to catch up on the projects and pins of my favorite bloggers. It was a great way to see what blogs they were reading and what projects were inspiring them. However, our feeds have changed so much; and more often than not, you can’t even find pins from your favorite pinners anymore. However, using Pinterest is still one of my favorite ways to catch up on posts and projects from my favorite bloggers, as well as new-to-me bloggers and sites I haven’t checked in on a while. How do I do it? I skip my feed and go right to their boards. Most bloggers have a dedicated pin board for all the posts/projects on their site! Want a quick snapshot of a blogger’s style, expertise, tastes, and recent projects without scrolling through pages and pages of blog content? Find them on Pinterest and look for a board dedicated to their blog. You can catch up, find specific posts, and see if you want to follow this blogger more closely just by scanning this one simple board! You can see and follow my blog board here!
USE IT AS A SEARCH ENGINE. I am such a visual person, so Pinterest in general really appeals to me. While searching for a term/project/concept in Google Images can sometimes be fruitful, I find more and more I am searching for projects, inspirations, and specific things in Pinterest. With Google, you never quite know where your search will send you (a blog, an Etsy shop, a retailer, etc), but on Pinterest, most (not all, but most) searches will send you to a specific blog post with pictures, instructions and more. When I compile my project round-ups for The Good Stuff, I primarily use Pinterest so that I can quickly and easy find on-topic projects that are written by bloggers, have quality photographs and well-written tutorials, and most of all: are popular.
SEE REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES OF THE IDEA(S) IN YOUR HEAD. I’ve shared here on quite a few occasions that I often get stuck in the “thinking and planning” stage of a project. Especially now when we don’t have the time or resources to re-do projects that go wrong or I don’t like, I want to make sure I am entirely certain on a design concept before diving in. Again, I am such a visual person, so I often turn to Pinterest to simply get a “sense” for what my project might look like when completed. Before I wallpapered my office, I searched and searched around for rooms with only the top 1/2 of the wall papered. When I really wanted to pain Henry’s bedroom furniture bright green, I hunted around for large furniture pieces painted green and how they looked within a finished space. Seeing examples in both of these scenarios allowed me to move forward with confidence. Right now, I am helping my sister figure out a painted feature wall in her fixer-upper. She knows she wants yellow stripes, but she’s not sure about the size, color, and ultimate effect she’s going for. A quick Pinterest search helps us both better visualize how different approaches might work in her space!
FOR THE BLOGGER
BECOME A RESOURCE. Until recently, I only used Pinterest in a self-serving way. It was a simple and visual way to catalog inspiring spaces, projects to try, tips and tricks, articles to read and more. And a lot of how I use Pinterest is still in this fashion. However, as a Blogger, I have also started creating boards that are not necessarily full of my own projects or projects I want to try, but rather are boards that serve as a resource for anyone to reference for inspiration or the solution to their specific household/design problem. I’ve recently started collecting wall treatment ideas, renter-friendly solutions, military living articles, and more. My hope is that these boards can become a quick and easy go-to resources for me (and you!) to generate ideas and find solutions that will work in your home and your life! (Click on the images to go right to these boards!)
KEEP TRACK OF THE PROJECTS YOU ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO DO. As a Blogger constantly looking for the next project, I pin a lot of ideas! The problem then becomes that my good ideas become buried within my large Pinterest boards. I’ve recently started pinning the projects that I have concrete plans and ideas for to a specific Post-related board. When it comes time for me to commit to a free-lance project or a concept for our home, I have some very specific inspiration images ready to go. Once I’ve done the project or used the idea, I often shift these pins to other boards so that this becomes a very real-time, fluid, working board!
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A PIN! For years I have ignored the power of Pinterest, failing to embrace methods, programs, apps and strategies for building my following and increasing my pins’ success. And like I said, I even spent most of this year hardly using it at all. But the reality is, Pinterest is a phenomenal way for smaller blogs and businesses to gain traction and build a readership/following. If you are a new blogger, established blogger, small business owner, photographer etc, start pinning your stuff!!! You never know what pin will take off and bring you lots of new traffic and new readers. Trust me when I say that I certainly never imagined my 10-minute Glittered Pinecone project (that I almost never published!) would be re-pinned like crazy, sending a ton of traffic and new readers my way (yes, that single pin has been re-pinned over 22,000 times and brings me a heck of a lot of traffic!). In the same way, several of my older projects have gone viral over the years, bringing lots of new readers this way. The reality is, Pinterest may drive us crazy in so many ways, but it sure helps blogs and creative businesses grow. In fact, I’d be curious to know how many of you regular readers came here via a pin your found on Pinterest and decided to stay. I am currently in the throws of figuring out these aforementioned apps and strategies of building my following and the success of my pins. It’s not fun or easy, but I believe it will get my content in front of the people who want it!
So I am really curious to know how do YOU use Pinterest? Do you use it? If so, how? Do you follow your favorite bloggers? Do you pin their content? I’m trying to learn more about MY readers and how YOU guys use this tool. Any insights you can provide would be much appreciated! And while I’m at it, don’t forget to follow me by clicking the button below!
Happy weekend, friends! See you back here Monday with a house update (finally!)