Pinterest: Workshop Wednesday

Welcomed back to another addition of Workshop Wednesday here at Heaven’s Garden. Today’s topic is about what I consider to be the second most under-used social network, and, the most visual one:

Pinterest

Just the past week or so, Pinterest has dropped the need for an invitation to be able to join.  This helps to simplify sign up a bit, and takes away the guesswork of when you will be allowed in.

Pinterest has been somewhat controversial since it’s start but, in my opinion, much of it has been unwarranted though not all. The Terms of Service (TOS) was, and to some point still is, a bit unclear whether one can link or upload ONLY their own original photos or not.

This week, I’m going to give you a short intro into what to do once  you have signed up for Pinterest.

You should have at least one board already, but we’re going to teach you how to add your own board, and what it entails. To access your boards, you can click on your “username” or on the “boards” from the drop down menu.

To create a new board, you will wish to click on “Add+” button at the top right of your computer screen, and then click on “Create a Board.” Type your board name in the area provided and then click the Create Board button.  There are 32 categories to choose from, and you’ll want to consider carefully where your board best fits.This will  help you to stay organized and will help people to find you and your pins easier.

You can set it up to allow others to be authorized to also pin on your board, but unless you are part of a large company, are working on a project, are organizing a wedding or trip, it is best under most circumstances to set the pin authorization to only yourself.

Before  you can allow another person to contribute to your boards, you must follow at least one  on their boards. Group boards seem to be popular, and it could help increase  your follower base. I recommend that you be very judicious in how and whom you allow to contribute. You don’t want someone pinning pornography or illegal information on your account, do you?

You can rename and rearrange your boards at a later time; for now, we just want to get you started so you will know what you are doing. In order to arrange your boards, you must be on your profile page and you will click the little square located in the middle of the page. I consider it to be essential that your most important boards be at the top of your page. For my account, that would be the boards which deal with Heaven’s Garden Productions, angel Art Studio, Twisted Rose Publishing, Heaven-Wide Communications and about 3-5 others.  For most of my boards, I attempt to group them together, such as the recipe boards, which are then sorted alphabetically.  I try to make it as easy as possible for those coming to my boards to find what they are looking for with a minimum of trouble.

You are also able to set a board cover on each board. This is done by mouse-over of any board, clicking on the “edit board cover” and then choosing the pin cover you want and positioning it as you like.There are tools which will allow you to “slice” the image cover such as vitamincr/pinterest. This can help add a little more interest to your boards.  I’ll admit, I have not tried it yet, but when I return to the States and back to my Windows PC, I’ll be looking into giving it a try.

If you are like me, you want to know how to edit a board.  You can do this by clicking on the “edit” button which is located under the board you want to edit. You can change the board tittle, add a description, change categories, set contributors and delete the board. Something I recommend, and try to always remember to do, is to use the # in my board description and in the board name itself. For instance, let’s say I create a new board for WordPress Tutorials. My new board name would look as follows: #WordPress Tutorials. I do this, as it is supposed to help help people in being able to search more directly for the boards or pins they wish to find.  It works in much the same way as the hash-tag # for Twitter works.

There are  places that can teach you how to do pins, but I feel the best one is from Pinterest itself. Therefore, I will not be taking time to explain this to you and will move forward in teaching you a few other tricks and tips.

Let’s talk a bit more about the hashtag # and it’s use in Pinterest. With Pinterest, you can add this to the picture description, and it can not be used more than three times to describe one pin. As mentioned above, it helps to make an easily searchable keyword.

Another familiar sign is the at mention sign @ This allows you to recommend the pin to a specific user, or to notify a particular user about your pin. You must be following the user already. If you wanted to at mention me, for instance, it would look like this;  @angelGraham

Commenting on pins is one of the best and easiest ways to interact with other users, aside from pinning or liking their pins.  It allows you to become more personal with them, and again, this is something which has the potential to help increase your own follower base.

A tip/trick I discovered by accident is the one where you can addd the $ sign to your description and it will allow you to add a price to your pin. I’ve read recently that the £ can also be used in the same way.

Videos may also be shared on Pinterest. It’s done in the same way as pinning images, so no extra explanation is necessary.

So, what’s next? Time to follow and be followed.  I was fortunate when I joined Pinterest, that  a number of people I knew were already there, and was able to follow them right away…and they followed me back.  This may be the case for you also.  After you’ve used up your list of people you know, it’s time to begin searching for people to follow who may be inclined to follow you back.  This is where the #search can be invaluable. Start by searching for other users in the areas you will frequent the most. For me, this is the Recipes and DIY, for my friends, it may be books and sports.  Go with your interest, find people who share your interest, and begin following them.  To get followers, you’ll need to do a bit more work.

One thing, probably the most important thing, is to find a way to garner their attention. Put a Pin Me button on your blog/website page, use links in your digital books, add a Follow Me On Pinterest button to your blog/site, and link it to your profile.

Second, add a “follow us on Pinterest” to your email signature (Wisestamp is a great tool for accomplishing this, more on WiseStamp at another time.)

Third, consider making a “How I Use Pinterest” video on YouTube with a link to your profile and pin your video from YouTube to your Pinterest board. I have not done this yet, but it’s on my list of “Things to attempt.”

Fourth, as I touched on earlier, comment on others pins and blogs. It helps you to gain visibility. I’ve tried to do this, but while in Canada, I’m taking it easy, and will go back to doing this more actively when I return to the States.

There are many other things you can do with Pinterest, much more to learn. Go to Facebook and do a search for some of the Pinterest on Facebook Pages, and you can find a wealth of information, plus it is another avenue to use for finding followers.

Don’t forget to be sure to attribute the original person on the pin in your description.  I like to use the URL from their site not only to pin the image, but also in the description itself. If you know their username, use the @username method to further alert them to your pin. You may end up with a new follower or two.

So, readers, what’s your favorite pin you have found on Pinterest?  Authors, are you using Pinterest, and if you are, how are  you using it? Please come comment and let us know what’s going on with your boards and pins.

Now, go forth and Pin.

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