Pinterest for Beginners

You’ve heard of Pinterest, “A place to organize and share things you love.” But what is it exactly, and how can writers use it to promote themselves and their books? I’ll tell you in this three-part post.

What is Pinterest? Imagine a room in your house, its walls covered with individual bulletin boards. You’ve given each board a theme (crafts, gardening, books, etc.), and you pin on the boards pictures you like that match the themes. Each picture links to a web site where you can find out more about the picture. That’s Pinterest!

Pinterest is a social media site where you can set up your own virtual bulletin boards onto which you can pin your favorite things, and each of those pictures leads to the web page where you can find it.

Add one more dimension: Everyone can see your boards, and you can see theirs, so you can repin ideas from their boards onto yours. Not only that, but you can pin ideas you find on other web pages onto your boards, and you can even upload pictures from your computer. Pinterest is all about sharing.

How do writers use Pinterest? I’ll go into more detail next time, but for now, imagine pinning your blog posts, information about your books, book reviews, your web page . . . Are you beginning to see how it might be useful?

10 Easy Steps to Get Started

1. Go to http://pinterest.com and select the button “Join Pinterest” at the top of the page.

2. You can register via Facebook, Twitter, or an e-mail address.

3. Fill out the account information. (Note: The “Username” is the name that others will see associated with your boards. —Writers, you might want to use your real name here.— You have the option of uploading a photo of yourself, too). Then click “Create Account.”

4. Next, Pinterest asks you to click on a few pictures you like. This step can confuse new users. Just do it. Click on five pictures that you like from the selection they give you. Then click “Continue.”

5. On the next page, at the top right, above the pictures, you’ll see “About.” In the About Menu, you’ll see “Pin it Button.” Click on that, and follow the instructions to add a “Pin it Button” to your browser menu bar. The Pin It Button makes it easy to add something to Pinterest that you find on any another web page.

Tip: Clicking on the red “Pinterest” at the top of each page always brings you back to the main page.

6. Now, next to where you clicked on “About,” you’ll see your name. Click on it, scroll down, and click on “Boards.”

7. The next page is where you set up your bulletin boards. Choose a theme and set up your first board. For example, you might name the board “Crafts.” Click “Create Board” and then “Edit.” Fill out the information for the board, and then click “Save Settings.”

Tip: You can create as many boards as you want and you don’t have to set them up now. As you begin to find things that interest you, you can add more themed boards to organize them.

Now you are ready to pin.

How to Pin

8. Clicking on the red “Pinterest” at the top brings you back to the main page.

9. Under the red Pinterest, you’ll see “Catagories.” Clicking on a category in this menu will show you all the recent things people have pinned.

Tip: Clicking on a picture will make it larger. Clicking on the larger picture will take you to the web page where the pinner found the picture.

10. If you want to repin a picture onto one of your own bulletin boards, click “Repin.” Then, in the menu under the picture choose the board where you want the pin to go. Click “Pin It,” and now you have a duplicate pin on the board on your Pinterest page.

Tip: You can also find interesting things to pin by clicking on “Everything,” “Popular,” and “Gifts.” Or, you can type something into the search box at the top of the page to see if others have pins about that topic.

If you find someone who is adding a lot of pins that you like, you can begin following that person. No invitation is needed. Pinterest boards are public, so just click “Follow.” You can begin by looking at my boards, repining any of my pins, and following me at: http://pinterest.com/jcfwriter.

The Pin It Button Let’s imagine that you are surfing the web and you find an idea that you really like and want to save. You can pin it to one of your boards very simply by clicking the “Pin It Button” that you added to your web browser’s menu. Click the button, follow the instructions, and pin it. It’s that easy!

Need More Help? Visit Pinterest’s help page at http://pinterest.com/about/help

Dive in! Have fun exploring Pinterest and pinning. Next time, I’ll share tips for how writers use this rapidly growing social media tool.

GO TO PART 2

*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

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7 Comments

Filed under Pinterest, Social Media, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Pinterest for Beginners

  1. Jean,

    Thanks, this was a great informative, easy to follow and understand post for those of us out here that are just getting started using Pinterest. It would have been much easier a month or so back if I had read this first instead of stumbling around for hours and hours trying to understand how to begin. Now, I have a valuable post, thanks to you to pass onto my friends in their getting started using Pinterest. I kept saying no to adding one more thing I do or use to my list of the already WordPress, e-mail, facebook, reviewing books, bible study, using a smartphone and then there’s all those things that you do to keep a home, Home! I am slowly finding out how a lot of this works together and actually spills over into the other and will benefit me with personal goals I have for my life. Simplify is what I’m after! Blogging and writing a book is my goal. Blessings, Hugs in Him…

  2. Thanks so much for this post, Jean! I’d signed up for Pinterest a while back but haven’t done anything with it. Time and knowing what to do with it are big factors, so you took care of the latter. Now for the time…lol Thanks again, bookmarked this! 🙂

  3. Great step by step – thanks! Yet, as an author – why use a craft’s example? What is an example closer to what we want our brand to be?

    • Hello, Rosemary.
      Thanks for your comment. I used a generic example because I have followers who are not writers but read the blog because they enjoy books and words. Next week, I plan to address authors specifically and how they can use Pinterest to help build their brand.

  4. Hi Jean – A friend showed me her Pinterest board, and I’m intrigued in spite of my resistance to more Social Media! I suppose I’d better look into this avenue. Perhaps I’ll enjoy it more than the other venues. Blessings, Susan

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