A month or so ago, I heard about Pinterest from one of my clients. She was telling me how she found a healthy recipe on the site. It sounded a lot like a recipe I had blogged about. I found this curious, so I decided to check out this Pinterest site.
Pinterest is like an online scrapbook for anything you find visually worthy on the Internet. Looking at it, all I wanted to do was pin things, and create little virtual memory boards. I started to daydream like I was back in middle school clipping cute pictures out of Teen magazine. For those who are visually driven, and love scrapbooking — beware, you may get sucked in.
(First, though, I found you have to request to be a member. I found this strange. Why would you have to wait until they say it is OK for you to join? It may be because the site is still undergoing small changes and initial testing.)
Once I was invited to become a member of Pinterest and log in, a few things happened:
First, I found it extremely addicting. I check for new pins every day. I can’t wait to see what cool hairstyle can inspire me or what new home decor idea I can try.
Beyond that, it’s been great for blogging. Since joining, I have become more absorbed in the blogosphere. Pinterest has led me to visit new and interesting blogs and websites I hadn’t known about before. It’s almost like StumbleUpon, but better. When I see a photo that interests me, I may go to the website for further information. I can follow bloggers to see all their pins; it’s just a different way of getting to know them outside of reading their blog. While it’s possible to have a multi-interest blog, that doesn’t work for everyone; rather than trying to fit fashion into your healthy living blog, you could encourage your readers to follow your fashion board on Pinterest.
Even better, my blog’s page views have increased since I have joined Pinterest because yes, I am guilty of pinning just a few of my own recipe photos. (Don’t act shocked. If I have a blog, of course I want people to visit it, so why not pin it?) But I only pin special pictures. I don’t want to be responsible for adding junk to Pinterest (and I feel that food pictures should be more for sites like Foodgawker and Tastespotting). But Pinterest is like any social media site that you join and link your blog to: you are likely to receive hits if you promote yourself. In my case, Pinterest seems to draw just as many — or more! — readers than Twitter and other social media sites.
One negative thing about Pinterest is that you may find the same pins reappear multiple times in your feed. This happens with the most popular pins or if a pin is being discussed. I don’t mind it too much, but it can get annoying. I recommend that those who join Pinterest post new and fresh pins so we don’t get the same images repeated. It’s also a way for you to really distinguish yourself and your unique tastes. I fear that as more people discover Pinterest, more spam and junk will appear on the site but for now, Pinterest remains mostly spam-free, and full of girly, fun, inspirational pictures.
Pinterest may seem like it’s just another social media site, but it gives me inspiration. I enjoy perusing the site, and I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time. And beyond that, it helps me connect with the blogosphere and drive traffic to my blog. I think as time goes on, bloggers will find more and more ways to use it as part of blogging.
What do you think about Pinterest? Have you gotten sucked into pinning? Has it helped your blog at all?