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Seven Cool Ways to Use Pinterest

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Have you joined Pinterest yet? I have to admit – I’ve been pretty obsessed with it in the last few weeks as I started pinning things and exploring the community. And some pinners are using this new network in really cool ways.

For those who’ve not yet familiar with Pinterest, the concept is pretty simple. When you sign up, you create “boards” – as many or few as you want. Each board has a certain theme. When you come across something you like online and want to both remember (like a bookmark) and share with others, you can pin it to one of your boards. For example, I found this really cute costume idea and wanted to remember it for next year. So I pinned it to my “Halloween” board.

Your homepage is filled with the pins from the people/boards you’re following. When you follow someone, you can choose to follow all of their boards or pick and choose the boards you want to follow. I find this extremely helpful, since a lot of my friends have interests that aren’t relevant to me, but I still want to connect with them when it comes to other interests that we share. A good example of this is my friend Kelby Carr. I follow her craft projects board, since that interests me, but don’t follow her board that features stuff for kids, since I don’t have kids of my own.

The most common boards I see are for recipes, craft projects, fashion, and humor, but more and more, people are starting to get creative, which is super inspiring. And, if you use Pinterest in unique ways, it can definitely help you as a blogger or online business owner. Let’s take a look at some really cool ways I’ve seen people using Pinterest:

  • Create a gift registry.

This list tip comes from Kenna Griffin from Prof KRG. This holiday season, she used Pinterest to create a Christmas wish list, which you can see here. She shared the list with family members, which made it much easier for them to purchase gifts she really wanted. You could use it to create a wish list for your blog as well. Depending on your niche, fans might want to send gifts or donations, and this helps them understand how to best show their appreciation. Of course, if you’re a parent, you can also have your (older) children create boards with a wish list theme to help you make purchases.

  • Pin your best blog posts.

Sure, Pinterest is a great way to share funny pictures and whatnot, but does it have any practical use for bloggers who aren’t working in visual-centric niches? Yes! For example, one of the boards I created is called “Favorite Blog Posts I’ve Written,” and my plan is to use it to pin posts that I’m especially proud of. This has the potential to get out of hand if bloggers use boards to promote every post they write, but with the correct restraint, I think it can bring me a lot of traffic. People have already started to follow that board, and as of writing this post, it only has a single pin.

  • Start a Pinterest book club.

This is one board I’m hoping to start in the coming months – a little book club for me and others interested in reading the same books as me. Lots of people use Pinterest to share their favorite books, but what about creating a group board (where anyone can pin things) and every month reading a book together, using the board to share links to reviews and analysis, products inspired by the book, interviews with the author you’ve found, etc. When I read a book I like, I love to read as much about it as possible, and share with others who are reading the same things, so Pinterest could give us a fun place to collaborate.

  • Use Pinterest for project management.

I haven’t seen anyone doing this yet, but I think it could be super helpful for some people, since you can create boards where multiple people can pin things. For example, say you’re an interior decorator. You could use Pinterest to share cool stuff you find online for a specific room you’re designing with the rest of your staff (and they can share with you too). The homeowners can even get involved with pinning. There’s a lot of potential here for anyone collaborating on a project. I love that it would cut down on the crazy number of emails you send back and forth.

  • Pin as an affiliate.

This Pinterest board idea comes from James Dabbagian, who created a board called “Books on Blogging and Social Media.” All the pins on that board are affiliate links, so if others check them out on his recommendation, he’ll get the credit on Amazon (or wherever). You can easily disclose that your links are affiliate links in the description, which James has done, and it makes total sense, since it helps people who are interested in a specific type of product find an entire list of items to check out.

  • Create a Pinterest test kitchen.

Food bloggers have definitely headed to Pinterest en masse, which makes sense since food is definitely visual. Instead of just sharing recipes, though, what about creating a “test kitchen” board? As you’re developing new recipes, ask your followers to try them out and “like” or repin if they enjoyed the meal. It’s a great way to get feedback on the success (or not) of a dish.

  • Bookmark inspiration pieces.

Occasionally (and by occasionally, I mean every two minutes), I come across blog posts, infographics, pictures, and so forth that get my inspiration juices flowing. I don’t always have time to write at that moment, though. Instead of just bookmarking posts, which is clutter-y and hard to efficiently organize, I’ve created a new Pinterest board to essentially bookmark cool ideas. If it inspires some of my followers to check out awesome things other people have written or created, all the better.

Some there you have it – my seven cool ideas for using Pinterest. As I continue using this platform and explore what others are doing, I’m sure I’ll have even more neat ideas to add to this list. Have you come across anyone using Pinterest in a cool way? If so, tell us about it in the comments!

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


Feedback

31
  • profkrg

    Thanks for including me, Allison! I love the idea of creating a book club on Pinterest. How fun! I’ve not fully explored it for professional purposes yet. I mostly just use it for decorating and cooking ideas. I enjoyed this informative post!

  • allison_boyer

    @LisaLadrido Me too – I’m totally addicted!

  • profkrg

    @allison_boyer Thanks for including me, Allison. It’s a great post to read. It gave me new ideas.

  • amyszw

    I am going to start using a couple of these ideas immediately! Thanks!

  • geekbabe

    @OrganizedCook thanks for listing me, sending your site link to my husband, the foodie :)

  • EricaBrand

    re: those that want “pin” privacy – you can create private boards on http://www.juxtapost.com it’ll let you collect and share things just the same. When you add posts to your private postboard it doesn’t share it with anyone. it also had different settings so you can share with just your facebook friends and not the whole world.

  • LindaSherman

    Great post Allison. I pinned to my How To Use Pinterest board on Pinterest. http://pinterest.com/lindashermang/how-to-use-pinterest/

  • michaelsb

    @madalynsklar yeah I like that idea. I created a board with many of clients as well.

  • jshatswell

    @profkrg really cool! I love pinterest.

  • blogworld

    @Scott_Fox glad you liked it Scott. @allison_boyer did a great job with that post

  • allison_boyer

    @Scott_Fox Glad you liked it! Thanks for the retweet!

  • allison_boyer

    @msgusset Hey, thanks for the RT on my Pinterest post!

  • LucyBanta

    Great post Allison! Book club idea could be a lot of fun. Our magazine just set up an account where we’ll continue to add all things New Jersey and fun stuff for moms, dads, and kids. It is addicting! Happy pinning. http://pinterest.com/newjerseyfamily/

  • HeidisCottage

    @allison_boyer nice article.let me know if you’d like to join my holiday community bds http://t.co/yAs9HdkZ #pinterest

  • BookLeverage

    The book club idea is genius! I’m going to try that. Thank you for a great post.

    • allison_boyer

      @BookLeverage Let me know how it goes! It’s something I’d like to do in the future if I have time (but I’d love to join yours too!).

  • Nicholas_Web

    @JulianaP16 Thanks for the RT!

  • SuperReaderGirl

    @BookExpoAmerica I’m not finding you on Pinterest. What username do you use? @blogworld

  • ann_oconnell

    @MatthewDicks I have tried to use Pinterest for my novel, actually. I pin photos of my settings. That’s all I’ve used it for, however.

  • evolutionparent

    Oh I love the bookclub idea!

  • Ellen S

    Really smart ideas here, I’m now inspired to be even MORE obsessed with Pinterest. (And I pre-ordered Kelby’s book)!

  • RoseConsulting

    RT @DeniseWakeman / Love the #blog post idea! / 7 Cool Ways to Use #Pinterest — BlogWorld & New Media Expo Blog http://t.co/JTsO48br

  • edodson

    Allison, thanks for the article.  We use Pinterest to help homeowners find inspiration on specific home improvement projects.www.pinterest.com/homezada

  • trishbaylon

    @JulianaP16 hi Juliana! thanks for the RT :)

  • Taran

    Thanks for the article.Its a great info for me, you have shared such a nice post.These are the great ways to use pinterest.Thanks again…..

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