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Build a Pinterest Presence from Scratch: Pinning and Following (Day Three)


This is part three of a five-part series to help you create a Pinterest presence from scratch for your business or online content. Make sure you’re subscribed to our blog so you don’t miss a single day!

If you’ve been following along with our little series about creating a Pinterest presence, you’ve already created your profile and created your first ten boards. Now it’s time to start filling those boards with some great content and find some people to follow! push pin

Pinning and Repinning

On Pinterest, you can add content in three ways:

  1. Upload an image directly to Pinterest (this is usually not the best option).
  2. “Pin” content you find online, both from your own site and from other sites.
  3. “Repin” content that you see others pinning.

You want to split your time between pinning and repinning. Pinning something allows you to be the start of the repin ripples, which is good if you have content that hasn’t been added in other ways and if you want more followers. Repins are good too, though. It’s like retweeting content on Twitter – it’s a cool way to say “thank you” to people. Interacting with your community is a gesture of goodwill, and if you repin stuff from people who aren’t following you yet, it encourages them to check out your profile and perhaps follow you back.

So, both are good. Pin and repin often. If you get the “Pin It” button, it’s pretty easy to do; you don’t even have to go to Pinterest’s site to pin stuff you find throughout the day.

Whenever possible, pin a few things here and there, rather than a clump of 10-20 pins within an hour. When is the best time to pin? That depends on your target market. When is your audience most likely to be online, checking out Pinterest? Do some testing to find out.

Pin both your own content and content from others. It’s like Twitter: if you pin only your own stuff, you look selfish. So spread the love and pin from multiple sources.

Also like Twitter, you can use hashtags, and if you put an “@” before someone’s name, it will tag that person so they’ll be notified of a pin. But – and this is important – you can only tag someone if you’re following at least one of their boards. So how do you find people to follow?

Following Other People

There’s a great section about following others on Pinterest in our free ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Blog, Podcast, or Videos with Pinterest. Let me go over some of the top tips here:

  • Follow profiles, not boards.

When you see someone interesting, you can choose to follow their entire profile or you can just follow the boards that interest you. Most of the time, it makes sense to follow the entire profile and then unfollow the boards that don’t interest you. That way, you’ll see future boards they create. If you just follow some of their boards, you won’t see any boards they create in the future unless you click to their profile and review their board list again. It’s much easier to just unfollow boards!

  • Use the search function to find interesting boards.

When you write good descriptions for your boards, pins, and repins, it helps you get found when people search on Pinterest. You can use this same search function to find other people interested in the same topics you like. When you search for a keyword, remember to look at pins, boards, and profiles by toggling between these three options.

  • Follow your fans.

People who repin and like your content may be others you want to follow. You don’t have to follow back everyone, but if someone finds your pins interesting, chances are that you have similar tastes and will find their pins interesting as well. So pay attention to the people who are interested in your content.

Check out the ebook for even more advice about how to find people to follow!

See the entire series here:


  • KatieDavisBurps

    Hi Allison, AWESOME posts!
    Thank you so much! I’ve looked through the ebook (even um, awesomer) and didn’t see anything about this…
    could please tell me what the legalities are about Pinterest and copyright issues? Both from the point of view of taking images off someone’s blog and pinning it, and the fact that people can take all attribution from the caption. Thanks!

    • allison_boyer

       @KatieDavisBurps It’s a complicated issue, for sure!
      One thing to NEVER do is download a picture and then re-upload it using the “add image” feature. This strips all credit from the original image, since it removes the link. Always pin directly from the site itself using the “Pin It” button for your bookmarks toolbar or the Pinterest button the owner has on his/her site.
      Another things you should never do is pin something that you don’t own and then change the link so it points to your site instead of the original source. I recommend checking everything you repin as well to make sure that the person before you didn’t do this. It’s a problem on Pinterest.
      Pinterest does provide code that people can install if they don’t want you to pin stuff from their site. So, if you try to pin something and a message pops up that you’ve been blocked, respect that instead of figuring out a work-around so you can pin it, like pinning from Google Image Search (also a bad idea).
      In short, you always want to make sure that when you pin something, it leads back to the original source when you click on it (unless of course you own the image – then you’re free to edit the link so it leads to wherever you want).
      Like most rules online, this one can be boiled down to “don’t be a jerk.” 🙂
      In terms of the legalities…well, I’m not a lawyer, and as far as I know, there is not yet precedence in a Pinterest copyright case. My personal opinion is that images on Pinterest are like images on Google Image Search – they’re meant to help the owner get more traffic. If you don’t want your work seen, why would you put it online? That doesn’t mean people should be able to use any image they find willy-nilly, but Pinterest isn’t about using images to illustrate a point (as you might do in a blog post). Rather, it is about curating links. I honestly don’t know why anyone would put their work online, but not want people to share it and send traffic their way.
      If someone asks me to remove a pin, I always will, but that has never happened. So I say, pin away!

      • KatieDavisBurps

         @allison_boyer  @KatieDavisBurps  Thank you! I love your “don’t be a jerk” line – and love your site with all the other rules you shouldn’t have to tell people. I’ve been deep into Pinterest for a while now and never even thought about the copyright stuff until someone asked – and I’m an illustrator! duh!

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