How to Use Pinterest

How to Use Pinterest

My last post was about How to Get Started on Pinterest. When I left you, we had started a Pinterest account for my imaginary friend Maude, and we had filled out our profile information and found some friends to follow. But Maude’s Pinterest page still looks pretty bare. Let’s remedy that, shall we!? It’s time to to have some fun! Today I’ll show you how to add boards to your Pinterest profile as well as how to upload your own pins, pin properly from websites and blogs, and repin existing content. This tutorial is assuming that you have switched over to the new Pinterest. If you haven’t done that yet, you will want to hover over your name in the top righthand corner of your screen; when the dropdown box appears, click on “Switch to the New Look”. How to Switch to the New Look on PinterestLet’s start by adding a few boards to your profile.

Create a Board

Click on any of the boards on your Profile page that say “Create A Board” and you will see this screen: Pinterest: Create a Board Let’s break it down.


Think of a topic you would like to pin. Maude loves to travel, so I will start her off with some travel boards. Specific topics do better on Pinterest, so rather than a single generic “Travel” board, I am going to create a board called “Travel Europe”. Then, theoretically, I would go back and add Travel Australia, Travel the USA, Travel China . . . you get the idea.


Put in a description that is clear and accurate. Use relevant keywords here, as Google will crawl your Pinterest boards to catalog relevant content. You have up to 500 characters so be sure to use them!


Select the appropriate category so your board shows up in the proper category on Pinterest.


I do not want this board to be Secret so I will leave that option turned OFF. Secret boards are nice if you are collecting gift ideas that you want to keep private, or perhaps you’re doing a home renovation and you don’t necessarily want all your ideas to be public, you can make a Secret board. How to Use Pinterest: Create a Board Click on the big red Save Changes button at the bottom of the page, and KABOOM! Uh oh. Still blank!

Fill Your Board

We need to add a few pins to this board. There are a few ways to do this. You will be a more valuable Pinterest user if you pin original content rather than repinning a bunch of stuff that is already out there. However it’s still fine to repin images that you find on Pinterest. You’ll want to do some of both.

Add a Pin

You can click on that “Add a Pin” button that you see on your blank board if you want to upload one of your own images. You can do this by inputting the image URL (for example, if you host your images on flickr or photobucket) or you can choose a file from your computer. I will upload an image from my computer — this is a photo from a recent trip to the Poconos so I’ll put it on my Traveling the USA board. It is important to put in a description. This helps people searching for specific things, and it also shares your reason for pinning. You can use hashtags to help people find you, and make sure to use some good keywords so google can index your pins properly. Adding a Pin on the NEW Pinterest Click “Pin it” and we have a pin on our Travel in America page! If you click on the picture, you will see your full size pin. From this page, people can repin your image, “like” it or leave a comment for you. If the click on “Share” it will give them the option to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Email or embed it onto their website. Be careful about embedding other people’s images on your site. You will want to give proper credit, and it’s still best practice to ask first. Of course, if you want to embed your own image on your own site, go for it!

Group Boards

Once you’re on Pinterest for a while, you will start getting Group Board invitations. You will see your invitations on the lefthand side of your Pinterest home page. You can choose to accept or decline. If you accept, then that board will be added to your Pinterest profile page, and you will be able to pin to it. The people following the person who created the board will see all the pins you put on this group board, so pin your own stuff! Just be considerate and don’t go crazy. One pin a day of your own content to a group board is plenty. If you want to create your own Group Board, go to the board you want to add contributors to and click Edit Board. Where it says “Who can pin?” you can add contributors by their Pinterest name or by email. How to Create a Collaborative Pinboard on PinterestThat person will receive a notification (or an email, if they have selected that option) and can accept or decline your invitation.

Pin It!

Now that you have a Pinterest account, you can pin images you like from blogs you are reading. This can either be a resource for you (say you want to collect recipes to try or fashion looks to inspire you) or simply a place to collect pretty pictures that interest you (are you obsessed with cute cats or pretty milk bottles or inspiring messages?? Pin them!) It is important when pinning an image from a blog or website to pin from the post, not from the home page. This is because when you want to go back to find the recipe for those delicious looking pancakes you pinned, if you pinned it from the home page (ex., that post will eventually get buried under newer content. If you pinned from the post (ex. ( then when you click on your pin, it will take you directly to the post with the recipe. Clear as mud?? Many blogs have PIN IT buttons on their posts and pictures that you can click and select an image to pin to one of your boards. You might have to hunt around for it. On my posts, it is at the bottom, under my author box. Some bloggers such as Lindsay at The Pleated Poppy use a plugin that puts it right smack dab on each photo in their post. Or you can add a Pin It button to your bookmarks toolbar so you can pin from any website, whether or not they have Pin It buttons available for you. Whichever one you use, click it, and this box will appear. Choose the board you want to pin to, or you may create a new board right there. (If you do that, you will need to go back later and edit the board to add a board description and category.)

Make sure the description is relevant.

When you pin an image from another site, the description will already be filled in. It might just be the title of the image, or they may have filled in a relevant description. You can change this to whatever suits you. Definitely take the time to write something in this field, either why you like it or what it’s about. For example, on Lindsay’s photo, the text that showed up was “what I wore wednesday” because that was the name of her blog post. I changed it to explain why I pinned it to my Fashionable Moms board. How to Use Pinterest: make your descriptions relevant Bloggers love it when you pin their stuff.I mean, we seriously would reach through the computer screen and hug you if we could. So pin liberally! And thank you!!


You will come across plenty of pins in your Pinterest feed that you want to repin to your own boards. In my last post, Getting Started on Pinterest, I shared a couple of ways to find friends to follow. If you’ve done that already, when you go to you will see plenty of interesting pins that you may want to repin to your own boards. Like this gorgeous photo of Italy that was pinned by my friend Katja onto her Ciao Italy board. I am going to click that red Pin It button on the top left and add it to my Travel Europe board. How to Use Pinterest: Repin a Pin Her description already tells you where the photo is from, so I will leave that and add to it that it’s a place I want to visit. I am also going to add a link to her profile. Since I follow her on Pinterest, her name will come up with I start to type it in after the @ sign — so as you can see, tagging someone on Pinterest is the same as tagging someone on Twitter. how to tag people on Pinterest You can also tag people this same way in the comments. After you tag the person, the description of the pin features her name, and it will be linked to her profile page. How to Tag a User on PinterestYou can continue to create new boards, upload images, pin and repin content until your profile page overfloweth with beautiful images! I urge you to consider wisely what you pin. Pin things you like, but pin quality images. Let’s keep Pinterest pretty!!! If you find that you’re too many emails from Pinterest, you can change your notification settings.

Edit Notification Settings

Click on Settings in the dropdown menu at the top righthand corner. The defaults are all set to Yes, so you will be getting a lot of email from Pinterest unless you go through and edit your settings. If you’re like me, you will want to cut down on the amount of emails you’re getting. They do have a Digest option, which is nice. Edit Account Settings on Pinterest This is also the place to connect your Pinterest profile to Facebook and Twitter, if you desire. I hope this was helpful. In my next Pinterest How To post, I will discuss how to organize your boards and make them appealing to new followers. I’m also working on a post that tackles the new Pinterest Analytics! Stay tuned! If you liked this post, perhaps you’d like to subscribe to my feed! Or get daily emails delivered right to your inbox! And be sure you’re following me on Pinterest


  1. says

    Phenomenal tutorial! I am constantly surprised at how many I know who do not use Pinterest…From the moment I saw it a couple of years ago, I thought it was the greatest site (for me anyway) to-date on the internet! Genius!!

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