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Thursday, March 8

How to create ‘Happy Pins’ on Pinterest

You know what Pinterest is, right?

If your answer is yes, let’s follow each other! Leave your unique Pinterest URL in the comments. Mine is Let’s all be Pinterest buddies!

If your answer is no, Pinterest is essentially a visual bookmark tool, like having a cork pinboard on the web. AND you can look at other people’s pinboards.

I must admit, I love Pinterest. And not just because it drives an insane amount of traffic to my site (which it does). Blogging and non-blogging friends of mine are all using Pinterest regularly and are acting on the content they discover through the site. It’s really great!

As much as I love and appreciate Pinterest, there has been a lot of buzz lately over some of the not-so-fabulous aspects of Pinterest, like credit not given for original content and straight-up copyright violation. If you want to read more about the issues, these blog posts here and here are a fantastic place to start. Bottom line – the kinks have not all been worked out. And I really hope Pinterest does work them out…and quickly.

Given all the buzz, I thought I would share my two most favorite tips for creating ‘Happy Pins’ on Pinterest. You know, pins that make people happy and do happy things in the world!

1) Pin the ORIGINAL source. When I’m out and about pinning, I always make sure to pin the original source. If I have to dig for it, I do, and then I pin. If I can’t find the original source, then I do not pin the page. That’s right, no matter how much I love something and want to remember it, I bid the page adieu. Pinterest is too powerful to be sending traffic to people who are stealing content. And just think how HAPPY you are making that wonderful person who created the content to begin with when you send some traffic their way. They deserve it!

2) Always click through on your pins! When you pin or re-pin something, CLICK THROUGH to the site! I don’t let myself pin something unless I have actually visited the original site. So, go ahead, click through and take a look at that article or blog post. Send the lovely person who made that lovely “something” some lovely traffic. They worked hard to create that content for you. They deserve the love. PLUS…if the pin is awesome enough to be a pin in the first place, just think how awesome the entire blog post or article will be!

Are you ready to go forth and pin responsibly? I know I am!

A few final notes:

And, to end this pinteresting post (ha ha), my own plea to Pinterest. Please figure out the kinks. We love you! We want to keep using you with happy hearts and clear consciences. Here are my two cents, in case you’re wondering…please have the site download thumbnails instead of full-size images. That would solve so many of the problems. And when someone clicks on a pin, please direct that person to the link (a la Tastespotting and FoodGawker) rather than to the unique url for that pin. By creating a timestamp for the pin (like on Twitter), one could still click through to a unique url for the pin, but the real goal is to direct people to the content and that’s what a click on a pin should be doing. Just sayin’.

Happy Pinning!


  1. 1

    Good primer on the issues, thanks!

  2. Pinned and Stumbled. I’m also following you. 🙂

  3. Jane, excellent post on pinning responsibly. I agree that Pinterest generates a ton of interest to my blog. And, I’m totally addicted to it. Here’s my link:

  4. 5

    On Man I hate when I click a pin and cannot get there because the person Pinned a Google Image, the foodgawker page and not the “real” recipe page, Or this pages that generate random pics and you are never going to find the source =(
    Thank You for this!

  5. LOVE pinterest!!! I’m so obsessed with it… and yes, it does bring some good traffic to my blog! I followed you…follow me back if you are so inclined 🙂

  6. Thanks for the lesson! I love storing my recipe finds on pinterest and browsing when I’m looking for ideas! I follow you and love pinning your recipes! Here’s mine:

  7. Great tips Jane! I’m going to make my husband read this. He pins all his piano lesson videos. I’ve never thought about people re-pinning them and him not getting the credit of the much desired traffic.

  8. 10

    The worst is when someone pins the homepage instead of the specific pin. You know it’s there somewhere but it takes you 20 minutes to find it!

  9. 11

    We should ALWAYS try to go to the originating pin, or i feel like I may not be getting the correct recipe, directions etc. THX

  10. 12

    Great post Jane! Thanks for sharing!


    I always click through to make sure the pin is good before repinning. “In the beginning”, when I ran into bad pins more often, it was very frustrating to go back to something I’d repinned and it not be there because the whole blog was pinned and not a specific post or it was a food gawker picture or an image-only pin!

  12. 14

    I agree with Andrea and HeatherAnne. I try to test the link on the pin to make sure it’s a good link.

  13. 15

    Very good tips! Love me some Pinterest!

  14. 16

    Thank you for the tips!!! In love with Pinterest!

  15. 17

    Thanks for the info. I will begin following you! Here is my address

  16. 18

    Excellent post and things to think about!

  17. 19

    I’ve been following you. Thank you for making me aware!

  18. 20

    I love Pinterist. Thanks for a great post about responsibility. I do worry that it is growing faster than the creators can maintain its integrity.

  19. 21

    I am so completely addicted to pinterest it’s just unfathomable….and I LOVE every minute of my new addiction!!!! You can follow me at

  20. I love it!!! I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when I find a pin that interests me and it links to a google image search.
    I’ve pinned this post and am following you.

  21. Good to know!! I never even thought of that. Will do in the future!

  22. Wonderful post! Thanks for putting it together and helping us all out 🙂

    Here’s my Pinterest link:

  23. 25

    Love Pinterest!
    Look forward to following you.

  24. 26

    Love pinterest and I have ‘lately’ been pinning better…didn’t know in the beginning. here is my link:

  25. Thanks for making those tips so straightforward and user-friendly – and so sensible! I can remember those even with mushy pregnant brain. 🙂

  26. I truly admire your Pinterest morals. I will try to adopt your ways because in the end that’s the only fair way!

    Here’s my main question. If you site the orignial source of a photo on your blog are you then allowed to pin that photo from your blog?


    • Jane Maynard

      hi sharon!

      thanks for your comment!

      to answer your question:
      technically speaking, unless you have received permission to post the photo, you don’t have rights to use the content. the terms and conditions on Pinterest specifically state that you can only post content to which you have the rights…so, technically I think the answer is no. obviously everyone everywhere is posting content they don’t have the rights to…which is one of the big open-ended questions about Pinterest right now.

      ethically – I personally don’t ever post any images that are not my own or that I do not have rights to or permission to use. and for Pinterest, I don’t ever pin a blog post that posts someone else’s photos…I always dig for the original source, whatever that may be – a website, another blog, etc.

      do what works for you – hope my answer is helpful! 🙂

  27. 31

    This is a great post- I think one of the challenges for bloggers is also with things like “round-ups”….watermarking will help a lot- and linking in the post will help if you’re rounding-up responsibly- but I’ve seen a lot of chatter by bloggers who used to do “round-ups” that are afraid to do them anymore for fear of being perceived as taking Pinterest credit away from source blogs….how to fix it. I don’t know. Thanks for the tips!

  28. 32

    Thanks for the great tips! Here’s my Pinterest info, in case you want to follow:

  29. 33

    So excited about your site – there was a link to it on Pioneer Woman’s site today.

  30. Trying to learn to be a better “pinner”,

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