I've been Instaddicted for the past year or so now. I've become all about the visual and less about the verbal, moving from Twitter to the more image-based social platforms. I think blogging has had a lot to do with it; how to make things look as pretty as they can be has become a bit of a habit (as fellow bloggers will know) and there's no end of this on Instagram. But recently my focus has shifted from obsessing with my own photos to obsessing with using other people's as inspiration: I have become Pinterest obsessed.
Pinterest is probably the most complex social platform I use. You can follow people, or you can follow a board; you can like a post, or you can pin a post; you can pin your own image, or you can pin someone else's image. For bloggers, there's no doubt that Pinterest is not only an essential for growing an audience, but it's one of the most useful tools as well. It's no longer about the end product - your blog posts - but now it's about the inspiration behind your content as well. What inspired you to shoot in a certain way? Or, what inspired the outfit you are wearing? It's no longer enough to see what you produce, we now want to see into your mind and see why you produced it.
And why not? Inspiration is half of the fun of blogging. My own bio states For me, blogging is all about finding and sharing inspiration. And it is. I love how blogging has opened up how I see the world, and inspires me to share my thoughts on the most menial of topics, and in particular how it has fuelled my passion for photography. Pinterest was made to inspire, and to allow others to inspire, and for this chain to go on and on and on. So even if you don't know how to use it, like myself, you will reap the rewards as soon as you give it a go.
Here are a few steps I have taken to get the most out of Pinterest:
1. Set up boards that might come in useful. My boards include outfit inspiration, beauty inspiration, home inspiration, food inspiration, and a wish list. Fairly intuitive, but having these boards pre-determined means it's much easier to categorise the things I share. I've seen much more specific boards though, like copper furnishings, or leather jackets. It's your profile, your boards, so create boards that inspire you - but if you're aiming for followers, then maybe don't make them too specific.
2. Pin anything. Most images on the internet can be pinned, so if you see something that inspires you then don't give it a second thought and just pin it. I'll be honest, I don't know really know what liking does - I think it means you can store it on your profile but it doesn't show to your followers - but why not let people see everything that's inspiring you? If you spend all your time liking pictures, you might as well just be on Instagram.
3. Make your own content pinable. If you have a blog, make your images pinable. This means that any user can pin your images to their own boards, which could mean more views for you, and more exposure for your beautiful photography!
4. Make a board for your blog. Once you've made your own photos pinable, set up a board for your blog! Every time I post, I make sure to share a photo or two to my blog board. This means that people can stumble upon my blog on Pinterest as well, which obviously encourages more traffic! I also have my blog as my first board, so if anyone sees my profile then my Mollipop board will be the first thing they see. Sneaky.
4. Use Pinterest to make a visual wish list. I'm a serial bookmarker - I save all the things I want to buy in bookmarks, but it's tricky to sift through and prioritise bookmarks when payday finally arrives. If you pin everything you want to buy to a single board, like this, then you have a visual moodboard to reference when you're in the money. If you have the app on your phone then even better, because as you're wandering round the shops you can use your visual wish list to guide your spending!
5. Only do all of the above when you have a full day, because once you start you will never stop...
Do you use Pinterest? What do you like about it?