Heard about Pinterest, but at a loss for how to get started? Follow this easy guide to joining and using the social pin-board site.
How to Join
1. Sign Up
Recently Pinterest announced that you no longer have to have an invite to join the site. That means no more waiting for that coveted invite—head to Pinterest.com and join now.
When you do sign up, you’ll have the option to link either your Facebook or Twitter account with your Pinterest account. Why should you consider connecting? It’ll make it easier for you to find your friends, family members, and favorite blogs and brands to follow on Pinterest. If you prefer to start with just your e-mail address, you can always connect your social accounts later.
2. Create Your Profile
When you create your account, think about the other social accounts you have. Try to stick with a consistent username if you already have a Twitter or Instagram account. That will make it easier for anyone who follows you to find you via searching on Pinterest. It also helps to use the same profile photo—that way people know it’s you.
3. Check Your Settings
Once your account is active the first thing you should do is take a look at your e-mail settings. Luckily, Pinterest’s options are straightforward and easy to understand. When you first start pinning, keep all the e-mail notifications on. It’s a great way to find new people to follow by seeing who likes, comments, or repins ideas from your boards. You can turn them off later if they are clogging your inbox.
How to Pin
1. Install the Pin It Button
The easiest way to add content from any site is to add the "Pin It" button to your web browser. Visit the "Goodies" page on Pinterest to learn how to install it. You can also add pins via the Pin It button on your favorite sites. It will usually be close to the Facebook and Twitter share buttons.
2. Add a Pin
To add a pin to one of your boards, click on either the "Pin It" button in your bookmark bar or on the website you're reading. A screen will pop up asking you to select the image you want to pin (if there's more than one photo on the page), after selecting the image you'll get another window to create the pin. You'll do two things in this window—choose which board to add the pin to and write a description of the image you're pinning. Select the board using the drop down menu in the window. If you want to add your pin to a new board, you can create one directly from the drop down menu as well. Once you've selected the board, write a description of your pin—something to help you remember why you added it to your boards.
3. Create a New Board
To create a new board on your account, click the "Add +" button in the upper right-hand corner of your main Pinterest page. Select the option to Create a Board (more on the other two options on the next page). Give your board a descriptive name so your followers know what types of pins they'll find on it. The category options are set by Pinterest, so select whichever is closest or choose "other" for those wildcard boards. The final option before you create your board is to add another pinner to it. This means that they will have the ability to add pins (and other pinners) to the shared board. They won't, however, be able to edit the title or the category of the board. (Need some inspiration to get started? Check out 8 Pinterest Boards to Create Right Now.)
4. Repin from Your Feed
If someone you're following has added a pin that you like, you can save it to one of your boards as well. Simply hover over the image on Pinterest and three buttons will appear—repin, like, and comment. To add that pin to your account click repin and follow the same steps you would to add a pin.
5. Like and Comment
Let's say you like someone's pin, but not enough to add it to one of your own boards. That's where the like button comes in handy. The original pinner will be able to see that you've liked it, but it won't be added to the feed of pins that your followers see. (If you do want to see the pins you've liked, you can do so via the link on your profile page.)
You can also add comments to your pins or your friends' pins by clicking on the comment button. Just remember to keep opinions civil and criticisms constructive.
6. Upload a Pin
If there is a photo you've taken that you want to upload to Pinterest, you can do that by using their upload feature. Go to your main Pinterest feed and click the "Add +" button in the upper right-hand corner (the same one you used to create a new board). From the screen that pops up you'll be able to add a pin by pasting in the URL of a website or by uploading a photo from your hard drive.