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When I started on Pinterest, I had no idea how addicting and fun it was going to be. So when I started, I had 1 board that I pinned food to. Well, being a food blogger, and being addicted to food, that board got out of control very quickly. Not only was it overloaded with pins, but whenever I went back in to find a pin for a recipe I wanted to try, it was hard to find because there were just SO many things pinned to that board. So… I decided to break out into individual boards. It was a very good decision, but having a bit of OCD, I wanted to go in and edit all of my pins onto the new boards.

So here I am – after editing nearly 3000 pins. (I told you – I’m a little out of control!) As I was editing, I started seeing all kinds of mistakes that had been made by people when they were pinning from food blogs and food sites. And honestly – I was surprised at just how many things were pinned incorrectly. That is where this tutorial comes in.


I believe that 98% of these mistakes that are made are completely innocent. I think that people don’t really realize they are making these mistakes. Just think about it – why would you pin a recipe? Because you want to save it to go back and access it later. Well, if you pin it wrong, not only is it going to be hard for others to find, but it’s going to be hard for you to find as well. It just doesn’t make sense that anyone would do some of these on purpose. And seeing that all 12 of these were found on my food board, I’m just as guilty about re-pinning these mistakes. I think we all just need to be more educated so that it is done correctly.

I am more of a “this is how you do it” kind of girl instead of a “this is not how you do it” kind of girl.


This could easily be summed up by saying pin from the original source. But I think it’s not that easy. I think we all need to be a little more conscious – and hopefully this tutorial will help to point out some of those mistakes that are being made.

This list is in no way conclusive. These are just 12 mistakes that I saw being made over and over again on the pins that came across on my board. There are probably a lot more mistakes being made. Please be aware when you are pinning, and make sure you are pinning from the appropriate page.

Rule #1 – Don’t pin from Google Images


The scenario – You are looking for a great coconut cream pie cupcake.  Since you are a visual person, you go to Google images.  There you see a beautiful cupcake that looks exactly like what you are looking for.  You click and pin.

What you should do – continue clicking through to the actual page or post.  When you are on the actual page that the cupcake is on, pin from that page.   If you pin from the image, this is what happens:

See the link that is listed?  Now, whenever any clicks on your pin, it takes you to that image instead of the site where the cupcake is.  Take the extra few seconds to actually click through and pin to the correct page.  (BTW – after searching and finding the actual page that this cupcake was on, I found out it was on a bakery website, so it wasn’t even a pin that I wanted because I only pin food that has an actual recipe.  If it were me – I’d go an actual step further, and in the description, write that there is no recipe.)

Rule #2 – Don’ pin from photo submission sites like Foodgawker, Tastespotting, DessertStalking, etc.


The scenario –  You are on FoodGawker, drooling over all of the amazing food.  You see a chicken recipe that looks like something you know you’d love, so you want to pin it so that you can make it later. You click “Pin It”.

What you should do – Click on the picture.  Another window will open up with the blog that the chicken dish is on.  Pin from the site.

This is what happens when you pin directly from FoodGawker:

See how it says “favorites/page/21/?  If you’ve ever had anything on FoodGawker – especially under the favorites – you’ll know that these all change places.  Often.  What is showing as a favorite on page 21 right now might be showing on page 18 a couple hours from now.  These are constantly changing.  If you pin from here, your pin is basically worthless, because you won’t be able to find this recipe that way.

Rule #3 – Don’t pin from a main URL


The scenario – You click onto one of your favorite blogs, and today she posted this delicious looking cornbread.  You want to pin the recipe so that you can make it for dinner next week.  Pin!

What you should do – Click on the actual post.  Most of the time, you can do this by simply clicking on the title of the post.  If you pin from the main URL, whenever you click on this pin, it will just take you to the main site, not the actual post of the cornbread.  If I repinned this from you, and 2 months from now went and clicked on my pin, this actual post would be probably pages into the blog.  Although this gets you to the right source, it doesn’t get you to the right post and time is lost searching for the actual post with the recipe.

Rule #4 – Don’t pin from a search on a site


The scenario – You are making your meal plan for next week.  You go to one of your favorite blogs, and do a search for “pork” recipes.  Up comes a recipe that looks perfect.  Pinned!

What you should do – Click through to the actual post.  (Again, you can do this on the majority of blogs by clicking on the title of the post.)  If you pin straight from the search, that search comes up whenever you click on the pin.  The actual recipe might be 5 or 6 posts down.  And everytime that blogger has another recipe post under that category, that recipe that you pinned goes deeper and deeper into the search.

Rule #5 – Don’t pin from a category search


The scenario – You are looking for a good breakfast recipe.  You are on a blog, and click on the “Breakfast” category.  You see this oatmeal – and it looks awesome!  You pin it so you can access it later.

What you should do – Click on the actual post.  Just like Rule #4 above, if I click on this pin, it doesn’t take me to this exact recipe, it takes me to the page that this was on, along with other recipes in this category.  This recipe could be buried on the page, or on a completely different page by the time I go and click on it.  Click the title of the post, and pin the actual post.

Rule #6 – Don’t pin from a “page”


The scenario – You are browsing through a blog that you just came upon.  Everything looks so good, that you go from page to page.  You see a recipe that looks delicious, and you want to save it, so you pin it.

What you should do – Click through to the actual post, and then pin.  I feel like I’m a broken record, because this is pretty much the same thing as rules 3, 4, and 5.  But it’s another mistake that I see happen again and again.  Just like before – what is on page 13 of a blog today will be on a completely different page 2 months from now.  If you want to be able to find a specific post – and for others that repin after you to be able to find that recipe – click on the actual post.

Rule #7 – Don’t pin from a month


The scenario – You are looking for a good recipe for Christmas.  So you go to one of the blogs you follow, and click over to see just the posts from December, knowing that will be where the best Christmas recipes are.  You find something that you want to make, so you pin it.

What you should do – Click through and pin on the actual post.  I won’t say it again – just look up at rule #6!

Rule #8 – Beware of Tumblr sites and pins from Tumblr


The scenario – You run across a recipe online for a mufffin that looks great.  You don’t pay attention to the site you are on, just that the muffin looks good, so you pin it.

What you should do – Pay attention to where you are pinning from.  I apologize right now to anyone with a Tumblr site that has an actual, legitimate blog on the service, but 90% of the Tumblr blogs I’ve seen are simply taking people’s recipes, reposting their pictures (sometimes with links back, but mostly not).  And often, they will repost the recipe.  (Which, by the way, is a major copyright violation.  If you are doing this, please stop.  It’s illegal, and it’s just not nice.)  This particulalr Tumblr blog had simply reposted recipes and pictures from different sites, basically taking credit for it.  If you find a recipe you want to keep this way, do an image search to find the actual post.  (If you don’t know how to do this, HERE is a tutorial.  But I don’t save the image to my computer – I just open up 2 windows, and drag the image from one window to the search open on the second window.)

All of this to say – just be wary of Tumblr sites.  From my experience, most things on a Tumblr site are not actually the original source.

Rule #9 – Don’t pin from a newsletter or update sent via email


The scenario – You get email updates from your favorite blogs.  One day, an update comes through with these breakfast cakes that look to die for.  You want to remember this one, so you pin it.

What you should do – Click through to the post.  Please, please, please – don’t pin it straight from your email.  This one actually made me laugh, because if you click through, it does you absolutely no good if it’s not your email.  And I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure this doesn’t even do you any good if the email is deleted.  This pin is not going benefit anyone.  If you want to save the recipe, click through the email to the blog post, and pin from there.

Rule #10 – Avoid pins that are “uploaded by user”


The scenario – Ok, I’m going to be honest – I can’t even think of a scenerio for this one.  Honestly, I don’t know why Pinterest even has this option.  I think it’s so you can take pictures of things while you are out and about, but it’s being abused and these brownies actually come from a website.  But when you click on the pin, it doesn’t take you anywhere, because no URL is attached.

What you should do – don’t abuse the “uploaded by user” feature.  And if you see something pinned that is, and want to repin, do a little research and find the actual post/page that it is on.

Rule #11 – Don’t pin directly after commenting


The scenario – You are making the rounds on the blogs that you follow.  After leaving a comment on a great post, you go to pin the recipe.

What you should do – I’ll admit – I know I was guilty of doing this a time or two.  Until I realized that when someone clicks on your pin, it takes them to the post, but down to your comment.  Make it easier on everyone and pin it correctly so that it takes people to the beginning of the post.  After commenting, go back up to the top of the post and click on the title to bring it back to the post url.  This isn’t a horrible pinning sin, because it does take you to the actual post and recipe, but I don’t want everyone going straight to my comment!

Rule #12 – Don’t pin from community boards or forums



The scenario – Your mom told you about this killer pink lemonade cake she had at a party.  You are determined to find a recipe to duplicate it for your mom.  You do a search, and come across a recipe on a community board, and you pin it.

What you should do – This is another personal peeve of mine, because I have found, on more than one occasion – users uploading photos and full recipes onto community boards and forums.  Once again – if it’s not yours, please don’t share it in full in a public forum.  Sure, buy clicking this pin you get a recipe and a picture, but it is not the original source.  Do some research to find the original source, and pin from there.


I know this is getting really long, but I want to add a few more things.

1 – I know a lot of this may seem like a lot of trouble.  But as a food blogger whose full time job is my blog, when someone else or another website is getting all the credit for one of the recipes that I spent hours making, photographing, editing, uploading and writing about, it’s a hard pill to swallow.  Same goes for bloggers who do this purely as a hobby.  It hurts to see your work stolen.  That is one reason it is so important to make sure you are pinning from an original source.

2 – I’m not perfect.  You’re not perfect.  If you come across a pin on someone’s board that is not correct, and if you want to tell them that it’s not an original source, or that it’s pinned incorrectly, please be nice about it.  I can tell you from experience that pinning mistakes happen.  (Which is one reason I thought it was important to do this post.)  But I have also had – on more than one occasion – someone leave me a mean comment on a pin telling me it was wrong.  Please, don’t be mean.  Let’s all just help to educate each other and do this right.

3 – Please don’t copy and paste the directions to a recipe in the description.  I really don’t understand why people do this in the first place – who wants to follow directions in a small font without any formatting?  But be courteous.  This is why Pinterest put the 500 character limit, but I still see it happening.

Last words of wisdom – be aware when you are pinning, and pin responsibly.  I don’t know about you, but I want this site to stick around for a long time!

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106 Responses to 12 Things to Avoid When Pinning | A Pinterest Tutorial

  1. Fabulous, great, awesome Pinterest Tutorial, Deborah! I can’t even say how many times I’ve gotten so excited about a recipe I saw on Pinterest only to find that it didn’t have a link that I could track down. Waaaah!

  2. Anna S says:

    Great post! These are all mistakes that I’ve been bugged by before.

  3. This is great, Deb! I think we are guilty of at least a few of these. Great reminders. And yeah for Pinterest!! I do love it! 🙂

  4. Yvonne says:

    Absolutely agree with everything you wrote, but unfortunately the type of people who don’t get the concept behind pinning probably won’t take the time to read through this article.

  5. Emily says:

    Great post. THANK you! I hope a lot of people read this.

  6. Val Stayskal says:

    Good thoughts. I too do pinning from various avenues but I guarantee you this…I always give credit to the originator in the description. You might want to add that to a ‘rule’ so that for those that don’t have time to do it probably the best way all around, the simplest and most courteous thing would be to give credit in the description. Thanks for posting.

    • Christie says:

      @Val Stayskal, I try and make sure I do this when pinning. If I do not know the origional source or it comes from fb and the company does not have a website I write their fb name or website in the description. Its only fair

      • Val Stayskal says:

        @Christie, Agreed, I write it in the description as well. Now I did my blog on a recipe that was inspired by another foodie blog and wrote ‘inspired by Rock Recipes’ in the recipe, but later saw that others give the credit for the Inspiration in the title of the blog. So I will also incorporate that next time. I usually use recipes direct from the foodie blog author and just repin the recipe from the blog, but sometime I change up the recipe to my own tastes and the rule of thumb I use is if I change more than 3 major ingredients, I give credit to the original recipe by noting ‘inspired by’ and then use the new recipe in my own blog before posting…that doesn’t happen frequently but it does happen if the original recipe just doesn’t meet the taste I want however is the foundation of what I start with. I hope that all makes sense.

  7. Sarah E. says:

    This is a GREAT thing to spread around! People should really stick to the rule – PIN FROM THE INDIVIDUAL POST! It’s easy and it’ll save everyone lots of problems in the end.

  8. Ali says:

    Great tips. I never paid all that much attention to the URLs but I for sure will now. 🙂 I think the biggest peeve for myself as a blogger is when people copy and paste the recipe into the description.

    Perhaps they are afraid the recipe will disappear from the site they are pinning from? In any event, the commentary from myself and from people who have left comments on recipes can be very helpful. Also that visiting your favorite sites (if they have advertising) helps support them. 🙂

  9. I want pinterest to stick around forever. It’s done more for me in terms of cooking and being exposed to diverse food blogs and recipes than anything else! It’s so diverse, has such an amazing cross-section of EVERYONE on it, and to think that irresponsible pinning could shut it down, that would be…awful.

    Great list of tips. Can’t tell you how frustrating it is to click over to a pin to see that it wasn’t pinned/linked correctly and the thumbnail image is just a tease and I can’t really find the recipe, or without tons and tons of digging and searching.

  10. Skochii Bennett-Polchlopek says:

    Really awesome tutorial! Only I disagree with #10. I often upload pins when travelling and then I try and add either the name of the location and when possible the website. This works especially for restaurants and “favorite places”. I love doing that!

    • Deborah says:

      @Skochii Bennett-Polchlopek, I think that is totally acceptable. The thing I don’t like about the uploaded by user is that some people are taking pictures from websites and blogs and using the uploaded by user, which doesn’t lead back to the link. I think you are using it totally correctly. If everyone used it correctly like you, I think it would be a great tool!

  11. Tristine says:

    I was guilty of MOST of these no-nos when I first started Pinterest, but only because I didn’t understand how it worked. I’ve since learned to use it as an amazing tool to lead others to great recipes and websites, including my own!

  12. Kristy says:

    Great tutorial! I wonder if I’ve pinned to any of my comments. Eek! 😉

  13. Great rules! I have been finding these more and more lately! It is so frustrating. I am trying to go back and “fix” the ones I just blindly repinned back when I started, but there is only so much time in the day…..

  14. Donna says:

    Totally appreciate your effort to help your fellow Pinners! I think there should be some directions on what to & not do when you sign up. Seems most people just jump in without any education how to use the site properly! Thanks!

  15. I agree with all of the above – biggest gripe is the food sites and tumblr – yikes!

  16. Cassie says:

    Great post, Deborah! It took a while for us to learn these things but you said them all so well! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Ronni says:

    Interesting information, but please note – it’s “scenario”. 🙂

  18. Bonnie says:

    Thank you so much for this information. Very helpful!

  19. Thanks for these tips! I’m very new to Pinterest and am still trying to figure out how it all works. I tend to repin things without even looking at the link, bc I just want to go back later to check it out. But it’s a good reminder to be sure to pin from the source. As a food blogger myself, it’s so frustrating to not receive credit for my hard work!

  20. Evi says:

    Great Pinterest tutorial! Definitely needs to be shared to many many people!

  21. Ruby says:

    Number 11 is one I hadn’t thought of before – thanks. I also put together a few pinning rules, into an image that can be pinned and shared that way. My focus was more on copyright issues – a nice complement to yours I think. It’s on my Pinterest tutorial page (scroll to the bottom). Hope you don’t mind my plugging it here – I think it’s important to get the word out! I’ll link back to your page too. http://www.tomaytotomaaahto.com/tools-and-tutorials/how-to-turn-your-images-into-pinterest-pin-it-buttons-wordpress

  22. Ericka B. says:

    Thanks for the information! I know a lot of these things get under my skin too. 🙂 The only one I disagree with is #10 – Avoid pins uploaded by user. I have a board named “Things I Have Made” that I pin only things I upload myself, typically they are craft projects I have made and want to share with my friends and family. I do not have my own personal website so this is how I share those items. If I am sharing them on pinterest I am not concerned about them being re-pinned, I gladly welcome someone learning from something I have made.

    • Deborah says:

      @Ericka B., I think that the way you are using it is totally fine – and good!! I guess I should have specified better that people shouldn’t take photos from websites and blogs and upload them, because if it isn’t their work, it needs a link back. I wish everyone would use it like you are!

  23. Great tips. I’ll be more concience of my pinning for sure. 🙂

  24. RobinLynn says:

    Thanks for the post, Deborah. I have learned some of these things by trial and error after reading other Pinterest hints. This is a very useful tool.

  25. Jennifer | Mother Thyme says:

    Thanks for sharing these fabulous tips! 🙂

  26. Joanne says:

    THANK YOU! I’ve definitely made a few of these mistakes before but I’ve tried to be way more conscious about it because it ends up as just as much of a pain for me as it is for whoever repins it!

  27. janetha says:

    These are all great tips! Hope people catch on and stop pinning these ways!

  28. Great tutorial, Deborah! This is a fantastic resource!

  29. Jason says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. New to Pinterest and honestly never thought about everything you had obviously put so much thought into. So far I have most been a rampant repinner, just organizing things for personal consumption later on. But as I branch out into Pinning things myself I will take a lot of this into account. Pinterest should take note!

  30. Linda says:

    This should be required reading on Pinterest. Well researched and good information.

  31. Great post! I have been meaning to ‘clean up’ my boards for awhile since several of my pins I didn’t click through and check when I repined them and now I am finding the hard way that the links are not good.

  32. Amanda says:

    Great tips Deborah!! Thank you for this great information!

  33. Great write up. I will be a much better pinner now 🙂

  34. Thank you for this wonderfully complete post!! All the things I’ve been wanting to explain to people for quite some time! Thank you for doing this work! Really great post!!

  35. Traci says:

    I try to do this when I pin, but I admit, I’m not the best on checking up on pins I pinned. I wish everyone did this; it would save me time! There’s one more scenario that I’ve noticed that I don’t really know the answer to. Sometimes I click through a pin and it tells me the source is “pinterest for mobile phones” or something like that, and it won’t let me access it. I always access pinterest from my computer. Do you know what that’s all about?

  36. Mrs. L says:

    When you “cleaned up” your pins, did you move them or edit them from one board to another? Does that mess up folks who are following that board or have repined your original pin? I’m thinking about doing some clean up and moving pins into correct boards but don’t want to mess up anyone who is following me or pinned from me.

    • Deborah says:

      @Mrs. L, nothing happens to repins – people can still get those pins. Even if you delete a pin, it won’t affect anyones repins. As far as the boards, if someone is following all of your boards and you create a new board, they are automatically following your new boards, too. But if they were only following that one board, you might lose their repins if you start new boards. I knew that was a risk that I was going to have to take, but I know it has been worth it for me to break out into smaller boards. They are much easier to manage, and so much easier to find something that I’ve pinned! (And I just edited all of my pins. It took forever, but it was good to get them cleaned up.) I hope I answered your questions!

  37. Mrs. L says:

    Thanks for the info Deborah…guess I’ll start moving stuff to new boards to make it easier for me to find things (you’d think 70 boards would suffice!) Of course I just spent a bunch of time with their new “edit board cover” feature. Ah, Pinterest, you so suckered me in… 🙂

  38. Billie says:

    I learned some new things by reading your post.
    One thing though I have to disagree on, I do like when someone posts a food picture with a brief “how to make” description posted beneath. That way I can see if it’s even something I want to pull up.
    Other then that, thanks for the good info.

    • Deborah says:

      @Billie, I guess it depends on how brief the description is to me. If it’s enough information that someone doesn’t need to click over to the original post or page, I think it’s too much information. If it’s just a description, or even a list of ingredients without measurements or directions, I’m ok with that. But if there is absolutely no reason to click over, I think that takes away from the creater of the post.

  39. Regina says:

    Hi Deborah, Thanks for the excelleny information. It will keep me straight.


  40. Great tips, Deborah! I have some serious organizational work to do on my Pinterest boards but, oh, how I love that site!

  41. Angie says:

    Love the post! It’s so detailed. I hate that we as users have to take so much responsibility to get it to be fair though. I don’t know anything about programming but it seems to me pinterest should be able to make it impossible to pin from a url unless it meets such and such conditioins. I know many people are continue to be careless pinners, but only because they just don’t know or have time to learn the right way.

    I try to only pin from posts, but I’m going to be extra careful now that it’s not a comment page or something, thanks so much for these tips!

  42. Brook says:

    It sounds like to me you would be happier being a zipper instead of pinner. Pinterest reminds me of more book marking for pictures. Zipper is specifically designed to bookmark recipes and makes a grocery list based on the ingredients.
    Since I am an art lover and do not want to go to pages that have mass amounts of viruses and I really want the pic I will pin the google page until I can update it with a virus free page.
    I know a girl who pins stuff she loves on etsy and none of the links are no good anymore the stuff is sold and forever gone. She sometimes puts crochet project patterns in the same area and I find myself having to figure out which is which because I also bookmark patterns I love. I also bookmark ideas I do not need a pattern for because I can figure it out.
    I have also highlighted an entire recipe and put it on page as well. because many times I have gone back to find the recipe gone. people are not always doing things out of ignorance or out to hit all your peeves. Sometimes there is a perfectly good explanation. You do your page one way they do it another and we all have the choice of who we follow.

  43. Last quarter I wrote a 10 page research paper on Pinterest and its issues with copyright law, so thank you for making these tips known to the blog world! If people simply pinned responsibly Pinterest would be even better than it already is.

  44. Sandra says:

    Thank you Deborah! This is one of the best posts I’ve read on Pinterest. I also made a few mistakes when repinning out of ignorance in the beginning and I am now in the process of editing and tidying up my boards. I started a board called “Broken links” for pins that I like but have been unable to find the original source for. Have found the Google image search option helpful for tracing the original source of a pin, but have not been successful everytime. Thanks again for the great advice and happy pinning!

  45. This is a great post! I have been sharing Pin Information with others to help them out. I have over 11,000 pins, so I don’t see me checking each one for mistakes made early on, but I am certainly watching it now. I appreciate the time you put into this post!!! Saves me a lot of typing and breathe! =)
    Kelly on FB
    Sew Lambitious on FB
    Kelly on Pinterest

  46. Deborah – LOVE this list. I am definitely a little guilty of some of these- I had to fix quite a few of my pins that led to the home page of a blog rather than to the actual recipe. whoops! I am also pretty OCD when it comes to my boards! i like to stay organized. 🙂

  47. Sherri Heath says:

    Deborah- Yipee, I found your site early, I have made up my boards but have very few pictures, and I am already noticing the uploaded by user on about half of my photos I have repinned. I will work on that. I have a question you might be able to help me with. I have apx 1200 downloads that I was going to one of these days put into folders but now I would like them on my boards, the problem I am seeing is the origianl file info is gone, do you know how I can find that? Basically the same way as you were discussing above? Lots of investigative work? I’m kinda bummed about that I was expecting to have a couple hundred done tonight while it’s quiet but NOT. Again thank you for the helpful info and I will be mindful from now on and I will go and try and fix the one’s I noticed need to be corrected. peace and have a nice weekend. Sherri

  48. John Methew says:

    Is there any procedure to submit tag or keyword like StumbleUpon in Pinterest ?

  49. Donna says:

    Having difficulty uploading a photo from my computer. IE puts up a security warning and it won’t upload. Anyone have any ideas or workarounds? Thanks so much! Great blog btw….

  50. Rachel says:

    The copyright violation is the one that really gets me. There is a horrible, hack of a website that someone recommended to me (I had to seriously question this person’s judgement after that) and it is nothing but recipes that the woman literally stole off of google searches. She took the picture and everything. I tried to tell her twice that what she was doing wasn’t right and all she did was delete my comments. It was so bad that she was also taking bad photographs of food that I know was purchased and then putting a recipe with them. She is somehow still up and running….it really rubs me the wrong way!

  51. Thanks for posting the don’ts of Pinterest, I think more people should read this so I have this linked to my Pinterest post too today!

  52. Mary says:

    What a great tutorial…..almost pinned after commenting!!!lol How many times have I done that..Yikes! Hopefully, I learned that lesson. I can’t tell you the number of times I have had to do long searches because of pinning errors. Now, I know what to look for, so thank you.

  53. ChristineEliane says:

    Excellently written. Informative. Just what I wanted to say myself. Thank you for taking the time to say it for me

  54. michele says:

    What happens if someone deleted a pin that you have pinned does your pin get deleted too. Also if you pin something is it pinned forever.

    • Deborah says:

      @michele, your pin won’t be deleted if someone deletes theirs. And as far as forever – I’m not sure – I guess as long as Pinterest stays around forever it should be there!! 🙂

  55. Emma says:

    I still don’t really get it! I’ve uploaded some photos I took – but they aren’t attached or linked to anything. They are just photos I took. I won’t upload any pictures that I wouldn’t want stolen, as I’ve read that that’s all people do on pinterest – use each others pictures? I also read an article about somebody getting sued for pinning someone elses picture. Therefore I haven’t “pinned” anyone elses pictures. Which I think may mean I’ve thrown the whole concept. I just don’t understand it enough to use it.

  56. Pam says:

    Thank you so much.

  57. Karen Rice says:

    Great tips. I do have an answer for your “uploaded by user” question, I think. Sometimes when you want to pin a particular page, Pinterest can not find an image to grab (perhaps because it is a Flash based site, or the image is embedded in the background.) In that case I will take a screenshot of the page, crop it, and upload it as an image and then put the URL to the page in the “pin” form. Pinterest does NOT like to pin to pages without images.

    • Tara says:

      Karen’s comment is exactly what I came here to say. I very often upload images because Pinterest cannot grab the one I want. I always edit the link to make sure it is correct, but the “upload” option is invaluable in this way!

      • Tara says:

        I also want to add, sometimes I just want to pin a page that has no images. I am not a person who pins crafts & foods like many people do. I sometimes pin things like articles and poems, and often there are no pictures. Again, a useful option.

  58. Carole says:

    This is fabulous info (I wish more people would follow it), but I’d also like to add, don’t try and find a way around something that pops up as ‘cannot be pinned’.

    I’ve actually seen tutorials out there for how to pin an ‘unpinnable’ photo, and the people who are offering these tutorials are saying how annoying it is when they come up against these blocks. Well, if there’s a block, there’s a reason, and if you’re pinning that photo anyway, then you’re in copyright violation territory.

    To me, a block says that the person doesn’t want their content pinned. They don’t want it floating around Pinterest. As an artist and photographer myself, I understand why. If you don’t protect your work, you eventually lose the rights to it, and if people are pinning willy-nilly (which many are), it can become a serious issue.

  59. Carole says:

    I meant to add that I can’t count how many hours I’ve spent trying to find an original source for pins I’ve come across and am interested in. Even using Google images, many times all that appears in the search box (even after being very specific) are Pinterest boards. Those are not direct links. I don’t want to be redirected to another Pinterest board. I want the blog or website that the original content came from.

  60. Well said! I think the big issue is apps. People are perusing pinterest on a tablet or phone and just don’t take the time to click through to see where a pin goes.

  61. Awesome post! Can I add…please don’t copy and paste a recipe on the pins! We would love to see the Pinterest traffic coming over and checking out the recipe, if it’s on the pin, the pinner has no need to come over.

    Thanks much!

  62. Jalynn M. says:

    I just found your blog and I think it’s great! I was wondering how you made the image at the top that says “Pinning to Pinterest: 12 Things… Etc”. As a new blogger myself I have no idea how to do this! Thank you!


  63. sarah says:

    I upload from my computer. I have no website or blog so I upload directly to my board called ‘our own crafts and creativity’. I have watermarked my images and I have a shortish description on each picture. Its probably not the best way to share my stuff, I should perhaps have a blog, but this is convenient. So I don’t think its necessarily fair to say avoid pins that are “uploaded by user”. Other than that, great tips.

  64. KatyFau says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I know that I have committed several “crimes”. Now when I go back to look at some recipes all I get are images :(. I’ll see if I can’t fix some of the errors.

  65. sarah says:

    this looks more like a list on “how to make sure bloggers get as many pageviews as possible”. i use pinterest as a visual bookmark…. its easy enough to google anything you find and get the original source.

  66. Debi says:

    I actually do use the upload by user feature. If I cook something or create something, I can take a picture of the finished product and list all important info in the details. I am glad it is there because it allows me to put some of my own ideas on Pinterest.

  67. Kelli says:

    I disagree with you about the uploaded by user option. I like seeing pictures and think they are useful.

  68. Jane says:

    I’m just amazed at the number of Pinterest “mavens” clucking about the poor souls who “don’t know any better”. Who appointed them? Pinners should use Pinterest the way they like, and if happens that they don’t include the source to their pins, so what? Don’t follow them. For me, Pinterest is more about pinning images I like, like a scrapbook.

  69. leanna says:

    Great info but im still little confused. i have often tried to go to the originAl post to pin from and it will give me a selection of images but not pin the article. i first thought habit was giving me a choice of images from the page that would then be attached to the url but nothing pins. not even the image. so i guess im asking how i pin an article to one of my boards when im at the original blog or article. is it the title only that holds the appropriate url and if so won’t that pin the words and not a picture therefore making it an unattractive pin?

  70. Lyn says:

    Thank you for this valuable information.

    I didn’t understand how Pintrest worked before & I am guilty of just repinning, without going to the source.

  71. Linda says:

    This post should be required reading before joining Pinterest. 🙂 I made similar mistakes when I first joined until I started following links, then I pin the correct page if I can find it.

    When I’ve found a pin that is just an image I usually say “I wish there was a recipe attached to the image, I’d love to make it.” This tells the pinner they pinned it wrong and tells others not to bother looking any further. I actually had someone add the URL to the recipe after my comment. So it was a win.

  72. Yvonne Shannon says:

    I am helping a friend get started with Pinterest and I am going to insist that he read this and follow these rules. I have learned some new ones, too. I have always been sure to pin form the source because this is my own private encyclopedia and I use it and want to be able to return to it. If it was important enough to pin, it is important enough to do it right. Also, I have almost 2000 followers and I owe it to them to pin accurate information. I don’t have the expertise or the time to have a blog so when I want to share one of my own recipes, I create it in Paint Shop and pin it to a page that I call My Private Cookbook. I have even pinned them to group boards (after obtaining permission for the board creator) and the members loved them, repinning them hundreds of times.
    Thank you for this post. It should be required reading because if everyone read it and followed it it would make Pinterest the perfect site. I wish that I had seen it when I started. It would have saved me a lot of cleaning up.

    • Deborah says:

      I’m so glad it was helpful! I know I wish I would have known all of this when I first started – I spent weeks cleaning up my boards after I figured it all out!!

  73. Lisette says:

    Is there any way to fix incoming traffic that’s directing people to PAGE 3 out of 3 from a blog post? This is causing me a headache as a website owner.

    • Deborah says:

      Unfortunately, not that I know of. Unless you want to contact the people who have pinned it wrong and have them change the url. But that could get very time consuming!!

  74. Esther Lord says:

    Thank you for all of your efforts in getting this information out. I really do hope people take the time to read it. I know it surly does get frustrating when I click on a pin and it turn’s out to be a dead end. Going to do some “Spring Cleaning” as far as my board’s are concerned. I am guilty of to many pin’s on one board. My dessert board for instance, may have a little to much “Variety” . Thank’s again.

  75. franstuff says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I had figured out most of it, like the scraping sites, tumbler, images, but there were a few others I didn’t know about. I want people’s work to be credited, and bad pins are irritating.

  76. Tinangel says:

    This has been a most helpful tutorial Deborah. I’m completely new to Pinterest, as a friend told me it was something I would just love. She was right, but I hadn’t got a clue about rules for pinning and repinning. The only reason I found your tutorial was because I was blocked by someone and didn’t know that could even happen. I felt a bit hurt because they’d already repinned a lot of my pins before they blocked me. I’d worked out that if I uploaded an image, I needed to credit the site it originally came from, not just because of copyright laws, but because I wanted others to know where it came from so they could visit the site themselves. I’m not sure I understand about ‘links’ but I’ll now take the time to study it all a bit more. Thank you for helping.

  77. Is there any way to fix incoming traffic that’s directing people to PAGE 3 out of 3 from a blog post? This is causing me a headache as a website owner.

  78. Blue Thunder says:

    Might I ask a question of you? How do you post an original recipe with over 500 characters of text when there is not a web site for you to link to? Thanks

    • Deborah says:

      There is not a way to post more than 500 characters. That is the limit and there is no way around it that I’m aware of.

  79. Rachelle says:

    This must be why some of my pins no longer have pictures and why some are duds! Thanks so much for the education! Most of the time I pin from a pin – I never make it to the site! I’ll try to be more cognizant!

  80. m says:

    Thank you!

    I am on several community baking boards, and I have my own boards.

    QUES: I pin the same pin (at different times) on different community boards (which are on shown on my one board) and on my own boards so that whoever follows those boards they can see the pin too.

    Is this overpinning?

    I’m not sure how it really works. I am a new blogger and pinner.

    Would you be able to look at my pinterest page and give me some tips?
    I am sure you are very busy, but I need some advice.

    Thank you in advance,

    • Deborah says:

      how many times you pin to different boards is definitely a personal thing. I do what you do, and pin to each relevant board, and I know many people that do that as well. There really isn’t a “rule” or guideline for that. I think as long as you are spacing out your pins, and not just pinning the same thing to a board over and over again, you should be fine!

  81. m says:

    Thanks so much.

  82. Patricia says:

    Love the post….I have been guilty myself of a couple of these but went thru and fixed them. I didn’t know about the uploaded by user though. I have a lot of those on my board and didn’t think it was an issue until you pointed it out….:) Back to the drawing board!

  83. My Le says:

    Thank you for this article. I love Pinterest but find that it’s much too confusing. If these 12 mistakes are made all the time, you would think Pinterest would come with something to combat this problem.
    I currently have a problem with the upload by pinner issue. I saw another account using our pin or at least that’s our picture, but it says uploaded by pinner and when you click on the picture, it just takes you to the picture, so it makes it like this picture belongs to that other account when the picture is mine. What is this and how to resolve this. Please let me know…thank you!

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