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
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
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
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
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
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!