A HubPages Guide to Pinterest

HubPages and Pinterest

Pinterest, a pinboard-style image sharing site, is one of the most popular up-and-coming social networks. Many Hubbers receive a sizable amount of traffic from Pinterest as their readers pin images from their Hubs on the site.

Because it is very easy for people on Pinterest to like, re-pin, and share pins on Twitter and Facebook, images from Hubs that end up on people’s pinboards see good odds of enjoying widespread coverage.

To maximize one’s chances of having Hubs promoted via Pinterest, we recommend active, moderate, and responsible activity on the site. That said, even without a Pinterest account, one can still enjoy positive results by making some basic changes to one’s Hubs. What follows is a guide to making the most of this social network- both on Pinterest itself and on HubPages.

The Pin This Button on Hubs

As you scroll down any Hub on HubPages, you will notice a social sharing tab that follows you. In addition to being invited to share Hubs on Facebook, Twitter, and HubPages, readers are invited to pin images from Hubs on Pinterest. While the social sharing tab was designed for visitors, you are welcome to use this feature to pin images from your own Hubs on Pinterest- in moderation of course.

The Importance of Beautiful Images

Because Pinterest is an image-centric site, its members are more likely to share Hubs that contain beautiful photos and illustrations. By featuring these within your work, you can increase the chance of your Hubs’ images being pinned without ever personally setting foot on Pinterest.

While you may decide to feature purchased, Creative Commons, or Public Domain images found elsewhere online (should you use others’ images, be sure to properly attribute and legally use them), it is best if the images in your work that you pin are original.

Thankfully, you do not have to be a professional photographer to take great photos. You don’t even have to own a fancy camera. Stop by our Learning Center guide to taking great photos for some simple tips that can vastly improve the quality of your Hubs’ photos. You will find that creating gorgeous images using nothing more complicated than a smartphone is incredibly easy!

Getting Started on Pinterest

Should you choose to start an account on Pinterest, be sure to do so for the right reasons. If you are not genuinely interested in participating within the community and using Pinterest for reasons other than Hub promotion, you should not join the site (your time would be much better spent writing and updating Hubs).

If you are, however, truly interested in Pinterest, we recommend creating an account the right way. Be sure to add a thoughtful bio, maintain a good and up-to-date profile photo, update your location, link to your website (or HubPages profile), and properly connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Then feel free to start a couple of boards and have a ball pinning away! In addition to re-pinning images that you find on others’ boards, you may also install the “Pin it” button which makes it easy to pin images that you find while browsing around elsewhere online.

The Importance of Moderation and Balance

The most common mistake Hubbers make when engaging on other social networks is to focus only on promoting their own work. We cannot emphasize enough that this:

  • Is a waste of time: Nobody will follow an account that posts the same sort of content and nothing else
  • Is annoying to the community on the site to which you are posting: This behavior is essentially spamming
  • Is damaging your reputation: By revealing you as an amateur who does not know how to behave on a certain site
  • Is damaging to HubPages’ reputation and other Hubbers’ Hubs: All Hubbers are ambassadors to our site- if one spams a community with Hubs, those within the community are more likely to view HubPages in a negative light

So please, share responsibly. It is completely fine for a Hubber to share his or her work on external social networks, but self-promotion should only comprise a small proportion (less than 20%) of one’s overall activity on any given site.

You will find that the less self-promotional you are, the more likely others are to want to interact with you and actually pay attention to your posts.

A Note About Referral Trackers

We do not recommend adding referral trackers to Hubs shared in Pinterest. When someone on Pinterest clicks through to a HubPages link that contains a referral tracker, they are presented with a warning sign (pictured below) that suggests the site being linked to may feature inappropriate content or spam.

On Pinning Images from Your Own Hubs

When it comes to pinning images from your own Hubs, we have some simple dos and don’ts:

Don’t pin an image from a Hub:

  • Just because you want to promote that Hub: If this is the case, your pin will seem forced and will probably appear to be obviously self-promotional, which turns people off.
  • To a board called “My Hubs” or something similar: Who would want to follow that? If someone is interested in your Hubs, they’ll follow you on HubPages. We do not recommend personally syndicating content to Pinterest.
  • If it does not fit on a board: Pins that are out of context within a board weaken that board’s cohesiveness and make others less likely to follow it.

Do pin an image from a Hub:

  • If it is a gorgeous image: Those do particularly well on Pinterest.
  • If it is an original image: Original images are more genuine and may be more interesting to potential followers.
  • If it makes perfect sense on a personal or group board: Good pins augment the overall cohesiveness and value of a board. If an image from one of your Hubs would do this, pin away!

You can like, comment on, re-pin, Tweet, or share pins on Facebook
You can like, comment on, re-pin, Tweet, or share pins on Facebook

The Importance of Interaction

There are several ways to interact with other people on Pinterest.

  • You can follow other people whose pins you find to be interesting
  • You can follow a specific board that you like
  • You can like someone’s pin
  • You can comment on someone’s pin

If you would like to gain followers on the site or draw attention to your own boards, you should make a point of interacting with others on Pinterest by doing all of these things- but only in a meaningful manner. Indiscriminately following other people or other boards, liking every pin you see, and leaving meaningless comments like “I like it” and “It’s cool” will make you seem disingenuous and will actually damage your chances of gaining a following on the site.

Group Boards

One particularly fun way to interact on Pinterest is to start group boards with friends. Group boards are a great way to introduce friends to your favorite recipes, plan fun events, or share great finds from a particular site. Many Hubbers have created group boards featuring their favorite Hubs on HubPages.

To start a group board:

  1. Click the “add” link in the top navigation board
  2. Click “Create a board”
  3. Give your board a name and category
  4. Add names of fellow Pinterest users who you would like to be able to pin images to this board
  5. Click “Create Board”

You can change who has access to a group board by clicking the “Edit” button at the bottom of the board as it is displayed in the Boards section of your profile.

Should you be invited contribute to a group board that is not specifically HubPages-related, you can most certainly pin images from your Hubs (this can be a great way to share Hubs with your friends), however they must be completely relevant to the subject matter of that board (e.g. it would not be a good idea to post a Hub on making Barbie clothes to a pinboard on runway fashion, even though they’re both broadly related to fashion, unless the image you pin is explicitly related to the runway. If it is not, that pin will come across as irrelevant promotion).

Creating a group board
Creating a group board
Editing a group board
Editing a group board

A Note About Image Rights

We recommend that you only pin images from your Hubs that you own the rights to.

If you use an image that is used under a Creative Commons Attribution license (e.g. CC-BY or CC-BY-SA), you must be sure that the source is properly credited in your pin as well as your Hub.

Have Fun!

Pinterest has experienced widespread adoption and wild success because it is easy and fun to use. While Pinterest can do much to help your Hubs, we recommend that you use the site first and foremost for fun. While it can help to share one’s Hub on external social networks every now and then, never forget that these communities are designed for meaningful interaction. So long as your self-promotional sharing is only a small sliver of a much larger pie comprised of genuine engagement and interaction, you (and your Hubs) will enjoy great social media

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