Pinterest Etiquette – Seven Tips to Keep in Mind When Pinning

Pinterest Etiquette

Have you ever been surfing Pinterest, having a blast, and all of a sudden you see something that really irks you? Perhaps it’s a completely off-topic Pin, or worse yet, one product after another… Or my pet-peeve, over self-promotion. While there aren’t many hard-set rules for Pinterest use, there are a few rules of thumb for keeping Pinterest a fun place to hang out, share cool stuff, and be inspired!

Here are 7 tips for Pinterest best practice:

1. Follow Your Friends!
Pinterest is a very social community! Link up your Facebook account and find and follow your friends who use Pinterest. Invite friends you think may enjoy Pinterest. You don’t have to allow Pinterest to post to your Facebook timeline every single time you Pin something, but it is nice to see what your friends are pinning, and re-pin the things that interest you.

2. Pin from the Original Source
When you’re blog hopping and you find a cool recipe or tutorial, check to see if the blogger has credited someone else with the original recipe or idea. If so, go to that blog and pin from there. Giving credit where credit is due is just one more way to keep the internet a nice place to hang out.

3 Use Good Descriptions for Your Pins

A good Pinterest Discription

A good Pinterest Description

Today I was searching for vintage clipart. I found a lot of it, but noticed that many of the pins were simply labeled ‘vintage clipart’ when they could have also said ‘ball canning jar’ or ‘mother and child’ in the description, helping even more people to find them. Descriptions like ‘cool idea’ might seem easy and relevant when you’re pinning, but they won’t help someone find the DIY Chalkboard Mug tutorial you just pinned.

4. Categorize Your Boards
Make sure your pins are found by categorizing your boards! Open a board, click on Edit, and select a category from the drop-down menu. This way when people use Pinterest’s categories, or the Explore tool on their mobile app, your pins will show in the correct categories. Just because you name your board For the Home, doesn’t mean it will show in Home Decor when people are browsing.

5. Don’t Share Too Much Info

The wrong way to Pin a recipe

The wrong way to Pin a recipe

I asked some friends what they thought about etiquette for Pinterest. Here’s what they had to say…

“Dont copy the whole recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚ For users pins are fun ways to discover new content. For the bloggers or websites working so hard to provide the posts – pins are a fun way to be found by new readers. That only works when people click through.”
via Ang England

Pinterest can be a great tool for curating images. Pinterest is an excellent marketing tool, when used correctly. And itโ€™s an exceptional way to communicate. Afterall, a picture tells a thousand words.

Apparently, some Pinterest users are not so quick to agree with that adage. In fact, some Pinterest users are finding it necessary to copy entire posts that are attached to a pinned image.
…The internet is not a free-for-all. – via Julie Meyers Pron

These ladies are right. If we pin an entire recipe or tutorial, why would someone click thru to the original post? Pinterest is a fabulous tool for bookmarking your favorite content, but it’s also a way to give back to those who’ve created it. Do them a favor and point people to their website!

6. Limit Self-Promotion on Pinterest
It’s absolutely ok to pin some of your own blog posts, tutorials, recipes and pictures, but you’ll want to limit how often you do that. Pinterest has a dislike for people who only promote their own work. And I’m betting you do too. The general rule of thumb I’m seeing is pin 5-6 other things between your own. Simple. Easy. Sharing and caring.

7. Give credit where credit is due
Finally, if you’re blogging about a craft or recipe you found on Pinterest, do the creator a favor and link to their article and the Pin from your blog post! Give other people a chance to see where you learned about it and send a little love along to the person who inspired your project!

Looking for more on Pinterest Etiquette?
Here are some of my favorite resources!
5 Pinterest Tips for Beginners by Kelby Carr, author of Pinterest for Dummies (coming soon!)
Pinterest: Educate Your Users About Content Theft by Julie Meyers Pron
Pinterest Etiquette – from the official Pinterest site

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Avatar About Erica Mueller

Erica is a geek mom through and through. Her passion is helping small businesses and bloggers put their best foot forward by providing graphic design services and WordPress theme modifications. She also blogs at about WordPress, social networking, blogging, technology, music, and photography.

What do you think?



  1. 5

    Hi Erica, this information is good to know for a new blogger like me. ๐Ÿ™‚ #3 – good descriptions for your pins is my favorite. People need to be able to find the pins. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 6

    I always try to give an idea of the ingredients (sometimes they’re esoteric) & steps involved in a recipe; while OF COURSE providing link to original lovely and fully explanatory site. Purists may not approve of this? But I feel i’m being lazy if I don’t give a feel for the range of talent and commitment involved in the great picture produced by the pro –[I’ve NO talent in Kitchen]

  3. 7

    Dear Erica,

    I have been pinning for a while and have lots of boards and some recent group boards. Some of the tips you shared are a little beyond my knowledge base. Like finding the original post so the right person gets credit. Is that by clicking on the pin before repinning it? I don’t have much knowledge about blogs. Sometimes I have copied a recipe if I wanted to put it in my “old fashion cookbook”. I’m just not sure how that hurts the blogger. I still pin the pin so it can be repined. However, I will stop doing that if it’s going to negatively effect a blogger. Anyway, I will try to do better finding the original pinned if I can figure it out. Thank you for sharing that info. I do have a question, sometimes people pin 40 or 50 pins from one board. Is that appropriate etiquette? Have a great day, Ginger

  4. 8

    Hi Erica,

    Thank you for sharing the post. I’m just started to all this and found your post really helping to tell us how we should acts in respecting the original sources while we pinned.

  5. 9

    Thanks for the info. I found it very helpful. Luke1:37