Pinterest Etiquette 101

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I wrote a post on Food Blogging Etiquette about a year ago.  I think I wrote it more for me than anyone else, as I often refer to it when I am in doubt about how to proceed.  Based on the great feedback, I decided to give it another go!

A lot has happened in the last year, lots of blogging changes, and one of the biggest happenings is Pinterest.

I wanted to share with you how I use Pinterest because I feel like it has changed how I blog.

This is not a “how to” as much as a “works for me“.

For Personal Use:

I love pinning things to my boards.  I love going back and looking at them and being reminded of what inspired me or made me smile.

I think this is very important!

My boards are really personal to my tastes  and could even be considered boring to the majority.  There are no pretty nail polish boards or travel boards or even fitness boards.  But there are cake stands that I am obsessed with and quotes that make me laugh every single time I read them and more dessert boards then I can sometimes handle!

Cake Stands

I love coming across new boards and seeing how they reveal peoples personalities.  Its so fun getting to know those who truly pin their hearts delight!



For Blog Traffic:

I have found that Pinterest is in my top three for traffic referrals.  That is amazing to me!  But, it also seems that this resource of traffic is mostly out of my control.  I cannot determine what (if anything) will be a popular pin.

photo credit

I can, however, make sure that I have a board that is all originally sourced.  My board, i am baker blog,  is only pictures from my blog and only pictures pinned directly from the post they are from.  Out of my 34 boards, two of the boards are pins from my site only. (i am baker blog and i am baker Halloween)

Why do I pin from my blog?  It makes me feel better knowing that at least one of the images of my treats will be an originally sourced pin.  So many times I see a beautiful image and cant find the source!  Self pinning is one little attempt to rectify that situation.

When reviewing the Pin Etiquette page I see that they dont speak specifically to the self-pinning issue anymore.  Also, many big names like Better Home and Gardens and Food Network are mostly focused on pinning things from their own site.  In those instances, I really like that!   When I pull up Martha Stewarts boards, I want to see everything Martha!

Also, I am trying to always remember to put a logo on each picture.  I do this in case my items are not pinned from the original source, then people will still be able to figure out how to find my blog.

What is a non-organic pin?

Say shares my Red Velvet Strawberry Shortcake.  I so appreciate the link love!  But what if someone pins my image from their site?  Then uses twitter, facebook, google +, etc. to share that link back to their personal pin board?  I (as in my site) am now twice removed.  Having a logo or blog name on my picture can help some.

If you happen to see something of yours that is pinned to a different site, feel free to leave your direct link in the comments, or even request that it be updated.  Pinterest is extremely accommodating.



For You:

I have been food blogging for just over two years now and have gotten to know some really wonderful people.  I love that I can go to Maria’s site and pin some of her amazing cookies and share them with people instantly.  Or that I can visit Maria’s Pinterest boards, like her A Few Favorite Recipes board, and know that if I re-pin, they are originally sourced and Maria will get all the traffic.

Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Cookie via

Being able to instantly get other peoples images and ideas into such a huge forum is such a wonderful gift.  I am consistently so impressed by peoples talents, I just loving being able to pin their work and share it with the world.



My Personal Rules of Pinning:

Only pin from original sources.  Only re-pin if I have clicked over to find out its got an original source.  If it doesnt, dont pin it.  I do leave comments letting people know there is no original source, and most times the person who pinned it will find that source and update the link!

Tag appropriately.  Write a description for your pin (or change it for a re-pin) and tag it back to the creator when possible.  This helps others track pins from their site as well!  I am finding that the more people I follow, the more fun and creative and interesting pins I see, as well as it makes it easier to properly tag people.

‘Like’ and comment.  I think liking pins and commenting is just an important as pinning!

If I am BLOGGING  about something I found on Pinterest, don’t link back to Pinterest.  Link back to the original source.  Saying, “Inspired by Pinterest” is like saying, “Inspired by Life.”  It just does not give credit to the person who worked so hard to share their gifts with us!


And there you have it.  Do you have any rules of pinning that you abide by?  I would love to hear!





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  1. Erin O'Brien says

    I, too, am a big fan of Pinterest. It has definitely become the center of my inspiration! I like your comment about revisiting and being reminded of what you’ve pinned; I’ll keep that in mind. I spend so much time pinning that I actually don’t revisit my pins!

    • says

      Erin, did you know a shortcut to seeing your pins? GO to your main page (logged in) and let your mouse hover over your name. A list will drop down. Click on PINS and you will be taken to a page of everything you have pinned! Happy pinning sweety! (how many times can I say pinned in one comment????)

  2. says

    Amanda, thanks for sharing! I adore Pinterest as well and one thing I love about it is all the new blogs I have discovered by clicking through to the original source. It’s a fantastic way to see the beautiful goodies put out into the world and a place for me to keep track of things I want to make! Another tip I’ve been trying to do more is writing the source of the pin in the description – that way other pinners can see where the pin came from before clicking to the original source. I also love pinning so many of your beautiful baked goods!

  3. says

    well-written and many good points – I think a good portion of the Pinterest community is starting to realize the importance of sourcing and pinning etiquette. Hopefully one day it will be just like holding the door open for someone – not much effort and it’s the right thing to do!

      • says

        What a great article. I have only been pinning for a couple of months and check links as I am pinning. I find the images i pin are both intriguing and beautiful. But most of all I am pinning because I think of Pinterest as a wonderful vault containing an amazing collection of resources for me to use in future, therefore I find the source link essential for me. I will be following you on Pinterest besides your blog, which i already follow.

        BTW, I am new to food blogging and am envious on your beautiful photoes on your site – I hope in time to be able to post photos of my food that look as enticing as yours

  4. Kit says

    I find it helpful when pins link back to the specific blog post, not just the blog’s home page. It’s so frustrating to see a great idea and then have to search through tons of blog posts to find the specific one.

  5. says

    Thank you so much for this, Amanda. I just joined Pinterest (as I’m sure you know because you just followed me back–thanks!). I really needed to hear these etiquette rules.

    I noticed a difference between random pins and pins with a link source at the bottom, so I started pinning original things immediately to get credit where credit is due. Plus, it just looks cleaner :)

    Thanks for writing this :)

  6. says

    It was funny to see this post in my feed reader, because I have a “pinterest etiquette” post in my drafts right now! I think it’s important to get a few key messages out about using it for everyone’s benefit. Loved this!

  7. says

    I totally agree with you about pinning fron the original source and/or re-pinning only if the original source is easily found. Actually, I just blogged about this recently. I have also taken to posting a link to the original source in my description to make it even easier to get to.

  8. says

    Pinterest is in my top three of traffic aswell, even if Gemany is still a bit slow with getting use to pinterest.
    I haven’t thought of pinning my blog entrys yet, but reading your “how do I pin” I need to re-think it.

    What is important for me, using a strong name for the pin, so that if I search I can find my pin and others can find it aswell.

    And its so frustrating coming across an amazing picture on pinterest only to discover that there is no link to the real recipe

  9. says

    Thank you so much for this post, it is SO helpful! I have literally never thought about half the things you bring up, but I love Pinterest and definitely want to do it the fair way.

  10. Francesca says

    Thank you Amanda, I really enjoyed reading your blog about Pinterest. I am relatively new to it, but so far, it has not disappointed, I really like it. Your photos are always wonderful; demonstrating such eye of detail and creativity. Hope you have a great week.

  11. melle e. says

    There is nothing more irritating than seeing an image of a craft or food, clicking to find the directions or recipe and having it go nowhere. As I clean up my repins (which is somewhere close to 1500;pins) Obama using tineye, which is a Firefox app to try to locate the original source. I’m so glad this is being addressed. I hate that it tool bloggers getting irritated to bring this to the forefront, but im grateful.

    • says

      You sure have a lot of pins girl! And way to go for taking the initiative to do better… that is very admirable! I want to be like you. :)

  12. says

    Thanks Amanda! Great post!! I love Pinterst … have been on it for some time. In the beginning, I would just pin away. However, over the last several months, I’ve been more selective. If I can’t click to the original source, I will not to re-pin (sometimes I forget!). Or if a pin takes me to the main blog, I will try my best to find the actual blog post and update my link. I like your suggestion about not linking back to Pinterest. Thanks again!

  13. says

    Awesome post, Amanda! When I find a pin that I want to re-pin, I have become much more conscientious about clicking back to find the original source. No source, no pin. I’ve even gone back to check on my existing boards (S-L-O-W-L-Y one-by-one) to see if there are any old pins that don’t have a good source. If I find one, I delete it.

    AND – here’s my best tip:

    In short, you can do an IMAGE search on Google! (This was new to me!) This has been helpful to me in finding original sources. Sometimes, though – even this leads to a dead end. Still, it’s a good tool to know about.

    You’ve shared very thoughtfully. I like that approach rather than getting all “over-heated” about it! Thanks. {hugs} ~Sally

  14. says

    So true!
    I am SO new to Pinterest. Just a couple of weeks! I am new to it all truly – caking for a year, I only follow your blog and Bakerella’s and even then only for a year.

    What’s funny is I first started collecting other’s caker’s cakes on Pinterst to help my own customers. Most of my discussions with brides are via email and us taking pieces of cakes they like and making their own. One customer wanted to see various buttercream rose cakes – hence your seeing me having so many pinned! I love the design as a middle tier especially, or top tier of a two tiered. Now I do it for all customers and have built a hefty collection!

    Ok I mostly do it for me.

    Now that I’m more “into” the site I’m going back, unpinning, repinning original, tagging, it’s a lot of work! Good thing I’m good at obsessing lol!


  15. Barbara Davis says

    I love your website and completely agree with you. Pinterest is why I subscribe to your website too. I love the pins but I hate it when the link is gone and you can’t source the inspiration.

  16. says

    Hi there, excellent rules! I usually link from the original source AND comment on the blog. And if I later make a recipe or a craft, I mention it in my blog (link to original source) AND let the original author know, by a comment, that I made her/his recipe/craft.

  17. says

    Hello Amanda!

    I love Pinterest and probably spend too much time there … I have boards for all things I am interested in, and as you said, they are probably not very interesting for others 😉
    I go back and look at what I’ve pinned often, looking for inspiration on what to cook, what to bake, and what to wear if I suddendly happen to lose 30 pounds 😉
    I have a board, called “Things I made”, where I pin stuff from my website so that more people can see and/or buy it.

  18. says

    Thank you for the great post. I just started a site and have a specific board for things only from my page. Great tips on changing the description, that way the pin easy comes up when someone uses the search option. I will definitely be more careful about pinning from the original source after reading this, just something I didn’t think about. I have found some many wonderful sites through pinterest and think who ever thought of it is a absolute genius :)

  19. Kat says

    Now here’s a question for you. I have no control of my company’s website, so I upload pictures of my new cakes to Facebook, which doesn’t allow pinning, so on pintrest I upload my pictures and they are in the uploaded by user category, would most of you not repin due to not having a source? I make sure they all have a decent sized company logo watermark on them so its known where they are from… Advice?

    • says

      Great question Kat! You can maybe out a disclaimer in the comments? Something like, “I own this image and uploaded it?” I would love to hear others feedback as well…

  20. Kaci says

    I rarely re-pin anything. I normally click on something I like and check the source. Sometimes people pin things they like but if you read the content the blog might say ” this great idea came from this blog.” So i like to go to that blog to pin. I also like to make sure the pin is pinned directly to the post and not the homepage. I will then go back and like the original pinner…that’s my way of saying thanks for pinning this. I also like commenting, because I love it when someone comments on something I’ve pinned.

    I also comment on anything that I have actually made or tried at home. Usually a quick review like, “I made this for dinner last night and the entire family loved it!”

    I would really love it if Pinterest would make a little click box to say, I actually made this project/recipe myself.

    I admit it, I am addicted to Pinterest. It rocks!

  21. says

    Very good tips and pointers for etiquette. The dead pins bug me too. I’m kind of on the fence for self-pinning. I can understand why small to medium bloggers do it, to make sure they get credit for their intellectual property. But why does Design*Sponge, or BHG self pin? It just feels weird.

    • says

      I think (and this is totally a wild guess) they use Pinterest for marketing and advertising. Whereas we use it for the beauty of it, the inspiration, the joy…. they are interesting in promoting their product and driving traffic to their site. I think? :)

  22. says

    My one rule is to have a link! i always check through on something I want to repin to make sure it has a link so I can find it. Most of my pins are for me to come back to and perhaps make or do, so if I cannot find the original location from where the pin has been pinned from , I find it frustrating.