Pinterest Etiquette 101

filed under: Blogging on April 2, 2012

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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  • Julianne says:

    I really loved Pinterest until I read this article from a lawyer who made herself familiar with their user agreement. Apparently, ANYBODY can sue you for using their photo even if you give them credit by sourcing their photo. Unless you have explicit written consent from the author, if they sue you are not only responsible for your legal problems, but also for every last dime it costs Pinterest to go to court, too. Here’s one of the articles. If you don’t like links, just Google “Lawyer” and “Pinterest”.

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, I read that too Julianne. Wasnt it alarming? But, in an awesome turn of event, Pinterest updated their TOS!! I am much more comfortable being an avid pinner now! 🙂

      • Julianne says:

        Sorry I didn’t get this until now, but THANK GOODNESS!! Thank you for letting me know…I actually closed my account because of this and I’m missing it!! ;O)

  • mindy pitcher says:

    i love this post and can say that i (personally) need to stop being so lazy and link back to the source when i have been hit by “pinspiration”. i all too often, link back to the pin, where it would be just as quick and easy, to link back to the original site. thanks for being amazing (still)!

  • Beth says:

    Totally agree with you! Pinterest is a great tool for “viral” spreading of your own images and ideas, but if those don’t link back to your site and ultimately lead to more traffic, it is very frustrating. As everyone is still figuring out how to use Pinterest and completely enamored by it, it’s helpful to remind them that all content on the site comes from other sites. Great advice!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks Beth! Your blog is so cute!!

  • Cathy says:

    Hi, Thanks for the very helpful info here. I have just started my blog and have so much to learn! I see I have made a few errors on my blog and on Pinterest with the way I have handled photo credits and re-pins. I hope I can sort out the boo-boo’s I have made -I certainly don’t want to upset anyone. Let me take this opportunity to officially apologize for being a dork. Is it acceptable to pin your blog images to your blogs Pinterest Profile? I have done this and the link, of course, says the source is my blog -yet on my blog the photos are credited to the original source. (If not, I am in the process of rectifing my errors) Am I stepping on toes here? This is really the only post I have found to guide us newbies on Pinterest and it has helped so much, thank you for sharing your knowledge! This is all a learning curve and I am already getting dizzy! Love your site, I will be a regular I reckon! x

    • Amanda says:

      That sounds fine to me Cathy… sounds like you are a very conscience pinner with a heart of gold! 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    Great post. I have yet to pin any of my own items but I have been considering doing a board of just my own food for a while now. I think a little self promotion is fine and it seems to be acceptable now than it was before. I have to agree with other comments about people just pinning to pin, they don’t check and see what’s up with the photo. I have also found reading the comments on the photos can be helpful as well, people will say, this doesn’t work or is no longer available etc. I have found that happening more and more with all those household do it yourself stuff. Many seem too good to be true and you will see in comments many are. I have been very careful to check anything I pin to be sure it goes back to the source, nothing makes me more crazy than to see something awesome and have it be a dead-end. I am happy that Pinterst recently changed their policy about right to the photos, I know many people have worked hard to get those changes made. I think they still have a ways to go but Pinterst seems to be eager to “do right” by the people using the site.

    • Amanda says:

      Super tips Kelly… you seem like you are doing everything exactly right! 🙂

  • Amber says:

    I just found your site via Pinterest! =) (and have already pinned a few recipes…from their original page, or course!)

    I haven’t read everyone’s comments, so this may have been mentioned, but I love to follow the guideline ‘one original pin for every five repins.’ At least, I try to get as close to this as possible. This way I am contributing to new, fresh material on Pinterest (albeit, in a tiny way!). We all love to repin, but sometimes you can only see the same cute, melting snowman cookie so many times! Especially when we know there are tons of other amazing cookie recipes out there.

    I am excited to read through some of your older posts and become a regular follower! Happy Baking!

    • Amanda says:

      I have not heard that, but I like it Amber! So excited to meet you as well!

  • Michelle says:

    Great post! When I first joined Pinterest it didn’t occur to me that all the pins didn’t link back to their original sources. Now I’m going through to make sure links are updated or removing posts if I can figure out where they’re from. (Tumblr has become the bane of my existence!) Adding your website or logo to your images is a great idea!

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks Michelle! I know exactly what you mean about tumblr… its the WORST for finding sources! yay you for taking the time to go back and correct stuff, that is no easy task!

  • Chantele says:

    I am Pinterest-illiterate, but I would like to learn! May I please have an invite? If it can add to my business, it sounds like something I should get into 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    From what I’ve read, I believe Pinterest removed the “etiquette” provision regarding pinning your own work for copyright/legal purposes. The site has created some intellectual property issues and it seems like they are trying to find a way to ensure that they don’t get shut down or get users in trouble for copyright violations. We’ll see what happens because they are one of the fastest growing websites and I’m sure someone will be after them. I personally love Pinterest and hope they have some good attorneys on their side!

    • Amanda says:

      Awesome… thanks for that extra info Lisa!!!

  • Melanie says:

    I am new to pinterest and use it mostly as a way of organizing what I like. I don’t follow anyone, I think that is an option. I want to make sure that everything I pin is done properly. I would never intentionally take credit for something I copied. Please tell me how to make sure I give credit where it is needed. I did pin something from Martha Stewart and on my page it says “Pinned via pinmarklet”. Is this enough or should I be doing sonething else?

  • primrose and company says:

    I do not comment much but, what a relevant and genuine post cheers !!! and long live the true and sincere pinster…. always pin up and onward…

    • Amanda says:

      Ha! Love that! Blessings to you too!

  • Jen at The Three Little Piglets says:

    I decided with all the confusion regarding their Terms of Service Agreement that I would only pin from a website with Pin It Buttons or repin something from their own Pin Board. That way I’m not pinning something or someone who doesn’t want to be pinned.

  • Erin J. says:

    I’m not on Pinterest, but I think I’d like to check it out. May I get an invite please?

  • Kiery says:

    So I have a question… I found this pin It’s one of your cakes and I’d really like to find the original post, but I can’t seem to find it. Can you point me in the right direction?


  • Steph says:

    I’m really glad you posted this. I agree with so much of what you’ve written. I get really frustrated by not pinning from original sources. When I see something I like on pinterest, be it a dress, a cake, a piece of furniture or anything, I often want to find out more about it. I find it so difficult to find out more when someone has pinned from a random tumblr account that doesn’t properly credit the original source.

  • Karen W. says:

    You know I never gave much thought to how I Pinned before reading this. I would simply find something I liked, check to see if it took me to an actual article/page, then I’d Pin it. I’m now going to make sure to Pin responsibly and go back and check the Pins I currently have. Thanks for this. 🙂

  • Wendy says:

    I’d add that you need to make sure that the address you are pinning is from the individual post, not a whole page or the main blog. The older the pins are, the harder it is to find the original post. And that makes everyone grumpy.

  • rosetta says:

    I am at fault also for pinning without knowing what the standards are regarding pinning. I sorta feel ashamed because I’ve always liked and then pinned. What should I do, empty my albums and start over? I think a lot of people see things and then pin. Not sure how I should handle this except to pin linking to the original source. Everything on my blog is mine and mine only, but not on Pinterest. I do have one album with things I’ve baked, and a couple with pictures I’ve taken. All the rest are things I love or find exciting or pretty. Thanks for the info!!

    • Amanda says:

      I am of the opinion, “When you know better, you do better.” I love that you are going to just try and pin from the original source going forward… that is all anyone can ask! Be blessed today sweet Rosetta. 🙂

  • Adam says:

    Great tips! My wife and I both use Pinterest, but we were just talking the other day about the ease of re-pinning and then an image getting “swiped” by a quick Google search. Adding a logo is a very good way to help avoid that.

  • Claire says:

    Hi Amanda,
    I am fairly new to Pinterest so it is great to read your article,very straight forward and immensely helpful for someone like me.Pinterest is like being in a sweet shop for me,hours and hours finding interesting people.I am a botanical illustrator so to see so many like minded people all over the world is great.Thankyou once again for going to the trouble of sharing your thoughts with everyone.

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