Opening the Pinterest “Box”: Three Good Guides

Getting started on Pinterest seems easy–but the devil is in the details–and the toolbox, and the widgets. Here’s some good guides to ease the learning curve.

The Top Three Guides

Today Pinterest can be overwhelming.  In my niche of beginning blogs (er, “blogs for beginners”) there seem to be hundreds of pins, but quality?  It’s pretty variable.   There are dozens of “99 ways to this” and “10 proven secrets for that.”   And there are many spammy, low-quality content pins out there.  All the “how to start an email list” posts are crowding everything.  How can I, for example, help my “Mangling Mail Chimp” post stand out?’  That of course, is going to be the kind of question I’ll be struggling with as I get started on this platform.

The best one for business folks

The best guide so far is the one I mentioned in previous posts, by Josh Dunlop.  His “Beginner’s Guide to Seeing Massive Pinterest Traffic ” is still my go-to guide.  It come in two parts–some of a bit more advanced than “beginning” level — but his examples from his own experience with Pinterest are extremely helpful.  This is what I’m looking for in a guide–good information, examples of practical applications, oh, and real-life tips.  His advice on Pinterest etiquette offers point by point advice on how to get “Pinterest love.”

This two-part guide delves into the plug-ins, tools, and strategies that he has used to make Pinterest a successful addition to his social media campaign for his photography business.  Part Two is an advanced course for people with business accounts who can use plug-ins (and I must say, this convinced me that I wanted a business account for this blog).

The Pinterest Info-mercial

The Pinterest for Business Starter Guide is probably the natural first step for understanding the platform from a business perspective.  The amazing number of tools, widget-building doohickeys and other piece-parts involved in crafting Pinterest thing-a-ma-bobs is a bit intimidating, even for me.  I could probably get lost in this valley of tools, buttons and widgets.  We’ll go there. . .later.  I find this site to be much like Pinterest itself–easy to get lost in and hard to figure out what’s important and what’s not. But definitely fodder for future posts in this blog.

Another good site for beginners in business Pinterest

 Ryan Pinkham over at Constant Contact, a commercial provider of blogging tools, has a very good post on starting Pinterest.   He ask the hard questions such as, should you even be on Pinterest? Is it right for you and your business?   Of course, they don’t provide definitive answers–but they do raise the question of whether we know what we’re doing on this platform.

Ryan remarks:

I’m not saying you need to have reports with projections for future growth, but you should at least have an answer when someone asks you why you’re signing up.

(Hints: Building a brand, engaging an audience, understanding our competition are good starting points on that “why” question).

Then he gets down to the basics:

  • Define your brand with a solid profile
  • Get acquainted with the built-in (free!) analytic tools in Pinterest
  • Make boards, start pinning

Ryan has some of the best advice on how to use Pinterest effectively. His suggestion to make three boards–one for products, one for helping others, and a third one just for fun!–those resonate well with anyone who knows social media well.  The other advice in the post are a bit more common sense–using the right keywords, telling your network,

Some Honorable Mentions

Suresh Thakoor’s step by step guide to Pinterest  offers a run-down of Pinterest basics with a good walk-through on setting up accounts.  His  great list of free image resources, ideas about what to pin, and thoughts on “Pinterest strategy” make this worth reading.

Lala World’s Youtube video will provide a thorough video walk-through on Pinterest that’s up-to-date, simple and clear.  The sound is a little “wonky” but the information and on-screen walk-through are easy to understand and follow.  If you know nothing about Pinterest, this is a good place to start.

I’ll keep working at it and will update this post if I find more beginning guides that are worth reading!  Ciao ~Lola

Author: Lola

Recovering academic, real-life, honest to cornflakes anthropologist (Ph.D. and fieldwork and everything), tech-head and social media researcher.

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