It’s true. For as much as we depend on Pinterest to find great ideas for recipes, home ideas, and birthday parties, the truth is, someone created that recipe, that game, those birthday decorations. This isn’t a post to shame you for doing it wrong, just a post to educate the everyday Pinterest user on how it works and how you can help those who help to inspire your genius ideas.
Pinterest doesn’t make things. People do.
Let me first say that Pinterest is a WONDERFUL place to get inspired and find ideas. When I’m creatively stuck, sometimes all it takes is browsing through my Pinterest feed to get the wheels turning again. I have found great blogs through Pinterest. My living room was inspired by pictures I found through Pinterest.
But Pinterest didn’t make those living room pictures I saw, a person did. And I didn’t pin another person’s living room to a board and claim it as my own, I was sure to include a link to her original post.
And that, my friends, is the difference.
Sometimes these people work for brands who stage things to look pretty so that you’ll be inspired by that style, trend, or maybe be inclined to purchase their products. Think Pottery Barn.
Sometimes people who work for publications share pics on Pinterest so that you will be inspired by the latest seasonal trend or interesting article with the hopes of you maybe deciding to subscribe to their magazines. Think Better Homes and Gardens.
But most of the time, there is a creator or blogger somewhere sharing their personal projects on Pinterest, fingers crossed, hoping it will inspire someone. Hoping it will be as popular in real life as it is in their heads, and hoping they will generate enough traffic to make back the money they invested on the project. Pinterest helps us generate traffic. Traffic (blog viewers) translates into influence and income. It’s how we make a living. Brands pay us based on our influence. Ad clicks create ad revenue which also creates income. That income allows us to make more things to inspire you as well as build our business. When one person shares our post to Pinterest with a link back to the original post, it helps us a lot. Thank you for doing that if you have!
But wait, it sounds like you don’t want us to make what you share!
No, no! Exactly the opposite! I am beyond flattered when I can inspire someone to make a project or recipe I have shared. My business is to share and inspire.
Unfortunately, here’s what typically happens.
People innocently (or sometimes deliberately) save an image to their desktop. Or they screenshot it on their phone. They copy the text. Then they repost my pictures and my content to social media or their own website as their own, or pin it to a board without a link back to the original post. (This is exactly why I watermark all of my pictures. Bloggers, if you aren’t doing that, start NOW.)
No biggie, right? It’s just a pot roast. Or it’s just a wreath. Actually, it’s more than that. It’s an idea that we brought to life. It is supplies, staging, photography, editing, writing and publishing. That’s why crediting the source is so important. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into that one picture you saw on Pinterest. So when you screenshot a project that I made and copy and paste the entire post to your Facebook page and claim it as your own, you can see why I might get a little frustrated. You’re taking away from my business.
Think of Pinterest as a bulletin board.
Just like Etsy is a marketplace. You may have found a cute shirt on Etsy, but Etsy didn’t make that. A person with an Etsy shop made that. Pinterest doesn’t make Mickey Mouse birthday parties. An individual or company created that and shared it on Pinterest, then a Pinterest user collected those ideas into an album on Pinterest. Pinterest is a fabulous place to go to get ideas, find new trends, learn new things and get inspired. Just do me this favor–If you find something on there worth pinning, make sure a link to the source is included.
I don’t get ideas from Pinterest. My ideas feed Pinterest.
Bloggers, creators, brands…they are the individuals who feed Pinterest. We give Pinterest content. So if you get a weird look from a blogger when she you ask “did you get that from Pinterest?”, understand that all of us at one time or another has been inspired by something we saw on Pinterest. But what you’re showing us is someone else’s work. (It’s probably one of our friends!) We can’t copy it and post it on our blog because someone else has already made that.
So bloggers must hate Pinterest…
Not at all! Thanks to Pinterest, our crafts, decor ideas, and projects have reached more people than we ever thought imaginable! Pinterest is a blessing, when used correctly. It allows creators who might otherwise never be known, gain readership, build their own personal brand and get on the radars of major publications. It’s a great thing. A ton of my readers have found me through Pinterest. It also gives us the opportunity to connect in another way with our readers through our boards.
The moral of the story
- Keep being inspired by the pictures you see on Pinterest!
- Whenever you save or share a pin, make sure a legit link is attached to it.
- Always credit the source.
Happy (responsible) pinning!