What is Pinterest and How Does Pinterest Work?


‘What is Pinterest?  I’ve heard all the fuss about it, I’ve even signed up BUT I have no idea what I am doing or how I should be using it.’

‘It has the ‘most confusing new-user experience ever.’

These are just some of the quotes I have seen or heard and it was exactly the way I felt when I first ventured into the world of Pinterest as a marketing tool for my blog.  Now I love it and can lose hours pinning away!

There are two ways to use Pinterest – Personal Use and Business Use.  In this article I will cover the areas that are relevant to both uses.  However, if you wish to use Pinterest to grow your blog or business, you may wish to purchase my STEP-BY-STEP Guide on ‘How to Set Up Your Pinterest Account for Business’ which is available as an ebook on Amazon and will show you how to create a business account, how to verify your website and how to apply for Rich Pins.

What is Pinterest?

Think of Pinterest as a massive library of images.  Each of these images link to another source, be it an article (like a blog post) or a product on a website.  To keep these images or articles you need to ‘pin’ them to a board – just like cutting out articles from a magazine and pinning them to a pin board on your wall.  The more images you cut out, the more pin boards you need to save them on.  To make it easier to find certain articles you begin to keep different boards for particular topics, so you may have a board which has recipes on or a board that holds your favourite travel destinations.  In a nutshell, that is Pinterest – an electronic way of keeping clippings (Pins), in an organised manner (Boards).

What can you do with Pins?

You can:

  • Pin your own images or those of others
  • Pin things from Pinterest or from other websites
  • Like a pin, comment on a pin and save a pin to one of your boards
  • Let others know if you have ‘Tried’ the pin (ie the information it links to) and give information on whether it was good or bad, leave a note or tip and even upload a photo of your attempt.
  • Send a Pin to one of your contacts
  • Repin pins again and again.

What can you do with Boards?

  • Boards are your way of saving the images that link to articles, recipes or products that you wish to keep
  • You can create up to 500 boards, although I can’t imagine trying to organise that many!
  • You can make a board secret, this board can then be viewed only by you and not your followers – useful if you have a business account but also want to pins things that are of personal interest to you but not related to your business
  • You can give your board a name, a description and you can choose a ‘cover’ image – this is where you choose one of the pins on that board to be the featured image.
  • You can add others (collaborators) to your board and allow them to add their pins too (Group Board).

As you begin to create boards and add pins, Pinterest will get to know which topics interest you.  These topics will then begin to show up in your home feed and you can also have your profile set for Pinterest to email you recommendations.

Signing up to Pinterest

Signing up is easy and as an absolute basic requires only a valid email address and a password.  You can either sign up via your Facebook account or via email.  If you are wishing to use Pinterest for your blog or business you can sign up as   a business or convert an existing personal account into a business account.  Business accounts are free but allow you access to Rich Pins and Pinterest Analytics.

Interested in using Pinterest for a blog or business, then take a look at my Step-by-Step Guide:

What Next?

Check out my profile  @moneysavingjour to see how I have organised my boards.  I also have a Group Board for New Bloggers and New Pinners which you are very welcome to join.  You just need to follow me (so I can find you on Pinterest) and send me an email or comment below.  I will then send you an invitation.  It would be great to have you along.


Your Pinterest profile will always be a work in progress.  There will always be new boards to create and new pins that catch your eye.  Don’t expect your profile to be perfect.

Happy Pinning!