Pinterest Tips for the Serious User

It’s no secret that I am a pretty serious Pinterest user.  I was an early adopter and have been on the site for about a year.

Or maybe over a year.

Who can remember 1,833 pins and 72 boards ago?

Despite all the controversy around ownership, I continue to use it because frankly, I’m addicted.

Pinterest has grown quickly and has become pretty main stream.  Even my son’s preschool teacher asked if I got my teacher gift idea off Pinterest.  I didn’t, but don’t think I didn’t pin it there.

But many people are casual pinners and I don’t fault them for not wasting hours of their lives living in pretty land.

Of course, they’re missing out on those homemade cupcake liners, but that’s their loss, my pin.

::Adds to Cupcake Board::

Some people are more serious users.  I love to find fellow addicts to follow.    As I look over profiles, I find some of the same “mistakes” being made over and over.

So let’s get your Pinterest shined up, Martha style.

The Profile

-For the love of social media, please have your Facebook page, twitter, and website linked to your profile page.  Your Pinterest boards may not be enough for me.  I want full coverage.   You don’t know how often I come across a page and I know that person has a blog and it’s not linked up to their profile.  **update since first posted> also verify your site on Pinterest as well.  There are instructions on how to do this through pinterest and it’s supposed to increase your searchability.


-Have an avatar that is the same as one of your other social media outlets.  A lot of people have their Pinterest names as their actual names.  For the most part?  I have no idea who you people are. My Pinterest avatar is the same as my twitter.

-Put a short bio up.  It’s really your only chance to write about yourself. If I changed mine I might say “The Martha Stewart editors follow my boards so you should too.”    Or “You can’t handle my pins”

The Boards

This part is going to kill me because I actually have to mess up my boards to show my point.   Or find my example in someone else’s boards which won’t be hard because they’re “wrong” everywhere.

When you’re looking at your profile all your boards are presented with a board “cover.”  This is sort of like the front cover of a book.  And a lot of people have ugly covers going on.  It drives me nuts.   I will NOT follow someone if their covers are just a mess.

See that?  That is what I see more often than not.   Even with way more popular pinners than me.

You can use any image in that board to create the cover.  Pick the most visually appealing one for the cover.  When you “set to cover” it allows you some movement of that image.  Make sure you get the MOST flattering angle for that image on the cover.  It may be the best idea in that board but not the best image.  You are trying to “sell” that book on its cover.  Choose wisely.

This is the same set of boards as above but with other images selected as the cover and “set.




If you start a new board?  You will need to set a cover.  If you don’t, whatever you pinned last will be the default cover and it’s usually not centered or adjusted to that frame making for a book that won’t sell.










Board Overload

I can’t tell you how many times I see a user with the following board’s titles:





And each of those boards has 245 pins in it.In my opinion this is defeating the purpose of Pinterest.  When I want to find that one French toast item, I don’t want to scroll through salads, appetizers and cupcakes to find it.I think a good rule of thumb is that once you have 100 pins in a board and have at least 10 pins in there of the same topic, break them out to their own board.

 I have 10 different food related boards.

Board Order

When you start a new board, Pinterest automatically puts it at the bottom of all your boards.   I like my boards to flow together.  To tell a story.

When you go to break out a set of pins, that board gets placed at the bottom of all your boards.  It really should just be next to the board you just broke them out from.

This is an example of a messed up board order.

(which I had to do to my boards and almost hyperventilated doing it)

I have a hard time “reading” your boards when they are not in an order that makes sense.




These are my boards placed an order that I think works.



Until recently, I had the 4th of July board as the first board.  I usually reserve the first board positions for current events.  That could be a holiday, or as in my case now, I have seasonal (summer, gardening) boards in the first row.  Once a holiday is about a month out, I will take those related boards and place them in the first row positions and take the boards that were in 1st position and place them back into their order on the boards page.

I know you just read that and thought “You are officially nuts”

Yes ma’am and can I have another.


-Please make sure that whatever you pin or repin goes back to the original source.  It’s just decent internet usage.

-Please check pin for spam.  I’ve clicked a “Tuscan sandwich” pin to the source only to find it connects to a site that claims “Your cellulite can be gone by eating these ice cream sandwiches”

-Don’t pin the ugly.  I have seen the greatest ideas or delicious foods that just have terrible images.  It hurts a little but I won’t pin it.  I have high pin standards.  If I really want to pin a less desirable image, I wait until late at night when no one is looking.

-Don’t put the instructions of whatever the pin is in the comments.  That’s just annoying.

-Don’t  facebook and tweet every pin.  It becomes spam in peoples feeds.  When it’s extra fantastic, please share those.

I hope you learned something.  If not?  Leave me your Pinterest link because your boards are worth following.


Pinterest posts I’ve written


Update: My tips must have worked because this happened. 

87 thoughts on “Pinterest Tips for the Serious User

  1. Three and a half years after you wrote this, and I just shared it with some friends on Facebook who are trying to get their Pinterest boards “in shape”. Thank you for this.

  2. Thanks for the post!! Very helpful. I’m currently trying to fix up my Pinterest, and found your blog. I especially liked your idea about breaking up boards into more specific topics! I have to do that, especially with my dessert board :)

    Thanks again!

    P.s. my Pinterest is:
    In case you’d like to see it.

  3. I”m in the midst of cleaning my boards, moving mistakes, deleting pins with few repins, and generally making decisions on board splitting. Board splitting needs to be done, as you’d say, so you don’t have to search through salads to find a cake recipe you’re looking for. This type of searching led me to create 29, that’s right, TWENTY-NINE , Garden Art Boards. My personal recommendation is to split boards into manageable, topic specific boards…and, while you’re at it, craft personalized, creative, interesting titles. (I’m still working on this task).

    I believe in sharing pins. You won’t find me blocking people for repining in what I think of as Pinsnobbery. I would ask that you extend this article to include Pinterest etiquette. You’re the best.

    If you, or anyone wold like to see why I need 29 Garden Art Boards, you may find my boards here: They begin a few boards down from my winter obsessions. I have 17,000 pins and I’ve created 25 Pinterest Pin inspired projects. I am ADDICTED, and I’m not looking for a cure!

  4. I’m helping a friend ‘going pintersting’ and I found your post very useful, thank you! I’ll let you know my friend’s details once I’ve reorganised her boards :)

  5. Squeee!!! (I’m a blogger and blogger squee! ;) *thought that post was HALARIOUS!!) I just found you due to your warning and I think we could be amazing friends. Only I call pinterest Pornterest..cause I’m SO freakin’ addicted. (I’m if you’d like to see my 6234 pins and 159 boards that are also anally organized to tell a story. It all HAS to flow man!) Anyways, I think you’re funny. Haalllarious even! I’m your newest email subscriber once I finish this comment and I’m off to read the victoria secret post. I’m very honest and friends know I lack that “fake” filter everyone is “nice” enough to use so they know if it’s horrible and they ask…oh yeah…I may even offer gag noises to truly illustrate my point. Way I see it…we’re all to busy to fake it. ;)


  6. Pingback: How to Fail at Pinterest « Jess in the ATX.

  7. Thank you so much for your advice. I too, have trouble changing board covers and have no idea how to move them from one position to another. Which is why I clicked on you. Guess I need it all laid out, step by step. I’m new to it all but having fun with creating boards and using them for business clients. See pinterest/loriparr11

  8. As I was reading this article, it was like seeing my thoughts typed out. My annoyances, pinterest OCD habits and rituals all exposed. Thank You, TheNextMartha

  9. Pingback: Ten Bloggers to Follow on Pinterest

  10. I love pinterest. Yes, it’s an incredible time suck, but I know when used properly it can also be extremely useful. When I first joined pinterest I went crazy. Now? I look at my boards, and hang my head in a bit of shame. But how do I fix it? What is the best way to clean up this mess? How can I get the best optimization out of my boards and what I’m sharing? You’ve answered that for me.
    Thank you.

  11. Thanks for the tips. I’m pretty much addicted to Pinterest too…. I have over 3000 pins and most of my friends and family think I’m a little nuts (maybe I am but that’s not the point :) hehe) I do most of my pins on my phone and have limited ability to adjust everything (maybe updating my app would help with that) but I am now trying to organize my boards and make it just a nice place over all. I’m definitely going to be using some of your tips…. Thinking I might even pin this blog :)

  12. Your low standard images that you repinned or pinned late night are unfortunately seen by people like us who live in the other part of the world. It seems you don’t really care about us. That’s not cool.

  13. thanks for the tips, very helpful… i think i am following most of your advice…. i have been pinning for about 2.5 months and I need to organize my boards in some kind of order.. i have have been putting them in order from appearance to create a nice follow thanks for the tips… april hansen

  14. Ok, help? I’ve tried changing my covers and all I get is the endless continual spinning like it’s thinking about doing it but not entirely sure. It’s as though Pinterest is mocking my choice for board cover and won’t let me do it, even if my choice is far better than the one they have chosen.

    Once I figure this out, I promise to take my bigger boards and break them up. I started doing that tonight and tried to set a new cover and realized it just won’t let me. Epic sadness.

    • Could it be that you are on a slower network? Or maybe when you were trying Pinterest was slow? I just tried and had no issues. All I can suggest is to try again.

    • On the subject of trouble with Pinterest board covers, let me tell you what’s happening to me. Pinterest keeps randomly switching the board covers I’ve set and removing the option to “Change Cover” so that I can’t even fix the problem. I e-mailed them for help and they replied with a rehash of the FAQs which I had already read. So, basically, they’re just telling me to figure it out myself.

      • They have had many updates in the past 6 months or so and during one of them the covers were updated to new dimensions. One of the major updates defaulted ALL of my (and others?) covers. I haven\’t had an issues lately and if you go to the upper right and go to \”your boards\” there should be a pop up when you hover on the board to \”change cover\”

  15. I am so great-full for your post…the arrangement of the boards has been driving me crazy, and thanks to you now I know how to arrange them my way :D

    If you’ll find my boards interesting and aesthetically pleasing…follow me on

    HF and again thank you (you have no idea how much you’ve helped)

  16. Wonderful article! Was able to implement of few of your ideas and learned a lot. Thanks again and if you want to follow, I’m Miki Bennett. Take care and have a wonderful day!

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