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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blogging, a Tutorial: Vol. 6



Last week's blog tutorial covered the social media that I use, what I use if for & some tips for each one. I didn't cover Pinterest, however, because I wanted to give Pinterest its own post.

Pinterest has completely changed the blogging world in the year (or so) of its existence. It is a great resource that has been poorly used by some, overused by others, and ignored completely by others. It has totally changed my online shopping experience (it's my "wish list" and where I go to search instead of Google or even Etsy). I find inspiration for my blog & home. And I've found some wonderful bloggers through Pinterest.

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Here's a few observations I've put together over the past year+ that I've been pinning:

DO:
Use Pinterest as a place to find inspiration.
Pinterest's best quality is that it's inspirational. Whenever I have an idea, I love to browse through all those many pins & find examples of things done well. Or quotes worth reading. Or outfits worth trying out. The visual design of Pinterest is addicting and calming. Use it for inspiration. That's what it's there for.

Re-size the image.
I hate nothing more than finding a Pinterest picture on somebody's blog that isn't properly re-sized. Whether larger or smaller, you can re-size the picture, even outside of Pinterest! (Note: pay attention to picture quality if making an image larger.)

Here's 2 ways to re-size the image (for a 650 pt-wide blog, as is mine):
1) Easy: Use Blogger's "X-Large" cheat button.

X-Large automatically makes the largest dimension 640px. So it'll be either 640px tall or wide, depending upon if it's a horizontal or vertical image.

2) Harder: Manually change the size in HTML.

Delete the phrase - height="XXX" - in its entirety. This allows you to not have to worry about keeping the correct dimensions (aka: do math.) Now, just change width="XXX" to whatever size you want it to be. I use width="640" for all my images.


Promote others through pinning.
I love when Pinterest comes up in my traffic sources list. It means people are not only reading but sharing my images! It's a nice feeling, and one that most of us would enjoy. I love to promote other's blogs by using pinned images in my weekly "What I'm Loving" round-up. I've had many blogs & websites personally thank me for sharing their stuff, and that feels nice too ♥

DON'T:
Use Pinterest on every blog post.
If you're using Pinterst for every blog post, you may be missing out on your potential. While Pinterest is there for inspiration, it can also be used as a crutch. I found myself using an image from Pinterest in almost every post, and wondered why I didn't feel fresh or original! Now, I limit myself to only 2 posts with a Pinterst image a week... and it's totally changed the way in which I take pictures in my daily life and how I write. I'm more creative, more original, and enjoy what I've put out much more. The reader's response is better too.

Use an image without a source.
If the image you just re-pinned or posted on your blog doesn't have a source (or is "uploaded by user" and the "user" isn't you) ... STOP. Go delete that pin. Not only could you (not Pinterest) get in trouble, but it's lazy blogging. I love that Pinterest allows for easy image-sharing, but if we don't properly cite our sources the fun could be ruined. Don't be the cause of ruined fun.

Delete the source line under the picture.
This is a continuation of the idea above, but I despise Pinterest round-ups that just source "my Pinterest page". If you're making your pins into a collage, that's cool, but include the actual sources on your blog post. And if you're just copying the Pinterest code directly into your post, don't delete the source line. Leave it there. And if you're wondering why, read the point above.

**About sourcing: If you're on a URL that's using "page=2" you're technically sourcing the image, but if that image ever moves to "page=3" it'll no longer be on the cited page. Use the permalink for the image's page as opposed to the situational link. This is especially true on Tumblr & most blogs that have rotating material.

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Find me on Pinterest

Other Quick Tips:
  • Centering the source line. If you change "float: left" to "float: center" you can center the source line. Quick cheat: in the edit HTML tab, CTL+F "left" and replace with "center". Done.
  • Make a Resume' board. Especially if you're in an image-intense industry (photography, design, architecture, art, etc.), make a Resume' board. Not only will your work be in yet another place for potential clients/employers to see, but it'll set you apart. I currently have 400 people following my resume' board. Which is more than LinkedIn has offered me.
  • Unlink your Facebook & Pinterest. No one wants to see everything you do on Pinterest in their Facebook timeline. It's almost as annoying as Farmville.
  • Participate in Oh How Pinteresting! link up with The Vintage Apple. It's a great place to meet new people & allows you to get all your Pinterest images on your blog at once.
  • Add a meaningful caption to your Pin. It'll help others find it. You don't want to be invisible online!
  • Fill in your Pinterest profile. Include your website, Twitter account, etc. It's just another part of your online portfolio & should help bring people to you ♥

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I started this series as a way to celebrate my blog's second birthday & to give back to you. If there's ever a topic you want covered - or if you want to contribute - let me know! I'd love to talk to you ♥

To see all posts in this series, check out the blogging tutorial page.

6 comments:

  1. Great tips! I especially love unlinking FB and Pinterest. Always!

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  2. well said gooorlfrand!!! Resizing with the X-LARGE option is one of my fave quick fixes!!

    and I totes agree about not posting pins every day.. and to be sure not to delete the source link!!

    ANDDD the other tip... about not posting every single pin on facebook!! I hope a lotta peeps unlink the two!!! bad enough FB newsfeed is almost all spam!!

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  3. Thanks for reminding every NOT to use pictures without a proper source. THat is my biggest pet peeve about pinterest!

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  4. Thanks for the great tips! Definitely gave me some good ideas!

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  5. I'm so glad you put the "delete the height entirely". Resizing pictures is always so frustrating to me!

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