To pin or not to pin…

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I, like many fellow crafters, have a Pinterest account and curate a few boards. I am not an avid pinner like some people. I’ve seen some boards with hundreds of pins, some pinners who have hundreds of boards with hundreds of pins… how do they find the time? I have about three public boards and one private board. The main one is the one I use to showcase items from my Etsy shop. Every time I upload a new listing I pin it to the board.

F&P Board

The other board I have is one of the first boards I started, pinning a few cute craft ideas, some I tried, others I adapted and the rest I just smile at. The third board is one called ‘My Talented Friends’. My idea was for the friends I have (and family members) who are crafty and creative that I would pin their stuff to get their work seen by more people. However as some of my friends work mainly off Facebook and not via sites like Etsy or have their own website I’ve not been able to pin as many things as I had hoped.

Friends

Initially I had pinned a few woodwork creations by an old school friend, but he seems to have now stopped selling on Etsy, which is a shame as his work was lovely and I was sorely tempted to get a lovely new chopping board from him! (Maybe I still can – I’ll just have to ask!) A while back we did a crafty swap with each other. I made him an iPad sleeve out of some thick grey felt and he did me some mdf cut outs to simulate the sizes of different techno-gadgets for me to use to make pouches and holders out of. I have been pretty lame and not actually used any of them – but do plan to at some point (before the technology becomes obsolete!) I also pinned some items from a lovely lady I met at a Christmas craft fair last year.

I also had pinned some of my favourite photographs my Dad had up for sale when he created his own Etsy shop last year. However, sadly he became discouraged after four months had passed with no interest. I was a bit sad that he hadn’t given it more of go, with more networking and marketing – considering his career background is marketing, but who knows, maybe he’ll try again one day. He is a very talented photographer and has done some great shots over the years, and specialises in candid shots, the kind when people don’t know their photograph is being taken. He has some great ones from his travels around the world during his working life: weathered faces of Japanese men, a row of elderly people on a bench taken from the back in black and white and several topless ladies which I won’t go into too much detail about…

But recently an old friend of mine who has been running a children’s clothes making business through Facebook has opened a new website – so I can eagerly pin some of her lovely items to share with people too – for those of you who love gorgeous handmade children’s clothes head on over to Vintage Verity – you won’t be disappointed!

My fourth board is my secret board, the one I use to pin things that inspire me to create new items. Why do I keep it secret? I suppose so that if I did decide to make anything similar to them that people wouldn’t look from one board to the other and go ‘oooh, I see…’ I don’t know really. Is there any benefit to me pinning items from my shop to Pinterest? Does it not lead to people just potentially copying my items rather than buying anything from me? Maybe. I don’t get masses of re-pins or likes of my pins, but I do have one very popular pin that gets re-pinned or liked pretty much everyday and it is one of my most simple items – a set of felt heart decorations. I have no doubt that it is mainly re-pinned in order for people to copy it, and I’m OK with that. It is a simple thing, it’s not highly designed or very individual to me. And the item that has brought more people to my shop from Pinterest? That will be this simple set of Christmas Tree decorations. It is interesting that both of them are simple designs that I suppose are things people might want to make for themselves or get their kids to make.

Hearts Trees

Me Pinterest

As for whether I get any sales out of it, well I don’t know really. I see in my shop stats where people have been referred to my shop from, so I can see if someone has clicked on a link from my blog, or from my Facebook page or via Pinterest. Most of the time people have clicked on items that have since sold out. I don’t have enough hours in the day to curate the kinds of Pinterest boards I have seen out there. Fabulous collections of hundreds of beautiful things, but perhaps I spend more time doing and making and working than thinking and musing over stuff. Plus every time I dip into other boards on Pinterest I seem to lose whole chunks of my day, so I am too scared to do it too often in case I don’t resurface for a week. Plus there is the thing that if I pinned all the things I saw that I liked, would I ever go back to the board to look at them? What would I do with it all?

Pinterest Black Hole

Yep… (Drawn by me – you can copy it if you really want to – or pin it, whatever.)

How about you? Do you use Pinterest? What do you use it for? Are you a crafter who sells – do you think Pinterest has garnered you more sales? Please do comment and let me know!

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5 thoughts on “To pin or not to pin…

  1. I haven’t yet used Pinterest, but am on Etsy. Do you feel it helps getting interest in your site?
    My shop if you were to be interested to have a look: renateandtheanthouse.etsy.com. Looking forward to your answer.

    • Thanks Renate – the shop looks great! I’ve added it to my favourites and pinned my favourite item from the shop onto my ‘Talented Friends’ board 🙂

      I am not sure to the extent Pinterest has brought people to my site, although it is currently the sixth most popular way people have come to my shop, after direct searches in Etsy, direct traffic, the Etsy App, Google and Facebook. But I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten any sales because someone found my shop after finding something nice via Pinterest.

  2. Hmmm…. I have 46 Pinterest boards that I use for inspiration for writing, cooking and crafting. I’ve frequently visited blogs based on pins, but I don’t know that I’ve ever bought anything based on a pin. Like you said, I usually use them as inspiration to make on my own. However, I like making things and they’re people who don’t. But then I wonder if those people are in Pinterest or if they go straight to Etsy?

    My thought is you just have to look at is another form of networking and getting your name out there.

    • Since this post my most popular pin on Pinterest has suddenly become really popular and now has almost 750 repins. When I originally pinned it from my Etsy shop along with other decorations I’d made, the background to the photo was some fabric I had, and later I decided to do new photos for them all. When I rejigged the listings – making sure I had separate ones for the different options I had, the link for my most popular pin actually takes you to a listing for my Christmas Tree decorations – hence why that one seems to be so popular! However they have since been sold now, but I still get lots of views.

      I certainly use Pinterest as another form of getting my name and my work out there, but I have seen some Etsy sellers talk about not putting their stuff on a Pinterest board for fear of people copying, but you don’t really have much control over that with things being out there on the internet for all to see.

      If someone is inspired by me, then hey, that’s great!

      And thanks for following me on Pinterest! 🙂

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