• says

       @itsalebeau I understand. I’m not a fan of the way that it looks either – but would you rather have it look good, or would you rather have people look at it? Legitimate question…

      • itsalebeau says

         @CoryHuff Right? I know. It seems so glaring to me. But I just spent some time scrolling through the main pinterest pins, and the art pins, and more often than not the banner didn’t jump out at me in an obnoxious way. Can’t hurt to give a go, right?

  1. AlisonQuine says

    There sure is a lot of Pinterest talk floating around the web right now.
    This is a great article Cory! 
    I think Pinterest can be a fantastic way to share your work, and you’ve made some excellent suggestions here Cory, so thanks for that!
    The main problem I see with Pinterest is the re-pinning of other people’s work and this is where the waters get very murky indeed!
    There’s a very good post I read recently, written by a photographer / lawyer who has decided to remove all her boards after she took a serious look at their Pinterests terms and conditions. It’s a very interesting read. Her blog exploded because of the amount of traffic that post started receiving. She now has 233 comments on that post!  

    This shouldn’t put anyone off uploading their work but it may make you a little more mindful about what you re-pin. I’m certainly thinking about it :)

    • itsalebeau says

       @AlisonQuine I read that article too. Right now I’m not re-pinning something if I can’t go back and figure out its source so I can give it credit. That is my compromise!

    • says

       @AlisonQuine I did read that post on ddkportraits, and I still think the entire situation is over blown. As @Stan Bowman mentions above, it’s the practical business realty that keeps Pinterest from abusing the copyright terms. They will change soon. Those who have been practical in their exploitation of Pinterest will benefit. The re-pins are indeed murky – but I would imagine that it will only get better.

      • AlisonQuine says

         @CoryHuff I’m sure Flickr also gets a lot of flack for people using images without crediting the owner too. Pinterest is just getting it now because they’re the new kid on the block. You’re right, it probably will settle down :) I’m organizing my boards right now :) 

  2. LeahMcLain says

    I was in Walmart a few days ago and overheard three women talking about Pinterest.  It’s definitely taking off. 
    Here is a link to me on Pinterest:

  3. fort.cindy says

    I just wanted to say that if you double click on any image on Pinterest, you will be taken to the original site from which the photo was pinned….once in a while I haven’t been able to trace an image back to its original owner, but always those pins originally came from a general area on or from flickr.  I think all the worry about copyright on pinterest is probably not going to last…

  4. says

    Thanks for the balanced review of Pinterest. I joined yesterday, put up one of my images just as a test, and within an hour had 9 responses, 7 who added it and 2 that repined it. Quite impressive.
    For several days I have followed discussions on another forum by photographers who are freaking out over the Terms of Use, saying it gives Pinterest the right to take and use their images in any way they seem fit. As if Pinterest would dare do this, they would be out of business soon thereafter if the word got out. And we have to remember copyright is a US invention and those visiting and joining Pinterest are worldwide. So those who are overly worried should not join Pinterest, but also remember even if you don’t join someone can pull an image from your website and pin it there anyway.

  5. Debra Wenlock says

    Thanks for some great suggestions Cory. I’m finding Pinterest quite adictive – it’s a real visual feast! I’ll have to try adding some prices… I feel that it’s all about getting the balance right – some displaying, some sharing and a little bit of self promotion. It’s definitely the most fun social media for me!

  6. deleted_3203404_roseho says

    I’m just starting with Pinterest, so I appreciate the pointers.
    My profile:

  7. LeahMcLain says

    When you’re pinning your own work be sure to put your full name in the description.  Most repins leave the descriptions intact so your original text will usually stay with your photo.  I always try to add the artist’s name even when it isn’t in the original description, but so I really appreciate it if it’s already there.

  8. TracieH says

    Great Article, so appreciate having you pin my work
    My Profile:

  9. Skaja says

    Great article. I hadn’t heard of the way to see who’s pinning my images. My profile is here:

  10. Skaja says

    Great article. I hadn’t heard of the way to see who’s pinning my images. My profile is here:

  11. BZTAT says

    My Pinterest:
    The reason photo-sharing apps have liberal copyright policies is because they want to be able to interface with as many other apps as possible. They want to be able to connect with Twitter and Facebook and G+ and countless other entities as well as search engines without getting entangled with regulation. They will tighten it up once they get their feet more on the ground.
    Hallmark and other major licensing companies use photo sharing with their images on Facebook and countless other places. Haven’t seen them on Pinterest yet, but I am sure they will get there. If Maxine and Hoops & YoYos aren’t worried about copyright infringement, why should I be?
    I think it is wise to be aware of the dangers, but I agree, the benefits definitely outweigh the potential consequences.

  12. ToriBeveridge says

    Very good article Cory.  I recently joined Pinterest and am loving it. This is me:
    I’m following you and will follow others who reply here.  You are all welcome to follow me.
     @emilyroseartist  is correct about the back pinning to find the original link.  My advice is to click every picture before you repin it.  Click it again and it should take you to the site it was originally pinned from.  I’ve only found a very few so far that don’t link back to the original site.

  13. SaraPendlebury says

    Hi Cory –  thanks for this. You will probably have already seen but Pinterest state today in their updated terms:  ‘Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.’
    So you were  !00% right there! 
    I am starting to add  to my boards: could you add my profile to your list –

  14. says

    Great article! A very through going over and much appreciated – I took a spin around Pinterest and it is a Nice looking site, clean – and – eclectic all at once, but I’m having a problem. Since I’ve been ‘getting down to business’ with what I want to do with my art life my to-do list has grown exponentially and that’s fine – it needed to happen after years of fearful neglect.
    I’ve put up a page for my art on facebook, I have a flickr account and make an effort to put my eyeballs on as much art as I can in the real world as well. I’ve been tinkering with my website and it’s close to done enough to announce. I joined mail chimp and straightened out my mail list. I’ve got a zazzle account with a few ‘posterized’ versions of my art – I’m making an effort to contribute by way of the written word as I look for blogs which have something to do with the kind of art I make (just started a serious search) and I’ve got a business plan cooking as well as some notes jotted down about a new artists statement and a practice press release – There are also descriptions/stories to add to the website – a little more SEO stuff to learn and do – google analytics, and I could go on –
    The way the internet provides one venue after another with opportunities to display our art, make communities and really connect and learn from one another is incredible! But I’m feeling that I’ve got enough type and click going on already – I guess my question boils down to this – Does Pinterest provide a more viable way to find community and common interest, critique and possible patrons than Flickr? I could go with one or the other – but doing both really seems like a bit much – considering how long my list is getting and how my studio time is at a premium. Or do they serve totally different needs?

    • says

       @janeelliott27 congratulations on getting so much done! I would say that Pinterest is on its way up, where Flickr is on its way down. I would concentrate on getting your site launched, building a solid presence in one place, and then adding the next as time permits.

  15. KimberlySantini says

    Wonderful article – thank you!! I’ve had moderate success with Pinterest, getting a couple inquiries monthly via pins (that are watermarked), which pleases me greatly given that i’ve not invested much time/energy into developing a marketing plan that includes pinning – although that is currently in the works. Previously, I’d only been using Pinterest for research and am integrating a more aggressive approach to promo-ing my artwork there in the next month. I have been updating my FB fan page with in-process photos of my artwork several times/weekly (and get all sorts of buzz when I do that, too!), but hadn’t thought about linking those images into Pinterest – thanks for the idea!!
    I am ksantini on Pinterest and  Kimberly Kelly Santini on FB. Thanks so much!! :) Kim

  16. SaraPendlebury says

    Hi – just to let everyone know, I received several repin notifications this morning, so very happily I went to see who had been appreciating my work :o) 
    It slowly dawned on me that these were not people, but a randomly generated page to look like people. Seemed to originate from  Ponfom, who seem to sell conterfeit luxury goods. Cant say more than that really but it doesn’t look right or real.  As we say in Britain – Yuck. Big disappointment. 
    I am not giving up yet but just wanted to share this with others in case the same thing happenes to you.
    I have however commented on all these repins, so my identity can be seen, and will be removing and repinning everything again with watermarks in the coming days. 
    I have also written to Pinterest to tell them this has happened.

    • says

       @SaraPendlebury The Pinterest spammers will get nailed soon, but right now they’re making a killing by adding affiliate links. It’s frustrating, but I trust that they will get thinned out. Pinterest is driving entirely too much traffic right now. They’ll be accepting investors like flies to honey, so I’m not worried about money.

      • SaraPendlebury says

         @CoryHuff yep thanks Cory  I think you are right and this will not last  and the spammers will leave  –  but I took it as a chance to clean it all up and make sure things were properly watermarked etc. The benefits of being there definitely outweigh this type of incident 

  17. says

    I never thought of starting my own artwork board, derrr. I created one today. Now I can start filling it up.
    Question: I see price “banners” in the corners of some of the “pins” how does that work? Is it automatic from the storefront?
    Great site, Thanks

  18. KristelPhears says

    Great article! I’m new to Pinterest, but love, love LOVE it! I just skipped right over flickr, for right or for wrong; and I have to admit as a visual artist (well, mostly – I’m in fact an Architect by trade) that Pinterest is a dream come true. I already have some boards for inspiration, to replace my moldy old folders for same that are buried on my hard drive and never used. I also have 2 boards for my own work, but I have been neglecting them a bit – my main reason for using Pinterest is not for marketing, but just as the great tool that it is for digital organizing. And I’m hosting a group board for some of my local hand-crafters. Also to my surprise I love the social interaction aspect, even though unlike with FB, a lot of it is with folks I don’t even know!
    My link is I’ll check out those in this thread!

  19. PinterMarket says

    Very nice article. As a company you shouldn’t add price tags though. There has been a study (according to mashable) which shows it will end up in less repins and likes. I’ve found some great articles on this site too. Feel free to check it out.

  20. riahills says

    Thank you for your thoughts on Pinterest Cory! I joined it a couple of days ago and I’m already hooked. I wasn’t sure about displaying my art but I’ve had a sudden change of mind 😉
    My pin-

  21. muddyfur says

    @melissaeve Interesting…I’m not on pinterest, but this may make me reconsider it. I like sharing and seeing the creative process.

  22. Lauren Larson says

    Great post. I’m really interested to see how Pinterest deals with copyright issues down the road, because the current option of “opting out” really does defeat the purpose of a tool like Pinterest. I wonder if sites like deviantart have developed a successful model for preventing copyright infractions? If you’d like to learn more about Pinterest, Doug Antkowiak of Portent, Inc. is giving a webinar on the subject on Thursday, August 30 and you can sign up for free at

  23. says

    I enjoy seeing other budding artist’s work on Pinterest. And of course it is a thrill to know many people will be looking at MY paintings. I also trust they will sort out the copyright details.

  24. says

    Abundantartist thanks for the tips above. I am relatively new to Pinterest also and have tapped into several of the social media. It is a bit to keep up with along with trying to paint:-) Thanks so much \\\\

  25. Lori Woodward says

    Thanks for the honest info and links Cory. You point out the main key of all social media… To get folks to your website and to sign up for your mailing list.

    That right there takes all the mystery out of social media marketing.

  26. sima schloss says

    Great Article- Its so helpful! I love Pinterest and have been posting my work regularly and appreciate all the tips and ideas!
    Thank you!

  27. says

    Great stuff! I actually get a TON of business from Pinterest. And honestly, it’s mostly not even from my own pins or followers, but from people pinning the pictures from my website & then they end up getting circulated on their own. So I really feel like one of the most important things to add is to make SURE to include Pin It buttons (and set the description part too) on each & every picture on your site. There are tons of blog plugins to do this now, if you use a blog as your site. It’s been amazing for me! Here’s my pinterest:

  28. says

    Hi there!

    Nice article, however I would invite you to update one piece of content on it. The line that says re-pinned images don’t link back to the original source is abundantly incorrect. That is what makes Pinterest so appealing for marketers, the fact that no matter how many times an image is shared, it will always link back to the original source. Pinterest was cited in one study (the name of which escapes me) as now generating more traffic for the thousands of sites included in the research, over Bing, Yahoo, Ask and AOL (naturally the top traffic generator is still Google, but the point is that the link-back system that Pinterest uses is significant to driving visits to a pinner’s site).

    Thanks for taking a look at this!

  29. says

    Thank you for this guide Cory!
    I have only tried out pinterest a few months back, but I think I will give it another try. I have already made some reference collections before, but I like the idea of showing how I progress with an artwork.

    I have also updated the descriptions of my artworks on Pinterest, every url I put there turns into a link which is great. I like to add the title of my artwork, my name + my website link, then the medium and the year of made, and finally I write something about the artwork itself.

    My Pinterest page:

  30. says

    As I suspected, you’re not an artist. It’s so typical of online marketers to say about artists in a high-pitched whine, “Wah!!!! Someone will steal my work!!!”

    Your ridicule and glossing over of copyright is pathetic. Anyone can watermark anything. And there it goes, bye bye off into the internet for everyone. The point is to implement and understand copyright, and RESPECT the creators! Do you really want to be that guy that weakens copyright?

    Of course, Pinterest steals and devalues your work, ESPECIALLY if you aren’t selling a product, like t-shirts.. The point is how to handle this, not pretend it isn’t happening.

    My own diabolical plan is to post text on top of my cartoons, and then post on Pinterest. And then implement the no opt-in code. Fingers crossed.

    • Cory Huff says

      Hi Donna – I can certainly understand your desire to protect your intellectual property. You did create it, and you it would be great to be compensated for it.

      You may want to consider alternate points of view.

      There are artists who consider copyright anathema to what it means to be an artist. Copyright can actually stifle artistic and scientific innovation. See this episode of our podcast where we talk with Gwenn Seemel about it.

  31. JessicaSanders1 says

    Hi, Cory :)  I love your site…always great info here.  My pinterest page is: 
    Back in March, 2014, I started working on building my following on Pinterest.  At that time, I had 147 followers.

    I love Pinterest, so using it more was a no-brainer for me.  I read several articles, and made a plan to build my following.  Now, 6 months later, I am happy to say I have 1,314 followers!  That is a 793% increase!  I still have a lot to learn about using Pinterest for my art, but I feel like I have a good start.

  32. ArtMorehead says

    @Donna Barstow I have to agree with your synopsis of this post and can only ask how could a non artist possibly know what an artists needs are when it come to marketing when they know nothing of the arts in general? No offense to, Cory of course I know he means well and I do like his blog but I think this would be a subject that should be proven by some kind of history or background before writing about it.  As being an artist my whole life there are many things here I have to disagree with about posting fine art on Pinterest. Most galleries and/or art reps.have pretty much the same policy as to when it comes to having the exclusive to an artist work. They simply don’t want everyone else selling what they are which keeps the pricing where it should be for a fine art piece. Personally I don’t list in galleries but then that’s my preference as I do fine on my own and will be opening my own gallery soon. However if you have images of your work plastered all over the internet, it actually devalues the work and makes it no longer special to the buyer and/or collector unless of course you plan on mass producing your work like Thomas Kincaid and Walt Disney Productions did with his work. In fact most of Kincaid’s Disney work was not even painted by him personally, but that’s a whole different issue. Personally the only value I see of an artist using Pinterest is to selling an artists at the lower end of what I call “coffee cup” “calender art”. I absolutely would not even show my fine art online even in my own websites gallery. It is only the serious who will come for a private viewing no matter where they are from and will call if you brand yourself on and off line correctly. My work that I show online now is my decorative art and mural painting. Although it is flattering as it is, I have had 18 occurrences of people copying my decorative art work alone and claiming it as their own that I have had to deal with in the past. And quite frankly I simply don’t have the time to keep up with a couple of hundred pictures posted on Pinterest. So in closing I would have to say it works both ways as to being good and bad it just really depends on what what your goals are and how you use it. Just because I don’t use it to market my fine art doesn’t mean I don’t use it to branding myself as an artist……After all, there is more than one way to paint a cat …..Peace!

  33. says

    ArtMorehead My only response is that images by Picasso, Warhol, Dali, and Van Gogh are ubiquitous. That doesn’t mean their art is less valuable. The common availability of a particular image only drives up the recognition of the artist.

  34. says

    Great article. Pinterest…love hate…like a candy store I get lost in and hours will pass by before I come up for air. I tend not to worry about copyright of my work since I produce far too much. It can be stolen from my blogs or my website so why worry about pinterest and facebook…its all over the place…now if that would equate with sales life would be perfect!!! HAHA

  35. says

     @emilyroseartist Thanks for sharing Emily. I think it’s inconsistent. I’ve definitely seen a lack of links on repins. I’ll reach out to Pinterest again and get clarification on this.

  36. jonni1 says

     @amiria_gale I think the one time when you get no attribution or link is when someone uses the embed code that is beside each image, and uses the image on their own site. If someone pins that image, the new site gets the link, not the one where it originally came from. It’s the embed code that has me most worried, since you could never find out what sites are using your images, or what they’re using them for. But, in spite of my concerns, I have started using Pinterest. I won’t be pinning anyone else’s images, though, until they get the copyright issues straightened out.
    This is one of the most informative articles I’ve read on this issue, by the way. Thanks, Cory.

  37. says

     @jonni1 Excellent observation. Embedding is fraught with its own concerns, but still leaves more upside than down. Glad you liked the article!


  1. […] With such a wide user-base, Pinterest can be a great tool for artists looking to sell their pieces. However, everything comes with pros and cons so it’s always a good idea to do your research before you get started! You can read more of this article here. […]

  2. […] of the visually oriented social site Pinterest has exploded over the past year, and manyartists are using Pinterest to share their work beyond Facebook and […]

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