Why We Should Talk About Pinterest - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Why We Should Talk About Pinterest

 In Shop Blog, Woodworking Blogs

Hello Pop Wood readers!

My name is Rachel Fountain, I do a lot of the behind-the-scenes, analytical stuff here at Pop Wood (stuff involving an ungodly amount of spreadsheets – I’ll spare you the details).

One of the biggest parts of my job is helping out with our social media accounts, or being a “professional millennial” as I like to call it. Lately, we’ve noticed a bizarre trend in our social media and we thought it was high time we discussed it.

The topic, readers, is Pinterest.

If you’d like my three-sentence explanation of what Pinterest is, please see below.

For the past several months, Pinterest has been our largest traffic source. In other words, more people are arriving at our site from Pinterest than from any other social media platform, and the percentage keeps increasing. Here’s the graph from my April report to show what I mean:

For a site that has a reputation for being all cupcakes and wedding dresses, this is a significant number. And here’s the other thing: the majority of our Pinterest followers are men. Our general audience is usually more men than women, but it’s surprising that this applies to Pinterest, where only 16% of the platform’s total users are male.

For all the data that social media provides, there’s still a whole lot we don’t know. The guys who are interested in our pins may not be subscribers or interact with us anywhere else.

Which leads me to my questions for you, our readers. Do you use Pinterest and if so, how? As a woodworker, what about Pinterest do you like or not like? Respond in the comments!

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

– Rachel Fountain

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social media platform wherein you browse and save “pins”- little pictures that link back to something (article, recipe, online store, etc.) when clicked on. After creating an account, you can browse for pins on Pinterest or make your own. Your pins are organized into “boards” which you create based on topics that interest you.

You can see our Pinterest account here. Below are some examples of our pins.


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Showing 17 comments
  • abt

    As others have noted, often times when searching for a furniture type in Google, and you want an image of the furniture, Pinterest is usually two or three (or more) of the top hits. If you click on images, often too, you’ll end up on a Pinterest image when you choose one. As Pinterest is the mothership of all (‘curated’) images, it’s no surprise that you get a lot of traffic from the site.

    I don’t use Pinterest as I got rid of all my social media accounts about a thousand years ago (internet time), as if you were paying attention to the details, you could see the privacy and security issues coming. Maybe the GDPR will help. Maybe, but I won’t be back. In any case, Pinterest ‘shutters’ you down if you look at too many pages, though it’s got less insistent for membership over the past year, but again, I don’t use it anymore.

  • Shawn Nichols

    I’ve been a huge fan of Pinterest for years. It’s all but eliminated my google image searches (at least for design and DIY ideas). I also use it with clients (i.e. family and friends). We share a board and come to terms on ideas. I don’t really follow other boards though…maybe I’m missing something.

    • David Lyell
      David Lyell

      Shawn! I’ve been wondering where you’ve been in the comments!

  • gregworks

    I use Pinterest to generate ideas and to start research on a project. I use Facebook MUCH more often, even for woodworking info, but Pinterest really helps when you’re trying to nail down an idea.

  • Toddcomt

    I use Pinterest mostly for woodworking shop ideas – and have several boards, but I dont login routinely. I have boards for ideas like Tool Storage, Turning, Workshop Organization. I also love to travel and cook, so have related boards like Apps, Breakfast, Entree, Sides. However, pins related to woodworking and tools by far win in number. I’ve done this for a few years.

  • Brent

    I like Pinterest, it is nice way to bucket list ideas of things that you may want to do later. It also creates rabbit holes of interesting things to look at that would be a broader than I was looking for originally. The problems I have is whenever the picture doesn’t link back to the article. Example a none of the American woodworker links back anymore they all just die on your site. Also it seems like a majority of the woodworking projects were injected by the woodarchivist or some variation of that spam site. Example, if you search for Roy Underhill’s Mystery Mallet none of the pins lead to your site. Either lead lead to a blogger document has build or that spam site. I will also say one of the most popular things that I pinned to be repinned and is your five dollar router plane article.

    • Rachel Fountain

      Thanks for the feedback, Brent. I agree – Pinterest is rare in that falling down rabbit holes can actually yield better results than what you were looking for in the first place!

      Broken links and spam sites are the bane of a Pinterest user’s existence. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.

  • Longfatty

    I search for images on Google and many are linked through Pinterest. I will navigate through Google, to a Pinterest picture, to the real home of the picture to get more information. I don’t use Pinterest any other way, I don’t have an account. I’m not actually sure how the platform works.

    Pinterest does create some duplicates in my Google searches but most of the results are things I might not see any other way because they are categorized differently or because they might be farther down on the results list. It also works the other way, where some unrelated or unintended pictures I’m not interested in come in through Pinterest, but with pictures it’s easier to scroll through the junk.

  • C. Stanley Plane

    If your creative ideas are produced by an algorithm, it does not seem very creative.

  • Jonas Jensen

    I think that C. Stanley Plane has nailed it pretty well in describing how the traffic ends up on your page.

    JupiterJesus describes very well my own feelings when I see something is marked as a Pinterest image. There is little pint in clicking because if you haven’t got an account, the page will be cevered when you try to scroll down and see if there was any more of interest..

    I always visit your page directly, so I can’t tell you how other people have gotten here.

    A different topic is that I used to get a steady amount of traffic from your page to my blog, but that has almost disappeared. I have a pretty good idea why that is: The Popular woodworking blog network list hasn’t been updated in something like 3 or 4 years.
    Roughly half the blogs that are on the list are no longer active, so if a person tries to click on a blog, and ends up somewhere with the latest update in 2014, it is quickly assumed that the rest of the blogs are pretty dead too.
    I sent in a suggestion a couple of years ago, to get the list updated, but nothing has happened.


  • Schnitz

    As someone who recently got started building things with wood (dare not call what I do woodworking), Pinterest provides numerous boards for a beginner to learn and build new projects. When you are still in the “I don’t know what I don’t know” phase, there are tons of projects and plans for all levels…one’s that get me further interested and moving on to another project. When you have the plans and the pics to accompany, Ana White and other folks make it seem so easy! Do I

    And as my wife (who is communications/PR) notes, when done properly, Pintersst drives traffic!!!! (But y’all know that!)

  • JupiterJesus

    While i couldn’t possibly disagree more with c Stanley plane about men and words, his Google images comment is exactly what I came to say. I avoid Pinterest in general, but Google images is great for project ideas, especially if you have something half formed in your head without a name.

    I usually do not click on the Pinterest Google results, though. They always just lead to something that already exists elsewhere in the results, so why click into Pinterest, log in (I don’t have an account), then click through when the direct pop woodworking link is one row down and three columns over? That’s just me though, i guess.

  • BillMurray

    You can actually (and almost have to put) “-Pinterest” into your searches to get anything useful these days. Pinterest has mastered search engine optimization, put the majority of their content is repititous or poor quality, and the sites pinned are designed to catch eyeballs and ad revenue.

    What percentage of your traffic coming from Pinterest results in multiple page views or commerce?

    • Rachel Fountain

      We could definitely learn a lot from Pinterest in terms of search engine optimization. Several commenters have rightly pointed out that the high percentage of traffic could be contributed to our pins showing up in Google image results. Pinterest is also really helpful in terms of keyword/trend research.

      It looks like the average visitor from Pinterest to our site views 1.30 pages. As far as commerce goes, I’m still drilling into that!

  • C. Stanley Plane

    It could be a result of people searching Google images for ideas. A good percentage of pictures on a Google image search leeds you to Pinterest. Since there is so little information on a Pinterest “pin”, the person doing the search has no choice but visit the original source to learn more. Pinterest could be described as a giant fish net that if done right, directs people to your web site

    One popular theory on the uptick of guys…. Most men don’t want to be bothered with a bunch of words. Just shown them a picture!

  • captainjack1024

    I frequently go to Pinterest to get ideas for a project I’m designing, on about an equal footing with Google images. Most of my searches on the latter lead me to Pinterest anyway, however. I make everything from basic furniture to toys and other wood gifts, and Pinterest does a good job of collating ideas from around the web. When I find something that catches my eye that I want to adapt or study further, I click through, which often brings me back here. 🙂

  • GaryPetersen

    I do use Pinterest, but just barely. I have an account and have followed several boards, but the only time I’ve spent on the site is in briefly exploring new board suggestions sent to me from Pinterest. I’ve not spent any time exploring pins, pinning things myself or in keeping up with new pins added on the boards I’ve followed. I just haven’t taken the time.

    Understanding that such a high percentage of traffic to your site is coming from your Pinterest pins means I should probably rethink that, however. Thank you for posting the information. It is helpful.

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