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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pin my work as DIY, PLEASE!

In which I share my opinion on the "pinning handmade products on Pinterest as DIY" controversy.

Jane* is a crafty person and she luvs Pinterest. She also loves perusing through all the gorgeous handmade items for sale on Etsy. She finds things she likes, says to herself "I can make that!" and pins it to her "DIY" Pinterest board.

Mary is also a crafty person, She makes gorgeous handmade items, and sells them in her Etsy shop. She also loves Pinterest and one day, while frittering away an hour on the site, she sees one of her products. "Yay!" she thinks but then she sees it's tagged "#diy" or "#mustmakethis!" and her heart sinks.

I'm here to reassure Mary she has nothing to worry about...and, in fact, this is actually great for her business.

Jane means no harm. She is admiring a product, believes she can make one for herself, and pins it to her personal Pinterest board...never even considering that anyone could stumble upon her little pin. She's not out to "get" anyone. And she's probably never going to get to that project anyway.

Now, Mary, I am not going to try to sell you on "any publicity is good publicity" but Pinterest publicity IS good publicity, no matter how the pin is presented.  By now I'm sure you know how big Pinterest has become. But here's some statistics:
  • 83% of the U.S. users are women, most between the ages of 35-44 (notation)
  • Referral traffic from Pinterest is HUGE...couldn't find any real numbers for this but, trust me, it's HUGE.
That first bullet is important to note since women between the ages of 35-44 buy stuff. They like cute clothes and toys for their kids and they like cute clothes and jewelry for themselves. They dream about how they want their home to look and the meals they want to cook...but little time to actually do any DIY projects. Those who can, do and those who can't, buy.

Jane is not your customer. She thinks she can do it herself and, most likely, will never buy from you. BUT she has now become your advocate. So ignore the fact that she tagged it "DIY" and concentrate on that little nugget of attention she paid you and comment on her pin ("Thanks so much for the pin! Glad you liked it!"). Then repin that bad boy and note "Look! My organic hand-sewn scrunchy made it to Pinterest! Thanks @Jane". Good karma begets good karma, Repins begets repins.

Some tips for making sure people who see your pinned product will know it's for sale:
  • Add your logo to the image. Doesn't have to be big, just a watermark of some sort so it is seen as a product rather then a personal photo.
  • Add the price. Again, doesn't have to be big but this will certainly clue people in that this item is for sale.
Most people who tag your image on Pinterest as DIY are NOT going to attempt to make one for themselves...whether they're crafty or not. But even if someone does make one, where is the harm really? Be happy that you inspired another crafter to create.**

*Names have been changed...actually these characters are totally fictitious.

**If Jane started making and then selling the item she pinned, I would have a different opinion. But even then, I'm not as militant as some. You did it first, you do it better.


  1. Thank you for pointing out what so many fail to see on this subject. I don't think anyone really means any harm by pinning to DIY boards. I also wanted to thank you for the dozens of digiscrap freebies I've come across and downloaded via your pinterest pins. Your Quality Digiscrap Freebies site is the best!!!! Thanks again!

  2. As a seller on Etsy, I love seeing my items Pinned on Pinterest! Sure, someone may also be able to make what I make, but I believe I offer a great product at a great price, and most who see it and want it will buy it instead of make it. Honestly, most people just do not have the time. I love Pinterest, I love being pinned, and I am ALWAYS pinning Quality Digiscrap Freebies! Thanks for what you do!

    1. Thanks Kim! And you sure have the right attitude about Pinterest!!