Since than I've had lots of questions about Pinterest, and have been frantically pinning away myself - all in the interest of research, of course. Although I'll be delighted if I happen to have pinned my way to any prizes along the way.
If you've not used Pinterest before, the first step you should take is to read my post "It's time to take an interest in Pinterest" which I wrote last May. The competitions listed in it have long since closed but the rest of it is still relevant.
Once you have set up your account, your main question will be
How do I find competitions to enter on Pinterest?
The best way of all is to find and follow other compers. Like other social media, news of what's happening spreads from user to user, so the more compers you follow the better your chance of spotting competitions.
You are welcome to follow me - here is a link to my profile page Now, you will find that I use Pinterest a lot for craft, so if you aren't interested in seeing my craft pins, I suggest you follow me then go to the boards "Craft" and "Craft 2" and unfollow those. If you really only want to see my competition pins, the board you need is "The Best of the Web" NOT my Grape Vine board. On The Best of the Web you will find my pin-to-win entries, if the competition instructions don't say they have to be pinned to a specific board, pins from competitions on websites and blogs where pinning a picture of the prize is one of the entry routes and instruction pins from competitions I have found, whether I've entered them or not, even if the entry has to be made via a different board. The Grape Vine board has just a few pins on it - feel free to use these to practise repinning and commenting on pins. That's what they are there for!
Unfortunately you can't organise the people you follow into groups, like you can on Facebook and Twitter, so if you want to see what your friends are entering you need to either check regularly or save their profile pages in your own bookmarks.
If you want to try searching for new competitions, your first move might be to try Pinterest search - that's the search box on the top left of the page. However that will bring up all sorts of results that don't help you - out of date competitions, foreign competitions, sandcastle building competitions, infographics about competition between different businesses - you're likely to be exhausted before you find anything to enter!
Rather more useful is Twitter search - search for "Pinterest competition". It is a bit unpredictable - I tried it twice while writing this and once I found several current competitions, the second time the most recent result was six months old!
So for me it is back to good old Google, where you can search for "Pinterest competition" or "pin to win" and then use the Search Tools menu to narrow it down to UK only sites and results from the last week or month, so you will see the most current competitions.
Now you've found some competitions to enter, here are some tips on entering, compiled with the help of @_NaomiK_ from Twitter, who has won THREE creative competitions on Pinterest recently, so she knows what she's talking about!
- Read the instructions! If you are asked to use a specific board title and/or hashtag, make sure you DO use them and that you spell them correctly. If you don't follow those important instructions, your entry won't be counted.
- Don't pin rival products. If a brand has asked you to create a board for your competition entry, it's good manners not to pin other brands' products on to your entry. (Goodness, the number of times I must have fallen foul of that one!)
- Concentrate on brands you really love. When you create your board, your passion will show.
- Check that it really IS a current competition. Closing dates are not always given, but if you go to the original pin on the promoter's board and click on it, right at the top of the pin it will tell you how long ago it was uploaded. If it is more then a month or so ago, the competition is likely to have closed. You can get a general idea of the age of a pin or board by noting that on a person's profile page, the newer boards are added at the bottom, but on a board the newer pins are added at the top.
- Repin the right pin. In Repin-to-win competitions, make sure you don't repin another comper's pin. You need to work your way back through the Pinterest trail, clicking on the pin or links above and below it, until you find your way to the promoter's original board. If the pin has been repinned several times, it can be a meandering trail but it's the only way of being sure you have entered.
- Favour competitions where the promoter has some way of contacting you. If you just repin a pin, the only way they can really tell you who has won is to comment on their own pin, so you have to keep going back to check it. The best ones have a link to a form for you to fill in with a link to your board and your contact details, or ask you to tweet or email them a link to your board. If they've not thought out a straightforward way to contact you, they could end up having problems getting hold of the winners, as this lady found out after running her first Pinterest competition.
- If you are creating a board but are worried other people may copy it or repin your pins you can use one of your "secret" boards at the bottom of your profile page to create the board, changing it to a public one when you are ready to enter the competition and submit the URL. Don't forget to make it public before submitting it though!