How to Use Image Bookmarking Sites for Daily Inspiration

The famous "think outside the box" slogan shown inside a light box sitting on a designer chair. Isn't it ironic?

What is image bookmarking and how can it improve your overall creativity? It’s simple. You can use image bookmarking sites like Pinterest for daily inspiration. I do.

Social bookmarking – it’s what legacy social media site Delicious was known for.

Reddit is social news in contrast, while Facebook is social networking. Image bookmarking is one of the best working things when it comes to the wisdom of crowds. Let me explain!


Smart mobs or dumb fake news?

Some social sites tend to collect the lowest common denominator e.g. “funny images”. Only extremely main stream content that is often dumbed down completely goes viral. Initially

social bookmarking really reflected popularity and quality of particular content.

Then it got replaced by Facebook where fake news spread ten times faster than quality content. Of course fake news delivers what we crave.

The others are wrong – we are right. Image bookmarking in contrast is not about bias or agreeing with your peer group.

Pinterest and the likes are about inspiring people. It works very well.

It works even better as you don’t even have to visit the site the image stems from in case you’re busy.

Images that often do not have a source anymore because the site went offline have a second life on Pinterest and sometimes stay popular for years.


How to get inspired by bookmarked images?

As I use Pinterest daily for more than 5 years now I learned to get inspired every single day. First off I chose topics that are always inspiring or reflect my life style and identity.

I pin mostly residential architecture, cycling culture and parkour/freerunning images. I have other boards as well but they don’t seem to cover very popular topics.

I follow the boards (not the people) who share similar images as I do. I look up every day who shared my pins and whether their other pins are inspiring.

Some boards just republish images I have already seen while others also cover topics I’m not interested in. Thus I follow very carefully.

For users who are new Pinterest will suggest images from boards you don’t follow based on the images you pinned or visited already. I switched that feature off because it showed me too many duplicates.


My favorite image bookmarking sites for daily inspiration are:

we heart it
Long before Pinterest became “the thing” we heart it already thrived. I sued it like almost a decade ago. My only problem with it was that it had mainly a teenage audience it seemed to me.

we heart it makes explicit images of barely clad women “unsafe” by default so that you can visit it at work too. “Girl” and “woman” are among the most popular tags.

It’s similar to Pinterest as the audience is rather female. On the other hand the audience is mostly made up from teens and young adults trying to create an online identity.

I couldn’t impress them by collecting images of modern residential architecture. Travel, lifestyle and fashion images worked well in contrast.



Pinterest is of course the number one image bookmarking site for a few years now.

Most people do not even refer to it as image bookmarking because it created a league of its own. For years Pinterest was mostly populated by American women but

these days it reaches an increasingly global and also male audience.

Pinners are usually a bit older than users of we hart it for example.

Think mother (Pinterest) vs daughter (we heart it). Pinterest is perfectly safe for work most of the time and thus also usable by a more mainstream audience.


The pros and cons of image bookmarking

Some people may criticize that it’s content theft due to copyrighted images being displayed on those sites. Maybe.

In many cases I’ve seen images preserved on image bookmarking sites where the original was offline by the time I found it there. So the public has access to an image archive in its truest sense.

SEO 2.0 is about optimization of all kind of media for universal search, social media and beyond.

Appealing to image bookmarking sites is a must use for all people doing something visual.

Don’t do it like “fun bloggers” aka the real content thieves or self promoting graphic designers who exploit these services. SEO 2.0 is based on legitimate usage of social media.


Success in image search

My SEO 2.0 blog was hugely successful on Google Image search. I got more visitors via my image searches than via text based search for many years.

Of course more people are interested in visual content than a niche topic which is also limited to written language, even English.

Indeed I was so popular on Google Image search that I considered partnering with artists, photographers and graphic designers to provide illustrations in exchange for lots of publicity.

Want to get found with your images? Let me use them on the SEO 2.0 blog. I already got some custom illustrations that way.

Last updated: November 9th, 2017.