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SALT LAKE CITY -- Lizzy Early is a college student at BYU and created the cooking blog "Your Cup of Cake." While at first it was just for fun, it's now become a money-maker — thanks in large part to the social networking site Pinterest.
"It really started to get huge," Early said. "Seventy-five percent of my viewership is from Pinterest directly, which is pretty insane and crazy just to know that because of Pinterest my business is where it's at today."
Pinterest is a visual-bookmarking site that allows people to build collections of photos, or pins, that hyperlink to sites. Once a pin is created by a user, the pin is then categorized by the user according to which pin board they add it to, and it is shared with the user's friends on the site. Friends and other users can then repin the photo to their pin boards, giving them access to it again at any time. Recipes, home decor, and fashion are popular categories on the site, giving businesses like Early's a leg up. Early says in just one day she can post a picture of her newest recipe and it will be pinned thousands of times.
"If you are a small business that has great images to post, then you don't have to do anything," Early said. "You just sit back and watch the numbers go up."
Early says the first Pinterest posts of her recipes were put on the site by someone else, and she took notice when they started going viral and sending a lot of web traffic her way. Before then she didn't even know what the site was.
According to the research and web analytics site comScore, in January alone there were close to 12 million unique users on Pinterest browsing. They also say the average user spent 98 minutes browsing through the online posts.
The president of the Social Media Club of Salt Lake City John Hopkins says Pinterest is still far behind social media sites such as Facebook, but that it's something for businesses to keep an eye if it continues to grow.