Get the Most Out of Pinterest: 5 Tips

get the most out of pinterest

Do you know how to get the most out of Pinterest?

More social media? No way!

But before you go, did you know that Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than Twitter, Facebook and Google+?

And yes, it takes just 10 minutes a day. If you choose to spend more time, remember – that’s your choice.

What’s Pinterest?

Pinterest is a way for you to use the power of visuals to engage with your readers.

Think of it as a digital scrapbook for collecting images, a visual wonderland, and a haven of inspiration. You create a page on a topic of your choice. Create as many pages as you want, each one fully customizable. Your Pinterest scrapbook’s ready!

How does it work?

It’s no secret that Pinterest is experiencing unprecedented daily growth.

Think about the possibilities for you as an author.

Your Pinterest boards show who you are as a person and as an author, which is the foundation for connecting with your readers. Your boards can create awareness about your books and writing, which in turn can generate interest and drive traffic to your website.

By posting relevant images and articles, you are giving readers a reason and a platform to engage with you. The more they get to know you, the more likely it is that they will visit your website.

Creating an account is easy

You can sign up for Pinterest using your Twitter or Facebook account, or with your email address.

When you create your account, think very carefully about your username as you want to make sure that it ties in with your existing online profile. In other words, be clear on what your brand is: is your brand your book or are you, as an author, your own brand? Whatever the case may be, make sure that your Pinterest account reflects this.

Once you have set up your account, the next thing for you to do is start creating pin boards.

Creating a board is straightforward and involves three simple steps:

1. Select the ‘Create a Board’ option on your account.

2. A box will pop up asking you to add a few details about your board. This is where you give your board a name and a brief description.

3. Click on ‘Save changes’ and you’re done.

Now that you’ve created your board, you need to populate it with images, articles and videos of interest to you. As you catch up on the news, browse through Facebook or socialize on Google+, you will inevitably come across images and articles that interest or appeal to you in some way. When you see this material, take a few moments to pin it to the relevant boards on Pinterest.

You can also populate your boards by re-pinning other people’s pins, but do this in moderation. The key to Pinterest success is to pin original content to your boards, as people will be drawn to something new and interesting.

As with all social media, a little bit everyday goes a long way. I would recommend spending about 10-15 minutes a day adding high quality images to your boards.

5 Tips to get the most out of Pinterest

Now that you’ve set up your account and are ready to start creating your boards, here are 5 tips to help you get the most from your Pinterest experience:

1. Pinterest needs to reflect you

Your Pinterest boards are an expression of who you are  – as a writer and as a person. For example, if you are a sci-fi author and model airplane builder, you could have boards on:

  • Gallery of model airplanes
  • Cringe-worthy model airplane crashes
  • Sci-fi memorabilia
  • Sci-fi book settings
  • My favorite sci-fi books
  • Book brainstorming

For ideas and inspiration, have a look at Kathy Lynn Harris’ boards. Kathy has used her boards to explore her life as an author as well as a puppy-loving, cloud-watching foodie.

Having a number of boards that reflect who you are will make it easier for people to connect with and relate to you. This is crucial to building relationships and attracting readers.

 

2. Tweet, share, and blog about your pins

Now that you have created interesting boards with pictures and infographics (everyone loves a good infographic), don’t let all of that effort go to waste.

Pinterest has made it very easy to share your pins. Why not share your image on Facebook or use it to start a conversation with a relevant group on Google+? Or maybe you’ve just pinned a proposed book cover design to your board. Why not tweet about the book cover and ask people to comment on it?

There is no reason for your pins to get dusty and become neglected on your boards. Use your pins to start a conversation.

Another idea is to pin your blog posts to your boards. For example, if you’ve written a blog post about how to become a more productive writer, pin it to your board. Why should you bother doing this? Because of the snowball effect, of course. If you pin your article to your board, you are exposing yourself to a new audience. Whenever your article is re-pinned, it is exposed to a new audience yet again. And again.

But remember, you can only pin your article to a board if it has an image in it. If you plan to include an image, make sure that it is a good one – the prettier the picture, the more it will get pinned.

Make it easy for readers to pin your article by adding a ‘Pin It’ button to your post. Get the button here.

 

3. Create boards for your characters

You’ve just spent months, or even years, writing your book so you know your characters inside out. Why not use this knowledge to create a board for each of your characters?

Creating a board that explores your character’s obsession with birds, colorful boxes and beaches gives your character a new dimension. In fact, done correctly, it is enough to intrigue people to find out more about who your character is and what makes him/her tick. This in turn has the potential to lead people to your book.

Barbara Brooke has done a wonderful job of exploring her characters on Pinterest. Her board on Paige, a character from her novel Glimmers, is packed with quotes, DIY tips and fashion must-haves that give you a better sense of who Paige is.

 

4. Spread the love

As with all social media, you need to be careful not to bore people with too much self-promotion. A little give-and-take makes all the difference.

It’s important to engage with people on Pinterest. You can do this by ‘liking’ or commenting on other people’s pins.

Another good approach is to create a board recommending books or authors. You would appreciate it if someone did it for you, so why not do the same? Julie Hedlund’s board  “Books worth Reading” is a good example of how to do this.

 

5. A few things you should know

  • Large photos work best. Pinterest is, after all, a visual site.
  • Make sure that your board names are catchy. Having an interesting and original board name will add to its appeal, attracting followers and encouraging discussion. Some examples of great board names are: Addicted to Books, The Art of Reading, Bookish, Literary Places & Spaces, What would [Character name] do?
  • Use hashtags in your image comments or captions as this will improve the chances of your pins being found during web searches. Some hashtag examples include, #IndieAuthors, #RomanceWriter, #SciFiChat, #MustRead, #WritingTips.

 

Pinterest gives authors a subtle and creative way to build a personal brand. It is a creative marketing tool that will gradually boost your online profile. Aside from which, I bet you’ll enjoy using it too.

I’ve shared a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Once you get going, you’ll find dozens more ways to create boards that will help you find your audience using Pinterest. Or maybe you’re already there? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

 

About the author:

Bronwyn Hemus is the co-founder of StandoutBooks, a publishing agency dedicated to helping authors edit, publish and market their books. She would love to hear from you so feel free to reach out to her here.  

Image: Growing flowers courtesy of Bigstockphoto.com

About the author

Bronwyn Hemus

Bronwyn Hemus is the co-founder of StandoutBooks, a publishing agency dedicated to helping authors edit, publish and market their books. She would love to hear from you so feel free to reach out to her here.

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