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

    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.

    • John Sank says:

      I really like your articles that you have the share. Yes, of course, Pinterest is a popular social networking site. From pinterest you can get maximum traffic for your blog.

    • nd sheth says:

      This is the best post I have ever seen on how writers can use Pinterest! I now see what’s wrong with the boards I have up there ..
      thanx for sharing..

      • I am glad that it is useful Nd Sheth. I hope that your Pinterest boards gain increased activity and engagement.

    • aakash says:

      Absolutely, as soon as you have set up your account, all you will need is 10 minutes a day to make Pinterest work for you. Aside from benefitting you as an author, it is also quite good fun.
      nice post..

    • Hello friends, how is thhe whole thing, and what youu want to
      say regarding this paragraph, in my view its in fact remarkable designed forr me.

    • Janet Nuckolls says:

      Wow, you’re absolutely correct – my immediate reaction to this article title was OH PLEASE NO. While I find all these new tools to communicate interesting, they’re also time eaters. But Pinterest is huge and a lot of fun. So thank you very much for these original and wise ideas. I’m on the precipice of being published and looking for any and every way to reach out. Definitely going to create a character page for my heroine. Thanks again!

      • You are so welcome Janet.

        I understand your concerns regarding time but try and think of Pinterest as part of your collective social media plan as opposed to an extra task.

        In other words, if you pin an interesting image to one of your Pinterest boards, share that image on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. Re-sharing your ideas and images will save you time while still achieving that all important exposure.

        Wishing you all the best!

    • Johnw says:

      yes of course pinterest is the most popular social networking site. And if you maintain your account properly you can get maximum traffic from it.

      • I couldn’t agree more John. As is the case with all social networking platforms, consistency leads to success and maximum exposure. A little every day goes a long way.

        • Johnw says:

          Hey Bronwyn, i am fully agree with you and same thing i am trying to say that to get success in any social networking campaign we have to give some time consistently. May be it is long way but once you become popular you will definitely get more benefit from it.,

    • Mary Lynn says:

      Thanks, Bronwyn!

    • I am happy, to know that Pinterest, as a visual site, is so worthy, to expose aspiring authors.
      I am a writer, Gboyega_Ogunmola-Writer,
      I have the intention, with passion, for better posts, especially, for my exposure, through visibility, or more traffic, to the website.
      I tried different ideas, to reach my audience, but I could be expecting performance, through result-oriented approaches, to comprehend this effort, so far.
      I appreciate the knowledge of visualizing daily, on Pinterest, as a social media platform, as a productive idea.
      Thank you, for writing this valuable post.

    • Dems says:

      Thanks, I must confess that before reading this post I did not know that Pintrest drives so much traffic. You got me going already on Pintrest. 10 mins a day or at least every other day.

      • Glad I could help Dems.

        10 minutes a day or at least every other day should do the trick. Let me know when you are up and running on Pinterest so that I can stop by and have a look at your boards.

    • This is a very useful post. I’m just in the process of setting up some Pinterest boards as a way of connecting with potential readers of my books
      I always wondered what the attraction of Pinterest was until I went and started to investigate and found out how addictive it is. My problem will be dragging myself away after ten minutes!

      • I completely understand Robin, Pinterest is extremely addictive so tearing yourself away after ten minutes is actually the hard part 🙂

    • This was a well-timed post! I’d just been considering doing a Pinterest page to screw around with, and wasn’t sure which blog to use it for (this writing blog,or my dog blog). Maybe I’ll do both, once I get my….well, it isn’t sea legs. You get what I mean.

      Thanks for this!

      • You’re welcome Jen, I’m glad that you found this post useful. Pinterest is loads of fun so I am sure that you will enjoy it.

    • To build an audiance there is a lots of way to build it but my favorite one is facebook fanpages if u have big pages on facebook related your niche than unlimited traffic eager to hit your site.

      • I agree Mehul, Facebook is a very useful tool for authors, especially for targeting specific reader demographics. Pinterest differs from Facebook in that it gives you the opportunity to express yourself through your boards which is the foundation for building relationships.

    • Jackie Hinton says:

      loved this post i have a pinterest page and its doing pretty good , I’m an aspiring i try to have my boards reflect what my niche is and that’s personal development,spiritually,inner peace, inner calm,meditations.widh me luck on my journey.

      • Hi Jackie,
        I have just had a look at your Pinterest boards and you have some really interesting topics and ideas.

        As you are an aspiring writer, you may want to check out our DIY Publishing Tips board here: as we have pinned a number of articles and ideas that may be of some use to you.

        Wishing you all the best.

    • This is the best post I have ever seen on how writers can use Pinterest! I now see what’s wrong with the boards I have up there — and thanks to the specific examples you give I also see ways to improve them to reflect what I do (urban dark fantasy) and who I am. It seems ss if Pinterest is really made for the worlds of the imagination.

      • Hi CJ,

        Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post, I am so pleased that you have found it useful.

        I love Pinterest because your imagination can run riot with the board names, descriptions and of course with the pins. It’s a great tool for any author looking to explore their books in a more visual way.

    • Great tips! I need to get on Pinterest! I especially love the idea of creating boards for your characters. That would really get people interested in your book.

      • Thanks Jessica.
        On a different note, I have had a look at your blog and I must say, you have written some very interesting articles with some useful tips on story craft.

    • I would be very interested to know if any authors have used Pinterest to their advantage, for example, to attract people to their blogs and /or sell their books. It seems to me that Pinterest is exclusively a visual medium, somewhat like Squidoo, and would not have much affinity with book readers. I would love to be proved wrong. Has anybody any empirical evidence that Pinterest is of proven value to authors?

      • Hi John,

        Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post. I understand your concern and as such, I would like to share the following with you which may help to put the power of Pinterest into context.

        At the beginning of the year, social media analytics firm, Simply Measured, conducted a study of Pinterest users. They found that Pinterest is still driving more traffic to websites and blogs than Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or YouTube. In addition to this, one in five Pinterest users have purchased something they’ve seen on the site, and when they do buy, they spend twice that of Facebook buyers.

        These statistics make for interesting reading as they highlight the potential for authors that use Pinterest as part of their online marketing platform.

    • This is excellent I haven’t done much on pinterest but this article is a good explanation of why I need to make time.

      10 minutes you say? hmmmmmmm sounds like something worth trying.

      What about instagram I have been hearing a ton about this image platform would you say pinterest sends more traffic thatn instagram?

      • Hi Darnell,

        Absolutely, as soon as you have set up your account, all you will need is 10 minutes a day to make Pinterest work for you. Aside from benefitting you as an author, it is also quite good fun.

        To answer your question, Pinterest does send more traffic than Instagram. I have not used Instagram extensively so I would also be interested in hearing about anyone else’s experiences with it as a marketing tool.

        • Last I checked, Instagram drives about ZERO traffic. It is better for building a network internally within the platform. Unlike Pinterest, you cannot link Instagram photos to external sites.

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