Pinterest is a fantastic tool for writers. I use it to collect story inspiration, save writing prompts, and keep track of interesting articles and tips for writing. I know a lot of other writers do that, too, but I don’t think many writers realize what a valuable promotional tool Pinterest can be for attracting new readers.
A couple months ago, I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw this image:
It caught my eye, so much so that I ordered the book into the library even though I rarely read Christian fiction. I didn’t like it well enough to read the rest of the series, but this story does illustrate the power a good image can have on Pinterest. I’ve adapted the idea for my new short story collection Women of Kern:
If we’re going to use Pinterest as part of our marketing, then that means we need to attract followers. Last week someone asked me how I get follows on Pinterest. My first reaction was “I don’t know — it just sort of happens.” But as I thought more about it, I realized that I have been pretty successful on Pinterest and I can share tips for how things got that way. I thought these tips might be helpful to other writers as well, so I’m sharing them here:
- Pin quality content. You can use Pinterest just for yourself (pinning story ideas, saving some articles) but if you want to use it to market your writings you need to pin things other people are interested in as well. Also, don’t just pin indiscriminately — take the time to make sure things you repin link to the articles they’re supposed to.
- Pin frequently. I try to pin every day, or at least every other day. If you can, pin several times throughout the day rather than pinning a huge amount all at once.
- Follow other people, especially other writers and the sort of readers who might be interested in your stories. Depending on their account settings, they might see a notification that you followed them and check out your page.
- Create original content. Most people just pin things they found on Pinterest, so if you’re creating original content you’re going to stand out. You can make image with quotes from your work, like the examples I’ve already mentioned. And any time you write a blog post or update people on your writings include a pinable image. Make sure any images you create have your website (or your username if you don’t have a website) on them so people can find you from the image. Case in point:
Use Your Boards
- Sort your boards. People don’t like cluttered Pinterest pages. They’re more likely to follow you if they can quickly see which boards they’d be interested in, so put your most compelling boards at the top of your page. Pinterest’s new “sections” feature makes it easy to trim-down the number of boards and organize things within boards.
- Keep at least 50 to 100 pins on a board. My smallest public board has 39 pins, and it’s a “what if …” board for a specific story I’m developing. The boards most people follow have over 200 pins.
- Use private boards. If you’re working on building a new board, you can keep it secret until you have more pins. You can also hide boards that you don’t want followers to see yet, like when you’re first gathering ideas for a new story.
- Join/start group boards. It’s a good way to connect with other writers and spread your pins around to a larger audience. Some boards let you request an invitation, while others have to invite you. You can also start a group board and invite other writers. I run two group boards, which you’re welcome to join:
Focus Your Account
- Sign up for a business account. If you already sell your stories or intend to in the future, you can switch from a personal to a business account. That gives you more options for customizing your page, access to analytics, and it looks more professional.
- Consider making two accounts — one for writing and one for personal. I have things related to writing, my story ideas, marketing, books, etc. on my author account. Clothes I want, home decor, DIY ideas, home decorating, and things like that go on my personal account.
- Link to your website. If you have an author website (and you proabaly should), make sure it’s linked to your Pinterest account. Be sure to verify your website so you can access Pinterest analytics about what people save from your site.
- Write a great description. You don’t have much space for your bio, so make the most of it. Say who you are, what you write, and maybe throw in a personal detail.
I hope these tips help! If you have any others tips that you’ve picked up while using Pinterest, please add them in the comments.
Also, I hope you’ll leave a comment here with a link to your Pinterest profile so I can see what you’re doing with Pinterest. You can visit my own Pinterest page and follow me by clicking here.