Pinterest is a social media site that has taken the web by storm. It is now considered the third most popular social media site right after Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest is a simple idea. As you surf the net and spot photos that interest you, you can copy and paste these images to your pinterest “boards” and share them with your friends. The images that you pin automatically link back to the original page where the image was posted from and you also have the option of sharing not only on Pinterest, but on Facebook or Twitter at the same time if you choose to. A “board” is a sort of photo gallery where you group your pinterest images by a subject category of your choosing. People that use Pinterest are known as “Pinners” and people that follow your boards can either “like” or comment on your pins.
One of the aspects of Pinterest that I find interesting is that it has become more of a woman-centric social media hub where men are few and far between. Reported figures put the females at anywhere from 60% to 80% of its users. It is also a media that attracts people who are more visual in their thought processes than analytical. If you have a book that appeals to the female demographic, utilizing Pinterest becomes even more important as part of your writing platform.
If Pinterest is all about images, how can I use it as a writer?
As a former filmmaker and now a writer, I find that images are at the heart of the scenes and characters that I create. Visual thinking is a natural part of the process of what I do as a storyteller. One of the first ways that I used Pinterest is to gather images that would help to inspire the locations, objects and clothing of the characters in my books. I’m currently working on a steampunk science fiction themed novel. In my Pinterest account I have a steampunk board where I pin all images of a steampunk nature that I gather from the web. Not only is this board a place for my personal inspiration of costumes, buildings and motor cars, but it also allows my readers to get an insight of where my stories are percolating from.
I’ve created a board featuring the book covers of my favorite novels that I gathered from Amazon. I’ve written the title and authors with the Pin. I sometimes like to Pin images of my favorite authors in my Writing board along with images of writing tools, famous quotes by authors and other writing related images.
Developing Your Pinterest Writing Platform
Remember, Pinterest is a visual way to link to a website. The goal is to draw in people to your website via your boards. Share your images so that the pictures with the corresponding links will spread out in a viral manner. Not only should you gather images from other sources, you must include images from your own website pages in order to draw click-throughs to your books.
Boards should not only be about you and your book. You want the boards to be a reflection of you as a person. Imbed the image links to your website among other interesting and visually stimulating images from other sources. Good places to find such images are other Pinterest boards, websites, blogs, DeviantArt and photo gallery sites. If you know who created the image, make every attempt to give the artist credit. If you have the skill, create images to Pin. Create boards with descriptive titles and place them in the proper Pinterest categories. Make it easy for your readers to find you. If you have published books, make a board for them and feature it among your other boards.
One of the time honored ways of drawing traffic to your website is to read other blogs and leave comments. You should do the same strategy with Pinterest by leaving comments on other people’s pins or pressing the like button. If you spot an image that would work well on one of your boards, re-pin it and gain attention from the original poster that way. Follow the boards of other writers that inspire you. You do not need to follow all their boards, simply pick the ones that interest you. Incorporate Pinterest into the rest of your writing platform on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ by providing links or shoutouts to boards you find to be excellent. The point is to make as many connections as you can and to spread the love.
I am growing rather addicted to Pinterest and I find that its value to me as a writer is increasing, both as a traffic builder and as a place to gather inspiration for my writing.