Today, I have Janice from Mostly Blogging to show us how authors can use Pinterest to generate traffic and gain readers. Thanks for joining us, Janice!
Pinterest for Authors
If you are going to generate interest in your writing, you need to go where people congregate. According to 2015 statistics, 47 million people, called pinners, use Pinterest.
There are more than 30 million boards with over 750 million pins. Clearly, this platform has potential, but does it have potential for writers to generate new audiences?
Absolutely! This article will tell you how to tap this enormous market in order to get new readers.
While meandering through the blogosphere, I came across a reader’s inquiry to a blogger who had just written an article about Pinterest. The commenter asked if Pinterest had potential for writers.
Immediately my proverbial wheels started spinning. I devised a method that would generate audience interest in writers’ plots using Pinterest boards.
I invented the strategy based on the format for plot structure I used to teach my middle-school English students during their unit on narration.
Step 1: Break down the plot of your story into elements.
Step 2: Many elements comprise the parts of a plot. Make a Pinterest board for each element.
Step 3: Break the plot down even further using the structure of the Brace Map found below.
An example is done using Characters. You would have a board for the characters in your plot. The graphics would show pictures representing the people. Caution: pictures without faces generally perform best on Pinterest.
Therefore, you should think of graphics that would represent your characters. For example, a stethoscope might represent the doctor. Over time, as your writing portfolio increases, you could break your characters into two boards, one for the protagonists and one for the antagonists.
What you want to do is think of each element of your plot. The parts of your plot structure would be the names of your boards, the examples would be the graphics on the boards.
In addition to characters, other Pinterest boards for authors could include
- Rising Action
- Problem Complication
Chris, the Story Reading Ape, asked if I would write a guest post for his site. His audience consists primarily of writers. His blog offers support for them. When I received the invitation to guest post, I wrote up the method, Pinterest for Content Creators, and gave it to his readers as a guest post. Based on the numbers of likes, comments, and reblogs, and Chris’s own praise, the article was enormously popular.
Here are some of the tips from that post:
How to Use Pinterest Boards to Create Interest in Your Writing
The diagram below shows a basic plot structure. If you make a Pinterest board for each element of your plot, you will create and maintain interest in your story.
The exposition of the story establishes the setting—the time and place of your action—and establishes the characters.
- Make an account at Pinterest.com.
- You will have an opportunity to identify yourself as a writer and to give the link to your website.
- Click the + sign to create a Pinterest board.
- Name the board. Use hashtags, so when Pinterest users look for graphics, they can find your board.
- Describe the board as the time your story is set in. Past? Present? Future? Be specific—the Stone Age? The Space Age? The Age of Exploration? You get the idea. Use hashtags in front of key words, so people looking for the images you place on the board can find your pins.
- Find pins to add to the board.
- Go to the search bar and type in the time period in which your story is set.
- When you find graphics that represent your plot’s time-period, click “pin it”. Hovering over the graphic will bring this up.
- Look for an icon of a pencil. Clicking it will bring up an editing function. You want to edit the description of the pin.
- Use hashtags in front of relevant key words.
- You will be asked which board you want to pin the graphic to. Click “Time Period” or whatever you named your board.
- Continue to do this until your “Time Period” board has at least six pins.
- Repeat steps 3 through 6 for your “Place” board.
In the Pinterest search bar, search the place your story is set. You can be as broad or specific as you want. However, the broader the place you identify your setting as on your Pinterest board, the easier it will be to find at least six graphics to pin.
Note when tagging your “place” pins:
“Travel” is one of the nine most common Pinterest hashtags there is. Since your board is about a place, and people travel to places, this is a relevant, and extremely popular, hashtag. Use it when tagging your “place” pins. (Do people travel to places during the action of your story? Remember to tag those pins “travel”.)
- Repeat steps 3 through 6 for your “characters” board.
Is one of your main characters a housewife? Show pictures of housewives. Sue Coletta is a crime writer. If one of her main characters is a homicidal killer, she could pin graphics of killers, for example. [Note from Sue: I do have a serial killer board]
“Kids” and “pets” are also extremely popular trending hashtags. If these are important characters in your plot, be sure to use these hashtags to identify your pins.
My prediction turned out to be correct. The reader whose question was the impetus that led to my devising this process for writers did not have a unique experience. It turned out many writers had no knowledge that Pinterest could help them.
Consider this comment from a reader on Chris’s site, “I thought Pinterest was mainly for posting recipes and pretty pictures. I did not see how it could help me as a writer.”
I was happy that I could come up with a method that could help writers use Pinterest to get new readers interested in their work. My experience ends with a twist. About a month after the publication of my article, I saw almost the exact same method that I thought I had created written on another blog.
The truth is that if an idea is a good idea, it is probable that more than one person will devise it.
*For basic instructions on how to use Pinterest, you might want to consider checking out some of my earlier articles which include Pinterest instructions:
I am Janice from MostlyBlogging.com. If you are looking for more traffic-inducing blogging and social media tips, subscribe to my blog. You will get an invitation to pin to our exclusive group Pinterest board.
What do you think? Will you try using Pinterest this way?