How Writers Can Use Pinterest

Thursday, December 13, 2012
Way back in March, I wrote a post about Pinterest.  At that time, I had been contemplating using it to save images to use in my research.  Given potential copyright issues, I decided it just wasn’t worth the bother.

That was then.  This is now.

I still don’t use Pinterest to save images found while researching various writing projects.  Instead, I use it to pick new topics.  After these projects are published, I use Pinterest to attract new readers.


If you aren’t familiar with Pinterest, members visit this site to do image searches on anything that interests them.  There are categories for Animals, History and Science and Nature.  You can also do keyword searches.

When I am researching new topics, I click on “Popular.”  Granted, this isn’t as focused as a search on Photography or Weddings, but it does tell me what people are Pinning (this is the Pinterest term for copying an image to your own page, called a Board).

One of my primary writing gigs is for  If I click on Popular and see numerous pins that involve initials or various words or blocks of text used in craft activities, I brainstorm something along these lines for grader school students.  The same goes for string art, polymer clay and food served in ice cream cones.

Pinning Down New Readers

Once publishes my activities, I Pin the images back to my own boards.  I have a board for Activities and Crafts and another for Science Projects.  Because I took the photos and link back to, with their permission, there aren’t any issues with who owns what and thus no copyright hang ups.  And, if someone repins an image to their own board, that’s more traffic driven our way.

I don’t stop there.  I’ve been taking a lot of nature photos to use in my blog posts about writing.  A board labeled, obviously enough, Nature Photos links back to my personal blog.  Another board, What I’ve Been Reading, links back to either my book review blog or my personal writing blog.  On days someone repins one of my photos, I see a bump up in traffic.

What if you don’t write book reviews or crafts?  Then think about what you do write.  If you write fiction, where is your novel set?  If it is a real place, and it is someplace that you visited and took research photos, then put up a board.

Maybe you took scads of photos of clothing and furniture so that you’d be certain to get period details right.  Create a board.

Food.  Animals. Health and Fitness.  Geek.  All of these and more are categories on Pinterest. Not that this has to limit you in any way.  After all, people can find you with a keyword search.

Get out your camera.  Brainstorm about your book and start promoting yourself.


Author Sue Bradford Edwards blogs at One Writers's Journey.


Unknown said...

I love Pinterest, the only problem is it is the WORST time eater of all social media (for me), I just can't stop and then I've lost all my spare time.

You've given me some great ideas for next time I dare to sign in.

Sioux Roslawski said...

SueBE--I'm in complete agreement with Kirstie. I hate finding yet another reason to get onto Pinterest. It's addicting. And dangerous. But I will try. I'm finishing a piece set in the swamp. Perhaps I'll see if I can go for a visit...via Pinterest.

Anonymous said...

I used to hang out in Pin a lot but I didn't like the "thing-lust" factor it created in me or others. I also am wary of the copyright issues. But I think you outlined some very practical ways to use it I hadn't thought of. I appreciate that and may recreate my profile.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I'm with you on the 'thing lust' issue. But I also found that now that I've found set ways to use Pinterest, I can look at some of the other things and think "not for me."

Sioux and Kirstie,
I dodge the time factor by getting on Pinterest when I only have so much time. Dinner's in the oven (and there's a timer on) or we are about to go some place. Instant cut off!


Margo Dill said...

I've been experimenting with Pinterest, too. I've been using it mostly in two ways as a writer--one: pinning BOOKS WORTH READING--things we promote here on WOW! that I reviewed/enjoyed AND on my own blog, too as well as what I see others recommend. Then the other way I've been using it is creating a board for my book: Finding My Place. I'm not as good at finding things to pin here since it is set in the Civil War, but so far, I've found a few and managed to pin them to hopefully helpful posts. Personally, I love the recipes and funny sayings on there. But I admit, I haven't made ONE recipe from Pinterest yet. :)

Angela Mackintosh said...

Another useful idea I've seen writers do is use Pinterest as a portfolio for their clips. WOW columnist Allena Tapia has a great one ("My Writing Work"), and she pins her monthly articles we create on WOW because of the awesome header artwork (if I do say so myself, lol). :)

Great post, Sue! It has me thinking about things I can do with the platform. Charlene Oldham wrote an article that has some fantastic advice as well: How to Promote with Pinterest

LuAnn Schindler said...

Great ideas that I'm going to try to implement. Thanks, Sue!

Angela, I hadn't thought about including clips. **Wheels turning now**

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