Using Pinterest With a Purpose

Thursday, May 09, 2013
A photo from my "Travel Writing" Pinterest Board.

I’ll admit when I first started hearing about Pinterest, I thought, “great, another social media outlet for me to learn how to use and further fuel my teeny-tiny problem with procrastination!” I stubbornly refused to check it out for a few months, thinking that what from what I saw on Facebook people mostly used it to get home décor, craft and recipe ideas. (For those who haven’t discovered Pinterest yet, it’s basically a site where users can create virtual boards and “pin” images to them on a number of topics.)

When I started hearing about other writers promoting their Pinterest pages, I begrudgingly decided to poke around a little and see if it could benefit me in any way.

Here are some ways I’ve seen other writers use Pinterest:

1. Bloggers/writers can showcase products/books they are giving away on their blogs.
2. Authors can feature their book covers and promote new releases.
3. Writers share photos of their writing spaces and include images from their daily lives (books they read, shots of coffee and teacups, inspirational quotes, etc.)
4. Freelance writers can take snapshots of their magazine clips and create a board as sort of an online portfolio.
5. Bloggers can drive traffic to their blogs by pinning photos from their posts on Pinterest and including a link back to the blog.

So as you can see, Pinterest can be a very useful tool, whether you are a published author, freelance writer, aspiring novelist or a social media maven. I started out by creating virtual pinboards for my two works-in-progress as opposed to cutting out pictures from magazines. I included photos of the towns where the stories take place and even pinned photos of a few actors I would cast in the movie version of my books. (Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?) I also pinned photos created from song lyrics, because I have many playlists I use when writing fiction.

I also had an “aha!” moment where I created a board called “Travel Articles.” I uploaded photos that I’ve used with my travel pieces and included a link to a blog post I wrote on that topic. Since I first started using Pinterest, I’ve come up with even more ways to use Pinterest to promote my writing but they will have to be put on the backburner until I have more time to execute the ideas.

Are you on Pinterest? What do you use it for? I’ve love to hear how you’ve used it to promote your writing or provide inspiration for your fiction/nonfiction.

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who blogs at Renee’s Pages.


Unknown said...

Timely post for me. Pinterest was one of the final frontiers of social media I was willing to delve into. It can be such a time sucker. But I have read a couple posts now about its use for writers. And actually, it seemed like one of the more fun ways to go.

I have been very deliberate with the boards I create and the posts I pin. I do have links to my publications, if available online. (I believe I have one to the Muffin!) I don't even think I have any followers yet; that's my next step. Thanks for the inspiring ideas-- I'm on the lookout for new boards and ways to have fun and promote my writing.

Now... if I can avoid getting caught up in furniture made with wooden pallets and 101 ways to style my hair,I should be set to go!

Renee Roberson said...

I hear you, Julie! I got sucked into looking at home decor ideas the other day and lost at least a half an hour! But there really are so many different ways to use it that I am just getting started. I don't have a lot of followers right now nor do I follow many people on Pinterest, but I'm sure that will change eventually. I don't consider myself a visually talented person but this is an easy way for me to create and visualize my work on a whole other level.

Margo Dill said...

I use it for personal and professional reasons, and I love Pinterest, but I try not to spend too much time on it. I have a board called WRITING LIFE and I try to post helpful writing sites/articles/posts/books on there. I have one about BOOKS that have a lot of our WOW! authors and my blog authors on there. Then I have one called MY BOOKS where I post things about my books--pictures kids have drawn me, notes they have written me, Civil War stuff, etc.

I have seen authors use them as inspiration for what they think their characters look like. Actually one of our touring authors, Jadie Jones, has a great set of Pinterest boards for her characters.

Tammi Booth said...

Thank you for sharing your good ideas for using Pinterest as a writer. I'm a Pinterest fan, but have been unsure how to use it to generate interest in my writing. This article is very useful.

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