Best practices for authors on Pinterest: 4 ways to build a relevant following

This is a post by Novel Publicity staff member, Eliabeth Hawthorne

If you’re a writer (blogger or author) and you’re not utilizing Pinterest, you should be. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is based around following interests rather than people. It is designed to help you connect with followers who like your content without the distractions of virtual farms and relationship updates if you know how to use it effectively.

1. Create a network; don’t just pin from your own site.

There’s no magic ratio, but try to pin from your own content 20–40 percent of the time. If it’s too much less, you’re not going to drive much traffic to your material even if people are interacting with your pins. If it’s too much more, it comes off as an advertisement. This should apply to your pinning as a whole, not each board. For example, I have one board comprised entirely of creative writing prompts from our blog, but to even it out, I have other boards comprised almost entirely of repins, or pins from other sites. Surf Goodreads for book covers or repin book memes if you’re in need of material.

2. Find creative ways to stick to your brand.

As cute as puppies are, having 300 people following a board about puppies isn’t going to promote a book review blog. That doesn’t mean you can’t repin that teacup puppy or ombre nail polish design, it just means you have to find a creative way to make it relevant. One of the easiest ways to do this is to create a board for each of your main characters. Does one of your female characters like dramatic eye shadow? Do you have a character who lives for fast cars? You’re more likely to get repins than followers with this method because someone interested in cars may repin a few of your pins but not be interested in the rest of the board. Be patient. With time, you’ll find people are interested in more than just a smattering of pins; they’re interested in the character and may discover your book or blog because of it.

3. Let your followers know you’re on Pinterest.

If people don’t know you’re on Pinterest, they can’t follow you. Put a follow button with the other social links on your blog if you can.

4. Include a Pin It button on at least some of your blog posts.

If you’re not already using visuals on your blog, start. Find a free stock photo website (we use sxc.hu) and add a picture to a relevant blog post once a week. It encourages your readers to publicize your blog and do some of the work for you. The pins that have driven the most traffic to our site have all been pins from other people. We host a weekly creative writing exercise with inspiration pulled from an image called Picture it & Write. Keeping consistent and putting the Pin It button on our most engaging posts per week gives us the most return for the effort.

Don’t be discouraged if it takes time to develop a following, and don’t repin popular pins just to try to gain followers. Having hundreds of followers who follow a board for fancy braids is not as valuable as twenty followers who consistently share your content with their followers.

 

eliabethAbout this post’s author:

Eliabeth Hawthorne is the author of Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson. Eliabeth can be reached via email, TwitterFacebookGoodReads, or Google+.  She and her coauthor Ermisenda Alvarez write about books, life, and everything in between on www.ermiliablog.wordpress.com. She is also an assistant here at Novel Publicity!