Pinterest Marketing, Today’s #AuthorToolboxBlogHop Tip

Pinterest Marketing for Authors

Pinterest marketing is one of the most effective but overlooked social media tools for writers and other artists.www.cherylsterlingbooks.comHello and welcome to my first entry into the #AuthortoolboxBlogHop, a monthly blog hop where authors can share tips about writing, marketing, publishing, and anything else writing related. Pinterest marketing is my number one tip , generating most of my website’s traffic.

Pinterest is one of the most effective but overlooked social media tools for writers and other artists.  It’s not all pretty images for bored housewives and soon-to-be-brides.

I’ve used Pinterest for years, back when you had to email an application and wait for approval. I didn’t get serious about using it to market my books and brand until September, 2016, when I signed up for Summer Tannhauser’s Free Pinterest course.

The day I completed the five day course, I had 73 Pinterest followers. As I write this (Saturday, April 15th, because I like to be ahead in my blogging schedule), I have 1,241. Quite a leap, yes?

As I’m pinning my blog entries (you do that, right?), and I’m taking part in the #AtoZChallenge in April, I’m pinning daily content from my blog, increasing the number of people who visit my website.

Some of the things I’ve learned:

  • Obviously, set up a Pinterest account.

Make it a business account. Go here for instructions. If you have an existing account, you can convert it in a few simple steps.

      1. Why a business account? You’ll have access to analytics. Over time, Pinterest will show your profile’s growth, who your audience is, and what type of pins they click on. From this information, you can narrow down your audience and tailor future pins. You’ll also be able to run Pinterest Ads.
      2. When you set up a business account, you will be asked to confirm your website. This involves adding a string of code to your website’s header section. If you—like me—break out into a cold sweat at the thought of coding, WordPress has a plugin that will make it easier. Install it, add the code, then go back to Pinterest and click on Finish.
  • Set up or edit your Profile

      1. Use a business name relevant to your industry. Add keywords. If you’re Joe Smith and you sell guitars, Joe’s Rocking won’t show up on searches. Joe’s Fine Guitars or Joe’s Guitars for Sale will generate more traffic.
      2. Upload a photo of you, a candid shot with a white or solid color background. It should be one you use on all social media profiles. A face is relatable to your followers.
      3. Add your website URL and a description of who you are, who you serve and what you provide (in a conversational tone, of course). A surprising number of profiles I’ve visited are titled something like “Carol’s Page” and have no description. This is valuable real estate—take advantage of it. Pinterest marketing couldn’t be any easier! Check out my profile page here.
  • Pinterest boards

      1. Set up several boards related to your field.I recommend 10-15. Do a keyword search of your competition and learn what they are using. The tabs below the Pinterest search are rated most popular from left to right.
      2. Board names should include SEO and keywords
      3. The board names should be short and focused
      4. Board descriptions should be two or three sentences, well written and related to the board. Keywords should be near the beginning of the descriptions.
      5. Making a board secret will protect its contents from public view. If you are a business, keep your public boards business-like and hide unrelated pins on secret boards.
      6. Once you have several boards set up, they can be arranged within their rows with a simple drag and drop, moving the most important board into the top position. Followers want to see the most relevant boards at the top and will rarely scroll down.
  • Your pins

      1. Pins should be a mix of  relevant, useful content from others and original content from your blog. An 80/20 mix is recommended.
      2. When repinning from others, it’s okay to customize the description to something stronger. Don’t use hashtags except at the end. Pinterest’s Smart Feed gets confused with hashtags and will drop any description after them. I use them at the end as my pre-scheduled pins which also post on Twitter (more on this later).
      3. Add a CTA (Call to Action) in your descriptions, such as “Click through to check out XYZ” or “Win a Free XX by visiting.”
      4. Pin only what your audience will like. Until your analytics kick in, take ideas from your experience and your competitor’s boards.
  • Your Images

    1. Add video. Video is a growing trend and makes your audience feel connected. Search YouTube, DailyMotion and TED for videos related to your field, or start your own channel.
    2. Use bright colors with good resolution
    3. Use text in a clear, easy-to-read font on your images to tell your audience what they’ll find when they click through to your site.
    4. Pin vertical images rather than horizontal ones for maximum sharing. The ideal size is 735 X 1102:
    5. Use a vertical, longer image on Pinterest for maximum sharing and pinningShort, horizontal images do not get as much exposure on Pinterest as longer, vertical images

Which will get more shares and pins on Pinterest?

Any other tips?

Yes! By adding Twitter and Facebook to your social media settings, you can simultaneously post to them. How? Go to your Pinterest settings, click on or scroll down to Social Networks, and click Yes on Log In with Facebook, and Connect with Twitter. Say Yes to the usual approval questions. The next time you Pin something, two little boxes appear below your pin: Post to Facebook and Post to Twitter. By checking them, your pin will also appear there. If you use BoardBooster, the posts will appear when it schedules them. I find this a win-win. I don’t have to be on all three networks to appear as if I am!

If you have a business account, you can set up a Showcase. In Settings–>Profile, edit Showcase. Pick five of your most favorite boards and save. A rotating slideshow of those boards now sits at the top of your profile. It is the first thing visitors will see, and you control their first impression by your board choices.

When commenting in other social media, and an opportunity arises for you to mention Pinterest, use the word Pinterest as a hyperlink to your profile page.

Add a save to Pinterest rollover button on your blog’s images. Check out the instructions here. The same instructions are valid for adding a Pin It button to your website.

Add a Pin It button to your browser’s toolbar. When you visit a site you’d like to share, you can pin it on the fly.

Revisit your boards and delete under-performing pins. BoardBooster‘s Pin Doctor will look at your board pins (for a penny a pin) and tell you about broken, missing or suspicious links, slow websites, and duplicate pins based on the same image or same links.

What else?

Join Group boards. I’ll admit I’ve neglected to do this, but it’s on my list. You’ll gain a larger audience for each of your group pins. Check out pingroupie.com for suggestions on where to find a group board that fits your needs.

Pin often. Just like other social media platforms, Pinterest is a moving target. What’s pinned is not always seen. By using tools like BoardBooster and Tailwind and posting 20-30 times a day, you’ll be seen as the expert in your field.

Schedule your pins when your audience is most likely to view them. There are many reports available about when to post. I used to schedule by them until BoardBooster’s analysis of my audience told me my peak times were not East Coast 8-11 p.m., but local time 10-11 p.m. I’ve adjusted my pinning times, adding in the later period. I try to pin consistently throughout the day to catch as wide of an audience as possible while still catering to my core fans.

Not all pins need to be new content. When I’m pressed for time, I’ll search my existing boards for high-repin content and repin to the same board or its twin secret board. BoardBooster has a looping feature that will automatically do this for you, but I like to give my audience proven content.

Be sure to pin YOUR blog’s content. If you don’t advertise your product (whether it’s your services, a physical product, you, or a digital product like my books), who will?

I can’t think of anything else from my notes or experience. Pinterest marketing is an awesome tool to target your ideal followers and drive traffic to your website. I highly recommend taking Summer Tannhauser’s Free Pinterest course to learn more. I can attest to the rapid increase in my Pinterest followers.

Follow other authors at #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

They’re talented and willing to share their knowledge. I’ll post my next AuthorToolBoxHop on May 17th, but you can find me here every day during April, and twice a week after that.

Until then, blessings to you,

Cheryl

If you’d like to continue to receive my blog posts, please use the entry form to the right. Also sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll receive a FREE copy of my short story, Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien.

If you know of someone who would enjoy learning more about Pinterest, use the buttons on the left to share this post. Thank you.

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32 Responses to Pinterest Marketing, Today’s #AuthorToolboxBlogHop Tip

  1. E.M.A. Timar says:

    This is an amazing amount of information on using Pinterest as a marketing tool. On my to-do list for the coming month is start generating original pins. I will definitely be referring back to this as I start to build a platform on Pinterest. Are the accounts and tools you mentioned free to use?

  2. M. C. Frye says:

    I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with Pinterest as a writer and floundering with it in fits and starts for the last 2-3 months.

    This article gives me a much better idea what I need to do, and how to do it.

    Thanks!

  3. admin says:

    Hello! I’m glad I could help. Pinterest is an amazing tool, and I continue to see my followers grow. “Writing” is my most popular board.
    Both BoardBooster and Tailwind are fee associated. BoardBooster’s prices start at $5 a month for 500 pins. I pay $10 for 1000, which allows me to preschedule about 32 pins a day.
    Good luck, and email me if you have any questions.

  4. admin says:

    I’m glad I can help. Shoot me a line if you have any questions!

  5. Leslie says:

    Hi! This is awesome. I’ve heard this same pitch for Pinterest and want to get mine going more, but there are two things I’m still having difficulty with: 1) The descriptions of the pins. I haven’t figured out how to do that so they are SEO effective. 2) How do you schedule pins? Is this stuff from your blog going to pinterest? Otherwise, don’t you have to be on pinterest and repin things? I don’t quite understand the scheduling aspect.

    This is GREAT info! Thanks 🙂
    My Post
    Leslie

  6. admin says:

    Leslie, SEO is a tangled web, isn’t it? I have a Pinterest board devoted to it https://www.pinterest.com/CherylProWriter/seo-tips-and-tricks/
    Here is a good article on basic SEO— https://www.thewonderforest.com/2013/06/seo-basics-for-bloggers-10-tips-for.html
    And here is a checklist that I use on my blog posts: https://theworkathomewife.com/checklist-for-wordpress-seo/
    When I repin a link from another source, I often change the description, using keywords. What will Pinners search for?
    As for scheduling pins, I use BoardBooster. For $5 a month, you can pre-schedule 500 pins. I use the $10 a month plan for 1000 pins. I’ve blogged about BoardBooster here: http://cherylsterlingbooks.com/2017/04/atozchallenge-letter-b/
    Every time I post a blog, I hit the Pinterest button on my internet browser toolbar and schedule it to a board.
    I wish you the best luck. The more you read, the more you understand. It’s taken me over a year to have a glimmer of SEO understanding.

  7. Erika Beebe says:

    Thank you so much for this information post. I have heard a great deal about the use of pinterest and I do have a personal account I obviously need to convert now for business. Thank you! This is so helpful to me. Erika

  8. Thanks for this! I’m a newbie to Pinterest, but I’ve been trying to get into it more. These are all awesome tips! Thank you!

  9. JM Sullivan says:

    Thank you so much for this! I love Pinterest, but I definitely haven’t been using it to it’s full potential! I’m excited to try this out!! 😀

  10. Wow. So many useful tips. People need to save this page and come back to it. Maybe I should put that in caps. SAVE THIS PAGE, SO YOU CAN REFER BACK TO IT. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your expertise. I have a decent following on Pinterest, but my effort there dwindled a few years back, resulting in a rather static follower count. I’m going to have to set aside some time to switch over to a business account with a rotating display of my fav boards, and add the code in my website’s header. Can’t wait to read more of your #authortooboxbloghop posts.

  11. admin says:

    Caroliena, You are welcome. I hope Pinterest is a success for you!

  12. M.L. Keller says:

    This is a great article. I’ve been pinning my articles for a while, but the results are pretty sad. I’m going to revamp my strategy using your tips. Thanks for sharing.

  13. admin says:

    Erika, I was skeptical when I took the course I mentioned, but the growth has been phenomenal. I hope you have much success.

  14. admin says:

    I’m glad I can help. I’ve limited my marketing to Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook (and blog hops like this one). If I didn’t, I’d never have time to write!
    I hope Pinterest works for you.

  15. admin says:

    High praise, and I love it!
    I’m taking part in this month’s #AtoZChallenge, so I’ve been writing informative, writing-related posts all month. Challenging, but it’s helped me learn what SEO wants (thanks, Yoast, I think I finally understand), and I’m able to to write faster and better posts.
    I hope Pinterest works for you. I think it’s an easy, effective, and pretty form of marketing.

  16. Thanks for the motivation and inspiration to get back to work on my Pinterest boards. I worked hard on them for some time but did not see much activity and gave up. I need to change up my game plan and try some new tricks.

  17. Great tips on using Pinterest. Thanks for sharing. Now to build a larger following…

  18. admin says:

    If you build it, they will come. 🙂

  19. admin says:

    Changing to a business account might help. All the best luck!

  20. admin says:

    One or two tweaks could make the difference.

  21. Louise says:

    This is such a useful post: I will bookmark it to look at again when I get around to doing more with Pinterest. At the moment I’ve only done the basics, like pinning my blog post images! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

  22. Mica Kole says:

    This has given me food for thought. I’m currently feeling overwhelmed on social media usage. I use Facebook and Twitter, I just started Patreon, and I was thinking of trying Instagram, and now I’ve got to think about Pinterest too? Sigh. I think for now I’ve got to zero in on these platforms one at a time. Automation is a godsend though. I currently have most of my @writevent posts sent straight from Twitter to Facebook, which is unbelievably nice, and I converted my personal Facebook to my author Facebook to simplify.

  23. admin says:

    Don’t take on more than you can handle or all will suffer. I’ve limited myself to FB, TW, and Pinterest. Even with automation, I feel like I’m juggling a lot of balls. I still want time to write!
    Good luck on whatever path you choose.

  24. admin says:

    I have 40 public boards (writing and recipes) but I could really do with the main writing board.
    Good luck with your writing and marketing, whichever venue you choose.

  25. Vanessa says:

    This is a wealth of information. I actually work for a social media marketing firm and this is something we do for our clients. People really under-value Pinterest. There is a lot of great things on there. It’s not just crafts and food.

    Thanks for taking the time share this!!!

  26. Louise says:

    40 boards is amazing! I have 8 right now, but it’s a work in progress. I really like Pinterest, so I definitely want to do more with it. Thanks, and good luck with your current projects too 🙂

  27. admin says:

    Pinterest is amazing. I didn’t realize how much until this morning when I signed on and my bio appeared with the new pins. I’m getting 92.6K views a month. Staggering!

  28. These are great tips! I do maybe half of that already, so I’ll definitely making some changes. 😉 I have a lot of unrelated boards, and I never considered that fact.

  29. First of all, I really thank you for sharing like a mountain of good, useful information. I have been struggling with Pinterest a lot in this year and I really think all of your tips are going to help me a lot! I’m gona attend the 5 day course as well, many thanks for that too! Will try to follow all of your tips to the T. Thanks again 🙂

    Have a look at this Book Review of 2016’s Bestseller Psycho Thriller.

    Regards,
    Pikakshi
    Readers of the Night

  30. admin says:

    Every little bit helps, right? Best of luck to you.

  31. I’ve referred back to this page a number of times already.

  32. Pingback: Author Toolbox Blog Hop: A Year in Review – E.M.A. Timar

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