Social Media for Writers: How to use Pinterest to promote yourself as a writer

Do you use Pinterest to promote yourself as an author? In this post I talk about how to optimise your Pinterest as a writer, and what you can do to promote yourself.

Pinterest is kind of a weird one if you’re a writer – but since this series is all about social media, I’d feel weird not talking about it. Particularly as it’s a social media I use to promote myself. (And to collate a million and one cute projects I’ll probably never do.)

Some of you may not be familiar with Pinterest past ‘Oh, isn’t that that site where you can like, pin pictures of hairstyles and stuff?’ so here’s a brief introduction.

Pinterest is basically an online pinboard. You can pin things from any website, and search the site itself for topics to find things other people have pinned, and you can repin them to your own account.

There are Pins – which is an individual item being pinned. And there are boards – so you can add Pins to different projects, and categorise them. It’s a very visual social media – think Instagram, but each image is a link to, say, a blog post, or an item on a shopping website.

I use Pinterest for myself a lot: I’ve got boards for knitting projects, for sewing, for blogging advice and inspiration, for recipes. But I also use it to promote myself as a writer, so once again: this post won’t be so much on how to use Pinterest, but on what you can do with it to promote yourself as a writer.

First things first, it’s the usual: You need a profile picture, and a bio, and you need to think about your name.

I talked about all these things in more detail in this post.

My Pinterest username (the one I made when I signed up) is Reekles, but the name that shows up on my profile is ‘Beth Reekles | YA Author’. I did this so that if people are searching ‘YA author’ on Pinterest, it’ll throw me into the mix. Consider doing something like that with yours.

Now the next important thing you need to do is set up some boards.

One idea might be to create a board for your books. Find them online (Amazon, or a bookstore, or even just wherever you post them online) and post them to a board. You could Pin books you’re reading, or books you want to read.

If you have a blog, and you use a title image for each post, create a board for these. I use If This Then That to automate all of my blog posts to post to my Pinterest boards – I have a board for each of my blog series. This way, I figure, if someone asks me for writing advice (and isn’t specific), I can just say, ‘Hey, check out my Pinterest board with all my advice posts’ and they can find what they’re looking for very easily – because it’s so visual.

If you have Instagram to promote yourself as a writer, you could create a board for this too. Again, I automate with If This Then That, so whenever I post on Insta, it automatically posts on my designated Pinterest board.

Maybe you create a board for all the writing advice you find online. Maybe you find so much writing advice to Pin that you separate it into different categories and make a board for each category.

You can also make a board private or ‘secret’.

This basically means you use the board as normal, but nobody else can see it. It’s just for you. I have a couple of secret boards, but I seemed to get a fair few interactions and repins on content I was already posting – recipes, knitting/sewing patterns, blogging – so I haven’t kept those boards secret. If you’d rather keep a more consistent theme to your Pinterest profile though, you can make any not-so-bookish boards secret.

The next important thing I want to say is that you can choose a feature/title image for each board.

I’ve created images for each of my boards in the style of all my blog post images, and with the title of that board. I added them as a Pin (there’s a little plus icon on Pinterest – that’s what you want to use) to the board I wanted to feature them on. Hover over the board and click the button to edit it. It’ll throw up an option then to select a cover image for that board.

And since I’m talking about it: portrait images are shown to do better on Pinterest. I prefer using square ones on my blog (for the aesthetics). My images in The Twenty-Something Series are portrait since I wanted to style them a little differently, and the portrait image worked better. But if you want your pins to do better, consider using tall images.

You can also upgrade your account to a Business one.

Now this is totally free to do, and doesn’t change much about your profile, or change the way Pinterest works, but it allows you to keep an eye on your impressions and interactions and followers and all those stats.

Business accounts allow you to use rich pins, create ads, if that’s something you’re interested in. Personally, I use neither of these features – but they are there.

Do you use Pinterest to promote yourself as a writer? Have I missed out any big bits of advice that you’d give? Share in the comments below!

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