Why Pinterest is important to indie authors

Have you converted your personal Pinterest account to a business account? After reading Pinterest Finally Rolls Out Business Accounts: How to Set Yours Up Today,  I converted my account. Following the steps outlined in the post, it only took a few minutes.  Hopefully, the conversion will lead to benefits that are just as easily implemented.

Many of you may be groaning about having to spend precious time on another social network. You may be wondering how pinning photos of your book jackets on a virtual pinboard can benefit you. Imagine that, with a bit of effort, people could easily find your product images, repin them, and, thereby, help direct others back to your site. That is the power of Pinterest.

Look at the Demographics

According to the August 2012 Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, Omnibus Survey, 12% of internet users are on Pinterest and women are more likely to use this site than men. The Pinterest user is educated (at least some college).  According to a Pinterest Demographics Data, though the majority of Pinterest users falls in $25,000 to $75,000 income range, more than 23% have an income over that range. Pinterest users are people who are likely to read books and have money to buy them. Additionally they spend, on average 89 minutes per visit. As interest in Pinterest increases, so does the potential for users to see your site.

If you are still not convinced, go to Pinterest.com and searched the boards for Books to find a plethora of such boards. Now, search the pins for books. People love to show other people the books they have read as well as the books they would like to read. Wouldn’t you love to have your book image pinned on these boards and shared with others? Of course, you would. So, how do you do this?

Tips for starting on Pinterest

  1. First, decide which way to join Pinterest. If you open an account with Facebook, it grabs the personal Facebook page instead of the fan page. The advantage of doing this is that it lets you follow your Facebook friends and to ask them to follow you. The disadvantage is that it is your friends and not your fans. (You also have an opportunity to invite friend from various social media sites once the account is established.) If you open an account with Twitter, there is no opportunity at this time to invite your Twitter followers. Either way, you may also have to download a different photo. Pick the sign-in procedure that will get you the most followers.
  2. Select a meaningful user name. one that your readers can easily associate with you.
  3. Include an alternate website or blog URL in your profile, one that is different from the one listed as your website. I included a link to my book page while using my blog as the primary website.
  4. Once the account is established and you have all the tools in place, create a board. Use key words with hashtags in the description so that readers and search engines can easily find you. If example, in my board Camino de Santiago in 43 Days, I included #Camino, #Spain, #Travel, #Hiking, #Pilgrimage.

Tips for making Pinterest work

  1. Start with a strategy. Before creating boards, decide what you want to do with the account. Do you want to only promote your books and blog or do you want to reveal a little bit of yourself to your readers. I chose the latter and provide limited insight into who I am by adding a board on dream vacations and and one on places I’ve been. Since I write about my experiences, I feel that these topics are within the scope of my strategy. I also choose the images I upload or repin strategically.
  2. Create at least one board for each book. Be creative. It took me 43 days to hike the Camino de Santiago, the topic of my book. I created 43 images with descriptions and links back to my book. Each day, I upload one image and tweet about the upload. Be sure to include hashtags in the descriptions of each photo.  See my board as an example. I have also started a board, Camino Tips, that I will start to upload once I complete uploading the images to the Camino de Santiago in 43 Days board. The tips will link to my blog, where I will expound on the tip. Suggestion: make sure that you include a link to your page in each image; that way if the link is lost during a repin, the information is still available.
  3. Having wonderful and unique content is important, but you must start following others and repinning their images. As with any social networking, you need to network to develop followers. It does take a little bit of work, but the results are worth the effort.
  4. A Google search will result in many ways to increase the number of followers on Pinterest. One fun way is to to have a contest. Be creative, have fun, and watch your follow list grow.

How I created my Pinterest images:

I  created the images using PowerPoint. Here is how I did it.

  1. Select a page style: Vertical 8.25 x 11 works well.
  2. Create your template: choose a background and print color. Make this template a theme that identifies you and your product. You might create a different theme for each book or series of books. That way, when someone looks at all your pinboards, they can visually identify the various products.
  3. Add a logo, if desired.
  4. Top part: blog name (Note: even though I added a finite number—43 days—I do not recommend adding a limiting number to tips)
  5. Below that:  the tip number
  6. Below that: the tip
  7. Finally a link to your website.
  8. Export the page as a JPG.
  9. Upload the JPG to the Pinterest board.
  10. Once the image is loaded, edit the image to include a live link to your webpage.

Now its up to you. Be creative and have fun. Once you upload your image to Pinterest, please add the link in a comment below so we can see your wonderful Pinterest creation.

I have described how I use Pinterest to engage the readers and drive them back to my website. How are you doing it and have you seen an increase of traffic on your site? I would love to hear from you.

About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

Adventurer and Author, I was born in Hartford Connecticut and now live in Sarasota, Florida.