7 Valuable Pinterest Tips for Writers

Most writers are aware that Pinterest is known as the single greatest time-suck in all of procrastination, but in reality it can be so much more. Sure, you can spend hours pinning recipes you’ll never try or crafty bookish projects that won’t turn out quite like you imagined, but there’s a way to make Pinterest a source of more creative pursuits. From before you sit down to your work in progress to marketing your finished novel, here is a list of ways for making the most out of Pinterest as a writer.

1. Find Inspiration and Motivation

If you’re looking for inspiration and motivation for the writing life, Pinterest is a veritable gold mine. A simple search on the website for “writing motivation” or “writing inspiration” reveals millions of pins featuring gorgeous imagery and bold, motivational sayings that are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Whatever your special brand of motivational need might be, there’s a pin for it.

Do you love quotes from famous writers who have been through the trenches before you? There are a ton. Are you seeking list posts with tips and tricks to inspire your writing life? You’ll find those too. Being a purely visual medium focusing on images over text, searching Pinterest for motivation is a whole different experience from a simple Google search for the same information. Being artists ourselves, writers can appreciate this creative visual medium for disseminating information and inspiration.

Pinterest is known as the single greatest time-suck in all of procrastination, but in reality it can be so much more.

2. Seek Craft Education and Research

Being such a visual medium, you might not think that Pinterest would be the best place to find information on craft and style, or even do novel research. However, I’m here to tell you that it is actually surprisingly rich with educational resources for writers. Being so focused on the visual, Pinterest is the best place to look for quick, easy-to-read infographics, and you’ll find a wealth of them on a variety of pinboards across the website. Whether you’re looking for information on how to determine the correct use of lay/lie or maybe something a little more detailed, like research for what happens when a person is shot or stabbed (we’re all writers here—we don’t judge!), there’s an infographic to be found on Pinterest to help you out. Search “writing tips” on the website and see what you’ll find!

3. Develop Character and Setting

If you’re looking for visual inspiration for a character, nothing beats Pinterest. Whether you’re basing your leading man on a famous celebrity, or looking for the perfect model to inspire description of your warrior princess, there are images galore on Pinterest to guide you. Pinterest can help you go deeper in your character research too. For example, if you’re writing about a specific time in history and need visual representation of the clothing of that time, Pinterest can help you. It is simple to create pinboards for your main characters and pin images to inspire and shape the people you write about in your books.

And if you’re seeking to understand a specific setting better, look no further. You might not be able to travel to all of the places you write about in your novels, but there’s guaranteed to be images of those places abounding on Pinterest. The same goes for photos from different times in history. Search for the time period you’re writing about, and be rewarded with hundreds of images to help you create a realistic and memorable sense of place in your novel.

4. Promote Your Blog

Writers simply cannot ignore the fact that Pinterest is one of the fastest growing websites out there. With over 10 million monthly page views, it is a source of information and inspiration for a huge audience, and we as writers would be silly to ignore the fact that Pinterest is the perfect place to promote our blogs. This is especially true if you feature a quality cover image on each of your blogs, since Pinterest is a visual site. It’s really quite simple, each time you publish a blog post, be sure to pin it to a special pinboard featuring all of your posts, and include an eye-catching image to set it apart. Utilize hashtags in front of important keywords for better search ability, and voila—since users don’t need to actually be following you to see the content you post on Pinterest, you’ve just shared your blog with a huge audience!

5. Boost Your Author Platform

Pinterest is another amazing tool in your arsenal when seeking to build an author platform. It is a wonderful place to connect with future readers and build lasting relationships with your current fans. There are some important things you want to have readily available on your own Pinterest page to make the most of the medium.

First, an About You board. Have links to your social media, website, and blog readily available for those who find you on Pinterest. You’ll also want to take advantage of the website for posting things that interest you or inform your writing. Pinterest is the perfect place to show off your whole personality. You are more than just a writer of words. Use Pinterest to introduce your fans to other facets of your life that make you a well-rounded person. Do you love knitting or craft beer? Create pinboards for those parts of your life, too.

Another fun way to connect with readers is to create a pinboard of behind the scenes fun. Post images of your writing desk or office, and create boards for each of your novels, featuring images that reflect the writing and subject matter. Giving readers a glimpse of your process is easy with Pinterest, and it is a wonderful way to start a dialogue with your fans.

6. Conduct Easy Market Research

Once you’ve established a presence on Pinterest as a writer, it is easy to conduct your own market research by looking at who is following you and other influential people in your field. You can easily look at the demographics and interests of the people who are following you by looking at profiles and what other bards they are following. Make valuable use of Pinterest by looking at what content you are posting that others are pinning the most.

Do your inspirational blog posts on the writing life get pinned over and over again? Then do more of that to see your following and engagement grow. But don’t stop there. Look at other influential writers you admire who have a similar target audience and see what content they are sharing. With this type of market research, trends become apparent and you can find ways of tying in your own material for cross-promotion.

7. Be Part of the Writing Community

Pinterest is a vibrant community, and also a wonderful place to connect with other writers. Follow the pinboards of writers you are interested in connecting with, and be sure to participate in the conversation by re-pinning their valuable content and commenting on their pins. You can do your part by pinning pins that offer advice, inspiration, or insights into the writing life. Using your own experience and expertise to help others is a wonderful way to build a connection.

As you can see, Pinterest is more than just a way to mindlessly while away the hours. It is a valuable resource for writers at any stage in the writing process, from idea conception to marketing of a finished product. These are just a few of the many ways writers can make the most of Pinterest. What are your favorite ways to use the website as a writer?

Riki Cleveland

Column by Riki Cleveland

Riki has a long-standing love affair with all things books and writing. She indulged her love for all things literary with a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University and is currently studying at the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. Although she is well past her own teen years, Riki’s reading passion lies with Young Adult literature where she devours books that handle the “firsts” in life. When not reading and writing she can be found yelling at the television while watching sports.

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