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I will start this post by admitting that when I started my writing journey back in the summer of 2020, I didn’t have a clue about Pinterest. I certainly didn’t think that Pinterest for authors was a “thing”. In fact, I just thought Pinterest was a very fancy pinboard for home interiors etc. Little did I know how wrong I was and how big an impact Pinterest can have on your author business.
As I was intending to blog on my website, I started to follow a few bloggers on Twitter and quickly learnt that Pinterest was a must-have platform. I also discovered that I was under the misapprehension that Pinterest was a social media platform. It is not. In fact, Pinterest could be one of the biggest sources of traffic to your platform, and could help you increase your sales.
What is Pinterest?
As I said above, Pinterest is not a social media platform and I think this is one of the biggest misunderstandings about Pinterest. Many people think they don’t need another social media platform and, as they don’t have lots of images to share, Pinterest is not for them. However, what Pinterest actually is, is a visual search engine. It is similar to Google in lots of ways but instead of throwing back text results, it shows you lots of relevant images. However, all of those images are linked to websites and clicking on them can give you a wealth of information. It’s not all about the pretty image you see on the Pinterest search result.
How Does Pinterest Work?
From the inside, Pinterest accounts post images to boards. You can have as many boards as you like but it’s recommended to keep each board niched to a particular topic. You then create a graphic which uses images and text (more on image creation later); optimise it by adding pin titles and descriptions, making sure to use keywords that will people to use to search for the content you are posting about (e.g. for this blog post I would make sure to use the term “Pinterest for authors” in the title and/or description); select which board to add it to; and add the link to your website or platform where people can learn more, and then post it.
From the outside, someone comes along and wants to learn about Pinterest for Authors – they go to Pinterest and type that search term into the search box. A whole range of images pop up including the one we’ve created for this blog post. The user can then click on the pin and they’re brought through to this post on my website. Voilà! Traffic to the website targeted directly to people who are searching for what I am offering.
What Sort of Content Can I Share?
If you blog on your website, then you already have a raft of information that you can share on Pinterest. The majority of posts you have written are likely to be valuable at any time. Some might be time sensitive and therefore not longer relevant, but I bet the vast majority could be read at any time. All of those posts can be shared on Pinterest along with all your offerings such as freebies, opt ins, lead magnets, book pages, courses, books etc. You can also share quotes and snippets of information that can link to full posts or even to your social profiles. Be creative. Think about what you have on your site that you want people to read. Create pins to drive people to these posts.
How Do I Create Images?
“Ruth, you’re on about Pinterest for authors – I write, I don’t design. How can I create images that will convert?” Fear not! This is where [AFF] Canva comes to your rescue and is your best friend. There are loads of templates on Canva that you can use or adapt to suit you. Remember to stick to your brand colours and fonts, so people will recognise you on Pinterest but have fun playing around with designs. Check out my post, Using Canva to Create Graphics for Your Author Platform, for more information and advice. You will need to create more than one image per piece of content you want to share, but more on that later.
How Do I Optimise Pins?
All of your pins need to be optimised so that they rank in the search. This is very much the same as optimising posts for Google, but unlike Google where you are focusing on one keyword or phrase, you can use multiple in Pinterest. You don’t “set” the keyword for each pin, just ensure your title and description has the relevant key words and phrases for the content the pin concerns. Obviously, don’t overstuff your descriptions and instead keep it relevant and so it makes sense. You can use Pinterest search to try to find relevant keywords and also long tail keywords.
When Will I See Results?
Do not expect overnight success! Pinterest is a slow burn – it does take time, and it does take work. Pinning once and leaving it to do its thing, will not have much success. You need to have a strategy and pin on a regular basis to keep momentum. I will readily admit that I am no Pinterest expert and am learning as I go. I have learnt however, that it is recommended that you pin around five pins a day to see a return. Personally, I think results vastly differ depending on your niche and how much time you devote to a Pinterest strategy and schedule. However, I also believe that it’s better to do something than nothing at all.
Create a variety of different pins that link to the same piece of content and share them over a period of time. Don’t pin the same pin to multiple boards, or use the same pin more than once. You can however link to the same piece of content multiple times (though best not to do this on the same day), just be sure to use different pins. Switch up the titles and descriptions too as this will help to get Pinterest to notice your pins.
I have also learnt that old pins can do just as well as new ones. Just recently, one of the pins I originally posted back in September 2020 has suddenly got a lot of traffic – I can’t tell you why but it’s getting a lot more impressions and views now than it did when I first posted it. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see results straight away, follow the learning curve and be patient – good things come to those who wait.
What Are Pinterest Ads?
It is possible to also use Pinterest ads (much like Facebook or Google ads) to boost particular pins and gain more traffic. I am no ad expert but I have used this feature to boost some of the pins I believe direct people to really good posts on my site. It works for sure, as the number of impressions these pins have got is significantly more than non-boosted pins, plus I’ve had more clicks and clicks out to my website. In fact Pinterest is one of the main sources of traffic to my site.
Where Can I Learn More?
As I have said, I am no Pinterest expert. I am still learning but what I have learnt is valuable information I wanted to share with other writers. There are lots of Pinterest experts out there and several online courses. I have done a couple of courses and I would highly recommend one of them. This is an affiliate link but I genuinely think this is the best course you can do in relation to Pinterest. Whilst it is not specifically aimed at learning Pinterest for authors, it does cover everything you could possibly want to know about Pinterest basics. The course is regularly updated (at no further charge) and is very easy to follow and understand.
Therefore, if you are looking to take a reasonably priced Pinterest course that can really get you into using Pinterest, then please take a look at Ell’s course: [AFF] Pinterest with Ell. I cannot recommend it enough.
A Summary of Pinterest for Authors, Writers and Bloggers
If you are not yet using Pinterest as a traffic source for your website or platform then you are missing a trick. Pinterest can be a fabulous free source of traffic (and isn’t drastically expensive if you boost a few posts too). Driving traffic to your site is key to success. The more traffic on your site, the more likely you are to get conversions and sales. It may take you a little bit of time to learn the platform, set up a strategy and create pins but it really is worth it.
Do you use Pinterest on your author website? Does it bring much traffic for you? What strategy do you use? Let me know your experience in the comments below.