23 responses to “How freelancers and other writers can use Pinterest”

  1. Jesaka Long

    With all the recent articles about Pinterest, I appreciate your writer-centric tips and resources. I also use Pinterest as an additional venue for my copywriting portfolio with all the pins linking directly back to my website. While I can’t speak to results yet, I do like having this additional way to get my freelance work in front of new eyes.

  2. Elizabeth

    I appreciate all the good advice, Michelle! I’m going to try some of these techniques out.

    Early on, I tried Pinterest as a sort of Evernote for holding source material for stories. Obviously that was dumb because anyone could see what I was working on, which isn’t necessarily desirable.

    I find it hard to use Pinterest as a reporter because so many of the things I write about don’t have great images to accompany them. I read a ton of interesting studies, but they have no accompanying picture for pinning.

    Having read your post, I’m now going to go back and try Pinterest again. Thanks for sharing! ~Beth

  3. t.a. barnhart

    i started doing Crossfit in January, and i take an iPhone photo of the day’s workout, which i then pin to my CF board. i note how i did that day. i don’t send them on to FB, although my followers will occasionally see them.

    it’s almost like a personalized, easier-to-use Tumblr. it’s more compact, the board sits on my Pinterest home page, and is easy to use. once the primary election is past, i’ll be using it more in conjunction with other blog-related tools.

    i love Pinterest. it’s fun & useful, a great combination.

  4. Sarah Mooon

    I can expand a bit on why I think Pinterest has been so helpful for me (and I apologize in advance for the stream of consciousness here):

    With Pinterest, it’s important to state that I’m pretty lucky because “my audience” is pretty active on Pinterest already (namely, women and readers have a lot of crossover with the avid home cooks and crafters that dominate Pinterest). Plus Pinterest comes with the built-in board, “Books Worth Reading,” which helps me a lot.

    I think I’ve done well with it also because I’m finding unusual things to pin that aren’t self-promotional, so people’s interest is piqued in the blog as a whole, because I’m trying to tell our story and capture our voice visually with Pinterest. We also write about books that aren’t just the book du jour, so the ones that are promotional probably get people’s attention because they are different that what they’re seeing in their favorite RSS reader–no shock, voracious readers tend to read “all” of the blogs. (Again, the Pinterest activities are a reflection of the content they’ll find on the blog.)

    I also made the decision to pin as me (unlike a lot of book bloggers who for one reason or another use only their first names or a pseudonym, I’m out there about who I am–a nice freedom I’m allowed because I’m a freelancer), as opposed to the blog, which helps too because it “feels” more like there’s a real person–and I don’t just pin bookish things.

    I’ve noticed that a lot of book blogs have hopped on Pinterest in the last few weeks and their pins don’t feel very human as they’re largely cover “reveals” that everyone and their aunt is also “revealing” at the same time as well as links to their own reviews. Since I pin quotations, interesting things, arty stuff, etc, there’s more value–which fits with the mission of the blog, as we’re trying to be more than your typical book blog (I sure hope we’re successful in that so far!).

    What I’m seeing a lot of with my traffic pattern is that people are coming from not just the smallish percentage of my pins that link to my posts, but they’re coming from my Pinterest profile to the blog landing page or from my Clear Eyes, Full Shelves Pinterest Board.

    I think I’ve piqued people’s interest in the blog through Pinterest because that’s where they are (and I’ve focused on reaching readers as opposed to other bloggers) and I’ve kept them reading because they’re encountering something new and different when they click through to the site so I see that they come back regularly (I am a stats dork, so I look at a lot of the patterns for individual site visitors). It’s taken a fair bit of experimentation on my part to figure it out. I have a lot of other Pinterest strategies floating around in my head, because I think it’s an interesting medium for a blog like mine and I’m seeing far more success with it than I am with Facebook or even Twitter (though Twitter has been helpful in connecting with industry folks).

    Here’s a recent screenshot from my stats program that illustrates how well Pinterest has worked for me: http://www.flickr.com/photos/seschloss/6872416198/in/photostream

    I really like the Pinterest account author Jenn Bennett set up this week that’s inspired by her Arcadia Bell series (which is loads of fun, by the way, if you like urban fantasy): http://pinterest.com/arcadiabell/ I’d love to see more authors and publishers take an approach like this with Pinterest, because it furthers readers’ interest in their work (most are just promo, promo, promo).

    Anyway, I’m happy to share my experience with Pinterest–obviously, your results may differ, particularly if your audience hasn’t hopped onto the platform in great numbers yet.

  5. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)

    I am using Pinterest personally for various interests. However, I am also pinning some of my own photos. I don’t know if it is increasing traffic to my blog but some of the photos have been repinned. One frustration I have is that I would like to add a “Pin It” button to my blog but there doesn’t seem to be a good way to do this on Blogger. I asked a blog challenge I am participating in now for help, and still can’t manage to do it.

    1. Sarah Moon

      Unfortunately, the native Pin It button doesn’t work with Blogger (Blogger has some weird coding that is problematic for interactive buttons like that), but I know a few folks have used these instructions to add the Pin It button to Blogger blogs: http://www.bloggersentral.com/2012/02/add-pinterest-pin-it-button-on-blogger.html (You’ve got to be comfortable editing your template’s html.)

  6. Laura Ratcliff

    Michelle, your post was a much more detailed and thoughtful example of ways for writers to use Pinterest to their advantage. While I haven’t made that leap yet (I’m still in the playing stage), you’ve given us a lot to think about regarding image-based sharing for word based work. Thanks again for your always thoughtful and thought-provoking posts.

  7. Kelly Lieberman

    Hi Michelle,

    What a great post! Great actionable tips and examples.

    It definitely seems to be the trend to visual, so much easier to consume

    Thanks so much for mentioning #PinChat ~ love the community and passion for Pinterest.

    Kelly Lieberman @tribe2point0
    Founder and Host of #PinChat


  8. Ruth Terry

    Hi Michelle,

    First of all, I have been loving your Pinterest boards. I’ve been repinning you like crazy!

    Second, great post! Here’s how I’m experimenting with Pinterest:

    – a “Good News” board that I invited journalists I admire to post to. Who knows if they’ll post but at least they’ll see the invite, right?

    – a “Most Unwanted Board” for my followers with inappropriate material/images that I feel detract from my professional-friendly Pinterest personality. Pinterest doesn’t have a “block” feature yet, so I thought this might be a good workaround.

    – Pinterest helps me keep my blog relevant for people I want to hire me. It offers a better outlet than Twitter or FB for stuff I think is interesting enough to curate, but wasn’t right for my blog. Hence, my favorite board: “Business Loungewear”… which I appreciate your help with Michelle 😉

  9. Karen

    Great posts and interesting comments from other writers using Pinterest in different ways. I’ve yet to sign up with Pinterest but I do intend to and this has certainly given me some things to think about while building my profile and looking around.

  10. suzanne

    Just a few days ago I posted a photo of a pineapple plant (my photo) on my blog, then pinned it to my DIY projects on Pinterest. I had 360 page views during the next twelve hours.

    The pineapple photo was a prop that I used for a related story. I couldn’t believe how successful it was in redirecting traffic back to my blog.

    I agree wholeheartedly with every point you make in your article. It is a fantastic site.

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  13. Christina Mendoza

    Hi, Michelle! This information on utilizing Pinterest to boost one’s writing is excellent! As a freelancer contemplating a blog, I’ll be pinning this article, and looking for more tips on your blog and Pinterest account.

    I have another very helpful tip for writers using Pinterest: be sure to backup your pins, so you don’t risk losing them to hackers or accidents. My company, Pin4Ever, can save a copy of all of your pins, boards, and likes on your own computer. Go to pin4ever.com today to download a free backup of your whole Pinterest account!