How Can Pinterest Help You as a Writer and an Author?

There’s a new social media that’s all the rage. It’s called Pinterest. Have you heard of it? It’s fast, visual eye candy that appears as a continuous feed bulletin board. Boards consist of random, trendy photos of what’s hot—from hair styles to vacation spots to dogs. It’s like an online magazine full of fun photos that with a click can link to favorite books, outdoor furniture, or recipes. People love it because they get immediate visual ideas and with one glance they can see things they want to purchase or imitate.

Pinterest is driving more traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. Here’s a screen shot of what it looks like:

How do you join?

  • Go here: Pinterest and request an invite. Spend time at the site familiarizing yourself with what it’s all about.
  • Register and link your FB and Twitter accounts along with your photo to get started. The beauty is that once you link these with your account Pinterest will automatically download your FB friends, making it easy for you to invite them to view your boards.
  • Scroll around other boards until you “get” it. Follow your FB friends and stalk their boards to see what interests you.
  • Experiment with pinning photos and creating board names. Invite your FB friends to follow your boards.
  • Link your pin-up photos to your blog site or author page. When someone repins your photo it spreads your site further—just like with FB.

How can it help you as a writer?

What if you don’t have a blog or a FB page, but you’re a writer working on a book. Here’s an idea:  To help you build your story, and as you’re writing your novel, pin photos that help you keep track of your setting, characters, dialogue and theme. Use this board to help you SEE your story and get into your character’s heads.

When you’re ready to build your platform, get specific.

When your book is published make a character board centered around your book’s main character, or her side-kick. When someone clicks on the photo they’ll see your link to your blog or your author page. If they like your photo gallery and it sparks their interest they might repin your photos which will extend the reach of your site to other potential readers. Thus, more readers will know about your story and your book. And who doesn’t want to create a buzz about their book?

Yes, I know your character is fictitious, but certainly you can see her, right? What does she wear? Where does she hang out? What are her hobbies, and what is she passionate about? What is the theme of your novel?

  1. Pin the clothing and hair styles your character would wear and title the board Ali’s Fashions, or Ali’s Closet, or anything that fits your character. Make it fun. If you write YA this is especially important because teens love Pinterest.
  2. Pin your character’s hobby. Maybe he drives a Harley. You could include Harley bikes and accessories that fit your character’s personality.
  3. Pin a theme board. For instance, one of my novels is about geo-caching. I could pin a board full of geo-caching sites.
  4. Pin photos from the setting your story takes place.
  5. Give your Pinterest a shameless plug from your other social networks.
  6. Pop in for a few minutes every other day to LIKE someone else’s boards to grow your network.

Here’s my personal example: My YA novel, WILLOW, is about a girl who heals abused and neglected animals. Once the book is released, I’ll have a board of Willow and her friends. But I’m also going to invite teens to pin photos of their rescued animals to contribute to a new board titled: WILLOW’S Rescued Animal Friends.

What’s the theme of your novel? Think creatively about how you can tie that into a pin-up board and link it back to your sites.

How are you using Pinterest to help with your writing platform?



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  1. Robin says:

    I love this post, Michelle.
    To date, I’ve only really used Pinterest for setting, but I’m going to have to start using it for other things, too. I think it will also provide a nice visual reminder during the writing process.

  2. Extremely helpful post! I heard in Colorado that Pinterest can be really helpful as a platforming tool, but I’ve never been able to figure out how to use it that way. I have my personal Pinterest account, but I’m not sure if that would be beneficial for writing.

    As a side note, I do have a really popular board having to do with dogs. 😉

  3. Hi Lauren! Is camp over? It’s nice to see you here.
    Some people like to work with visuals when they write. It helps them see their story unfold and can remind them of facts they’d forgotten. Use your personal Pinterest account and set up a board for the novel you’re writing. Pin photos from other sites that could help you write your story. Use your imagination (and we know you have a huge one!) to include your characters, their journey, their mission, the setting, etc. It will inspire you but might inspire others to hear about your story, too.

  4. Kathleen Hiler says:

    I write for I have been pinning my articles to a board entitled examiner faves..I need to go into pinterest more often though to be more active there.

    • Hi Kathleen! I will have to take a look at Sounds interesting. Great suggestion to pin articles! Have your faves been repinned often? Do you know if it’s worked at getting you more hits at I’m going to follow you at Pinterest to check it out.

  5. Great ideas! So far I’ve only used Pinterest to build my audience for parenting stuff I do. I have mainly written for kids, but I try to reach their parents since they are the ones doing the buying for most of my readers. I pin all my posts from my parenting blog, Parenting with a Smile, and also my posts from Christian Children’s Authors. I like your idea of starting a board for the novel you’re working on. I just started such a project and have pictures of what I think my characters look like. They would make awesome pins. Thanks!

    • Hi Linda! I’m going to check out Parenting with a Smile–great title–and Christian Children’s Authors. You pin your posts? I didn’t know you could do that. I know Pinterest doesn’t want people to blatantly market themselves so I didn’t know this was allowed. I need to follow you on Pinterest and take a peek. Thanks for stopping by here!

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