Here’s a knockout tool for writers. One that helps you write better stories, expand your readership, and grow a loyal following—all in one place.
You’ve guessed from the title that tool is Pinterest. But, like any tool, you have to know how to use it to get the best results. I’ll share those techniques here. First, though, a little about why it matters.
Pinterest is the best social media platform for writers, because it isn’t just a one-trick-pony. Sure you can market your writing on Pinterest as you do on Facebook or Twitter. But Pinterest is a workhorse for writers in more ways than marketing. It can help you write better, inspire ideas, and connect you with other writers. And that’s just the tip.
Read on for 9 different ways to leverage Pinterest if you’re a writer.
Pinterest: The Quick What-It-Is
If you haven’t heard of it (or if you have but still aren’t sure how to make it work for you), Pinterest is a social media platform that’s less about people and more about hobbies and interests.
What do I mean by that?
Pinterest isn’t about keeping up with friends, like Facebook. It isn’t about networking with job contacts, like LinkedIn. And it isn’t about quick 140 character blurbs, like Twitter.
So what is it about?
Pinterest is about ideas. And that’s great for writers because writing is all about ideas. Think of Pinterest as a bookmarking tool, except funner and more attractive.
On Pinterest, everything is about images. Which makes it easier to find the things you’ve saved. And organizing your pins and ideas onto boards is easy too. I have Pinterest boards for everything from fashion to food. But my most popular boards are about writing. My life as a writer is so much easier with Pinterest.
Here I outline how I use it. See which of these technique makes writing easier for you too.
9 Fabulous Ways To Use Pinterest If You’re a Writer
#1 Writing Tips and Advice
Of course! Pinterest makes it easy to save all your author advice and writing tips in one place.
On my Pinterest board, Writing, I save: writing advice, character worksheets, author quotes, plotting tips, inspiration, interviews, paying fiction markets, scene techniques, technical data (like how to pick a lock), even full novels and how-to books in digital format.
That’s quite a lot of writer’s-block-busting info and inspiration. And I’m always adding more. That way, anytime I’m stuck or ready to revise, everything I need is in one place.
#2 Connect with Other Writers
Pinterest may not be about socializing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t network with other writers.
Group boards are a fantastic way to make connections. If you self-publish, blog, or prefer to take marketing into your own hands then Pinterest group boards are a great way to start.
Here’s how I’ve used Pinterest group boards on this site.
I have an upcoming series on INTJ/HSP writers. (INTJ, again, is one of 16 personality types on the Myers-Briggs personality index. And HSP stands for highly sensitive person.) So for the upcoming series, I needed to find other INTJ/HSP writers. Pinterest made it easy to find them. And you can leverage this technique for yourself.
How To Connect Through Pinterest Group Boards
- First, I wrote a couple of articles. The Character Most Writers Get Wrong is all about the mistakes authors make when designing INTJ characters and Are You a Highly Sensitive Person? is all about HSPs.
- At the end of these articles I included a call-to-action. That call-to-action asks INTJ and HSP readers to contact me if they wanted to be interviewed for the series.
- Then I pinned the articles to relevant group boards on Pinterest. Pinning to group boards allowed me to access Pinterest users who weren’t yet following my personal boards and who I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.
- Readers found the articles on the group board, clicked through to read them, found my request for volunteers, and followed the call-to-action to contact me. Easy and fun! And now I have a list of fabulous INTJ and HSP writers for the upcoming series.
You can use this technique to find readers, expand your reach, connect with other bloggers, or even sell your best work.
A couple of other tips: Don’t wait for an invitation. Just ask to be added. And join more than one group board. There’s no limit.
A Few Group Boards for Writers
#3 Advertise Your Writing
It’s important to tap into Pinterest’s non-marketing opportunities. But take advantage of its marketing capabilities too.
Pin your blog posts and book covers to your boards. Followers will see your pins in their home feed and click through to your site to view or purchase. It’s free advertising, and it’s easy to find followers with similar interests as you.
Don’t forget group boards here. They’re another great way to advertise your best work. Just be sure to add value rather than spam.
Create boards for different story settings. Pin photos of architecture, landscaping, room layouts, and maps.
While I write, I keep a picture of my setting open. This reminds me to write my characters’ movements in a the three-dimensional space. And that adds a lot of texture to any tale. A setting board makes this technique even easier.
If you write scifi or fantasy, you know how complicated it can be to design an entire world from scratch. Pinterest makes that a little easier.
You can pin articles with worldbuilding tips and strategies. But don’t forget to pin inspiration too.
For example, I created a board for my fictional futuristic planet, Sphere 262. Here I pin avant garde fashion, futuristic technology, architectural trends, culture practices, local flora & fauna, and anything else that sparks a worldbuilding idea.
Make a character board for each of your major characters. Pin articles about their personality type, their favorite celebrities, images that remind you of them, their hobbies and interests, careers, music they like, environments you would find them in, and things they might say.
For my character, Wendy, I pinned quotes about her personality type, pictures that evoke her daughter’s personality, her dreams and fears and philosophies, and how others see her. Then I fire up Wendy’s Pinterest board anytime she’s in a scene.
#7 Character Design
A character design board is different from a simple character board, because it’s more about general character design than it is about a particular character.
For example, my Pinterest board Character Design: MBTI is all about using Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality typing to create deeply realistic characters. Here I pin qualities of each of the 16 MBTI personalities to apply to my characters.
#8 Mood Boards
There are a few ways to use mood boards on Pinterest. Some consider any of the board types here to be a mood board. But I prefer to use mood boards to capture an overall tone for a scene.
Mood Board Can Evoke Emotion in The Writer
For example, pin haunted images that creep you out. Use these to invoke a creepy tone or feeling in a scene. It’s easier to write a particular mood if you’re feeling that mood. Looking at images that invoke that feeling in yourself is a great way to do that.
But here’s an even better idea that writers use to attract the muse on Pinterest.
Mood Boards Can Identify Subconscious Story Ideas
Take a week and pin anything you like to a board. Name the board “Next” because this is where you’ll get your next story idea. Or call it anything you want. Just don’t second guess yourself when pinning to your Next board. This is about trusting your gut.
At the end of the week, take a look at your board. Is there a prevailing mood? Setting? Color scheme? Theme? What does it say about the story your subconscious wants to tell? Write that story.
#9 Writing Prompts
Pinteres is the place for story ideas. And what better way is there to get ideas than through writing prompts?
I have a Pinterest board that’s all about—and only about—writing prompts. Check it out, follow the board, then go in search of more. You’ll never run out on Pinterest.