Lesson #4: How to Use Pinterest as an Indie Author

Updated: Jan 14

Lesson #4: Use Pinterest!

Hey there! Welcome back to this free blog course; thank you for joining me for lesson 4.

In the previous lesson, we talked about which social media platforms are best for indie authors and how best to use them. In this lesson, you will discover something that may surprise you - why all self-published authors should be using Pinterest to build their audience and increase their book sales.

If you missed lesson #3, you can get it here: https://www.standcorrectedediting.com/post/lesson-3-7-steps-indie-authors-must-take-before-self-publishing

Now for the good stuff.

You’ve probably been led to believe that Pinterest is for women to plan their dream wedding and future home, but Pinterest isn’t just a wedding planner – it’s super useful for indie authors, and will likely give you up to 80% of your website traffic if used smartly.

You may not be convinced about Pinterest, so the next few paragraphs will walk you through 4 easy ways you can grow your author platform on Pinterest today.

1. Get a Business Account

There are two easy ways to get a business account – you can either create a brand-new account and instantly choose the business option, or if you already have a Pinterest login, you can switch from personal to business in your account settings. However, if you’re switching from personal to business, you may want to clean your boards up. If you wish to gather potential readers, you’ll want them to find your boards and pins easily without sifting through the memes and cat photos first.

So, why do you need a business account? Being an author isn’t a business, is it?

Technically, you don’t need a business account, but having one grants you access to an abundance of free, useful features you don’t get with a personal account. For example, a business account lets you view how many views you get per month, which is really helpful if you want to grow your audience and learn how your account performs. You also get access to analytics that inform you of how many impressions (views), clicks, and saves you get on each pin. From these analytics, you can clearly see which pins perform the best and which ones don’t.

2. Create Engaging Images

As Pinterest is a visual platform, you’ll need to create your own images (pins) to upload to your profile. Many Pinterest users use Canva, which allows them to create stunning pins for free that catch the attention of potential readers and clients.

Colour psychology is also something that really helps to attract specific readers to different things. If you’re unfamiliar with colour psychology, it’s basically how different colours affect a consumer’s choices and behaviour. For example, red creates a sense of urgency that could tap into a reader’s impulse, whereas blue produces a calming effect, therefore gaining a buyer’s trust.

With colour psychology in mind, it’s important to use it to your advantage. You may wish to use different colours for different posts depending on how you want to influence your readers, or you may prefer to stick with one colour to build a recognisable brand. Either option is a great start, and you can always change your mind later if you find that your initial choice isn’t working. Better still, you could test a few different pins that point to the same page on your author website, and see which pins get the most views, clicks and saves.

3. Create a Gripping Title and Description

Titles and descriptions are often underestimated, but a cracking title and description could influence more people to click on your pin and head to your website for further information. Let’s start with the title first.

Imagine that you have written a blog post that teaches other writers how to write a great fantasy book. You may be inclined to use How to Write a Great Fantasy Book as your title. While this example gets the message across, it’s not exactly gripping, and it won’t make many people need to find out more. On the other hand, if you write something like: The Top 5 Tropes You MUST Have in Your Fantasy Book, or 1 Simple Rule to Writing a Best-selling Fantasy Novel, people will be gripped from the start and will want to click to discover what five things they may be forgetting, and how they can write a best-seller. Believe it or not, people are quite self-absorbed and will be looking for things that will benefit themselves, so make sure your pins speak to them and highlight how your books or articles will help them!

Now for the description of your pins. Descriptions are just as underestimated as titles, but writing a detailed description for your pins can go a long way. For each pin, you get 500 characters to tell your audience what they will receive when they click on it. Again, people are self-absorbed, so how can the book or blog behind your pin help them and their lives? Furthermore, the more keywords that are in your description, the more it allows Pinterest to determine who may be interested in the content. Here is an example of a great pin description:

Many writers send their manuscripts to literary agents with the hope of representation, but instead, they face unhelpful rejections that don’t tell them how to improve. However, Stand Corrected Editing gives ALL writers the chance to send in their synopsis, query letter, and the first 3 chapters to receive a detailed report on what works and what could be altered to attract an agent. If you long for a book deal, click this pin!

Without clicking for more information, the reader instantly knows that this pin links to a service that could help writers impress a literary agent who may want to offer them a book deal. As a result, readers immediately know whether it could benefit them, and Pinterest knows what category your pin should fall into.

The best way to find the most beneficial keywords for your descriptions is to use the Pinterest search bar. For example, if you type in “fantasy book,” Pinterest will give you the top suggestions based on what other users have searched. By incorporating as many of these keywords into your descriptions as possible, you will stand more of a chance of ranking number one and gaining more clicks. Another way of finding the best keywords is to go to your Pinterest ads section – it will give you the option to search for keywords in your niche without paying to launch an ad! So, with these methods conjoined, you have no excuse not to write a keyword enriched description for your pins!

4. Join Group Boards

Joining group boards is one of the best ways to get your pins in front of a wider audience on Pinterest. For those who have never heard of group boards, they are the same as regular boards, but multiple people can add their pins if accepted by the owner of the board. Some group boards have a simple ‘join’ button you can click to get accepted, but many require you to message or email the group creator with your Pinterest username or email so they can add you.

Ugh, how tedious – I know, but taking the time to reach out and request to join is absolutely worth it! But why? Well, Pinterest loves new and popular content, so the more re-pins you get on your images, the more Pinterest will display your pins to the people who are likely to click and investigate your website. So, by joining group boards, you’re not relying on other people to find and re-pin your content, you’re actively pinning yourself, which boosts your number of re-pins, and therefore, your impressions, clicks and saves. Without group boards, you’ll be waiting a long time for the impossible to happen.

Plunge into lesson #5 where you will learn why building an email list early on can help you as an independent author!

Recommended Resources

The Content Bug - Cathrin Manning provides helpful information about how to use Pinterest to increase your audience and reach, so I absolutely recommend that you go and find and follow her!

Website: thecontentbug.com

Pinterest: @TheContentBug

YouTube: The Content Bug



Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm the book editor and proofreader at Stand Corrected Editing, my independent literary consultancy in the UK. I help passionate writers and authors to get their novels ready for literary agents or self-publishing.

In weekly blog posts, online courses and daily Instagram posts, I hope to spread my knowledge and expertise on how to make your novel a success, and be a mentor to others who desperately want to pursue a fruitful career as an author!

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  • Do you seriously want to pursue your passion of writing and publishing books people actually want to read?

  • Are you currently planning, writing, or editing your manuscript?

  • Are you ready to become a successful author?

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