Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pining for Pinning - Winter Author Blog Challenge #5

I am up before dawn, this 5th day of the 15 Day Winter Author Blog Challenge.  Instead of heading to Pinterest, I am blogging about it today.  Our prompt is:

One of the newest and fastest growing social media platforms is Pinterest? Have you jumped onboard? What kinds of images do (or could) you post that are related to your book or the topic of your book? What other kinds of images do you post? Are you linking each post back to your blog, website, or Amazon page? IF YOU’RE NOT USING Pinterest, what’s holding you back? Take a look at book marketer extraordinaire John Kremer’s Pinterest Boards. After perusing them, how MIGHT you use Pinterest to brand yourself and your book? Is it something you’re considering?

I love Pinterest. Why?

I am a visual person.  Photography is an important part of my telling of the story of my life.  So, when Pinterest came along, it was a natural for me to join. (Here is my Pinterest home page).  Pinterest is where my blogging and my "me" intersect.

First, some quick terminology for Pinterest newbies.  "Boards" are the places where you put visual images.  You can organize them however you want. I have boards for gardening, the United States Civil War, crocheting, wildflowers, birds, autism, sunsets, books I feel are worth reading, and favorite recipes.

"Pinning" is the art of capturing a visual image with a Pinterest tool, and placing it on one of your boards.

You can search, and can follow one board, or all boards, of a given person whose pins you like. You can put up your own pins, repin, like a pin, and comment on someone's pin.

Pinterest is ideal for planning weddings (visual!), planning dinner (visual!), selling crafts (visual!) and yes, branding your books (visual! Why else would books have cover art?).  But, so far, I have not used the power of Pinterest to promote my blog the way I should.

I pin photos from my blog, but they are not organized in one area. My photos are all original work: flowers, other nature photos, gardening, Civil War related, farmers market related. Photos here and there of my crochet projects.  And, when I travel, sunsets.

 I have a "Blogging" board but I do not have pinning buttons on my blog, because (as of now) my blogging platform and Pinterest do not seem to "play together well". When I see Pin share buttons on Wordpress, I get frustrated that I can't have those, too.  Meantime, my blog does not have a clear pinning policy posted.  Oops! (I will need to change that).

I can easily get lost on Pinterest, which is another problem for me. I try to verify images I use, and that is time consuming.  Many people will pin photos from Google or Bing searches, for example, which I refuse to do.  If an image comes from a blog, I check the blog to make sure the blogger is allowing pinning.   Authors should be concerned that images that belong to them might be pinned without permission or full credit.  Photographers already have that problem, big time.

Not much content?  Don't pin regularly?  Don't bother.  Truthfully, I don't tend to follow people that just have 5 or 6 scattered pins on their entire account.  Pinning is something you either love or don't love.  There is no in between. It sounds harsh, but on Pinterest, you MUST be authentic.  You don't have to pin daily, but you do need to provide fresh content to your fans.

And please, don't spam! Spamming is ruining Pinterest, the same as it has ruined some other forms of social media.  Sad.

I also feel if an author doesn't share a bit of his or her interests on a board, people will lose interest right away.  Author A promoting books? Meh. (sorry.) Author A promoting book, posting favorite recipes, or showing us his/her hometown, or his/her hobbies?  A winner.  Guess whose boards I will be following?

Do you use Pinterest?  I look forward to exploring some of your boards.

9 comments:

  1. I think make a great point about loving it or not. I love to look at it, but I'm not sure I have the time or inclination to build it up enough to make it interesting to others. I see it more as a resource than a tool for marketing my writing.

    Great post!

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  2. You make some great points about images and pinning. I've only just added Pinterest share buttons on my main blog, though I don't have a policy. Must look in to that.

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  3. I have just started and am following you. Thanks for this blog I now feel I have some idea what to do!!!

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  4. I love pintrest as well. I've spent all day on there on occasion!

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  5. Stopping by to read and comment. ;-)

    Thanks for explaining more about Pinterest. I'm another who hasn't really used it to full advantage, mostly due to not understanding how to best use it.

    You've peaked my interest, though, in putting more effort into it - thanks!

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    1. If you are a visual person I think you will enjoy it- but beware - it can be addictive.

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  6. Hi, yes! I am on Pinterst and I really enjoy it.
    I love the top header description of your blog :)

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  7. Loved your boards, Alana - 41 and all different :-0

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  8. I am with you, in that I have not figured out how to get my blog and book to 'play' well with Pinterest, needless to say I am going to try and change that.

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