Monday, November 10, 2014

Pinterest for Writers Part 2 with Guest Author Sarah Forgrave

I’m so excited to be back on the Alley today!

In my last post, I shared my newfound enthusiasm for Pinterest and included ideas of what authors can pin to connect with their intended audience. In this post, I’ll share specific tips to help you find that audience.

Here are some ways to get started:

1)      Follow people with similar interests and repin their posts. In my experience, this doesn’t always guarantee a follow back. (I still haven’t figured out Pinterest’s notification system, but I will say it doesn’t seem to be as effective as Facebook or other platforms in making people aware when I’ve followed them.) All that said, some will follow you back. And even if they don’t, it’s worth sticking with them if they post really great content that relates to your interests and platform. Which leads to my second tip…


2)      Focus on pinning really great content. Pins that link to excellent blog posts, words or ideas that move you – basically anything that is worth someone’s time to read or follow. The more value you bring to others, the more they’ll want to follow you.


3)      Find boards for book lovers and contribute your voice. In the Christian fiction world, there are a few large boards where hundreds of people can participate by sharing their favorite Christian fiction books. These are avid readers who have no vested interest in writing and just love to share books they love.

One way to find these boards is to check out authors you admire or know and look through their boards. (There is a small icon of three people at the top right of group boards.) Once you join or follow the board, interact with pinners who’ve pinned books you like or that are similar to yours. Comment on those pins by stating how much you loved the book and/or what you loved about it. Follow the reader pinners in those groups and repin their book posts. Not everyone will respond or follow back, but I’ve made some awesome connections with future readers who have no connection to the writing
world whatsoever. Hopefully when I’ve published a book in the future, those friends will be thrilled for the chance to be an influencer for an author they “know.”


4)      Pin a lot. Now, I say this with caution. Go back to Point #2 and make sure you run everything through that filter. But there is something to be said for higher volume. The more you pin great content and prove to be an expert on a topic, Pinterest takes note of that and starts including you in their “recommendations” emails. This takes time, so be patient with it. But just be aware that it does make a difference over the long haul.


5)      Take advantage of hashtags. Yep, just like Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest allows hashtags. I’m still figuring out the best hashtags to use on Pinterest, but when I post books I’ve read that would appeal to my future audience, I usually add the tag #ChristianFiction. I’m not sure how actively people seek out that particular tag, but I’ve had some repins and interaction as a result. Play around with this—do searches on Pinterest, etc.—until you’ve nailed down the hashtags that draw the most traffic for your topic of interest.

Most of all, HAVE FUN!

If Pinterest isn’t doing it for you, don’t force it. Don’t let yourself get paralyzed by these suggestions or think you can only post things related to your books. Like I said in my last post, people want to connect with you as a human being, so share who you are.

Connect with people in an authentic way. Truly care about what they like and who they are. By doing so, you’re building a solid foundation for success.

What are some ways you connect with readers online? In what ways do you see your favorite authors connecting with readers online? What tips can you add to my list?


Sarah Forgrave is a work-at-home mom who feels blessed to do what she loves – raise her two children while writing stories that inspire. Her work has been featured in Guideposts’ A Cup of Christmas Cheer, as well as the webzine Ungrind and the Pearl Girls™ book, Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith. When she’s not writing, she enjoys teaching fitness classes, shopping the produce section of her local grocery store, and hanging out with her family in their Midwest home. To connect with Sarah, you can find her online at her website, her Facebook page, and, of course, Pinterest.


Bulletin board photo by pakorn/
Book heart photo by patpitchaya/


Casey said...

Good morning! So glad to have you back to finish up this post, Sarah! I have to admit, Pinterest is a really easy social media for me to be on, because I love it so much. And I have really seen authors like Laura Frantz, embrace their brand and make a name for themselves on it. Thanks so much for sharing!

Sarah Forgrave said...

I so agree, Casey! It's easy to embrace social media when it's fun. :)