Welcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment of Resources for Indie Authors tackles the topic of marketing your books and blog with images. Keep reading to learn more.
If you joined Pinterest in the early days and opened a personal profile, you need to upgrade to a business account.
Wait, you’re not a business you say? Of course, you are. You’re in the business of writing and publishing books and if you’re an Indie author that means you’re also forking out some big bucks for editing and design costs. Right?
You can write for the joy of writing and not worry about recouping your costs or making a profit but if you want to be profitable in your publishing pursuits, then you’re a business. And, therefore, you need a Pinterest business account.
The best part of having a business account on Pinterest is the app’s analytics program. Similar to Facebook’s free Insights feature, Pinterest’s analytics will tell you the number of impressions, repins and clicks your images generate.
For example, you have a blog, and you create images for your blog, right? When you pin an image from your blog to Pinterest, the URL for that post becomes attached to the image. Then when users on Pinterest click on your image a second time, they navigate directly to your post and discover your blog.
And they learn about your books.
I recently checked my analytics and guess what? My most repinned images are images I created for my blog.
I presently have 59 boards and 4,513 pinned images. Now, most of those images are related to either social media or all topics related to writing, books and authors.
I do have a few boards just for fun because, after all, I decided to make Pinterest my “fun” social media profile.
It’s important to space your pins during the day and with two apps you can schedule your pinned image the same way you schedule your tweets. VitalTag and Hootsuite work together so that you can plan your pins throughout the day. You’ll find links to these apps in my show notes.
Roundup of Posts I Discovered
I scoured the Internet and found some related to marketing with images. Research indicates that our brains process images 60,000 times greater than text. This research explains why it’s so important to tweet images, post images on other social media accounts you have and include images on your blog.
Are you always looking for free stock images for your blog? Well, this post is a great reminder that we have other resources we can use.
For example, we can choose to stop looking for stock images and worrying about copyright issues simply by creating text-based images.
Hey, before you dismiss this theory I encourage you to check out the BufferSocial blog. The folks at Buffer have abandoned the search for appropriate stock images for their blog in favor of text-based images they create.
They’ve discovered that since they started focusing on text dominant images, engagement on their Facebook page has improved.
With this theory in mind, The Branded Solopreneur recommends four types of shareable images that don’t include stock photography:
- Patterns with text
- Icons with text
- Shape overlays, such as the kind you’ll find on the free app, Canva.
Next up is a post by Rebekah Radice titled How to Use Pinterest to Boost Blog Traffic Dramatically.
Rebekah explains how Pinterest has become an integral part of her blog promotional strategy. In fact, over the last two years she’s seen her Pinterest traffic skyrocket due to her pinned blog images.
These are her suggestions for using Pinterest to increase traffic to your blog:
- Make your post pinnable by creating images that will intrigue Pinterest users. You can use PicMonkey and Canva to create fabulous images that people will think a graphic artist created. Seriously.
- Create a memorable brand experience. Rebekah cites research from psychologist Jerome Bruner, who discovered that people remember 10 percent of what they hear, 20 percent of what they read and a whopping 80 percent of what they see or do. So when you create images for your blog post, be consistent in your color and font choices so that they are consistent with your brand.
- Size your images for multiple platforms. Rebekah is currently sizing her images at 735 x 1200 pixels, but as she notes, that size will change as the networks tweak their platforms in the future.
Be sure to check her blog for the fourth tip.
Next let’s discuss the blog post 5 Visual Content Tools for Writers (Plus Where to Find Free Photos).
As writers, we grow attached to the paragraphs of text we create. But do you know what draws the eye to a page more than the lines of black text we write? Images.
Pictures of sandy beaches, fields of red poppies or a rising full moon will trump our words any day, regardless of how beautifully they’re written. That’s why it’s important to include images in our Facebook updates, tweets, blog posts, and other social media content.
If you want stock images, then Flickr, Pixabay, PhotoPin and Unsplash are great sources for free images.
In this post, I cover the extra steps you need to take to ensure that the images you find on PhotoPin are indeed royalty free.
As with all stock images, it’s important to credit the photographer.
Finally, I wrote a post titled 15 Pinterest Tips for Authors.
Writers often wonder how they can make the most of their Pinterest accounts. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
- Create a pinboard for your blog and upload the images that you post there.
- Do you have trouble getting your writing started in the morning. Create a pinboard of visual writing prompts and share them on Twitter and Facebook.
- Repin images that represent the venues where characters in your novels and stories live and travel to.
- Find images that represent the clothing your characters wear and the meals they enjoy.
- Create a pinboard of your favorite books, author quotes, and quotes about the writing process (and include your own!).
- Create a pinboard of book covers written by your colleagues.
- Do you love bookstores? Create a pinboard of beautiful bookstores from around the world.
- Writers love libraries, right? Create a pinboard of libraries from around the world.
- Create pinboards that represent the stories you’d like to write.
About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.
Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web