What’s New to Pinterest for Writers?

Pinterest for Writers

I’ve written a lot about Pinterest for writers in the past, but it’s been a while since I wrote anything new about this platform.

So let’s take a look at what’s new and significant about the changes that are taking place on this channel.

The profile is new and includes a cover image. You can select from some different options for your cover image, such as your latest pins, recent pins from your site, or a specific board.

To select your board image, click the pencil in the upper right-hand corner and make your selection from the list.

Pinterest for Writers

Pinterest for Writers

Another change is that Pinterest no longer keeps track of follower counts. While follower counts are big on Twitter and other platforms, Pinterest chose to focus more on monthly viewers. Personally, I like that tally better. And that number is situated right next to your profile picture.

Pinterest for Writers

But if you really want to know how many followers you have, click “followers” on the tab beneath your profile picture, also known as your avatar.

Pinterest for Writers

See, wouldn’t you rather know your monthly viewers than your follower count? I think that monthly viewers are a better number to track.

Next up, is that if you select “following” from the upper taskbar, you’ll see pins (aka images) from the people you’re following. So instead of just going to the general newsfeed, you can now check out what your followers are saving to their pinboards and uploading.

Pinterest for Writers

 

This year, Pinterest changed its algorithm. Now, Pinterest prioritizes content that people you follow are engaging with.

Hashtags were introduced some time ago but in a new move – perhaps to mimic Instagram? – Pinterest is now recommending that you use up to 20 hashtags. Remember, on Instagram, you can use up to 30.

With this new move, hashtags will are now more critical regarding finding content.

Something else that’s new is that group boards are less important for engagement. I’ve never been a fan of group boards, except between authors and readers, so I’m not particularly sad about this move.

5 Pinterest Tips That Are Important to Remember

Check out this list of tips you need to know to do well on Pinterest.

  1. Pinterest board titles and keywords are essential so relent with the fun and unusual pinboard titles and go for those that will improve your SEO on this platform.
  2. Make sure you remember to pin images from your website, in particular, your blog. Pinterest is fantastic at referral traffic so take advantage of this aspect of this browser/social media channel.
  3. You have a business account, right? If not, get one right now! Pinterest business accounts offer free analytics, and you get the opportunity to validate your website, which improves your SEO.
  4. Design your images for Pinterest. Twitter and Facebook images are too small for this platform.
  5. Just like other social media platforms, use Pinterest regularly. Don’t use it one day and then skip a month or two weeks. Save images here on a regular basis.

Here are some previous posts I’ve written about Pinterest:

10 Pinterest Tips for Writers

8 Tools for Writers Who Use Pinterest

How to Use Pinterest as an Indie Author

Want to Sell More Books? 23 Pinterest Tips Every Author Needs to Know

Pinterest Tips for Authors (Plus 57 Pinboard Ideas)

 

Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99! (And there’s a big chapter on Pinterst in it.)

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

New to Pinterest for Writers

 

Indie Author Weekly Update – July 20, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - July 20, 2018

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. Check out the link to Reedsy’s new book title generator below as well as SoftPress Pubishing’s post on how to building a following on the powerful Pinterest platform.

Don’t forget that I offer a social media audit for authors that analyzes what you’re doing well on social media and what can improve. You can find out more about the service here.

Author’s Guide to Building a Following on Pinterest from SoftPress Publishing: “If you’ve ever used Pinterest, you know it is a very eclectic collection of images on virtually every topic under the sun. But, at its core, Pinterest is much more than that. It’s a very powerful search engine (think Google) where users can find information on whatever they desire to learn about. With over 175 million monthly users and over 50 billion pins, Pinterest is a driving force in the social media world. And, you can use the power of Pinterest to build your author brand. But how?

Blogging Can Jumpstart Your Writing Career…Even Before You Publish from Anne R. Allen and by Jane Friedman: “So how can you show “vision” and an aptitude for “marketing work”...before you query. One way is blogging. And if you decide to go indie and skip those risk-averse publishers, you’ll need even more vision and marketing skills.  In order to sell in any significant numbers, you’ll want to establish your brand before you send your baby out into the marketplace. So how can you do that? By blogging.”

When To Start Book Marketing And How To Balance Your Time by Joanna Penn: “These are my thoughts based on my experience and observing other authors at all stages of the author journey. If you have a book or more out already, then what are you waiting for?”

Check out Reedsy’s new book title generator: 10,000+ good book titles to inspire you: “Generate a random story title that’s relevant to your genre. You can pick between fantasy, crime, mystery, romance, or sci-fi. Simply click the button below to get started.”

12 Simple Tricks To Increase Your Email Open Rates from the Blogging Wizard: “Have your email open rates suddenly plummeted without warning? Maybe your email list is new, and you haven’t had a chance to grow your list or improve your open rates? You’ve spent hours crafting the perfect email. Tailored specifically for your audience. With the right amount of eye-catching visuals and captivating copy. Your email even solved a massive problem for your readers.”

How to Price Your Book for Better Book Discovery by Penny Sansevieri: “If you’re unsure how to price your book you’re not alone, but it makes a big difference for your book discovery so it’s not a aspect of your book marketing strategy to take lightly.”

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – July 2018 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Amy Collins: “A slightly different take on DTNT this month… Please, authors, if you are on social media or TRYING to get on social media, read this month’s edition of DO THIS NOT THAT.”

Quote of the Week

Imitate other writers while you’re learning, deconstruct their books and learn from them. Then break out and be you…”

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Got Nothing to Say on Social Media? Check Out These Examples!

Got Nothing to Say on Social Media? Check Out These Examples!

Many people are confused about what they should say on social media.

Feeling like you’re in the same situation? No worries. Just keep reading.

You may remember the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the time, you promote your colleagues, other writers, and great posts, and 10 percent of the time, you can promote your books, blog posts, readings, and awards.

If you’re still feeling confused about how to best present the information you’ve curated, don’t worry. Keep reading and you’ll learn how to write the best social media updates.

Tweets Can Now Have 280 Characters

For about the past year, the character limit on Twitter has been 280, up for 140. However, it’s still best to keep your tweets to 100 characters if possible. Doing so, will increase your retweets according to SproutSocial.

Here are a variety of sample tweets from the indie author/publishing world:

Got nothing to post

Got nothing to post on social media

Got nothing to post on social media

Got nothing to post on social media

You’re probably wondering what you as an author could say. Here are some additional examples that cover an array of genres. All you need to add to these tweets is a URL. If you are promoting a colleague, then add a URL and a Twitter username.

  1. Love #Spain? Read this novel based in #Sevilla + link + name of the book
  2. Are you a #hiker? 7 Tips on How to Find the Best Hiking Boots + link
  3. Great story by +colleague’s username about overcoming #cancer
  4. San Francisco #Writer’s #Conference is this February +link
  5. Do you love reading Indie Authors? Visit http://www.indieauthornetwork.com#bibliophiles

The first tweet is a sample tweet from an author about his or her book. The second tweet would theoretically be for a writer who wrote a book about hiking or local hiking trails.

The third tweet is an example of how writers can help each other. The fourth tweet is presumably by a writer encouraging other authors to attend a conference. The fifth tweet introduces readers to other Indie authors. The hashtags in this example help readers and self-described bibliophiles to find great books to read.

You can also tweet images, quotes from your books, videos, book trailers, Amazon reviews, and information about your colleagues’ books. GIFs are super popular as well because then tend to stop people as they peruse their newsfeeds.

[Read more…]

What Pew Research Center Social Media Stats Mean for Authors

What Pew Research Center Social Media Stats Mean for Authors

The Pew Research Center (PRC) released a new study on social media use at the beginning of March. Its findings weren’t surprising.

PRC researchers found that Facebook and YouTube dominate the social media landscape.

It’s no surprise that Facebook “remains the primary platform for most Americans.” An estimated 68 percent of U.S. adults report they are Facebook users and three-quarters of them access Facebook on a daily basis. PRC stated:

With the exception of those 65 and older, a majority of Americans across a wide range of demographic groups now use Facebook.

YouTube is even more popular, as I mentioned in a previous blog post. PRC states:

The video-sharing site YouTube – which contains many social elements, even if it is not a traditional social media platform – is now used by nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults and 94% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

Are you trying to reach the Young and New Adult demographic? Here is what the Pew Research Center says about them:

Americans ages 18 to 24 are substantially more likely to use platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter even when compared with those in their mid- to late-20s. These differences are especially notable when it comes to Snapchat: 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds are Snapchat users, but that share falls to 54% among those ages 25 to 29.

The report also noted that Pinterest remains more popular with women (41 percent) than with men (16 percent).

LinkedIn continues to be popular with college graduates and individuals in high-income households. Nothing has really changed there.

What also became evident in this study is that people use multiple social media sites, not just one.

This overlap is broadly indicative of the fact that many Americans use multiple social platforms. Roughly three-quarters of the public (73%) uses more than one of the eight platforms measured in this survey, and the typical (median) American uses three of these sites. As might be expected, younger adults tend to use a greater variety of social media platforms. The median 18- to 29-year-old uses four of these platforms, but that figure drops to three among 30- to 49-year-olds, to two among 50- to 64-year-olds and to one among those 65 and older.

Facebook May Be Popular But Is It Right for Authors? Maybe Not

FacebookAre you now itching to redouble your efforts on Facebook? Not so fast. While 68 percent of U.S. users are on Facebook, it’s extremely challenging to reach them. Facebook’s latest tweak to its algorithm has made it virtually impossible for your Facebook fans (readers) to see your posts unless you invest in Facebook advertising. Facebook is basically a pay to play system for authors and anyone with a business page.

There’s a lot of buzz about Facebook groups, and more and more people are starting groups either in addition to having pages or instead of pages. Take Sharon Hamilton as an example.

I interviewed Sharon recently and she’s doing a lot to promote her books. She’s a prolific author in a popular genre and is a New York Times and USA Today, bestselling writer. As of this writing, she has 18,332 Likes and 17,878 followers on her Facebook page. But if you look at her Facebook page, you’ll see that there’s little engagement.

I’ve been following Sharon for quite some time, so I know that she used to have tremendous engagement on her Facebook page. What’s changed? Facebook has. Sharon keeps sharing great information and memes, but Facebook has tweaked its algorithm, making it harder for Sharon’s posts to appear in her fans’ news feeds.

That is unless she buys advertising.

If you look at your news feed these days, you’ll find that you see fewer posts from businesses and authors, fewer ads, and a lot more posts from friends and family. That’s because of Facebook’s algorithm and Mark Zuckerberg’s belief that Facebook users come to Facebook wanting to interact with friends and family and that you and I don’t want to see posts from business pages, such as author pages. In fact, even though I’ve liked many author pages, I never see them in my news feed.

Sharon was smart and started a Facebook group, which is doing well. She also has a street team.

But where does that leave you? One option is read a post I wrote about how to grow your Facebook page. Note that I wrote this post before Facebook’s latest change to its algorithm.

Facebook may seem to be the best place for authors to be but it isn’t. Well, it isn’t unless you’re willing to spend money on advertising.

If you have an extensive email list, start a Facebook group and encourage people to interact with you there, as well. Also, send tweets and Instagram messages with information about your Facebook group. Sharon Hamilton has a link on her website that automatically directs people to her Facebook group, called Rockin’ Romance Readers.

If you want information on how to start and run a group, there’s a blog post on Jane Friedman’s blog with some best practices for Facebook groups.

[Read more…]

10 Pinterest Tips for Writers

10 Pinterest Tips for Writers

In today’s post, I want to share some of my best Pinterest Tips for Writers.

Whenever I feel beleaguered from reading email, blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates, I sneak over to Pinterest and feast on the images.

Opening Pinterest is a well-deserved break from the blocks of text I normally read on blog posts, newsletters, and social media posts.

Don’t mistake me; Pinterest isn’t just a vacation for my eyes. It’s a powerful social media network that, research indicates, nearly rivals Facebook in terms of traffic referral.

I take time to use it professionally and value its power.

In fact, according to Shareaholic, Pinterest accounts for three times more traffic referral than Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn all together. Wow!

If you thought Pinterest was for the DIY, beauty, and crafts aficionados, think again. Men are discovering Pinterest and there are numerous ways for writers to use Pinterest to market their books and connect with readers, prospective readers, and colleagues.

10 Quick Pinterest Tips for Writers

  1. Create a pinboard for your blog and save the images from your blog to your pinboard. Whenever you save images from your website or blog, the web address will attach to the image. Then when users click your image, they will travel to your website and read your post and hopefully navigate to other pages on your website. Below is an example of a video I pinned to my pinboard of blogging images. Yes, you can save videos to your pinboards!

Sharon Hamilton2. 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.

Pinterest

  1. Repin images that represent the venues where characters in your novels and stories live and travel to. This board of mine is titled Barcelona and I created it for a future novel.

10 Pinterest Tips for Writers

  1. Find images that represent the clothing your characters wear and the meals they enjoy. Here’s an example of a dress a character might wear in a historical fiction novel.

Historical fiction novel

  1. Create a pinboard of your favorite books.

10 Pinterest Tips for Writers

  1. Create a pinboard of books your colleagues have written. This will help your colleagues’s books enjoy greater awareness on Pinterest. Here’s a book cover from my friend and colleague, Sharon Hamilton.

Sharon Hamilton

 

  1. Do you love bookstores? Create a pinboard of beautiful bookstores from around the world.

10 Pinterest Tips for Writers

  1. Writers love libraries, right? Create a pinboard of libraries from around the world.

 

libraries [Read more…]

8 Tools for Writers Who Use Pinterest

8 Tools Just for Writers Who Use PinterestDid you recently publish a book? And have you started a blog?

Congratulate yourself if you answered yes to those questions.

Now, here’s my follow-up question: Have you started using Pinterest yet?

According to Alexa, Facebook is the third most trafficked website (following Google in first place and YouTube in second place), and it can be grand for nurturing relationships. But as writers, especially if you write romance, women’s fiction, or family saga, you can’t afford to ignore the power of Pinterest.

Pinterest is so good at sending traffic to blogs and book sales pages that we can no longer afford to think of this social media platform as a “woman’s” platform. (I mean, have you seen the pictures of muscle cars there not to mention men’s workout clothes?)

Statistics Prove the Effectiveness of Marketing with Pinterest

Check out these statistics for how well Pinterest can drive traffic to your blog (or any other landing page):

  • A pin is 100 times more spreadable than your average tweet, according to Kissmetrics.
  • Per Search Engine Watch, Pinterest pins deliver two site visits and six page views on average, plus more than ten re-pins – and this can continue for several months.
  • The life of a pin (an image) is one week. Compare that to five hours for Facebook and 24 minutes for Twitter. Source is Tailwind Blog

If you haven’t started using Pinterest, open an account. If you use Pinterest, you’ll find these tools for writers helpful.

8 Tools for Writers Who Use Pinterest

Viraltag LogoViraltag

For $24/month, you can use Viraltag to schedule and post images to ten social profiles including Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. Upload and schedule multiple posts at once – plan for an entire week or even an entire month. Viraltag also connects directly to your Google Drive and Dropbox accounts to pull content in bulk.

Everypost

Everypost starts with a free post on one platform. For $9.99/month, you can post to ten social media channels. One of the platforms you can schedule your images to is, of course, Pinterest. You can also use Everypost to find visual content to post.

Buffer

If you select the Awesome plan, which costs $10/month, you can schedule updates to Pinterest as well as Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Tailwind

Use this app to schedule images on both Pinterest and Instagram. You can get started on this application for free and decide whether or not you like it. You can also use this application to discover content to post. A real plus.

Chrome Extensions for Pinterest Make Pinning Effortless 

If you navigate to Chrome’s extension store, you’ll find these tools. 

Pinterest Save Button

When you add this extension to your Chrome taskbar, you’ll be able to save any idea or image you fine on the web so you can easily get back to it later.

Pinterest Chrome Extension

Enjoy using Pinterest Chrome Extension. This app will launch the Pinterest official website.

Pinterest Sort

Use this Chrome extension to sort Boards, create board groups, and do it all “automagically.” The extension promises you less clutter and more pinning.

ShotPin

It’s a simple Chrome browser extension to make it easy to take a screenshot of any web page then share it on Pinterest.

Want to learn more about using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog and landing pages? Get Pinterest Just for Writers for $5.

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update October 6, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author Update contains every topic from Pinterest hashtags to selling books when you don’t have an audience. How? Keep reading to find out!

Go Local: Marketing Books to Targeted Communities by Jane Friedman: “When I hear professional publicists and PR people offer advice to authors, one theme that comes up again and again is: start where you are. Use the power of your community—and the people you know—to gain momentum.”

[Read more…]

Have You Seen These Social Media Changes? Part II

social media changesLast week I wrote about several social media changes, namely to Facebook and Twitter. Today I continue the discussion.

Let’s start the discussion with Twitter Moments.

Changes to Twitter 

Initially a feature for news organizations, Twitter Moments are now available for everyone to use.

This is how to get started:

Go to your Moments tab, located between Home and Notifications on the taskbar. (Look for the lightning symbol.) Give your Moment a title by clicking Title your Moment. Then add a description, and upload an image to set the cover. Then, select some tweets you’ve sent, liked, or retweeted. Once you’ve completed your moment, click Publish in the top left-hand corner. (Note: Be sure to crop your photos right on Twitter for mobile navigation.)

Twitter

I created a simple moment that includes a tweet about book patches, the Hay Festival in Segovia, Spain, news about the Pulitzer Prize winning The Underground Railroad (read it and loved it!), and two more tweets.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – June 23, 2017

Indie Author Update

This week’s Indie Author Update includes posts on book promotion, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter from Lilach Bullock, Digital Book World, The Write Life and others. Enjoy them!

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to survive the the 100+ heat here in Northern California. Is it hot where you’re at? If so, share with me your favorite tips for remaining cool.

Indie Author Update

Authors, Grow Your Fan Base By Leading A Book Club by Digital Book World: “I have always maintained that the author-as-a-brand is the strongest selling link across the publishing chain. Whether self, indie or traditionally published, the emotional connection forged by dedicated readers is never with a publisher or an imprint—it’s with the author him or herself. This relationship is, more than anything else, built on trust.”

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – April 21, 2017

Indie Author News

This week’s Indie Author Weekly Update focuses on social media news including what’s new with Instagram and how best to use Pinterest.


Indie Author Updates

Instagram Just Revamped Instagram Direct, Which Now Has 375 Million Monthly Users from AdWeek: “Instagram revamped its Instagram Direct messaging feature—which now includes disappearing photos and videos, along with texts and reshares—and the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network announced that Instagram Direct now has 375 million monthly active users, up from 300 million last November.”

[Read more…]