By Pip Reid
Every social media platform, including Pinterest, starts with an empty page - no followers and no content. However, with perseverance, great images and clever ideas, you’ll grow your platform, one follower at a time.
I’ve been using Pinterest for three years. But I’ll let you in on a secret—I nearly gave up after six months. Our images weren’t being pinned or shared. It was like watching tumbleweed blow by.
As I listened to Pinterest experts and applied their ideas, our followers began to grow. Now Bible Pathway Adventures has thousands of followers, with more added daily. And our Activity pins dominate certain bible activity categories. So don’t give up too soon!
To use Pinterest effectively as an author, open a business account, not a personal one.
A business account gives you analytics, so you can see where your followers are from, what pins they like, and what boards are most popular. It also gives you access to other tools so you can embed pins and boards into blog posts - another great way of growing your following.
To open a business Pinterest account, go to https://business.pinterest.com/en. You simply need to add your email address, password, and name of your organization or brand. In 15 seconds you’ll have a new Pinterest account. Easy!
Once you’ve opened your account, write a great bio. Read this helpful blogpost on how to write Pinterest bios like a boss. Don’t forget to include keywords in your ‘About’ section. You have a 200-character limit, so keep your description concise.
To create a board, simply click ‘Create Board’.
Name your boards based on keywords for better discoverability. The search tool is one of the most used functions on Pinterest, so make sure pinners can find you. Many users now go to Pinterest for search results, rather than other search engines like Google.
Because Pinterest search results show me how pinners search for Bible activities, our boards include names like Ten Plagues of Egypt, Bible Quizzing, and Free Bible Printables for kids. In this screenshot I’m creating a board called Bible Teachings, where I plan to post artwork and links to teachings on our YouTube channel, The Donkey Speaks.
Type the board name and choose if you want to make it secret or not. I use secret boards to collect Activities ideas, add content to new boards so they’re filled with pins when I make them public, or for personal interests unrelated to Bible Pathway Adventures.
If you’re completely new to Pinterest, start by creating themed boards.
- Boards for each book project
- Behind the scenes
- Writing tips
This screenshot of Bible Pathway Adventures’ Pinterest page shows a sample selection of boards I’ve created. We’ve created boards for every Bible story we’ve published, Activities (word searches, mazes, crosswords, quizzes and coloring pages), Behind the Scenes, book cover reveals, location and Meet the Team boards, and lots more. Popular Pinterest accounts often have over 60 boards.
Now it’s time to fill your boards with content.
When pinning, don’t just pin your own content – pin from your newsfeed and search results, too.
With tons of images being posted each day, it’s important your own pins stand out in a crowded newsfeed. Vertical images work better than horizontal images, and get you more space. If you’re creating your own pins, try 736 x 1128px for best results. 80% of Pinterest’s traffic now comes via mobile devices - so when it comes to your pin, it needs to stand out on a smaller screen.
These two screenshots show you examples of vertical pins from Bible Pathway Adventures’ Pinterest page.
But I’m an author, not a graphic designer!
Luckily websites like Picmonkey or Canva provide online tools to make designing high-quality pins quick, easy and fun. This screenshot shows an image I created in Picmonkey using a mix of our cartoons and their online tools.
HOT TIP: Place your most popular boards in the top two rows.
When Pinners click on your Pinterest page, they only see seven boards ‘above the fold’. So show them your best work. To move a board, just click and drag the board into its new position.
For Pinterest inspiration, check out these authors:
Kristen Kieffer: https://nz.pinterest.com/well_storied/
Bible Pathway Adventures: https://nz.pinterest.com/biblestory4kids/
Joanna Penn: https://nz.pinterest.com/jfpenn/
My next blogpost will discuss how to use Pinterest to drive online traffic to your author blog or website.
About Pip Reid
Pip Reid is the co-founder and author of Bible Pathway Adventures, a free Bible storyapp created to help parents around the world teach children more about the Bible. To help with this mission, Bible Pathway Adventures offers Bible stories and educational resources stories in many languages including Chinese, Hindi, Swahili, Tagalog, Spanish, Russian, Indonesian and Portuguese. All available for free download at www.biblepathwayadventures.com.
Outside of writing, Pip loves spending time in the outdoors, traveling, reading, and hiking with MJ, the world’s most lovable Staffy X.
Stay up to date with Bible Pathway Adventures on social media: