Monday, April 16, 2012

Pinterested? Four Reasons Why Writers Should Be

Don't let Pinterest's Social Sharing tag fool you into thinking it's just another time sucker. Want to know what catches a reader's attention and keeps them hooked? Pinterest has the answer - and it's neatly packaged in a display of images with thousands of followers.

Use Niche To Attract and Hook Readers

You can read one article after another about what niche is and why it's important - or you can simply spend a few minutes at Pinterest boards like this and this to see it in action.  Spend just a few seconds at these boards, and you know what to expect there (content, style, tone), who the audience is, and whether or not you want to follow, too.  And there you have it:  a general understanding of that abstract concept called niche and how it works.

Apply this to your own writing by trying to view it through a pinner's eyes (stay with me here). If you're a blogger, think of your blog as a pinboard with a certain theme, and of each post as a "pin" on that theme. Feature writers might view their topic of expertise as the pinboard theme, with each related article they write as a pin. Take my parenting articles, for example. I write about How To Make Learning Fun for Your Kids. That's my board theme. Related "pins" include Have a Blast with Science, Word Play, and Hook a Reader This Summer.

Visualizing it this way really helps to stay on topic, build credibility as an "expert," and continue giving readers what they want.

Use Images To Discover Your Target Audience - And Attract More Readers
Many times our topics are too general or broad, and we don't even know it. To discover your target audience or narrow in on it, try looking at your work  from your readers' perspective. Assume they're pinners. What related images would interest them?

I initially picked this image to post on the blog:

It fits in the sense that it's interesting to writers in general, and fits my humor. But it wasn't quite right, and asking WHY NOT gave me this answer about my target readers:  because this blog is for writers who need information, encouragement, and want to build a career of writing. The image doesn't inform, encourage, or address career writers. Something like this would be more fitting:

Used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at

An added bonus: if you're writing online and your readers really ARE pinners, you'll attract more readers when they pin your images.

Make Your Title Catchy

What will catch readers' attention and make them choose your piece of all the titles out there? Some popular pinners have figured that out, so it's worth trying to duplicate those qualities. There are writers out there who have already done some of the research for us. One writer analyzes 12 intriguing board titles to figure out what makes them work - and how you can make your titles work, too. While she's writing specifically for pinners, once again, writers can take away a lot of good ideas.

Pinterest is Quick Practice at Building a Niche and Attracting Followers

Just the 10-minute process of creating a board, naming it and picking a related image, based on the above, can teach a lot about how to better approach your writing with a readership in mind - not to mention the added benefit of a Pinterest following, should you decide to pin on.

a Recent Convert

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