Category Archives: Pinterest

Platform Building Ideas Presented on Pinterest

I was surprised to discover most writers are introverts.

Because I’m obnoxious an extrovert, I assumed all writers were. Surprise!  When I first started attending writers meetings  years ago, I met many quiet, well-behaved people.  I actually think writers are  so busy talking to their imaginary characters and creating scenes in their minds, they can forget to interact with the real characters around them.

When introverted writers are told they need a social media platform and a marketing plan for their books, they panic.  Wait, even extroverts panic, because we only daydream about writing our books.  We never daydream about selling them.

But, today’s market demands writers are more than great writers, they must be savvy marketers.

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Today’s Cool Tool is something I created  for writers. I wanted to inspire writers and remove some of the panic they feel when they hear the word platform. To many, it feels more like walking the plank than promoting their brilliance captured in print.

Introverts fear approaching someone and introducing themselves, and are even more uncomfortable when faced with having to  introduce themselves AND promote their book.

Imagine a bricklayer at work.  Brick by brick, they build a wall higher and higher and higher.  That’s how you build a platform – one brick of knowledge at a time.  You don’t have to do it all at once, focus on one aspect of social media, conquer it, then move onto the next area. Last spring I added a Facebook Author Page (fan page) and began utilizing that.

Then I moved onto PinterestIt’s so addicting, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pinterest Support Groups start popping up around the country.  I recently read that people are clicking to Pinterest  before Google, so if that’s where people are, that’s where writers need to be. 

This Pinterest board was created to help writers begin the brick by brick process of building their author platform.

 

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The bricks in this case are the pins on the board I named  Book Launch and Author Platform. I visited websites from some of the great thinkers in the industry and pinned them.  There are even some craft ideas sprinkled in for staging an author event.  I’ll decorating our annual writers conference,  Northwest Christian Writers Renewal with some of these projects. (Click on the graphic to take you to my Pinterest board.)

 

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These are a few of the individual pins to show the variety.  (click on any link to bring you to their web site.) The articles introduce you to the information, and to the people in the industry.  This board will constantly be growing and changing as I discover new skills I need to learn. It’s like in high school and I’m doing your homework for you, but this isn’t cheating. Smile  I love helping other writers.

If you are on Pinterest already, you can follow the board.  If you aren’t on Pinterest,  save it to your favorites. 

Grow your confidence and your platform by choosing and implementing one area of social media. C’mon, pick up one  brick from this Pinterest board.  When it’s solidly in place, pick up another one.  Before you know it, you’ll be standing on a sturdy Author Platform.

 

Previous blog posts about Pinterest:

Two bricks in my social media platform…

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Are ya’ PINNED yet?

 

In my mother’s teen years, if you got “pinned” you received a pin from your boyfriend and were going steady.  It might be from his frat house, one of his clubs, or a pin from his letterman’s jacket. The pin proved YOU were the one he chose above all the other girls and he was willing to publically display his commitment.

In “The Telephone Hour” in Bye Bye Birdie they sing about the teenage ritual of getting pinned.

Have you heard about Hugo and Kim?
Did they really get pinned?
Did she kiss him and cry?
Did he pin the pin on?
Or was he too shy?
Well, I heard they got pinned
Yeah! Yeah!
I was hopin’ they would!
Oho!
Now they’re livin’ at last,
Goin’ steady for good!

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Pinterest is the same thing, only different. It’s a Cool Tool that can improve your blogging.

Today getting pinned still means you were chosen – picked out of a crowd.  Someone liked your idea and displayed it in their inspirational corner of cyberspace – Pinterest.

If you’re not a crafty, kitcheny person, you might think it’s a waste of time. Think again. There’s an explosion of talent, ideas and inspiration useful to everyone.

I know, I know, one more thing to learn.  One more thing to take time away from everything else you don’t have time for. 

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One more thing to drive traffic to your blog.

In case you can’t read that little number, in the short time that I’ve limped along learning how to pin, 638 people have clicked to my blog from Pinterest.

I blogged for years before I added social media to my writing life.  My blog grew slowly. Followers were added one at a time by visiting blogs, leaving comments and creating relationships.  Some of these women became true friends and I’ve even met them in person. It’s been such a blessing! This is the best foundation for a blog, good internet relationships.

However, when you are trying to build a platform as a writer, you need to increase your audience.

I created a Facebook author page in February and started Pinterest in the spring. Prior to this,  I had been using my personal Facebook page to promote blog posts, so the stats aren’t just from this year.

The impact social media can have on your blog traffic can’t be denied.

 

You can create a board for the various topics areas you write about. When you pin from your blog, the title of the blog is in bold print and you can add a one-liner to entice the browsers to learn more. When people click on the image, it will lead them to your post.

If people like your visuals, they will pin them into their own Pinterest boards.  You get pinned and sometimes repinned. Being on Pinterest will also inspire you to have great visuals in your blog posts, visuals  worthy of being pinned.

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(Each icon is hyperlinked to a blog post.)

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MARRIAGE

 

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PARENTING

 

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INSPIRATION

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WRITING   INSPIRATION

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COOL TOOLS FORBLOGGING

There’s a lot of great bloggers out there, but having Pinterest-worthy visuals could give you an advantage in driving traffic your way.

Are ya’ PINNED yet?

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How to Make It Easy for Pinners to Visit Your Blog

Last week my guest blogger, Kim Vandel, introduced the Pin It Bookmarklet. It was awesome to learn a new Cool Tool by reading my own blog!  Gentle Readers, today she has a tip in using Pinterest to gain readers, not just pinners. 

imageKim Vandel is a writer and voracious reader from the Seattle suburbs, and she’s the Public Relations Coordinator for Northwest Christian Writers Association. She recently became a finalist in the 2013 Cascades Writing Contest in the Unpublished Young Adult fiction category. You can find her at kimvandel.com.

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Most writers want more readers, but the question is how to draw those readers to our blog or website. There are so many blogs out there that it can be hard to get noticed.

One of the reasons I joined Pinterest was the chance to connect with my target audience. Pinterest boards are a simple but effective way to share my point of view with potential readers. What do I mean by point of view? I’m talking about how I see the world. My interests. The things that grab my attention. The things that make me laugh. People who connect with my point of view are more likely to be interested in what I have to say and check out my blog.

I created a board for my blog when I joined Pinterest, but it wasn’t exactly a success. In other words, I didn’t have any referrals from Pinterest. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Discouraging, yes, but I soldiered on. I’m an observer and thinker, and sometimes it takes a while for my ideas to make their way to the surface.

I was getting plenty of likes and repins of my quotes, but I didn’t like the fact that Quozio and Pinstamatic were getting the credit. I want people to find me and my blog, not a quote-making website, so I decided to try another tactic. Instead of posting a quote straight to Pinterest, I downloaded it to my computer and then uploaded it to my board. A better option, but all the pin said was that I uploaded the quote.

Then I found my new best friend, the Pin It Bookmarklet. I could pin from pretty much anywhere, so why not my blog? Instead of uploading those quotes to Pinterest, I started adding them to the Media Library on my blog and used my handy-dandy bookmarklet to pin them to my Inspirational Quotes board. Since I started pinning quotes from my blog, I’ve gotten more referrals from Pinterest than anywhere else—Google, WordPress, Facebook, or Twitter.

So my Cool Tool for today is really more of a Cool Tip: How to make it easy for "pinners" to visit your blog.

First you’ll need last week’s Cool Tool, the Pin It Bookmarklet. Then check out Mindy’s blog on turning a quote into a masterpiece if you missed it. Use a site like Recite This that will let you download your quote masterpiece to your computer. (It should automatically go to the "Downloads" folder.)

For WordPress users, you’ll find the Media Library on the sidebar menu of your dashboard.

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You’ll see two options when your cursor hovers over "Media." Click on "Add New."

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This will take you to the "Upload Media" page. Click on the "Choose File" button and select the quote you saved in your Downloads folder (Step 1). The name of your file will show up next to the "Choose File" button when you’re done.

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Now click on "Upload" (Step 2).

The next screen will be your Media Library. Three options will appear when your cursor hovers over the title of your quote. Select the "View" option.

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It will take you to a page with your quote.

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Now click on your bookmarklet icon.

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Choose the picture of the quote.

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The "Create a Pin" window will pop up. Select which board you want to pin your quote to and edit the description if necessary.

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Here’s the quote on my Pinterest board. It even encourages a visit to my blog!

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I want to make it as easy as possible for potential readers to find me, and with my blog only a click away, there’s a much better chance they’ll check it out.

Social media can be overwhelming at times. (Or if you’re like me, it’s overwhelming on a daily basis.) Part of social media is figuring out where and how you make the best connection with your readers. It’s a lot of experimenting to find what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s doing a lot of little things that slowly add up to something bigger. Hopefully you now have one more little thing to help you attract readers.

I’d love to hear how this Cool Tip works for you or what Cool Tip you’ve come up with!

Your New Best Friend: The Pin It Bookmarklet

 

I try to stay in tune with the social media trends, but get a little lost.  The world invented itself around me and I don’t see the landscape I grew up in of the 70’s,  console television sets with rabbit ears and 20 pound rotary phones with 20 foot curly cords.  I’m blessed to have friends that are not only great writers, they navigate the world of social media so well, they  make it recognizable and useful to me.

Today’s Cool Tool is brought to you by Kim, a friend with great talent and abilities.  She brings calm to my frantic, wings to my ideas and kindling to my flames of inspiration. After reading her post, I hope you have the same head-slapping reaction I did, “DUH? It’s that easy?!?” 

 

 

imageKim Vandel is a writer and voracious reader from the Seattle suburbs, and she’s the Public Relations Coordinator for Northwest Christian Writers Association. She recently became a finalist in the 2013 Cascades Writing Contest in the Unpublished Young Adult fiction category. You can find her at kimvandel.com.

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For writers, Pinterest is more than a virtual corkboard for recipes and DIY projects. It’s a fantastic way to gather research, collect writing ideas, and find inspiration for both writing and life. If you haven’t tried the Pin It Bookmarklet yet, then get ready to meet your new best friend. This handy little tool lets you pin from almost anywhere you go on the web, so no more despair when you can’t find a "Pin it" button on the page you’ve fallen in love with. You don’t have to bookmark a bunch of pages, and you don’t have to worry about "stealing" pictures or trying to remember where you saw the article you need. The bookmarklet automatically links your pin to the website where you found it.

To get started, go to the Pinterest Goodies page and scroll down to "The Pin It Button." You’ll have two options. If you’re using Google Chrome, select install now.

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For other web browsers, select the "Pinterest Bookmarklet" link.

Drag the red "Pin It" button to your toolbar to install the bookmarklet.

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When you get done, you’ll see the red Pinterest icon on your toolbar. That means you’re ready to pin!

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I’ll give you an example of how it works. I found a picture I wanted to add to my Visual Writing Prompts board, so I clicked on the icon. It gave me several picture options from the page. The "Pin it" button appeared when my cursor hovered over the picture.

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When I clicked on the button, a window popped up, and I was able to choose which board I wanted to pin the picture to. I also had the option of editing the description.

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I then clicked on the red "Pin it" button, and the picture was added to my board with a link back to the website.

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My Visual Writing Prompts board is one of my favorites. I’m a speculative writer (fantasy, science fiction, etc) and some pictures instantly spark a story idea for me. Other pictures, like the one in my example, provide inspiration for an idea I already have. It helps me visualize the futuristic world I want to create, and I’ll be able to come back to the image when it’s time to describe the setting. Studying the details—the sense of speed, the play of light against dark—will allow me to create a vivid picture in the reader’s imagination.

Maybe you don’t need to build a futuristic story world. That’s okay. (I won’t hold it against you.) Whatever you write—fiction or non-fiction, blog articles or epic novels—the Pin It Bookmarklet will give you the freedom to roam the web and gather inspiration and ideas wherever you find them. So get pinning already!

do yOu liKe mE?

‘member passing grade school notes?

you’d rip off a corner of your notebook paper
and print out what your heart longed to know.

you’d fold it over and over until it was nearly invisible and
have your best friend deliver it because you were nervous.I don't know smile

what if they checked NO?

what if you faced rejection?

the butterflies were worse
if you had just finished your  five cent carton of milk
during snack time.

some things never change.

I just hafta’ know how you feel.

do you like me 2

‘cuz I got a new
Author Facebook page
and I wanted to ask if you liked me enough
to be my friend?

it’s a place I’ll be hanging after school,
yes, after school because I homeschool.

my status updates will be to
inspire,
educate,
and  introduce  
friends who love to read,
friends who love to write,
and friends that love both.

as I wait for your answer
my butterflies are worse because I just finished
two cups of coffee at snack time.

some things haven’t changed
and some things have.

instead of passing that note back when Teacher isn’t looking,
click on my pic above

and then click image with your trusty mouse finger.

see ya’ at recess, BFF.

(sometimes I do this at recess, too)

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Wooden it be Cool if I Pinterested

People ask me if I Pinterest.

I tell them I already waste too much time in a day .
I don’t need to sit and look at pictures that remind me
there are bajillions of women in the world who are
better at
sewing
crotcheting
cooking

knitting
decorating
painting
crafting
baking
salvaging….

While they’re busy turning their recyclables into wall clocks,
I’m trying get my teenager to take out the recycle.

While their dryer lint becomes an art medium, 
my piles of dirty laundry have formed artistic shapes.

But, if I DID
Pinterest,
this is the wood I would Pinterest from our September trip to Amsterdam.

See how much time I waste? 
I haven’t even finished blogging about  a trip two months ago.

Amsterdam Canal Houseboat
Not only did I love the wooden shelf on this boat, I LOVED the light fixture.
I almost wanted to knock on the door and ask for it.
But, that’s kinda rude, right?
Right?

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I seriously coveted this crate.
It just needs to be filled with stuff I bought at the second-hand store.

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Aw, SWEET!
I kept thinking, “I could totally make that!”
It’s just a coupla’ boards and a coupla’ nails.

 

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These benches should be in my garden.
They didn’t fit in my suitcase,
even though it was the biggest one Target sold.

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They even have pallets in Amsterdam.
I wonder if they have women like Donna from Funky Junk Interiors in Amsterdam.
She’s the Queen of Pallet Wood.

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My mom and dad created a bathroom sink out of a wooden barrel once,
and it was darling.  They used a stirrup for a towel holder,
nailed a few horse shoes on the wall,  and mom sewed a bandana shower curtain.
Maybe that’s why I’m still so drawn to barrels.

Besides, when I look at that table,
I know I could totally make that.

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We bought lunch at Albert Heijn, Scott and I sat in a window sill and ate lunch.
Right on the street.
Like tourists, I’m pretty sure.
This was in the window.
They weren’t using it.
I could think of a hundred uses for it.
What a waste.

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Can’t decide if this would be comfortable or not,
but I didn’t bring it home,
so I guess the question is irrelevant,
but I’m pretty sure
I could totally make that.

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I used to have old wood folding chairs. 
More things we left behind in one of the moves.
Guess I would seriously look like a hoarder,
if I hadn’t moved three summers in a row and had to get rid of
tons of stuff with each move.

Green bistro set
Gray, weathered wood is my favorite,
but this green table with colorful pots almost made me wanna’ buy paint.

Almost, but not quite. 

Bike Basket Seattle Style
Now, THIS bike HAS to belong to an ex-pat from Seattle.
Our grocery carts have little coffee holders in them,
because our grocery stores have coffee shops in them.
Our grocery stores also have coffee shops next to them,
around the corner from them and behind them.

We love us some coffee in Seattle.

 

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This was in a store window, but since hubby was walking ahead of me
and didn’t notice I had stopped, I didn’t have time to figure out
what it is and
what it’s for.

I didn’t see any other furniture, or enough art to make it a gallery,
but here’s another piece
that made me think

“I could totally make that!”

If I ever make all these cool things, 
THEN

you’ll see me on Pinterest.