Category: Other Social Media

Pinterest – Why it’s beating Facebook & Twitter

Pinterest – Why it’s beating Facebook & Twitter

6939604809_6b072449a0_zAre you on Pinterest? You need to be.

Pinterest has been around since early 2010, and serves as a digital “corkboard.” Users create boards and pin pictures to those boards, effectively building a corkboard of photos about a particular subject. More than 80% Pinterest users are women age 35 and older and in the upper middle class economic scale.

Here are five reasons why fiction writers should utilize Pinterest:

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Blogging Tips for Writers

Blogging Tips for Writers

blogShould you blog?

The answer completely depends on the reason you want to blog.

Ask yourself this instead:

Do you like blogging?

If the answer is, “Meh,” then, don’t blog.

If the answer is, “But my agent/friend/mom/publisher says I need to,” then, don’t blog.

If the answer is, “Yes, but I don’t know what to say,” then, maybe you should blog.

If the answer is, “Yes, and I have something to say,” then, clearly you need to blog. 

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blog best practices must include navigation

blog best practices must include navigation

blogAn effective blog is all about consistency and navigation.  If you can’t find it, you won’t read it.  So why make it hard on your own readers?  I admit this has been difficult for me because I want to include absolutely everything.  However, the fact is there are more than 175,000 new blogs every single day.  So if readers can’t find it quickly, they won’t come back.  My three recommendations include:

1- Three clicks or less.  It’s the Google rule.  If a user must go more than three clicks, she’ll stop reading.  If she has to scroll very far, she’ll stop.  So, use the navigation bar and drop-down menus to help make navigating the site easier.

2- Categories are easy for less technical folks.  My friend Elizabeth Caraway turned me on to the user-friendliness of categories.  Her blog http://superveggiemom.com makes great use of categories.  If you are like me and really just want to write the post and upload it with no trouble, categories provide lots of flexibility with having to know how to code.

3- Easy contact and follow.  If they can’t find out more about you, they may not stay.  Easy access to the blogger makes readers feel connected and part of the blog.  Put those follow buttons where people can see them and make sure an email sign up is available.

Tell us about blog best practice that works for you.

Sneaking in ways to build a writer’s platform on Pinterest

Sneaking in ways to build a writer’s platform on Pinterest

pinterest

How in the world could a writer use a tool that is really nothing more than a high-tech bulletin board with thumb-tacked photos all over it for a writer’s platform?  A million different ways!

And with Pinterest edging out Google, Yahoo! and Bing to be the #2 search engine (behind Facebook), it is the place to be.  And here at Checkmate, our motto is to be where the readers are.

Two things to keep in mind with the images you post:  1- copyright & 2-links.  Always make sure there isn’t a copyright on the image (safer sometimes to repin others pins if you aren’t sure).  And always link each pin back to your website, blog, Twitter or Facebook page (whichever is your internet main avenue or home base).

Here are some fun ideas for Pinterest from fellow writers:

1. Book Props – NY Times Bestselling Author Susan Wiggs has one of my favorite boards.  She pins jewelry her characters wear or would wear on her boards.  She also posts drinks from the tavern in her Lakeshore Chronicles series.  This is a fabulous way to promote your books and local businesses.

2. Character & Location Ideas – Author Kate Hart posts ideas for Works in Progress on her boards.  This is one of my favorite ideas because a writer can keep readers up on the progress of the book and keeps the writer motivated to continue writing/posting for the readers.

3. Writing Prompts – Romance Writer Angel Smits posts weekly writing prompts to her board.  If you’re feeling stuck, it’s a great place to get unstuck.

4. Platform Interests – Author Pam McCutcheon uses Pinterest to illustrate Feng Shui in all its various qualities.  Writers with a niche platform can do the same thing.  Each niche can be broken into categories (read boards) and filled with pictures, illustrations, drawings and images unique to that niche.

5. Contest & Giveaways – Author Lisa Renee Jones uses Pinterest for a variety of interesting ways.  One in particular is to promote her latest book through contests and giveaways.  She also displays her very awesome book covers.

What other ideas have you seen on Pinterest that work really well?