Pinterest: boost your pinterpix with some great pinterwords

With all the fuss going on about the exponential growth of Pinterest and how to do everything with it short of performing micro-surgery or splitting the atom, I’ve been quietly observing and thinking about how to write for it. Yes, I know it’s visually based but words matter here as much as they do everywhere.

A picture is worth a thousand words – PLUS…

My take on creating really good Pins is to enhance your images with some great captions and hooks. With these you can add some extra spice and intrigue into your images and encourage readers to look into the stories further … especially useful if you’re using Pinterest with an eye on business.

Remember that you’re limited to a total of 500 characters. That’s somewhere around 80 – 90 words, but your Pinterest screen will cut you off when you go over the limit so you’ll know when to stop anyway.

Add your own hook to media headlines to flag up the main issue

My hooks are in capital letters. Media headlines are in italics.

BE WARNED: “Painful womb condition endometriosis linked to higher risk of ovarian cancer.”

SHEER INSPIRATION: “In diary extracts raw with emotion, Shane Spall reveals how her film star husband overcame ‘terminal’ cancer and is now fulfilling a vow he made to her on his deathbed”

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WHALING? (THIS BREAKS MY HEART) “Japan has ended its whaling season with less than a third of its annual target, said the country’s Fisheries Agency.” The whaling ships headed home from the Antarctic Ocean this week with 266 minke whales and one fin whale, falling short of its quota of about 900. The agency blamed “sabotage” by anti-whaling activists for the shortfall.”

I OFTEN WONDERED WHY I FIND MYSELF HUMMING A SONG: “Earworms: Why songs get stuck in our heads”

Use an intriguing mini-headline and catchy and/or useful caption for your own Pins

HERE’S A BIG MAC FOR PEOPLE WITH A SWEET TOOTH … brilliant birthday cake by my clever cousin in Ottawa … especially love the fries with ketchup! She makes fab cakes and other desserts to order… (pic of one of my cousin’s amazing cakes…)

ONE OF MY TENANTS: Gypsy Vanner – Anglo Arabian cross (Mom’s in the background.) Now 6 months old and “practising how to be a stallion” … what a handsome little chap he was as a newborn, here! (pic of baby horse)

NO-NO: when grooming horses’ feet, stand to one side facing their rear end. If horsey, here, raises his/her right hind leg in a hurry that fetlock will go smack into the rider’s face. Ouch… (pic of someone grooming horse’s feet the wrong way)

EVER HEARD OF THE “CANADIAN HORSE?” This is “Charbon,” a stallion I met (but declined a ride on – was too chicken…) who typifies this vigorous breed. More than 100K of these horses were exported to the USA during its Civil War, and the breed is said to have influenced even the mighty US Morgan horse. Was threatened with extinction in the 20th century but now is flourishing again in Canada and beyond.

Use your own sense of humor to enhance already amusing images

WHAT NEXT – COSMETIC BOTOX FOR BEARS? “Brown bear exfoliates using rock as a tool”

YOU PUT BUBBLE BATH IN? I HATE BUBBLE BATH … grrrr  (pic of tiger underwater with bubbles, snarling ferociously)

IS THIS A MEXICAN HAIRLESS PUPPY WITH A BAD CASE OF MANGE? OH, SORRY … Chanel is making eyebrow art a thing… (pic of model with jewel-studded eyebrows)

JUST GO AWAY. I’VE GOT A HANGOVER. (pic of one of my dogs in my bed…)

WHY MY CONTAINER CORN WAS A BIT STUNTED LAST SUMMER (pic of one of my cats asleep in a plant pot)

Infographics: pictures or tortures?

Increasingly I’m seeing infographics on Pinterest and although they are an interesting phenomenon in themselves (I’ll be doing a post about how to write for those soon, so watch this space) I wonder just how many Pinterfolks click through to the final, final image to read all those lovely bits of tiny text spread around in a cute diagrammatic format.

Especially when there are clearer, more viewable images about other stuff on their Pinterest home pages which don’t require a powerful magnifying glass to view.

Much as I’m longing to spout an opinion on infographics here, I will zip my lip and shut up. For now.

Using images that may be subject to copyright restrictions

I know that this isn’t about writing but as everyone is chewing on this one right now, here is my take on it. I have asked many, many people – several of whom are experts in this or that – what the b*lls-out reality is here.

I have received widely varying responses but one comes through loud and clear – wait until a case is brought and a judge makes a ruling.

In the meantime, what do I do about an image I put up on Pinterest but didn’t photograph myself (where an attribution is possible?) I thank the copyright owner for the kind loan of the image and include a link to his/her/their website. Probably counts for diddly squat in a court of law but at least it’s honesty on my part and hopefully may enhance business traffic through to the copyright owners.

Some useful Pinterest resources

Here are some blog posts and other resources you may find helpful if you’re just starting out on Pinterest, and even if you’re an existing user these links might be handy for you too.

Pinterest? But what about my writing?

This may be of Pinterest to you

Pinterest: measuring your pinfluence

5 industries that should be on Pinterest right now

Sourcing great images for Pinterest

5 ways brands can use Pinterest to boost consumer engagement

Why I’m not putting all my eggs in the Pinterest basket just yet

Pinterest being taken over by marketers? Don’t make me laugh

Can Pinterest become a small business’s new best friend?

What is your experience of Pinterest so far? Would love to know and share your thoughts. (And if you want to follow me on Pinterest, click here. Especially if you enjoy a good chuckle…)

Now, let’s pin up your  writing!

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

“English to English: the A to Z of British-American translations”…more than 2,000 business and social terms from the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

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  1. Thanks, BizSugar! I hope you agree that these tips are helpful, especially for people first starting out with Pinterest.

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  1. BizSugar.com says:

    Pinterest: boost your pinterpix with great pinterwords…

    With Pinterest growing exponentially writer Suzan St Maur has been observing and thinking about how to write for it. Here are her conclusions and tips for success…

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