Writing Prompt 42

Are you bored with promotions yet? Yes? No? Well, here’s another one. The Man Behind The Bar is free worldwide for today only (May 28). You can get a copy here. If you live in the UK, try here, if in Germany go here. Here’s the link for Canada and Australia. Check other regional Amazon shops for your free copies. Oh, and I’d love it if you could leave a review.

Anyway, on to writing prompt 42

Thunder cracked in the distance. “You sure it’s the right grave?” Burt asked. I rattled and slapped the flashlight, and muttered a few curses. “Eleventh from the path,” I said over the whistling wind and the pattering of the rain. The flashlight came to life, and a yellow ribbon cut through the darkness. I pointed the light beam on the tombstone. The rain washed the name away. two New ones replaced it. They were our names.

Originally, the above prompt was bigger (more like a vignette, though probably too small even for it), but since I’ve decided to publish these prompts on Pinterest and had to use background graphics for them for more people to, hopefully, benefit from them, available space became an issue. Anyway, for the readers of this blog, and those interested in the slightly longer version, here’s the original piece.

The flash illuminated Burt’s face staring at me, water running in rivulets on it. “You sure it’s the right one?” Moment’s later, thunder cracked somewhere in the distance.
Roger slapped his flashlight, rattled it, and emitted a few silent curses.
I nodded. Stupid me; he couldn’t see me in this pitch black. “Eleventh headstones from the path,” I said over the whistling wind.
Roger’s flashlight came to life, and a yellow ribbon cut through the darkness. “Finally.”
“I have a bad feeling about this,” Burt said. “Let the dead rest, my pop used to say.”
“Doesn’t surprise me one bit. You’re as senile and superstitious as he was. In his best days.”
Roger whimpered loud enough for me and Burt to hear. His light beam was shaking. He pointed a finger at the tombstone.
The letters on it faded away, as if dissolved by the water. New letters formed and replaced the old ones.
They were our names.

Discovering the power of Pinterest

For the past week, when I announced the publication of my first short story on Amazon, I’ve been tinkering with Pinterest in an attempt to divert some traffic to my blog. I wanted to see if using Pinterest as a form of getting my name out there and making my presence in the world wide web known, would have any impact.

I’ve been using Pinterest for some time now, but mostly through my personal account and usually for things that ended up on my hidden and private boards. At the time, there were only three public boards, two of which were for inspiration to fellow writers (with images and text), and for tips on writing that might be helpful.

I decided to change my account from personal to business. Nothing fancy or hard or expensive. Just a click of a button that converted the account. Simplest conversion ever. I did that to make sure Pinterest mods wouldn’t delete my account or take any action against me once I started advertising my work through their platform. Not to mention that a business account gains access to analytics that personal accounts don’t have.

Then what I did was to join some group boards that are related to writing and were accepting new contributors. For that, I used Pingroupie. Once I found the ones I thought I could fit in and contribute, I sent the creator a message and asked if they could add me. As it turned out, that was the most important step; group boards.

Some of those boards have literally thousands of people following them, which means a few people are bound to see your pin and either follow the link to wherever it leads them (amazon, blog post, etc) or repin it to some of their own boards for others to see and share. The combination of Pinterest and Pingroupie is powerful for this kind of thing.

Since the transition (I think it was Monday or Tuesday), I published three original pins (plus several repins, but they don’t redirect to my blog) and waited for the outcome. Now, my blog is not very popular nor have I ever tried to make it as such. That’s not why I started blogging in the first place. Still, take a look at the number of visitors for March 2017.

Which basically corresponds to these numbers for diverted traffic

Pinterest is at the very top, with only a week of promoting one previous post and one pin about the upcoming story, plus a third about publishing contracts that directed to another site.

Simply put, I’m amazed. Of course, that doesn’t mean that all these visits would translate into sales when the story goes public. I’m not walking in the clouds. Perhaps, one out of all these visitors would click to buy it, and that’s probably stretching it. But that’s beside the point of this post. The point is, that Pinterest does help to put you out there and make your content (and, why not, your stories too) known.

In the next few weeks, I’ll go over some of my older posts, and try to find the ones that could be interesting to readers outside wordpress. I’ll enhance them with Pinterest-friendly images, upload them there, and see what happens.

Though too early to reach to any definitive conclusions, it seems the visual power Pinterest has and its ease of use, might be a good way to draw attention to your blog, if that’s what you want. It may also help promote some of your work. If you haven’t tried it already, give it a go.