Pinterest for Travel Blogging Newbies copy

Pinterest for Travel Bloggers

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So you’ve Googled ‘Pinterest for travel bloggers’ or stumbled across this page via Twitter – welcome, you are in safe hands. It was not that long ago I was a social media newbie but now Pinterest is my biggest referrer each month. Before I started up Two Scots Abroad on Pinterest, I had dabbled with Pinterest personally – mainly looking at Hallowe’en costumes and nail art, but I never considered how Pinterest could help those with a business. It does! Because you assign weblinks to your pins, if pinners are inclined they will click through to your website to find out more about the image = traffic! My Google Analytics show referrals from Pinterest daily and the following 8 steps will get you to this stage in no time.

By the end of this post you will be able to

  • Create quick, good looking pins
  • Engage with and gain followers
  • Pull traffic to your site via Pinterest

PS. 2 out 3 most popular articles on our site are also two of my most popular pins (see here and here!)

1. Pretty Pinterest Boards

Create a profile, fill in the usual (you’ll need to verify your website by putting a code in your website), and create boards. You want them to look aesthetically pleasing. Lots of research suggests that one of your first boards should be your blog board so that your followers can keep up to date with your newest posts. Upload your first pin by clicking ‘edit’ and type in the weblink which is associated with your pin or choose ‘upload from site’ and put the web address of the post.

Pinterest For Travel Blogging Newbies

*Annoyingly, Pinterest is split testing, some people will see split board covers

2. How to Create Pins for Pinterest

Photos which are vertical (long), slim and bright get more attention. Currently the best size is 735 x 1102. I use Canva as it offers pre-set Pinterest templates. I edit all images on Lightroom before uploading to Canva, quality is key. You not only want pinners to click on your pins but you want them to pin them to their own boards too!

3. Call Out Pins for Pinterest

When I create a new article I always create a new pin (using Canva, see above) to support it. This lets me tell the world MY ARTICLE HAS LANDED aka, I create a ‘call out’.

Pins with nice images and catchy titles do well on Pinterest. For example, ‘10 Things to do in Ljubljana’. These pins grab even the shortest of attention spans as the reader knows that the article is going to be succinct.

Next I add the pin to my blog article. To do this I upload the Canva template sized pin to WordPress, add to my post from the media library and then click the pencil on the image to manually resize to 350 x 525. I used to be able to directly save that pin to Pinterest and it would be large but something has changed so I am back to manually uploading the Canva pin to my Pinterest and adding info in edit section, so annoying.

I also add my SEO keywords in the alt tag section (the words I would like to rank for in Google and Pinterest). Finally, I write a quick sentence suggesting that the reader hovers over the pin and saves to their own Pinterest boards (see below for my pin call out for this article – Pinterest for Travel Bloggers).

Here is one of my most popular pins (not the best in my opinion) but there is a statement on it which obviously works!

Pinterest for Travel Blogging Newbies

4. Keywords on Pinterest

Like Google, Pinterest is a search engine. Users type keywords into the Pinterest search bar and pins associated with those keywords pop up. You want to be in the top line of pins and in order to do that you should use the keywords you want to rank for in the pin description (or the alt tag in WordPress).

5. Pinning & Sharing Pins to Increase Traffic

When I first started using Pinterest I searched for ‘travel’ in the search bar and added the most popular pins to my boards. I also followed 50 travel related accounts per day, to get some numbers behind me. This information worked for me, but with the development of research on how Pinterest works it has become clear that it is not a social media channel, it’s a search engine. However, you still want an audience to show your pins to when you first upload them.

Pinterest For Travel Blogging Newbies Pinterest Search

6. Group Pinterest Boards

You want to get access to group Pinterest boards so you can share your pins with others who do not follow you. Use Pingroupie to find group boards looking for pinners. Some have instructions on how to apply, just follow that (something like – go to this website and fill out a form). Others don’t, to find out who to contact delete the board name in the URL and hit return. This will take you to the board owner’s page. Click on any advertised social media and contact them politely. Aim for boards with lots of followers but not as many pinners (5000-10.000 followers and more than 20 pinners has been suggested.) Check the first line of photos for the ‘repin’ logo to see how many times the pins are pinned by pinners onto their boards (if none or very low numbers try another board).

Once you are on a board, add a quality pin every day. I have a spreadsheet with all the board names on it and I note down what I’ve shared and which board I pinned it to. Tailwind and Buffer are pin scheduling website so you can set up your pinning before hand.  <—- I can’t afford these just now!

I’ve now started being invited to boards as opposed to asking to be on them. I’m having to knock back invites for ones that don’t quite fit our niche as I don’t have the time to commit to pinning every night. I know of bloggers who employ VAs (Virtual Assistants) as they too, as travel bloggers, see the benefit of using Pintersest to drive traffic to their sites, regardless of how big they are in the blogosphere.

*Update – I have started looking at Pinterest anayltics and focussing on which group boards have the best repin and click through records, still keeping a record of what I’ve pinned. I like and pin from that group board too.

7. Pinterest Plugins for Your Website

There are many plugins which will connect Pinterest with your website – this will allow readers to pin any photos of interest from your site to their boards.

 

Pinterest for Travel Blogging Newbies

8. Pinterest Facebook Groups

Joining social media sharing Facebook groups has changed my life. Pinterest for Travel Bloggers sets up daily Pinterest share, add your pin to the list and add the others to your own Pinterest boards, other bloggers will do the same for you. I’ve recently joined another group who shares high performing pins (so we repin an original pin), I’m hoping to see positive results, the pin has been successfully thus far, why not push it further?

If you found this useful, why not hover over & pin to your blogging Pinterest board for others to use?

Pinterest For Travel Blogging Newbies

Pinterest for Travel Bloggers

Obviously, Pinterest is just one tool in your travel blogging toolkit. It is possible that many of you actually found this post via Google – this shows the strength of good SEO which should not be ignored for social media! SEO is something I wish I had paid more attention to from the start however it has given me an excuse to revisit old posts which need  a bit of love. To find out more on my procedure for blogging check out this post tips to get more blog followers. Pinterest is guilty of creating high bounce rates – blogging needs a balance between all forms of traffic.

Pinterest now allows users to share affiliate links which is something I would like to explore in the near future! Is anyone using it? Let me know how you are getting on in the comments below. Annoyingly, Pinterest has removed the pin count and replaced the icon with a ‘reach graph’. If you make the pin bigger you can see how many repins it has enjoyed by looking at the ‘boards’ at the bottom. You can think about what design/topics works best from this.

Travel Bloggers Pinterest Weekly Task

Assuming you already have a Pinterest account set up (if you don’t, that is task 1),

  • Go to Canva
  • Select the Pinterest template
  • Create a stylish pin using the grids, templates, or free reign
  • Upload to your country specific Pinterest board (remember to edit / link to blog)
  • Join a Pinterest group board
  • Share pin with group board / like and add someone else’s pin
  • Join a Facebook share group and share your pin / share pins from other bloggers

Let me know how you get on the comments below! What worked? What can I tweak?

Next in the series:

Twitter for Travel Bloggers

Pinterest is so useful for traffic and ideas – what have you found that works?

 

I have no affiliation with any of the websites mentioned above, I just think they are great for growing your Pinterest following and creating very pinnable pins for Pinterest!

 

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      Thanks for reading Bob. It’s time I need! I am starting to believe that Pinterest is the best of all the social networking platforms for traffic (Twitter serves me well also).

  1. I also get a lot of traffic from Pinterest (second to Twitter) but I put zero effort into pinning. I have often wondered how much farther Pinterest could take me if I actually worked at it… This has been a very helpful post and may be the push I need to get more done on Pinterest. I agree that it is an extremely useful platform and unlike others, it is actually fun! Also, I find Pinterest analytics very helpful and I recommend checking yours out.

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  2. Thanks for the advise. I’m not a newbie, but have only just started trying to use Pinterest- SO MANY SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS! It’s a bit exhausting keeping up with them all, but thank-you. Pinterest is a goodun I think!

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  3. Thanks for these tips – they’re very useful for me as a newbie blogger who is learning how to use all these social media platforms to work for me. It’s time consuming though trying to keep up!

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      It really is Minka but you need to prioritise so it doesn’t consume your life. Some bloggers just focus on one or two at the start. Pinterest is a goodie because you see the traffic hitting your site directly. Good luck!

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  4. Thank you so much for being willing to help us newbies out. After I get my Pinterest page up, I will look forward to reading the rest of your series for helping newbies–and hope it doesn’t cost me too much more work 😉

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  5. Thank you so much for this! I joined the Facebook group right away, hopefully that’ll help get me some more traffic.
    I can’t wait to get started with Pinterest and learn all of its secrets!

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      That’s a great move you’ve made. I’ve just worked out that 2/3 of my most popular articles are old but are also my most popular pins on Pinterest! Remember to engage too – like, comment etc. This helps a lot.

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  6. I did a quick Google search for advice for pintrest for travel bloggers and your page came up second so you guys are doing something right! Great post! I was very much a ‘ooh this food looks amazing’ kinda pinner and wasn’t sure how to make boards for our blog. Now I do 🙂

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      Wowzer, thanks for telling me this – made my weekend! I am a ‘ooo hallowe’en costumes’ type of pinner who progressed to using it for travel! Wishing you all the best and if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

  7. Found this sooo useful – thanks for the advice! The only bit I don’t understand is the “call out” bit. How are these different to the pins you’ve added to pinterest in the first bit? Thanks 🙂

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      Good question – so the Niagara Falls etc pins are just example of what the pins could look like. The ‘call out’ is the smaller pin I add the actual article in my blog post – I write, ‘hover over and pin to your *** board’ something like that. Make sense? Glad it has been of some help!

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          1. I’m WorldlyAdventur – only had a chance to upload some pins but following your advice really helped. Dedicating lots more time to it this week to try and get myself up to speed!

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      I did! It will work wonders for traffic, not so great for bounce rate but everything is a balance. Are you using a scheduling tool? I’m going to purchase one when I get paid (!!) in September. Manual pinning is hard work.

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  8. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your guide, it’s amazing (“stumbled upon” is a bit of an understatement, though… It was pretty much came up first on my search results 😉 )!
    And I can’t thank you enough for recommending Canvas! I was desperately looking for a tool that would make my Pinterest pins look more sophisticated and pin-worthy and less like something made by my grandma…

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  9. One question: by pin, you mean a photo with a name of the article, linking to the article on the web? Or you also create pins that are just photos? I never used pinterest for myself so I am not very sure what it is good for. Except for saving links, that is. Andthen, when you say you pin daily – do you pin one pin to one group more than once? Thank you! This series is so, so useful!

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      Hi Karin, happy to answer any questions. When taking pictures, I also take one horizontal for my blog then one vertical for a pin but what I find I mostly do is use Canva’s Pinterest template and put two horizontal images together with some kind of banner in the middle with text such as ’10 things to do in X.’

      I would actually advise going into Pinterest as a user – search for some meal recipes or Hallowe’en costume ideas and pin to a board that you create. That will help give you a feel for the platform before you attempt to use it for your own blog.

      I *try* to pin two of my own pins to two different group boards every couple of days (would love to do this daily but time wise I struggle). I also share other blogger pins which I get from the Pinterest share Facebook groups and they share mine.

      Hope this clears up your questions?

      1. Yes, thanks a lot 🙂 I actually do pin articles that I find interesting, to keep the links – but I see many people rather pin photos…

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  10. Great Article Gemma,

    Quick question about the pinterest hover buttons (it may sound dumb) I was looking around the wordpress plugins for a hover button, but I could only find ones you pay for. Do you pay for the hover button, or is there one lurking around for free that I’ve not come across.

    Thanks
    Sally 🙂

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      Hi Sally! I don’t, it’s this free one that I use – Pinterest Pin It Button On Image Hover And After Post & Page Content by Weblizer. I did have another free one before that stopped working but I’ve been happy with this! I also use the Chrome attachment for my own pinning (of hallowe’en costume ideas, wedding party decor, and travel of course!)

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  11. Great post, Gemma, I am your fan! One more question: saw that P changed the boards’ layout and I would like to do a nice cover for each of my board. What image size do you recommend for this? Thanks 🙂

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      I think that the Pinterest change of board image is actually split testing the last I heard. I seem to have it to and I’ve not touched my boards but it appears that my designated cover board appears on top and then the latest two pins on the bottom. Had a quick squint on fellow bloggers’ pages and they don’t seem to have made specific images for the top cover image. I think it’s more important to create beautiful, large pins (Canva – time saver!) for your own pins and get them out there via group boards and sharing groups! Thanks for the kind words by the way 🙂

  12. We just joined Pinterest yesterday so this is amazing advice. A bit overwhemes at the moment because we don’t totally understand it, but can see it’s going to be a great timewasting app, if nothing else! Thanks.

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  13. Hi, and thanks for this useful advice. One question: I seem to see that Travel Bloggers on Pinterest fall into two camps. One group simply add photos as pins; another makes custom pins with photo(s) and text, as you explain above. I can see the advantage of the latter, in that the pin clearly and quickly explains what the pin and the link is all about. So why do I see so many photo-only pins, when a tailor-made photo + callout text seems to be preferable? Thanks

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      Good question Denzil! Studies show that images with text do better/are shared/pinned more often. I’m part of two share groups and no one shares pins with no text. All I can think of it that the pins are either directly from blog posts (and not the pre-made pin) or that it’s to please some group boards who do not like pins with text. Does that help?

      1. Thanks for your reply Gemma. I tend not to look at photos only, as often you have to click to find out more info. If you don’t mind me asking another question: what is your opinion about uniformity and consistency of pins? Should all pins have the same look per board, or per user, do you think? I am making boards for cycling, hiking, Gent, Mechelen, parks & gardens etc. Do you think all pins for cycling should be the same, but hiking pins should look different? Or do you think all my pins on whatever topic should look the same? Thanks
        https://www.pinterest.com/discoveringbelg/

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          I’m not really sure what you mean. Some bloggers like to use the same text on all pins. Others add their own website (I’m on a fan of that) on the pin. Others (me included) like to mix it up. I think the quality of the image is important (max 2 per pin, large and clear) and sometimes it’s the content that the pin is selling that matters. For example – this pin, it’s not my best pin but the post content is very popular. Time also helps, this pin is not great but it’s been around for over two years now and has been shared over 2K times. I wouldn’t pigeonhole yourself into on type of pin until you’ve had a few months playing around with designs and what works. Sharing is always very important (via blogger share groups mentioned above).

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  14. Thank you for posting this! I started a travel blog this past fall and had no idea how to use Pinterest. I have read that Pinterest is a really important tool, but, so far, I’ve only used it half-heartedly (I haven’t had much luck with it). This post helps a lot! I will try implementing your suggestions. I’m also apparently not very good at Twitter and found your post about that helpful, too!

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