How to DOMINATE Pinterest for your Travel Blog

How to DOMINATE Pinterest for your Travel Blog

Have you been on Pinterest a while? You love the idea of Pinterest, and are forever inspired by it, but finding it hard to actually gain any traction on it in terms of gaining followers, repins and traffic from your pins?

I was like this just a few short weeks ago, and I’m slowly starting make my mark and see some results. My weekly follower rate has increased, as has my weekly repin rate.

How? You might ask?

Well there are three areas you need to work on to start improving your Pinterest Game:

  1. Creating vertical pins only
  2. Joining enormous group boards
  3. Using third party apps to pin on your behalf

These 3 tactics don’t have to work in conjunction with each other, but it certainly helps if they do, and I’ll show you how.

Read on!

Vertical Pins Only

Pinterest is great in that it allows you create and post images of any pixel ratio. This is great because it actually favours those that want to put in effort to make their image stand out.

When you take a photo, I reckon 85% of the time you’ll take it in landscape because we want to get as much in as possible. This is just natural photography. By extension, 85% of the images on my blog were and are still in landscape.

There’s no problem here yet because landscape images work great on blogs.

Because I didn’t want to spend much time focusing on Pinterest, the problem I found was that I would only ever create pins that linked to my blog by using a Pin it button by hovering over the image.

It was simple, but not effective.

Therefore, my specific board of images from the blog (titled “From the Blog”), looked crap because all the images were small.

As I grew, I started to see more and more value in Pinterest, and as more group boards I joined only allowed vertical pins, I started to put in a bit of effort creating vertical pins manually.

This had the added benefit of allowing me to also add text to the pin, which generally encourages people to click through as well.

I am lucky in that I have Photoshop on my computer so all I did was create a template of 400×700 px, add a few layers for a couple of different fonts, and a translucent box to emphasise the text. All I now have to do is import a picture to the template and change/rearrange the text.

Even if you don’t have Photoshop, this is also pretty easy to setup using Canva by duplicating an existing image.

Now my board looks so much more professional, more inviting, and actually looks like I’ve put in some effort.

Vertical Pins on Pinterest compared to horizontal

You can see how much more the vertical pins stand out.

I have actually deleted most of my horizontal pins because of this reason, and you can see how it now looks here.

But what if you want to still allow others to pin a vertical pin from your blog post?

Well, since you created these images anyway, why not add them to the start and/or end of your post with a call to action? Invite your readers to pin them. I suggest using a combination of text and no text images, as people have different preferences.

To be honest, I am yet to implement this, but Mapping Megan has started to use this technique and it looks really good. Click on the image to see this page in full.

Vertical pinterest pins on Mapping Megan

Vertical Pins on Mapping Megan

Utilise the power of Pinterest Group Boards

1 – Create your own group board

This was another tactic that eluded me for quite some time until someone spelled it out to me.

First of all, you should create your own group board and invite a butt ton of people to pin to it.

Not only does this help in getting your name and profile in front of more eyes through the invite, but it can also have somewhat of a snowball effect because the more it grows, the more people want to pin to it to get in more feeds, and the more people will see that it is pinned to your board, and on it goes.

This is quite easy to setup, just create a board, add some pins to it, then add people as collaborators in the settings or on the board page.

Make sure to include in the description a way for people to contact you if they’d like to be added to the board.

Join ginormous group boards

ginormous groups

So, let’s say your following is a few hundred. Not too bad. But what if you could post a pin and get it in front of someone else’s hard earned following as well? A following that could be tens of thousands.

This is not as farfetched as it might sound thanks to the power of groups boards.

You already understand the fundamentals of groups boards (it is very simple), so now all you have to do is find some.

There are actually very few tools that can be used to find specific group boards, much less those with giant followings. To get your started I will list out a few that I am a member of.

What a Wonderful world

My all time Favourite Travel Pictures

Awesome Views

The Best Travel Pins

The Big Travel Bucket List

Beautiful Places and Travel Plan

As I mentioned, there is no way to add yourself, you have to be invited. Sometimes the owner will give instructions on how to request an invitation, this will be obvious in the description.

If there is no obvious way to contact the owner, you can try direct messaging the person via Pinterest.

The owner of the board will always be the first person listed as a contributor on the board, illustrated in the image below.

Pinterest group board owner example

As you can probably tell from the incredibly handsome gentleman in the thumbnail, this is my group board. Click here to view it in Pinterest.

As you may have picked up from the first part of this section, it is also in the owner’s best interest to allow you in, as long as you don’t spam, which I’m sure you won’t.

It is probably also helpful if you follow the person, or at least the board, and engage with a few of this person’s pins to show you are the real deal.

Use third party apps to pin on your behalf

Now here comes the fun part.

You probably have made some great pins over the time on Pinterest, but what about all the ones that you posted ages ago that no one looks at anymore?

Apps like BoardBooster and Tailwind can help bring these back to life and potentially bring in extra traffic to your blog with minimal effort.

Let’s start with Tailwind

Using Tailwind to automate Pinterest

(Fair warning, Tailwind’s free trial is pretty limited, but it can be very powerful so it would be remiss of me not to include it’s potential if you are a willing to drop $15/month).

Tailwind is essentially a pin scheduler. You start by creating pin drafts, which can be assigned to as many boards as you like, and assigned a time to be pinned.

Start by going to “Publish” > “Your Schedule”

Tailwind your schedule

The green ones are what they call your ‘smart schedule’, which is generated based on analysed data showing when you get the most interaction.

I’ve added an additional 5 per day, but you can make this whatever you like.

Once you understand your schedule install the Chrome or Mozilla addon (no Safari unfortunately). You can now add drafts direct from Pinterest using the new Schedule button. Clicking the button will add it to your drafts and open a popup.

 

I generally like to schedule a bunch at a time so I just close this and assign them all in bulk later. Once you’ve pressed schedule you don’t need to make any further action if you also choose to publish them later.

Back in Tailwind, head to “Publish” > “Drafts”.

You should see all drafts waiting to be published. They have also been drafted into a time slot based on the schedule you created above, and the order in which you drafted them.

To assign a board you have two options, you can click on each individual pin and assign it an appropriate board, or take the easy way out and put them in the same place.

You can see this in the bottom left and top right of the image respectively.

Tailwind Drafts

Yes, that is a Christmas cat.

And to cap this off, if you assign a pin to multiple boards like I have (“Awe inspiring Places” and “Beautiful Things”, in which this cat fits both), you can actually tell Tailwind to pin them at an interval so your followers don’t see it twice straight away.

Scroll down and click on “User interval”. Set the space of time you’d like Tailwind to wait until pinning it to the second board. This also won’t use any slot in your schedule, but will create a temporary one since it  is scheduled manually.

Tailwind using interval to schedule a pin to multiple boards

Using an interval to schedule a pin to multiple boards

So, once you’ve set all the times and boards to pin, click on the big green “schedule” button at the bottom to add them to the schedule.

They will now be pinned as per the schedule setup earlier.

If you’d like to see what’s upcoming in a linear form, click on “Publish” > “Scheduled Pins”. Here you can edit or delete as applicable.

Tailwind becomes really powerful when you spend maybe 15 minutes pinning a bunch of pins that you’ve created. Then, as you saw, you can schedule each one to be posted to a different group board (as long as you are comfortable it meets the board guidelines) in one fell swoop.

But here’s the bad news, Tailwind only gives you 100 free scheduled pins before you need to pay.

But on the upside, if you’d like to try it out as a power user for a little longer, you can use my referral code to get a month free. (Though I have a feeling it might be the second month, not sure on that to be honest).

Click here to sign up with my referral code.

Set and forget Pinterest repinning with BoardBooster

Let’s start you off with a free Board Booster account by clicking here to sign up. Use your Pinterest account to log in so it’s easy to connect. (Yes, another referral link, but it’s still free to sign up).

There are two main functions I will tell you about today: Campaigns and Looping. Looping repurposes old pins by repinning them to the same board; Campaigns will automatically repin existing pins from existing boards to group boards.

Did I just see your eyes light up?

Yes, without you thinking about it, it will post your existing pins to group boards, giving you the potential to reach thousands without doing anything, and if you have joined some boards like above this can be very lucrative.

Campaigns

Click on Pinning Tools > Campaigns > New Campaigns.

Give it a name.

Leave “List of boards” selected as the source of the pins.

Next to source pins, click on Add board and select all the boards that you wish to pin from. I only selected boards of content that I’ve exclusively created because they are the ones that will drive traffic to my website.

Board booster random capaign

Next to “Repin to”, click on Add board and select all the group boards (or regular boards) that you want to pin to.

Down the bottom, choose the times and days that you wish this campaign to be active and click save. Assuming you left it as active, the campaign is now live.

Looping

Looping is slightly different to Campaigns because this process only repins to the original board on which a particular pin was pinned. It is most effective with large boards where you want to repin pins you created long ago that new followers may not have seen before. The process will then delete the original pin, called ‘deduplication’.

Depending on your following, campaigns may be more effective, but there’s nothing stopping you from using Looping as well.

Go to Pinning Tools > Looping, and click on Add boards.

If you have been a part of group boards for a while select “include group boards”. The reason you might leave this blank is because you don’t really want recent pins to repinned so soon because you might annoy the creator of the board with duplicates. Your call though.

Select all the boards you wish Board Booster to loop for you and press Continue.

Unless you have thousands of pins I would probably recommend keeping the pins to a minimum, just because it can get out of hand really quickly.

Begin filling in the easy information such as frequency, time, delay, method, etc.

Engable Auto-Deduplication so that when a pin is repinned its original is deleted.

The original will be deleted after the number of days you specify, but you can tell it to keep pins with x number of repins or comments.

Here is an example of one of my boards I’ve setup

Boardbooster looping setup

Once you hit save you’re live! And you’ve just taken some massive steps towards automation.

Bonus: Join a Pinterest fb group

One last thing that has really helped me is a Facebook group dedicated to reciprocal Pinterest pinning.

Join the group at this link. The group is not run by me but I find it really useful as there is a new sharing thread every day.

Thanks should also go to Clarissa, the owner of this board who actually told me about most of the group boards above and how to go about joining them.

Do you have another strategy that really works for you on Pinterest? Let me know in the comments below. 

 


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Luke Marlin

Luke works a regular 9-5 job, and his salary he calls his travel fund. He and his wife spend most of their time in negative annual leave due to this expensive yet incredibly rewarding hobby.

Luke travels for 3 reasons: becoming immersed in a different culture, finding the less obvious attractions, and for hectic bragging rights back home.


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A Little about Luke Marlin
Australian. Travel Blogger. Seeker of all things off the beaten track. Lover of nature, road trips and sunsets. Drinker of craft beer. Learning more about our world through the immersion in different cultures.
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