How to Set Your Travel Blog Up for Success with Pinterest

| | Social Media

Whether you’re just starting out or are extremely established with tens of thousands of readers each month, Pinterest is a platform you should be harnessing.

Before we start, many people have a major misconception about Pinterest. Most people think Pinterest is a social media channel. Instead, Pinterest should be considered a search platform, not a social platform. Using keywording and tactics related to SEO will get you much further than trying to get likes, comments, and followers.

Getting Your Pinterest Account Set Up Properly

Let’s go through some specifics before setting up your Pinterest strategy. First, you need to set up a Pinterest account and then convert it to a business account. You can find the details of how to do that here.

It is absolutely essential to set up a business account. Unlike with Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest Business accounts are not being penalized through a ‘pay to play’ model. They come with great added features like analytics and the ability to verify your website so content is trusted from there, and it’s totally free to access and use these features.

When you fill out your profile, don’t just use the same description you have on your Instagram, Pinterest isn’t a place to be witty or fluffy or personality driven. Remember: search engine, not social. Don’t use ‘I,’ ‘Me,’ or ‘My.’

Think about every place you can add text in Pinterest as another possible search keyword gold mine. Pinterest isn’t the best place for longtail keywords, but if you have some that are working exceptionally well for you on Google, I’d definitely target those on Pinterest.

Setting Up Successful Boards

When setting up your boards, be straight, to the point, and keyword heavy. For example, if you’re a travel blogger your boards should consist of the locations you focus on, the travel styles you focus on, gear, and other major parts of your niche. Always try to think big picture, not necessarily hyper-localized.

The one board you should always have is a board with just your blog’s pins. This makes it easy to find all your own pins and makes it easy for people who like your content to go to find more of your blog’s pins to repin easily.

With Pinterest’s ever-changing layout, board covers are getting more and more irrelevant. I’ve tested some accounts with them and some without, and don’t really see much of an improvement with them, in fact, I’d make the argument that they even hurt the profile based on some of the results I’ve seen.

What About Group Boards?

If you’re just starting out or have reached a plateau, your problems can probably be solved with group boards.

Typical boards on your profile allow only you to add pins to them, you have the ability to make some of your board’s group boards by inviting other pinners to add pins to those group boards.

There are two ways to use these: start your own or find others to join.

Depending on how serious you’re going to take your Pinterest game or what your community goals are, starting your own boards may not be worth your time and energy. You’d have to seek out related pinners to get started, moderate the pins that are getting added to the group boards, and moderate the pinners that ask to join or are added.

Joining already established group boards can be very useful. When you add a pin to a group board that pin will be hypothetically shown to all of the followers of all of the members of that group board. Cha-ching! Great way to get your content on fresh eyeballs.

How can you find group boards to join? PinGroupie is a great place to start when trying to find group boards. When looking on this site, you want to find the group boards with the least amount of contributors and the highest amount of followers and repins.

Another method I recommend is finding some established travel blogger Pinterest accounts and finding the group boards they are in and requesting to be added. Most group boards will have instructions on how to be added to their descriptions. (Friendly reminder, you need to be following the creator/host of the board for them to add you.)

If you’re just getting started with group boards I always recommend spending a couple hours trying to get into as many as you possibly can. After a month or two, you can then evaluate which boards are working and which aren’t by looking at your Pinterest analytics.

Top Tools for Pinterest Success

The two major contenders for Pinterest are Tailwind and BoardBooster. Tailwind is about $10 a month for their basic plan. Tailwind’s whole scheme is planning what day and time a pin point to. While I’m not sure about the value of this feature, I highly advocate using Tailwind to access ‘Tailwind Tribes.’ These groups of users all put pins into a pool, where you can add in your pins and repin others.

My preferred tool is BoardBooster. You pay for the pins you want with BoardBooster, rather than a flat monthly rate regardless of your pinning. Their basic plan is $5 for 500 pins per month which roughly works out to 16-17 pins per day. This is more than enough to get started.

BoardBooster works entirely within Pinterest itself. The ‘Scheduling’ tool creates “secret” boards which you then set the frequency at which BoardBooster will move the pins you put there to the corresponding live boards. It takes a little setup but essentially this means once a week you can go in and fill the secret boards with 50 pins. If your pinning frequency is set for 2 to 3 pins per day, it will seem like you’re constantly pinning when in reality you only touch your account 1 or 2 times per week.

My favorite feature of BoardBooster, however, is ‘Looping.’ With BoardBooster, to make sure your own content is getting pushed out consistently, you can set your blog board (and any board) to loop. This means taking your pins at the bottom of a board which have been long forgotten and repin them to the top of the board. This, in turn, pushes them out into your followers’ newsfeeds. You can set it to then leave both copies for a week or two and then the system will go in and delete whichever pin has less repins after that time.

By looping these pins, you’re constantly getting your content refreshed and back out to eyeballs without having to make new pins all the time!

Don’t Forget About Pinning!

Pinterest isn’t a platform that is especially time sensitive so I wouldn’t waste your time looking for ideal pinning windows. The key is just to be pinning consistently and at a high frequency. I’m talking 20+ pins per day. The trick is to not do all of that in one go. Pinterest’s feed has gotten better, but if you’re flooding your followers’ newsfeeds with 20 pins at once on a topic that they may not be interested in, it could end up costing you, followers.

You should be pinning around 70% other’s content and 30% your content roughly. This is another “social” aspect of Pinterest. Its algorithm will favor accounts that are actually repinning other’s content.

I use the looping feature of Boardbooster to recycle my pins constantly and I make four different pins for each blog post, or at least the good performing posts. Pinterest won’t penalize you for having multiple pins pointing to the same URL. Try out different layouts, text overlays, no text overlays, long pins and extra long pins to find which ones perform best and to grab fresh eyeballs.

Pinterest doesn’t need to be the monster you are thinking it is. Start with these tips and you’ll be well on your way to a successful Pinterest account!

Recent Comments

  • thanks for the great article Megan. I have a couple of questions: 1. do all photos still need to be vertical? 2. does every article need a word photo to pin?

    • Hi Penny! Thanks for asking!

      1. Yes, I definitely recommend all photos that are going into Pinterest to be vertical! They convert significantly better than horizontal. This usually trips up bloggers because horizontal ones usually are what we use on the actual blogs, I just take my photos from my blog posts and put them into a vertical Canva template and then upload them directly to Pinterest!
      2. I think you mean text overlay? I prefer a combo of both text overlays and no text pins for popular posts! If you have high resolution great photos, they can often do really well on Pinterest on their own! But if you’re doing text, make them very clear, quick to udnerstand titles, not necessarily the same title as your blog post, and put the words on the top 1/3 of your pin!

      Hope this helps!

  • Some great tips Megan. Just starting to use Pinterest on a regular basis now for my blog and getting things organized. Pinterest is huge and just after a short time, I have seen it drive traffic to my blog already! 🙂

    • Glad you found it useful Robert! I love Pinterest with all of my heart as a blogger! Glad you’re finding success with it!

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