If you’re a travel blogger and you’re wondering how to increase your Pinterest referral traffic, then read on. Here are all the Pinterest tips that have really helped me to steadily increase the referral traffic on my travel blog.
Pinterest is now easily my biggest source of social media traffic. It’s been a slow and steady burner for me, but since I started putting in some actual effort I have seen the results. You can probably guess from the graph from the last year when I decided to pay Pinterest some attention!
– that dip is from when I accidentally deleted Google Analytics from my blog, oops!
I know some travel bloggers have crazy Pinterest referral stats, but often, if you dig down, that will be one Pin that has gone totally viral and although it makes the Pinterest traffic look good, unfortunately it also brings up the overall bounce rate, which will damage your site in Google’s eyes in the long run.
Slow and steady.
So, the number one thing to remember when you’re trying to improve your Pinterest traffic, is that Pinners are looking to read and share creative, inspirational advice. Every Pin represents an idea that Pinners could try. It’s basically a huge, visual search engine, just waiting for you to use, find and spread the word.
I’m going to assume you’ve read some advice on Pinterest for travel bloggers, and you’ve already signed up for a business account, and you have Rich Pins activated, right? You’ve started a few boards, you know to use portrait images and you’ve installed a Pin it widget on your blog – but, well, then what?
22 Top Tips for Pinterest for Travel Bloggers
1. Use a few Pinterest graphics in a post
Some bloggers recommend you hide images in a post (like the almighty PinchofYum), and I’ve done this once or twice, somewhere, but now I just like to create two or three in one go. I use ‘shortcodes’, ‘column third’ to configure them like this.
This gives your readers two extra reasons to Pin, so they can choose the one that suits their style best. It also allows you to gradually Pin to more boards, without looking like you’re repeating yourself.
Your Pinterest image game needs to be strong AF.
If you don’t think your images are good enough for Pinterest then you can use sites like Unsplash and Pixabay to get really good pics for your posts, for free. You can also pay sites like Shutterstock and Canva for even better images.
You just have to ask yourself – would I click on this pic?
When it comes to designing your Pins, Pinterest says 600 x 900 pixels is optimal – or any 2:3 size. You can easily create these in Canva, or in PicMonkey.
Use bright pics with beautiful imagery. The text overlay should be easy to read, minimal and suit the style and vibe of your blog.
The more travel bloggers use Pinterest, and the more you see what works for other people, the more you’ll see what works and your style and design will get better.
Top Pinterest tip for travel bloggers: set yourself up with a ‘Great Pins’ secret board so you can store Pins you like the look of to help when it comes to design.
3. You NEED Canva
I LOVE Canva.
One of my top other career choices would be to be a graphic designer, so this little tool lets me live out those dreams. It’s a brilliant drag ‘n’ drop design tool that helps you create all kinds of professional looking designs.
You can use the free version, or, like me, pay $12.95 per month and get full access to all of it. Canva is also a great resource for stock images if you don’t have good ones to use.
I probably use it daily – all the Pinterest images above were designed on Canva.
They have pre designed Pinterest graphics for travel bloggers, and you can just add your picture and words. Mix up your graphics style and test and see which ones work best.
Find out what pinners are pinning from your site: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/source/www.vickyflipfloptravels.com/
And you can use it to check out your fellow Pinners too, just change the URL!
4. Include your Pinterest boards in your blog posts
You need to get as much exposure as possible for your Pinterest boards, to make sure they get seen. One of the best ways to do this is to use the official Pinterest Widget Builder and include some of your boards in your most popular boards. I like to do this if I have a lot of information on one particular topic, for example: travel blogging advice.
Some people like to put this in the sidebar of their blog, but with my ads, I’m worried it’ll slow it down too much. Withe some WordPress themes you can just paste the link and it’ll appear like it does above.
5. Do a Pinterest board audit
If you’re like me you would’ve set up a Pinterest and given a half hearted shot at it all. Few posts from here and there, few Pinterest threads you’ve participated in…
This slapdash attempt will harm your Pinterest virality score. Past efforts of binge pinning and not really knowing what you were doing will affect your account.
The theorists say you need to revisit your Pinterest boards and question whether they’re actually useful, you actually want them on your account and whether the Pins on them are actually serving anyone well.
So what are you looking for when you do a Pinterest audit?
– Move the best and most popular boards to the top.
– Decide if there are any to delete.
– Check the keywords in the board descriptions and titles.
– Be very careful not to delete any popular Pins or boards – use Pinterest Analytics and Google Analytics to help with this.
– Don’t be scared to delete boards, but do be cautious.
– Delete crappy Pins from boards if they don’t look good.
– Check all the links on your popular Pins to make sure they’re all working right.
– Put your most relevant boards to the top of the grid.
– Remember, it’s quality over quantity on your business Pinterest.
– You could create front pins for all your boards (I haven’t).
– from ytravelblog’s Pinterest account
6. Choose your Pinterest thread participation carefully
There are Facebook groups with the sole aim for you to get your Pins pinned by other travel bloggers, in return for you Pinning theirs. Some of them feature hundreds of Pins.
Look at that, 186 comments!
I’m still not too sure about Pinterest threads for travel bloggers.
Personally, I don’t particularly like them as it forces you to pin crappy Pins to your boards, which damages your virality score according to TailWind. And I don’t trust everyone to actually Pin the one I’ve put up either. I’ve been in threads hundreds long and from Pinterest insights I can see only a fraction of them have actually Pinned them.
If I do do them I like to be in the first ten on the list, and I don’t do massive ones. I think I sat for about two hours once Pinning all these crappy pins from places I’d never heard of. Two hours of my life I’ll never get back.
You can find the boards here if you want to give them a try – see what you think!
Pinterest for Travel Bloggers
Ultimate Pinterest for Travel Bloggers
7. Work on a board at a time
When I was just starting to set up my Pinterest, I’d choose one board at a time and search for pins for that. So instead of mindlessly Pinning, I’d save time and think, right, I want to find good posts on ‘solo female travel‘ for my board, and just look around at that.
Then I’d look at my ‘Best Things to Do in Vietnam‘ and do the same.
8. Do a Pinterest course
There are so many Pinterest courses around. Sometimes seems like anyone with a bit of success on Pinterest decides to write a course (lols, touché).
Wellll this is just a post, with what’s worked for me, inside a FREE course, so I think it’s ok.
I’ve only ever done one Pinterest course, Pinterest Travel Avalanche, and with the amount if videos I haven’t actually finished it. I can’t definitely tell you if it’s worth it as even though I’ve been researching Pinterest heavily, I haven’t looked at it again.
There was too much fluff and I wanted to the point practical advice.
Maybe I’ll give it another go, seeing as I paid $200 for it (yikes, didn’t realise it was that much!).
It might be good if you’re at the VERY beginning of your Pinterest and travel blogging journey. I had to sit through a lot of what I already knew before I got down to any meat. You can easily Google the basics of setting up your Pinterest as a travel blogger, I mean, you probs won’t find any articles as helpful as this one, but still.
Other popular Pinterest courses include Pinterest Millionaire, the Power of Pinning, Pinfinite Growth and Pinning Perfect to start.
Maybe just Google the name, and then ‘review’ at the end to see what others think of them. Of course, always bear in mind that whoever’s reviewing the course is probably earning a fraction of affiliate money so take any recommendations with a pinch of salt.
9. Research your keywords
Finding and using the right keywords is a big part of your Pinterest success. You need to use them in your board descriptions, in your board titles and then in your pin descriptions too. You can use the Pinterest Keyword Tool to help with this.
Research what people are looking for, just like in travel blogging. Success on Pinterest for travel bloggers can be as much about the strength of the keywords and descriptions as it is about the image.
I know, super time consuming right?
10. Pin descriptions
Other people’s research has shown that longer descriptions get the most repins – around 300 characters+. Personally, I don’t do this. I can be a bit slap dash when it comes to the pin descriptions and keywords as I just don’t have time, but this post is kinda about we should do, not necessarily what we do do.
Few tips for your descriptions…
– Stay positive.
– Always check the link back to your blog.
– Write a good call to action.
– Use good keywords.
– Put most interesting words first.
– Be funny and write like you do on the blog
– Use a call to action like click to find out more or go check it out – gets 80% more engagement.
– Pinterest experts say you can use 2-3 hashtags to try and get found.
“Planning to visit Seville? What are the best things to do in Seville, Spain? Read our Seville Travel Guide to find out best places to visit in Seville, where to eat in Seville and accommodation in Seville. A perfect Seville itinerary with insider tips for what to do during three days in Seville here! #sevilletips #seville”
11. Pimp your profile
Have a look at your profile. Make sure you like the description of yourself, the profile pic you’ve used, your slider and your header images. Make sure it’s totally you and your brand.
12. Choose your content topic wisely
Pinterest users like to be helped. They’re looking for How Tos, and Top Guides – not for your personal stories. They like step by steps, articles with time constraints and lists. Personally, I don’t bother pinning my more personal stories, they haven’t had good traction on there and no one cares.
All pins should be helpful, beautiful and actionable.
13. Use Pinterest ‘s Analytics and Insights
If you want to be really serious about making your travel blog a success on Pinterest then you need to utilise all the Analytics tools and Insights information as possible.
– Looking at them, knowing what they mean, and being able to act on them are three very different things
Track the virality scores and keep an eye on the boards to see what to get rid of.
I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got on that because I don’t really know what I’m looking for either. More research for both of us needed but I didn’t want to leave it off.
Follow me on Pinterest at VickyFlipFlop
14. Definitely sign up for TailWind
It was when I started using TailWind that my Pinterest traffic really started to rise.
- ‘Tailwind Tribes’ make it easy for you to find great content that fits your niche, and to promote your own.
- It’s SO easy to schedule content with Tailwind, multiple times over.
- The top bloggers and websites use TailWind as standard, and if it’s good enough for them…
- There is SO much functionality on it I feel like I haven’t even started.
- It makes my Pinterest life SO much easier.
And then it’s $11 a month. WELL worth it.
– Look, I have over 300 Pins scheduled already. Took minutes.
TailWind makes it so easy to schedule hundreds of pins in minutes.
- Add the TailWind extension to your browser.
- Click on Publisher in the left menu and select Scheduled Pins. Now you’ll see the Mobile app and Browser Extension buttons appear in the middle of the screen.
- Download the appropriate extension for your browser or download the mobile app if you’re on mobile right now.
- Work away…
I’m going to write a separate post about how to use TailWind, in time. Take a look around the site for now, and do some of their tutorials.
15. Plan your pinning
If you have a lot of event posts, like I do with all the festivals I cover, you need to start pinning them about 45 days before the actual event so that your pins can start to be seen.
Pins last SO much longer than Facebook posts and Instagrams, and it can take a while to get the full benefit of them, and to get them in front of people at the right time. This is why Pinterest is SO good though.
Be ready with a plan in advance!
16. Engage with others
I don’t do this, but it’s always recommended.
Like all social media, Pinterest is a SOCIAL platform. The more you talk to other users and actually create a community, the more you’ll feel engaged to yourself, and to Pinterest, and the more rewarded you’ll feel.
Comment, Like and Share regularly and you’ll soon see the benefits.
I need to listen to my own advice here but it’s such an important one I didn’t want to leave it out!
17. Pay to promote Pins
This isn’t something I’ve dabbled in, but it’s definitely something I’ll be looking at in the future.
I have no advice, I just didn’t want to leave this one out either.
You can pay to advertise your Pins to get them shown to more people. Definitely a good idea if you’re selling a product on your site, and you want a particular post to be seen more than others.
18. Join Group boards
Group boards are a great way of getting your content out there. Join my group boards and we can share each other’s content, and join any others you think you could add value to. Just find the owner and send them a quick email, like this:
Hope you’re having a lovely day?
I was hoping to join your Pinterest board Female Bloggers Free for All.
My Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/vickyflipflop/pins/
Hope that’s ok!
Just to note though, not all boards are worth joining and if the board moves so fast that the Pin never gets seen, it can be pointless.
This post is getting really long, so if you want to find out more about joining group boards check out this post on the best group boards for travel bloggers to join from Goats on the Road.
19. My favourite boards
If you want to see some examples of boards I’ve genuinely worked hard on, take a look at this selection. These are the boards to have a root around if you want to see me practice what I preach.
I’ve worked on the sacred 80/20 rule of my content vs other peoples, I’ve tried hard with my descriptions, and my Pin descriptions and I’ve made sure only to Pin the highest quality images.
20. Create more visual content
High quality visual content is SO important on Pinterest, which is why I totally recommend you sign up for Canva (point 3). Create (cool) infographics, maps, videos, quote cards, data visualisations, screenshots, memes and whatever else you can think of to lure people in to check out your stuff and make it easy to share it.
Pics like this…
21. Hire a VA
One of the most popular ways to cope with the algorithms, analytics and insights of using Pinterest as a travel blogger is to hire a VA, aka, a Virtual Assistant. I’ve tried to do this twice and it hasn’t worked out. The first VA I hired actually runs the Pinterest account for one of the biggest travel blogger duos out there, but I just did not like the Pins she created. I also felt like there wasn’t much strategy behind her work.
There’s a big different between absentmindedly Pinning things, and actually putting though into it. Also, I think some people have a lot of success on Pinterest because they got in early, or got featured.
The second one, another American person, was just too expensive for the results I saw. And so I decided to do it myself, and of course, my Pinterest account lay unused for a year.
If you’re planning on hiring a VA to run your Pinterest account I’d recommend you choose one based on a personal recommendation, and do it during a period that you have time to sit down and work through exactly what you want with them. Also, remember, you get what you pay for.
22. Get to know the most useful tools
– TailWind Tribes are so useful, but you can only access them when you sign up to TailWind. Remember you can get your free trial month here.
– Also, Pingroupie is a free tool with options for sorting boards by popularity so you can quickly see those with the biggest following, or most pins or likes.
– Make sure to use your Pinterest Analytics, as I suggested before.
– Get the Pinterest button, or a widget like Digg Digg, to make sure it’s as easy as possible to share your content.
– If you feel like you’re going to have the time to use it, get the Tasty Pins plugin. This will help with descriptions and optimising all your images for Pinterest.
– TailWind Smart Loop lets you repeatedly pin a selection of hand-selected Pins from your own Boards, from Secret Boards or from Group Boards.
Looping means you can schedule Pins across a set of Pinterest boards that you choose. Pins are recycled after they are posted and you can choose how long between they Loop, or repeat. This means your content will be discovered more often and it ensures your best content is shared regularly. Which ultimately means more Pinterest traffic.
Here’s a little video to show you how to do it:
SmartLoop ensures you always save your own fresh content to Pinterest, which are way more valuable than repins. This is great for seasonal content, and you know it doesn’t affect Pinterest rules as they’re in ‘cahoots’ with TailWind.
– Tailwind Plus starts at $15 per month or $119.88 annual lump-sum payment, and you get the scheduling tool and analytics for free. Remember, you can get a month’s free trial here.
Travel bloggers on Pinterest
Get used to using Pinterest daily, and using it yourself in real life. That way you’ll soon learn how people like to use it.
Start promoting your Pinterest account wherever you can – in newsletters, in email signatures, and on your blog too.
In short Pinterest care that people are sharing the best content.
It’s taken me a long time to get to grips with Pinterest as a travel blogger, and how I can use it to plan trips, and to help others. Now I think it’s a great tool and with Pinterest, Canva and TailWind combined I feel if I carry on what I’m doing, and how I do it, my traffic will only increase.
There are so many more functions within Pinterest – the app, Likes, Followers, Tries – but these are the aspects of Pinterest I’ve focused on to increase my referral traffic by hundreds of per cent these last few months.
I hope a few of these ideas help you, and if you have any questions, quibbles or words of advice, just let me know in the comments section below.
Travel bloggers killin’ it on Pinterest
If you want some inspiration from travel bloggers who are getting millions of views on their Pins per month, check out this beautiful little lot…
And of course, go and check my account out at VickyFlipFlop.
Recommended travel blogger course
You can learn more about how Pinterest can fit into your travel blogging life on the Business of Travel Blogging course, by the world’s number one travel blogger, Nomadic Matt. He’s made the complex world of travel blogging more understandable and accessible in his series of courses.
He’s one of the reasons I managed to make the jump from hobby travel blogger to full time professional.