I run a tribe of top travel bloggers from around the world called the Travel is Life Tribe and for many of them, Pinterest is their biggest source of traffic. Like any platform though, Pinterest takes a combination of time, energy, strategy, and the right set of tools. This post today will outline some of the ways that travel bloggers in our tribe are using Pinterest to drive traffic to their websites, as well as the tools, resources, and groups that they're a part of to help in that process.
Tailwind App For Scheduling Pins
The number one tool that everyone in our tribe uses is Tailwind App – software that lets you schedule pins to your personal and group boards. In a nutshell, the software allows you to add as many Pins as you'd like into your queue, and then it pins them for you throughout the day at the frequency you set. They've also got a feature called Tailwind Tribes which is a form of reciprocal pinning where you repin other member's pins in the tribe and they repin yours in return. Over at TravelisLife.org, we run a private Tailwind tribe exclusively for travel bloggers called the Best Travel Tailwind Tribe which has one of the highest ratio of rePins of any travel tribe out there because of our unique set of rules and member vetting process. Personally, I don't know how I'd manage Pinterest without Tailwind because I'm terrible with sticking to a schedule. So with Tailwind, I can queue up a ton of Pins and then set it and forget it.
Facebook RePin Groups for Travel Bloggers
The next set of tools in our arsenal are repin exchange groups on Facebook. Every day or once a week, depending on the group, the Admin of the group posts a repin thread where you drop a Pin in the comments section for others to share, and then repin every other pin in the comments in exchange. The pro of these groups is that ideally, if everyone follows through, you get a surge of repins in a short period of time for a new Pin. The cons of these groups is that you're expected to repin EVERY other pin in the thread, for better or worse, and also not everyone reciprocates even though they're supposed to. For that reason, it's important to only participate in higher quality repin exchanges where the content is going to be better quality and the bloggers are going to follow through. In the groups I participate in, I get about 80-90% reciprocation.
Here are the repin exchanges that members of our tribe participate in:
#1) Ultimate Pinterest Group for Travel Bloggers by Heather Boothman – This group of 1100+ travel bloggers offers daily repin exchange threads that run from 10pm to 10pm EST the next day and are expected to be completed in that time frame. The Admin, Heather, runs a tight ship and often manually checks for reciprocation and calls out people who don't follow through (eventually banning them from the group after enough warnings). Her threads usually attract between 30 and 80 pins per day.
#2) Pinterest for Travel Bloggers by Beth Leung, Alison Cornford-Matheson, Bethaney Davies, and Laura Longwell – This group runs two daily repin exchange threads, a “Heavy” thread that is capped at 50 pins, and a “Light” thread that is capped at 25 pins. Once a week they do a “Mega Monday” in lieu of the Heavy thread that is uncapped and often reaches into the 100 – 200 pin range. The threads typically open at 6am EST and close at 9pm EST and are expected to be completed by midnight the next day. The pros to this group are that the threads are capped at 25 or 50 pins (except for Mega Mondays which are uncapped) so you know the max number of Pins you'll have to reciprocate, and you have the entire next day to follow through.
#3) Mappin Monday by Nienke Krook, Arzo Travels, and Brenda Tolentino – This big group of 1800+ members offers three weekly threads that all begin on Monday – one for blogger content only that is uncapped, one for images only that is uncapped, and one Light thread for blogger content that is capped at 100 pins. The threads start on Monday and end on Friday each week and the number of participants often exceed 200 pins on the uncapped threads on a busy week.
#4) Travel Bloggers Evergreen Shares – This group is focused on reciprocal social sharing and extends beyond Pinterest. They offer 10 ongoing evergreen threads, meaning they stay open continuously, and you reciprocate the 10 links above yours immediately. They've currently got ongoing threads for Pinterest, Facebook, Blog Comments, Click Thrus, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, StumbleUpon, Flipboard, and Google+. This group is unique because you can jump in and participate instantly at anytime, and then you're done until you feel like participating again.
#6) Travel Bloggers Social Media Share Group – This group offers a weekly thread for rePins on Fridays and various other social media networks throughout the week. There is no cap on a thread, but they seem to get about 40-60 participants each week on their Pinterest thread.
Group Pinterest Boards for Travel Bloggers
What I love about group boards is that the right ones can help you reach a very big audience when you first start out. For example, at the moment I only have 2250 followers on Pinterest, but between the group boards I'm a member of, I reach over 2 million people on Pinterest. The pros of group boards are that you benefit from those who worked hard to build them before you. The cons are that not all group boards are created equal, so it's important to only join quality group boards that are moderated, because it's easy for unmoderated group boards to become spammer paradise, especially the ones that let anyone join. So make sure you check out the board itself and the type of pins that are on it before you request to join.
The challenging part of group boards is finding them and requesting to join. There is no universal method to request to join a group board, so you'll have to follow the instructions given in the description of each board, or message the board owner if none are given. The first person listed in the group board is the board owner who you can message. To expedite your process for finding group boards that are relevant to your travel niche, I've put together a list of over 500+ Group Travel Boards on Pinterest that you should check out. Our tribe also has a group board called ✈ Travel The World Like A Pro that you're welcome to join if you become a member of the tribe.
How I Use Pinterest + Tailwind For My Travel Blog
Now that you've read the basics, here's a video I made a few months ago showing how I use Pinterest + Tailwind for this website. My strategy has changed a little bit since then, particularly in the number of Pins per day that I share, but it'll give you an overview of how I organize my Pinterest marketing.
How To Use Pinterest HTML Attributes
Pinterest offers a selection of HTML tags to optimize your Pins when they are embedded into your blog posts. The ones that are most important for you are “data-pin-description”, “data-pin-url”, and “data-pin-media”. By using those tags within the HTML of the Pin on your blog post, you can control the image and description that appears when people Pin directly from your blog post. You should NOT use the “alt” tag to house your Pin description. This gets a bit technical and some basic knowledge of HTML is required, but if you're interested, read this post I wrote on my other blog entitled Should I Use The Alt Attribute or Pin Data Description As My Default Pin Description? for more information about those tags.
What else is out there to help you market your travel blog on Pinterest?
What other tools and resources exist? And what strategies do you implement that have helped you find success with marketing your travel blog on Pinterest? Drop a comment below and share the knowledge.
Join the Travel is Life Tribe
If you're a quality travel blogger with a desire to grow your online presence while simultaneously helping your fellow tribe members grow theirs – we'd love to have you join the Travel is Life Tribe – a growing community of like minded travel bloggers from around the world! Click that link to read more about it. Also check out the other resources in my Travel Blogger Success Kit which are all completely free.
Lastly, follow along with us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates, and of course check out our Pinterest which is what this post is all about. Thanks for being here wherever you are in the world and happy travels.
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