Are you a Pinterest beginner looking to increase your travel blog exposure? Then our Pinterest guide for travel bloggers will help you understand the potential of this photo sharing search engine.
What is Pinterest good for? Ultimately, Pinterest is great for increasing traffic to your travel blog. But, it is also good for broadening your audience and maximising your content optimisation.
In other words, driving more traffic to your site and making friends with Google. Double win!
Pinterest Guide for Travel Bloggers:
- Starting with Pinterest
- Create Optimised Pinterest Boards
- Create Eye Catchy Pins
- Best Images for Pinterest
- Pin and Share Images
- SEO Driven Pins
- Drive Traffic to Your Website Through Pinterest
- Pinterest Scheduler
- Rich Pins
- Pinterest Extensions
- Pinterest Plugins
- Bonus Chapter: Should You Hide Your Pins?
Starting with Pinterest
If you are looking into this Pinterest guide for traveller bloggers, I assume you have a travel blog or a website or at least are thinking of starting a travel blog.
You have thought of your Pinterest account name, right? It’s the same as your travel blog? Great! You are ready to sign up to Pinterest and start driving more traffic to your website. This is what this Pinterest guide for travel bloggers is all about.
But before you do anything else with your Pinterest, I want you to think of these three things:
- Your bio
- Your profile photo
- Call to action
Your bio should resonate with your blog and social media platforms. Consistency is the key. You want people to recognise you.
For example, our main tagline is “Travel beyond the obvious” which is carried across all our social media platforms as well as our website. To see it for yourself, you can easily check our Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Don’t use your Linkedin profile picture for your Pinterest account. But use something a bit more casual, fun, and friendly. You want to appear approachable, not formal.
A good call to action can drive traffic to your website. We will look into it later as we gradually go through this Pinterest guide for travel bloggers.
But for now, think of what you want your visitors to do when they visit your profile. Do you want them to visit your website, sign up to your email list or download an eBook? Then tell them what they should do and leave a link. Even though the link will be inactive, pinners can easily perform copy and paste function – better than no link at all.
Create Optimised Pinterest Boards
Creating Pinterest boards is easy. Click that big, fat, red plus icon on the left-hand-side, give it a name and start pinning.
Firstly, create a board for your travel blog. Once you created your prime board where you will be promoting your travel blog, you can start thinking of other boards.
You can add/delete/rename and rearrange your boards at any time, don’t worry too much about the layout at the beginning.
The next step is to optimise your boards by adding a description. A sentence or two of what’s on the board will do perfectly and will help users find your content. Try adding useful keywords to your descriptions.
For example, add a keyword travel guide If it’s a “Travel Guide” board, or honeymoon and couples travel if it’s a “Romantic Destinations” board.
To make your boards look neater, you can set the board cover. This is easily done by clicking on the board and hitting the pen icon on your left hand side.
Pinterest Newest Feature – Add Section
This is a recent and a very exciting addition to Pinterest. Think of it as a folder within a folder. So if you have a board named “Road Trip” you can now organise it into different sections such as “Europe Road Trip”, “USA Road trip”, “South America Road Trip” and so on. It looks like this:
The easiest way to organise your boards is to:
- hit ‘add section’ to add a new section to your existing board
- give it a name and then
- click the button “organise”
- select the image you want to move/copy
- press the button move/copy and choose the newly created section.
Easy! Now I just have to go organise hundreds of existing pins on MapTrotting Pinterest account… Fun for me!
When you follow other Pinterest accounts, you also follow all of their boards by default. But you don’t have to. You can keep following the boards you love and unfollow the ones that are not relevant to your niche.
Do you think you are ready to start pinning? I think you are, but before you can add a pin, you need to know how to create one, right?
Create Eye-Catching Pins
Have you heard about Canva? No worries, if you haven’t. Canva is a visual marketing tool that allows you to create high-quality promotional graphics. All you need to do is create a free account and start designing eye-catching pins.
The great thing about Canva is that it already has a Pinterest template, preset to the recommended pin size (735 x 1102).
You can choose to use the existing free designs or create your own, from scratch. I like to browse the preset designs for inspiration and then create my own, using different elements.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours and fonts. Most of the colours on Canva are preset, but you can easily change them. Click on the colour block in the corner and then the ‘+’ next to the colour you’d like to adjust.
Or, if you are a colour freak like me, you can add your own colour code into the box.
You can learn how to do that in my previous post where I go into detail about creating beautiful pins for Pinterest.
Best Images for Pinterest
Pinterest is a visual search tool and people choose to pin, repin or save the pins based on what they see. Make sure you use high-quality photos.
While you can pin landscape images to your Pinterest boards, vertical images are the preferred format. Portrait (vertical) images are more likely to be re-pinned on Pinterest. And you will especially notice this when you join any of the Pinterest groups on Facebook (more on that later).
Be strategic about your images. Always remember to capture a couple of vertical photos for your Pinterest when out and about. It will save you time cropping and positioning your photos in Canva.
Statistically, brighter images do better, but sometimes Pinterest works in mysterious ways. One of my most popular pins on our Hawaii board, that reached over 1k shares, is dark and not that pretty. Plus, I have not made any effort whatsoever to share it. But till this day, this pin brings us traffic every single day.
In this case, it must be the subject rather than the beauty of the pin itself, but it all helps.
How to See Your Most Pinned Images from the Blog?
Simply, enter: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/source/yourwebsite.com/
Don’t forget to enter your blog name in ‘yourwebsite’ space. Based on this information, you can see what images on your blog are most liked by Pinterest users.
Pin and Share Images
The idea behind Pinterest is not just to pin your own pins, but also share others’ work. Sharing and actively interacting with other Pinterest users will bring you followers, shares, and traffic to your blog.
That’s exactly what we want, don’t we?
But we will cover all that later in this Pinterest Guide for travel bloggers. First, let’s see how to start nurturing your own boards.
You’ve created your beautiful travel blog board? Lovely. The next step is to start saving your pins from your blog. This board will be your main platform from which you will be branching out into your other relevant Pinterest boards.
The reason why you should be saving pins to your boards from your blog is so you create a link between them. When Pinterest users click on your image, they will be redirected to your website. Check that this link is not broken. Otherwise, you will be losing traffic.
This is how I do it:
As soon as the new post is ready, I create a pin (or two) and save it on the MapTrotting Blog board.
From this board, I will save the pinned image to my other relevant boards on Pinterest. For example, if my blog post is about Malta, I will save it to these boards: “Malta”, “Europe Travel”, “Travel Guides” (if it is a guide) etc.
The reason I do it this way is that I don’t have to re-enter the description, keywords, and hashtags. Unless I use a scheduling tool (which we will cover later in this Pinterest guide for travel bloggers).
SEO Driven Pins
Let’s talk SEO. Don’t be frightened. If you’ve never heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) I really recommend listening to Brian Dean on Youtube. He is our go-to resource for everything SEO.
In short, SEO-friendly pins with strategic keywords have way more chance to appear in Pinterest search than plain pins.
I see so many pins on Pinterest not only without keywords but also without a description. And that’s an opportunity wasted.
Too many bloggers still don’t realise that Pinterest is not social media, it’s a search engine. This is one of the reasons why I decided to publish this Pinterest guide for travel bloggers.
Optimise Your Pin Description
One of the ways to be discovered is to add a nice description to every single pin you add to Pinterest. Don’t make it too long, a couple of sentences will do nicely.
Be smart here, don’t just write any description. You want your hard work to be picked up by Pinterest users, drive engagement and most importantly, encourage re-pins.
Think of the best way to describe your content. Is it a city guide, a list of things to see and do or an inspirational post? If it’s a city guide, tell people it is a city guide. No one likes guessing and will most likely skip your pin if you don’t tell them what’s behind the image.
Use Strategic Keywords
Keywords are crucial. Remember, Pinterest is a search engine. People search the platform by entering keywords and then sharing pins based on their visual preference.
If you are trying to reach a certain audience, try to be as specific as you can. Add medium or long tail keywords such as couples travel instead of just travel.
So when people search for these keywords, we have a better chance to appear in their search:
Remember that Google and other search engines don’t recognise images, they recognise text. To maximise your Pinterest (and blog) optimisation, use keywords in your image “alt” tags.
That’s great to know but how do you find these golden Keywords? As part of your overall SEO strategy, you should be taking some time to find out which Keywords are easy to get high up in Google for.
For this, we use a super helpful tool called KeySearch. It’s simple to use: bang in some keywords that you’d like to use and it will tell you how difficult or easy it will be to rank highly for them.
Check it out now with a free-to-use basic plan and see how it works. If you want to boost your SEO, you’ll get a lovely 20% off with our exclusive code KSDISC on all plans too!
Use Hashtags on Pinterest
Pinterest has recently reintroduced hashtags. Unlucky for us, who have been complying with Pinterest recommendations and not using them.
While Pinterest recommends focusing on adding hashtags to the new pins, I am sure a lot of travel bloggers will be going back through their boards and fixing their old pins. I know I will. But I will only be focusing on our main travel blog board.
There is no clear indication of how many hashtags you should use in your pins, but just like with everything else, moderation is important. You don’t want your pins to look spammy.
Again, just like with the keywords, think of your audience and what people will be searching for. What would you be typing in if you were interested in the subject of that pin?
Are you tired yet? It’s a lot to take in but hang in there!
We’ve got one more very important topic to cover in this Pinterest guide. Let’s see how you can drive traffic to your blog through Pinterest.
Drive Traffic to Your Website Through Pinterest
There are a few ways to drive traffic to your travel blog through Pinterest.
The following 5 methods included in this Pinterest guide for travellers will allow you to understand better how Pinterest works when it comes to driving traffic to your travel blog.
1. Pin Consistently
One thing that Pinterest loves is you sharing other people’s pins. You will need to find a way to do that.
You can do that by using the Pinterest search box and finding the relevant content to pin. This is nice and easy. Set aside 30 minutes or an hour to do the sharing, daily if possible.
Or you can create boards specifically for sharing other people’s pins or pin them directly to your boards. We have a set of boards where we only share our own content and our guest posts.
Then we also have categorised boards for travel shares with other users’ content to mix things up.
2. Join Other Pinterest Boards
An easy way of increasing exposure and broadening your audience is joining other pinners boards. If you see a board you’d like to join, give it a follow and then contact the host for permission to join.
Once you grow your Pinterest account, you will start getting invitations from relevant Pinterest users to join their boards.
Otherwise, you can create your own and invite others to join it.
But one of the most intense and laborious, yet very effective methods of driving traffic to your blog is joining Facebook groups for Pinterest.
3. Share Pins on Facebook Groups
This method requires effort and dedication, there aren’t any shortcuts here, unfortunately.
It’s a simple process where you post 1 link and then reciprocate the next day.
Just a heads up, in some cases the list of links can get as longs as 200 and you will need to pin every single one to your Pinterest boards.
This time-consuming task can take from 1-3 hours per day depending on your laptop and internet speed. Some travel bloggers even hire a VA to deal with this.
There are 3 main Facebook groups you can join if you are feeling brave:
- Mappin Monday
- Pinterest for Travel Bloggers
- Travel Bloggers Guide to Pinterest
Each group has participation rules pinned to the top of their page, make sure you read them thoroughly.
You don’t have to participate every day if you don’t have the time. We usually do the Mappin Monday weekly group and will occasionally post a link on other groups.
But if you are thinking of joining all groups and participating every day, you’ll need to use a Pinterest scheduler.
For the sake of your own sanity, at the very least!
4. Invest in Pinterest Scheduler
Tailwind is a marketing tool designed specifically for bloggers and small businesses. It enables you to schedule your content and also measures results.
It is a great tool if you are pinning a lot. You can set the time intervals for your pins to be published and forget about it for the rest of your day.
It costs $9.99 per month ($100 per year if you pay in one go). It can be a little pricey if you are just starting your travel blog but it’s well worth it in terms of time and hassle savings.
Having a Tailwind account also leads you to yet another promotional tool that can increase your blog traffic.
You can create a Tailwind Tribe or join an existing one. Tailwind Tribe is like a community where you share each other’s pins.
Again, each group has its own rules. It usually allows you to pin max 3 images per day, but you will be expected to share the love by reciprocating.
When you join/create a tribe, you will have a separate dashboard on your Tailwind. Here you will see all the pins that the tribe members have shared and track your own progress.
In theory, it’s very similar to the Facebook groups for Pinterest, except you choose which pins to share on your boards. This means you will have to be especially visually appealing.
Remember to use high-quality images and Canva graphics to stand out in the crowd.
5. Enable Rich Pins
Having rich pins enabled on your Pinterest can make a very positive impact to your Pinterest account and your website.
Simply speaking, rich pins contain more data. Compared to regular pins, rich pins display information such as headline, description, keywords, hashtags and a direct link to your blog.
Rich pins are recognised by Pinterest as more superior and can rank higher in searches. The Pinterest search engine very likely will choose a rich pin over a regular pin purely because it contains more information.
Enabling rich pins is not difficult. First, you’ll have to switch to a Pinterest business account, don’t worry it’s free, and then verify your website.
How to Add Rich Pins
For you to be able to apply for rich pins, you will need to install an Open Graph plugin.
We recommend installing the superb Yoast SEO plugin to your website if you haven’t done so yet.
Once you’ve done that, just follow the instructions here.
Ok, enough with the heavy stuff.
We’ve covered a lot in this Pinterest guide for travel bloggers, well done you!
Finally, let’s look at some plugins and extensions to make your blogger life easier as you become a Pinterest Pro.
Extensions help share content more effectively. They are also very easy to install to your browser for ease of use.
Tailwind Publisher (Chrome and Firefox)
You can download the extension here, the instructions are dead easy.
The nice thing about this extension is that you can quickly schedule multiple images. Open your favourite blog post and hit the Tailwind extension on the right-hand-side of your search bar.
Click the images you want to add to your Pinterest scheduler then press the blue button “Go schedule!” and you are done. Nice.
Pinterest Save/Browser Button
With the Pinterest Save/Browser button you will be able to save content straight to your boards without scheduling.
The browser makes it easy to save ideas from the internet, but I personally don’t use it as I find it slightly annoying.
It’s still worth knowing about but I prefer using social media share buttons for the same result.
Pinterest Social Plugins
There are a number of plugins you can add to your site to get people sharing your content. We use Shareaholic, which you can see on the left-hand side of our posts.
One more thing before you go…
If you, like us, think that a vertical image doesn’t work on your website, you can hide it! This was way too exciting for me to discover!
If you want to learn how to do it, check out the tutorial in the bonus chapter of this Pinterest guide for travel bloggers below.
Bonus Chapter: Should You Hide Your Pins?
I hide my pins.
But that’s just my personal preference. Vertical images do not work well on some websites and might make your blog post look odd and very distorted, no matter how beautiful your pin is.
Therefore, we felt that our website looked a bit messy with our pins displayed.
“Hiding” a pin means using a very simple code to cloak them. The majority of our pins (I am still in the process of hiding them all) are hidden.
When you click on the Pinterest sharing button on the left-hand side of each post, it will appear for you to pin/save along with other images. Below you can see the two pins that have been hidden:
I think that’s really cool and clever, and it leaves your website clean and tidy. Plus, it means that you can have multiple pins to mix up what’s shared and see what works best.
Pin Hiding Tutorial
If you would like to hide your pins, here are two bits of the code that we use:
- <div style= “display: none;”>
Let’s try hiding one of your pins in 5 easy steps:
- Add the pin as normal, by adding the image to your website (I am adding my Malta Food Guide pin to the bottom of my post).
- Click on the ‘text’ tab:
3. Find your pin code. I placed my image at the bottom of my post:
4. Now it’s time to add the code:
Place the first part of the code <div style= “display: none;”> at the start of the image (where the code begins with <img class=”) and close it at the very end with the second part of the code </div>
5. Update and view your post. The pin will be hidden, but your readers will be able to save your pin through your social media shares button.
Benefits of Multiple Pins
If I have time, I usually create two Pinterest images, but you can create as many as you like.
Having multiple pins allows you to share the same post multiple time and give it more exposure. It works especially well on the Facebook sharing groups. Therefore, you have twice as much chance of driving traffic to your website through Pinterest, which is always a bonus!
If you liked this post, don’t forget to pin the hidden Pinterest pins via social media shares. Thank you!
Let us know if this Pinterest guide for travel bloggers was useful. Did we miss anything? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you…