Flipboard is a news aggregation platform which has been around for over half a decade. However, it has recently taken the travel blogging world by storm and with the lack of information on how to use Flipboard or benefit off it, I decided to write this guide. In this piece, I will brief all new users on how to get started, why you need to be on Flipboard, how to drive an avalanche of Flipboard traffic and a few minor drawbacks to consider.
I had been hearing about the massive rise of Flipboard for months before I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon – My initial hesitation being time management. I mean, who wants “Another” social platform, right? Wrong!
Flipboard is by far the easiest way to drive free traffic to your blog, with the least amount of time spent!
This was my first post to go viral on Flipboard drawing in over 7000 views in one day –
Easy to Get Started
From all the social media channels out there, Flipboard is the easiest to get started on. Simply download Flipboard for Android or iOS and you are ready with your free traffic generation machine. You can even use Flipboard for windows but I personally use both web based and app versions.
You Don’t need a Shit Load of Followers
This is the best part about Flipboard. You can start seeing traffic by just curating content (We will talk about it later in the article) without having a ton of followers at all. I have spent over 50% of my blogging time into creating a social presence and getting my vanity social digits up without seeing any drastic increase in traffic. All that effort from 1000’s of hours of trying to gain followers across social channels, was smashed by spending 30 mins per day on Flipboard for one week flat!
Least time Investment viz a viz other Social Networks
Since you don’t have to spend hours building your following, you can focus on “real” content curation which will help you gain traction of Flipboard. Give yourself 30 mins a day over 1-2 weeks of flipping/re-flipping and I can promise you WILL see a huge bump in traffic to your blog. That’s how little of a time commitment Flipboard is!
Maximum Potential for Viral Content
With my blog, I have tried every viral strategy possible and everything failed. From this mega round of post to this collection of my stupidest travel fails, nothing seemed to have worked. So 15 hour work days, ton of content, super round ups with popular bloggers, huge listicles, massive social sharing, multiple pins – nada – zilch! Okay so maybe on a good day, I could get 1000 visitors but that was about it.
However, Flipboard changed everything. I had my two biggest traffic days which results in so much traffic that it crashed my site – twice!
Here’s proof from analytics –
7000 pageviews a day might be small for some bloggers but compare it to my previous traffic which was less than that per month (well in the graph this huge bump makes it look like I wasn’t getting “any” traffic at all) – For me, it was a big win!
If you are an already established blogger with a lot of content that you can simply flip – imagine the kind of success you can get?
And now.. the interesting part..
How to Bombard Your Blog with Free Traffic Using Flipboard
Create Your Profile
Once you have downloaded Flipboard on your phone and PC, its time to get started. Add a small bio with a profile picture (or it will simply use your Facebook profile picture if you login to Flipboard using Facebook). Ensure you mention your brand name or website in profile bio for brand recognition. Click here to check out my Flipboard profile to get an idea of how to go about it.
Curate Kick Ass Magazines
The entire basis of Flipboard is to create curated magazines using your own content and mixing it up with any pieces you like in the same niche. For example if you are in the travel niche like me, your magazines would probably look like these –
Having an interesting magazine title and description with SEO keywords can go a long way. Featured magazines drive hoards of traffic each day. So, creating a solid magazine (similar to creating Pinterest boards) is the foundation of success on Flipboard. The more followers you have to your magazine, better the chances of being featured in your niche or even having your content “reflipped” (This term is used in similar way as resharing/repinning).
Getting new followers is not an integral part of the platform but the more people who follow you and your magazines, higher the chances are for getting your articles reflipped. To find like minded people to follow, look at those who are commenting/ engaging in your niche. Another way is to follow followers of other profiles in your niche. You cannot click on “followers” of others from the Flipboard webpage but you can do that through the app. It is indeed the fastest way to gain new followers on Flipboard.
Engage, Engage, Engage
The entire setup of creating profile to curating magazines would hardly take 30-60 mins. Spare atleast an hour each day just to fill up your magazines. Reflip content from other similar curators and magazines. Just use search bar on top to find your niche, follow magazines of your interest and reflip, like and comment on relevant articles. Engagement is hands down the #1 way to drive genuine traffic and followers back to your profile.
Pro tip – Add your own posts through the web version of Flipboard which offers you an option to add a note “What’s interesting about this” before you choose a magazine to flip to. Use this space wisely with a short crisp description of your article using your main keyword.
Join Flipboard Threads
To get initial traction to your magazines and reflips you can join daily Flipboard threads on this Facebook group – Flipboard for Travel Bloggers (I personally use this as I am in the travel niche) or Travel Bloggers Mega Share for an on-going Flipboard thread which you can join as soon as you hit publish.
Get into a Habit of Checking Analytics
When you are logged on to your Flipboard account, simply click on the small graph in your bio or go here to check your analytics page. I love analyzing my traffic on GA and other social media
Share your newest Articles ASAP
Okay from my experience newer articles gain more traction (This could be because its a news site?) than old content. This does not mean you won’t get any traffic at all to them – it is still a great idea to diversfy, break down all your content and dump them into your Flipboard mags. In fact you can create magazines based on your website’s categories so that curation becomes easier.
Topics that tend to Work Well on Flipboard
Tips and deals do very well on Flipboard so any budgeting tips, coupons, special offers/fares , hacks are almost sure shot winners on this platform.
Tips from Fellow Bloggers Who Have Had Success with Flipboard
Since everyone has their own ‘strategy’, I decided to get a few bloggers here who have had huge success with Flipboard – Over 7-25k pageviews per day. They “must” be doing something right. Here goes –
Penelope Louise from TheFlyawayGirl
“For following people my strategy consists of checking out different boards in my niche and seeing where they ‘reflipped’ the content from. I then click through and have a look at that board and, if it’s interesting and relevant to my niche, I’ll follow the board. I also check out the person who owns the board (are they a flipper??) and I might follow them or some other boards they have!
Just be careful – it’s a total rabbit hole and you can accidentally spend hours on Flipboard going from board to board… I’m guilty of that!
I also like to comment on content that really peaks my interest or if it’s somewhere I visited and I have something valuable to add. Always add value – that’s the key!”
Allison Green from Eternal Arrival
“My biggest tip for Flipboard is to produce epic content. I created a huge monster post of 40 countries you can travel to for under $30 a day. I didn’t even Flip it myself — enough people must have that it got featured on Flipboard and I reached 25k pageviews over two days!”
Jamie Lee from A Bite of Culture
“I’ve found that I’ve had the best results with Flipboard when I:
1) Use feature images that fit Flipboard so the text of the image isn’t flowing off the side.
2) Use keywords that will tag my articles in the right category. This is not always easy because the algorithm that Flipboard uses is still not understood. It’s quite literally a guessing game, but I’ve found that if I want my articles to be categorized under “Travel”, I need to use the word travel a lot as well as use other keywords such as “plane” or “Europe”. This is what has worked for me.
3) Listicles do best. Every single one of my articles that have gone “Flipboard viral” have been listicles. A couple examples include “10 Places in the American Southwest You Have to Visit” and “18 Travel Accessories Every Budget Traveler Should Have.”
4) Study what big accounts flip and what kind of articles they like. One account that flipped one of my articles that had over one million followers. From that, I got hundreds of flips from articles that had 50,000+ followers.”
Paul Johnson from A Luxury Travel Blog
“I enjoy relatively healthy traffic as it is (around 140,000 uniques per month), but still Flipboard spikes have a significant impact on the Google Analytics graph.
Here are the articles that saw significant spikes in traffic during January (the number of views is displayed on each article just below the title)
The URLs show the dates of the posts and you can see these largely correspond with three ‘peaks’ in the attached Analytics data.
Drawbacks Of Using Flipboard as a Traffic Generation Medium
Crashes too Often
Flipboard app crashes all too often, there’s a cap on following people/ magazines too fast and sometimes you might have to refresh several times in order to follow someone or “Flip” an article. The app as well as the web version have constant errors and can be a deterrent to getting on the platform altogether. However, the idea of easy free targeted traffic is a great lure to keep going back.
Pro tip – If you experience any bugs/issues using Flipboard, their customer support is easy to reach and quick to respond. Simply head to Settings > Help > Contact Us on the app and they will handle the rest.
Traffic is short lived
Traffic is very short lived and lasts 1.5 day on average. You might have some overflow over the next few days but it is next to nil and you need to go back to your brainstorming sessions to create the next viral piece. So, it is continuous effort to build Flipboard traffic but in my opinion, with much better and faster results than any other social network.
Pros surely outweight the cons and Flipboard is a great source of generating traffic to any website across all verticals. Have any questions about Flipboard, write in comments below and I will answer them to the best of my knowledge. I know other bloggers who have had much better success with even 25,000 pageview days “just” with Flipboard (As mentioned above) so its high time to create your profile now.
Further Reading –
Subscribe to my mailing list below for the next chapter of my Travel Blogging 101 series about landing your first press trip –