This article aims to help you apply more useful and worthwhile methods based on strategies that I use.
How Does Flipboard Work?
Flipboard was launched in July of 2010 as a social news magazine to organize and share content found on the web. Articles, videos, and photos can be listed in magazines that users can flip through with the smartphone app or browse via the Flipboard website.
Anyone can create a free account and “flip” articles into personalized magazines to save for future reading or to share with others.
Flipboard automatically features some flips, as they are called, in areas of the site where people find them when searching for news or information.
Of particular value to authors:
We can flip our own articles into magazines that we create to organize our content under various topic categories. Flipboard's terms of service state that we can flip our own content.
You can "flip" any article by copying and pasting the URL into a magazine you created on Flipboard. I'll explain this below.
Share Content on Flipboard by Curating Your Own Magazine
The main purpose of Flipboard is to share news and informational articles found on the web by flipping them into magazines of various topics.
You can share useful information with your followers whether or not you wrote it yourself. I made a separate magazine called “Great Articles That I Found” and I flip articles there that I think are useful for others.
I’m focusing this article on how authors can make use of this site to promote their articles.
Readers who like something they see on Flipboard might re-flip the article into their own magazine, increasing the likelihood of someone else finding it.
Finding Content on Flipboard
Flipboard has become a great resource of information in an easy-to-find format with many people creating magazines.
When you flip articles to magazines you are a curator too. I follow other curators who I know make an effort to organize useful magazines.
I discovered informative articles from the web that I would have missed if it weren’t for all the wonderful curators of flips.
Flip Your Own Articles
Flipboard features flips of articles based on the category their bots detect from the domain. Because of this, writers on HubPages discovered that only articles in the niche network sites did well.
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Articles on the niche sites get featured because they get tagged into topic categories, where those who follow specific topics can see them. Articles in the home domain of HubPages never seem to get tagged in topic categories.
Comments are Effective in Influencing Search
It's crucial to include a comment with each flip to attract search traffic. When sharing other flips, describe why you liked the article and why you recommend it. When flipping your own content, provide a brief explanation of what to expect from it.
How to Set Up Your Flipboard For Best Results
Create Your Flipboard Bio
When you create your account, you will see a section in your profile to include a bio. Write something that clearly describes what you do. You'll get more traffic because the bio is included in the search when people are looking for something or someone specific to their interests.
I found that the length of the bio is unlimited on the website, but only displays 245 characters on the app. I suggest you limit it so that it shows the entire bio in all cases. Most traffic comes from mobile phones these days anyway.
You should also upload an image of yourself; otherwise, only your initial will appear in a circle on your profile, and that looks incomplete. Just click on that initial, and it will let you upload your image from your computer.
This is how my profile looked after I completed it:
Create a Magazine
After you completed your profile, you can start creating magazines to flip your articles. Just click "NEW MAGAZINE" from your profile, as shown above.
You can make a magazine for each topic you write about or other articles you want to flip. I found it's much easier doing this on the website than with the app.
Give each magazine a name and a description. The description is optional, but it is useful since it helps people find your magazine in a search, and it helps the system tag the articles to the correct topic category (more on this later).
Flipping Articles Into Magazines
The next step is to add your articles to your magazines. Click the pencil icon at the top to flip.
You'll get a pop-up titled "Add your voice to a magazine," and it has a field saying, "Write a comment or add a website to your magazine."
Even though it prompts you to write a comment or add a website, it's important to remember that you only want to add the URL of the article you want to flip. Don't write a comment. I also recommend not typing in the URL as you may misspell it; it's best to copy and paste it instead.
After you paste the URL, you also need to click on the magazine you want to flip into, as shown in the image below:
Click “Post” at the lower right and you're done.
How to Organize Your Flips
This is really a worthwhile thing to do occasionally. You may want to move certain magazines to the top so that they are more noticeable.
- You can drag flips around within magazines to display in different orders.
- You can select one of the images from any flip to be the main image of that specific magazine.
- You can drag magazines around to control the order of the display under your profile.
You need to click "refresh" on your browser after making any changes to see the updated magazine.
How a Flipper Follower Sees Things
Many people use Flipboard to find news and information.
Users can select categories of interest to follow, or they can follow other members. They can also create their own magazines to save articles to share or to read later.
Their profile lists their magazines that they have created, and they can find the topics and people they follow by clicking “FOLLOWING” from the top of the home page, as shown here.
Users can also select “COVER STORIES” from the top of the home page. This displays articles that are within the topics they follow.
Once they click into a category, selected stories are presented, which they can flip through just like the pages of a magazine.
Automatic Tagging to Topics and Featuring Articles
When an article is added to a magazine it is automatically tagged to a topic and featured in that category on the site. That helps get views because the article appears in the topic list as people browse what they are following.
Which Articles Get Tagged and Featured?
Not all articles are tagged to topics. As I mentioned earlier, authors on HubPages discovered that only articles in the HubPages niche sites are tagged, not those from the hubpages.com home site.
Articles flipped from sites other than HubPages show a wide variation in whether they are featured or not. It may depend on how well trusted the website is for having quality.
Once a flip is tagged to a topic, it gets featured on a rotating schedule. One of my articles got over 3000 views on the first day by being featured, but then it dropped drastically. Another article suddenly came to life a week later and then dropped off. We never know when flips get featured or if they will ever get featured again.
Incorrectly Tagged Topics
There is no way to tag things ourselves. It's automatic.
Unfortunately, in some cases articles are tagged to the wrong topics. Some are absolutely silly locations, and that negatively affects the chances of getting traffic.
Some of us have tried updating our articles, removing or changing content that might have been causing the Flipboard bots to choose misleading keywords.
However, these efforts don't work right away because of another issue. Flipboard uses caching, which delays any change. The delay has lessened in recent years, but it may be weeks before the bots notice your changes.
The Importance of Using Captions for Topic Tagging
Adding a caption description to each flip is important so that Flipboard correctly tags the flip to the correct topic category. It tries to choose keywords from the content, but it also uses the caption data.
Any change you make to an existing caption will not be reflected immediately since their server does not re-crawl very often to detect updates. They told me that the frequency is based on how much traffic you're getting in the first place. Those with high traffic will be crawled more often to detect any updates.
This is why it's important to plan ahead of time and have a good title on your article and a good caption on the flip before adding it to a magazine.
Delays With Updates to Flipped Articles
As an author of your own content, if you make changes such as a new title or remove content that had caused it to be listed in the wrong topic category, you need to wait for Flipboard to re-crawl to detect the updates.
If you delete the flip and add it back to the magazine, it will reappear with the old data because they use a cached copy and the old content is reused.
I asked the support staff about that, and they confirmed their server saves a cached copy of all flips. The server will check the original content occasionally and will automatically use any changes that are made. How often and how soon depends on how popular the feed is with each individual flip. Therefore, you just need to be patient when making changes.
Lately, I discovered that Flipboard is finally updating its database more frequently. When I changed a title on an article, for example, the change was updated on Flipboard within a month. In the past, it never was updated.
Notifications of Followers and Likes
When people follow you or one of your magazines, or like your flips, you will receive an email notification if you opted for that in your settings.