Flipboard photographer guide: Why and how to get the most out of Flipboard

The Flipboard Photographer Guide include a complete workflow to make your own magazine easily.

What is Flipboard?

Flipboard is a social network and a publication platform designed, from the ground up, to be used on mobile devices.  If your website or portfolio are not mobile ready, STOP READING NOW! And get mobile ready.  More than 50% of web traffic is mobile, 95% of Flipboards magazines readers do so on phone and tablet. Every day, a number of Internet readers jump on Flipboard.  Flipboard can bring social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn alongside their favorite news sources in their personal Flipboard.  If your content is not mobile ready, this should be your top priority. Flipboard also allow you to create your own magazine intended to a specific community or need.  In this post we will explore why and how, as a photographer, you should have your own Flipboard Magazine.

Who reads Flipboard Magazines

Flipboard, as of July 2015, have 72M users.  15,8M are subscribed to the main category section Photography.  This section has over 15k articles published.  The half-life of a Flipboard publication is up to ten time the usual Facebook or Twitter publication.  The way users consume Flipboard publications contribute to this healthy half-life.  Users flip through articles on the bus, while eating or on the couch.  Flipboard publications is also more engaging.  The pictures are nice, the summary easily readable and clicking-through, commenting and liking is really easy on a mobile device. Moreover, there are multiple curated magazines that aim to specific customers’ avatar.  In turn, these prospective customers follow these magazines through the easy to use Flipboard interface on mobile and tablet. Rawtests Flipboard title: Rawtests – Learn, Grow and Earn from your Photography is a good example of a Magazine that target a specific customer avatar.


Flipboard Photographer Guide: The Customer Avatar.

What is a Customer Avatar?

A customer Avatar is a detailed representation of the typical personna you are aiming to get as a customer.  Here is an example:

Julie is a 30 years old professional working in Toronto Canada.  She is active on Pinterest, Facebook and glance over twitter and Instagram. 

Julie earn between $60,000 and $120,000 a year.  She is in a long standing relationship and hope she will be asked the life-changing question in the near future.  As such, her interest online have changed a little bit over the last few months.

Julie is reading various articles on wedding related website:  Wedding venue, wedding dress etc…

Julie’s boyfriend is a working professional living in Toronto Canada.  Their culture, profession and education will direct them to a formal ceremony should they elect to get married.

What does your Avatar is interested in?

Julie and her boyfriend represent the ideal customer avatar of a wedding photographer.  As such, you have probably a few months in front of you to gain the needed mind-share in order to be in the short list of photographers that will be contacted to take care of the most important part of their coming together – Their wedding!

Why should you create value for your Avatar?

By creating value for Julie, you help create the needed intimacy that would allow you to be the preferred partner for this great event. Flipboard allow you to care for everything Julie might be interested in, not only your photography offering.  By creating a Flipboard geared toward Wedding Celebration in Toronto, you can start curating various articles from local wedding related services offering into your magazine.  The curation process could be relatively painless and simple.  While in transit or on the couch, use your phone or tablet to search for related terms that Julie would probably search for:

  • Wedding venue in Toronto;
  • Wedding venue checklist;
  • Wedding pictures;
  • Wedding Albums;
  • Wedding Florist in Toronto;
  • Wedding checklist;
  • Wedding Photography Tips, Package, etc…;
  • Catering in Toronto;
  • Wedding cake;
  • The Wedding Dress;
  • Celebrant/Officer in Toronto;
  • Bridal/Wedding Registry;
  • Wedding Invitations;

Flip these articles in your Flipboard “Wedding Celebration in Toronto” using your Flipboard app.  By using your phone, instead of a desktop you could ensure that your flipped article will show nicely on Julie’s phone.

How to create value to your Avatar using Flipboard?

The rule of thumbs is the following, you should post one of your article, picture or link to your portfolio for each 5 articles from the above search list making sure that they are spread apart.  Usually, Flipboard users will flip publications they like in their own magazine as a way to come back to them as needed.  This would be a good indication that you are providing value to Julie.  In order to do so, Julie will create an account on Flipboard and then you could start interacting with her.  When Julie flip an article in her own magazine, you could say thanks and initiate the conversation. By visiting her magazine you will understand what she likes and what she might be interested in.  This intimacy will play a big role later on! Your customer avatar might differ from Julie.  Take the time to define your customer avatar and jot down the search term that this avatar is likely to put in Google Search.


Flipboard Photographer Guide: Automated Curation Workflow

Evergreen vs News content

Evergreen content is defined as something that will remain valuable for a very long time.  For example, should you create a Wedding Venue Checklist in order to help Julie, this post is evergreen.  In fact you can come back to it from time to time to improve it.  As your flipboard magazine gets older, you could bring back this publication to the forefront by flipping it again. News content are publications that are likely to lose value over time.  Unless your magazine has thousands of subscribers and you have time to spare, News content usually provide less value.  When looking at an article, please take the time to evaluate the long time value of including this article in your magazine based on your customer avatar needs.

Example: Rawtests Curation & Publishing Workflow:

The purpose of rawtests Automated Curation Worflow is to touch anything the minimum number of times and to update all social medial channel in the process. To feed in your Flipboard, you could stop at step 5.  Remaining steps are taking care of all our  social media channel.

  1. We collect RSS feeds of mobile ready websites, relevant to our customer’s avatar, into Inoreader. We setup these RSS feeds once and update the feeds as needed.
  2. We follow Flipboard Magazines that are relevant to our customer’s avatar. Setup once and update the feeds as needed. While reading the feed, we follow, comment and like publications in order to increase our followers on Flipboard.
  3. While reading Inoreader we take notes of Influencers and potential partners.
  4. While browsing our feeds (Flipboard and Inoreader), we flip relevant article into our magazines…
  5. … and we save them in Instapaper or Pocket. Since our website is bilingual, We use Instapaper for English and Pocket for French content.  You probably need only one if you care for a single language.
  6. Saved articles in Instapaper/pocket are picked by IFTTT.
  7. An IFTTT recipes append them to an existing google sheet.
  8. Once a month, we extract these saved articles and place them in a corresponding monthly curated list;
  9. This monthly curated list is reviewed, formatted, enhanced with hashtags and prepared for being fed into Hootsuite;
  10. Once a month, the curated enhanced list of tweets are uploaded to Hootsuite Pro and scheduled for publications;
  11. Hootsuite tweet the list according to the schedule;
  12. Tweets are picked up by IFTTT;
  13. An IFTTT recipe feed them into buffer;
  14. Buffer post these to our Facebook Page…
  15. … to our Google Plus page.


Outside of this curation process, IFTTT append to distinct google sheets the following:

  • Mentions of rawtests on Twitter
  • New followers on Twitter;
  • Our formatted tweets;
  • Retweets of our tweets;

The purpose being to thanks and interact with followers that promote our brand.

Benefits of an automated curation workflow:

We are sold on the benefit of automation.  In this curation workflow there is a lot of work needed initially to setup the workflow.  After it is setup using these tools, we touch everything only twice.  Initial curation (step 4 and 5) and preparation for upload (step 10).  Moreover, saving our published tweets to a google sheets would enables me to fill the blanks while on vacation.  We focus on evergreen content, so most or our curation would be good in a year from now.


Flipboard Photographer Guide: Simpler Manual Workflow

Step #1: Create a Private Flipboard Magazine;

This is an interesting option that you might consider.  It allows you to collect everything in a single input source at the start of the workflow.

Flip your RSS feed into your Private Magazine;

Flipping your RSS feed into your private Magazine might be challenging.  Read this interesting article on the topic.  We prefer manually curating our feeds using Inoreader.

Evergreen vs News type of content

Flipping articles into a magazine is more easily done from an existing private magazine.  By collecting evergreen content into a private magazine you can come back to it later on and rejuvenate your magazine with this content.

Choose your Topics Wisely;

You want your subscriber to like your content and magazine.  So chose your topics wisely.  Flipboard users can flag your content with “See less of this” or “Flag as inappropriate”.

Content that look good!

Looking at potential content on Flipboard instead of a news readers enables you to see, in Flipboard how your curated content will look like before you post it to your public Magazine.


Step #2: Create your Public Magazine

There is three very important things to consider when creating your public magazine:

  • The Magazine Name;

Please consider something that talk to your customer’s Avatar.  You are better off choosing something specific than something general.  There are dozens of “Photography” Flipboard.  Which one would be yours?

  • The Magazine Description:

What is the value derived from your magazine.  Two sentences should make it.  Think of it like your Elevator Pitch.

  • The welcome image shown (derived from the last publication or manually set)

Do NOT let it derived from your last publication.  Manually set it and make sure it look good on tablet and phone.  95% of Flipboard Audience is coming from Tablet and phones. You can create any number of magazines on your Flipboard account. However, caring for multiple magazines on diverse topic at once will make your magazines overly thin and uninteresting. Once your workflow is setup and feed your magazine regularly, you might think about creating a new one.  Please focus!

Flip appropriate content from your Private to your Public Magazine;

You can flip content from your own subscription or your private magazine knowing the look and feel you will get.  When flipping content from the web, make sure it look good and the underlying content is mobile ready.


Promote your Magazine

  • On Flipboard;

Comment, like and flip original content.  This is a social media community and it is worth your care.

  • On you Social Media Account;

Ensure that you promote regularly your magazine to your social media followers;

  • On your own blog;

Flipboard provide ways to embed and promote your magazine on your blog.  Read about it on: https://about.flipboard.com/magmaker/embed-flipboard-magazines-on-your-website-or-blog/

  • Invite Contributor to your magazine;

Paper based magazine succeeds because of the diversity of viewpoints and the contribution of multiple individuals.  Your success is also related to your capability to “hire” other contributors.  Do you want to contribute to rawtests – Photography Learn, Grow and Earn from your Photography?  Easy enough, send an email to flipboard@rawtests.com with sample content.


Check your progress with Flipboard Statistics

On your magazine cover a little graph will lead you to your stats.  Take note of them monthly and check your progress.  Should you feel you reached a plateau, adjust your strategy. Current rawtests.com Flipboard stats (We will update this article and stats monthly):

Description Readers Flip Subscribers Articles
August 2015 4
September 2015 59
October 2015  4,963 11,142 62 141
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016

Do you have a Flipboard magazine?  Please add a link in the comment section for our readers to find it out?  Depending on your customers’ avatar, you could also consider flipping this article!