Posted May 28, 2008 2:00 pm by with 30 comments

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By Julie Gallaher

Like many bloggers, I dream of a day when I can leave my 9-5 job and make a great living on the internet. My travel recommendation site, Things You Should Do, will reach the milestone of 500,000 unique visitors during the next few weeks. I’ve experimented with lots of different methods to grow my traffic and recently discovered Flickr as a power tool.

My strategy of using Flickr groups to build community and create stickiness is paying good dividends. I’ve only just begun, and I’m receiving about 100 visitors per day from Flickr with an incredibly low bounce rate of 12.14% and an average time on site of over 4 minutes.


I joined Flickr a couple of years ago, but I wasn’t reaching any audience. I knew there must be a way to reach travel lovers, but how?

I was inspired to learn how to master using Flickr by Matt McGee’s series at Small Business SEM on How to Market on Flickr. His suggestions are common sense SEO practices, but we all know how uncommon common sense is.
• Page Rank Follows from Profile and Group pages so link to those pages
• Geo-tagged photos can end up in Yahoo Local News
• Use the correct Creative Commons license to build inbound links
• Link to your profile page and photo-stream from your blog or website

Shawn Duffy at S Duffy Photography has tips about making your best visual impression
• Upload your photos in the correct order
• Give great titles, descriptions & tags
• Be selective: upload your best photos, not all of them
• Protect your photos from cyber theft
• Participate in groups

David Erickson at eMarketing
reports on Flickr stats
• Become a Pro Member for access to stats reports
• Stats are available on individual photos and your photo-stream
• Create and promote an RSS Feed of your photos
• Create Viral Marketing based on your existing online presence

John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing uses images for SEO
• Use keyword rich titles and descriptions
• Get your photos indexed by using alt descriptions
• Use meta tags for search engine visibility
• Develop and Emotional Connection with your customers

Jeremiah Owyang formerly at Jeremiah the Prophet
and now blogging at the Web Strategist stresses community building
• Offline Events generate online traffic
• Tagging to build community
• Embrace bloggers
• Create interactive product demos


At Things You Should Do, I feature hundreds of travel destinations – outdoor adventures, fabulous restaurants, great golf, quirky festivals, romantic hotels and more. On this Flickr project, I started with a dozen of those destinations and created Flickr groups, like this one for the Paradise Cove Cafe in Malibu. I searched online for photos of those destinations and asked flickr members to join my group. In three weeks, I had 500 photos submitted and had 50 people join the groups. Members are contacting me with additional photos they’d like to submit and are enthusiastic about participation.

I used Flickriver, a third party app, to display the photo pool on my website. Flickriver refreshes the pool so different photos are highlighted and redirects viewers back to the members photo-stream. Group members are seeing visits from my site on their traffic logs.

Each Flickr Group links back to the specific destination featured. Over time, this will raise the post in the SERPs.

I’m promoting the RSS feeds onsite and through group communiques.

Branded widgets will be available for member use on their websites and blogs.

By the 4th of July, I’ll have created Flickr groups for another 25 destinations and engaged with hundreds more Flickr users. Why don’t you do the same?

This is an entry to Marketing Pilgrim’s 3rd Annual SEM Scholarship contest.

  • Musashi

    Interesting idea. I had my flickr account dormant for quite a long time now. I’m going to try to put your ideas to work.

  • MarketingDeviant

    Congrats! 500,000 visitors is a lot! It seems like making picture and then distributing them (asking them to link back) is a great way to build links for your website! 😀

    MarketingDeviant’s last blog post..Isolate your enemy

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  • Nicole

    Wow! Your ideas are awesome. I was using my flickr account to just upload photos. Now looks like it is also possible to generate traffic with it.
    Going to put your idea to work.

    Nicole’s last blog post..The Latest GPS Technology

  • trysh

    Wow – good article – and now I’m coming back to check out all the great resources and references – thanks for the great info!

    trysh’s last blog post..More Experiments!

  • John Bougearel

    flicker on Julie!

  • Quirkee James

    Great article, Julie! Thanks for sharing the flickr tips.

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  • david Rankin

    Flickr has a very friendly feel to it and everyone is very polite to each other . I’ve never had much , or probably any traffic from Flickr so this is a very useful article

  • Sheri Lee

    Wow Julie!

    There is so much to learn and a lot of info out there. This is a great start for somebody who is fairly clueless.

    And I have photos of our special visit to Malibu Cove too. We saw a whale.

    Sheri Lee

  • Erica

    Great article Julie! I like your ideas. Now I will have to start my own Flickr group.

    Erica’s last blog post..Win A Once-In-A-Lifetime Family Adventure With

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  • Kathy Whatley

    Great ideas! Thanks!

  • kris mortela

    Thanks Julie. I am new to this blog thing and dont even know how to improve on my blogs.Your article is very interesting. I hope to move on by applying your generous tips.More power!

  • kris mortela

    thanks Julie. I am new to this blog thing and dont even know how to improve on my blogs. Your aticle is interesting. I hope to move on by applying your tips.More power!

  • Kathy Whatley

    Oh and thanks Julie for the comment on my Squidoo page.

  • Leads

    Cool info, thanks for sharing, I’ll have to check it out! Later!

  • heather dugan

    Great article Julie! I’ve done next to nothing with Flickr to this point. It’s time to do something more with my travel photos.

    heather dugan’s last blog post..Flying to Not-Vegas…

  • Blog Marketing

    Mabye you should use those pictures, profiles and groups..

    Blog Marketing’s last blog post..Blog Marketing

  • juliemarg

    I guess timing is everything. This weekend there was a big dust-up between the paparazzi and a bunch of surfers at Paradise Cove. Apparently the photogs were after some photos of Matthew McCaunaghey and his surfing friends didn’t like it. My post on the cafe, my flickr group and my widget are #7, 11 & 17 on the search Paradise Cove Malibu, so I got a wave of new visitors.

  • Money Magic

    Really good post. I have been procrastinating about getting involved with Flickr even though I have a cool little script built into the WordPress Template I use. This article is going to make me get on it.

    Thanks for the post.


    Money Magic’s last blog post..Can’t Get Started Without Some Start-Up Costs?

  • List Your Vacation Rental Free

    I haven’t used Flickr much for SEO. I will have to try out this technique.

  • winehiker

    Sounds worth a try, Julie. Thanks for the power tip! :)

    winehiker’s last blog post..Chicken Marsala, Winehiker-Style

  • Jason Lee

    I will try too one day.

    Jason Lee’s last blog post..The German Soldier’s Ten Commandments


    Interesting about flickr… never thought of it as a means to create web traffic.. now i do

    i’ll have to include that in my strategy… thanks for the post’s last blog post..Using OBP to increase web traffic – Part IV –

  • juliemarg

    Another side benefit … as people have joined my groups, I’ve designated them as contacts on Flickr. I have the ability to notify them about widgets or new groups or subscribing to my newsletter. I’ve made some new cyberfriends and supporters for ;^D

  • Peter Monroe

    Nice tips. I haven’t used flikr, but now, I’m thinking about it.

    Peter Monroe’s last blog post..Peter Monroe

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  • RichardP

    Just stumbled onto your blog through the guest post on using Flickr. Never thought of the potential, but now I intend to if it works for my blogs and sites. Plan to revisit Marketing Pilgrim regularly. Thanks

    RichardP’s last blog post..Teen Guide to Safe Blogging

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