SO YOU’RE A TRAVEL BLOGGING BEGINNER LOOKING FOR MARKETING TIPS? You came to the right place rockstar! When I first started travel blogging, I got really annoyed that there only seemed to be articles written about travel blogging from people who have been doing it for years, and who already made money from it. That doesn’t help me as a travel blog newbie! I want to see the blood, sweat, and tears IN ACTION that got you to where you are.So follow me, a travel blogger who is a year into the process, as I show you the things I learn step-by-step. You will get awesome tips and I might even make you laugh and inspire you along the way. I can’t, however, promise I’ll solve that sock disappearing problem, make you dance better, or figure out why your kids/pets are so weird. Let’s get our learn on grasshopper! Here are my 6 sure fire marketing tips for travel blog beginners!
One of the best things you could ever do for yourself as a travel blogging beginner is to NETWORK YOUR BOOTY OFF! Learn how to work a room! Become involved in Facebook travel groups. I would be completely lost without them! The groups I turn to most are the Travel Blog Network, Travel Blog Success, Pinterest for travel bloggers, and Travel Blog Megashare. There are other Facebook travel groups you might find to your liking, but these ones have been the most influential for me. And that’s just the beginning. Make sure you network with people on and off the web! I always tend to get a boost in traffic by going to networking events in my city. Speaking of Travel Blog Success, they also happen to be having an AMAZING SUMMER SALE right now that only lasts until July 31st, 2015. You can save up to $120 on the Travel Blog Success main course. Although I have not yet taken their courses, I WILL BE, and I have heard many wonderful things about them from prolific travel bloggers like Adventurous Kate and others.
2. FOCUS ON…CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT!
You know how they say location is everything in business? Well in travel blogging, CONTENT is KING in these beginning stages. Just as in yoga, the core of your site is content and you have to focus on building the inside before the outside can come together. Nothing else matters unless you have the unique content people want to read. I am a firm believer that if you write it well, they will come. Unfortunately though, you must have patience. You can’t build an audience overnight, unless of course you already have an audience to begin with. SO WRITE! FOCUS ON BUILDING QUALITY ARTICLES AND PUSH THEM OUT AS MUCH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. It’s easy to get caught up with other things in the beginning- the name of your site, the colors, the layout, etc. That’s all pointless if nobody is reading your blog silly goose! PRO TIP: Notice how many of my posts tend to have numbered lists? That’s because IT WORKS!
Although you may feel like you’re an outcast in the 9-5 day job world, once you get to know other travel bloggers in the community, it begins to feel like you’re all doing the travel blogger happy dance just trying to notice one another. Keep at it and trust the process. While it may seem like an ineffective strategy, OTHER TRAVEL BLOGGERS ARE YOUR STAPLE WHEN STARTING A TRAVEL BLOG. Communicate with them, guest post on other travel blogs, and come up with your own collaborative travel posts. Not only does this boost your SEO factor, it makes your name memorable. The travel bloggers I remember most are the ones who are REALLY active in the community and are continually posting! One site I JUST RECENTLY became a member of is Travel Blog Traffic Exchange so I am eager to see what kind of traffic this collaborative site will bring me and will keep you posted along the way! I do know that you need to have at least 1,000 social media followers between all of the sites to become a member, so perhaps you should focus on that first. Another site I am looking to delve more into since I signed up is Bloglovin.
4. LEARN SOCIAL MEDIA!
As a social media manager, I suppose I had a bit of a leg up on learning this aspect which is crucial to advertising your blog. Social media is much like panting a seed. You might not see the results in the beginning, but eventually it will come to fruition. It will be a little overwhelming at first, but by reading and learning about each site one by one, you will get there! A few great sources with FREE social media information and tips include Social Media Examiner, Hubspot, or Kimgarst.com. The social media sites you will want to invest your time in vary according to preference, but the ones I’ve had the most engagement and return from include Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon. If you are NEW to the social media world and are a travel blogging beginner, I would suggest focusing on only two sites to keep your sanity such as Pinterest or Instagram.
5. BUILD AN E-MAIL LIST
Top travel bloggers will always say that a vital aspect of any travel blog is to have an e-mail sign up form somewhere on your blog. I’m still working on optimizing my own site for e-mail opt-ins and currently use Mailchimp as an e-mail subscription site because I am focusing on building content. However, once I gain more money, I intend to use Aweber as I have heard that is well worth the extra money. But let’s be frank, nobody is going to sign up for an e-mail list unless they have an incentive or you offer them something of value! If it’s not your travel blog that does it, give something away such as an e-book, newsletter, or prize on Rafflecopter!
6. EASE YOURSELF INTO AFFILIATE MARKETING!
Just like swimming, you don’t jump straight off the rocks into that freezing cold water! You ease into the water like there are travel blogging sharks after you, just as you should ease into affiliate marketing. As a travel blog beginner, you might fit any of these criteria: A. You are deeply passionate about travel B. You want to make money from travel blogging C. You started travel blogging because you loved it, and then you decided you want to make money from it.
As a relatively new blogger myself (only been at this a year folks!) I would advise you to focus on content first, and affiliate marketing later. Although the consensus is that affiliate marketing is generally the best way to make money from travel blogging, please do yourself a favor and ease into it. I went to the Affiliate Summit before I knew what I was doing and I was just a lost cause! Now of course, I’ve learned a bit more, but there is always room for growth. If you are an affiliate marketing newbie, sign up as an Amazon affiliate, sign up at Commission Junction, and then learn about those before you do anything else. They are extremely easy to sign up for!
Do you feel like you would add anything else to these beginner tips? Maybe later I can break them down into more descriptive posts for newbies. Is there anything you would like to know more about?
Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in some cases I will receive a referral commission. This incentive makes me work harder to give you the BEST and most AUTHENTIC reviews, tips, and inspiration! And well, it also helps me stuff my gullet. BONUS – I get to bring you more cool prizes and products if you keep feeding me. Thank you!