After blogging for a year I’ve learned a trick or two to make all of it a little bit more easy. I know how much travelbloggers in the world there are, and the number of blogs keeps growing every day. A good reason to help some of you guys out, by writing a blogpost with tips that have helped me the most during this last year! No need to invent the wheel twice!
- Feed the bot – Feed the bot is a website where you can run a couple of tests on your website. For example, here you can test if your website is SEO friendly, how fast your website loads and how trustworthy Google finds your website. Definitely take a look on this website, and see what you can improve!
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – This WordPress plugin will help you to improve your blogs’ SEO by adding descriptions, meta descriptions and titles and some other additional options. This plugin makes it easier for Google to find and rate you!
- Pinterest – Forget about Google when you have a blogging question.. just type in keywords on Pinterest and you’ll find great articles for travelbloggers – written by bloggers.
- MailChimp – MailChimp is a free, simple-to-use program to design newsletters. MailChimp also makes it possible for you to keep track of how many times your newsletter is opened and how many times people have clicked on hyperlinks in it.
- Google Calender – Google Calender is a great way for you to make and manage a content calendar. Google Calendar has a lot of ways to organize your tasks and appointments. So, that being said: it can help you to manage your blog and social media content, your meetings, to-do’s etc.
- Pixabay – You should always be careful when using photos that aren’t your own. Luckily websites like Pixabay make this easier for us. Pixabay is a database of free-to-use photos for your blog. Mostly of good quality!
- Dafont – Talking about free-to-use.. Dafont is a database of different fonts you can use for example your header, logo and your featured images. Not every font on the website is completely free to use, so be sure to check the license before usage.
- Google Trends – Find out what is trending on Google, and which keywords people search the most right now. Google Trends can help you to create useful content for your readers. You can also search on keywords and find out how much people use that keyword and similar ones.
- Hootsuite – Hootsuite makes it easier for you to manage your social media channels, it also streams hashtags you want to follow. You can also schedule posts through Hootsuite!
- Grammarly – Never post a blogpost without using Grammarly.’ Grammarly is a website on which you can check your blogpost for grammatical mistakes and errors, definitely a good website if you aren’t the best in grammar!
Social Media Tips
- Use Facebook statistics – To find out what time you should schedule your Facebook-posts and which posts create more engagement. Knowing how to use your stats will help you to get more out of your page!
- Facebook groups – There are a lot of Facebook groups that are built to boost your traffic and to connect with other travelbloggers. You can for example become a member of We Travel We Blog, Awesome Bloggers and Travel Bloggers Mega Share.
- Add the Pinterest Hoover Button - To make it easier for your readers to share and save your blogposts.
- Make sharable photos – So users of Pinterest will find your articles faster and are more drawn towards it!
15.Choose your first photo wisely – As you know, the first photo of your blogpost will become your Bloglovin’ thumbnail. So always choose a good, ‘attractive’ one that fits your article correctly
- Use Instagram hashtags – That are popular and that fit your photo. Don’t use too many hashtags, as Instagram will mark your photo as spam. This will make it harder for you to end up at the explorer tab.
- A picture says more than a thousand words – So you’d better use them on social media. Share personal photos, travel photos (and videos) and additional photos to your blogpost. Pictures make is easier to engage readers and social media followers. Remember: social media is not a way to advertise: it is a way to connect and to show a more personal side of you!
- Schedule social media posts – To make sure you have content on a regular and consistent base.
- Share articles and content from others – Don’t be scared to do so.. successful people help each other out. By sharing content of others you are indirectly networking and you’ll come across more natural for your readers.
- Share your content on personal social media channels – Don’t be afraid to ‘brag’ about your blog and share your content with friends and family.. they’re readers too!
- Pay attention to article length – Generally, stick to 500-700 words when writing articles. Less mostly means that you could have put more effort in it, and longer mostly means you are boring your readers: reading from a computer screen mostly isn’t pleasant and your readers will probably not read the full article.
- Create a content calender – A content calendar will help you to blog more productive and to create consistency on your blog. Few successful travelbloggers work without a content calendar, as should you!
- Schedule articles – A sunday well spent, brings a week full of content.’ Follow this rule, and you’re life will be less stressful. There are plenty of days where you won’t find the time to write an article, so be sure that you have written enough articles you can schedule!
- Link back to old articles in new articles – Be sure that new readers also get drawn to old articles they haven’t seen at the time it was published. Promote your own posts to get more traffic and pageviews!
- Read other travelblogs – Connect with other bloggers, read their stories and build a community. Blogging is fun, and you should get to know your ‘colleagues’! Reading other blogs will also help you to improve your own blogposts, to stay inspired (don’t copy, though) and to learn about new destinations of course!
- Write with a personal touch – A blog is one of the best channels to get personal and to share your own stories in stead of general ones. Be sure to write with your own voice and share your own opinion and stories! Next to the fact that this is what will make you unique, this will also help you to connect with your readers.
- Instal Disqus – In my opinion Disqus is the comment-system: next to the fact that it will exclude spam (you need to have an account to comment on articles), almost everyone who comments will notice it when you reply. Disqus helps you to connect with readers and other bloggers, and that is a definite plus for engagement!
- Don’t focus on Analytics too much – The number of unique visitors doesn’t say it all: bouncerate and number of pageviews, for example, tell you much more about the behavior of your readers. Also, don’t check your stats to often, but check them once a week or once per two weeks to find logical behavior patterns of your readers.
- Always carry a notebook with you – You’ll always feel inspired at moments you least expect it.
- Change old blogposts – Once in a while it is good to go over some of your old blogposts to make sure if they are still up-to-date, if the photos still work and if the grammar is good. Even though that blogpost is already written two years ago, Google still drives traffic to your website through this post, and when the post isn’t accurate, visitors probably won’t stick around for that long.
- Make a mediakit – A mediakit will make it easier for you to show companies what you’re up to, how many visitors and followers you have and how companies can work with you. Having a mediakit will immediately show companies that you take your blog seriously.
- Direct your content to PR-companies and tourism boards as well – After all, they are also a very important target audience.
- Apply for a tax number – It is very easy to apply for a tax number, and it makes it so much easier for you to earn money with your blog. You can join a lot of affiliate programs and advertisement programs once you have a tax number. Also; companies will take you more seriously!
- Don’t wait for companies to notice you – Make them notice you by sending emails, tweets and whatever you can come up with!
- Don’t say yes to every opportunity – Do these opportunities fit your target audience, your personal ideas and do you feel connected to the company? Then say yes.. otherwise, reject the offer. I mean, it is nice to get offers, especially when they’re paid for, but once they do not match your beliefs or the interests of your audience, your audience will see right through them.
- Write e-books or sell items – To add something extra to your website. Earn an income and put yourself out there!
- Separate work from your private life – Hard actually, as you mostly blog about your private life. But make sure you have an office, make sure you aren’t blogging in front of the TV, and make sure you schedule enough time for working on your blog.. after all, it’s your job.
- Print business cards – Tell everyone you know and meet about your blog and hand them your business card. New readers instantly! Also, you never know when you might run into someone who works for a company that would be interested in your blog. Always, always carry business cards with you!
- Act like a professional – Even if you’re not. Somebody once told me that once you act like a professional you are one. Companies should think about you like a professional on travel-teritory. If you’re not credible you won’t be likely to get a lot of collaborations.
- Check your email regularly – And reply to every mail (except for spam), even if you’re not interested. Be genuine, nice and tell companies why you’re (not) interested.