Confessions of a Travel Blogger
Many people that start a travel blog have dreams of traveling around the world for free and working for themselves. How hard can it be right? These people find out real quick that it takes a lot of hard work just to become a credible travel blogger. Balancing your time between social media, engaging your audience, writing blog posts and managing your website can be overwhelming. When I started Road Of Reilly in 2016 I had no idea how I was going to develop a travel blog that people actually wanted to read. I started by writing about my travels then branched out to restaurant reviews and lifestyle posts. I don’t know everything but I have learned a lot within the last 2 years.
My biggest issue as a travel blogger was struggling to bring meaningful engaging content to my audience. In order to be successful you need to write about a wide variety of topics within the travel industry. Writing about unique travel topics will keep your audience coming back for more. When I first started writing I focused on travel based topics, now I write about travel and lifestyle. When brainstorming for your blog try to think of unique topics to write about that will make your blog stand out. The truth is that you really don’t know what people will find interesting until you write about it, being honest and real in your posts is the key to connecting with your audience.
No Money For You!
Congratulations you have a travel blog on the internet, now to sit back and watch the money flow in right? WRONG! Now you have the task of building your audience, social media networking and picking the right affiliates to generate some income. In the first 2 years blogging don’t expect to make much income, focus on writing quality articles or guest writing. There are many ways to monitize your blog when you are ready from e-guides to affiliate advertising. It takes a lot of hard work to make a steady income from your blog and it doesn’t happen overnight. If you take small steps and build your audience the rest will fall into place.
This is where I spend most of my time. Social Media is the most effective way to build your audience and network with people in the travel industry. The top 3 social media sites (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) are all you need. Here is a quick rundown of all 3 services:
- Twitter: I have found I have the best exposure using Twitter, so I spend most of my time updating my twitter feed. They have a great analytics program that gives you a ton of information about your tweets, your followers and popular trends. When tweeting make sure to use hashtags and when possible include a photo. Some of the hashtags I use are: #ttot (travel talk on twitter), #travel, #traveltuesdays and #travelblogger.
- Instagram: My Instagram experience is odd, I spend a considerable amount of time on this platform posting good photos but don’t get much traffic directed to my blog. I find that people start following you, then a few days after you follow them they unfollow you. This happens very frequently without any notice and can be frustrating especially if you are trying to build your Instagram followers. I found the best way to manage this is through a free app called Unfollowers from the GooglePlay Store.
- Facebook: Facebook is the #1 social media platform on the internet and it is a great tool to connect with your audience. If you use Facebook properly it can be a great way share photos, new blog posts and travel tips with your audience. Facebook also has built in analytics that helps you manage your followers. Check out our Facebook page here.
Whatever direction your blog takes you always remember why you started it the first place. Never get so lost that you lose your passion to write.
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