So you’ve decided to start a travel blog. If all goes well, soon you could be sitting on a beach, doing what you love, and making money while you sleep. And you’re off to a great start! You’ve already written some great content that other travelers find useful. Unfortunately, now you face the same problem that every blogger encounters at some point in their career - how do you get people to see your site?
Well, the answer is a bit complicated. The success of any blog is determined by two factors: 1) great content, and 2) great distribution. This article will focus on the latter - getting your blog in front of thousands of travelers each month.
The Goal: Generate Thousands of Monthly Pageviews and Get Paid to Travel the World
Want to get paid to travel the world? Then you should aim to rank high in search results. For example, Nomadic Matt’s article on Bangkok, is currently the 4th result on Google when you search for “things to do in Bangkok". According to SEO Quake, it receives 167,000 unique visitors each month:
Sounds like a lot, huh? Well, remember, this is only the monthly total, and his post was written in 2008. Let's assume that Matt didn’t have great traffic in 2008 and that the post only got 10,000 views per month for the first 4 years. After that, let's assume it increased to 50,000 views per month for the next 2 years, and then 100,000 per month for the final two years. That’s 4 million people that have seen this article.
What could you do with 4 million visitors?
Great, but How Do I Do That?
First, you need to understand that this is going to be a slow process. Early on, its hard to get noticed. Alan Howard, a digital marketing guru, describes this as "shouting at Google with duct tape over your mouth." The good news is that even the most successful travel bloggers started with nothing. The fact that you're reading this post means that you’re already ahead of the game. Here are the four most important ways to build your blog presence at an early stage.
Build Your Network by Participating in Facebook Travel Blogger Groups
There are thousands of other bloggers out there, each trying to claim their piece of the great travel blog pie. These groups are a great place to exchange tips and learn from the experiences of others. They're also great for building partnerships and finding places to guest post. In addition, many of these groups hold weekly events like link or social media exchanges.
Share Your Content with the Travel Community
If the goal is to get your content read by travelers, you need to find out where travelers spend their time on the internet. Below is a list of different communities to share your content with.
|Travel Blog Exchange|
|Travel Writers Exchange|
Write for Established Travel Publications
Here’s a hot tip: established travel businesses are always looking to publish unique and interesting content for their users. If you can write these articles for them, you’re making their lives' easier. There are a lot of strategies out there for getting these articles published. I’ll list my favorite guides on this topic at the bottom of this post (jump to list). At a high-level, here are some important things to remember:
- Your writing should be high-quality. Before reaching out, it would be good to have a few different writing samples you can send the editor.
- Network first. Interact with your target editor on social media before asking them to publish your work. Comment on her posts or ask insightful questions. If they recognize your name when your e-mail pops into their inbox, you are infinitely more likely to have your e-mail read.
- Write unique pitches for each e-mail. Editors can tell if your e-mail is copied and pasted, and this is the quickest way to have your e-mail deleted before it is read.
|Condé Nast Traveler||91|
|Travel + Leisure||86|
|The Travel Detective||59|
|Travel & Tour World||41|
|The Travel Magazine||41|
Guest Post on Other Travel Blogs
This is a great way to build links and hopefully capture some of the other blog’s audience. Below is a list of 50 of the best travel blogs on the internet, along with their domain authority. If you are a small blogger, these sites are unlikely to let you guest post on their site - start with the facebook exchanges above while you expand your audience. Similar to reaching out to publications, it helps if you build a relationship with these bloggers before reaching out.
Guides on Getting Your Articles Published (PR)
- Ahref's Guide on Blogger Outreach
- How to Get Press Coverage for Your Startup
- Kissmetric's Beginner Guide to PR
- Kissmetric's Advanced Guide to PR
Am I Missing Something?
Comment below and I’ll add it to the list (with credit of course).