Running any kind of a blog is a ton of work, especially if you’re trying to get into a specific niche, such as travel. But don’t worry, I’m not going to spend all my time here telling why it’s so hard and how you’ll never make it. You’ve probably heard all of this already: The niche is saturated, there are too many big sites out there, it’s too much work – blah blah blah.
I don’t buy it. Not for a second. If you’re determined enough, have some nice ideas, and are willing to work to make it happen – then you will. This article is going to cover the advanced stuff that you need to know, such as the importance of email marketing.
Let’s get started.
1. Utilize Email Marketing
If you’re not – then stop everything you’re doing and start utilizing email marketing today. Email marketing is one of the oldest marketing methods out there, and it just so happens it’s the most effective method when it comes to reaching your audience today.
One of the first things you need to do is build an email list, and you can do this by offering your readers something in return. Incentivizing them to give you their email is very effective. You’ve probably seen this before; blogs give out free eBooks, courses, or useful .pfds in exchange for someone’s email address.
There’s almost no blog out there that doesn’t do this, and that alone tells you how effective this method is. Once you have your email list, the possibilities are endless; you’ll have a direct line (email is very personal) towards your audience.
But creating a list is just the first step. You also need to run email marketing campaigns, find and use email templates, track and compare your campaigns so you can improve, and a few other major things.
Does all this sound too complicated? That’s because it is, at least if you tried to do it all by hand – which no one does these days. Luckily, there’s a ton of software out there that automate this process.
One of my favorites is ConstantContact, as their whole set-up is really user-friendly and easy to use, and the most important thing – it gets the job done. If you’re wondering, here’s a very good review of ConstantContact.
2. Make Sure You’re Guest Blogging
I suppose (hope) you are if you’re already running a travel blog, but if you’re not, I suggest you look into starting as soon as possible. Guest posting is nothing short of being just another way to gain more readers, fans, and eventually a bigger audience.
Have a cool travel story to tell or a new idea for an article for your own blog? How about this, write up the article, and then approach an existing travel blog. Ask them to have you on as a guest blogger, with a link to your blog.
This does two things. It gives you exposure to their readers (some of which might become your active followers), and it gives them content. If we were in a perfect world, you’d have links to your blog on some of the most popular travel websites out there – but we’re not.
What I’m trying to say is that getting an opportunity to guest post on a high-authority website isn’t going to be easy. You’ll first need to find suitable blogs, and then figure out whether or not they accept guest posting. If they do – great! Pitch them your idea for an article and hope for the best.
If you haven’t done this already, you should know that it’s likely most will decline your offer. It’s normal for new sites and bloggers to approach dozens of other websites before getting a chance to guest post.
3. Get Social Media Savvy
The thing that a lot of blogs and businesses tend to neglect with social media, is to actually be social. I reckon you’ve already set-up all your social media profiles and there are people liking and commenting your stuff. Get engaged with your audience, talk with them, respond to the comments, and share things from other bloggers that you think your audience might enjoy.
Besides being social, you also need to be active. But at the same time, make sure you don’t spend hours upon hours on it every day. The best thing to do is to sort out a schedule for your day, figure out when’s the best time to post, and when’s the best time for you to go in and respond to a few comments.
You also need to use every platform in a certain way. What works on Instagram might not work on Facebook or Google+. For example, Facebook is probably best for one or two posts a day, with short captions on top. Facebook live is an awesome way to connect with your audience further if the situation is right.
Twitter is more about updating your audience, and for linking your new articles. Set up a schedule to post a link and perhaps one or two images of your new articles a couple of times this month. Do this with every new article. Also, don’t over-do hashtags.
Instagram is obviously all about beautiful pictures of the places you’ve visited. But while you’re at it, feel free to post a nice description and also ask a question that encourages your followers to engage with your content. Hashtags are also big on Instagram, use them wisely, and also always tag your location, this will help with discovery for potential new nearby followers.