9 BEST TIPS FOR FUTURE TRAVEL BLOGGERS
A few weeks ago I wrote about how to start a travel blog (you can read this post HERE), because I have repeatedly encountered this question in emails, in messengers, or even in private from people who were also curious about what my beginnings looked like. Anyway, it surprised me how many people hesitate to start a blog. They are mainly restrained by uncertainty related to the unknown results, considerable amount of work and time they would have to invest, unavoidable criticism of some readers and saturation of the blogging market. Despite the above, there are people who decide to set up a blog and it is them who support and dedicate today's entry. The following advice is not to discover a wonderful recipe and it will not guarantee success, but it shows the best things to focus on and invest your time in. Sometimes it's worth recalling the obvious at a first glance standards, to make sure that we are heading with our blog in the right direction.
In my experience, the changes happen every day in the blogosphere, so you have to keep your finger on the pulse and constantly learn to be up to date. Unfortunately, on our way there is also a whole lot of useless information that encourages to invest a lot of time, and ultimately not bring any concrete results. How to defend against them? Using some of the following tips, of course! So if you take your blog seriously and you care about its success, be sure to read the text below and start implementing!
1. TAKE CARE OF THE STYLE AND THE VISUAL SITE OF THE BLOG!
Nobody likes to check themselves, but unfortunately it is necessary in blogging. Therefore, don’t leave writing text at the last minute. Write it and give yourself at least a day to get some distance. Then go back to what has come out from under your fingers and see if everything is correct, whether the syntax is correct and creates a meaningful whole, whether there are no missing dots, commas and whether there are no spelling mistakes or typos. Look for your own style, which doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of an original narrative; maybe your trademark will be a specific font, headline or paragraph layout? Don’t exaggerate with fantasy, because your post must remain readable and not distract from the most important, that is, the content itself. On the other hand, the graphic design, layout and photos you place on the blog can have a great impact, and sometimes can even be crucial in getting a loyal reader, which leads to another super important advice...
2. LEARN TO TAKE AMAZING PICTURES!
To be honest, photographers usually don’t set up blogs, rather more or less aspiring writers do. However, to stand out from hundreds, like not thousands of travel blogs, you have to post photos on blog posts, and not just any photos, but great ones. OK, not everyone has an artistic eye, but the basics of photography can be easily learned from videos on YouTube. And here there is no room for excuses. It is also good to invest in a better camera, although in the era of fancy mobile phones, it is not necessary if you only have great ideas. However, it's worth considering the photo editing program and spending more money there in the first place. And what about the practice? There is no other way than to just take pictures - the more, the better. Shoot the flash at every step, and then verify what looks better and what is worse. You can also ask your friends which pictures attract their attention - certainly other than you would have thought ;)
3. SET UP ONE PUBLICATION DATE AND PLAN, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!
Think of your blog as a morning newspaper, which your readers will always read at the same time. Making a habit in people return to your site for more is really important. If they know when something new appears on the blog, they'll be more likely to regularly check it, even if the topic doesn’t particularily interest them. Remind them of newly published posts on social media, and probably these media will become the gateway to the blog, which will increase the media traffic and ranges by the way. Analyzes show that there is no perfect day and time to publish, as they depend on the characteristics of the people who follow you. At the beginning, you can go a little crazy and look for a timing that is perfect for your readers. It must also be appropriate for you, because you do not want to take a night out during the week, or give up on Tuesday's activities to write a post, do you? For me, the perfect day turned out to be Sunday, which I chose, because one of my favorite YouTube videos also published videos on that day. It turned out to be a hit, because a lot of people visit my blog on Sunday before noon, and besides, if I didn’t manage to finish everything in the middle of the week, I can do it on Saturday, which usually is a day off for me (cleaning and cooking can wait;)) And one more thing: you don’t have to create new content all the time! Perhaps you only need to publish it once or twice a month? It is better to give yourself more time in the beginning and then increase the frequency rather than in the other direction.
Once you have chosen the time of publication, please take the time to plan the topics of your posts. Brainstorm and write down everything that comes to your mind - some things may prove to be useless, but you will definitely benefit from the rest. It is worth to prepare a list of universal themes, that is, the ones you can use at any time - an example is even this post ;) It doesn’t matter if I publish it in March, August or November, because it will always be up to date. Ideally, you could write a few extra entries to use them in difficult times, for example during illness, lack of inspiration or long holidays. Of course, bloggers are not robots and have the right to take a break, so as long as it doesn’t become your routine, don’t make it too harsh on yourself!
4. PROMOTE YOURSELF!
The best way to reach the right reader is to promote your content in social media. Invest in advertising from the very beginning. Don’t go crazy with the budget, just test what works and what does not. Facebook and Instagram provide you with all the data you need to create the right ad. Take time to analyze them and then think about what could appeal to people who visit your blog most eagerly? With this foundation, design an ad without giving up your style, because it will make you stand out. When you notice that something works, try to invest a little more and for a longer period of time - the effects will pleasantly surprise you :)
5. WRITE ABOUT EVERYTHING!
Not literally ... just do not belittle the rank of trips to a nearby forest, a lake, another city or even a local museum, and you'll be surprised how popular they can become! We know it would be great to write about long journeys to other continents, but let's face it: you probably will not be able to spend two weeks a month in the Caribbean, or half a year in India, and above all, if your target is not a wealthy heir, it will not be possible for most of your readers. People like to read about things that are for them to reach. It's like with clothes: it's nice to take a look at luxury, branded clothes, maybe even buy one thing at a discount for the majority of savings, but we will usually look for these high-street native brands. My blog works in a similar way and the most popular posts are those from the series Alternatively through Poland, not the fancy Seychelles.
6. DON’T write WHEN YOU TRAVEL!
When travelling, are you tempted to sit down in the evening and write down everything that happened that day? Preferably in the form of an article to be able to publish it as quickly as possible and then share it immediately? You have so many ideas, lots of inspiration around, and you don’t want to forget anything! Great, but it’s so much better to go for an evening walk on the beach, talk to a lady from the local information office, or try an exotic drink whose name doesn’t tell you anything. Seize the voice recorder (every phone has it!) and record what is the most important. Take the camera not to forget the view of the sunset at the ocean, because even if the photo is not good enough to be later published on the blog, it will remind you the emotions accompanying that moment. And simply enjoy it, live it, without thinking that Instagram will go crazy about your pics tomorrow.
7. LET SEO BE YOUR GOD!
SEO is like a Bible for bloggers, so don’t waste any more time, just learn about keywords and positioning pages as much as possible! It is worth reading about the basics of SEO, e.g. on Google. Remember to write texts so that they appear as high as possible in Google search. And more about SEO will appear on my blog soon! :)
Your friends most probably don’t understand your fascination with blogging. In fact, they are wondering why you are constantly posting holiday pictures on Facebook? Perhaps they think it’s enough of this bragging, eh? Well, all you need is blogger friends! No, not to like and comment your posts...although they may be useful here, of course, if they are happy to it unwillingly. In the group, strength is also reflected in the blogosphere, and despite the fact that it sometimes meets with criticism, I think it is a good idea to promote and support each other. So instead of criticizing and getting jealous of amazing travels from your blog colleagues, comment on their posts and then come back to comment and like more! This selflessness will pay you back with a vengeance. Do not, however, force it, just look for accounts at a similar level and start working with those that you think are worth it. Why not get to know bloggers in real life? Blog festivals are a great opportunity for this, more and more often organized in larger cities. Last year I had the opportunity to participate in one and in addition to the invaluable knowledge I gained, I also got some contacts. But this year the situation has reversed and for the first time I will meet with a person I only know from Instagram. Not bad, huh? :)
9. GET INSPIRED, DON’T COPY!
Last but very important advice. Remember that a few are going dry boldly copying (David Bowie is an exception!), so try to at least change some details if you can not resist inserting something similar to something that already exists on the Internet or wherever (and you know it well!). Inspiration doesn’t mean copying word by word, but it’s an attempt to recreate something that we like in our own style. And keep it! And the more extraordinary you are, the more original and unique followers you will gain. And such a great collective of people is the faithful and not easy to bribe. That's what I wish you! :)
If you are already at the end, I congratulate you! With such knowledge it's easier to get together and start working. It is not always easy and pleasant, but without trying, you will not find out whether blogging is something for you or not. I would like to know one proper way to run a successful blog, but unfortunately such doesn’t exist, so you have to find your own way to success. And maybe this is the uncertainty and at the same time the freedom that attracts so many people to the blogosphere? In the end, you can always give up, actually losing nothing ;) I warn you, however, that if you once devour this teaser, you will not be able to free yourself from it xD