New to the travel blogging world? That’s cool – so are we! Although we are just passing our 30 day marker, we’ve learned a great deal so far and would like to share our HOW TO guide on setting up a travel blog and getting followers.
Ten steps to get you traffic and success with search engines:
- Optimize your site and make it SEO friendly. This means that you are sure that headers and URLs are aligned with the content in your article and/or post. If you are using something like WordPress (which we would recommend), install an SEO widget/plugin to assist you with optimizing content for search engines. We recommend Yoast – you can read more about it here. If you don’t use a site like WordPress that makes SEO friendly sites, you can read more about common practices here.
- Submit your site to search engines. This means going the extra step to let them know you are a working site that is feeding content to the internet world. One easy source that will submit you to 20 sites at once is the Search Engine Submission – AddMe.
- Determine what type of content you will be providing to the world and stay somewhat consistent (unless of course you come across something amazing that is a must share). For instance: we are specifically sharing travel tips and donotmisslists for each city and country we visit on our one year trip around the globe. We ask users for input and try to provide relevant information based on needs and suggestions. Also, since our tips are based on personal experience we try to differentiate from your average aggregated information site. Try and think of ways to make your content original and useful – this is how you will engage users and keep them around!
- Within your posts, the best thing for your users and traffic in general is sharing links to other valuable resources/sites. This creates connections for Google and other search engines to recognize and it also provides your users with more valuable information/resources. The more you link and connect to other sites, the better. This is as important as providing regularly updated, relevant content.
- Tags are another way to have your posts rise to the top in Google search results. Add tags to every post, video, photo, etc. to ensure that you’re posts and images are being found when the search terms are used.
- Remember that people like pictures and videos more than anything. Be sure to take original photos/videos when possible and including them in your post. Ideally users will read your content, but the average browser notices a picture/video first – so often times that is what brings them in…
- Once you have established valuable posts on your site be sure to include SHARE links to all relevant social media sites, so that readers can share your posts with others. Again, if you opt to use something wonderful and easy like WordPress (download and customize responsive themes here), you can embed another widget/plugin for this. There are a few great ones to choose from here.
- Now, you too should be sharing on Social Media since it is a great way to get traffic and share with all those you already know and are connected to. Go ahead and set up Social Media pages for your site, if you have not already (there is a constant debate about which source brings the most traffic, but if you are unfamiliar, you can read what these gurus have to say, here). You can even take it a step further by producing some sort of print handouts for those you meet on your journey (or even just as a leave behind in places you find relevant depending on your blog content). Although it seems old school in the digital world, we still find business cards are useful for many interactions.
- After you’ve made every effort to get your site indexed organically and distributed via Social Media you can move on to submitting your top posts to Social Bookmarking Sites. There are a myriad across the web, but the ones that we’d recommend starting with are StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Digg.
- Once your blog has been up and running for 90 days you should have enough traffic and credibility to consider monetization if it is something you are interested in. There are many known ways of monetizing a blog, but this short list should get you going – here.
Thanks for reading and good luck setting up your blog!